|Eerie, Indiana fanfiction: Castle
||[Jul. 10th, 2016|12:12 pm]
|[||Tags|||||a: froodle, char: harley, char: mars, char: nick&eddie, char: simon, char: wally, cryptid: vampire, fanworks: fic, fanworks: ongoing verse, ongoing verse: trusted associates inc, ongoing verse: weather, org: eerie dairy, trope: milk trucks are a menace||]|
The iron gates were twice the height of a man at their highest point, and creaked in an appropriately unsettling fashion when the wind buffeted them. The padlock was new, but the chain that it held together was rusted and flaking. Marshall stood on the opposite side of the street, trying to find a camera angle that would let him get the whole thing in shot. He wasn't having much success.
"We could climb the embankment," said Simon. They turned to look behind them, at the steep slope covered in brambles and festooned with long-entangled beer cans and fast food wrappers. Mars made a face.
"It's a tetanus shot waiting to happen," he said. "Anyway, if we get up that high, somebody might spot us taking pictures. I don't want whatever's in there to know that we know."
"Okay," said Simon. Then, "Mars? What do we know?"
Marshall turned back to regard the gates again, and narrowed his eyes at the grey stone spires rising behind it. He brought the camera up and snapped off a quick succession of photographs.
"We know that there was absolutely not a Gothic-era castle in Mr. and Mrs. Walter-Funk's back yard last week. We know that whatever's in the moat that appeared overnight has also been leaving the water to get into fights with the Eerie Lake Monster. And we know that Weatherman Wally isn't admitting to having created an omnipresent thunder-storm that hangs just above this one building, although that doesn't mean he didn't do it, just that he's not talking about it."
He took a deep breath.
"I think there's a Dracula in Eerie, Simon."
Simon's face lit up. "Like a vampire? Like a real, live, undead vampire?"
Marshall nodded. "Full-on boob-hair Gary Oldman style," he said. "I'm pretty sure I saw Nick and Eddie eating bugs behind the World o' Stuff this morning."
Simon gasped in horror.
"Harley eats bugs!" he said. "Mars, oh no, do you think boob-hair Gary Oldman is trying to Renfield my baby brother?!"
"I'm pretty sure that's just Harley being Harley," said Marshall. "And honestly, I'd feel sorry for any movie-monster who depended on your kid brother for assistance."
"Oh," said Simon. "That's okay then. I mean, I guess we should still help save Nick and Eddie, but that's a big relief."
"Yeah, I guess," said Marshall.
They stood on the cracked pavement, looking up at the castle. The sun was warm on their faces and the exposed skin of their hands and arms, but the structure across the street was shrouded in darkness. Occasional jagged streaks of lightning split the grey skies above it, and at those moments it's turrets glowed fire-white against the gloom. In the murky waters of the moat, something huge and unseen turned over in it's sleep, making the surface roil with movement.
Behind the gates, a grey-green expanse of unhealthy grass led to a thin line of trees, naked and skeletal beneath the looming shadow of the castle. On their side of the street, the gorse was in bloom, and on the Walter-Funk's side of the property line the lush green leaves of the deciduous trees rustled in the warm summer breeze. A woman's laugh drifted towards them from some nearby house, along with the smell of barbeque. Marshall shivered.
"Okay," he said eventually. "Let's head to the World o' Stuff, load up on holy water and garlic knots, and tomorrow we'll come back here first thing and get rid of this bloodsucker."
"We have school tomorrow," said Simon.
"Damn," said Marshall. "Alright. Look, we need creature-appropriate defences, I don't want to fight Dracula when the sun is going down because I'm not a total idiot, plus I have homework, so I guess Gary Oldman gets to stay 'til next week. But come Saturday morning, that undead fiend is toast!"
"Transylvanian daylight toast!" Simon agreed.
A milk truck turned the corner, the low electric hum of the motor making both boys look in it's direction. Instinctively they moved back a few paces, standing amidst the brambles and trash of the embankment. Thorny branches snagged their clothes and scratched their skin as they watched the vehicle make it's slow way down the street.
