A/N: Sooo….This is a little crackfic-ish one-shot I wrote for the Trailer Trash Cullen Contest. I was fortunate enough to win judge's pick. : ) Lots of thanks and love to trixietraci and EmDempster aka emilydmamaof3 who stepped in to beta this for me at the last minute. Hope you enjoy!
Trailer Trash Cullen One-Shot Contest
Title: Spoons Village
Your Pen Name: Iwant2sparkle
Characters: The Cullen Clan, Angela Weber, Eric Yorkie
Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Friday started normal enough. I came in, typed up my few articles, got a list of births and deaths from the hospital and had lunch with my friend, Claire. I had no idea what was about to hit me late that afternoon.
I was sitting at my desk, checking my email and drinking coffee to wake myself up, wishing something interesting would get thrown my way. Working for a small town newspaper was not exactly what I had in mind when I graduated high school and took a few English courses at the community college in my hometown of Port Angeles. I had ambitions. Goals. Dreams. But when those dreams are just that, a job is a job.
"Angela, I have an assignment for you."
I perked up and peered around my monitor at Mr. Banner as he approached my tiny office.
"An assignment? Did Jessica Stanley have her twins?"
A scandal, especially one of epic proportions like an affair between the teenaged, slutty head cheerleader and the high school football coach, was front page news for us. After Mike Newton was fired, the news broke that they were expecting not one, but two babies. They had been the subject of gossip for months now. According to rumors from the beauty shop downtown, Jessica had turned eighteen prior to the affair being exposed and refused to admit that anything had happened before then. Therefore, any chance of her parents pressing charges was obliterated. Needless to say, not much happened around here.
"No. She's still big as a blimp. This one involves you venturing out to the edge of town."
"Edge of town?"
"Yes, to Spoons Village."
I flinched like he had struck me. No one ever went to Spoons Village unless it was where they called home. And the people who called that place home? Well, they very rarely ventured into town. They were notoriously…rough. Actually the term, "trailer trash," was the first thought that entered my mind.
"Apparently the Cullens have won a bit of money in the lottery. They took a trip into town a couple of weeks ago, bought a ticket at Billy Black's store and won some money, although no one really knows how much. I just know because Sue Clearwater found out from Billy Black. Someone from the lottery contacted him and mentioned that the Cullen's had won but couldn't tell him the amount. The town is all abuzz over it this morning. They've refused to do any interviews so far, but I just spoke with Carlisle Cullen and he's agreed to talk to you since we're 'hometown people'."
"Well, aren't I special?" I thought. "Fuck my life."
"The Cullens, sir? Do I really have to go out there?" I dropped my voice and leaned forward a bit. "Alone?" Although I had never had any interactions with the family, there were rumors. Rumors that I didn't care to confirm the truth of.
His boisterous laugh burst through the room.
"Of course not. I wouldn't send you out there to fend for yourself. No, you'll be bringing Eric with you. He's going to be taking a few pictures. They are expecting you guys. I'll be expecting a story by Monday morning. Good luck." With that, he was out the door and on his way back to his office, most likely to feed doughnuts to the sugar beast that lived inside of him.
That was how I found myself in an old, beat-up van heading down the 101 with Eric, the quiet, gangly photographer who I barely knew. Even though I doubted he could wrestle a penguin, it did make me feel better to have a male companion.
We turned off onto a dirt road about five miles out of town and rode for a while, bumping up and down in the cab, kicking up a cloud of terracotta colored dust behind us. There was a sudden clearing in the woods off to the right, and Eric whipped into the makeshift gravel drive. Our truck came to a stop in front of a colony of mobile homes. There was one large double-wide that served as the center of the village with single-wides littered across the rest of the field. There were no other driveways, but the tire marks embedded in the brown grass indicated to me that the residents of the rest of the colony just drove across the fields and right up to their homes.
A gigantic metal shop structure sat off to the right of the property. An enormous, spray-painted sign hung on the side that read, "FWF Wrestling-Friday Nights at 8pm/Cullen Taxidermy/Alice's Visions/Cullen Bodyshop". I giggled to myself quietly at the variety of services offered at this one place and slowly climbed out of the truck.
