I wasn’t too comfortable about leaving Ghoul alone with party but I need to talk to Dr. D to sort out these issues.
The mood in the van is thinker than butter that had just been taken out of the fridge. Show Pony is up in the front with the driver, I think her name is Dust Devil but I’m not too sure, she’s been in the drives seat the whole time. From what I can see she’s dressed in a ripped up black and red shirt, has Yellow hair in a tight neat bun with only a long thick fringe lose to cover and shape parts of her face, she’s quite pretty. I catch glances of her icy blues in the rear view mirror every now and again but she hasn’t said a word to anyone. The only communication she’s shown is toward Show Pony in their nonverbal conversation, simple nodes of the head and eye connection.
The rest of us sit in the dim light at the back of the van, where the air is so dense with tension that it’s getting hard to breathe. The lack of conversation screams in our ears, louder than nails running down a black board, leaving behind an annoying ring. The van rumbles and shakes, random tools and rubbish that littering the floor roll around, bumping into my boots every now and again, while we travel along the dirt covered road towards somewhere, hopefully, safe. I can feel the heat from the death stare Party is giving, it feels like radiation from the sun, as he sits across from me with Ghoul glued to his side, since when the fuck were they in a relationship? Are they in a relationship? Fuck! This is just confusing. I don’t know why Ghoul kissed Party like that but I do know it calmed the situation down, wheather Ghoul meant to do that is unclear to me.
I avoid looking at the vibrant red head because I know that will just start another fight and none of us really want to go through that again just yet plus we don’t have the energy for it anyway. I’m still holding on to all three of our laser guns, I don’t trust Party and I just know that Ghoul would end up giving Party his gun if he asked. I feel like I’m going into war, I have Party’s gun strapped to my leg, Ghouls is in its holster on my left side and mine is on the right side of my chest. If only I had this much ammunition when the camp was attacked this morning, maybe then we wouldn’t be down one man. I’m still holding back tears for the loss of K-…No! I can’t think about that now, it’s too painful. I blame myself, I know it’s not completely my fault but I do feel like I should have done more to stop them from taking him away. Oh god the look on his face as they slammed the door and drove away, so scared, so terrified. I blink as a tear slips pass my lashes.
Hunched over I just stare at my boots and clasps my hands together. I try not to notice party’s hand subtly rubbing Ghouls thigh sexually, his finger running up the inside seam of the denim jeans. I glace up at the younger, Ghoul looks like he’s not even really all there, like the lights are on but no one is home. Dark circles round his tired eyes, bruises and scratches decorate his neck and cheeks, he still looks so innocent. Ghoul’s not said anything to anyone apart from a soft ‘hi’ to Pony as we shoved our stuff in bags and jumped into the dusty van. Everything feels so out of whack. Party is not the same anymore and Ghoul is in so much pain, I can see it in his eyes. Party’s hand has left its soft pink mark across Ghouls round cheek. I sigh softly and try to distract myself from reality. I look for an escape in my mind, in my memories…in the past.
I feel the movement of the van through my bones and the growl of the motor fills my ears as I block everything else out. I close my eyes and breathe in deep, calming my body and slowing my heart. I can almost hear music, playing a song by one of my favorite bands from long ago, twisted Sister.
I open my eyes again and I’m sitting in the driver’s seat of my old Lincoln Continental 5th generation, fuck I miss that car. A two-door hardtop, the sides had simple blade-like fenders. An automatic parking brake release, two-way power seats, power front disc brakes, headlamp doors closed light, adjustable head restraints, and sexy black leather seats. My uncle had gotten it for me on my 17th birthday.
I grip the steering wheel and glance in my rear view mirror. In the back seat are three of my four best friends, Gerard by the window, using the reflection to touch up his messy shoulder length raven hair. Bob is at the other end staring off out the window into the rain drenched world outside. Cramped in the middle is little Frank with his ripped jeans and two tone punk hair. He puffs his breath up trying to move his black curl out of his right eyes. The teen ends up just shaking his head to move the stubborn strand of hair.
Next to me in the front is the skinny Mikey Way, gray beanie on top covering his straight brown hair apart from the strands that poke out at the bottom, his glasses are at the end of his nose in true Mikey Way style. I smile as he leans over to turn the music up a bit.
