Hell Town RV Park
Where one man’s trash is another man.
From The RV Files by Clara Bush
Artwork by Lara Clayton
Episode 12, Chapter 1
(for Episode 1 click here )
(Rated Mature for Adult content)
Spooky woke in a world not her own. What should’ve been a blue sky, or a night sky with stars, was not. Instead, immense structures of steel, glass, and copper towered over her, completely obliterating all but the smallest slice of a stark gray heaven.
She lay flat on her back and touched what supported her. Not her bed. Not the ground. Not grass. Cold. Hard. Steel like. She tried to lift herself up to get a better look but could not. Restraints around her waist and forehead. Around her wrists and ankles. Kept her bound in place.
A robotic arm positioned a mechanism, similar to a helmet, on her head and attached probes to her temples and to the base of her skull. Someone forced her eyes open and secured her lids with a type of pincher. Why would they want me to keep my eyes open? Thoughts imagining why, forced her heartbeat to accelerate. The eye pinchers should’ve hurt like hell, Spooky thought, but she felt nothing.
Drops were placed in her eyes. An expansive screen towered above her and came to life. Lying on the cold, unforgiving slab, unable to move, she watched what reminded her of a documentary. Other worlds, she thought. Like Kappa said.
The first storyline portrayed a world of indigo—all blues, navies, and silvers with inhabitants who looked akin to the gray-eyed Chick. The few remaining occupants, however, did not possess Chick’s flawlessly fit body. Instead, their gaunt physiques revealed numerous scars. They ambled about like zombies, scooting around and around the large face of something resembling a watch. No, not a watch. A sun dial? Spooky questioned. But there was no sun. There was a moon, several moons. Moon dial, maybe? Chick zombies checked the dial whenever they made a lap. “It tells time, doesn’t it?” She said aloud, not expecting an answer.
She quivered at the sound of a man’s voice. “This is Key World and home to the Time Keepers, also known as the Starlings or Gray Eyes.”
“Who do they keep time for?”
“Why, they keep time for all worlds.”
“Even mine?” she asked.
The projection flickered, as if it were reloading movie film, and displayed a world the color of a salmon fillet. There were no structures whatsoever, but was inhabited by small creatures. “Are those animals like the one who attached himself to my face—the one who brought me here?”
“Yes,” the voice replied. “Home to the Rooi. Roz World. They once had the ability to transport all beings from one world to another without using the Gate World. Now they transport only humans. And only those humans who, like you, show a sensitivity to the otherworldly.”
“Gate World? Earth? My world?” Spooky asked.
“Gate World is correct.”
The Rooi were confined in a huge sphere. Spooky thought, zoo, because something else watched and fed them.
“Not a zoo. A feed lot,” the voice said. “Though the Rooi are plump and appear content—like cows in a green pasture—they are not. They have intelligence superior to cows, and, to most living creatures, even us. They long for their freedom. Rooi are important to all the worlds. But their numbers grow few. The Vrag eat them like Gate World people eat candy.”
“The Vrag? Are they the monsters eating the Rooi?”
“Yes. The Vrag are hungry. They don’t care about intelligence because they possess none. They function purely on instinct and on orders from their mainframe.”
The screen flickered. A third world flashed before her. In Spooky’s mind, it seemed similar to the rainforests of the Amazon. And like the Amazons, an array of exotic species inhabited this world. Except these creatures—unlike the lizards and frogs of the rainforests—were four-footed, furry animals adorned in tropical colors, like parrots on Earth. These mammals flew and seemed to communicate telepathically.
A guardian species, which resembled Guy, cared for this world and its inhabitants. All tree and plant life seemed connected, as in a clonal colony. And similar to the Aspen trees on Earth, the trees and plants spread to all living things by means of root suckers. The guardians touched plants. Animals landed in trees. Roots cocooned their bodies. They then hatched revitalized with new colors more vibrant than ever. Except for the guardians. They maintained their fleshy gray skin tone but appeared energized when they emerged.
“I like this world,” she said.
“Boon World,” the man said. “Perhaps, when your job is complete, you can ask one of the Rooi to transport you there.”
“Not sure I can leave my family, but fun to dream about. Wait. What job?”
“The Booners, as you are aware, are capable of manipulating what others see. They are experts at camouflage.”
“Are you a real person? Just a voice? A robot? Or something else?” she asked.
“Something else. Keep focused. We don’t have much time.”
The last world looked like one big ocean with tiny islands—barely above the water—poking out. Children with web feet, and with features like Kappa’s and River’s, sunned on the islands and played in ocean mist. An early Eden of sorts, Spooky thought, before it was perverted. Except, in the foreground, The Shimmer hovered. In fact, she now recalled, The Shimmer loomed like a giant ominous god on each of the four worlds.
“What is The Shimmer and why is it present in all the worlds?”
“It is what we are trying to regain control of. The Shimmer, as you call it, once belonged to all of us. One by one the Vrag destroyed our worlds and harnessed the energy of The Shimmer—a life giving force which is needed if we are to survive. What you call, The Shimmer, is our life force. The children from Mist World—the children known to you as Kappa and River—protect our one remaining Shimmer on your world. But the Vrags have stationed sentries at entry points, making it impossible for us to travel the portals to rectify their invasions.”
