*The following tale is
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Denn's Mobile Circus
Part One: The Freakshow
The 400 Pound Woman
I hated working fast food.
Seemed like nintey-nine percent of the customers who came in there were on that "fast food is beneath me, and so are the people who work there" shit. If I didn't already know that grown ass people can act worse than children, working fast food would've learned me real quick.
My morning consisted of getting called out my name for not letting some crusty lookin' bum refill the coffee cup I'd watched him fish out the trash can, cussed out at the drive-thru by some female who wanted me to repeat her order but every time I did she kept changing something and would want me to repeat it back, belittled at the front register for giving a "Vietnam vet" a rusty penny as part of his change, and an entire happy meal thrown at me by some overweight queen who was "just absolutely outraged" by size of the fries that came in the meal.
Then lunch rush happened and I got to deal with the high schoolers. Usually they weren't bad. Mostly high off the fact that they got to go off campus to eat lunch. But every now and then, the high school boys would get up to their little tricks. I didn't realize I was dealing with a couple of pros until two of them gave me ten to pay for their order. When I gave them back their change, they told me that they'd given me a twenty and were owed more change back.
I told them,
"Boys, if you're gonna try that trick. Make sure I'm not paying attention to the ten you gave me to pay for your order."
They could've just left it at that, but no. So I indicated one of the cameras behind me and I told them,
"I can have my manager run back the tape and zoom in to the register, so it won't be just your word against mine."
"You know what? Why don't you just forget it and go get our fuckin' food." responded one of the boys.
"Yeah. We're not just paying for you to rip us off." the other one assisted.
Could've taken what they said as an insult, but it was impossible in the face of such scrubbery. If they weren't intelligent enough to know when and how to use the trick they'd tried to pull, then that was their own fault. Then to have the nerve to get attitude about it after their failure was hilarious. I was rollin' on the inside as I went to go get their food. It was obvious their sensei sucked.
Next came one of the banes of society. Parents and their children. No, not all parents. Just the ones who let their kids run completely wild when they were out in public, then stand there and act like they don't see it happening. And just the ones who, like some tacky motherfuckers, let their kid piss in the ball pit on the playground.
If I was able to see the stream from where I was standing at my register, I know these people had to have seen their child standing there with his little dang-a-lang out hosing down the balls. And if they didn't see it, how the hell could they not have heard it?
Sorry asses had the nerve to hurry up and leave before the manger could get outside, after me and a few other employees told him what the kid was out there doing.
That was how I missed any further morning antics. Me and two co-workers spent our morning sanitizing the ball-pit after we had to empty the bastard and send the balls back to the company.
That was why I was looking forward to afternoon rush. It always signaled the last hour of my shift. It technically wasn't a rush. Just a steady trickle that would eventually turn into the dinner rush tidal wave. That left us with small stretches of downtime. If one of the "by the book" managers was on duty, we had to find something to do and be busy at all times. I was doing that when a customer walked through the door. Actually, through both the doors. It was a woman so obese that it made me wonder: "where does this woman go to shop for clothes that come in her size?"
She walked up to my register, since I was the one closest to the door probably, and did not bat an eye as she up sized her twenty piece nugget meal. To her credit, she did order a diet 7up. We didn't have it, though. When I told her that, she swore she always got it at the very restaurant she was standing in. I just nodded and smiled. I knew she was wrong. 7up was a Pepsi product. The restaurant didn't serve Pepsi products. It served Coke products. And the only clear soda the restaurant had that was a Coke product was regular, non-diet, Sprite. That's exactly what she got.
I served her and she went on her way, only to have her come crowding back into the front my two person line five minutes later. She slammed her cup down on the counter and fixed me with a nasty glare.
"You tryin' to be cute with me, son?" she snapped, sounding like a female version of Yosemite Sam.
"Excuse me?" I questioned, clueless.
"Coulda swore I ordered a diet 7up. But when I get to my table and take a drink, I find out its carbonated water. I take that to mean you're tryin' to tell me somethin'. So here's what I hafta say to you."
Picking the cup back up, she removed the top and tossed the carbonated water right at me. It splashed all over my shirt and the upper part of my pants.
So pissed that one second I was thinking: "no this grown ass hippopotamus did not just throw this shit on me" and the next second I was saying "why the hell is Travis on me like he's about to give me dick?" when I realized I was downstairs in the supply room with my co-worker, Travis's, 200 plus pounds straddling my chest.
