Cotton:Satan's Fury MC

By: L. Wilder

To My Dad

For always being there when I need you.

My father always said it took a strong man to admit his mistakes, and an even stronger man to learn from those mistakes. The crazy thing was I never saw him make a mistake. Everyone looked up to my father, especially me. He was the kind of man who thought a handshake was enough; and where he was concerned, it was. He never broke his word, even when it was difficult to follow through. He never failed to provide for his family, giving us a life where we all felt safe and loved. He adored my mother with a passion that never seemed to waiver, making us all love him even more. I wanted to be just like him, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Born towheaded and full of mischief, I was the oldest of three sons. My dad got a kick out of my snow-white hair and nicknamed me Cotton, saying that one day I’d prosper just like the cotton fields in Tennessee. Even when my hair turned dark brown like his own, the nickname stuck. There was no doubt I held a special place in my father’s heart; we could all see it. His eyes gleamed with pride whenever I was around. I knew he had high expectations for me, wanting me to be a good role model for my brothers, Joseph and Lucas; but more times than not, I found myself in some kind of trouble I had no business getting into. I just couldn’t stop myself. It was nothing for us to sneak off in the middle of the day when we were supposed to be helping out at the house; or in the middle of the night when we should’ve been sleeping soundly. There was nothing better than running amuck with my brothers; and with them falling close behind, I sought to discover all the secrets the world had hidden within her. There wasn’t a tree tall enough or a cave dark enough to deter my curiosity. While Joe and Luke would stand by watching, I’d slip into the dark depths of a cave, unaffected by the voice inside my head that screamed for me to turn back. I got a rush from the danger that lurked inside, drawing me in, deeper and deeper into the darkness. Maybe it had something to do with being the first-born son, or maybe it was just a part of who I was, but nothing could stop that restless feeling I felt stirring in my gut. More times than not, my brothers and I found ourselves in a heap of trouble, and there was nothing worse than seeing that look of disappointment in my father’s eyes when we screwed up. Unfortunately, it happened a lot; but it didn’t prevent us from doing it time and time again, knowing our father would always be there to help pull us out of trouble… until the day he wasn’t.

When my father died, a part of me died with him, and the direction of my life changed forever. As I grew older, I always tried to remember what he said about being a strong man… a good man. In the life I’ve lived, I have made my mistakes—lots of them—but I’ve never had a problem admitting when I fucked up. The hard part wasn’t learning from the mistakes I’d made; it was finding a way to fix them.

Sophomore Year of High School

I was fourteen when my father shocked us all by dying of a massive heart attack. His death damn near destroyed our family, ending the safe and secure world I’d always known. My mother hadn’t worked in years, making it difficult for her to find a job that could sustain the life we’d grown accustomed to. When she’d finally managed to find a few odd jobs, it just wasn’t enough, and I was overcome with the need to protect my mother and brothers. I loved them and couldn’t stand to see the worry in their eyes. I knew I had to do something, anything to make things better for them. I started mowing lawns and running the local paper route, helping out the only way I knew how. I was doing all I could, and we were still barely able to pay our bills. That’s when my Uncle Saul stepped in, helping out in a way I couldn’t.

Until then, I really didn’t know much about my uncle, other than he was the president of some motorcycle club. I didn't know why we never spent time with him or his family, but I’d gotten the impression a long time ago that it had something to do with my mother. A look of disgust would cross her face whenever my dad mentioned his brother’s name or his club, and eventually, he just stopped talking about him altogether. It was obvious to all of us she didn’t care for him or what he represented, but at the time, she was in no position to turn down his offer to help. I never did understand her distaste for him. I liked Saul from the start. I could see my father when I looked into his eyes or heard his voice, reminding me of that secure feeling I had whenever my dad was around. I felt a pull to my uncle, and each time he’d come by the house, I’d stare out the window and watch as he pulled up on his motorcycle. There was a mystery to him that intrigued me, making me want to know more about his life and his club that existed on the outside of town.

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