Author: Dance Elle Dance PM
My name is Amber. My parents were killed on a military mission to Sector 16 in the New Mexico desert. No one told me what happened, but I saw their bodies. There is something bad out there, and I am going to go find it. And kill it. GoggleAmber, AURated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Romance - Amber J. & Goggle - Chapters: 5 - Words: 14,687 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 12-31-12 - Published: 04-13-12 - id: 8022227
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own The Hills Have Eyes.
Thanks to Berry's Ambitions, LivingDeadDollQueen, Little Pink Neko, and nigthofdoom for their awesome reviews! I'm really happy that the first chapter was liked by y'all! So, sorry for the lengthy wait for an update, but here it is! I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and whatnot! Thanks so much for reading!
Chapter Two: Gunslinger
"Would you stop that?"
My current annoyance looked at me with incredulous eyes. His large feet were propped on one of my recently washed pillows, and he was casually throwing my prized volleyball from senior year - the one I had the whole team sign - in the air as if it were nothing special. He gave it one last throw and I caught it before it entered his awaiting grasp.
"Find out what it means to me."
"…no." I stared at him blankly. "No singing. Not ever."
"Aretha would be proud."
"Aretha would be ashamed."
Daniel looked at me with a shit-eating grin. It was amazing, how he could get underneath my skin almost as easily as he did Missy's. I rolled my eyes and placed the volleyball on the floor by the bed. It made a slight thump as it connected with the wooden floor.
"What's got you all antsy today, gorgeous?" he asked, waggling his eyebrows at me. "You meeting that boyfriend of yours today?"
"Crank is not my boyfriend," I told him, crossing my arms.
"You're getting awfully defensive of someone who's not your boyfriend," he mimicked my voice perfectly on the last few words.
I scowled at him.
"That ruins your looks, you know."
"Like I care."
Daniel sat up and swung his long legs off the side of my bed. He was always patient with me, for some reason. I knew my moods were particularly dark as of late, but sometimes I tried to be lighter. For some other reason, I felt like Daniel could take it. Like he wouldn't treat me as someone who needed treatment for what they were going through. As in, a shrink. I remember the grief counselor I was required to visit. Remembered the look on his face as he took in the dark circles underneath my eyes, the bitten cuticles of my nails, my unkempt hair. He had wanted me to go to a shrink. And I refused.
I would deal with my own problems.
A knock at the door downstairs echoed through the entire house. Missy's parents were off at work, while Missy herself had taken Clyde to the zoo for the day. She had asked if I wanted to go with, but I knew she just wanted the day for her and her little man. Thus, I was stuck in the house with Daniel for the entire day until my meeting with Crank.
I supposed Crank was here earlier than I thought.
I grabbed my purse and set off down the stairs, making my way through the house as if it were my own. Daniel followed. I could hear his clumsy footsteps behind me, heavy even only in socks.
Arriving at the front door, I saw that it was, indeed, Crank standing there, arms swinging lamely at his sides, his brow furrowed. He wore a simple t-shirt and jeans, looking very odd out of his fatigues. I opened the door and gave him an awkward smile. All my smiles felt awkward lately.
"Nice hair," he greeted casually, shoving his hands into his pockets. I rolled my eyes.
"Hey, shortstack." Daniel grinned.
"I can still whoop your ass, kid."
"Bring it on."
"Hey, now," I told them both. I then stared at Crank. "You ready to go?"
Crank's eyes never left Daniel's. "Maybe we should bring your little boyfriend, too?"
Daniel snickered. I couldn't blame him. The irony was almost smothering.
"Nah, I'll let you two lovebirds have at it."
The sound of the gunshot ringing out was hidden by the earmuffs I had securely placed on my head. The jerk of the gun wasn't as jarring now; it was almost comforting. I didn't want to think about what that thought meant about my current mental state. Good thing I never told anyone what I was really thinking anymore. Wouldn't want to be forced to see that shrink, now would I?
I emptied my clip into the target across the range. It was both hit and miss. After all this practice, I still wasn't the best shot. I had finally taught myself to not close one eye when firing. Crank had gotten on to me numerous times for that, saying that that interfered with my aim.
The last bullet shot through the center of the bull's eye. I let a gasp escape my lips at the sight and bit back the excited exclamation that would have torn from my throat. Lowering the gun, I watched as the target itself started to skim toward me on the overhead cable. I looked at the man drawn on the large paper in awe, stared at the holes punched in the target on his chest.
An uncontrollable giggle escaped before I could stamp it down.
I took off the protective glasses as well as the earmuffs and then stared. The grin on my face was apparent.
"Oh, your first bull's eye," Crank said, walking over. He was watching my whole session with the precision of a hawk, looking for anything to correct. "Congrats." He was rough around the edges most of the time, but he did have his moments where he could resemble a human being.
"Thanks!" I said, a bit out of breath for some reason. "Oh, that is so awesome!"
This earned me a smile. He was always reluctant with his smiles, so I found this to be a huge accomplishment. "I really have no corrections today. You improved a lot." He clapped a hand on my shoulder. "Ready to get embarrassed?"
I wrinkled my nose at him. Crank walked over to the side of the range put up for him and grabbed the gun off the nearby table. He adjusted his earmuffs and put on the protective goggles over his eyes. And he was off.
Shots rang through the air in quick succession, each and every one hitting the bull's eye or close to it. I was amazed at his ferocity and his talent. Every single time this would happen. Crank would insist I go first and then he would school me like this. He was done in seconds and had the target brought up to him. He turned and grinned at me. Now that was normal - a gloating smile. Pure and utter Crank.
