Lights in the Night

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Chapter 27: Fear and Loathing

Things outside headed towards normal, the six who had been hiding headed back to the relative safety of the shop. Collapsing in various comfortable locations around the office.

Bill and Ellie retreated to the back corner, holding each other for comfort.

Cuff and Link lounged behind their desks.

Trevor and Shannon sat next one another, outside his office.

He started humming that blasted song that had been stuck in his head.

Watching him out of the corner of her eye Shannon asked, “Do you think it is appropriate to be humming ‘The Galaxy Song’ right now?”

“I beg your pardon? What did you say?”

“Do you think...”

“No, no the name of the song. What is it?”

“It’s ‘The Galaxy Song’ from the Meaning of Life... you know Monty Python. Christ, you are British, right?”

“You watch Monty Python?”

“Doesn’t everyone?”

He regarded her for the longest time, “I think I love you.”

The longest awkward silence followed his last statement, but she didn’t move away from him.

Bill broke the silence, “I wonder if Junior’s is open, I am starving.”

Cuff held up one finger, as he stood and headed out back.

“Good thing that is over,” Shannon letting out a sigh of relief.

“I am not so sure it is over,” Trevor had to bust her bubble.

“At least they left town.”

“Yeah but where?” Trevor did a half crawl, half roll to reach his laptop on the desk near him. He began searching the net for any information concerning the about to happen wave.

Cuff reentered the room carrying an oversized bag, smelling of fried chicken, grabbing everyone’s immediate attention, except Trevor. Who was lost in his own electronic world.

The group dove into the chicken, before breaking into the mashed potatoes.

Walking around with his laptop, Trevor paced into his office. Returning he sat next to Shannon placing a bottle of scotch between them, laptop still in his lap.

Picking up the bottle, she cracked the seal then took a long slug of the amber liquid, letting the warmth flow down her throat. Trevor followed her movements in shock.

“Tonight, I was informed my baby Billy is a man, Bill. I think after nineteen years, and the night I’ve had, I deserve a drink,” she took another gulp for good measure then offered the bottle to Trevor. Who shared her sentiments.

“I agree tonight has been a night to remember, but I am not sure it is over,” showing her the screen.

The others followed the scene, various pieces of chicken in differing stages of being devoured.

“We saw them all leave. They aren’t here anymore, that’s what’s important.”

“I am not so sure. Assume for a moment they are aliens or something that has an end game, besides a killer party. What if they wanted a huge group of people in some remote location.”

“For what?” Shannon as always, the voice of reason.

“I don’t have a clue, but look,” giving her an unobstructed view of the screen she saw the live feed of the party gathering in the desert. He then showed the others the line of traffic stretching to the horizon via news helicopter live feeds to everyone in the room. ‘The New Wave Rave’ was going to become the next event, all popular people had to be seen at. It was going to be huge, “I think this is just getting started.”

“Is your brother an alien? He is helping Crystal.”

“I am not sure what is happening to my brother. He is not the person I knew.”

Dale Schneider, Ellie’s father had been drinking. A welder by trade, a drinker by profession, he had recently lost his job in the oil fields due to his bad habit of drinking while working. Deemed a lawsuit waiting to happen he was fired for cause. His daughter becoming a paid artist, with him out of work, was more than his machismo could handle. Truth be told, Dale hated women. Ellie’s mother had run off years ago with his neighbor. Dale took it out on Ellie every chance he had.

He had impeccable timing for going off the deep-end. Walking barefoot down the center of the street wearing only old jeans and a sweat-stained wifebeater tee, he could’ve been the poster child for deranged Crackers worldwide.

Trevor and Shannon’s conversation was interrupted by the slurred shout penetrating the front of the offices and echoing in the room, “Ellie, get your slutty ass out here! I know you’re screwing that Indian again!”

“I am going to kick his ass,” Shannon rising, heading for the door.

“Maybe I should handle it,” Trevor interjected.

Ellie and Bill started for the door but Link stopped the pair. Cuff following Trevor and Shannon out the front door.

The crowd had scattered, all scrambling to pack up and head to the Rave in the desert, not wanting to miss the impending party of the decade.

Trevor first out the door, witnessed who he assumed to be Ellie’s father. Standing in the center of the deserted street. Bottle of cheap whiskey in his left hand, yelling at the top of his lungs.

“Ellie, you whore get your ass out here! You’re a whore just like your mother was a whore!”

Shannon stepped forward to kick his ass, but Cuff held her back. Trevor positioned himself between Shannon and Dale.

The Sheriff had been directing traffic out of town, but hearing the shouting, started heading toward the commotion to investigate.

“Mate, that ain’t no way to talk to a lady, let alone your daughter.”

“Let me go I am goin to kick his ass,” Shannon struggling but Link held her tight.

Junior stepped from inside his joint to see what the hubbub was all about.

“Ah, you screwin the squaw, are you? I hear she likes it rough!” improvising a few pelvic thrusts as an exclamation point.

“Dale, I swear get the hell out of here or I will kill you,” Shannon spat at him.

Grace had come out to see what all the yelling was about, her small pipe swirling smoke as she was tasting a bowl of her grandson’s stash.

“Look mate, I think you need to go sleep it off before you get into more trouble than you can handle.”

Trevor took a step towards Dale, prompting Dale to pull out a Smith and Wesson revolver, aiming at the closest target, Trevor, center mass.

“Yeah smarty-pants, what you going to do now?” waving the gun.

Seeing the gun, the Sheriff pulled his Glock, leveling it at Dale. “Everyone calm down before somebody gets hurts. Everything is heading back to normal. Everyone can go home tonight alive.”

The Sheriff was at least thirty yards away. Too far to be of much help, but he started creeping closer to try to intervene.

Hearing the threats being leveled, Ellie broke free from Link who was struggling to handle Bill. Hitting the door at a dead run, the noise was deafening to the group in the street.

Ellie screamed.

Dale and the Sheriff shot. Under such stressful situations, it is hard to determine who fired first.

Shannon screamed.

Cuff moved to protect Shannon.

Grace ducked being careful not to spill the contents of her bowl.

Junior gawked.

Trevor knew he was going to die... again. He cringed, ducking at the noise. He noted his stick pin glowed like the sun. Did he wear that today?

Time stopped.

Again, not the life before your eyes time stopped, but indeed, came to a halt.

Frozen in time the participants filling the street were conscious of what happened next. All questions of the other-worldliness of the town’s new resident were removed.

Strolling into the frozen fray Crystal arrived. First stopping briefly in front of the Sheriff, she plucked the spinning bullet out of the air, placing it into his right front pocket, “You lost this.”

Gliding to Cuff and Shannon, she took the slightest moment, to fix a few strands of Shannon’s wayward hair, “You should trust him, he loves you,” murmuring to Shannon as she stepped away.

Floating the last few feet to Trevor, lightly touched his head, “Your heart is so kind, you will even help homeless strangers. You do make it hard to not help you.”

Flashing to Dale. She took the spinning bullet from the smoke cloud, “You are not a nice man. I think you need a time out to repent,” she touched the gun fusing the firing mechanism, rendering it harmless.

Doing a slow spin in front of them, the ethereal cloth of her gown doing little to hide her athletic frame.

“You all need to be better to one another. Now I have a party to attend. It is going to be wonderful!” this time she authentically disappeared. Time once again began to flow.

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