Episode 6: The Legend of the
In the last episode, you may remember, it was a backwards-speeding
car that deposited a privateering band of bikers – The
Brash Ironic Ruffians – into the local shrubbery. They
then gave chase to settle the score and get the phone number
of the blonde in the back seat. So perhaps this would be
a good moment to explain who the Brash Ironic Ruffians (‘BIR’ for
short) are. They are not unlike a Wednesday night bowling
league that got a bit out of hand, but even more like a collection
of vintage two-wheeled motorised transportation enthusiasts
with an axe to grind with anything having four wheels. Each
member of this group has been personally selected for his
brashness, stemming from his lack of manners and leading
straight through his exhaust pipes. But underneath their
leather and “other materials-clad exteriors” can
be found a certain mashmallowiness which comes in pretty
handy when suddenly becoming detached from their bikes at
speed. Resilient litter buggers aren't they? As ruffians,
they are like marauding mercenaries who've been hired by
an unknown corporation to cause chaos and mayhem at the Rumble
Rally, thus ensuring the corporate entry gains an advantageous
lead on the London to Madrid stage. It is also known they
have a weakness for blondes in high heels, but how they get
paid for this work is nobody's business but their own.
Count Backwards' ancient Super-charged Mephistopheles-Izusa
(now known to be the long lost race car “Chugger Zoom” once
owned and driven by Lord “Lucky” Leatherette
many years ago) continued to travel backwards at a frightening
pace towards the quiet (eerily quiet in a menacing sort of
way) village of Leafy Swallow. “A historic market town
and doomsday village twinned with Potzdorf Carpania, and
welcomes careful drivers,” or so it says on its official
tourist board signpost. But it’s also a village known
to be the most haunted in Britain, famous for its “Legend
of the Headless Biker.” Backwards, a man highly experienced
at being out of control, masterfully steered the car through
the village almost as if he knew the place like the back
of his hairy.... With a “thump” and a “bump” and
a “whump,” the super-charged jalopy passed over
an unmanned level railroad crossing and promptly got good
and truly stuck on the train tracks. Count Backwards didn't
know if he should be pleased that his impromptu hayride was
over or annoyed that he hadn't quite made it to his hideout.
“So close yet so far and in the home stretch too!” he
exclaimed as he climbed out of the car. The captives in the
back seat watched in disbelief as Backwards feebly tried
to push the car off the tracks. The air was positively blue
with the Count's commentary as he pushed and shoved the massive
Ms Pitstop was enjoying the show but was also fully aware
that the sun was setting and it was getting late. The rally
entrants would have begun stage one already. Lady Lavinia
managed a glance at her watch despite her wrists being tied
to the others with rope. She too knew they didn't have time
"Perhaps you should untie us and let us out of the
car, we could help you push." She suggested sweetly
batting her eyelashes. If she played her cards right, and
she always did, she could get away and take Daddy's car with
"You stay right where you are Missy. Can't have you
wandering about at dusk in the most haunted village in England.
You're liable to get run down by the Headless Biker."
"What Headless Biker?" Enquired an instinctively
curious yet suspicious and sceptical Miss Kitten.
Backwards told the story behind the legend in frightening
detail to the girls as he tried to use a railway tie to lever
a back wheel out of its rut. "The Legend of the Headless
Biker tells a chilling tale of a missed delivery deadline,
England in the Cup Final on the telly and a horrific accident.
Once upon a time Gary was a motorcycle courier for a city-based
firm. He was a highly experienced rider of 12 years with
1000 cc's at his disposal and a death wish by his side. But
on that fatal night one last job came in, and it must have
had Gary's name on it. It was an urgent foreign package for
Leafy Swallow, one of those Brigadoon-type towns in the middle
of nowhere and typically missing from the map. So despite
the Cup Final on the telly, Gary took the package and rode
off into the late evening just as a frosty fog was gathering.
If he really pushed it he could make it back in time for
the second half, he thought. The deeper Gary got into the
Welloffsfordshire countryside the denser the fog got. And
then, just as Gary took a left bend at speed into a 20 mile
an hour zone, it happened. He didn't see the unmanned level
crossing or the barrier that was just beginning to lower.
No warnings, no train approaching lights were on – it
was as if the barrier had just lowered by itself. Smack!
