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Youth in Revolt

This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> The Catacombs -> In The Valley Below
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 207
See this user's pet
Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

23153.58 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:27 am    Post subject: Youth in Revolt Reply with quote

Life in the valley had always been fraught with strangeness. With occurrences and happenings beyond explanation. The local folk attributed it to the spirit of the forgotten West and gave it little mind after the fact. They seemed caught up in a decade long since considered part of the past for the rest of the world, and every so often when a stranger from elsewhere in the country would come by in one of his fancy automobiles, all the children would come scurrying out from dark holes in the earth to see. But that happened little enough that there were some adults who had been children when such things were still new, and never laid eyes on one.

Glenn Douglas, for one, had never seen more than a picture of car. The picture alone was something valuable to possess. Photographs were not easy to come by in the valley, or anywhere in that land they called the Forgotten. Sometimes they called it Deep West, too, but the intent was the same. It meant a place so far removed from the world around it as to be left behind. Sensibilities, fashion, art, culture, technology, it rarely reached the people out there. So little was their contact with the outside world that the people were inclined to misbelieve rumors that came trickling in from the lands out east. Cars, for instance, had been something of a joke for the town of York until a man came rumbling down the only real road through town one day.

It was a great black machine rumbling and roaring loudly like a beast in fury. Glenn Douglas had been maybe eight years old at the time and he, along with his brothers Brandon and Paul, and his sister Anna, stood on the porch of their family's home and watched with wide-eyed amazement at the metal contraption with its rubber wheels turning and bouncing along with no sight of a horse to draw it. The windows were clear enough and they could see the man sitting inside the cabin was a stout looking fellow with a great mustache and not so much hair up top. He and his contraption rolled to a stop in front of the general store and when he came out he had a small hat like a bowler cap that he tossed onto his head, to hide his thinning hair, Glenn thought. The store was just across the way from the small closet that served as the town saloon and he eyed the rickety place uneasily, as though he suspected a brigand might come by and try to steal his automobile. Glenn hopped over the porch railing and ran down the street to the man.

"'scuse me, Mister," he said, stumbling just so in his hastiness to stop before running into him. "Iffin' you like, sir, I could keep an eye on this fine machine of yours an' keep any scoundrels from comin' up to mess with it. I may not look like much, but me Paw's the sheriff and ain't no one in York like to mess with me or any of my siblings, so you'd be as safe as if he an' his deputies were watchin' it himself."

He flashed a great big grin at the man who, at that moment, seemed taken aback by this precocious youngster. Glenn's smile was wide and seemed innocent enough, he was missing just a couple of teeth and for all he knew, this heightened the effect. He stood with his hands behind his back and his chin up straight like a man trying to appear taller. The man in the hat guffawed loudly and reached into the pocket of his fine coat and produced a coin which he flicked through the air with his thumb at the boy.

"As you say, young man. Keep an eye on things for me and I shan't be gone more than a moment," the man tipped his hat to Glenn and turned to waddle off into the general store. That's how Glenn decided to see his walking, a waddle. He wasn't hugely overweight but the way his body was distributed was just enough askance to make the man walk like some grounded bird.

Glenn pushed the thought out of his mind and looked back up the street toward his brothers and sister. The three of them were staring wide-eyed and when he motioned them over, they all ran.

"How d'you think it runs?" Paul asked.

"It's just a metal horse," Brandon said. "Oates and water."

"It does not!" Anna retorted.

Glenn watched them all with a smirk and then he wrenched the door open and climbed into the cabin. He stared at the steering wheel and the two levels jutting out from just beneath it to either side in confusion and tried to press one of the pedals in the floor, but his feet couldn't quite right.

"Brandon get up here," he said, leaning out the door. "I can't reach the whatsits."

His brother Brandon climbed up and started inspecting the different levers, pedals, and contraptions that made up the automobile while Glenn rummaged through a storage compartment he found. He found the owner's manual and started to flip through the pages quickly, occasionally tossing a glance toward the general store to see if the man had come out yet.

"We need a key!" he exclaimed. "***."

Brandon gave him a look but Glenn just said. "If you tell Paw I'll tell him about you chasin' Miller's dog with a stick."

"You wouldn't dare."

"Try me."

His brother scowled at him for a moment and then started to feel around under the seats and other places for a key.

"It's not gonna be in here," Glenn said. "The old git's gonna have it in his pocket, more like."

"Then how do we get it?"

That, Glenn thought, was the question of the day.

