Thanks to Kayotics for what is a great picture that it's a shame the original author had to back out of. They really did miss out and I'd like to see what they had. I had only six days to come up with and pen this, get it beta'd, edit, proof and submit, but I think (read: hope) it came out alright.
"So that's it?" Kenny asked.
Kyle nodded. "Yeah."
Kenny poured the last of his lighter fluid onto the ground. "You too, Ike?"
"Yeah," echoed the younger boy.
Kenny promptly stood back. He glanced towards Stan, looking out over the lake he'd brought them to. Stan turned around briefly, making eye contact with Kenny briefly. But not Kyle.
Kyle and Ike were both staring down at what was drenched in the flammable liquid. A book. A photo album. Every family photograph that had ever been taken. Ready for incineration. Quite deliberately Ike had opened it onto the two page full family photo from a few years before.
Wordlessly, Kenny passed his matches to Kyle, who passed it to Ike. Ike was the one to light it all up. The fire spread quickly, engulfing the book. The heat shot up towards them, and both Kyle and Ike had to step back - it didn't feel good against their injuries. Stan had tried insisting they go to hospital first, but Kyle had been firm. Harsh, even - so he kept distance.
As Kyle started throwing extra on top of the book - polaroid photos that had been scattered in both their rooms - Ike was the one to fully realise what both of them were trying not to think.
They could burn all the photographs they wanted to. They were burning all the bridges they were able to. But memories.
Memories were much harder to get rid of.
Two days ago
Kyle stared at his homework. It wasn't getting any easier. He could stare at differential calculus for the rest of his life and it wouldn't get any easier unless someone took the time to explain things in nice simple terms that he would understand.
Unfortunately he was stuck with a teacher who talked to the class like he expected them to just understand everything, the result of which was that nobody did.
Hence when he was presented with an obtuse problem such as:
Not using Cartesian or any other coordinates but rather the facts that ∇(r•a) = a and (a•∇)r = a, find the divergence and curl of the following vectors:
where a is a constant vector.
When presented with that, coupled with insufficient explaining of the general rules surrounding use of the del operator, Kyle's homicidal instincts increased by a huge amount.
He could answer it easily enough, of course. All he had to do was go down to Ike the Genius' room and ask. But Kyle had a little too much pride. He knew he was pretty smart. The smartest in his class, possibly barring Wendy. But Ike made him look like an idiot child, and even after over a decade Kyle was still a little bitter about that.
"Kyle?" came the voice at the door. The inevitable voice. The one that always interrupted him. He turned.
"What is it, mom?"
"We need to talk." Kyle knew what about. Even without Ike having been predicting this for months, Kyle could tell himself. He was intelligent. It was just that Ike was one of the few people who could forget that and be somewhat excused.
"Your father and I have been talking," she said. "And..." She took a deep breath before continuing. "Well, we're getting a divorce." Kyle nodded. He'd also prepared himself for the day it would come.
It was obvious it was going to happen. They'd had a sexually charged relationship for as long as Kyle could remember. Then, at age fifteen, the noises drifting through the hall and keeping Kyle awake long enough for the image to burn itself onto his brain to guarantee many a lovely nightmare just stopped.
It had been rather abrupt - it had slowed down and stopped over the course of about a month. There were a couple more occasions of the noises - once on Valentine's day, then again on Gerald's birthday, but since then there'd been nothing but silence.
Kyle had assumed it was just an effect of them getting old, but the abruptness always nagged at him. Then conversation over dinner had gotten staler, then even hostile. Three years on, here they were. Divorcing.
"Right," he replied, perhaps not as shocked as his mother may have expected. "What's going to be happening with me and Ike?"
"Gerald agreed he wasn't in the best mental state to keep you. You know how he's been getting." Demented? Kyle had to physically hold back from vocalising that thought. "But you'll be off to college soon anyway so it won't affect you too much."
Kyle nodded. "Okay, so who's keeping the house?"
"Me. So you'll be staying here. Your father, he'll be off somewhere that can take care of him more permanently." Sheila was silent for a couple of seconds, in that very specific way that meant she was thinking through what she was saying before saying it. Surprising even Kyle, she sniffed, holding a tear back as she continued. "I feel bad. Abandoning him like this, now of all times. It was a difficult decision to make. But he agreed it was for the best."
