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Something Wicked 2.0 - STORY THREAD


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At School….

 

MC gave Jo a non-committal shrug as her way of accepting the apology, “Yeah I can be a bitch sometimes too.” She hoisted her bag and nodded to the two girls, “Come on, lets go find your bear.”

 

She led them out to the student parking lot which was already mostly empty to a metallic gray Subaru SUV. Roach whistled, “This looks almost brand new.”  “Yeah my parents got it for me just before school started since I got my license over the summer.”

 

Jo looked the SUV over it wasn’t fancy, but it was nice, and it was new. Most every kid in the county with a car or truck, drove a used one, sometime third or fourth hand and some even older. She couldn’t remember ever seeing a kid with a new car. “Yer folks bought you a new car.” Jo didn’t know what to say, her mom had spoken of the Blairs on more than one occasion and not fondly called them hippies and new age weirdos, but all Jo really knew about them was that they did a lot of charity stuff. “What do they do fer a livin?”

 

MC smirked and press the key-fob unlocking the door, “They sell drugs. Y’all can fight over shotgun.”

 

 

Blairsville Dental…

 

Hank had been in the reception area with his siters when his mom arrived and freed him from further brotherly duties. She took over with the twins and he said his byes and went out to his truck. He had just gotten outside when he saw that the hood of his truck was open and there was a man he didn’t know poking around in the engine. “Hey…”

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"Excuse Me sir, is there something I can help you with?"  Hank's tone had a forced cordiality, imitating the voice his mother used at work.  He was alarmed, but he wasn't about to start something right away.  He was still a scout, but he was fairly picky about just who messed with his truck.    He was happy his mother had taken over and he didn't have his sisters with him, because he knew that would only cause further problems.

 

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MC had barely finished speaking before Roach crowed, "Shoooooooooooooooootgun!" and darted around the SUV to fling the passenger side door open and jump inside.

 

"Don't worry, Jo!" she called out as she pulled the seatbelt down over herself. "You can just...stretch out on the backseats. It'll be fiiiiiiiine!"

 

She tilted the seat back and sighed. "Comfy."

 

MC slid into her seat and gave Roach a contemplative smile.

 

"Okay though." Digging out her phone, Roach called up a googlemap of their area. "Where are we going?"

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Jo gave Roach a disgruntled frown when she claimed the front seat before she even opened her mouth, then returned MC's smirk with a teeth-baring obviously fake smile. The Johanssons weren't poor, but it wasn't like being a foreman at the steel mill payed huge, nor whatever stuff mom did on the computer, and there were five Johansson kids, though Aiden had moved out. And all the sports equipment, coaches, and stuff for Jo added up, the few endorsements she had only offsetting the costs somewhat. Jo wasn't sure if MC was joking or not, drugs seemed to make as much sense as anything else why MC had a new car.

 

"Ah'm claiming shotgun on the way back!" Jo asserted, grunting as she squeezed herself into the back. It wasn't the worse she'd ever been in, but she still had to sit partially sideways so her knees weren't being shoved into her chest. She may have liked being big, overall, but it did come with awkward drawbacks at times.

 

The huge blonde leaned forward, poking her head between the seats to look at Roach's phone. She snaked an arm through to point. "Ah was running the harder trail here, the one that heads up to the mountain, just past the cul-de-sac. Ah think the fallen tree and the other path weren't no more than a mile down the trail. Dunno if we all ken git closer than that in the car, not without missin' it. Still easier than backtrackin' from 'round behind the Clairburn place."

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Bear Hunting

 

MC followed Jo’s pointing finger and also watch the Bigger girls profile only inches away. Suddenly she moved, slipping off her belt and getting out of the car, she stepped back to the rear door and opened it. “Can you drive? I’ll never find that and you know where we’re going.”

 

Jo hoped the shock didn’t show but she just nodded and scrambled out and into the drivers seat while MC climbed into the back, while Roach just looked at the both of them and shrugged, “Okay guess we don’t need the map.”

 

Spoiler

(the drive will take about half an hour so talk like girls do)

 

Blairsville dentistry

 

The man was still leaning over the engine and mumble with out straightning, “Sure Don’t make em like they should still, eh.” Suddenly he straightened and faced Hank who had closed the distance and was trying hard not to let his disgust show.

 

The man smelled like he hadn’t bathed in months and his look was about the same. His age was indeterminate but probably on the far side of fifty, he was dirty and bearded, his clothing was old, worn, ill-fitting, and again dirty. His eyes though were full of madness.

 

“Why you usin gas? Not efficient at all. Trucks got to go, got to go go go go. Needs power. You got power, truck needs the power to go.” He takes a stumbling step toward Hank and stretches out and arm as if to grab the young boy, “He’s coming Hank, coming for you and yer friends, yer friends and you and then the world, he’s a comin Hank!”

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Hank instinctively stepped back when the the strange man reached out for him, avoiding stumbling and bringing his hands up, not as fists but as if to say to hold on.

"Who's coming?" He had no idea what this crazy guy was talking about.   He definitely wanted the guy to leave, this was all too strange for him.   "I don't want any trouble sir."

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Blairsville dentistry Parkinglot

 

The man stopped and stared at his hand as if seeing it for the first time then he turns back and points at the truck, "It's all wrong Hank, all wrong, It's in the book. You need the power to make it go. It says so in the book.' He turns back to face Hank, "He is coming Hank, coming to burn You, burn you all..."

 

 

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Blairsville Dentistry

 

The man looked crazily at Hank and opened his mouth to speak, probably more nonsense but just then a burst from a siren sounded loudly as a Blairsevill department cruiser pulled into the parking lot with flashing lights.

