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LUCAS had counted three bends since they had crossed over the Georgia state line, unsure if any had been the one he remembered from his eighth grade field trip. His heart was racing as they turned off this third curve and onto the dirt road he had seen on Google maps. Actually, the heart rates of all ten were exceedingly high as the dubbed “Mystery Machine” made its way down the bumpy unmarked path leading to what they believed to be Aunt Mama’s dark lair. Even Beth, with her snobbish attitude and hot body had put her guard down, not seeming to care that her and Lucas’ hips were now pressed against one anothers as all anticipated with bated breath what they would find at the end of the dirt road.
The van stopped about twenty yards from the house per Lucas’ instructions and all obeyed in silence when he told them to wait while he went on up to check things out. All except for Beth, who surprised him by innocently asking, “Can I come?”
They both got out, shut the sliding door behind them and headed up the balding path leading to the front porch. Half way there and Lucas received one of the greatest shocks of his life. A hand had reached out to grab his, its soft fingers interlacing with his own until it found the intimacy of palm to palm.
He looked from the sight he had never seen, or felt before, to Beth’s face, the smug expression he had only ever known her to have wiped clean and replaced with a smile that could have been found on a happy girlfriend. Could Jake have been right? Was he finally being admired for his brilliance? Or was she just like a little giddy girl overcome with excitement?
Amidst the joy of this first-time physical experience for Lucas Beth suddenly stopped in her tracks, causing him to do the same, her grip now tight around his hand. Almost instantly he found what had startled her. Now about five yards away, they could make out within the shaded far right side of the leanin’ porch the figure of an old black woman rocking in her rocking chair.
It’s ok, it doesn’t prove anything. Probably all part of the hoax.
A thought Lucas didn’t say aloud, as he didn’t want to ease the fear in Beth and possibly lose the closeness of her touch. He could see how scared she was, the redness in her face, lips slightly parted, quick little breaths escaping from between them as her lungs expanded her breasts up and down.
Fear: an adrenaline rush more intoxicating than any alcohol could provide, releasing the same kind of chemicals as one emits during sex, in turn creating an opportunity for attraction. Maybe this was going to be Lucas’ lucky break after all! Staring into her dilated eyes, he could envision fucking her right then and there. Put on a show and give the old black woman something special to peer at through her supposed iridescent witch eyes.
Where was this coming from?! Was Jake’s Neanderthal ways now beginning to rub off on him? Perhaps this was why his cousin was such a male whore. It seemed so clear now. This yearning, this lust. He wanted to rip Beth’s clothes off and drive deep into her against every mirror they had in that house!
Meanwhile he’d inject her with some more fright, enjoying the delectable look of such across her face as it increased with his next move.
“Well, this is what we came here for, right?”
Giving her no time to respond Lucas then pulled her forward as he walked them towards the porch, his hormones metamorphosing from Omega to Alpha. Or so it had seemed for a moment before the two again found themselves shocked into a stand still, this time as a result of the front door jolting open. A black girl in her late teens came prancing out with a glass of lemonade in each hand, and before they knew it she had covered the last few yards between them and the house.
The girl had a nice smile, but seemed to be trying to keep her mouth closed as she mumbled an incoherent greeting.
“Hell yeah, that’ll be great,” Beth said, her impulsive personality all but eliminating the nerves she had just shown. Before he had thought about it Lucas had let go of her hand, now wondering if and when he’d get it back as he felt the droplets of water around the ice cold glass.
He took a drink…
Tasted odd, but in a good way, the end of one sip leaving you craving for another.
The girl smiled again.
Craving. Like lust, which he was still savoring after having tasted a little with Beth’s touch. Was it lust that was now causing his eyes to drift over this girl’s chest, a single small skeleton key hanging from a necklace against her cleavage, the half t-shirt sending him down to her smooth flat stomach? Down on past her short shorts to her milk chocolate legs?
BAM! One of the last hidden answers to the riddle was right there in front of him! Unable to draw his gawk away from this tantalizing sweetness, he just knew that her nipples must look like scrumptious Hershey Kisses!
“Honey,” Beth said. “That’s the secret ingredient, isn’t it? Honey, instead of sugar?”
Another closed-mouth smile from the girl.
Destined to keep given up my suga’.
Had to be her body. Given up her body to lure in the prey.
Stop gawking! he told himself. You’re so obvious!
Lucas ripped his gaze away and guiltily looked to Beth, and as if they were indeed a couple she looked back at him with a jealous glare.
His eyes then found the eyes of the sexy chocolate teen, only then realizing how mesmerizing they were. How shiny. How colorful. How…
A hand suddenly brushed against his, but it wasn’t the soft electrifying touch of Beth’s. No, this one was rough, obnoxious, as it grabbed the lemonade from him.
