I remember when I first moved into this town, my father was relocated to this small town in the middle of nowhere. You know one of those typical towns you see on tv where everyone knows everyone and the biggest thing that happens is the local county fair. Safe to say as a 16-year old, gay, black teen born and Raised in the “big city” for all of my life, I had my reservations. I felt a nudge on my arm and I turned to look at my dad.
“Finally here, Terry! After a day and a half of driving, we are finally here!” he said with that famous optimism in his voice. I said nothing in response and my dad frowned a bit.
“Terry, c’mon give this place a chance. I feel like the hustle and bustle of city life can make a man forget the simple pleasures in life.” I rolled my eyes and huffed. Sighing, he began to slow down and pull over to the side of the road. Putting the car in park, he turned and looked at me with concern in his brown eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I bit my lip for a second but decided on what has been on my mind since the first day he decided for us to move here.
“Dad, I don’t know about this. This town doesn’t look like the type of town that WE belong in, ya know? I mean cmon I am a gay black male coming into a town that the most colorful things they have here are the bright red MAGA caps. We left everything behind, I left my friends behind and now we are gonna have to start over in a town I don’t personally feel safe in. Worst of all, we left mom behind…”
A tense silence filled that care as if we were sinking underwater. My dad was quiet, absorbing the information I was saying. He knew I was against this from day 1. We had days of arguments, threats to run away, some words that were said that I personally wish I could take back.
“Son, I know this move hasn’t been great. To be honest ever since this drive started I thought you upped and died from how quiet you’ve been since we started this drive. Mom died because of her illness and to be frank with you those medical bills hit our savings harder than you can imagine. Hard enough that living in our city wasn’t financially making sense anymore.
Leaving your mother behind was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. I cried at her gravestone because I felt like I was abandoning her, but you and I both know she would understand why we need to make this move. Each mile away hurt worse than the last and that ache will be there for a long time but to stay in a place where everything in our city kept reminding me of her hurt even more. I feel like a new start here will help us more than you can imagine. I just ask you to give this a chance. You may actually like it here.
On the topic of US living in this town, don’t think that hasn’t slipped my mind either. But all we can do is put our best foot forward. We may be black but we won’t let people define who we are based on our skin, okay?”
I nodded, the intense anxiety I felt was beginning to melt away slowly like ice in the palm on my hand.
“And besides if anyone messes with you or me, they’re banned from my blueberry cake,” he smirked as he shifted the car in drive and we headed to our new home.
When we arrived at our new home, it was in the middle of a cul-de-sac. Our home was in the middle, with 2 houses on our left and right. Unpacking wasn’t long but it wasn’t easy either. After a few curse words, while bringing the couch into the house, we finally had everything inside. The house was simple but it had its own charm to it. A two story pale sky blue home with a black room and white windows. A porch area stretched along the front of the house. The house did show its age though. Dad made a note for all the projects he wanted to tackle on with me. Said it would be good for me when I move out and have a place of my own.
I sat on the railing of the porch while my dad went into the downtown area to pick up some dinner. Childish Gambino was playing on my phone’s speaker while looking out in the street, wondering what the new school was going to be like. I was snapped out of my trance when I heard the slight hiss and squeak of a screen door opening, to my left saw a middle-aged woman holding some kind of Tupperware in her hand. It was so odd, she looked like she walked out of the 1950s. Her brunette hair made into one of those typical bees nest hair cuts. She was white but not natural white more like she hasn’t seen the sun in a few months kind of white. I wondered for a moment if she was allergic. That question was quickly answered when she walked down her steps towards me. Her ebony black high heels clicking on the sidewalk. Her rose petal red dress flowing in the breeze as she walked with confidence towards me. I had to admit I felt a twinge of anxiousness. Was she going to yell at me to keep my music down? Call the police for me sitting on my own front steps?
She waved hi with a little too friendly grin on her face as she stopped in front of me. “Hello there!” she said with over the top enthusiasm. I raised an eyebrow, tapping pause on my phone, smiled a little, and stood up, best foot forward, right?
“Hi, can I help you?” I asked as I stepped down onto the sidewalk. Her smile seemed to get wider. As I got a better look at her, I could tell eyes were a pale blue like the house but looked like something was missing behind them.
