Old Hwy 90
The fog that covered his feet was the most peculiar he had ever seen. It wouldn’t break away in swirls as he walked, nor did it rise from the ground. It didn’t dissipate either, and more than likely wouldn’t for the next couple of hours. That didn’t help Quatre as he walked along the lone highway at five thirty in the morning. He couldn’t wait for the sun to rise, especially since it’s been an hour and he has yet to see another living being. It unnerved him, walking around in all that fog as if death was hanging in the air, waiting to take its next victim.
That thought speeded his progress.
In a matter of minutes Quatre finally spotted his car, which was involuntarily parked on the side of the road. He could also see Iria pacing around it, stopping every few steps or so to kick the flattened tire. He blew his breath through his bangs as she turned to glare at him, knowing that an argument would shortly ensue. He understood her concern, but he really didn’t need this.
“Well? What happened?”
He sighed. “The gas station wasn’t opened--like I said it wouldn’t be. And it won’t be for another hour, and that’s if the owners open it on time. Face it Iria, we’re going to be stuck here for a while. Just relax and we’ll get through it.”
“I will not relax!”
He sighed. Again. “Look, raising your voice and having a tantrum is not going to make the tire fix itself to make you happy. Besides, I have more bad news.”
She walked up to him, placing balled fists on her hips. “And what’s worse than being stuck along a foggy road at early dawn with useless cell phones and a flattened tire?”
He frowned. “I don’t think the gas station has anything that can help us.”
He rolled his eyes. “They don’t sell tires Iria, and we don’t have a spare. We need a body shop, and frankly I don’t think there’s one anywhere around here.”
“So what do you think we should do?”
He braced himself. “We’re going to have to walk to that gas station and call Dad.”
“What?! No way!”
“We don’t have a choice.”
“He didn’t want us to go on a road trip in the first place! All he’ll say is ‘I told you so.’ Do you really want to listen to that?” She started back to the car. “I’ll keep trying on the cell phone to get a tow truck or something.”
“Iria.” He started after her. “This is the country. There isn’t much technology out here. A cellphone is useless.” They both got into the car, locking themselves in.
“I don’t care. At least I’m trying to do something before we get our souls sucked away from us.” She tried to call information, but the call wouldn’t connect.
“Oh for goodness sake. Don’t tell me you believe what that...that ‘Duo’ person said at that restaurant!”
“Of course I do! He wasn’t the first one to tell me the story.”
Quatre turned to his sister, irritation completely written on his face. “Right. I’m suppose to believe that the devil dwells on Highway 90, where he has the body of a human except for his feet, which are a cow’s foot and a duck’s foot.”
“A goat and a chicken’s.”
“Whatever.” He sighed. “I can’t believe you fell for that. He was just trying to scare you so that you would stay there with him. He’d probably put you in the sty with his pet pigs.”
“Hn. Shows what you know. He was really concerned about us.”
“I’m sorry Iria. I have a hard time trusting someone, where I can count the number of teeth in his head with one hand.”
“Well, how can you explain having a flat on Highway 90, Einstein?”
“Just relax, alright? We’ll be on our way before you know it.”
“I know,” she sighed, looking to her reflection in the window. “I’m sorry. I guess I wouldn’t be so irritated if it wasn’t for this fog. It’s really... spooky, how it’s hanging around the way it is.”
He looked out of his window as well. “I know what you mean.” He turned to face his sister. “It’s really weird.” Quatre froze as he saw Iria’s eyes widen, staring at something behind him. Swallowing hard, he slowly began to turn around, expecting to see a deformed, evil creature or an ax murderer. Instead, he saw a white t-shirt and the waistband of someone’s blue jeans. Bringing his face closer to the window, he looked up to see a young boy around his age with brown hair, some of it covering half of his face. Curious, he motioned for the stranger to step back so that he could open his door. The stranger did so, and soon Quatre was getting out of his car, where he could hear Iria doing the same thing. He closed the door behind him and smiled at the boy, receiving a small smile as well. /Wow. He’s gorgeous!/ Quatre thought.
He was a sight to see. Tall, thin and absolutely graceful. Standing face to face now, Quatre could see one lime eye shining brightly, with the small smile still on his lips. His clothing made him even more appealing, how his rolled up sleeves showed off his muscled arms, and his loose jeans clung to all the right places...
“What are YOU doing out here?” Iria asked as she came to Quatre’s side. “It’s just barely five thirty.” Her tone wasn’t at all rude. In fact, it was very playful. Looked like he had some competition for the stranger’s attention. Too bad it was against his sister.
“He wanted a walk.”
“He?” Quatre asked, before looking down to see a dog sitting next to his master. He had to be one of the ugliest dogs in the history of the species. He was old, about waist high, with both black and gray fur, and his eyes were a washed out gray color. It was safe to assume that the dog was blind. “Oh. Him. What’s his name?”
“Sceleris. Huh,” Quatre murmured. Something was familiar about the word, but he brushed the thought to the back of his mind. “I’m sorry sir, but-”
Quatre blinked. “I beg your pardon?”
