A young man in a new and strange town gets recruited to be a supernatural secret agent, when he previously thought that those things were all myths. His story only gets crazier from there...
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I am finally back into editing, so I will try to post more often, and read others posts as well!
The next morning, after the doctor apologized for the dogs waking me, she invited me upstairs for breakfast. It was simple, but one I was grateful for. After breakfast, she made coffee, and we drank and talked a little bit.
Actually Lacreshia did most of the talking, I listened, but once in a while I would interject. Never about my past, or anything that she could piece together to find out about me though. I was paranoid about that, but with good reason.
We sat a while, but then I offered my help if she needed it. It was the least I could do to pay back to the woman that had given me a place to sleep, and food too. I would respect my good southern upbringing with my actions, but I would never outwardly admit to them. I had to pretend like that old Southern me, no longer existed.
Lacreshia was hesitant to have my help at first, insisting that I could find better things to do in a new town. I stood my ground though, I would pay my debt. I knew I had won as a smile creased the sides of her mouth, before she turned away. She really wanted me to stay, but didn"t want to seem like it. That made me smile too.
Helping clean out Waters Pet Hospital with the doctor herself, was somehow therapeutic. It took my mind off my issues, and it gave me a constructive way to use that energy. Lacreshia lightly let me know she didn't have any money to pay me, but I shook it off, I told her this was my payment. We worked hard side by side, the place wasn't messy, it just hadn't been dusted or thoroughly cleaned in a while, so it took most of the day. We finally finished up late afternoon, but still early for dinner.
"Why don't you go out for a stroll, see the place a little bit, I'll go make dinner. You earned yourself another night on my couch." Lacreshia offered as she finished washing her hands in the big utility sink out back with the kennels. The only other room besides the big main one out back, was the operating room. Everything was tidy, in order, and sparkling clean.
I grabbed my bag, but then faltered. What if someone from SFN was still watching? That made me a little nervous, but I pushed it away. I would just watch my Six o"clock and stay around other people. Without further ado, made my way to the closest patch of privacy I could find. Which, being on Main St. I had to walk a distance before I could sit down. I ducked into a bunch of random trees along the road, and while the sun was setting, I got out my marijuana bag and rolled a blunt really quickly.
I had wanted to smoke all day, and it would have helped a lot while cleaning, but I wasn't sure that I could do it without Lacreshia knowing, so I didn't. People have a tendency to think that everyone that smokes becomes lazy and lethargic, which can definitely be true. However I have smoked all over the country on my travels with people that are lively, go to the gym, care for their families, and have successful careers while smoking. I find it inhibits you if you aren"t ambitious enough to begin with. I have traveled well over 3000 miles alone since I was seventeen. You can't call me unambitious.
Stepping out into the waning light, I began strolling forward, walking down different roads till I reached some woods. It didn"t matter where I went, I had the address saved in my phone, so I would be able to find Lacreshia"s without too much difficulty. And as far as I could tell, no one had been following or watching me.
I had learned a little more about New City from Lacreshia while we cleaned. Loon Lake was the body of water to the north of the city. On the western side, the one with two bridges leading into and out of town, was a river known as The Kennebec. Apparently it is a world famous river as it has class IV and V rapids, a treat for white water rafters. On the Eastern side of the town was The Sebasticook River, another fairly well known water source. To get out of NC you had to travel to the south, through SFN land, and take Route 201 towards Augusta, Maine"s capital.
Surprisingly the city was home to some 23,000 people, which, for Maine, is on the larger scale. Portland, the largest city had somewhere around 70,000, but was an actual port city. Colby College was located on the North Eastern boarder of New City though, so that drew in a lot of students, if not tourists. I learned that there were two other schools in town as well. A smaller private college, and a community school located on the outskirts of SFN territory.
Puffing on the blunt, I walked away from traffic towards the woods. I love the woods, trees, nature, all of it. I wasn't able to spend much time in them, so when I could, I would. It was getting dark now, and although I had a flash light, I decided not to explore the forest tonight, so I wouldn't get lost on my way out. The dark didn't really scare me, the worst thing about it was the unknown, which terrifies most people; But I wasn"t most people, I just didn"t want to worry about tripping off of rocks or anything like that. It would be just like me to break a leg my first few days in a new town.
