It was while Dodger was checking that all repairs had been done that he noticed a photo of 3 bearded, long-haired hippies, seemingly in their 20's, resting their arms over each other's shoulders, laughing while standing in front of the once-a-year lake at Diamond Springs. There in that photo was a figure Dodger had seen countless times in concert videos and posters. It was unmistakable. Dodger knew who one of those men was.
"Holy shit. Is that Bran Steelhide?" Dodger exhaled, expending the entirety of his breath.
"Oh, yeah! That was a hell of a summer. My buddy Hogan there and I rode the Copper Rush with Bran that year. I had actually just bought my first motorcycle! 1972 Starbridge Model III with custom handlebars. See, I'm not that tall of a fella, you see? Bran was too shy to skinny dip in the lake with everyone else so Hogan and I pantsed him and we all jumped into the lake just after that photo was taken," Karn reminisced, chuckling to himself.
"No way," Dodger stood in disbelief, looking back and forth between the photo and Karn as he tried to see figure out which of the men in the photo was Karn. With a flick of a switch, a light bulb had turned on just above Dodger's head.
"Oh, great! It looks like you've got it all fixed and working!" Karn said with his hand still on the light switch.
"So- you were friends with Bran Steelhide? You really actually knew him?" Dodger could barely believe what he had just heard.
"Huh? Well, I don't really see him all that often. Every few months or so he'll call me over for a few rounds of tennis. I usually have him and a couple friends over here for things like the 4th of July and the odd birthday party," Karn said plainly, as casual as he would have been reading off a shopping list or instructions on heating a microwave dinner.
"No kidding. The Bran Steelhide, lead singer and guitarist from The Midnight Falcons." Dodger stood in amazement. He had heard rumors that Bran lived on property somewhere around Silver Falls but he never believed it.
"So can we check out my workshop?" Karn broke the spell of enchantment the old photo had cast over Dodger.
"Oh, yeah, of course," Dodger snapped back to attention.
Karn led Dodger out to his glassblowing workshop, which housed all sorts of strange tools for grabbing, poking, bending, and shaping. Dodger replaced some sockets and examined the barrel sized furnace which looked to weigh a ton. With a heavy clunk, Dodger flipped a switch at the entrance of the workshop and the lights came on. Karn fiddled with some knobs and tickled some switches before a soft light began to grow within the furnace.
"You're a miracle worker!" Karn laughed, hopping back over to Dodger. "I can finally get back to work! What do I owe you?"
"What? Oh, I couldn't accept anything. Old friends couldn't charge for something like this," Dodger took off his cap and slicked back his short hair in one smooth, cool motion.
"Huh, old friends? Yeah, old friends! Of course!" Karn squinted hard, thinking hard before a big grin appeared on his face. "I sure appreciate the help. Let me buy your drinks at the Dusty Cactus tonight at least."
"Well, it'd be rude if I didn't accept," Dodger answered, putting his cap back on his head.
"Can I get you a coffee?" Karn offered, walking toward the workshop entrance.
"No thanks, maybe next time. I need to fix up a couple things around my house today," Dodger declined against his own will. He would have loved to admire more of the decorations around Karn's house.
YOU ARE READING
Silver Falls Heavy ShadowScience Fiction
As Dodger Rodgers, a middle aged father, faces new changes, he searches for meaning in his life by investigating strange lights in the night sky which the locals of his small mountain town have been reporting. While following a trail of clues, he te...