The Wrong Crowd
It was a cold gloomy day as I rode my motorcycle through the mountain pass passing by numerous pine trees. From the looks of it it had snowed up here recently as the numerous pine trees were covered in the white powder making winter very apparent up here, but very pretty as well too. Of course this meant it was also quite the slick disaster waiting to happen at any given moment. Sadly I could already hear my motorcycle trying to die on me as I was returning from visiting an old friend with the intention of seeing another one. I wasn’t sure if this dinky little town coming up in a few miles was his or not as I was unsure of the mountainous location, but once I got to it in had no choice but to pull in to the local mechanic shop as one of the workers waved me in when they say me turning into the lot way. I turned the engine off taking off my helmet as well looking around as I stepped off my bike in my full leather outfit that also kept me warm. Quickly they closed the doors behind me spoke of them saying they will be right with me in a moment or two. I would nod waving them off saying it was alright before taking a seat on one of their chairs you know the ones that weren’t exactly comfortable for anybody.
I looked at my watch as a few minutes went by, then five, then it was ten, and finally around fifteen minutes I got up deciding it was time to figure out what was going on as there was no other vehicles in the shop. In the office there was this dark brown stallion surrounded closely by a couple other furs who for some reason thought it was a good idea to harass him. Well at least from the sounds of their voices and light shoves towards him I figured that is what they were doing, however not being sure myself I opened the door and hid behind one of the work benches. I then proceeded to have a better hearing of the situation and honestly it did not sound good at all. They were teasing him calling him a fag as they groped his balls encouraging him that he needs to come with them tonight to go to a real bar. Instead he ignored their inappropriate advances insisting he was fine with his lifestyle choices as he kindly told them he was not interested. Of course with all things I figured they were only trying to lure him in so they could mug him off hours for they did not like his answer as they quickly surrounded him with even less room the pushing and groping becoming more intense.
I couldn’t just let them do this especially not at the work site, but on one hand I didn’t know what to do. Well, that was until I found a metal pipe nearby no doubt probably something they used on that poor stallion before judging by his bruises that were barely healed over. Quietly grabbing the pipe in my paws I would stay low to the ground as I crept ever closer to the raccoon looking fur who seemed to be the leader of their wannabe posse. I kept creeping closer until I managed to find a vantage point as I whacked against the back of his knee as hard as possible for me. I didn’t hear any loud cracking noises so I’m guessing I didn’t break any of his bones, but a good loud vocabulary was heard as the rest of the group looked towards their leader as their eyes quickly set upon me mere moments later.
The racoon fur was on his knees still as he was about to get up I spoke loudly to him, “Don’t you dare think about getting up until I say so unless you want another crack against that knee and from the front this time!” All he could do was look at me with a disgruntled but very angry face almost teeming with rage as he held it in. It was then I began to speak again this time to the rest of the group, “If any of you have any sense and don’t want to get hurt you’ll take the rest of the day off before I report your sexual harassing to upper management!” They all looked at me then stared intently for a few seconds as I grabbed my pipe gripping it a bit more tightly swishing it in the air towards them as I pretended I hit their heads. This must have made them nervous for they all darted out the back employee door even their leader hobbled out at a decent pace. I then turned towards the handsome brown pony looking at with a soft smile on my face. He put his furred hands up as I casually put the pipe down.
“Hey Shadow don’t be so scared even after a few months you know I wouldn’t hurt you.”
He chuckled ruffling the top of his mane doing a quick comb through with his cloven hooves, “Yeah I know but that was a bit extreme don’t you think.”
“No more extreme than what those ass holes were doing to you. Besides what was that all about anyways buddy?”
“Well,” he started nervously placing his hooves from side to side as he continued, “well you already know I’m into dudes and it just so happens they found out . Then they thought it would be funny to pretend to hit on me as you happened to see.”
“So they were hitting on you, but they aren’t actually into you? Next time they do that you make sure to give me a call and on my off day I’ll make sure to come kick their asses. I mean I only live fifteen minutes away in the next town over it won’t be that hard ya hear Shadow?”
“I know “ he would sigh gently, “I just don’t feel like interrupting you for something as petty as that.”
“Well then you report that shit to management and go higher up if you need to because I really don’t like coming back to my buddy being nearly assaulted. Now lets get some coffee or even some tea and cake so we can catch up, plus I gotta butter you up so you’ll work on my motorcycle honey.”