Skirting the forest instead, I headed down another road I saw farther south. Getting especially stoned, I kept an eye out for my next hide-a-hole, some place vacant and safe to lay my head. I walked down a short road, before I turned right and saw three residential homes. Two of them were fixed up, on the same side of the road, and had signs of care and love. The third was under construction, but from what I could see, in the dark, it was still a ramshackle of a building.
I looked around, there was one street light, close to where I had just come. I doubled back, walking the way I came, then ducked into the dark, closer to the woods, and made my way around the other side of the buildings. If there was a street camera, someone could have seen me walking down the road, but they wouldn't think to look for me if they thought I left.
Still remaining in the dark, finishing my bud, I tapped out the ash, but kept the roach. I didn't want to leave any evidence I was here. Like I said, paranoid, but it kept me free, if not on the run, for the past three years. I walked all the way to the end building, but I was already able to glean that neither of the newer two houses were currently being used.
The closest house flickered to life. Not just the kitchen light, but the living room, upstairs hallway, and another room as well. Light timers. I went to investigate further, when the farther house bloomed in light too. It was the same deal, light timers. Both had alarm systems set up, but I was pretty sure that the first house had lied about their system. They had a sticker that claimed to have alarms, but the truth was, I couldn't make out any anywhere in the building. Even climbing up the porch to the second story I couldn't see any alarms.
I jumped down and went over to the other house. The far one. It definitely had alarms, I could almost sense them. This wasn't my first time looking for a house to squat in, I had become used to this routine. Doing this in the city was nearly impossible, so I had to think of other places to sleep. I didn't stay long in most cities though, I always ended up nauseous.
It might seem strange that I would focus my attention on the house with alarms, but I had my reasons. Namely being, the house without alarms probably belonged to some elderly couple that vacationed every winter, and had family stop by once in a while to check up on it. The far house, the one with the alarms probably belonged to someone without family in the area, but would want to be reassured that their property was safe. Crime was low in most of the state, but admittedly New City did have the highest crime rates (I had already researched the area a little, that's why I had chosen it). However, for the most part people slept with doors locked, and called it good.
Living in a high crime rate area was key for me, as my habits wouldn't stick out too much. See, I was only seventeen when I left my parent"s home, I was pretty average in everything, I had no real skill sets. That left me young, inexperienced, and without ever having had a job to begin with.
I had to learn other methods to survive. I hadn't been happy about it at first, but then I started to see the beauty in it. These large companies all exploited the customers and the employees that work for them. By focusing on them as my targets, I am able to steal from the rich, and I always make sure to give to the less fortunate. A modern day Robin Hood if you will.
And just like that wily man, I have morals on who and how I hit a place. I never steal from local establishments, or small companies. I never steal from friends, well, if I ever got any. If I have something and someone else needs it, I don't anymore, and I'll give it up. Honestly, it kept me a minimalist, and it kept me from getting too attached to anything. Besides, if I really needed something back, I could always procure a new one.
Making one last round of the house, I double checked security measures, found a weakness, and was confident I could override this particular system. After all, I had done it before.
I approached the garage window, and surreptitiously scoped the area. No one was around. Removing my bag, I lightly set it on the hedge that came up to the top of the window. I pulled out the long, flat strip of metal that I kept hidden in the strap of my bag, the one I used to fend off the crowd, and finagled it up into the small opening between glass panes. From there I slid the lock aside, and was ready to open up the window.
I checked quickly. Either the window or the inside garage door would have a trigger rigged to it. It would be better if it was the door, because it would give me longer, but either way I started to get the familiar thrill deep in my stomach that I get when I break into a new place.
Getting the few necessary items, a screw driver, flat head, small scissors, and securing them in my pocket, I threw open the window, and maneuvered into the garage with ease. I could hear the chirp of the alarm, the window had been rigged! I threw open the inner door, a security panel was set up by the entrance. It would be for winter time when they drove right up into the garage with groceries, and couldn't run up the stairs fast enough.
