Weekly Spooky - Scary Stories for Halloween

By Henrique Couto

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Join us every week for a taste of Halloween all year round with explicit scary stories, creepy pastas, true stories, and more with scary ambience that will chill you to the bone! Not for younger listeners…

Episode Date
Ep.104 – The Halloween Party - A Killer Good Time!
00:32:06

Episode Notes

On the way to a party some sorority girls stumble upon a satanic serial killer and that's the least bizarre part of their night!

The Halloween Party by Keith Tomlin

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Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Support Weekly Spooky - Scary Stories for Halloween by contributing to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

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Oct 13, 2021
Ep.103 – Retro Halloween Weekend - These Movies are to DIE FOR
00:40:08

Episode Notes

On Halloween night Destiny Mirren is up to some tricks and very little treats when she hatches a scheme to ruin her older sister's work helping the community. The consequences could go BEYOND DEATH!

Retro Halloween Weekend by Rob Fields

Buy the new "Babysitter Massacre" book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

Get Cool Merchandise https://weeklyspooky.storenvy.com

Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

Support Weekly Spooky by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Support Weekly Spooky - Scary Stories for Halloween by contributing to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

Find out more at http://weeklyspooky.com

Oct 06, 2021
Ep.102 – Pumpkin Spice & Nothing Nice! - This Treat is a TRICK!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Some people hate to see anyone have a good time. Tonight's character can't stand the love of Pumpkin Spice or even Halloween for that matter. But she's about to learn that Tricks can be just as sweet as Treats!

Pumpkin Spice & Nothing Nice by Charles Campbell You can check out Charles’ work at valleyboypublications.com and Amazon.com

Buy the new "Babysitter Massacre" book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

Get Cool Merchandise https://weeklyspooky.storenvy.com

Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

Support Weekly Spooky by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Support Weekly Spooky - Scary Stories for Halloween by contributing to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

Find out more at http://weeklyspooky.com

Sep 29, 2021
Ep.101 – Boy Meets Ghoul - A Dinner Date FROM HELL
00:40:35

Episode Notes

A hot date turns blood cold when things don't get exactly as you'd expect for this romance of a lifetime...

Boy Meets Ghoul by Rob Fields

Buy the new "Babysitter Massacre" book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

Get Cool Merchandise https://weeklyspooky.storenvy.com

Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

Support Weekly Spooky by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcript:

Christian Shaeffer was having lunch with his friends outside at Clancy’s, a popular fast-food place among North Ridgeway High School students. The four of them were on the football team, talking about whatever. Then the subject of Christian’s upcoming date came up. “Hey, how come you’re not telling us you got a date for Saturday night?” Eric Danvers asked. “How come we gotta hear about these things from Chelsea?” Christian groaned. “Why does my little sister always have to be such a pain?” “So about this date of yours . . .” Matthew Martinson inquired. Jeffrey “Moose” Keegan put his hands up to his pecs and pretended to squeeze. “Does she have tits?” he rumbled. Christian groaned again. “Man, Moose, you may be the biggest guy on our football team, but you got the dirtiest mind, too.” Moose grinned mischievously. “Hey, a girl’s gotta have tits, brother. That’s just the way us men are. The bigger, the better . . .” “You do realize you’re probably going to die alone, right?” Christian asked, half-serious. Moose reached out and playfully shoved Christian’s shoulder. “C’mon, bro! Quit holding out here! Who is she? What’s she like?” He grinned mischievously again. “And does she have tits?” When Christian realized his football brothers weren’t going to back off, he finally conceded. “Fine, you bastards . . . Her name is Chloe Anne Carmichael. I met her when we had our game with Strickfield High here a few weeks ago.” “Whoa, dude! You’re really going out with a chick from Strickfield?” Eric asked. “Isn’t that like . . . I don’t know . . . dating the enemy or something?” Christian pointed to him. “It ain’t no different than that cheerleader you’re seeing from Pendleton High.” Eric raised his hands up in front of him. “Okay, okay . . .” Christian continued. “So, we just beat Strickfield High and finished our showers. I was all set to get in my car and head out. Then I saw this other car with the hood up . . . and a girl underneath it. I went over to help her. Then she came out from under the hood and looked at me. I swear, she looks like she’s right out of the 50s! I mean she’s wearing a red-and-white polka-dot dress that goes down just past her knees. She’s even wearing those black-and-white shoes. You know . . . with the black across the middle.” He pointed to Matthew. “Your older sister has shoes like that.” “Yeah, she does. Except Bethany’s into the 60s,” Matthew shared. “Okay, go on.” Christian pointed quickly at Matthew. “And she looks exactly like Betty! From those Betty and Veronica comics your sister loves to read!” Moose shot up out of his seat. “Oh, come on! What, you think we’re stupid or something? There ain’t no girl who looks like she’s right outta –” But Christian shut him up when he brought up her picture on his smartphone and let everybody look at it for a moment. “Now do you believe me?” “Damn! She really does look like Betty,” Matthew agreed. “Wait’ll Bethany hears about this.” Moose leaned in. “This is just her face. Does she have tits?” Christian groaned. “Okay, Moose! Yes! Okay? She’s a girl, and girls have tits. Okay?” Moose grinned. “But are they big ones?” Christian gave him the finger, getting a laugh from everybody. Then he got back to the subject. “Anyway, she had a loose wire under the hood. I fixed it for her. Then we got to talking for a while. We got each other’s phone numbers. We started texting and video chatting. Now we got a date for Saturday night. I’m going to pick her up at her place. She lives in the woods with her family just outside Strickfield.” Then everybody just looked at Christian. Christian just looked at everybody in return. “What?!” “Man, you got your head up your ass or something?” Eric asked. “Don’t you know there are stories about those backwoods of Strickfield? You don’t want to be heading in there – especially at night.” Christian groaned. “Seriously, what’s there to be scared of in those woods? I mean, come on . . . Strickfield’s own mayor lives in those woods. He still makes it to work every day, right?” Matthew pointed at him. “But there have been stories about things that have happened in those woods. Stories about people dying out there . . . and even a few of them coming back to life. And then there are the stories about creatures lurking around in there. And even cannibals! There are just stories on top of stories.” Eric pointed to Christian’s smartphone. “You should just text her and cancel, or have her meet you somewhere.” Christian groaned again. “Come on, you guys! Really?! All those stories are just superstitious horseshit. I’m going on my date with Chloe Anne Carmichael on Saturday – end of discussion!” Almost nobody said much of anything after Christian’s declaration. Even when they finished their lunches and headed back to North Ridgeway High for their afternoon classes . . .

Christian was driving through the woods on Saturday night and following the directions that his smartphone’s GPS was giving him. Christian did have to admit these woods near Strickfield did look quite spooky and seemed to stretch on for miles and miles. Or maybe it was just the consistent fog that had a foreboding presence seemingly everywhere. Still, he was willing to suffer a few heebie jeebies to get to Chloe Anne Carmichael’s house. “Prepare to turn left on Township Road 34 in one quarter mile!” Christian gasped and pointed a shaky finger at his smartphone. Then he shook his head slowly. He couldn’t believe how he’d let his football brothers get to him. This wasn’t Halloween, for crying out loud! This was a date with a really hot girl who just happened to look like a hot classic female comic book character. Still, he kept his head on and made the turn when his GPS told him to. It wasn’t much longer after that when he had finally reached his destination. Christian just sat in the car when he saw the Carmichael farmhouse. There were barely any lights on inside, and the fog really seemed murky and dismal around the farmhouse and huge yard. He even saw some cars that had been gathered near the barn. He started to wonder if anyone was even home. He was almost wondering if maybe he should just turn the car around and head back to North Ridgeway. Suddenly, the porch room at the front entrance came ablaze with light. And then the door opened. Christian felt his spirits lift when he saw Chloe Anne Carmichael step outside. He got out of the car and went to meet her. “Chloe Anne, hi!” Christian said. “I hope I’m not late. It’s a bit foggy out here.” Christian thought Chloe Anne was truly breathtaking. She was wearing the very same red dress with white polka dots and those same shoes from the night he had first met her. She wore her blond hair down; the last time she wore it in a ponytail. For a brief moment, he remembered Moose talking about tits and noticed that Chloe Anne weren't too badly stacked. Chloe Anne pointed to the car. “Could you shut that off for a smiggen? My parents wanna meet you.” “Uh-oh . . .” Christian uttered jokingly. Chloe Anne smiled. “Oh, ain’t nothin’ weird. They just wanna know who I’m goin’ out with tonight.” She sighed. “They wanna know who they gotta shoot ifin you don’t bring me back home on time.” When Christian looked at her with wide eyes, she burst out laughing. “Ahm just kiddin’, silly. My parents still wanna meet ya, though.” Christian obeyed Chloe Anne and was soon in the living room where the rest of the Carmichael family was seated. Her parents were in recliners and a younger girl sat on the couch. Mr. Carmichael gestured to the couch. “Have a seat, son.” As soon as both he and Chloe Anne were seated, Mr. Carmichael spoke to Christian again. “Look, Ah don’t know what yer intentions are with my eldest daughter here. But Ahm gonna trust her decision on ya.” Christian quickly raised his hands up in front of him. “Sir, I just want to take Chloe Anne out on a date. I’ll have her back whenever you say she’s got to be back. Seriously, I really like her and just want to get to know her. That’s all.” Both parents studied him for a moment. Even the youngest daughter, Hannah, just gave him an odd look. Also, he didn’t want to let his football brothers get the best of him, but he could swear . . . that they were all a little pale. Even Chloe Anne . . . Again, he was not going to let the guys get to him about the backwoods of Strickfield legends. Mr. Carmichael seemed to consider Christian. “Okay! Again, Ah trust my baby girl here. Chloe Anne’s old enough to know what she’s doin’. She seems to be real into you too.” Then he said to Chloe Anne, “You sure he’s whatcha want, darlin’?” Chloe Anne smiled from ear to ear. “Oh, ah do. Ah do ah do ah do . . .” Mr. Carmichael clapped his hands together once. “Okay, then! You youngins have yourselves a good time tonight!” “Um, what time do you want me to have her back by, Sir?” Christian asked. Mr. Carmichael just looked at him and smiled. “Ah really do appreciate ya callin’ me Sir. Yes, I do.” Then he seemed to think. “Well . . . now Ahd say that be up to the botha ya. ’Cause Ah git the feelin’ your really gonna get to know my baby girl real well – real soon!” He waved them off. “Outcha go! Have fun!” Christian wondered what he might have gotten himself into, but he quickly drove that thought out of his head when he felt Chloe Anne taking his hand. “Let’s go, honey.” The two of them were about to leave the house. Then Chloe Anne stopped him. “Hey, ya know what? Ah almost forgot! Wait right here.” Chloe Anne turned and went into the kitchen. She returned with a large picnic basket. “Ah was thinkin’ we can have ourselves a little picnic, you an me. I even know this romantic little spot that’ll just set the mood. It ain’t far from here.” Christian smiled. “Let’s go.”

Christian couldn’t believe he was having a picnic dinner with Chloe Anne . . . in the heart of a swamp! Still, the fire circle that Chloe Anne set up and lit seemed to give it more of a romantic ambiance, even with the fog. The swamp was quiet for the most part. It didn’t even bother Christian that he hadn’t heard a single cricket chirping or even a bird fluttering. It was just the two of them with their picnic dinner and their conversation. The two of them hadn’t touched their food yet. Actually, they had been talking for a little while. Christian realized that he was really into Chloe Anne. He wasn’t caring so much that she was a backwoods girl. He even seemed to be mesmerized by her hazel eyes that glowed next to their fire. Then it happened! Chloe Anne suddenly leaned in and caught Christian with a peck on the lips. Then the peck turned into another . . . and another . . . and then into a full-blown make-out session. Chloe Anne was on top of him as they held each other. Christian had been with other girls in the past, but none of them were taking his breath away the way Chloe Anne Carmichael was. If anything, her body felt like a perfect fit in his arms. The two of them made out for quite a while, almost never stopping to catch a breath. Chloe Anne’s kisses were both hungry and needy. Christian wondered how far things would go with Chloe Anne. And then . . . Christian got his answer. He was still flat on his back when Chloe Anne stood up. To his surprise, she unzipped the back her dress and let it fall. He gasped to see that she was quite naked! For a brief moment, Moose came back into his mind again. Yes, Chloe Anne most certainly had tits! Chloe Anne knelt down and helped him out of his varsity jacket. “C’mon, honey. It ain’t like you didn’t wanna go this far with me.” “But . . . your parents . . .” he sputtered. “. . . ain’t gonna care one way or another,” she finished. Christian was powerless to resist Chloe Anne and allowed her to help get him naked with her. They were holding each other again before Chloe Anne took charge and initiated their intimacy. The two of them shared intimacy again and again. Chloe Anne just couldn’t seem to get enough. Her skin felt so soft, yet unbelievably cool – and they were next to the fire circle. The last thing Christian remembered before he fell asleep was holding Chloe Anne in his arms . . .

Christian woke up quickly and realized two things. The first was that it was morning. The second was that he was in an unfamiliar bedroom. Then he looked down to see Chloe Anne was sleeping soundly next to him and wearing only an oversized blouse, loosely buttoned. He wondered how the two of them had moved from the swamp and into . . . her bed? Suddenly, Christian felt his stomach growling like he’d never felt it growl before. He groaned and wrapped his arms around his midsection. Then Chloe Anne woke up. “Christian?” “We never ate your picnic last night,” he joked. “I’m just feeling really hungry.” Chloe Anne quickly moved over him and got out of bed. Then she grabbed his hand. “C’mon with me! Right now!” “Okay, okay . . .” He got up and let Chloe Anne escort him through the house and into the kitchen. Chloe Anne opened the refrigerator door and pulled something out . . . a human forearm and hand!!! “Eat this! Right now!” Christian shrieked. “What the fuck?!” He wondered what the joke was, but Chloe Anne didn’t look like she was joking. “Ah mean it, Christian. Y’all need to eat this right now!” “Well . . . gasp . . . we can go out for breakfast,” he stammered. Chloe Anne shook her head slowly. “We cain’t eat that shit! We means you too now, honey.” Christian’s stomach tightened so hard and made him groan in such agonizing pain that he actually found himself accepting her offering and biting deep into the forearm. He was surprised at how . . . delicious it really tasted. He kept eating hungrily. Then he saw Chloe Anne pulling out another forearm and hand and joining him. When he’d finished eating his portion, Chloe Anne immediately took his hand. She led him down into the cellar and to a walk-in refrigerator. She brought him inside and handed Christian a whole human leg. “Y’all gotta keep eatin’, honey,” she said. “You gotta eat until yer full, what with it bein’ yer first time an all.” As the two of them sat and continued to eat, Christian felt the need to ask, “What’s going on here, Chloe Anne? Why are we doing this?!” “Thought you’d never ask.” She took a last bite off the leg she was feasting on. “Yer just like me now.” She dropped the bones and took both of his hands in hers. “Yer with me now, Christian. Yer parta the family now.” When Christian’s unfinished leg had fallen to the floor, Chloe Anne quickly picked it up and handed it back to him. “Sorry, honey. Keep eatin’!” As much as Christian wanted to put what he was eating down, he found himself obeying Chloe Anne. He had gone through almost an entire human body before he was finally full. Chloe Anne herself didn’t have to eat nearly that much. Christian looked to her to finish her explanation. “Like Ah told ya, Christian, yer just like me now,” she told him. “Like Ah said, yer parta my family now.” Christian looked dumbfounded. Chloe Anne was patient. “Oh, Ah get it. You don’t know everythin’. Well, Ahm gonna teach ya all ya need to know.” “Are . . . are we . . . zombies?!” Christian choked out. Chloe Anne smirked a little and shook her head. “Close, honey. We’re like zombies in many ways, but . . . what we are . . . is ghouls. We gotta feed on humans to survive. Key word! Survive! See, ifin we don’t eat when we gotta eat, then we’re real zombies. As in you’ll waste away until you fall apart and there ain’t no goin’ back.” Christian just looked at Chloe Anne. Then he groaned as he got up and ran up the stairs. He turned to the back door and ran outside. Chloe Anne chased after him. They both ran away from the house. Much to his surprise, he was running faster than he’d ever ran in his life. What was more, Chloe Anne could run even faster than him and eventually tackled him near the edge of the swamp. “Get off me!” Christian shouted. Chloe Anne wouldn’t move. In fact, she grabbed his arms and pinned him down. “Now y’all listen to me, honey. You and me, we’re both ghouls. You belong with me now. Ah made you.” Christian went limp. “You . . . what?!” Then his eyes were opened wide when he saw how close her exposed cleavage was to his face. “You become a ghoul in one a two ways. One, like me . . . you’re born as one. That’s right, I been a ghoul since comin’ outta Mama. The second way . . . ?” Christian caught on fast. “When we had sex . . .” “Oh, I loved you real good,” she confirmed. “I coulda probably bit you, but it’s gotta be done in just the right place and makes a real mess. I ain’t real good at doin’ that, so it was easier for me to just love you good and turn you. Besides, ya know ya loved it.” Chloe Anne got off Christian and let him stand up. Then he groaned. “You fucked me . . . and turned me into a . . . a zombie?!” She laughed. “No! A ghoul!” Then she sighed patiently. “Daddy said it was gonna be tough teachin’ ya, but Ah gotta do it. ’Cause I made ya and yer just like me now.” Christian listened as Chloe Anne explained things. For one thing, ghouls didn’t shamble like zombies. They could walk and run. In fact, ghouls could be civilized and live almost-normal lives. The Carmichaels remained in isolation and only took living humans who dared to venture into the backwoods of Strickfield, which seemed quite plentiful. As far as the humans who already lived there, they were left alone because the wrong people might ask questions and possibly come in to investigate. Chloe Anne also explained that ghouls were like their vampire cousins in many ways. While vampires drank blood to sustain themselves, ghouls needed to eat humans. Chloe Anne removed her oversized blouse. Christian was again shocked to see her naked. Chloe Anne rolled her eyes. “We gotta take a bath and clean up after we ate good and done run out here, Christian. Now come on in with me.” Again, he obeyed her and got naked. Chloe Anne laughed a little when she saw that he clearly desired her again. “Well, okay, honey, we can play for a smiggen.” She picked up her blouse and pulled out few condoms. “Ya’ll better use these . . . unless you wanna make a little baby ghoulie with me.” Christian accepted the condoms from her and put one on before he went into the water with Chloe Anne.

They had finished cleaning up and having sex when they came out of the water. As soon as they finished putting on what clothes they had, they heard a loud gunshot. “Aw, foo!” Chloe Anne muttered. “I’m thinkin’ that Strickfield mayor done seen us. We better run, honey.” Another gunshot whizzed right past Christian, almost touching his nose. “Shit!!!” Christian turned and ran off. Chloe Anne knew she needed to go after him. It wasn’t too long after that the mayor of Strickfield, Patrick Gunter, stepped out of the shadows. He tightened his jaw and grunted. “God damn zombies on my property again . . .” He readied his rifle again and moved along.

Chloe Anne called out to Christian to stop, but he was too scared to listen to reason. Again, she proved to be his superior by catching up to him and tackling him. “Stop, Christian!” Christian finally stopped. He was really angry now. “Why?! Why, Chloe Anne? Why would you do this to me? Did I piss you off or something?” Christian wanted to heave in anger, but he realized he no longer breathed. His anger turned to sadness. “I was a really good football player at North Ridgeway High. I think I even had a good shot at a full ride to college. I had my whole life ahead of me.” He looked at her. “I suppose you’ve heard this before.” She shook her head. “Nope! Ah don’t go round makin’ other ghouls the way I made you. We’d have a real mess. An Daddy wouldn’t be none too happy.” “Then why me, Chloe Anne?” Chloe Anne just simply smiled, took firm hold of his face, and kissed his lips softly. Christian couldn’t help easing his arms around her and kissing her back. They kissed passionately for a long while. When they came apart, they looked into each other’s eyes. “Now ya understand, Christian?” Chloe Anne asked. “Y’all came to me when I needed help that night. Ya talked and kept talkin’ with me. Ya made me love ya, ya did. I told Daddy I wanted you an why. He gave me his blessin’. We did some lovin with each other, an I turned ya. Now yer with me forever an ever . . . like marriage. In fact, you an me . . . we’re married now.” She raised her finger. “Ghoul law!” “But . . . we don’t really know each other that well to be married,” Christian pointed out. Chloe Anne kissed his lips again. “We been man an wife twice now, honey. And it feels to me like you wanna be man an wife again. Face it, Christian . . . ya ain’t leavin’ me. Ain’t makin’ no threat here. You’ll stay here with me ’cause ya wanna.” Christian gave Chloe Anne that look that told her she was probably right. After all, how many of his past girlfriends had treated him the same way Chloe Anne had? True, they weren’t ghouls, but this particular ghoul had feelings and knew what she wanted out of life . . . or was it the afterlife? He would have many years to figure that one out, wouldn’t he? Suddenly, the two of them heard another gunshot. Christian felt the bullet go right the back of his head. He even saw it go through Chloe Anne. “It’s that dang mayor again!” Chloe Anne complained. She quickly grabbed hold of Christian’s hand. “We gotta run, honey. Snap out of it, dang t!” She only needed to slap the back of his head hard to bring him back to reality. Christian shrieked repeatedly, “Ican’tdothisIcan’tdothisIcan’tdothisIcan’tdothisIcan’tdothis!!” He ran away from Chloe Anne in a general direction. He heard another gunshot which completely closed out anything that Chloe Anne was yelling his way right then and there. “I’m getting the hell out of here and heading back home! I ain’t staying out here! The others were right! I never should have come out here!” He was so frightened that he couldn’t stop running. He even managed to lose Chloe Anne this time. He made it back to her farmhouse and found his car right where he’d left it. He jumped into the car to find the keys were still in the ignition. He fired up the motor and got the hell out of there as fast as he could – and without killing anybody along the way with his crazy driving.

