"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder."
-Led Zeppelin, "Stairway to Heaven"4.24/4.25.18Beltane BrouhahaFull Moon Automotive
With the changes of the seasons, came a good bit of business for Full Moon Auto. Between "Mudding" fanatics, to tune ups, even people being able to afford walking in the Springtime weather without a car for a couple days catching up on things that probably should've been fixed months ago. Oops. Hex had seen it all. As it was, Hex had gotten a job that was taking a touch longer than expected. Originally, the customer had come in for "ticking in the engine" that started a few weeks ago, just for Hex to discover a whole slew
of problems that had.. virtually nothing to do with the engine at all - a problem he'd found was a simple loose bolt on a piece of the motor that made two pieces tap together through the vibration of the engine.
Lately, Leah had asked Hex to take Frankie under his wing once again. Teach him some things, give 'im some direction. He listens to you... don't ask me why
. Hex didn't know either, but he'd agreed. So really, it was his own mistake for thinking it was a good idea to make it Take the Clumsy Teenager To Work day. As it turned out, Frankie wasn't only inwardly destructive - but outwardly too. With both boys leaned over the inside of the car, with the inked teenager holding the flashlight for him, the Big Guy talked and pointed out what went where, what did what, and the importance of each part. Curiosity killed the Frankie - or tried to - when he stretched too far to point something out, bumped the hood stand and knocked it out of place. The hood crashed down on both of their heads, sending both boys into a cursing fit. "It's cool, it's cool, just move to this side..."
That hadn't quite worked out either. Now away from the hood stand, Frankie ended up dropping the flashlight into the guts and came out with something else instead. "Is this... supposed to come off?..." Hex's face was Less Than Amused as he took the hose from Frankie and smacked him in the forehead with it. "It can, but it shouldn't
." Finally, he pulled the teenager away from the car itself, over to the engine setting on a lift. "Okay, so what we have here is..." ... "The engine!" ... "...Yes, Frankie. You got that one right. So the purpose of-- WATCH IT!" ......... The demon-goblin had carelessly tripped over an extension cord and tried to catch himself hands out on the motor, knocking one of the hooks loose.
Hex only had time to save one from the fall... and well, sorry Frankie. He caught the motor with a grunt and awkward stance before peeking down at him over the engine. "...You good?"
"Mhmmm...." The teen groaned, holding up a hand. "M'fine...."
With a hard press of lips together in the infamous Hex-Bitchface, he'd gotten the engine back on the hooks properly. "... So here's what we're gonna do... I promised your Ma I'd show you the ropes on cars, but I can't let you tear this place down to do it... c'mere."
"Why do you have that duct tape?"
"Just shut up and get the **** over here."
By the time night had fallen, Hex was much more happily explaining tools, parts and how to fix the parts with the tools to the Klutz now that he was immovable.... and duct taped to a chair. Smile on his face and everything - and it was a toss up which made him more pleased. Teaching someone about cars or having duct taped Frankie to a chair...
Clouds hung heavy in the sky, but for once it wasn't snowing or bitterly cold. Saila was out walking, as Saila was often wont to do, enjoying the chill night air on her cheeks. With short black shorts and a pair of black and white striped thigh-high socks on the bottom and a Full Moon Auto branded hoodie on top that was several sizes too big for her, the mercurial teen had her face tipped up towards the sky and her hands stretched out at her sides as she turned a corner and headed down a new block.
It hadn't been a conscious decision to go see her man, not exactly, at no point had she thought to herself I think I'll go see Hex
. Her steps carried her inexorably towards him anyway, attracted by his energy like a moth to light, or maybe she just honestly wanted to see him.
As she neared the mechanic's shop, the actress became aware of two things right away. One -- the Big Guy was working late. Two -- he wasn't alone, and the other person with him wasn't Garrison. The energy was familiar enough, though, and it wouldn't have stopped her no matter who was with him anyway. Turning a final corner, Saila let herself in, weaving around the first bay on her way to the second. When she got there, she paused, blinking several times as her gaze shifted from the one to the other and back. "Um. Hi?"