Using the screw driver, I unscrewed the panel. My hands were shaking, and I was feeling anxious, but I had done this before, and I did enjoy it, oddly. The box came loose, and opened up. Inside were a bunch of wires, I had a moment of doubt as to whether I knew the right one or not as the alarm continued to buzz. Following them along quickly, I found the one I needed, and without any more hesitation, I sniped it. Worse came to worse I would bolt and hid in the woods. I wasn't so stupid that I forgot to wear gloves. Like I said, not my first rodeo.
The chirping stopped, and I breathed easier. The hard part was done. I went back into the dark garage, shut the window to the September air, and stepped inside, shutting the door too.
The security system was downstairs, in a small hallway that lead from the double bay garage, to what appeared to be guest bedrooms. I headed that way, figuring the stairs must be around the corner somewhere. I passed two doors that were closed; the first was a utility room that had a small work bench and other miscellaneous tools, the second was a tiny laundry room. Just as suspected, the rooms on the end of the hall were bedrooms. At least one was, the other room had a large desk, some workout equipment, and a cot set up in the corner. It either belonged to a guy home from college, or an active older man. The only other room on that floor was a full bathroom, decorated with geese on everything.
Going up a small set of stairs, I came to a landing that lead to the front door. Ignoring that I turned with the platform, and went up another set of stairs to the second, or main floor. There was a spacious kitchen and living room, separated by a wall, over what I thought must be the garage. The only thing different about the upstairs was an added closed in patio off the kitchen. It could either be a larger dining area, or a second living room. It was a beautiful and well-designed room, with a corner fireplace, which I thoroughly inspected. If I opened the flu, it would be ready to use! Ignoring that for now, I went back through a small music room with a piano and massive stereo, through the kitchen, and down the hall past the stairs on me left.
The room on the right was a master bathroom, three times bigger than the one down stairs. The door on the left was another office, this one had a more feminine feel. The two rooms remaining were bedrooms, which looked frequented more. The last door on the right was the master bedroom, with a plush bed, leaving only the room at the very end of the hallway. It was hard to tell whether it belonged to a male or female. The wallpaper was a deep sky blue, and all the furniture was polished black shelves.
The house was comfortable, cozy, and I knew that I had found my next sleeping hole. I would stay with Lacreshia tonight, so she didn't get suspicious how I had found housing so fast. Tomorrow I would lie and say I found a room on Craigslist. I would just have to make it believable.
Going back down stairs I left through the guest bedroom sliding glass door, leaving it unlocked, and looked up. The closed in patio overhung the first floor back door, creating an open porch, safe from the rain. Going out the side gate, making sure it was secure, I went to cross the yard, and head back to the dark so the street camera wouldn't catch me.
I hadn't walked far before I got the feeling I wasn't alone. I dropped to the ground. In my dark jacket and pants, it was all but impossible to see me. I slowly surveyed the area to see what I was sensing. My breath stopped short, my lungs almost seized up. Across the yard, something was staring directly at me. Its eyes glowed a ruby flickering flame red, before his head turned, and it darted into the woods. My heart thumped threateningly inside my rib cage. I was frozen with panic for a second.
I stood up to get a better look. The thing wasn't very big, maybe about the size of a small seven year old. Strangely though it had a large, irregular head that looked like a pumpkin. Its clothes were dark so I couldn't make out what it was wearing. It had to have been a little boy dressed in a Halloween costume, even though it wasn't for a whole month.
I looked around, the boy couldn't have been alone, he was way too young, and it was way too dark for him to be wandering by himself out here. Was this some kind of practical joke? Was someone filming to see my reaction? I got the chills thinking about it, and made up my mind to head back to Lacreshia"s immediately, I didn't want no dealings with some young pumpkin headed local.
* * *
"You saw a young boy wearing a pumpkin head outside?" Lacreshia asked incredulously.
I nodded, while biting off some lasagna from my fork. I had gone straight to shower once I got back, I was paranoid she would smell the weed on me. She had dinner ready by the time I returned. I lost my concentration on walking into the same kitchen twice, with someone that I could say I genuinely liked. It was a new and strange feeling for me.
I had to tell myself it wouldn't last, and I knew it wouldn't, for numerous reasons. This was just another stop on the adventure of my life, I couldn't get too attached or I would just end up being the one hurt in the end.