Christian pulled in at his house and went to go inside. His mother was busy at the stove and cooking barbeque chicken – his favorite. The only problem was that he wasn’t really wanting it. He wanted it, yes, but his stomach was telling him a big fat hell no! After having a brief argument with his mom about the way he was dressed, he went straight up to his room and put on some fresh clothes. Then he went back out and went behind the garage. It was then when he smelled something sweet, like candy. It wasn’t long before he found that he had a visitor. At first, he thought Chloe Anne had finally caught up with him, but instead . . . “Moose? What’s up?” Christian asked. “Just in the neighborhood, man. Smelled your mom was cooking barbeque chicken again,” he replied in his growling voice. “Well, go on inside and go have some,” Christian invited. How could Moose smell his mom’s barbeque chicken when all he could smell was sweet candy? Moose was about to turn away to take him up on his offer, but then he remembered. “Hey, bro, how did that date with that Chloe Anne chick go? And I’m surprised you made it back from those fucking woods.” Before he could answer, he gave him a brotherly tap on his shoulder. “And does she have tits?” Christian really wasn’t sure how to answer him. The problem was that NO!! he hadn’t made it out of those backwoods. At least not as himself. He was a ghoul now – turned by Chloe Anne. He’d had incredible sex with that amazing girl! Now he was a ghoul just like her as a result of . . . What?! . . . some form of V.D. that she’d passed to him. Then he’d taken that bullet to the head . . . And that smell of sweet candy was really strong now . . . ! “Wait a minute! Moose! Do I look okay to you?!” Christian asked. Moose looked at him like he was crazy. “Well . . . You kinda look a little pale, but . . .” He made a Neanderthal grin and pointed right at Christian. “Oh ho ho! You fucked her, didn’t you?! You really fucked her! C’mon, bro. Tell me! Was she good? And does she have tits?” Then Moose felt a soft tapping on his shoulder. They both turned to see Chloe Anne Carmichael standing before them. She smiled simply and said to Moose, “Oh, Ah got me tits, sugah!” Chloe Anne leapt onto Moose and took a big bite out of his neck. She had her hand on his mouth to muffle his screams. When Moose fell onto his back, Christian knelt down beside Chloe Anne and began to eat with her. Moose was definitely big enough to satisfy the both of them. Christian’s parents never set foot outside or came out behind the garage.

That night, Chloe Anne came in through the front door holding Christian’s hand. “Oh, Mama . . . ? Daddy . . . ? We’re home!” she called out. “In here, kids,” Mrs. Carmichael called back. “Dinner’s ready!” The two of them found the rest of the family in the dining room. There was a naked couple tied to the table. “Aw, y’all didn’t hafta wait none for us,” Chloe Anne said softly. “We eat as a family, Chloe Anne,” Mr. Carmichael reminded her. Then he said to Christian. “That goes for you too, son, now that yer parta the family.” When Christian realized that Chloe Anne had easily found him, he knew there was no point in resisting her or what he now was. When he’d asked his new wife how she’d found him, she simply told him, “Why, silly, Ah coulda found ya any one a two ways. The easy way woulda been to look in yer wallet since ya left it behind. But Ahm a ghoul, honey, and yer my man. Ah made you, so naturally . . . Ah can smell you. Don’t matter none where you are in the world. And Ah know y’all could smell me comin’ for ya. Face it, honey, it’s you an me – together forever an ever to the end.” Christian realized that being with Chloe Anne wasn’t as bad as it seemed. He was part of a family that truly cared for its own. He’d been shot in the head and was still alive. Chloe Anne explained that he could have had his brains blown out, but he would have lived as long as he would have been fed or given human blood to help in the regeneration process. In the beginning he felt bad for the people he would have to eat in order to sustain himself. But he was a ghoul, and that was his new . . . afterlife now. Christian and Chloe Anne stayed on at the farm. He even took her last name. Over time, he would come to learn from the Carmichaels that nothing was more important than family . . . even if you are ghouls. As for the mayor of Strickfield, Patrick Gunter . . . he still didn’t like the idea of zombies coming onto his property.

Support Weekly Spooky - Scary Stories for Halloween by contributing to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/weekly-spooky

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Sep 22, 2021
Ep.100 – My Freaky Family Fables Part 2 - These Fiends Have So Much to Show You!
01:02:57

Episode Notes

Part 2 of our creepy dive into the twisted family history of Weekly Spooky host Henrique Couto!

Tonight's stories by Shane Migliavacca, Morgan Moore, Keith Tomlin, Michelle Adler, and Dan Wilder

Buy the new "Babysitter Massacre" book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

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Sep 15, 2021
Ep.100 – My Freaky Family Fables Part 1 - This Family Wants YOU For Dinner!
00:56:03

Episode Notes

We are celebrating 100 episodes of the show in a two part special! Join me as I dig into my terrifyingly sick family photos and tell you the stories behind the madness!

Tonight's stories by David O Hanlon, Christopher Dowell, Rob Fields, Joe Solmo and Killian Crane

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Sep 08, 2021
Ep.99 – Knightly News - Making It In TV Can Be MURDER
00:00:00

Episode Notes

A hungry young news woman finds herself in the midst of a bloody massacre in the middle of a whimsical fantasy faire!

Knightly News by David O'Hanlon

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Transcript:

Jennifer Lake paced the chevroned carpet and rolled her eyes. She checked the watch dangling from her wrist. Thom Braddock texted her to get to his office immediately, yet she’d been waiting thirty-three minutes. Channel 7 News occupied a meager, three-story building. You could get anywhere in the building faster than you could microwave a Hot Pocket and Thom damn well knew it. Jennifer stormed to the receptionist desk and picked up the phone. “Hey!” the secretary whined. “You can’t do that.” “Push the damn button. I’m tired of waiting.” Jennifer put the receiver to her ear and snapped her fingers. “Today!” “Someone’s got their vibrator turned up too high.” The receptionist leaned back in her seat and crossed her arms, pressing her ample breasts to the limits of her blouse. “We both know I didn’t get this job because I’m good at it… just like you. Unlike you, Thom’s not pissed at me. So, sit your bony ass down and wait, princess.” It was true. Thom hired Teagan out of Rowdy’s Clam Shack where she danced under the name Wet Dreamz. Teagan held her hand out with a venomous smile. Jennifer dropped the receiver an inch short and returned to pacing. She took out her cell and checked her texts, hoping someone had sent her a viable lead. They hadn’t. Since the Mercers went on their murderous rampage and killed all those babysitters, Jennifer hadn’t covered anything more exciting than a drive-by. It was as if all the psychos were taking a vacation. The Babysitter Slasher was huge for Channel 7—but her carriage to stardom was turning back into a pumpkin. Viewers were calling for their favorite weathergirl to return to her duties and Thom might grant their wish if she didn’t come up with another winner. The intercom beeped. Jennifer turned and found Teagan looking back at her with a smirk while the intercom called for her attention again. Teagan leaned over and pressed the button, answering in a breathy voice, “Yes, Mister Braddock?” “Send Jenny in,” he said through the speaker box. Jennifer stormed to the door and stepped into the office. Thom Braddock sat behind the oversized desk with his cowboy boots resting on top as he leaned back in his chair. Braddock was every woman’s fantasy—rich, sexy, successful, and dangerous. He was perfect… until he spoke. “Jenny, come grab a seat,” he grumbled. “It’s Jennifer, Thom.” Jennifer sat down across from him. “Like I’ve been saying for six years.” “Jen, let’s not pretend like you’re in a position to correct me.” Thom swung his feet to the floor with a thud and straightened up in his seat. “I have a special assignment for you.” Jennifer’s stomach soured. If Thom was personally handing her an assignment, her time was up. She needed that big story now! “Well, Thom, I’m actually working on some leads.” “You are, are you?” Thom rested his elbows on the desk and steepled his fingers. “Run it down for me. What’s got your eye?” “I’m working the follow-up piece on that robbery-homicide from Tuesday.” “It’s Friday. Who gives a shit about some guy that died on Tuesday?” Thom waved his hand. “Next.” “There’s my exposé on the housing conditions in Diamond Glen.” “Advocacy reporting is for bleeding hearts.” Thom shrugged. “You don’t have one, bleeding or otherwise. Give it to Roger.” “Roger will intentionally overlook gang violence in the Glen.” Jennifer smiled. “I do the piece now, set the scene, introduce the victims. When it boils over, we’re set. It’s good storytelling, Thom.” “Without an inciting incident, it’s shit. Next.” “I… well, I have some new leads in the,” Jennifer paused. She knew better than to say it. She sighed. “I have new information into the Mercer Sex Cult.” Thom pointed at her and clicked his tongue. “And there it is.” “The FBI is still digging up bodies on their property! Three prominent members of the community were arrested for their involvement and—” “And you decided to name drop the state attorney general and a former Vice President,” Thom added. “They were both identified on the tapes,” Jennifer protested. “The sex tapes, Jen. You implied their involvement in the other tapes.” “I said—” “Stop.” Thom held up a hand. “The Mercer train has reached its station. It’s time for you to get off and do some reporting. You’re covering Fantasy Faire.” “Are you fucking kidding?” Jennifer stood up, stomping her heel. “That’s amateur hour.” Thom lifted the plaque from his desk and read it thoughtfully. “This is my desk.” He slammed the plaque like a gavel. “Which means you will sit your ass down and listen to the terms of your continued employment. You were voted Arkansas’ favorite weatherperson five years in a row. Not because you’re somehow better at it, but because you’re hot. This may not be very woke of me, but there’s going to come a time all that goes away and you’re going to want to hide your muffin top behind an anchor desk. For that to happen, you need to learn how to do more than just exploit horrendous murders.” Jennifer slumped back into the chair. “Good, you’re listening.” Thom leaned back and put his hands behind his head. “You’re covering the faire, and you’re taking Teagan along.” “For what? Is there a chance we’ll need to dislodge a golf ball from a garden hose?” “Teagan’s wanted to do more for a long time. I’ve been letting her do man-on-the-street stuff for our online platforms and people love her. The two of you will be able to cover more ground. You’ll expand your resume and she’ll get valuable experience.” Jennifer started to argue, then hung her head. “When do we leave?”

Jennifer sputtered her pink lips and pointed at the group of faux-fur wearing drunks sloshing their mead in plastic horns while they sang around a fire. “Vern, get a shot of the nerds singing sea shanties,” she said. Her cameraman, dressed in a kilt for the occasion, went to the bonfire and broke into song along with them. Jennifer threw her hands into the air. Fantasy Faire was a renaissance faire for the roleplaying crowd. Three days of LARPing, table-topping, medieval games, cosplaying, and nightly fireworks displays. Tents for gamers, sales booths, and fortune tellers lined the designated walkways while carts rolled around providing booze and bottled water. Crowds cheered from historically inaccurate bleachers borrowed from the high school as a jousting tournament commenced. Jennifer had covered the opening round while Teagan collected sound bites from the fans. She hated to admit it, but the receptionist was doing a good job. She jumped as a hand closed on her shoulder. Jennifer spun and snorted with laughter. The portly young man wore a fake tiger skin across his torso and carried a foam club on his shoulder. “I am Bodim Gorefist and I have come to free you from the bonds of your brassiere,” he said with a hiccup. “That’s sweet, Bodim.” Jennifer fanned away his ale-scented words. “But why don’t you go roll your dice somewhere else before I free your teeth from your mouth?” “Spear-tease.” Bodim waved her off and staggered away. Jennifer groaned. The whole assignment was a punishment. Everyone was mingling for the time being. There wasn’t anything left for Jennifer until the bard karaoke contest kicked off. She started down the path looking for someone worth interviewing. Three women in movie-grade witch costumes caught her eye. They tried dragging a child away from its parents to playful giggles. Jennifer stopped at a wagon. A young woman in prosthetic elf ears sat outside casting rune stones and giving fake fortunes to a gathered crowd. “Beware,” she hissed. “A dark shadow looms like the barn owl flitting over prey. The Stygian Knight returns from his slumber in the bowels in Erebus. Only the claiming of a new bride will entomb him for another hundred winters.” “Fucking geeks,” Jennifer whispered and continued on. She scanned the crowds when she heard a roar of male cheers. Jennifer pushed between a man and his cow to see what was going on. Her shoulders sagged. Two women wrestled in a pit of mud and one was topless. Teagan sat on the fence that surrounded the pit, filming the event with one hand and swinging the lost garment over her head with an excited squeal. The bare-chested wrestler was a towering mass of tightly wound muscle. The Amazonian flipped her opponent over her shoulder and seized a handful of her hair, pressing her face into the mud until the smaller woman conceded. The redheaded victor stood every bit of six-foot and pumped a fist into the air. The crowd cheered again. She approached Teagan who offered her the skimpy covering she’d lost in battle. “Hold on to that for now,” the Amazon said. “You can return it to my tent later.” Teagan grabbed her mud-streaked hair and pulled the woman’s face down for a kiss. The crowd exploded in cat-calls and wolf howls. Jennifer watched them exploring each other’s dental work and started mentally updating her resume. The secretary was going to have Jennifer’s job by Monday morning.

Bodim leaned on a tree and rested his club against the trunk. He tugged his loincloth to the side freeing his manhood to the evening chill. “No retreating, my mighty stallion,” he told his shriveled member. “We must dispatch much ale to continue our conquest of buxom harlots.” Bodim urinated noisily against the knotted roots of the tree with a pleasurable groan. A branch cracked behind him and he cast a blurred glance over his shoulder. “Alas, this facility is occupied.” He punctuated his decree with a belch that reminded him of his nutritionally-imbalanced lunch. “Find your own damn tree, fair knight.” The knight stepped forward, his armor plates rattling as he approached Bodim. “What’s this? Doth thou wish to cross swords with the mightiest of barbarians?” Bodim laughed. “How do you even unsheathe your weapon in that getup?” The knight flexed his gloved fingers and reached for the handle of his sword. “Seriously? I’ve got like three pints to get rid of, bro,” Bodim said, out-of-character. “Let me shake it off and we can roll for initiative if you really want to do this, but… you know where my hands have been.” The knight jerked his sword free of the scabbard. The polished blade sparkled in the moonlight in stark contrast to the black plates of his armor. Bodim turned, splashing his stream across the knight’s feet. “Shit! I hope that doesn’t rust,” Bodim snickered and tucked himself into the loincloth before grabbing his club. He squinted at the sword. “What are you a fucking noob? Real steel’s banned.” The black knight swung his weapon, slicing through Bodim’s Styrofoam club. He charged forward while the barbarian gawked stupidly at the stump. The knight’s shoulder-plate struck Bodim, knocking him over the tree roots. The cosplayer whined and sat up. “Fucking aggro much?” The knight aimed his blade at Bodim’s nose. “I give up, bro.” The knight reached up, lifting his visor to reveal his expressionless eyes. The visor clanked shut and he gripped the sword in both hands, raising it over his head. Bodim screamed until the blade split his skull.

“What’d you think of Annoxia?” Teagan asked as she wiped mud from her lips. “Thom said I could do something exclusive for the website. I think I’m going to interview her back in her tent. I bet a lot of people would be interested in hearing more from her.” “Yes, I’m sure she’s a real cunning linguist,” Jennifer told her. “Do you have to be a bitch all the time?” Teagan pulled Jennifer’s arm to stop her. “You see this as some shit assignment, but most of them are. Rex covered the annual coon supper for eighteen years before he made anchor. He still goes out and does it because it’s tradition now. Not everywhere they send you is going to be a bloodbath. You act like local news is beneath you. Get over yourself, weathergirl.” “Fuck you, Teagan. You showed Thom your asshole so he’d stick money in your thong and got a job out of it. You don’t get to lecture me.” “I hope your pussy isn’t as cold as your heart or you’re not going to have a career to fall back on.” Teagan laughed. “You honestly think taking my clothes off for tips is somehow less degrading than exploiting dead babysitters? I used those tips to pay for journalism classes, and yeah, they were online before you go there. But I’m actually trying to be good at this, and I’m having a blast in the process. You’re being a miserable bitch, and getting the experience to match. You think you’re better than me? Then maybe act like it.” Teagan shouldered past her and went to find Annoxia, stopping to talk to anyone she found interesting along the way. Jennifer started after her and stopped in her tracks. The anger wiped off Teagan’s face in an instant as she approached two kids with footlong beards glued to their faces and padding stuffed into their outfits. She knelt and giggled and took pictures with them. Jennifer scowled. She used to do things like that when she was the weathergirl. People would ask her for her autograph and send her gifts on Valentine’s and her birthday. It was a dead-end job, and Thom was right about her wanting an anchor position. Jennifer wandered through the faire, using her digital to capture some B-roll. A group gathered in a candle-lit tent and groaned collectively as one of the players rolled poorly. She filmed them for a moment and then moved along to a pair of geeks battling with foam swords in defense of a damsel’s honor. A petting zoo closed for the night to a chorus of children promising to come back the next day and visit their favorite goats. She spotted Vern knee-dancing with a group of barbarians painted with woad. An elderly lady fanned herself and played coy to the mock-proposals of young men who jockeyed for her attention. The bimbo was right. Everyone was having a blast at the stupid event, except for her. Jennifer sighed and prowled the grounds, stopping to sample Attila the Hungry’s homemade mana bars. The combination of honey, nuts, and peanut butter reminded her stomach it was empty. The organ vocalized its need for greater sustenance and Jennifer got another of the bars to hold her over while she found something more filling. A bard stumbled by strumming his lute and belting out lyrics about a reporter named Lake who was as wet as her namesake. Jennifer snickered and recorded the rest of the performance until the bard, distracted by his flirtations, backed into a burly knight in battered armor who lifted him by his violet cloak. The reporter laughed as the men exchanged nerdy insults. Jennifer’s eyes drifted to another figure in the background, however. The rune-casting elf girl from before was making rounds between food carts and building a plate. Jennifer went and joined her at OK Brewing’s What Ales You? and tapped her on the shoulder. “I’m Jennifer Lake with Channel 7 News. I was wondering if I could buy you a pint for a brief interview?” she asked. “I think that’s the best proposal I’ve gotten today,” the elf said. “And the first one that didn’t involve a penis.” They both got a mug and found a picnic table where the fortune teller ripped into her snacks while Jennifer improvised a camera stand.

“Before I came here, I thought this place was just for nerds. You’re, well, obviously not what I expected to see. What brings you here?” Teagan asked “I’m a huge nerd.” Annoxia laughed, roughly towel drying her hair. “I’ve always been tall and athletic. Boys didn’t want to date me in high school. I excelled at sports so the girls didn’t want to hang out either. One day, some of the losers asked me if I wanted to have lunch with them and they were talking about Dungeons & Dragons.” “My dad and uncles used to play that,” Teagan said. “They were everything they wanted to be when they played and I liked that, so eventually I wanted to join. I beat a bunch of the jocks arm wrestling and took their lunch money,” Annoxia remembered with a wide smile. “Once I had enough, I bought a rulebook and read it religiously. That’s how Annoxia came into existence.” “That’s awesome.” Teagan jotted it all down in her comp book. “I see someone strong and beautiful, and I didn’t think about how there could be a downside to that.” “I appreciate that.” Annoxia sat on the cot and tossed the towel next to the battery-powered lantern. “Have you ever done any role-playing?” “Just in the bedroom.” Teagan snorted. “Can you show me how to do it?” Someone screamed for help, making Annoxia jolt from the cot. “You might have a more exciting story than me,” the Amazonian said.

Vern wiped the brain matter from his eyes. The horse neighed and kicked one of the barbarians in his blue-streaked face. The rider, adorned in black armor, swung his mace, and bashed open another skull like a gore-filled pinata. A couple of players discarded their foam swords for branches and tried pummeling their attacker. The sticks clacked and pinged against the steel plates. The sickening, wet splat of the spiked club pulverizing flesh sent Vern running. “Help! Someone help me!’ he shouted. The freedom of his kilt aided his flight. The noise of the karaoke contest guided him back to the faire as he continued calling out for anyone. Hooves beat closer. He chanced a look back and saw the knight—a shadow against the distant glow of the party’s fire. His pursuer slid free the wooden lance from the horse’s saddle. A ring of tents sat illuminated by a firepit. He angled toward the gathering, hoping to find safety in numbers. Vern tried shouting again, but his lungs were fighting to keep him moving. The metal point of the lance hit the base of his skull, knocking his teeth out as it tore through his mouth. Vern’s feet pumped in the air as the momentum lifted him from the ground. The lance hit a tree, shattering into splinters and leaving Vern in a heap around its roots.

“What was that you were saying earlier about the ‘Stygian Knight,’ when you did the thing with the rocks?” Jennifer asked. “They’re runes, not rocks.” The fortune teller, Elodie, laughed and took off her elf ears, massaging the cartilage with a happy groan. “The Stygian Knight is part of the game lore. The creators just released an entire adventure module around his return, so it’s playing a big part in a lot of the events at this year’s gathering.” Jennifer pursed her lips. She didn’t do any research before coming out, reenforcing the idea that maybe she wasn’t a real reporter after all. She cleared her throat. “I didn’t know there was a game,” she admitted. “I kind of made a snap judgment about the whole thing, to be honest.” “A lot of people do.” Elodie patted Jennifer’s hand. “We celebrate all fantasy here, but it’s our collective love for Dragon Spawn that created Fantasy Faire. The Stygian Knight is a character from the game that’s always been in the background. There’s only two ways to get him to go back to Erebus, the underworld. The most common is to satiate his need for love. A woman becomes his bride for a century. It’s used a lot to write off characters that people are tired of or whose players have moved on.” “What’s the other way?” “He can be bested in combat, but only by a virgin.” “Why a virgin?” “Well, for starters it rules out most of the heroic fighter types. It makes the campaign shift focus to the clerics, paladins, and wizards. It also helps a lot of players with their self-image.” “How so?” Jennifer sipped her ale and leaned on the table. “Virginity and masculinity are seen as incompatible.” Elodie popped a cheese cube into her mouth and shrugged. “Everyone assumes players are virgins. They treat it like it’s the worst insult they can come up with. So, the creators made the virgins the heroes.” “Perhaps against the Stygian Knight,” a voice said. Elodie groaned. Jennifer looked to the new arrival, decked in polished armor with a flowing, crimson tunic over it. The man didn’t wear a helmet over his angular, handsome face. The reporter focused on his features, trying to remember where she recognized him from. “It takes a real man to defeat a horde of orcs or a bugbear. A man such as I.” He put his hands on his hips heroically. “I am Aldous Francisco, Lord of Gygax.” “More like Lord of Ball-sacks,” Elodie grumbled around the rim of her glass. Aldous ignored them both when he noticed the camera. He slid onto the bench beside Elodie, nudging her to the side to get into frame. “What are you filming?” he asked. “An interest piece, so I don’t know why you’re sitting,” Jennifer told him. She snapped her fingers. “Wait a second. You’re Francisco Reed, the quarterback for the Little Rock Riot.” Aldous straightened and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, miss. I never break character.” The screaming interrupted the impromptu interview. Jennifer snatched the camera off the table and recorded the people running away. She recognized the screams. They were the same kind she heard at every major story of her short career. She watched the crowd flee, taking steps closer to them. Elodie grabbed her arm. Jennifer looked at the woman’s hand and pulled free. “A good reporter runs towards the danger.” Jennifer sprinted into action.

