[identity profile] riksowden.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] shadow_writers




Beer For My Horses – a musical meeting

 

Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news

Said somebody’s been shot, somebody’s been abused

Somebody blew up a building

Somebody stole a car

Somebody got away

Somebody didn’t get too far yeah

They didn’t get too far

 

It was odd, Dix mused, the difference that clothes made – he used it himself, knew the leathers and cowboy hat gave an immediate impression so that smart clothes, as formal as he was comfortable in, really made an impact. As he spun the bike to a halt outside the meeting place in Athens he couldn’t help take another quick look in the mirror at the flowing skirt belonging to the lady whose arms encircled his waist. Definitely odd the difference a change of clothes made. As he offered his arm to her and they started within he started to hum the tune the bike had been singing

 

They made an odd pair as they entered, the leather-clad biker and the elegantly feminine squire – who was normally seen in men’s clothing – quickly joining the majority of vampires in Greece, with visitors from across the globe, in a large room. Joining a table full of Unconquered Dix reversed a chair to sit comfortably leaning against its back – his companion sat nearby in a chair he’d pulled out – and noticed an odd fellow, his beast lurched as it sensed another predator, a rival, wanting to claw at it, bite it, destroy the other, looking at him. With a shrug Dix ignored the glare he got, idly tapping fingers along the chair’s back as he sang softly to himself – trying to rid his head of an odd image.

 

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son

A man had to answer for the wicked things he done

Take all the rope in Texas

Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys

Hang them high in the street, for all the people to see that

 

He’d always liked that song, never one to fool himself into thinking he was one of the good guys – Dix knew he was a black hat, but that at least it was a stylish black hat, and there was a place for anti-heroes as well as white-hats, as long as the varmints were shot down. With a start he realised that his mind was wandering – the strange new predator still watching him, polite expression and softly spoken, perfect etiquette…but the eyes said a different story. From somewhere a name drifted “Bannister, Edward Bannister, Childe of Bertram Belasis” and he realised he was being introduced. With a slight shake of his head Dix tried to focus, realising it was hard as his foot kept time with the tune invading his head.

 

Justice is the one thing you should always find

You got to saddle up your boys

You got to draw a hard line

When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune

We’ll all meet back at the local saloon

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces

Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

 

With some rising alarm, nothing showing of course, Dix realised that folk were looking at him oddly – reputation was everything to an Unconquered, and more so for a nomad without a liege. Dix struggled to subdue the song, exchanging a few words with the others of the First Estate, chuckling at a quip by the Lord Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor…he and that Bannister were looking at him funny. Damn. The lady who was his escort for the night suggested some air. Quickly Dix rose “sounds good” and headed out, holding the door open. A strained reflection in one of the doors glass panel’s showed another following them, a glance behind confirming it was Edward. Already he’d been labelled a punk, a well dressed one, with manners, but still a punk.

 

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds

We’ve got too much corruption, and crime in the streets

It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground

Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down

You can bet he’ll set ’em down ’cause

 

“Hey there, nice ride!” the tune withdrew, of all the things Dix cared most for in the world his wheels were right up there – and to be sure the bike he was on tonight was beautiful. 2007 Triumph Rocket III with some factory extras, with some genius and love from the mechanics Dix owned, and with a new coat of dark red and black swirls, painted so carefully they looked solid unless you were close. Cleaned and polished for tonight with just enough dust to show she was a proper bike – no weekend warriors mount – without spoiling the finish. Dix grinned as he companionably chatted about his ride, the lady who watched him with concern forgotten about.

 

Bannister though, Bannister hadn’t forgotten the lady – as Dix turned back the song cut through, louder, more personal. That punk in a suit had laid hands on his escort, forcing her to dance to some strange, unheard melody in the streets of Athens. With a silent growl Dix clenched his fist lurching towards Eddy as his beast rose in tune with the music in his head. Not realising he voiced the words aloud in a low, gravely tone which was nearly a growl.

 

Justice is the one thing you should always find

You got to saddle up your boys

You got to draw a hard line

When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune

We’ll all meet back at the local saloon

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces

Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

 

Before he got there, with others gathering but unseen, the lady who would be a knight shook herself free of Edward, linking her arm with Dix’ to draw him back inside. Forcing his beast down, muting the tune as best he could, Dix was happy to go with her – strange the difference the clothes make he again thought.

 

Glaring at the back of the leather-clad biker, the thug on whose arm was the woman he desired, Edward didn’t realise he was speaking aloud. Didn’t realise the words were the same as his rival had uttered moments before…

 

Justice is the one thing you should always find

You got to saddle up your boys

You got to draw a hard line

When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune

We’ll all meet back at the local saloon

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces

Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

 

Another odd night in Athens, another odd night indeed.

 

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