Consistent

BY : RandomJaz
Category: +S through Z > South Park
Dragon prints: 7362
Disclaimer: I do not own South Park or any of it's characters, nor do I profit from this fanfiction.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Double update, today! Chapters 4 and 5! I hope to hear your thoughts. But, if not, thank you for reading 😊

Also, the song lyrics referenced in this chapter are from Outline in Color's "The Chase Song".

xxxxxx

"Pete, we're running out of orange and purple streamers."

"There's more in the back. Pass me the black for now."

Up on a ladder, I taped decorative strips of paper to the ceiling. Butters scurried off to go get more orange streamers, yelling something about the fake fuzzy spiders and webs that needed to be hung up, too. He was such a short stack and couldn't reach high enough to decorate the ceiling, hence why I was stuck with the brunt of it.

Halloween was that week and the manager demanded we get the place ready. As if the bowling alley was everyone's destination on arguably the most popular holiday. If I had to work it, I don't think it would have been the worst thing. It fell on a Friday this year.

When I finished decorating, the bowling alley looked nice. You know, for a bowling alley. Fake jack-o-lanterns and skulls were set out on counters and tables. There was a cauldron by the register that would be filled with candy when the big day came.

Content with my handiwork, the manager sent me on break that night. The first thing I needed was a smoke. Stan was at practice and Michael was still stewing, so I was by myself. Me and that faithful little cancer stick.

The rest of my break was spent on my phone at an empty table. Some stupid pop song was playing over the speakers overhead. Fishing for my earbuds, I pulled them from my pocket and tuned out the indoctrination everyone foolishly believed was just music.

The screaming coming from my ear buds competed with the screaming inside my own head. Hearing someone else belt their rage out numbed mine just enough to live with it. I couldn't even hear when the chair across me was pulled out, I felt the vibration under my boots.

"Yeah, boss?" I asked, taking an earbud out.

"I'm making the schedule for the week." he put down the spreadsheet, looking it over and analyzing what he had filled so far. "You celebrating Halloween this Friday?"

"...why?"

Tapping with the end of his pen, he showed me Saturday night's empty time slot.

"If you want Friday off, I can give it to you. But, I'll need you here Saturday night instead."

Xxxxx

With my uniform bagged up in one hand, I clocked out. Music played in my ears on my walk home. It was dark with streetlights giving me some sense of direction, offering enough visibility to know where I was going. The shithole town, there was always something falling apart.

As much as I hated it, it made me feel less out of place. If the streetlights had one simple purpose, and were struggling to fulfill it, maybe it gave the rest of us an excuse. God knows we could all use one.

It made our faults more bearable. We were wasting away under this notion that it was all part of the journey. Where was the finish line? Was anyone waiting there with applause? I doubted it.

So, if you're gonna' stay,

then how long would you wait for me?

Before your love begins to fade?

I just can't spend all of my days

in this place,

wasting away.

The road looked like it went on forever in the poor lighting. Sometimes, I convinced myself this mundane walk home was oblivion. The cracks on the sidewalk guided me home, as if they were one with me; the broken pieces I'd dropped on my way to work.

They were divots in the cement, now. And, was South Park's nature, no one would care enough to fill them back in. It was easier to step over them and pretend they weren't there at all.

So, don't forget me when I'm gone.

I promise,

I won't be long.

Maybe carrying all these burdens,

will teach us to be strong.

Will teach us to be strong-

Coming up on the town cemetery, I saw an orange dot amongst the grave stones. It was far out past the gate. Two more orange dots appeared, and gently the smell of tobacco and clove wafted by on the breeze. My instinct was to follow it, but I couldn't bring myself to pass the gate.

If I went, what was the point? Would I be claiming my spot amongst them, or would I be intruding? I didn't want to find out. Lighting my own cigarette, I hoped they could see the lone orange ember wandering astray.

None shall pass!
I will pay for this!
Nailed to a broken dream,

there's no place for me!

No security, crown, or comfort!
Shackled to a bed of thorns.
The water's at your throat,
to get burned when you've been warned!

