Chapter Six: Beauty and the Beast
Josh's lips met his and then Travis pulled back, a stoic expression on his face. He felt a craving for something and before he realized it his face crashed into Josh's, licking then sucking the boy's lips. Travis couldn't get enough and pinned the smaller boy beneath him as he continued attacking Josh's mouth. His tongue scoured the ginger's mouth until Josh finally managed to break the boy's death grip on his lips and gulped several breaths of air.
"What the fuck?" Josh said then stopped when Travis grew gnarly talons and several rows of fangs. Josh backed away from him and screamed when Travis pounced on him. He sniffed Josh then went away. Josh let out the breath he'd been holding and watched as Travis devoured what was left of Josh's candy bar.
Josh got the message and assembled what remained of his chocolate stash before the feral boy decided to attack him. Travis consumed seven assorted candy bars and made short order of two massive chocolate bunnies then fell asleep. To Josh's further shock he watched as the talons and fangs retreated and his hair returned to its normal black. When Josh thought it was safe he locked himself in his room was torn between getting away from Travis and staying to find out just what the hell was going on. He thought about calling the police, but doubted he'd be believed. He decided to call David instead.
"Dude I'm freaking here. Travis came over then kissed me, then he like changed and now I don't know what to do," Josh rushed out as soon as David picked up.
"JJ chillax, all I heard was something about Travis kissing ya. So why are you spazing out?"
"You don't get it, he grew freaking fangs and claws," Josh said as he hit himself on the forehead.
"JJ I think you've been watching too many Buffy reruns, ha."
"Not funny man, I'm being serious here. What the hell am I suppose to do? He's passed out in my living room and I'm scared he'll attack me. Dude, come over."
"No can do `bout to get my dick wet, besides this is probably just like that time you swore there was a werewolf in your garage and it was just a stray cat."
"Oh come on I was 11 and what happened to bros before hoes?"
"Bros before hoes is not a sentiment the David can cosign on. Don't get me wrong I'll put a lot of things before hoes. New Kswiss—sure; Call of Duty—absolutely; money—guaranteed, but bros? David don't do shit for the bros, not unless they wanna be my wingman and get me that pussy, the bros aint getting shit from me. The same goes for peeps, homies, boys and whatever else dudes are calling themselves these days."
"Well fuck you very much and I hope your man hoe ass gets cock rot," Josh said and hung up. He crept back into the living room where Travis was still snoozing. Josh had imagined kissing him countless times, but now that it had happened he felt used and thought back to what Doctor Adams said about hoe he built a fantasy version of Travis. Josh watched him sleep a while longer before he cleaned up the wrappers. Josh then hog tied Travis and looked over the boy for signs of movement. He hovered over him a moment then Travis woke up.
"Mind telling me why I'm like this? Didn't know you were into this type of stuff, now let me go."
"Uh no, you mouth-raped me and are staying like that until I know you won't attack me again."
"And if you don't release me I will attack you," Travis said as tried to free himself and failed.
"Nice try, but I was the best at tying knots in my scout troop so you aren't going anywhere," Josh said smirking. Travis gritted his teeth and with one mighty twist of his hands and feet he was free. Josh backed away from him and ran back into his room. With shaky hands he locked the door.
"Spare me the melodramatics. I'm out of here once we've done the paper and those interviews. And for the record I kissed you to prove a point. Action without emotion is just as powerful. Love is a chemical reaction indistinguishable from getting high or eating tons of chocolate. I didn't plan on making out with you, just a little peck to prove my point. And about the other stuff that happened I'd appreciate you keeping that to yourself. I already have the police breathing down my neck," Travis said to the closed door then retrieved his papers from the floor, booted up his laptop.
"Dude you are majorly screwed in the head no wonder you're in therapy," Josh said.
"Last I recall so were you buddy boy and don't think that door will save you."
"Hey low blow and screw you, you escapee from a psych ward."
"Oh I have no doubt you want to. I bet you're about to premature ejaculate in there."
"Ugh why are you such an asshole again, it's like you're two different people," Josh said then unlocked the door and made his way to the living room. Deafening silence saturated the room, only broken by Travis' typing. Josh remained transfixed to his seat on the couch, glancing over at Travis every few seconds to make sure he wouldn't get attacked again. Done with the paper Travis sent a copy to Josh's Gmail account, saved then logged off.