“I am Karen Fuller, I am the head of the neighborhood watch. As the leader of the watch, I personally like to welcome you into our little town. Please take this meat casserole as a welcome gift,” she handed it to me and I grabbed it thanking her.
“So how are you liking it so far?” she asked with that same level of enthusiasm as before.
“Uhm it’s alright, really nothing to do. My dad went off to the local pizza shop you guys have to pick up some dinner.”
“Well we have plenty to do here all you need is a few friends and you can head off to the local soda fountain and have a good time there.”
“Yeah! You’d love it, actually, my daughter works there part-time!”
She said it was as proud as telling me her daughter was working for space companies.
“Well maybe I’ll check it out sometime. Anyway, Ms. Fuller, did you know the last people who lived here?”
“The Andersons, I believe, was their name. A family of three, they were so nice and had a beautiful black son about your age. Very respectful and had a bright future ahead of him.”
“Yes, well, their son turned up missing a year ago. It was sad, everyone in town pitched in to help to try to find the poor boy. Alabaster was his name,” she said with sympathy as if it hurt her just as much.
A cold shiver went down my spine. To hear. That happened so recently and us moving in so soon, it felt like I was walking over his grave. I wonder if my dad knew. I mean to live in a house where someone died usually has a cheaper price than the surrounding homes but could a missing person cause the same thing? I was lost in thought when I heard the familiar rumble of my dad pulling coming from down the street. I felt a sigh of relief knowing that soon he would be taking over this conversation.
“Ah, my dad is finally home. It was nice to meet you Ms. Fuller and thank you for the meat casserole,” I said with a smile as I head towards the inside of the house. I left the door open to keep the cool breeze in while I went to the kitchen to take a closer look at this meat casserole. I could hear my father talk with that same infectious optimism he always had. Popping the clips holding the cover, I winced and exhaled a breath. IT SMELLED AWFUL. Like it was left out in the sun for three days and a skunk decided to add its own special ingredients to the dish. I was gagging and dragging the trash can over. That’s when Ms. Fuller and my dad caught me about to throw it out. I cringed seeing the look on Ms. Fuller’s face and dad was shocked to see what I was about to do.
“TERRY SIMONE! What in God’s green earth are you doing?!” he exclaimed as he walked over, putting the pizza on the kitchen counter and grabbing the casserole out of my hand. I stammered, trying to tell them that it was smelling horrible. I couldn’t even keep the grimace off my face.
“What are you talking about son? This smells fine,” he turned to Ms. Fuller with an apologetic look on his face. “I am so sorry about this. My son has had a difficult time adjusting to living in a small town. City kids, ya know. He probably never ate a casserole before. They aren’t usually delivered by food deliveries,” he joked trying to make the situation less tense. Ms. Fuller nodded and brought back her wide smile.
“Ha, it’s alright I know that a casserole isn’t everyone’s taste. Maybe you two would like to try a slice?” she asked.
“That’s a great idea!”
“No thanks!” I immediately said. My father gave me a look saying: you will try a bite or else. I gave a look back saying: I will make it more awkward than it already is. He shook his head and turned to Ms. fuller,
“Terry’s love for pizza seems to be outweighing the casserole, I’m sure we will take a bit some other time, but I’ll take a slice and heat it up.”
I swear, when I mean to tell you that her eyes lit up hearing that, I mean it looked like an entire fireworks celebration was going on behind her eyes. Watching dad take a knife and a paper plate from the stack that was on the pizza, he cut out a slice of the mass of ground beef, cheese, and some noodles and put it on the plate. As he was putting it in the microwave, I grabbed a couple slices of the pepperoni and mushroom pizza, which smelled like a normal pizza should.
Sitting at the other end of our dining room table, I wanted to get as far away from that dish as I could without being rude. This was my dad’s reaction. He didn’t seem to smell what I smelled. The rancid odor was growing more intense with each revolution made in the microwave. I could hear the sizzle and pop it was making, I was imagining the cheese were maggots swelling up and popping all over. I gagged subtly and my dad looked at me with confusion. Grabbing my slice, I began to take a bite. The ding erupted from the metal heating box, he took his dinner out and was complimenting on how “delicious” it looked and smelled. I couldn’t believe it. He actually looked genuine with his comment. Meanwhile, I was trying my best to not gag on the aroma of sweet rot that filled the air. Taking a plastic fork, he cut off a piece and ate it. The room was tense with anticipation, was he gonna break or not?
