Hell Town RV Park
For Those Who Believe in Other Worlds
Chapter 2: On Gate World
(for Episode 1 click here )
(Rated Mature for Adult content)
(Last time on Hell Town, Spooky asked her brother Aron: “Do I have a choice? I mean the Avenir showed me a vision of you last night and said they sent you to help me with this mission to save worlds and The Shimmer.” She put her head between her hands and shook it as if to free herself from these thoughts. “God, hearing myself say this stuff makes even me think I’m crazy.”
“You’re not crazy. And if you are, I am too. The Avenir sent the Rooi to get me when I was forty. I’ve been dealing with this for ten years, always questioning whether what I saw was real. When I started to get Hell Town visions from you, I knew you’d need me soon.”
Spooky felt a small, delicate hand entwine hers. It was River. Kappa took the other. “It is time,” the boy said and led her toward the moon.)
Spooky let the children guide her for a moment, but then she stopped, dead still, as if her feet were anchored in cement. River tugged on her hand. She refused to budge. She counted in seconds. She waited and counted. A thousand and one. A thousand and two. A thousand and three. Waited for it all to go away. Waited to wake and find it a bad dream. Her twin brother she never knew. River. Kappa. Chick. Rooi. Guy. The Avenir. All a bad dream. Even her gifts. Her clairvoyance. Her sensitivity toward the unnatural. Bad, bad dreams.
A sip, or better yet, a thousand sips of whiskey and some Prozac and Fentanyl would make it all go away. What would it matter if she did erase the knowledge of Hell Town—and its occupants—with pain killers and booze? Brodie acted as if she were an inconvenience. And Dovie was grown now, had a husband, and soon, a child of her own. She’d have little time to worry herself about her mom.
Spooky made it to fifty seconds before River’s tugs won, snapping her from one nightmare into the next. Spooky resisted. “I can’t do this. There is no way in hell I can do this.” She turned to Aron. “Why was I picked, anyway. You, are handy with a gun. I can see that. But me. I offer nothing.”
“Why do any of us get picked to do the things we end up doing?” Aron reached for a cigar, again, and then again rejected the idea. “I’ve thought about this lots. What makes a person decide to fight fires or crime, or go to war, or become a health care provider, or a teacher. All risk their lives on a daily basis, whether it’s getting exposed to a deadly disease, or burned up in a fire, or trapped in a classroom with a crazed gunman loose. Or, like me, why was I picked to be some worthless asshole’s hitman? If there is a god, he’s got one hell of a sense of humor.”
River peered up at Spooky with her unsettling, reptilian eyes. “You have us. We can help.”
Kappa jerked about face and challenged her with his stare. “You’ve got only one job to do. You leave the rest up to us and quit being such a big bellyacher. Don’t you think if the Avenir had a choice, he’d have picked someone better than you?”
Spooky swallowed hard. The remark stung, but Kappa made a point. “Did the Avenir look for others before me?”
“Yes, many. Over centuries.”
“What happened to them?”
“Even though they were young and fit, more so than you, they were weak, self-consumed, and even bigger bellyachers. When they wouldn’t cooperate, the Avenir gobbled up their energy and fed it to us so we’d grow stronger.”
Spooky wasn’t sure what “gobbled up” meant, but she decided now would be a good time to stop whining and draw on an inner strength she was confident she stored somewhere—if she could only remember where.
Aron ambled ahead of her, as he passed, the moonlight revealed his grin. “I don’t think you have a thing to smile about,” she said.
“I don’t, except the Avenir told me the same thing if I didn’t cooperate. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one threatened. But…” He laughed. “No one called me a bellyacher.”
“Now, I know why I never missed having a sibling,” Spooky said.
The five trudged across the dry, dirty earth dodging prickly pear and moisture deprived brush. One vicious cactus bit into the soft canvas of Spooky’s sneaker. She didn’t dare yip. Ain’t no bellyacher, she thought, but fuck it hurts.
The farther they walked, Spooky swore if her arm was a foot longer she could reach out and touch the moon. The golden sphere grew. And grew. Until it appeared as if they were actually journeying to it on foot, like it was a giant round structure isolated on flat wastelands. Just before she reached out to see if it were real or an illusion, the wind shrieked, in the bloodcurdling way it does in West Texas, sending gooseflesh up and down Spooky’s arms. A dust devil heard the squeal and obeyed. It encircled the group and obliterated everything in sight.
Aron lowered his cowboy hat and spat. River and Kappa hid behind Spooky. Some help they’ll be, she thought, but hugged them close and bowed her head.
When the dust settled, where the moon had been Chick, her red-eyed father, Guy, and Creeper stood. River and Kappa ran to Guy’s side. The group surveyed Spooky, Aron, and Ransome.
Chick’s father stepped forward. “The Avenir sent you to help battle the Vrag? This must be a joke?”
“Yep, I’m thinking the same thing and laughing my ass off about it,” Spooky said. The moon shone above them like a booming beacon and clearly displayed the physical details of Chick and her dad.
Chick, now in combative attire, resembled a superhero from a video game. Snug silver crop top and matching pants. Wild hair and those reflective eyes of hers. Her body was laced with indigo tattoos. One descriptive word came to Spooky—stunning.
Chick’s father was equally as commanding. Robe of silvery blue. Matching tats. Salt and pepper hair. But red eyes.
