An excerpt from:
by Chester Brost

In his dream, Bull threw his hands up to shield his eyes......AND WOKE. SITTING BOLT upright. He was looking into darkness from between his own spread fingers. And still, that bell rang on and on, as though it were bellowing from a bullhorn. The bells fell silent, and then screamed to life again. Shaking off the remnants of his nightmare, Bull stared in the direction of the sound, and picked up the telephone: "What!" he blurted into the mouthpiece. Not quite able to make out the time, his eyes stared and blinked at the green hue the digital clock emitted into the darkness. A familiar, but urgent voice began to speak: "Bull, I need you at the club house right away, and your going to need a car." It was Dago, the club's president. Bull exhaled a sigh, knowing the implications were few, and answered back, "thirty minutes." Dago hung up.

The air was still as Bull pulled through the heavy iron gate that protected the club house from unwanted visitor's. As he made his approach toward the two story concrete block structure, the garage door opened, and out walked Dago. As Bull pulled into the opening, the two men made eye contact. He knew there was trouble.

Bull parked the Chevy, and recognized only two of the three motorcycles parked in the adjoining bay of the four stall enclosure. He exited the vehicle, and walked back outside to where Dago was waiting. "What's up?" Bull asked. Speaking in a low voice, Dago replied: "Tramp has a dead man lying on the floor in the club house, and he's so drunk he can barely stand up." "You sure he's dead?" Bull Asked. "Yeah......Well," Dago turned to him, " I didn't take his temperature, if that's what you mean, but I saw his head, and you know Tramp." Bull turned and looked in through the garage. He noticed a tall shadowing figure leaning against the door jam of the entrance to the interior of the building. Bull knew what he needed to do. He also knew it would be daylight soon. Both men turned and headed into the building.

Tramp took a step back as the two men approached him. "Damn it Tramp!" snarled Bull. Tramp turned to his own defense. Bull cut him short: "Don't tell me that details Tramp, less they're spoke of the better." At first, Tramp looked furious; sullen, bloodshot eyes glinted at Bull dangerously....and then only abashed. He sank into a nearby barstool, closed his mouth, and leaned forward; forearms on his thighs. Tramp knew it was a big deal to have brought this kind of drama onto the club-not to mention upon himself and now onto Bull.

Bull had had his patch for twenty seven years now, and it was his job to make sure that no criminal activity was ever connected to the club, or its members. That was his job, but it wasn't easy.

Tramp was still trying to deal with the way the man had gone from living to dead with such terrible speed, when Bull slid the single trunk key down the bar; "Look bro, just put him in the trunk." Bull said in a dry, but calmer voice.

Tramp walked over and pulled back the black plastic bag that Dago had draped over the man. He was a big, ugly, fat fellow. Neon tubes turned his hair into a haze that was half red, half blue. His eyes stared up at Tramp with terminal amazement. His shirt was dark crimson, and the left side of his head was purple and swollen twice its size. Tramp stripped the man of any ID, and Bull watched as he tried to take the mans wedding band from his swollen fat finger. "TRAMP!" Bull snapped. This time it was Bull's eyes that gleamed dangerously. "JUST LOAD HIM UP!" Tramp put the man's hand down and dragged his corpse around the bar, through the door, and out of sight.

"Who is he?" Bull asked quietly, looking down at the splatter of congealing blood. "He's a nobody, no affiliation," Dago replied. The last thing Bull wanted was a war between clubs. Five minutes passed, and Tramp made his way back inside. "It's done. The shovel's in the back seat." Tramp handed Bull the key. "Be careful bro," Dago said. Bull looked blankly at Dago, and nodded. He glanced at Tramp, "sober up, I'll be back," then deliberately turned his back on him, and was gone.

There were only three hours of darkness remaining, and Bull had to drive across town to the foothills. It was only fifteen miles, but he had to dig a hole and fill it before daylight. As he pulled off of the lot, and on to the empty street, he had an uneasy feeling-a bad feeling-a feeling he usually associated with bad luck; it suddenly began to rain.

As he drove through the sleeping city in the torrent downpour, Bull struggled to ignore the attention he seemed to be receiving from the patrol car's that cruised by, giving his lone car that extra look, until his rearview mirror reflected the image of a police cruiser behind him. Bull was but five miles from his turnoff, and as the street lights poured over the moving vehicles, he could make out a solitary figure speaking into his radio hand-set.

