Chapter 2: Second Guesses and Second Thoughts

Chapter 2: Second Guesses and Second Thoughts

A Chapter by Cameron Lockhart

The twins suffer through another monotonous day of villainy, but soon find a way to change their afterlives for the better.


Soon after leaving the manor and their authoritarian mother, the twins immediately made an on-foot beeline for their hometown of Hitsville, traveling down the arched driveway and through the gates, and crossing over a moat filled with oceanic white-tip sharks. The weather outside was admittedly pretty nice, warm and sunny but surprisingly cool for a summer day, but it would take a lot more than that to uplift Josephine's mood. Smiling was something she rarely did throughout her life (unless one counted the occasional evil smirk), and it didn't help that not only was her mother becoming more obnoxious each day, but everyone was also staring coldly at the twins as they walked by… for rather obvious reasons.

"Get lost, scumbags!" one guy shouted.

"Yeah, no one likes you!" a woman added, accompanied by two small children.

"Haven't you two tormented us enough?!" a much older woman sobbed. "What do you want from us now?!"

"You wanna split up, so we can be less conspicuous?" Josephine muttered to her brother.

"Dunno what that means, but sure." Mike Jr. nodded.

From there, the two went their separate ways for the day, and much like Josephine predicted, the amount of vitriol they received was notably reduced. Some people are just hard to recognize when they're not with the iconic groups they're a part of, and both twins were more than thankful that they were among that category. Getting a chilly reception from the townsfolk was nothing new to them, and was something they'd come to expect from their dastardly ways, but given the recent decline in their interest in villainy, it did start to hurt a bit. Although neither twin would ever be upfront in admitting that.

Over on Mike Jr.'s end, he decided to hit the local gym; seemed reasonable to guess someone as fit as him would frequent a place like that. But upon entering the establishment and shoving his way past the line of members, he ran into a problem at the front desk.

"Do you have your membership card, sir?" the worker asked, seeming rather bored with her afterlife.

"B***h please, you know me well enough to where I shouldn't need one." Mike Jr. rested an elbow on the counter and bobbed his eyebrows, oblivious to the scoffs he received from some female members before him.

"Yeah, well rules are rules. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, particularly anyone who acts up, isn't dressed to work out, and doesn't have their membership card."

"Yeesh, your sports bra must be too high-impact for ya'. Here, lemme help you with it, so you can stop being a b***h?"

"Can you please stop saying that word?"

"Nah, not happenin'. Now let me work my manly charms." Mike Jr. leapt onto the counter, immediately met with a pepper-spritz to the face. "Heh, nice try hag, but dead people can't feel pain!"

"S-Securit- aagghh!" the woman was cut off as he slammed her against the wall, one hand holding her hands above her head while the other was pressed over her mouth.

"Now you listen here, wench! I'm not planning to go another week without leg day, so you can either let me in without any trouble, or I can make some trouble… and my dick's telling me to do the latter."

"Okay, okay, you can head in! Just don't break anything!"

"Great! Nice birthing hips by the way…"

Everyone in the lobby let loose a sigh of relief as Mike Jr. let go of her hands and waist and finally backed off, strutting coolly into the gym and looking as smug as ever.

Over in another part of town, Josephine wasn't drumming up as much chaos, managing to slip inside a local boutique without any trouble. Being a bad guy, the likely motive would be to loot the place, but first she had to see if the merchandise was up to snuff. Though judging by the perpetual scowl on her face, it was impossible to tell what thoughts she was having on the matter.

"Ugh, why aren't there any mid-rise pants in this town?" Josephine narrowed her eyes even more, holding up a pair of jeans loosely resembling her own. "Seriously, they're the only kind that let me show off my a*s and my navel!"

"Well if you're that entitled, then you can kindly leave and go hit up a bigger business. I'm sure they have more options," a clerk replied. "Besides, doesn't your elitist family get their clothes custom made?"

"Oh, no one asked you, you dingus! I'll have you know that I'm a Seymour, a descendant of one of the most- no, the most notorious crime family in America, and getting designer clothes isn't evil enough."

"Y'know what? I'm not in the mood to argue with a sour brat like you."