Kyle wondered how much say his father had in fact had in the matter. He nodded. "Alright. I've got to finish this, so-"
"Oh, was I interrupting something?" Yes, you moron, I literally have my homework right in front of me. "Sorry, I didn't notice. I'll... I'll go tell Ike." Sheila left. Kyle returned to glaring at the gibberish in front of him.
That was simple enough then. Gerald would move out, Kyle's life would be mostly unaffected. He'd be sad to see his dad disappear, obviously but he'd be saying goodbye to his mother too before going off to Britain to study law.
But right now, there was maths. He'd just skip the question if it weren't so highly marked, and even though it wouldn't count that much towards his GPA, he wanted to do it all properly. And then there were the end of year exams to worry about...
"Ugh..." he muttered. Then Sheila came back in.
"Oh, dinner's almost ready too, bubbie." Then she left - again. With his excuse to leave the horrible fucking question alone for at least a few minutes, Kyle left, running down the stairs to put as much distance between him and the homework as he could.
He sat down in his usual spot, opposite Ike who was there already. Gerald was on the right. "Hey, dad."
"Hi, Kyle," Gerald droned back. Kyle couldn't help his usual sad sigh at his dad's disinterest. Some days he was alright, but other days...
Dinner came. A full roast chicken. Each served themselves, with Kyle helping his father when it came to his turn. It was simple enough. Why does he find it so damn hard? Kyle asked himself.
He did wonder what it must have been like. Morbid curiosity was always something Kyle had had a little too much of, or curiosity in general as Craig Tucker may perhaps have attested to. But he wondered. How could someone go from fully functional to having trouble with even slicing meat was just beyond him.
They ate, still in silence. Kyle was halfway through his meal when Ike spoke, directly to his father. "So, divorce."
"Yeah," Gerald nodded. "It's for the best."
"That's right," Sheila confirmed. "Everything's been sorted out. We're doing our best to keep this from getting messy, aren't we?"
Gerald's brow furrowed and he looked down at his plate for a second. Then he nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, we are."
Ike nodded. "Thanks. For keeping it clean, that is." Silence fell again. "I mean, I wouldn't want it to go through the courts or anything," he added quietly.
Gerald was the one to fill them in. "Well, we did try to keep you boys in mind. We wouldn't want to put you through, you know..." The word apparently did not spring to mind. "That," he finished. He looked back down at his plate. Kyle could tell he was sadder about the whole affair than his mother. "It's not like you won't be able to visit me either. So
The mood was sombre, and Kyle knew that wasn't going to change. No amount of conversation was going to lighten things, so he just didn't try. Nobody else did either, so the only sounds there were the occasional scrape of the cutlery on plate.
Kyle finished quickly, excused himself and left.
The first thing Kyle did on returning to his room was pick his phone up. He scrolled down his contact list and stopped at M. He dialled the first contact under that letter.
Three rings. "Hello?" came Stan's voice.
"Hey, Stan," Kyle replied through a sigh. He rubbed his temple while he thought about what exactly to say.
"What is it, dude?"
"It's my parents, they're..." Kyle took a deep breath. "They're splitting."
"What, divorce?" Stan asked, shocked.
Kyle thought about it. "I don't know. I think they've just drifted apart a bit." He didn't go into details of what made him think that. "Plus dad's been getting worse, he's not himself, he's forgetting things, and I don't think mom can take care of him so good any more. She says they made a decision together, but to be honest I think it's mostly her idea."
The line was quiet for a few seconds, then Stan said "Oh. Well, that's awful."
"Yeah." Kyle paused for a second. "Listen, do me a solid and don't tell Cartman, alright?"
"Sure. I'm sorry, dude."
"Okay. Bye." Kyle hung up. He scrolled down one more contact and dialled again. Five rings this time.
"Hello?" came the voice.
Kyle could swear he could hear something in the background. "Hey, Kenny."
"What do you need? I'm sort of busy." At which point, Kyle placed the noise in the background.
He held back the groan. "I hope I'm not interrupting?" he asked, voice heavy with sarcasm. The response Kenny gave matched the sarcasm in either whimsicality or obliviousness.
Kyle was not prepared for that. He was quiet for a second, actually having to allow his brain time to comprehend that. Then he spat it out. "My parents are divorcing."
The sounds of the porn Kenny had been playing were muted immediately. "What?"
