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The Mystery Boys

Chapter Text

The Lockwoods' old camper van trundles through the crisp autumn night, the wind and the rain battering it as it struggles along under the weight of eight rowdy teenagers. At the wheel is their fearless leader, Jimmy Lockwood, who's under strict instructions not to leave a scratch on his dad's precious van. In the passenger seat is his best friend, his partner in crime, one Anthony Timms - knocking back beer and stuffing his face with pizza. In the back, the rest of their comrades drink and laugh and sing along to the radio, only stopping to occasionally ask how much longer it'll be until they get to Manchester. 

 

"I don't know," Lockwood sighs, exasperated at being asked for the fiftieth time. "Tony, are you sure we haven't missed the exit?"

 

Timms frowns and checks the map again, and, noticing pizza grease smeared on its surface, wipes it away with his thumb. "Oh! Shit. Sorry - sauce on the map. Yeah, we were supposed to turn off a while ago."

 

"For fuck's sake, Tony! I gave you one job-"

 

"I'm shit at this! Why can't you do it?" 

 

"Because I'm driving!"

 

"Oi, Jimmy," Scripps pipes up from the back. "Why do you insist on driving your dad's old, clapped-out hippie-mobile everywhere anyway?"

 

"It's the only thing big enough for all of us! Or do you want to show up to the Smiths concert in your mum's car because there wasn't enough room in mine?"

 

"Here, I wouldn't mind a lift in Don's mum's car, know what I'm saying?" 

 

"Shut the fuck up, Tony!" Scripps snaps, chucking an empty beer can at Timms' head.

 

"Shut up, the lot of you! Alright, I'll come off at the next exit, turn the van round. We might miss the support band, but we should make it in time for-"

 

The van judders to a halt, and the boys clamour and shout as Lockwood tries in vain to restart the engine. Upon further inspection, a look under the bonnet reveals thick plumes of smoke coming from the engine. He groans and looks up apologetically at his friends. 

 

"Shit. Looks like we'll be here a while."

 

Rudge kicks the side of the stupid, miserable van. "Great. Well now we're definitely going to miss the concert. Thanks a bunch, Jimmy."

 

"My dad's going to kill me…" Lockwood mutters to himself.

 

"Hey, it's not your fault his van's a piece of shit," Dakin says, swaying a little as he slings an arm around Lockwood's shoulder. "This was bound to happen eventually."

 

"Not helping, Stu!"

 

"Here, I think I saw a payphone a little way back," Crowther chips in. "Let's go ring for help, why don't we?"

 

The boys call roadside assistance, who tell them they'll be another two hours, so they resign themselves to their fate and polish off the rest of the beer in the back of the van. But with another hour left to kill and the rain beginning to ease off, they turn their attention to their surroundings. As they stumble their way through the woods by the side of the road, the crumbling ruins of an old monastery come into view.

 

"Hey, look at that!" Timms exclaims. "I'm going to go and have a closer look - you lot want to come?"

 

Dakin and Lockwood look at one another and shrug. "Sure, why not?" Lockwood says. "Adil, you coming?"

 

Akthar nods, and Crowther and Rudge quickly fall in line. But Scripps and Posner stay rooted to the spot and refuse to take another step.

 

"I'm cold," Pos complains. "Give us the keys, would you, Jimmy? I think I'll just wait in the van."

 

"Yeah," Scripps agrees. "You idiots want to break your necks dicking around some old ruins in the dark, be my guest. David and I will be in the van."

 

"Sounds like someone's scared…" Lockwood teases him.

 

"Oh, sod off. Someone should wait by the van anyway, in case roadside assistance turns up."

 

"Alright, here you go." Lockwood tosses the keys to Posner and Scripps, who head back in the direction of the roaring traffic as the rest of their number make their way towards the ruined monastery.