I saw a small group of dirty, half-dressed children off to the right in a little field. They were heading toward the thicket of trees and I couldn't help but wonder about the lack of parental supervision. The oldest one didn't look more than seven or eight years old. I could hear strains of classic rock music blasting through a radio somewhere in the distance. Another distinct sound was the screaming of a woman, a few choice colorful words ringing loud and clear in the air. Whoever she was arguing with was getting an earful, that was for sure.
The rickety screen porch door on what I had now deemed the "MCC aka Mobile Command Center" flung open. A short, dumpy woman I recognized as Esme Cullen from the few times I had seen her in town stepped out in her blue flowered muumuu, her hands flailing wildly in a wave.
"Hi there!" Her voice was exactly what I had expected from the look of her. Deep and raspy like she had smoked three packs of cigarettes every day for the past forty years.
"Mrs. Cullen," I started as I moved toward her. "I'm Angela Weber and this is Eric Yorkie. We are from the Forks Post. We heard that you guys recently had some exciting news around here, and I wondered if we could speak with you about it."
"Of course, honey! I think your head man in charge down there has already talked to my Carlisle. Come on in."
As we followed her back up the steps, navigating past the potted plants littering every inch of the 'front lawn,' and then through the particle board door, my mind was racing with thoughts of what we could possibly encounter on the other side. To my surprise, however, the inside of the double-wide was relatively clean. Well, what I could see at least. Apparently Mrs. Cullen had a weakness for knick knacks because they covered every available surface that I could see, all perched on some sort of knitted doily. There was even an old console TV with the screen and guts removed to house a collection of little shell people which were probably made by little children in Taiwan who sat for hours gluing googley eyes to shells.
"I just made a congealed salad. Would you like some?" She shoved a Tupperware bowl in my face.
"What…is that?" It looked like a whole bunch of stuff piled up together to form a jiggly mold. And it was green.
"It's just jello and some fruit. Easy peasy. Here, let me get you a bowl." She turned to search out a clean dish and I spoke quickly before I was subjected to that…stuff.
"Um, thanks, but I think I'll pass. I had a big lunch." She turned toward Eric who also politely declined.
"Well, suit yourselves. Let's go on out and see if we can find Carlisle and the boys." She navigated her large body around the cluttered kitchen and waved us through toward the back door. We followed her down the small stoop of steps into the backyard. The dead, brown lawn was overcome by bags and bags of aluminum cans, a small car on cinder blocks with an enormous motor sticking up out of it and stacks of tires.
"We send the children to collect cans off the side of the highway," Mrs. Cullen pointed out. "It gives them a little spending money and helps clean up the town just a bit. Plus, it also keeps them honest. Hopefully if they see what jail time is like early in life, it'll keep them out of the big house." I laughed a little until I realized she wasn't joking. Oh, to have such ambitions for your children and grandchildren.
"That's great, Mrs. Cullen," I responded politely after wiping the smile off my face. We followed her as she quickly walked toward the large tin building. She moved incredibly fast for her size. She suddenly turned and followed the side of the building to the back and up to another small building that I had missed before. She threw open the door and screeched, "Carlisle! Company!" Eric and I both jumped at the same time, startled somewhat by the sudden outburst of the seemingly reserved woman, but more so by the overwhelming stench that flowed out of the door when it opened. Eric backed up as quickly as he could and I immediately covered my nose and tried to fight back the lunch that was threatening to crawl up my throat.
"Oh dear," Mrs. Cullen said sympathetically when she noticed Eric and me. "I forget that other people aren't used to the smell." She turned her attention back to the door and once again raised her voice. "Carlisle! We'll meet you outside at the pool! Come on out and don't dawdle around!" She turned back to us and smiled sweetly, motioning us back around the building and to a small plastic table beside the "pool", which had probably been purchased at Wal-Mart for the low price of twenty-five dollars, if that. She plopped down in a plastic chair, the flimsy legs straining under her weight and begging for mercy.
A few moments later, I could hear footsteps behind me and turned around to greet Mr. Cullen. The man in question strode toward me in overalls. Nothing else. Just overalls. No shirt. No shoes.
"Call me Carlisle, please." He spoke in a voice that didn't quite match his exterior. It was smooth and calming, almost eloquent. But not quite. "You must be Angela. Mr. Banner called to let me know you were coming."
"I am. It's a pleasure to meet you. I just have a few questions about your recent winnings, which I should congratulate you on, by the way."
