"BORN ON THE BAYOU"
Friday, September 17, 1993, 7:00 PM
The two vehicles made their way down the road. First was Ned's truck. Ned was driving, Kevin was in the passenger seat, and Mike and Bayou Billy were seated in the back of the truck. Sharing the back with Mike and Billy were Duke, Billy's pet alligator, Loafer, and Loafer's kids, who had grown up by now. A short distance behind them was Cheryl's car. Cheryl was driving, Lana was seated in the passenger seat, and Kristen and Stacey were seated in the back seat. "I'm glad you guys decided to come with us to visit my parents." Ned said to Mike and Billy. "Hey, glad to be here." Mike said. Loafer curled his tail around Mike's waist and stared at him. "Uh,...I might take that back pretty soon." Mike added. Billy laughed. "Aw, looky there! He likes ya!" "Oh, just what I need." Mike said sarcastically. "Well, I'm looking forward to seeing the bayou on your world. I wonder if it's like on mine." "Billy, remember, you can't tell anyone where you're from." Ned said. "No problem." "I think you guys'll like New Orleans." Kevin told them. Mike grinned. "Whoo-ee!!! Break out the moonshine, boys!!! We goin' to N'Awlins!!!" They all laughed. So did the females in the car behind them. "This'll be an interesting experience for us." Kristen said. "From what Kevin's told us, Louisiana is like a whole other country." Cheryl nodded. "It is!" The three girls gave her confused looks. "Well, in my opinion." Cheryl ammended. "Well, I just hope they've got a gnarly surf." Stacey said. Kristen and Lana both looked at her. "Well, you know, it's, like, surrounded by water." "Lana, you're welcome to come back here and join me if you want to cuddle." Kristen said with a grin. "Hmmm, let me consider that. No." Cheryl smiled. Lana took a tape out of her pocket. "What's that?" Stacey asked. "Some California band from the mid-'80s." Lana answered. "Kevin made a copy for me." Lana placed the tape in the tape deck and turned on the radio. A song began playing:
You get me goin'. You get me movin' on. It's on my system. I'm playin' on and on. You say I'm crazy, Always on my own. Tough guys around me I think just turns me on. From my video To my radio.
The two vehicles arrived in front of Kevin's grandparents' house and parked in the driveway. Everybody got out. The front door of the house opened, and out came Ned's parents. They were tall and had black hair, with just a bit of grey. Ned's father also wore glasses. "Ned!" his mother said, walking up and hugging him. "How ya doin', ma?" Ned asked. "Fine." she replied. Then his dad hugged him. "Hey, son!" "Hey, dad!" Mr. Keene looked at his grandson. "Kevin, get over here and give your grandpa a hug!" Kevin did, then he hugged his grandma. "Hey, boo!" his grandma said. "Hey, maw-maw!" Kevin replied. Lana silently mouthed those words in utter confusion. Ned faced the others. "Everyone, these are my parents, Jacob and Annabelle Keene." "Hey, where y'at?" Jacob asked. Kevin smiled. "Awrite." "I thought we were right here." Lana said, becoming more confused. Kevin, Ned, Jacob, and Annabelle laughed. "You'll have to excuse Lana." Ned said. "She's from, um, out of town." Mike laughed. "So, how was your trip?" Jacob asked. Ned nodded. "Good. Well, let's introduce ya to all these people. These are Kevin's friend's, Mike Vincent and Billy,...um,...Johnson. That's Kevin's girlfriend, Lana Deschain." Annabelle walked over to Lana and moved her head a bit, examining her neck. "What are you doing?" Lana asked as politely as possible. "Checkin' to see if ya have a passion mark." Annabelle replied. She let go of Lana. Lana looked at Kevin. "Passion mark?" "A hickey." Kevin replied. "No, there's no bump on her head." Annabelle said. "What are you talking about?!" Lana asked, more confused than ever. "She wants to see if we've been necking." Kevin clarified. "Oh." Lana said, then