The dwarf was keening, trying to keep his guts in as Teagan crawled over him with a whispered apology. When she’d screamed, people filed out of their tents—straight into the Stygian Knight’s path of violence. He bashed their heads with his mace, sending the survivors fleeing in terror. The next camp came running to help them, only to turn tail at the sight of all that carnage. Annoxia prepared for battle as the Knight dismounted. Teagan recorded the event. The Knight dropped his mace into a fresh pool of blood and drew his sword. Annoxia looked around for a weapon and he charged while she hesitated. His sword flashed in front of her face. Teagan gasped as a lock of red hair floated in the firelight. The Amazon dropped low and lifted the Knight into the air, tossing him into the bonfire in an explosion of embers. He rolled away from the flames. His sword slashed through the air to keep her back. Annoxia kicked the hilt, knocking the weapon away. The black knight’s knuckle guard cracked against her jaw. His gloved fingers twisted in her hair and blade sprang from under his gauntlet with a cold schnick. Annoxia blocked his arm, stopping the point against her throat. The black helmet battered her face until she stumbled away. The Knight lunged with the concealed knife, plunging it into her tightly muscled abdomen. The sword sparked off the side of the Knight’s helmet. He staggered away. His own weapon rushed toward his visor. The Knight sidestepped and slashed with his dagger. Teagan’s shirt split down the middle. A thin gash from her navel to collar opened. The Knight’s killing blow stopped an inch short. His helmet cocked to appreciate the view. He slugged the neophyte reporter across the jaw instead. Jennifer watched as the Knight slung Teagan’s unconscious body over the back of the horse and set off to toward the stage of the karaoke contest. She ran to the campsite, filming the bodies. Annoxia groaned and tried to get up, only to fall once more. Jennifer helped her sit up and gave the warrioress her phone. “Call for help. If I let him kill the boss’ secretary, I’m definitely out of a job.” Jennifer collected the mace from the blood puddle and sprinted after the Knight. En Vogue’s Free Your Mind grew louder as she caught up. Terrified screams replaced the catchy lyrics. Jennifer took cover behind a large speaker while she filmed the Knight’s rampage. Her would-be suitor cowered beside her, pulling his purple cloak around himself. “He’s killing everyone,” the bard whimpered. “You noticed that too, huh?” Jennifer crawled past him to the anachronistic DJ booth. She flipped the switch on the side of the generator, casting everything into darkness. Jennifer switched her camera from video to still and inched along, letting the moonlight guide her toward Teagan’s captor. The horse stomped around while the Knight laughed at whimpering victims bleeding out beneath him. Jennifer took a deep breath and prepared herself to do something stupid. Teagan groaned. The Knight twisted and grabbed the back of her neck. “Shush, wench,” he shouted. Jennifer paused. She expected a growl—something deep and fierce, not a nasal squeal echoing from inside the obsidian helmet. She scoffed and charged straight at the horse. The camera unleased a burst of flashes. The horse reared back, rolling Teagan from its haunches with a plop. The Knight screamed and clung to the steed’s neck. Jennifer flashed it again and smacked its shoulder with the mace. The horse bucked wildly, bouncing the Knight and launching him into the air. Jennifer heard the satisfactory clanking of his armor bounding across the field. The lights came back on with a sudden roar from the generator. The bard stood, shaking at the booth with a smile stretched across his face. Teagan pulled the remains of her shirt together and tied them in a knot around her midriff as she joined Jennifer. They approached the fallen form of the Knight. He started to stir as they drew near. Teagan heard the schnick of the blade and jerked Jennifer’s head out of the knife’s path by her ponytail. Jennifer swung the mace as hard as she could. The Knight dropped to his steel-plated ass and wrestled to get the dented helmet off his head. The ragged metal tore open his cheek between the thin line of a patchy beard and a spray of acne. He sobbed as he worked a broken tooth free and spat the remains to Jennifer’s feet. “You stupid cunt,” he squeaked. “You shouldn’t have done that!” The Knight clamored to his feet and drew his sword. Teagan ran away. “Thanks for the help, Teagan!” Jennifer gripped the club handle, wringing it in her fist. “I’m going to make your incel ass famous. The Knight’s Sword Goes Limp—how’s that for a headline?” “Bitch!” The knight swung wildly. Jennifer backpedaled and met his blow with one of her own. Their weapons clashed again. Jennifer braced as the Knight spun and unleashed a powerful slash that knocked her to the ground. The Knight aimed his blade at her heart. “I guess I’ll still be penetrating one of you uppity bitches tonight,” the Knight laughed. “I cast fireball, motherfucker!” Teagan shouted. She knelt next to a large, narrow cylinder. She held up a remote control. Jennifer’s eyes followed a red cord from the cylinder back to the squat, concrete bunker behind the secretary. The realization dawned on her and she rolled away from the Knight, covering her face. Teagan pressed the button. The mortar shell fired with a resounding thump and slammed into his breastplate. The Stygian Knight flew through the air on a trail of sparks and disappeared beneath the karaoke stage. The explosion knocked over the stage-lighting and set the decorative skirt ablaze in a multi-colored flash. The wooden structure ignited instantly. Teagan went to Jennifer’s side and helped her to her feet. “Guess you got a real story out of this after all,” she said. “Yeah,” Jennifer rubbed Teagan’s shoulder. “I guess we did.” Sirens wailed in the distance. The two reporters raised their cameras to film the Knight’s funeral pyre. The stage collapsed atop his remains, setting embers adrift on the breeze. “It’s a real hot knight, huh, weathergirl?” Teagan nudged Jennifer’s ribs. “Don’t push it, secretary.” The End

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Sep 01, 2021
Ep.98 – A Night of Hot Wax - This Music Can KILL YOU
00:00:00

Episode Notes

A mysterious musical recording brings a young man to a sinister performance where the final movement is DEATH!

A Night of Hot Wax by John Oak Dalton

Buy the new "Babysitter Massacre" book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

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Aug 25, 2021
Ep.97 – Normal Shit - Zombies Really Put a Damper on a Work Day
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Felix has to finish their shift at work, no matter how many zombies get in the way.

Normal Shit by Michelle Adler

Read the comic: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/at-the-end-of-everything/list?title_no=527008

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Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcript:

I wasn't able to remove my respirator fast enough to prevent myself from filling it with vomit. I fought viciously with its straps and eventually separated it from my face mid wretch, tossing it away with all the gracefulness of a person who was now covered in their own puke. I finished up on the deteriorating concrete like a civilized adult.

My first clear thought while I was trying to calm down was that general, "my body betrayed me and now I have no food and I'm going to starve to death" thing that I think when I have no food and I'm going to starve to death. That, amazingly, didn't calm me down at all.

After that, came a wave of embarrassment. I mean, it's just an arm. Was I really throwing up over a stupid fucking arm? It's not like I'd never seen an arm before... I see them all the time, I even have two of my own! I mean, look at it sitting over there in the street, minding its own business...ripped off at the socket, like a chicken wing.. In the early stages of decay..

I spit some more bile into the grass. Ok, now I was just messing up my esophagus.

I sat for a few minutes, collecting my thoughts. I couldn't go to work like this. I needed to call Steff and let her know I was going to be late. "Maybe I'll leave out the part about the arm and just pretend I'm unreliable," I thought. But before I could trudge back to my house and hose myself off, I was going to need to do something about that arm.

I sighed. They'd said they were going to up city sanitation services to take care of this kind of thing, but I hadn't even seen a garbage truck in over a month. Living in a slightly less desirable area of the city, I was used to this type of shit. But still, even slightest consideration, like an email about suspending service indefinitely, would have been nice. I thought about ignoring it, just never looking in that spot again, but I was afraid someone was going to trip over it. I pulled off my soaked t-shirt and approached cautiously, as if not to startle it. It took all my effort to actually grasp the thing with my t-shirt covered hand. I then lifted the limp chunk of meat and panic ran it to the closest neighbors overflowing trash can, shouting "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" As I did for some unknowable reason.

I made it back to my house WITHOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING and washed my hands until the skin started to peel.

I felt bad about being late to work. Being dependable is my one and only good quality. Without it I'm just a scared, incompetent child. "This is the time," I thought as I pushed the security gate open just enough to slide my body under it, "this is the time they fire me." I quickly slammed down and relocked the gate. Of course this was not that time, it couldn't be. I didn't even flip on the lights of the empty store as I entered, I was alone. As always.

Removing my gear, I hovered over the computer and checked the day's pending orders. Today it was just floral arrangements. Once the flowers were arranged we had a strict no refund policy. So before I started piecing things together, I checked the phone for cancellations. There were 21. I've been keeping track of the cancellation to order ratio since the first week we noticed the very disturbing trend. I've found it correlates directly with the-- you know-- Or at least it used to when I had access to that kind of data. Cases rise and flower cancellations go up right along with them. The only time this wasn't true was right around Valentine's Day and Mother's Day for obvious reasons. I scribbled down 21/40 on the pad next to the register, wished it was Valentine's Day so I could give people happy flowers, and got to work.

Amazingly, we still have water, cold water at least, on the Southside and I've been able to secure propane for the generator rather easily. I sat in the cool, cave-like humidity, as I prepared the day’s orders. The generator covers the refrigerators and computer, but that's all. I hummed quietly to its din, grateful it wasn't quieter, it muted whatever was happening outside.

I was very good at pretending it completely blocked whatever was happening out there. I started to hum louder.

The closer I got to finishing my prep work, the more excited I became. It got to the point where my hands were actually shaking from the sheer joy of.. being so fucking terrified.

Well, anyway, I did that annoying breathing technique where I breathed in and out way slower than I could ever want to and then agonized over how specifically horrible I am at breathing in general until I fixated on my crushing self loathing enough to compensate for my near panic attack. Normal shit.

It was time. I trudged forward into the unknown filled with a sense of whatever it is I feel all the time. The air was so thick with smoke from whoever's wildfires it was this week, that, for once, I was incredibly thankful to have a gas mask (which smelled like puke now, fyi) instead of the more standard muzzle that was strongly recommended, though not legally required, by the CDC. Everyone had told me I was crazy when I started wearing it, but who's crazy now?

Ok, it's still me.

All of the day's deliveries were funeral arrangements. Yeah.. I had three funeral homes to hit before 5pm. I can't stress how important it was that I stuck to that timeline. The last funeral home was exactly a half hour's ride from the shop and I absolutely had to be back there by 5:30 at the very latest. No fucking wiggle room available.

The first stop, Bradford's Funeral Home, was out in the sticks. It was a beautiful ride up a very steep hill. Which was part of the reason I went while I still had the highest amount of energy and the least amount of injuries of the day. The building was surrounded by a tall chain link fence, complete with razor wire at the top. I always tried not to look at the razor wire.. I didn't really want to see what was caught up there. I'm not saying anything was, I'm just saying it was possible and I didn't want to find out. The gate at the entrance was always locked, but they'd added this neat little drop box for the flowers and I guess mail too. I rang the buzzer next to the box, shouted "It's Felix!" into the intercom. As usual, there was no response from the other side. That was ok though, I’m sure running a funeral home is a tough job even in the best of times, they were probably just embalming someone. They weren’t like, dead in there or anything. Or...you know.., but somehow still working, or at least taking in the flowers every day. I placed the arrangements gently into the receptacle.

“Just because I can think it, doesn’t mean it’s real,” I reminded myself, continuing to avert my gaze from the razor wire as I turned away to leave.

I liked the part where I got to go down the hill. I imagined how nice the air would have felt if it wasn’t full of smoke and I wasn’t so covered in protective gear. I wondered if this was how astronauts felt when they were on the moon or wherever it is astronauts go. If so, I don’t ever want to go to space. I got so lost in my space men daydream that I accidentally cruised right through the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Luckily, there was no one on the road. I still felt bad about it though.

Second stop, Riverview Cemetery and Mausoleum, was, you guessed it, right by the river. And I bet you’ll never guess what you can see from there. Correct again, the expressway! Anyway, Riverview’s security was a little more lax. There was no razor wire (only the barbed kind) and while the gate was latched, it was not usually actually locked. Anyone with enough mental dexterity to unlatch a gate was probably ok to go in. And plus, it seemed mean to lock the dead out of a final resting place. Or at least that’s what the funeral director had told me. It was also possible that they had just lost the key. It’s not like there was a locksmith left in this town.

Whatever the actual reason for keeping it unlocked was, usually that latch was more or less dry and clean, and not coated with a viscous layer of mucus and blood, like it happened to be at that moment. I stared at it blankly for a long time, but who was I to question it? I barely knew a thing about proper gate maintenance. It was quite possible that what I was looking at was lubricant of some sort. Maybe the gate had been sticking lately.

"Mucus is a good lubricant," I accidentally reminded myself, suddenly overtaken with a full body shudder. I pried the gate open with a twig.

Everything looked ok in the cemetery. All the corpses were underground, at least, and that felt like a win. However, when I got closer to the office I realized that this was not even vaguely "a win".

"I don't have any more food to throw up," I reminded myself, averting my gaze from the mess of what I can only describe as entrails on the marble entryway floor and fixating on the silent interior. I saw a mop in the corner, ready to go. At least someone was on it, I thought.

But there was no one.

I took a deep breath and shouted, "Mr. Matthews? It's Felix with the flowers!" My voice echoed back at me violently, followed by deafening silence. He was definitely probably just in the bathroom. "I- um, I'm just gonna leave these here," I yelled into the nothing and laid the arrangements out on the front desk. As I turned away, I could have sworn I heard--

I stood motionless, listening to the stale air, my heartbeat pulsing audibly in my eardrums. After a while I realized that I'd been holding my breath and puffed outward. This was stupid, everything was ok. I absolutely hadn't heard anyone call my name.

"Ffff...lix.." The breathy moan of an approximation of my name made every single muscle in my body contract simultaneously, readying a fight or flight response. I was trying to calm my breathing when I heard something wet being dragged across the floor. That was enough for me to whip around and let out an embarrassing gasp.

The funeral director was using all his upper body strength to pull himself over the carpet towards where I was standing. Normally he just, well, walked places, but I guess that wasn’t an option seeing as his legs were mostly gone. Chewed right off like jerky. The mangled leftovers stained the carpet as he half crawled forward. I almost said something, but I didn't know what words to use, so I just stood there staring at him, like an idiot. I was probably making him feel more terrible with that reaction. I should have smiled and told him how nice his shirt was or something. Couldn't really see what it looked like under all the blood, but you get the idea.

"Feee....lix…" He choked through his eviscerated windpipe, "It's st-st..lll heerrree." He lifted his left arm and pointed behind me. Well, every fucking hair on my body stood straight up at that point. Suddenly I became acutely aware that the light from the doorway was now obstructed. I slowly reached to my side to grab my big long hitting people stick and silently cursed myself for not carrying a gun.

“Swing once and run,” I planned in my head, “make it to the back door, get the rest of the deliveries and get as far away as---” But it was too late. Something had grabbed hold of my arm and squeezed it with what I could only imagine was the intent to break it in half. I winced as its long, filthy nails dug deep into my flesh. I fought the urge to panic about whatever weird bacteria might be entering my bloodstream and how long it would be before I could clean it with antiseptic. I had to resist the urge to try to jerk my arm away. Any sudden movement could startle the thing and increase the speed in which it caused harm to my physical being. What I mean is, I really needed two arms to do my job well and I intended to keep them both.

An oppressive humidity graced my unprotected neck. It was fucking sniffing me. It’s cold, musty breath pulsed in and out, as it tried to determine the best place to take its first bite. I was going to die right there on the floor with Mr. Matthews. I had to come up with a plan before---

Oh shit, too late again.

My dying friend's eyes widened with fear as the thing dug it's fist into my hair, scraping my scalp, with the intention of.. you know... But instead of fighting to pull away, like a normal god fearing individual, in a moment of sheer insanity, I convinced myself to trust-fall into that fucker. You know when you go to lift up something heavy and it turns out it's actually very light? The force of its pull and my lack of resistance caused my head to slam right into its jaw. A few of its teeth thudded onto the carpet and it screamed in shock and hopefully at least a little pain. That was enough for it to stop paying attention to crushing my arm and I was finally able to grab my staff.

I turned to meet the gaze of the monster, a young woman. Shit, she couldn’t have been older than 21. She cradled her broken jaw in her hands, black mucus streamed from her eyes and her injured mouth, the skin of her forearms cracked and grey, splitting to reveal bright red mushrooms. Nothing special, really, but still a bit unnerving. She lunged at me, clearly upset about her face, but I was able to get my staff between us, and hit her in the diaphragm hard enough to knock the wind out of her. She collapsed like a broken marionette. That was my opportunity to violently smash her head in. It… took awhile. Not because I’m not strong, though that factors in a little, but mostly because of all of her screaming. I'm not going to insinuate that it was so bad that I wake up every night in a cold sweat, swearing I'm hearing me murder her over and over again or anything. But it's really hard to power through that after a while. Maybe I should get some of those noise cancelling headphones.

Once I was sure it was over, I turned back to Mr. Matthews. I winced in awareness that I was going to have to mercy kill him in the same way (Note to self: GET A GUN). There were no hospitals that would take the recently bitten and no cops left to kill people for fun, so that responsibility was increasingly falling on me. Luckily, while the funeral director was still in that same position, staring at me in horror, he was no longer breathing. I managed to lay him in a more dignified position, closed his eyes, and apologized for being too late to save him. I thought about mopping the floor myself before being on my way, but all I really had time to do was affix a note to the door explaining the situation so the groundskeeper would know what he was walking into.

By the time I exited the cemetery gate it was already 4:27pm. With my last stop still roughly a half hour away, I rode like my life depended on it, blowing through stop signs and red lights, breaking any traffic law that technically didn’t matter anymore. I longed for the earlier part of the day when I was young and dumb and concerned about that one stop sign.

The last stop, Friendly’s Mortuary, was on the other side of the river, in the city’s urban core. I didn’t love going over there because it was much more densely populated. I didn’t even like being around that many people when they were alive, but now with most of them, you know, it was a particularly bad time.

I approached the bridge, breathing hard, my arm still bleeding a little, and my head throbbing. The smog was so dense that I couldn’t see the blue arches of its structure rising up in front of me, like I normally could when I turned the last corner. The smog was so thick that I still couldn’t see it when I was only a few yards away. The smog was so dense that-- I could see the buildings on the other side just fine? The light from the afternoon sun glinted off their broken windows.

Oh shit.

I squeezed the hand breaks frantically. The bike, apparently not affected by the laws of motion, came to an immediate stop, leaving me to maintain momentum and sail over the handlebars. An intense pain cut through my spine as I landed flat on my back. I laid there, feeling stupid and in pain for a long time. Once I was able to collect myself, I flipped to my side and stared down into the water. Parts of the suspension bridge peaked through the rough waves far below where I lay on the charred asphalt.

It would have looked like a suicide. Maybe it almost was.

How could I have possibly forgotten that I’d blown up the bridge a day prior? What kind of fucked up individual, burns a bridge to the ground and then casually forgets it ever happened? In addition, I was supposed to contact Friendly’s to let them know that because I’d committed what boiled down to an act of terrorism to save this side of the city from the vast infestation on their side, we were no longer going to be able to deliver to them, but I guess it had slipped my mind as well. I was really doing a bad job over here.

It's not that there wasn't another way over. I would never blow up my only access to civilization. However, it meant taking the expressway on a bicycle at rush hour and going through the tunnel. I mean, the bridge had been bad enough, but a moist, dark, underwater tunnel? No fucking way I was doing that, it was probably teeming with zombies--er, I mean..you know. I’d never make it through alive and the flowers would probably be pretty messed up too.

I checked the time on my now cracked phone screen, 5:15. Now, maybe you're thinking this is the part where I concoct some cool plan to get me there and back in time. Or maybe you wanna believe that a helicopter touched down right then and there and for some reason flew me both ways out of the kindness of their heart. Well, I'm sorry, but in reality we're both going to have to accept that I am just not that good of a courier.

I sighed, defeated, removing the remaining floral arrangements from my carrier and dumping them into the river. Once I was done destroying my work, I managed to get to my feet. If I pedaled really really fast, maybe I could at least get back to the shop in time. Might not be that easy to do injured, but whatever. I reached for the handlebars to pick up my bike. I missed. My left hand had more or less just grasped air, making me lose balance, twist my ankle and, of course, forcing me to confront my two missing fingers. It wasn’t the first time I’d forgotten they were gone, bitten off a few months back, and then tried to grab something with them. Heck, it wasn’t even the first time it had happened that day, but for some reason that was the time it had me doubled over and sobbing, like the little tiny baby I am. I just sat there, shaking and gulping down tears, not even sure what I was crying about, until my phone beeped, alerting me to the time, 5:30. I lifted my mask to wipe my eyes and stain my face with dirt and blood. The cool, pre-evening air made me shiver. It hurt to move and really what was the point? It was already too late. So now to add to losing a client, breaking my phone, watching a fellow business person bleed out, and vomiting over an arm, I’d also officially been at work for over 8 hours and I do not get overtime.

