Hell Town RV Park
Where one man’s trash is another man.
From The RV Files by Clara Bush
Artwork by Lara Clayton
Episode 11, Chapter 1
(for Episode 1 click here and for Episode 2 here)
(Rated Mature for Adult content)
Guy flipped up his hoodie and along with the swift movement, he vanished.
“Hey, where’d you go? And what the hell do you mean? I’m really sick of all you cryptic people. Don’t ask questions. But ask right questions. Everything to fear.” Spooky screamed at mesquites bound by an obsidian night.
“Crimes have been committed here.” The night screamed back. “Don’t ask who. Ask why.” The voice wasn’t Shayd’s, Singer’s, or Chetan’s. Nor was it Guy’s.
The response came from the direction the beast ran. Every rational part of Spooky’s brain told her she should be frightened by Hell Town’s creatures. But her life had never been wine and roses. More shadows and monsters. And she’d learned as a child, shadows bit and clawed sometimes if she didn’t pay attention to their needs.
She’d experienced so many things in her life normal people didn’t, Hell Town seemed merely another abnormality that was, for some reason, her normal. Who had a better right than she to be curious about what others feared, or worse, disbelieved?
Believe, was the last thing Craycray Gran whispered after she died from unusual circumstances and visited Spooky for the final time. And Spooky knew her great grandmother wasn’t talking about Jesus. So as Craycray Gran advised, she became a believer down in the deepest part of her corrupted soul. Perhaps, if she had rejected the shadows and monsters, she could’ve led what most people considered a normal life. Instead, she embraced them. Listened to them. And guided them. “Was that a mistake?” she now asked.
She wasn’t afraid of dead people. In fact, some of them were her closest friends. But the creatures in Hell Town were not ghosts, or even lost spirits as she was accustomed. They were something else.
Maybe she wasn’t scared because she didn’t fear death. Her haunts had taught her not to be. She did fear one thing, however. She had no real way of combating what lie beneath in Hell Town. A gun was useless against the supernatural.
Spooky woke. The blue light on her watch flickered. Midnight. How did it get so late? She was lying in bed next to Brodie. How did I get here? The last thing she remembered was screaming at the night. Something had woken her.
She heard the door to the RV creep open. Her body stiffened. Her breathing stopped. She clutched the bottom bed sheet. Something was in their motorhome. Did she forget to lock the door? She didn’t even know how she got here. How could she answer?
She heard claws on the fake wood floors. They scraped along in front of the couch. Ssssscratch. Ssssscratch. Creep. In front of the dining table. Ssssscratch. Ssssscratch. Creak. In the kitchen. Ssssscratch. Ssssscratch. Creak. By the refrigerator. Ssssscratch. Ssssscratch. Chirr.Chirr. It was by her bed and pawed the bed rail like a dog wanting in bed. Claws tugged at her top sheet. Gripping and tugging. Climbing up. Up. Up to her.
Paralysis set in. She couldn’t move. Or speak. To wake Brodie. “Mmmmm,” she moaned, trying her best to do something. “Mmmmm.” Anything. Only her eyes responded and darted about the room in a frenzy trying to see. The pounding of her heart thumped in her ears like a deafening ticking bomb ready to explode.
Something heavy plopped onto the bed by her feet. She felt it inch closer. And closer. As it did, its fur brushed against her arm. She shivered. It mounded her chest. Still—her arms, her legs…her voice—nothing of her body obeyed the commands from her brain. The pressure on her chest restricted her breathing. Suffocating her. The thing rose and lowered with each breath she struggled to take.
It wasn’t large enough to be the beast that ran into the night. All she could make out was a mound of fur about the size of a raccoon. She hoped maybe it was only a raccoon. And as hard as she tried to convince herself the thing was an Earth creature, she knew it wasn’t.
Two clawed, furry paws planted themselves on her forehead. The creature lay across her face, much the same as a mask. It smelled musky—ferret like. She heard an icky, sticky sound, matching gauze being pulled from an oozing wound, and felt the gooey parting of its stomach. It started to pulsate and engulf her face.
All her brave talk about not being afraid transformed into a lie. She’d often been awaken by passing spirits, on their way to another adventure, but never had a living thing crept into her house and crawled on top of her chest.
She tried to control her breathing, to slow it down, but she was drowning in the thing’s stomach. She couldn’t breathe. She gasped but no air came. She screamed but no sound rose to deliver her. Then, in seconds—with the beastie’s conquest of her body—her breathing eased, her heart calmed, and her body relaxed.
She squeezed her eyes shut for a minute and opened them to find she was being absorbed into a vacuum of space. She drifted. Floated. It felt like the time she’d had her appendix removed—the sailing through time and space right before she knew nothing. Peaceful. Like being all alone in a life raft on gentle ocean waves. Moving aimlessly among the stars. Wait, are those stars or something else? She thought this must be the way a hawk feels when it soars, and found comfort. She didn’t struggle but allowed the sensation to take her farther and farther away from all she knew to be real.
The black around her grew lighter like morning before the sun peeks above the horizon. A flood of colors encapsulated her in swirls of indigoes, purples, navies, and tangerines. But no reds, so she calmed herself repeating again and again, this is not hell. Still she drifted and floated. Sleep craved her for his own. But the sucking, pulling, and finally, the falling kept her wits alive.
She reached forth to grasp anything to slow the falling, but when she did the plummeting accelerated. Her heartbeat quickened. This is it. If I hit the ground, I’ll die. Instead of floating, her body now spun head to toe and upside down, over and over. She panted trying to catch her breath. She screamed grasping at the void to stop her fall. And just like with the anesthesia, all sensation and self-awareness evanesced—gobbled up greedily by the unknown.
To continue 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 their 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.
She graciously drew several covers for Hell Town. Let us know which is your favorite by posting a comment. 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
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any mean, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher.
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