Billy looked from the road to Deni and felt that old grin threaten to break over his face. That bright, blond, wavy hair cascading past her face, the rounded cheeks, the pouty lips, the mischievous blue eyes. And she was there, alone, just her and him, winding their way through the old forest road and headed for a late evening of... whatever fun the two of them could come up with out in the middle of nowhere.
The grin vanished when his gaze returned to the road and he saw a woman stumble out in front of his car. He hit the brakes and braced himself, his heart stopping momentarily at the fear of everything going terribly awry in one lost moment.
'Watch out, Deni!' He yelled, uselessly throwing his arm out to keep her from being thrown forward. The seatbelt managed to catch her just fine without his efforts, but still, nothing was going to happen to his Deni.
Somehow, magically, his old tank of a car stopped just short of the woman in the road. She stumbled, clearly outlined in his bright headlights, pale white in the harsh glare. She looked young, pretty beyond compare, and more than a little scared. Her white dress had turned gray with smudged dirt and her eyes turned big as saucers.
Billy jumped out of the car and moved to the front. Outside of the odd camper, and this girl was certainly not dressed for that, he could think of no reason for anyone to be this far out. She shuffled and stumbled like it pained her to walk.
'Can I help you, miss?' He said. 'Your car break down somewhere? You need a ride?'
She looked at him, her alabaster skin turned even paler in the shining headlights, her hair blond enough to be mistaken for white, her eyes a colorless gray. Those pale eyes searched his for a second and then she visibly relaxed.
'Oh good, you're not him,' she said, in a soft but clear voice. 'But... maybe you'd best take your girl there and keep driving, mister. When he sees us talkin' he ain't gonna understand.'
'There someone out here with you?'
'Not yet, but he'll find me. He always does.'
'Look, why don't you hop on in the back and I'll... we'll take you back into town. If you're running from someone, there's no way I'm going to leave you by yourself.'
Deni cracked her door and poked her head out.
'Who is it, Billy?' she asked.
'Someone needs a ride back to town, Deni. Why don't you grab a couple blankets from the trunk and get her wrapped up and in the back seat. She looks like she's freezing.'
Despite a few idle protests, they had the girl settled in the back seat and were just about to head back when the clear roar of a motorcycle could be heard from further up the road. In seconds it was clearly visible, a big old hog with loud pipes and a large framed man seated firmly upon it. Boots, denim jeans, chaps, leather jacket buttoned up tight, leather cap, goggles, a thick beard of black interwoven with gray.
Billy stepped out of the driver's seat and faced off from behind his door.
'Can I do something for you?' He asked, steeling his voice.
'You can kick that whore out of your back seat and get on your way. Boy.' The man had a deep, gravelly voice and thick lips that curled up when he spoke.
'No thanks, the girl is just fine where she is. And it's not polite to go around calling women names like that. Gives the impression you're compensating for something.' Keeping an eye peeled, he reached behind his seat and pulled out his trusty wooden bat. It mostly saw use in baseball practice, but Billy had a strong arm and a good aim.
'Now why don't you just stay on that bike and get on down the road.'
The man grunted in a rage that was only barely held in check. He kicked the stand down, leaned the bike over, and stepped off it, all in slow, exaggerated movements. He was even larger than Billy first thought. 6'2' at the very least, and nearly as wide in a way that looked like most of it was muscle.
'And you got a mouth on ya, boy. Let's see what I can do about that.'
Billy got in a single swing. Well, nearly one. He hadn't quite built up enough momentum before the biker was on him. It bounced harmlessly off of what would have been ribs on a normal man. The next split second, the man had unwound a thick chain from his forearm with a quick, well-practiced move, and swung it across Billy's face, knocking him senseless in a single blow.
When normal thought returned, Billy found himself half sitting in the dirt by the side of the road, his vision blurry from the blow and marred by the blood dripping into his eyes. The biker had nearly ripped the back door from its hinges and was preparing to drag the girl bodily from the seat. She evaded his grip and stumbled out of the other side.
'You Witch! You Whore!' He yelled. 'I want it! I want it back NOW!'
To Billy's amazement, the girl laughed. A giggle really, making her seem even younger than she already did. He would have guessed 16 from the first, but now she seemed anywhere between 11 and 20.
'This little ol' thing?' She said, her voice clearly taunting. She dug something from her pocket. Billy couldn't make it out at first, but as the biker began chasing her around the car he got a better look at it. Something red, like a small sausage covered in blood. She waved it in the air, wiggling it so it could be clearly seen.
