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—In a far corner of Piper’s bedroom, The Shimmer observed. Its heart beat madly as if it were experiencing everything Piper was. It’s colors throbbed in measured indigos and silvers. And went undetected by the lovers.)
Stranger Earths: Leo, Deception or Love (continued)
Making love to Piper this time emulated their first time in every way. Except. It was even more intense and satisfying. And filled Leo with so much sway, he wouldn’t have to eat human flesh for weeks.
Once she dismounted and lie beside him, he moaned to keep his heavy breathing at bay. How could she give him so much, and yet, take so much from him too? For the first time in his life, he felt totally relaxed. At peace.
Yes, at peace with himself. With his existence on Gate World. With everything this world had to offer, especially Piper. What was Piper’s magic all about? Who was she? Really. She was no mere human. He was now confident of that.
Could she be a witch? Had she cast a spell on him? He’d bumped into a few conjurers on Gate World. They’d been drawn to him because he was a Times Three. They sensed his power and were intrigued. With them, however, there was a demeanor of corruption radiating from their psyche. No evil flowed from Piper. At least none he could perceive.
Piper ran her hand over his chest. “So deep in thought, babe. What is it? Did I do something wrong?”
“No. Never, funny face. Just can’t figure out how you do to me what you do. Why you are so magical.”
She laughed. “Magical? No one has ever accused me of that. But I am glad you find me mysterious.”
He rolled over to face her. “So tell me your secrets.”
“I have no secrets. I’m just a girl with no friends, who lives with her mom ’cause her dad didn’t like her enough to hang around.”
“You don’t know anything about your dad?” Leo hesitated. He needed to know more about this man, but what questions could he ask without causing suspicion? “That’s sad. What do you know about him? Maybe I could help you find him.”
“Mom refuses to talk about him. So, I know nothing.”
Keeping a father’s identity hidden was a typical Times Three tactic on Gate World. Leo twisted onto his back. Could Piper be an unidentified Times Three? But that wouldn’t explain the effect she had on him. He didn’t feel the way he felt about Piper with any of the other Times Threes he’d been with.
Could her ancestry be connected to Heka, the Egyptian god of magic? Or even, Werethekau, the great enchantress? The answers to these questions held possibilities for him. He’d research the Egyptian deities on Monday. See what he could find. For now, he wanted nothing more than to be close to Piper.
But…could she indeed be a covert Times Three? The thought lingered as he hugged Piper close. And if so, why had she been kept secret from him?
Stranger Earths: The Portal
Spooky woke the next morning to probing thoughts from her brother.
Sis, you awake? Brodie is gone.
Yes, trying to wake up. Give me a second. I’m so sleepy-headed this morning. I musta drank too much wine last night. Come in, if you want, while I wrestle with my brain and convince her I need to wake up.
Brodie locked the door. No rush. I’ll wait out here. It’s a nice morning.
Spooky rubbed her eyes, stretched, and yawned. If only she could sleep a few more minutes. Five. Just five minutes more.
She thrashed about tangling herself up in the sheets. She opened one eye and peeked at her watch. “Oh fuck. Ten o’clock.” She’d slept another two hours. She unfastened the shade on her porthole window. “Damn. Too bright.” And lowered it again. Did Aron leave?
“No, Sis. I took your advice and let myself in. I made your Earl Grey and crumpet an hour ago. Probably cold now.”
She answered him with a sweet, low snore.
Ransome jumped onto the bed and licked her face. “Sis, you gotta wake up if we’re going to find this girl.”
“How did you get in?”
“Skills, Sis. I have skills. I learned them while in my other profession. The one I don’t like to talk about.”
“Oh, yeah. I guess breaking and entering would be a top priority for a hitman.”
He placed a breakfast tray in front of her with a cup of tea, and an English muffin with lots of butter and one sweep of honey. “I said, I didn’t like to talk about it.”
“Wow, breakfast in bed. Has to be a first time for everything.” She dunked her crumpet into the tea and bit. “Ah, yum. It’s still hot.”
“I reheated it in the microwave the last time you snored.”
“I don’t snore.”
“Yup. You do.”
“All the time,” Shayd added. Aron chuckled.
“What? You two ganging up on me?”
“We’ve been waiting for hours, listening to you snore. Probably, why Brodie leaves so early. To get out of earshot. It’s deafening.” Aron plopped beside her in bed. Her tray wobbled. Her tea splashed.
