"Why's he staring at you like that?" Lea Persig asked. Her raven-black hair softly moved in the light breeze coming off the water. As our garage mechanic, she keeps the numerous vehicles that Zombos never rides in tip-top running shape. She turned again to look at Zombos sitting on the veranda, sipping his coffee and glaring at us.
"Oh, that's his Penance Stare. He's just sore that I went to see Ghost Rider while he had to take Junior to see Bridge to Tilapia or whatever it's called," I said.
"That's Bridge to Terabithia, you goof," she laughed. She has such a wonderful laugh. "Tilapia's a fish."
"What's the Penance Stare?"
"That's the Ghost Rider's main weapon against evil-doers. He forces you to look deep into his empty eye-sockets, and soon you feel all the pain and suffering you inflicted on others." I smiled and waved at Zombos. He glared more intensely, took a sip of coffee, and glared some more.
"So what did you think of the movie?" she asked, as I handed her another wrench. She was working on the 1960 Harley-Davidson Glide motorcycle to smooth out the ride. "I mean, was it any good?"
"Any good is a broad range that can cover a lot," I said. "I would easily say there is some good in it."
"Like what?" She wiped the grease mark from her pale cheek with the handkerchief she always carried in a back pocket, and took a breather.
"For one thing, the story is a nice departure from the usual slasher and cannibalistic-serial-killer or psycho-mutants-among-us storylines coming out of Hollywood these days. It's always nice to see a return to the more supernatural underpinnings that modern horror grew from. A good good-versus-evil story can be inspiring."
"Was it inspiring then?" she asked, putting her handkerchief away.
"Well... no. Unfortunately it was not inspiring. The film lacks an emotional punch."
"What's it about?"
"Bloody, sell-your-soul-to-the-devil pacts, an errant evil son who wants to plunge the whole world into Hell, and a stunt motorcycle-riding, demon-possessed flaming-skull, blazing-chain wielding innocent rube named Johnny Blaze who's tricked into playing bounty-hunter to bring back hell's stragglers to the big red two-horns himself — but he has to play truant officer first."