"I want to go again," I told him.
"We've gone twice already," he said. "And I'm hungry. Lunch?"
"My treat, assassin."
I gave a smile at that. Oh, he had no idea.
Lunch with Crank was easy. Unlike with any other guys, I felt like I could be myself around him. It was probably because I'd known him since I was little, and he had been good friends with my parents. He sat near me at their funeral, watched as they handed me their folded-up flags before the coffins were put in the ground.
"Wimp," he commented.
"You're the one that insisted we get ice cream," I told him, shoving the cookies-and-cream coated spoon into my mouth. Good thing that was a valid excuse. I didn't want him knowing just what I had been thinking before…
I was more chatty than usual, I realized. I supposed I always got pretty chatty after all of the shooting lessons. Probably the adrenaline rush of it all, the fact that I was just one step closer to achieving my goal. Though I wished Crank would relent and start teaching me hand-to-hand skills, I was content with this right now. When I brought it up to him, he said, "Easy there. One thing at a time. Who are you going to go fight?"
Again, if he had any idea…
Crank turned his car into the driveway of Missy's house. I sighed.
"Seriously," I said to him, "you could at least teach me how to break someone's nose. That's something I would love to practice on Daniel."
Crank chuckled at that, putting the car into park. "I'll teach you hand-to-hand stuff as soon as you get the hang of the gun. I still don't see why - "
"Hey." I shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant about it. "I'm heading to college. An innocent girl, out in the world, needs to learn to defend herself."
"Still. New Mexico? I don't see why you would want to go to school there." Crank scowled. It was good to know that he was still in the dark about the actual reason I was going to New Mexico soon. Not just to "get used to the campus" but for another thing. Something infinitely less innocent.
"I just want to learn how to crack someone's nasal bridge."
Crank laughed loudly, the rich sound echoing through the cab of his truck. "Fine, fine. That's not too difficult. Let's go inside."
I climbed out of the truck and marched my way to the front door. It looked like Daniel was the only one at the house still, which I didn't have a problem with. A subject to practice on, I suppose. As cute as he was, he still got my pillows dirty.
Daniel himself was sitting in the living room. Or, I should say, lying on the couch with his feet over the back of it, upside down as he watched some kind of movie - Susperia, maybe?
I jabbed him in the sole of his foot with the end of my spoon. He let out a squeal and jerked his feet away from me as he rolled over and off the couch in a display of the overdramatic. I looked at him with a wry smile and he said, "Okay, bring it on, chica."
Crank snickered and took the empty cup of ice cream from my hands and threw it away. "Where's your room here, anyway?" he asked.
Daniel made an immature sound, thick with implications. I wanted to throttle him.
"Up the stairs," I told him. "Here."
I stepped in front of him, leading him upstairs and in the direction of my room. Daniel didn't follow. That was good. I wanted to surprise him when I learned my new cartilage-cracking skill.
We turned into my bedroom, and I noticed that it had been ransacked. I should have known that Daniel had gotten Susperia from somewhere. That somewhere had been from my own personal movie collection. Another reason to break his nose.
Crank turned to face me. "Okay. This is what you do. Say I'm coming up behind you. All you have to do is this." He came at me, hand extended, the heel of his palm jutting upward. "Make sure you catch under their nose like this, with this part of your palm, and then shove upward as hard as you fucking can."
"Okay," I said, determination settling in my bones. "Okay."
Crank moved closer to demonstrate to me. He came forward sharply, and I flinched backward, thinking that he truly was going to break my nose. His eyes were hard and his expression was almost unreadable. I felt my mistake as soon as my elbow scraped against the edge of my desk, raking along my skin. I felt blood pool around it immediately. He only laughed at my misfortune.
I examined my elbow. "In the desk drawer there."
There was my second mistake.
Crank was mumbling to himself, "You know, if you shove hard enough, you can get a piece of broken bone into the brain and actually kill the person. But I'd hate to imagine you a killer - "
He paused, looking with wide eyes, gaping. His hand reached into the drawer, not pulling out the box of bandages, but the map to New Mexico with Sector 16 circled in red.
My breath caught in my throat.
"What the fuck is this?" he asked, his voice deadly calm. He wasn't outright yelling, which was his normal response, so I took it as a bad sign.
I steeled myself for his reaction. "Just what you think it is."
Crank seemed at a loss for words, which was a rarity. I was pretty sure this was worse than when he was yelling at me for something stupid. "You can't - "
"I am. No one is going to stop me."
"I can fucking make you stay here."
"I'm not a child - "
"Well, you're damn well acting like one!"
I quieted for a moment, opting to look at my hands. "You've known all along. About what happened to them…"
"Fuck, we saw the bodies. I don't know what happened, but I do know a cover-up when I see one."
The room was quiet, then. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I had to prod more.
"Please understand why I have to do this. What would you do?"
Crank didn't like that; he knew he'd do the exact same thing, except with less planning. "Your parents wouldn't want this."
"My parents are dead, Crank." My voice was harsh, like the desert where my family had breathed their last. "This is for them."
Crank quieted, clearly lost for words. He stared at me for a moment, as if seeing someone else, and then looked to my side, down at the spot where I had placed a framed picture of me, my mother, and my father. It was a day last summer; we had all gone out to get snowballs. Our mouths were stained a variety of colors as we grinned at the camera. We had been so happy…
I wasn't sure what made Crank say what he said next - he usually was much more stubborn, especially when it came to me - but his next words shocked me as much as they sent a rush of adrenaline spiking through my veins.
"Fine," he mumbled, stroking a finger along the picture frame, "but I'm going with you."
End Chapter Two.