Don't Say It:Ronacks Motorcycle ClubBy: Debra Kayn
To those who can see past stereotypes, gossip, lies, and realize there are always two sides to everything. Two sides to a coin. Two sides to a door. Two sides to people. It's what you don't hear/read/see that will tell the true story.
Haugan, Montana —In real life, Haugan is an unincorporated community in Mineral County, Montana. It's sixteen miles from the Idaho border and not far from where I live in Idaho. Haugan is the home to only one business, which happens to be one of my favorite places to go, Lincoln's 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar. I've fictionalized the town to include a main street with enough businesses to keep a motorcycle club afloat.
Swiss's stomach vibrated. He opened his eyes and found himself on the couch. The lights still on in the living room.
He picked up his phone off his stomach as he rolled into a sitting position on the sofa and shut off the alarm he'd set earlier. He'd fallen asleep with the television on while watching the football game. That was four hours ago. The longest stretch of sleep he'd achieved in a long time.
It was time to leave. Pine Bar and Grill would close in twenty minutes, and he needed to meet Raelyn, the manager, to pick up the cash from what the bar brought in with business today.
As a member of Ronacks Motorcycle Club, it was his job to hold on to the money overnight and pass it off to his MC brother, Grady, in the morning for drop-off at the clubhouse. Battery, the president, wanted no incentive for someone to break into the bar and put Raelyn and her son, Dukie, at risk.
As a widow, Raelyn had enough worries as a single parent living above the bar. The club tried to keep any added stress from hitting her on top of her already busy schedule.
Swiss took a piss, splashed water from the faucet over his face, and grabbed his leather vest. His stomach growled, and he stopped to eat the half of a deli sandwich he'd left out on the counter earlier. He finished in three bites.
He shut off the television, locked the front door behind him, and stopped in front of the duplex. Something was wrong. He listened, peered down the street, and whipped his gaze to a car next to the curb behind his Harley.
Following his thoughts, he gazed over at the other side of the duplex. A light was on inside.
"Fuck," he muttered, grounding his teeth together.
He must've slept harder than he'd thought. Usually, even when he got some shuteye, he continued to hear every noise, inside and out, from voices to car doors.
Damn, he was getting old.
While he'd slept, someone had moved into the other side of the duplex. Nobody had rented that side for over twenty-two years.
The roof leaked in the back bedroom, thanks to the holes he tapped into the 3-tab shingles to keep anyone from moving in, and over the years, the carpet had rotted from moisture in the winter and heat in the summer.
Hell, the out-of-state landlord never came by, and Swiss made sure never to mow the joined front patch of yard to keep the appearance up that the building was abandoned. There weren't even appliances on that side of the duplex.
Even if the renter believed a good cleaning would get the place livable, the first good rainfall would have them running away from their lease when they discovered the mess the weather created inside their living room. Besides the unhealthy conditions, he had enough reasons to make sure whoever moved in moved right back out.
His good mood ruined, he walked to his motorcycle under the glow of the streetlight and glanced over at the early nineteen-eighties Honda. Maroon paint with a faded hood, the car had seen better days. He threw his leg over his bike, started the engine, and pulled a U-turn in the street.
Looking at the car as he rode away, he noticed the back tire was flat. He hit the throttle harder than he usually went around the block in the middle of the night. His new lowlife neighbor would probably let the car sit at the curb and junk the place up even more.
He pulled out onto the main street of Haugan. The small, rural Montana town only a bird's throw from Idaho and smack dab along Interstate 90. Most of the people milling around during the day were tourist traveling through the state. At night, the locals went to sleep as soon as the two bars in town closed.
Three blocks later with the bar insight, he slowed down. A handful of customers flowed out the front door happier than when they went in and leaning heavily on each other. Swiss turned left and pulled in behind the bar beside three other motorcycles tagged as belonging to Ronacks members.