Authors: Pamela Murdaugh Smith
Good Gaelic Souls
A Biker Family Saga
Pamela Murdaugh Smith
Dedicated to my beloved father, Ralph and precious neice, Myranda.
My heart aches daily in your absence. Know that you are loved.
This is a work of fiction. All events described are product's of the author's imagination.The settings and character's are fictitious, and not intended to represent specific places or persons, living or dead.
© 2014, Pamela Murdaugh Smith. Except as provided by the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author/publisher.
Stax was confused, why couldn't she remember? What the fuck was it, that she was trying to accomplish? Standing beside the bed, unable to wrap her mind around the act of making a simple choice, she struggled to stay focused. Clothes! That's right, she had to get dressed
, she didn't have time for this. Why couldn't she make a decision on how to dress herself this morning? Horrific images and heart rending memories began to surface again as she mentally fought against this unacceptable reality. Today was not suppose to be happening. This was not part of their plans for the future, it couldn't be real. She felt as if her heart was going to implode from the weight of such unbearable pain.
Staring blanky, back and forth between the two tops she had laid out on the bed, her mind refused to cooperate. The first top, was a black boatneck, self cut T-shirt which read, "
Arch your back, it won't hurt so much
." The second, a black spaghetti strap that read, "
I may be a Bitch, but I'm not your Bitch,"
on the front. Standing in a daze for several long minutes, she wiped away the tears that blurred her vision, took a deep breath, and physically shook herself out of the moment. "For fucks sake," she muttered, "Grab something and move on, it's not like you've suddenly become some sort of fashion queen, nobody has ever accused you of that!"
Realizing that she was talking to herself again, she pushed back at the pain in her heart and pulled the spaghetti strap top over her head. As soon as she put it on, she pulled it off again. Going back to the closet, she flipped through hangers until she found a sleeveless, black leather, lace-up top and put it on. "Whatever," she mumbled without looking in the mirror, "This will have to do. Where the hell is my Serenity?"
Willing herself to be strong and to hold on to what was left of her mind, she scanned the room for her riding boots. Spotting one half hidden under the bed, she bent down to grab it. As she stood up, the excruciating mental picture of a black and chrome '68 Shovelhead, stuffed under the tires of an eighteen wheeler in the middle of an intersection, popped into her head again. Before the tears could wet her flushed cheeks again, she quickly began searching for her other boot. Using her foot, she moved the dirty clothes pile around until she saw the orange and black sole peeking from underneath yesterday's jeans. Snatching it up, she grumbled, "There you are, you little shit," as she made her way to the dresser for a pair of socks.
Pulling on the socks, again failing to keep herself in check, she quipped at the boots "Can't go riding without you two, now can I?" As she attempted to pull on the first boot, a fleeting thought crossed her over crowded mind. Sitting the boot down absently, it dawned on her that it would be in her best interest to put her pants on
. Heading back to the closet, grabbing her tightest pair of black jeans from their hanger, she pulled them up and over her curvy hips. Zipping up, she threaded her braided leather belt through the loops, and clipped the leash for her lighter to the belt loop on her right side. This was the one accessory that she would go absolutely nowhere without, not even to a funeral.
As she pulled on the second boot she heard a low rumble, the familiar sound of thunder in the distance. All of her life, this sound had excited her, called to her, promised the secret of life to her. But today, on this day, she would rather hear anything other than this sad, mournful, rapidly approaching sound. "It's only a matter of minutes now." She reasoned.
"Almost ready." She thought, grabbing a solid black bandana. She slipped on one silver peace-sign earring and one silver sword, in an effort to complete her ensemble. Stax had always worn two opposite earrings. It was an extension of her own personality, and her outlook on life. Peace and war, black and white, circle and square. Nothing was ever even, she had learned that little life lesson early.
As she closed her jewelry box, she questioned how she was ever going to make it through the condolences, the service and more importantly, the 'Last Ride'. The thunder was now so overwhelming, that it broke into her thoughts and she rushed to put on the finishing touches. Feeling the vibration as they pulled up to the house, she squared her shoulders, cleared her throat and attempted to paste a half-ass smile on her face.
The door bell chimed the tune to her father's favorite biker song. Grabbing her leather jacket off of the bed, she slipped it on as she walked down the hallway into the foyer. Silently dreading what she knew was about to take place, she tried to mentally prepare herself for the sea of faces that would be etched with disbelief and deep emotional loss. Feeling that it was of utmost importance that she appear to be the pillar of strength, she shivered as she reached out to open the door.
As quickly as the door opened, she wanted to slam it shut. Like a scene from a movie, her mind shut down, and just as quickly, so did her body. She came to, in the arms of the V.P., a.k.a 'The Strangler', who was gently laying her on the sofa in the living room. "Water now!" He bellowed at Samson, who immediately turned towards the kitchen. Turning a concerned face and a gentle voice to Stax, he said quietly, "Your fine Angel, your fine. Everyone is outside except Samson, nobody saw a thing but us. Your reputation is intact, but you look like hell, baby."
Bestowing a grateful look on Samson, Strangler took the glass of water and held it up to her lips. "Drink this Angel, I'll take you to the bathroom, you can put some water on your face and maybe a little make-up." He looked back at Samson, "Go out there brother, and let everybody know that she's just about ready."
Make-up? Shit, she hadn't even thought about that this morning! Stax could read the angst and concern in his face. Today this handsome, big Irish biker, looked more like a lost expectant father, wandering around the E.R. The only difference was, that unlike the expectant father, Strangler always knew what to do. His personality exuded strength and charm, and he could sell a bucket of ice to an Eskimo. This was a trait that he would occasionally fall back on for the good of the family, but it wasn't something that he would tap into for personal gain, not anymore. He was also short tempered and a self-proclaimed asshole, (which none who knew him could dispute) and it was a minute by minute fight for him, to keep his hot Irish temper in check.