One chew, two chews, and then a third.
“This is incredible!” I nearly choked on a piece of pepperoni. He continued to praise her cooking saying it’s the best casserole he has ever had. Never had something tasted so sweet and savory in his life. How could this be possible? I mean, I know he wanted to put our best foot forward but this was ridiculous. It smelled bad and it was obvious but it seemed to be only obvious to me.
“You know for this, I gotta give you something in return. How do you like blueberry cake?” he asked and it turns out it was her favorite.
“How about this you and Terry come over for dinner this upcoming Saturday?” she added, I was about to say something until dad interrupted me.
“We would love to, at 6 pm?”
It was about 8 pm and I was in my room with my windows open, unfortunately, that smell got all the way up there and I wanted it out as soon as possible. Hearing three gentle knocks I turned to see my dad still eating that carcass of a casserole.
“Ms. Fuller isn’t here dad, you can drop the act,” he gave me a quizzical look.
“What are you talking about? This is actually really good! Anyway, I wanted to check in on you,” he said as he placed the paper plate on the ground outside my room to be courteous.
“Look I’m sorry about earlier dad, I didn’t mean to sound so offensive towards her and her cooking.” He shook his head and smiled.
“Listen, remember when you first told your mother and I that you were gay?” I nodded remembering the tense conversation. Me on the couch sitting in between them explaining about my feelings.
“I told you that day that out in the real world, people will not like or understand who you are. That it’s your job to be outspoken and stand your ground. That I wasn’t always going to be there to protect you from the words people may say and that’s just based on your skin color. Even more, about your sexual orientation. I’m glad you stood your ground in your opinion. You may need some refinement on your subtleties, gagging in front of her was a bit dramatic.” I rolled my eyes and chuckled.
“Look, why not go out and explore the town a bit. Who knows, it may grow on you. I have to get my work station set up anyway and you need to make some new friends outside of your phone.”
The next day I was woken up to birds tweeting and my phone rhythmically buzzing indicating that I had a few alerts to take care of. Yawning, I woke up and checked my phone showing it was already 11 am. Texts from friends saying how much they miss me, promising to rescue me from small-town America. It only took me about a half-hour to get ready for the day. I walked downstairs and headed to the kitchen, plenty of moving boxes were still scattered around the counter and the floor. Opening the fridge, my eyes widen in surprise. The casserole, it was half gone! My stomach twisted thinking that my dad, a man with cooking skills that were unmatched, was a fan of that crap. Below, I saw the pizza box and grabbed a couple of slices. Nothing like cold pizza as a balanced breakfast. Heading to the door I noticed a note stuck to it, a silver key taped to the note.
“TERRY, LEFT TO GO PICK UP SOME ITEMS FOR WORK. HERE IS THE KEY FOR THE HOUSE. BE BACK SOON.
I put the key in my pocket and headed out to see what this new town had to offer.
What could I say about a town like this? Simple, comes to mind. I didn’t mean it in a bad way, of course, but it was certainly something I wasn’t used to. It’s just living in the city for so long. The rumble of cars in the streets as my white noise was replaced with birds chirping and the sound of my footsteps. The chime of a bell cut through all that, I turned to see a young girl with chestnut brown hair with a smile on her face, she was wearing a sundress with a flower pattern all around it. Pinks and yellows from top to bottom. Brown boots pushing the pedals forward on her lime green bike. She braked hard, sliding slightly to a stop right in front of me.
“Hello, you’re that new neighbor, yeah?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m Terry, and you are?” I asked, extending out my hand, she grabbed and shook it.
“Julie, Julie Fuller.” I immediately felt a wave of embarrassment, memories of last night making me cringe.
“Uh yeah listen, about last night I’m sure your mom-” I was interrupted with her hand raised
“Look, my mom isn’t the best cook. I’m not mad and she isn’t either. She mentioned you and your dad would be coming by on Saturday.” I nodded, confirming.
“He said he would bring his blueberry cake which is honestly to die for.”