"Well, that's awful," Kenny said. It was his turn to have to allow time to comprehend. "I'm sorry."
A few seconds passed. "Listen, you ever want to talk or anything, I'll be here. Stan too."
"I know you will. Thanks." Kyle did smile just a little at that. "By the way, could you not tell Cartman?"
"Why not?" Kenny asked.
"Well, you know what he said about Jewish marriages. It was a few months back, but his memory's really good if he needs it to be."
"Oh. Yeah." Kyle heard a loud exhalation from the other end, and really hoped that it was just a sigh. and not something else. "He won't hear about it from me, dude."
"No problem, dude." Kyle hung up, and suppressed his gag reflex.
With everyone who he felt had an immediate interest informed, Kyle was on the verge of returning to his work, but instead retired to bed. Early nights were good for him, and he thought there were a few other people (Butters, maybe even Craig and those arseholes) that he felt it was worth telling.
After multiple text conversations and a half hour playing card games on his phone, Kyle fell asleep.
Having not finished the homework, Kyle had run to Ike for help. Ike had completed the assignment for Kyle within an hour, in return for twenty dollars.
It had been handed in on time, and now Kyle was having to sit through a nice tedious history lesson, just to finish the day off. Kyle wished that they could teach the exciting things, like the Union general who pronounced that the Confederate snipers "couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" and promptly took a bullet in the face.
Instead they got the boring stuff that they'd never need. Especially Kyle, what with him going off to take law. Law history, that could be useful. But talking about the arse end causes of the civil war was not helpful at all to his life prospects.
He just wanted the bell to ring so that he could go home, away from the tedium and Cartman's incessant whispered taunts that were getting harder to ignore without getting necessarily violent.
The bell rang. Everyone immediately stood up, not giving the teacher a chance to wrap the lesson up properly. Thirty seconds later, the class was empty.
Kyle filed his stuff away in his locker and waited for the others to catch up. Five minutes later, they were walking home.
"I mean," Kyle fumed, "what is the point in teaching us all that crap?"
"Some people probably want to take history in college," Stan supplied, shrugging.
Kyle turned. "Who the hell would want to do that?" Nobody had an answer to that. "It's pointless, I swear to god," Kyle reiterated.
"Well," Cartman said once they got to the main road. "I'll see you fags around, I'm off to Wendy's."
Stan's brow furrowed. "What? Why?"
"He means the fast food joint," Kenny whispered to Stan.
"Oh!" he exclaimed, just in time to cut off Cartman's response about fucking sweet burgers or something, nobody quite caught it. With that, Cartman headed towards town, while the other three headed back towards the houses. While the nights were getting shorter, it still got dark early and Kyle preferred to be home before it was dark enough for the street lights to come on, if only to avoid getting lectured by his overprotective mother.
Stan, of course, peeled away from the group first. Then it was Kyle's turn, leaving Kenny to head on to the far side of the railway tracks alone. He walked up his path and opened the door.
Ike was already home from middle school. Gerald was slouched in an armchair, watching the ice hockey game that presumably Ike had put on with mild disinterest. "Hey," Kyle said.
"Hi, Kyle," Ike replied, not turning away. Gerald nodded with equal disinterest to that he had in the game.
Kyle remembered his old, enthusiastic father briefly. Then he shoved it to the back of his mind. He'd long since come to terms with what was happening.
He headed on up to his room. With no homework needing immediate completion he decided to spend a few hours playing some brain numbing video game. Team Fortress, maybe. Or he could call Stan up, see if he wanted to hang out somewhere for a while. Anything to forget for a while.
The computer was what won out. Kyle fired it up and opened Steam up. He saw Stan was online and already in a game. That was good.
Kyle joined Stan's game, one of the Orange maps. He pulled his desktop microphone nearer. "Hey, dude."
After a couple of seconds network latency, Stan replied. "Hey." Kyle joined his side, immediately pairing up into a Medic-Heavy team. "You doing alright?"
Kyle did think about his response a little. "I guess, yeah. It's just..." All of Kyle's thinking failed him.
"It's kind of difficult, you know? Seeing your dad go downhill like that, then this."
"I know, dude." Kyle remembered â€“ Stan had been through similar. Except his father was an entirely different brand of mentally ill. "Look, it'll get better. Alright?"
