Devil Cares: Chapter Six

May 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Devil Cares) ()

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The drive into town was filled with a terse, uncomfortable silence, but the incident in the kitchen was not mentioned again. For that both brothers were thankful. They rode in Kimber’s rental, instead of Barrett’s truck. He had insisted and his brother hadn’t argued.
The ride into town took them twenty-two minutes, as Kimber obeyed the speeding laws in ways that Barrett did not. Though the rain was still coming down, and the plunking sound of it against the car was a constant companion as they drove, it didn’t keep up with the raging intensity of the previous night.
As they neared town, the silence was broken with Kimber’s voice.
“Does Carl Young still run the impound lot?”
“Yeah.” Barrett nodded. “We visiting the car first?”
“Might as well,” Kimber said. “It’s closer than the bridge.”
The car impound was on the outer edge of town, so instead of keeping on when they got to the main road, they turned left. Another ten minutes found them in front of Young’s Impound. It was about what one would expect of a small town (even one that was a small city) impound lot. The building wasn’t exactly derelict but it could have used a face lift and the sign was peeling. A high fence to the back indicated the actual impound.
Kimber pulled up in front of it and killed the ignition. He reached into the back seat and pulled out his black canvas bag. “Well, let’s go.”
The two brothers left the car and went inside. A twinkling sound filled the air as Kimber opened the door.
Carl Young wasn’t the image typically conjured up when one thought “small town impound owner.” Carl had been a quarter back in college and had kept up with his physical conditioning even so long after. He didn’t have the stereotypical plumber’s crack or oil-stained beer belly. He was wearing a ball cap, though, to hide his bald spot. As they walked in, Kimber drew a hand through his blondish hair, shaking out the drizzle.
“Hey, Barrett,” Carl said when they came in. “Sorry about your parents, man.”
When he saw Kimber he blinked. “Kimber, it’s been a long time. Good to see you again.”
“Yes, it’s good to see you as well.” Kimber continued, “We’re here to see our parents’ car.”
Slowly, Carl nodded. “Well, okay, but the police already went through and took everything out of it. Examined it too, said there was nothing wrong with it.”
Brows furrowed, Barrett asked, “If they took everything out of it, where is it?”
“In evidence, Barrett,” Kimber said. “We won’t get those things back until the case is closed, I would imagine.”
“I bet that’s true,” Carl said, “but if you wanna see it anyway, I’ll go get the keys.”
“Please, do,” Kimber said.
Carl led them around the back of the office building, where the actual lot began. He stuck the key in the big padlock that kept the gate closed—that’s safe, Kimber thought—and let the brothers inside.
“Can you give us a minute, man?” Barrett asked Carl.
“Oh, no problem,” he said, “take all the time you need. It’s just at the end of the row, there.” He pointed.
Barrett nodded and started that way, Kimber following. When the brothers turned to the end of the row and saw the mangled car, they both stopped. Kimber felt a rush of dizziness and something like nausea. He closed his eyes tight and took deep breaths. Swallowing hard, he opened his eyes.
Their parents’ car was a small blue SUV-type vehicle that Kimber couldn’t name. The entire front of it was smashed up into the windshield. A long, ugly gash ran along the left side. The front right tire was almost parallel to the ground.
“You all right?” Barrett asked cautiously, not sure if Kimber would appreciate the question.
“I’m fine,” he said. “Barrett, you identified the bodies yourself?”
Very softly, Barrett said, “Yeah. When I talked to the guys at the morgue they said the vehicle swerved, hit the side, and then hung over the ravine. That’s why the tire sticks out like that.”
“My god.” Kimber shook his head. Then he straightened, his gray eyes going hard and determined. “All right, let’s get this done.”
He reached into the bag and pulled out a glass bottle of water. “Here, do the demon spells.”
Taking the bottle, Barrett pulled out his silver cross and began to chant. Kimber gauged the direction of the wind and then went around to the back of the car. Reaching into the bag, he pulled out some leaves of the hawthorn tree that grew next to the gate leading to the Mossberg property. He held out his arm and released the leaves from his fist. The wind pushed them against the rear windshield of the car, perfectly normal. Kimber frowned.
Around to the front, Barrett was sprinkling water over the seats as he said the words to demon detection charm. The hand that didn’t hold the water held his cross and he moved it back and forth over both seats. There was no glow. He sighed and capped the water. When he crawled out of the car Kimber was heading toward him.
“I didn’t find anything,” Barrett said. “You?”
“No, nothing,” came the weary reply. He reached into his bag and pulled out some salt. “But I’m going to draw a circle just in case.”
Kimber tipped the bottle over and walked around the remains of his parent’s car, drawing a circle out of salt.
“With the rain it won’t last long,” he said when he was finished, “but it’s better than nothing.”
The walked back around the row of cars to where Carl was standing.
“You, uh, get everything you need?” the big man asked.
Barrett nodded. “Yeah, thanks Carl.”
“Don’t be a stranger, Kimber,” Carl called as they left the impound.
There was a subdued air around the brothers as they reentered the car. So far, there had been no evidence of an otherworldly force impacting their parents’ death. Could it really have been something so simple as a car crash?
“Well, the bridge next,” Kimber said, and started up the car.
They headed back the way they came, taking the turn that would lead them into town. There weren’t a whole lot of people out and about, to avoid the rain probably, but there were more than there had been the day Barrett came to town to inspect Elaine Shores. Kimber drove straight through town, not stopping for anything, just keeping right on Main Street. As the spires and suspension wires of the Jericho Gates came into view, the city’s welcome sign was also visible.