The familiar three-eyed cow logo drew to a gentle stop opposite the watching boys, directly in front of the towering gates. A middle-aged man in a crisp white uniform dismounted. He opened the double doors at the back of the truck, pulled out a small wire cage containing six two-pint bottles, and placed it carefully on the sidewalk.
The milkman seemed to sense that he was being watched, as he abruptly straightened and looked around. Spotting his audience, he gave the boys a cheery wave before climbing back into the cab. He drove away, picking up speed as he did so, and Marshall unconsciously braced himself for the screaming and the sounds of impact.
After a few minutes with no signs of a fatality, he relaxed. Across the street, the gold caps on the bottles twinkled in the shadows.
"There's no way that's milk, right?" said Simon.
"One way to find out," said Mars. "I'll just... I'll run across the road and grab it real quick. If the Eerie Dairy is feeding vampires with the stolen blood of the townspeople, we need to know." He looked up at the sun, still high in the sky.
"It'll be fine," he said, more to himself than to Simon.
The walk across the street seemed to take far longer than it should have. The hot sticky smell of the softening asphalt made his head swim and the surface of the road was tacky under his sneakered feet. The soles of his shoes made soft sucking noises with every step, as though the ground itself wanted to impede his progress. He lifted one of the bottles from the crate, holding it gently so it wouldn't clink against it's fellows, then turned and sprinted back across to the patch of sun where Simon waited anxiously.
Condensation beaded the smooth sides of the bottle, and between the cold slippery surface of the glass and his own sweaty palms, Marshall was amazed that he made it to safety without dropping it and spilling the valuable evidence within all over the parched and baking earth. Both he and Simon held their breath as, moving slowly and holding the bottle as far away from his body as he could while still maintaining his grip, Mars peeled back the small metal cap and cautiously allowed a drop of the liquid within to trickle out over his shaking fingers.
Simon sagged, an equal mix of relief and disappointment fighting for control of his expression.
"It's... just milk?" said Marshall. He sniffed the open bottle, put his eye to the lip of the glass and peered in.
He looked up at the castle.
"Well played, Dracula," he said. "You don't fool me." He screwed the lid back on, looked both ways before crossing the street, and replaced the bottle in it's original slot.
"This is a pretty cunning vampire," said Simon. "He's getting milk delivered to trick us into thinking he's a regular old guy."
"He doesn't know he's dealing with experts in the paranormal," said Mars. "Let's go stock up on crucifixes."
As they headed back towards the centre of town, Simon looked back in time to see a thick, rubbery tentacle snake out of the moat, wrap around one of the bottles, and pull it beneath the water with only the barest ripple. He mentally added lake-monster defences to the shopping list and kept walking.
Trusted Associates, Inc.
Halloween by froodle, in which Mars and Simon celebrate a Von Orloff-free All Hallows Eve
Surprise by froodle, in which Mars tries to make sure Simon's birthday goes a little better this year
The Glade by froodle, in which Simon and Mars visit a place that only exists on February 29th
Egg Hunt by froodle, in which Simon and Mars partake of some traditional Easter activities
Boardwalk by froodle, in which Simon and Mars are swayed by radio advertising
Lady in Red by froodle, in which Simon experiments on the old-fashioned radio in the Secret Spot, and horror ensues
Seafoam by froodle, in which Simon and Marshall go to the seaside
A Night at the Circus by froodle, in which a carnivale comes to town, and Marshall and Simon do not enjoy themselves
Taking a Break by froodle, in which Simon and Marshall enjoy some much-needed R&R
Shoreline by froodle, in which Simon and Marshall investigate strange happenings on the shores of Lake Eerie
Parade by froodle, in which Mars takes issue with the Eerie Beekeepers Association's choice of mascot
Homestead by froodle, in which Marshall finally gets something useful out of shop class
Hound by froodle, in which Simon makes a friend
Errands by froodle, in which Simon has a to-do list
Slyboots by froodle, in which a certain corporal of the infernal regions comes to Eerie. Crossover with Johannes Cabal the Necromancer.
Waterlogged by froodle, in which Eerie experiences heavy rainfall
Visitor in which Marshall's grandma comes to stay