“Well, I am certainly excited to try it out. How are you liking our town?” she asked as she got off her bike walking beside me. We chatted and talked about a variety of things. Music, food, what we liked and didn’t like. Turns out she was the same age as me and when I told her I was gay she had no qualms about it. Telling me that this town doesn’t thrive off being prejudiced and hateful towards anyone. To be honest it was nice to hear.
Sometime later, we were in the local diner with an honest to God soda fountain. Even the man who was making us the drinks from it was wearing that typical uniform you see on old tv shows. All white uniforms with a paper hat. Served our cherry soda drinks with a smile and Julie was making me laugh with all the sleazy things she would do to him.
“So Julie, what’s there to do here? Do you guys have some legends about this town? Every small town has one,” I said sipping on my drink, but it wasn’t right. I could taste the cherry flavoring but it had something else too that I couldn’t put my finger on.
“Well we have a couple,” she leaned in giving a conspiratory look. “Once a couple of weeks these black semi-trucks come into town super late at night. We call em ghost trucks.”
“Oh and why’s that?” I asked, taking another sip.
“Well, it’s because sometimes people say they hear the wails of spirits as the trucks pass by.”
“Has anyone actually seen these trucks? I mean a ghost truck is kinda hard to miss.” She leaned back and stared at her drink intensely as if the answer was going to float up from her crimson red drink.
“No, not really but there have been many people who have heard strange faint wails at night. So something is out there and the weirdest part is we see tracks that head down to an abandoned home of the founder of our town. TRUCK tracks.” I couldn’t keep the skepticism out of my face.
“I am sure there is.”
“I am telling you there is something out there. I’ve been trying to get proof but the cops here are always out patrolling, especially at night. Frankly, I don’t wanna go alone. None of my friends are brave enough to come out with me.”
“Well, we could always go and check it out. I mean imagine how cool you’ll be. The young girl who figured out the mystery of the ghost trucks. She giggled and balled up a napkin and threw it at me.
“I don’t know Terry, I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“It’ll be fine you’re talking to someone who has been sneaking out for parties since 13. I think we can handle it. What about tonight?” she took a moment to think about it. Weighing out the risk vs reward. After a moment, she gave me a look of determination and nodded. We went over the plan together. That night around 11 pm we would sneak out and meet up. Head to the spot where the trucks enter the old dirt road and just wait. I had to tell her to wear black to not be spotted. To be honest, I didn’t think anything would happen but it was so odd how no one in this town knew why giant trucks were showing up. We spent the rest of the day talking and her showing me the town park, movie theater, and other features of the town. I was surprised how clean and yet so quiet everything was. It was a beautiful day and yet no one was outside appreciating it besides a couple of police cars that were eying us a little too intensely. Julie noticed and raised an eyebrow.
“What’s wrong? It’s just the sheriff and a couple of deputies.”
“It’s just I find it uncomfortable at times. Cops give me a bad feeling occasionally.” She gave me a sympathetic look. Then she did something I didn’t expect, she waved them down to us.
“What are you doing?!” I harshly whispered.
“I’m gonna show you people here aren’t gonna treat you any different from anyone else,” she replied as the police cars slowed to a stop in front of us. I waved at him and the cop nodded his head. He looked like he didn’t play games, wore a typical police uniform but was a light brown. His sunglasses, blocking me from seeing his eyes. A thick mustache on his top lip. It was quiet for a moment, just staring at each other. Not knowing which of us was gonna make the first move. Julie got in between us.
“Hello, sheriff! Keeping the town safe I see,” she said with enthusiasm.
“Mm-hmm,” he said as he stared at me, boring holes into my eyes, “you must be the new boy who moved into town yesterday.”
“Yes, he is sheriff but calling him ‘boy’ is a bit demeaning don’t ya think. His name is Terry,” she said and I nodded confirming the fact.
“And I really don’t like to be called ‘boy’, sir. Terry is just fine,” he smirked and nodded.
“I’m glad I caught the both of you anyway I wanted to let you know a curfew will be put into effect for tonight.”
“What for?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“General safety reasons. This town doesn’t have an active nightlife like the city. We put this in place from time to time to discourage people from going out and staying out too late at night. The curfew starts at 7 pm.”
