A Speedy Beaver bus was making its way down a mountain road towards a sleepy town called Gravity Falls in road kill territory Oregon. Every so often the bus would jump a little as it went over the bumpy road. There were two passengers that were aboard the long distance bus, both of them sitting in the back. The younger one watching the wood lands pass them by occasionally seeing some deer minding their own lives without a care for the metal thing running by. The other was busy playing a mindless game that was built into her fancy new phone to pass the time. It was nothing much, just Bejeweled but it did its job of helping her pass the time. Besides she was just about to beat her previous high score which was always nice.
“Thanks again for come’in with me Pacifica.” The white haired albino next to the preteen said suddenly to break the silence. He had a wary smile on his face that made the girl, Pacifica, raise a brow an inch. Her friend had been acting a bit off since his Dad made him go stay with his great-uncle, whose name she forgot for the moment, for the summer. It was either this or summer camp, the actually camping kind. Either way his folks decided the chubby kid needed to get some fresh air.
“No problem Gideon.” Pacifica answered as she tapped away on her fancy cellphone. She eyed him again with her ocean blue eyes, he was anxiously looking out the window again. Her mouth twitched slightly, he’d been acting like this for long enough without explaining. Time to get some answers.
“So,” She said catching the kid’s attention, “What’s this great-uncle of yours like? Just asking because, ya know, we’ll be like stuck with him for the summer and all.”
Her question sounded casual but her ten year-old friend looked at her like she’d accused him of something. His fingers danced on his laps nervously causing Pacifica to stop playing her game and raise her blond brow a fraction further. She fully turned her head to him when the boy began stammering,
“Well…um...he’s…how one would say,” Gideon thinned his lips staring at the “oh so” interesting bus floor, it was kinda dirty, “…how should I…put this, in a gentle manner…” He glanced at his friend who gave him a look indicating for him to spit it out already. Gideon gulped and forced a sheepish grin while making a circling motion next to his head, “He’s supposedly…crazy.”
Both kids jumped when the cliché sound of a cuckoo was heard out of nowhere. Immediately they snapped their heads to the sound, Gideon leaning to the side to get a look. Much to their surprise there was a guy sitting up front with a clock in hand.
“Say ‘Cifca when did that fella get on?” Gideon asked in a hushed whisper, hand up to the side of his mouth to help keep his voice from carrying.
“I have no clue…” Pacifica answered staring at the guy for a moment, why in the world was he carrying a cuckoo clock? She shook her head, it didn’t matter. She looked back to Gideon who was sitting against the seat, “Okay, so your great-uncle is a nutcase who lives by himself in a shack in the woods?” She rolled her eyes, “That’s not creepy at all…”
Gideon grinned nervously as he looked towards the window whilst tapping his fingers together, “I know, I should’ve told yah before we left but…” He gulped, “Truth be told I didn’t want to stay with him by myself…”
Pacifica made a thoughtful hum while clicking out of the game she was playing. They’d be arriving soon and she needed to focus on the conversation at hand. Pacifica looked back to the short boy next to her, “What kind of a crazy is he? Serial killer kind or just plain weird?”
The Texan sounding boy furrowed his brow thoughtfully, “To be honest. I’m not rightfully sure.” He laced his short fingers together as he began to explain, “Ya see for the longest time great-uncle William was disowned from my family. Pa never really did talk about him. I didn’t even know I had a great-uncle till my ninth birthday. The only thing I know about him is that he’s kind of loony.”
The twelve-year-old girl put her phone away in her purple jogging jacket, “So let me get this straight. Your Dad decided it’d be like a great idea to send two kids to live with a nutcase of a great-uncle, who lives in a shack in the woods, for the summer when they haven’t spoken to each other for forever.” Gideon still grinning nervously gave a curt nod. Pacifica huffed, “Serial killer or not still better than staying with my parents for the summer.”
A bead of sweat slipped down the side of Gideon’s pale face, he honestly should have expected that from his friend. Still he rubbed his arm while asking, “So you’re not mad at me?”
“Not really, so long as I don’t have to deal with my snobby parents I’ll deal with a lunatic.” Pacifica answered sounding completely unaffected by the news. She looked to her friend, “Though I got to ask, like why did your Dad send us to him if he’s a nutcase?”
Gideon looked down to the somewhat dirty black floor of the bus again in thought, “I think it just may be because he’s the only one that lives out near the woods. Ya’know by nature and stuff.” The albino titled his head to the side recalling something, “One day he upped and called Pa, they talked for a couple’a hours. Not sure what was said but Pa took him as family again I guess.”
“Uh-huh,” was Pacifica’s comment to his answer. The preteen crossed her arms on her lap, “Anything else you know about this nutcase?”
The boy shook his head, “Other than what ah said already, I don’t know nothing else about’em.”
“This should be an interesting summer then.” Pacifica answered dully as she looked back to the cuckoo clock guy sitting at the front row. She still wondered when he had gotten on the bus. Deciding it was unimportant she asked another question, “What’s he look like?”
“Pa said that he said he wears a top hat all the time.” Gideon answered after a moment’s thought.
Pacifica blinked a couple of times trying to imagine a really old guy wearing a top hat. She leaned back into the bus seat, “This should be a real interesting summer.”
Gideon merely gave her another anxious grin in reply. As the bus made a turn in the mountain road the ten-year-old looked back out the window. He could see the sleepy little town now, the only thing to note was the water tower. He’d never seen a town so small before. Yet he couldn’t help but feel there was something more to it. Gideon wasn’t sure why though, he mentally shrugged it off in favor for nervously wondering what his great-uncle will was like. That was a more pressing concern.
Like Pacifica he didn’t understand how his father Bud would think it was a good idea. He wish he’d overheard the conversation between him and his great-uncle. Had the man gotten help of some sort? Still something didn’t seem right…
The rest of the bus ride was mostly sat in silence. Briefly the two kids made hushed guesses as to when the cuckoo clock guy had got on board. Neither could make a valid claim to it but they settled on the previous bus stop before this one. In the end Pacifica and Gideon waited quietly for the travel bus to come to a stop in Gravity Falls. Gideon nervously waited while Pacifica waited in a somewhat bored manner.
When the Speedy Beaver bus finally came to a halt at the Gravity Fall’s bus station the sun was beginning to set over the mountains, bathing the sky in a warm orange. The two children watched as the cuckoo clock guy got off, carrying no luggage just the clock itself. Grabbing their bags the two hopped off the bus. Looking around the children tried to spot their caregiver for the summer, and when they did the two stared jaws dropping.
“Well,” A smooth voice chimed, a straight, pearly white toothed grin shining, “it’s good to finally meet my great-nephew Gideon.”