Still not in a talkative mood Josh turned on the TV and vegged out to a lame horror movie on Sci-Fi. After 30 minutes of them surreptitiously glancing back and forth Travis realized he would have to make the first move. He edged toward Josh and caught his eyes.
"Look this is stupid, let's be adults about this. I apologize for being an all around ass to you. If after today we never speak again then so be it. Let's knock out those interviews and go about things as if we never knew each other."
"How can you be so nonchalant about what happened? And what makes you think I won't spread this around school come Monday?" Josh said his voice rising at the end.
"Oh, I have no doubt that you would, but that's a moot point considering I couldn't care less about popularity plus you remember what happened in the gym. As for the other stuff, like anyone would believe you. So tell me, about yourself?"
Josh mulled over whether to comply or tell Travis to mind his own business. He sighed and began his tale. Josh's parents only kept him around for appearances and ignored him the rest of time. He was given free rein and had access to his own credit card, provided he didn't embarrass his parents. He always wanted a brother or sister, but his parents said one mouth to feed was enough so would pretend his stuffed bunny was his brother.
"I just wish for once I knew what it was like to be loved," Josh said as he broke down criying. The next thing Travis knew he was seeing Josh as a little boy sobbing as he listened to his parents arguing:
"I never wanted kids Samantha and I shouldn't be punished for the rest of my life because of one drunken mistake."
"You? What about me!? I'm too young to deal with some snot nosed brat."
"Whoa that was weird," Travis said holding his throbbing head.
"What?" Josh said sniffling.
"You were 4 when you found out your parents didn't love you."
The shocked look plastered on Josh's mug told Travis his vision had been spot-on. Josh Cocked his head to the side then opened and closed his mouth.
"How did you know that," Josh said sobbing harder.
Smirking and putting on a phony Asian accent Travis replied, "Me know ancient Chinese secret."
"Oh," Josh groaned then tossed a pillow at Travis and a pillow fight ensued until exhausted they plopped down shoulder to shoulder and exchanged goofy grins then went back to glaring at each other.
"You know you're not half bad once you stop being such an emo-tard, though I still think you need Prozac or something," Josh said sending Travis a dirty look.
"Well for you information I've been on Prozac since I was six and a half. To answer your other question I have these powers you see," Travis said against his better judgment. There was something about the redhead that made him believe he could trust Josh and drop his guard.
"Well obviously they need to up the dosage."
Screw you and your transparent buttocks.
"And when the heck did you see mien hinny, eh? I'll have you know my glutious maximum is fabulous," Josh said then realized Travis hadn't spoken, "How?"
"Told you I have these powers," Travis said smirking.
"That's so cool what all can you do?"
"No it's not cool. I have to keep myself under control and you don't even want to know what this head ache feels like. And as of right now I can make stuff blow up, have telepathy, super healing, levitated once while meditating, and precognition or at the very least I just saw your memories," Travis said bored.
"How can you be so blasé. I'd be happy as hell if I were you. Can you imagine all the pranks and shit you could pull? Come on blow something up, please?" Josh said getting on his hands and knees begging.
"Well I have been preoccupied with the fact I'll be dead in six months, but I don't know. I've never actually tried to blow something up on purpose before, but here goes nothing," Travis said as he looked at a nearby lamp. It began to shake then, boom. It shattered to pieces and the table it was on burst into flames.
"Oh shit I didn't mean to do that. Go get a fire extinguisher."
"Fuck! I don't know where one is and the fire's spreading," Josh said panicking.
"Well go look and I'll try to keep it contained," Travis said picking up a pillow and proceeded to use it to smother out the flames, but it was no use. He tossed the pillow aside in frustration then started to dial 911, but stopped when Josh charged into the room carrying the fire extinguisher.
"Note to self don't try that again," Travis said as he took a seat on the couch while Josh put of the fire.
"Will your parents be pissed?"
"No they won't even notice the lamp is gone. As for the desk it's not that bad, a little varnish and it's good to go."
"Well that was interesting got any other bright ideas carrot top?"
"Hey how was I supposed to know you'd get all fire starter on my ass. Guess you can tell me about yourself then we're done."
"That was the first time anything like that has happened asshole and you were the one who suggested it in the first place," Travis said sticking his tongue out. Travis opened up to Josh about his world. He told him about what it was like being born into two worlds and a part of neither; about family reunions full of awkward silences and stares. He even told him how his parents constantly threatened to leave me in the hospital until they found out his mom's parents let him a trust fund.
