Ten year old Corey Heath was screaming at, and being screamed at by his teacher, Mr. Harris.
Both were red faced from the effort, and inches away from each other's faces.
It looked like a fucked up wrestling promo come to life.
No one standing outside of this exchange could make out what was said, but Harris said something that hit Corey like a knife, and made him cry like a baby.
It must have been nasty, because Corey was a tough kid.
Harris covered his ass with a mountain of lies, and Mr. Pacer, who wasn't even there, backed him up, and Corey was quietly expelled.
Wayne Vance felt even worse about the "Corey's trap", tape.
It haunted him from then on.
A man named Xed drove a motorcycle.
Xed Of The Undead.
Xed sported a black leather jacket, black leather pants, black leather work-boots, a spiked collar, black gloves, long black hair, a purple t-shirt with an orange "X", and a purple motorcycle helmet with a similar orange "x" on the forehead.
In his wallet was a fake ID that named him as "Strafe Tumult".
It was one of many aliases.
The bike he rode was green with yellow piping, and had a yellow seat to match the piping.
He drove his motorcycle away from the gaudy neon Hellhole of Vega$, and across the Nevada desert.
He had just left a biker's convention that had gone way south.
Davey's Biker Extravaganza it had been called.
"More like Dracula's bigass abattoir", he thought to himself gloomily.
For indeed, the convention was held at a casino made to look like a black Gothic castle.
Behind him, miles away now, almost vanishing in smallness, timed explosives went off, and the castle imploded, and collapsed into a plume of dust.
"Good riddance", he grumbled.
Speaking of good riddances, he had an anniversary to observe.
He headed towards Lentilville.
Three days later, he arrived.
He'd gone virtually non stop, stopping only for gas, and caffeine.
He turned down a back country road on the outskirts, and then down a wooded trail on that road.
The wooded trail between Bog-Gob and his neighbor.
The same neighbor who saw Xed drive by as he mowed his back lawn on his ride on mower.
The neighbor simply looked confused, then shrugged, and kept mowing.
The trail eventually took XED back out at the hill with the Den Of Seclusion house, which he drove past oblivious to its secrets.
Xed needed to wet his whistle, so he stopped off first at The Groylan Bar.
Xed stepped through the doors.
Jerry looked at the pale stranger, fully and calmly aware that he was a vampire.
“Say, that reminds me of an old joke”, he said to Vinnie, who sat on the opposite side of the table from him.
“Let’s have it”, Vinnie said.
“Okay, vampire walks into a bar, and he asks the bartender for a cup of blood.
Bartender goes out, kills a rat, drains the blood into a glass, brings it to the
vampire. Vampire drinks it, goes on his merry way.
Next night, same thing.
Third night, different vampire, says his friend told him about the place, asks for a cup of boiling water.
Confused, the bartender obeys.
Vampire pulls out a tampon, dips it in the boiling water,
goes ‘I like mine instant!’”.
“Stupid”, grumbled Vinnie.
“Oh yeah? Well fuck you too, man! Let’s hear your jokes, you’re such connoisseur of humor!”.
Vinnie had been squinting at the vampire up at the bar the whole time.
Finally, he muttered “I think I went to school with that guy!”.
“No shit!?”, gasped Jerry.
“You gonna go say something?”, Jerry then asked.
A long pause from Vinnie and then “nahhh, he was kind of a dick”.
“Yeah, well people can change”, Jerry offered.
“Nah, not this guy. Trust me”, grumbled Vinnie who then permanently shifted his attention to his over-sized fancily decorated drink.
The vampire walked up to the bar.
“What can I get for you, stranger?”, the bartender asked.
“Ah, Christ, I dunno, you got anything blue?”.
“Well, there’s this”, the bartender said, producing a bottle from behind the bar.
“No, I don’t want that”.
“Label looks gay. Got something else?”.
“Um, how about this?”.
“That’s got float-y things in it. What are the float-y things?”.
“Um...says here, um...yeah, it’s in some funny language, so I dunno”.
“What do you mean funny language?”, the vampire asked.
“Well, like not Chinese or Japanese...like, I can’t read ‘em or tell ‘em apart, but I can at least tell if it’s in that neighborhood, but this is like, some weird...y’know, a funny language. Like advanced math or flying saucer markings or something”.
“Um, yeah, I’ll have the alien juice with the float-y things”, the vampire finally decided.
The bartender set down a shot-glass, and tipped the bottle, about to pour.
“No, I can tell that’s not gonna be enough, give me a big glass”, the vampire said.
“Oh, alright then”, the bartender said, pulling out a big duralex glass.
“Yeah, fill that up to almost spilling, there you go”, the vampire mumbled.
