Old Black Maggie; Episode 35


Gary ran home. He raced upstairs to his room. He reached into his closet and grabbed a baseball bat. He was unsure what he might do with it, but it was going to be with him. At first, he envisioned finding the boy alone who stole his bike and threatening him with the bat.

He thought about enlisting in some way the help of Beez. At this point, it was impossible for him to reach out to his dad. He could not muster enough friends to confront The Gravediggers. Besides everyone was afraid of them.

With his beret snuggly on his head and a tight grip on the bat, he walked toward the neighborhood of The Gravediggers.

Little was on his mind except for retrieving his bike. Not even Old Black Maggie was in his thoughts. At times he thought about Beez and if the bike was retrieved how proud he would be of him. He thought of Beez’s smile and approval. It was important to Gary. Success was vital.

From a distance of a half a block, Gary saw a corner house with a grassy bank. On the bank were six bikes. He moved slowly and watched for any movement from the house.

He discerned the house must belong to one parent of a member of The Gravediggers. The door was open. There was no screen door. The house was in need of painting.

The porch had rotted boards. Weeds were in equal amounts with the grass.

Gary moved slowly and closer to the yard. He heard the boys inside the house talking loud, swearing. and laughing.

Gary spotted his bike. He grabbed it and moved it slowly and quietly to the sidewalk. He slowly pushed the kickstand down with his foot. He carefully adjusted it for a quick mount. He gripped the bat tightly with both hands. The sweet taste of revenge was tightly held between his teeth. He beat the bikes like a madman beating a hoard of attacking rats. Saliva spewed from his mouth. Within seconds spokes were broken, tires flattened, rims bent; every bike in sight received the culmination of his wrath.

Gary stopped. He breathed heavy and looked up at the house hoping one lone Gravedigger might challenge him. Suddenly the house was quiet. A face pulled back a torn and tattered curtain in the front window.

Gary stared at him defiantly and hastened to his bike. “Take that! Come out and get me you freaks! You’re cowards by yourself. Bak, bak, bak! Chickens! Here, chicky. Her chicky.” For some unknown reason, he whirled the bat overhead and flung it toward the window. It crashed through the window. Gary stood on the peddle of his bike, pushed off with one leg and thrust all his weight downward with the other. He sped away without looking back.

It was more fearsome and exhilarating than the night at Old Black Maggie’s As the distance became great between him and The Gravedigger‘s house he became aware he was now marked. He would no longer be safe either from Old Black Maggie who might try to capture the stolen beret or The Gravediggers who would for certain seek vengeance.

More than ever he needed to get away. Beez was the only one that could possibly help. The law or parents would be out of the question since both of his deeds were illegal.




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