The hoodlums

This story begins the way that most do, in a strange place doing a strange thing. A group of unsavory looking teenagers had just emerged from the front door of the only laundry mat in central village. The town was so small that these were in fact the only six teens that lived there. The laundry mat had six overly large washers and seven economy sized dryers. No one really knew for sure why there were more dryers than washers but rumor had it that old Mr. Meyers, the man who owned the building, could not count. Inexplicably the tiny laundry mat also had six laundry carts.

The group of hoodlums, witch is what they actually called them selves, was composed of two girls and four boys. Their ages ranged from fourteen to nineteen the oldest being Clair "the leader". on this particular night, like most other nights, they were actually doing some thing good. To outsiders a group of teens walking down the street in the middle of the night each pushing an empty laundry cart would look suspicious.

Their destination was a small house about two blocks from the laundry mat. The home of Sadie Thompson, a former member of their little gang, now a young single mother. Sadie worked two jobs to pay the rent on her little shack, not to mention all the other things her meager checks had to cover…including but not limited to: diapers, wipes, groceries, light bill, phone bill, heat, hot water.

Her two year old was Sadie's first and only priority, meaning while little Tommy was dressed to the nines and always looking his best, well fed, and well cared for; poor Sadie accepted that she had to pay for her mistake, she ate only what Tommy didn't finish, owned no makeup, and clean laundry was…well lets just say she was in desperate need of a little charity.

Her former posse did every thing they could to help, free baby sitters any time she needed it, help cleaning her house when her frantic schedule didn't allot her time to do it herself. But in a small town with a dieing economy charity can only go so far. None of the adults could afford to donate food or money, they were stretched thin themselves paying their own bills. This group of imposing looking teens had saved up their tiny pay checks and been planning this little birthday surprise for Sadie for over a month.

Sadie would be working third shift at her second job, little Tommy was enjoying a sleep over at his grandma's house. They knew the doors would not be locked, "I don't have any thing worth stealing." Sadie had once told Clair when she had asked. As quietly as possible, with six rickety old laundry carts, they tip toed into her home. Not that they were worried about getting caught, Rebyl's dad was the chief of police. They were quiet more out of courtesy for Sadie's neighbors.

Sadie did her best to keep her house clean. Her dirty laundry, of witch there was three tons, was folded neatly separated into whites darks and colors and piled in large plastic bags at the back of her closet. Each of the six teens loaded THREE bags of dirty laundry into his/her borrowed cart. Adding up to a whopping twelve heaping bags of dirty laundry. It was not all cloths, Sadie could never afford that much, ninety percent of it was made up of sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels, a mat for the bathroom floor, and a tablecloth witch she only used on holidays. Of the remaining ten percent only about a quarter of it was actually Sadie's clothing, the rest was Tommy's.

If the trip from the laundry mat was eyebrow raising, the return journey was even more comical. Six teen's trekking across town pushing carriages filled with laundry was something that would have been worth seeing had any one been awake to see it. Unfortunately for them the only way to make this surprise a surprise was to do it when the rumor mill was sleeping.

Sadie's laundry filled all six washers…three times. The teens amused themselves. Clair, the oldest, having only recently obtained the status of leader, sat in the only chair reading the only magazine. She was a sight to behold there, the Florissant light formed a glowing halo around her beautiful blond hair. Her long elegant hands were tipped with pretty pink fingernails. Her shining blue eyes sparkled with delight. Authority suited her, she was after all a girl with many talents leading a group with many secrets.

Laying on the floor engaged in an ongoing game of war was the next two oldest at seventeen, Damien and Collin. They were twin boys with twin pairs the darkest blue eyes any one had ever seen, like the sky at midnight with diamonds twinkling just beyond reach; They had their black hair styled identically and wore the same cloths. They did this on purpose, while the had very different personalities they both agreed that they enjoyed braking old clichés. In most cases of twins one was taller, or fatter, or had a birthmark the other did not, in the case of the wickershun twins they were (physically) identical. They enjoyed confusing the general public, those who knew them well enough could identify them by their speech patterns, all outsiders were left scratching their heads.

Sitting cross-legged next to them, watching intently was sixteen year old Phoenix, witch was not his real name. his parents had named him Nicholas, a very plain and common name, and had nicknamed him NICK, and even more common name. resenting being given such an over used moniker Nick decided to tell every one Nix was short for Phoenix, a cool and altogether strange name, his parents being plain and boring people just went along with it. In truth no one really cared what he called himself he was an altogether unremarkable boy. He had no special talents, he couldn't dance like Clair, or play instruments like the twins, he couldn't sing like Mage, and no one could fight like Rebyl. No Nix was an ordinary sixteen year old boy who happen to be a part of a group.

Perched atop one of the tables meant for folding laundry was Mage. A fifteen year old boy with the voice of an angel. He could charm any one into doing any thing he wanted. He had short brown hair and swirling brown eyes. His smile was dazzling but all anyone ever noticed when they met Mage was his sweet voice. Like pure silk over steel, all it took was a single word and girls were in love.

Girls like Rebyl, the baby of the group. She swooned over Mage's smooth voice and good looks. Not that he thought of her that way. She was like the little sister none of them ever had, or wanted. She was standing at the open door, keeping look out, protecting her friends. Her father was the chief of police not just for their tiny town but the whole county. The county was made up of five tiny towns, they shared one fire rescue truck, one ambulance, one small police force, and one set of schools ranging from pre k to high school. Chief porter was a conservative man who had lived in central village his whole life. He had married young, just out of high school. Rebyl's mama had been a free spirit, so creative and open. The tiny town was suffocating her, she left.

The six sat quietly, trying not to draw attention to themselves. The floor vibrated beneath their feet, giving the same effect as those massage chairs in the malls. The ones that, when your stupid enough to deposit five dollars, vibrate uncontrollably for two lousy minuets before requesting that you feed it five more of your hard earned dollars so it can continue to shake like a spastic lunatic. At least at the laundry mat you deposit four dollars a load and your cloths get washed while you get an uncomfortable kind of massage hat shakes your bladder and makes you need to pee.

Clair's head of shiny yellow hair suddenly came up from her magazine her eyes glazed over and her hand flew to her mouth. A loud gasp escaped from between her lips followed by a pained chocking sound. Her friend drew in close around her, concerned for their sister in arms. Her head dropped down and she gave a heaving sob her fingers slipping into her mouth. When her body stopped shaking, but not vibrating because the washer was still going, she looked up.

"I've had a premonition!"