Chapter Three:

Serenity

 

 “No it’s that way!” barked Ryan, pointing behind him.

 “No man, IHOP is down there!” Mark retorted, pointing in the opposite direction.

 Billy and Jen were sitting on the curb in front of the convenient store, with Sean while Mark and Ryan argue on the location of IHOP. Jen took a drag from her cigarette and passed it to Sean. She had removed her hoodie and left it behind the counter in the store, revealing her dry auburn hair and her just above slender body. Sean took another drag before passing it back to Jen. Billy was lying down, staring at the lights, thinking they were bright stars. His excess fat bulged out of his shirt, but he laid unnoticed to it.

 Sean coughed and continued their own conversation. “You do know why the clown did that shit to the kids, right?”

 “Clowns are funny,” Billy protested, “And very nice. They give you free pies.”

 “You got a point there,” Jen nodded. “Go on Sean. What is your theory?”

 “Not a theory. They have proof,” Sean rebutted.

 “No it’s down the street of where Whataburger used to be!” Mark yelled.

 “No, it’s down by Piggly Wiggly,” Ryan snapped, “I took Ashley on a date there.”

 “You did what!” Mark was enraged.

 “It was before she even met you!”

 Billy smiled from the ground, “I like it when Ashley sits on my lap.”

 “Excuse me?” Jen raised an eyebrow.

 “She calls me her Billy bear.”

 A silence hung over the three in front of the store. The duo argued in the empty parking lot, while no cars passed on the street.

 Sean ventured, “You ever heard of Aleister Crowley?”

 Jen shook her head. Billy turned, “The wickedest man in the world? Called himself as the Great Beast from the Book of Revelation and was the founder of modern Satanism?”

 Ryan stopped arguing with Mark for a second and turned to the trio. “Did Billy say something relevant?”

 “Uh… I think so.” Jen replied. “Sean, what does an evil dude got to do with the clown?”

 “I like to feed peanuts to clowns,” Billy grinned.

 “You feed peanuts to—Sean,” Jen repeated.

 “The police found a copy of Crowley’s The Book of The Law in his house. They believe that the clown was trying to sacrifice a sinless soul of a child like Crowley suggests as the perfect sacrifice.”

 “Which is deeply flawed,” Billy retorted without looking at anyone, “Child sacrifice was specifically for the cults of Moloch of the ancient civilizations. Crowley created a religion based on his drug hallucinations during his trip in Egypt. Never once mentioned Moloch or any of his monikers, and never said who the child was to be sacrificed to. Crowley was just an upset youth who grew up in an oppressive, Christian home and wanted to piss off God. Those were his exact words. The supposed appearance of Gabriel to the Muslim Man has more merit than Crowley.”

 Jen and Sean just blinked. Ryan and Mark looked at each other. A silence returned to the parking lot.

 “Alright, let’s go,” Mark insisted.

 “But it’s THIS way.”

 “No you burnout, it’s THAT way!”

 “Burnout? You were the one who got the weed.”

 “You are the one who doesn’t know where the nearest IHOP is.”

 “Nearsest? I wanted the good IHOP.”

 “The nearest is closer.”

 “What are they arguing about?” asked a new voice. Emerging from the trailer park behind the store came a young woman, overweight and pimpled face.

 “Hey Serenity,” Jen greeted. “They are arguing about which IHOP to go to.”

 “They should go to mine,” Serenity said, twirling to show that she was in an IHOP uniform. “My first shift starts in about 30 minutes.”

 “You walking?” Sean asked.

 Serenity simply nodded.

 “Man, someone is going to get killed by that clown.”

 “What clown?”

 “You didn’t hear about the clown that escaped from 49th Street?”

 “Only clown I know of is my baby daddy from NLW.”

 “From where?” Jen asked. “Wait, you finally found out who the daddy is?”

 “God I hope so. I counted the weeks and it was about the time I fucked him. You never forget a guy who tries to make balloon animals out of your tits.”

 “I could have gone the rest of the night without hearing that,” Billy whined.

 “Is that Billy? Did Ryan knock his ass out again?”

 “No, he just got tired of standing while those two argue where they are going.”

 Serenity shook her head, “And you say there is a killer on the loose?”

 Sean nods, “We think he’s satanic. Found a book by Aleister Crowley at his house and the body of a child buried under a tree in his backyard.”

 “And clowns are so peaceful,” Billy said.

 “Bullshit, that clown from NLW is an asshole,” Serenity snapped. “Keeps ducking me for child support. Why can’t men be real and not about games?”

 “Why do girls got to keep their legs open to everyone but me?” Billy responded.

 “You still trying to get in Jen’s pants, Billy? You’ve been at it for five years, it ain’t going to happen,” Serenity stated.

 Before Billy could respond, Serenity walked over the arguing duo. A smack was heard as she smacked both their heads, “You’re following me to IHOP!”

 Billy groaned, “That means I have to get up.”

 “Yes it does. Come on Billy, maybe if you lose weight someone other than me will listen to you bitch about not getting laid.”

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