Frankie, dressed sensibly in a tee shirt that was a bit more form fitting, same with the skinny jeans he wore and converse. Hex had told him to not
tempt fate by wearing any form of loose clothing in the shop - he was clumsy enough as it was without his clothing's aid! Hex himself wore a simple black close-fitting tee shirt and jeans, nothing special and with the intent to get grungy from grease and grime. The scrawny, younger Mini-Hex was bound by wrists to armrests and shoulders to chair backing. The Big Guy had warned him if he started kicking around, he'd tape him into a pretzel, so the teenager didn't poke the bear into proving the threat true. Even if he was bound to a chair, he did seem genuinely interested in what Hex was saying - as much as any restless, ADD driven teenager could
possibly pay attention. "Uh huh.. sure. Right. So whass'a thing right there do? ... Can I play with it? No? Dang, don't gimme that look Old Man, m'jus' playin'..." He'd ducked his head down like a turtle until Saila showed up.
At that point, apart from the brief look he'd shot Frankie for asking to touch something after the collateral he'd already caused that day, there was a particular tug to the corner of his mouth that always came from the feeling of Saila's energy close by. It only grew when the distance of energies closed. "Don't. Move." Hex gestured to him pointedly with each spoken word, a lift of brows over necessary Aviators with people that weren't
the vixen. Rising from being leaned against the open hood of an '86 El Camino, he withdrew from hiding and more into the open with a dimpled grin and stifled laugh to her questioning greeting. "Hey baby," he lifted his brows, playing innocent. "... What?" Nothing strange here!
Frankie didn't miss a beat, the ever-consistent troll as he tipped his head back and peered up at the purple haired girl. A beaming, toothy smile cracked his face as he lifted a hand from the rounded part of the armrest to wiggle his fingers in a restricted wave. "Sup?"
Saila blinked a few more times in rapid succession, then shook her head. Yes, the teenager who reminded her so much of Hex when she really looked at him was... duct taped to a chair in the shop. Yes, Hex seemed perfectly aware of it. Resolved that this must just be the way of things, she stepped artfully over a large tool box that lay open on the floor and immediately up to her greasy Hellion.
The teen didn't wind herself around him like she normally would -- he was at work, and she actually liked these shorts (the hoodie was his to begin with, to be fair, so she cared less about whether he ruined it). She tucked ringed fingers into the waistband of his jeans though, just behind the belt buckle, and tugged him lightly closer as she leaned in to kiss him on the mouth in proper greeting. "Heya handsome," she said with a grin as she pulled away, tilting her head to glance over at Frankie. "Do I even.. want to know what's going on here?"
Hex artfully watched those long legs stretched over the tools, the graceful movements of them. He kept up that innocent look, but she'd likely know he was watching those Legs For Days. Reaching him, he didn't reach out for her with his oil stained hands respectfully, 'cause maybe he liked those short-shorts too! Grinning to the tug that inched him closer, hips first before his spine rolled to duck his head in for a kiss that lingered a second before breaking apart. If they didn't mortify - or give a teenage boy a show - while he was duct taped to a chair, that'd be great!
" Frankie spat, turning his head away from the love fest going on in front of him.
Rolling his eyes, Hex pulled a rag from his back pocket and tossed it at Frankie. "Shut up
." Turning hidden golden pools to Saila, he blinked and shrugged the mass of shoulders. "You've never seen a teenager duct taped here before? The ****." A deep rumble of laughter came before he shook his head and pointed the wrench to Frankie. "Nah, m'showing Frankie the ropes of cars... unfortunately he's a walking Final Destination and bound to kill himself here," he gestured around before scoffing.