"Man that's fucked up. You know they really should make people pass a test to become a parent," Josh said as he eyed Travis with a new found respect.
"I don't need your pity," Travis said glaring at Josh.
"Hey screw you and your chocolate stealing ass. Like now I'm gonna have to hit up the parental units when they get home."
"And that's my problem how?" Travis said raising an eyebrow.
"Gee, with friends like you who needs enemies," Josh said playfully shove the other boy.
"Oh how cute you think we're friends. You're so naive I'm going to enjoy corrupting your delicate virtues."
"Oh I'd expect nothing less from the dude who mouth raped me."
"Hey I wasn't in my right mind and I don't recall you exactly putting up a fight. It isn't rape if you enjoy it."
"Oh you sick freak, but I like your style kid, stick with the Josh and you'll go places."
"I'll take things that are never going to happen for 200 Alex."
" What?" Josh said scratching his head.
"Never mind you wouldn't get it anyways."
"That's what she said to you," Josh said causing Travis to give him a bewildered look.
Bonded by their mutually screwed up lives the boys commiserated long into the night about how better the world be if only people needed a license to raise kids. Through the hours they shared laughs, tears, and death glares as they got o know each other better. Around nine they feasted on left over spaghetti and pizza and then headed to Josh's room.
"Master, I bow to your absolute sloppiness," Travis ripped on Josh as he cleared a path through all dirty clothes and crud that littered the floor. They crashed on the bed and then began an epic marathon of Ken versus Ryu battles and after two hours or so of play Travis popped in one of the random DVD's that was lying around and on came Josh's favorite episode of Inuyasha. Surprisingly Travis wasn't a fan.
"Come on man anything but this mushy will they or won't they crap? Like this series is so retarded. Why can't they just ice that stupid Naraku dude when he's asleep? Or better yet how come they don't like just all go to Kagome's time and stock up on RPGs, AK- 47s and bust a cap in his ass already?" Travis lamented as Josh assaulted him with episode after episode of the series.
"True, talk about plot holes and there are only like a billion shards of that stupid jewel they have to collect only to get them stole or lost in the next episode, but I like it for the characters especially Inu-kun," Josh said in his Japanese accent.
"Wapanese for the fail," Travis said as he reclined on Josh's bed.
"Hey you're the asshole."
"You know Japanese?" Josh said surprised.
"Well when you practically live in the hospital you run out of stuff to do so I taught myself Japanese," Travis said.
"Man I know what it's like to be alone all the time too," Josh said as he lay down next to Travis.
"People come and go, change is the only constant."
"Are you like a Buddhist or something?"
"No I've just been reading up on Zen meditation."
"Ok—shh here comes my favorite part," Josh said and turned up the volume.
"I don't roll over for anybody. I'm not one or the other. Not really a demon, not really human. I'm not either, that's all. There was no place for me, so I had to make one for myself. And then I realized I had a place, but I was the only one in it," Josh said along with the DVD.
The slight pressure on his shoulder alerted him to the presence of Travis' hand. Turning his head Josh locked eyes with Travis and that instant they saw inside each other and realized they were the same. A comfortable quiet washed over the room as they lay there, reveling in the fraternity of the moment. Travis knew that this was ultimately pointless, so he'd just enjoy the ride and see where it went. He pulled Josh towards him and put the boy in a headlock, thus beginning an all out wrestling match. With Josh outweighed by at least fifty pounds Travis had him pinned in no time. He stared down at Josh as he struggled to get free; defeated he tapped out and Travis released him. Josh glared daggers at the boy then folded his arms and turned away. After remaking the bed Travis suggested they watch a movie and as he was searching around Josh pulled down his pants
"You little shit," Travis said and retaliated by pinning Josh down and tickling him until he almost wet himself. Travis spotted a familiar DVD under Josh's bed after yet again making it due to his OCD, and laughed.
"What's so funny about my favorite movie," Josh said narrowing his eyes at Travis.
"I'm laughing because Stand by Me is my favorite too," Travis said flashing Josh a rare smile.
"No way dude, who's your favorite character?"