"Yea, it was wicked strange." I replied, once I was done chewing, using the native slang. Wicked, not meaning cruel or devious, but more like 'very' or a local form of exaggeration.
The doctor just shook her head, reaching down and petting the closer of the two dogs, once she was done eating. "I can't say it's the most bizarre thing I have heard or seen. Just you wait till a full moon, you'll see."
It gave me the chills, the ominous feeling that she just released into the air, but at the same time it also excited me in some odd way. I hadn"t thought I was going to stay, but meeting Lacreshia showed me not everyone in this town was terrible. I thought I might give it a week or two, especially since I found a safe place to crash.
"So I think that I'll get out of your hair tomorrow morning, and go look for a job. My aunt and uncle deposited money into my account, and I found a room on Craigslist that I'll check out too." I lied with relative ease. I assume it would be harder to lie to friends and family, but I couldn't ever see my relatives again, and I generally avoided becoming 'friends' with people, so I didn"t have those qualms.
Lacreshia nodded right along, happy that I had a path to go on. "So you decided to stay?!"
"Yea, I met this awesome woman who didn"t realize but convinced me to give New City another shot." I smiled at the older woman in front of me, my eyes twinkling.
I made some promises to update her on how things were going from time to time. She promised that if she came across some extra cash, there were some odd jobs she would hire me for. We even shared numbers. Which was a first for me. It was a little awkward getting an older woman"s number, but then again, my whole life would be considered awkward if I used limited standards like that.
I helped the Doctor clean up the dishes, tidying up the kitchen while it still had the "˜lived in" feel. She invited me to watch a movie with her, which I was more than happy to do. I didn"t have a laptop myself, and although I sometimes snuck into theaters in the city, I didn"t do it often. She asked what I wanted to watch, and I wasn"t lying when I said it didn"t matter. For my benefit she put on a bank heist movie, which, being still a little high, I got right into.
Together we sat on the couch, the two dogs laying on and between us. It was the most comfortable I had been in over three years at this point. That thought frightened me, whenever good things happened like this, bad things followed quickly. I hopped up, scaring the dogs as much as Lacreshia.
I didn"t want to stick around for things to go south, I liked to make moves first. "I"m actually really exhausted. I"m gonna go crash on the couch, if that"s cool." I shifted uncomfortably, as the dog nosed my hand trying to entice me back down. I wanted to, badly, but that was exactly why I had to leave now.
Lacreshia"s eyes were wide in confusion. She looked back to the television set, the movie was coming to an end in three or four scenes I guessed, but if it was a good script it would have some major plot twists in that time. She probably wondered why I didn"t want to finish the dvd, I had been so into it moments ago, but she wasn"t going to force me either. "Okay, well I hope you are feeling alright. Get some rest, I"ll make breakfast before you head out in the morning."
I thanked her, and made my way down her back staircase as the dogs whimpered at my departure. I stopped in the veterinary waiting room by my bags only long enough to grab my satchel and head quietly out the back door. Securing it on the outside I sat down on the back landing where trucks could load and unload large items. I had turned the light off, but it was bright enough in the area that I could break up my weed without using my cell.
I started smoking only about two years ago. I had already been traveling alone for some time by that point, when I came across some other nomads like me, who introduced me to Mary Jane. I was hesitant, smoke of any kind wasn"t my style. These were the right people to come across though, they soon educated me in everything marijuana and hemp related. They were also the ones to give me my first pipe, a beautiful green and yellow piece named Rhimbaldi. As well as the multicolored rasta-type satchel I carried my green in.
Turns out marijuana was demonized back in the late 1930"s when it was discovered that hemp pulp would drastically reduce the price of newspaper printing costs, and because of this, it threatened the economy. Or at least one man"s economy. Because he was scared of the miracle plant, he had his newspapers across the nation spouting his propaganda. Even eighty plus years later marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, despite its properties to revolutionize and change the world.
Bowl packed, I sparked it up, and let my mind wander. It was thought that you became stupid when "˜high", but the opposite is more accurate, as your brain starts firing faster, and more synapses connect, allowing deeper thought and more usage. If the rest of the nation didn"t appreciate Mary, I sure as hell did. More for me, I figure. Smiling to myself, I knew I was going to sleep better tonight than I had last night.
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