Afterwards, I dropped by the club again, with three from the old house: Tyler, Shana, and the guy who wanted few lines. Shana had, of course, clothed herself before leaving, that is... just barely. I could hear the flamboyant cat-calls of men whistling at her.
The black-lights in the facility had been turned on. Oddly enough, it gave Tyler's black, hooded sweatshirt a very different look. There was now a large, bright splash up across the front of it. It was almost as if the beige t-shirt I'd seen him in earlier was trying to shine through.
As I made my way to the counter and picked up my short story from where Kevin had finished reading it, I began to wonder about that splash. It made no sense to me, Black never lights up under the UV rays of a black-light. White does. Bright colours do. Phospherescence, and stuff like that, right?
Then, as I handed it over to the guy who wanted few lines, I thought of the cop shows and crime scene investigation shows I'd watched with my parents before I moved out. Surely, nobody had sprayed Tyler with Luminol. But a black-light, on its own, lit up trace amounts of... bodily fluids!?
Tyler doesn't smell funky, just a bit unshowered. Logic says urine, but a trace amount too small to smell? It isn't from a man's ejaculate, given the size of the splash-mark. Well, it could be a woman's. Either one would smell, I imagine. Blood that's been removed?
It just doesn't quite make sense. And nobody dares to ask. Whatever it is, it hasn't been cleaned properly. Or is it on the inside of his sweater?
Shana and Tyler were both reading over his shoulder, as the trio followed me through the crowd and through the smoke that danced between our feet.
The crowd seemed to have adopted a hive mentality. With their glow-sticks and freakishly dyed hair, it had begun to look like a rave. Suddenly, I felt willing to bet that there was more than just weed being sold in this tiny little town.
I couldn't help but wonder if the film crew was any more sober and clean, of body or of mind. And here I am again, mounting a proverbial high horse when I should be content to ride a pony instead.
We sit on the curb of the parking lot. Shana, Tyler and... I'm ashamed that I haven't yet caught his name... anyways, the three of them are still reading.
They haven't said anything about it yet, and that makes me a little nervous. But maybe that's because their eyes are glued to the pages.
The wind, God bless it, passes us by and all I can do is sigh in satisfaction as it gently plays with my hair. It's nice, even if there's an awful hint of car exhaust. Some days, I wonder if the passing breeze is the closest thing I'll ever find to what I thought I once had.
The license plate shines as he drives into the parking lot. I remember the beautiful car. Sleek, silvery blue. Purring like a kitten. But also, I remember its back-seats and the things that happened there. I begin to panic.
First, my throat knots itself. Then, I turn my head, and Tyler's already made eye contact with me, as if he sensed my distress. The others are still reading.
Then, Tyler and I both say something relatively the same, together: "We have to get out of here, now!"
Did Tyler know Darren? Was he as afraid of this man as I was? I had no time to fully ponder this.
Shana pulls her eyes off the page, the last page, and the look in her green eyes tells me she's gleaned something from the little story; some personal insight into me that I didn't know I'd even written there.
My third companion is silent.
And thus began our flight, whether pursued or not.