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)
( Last time on Hell Town: Spooky squeezed Leo’s hand. “If you truly love Piper, you will join us and help us to defeat the Vrag. And if you still value power over everything else, ask yourself how it will feel to rule a world where nothing living survives, knowing your time to be eaten could come at any moment the Vrag get hungry. How will it feel to watch Piper being feasted upon? I’m sure the Vrag will see to it you have a ringside seat.”)
Stranger Earths: On Gate World Alpha
“Quit scaring the children. Stop your witchery, necromancers,” ordered an unfamiliar voice.
Aron and Spooky pulled their guns. “Who the hell are you?” Aron asked.
As visions of the destroyed worlds vanished, a horrifying vista opened up before Spooky. The phrase men in black, flittered through her thoughts as she scanned three commanding dark figures dressed in black ties, shirts, shoes, and suits, designer in quality. The one in charge was handsome but in a chilling sort of way—like he may have tortured puppies when he was a teenager. Something deviant about his snarl. Like it was a smile but a fake one. Like an I-gotcha smile.
Leo flinched and let go of Piper’s hand and his stupor. “Dad?”
“Yes, son, I’m here to save you from the spells of these witches.”
Hexer swiftly flicked his wrist and a dagger went flying, barely missing Leo’s dad’s head but grazing his ear. Blood dripped into the black fabric of the tailored suit. The man swatted at the blood like it was a worrisome gnat.
“So the infamous Tervon Trubel,” Hexer said. “Such a warm welcome you offer visitors to Gate World Alpha. I expected more from you. And calling us witches. Really? It that your attempt of perverting the youth of this world?”
“Your trespassing, Commander. This is not your world,” Trubel said.
Hexer brandished another dagger he retrieved from his cape. “Doyen to you. You amuse me using the word commander. Such a Gate World thing. You have been too long from your tribe. Too long on this world that is not yours—either. Perhaps that is why you call us witches. You forgot the ways of the worlds and have been infected by the Vrag.”
Spooky now understood why Hexer held such an exalted position in the League of Starling Scouts. He was composed and imposing. And damn, for a blind guy, he sure could throw a knife. Must be that theory she’d heard, when an individual loses one sense, the brain rewires to enhance another. Except these daggers appeared to have an energy all their own. Magical in their sudden appearance and unfaltering in their trajectory. She wondered how many additional weapons he possessed hidden within the flouncy cape of his.
She stepped forward, getting as much in Trubel’s face as she felt comfortable. “Though I do like witches better than bitches, I don’t care for your attitude. And I sure the hell don’t like your comrades in arms. The Vrag. Why would you want to poison your son’s mind, risk his life, and everyone else’s? What’s your objective? To cause the destruction of every living thing.”
She mockingly laughed, throwing her head back to emphasize her loathing. “You don’t seriously believe the Vrag will allow your world, or any fragment of the Times Threes, to live. Ha, you idiot. They can’t afford to.”
She moved in even closer to Trubel, almost nose to nose. She could smell his sour, wine-coated breath and ordered herself not to gag. His associates drew their guns. And their guns were bigger. She held her puny .357 up against the closest guy’s firearm. It looked like a M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle “You must tote that to compensate for a small…” She looked quickly at his crotch and smirked. “You know what I mean?”
The guy remained unwavering. Like one of those guards at Buckingham Palace. Trubel placed his hand on his associate’s gun and lowered it. “Don’t waste your bullets. The Vrag will take care of her and her loved ones soon enough.”
From the corner of her eye, Spooky caught a glimpse of a Shimmer. Must be Piper’s, she figured. It hovered in back of the men in black, just out of sight from Piper.
Spooky wanted to swoosh it away but was afraid of drawing attention to it. Besides, she might need its help. Might be their one ace in the hole.
She backed away and angled toward Leo and Piper. “Now’s the time to pick a side, kids. Time to either do the right thing for yourselves and all living things…no, let’s say for love. Or go all outlaw on us and doom everything to hell. Are you good guys or bad guys? That’s the only decision you need make today.”
“Leo, come. Enough of this nonsense.” Trubel grabbed Spooky by the neck of her t-shirt. “Be glad I’m letting you and your cronies live. For now. My advice to you…,” he inspected Spooky’s crew, “to all of you. Go back where you came from and enjoy the last few days you have remaining. It won’t be long, now.” He shoved Spooky hard into the approaching Aron. Both tumbled backwards but immediately regained their footing.
“Now! What do you mean by now?” Spooky asked.
Piper released a sound like air going out of a tire. Like a bunch of pent up emotions set free. “Leo, this is your father? I thought it was just you and your mom. No wonder you don’t acknowledge him. He’s a monster.”
