Hell Town RV Park
For Those Who Believe in Other Worlds
by Clara Bush
Artwork by Lara Clayton
(for Episode 1 click here)
(Rated Mature for Adult content)
(Last Time on Hell Town: The tugging back and forth. Spooky’s body torn one way then another, forced her to cry out in painful moans. She thought every bone in her body would shatter just like all of her dreams of an uncomplicated life. “Ow, it hurts,” she whimpered, too weak to scream anymore. “Please, please. No more. Shayd? Aron? Help me. Hel—”
Surrounding her, giggles. Giggles louder than the thunder. The cold pierced. The earth rumbled. One final clap and as suddenly as it came, the nothingness dissolved. Spooky lay stretched out flat on her stomach, in the dirt, as before, but no Aron on top.
She rolled onto her back and came face to face with a girl whose eyes were the color of Chick’s. The girl stood over Spooky. She giggled. The same giggle Spooky had heard in the nothingness. “Are you real?” Spooky asked.)
Stranger Earths: Leo
Leo arrived at nine thirty that night and spied on Piper as she prepared for him. She’d showered and upon entering her room, allowed her towel to fall to the floor as she viewed herself in the full-length, Cheval mirror. She ran her fingers across her right nipple, around her flat stomach, and down to the patch of dark curls between her legs, teasing what waited there for him.
“Hmmm, Leo, hurry,” she whispered breathlessly. She took a bottle of perfume from her dresser and darted fingertips of the fragrance over her body, adding extra scent to those areas he’d pay close attention to. She was working her magic on him and she didn’t even realize it.
He almost came barreling through the window at that moment. But he calmed himself. He’d be early and give the impression he was as anxious as she. He needed to have the advantage tonight. Restraint was what he must practice now. And shrewdness.
He felt for the knife in his leather jacket pocket and patted it. He didn’t want to have to use it. And if Piper was forthcoming with him about The Shimmer, maybe he wouldn’t have to. Perhaps, he could gain control of the entity just by touching it. His dad lied. Could he have lied about having to kill Piper to gain control? Such a lie would guarantee Leo’s liberation from human influence.
Stranger Earths: Piper
Piper pulled a pair of skimpy red boy shorts from her Chester drawers and sorted through a pile of neatly folded tee-shirts to find just the right one. She settled on a tight black tummy top that sported a red rhino and logo which read: Endangered! Protect the Chubby Unicorn. She shimmed into her shorts and tee, and consulted her mirror for approval. She viewed herself from all sides and said, “Not bad. Won’t stay on for long anyway. It’ll do.” And slapped herself on the ass.
She sat on the edge of her bed and picked at her fingernails. If she had time, she’d file and polish them. She checked her owl clock on the wall. He’ll be here in a minute. No time. She looked up at the corner where her Shimmer hid, out of sight except for her. “Don’t forget, tonight you take me back to see those angels. Or demons. Whatever they were,” she murmured. “But be sure to wait until Leo leaves.” A tiny, blue light flickered then dissipated the instant Leo rapped on her window.
Stranger Earths: Piper and Leo, Their Thoughts
Piper was right. Her carefully selected attire lay in a pile on the floor along with Leo’s. She was in his arms. All her desires fulfilled. She snuggled in close and delighted in his scent and hers entwined. “Mmmm. We smell good together.”
“Yes we do,” Leo said, her magic working on him. He no longer even toyed with the thought of killing her. The horrid act was inconceivable to him at this moment. He’d have to find another way. “Before I knocked on the window, I thought I saw you talking to someone. Was that your mom?”
She rolled away from him. Should she tell him? “No…I…” She hesitated. “I was just talking to myself. How I should’ve done my nails for you. But there wasn’t enough time.”
“Really? I thought I heard you say something about going somewhere.” He pulled her back into his arms. “You know, babe, as close as you and I have become, you can tell me anything. Anything. Are you going away? I’d sure hate that. I’d miss you too much.” He hugged her tightly.
She needed him to leave soon. “Yes, mom wants to take me shopping first thing in the morning. Early. Got some bee up her bum to get me some new clothes.”
“I thought I heard something about tonight. And angels.” Leo probed.
“Were you listening? What else did you hear? Or see? That’s private stuff. Were you snooping on me?” She sat up and punched him.
“Ouch. No. No it wasn’t anything like that at all. I’d just come to the window and was checking to make sure your mom wasn’t in your room. No snooping. Never.” He attempted to embrace her again.
She resisted, stood, and gathered his clothes off the floor. “As I said, I have an early day planned with Mom tomorrow. You better go. I don’t want to risk being too tired and her asking all kinds of questions.”
He stood in front of her and eased his arms around her waist. “Come on Piper. Don’t do this. I wasn’t prying. Promise. You know me.”
When in Leo’s arms, she felt whole. But she was a private person and would not tolerate a breach of trust. Nevertheless, this was Leo. She placed her right hand along his strong jaw line and guided him to her mouth. She kissed him, softly at it first, but then the kiss grew in intensity. His body responded. He wanted her. Again. And this control she had over him was intoxicating. She pressed into his lips and opened her mouth. His clothes fell from her hand. Thud. “What was that?” Leo’s knife lay at her feet. She picked it up. Her brows, furrowed and questioning.
“I always carry a knife,” Leo said and took it from her. He flicked it open. The shiny, sharp blade flashed in the dim light of the desk lamp.