I want to know how I was up at my register doused in liquid one second, and the next, I'm all the way in the basement pinned like it was WWE. My co-workers were able to sense my confusion. Travis let me up, and all of them began to explain.
Travis said I'd leapt over the counter, charged straight at the woman, pinned her against the wall, via her neck, and proceeded to choke the life out of her. He said I'd actually lifted the woman a foot off the ground and didn't look like I was any trouble keeping her there, despite her struggling.
All the guys who were on duty and weren't on the grill had come out there to try and stop me from killing the woman. Even some of the customers stepped in to help.
"But you were so strong, dude. I'm tellin' you. It was like nothin' I'd ever seen in my life." Travis said.
"And you were growling and your eyes were all crazy..." Suzette, one of my female co-workers (one who'd help clean the ball pit earlier) added.
"But then this kid walked up and..." another female co-worker who was there, Tina, began.
"What kid?" Travis cut her off.
"You didn't see that kid who...we'll, you probably were busy trying to pry Micah off that woman, so I guess not."
"I didn't see any kid..."
"Did he have on a black shirt and...oh...I think he had on a hat and some light colored shorts?" Suzette asked.
"Yeah!" Tina lit up. "Yeah! That was him."
"I remember seeing him when he walked out. I didn't see what he was doing before. I was hoping he hadn't stolen anything while I wasn't paying attention."
"Well he like walked up to where Travis and the guys were at behind Micah. Then, he put his hand on Micah's shoulder, and I don't know if he like said anything or not, but I know that's when Micah let that woman go and that's when you guys took him down here."
Travis agreed that I had suddenly let the woman go. I hadn't been pulled off her.
"Damn it, I just don't remember seeing a kid." Travis said.
"Well, not like a kid, kid, I mean, like, a teenager maybe? He was kinda short, wasn't he, Suzette?" Tina asked.
"Yeah..." Suzette started, as the manager on duty, Laurie, came downstairs to check up on things.
She was the reason Travis had been straddling me. Just in case I decided to go crazy again. Seeing that I was back to normal, she sent the others upstairs and got my side of the story.
"Well, here's the situation." she'd started.
The tapes that normally recorded the lobby had been in the process of being changed, so they'd missed recording the whole outburst. The customers and employees had agreed the woman had instigated the fight, but that I shouldn't have taken the action I'd taken. She wasn't going to write me up, because the woman had already been told not to come back to the restaurant months prior for doing something similar to another employee. That meant she had no business in there in the first place.
"Let's just make sure we don't have anything else like that happen again. Next time, you probably won't luck out like you did this time." Laurie had finished.
I was excused for the rest of the day, giving me a short head start on my off time since I had the next day off. Usually that meant party time. Too bad the situation wasn't usual. Usual situations didn't involve me blacking out and missing entire spaces of time. It would've been one thing if I'd passed out. Passed out and done nothing. But I'd been fully functioning somehow. I'd assaulted someone easily ten times my size and was choking her to death.
There's been times when I've wanted to go to the car, get my bat, and have a straight nigga-moment on a person. But a soda being thrown on me by some rude, out of line bitch was no reason to try and choke her to death.
"So why did I do it?" I thought aloud.
A squeaking sound paused my thoughts and called my attention over to the area where the trash bins were kept. It was nothing but a high wall on two sides and two metal gates as the doors. That was where the squeaking had come from. The metal gates were slightly ajar. Someone had forgotten to lock them up. ...Again.
"And after we just got our meal privilege back for folks not locking up the gates." I shook my head.
It pissed me off how people could forget something so simple on a continuous basis. It wasn't that hard to remember locking the same gate that had to be unlocked to get through it in the first place.
"I better lock this shit up." I figured. I liked having my free meal.
I pulled the gates open and stepped inside. It was a pretty good sized area. Enough to fit two of those metal apartment complex sized trash cans in.
"Let me check to make sure those are locked too." I thought, going to do so.
That had been done correctly at least.
"I hope the lock on the chain is still unlocked." I thought, turning around to leave.
Otherwise I was going to need to go back inside for the key. Would've been fine under normal circumstances. After my little scene, though?
"I'll just tell Tina at the drive-thru that..." my thought cut short when I realized someone was standing at the entrance.
"Why don't we have a quick discussion about your customer service!" they spoke.
"What the..."my thoughts managed. Words didn't happen.