 

Officer Jan Michaels, a short sturdy female in her mid twenties and her partner, Officer Stuart Bikes, Tall broad shouldered but showing a tendency for enjoying donuts a little too much in middle, a 15 year veteran of the department. The two police quickly exited thier car and flank the crazy starnger. 

 

"Hank, Step away slowly," said Officer Michaels, her hand on her still holstered pistol. Meanwhile Bikes had addressed the old man , "Sir,I want you to turn around slowly and place your hands on the front of the truck." 

 

The old man looks at Hank, "Remember what i told you boy." And then he darts to the side and faster than it seems possible charges toward Michales who surprised steps back and draws her gun but the old man rushes right past and dives into the police cruiser!

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Hank was surprised to see the officers show up, wondering if they were just cruising by or if they were called by someone.  He remained still watching the cops react to him jumping into the cruiser, before backing away towards the building. He didn't want to be in their way.   Leaving wasn't going to be something that he could just do, though he didn't think they'd force him to stay too long.  He'd definitely have to tell Jo and Roach about this.

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Jo ducked her head as she fiddled with seat, moving it back all the way to make room for her legs, hiding her uncertainty. She'd just gotten her driver's permit, but still wanted more practice, and most of the experience she'd gotten was in her brothers' and father's pickups. MC's SUV was much newer and had a great deal more options than she was used to - having a touchscreen instead of knobs was weird.

Tentatively at first - Jo didn't want to mess up and scratch or do something worse to the SUV that she'd have to pay MC back for, somehow - the big girl drove towards the spot closest she could reach to where she'd seen the bear, growing more comfortable as she got used to the difference in how the SUV handled compared to pickups. It wasn't so bad, though the SUV was a good deal quieter and smoother than what she was used to.

The three very different girls were silent at first, no immediate common interest brooking conversation. Even Jo and Roach were friends more due to long-time proximity than from shared interests.

"So you really saw a bear in the woods? And y'all think is was in the school," MC, her brow furrowed, asked?

"Fur was stuck in the lock," Roach says, settling back in the seat and closing her eyes. "I didn't say it made sense. My theory was that it was the mascot. All we're really doing is seeing if the bear fur matches. If it doesn't, we have to figure out what does match it. If not, well there's only one conclusion."

"That fur ain't from the mascot," Jo reasserted firmly. She glanced at the rear-view mirror, catching MC's eye. "And yeah, Ah saw a bear. Ah wasn't expectin' it, fer sure. Banner growlin' at it gave me such a fright." She flicked a glance at Roach before turning gaze back on the road, one fair brow arching up. "If it don't match, then what? Hells, what if it does?"

Roach opens her eyes and widens them in mock terror. "Werebears."

Jo blew some blond hair from her face and gave Roach a smack on the shoulder. "That's stupid. There ain't no such thing."

"Wait, wait, wait, wait." MC shook her head, "The bear was alive? Just how, exactly, are we supposed to compare that hair to a live bear?"

"I figure they shed fur, right? Like cats? Probably find some around."

"Don't they rub up 'gainst trees and the like? Maybe find some caught on branches they walk through or something, Ah reckon."

Roach nodded at that. "That. Right. See? We got this. The terror of the werebear plague will be ended by sundown... or, alternatively, we'll be made into werebears too. Which I am okay with."

MC looked out the window and wondered what in the world she had gotten herself into, just to try to make some friends.

"Well fuck this, then. If we're going to die at least we should be high."  She fumbled a tightly rolled joint out of her cigarette pack lit it and took a long toke before offering it to Roach.

Fumbling trying to find the turn signal, Jo gave Roach a sidelong glance. Jo had seen the bear, Roach hadn't. There was worse than being turned into a werebear. Like being turned into meat. Jo snorted as the smoke from the joint tickled her nose and she immediately rolled down the windows.

"We ain't gonna die. But if we do see the bear, stay behind me and we back up slowly, 'kay?"

"Or...you back up slowly, we back up quickly," chortled Roach as she took the offered joint. "You only have to outrun the slowest friend."

Jo's hands tightened on the wheel, "That's the idea," Jordan growled, less amused than Roach was. She was by far the biggest. She'd have the better chance of making the bear back down, or failing that, enduring a mauling. "Ah can outrun ya both, but Ah'll give ya a good head start."

Roach blew a puff of smoke out the window, then handed the joint back to MC. "It's cool, MC. I have absorbed the total of human knowledge about bears. We make tons of noise walking around so we don't startle one. Bears almost always run from people if they know they're around. Especially groups of people. We'll be fiiiiiiiiiine."

Jo snorted again, dubious of Roach's claims, as she turned off the road onto the section of packed dirt and gravel used as a makeshift parking lot for those who ran or biked on the trails and lived far enough away to not make it on foot (or didn't want to). It had enough for five or six cars maybe, but Jo had never seen more than two. The SUV idled for a moment before Jo pushed the button to shut it off. It was still weird to her, a vehicle without a key.

"We're here. It ain't so far from here."

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Roach opened the door and waved a hand around to fan some of the smoke that had started to accumulate out of the car along with herself. She hadn't had enough of the joint to feel much more than the beginnings of a mellow; a sort of warm fluffy feeling that she visualized as snuggling into a blanket fresh out of the dryer, except inside her skull.

 

"Okay," she said, looking around. There were a lot of trees around. And no paths. It all kind of just looked the same in every direction. "Okay. I figure...we go to where Jo saw it. Find some bearclaw prints. Follow them. Sooner or later it'll have shed on like...a thorn bush or something. Boom. Done. We can get outta 'Nam."

 

"Take it away, Jo."

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