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Reunion Planning Interruptus

This actually happened.

The ten year reunion for Tilden High School's class of 1960 was fast approaching. The class president and his cabinet sent out numerous letters and post cards besides leaving a multitude of voice messages on numerous answering machines. They were advising the recipients of an upcoming meeting of the reunion committee, open to anyone who wished to volunteer and brainstorm.

The meeting would be held at a small bar that was owned by one of the alumni. He felt so honored that they called him first that he opened the back room reserved for private functions and brought in an extra bartender to serve them all.

There were hugs and kisses from the ladies to all that arrived, especially to the ones that had vanished soon after graduation. Over cocktails each one gave an abridged version of the last ten years of their lives.

That's when they heard it. It was a deep throated growl that was not unlike a wild animal announcing its presence from a bush. The sound grew louder and through the open back door they soon saw the source of the noise. It was a chopper, the current motorcycle trend of the day.

The extended front end was all shining chrome and ended with a small tire that was not unlike one would see on a child's first two wheeler while the back tire was the size of a passenger car tire.The handlebars were very high and one would have to extend their arms in order to reach the grips.

The exhaust pipes extended past the rear tire before sweping upwards and judging by the volume probably they had no baffles in them. The paint job was a metallic red with gold flakes. The rider walked his ride backward into a parking slot before he shut it down.

He extended the kickstand and then dismounted. He removed his bandanna which allowed a shock of thick black hair to fall to his shoulders. He reached inside his vest for a pack of cigarettes and flipped a fresh one into his mouth, he paused to light it before he strode through the open door and into the room.

"Can I help you?" one of the alumni males asked as he greeted him at the door with a smile.

"No, just get outta my fuckin way,"he growled

As he walked past him the male got a good look at the patch sewn on the back of his beat up leather vest and a chill went through his body and his blood ran cold. This new arrival was a member of one of the most violent, feared and well known motorcycle gangs in the country.

"Now which one of you jerk offs is in charge of sending out the letters and leaving the phone messages?" the new arrival growled at the group standing at the bar.

"We all had a hand in it," the class president responded extending a hand that the new comer ignored.

"So I gotta stomp all you idiots?"

"Excuse me?"

"There is no excuse for you or any of you assholes."

"This is a private party so I suggest you leave," a female voice stated.

The biker turned to see who it was that spoke and saw a beat up looking brunette in a mini dress.

"Mary Charrio? Wow! Looks like you been rode hard and put away wet, a lot. Now I suggest you shut your pie hole before I bend you across the table and introduce myself in true biker fashion."

Mary's current boyfriend stood up and took two steps forward as if to champion her. This caused the intruder to snort a laugh. 

"Wow, you two are together again? Whatsamatter, didn't she give you enough in school? So now what ya gonna do Jimsey, fight me? I don't think so!

"Oh really?"

"Yeah really. If you were a really serious you would have charged me ready to dance, but you never had the balls to challenge anyone that might give you the ass kicking that you deserve."

"Do we know you?" the class president finally asked.

"Know me? Hell yes you know me. You all had a hand in making me the man I am today."

"Just who are you?" Meryl finally asked.

"I'm Don Hogan."

The attendees were stunned into silence. Could this person really be their former classmate? Short and slightly pudgy Donny, as he used to be called was just an average guy that had moved to the suburbs in time to start junior high.

He wasn't one of the popular students, but was friendly so his presence was tolerated. He mostly kept to himself and wasn't a troublemaker.

He wasn't a coward but was tagged one when he refused to fight over a chair assignment in study hall, and that seemed to invite more challenges. He was tripped walking down the stairs and thrown into the showers fully clothed after gym more that once.

He had his books knocked out of his hand while moving to his next class and was forced to drop to his knees in an effort to recover his assignments. Those passing him did little to assist and most of them aimed their next step so as to "accidentally" kick his belongings further down the crowded hallways. 

When he finally found the courage to ask a few girls to school dances all politely refused him. After all, he wasn't cool and being seen with him could damage their reputation. Mary's was among the ones asked and her response was even more hurtful than all the beatings he had suffered.