It was all over in a second for Gary. His head came clean
off – helmet and all – and travelled for quite
a distance. But it was never found, so to this day when the
fog is thick and its after kick off, you can hear Gary on
his bike roaming the countryside looking for his head, trying
to deliver that last package."
"Oh get real! You expect us to believe that?" asked
Miss Kitten, laughing on the outside but desperate on the
inside to get out of this worsening situation, leave the
others to their fate, and somehow get her starter’s
orders for the Rally. Too much was at stake since her boss
had promised to give back her eight lost lives if she succeeded
in her task to eliminate specific entrants and win the race.
"Stop wasting our time Aubrey,” Ms. Pitstop said
calmly. “Thanks to you we'll miss the race. Stop this
bumbling and just let us go." Underneath she was seething
with anger at Aubrey's alter ego Count Backwards. She realised
that she'd have to coax him back to being her old mate Aubrey
again and encourage him to forget about what she did to his
best friend Boris so they could work together towards a mutually
profitable goal, just like the old days.
"We only have till midnight to register, obtain starters
orders, and set off from the starting line; any later and
we'll be disqualified," added Lady Lavinia. Not that
she'd be disqualified; she'd happily bribe the time keeper/registration
official to get her place in the race. She just wanted to
get clean away with her Father's car. If she could return
it to him she just might be able to re-establish her rightful
inheritance after Daddy disowned her for that silly little
international incident. She wondered if INTERPOL was still
looking for her and maybe Count Backwards too.
Just then a roar like thunder could be heard in the distance.
The sound was travelling fast and getting louder and closer
with every second passing. The expression on Backwards' face
was priceless as he looked up and saw the Brash Ironic Ruffians
gang coming towards them, exhausts blaring. They expertly
side skidded to an impressively menacing halt before the
stranded car on the tracks. The lead rider clicked his fingers
and they all dismounted and set their bikes on side stands.
They then proceeded to stand around with their arms folded
looking as tough as possible. They did their best not to
giggle at Backwards and his railway tie while winking at
the girls in the back seat. The leader, a.k.a. Ronnie Rickett,
lifted his goggles, pulled down his scarf, and stared – then
blinked and stared some more. 'Kitten baby, is that you?'
“Hey boys; long time no see,” Miss Kitten said
sheepishly blushing. Ms. Pitstop and Lady Lavinia looked
at Miss Kitten and then back at the biker gang. You could
tell they were impressed. Lady Lavinia hurriedly checked
her lipstick in the rear view mirror while Ms. Pitstop fussed
with her hair. Backwards put the tie down, opened the boot
of the car, and frantically started fishing for something.
Ronnie, the lead Ruffian, wandered over to the car and ran
his leather-gloved hand through Miss Kitten's blonde hair. “Well,
long time; not since that little bit of industrial espionage
at the piston factory. But hey darlin', I thought that elevator
drop you took was lethal, but here you are and still just
as pretty too. Say baby, you wanna do lunch or like what?'
The other two girls sighed.
Miss Kitten shrugged his attention away and said, “Shall
we see about this first?' She raised her tied wrists up.
The other girls did the same with a pleading look on their
“No problemo Kitty-Kat.”
”I say my good man, er, men,” butted in Lady
Lavinia, “what say you kind gentlemen assist our overburdened
friend here and gently remove this fine vintage automobile
from these perilous tracks? Eh what? There's good chaps”
“Yes,” said Count Backwards closing the boot
lid, “why don't you assist me and the ladies here toot
sweet like?” He was waving an old elephant gun at them
in a “Yeah, whatcha gonna do about it?”
sort of way.
“Yo dude, check it out; he's got a gun!” exclaimed
Awesome man, it's like a freakin' cannon from the Civil
War!” laughed Ruffian Sleazy.
“Do you think he knows how to use that antique?” mocked
a third Ruffian, Dumpy.
“About the same as he can drive dude, not!” retorted
“Whoa, slow down there cowboy. We were just passing
by,” the leader said backing away slowly from the vehicle.
“Well get this car off the tracks and then you can
pass by some more,” Count Backwards hissed.
Various heavy blunt instruments were then produced from
various Ruffian jackets as they stepped up their menacing
act. Count Backwards cocked his gun and grinned maniacally.
Various heavy blunt instruments hit the dirt.