In the end I forced myself up and limped my way back. "Just another day in paradise," I grumbled. I needed a fucking vacation.

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Aug 18, 2021
Ep.96 – Even Witches Can Cry - Never Make a Deal with a Demon!
00:32:37

Episode Notes

After a tragic loss a man of mystery makes an offer Jillian can't refuse. When the man returns for his piece of the bargain things get DEADLY.

Even Witches Can Cry by Charles Campbell Buy the book at http://valleyboypublications.com

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Aug 11, 2021
Ep.95 – Chain Letter - Do What It Tells You OR DIE!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Someone sinister has used their evil to make the threats of chainletters a reality! Now as the body count rises can it be stopped?

Chain Letter by Rob Fields

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Aug 04, 2021
Ep.94 – The Wolf of Fagan County - There's a Monster Among Us!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

A sleepy town has always had dark secrets but when young people turn up dead, mutilated and partially eaten a brother and sister decide they have no choice but to find out who's killing the townspeople.

The Wolf of Fagan County by David O'Hanlon

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Transcript:

Maybe Whistler was a nice town once. It seemed that way until the summer of ’86. The old folks always whispered about certain places—about the places you don’t go and the boogeymen that dwelled within. Everyone in Fagan County knew a local ghost story. Back then, I loved to hear those stories. Nowadays, not so much.  My dad trucked crops from the farms into the neighboring states of Louisiana and Mississippi. I didn’t see much of him. He left before dawn and got home after sunset. The day before my thirteenth birthday, he took a load to Shreveport. I awoke to a stack of used horror comics the next morning with a note that read “You’re old enough for the good ones now, soldier.” I loved the way those pages smelled. After all these years, I still have a couple of them in the suitcases I live out of. I’d read through the entire bundle in a week. I flipped through them and found the one I’d enjoyed the most for a second visit when my mother called from downstairs. “Connie! Come quick,” she shouted. I hated when she called me that. It was bad enough being named Conrad. The effeminate nickname caught on with my friends in second grade… and then with the rest of the student body by the end of recess. Something sounded off in her voice as I trudged down the narrow staircase that descended into the kitchen. Mom was sitting at the table with her elbows pressing into the vinyl top and her hands hiding her face. My sister, Lisa, had her head down, shrouded in her arms. Her body convulsed as she bawled noisily inside. I held my breath all the way to the table. No one spoke to me as I slid the chair away from the edge and eased into it. Mom reached over and put her hand on mine. “Something terrible’s happened,” she whispered. Something terrible had happened a few weeks ago, too. And a few weeks before that. We’d discussed both of those events as a family. No one was crying then. Sure, Mom had been shaken up by the discovery of the first body, but it seemed like nothing to worry about.  We all knew Old Man McGarrah from around town. He would pop out like a magician’s rabbit to grump about what a bunch of slack-jawed hippy-spawn all the kids were whenever you least expected it. The police said it was a heart attack that took him and that coyotes took to eating his remains. Grotesque and unseemly as it were, my folks delivered the news to my sister and me with just the facts and reminded us to stay away from the woods. Coyotes rarely attacked people, but Dad said there’s something different about any animal—including man—once they got a taste for blood. The second time we were called to the table, it was clearly more bothersome. Mom wasn’t handling it well, but she remained calm as she told us about the bodies found out along County Road 63. A couple of teens gone to make out got cut up real bad. Chief Hardesty said it was just a freak occurrence—a crime of opportunity—and that the killer was likely long gone. Our parents told us to be home thirty minutes before sundown after that and to never go anywhere alone, just in case. This time was different. “Connie,” she started, tugging at the silver locket dangling from her thin neck. Her voice trembled. “It’s Brenda.” My stomach knotted. Brenda Knowles had been Lisa’s best friend since kindergarten. She’d babysat for me on a few occasions and came to eat dinner with us every Wednesday. She was my first crush too. I sniffled, but held back any other reaction until Mom could finish. Maybe it wasn’t what I thought. Maybe those old Tales from the Crypt comics were poisoning my imagination the way Father Dean said they would at youth service. Maybe she was moving away. That would explain why they were so upset.  “Chief Hardesty found her this morning,” Mom continued. Nope. It was exactly what I thought it was. I don’t remember the exact moment that I realized the killings were a month apart, but I do remember Lisa raising her face to stare at Mom and then me in turn. Her lips quivered and then she stood up fast enough to knock the chair to the floor. She slammed her fists onto the table and screamed. That I’ll never forget. That look… and those words. “She was eaten!”


Lisa cried until she passed out that night. I watched the news with Mom to see if the police had anything to say. The station’s newest reporter, Rex Willits, looked like he’d been sick as he raised the microphone close to his chin. His hand shook slightly and his trademark smile was nothing but a thin line of white teeth below his bushy mustache. Rex nodded slowly and started his report when the phone rang in the kitchen and Mom went to answer. “I’m here at the Ridley Funeral Home in Fagan County to report on a grisly, unimaginable crime,” Rex started. He swallowed hard. “The body of fifteen-year-old Brenda Knowles was found just before dawn this morning. Brenda had been babysitting for family friends the prior evening. She started the short walk to her home just before eleven pm.” I turned my attention to Mom’s shouting in the kitchen. “What do you mean ‘two days,’ Paul?” she growled. “It doesn’t take two damn days to get a mechanic.” Dad’s truck broke down. That happened a lot when he was hauling rice to Shreveport. Only then, though. Mom noticed too. She had a pretty good idea of what was going on. “What about the kids?” she wailed. “You know what’s going on here! You’re leaving us alone so you—” Her voice became muffled and I scooted closer to the television to hear what Rex had to say. I heard the phone slam against the receiver several times and Mom stomping up the steps. “I’ve seen the body… my God in Heaven, I’ll never unsee it now,” Rex said when movement caught his attention.  He snapped his fingers and pointed his cameraman in the direction of the police chief. Other reporters rushed in around him. Rex elbowed one of them out of his way and reached out with his mic. “Don’t you buzzards have anything better to do?” Chief Hardesty barked. “A child is dead for Christ’s sake.” “How?” Rex asked. “How did she die?” “Violently,” Hardesty answered in his low, gruff drawl. “Is this related to last month’s double homicide?” a woman’s voice asked. “We don’t have conclusive evidence linking the two, this early in the investigation,” Hardesty said. His shoulders sagged. “There are… similarities.” “Were the other victims missing flesh and muscle?” Rex quizzed him. “Were there bite marks on them as well?” Hardesty glared at Rex and then spoke with forced restraint. “At this time, I’m asking all residents of Whistler and the outlying areas to stay indoors at night. The curfew is merely a request, however.” The wail of sirens cut the report short. We wouldn’t find out until the morning that they’d found another body. Crazy Delores lived in a shack on the edge of town. She sold herbal remedies and told fortunes for a dollar. No one knew how long she’d been dead. I climbed into bed, but didn’t dare go to sleep. I opened a comic and thought about Dad. Maybe the rig really broke down, but I didn’t buy it. He was spending time with some woman. In a strange way, that made me feel better. He was more worried about getting laid than he was about the killer on the loose, so maybe it wasn’t a big deal. My door creaked open and Lisa slipped through the gap. I laid the comic down. I didn’t know what to say. ‘Sorry your best friend was brutally murdered and partially eaten’ really didn’t seem like it’d help the situation. Then again, ‘we’re going to find Brenda’s killers’ wasn’t a winner either, but that’s exactly what Lisa said as she leaned on my dresser. I gawked at her and waited what felt like an eternity for her to say something else. “Look, Connie,” she started, then paused and chewed her bottom lip. “Chief Hardesty is a scumbag. He’s going to pin all this on the first person that ain’t Baptist enough for him. Then the murderer is just going to drift away.” I was still too young to know how common that sort of thing was around there. Or what kind of a man Baxter Hardesty really was. I did want to make sure that Brenda’s killer got caught, however. “The killings are about a month a part,” I said, hesitantly, unsure of exactly what I’d discovered. I shrugged. “What if the killer travels and just stops through here every few weeks?” “Or lives here and returns home once a month?” Lisa offered. “Dad’s friend, Ted, is a long-haul driver.” I remembered. Ted tried to convince Dad to work with him all the time. I also remembered Ted coming to my birthday party. I shook my head. “I’m pretty sure he’s out of town now.” I scratched the two recently sprouted hairs on my chin. “What about a delivery driver? Brown’s only gets a few deliveries a month.” Lisa thought it over and nodded. “Okay, we’ll go by and see when they got a delivery.” Thinking the conversation was done, I lifted my comic. “What is that, Connie?” Lisa asked, shakily. “What are you reading?” I closed the issue and looked down at the cover. Bright yellow eyes stared up at me above fangs dripping blood over a broken skull. I looked up to my sister. I knew what she was thinking and I wanted to tell her she was stupid. I wanted to, but I didn’t. The same thought hit me when I looked at those fierce yellow orbs on the black cover. My stomach pitched as I thought about the recent events. My eyes left the stare of the beast and met my sister’s. “It’s a werewolf,” I finally said.


We tried to put the notion back into our imaginations—where werewolves were supposed to stay. Lisa and I rode our bikes to Brown’s General Store just past noon. The curfew officially started at sundown and was no longer a request. Not that it mattered. The streets were already deserted.  The baseball card sputtering in the bike spokes signaled the arrival of Brad Breaker. Brad was between Lisa and myself in age, so he hung out with both of us. He was the definition of cool with his acid-washed jeans and his torn, mid-riff, Bruce Springsteen t-shirt. Brad could play guitar… and football. He was also muscular, with aquiline features and sandy blonde hair that made him look like Patrick Swayze in Red Dawn and made Lisa’s brain stop working. “My mom spazzed when I said I was leaving.” Brad looked at the grocery store and turned back to us. “But you said it was an emergency.” “You won’t get in trouble, will you?” Lisa asked. “Nah.” Brad shrugged. “My old man said experience builds character… and that I need to bring back more Folgers.” “Lucky this is our first stop,” I said. “So, why are we here?” Lisa looked to me. Telling him our theory would have been the right thing to do, but she thought he was cute and hoped I, being closer to the childish age to believe such things, would do it for her. I did not. “We want to find Brenda’s killer,” I said and waved at the street. “Everyone’s scared to death. We want to help.” “Why?” Brad asked. “I mean, why do you think you can do it faster than the police?” I removed the wrinkled, somewhat-neatly folded newspaper clippings and handed them to him. “Mister McGarrah died and his corpse was eaten by coyotes. That’s what they say, anyhow. There’s been a killing, at the same time, every month since. Each of those victims was partially eaten as well,” I said, rattling off the facts as quickly as I could. “I think the killer comes to town once a month.” “We think the murderer might be a delivery person or truck driver. So, we want to ask the Browns if they’ve gotten any shipments this week,” Lisa added. “Gnarly.” Brad nodded slowly. “Let’s get to work.” The Browns deliveries turned up bupkis. We checked with every business in town for the same results. That theory was as dead as Brenda, which left us with only one other possibility. A quarter till seven, we stopped by the ice cream shoppe and got sundaes for a quick sugar rush before dinner. I debated sharing the werewolf idea. I’d been trying to dismantle it as we asked around. If it was a werewolf, why’d the killings start only recently? Was anyone acting differently around town? Was anyone new? What made someone a werewolf? So many questions, but none of them ruled out the possibility. “What if… it’s stupid.” Brad said, staring up at the now full moon. “What if it’s a werewolf?” Lisa choked and stared at me wide-eyed over puffed cheeks full of banana split. “I mean, my pops tells me to stay away from Snyder Creek because some kids died back in the ’20s. Everyone says that was a monster. Why couldn’t this be one?” “Darn it!” I snapped my fingers and scooted my chair back with a screech of steel feet against the sidewalk. “Why didn’t I think of that?” “Think of what?” Lisa asked. “I’ve heard that story too,” I answered. “The Snyder Creek Ghoul. They never found out what really happened. Lisa, we need to go to the library and see if we can find any old papers about that.” “Not a chance, Connie.” She pointed at the sherbet skyline. “We need to get home before dark. It’s a long ride.” “The library’s probably already closed, anyway,” Brad offered. “The cops are never going to believe us,” Lisa said. “After tonight, he’ll just be a man,” I reassured her. “We’ll have a month to find out who the werewolf is and prove it.” “Crap!” Brad let his head hang. “Most non-triumphant.” “What?” Lisa and I asked in unison. “I forgot the coffee.” He put a foot on a pedal. “I’m going to hustle to Brown’s. See you later.” He wouldn’t.


Brad’s body wasn’t found for six days. Worst of all, strange as it sounds to say it like a bad thing, he didn’t get eaten. It would be a while before Lisa drew a startling conclusion from the fact. The curfew started an hour earlier afterwards. A citizen’s patrol was organized as well. It wasn’t much more than a dozen yokels with spotlights and guns driving the paved roads, however. They wouldn’t go down the miles of gravel paths where there weren’t any streetlights to keep them safe. They didn’t find the werewolf, either. All they accomplished was shooting a drifter who was busking at the Crispy Chi’ken Truck Stop. Chief Hardesty tried to pin the murders on that poor soul, like Lisa had suspected he would. No one was buying it. By that point, Dad had decided that between the new woman and a monster running roughshod back home, he had all the reason he needed to move to Louisiana. He came while we were asleep to collect his things. We spent every day tracking down information and investigating whatever absurd idea came to us. It was two nights before the next full moon when Lisa told me her troublesome theory. “He didn’t eat Brad because he was warning us,” she said, somberly across the table. The local library had few books on lycanthropy. We’d been reading them every night and comparing them to the two clippings we had from 1926 when the Snyder Creek Ghoul had struck. I put the piece of paper I was using as a bookmark between the pages of the tome and closed it. “What do you mean?” I whispered. “We were asking around about delivery schedules, about people from out of town.” She shook her head. “The wolf isn’t a stranger. We know him and he heard us asking. He wants us to leave him alone.” I checked my watch and reached under the table, wrestling with the zipper of my fanny pack. “Then he shouldn’t have killed our friends,” I growled.  I pulled my prize and set it where Lisa could see with a heavy thump. Her eyes widened at the sight of cold, blue steel. “Dad forgot it when he packed,” I told her and lifted the Saint Christopher medallion our aunt had given me for my birthday. “I’ve got this and six silver dollars. We can make two or three bullets with that.” “We don’t know how to make bullets.” “Otto Dickens does,” I pointed out. “We have time to get to his store and back home if we go right now.” “We’re not hunting the damn thing, Connie!” Lisa stood quickly and looked around at the mostly empty library. She lowered her voice. “We should stop this.” “If he killed Brad to scare us off, then he knows who we are. We need the bullets regardless.” Her face twisted with contempt. She knew I was right and scooped her backpack before heading to the exit. We rode our bikes to the fork in the road—left to our house or right to Otto Dickens’ gun shop. Lisa didn’t speak as she leaned and pulled her Schwinn down the righthand street. I smiled softly and followed. Most families in Whistler had lived no further away than the county line for generations. Otto just seemed to appear one day. Despite what you might’ve heard about southern hospitality, it doesn’t apply to strangers. Otto had an uncanny ability with firearms, however. Small towns of rural Arkansas might’ve hated strangers, but they certainly loved their guns. Otto was soon a welcomed member of the community and set up a shop on the far side of town, a couple miles past the old cemetery. The tarnished bell over the door announced our arrival with whatever-the-hell a bell’s version of smoker’s cough is. Otto looked up from the reloading station, his face twisted with curiosity as two teens entered his tiny store. A long scar parted his wild, white beard on the left side of his face. He held up the cartridge he was working on between his thumb and index finger. “Best goddamn rifle round in history,” he said in a voice that sent a shiver racing up my spine. “Forty-five-seventy. I kept a chopped down Winchester in this caliber for clearing tunnels. Can’t hear much of shit anymore as a result, but it could turn old Victor Charlie inside-out in those confined spaces. You ever shot a man?” Lisa and I exchanged bewildered glances. How many kids could say ‘yes’? “Didn’t think so.” Otto deposited the finished cartridge into the cardboard box beside him. “Well, what can I help you with then? Too early for hunting.” “Not what we’re hunting,” I said. Lisa elbowed me in the ribs and cleared her throat. “You can make bullets, right?” “Reckon I can.” Lisa held out her hand and I gave her the items from my fanny pack. Otto left his stool and prowled to her. He bounced the coins and pendant in his palm. His amber eyes darted from one of us to the other before he snorted. “You want silver bullets.” He set the materials on his counter and shook his head. “That’s a shit idea. Silver’s too dense. It won’t take the rifling. Unless you plan on shooting a barn, you won’t be hitting nothing from more than a few feet. Muzzle velocity will nosedive too because the round is heavier than your powder load. They won’t mushroom either. They’ll go clean in and out. Shotshells. That’s what you need if you’re looking to use silver.” Lisa looked at me, completely lost in the gunsmith’s lesson in ballistic science. I didn’t understand it either. “We don’t have a shotgun,” I finally said. “We have a Chief’s Special .38.” “A snub-nose shooting silver bullets?” Otto burst with boisterous laughter. “Hell, you kids might as well slather yourselves in barbeque sauce and yell ‘here, puppy’ if you plan on fighting a werewolf with that set up.” My jaw fell open and I quickly glanced to my sister to find her in the same state. Otto put a hand on each of our shoulders. I hadn’t noticed before, but three of his fingers were missing from the one resting on me. He hunkered slightly to look us in the eyes. “Don’t look so surprised. Ain’t much else you could be doing with silver bullets.”  He went behind the counter and pulled a sawed-off shotgun from beneath the register. My eyes drifted to the black tape wrapped around the walnut stock and the rough scratches where a serial number had been. “Reckon you can borrow this one. Going to take about an hour on the shells.” “You believe us?” I asked. “Lots of things in this world we pretend not to believe in no more. Pretend weren’t real in the first place.” He absently rubbed the scar on his cheek with the nubs of his fingers. “We pretend… until they start eating us.”


The sun was just an orange razor’s slash by the time we got home. We dropped our bikes in the yard and ran inside. The shotgun mostly fit inside Lisa’s backpack, so we could sneak it past Mom. Not that it mattered. All the lights were off and she wasn’t waiting for us like normal. I headed for the living room while she stashed the gun and changed clothes. “How are you, soldier?” a gruff, ragged voice asked from a darkened corner. The hairs prickled on the back of my neck at my dad’s pet name for me. He stepped out of the shadows. He looked different, and naked, as he gracefully scaled the back of the couch and perched on the cushion. The weak glow of the mail-order touch lamps shimmered on the sweat-slick hairs growing longer from his tight flesh. His elongated nails scratched at the thick, orange fabric of the sofa. “You can catch a lot from whores,” he said.  He spoke slowly, like each word was new to him. Long strands of drool slung from his mouth as he flexed his jaw with a series of loud, painful pops. “Your ma knew. Tried to fix it with Crazy Delores.”  His obsidian eyes focused on the coffee table. I saw Mom’s locket sitting there next to the half-full ashtray, still wet with blood.  “It’s not just the bite,” he grumbled, his words becoming deeper and more inhuman. “It’s like the clap. I brought it home. Made her. McGarrah was… accident.” He shifted on the cushions. Things moved inside his body—bones and muscles realigning—and he whined like a dog in a sticker bush. He sprang over the table and landed inches from me. His nose twitched as he took in my scent. His lips didn’t touch anymore as the fangs locked together. Stiff fur covered his once chubby cheeks. “She couldn’t… control.” He growled. His teeth snapped in front of me. “I can. Join… pack… become. Come with me… soldier.” I quivered with fear. With hurt. With anger. I never suspected my parents. I needed answers. Lisa screamed and broke me out of his hypnotic gaze. His hand clamped over my mouth. He watched the stairs, waiting for Lisa to come down. I eased my hand to the fanny pack, wiggling my fingers to stretch the zipper without the noise. “Connie?” Lisa called. Dad sniffed the air. I watched his pointed ear twitch. He whipped his head back around to me and his eyes widened as the barrel pressed against his chest. The .38 was louder than I remembered. The bullets weren’t silver, but they did the trick. He fell backwards and crashed through the table. I fired the rest of them into his face while he was down. He screamed in pain behind me while I darted for the stairs. I slammed into Lisa who was clutching the shotgun. “I think there’s two of them!” she shouted. I wasn’t listening. I jerked the weapon from her hands and went to finish Dad off. Only, he wasn’t there.  Two bloody bullets rolled in the debris of the coffee table. A shadow fell over me from the kitchen. I threw myself to the floor, narrowly dodging the swipe of my father’s claws. I rolled onto my back and he looked more monstrous than before. His face had contorted into a snout. The front window shattered, startling me. My finger tensed on the trigger and the silver buckshot tore through Dad’s thigh, obliterating the wood paneling beyond. I clamored up the stairs and Lisa pulled me to my feet by my collar. We ran into our parent’s room and slammed the door behind us. I screamed when I saw the body on the bed. It was Mom… but just barely. Her features were still deformed. Her body, still covered in the bristly fur of her new form. And her head hung from the gnawed throat by a few remaining strands of muscle. Everything Dad tried to tell me suddenly made sense. His new girlfriend turned him and he turned Mom. That’s how the werewolf knew we were snooping. Mom was doing the killing while Dad joined his new pack in Louisiana. I vomited at the foot of the bed. “What’s happening?” Lisa asked. Downstairs sounded like a dogfight. Snarls, yips of pain, furious barks, things breaking. I threw the door open and whipped around the corner with the shotgun raised and ready. Dad pounced onto the stairs. Blood gushed from wounds and he bared his fangs as he crawled up the steps toward me. I pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. I remembered duck hunting with him and then my own folly. I hadn’t chambered another round. He drew closer as I racked the slide, but it was too late. His claws opened deep furrows in my thigh and I toppled backwards. Then the other wolf came into view. It grabbed my father’s legs and pulled him down the steps before mounting his back. The beast howled victoriously and glared at me with amber eyes set in white fur.  The monster clamped its fully formed jaws down on the back of Dad’s neck. I heard the wet snap of the spine as it shook its head from side to side. I stared at the long scar parting its fur, at the claws digging into its prey… and the missing fingers beside them. I pressed the barrel of the shotgun to the back of my father’s skull and fired. The white wolf slunk away. Brain matter and pieces of skull clung to its fur. I pumped the shotgun again. And then the beast was gone.