Pacifica couldn’t believe the guy they were looking at was Gideon’s great-uncle. She shook her head mildly catching his attention, “No, no way you’re Gideon’s great-uncle. You hardly look past your mid-twenties!”
The man who was apparently William Gleeful gave a slight chuckle, the grin remaining, “Why thank you.” He replied in a weirdly cheery manner. His tone then switched over to a faintly but all too familiar condescending tone, “But I am plenty older than either of you put together.”
Pacifica twitched catching the tone, she’d heard it enough from her parents and this man had a very obvious air of arrogant self-importance. Then again everything about him was not what she’d expected, not what she figured Gideon expected either. Both of them had expected a man that at least looked like he was in his seventies, wearing old people clothing, grey hair (possibly balding), beard, and the typical crazy person look. Instead she was looking at a man who was likely twenty seven, fancily dressed, harvest blond hair, and clearly had an ego the size of the moon. Only the expected top hat was present. The crazy thing was yet to be determined.
Gideon gave the tall, skinny, man a dubious look, “You’re my great-uncle William?”
William looked down at his nephew an exaggerated smile, “Please, call me Will for short, and yes. I did call you my nephew after all.”
“Right…” Gideon answered slowly, the two of them didn’t even look related. Will seemingly didn’t notice or care about the short boy’s skeptical tone.
Suddenly Will’s eyes flicked over to Pacifica putting the girl on alert, “And who are you? You weren’t in the deal.” There was a slight hint of annoyance to his tone causing Pacifica to frown. She didn’t like this guy already.
Not wanting his friend to make a remark that’d put them on his, apparent, great-uncle’s bad side (they were stuck with him for the summer) Gideon quickly cut in, “This is my friend Pacifica! Didn’t my Pa tell you she was coming?”
Only a brief moment passed when Will exclaimed in a chipper manner, “Nope! Not at all!” The two kids exchanged a look, what was with this guy’s mood swings? Will tilted his head, placing a gloved finger on his chin, humming with one eye closed, “Whelp, nothing can be done about it now. Bus is gone and I just can’t let you walk back! The wolves would eat alive you before you got out of the valley!”
The two kids stared at the man in complete shock. It wasn’t just the morbid statement he’d said that shocked them. Oh no, it was the big grin that he had on his face while he said it. Neither were able to tell if he was joking or dead serious about what he said. One thing could be safely assumed though, he was indeed crazy.
While the two children were staring at him Will turned on his black dress shoe heels, “Come along Star-Boy, Llama.”
Both of them did a double take. What, what was with the sudden nicknames!? They’d literally just met the guy! Gideon looked to Pacifica uncertainly, while girl had her eyes pinned on Will she nodded. Not like they had much of a choice. Pacifica decided if the guy tried anything that she’d hit him were the sun don’t shine.
Uncertainly the two kids followed the well-dressed man to his car which was waiting nearby. It was nothing fancy but at least it didn’t look run down. After tossing their luggage in the back they clambered into the backseat. Much to their surprise Will at least didn’t drive like a mad man, but he did run a red light which Gideon was prudent to point out. Will’s response was…
“Silly Star-Boy, there aren’t enough people in this town to have car accidents!” He sighed wistfully, “Unfortunately.”
Again Gideon and Pacifica exchanged uneasy looks with each other.
The drive to William’s shack took a short while, taking them outside of town and into the woods as expected. The shack itself looked nicely up kept, almost welcoming if the two friends didn’t know who owned it. There was a big sign on the side of it reading “Mystery Shack”. The two friends looked to each other again, this time in confusion. Pulling to a stop William got out of his car shutting the door abruptly. Pacifica and Gideon got out of the car and went to retrieve their luggage from the back.
Luggage bag slung over her shoulder, while carrying her mini-golf bag, Pacifica shut the trunk while asking, “What’s with the sign?”
Leaning on a simple black cane he had Will answered nonchalantly while gesturing to the shack, “Oh, didn’t you know? You’ll be working at my road side attraction while you stay! It’ll be fun! Honest!” Again that big grin was plastered onto his face.
Pacifica gave him a look, she knew what he was talking about, “You mean a tourist trap? You’re a con man?”
Will chuckled lightly in amusement, his grin slipping into a sly one, “Con man eh? Stands for confidence man, which, yes, I am very confident.”
“What?” Pacifica blurted out looking confused by the man’s response, to what was supposed to have been an insult. She looked to Gideon who could only shrug in reply.
“Besides,” Will continued seemingly having heard nothing, he walked up to the front porch of his home, twirling his cane in one hand, “I prefer the term liar. Or cheat.” The man brightened, grin stretching wide, “But swindler has such a nice ring to it!”
Pacifica and Gideon weren’t sure if it was a good thing or not that Will was honest about his lying ways. Or if he was joking, but they both had a strong feeling that he wasn’t. Saying nothing to Will’s statement the children followed the man to the front porch. Will was already at the door silently watching them approach. When they were close enough he opened the door and went inside, the door left open.
Coming inside the two kids were greeted with the sight of a gift shop, which wasn’t surprising since there was a sign outside reading “Gifts”. Pacifica and Gideon looked around at the merchandise, it was the typical overpriced gift shop stuff, nothing special. What caught their eyes were the two people making out by the register. Gideon stared while Pacifica groaned out a “bleh”. Will Gleeful looked both unamused and not surprised, a blank look of indifference covering his expression. Walking over to them he unceremoniously whacked them both upside the head with his cane. The two kids flinched the “thwack” was loud even from where they were standing by the door.
“No face sucking during work.” Will stated without the slightest hint of emotion. However when the Goth boy groaned in pain an amused sneer twitched its way onto the tall man’s face.
“Sorry Mr. Gleeful…” The Goth teen groaned rubbing the side of his head, thin as the man was he had a good swing. He blinked when he saw the two children standing at the doorway staring at them, “Who’re the toddlers?”
“That’s Star-Boy and Llama.” Will answered casually whilst leaning up against the counter, “They’ll be staying with me for the summer.”
“So they’ll be working here.” The girl with dark magenta hair and pink highlight elaborated dully, her arms crossed on the counter. She apparently dealt with her thwack upside the head a lot better than her boyfriend.
“Yep!” Will chimed cheerfully.
“Uh actually, my name is Gideon and this is my friend Pacifica.” Gideon corrected, motioning to himself and the girl next to him accordingly. The Goth didn’t respond as he continued nursing what was likely a developing bump on his head.
“Welcome to hell,” Was the teenage girl’s deadpan response. Earning an amused laugh from William while Gideon and Pacifica stared. Was everyone they were going meet like this?
The tall blond in black and yellow continued with introductions, “These two face sucking morons,” the man emphasized that word but the teens ignored it, “are Tambry and Robbie.”
