Utopia Gone Mad – part 2

The low rumble of a Harley made me look up. The sound was familiar. So was the silhouette riding the bike. I stood up from the roadside curb of the car park to greet him as he rolled in beside us. Talon. Mum’s friend. I’d seen him come and go over the years, always with some new crazy bandana that was so bright it made my eyes hurt to look at it. Talon pulled of his gloves and looked at first me, then my brother. “Brody. Your mum says go meet her at the half way house, corner of Ashfield and Morley.”

Talon’s dark eyes swung back my way. I could feel Brody beside me, getting up reluctantly from the roadside. Last time mum called him into a halfway house it meant a make-over. I bet he wasn’t looking forwards to that. He hung around for a moment, uncertain, or perhaps he wanted to wait and see where Talon would send me. Both of us were reluctant to lose contact again.

“Piss off Brody” Talon growled.

Brody scowled and took off west, throwing a look over his shoulder at me that was loaded with questions. I shook my head and frowned a little. Don’t tell mum. Brody nodded and kept going. He always deferred to me, even though he was older. Mum didn’t need to know just how bad things were. Not just yet.

I turned back to Talon and waited. He was looking at my gear with a frown.

“Where’d you get all that crap?”

“It’s mine” I said defensively.

He reached behind him. “Here’s a jacket. Maybe you can shove some of it inside once you put it on and zip it up. I ain’t got much room left in the bike pack” he warned.

I did as he said and managed to get everything stowed away. I must have looked ridiculous. Talon had an amused glint in his eye and that strange wry twist to his mouth that was meant to be a smile.

“Ready?” he asked. I hesitated. It suddenly occurred to me I had no idea where we were going.

“Where are we going? I asked suspiciously.

“Safe house” he replied. I wanted to know which one, but he turned his back on me as though the conversation was over and suddenly the Harley was making like thunder, sending rolling purrs of bliss through my body. The destination seemed irrelevant if it meant riding on Talons bike. I bit my tongue and climbed on awkwardly behind him with my jacket stuffed fat.