Kyle nodded, even though literally nobody could see him. "Yeah. Alright."
"Good." Kyle could almost see Stan smiling. "Now let's do this." There was no more talking.
Medic-Heavy teams were easy enough. The Medic heals the Heavy, the Heavy defends the Medic when necessary and mows down the enemy when not. It was a very efficient combat control strategy that also happened to send the opposing team apoplectic and thus was hilarious.
After maybe fifteen minutes of that Stan changed class, so Kyle switched to Pyro, which was probably his favourite class of the lot, barring maybe Sniper.
For a full two hours they wasted time on that game, until an almighty crash distracted Kyle long enough for him to get his head blown off by a sniper. "The fuck..." He activated the microphone. "Stan, something just-" CRASH!!!
"Whoa, I actually heard that," Stan informed Kyle. "You should check it out."
"Yeah... I'll be right back." Kyle took his headphones off and opened the door as a third crash, coupled with a thump and a yelp.
It sounded like Sheila.
Kyle edged down the corridor, trying to avoid the creaky parts of the floor. He poked his head down the stairs and promptly had to retreat back upstairs.
"Why?" shouted Gerald, as a fourth crash punctuated his statement.
"Gerry, we agreed-" Sheila cried, before getting cut off by a thwack.
"No we didn't! You're not taking my house from me!" A thump."You're not taking my sons from me!" Another thump.
Even in the split second it took for Kyle to lose the stomach to watch what was happening he'd seen the look on his father's face. Pure rage.
Kyle realised - he'd forgotten. Gerald had forgotten about the whole arrangement.
He didn't even want to think about how he must have felt. Being told that he was being effectively dumped. That he was moving out. That he wasn't keeping the kids.
That he had agreed to all this, even though he had no recollection of anything.
But whatever glimmer of pity Kyle had for the old man was wiped when he heard another crash, and a cry from his mother.
Gerald was angry. Kyle could defend himself, but against someone who had gone beserk he'd much rather leave it for someone else.
Kyle ran back to his room, still trying to keep quiet. He grabbed his phone and brought the number pad up. He typed 91, but then stopped before tapping the second 1 in - the police station was in the centre of town. They'd take ages to get here.
Then he heard the worst thing possible. He heard his little brother. Screaming down the stairs, "LEAVE MY MOM ALONE!" Then a crash. A yelp.
Kyle needed help now. He went into his contact list, scrolled to Kenny and sent a single word text message.
Then he ran downstairs.
The room was a mess. Half of the furniture was smashed, and in the middle of it Ike was taking a beating. Under other circumstances Kyle would have lectured him on why someone not fully grown yet shouldn't take an adult on in a fight, let alone a royally pissed and mentally ill one, but these circumstances were exceptional.
Gerald didn't seem to hear him. Kyle stepped forward and shouted louder. "Dad, stop it!"
This time, he looked up. His face scrunched up for a few seconds, but then he seemed to recognise the person in front of him. "Kyle?"
"Dad, please. Stop," Kyle pleaded, trying to be amiable.
"Kyle..." Gerald faltered a little. "They want to take you from me."
Kyle nodded. "I know. But this isn't convincing me to stay, Dad, can you see that?" Quite a few seconds passed as Gerald processed that, but he was interrupted by a double footed kick from the boy on the ground in front of him.
Gerald screamed, then booted Ike in the gut. Kyle snapped and charged.
He tackled his father to the ground and, before the man could process it, Kyle had punched him in the head, trying to knock him out. He failed majestically.
Gerald pushed Kyle off him and, before Kyle could roll away, stamped on his arm. Kyle kept the scream in, but then he was being hauled up and then his face exploded in pain as he was smashed into the nearest wall available.
Kyle collapsed, trying to clear his vision. But then he was left alone. He looked up and saw Ike taking on his father - he'd jumped on his back and was trying to get him in a choke hold.
He wasn't sure whether Gerald deliberately fell or lost his balance, but he fell backwards either way, crushing Ike between himself and the floor. He heard the sound of the air getting forced out of Ike's lungs, and that was enough to spur him on. He forced his way up, but so did his father.
Gerald picked up something from the floor - Kyle's vision wasn't quite clear yet, but he thought it was a chair or table leg from the shattered furniture.
