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03 March 2009 @ 04:55 am
 
Chapter Eight – Fate and Predestination

“I think I'll have the blueberry waffles this time, Kiffany.” announced George.

“My, you're in a good mood today, aren't you?” remarked Kiffany as she wrote down the order on her scratch pad. “And what will you others be having?”

“Omlette with Bacon,” replied Rube; followed by the others who placed their orders. As Kiffany walked away to give their order to the kitchen, Rube pulled out his well-worn leather organizer. Flipping it open to the pages with post-its, he began to issue them.

“Wait a minute!” exclaimed George after getting a thin stack of four stuck together. “Why do I get four? Is this some sort of punishment?”

“No. They're all at the same location, and you're the only one of us who can do the job and not attract attention.”

“Lucky me,” George muttered as she began to study the post-its. 9321 Harbrook Lane, and all four of them were at 2:36 PM. The address was somewhat familiar, and while she waited for the food to arrive, she rolled it around in her head.

Harbrook Lane...Harbrook Lane...wait a minute...that's Franklin! That's my old high school!

“It's my high school,” she announced to the group.

“Haven't had one of those in a while,” Daisy said. “The kids here are so much less exciting than in New York.”

“Yeah, all they ever sell is Ecstasy, not the good stuff, like cocaine or angel dust,” declared Mason, causing the others to look at him like he'd grown another head. “Hypothetically speaking...” he added hastily, in response to the look that Daisy was giving him.

“Good. Otherwise I'd have to charge you with Narcotics and Child Neglect.” Roxy said as she poured maple syrup over her pancakes.

“Is there a code for being unbearably sexy?” Mason replied, cracking his knuckles.

“Oh, yeah. 141.”

“What the Christ is that?”

“Surprised you don't know it,” Roxy replied. “When's the last time you were arrested for lewd conduct?”

“Um. Three weeks ago?”

The things I put up with, thought George as she finished off her waffles. “As much as I'd like to stay and hear all about your crimes, I've got a job.”

As she put down the money for her breakfast and walked away, she could hear the others bantering back and forth over Mason's conduct.

Happy Time Temp Services, 12:00 PM

“So you'll be leaving early again, Millie?”

“Uh, yes. It's part of my Alcoholics Anonymous program.” George began, feeling a little nervous over the whole thing. At first, it had been so hard to come up with credible lies, but now, they just flowed out without any prompting. “We go to a local high school and try to put some sense into the kids by telling them about addiction and other, uh...things.”

“I'm so proud of you Millie!”

At that moment, Delores leant over her desk and continued in a hushed tone. “It took me years before I could talk openly with others about my addiction to blow. You've moved that far, so fast, already.”

At least she's not crushing me in her shoulder...this time.

“Yes, yes I have.”

Franklin High School, 2:00 PM

“Purpose of your visit?” asked the bored security guard sitting by the desk inside the main entrance to Franklin.

“I graduated a couple years ago; and I'm visiting one of my former teachers to see how things have been going.”

“Right. Sign here in the logbook.”

Picking up the pen on the desk, George thought for a moment before entering:

VISITOR: G. Lass
PURPOSE OF VISIT: To see Mrs Ingram.
TIME: 2:02 PM

It's not like anyone reads these things anyway; and if they do, they'll think it's a sick prank by one of the kids, and I can't go signing my undead name at possible crime scenes...

“You're going to need to wear this while you're in the building.” added the guard, holding out a self-sticking tag with 'Visitor' on it.

For a moment George was taken aback, remembering the last time she had worn a tag. It had been two years ago; and it had said “HELLO! I'M NEW: ASK ME MY NAME”

“Problem?”

“No, it's just that they didn't have all this crap when I went here.”

And also the fact that the last time I wore something like that, I died.

“Yeah, I know. They really got pretty tough on security around 9/11. What can I say? It's an easy job.”

Until you get shot first in a school shooting....damn, I hope I didn't say that out loud.

Judging by the bored look on the guard's face as he resumed reading his well-worn paperback book, she hadn't said anything.

I need to stop hanging around Roxy so much, she's a bad influence.

Wandering through the hallways, which were mostly empty at this time of the school schedule, she watched a couple of girls duck into a bathroom. After waiting several seconds, she followed them inside.

“What's up?”

“Jesus!” shouted one of the girls, a blonde who tried to get rid of the cigarette in her mouth by throwing it into one of the toilets.

“Relax. I'm not gonna tell, I'm just looking for the Mitchell boys.”

“You that girl from Perryville the older one's been talking about?” asked a redhead.

“Yeah. I've been trying to find him; but this place is so damn hard to find your way through without a map.”

“I know how you feel. It's like a lunatic designed the place.” Taking a drag from her cigarette, the blonde sighed. “Usually, they hang out around the rear parking lot, the one near the football field after school.”

“If only he paid as much attention to us as he does to that damn car.” ad-libbed George; guessing that the parking lot location meant that he was showing off his car.

“Damn straight. What is it with this place? Either they're all nerds or in love with themselves.” added the redhead with a dismissive snort.

It's good to see that standards at Franklin have remained high in my absence.

