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: Outside her window, Spooky heard a dog whine and another creature howl. Her eyes searched for the source. She squinted and vaguely recognized Ransome’s form accompanied by a large wolf. Aron is that you? She asked mentally.
Yes, Sis, it’s me. Just keeping watch.
Shayd found the girl, but she is not in our dimension, he says.
What do we do?
Sleep now. We’ll figure this out tomorrow. As soon as Brodie leaves. I don’t think he’s a fan.
Ha. Brodie is not a fan of anyone except law and order. And I’m not talking the TV series.
Knowing Aron was near, eased many of the fears now flooding Spooky’s mind. She had a brother as weird as she. Who knew all she knew. Someone who confirmed she wasn’t crazy. Someone who acknowledged Hell Town strangeness wasn’t just in her head. She could sleep now knowing these things, but as a heaviness overtook her eyelids and slipped into her bones, one fear-filled question persisted. What does it feel like to be eaten by a Vrag?)
Stranger Earths: One Thought (continued)
Spooky was good with words, the reason why sometimes she fancied herself a writer. But when confronted with someone’s death, her knack at verbosity abandoned her. Her words tumbled out of her mouth like spilled dice with no dots—vacant and meaningless.
As she lie, trying to force sleep to abduct her, she wondered if she lost the battle with the Vrag, would Brodie and Dovie have words. Would others offer words. Or would they be like her with nothing to say. She hoped they had words.
As she hoped, one fearsome thought lagged behind and offered no answers except those riddled with pain. She’d seen the Rooi eaten by the Vrag. Saw them struggle to escape the trap jaws of their captors, while their fur, flesh, and bones dissolved in the monster’s secretions.
She’d once burned her finger with battery acid as a child. It stung. Her mother dressed the burn with Silvadene and the sting eased. But with the Vrag, secretions covered the victim’s entire body. Would it hurt? Would it feel like battery acid? Or being burned alive? There would be no soothing salve to ease the pain, she was sure.
Yes. It would hurt. She’d witnessed the Rooi suffer. Screeching and moaning. There would be pain, but how much before she could no longer feel? To be the prey rather than the hunter, how would it feel? And how much fear can one’s heart bear before it no longer beats?
She’d known the discomfort of childbirth, but no other true physical pain could she remember. Would she fight? Struggle to survive? Or would the agony be so overwhelming, she’d succumb to being eaten alive just to be done with it?
Stranger Earths: Hunted by Angels
Piper—for the first time in her life—felt an overwhelming sense of achievement. The untouchables had tried to intimidate her with their mind games and sarcastic remarks. When their bullying didn’t work, they cut off the tips of their pinky fingers. Supposedly. But she’d showed them. The cutting of the tattoo on her arm was no trick, like Piper believed theirs was. And she’d stunned them. She giggled. The look on their faces. If only she’d snapped a picture with her cellphone.
She pulled off her jeans and shirt. She’d have to throw away her favorite tee—the Girls Are Meaner one. Or explain, or lie, to her mom why the sleeve was ripped off. She grabbed a dirty t-shirt from the pile on her floor, sniffed it, and pulled it on. She hid the torn one in her backpack. She’d deal with it on Monday at school…throw it in the trash somewhere. But that was a Monday problem. For now, she could nestle under the cozy warmth of her quilt and dream about Leo and her victory over the untouchables.
She was chilled from the late night party. The warmth felt good, but not as much as showing up the untouchables. If only she had someone to tell.
Piper closed her eyes. Opened them. Closed. Opened. The Shimmer danced above her. “Aww. There you are. Did you come to talk?” She reached forth and petted it like she would a dog or cat. She’d learned to do this during the years The Shimmer and she had been together. For when she stroked it, it purred. But the croon sounded less like a satisfied tone and more like a beckoning moan. A murring, she called it.
“Shimmer, did you see me tonight? I held my own against the untouchables.”
“I have to say, I was pretty polykronic. I had the situation by the balls for sure. Totally owned my own.”
The Shimmer’s colors changed. It was distressed. Piper knew. Its colors changed from shimmery blues, purples, emeralds, and silvers to pinks, reds, golds, and blacks. Like a calming moon suddenly becoming an angry sun.
It backed away from her. She reached for it. “What’s the matter. Is it the untouchables?” The fiery colors intensified. “Don’t worry. I put them in their place.”
The Shimmer began to pulsate. The murring replaced by a shriek. Piper covered her ears. “Stop! Please. And tell me what’s wrong.”
The colors softened but remained cautionary. “Okay. You don’t like the untouchables. What about Leo? I really like him. Do you?”