"They are not taking you away!" Gerald shouted, before swinging. Somehow Kyle dodged, but came up in time for the second swing to impact his shoulder. He yelped, and used his forearm to block the third swing before kicking Gerald in the gut. He fell back.
Kyle pulled Ike up while their father was distracted and both of them stood up against their father. Gerald swung again, blindly.
Kyle was the one to block it, while Ike darted around the distracted man. Gerald swung around, but then Kyle punched him in the soft spot at the kidney.
Then the window crashed inwards.
In a flash of orange, Kenny executed a perfect roll, sprang upwards and double footed Gerald in the chest, sending him flying back into the wall. Kenny scrambled up before Gerald could. He jumped, span around, and hook kicked the man in the head, sending him to the floor. He readied himself for the counter attack that never came.
After a few seconds, he loosened up and tended to his hands, covered in cuts from where he'd smashed the window. He turned to Kyle. "I got your text," he said needlessly. "Didn't have time to put the costume on or anything." He paused, then forced a grin. "Sorry."
Kyle nodded. "Thanks." Then he stood up. With the adrenaline running dry, the multiple aches and pains that had been ready to make him miserable started doing so. "Where's mom?" he asked. Ike's face fell, and he pointed through to the kitchen. Kyle stepped through, and saw her.
Sheila was a bloody mess. She was definitely unconscious. He could tell just by looking that she had at least two broken limbs. The amount of blood she'd lost, too... It was too much.
Kyle wanted to throw up. He walked back through and collapsed onto the sofa in mild shock. Kenny put his phone down.
"Stan's coming round to pick everyone up, take you to hospital. I don't trust ambulances that much-"
"No." Kyle shook his head firmly. "I want him to take us away."
"What?" Kenny's brow furrowed. "Where?"
"Anywhere but here. Somewhere private. And give me a few minutes, would you?"
"Why?" Kenny pressed.
Kyle remained evasive. "I need to grab a few things."
"Your parents need help, dude."
"Parent," Kyle stated. Kenny knew the tone - correction.
Kyle glared at the heap on the floor. "He's not my dad." He watched Kenny's face fall. "Excuse me." Kyle walked upstairs. He picked up his photo album, spilling multiple instant polaroid photographs on the floor. He picked all those up as well. He made it back downstairs in time to see Kenny letting Stan in.
Kyle shook his head. "Please don't." He went into the kitchen without acknowledging them further, picking up some matches and not looking at where he knew his mother was.
When he got back, Kenny was on the phone again - a different phone. One of those old Nokias. The voice he was using was different, too - gravelly.
"One zero zero two, yeah. Send an ambulance. The man..." Kenny looked up at Kyle. Kyle nodded. "The man was the aggressor. He's not entirely mentally fit." He was about to hang up then, but then paused. "Please hurry." He hung up, then coughed several times. "I hate doing that fucking voice."
"What was that?" Ike asked.
Kenny turned and explained. "I have a phone for my, uh, vigilante thing. It's the fastest way we'll get a response. Incidentally we'll want to leave now."
Kyle nodded, then held the matches out to Kenny. "Keep hold of these. Stan, let's go." He made for the door. He heard Stan and Ike behind him.
"You need help there, Ike?"
Kyle climbed in the front of Stan's car, with Kenny and Ike in the back. They left, heading towards Kenny's house. "You want to light something on fire," he'd said. "I've got lighter fluid." Kyle hadn't argued.
Once that was acquired, along with Kenny's first aid kit he normally carried around when being Mysterion, Kyle had Stan drive far out of town, a couple of junctions down a highway. They'd paused on the side of the road at one point to tend to the more nasty injuries. Ike had come off worse, with a very nasty cut on his midriff that needed a bandage. There weren't enough plasters in the kit for everything so Kenny restricted it to the more serious injuries and just cleaned the remainder in alcohol. Kenny also bandaged his own fists from where they'd been cut by the shattering glass.
Then they drove some more. They were on a back end road at the top of a mountain now, the kind of territory people drove on in Land Rovers and Hummers, not Toyota Priuses. They stopped at the end of the road, a small lake similar to Stark's but sufficiently far away from civilisation that they wouldn't be interrupted.
"Why'd you want to come here?" Stan asked.
"Private." Kyle stepped out of the car and leaned on the hood. Some of his cuts still stung from the alcohol cleaning, but they were alright. It was dark now. Stan got out too and joined Kyle while Kenny helped Ike out.