It was the woman from the restaurant. The one who'd given me a free bath and blackout. But something was wrong with her face. And her eyes...
"What's wrong with your eyes? Are you okay?" I asked.
I was standing in a kitchen.
My chest hurt. So did my left arm and my left ear was ringing a little.
My legs collapsed. I fell, hearing my breath come out in a shuddery gasp that aggravated the dulling pain in my chest.
"Ah. You're awake." a voice spoke in a low tone to my forward left.
My eyes locked onto them.
It was a boy. I pegged him at fourteen or so by the voice. He was sort of on the short side. Not freakishly short, but short for the average person of fourteen. His face, unlike his voice, didn't help with placing the age. It looked more boyish than manish. It also looked like it'd been in a fight. His right lower lip looked a little swollen and there was a slight ring around his right eye. It, like his other one, was a cool shade of blue. His brown buzz cut hair looked a little darker in the front for some reason, but otherwise he wasn't a bad looking kid. Had a certain cuteness to him.
It was not cute enough, however, to detour my fear, which was quickly attempting to masquerade as anger.
"Alright, where am I? Who are you? And what the fuck do you mean by awake?" I demanded.
The boy's blue eyes lightened.
"'Kay, first of all, keep your god-damn voice down." he spoke in a normal, but quieter than mine, voice. It was deeper than I expected, full of an authority that surprised me.
...And startled me.
The boy sighed. The lightness in his eyes (which had begun to make them look less like blue and more like yellow) winked out.
"Sorry." he apologized, voice whispering again. "Just keep your voice down, okay? I know you don't remember, but we're hiding in this house. It's empty. We're waiting for the rest of our Pack to get here. I was keeping watch over the front, you were watching over the back. "
"Why?" I asked, whispering myself. "What happened?"
"Just keep an eye out for that...woman."
What woman? I didn't remember any...
Yes, I did.
How could I forget that face?
...Or those eyes.
"That woman from the restaurant." I said. "She was there when I got ready to leave the trash cans."
The boy nodded.
"And she might've followed us here."
"Why?" I wondered, before a thought occurred. "Did I try and choke her to death again?"
"Uh...no, she tried to choke you to death. More than that, actually. Luckily, I showed up, or else she mighta had you."
He looked back out of the doorway he was standing in that led from the kitchen to (I assumed) the front room or front part of the house. He turned back to me a few moments later.
"She was too strong for us to take in that small space, but we couldn't go outside because humans woulda seen. So we ran, and that...whatever the hell she is, came bookin' right after us. Took us some mad skills to shake her off. At least we hope we did. And...well, here we are."
He took another watchful glance out the doorway, then back to me.
"We better not get distracted. We want the jump on her first if..."
A snapping sound cut him off. It sounded like it'd come from the front of the house.
"Go." I nodded to the boy
He left the doorway to go check the front of the house.
Current situation was keeping me from thinking about anything that'd come before. If what the kid said was true, we had reason for concern. The sound had been something snapping. Could've been a random house sound. Could've been something outside stepping on a small branch as it tried to sneak up.
I looked out the kitchen windows. They were draped with green curtains that sat on double bars, one on top of the other. There was a gap in between them large enough to see out of without disturbing the curtains. Looking out, I saw the place had a very nice back yard. It ran like a pathway from the side of the house I was on, before letting out into the full yard.
I could see the full yard as I shifted my vision over to the window at the sink. It was fenced by tall wooden planks (telling me a person would have to jump the fence or open it to get in) and there was no sign that anyone was back there. No shadows behind, near, or in the gazebo, which was the only obstruction in the yard. There was no pool and no patio. The kitchen was the exit.
I glanced back at the kitchen doorway to the front of the house and saw the kid hadn't returned. Taking one more look out at the backyard, I made my way to the doorway and stepped into it. It was at the front of a short hallway that led to the bedrooms and bathrooms of the house. I rounded the corner and caught sight of the kid looking out the blinded front room window.
"Anything?" I asked.
"Nothing." he replied, not turning from his watch. "You?"
I stepped into the good sized front room and took a look out of the blinds that ran on the same side of the house as my point of vision had when I was in the kitchen. I could see the yard and the side of the house next to us directly in front of me. To the right was the rest of the front yard of the current house we were in. To the left was where the fence started. There was a gate on that fence. I figured it led into the backyard. Noticed the gate was just slightly open.
"Did we come in through the side gate?" I asked.
