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: Piper bowed her head like a shy child, and Leo loved her the most in that moment. He loved her innocence. Her cluelessness. But he knew damn good and well his disciples wouldn’t accept her and would not understand his passion for her.
He’d warned them. And then warned them again. Be nice to her. He told Gaze, Sabre, and Ibis no licking their lips. He told Kite, Jag, and Lynx hands off—absolutely no touching of any kind. Not even hand shaking. Leo didn’t want any of them putting thoughts in her head. He wanted her to have thoughts only of him and from him.
Although, when he reflected, it seemed it was she who was imposing thoughts on him. Could this be true? The revelation sent a round quivers throughout his body. Surely, she couldn’t. Could she? She’s just a human. But still…he’d never felt like this about anyone.)
Stranger Earths: The Cemetery
An uneasiness—almost dread—burrowed deep into Piper’s bones as she and Leo drove over the low-water bridge. Leo’s attention and love-making had given her a much needed boost in the confidence department. But she was about to meet the kids who all her peers at school called the untouchables. Their physical perfection and their cool façade perpetuated this image. Coolness and perfection were her opposites. She was far from untouchable and more avoidable.
Leo’s hand rested between her thighs and reminded her, though she was not an untouchable, he’d chosen her to be with tonight. And even if she were his only for now, and he said adios with the dawn, she’d always cherish this one night with Leo. But…
Had he chosen her for an easy lay? There were plenty of girls—better looking than she—who’d happily spread their legs for one good fuck from Leo. She’d often heard them say so to one another as she crouched in a bathroom stall during lunch. She had to mean something more to him than a one nighter, didn’t she?
“Don’t worry, Piper,” Leo said, interrupting her thoughts. Almost as if he could read her mind. “They’re just kids and they do what I tell them. If I say, ‘love Piper,’ they’re going to love you. Or I’ll get rid of them. I don’t need the negativity.”
She leaned in and kissed his cheek. The thud, thud, thud clatter of heavy rubber tires on old wooden bridge planks brought her closer and closer to the dreaded encounter. She hoped she could hold her own. But the untouchables were so…so…untouchably perfect.
Once across the bridge, Leo shut off his lights, and rolled toward a campfire. “Stay in the car until I get the door for you.”
Piper put her hand on his shoulder. “You don’t have to.”
“No. But it’s my way of showing them how important you are to me.”
She was important to him. To him. Never in her wildest fantasies had she imagined she could be important to anyone, especially not someone like Leo. She took his hand when he reached for her and for a second she thought she was seeing herself through his eyes. And she liked what she saw.
“I love it when you smile,” Leo said. She didn’t know she was smiling. Leo brought her to him and kissed her so passionately, she found it hard to breathe. His disciples watched the display, never turning away or seeming embarrassed.
Sabre wedged herself between the lovers. “Enough already. I’d say get a room, but I think you already have ‘cause I smell sex.” She faced Leo. “And if you’ll get your memory out from between your legs, and put it back in your brain, you’ll remember we have more important things to worry about. Where the hell have you been?”
“Yeah, we’ve been waiting all fucking night. You could have called?” Jag planted himself close to Piper.
Too close for Piper’s comfort. She tried to edge away, but he kept advancing until his arm rested against hers.
“Back off,” Leo growled. “I warned you.”
The sound Leo made shocked Piper. It resonated as something primal and feral. Strange and not human. Like a predatory animal cornering its prey. And it came from the guy she’d just made love to. Piper shivered.
Jag put his arm around her. “Your girlfriend’s cold. Just trying to warm her up.” Images of a black Jaguar chasing a bird, capturing it, and devouring it flashed into Piper’s head. A sandpiper. The bird was a sandpiper. She shimmied out of Jag’s grasp.