shrugged. "To me, hickey has always been slang for a hiccup." "This is Kevin's other girlfriend, Stacey Anderson." Ned went on. Stacey smiled and waved. "Like, hi!" Jacob and Annabelle waved back at her. "And this is our friend, Kristen,...um,..." Ned gave the young woman a confused look. Kristen smiled. "Shallowayne." "Shallowayne?" everyone else asked in surprise. She nodded. "Kristen Shallowayne." Lana looked at her and frowned. "What kind of stupid name is that?" Kristen became irritated. "Well, it's not like Deschain is any more hip." "Girls, stop it." Ned said. Lana and Kristen shut up. "And you remember Duke." Ned finished. Duke barked, running towards them. Jacob and Annabelle squatted down and rubbed Duke. "Of course! Hey, Dukey!" Jacob said. "He's the cutest pup!" Annabelle complimented with a grin. Duke barked happily. "Looks like he likes you, Mr. and Mrs. Keene." Mike said. "Please, call me Jake." "And me Annabelle." The two of them stood up. "We'll take your luggage inside." Jake said. "You all use the turlet and wrench ya hands in da zink before we go out to dinner." Lana shook her head as she walked towards the house. "This is gonna be a looong week." Kevin smiled. "Don't worry, Lana. It's only 'til next Friday."
They all took their seats at a table in Brigtsen's. They were handed menus. Lana put down her menu. "Tell me what's good. I'm inexperienced." "I'll order for ya." Jake said. "Thanks, as long as it's not seafood." she told him. A waiter came by. "What'll ya have?" she asked. Jake ordered for everyone. The waiter nodded. "Got it." She walked away. "So, Lana, how do ya like Nawln' so far?" Jake asked. Lana shrugged. "Pretty nice place. A little confusing." Annabelle smiled. "You'll get used to it." "So, Kev,...how long you and Lana been together?" Jake asked. "Four years and eight days." Kevin replied. "And you and Stacey?" "We've known each other formally since September 6, 1989, but we've been together definitely for over a year." "And Lana, what about you and Kristen?" Jake asked. Lana shook her head. "Oh, we're not - " Kristen put her right arm around Lana. "Over a year." The waiter came by with the dishes and placed them on the table. Lana sniffed everything. "Mmmm, that smells good." "Dig in!" Ned said with a smile. Lana tasted her meal. "Mmmmmmm, yummy!" Jake and Annabelle smiled. "So, Billy, you're from da bayou, f'true?" Jake asked. "Funny, I've never seen ya around here before." Bayou Billy smiled. "Well, that's cuz I'm from - " " - an area far from the city." Kevin finished. "He's from deep in the bayou. Hardly ever leaves there." Jake nodded. "Aaahhh." Kevin stared at Billy. Billy shrugged.
Next, they all went out to a dance hall. The band was currently performing a Blues tune. Jake danced with Annabelle, Ned danced with Cheryl, Kevin danced with Lana, Mike danced with Stacey, and Billy danced with Kristen. After the song was over, everyone applauded. "All right, we're gonna take a little break now." the lead guitarist said. The band walked off the stage. The lead guitarist, a tall black man with short hair, walked up to Kevin's parents, smiling. "Hey, Ned! Cheryl!" Upon seeing him, Ned and Cheryl also smiled. Ned shook his hand. "Steve, how are ya?!" "Great! Didn't know you were back in town!" "Visiting for a week!" Ned said. "Well, that's just great!" Steve shook Cheryl's hand. Then he saw Kevin. "Is this Kevin? He looks so grown up!" Kevin shook his hand. "Hey, Steve!" "Guys, this is my friend, Steve Starlight." Ned introduced. "We've known each other since college." Kevin's friends and grandparents all shook Steve's hand. "Yeah, I'll never forget how we first met." Steve said with a grin. "August 19, 1972, early Saturday morning. We were both moving into our dorm at Cal State at Northridge. Turns out we're sharing a room. I get there a half hour after Ned, and I find clothes and other junk