Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: Fantasy Outland
By Tim Pickl
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Then I saw a look of disdain on momma’s face.
“What’s goin’ on, momma?” I followed her eyes. She was staring at a man who had just ambled into the store. He was an overweight man, with long silvery hair and beard to match. One strand of hair was dyed blood red, and curled around his ear, and tucked under his beard. He was wearing a beat-up black leather jacket and weathered blue jeans with holes in the knees. Oddly, he had cowboy boots, complete with spurs. The spurs clinked on the store floor as he walked.
clink, clink, clink, clink…
“Who’s that man, momma?”
“Oh, don’t look at him, Kenny. He’s an Outlander. He’s a bad man, Kenny. A very bad man.”
Mr. Outlander glared back at us and growled like a hungry hound. “Arrrrrrrrgh!”
I screamed like a little girl in fear.
Mr. Outlander chortled and walked away.
“Momma, what’s an ‘Outlander’?”
“Outlanders live outside the city. Some folks say they live on an island off the coast, but then how could they ride their big motorcycles into town and bug us all the time?”
I was intrigued. My first steps in my new shoes were running over to meet Mr. Outlander.
“Kenny, don’t you go near that man…KENNY!”
I ignored momma.
“Excuse me, sir?” I tapped on his arm a few times. Mr. Outlander was pawing through the new black leather jackets. The jackets were all double-locked up on a silver rack. Tattooed on the back of his left hand was the word “OUT” and tattooed on the back of his right hand was the word “LAND”.
Mr. Outlander looked into my eyes and said, “Whaddya want, boy?”
“What’s your name, sir? Where is the Outland? Are you the leader? Do you have a motor—”
“Slow down, boy, slow down. One question at a time…what is my name? They call me Mr. Roarke, because I ROAR when I ride and I ROAR when I speak. What’s your name, boy?”
“My name is Kenny.”
Momma interrupted us and whisked me away. All I remember is Mr. Roarke’s laughter echoing in my ears and in my dreams for the next ten years. I never forgot Mr. Roarke and fantasized about meetin’ him again.
I really wanted to see the Outland.
Over the years, I tried to run away several times, but the police always caught me. Being a short person has its disadvantages, because everyone knows who you are, and they were quick to turn me in. They still thought I was just a helpless, little boy.
When I turned 18, I was determined to find the Outland. Against momma’s wishes, I bought a big, loud motorcycle, black leather jacket, some old-looking jeans and got my first tattoo. The tattoo was simply the word Outlandish written vertically in scripted font on my neck highlighted with blood red dye.
I had heard rumors about the island—my friends called it Fantasy Outland. They said it didn’t exist. I know better, I thought, as I sped away, and then turned on the highway that went along the coast.
It was a foggy morning near the bay and I had to slow down, and then I heard the rumble of dozens of motorcycles ahead. I turned a corner—
I boldly stopped in the center of the Outlanders.
All-at-once, they cut off their engines and suddenly it was eerily quiet. I followed suit.
“Whaddya want, boy?” It was a familiar voice, calling out to me from my left.
“Mr. Roarke! I’ve been lookin’ for you.”
Mr. Roarke grabbed the top of my head and bent it back a little.
“Mr. Roarke, I wanna be an Outlander.”
“Your nickname will be Tattoo.”
“So, I can join Outlanders?”
“Kenny, I need to tell you somethin’. I’m your fa—”
“De plane, boss! De plane!" I cried out, interrupting Mr. Roarke.
A huge ALCATRAZ transport plane landed in a field nearby.
Laughing at my response, Mr. Roarke invited me with a wave of his tattoed hand.
“Come on, son, let’s go.”
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