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Something Wicked ST

Something Wicked - Summertime Blues

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SUMMERTIME BLUES

I

Summer.

 

The last day of school.

 

Summer was here, finally. Two whole months of freedom and fun.

 

Most of the day was spent socializing from class to class. First period had come with the usual ringing of the bell and the students marched into their various classes and smiled when they saw the piles of books sitting on the teachers desk or a table nearby.

Yearbooks.

 

Unlike most places in the United States, where school students have to pay for their yearbooks, which can be quite costly in these modern times, here in Union County they are free to each and every student who wants one, paid for by the district.

 

And so for first period of that last day of this school year, the student body received their year books and for the most part the rest of the day was spent getting friends and classmates to sign them. Oh other things occurred as well, regular school books were turned in, those who used school supplied laptops had to turn theirs in or fill out the proper forms to keep them over the summer. Lockers were cleaned out which created a huge mess for the janitorial staff to clear up. Accounts of various types were settled usually with a check mom had written grumbling that morning having just been shown the bill. But for the most part it was just a social day and a long wait for that last bell.

Which came at two thirty.

 

A loud cheer, as classes were dismissed the kids poured out of the classrooms throwing notebooks and unused paper up into the air in celebration, like confetti at a parade. More mess for the janitors. Then they, the students free at last, headed to the waiting cars driven by a impatient parent, or for those with their own cars and the licenses to use them to the student parking lot, a few who lived close enough jumped on bikes to peddle home or where ever they were off too, or simply walked. But most of the students headed for the buses.

 

Twenty three yellow buses lined up end to end in the yard, idling waiting for their kids to come up before heading on the final run of the year to their twice daily routs. Most of the drivers would be off without any pay for the next two months but for the majority this was a part time job anyway.


Of the twenty three buses, we are concerned with one bus in particular, Bus number 014, driven by Mrs. Marybeth Collins, a husky woman in her late forties who has driven this route for the last two years, and a certain group of students who all lived at a certain bus stop, the Walsh Road kids, located on the big curve of Gumlog Rd (not Old Gumlog Rd).

 

Walsh Road was a private road shooting off of Gumlog (not Old Gumlog), that had been cut into the forest way back around the turn of the last century by Clemet Walsh who had acquired a lot of the land in that area of the county through, some would say, dubious means. Be that as it may, Clemet, who had been in his mid thirties then, built a wonderful house back in the woods and found a girl and settled down and raised a big family.

 

The Walsh's thrived and became one of the backbones of the county in the nineteen twenties and thirties but that came to a crashing halt when a dispute over property lines erupted with the nearby Clairburns a wealthy and reclusive clan who also owned a lot of land in the area. No one remembers what the slight was or whom it was given too or by, but a bloody feud erupted that left several men on both sides dead and set the Walsh fortunes into decline. The Clairburns fared just as badly it seems for after the war they left the county with their land apparently abandoned but still in their name.

 

The Walsh's over the years sold off a great deal of their holdings and in the late nineties the old house went empty and stayed that way for several years until Jeremiah Walsh and his wife Esther moved back in and renovated the house in the early two thousands. They had a son, Silas, which brings us back to the Walsh Road kids.

 

Walsh Road and the big curve of Gumlog (not Old Gumlog) was home to several families all of which had children of an age. These were the Hollins, with a horse girl named Quinn, the Harpers and their daughter Hannah Lee, the Leesford's with their boy Hank, the Johansson's and the astounding Jordon, and the McKendrick's and their daughter Rochelle, and of course Silas the only child of the Walsh's. Now these weren't the only kids who lived in this neighborhood, there were the various brothers and sisters both young and older of the aforementioned families, and then there were the Wolf children, Deana and Dwight, who while not considered proper Walsh Road Kids because they lived just beyond the big curve across from the Clairburn property but do have a role in our story, we are concerned with those six, Quinn, Rochelle, Hank, Hannah, Jordan, and Silas.

 

The Walsh Road Kids.

