Outlander, Indiana was the same dreary town with the same dreary streets that Alec had been walking the same dreary path on for 32 long and dreary years.
Down Warren Road, almost to the turn of the corner towards home. Past Old Man Vause’s butcher shop who’s a rumored cannibal. Dr. Snatch’s Deli and Tattoo Parlor, who everyone thinks is a murderer and the reason for all of the disappearances lately. Then the elderly and brittle, Mrs. Maisel’s Floral Shop, which is avoided like the plague due to the constant smell of mildew and decay. Then finally, on the corner, the new Tea Room owned by Miss Petunia Cranshaw. Unlike Mrs. Maisel, Petunia is around Alec’s age and is possibly the most hospitable person in all of Outlander.
“Hello Mr. Alec Montgomery!” Petunia exclaimed as Alec set foot into her Tea Room. As usual the smell of a thousand different flavors of tea wafted into Alec’s nose as the door quickly closed behind him.
“Come in, come in” Petunia continued with a wave of excitement and energy in every word, “Take off your coat and sit. It’s getting awfully cold outside. Perhaps it’ll begin to rain.”
“It does seem that way,” Alec replied as he sat down on the small faded pink couch just to the left of the door.
Looking around Alec saw that nothing has changed since he first stopped in to say hello. The two saggy, yellow and blue chairs were still across from the couch that he was now relaxing on. The images of different animals such as cats and birds were still on the walls along with the abundance of all the different flavors of teas that covered the majority of the walls. The tiny antique desk in the corner across from the front door and all the miscellaneous paperwork on top of it which gave the Tea Room a more quaint and homey feel, in front of the large wooden door leading to the back room.
“So what have you been up to Alec?”Petunia asked as she glided over to the couch and sat down next to him.
“Well Petunia, I was just out on my usual walk through the town, and thought that you could use some company.” Alec replied, giving her his smuggest grin.
He’s known Petunia Cranshaw since the 7th grade when she and her folks moved to Outlander. No one really talked to her much because she had moved into the old Jenkins house.
The place was as old and rickety as you could image. It was the town’s very, own stereotypically, creepy house on the hill. The story supposedly gets past down from generation to generation, and everyone has their own version of the tale. But the most popular one tells of a family of three named the Jenkins, a boy and his two parents that had moved into the house one day. The story says that the boy had been at the very top of his class, the next Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.
But something wasn’t right with him. Something that everyone who ever crossed paths with the boy could see, that sent chills shivering down their spines, but no one could ever seem to explain it. Nowadays, people just say that he was simply a maniac in disguise, and if anyone had ever paid him any attention, they’d see the psycho that he truly was. And that one day, he just snapped. Killing both of his parents with his father’s own gun in the middle of the night, then disappeared into the shadows.
Everyone has their own theory as to where he went, some say he killed himself after his parents, and others say he’s still in Outlander. But some still aren’t sure that he was even the one to do it. After all, the boy was only 10 years old.
But still all the kids in school thought Petunia was the same, especially since no one in town has ever seen her parents in all the time that she’s lived in Outlander. But Alec thought she was just different than all the other kids, and wanted to know what was really going on. But he never managed to charm Petunia enough to get her to open up when they were younger. This was his chance.
“Well I’ll always except company from the best looking guy in all of Outlander,” Petunia said leaning in with an ever-so-slight grin on her face.
“The best looking guy in all of Outlander you say? I’m flattered, but you didn’t think so back in High School.”Alec answered along with another one of his supposedly award winning, prince charming, damsel-in-distress saving smiles. He leaned in closer, mirroring Petunia’s actions.
I knew I’d win her over eventually, just like all the other attractive girls in Outlander, Alec thought. He didn’t waste his time with girls her thought were less than average.
“Well that was High School, we’re adults now,” Petunia replied as she arose from the pillowy couch. “And how about you try some of our newest tea. It’s called Greed. It gives you everything you could ever want.” Petunia smiled as she walked behind her desk and disappeared into the back room.
“Are you sure about that? Wouldn’t that just be called a hallucination? Or maybe drugs?” Alec questioned with a small laugh.
“It’s herbal,” Petunia defended as she returned from the back room. She was carrying a small golden box, wrapped in an emerald green ribbon, with a perfect pink rose on top, aside the perfect bow.
