Pontituc, Texas - 2016
It was hot, even for South Texas Standards. Not a single cloud on the bright blue sky, anything that lived tried to find some shade.
This was Pontius, Texas. A forgotten little town halfway between San Antonio and Sonora, still it had a post office and a Gas Station, it did happen, once in a while that someone stopped for Gas on their way to San Antonio. There was a feed store on the other end of town, right across Dave Studson’s Welding and Well Digging business.
The town barely counted 600 souls now and some believed it was only a matter of time when the little town was completely gone. Others had great hopes that the new planned Interstate would come nearby and with it a Truck stop and new live for this old town.
The town began with such promise and in it’s hey days had over 2000 inhabitants, and was considered to become the county seat. A cholera epidemic almost exactly 100 years ago however killed many, the sizeable graveyard just outside of town testimony to that.
Pontius had dwindled in size ever since. It didn’t matter much for Sam Ruffin. He was born here and after spending most of his adult life serving in the United States Army and all over the globe, had returned here.
He liked it as it was, quiet, hot, dusty and mostly quiet. If he really needed something he could always drive those 120 miles to San Antonio. Today however he only needed a pouch of Beechnut, something he would get that at the gas station. It wasn’t one of those glass and neon palaces and it wasn’t attached to a convenience store chain. The gas pumps had changed over the years but still far from the computer digital pump kind, the weathered sign with the red buck on it, sign of a small independent oil and gas distribution company were welcome sights to Sam as they promised stability in an ever faster moving world.
Bart the gas station owner walked over to Sam’s Ford truck and glanced into the bed of the 250. There were an assortment of tools, a few weathered gray cedar fence posts, a few sacks of feed and Dusty, Sam’s Rottweiler dog.
Bart was one of the few who could pet Dusty without fear being mauled. The door creaked as Sam got out, took the pack of chewing tobacco from his friend, who of course anticipated Sam’s need. The two old men leaned over the bed of the pick-up truck and stared into the west along the road leading to the far distant horizon. The heat transferred the visible end of the road into a mirror that looked like water.
Sam carefully opened the pouch of Beechnut and placed a generous helping of the dark brown tobacco in his mouth and with slow almost careful looking chews he transported it into his left cheek, turned his head and he spit a long stream of brown liquid into the dust. ”I’m a peaceful fellow you know, but I’d shoot that son of a gun who invented chewing tobacco.”
“I reckon him bein’ dead by now. Folks chewin’ that stuff for an awful long time now. But it’s getting out of style you know. Folks ain’t that fond of tobacco no more in any shape, be it smokin’, chewin’ or dippin’ it.”
“I give a hoot what them idiots in Washington think what’s good and what ain’t.”
Bart knew what would come next. A long sermon about all that was wrong with the world and the liberals in general, but then that’s why he brought it up. He liked Sam and loved to hear him talk about these things. Just before Sam could really start, Dusty suddenly became agitated, got up and went to the back of the tailgate.
It was only a moment later Bart heard it too, it almost sounded like thunder, a low rumble that slowly came louder. “Ain’t a cloud in the sky and I am hearing this noise” Bart said, “What you recon it is?”
Sam alarmed by his dogs sudden agitation saw it first, a glimmering flash of chrome and then a big motorcycle appeared out of the shimmering mirage, followed by more motorcycles. Instinctively he knew there was trouble coming and he said.”Bart, you better get inside and call the Sheriff and get your gun.”
Bart did not argue or say a word as he too knew something would happen, something that wasn’t good, and so he went inside. Sam reached through the open side window of his truck to take one of the rifles of the window rack. The motorcycles now thundered close and with them came a cloud of dust and hot exhaust. The riders all wore denim and leather, had big arms, tattoos and girls in similar attire riding on the back. He could barely hear the barking of his dog through all the noise as he counted about 30 motorcycles invading the little gas station like gigantic steel locust.
A big fellow drove close, wearing a dusty bandana and a steel helmet. ”Grandpa you better move your rust bucket or I will do it for you.”
Sam straightened out to make sure the biker would understand his resolve. ”I am moving my truck when I am good and ready; no one is going to move it but me.”
It was no contest, there was no further warning. The Biker lashed out with a heavy chain and across the face of the old man, Sam was driven back by the blow, blood ran from his face Dusty literally flew out of the bed and collided with the big biker, biting and snapping, blood flew and the biker lost his balance as the large dog was all over him. He screamed for help and in panic, Duster just getting started. Then a shot rang and three more in short order. Duster collapsed with a painful yelp and the biker crawled backwards, bleeding from his left arm, and holding a 9 mil Beretta in his right.
He screamed. ”That old fool has dared to send his dog after me and he spilled Warrior blood! Now we are going to tear this place apart. “
His biker companions yelled and laughed, while the wounded biker was kicking furiously at Sam who had collapsed to the ground. Each kick of the heavy steel toed boots lifted the old man’s body of the ground. Four of the bikers that just went into the Gas station came back out with their hands in the air herded by Bart holding a pump action shotgun. ”You sons of bitches. Get away from Sam! You pieces of shit get off my property, I called the Rangers and Peter Baker is coming.”
The still bleeding Gang leader ripped off his bandana, revealing a bearded face. ”I had it with you fuckers around this shit hole of a place. I am going to kill you old man! I am going to take everything and we going to torch your place and then we fuck up the rest of this town.”
