Master of puppets - Chapter 1

Story Feb 25, 2023

The heat was becoming unbearable.

It was barely dawn, when Kara looked out of the rickety bus window that was taking her back to Los Ranchos.

Summer camp hadn’t been all that exciting.  Hell, it had felt like actual torture, but…anything to make her parents happy.  After taking in a hearty amount of fresh air, the girl let herself fall back on the seat, closing her eyes while her earphones flooded her with some of her favourite songs.

Next to Kara, a punk looking girl sat uneasily, her short hair dyed green.

She was wearing one of her signature chokers, and an enviable quantity of assorted necklaces, bracelets and other trinkets.  Her clothes, exclusively encompassing shades of black, seemed like a poor man’s version of Kara’s own outfit.

“Ugh, aren’t we there yet?” groaned the girl, trying to get Kara’s attention by lovingly elbowing her in the ribs.

The brunette turned to her, sighing and taking an earphone off.

“What is it, Dolores?”

“No, you know, I was saying, when the fuck are we getting there?”

Kara shot a look at the desert road.

“I don’t know, about 15 minutes, I guess” she answered.

“Let me listen, will you?” shot back the other.

Kara quickly passed her the earbuds, blasting the meanest metal she had in her playlist. The two girls gave each other a knowing smile and a complicit grin crept on their lips.

Time went by in a flash while music accompanied it, and the bus finally came to a stop.

The first to get off was a tall boy, curly red hair and cheeks covered in freckles, a sly look in his eyes. His name was Patrick.

Kara couldn’t take her eyes off him, while she followed behind.

“You’re drooling” joked her friend, drawing Kara's attention back to her.

Kara blushed deeply, hiding her face.

“Fuck off, Dolores!” she hissed back.

Right after them came a guy with an impressive, if badly kept, beard, his clothes purposefully ripped and an open, checked shirt hanging off him. His name was Zachary.

The last group followed. The cool kids.

Standing out among them was a golden haired girl with a snooty expression painted on her too-pretty face. Her designer clothes were religiously chosen in only the most obnoxious pastel shades.

Next to her towered her bizarro version, a freakishly tall young man, peering at everyone else from behind his expensive shades, dressed in only black and grey under an expensive leather jacket.

“Ugh, let’s get outta here, Habel’s cologne feels like it’s punching me” quipped Dolores, her nose twisting in disgust.

“Weird, I can only smell Beverly’s gallon of perfume” answered Kara, her black painted lips quirking up.

They stayed there to chat a bit while the bus sped off.  Finally, Kara waved her friend goodbye, and tried to scrape up some courage. Every interaction was harder without the punk by her side.

She made her way into the shady, run down bar they’d been left in front of, glancing around.

Beverly didn’t seem to be around. Maybe luck was finally on her side.

Habel gestured towards the brunette, who simply lifted an eyebrow before approaching.

“A drink?” he asked. His mellow voice and silver tongue could make every girl fall at his feet. But not Kara, who just shrugged.

“If you’re paying.”

He ordered a Bloody Mary for her, and the two sat in silence, sipping from their respective glasses, while Zachary and Patrick were already planning their night of booze and junk food.

Kara’s eyes really didn’t seem to want to unglue themselves from the red-haired boy. Simply hearing his voice was making her heart thrum in her chest, but he didn’t even seem to notice, almost as if she was invisible to his eyes.

She shook the thought away, taking another long sip of her drink.

Still, Kara wasn’t the only one shooting languid looks towards someone.

Indeed, while her dirty thoughts ran rampant, two icy eyes stared right back, hidden behind those shades, masking who knows what kind of thoughts.

“Blunt break?” Blurted Zachary, drawing the others’ attention, while he slammed his glass back on the counter with the grace of a rampaging elephant.

“Fuck yeah” nodded Patrick, pulling out his infamous “factory”: all the components needed for proper joint rolling, including the smelliest weed ever possessed by man, all hidden in his trusty man-purse.

The two started walking out of the bar, while the girl followed the redhead closely, Habel following leisurely behind her.

Once outside, Kara pulled out her half empty pack of cigarettes from her purse, putting one between her lips.

She would’ve loved for Patrick to light it for her.

But he was too busy fucking around with his blunt buddy to pay attention to her.

She breathed a disappointed sigh and lit her smoke, while something terrible approached from the east.

A rumble like a court of demons going to war shook the ground, while the roar of a long forgotten beast echoed across the dry, cracked ground.

A dark green Harley raced along the empty highway, the visual distortion from the heat seemingly increasing tenfold around it, making it look more like a hellish painting from a mad artist than an actual piece of technology.

The sun rose behind it, deep crimson, its fiery ray stifled by the proper sandstorm the emerald beast was raising while clawing its way along the ruined tarmac.

Kara thought she smelled blood.

The rider wrenched the handles to the side, pulling the monstrous weight of the motorcycle to the side and bringing it to a stop.

Everyone’s eyes stared right into the black visor, and Patrick even forgot to keep up his sly expression.

The newcomer took the hefty headgear off, revealing long, fiery red hair.

Her dark green leather jacket covered her shoulders, and physics-bending stilettos made her already long legs seem endless while she strode towards the group.

Her steps stopped in front of the other redhead.

“Dez” stiffly greeted Patrick.

“We gotta talk.” An order from the woman, not a request.

Her green eyes darted between their faces, eliciting gasps and uneasiness. Then, they stopped on Kara.

The woman bit her lip, lustful.

“Hey sugar.” Two simple words made goosebumps shoot along her spine.

The redhead’s attention went back to Patrick, who passed his joint to Zachary before following the woman.

“Not here” he said, making Dez shrug her leather clad shoulders. Before entering the bar, her predatory eyes shot one last look towards Kara.

Nothing good could come of this.