"No. We came in from the back of the house and in through the back door. Had to bust the lock." the kid answered, making me turn to him.
"Was the back gate open last time you looked out this window?" I asked.
He looked over at me.
"No...Like open, open?"
"Like slightly open." I honestly hoped he was going to say yes.
He shook his head. Reason for concern was building in his eyes.
"Then somebody either didn't close it, or somebody left it open." I could feel my reason for concern changing into alarm.
"Sorry. But it was probably me." a familiar voice spoke.
Turning to look at the source of the voice, I saw the woman from the restaurant standing at the hallway entrance. There was a smile on her face that screamed satisfaction.
"You'll have to run further an' faster than that if you wanna get away from me." the woman's voice came out gleefully triumphant.
"What are you?" the kid asked her, not bothering to whisper anymore.
I didn't think it was possible, but the woman's features became even more hideously cheerful.
"Same thing as you are sweet-tea..." she began, as the edges of her lips pulled back toward her ears, forcing them into an impossible smile.
The little red blood vessels in the cornea of her eyes burst, flooding them with red liquid. Her lips parted, revealing her teeth. They weren't normal looking teeth. Each of them were sharp points that reminded me of shark's teeth. They continued to show, as the woman's lips seemed to fasten into a permanent smile.
"Not human." she concluded in a raspy, but still feminine, voice.
No chance to think about what she said. The woman was at me so fast it shocked me. Her arm pulled back and launched forward, her palm delivering a blow to my chest that felt like it had the power of a sledgehammer. My feet lifted out from under me. I was suddenly airborne, launched backward, slamming back first into the wall behind me.
The air felt like I was inhaling fire. My chest screamed in agony, my lungs felt like they'd taken a ten.
I opened my eyes.
Didn't even know I'd closed them.
I was on the floor. Across from me, the woman was on the kid, pinning him down. I couldn't see him around her oversized body. Just his feet. They weren't moving. It could've been because of the woman's weight.
...Or it could've been because he was...
I had to get up.
I had to do something!
But the pain.
It was keeping me from moving at all.
"Get off him!" I tried to yell, but the words died before creation.
But the power of them did not. I could feel it resonating in my body like a low hum. The hum grew in intensity, becoming a buzz. The buzz grew to become a rumble. The rumble grew to become a shout. The shout grew to become a roar. A roar with so much power that my entire body and mind were blown apart by it.
Everything went dark.
But I was still there.
I could feel.
Not with my body, but with my mind.
It was expanding. Expanding to encompass the supernova that had shattered it apart.
A warm wave brought physical sensation back to my body, radiating from head to toe. It seeped into my skin, into my muscles, into my bones, and fused into them. I'd never felt anything like it.
I could move on my own again. The world faded back from dark and into focus before my eyes.
Everything was so vibrant. And so...detailed.
This was not how I'd been seeing before. It was also not how I'd been feeling before. The pain that'd made me useless was like a phantom in my chest. There, but nowhere near critical. And my muscles. They were still brimming with that energy, that power.
But I was not going to explode this time.
The strength. The power was mine to control now.
And it was time for that abomination of a woman to hurt.
I got to my feet and went at the woman, cracking the knuckles of my right hand as I balled it into a fist, and struck out at the woman's side in hopes of a kidney shot. My fist connected. It felt like I was punching quicksand. The woman's body gave just a bit, but nowhere near the force I'd hit her with.
She lifted and spun to face me, slapping me across the face as she did so. It sent a quick pang of pain across the side of my face. The impact sent my face over to the side. But not far enough to notice she'd backhanded me. Her other hand was on its way to finish what the other had started. My hand reacted immediately, catching the woman's arm before it could make contact.
I had her attention now.
It was in her eyes. Just a hint. Surprise.
Before she could focus on me, the kid's body snapped upward into a sitting position and he punched the woman in her throat. Something between a gasp and a cough wheezed out of her forced open mouth. She turned back to face him.
But I wasn't going to give her a chance to catch her breath, let alone retaliate.
I let go of her wrist and with everything I had, I socked the woman in the jaw.
Nothing cushioned the blow this time. She took it all. Her head snapped to the side, and the force of my punch knocked her off the kid and sent her rolling across the carpeted floor.
The kid was up and on his feet again. The skin around his neck was a dark shade of red. The woman had been choking him, or at least trying. He gave me a quick glance, nodding his thanks, and I noticed his eyes weren't blue anymore. The blue had become a bright, almost glowing yellow. The pupil was still black.
