Flambeaux & Staug Ch. 07byDiaperedSiouxsie©
"Is that Hillton?" Matt wondered aloud. Nick shrugged and shook his head. "I couldn't tell you."
They continued up the path until it stopped at a precipice. Matt walked ahead of Nick and looked down to see another pathway headed downwards. He looked over to Nick. "We can jump down," he said assuredly. Nick looked over and leaped down. He landed hard on his feet, the ground beneath him shaking and cracking underneath his weight. He moved over and waited for Matt to hop down. He laughed. "That looked somewhat uncomfortable," Matt laughed. He placed his hands on the ledge and slowly lowered himself, gingerly dropping himself to the ground. "Fuck you," Nick laughed.
The path developed into a small dirt road, and further down they found a sign reading "Down, 10 miles."
"Down?" Matt muttered under his breath. Nick shared his confusion. "I've never even heard of Down," Nick said. Matt leaned against the sign and thought. "I...I'm trying to think up of the map at the station in my head."
He shook his head. "I can remember no Down."
Nick hadn't even heard of such a town. They pondered this until Matt noticed a car driving up from a distance. The road had turned into a bridge past the sign, still alongside the mountain path they'd just walked on. The car was at the opposite end of the bridge. "Nick, wave that car down."
Nick walked into the center of the bridge and waved his arms about. As the car neared, they could identify it. It was a blue Nova, probably '75. It wasn't until the car stopped in front of them that the blood on the hood was noticeable. Then there was the man inside. As he got out, his features immediately set off an alarm within Nick. The dark hair and goatee, the unfeeling and apathetic eyes, and the half smile that represented a scornful sneer.
Maynard clapped his hands as he stood outside the car. "Very good," Maynard said with mock visual accolades. Matt backed up, the smile gone from his face. He lowered his hand to his holster. "Who the hell are you?"
Maynard laughed. "I wouldn't do that," he told Matt. He quickly pulled a gun out of the car and pointed it at Matt, switching his aim from him to Nick occasionally. Nick was too afraid to move.
Closing the car door, Maynard approached them. "So," he began oily. "You really thought you'd get out. You really thought that you wouldn't be dead at..."
He looked at his watch. "...10:30."
Nick was gasping for air, his heart threatening to pound through his chest and onto the concrete. He looked over at Matt, and the look on his face suggested that he felt the same.
"I do, however," Maynard went on, waving his gun about, "believe I owe an explanation to you both. Mister Harvey, you are here because I abducted you last night and left you in that house. I wanted someone to play around with once my assignment was complete, and you played the part very well."
Disgust immediately overpowered Nick's fear. "You piece of shit," he spat. Maynard chuckled as he looked over to Matt. "As for you, I killed a couple of your partners and they sent you here. Your presence and death was not planned, so I do apologize before I kill you."
"What do you mean assignment?" Matt asked hoarsely. Maynard licked his lips. "Well, you see," he started, "I was given an assignment to clear out Aftersun. I wanted to please my superiors, so I took the liberty of taking care of Down too. It had the same fate anyhow, so I saved them some work. I need to get on their better side, let's say."
"Who're 'they?'" Nick barked at him.
"Sorry, you've asked your allotted question," Maynard smiled. With that, he stretched and mentally recited "eeny meeny minee mo" to himself. He then pointed the gun at Matt. "Looks like you're first," he grinned.
Before he could pull the trigger, a figure in all black dropped to his feet next to Maynard from the pathway above them. He grabbed Maynard's wrist and the gun shot off to Matt's right. The man, who appeared to be nearly seven feet tall, grabbed Maynard by the head and viciously tossed him into the side of the car, breaking both door windows as he fell to the ground.
The man then pulled a out a long sword from the sheath in which it had been on his back and rushed to Maynard. The immense fear on his face was almost comical as Nick and Matt watched this man impale Maynard and raise him high in the air, his body resting on the handle as blood rained down around the man. After a couple seconds, his threw Maynard's body off of the sword and it flew onto the street, dragging on the concrete for a couple feet.
He then turned to Matt, giving him a sly grin as he brushed his long black hair out of his thin and pale face. He placed his sword back in its sheath, did a backflip over the bridge, and disappeared.
Matt ran over to where he jumped and looked over, but he was gone. Nick couldn't take his eyes off of Maynard's lifeless mangled body as Matt walked back over to him. "Get in the car," he said softly. "We're going to Down."
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