Frankie didn't even seem the least
bit offended, just shrugged his shoulders as best he could with a tip of his head, brief closing of his eyes and downward motion of his mouth. "Meh, it's true. I almost dropped an engine on 'im, and I tried the best I could to give 'im a concussion.." He squinted glacier blue eyes at the Big Guy. "****er got a skull'a diamond or some s***.." As if he'd done it on purpose. In reality, he'd apologized a dozen times and yelped like a girl when Hex got him in a headlock for it. He was quiet for a second, pursing his lips and tapping his fingers on the chair before he ticked his brows up, looking between the two. "So, I gotta pee... on'a you guys wanna untape me?"
Saila raised her brows at Frankie, and under different circumstances where Hex wasn't
covered in engine oil, she might have taken his exclamation as a challenge. Her peculiar eyes got wide and then wider as he explained the things that had transpired since he'd been here tonight. "I don't know what a Final Destination is, but…seriously
?" Her attention swung from Frankie to Hex as though visibly checking him for outward damage, though she couldn't, didn't see anything particularly amiss with him. "Are you...alright? Oh, I brought over those posters Garrison asked for. " She lifted her shoulders in a shrug. "Maybe people here will vote for me? I don't know...." The grizzled old man had said he'd vote or her, though, and that he'd put one of the posters up in the window. As much as he grumbled and huffed about her and Hex, she was beginning to suspect the grumpy old dude actually liked her...
Then Frankie made his announcement about needing to get up, and her thoughts were pulled immediately back to the young(er) teenager in the room. She looked from him to Hex. "Do we... trust that? Or is he going to randomly change into a Tasmanian Devil if I let him go..?" Somebody had been watching cartoons again.
Frankie appreciated the fact Hex was covered in engine grease. Just saying. Though, he couldn't help but blink at Saila, looking to Hex for confirmation. "Haven't seen... ****, man? Slackin'! Shaaaaaaame on ya cow!" He huffed at Hex, who only gave him a strange look until he remembered the Disney movie it was from, rolling his eyes. "Cool it, Mushu," the Hellion snickered, spotting Saila checking him over. "You can give me a more thorough inspect if y'want," that oil slick smirk crept up his lips, dimpling one cheek. "If I say no, will you be more inclined? I mean, I'm definitely wounded on the inside..." He frowned. "Could use some tender lovin' from a Long Legged Vixen," he teased, and only part of it was to put the exact
face Frankie made. All scrunched and head shaking like he'd just sucked on a lemon. "Gahd, ya gross.. what did you do
to him, Saila?!" He blinked then, head tilting as he looked between them.
Hex had even sported a pout until she mentioned the posters and he lifted his chin with a nod, "oh, good. I cleared off the old s*** in the window to make room for it," he snickered. There'd been old, irrelevant ads and information on there. Garrison grumbled and griped about them, but then would turn around and ask Hex how Saila was doing, and all too quick to shove the Hellion out the door when going to see her. Hex was starting to suspect he liked her more than him
. Garrison said it was true, and Hex was a little s***. "Votes for what?" Frankie was looking back and forth between them, brows furrowed. "Is... Saila running for Governor...?"
The Big Guy sputtered a laugh to her reference, and the younger teen was already shaking his head in denial. "Nah, he's more like Wile E. Coyote. His s*** always backfires on him," he smirked, but seemed pleased by her knowing about the Tasmanian Devil. "C'monnn, I'll walk carefully!" Frankie groaned, head tipping back. "M'gonna ruin the chair!" He squirmed, and Hex just rolled his eyes, reaching over and grasping one of the pieces of tape before shredding it with a jerk of fingers.
Saila shook her head at Hex, giving a very teenager-ish roll of her eyes in response to his antics, but there was an affectionate smile on her face. "You are such
a ham," she chided him with a laugh, "...but I'll take it under advisement."
Frankie's question and follow-up guess made her laugh again, an easy snicker rolling off her tongue. "Governor? No. I'm not cut out for cage matches." Saila didn't have a solid handle on what a governor even did
, she only knew that there were cage matches whenever one got elected. Watching Hex free the kid, she raked her fingers through deep violet locks. "I'm in the running for May Queen. It's a Beltane thing. Lots of people got nominated but I guess they're only having a final vote on the top three and... uh. I'm one of them?"
