Jessica is on fire. Not really, darlings (well, not anymore — I doused the flames). Worried that people were worried about what was happening with Leroy and Marla, she whipped up the next chapter (well, there was whipping involved, anyway) for you.
She’s currently trying her best to crack open some chicken bones I tossed down into the basement as her reward.
Your reward is yet another Bayou story. Don’t get used to it, darlings — today’s a special day (it is my blog’s anniversary, after all, darlings)
If you’re here for the first time, welcome, darling. You must be confused. GO HERE, start reading, and work your way back here.
Leroy was getting seriously pissed off.
Too many people were missing. Amie Lebeau, the Chief, and now Varney — which really burned him up, because he needed someone to help him get rid of the contents of his meat locker. He had decided that he wasn’t going to feed the townsfolk Chuck’s babies anymore, and had shut down the BBQ Shack. There was still the matter of getting rid of his existing stock, though. He couldn’t just leave it in the cooler — it was the damnedest thing — it grew. If he didn’t use it right away, it just got bigger. It had to be burned to kill it. He didn’t think he could do it himself, and there were only a couple of people he’d trust to help him dispose of the things — and both of them had disappeared.
Disappeared, Leroy thought. What the hell does that mean?
He thought of how Darrel Duchesne had disappeared, and exactly how that had happened. The man had a look of religious rapture on his face when he first set eyes on the thing that called itself C’thuN’Chuk. Leroy had a moment of realization — up until that very moment, Darrel hadn’t truly believed in what The Faithful referred to as the god in the swamp. Which meant that he hadn’t killed all those kids to appease something he thought was greater than himself; something that demanded a blood sacrifice. It meant that he killed them because he enjoyed it.
When the look on the man’s face had turned to terror, and Chuck’s gaping, hungry maw opened to receive him, Leroy had a fleeting thought — you got what you deserved, you sick fuck.
This sense of justice was fleeting, though, and didn’t stop Leroy from reliving the moment in his nightmares for a long time afterward.
The word around town was that Amie was missing. But he had seen her house, and had pretty much made up his mind as to what was going on there. The woman was probably being digested by something that lived in the swamp — either the gators, or something much older and stranger.
Leroy crossed himself in an involuntary reflex, and swore under his breath.
He then realized that he only had the word of Suzanne — who he wouldn’t trust if she told him he was on fire — that the Chief had left town.
He hit the gas and touched the sticker of the Virgin Mary on his dashboard. He laughed at himself. In the face of the truly horrible, it seemed he’d become his mother. He wasn’t sure what he made of that, but it’s not like he knew his daddy.
He parked out front and got out of the car, not worried that anyone saw him. Anyone who mattered knew that he’d been asking after the Chief.
“Oscar!” He yelled, pounding on the man’s door. “Hey Oscar!”
He had no idea what he was expecting.
He walked around the house, checking for anything out of place. When he got around back, he took a glance around to see if anyone was watching him, and then worked at breaking in the back door.
Opening the door, he gave another shout, lest he surprise someone and end up getting shot for his trouble.
Nobody answered, and he closed the door behind him and walked into the house.
Unlike Amie LeBeau’s house, Leroy didn’t get the sense that the Chief’s house had seen a cleaning crew. That was a relief. He made his way upstairs, and found dresser drawers left open and unmade beds — but it didn’t look like anyone had tossed the house. Whoever had been at both Jean-Baptiste and Amie’s house hadn’t followed up with Oscar.
Maybe he really had skipped town.
“Merde,” he muttered. “Oscar, you sonofabitch.”
The click of a hammer of a gun being pulled back startled him so much he nearly pissed himself.
“Hands in the air, asshole!” Marla called from behind him. Leroy complied
“Easy, cher, it’s just me!” He replied, turning slowly around to face the woman.
“Jesus, Leroy, I almost shot you!” She said, lowering her weapon. “I didn’t recognize you. What happened to you?”