“Uh, hi.” Gideon greeted unsurely with a slight wave. Pacifica was still looking at the three over at the counter, an apathetic girl, Goth boy and a mad man. It sounded like the start of a bad joke. One that they were going to be dealing with all summer. Did that make them the punchline? Despite it all, she was still preferring this over her own parents. At least this would be interesting.
Robbie merely grunted in response, now seeming more annoyed with the bump on his head. It was more than what Tambry gave in response which was nothing but an acknowledging gaze. She knew they were there but wasn’t going to reply to the greeting. This left Gideon in an awkward silence his uncertain smile falling into an uncertain frown. The silence was torn apart by the loud voice of William Gleeful.
“Introductions done, time for you to put your meaningless stuff away!” He said as he pushed off from the counter and strutted out of the gift shop. His two wards followed behind the man deciding not to take the rude remark into consideration.
Will led the pair up some stairs, the old steps creaking a bit when pressure was applied, and all the way up to the attic where two beds were already in place. Gideon and Pacifica left Will standing by the steps to the room and chose their beds. Pacifica taking the one on the right and Gideon on the left. William Gleeful watched the two unpack for a moment before heading back down the stairs, the kids watching him leave.
“I need to make a phone call.” He said before he disappeared down the steps.
Will walked to the living area that was on the first floor towards the back. It was small but comfortably so and lead to the smaller kitchen area. Holding his black cane in the crook of his arm he picked up the black home phone and dialed Bud Gleeful’s number. The tall man leaned on the side table with one eye closed while listening to the droning dial tone. Soon as the typical “Hello” was heard Will cut in saying, “There are two of them.”
“I beg your pardon?” Was the only thing Bud Gleeful, Gideon’s father, could say in response to that.
“There are two of them.” Will repeated then with annoyance added, “That wasn’t in the deal Bucko.”
“Oh, well, good day to you too William.” Bud greeted in a partial mumble.
“An answer Bud. I want one. Now.” Will Gleeful reinforced still sounding more annoyed than actually upset about the fact. By his lax posture of leaning on the side table it was like he was merely going through the motions of the conversation. It needed to be done so he was doing it.
“Okay, okay,” Bud said through the phone line, “Pacifica wanted to get away from her parents for the summer. My little Gideon didn’t seem too fond of going by himself so I figured it’d work out. It was a last minute thing so-”
“You decided to let me find out when they arrived. Yeah, I got that part.” Will snipped irately shifting himself so he was sitting on the side table, the phone getting swapped to his other white gloved hand. The young appearing man seemed thoughtful, “Be glad there weren’t any wolves around for me to toss her to.”
Bud went momentarily silent at the remark, decidedly he ignored it. “Look William, I’m sorry about dumping her on you. I just wanted my Gideon to be comfortable while he stayed with you.”
“Pft,” Will huffed briskly, he leaned back a bit, balancing himself on the side table. It was surprisingly stable, not to mention comfortable too. An amused grin cut its way onto the slightly tanned man’s face, “There’s no need to lie Bud.” Will went on, speaking over a confused noise from Bud, “I very well know you don’t trust me! And that’s okay!”
Another pause from Bud, Will sounded all too relaxed and an okay with not being trusted. He wasn’t able to actually respond when his Uncle continued speaking, “I just called because she isn’t in the deal we made! That needs to be corrected.”
Now Bud understood why he called, and honestly he should have known, “You want to be paid more money.”
“Ding! Ding!” Will chimed in a praising manner, “There you go Bud! I knew there was a brain in there somewhere.”
A sigh came over the phone, “Alright, I’ll double the pay.”
Will hummed in faux unsureness, fingers tapping along the edge of the phone, “Nah, I want triple.”
“W-what!? Triple!?” Bud sputtered in flabbergasted shock. He heard his formerly disowned uncle click his tongue over the phone.
“That’s what I said Bucko.” Will stated flatly unsurprised by his nephew’s shock. He looked at his gloved fingers in a bored manner as he began to protest.
“Now see here William, double pay is perfectly acceptable and plenty enough to take care the two kids.”
Will grinned in a near taunting manner to the man on the other end of the phone, he was going to get his way and he knew it, “True. I may have over step my bounds a little.” He could picture Bud settling some on the other end of the phone. Will then abruptly added, “Double and a half.” He didn’t let Bud counter, chidingly saying, “A little extra to ensure their happiness. You want them to have fun, right?”
The uncle’s grin curled upward when a conceding sigh drifted from the phone speaker. Even though Bud was good used car salesman there was no arguing with William Gleeful. Between the two William was the better con artist thereby better at arguing. He also made a point that would look bad on his part if he disagreed. Will tilted his head up, grinning to himself as Bud spoke, “Alright, alright, I’ll pay you that amount.”
“I knew you’d come around!” Will Gleeful chimed happily with an underlying tone of condescension. He smirked slyly, “Our deal is still a go then.” The man eyed the phone he held, “You remember how I want it sent right?”
“Yeah, through the mail, express method.” Bud answered, it was like he was dealing with a criminal and basically was.
“Good. I expect the first payment by the end of the week.” Will stated in a very business-like manner.
“Alright. Just…keep’em out of trouble okay?” Bud said in a slightly pleading manner.
Will rolled his eyes as he scoffed, “Honestly Bud. You’d think I’d let kids get hurt on my watch? I’m hurt!” This statement was soon followed by an amused, vaguely manic laugh.
“William…” Bud said sternly like he talking to a mentally off teenager-with wild mood swings.
“Alright, alright, I’ll keep them from stepping bear traps and getting their feet cut off.” Will snorted, now sounding disinterested in the conversation.
Figuring that was the closest thing he was going to get to a promise Bud moved the closing conversation along, “Thank you William.” He laughed a bit, “Though to be honest they shouldn’t give you any trouble.”
Will made and amused snort, “Don’t think they could if they tried.”
Not noticing anything odd with that Bud laughed briefly, “Yeah, so is that all yah needed to talk to me about?”
“Yep! I’ll see your money soon!” Will laughed before hanging up the phone on Bud. Hopping off the side table the tall man straightened out his custom made golden yellow vest. Long twin pointed coattails curling inward at the ends. Brick pattern lining the bottom half, inside, and sides up to the black lipped pockets. Tugging down on the sides once more the con man walked out of the room looking pleased with himself.
“I feel like I should apologize again…”Gideon said as he sat on top of what was now his bed. It felt a bit old but not uncomfortable. He looked across to Pacifica who was taping up the single poster she brought along. It was a poster of a boy band Sev’ral Timez she liked, Gideon didn’t think their stuff was half bad. Generic but not terrible. Though the band members looked oddly…the same.