Leo elbowed Sabre aside and plunged his right fist directly into Jag’s chest. “I said—”
Jag’s didn’t flinch, and managed to block Leo’s next punch. “We all know what you said, but you’re acting like she’s in heat, instead of the way you’re supposed to be acting. Get your head in the game. There’s a lot at stake here. I take that back. Appears one of your heads has already been in the game, if you get my drift.” The entire group guffawed in a unified retching, mocking laugh.
Leo’s left fist came up, and Piper would have sworn she saw a lightning bolt strike Jag in the jaw. She blinked and when she opened her eyes, Jag lay on the ground, cushioned by the first sprouts of spring grasses.
The vicious blow didn’t frighten Piper as much as Leo’s continued beast-like growls. Was this the same person who had made such tender love to her earlier in the evening? Leo pivoted back to Piper. And for several minutes, he didn’t resemble the young man she’d given herself to. In his eyes, she saw a wildness. A hunger.
Leo fiercely shook his head and some sanity returned to his distorted facial features. “I’m sorry, Piper. I shouldn’t have brought you to meet my friends. I didn’t realized they’d be such ass holes.” He grabbed her hand and headed to the car.
Ibis and Kite blocked his exit.
Kite turned Leo in the direction of the campfire. “Come on, Leo. Sabre and Jag promise to be good. Let’s get this party going. Whatcha say?”
Ibis put an arm around Leo and one around Piper. “It’s all okay. It will all be okay.” She repeated the positive phrase and rubbed their backs in gentle circular movements.
Piper had never felt anything like Ibis’s touch. It soothed her. Her fears faded. “I’m fine, Leo. Please can we stay? I’d like to get to know your friends.”
Gazelle tossed a couple of twigs into the campfire. She watched them snap and sizzle, and seemed to grin a deliberate, bitchy grin at the twigs’ demise. “Leo. Piper. Come join me. Lynx made a toasty fire. It’ll chase away the chill.”
Lynx stood silently in the shadow of a tall oak tree. He was almost invisible. So much so, when Piper spotted him she trembled.
Leo wrapped her up in his arms. They were strong arms. Muscled. Powerful. She liked the way they felt around her, but, she guessed, they could crush her like she was nothing more than a bug.
“You cold, funny face?” Leo said. His handsome face had returned to normal.
She snuggled into him. “The fire looks nice. Can we go sit by it?”
“Sure, but if you feel the least bit uncomfortable about anything, let me know. I’ll take you home,” Leo said.
Piper could think of nothing worse than going home. Leaving Leo. “I’m great. Like Kite said, let’s get this party going.” She brushed her lips against his briefly.
“I love it when you smile,” he said. And again, she was unaware she was smiling.
A recent cool front produced a chilly April evening in Central Texas. The warmth of the fire beckoned Piper, though she sensed something amiss. Something inside her asked: Why would they invite me here? What could I possibly have they might want? She didn’t understand why these questions surfaced, and why she was so worried.
Looming, moss-covered oak trees canopied over the campfire and created an eerie visual that screamed, CAREFUL. But Piper wasn’t about to show any type of concern. She had Leo by her side. Still—as an instinctual, precautionary measure—she warmed her backside against the fire, which allowed her a full view of Leo’s friends.
The untouchables faced the fire and sat on fallen tree trunks and stumps. Except for Lynx, who remained shaded from sight amongst tree shadows. Piper was thankful the gathering was outside the cemetery instead of amidst the graves. She wouldn’t have said anything, but being in a graveyard—up close and personal with the dead—was not her idea of a thrill.
Sabre’s remark about having more important things to worry about, and Jag’s quip about there being a lot at stake, taunted Piper. She searched the red embers, as they shot and sputtered toward the night sky, for answers to the questions that now dogged her. Was Leo violent by nature or was he merely defending her? Why did both Sabre and Jag hint at there being something more to this meeting than just a party. And if she was right, what role did she play?
