See disclaimer chapter 1
The trip thus far had been somehwat uneventful, the only skirmishes being between father and son over the nickname search. Logan had restrained himself from getting into the odd bar fight or two. The opportunities were there, and had he been alone, he more than likely would have done some battling. But with the boy at his side, he held off, opting instead on verbal sparring and so-called pissing contests, and most tense situations eased without bloodshed.
Logan knew that Francis was watching his every move intently, trying to learn all he could about dealing with those who often times could not be dealt with. He chuckled at the more creative insults doled out by his father, who was very talented at making each insult dished out colorful and very funny.
However, since visiting the site at Alkali Lake, Logan had felt the ever increasing pressure inside to vent, to explode. It happened with each visit, the burning desire to pound something, to beat something to a pulp. He did not want Francis to be around when and if he did go off, so he fought himself constantly to stay in control.
He was glad the trip was nearing an end, and he would not need to control himself that much longer. Francis was in a depression about his journey ending, but was gladdened by the promise of yet another trip. They had no real plan for the vacation, just finding a spot on a map and going, but it was enjoyable for both of them.
They had pulled into a road side parking area, to have lunch and to rest, and decide on the last few stops in their trip, before pointing the RV home. Logan was outside the vehicle, checking fluid levels in the engine. Francis was busy cleaning up the trash they had accumulated, and hauling the large trash bags up a small hill to a dumpster. It was a bit of an effort on his part, but it was his job, and he did it without complaint.
An old pickup truck had also pulled in , its occupants a father son team as well. The son merely a smaller carbon copy of his rather large blob of a father. Logan kept an eye on the duo, not liking the vibes he was sensing from them. For the moment, both pairs went about their activities without conflict.
Francis trotted back to his father. "Whatcha want for lunch? I think we got hotdogs. And another can of chili." The boy looked at his father, and noticed the man's attention was not completely on the conversation he was trying to have. He followed his father's glances, and saw the motley duo. "You know them?"
Logan continued with his chore, filling the wiper fluid reservoir. "Never seen 'em before. Why?"
Francis glanced at the two once more. "Oh, no reason. So, dogs it is?"
"Sure. You didn't eat all those Doritos, did you?"
"No, I didn't eat all the Doritos, I ate all the Cheetos." With that Francis turned, and trotted to the RV, glancing once more at the two occupants of the pickup, before going inside.
Logan was in the process of putting away the wiper fluid and closing the access panel when the older of the two strangers approached, a crooked smile on his face. "That's some vehicle you got there. Damn, it has a satellite dish on it too." He called back over his shoulder. "Hey, come here and look at this." The smaller copy of the man strolled up, and stood next to his father.
"Look at this thing. Ever seen anything like it? Must have cost a pretty penny, huh? Whatcha got in there? One of them things that tells ya' where ya' are all the time? A global whatever?"
Logan glanced at the man, as he wiped his hands off. "Yeah, something like that." He turned and started to walk away.
"Hey, uh, I don't want to impose or anything, but can we have a look inside? Never know, maybe my boy here and I'll pick us up one of these things."
Immediately, the hair on the back of Logan's neck bristled. He could tell as soon as these two pulled up that they were bad news. He knew that they were probably looking to grab some of the equipment inside, make a quick buck or two. Logan slowly turned. "Uh, no, you can't have a look inside. I'm about to have some lunch, so excuse me." He turned again, and headed to the door.
The bigger of the two followed behind. "Aww, come on. We just want to have a peek. We just want to know how many people it sleeps, whether it has a shower and a can, heat, stuff like that. And with that satellite dish, you must have some set up inside. Television, stereo, computer. We ain't gonna steal nothing."
Logan reached for the door, but paused, because the guy was just too close. He couldn't take the chance that the bum would rush him to get inside, not that the slob wouldn't soon regret the move. It was a peaceful end to this Logan was searching for. He could hear the music coming from inside, knowing Francis was busily making lunch.
"I know you won't steal nothing, 'cause you ain't taking a peek. How about you just move along now, and let me have my lunch in peace?"
The man's expression turned at once from friendly to insulted to angry. "Whatcha got in there? Some sort of top secret stuff?"
Logan smirked. That was not too far from the truth, in reality. "Yeah. Top secret. Stuff. If you saw anything, I'd have to kill you."
The big man's eyes narrowed dangerously, as Logan simply stood there, nonchalantly. It was beginning to appear that these two would not be warned off so easily, and that what Logan had been fighting for so long would come to pass. He may have to battle this guy, and the miniblob, because they were persistent, and more importantly, stupid.
"That's not too friendly, is it? All we wanted was to look inside."
"That's me, not friendly. The answer was and still is, no. Excuse me." Logan turned to the door, and was about to open it when the big man grabbed his arm. Logan looked down at the big slab of ham that doubled as the man's hand, and then up into the man's eyes. "I really would remove that hand if I were you." He hissed this through his teeth.
"Oh, would you now? Well, you ain't me."
Just then, the door to the RV flew open, and as fate would have it, struck the big man and sent him flying. "Hey, Dad? I-" Francis peeked his head out when he felt the bump, to see what happened. He saw his father standing next to the door. "Did I hit you? I'm sorry. I just wanted to ask you if you wanted some kraut with your dogs. I found a can."
Logan was looking down at the man, who had lost his balance and had fallen to the ground. His boy leaned over him, trying to help him up. He then looked up at Francis, who by now had noticed it was not his father he had hit with the door. "Oops. Shit. I didn't know he was there."
"Great timing, kid. Perfect." Logan smiled at the boy, who was very confused about what his father had said. Logan wondered briefly to himself if the kid had timed his entrance for just the right moment, or if it had just been chance. He decided it must have been pure luck.
The stunned man stumbled to his feet, cursing and shaking off the assistance from his son. "Son of a bitch!!! Little shit nearly broke my arm!!"
Francis cowered a bit, and looked at his father, very concerned. "I didn't know he was there."
Logan smiled. "Don't worry about it. He shouldn't have been there in the first place."
The man focused on Francis, eyeing him up and down. "That your kid? Looks kinda puny. I'ld ask for my money back on that one. you got gypped," the man sneered.
Logan sneered as well, looking at the miniblob. "That your kid? Eww. Looks like your gene pool needs some more chlorine there bub. I'd put a bag on his head, he's scaring people." He glanced at the man before him. "Come to think of it, you could use a bag too." Logan watched as both behemoths reddened in anger.
"Smart mouth prick. You gotta learn some manners."
Logan tensed, knowing where this was going. He set himself. Finally, Francis or no Francis, there was going to be a fight. He could feel his blood running hot now. "Oh, I do, huh? You gonna teach me, lard ass?" He gave Francis a quick look, and the boy stood watching, frozen at the door. "How're the dogs coming?"
Francis swallowed hard. "Fine. Uh, do you want the kraut?"
"Sure. Can't get enough kraut."
Francis watched his father intently, his green eyes wide and glowing. "Are you gonna fight?"
Logan looked at the two individuals before him. "Yeah, looks like it. Wanna watch?"
Francis brightened a bit. "Ok. I'll go turn off the stove. Don't start without me." The kid disappeared into the RV in a flash.
Logan watched the boy disappear, and a smile grew on his lips. The boy was falling into his role in the game quite well. He could sense just a tiny bit of fear, but above all, the boy seemed more excited than afraid. He turned to the two red-faced people before him, and his smile grew wider when he could see total confusion dancing across their faces. It was obvious that they were beginning to have second thoughts about the whole thing, and maybe, just maybe, Logan would go easy on them for realizing their mistake in messing with them in the first place.