There was no traffic on the bridge. As the two brothers arrived at the smashed up portion of the bridge’s siding they were alone on their parents’ death site. Flowers, bears, and even candles had been set up around the taped area, various community members giving silent shows of support for the Mossberg children, and love for the deceased.
Both brothers stared at the gaping hole in the Jericho Gates’ wall, the mashed and mangled bars and girders, and the long, swerving skid mark. This time it was Barrett who first took a deep breath and ducked under the yellow police tape. Kimber quickly followed suit. Now that they were closer, Kimber noticed the smattering of blue paint on the ground and the side of the bridge. If Barrett saw it as well, Kimber didn’t know. He didn’t point it out.
There was no one around, so Barrett liberally splashed the water, and walked all over the scene with his cross. Never once was there so much as a spark. Kimber withdrew another handful of hawthorn leaves and began sprinkling them over the scene.
“Hey, what’re you doing?” Barrett asked, coming back over to where his brother was.
“It’s something Mom showed me,” replied Kimber.
The wind and drizzling rain pushed and pulled the leaves all the over the side of the bridge.
“And…is it working?”
Kimber sighed. “No, nothing. If it was reacting the leaves wouldn’t touch the desecrated spaces.”
He crossed his arms and glowered at the hole in the bridge. “I just can’t believe this. Mom and Dad were hardasses; they survived the Vampire King of Upper L.A., a wraith in Louisiana, an entire graveyard full of specters in Nevada, just to name a few, and we’re supposed to believe they were taken out by a car crash? I just don’t buy it.”
Carefully, Barrett said, “I don’t want to believe it either, Kimber, but what else can we do? We’ve examined everything, at your own suggestion, and we still didn’t come up with anything new.”
“I don’t know,” Kimber whispered, “but there’s something we’re missing.”
His hand strayed to the bulge of his shirt where his icon lay hidden beneath. “I can feel it.”
After a beat, his hand fell away and he started back toward the car. “Come on, we need to visit Wesson’s school before we head back to the ranch.”
Trailing after, Barrett said, “His school?”
“Yes.”
Not an early riser even when he had to be, Wesson didn’t leave his bed until just a slice before twelve thirty. As he shuffled into the bathroom to pee, he noticed a note taped to the bathroom, mirror written in Kimber’s precise handwriting.
Wes,
Barrett and I have gone to town
We shouldn’t be too long
-Kim.
He finished up, washed his hands (he was careful not to get his bandage wet), and headed downstairs. On the way to the cold room he yawned, but he couldn’t do the reflexive stretch of arms because it pulled the gashes on his arm. He grumbled a bit at that, after he hissed in surprise at the gentle pain, but he quickly forgot about it as he looked around for a bowl of funeral potatoes. Wes found one and brought it out to the kitchen.
A big glob of it was scooped out of the larger bowl and plopped on a plate, which went in the microwave for one minute. When it was done, Wes settled himself at the bar to eat it. He was on his third helping and it was a little past one when his brothers got home.
Wesson was utterly unsurprised to hear them bickering as they walked through the door.
“Do you always drive that slow?” Barrett was saying.
Kimber’s icy voice reached Wes’s ears next. “The speed limit is the limit, Barrett. It’s the maximum speed you can go, not the minimum.”
“Well, everyone around here treats it more like a suggestion,” Barrett said as they finally came into view.
“Well, everyone around here is wrong.”
Kimber was in the lead as they walked inside, carrying a fast-food place cup-holder with two drinks in it and a large chicken salad. Behind him, Barrett was carrying what looked like a bunch of books and some papers. It took Wes a second before he recognized his school books.
“Hey, Wes,” Kimber said, his voice warming. “I was going to get you something, but Barrett insisted we had enough food here.”
“And I was right wasn’t I?” Barrett gestured with his head to the potatoes.
Kimber rolled his eyes.
“These cheesy potatoes are fine. I like ‘em,” Wes said.
Setting his salad down on the bar, Kimber pulled out one of the drinks and put it in front of him. “I got you a Dr. Pepper anyway. Or, whatever knockoff that particular place sells.”
“I got your note,” Wes said around a mouthful of potato.
Kimber grinned. “I thought you might see it there.”
Gesturing with his head in a manner similar to his oldest brother, Wesson asked, “What’s all that stuff?”
Barrett slammed said stuff down on the counter.
“This is all the work you’ve missed so far this week,” Kimber explained, “plus the work from tomorrow and Friday. I figured there’s no sense going back for two days when you’ve missed the whole week.”
He sat down across from Wesson and opened his salad. “This way you can go back on Monday all caught up with no weird lurches in your schedule.”
Wes looked at the books with distaste. “I’m not really in a catching up mood, Kim.”
Kimber leaned in to look his brother in the eye.
“Wesson, the next few weeks are going to be hard. On all of us.” He cast his gray eyes Barrett’s way and the oldest Mossberg shifted uncomfortably.
“But the only way we’ll get through it,” Kimber continued, “is if we work to get through it. You two have moped around long enough. Life won’t wait forever.”
Sighing, Wesson replied, “I know that, but it seems so soon.”
“It always does,” Kimber said gently.
Barrett had been dishing up his own bowl of potatoes during this time.
“Barrett,” Kimber asked, “what was the case that Mom and Dad were working on?”
Turning from the microwave, Barrett said, “One of those little dragon things in South Dakota, I think. Why?”
“An unhcegila,” Kimber murmured absently. “I’ll have to refresh my memory on what all they can do.”
“Dad said they killed it,” Wesson piped up, “when I talked to him last.”
“Still, I’ll feel better if I know more about the case,” Kimber said. “Are Dad’s files still up his bedroom?”
“Yeah,” Barrett said.
“I’ll think I’ll go take a look at them.” Kimber munched on a salad leaf thoughtfully.
“Oh, I forgot to ask you,” Wesson gestured with his fork. “What’s with all the flowers?”