all over da floor!" Everyone laughed. Lana looked at Ned and Kevin with a smile. "Like father, like son!" "I was mad!" Steve continued. "I started chewing this guy out about da mess he'd made, and we started throwing clothes at each other! I stopped, though, when I saw that Hummingbird leaning against da wall. When I found out Ned was into Blues, we became da best of friends!" Everyone smiled. "I still have that guitar, man." Ned said. "Good for you!" Steve said. "Kevin, you play anything?" "Actually, I've got a band." Kevin replied. "No kiddin'. What do ya play?" "I play the guitar, Lana's bass, Stacey's our keyboardist, and Mike's on drums." "Neat! What's da name?" "Captain N & The Video Game Masters. We play music from video games." "Oh, well, that's cool. You guys like to do an impromptu performance?" Kevin was surprised. "What, here?" Steve nodded. "Yeah!" Kevin looked at the other band members. "How 'bout it, guys?!" They all agreed. Steve and the band members walked onto the stage. While the band members were getting used to the instruments, Steve turned on the microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, we've got a special treat for you tonight! A performance by some new friends of mine! Please welcome to N'Awlins Captain N & Da Video Game Masters!" Everyone applauded for the band. Steve walked off the stage. Kevin walked up to the microphone, holding Steve's Hummingbird. "Thank you." He laughed. "We're not sure what to play. Steve kinda sprung this on us!" Everyone laughed. Kevin, Lana, Stacey, and Mike leaned in close together. "Bayou Billy, Background Music A, B, and C, Highway, Boss, Clear, and Over." Kevin said. They nodded, then they took their positions, facing forward. "Let's do it!" Kevin said. "1, 2, 3, 4!" After they were done playing, the audience applauded and cheered. "Thank you!" Kevin said.
When they got back to Kevin's grandparents' house, Billy walked over to Loafer and his kids. They were all lying in one corner of the living room. Duke was lying in the opposite corner, watching them uneasily. "It's feeding time, boys!" Billy said to his pet gators. With that, Duke sprung up and dashed out of the room, yelping. Everyone laughed. Lana yawned. "Well, I'm gonna get to bed!" Stacey yawned. "Like, me, too!" "Oh, 'bout that." Annabelle brought up. "I'm afraid there ain't enough rooms for everyone to have their own, so you'll have to share." "Me and Billy." Mike said. Stacey put her right arm around Kevin. "Me and Kevy." "Me and Cheryl." Ned said. "All right, that leaves - " Annabelle began. Kristen smiled and put her left arm around Lana. Lana groaned. "Oh, no!"
Lana walked into the bedroom wearing a pair of underwear and a night tanktop that stopped a short distance above her belly button. She put her clothes into plastic bags in a corner of the room. Kristen, who was wearing the same, took in Lana's gorgeous figure. "Nice, Princess!" "Uh,...thanks. Who gets the bed?" "You can have it, Your Highness. I'll sleep on the floor." "Okey-dokey." Lana got into bed and pulled up the sheets. Kristen turned off the lights, then lay down on the floor. "Good night." "Good night." Lana replied. Kristen turned to lie on her right side, then on her left side, then on her stomach, then on her back again. "Lana?" "Yeah?" "I can't get comfortable. The floor's too hard." "Want some extra sheets to sleep on?" Lana offered. Kristen sat up. "Actually, I was wondering if I could sleep in the bed with you." Lana sat up. She considered it. "Okay." "Yes!" Kristen got to her feet and ran over to the bed. Lana lifted the sheets. "Hop in, but behave yourself." Kristen lay down to Lana's left. Both of them lay on their backs, facing the ceiling. "Kristen?" Lana asked. Kristen smiled. "Oh. I'm sorry. I thought that was my leg." "Good night, Kristen." Lana said in an annoyed tone. Kristen continued smiling. "Good night."