She frowned at her brother. “No wonder I never asked my parents for a sibling.”
He squeezed her hand. “I love being here beside you. I dreamed of moments like this once I knew you existed. I think we’ll be closer than most brothers and sisters, because we didn’t find each other until later in life. We never experienced any sibling rivalry like most do.”
Having her brother beside her was nice, she had to admit. “Thank you for finding me. And persisting in us meeting. And thanks for my breakfast in bed. It’s my first time to receive such spoiling.”
Aron eyebrows scrunched together. “Ever? Not even your mom brought you breakfast in bed when you were sick.”
“I don’t think my mom considered such acts of service necessary for those she loved. Instead, she was more caught up in what I could do for her. Boy, was she disappointed.” Spooky took half of her crumpet, tore off a piece, gave it to Ransome, and handed the rest to Aron. Ransome gulped his down in a swallow and nestled between the brother and sister.
“Nice reunion, you two. But I think we need to talk about the girl and how to find her,” Shayd said.
“You said she’s in another dimension. How do we get there? Do we use the Rooi? And if so, can it take all of us?” Spooky asked.
“The Rooi can only transport a single individual to other worlds, and currently only to the Avenir World, since all the others have been invaded by the Vrag. And we can’t use The Shimmers for basically the same reason—a Vrag centennial stands guard at the entry points.
Spooky scratched her head. “There are other dimensions and other worlds? Two separate things?”
“Yes, of course,” Shayd said. “The Rooi and The Shimmers can get you to other worlds but not to other dimensions.”
“And this girl, I’m suppose to find and convince to join us, is in another dimension?”
“Yes. Now you are catching on. Her name is Piper Townsen. I did discover that while you snored.”
“Let me say again, I do not snore. Never have I snored. It’s very unbecoming. Now that’s straight, good on you for finding out the girl’s name. But if we can’t use the Rooi or The Shimmers, how do we get to this other dimension?”
Aron sat-up startled. “I almost forgot. The other night in the desert, I smelled someone. Like they were eavesdropping on our conversation. I wasn’t in the wolf so my sense of smell wasn’t as acute. I went back later. Shape-shifted and I could still smell the intruder. Flowery smell. There was an indention in the dirt where the snooper stood. Small feet. Feminine like. Have any idea who could have been spying on us?”
“Nope,” Shayd said. “I mean who would have a reason to unless it was a Times Three or the Vrag, and I’m confident they’re not aware of you, yet. Unless…”
Spooky’s eyes widened. “It was the girl. I don’t how I know, but it was. Could she be dead? You know I only see—or hear—dead people.”
“She’s not dead. But because The Shimmer connected with her, perhaps it transported her to a portal on her Earth, which brought her here. The Shimmer wanted her to see you, so she wouldn’t be startled when you contacted her. But.” Shayd paused. “All of you were there. Chick, Hexer, Creeper, Guy…oh no Guy. What she must have thought! Not good.”
“Why?” Spooky and Aron asked, simultaneously.
“Your motley crew, as you call them, may have frightened her. She’s probably never encountered the likes of your army.”
“No shit. And oh shit. Now she’s scared of us. That’s all we need.” Spooky took a of sip tea and flopped back on her pillow. She felt the throb of an approaching headache as she remembered how freaked out she was the first time she saw Guy. To add to her dilemma, she reviewed the fact Hexer, Chick, Creeper, River, and Kappa had all been present that night too. No telling what the girl thought. “So how do we get to her dimension before she is so scared we’ll never be able to approach her?”
“The Avenir placed portals to other Gate World dimensions on your Earth. This Earth is identified by the Avenir as Gate World Omega. Or Gate World O. There are numerous Earths, as you humans call it. Each of the worlds—Gate, Boon, Mist, Roz, Key, Avenir, and Ternion—had a Shimmer to travel to other worlds. And portals to travel within their world’s dimensions. The problem will be locating a portal.”
“How is that a problem? Don’t you know where they are?” Spooky asked.
“No. The portals were top secret and only the ancients were given the locations. This was to prevent the misuse of the portals by greedy individuals. Even in their vast wisdom and foresight, the ancients never predicted an invasion of one world by another, as the Vrag have done.”
“So it’s hopeless?” Spooky frowned.
“I didn’t say that. Avenir ambassadors—those of us who travel to other worlds to oversee progress—were given certain clues as to how to locate a portal, should the need arise. I was supposed to have already detected all the portals here. But I became too intrigued with you to do my job. If the Avenir Counsel could have fired me, they would have.”
