The Carod family were amongst several families that belonged to the biker club Rain Riders. Her family had been a part of this tradition for three generations while other families had been participating for even longer. They would wait for a rainy evening to take a ride together as an event. Rain was pretty sparse in Fanson so it was a treasured occasion. The year that Frankie Carod was finally old enough to take to the road with her new motorcycle there were only five instances of rain making each outing all the more noteworthy.
On November 15th, 2034 a heavy downpour hit the dry valley that was in desperate need of some moisture. When this happened the group had to take to the streets before they flooded. Gregory was the one nominated that year to be the lookout for the first drop of water. At a quarter past six, Gregory felt the cold sting of a drop of rain that slid down his baby face. He then held out the beautifully adorned ram’s horn and belted out the signal for the entire town to hear.
Frankie and her parents heard the booming sound and sprung up from the porch chairs to get out their motorcycles. They were already dressed in their gear. Each member of the riders club had a black leather jacket with a large patch on the back that had blue outlined rain drops etched into the fabric. The Carod’s straddled their bikes and started their engines. Her mother’s and father’s were the types that had the handlebars up at an angle so that they were able to lean back. Frankie’s however was pretty standard with only a blue flame on it to give the bike any distinguishment.
The group gathered in the middle intersection of the town where spectators had gathered to see them off despite having to deal with being drenched. This event was pretty big in the sleepy small town of Fanson. Finnegan Pruit, the sheriff of Fanson stood out in front of the line of bikes and counted down as he squinted to be able to see.
“Five, four, three, two, one, go!”
The members revved their engines and dispersed around him on their journey towards the Halled Mountains. Frankie peered at the peaks as her heart pounded and she thought to herself that the mountains never looked so beautiful until this moment. She kept her place right behind her father who was behind her mother. Hank never protested that his wife Bonnie took the lead of the family on the road.
Down by the railroad tracks they had to be wary of a huge pothole that was now filling with rainwater giving it that brown muddy look. The group zoomed past it and continued on their trek. The mountains were about seven miles outside of town and as they came up towards the part where the highway goes directly between the two peaks a boulder let loose and fell on the road. The leader of the Rain Riders was crushed instantly and the others started to run into each other. They were going so fast, at least seventy-five miles per hour that they couldn’t stop in time. The Carods saw this because they were holding up the rear. It was too late for Bonnie to stop before she plowed into Jenx Carlos who had already run into the rider ahead of them. Each person was in a line and should have provided each other with more space but the water on the road kept propelling them towards each other.
Hank was able to pull off before hitting his wife and Frankie was able to follow him. They simultaneously turned off their bikes and dismounted. Frankie pulled her navy blue helmet off of her head so fast that it took her a few moments to reorient herself. The two of them started running over towards her mother and Hank turned the key to stop the bike and pulled his wife up from the ground. The helmet had protected Bonnie from getting a concussion but once she was to her feet Hank pulled the newly scratched shiny helmet and looked straight into her eyes making sure that she wasn’t too dazed. She was holding her left wrist however feeling the awful pain of a possible fracture. Frankie produced a cloth for Hank to wrap over her mother’s wrist to help stabilize it.
They then shifted their attention to the mess that was laid out in front of them. A few people were screaming in pain while others were arguing at each other for not paying enough attention to stop. Leaving Bonnie behind to rest a bit Frankie and Hank went about helping the others. The group quickly came to the consensus that someone had to ride back and get help. Hank said he would do it and quickly got on his ride back to Fanson. Some of the others approached the fallen rock and saw a large pool of blood seething out from under the boulder. The jagged rock was heavy to move off of Craig but several of them rolled it off to the side with a grunt. The scene of Craig’s crushed body was utterly disturbing. Wane had to walk away and dry heave. Everyone started to shed tears that mixed with the rain that ran down their solemn faces.
After Hank was able to get back to find help, the ambulance followed him back. Everybody who needed it was triaged and those who needed more care were taken back to Fanson. Unfortunately for Craig, he wasn’t going to make it back to town alive. A widower he did not have family in Fanson but he was loved by all of the townspeople. Using a few large 4x4 trucks they picked up all of the broken bikes and hauled them away. Bonnie road passenger with Hank but had to hold on hard with one arm. After this horrible event that day those who were greenlighted went home and others stayed at the clinic on Garrick Street. The hospital was well over a day away but they had been given an ambulance to have at the clinic to use.
Come the day of the funeral for Craig Jells the riders that still had working bikes lined up outside of the graveyard to honor their leader. Frankie was amongst this group and felt a sad honor had fallen upon her. As his oakwood casket was lowered into the ground she and the five others revved their engines, a send-off that Craig would’ve wanted. Soon after the Rain Riders decided that they were only going to ride as a group in the town and not out towards the mountains on rainy nights. It was a huge disappointment for Frankie, a blow to what she had looked forward to all of her childhood.