 

Back to the last day of the school year and the buses, number 014 to be precise. Marybeth had been checking the kids off mentally as they climbed aboard her bus and waited as the kids took their seats. A lot of the drivers had adopted strict rules about seating and talking and all of that but Marybeth remembered when she was a school girl and scoffed at that sort of thing. The bus ride home should be a time for the kids to relax from the stress of school not be a continuation of it and because of this, some would say liberal attitude, her kids were relatively well behaved and tended to sit in the same places all the time anyway so it all worked out. She finished her count and was just about to close the door and pull out when she saw a lone student walking toward her bus. Marybeth blinked but it was real. Jordan Johansson was climbing onto the bus.

 

Jordan had been riding the bus most of her life all the kids did no big deal, most of the kids of Union County rode the bus until they got their licenses and could drive themselves and a lot of those kids took the bus still too. But Jordan, for the most part had stopped riding the bus about six months ago, and everyone knew why.

 

Jordan had gotten a boyfriend, a boyfriend who was two years older than her, Dexter Fox, a boy with a reputation even among adults who had dealing with school kids.

 

Jordan stepped on to the bus and it seemed as if everyone fell silent all at once and she felt herself start to blush. She glanced down to her right and saw Dwight Wolf sitting next to his sister Deanna. Dwight smiled at her a little wide eyed and he gave her a little wave with fingers his hand held chest high. Deanna seeing this elbowed him hard and he dropped his hand and looked down at his lap. Down the aisle Quinn waved for Jordan to come sit with her while Silas moved over to sit with Rochelle.

 

Jordan took a deep breathe and went and sat by her friends. Friends she had kind of been neglecting for a while.

 

Spoiler

this is the intro scene it will end when the bus drops y'all off. im giving you a little bit of RP space to find your voices. nothing is going to happen on the bus ride home so feel free to just talk like kids on the bus...remember you are all 15 or just turned 16, you just left being a freshmen in high school behind so keep that in mind.  of course the big thing is Jordan is riding the bus after being driven by her boyfriend for the last six months. Some of you may have heard but no one knows for sure that He dumped her at lunch today... all six of you are sitting on four seats, two on each side of the aisle about the middle of the bus. The Wolfs are about three seats ahead of you. The wolf kids aren't bad kids at all they look pretty much like their pictures. He is a nerd and she is a bit of a busybody. You all grew up with them but they never really clicked like the six of you. you may assign what ever level of individual friendship you wish to them either individually or as a set.

 

 

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“Hey,” Quinn said in a casual greeting to Jordan. If she bore the large girl any ill will over being neglected for a boy, it didn’t show in her voice or face. “Long time.”

Jordan nodded, looking down at her lap. The awkwardness stretched for a second, and Quinn frowned. “So,” she drawled out, as Silas looked at her sharply. He knew the tone of voice Quinn used when she was about to “help”.
 

There were always quotes around the concept of helping, because Quinn was many things but insightful about human social norms was not one of them. She could tell if a horse was floundering by watching it for a few seconds, but she didn’t understand emotional subtlety (or she didn’t use it if she did). She could list off the top ten finishers for the Tevis Cup for the last five years -- horse and rider -- but she confused names and relationships between people in her social circles. Ask her about bits and bridles and she’d talk for hours. Ask her for some simple advice, and expect maybe one sentence. Don’t expect to understand what she suggested.


“I heard you and Fox were over,” Quinn said bluntly. “Did he throw you from the saddle or was this a voluntary dismount?” Silas winced on her behalf, even as she added, “Because if it’s the first, I’d be happy to take a crop to him for ya.”

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Dark green pleather creaked as Jordan's hands tightened on the back of the seat in front of her, the hard muscles of her forearms bunching. She'd always been big, but she'd grown a lot in the last year, and since lunch, everyone had been looking at her like they knew, and there was no way for her to hide from the stares. Normally, it didn't bother her, but after Dex...

 

She was still stunned and hurt, but the anger was starting to build up inside her. And some of that anger was at herself. So caught up with her boyfriend, who'd she thought had really liked her and was looking eagerly forward to spending the summer with, that she'd practically forgotten about her friends and neighbors.

 

All time wasted on a boy that had made her feel like a woman and wanted, who as soon as school ended, had ended their relationship as though a movie had finished. Well, that was an okay show. Gotta go. Netflix and chill my ass! Now she felt like she was just a girl again, over sized and over muscled, and a bit dirty. He hadn't even been mean about it, which was starting to piss her off too. That, and not even giving her a drive back home.