He could be kind and gentle one moment, and the next minute he would have some asshole who couldn't keep his mouth shut, dangling two feet off the ground, with his hand wrapped firmly around their throat. A loyal and trustworthy member of the club, he knew the definition of honour. He also knew the streets and how to read people. His hard luck childhood, and the fact that he had raised himself without benefit of a father, had taught him how to survive his youth and the prison time that followed. But it was his growing conscience, combined with her own father's patience and guidance, that had shaped him into the more self controlled, man of his word that he was today. Everyone admired his full back tatt, which was of his ancestry Castle back in Ireland, complete with moat and drawbridge.
There was so much more to Strangler than being the Vice President of the G.G.S., a family of survivalist bikers, who called themselves, '
Good Gaelic Souls
'. Unfortunately, most people just thought he was a first rate asshole and he preferred it that way. Life had certainly put him through hell and he was intelligent enough to have been able to work that to his advantage.
Stax looked up into those 'far-away-look' blue eyes, taking in his auburn hair and full goatee. This look on his face today though, this was new. It was new to them all, and their entire world seemed to be wearing this look now. This disturbing look of total disbelief and deep unfathomable grief. Slider was gone.
Stax broke. No matter how hard she tried to gather her thoughts, she couldn't regain her composure and inner strength. For several long minutes, Strangler felt helpless, as he witnessed her uncontrollable sobbing. "I--want--my--Daddy." Over and over again, she sobbed those four childish words. She cried hard and she cried deep. It was the most mournful sound that he had ever heard, and he knew that it was a sound that he never wanted to hear repeated. He immediately took note of the fact that he had
heard her call Slider, 'Daddy', she had alway's called him Da.
As he held onto her, rocking her back and forth, he softly patted and rubbed her back. He spoke soft words to her while she cried. "Let it out baby. Don't worry my Angel, they won't start without us," he assured her, "Let it out. Hit me if you need to, but you have to let it out. Everyone here understands your pain, you are surrounded baby." She felt his breath on her ear, and the strength in his arms as he held her so close she could feel his rapid heartbeat. She liked the feeling of being protected right then, even though she was every bit the independent female her Da had raised. For this moment in time, she didn't mind being taken care of.
right here," he repeated, "Is there someone you want me to get for you?" The concern in his voice apparent. "No," she whimpered, "Only you. I'll be okay, just give me a minute, don't let anyone in." As soon as she attempted to sit up, she felt his hold tighten. "I'm alright," she sobbed, "Not dizzy, just need to sit up and catch my breath." Sitting upright, she found herself facing the picture on the end-table. There, within the frame, her father was sitting on his Shovelhead, smiling at the camera, one hand on the throttle, the other holding up a half empty bottle of Irish Whiskey with his booted feet planted firmly on the ground. Seeing his smiling face gave her a fleeting moment of relief, a moment which she grabbed onto and pulled strength from. She gave Strangler a kiss on the cheek and stood up on shakey legs, "I'm spent, let's go to the john and get this thing done."
Later, reflecting on the events that totaled up to be the hardest day of her life, Stax sat quietly at the Clubhouse bar waiting for the Sgt. of Arms to finish making her a whiskeypop. This is what they had always called a double shot of Irish whiskey with a splash of soda. It had always been her and Sliders favorite drink. There were so many life-moments that the two of them had shared over an ice cold whiskeypop. Seeing her drinking whiskey from a straw had always seemed to get the old mans goat for some reason. She was pretty sure that it was because he felt that she was more his son than his daughter, and he didn't consider it a manly thing to do. But to her it was just one of those little 'isms' that made her who she was and she saw no reason to deny herself this small pleasure for the sake of another's opinion. When he started giving her shit over it, she had looked at him innocently, batted her big hazel green eyes and told him flat out, "So, I drink from a straw Da, but I can honestly say that whiskey has never touched my lips!" Then she gave him the finger, and flashed a big fat grin. Planting a kiss on his cheek, she made her way over to the juke-box to play his favorite song.
"Stax?..... "Hello".... "Clubhouse to Stax".... "You in there?" Interrupted from her thoughts for the umpteenth time today, she looked up to see the Sgt. of Arms placing her drink in front of her. "Aye Samson, I'm still in here brother, just feeling.....lost." Samson nodded in understanding and looked at Stax closely before speaking again. "Sister, I know that you have been through a fucking hell that none of us can imagine, and I hate to hit you with this right now, but the ceremony will begin soon. You either have to speak or pass the speech over to Strangler. It's tradition, it has to be done tonight." Stax knew that after pouring her heart out at the end of the Last Ride, barely making it through by the skin of her teeth without breaking down, she didn't have it in her to go another round. Nodding at Samson, she sucked down her drink, lit a cigarette and waited for him to fetch her a refill before slowly making her way towards the Officer's table.
Sitting at the table with several others, making a toast to their fallen brother, Strangler slammed down another empty shot glass. He caught her eye and saw her motion him over to a more quiet corner near the last pool table. He knew in his gut what she needed from him, and though it would be hard on his heart, he was more than willing to carry this load for her. "Shhh," he said as he approached her, "No need to ask Angel, I got this. You go to the back room and pull yourself together. I left a little something on the mirror for you, it'll help you get through the next few hours and then you can get out of here. Just tell me where you put the cube and I'll get things ready. See you back here in thirty or so and we can begin." Nodding in relief, Stax managed a small smile for him and said "Find Griff baby, he's the "cube bearer" today."