By morning, the bodies had fully reverted to their human forms. Chief Hardesty didn’t question anything. Dad was the killer and Mom was just a victim. We let him run with that story. Before our aunt could come and pick us up, we needed to take care of one more thing. We rode our bikes to Otto Dickens’ shop and found him assembling a pistol at his counter. “Reckon the police seized that gun,” he said, simply. “Yeah,” I answered. “Sorry, I guess.” I set my mother’s locket on the counter and looked at the gunsmith questioningly. “Wolfsbane.” He licked his lips. “It helps when you’re young, when the moon is still your master.” He finished the pistol he was working on and slipped it into a messenger bag. He pushed the kit over to me. “I haven’t killed anyone in a long time, in case you’re wondering,” he told us.  “What do we do now?” Lisa asked. “Different breeds of wolf, the world over. My kind don’t have a pack here.” He pointed at the gauze around my leg. “Your old man’s kind does. You took from them. They’ll take from you. A wolf never forgets. You’re just rabbits now and there’s nothing left to do for a scared bunny, but to run.” We took the bag Otto prepared for us and left his shop. We didn’t go back to the house and wait for our aunt, though. We rode our bikes to the outskirts of Fagan County and hitched a ride at the Crispy Chi’ken. They caught up with us in St Louis three years later. I buried Lisa behind a city park. I rest in one place until I hear the bays of the pack on those bright, moonlit nights and then I disappear onto another stretch of asphalt. Always moving. Always staying ahead of the wolves. Always ready to remind them, that rabbits have teeth too. The End

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Jul 28, 2021
Ep.93 – The Siren's Song - Something Under the Water WANTS YOU DEAD!
00:29:53

Episode Notes

Something under that water sings beautifully... and hides a DEADLY secret, waiting to bring you under!

Siren's Song by Joe Solmo

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

<pre>Jacob watched as his uncle headed towards the rustic one room cabin that sat on the riverbank. He wondered how he was supposed enjoy himself up here with his uncle. It had only been three days since his mother’s funeral. A car accident took her from him, she was on her way to pick him up from a friend’s house, after a night of trying out Dungeons &amp; Dragons. The night was fun, he was all smiles until the phone rang at Keith’s house and Keith’s mom had to drive him home. She wouldn’t explain why, but Jacob could tell by the look on her face something was wrong. They never caught the person who crossed the double yellow lines and hit his mother head-on. They fled the stolen car and the scene on foot before the police arrived and found her there. Jacob overheard the officer say that she was still alive when they arrived, but passed shortly after. They found several beer cans in the other car, and thought it might have been a drunk or teens out for a joy ride, but no one knew for sure. There was no justice, just loss. It really wasn’t fair. When Uncle Greg showed up to help them with arrangements and daily household stuff, Jacob was glad. His father seemed lost, he’d just stare out the window at the driveway, like he expected his wife to pull in any minute. At times, Jacob wanted to join him, wanted to believe that it was all a mistake and his mother would be home in time for dinner and complain has his father overcooked the roast. The night after the funeral his father suggested he go to bed early, and to be honest, Jacob didn’t feel like staying up. As he finished brushing his teeth, he could hear his uncle and father talking on the back deck. The window was open on the warm August night. He dragged the stool over to the window he used to use to brush his teeth so he could peek out. His father was still wearing his white shirt and tie, the latter hanging loosely to the side as his father raised a glass to his lips. He turned towards his Glen. “You know why I don’t want to go back up there,” Jacob’s father said after swallowing. “It would do the both of you good to get away. Come up to the river camp. It will be like old times, Jason,” Glen replied. “The boy should be up there too, get away from this place.” “Too many memories. Memories of her. You know not all the memories up there are good ones,” Jason said. They sat in silence for a minute and Jacob got bored. He climbed down and put his wooden stool away. He thought it was odd that his father told his uncle that he met mom at the cabin. When he asked for a school project, his parents had told him they met at a school dance. Jacob snapped out of his memory and looked at the river as it flowed by. So, this was where his father and mother met. He looked up and down the shore and wondered which of the houses had belonged to his mother’s family. He had never met anyone from his mother’s side. She told him they had all died when she was young. Before he knew it, he was standing at the water’s edge. Something had drawn him there. There was something comforting about the way the water lazily passed by the large boulder near the weathered dock. He walked out onto the aged wooden planks until he reached the edge and looked down at the reflection of the sunset and mountains in the river. He stared intensely into the water, there was something there, just under the surface, but he couldn’t make it out. Pastels reminiscent of Easter covered the swirling water, keeping its underwater secrets from him. He slapped a mosquito as it tried to make a meal of him. A look out on the water showed all kinds of insects swimming just above the surface of the water, and he regretted not bringing a long sleeve shirt to cover up. Jacob had never been fishing before, he wondered if he would like it. Maybe if it was a video game. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about the bugs. “There you are Jake,” came Uncle Greg’s voice from behind him. “Let’s get all the bags inside. It’s really cooling down; the browns should be out soon.” Jacob didn’t know what a brown was. He assumed it was some kind of fish, or maybe an insect since there were so many of those out. He grabbed his duffel bag from the back of the truck and with a grunt lifted it over the side of the truck. It took both hands to carry it to the house with a week’s worth of clothes inside it. “What’s a brown?” he asked his uncle as he caught up to him, out of breath. “Trout, boy. Brown trout. It’s on the menu for tonight. They love to eat those bugs there and will be right up near the surface. Easy pickin’s,” Uncle Greg replied. “Eww, they eat bugs?” Jacob asked. “Sure do, it’s a source of protein for them.” “Do they taste like bugs when you eat them?” asked Jacob. “Not at all, they’re delicious,” his uncle replied with a laugh and put his bag down on the old worn couch. “You take the bed; I will take the couch.” Jacob looked at the bed by the window. It had a nice view of the river; he carried his bag over to the bed and plopped in on there without taking his eyes off the river. A boat was heading upriver, the steady drone of its motor almost trancelike. He watched it until it was out of site. “How come you don’t have a motorboat like that, Uncle Glen?” Jacob asked. “Well honestly, I can’t afford one. I am not very good with money,” Glen said laughing as he set down the cooler by the old sink. Jacob had not even seen his uncle to go back out to the truck to get the cooler. “Dad says you whizz it away, but I don’t know what that means,” Jacob said. “Yeah well, when we were growing up, your father had it easier that I did making friends. I found my friend in a bottle. Y’understand?” Uncle Glen asked gathering up the fishing gear and heading towards the door. “Yeah,” Jacob said, but had no idea what his uncle was talking about. The canoe was so shaky it felt like if Jacob sneezed he would send the thing over and he’d have to swim back to the cabin. So he sat very still, white-knuckle gripping the sides of the aluminum canoe in order to prevent his imaginary catastrophe. His uncle paddled them upriver a bit to a spot he said he knew where there was a deep pool that the browns liked to hang out in. They would drift with the current from above it so the fish wouldn’t hear the splashing of the oars and get spooked. Even though he was terrified of the canoe tipping, Jacob wasn’t afraid of the river itself. Once again, he felt a calmness when he looked out on it. There was something familiar about the river, something comforting. It took a few minutes for him to get up the nerve to let go of one side of the canoe and reach down to the water, letting his fingers drag in the cool water. “Well, here we are,” his uncle said and slid the canoe just upstream of a fallen log to keep the watercraft in place. “You ready to catch some fish?” Jacob watched his uncle take a rod out from a tube and fit the ends together until the thing was almost as long as the canoe. He had seen rods in fishing shows before, but this one was super long and the line was brightly colored. He watched as is uncle tied a tiny little poofy thing to the end. “Here take this,” Glen said, thrusting the rod towards his nephew. Jacob reached out slowly to take the rod from his uncle, daring to rise a little from his safely seated position. As he sat back down, he felt something bump the canoe. “What was that?” he asked nervously, looking around wide-eyed. “We just brushed up against a log, nothing to worry about,” his uncle said and started to fit together another rod. “All I have are these fly-fishing rods, it’s a little harder to cast, but the browns love the flies on the end,” his uncle explained and stood up in the canoe making it shake more than Jacob would have liked. Uncle Glen gave a false cast and sent the line shooting out the end upstream. Jacob watched the graceful cast. It was easy to see the bright orange line make its way back downriver to them. His uncle cast this way three more times, explaining to Jacob how it worked, but Jacob wasn’t about to stand up in the boat now. He felt another bump on the canoe. This time he swore he felt something tapping on the bottom of the boat. “What is that?” Jacob asked, terrified. “There are all kinds of noises, kid. It could be anything, a branch, a turtle. Nothing to worry about either way,” Uncle Glen explained and sat back down in the canoe. He reached into the bag he brought with them and pulled out a beer. “If you were another year older, I would let you have one, but eleven is just too young to drink beer.” “That’s ok. I don’t want a drink,” Jacob said. “Good boy, don’t want to end up like me,” His uncle answered putting down the beer to grab his paddle. “Let’s move a little farther downstream and give it another go.” Jacob nodded and looked overboard as his uncle maneuvered them out into the current to take them downstream. Jacob. Jacob can you hear me. His young eyes widened as he heard the familiar voice. It couldn’t be. How could he hear his mother? She was dead! He looked at his uncle to see if he heard it too, but he just guided the canoe down river. Jacob. It’s your mother. Can you hear me, child? Jacob tried to swallow, but his throat went dry. The hairs on his neck stood up. This can’t be happening. “Uncle Glen, I don’t feel so good. Can we just go back to the cabin?” Jacob asked in a weak voice. “Huh? Oh, I guess we could. Didn’t know you get seasick. Our family have been sailors for generations. Must be from your mother’s side. I never met her folks. Probably grew up landlocked,” his uncle said. “Let’s break down these rods first.” Another thump on the boat, this one louder. Jacob wondered if he was losing his mind. Between the thumps and hearing his mother’s voice, he just wanted to go home. Get away from the crazy place. He looked out on the water, and no longer felt a calming sensation. He was terrified. Jacob. I need your help. You will help your mother, won’t you? He closed his eyes tight, wishing it all away. The voice, the bumps, the trip, the accident. Everything. Why was this happening to him? Why was his mother taken from him? Was that really her voice he heard? Was it all in his head? They reached the dock without further incident. They entered the cabin without another word. Jacob went over to the bed and lay on it, facing the river. He didn’t want to turn his back on it. “You want something to eat?” his uncle asked from the small table where he was sitting. “No thanks, I am not very hungry,” Jacob replied, propping his head up on his pillow to better see out the window. He wondered why he didn’t see more boats out on the river, sure it was getting dark now, but still there wasn’t much traffic out there. “Ok, maybe you will feel like eating in the morning. I’ll make pancakes. If you need anything, just let me know, I will be having a few drinks before I turn in, I think,” his uncle replied. Jacob closed his eyes for a second, then looked back towards the water. He closed them again for longer this time, trying to fall asleep and put an end to this day. One less day he had to stay here and he could go home. He wasn’t sure how long he’d slept, but when he woke it was dark out. He could hear his uncle snoring from the other side of the cabin. He sat up and looked out the window, the full moon illuminating the scene before him. He could make out the dock on the shore of the river, a ribbon of darkness flowing in the moonlight. Jacob. Jacob are you there? The voice again. How? Jacob wrapped the blanket around him. Wait. What was that? Jacob. Don’t be afraid. The hair on the back of his neck stood up again as his brain processed what his eyes were seeing. A woman was coming out of the lake, wrapped in a white dress, flowing behind her. It couldn’t be. Could it? “Mom?” Yes, my son. It’s me. Come outside. I will explain everything. Jacob looked at his uncle, passed out sitting at the table now covered with empty cans. He would sleep through the night. He slipped out of bed, keeping the blanket wrapped around him as he made it to the door. He opened the wooden door just enough so that he could slip out, sure to close it quietly behind him. He made his way through the damp grass, keeping his eyes locked on his mother on the river’s edge. He noticed a swirl of fog obscuring her legs and feet as he approached. She reached out to him, but he stopped twenty feet shy. He looked at her pale face, surrounded by her fire red hair. It didn’t look wet, even though she seemingly emerged from the river. I guess anything is possible in a dream, he thought. Jacob. Why do you hesitate. Come here my son. Her voice sang in his ears, but her lips never moved. Was this a dream? “Mom? Is it really you?” he asked. It’s me, Jake. Did you hear me earlier on the river? “Yes. Was that you thumping on the boat?” he asked her, pulling the blanket tighter around him. The night was colder than he first realized. Yes, I was trying to get your attention, son. I miss you and your father so much. I didn’t expect to be back here so soon. “Why are you here at the river? Is the river… ?” Jacob asked. No, Jake. This is where I came from. I had to return when I was done with my life with you. It is complicated. “Are you a ghost?” Her musical laughter filled his ears. My child. That is a good question. I am not sure to be honest. I have been keeping a secret from you for years. I think it is time to tell you of your heritage, my son. But first, I need to ask you a favor… Jacob woke from his uncle shaking him. “Are you okay Jacob, it’s almost nine,” his uncle asked. “Five more minutes,” Jacob grumbled rolling back over. “Okay Jake, I will get started on breakfast then,” his uncle said. “Pancakes good?” The grunt his uncle heard from the pile of blankets he took as an affirmative. Soon the smell of bacon and maple syrup assaulted Jacob’s nose. He rose from the blankets and looked out at the river, remembering what his mother told him last night. It had to have been a dream, he thought. It had seemed so real though. Jacob had to admit he was really hungry, and his mouth watered when he saw breakfast on the table. He ate so many pancakes he thought he was going to burst. He wondered if there was a more perfect food. If there was, he hadn’t had it, that was for sure. “Can we go fishing again tonight?” Jacob asked. “Sure. Didn’t think you would want to after getting seasick last night. We can go right now if you want, just let me finish the dishes,” Uncle Glen said. “No, let’s wait until tonight, it will be cooler. Teach me to cast like you did last night in the yard though. It looked fun, like a whip,” Jacob said throwing his napkin in the trash. “It’s not really like a whip at all, but I will show you. Can you check on our ice situation? Do I need to run into town?” his uncle asked. Jacob opened up the cooler. “Um, it looks like we might need some for later. What happened to all the beer that was in there?” His uncle looked in the cooler. “I guess I had a few more than I thought. A trip into town it is then. Do you want to go with me or hang out here?” “I’ll stay here, Uncle Glen,” Jacob replied. “I want to draw a little,” he said and went for his duffel bag. Inside was a sketchbook and pencils. He pulled them out and brought them to the table. “Suit yourself. I won’t be gone long,” Uncle Glen said and headed out the door. Jacob sighed as his uncle left. Could it be true? His uncle returned hours later, it was mid afternoon and he smelled of alcohol… bad. Jacob couldn’t get within ten feet of him, he reeked. “Come on boy, time to teach you to cast like a master,” his uncle said and grabbed the tubes that contained the rods they used last night. Jacob. A chill went down his spine as he stood in the yard. Was his mother really calling to him? Jacob I can’t get any closer. Are we set for tonight? Jacob nodded towards the river. He didn’t know if she could hear him or not, but the nod seemed to answer her question. Thank you, my son. See you at sunset. “You always just stare off into space, boy?” his uncle asked scratching his head. “You weren’t watching, now pay attention…” An hour later Uncle Glen was passed out on the porch and Jacob had the rest of the night to himself. He would wake uncle when it was time to fish. Jacob managed to get his uncle up just before sunset, and get him into the canoe. He even helped paddle this time. They made their way up river even faster than the night before and passed the fallen log even earlier. “Let’s try a little farther upriver,” Jacob said. “Is that okay, Uncle Glen?” “Sure boy, keep paddling, I’ll get the rods ready. Jacob continued to paddle up river, pushing against the current. The sun was beginning to drop behind the mountains, similar to last night when they were out here. “Is this a good spot?” Jacob asked. “Good as any to start,” His uncle replied and threw the little anchor overboard to keep them in the spot long enough to fish it. He handed Jacob a rod and grabbed one for himself. “Go ahead and give it a cast.” Jacob hesitated. “You go first, I want to watch you cast one more time.” He felt something against the bottom of the boat. Was that a thump? Glen cast out towards the shore where there was a bend in the river, the insects swarming just above the surface. He felt something and tried to set the hook, but lost it. He stood in the canoe making it wobble until he got himself balanced. Are you ready now Jacob? “I need a little more distance,” Uncle Glen said and cast again, this time his fly landed inches from the bank. “That’s the sweet spot, right there,” he said and began to strip in the line. Now, Jacob. Just like we talked about. Jacob picked up the tube that the rods came in, it was made of fiberglass, not very heavy, but it would have to do. He slid forward in the canoe slowly until he was near his uncle. “Uncle Glen?” “What is it boy? Don’t you know you have to be quiet when fishing?” “This is from mom,” Jacob said and swung the tube into his uncle’s gut, catching him unaware. His uncle pitched forward and the canoe began to list towards shore. “What the… did you do that for?” his uncle growled clutching his belly. Jacob answered him with another swing, this one right behind the knees, causing his uncle’s legs to buckle, he fell back and went overboard. The canoe stayed upright, just like his mother promised him it would, like it was held in place. “Help me out of the damn water!” his uncle called out grabbing the side of the canoe and shaking it. Pale arms reached up from behind Glen and snaked around him. Good job, my son. He must pay for what he did to me. He was jealous of your father and I, and when I turned him down he decided if he couldn’t have me no one would. First, he kidnapped me from the river onto dry land with my newborn fry, you. Then your father and Glen fought over me, like some kind of prize. When I died my soul went back to the river where my people live. Where your people live, Jacob. Jacob listened to the explanation from his mother as her face came up next to his uncles. A large flipper slapped the water as she dragged his uncle father from the canoe. We have avenged my death, my son. Now we must avenge our kidnapping from our people. Paddle back and call your father up here. Then we can be together again. Then I can teach you about your heritage. I can show you how to change your form, to live in the water, or on land. Jacob paddled away as he heard his uncle splashing behind him, crying out for help. He wouldn’t look back, not after what his uncle and father had done to his mother. No wonder she was so sad all the time, he thought. He put the paddle across his lap and let the current take him back to the cabin now that the waters behind him have gone silent. Soon he would be reunited with his people, under the river, just one more wrong to right… </pre>

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Jul 21, 2021
Ep.92 – Hunter Black - Writing Becomes a BLOODY REALITY!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

A brand new typewriter gives an author a new creative lease on life, especially as his creations start to become a reality. A terrible violent, blood soaked reality!

Hunter Black by Rob Fields

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

Simon Griffin sat in his bedroom and typed away. When he finished his current page, he pulled it out of the typewriter and loaded a new sheet. When he resumed typing, he could feel a presence near him. “Hi, Mom,” he said. Even through his typing, he could see his mom taking his plate and his empty glass. She replaced the empty glass with a full one. “Still hard at work, I see.” Simon stopped typing. “Mom, I’m this close to being done with my latest novel. Once I’m finished, I’ll be ready to send it out. Just a few more chapters to go.” She smiled a little. “I’m surprised that you’re still using that beat-up, old typewriter. It belonged to your grandfather, you know.” She paused. “Really, Simon, you’d save a lot of time if you would just use the word processor that came with your computer.” Simon smiled a little himself. “Mom, I know you mean well. But Grandpa did all of his writing using this very typewriter right here. He never caved in to modern technology. He used to say there were some things you just can’t replace, no matter how much better it is. Take the compact disc. Remember how the music industry tried to replace vinyl records with it? It never did because people knew! You just can’t beat the sound quality that comes on records. That’s how it is with a typewriter. I just want to be the same writer that Grandpa was, that’s all.” “And you are, honey,” she complimented. “You’ve already published nine Hunter Black books. To be honest, I’m surprised that Sunset Press over in Erie City actually takes your paper submissions.” “Well, that’s where Grandpa got his stories published,” Simon pointed out. “I decided to go with them since they treated him really good. And now, they’re treating me really good.” “They sure are.” His mom reached out and patted his shoulder. “Okay, I won’t bother you anymore about using a word processor. I’ll let you get back to work.” “Thanks, Mom. I’ll be done soon.” His mom left his room. Then he resumed typing. His latest novel was actually the next in a science fiction series which dealt with a villainous character from the year 2250 in the form of Hunter Black, a hitman for hire. Black was both the central character and the antagonist at the same time. Whenever the criminal underworld had a job that required his skills, they would pay his fee. From there, he would get the job done. Aside from a recurring female character named Felicity Scorne, no one crossed him – and lived.

The next morning, Simon walked into Strickfield High School. As always, he wore dark trousers, a pressed shirt, a vest, a red bowtie, loafers, and glasses. This was the very same fashion that his grandfather wore back in his day. Whether it was just the love and dedication that he felt towards his late grandfather or his stubbornness, wearing these cloths may have been all right during his grandfather’s day. However, in these current times . . . As Simon passed by a group of jocks and their girlfriends, he knew that it was going to be the same thing that happened every morning. Dana Shackleton pointed right at him. “Hey, look who’s back! It’s Orville Redenbacher!” Then she called out to Simon, “Hey, Orville, shouldn’t you be at the movie theater?” Her boyfriend, Nathan Coaver, sneered at him. “Yeah, fuckstick! This ain’t 1955. Get with the times.” As always, Simon tried to ignore them. While only a select few knew that he was a published writer and was financially independent, the rest of the school population didn’t. Not when he used a pen name. As far as the rest of his classmates were concerned, Simon Griffin was nothing but a nerdy loser. Suddenly, Simon was brought out of his thoughts when he felt himself being lifted off his feet by two of the jocks. The next thing he knew, he was being turned and taken into a nearby restroom. Simon squirmed, but he only weighed around a hundred-and-ten pounds – if that! Then he heard the click of the restroom door’s lock and knew that he was in trouble. “This one looks good,” Dana told the jocks. Simon struggled harder but to no avail. He couldn’t do anything as he was lowered to his knees, only to have his head shoved into the cold water of the toilet. He was held under for a bit before the flushing came. The only thing he could hear over all else was Dana Shackleton and the other girls laughing scornfully at him.

