Hell Town RV Park
For Those Who Believe in Other Worlds
by Clara Bush
Artwork by Lara Clayton
(To start at the beginning with Episode 1 click here.)
(Rated Mature for Adult content)
Chapter 2: On Gate World
(Last time on Hell Town: “You gotta give us something, Piper,” Gaze said. “Try this. What’s the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?”
Piper looked in through the not-pearly gates of the cemetery, past the crooked sign, and into the heart of the grave sites. In the moonlight, she saw crosses lying sideways, angels with broken wings, and those fresh mounds with no tombstones. Why is there a moon tonight? There’s not supposed to be.
But there it was. And that same not-supposed-to-be moon—unbeknownst to Piper—lighted a path through the desert for Spooky and her army.)
Hell Town: The Stolen
Spooky scanned her motley crew of warriors. Then eyed the moon, which seemed unnaturally within her grasp. She looked again at the warriors. And then back to the moon. She studied the unscheduled celestial sphere and decided it was by the far one of the most bizarre things in her most bizarre life.
She wondered how the Starlings managed to manipulate time the way they did without humans becoming suspicious. Of course, she figured, if you’re the Time Keepers anything was possible. She’d found that out during her brief stay at Hell Town.
The tangerine color of the moon, and the wispy clouds floating across its face, gave it a hallucinatory quality as if it were screaming, where the hell am I and how did I get here? She could relate. She’d done a few joints in her life. But only when she needed to talk to a dead person for one her clients.
Pot eased her into communing with the dead, leaving her relaxed but functioning, unlike other drugs she’d tried. As the cannabis experts say, “Marijuana affects everyone differently.” She’d ask Aron about that one day. Several times after a successful connection with a dearly departed, she’d come out of it wondering where she was. She could never decide if it was the pot or the dead that caused her to be disorientated for a couple of hours.
She suddenly felt sorry for the moon. She’d no longer think of it as free and untouched. But as something manipulated like the Avenirs were doing with her. Her thoughts of the moon abruptly erupted into visions of a different place. A different group of people. Teen-agers?
Aron cleared his throat “Spooky,” he whispered. “You still with us? Where’d you go?”
How long had she been staring at the moon trying to sort it all out? She didn’t know. She’d gone somewhere. To a campfire. Near a cemetery. Babyhead. A bunch of kids. But with the same tangerine moon. Whoa, she needed a drink or ten. Bad. A little whiskey and water, with a chunk or two of ice, would be nice about now. She ran her tongue over her bottom lip and bit into it.
“Spooky?” Aron asked.
She turned to her brother. “I’m waiting on Kappa to answer my question.”
Kappa pulled his ear. “What question?”
She was sure she’d asked. She looked from Kappa to River to Hexer, to Chick, to Creeper, to Guy and back to Kappa. “You said I have only one job to do. What is it?”
Now, Kappa appeared lost. “You never asked me that.”
“I’m sure I asked.” Spooky insisted.
“Time is out of balance,” Hexer said from the back of the group. “Since the Vrag invasion, the Time Keepers have had to direct time differently to keep a step ahead of the Vrag and cause them confusion. You probably remember asking, but I sensed a slight shift in time. My eyes picked up a blip. The question may have been lost during the alteration. Like when there is a brief power surge here on Gate World, the clocks stop. What happened to that time? It was never accounted for. Lost. Like your question.”
“Well, not exactly lost, but I get your drift. My lost question was, what’s my one job?” Spooked looked at Kappa.
Kappa glanced up at Guy.“You tell her.”
Guy hissed. “Your one job is to find a girl.”
“You mean I wasn’t chosen for my psychic abilities?” Spooky asked.
“No.” Guy hissed again. “You were chosen because you are a woman. A mother. Not very motherly sometimes—”
“Hey!” Spooky huffed.
“—A mother all the same. And you may be able to convince a young girl to help us instead of the group she has infiltrated.”
“Infiltrated. Is she a spy?”
Hexer stepped forward. “She would be if she knew who she really was. She thinks she is human.”
Guy asked, “Did you get the vision I sent you?”
“Campfire. Kids. Cemetery. That one?” Spooky said.
“Whew, good to know where it came from. I thought I was hallucinating or the kids were all dead. You know I see dead people not visions?”
Aron moved beside her. “I had the same vision.”
“I didn’t send it to you,” Guy said.
Aron scratched along his jawline causing his scruffy beard to release a sandpapery sound. “I guess my ability kicked in and picked up what you were seeing, Spooky. So tell us about this girl. And how do we find her?”
Chick planted her hand firmly on Spooky’s shoulder. “We don’t know how to find her. That’s why you and your brother are here. You’re our only chance of locating her.”
Spooky felt the abrasive nature and strength of Chick’s hand through her t-shirt. The hand of a warrior, she decided. “What does she have you want?”
“She has what we stole. And what these beings she’s with, want,” Hexer said.
“And that would be?”
“The Time Threes’ Shimmer. It’s from the Ternion World,” Hexer said.
“Shit. There’s a whole other world?” Spooky said. It was more of a statement than a question. One she really didn’t want an answer to. She was already wading ass deep in more worlds than she could fathom. “Don’t River and Kappa have our Shimmer here in Hell Town to protect it?”