“You say ‘us.’ Who is us?”
“We are the entities of Avenir. Our mission was, and still is, to preserve all who live. But after millenniums of guiding and caring for the worlds, we grew tired. Some say lazy. Our dormancy allowed the Vrag to conquer what we were empowered to protect.”
“What do you call the Vrag’s world?”
The projection flickered. The Vrag were unlike any monster Spooky had ever dreamed. And she’d dreamed up some pretty scary shit over the years. But no nightmare, no matter how abominable, could create such monsters as the Vrag.
They appeared to be a massive, vein-meshed skull with a steel trap for a mouth. Behind the teeth was an immense beating heart pumping a blood-like fluid through the bulging arteries layering the Vrag’s flesh. Holding up the brain was a core torso from which eight tentacle-like, clawed-laden appendages sprouted. These tentacles made it impossible for prey to escape. The monsters captured the Rooi of the salmon-colored world, ate them, and sometimes, beforehand, played with them like a cat does a mouse before the fatal chomp of death.
No living thing on any of the worlds was off limits to the trap jaws. An acid-like bacteria was excreted from the caged heart and dissolved whole creatures—even the guardians of Boon World and the children of the Mist World—into a mushy meal, which the Vrag gulped down within seconds.
Once a world was depleted of their food sources, the predator moved on until only a few survivors remained on each of the worlds. Spooky guessed the Vrag left these slim pickings to repopulate and produce more food, which sent a wave of nausea throughout her body. She thought she might vomit, but she heard a swish. And a haze, which smelled like peppermint, sailed over her. Her nausea eased.
Spooky’s closing screen shot was a war. The four worlds’ inhabitants traveled through separate gates on their worlds, met on Earth, and organized. They then traveled back through a different gate, which they attempted to seal permanently with a glue-like substance supplied by the roots from Boon World.
This now-sealed gate led to the Vrags, to a world barren of any living thing other than the steel trap monsters. The monsters’ world was comprised of dangerously sharp rock formations, and void of anything resembling beauty, light, or life. A glimpse of hell, Spooky thought. The Shimmer did not exist on Bent world.
In the war scene, she recognized Chick, Chick’s father, River, Kappa, Guy, and her bed creeper. They were leading the rebellion and appeared to be in command of their world’s army.
The screen went black. The robotic arm popped the helmet from her head, and removed all but one of the brain probes. An Avenir entity, she felt sure, removed the eye-openers. She tried again to sit up, but restraints remained in place. “Hey,” she yelled. “Get me out of here.” She waited but nothing happened. “I enjoyed the movie, okay. I got it. Not sure what I’m supposed to do now. And I can’t do anything if I’m tied up, but I’ll try if you’ll just send me back home.”
She waited. And waited. She fell asleep. Woke. It seemed lighter. She scanned her surroundings. She was high up in one of the towering structures and was surrounded by glass. “Hey, can I please, please get out of here?”
Hours passed. She revisited the worlds in her mind and understood the remaining probe was feeding her thoughts to whomever or whatever was with her. She tried to put the puzzle together. There was a monster species praying on other worlds. Destroying them. Eating them. There was a rebellion. The good guys sealed the monster’s door leading to Earth, but somehow ended up in Hell Town. “Why did you seal the gate to Earth?” Seemed like a good question.
No answer. Better question. “Can the monsters get to Earth?”
No answer. Even better question. “Can the monsters get to Gate World and destroy we humans?”
No one spoke this time. But “yes” appeared in her head. “Am I here because I’m supposed to do something to keep us safe?”
Again, the answer yes came to her.
She laughed. “You’ve got to be kidding? I’m an old lady with a gun not some superhero with a cape, haven’t you noticed?”
“What can I do?”
The images of Chick, Chick’s father, Guy, Kappa, River, and bed creeper flashed in her head.
“That’s a motley crew of superheroes, for sure.”
They are the best of their kind. They are the best we have.
“Is the world I’m on Avenir?”
“Why aren’t you talking. And how do I know your answers?”
We are connected now, so we can communicate when we return you.
“So there’s me. And the Hell Town misfits. But who are you sending to help?”
They have already been sent to you. One transported to Gate World when we Avenirs became indolent. He found you when you were a child. The other—
“The other? They? What the—?”
It’s easier if I show you. The image of Aron appeared and lingered above her.
“My brother? What in the hell does he have to do with any of this?” He was dressed in his cowboyed-up regalia. He quick drew his firearm with lightning speed, like a true gunslinger, and two Vrags fell dead. “Holy shit, is he really that fast?”
No answer. Dumb question.
The next image showed Ransome and the beast Spooky had seen near the mesquite. She could make it out now. It was a huge wolf. No not a wolf. A wolf like man. A werewolf? she wondered. The wolfman morphed in and out of being a wolf into being Aron. “Is my brother a werewolf?” No answer. “What else do you call a man who can change into an animal?”
The answer came instantaneously and vocally. “The Navajos call them skinwalkers,” said Shayd. He stepped out of the shadows.
Spooky couldn’t believe her eyes. All the ways she’d envisioned Shayd, never had she imagined him so…so…
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.
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TURTLE TOP COVE LP.
P.O. Box 158
South Fork, Colorado 81154
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