No time to focus on that. We still had Jabba the Hut to deal with. She'd already recovered and was back on her feet. Her lips still stuck in that hideous grin. Pennywise the dancing clown would've approved.
"What else you boys got for mama?" her raspy voice chuckled.
I was about to answer "mama's" question when,
"You lead. I follow." the kid said. His voice was half an octave deeper that it had been when he'd snapped at me earlier, and more throaty sounding.
No time to focus on that either. Round two was about to begin.
The kid made his move, a few quick steps before he leapt, catapulting himself at the woman. He pulled back his fist, ready to strike her in the face. She moved to shield her face with her arms. It was exactly what the kid wanted her to do. He pulled his right foot back and nailed her square in the stomach.
Too late to tell him not to attack her body.
It did the same thing to him that it'd done to me. Her fat completely cushioned and absorbed the blow.
The woman's arms left her face. Her hands went straight for the kid's leg. It was still planted against her. She grabbed it, making it look like the kid had tripped in mid air. He let out a quick yelp, as the woman swung his body around by the leg and slammed it across the wall. The dull sound echoed around the empty house. The wall dented in where his body impacted but didn't break.
Switching positions, so that she looked like a batter, the woman swung the kid off the wall and at me.
His body was moving in a downward arc.
I leapt up.
His body sailed under me and landed a foot away.
I moved in.
That look of surprise flashed in her eyes again.
"Good. She'll be caught off guard." I thought as I shifted my weight and tried to shatter the bitch's skull apart with an uppercut to her chin.
Her mouth crunched shut. Her entire head snapped back, rebounding off the wall. I followed with a left cross to her jaw, jolting her head, and continued with a right cross to her untapped jaw. The woman's head shifted away, it moved back in.
Too late to move my hand.
Her open mouth clamped down on my fist, sinking those daggered teeth into my flesh. Pain tore through my hand. I groaned. She bit deeper. I cried out. But it was dulling out. Fast. It'd just made hitting her with my free hand a viable option. I pulled back my fist to strike. The woman unlatched her teeth from my fist and shifted around me out of sight. I got ready to turn. Something struck me in the back. Very hard. I was flying at the wall. It gave completely around my form. I smack-landed onto something soft.
My eyes opened. I was in a smaller room on the floor. Looking forward, I saw why. A large hole was through the wall, revealing the front room beyond. Insulation and other shit was all over the place.
The door to the room opened. The kid entered and shut the door behind him. I got to my feet.
"You okay?" he asked coming over to me.
"Yeah. You?" I spoke.
It wasn't mine anymore.
It was much deeper and a bit throatier.
I liked it.
The sound of pounding footsteps outside the door warned me that time was up to enjoy my voice.
"Back through the wall." I said, starting for it.
The kid followed. The door to the room flew open and "mama" tore inside. We were already going through the wall. A huge crash exploded from behind me. I kept moving, looking over my shoulder in time to see the woman emerging through the wall herself.
"I can catch her." I thought. We had space.
I dodged to the left and paused, letting the kid continue passed. Falling back onto my hands, I swung my legs out and around in front of me.
The woman toppled forward over my legs and rolled.
The kid was on her immediately, straddling her so he could wail on her face. She grabbed him with her two meaty arms and heaved him away.
"And again..." I thought.
I moved, charging toward the woman. I fell down onto my knees, using the momentum to slide across the carpet. Pulling back both fists, I went for her elbows, doing my very best to snap them off the wrong direction. I struck. Loud cracking sounds signaled success.
The woman's mouth opened and the most hideous scream came out. It tore at my ear drums and pounded against my skull. I'd slid up to straddle the woman's legs, almost replacing where the kid had been. I rolled off her, covering my ears, trying to shut out the screech. The woman lifted up and stood somehow, gaping at her useless, disjointed elbows. She unleashed another scream and tore out of the living room. There was crashing and breaking. Wood and glass. She was trying to escape.
On my feet, I took off for the kitchen. A gaping archway stood where the back door had earlier. I went through it and out into the back yard. She had to have gone over the fence. We would've seen her if she'd used the gate. Still running, I jumped up to just about the height of the fence and landed on its fat wooden edge. The kid had been right behind me. He landed just as accurately as I had to my left. Both of us hunched down, searching the alleyway for the woman.
"Where'd she go that fast?" I thought aloud, amazed.