“Well its been surprisingly slow considering this cold weather I certainly could use a hot cup of joe. So yeah lets do that. Where at, the Winking Mare?”
“Of course it’s our usual spot, that and you know they don’t care if your gay my dearest Shadow.”
He shrugged his shoulders smiling softly, “Yeah even one of the mares hit on me until she found out I was gay and wasn’t bothered when she found out.”
I waved a finger at him chuckling, Yeah, but I bet you remember the look of disappointment on your face too. We both felt a little bad for her for she seemed nice.”
He shrugged his shoulders before I had him go to the bathroom so I could tend the few cuts he had on his arms. He pulled out the drawer handing me some first aid ointment and bandages as well. I looked at him giving him a gentle glare grinning as I did so, he quickly sighed before pulling out the rubbing alcohol with some cotton balls to which I whispered, “Thank you dear,” into his ears. He nodded his head giving me the, “Yeah yeah,” look which I pretended not to notice as I applied the rubbing alcohol to the cotton balls that I would then apply to his cuts one at a time. I could see him wincing slightly knowing full well that it probably burned like hell, but it was better to keep them clean then get infected. I offered him a paw so he could gently squeeze it if need be as I applied a few more balls of alcohol he would apply some pressure. Once I was done with that he let go of my paw so I could began applying the ointment as well as the bandages. Once I was done I nodded towards Shadow putting away the supplies patting him on the back.
“Now let us go get a drink so we can hash over things.”
“Alright I’m guessing we will need to take my truck since you need your motorcycle repaired?”
I grinned shyly rubbing the back of my head, “Yeah and once we are done maybe then you can look at it.”
He smiled chuckling as he part my back, “Sure thing Lightikea we can certainly do that since you rescued this damsel in distress.”
We both laughed heading outside into the cold weather as I said to him, “Yeah now all you need is a little bit of lipstick, a make over for your mane, and a fancy new dress from Victoria Mare’s.”
As we got in the truck he looked at me almost glaring angrily before his expression softened quickly laughing, “Ha you forgot the gender change otherwise I’d be a well hidden trap sweetie.”
We both smiled as Shadow started his vehicle pulling out of the driveway to head further into town. The road was smooth with an occasional bump here or there, but otherwise very peaceful. He turned on the radio though currently there was only the weather report which had winter weather advisory for our area later tonight which meant I was bunking at his shop tonight which was fine for I knew he did so himself from time to time if he ever needed extra hours to buy gifts and what not. We kept driving Shadow’s truck overlooked by ominous thunder heads, which though rare when snow is involved still scary if not more scary than their lighter cumulus versions. That meant dry thunder with blistering wind chills were swiftly approaching, however we would arrive in what was considered downtown. A few flashing white lights to a couple theaters, a decent sized park which was closed by now, and only a few flashing neon signs to some bars including a very detailed mare holding a mug of ale as she was winking at us.
That is where we would pull off to park nearby on a lot and from there we closed the truck doors, Shadow making sure to lock them, then started walking towards the building. As we were nearly there is felt a chilly breeze waft past hinting at what was in stow for later, but none of that mattered as I was here to show Shadow an enjoyable time though mostly help him relax his mind. As we opened the door the scent of booze was a little overbearing, but I will say it had a minty scent to it that I quite enjoyed. Wondering why it smelled of peppermint I quickly noticed on the sign we walked past peppermint flavored drinks half price all night. I gently tugged at Shadow’s shoulder showing him the sign asking if he was interested which he said yes since he didn’t mind the scent plus it would make his breath smell good.
As we both sat down at some high chairs in front of the bar itself ironically a mare was the server, but then I quickly remembered Shadow telling me they only hire mares episode bartenders and anybody else to serve drinks during special reservations as well as any hosts or hostesses, but as he said when I first came here mares only for bartenders. I had asked why that was and he simply stated, “Well its called The Winking Mare for that reason…as well as a dirty rumor that I don’t feel like elaborating on,” is what he had told me which put a small smile on my face. She asked us what we felt like having which Shadow quickly stated, “The Peppermint Swirl please.”
She looked at him, “Well some pony is feeling brave. Alright Shadow, and how about you Missy what can I get you?”
“Well, since I’m driving can I have a bottle of peppermint liquor for half price…ya know only because of the special?”