Guy situated his fingers on Spooky’s temple and cheek, in what reminded her of a Vulcan mind meld. “Yes, River and Kappa have been able to keep Gate World’s Shimmer hidden and protected, but watch.” The visions came in flashes so fast, Spooky felt herself spinning. The tangerine moon became a blur of orange. She grabbed Aron’s arm.
FLASH. Tropical World. Animals similar to those on Earth but more primitive. Beings like humans. The Vrag walk freely on this world. Not eating the inhabitants or destroying as they had done on Roz World. “These people are friends with the Vrag,” Spooky gasped. “Why?”
FLASH. Chick and Kappa running toward The Shimmer. The Vrag close behind. Chick holds tightly to the Rooi. They leap into The Shimmer the second it vanishes.
Spooky woke to find herself, on her back, lying in the dirt, still holding Aron’s arm. He was beside her on the ground. Chick, Hexer, Guy, River, and Kappa peered down at them.
“What does it mean?” Spooky asked. “Who are they and why are they helping the Vrag?”
River knelt, laid Spooky’s head in her lap, and brushed her fingers back and forth across Spooky’s forehead. Her touch was icy but soothing. “They’re the Time Threes. Or Timerees. The Vrag promised to spare their world if they helped them locate The Shimmer we stole,” River said in a quiet, child’s voice.
“Stole a shimmer? What? How is that possible?”
Chick helped Spooky to her feet. “Kappa, Creeper, and I used the Gate World Shimmer to travel to the Ternion World and steal their Shimmer.”
River caressed Spooky’s hand in a circular pattern. Round and around, calming Spooky’s addled brain. “I thought you sealed the gate—The Shimmer—leading to the Vrags,” Spooky said. “At least that’s what I thought I saw when I was on the Avenir World.”
With her arm around Spooky’s waist to support her wavering comrade, Chick explained. “We did seal Bent World’s Shimmer, but not the Ternion World’s gate. We thought they would be like us and resist the Vrag invasion. But the Vrag promised the Time Threes sanctuary if they cooperated. They were also promised control of your world. The Time Threes allow the Vrag to live among them. Together, they’re always plotting and planning a way to conquer our worlds. We had to steal their Shimmer to protect all of us.”
“But…” Spooky searched for the right question to ask. She was confused. Round and around, River continued her comforting gesture. “If you stole the Time Threes’ Shimmer. How are they here on our world?”
Hexer snickered. “You Gate Worlders are so stupid. No wonder you haven’t figured out how to travel between worlds. The Timerees have been invading your world for centuries. They impregnate human women so they can grow their offspring here on Earth and eventually take over. They eat human flesh as a source of revitalization—sway as Timerees call it. They are virtually ageless.”
“It doesn’t surprise me Earth’s been invaded by other beings,” Spooky chuckled, “considering our current group of politicians. It’s been a theory of mine for years. But, holy shit. You’re fucking with me. We have a bunch of otherworldly aliens running around screwing with us? Now, that’s fucked up. How did you manage to steal the Timyees’—”
“Timerees.” Hexer corrected harshly.
Chick nudged her father to the back. “Creeper absorbed the Time Three’s Shimmer. The same way he did you when he transported you into the Avenir World. We didn’t know if it would work. The Rooi had never attempted to absorb something as powerful as a Shimmer. But it was our only option. And we had to do something.”
Spooky pressed her temples between her fingers and let them trail across her aching eyes. It deferred her oncoming headache, a bit, as well as River’s continued touch. “Did Creeper absorbing The Shimmer work?”
“Almost. When we landed back on Gate World, The Shimmer grew stronger. The presence of two Shimmers in close proximity creates a DEF. Dynamic energy field. Creeper couldn’t hold it in without dying. It exploded into your world and escaped before we could harness it.”
Spooky reached for Aron. She needed someone else to hear what she was hearing. He still lay on the ground, groggy headed. She shook him. “Come on, bud. I need you.”
Ransome licked Aron’s face with his big slobbery tongue. His tail wagged hard enough to beat a drum. “Ransome, quit! I’m listening. I really am. But my head is still spinning.” Ransome tugged Aron into a sitting position.
“Why would the Shimmer want to escape when you were trying to rescue it?” Spooky asked.
“We are unsure,” Hexer said. “It doesn’t think like us. Its essence is pure energy. With no beginning and no end. Maybe, in order to preserve the integrity of your world, it needed to get away from The Shimmer we hid here in Hell Town.”
Guy fixed his gaze on Spooky. “Understand, this is all new to us too. Even though we, of the other worlds, have known about The Shimmers for much longer than you Earthlings, there is still plenty we need to learn. Hiss. We are finding our way in the dark, so to speak, trying to figure out the best way to save our worlds, and yours, so balance can be restored. This is important if life, as we know it, is to continue. I come from a world where balance is the key for all who live. Something your kind has yet to learn.”
“We are hoping to give Earthlings the opportunity to learn about balance. If our mission is successful, that is,” Chick said. “During my time here on your Gate World, I’ve found humans to be beautiful beings but often self-destructive and ignorant of all their surroundings.”
