There was no place like the Grenton Drive-In Movie Plex. The older people joked about how the local teenagers hung out at the diners and bowling alleys, but their assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth.
While the adults and little ones were fast asleep by ten, the town's youth were just getting started. They would arrive around eight-thirty, just so they could get their hands on fizzy drinks, salty snacks, and greasy foods. Once the theater closed at midnight (one o'clock on weekends), some would either head back home while others stayed up late to cause mischief and trouble.
If there was one person who loved the drive-in more than anyone it would be Wendy McAllister. She could watch the same movies over and over again and never get bored. The silver screen transported her into exciting and fantastical new worlds. She watched explorers fighting a yeti in the Himalayas, monsters chasing bikini-clad women on a sunny beach, androids storming the White House, and giant starfish creatures invading a small town. She loved them all so much, that she wished her life would be just as exciting as the ones on screen!
Her life in Grenton was too ordinary, too boring. Days seemed to meld together.
The school was a hell to get through since she was confined to a desk and forced to listen to some old guy drone on for five hours straight. The only thing that made school life tolerable was all the doodling she did in her notebook, and all the cute guys who weren’t brave enough to talk to her, but sweet enough to give her dreamy stares.
Home was just as boring as school. Her mom would either be too busy preparing super or crocheting on the couch. Meanwhile, her father would either be smoking a cigar, sipping beer, watching TV, or complaining about everything. Some days he’d complain about his boss giving him a hard time, other days he complained that a group of college students had treated him with disrespect. It had all become white noise to Wendy, so she hardly paid attention to what he had to say.
She tunned both her parents out on a regular basis, more so on report card week when they saw her grades.
Their screams of horror would then turn into screams of anger.
They tried to discipline her, they really did.
Sometimes Wendy would throw her parents a bone and pretend to be the perfect daughter they wanted her to be, but she only did it when she felt like it.
Safe to say, Wendy didn’t care what happened at school or at home. Once the clock hit seven, her real-life would begin.
She would ride her bike to the Grenton Drive-In Movie Plex, say hello to her boss, and step inside the changing room.
Her parents weren’t too thrilled about her job at the drive-in, but they were grateful enough that it was a respectable profession. If they had seen what she had to wear, however, they might have thought otherwise. Her outfit consisted of a pink-and-white skirt that hung closely below her hips, a pink-and-white collared shirt, a rectangular-shaped tiara with the words “MOVIE PLEX” on it, and a pair of pink-and-white roller skates. She had no idea which part of her outfit her parents would freak out about more, her skirt for showing too much of her legs, her collared shirt for showing too much cleavage, or the skates, which they said were tools of the devil.
She loved that her outfit would cause her parents to have a seizure, but she loved the attention most of all. It didn’t matter if the boys were on a date, or with friends, they would shower her with catcalls and wolf whistles galore. She loved it all!
It also made the bullying from the other girls more tolerable since she knew they were just jealous. Sometimes she would bend over a bit, just to give her admirers a little show. But she wouldn’t let the boys distract her from the movies that played on the silver screen.
The bright images were enough to make her forget everything, including that she had customers to serve. Other times she would get lost and forget which car she was supposed to deliver to.
There were many boys who proposed to court her, but she had her sights on one man, and one man alone.
His name was Rex Alverez, but she just called him Rex or Rexy. Despite a seven year age difference, he was like her in every way. He was a rebel, he hated both his school and his father, and most importantly, he was as much a fan of movies as she was.
He drove a snazzy red pickup truck. Wendy never thought she would consider a pickup to be cool. Every one she had seen was either too rustic or too bulky to be cool. Rex’s pickup was thin and sleek. The doors, tires, and bumpers were vanilla white, while the handles, roof, and hood were cherry red.
She adored him for his too-cool-for-school attitude. He ate whatever he wanted, placed his shoes on the dashboard, paid no attention to his appearance, and didn’t apologize for acting rude or disgusting. He was definitely someone Wendy’s parents would never approve of, and that made him only more desirable.
She enjoyed serving him every night when he was in town. Whether it was a chili hot dog, a nacho cheese platter, or a milkshake. She would stay and watch him eat his food for a minute or two, and giggled if he got cheese on his shirt or ketchup on his lips.
It took a week or two before, Wendy finally got the courage to admit her feelings to him, and she was overjoyed when he said that he felt the same way.