 

Head resting on a broad shoulder, she turned to give Roach a frown.

 

"Yes?" The huge girl was never much for words. Dexter's car was a manual, he'd tried to show her how to drive it a few times - She had wished there had been more space in the back seat. "Don't see what that's gotta do with anything."

 

Jordan turned her head on her should to face Quinn, her pair of pale blond braids flipping over and hitting her arm with a whack.

 

"He... he just broke up with me, if that's what you're asking," she admitted with a growl, bright blue eyes tight with a hurt that seemed so at odds on someone so strapping and robust. "Said he'd be gone all summer working construction with his uncle in Atlanta, with some bull about not wanting to 'hold me back'." The quotation marks were clear in her disgust. "Didn't see if I'd wait. Didn't see if I'd go with him. Didn't even write in my yearbook or give me a ride home..."

 

Jordan's pretty face screwed up as she suppressed a snarl. When they had first started dating, she'd been two inches shorter than Fox, if still the tallest girl in her grade, but by the end of the school year, she had a full four inches on him. And while she'd tried to downplay it at first, she'd always been stronger than Dex - she had four older brothers, and they had never let being a girl be an excuse in their horseplay - and was a good deal stronger now.

 

Dex had always reassured her he didn't mind it, that there was more of her to like and thought it was awesome she was a girl he didn't have to worry about. Had he been lying the entire time about how he felt about being shorter and weaker than a Freshman girl. Were all the times she'd caught his friends laughing, laughing at him about her?

 

"Two days before my birthday!"

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From across the aisle came Hank's casual comment  "And people say men are the ones who hold more vulgar conversations..."   Hank smiled as he heard three of the girls he grew up around start talking.  His tone was clearly in jest, and then any  further attempt at levity died as Jordan  laid out everything that happened.    Jordan was one of the only women taller than him at school, and given they were only just out of being freshmen, he had a feeling she'd end up even taller.  

Hank wasn't the sort to storm off and hit another guy without reason, and at the moment, seeing how it had hurt Jordan, he was wishing he was just abit.   Still, in his mind, Breaking up before the summer was better than after, It gave Jordan a chance to move on without all the daily school drama, which would have probably been even more annoying after this.  Still, trying to find a bright side that was worth mentioning right now, well, perhaps it was best to let the girls handle it.   Especially given what he'd signed in his yearbook.  "Have fun with Broadzilla, Dex"  Hell he'd been surprised when Dex had come up to him and signed it.  It made him wonder if he signed the others, turning a slight questioning look to them.

"That asshole.."  he muttered thinking about the words in a new light.  

 

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"He probably thinks he'll get to hook up with girls in Atlanta and wanted to not feel guilty about it," Silas said with the tone of someone describing a particularly unpleasant mold. He'd gotten the same treatment last year when his middle school girlfriend dumped on the last day of school because 'they should keep their options open for high school.' "I know it sucks now, but it's better than wasting all of high school on him only to have him dump you at senior prom because he thinks the same thing about college." 

The boy looked her over, not with any romantic or carnal interest, just an appraising look. "You'll do far better than him in life." He shrugged and glanced out the bus window, adding quietly so as not to carry up to Miss Collins in the driver seat. "But maybe we should go egg his house anyways. Or baloney his car."

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"No," the Amazonian girl replied tersely after a moment.

 

It wasn't that, now that she had a chance to think about it, she didn't believe that hooking up with other girls in Atlanta could be exactly what Dex had in mind, or that they'd be boyfriend and girlfriend all through high school, or even that she could believe she could do better than him later in life. The idea of egging his car was appealing - actually, what she really wanted to do was take his stupid basketball signed by stupid LeBron James, and throw at his stupid face!

 

But she didn't want to give him the satisfaction! She had several older brothers, she knew how it went. When they weren't play-wrestling or roughhousing, they were trying to get each other in trouble. Dex had acted all reasonable and mature and stuff - even though he so totally wasn't! - and if she retaliated more directly, she'd be the one seeming unreasonable. So unfair!