'You'll never have it again, George, old pal. Never. It's mine. It was always mine. Silly man, thinking I'd be happy sharing it? I really, really don't think so.'
Dazed, confused, Billy managed to get to his feet again. He was beginning to feel queasy. His thoughts turned more toward getting Deni, and himself, out of this lunacy. On her part, Deni was tucked as small as she could make herself, eyes wide and fearful but still in the front passenger seat.
The two continued their game, running back and forth and around the car. They appeared capable of doing this for some time.
When Billy saw his chance, he threw himself into the driver seat, hit the ignition, and slammed on the gas. The biker loomed before him, yet somehow there was no impact. He also somehow managed to miss the bike, even though it looked like he ran right over the top of it. Looking in the rearview mirror, he was surprised to find empty darkness there. Other than taunts and growls, he could find no trace of what he had clearly just observed.
Billy and Deni traded glances. Her scared eyes looked into his. Wordlessly, they both agreed to never talk about this to anyone. Even each other.
The two returned to town, quiet and grim and just wanting to curl up in warm covers in their own beds in their own respective houses.
Use in a Game
The Headless Motorcycle Man can show up anywhere you want to establish a disturbing supernatural element. He is big, tough, and a skilled street fighter. He's also pissed as all hell at being emasculated by a conquest that he underestimated.
He and the woman he is chasing are both dead, making it very difficult to bring a resolution to their conflict.
It is possible to play out scenarios with the two in different ways. In combat, he will do real damage but can also take a pretty good beating before it becomes obvious that he is not really being hurt by any attacker. He will only engage with anyone who is directly blocking his path to the source of his rage. The PCs may try to run with the girl, but the biker will always eventually show up, as his spirit is drawn directly to hers. PCs who figure out that they are dealing with ghosts may work to resolve the conflict, or otherwise destroy or banish the ghosts, depending on the system in use.
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? Responses (9)
Classic sounding ghost story.
Not a big fan of this style of sub, however it IS a nice update to a classic., I think above score is a little harsh, quality of sub calls for at least 3.5/5 in my mind just a hair off 4
Why are you not a fan of this style of sub? How would you describe this style of sub?
I think the prose is strong and professional and the story has potential, particularly around Halloween. I enjoyed the phraseology and admired the word choice. But the story is really about the Deni and Billy characters, while the post claims to be about headless motorcycle man. We don't have a backstory for the ghost characters. The post-script also asserts that the focus of this story is on the motorcycle man and attempts to describes the use of the motorcycle man in game. The content does not fully equip a storyteller or game master to use this work, you have an idea here, a plot, but you don't have a complete story or a completely developed NPC.
The assertion that the resolution of this conflict should be system specific would only be true for the most sophomoric of gamers. Imagine if halfway through your story Billy pulls out his holy symbol banishes the undead then gets in the car and moves on. That is not resolution. And above we don't have resolution for the ghost characters. I know gamers that would be satisfied with that, but I don't play with them.
Summary: All the details of the story are great but have you really expanded up on the content beyond 'The restless spirit of a leather glad biker straight from central casting searches the back roads for the ghost of the woman that cut off his member'? As a piece of inspiration this is great, as a gaming resource it offers little because it has neither backstory nor resolution. As 'draw it with crayon' camp says it lacks the 'juicy details'.
Thank you for this. It's a pretty fair assessment. My original concept was going for irreverent humor but it came out as poor caricature, methinks.
If I ever spend more time on this, I'll take your advice by adding in a few more scenarios that expand the story a bit and show the main two ghosts from different angles. Also give them a backstory, although I was trying to hint at the essentials via action and dialogue. It's certainly an unfinished piece as-is.
Now this could certainly work as a 70's Roger Corman, Ghostrider-on-shrooms, sexploitation flick with an added, 'hold on to your junk' type of parable.
It'd make for a decent adventure for the Supernatural setting, there was actually a similar episode during the first of second season of the tv show dealing with two ghosts endlessly fighting one another.
I think axlerowes leaves a good comment.
I think there is enough here to work as a weird encounter, perhaps to first introduce the PCs to the supernatural, to showcase some amount of restless dead syndrome, or perhaps even just to do some damage to traveling characters. And the biker could be easily replaced with a horseman in a less modern setting.
Also, this gives whole new meaning to the old 'Head of Vecna.'
The prior comments have hit all of the points methinks. It is quite cool and well presented.