Then, the drink being poured per his instructions, the vampire leaned down, sipped down the excess until he could pick up the glass without spilling, and downed the rest like it was soda.
The vampire could’ve sworn he saw a guy he went to high school with off in the corner.
Xed paid the bartender, and left, pulling from a jacket pocket a copy of "The Man Who Should Not Be", and tossed it into the trash can outside.
He then pulled a 40 watt laser rifle from the side trunk of his bike, and set the book, and thus all of the trash can's contents, alight.
Xed took off, and headed towards the errand he came here for.
He went to the Bateman Cemetary Hill, and found the grave he was looking for in the spot it had always been.
The gravestone marked "Charles Edward Harris".
Xed unzipped, produced his penis, and urinated heartily onto the grave.
"Drink it, you evil old pile of shit", he whispered.
He zipped up, and mounted his bike again.
The gas gauge was low.
"Fuggin' gas guzzler", he mumbled.
It was virtually the bike's official nickname at this point.
He headed towards the nearest gas station.
He arrived at Big Tomato, a gas station/mini-mart that advertised under it's main banner "Candy, Comix, Gas".
It was one of the few full-service stations left in Lentilville, and the attendant, whose name tag read "Jayce", started filling up the tank while Xed went inside the store for a snack.
As Xed walked off, Jayce mumbled "ass clenching excitement", sarcastically to himself.
Just then, a van full of superheroes pulled up.
Jayce, being a bore, and a dimwit, didn't appreciate what he was seeing, and died alone and forgotten just 20 years later.
Meanwhile, Xed bought a pack of gum, and a bag of shredded pizza cheese with a corny superhero on the bag exclaiming the product name in a word balloon, which was "Cheese of Freedom!!!!".
He had a use for it bubbling in his head.
He paid for the gas and food, and stepped out in the parking lot where he saw a photo booth with some pictures still sticking out of the slot.
He grabbed the strip, and saw a guy in an orange bug suit making goofy faces.
He then looked up, and saw the bug suit guy with his arms crossed tapping his foot, wordlessly expecting the photos back.
Xed handed them over casually without a hint of surprise at Avian Louse's appearance.
He'd seen crazier shit in his days.
Avian Louse saw Xed holding the bag of "Cheese of Freedom!!!!", and got an inspired look on his face.
"Hey, man!! There you are!! I've missed you so fucking much!! How come you never call anymore? Nevermind that! Do you wanna join my superhero team? Of course you do!! Get over here, you big lug!".
JS and the other heroes gathered.
Xed was simply confused, but was assessing the situation moment by moment.
JS introduced everyone, and gave him the sales pitch.
Xed thought about it, and figured "what the Hell?".
Avian Louse caved in, and admitted he didn't know Xed, nor indeed did he know a guy period.
But, he'd found a guy, so all was well.
Excruciationizer recognized him as Corey Heath, and Commander Continuum played him the MP3 version of the "Corey's trap", tape.
Xed just let out a bored nostril exhale laugh, and said "that's what the big federal case was over? That school was so fucking lame. This town is a fucking toilet, it really is".
And with that, years of psychic damage vanished for Commander Continuum in a puff of smoke.
Minutes later, Xed was on his bike following the van back to the Den Of Seclusion house.
Four hours after that, it was nightfall, and Xed was back on the road by himself.
He still had solo errands to run.
He was back on Bog-Gob's street, and a dog was getting in someone's trash.
He put out a paper plate, and put a wad of Cheese of Freedom on it as bait.
The dog went up to it, and started to nibble.
Xed pulled out his laser rifle, and lased the dog.
The dog let out a yelp, and ran back towards his house.
Xed drove off.
The dog only received a slight fur singe, but it scared him as was intended.
The owner of the dog ran out, shouting "Faust, what's a-matter, boy?", and inspected him.
The owner's mailbox read "Tucker".
Of "fuck Tuckers, Tuckers suck".
Xed turned around, and came back, and sped past Mr. Tucker, smashing him in the face with a chain, and knocking him flat on his back, and out cold.
Xed emptied the rest of the Cheese of Freedom onto Mr. Tucker's face, and sped off once and for all.
Faust proceeded to eat the cheese, then his master's face down to the skull.
Mr. Tucker's wife looked out the window, mistook him laying in the street for him being passed out from a drunken bender, and said "tch, fuckin' Eric", and pulled the blinds shut, turned out the lights, and went to bed.
Eric Tucker's neighbor, the one who had been mowing the lawn previously that morning, saw the carnage slowly unfolding, took it in for what it was, smiled, and casually sipped soda from his 40th birthday mug.
It was going to be a good year.
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