“So you’re honeychild?” Jake asked as he took a greedy gulp of Lucas’ drink. “The viral queen behind Aunt Mama? Awesome lemonade!” All the sexiness appeared to dissipate from the girl, who drew back and seemed to have instantly transformed into a frightened little soul. Shaking her head No she tried whispering something, the space between her lips allowing a glimpse of a mutilated tongue. The mumbled syllables sounded like no rooms for rent.
“No rooms for rent?” Lucas asked.
She shook her head Yes.
“But it says rooms for rent!” Jake insisted as he gestured towards the old sign hanging above the porch steps. Lucas grabbed him by the arm, “Can you excuse us for a second?” he said to the girl and swung Jake around to face the opposite direction, walking him back down the path a few steps before laying into him.
“What the hell are you doing?! You preach to me about staying cool, then you just storm in here and start demanding answers?! Keep it cool-”
“-Isha, who go thea?” a spine-chilling voice with a thick southern accent rang out, interrupting Lucas and freezing the two in place. “We got guest?”
“Holy shit, is that her?!” Jake asked with wide eyes and a smile of wonder. “You think she’d take a selfie with a straight razor?! Teach us a spell or two?!”
It occurred to Lucas just how dumb his cousin was. “You still really believe this shit? Think about it. Who would fuck with a Hellraiser box if it really did call up cenobites?! Who would go into a nightmare to find Freddy Krueger, knowing they’d be sliced up?! If you really believed there was some one hundred and fifty-year-old supernatural slave who could do whatever she wanted to you by chanting a few words you’d be shitting your pants now, not ready to go in there with your Scooby Doo gang and say ‘Gotcha!’
“It’s obviously a hoax to get a big payday from AdSense, so the last thing we wanna do is give them a clue that we’re here to expose them. Take your own advice and be cool.”
“But how do you explain that chick’s eyes? I don’t think she’s wearing contacts. And what the hell’s up with her tongue?!”
“Isha, get on up he’a. Bad manna’s to keep guest in thea sun,” the haunting voice called out.
Beth approached. “Guys, the girl looks scared. I think she’s gonna get in trouble if we don’t come check out the place, but I don’t know, I’m starting to get creeped out.”
“But I thought she wanted us to go,” Jake replied, continuing with his sarcasm as he looked to Lucas. “Come on, let’s go see who’s behind the mask. Maybe we’ll get a Scooby snack.”
The three followed Isha on up to the porch, the girl looking like she was going to get sick at any moment. Lucas had to admit, she was pretty good at playing it up, probably wanting them to believe she was in fear of “Aunt Mama” finding out about her little cyber S.O.S. Yep, AdSense money could probably make him an Oscar-worthy actor as well.
But if this was all a grand scheme then why did he feel the hairs rise on the back of his neck when he caught full sight of the old black woman rocking in her chair? Those same hairs that stood to attention when he first saw this leanin’ porch on his LCD screen, The same hairs that sprung up whenever he watched a horror flick, despite knowing full well that it was all make believe. And why did it feel as though the strength in his knees and thighs were draining when walking up the old creaky steps? The same warped wooden steps crossed over by how many victims according to the urban legend?
Silly power of suggestion! Try as you may, obviously minds this sharp you don’t come across every day.
Oh yeah, no influence, then why are you rhyming like the riddle?
“Afta’noon. Y’uh youngin’ folk lookin’ for a room?”
“Sure ‘em,” Jake replied. “Saw your sign and thought we’d check on in.”
“Froam way out thea y’uh say y’uh saw ma sign? Sha’ap eye y’uh got thea. Man afta’ ma own ha’t.”
Jake just kept pushing it. “Wise eyes see alike.”
“Indeed they da.”
And now those eyes from across the porch were peering out at Lucas, as multi-faceted as a kaleidoscope and as intent as an eagle. “And how ‘bout y’uh, youngin’ man? Y’uh a lady man ta, with thea sweet thang by y’uh side?”
Lucas was speechless, not knowing how to respond and somewhat entranced by the old woman’s voice. The tone, the rhythm, the pronunciation. It was like hypnotic slow-moving honey.
“Why y’uh so quiet? Y’uh remind ma of a youngin’ man I once knew. Soft nayt’cha, but a fya in his ha’t.”
Treading on the thin line of mockery, Jake asked, “Y’all get any Trick-or-Treaters ‘round these parts?”
“Naw, we ta fa out, but f y’uh lucka’ y’uh just might see’a lidda boo boo in the midda of thea night.
“Isha, go’on an show ‘em thea rooms. All five vacant, one fo’ each pia.”
How did she know there were seven more of them in the van? These two were like clever gypsies, so who knew what other tricks they had in store. Smoke and mirrors Lucas thought as he turned with the other two to follow Isha into the circus attraction.
Once again Beth’s hand slid into his, releasing the serotonin in Lucas’ brain and making him awfully glad he had decided on taking this adventure.
Chapter 4 posted shortly.