Saturday, September 18, 1993, 7:00 AM
They all came to the kitchen table for breakfast. When Stacey walked into the kitchen, Kevin, Lana, Mike, and Kristen laughed. Stacey placed her hands on her hips. "What's so funny?!" she demanded. "Your s-slippers!" Mike said, laughing uncontrollably. "Hey, white bunny slippers rule! So, shut the hell up, damn it!" Stacey yelled. They all sat down at the table. Annabelle came by and set the dish in the center. "Everybody help yourselves." Annabelle said. "What is it?" Lana asked. "Pain perdu. French toast - Nyoo Ahhlyins-style." So, they all helped themselves and enjoyed their meal. "So, what are you kids gonna do today?" Jake asked. "Well, I'd like to go see the city." Kristen said. Lana nodded. "Me, too." "I wanna check out the bayou." Billy said. Jake and Annabelle gave him confused looks. "Um,...I get homesick real fast. Yeah." Jake and Annabelle nodded and continued eating.
So, Kevin, Lana, Mike, Stacey, Kristen, and Billy went to various stores and checked out some sights. Finally, Kevin checked his watch. "It's twelve. Anybody hungry?" Mike, Stacey, Kristen, and Billy said they were. "Lana?" Kevin asked. "A little." Lana replied. "I usually don't eat lunch, but I can try something." "Let's go to Mother's and have po-boys." Kevin suggested. "Po-boys?" the others asked. "Oh, they're great. Roast beef or ham, with Creole mustard, on French bread. You'll love 'em!"
After lunch, they went out to the swampland of the Atchafalaya Basin so Billy could see the bayou on Earth. "Pretty nice." Billy said. "Almost makes me feel like I'm back in Bayouland." He looked at his hands and his surroundings for a moment. "Heh, almost." They wandered deep into the bayou. "Um, Billy,...what if we run into gators?" Lana asked. "We'll get some extra exercise." "Oh, boy."
At 3:00 PM, they spotted an alligator. It was a really large creature. It slowly walked out of the swamp, approaching them. The humans slowly backed away. "Aw, great! I don't have my Zapper!" Kevin yelled. "Kid, remember what I taught ya?" Billy asked. "Yeah." "Find a crash star and use it!" "Billy, this isn't Videoland! We don't have any power items here!" "Oh. Well, then, we'll just have to take him hands-on!" "What?!" Mike asked. Billy broke off a tree branch and ran towards the gator. "He's nuts!" Kristen yelled. "Wanna bet?!" Kevin asked. He broke off another branch and ran after Billy. "Kevy!" Stacey yelled. She broke off a third branch and ranch after him. "Those guys are really stupid." Mike said. Then he spotted another gator swimming toward them. "And I guess I'm stupider." He broke off a fourth branch and ran to battle the new arrival. Kristen watched Mike run into the swamp. "Oh, I better go give him a hand!" She broke off a fifth tree branch and ran to the swamp. Lana sighed. "Might as well make it a three-to-one battle like the other." She broke off a sixth tree branch and ran to join Mike and Kristen. The fighting was very fierce. Billy, Kevin, and Stacey beat the gator with their tree branches. Then the gator came close to Kevin's face. Before it could bite him, Billy grabbed it and threw it and himself into the swamp. They started wrestling. At the same time, Mike, Kristen, and Lana were beating the second gator with their own tree branches. "Where's your ass?!" Mike asked the gator, beating it with his tree branch. "Huh?! Where's your ass, dude?! When I find it, I'm gonna kick it!" The gator made a sudden swipe at Kristen. She screamed, dodging and falling on her backside. The gator got loose of Mike's grip and swam towards her. "Kristen!" Lana bashed her tree branch over the gator's eyes. She then scooped Kristen up in her arms and carried her out of the swamp. Kristen looked thankfully at the Princess. "Aaahhh, my hero." She kissed Lana on her left cheek. "Oh, get down." Lana said in an annoyed voice, dropping Kristen to the ground. Back over at the first fight, Billy was still wrestling the gator. They seemed to be equally matched, but Kevin and Stacey were worried. Finally, Stacey saw an opening. When Billy got the gator on its back, she raised her tree branch. Stacey brought it down with as much force as she could. She drove the branch full force into the gator's belly, killing it.