Spooky pinched herself. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I’m not dreaming. Up until the age of forty-five, she’d never used the taboo expression, “fuck.” She thought it a crude form of profanity. But at this moment, it seemed the most appropriate word in the English language.
Transworld travelers. Shimmers. Vrags. Mind control. Time Threes. As weird as Spooky had been all her life, this was far weirder. Beyond comprehension. The stuff books and movies are made from. Not the real world. Had she finally capsized and was now drowning in her own insanity? Only a crazy person talks to ghosts.
Aron squeezed her arm. “Sis, you’re not crazy. Don’t forget I’m seeing everything you’re seeing. Hearing everything you’re hearing.”
Spooky shook her head in an attempt to break free from the webs now spinning uncontrollably about in her brain. “Why the hell are the Times people growing a crop of their kids here?”
Hexer huffed. “As we said, to take control of your world with their kind.”
“Why impregnate our women?”
Guy explained. “Time Threes’ women can no longer bear offspring. Evolution had a hand in this. We guess. Due to the overpopulation of their world, there was no balance. You need balance in a world in order to keep evolution from stepping in.”
Aron raised his hand. “If I may?” Heads nodded. “If the gate—Shimmer, whatever—is sealed to the Vrag world, how are they still a threat?”
Kappa, who had been quietly chunking sticks at a burly cactus, raised his hand and looked at Aron. “Is that what you do when you want to say something?”
Aron chuckled. “Guess you’ve never been to school, huh?”
Kappa shook his head. “But I know the answer to your question.” Everyone nodded. “There are plenty of other Vrag invaders on our worlds to continue their crusade for dominance over all worlds. They need only a viable Shimmer and they can unleash entire Vrag and Timeree populations on the Universe. The Vrag get their commands from a mainframe on Bent World. The mainframe controls them. Chick, Creeper, and me were lucky. We made it just in time to steal the Timerees’ Shimmer before the Vrag were able to access it. Just in-the-nick of time as you Gate Worlders say.”
“Why do you need this girl?” Spooky asked.
“From our intel, she can access the runaway Shimmer here on Earth. So far, she is the only one with whom the Shimmer has made contact. It keeps bouncing from place to place and then returning to the girl. The Time Threes are aware of this and one of their leaders is in dangerously close contact with her,” Guy said.
“How do you expect me to find this one girl, when all of you, with your abilities, can’t?”
Chick said, “We are bound to Hell Town and its immediate area. We can not leave here. It’s an interdimensional jail for those like us who are fighting the Vrag. When the Vrag uncovered a member of the resistance, we escaped into our world’s Shimmer and ended up here. We can’t leave unless we go back through The Shimmer. But after I rescued my father and we retreated to Gate World, the Vrag stationed a sentinel at each Shimmer to keep us from returning. I think you saw him when you looked into The Shimmer Kappa and River hide.”
Spooky nodded. “That’s what that was. Creepy for sure. But why don’t the Vrag follow?”
“The Vrag can’t follow us, because Dad and the League of Starling Scouts recoded the Shimmers to accept only those of us with certain DNA—not the Vrags or Time Threes. The Vrag came quickly. And with much rage. The League didn’t have time to recode the Time Three’s Shimmer. Which, considering their current allegiance to the Vrag, was probably for the best. They felt abandoned. That’s one reason they sided with the Vrag.”
“Survival of the fittest. Evolution. As I say, balance is necessary. Or else…” Guy’s words trailed off, ending in a volley of hisses.
“But how do you get food, clothing, stuff like that, if you can’t leave Hell Town?”
“The Avenirs send us supplies every couple of weeks,” Chick said.
“Why don’t the Avenir do more since they seem to be almighty?”
Hexer bowed his head and created a rather humbling profile. “Like all of us, they have their limitations.”
“They are from the future,” he said. “They can do little to interfere, even though they are fully aware of what our failure means.”
The moon slipped from the sky like vanilla ice cream on hot blackberry cobbler. Suddenly. Silently. And took with it all available light. A blackness crawled over the ocean of sand, sage, and cacti—thick and heavy—like the gods had spilled a huge bottle of ink. Maybe, the Avenir had, thought Spooky. Maybe, all the blips in the world, when the clocks stop or electricity goes out, are the results of the Starlings directing time to confuse the Vrag. Maybe. She’d ask Chick one day. After all this was over. For now, only Hexer’s red eyes were visible in the pitch black. Ransome whined and released a fretful sigh as if to say, this is not good.
Spooky wasn’t sure how she’d find her way home without the moon. And the silence registering among the warriors caused her insides to shiver. The shrill onomatopoeic song of a whip-poor-will unexpectedly shattered the prevailing pause in conversation and reminded Spooky of the folklore associated with the bird. Some believe the whip-poor-will snatches the souls of the living upon death. Is it my soul the bird stalks? Does he know something I don’t?
To continue to follow 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 3,000 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.
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 Lara’s original artwork 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.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.
For information regarding permission, write to:
TURTLE TOP COVE LP.
P.O. Box 158
South Fork, Colorado 81154
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