Usually when one of them comes back, it’s one of the big ones, and there’s very little hiding it. Of course, either way, it’s pretty sensational, because for mere mortals, death is the end of the journey, not some quirk along the way. It’s pretty insurmountable, even if it’s inexplicable, each and every time. No one likes to think that some day they’re going to die, even though everyone does, and it’s frightening because no one knows what’s waiting for them on the other side. That’s because this is a one-way trip.
Well, for mere mortals.
The Biker was the first to discover when Ellen Encanto, the Witch Doctor, made it back. Now, it would figure that someone known as the Witch Doctor would be among the lucky few, even among the heroes, to achieve this sensational milestone, but still, everyone knew that she died, there was no mystery, so it was still a surprise.
Now, Encanto was not one of the big ones, and so her death did not receive a great deal of fanfare. For the majority of the world, the Witch Doctor simply disappeared, sank back into obscurity, no longer basked in the glory of Justin Proper, glorious member of the Council. Justin Proper would have fit the mold. But anyway, someone named the Witch Doctor might be expected to bend the rules a little. No one ever really knew what she was all about, Justin Proper arguably among them.
It was no surprise for the Biker to have been the one to make the discovery, because that’s what he was known for, skirting the obscure and the outer limits of civilization, if not outright reality (there was always debate about that). He was riding out there, wherever “there” happened to be that day, out in the northern woods of Maine this time, when he passed a remarkable sight, a naked woman out in the middle of nowhere. Except during the summer, and more likely on the jagged coast, it’s not normal to be naked in Maine, much less to be a woman while doing it. There’s a charged liberal sense about the state, but not to this extent.
That’s how the Biker knew he’d stumbled upon something. He didn’t know it was the Witch Doctor. He circled back quickly enough, though there was no doubt in his mind that there was no rush to this, that he’d be the only one to see her and that she wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. Sometimes the Biker sought out naked women as a matter of sexual course, but this time his instinct was more benign, and for anyone who knew him shockingly humanitarian in nature.
He just wanted to get the woman off the road and into some sort of shelter before things really went south for her.
Stopping his ride a few feet away, the Biker approached the naked woman as if she might be radioactive, didn’t say a word, felt her eyes on him before he had the chance to ogle her too closely. When he saw her properly, he knew it was the Witch Doctor, would have known those eyes anywhere, blazing or otherwise. He quickly peeled off his jacket and threw it on her, didn’t even think twice about it. She gratefully wrapped it around her shoulders, but of course it was inadequate, but for the second time that day the Biker had made the most appropriate gesture possible of him, which was the last thing most people expected of him any other time.
There were no words for this moment, nothing to say, except that the Biker was overjoyed, and didn’t want to put any further stress on the Witch Doctor, who after all had just undergone one of the most upsetting events of this or any other life, short of what made it necessary in the first place. Maybe he would get an explanation later.
They rode until he reached Bangor, where the local bohemians would never even have thought twice about them, except the Witch Doctor began to scream, an ear-piercing sound that seemed like it came back from the grave, too, and was likely to take everything back with it. Needless to say, anything but peaceful.