(Just joining us? You may want to start at the beginning.)
They all started blankly at the monitor, jaws slightly agape.
"This ... this is incredible."
"What's in the garage, dude?"
"I don't know, Dill."
"JD, how do we go search for the ... whatever ... if we don't know what it is?"
JD shrugged helplessly. "I ... don't know."
"Well, whiskey tango foxtrot then, bubba?"
"WTF, dude? What the ... fudge?"
"I wish I could tell you. I have no idea what this means, if anything."
"'If anything'? JD, you're not going to be asinine about this, are you?"
"Wendy, I'm just saying -- I have no clue if this has any meaning, or if it's a weird coincidence, or if it's just a distortion from transferring the recording from the handheld to the PC. I can't answer any questions now."
"Well, we have to search the garage. For something."
"Aw, dudes ... we gotta do that tonight? Can't we do it in th' mornin'?"
"We're going to have to. The garage is downright hazardous. There's a lot of things just thrown in there. Someone could get hurt in the dark."
"Yeah, or a ghost could show up."
"Well, I'm more concerned about someone getting hurt."
"An' I'm more concerned 'bout the ghosts showin' up. That'd blow."
JD sighed. "Either way, we can't go looking around out there now. I don't even know if there are any lights in it."
"Damn," Wendy said, biting her lip nervously. "This feels important to me. I guess ... I guess it has to wait."
JD put his arm over her shoulder and she pressed into him more fully, laying her head on his chest.
"We'll look in the daylight, Wen. I promise."
"Meantime, I needa eat, dudes. Nourishment, y'know?"
"Jeez, has it been two hours already? Time flies when you're flinging mud."
"Two hours since what, dude?"
"Since your last feeding, of course."
"Nah, it's been longer'n that, homes."
"Whatever. You'll have to call for delivery or go get it yourself. I can't miss the events when they start."
"We have a couple of hours, JD. Let's just go get something and bring it back."
"Yeah, dude. I don' know my way 'round this dive anyway."
"Yes, with only one primary road, I can see how that'd be confusing for you."
"Ooh, a fancy word for you."
"'Kay, then, how 'bout an ass? That work better for ya?"
"Guys, can you bag it please? C'mon, let's get some food and get back."
"No, I don't want pizza," JD said. "How about sandwiches?"
"I don't know. Subs?"
"How 'bout hoagies?"
"Is there a difference?"
"Are you a pompous ass?"
"I don't think so."
"But I do, so th' answer's yes."
"Guys? I'm seriously going to beat the crap out of both of you. I'll go look for something. There's gotta be a McDonald's or something around here somewhere, right?"
"I wouldn't necessarily count on it, Wen," JD said. "It's a pretty sleepy little town, as far as I can tell."
"Yeah, but come ON, dude. EVERY town's got a McD's."
He shrugged. "All right, let's see what we can find."
"What time do we need to be back again? A little before nine, right?"
"Right. But I want to be back here before that if we can. I have a feeling there's more to the picture than we've seen. I wanted to see where the man coming through the window came from." He opened the front door and then turned to lock it behind them.
"Dude, he came from the other side o' the window. What're you, stupid?"
"I mean BEFORE that, Dillon, thank you."
"Before that the bushes. You seen the footprint same as we did, dumbass." They headed for Wendy's car parked just down the street from the large Victorian.
"Dillon ... do you WANT to be a ghost? I can arrange it for you."
"No thanks. Don't putcherself out."
"It's no trouble. Really."
"Guys? I'm going to kick the hell out of both of you."
"I think JD wants ya to. That's why he's being a dick t'me."
"I'm not. You're being a jerk."
"I'm never a jerk. Am I Wen?"
"Yes, you are, Dilly. Can we all just ... shut up now?"
"Yes, you are. And yes, JD's a dick too. Happy now? Both of you?" She jangled her car keys to find the remote and unlock the doors.
They stopped, noticing JD's face. He was staring down the street that ran along the side of the house where the parlor was. Behind the thick bushes and the tall, stoic trees, a truck was parked, headlights blazing toward them.
"Who's that?" Wendy breathed.
