[NeOPulP] Data Dump: Installment One

A brown Buick pulled up in front of a dilapidated house at the corner of Cherry and Violet Streets, on the north side of town. There were two people in the car. One was called Huey. The other one was Max. They were brothers, and neither one of them wanted to be where they were at that moment.

Huey and Max were in a particularly bad area of Houston. The condition of the houses was terrible. The whole neighborhood smelled like untreated sewage, probably because of all the untreated sewage. It had been a very long time since any real money had been spent on infrastructure, as evidenced by the crumbling pavement and the nonfunctional drainage. On top of all that there were residents in that neighborhood who would just as soon blow a man's head clean off his shoulders as they would sit down for a nice slice of pie. Huey and Max knew all that, and yet they got out of the Buick anyway.

Huey went around to the trunk of the car and opened with the car key. His breath made small puffs of frost in the cold winter night air. Max pulled a Colt 1911 A1 .45 from a shoulder holster concealed under his coat, while at the same time Huey pulled a street sweeper out of the trunk. They both chambered rounds and made sure the guns were fully loaded and that they had extra ammo. Then they walked side by side up to the collapsing porch of the house.

Huey took one look at the porch and decided it couldn't be the main entrance to the place. The porch looked as though one step onto it would have finished off the near state of complete collapse. He was right. Nobody had used the front door in a very long time. When they got close to it the cobwebs they could see between the screen door and the front door proved it. They needed another way in.

Max motioned left, and Huey shrugged before going around to the back of the house on the left side. Max went around to the back on the right side. Those sides happened to be on the north and south sides of the house respectively. They made the corners into the back of the square two story house almost simultaneously. They checked out the back porch, which looked sturdy enough. Likewise the back door looked like it was in good shape.

Huey looked at Max and gestured at the entrance. Max shrugged his shoulders and walked lightly onto the porch, somehow not making a sound with his cowboy boots in the process. He took one big step and landed a powerful stomping kick right next to the doorknob. The door frame splintered and broke and the door almost came off its hinges from the force of the blow.

Huey darted up the steps and into the open house, but he had to stop because it was pitch black. He took a small flashlight out of his inside coat packet and affixed it to a small mount on the shotgun. He cursed himself for not having done that before they ever approached the building. Max gave him a look that spoke volumes, and Huey was sure he would hear about the incident again, probably many times. Max always gave him a hard time over mistakes, claiming it was his right as the firstborn son.

With the flashlight firmly affixed to the shortened barrel of the gun, Huey took stock of the room. It was a kitchen, and it had been in use recently. Huey slunk through the room and the doorway on the other inside, stepping into a hallway that ran the length of the house. He walked right past the light switch, even though it surely worked. He figured there was no reason to light the place up like a Christmas tree considering what they were there to do. Huey looked back to motion Max forward, but Max was standing silently behind him.

To their left a staircase led to the second floor, and beyond that a doorway to the front room with a southern exposure. There were three doors on the north side, spaced out unevenly. The rear most door likely led to a dining room, the middle to a bathroom and the front to a sitting room. It was a common layout in homes from that period in the Houston area. They didn't bother with the doorways, but instead went up the stairs, Max in front of Huey.

There were only two rooms at the top of the stairs, one on the north side and one on the south side. Max picked the one on the south side, because the door was closed. Both of the men could smell a strong chemical odor in the air. They looked at each other and Huey shook his head, more out of disgust than negativity. Max took a step forward, grasped the door knob and opened the door. Inside was exactly what they knew they would find, what they feared they would find. Huey cursed loudly and Max sunk to the floor just inside the room. They both had hoped it wouldn't go down the way it did.

[To be continued...]
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