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4 Comments

  1. Yahrlan said,

    Hmm, quite puzzling….nothing ‘wrong’ with the car or the bridge….

    Deveil Cares Chapter Playlist

    Oh, and I found some typos…just two this time 😉
    ~”…visit Wesson’s school before head back to the ranch.”~ before wehead back?
    ~Kimber was in the lead as the walked inside~ they or the brothers?

  2. Zappaz said,

    Quite puzzling indeed… Mystery, mystery.

    ~_~ Man, I know all about horrible, vast amounts of homework, too. Poor Wes.

  3. jekloneo said,

    Ah, the suspense is getting to me.

    And homework… Don’t even mention that to me.

  4. yinyang said,

    (After having to use so many quotes-within-a-quote in my comment for the last chapter, I decided to change the way my suggestions are formatted a little. Hopefully this makes them easier to read as well as type.)

    The drive into town was filled with a terse, uncomfortable silence, but the incident in the kitchen was not mentioned again and for that both brothers were thankful. –> The drive into town was filled with a terse, uncomfortable silence, but the incident in the kitchen was not mentioned again; and for that, both brothers were thankful.

    The two brothers left the car and went inside, a twinkling sound filled the air as Kimber opened the door. –> The two brothers left the car and went inside. A twinkling sound filled the air as Kimber opened the door.

    “Please, do.” Kimber said. –> “Please, do,” Kimber said.

    Carl led them around the back of the office building where the actual lot began. –> Carl led them around the back of the office building, where the actual lot began.

    When the brothers turned to the end of the row, and saw the mangled car they both stopped. –> When the brothers turned to the end of the road, and saw the mangled car, they both stopped. –OR– When the brothers turned to the end of the road and saw the mangled car, they both stopped.

    Their parents’ car was a small blue SUV type vehicle that Kimber couldn’t name. –> Their parents’ car was a small blue SUV-type vehicle that Kimber couldn’t name.

    Around to the front, Barrett was sprinkling water over the seats as he said the words to demon detection charm. –> Around in the front, Barrett was sprinkling water over the seats as he said the words to the demon detection charm.

    “I didn’t find anything,” Barrett said, “you?” –> “I didn’t find anything,” Barrett said. “You?”

    Now that they were closer, Kimber noticed the smattering of blue paint on the ground and the side of the bridge. If Barrett saw them as well, Kimber didn’t know. –> Now that they were closer, Kimber noticed the smattering of blue paint on the ground and the side of the bridge. If Barrett saw it as well, Kimber didn’t know. –OR– Now that they were closer, Kimber noticed the smatterings of blue paint on the ground and the side of the bridge. If Barrett saw them as well, Kimber didn’t know.

    As he shuffled into the bathroom to pee, he noticed a note taped to the bathroom mirror written in Kimber’s precise handwriting. –> As he shuffled into the bathroom to pee, he noticed a note taped to the bathroom mirror, written in Kimber’s precise handwriting.

    It took him a second before he recognized his school books. –> It took [Wes/Wesson] a second before he recognized his school books. (With the perspective jumping around in this chapter, the “him” in this sentence needs to be clearly stated, I think.)

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