Xxxxx

Dad was asleep when I got home. He left the t.v on, splayed out on the couch with a beer in his hand. He snored with his mouth agape. I wondered how many times he'd do that before Mom was tempted to jam one of those empty beer bottles down his throat. It would've been too easy.

Upstairs, in her own bedroom, Mom was most likely dead to the world too. She had to sleep for work in the morning. Snoring and some redundant infomercial were the only source of any noise. Passing the source itself, I looked for something to eat in the kitchen.

On the table was a note from Mom saying she was going to go grocery shopping after work the next day. It was her weak attempt to acknowledge I existed. It was more than the sperm donor on the couch did. I didn't care either way, it was kind of late for any effort. If any.

"Canned tuna, instant rice...raisin bran? For the love of-" I shut the cupboard with no interest in what was there.

A box of crackers was by the stove that Mom probably left there when she warmed up a can of soup to go with them. There was a sleeve of crackers left.

"Taking these." I chucked the empty cardboard box in to the Recyling.

Inside the melancholy sanctuary of my room, I threw my bagged uniform on top of my hamper to deal with later. I'd just been ready to tear in to the crinkly plastic of the crackers when I got the text from Michael asking me why I hadn't joined them at the cemetery.

Xxxxxx

The well-meaning teacher I had for English was a man in his forties. Some average Joe without much personality but tried his best to reach us on our level. He called out for attendance and I wrote in my notebook, seated towards the back of the room.

"Pete?" Mr. Stuart called out.

"Faggot-ahem." Clyde coughed under his breath, getting a snicker from his buddies.

Mr. Stuart looked up from his attendance sheet, spotting me raise a hand with disgruntlement.

"Here."

Already tired of First Period that day, I put my head down on my arms. He made it down the list, noting everyone was present. Mr. Stuart liked having a full class.

The only thing worse than a high school teacher who didn't like teaching, was one who liked teaching. Sociopaths. At least I could wrap my head around why someone would hate teaching a bunch of hormonal carcasses.

"I'm going to pass around a worksheet to complete with today's reading." The class was instructed as a whole. "Turn it in before the bell rings. You can work with a partner if you'd like."

The desks in that room were set up so that they were pressed together in pairs. Going around, Mr. Stuart put a worksheet on each desk while everyone who wanted to work in pairs moved around to find their chosen partner.

"Head up, Pete." I heard the dry scrape of paper being placed on my desk. "C'mon, Bud."

In his caring way, Mr. Stuart gave me a brief pat on the shoulder. I raised my head, freezing when I heard someone plunk their weight down in the desk pressed up next to mine.

"I don't recall inviting you over here."

"I need an invitation?"

"Isn't that vampire etiquette, or whatever?"

Making himself comfortable, Mike pulled out a pen for his worksheet.

"You're funny, Pete." He chortled.

Mike was the only one brave enough to brazenly approach me uninvited like that, with the exception of the jocks and my own group. At the front of the room, Mr. Stuart looked his glasses down whilst grading our quizzes from another day. He didn't see the balled-up notebook paper that went flying across the room, hitting me in the side of the head.

"It's going to be one of those days, looks like." I grumbled to myself.

Mike rolled his eyes at Clyde's shenanigans. It was an unspoken empathy. I didn't need it, not from him. Why couldn't he fucking buzz off and sit somewhere else?

We didn't actually work together. I made it clear I didn't want to. Turning my eyes down to read, I didn't see the next projectile coming towards my head.

Swiftly catching it before it could hit me, Mike crammed the paper ball in his bag to throw away later. Clyde turned away, determined to ball up another one. Before he could throw it, a granola bar nailed him square in the face.

Smack!

"Ay, what the fuck!?"

Clyde's outburst drew in everyone's attention. His friends, and the people who had witnessed what happened, covered their mouths trying to hold in their amusement. They all snickered.

Clyde held up the decidedly offensive item, giving Mike a look. With little context, Mr Stuart gathered that someone simply tossed Clyde a granola bar, and not that it had purposely been aimed at his face.