“You two are quite the pair. But why are your eyes red and your daughter’s silver?”
“My punishment for not obeying Vrag orders. It spit the acid it secretes in my eyes. The healers on my world were able to restore limited vision but these red eyes are a permanent deformity for me. And a reminder of how unmerciful the Vrag are.”
“At least they didn’t eat you,” Spooky said.
“They might as well have,” the man said.
Chick slid between her father and Spooky. “What my father means is, to the Starlings our eyes are our life. It is the way we control time. Without them, Father had to give up his position as doyen of the imperial LoSS.”
Chick and her father exchanged looks that registered concern for Spooky’s lack of knowledge. “League of Starling Scouts,” Chick said.
“Are these scouts as in soldiers?” Spooky asked, hopeful her army’s numbers might increase substantially.
“No. Scouts as in they travel the worlds, keeping time in accordance with the laws of the dimensional continuums.”
“Big job…but not fighters?”
“There was no need for soldiers until the Vrag. My generation of younger Starlings was raised to battle the Vrag, but sadly, most were eaten or enslaved. I am one of the few remaining trained in the art of combat.” Chick explained.
“You speak so coherently tonight, but the first time we met your speech was rather childlike,” Spooky said.
The father maneuvered Chick aside. “That is because my daughter was in a ceremonial trance, trying to connect with our kind on Key World. You and your prying interfered.”
“I plead ignorance. Had I known then what I know now, believe me I’d—”
“Ignorance! Yes, your entire species is ignorant.”
“If we’re so ignorant, why do you hide here?”
“For that reason, because your kind is ignorant you never ask the important questions.”
Spooky bristled. “I questioned, and look where it got me. In a big fat mess, fighting some fight among worlds I never knew existed.”
She and the father were nose to nose. “You should like that. Humans enjoy warring against each other,” he said.
Wishing she could penetrate those red eyes of his and see into his soul, Spooky claimed her position. “You arrogant, sonofa—I don’t like to fight. Not all of my kind think wars are needed to solve our differences. It’s only those with power who get humans into wars. And they do it to control those of us without power.”
The father growled and stepped back.
Chick placed her hand on Spooky’s shoulder. “Forgive my father. He is bitter because of what has happened to the worlds. Though his eyes are red, he is a true Starling—kind and giving.”
“What do you call your kind and giving father?” Spooky asked.
“You named me Chick. I like that. You give him a name. Our names are written in symbols and awkward to pronounce for your kind. It would be easier for you to have your own name for him.”
Spooky studied the father and in all his bodily glory the only thing she could focus on were his unforgiving red eyes. “Hexer Red. Hex for short.” She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she detected a slight smile on Hex’s lips. Probably her imagination, she figured, as her mind questioned what the one job was she was expected to accomplish against the Vrag.
To continue reading the Hell Town Web Serial, click on the link below.
The WEB SERIAL, or WTH is it?
With the onset of the technology boom, authors are discovering innovative ways to get their works in front of readers. However, though the web serial relies on the internet for distribution, it is not a new idea. It’s much like how writers became known before the days of mass-produced, full-length novels. Earlier writers, such as Mark Twain, released a chapter at a time, on a regular basis, in newspapers or magazines. This is the same concept as the Web Serial. Writers publish their works in bite-sized, one-sitting reads to facilitate the hurried reader. The web helps to make it easily accessible to the writer’s fan base.
Hell Town offers episodes of 1,000 to 2,000 words in length and is considered a tightly cohesive style of web serial. This type intertwines episodes with each other and depends on the reader being familiar with the story. It is meant to be read as one might read a book.
About the Artist
Lara resides in the Texas hill country with her two adorable but exhausting little boys, her husband, and two male dogs. She confesses her life is dominated by male influence.
She graduated from Trinity University in 2009 with her Bachelor’s degree in art and with an art history minor. During her life, she has worn many hats—bartender, barista, massage therapist, newspaper circulation manager, wine shop manager, and the list continues. These life experiences have added a richness and depth to her artwork.
Through it all, she has quietly honed her passions for art. “The starving artist is only a half joke,” she says. “When I had my first son, I surprised myself by finding my niche as a preschool teacher.” A career choice she has embraced for the past five years. “My experience as a bartender—dealing with the drinkers—was a great prerequisite for teaching small children,” she says and giggles.
For several years, Lara put her artwork aside to teach and delve headfirst into the chaotic life of caring for a houseful of boys. “Before children, my artwork had always been calm. Abstracts and nature were relaxing,” she says. “But my older son’s love of monsters and all things grotesque, along with my muse of a husband, have led me to a new path. I now begin a different journey, creating monsters and other worlds for writers. I’m excited to bring to life some of the creepy characters and creatures of Hell Town. Please, let me know what you think by leaving a comment.”
(Note: Lara is a new addition to the Hell Town RV Park Web Serial family. She is a former drama and English student of mine, and is on her way to accomplishing her dream of becoming a freelance artist. The illustrations are the original artwork of Lara and are created specifically for Hell Town.)
We both would love your feedback. And if you are looking for an artist, Lara is available.
The RV Files is fiction. Any characters and events depicted in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, extraterrestrials, demons, werewolves, or ghosts—living or dead—is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright ©: 2017 by Clara Bush
All rights reserved. Published by TURTLE TOP COVE LP.
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