The worst part about the gig with Jack’s sister was the knowledge that they weren’t going to get paid for their work. Even though the job itself would hold some satisfaction, satisfaction doesn’t pay for gas or food. The Creepy Bug Guy, as Jack and his sister called him, was a notorious serial killer with a predilection for killing kids and doing the deed with insects. His real name was Boris Orlovski, an immigrant from Eastern Block Europe back from when it was entirely terrifying, as opposed to now where it was just mostly terrifying. His kills were often messy, which meant that when the police lost sight of the Bug Guy, Sam never did. Despite knowing where he was, father had never let either one of them go out on a hunt like this before. That she had come out and recruited him meant things had changed drastically since the old days before he had left home.
Stan was doing most of the heavy lifting. Pausing to light a new cigar, Stan briefly tried to turn the reasoning of his employer over in his head before quickly giving up. “Are you sure you wants to clean them bugs up? It ain’t gonna be pretty.”
“If I refused to go she would leave on her own and I would rather be there for this than miss the chance to see Creepy Bug Guy take a fall. Also, I’m not sure Sam could handle it on her own. I don’t really want to go, but I don’t think I have a choice.”
Stan snorted smoke from his nose and tapped his cigar, “And don’t she know it too.”
It was early enough in the day that, with their road trip started, they would make it to the cabin by the evening, just in time for some late-night cleaning. Stan hopped in the front seat of the van and started the engine, letting it idle while Jack did a mental inventory to make sure nothing was left behind. Before too long they were off, leaving the ordered streets and their office behind for the second straight day of cleaning. Unlike the first trip, no mountain breezes serenaded them with promises of new adventures afoot.
Stan broke the silence, after what felt like an eternity of empty road had gone by, “What are we gonna do once we get there? I ain’t been on a hunt, strictly speakin, before now.”
Jack stretched and idly scratched at the stain on his jacket, “Sam will take the lead so all we need to do is go inside and clean up the mess with the Bag. We make it all as spotless as a crazed killer’s hideout can be and then put the place up on Craigslist so this trip isn’t a complete waste of time. Maybe we can get the gas money out of this.”
“Just gas money for one’a them vacation cabins?”
“It’s all about location, Stanley. If the crazed former occupant didn’t turn you off then the location right next to a swamp would very likely put the nail in the coffin. We’ll be lucky if it gets picked up at all.”
Jack stared out the window and watched the trees whip by, “My sister was hired to do her job, and we’re just tagging along to make sure she finishes it. And then we get to do ours. I’ve waited a very long time for this.”
“Sounds like youse two was followin’ his career pretty close.” Stan kept a close eye on the road. When you drove down dirt roads in the back country, all land-marks start to look exactly the alike, eventually. It wasn’t just likely Stan would overshoot the site, it was practically guaranteed.
The cabin in question was at the end of an all-day drive. Well, an all-day drive for normal people and maybe half a day for Sam. The cabin was made of pieces of wood clearly not intended to be used together had been crammed into some approximation of walls with a ceiling. No wall had any consistent coloring and many large chunks of the wall facing them when they arrived seemed to have been made from other walls made by other, more talented carpenters. Sam’s bike was already there and the door to the cabin had been carefully smashed into tiny pieces as was her usual mode of operations. Start punching first while asking questions without really caring about the answers or even whether the questions made any sense or not.
Jack hopped out of the car and went around to the back of the van, watching it shift as Stan got out as well. Opening the door, he found his own bag of tools and slung it over his shoulder. The bag was as tall as he was, a thin cylinder of black leather that held his most precious tools. He rarely used them these days given who he received them from, but this was a rare occasion indeed. Without checking on Stan, he strode into the cabin and looked around. It was all one room and much like the outside of the cabin, every item of furniture looked as though it had been scavenged from the dump and patched up with other things taken from other dumps. Jack spotted chair with a couch cushion for a back and a pillow for a seat. A seat that wriggled slightly upon closer inspection. Oh right, the bug guy. There would be bugs everywhere.
It was then that Jack got the impression of being watched by many, many tiny eyes. Stan stood in the doorway, struggling to navigate the small doorway without knocking down the whole structure.
Jack carefully unhooked his bag, not moving too fast lest he spook the insects within the wall, “We may have made a terrible mistake.
Stan put his cigar in his mouth and placed one massive hand on either side of the doorway. Jack barely had time to turn before Stan gave the walls a push. They fell to either side, scattering poisonous insects around onto the floor.
“Ah, damn.” Jack whipped his broom out of his bag that prompted Stan retreat a few steps. The whole building collapsed in on Jack. With a quick motion, he whirred his broom around his head, cutting through he flimsy materials and killing most of the insects. The remaining pieces of the shed fell to the ground, diced into small ribbons. Jack’s broom had been made specially for him. The head glistened in the dim light. The bristles were made of extremely fine steel, capable of shredding anything they encountered.
Jack held the broom away from his face, “Give me a little warning next time!” With another slash, he made short work of a few remaining insects.
Brushing some dust off his face, Jack coughed a few times and steadied himself, “No Stan, I did charge in on my own, that wasn’t very smart. Glory is a bitter dish, after all.”
Stan nodded solemnly and repeated his boss, “Glorysa’ bitter dish.”
The walls coming down left the foundations bare and that made the hole in the floor with the descending staircase painfully obvious, “Well, it did have some good effects so we’ll call this one even. I’m not sure if you can fit down there, Stanley, so I’ll keep touch with you via my phone if I need you. My guess is that this place will end up somewhere near the swamp for the purposes of collecting new insects and disposing of past trophies. I’ll go on ahead, you keep in touch.” With that, Jack began the descent into Creepy Bug Guy’s lair and a hunt that was long overdue.