"Clyde, eat your snack and be quiet." Mr. Stuart told him, having only looked up after the fact. "Settle down."

The class erupted in laughter. I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from joining them. The startled look on Clyde's face was priceless. Mike wasn't totally useless.

"Oops~" Mike feigned apologetic ruby eyes with a devilish smirk. "Sorry."

"Little faggot. I'll beat your ass."

"Please, do~"

Mike blew the jock a kiss just to rile him up. Clyde's ears turned pink and he silently seethed, turning his back on us.

"That takes care of that." Getting back on task like nothing had happened, Mike didn't look worried in the least.

Xxxxx

At Lunch, I took my usual place a couple of tables away from Stan's. Clyde was still disgruntled over First Period. He wasn't willing to delve in to why, but Craig who had been there, generously recounted the events.

Just behind their table, Mike was sitting with his clique. Evidently, he came to school with more than one granola bar because there he was, pulling another out of his lunch box. Craig pointed out Mike to clarify who had gotten the best of Clyde.

"Want another one?" Seeing their eyes on him, Mike smirked and held out the granola bar in offering.

"Fuck off, Count Fagula."

Clyde flipped him off and his table got a boisterous laugh at the brunette's expense. His ego was so frail that a fucking granola bar pierced it. With the end of said ammo between his front teeth, Mike was so pleased with himself.

Guy was weird. What the hell prompted him to throw a granola bar? My best guess was it was the only solid thing he had on him at the time that was worth losing. I wasn't going to go thank him or anything, but I was glad someone got under the football monkey's skin.

"Did Mike McKowski seriously nail Clyde Donovan in the face with a granola bar?" Stan asked me later, finding me smoking by the bleachers after his practice.

"Uh-huh." I flicked away some ashes. "He did. Hit the idiot right in the face."

"That all? He's so bothered by it."

Knowing there were details lost in Craig's rendition of that morning's events, I enlightened Stan to the full story.

"First, Mike intercepted a paper ball aimed at my head. That was enough to annoy him. Then, before he could reload, Mike throws a fucking Nature Valley bar at him. Clyde didn't even see it coming."

Stan was roaring with laughter, quickly turning away to spit out a mouthful of Gatorade he'd been drinking.

"Did...did you say a Nature Valley bar?" He wheezed. "Those are hard like bricks!"

"They sure are. To add insult to injury, Mike blew him a kiss. Clyde could've had a stroke. It was great."

Stan couldn't get over Clyde's impromptu snack that morning.

"Holy shit, I can't wait for April Fools Day. I'm filling his locker with Nature Valley bars."

I choked on some smoke, patting my chest with a balled fist. Done with the cigarette, I dropped the bud and crushed it under my boot in the midst of a mild coughing fit.

"You should." I encouraged him. "I'm sure he'd love that."

Getting all his stuff in order, Stan went to pack it up in his trunk. I walked at a distance behind him just to be safe in case any of his team mates were still lingering about.

Stan had his head in his trunk, startled when someone was suddenly glaring at him. Dressed in her cheerleading uniform, the culprit crossed her arms and tapped a foot like some wound up, under-wined housewife.

"...um?" Stan dumbly uttered, caught off guard by the unannounced presence.

Putting her hands on her hips, this barbie clone glared up at Stan as if she had a menacing bone in her anorexic body. She weighed one-hundred pounds at most.

"You broke up with Wendy." The words dripped from her waxy, perfectly lined red lips venomously. "Wendy is the best thing that ever happened to you. What do you think you're doing?"

I wished I had a granola bar to throw just then. Maybe Mike was on to something. Fuck it, were there any bricks around? A rock, maybe?

"I'm not talking to you about this, okay? This isn't your business."

"It so is, ACTUALLY. Wendy is like my bestie and I'm not going to let you break her heart like this!"

"This isn't up for discussion."

Unwilling to give up and take her cue to leave, this cheerleader pointed a finger at Stan and jabbed him in the chest. I imagined it felt like being poked with a stick.

