Chapter 31 - Ci-Ci: Halloween Town, IN

“Why the fuck are we in Indianapolis? It’s just Chicago without technology or education,” Rythe continues his complaining.

“We’re in Indiana because this is where Jonah said he’d be.”

“You met in Indiana for Halloween every year?”

“Yeah, it became a family tradition. Jonah was on a school trip, Justin and I were on a job. We just happened to be close by so Jonah snuck out and met us a Halloween Festival.”

“Hicks, Indiana is full of hicks.”

“Have you ever been to Indiana?”


“Exactly, it’s not full of hicks. There’s cities too,” I try to make a joke.

I don’t think Rythe has ever been outside of Illinois, or even Chicago. He’s also been a little on edge about the transfusion I forced on him, and I didn’t exactly apologize about the whole fiasco. Last night he drove off somewhere, and wouldn’t let me go with him. Wherever he went, he came back different. I don’t know if I’d say he’s more aggressive or he’s just not putting up with my shit anymore. It’s a good look for him, somewhat charming, maybe even attractive.

I hadn’t been to this place since Justin died, it was his spot, and he was a little upset he’d miss it the day he died. We had been chasing that vampire brat for way too long and it dragged past schedule. He wasn’t happy about missing Halloween, in fact I’d say he was pissed. Was he pissed at me? I don’t remember. Maybe he was.

The first time we came to this place, we showed up just after midnight. Everything was shutting down and people were heading home. Justin and Jonah picked me up and we just flew in through the back. We spent hours running the rides ourselves, playing games in the fun house, and making our own fair foods. We actually felt like a little family then. After that, we’d do it every year. It was like the reset button for us. We could be furious at each other, until that day.

“You know, we have Jonah’s home address. We could just hire someone from the Shadow Syndicate to blow it up,” Rythe suggests.

“He’s got neighbors, we can’t do that.”

“Controlled demolition, explode the house in on itself, burry him in the ruble, make sure he doesn’t come back from the explosions. Shadow Syndicate probably has hundreds of people than can get the job done. Might have to pay a rush fee, but we can get it done.”

“We’re not blowing up anything. He wants a fight, a show down. He wants to finally prove he can beat me in a fight. I’m going to prove to him that he’s still a runt. You’re here to get people to safety and help if, and I mean if, he gets the upper hand.”

“We’ve been going with your plans this whole time, and I think it’s time to mention, they’re all stupid. Really stupid.”

“Well, if you can manage to stay sober, just for tonight, you don’t have to deal with any of my plans anymore and you can go back to stalking people.”

“I think that’s better than dragging old ladies into danger so you can dig up a rotting corpse,” Rythe smiles as if he just won a war. “Oh look, corndogs, I love corndogs.”

I know what he’s doing. He’s poking and prodding at me. He wants me to get angry with him, try him. Almost as if he has some ace up his sleeve. What he really wants is an apology and I refuse to apologize for making him into a better person, a stronger person. He was strung out on drugs even if he won’t admit it and he keeps telling me I was wrong but nothing has come of it.

“Do you feel good about how you’ve handled this,” Rythe asks finishing his corndog.


“Do you feel good knowing all of this could have been prevented.”

“It couldn’t have been prevented.”

“Oh, but it could have. I wanted to turn him in, but you needed proof. We had proof, and could have turned him in, but you were more focused on rehabbing an addict. We could have killed him at his home, but you wanted to face him on his own terms. Now we’re here in bumblefuck Indiana, not even a city like Indianapolis, or Terre Haute, Bloomington, but the middle of fucking nowhere.”

I place my hands on his shoulders, “Listen, you don’t understand what we’re going through, but one day it’ll make sense. This will all be done tonight.”

“You’re right,” he places his hands on my wrists. “It ends tonight, one way or another. Because if you can’t get the job done,” his hands are getting hotter, “I’ll call some people to get it done.”

“Are you trying to burn me?”

“No, but if you get burnt it’s only because you meddled with something you don’t understand, that’s why people don’t play with fire. But you played with fire.”

“Shut the fuck up, and play cornhole,” I snatch my hands free.

I grab a beanbag and toss it at the holes cut out into the wooden stand. Something is wrong with him. Rythe has been mad at me since I’ve met him, but now he’s scary. Almost as if something deep inside of him had been woken up. Maybe I did make a mistake.

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