“Thanks for the heads up. Appreciate it.”

Rear Parking Lot, Franklin High School: 2:29 PM

Compared to her red Mustang, the yellow and black Honda that several people were clustered around was decidedly...ugly. The huge aftermarket spoiler on the back didn't help matters much. It just looked like a cheap car that someone had tried to change into something it wasn't.

Which, when you think about it, is the story of my life.

Lass Residence, 1997

George speared the broccoli on her plate with the fork, listening to her mother drone on and on.

“I really do think it would be good for you Georgia, to try out for the Cheerleading squad. You'd make some friends that way.”

“Yeah, like memorizing a bunch of inane chants and making eyes at the football team is so important. Besides, most of them are whores.”

“Georgia!”

“It's the truth! Liz Hartnell's blown most of the front lineup this month alone. I think she's working on the rest as this month's extracurricular project.”

“I don't want that kind of language in front of Reggie!”

“It's not like she doesn't know it already from television.”

“George,” muttered Clancy, rubbing his eyes. “Your mother's worked hard on this dinner for all of us, and she's only trying to help you.”

“Yeah, this broccoli is so moist.”

“That's it! No more dinner for you, young lady!” shouted Joy.

“Make me,” replied George, rolling her eyes. “I'm not nine anymore.”

Rear Parking Lot, Franklin High School: 2:29 PM

Walking up to the car, George smelled the stench of opened beer cans.

Drunken Driving. I hate those.

“Hey,” she said, catching the attention of the people standing around the driver's side door. “Where's the Mitchell boys I've been hearing so much about?”

“Doug Mitchell, right here,” replied a stocky boy wearing a football jersey. He hefted a Budweiser can in reply.

“Oh, I'm so excited to meet you!” George said in an excited voice as she dragged her hand across his arm suggestively. “They've been talking so much about the two of you and how you, like, play so well!”

Did I just say that? God help me.

“Hey Brad, we've got an admirer here!” shouted Doug, motioning for his brother to come over.

“What's your name?” asked one of the girls partaking in the forbidden drink.

“Georgia.”

“Pretty name. Mine's Abigail.”

Bingo. My third target.

Glancing at Abigail's hands, George reached out for them. “Oh, those nails are so pretty; you have to tell me who does them.”

I think I'm getting stupider by the moment.

“There's this nail shop at Lakeforest Mall that's owned by Akio's family;” Abigail said, pointing towards a pretty Asian girl coming towards them. “So the two of us get a great price.”

“Morita's Nails?” George said, fishing for a hit.

“Yeah. Great little place.”

Bang.

“It's been nice talking with you, but I got to catch a bus back home; all my friends are going to be so thrilled that I met Doug and Brad.”

As she walked away, George reached out imperceptibly and swiped Akio's soul.

Now to wait.

Glancing at her watch, she saw it was only a few minutes from the ETD, and the parking lot was still full of school buses and student cars leaving the parking lot, resulting in a traffic jam.

Hmm. They'll probably run a light at the turnoff into Harbrook and get t-boned.

As she watched, the crowd slowly dispersed, and her four reaps got into the car, and slowly drove away, the car swerving back and forth a bit. However, halfway to the entrance to Harbrook Lane, the car stopped and a girl, Akio, it looked like, got out.

What the hell? Is this going to be a “I got hit by flying debris” death?

As she watched, the Honda turned off into Harbrook, and after a dozen feet or so of travel, it swerved drunkenly enough to the left that it made contact with the fender of an oncoming dump truck; followed by the screech of metal and breaking glass.

She watched Akio for any signs of a delayed reaction as people rushed to the accident site, while the driver of the dump truck got out of the cab and around muttering “He swerved right into me...” over and over.

By this point, the wail of sirens could be heard faintly in the distance. Frowning, George reached into her pocket and fished out the post its, doublechecking the one for “A. Morita.” It said ETD 2:36 PM, and it was now.....2:40 PM; and no corpse.

What the fuck?

Walking up to Akio, she could hear the girl crying softly, and she pretended to comfort the girl; and heard a whooshing as the girl's soul went back where it belonged.

“Why'd you get out?”

“I just didn't feel safe. I was afraid of looking like a idiot in front of my friends, but Doug wasn't driving too well, and I didn't want to let my parents down like that. So I got out.”

“So you got out.”

“Yeah.”

Why did I stand at that spot in the park, staring at that meteor in the sky like an idiot, instead of moving out of the way?

Shit. I'm beginning to think that maybe Mason's right about all this. Then again, it's Mason, so probably not...
 
 
 
Jeannie: Der Waffle Haus!hadeschild on March 3rd, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Ooh, very intriguing! I always kinda wondered what would happen if they popped a soul and the person didn't die. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Btw, did you ever finish the Xfiles cross you were working on?? I'd love to read how it turns out!
thomaspower on March 4th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC)
The X-Files crossover was never finished, but I've come up with several ideas for it, while thinking through the future plot arcs for Musical Chairs -- e.g. things that wouldn't fit into Musical Chairs, but are perfect for Mulder and Scully get recycled over into Psychopomp.