She looked at me with a soft smile on her face before she spoke in a low tone, “You paying for this deary?”
I nodded my head without even replying any further as she looked at me heading to the back. A few moments she came back out with exactly what I had asked for, which was straight liquor flavored to taste like peppermint. She leaned over the counter one elbow on it in a matter of fact pose, “Well since your treating this here sweetheart I’ll give it your ya for free.”
“That’s….very kind of you, but are you sure this is okay?”
She looked at me turn patted Shadow’s shoulder as she spoke once more, “This here fellah saved me a little of money on fixing up my windshield more than the worth of this bottle. So it’s all yours, just give me a moment to get your other drink ready.” She smiled handing me the bottle before asking for a couple coins to make it look like I was paying for the bottle when really I was buying Shadow’s drink not mine. I hastily handed over a few coins before she quickly counted them over then proceeded to stuff them in her pocket. I placed the bottle not far from paws reach watching as she went to the backside of the wooden outpost quickly mixing up Shadow’s desired concoction complete with ice too, but not too much otherwise it would weaken the peppermint scent as well as flavor too.
Shadow would blush as she winked at him before handing him drink then quickly disappearing to help serve other customers. He looked towards me with a big grin on his face before holding out his glass to me offering a toast which I casually answered by bringing my entire bottle to his glass replying, “Cheers” watching as he swiftly gulped it all down at a quicker than anticipated pace. He was already back down to half a cup making me think those guys from earlier must have really stressed him out. Of course it was no big deal as the drink were half price, so as Shadow gulped down the rest is was already ahead by ordering him another one. Even though I originally offered him cake with coffee I knew he probably would have needed something stronger than caffeine, though however as I looked at his nearly empty glass an idea popped into my head to give him both.
I wavered the busy mare over kindly going over some details with her before buying another drink, but this time giving her enough coins for two drinks. I had ordered for my friend two coffees, but of course with some good old peppermint whiskey being tossed in the mix. The mare made it even better as she handed Shadow his two coffees she even tossed in a slice of cake looking at me with a soft expression before winking. I grinned nodding my head simply enjoying the relative peace this bar seemed to experience with only minor chit-chat every so often. This time my friend would sip his coffee probably being just drunk enough he might not have noticed an extra kick to his delicious caffeinated morning beverage.
Even so it didn’t matter for he was gone rambling about those ass holes how they would do stupid stuff like that on an almost daily basis. He would continue on about how every time he tried telling upper management they would for a piss poor investigation observing them for a week or so before leaving when nothing happened, stating to me they had only asked them questions once each of them as well as him for an hour at least. Shadow stated that of course they lied between their teeth and with no other witnesses besides those ass holes he ended up looking like a liar as well as embarrassing himself plus their boss. After that he would tell me he gave up on trying to report these wads in fear of losing his job eventually with that becoming a norm in his daily work.
I could tell he was upset over it with how quickly he ate the cake. Also the more coffee he drank the more upset he became, and although he didn’t raise his voice even with how drunk he was I knew it was time to go soon considering I also heard soft rumbling that slightly vibrated the building probably being the dry thunder as we called it. I softly patted his back before waving good bye to the lovely mare who served us well. She waved back as I helped Shadow halfway stumble to his truck casually whisking the keys out of his cloven hooves without him even noticing of course. I was gently bringing him to the passenger door making sure I had a tight grip on his shoulder as well as my bottle. Quickly, but carefully I assisted him up into the seat taking note it was already gusty blowing snow all around though only a small amount was actually sticking to the ground as of now.
Making sure his bottom hooves weren’t in the doorway I closed his side heading around to my side as I hopped in keys in paw. Shutting my door is started the engine the heaters too, before buckling my friend in as I did myself last driving back to the mechanic’s shop. The entire drive there I made sure to nicely drill into husband head that if those guys messed with him like that again make sure he calls me fifteen minutes before they get out. He wanted to know what I would do as I replied,
“Well kick their asses of course by the time they get out. That way its off hours and the company isn’t responsible. Also if need be sweetheart you now have a witness to your harassment claims so don’t get afraid to mention me okay.”
