She scribbles absently on a scrap of paper at her desk. What started out as a circle had turned into a full on drawing of a one-eyed man with shaggy hair and a raven. She looks up at the mostly empty room, the skeleton crew hadn't quite breached the land of the living. Normally she wouldn't have drawn at her desk so openly, but it was her last day here.
She shifts in her Scrooge McDuck costume and then scrunches her eyes. Okay maybe her final day may have been the wrong day to dress in full Scrooge McDuck, but it was Halloween morning.
And her last day.
She thumbs the half full coffee mug on her desk. Sure, she'd miss it, maybe not in the way you miss a loved one, but she would miss it. The atmosphere. The culture.
She suddenly felt an actual sense of loss.
'The overtime,' she grumbled to herself.
She looks back to the drawing in front of her. Murderboy Comics: her ticket out of this hell hole. Drunk on insomnia, she had dropped a packet that contained a series she had been working on in the mail. When you work the night shift, insomnia was mostly all you needed to make life interesting. Insomnia and coffee.
She considers her cup again. The pot was all the way across the room.
'Why not,' she says, and pushes herself to her feet when the radio jumps to life.
'Officer Johnson, show me at the Sweet Tooth factory. Workers flagged me down, it seems someone came and out a padlock in the door, activating the bolt cutters. Not a great way to start your morning. Kids probably. Over.'
She pauses for a second to push down on the pedal at her desk, 'Copy.'
'Congratulations. Over,' the voice says cheerfully. Okay, there was some stuff she would miss, but not not the kids.
'Halloween!' she thought as she pushed herself to her feet as she renewed her quest for coffee.
She first adds the coffee followed by a generous portion of the toffee nut creamer. Why not? It's Halloween after all, and just as she finishes coloring her coffee, the radio crackles back to life.
'Request backup, repeat, request backup.'
She glides across the room, barely concious of the coffee and where it lands. She slides behind her desk and stomps on the pedal the radio.
'Any available unit to the Sweet Tooth Factory,' she says, tryin to keep her cool.
The officers radio is still on and she can hear screaming. There's all sorts of screaming, but something about screaming in terror at 7am rattled her to the core. The radio seems to drop to the ground and there are two shots fired.
Eight more shots resound through the microphone. There is a scramble and the voice comes through again.
“It’s impossible! I just shot and it didn’t flinch. It's leaking some sort of goo but it's not human...no..no god.'
The radio drops again and a scream is silenced by a loud snap. The coffee drops from her hand, shattering on the desk beneath her, it's reminents scattering across her costume.
Jaclyn Pierrot in Section 6
Not Quite Albuquerque
‘Next stop, Albuquerque!’
Jaclyn pulls her glasses down low on her nose and looks out the window. The next stop was not Albuquerque. At least, she had not decided if it were Albuquerque. Either way, this bus was not headed in that direction.
In fact, this bus didn’t have far to go if the smoke billowing out of the engine was any indicator. She turns to her companion, a man wearing white slacks and a blue windbreaker who appears to be sleeping. He lurches forward in the bus seat as the bus comes to a halt. Any normal man would have woken up, but not Ed.
No, Ed was different; Ed was dead.
Jaclyn reaches forward and pulls her companion back I’m the seat, his head snapping back into the seat.
‘Great,’ she muttered, ‘this is great.’
The bus became a murmur of voices, mostly complaints. This may not be Albuquerque, but with a crammed bus and no air conditioner, temperatures and tensions would both rise quickly.
‘No matter,’ Jacky thought as she pulls her bag from below the seat.
Harpers Ferry, 3 Miles
She knew better to wait for the tourist trap to become a rat trap++terrible++. She grabs Ed’s hand, shoving her way through the crowd on her way towards the door. A larger man stands in her way, his massive frame taking up much of the aisle as he loudly discusses his level of involvement or lack there of with his partner.
‘Excuse me,’ Jacky says. No response.
‘How would I know the bus would break down,’ he repeats, this time with a flail of his hands.
‘Excuse me!’ Jaclyn tries again, her golden eyes locked on the back of his thick neck. He continues to ignore her. The bed of the bus was already beginning to warm up and more passengers rose to their feet.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Jaclyn pulls a silver .357 magnum from her bag, aims it to the roof, and fires. There are a few startled screams and the man and woman finally turn to the clown.
‘Excuse me,’ she says merrily, smiling wide at the man. He retreats into the aisle with his wife, his head turning back to the clown to walks past, the corpse of Ed dragging behind her.