“This is still better than being stuck with my parents Gideon.” Pacifica responded as she finished putting the poster up. Turning around to face her friend she saw he looked surprised by her answer.
“Really?” He questioned, brows arched upward. The twelve-year-old nodded in confirmation. Gideon held his arms out at his sides motioning to the place around them, “We’ll be staying with an off kilter con man for the whole summer! And you’re A-Okay with it?”
“At least it’ll be interesting.” Pacifica explained while leaning back on one arm, she waved a hand, “Staying with my parents is stressful, overly complicated and dull.” Gideon blinked, she had a point there. Pacifica huffed, “Only thing I don’t like so far is he’s obviously full of himself.”
“Yeah, I picked up on that too…” Gideon agreed, scratching the back of his neck thoughtfully.
“And I still don’t believe you’re related.” Pacifica added pointing to her friend. “He looks nothing like you or your Dad.”
Gideon tapped his fingers together as he nodded in agreement. Briefly he tried to think of an explanation but only one came up, “Maybe he’s adopted?”
He grinned sheepishly as Pacifica rolled her eyes marginally at the thought. Still she shrugged, “Guess it doesn’t matter now. Pretty sure he went to talk to your Dad about me showing up without him being told.”
Gideon looked to the stairs and nodded in agreement. Neither of them had a good explanation why the man appeared so young or why he didn’t look even remotely related to Gideon’s family. At the same time there was no one else he could be, he knew who Gideon was and seemed to match the description they had of William Gleeful. To add to it Robbie had referred to him as Mr. Gleeful. The chubby boy sighed leaning back on his bed, well if Pacifica was right at least this summer would be interesting…
It’d been nearly a week since Gideon and Pacifica arrived in Gravity Falls Oregon to stay with Gideon’s great-uncle William Gleeful. There was; however, still some disbelief whether or not he really was related to the albino ten-year-old. So far nothing bad had happened to either of them, so they guessed they were in the clear. There was also the fact everyone referred to him as William Gleeful. Despite initial uncertainty they’d both been treated well enough. They hadn’t been starved or had to sleep outside with the wolves. During their stay, a few days, at the shack they also found out that Tambry stayed with Will in a spare room, in exchange for doing chores. Neither knew why yet but William hardly seemed like he’d be the type to do them himself. Unfortunately Tambry wasn’t one for conversation so she wasn’t much additional company. Robbie was the handyman, which he actually seemed to be good at his job surprisingly.
Adjusting to being near the rustic outdoors was going well enough…Gideon didn’t like the woods much. Not because he wasn’t used to them, well that was part of it, but it was mostly because the woods were creepy-like there were things out there. Pacifica was managing and dealt with things as they came. So long as they didn’t camp outside she was fine with living in a cabin outside of town.
The hardest thing to adjust to was William Gleeful himself. Aside from the rather dark sense of humor, he was an overall jerk and an egotistical one at that. Seeing him in action as a con artist gave the two friends a front row seat show of how manipulative and oddly charismatic he was. He at one point got a more wealth visitor to buy one of everything in the store. Nearly every day the tall blond was sitting on the counter counting out a thick wad of cash. The thing that was hard to adjust to was he seemingly random mood swings, but they were beginning to learn. So long as they did as they were told everything went smoothly. Still neither Gideon nor Pacifica were too fond of the man.
“Get those shelves up Stitch!” Will barked as the Goth was hiking up a step stool with a shelf and power drill in hand. Will was standing in the middle of the store, black cane planted on the ground with both hands wrapped around the crook. He grinned slightly, “The pigeons will be arriving in their bus shortly. I want as much up for sale as possible!”
“I’m on it, I’m on it.” Robbie droned dully as he began drilling the shelf up to the wall. Stitch was apparently one of Will’s nickname for Robbie, short for Heart Stitch. The two friends guessed it was because of the red stitched heart on Robbie’s usual black hoodie. Tambry on the other hand was called Ice Box, or just Ice on most occasions. Will really seemed liked giving people nicknames, or just plain insulting them.
A look flickered across Will’s face before a smile slithered its way onto his lips, “I’m sorry. What?”
A chill shimmied its way up Robbie’s spine and he nearly jumped on the stool, “Yes Mr. Gleeful sir!” He corrected himself frantically.
Will clicked his tongue, one eye slipping closed, “Drop the sir and you’re good.”
“Yes Mr. Gleeful.” Robbie amended as he drilled the last screw in. Without saying anything or making eye contact he moved onto the setting up the next one. He didn’t want to get whacked upside the head with the cane again. That thing hurt.
“You fixed the cash register and vending machine, right?” Will questioned as if he were interrogating the teenager, his black eyes flicking over to the mentioned objects. That was another thing the two friends noticed, his black irises. Pacifica had to look up whether that was actually possible or not, and it was just very rare. It helped a bit to know it was naturally possible, but it was still pretty creepy.
While drilling up the next shelf Robbie nodded, “Yes Mr. Gleeful, both just needed some tweaking. They’re working again.”
There was the tell-tale ring of the cash register causing everyone’s attention to go over to Tambry, who was standing behind the machine. She blew a bubble with her gum and nodded, “Yep, it’s working again.”
Taking that as a sign the Goth teen wasn’t lying Will nodded, “Good.” He looked back to the hair dyed girl, “Ice, get out the new merchandise and get ready to stock those shelves once he finishes putting them up.”
“Kay,” Tambry said indifferently, she bent down and pulled up a box full of items. Having to wait she pulled out her cellphone and began tapping away on it.
The teenagers taken care of the store/home owner turned his attention to the two kids who he’d previously left on clean up duty. Pacifica was sweeping up the souvenir shop store while Gideon had been assigned to wipe down the shelves. The boy was fine with cleaning, although it was a bit tedious to move everything then wipe the shelf then put things back. Pacifica was biting her tongue. Despite not liking her parents she was still a kid from a rich family. Doing her own chores was not her thing, but she’d calmed a bit by now on the matter.
“Llama.” Will called, Pacifica stopped sweeping and looked to him. By now they’d told the man a few times to call them by their names but William ignored each attempt with the skill of a deaf person. In short it was a futile endeavor.
The man held out a small pile of signs to her, saying, “Go out into the not-at-all-dangerous part of the woods and nail these to the defenseless trees.” Pacifica looked at the signs as she took them, they were simple direction signs in the shape of arrows. He then handed her a hammer and some nails. “The signs not your hand. Funny as that’d be.”
Pacifica gave the adult a flat, unimpressed look, “I’ll be sure to disappoint then.”
Will looked momentarily surprised before he grinned, “Oh, got some spunk don’t’cha Llama?”