 

Jordan leaned back against the bus seat, a muscular thigh swelling as she brought a knee up and braced it against the seat in front of her. She unscrewed the cap on her near ever present gallon jug of water and took a long chug, then sighed as she slowly screwed the cap back on.

 

Dexter Fox had been her first boyfriend. Her first in many things, really, she had to admit, her cheeks reddening again despite herself. That still meant a lot to her, even if it didn't look like it meant a lot to him. There had been a few others that had tried to warn her about him, but she hadn't listened, thrill by the attention from a hot and athletic junior, and now she was paying for that willing deafness, when it should have been Dexter paying.

 

She squinted her eyes, deep, rapid breaths straining her tight, red shirt, tensed arms straining the sleeves as she suppressed the sudden urge for tears. She didn't cry, she never cried. Not this easily, not for something like this, not for him.

 

"What I want is to move. To run. To break something."

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The bus bounced up and down the rough road, two seats in front of where the Jordan was taking a swig from her ever present water jug, Dwight Wolf took advantage of the fact that his sister, a year ahead of him in school as well as a year older, was gossiping with Kacey Dale another girl in her class, to glance back at the well muscled girl he had had a crush on for as long as he could remember. 

Dwight's eyes popped as Jordan  bent her leg and wedged it against the back of the seat in front of her. Jordan was wearing shorts like always weather permitting and the way she held her leg made the muscles of the visible thigh bulge and  and then when she lifted the jug and drank the sight literally made Dwight forget to breath.

 

Jordan sighed again and set the jug between her and Quinn just as the bus hit a nasty bump that made everyone bounce. Irritated she glared to the front of the bus at the back of the driver's, Mrs Collins, head and made eye to eye contact with Dwight Wolf  who was leaning out of his seat looking at...Her?

 

Dwight's eyes looked right into Jordan's and he remembered to breath with a gasp and yanked himself back into his seat facing forward his face turning red. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his sister with a stern frown looking at him and in the seat in front the stupidly grinning face of his sisters friend, Kacey, silently laughing at him...

 

Spoiler

if anyone else wants to have noticed Dwight staring at Jordan feel free to do so

 

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"We could go to the cabin tonight if you want. Run around, maybe go for a swim. Find something satisfying to break and have a firepit." Silas was still looking out the window, his expression mostly inscrutable to the gaggle of teens, but Quinn could tell he was a bit disappointed not to have Jordan's approval to baloney the jerk's car. She was also the one likely to know that he might do it anyways, though he'd probably wait until later in summer when Jordan wouldn't be the first one suspected by the adults. 

 

He glanced over at Jordan, "We could get some food from home and grab sleeping bags. I doubt if anyone would care if we spent the night out there. It's the last day of school."

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"I know Mom and Dad won't care a bit if I get my chores done first," Quinn said, "and we can have a little bit of fun. I can bring some games, too." She was aware that the rest of their friends weren't as outdoorsy as she and Silas could be. Also, Kaid had gotten a copy of Cards Against Humanity. Quinn knew enough of the game to know that her parents probably wouldn't want her playing, so she really wanted to. Also, Kaid would be pissed off about it, and it was the least he deserved after dumping her out of the hammock last weekend. He may have forgotten -- or gotten suddenly better at lying -- but she still had shadowy bruises on her knees. 

 

"So who's in?" She grabbed Jordan's arm. "You have to come -- think your parents will let you?"

Edited by Dawn OOC

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"I'm in."  Hank smiled, liking the idea of hanging out and spending the first night of summer with his friends.  There was something "right" about that.   "I can get us some snacks and such, and we can have a good time with it."   Among the group, Hank was largely seen as the "Responsible One" by their parents.   That wasn't to say he'd not take risks, or get into mischief, he was the one most likely to plan things out, and have whatever the group needed.  

 

He turned his gaze to Jordan,  It was her call this time if she wanted to do all this.  As much fun as it sounded, they'd probably not be getting together to do this tonight if Jordan said she didn't want to.

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Hannah rolled her eyes as Dwight's eyes nearly popped out of his head cartoonishly. Boys were so... boys. She gave a small shake of her head and looked to Jordan, listening to the others for a moment. She would normally suggest a book or two... or ten... that might help, but with Jordan that was a somewhat less viable option, through no fault of her own, really.

