tagNon-EroticFlambeaux & Staug Ch. 11

Flambeaux & Staug Ch. 11


Brian hummed happily as he tapped his hands on the steering wheel of his Buick LeSabre, careening down the road on his way home. He'd been away on a business trip for three days, and had just left the airport after arrival. He was very pleased that he was only a half hour away from his eight year old son Mark and Elizabeth, his wife of eight years.

Brian was thirty two years of age, one year senior to his wife. He was an enigneer for Doldrum Plastics and had to go work on some stupid project for no real reason. He had resented his entire time there because it didn't seem as though his presence was necessary, yet he had to stay anyhow. Not that it mattered now. He was not far from home now and knew it was only a matter of minutes before he was home.

Brian entered Hillton and observed the gas stations on either side of the road. They seemed like the sirens from the Odyssey, what with his gas tank not at it's fullest to say the least. As he neared the end of the road, he decided to pull into the last one. He parked alongside a pump and walked inside.

The girl sitting at the counter looked like she was about to pass out. She was apparently not used to this late night shift. Brian walked over to a chip rack and grabbed some Doritos and headed over to the counter. "These, and Fifteen on nine, please."

The girl looked up at him as though she were a zombie. "No problem," she muttered. Brian chuckled as he handed her the money and walked out back to his car. He opened his tank and started to pump gas as a scene down the street caught his eye.

The phone building (as he'd grown to know it as) had its lights on in one room, with a figure looking at papers of some sort. The figure kept dropping them and frantically picking them up, as though it were nervous or just agitated. Brian let a laugh out at the shadow's misfortune, as he heard that familiar click, telling him his tank was full. As he closed up the tank, he gave one last look to the person in the phone building and saw a second, much larger figure come up behind the first. The second figure grabbed the first by its throat and viciously raised and slammed it against a wall. With the second arm, the silhouette drew a long sword and jammed it into the first figure's torso. Horrified, Brian hurriedly got into his car and drove off, dropping his chips on the ground in the process.

Brian sped through Hillton, shaken by what he'd just seen. He'd just witnessed a brutal murder; he had no idea what to think. All he knew was that he had to get away from that scene, and fast. He continued down the same, empty road as the establishments grew fewer and farther between and the lights became more scarce. After a couple minutes, Brian let up on the gas pedal and realized he'd passed the road into Aftersun and was headed for Down.

"Shit," he muttered to himself. He looked to turn, but the opposite lane had seemed to break away from his while he wasn't paying attention. Fear took him then as he looked around for another way to turn. Then he calmed himself; there had to be a way around further up the road. There had to be. Forcing himself to relax, he continued driving down the dark and empty road.

The further down he drove, the more fog appeared. So much, in fact, that Brian could barely see what was in front of him. He placed a hand over his mouth in frustration as the fog continued to thinken. Then he saw the girl in the road.

He stopped in front of her as she approached the car, looking very upset. Once she was in his sight he noticed that she was pointing a gun at him. Brian could not think, not even move. The first thought that made its way into his head was the question of whether or not this girl had anything to do with what he'd seen in Hillton.

* * *

Michelle walked through the fog, shivering in the cold as she shakily held her gun, a cigarette quivering from her mouth. She'd never smoked more than a couple cigarettes in one day, already she'd smoked four in a row. One good thing was that the fog was beginning to lift the farther she got, letting her know that she was nearing Hillton. She had no clue what to do once she got there; all she knew was that she'd be safer there than in Down.

The more she walked, the more jumpy she got; practically leaping into the air every time she heard a bird, a cat, or any animal moving behind the bushes on the road's boundaries. So when she saw the car's headlights, she was plenty nervous. "Why is anyone here?" she asked herself.

