Bared:Dirty Cruisers MC(5)

By: Brook Wilder

“I know, it’s just, with everything that’s happened with Maurice, I’m really short staffed. I’ll pay you extra! I know you can use the money. And besides, it will be fun!”

“Playing in the dirt is your idea of a good time, Carla, not mine.”

“Please? I wouldn’t ask unless I really needed the help. Please, Elle? Pretty please?” It was the note of desperation that Elle could hear just under the pleading in Carla’s voice that finally made her sigh, her resolve crumbling.

“Oh, alright. I’ll help–”

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Elle!”

“But only on the days I don’t have piano lessons to teach. It will probably only be a few days a week.”

“Absolutely! No problem at all. You are a life saver, Elle, truly. I’ll see you at the farm in an hour.”

“An hour? Wait a minute, today?” Elle argued but she was speaking to dead air. Carla had already hung up the phone, probably off to deal with some other problem at the farm. She glanced over at the calendar hanging on wall of her kitchen, fluffy kittens staring back at her and shesighed.

Damn. She didn’t have any piano appointments. It looked like she’d be starting her new job at Honey Bud Farms sooner than she realized.

It was a forty-five minute drive to the farm, and she was running late after the twenty minutes it had taken her to scour her closet looking for something, anything, to wear that would be appropriate to work in. She had finally settled on an older olive green dress that looked like it was straight out of the 1940’s and a pair of rubber boots that hit her mid ankle. It was the best she could do on short notice. Next time she would have to remember to borrow a pair of work pants from Carla.

She parked her compact car, noticing that there was only Carla’s truck and one other vehicle there already, a motorcycle parked haphazardly that she assumed belonged to Joel. With a deep breath to bolster her courage, she jumped out and walked up the small incline to where the office was. It was little more than a converted farmhouse but it did the trick.

Next to it was a large, glass encased greenhouse and just as she reached it Carla came rushing out.

“Elle, thank god!”

Elle looked up at her friend in shock. Carla’s hair was pulled up into a messy top knot with tendrils flying everywhere and dirt smudged across both cheeks. At least she hoped it was dirt.

“Carla? What’s going–”

“No time,” she said, out of breath as she grabbed Elle by the arm and dragged her towards the greenhouse, “Come with me.”

Carla pushed open the clear glass door and walked in, Elle following with a gasp at the humid interior, and the pungent smell. And not the smell she was expecting either. It smelled like…well, to be honest it smelled just like…

“Manure,” Carla said, interrupting her thought as she pointed to a large pile of the stuff that sat in the corner, “It’s compost, for transplanting the seedlings. After they’re big enough we plant them in the rich soil inside the greenhouse until they firm up. Then, when they’re ready, the plants are transferred once more out into the fields.”

“Uh huh. Okay, and you want me to...?” Elle trailed off, her voice slightly horrified as Carla looked from her, to the pile of manure and compost, and then back to her. Carla gestured to a bucket hooked up to some contraption and her worst fears were confirmed.

“It’s easy,” she said hurriedly, reaching over to grab the bucket, “Just pull this lever here and it scoops up the compost and drops it into the funnel, then you take the funnel out over the hole that still needs to be filled and pull the lever again. It drops the perfect amount of compost into the hole. Then, just move on to the next one. See, easy peezy.” Carla finished hurriedly as the sound of a motorcycle engine drawing close reached them.

“No, Carla. Not easy peezy. I have no idea what you just did–”

“You’re smart, Elle. I’m sure you can figure it out.” Carla was just turning to rush away again when the door opened and another member of the Dirty Cruisers walked in. It was Hot Wheels. As far as Elle knew, she was the only female member in the club and the only thing that gave it away was the patch covered leather jacket that she wore proudly.

Her white blonde hair was tousled from the ride and her pale green eyes were focused like a laser on Carla. And they looked worried.

“Hey, Bluebird,” Hot Wheels said, using Carla’s nickname, “I need to talk to you. Now.” The short, but forceful, woman didn’t say anything else before leaving, letting the greenhouse door slam shut behind her.