Hex's dimpled grin only grew under the affectionate smile, though he wrinkled his nose at being called a ham
. "Well, better than being a pig," he snickered with a shake of his head.
The thought of Saila as governor made Hex chuckle. "City wide ban on sugar, maybe?" He teased gently. "Cage matches.. **** did I miss with last election?" The Hellion furrowed his brows. Well... the Terminator was a governor for a while in Cali... anything can happen.
Shaking his head to that thought, he finished releasing Frankie who seemed to be lost in thought for a moment.
Rising to his feet and finishing the detachment of duct tape from across his chest - with no lack of flapping each hand in turn like a kitten with... well, tape
stuck on its paw. "Nghhhhhhh! Beltane is that Spring celebration thing, yeah?" Chewing on his bottom lip, it broke free with his grin."Well, you've got my vote. I'll say som'n to Em and the guys. Ma will vote for ya, too." Frankie nodded firm as he started off to the bathroom.
Hex watched the teenager for a minute. ".....Bathroom's the other way, Frankie...." He pointed in the complete opposite direction.
"Right! Knew that!" Tossing up his hands, the awkward teen turned around and marched where he'd pointed. Snickering, Hex just shook his head and looked at Saila. "More votes though," he grinned, leaning in to press a kiss to Saila's cheek.
"But other people like it so much," she countered. Saila was a generous soul, perhaps because that was the impression that had been left on her by most of the people she'd encountered in her relatively short little life. She'd become a live and let live kind of girl, in utter defiance of her programming. To his question of the cage matches, the teen just shrugged. "I dunno. I've only seen two elections so far, but both times they made all the candidates do kind of a group duel in this giant cage thingie. Do they not do that other places?" Her question was completely earnest, deadpan serious, her expression inquisitive.
Frankie earned her smile. "Aw, thanks precious. I dunno if I'm going to win or not but I think it would be fun. Yeah, it's about Spring and rebirth and growing and.... I would apparently get to light a fire?" Chuckling when he got turned around, she tilted her cheek into Hex's kiss a moment later. "True! Every vote counts."
"See? Already caring about the people," Hex chuckled, dark brows soaring over his aviators as she explained. "...I'm actually kinda disappointed that I've missed it now. That might actually make the politics more interesting to see them tossin' fists at each other," he snickered, shaking his head. "No... not anywhere I've come from. Just a bunch of speeches, commercial ads, announcements and boring
s***." He wrinkled his nose. "Human politics were... too mild and tame for me to pay attention to." One shoulder rolled in a shrug when she looked at her with a flicker of a smile, brief. Hell's politics were strategic, extreme, intense and at the least, exciting
. If not gruesome.
Hex watched Frankie maneuver carefully over obstacles like he was playing the lava game. Don't fall in the lava!
Though it almost just looked a careful Godzilla trying to avoid stepping on the townspeople. "Fire?" The teen glanced over his shoulder briefly. "I mean, I don't know much about the Beltane thing... but if there's a fire to light..." He cackled out, holding up his arms victoriously when he ventured over the simple maze that was like a Labyrinth to him. Two thumbs went up. "Got it! I'll get the word out on my end, gotchuuuuu," he crooned out before busting through the bathroom door in a rush to get past the finish line. "Gottago, gottago, gottago," he hissed, slamming the door behind him in his rushed manner.
The Hellion snickered as he bumped his nose to Saila's cheekbone in a weak nuzzle, shaking his head. "Leah will be happy, that'll keep the kid busy for a while," he smiled before lifting his chin to her. "So how you feelin' about it all anyways? Excited? Nervous? Oh, Harper's making her rounds, she texted me not too long ago. Said she'd be back in time to vote," he promised her. "Kokabiel asked if you've got an outfit
for Beltane yet." He rolled his eyes, pulling the rag out of his back pocket to start getting some of the grime off his hands, turning to sit on the edge of the open hooded car.
