Laconia

Like Salem was a mecca for witches of all sorts, Laconia was the same for bikers. Seagn could tell as they pulled into the city limits. Motorcycle shops, repair shops, gift stores were everywhere.
“A themed tourist trap, like Salem,” said Seagn, as she followed the line of bikers slowly down the street. Gray broke from the pack and waited for Seagn to catch up.
In the middle of the street, she called to her, “Follow me!”
Seagn followed Gray down the street a couple of blocks down from where the women had stopped their bikes. She found herself pulling up in front of a garage door.
Gray parked her bike just outside the main door. She went inside.
“We always come here,” said Sheila. “The only woman-owned repair shop in town.” She bopped her head to “My Sharona” playing in the truck.
The garage door in front of here opened, and a man came out carrying a ramp. Seagn shut off the truck and got out.
“Afternoon,” said the man with a nod. Seagn took down the tailgate and the man set up the ramp. He undid the knots on the ropes, then guided the bike down the ramp.
Gray stepped out with a woman wearing a bike week t-shirt from 2022. “I’ll get working on her right away,” she said. “Put it on your tab?”
“If you could,” said Gray, watching the man roll the bike into the shop. “Thanks a lot.”
“Anytime Gray. Staying for the weekend?”
“Yeah.” Gray turned to Seagn. “Want to give Sheila a ride back to the hotel?”
“Sure thing.”
The few blocks didn’t last long, and as soon as she turned the truck off, Sheila was out of the cab. “Thanks for the ride!”
“Yep!” Seagn waved her away.
Gray came up to Seagn’s driver’s side. “Is there anything I can do to repay you?”
“This might sound crazy, but can I take a shower?”
Gray smirked. “Alone, or with someone?”
“Alone, please.”
“I don’t see why not. I’ll let you use mine.”
The bed and breakfast was taken up by everyone in the group. Gray had the entire top floor, with slanted ceilings and her own bathroom.
“This is the Mistress Suite. Or Master Suite during bike week.”
The decorations were Victorian, daguerreotypes of mysterious men and women in fancy gilded frames. An ancient wardrobe stood in the only section where the ceiling was high enough to fit it. The bed was at the end of the room, set off with Chinese room dividers. The bathroom looked out at the back of the house, with a full-sized frosted window in the shower.
“Take your time. I’ll be downstairs.”
Seagn did take her time. She was happy that these clothes were clean from this morning. She could wear them for a couple of days before she felt uncomfortable. Some of the carnies wore their clothes for an entire week, sleeping in them as well. She tried not to go that far.
She walked downstairs, her hair wet and she felt refreshed and clean. The group of women were smoking or just sitting around the lobby. The TV was on, but too low for her to hear. When she came downstairs, Sheila got up and started to applaud.
The rest of the group applauded, and Seagn felt her face get hot. She bowed her head and smiled. “Thank you.”
“Want to stick around?” asked Gray. “We’re going to have dinner.”
“I’d love to but I have to get back to my animals.”
“Yeah, Sheila said something about a carnival. Where are you going to be this weekend?”
“Narragansett. It’s in Rhode Island.”
“That’s a long ways away. Maybe we’ll catch up with you sometime.”
“I don’t have the schedule with me—”
“Want to exchange digits?” Gray pulled out her phone.
Seagn pulled out hers, and tapped the two together, like toasting someone. A pleasant little “beep” notified them that they had transferred their phone numbers to each other.
Gray looked at her phone. “That’s a weird spelling of your name.”
“It’s Gaelic.” Seagn looked at hers. Gray Miller, Company: Sidewinders, AZ.
“Call and let us know where you’ll be. We’ll be in the area for a couple of months.”
“Laconia?”
She laughed. “New England. Compared to Arizona, it’s an area.”
“My schedule is ever-changing. I usually don’t know where I’ll be until a couple of days before.”
“That’s okay. This is New England. Anything is an hour away.”
“Heh, true. Well, thanks for the shower. I hope to see you again.”
Gray kissed Seagn on the cheek. “Be careful, huh?”
“I will. Thanks.”

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