Chapter 3: Together Again
Roderick slept fitfully that night on Jordyn’s couch while Ian slept peacefully.
After talking with Brian, he had also called up Joey.
As much as he hated to admit it, his brother had been right.
There was definitely something paranormal going on here…
Roderick had just been trying to ignore it.
He wasn’t even entirely sure why he had been trying so hard ignore the weird things with this town, but for some reason, he did.
And now his brother was paying the price for it…
After all, Roderick had been the one to insist they come up here. He had wanted so badly to get back into the adventures and the mysteries…
Roderick turned over on the couch and then jumped when he thought he saw a dark figure across the room.
But it was only a coat rack with a coat on it.
However, knowing this did not make Roderick’s heartbeat slow down from it’s quickened state.
Hopefully Joey and Brian would be there by morning…
“This is just weird.” Brian commented as he, Roderick, and Joey stood back and watched Ian help Jordyn weed her yard.
“And the last time I talked to Jordyn was a couple of weeks ago.” Joey told them. “She was most certainly not like this.”
“And she and Ian are not the hugging type…” Brian mumbled, still weirded out by the fact that Jordyn had given him a hug.
“Then what happened to them?” Roderick asked, sounding worried. “And why didn’t it happen to me?”
Joey thought about this for a moment.
“Well, Jordyn and Ian are… how do I say this… very… grumpy people? No offense.”
“None taken. I know Ian is grumpy. I did grow up with him you know.”
“Yes. And you are… a very happy person Roderick. So maybe the people in this town just thought you were just like them with whatever is going on here.”
“So… Do we need to act happy all the time when we’re here?” Brian asked, gawking. “I don’t know if I can do that…”
“Of course you can Brian.” Joey said amiably. “We just need to get you some pizza or video games and you’ll be fine.”
Brian thought about this for a second.
“Now that sounds like a plan.”
“Hey Jordyn!” Roderick exclaimed, forcing a smile. “Why don’t you give us all a tour of the town?” At the sound of this, Jordyn jumped up and clapped her hands together.
“What a wonderful idea Roderick!” she exclaimed. “Then you can meet some of the people here in Serenity Hill!”
“Sounds great!” Brian chipped in, swinging his arm enthusiastically.
“Don’t overdo it Brian.” Joey whispered.
“I don’t think you can overdo it.” Brian whispered back.
Jordyn didn’t hear them as she started to lead them down the road. Ian followed after her, looking very chipper, which really weirded out his younger brother. The three of them exchanged glances, and then followed after the two happy people.
“Look! There’s Cameron! He’s the milkman!” Jordyn told them as she waved to the man with shaggy light brown hair. “He also used to work at the precinct with me, but he loved it here so much, he decided to stay. Hello there Cameron!”
“Hello there Jordyn!” the man said with a smile, waving and lifting his white little hat at them.
Roderick wondered if milkman were actually still a thing in this day and age...
“Oh and there’s Sally-hi Sally! She runs the library.”
Roderick recognized Sally as the redhead that had greeted them when they had first arrived in Serenity Hill. Sally waved at them.
“And that’s Don-he’s the coach of the local football team. He also teaches history.”
“Hello there Jordyn!” Don called out cheerfully as he watered his flowers, wearing a tight white shirt and a whistle, complete with red gym shorts.
Why is he still in his gym clothes? Joey wondered silently.
The five of them then started to walk downtown, where several people were walking up and down the road. A couple of smiling teenagers skateboarded down the street.
“Hey dude!” one of them exclaimed, his baseball cap turned backwards. “What’s hangin Jordyn?”
Jordyn put her hands on her hips and shook her head disapprovingly, still keeping a smile on her face.
“Now Billy, Grant, Wallie, you boys aren’t causing any trouble now are you?”
“Good. Now run along!”
With that, the three boys skated off.
“And this is the bakery…”
“BAKERY?!” Brian suddenly exclaimed. “I LOVE BREAD.”
There was a brief silence as Brian then backed up sheepishly.
“What?” he said with an embarrassed smile. “Bakeries usually have the best pastries.”
“I… actually really like bread as well...” Joey said quietly.
Roderick’s stomach growled.
“I think it’s time for a snack break.” he said, patting his stomach.
“What a great idea brother! I am starved as well!” Ian laughed, clapping a hand on his back.
“Heh.. heh… yeah… bro…” Roderick chuckled nervously. Ian was really starting to freak him out now.
“Yeah for bread and pastries!” Brian yelled, throwing his hands up in the air and running into the bakery.
Normally when Brian did stuff like this, he usually got several looks his way, and a few disapproving shakes of the head. However, in Serenity Hill, Roderick noticed that everyone here hardly even seemed to think anything of it. Almost as if it was normal.
As they started to go into the bakery, Roderick took another look around at all of the people. A milkman, a coach and a librarian? This seemed like some weird thing out of the fifties.
And on top of this, he had not seen one person yet who had ceased to smile.
Roderick felt goosebumps travel up his arm, and he suddenly got a flashback of another being with a wide smile. A spirit parasite named Kishnu, and of the wide smile he gave just before latching onto him. Roderick shuddered and tried to shake it off.
‘Bread and pastries will make me feel better’ he tried to tell himself, following his friends into the store.
“RODERICK-THEY MAKE PIZZA HERE!” Brian exclaimed excitedly as Roderick finally met back up with them at the counter.
“Awesome!” Roderick replied as he forced another smile. Joey eyed him suspiciously.
“Are you ok?” she whispered.
“I’m fine.” he mumbled back. Joey continued to narrow her eyes at him as she picked up a loaf of bread off of a shelf.
“Ok Mr. “I’m Fine.” We’ll talk about it later.”
Roderick rolled his eyes, and then realized that he just done the classic Ian eye roll.
A moment later, the five of them were sitting at a table eating some treats and pastries, (or in Brian’s case, his own personal pizza,) all while trying to convey that they were happy.
“Are you guys new here?” a little boy asked, skipping up to them. He had nice rosy cheeks and was probably about ten years old with short dark hair and bangs that he had flattened down on his forehead.
“Yep! I’m Ian!” the man said ecstatically. “And this is my brother Roderick, and my friends Jordyn, Brian, and Joey!”
“Nice to meet you!” the boy yelled with a wide grin. “I’m Devin!”
“Nice to meet you too!!” Brian exclaimed, his mouth full of pizza.
“Now Devin, what did we say about talking to strangers?” a middle aged woman wearing a dress and a pearl necklace scolded.
“Honey, there are no strangers here in Serenity Hill!” a man with the same dark hair as Devin laughed. “Only friends!”
“Oh sugar pumpkin!”
Roderick, Brian, and Joey then wanted to vomit as the two adults rubbed noses.
“So… Devin, are these your parents?” Joey asked with her natural small smile. The little boy nodded.
“Yep. They love each other a lot.”
“I can see that.” Roderick chuckled as he glanced back at the boy’s parents, where they were giving each other little kisses.
He really wanted to throw up now. This was absolutely romantically disgusting. And he didn’t even really mind romantic things.
“Well, I’ve got to go! We’re going to take our sandwiches and have a picnic in the park!” he yelled. “And then we’re going to fly kites!”
“Sounds like fun!” Jordyn said sincerely.
The little boy smiled at them and then walked out the door as his parents walked on either side of him, holding his hands.
“What a nice little family.” Joey said slowly, giving a look to Brian and Roderick. The two men nodded ever so slightly in agreement, catching up on her hint.
“Yes! A jolly good family!” Ian agreed, completely oblivious.