Saila chuckled, taking him at his word that human politics were mostly boring. She stepped close to him, in the Big Guy's immediate vicinity without actually touching him because of all that motor oil. Watching Frankie navigate the garage, she shook her head with a smile, glancing up at Hex. "I'm actually kind of impressed he didn't fall over anything, based on what you said," she murmured with a smile. "Kid's got a lot of enthusiasm, though."
Reaching up, she drew her fingers lightly over Hex's cheek, hesitating only a moment before she lifted his sunglasses, pushing them back on his forehead so she could see him for real. Her smile, when it came, was soft, affectionate. "Mm. There's
my Baby." Gliding her fingertip gently down the tip of his nose next, she let him go when he walked towards the car, following only a short step after. "I'm alright. It's... I don't know. This is the third time I've gotten nominated in this thing, but it all feels... so much more important this time, for some reason. It's a weird feeling, I don't really know how to describe it." To be fair, Saila didn't know how to describe most
of her feelings. Her smile bloomed anew as he rattled off the dealings of his sisters. "It's cool to have so much support. Thanks, babe."
"Yeah, but he's still gotta walk back
without falling over anything..." Hex countered, like the journey wasn't quiiiiite over yet. And it wasn't. "He's a good kid," the Big Guy confided with a slight hook of a smile. "Just has to find the right things to burn his energy on, some sorta direction," he shrugged. It was true, too. Those protests were a turning point for Frankie, and probably the hardest he'd ever worked on anything in his young life so far.
Lids lowered to half mast beneath her touch, a contented sigh leaving him since he was a little too grungy to wind her up in his arms like he normally did. It sated him for the moment, and his dimples quick to display when she pushed up his glasses. Those golden pools fixed on her warmly to that memorized line, and his voice was soft on cue. "Here I am," he promised, wiggling his nose when she traded down his nose. Though before he moved, there was a flicker of a smirk and a quick kiss pecked to her reaching finger. "Well..." He sighed, letting his wrists rest on his thighs as he fiddled with the rag he'd been using to wipe his hands with. "Considering all the s*** that's been going on, it's a turning point. You've established yourself here, you've grown... and..." He lifted one shoulder in a shrug, a warm smile on his lips as he looked up at her. "Gotta say, you've embraced the whole meaning
behind May Queen this past year. I mean," he chuckled, leaning forward as he reached, trying to catch the hem's edge of her shirt to bring her closer and between his outstretched legs with care not to smudge grease on her. "This might be totally
biased... but I think you deserve that crown," he wrinkled his nose up at her before barking that laugh about his sisters. "Yeah, I think they might've adopted you," he grinned. "Good luck, babe. Now you've gotta deal with what I
do," he teased, his eyes fearfully wide before he grinned.
And it was about that time that Frankie came bursting out of the bathroom, toilet paper stuck to the heel of his converse. His eyes were wide as he'd frantically wiped his still damp hands from washing them on his jeans. "I gotta go!" He announced abruptly, starting forward before he hopped on one foot in the realization there was toilet paper on his shoe. "Sonofa... getoffme
..." He hissed, shaking his leg out before he waved it off. The metaphorical light bulb above his head was almost visible with his inclination of an idea. "Thanks for showin' me the ropes of cars 'n s***, Hex but... I got som'n I need'a do." He started off at a too quick pace, an almost awkward slow run as he tried to dance around scattered tools, almost tripped over a compression tank with a yelp and made his way for the door. "It was cool seein' ya, Saila. Stay fly and good luck!" He yipped with a flapping wave as he rushed for the door.... promptly smacking into it when he forgot it was a pull
... stupidly, since it had a turn nob. "****!" He barked, rubbing his nose before he figured out how to open the damn thing and swung himself out of it with waves. "Bye! Bye!"