He nodded his head while I painfully navigated this drifting snow which had gotten worse on the outskirts of town, but luckily for me we were almost to the shop. A large sigh of relief would be heard as we arrived at the shop tires coming to a slow grinding halt as they had to compensate for trying to grip a thin layer of ice that had already formed. As soon as I turned off the truck I had opened my door, the wind’s freezing grip almost took me with the door almost flinging it open from how much force was behind this storm. Heck that was what had made the drive up here almost zero visibility the entire time which luckily I have experience driving in these conditions though far from my favorite thing you do. Shutting the door was a pain in my posterior as now I was going against the gusty air almost falling over again just to get the door closed. Now came the pain in the butt task of getting my drunken friend out as well which heart going against the wind once more. Grumbling to myself I trekked over to his side the blistering snow laced gales lashing across any exposed fur stinging my face like tiny needles.
I opened up Shadow’s side or well I tried too, but utility seemed to shut close even after opening the door up a mere inch. Cursing this storm I tried again, and once again it wound not budge not matter how angrily I would attempt to force it open. I knocked on the door to get husband attention I was answered either quietness so I knocked again. Once again it was silent until finally I was practically beating on the side of Shadow’s door which must have acquired his attention as the door swiftly flung open, too swiftly. He had launched the door so forcefully even with the strong breeze going against him and had pelted me in the face with the metal door before falling on top of me as if to add insult to my injury. I knew he did not do it on purpose, but that had not stopped it from hurting my sides as we both lay there for some time.
Finally I started gently nudging Shadow for him to move which thankfully he got the hint as his body started to shift upwards until finally he was standing. His footing was wobbly And questionable at best but at least he could say he was up, I on the other paw had a bunch of side pain that I had to bring with me while I picked myself up until finally I too was standing. Our breaths could be seen every time we exhaled into the surrounding freeze that we stood in so speeding things up I closed the truck doors on the passenger side and the two of us though mostly me, hastily hobbled until we were in the warmth of the building as I had Shadow lock the doors behind us so nobody else would get in during the night.
I exhaled in relief no longer seeing the cold air expel from my lungs and slowly slumped down clutching my side as I felt pain once again. I guess my stallion buddy Shadow still had some sense in him even with all the chaos he had grabbed my bottle of peppermint liquor which I noticed as he helped me up before leading me to a separate room from the main lobby. Inside was an almost surreal looking interior with a nightstand coupled with a lamp that was occupying said stand. Then the bed was queen sized with a floral design on it as well as the blanket that topped it too. Pictures of random places of extraordinary beauty decorated the inside portraying various sunsets along with sunrises too, though the soft looking sand on a warm ocean beach really caught my eye. He guided new over you’re the bed with a gentle hiccup he began speaking.
“Lightikea you rest in case of injury you don’t want to -HICCUP- injure yourself any fuuurrrther,” saying that last part with a slur to his words.
“Yeah that might be a good idea buddy. What are you going to do in the meantime?”
-HICCUP- “Well look at your ride and see if I can figure out what’s wrong. We are closed for the next few days.”
“Ooofff,” was the sound that escaped my mouth as I plopped onto the bed taking off my jacket. “How can you all be closed for the next few days when lots of accidents happen this time of year?” I said a hint of worry in my voice.
He waved his cloven hooves at me laughing almost, “No no you misunderstand. This shop is closed for the next few days not the other one we have at the edge of town. See we have any so many -HICCUP- of us working and do few employees it wouldn’t be cost effective to leave both shops open when myself and two others are on vacation now. Since I’m technically getting paid to do nothing I’ll see what I can do about your bike. Now rest up because I’ll be asleep after the liquor clears out of my body.,” he said nearly slurring once more.
I nodded my head pulling the floral patterned blanket over my body as I closed my eyes. I would take a few minutes to adjust my body so that I could sleep in a more comfortable position. Of course the pain in my side made it a tad more difficult, but after a few minutes I managed to acquire a nice soft side before dozing off not even caring that I hadn’t changed yet. I was just getting comfy when I realized I never had any of my peppermint liquor and just as I was about to call out to Shadow I noticed it resting on the counter next to my bed. A soft smile of relief made it’s way across my face as I shuffled around carefully opening the cork as I swiftly chugged some down. It wasn’t very much, but it was enough to put a delightful burn in my tummy that heated me up as well as a slight head buzz that lulled me to sleep as soon as I put the cork back on not even touched by the sheer freeze going on outside.