“Is it because of the ghost trucks legend?”
“Excuse me?” he said, having a slightly sinister undertone. He parked the car and got out of the car. He was certainly taller than I anticipated. I stepped back instinctively holding up my hands to my chest.
“You listen to me, you listen well. My duty is to protect this town so when I say there’s a curfew at 7. I expect to not see anyone especially you out and about causing trouble.” He stuck his finger in my chest a little too hard. I grit my teeth, a part of my wanting to say something but not wanting to cause trouble.
“Do you understand me?” he asked and I nodded, glaring at him. Just as quickly he got back into his car. “Tell your Ma, I said hi, Julie.”
“Uh… yeah sure,” Julie said while placing her hand on my shoulder as he left us. We were quiet for a little bit until she decided to speak, “Are you okay? I’m so sorry about that. The sheriff isn’t always like that. I don’t know who pissed in his cornflakes today but you didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. Look we don’t have to do this plan tonight if you aren’t up for it okay?”
“Yeah maybe not. I’ll text you if I’m still for it.”
I came home not too long after, I texted my dad about everything that happened today. After what happened today I experienced today, I didn’t want to be out past curfew and face that sheriff again. I laid on the couch, looking at twitter and replying to messages when I realized something. It was 6:45 pm and my dad wasn’t home yet. I started to worry because even if he was in a meeting he would reply to me within 30 minutes. It’s been a couple of hours at that point. I sat up and called him each ring making me worry even more. What if that dumbass sheriff pulled him over or something. I didn’t want that to happen to him. His answering machine picked up and that is when my anxiety was through the roof. I left a message reminding him of the curfew and hung up. I opened the phone locator app and that’s when my heart dropped. He wasn’t at some store. It looked like his phone was in the middle of a road. I tapped the icon and a little flag came up. Not moved in 20 hours. I was freaking out at this point. If this is true, my father has been missing since last night but what really brought my fear over the edge was this one question. Who left the note on the door with the extra key?
My home didn’t feel like home anymore. All of a sudden I felt watched like I found out something I wasn’t supposed to know. I got up and paced around the living room. Call the cops? Go out and look? Julie, I figured she was my best chance of helping me figure out what was going on. I called her quickly and she picked up on the first ring.
“Julie! Oh, thank god has your mom heard from my dad?”
“No, come to think of it, she hasn’t been home all day.”
“Yours too? Damn, Julie, I think something really messed up happened to my dad. I tried calling him to remind him to be home before 7 but he never picked up. I used my phone to track his and it turns out he has been missing since last night! His phone hasn’t moved in over 20 hours and the worst part is someone left a note on my door earlier today pretending to be my dad. I don’t know what the f**k to do.”
“Easy, Terry, deep breath. Why not send me a screenshot of the location and I’ll let you know if it looks familiar.”
I sent the screenshot quickly through text. I could hear her mumbling trying to get her bearings on the location of where my dad could be. You could guess where she thought my dad was.
“Okay, so it looks like he is on the old dirt road leading towards the mansion.”
“Great, the one with the trucks?”
“The very same. Look, let me call the sheriff and see if he can go and check it out.”
“No! If the sheriff sees my dad is out he may harass him more than me.”
“Then I don’t know what to tell you, Terry. What are we gonna do?”
“…let’s go there.”
“Whoa hold on we can’t go out.”
“You were gun-ho to see if the ghost trucks legends were true but when there’s an actual life in danger you wanna hold off? C’mon Julie, it’s my father, please! I can’t find this place without your help.”
“…okay look I’ll help but I’ll need you to wait a few hours. The patrols may start getting lax around that time. I know you wanna go out now but our search will get real short if we are caught by the sheriff or any of the other cops.” She was right, I wanted to make sure he was okay but I didn’t wanna get into trouble.
It was a few hours later around 10 pm when Julie knocked on my door. I opened it and saw her wearing all black with her hair in a ponytail and black combat boots. She urgently came inside with a black backpack.
“Julie, what’s with the bag?” I stepped forward as she pulled out a stun gun immediately out of nowhere aiming it right at me. A cold look in her eyes, her finger right on the trigger.