 

"Actually, 'breaking stuff' is a psychologically legitimate form of catharsis." Hannah piped up, nodding as the bus hit another bump, dislodging her glasses and making her look a bit goofy for a moment, though she promptly pushed them back up her nose with a faint smile.

 

"And being with friends in times like this is good too. There's a Swedish proverb that goes, “Shared joy is double joy; Shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” I mean, boyfriends and girlfriends will come and go, but we're always here for each other." she said with a small shrug, her eyes looking down at the diamond plate deck of the bus, hands rising to tug down her wool cap a little more as if trying to hide from the attention that was now on her, if only briefly.

Edited by Noir

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Jordan scowled as Dwight Wolf turned away. The glance had been brief and she couldn't tell if he'd been looking at her as a freak or as something else. That's right, don't even say anything. Did he think just because she'd broken up - had been broken up - with her boyfriend, that she was looking for another one? And he might have a chance? He was fat. Not that bad in itself, and he wasn't handsome - though she'd just found out what that was worth - but she was sure he started panting as soon as gym class started. And she definitely wasn't interested just after Dex.

 

She was interested in hanging out with her friends, who had rallied to her immediately, despite her having given them so little of her time this school year. Jordan glanced over and down at Hannah, offering her a tentative grin, as she casually caught her water jug as they hit another bump in the road. She didn't understand exactly what Hannah had said except that wanting to break stuff wasn't necessarily bad. Jordan just found it very satisfying sometimes, fun.

 

It was better than breaking people, her parents had been quick to teach her, as their daughter had continued to grow and turned the tables on her brothers.

 

The massive teen looked at her friends sitting around her on the best, her smile growing bigger, more relaxed and assured. With friends like these, who needed a boyfriend anyway?

 

"Sure," Jordan replied finally, rolling her broad shoulders. "Parents shouldn't mind. Just might need to trade chores with the twins." Her grin faded somewhat. "Dunno 'bout food to bring. Might have to stop someplace first."

 

Things were just a bit tight at home lately. She grown so much in the last year, she had to replace most of her wardrobe several times, and she was well past using any hand-me-downs from her brothers, as well as other things. It was getting harder just finding clothes that fit at all. And she and her twin brothers were still teens and eating an almost disturbing amount, especially her. Food and leftovers didn't seem to linger longer than a few minutes in the house.

 

Jordan had started considering looking for a job after she turned sixteen, to help out with costs she was causing, and to add a some extra spending cash in her pocket. Her eldest brother worked at the steel mill with dad and was saving up to move out soon, while the twins were pooling their meagre paychecks from their fast food jobs to afford a car. Ryland had decided to travel after graduating - the last they heard, he was in Germany - somehow making his way with odd jobs. He hadn't needed to ask their parents for money yet, anyway.

 

"Thanks."

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"Soooooooooo..." Rochelle said in a long, drawn out syllable. "Is that that cabin you guys used to go to? Silas' folks' place? How far is that?"

 

She was pretty sure she could find it, but for her plans, it would be best if it was close enough to bike to. Roach couldn't remember off the top of her head where they'd said it was in the past. Some old Walsh property off the beaten track. Her folks hadn't been okay with her going out there the time they'd invited her last time. This time she wasn't planning on asking.

 

Not that attending an estrogen-laced breakup party sounded like good times to her, but a cabin full of hormonal kids, out in the woods somewhere isolated... Roach was already formulating a list of all the things she'd need to scare the bejesus out of them, over and over again. An audio player with wifi speakers for ambience. Some spooky lighting. Maybe a smoke machine for that creepy low-hanging fog. A dark outfit, suitable for barely-glimpsed images of something moving just at the edge of vision.

 

And she'd need like a tent or something, she guessed...since to really SAVOR this would take more than one day, and it wasn't like she'd be staying in the cabin with the Scout Troupe, eating s'mores and singing hymns. Or whatever they did. No this had to be a slow burn. Blair Witch them. Maybe she'd even head down early and seed the site with little...dolls or totems or something.

 

Roach grinned to herself. It'd be therapeutic for good ol' Jordan. A little existential dread to chase those boyfriend blues away.