I opened my eyes and it was morning again or at least I assumed it was. Yawning while stretching my paws I tossed the sheets to the side as I looked around seeing the hazy morning light while I peered through the glass window. It had snowed about six or seven inches last night and even though it had stopped sometime during the night the patchy grey clouds still filled the sky dredging themselves across the horizon slowly. I smiled to myself placing a paw to my side finding that my side no longer hurt which was definitely a good thing. Yawning once more I shuffled around still in my leather boots looking for my buddy Shadow. After stumbling around the empty shop for several minutes I found him passed out in a separate room resting peacefully on his bed. I would sit down watching him sleep as his chest rose then lowered then expanded before compressing and that is what I would do for many minutes.
It was then I turned on the TV watching the local news, but of course having the volume set to low so not to disturb my friend. I lost track of time, but I would eventually hear a muffled groan turning to see it was Shadow starting to wake up. He lazily opened his eyes before pointing a cloven hoof towards a coffee machine. I assumed that it was he wanted so I looked at it lifting the lid open before noting it had water in it and can round up coffee ready to be used. Closing the lid I pressed brew before sitting back down next to my friend teasingly rubbing his shoulder.
“So did you find out what was wrong with my motorcycle Mr. sleepy head?”
“Well,” he started adding a very hearty yawn, “I did a few tests using what tools and devices I had around and I think I know what the problem is. Of course I need to hear from you what the issues are before I can actually work on it just to make sure I actually found the problem.”
“Well,” I began scratching my head with a paw, “I don’t think it is the engine because that sounds fine though I’ve been having trouble starting it. Once I get it going though nice and smooth ride only weird part is the first few minutes of driving it makes a low humming then as it gets going it goes quite like it would run fine, which it does. Just as I said starting it recently has been a pain in the ass.”
“Hmm well then I think I’m even more certain on what it is,” he said slowly rubbing his eyes a bit more open.
“Oh and what would that be you think?”
“Well it seems your battery is perfectly fine, but the reason you are having trouble starting your bike each morning is you need a new alternator. From what you told me and my tests your alternator isn’t turning over very well which means your battery doesn’t get enough leftover juice to start properly right off the bat like it should. Thankfully you caught it early enough that your battery is fine for if left unfixed it would not take long to drain your battery as well.”
“So how long will that take you think?”
“Probably a few hours as it isn’t the most extensive of motor vehicle problems, luckily for you we have one in stock and I’ll just…put it on your tab for last night’s favors you performed.”
I smiled nodding to him as he began to prepare for working on my bike meanwhile I wandered around the bedroom noticing a mini-fridge. Opening it I saw orange juice, apple juice, biscuit mix, and various other items including peanut butter. Shortly after the sounds of metal clanking could be heard while I looked around noticing a toaster, toaster oven, and that the coffee was brewed now. I opened up the bread popping two pieces into the toaster then got out the peanut butter and a knife. I also found an apple on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so grabbing that I began cutting it into slices. By the time I finished cutting the apple slices the toast had popped up so I found a plate in one of the overhead pantries. I put the slices as well as the toast onto the plate when I then started buttering the toast with a thin layer of peanut butter. I also found small cups both for juice and for drinking coffee so I grabbed one of each filling the mug with some freshly brewed coffee while the other one got orange juice.
Looking around some more information found milk alongside it sugar which I added light amounts of both to the coffee because I knew he wasn’t one for weak coffee, but at the same time didn’t like overly strong coffee. Stirring his drink I headed out to the work station where he was telling him to eat some breakfast first. He turned his head nodding at me heading into his overnight bedroom eyeing the spread a lay before him. Looking at new he smiled swiftly digging in while I made myself something else, but by then he was done heading back to finish up his task though not before saying thank you. The rest of the day was spent with him working on replacing my alternator while I watched television, but obviously it didn’t take more than a few hours so by the time noon rolled around all was said and done. The only thing left was to test drive it to make sure it worked so I invited him for lunch at a local dinner my treat considering car work was expensive.
I started it up and she purred happily which put a big smile on my face as we headed off, Shadow holding my hips the entire way though I drove slower as I didn’t have an extra helmet for him. After our dine in I dropped him back off at his house waving to him reminding him as well to call next if he needed since I lived in the next town over. I insisted it would be no trouble at all to come back over and whoop some ass if necessary, but he rushed me out before I could go in depth with it. I did however get a big hug from him before I drove off back down the mountain hill the crisp air chilling me until I reached home. From there I would enjoy life until something else would pop up…whenever that would come.