“I’m not even wearing that shirt today.” Pacifica stated, her shirt being plain pink today, okay they still tried occasionally. Mostly out of confusion due to the seemingly random nature of the nicknames.
“Your point?” Will retorted, grin still plain as day on his face. Pacifica rolled her eyes with a groan and headed to the door.
Gideon watched her head to the door with a worried expression on his face. He looked up to his much taller uncle, “Um, great-uncle Will?” The man turned his head to him, uttering a noise in response. “Ya think I could…go with her?”
“What for?” Will questioned with a slight tilt of his head, then he seemed to notice the boy’s worried expression, and laughed, “Ha-ha, Star-Boy, Llama’ll be fine! There’s nothing dangerous out there! Cept the wolves, bears, traps, etc.”
The ten-year-old’s mouth gaped in terror, far too many mental images rushing through his mind. Before he could protest Pacifica huffed drawing his attention. By now she was standing by the open door, signs held under her arm, “Gideon calm down, okay? I’ll like be fine. I’m not going to stupidly stumble around.”
Gideon, thinned his lips, biting a bit in worry, ignoring the analyzing gaze of his uncle he shuffled over to his friend. His voice hushed, hand cupped beside his mouth, “But yah know how I think there’s…something up bout this place…”
“Yeah, I know.” Pacifica acknowledged, glancing out into the woods. The forest did give off an odd feel, but then again so did Gideon’s uncle. She shrugged her purple coated shoulders, “This whole place is odd Gideon.”
“Well…yeah…” The younger child admitting, fidgeting his fingers in attempt to work out his worries. She did have a point, a rather valid one really. Everyone one they’d met so far was strange in one way or another. The most normal people they’d met were the two teenagers that worked for his uncle, but by society’s standards even they were outsiders. Admittedly they hadn’t met much of the town, but still. Sighing the boy shrugged off his worries, nodding, “Yeah, yer right ‘Cifica.”
Pacifica nodded, “I’ll be back in a bit.” She said over her shoulder to reassure her friend. Before shutting the door she spotted a smile on Gideon’s dimpled cheeks. He was a cute kid.
Inhaling then exhaling Pacifica headed down the forest path that lead up to the Mystery Shack. As much as she reassured her friend she couldn’t help but have her blue eyes tensely dart around the forest. There was something off about it, not just in looks but there was this feeling of being watched overhanging in the air. She pursed her lips, no she was just over thinking things. Pacifica wasn’t used to the woods, and she knew it. The surroundings were just still foreign to her, that’s all. With that thought in mind she held her head up, she wasn’t going to let this bother her. She was a Northwest after all, and they were always victorious, therefore she wasn’t going to let new surroundings get to her!
Her braver thoughts stalled when she heard something moving through the forest. Immediately Pacifica turned her head to the noise, long blond ponytail whipping behind her head at the suddenness of the turn. She saw nothing, just the misty woodlands around her. The girl blinked, when had it gotten all misty? Weird.
Another rustle, this time behind her making her do a complete one eighty spin around. Again nothing. Another rustle, again nothing. Rustle. Nothing. Pacifica could hear her heart racing in her chest, her breath quickening, eye widening, and then-
Pacifica jumped up what felt like three feet in the air when in reality it wasn’t even half that. Spinning around she saw a dusty brown goat that hung around Will’s shack. The girl blinked, had it been the goat shifting around in the woods? She looked around, still nothing. Wait. Where’d the goat come from? No way could a goat know how to sneak up on someone especially this seemingly absentminded goat.
Another “baa” from the goat brought Pacifica’s attention to it. She cried out when she saw the goat was chewing on her jacket, “Hey let go!”
She yanked the purple jacket end out of the goat’s mouth, earning a “baa” of protest from the old animal. Pacifica stuck her tongue out in disgust when she felt slimy goat drool on her hand, the corner end of her jacket was covered in slobber. Wearing a frown Pacifica shooed the goat with her hand, “Go away. My jacket isn’t on the menu!”
The goat flicked one of its ears, staring at her with its horizontal pupils. The animal just stood there looking at her like it hadn’t heard her order, or was just ignoring it. Pacifica tried shooing the goat a few more times but the response was the same. It stood there looking at her, occasionally flicking an ear or working its jaw.
Pacifica sighed, there was no use arguing with a goat. The phrase “stubborn old goat” existed for a reason after all. Walking away from the goat Pacifica continued on her way to the actual road that lead up to the Mystery Shack’s old dirt road. She figured it’d be best to start tacking the signs up from there. Hearing the sounds of hoof-steps behind Pacifica looked over her shoulder at the goat that a few steps behind her, staring at her with its golden yellow, devoid of thought, eyes.
“Are you going to follow me?” She asked, getting an acknowledging “baa” in return as if the goat was responding with a yes. Pacifica sighed shaking her head, “Whatever…”
Continuing down the dirt road, goat in tow, Pacifica came down to the end of it with a bit of a walk. Coming up to the first tree she put down the pile of signs picking up the first that said, “This way to the Mystery Shack!” the sign was painted bright yellow with neat black letters. Briefly Pacifica wonder if Will did this himself, dismissing the thought she pulled a nail out of her pocket. A couple swings of a hammer later the sign was nailed to the tree at a noticeable height.
She then moved a couple trees down and nailed a sign reading “This way!” to a tree. Pacifica then repeated the process nailing two more signs up onto trees, all the way the goat following her around like a dog. A smelly one at that. Wrinkling her nose she passes the musty smelling goat to the final tree, well the final one she had to nail a sign to. Pacifica didn't look at what it said this time and began hammering the nail in.
When the result was a hollow metal banging she blinked in confusion. Putting the sign down and redepositing the nail into her pocket she tapped the hammer on the tree. Again the sound of metal rung. She furrowed her brows, “Huh?” She muttered.
Carefully she tapped the tree, feeling an odd surface to the spot. Briefly inspecting the rest of the tree she felt that that section was different from the rest. It felt, fake. Stroking the area she found a slight thin groove. Blinking curiously Pacifica pulled back on the odd spot and to the girl’s surprise it popped open! The twelve-year-old coughed as a cloud of dust assaulted her face as a result of her discovery. Reflexively she closed her eyes and waved the dust cloud away, coughing a few more times until it was gone.
Blinking several times to focus her gaze after the attack Pacifica saw she had discovered some sort of dusty and rusty old machine in the tree! Behind her the goat let out another “baa” this one sounding more cautious as it shuffled back a few steps. The girl didn’t really blame it, this wasn’t exactly an everyday thing.
Still curiosity beckoned her forward, when she walked up to it the goat made another noise and fidgeted in place. Pacifica looked back to the goat and saw it was bucking its head like it was urging her to back up. She huffed, “Calm down, it’s just a metal box.”
The goat snorted, shaking its head like it was begging to differ.
Rolling her ocean blue eyes Pacifica turned back to the machine, her face twisting at the sight of cobwebs hanging from some switches and the machine’s side. It was bad enough part of the tree was coated with moss and fungi but spider webs? At least moss and fungi didn’t come with chances of venomous spiders…
After a look over of the hidden space Pacifica didn’t spot any spiders so she hesitantly pulled on one of the switches. Feeling the near phantom touch of cobwebs she squealed and reeled back, yanking the switch forward by doing so. Making long disgusted noises she rubbed her hand off on the side of her jacket. As she did she heard the sound something sliding open behind her. Slowly she turned her head and was amazed to see a compartment in the ground opening up behind her.
Ignoring the baying goat that still stood on the dirt road Pacifica approached the now open secret compartment. She groaned loudly, almost in despair, “More webs?”
This one had even more than the last, webbing covering nearly every inch of the space, but like before there was no spider to be seen. If there had been any inside it was likely long dead, least that’s what she told herself. Didn’t make what she was about to do any less gross for herself. Quick as she possibly could Pacifica snatched out what was in the compartment. It was an old book, slightly rotting in some places and covered in dirt and dust. She yelled when some long insects slithered along the book before falling off. The girl danced on her feet for a moment until they were out of sight.
Taking a breath Pacifica got herself to calm down from her brief scare. She’d thought centipedes didn’t live in Oregon but apparently she was wrong. How had they gotten into the secret compartment anyway? Dismissing the thought she looked back to the dusty old book she’d fished out. Taking a hand Pacifica wiped off the cover of the book, noting to herself to wash her hands when she got back to the shack. Underneath the dust was a shiny, golden six fingered hand seal with the number three on it. Pacifica guessed that meant there were two others.
The hard cover itself was a nice deep maroon red, parts of it rotting away and there were some inscriptions dotting the back. Unable to make out what they meant they may have well been scribbles to her. Intrigued she opened the book and looked at the old, aged pages inside. Pacifica was surprised to see what the content of the book was, each page had some sort of supernatural being on it or some sort of conspiracy. All of it hand written with some nicely done drawings.
“Gideon will like this…” She said to herself while flipping through some pages. Unicorns, goblins, gremlins, gremlobin; that one made her pause a moment, demons, gnomes, haunted/cursed objects, and more. Pacifica wasn’t one for this stuff but the book made it look so very interesting. Still she planned to hand it over to her friend.
Hearing a gnawing sound Pacifica looked down and sighed, seeing the goat chewing on the end of the book’s spine. Annoyed she pushed the goat’s snout away, the goat bayed swinging his head back around trying to get his teeth on the book again. Holding the book out of reach she moved away, “Knock it off!”
Seeing the book out of reach the goat shook his head annoyed but after flicking each of his ears a few times the animal settled. Pacifica eyed the goat a moment, making sure it had settled. Once she was sure the girl went back to the sign she’d left on the ground. It took a bit of fighting with the goat but eventually Pacifica got the last sign up. It’d been difficult because the goat kept trying to eat the book when she was nailing the sign up, her pockets too small to keep the book in.
“Goats really are stubborn,” Pacifica muttered to herself, the goat bayed in agreement. Annoyed she shot it a look, “That’s nothing to be proud of!”
A moment of silence passed before Pacifica face palmed, muttering. “I’m talking to a goat…”
“Uh, that-that’s cool…” A deep throaty voice said making Pacifica jump. Okay now she was hating the woods. Did things just always have to be gross and make her jump!?
Bottling her annoyance Pacifica looked up and saw a teenager in a black hoodie. Though he seemed younger than Robbie. The girl’s face flushed when she realized the boy had seen her talking to a goat. Averting her eyes she replied, “Uh, just ignore that. The stupid goat was being a jerk. I got upset, that’s all.”
“Oh.” The teen said, rubbing his neck awkwardly. He gave her a toothy grin, shifting the brown mat of hair covering one of his eyes almost self-consciously, “I-I’m normal-man…N-Norman. Yeah.”
Pacifica, holding the book with one arm, lowered a brow, was this guy trying to flirt with her? Having had guys flirt with her before she was pretty sure Norman was. She suppressed a laugh at his nervousness, it was kind of cute but also funny. Waving it off she gave him a grin, “Look, thanks for not making fun of the goat thing but I’m, like, only staying for the summer Norman.”
Norman looked outright surprised by the rejection. Admittedly Pacifica had sounded a bit snider than intended but trying to let a guy down gently while holding in a laugh wasn’t very easy. Pacifica tensed when the hoodie wearing teenager began to stalk towards her like a zombie. She clutched the book to her chest as it was her only means of defense.
“H-hey, back off!” Pacifica yelled defensively, she really didn’t like where this was going. Was everyone around here some kind of crazy!?
“Come quietly, really don’t want this to get awkward.” Norman said stiffly, Pacifica blinked in surprise when his voice came out complete differently. What was with this guy? She didn’t have time to question it when he lurched forward trying to grab her, movements still zombie-like.
Before he could take hold of her there was a loud “baa”, jerking his attention away long enough for Pacifica to move back further. Once she moved a dusty brown blur flew past her and straight at Norman. Pacifica was surprised as she watched the goat that had been following her around, annoying her, rammed right into Norman with its horns. Even with one of them broken in half the impact still clearly hurt. The teenager let out…several…yells of pain…at once?
Pacifica was shocked when Norman fell apart upon getting rammed by the goat. Her shock gave way to confusion when she saw that “Norman” was actually made up of…Gnomes? She’d only briefly looked at the picture in the journal, but she knew what the typical garden gnome ornament looked like. There were five of them in total, one for each limb and one for the head. Pacifica stared in shock, jaw dropped, they…were real!
She shook herself from her trance when the gnomes that made up “Norman” began retaliating against her defending goat. Gripping the book tightly she rushed in and used the hardcover to smack off one that had been aiming to bite the goat’s back, with oddly sharp teeth. Turning she kicked another away yelling angrily at the gnomes, “No one hurts the goat!”
The lead gnome, that had been Norman’s face, backed up holding his hands up, “Whoa, whoa, nobody is going to hurt anyone.”
“You just tried to kidnap me or something and attacked the goat!” Pacifica yelled, normally she’d question yelling at little fairy men, but she wasn’t in the mood to think it over at the moment.
“To be fair it rammed us.” The lead gnome retorted with a point of a finger.
“Because you tried to grab me!” The twelve-year-old yelled back standing by the goat, who bayed in agreement shaking its head defensively.
“Okay…that was rash, admittedly,” The lead gnome admitted a little too lightly for Pacifica’s taste. He grinned awkwardly, “We got off on the wrong foot. I’m Jeff leader of the gnomes, and we’ve been looking for a queen-”
“Not interested.” Pacifica snapped glaring at the lead gnome then growled, arms stiff as she clutched the book, knuckles turning white. “Now get lost. I play princess enough for my parents already.”
Jeff frowned, “You're pretty rude kid. Don’t you know how much we’re offering you? You’d be a Queen not a princess! We gnomes are a powerful race! We’ll take you by force if we have too! You have no idea who your mess-”
The gnome leader was cut off again but this time by a charging head butt from the goat sending the little man flying into the woods. With their leader gone the rest of the gnomes look confused and lost. Apparently Jeff had been the smartest one out of all of them and kept them coordinated. One of them kept saying “Shmebulock” for whatever reason. Their confusion was quickly ended as the goat and Pacifica, brandishing the book again, rushed in making them scatter.
Smirking proudly Pacifica stood beside the goat, hands on her hips as she watched the fairy men run. Looking to the goat she scratched it behind on of its short floppy ear, the goat tilted its head towards her enjoying the affection. Pacifica wrinkled her nose at the goat smell, but bit back a negative reaction, “Good goat.” She nearly gaged, there went holding back, “Man you stink…”
The goat didn’t seem insulted by this and continued to enjoy the scratching. Once she finished the goat went after her jacket pocket, baying insistently. Pacifica moved away, “Hey, I scratched your-wait a minute…” She took something out of her pocket, a granola bar, the girl looked at the goat incriminatingly, “So this was why you were following me…”
The goat bayed again snapping its teeth at the bar before fidgeting in place. Pacifica looked at the bar then at the goat, “Well, you do deserve it for helping me get rid of those creeps…” She began unwrapping the bar, “Just let me-”
Before she could get the granola bar out of the wrapper the goat snatched it from her and began eating contently. Wrapper and all. Pacifica stared at the goat a moment then sighed, a goat was a goat and they ate anything. She shrugged, “Or you could eat it like that, whatever.”
That taken care of she turned and began to head back to the shack. To her surprise the goat continued to follow her even after it ate the granola bar. This made her smile slightly, she wasn’t a goat fan but this one might just change her mind. She patted the goat on the neck, feeling the coarse fur, as they walked back to the shack. The goat flicked its ears once or twice but didn’t show signs of annoyance towards the affection.
Reaching the shack Pacifica opened the door that lead to the living area side of the home. Soon after she heard someone scampering up towards her. In no time Gideon was in front of her at the doorway, panting a bit after having rushed over from the living area. Pacifica couldn’t help but let a soft laugh out seeing the younger kid panting from the sudden burst of speed he’d forced himself to do.
“You really do need to get out more Gideon.” She teased playfully, snickering under her breath.
“Ha-ha, Pacifica,” Gideon drawled with a roll of his pinkish red eyes, a trait of his albinism. His expression then became concerned when he began to speak again, “What took yah so long? You only had five signs…and why do yah have a goat with you?”
“Wow!” Will exclaimed the man coming out from the living area, he looked at Gideon in surprise. Black pupiled eyes wide as he looked down at his nephew, “You can run when you need to! I’m almost impressed, almost. But not quite.” He smiled in what was mock reassurance, “Keep trying though!”
Gideon sighed and went along with it, “Thanks great-uncle Will…”
“No problem Star-Boy!” The uncle said with a big happy grin, he blinked noticing the goat which was gnawing on the door. The goat lost interest in the door quickly and gently bunted its head up against Pacifica, Will seemed a tad surprised by this, “Huh, seems Gompers likes you Llama.”
Pacifica still didn’t understand where he was getting these nicknames. Yeah she wore a Llama shirt when he first arrived but she hadn’t worn it since! Gideon didn’t even have anything with a tree on it! Ignoring the nickname she arched a brow, “Gompers? That’s his name?”
Will shrugged lightly, “He gomps on things.”
“Gomps?” Pacifica echoed as she petted the creamy fluff of fur that was on top of the goats head.
“Ya’know, that way goats chew on things.” Will explained motioning to the door the goat had been chewing on earlier. The two friends made and “Oh” in unison, William nodded to their understanding.
“What is a goat doing around here?” Gideon questioned, the place wasn’t exactly near a farm or anything. Least not that he knew of.
“Not sure, he’s been here for a while. Just showed up one day.” Will answered, before smirking. “It’s fun to watch him randomly head butt tourists. Hitting them right in the gut, falling over cradling said gut. It’s hilarious!” The man laughed for a brief moment before grinning, “Also you’d be surprised how many people want photos with him. Charge five bucks a pop! He keeps the yard garbage free too!”
“So you just let him stay?” Gideon questioned, Will didn’t seem like much of an animal person. Then again he was barely able to socialize properly. Even then it was iffy.
Will snorted shooting a look towards the goat, “Trust me. I tried to make him leave but the goat is more stubborn than me.”
Gideon looked back to the goat, more stubborn than his uncle? That seemed like quite the feet from what he knew. Seeing the goat was still enjoying the petting it was receiving from his friend, its bushy tail wagging much like a dog’s would, he put his fingers to his round chin, “He sure does seem to like you ‘Cifica.”
Suddenly uninterested in what was going on Will turned and began to leave, “I’ve got to get ready for the pigeons. Do what you want with the goat, just don’t let it eat any of my things or there will be hell to pay.”
“I’m guessing it’d be fine if he ate ours?” Pacifica asked dully, she knew the answer but she still had to voice her annoyance.
“Yep!” Will chimed before he disappeared around the corner.
Pacifica’s mouth twitched in annoyance, “Your uncle is a jerk.”
“I know…” Gideon said with a tired sigh, he looked to the goat again, “Well…looks like yah got yourself a pet goat Pacifica.”
“Guess so.” The twelve-year-old said as the goat trotted into the home, baying once. Hearing no cry of protest from William she guessed it was okay. Shutting the door behind her Gideon finally noticed the book she was carrying.
“Where’d you find that book ‘Cifica?” He asked curiously, pointing to it.
Pacifica looked around the kitchen where they were standing, Gompers idly chewing on a tin can that had been left on top of the garbage. Seeing no one she motioned for her friend to follow him, he did so with a brow raised in questioning. Pacifica lead the way up the stairs, Gompers still following behind the two still chewing on the now flat can. Coming into their attic room Pacifica indicated for Gideon to sit next to her, Gompers rested beside the bed and continued working on his tin can.
“Now will you tell me?” Gideon asked, during their way up here he got more and more curious about the old book. Why was his friend being so secretive about it? Where had she gotten it? What was the book about? All these questions buzzed in his head and he wasn’t sure he could wait any longer to get answers. Thankfully his friend was ready to talk,
“Yeah, I just wanted to make sure the others wouldn’t hear us.” Pacifica answered, still keeping her voice low just to be careful, her eyes shifting about.
Gideon looked around a bit as well before asking another question, “Why’s that?”
“Because, like, what happened isn’t believable.” Pacifica answered her voice still low. Her words made Gideon more curious, he inched closer to her side to get a better look at the book and to indicate for her to go on. She continued a moment after, “Okay like you know how I was supposed to put up those signs?”
Gideon nodded and she continued, “Well I found this old machine that opened up a compartment thing in the ground. That’s where I found the book.” Pacifica opened the book, her friend gasped in surprise seeing the contents of the page, “It’s full of that supernatural and conspiracy stuff that you love.”
Pacifica handed the book over to the younger kid. Gideon immediately began looking through the book eagerly, his face lighting up as he did, “Wow! This is amazing Pacifica!” He stalled when he saw a page depicting a leprechaun unicorn hybrid, “Even if some it is weird, even by supernatural standards.” He looked to his friend, “But why was it hidden away?”
“Because everything in here is real!” Pacifica answered sounding completely sure of her words. Gideon looked at her with confusion on his face. His friend had never minded his interest but neither of them actually believed fairies, ghosts or goblins actually existed. Gideon just found the stuff interesting, the supernatural wasn’t real. Right?
His friend took the book back and began flipping through the pages, looking for a particular one. Finding the one she was looking for she turned the book outward to show him. Gideon was surprised when he was met with the cute image of a big eyed gnome. Pacifica pointed at the creature incriminatingly, “These things tried to make me their queen, me and Gompers had to fight them off!”
The goat stopped gnawing on its can to bay in agreement.
Gideon blinked a few times, taking in what his friend claimed. Pacifica had never believed in magical beings, so why would she claim such a thing. The only answer he could think of was she had indeed seen some gnomes. That had apparently wanted to make her their queen. Still he needed a moment to think things over, gnomes were real that meant monsters like vampires, zombies, and demons were real too. This was a lot to think about. He wasn’t sure if he was more excited or worried about this.
“Do you believe me?” Pacifica asked, her friend’s silence was worrying. She relaxed when he nodded but seemed a bit tense.
“I believe yah Pacifica,” Gideon answered, he began flipping through the book again but didn’t linger too long on anyone page, “I’m just worried some of the more dangerous things in here are real too.” He brightened a fraction, “But I’ll be the first to admit, this is a really neat find you discovered!” Looking back to the gnome page he read it over, “Yeah, like you said gnomes have a habit of taking human women as their queens. You’d have been married to all of’em actually…”
Pacifica made a face of disgust, “Ew, that’s just gross…”
Gideon looked through the book again, looking more relieved, “Actually I’m glad you found this. It has the weakness of the creatures. Now if we run into more of’em we’ll be able to defend ourselves!”
“Well that’s good.” Pacifica responded, a light smile on her face. Both of them straightened when they heard someone coming up the stairs. Quickly Gideon hid the journal under Pacifica’s pillow to hide it from immediate sight. Looking back they saw Tambry emerge to the top of the stairs, the apathetic teenager raised a brow at the sight of the goat at the foot of the kid’s bed. A moment later though she seemingly decided not to care or question it.
“Hey, the tourists are arriving Will wants you two in the gift shop to help with the costumers.” Tambry stated with her typical dull tone. Shortly after the teenager left, and after making sure Gompers couldn’t get to the journal the two kids followed after her. Gompers remained upstairs, having settled down for a nap on the floor.
Coming into the gift shop the two friends got to glimpse at the sight of William Gleeful putting on his little act for the tourists. A triangular eyepatch had been added to his outfit to make himself more “mysterious” looking, the patch having a yellow stitched on eye…complete eyelashes. William was giving off a charismatic air, easily keeping each of the tourist’s attention as he showed off the shack’s attractions. From the taxidermy creatures, such as the mummified mermonkey, Sasquatch, pterodactyl, to various skeletons of other creatures like a giant snake creature of some sort. That and many other various fake wonders he’d either found or constructed, including the wax museum room. Each attraction getting gasps of awe, the tourist eating up his enticing words like they were candy. It was amazing how well Will could get people to buy what he was selling.
Arguably the real show was when the tour was over and Will brought the tourists into the gift shop. There he was like a fox in a hen house. Moving from person to person “make sure everything was A-Okay” then immediately trying to sell off his stuff. An unsure person would find themselves buying not one but three things. A person trying to decide between two shirts would end up getting both. Gideon wasn’t sure how he managed to pull these things off. He felt he should be taking notes to give to his father.
Eventually the time for the Mystery shack to close came around, leading to the end of a rather busy day in the store. Robbie helped close up before leaving for the day, though he didn’t seem too glad to have to go back to his “stupid” parents. Everyone ignored the remark but did say a couple good-byes, them being from Tambry and Gideon. Tambry left the shop to go get dinner ready for the makeshift family unit. The two kids went to go upstairs to read the journal over, Pacifica taking a carrot to her new apparent pet goat. This left William Gleeful alone in the shop to sit on the counter and count the money he earned today, he knew in his head he’d made a profit but it was always good to know by how much.
Proud of the sales he made today William Gleeful took the earned money and headed to put it away in the safe. He didn’t trust banks, they were con artists just like him. Least that’s how he saw it, and his way of seeing the world was arguably incorrect. His office itself had quite the number of triangles with an eye in the center. The eye of providence, all Seeing Eye, mind’s eye, etc. The shack owner paid his décor no mind as he put away the money into the safe.
Dinner and the rest of the day passed by with nothing of special note. Tambry and the kids eventually turned in for the day. Gompers the goat staying with the kids in the attic. Once all the lights turned out William Gleeful walked into the gift shop, unafraid of being spotted. He walked up to the vending machine and punched in a specific code, each button lit up as the correct code was entered. Once the last button was pressed the vending machine opened up like a door revealing a hidden staircase. Walking down the old staircase, which looked old and decrepit compared to the rest of the home, Will entered an elevator and went down.
When the elevator stopped the doors pulled open letting the man in black and yellow out into an underground lab. Will walked over to a control panel in front of an observation window. He smirked seeing the journal that was sitting there, his like Gideon’s but marked with a one. The great-uncle opened the book to a particular page and grinned recalling the book he’d seen his nephew’s friend with. Llama of course had suspected nothing of him, as he made comment on the goat instead. He’d seen the book just fine but for now he let them have their secret.
Will faintly chuckled to himself while looking the page over with his black iris eyes, “So they found the last journal. Now I know where all three are. I knew it’d be a good idea to bring those kids down here. Only a matter of time now.”