"Smart move." Josephine rolled her eyes, but quickly put on a look of intrigue at the sight of a pair of leggings hanging not too far away, resting alone on their rack. "Ooh, those are the only kind of pants I don't own, and they're mid-rise too?! Talk about a steal!"

But just as she made her way over to snatch them up, she found herself staring down a fellow customer, hell bent on grabbing the same pair.

"Uh, I believe I saw these first."

"Naw, I'm pretty sure I did. Now step aside little girl, so I can nab these for my wife." the other guy glared back.

"Not happening. Now move aside before I do something I almost certainly won't regret."

"Not gonna budge, girly."

"Well I'm not either. I won't wear any pants that aren't mid-rise, so I'd say I have greater priority here."

"Yeah, well neither will my wife. Honestly, I didn't think I'd find so many chicks who don't gush over high-waisted stuff."

"Yeah, well we exist. Your wife probably couldn't pull these off anyway, assuming she's around your age."

"How dare you- Look, why not just make things easier on ourselves and both walk away."

"Mmmm… nope!" Josephine smirked, starting to back up while holding one leg.

The man did the same, coming dangerously close to bursting a seam in the leggings, but was prepared for when his opponent abruptly let go, causing the garment to spring back and smack his face. It didn't hurt, being in the afterlife, but it did disorient him for a bit, causing him to let go. This left him open for Josephine to front-flip her way over towards him, nailing him with a helicopter kick to the face. The blow knocked him unconscious, sending him flying through the store as he plowed through several racks of clothing and other customers and eventually crashed into the wall behind the cashier.

"Hmph, that takes care of that." Josephine picked up the leggings and started to walk out, ignoring the fearful whimpers and scoffs from the people she'd disturbed, but was stopped when the detectors by the front door went off. "Oh, for f**k's sake…"

"Freeze!" Right on cue, a couple of officers showed up to apprehend her, with tasers at the ready. They couldn't hurt in this realm, but they were still capable of stunning and immobilizing their targets. "Drop the tights, young lady, or we're authorized to use force."

"Yeah, no, I don't think so." Josephine tossed her stolen yoga pants as high into the air as she could, before rushing in.

She sidestepped past the first taser shot directed at her, dropping to her knees and sliding between his legs. She then grabbed onto his waist and swung upwards, backflipping in mid-air a few times before knocking him onto his stomach with a dive kick to the scalp. Before the other cop could counter, she tackled him down at blinding speeds, using his gut as a springboard to snatch her leggings out of the air and scampered away. Despite knowing how slim the odds of victory were, the officer that was still conscious made an attempt to chase after her, proving to be surprisingly resilient.

"Ey Josie! Who're you running from?" Mike Jr. called after his sister, jogging towards her after she zipped past him on the gym's doorstep.

"Just another dumb f**k cop. What else is new?" Josephine replied. "Also, what did I tell you about calling me that?!"

"My bad, sis."

It was then that Mike Jr. glanced behind him, seeing the cop still surprisingly close behind. Adopting a witty smirk, he abruptly snatched up his sister and darted into a nearby alley, causing the officer to slide on his feet and crash into one of the farmer's market's produce stands. This gave the twins just enough time to slip out of town, using the extra speed granted to them by their presence in heaven to make their way several states over in record time.

"…and then Giovanni's goons had the nerve to not only kill me in the woods, but they also forced me to die on the ground with a pinecone between my shoulder blades!" a short, tracksuit-clad black man with very short hair, a split mustache, and slitted sunglasses capped off his tale.

Over in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the twins had convened at a bar called The Rusty Tap, sitting at the counter. Surprisingly, and much to their relief, no one seemed to recognize them despite their reputation, allowing them to drink in peace… relatively, anyway.

"That's nice, Travis. Now can you give us our beers and get lost?" Josephine glowered at the bartender.

"Fine, I'll cut the small talk." Travis slid two full mugs across the bar, promptly stalking away to chat with the other customers.

"Gotta say, it is pretty cool how the afterlife has no age-limits," Mike Jr. commented, already halfway through his beer. "Now I can see why Dad loves booze so much!"