She studied her surroundings. It was an old cemetery. She doubted anyone had been buried here in years, yet, in the distance, there appeared what seemed to be fresh mounds. The archway announcing it as, Babyhead Cemetery—which was alarming in itself—hung upside down partially unhinged on rusty rails.
Gaze took a drag from a joint Jag offered her. “You know how the cemetery got its name, don’t you?” She eyed Piper.
Piper moved away from the fire and sat beside Leo on a remaining stump. Just enough places for all of us to sit. They knew I’d come. The thought bothered her but she didn’t know why. “My history teacher talked about it in class one day, but I wasn’t paying attention. Has something to do with a missing child.”
“Well, you must have been listening some, because you are correct. The baby disappeared from his cradle in the middle of the night. The parents searched for years trying to find closure. Twenty years later, the child’s remains were found over there.” Gaze pointed to a grove of creepy oak trees with groping, deformed arms. “The parents knew it was their missing baby because in his skeletal hand he still clutched the head of his teddy bear. They bought the property, buried the child with his bear head, and designated it as a burial ground for family members, friends, and patrons.”
Piper could think of nothing more horrible than losing a child. If she remembered correctly, the disappearance of the baby happened decades ago—back in the 1870s—when cowboys and Indians roamed. But still today child abductions occurred, and society seemed even more vulnerable since the outset of social media.
“Yes, it would be horrible to lose a child,” Gaze said and tossed another twig into the fire. “But one never knows what lies beneath.”
Piper saw Leo flash Gaze a warning glare. “Shut-up, Gaze. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Gaze ignored the warning. “So, Piper, what’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”
Piper didn’t know. She’d had a good life. Even though she resented her mom’s overprotectiveness, Piper knew her mom loved her. “Gosh, I’m not sure. Not too many bad things have ever happened to me.”
“Aw, come on Piper, if you want to belong, you gotta share with us.” Sabre coaxed. “That’s why we gather by a fire like this—some place no one can find us—so we can get to know each other.”
Lynx stepped from the shadows. “And our deepest and darkest secrets.”
“That way we have the scoop on each other. It binds us together in a way that’s stronger than just the shallow relationships dominating the halls of Ridgeway High. Makes us closer,” Jag said and nudged Piper, offering her the joint.
To fit in, Piper took a quick toke. “No. Really.” She coughed. “Nothing bad has ever happened to me. Unless you consider I was adopted. But my mom’s okay.” Piper wasn’t sure why she lied. Even though she wasn’t close to her mom and felt as if she didn’t belong because they were so different, she never questioned her birth story.
“Adopted. Fuck. All of us here were adopted,” Jag scoffed.
Piper studied one untouchable and then another. How could they all be so perfect and all be adopted? Something didn’t seem right, but before she could sort out the coincidence, or lack thereof, Leo pulled her to him. An image of him and her lying in bed together wove into her thoughts. She smiled.
“I love it when you smile, funny face,” he said.
Sabre and Gaze huffed, showing their distaste for the couple’s intimacies. Jag and Kite laughed out loud.
“Come on, Leo. Knock it off already. We get it. You like her. She likes you. Spare us the details,” Jag said and took the joint from Piper. As his hand touched hers, The Shimmer appeared in the inner-workings of her brain.
“You gotta give us something, Piper,” Gaze said. “Try this. What’s the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?”
She looked in through the not-pearly gates of the cemetery, past the crooked sign, and into the heart of the grave sites. In the moonlight, she saw crosses lying sideways, angels with broken wings, and those fresh mounds of dirt with no tombstones. Why is there a moon tonight? There’s not supposed to be.
But there it was. And that same not-supposed-to-be moon—unbeknownst to Piper—lighted a path through the desert for Spooky and her army.
“Piper. Piper. You okay? Where’d you go?” Leo asked and hugged her close, dragging her from a trance.
“Well, there was this one time…” She began.
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 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.
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.
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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For information regarding permission, write to:
TURTLE TOP COVE LP.
P.O. Box 158
South Fork, Colorado 81154
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