"I like Gordy best, because like him I'm always reading. What about you?" Travis said continuing to smile. Josh cast his eyes downward and pulled his knees up to his chest before he said, "I like Chris, he's a fighter and don't take shit from no one just like me." Josh beamed his cocky smile, then paused. He looked up at Travis and then said, "You know that scene where Chris breaks down and says he wishes he could go somewhere nobody knows him? Well I feel like that all the time. Sure I have tons of friend but they don't know me, the real me, not the funny midget that makes everyone laugh." Josh broke down sobbing.
"Look at him crying like baby. Tell how much a pussy he is and really give him something to cry about," Oblivion whispered to him. To its shock Travis wrapped his arms around Josh. The scent of strawberries and freshly cut grass filled Travis' nose and sparked a tingling sensation in the pit of his stomach.
"Hey don't get the wrong idea or nothing you just looked like you could use a hug," he said pulling back from Josh.
"Hey I don't need your fucking pity and keep your damn hands off me you understand," Josh said then began hyperventilating.
"Here breathe into this." Travis handed him an empty potato chip bag he saw on the floor. Josh took a few cautious breaths then began to calming down.
"Thanks man, where you'd learn that trick?"
"Years of practice dealing with asthma attacks."
"Oh," Josh said and tossed the bag aside. Travis popped the disk into Josh's Xbox and they settled down and watched Stand by Me in between cracking jokes and shoving each other. Half way through Travis turned to Josh and said, "You know when I was younger I use to imagine I was one of the boys from Castle Rock and for a while I'd forget I was just a sick kid stick in the hospital."
"Same here dude, minus the hospital part of course," Josh said placing his hand on Travis' shoulder and giving it a small squeeze.
At about 11:30PM the movie ended and Travis freaked out about how late it was and prepared to head home, but Josh stopped him.
"Dude you're crashing at my place tonight there's already like a foot of snow out there," Josh said looking out his bedroom window. Sure enough Travis checked his cell and there was a text from his dad:
Caught n storm. B back ASAP. Don't get n2 trouble. Travis texted him back and said he was safe at Josh's house. They gathered up extra blankets and flashlights in case of a power failure and after getting everything situated Josh showed Travis to the guest room down the hall then got ready for bed. With nothing better to do they turned in for the night. Not too long after drifting off to sleep Josh was awoken by Travis shaking him.
"Hey cunt face move over, the power is out and I'm freezing my nuts off even with the extra blankets."
"Ha, I didn't know it'd be this easy to get you in bed," Josh said through a yawn.
"That's so not funny you pederast. If my boxers are around my ankles in the morning you are so dead."
"You will be molested," Josh said while dodging blows Travis threw his way. After getting situated they turned away from each other and fell asleep. That night Travis dreams were sporadic jumbles of faces, places and flashes of fire. The next morning he awoke to achy limbs and stiff muscles, feeling as if he hadn't slept at all. After waking up a bit more he noted a warm sensation and pressure on my back. Upon turning Travis saw Josh curled up using him like a pillow. With his bladder about to burst he extricated himself from the bed and after finding a flashlight he headed to the bathroom. Once done he hoped back in bed and drifted to sleep while trying not to get hypothermia. The loud wail of security alarms woke them up and turning on the TV they saw that it was 10:00AM. The news broadcaster said that it would be a few days before power was fully restored and that those with power were to conserve it until further notice.
Great so what are we suppose to do for the day? Travis thought.
Hmm, Confucius says you can make out with Abercrombie over there. Come on you know ya want to. You're just creaming your pants thinking about it.
You have jokes, do you? Keep that crap up and I'll bury your ass so deep in my mind you'll never see daylight again.
No, I'll be good I promise. Mommy.
I rule you bitch and don't you forget it.
With that distraction out of the way Travis gathered his stuff and prepared to leave when Josh stopped him at the door.
"And where do you think you're going?" Josh said hands on his hips.
"(a) It's none of your business and (b) since the streets have been plowed and the power's back on there's no reason for me to stay."
"But I thought we were friends, you asshole. Aw fuck!" Josh said after he punched Travis in the jaw.
"Well that was smart of you," Travis said not even feeling Josh's blow.
"Fuck what is your jaw made of, Titanium or something?"
"Hmm could be, now where do you keep the bandages around here," Travis said noticing Josh's swelling hand.
"I don't know dude like my parents don't really keep that stuff around, hell the only time I even see them is at dinner parties and shit."
"What are you like five?"