"You replaced her, didn't you?" She accused. "What? Did you find some hussy to give it to you? Is that what this is about? You're a pig."

"Yeah, sure. That's exactly what I did." Stan made an exasperated gesture, dropping full blown sarcasm on her. "I'm just dicking down some hussy ass and that's why I broke up with Wendy. Totally."

There was technically some truth in that which flew over Stan's head in the heat of the moment. Being I was the "hussy" whose ass was getting "dicked down" in place of Wendy, I snorted. The irony was delicious. Stan faintly heard me from behind a car somewhere, almost cracking.

"God, I can't stand you." Wendy's self-appointed guardian huffed, sharply turning and stomping off. "You're so stupid!"

"That's what my 'hussy' tells me ALL the time!"

If there were ever a time I truly had to hold in my human impulses with every bit of will power that I had, it was right then. I held back from laughing, biting my knuckle, crouched behind a faculty member's car.

Xxxxxx

I didn't tell anyone that I had Halloween off from work. Stan was going to be at the school dance, it started in a couple of hours. Michael pissed me off, so I chose not to give him an opportunity to come looking for me.

He couldn't welcome me in, but under the same breath he wasn't willing to let me go. It was Stan all over, again. At least I didn't have feelings for Michael. He was supposed to be my friend.

Trick-or-treaters were out and about, pails and bags in hand looking for candy at doorsteps. I passed too many to count on my way to a chain coffee joint. I hated coughing up more than a dollar for a cup of coffee like Justin and Britney wanna-be's, but I couldn't risk the diner. Everyone could still be there before heading to the cemetery.

"Medium coffee, just cream." I ordered, looking past the cashier at the different breakfast food items still available. "And, one pumpkin muffin. Thanks."

If I was ordering from a conformist joint, may as well go all out. Wasn't like anyone was going to see me at the freaking Dunkin' Donuts. Everyone was out in costume getting drunk or collecting candy. With the place empty of anyone that could get on my nerves, I took my place at a two-seater table in the corner.

I really didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't want to pretend everything was fine and see my "friends". Going home to hear the doorbell going off all night with a chorus of "trick or treat!" didn't sit well with me, either. I couldn't smoke in the Dunkin Donuts, but at least it was quiet.

Facebook was alive with people posting their selfies. Lots of group photos of what people thought were clever themes. Slutty costumes, proclamations of epic expectations. There I was, with a muffin and nowhere to go.

"Should've worked." I berated myself. "The hell am I supposed to do all night?"

My messenger app lit up with a notification. Mike's profile picture was on my screen. The picture was angled to accentuate his high cheek bones contoured with an ashy gray, and heavily black-lined eyes rimmed with blended red shadow.

He'd replaced his plastic fang mouthpiece years ago for those fangs that you could temporarily adhere to your canines with that special glue or putty, whatever it was. It was still pointless, but at least he didn't talk with a mouth full of cheap plastic anymore.

"Your friends are wondering where you are." His message read.

"You know this, because...?" I replied.

A photo came in that Mike had taken from over his shoulder. He was at the diner. Only his chin and fangs were visible alongside the occupied booth in the distance behind him.

"Heard Michael say you're not answering your phone." Mike sent, followed by a second text. "Guess that's not entirely true."

I didn't know what angle Mike was playing at, but curiosity got the better of me.

"What do you want?"

"They think you're working, tonight. Is that true?"

The three bubbles to indicate he was typing popped up. There was nothing for a few moments. Seemed Mike had stopped texting to eavesdrop.

"They left to go see you." He said.

"Good luck with that."

"You're spending Halloween, alone?"

I couldn't decipher over text whether he was poking fun at me or sincerely asking me a question. With him, it could have gone either way.

"If I am?" I challenged him.

"You should meet me here."

"Why would I do that?"

Seriously. Why would I do that?

"They're gone." Was his response, followed by another picture with the empty booth my friends had occupied before. "That's why."

"Not interested."

"You sure?"

xxxxx



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