“You have to be fucken kidding me?” Rigabold the pernicketness said to the four men standing in front of him.

It was the first time he’d used the human curse word that his studies had shown him was used for many different situations, one of those situations being annoyed with the person or persons before you and his current situation was definitely one of those. It didn’t have the same impact as Tumcuddulan curse words and he wasn’t overly happy with it but given the collective IQ of the four men before him barely reached double figures clever speech was not something he was going to need.

Rigabold had read stories about travellers in the outback getting harassed for their money and belongings, sometimes these people were left for dead, sometimes they survived. The stories were few and far between but it seemed like the few that did happen spread like wildfire and many of them had so many contradictory parts to them they were in fact hard to believe. He did find a couple of stories that were proven with fact and therefore recognised what was happening before him.

Where the men had come from or where they were headed Rigabold didn’t know, even their ratty old car didn’t suggest they were from the town he’d not long ago left. If some of the stories he’d read were to believed the loose units that pulled stunts like ripping off travellers more than likely hunted well out of the local area, many were even opportunistic travellers themselves.

“No we aren’t fucken kidding you moron. Now do as Franky says or we’ll take what we want from you!” The voice came from the smallest of the group, a runty little figure that stood half a step behind the rest of them and spoke in a low, almost scared voice.

Since Rigabold hadn’t been formally introduced to the men he decided to call the little one, who spoke big but looked like he was cowering behind the biggest man, Chickenshit. The big one was obviously Frankie, while the one on Franky’s left would be known as Cowpat since Rigabold could smell something not very nice emanating from him and the fourth one, who waved Rigabold into the parking area would be known as Waveyman.

“My apologies Franky.” Rigabold said in a polite voice as he lifted his hands in the air in a gesture to suggest he was giving in to whatever the demands were. He’d seen that done on a black and white movie with horses and men in big hats with guns. When he noticed a smile on Franky’s face he knew the man was being fooled by his act. “I was unaware of how things worked out here.”

“Well, we are fair people so we do allow you one mistake.” Franky said with a smirk on his face.

“I do have one question.” Rigabold said. “Perhaps you would be so kind as to answer it for me so as I don’t make further mistakes?”

“That’s you’re one question!” Chickenshit said still standing slightly behind his leader. The three men laughed at such humour.

“Oh yes, I see what you mean. Very clever of you, I guess I wasted my question.” Rigabold said, he even added a slight frown to complete the act.

Franky took the lead again. “I think we can allow you one more question, but you probably should think about it before you ask.” Franky paused and waved his hands in little circles encouraging his three friends to laugh. “After all we wouldn’t want to make a fool of yourself.” The laughter was louder as Franky finished.

Rigabold stood his ground and scratched his chin lightly, a move he’d seen on a movie when the lead character was thinking.

“I guess I am wondering,” Rigabold said with a slight waver in his voice, “if you take my money, I’m broke, but there is no shops out here for me to spend that money at anyway, so really that particular crime is only a little annoyance because obviously I can get money in whatever town I get to.” Rigabold was dragging his speech out deliberately to annoy the men before him and it appeared to be working well. “But, if you take my wheels things become a lot more difficult.” Franky tried to interrupt but Rigabold spoke too quickly for his voice to get hold. “I’m sure you’ve realised that we are a long way from anywhere. You’ve probably also realised it’s very warm out here and it’s only going to get warmer. This kind of weather is not the sort of weather one should be walking in. There is also the problem that I could get dehydrat…”

“Okay, that’s enough!” Franky said loudly obviously getting annoyed with Rigabold and wanting to move things forward.

“Yeah that’s enough from you idiot!” Chickenshit said, his voice turning high and squeaky.

Franky put his arm back and held it against Chickenshit in what appeared to be a gesture to stop him from saying anything more.

“The truth is,” Franky said, “none of this matters because you wont be walking to any town because,” he paused for dramatic effect, “you wont be walking at all.” Rigabold looked at Franky, his look one of a dead stare as if he wasn’t believing what he was hearing. “You see Mr. Idiot, whether you hand over the keys or whether we have to take them you wont be walking away from here on two broken legs.”

“Are you suggesting that you’re going to beat me up and steal my truck no matter whether I co-operate or not?” Rigabold asked.

“You catch on fast!” Franky replied.

“Yeah for an idiot!”, the voice came from Chickenshit again.

Why the other two men hadn’t spoken Rigabold wasn’t sure but he did know he’d had enough of playing with them in the hot sun.

“I do thank you for your entertainment gentlemen, but honestly I must be leaving.” Rigabold said, then turned around and walked back to his car.

He was only three steps into his short journey when Franky stepped up behind him with his fist in the air swinging towards Rigabold’s head.

Previous Episode here.
First Episode here.