"Thank you," he replied. "And I'll be happy to answer your questions. I was just finishing up with Mr. Black's wolf. After he killed it, he waited around and didn't get it to me in a timely manner so the smell was a little…stronger than normal. I apologize. Let's sit." He gestured back toward the table. I returned to my seat, and he pulled up a chair next to Mrs. Cullen and rested his arm across her shoulders. She broke off her conversation with Eric, who, to my astonishment, was looking completely charmed, and planted a kiss on Carlisle's cheek. I pressed the button on my mini recorder and started the interview.
"So, Mr. Cullen, we were informed that you guys won a significant amount of money in the Powerball lottery recently. Can you confirm this?"
"Yes, we did," he replied with a smile.
"Would you care to divulge the total of your winnings at this time?"
His grin turned mischievous. "I think I'll keep that between myself and my family at this moment."
"Ok then," I conceded. "Who purchased the ticket?"
"That would be me!" I hadn't heard anyone else come up, but I turned to see a massive man towering over the back of my chair. He was shirtless, walking around in only a pair of jean shorts with a beer in his hand. He had a very nice physique and was drenched in sweat. An adorable pair of dimples graced his face but seeing as he was sporting a permed mullet ala Eriq La Salle in Coming to America "Soulglow" style, the dimples almost went unnoticed. I lost complete focus when I saw the enormous tattoo on one of his upper arms. I tried not to stare but it had me completely entranced.
"Angela, this is one of my sons, Emmett."
I shook his hand and said the first thing that came to my mind. "That's an interesting tattoo. What is it?"
"This?" He asked as he shifted his arm to get a better look himself. "It's the Ruger symbol. Hank Williams Jr.'s favorite brand of firearms. Mine too. Although Jasper told me that it looks like two ducks fu-,"
"Emmett, please," Carlisle interrupted with a shake of his head. "She just wants to know the story about the ticket. Why don't I let you tell her." Emmett turned to me with an excited grin on his face.
"Well, actually, it was all of us. We put some money in a pot and I stopped by the convenience store to pick up a twelve-pack of Budweiser for us guys to share. When I got there, there was another brand that had a dollar off coupon stuck on it, so I chose it instead and used that extra dollar to get a ticket. Best dollar we ever saved and spent," he said with a grin.
"EMMETT!" His grin was cut off by the door of one of the other mobile homes slamming open. A rather robust woman stood at the door looking quite pissed off. Her breasts were in serious danger of popping out of her tank top, but seeing as her muffin top completely hung over the waistband of her too-small cheerleader-style shorts, she looked pretty well proportioned. The baby on her hip was crying and the cigarette hanging from her mouth never dropped from its perch on her lips as she went on a rampage.
"That trash, Lauren Mallory, is calling my damn house again. You best tell that girl that if she doesn't want me to come down there to the Thriftway, strangle her with that tacky-ass apron and beat her ass in front of God and everybody, she better not call here again."
"Rose, she was probably just calling to see when she could bring Junior over."
"I don't care! I don't want her over here to begin with. If you need to go get Junior, you meet her in town and pick up your son. And don't you let that little whore seduce you! Once was enough! She's probably heard you've won some money and wants to get her grimy little hands on it. I don't want her over here and I mean it!" She disappeared briefly before she stuck her head out the door once again and looked directly at me.
"Who the hell are you?"
"I'm Angela Weber, Mrs. Cullen. I'm from the Forks Post." She eyed me suspiciously for a moment and I started to squirm under her glare.
"You aren't here to claim Emmett is the daddy to your kid, are you?" she asked with narrowed eyes.
"Uh, no ma'am. I don't have children."
"Well good for you, honey. And don't call me 'Mrs. Cullen'. We ain't married. I'm Rosie Hale." With that, she shut the door.
"Emmett, what've you done to piss off Rosie now?" I turned in the direction of the new voice to see a couple walking toward me. They were holding hands and slowly strode to where we were sitting.
"Aw, hell, Rosie is just pissed that Lauren is calling again. I can't help that I have a kid with the girl. I can't just ignore her."
Carlisle spoke up to introduce us to the newcomers.
"Angela, this is my other son, Edward, and his new bride, Bella. They were just married a few weeks ago and are still in their newlywed stage." The pair blushed bashfully and giggled. "Edward, Bella, this is Angela Weber. She's with the newspaper and is here to interview us about the lottery."
