Response to http://www.tthfanfic.org/Challenge-7483/Backwoods+Vengeance.htm from janessaravenwoodKeep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you're tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He's mean and unforgiving...
Barnes Alabama in July is a hot and dusty place far off the beaten track or really anything close to civilization. It consists of three streets covered with worn and broken asphalt and about ten or so buildings. Surrounding the town are dirt-scratch farms with structures made of tar-paper and weathered boards, a deep forest and in the center of that forest, the Boggywater.
There are swamps and then there are swamps and then there is the Boggywater. Trunks of ancient trees stand in it like a legion of skeletons standing watch. It's deep too. So deep in places, that local legend has it that '...Satan hisself can swim all the way up from hell...'
There is always a fog covering the still and rotting water. Even on the hottest of days, with the brightest and clearest sun...under the ancient trees it stays dark and cold and foul. There is no wind unless there is a storm, and then it blows through hard and fast. Like even the air is scared to visit.
No birds sing in this part of the forest. Insects lay quiet and scarce. No squirrels in the trees. In the water are foul tempered cottonmouths, patiently hunting snapping turtles and gators and pale fish that feed on the rotting roots and leaves. No one ever ever goes there, unless they choose to. No one ever chooses to, unless they have to. And no one has to, unless they want to make a deal...
There are pitifully few businesses in Barnes. Harley's General Store. Not owned by Mister Harley of course, since he died almost thirty years ago. The old mortuary, abandoned for the last few years since Doc Fraser disappeared. Dolly's Cafe...Lyle's Gas and Repairs, where the Greyhound stops twice a week, heading south on Tuesday and heading north on Thursday. It also drops off the mail. There is a town hall of sorts, but there really isn't much of a town government, most of that is handled at the county seat, and a branch of one of the big city banks that's open from noon to five Monday through Friday...except holidays of course. There is also a small six unit Starlite Motel right at the edge of town. If you are just passing through, that really is the only place to stay within an hour's drive over terrible roads.
Pulling into the gravel lot of the motel was a new Ford Explorer. The hound that was laying on the office porch raised its head to peer sleepily at the new arrival. It was July and the thermometer was in the high 90s. To hot to move, almost to hot to breath. The dust cloud raised by the SUV settled, leaving a thin brown film over every surface in a ten yard radius. A door opened chained to the chiming of keys left in the ignition. A quick hand reached and snagged them as a quite pretty brunette climbed out the driver's side. A tough looking man in his early thirties climbed out of the passenger side.
The hound sniffed the air, and chuffed a welcome at the visitors before yawning and slowly regaining its feet. It shook its head until its ears flopped noisily, then ambled over to greet them properly.
"Aww what a nice dog..." the brunette bent over and offered the hound the back of her hand to sniff. The hound chuffed again and let its tongue loll out showing that it approved of her smell.
"You should be careful," the man said as he opened the office door, "no telling what a strange animal will do."
"Take it easy dude," the brunette laughed, "Dogs and me are five by five."
The man sighed, "I told your boss that I'd bring you back in one piece. Having bite marks from a dog the very first day won't help."
"B is my boss? Since when?" the brunette was smiling; showing off amazing dimples.
"Never mind..." the man rang the bell on the counter and a few minutes later there was rustling and movement from the back. A man in his 70s, moving slowly and painfully with the aid of a walker, came through the door.
"We'd like a unit please."
"Jest th'two of ya?"
"Graham Miller and Faith Lehane."
"That yer truck out there Mister Miller?"
"Yes, yes it is."
"Fine fine...how long ya stayin'? Jest overnight?" the old man slid across some paperwork which Graham began filling out.
"At least two nights. I want to do some fishing."
The clerk gave Graham a strange look, "Don't get many turrists here..."
"Are there any good places around here you can recommend?...For fishing I mean."
"And is there a restaurant nearby?" Faith added, "I'm wicked hungry."
"Fer fishin'...Cabot's Creek's about a mile north, then down Tuluca Lane. Fer food all we got here in Barnes is Dolly's Cafe. Shelby should be cookin' t'day. Ya got lucky..." he gave a wheezing chuckle, "...Dolly really ain't much of a cook, truth b'told."
Faith laughed, "Good thing we got here today then."
"That's th'truth alright," the old man laughed along with her. "Yer in Unit three, right next t'where yer parked." he slid a pair of keys across the counter. Faith and Graham each took one. "You folks have a good day now."
"McCoy, Miss Lehane. Darby McCoy."
"Well thanks Mister McCoy. For th'tip on the cook and all."
"My pleasure Miss. Now you two have a good day."
Graham and Faith left the office and moved their bags into the unit. Fortunately there was an old window mounted air conditioner that Faith immediately switched on before flopping on her back on one of the double beds.
"So Gray what's th'deal?"
"Same as I told you before. Checking up on rumors from the old DRI files. We have a manpower shortage so we asked to borrow some people. Buffy said you were going stir crazy in Cleveland, so..."
"So the hotness gets volunteered. I got that. What's the current plan though?"
"I got some names and some locations. First food then we start checking them out. Sooner we start, the sooner we can get out of here."
"I like th'sound of that, but food first."
"Definitely, food first."THIS IS A DISCLAIMER!!!
BtVS Property of Mutant Enemy Pumpkinhead Property DEG and Sony not me!!!