“LOUDER MIKEY!” Frank yells over the top of Dee Snider’s lyrics to ‘We’re not gonna take it’.
“Frank you’re gonna blow my speakers.” I try to talk over the music.
“WHAT!?” Frank yells 20X louder, causing both Bob and Gerard to flinch and look at him.
“I SAID YOU’RE GONNA BLOW MY SPEAKERS!” I yell as we slow down at a stop light.
“WHAT!” Frank yells even louder than before with a shit eating grin, I sigh and roll my eyes as I click that the fucker can hear me but is just mess around. Bob has a little chuckle then turns back to the window. I ignore Frank when he continues to be a pain in the ass.
“LOUDER! LOUDER! LOUDER! I CAN’T HEAR IT!” he banters on acting like a restless two year old with an addiction to rock music.
“MIKEY BUDDY, OLD PAL! MIND TURNING THE MUSIC UP!?” Frank leans forward taping the younger Way on the shoulder. Mikey just smiles and shakes his head.
“I’VE LEARNT THE HARD WAY NOT TO MESS WITH RAYS CAR.” Is the answer Mikey gives before he turns to an old magazine he found on the floor. Frank pouts as Gerard pulls him back into his seat. Frank turns to Gerard and playfully blows a puff of air in his face, which starts a mock fight. As the song changes Franks freezes and flaps his hands around as he recognizes the extended version of ‘I wanna rock’ by Twisted Sister.
“Hello students” Frank evilly grins up in Gerard’s face, playing the part of the teacher from the video clip. Gee just rolls his eyeliner rimmed eyes and shifts over to get away from the hyped up Frank, who has clearly had way too much caffeine today.
“School has begun, the summer is over, I am in command!” he speaks word for word, tuning in his seat to torture Bob with his antics. I smirk and watch in the mirror as Gerard groans and sighs playing the part of the class. Frank whips around and is again in Gerard’s face.
“What was that?” Frank couldn’t get any more closer to Gerard unless he was in his lap.
“For that little outburst each and every one of you will spend 3 hours in detention today immediately after school in the basement!” Gerard laughs at Frank as he softly pushes him away.
“My bedroom is in the basement Frank, I don’t th-“ Gerard was cut off as Frank leant over and snatched the magazine that Mikey was reading right out of his hands with ninja like skill.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” He screeches, glaring at the cover.
“Twisted sister?” he spits viscously but can’t hide his innocent smirk.
“What kind of a man desecrates a defenseless text book?” he whiles waving the old mag around, nearly whacking Bob in the face. Frank pinches Gerard’s check teasingly.
“I got a good mind to slap your fat face!” Gerard looks a little hurt at the statement. He’s a bit self-conscious about his weight but knows it’s just a line from the music video and had no meaning behind it. Frank is completely oblivious as he turns on Bob.
“You are destroying your life with that, that that garbage!” Frank stutters flapping the mag into Bob’s chest. Bob gives Frank one look and he backs off only to turn to Mikey who has turn around in his seat to watch the show in the back.
“Alright Mr. Sister! I want you to tell me, no better yet, stand up and tell the class. What you want to do with your life!” Frank drops the mag and shakes the younger Ways shoulders softly but rough enough to make Mikey’s beanie go lopsided. We all yell out as loud as our lungs will let us, screaming.
“I WANNA ROCK.”
The car breaks out into air guitars and air drums as we sing the lyrics we know off by heart. There was head banging and crazy movements as all my friends looked like they were lost in the world of music. I taped away on the steering wheel and watched the road as we turned the corner leading down to the Ways house hold, singing our hearts out. I Smile wide and just relax as I listen. I end up circling the block a few times, until the album was finished because I didn’t ever want that moment to end, like I somehow knew that this was an important memory that needed to be savored.
When we do finally stop the car and get out the rain had stopped for a minute or two. I exit my car and step onto the soggy grass. I turn to my friends and just smile, watching Frank jump over Gerard’s lap to be the first one out and ends up face first in the gutter, his feet all up in the air. Bob nudges my shoulder as he walks past and up to the gate, his smirk spread across his face.
“Come on man.” Bob says walking up the path to the Way’s house. Mikey following close behind with key in hand ready to unlock the door and get out of the damp NJ weather.