Since then she would hop in his pickup once her shift ended, and he would drive her off to an area known by the youth as Lovers Edge. They would kiss and embrace one another well into the night. Wendy learned that despite his rough appearance, he was a real softy. In fact, she gave him the pet name Teddy.
They had been dating for a few weeks when Rex said something that would change Wendy’s life forever.
She could remember the night like any other. The movie screen showed people running away from fifty-foot tall giant ants.
“Hey, doll, you want to go someplace far away?” he asked. “Like, really far away?”
“Really?” she giggled. “What do you have in mind?”
“I’ve heard from a few friends that they’ll be having a party tonight,” he explained. “Would you like to tag along?”
Wendy was ecstatic. She always fantasized about running away, but never had the guts to do it. She also had never been to a real party before. How could she say no?
At the end of her shift, she got into her casual clothes and hopped into Drew's pickup.
Her only regret was that her blue dress and white short-sleeve, button-down top didn't scream party girl, but that didn’t matter to her. What mattered was that her knight in shining armor was whisking her away to a kingdom on his noble steed, just like in the movies!
She had no idea where Rex was taking her. She paid no attention to the trees and bushes that passed, focusing only on his deep, blue eyes.
"Alright, we're here!" Rex said, putting the truck in park.
Wendy turned around and almost gasped at the ugly sight.
Rex had driven to an old, abandoned mansion that was being eaten alive by nature itself. Vines covered every wall, weeds grew out of the warped wooden steps, and a forest of tall grass guarded the rusting black gate. The windows on the second and third floors were all cracked and busted, while the ones on the ground level were boarded up with giant planks of wood. Snakes shivered in the grass while ravens perched on a barren limb of a dead tree.
At first, she thought Rex was pulling her leg, but then she could hear music and the faint chatter of people seeping out of the building.
“I know, pretty sweet right?” Rex chuckled.
Wendy looked at the mansion again. The place didn’t look like a party. Then again, what did she know? She was feeling pretty adventurous and found no reason to stop.
Wendy turned back to Rex. He was handing a white box with a golden bow tied to it.
“A gift for me?” she gasped.
“Go on, open it,” Rex said, giving it a little shake.
“Oh, Teddy you shouldn’t have!” She grabbed the box and tore off the golden bow. “Oh, my…”
She took out a pair of Levi shorts, a yellow top, and a black leather jacket.
“I didn’t know what size you were, so I had to guess,” Rex mumbled. “I hope they’re not too small.”
“I’m sure it’s the perfect size!” Wendy said, before giving Rex a hug.
She didn’t feel ashamed as she undressed in front of him since she had done it several times before. She had never worn pants before, but she loved how her shorts hugged her waist. She giggled when she realized that her parents would die of heart attack if they had seen her in these!
In a few minutes, Wendy and Rex got out of the truck and walked up to the front door.
Surprisingly the doorbell was still in perfect condition. Wendy could hear the chimes echo throughout the entire house.
The door creaked open, and a man with blond hair popped his head out.
“Welcome back Rex,” the man said in a scratchy voice. His eyes darted up at Wendy., “And Rex’s friend.”
“Wendy McAllister,” she said with a smile.
“Charmed…” said the man, grimacing. “Please, come inside.”
As they walked deeper and deeper inside the building, the louder the music became.
It all sounded so foreign and even alien to her. Electric guitars hit notes she had never heard them hit before. The piano, although familiar, sounded as if it were made out of pure energy instead of brass and wood. The bass was the loudest of them all. She could feel it pulsate through her ears and into her skull.
Despite the music's sporadic and chaotic nature, Wendy couldn't help but feel hypnotized by its raw energy. She found herself tapping to the beat and swaying her hips to the strumming of the guitar.
The blonde-haired man opened a set of doors that caused the already deafening music to hit Wendy like a tidal wave. She had never felt so much raw power coursing through her body. The music seeped into her veins. It was as if someone had ripped the chains holding her down, granting her complete and total freedom!
She and Rex danced into the sea of people. How many there were, Wendy couldn't tell nor did she care. She was living in the moment, with people who accepted her for just being herself!
The music was so fast and strong, she didn't notice that Rex had disappeared and had been replaced by a stranger. She held the man’s hand once or twice. Finally, the song ended, giving Wendy a chance to open her eyes.
For the first time that night, everyone went still. Not even the musicians dared to play a single note.