"Hey it's your fault I broke my delicate wittle hand on your mean ole face," Josh said in a babyish voice.
"Well you're in luck ickle Joshykins because my mom's a nurse so we're always well stocked on medical supplies and hell I'm practically a MD."
"God don't ever call me that again. David does all the time and it's annoying as fuck."
"Well come on then let's get a move on partner," Travis said doing a horrible John Wayne impersonation that launched Josh into hysterical laughter.
"Yuck it up shit head. Remember I'm the one who can break every bone in your bone with just my mind. That shut you up," Travis said and give Josh his standard smirk.
When the boys got to his house Travis keyed in their security code, then pull on a ratty pair of sweats and examined Josh's hand in the bathroom.
"I don't think it's broken just sprained bad. Wait here while I get you some ice and an ace bandage."
"How the hell do you know that, ouch," Josh said when Travis straightened his hand.
"I told you my mom's a nurse and I'm read through her old text books because I was tired of always having to depend on other people to take care of me."
Of course Travis fudged the truth a bit. He cut himself too deep once and had to apply a makeshift tourniquet after hastily looking up how to stop the bleeding. In the past weeks Travis discovered he could no longer use that as a release since every time he cut himself the wounds healed instantly, much to his frustration.
"There. If it continues to swell up then it's probably broken," he said then handed Josh an ice bag.
"Thanks doc, what now?"
"Now you go home and we act like yesterday never happened. Capish?"
"Forget about it, I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse. I don't spill about your powers in exchange we hang out, do homework together and kind of document the progression of your abilities. All in the name of science of course," Josh said.
"What do I get out of this arrangement?"
"You get someone to vent to about the everyday bullshit plus an accurate record of your abilities so if anything happens to you the truth will be out there. Besides the way I figure it with this I can write my ticket to any university in the world," Josh said rubbing his hands together.
"Didn't take you for the academic type," Travis said giving Josh a once over.
"What? I'm not like the rest of the knuckle heads at school who can get Mummy and Daddy to make a donation and get straight A's the rest of the year. I have to work for my grades, like you do. I thought you knew that, guess I was wrong," Josh said his words cutting Travis to his core.
"Oh. Ok then I'll agree on three conditions: (1) if at any time I don't want to continue, this farce is over, no questions asked. (2) You agree to share all information you gather with Dr. Richard Hu and (3) you don't name this project something stupid like The Travis Files."
"Fine but I get top credit for discovering you and I'll call it The Phoenix Diaries."
"Ok but why dare I ask did you chose that title?"
"Well my first choice was off limits so I went with this because it sounds cool," Josh said and blushed.
"OK.. So when do we start this project of yours?"
"How does after school Monday work for you?"
"Good but we're going to have to work around my community service hours the rest of the week," Travis said and then the pair searched around for something to kill time. With Josh's hand incapacitated Halo's out so they settled in for a movie marathon starting with Kill Bill. Just when the battle with the Crazy Eighty Eights started, Travis' phone rang pissing him off to no end. Grumbling, he answered it on the second ring. It's his mom calling to say they'd be back around nine or later depending how bad the roads were. He answered her asinine queries about how he was doing and what he did last night. Travis was just about to wrap things up when Josh took the phone from him.
"Hey Ms. Johnston, please tell Travis not to molest me. I'm too young to get my black cherry popped." After wrestling his cell from Josh and frantically getting Sarah off it, the war was on. After pouncing on the helpless kid Travis gave Josh a purple nurple then put him in a side headlock. As Josh was about to pass out Travis released the pressure on his neck and for the coup de grace rubbed the ginger's face in my rank pits. Sputtering and dry heaving, Travis took pity on the pathetic kid and released him.
"If my hand wasn't fucked up right now you'd so be one dead motherfucker."
"Whatever you cum guzzling hermaphrodite, just be lucky I don't tea bag your albino ass."
"Dude you can't be racist if you hate everyone. Besides you know you want this dick," Travis said grabbing at his crotch.
"In your dreams you donkey raping shit eater," Josh said and flipped him off.
"You like me, you want to kiss me, and you want to screw me," Travis said as he wiggled his hips from side to side.
"Hmm, I could get down with that—not. What say we get back to the gory goodness that is Kill Bill and cease the shit-dickery?"
"Deal you pole smoker," Travis said and lay back on his bed.
