The gravel made a rough grinding sound as the heavy black tire crunched its way along the dirt parking lot. The car came to a stop outside the biker bar. The establishment was old and beat up. The wood siding had seen better days. But, the line of motorcycles out front kept the bar in business even when nobody else would visit the old joint anymore. Today, Derrick was here for a visit. He was here to see a man about a girl.
He brought the muscle car to a halt. The solid steel slid open. A heavy leather boot hit the dirt. Then, a sunglass laden face emerged from the vehicle. He slammed the door shut with a satisfying K-thunk. Before leaving his car, Derrick made a stop by the trunk. He reached in and pulled out one item. A Louisville slugger. Shutting the trunk, he turned to the bar and walked swiftly. He rocked the bat back and forth to relearn its balance.
Derrick watched as a pulled-down blind was released behind the front window, the peephole that was being held open by a finger sprang back into its rightful position. The front door to the bar opened.
A large, bald man, easily twice the size of Derrick stepped out. His leather biker vest clued Derrick into his affiliation.
“You better turn around and go back where you came…”
The bouncer never had a chance to finish his sentence. His instantly-bruised face slammed into the doorframe and his massive body slumped to the ground.
As Derrick continued his march forward, he heard a ruckus stirring up inside the bar. He took a step inside and saw a dozen men scrambling to ready themselves for a fight. Derrick allowed his eyes to adjust to the dark, hazy environment inside the bar. A neon light in the back flickered and slowed his eye’s progress.
“I’m looking for Birch. Anybody know where I can find him?” Derrick said with a firm voice. The bar was silent. Everybody anticipating an attack. A smaller man closer to the bar noticeably shifted his eyes. He looked towards the man that stood closest to the jukebox. Birch. Derrick pointed the tip of his slugger towards him.
“I warned you not to touch Maeve again,” Derrick said.
He took a step forward towards Birch. In his peripheral vision, he caught a glimpse of a punch being thrown his way. Derrick pulled the bottom of his bat back. The knob connected with the attacker’s nose. Before the fist ever reached Derrick, the man crumpled into a bloody mess on the floor. The next attacker came from Derrick’s flank as well. This time a beer bottle was being swung at his head. Derrick twisted the bat upright, as if he was bunting, and let the bat take the brunt of the bottle. The glass shattered and beer covered Derrick’s chest. But the failed attack gave Derrick the moment he needed to jam the Louisville Slugger into the man’s throat. A guttural gurgle emanated from the biker’s mouth as he clutched at his throat for air.
Derrick pulled the bat away from the man’s throat and swung it into the chest of an approaching attacker. The hit forced all the air from the man’s lungs. His arms dropped to his stomach, allowing a clear shot to the man’s head. Another target down.
A jab landed into Derrick’s back. Instinctively, he spun around bringing the full force of his momentum through his bat and into the surprise-puncher’s face.
A beer bottle flew past his head. Derrick swung his bat through a table of bottles. The glass shards flew into another biker’s face. He screamed out in agony.
As he continued to hold the bat in his left hand, Derrick grabbed a bottle off a nearby table by the neck and threw it at the skinny man behind the bar that was rushing for a shotgun located under the counter. The bottle impacted his left temple and the bartender fell behind the counter.
With half the room cleared within seconds, Derrick was feeling better about his odds of winning the fight.
Another three bikers ended up in a pile on the floor after Derrick shifted the bat between man-one’s knee, man-two’s chest, man-three’s head, then man-two’s head, and finally bringing the bat down onto man-one’s head.
There was a pause in the fight.
Derrick turned towards two smaller men that were standing between him and the doorway. They glanced at each other and back to Derrick. One of them began to reach for a heavy glass on the table.
“Really?” Derrick asked.
The man froze his hand before grabbing the glass.
Pulling the slugger up into a batter’s position, Derrick took a step forward.
The man pulled his frail hand away from the glass.
As Derrick took another step towards them, the two men made the ultimate decision of flight rather than fight.
Derrick relaxed and turned his attention to the corner of the bar that was next to the jukebox. Huddled on an old cloth couch was the man named Birch. A decorative sign above his head read ‘Chicken’.
How fitting, Derrick thought.
“Just you and me now, Birch,” Derrick said as his boots stomped toward the huddled man. A whimper came from the couch.
“Please, man. I didn’t mean to…” Birch began.
“Didn’t mean to?” Derrick asked, anger in his question.
Birch turned his hidden face to Derrick. Fear was the only expression on his face that was hidden behind raised hands. Derrick now stood over him. A light on the wall to his right lit up face like a kid prepping to tell a story by holding a flashlight beneath his chin. The shadows cast by the light stretched upward and hid his eyes. Even when hidden, Birch could still see the rage contained within Derrick’s eyes.
“I guess I didn’t mean to do this either,” Derrick said as he brought the bat down onto Birch.