Editor’s note: Since it is the Halloween month, we will be featuring this book for the month of October. This is the second excerpt. You can find the first one here.
Eric Macmillan folded his lean frame into the chair in front of his computer, then cracked open a beer. His life was in shambles, his sleep tormented by nightmares from his tour of the Middle East. When he had returned from Afghanistan, his wife had presented him with divorce papers. All he had to show for eight years of marriage to his childhood sweetheart was a few grand and a beat-up Explorer.
So much for true love and the American Dream.
Aggravated, he raked his hands through his long dark hair. Petty spite had kept him from cutting his hair or shaving since his return to the States months ago. Why should he bother? He’d kept himself shorn and shaved for the Guard, for his wife and for his job, just as he’d done everything else.
He was done pleasing others; it was his turn.
Growing up he had raced motocross, light little bikes on indoor tracks. Now he wanted a man’s bike, sleek and powerful. He wanted to have something between his knees that screamed with speed. He pulled up the search page and typed in two words, “Suzuki Hayabusa.”
There were dozens of pages of bikes in all colors: red, black, blue, white, yellow and gray; stock bikes, stretched bikes, custom bikes. He gawked like a schoolboy with his first girlie magazine, polishing off another couple of beers in the process.
His watch chimed midnight when he found the one. She was golden, sleek, powerful; her paint was textured like a snakeskin, the fairing painted with a snake holding the headlight in its mouth. She even had a name: Cora Cobra.
The paint job was copied from an albino Burmese python. There was a woman’s leather-clad torso painted on the gas tank. She had a hard Goth look: black hair, white skin, black lipstick and green eyes. This beauty was for sale? He had to see it for himself.
Eric sent an email to the seller, then stared at the pictures until the woman’s face blurred. There was nothing else to do but fall into bed. The next morning a reply waited for him, with a phone number. He made an appointment for that afternoon with a woman who gave him the address.
It was a two hour drive to just north of Columbus, Ohio. Eric used his GPS to find the house, a typical suburban house in a bland neighborhood. The garage door was open. Eric parked in the driveway, glimpsing the shrouded form of a motorcycle behind some boxes. Inside, Eric looked at the clutter; guy stuff, thrown haphazardly into boxes. There were framed pictures with the glass broken to shards. Some poor guy got his walking papers.
A plaque caught his eye.
‘Jake Patterson – Who died in service to his nation and the Drug Enforcement Agency.’
That explained why the bike was for sale. Eric tore his eyes from the plaque to look at the covered motorcycle. He eased the tarp away from it.
The ‘Busa was a bike to die for.