Two bikes had been pulled out, apparently for service, and were partially disassembled. One was a hypercycle and the other looked to be an old Harley. The older bike seemed a Frankenstein monster version of itself and was without wheels. It hung on a wheeled chassis frame.
Between the two bikes were two cheap lawn chairs. Stone sat in one, his booted feet propped in the other. As always, the man wore sunglasses and it was impossible to tell if he was awake. "Have a Cigar" faded out, and Avatar cleared his throat before "Wish You Were Here" began.
Stone sighed, but didn't move to get up. "What?"
Avatar smiled a fraction. "Sorry to bug you," he said, "but I heard you're the man to see about riding lessons."
"I suppose," The reclined form on the chairs mumbled. "Ever ride a motorcycle before?" he asked.
"I guess...because I've known too many people with metal hips and other fun souvenirs from motorcycle accidents," Avatar replied easily. He edged past Stone and inspected the Harley with evident fascination. "You doing all this work yourself?"
"Mmmhmm." Stone swung his boots down and stood up slowly, stretching as he did so. The Jim Beam logo on his black t-shirt stretched with him. With a...
... middle of paper ...
...er; if there is a God, why he put all us assholes on such a nice place as this."
Palmer chuckled at that. "I thought you were some kind of stoic zen master," he said. "But you're just bitter." He flashed a smile that was smaller, more shopworn, and much more sincere than his usual grins.
"I'm both," Stone confided. He liked this guy, he realized just then. The dude spoke his mind.
He reached into his pocket and came out with his Marlboros. After popping one into his mouth, he added, "You're alright, Palmer."
"You're a sucker," Palmer replied equitably. He regarded the other man a moment. Stone showed no surprise. Palmer pulled a lighter from nowhere, sparked it, and extended it across the table.
"Also," he said, "Those things will kill you."
"Doubtful," Stone replied as he lit his smoke off of Palmer's flame. He leaned back and took a long drag.
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