"You must be kidding. I will never be that hard up for a date," she had told him with a laugh.

Finally Donny gave up trying to fit in and kept to himself.

"All I wanted to do was be left alone, but you assholes wouldn't."

"That was a long time ago," another male alumni replied.

"Not to me, it seems like just yesterday. So who wants it first?"

"First?" the class president asked.

"Yes first. One of the basic lessons you folks imparted was that physical violence was the only way to get your feelings across when words failed."

None of the men in attendance moved, they just stood there taking in the whole picture of the man standing before them.The arms that poked out of the of his leather vest were not huge but the muscles and tendons beneath the skin of his forearms looked like steel cable.

The knuckles on both hands judging by their size had been broken a few time and there were a few wicked looking scars on one arm.

His black leather belt had skulls tooled into it and the buckle had the 1% logo engraved on it. His jeans were black, as was his t-shirt. The long thin chain that hung from his right side had a number of keys, a hair brush and small ball peen hammer hanging from it.

His feet were clad in engineer boots, probably steel toed ones. Getting kicked by one of them would certainly be painful.

Louis Lattimer, who had been hiding in the background finally spoke up.

"I was in your homeroom and I never bothered you."

"Yeah, but you never did anything to help or stop the harassment and you actually laughed cause you thought that shit was funny."

"Someone should call the police," Mary's said to the group in a voice tinged with panic.

"Go ahead, call the cops. Jail don't scare me, I've been there and it ain't shit. Course your pretty boyfriend might not fare so well."

Jimsey or James as he preferred to be addressed now was getting red from anger and embarrassment and took a few steps toward the biker.

"I heard that if one of your club members gets his ass kicked the rest of the club retaliates"

"If we are in a group at a sanctioned run or a party, but as you can see I'm all alone. Come on and take your best shot. You think that spinning back kick you mastered will save your ass?"

James glanced at an empty beer bottle on the table next to him and the biker seemed to sense his intent and spoke again.

"If you grab that bottle I will take it away from you and use it to beat the pretty boy looks off of your face."

"You were a member of the student council and your homeroom's rep," the past president reminded him hoping to appeal to his sense of camaraderie.

"Come on Prez, don't make me laugh. I was an alternate and I only got that because none of the other boys wanted it. The female that was voted in as the rep for our homeroom almost threw up when she had to stand next to me for the group picture."

The female he spoke of was among the group of attendees and now hung her head in shame and embarrassment.

"So why are you here?" another former classmate asked.

"I told you all on graduation day that I didn't want shit to do with any of you for the rest of my life, but every year the calls and letters about upcoming reunions kept coming. So I finally decided to show up and stomp a few of you and maybe you would finally stop calling me."

"You think you're tough enough to handle us all?" another alumni asked.

"Piece of cake. When was the last time any of you were in a real fight? I mean a real life and death struggle against more than one person? Probably never. Ya see this patch? It wasn't given to me, I earned it by doing whatever was needed for my and the clubs survival and reputation."

The group was speechless and the biker could smell the fear in the air and see the perspiration roll down a few faces. He stepped to the bar and ordered a beer which he finished in a few swallows and after letting out a loud belch he turned to face the group again.

"You all can stop pissing in your panties.I ain't gonna do shit today if you remove my name from your list of MIAs and never attempt to contact me again."

The past student counsel secretary flipped open her notebook to the H page and with a black felt tip marker blacked out his name and then showed it to him.

The biker grunted his satisfaction and then turned to leave, but stopped short of the door and turned once again to face this group.

"So do any of you have kids?" he asked.

There were murmurs and nods of yes.

"Well if they act anything like you all did they could be creating another one just like me. Something to think about."

With that he strode out the front door where he straddled his chopper and retied his bandanna. He kicked it once and it fired up. Twisting the throttle a few times he shattered the night air with its loud growl before he flipped them the middle finger and rode off.

There was silence among the attendees for quite a longtime afterwards.

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