"You're not Rex!," she wanted to say, but she found herself frozen by the man’s memorizing stare. His eyes craved her attention.
"Look at me!" they demanded "Worship me!"
Wendy didn’t know what to do. She had never been in the presence of such an alluring figure before. A silver crown clung to the center of his head. A long, flowing robe covered his body and went down to the souls of his shoes.
The man took a short bow and kissed the palm of her hand. Wendy waited for the comforting touch from her dear Rex, but it never came.
“It’s been an honor to dance with you.”
The man caressed her face before walking away, but to Wendy, he might as well have been floating across the floor.
She held out her hand towards the man, hoping to call him back but the words refused to come out. It wasn’t until he levitated up the staircase that she found the power to speak, but it was too late.
“How did you do that?” asked a sultry, feminine voice.
“What do you mean?” Wendy asked. “Where’s Rex? Have you seen him?”
But instead of getting an answer, she felt a pair of hands rub up and down her sides. She was about to tell whoever was behind her to knock it off, but then more hands started rubbing up and down her legs.
“What’s going on?” she asked, turning her head.
A whole group of women and men had grouped up behind her, touching her in ways that only Rex could.
“Tell us your secrets,” they moaned. “How did you get the Great Asmodeus to notice you?”
“The Great who? Who are you talking about?” Wendy asked, trying to break free from the cascade of hands but couldn’t.
The musicians continued to play, but not the same hyper-energetic music as before. This music was slow, and smooth, a tune that wouldn’t be out of place near the end of a school dance. A lone sax howled, while the man on drums lightly tapped his cymbals.
Wendy fell in love with the melody as it massaged her mind. She felt a kiss tickle the back of her elbow. The feeling made her want to squirm, but at the same time, it felt so pleasurable, like satisfying an itch that just wouldn’t leave! Someone else started licking her arm, another rubbed their nose against her neck, and another gently bit her ear.
Everything started to get disorientating, she wanted to throw up.
This was all too soon too fast.
Questions began to fill her mind. What would Rex say if he found something like this? Would he be mad, enraged? She never knew him to hold a grudge, but he never mentioned he knew these people.
She felt scared and desperate, but when the words came out flat and lifeless. The music, the lights, and the titillating sensations running up and down her body were enough to put her asleep, but that burning desire to see her true love again was enough to keep her from dozing off
“Why would you want him?” the voices asked.“You have us, and the Great Asmodeus!”
“I have to find him, he’s my only ride home!” Wendy cried.
“Why would you want to leave?”
“What?” Wendy asked, finally finding the power to break free of the wall of hands and lips. “If I want to see Rex, then I want to see Rex! Where is he?”
“I am afraid he is unavailable at the moment,” said a familiar rustic voice.
“What do you mean he’s unavailable?”
“ He’s being rewarded for finding such a… unique specimen…." The man with the blonde hair rubbed his hand up and down her cheek while giving a sinister laugh.
Wendy couldn't believe him, she had to see it for herself!
She leaped up the stairs and ran towards a closed door.
She placed her hand on the knob when she heard a commotion. At first, she thought Rex and Asmodeus were duking it out, but the more she listened, the more she realized the moans weren't of pain but of pleasure.
Wendy was horrified. Her knees gave way, and she collapsed on the floor.
She cried out of disbelief and anger.
Why would Rex do this to her? Had he always loved her, or was he in love with this Asmodeus person all along? Had he been manipulating her from the very start? If so, why? None of it made any sense.
Wendy was too afraid to find out.
Using all her strength, Wendy picked herself up and trudged down the stairs.
Surprisingly, she met no resistance while making her escape. The people on the dance floor would rather explore their own bodies than pay attention to her.
The sun singed her face as she stepped outside. Her sense of time had been so warped, that she had no idea whether it was morning or afternoon.
Rex had never shown her how to hotwire a car, and no one had accidentally left their keys lying around, so she had to walk, and hope that she would find her way.
As Wendy made her way down the hill, she began to feel dirty and unclean. Not dirty in a fun way when she was alone with Rex, but in an ugly way. She could feel it seep into her pores, and no matter how hard she tried scratching it off it would never go away!
She desperately wished her life was a film playing at the Grenton Drive-In. She would be the beautiful damsel escaping from the evil Dr. Asmodeus, only to be rescued by her handsome boyfriend Rex.
But this was not a movie. There would be no one to rescue her. All she could do was take another step further into the unknown.