The Key and the Gate


"Oh Zani, I'm sorry but your face is everywhere and I'm not going to make out with you every time a cop passes us" Becca spoke as she gently patted the other girl's hand in a comforting manner, not even sure how that plan had even worked the first time around! "...and besides I may not be on the news but if I don't do something about my face poor Jonathan here is either going to get arrested or lynched for beating me up" she finished with a sigh, knowing full well that it wouldn't matter that she said he hadn't beaten her up because they would just assume she was one of those women who covered up for their scumbag husbands because he said he would change.

Fumbling the unexpected catch due to her broken fingers Rebecca would fish Jonathan's phone out from the foot well and begin searching the local towns for bars and costume shops; once again hampered by her lack of usable digits but wanting to make herself useful, even I can’t mess up finding a costume shop, she thought to herself as she trawled through the rather slim pickings on offer. It was as she was doing this that she would lower her voice so as not to provide Jonathan with any more material for his Playboy letter and speak to Zani about the little matter of their kiss "You do know it was just a kiss and didn't mean anything right?" she said; her cheeks colouring ever so slightly as she did so, wanting to make sure that Zani understood that she hadn't been coming on to her back at the checkpoint, as her friend had seemed very flustered as a result of them kissing one another and she didn’t want her to get the wrong idea "...I mean I like you Zani but not in that way...also you're a really good kisser, How do you not have a boyfriend?" she finished with a chuckle before then reading out the address for a fancy dress shop in a nearby town so that Jonathan could swing by before they went to have a much needed drink in one of the local bars.

Understandably Zani would remain in the back of the truck, which had been parked in a discreet corner whilst Rebecca and Jonathan went shopping, giving her the chance to study the late artist’s notebook if she so desired.

Meanwhile Jonathan and Becca would set foot within the tiny fancy dress shop, with the battered blonde making a show of thanking him for picking her up from the hospital and asking him if the police had caught the other driver yet. It was a pretty straight forward lie and one that Becca hoped would stop the shopkeeper; a middle aged black woman with dark curly hair and glasses, or any of the other customers from making any accusations as to how she’d received her injuries.

After perusing through what the tiny shop had on offer they’d eventually settle on a pair of wigs; one light brown, one red, a set of green contact lenses and a pair of costume glasses as somehow Rebecca couldn’t see her friend coping with the contacts on a long term basis. As disguises went they were pretty basic but they should keep Zani from being spotted by the casual observer, especially if they changed them regularly enough. As for Rebecca’s appearance, all she could do was cover over some of the worst of the bruising with some concealer and hope the rest didn’t take too long to heal as wearing a wig was kind of a waste of time when you looked like you’d just gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson.

After finding a nearby bar that wasn’t too crowded, the three of them would set to work altering Zani’s appearance by pinning back her long dark hair so that she could wear one of the wigs along with the pair of glasses they’d bought “Well…you don’t look quite as much like you anymore” Becca quietly mused as she checked that Zani’s hair was completely hidden beneath the wig before then voicing the question that had been on her mind for quite some time now “So…um…guys I was just wondering…after we’ve had a drink, what’s our next move?”


The truck cab had died down, with Zani and Becca talking in whispers, probably conspiring about how they would join forces with the bilge crabs and take over the world. Probably not, but it was a good theory to keep stored, just in case. Becca had gotten Johnathan's phone out of its storage spot, after a brief struggle with the latch. How could he have been so forgetful? Of course asking someone who was suffering from broken fingers to perform intricate tasks was a bad idea. He'd have to remember that fact in the future. The rest of the drive was fairly quiet; with only the sounds of the radio and the occasional instructions from the GPS app, once Becca found a costume shop, to keep Johnathan company. Fortunately, the drive wasn't too long, and they presently arrived at their first destination, a small but well kept costume store, tended by a middle aged woman of African descent. With Zani keeping the truck company, Johnathan and Becca entered the place to retrieve the disguises. The blonde made a show of asking Johnathan if the police had caught the other driver yet. But there hadn't been a driver, it was done by some gangsters or ruffians or mods or... She was acting in front of the store owner to explain her injuries. Clever girl. "Fraid not, but you know how drunk drivers are. They'll nab him soon. Once had a drunk drive through my living room. Clipped the corner while drifting through my lawn on Easter Sunday. They found him quickly enough, what with the busted rear end. Never did get to finish In the Name of the Father, though. Well..." The two looked through the shop, what little it had to offer, and eventually settled on a couple of wigs, one red and one black, a set of green colored contacts, and a pair of tinted sunglasses. After paying for the gear, the two headed back to the truck where Zani was still waiting; she luckily had not been vanned away while they were gone. Johnathan then drove them to a nearby bar, called the Station, and found an inconspicuous parking spot. While Zani and Becca were adjusting their disguises, the blonde librarian brought up a good question. What were they going to do? They didn't really know what they were up against, nor why anyone would want to frame a librarian for murder? It just didn't make sense. Johnathan would have liked to have known who they were up against, but that wasn't the priority right now. It was keeping those two safe. "Like I said before, we'll go camping tonight. Stay off the grid a bit. If we suspect anything, I'll get us across state lines. I've got some equipment stored there that I didn't want to risk bringing here. If we can't get across the border, there's this place I know that might be able to help us. But first, let's get those drinks." Johnathan got out of the truck, and led the way into the establishment. Luckily, the place wasn't crowded, and they managed to find an empty table in a corner. "Sorry, I can't drink; I'm DD tonight. But whatever these two lovely ladies want, and I guess a pitcher of Arnold Palmer for myself. With sweet tea. Thanks." With the server running off to get their orders, Johnathan settled down into the booth. "It'd be a bit easier to plan if we knew who these other people were. You all have any ideas about who might be behind this?"


Suddenly everything began to violently shake; splitting the earth as blood rain rain fell in torrents as the very sky was torn asunder giving all those unfortunate to be looking a glimpse of a horrifying being moments before the whole world was plunged into eternal darkness.

The End