Edited by SalmonMax

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Silas shook his head, “Yes, Roach, its still in the same place. Just follow Haizlip Ridge and turn off on the dirt road just before it become Azalea.”

 

All the kids fell to laughing about the Great Fourth of July Maritime Bottle Rocket War most of them had last year, and soon began making plans for this weekend at the lake and in what seemed like no time at all the Bus slowed to their stop across from Walsh road.

 

Silas was the first off the bus and as he stepped away and was turning to wait for his friends to join him, he saw the car stopped behind the bus. It was long and black and seemed to sit with an unmistakable air of menace like a panther preparing to pounce. It was also a car he had never seen on this road or anywhere in town. Long and black with windows tinted so dark you could see nothing through them even the driver was a dark smudge through the windshield.

 

Roach was next off followed by Jordan and Quinn each paused and followed Silas' gaze to the rear of the bus.

“Is that a hearse,” asked Quinn?

“Yep,” muttered Silas as the rest of the Walsh Road kids joined them and the bus shifted into gear and rolled away from the bus stop. “It's a '59 Cadillac Hearse,“ said Roach knowing that her dad would be envious of her seeing such a car.

 

The shiny black hearse slowly followed along behind it rolling slowly passed the kids the black windows staring out at them like dark eyes drilling into their souls. Silently they watched the hearse follow the bus to the next stop where the Wolf siblings and a few other kids exited and headed to their homes, then the bus drove on and the teens, expecting the the hearse to follow out of sight, turned their attentions back to themselves and their plans. All except Roach who wanted to watch the unique car for as long as she could see it, sudden she gasped. “Guys...”

Everyone turned and looked as the hearse instead of following the bus around the curve and out of sight, instead turned onto the old Clairburn road and vanished as it passed into the over grown tress beyond the wall.

Spoiler

The Hearse just imagine the tinted windows   aYXw1Ah3SpC1k6M2xj5S_1542-a-1-1024x424.thumb.jpg.3979b90c6f14f52f71f466ea2dd7e3c0.jpg

 

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The hearse looked old to Jordan, the style of it anyway, and Roach said it was, but it was shiny and spotless, as though it brand, spanking new, too. Near a head or more taller than most of her friends, Jordan stood on her toes, as if the few extra inches would let her see the car longer through the over grown trees. When it was undoubtedly beyond sight and sound, Jordan dropped down on her heels with a thump and looked over at her friends.

 

"Did someone move into the Clairburn House when I wasn't paying attention?" Jordan asked. She'd jumped the three foot stone fence bordering the place lots of times, it was a great height for practising for hurdles and parkour. She'd even gone up to the house more than once, though even she had dared to try the door, despite the property having been abandoned for like, a hundred years. One step on the veranda, and you knew there was something wrong about the place. Jordan was sure at least one person must've been murdered in that place. "I didn't notice anything that last time I was over the fence."

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Hannah stood and looked at the odd unusual car just like the others did. She was no gear head like Roach, and could not peg the model and year of a car like she could, but Hannah still appreciated the the opportunity to see a classic car like that first hand. It was unusual though, and a car she could not ever recall seeing around town, which made her look at it closer for a moment before she was distracted again with talk of plans for tonight and the weekend.

 

Then Roach called their attention back to the car just in time to watch it head up the old Clairburn road and disappear among the trees. The sight caused Hannah to wrinkle her nose, which had the unintended effect of causing her glasses to slide down it a bit.

 

"Huh. That's weird." she said, though it was stating the obvious to all the Walsh Road kids, and drew some 'Duh!' looks from them.

 

Hannah rolled her eyes and pushed her glasses back up her nose.

 

"I mean, it has North Carolina plates. So that leaves two.. wait. No. Three options." she offered. 

 

"It's possible there could be some super reclusive shut-in living in the old Clairburn place, and they finally passed. But if that was the case, the coroner would be coming to get the body, not an out of state hearse, so that one's super unlikely." she suggested.

 

"Maybe there is a small family cemetery or something on the property and somebody in the family finally passed and wanted to be put to rest there? It wasn't that uncommon a hundred or so years ago." she suggested with a bit of a shrug before continuing, "I mean, it's that or, like, vampires or something, considering that illegal-ass tint." she added with a grin and a small laugh as she held up her first two fingers to her mouth, curling them down to mock vampire fangs.