I gave a little wave to Bella and received one in return. I remembered her from high school. She was always very quiet and shy. She hardly socialized at all. But still, her dad was a cop and her family lived in a decent neighborhood. I couldn't understand how she had ended up here.
"Congratulations, you two. It's so nice to see two people in love. Have you been together for a long time?"
"Long enough," Bella replied softly.
"Yeah, long enough," Edward agreed. "She came to pick up her daddy's eight pound largemouth that we stuffed for him two months ago and it was love at first sight. We both just knew." The two of them gazed at each other for a few moments before locking lips and proceeding to shove their tongues down each other's throats. We tried to continue our conversation but their moaning was a little distracting so Esme asked them to "take the action back to their own house". Edward stood, hoisted Bella up and hooked her legs around his waist. Then they were gone.
I resumed my interview with Carlisle, Esme and Emmett Cullen briefly, but Ms. Hale reentered the picture with full force moments later. At this rate, I would never get this interview finished. But honestly, this drama was better than daytime soap operas.
"Goddammit, Emmett, she's calling again! You'd better come handle her!"
Emmett groaned and forced himself from the table, muttering and cursing under his breath.
"What the hell do you want me to say to her, Rosie?"
"What do I want you to say to her? How about I want you to go back eight years and not have fucked her? How about that?" Her voice carried through the open field as an astonishing volume.
"Baby, I was desperate and horny! You weren't even around then!"
"You should've kept your dick in your pants!"
"That's not what you were saying earlier!"
The brawl continued with screaming and name calling. Rosie stepped up to Emmett and had her finger pointed in his face to emphasize her points. The most interesting part was the nonchalant way Carlisle and Esme were watching this event. They hadn't even moved except for when Esme casually walked up to the battle to retrieve the baby from Rosie's hip and return to her seat. Actually, they looked quite amused. I glanced down at my watch and noticed it was already nearing six o'clock. So much for this not taking very long. I had been here an hour already and the sun was starting to set.
"Should we come back some other time?" I asked Carlisle.
"Not at all. They'll be done with this soon. Mrs. Cope over there is getting quite the show. Besides, I'm sure she's already made the call." I looked over to the direction in which he was nodding and saw another mobile home in the distance with a little purple-haired lady scowling on her front stoop. Just as the words, "What call?" were about to leave my mouth, I heard the sounds of tires crunching in the gravel.
"See? There they come now." It didn't take me very long to discover who "they" were. Moments later, two uniformed officers became visible from behind the tall tower of tires and headed over to the showdown between Emmett and Rosie. Her hands were still flailing and more than once, she shoved Emmett. One officer stepped in front of Emmett. He must have threatened Rosie because the next thing I knew, Emmett was jumping to her defense. The cops turned their attention back to him and must have asked him a question. He shook his head in answer and they threw up their hands in disgust and left. Rosie looked at him like she was seeing him with new eyes. I had a feeling the calls from Lauren were about to be forgotten. She jumped into his arms, wrapped her legs around him and they disappeared inside.
"Well, I hope they aren't in there working on number six," Esme said with a chuckle. I was quite baffled by the entire display. Eric was unusually quiet during this whole exchange. I leaned over to him.
"Think you could get us out of this?"
He laughed lowly and shook his head. "No chance. This is the most action I've seen in weeks. I'm staying. If I had popcorn, it'd been even better." I rolled my eyes, let out a long sigh and plopped back in my chair. And because someone of a higher power hates my guts, a monstrosity of a truck rolled up to the backyard. A guy with a long, blonde ponytail, who I assumed was son number three, hopped down from the cab. I couldn't help but gawk at his belly-baring cutoff confederate flag shirt and spandex bicycle shorts. It must take a secure man to wear that kind of stuff. He crossed over to help a tiny little woman down from the other side. She climbed out and bounced right up to me.
"Hi! I'm Alice! It's nice to meet you. It's a little strange here for you, isn't it? You'll finish this interview eventually. And you'll also meet the love of you life here." She smiled one last smile at me and disappeared into the electric blue mobile home closest to the 'MCC'. I had no idea what had just happened. I was disturbed the most by her last sentence. I was so screwed if I found the love of my life here.
The guy hung back and eyed me curiously as he leaned down to whisper in Carlisle's ear. Carlisle chuckled and patted his arm.