Piper gasped, and for the first time in Leo’s presence she felt threatened. “Why?”
He snapped the knife shut, shoved it into his jacket, and reached for his boxers and jeans. “It’s just for my protection. And yours, of course.”
She turned away from him. “I hate weapons. And violence. There’s no need for it. Especially, here. With me. Tonight.”
“Look, Piper, I knew I’d be leaving you late and didn’t want to be out, by myself, with no protection. You can understand, can’t you?”
She nodded, but wasn’t sure she understood. “But it’s so big. And looks dangerously sharp—”
“So a tiny, dull knife would be ok?”
“Yeah, like the Swiss Army you had at the campfire the other night.”
“Lot of good a Swiss Army would do me against a serial killer. I guess I could jab him in the eye with the build-in toothpick. Come on Piper,” he coaxed. “Give it up. It’s nothing. Heck I know guys my age who tote guns around with them at night when they are out on a date so they can protect themselves and the person they’re with.” Leo sat on the bed and patted a spot beside him. “It’s only because I love you and want to keep you safe. And myself. I’m having too much fun with you to let what we have be harmed by some psycho out there.”
His jeans were still undone and his chest, bare. She stared at his lean torso with its sculpted six pack. So sexy, she thought, and settled in beside him, “I guess, you’re right. I shouldn’t have gotten so bent out of shape.” She traced the deep grooves in his abs with her fingertips.
He kissed the top of her head. “That’s my girl.”
Silence wrapped its scratchy tentacles around the couple, instilling a sense of dread. Mistrust. Even fear. Piper feared Leo was being dishonest. Leo knew Piper was, but feared losing her. Or worse, having to kill her. They were in each other’s arms. That’s all either wanted.
Why is it when gut feeling lurks within—grinding its way through the chest, then the stomach, and finally deep within the bowels—humans dismiss it as an instinct to disregard? Cave men survived on the raw persuasiveness of gut feeling. Some occupations—such as policemen and doctors—depend on it. Yet, the average person often chalks it up to being nothing.
The discomfort of the silence and the urge of the gut to proceed with caution, left the couple confused.
Do I stay or do I go? Leo wondered.
Do I tell him about my Shimmer? Piper questioned and answered, there is no way I can tell him. Shimmer wants me to keep it a secret. I must. Even from Leo.
Leo reasoned, I don’t think she will tell me about her Shimmer tonight, and if I go now, I can follow her. I can tell her I was worried about her. This may give me the best possible way to come in contact with The Shimmer without killing Piper. All I have to do is get my hand into it so it can code in my Times Three DNA. Once I achieve that, I can return the Times Three Shimmer to its rightful home. And then I will rule all Earths. Maybe, with Piper by my side.
After Leo dressed, kissed her, and crawled out the window, Piper released a heavy sigh as if expelling every pent up tension she’d ever buried. She never thought there would be a time she’d feel relief when Leo left. However, tonight she did. She’d managed to keep her Shimmer a secret from him. But she wasn’t sure how much longer she could.
As if reading her thoughts, The Shimmer nestled around her, offering comfort and appreciation in its own mystical way. She pulled it into her arms like it was her favorite stuffed animal. “Did I do okay, Shimmer? It was hard keeping you a secret from Leo.”
“Mur, mur,” Shimmer responded.
“Is it time for us to go?”
Stranger Earths: Leo Follows
Piper dressed, returning to her Rhino tee-shirt, but opting for an army-green pair of cargo pants. When she left her bedroom for a minute to freshen up in the bathroom, Leo quietly slipped back through the window. He approached The Shimmer with his hands outstretched, but it darted into its corner and disappeared. “Shit.”
He heard Piper’s approaching steps and dashed into her closet, hiding toward the back. Through the louvers he watched. Piper lay on her bed. “Come,” she said. The Shimmer engulfed her. And as soon as he was sure she was completely immersed, he jumped into the midst of entity and girl.
Leo was only seconds behind Piper, but could not, as hard as he tried, detect her presence. The Shimmer vomited him out onto a ledge overlooking an arid valley. Rock outcroppings, above, right, and left formed a natural arch. He touched the curved structure, then plunged his hand into the opening, but quickly withdrew it when a tingly feeling caused the hair on his arm to prickle, sending an electrical shock through his body. “Holy shit, what is it?”
He eyed the half-moon over his left shoulder and then the full moon through the aperture. This was not Central Texas, but where was it? Two moons. An archway. The Shimmer had transported him—and Piper—to a portal to another dimension. Had it done this before with Piper? If not, was she frightened?
During his Times Three education, Leo had been taught about the other dimensions of Earth. Never had he encountered one though. Locations of the portals were to be conveyed to him when he became ruler. So this was one. How enlightening, he mused, and prided himself on being a step ahead of other Earthbound Times Threes.
But where was Piper? Did she go through the opening? Should he? Faint, but detectable, a giggle echoed from within the arch. Piper is in there, he thought, and leaped.
To catch-up on the Hell Town Web Serial, click on the links below.
- episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, episode 6, episode 7, episode 8, episode 9, episode 10, episode 11,
- episode 12, episode 13, episode 14, episode 15, episode 16, episode 17, episode 18, episode 19, episode 20, episode 21, episode 22, episode 23, episode 24,
- episode 25, episode 26, episode 27, episode 28
- we will return after the holidays
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.