Friday, August 16, 2002

jonas - part 4

read parts 1 2 3

He'd managed to pick up a few good back issues of New Teen Titans up at Mr. Paperback. A few of the first issues, where the main villain was Deathstroke aka the Terminator. In later issues, Deathstroke would enlist and have an affair with a psychotic young girl with powers of controlling the earth. Terra. A member of the Titans, but a traitor, who would come close to destroying them. Deathstroke was a professional mercenary and assassin, with enhanced skills and senses. Even though he was blind in one eye, he wore a mask with one side blacked out, he was so good at his trade he could advertise his weakness.

The new issue looked like a shocker, Kid Flash and Robin quitting at the same time? Damn.

Besides the killer art and storyline, Jonas knew it was the adult themes in the book that drew him in as well. Here was a book called Teen Titans, and they were pretty open about sex. Robin and Starfire waking up in bed together, Terra and the Terminator, obviously sexually involved, even though Deathstroke was in his fifties or sixties.

There was a green "walk" flashing across the street and Jonas decided to hit Stop 'n' Go for a soda and some Centipede. He walked in the door and heard the jingle of the electronic bell. The clerk was a twenty-something guy with scraggly sideburns and a receding hairline.

He was on the third level of Centipede when he realized the clerk had disappeared. Had to be in the back.

At the end of the fifth level, Jonas still had two ships left, but still no sign of the clerk. "Hello?" he said loudly.

No answer.

Well fuck that he wasn't going to screw up his game over this guy. He lost his ships pretty fast from there, though, and when he was done, he looked around the store. Everything seemed normal, but no clerk, and really, something just did not feel right. That's right kids, the Superfriends want to remind you to never get in a car with strangers, especially if they've got tights and a complicated belt on.

"Hello? Is anyone back there?" Jonas looked toward the back of the store and the door to the back office, next to the cardboard cutout of the 7 foot indian with rows and rows of beef jerkey, was open. Creeping up to the door, he looked and saw a lit stairway heading down. At the bottom of the stairway, which was stone and grey, no carpeting, no paint, and about twenty steps, was a closed green door. What the fuck?

Jonas started down the stairs, and was about halfway to the door, when he heard the door above him slam closed. Just as he was about to panic, the lights went out.

Somehow the darkness stifled his scream. He felt the fear, but somehow kept his brain up front. "Hello, is someone up there, please open the door!" Ok, he was kind of screaming. Shit he was only ten years old.

No answer. Jonas made his way slowly up the stairs in what had become a pitch dark. He could feel his heart racing.

He reached the landing and felt for the door. Walking forward, forward, and then, seemingly much further from where the door had been, he finally felt a handle. With a hello and a goodbye to God, he turned the handle.

The door opened and the light blinded him momentarily. Stumbling into the room, Jonas realized he was stepping on carpet where before had been linoleum. Cracking his eyes, he saw blue. Blue curtains, blue seat cushions, blue lampshades, and a blue birdcage with a yellow and red parrot inside.

Jonas was not in Stop 'n' Go. Jonas was in someone's living room. There was a picture window in the next room, which had a beige theme going on. He stepped into the adjoining room and took a look out front. Not a sound. Wait, this was his neighborhood, there was the Franklins' house across the street. That meant his house was up the street, that meant

he was in Mrs. Hawthorne's house, home of the one legged talking dog, and about a mile and a half away from Stop 'n' Go.

"Cookie jar, cookie jar," the parrot squawked.