It was driving slowly, so Michelle stepped out in front of it and drew her gun. She concealed her brimming fear rather well as she stopped right in front of the hood with her gun pointed at the guy behind the windshield. He had an odd black Eddie Haskel haircut, matching dark eyes and freckles, and a striped white dress shirt. And he looked scared as hell. As she examined his expression, her fear began to fade, and she lowered the gun. She walked up to the driver's window and knocked on it with the barrel until it rolled down.

"H-h-hi there..."

"Yeah," Michelle started, glad she was finally in charge of something. "What're you doing here?"

"I -..."


"I'm coming home from a business trip."

"Where do you live?"

"In Aftersun."

"Then why are you here?"

"I missed a turn, I-"

"Move over."

This guy sounded like he was about to piss his pants, so Michelle dropped the interrogation bit. He moved into the passenger's seat as she opened the door and sat at the wheel. She stretched in the warm car and smiled as she stuck her gun in her pocket. She tossed her cigarette out the window and made a sharp right turn into a line of thick bushes.

"Agh!!" he screamed. "What the hell are you doing?!"

Michelle laughed as she drove through the bushes and ended up on the opposing lane, headed back to Hillton. "What the hell's going on?" he asked, trying not to sound too angry.

"The explanation's kind of lengthy," Michelle said. "We should probably get acquainted first. I'm Michelle."

He nodded. "My name's Brian," he replied, a little less timid now.

"Okay," she started, "I don't know why exactly, but someone has cleared out Aftersun and Down. Like everyone in those towns have been killed. You were out of town, so I guess you lucked out."

Brian's face had grown pale. "No," he said under his breath. "That can't be.."

"Who did you live with?"

"M-my wife and son.."

"I'm sorry," Michelle offered. Brian began to weep softly in his seat, much like she had when she found her parents. She said nothing until he spoke again.

"Why?" he asked, wiping his eyes. Michelle only sighed in response. "I don't know."

"Well, what are we going to do?" Brian asked. Michelle shook her head. "I haven't a clue," she answered. "All I know is that we need to get out of here. As far from here as possible."

"Can we stop by my house?" Brian asked.

"Not a good idea," Michelle said. "Last time I made a stop two guys I was with got killed. I still don't know by what or how."

"Hey, hey," Brian said, pointing out the window. "That building.."

Michelle looked over at a building with the letters ATT on the side. "What?"

"I saw someone get killed in there about half an hour ago," he said. "That's why I panicked and missed my turn."

Michelle turned onto the street and parked in front of the building. "What are you, nuts?" Brian hissed. Michelle pulled her gun out. "I've already lost so much," she told him. "The least I could have in return is to know why."

She got out and Brian followed hurriedly, scared to be alone. "Wait!"

The glass door at the front had been smashed open, with fragments of broken glass all over the concrete and the blue carpet inside. They walked down the hall cautiously until Brian tapped Michelle's shoulder. "That's the room, I think," he whispered. She slowly creeped to the half closed door and opened it, revealing knocked over file cabinets and a sliced open body with a discolored head and throat.

At his feet was a paper half soaked with his blood. She dropped to check it and found a three page long service report, minus two pages. Page three was here, but pages one and two were missing. All the file cabinets that had been knocked over were still closed, and this was the only paper within sight. The page referred to entire towns being disconnected, not really implying anything, just stating that it happens, basically. "Is this about.."

Michelle thought. Taking papers regarding a town's disconnection was not going to do a whole lot, just maybe keep the fact that two towns were empty under wraps for a bit longer. Rising up to her feet, Michelle turned to Brian. "Do you have any money?" she asked. He nodded haplessly, looking over the room in discomfort. "Why?"

"Because I'm thinking we're going to need a hotel room," she said. "Unless you know of another place where we can sleep."

"No," he said, "Let's go. Before the gas station there's a bunch of little motels."

Michelle pulled the keys out of her pocket and they headed outside back to the car. "In the morning we'll go to the police," she said. Brian nodded. He still couldn't believe that his son and wife were dead; it was as though he'd been knocked across the face with a brick. His eyes filled with tears again as Michelle turned back onto the street.

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