This is a true story… I haven’t asked permission from the people involved to post this story online so if you want it taken down, please email me – you know who you are.
Jerry was a hard man, tough like a nail. I've heard stories about him working as a bouncer at some rough pubs up north and the direct way he dealt with people...
His slight frame and greying hair gave the trouble maker a false sense of security. Other's that knew and respected the old biker would nudge each other and watch closely as Jerry directed the troublemaker to leave.
The request was ignored and Jerry was disrespected with a finger to the chest and a snide comment, the others that knew better suppressed laughs as cheers as they watched the scene unfold before them.
Jerry didn’t give warnings. Couldn’t see the point of it. He’s always had the opinion that if you’re going to take action, you just get in and get it done.
Besides, he’d already told the trouble maker to leave the pub.
I quick right jab snapped the young guys head back, his eyes immediately welling up, his nose throbbing.
“Now” Jerry began, remaining calm as he eyed the young guys’ mates, but they were attending to their bloodied mate. “I think it’s time you all left”.
That’s how he dealt with problems. He tackled them head on with no bullshit. So when his daughter was getting hassles from her new boyfriend he acted on the problem.
Picking up his old mate Len on the way, they drove through the night and two states later they arrived on his daughter’s doorstep. He hadn’t told her what he was doing so she was surprised and confused to see them.
His only words to her as he pushed past her into the house were “Where is he”?
Scouting through the two bedroom flat, Jerry found him in the bathroom.
Concerned neighbours watched as the young woman pleaded with the two men through tear soaked eyes on the front lawn as they shoved and bundled a third man, still in his boxer shorts into the back seat of the old boxy black ford flacon.
Jerry drove. Len sat in the backseat with the young man to make sure he didn’t tuck and roll out the door. The old engine had brought them so far already, but the trip wasn’t quite over yet.
The young man was clearly upset and trying to make sense of the situation. He knew the man in the front was his girlfriend’s father, he’d met him once before and heard stories, but he’d never seen the other man before and he didn’t know where they could possibly be taking him. Was he in danger? Surely not? But these guys did look capable of anything. Old bikers. Fuck! The stories he’d heard about the old man were playing in his subconscious now and he was panicking. Where were they going? What was happening? Fight or flight? Fight…. Flight…?
His continuous pleads for answers to his questions were only matched by their complete silence. The engine purred as the road opened up before them. The sun had broken over the mountains and warm rays were spilling into the valley, lighting up the forest as they turned off onto a winding dirt road and made their way deeper and deeper into the think bushland.
All he wanted was for this ride to be over and to have some answers, but when the car finally stopped in on the edge of a deserted dusty road his heart started to beat so fast he thought it would surely explode. The old man next to him turned to him and in direct contrast to the young man’s high pitched whimpers croaked “you’ve been bad mate. We need to have a little talk”.
Fight or flight?
The two old men stood at the back of the car. Jerry spoke to the young man in boxer shorts standing in front of them as he lit a cigarette and looked around at the thick scrub.
“Family is very important to me. It’s all you’ve really got when you think about it. Family will always be there for you, and look out for you. And that’s what I’m doing now.”
Len nodded in agreement as he opened the boot and started to rummage around inside.
“What’s she told you? She’s a liar! I swear, I’d never hurt her!” his voice quivered with a mixture of anger and fear.
Len had found what he was looking for by now and stood there clutching a shovel.
“Right” Jerry said as he reached into the boot and came up with a shotgun. The two long barrels pointed into the air as Jerry rested the but against his hip. The cigarette hung lazily from his bottom lip.
Fight or flight.
The young man’s eyes darted around, searching for a possible safe escape. This wasn’t lost on Jerry who was now clasping the long heavy shotgun with both hands.
“If you run I’ll shoot ya fuckin legs out from under ya. So be a good boy and get on your knees”
The earth left like it shifted from beneath him as the young man choked and tried to suck a breath into his heaving chest. He complied half out of fear and half because he needed to get down and steady himself before he fell over.
Kneeling in the dust, crouched over with both hands on the ground he sobbed uncontrollably. The sun was almost overhead now and a single crow sat on a nearby tree squawking to no one in particular. He knew what was coming, but was this real? Was this actually happening?
Jerry stood over the half naked boy as he blubbered the occasional pleading word.
“You been a bad boy. You hurt my daughter and like I’ve already told ya, family means everything to me.”
The boy sat up on his knees, looking at the two men, his face a swollen pink mess of tears and snot.
As the shotgun barrels were positioned against his right temple, he tried to swat it away but Len lifting the shovel in a menacing manner was enough to dissuade him.
No fight. No flight.
“You brought this on yourself” Jerry spat the words at him and then gently squeezed the trigger.
For the boy, the click was louder than the blast could have ever been. He didn’t even realise he had let out the squeal as he fell over into the dust and rocks. A warm stream of urine soaked through his boxer shorts and turned dust to mud.
“Next time it’ll be loaded” Jerry said looking at the writing mess on the ground.
Picking himself up and, still crying uncontrollably, he ran off down the road barefoot, half naked with mud crusted to his legs as fast as he possible could, never once looking back.
- markoos 27A06.