"I'm really sorry," Stan muttered, not wanting to disturb the silence.
"It's not your fault."
Kyle was quiet. "I..." He paused. "I can't believe that happened," he whispered to himself. It was only just hitting home, what had just transpired.
Stan saw tears falling. "You want to be left alone?" he asked, knowing his friend.
Kyle nodded. Stan walked towards the lake, solemnly. Kenny and Ike were out by now, carrying the fire lighting equipment. They waited.
A full half hour passed before Kyle spoke again. "Let's do this," he muttered. He threw the photo album onto the floor. It fell closed, but Ike limped forward. He opened it, flicking through the pages. He stepped back after some time, and Kyle could see why. The album was now open on a two year old large family photo.
"Do it," Kyle told Kenny. Kenny started tipping fluid onto the book. Kyle checked the time on his phone while it was done - 00:03. Later than he'd thought.
Kenny looked up. "So that's it?" he asked.
"It wasn't his fault," Kenny said, trying to offer Kyle at least some comfort.
Kyle stared into the flames. The ink was bubbling away as the past burned in front of him. "I know," he admitted. "I know he's been getting sick. I know that that wasn't my dad." Kyle sighed sadly, looking at some of the polaroid photos. The he squared himself. "But this is what he is now." He noticed Kenny look down. Kyle noticed he looked disappointed for some reason. "I don't even know if mom's going to survive what he did to her. I don't want anything to do with him," he stated firmly. "And I don't want to remember him." Kenny nodded.
Kyle threw more of the polaroids onto the pile, until he got to the last one. It was a photo of him and Ike - parents nowhere to be seen. He passed it to his brother. "You want to keep this one, Ike?"
Ike looked at it for a second. He smiled briefly, making Kyle smile too, then folded it up and put it in one pocket. There were no words from him.
Stan walked over to them from the lake. "Are you okay?" he asked Kyle. Kyle nodded. "I know you want to put distance between him and you, but..."
"But in three months I'm flying halfway around the world specifically to spend four years studying law?" Kyle inferred.
"Yeah, are you okay with that? I'm sure you could cancel it, take a year out or something," Stan said, trying to be comforting. He put one hand on Kyle's back. Kyle flinched away, but then accepted the gesture.
"I've got nowhere else to go," he said flatly after a few minutes thought. "And it's pretty much, I have to now. They won't take changes unless under exceptional circumstances." Stan nodded.
"I'd take you in," Kenny shrugged. "Parents wouldn't like it, but I honestly don't think they'd care enough to do anything about it."
Stan nodded. "Yeah. I'd do it too. We could, like, alternate or something. I'm pretty sure fatass wouldn't mind either." Kyle's response to that was a slow turn of the head, keeping his face absolutely set. "What? He wouldn't!"
"I would," Kyle said firmly. Stan almost responded, but then closed his mouth. He wasn't going to tell Kyle what he should and shouldn't do.
It was a number of minutes before anyone did anything else. The fire was dying down, the photographs of the Broflovski family now little more than ash. Kyle took his phone out - somehow there was signal up here. He went online, keeping the screen close to his face. Everyone else looked at Kyle curiously until he showed Stan the what was on screen.
"I'm cancelling my place," Kyle said without needing to. "I can't go off to university at all, not right now. Much less to do what Da-" He stopped himself as all his injuries flared up thinking about the man. "What he did. I can't."
Both Kenny and Stan nodded. "We'll take care of you," Stan promised. "Both of you." It was Kyle's turn to nod. Then Kyle turned and hugged Stan. After a brief awkward moment, Stan hugged back.
"Ow," Kyle yelped, wincing. Stan quickly moved his hands to somewhere where Kyle wasn't hurt. Kyle caught Ike and Kenny sharing a glance that he didn't like, but he wasn't going to mention it. Right now, just for a moment, that Stan and Kenny were there for them felt good. It wouldn't last, of course. Soon they'd be hopping between their houses.
But that was later. This was now.
After a couple of minutes they disengaged. Kyle looked down at the ground and sighed. "I'd like to go to hospital now," he said, quietly.
Stan nodded. "Okay. Come on, guys."
With that, Kyle, Kenny and Stan walked and Ike limped back to Stan's car in silence.
If you enjoyed this story, remember to check out the original artwork that inspired it!