We hadn't been right on her tail when we gave chase, but we still should've been able to spot her.
"Told you she was quick." the kid remarked, hopping down off the fence edge and onto the ground. I followed suit.
"What was she?" the image of those blood red eyes and that twisted grin was still clear in my head.
"Like I said, dunno. Definitely not one of us, but definitely not human."
From up the alley, the direction the kid had been looking down, a black truck turned in.
"We better get out of here before they get a look at us." I suggested.
"Don't worry. That's our ride" the kid informed.
"Your voice is normal again." I suddenly realized.
"It's `cause we're not wolfed out anymore. Yours is back to normal too. And our eyes."
Hearing that made every single thing there hadn't been time to focus on before come rushing back to the surface like a tsunami powered tidal wave. My head felt light, my body suddenly felt colder, and the sun seemed brighter.
"Ugh." I objected, starting to salivate like I was about to puke.
The lightheadedness picked up and my stomach started to churn.
"Startin' to feel sick?" the kid looked over at me.
"In a major way." I replied, hunching over with my hands on my knees and spitting out the access saliva near the fence we'd come over.
The black truck was to us now. It stopped. Doors opened. People got out. I didn't see who they were. As soon as the vehicle stopped, my stomach let loose what it'd been holding back. The first torrent wasn't even out good before another ripped up my throat and out my mouth. Another followed that, and another, and another. Harsh purge vomiting that made it come out with projectile force against the fence.
The lightheadedness was growing into dizziness. My body felt warm, almost hot. My eyes were shut and watering. A hand planted itself gently on my shoulder.
"It'll pass. Just go ahead and let it out." a different male voice spoke. A man's.
I didn't object. Couldn't if I wanted to. Whatever that had stricken me made me heave dry a few times before my stomach began to settle. The dizziness, which was almost bad enough to make standing an issue, began to retreat as well. My body temperature quit menopausing out and slid back to normal.
I spat, trying to get the nasty taste of returned stomach contents out of my mouth.
"I was wondering why you said to bring a bottle of water." a voice that could've been female or male spoke from nearby.
I was wondering how many people were there with me. I dried my eyes and opened them as I stood up. Things looked a little hazy, but the excessive brightness was gone.
Five new people were with me and the kid. Two of them were standing at the front and rear of the truck. The one in front was staring directly forward (as if in deep concentration) with a set of stunning green eyes. He was a bit taller than me, white, and had that slender, but solid, build. His mostly round face was clean shaven but had a kind of ruggedness to it.
The one in the back, a female, had her back to me, so I couldn't see her face, but could tell she was Mexican from her skin tone. She also looked like she was shorter than me. Not by much, though.
In the front driver seat of the truck was another female. Also black. She had brown eyes and pretty face that was made even prettier when she smiled as my eyes fell on her and nodded.
Another male was bringing a bottle of water to where I was standing with the person who had their hand on my shoulder. At least it looked like a male. I could just see her breasts under the black shirt she was wearing. She was almost my height and was rounded out with a pair of hazel eyes, short cut black hair, and a cute rather than handsome face.
The owner of the hand on my shoulder was another black male His young, but not teenaged young, looking face wasn't quite square or quite round. Nicely unique. He had a pair of brown eyes that were kind like the smile he gave when I looked to check him out.
"Rise out, then drink the rest." he told me, as the girl who looked like a boy handed the bottle to me.
"Thanks." I said, taking the water and doing as suggested. I was only able to rise once before my body decided it wanted the water in it. I guzzled that bottle down in seconds.
"All right, posse, time to go. Somebody a couple of houses down just walked out into their back yard." the male with the green eyes who'd been standing in front of the truck spoke with a mellow drawl that sounded southern.
"That includes you too." the owner of the hand on my shoulder spoke, as the others began to get into the truck.
"Heh. No it does not." is what I would've said normally.
I didn't know any of the people with me and I would not have gotten into a truck with said people so I could wind up dead in a ditch with both my kidneys missing. Instead I said,
"Why, exactly, am I going to go with you?"
"Because right now it's better to be safe than sorry." he answered. "And I know you want answers to all the questions that've come up in the passed hour or so.
And I did. And I knew that he wasn't bluffing on having the answers. Didn't know how I knew, (like a lot of other things that'd happened), but I did. So against my normal judgment I got into the back seat of the truck, where the kid and the girl who looked like a boy were sitting, and shut the door.
* * * * * *