Although Bull's heart was in his throat, he new the car would come back clean. And though he was clever, always looking for ways to evade trouble should the worst occur, he couldn't help but reflect on the fifteen straight he did down state. Knowing there would be no explaining the unsavory cargo in his trunk; he lifted his right hand from his lap, and clicked off the safety of the .44 magnum on the seat. It was at that very moment, the patrol car signaled left, and departed from Bull's sight. Ending the adrenal surge in his gut.

Bull finally found the turn-off, and followed the path past the burned-out Volkswagen, which looked eerie in the rain and encroaching fog, and set him to thinking about Tramp. Tram had had his patch for five years. But, it wasn't until he lost his son in a motorcycle accident that anyone found out about the man's predilection for blood, and violence.

The rain was falling in furious sheets as Bull entered the thick foliage that covered the foothills. He drove another hundred and fifty yards down the path, pulled into a clearing, and stopped. He put the car in park and killed the engine.

Ten minutes passed, Bull sat silently staring into the downpour. He did his best not to think about how creepy this place seemed at night, in the fog and rain with a dead body in the trunk. Then, just as suddenly as the rain had begun, it stopped. Bull cleared his head, holstered the .44 under his arm, reached in the back seat, and grabbed the spade. Then stepped out of the sedan

Silence permeated the thicket. Bull moved his eyes, studying the gray tone, looking for irregularities in mother nature's world of random. He thought he heard a subtle noise from up the hill, and shifted his eyes toward the source. He listened intently. Placing his hand upon the loaded .44, his gaze shifted to the tree line. Then, paused to watch and listen again. It was ridiculous of course. Bull was in the middle of no where-at three in the morning-after a downpour. He shook his head, walked to the back of the car, and began digging through the muck, and standing water.

Bull's faded jeans were now soaked to the skin. Fog reached out in wispy fingers, rising like steam from the warmer earth. Thinking he's heard movement from the brush to his left, he turned, then scarcely breathed. Impossible he decided. But, remained still until he realized it was sounds of wind and dripping water.

Bull worked faster, the sounds of his labored breathing in his ears. He felt a new flash of anger, and the restlessness continued to grow inside......HE SAW MOVEMENT! Bull crouched down on his haunches, eyes wide as saucer's. The anger had evaporated. Now his heart pounded mercilessly, and a new, alien emotion swept through him: fear. Bull grasped the pistol as his eye averted to where the shadow figure appeared. Methodically searching the murky air. He couldn't believe his eyes, nor how incredible this whole situation had become, and shook his head in disbelief as he realized his fear: a raccoon! As he regained a degree of control, Bull rose to his feet.

The murky darkness was turning to lighter shades of gray. Bull decided the hole was deep enough, and that it was time t get this over with. Bull was not looking forward to lifting this guy out of the trunk. He was strong, but the man in the back of this car was huge! A gust of blowing fog, and wisps of moist air blew through his vision as he gave the deck lid of the impala a hard look.

Bull reached in his pocket, and his hand closed on the single trunk key. As he brought it out, one of the notches caught on the pocket. His fingers wet, the key slipped and fell toward the ground, bounced off of the car's bumper, dropped through the brush, and disappeared. "SHIT!" Bull grumbled, "This is all I need." Reaching down through the grass, Bull easily recovered the fugitive key.

The 'thump' of the trunk's lock, made it's hollow sound. Bull surveyed the clearing one last time, and opened the trunk lid. As rusty hinges screamed to life, the deck light shone upon the man's face. Eyes, still agape, seemed to stare right back at Bull-sending a chill down his spine. Bull reached into the trunk and began to lift the man's limp torso. Suddenly-chocked with fright-Bull stumbled back, tripping over the shovel. Inhaling a dry, wheezing breath, the man in the trunk SAT UP! Bull fell to the ground. Looking down at Bull as he sat on the wet earth, eyes and mouth gaping open in disbelief, the man in the trunk leaned toward him and said: Oh, man! Thanks bro, thanks for gettin' me outta there, that crazy bastard was gonna kill me!

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