Lauren Jones drives the old Honda pickup truck that her father left her and the music that blares into the car is some old school Shania Twain. Her sister, Callie Jones, is fumbling with a map.
"Where to little sis?" Lauren asks, knowing that Callie hates the nickname.
"Well, if the news reports that I found on the internet back at the hotel is correct, then we're off to Wood State, Oklahoma," Callie responds, her annoyance seeping into her voice.
"Hm, doesn't sound like a place that hosts the creepers."
"No," Callie responds, "But we do have a little boy who witnessed his father's neck being snapped like a twig."
"Okay, point taken," Lauren finally says, turning onto the intersection that will lead them on the right path.
Lauren had taken charge of raising Callie and teaching her the truth about life when their father and mother had died several years before. Callie had only been fourteen and Lauren eighteen. The truck had been left in the Will and a set of instructions had been hidden in a drawer. Their parents were hunters, but not your usual deer and rabbit killers. Instead, they had lives cloaked in so much darkness that it eventually fought back. It wasn't fun raising a kid when you're a kid yourself, let alone having to raise them in a world that is so oblivious to its surroundings.
It's raining and Lauren parks the beat up truck outside of a bar and grill. The lights are bright against the night and country music and voices can be heard outside. There's a flickering sign on the front of the brick building that reads "Mattie's".
"I'm starved," Lauren says, pulling out the keys from the ignition. "We'll be there in a few more hours, but I would like some refreshments and maybe a washroom break."
Callie smirks and opens the car door. Her boots slush in the mud as she walks casually towards the doors, Lauren behind her. Callie is the more intuitive one of the two, always reminding her sister of her humanity, so she is usually the one to do the research, find the gigs, and to always have an opinion about everything that Lauren says.
The bar and grill is nearly empty save for a few truck drivers eating some grilled sandwiches and ham steaks for dinner. There are plenty of empty red-leathered stools and empty booths, but the girls choose a bare wooden table near the entrance. Lauren excuses herself and disappears into the washroom, her eyes lingering on every male in the vicinity.
Callie sits down at an empty booth and pulls out her laptop. It has scratches all over the front, but the keyboard and screen is flawless, despite being part of the team for years. She plugs in a satellite internet USB and logs onto the page where she'd found the news article about the missing father.
A woman appears beside Callie, wearing a bright green uniform and an apron that doesn't suit her body very well. Her hair is a bright red from some cheap dye and her eyes show her fatigue. Her name tag reads "Emma".
"Hiya, can I getcha somethin’ darlin'?" Her voice is falsely chipper and Callie looks at her with a forced grin.
"Two cups of coffee please—" Callie answers.
“—and a piece of your best coconut pie!" Lauren appears behind the woman and smirks as she sees her order being jotted down."Find anything new?" She asks Callie when she finally sits down and Emma has walked away with a sashay of her hips.
"This boy's father isn't the only one to disappear in the area," Callie explains.
"How many have?"
"Four others," Callie types for a few seconds until another window pops up on her screen. "And that's not all."
"I would love to play charades with you little Cal," Lauren rolls her eyes and smiles widely at Emma when she places a large slice of pie in front of her. She cuts off a chunk of pie covered with whipped cream, before sending her sister a crooked smile. "But we need to get this done, Today."
Callie stares at Lauren with a grimace. "How can you eat that?" Her eyes wander over the mess of fake coconut and whipped cream on the plate. She shakes her head and looks back at her screen. "This thing is moving. I'm guessing the woods aren't enough for it."
"English please?" Lauren asks through a mouthful of pie.
"Lauren, it's entering the more populated areas of the county," Callie lets out a frustrated sigh. "It's going to have a bigger food source."