The Vendeleer Brothers Book 2: Serenity Hill

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Chapter 6: Remember This?

Brian was dreaming that he was in a zombie apocalypse, and that a zombie was angrily chasing him because it wanted to read the book that he was carrying. His dream suddenly ended when he awoke to the radio in his van blasting Highway to Hell.

“WAAAGH!” he yelled, jolting awake and banging his arm against the side of the van.

Roderick, who was sitting in the front seat, turned down the music and started to laugh hysterically.

“Dude! That’s not funny!” Brian pouted, rubbing his elbow and yawning.

“It kind of is man.”

Brian rolled his eyes.

Roderick was right of course.

It kind of was.

“Well you seem chipper this morning.” Brian commented, pulling on a Skyrim shirt. Roderick stretched from his place in the passenger seat.

“I’m ready to solve this mystery. Let’s do this thing!”

Brian smiled, glad that his friend was feeling better from whatever was bothering him the day before. As he pulled on his shoes, he heard a knock on the window.

“Who’s there?” he asked, still looking down at his feet.

“Uh… There’s this weird lady at your window dude.” Roderick said a bit warily.

“Aw crap. Is it one of the creepy happy people?”

“No. She has a pretty serious look on her face.”

Brian almost felt too scared to look. His fear betraying him, he stayed in the back of the van for a moment.

“Wha-what does she look like?”

“Well, she’s got this crazy hair, huge glasses, feathers in her hair-.”

“Wait what?”

Brian mustered all of his courage to pull himself into the front seat. When he saw the woman outside of his van, he pouted again.

“Ha ha. Twice in one morning Roderick. Very funny.” he grumbled, opening the door. “Morning Joey!”

“Good morning. Listen-I saw the spirit last night. It came to me.” she said quickly and seriously.

“Really?!” Brian exclaimed. In his haste to get out of the van, he tumbled and landed flat on his face in the dirt.

“I’m ok!” he yelled, jumping up. “So what exactly happened? What did it look like? What did you do?” he asked, firing off all of his questions at once. Joey paused, looking over Brian’s shoulder at Roderick.

“Uh… You ok Roderick? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Roderick had a look of pure confusion on his face.

“So… Brian, is this your girlfriend or something?” he asked, climbing out of the van. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Woah woah woah-WHAT?!” Brian exploded. “Me and-Joey and-noooooo. No offense Joey.”

“None taken.”

“What made you think that we were dating?!”

Roderick shrugged.

“I just didn’t know you had any platonic friendships with girls.” he said sincerely. Brian smacked himself in the forehead.

“I was totally friends with Sarah without any romantic involvement.”

“Yeah but that doesn’t count. She had a crush on you.”

“Wait what?”

“Focus!!” Joey suddenly exclaimed, getting in between both of them. “We need to figure some things out first.”

“Yeah.” Roderick chimed in. “For instance, I haven’t officially met you yet. I presume your name’s Joey? I’m Roderick!” he said amiably, holding his hand out to her.

Joey and Brian stared at him.

“Uh… Are you still trying to joke with me?” Brian asked hesitantly. Roderick continued to look at him in confusion.

“What are you talking about?”

“Roderick… you… know Joey…” Brian said slowly. Joey grabbed their friend by the shoulders and stared him in the eyes.

“Roderick-do you know who Jordyn is?” she asked suddenly.

“Well… yeah-she’s the detective that we came to find who’s acting all weird.”

“Do you know who I am?”

“Er… sorry… but… no.”

“Who’s Bill Cottam?”

“Who?”

“Kishnu?”

“What’s a Kishnu?”

Joey stepped back after a moment as Brian stood there with his mouth wide open.

“I think he’s lost some of his memories.” she stated, putting a hand to her chin in deep thought.

“No kidding!” Brian exclaimed, aghast. “Freak Roderick! What happened to you? Did you get a conk on the head or something?” Roderick raised a brow.

“Well… Not that I… remember…” he said with a smile.

“Heeeey!” they said simultaneously, pointing finger guns at each other.

Joey narrowed her eyes.

“So you guys are saying I’ve lost my memory? How is that possible?” he asked, scratching the little beard he kept on his chin.

“Roderick, what do remember about Pinnacle Gulch?” Joey asked quietly. Roderick furrowed his eyebrows forward.

“Have I… been there?”

“Hmmm. Well that would certainly explain why you didn’t remember me…” she mumbled to herself. “Brian, come here, I need to talk to you alone about something.”

Brian looked from Joey to Roderick, a rather worried look on his face. Joey took him a few feet off to the side. For a moment, they glanced back at their friend, who simply waved jokingly with a smile.

“I think the genie spirit did this.” she told him, biting her lip.

“What? Why?”

“Roderick was struggling with something yesterday, I could tell. But he magically seems all better now? Not only that, but I think he’s forgotten everything that happened in Pinnacle Gulch, which means he doesn’t remember anything about being taken by the spirit parasite, or Bill, or…”

Brian’s eyes grew wide.

“...or almost dying…” he said quietly. “Do you think-do you think the genie went to him to grant him a wish?” Joey nodded.

“It tried to do the same with me last night, but I obstinately told him no. I don’t think Roderick remembers seeing the genie though. I think that would have been the first thing he would have talked about otherwise.”

Brian looked back again at his college buddy, who was leaning against the van, arms folded, looking out at the scenery.

“Well what do we do?” he asked.

“Get him to remember? I’m not entirely sure… I don’t have much experience with genie spirits.” she told him. Brian shook his head.

“Wait a second-what wish did it try to grant for you?” At this, Joey was silent for a moment, looking at him steadily.

“That doesn’t matter.” she said softly, a little tremor in her voice. “I’ve dealt with it for a long time, so it’s nothing new. Roderick, however, hasn’t been dealing with this for that long, so he’s going to need some help-especially when he gets his memories back.”

“But how do we help?”

“We’ll figure that out when we get there. For now, we need to get Roderick’s memories back…”

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