"I'll work somethin' out. Go get the Bullock boys. We're gonna need a distraction."
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 207
See this user's pet
Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

23153.58 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon leaned out of the car and told the youngest of the three brothers, Paul, to go and fetch the Bullock boys. Then he resumed rummaging through the car but Glenn kicked him in the side and shoved him out of the cabin with a grunt. The boy fell and hit the ground with an "oomph" and a quiet curse, shooting a murderous look at Anna when she gasped at the dirty word. Glenn climbed out after him and closed the door, reaching down to help his brother up out of the dirt and brushing it and the dust from his back and pants. He nodded toward the shop and the man was just visible through the single pane of glass on the front door. He was standing before the main counter in the general store and conversing with the clerk. He didn't seem to notice that the boys had been scrambling about inside his car and if the clerk had, he hadn't said anything. Glenn had counted on that. His daddy was sheriff, after all, and no one messed with him or his no matter the trouble he got up to. Glenn didn't know why, his old man had never been cruel but he had also never been particularly kind to the boys and was not unwilling to dole out a harsh punishment for the smallest of crimes, should he ever catch wind of them. The only person in York who didn't seem to think the Douglas children weren't mischievous rascals was their mother. Every now and again Glenn wondered if she did know the truth of things but was too sad to admit it and this, more than anything, was what kept him in line most days. As much as he hated his father, Glenn loved his mother more.

"Who do you reckon he is?" he asked Brandon.

His brother shrugged and leaned back against the black car, but Glenn hissed at him and he straightened up again a moment later. "Some rich banker fella, I guess," Brandon was the oldest of the three brothers and Glenn was smack dab in the middle, and though Glenn often bulled and took charge of them and their sister, he always seemed willing to accept whatever Brandon said as truth. He had seen things, Brandon told them once, and from before they were born when travelers came through York more than once or twice a summer. That he had seen more people than they seemed to give him some sort of power of knowledge over the rest and so Glenn was always cautious not to push him too far, as though such information might be dangerous if used against him.

Glenn was staring at his brother thoughtfully when he heard a voice come from behind him, saying, "You cannot save him."

Glenn whirled around but there was no one there. He looked at Anna, whose hands were holding bunches of her dress as she struggled not to berate the boys for what they had done and what they planned to do. Even if she didn't know exaclty what it was, she knew it wasn't good. It never was when Glenn was involved. Anna did not seem to hear anything and when he looked at Brandon, his older brother was once again eying the automobile and had an eager look in his dark eyes. Glenn shook his head and put the thought out of mind. Before Paul returned the man came out of the shop and smiled down at Glenn, but he gave Anna and Brandon each a suspicious glance and said, "What do we have here, young sir?"

"This is my brother Brandon, sir," Glenn said. "And my little sister Annabelle. They're just helpin' me keep an eye on things, is all. Paul's fetchin' the Bullock boys too. Are you stayin' in town long? We got no school right now so we can watch it all day for you, iffin' you like," he held his hands behind his back and looked the squat man straight in the eye as though challenging him. Something in Glenn's gaze made the man uneasy and it showed when he smiled. "No, that won't be necessary. I'm moving on to Beaumont. But thank you."

He stepped past Glenn with a pat on the head and opened the car door with a quiet "excuse me" to Brandon.

Brandon and Glenn exchanged looks. "Beaumont's back east, from where you came," Glenn said. The words sounded like an accusation. "You ain't goin' back to Beaumont after you already drove down here to York. That's a long trip, mister, and you ain't even bought anythin'."

The man paused and turned to look at Glenn with a frown. "Well aren't you a curious boy," he said dryly. "Nevermind me, boy. I come and go as I please."

Glenn's cheeks flushed furiously at the words and he almost started to say something else when Annabelle interrupted him. "I was just happy to see an automobile," she said. "We ain't seen one of those in York. Not since I was born!" she smiled prettily at the man and the expression on his face softened and he offered her a kind smile. "Well I am glad to have brightened your day, young miss. But I must be off. If you'll excuse me."

He climbed into the car and started it. Brandon stood close and watched eagerly through the window to try and get a feel for how the contraptions all worked together. He sighed heavily when the black machine started to rumble off down the road just as Paul returned with two young boys about their age, both with red, curly hair. They gaped openly at the car as it rolled off and Glenn walked up and growled at them all. "What took you so long?"

"We wasn't at home," one of the Bullock boys said, his name was Nicholas and his brother was Ezekiel, they were twins but aside from their hair they looked nothing alike.

"Well where were you?"

"We was out a'field with pops," Ezekiel said. "When we was comin' back I saw Paul sittin' on the porch waitin' all impatient like and I says to mum, 'What's Paul lookin' like that for?' and then he says to us there's a car."

"I didn't believe a word of it," Nicholas said.

"Told you it was true!" Paul interjected.

Glenn rubbed at his eyes and grumbled under his breath, turning to watch the dust settle in the wind after being disturbed by the car as it drifted out of sight.

"He ain't headin' east," Brandon noted.

"No he ain't. That ways further west. He's goin' out to Cossol."

All six of them sucked in air through their teeth as though Glenn had just uttered some horrible swear word and each shared an ominous look with the other.
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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