After school, Simon was in his room. His best friend and next-door neighbor, Connie Graves, was there with him. “Every day, Connie,” Simon complained. “Every day they always have to give me a hard time.” He told her about the restroom incident earlier that morning. Connie sighed apologetically. “I’m really sorry I couldn’t go to school with you today. I had to be there real early to help put the school paper together.” Whenever Connie and Simon went to school together, the bullies never laid a hand on Simon. They still taunted him, however. Simon pointed at her. “And that’s another thing, those meatheads are always giving me a hard time. They say I need you to fight my battles for me.” He looked down now. “Not that I don’t appreciate you helping me. I do. I really do.” He sighed. “Listen, I don’t blame you if you don’t want to be my friend anymore.” Connie put her hand on his chin and raised his head up. “Hey! Don’t you ever say that again. We’ve been best friends since we were kids. We swore we would always be friends. We’ve always kept that promise. Now enough of that shit talk.” The two of them shared a hug. Then Simon wanted to be alone, mostly so he could finish his novel. He had tried to finish it the night before but hit a stumbling block with the ending. Connie said goodbye and left. Now it was time for Simon to write the final chapters in which Hunter Black would face Detective Richard Hartman, who had come up against Black once before and barely survived with his life. This would be the final conflict. Simon loaded the paper into the typewriter and began to type away. And then . . . disaster struck! “What?! No! No way!” Simon cried. Much to Simon’s disbelief, the typewriter’s element had fallen off. He picked it up and saw that there was no way that he would just be able to get a new element and repair it. No, the old typewriter had finally had it. Now he had three choices: One, find a place that would repair typewriters. Two, buy a new typewriter altogether. Three, finally break down and start using the word processor on his computer. His deadline was coming up, and he needed to finish his novel. However, he had too much pride to resort to modern technology. He would never use a modern word processor if he had anything to say about it. He was an old-school writer, just like his grandfather. He decided to go out and see if he could pick up a new typewriter. He had a few ideas of where he might find one in downtown Strickfield. After calling Connie, the two of them got on their bicycles and began riding. Simon and Connie checked out a few antique shops and even the local department store, but there were no typewriters available. They even checked out their local thrift store, but to no avail. They had nearly exhausted all of Simon’s possibilities in Strickfield. He really didn’t want to use a word processor, nor did he want an electric typewriter. He needed an old-school one. There was just something about the feel of it. Then Connie suggested trying Strickfield Plaza as a last resort. It would be a couple of miles out of the way, but it was worth a try. Simon and Connie pulled into the parking lot of Strickfield Plaza, which was located on the south end of the village. As they chained up their bikes, Simon looked at the nearly-empty parking lot and took an exasperated breath. He remembered that his grandfather had told him how this giant plaza, and the mall north of the village, would never succeed in Strickfield. Grandpa was proven right, of course. Both the plaza and the mall were full of life and had many of the big-name stores for at least the first year. Then, one by one, the stores were leaving. People just weren’t shopping at either place. No, people were too attached to shopping in downtown Strickfield and the many vintage local businesses there. Now, there were only a few select big-name anchor stores left in both places, along with some mom-and-pop stores. Still, what did Simon have to lose? The two of them knew that Staples was still open. After having no luck there, they got back on their bikes. They were almost to the road when Connie saw the one lone store further down the strip, which was called Tinker’s. “Let’s check down there, Simon.” They rode to the store, parked their bikes, and went in. Tinker’s was full of seemingly old odds and ends. Simon looked around to see if – YES!! There it was! He quickly moved to the old typewriter sitting there on the shelf. It looked just as ancient as his grandfather’s old typewriter. “I can’t believe they actually have one of these old typewriters here,” Connie said. “This old typewriter is rather a collector’s item,” they heard a voice from behind them say. They turned around to see a man in his late forties standing near them. “Is this your store?” Connie asked him. “That’s me: Eisley Tinker, owner and sole proprietor,” he replied. “How much?” Simon immediately asked Tinker. “I really need this typewriter to finish my book.” Tinker smiled. “I can see that you truly appreciate old items such as this, in spite of the fact that the modern word processor is readily available. If I may ask, what is this book of yours about?” Tinker listened as Simon told him about his book and about Hunter Black. Tinker seemed to be quite interested. “Ah, yes . . . One such as yourself would be most perfect for this machine. I’ll sell it to you for . . . How does thirty dollars sound?” “Done!” Simon took out his wallet and they completed the transaction. Simon and Connie left the store. Simon secured his new prize into his basket in front of his bike. From there, the two friends rode home. Once Simon was in his room and had the replacement typewriter set up, he put a sheet of paper in and began writing his final chapters.

That night, just a little ways down the street, Dana Shackleton and her boyfriend, Nathan Coaver, were making out in the back seat of his car to finish their date. After many long kisses, they stopped to take a breath. “It’s too bad we both have parents who are home,” Dana said. “I’d fuck you right now!” “Yeah, bummer,” Nathan replied. “You know, we could always go to Strickfield Inn.” Dana grinned. “Tempting, but it’s getting late. If I’m too late getting home, I’ll never hear the end of it. Sorry . . .” Nathan looked over his shoulder. “What’s sorry is that you live next door to Orville Redenbacher.” Dana laughed a little. “I know, I mean you see the way he dresses, right? He dresses just like his grandpa. He must have been a real dweeb, too.” They both laughed. Then Nathan said, “That was so awesome how you tripped him up in the hallway at school today. He looked like he really wanted to kill you.” “He’s such a pussy,” Dana replied. “Connie Graves ain’t,” Nathan reminded her. “She was right in your face when you tripped Simon. You gotta watch out for her.” “You’re right, especially since she lives on the other side of Orville. They’ll probably get married and make more little Orvilles.” They laughed again, but their laughter was cut short when they felt a presence nearby. They both sat up and saw the man wearing the trench coat and fedora who was looking in at them. “Get outta here, you fucking pervert!” Nathan snapped. “Go get your jollies somewhere else!” Dana added. The figure answered by lashing out and shattering the window – with his fist. Then he glared into the car. Just as Nathan was ready to protect his girlfriend, the figure raised what appeared to be a Tommy gun. “You really should watch whom you piss off,” he said in a suave voice. “You never know when your actions can come back to haunt you.” The barrel of the Tommy gun suddenly sparkled with flashing lights . . .

Simon entered Strickfield High the next morning and saw that many students weren’t looking so happy. Connie quickly approached him. “What’s going on?” Simon asked. “You didn’t hear? Dana Shackleton and Nathan Coaver were both killed last night.” She proceeded to tell him what she had heard about the murders. “What?! A machine gun?!” Simon asked in disbelief. “That’s what the police are saying, based on all of the bullet casings they found at the scene. My dad’s on the police force. He said the casings were matched up to a Tommy gun, even though the bodies were burned beyond recognition.” Simon immediately thought of his character. Hunter Black used such a weapon, and his victims were usually burned beyond recognition after he shot them up. Now that he thought about it, he also remembered how Dana had deliberately tripped him in the hallway the day before – after the restroom incident earlier that morning. Oh, how he would have loved to have been the one to have killed Dana, as much as she bullied him. But now . . . he really didn’t have to worry about her anymore. Or Nathan! Simon shrugged. “No big loss. As far as I’m concerned, they both got what they deserved.” Connie’s eyes opened wide. “What?! Simon, this isn’t like you.” He shrugged again. “How many times did you ever get bullied by somebody and wish they were dead?” “Simon, we’ve all gotten bullied in one form or another in our lives, but I certainly don’t wish horrible deaths on them.” Simon became irritated. “Oh, yeah? Well, you haven’t been picked on since freshman year! You never got your head shoved into a toilet by idiot basketball players – and while Dana Shackleton and those other bitches were watching and laughing. As far as I’m concerned, Dana and Nathan getting killed was the best thing that could have ever happened to them.” Connie looked dumbfounded now. She didn’t even try to stop Simon as he turned and walked away from her. She groaned and couldn’t believe this change in Simon. She decided that he needed time to cool down before she would talk to him later.

A week later, Friday, Simon walked in the door after getting home from school. As usual, his mom had left his mail in his room. When he saw the big envelope from Sunset Press, he quickly picked it up and opened it. He found his royalties check and a letter from his editor praising this latest entry into the Hunter Black series. He also found a second check for an advance on the next installment. As it turned out, Simon had some new creative juices, especially when students continued to pick on him. While he himself never went out and harmed anybody, he based the inspiration for Hunter Black’s kills on what he himself would like to do to those who had wronged him. Hey, write about what you know, right? Simon put the envelope down and closed his door. He sat at his new typewriter and put in a sheet of paper. He went to work typing his newest Hunter Black novel, remembering that he would need to call and talk to his editor later.

That night, there was a party at Jason Weller’s barn. The basketball team had finally won their first game to end their losing streak and were celebrating. The students knew that as long as they kept the party away from town, the police wouldn’t look their way in the slightest. Jason was drinking keg beer with his fellow basketball players and talking about anything, especially Simon Griffin. “You’d think that moron would get it by now,” Jason said. “Strickfield stays the same, but people change. I can’t believe he’s still wearing his grandpa’s old clothes.” As they continued to talk about and make fun of Simon, they suddenly were approached by a tall figure wearing a fedora and a trench coat. “You need help, buddy? You look like you’re lost,” Jason jeered. “No . . . but I’m here to help you, son,” the man replied, in his suave voice. Suddenly, the man pulled out a Tommy gun from inside of his trench coat. Everybody quickly scattered as Hunter Black started firing what seemed to be laser rounds. One student after another started going down fast as the bullets made their impact. Some of the students even caught fire and burned to death as a result of the flaming projectiles. Other students managed to get to safety in the barn, but it would be short lived. After Black had run out of ammunition, he reached into his trench coat and pulled out an automatic laser weapon from his time of 2250. He went into the barn and started firing. He managed to kill more of the students. What few that were left ran off. Black didn’t bother pursuing them since they were no threat. Who were they going to tell, the police? When were the police ever a match for Hunter Black?

The next afternoon, Connie came over to get Simon so they could spend the day together like they had planned. Simon’s mother let her come in. “You’ll have to go upstairs and wake him up, dear. He was up working on his new book last night. I don’t think he got to bed until late.” Connie smiled a little. “Okay, thank you, Mrs. Griffin.” She came in and went upstairs to find Simon in his room fast asleep at his desk and wearing his clothes from the day before. Then she saw the newly-typed pages before she went to Simon and shook him a little. “Come on, Simon! Wake up! Remember? We’re hanging out today. Get cleaned up. I’ll still be here.” Simon yawned, got up, and staggered to the bathroom. As soon as she heard the shower going, Connie picked up the pages and read them. Simon never cared if she read his work since she kept it secret. He usually let her read his drafts to get her input. She had just finished when Simon returned. “What do you think?” he asked, when he saw her with the pages. “Wow! You’ve really put a lot more on Hunter Black this time up,” Connie replied. “Especially the way he just shows up to the Polomo family gathering and starts killing everybody.” “I’m thinking of calling it Black’s Revenge,” Simon said. “I already wrote how he was screwed over and survived. Now it’s just a question of him getting through everybody close to Boss Polomo in order to get to Polomo himself.” They talked more about the story as Simon got dressed. She helped him brainstorm new ideas as they left his house and walked to downtown Strickfield. “Looks like the new typewriter’s working good, by the way,” Connie commented. “Like a dream,” Simon agreed. When they reached Denoyer’s Grill, they walked in. Much to their surprise, there weren’t that many people there. Usually, many Strickfield High students came to Denoyer’s for lunch on Saturdays. “You can sit wherever you like,” Martin Donnerly told them as he tended the front counter. Connie and Simon sat at the counter. Then she gasped when she saw the morning headline in the Strickfield Journal that was close to her. Massacre At Friday Night Party She pulled the newspaper to her. As she read the article, her mind suddenly drifted back to the pages that she had read at Simon’s earlier. The article mentioned a barn, so did the pages. Black had used a Tommy gun. Tommy gun shells were found at the scene of last night’s party. Black had used a laser machine gun in the pages. Multiple burns were found all over the barn and on many of the victims at the party. Were these events merely a coincidence? Then Connie recalled how the previous book ended when she got to read those chapters. Detective Richard Hartman was making out with his girl Friday in the back seat of his car. Hunter Black surprised them and killed them both at the end. Coincidently, Dana Shackleton and Nathan Coaver were both killed in the back seat of Nathan’s car. Tommy gun shells were found at the scene and the bodies were burned beyond recognition – in both scenarios. Connie had a great time with Simon, but she just couldn’t shake that feeling of déjà vu all day. At the end of the day, Simon and Connie were standing on her front porch. “It’s awful dark in there,” Simon observed. “You going to be okay in there by yourself?” “Oh, my parents are usually gone on weekends,” Connie said. “Work-related shit . . . Anyway, I’ll be all right.” She yawned. “I’m probably going to go to bed.” Simon smiled a little. “Okay . . . I’m probably going to work on those ideas we talked about today. You’re right, it’s time to bring Felicity Scorne back.” That seemed to give Connie a second wind. “You want me to come over and work with you?” “You sure you don’t mind?” he asked. She raised an eyelid. “You know me better than that.” Simon smiled more now. “Okay, let go up to my room.”

The two of them were sitting in Simon’s bedroom talking about Felicity Scorne, the female counterpart and potential love interest for Hunter Black. Simon said that since Connie was the inspiration for the character, Connie would become Felicity Scorne. Simon wrote a few scenes involving Hunter Black as he interacted with Scorne. The two of them had even talked about having the two characters finally get together romantically. The more Simon had written, the more Connie would read and make suggestions. This new book was really starting to come together. Simon and Connie had finally taken a break after hours of making more of Hunter Black’s world a reality on the printed pages. And before Connie realized it, she moved into Simon and began to kiss him. He kissed her back. Then they continued to kiss with heavy passion before they both fell onto his bed.

Hunter Black and Felicity Scorne met up during a revenge killing. As it turned out, they were both looking to kill another member of Boss Polomo’s family, one of his daughters. Boss Polomo had severely wronged Felicity Scorne as well. Black and Scorne were at a standoff and pointed their weapons at each other, neither one willing to back down. Finally, they both lowered their guns knowing that they were good enough to have ended each other’s lives. They ultimately agreed to partner up in their quest for vengeance and decided they were better off working together than being enemies. After killing a few more members of the Polomo family, they went somewhere and ended up consummating their new partnership.

Connie yawned and woke up. She realized that her head was resting on Simon’s chest. Then she sat up and remembered that they had made heated passion together. As she got out of bed, she saw the bags of money and piles of expensive jewelry in the closet and gasped. What did we do?! she thought to herself. She had to think. She put her underwear back on and sat down at Simon’s desk. She took some deep breathes and cleared her head. What did we do?! she thought again. Then the images all started coming back to her. She and Simon had gone out. They had gone over to Strickfield Commons, where two of the jocks and three of their girlfriends lived. She had gotten into Monica Van Dreer’s house quite easily, in spite of the security measures. Finding Monica in her bed, she yanked the covers off and relished the look on Monica’s face when she was staring into the barrel of a modified laser Uzi. She remembered talking to Monica, but she sounded nothing like herself. She had even seen herself in Monica’s mirror. “I was Felicity Scorne!” she mouthed to herself. “I was really Felicity Scorne!” Felicity gave Monica a deadly smirk before she riddled her full of lasers. She went throughout the rest of the house and took care of the rest of the family too. She had found the safe and easily got it open. From there, she had helped herself to a hefty score. After leaving there, she would meet up with Simon, who was now Hunter Black. They would have their standoff, but they would decide that they were better off working together. From there, they would go and collect on a few more lives . . . and more hefty scores. Connie looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t look anything like Felicity Scorne now, aside from the fire-engine-red lipstick she wore. She got up and returned to the bed to shake Simon. When he finally woke up, Connie explained everything to him. She even showed him the money and jewelry. She ended her explanation with a realization. “Simon, the typewriter brings your imagination to life somehow. Everything you type happens!” Simon further listened as Connie explained all of the coincidences between his pages and what had actually happened. Simon was amazed with Connie’s revelations, but he really didn’t seem to care when it came to those who were murdered as a result of his writings. “Those people never cared about me. Why should I care about them?” Simon sat down at the typewriter and loaded a sheet. “You know, I think I’m feeling some new inspiration. I think maybe Hunter Black and Felicity Scorne should just burn Strickfield High School to the ground – with everyone inside.” As Simon began to type, it seemed that everything in front of him had suddenly become a huge splash of crimson, speckled with some gray. Simon sat motionless for a moment before his body slumped to the floor, minus the top half of his head. “I feel just . . . amazing!” Connie purred softly as she raised the modified Uzi she had just dispatched Simon with. “After we fucked, I did some writing of my own, lover,” Connie said, but she sounded more like Felicity Scorne now. She smirked in the same sinister way that Scorne did. What was more, she felt positively no remorse for anything. Not even what she had just done to Simon. “I know we promised we’d always be friends. But promises . . . are made to be broken.” Connie looked at the old typewriter. Then she smirked again as she relished the horrible mess that she had created. She opened the desk drawer where she had her pages stashed and felt the excitement of knowing that everything she had typed had come true. “Why should we share this incredible power – when I can have it all?” She read the rest of the pages and knew that she would have one more thing to do. She proceeded to find Simon’s mother downstairs and kill her as well. With nothing to stop Connie, she got dressed and managed to smuggle the typewriter and all of the pages that were typed on it to her house. After cleverly hiding the pages, she set up the typewriter. Now that she had ultimate power at literally her fingertips, she could use her imagination to fulfill all of her dreams. What was more, Connie would discover that by burning the pages that Simon had written using the typewriter, the events that had occurred would be erased and the lives taken would be fully restored.

One year later, Connie was sitting at a table inside of a major bookstore in Shore City. People lined up around the block to both buy her new book and get her to autograph it for them. She had written the first book in an ongoing new science fiction series starring Felicity Scorne, which quickly outsold even the first Hunter Black novel. Her book was also #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, something Simon had never done. However, Connie also kept the Hunter Black series going, using what was Simon’s pen name and cashing in on that as well. Yes, Connie Graves truly knew of the ultimate power that she possessed with the typewriter. All she had to do was simply take it away from Simon. Money, power, luxuries, new lifestyles, a permanent vacation – everything that she could ever want . . . was literally at her fingertips. And her imagination . . .

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Jul 14, 2021
Ep.91 – Camp Dead and Buried - This Summer is Hot and DEADLY
00:29:41

Episode Notes

It was the last night of the 1980 season at a run-down old summer camp, and the hottest night in Indiana history.  So hot that somebody might lose their mind, and not every counselor will survive the night!

Camp Dead and Buried by John Oak Dalton

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Jul 07, 2021
Ep.90 – The Beast of Roca de Vaca - Chupacabra is Hungry!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Roca de Voca has something loose on it's grounds, it's hungry and it's smart enough to find where you sleep...

The Beast of Roca de Vaca by Morgan Moore

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Jun 30, 2021
Ep.89 – Bed and Breakfast and Zombies - A Nightmare Vacation!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Summer vacations can really bite, but this trip takes it to an entirely new level!

Bed and Breakfast and Zombies by Keith Tomlin

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For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcript:

Jake sighed loudly as he stared out the second-story window of the bed and breakfast that he and his father had been staying at for the last few days.

‘This sucks,’ he thought, ‘I should have gone to grandpa’s with mom.’

His family was on a rare vacation, taking a trip from Chicago to New York City to visit his mom’s parents. It was the four of them, Jake, his little sister, Sarah, his father, Edward, and his mother, Karen, all jammed into a 12-year-old Volvo wagon.

Jake remembered when his father, during breakfast a few days ago, could barely contain his excitement. “Kids, I was looking over my papers last night,” he said, pointing to a huge stack of papers that he poured over every moment that he wasn’t driving, “and I found something exciting!” He looked wide-eyed at both of his children. Sara was using all of her concentration to draw on a coloring page that doubled as the kid’s menu so Edward focused on his 11-year-old son. “Jake, how would you like to look for some witches!”

Jake was swept away with his dad’s excitement. They dropped the others off at his grandfather’s house and jumped back on the road to a small town in New York called Stones Creek. Jake wondered what they needed to hunt witches. Do we need garlic or maybe silver bullets? What Jake didn’t know, and soon found out, was the only things they needed was the local library and long walks in an old graveyard across the street from the Grinning Cat Inn, the bed and breakfast at which they would be staying.

Jake was bored. He sighed, louder this time.

“I heard you the first time.”, his dad said, without looking up from the papers he copied from the library. When he finished the page, he finally looked at Jake, removing his unlit pipe from his mouth and pointed at Jake with it.

“Why don’t you go outside and play?” he said, gesturing to the door with his pipe.

“But, dad, I’m bored… ” Jake said, his shoulders slumping forward. “Look, once I get through these pages, we can take a walk. You can either go outside and play until then or sit there quietly and read a book.” His dad gave him one last stern look before turning his attention back to his stack of papers.

‘Read a book?’ Jake thought. ‘Why is it always books with him?’

Jake didn’t want books, he wanted fun and adventure. Suppressing another sigh, he turned his attention back to the window. He was surprised to see a car on the road. He had only seen one other car all day. He was even more surprised, and excited, to see that car start to slow down.

“Dad, dad, dad,” Jake said quickly, as he had always done when he grew excited. “There is a car turning into the parking lot.”

“Really? That’s interesting,” his dad mumbled.