Trubel was on Piper and in her face as quickly as a darting nighthawk after its prey. “You, girl, are not worthy of my son. And I will crush you like a spider if you try to influence him to resist me.”
Chick bolted forward. “You try to harm my daughter in anyway, and, I promise you, it will be the very last thing you ever do.” Hexer and Guy drew closer to her side in support. Hexer with numerous daggers in each hand. Guy’s venomous tongue wagging.
Trubel turned from Piper and studied Chick. “So you’re the one. The Starling who stole our Shimmer. The one our chief technology engineer fell in love with and helped to escape. And now I understand the attraction my son has for this…” He waved at Piper with disdain. “She is part Starling and part Times Three, an addictive temptation for any young Timeree.”
He turned to Leo. “But Son, this girl will never work if you hope to rule the Gate Worlds. You must choose a worthy mate to stand by your side. A purebred Times Three. Purebred Times Three females are almost extinct, but I have reserved one of the few remaining just for you. For years, she’s been groomed to rule by your side. She is an exquisite Times Three. You will be quite pleased, I’m sure.”
Leo glanced at Piper and then his dad. His distorted facial features registered inner conflict. Conflict so agonizing, Spooky believed it mangled every emotion Leo had previously trusted.
Observing his son’s tortured look, Trubel clamped onto Leo’s arm, pinching into his bicep. Leo flinched. “Come, Son, it’s time to go.” He nodded at his men. “I’ve changed my mind and decided not to be so generous. Kill the lot of them, quickly. Be hasty, we have matters to arrange.” Trubel tugged on Leo. “Now, boy. I can’t afford to waste anymore time on this nonsense.”
Leo followed for a few steps. Then turned and looked at Piper. Her eyes were rimmed in red and tears dappled her lovely face. “Piper, I…I’m sorry.” He followed his dad.
Trubel’s two associates raised their rifles, lodged them into their shoulders, and aimed. Ransome bristled and growled. Aron held tightly to the dog’s collar.
“Piper, behind you,” screamed Spooky.
“Shimmer. Shimmer,” Piper called. But her Shimmer did not respond.
Trubel pivoted back toward the group. “Silly girl, you left your Shimmer behind, giving me the opportunity to code in my Times Three DNA. It belongs to me now.” He sneered, then ordered, “Go to the car and wait, Leo. I’ll stay to make sure the job gets done right.”
“Wait,” Leo shouted. “There is no need to kill them. Like you said earlier, the Vrag will do that soon enough. Let’s just get out of here.”
Trubel leered. “I know these kinds. They will pursue until their dying days. I’m merely expediting their termination.”
“And here I was sure we’d reached an understanding.” Spooky smirked.
“Now, Ransome!” Aron ordered. The dog bounced on Spooky, forcing her to the ground as the first explosive burst from one of the men’s rifle missed her and shattered the bark of the tree behind her.
Spooky’s army scattered. Aron pulled Spooky behind a giant oak. Kappa lunged at River, shoving her out of range and to the rear of a commercial trash bin. Ransome grabbed Creeper by the gruff of its neck and hauled it to the children. Guy ran toward the men hissing and spitting, blinding them with his stinging venom.
Hexer and Chick each threw three daggers at the rifleman closest to them. The first daggers sliced jugulars. Second ones made deep penetrations into the chests’ of the shooters. The third found deadly spots in the kidneys. Firearms dropped. Then the men. Their lives oozed out before them in massive amounts of gushing crimson fluid.
Piper remained in place. Blood soaked her chubby-unicorn t-shirt. Dismayed, she murmured, “Help, Shimmer. My Shimmer…” She faltered, weaving from side to side. She placed her hand to the pain radiating from her left shoulder and pulled it away, displaying a palm full of blood. Her legs buckled beneath her, and the viridian grass and purple wildflowers beckoned her wounded body. Leo caught her in his arms.
River tippy-toed from his sanctuary. He stood before the Shimmer with palms outstretched and whispered, “All that is. All that has been. All that is to be. This is you.” He bowed. “I, River of Mist World and paladin of the Shimmer force, ask of you nothing except that which has been promised.” And at that precise moment, the Shimmer engulfed Piper, Leo, and Spooky and her army in one massive, instantaneous sweep.
Trubel stood, mouth gaping, body language confounded and deformed, as he stared at the now empty park on Gate World Alpha. Empty except for the bodies of his two associates.
To catch-up on the Hell Town Web Serial, or review past episodes, 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, episode 29,
- episode 30, episode 31, episode 32
Next Episode planned for March 27, 2019
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.