Next stop, Albuquerque.
Sweet Tooth Candy Factory
The parking lot is an sprawl of concrete and aged paint. Little care has gone into ensuring the previous lines were removed prior to laying down new ones. There are some wooden barricades stacked in front of the front door which looks to have been resealed with chain.
An ambulance pulls away from the scene leaving a pair of beat cops to stand guard. The two could have easily been brothers, though one was slightly shorter and wore glasses. They lean sit against the back of the trunk of the cruisers.
'Is there a reason we're not going in?'
'They said the feds were sending one of theirs; a specialist.'
'A specialist? Huh? I got a 38 specialist that'll do the job right here.'
'Mines a .44,' says a high pitched voice followed by an almost grating honking laughter. The two cops turn and on instinct raise their guns. A woman with what looks like clown makeup and weeks at at the tattoo parlor. She's wearing a tank top that says Down to Clown,a pair of fade black jeans, and a pair of Timberland boots.
'Don't move buddy!'
She honks his nose and he fires his gun. The shot fired wide but the expression of the clown woman doesn't change, she only draws closer to him. He fumbles his gun in his hand and it land on the grass between them. He looks into her eyes the color of Freyas tears, down at his gun before his vision is blocked with two fingers. She honks his nose again.
'I'm a specialist!' she says gleefully, turning away from the pair and hoisting Ed onto the hood of the cruiser. He slumps to the side before falling onto the hood with a crunch. She continues past the other officer whose gun is drawn as his partner retrieves his weapon.
'You know you can't leave?'
'No. You know you can't stop me?'
The two exchange a glance before lowering their weapons slightly. The shorter one moves away, whispering into his microphone as Jaclyn approaches the door. It's a large steel door with an elaborate carving of a smiley face. The handles are wrapped in thick chain with a padlock securing them. Through the window, Jacky can see an empty reception area.
'Anyone got a key?' she shouts back to the officer hopefully. She is greeted with a middle finger. She shrugs her shoulder, removes the oversized .44 magnum from her waistband, and fires point blank into the lock. The officers draw their pistols again and Jaclyn turns to them with a smile.
'I got it.'
It took longer than expected to sort out her identity with the police. Something about federal employees didn't have clown makeup or something of the other. Dead body or some such. Jaclyn peeks around the corner moving towards the factory.
So far this has been a big waste of time and bullets.
She shrugs, firing a round into the air only to be met with a sprinkle of dust: bullets. Okay she had four shots...
There was a groan from within be factory. It's hard to describe a groan an adjective but wet might be a bit too generous. A sticky wet groan can be heard from within the Factory.
She walks in a bouncing gait, not dissimilar to slow skipping, doing a graceful pirouette before she bumps her way through the door, firing in the direction of the sound.
Right where she fired stops a large, reddish orange man who looked was not dissimilar in shape or texture of a gummy bear. There were several differences or course: most gummies were not over six feet tall, did not brandish steep pipes, and most importantly, did not have large gaping bullet holes in their chest.
The large creature staggers backwards, it's arm getting caught in what looks like a taffy puller. Despite the words, the large creature was somehow moaning as it tried desperately to free it's arm.
Jaclyn slaps the button labeled Start and the sticky, bubbly groaning turns to a horrified, muffled scream. The golems arm is pulled back into the contraption, before the machine starts to fold it in on itself. The scream returns to a gurgle and a blurb as a pool of thick goo begins to compile on the ground beneath it.
Another scream fills the air. Horror and terror are present but mostly anger as another huge sugar man lumbers from the shadows.
'My brother!' despite it's size, it is quick and the clown narrowly ducks as a huge gummy fist soars past. Jacky aims blindly at it's midsection and fires off two rounds.
Jaclyn lowers her pistol, steam rolling off the tip. The large blue golem looks down at his chest and frowns; he doesn't seem as much hurt as be is bothered his chest resembled a pack of Big League Chew.
'Eat this,' the gurgling voice grumbles, seeming amused as it ambles towards the clown, fist raised. The smile never fades from the jesters face, her golden gaze twinkling as she licks her lips.
'You underestimate how much candy I can consume.'
Ed sits in one of the double beds his body aimed at the screen in a small hotel room. There is a large bowl of popcorn on his lap, Ghostbusters is on the television. A half empty bottle of High Water and an over-sized magnum sits on the other bed. There is a loud gag followed by the definitive sound of vomiting that comes from the restroom but Ed doesn't seem to mind or notice the phone ringing. The noise from the restroom stops and a sick sounding Jaclyn calls out.