“My name,” he easily captured Quatre’s hand, giving it a slow, firm squeeze with a leering look in his eye, “is Trowa.”
“He-he-hello, Trowa.” Was it getting hot, or was it just him? “My name is Quatre, and this is my sister, Iria.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Iria said, her voice a little bit huskier than normal. As she and Trowa began to talk, Quatre decided to use this distraction to get his hormones back under control. He didn’t know what it was, but for some reason, ‘Trowa’ seemed to awaken a part of him that he didn’t know existed. He felt intrigued by the young man, anxious to spend some time with him even though they just met scant seconds ago. Not only that, Iria seemed to be attracted to him too, which was strange. They didn’t usually go for the same type. This was going to get complicated.
Disgusted that his thoughts were taking the route they were, Quatre casually glanced at the dog. He was taken back as he saw that the dog was looking at him. Yes! The dog was looking at him with those washed out eyes of his, as if he knew what Quatre was thinking. The fog didn’t help the situation either, making the dog appear demonic since his paws were unable to be seen. Then his eyes widened in terror, as he made out that the dog was now smirking at him....
“AH!” he screamed, jumping from the hand that touched his shoulder. He turned frightened eyes on Iria, who gave him a dirty look, and then to Trowa, who watched him in amusement. Releasing a deep breath, he glanced to the dog, noting that his scream did not bother him in the slightest, as he scratched behind his ear with one of his hind legs. “Er...sorry. What did you say?”
Iria huffed, even as Trowa tried not to laugh. “He said he could help us! He lives at a junk yard not even a mile down the road, and believes he has a tire that fits. I’m not walking in these shoes, so you’re going to have to go.”
Quatre swallowed, running his fingers through his hair. “Oh, okay. Thank you Trowa. That would be great.”
She frowned even deeper, placing her balled-up fists once again on her hips. “Are you sick or something? What’s the matter with you?”
“N-nothing. I guess I’m just a little worn out,” he said as he walked around the car and headed in the direction they were going. Trowa turned and followed, quickly passing him up to lead him there. “I just don’t want to leave you alone.”
“Sceleris will stay behind to protect her.” As he said that, the dog obediently walked around and paused right in front of Iria before sitting down. She stared at the dog in shock, surprised that he knew where she was. Then she shrugged it off and started to pet him on the head. Feeling satisfied, Quatre turned forward to follow Trowa.
The next few minutes passed by in silence, both of them afraid to speak yet stealing glances at each other out of the corners of their eyes. Quatre, for the most part, kept his gaze glued to the fog that surrounded his feet. It wasn’t as thick as it was before, and it was also lifting. Hopefully, it will be just about gone by the time they were ready to leave.
“I’m sorry I scared you.”
He looked up. “What?”
“I’m sorry I scared you. I didn’t mean to do that when I grabbed your shoulder. It’s just that Iria was asking you something, but you were staring into space.”
“Oh. That. Heh.” The blonde blushed. “Don’t worry about it. My mind was somewhere else.”
The next few minutes passed by in silence, but this time it was Quatre who broke it. “Do you live alone?” The tall boy raised an eyebrow. “Wait. That was rude, I’m sorry. It’s just that, there isn’t much out here, and I wouldn’t think that you run into people often, living at a junk yard and all.”
He smiled. “More often than you think. Someone’s always blowing a tire, or the air conditioner in their car goes kaput, or the car overheats. This time of year, it’s actually quite busy. And I don’t live alone. I have an older sister too.” His smile spread at the blonde’s surprised expression. “Yeah, so I understand completely how vain Iria is being about getting her shoes muddy.”
“Yeah, it’s because of the fog.” Quatre lifted up a foot high enough so that Trowa could see. “It’s making the soil really soft. It’s okay if I ruin my penny loafers, but heaven forbid if her Gucci shoes get smudged.”
“Yeah. My sister, Catherine, is the same way.”
The rest of the trip was made in silence until they came upon the junk yard. It looked just how he expected it. There was a high gated fence with wiring at the top, crushed cars made up the background, and that white ‘Keep Out’ sign was big enough to land a plane on.
“Come on in.”
Quatre followed the tall boy into the yard, noting the various equipment used to crush cars that he couldn’t even begin to pronounce. After taking a few paths that seemed almost at random, they arrived at what appeared to be a small cabin made out of tin. On the side of the cabin was another ‘Keep Out’ sign, this one taking up the entire wall. He stopped at Trowa’s motion, who then went around the back of the cabin. Quatre remained where he was and was looking around, when he spotted the figure of a person in one of the cabin’s windows. Whoever it was had a lot of hair.
“Must be Trowa’s sister.”
He was going to walk up to introduce himself when a force that he couldn’t explain stopped him. It felt like there was a hand pressed against his stomach, urging him to not take another step forward. But now he was able to see that it was definitely a female, who had brown, curly hair and who was wearing a sweater and jeans. She had her head tilted to the side, nearly touching her shoulder, and she stood with her hands relaxed at her sides. How she could stand that way comfortably was a mystery to him.