Hex just blinked at Frankie. "Watch out for the -- ya gotta... turn
the nob, Frankie -- almost got it.. smooth..." He muttered, shaking his head before he looked over at Saila. ".... Told you." About the battle of Frankie's journey having only been half
[size=9][Thanks to Saila for this excerpt!][/size]
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Leave it to Frankie to have an epiphany in the bathroom of Full Moon Auto… he’d fumbled and rushed out of there, leaving a trail of excited energy and knocked over tools in his wake.
He was a tornado of sprinting destructing on his way home, and he’d burst through the front door of him and his mother’s apartment. Basically spilling himself across the kitchen linoleum in a full bellied spraw, he summoned a surprised yelp from his mother sitting on the couch. “Jesus, Frankie! Are you trying to give me a gosh damn heart attack?!” She huffed, and if she was a cat, she’d be in full poof!
Grunting and scrambling to his feet, brushing the front of his shirt off, he gave Leah an apologetic look laced with excitement that made it difficult to be seen as genuine. “Sorry, Ma… I just got this thing to do… and m’kinda runnin’ on the clock here.” He closed the door behind him as he heard the soft voices of the television being muted into silence and he could feel
his mother’s eyes burning into his back. “Where? Do ya know what time it is?” A frown appeared on the seemingly young woman’s face as she set the remote beside her, dressed in a pink fuzzy robe and pajama pants.
Sighing, he turned around and started across the living room carpet to his room. “Yeah, but I got som’n important to do. I’ll be careful. Promise.”
Leah’s eyes narrowed on the teenager, suspicious. “Where?”
The teenager groaned as his head tipped back and he spun on clumsy heels to face his mother. “It’s a thing for a friend…”
“Oh, I like her.”
“Yeah, she’s cool but she’s got this thi--”
“Beautiful hair. Sweet girl.”
“Yes, it’s bright and… yes, she’s real nice, Ma. Can we just--”
“What are you doing for Hex’s girl?”
“Well, she’s doing this thi--”
“You staying out of trouble, Frankie?”
While Frankie looked exasperated, Leah’s fine brows were risen expectantly. Taking a deep breath, he expelled it in a huff. “Shh…”
“Don’t you tell me to shush, boy…” There was a warning in her tone.
“Sorry, Ma… look…” And then it all came out in a rush, hopefully fast enough before being interrupted by his mother again. He told her exactly what he had planned.
“...so, see? No trouble. Just tryna do som’n for the campaign.”
By the end of it, Leah had a fat, warm grin on her face as she giggled. “Alright… go.” She waved him off, reaching for the remote.
“Really? That’s it?”
“Mhm…” The blonde woman was already turning her attention to the television, at the ready to unmute her show. “Stay outta trouble, text me to let me know you’re okay… and be back by dawn. Like usual.”
Frankie had been turning for his room when he paused in the doorway like a stunned doe. “... Like usual?” He slowly turned his head to peer his icy glacier pools at his Ma.
Leah gave him a knowing side glance, dull. “I’m your mother. I always
know…” she gave him an intimidating look that would’ve turned him pale if he hadn’t had his illusions up, swallowing hard when she lifted her finger to tap the side of her nose.
As he shuffled into his room at a snail’s pace, his mother smiled in amusement and pressed that remote button, chuckling. “Good boy,” she muttered, curling her legs up under her while Frankie headed for his closet to find a bag that had gone untouched for too long. “Don’t forget to vote for her!” he called on his way out of the apartment.
“Already did! I know everything
“Ughhhhhhhhhh!” The teenager groaned dramatically as she closed the door on the sound of his mother’s laughter.
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And just like the two before it, come sunrise, there would be a new work of art that turned a shabby, derelict building into a work of art. Located close to West End, conveniently along the way of plenty foot traffic heading for the Marketplace square and within range of Full Moon Auto… was a mural painted in inspiration of a May Queen Nominee.
Whether she won or not, the mural was worth painting in the end.
[size=9][Original photo of Lauren Calaway, edited and manipulated by me.]