The Fletcher Family Problem
“A plan B? Plan Bs never work out in the movies. You ever see Picard say, ‘oh never mind, let’s do plan B.’” Flint was annoyed and anxious at the thought of cloaked demon worshippers standing in their path.
Roan was less than thrilled as well, but the plan to run into the garage and grab the much needed cauldron was no longer an option. They huddled behind a tall wooden fence and spoke in hushed whispers, just barely able to hear one another.
Sheriff Dunn counted her ammunition and shook her head. “I don’t have enough to take them all down. I could scare them, but they are readying for a battle with a demon. I might as well wave a spit-ball shooter in front of them.”
“I could reason with them? There’s are enough Fletcher family cars here, they might show some compassion and help us out,” Roan suggested.
“One of those Fletchers cut your arm open a little while ago,” Flint reminded him.
“So we can rule out compassion, gotcha,” Roan said with a point of the finger toward Flint. He looked down at his arm. The bleeding had stopped, but he imagined as soon as the adrenaline rush that had been running through him the entire day ended it would hurt something awful.
Celia rose to her feet and muttered something unintelligible. She looked around frantically, taking in every bit of the surrounding area.
“You guys wait here. When you hear my signal, go to the driveway and follow my lead,” she said before running to the back of the house.
No one said a word. Celia had taken the situation out of their hands and all that was left to do was await the mysterious signal.
It came a few minutes later with the sound a car windshield being shattered very heavy.
“That’s gotta be it,” the Sheriff said. She raised her firearm and ran to the driveway, the two young men trailing close behind here.
“Everybody stop what you are doing now!” The sheriff shouted.
The cloaked figures set the cauldron on the driveway and faced the three glaring faces at the end of the driveway.
Each slowly removed their hoods to reveal their identities. All except one nearest the garage. That tall figure kept his gaze downward and tilted away. Roan found it odd that the other figures, all elder men of the Fletcher and Eastman families, were so quick to reveal themselves and face their threat, but one remained hidden.
Roan and Flint flanked the Sheriff. They clinched their fists and gave as menacing a stare as 18 year olds still ridding themselves of baby-fat cheeks could muster.
“You three should move along,” said Roan’s uncle, Marv. Marv was owner of a seldom frequented bait-n-tackle shop outside of town. He was far from a commanding presence, but his tone was unnerving in this matter. He spoke little at family holiday gatherings, but his words from the base of the driveway sent chills through Roan’s spine.
“Roan, you need to get away from this cauldron. You and it in one spot is basically a beacon to Comesh,” said Clark Eastman, a local drunk who abandoned everything he ever began. He was being looked upon with admiration by the others in the circle of cloaks.
“What in friggin’ crap is going on here?” Roan asked.
“Watch your language, Roan,” Grandpa Fletcher warned from near the cauldron.
“We are stopping the demon from devouring our families whole,” Clark replied.
The other murmured in agreement.
“I fought off a zombie earlier today. Do not give me an enigmatic response, you drunk. Why aren’t you drunk right now? I think that might be the strangest part of the day,” Roan rattled off questions.
He would get no answers. On the roof above and behind the driveway Celia was stepping nearer the gutters yielding large rocks that had once been prominent features of a decorative pond in Roan’s back yard. Roan tried to hide a smile, knowing it would betray his purpose and alert the old men to their impending doom, but he was far too proud of his cousin’s efforts.
“What are you looking at? What happened to Celia?” Grandpa Fletcher asked.
He was the first to feel Celia’s wrath. She hurled rocks as fast as she could at the cloaks. Roan felt that no answers could possibly be better than seeing his scheming, knife happy grandpa take a blow to the back by a heavy rock.
“Grab the cauldron and run, guys!” Celia shouted as she ran out of rocks. She jumped from the roof onto the still hooded figure, bringing him to the ground while providing her a surprisingly soft landing.
The other men in cloaks rolled over the driveway moaning and clutching their injuries, some complaining of blindness and others just drooling over themselves. Celia was merciless in her assault.
“Celia, you rock!” Flint said failing to notice the pun.
“Don’t be a dork,” Celia replied. She took his hand and was lifted off the barely conscious cloaked man.
Flint did not understand her comment and Roan found it much more amusing to not explain it.
“Get the cauldron into the truck, keys are in the visor,” Roan instructed. The four worked as fast as they could to lift the heavy cast iron cauldron into Roan’s family truck.
“Sheriff, if you would kindly remove their vehicles from play,” Celia said.
“With pleasure,” replied the Sheriff as she fired her last rounds into the tires of the surrounding cars.
“Roan, Roan wait,” said the quiet voice of the man Celia had pounced on.
Roan thought the voice familiar, but the gunshots were still ringing in his ears. Roan walked to the man and knelt beside him. He removed his hood and his heart sunk. His father had kept the cowl on his head, ashamed of his participation and fearful of his son’s reaction.
“Dad?” Roan asked.
“You need to get to Town Hall. Find the scepter in the judge’s chamber. Boil the flower that grows along route 4 in some water, put it in the cauldron and stir it with the scepter. Do this and you should be safe. I’m so sorry about this. Go.” Roan’s dad laid his head down and wept.
Roan said nothing and ran to the idling truck. He jumped into the passenger’s seat and stared forward.
“Go,” he said.
The Sheriff put the full weight of her foot on the accelerator. Tires squealed and smoked behind the bed where Flint and Celia sat, holding the critical cauldron. There was slight bump as the truck left the driveway. Roan hoped it was an Eastman.
As the house fell to the horizon Roan fought back tears. His Grandfather’s betrayal was not entirely out of character. Finding his dad taking part in the bait plan cut deeper than any knife could manage.
Thanks for reading!
Find out why they had to go with Plan B by reading the rest of the story at these links: