We’ve been just sorta driving around all weekend. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this before but they’re nightmares when they aren’t on a job. (I do know how I didn’t notice. I’ve been basically comatose for like months. It’s cool.)
Neal gets bored and entertains himself by showing off his increasingly erratic music taste and driving like an absolute maniac.
“I wonder how fast we could drive from Portland Oregon to Portland Maine,” he said this morning. “What is it like 3,000 miles? I bet we could do it in like twenty hours. You take that bet?” And then when Julian patiently ignored him, his eyes appeared in the rearview, looking for me. “What about you, Shiloh? You wanna bet me I can’t drive from Portland Oregon to Portland Maine in 20 hours?”
No you lunatic. I’m not trying to die on the road between the Portlands at some point in the next twenty or so hours.
Julian just sinks deeper and deeper into research. Julian always seems like the nice one, the easy going one, but to be honest seeing them between cases makes me think Neal might somehow actually be the chill one. Okay maybe chill is the wrong word lmao, I just watched Neal jump off the balcony of our motel six into their outdoor pool — but at least between cases he cuts loose, you know? Julian’s got this laser focus. He literally doesn’t care about anything except this job. He spends all day scrolling through newspapers and online paranormal forums, searching through tags on social media for any sign of anything that might be a case. It’s been three days and he’s already starting to look weird and gaunt, like he hasn’t been sleeping.
Luckily, Neal got a call this afternoon. We were on the road and I was hungry and complaining about it, when his phone started buzzing. The tension went out of them immediately.
“Hello?” Neal said, palpably relieved. “You got something for us? Oh, hometown trouble huh? Yeah, we’ll be there. We’re driving now! Uh huh, see you soon. A couple of days. Yeah yeah yeah, love you too.”
Love you too???
He hung up popped a u-ie right there on the highway (which sent me skidding across the back seat) and gunned it back south.
“Valerie?” Julian asked..
“She’s got a job for us. Blight Rat infestation near the Crossroads.”
All that sounds pretty ominous and cool, but apparently the Crossroads isn’t some cool magical site, it’s a hunter bar outside of a Texas town I won’t specify. As for Blight Rats I don’t know what those are yet, but Neal assures me they’re not so bad. They’re only a little bit more annoying than a regular rat infestation. Except for the fact that they carry magical diseases and tend to be noticed by townies — they call everyone who isn’t a hunter a townie hahahaha — they’re no big deal.
“The Oshmars are great though,” Julian added. “They’re practically family. They have a daughter a couple years older than you.”
Neal laughed. “Yeah you’ll love Bev. She’s a pain in the ass, too.”
So off we go to The Crossroads to deal with some Blight Rats to meet some practically family.