Lady Lavinia noticed that the weapon Count backwards was
brandishing resembled old photographs of "Bertha," her
Father's safari gun. She also remembered his stories of how
unreliable it was and that he wasn't too sorry to have lost
it many years ago along with the car, but that was another
story. She then observed that Backwards had left the key
in the ignition, so all she needed was the right moment to
seize her chance. She noticed as well that Miss Kitten was
busily working at the ropes binding her wrists, so she did
The BIR boys levered the wheels out of the tracks and pushed
the car back onto the road. “Strewth mate, this thing's
as heavy as a Ute full of salad dodging Sheilas!” observed
a Ruffian from “Down Under.”
It was now dusk.
“Right, that'll be all thanks. Now clear off or I'll
fill your iron full of lead,” said Count Backwards
levelling the double-barrelled shotgun at their bikes.
Just then Miss Kitten managed to get her hands free from
the ropes, having had them loosened a bit previously by her
old BIR flame. She leapt from the back seat and made a dash
for protection behind the Ruffians. Lady Lavinia also managed
to get free just as Count Backwards took aim at Miss Kitten.
She jumped into the drivers seat and quickly started the
car. The exhaust let out an almighty backfire just as Backwards
pulled the trigger. The shot misfired, and he was thrown
backwards behind the car as it tore off in a cloud of dust
and smoke. Lady Lavinia Kydd-Leatherette did not look back.
Miss Kitten hastily negotiated an exchange of her phone
number for a lift back to her car. But as the dust settled
around them it was discovered that Count Backwards had disappeared
and darkness was gathering fast.
Meanwhile, still in the back of the jalopy, Ms. Pitstop
finally untangled herself from the ropes and bailed out of
the car as it sped out of the village. She expertly rolled
as she hit the ground, a skill learnt in her days with "'Ol
Nick's Own Rough Riders" stunt team. Just possibly she
could sneak up on the bikers and steal one of the older machines
with a kickstart.
As if on cue a chilling fog descended and a ghostly apparition
exploded out from the nearby churchyard, accompanied by the
sound of a powerfully revving parallel twin. It was Gary
the Headless Biker searching for his head. With a scream
Miss Kitten clung on to her current favoured Ruffian. But
the BIR boys were not convinced this was a real haunting.
Something just wasn't right (and they know all about fixes
and scams, it's their job!), and where did that Backwards
guy go? A few Ruffians headed to the churchyard to investigate.
“Well, I think the guys can handle it from here. How
about you and me go look for your car doll?' asked Ronnie
in a persuasive tone.
An anxious Miss Kitten climbed on the back of the lead Ruffian's
bike, silently vowing to get revenge on Count Backwards if
it's the last life she lead.
“Hold on to your hat Kitty-Kat!” And with that
they rode away from the haunted village.
While the BIR boys were busy searching the churchyard for
Gary and Count Backwards, Ms. Pitstop made her move. She
quietly approached the row of parked bikes and picked a beautifully
maintained 1956 Douglas Dragonfly, as it was the one which
most resembled the bikes used in her old stunt team. The
risk was getting it started on the first kick. No such luck;
she stalled it on the second kick and was caught red handed.
“Hey man, looks like he Headless Biker's gonna have
some competition,” said a brash Ruffian swinging an
overlubricated bike chain. Ms. Pitstop got off the bike very
carefully. There was no escape from the BIR for her now.
“Yo dudes! I like totally got him!” Ruffian
Stinky was dragging Count Backwards out of the Churchyard
by the scruff of the neck. Dumpy got some rope and tied his
hands, and Sleazy tied him to the fencepost at the railway
“You pesky Ruffians, you should be on MY side!” Backwards grumbled. “But
how did you figure it out?”
A “Magic Kingdom” Ruffian volunteered an explanation.
“Easy dude; the sound recording of a Matchless G9
Clubman just didn't match a projected holographic image of
a sports bike. Like duh man, it was simple.'
Is that how you earned your Mouseketeer badge?' Count Backwards
“Looks like you were taking advantage of the Legend
to scare people away from your secret hideout located in
the crypt over there in the Leafy Swallow churchyard. It
was all down to your clever use of up-to-date technology
for sound amplification, a Super 8 film projector, some strategically
placed mirrors, and good old-fashioned dry ice. Like a totally
awesome mystery solved, and don't diss the Mouse, man!'
“Curses, foiled again! Damn you pesky Ruffians!” shouted
Count Backwards as he struggled against the ropes that bound
him to the fencing.
The Ruffians dragged Ms. Pitstop towards the railroad tracks.