“What ‘appened to me?” He spat back at her. He didn’t realize how angry he was her until he was standing eye to eye with her. Part of him wanted to give her a chance to explain herself. Another part of him wanted to feed her to the monster.
“What ‘appened to me?” He repeated. “Chuck ‘appened to me, that’s what?”
“Chuck?” She asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Chuck!” He yelled. “Chuck! Chuck! I don’t know whatchu call it — I can’t wrap my mouth around dose crazy words!”
“C’thuN’chukyygl’eh-R’yleh,” she whispered in the guttural tongue she’d known since she was young.
“Oh, so you know her!” Leroy said, and began pacing nervously and running his hands through his hair. He clenched and unclenched his fists in rage.
“It’s not my fault, Leroy!” She pleaded. “I was raised in it!”
“I don’t give a shit, cher! I doan even know why I’m still talking to you, ‘cept I’m looking for Oscar, and I’m willing to bet you know where he at.”
“I don’t!” She protested. “I swear! You have to believe me. You don’t understand. I…”
“No!” He stopped her, holding up an angry hand. “You be quiet, you. I don’t want to hear anyting from you ‘cept one thing — did you kill Jean-Baptiste?”
“What?” She gasped. “No! Of course not! I loved the old man.”
“But you know who did, I ‘spect,”
Marla wouldn’t meet the man’s angry gaze.
“Yeah, you know, alright,” Leroy said.
“Fuck,” Leroy spat. “And Amie?”
Marla considered lying to him, but instead nodded slowly, and Leroy sighed angrily.
“Fuck,” he repeated.
“Please, Leroy,” she said calmly. “I want to help you. They’ll kill me — do you understand that?”
“Oh, fuck you, you bonne a rien piece of shit,” Leroy growled at her. “Do you have any idea of what you’re a part of?”
“I want out!” She cried.
Leroy just glared at her. He wanted to kill the woman. She may not have been the one who did the killing, but something told Leroy she could have stopped it; could have warned the old man.
“I don’t give a shit what you want, cher. You just stay clear of me, y’hear.”
He tried to leave, but she blocked the doorway.
“Get outta my way, cher,” he warned, “or I’ll push right through your ass, I swear to God.”
“Leave,” she said firmly. “Just leave, like the Chief did. Get yourself as far away from this as possible and never look back. If you won’t help me, at least help yourself.”
Leroy thought about the slug-like things sitting in his meat locker, and his mind was filled with images that he couldn’t shake. Knowledge he wish he didn’t have, courtesy of that thing that lived in the bayou. Then he thought about how many people he’d enslaved by feeding them that strange, habit-forming meat. He had no idea how it worked exactly, but the in the visions he’d seen, he knew that it was the meat that gave Chuck his power over the town. He thought about all the people that Chuck had driven mad over the centuries, playing with them for his own sick amusement, and specifically, one sick man — Darrel Duchesne — that Leroy himself had tied up and delivered; practically gift-wrapped to the old monster. Lastly, he remembered the sight of that man’s basement, and the image of the children hanging on meathooks, with strips of flesh cut from their thighs and back and sitting in marinade. That image would never leave his mind, and so he could never leave. He would die in the bayou, and if he could take that thing with him, he would die happy.
“I can’t do that, cher,” he said, pushing past her. “Now get outta my way.”
“They’ll kill me, Leroy,” she said again, almost begging him.
“You know, cher, I doan give a flying fuck. Maybe it oughta be you leavin’ town, eh?”
She reached out for one last effort, grabbing his arm.
“Ah, now dat ain’t smart, cher,” he said with a nasty grin. “You best be lettin’ go of me now, you know what’s good for you.”
“Leroy,” her eyes welled up with tears.
“Marla,” he mimicked. Racing down the stairs, he left her with a parting glance. “Stay the fuck away from me. I see you again, you be lucky I doan kill you myself.”