Jake watched intently as the car glided to a stop in front of the inn. The driver, a huge, bulky man, got out and opened the rear door. A well-dressed man stepped out of the backseat of the car, quickly followed by a young boy who looked around Jake’s age.

“Dad, dad, dad, dad…” Jake said getting louder with each word. “They have a kid. Can I go down and meet him? Come on, dad… Can I?” Jack started jumping back and forth from one foot to the other.

“Okay, hang on,” his dad said, taking off his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Alright, I guess I’m done here for now. I don’t want you scaring the poor child with your… enthusiasm.” Edward set the stack of papers aside, “Let’s go downstairs and greet the new arrivals.”

The door to the Grinning Cat Inn flew open and the large man entered. He scanned the room before stepping aside, allowing the well-dressed man to enter. The reception room was lined with cedar panels and had a counter that ran along one wall. A large staircase, leading up, was right across from the front door. Two other doorways lead to a dining room and a large den with a roaring fire in the fireplace. Upon hearing the door, the owner of the inn, Mr. Jarvison, a tall, thin elderly man, moved to the counter.

Good evening, how may I help you?” asked Mr. Jarvison. The well-dressed man walked over to the counter and, with a thick Slavic accent, said “I am Count Dmitry Romanova, I have reservation for two rooms.”

“Yes, of course, your rooms are ready, mister… How should I address you?” Mr. Jarvison’s asked.

“Please, you may call me Count Romanova,” said the Count. “The title is largely symbolic at this point but,” he shrugged, “we do have our protocols.”

“Yes, sir, I will show you to your rooms,” Mr. Jarvison said, half bowing.

Count Romanova waved him off. “Ivan, my…. manservant, will look to the rooms and luggage. I wish to relax by the fire,” he said, pointing towards the den. He then looked at Ivan, who nodded and gestured at Mr. Jarvison to lead the way up the stairs.

The Count turned towards the door and called out, “Come, Nikolai, let’s rest before dinner.” A small-framed child, around ten years old, entered the inn. He silently followed his father into the den.

Edward and Jake had to press themselves against the wall to allow Ivan to pass them on the stairway. Jake stared at the large man, shocked at the sheer size of him. Ivan stopped and turned, glaring at Jake, who quickly turned and ran to catch up with his father.

Twenty minutes later, Jake was standing outside with Nikolai, trying to find a way to end the awkward silence that hung over them. It took his dad a few minutes to convince the Count to allow his son outside to play and now Jake was wishing that his father had failed.

“So, uh…” Jake said. “Do you like to play ball?”

“Sorry, I do not know this game, ball,” Nikolai replied, in broken English.

“No, ball is not a game… Well, it’s part of a game,” Jake thought that over for a few seconds. “Never mind, do you want to play… hide and seek?” Jake said, hopefully. “Hide and seek? What do we hide?” Nikolai asked.

“No,” Jake said, frustrated, “You go hide and I try to find you.”

Nikolai asked, “We are to be friends, correct?”

Jake nodded.

“Then why would I hide from you?” Nikolai asked. “Friends should trust each other and not need to hide.”

“Huh, I never thought of it that way,” Jake said. “Okay, well... uh… we could…” Jake was stumped. He racked his brain for something to do and his face lit up when he finally thought of something that no kid could resist.

“Do you want to see something scary?” Jake teased, with a big grin.

The young foreign boy nodded slowly.

Edward leaned forward on the overstuffed chair, tapping his pipe on the stone of the fireplace and sweeping the ashes into the fire.

“What brings you to this little corner of nowhere, Count?” Edward asked, leaning back and refilling his pipe. He looked apologetically at Mr. Jarvison, “Sorry, no offense.”

“None taken, this is a small town, very small,” Mr. Jarvison agreed.

The Count took another puff on his cigar and slowly let the smoke escape his mouth, “I came to America on a diplomatic trip but I wanted to take some time to visit relatives.”

Mr. Jarvison sat up, beaming, “You have relations living here?”

Count Romanova slowly shook his head, “Living? No, sorry, I used the wrong word. I have… ” he waved his hand in the air causing ash to fall onto the arm of his chair, “ancestors here, in cemetery.” He pointed toward the graveyard.

Jake led Nikolai across the street and into the old graveyard. They walked through the old gravestones, many of which were so weathered that you couldn’t read the words engraved upon them. Jake spent many hours here the last few days walking the overgrown paths between the graves with his father. This place held little interest for Jake except for an ancient crypt that they were now approaching. It was a small stone building with vines growing up the walls towards the tiled roof. The most striking feature of this building was that along each wall there were a pair of statues that looked like they were emerging out of the stone surface. Each statue was of a creature with a bald head, pointy ears, and a mouth with razor-sharp teeth. His dad said they were ghouls, undead creatures that feast on the flesh of the living.

“What do you think?” Jake asked as they approached the crypt. He snuck a sideways glance, hoping to have scared the other boy but, instead, he looked amazed. The smaller boy slowly walked around the building, admiring each statue in turn. He then walked along each wall, running his hand along the stone surface as he went.

Nikolai turned to Jake and asked, “Where is the door?”

“Yeah, my dad wondered the same thing, weird, huh?” Jake replied.

Nikolai continued to walk around the building, examining each wall as he went. He finally stopped and waved at Jake, pointing at a brick in the wall. Jake walked over and bent close to discover that there were drawings etched into this brick, drawings his dad would have called runes. The more he looked, the more they seemed to shimmer. He began tracing them with his finger and he swore he felt them start to grow hot.

Jake took a step back to ask Nikolai if he had spotted any other bricks like this when his head started to buzz. The buzzing turned into a voice, deep inside his head. The voice began whispering six words over and over again. Six words that he did not understand. These words got louder and louder until they finally burst from his lips in a booming voice. “Custos secreta, praedo malum, aperire ostium,” Jake was unable to stop himself from chanting.

“Custos secreta, praedo malum, aperire ostium,” Jake heard a low hum coming from the wall in front of him.

“Custos secreta, praedo malum, aperire ostium,” The runes started to glow brightly.

“Custos secreta, praedo malum, aperire ostium!” Jake’s voice roared and the wall opened.

The Count tossed the remains of his cigar into the fireplace and looked over at Edward, “What brings you here?”

Edward leaned forward excitedly as if he has been waiting to answer that question all evening, “Well, in my day job, I am a history professor at the University of Chicago but my real passion is writing about the occult, magic, and the supernatural.” He took a puff off of his pipe and continued. “I was researching the Salem witch trials, trying to see if I could bring anything new to the table, when I uncovered a series of correspondence between two sisters, both witches. One, sadly, was convicted of witchcraft and perished in Salem,” he shook his head, “the other one wrote about her coven moving here to help protect witches against persecution.”

“Most intriguing,” said the Count. “Did they say how they would protect the witches?”

“I haven’t found many details on that,” Edward said, sounding annoyed, “except that it involved the undead.”

Mr. Jarvison looked around uneasily.

The secret door in the crypt’s wall swung open, revealing an empty room except for a steep staircase leading down. The air smelled stale and musty and there was an eerie silence. Jake looked at Nikolai who stared back, wide-eyed. Both boys both started forward, Jake in the lead.
The staircase ended in a stone door. Jake pushed against it until the door finally screeched open. The sound reverberated throughout the entire structure, sending chills down Jake’s spine. The room it revealed was dark, the light from outside barely penetrating several feet. Jake hesitantly stepped forward and flames shot around the room as a dozen torches flared to life. They revealed a large, circular room with a dozen stone doors around the perimeter. The floor was made of white marble with black marble inlays, creating a large pentagram. In the center of the pentagram stood an altar with a large leather-bound book sitting atop it.

“Wow… ” Jake exclaimed as he took in the sight. He looked back to check on Nikolai, who was a few steps behind him. Jake slowly moved forward, fascinated by the book. Almost without realizing it, he was standing in front of the altar, staring down at the large tome. He looked back and Nikolai was standing at the edge of the pentagram with one foot raised as if he was trying to decide if he wanted to cross over it or not. Jake turned back and reached out to touch the book.

The room exploded in white light and Jake was blinded as he heard Nikolai cry out in pain. A series of loud thumps shook the ground as the stone doors fell open. He looked up and saw black shapes moving behind each doorway. Jake turned and started to run toward the stairs. Nikolai was on the ground at the edge of the pentagram, withering in pain. As Jake paused to help Nikolai, he glanced around the room.

In each of the dozen doorways, a walking corpse emerged. Each dressed in filthy flowing white robes. Their skin was leathery and taunt across their face and hands. As they emerged from the darkness, they raised their heads as if they were searching for something, sniffing almost like dogs. Jake could hear the wet rattles of them inhaling deeply. The creatures didn’t look like the ones from the movies but he knew what they were, zombies.

Jake stood there, paralyzed with fear until the nearest zombie suddenly caught the scent of something in the air and whipped it heads around to stare at the two boys. A rune, carved into each of their foreheads, began to glow as they opened their mouths and moaned. Jake pulled Nikolai up and pushed him towards the stairs. Without taking another look behind him, he ran.

“Are there any of these… witches… still around?” the Count asked.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to find out. I believe that most of the original settlers were witches. I’ve been looking at genealogy records and, as far as I can tell, the last of their living relatives perished in a fire back in the late 1950s,” Edward said somberly.

“Yes, that was an awful thing,” Mr. Jarvison mused. “My family lived a few counties over when it happened. I was just a young child but I still remember the news accounts, very sad. Most of the town was attending some kind of meeting at the town hall when it caught on fire. Very few survived.”

All three men fell silent.

The two children burst from the crypt, sounds of heavy footsteps echoing from the darkness behind them. Jake paused a moment to try to get his bearings, the sun was going down and he was a bit confused on how to get back to the inn. Nikolai had kept running straight into the overgrown brush that had overtaken this part of the cemetery. Upon hearing footsteps at the top of the stairs behind him, Jake quickly followed.

‘Why did he have to run this way?’ Jake wondered as a sticker bush tugged at his clothes. He finally gave a great pull and fell back into a clearing. Getting up, he saw that he was the stone path that followed the 10-foot tall stone wall that surrounded the cemetery. Jake recognized some of the tall monuments and he knew where he was. Jake turned toward the right and ran along the path.

After a few minutes of running, Jake heard a scream coming from ahead of him. ‘They must have got Nikolai,’ Jake thought. He began to run faster.

The Count broke the silence suddenly, “Did you hear a noise? Something is not right.”

The other two men shook their heads, looking around the room.

“Ivan,” the count said quietly. The large man stepped forward out of the shadows, quiet as a mouse. “Go check on Nikolai”. Ivan nodded and glided off.

“Something is not right,” Count Romanova repeated himself, looking out the window into the growing darkness.

Jake ran faster than he had ever ran in his life. As the path turned toward the entrance, he tripped on a tree root and was sent flying. He hit the ground hard and rolled a few times before landing against a small tree. However, when he looked up, he realized that it wasn’t a tree, it was the legs of a large zombie. The undead creature looked down at him and, surprisingly, turned away and shambled on. Jake was stunned but flew back into action when he heard Nikolai cry out again, this time very close.

Jake looked around and saw Nikolai standing at the entrance to the cemetery, in the middle of a ring of five zombies. One had grabbed him by the arm and was lifting him up while the others reached out for him, the runes growing brightly on their forehead. Jake picked up a rotting tree branch for a weapon and started to move to help Nikolai. He stopped when he saw a huge shape come out of the darkness. He sighed with relief when he realized it was Ivan but the look of murderous rage on the big man’s face almost as scared him as the zombies did.

Ivan waded into the middle of the group of zombies with a ferocity that Jake had never seen before. Ivan tossed the zombies aside like they were rag dolls, striking them with thunderous blows that didn’t seem to do any real damage to them. When a creature was knocked down, they would rise back up and continue their assault. When three more zombies stumbled into view, Ivan pushed the two nearest ones down, picked up Nikolai, and ran back toward the inn.

Seeing the Ivan disappear back into the darkness jolted Jake into action and he ran after them.

The door to the inn crashed open and Ivan charged inside, still carrying Nikolai. Ivan’s suit was torn and his face and arms were covered with scratches. Jake ran in after them and slammed the door shut, locking it.

“Dad! Zombies!” Jake yelled.

“Uh, what?” Edward said leaping to his feet. Right then, the window behind Edward exploded inward. Undead hands clawed at the window sill, trying to pull themselves into the room. Another window was smashed and loud thumping shook the front door as the dead tried to break it down.

“Oh my! What is going on?” yelled a terrified Mr. Jarvison.

Ivan ran to hold the front door as Edward grabbed a lamp and started hitting at the arms reaching into the den. They could hear glass breaking in other rooms of the house.

Mr. Jarvison finally snapped and ran out of the den. He let out a terrified scream as a zombie lurched out of the dining room in the reception area. It ignored Mr. Jarvison as it shambled toward the Count, the rune on its forehead glowing brighter with each step.

“The runes!” Edward yelled, pointing at the glowing brand on a zombie’s forehead. “Some powerful magic created these things.”

“Can you stop them?” Jake said, fearing the answer.

“Not without knowing the spell used to animate them,” Edward yelled back, using the lamp he to push a zombie off the window sill.

“Jake, the book!” Nikolai yelled, trying to help his father who was struggling with the zombie from the dining room.

“Yeah, dad, there is some kind of spell book or something in that weird crypt in the graveyard,” Jake said to his father.

“That may be our only chance,” Edward shot back. “Count! We need to get to the crypt, now!” he yelled.

The Count, who was holding his own against the zombie, yelled out, “Ivan, to me! We need to get to the graveyard.” Ivan rushed over and toss the zombie attacking the Count outside, through a broken window. Just as Ivan turned back to the front door, it burst open and three more zombies began to stumble in. Ivan ran and leaped, knocking them back outside.

“Go, go!” yelled Edward as everyone ran toward the front door.

The next ten minutes seemed like a nightmare to Jake. Ivan was an unstoppable tank, running through the dark, knocking over any creature in his way. The rest of the group followed in his wake, trying to keep up. Once in the graveyard, Edward pointed the way to the crypt.

The small party entered the crypt and ran down the stairs to the large, marble room. Edward ran over to the book on the altar. Ivan stood with his back pressed up against the door, waiting for any sign of the undead creatures. The Count and his son stood just off to the side of Ivan, backs to the wall.

Something felt off to Jake but he didn’t know what it was. He watched his dad quickly flip through the book, struggling to understand the words on the pages. Jake tried to connect the pieces, there was something he couldn’t put together.

“Wait, I think I got it… ” Edward said, almost to himself. He began reading the words from the book in a loud, booming voice.

The undead began pounding on the door and Ivan, muscles bulging, struggled to keep the door shut.

The ground began to shake and a wind started to rip through the chamber. Howls of anger and pain roared from behind the door as the undead intensified their attack.

Something finally clicked in Jake’s mind. ‘The zombies ignored me and Mr. Jarvison. The runes grew brighter when they get closer to the Count and his son… ’

“Dad, stop! The zombies aren’t after us, they are after them!” Jake yelled, pointing at the Count, who looked back at Jake with a wide grin.

Edward showed no sign of hearing his son. He kept chanting and as he chanted, his voice grew even louder and the tremors became more powerful. When Edward reached the end of the spell, the black marble of the pentagram burst into flames. The pounding on the door ceased as a silence descended over the room.

Edward leaned against the altar, exhausted. Ivan opened the door and only empty robes littered the floor, no sign of the zombies. Jake started to run to his father when the ground began to vibrate. The white marble floor started to crack as clawed hands began digging their way out of the ground.

“What?” Jake exclaimed, “more zombies?”

“Oh no,” the Count remarked, “these are the relatives I spoke of earlier, my ancestors.”

The Count laughed as he began to change. His face elongated while his teeth grew sharp. His hair disappeared while his ears grew larger and more pointed. He became one of the creatures from the statues on the outside of the crypt, he became a ghoul. Ivan and Nikolai also began to revert to their true selves.

“Those meddling witches kept my family imprisoned for hundreds of years. When we discovered them, we took our revenge and burned them all but we needed someone pure of heart to open the crypt, someone like your son,” said the count, running his tongue over his razor-sharp teeth. “We also needed another fool to undue the spell of protection and destroy those pesky undead guardians of theirs,” he said, gesturing back towards the white robes. “It took a bit of planning but we were finally able to forge those letters to draw you here.”

Dozens of ghouls were slowly extracting themselves from the ground, their shinning eyes looking hungrily at Jake and Edward.

“I do hope you will join us for dinner,” the Count bellowed, laughing.

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Jun 23, 2021
Ep.88 – Dead Ahead - All Roads Lead to DEATH and REVENGE
00:25:26

Episode Notes

A late night drive goes deadly wrong, but now with the help of some black magic things could go from dead to worse.

Dead Ahead by Joe Solmo

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

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Transcript:

“Becca! Don’t come out here with your witchy bullshit!” Tom yelled as he threw another shovel full of dirt behind him. “If you want to help, get in here and help me dig.” “It’s not witchy bullshit. I’m telling you this is bad. A person died. We did it. This is going to come back on us three-fold. This is a lot of negative energy,” Becca said pushing her long brown hair behind her ear. Her boyfriend Tom was in a hole about three feet deep and getting deeper by the second. “Come take your turn. I need a break. It’s a lot harder than they make it look in the movies,” Tom said.  “I told you I want no part in this,” Becca replied taking a step back into the chilly night. “You already are a part of this. You are just as guilty as I am. This poor bastard died because of both of us,” Tom retorted clanging the shovel off the corpse laying on the damp ground. “I wasn’t the one driving!” Becca said, wiping a tear from her eye. “And I suppose your next excuse is going to be you had your mouth full and couldn’t see over the wheel, right?” Tom sneered. “Look neither of us wanted this, but we have to take care of it. Do you know what would happen if we went to the cops?”  “Yeah, I know. We are wanted. Look, I don’t want to go to jail for murder either,” Becca argued. “Murder? Who said anything about murder? It was an accident. We might get manslaughter, but surely not murder,” Tom responded pulling himself out of the hole and wiping his brow. His blond hair dirty with the earth he had been tossing. “This will have to be deep enough.” “What if someone finds the body?” Becca asked. “No one would give a fuck. This is Jersey.” “I think you’ve watched too many mob movies,” Becca said and turned away from the grave. She looked at the car, sitting just off the road enough into the pines to be hidden from the traffic. Her blue eyes focused on the dent in the passenger side bumper, and the blood that stood out starkly on the white paint.  They were never going to get away with it, she thought. There was just too much evidence. They should have just called the cops when they hit that jogger. One thing was for sure, it was the last time Tom was going to talk her into road head. “Becca, are you even paying attention?” Tom asked. She turned around and saw him standing there with the jogger’s arms in his hand. “Come on, help me swing him into the hole,” he finished impatiently. “I told you I don’t want that negative energy,” she said crossing her arms in defiance. “I told you that witchy bullshit has to go. We have been dating almost a year now and I haven’t seen you do shit with it. So, unless you are going to wiggle your nose and lift the corpse into the grave, get your ass over here and lift this bastard with me,” Tom said tossing the jogger’s arms down onto the damp earth. Becca rolled her eyes. With a sigh she gave in and walked around to the jogger’s feet. She grabbed his ankles and looked at Tom, waiting. “Well, are we doing this?” she asked. Tom grabbed the other end and together they put the jogger into the open grave. She looked at the mangled person lying there, wondering what kind of life he had had before they had taken it from him. Did he have a family? Was someone looking for him?  Her thoughts were interrupted when the jogger’s face got a shovel full of dirt. She looked up at Tom and saw him in a new light. This was too easy for him. She wondered if this was the first time he had to bury a body. She really didn’t know much of his past. He never spoke about his life before they met last year. She knew he wasn’t Mr. Right, more of a Mr. Right Now. One that got her out of a bad situation. If she was being honest, he was a bit of an asshole. “Don’t worry, I got this,” he said as he continued to throw dirt into the grave.  “We only have the one shovel. You want me to use my hands” she snipped at him. “Why don’t you go wait in the car then,” Tom responded. “I was going to say a few words when we were done. Nothing much, but something should be said.” Tom scoffed. “I’ll say something, don’t worry about it.” “Sometimes you can be a real jerk, you know that?” she said and stormed off sullenly to the car, she plopped in the passenger seat, slamming the door.  “You like him so much maybe you should give him head too, I think it’s going to get real stiff soon,” Tom yelled smacking the corpse again with the shovel. Becca could hear it ring out even from the car.  She reached under the seat and found her bag. She dug inside for a cigarette, just to take the edge off. She pulled out a worn paperback.  Payback Rituals and Spells of Revenge. She remembered that her friend Amanda let her borrow it. They had found it in her mother’s items after her suicide. That was just before she left town with Tom. She thumbed through it while waiting. The Revenant: The dead with a mission. Bring a recently deceased person back to right the wrong of death. This is a gray area of balance with nature. On the one hand, it disrupts death, but it can help the soul reach peace through resolution. The weight of this ritual can weigh heavy on one’s soul. Caution should be used while contemplating this ritual. Haste will be your enemy. “Ha. Would serve the asshole right if I brought that jogger back. Teach him a lesson. I’m the only one stupid enough to miss him, and it would absolve my guilt,” Becca said to the empty car. “Haven’t done shit with it…” “Hey babe, I’m all done just going to say a few words,” Tom yelled as he unzipped his zipper. A steaming stream landed on the newly packed earth. “Ooohhh. Awwwww. Those enough words for ya?” he called over his shoulder. “That son of a bitch,” Becca said and got out of the car, but instead of heading towards him, she went off into the woods alone with her bag. “Where you going? It was just a joke!” he called out as he shook out the last drops. “Come on babe!” Tom chased off after her into the woods. “Babe?”  He heard a few twigs snap off to his left, he turned in that direction but it was too dark to make anything out. She was heading farther into the barrens away from the highway.  “Okay. You made your point. Come back and do a real Eulogy. I won’t interrupt, I promise!” Tom called out into the night. Was that a flashlight ahead? He sighed and headed towards the light he saw. Becca was on her knees in a small clearing, illuminated not only by the moonlight above, but by her flashlight laying on the dew-covered grass in front of her. She was saying something over and over again in a whisper that Tom couldn’t make out. “Babe?” he said shining his light on her back, casting her shadow on the trees around them. “It’s done, we can leave now.” Becca opened her eyes and turned her head. Quickly she placed some objects into her bag before he could see what they were. “Be right with you,” she said and stood up, wiping off her stockings. She reached down for her bag, but his hand on hers froze her in place. “What were you doing out here with your bag?” he asked, intensely meeting her gaze. “I had to use the bathroom and I didn’t want to do it close to the highway,” Becca replied and pulled her hand away from his. She clutched her bag to her chest with one hand and gestured with the other. “Lead the way!” she finished sarcastically. “You know, sometimes you can be a real bitch. You better get that in check before I leave your ass for a younger model,” he said as he led the way back towards the car.  “I doubt you could find someone that would put up with your shit for very long.” Tom turned and faced her. “I’m serious. Your looks will only get you so far. You better drop that attitude…before I drop you,” he threatened. “Are you kidding me? You’re threatening me?”  “It’s not a threat, it’s a promise,” he said and stared at her for a few seconds. When she didn’t respond, he turned back into the woods and continued on. “That’s the most cliché saying,” Becca mumbled under her breath, but followed Tom into the night.  She heard the words Tom spoke again, but this time it wasn’t his voice, it was her father’s. The threats and beatings that she had been suppressing came rushing back. She remembered the last time he spoke those words to her. It was just a little over one year ago, she had come home from Amanda’s house where they were studying for the History final. She came in through the back door into the kitchen. It was seven p.m. and she had not eaten since lunch. She bumped into the dish rack sending a steak knife onto the floor. She closed her eyes and froze, hoping her father had not heard. Becca remembered opening her eyes and then rummaging through the cabinet for something to eat. Her eyes lit up when she found a box of cereal. In her haste to eat, she dropped the box scattering the flakes across the linoleum floor. Her father entered the room a second later and saw the mess on the floor. “What is this? Clean this up!” he yelled as he made his way to the fridge for another beer. At this time of night, he was probably on his fifth. She tried to walk past him to get the broom from the closet, but her father’s large hands stopped her. He threw her down to the floor. “I said clean this up, you clumsy bitch!” “I was getting the broom!” she said, looking up at him through tear-blurred eyes.  “I didn’t say get the broom, I said clean this shit up!” her father yelled and kicked her arm that she was leaning on. Her face dropped down onto the floor among the cereal. She blinked the tears away and saw in front of her the knife she had dropped earlier. Becca sat up on the floor, placing the steak knife under her so that he didn’t see it. She looked up at her father as he cracked open his fresh can of beer. He turned towards her.  “You’re so hungry. Eat it off the floor,” he said and pushed her back down. “Eat it, you pig or I swear to God I will end you!” “Are you threatening me?” “That’s not a threat, slut. That’s a promise,” her father said. Becca gripped the knife hard and stabbed her father in the thigh. He cried out and dropped his beer. With his other leg he kicked her. She had the knife gripped so tight she pulled it out of him as she fell back. “What did you do, bitch? I will kill you!” she remembered him saying before she had lost control. The next thing she remembered was her father laying in a strange pool of blood, cereal, and beer on the floor. He was still.