“I don’t want to do this but I have no choice. If I don’t take you, someone else will, and trust me they won’t be easy on you. I’ll give you this once chance now. Leave this town now. Your dad… is probably dead. This town holds some dark things. Dark things that you wouldn’t understand.”
“I am not leaving here without my dad Julie!” I exclaimed. She sighed and squeezed the trigger.
I didn’t remember much after that. I remember waking up with soreness in my chest, a dull deep ache. A throbbing headache which was only made worse when I started to hear the low rumble of voices, many voices combined with classical music playing. I tried to stand but realized my hands were tied. I tried to open my eyes but all I could see was darkness, I was blindfolded.
“Don’t move. Don’t speak and follow my lead.” Julie was speaking to me. I tried to wiggle free but the knots were too tight.
“Our guest of honor is finally awake!” I heard an older man to my left. All of a sudden I felt a cold clammy hand touch my face. I could feel sharp nails digging into my cheek. I winced in pain. “Oho sorry, my dear boy your complexion is gorgeous,” he stuck his two fingers in my mouth pressing down on my tongue, “Teeth are exquisite, You’ve really outdone yourself Julie. This black will fetch a high price.”
A high price? Was I to be sold off? It was so dehumanizing to be regarded as an object instead of a human being. “Where is my father…” I croaked out, spitting out the taste of him in my mouth.
“Father…? What is it talking about?”
“Black 104424.” Julie said robotically
“Oh my, well she shouldn’t keep the poor thing waiting.” He snapped his fingers and I could feel hands messing with a knot that was holding blindfold together. I felt the blindfold drop and I closed my eyes feeling the light hit them all of a sudden. I opened them slowly as things came into focus. I could see a man standing in the middle of a dining room round table swaying left and right. His hands were behind his back but something didn’t seem right. As things came into sharper details. I screamed.
My father, hung by the neck, naked, and his stomach cut open. What looked like a mixture of stuffing and meat filled the cavity of where his organs should be. He wasn’t the only one in that position. There were at least 9 other tables filled with people laughing and chatting as if they were out in a restaurant. In each area, a person of color was hanging in the same way. I puked when I saw a woman carve off a slice of my father’s kind heart and feed it to her baby. Clapping its hands with joy as if it was tasting something sweet. Blood smeared across its face like some macabre frosting.
“This can’t be real,” I kept mumbling to myself over and over. I looked up to my right to see Julie staring off into space. “I F*****G HATE YOU! YOU KILLED MY DAD! I SWEAR WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE YOU WILL BE EATING MY BOOT WHEN I STOMP YOUR F*****G FACE IN!” A sudden hard-hit went across my face, I could taste blood as I looked to my left. An old man who looked in his 70s. He was rubbing his left hand.
“Tsk tsk tsk, I really don’t like damaging merchandise,” he said coldly. “Let me explain to it what is going on here. Welcome to the 21st-century auction. These fine rich folks come from all over to this very town because we have the finest stock in these 50 states.”
“They’re people! You’re eat-” another hard-hit across the cheek.
“It will sit down, listen, and then ask questions. As I was saying this is held every year funded by people who feel that this is the natural order of things. The strong taking the weak. In this case, eating them. We sell all types here from all over the world but we only have the finest specimens here,” he kneeled down putting my hand on his shoulder.
I looked around shaking in fear. Was this going to be done to me? To be displayed and eaten by these cannibals? I looked down to see an older man holding a young girl who looked no older than 12.
“I’d like this one,” the man said. She looked so broken.
“It will be 10,000$, my good sir. That’s your 10th one might I entice you on getting its sibling? Only 3 years younger and never been touched.” The old man said as if he was trying to sell an extended warranty to a tv.
“Sure why not,” the old man smiled wide, his crooked yellowing teeth showing. He snapped his fingers at a guard and pointed to the young girl who was standing against the wall. Hands chained to the wall behind her back. Her shoulders were shaking up and down as she was crying calling for her mother. My heart ached as I saw a man in all back unlocking the shackles and bringing the girl to the businessman. The “customer” grabbed a stack of 100$ bills and handed it to the old man.