'Grab that Ed?'
Ed continues to be aimed at the screen as the phone buzzes on the night stand beside him. The toilet flushes and Jacky emerges, her cotton candy hair frazzled in disarray. Hand on hip, she scowls through the frizz towards her companion.
'Seriously?' she stares at him then to where he is aimed, 'Oh Ghostbusters.'
She settles on the edge of the bed. On the screen, a woman floats above the bed. The ringing continues and finally Jaclyn leans back, her eyes still ok the screen.
'Jesus Jacky, turn off the goddamn TV.'
'Okay,' she says but does not move to fulfill the promise.
'We need you to go to Nevada.'
'What's in Nevada?' she says. Her hand moves to the bottle and begins to absently twist off the lid.
'Area 51,' there is a pause as Jaclyn drinks from the bottle. The voice continues, 'Its a military base.'
'Oooo,' Jacky says. She's moved from her bed to the side of Ed's and her fist is buried in the popcorn bowl.
'Are you still watching Ghostbusters?'
'No,' she says, shoveling a handful of popcorn into her mouth.
'There's a raid being organized by some kids online. It should provide the perfect distraction for you to sneak in and put down the target.'
'Turn off the fucking television! We need you to get there by tomorrow so we've made special arrangements to have you and...it picked up.'
'Who you gonna call?' she says and there is a click as Vincent hangs up.
Vincent deposits the phone gently onto the slick black desk in front of him. He presses his fingers together and purses his lips as he states forward. A cigarette burns in his hand. He presses a small button on the desk, the door across the room opening and a smaller man with suspenders enters.
Tell him I'm sending the clown.
The young man nods.
Is there anything else?
No. I fucking hate clowns.
Jaclyn stops outside her hotel room and considers turning back. She puts her back to the door and does her best to look distressed, but ends up tripping over herself. She sits up, her honking giggle cascading off the walls for a moment before she abruptly halts. Are those eyes?
She shakes her head in an attempt to loosen some of the Highwater from her brain and then crosses her eyes as though that will assist in refocusing them.
In the darkness of the desert, despite the level of drunkenness she is sure of it. Dozens of little red eyes staring at her.
'Hmm...' she grunts and pushes herself to her feet as she stumbles towards the eyes. She giggles to herself, 'Here bunny bunny.'
The bunny slides under a large flat rock
I can't fucking see, she yells, firing a round off into the dark. For a brief moment, she can see. She can see the cave as it opens to her right. She can see the moisture that's accumulated in the dips of the rocks. She can also see the dozens of rabbit that look to have been huddled up, sleeping in the dark. She feels her way along the wall behind her, firing another shot off back towards the pack to make sure he way is clear. Behind her she hears one of the creatures squeels briefly only to be drown out by the thumping of large rabbit paws.
I can't fucking see! she fires again behind her and has just enough time to turn her body slightly to so most of the shock of her running full force into a wall is on her shoulder. The ground shakes underneath her.
She crawls towards, only to find herself suddenly tumbling. She grips hard on Aristocrat, a round firing blindly in the dark before she begins a free fall into fairly racid pool of water. She kicks her feet off the tacky bottom, her boot barely breaking free of the pull of the suction as she pulls herself to the nearby shore. In the distance she can hear the chittering of the rabbits.
Looks like somebunny is afraid of the the water! she shouts, her honking laughter filling the cavern. In the darkness above, she can see the red eyes of the rabbits watching.
Thats weird she says. The embankment was easily wide enough for them to slide down. As she considers this, a monsrerous snake pushes itself into the air for a moment before tensing it's neck back, poised to strike.
Jackln fires one final time. The bullet clips a stray stalagmite causing it to fall and kill the snake. She is trapped in its grip, starts to pull her way free, man walks through door and tazes her.
Jacky wakes up
Cute guy was guard, tricked her. Captured the rookie she's with.
He's told us everything about you...isn't that right.
You didn't count on everything.
The Raid of Area 51
Chigoth kills the man.
He lazily throws a hand across her upper body, her pistol flying to the other side of the wall with a clang. She considers the distance, instead turning to face the larger
'What did five fingers say to the face?' she says, raising a hand to lash out at the larger being.Her body is suddenly frozen, the silence deafening. Blinding.
Despite herself, Jaclyn laughs.
'You sell one little soul,' she says to herself, her knees buckling. Blinding light fills the room and the large revolver Aristocrat clatters to the ground followed by Jaclyn Pierrot's lifeless corpse.
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