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I was amazed how quickly my dad found a new house for us after he was told where his job was headed. I never really try to understand what anyone want...

PREVIEW: Jack in the Box

September 13, 2018

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Bad Things to You

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

     "I wanna do bad things with you," flirted Amy, her face flushed as red as her tight glittery tank top.

     "Oh really?" Dennis asked, looking her up and down as she wobbled on the spot.

     "Yeah, I came here to forget about my asshole of an ex... you look like just the type that would drive him up the wall!" She said over the loud jukebox in the corner.

     The bar was densely packed, as it always was on a Friday night. College boys and girls often filled up this bar every weekend, making most of the regulars just stay home. But not Dennis. He lived to be around the college girls. Not often, but sometimes one got drunk enough that they'd want to sample an older gentleman.

     That's where Dennis came in.

     Standing a solid five foot eight, he was a squat fellow with a barrel chest and a beer belly that extended over his belt. He was thirty-seven years young, and boy did he love to live out his younger college days by having a go with a college girl!

     "And just why would your boyfriend not like me?" Dennis asked over the den of noise the crowd generated, taking a sip of his beer.

     "My ex-boyfriend wouldn't like you cause I'm going home with you tonight!" The girl drunkenly said, smiling the entire time.

     That was all Dennis needed to hear. Finishing off his beer, he got up and offered an arm to the tipsy girl, which she happily took, and proceeded to walk out of the bar with his head held high. He got several looks from other men, mostly the college boys, but he just shook them off. He was getting some action tonight!

     "So Amy, what's your major?" Dennis asked once they were in the open air outside.

     "Oh, I don't go to college," she said, slurring her words.

     "You don't?" Dennis was surprised.

     "No, my ex didn't approve of it. Said he likes me staying home during the day!"

     "Sounds like he had control issues." Dennis commented, walking up to his truck, unlocking her side first to load her into the crew cab.

     "Oh you have no idea..." Amy muttered as she stepped up into the truck, plopping down and sighing.

     Dennis walked around the other side, but bumped into three college boys standing at the tailgate of his truck. All three wore biker jackets, were thin and smelled awful. The one in the middle had a shirt with dancing skeletons on it, and when he smiled, all Dennis saw was brown and black teeth.

     "C-can I help you guys?" Dennis stuttered, somewhat surprised by their appearance. He hadn't heard them walk up.

     "Yeah, you can." Dancing Skeletons said, looking to his right then his left before leaning in close. "Amy. See, she's with us. We were supposed to keep an eye on her tonight, but for the five minutes we lost her in the crowd she wound up with you."

     "Well I can tell you guys I'm gonna treat her good, okay? She's just looking for a good time." Dennis said.

     "She's looking for a way to make the boss unhappy. She does this ever few months." Dancing Skeletons said. "They get into a fight and she runs off to some redneck bar to bed herself a hillbilly. And we have to track her down and bring her back. They make up and all is well."

     "Well if the lady wants to go with me, that's what she's doing." Dennis said. "She's an adult and can make her own decisions."

     Dancing Skeletons walking up close to Dennis, his foul breath washing over him. "I don't think you get it old man," he growled spittle flying, "she's coming back with us, and you're going to drive home and just think about the shit that might have happened here."

     "You saying you wanna fight me college boy?" Dennis asked, his tone even.

     The other two gaunt teenagers just laughed, snickering into their hands. Dancing Skeletons looked Dennis up and down before smirking. "Yeah, I guess I am."

     Dennis brought his fist up into the gut of the teenager, doubling him over before punching him in the back of the head with his other hand. Looking up at the other two, preparing to fight them, he was amazed to see they hadn't moved a fraction of an inch. They were snickering even louder now.

     Slowly, Dancing Skeletons flowed upright, standing up bonelessly as if pulled by strings. He smiled, a thin trail of blood running down from his hairline, black and slimy.

     "You need our help boss?" One of the other two boys asked, this one with a hood up from his leather jacket.

     "Yeah, we could use the exercise." Whined the third, one with sunglasses on despite the darkness of the parking lot.

     "No, this idiot hit me like he was trying to kill me. I think he just made it personal." Dancing Skeletons said, his eyes widening until he looked mad.

     Faster than Dennis could see, the Dancing Skeletons shirt lunged forward, slamming him in the side and into his truck, leaving a dent in the fender. Before Dennis could react, he felt a knee drive into his stomach hard enough to get him to cough up blood, before he was slapped to the ground, chipping a few teeth.

     The world spun for Dennis, his mind still frozen in the moment where the man lunged forward, when he felt himself being lifted up by his arms.

     "Toss him in the back of the truck, and hop in there with him. The boss would probably like a fresh one to work on." Dancing Skeleton's voice said. He felt himself being patted down for his keys before he was bodily lifted and tossed into the back of his truck, Sunglasses and Hoodie climbing in behind him.

     Dennis blacked out a few times, his vision fading to darkness and coming back after a few moments. They were moving, driving relatively fast down a stretch of road with no lights. He could see the silhouettes of the other two, still watching over him, but he was in no condition to do anything about them.

     How long they drove, Dennis couldn't say. But just around dawn, when the light was visible just over the horizon, did they pull into an old junkyard. Putting the truck into park, Dancing Skeletons got out, carrying a passed out Amy on his back.

     "Grab the meatbag," he ordered. Sunglasses picked Dennis up by his arm, making him whimper as his sternum cried out in agony. Hoodie grabbed him by his legs and between the two of them they carried him like a prize boar towards an old Cadillac half buried beneath a mound of other cars.

     Reaching down to lift open the trunk, Dennis was amazed to see a set of stone stairs leading down beneath the junkyard, which they quickly entered, Dancing Skeletons waiting for the other two to pass with Dennis before sealing the entrance.

     The stairs led to a dusty ossuary, large cuts in the wall appearing to be slabs for people to sleep in. Human remains, bones and skulls, littered the floor and the whole place had the same foul odor as the boys. Dancing Skeletons turned to go down one path with Amy, while Dennis was carried down another set of stairs towards what looked like an old time jail cell. There three or four other people in the cell, all ragged looking, but they backed up when Hoodie approached the door.

     Reaching into his pocket, he pulled a long metal key which unlocked the door, before Sunglasses tossed Dennis into the cell, disregarding his injuries.

     "That one is hurt," Hoodie said, to who Dennis had no idea. "Try and keep him alive until tomorrow night and you won't be brought up for one of the bosses experiments, okay?"

     A man stepped into Dennis's line of sight. He was thin, with a wiry mustache. He nodded before kneeling and looking at Dennis. "Sorry friend, it's nothing personal. I just want to live long enough to see my daughter again."

     Hoodie and Sunglasses laughed, cackling madly at that. The cell door was slammed shut, the lock twisted and sealed. Slowly, the two teens receded from view, leaving Dennis alone in a dark cell with four strangers, his only thought being.

     Experiments? What experiments?    

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