[Welcome back, folks! I hope you all had a good weekend and you’re ready for some SERIALIZED FICTION!!! If this is your first stop in Sharkey’s world, I recommend starting from the beginning of the story, which you can find HERE. Once you’re caught up, come on back and see what Adam and The Knights are up to this week! —RFY]
Adam had Philip walk Ashley home—she wouldn’t stop crying—while he and Oliver searched several other alleys in the neighborhood. They found half a squirrel two blocks over, between 53rd and 54th, and a mutilated raccoon a block further on. Adam called an emergency meeting of the Knights of 58th Street at sunset to strategize on the best method for catching whatever was making a buffet out of the neighborhood animals. A stakeout was unanimously declared the best course of action.
Charles, Mikey, and Oliver all had cell phones, so the group was split into three units. It was decided that text messaging was quieter than walkie-talkies, and therefore more appropriate for surveillance, although Adam was a bit disappointed by this decision. He felt that walkie-talkies were more “professional” than plain, old texting, but he was out voted. Because of several recent decisions like this one, he had starting to think that democracy might not be the best organizational style for the Knights—but he was going to have to explore that thought more thoroughly at a later date. They had work to do.
“Okay,” Adam said to the group, “the sun’s about down. Let’s get this fuckin’ show on the road. Charlie, you and Jason hoof down to 53rd and set up about half way down the alley.”
Charlie and Jason nodded, and Adam once again hungrily eyed the machete that Jason had stolen from his Dad’s garage. Adam had tried to pull a power move and say that the leader should carry the strongest weapon, but Jason had threatened to take it back home if Adam kept badgering him about it. Adam had conceded. One good weapon was better than no good weapons, even if he wasn’t in charge of it.
“Mikey, you and Freddy take 57th,” Adam said, once he’d stopped coveting Jason’s blade. “We didn’t find nothin’ this far from Ashley’s street yet, but the thing’s been chewin’ through the animals down further, so it might need to come this way to find fresh meat.”
“Got it,” Freddy said. Mikey gave a thumbs-up.
“Oliver and Phil, you guys are with me. We’re heading back to Ashley’s alley to try walkin’ north and south a few blocks. See if we can’t spot our perp,” Adam said.
“Okay, but…” Oliver started to say. Everyone turned and looked at him. “But” wasn’t heard very often at Knights’ meetings.
“But what, rookie,” Adam said, coldly.
“But I’m supposed to be home before ten,” Oliver said, his voice trailing off and his cheeks turning into apples.
“You’re shitting me,” Adam said after a pause. His lip twitched, and his eyes narrowed to lasers.
“Why didn’t you tell your parents you were staying the night with somebody?” Charlie asked. “That’s standard stuff, man.”
Jason shook his head sadly.
“I couldn’t! We’re going…” Oliver caught himself before saying where. He swallowed. He loved his grandparents but going to visit them instead of fighting monsters didn’t sound very cool.
“I don’t care if you’re going to a fucking petting zoo. We’ve got a JOB to finish!” Adam shouted. “Seriously, Oliver, if you hadn’t found that possum carcass this morning, I’d toss your ass out that fucking window right now!”
Oliver’s head swung down until his chin was practically touching his chest.
“You’re going to be late. We’ve only got three cell phones between us, and since you fuckers voted against the walkies, that’s how we’re going to stay in touch.”
“But I’ll get grounded!” Oliver pleaded.
Adam glared at him for a second. “You make your decision. The rest of us got a monster to kill. You guys ready?” Everybody confirmed, mostly eager to get away from the shame radiating from the new guy.
“Okay! Check in every 30. Sooner if you spot somethin’. Let’s go!” Adam banged his wooden sword on the floor and everyone got up, except Oliver. The group crawled through the trap door and down, out of the tree house. Philip stopped as he was climbing down the ladder and gave Adam a quizzical look. Adam waved for Phil to keep going, and then he held up two fingers, silently saying, “Give me two minutes.”
Philip slipped out of the tree house. Adam walked over to Oliver, who wasn’t quite crying, and patted him on the shoulder.
“Look man,” Adam said, “I know you’ve got some detection skills. Saw that today. But this club ain’t for everyone. Sometimes we have to break rules. You know, for the good of shit. That’s who we are.”
“I know,” Oliver said. “I’ll be late. Let’s go.” He stood up.
“That’s right, my man. Maybe you’ll be grounded next week, but tonight we’re going to kick some monster ass!” Adam smacked Oliver on the shoulder again, then steered him toward the trap door. As Oliver climbed down, Adam pulled the chin strap on his helmet as tight as he could get it, walked over to the podium and grabbed his sword, then headed for the ladder, smiling like the cat who got the fuckin’ canary.
[There you go. A plan has been agreed upon, and The Knights are on the move! Tune in next week, when we rejoin Motorbike Bill in his search for his EX-girlfriend, and things start to get a little SCARY… —RFY]
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)
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