"Tell me about it… if it weren't for this stuff, I don't think I'd be able to tolerate Mom nearly as much." Josephine rolled her eyes. "I mean seriously, why does she have to push us around like this?"

"What, you're saying you don't enjoy villainy anymore?"

"It's not quite that, but sometimes the things you love become less fun when you're forced to do them, y'know? Hell, I didn't even enjoy stealing those leggings as much as I thought I would, and they were my preferred kind too!"

"Yeah… and not only that, but back-to-back losses can really weigh you down."

"Mm-hmm, that too…" Josephine sipped her beer, casually glancing at one of the booths behind her. "Oh s**t, it's the afterlife task force."

"As in those random big names who allegedly possess reincarnation devices? You're joking!" Mike Jr. had to look back to see for himself. "Wait, don't they usually include that big, fat guy too?"

"Nah, I think he stopped hanging out with them after his wife passed away."

At the table were four guys, who looked rather ordinary despite such a reputation: one lanky with a honey-brown widow's peak; one average-built, with a black Jewfro and thick facial hair; one trim and black, with thick glasses and a flat-top; and one looked no older than eight, with spiky blond hair. They didn't seem to notice the twins nearby, lost in their own conversation over a few drinks.

"Can we please wrap this up, Ike? William F. Buckley Jr's new podcast is gonna premiere soon, and I don't wanna miss it," the Jewish man whined.

"Okay, fine. So since Season 3 is obviously not coming, what else do you think we could do to stay relevant?" said the honey-haired man, appearing to be the de-facto leader.

"We could try taking the spin-off route again." shrugged the black guy.

"Yeah, but I don't think most people would watch anything about you, Second." the kid spoke up.

"You know I'm still a little miffed at how your show got more seasons than ours did, Eli," Ike grumbled.

"What can I say? Family sitcoms will never go out of style." Eli smirked. "But as for my idea, why not do a direct-to-video crossover with the Mystery Inc gang? Lord knows they'll do anything for a quick paycheck. Plus, it would mean being able to kill off some Hanna-Barbera characters!"

"Maybe, maybe…"

"Ooh, why not do a watered-down, edge-free baby spin-off that completely ignores the established canon?" Todd chimed in, standing in his seat.

"Geez, you're even more stuck in the past than Jay was."

"So, um, why are we just sitting here eavesdropping?" Mike Jr. turned back to his sister.

"First of all, I'm surprised you even know that word. Secondly, I'm trying to see if these guys can be of any use to us," Josephine replied. "Come on… any second now…"

"So, uh… I guess I'll weigh all our ideas at home, so you all can do whatever," Ike said as he stood up. "In the meantime, I'll put our flyer on the window."

Soon as he did that and all his friends had dispersed, the twins waited just a couple minutes more before they took casual strides towards the front window. In the blink of an eye, Josephine snatched up the light blue flyer and booked it out of the bar with her brother, before they both slinked into a nearby alley to read it.

"Sheesh, we really need to drop this habit of hiding in dingy alleyways." Mike Jr. shook his head.

"Can you put your vanity aside for one second?" Josephine barked back, about to read from the flyer.

"Pfft, you're one to talk about being vain."

"Shut the f**k up! Anywho, 'Got A Threat? Call The Vets! We tackle supervillains, rodents, bugs, and more!' Hmm, maybe this could be useful to us…"

"But… our house is up to code. We don't have a pest problem."

"No, you atom brain! I was thinking we could call them to get Mom off our backs. That way, we could spend our afterlives in relative peace, and maybe do evil deeds on our own terms."

"Ooh, an evil scheme against an evil scheme? Now you're talking!"

After sharing a devious grin, both twins pulled each other into a loose hug and started to maniacally cackle in unison, not caring if anyone in the vicinity could hear them.

© 2022 Cameron Lockhart

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Added on September 9, 2022
Last Updated on September 9, 2022


Cameron Lockhart
Cameron Lockhart

Charleston, SC

I've loved writing ever since I could properly hold a pencil, and I currently strive to become a published author someday. In 2021, I earned a BA in Creative Writing; I primarily focused on prose and .. more..