Edited by Noir
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Roach rolled her eyes, then shrugged.

 

"Or maybe someone just bought a badass old classic car to tool around in," she suggested dryly. "Kinda emo, I get it, but did you see the polish on it? A car like that's worth some serious money, especially in that condition. There's no way it's still being used as a hearse. It's gotta be a showcar or a rich emo douchebag's Statement-mobile."

 

She gazed after the vehicle, down the old road. "Wonder if he did the restoration himself. Huh. Anyway, my money's on new buyer. Of the house, I mean."

Edited by SalmonMax
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Hank shrugged.  "Could be.  You guys want to follow and find out, or proceed home and get ready to head out to the Cabin tonight?   I'm game for either.  It's not like either place is going anywhere though.  We've got the whole summer."

It was strange, and definitely not the sort of car one saw every day, but he wasn't planning on going alone, and was happy to do either one with the group.

 

Edited by Shameless

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"The cabin'll be here all summer," Silas agreed on that. "Dunno about the car or whatever's going on at the Clairburn place. I vote we can get stuff together and head out to the cabin a little bit later." 

 

Clearly his interest had been caught by the stranger car and it's even stranger destination. He knew his family's history in the area and the fact that the Clairburns had cleared out years ago - the last thing he really wanted was them coming back and deciding to start up the old feud again. He glanced around at the others, obviously wanting to go snoop but not up to doing that on his own.

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Hannah listened and nodded

 

"We uh, can drop our stuff off and my place and hop the fence in the backyard." Hannah offered with a shrug as she looked away from Silas and toward the ground, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.

 

"I can get my camera even. It has a telephoto lens so we might not need to get too close."

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"Backup plan," Jordan replied to Hannah's suggestion. She swung her backpack over her shoulder, then nodded towards where the hearse had been lost to sight. "Just go over and say hi. They ain't friendly and all, then we come back."

 

After Dex's shit, the big girl was all for the direct approach. Without waiting for answer, she began crossing the street without pausing, glancing casually each way just in case there was a car coming. She spun around on her heel and walked backwards, giving her friends a half smile. "Let's meet the new neighbours, yeah?"

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Wide eyed they stared as Jordan jogged across the road then turned and goaded them to join her as she continued toward the curve and Clairburn road walking backwards. Like the kids they were their earlier plans set aside and momentarily forgotten they rushed across the street to join their giant friend.  Laughing and joking again they trudged down the old dirt road and past the treeline where the woods crowded up close to the old wall and overhung the road, casting the whole place into a gloomy shadowy tableau.

 

Jordan came up short about twenty yards up the dirt track from Gumlog rd., her way blocked by a very formidable wrought iron gate across the road. “Ok this is new.”

 

And indeed, it was, as old as the gate looked, the mountings were modern and new and the masonry construction where it had been added to the old wall was fresh, no more than a few days old. However, as formidable as the gate blocking the road looked it was clear it was designed to only hinder traffic as the wall on either side of the road was the same stone type which ran all along the Clairburn property and was only three feet high, thus easily avoidable.

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Roach hesitated, but then fell in behind the rest of them as they headed up the road to the Clairburn's. She was a little curious about whoever owned that car...and this way she had other people to attract attention away from her. For the best, really.

 

She dug out her cell as she went, but the bars were as bad out here as ever. Enough to get a call, but internet service would be atrociously slow. Even so, Rochelle typed in the address of the house, wondering if she might get any info on recent sales or anything.

 

It was something to do as everyone stood around at the gate.

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"Wait. Do you hear that?" Hannah asked as she looked around. "The gate. It's saying something..." she commented, leaning sideways slightly toward the gate, cupping her hand around her ear. 

 

"The gate. It's saying something. 'KEEP OUT'. It just keep repeating it over and over again." she relayed with a small grin and then straightened up, nodding.

 

"Yeah. I don't think they want their neighbors to just drop by and say 'hi'. And for all we know, they could be putting somebody to rest in a small family cemetery and really not want to be bothered right now. So the frontal approach is inadvisable." she added, then realized that pretty much all eyes were on her, and looked back to the ground with a shrug.

Edited by Noir

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