"I don't know," JD answered quietly.
"Dudes, it's a truck. Somebody's getting a delivery or somethin'."
The headlights of the large vehicle, well off the ground and bright enough to obscure its form from their vision in the dark little neighborhood, moved slowly forward.
"Why ... why don't I hear the truck?"
"I don't hear it either."
"Ah, shit dudes. I bet this is more crap."
The headlights pulled forward to the corner of the large lot, then turned and headed away from them. The red glowing tail lights then vanished up another street to the right as they watched it go.
And they never saw the truck. Only its lights.
"JD ... what's going on?"
JD shook his head, watching silently.
They never heard a sound.
"Should ... dude, do we follow? What the heck is that, man?"
"I don't know. I never heard it. Did you hear it?"
They both shook their heads.
"JD, this is weird. TOO weird. Let's see what's going on."
"Uh ... well ... I suppose, but ..."
She looked at him, brows knitting over her flashing eyes. "What, baby?"
"I'm ... I'm a little afraid to follow it, Wen."
"Dude! You don't tell yer woman yer SCARED, man! That's for pussies!"
"I don't care, Dill. I don't want to get caught out here in some weird time-warp situation again and be wandering around in the street for five hours again."
"Do you think it was a ... a ghost truck?"
He nodded. "I do. I think that's the truck Darren Jenkins was supposed to meet the two murders with on the night that Robin Brown was killed. I think he was early, not late, like the others indicated. I just don't know why."
"Well, if he's supposta bring a truck for them two dudes, where's he goin'?"
"I don't know. I'd love to find out, but I'm not willing to follow that truck. I don't know ... what could happen."
"We can't just go ... nowhere, do nothing, JD."
"I know, Wendy, but ..."
"Dude, I'm with you for a change. Let's just get some food an' get outta here."
Wendy sighed, staring up the street. The thick mature trees hid the side street from plain view. It wound away through the tiny neighborhood out of sight. They couldn't see any more from where they were.
"All right. Get in. Let's get Dilly fed and get back. We can worry about it another time, I guess."
She chirped the remote and the door locked clacked open. They piled in, and Dillon sprawled over the back seat, slithering under one of the seat belts.
JD caught her glance at him and smiled. That ridiculously giddy feeling thrilled his innards when she smiled back, tipping her head slightly while she put the car in gear.
"Love you, baby," she winked at him.
"I love you too." It seemed to come so much more easily each time he said it.
She pulled the wheel and pointed the car down the street, and as the car came about, she suddenly jerked the wheel right and took them up the small side street.
"WHOA, HEY!" Dillon protested, the G-forces whipping his wiry body about like a doll on a string. Wendy cackled deviously, and accelerated up the slight incline.
"I knew it," JD sighed.
"You sure did, punkin," she giggled. "Did you really think I was just going to let that go?"
"You're a smart man, lover-boy."
"What the fu -- Wen, whattaya doin'??"
"Going after that truck, Dilly. We need to know what's going on. I intend to find out."
She laughed wildly as the car sped up the hill, the street bending slightly right. She negotiated the turn quickly and was suddenly blinded by the glaring headlights just around the narrow road's crook.
She gasped and slammed on the brakes, hurling Dillon and JD forward, yanking the wheel to the right to try and avoid the larger vehicle, but it was too late, too suddenly late.
She shut her eyes and Dillon screamed, the high-pitched wail of a person in fear for his life. JD shut his eyes tightly and covered his face with his arms, expecting the sudden slam and sickening crunch of metal and plastic.
The car stopped, jarring them back forcefully against their seats.
Wendy's knuckles were bone-white where she clutched the steering wheel tightly, and slowly, carefully, JD lowered his arms from his face. Dillon whimpered in the back.
"We ... didn't hit."
There was nothing in front of them. Not a car, truck or any other vehicle. The road was empty.
She checked the mirror. Nothing.
"It's ... it wasn't real."
"I ... I guess not," JD agreed, turning to look back over his shoulder out the rear window. "It was a ... ghost truck, I guess."
"Dudes ... please dudes ... can we just go get some frickin' food?? Please?"