There is a pregnant silence. A silence broken only by the rumble of thunder.
The teens stare at the dead cat with the onion tied to its neck, as it lies inert on the floor. As dead things tend to do.
Not surprisingly, the dead cat fails to move.
"I wonder what his name was," Fran says in little more than a whisper, utilising a really bad plot device to illustrate the fact that she has a sensitive side.
"What?" Lola snaps. Her face is screwed up in a grimace of hostility, utilising a really bad plot device to to illustrate the point that she really is a heartless bitch.
"The cat," Fran says. "I wonder what his name was..."
"Who fucking cares!" Angie bitches. "It won't be singing 'I Will Survive'. Obviously. Because it didn't."
The six recoil as one as a shotgun blast rings out somewhere outside.
"I wonder what's happening out there..." Nick says.
"Obviously somebody is shooting a gun, you fucking moron," Lola says.
Nick gives her the cold stare. He thinks she fancies him. He fantasizes about throwing her onto the pool table, tearing her clothes off and fucking her into oblivion. There would be no affection involved. It would be spiteful, rough, animalistic...
He snaps out of it.
Focuses instead on Angie. She got a little wet in the driving rain and her nipples are sticking out through her skimpy tee-shirt like little thumbs.
He fantasizes about throwing her onto the pool table and tearing her clothes off in an animalistic sexual frenzy. He imagines himself fucking her while she sings 'I Will Survive'. It wouldn't be brutal with her. It would be strong and steady.
He had never screwed a girl on a pool table. The idea intrigues him.
"I hope those guys are okay out there," Todd says.
"Of course they're okay," Angie says. "The hunter guy has a shotgun and a big knife, and the navy guy looks like a particularly scary soccer hooligan. Nobody in their right mind would fuck with those two."
At the mention of the word 'fuck', visions of pool tables and sexual congress flood unbidden into Nick's mind. He tries hard to banish those thoughts by thinking about the most unsexy thing he can think of. He concentrates on the internet website eBay.
Another gunshot rings out. The six teens wince in unison.
Then the horrible sound of fist impacting against face, a series of bone crushing smacks. A terrible scream like you might reasonably expect from a dog being castrated with a rusty blunt knife. With no anaesthetic.
"Jesus," Todd mutters.
"I don't like this at all," Fran says. "There's something very weird going on here..."
Lola glares at Fran. "Did you pack your brain for this trip?" she asks sarcastically.
"Fuck you bitch! Paris fucking Hilton has a bigger brain than you!" Fran snaps. "You're nothing but a cunt on legs!"
"Why you fucking..." Lola moves in for a full on assault...
But the door bursts open.
Duncan and Buck enter. Buck checks his shotgun. Duncan rubs the knuckles of his right hand into the palm of his left. His right fist is bloodied. There are clear tooth marks on the knuckles of his right hand.
"Way to go Dunc!" Buck the hunter says. "You sure punched that fucker's lights out."
"I fucking hate mutants," Duncan says. "They're a right nuisance."
"Mutants?" Angie gasps. "What do you mean? Mutants?"
"Deformed motherfuckers," Buck explains. "With no sense of humour. This area is riddled with them. They prey on tourists, terrorise them, kill them, cut their skin off and wear it as a mask. They screech a lot. They collect human bones. After they've cannibalised the bodies. They're a pain in the ass."
"So what's with the cat?" Fran asks.
"Just trying to scare you. That's all. They probably saw you coming and decided to put the fear of God into you," Duncan explains. His knuckles hurt. "Me and Buck here, we don't take any shit from those freaks. We kick their asses."
"Damn right," Buck says.
"You don't think they'll be interested in hearing my karaoke version of 'I Will Survive' then?" Angie enquires.
"Lady," Buck says. "If Michael Jackson had the chance to come back to life, if the only condition was that he'd have to listen to your karaoke version of 'I Will Survive' - I think he'd happily stay dead."
"How would you know?" Angie quips. "You haven't even heard me sing it."
"Lady," Buck says coolly. "You don't have to sniff a turd to realise it's gonna smell like shit. You just know."
"Fuck you," Angie says.
"You shouldn't talk that way to a man with a gun," Buck cautions.
"Let's just all calm down eh?" Johnny Boy says. "If there are mutant cannibal zombies or whatever out there, we ought to be in this together."
"Yeah, doing fucking harmonies on 'I Will Survive'," Nick quips.
At which point, the door bursts open and the wind and rain rush in, as does a dapper looking guy clutching a piece of paper. Hunched against the inclement weather. He forces the door shut. Turns and approaches the bar.
"Duncan Whitehead?" he asks.
"That would be me," Duncan says. Buck fingers the shotgun's trigger guard anticipating trouble...
The teens look on, just not knowing, in that vacant way that teens have when posed with anything difficult.
"Hi, I'm Bob," the dapper guy says. "Bob Armijo, attorney at law, and I'm here to serve a civil suit against you for punching seven colours of crap out of Michael the Mutant."
"Fuck off before I break your face," Duncan snarls. "And wipe your fucking arse with your papers."
"Righto," Bob the attorney says as he goes back outside.
"You sure showed him Dunc," says Buck.
"Wanker," Duncan says. "Those pricks are all the same. Fucking parasites."
From outside an agonised scream rends the air.
"Looks like his clients ain't too satisfied..." Buck says.
"Fuck 'em. All of 'em," says Duncan casually.
"Erm...are you absolutely certain you don't want to hear my karaoke version of 'I Will Survive'?" Angie pleads.
"Absolutely fucking certain," Buck says. "However, if you would like to divest yourself of all garments and lay back on the pool table with legs akimbo, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to concoct some form of alternative entertainment."
"Filthy minded bastard!" Angie hisses, nonetheless wondering what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of a jolly good rogering by these two virile macho men.
Todd, recognising the wayward look in his girlfriend's eye interjects.
"We need to find a campsite," he says. "Somewhere close..."
"That would be Camp Gruesome Death," Buck says. "It's about four miles down the road."
"We'll head out there then..." Todd says, putting his empty glass down on the bar and heading for the door.
His friends follow, with nods of acknowledgement toward Duncan and Buck.
"Watch out for the mutants!" Duncan shouts.
But he's too late. The six have already left.
Duncan and Buck laugh together as if at some shared joke.
Outside the storm rages on.
The camper pulls out of the car park and heads off down the road...
To be continued. Maybe.