Roots of the Occulted

“Wanna join my club?”
“Well what kind of club is it anyway?”
“It don’t matter. It’ll just be you and me and whoever else wants to join. But my mama’s basement can only hold about 13 of us and I only got 7 chairs, so I guess we’ll have to cut it off at some point or I’ll get myself whipped.”
“Are we whipping each other in this club? I don’t know about that. Maybe I should wear a heavier jacket if we’re doing stuff like that. I have to change for gym and they’ll see the marks and call my pa.”
“No, no, no. You don’t understand at all. It’ll be a good club. Where we can come up with secrets and keep them from everybody else. And then when we have enough secrets, we can start selling memberships and just sit around taking money. Then someone else can run it and we’ll just collect the cash. And they can come up with their own secrets.”
“What if they start keeping secrets from us?”
“Well, I suppose they will. But as long as we get the money, who cares?”
“I want to whip them if they keep secrets.”
“You won’t want to. They’ll stop coming and then we won’t get any money.”
“What if you start keeping secrets from me? What if we get a hundred dollars and you only give me twenty of it? Then I’ll want to whip you.”
“I should have never said nothing about no whipping.”
“That will just be a secret between us then.”
“I don’t know if I want to start a club with you anymore.”

Billy clenched his jaw and undid his belt, saying:

“Well, you can’t quit when things are just starting to go our way.”

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