The bus rumbles along a lightly populated street. The inhabitants don’t know who the McWrither brothers are taking into their compound, and as long as it isn’t any of them, they don’t care. If, instead of looking at their shoes as the bus passed, they looked through the window, they would see a young man some of them may have known. From the grocery store, the local bar, even the occasional open Mic-night at Sassafras Book Emporium. But for now he rides ambiguous, already a ghost in there eyes.

It has been a week since Solace last saw his friends, and they didn’t part on good terms. After explaining to them what Orin and Talia, time travelers that would only show themselves to him, said they assumed he had lost more blood than once thought. After hours of arguing, they finally accepted his story but were thrown for a loop when he announced his departure. Jacob and Cas cursed, stating that he was being a fucking lunatic. Allan Tried to reason with him and Edgar threatened to leave the group. Patricia, Teller and Andy could only watch, not given the chance to give their input.

In the end, they came to an agreement, Solace is to keep in touch. The time they give is, as they very well know, arbitrary. There is no guarantee he will be able to send notice of his whereabouts. But anything to cling to is better than nothing. The last Solace saw of his friends, half of them were locked away in Dahlia Fox’s house and the other were biding him goodbye with their gaze averted.

Finding the McWrither’s was easy enough, all he had to do was follow the quad-copter. A few miles out of Kal he Found their bus idling, the doors opened and out squeezed the largest human Solace had ever seen. Nearly Seven feet tall and close to four feet wide, Billy McWrither ambled over to him, looking back sheepishly for instruction. In his excitement Billy knocked right into Solace, sending him painfully to the ground. Picking him up by his injured leg didn’t help matters, neither did misjudging the width of the bus door compared to the two of them going in as one. Finally in, Solace is unceremoniously tossed into one of the few seats still intact. Billy waddles his way to the back of the bus, leaving His brother Timothy to stare at Solace.

Now, here in the bus, with Billy Snoring and Timothy still staring, Carl drives them all towards the Compound. Carl, the brother who was out taking a whiz while Solace was being thrown around, spoke the most. He would ask questions and answer them. Every now and again he would shoot dirty look over at Solace.

“Nearly there, as if you cared. You don’t do you?” Carl spits, “course you don’t. Not that waking my up in the middle of the afternoon to pick your filthy ass up would bother you.”

“For the love of god Carl, will you shut your disease ridden hole. One hour, one full hour I had to sit here and digest your stupidity. Its giving me heart burn, dear brother.” Timothy says, speaking for the first time. “There is no point in taking Solace here to Brother Edward if the first thing he’ll do is blow his brains out. Yes we need him alive, but we also need him sane.”

“What did you call me? You unholy sodomite.”

“He didn’t call you anything Carl, he said your mouth is disease ridden,” Billy says sleepily, his eyes still closed.

“Will you look at that Solace, Billy here out witted the second stupidest in the family. I must change the rank board when we arrive.”

“If you touch that board I’ll shoot you on the knees Tim.” Carl snarls into the rear-view mirror, and with this small laps in attention he maneges to crash into a trash can, nearly taking the young children standing next to it down as well. Neither of the two older brother batted an eye, but Billy looked out of the window with concern on his face.

A few minutes later, the compound came into view. Solace’s face falls when he realizes the compound is his childhood home defaced and distorted to the whims of this mad family. Large gates that were not there before open to allow them in, the grounds are dug up and a tent has been set up in the ruins of the main house. Jacobs old family home is no more than a blemish on the ground.

“What did you do to my home?”

“We made it rustic,” Timothy says, “don’t you like it?”

“Yeah, we made it more like home!” Billy chimes in, the bus dips side to side as he walks back towards the front.

“I didn’t know we were being friendly with the prisoner,” Carl says.

“Dear brother, we are taking him home not to a prison. I know to a small mind those words sound similar, but I assure you they are not.” Timothy says with a smile to solace.

The look of confusion doesn’t change to anger fast enough, making Carl’s retort less imposing. Carl stops the bus, opens the door and points a gun at Solace. Not that he needs to. Solace had no intention of making a run for it and being picked up again by Billy would have quailed any such attempt anyhow. Having learned his lesson, Billy holds Solace out in front of him as he steps down to the ground.

The sound of spurs clink from inside of the tent, followed by the scrape of a match. The tent flap opens up to a cloud of acid green smoke. And a mans gruff voice calls out, “Solace, welcome home.”


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