“ARR! Get off Frank!” I turn to see the punk on Gerard’s back.
“Frank you’re gonna make me FALL!” Gee yelps out just before he face plants the mushy grass out the front of his home. Frank breaks out into fits of giggles on top of the dark haired boy. I walk towards the front door where Mikey already unlocked the door and both he and Bob have gone inside.
“Guys come on, quit rolling on the grass in the mud.” I half laugh as Gee rolls over and Frank slams into the ground, mud speared all over his shoulder and down his side over his ribs. Gerard quickly acts to attack the Youngers unprotected sides were Franks shirt had ridden up in the tassel with tickles. The two of them laugh so hard that they quickly run out of breath.
Gee is the first to jump up and offer Frank a hand. I hold the door open waiting for them to come inside. As I watched my two friends stand in front of each other, under a darkening sky, I got the impression I was intruding on something privet as soft words are spoken between the two. I turn away feeling like I was interrupting a moment, I’ll just ask later. I watch Bob walk down the hall way and stop right beside me with a smart ass smirk and shakes a bag of skittles like a dog owner would with a pack of dog treats.
“I can get Frank to do anything for me with these.” The blond whispers to me and smirks.
“Here Frankie! Here Boy! Bob has Skittles!” Bob calls for Frank like he was a puppy. And sure enough Frank bounces over excitedly and nearly tackles Bob to the floor, leaving slightly muddy hand prints all over Bobs white shirt. I look out the door in time to see Gee sigh before walks over to the group.
“Bad Frankie, down boy!” Bob laughs as he pushes the teen off of him and Frank drops to the ground with a solid thud before he jumps straight back up more excited than before.
“Go sit on the lounge next to Mikey and I’ll give you the skittles.” Bob instructs and Frank is gone in the blink of an eye. From the lounge room we hear Mikey yell at Frank for jumping on top of him. Bob laughs and follows the noise shaking the bag of sugar. Gerard looks at me smiling after the other two have disappeared.
“What you so happy about Ray? FRANK YOUR SHOES!” he asks noticing my grin and yells at Frank as he closes the door behind him, taking off his own muddy boots and drops them by the entrance.
“I don’t know how I ended up with such a strange bunch of crazy hyped up, lovable friends like you guys but I’m grateful as all hell.” I smile just a little wider at my damp grass and mud covered friend.
“Aww Ray.” Gee leans forward and hugs me, his shirt soaking mine. As he pulls back we just smile at each other.
”You good man? What were you and Frank chatting bout just then?” I notice a hint of something in his eyes and decide to ask what he and Frank were talking about, my curious side sometimes gets the better of me.
”oh yeah that ahh nothing really” he stammers with an awkward little smile. Before I could ask anything more we got attacked by Franks dripping converses been thrown from the lounge room door way.
“COME ON FUCKERS LETS WATCH SOME GOD DAM HORROR MOVIES, MIKEY POP THE POPCORE!” a damp haired Frank yells out with a chestier cat smile.
“Come on, let’s go watch some movies before Frank rips us a new hole.” He half laughs and walks up the hall.
“Frank fucking come with me and I’ll let you borrow some cloths before you wrecked the chair.” He yells as he heads toward his bedroom. Frank bounces out of the lounge room and follows the older. He’s a funny kid that Frank. I look down the now empty hallway as the sounds around me disappear. I feel someone behind me place their hand on my shoulder with a light squeeze.
“Jet.” A soft hazy whisper enters my ears as reality comes crashing down instantly, the heat in the air warms my skin while the dust fills my nose. My bones ach and my feet scream to be released from their boot prison.
I open my raw eyes and stare at the empty seats in front of me where my so called ‘friends’ were sitting in the van. It takes a moment for my body to wake up from its unintended nap and realize the engine has stopped. I turn to see Pony leaning in from the door with his hand on my shoulder. His eyes scream with concern but also shine with such life.
“Sorry I must have dozed off, it’s been a hard couple of days.” I say getting out of my stickily warm seat and step out of the van, stretching and cracking my worn out back.
“It’s cool, the others have already gone inside.” Pony reply’s but bites his lip, like he wants to say something more. I couldn’t be bothered to ask so I take a moment to stand in the sun and allow for my eyes to adjust to the bright UV rays beaming from the sun.