Its colors fluctuated between calm and angry. “You don’t know?” Piper rolled onto her side, supporting her head with a bend arm. “Hmmm. I don’t know what to think. It’s apparent you don’t like the untouchables, but you are unsure about Leo. I can work with that. But explain.”
The Shimmer mellowed and swam about Piper like a fog rolling in. It paused over her and engulfed her. This contact with The Shimmer was different than any Piper had experienced before. In the past, there had been an electrical shock sensation—an energizing force that left her sometimes drained, as if she’d fed The Shimmer. Then other times the shocks revitalized her as if nourishing her mind, body, and soul. This time, however, the sensation possessed an inherent trance-like quality. Had she fallen asleep. Was she dreaming?
She brushed away a webbing of gossamer tendrils, which tingled against her flesh when she touched them. The hair on her head and arms bristled with each union of girl and Shimmer. The netting seemed to go on forever. With each sweep, another layer confronted her. “Shimmer, what am I to find?”
“Another.” It murred. “Another like you. Look. See.”
The last sweep of her arm brought her to a clearing. It was night. A huge yellow moon greeted her and lighted a path for her to follow. The ground beneath her feet left like sand, but not ocean sands. A hard, dirt like substance that did not cling the way sand did. Miles in front of her stretched open spaces dotted with crooked, thorny trees, and sticky bush and cacti. Silhouetted against the moon were people. She eased closer. And closer. She made out two small figures. Children, perhaps. Yes. A boy and a little girl. A dog. And another creature—the likes Piper had never seen—cuddled in the girl’s lap.
There were five adult forms. Three men. Two women. One of the women was older, the other young and glistening in the moonlight like an angel. Piper was mesmerized by the angel-woman’s beauty. She had to creep even closer to see. She rubbed her eyes. Tattoos—similar to hers—sheathed the angel’s exposed skin. Did the design cover her entire body?
Piper heard bits and pieces of their conversations.
“Time is out of balance.”
But one phrase echoed and resonated within her. “Find a girl.” Was she the girl? Were they looking for her? Her gut answered. She gasped and slapped her hand over her gaping mouth.
She tried to move closer to hear clearer. To hear more. But her Shimmer would not allow it. “No farther,” it murred. “I can go no farther.”
“NO!” It shrieked. With a burst, like a gush of strong wind, she was thrown back across the land, along the path of the moon, and finally back through the webs.
Piper found herself in her room. On her bed. Her Shimmer gone. “Shimmer, please. Explain. Why do the angels hunt me?” She assumed—wrongly, of course—she’d been in the presence of angels.
Something scratched at her window. She was afraid to look. She squeezed her eyes shut and turned away. The angels—or demons—had found her, she feared. She shuttered and crunched into a fetal position. But then she heard the sweet calling of her lover. “Piper. Piper. It’s me. Open the window.”
The screen was already off from her earlier escape. All she had to do was unlatch the sash and she’d be in Leo’s arms. She leaped from her bed to the window. Disengaged the lock and in seconds Leo was kissing her cheeks, her forehead, her lips, and finally her tears.
Stranger Earths: Leo, Deception or Love
“What’s wrong, baby? What is it? I’m here. You were cocooned in some kind of fog. I’ve been trying to wake you for thirty minutes or more. Babe, what’s going on. How did you do what you did tonight?”
Being a Timeree, Leo already knew most of the answers. He had enough knowledge of The Shimmers—though he’d never been up close and personal with one—to know their capabilities. After delivering Piper home, he’d hid in the bushes in front of her window—like he’d done numerous nights before—and spied on Piper as she played with her Shimmer.
He admitted to himself he was envious of her relationship with The Shimmer—it rightfully belonged to him and his kind. After all, it was the Ternion Shimmer. The one the Starling had stolen from his world. Why had it sought out Piper instead of him?
What he also didn’t know was how she’d cut her arm and healed within seconds. Not even his kind could do that. And no human he’d ever encountered before could regenerate their own flesh instantly.
Leo picked up Piper in his arms, and placed her gently in bed. “You’re okay. I’m here. I won’t let anything happen to you. Ever.” He brushed aside her bangs and kissed her forehead.
Her whimpering subsided. “Why are you here?”
“You were magnificent tonight. You made me horny. I needed more Piper before I could go to sleep. I hoped you needed me.”
“Do I ever.” She pounced, ripping off shirt and jeans. Leo lie in front of her nude and helpless. She straddled his body and began the rhythmical up and down, up and down, of lovers. Pushing him deeper and deeper inside her, until they came together in a frenzied fever—unlike anything Leo had ever experienced during his 150 years on Earth and many lovers.
In a far corner of Piper’s bedroom, The Shimmer observed. Its heart beat madly as if it were experiencing everything Piper was. Its colors throbbed in measured indigos and silvers, and went undetected by the lovers.
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 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.