“Pleasure doing business! They’ll be tagged and their tongues removed while you enjoy your dinner. You can pick them up after the event. The man nodded and looked down at me. I was glaring at him full of disgust and hatred. He spat in my face. “A black like you has no business looking at me.” The guard grabbed the other little girl and pulled them downstairs and to the right. To what I could see it looked like it was the basement.
“Gotta love capitalism. You can put a price on anything,” he said with a content sigh. I felt something drop on my hand with a sharp edge. I looked to see Julie was still staring straight ahead. Tears formed in her eyes, she may have been a part of this nightmare but she was part of a system she didn’t want to be in either.
“You know what I don’t like, betrayal. You see a birdie told me that you were told about some trucks that may have been coming into town now and again. Now I wonder where you could’ve gotten that from,” he turned his eyes to Julie. She said nothing but stared straight ahead but I could see a slight tremble of fear.
“Juuuuuuulieeeee, who could’ve told this black about the trucks?” he walked over, his hands rubbing her shoulders.
“I… I d-didn’t mean to mention the-” she began to explain.
He shushed her. “You remember the Andersons, don’t you? They escaped because you told them about what happened to their son and who had to pay the price?”
Tears were rolling down her face. “Dad… did…”
“That’s right and now who will have to pay for this mess?” All of a sudden he grabbed her and made her walk down the stairs. “Ladies and gentlemen! We have a special treat for you tonight. Julie here did a very bad thing. She tried to warn this black about our special event. Why? Probably because she still sees these things as people. How do we feel about that?” The crowd jeered and booed her as if she wanted a rival team to win. Some people even threw pieces of flesh at her. The old man turned to the left and nodded at the guard. “Don’t worry folks we will fix this issue real quick. This girl will be taught a lesson. Right now.”
The crowd applauded as a naked woman who was blindfolded and covered in bruises was being brought and forced down onto the floor on her knees. The guard looked up revealing it was the man who was at the soda fountain. He looked at me with such hate and malice. He pulled a pistol from his side holster and handed the gun to Julie.
“Now Julie, all I want you to do is put the barrel on your mother’s head and squeeze the trigger.” Quickly I started to work on the rope. Sliding the edge back and forth while people were calling this young girl horrible names for trying to save lives. She kept shaking her head, begging for this to not happen. She apologized so many times begging not to be forced to kill her mother. I could feel the rope weakening and she just needed to stall them a little more. A chant began in the crowd “KILL HER, KILL HER, KILL HER.” She screamed preparing to take the shot but no one noticed I ran down and tackled Julie as she was about to pull the trigger. We slid across the ground.
I quickly grabbed the gun and grabbed Julie holding her as my hostage. Waving the gun to the guards, I kept demanding them to back off. The old man held up his hand telling the guards to back off.
“Okay, so you got the girl now what? You can’t leave this town; all exits in or out of this town are patrolled by the police. They will shoot you on site I can promise you that,” he said with a s**t-eating grin on his face. He pulled out his own weapon. “Tell you what, I’ll give you a 30-second headstart.” he placed it on the back of Karen’s head. “Tick tock.” Julie was trying to resist me but I pulled her with me. Telling her we had to leave. We burst through the doors seeing expensive cars and trucks lining either side of the road leading up to the nightmare of a mansion. A drunk man was stumbling back to the building zipping up his pants. His partner beside him, fixing her hair. I ran up to them demanding the keys, he quickly gave them to me mumbling how we weren’t getting out of here.
Our 30 seconds were up. Julie shrieked covering her ears as guards were coming out running towards us. I made her get in and I started the car and we drove off heading down the hill. Driving itself was scary enough but driving with a bunch of people who were going to kill you on the spot was something else. We kept our heads down as we tore through the streets, swerving around corners. Soon we made it to the road leading out of town. I saw a line of cop cars with their red and blue lights flashing. Officers having their guns trained on us. I only pushed down the accelerator faster as I aimed for the middle where the gap seemed to be the widest and ducked down. We punched through the barricade and kept going. I looked back seen they weren’t chasing after us anymore.
Now I’m sitting at a car charging station. With four hours to go. I don’t really know what to do next. Our parents are gone. We know a secret that not many know. Before Julie fell asleep she told me that this wasn’t the only place that ran these “auctions”. There are more out there. I don’t know how but I’m going to stop these things. If it’s the last thing I do.