I stare at the rundown building in front of me that use to be a motel for holiday makers & travelers alike but now it’s home to a different type of traveler, killjoys, rebels of all kinds from all over the desert call this place home. It’s a safe haven to rest and regroup. If you ever get lost or lose your group the first thing a killjoy should do is head to the base, to the doctor. Doctor death defying, he’s not our leader or anything he’s just the man that keeps our spirits alive, a boost of energy and a fresh breath of clean air. He’s wise and smart but most importantly he’s a good friend to all killjoys. It’s been too long since I last heard from him.
“Wow, it hasn’t changed a bit.” I state stretching my cramped back, the last time I was here would have been nearly 6months or so. The paints peeling off the walls and there are obvious quick fix jobs done on the roof.
“Hey it’s changed man.” Show Pony puffs up like a two year old defending his cardboard box fort. He marches over to a rock and points at it with a smug smile.
“This rock wasn’t here before and look at this!” He jumps around to another rock but this one is painted.
“I painted this just yesterday.” Pony announces proudly like it’s some kind of great achievement to color a rock bright pink. I Smile and roll my eyes, there is no point in arguing with Pony he can be just as stubborn as Party. I cringe at the thought of party, he’s changes and I don’t think he’s coming back.
“You’re right Pony this place has changed a lot! Oh look is that a new tumble weed?” I state sarcastically, Pony smiles brightly, ignoring my comment, and walks up to the glass doors of the motel indicating for me to follow. He has this energy about him that always put people in good moods. Pony has the personality of a 10 year old, innocent, positive and full of energy, but don’t mistake him for been weak or useless. Show Pony is one of the best killjoys out there, why do you think he’s Dr D’s main man?
Pony walks straight past the front desk, tapping the bell four times enthusiastically. I look around and see Dust devil reading a magazine behind the desk; she doesn’t even look up as Pony starts singing loudly down the hall, announcing his return back home.
“Come on Jet keep up!” he calls for me. I quicken my step and follow his lead. We enter a little sun room then walk through out to a pool area, tho the pool has been long dry now. Party is standing by the fence sulking as Ghoul walks around the edge of the in ground pool talking to someone I’ve never seen before.
“Artificial Energy this is jet Star,” Pony flaps his arms around and smiles wide.
“And it looks like you’ve met Party Poison and Fun Ghoul.” He assumes as the two killjoys walk towards us, Party just glares at me from his corner, fucking moody bitch.
“Well kind of, Party’s been a drama queen. Sitting in the corner like a two year old coz he’s’ tired’.” I smile smugly as she looks at the red head and speaks loud enough to ensure he hears her. She then turns back to Pony when she gets no reaction.
“But Ghoul here is a gentleman, I told him how the Doc has some big plan going on but they have no idea what it is.” She sighs
“that’s because it’s confidential Art.”
“Oh come on! Why can’t I help? I’m a killjoy too guys!” she talked with her hands and pointed to her clothes. Dressed in odd converses, one red the other black, knee high striped socks, ripped jeans and black button up shirt with various patches hand sowed on. Pony just rolled his eyes and smiled. It was easy to tell that they had this conversation on a daily bases.
“You’re still in training killjoy,” Pony stated and patted the top of her head “plus your still only young.” she battered away his hand and folded her arms over her chest then puffed out a frustrated puff of air.
“I’m not that young.” She grunts.
“Hey, tell Dr D that the guys are here and see if you can find a couple of empty rooms.” Pony asks ignoring any protest and changing the subject swiftly.
Art just sighed and trudged past us, her teen age years showing.
“I’ll catch you guys later.” She waves and heads towards the door. I smile till she disappears inside then I turn to check on Ghoul. He’s softly smiling but I can see through his cover. He’s broken and falling apart but I don’t know how to help.
“Can I chat to the Doc for a min?” I turn to Pony, my eyes explaining that it’s important but I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. The great thing about Pony is that he can easily read you like a book and he simply smiled.
“Sure man,” he then turned to inform Ghoul and Party that Art would come and collect them to show them to their rooms. I wasn’t too comfortable about leaving Ghoul alone with party but I need to talk to Dr. D to sort out these issues. I sigh as I follow Pony inside and down many random halls, this place is huge and I know if I didn’t have Pony leading the way I would get lost.
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