Spooky wasn’t sure what to think of Shayd’s confession. On one hand she wanted to scold him for not doing his job. A job that could have saved them time and energy. On the other hand, she was flattered. “Give us the clues.”
“A portal can be found where the moon meets the sun.”
“So…” Spooky thought for a moment. “At twilight—when there is a waxing moon in the east and a setting sun in the west, they meet.”
“Yes, that makes sense,” Shayd said.
Spooky reached up and grabbed a pencil and pad from the overhead bin. “Next clue.”
“Portals on Gate World O, occur in or around objects found in nature. A body of water. Rock outcroppings. Mountains. Cliffs. Arroyos. Trees. Anywhere there is an abundance of nature, a portal is likely to be found. Or near a location where there is an unexplainable phenomenon occurring. Like the lights of Marfa. Or the Taos hum.”
“I’ve seen the lights of Marfa and heard the Taos hum,” Aron said. “But I thought the lights could be explained by car headlight reflections. And the hum is machinery of some sort, right?”
“That’s what closed-minded individuals want you to think, but, of course, these phenomena could also be entryways to portals to other dimensions.”
Spooky’s headache throbbed. “You mean you don’t know?”
“What in the hell do I tell Brodie and Dovie? Oh, I’ve gotta go to Marfa and/or Taos to find a portal to another dimension. I’m sure that’s going to fly. Consequently, Brodie will be rushing my ass off to the nearest psychologist or nut house before you can blink.”
“You sure? I mean, being an Avenir, I blink pretty fast.”
Spooky didn’t laugh or even smile. She hated it when her invisible lover teased her. “So what do you suggest I tell Brodie and Dovie? You’ve been around them as long as I have. You know the obstacles I face when it comes to them.”
“Don’t tell them anything right now. I hope to find a portal close to Hell Town.”
“Really, you think maybe—”
“Yes, I think so. When we were in the desert the other night with your army, there was definitely a moon. A Starling induced moon, but a moon all the same.”
“That’s all you’ve got? Everywhere in the world there’s a moon—so problem not solved.”
“Yes, but there was an energy too. So much was going on, neither you nor Aron could have detected it. But it was there. I plan on going back and investigating. The desert just out our back door is what the Avenir call a rain shadow desert. Meaning there are large mountain ranges bordering the desert which prevent moisture from the oceans reaching it, thus creating an arid region. Small mountain ranges also snake through the desert and form valleys. And, if my knowledge of Gate World Omega is correct, there are river valleys where a riparian landscape may exist. Add all this up, and I’m thinking it equals a portal.”
Aron shifted into a cross-legged position. “This desert stretches for miles, all the way into Mexico. The Marfa Lights or Taos Hum might be easier to get to.”
“Good point. So glad you joined the conversation.” Shayd blew a breath Aron’s way and caused the wisps of hair on his forehead to fluff up. “But for some reason—I don’t know how to explain at this point—I believe a portal is near. Let me investigate tonight before you say anything to Brodie and Dovie. We’ll meet in the morning and discuss my findings. I’ll take Chetan with me. Singer will stay here with you, in case you need spiritual guidance and comfort tonight.”
“I’m here,” Singer hummed.
“I’ll go with Shayd,” Chetan whispered. “I sensed an energy source as well, but not exactly the spot where the conversation took place. It was near a rock arch I found. I can lead you there.”
Spooky experienced a void as Shayd and Chetan departed. She did whenever her haunts left. It was a bit draining and sad. “I hope he’s right. And there’s a portal we can access close.”
Aron wrapped his arm around Spooky’s shoulder. “Me too. Let’s keep the faith, but meantime, let’s come up with something to tell Brodie and Dovie, in case we do have to leave for more than a night.”
“I need another cup of tea and a crumpet. Want some?”
“How bout I treat you to a frozen margarita and chili rellenos at that Mexican Restaurant in town where we first met?”
“What about two frozen margaritas with tons of salt around the rim?”
“Hey, now you are getting a little extreme aren’t you, Sis? I mean, salt, really?”
“Yes. Lots.” Spooky giggled. A date with her good-looking brother who didn’t judge or criticize her, now that was something she could be happy about. Her headache eased. Wait. Was it okay she thought her brother was good-looking?
“I think it’s okay, Sis.” Aron smiled.
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 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 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.