“Here it is,” Petunia breathed. She glided toward the couch and sat shoulder to shoulder with Alec.
“It’s beautiful,” Alec replied in awe. He’d never seen something so perfect in all his life. He wanted it-no-he needed it. Alec slowly reached his shaking hand out towards the box, ready to grab it.
“Stay here and I’ll grab us some cups with water,” Petunia said as she stood up and strode over to her desk, making sure to keep the box out of reach from Alec’s hungry eyes. With her back to him, he strolled on over with a look of longing smeared across his face, careful to keep his feet as silent as possible. When Alec reached her, he rested his hands on the desk on either side of her. He had her cornered like a cat and a mouse.
“So what kind of a tea flavor is called Greed?” Alec purred in Petunia’s ear, making her shiver ever so slightly.
“Like I had said a bit before, it gives you more of a sense of bliss. It’s perfect. Like you have everything you’d ever want,” She said, turning around to face him.
“Try it,” Petunia continued. Handing Alec a small, porcelain teacup, decorated with an array of different flowers flecked with gold. The perfect cup to go with the perfect box, and the perfect tea.
“Don’t mind if I do,” He said, taking the cup from Petunia and strutting back over towards the couch, with her only a few steps behind.
“So are you sure there isn’t any drugs or something in here?” Alec continued to teased as he proceeded to make himself comfortable on the couch.
“I’m sure. But I really just need to see how much it’s worth, to get a good price range,” Petunia said, situating herself next to him.
“Alright then,” Alec said with a slight chuckle, as he took his first slip. The hot liquid slid down his throat, sending a warm sensation throughout his body, and his eyes widened. He needed more, more, more… Alec then began to drink the rest as fast as he could.
“Oh my god!” exclaimed Alec when he finally came up for air. “I can’t believe it. This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in my whole life,” He continued, rushing through each word. He snatched Petunia’s cup without a second to lose, and gulped down every last drop.
“This is fantastic!” He blurted. Alec jumped up from the couch with excitement, but the movement made his head spin.
Probably just moved to fast, he thought taking a few steps forward, then turned around to face Petunia. His vision began to blur slightly.
Maybe I should sit down, Alec thought as he tried to return to the couch. But his knees buckled underneath him, luckily Petunia caught him before he managed to hit the ground.
“Whoa, are you feeling okay there?” she asked with concern, “here, have some more,” she continued as she offered Alec another cup, but from where it came from, he had no idea.
“Thanks,” Alec whispered, out of breath. But he just seemed to be getting worse by the second. But he still continued to drink, if just for that split second of blissful peace.
Something’s really wrong…, He thought as his shoulders slumped, his body went numb, and sleep consumed him.
Alec began to drift in and out of consciousness. He heard the quiet squeaking of wheels and the sound of someone humming. Felt the cool, hard surface of metal against his back. The bright lights above blinding him, like when you stare at the sun for too long. Someone was moving him down a hall he realized. From what he could make out, the walls were metal, just like whatever he was laying on.
Where am I?, Alec’s groggy mind began to wonder.
He tried to raise his hands, but they were strapped down. Then he tried his feet, same as his hands.
Is this a gurney or something?, he continued to ask himself.
Someone had to be pushing it if it were, which could also be the source of the incessant humming. Alec tried to speak, but nothing came out. He began to scream and scream, but still no sound other than the constant squeaky wheel and humming could be heard throughout the the long hall leading to . Alec was dragged back into unconsciousness.
Alec awoke once more to see Petunia with a menacing smile smeared across her stark face. She was humming, that annoying high pitched tune.
“Well hello there Mr. Montgomery,” she purred as she walked closer to him. “It’s good to see you finally awake.”
She was dressed in hospital scrubs and pulling a mask over her mouth. Alec peered around the new room he was in as best he could. Not much was different from the hallway. The lights, the icy air, and the cage-like feeling of the metal walls. Except there was something beside him, maybe a table of some sorts. With strange tools atop it that he could barely see out of the corners of his droopy eyes. But Alec was still on the gurney, he was still helpless. He tried to scream once more, but still no sound arose from his mouth. The last thing he saw were the same blinding lights above his head, and Petunia’s face looming above him with a psychotic gleam in her eyes, as she continued to hum. And the world around Alec Montgomery slowly faded into black.