"I assure you, Jasper, she's not with the government. They aren't going to take the money back. She's just here to interview us about winning." Jasper nodded stoicly and walked off to join his…whatever she was, but not before shooting me another curious but apprehensive glance. God, these people were strange.
"You'll have to excuse Jasper," Carlise said as if he could hear my inner monologue. "He's read one too many conspiracy theory books about history and the government. He's a tad bit paranoid." He chuckled lightly and I tried to join him but it just sounded forced.
Once again trying to get my interview finished, I started to ask another question but was interrupted by screams that shot out from the direction of Emmett and Rosie's place. At first I thought they were fighting again. I was wrong.
"Yeah, baby, give it to me! Ram it home for daddy dong, baby!"
I probably blushed twelve shades of red. I couldn't even look at the elder Cullens. Talk about awkward. Carlisle cleared his throat and suggested we move inside to the tin building "since it was getting dark". I was more than happy to oblige. Esme dismissed herself, said goodbye and took the baby back toward her home.
Inside the building, a wresting ring dominated the room. Hundreds of fold-up chairs sat around the perimeter waiting for occupants. A makeshift stage with lights and a curtain sat off to one side. A ramp connected to it led right down to the ring.
"They'll all be arriving soon," Carlisle commented lowly as we entered. We took the nearest seats and finally, in the peace and quiet of a tin building with a wrestling ring, I was able to continue the interview.
While Eric wandered around taking snapshots, I finally got a few more questions answered by Carlisle about their lives. All of their occupations were quite apparent but he confirmed them for me. Carlisle was a taxidermist. Emmett, Edward and Jasper ran the bodyshop, but Emmett also moonlighted as "Emmett the Grizzly" in the Forks Wrestling Federation matches held on Friday evenings. Alice had an uncanny ability to predict the future so she had a palm-reading business that attracted suckers, I mean people, from far and wide. Esme was, and had always been, a devoted housewife, mother and grandmother. Rosie was a former Hooter's girl but had to give up waitressing after she got knocked up by Emmett. Carlisle's words, not mine. So much for his almost eloquent speech.
"Still don't want to reveal the amount of your winnings?" I asked. He grinned at me and thought for a moment.
"I won't give an amount but I will say that we are set for the rest of our lives. Every one of us."
He nodded. "Including grandchildren."
"That's great. What are you plans for the money. Investments? College funds?"
"Actually, we have an accountant that's going to take care of everything for us. He's a close family friend and should be here soon. He likes to come to the shows on Fridays, so we're going to sit down afterwards for a discussion."
"Well, Mr. Cullen, I hope he invests everything wisely for you so that you and your family live comfortably for the rest of your lives. Do you think you'll quit working or leave Forks?" His head tilted to one side and he started at me for a moment before he responded.
"Whatever would we do that for? This is our home. This is our land. Maybe if the time ever comes, we might build a bigger home…or four…but no, we'll never leave." The more time I spent talking to this man, the more I liked him. He was so genuine. Here I was making inner jokes about this man's home and family, but he showed so much pride in it all that I was starting to feel ashamed. I was suddenly more uncomfortable than I had been all day.
"Eric, have you gotten everything you need?" He nodded silently, almost sadly, from across the room, and I stood with my hand outstretched to Carlisle.
"Carlisle, it's been a pleasure. I wish you and your family the best in the world. I hope everything works out for you guys." I was truly sincere in my well wishes for this family. They might be a bit rough but they seemed like nice, genuinely good people. That is something that's hard to come by anymore.
"Thank you, Angela. Are you sure you guys wouldn't like to stick around as our guests? We would love for you to see the show."
"I don't believe so, but thank-" I was cut-off by the door opening to the building. A man stepped inside the metal door. He was completely ordinary. Tall, shaggy brown hair, brown eyes with glasses and a dimple in his chin. But when I saw him, my heart stopped. He was perfect. And Alice was right.
"Angela, this is Ben. He's our accountant." The man across the room smiled shyly at me but I could see his blush from across the room. I smiled back and turned around to see Eric eyeing me curiously. He grinned and nodded his head. I was beginning to like this photographer more every minute. I focused on Carlisle once again.
"Come to think of it, I might stick around for a while." I was so screwed...but maybe they had an extra spot for another mobile home.
A/N: P.S. If you're looking for the WISYS update, it'll be coming your way in a week or so. Hang with me….