Falling asleep on the bus, a man finds himself stranded in Forks for the weekend. Poor guy.
2. Chapter 2
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1129 Review this Chapter
I walked up to the desk. There was a bell on the counter, so I rang it. Nothing happened for a few seconds, then someone came out of the back. "Can I help you?" he asked, eyeing me dubiously. I could only imagine what I looked like.
"Hi. Sorry to bother you so late at night, but I was wondering if there was a motel nearby."
He snorted. "Only motel around here is closed for the season." He kept eyeing me warily. "Where you from?" He finally asked.
"Chicago," I lied. Truthfully, I didn’t really have a "home" anywhere. "Actually, I’m from Ireland, but that was—years and years ago. I’ve been in the States for a long time now. All but lost my accent."
"What do you do in Chicago?" All right, let’s play Twenty Questions! But hey, honestly I couldn’t blame him. He was a cop in a small town, and he was just doing his job.
"I work in Sanitation and Disposal." I reached behind me to get my wallet, and saw his eyes and body tense. His hand casually slid down to rest on his sidearm, and I smiled. This guy was sharp. I slowly took my wallet out, pretending I hadn’t seen his hand movement, and got my driver’s license. I handed it to him, and he looked it over carefully. OK, the disposal thing wasn’t totally a lie, if not exactly the truth. I did dispose of un-nice things. And at least my cover was established if he did try to look it up. There was a Sean O’Sullivan working for the Chicago Streets and Sanitation department.
"Oh," he said, nodding absently. "Well, Sean, what brings you out our way?"
"Vacation," I answered, trying to make it as vague as I could. Again, it wasn’t really a lie. "I remember stopping in Missoula, and the next thing I know, I’m thrown off the bus here."
He looked up from my license, eyebrows raised. "Must have been really tired."
I nodded, and yawned. "We’ve been putting in lots of overtime trying to get the holes in the streets filled in before the snow flies. Finally got my vacation time."
He stared at me for a few moments, flipping my license against the tips of his fingers absently. The his face relaxed abruptly, and he smiled as he handed my license back. "Well, let me be the first to welcome you to Forks, then!’’ He stuck out his hand. "I’m Police Chief Charlie Swan."
Pleased to meet you," I said, shaking his hand. "I don’t suppose there’s a boarding house in town then, is there?"
He laughed again, and shook his head. "Nope. Sorry."
"Restaurant?" Another laugh.
"Not one that’s open this late!" He grew quiet, and regarded me closely for a few seconds. Then the smile returned. "Tell you what. Why not come home with me? My daughter’s at a—friend’s house for the weekend." His face grew thoughtful—almost sad. "And we’ve got plenty of room."
"Ah, no, Chief Swan. I can’t impose on you like that!"
He smiled. "It’s no imposition, trust me. Besides, I can’t leave you with a bad impression of our little town, now can I? My shift is over. Let me just close everything down, and we’ll go."
Five minutes later, we were driving down the street. "Charlie", as he’d told me to call him, was busy chattering away like we were long lost friends. I smiled and nodded appropriately as he talked, enjoying the open and friendly nature of small town life.
I learned that his only child, Bella (short for Isabella) was getting married in a couple weeks. Reading between the lines, and by his tone of voice, I could tell he was not at all happy with this.
He loved his daughter very much. He didn’t seem to care for his future son-in-law, whose name was Edward, though. But he did like Edward’s sister Alice a great deal. Edward and Alice’s father was a doctor in town. Charlie, if not exactly liking him, nonetheless held him in great respect. But for some reason that Charlie didn’t understand, the Quileutes, who lived on a reservation just down the road, didn’t like the doctor and his family very much. But they had recently grown to at least tolerate them. OK, I told my self—this is the other part of small town living. The gossip part. But then, like I said, I had no home, so who was I to judge?
The Swan’s house was a nice, two-story affair. A bit on the old side, but comfortable. Charlie made up the couch for me. As I collapsed gratefully onto it, Charlie wished me goodnight, and told me to make myself at home. At the foot of the stairs, he paused.
"I almost forgot. I’m going fishing early tomorrow with a friend of mine. So don’t worry if I’m not here when you get up. I’ll probably be gone all day, so like I said—just make yourself at home." He frowned slightly. "I don’t know why, but I just feel I can trust you. Well, goodnight!" He headed upstairs. Frankly, I did wonder at his apparently blind trust of a total stranger.
I turned off the light, and sank back onto the couch, sighing deeply. I couldn’t help but notice that Charlie seemed to be a lonely man. I easily fell asleep again. Had I known what the weekend held in store, I probably wouldn’t have slept so well.
The voice was soft, whispered. I half opened my eyes. It was still dark. The VCR clock read 4:45AM. I closed my eyes again.
"Charlie!" The whisper came again, a little louder this time. Still I ignored it. Either Charlie was getting ready for his trip and had a woman in the house (which I doubted), or I was dreaming. Or—the house was haunted.
"Charlie!" OK, that time it was a hoarse yell, and was accompanied by a hand shaking my shoulder. I groaned, and shifted on the too-small couch. The hand shook me again, harder. The lamp next to the couch was turned on, and light flooded the room. "DAD! Wake up!"
"Dad"? That woke me. I sat up quickly. A slight muffled shriek from close to my ear startled me, and the next thing I knew, I was shoved off the couch with incredible force, and hurled across the room. As I lay in a heap by the wall, I thought—yep...haunted! Great.
I picked my self up, and looked towards the couch. A girl of about eighteen or so stood there, hands over her mouth and a look of fear and shock on her face. Standing nearly in front of her, in a protective stance, was a boy of around the same age. He looked like he was ready to kill me.
All right...not haunted—daughter and fiancee. Oh, good. An explanation was going to be fun. Not.