Another one was laughing. ”No one is going to come. If you hope for that Sheriff, he’s busy right now counting the teeth he has left. You’re fucked Old Man!”
Bart leveled his gun at the last speaker. ”I am Bart Mcdonald, I ain’t scared of you. I got six shells in this gun and you are the first I blast to bits. So shut your pie hole and get out of here!”
Bart was quite serious and he had fought in Korea and Nam, but as one of the girls stepped before his gun with her bleached hair and bright make up, he hesitated. ”You going to shoot a girl, Old Man?” She said chewing gum and smiling at him.
He looked to the side and backed up, she stepped forward. Bart knew he would have to shoot her in order to keep control, but he could not shoot a woman no matter what. He lowered the gun and said.”Get out of here now!”
The woman had no such reservations stepped close and kicked him between the legs. ”Old horny fucker, that’s for pointing a gun at my Charlie!”
Two bikers used the moment, took his gun and grabbed him one on each side, while the Biker boss smashed his fists into Bart’s stomach. “We going to have some fun with you…I think I need a new Skull for my bike.”
The brutal men kicked and beat old Bart as if it was a contest, but they lost interest as he was a bloody heap that did barely move. Other bikers trashed the place with a vengeance. Stole and looted anything they could. One of the leather clad men dragged an old woman by her hair out of the post office nearby, flames already licking out of the windows of the small post office. The biker was irritated as he saw a defiant smile instead of fear in the old woman’s face. ”He’s here! You’re going to pay now!”
The biker boss could not help but turn to see what the old woman was seeing.
A tan colored Chevy Suburban with red and blue lights on the roof just had come to a stop. The door opened and they all could see the star emblem on the door and read the words.: Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers.
Two boots appeared and the door slammed shut. A huge man with a white Stetson hat, blue jeans and maroon shirt stood there in the sun. A small silver star gleamed on his left chest pocket. The man wore a gun belt with a huge gun in a low slung holster. He pulled a cigarette out of his shirt pocket and held a Zippo lighter in the other hand.
The new arrived man spoke.”I am Texas Ranger Peter Baker. You are all under arrest. Put down your guns and weapons.”
The Biker boss sitting in the back of Sam’s Truck now loaded with cartons of beer, cigarettes and sweets from the gas station leaned forward and laughed. ”You’re one man! I like that gun of yours, looks big. I want it!”
Three of his men had also noticed the arrival of the ranger and approached the law man from the side. All three armed with guns, already drawn and aiming at the Ranger. How he did it, the Biker boss could not explain, the ranger drew his gun, fired three times. The three men, who just had aimed at the ranger, flew back as if pulled by an invisible robe. The last of the men had not even hit the ground as the ranger’s gun was back in its holster.
The most incredible thing was he still held the Zippo and was just now lighting his cigarette. “It’s your last chance, drop your guns or I drop all of you. The Biker boss wasn’t so sure about things anymore, but surrendering to a single man was not an option, especially since they did commit murder and beat up a local sheriff just a few miles up the road to an inch of his life and left him in the heat do die.
He knew they were not in New Mexico no more, this was Texas and law and justice still meant something in the Lone Star State.
The one called Charlie now holding the shotgun of Bart “You got three bullets left, ranger. There are still 27 of us!”
Again the ranger drew and fired so incredibly fast, Charlie had no chance even to pull the trigger. A big ugly hole appeared right between his eyes and a spray of blood and gore erupted from his head as he fell backwards.
The ranger shook his head.”Wrong, there are 26 of you now.” This time the ranger did not holster his gun but aimed it straight at the Leader.”And still two rounds left!”
There was no chance this man would miss. The biker boss was certain about that. Just as he was certain the ranger would shoot him first. The Law man had only two rounds left in his huge revolver; somehow he needed to be distracted.
“Alright cowboy, I give up.”
He got up and raised his hands. The other bikers unsure what to do looked back and forth, trying to figure out what their leader had planned.
The Ranger nodded.”Wise decision! Now all of you follow the lead of your boss, nice and slow. Any false move and I drill him.”
“Do as he says!”
The lean raggedy looking biker that still held the old woman pointed his gun at the temple of the old lady.”No Ranger, you drop it. You’re mighty fast with that gun, but I bet I still can pull the trigger.”
“Alright, don’t harm her.” The Ranger put his gun down on the ground.
“You earned your keep today Ronnie!” yelled the Gang leader with a loud laugh and then said.” Go work him over, Warrior style, boys! “
Four bikers attacked almost simultaneous, big men who were used to fighting. The first one flew back as if kicked by a horse, then the second sliding several feet over the pavement not moving. The Ranger’s fists were as fast as his draw. Three bikers knocked out cold, the fourth went down with the Ranger in a flying tackle, only to see his own gun drawn out of his belt, while a huge left fist connected with his chin. It all took less than a few seconds and seemed to be one single motion, the Beretta rocked as the Ranger squeezed the trigger so fast it sounded almost like automatic fire.
The raggedy biker looked surprised, and he was still standing but the first bullet had struck his gun hand, sending his weapon flying along with blood and bone, while the second had punctured a nasty little black hole right between his eyes,.
The Beretta had a full magazine of 14 rounds when the Ranger took it, now it was empty and 13 bikers were dead, each shot in the head. The Ranger got up, his own revolver back in his fist. “Thirteen gone, thirteen to go!” The rest gave up they threw their guns away and followed every command of the ranger.