Several movies later the boys were thoroughly bored out of their minds as their stomachs lured them out of Travis' crypt of a room. They killed off the rest of the leftovers in the fridge and Travis put a frozen tray of lasagna into the oven for dinner, hoping the power held up till it was done, then they trooped back to his room. As per usual there was nothing good on Sundays, and with the combination of their full bellies and boredom the boys succumbed to sleep. Yawning Travis awoke to find Josh tangled up with him and drooling on his pillow. After he stretched and checked on dinner he woke Josh up and suggested he go home.
"Oh," he said as his eyes changed blue. Sorrow radiated off Josh palpably as he headed for the door; his body moved as if caught in quicksand. He stopped at the threshold and turned back to Travis.
"You know my parents didn't even text me to see if I was alright. They don't care what happens to me as long as I don't disgrace the family name. I thought maybe you'd understand that but I guess I was wrong," Josh said then left. Against the warnings Oblivion issued for him to stay away Travis followed after Josh.
"Look if your parents don't care where you are I guess you can hang with me, but don't get too comfortable or I'll have toss you're skinny ass out understood?"
"Yeah I bet you think I'm a pussy, huh?" Josh said laughing.
"Yes, but that's beside the point now come on doofus before people begin to wonder about us," Travis said locking arms with Josh and walking back home. They lay in comfortable silence as they watched Travis's battered copy of Stand by Me. Josh still couldn't get over the boy's room. There was nothing out of place and he could actually see the floor unlike his sty of a room, but the weirdest thing to him were all the labels and post-its affixed to every draw and object in the room.
"What's with all this?" Josh said gesturing to Travis' room.
"Most of the post-its are for school and the rest are due to my OCD, have to have everything in its place, or I can't function."
"That sucks I couldn't deal with that dude," Josh said and extended his good hand for a fist bump. Travis looked over at for a second then complied.
It was rare for Travis to find anyone he could tolerate for longer than a few hours, let alone actually connect with, yet he found both in the red headed kid from around the block. The oven timer went off jarring Travis from his thoughts. He was under no illusion that Josh would stay after he got what he wanted, but for a while Travis let himself believe they could be friends.
Placing the tray on the counter to cool, he then set the table. Not long afterwards Amber arrived home from her friend's house cell glued to her as usually. The petite blonde girl of 11 spared the boys one look before she sat in front of the TV and tuned everything out. Twenty minutes later Mr. & Ms. Johnston arrived home.
"Hello dear now care to tell me why your hand is bandaged up, and why you and your hooligan friends beat up my poor Travis?" Sarah said glaring down at Josh. He gulped and stammered out an incomprehensible answer.
"What was that gibberish you just spat out?" she said getting in Josh's face. The red head was at first scared then his cheeks and ears turned bright red.
"I said there wouldn't have been a fight if he hadn't acted like a douche bag to me, ok? And my hand's messed up because I hit him," Josh said giving it right back to Sarah.
Josh cut it out my mom's just pushing your buttons to get a rise of you. Don't give her what she wants. She hates it when you ignore her.
Josh heeded Travis's silent message and Sarah backed down with a disappointed look on her face. The family sat down and dug in. Travis served himself a large piece of lasagna drawing his father's attention.
"Damn boy, save some for the rest of us. You keep this up and I'm putting your ass on a diet," Eli said as he took half of Travis's portion for himself.
"Yes sir, but I'm growing and need the extra food," he said then added for Josh's ears only, into what is anybody's guess. Josh cracked up at the comment earning him a dirty look from Sarah and a smirk from Eli. Throughout the meal Josh and Travis cracked jokes and generally goofed around, earning stares from his family. After dinner Sarah examined Josh's hand and confirmed that it was just sprained and would be fine by week's end. After Travis washed the dishes he and Josh exchanged goodbyes.
"You're not half bad to be around once I get past your douche shield,' Josh said and extended his left fist.
"And you're pretty cool for a pussy," Travis said bumping fists with him.
"Hey I resent that, I think," Josh said then walked home. As he Josh leave Travis thought, what the hell had he just gotten himself into?
Send all comments to silentbutcudly.com If you think things can't get stranger for Travis you aint seen nothing yet. Chapter 7 and onwards ratchets up action and answers a lot of questions about Travis and the voices in his head, though not all at once. This weekend I'll post up to chapter 11 on my site (silentbutcudly.com) and from then on will post there first then to nifty.