“I got what you need. Ready to go?”
Quatre nearly screamed again since he didn’t notice Trowa’s return. “Yeah. Let’s go.” They both started for the gate, but Quatre didn’t need to look over his shoulder to know she was still there.
The trip back to the car was faster than the trip to the junk yard, which was strange since they were moving up hill. Even though Quatre was still stuck on this stranger, there was now this sense of urgency that was consuming him. He felt his strides widen and quicken, but he also noticed his companion doing the same as well. It seemed Trowa was in a bit of a hurry too. Not only that, the hand Quatre had felt earlier was still there, except now it was pushing him on his back, making him walk so fast he kept slipping in the mud. At one point he was about to fall face first when Trowa caught him. He surprised himself though when he kissed the banged boy. That action wasn’t like him, but there was just something about him that he couldn’t resist. Plus, Trowa didn’t seem to mind at all.
They probably would’ve still been kissing if it wasn’t for that... thing. It had stopped pushing him when he fell, but then started pulling him away from the boy right after their lips met. He could feel fingers digging into his navel. What the hell was going on?
So now Quatre only stood at the hood of the car, blushing as Trowa changed the tire at Iria’s request. He was also surprising himself too, that Iria was being very lewd with the green-eyed man and he didn’t seem to care in the slightest. Even though it wasn’t clear whether Trowa wanted him or her, if he wanted them at all.
The dog continued to pace back and forth between him and his sister, as a creature would if trapped in a lightless room. He felt better now that the sun was rising, causing the fog to lessen a great deal. He became even happier when Trowa announced that he was done, giving them both small smiles. That earned him a kiss on the cheek from Iria.
“Thank you very much,” Quatre said. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.”
A green eye locked onto his, and he could feel his heart stop. “Why don’t you and your sister come back to my place for a while? I’m sure you’re both tired, and would like something cold to drink that wasn’t sneezed in by some waitress.”
A smile lit up Quatre’s face, since he was looking forward to spending more time with him. But as he opened his mouth, he said, “No.” Shock registered on his and Trowa’s face, as well as Iria’s as he continued. “No thank you. We’ve already lost much time and need to get going.” The petite boy rubbed his jaw, trying to shake off the feel of someone’s hands, as if they were manipulating his mouth like a puppet’s.
Trowa slapped his thigh, which brought the dog to stand next to him. His visible eye did not show much emotion, but his voice held a tad bit of disappointment. “Oh. Well, that’s too bad.” He shrugged it off. “It’s okay though. We’ll meet again, I’m sure.” Then he turned and started to walk in the direction of the junk yard.
Quatre wanted to apologize, stepping forward to do just that, but the hands held his jaw again, except this time forcing his mouth to stay closed. He and Iria watched as Trowa, with the dog at his side, walked around a bend before disappearing from sight.
“Oh great! Thanks a lot, bro! He was nice enough to help us, and what do we do?! We can’t even spend five minutes with him to show our appreciation!”
“Iria! I didn’t mean to do...” His sentence died off as he stared past his sister to the figure behind her. Catherine was standing there in the same position she was when he’d first seen her, except now he saw that her head hung to her shoulder at an unnatural angle, due to the loop of rope that was still around her neck. Her eyes were completely open, locked onto his as they stared at each other.
Then Iria’s scream broke their staring contest.
Whipping around, Quatre saw that his sister took off running in the direction that Trowa had gone, screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs. When he looked back, he saw that Catherine was no longer there, but that the fog surrounding the car was gone with her. That was when he noticed footprints in the mud alongside the driver’s door and in front of the changed tire.
The prints were those of a goat and a chicken.
The dog’s prints were no where to be seen.
Quatre raced into the car, turning it on at the same time as flooring it. The tires screeched into life, throwing the car forward. After a few seconds of driving he saw his sister running alongside the road. Braking, he turned the car sharply in front her, kicking the door open. She immediately jumped into the car, where he put the car in reverse, backing at break neck speed back onto the road. It was then that the dog’s name came to him. Sceleris. Latin for sin.
“No no no Quatre, what are you doing?! That’s the direction we just came from! That thing will be there!”
“Shut up! She just saved our lives!” he yelled as he pressed the petal to the floor, sending them both forward at light speed.
“Then where are we going?!”
“The hell away from here!” he answered as he flew down the road, hoping that he would never see Trowa again.
It is said that there is an amazingly beautiful man that either lives or dwells on Highway 90. Both men and women are attracted to him, as you can guess. However, the beautiful man never takes off his shoes, because he does not have the feet of a man. Rather, one foot is a goat’s foot while the other is a chicken’s. And his feet are of animals because he is the devil. (San Antonio legend).
 I don’t know if ‘sceleris’ is the correct translation in latin for ‘sin.’ I had been searching and searching and it seemed to be the best word, roughly translated of course.