Becca came out of it as they neared the car. Tom threw the shovel and flashlight into the trunk and walked around to the driver’s side as Becca stood there, trying to make the image leave her mind.  “What’s wrong with you?” Tom asked. Becca looked towards the shallow grave with a look of disappointment before turning back to Tom. Was she going to actually get back into his car after what he said? She looked at Tom and saw her father’s face. She tried to shake that image. This time it was different, this time it wasn’t self-defense. Just Tom being an asshole. She had her doubts that he would actually hit her.  A twig snapped in the woods and both of them turned towards the sound. In the darkness something stirred. “Who’s out there?” Tom called. The only response was the sound of a heavy footfall. Becca’s hair started to stand on the back of her neck and she got an uneasy feeling. She tried to get in the car, but it was locked. “Tom?” she said unevenly. Tom didn’t answer, his eyes transfixed on the image before him. In the flashing lights from the passing cars on the highway Becca caught a glimpse of the man approaching.   Another loud footfall from the man, as he dragged behind him the broken leg inside the bloodstained pair of sweatpants. Becca looked on in horror at the twisted neck and the head lolling to one side. Did it actually work? “Tom, open the door. Let’s get out of here,” Becca said, second guessing what she had done. It looked so wrong as it moved towards them. “One sec babe,” Tom said and pulled out the pistol he kept tucked into the back of his jeans. “I think this asshole wants to play.” “TOM! Unlock the fucking door,” she begged as fear tears started to flow. Her heart was pounding in her ears.  Tom took a step closer to the reanimated jogger. “That’s far enough, asshole. It was an accident. I am sure you can appreciate that. Let’s go get a beer and talk this over,” Tom said aiming the pistol at the joggers head. “Tom. He won’t listen!” Becca yelled in fear. She ran to the trunk of the car. Luckily Tom had not shut it, and she grabbed the shovel. Beside the shovel in the truck was a hunting knife. She tucked the blade into her belt and hefted the shovel as she came around the car. Tom came into view just in time for her to see the jogger lunge at him, he fired a shot off. They fell to the ground, the jogger on top, his head flopped around as they struggled, but its hands were wrapped around Tom’s neck. She cried out and ran over to help. She swung the shovel and hit the jogger in the back, to little affect. A few more swings made no difference. In her frustration she threw down the shovel and kicked the jogger, who fell off the side of Tom, but didn’t let go of his neck. Becca could hear Tom trying to gasp for air. She grabbed the jogger’s arms and tried to pull them off of Tom, but the grip was too strong, Tom was going to die. She did this, she called the revenant back from the grave. She should have known better. The witchy bullshit was going to kill Tom.  He could no longer say she didn’t do shit with it. Just then Becca had an epiphany. Tom was going to die. The thing was busy with Tom! She scrambled into Tom’s pants pockets and found the car keys. She jumped to her feet and ran to the car. She fired up the engine and threw it in reverse. With a final look at Tom, who was now still, she punched the gas and backed towards the highway.  Tom never let her drive, but she had seen it enough to figure it out. The car bounced over the uneven ground as she sped in reverse towards the lights behind her. Once she was on the side of the road, she spun the car around and threw it into drive. She pulled out onto the highway cutting off a truck who blared its horn at her. She opened an energy drink Tom had bought earlier but left on the seat unopened and took a swig. There was going to be a new Becca now. One who took no one’s shit. 


Later that evening Becca sat at the small motel table in her room. She was going through the loot they had accumulated over the past year. She found a bag of cash that she didn’t know about and had just finished counting it. Twelve thousand dollars was a lot of money. More than she had ever seen. Why did Tom always tell her they were broke? There was a bang on the door. It must be the pizza I ordered, she thought and rose from the chair. Another bang on the door before she could reach it. “I’m coming,” she called out, grabbing a twenty from the table. She was going to tip big, why not share her good fortune? She opened the door and dropped the cash. Standing on the other side was her father, and the jogger.  “No,” her mouth formed to say, but no noise came out. She took a step back into the room in horror of what she was looking at. With arm extended they entered, grasping for her. “No! Why are you here? Tom was driving!” she said to the jogger then looked into her father’s dead eyes. “You deserved what you got, you son of a bitch! There is no revenge for you,” she said in defiance. Becca was a new woman and wasn’t going to take shit from her father alive or dead. She reached behind her and pulled the hunting knife out of her belt. The revenants charged her knocking her back onto the double bed with their mass. She could smell the grave on her father as he climbed on top of her. There wasn’t enough room for her to swing the knife. In desperation, she moved the blade between them. She turned the tip downwards, towards her own chest and plunged it in. She didn’t want her father to get his revenge, he should suffer. She smiled as the pain flooded her. She felt herself getting weak and with a last act of defiance, spit blood into her father’s face before succumbing to her wound.

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Jun 16, 2021
Ep.87 – Summer Slaycation! - What's on the Other Side of the Lake?!
00:29:58

Episode Notes

Something is going on on the other side of the lake from camp, and whatever it is it seems to be hungry for children...

Summer Slaycation by David O'Hanlon

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Jun 09, 2021
Ep.86 – Catalyst - A KILLER is Born!
00:38:31

Episode Notes

The so called "Angel of Death" has been killing lots of criminals in Strickfield, but how did she start and who can possibly catch her?!

Catalyst by Rob Fields

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Transcript:

Drake Kazmierczak had been on the road for a few hours. He had packed up and left his job as a detective at the Erie City Police Department. He was on his way to Strickfield to take an opening for a detective within their police department. Although Drake’s uncle, Jeffrey, was the chief of police, he didn’t actually take the job to be closer to his uncle – and Drake was very close to Uncle Jeffrey. No, he had a pretty good idea that a certain Angel of Death was currently residing in Strickfield; his months of research had told him that it was a good eighty-seven percent certainty.  Drake tightened his grip on the steering wheel as he wondered how many guilty people the Angel of Death had taken. He knew it was many hundreds! It angered Drake every time the Angel of Death made the news. However, it never really got to him until the day he picked up a copy of the North Ridgeway Press and read about how the Angel of Death had claimed Annie Judge.  Drake had known that Annie Judge was not a perfect woman by any stretch, but Annie was the love of his life. The two of them had shared so much in the many years that they were together. He came to know that Annie was carefree and uninhibited, qualities that he loved about her. However, when Drake had accepted his badge, he had accepted the law. It was this, along with what he had discovered about Annie’s darker tastes that would permanently drive a wedge between the two of them.  And then he recalled the events that he had read about in the newspaper . . .   

Four Years Ago

Raigen Devereux walked into North Ridgeway High School. She walked into first period and took her usual seat.  “Hey, Raige, you gonna show us your tits after we win the game tonight?” Jagger Nelson called out to her.  Raigen turned to see the sneers of Jagger and the other football players. She responded by raising her middle finger. “You can’t even catch a football, Jagger. What makes you think you can handle my tits?” The other girls in the class cheered for this witty cheerleader.  Just then, Raigen turned and gave her full attention to Annie Judge as she entered the classroom. She had been teaching many of the A.P. math subjects for the last several years. She almost always wore the same outfits: a blouse, a long skirt or pants, and loafers. Her face was a perfect oval with long blond hair and blue eyes. She always wore blush and matching lipstick. It was easy to see why guys appreciated her, even at thirty-six years old.  Raigen came to know that she made damn good money, not referring to just her teacher’s salary. Raigen knew that Annie had a second life as a self-employed prostitute and drug pusher. But she didn’t go to other cities to sell her body. No, she sold her body to students at North Ridgeway High School, ones who could afford to pay her prices for fucking them, or students she desired to prey upon – legal age or not.  Raigen came to know this information for two reasons. One, Miss Judge lived two blocks down the street from Raigen. Two, a month ago, Raigen saw a police car parked in Annie’s driveway, flashers on. Raigen couldn’t listen to the conversation, but her mother was a detective on the police force and was there that night. Raigen’s mother usually told her about what was going on in the privacy of their home, because she knew her daughter always kept her mouth shut. Raigen learned about the anonymous tip about the drug activity that was taking place at Annie Judge’s house. Nothing was found, however, in spite of the search warrant. It seemed that Annie Judge was always steps ahead of the police.  Two weeks later, Raigen was out walking and had seen a police car at Annie Judge’s house again. Again, Raigen’s mother was on the scene. Raigen would later learn that Michelle Bailey, at fellow student at her high school, had recently gone missing. After Raigen’s mother had questioned several students, a few of them said Miss Judge__ was the last one to talk to her. In fact, the two of them seemed to be really close by the end of the last school year. It was then Raigen’s mother had told her that Michelle’s parents had filed a missing person’s report that Annie Judge would become Raigen’s top priority. Raigen’s mother had told her about the last night that Michelle Bailey was seen. It was at Skate World where Raigen’s mother had been told Michelle was picked up by a woman matching Annie Judge’s description, in a green Ford Fusion. Raigen knew that Miss Judge had such a car.  Since Raigen had access to her mother’s computer, she was able to look into Annie Judge’s record, but she found no priors. Raigen knew that the police couldn’t keep detail on Miss Judge, because who was to say that she might not file a harassment lawsuit against them. No, Raigen would have to take matters into her own hands.  This was a job for the Angel of Death! 

The next afternoon, Annie Judge opened her front door to a nice surprise. “Raigen Devereux? What brings you to my home?” Raigen faked a smile and held up a printout. “This is my school schedule. You’re going to be my math teacher again – Calculus. I wanted to ask you some questions about the class, but I obviously came at a bad time.” Annie wore a white bikini that left very little to the imagination. She didn’t have a pool out back but looked a little wet from both sweat and suntan lotion. Raigen wore a blue tank-top with thin shoulder straps, white short shorts with a leather belt, and sandals.  Raigen expected Annie to just politely dismiss her, but she stepped aside and motioned for her to come in. After closing the door, she turned to Raigen. “What can I help you with?”  Raigen reached into her purse and came up with a second printout and a calculator. “It says here that you’re requiring a mathematical calculator. Are you sure this calculator won’t be okay for Calculus?” As Annie took her calculator, Raigen noticed that she was checking her out – especially her endowed upper body. Then she pointed to the sheet. “These are graphing calculators. Yours is a scientific calculator. In Calculus, you’re required to present graphs to show your work.” “Okay, I’ll go to Office Depot and buy one.” As Annie handed Raigen back her calculator, she took hold of her left hand and held it. She finished by folding Raigen’s fingers over the calculator, caressing them as she did.  “You’re a very bright student, Raigen.” She gestured to the kitchen. “Can I offer you something to drink?” “Sure,” Raigen replied. “Ice water, please.” Annie led Raigen to the kitchen, which had many top-of-the-line appliances.  “I was about have some iced tea,” she said.  “Well, I’d hate to impose . . .” “It’s not imposing if I’m offering.”  “Okay.” Annie pulled two glasses out of her cupboard. She opened the refrigerator and bent down to retrieve the iced tea, making sure Raigen saw her almost-naked rear. She stood up straight and closed the refrigerator. Annie poured the tea and handed Raigen a glass. Raigen waited until Annie drank first, which she did. Raigen tasted the sweetened black tea with a hint of lemon. Annie motioned for Raigen to come into the living room. They sat down on the couch.  Raigen drank her tea. “You have a really nice house, Miss Judge. You also have a very nice tan.” Annie stood up. “I want show you something.” Raigen put her glass down, got up, and followed Annie into the hallway. When they stopped, Annie gestured to an open doorway. Raigen looked inside to see a tanning bed.  “I can tan all I want, and it pays for itself.” Annie took Raigen’s hand. “Come on.” Raigen was given a tour of the house. The more she saw, the more she knew that there was no way Annie could afford everything on her teacher’s salary alone. Raigen’s mother made better money as a detective, but even she didn’t have these luxuries.  Still holding Raigen’s hand, Annie led her to the bedroom at the end of the hall. Thanks to Raigen’s highly photographic memory, she now knew every room and the objects in them. As Raigen examined the bedroom, Annie gently turned her against the wall and kissed her. Raigen’s plan to investigate Annie hadn’t included this! She would have to indulge Annie as much as possible until she could determine her connection to Michelle Bailey’s disappearance.  As they kissed, Raigen let Annie undress her. Annie truly admired Raigen’s naked form, especially her upper body. “I imagine only a select few have seen these.” Raigen acted giddy. “Wow, Miss Judge, I never knew you liked girls.” She bit on her lower lip a little. “What now?” Annie eased Raigen onto the bed and then removed her own bikini. Raigen realized that Annie truly meant to have sex with her and knew she could not let that happen. Annie came onto the bed with her. Raigen let Annie kiss her again as she fondled her large breasts.  Suddenly, something was beeping. Annie immediately stopped kissing Raigen and got off her. “You stay right here.”  Annie went to her purse that was sitting on the dresser and removed her smartphone. Raigen saw her type in her password. Now she was texting someone. When she was finished, she locked her phone and put it down. She slithered back onto the bed, got on top of Raigen, and began kissing her again.  As Annie was about to touch Raigen’s sex, she quickly turned away.  “Raigen, what’s wrong?” Raigen acted afraid. “I’ve never been with a woman before.” Annie turned Raigen onto her back again. “You kiss just fine.”  “I do like that. But . . . I don’t think I’m ready to go all the way yet.” Just then, the doorbell rang. Annie groaned. “Jesus Christ!” She got off the bed. “I’m expecting a delivery.”  Annie went and put on a robe and flip-flops. She pointed at Raigen as she was walking out. “Don’t you move.” Annie left the bedroom but didn’t take her smartphone. Raigen got off the bed and snatched it. After entering Annie’s password, she went into the text messages. Jagger Nelson’s number was here, the jock who had commented on Raigen’s breasts earlier that morning. Actually, Annie was just texting with him. Jagger said he had taken care of their little problem and that it was buried away.  Then Raigen saw the names of other North Ridgeway High students. But only one got Raigen’s undivided attention.  Michelle Bailey! Raigen read through that conversation and knew that she had hit gold! The exchange was about how Michelle had evidence and would expose everything, unless Annie agreed to honor their bargain. Annie told Michelle to come over. Raigen saw that Michelle and Annie had had plenty of other exchanges. The last one was just around the time that Detective Devereux had said that the Baileys reported Michelle not coming home on that first night.  When Raigen heard Annie finishing up with the delivery man, she quickly wiped her fingerprints from the smartphone and replaced it exactly the way it was before. She quickly drew back the covers and got into bed.  Annie entered the room and smiled. “Well, look at you.” “Is everything okay?” Raigen asked innocently.  “Fine . . . Just fine.”  Annie’s smartphone went off again. She spun around and snatched it up. After reading the text, she was annoyed. “Raigen, honey, I need to take off for a little bit. You can stay in bed until I get back.”  Raigen feigned a yawn. “I guess I’ll keep it warm for us.” She turned and faked falling asleep. She heard Annie moving into her walk-in closet and getting dressed. Before she left the room, she lowered herself and kissed Raigen’s cheek.  Raigen waited until Annie was gone before she got out of bed to investigate. Annie had taken both her purse and her smartphone. Raigen got dressed and found her own purse. She pulled out a pair of plastic gloves and put them on to begin her investigation. After coming up with nothing, Raigen remembered that Annie was smart enough to outmaneuver the police. Then she remembered there was one door near the hallway Annie hadn’t shown her. She went to it and saw that it was locked – with a deadbolt.  Raigen dug her lock-picking tools out of her purse and returned to the door. It took her under a minute to pick the deadbolt. She turned on the light and went down into the basement, taking a chance on the possibility of cameras.  Raigen looked around and saw it was an ordinary live-in basement. She didn’t detect any cameras. She examined the laundry room in a far corner, and then the pantry. Nothing special. She looked around the main room. Just a couple of couches and an HDTV with a nice surround sound setup. It struck Raigen odd that there were no movies on any of the shelves, just math books.  What had the police missed when they searched this house?  Then Raigen understood . . . Nothing had been disturbed in most of the rooms, nor down in the basement. Raigen was sure that Annie let the police go through every room in the house.  But they didn’t look hard enough!  Raigen took a math book off the closest shelf and opened it. Nothing! She opened a second one. Still nothing! She opened a third . . . Paydirt! Inside the hollowed-out opening were little Zip-Lock baggies of pure pharmaceutical grade ecstasy. She closed the book and put it back, along with the other two. She opened another book to find more little drug baggies – mollies. When she closed the book, she saw that the two drug books were geometry books. She opened another geometry book to find amphetamines. She put the book back.  But what was the connection to Michelle Bailey?  Raigen did more investigating. And then she found a Scooby-Doo clue along the wall in between the two corner rooms, a dusty footprint – half of one.  Raigen put her hands on the sides of the full-length picture and pulled. The right side gave way. She opened the picture to reveal a room that was right out of Fifty Shades of Grey. She entered and saw the many sexual aids, the king-sized bed, and the physical medium that lined almost every shelf. On the spines of the discs were names – including Michelle Bailey. She took the case and opened it to reveal the disc inside. She took the disc and put the case away.  Then Raigen discovered the backpack in the corner and looked inside to find a couple of schoolbooks, which belonged to Michelle Bailey. Next to the backpack was Michelle’s purse containing critical evidence: her wallet with her student ID . . . and her smartphone! Raigen knew that Miss Judge would be back at any time. She would have to get home and examine her acquisitions – stat! She returned everything as it was left and went back upstairs. After relocking the deadbolt, she left Annie a note saying that something came up and would make it up to her later.  Raigen made it home and went to her bedroom. She turned on her TV and disc player. She put the disc inside and played it to see a homemade porno of Annie, Jagger Nelson, and Michelle Bailey. Raigen knew that Michelle Bailey didn’t even have her driver’s license yet. And these two were both having full-blown sex with this young girl.  Raigen turned Michelle’s smartphone on, quickly hacked the login screen, and went right to the text messages app. Again, some interesting names – just like on Annie’s smartphone. Miss Judge and Jagger Nelson were both contacts.  The conversations she read were quite intense. At one point, she was really into their sex that was on the disc. As she read more, Michelle mentioned that she was pregnant.  Raigen looked at the thread with Miss Judge. Michelle asked for more of her special stuff. Some of the words here were misspelled badly; Raigen determined that Michelle had become a drug addict. She got her confirmation when one of the text bubbles asked what Annie had shot her up with.  Suddenly, Raigen heard screaming and looked back to the screen to see a different video of Jagger just abusing Michelle as Annie edged him on. She fast-forwarded the video and kept her eyes open for anything unusual. Ultimately, Michelle hadn’t been killed in any of the videos, but she had been sexually abused time and again. At the ends of the latter scenes, Jagger had injected Michelle with what was probably pure heroin.  Raigen now knew that Annie preyed on her students – underage or not. When a student would likely need help in one or more of her math classes, Annie would offer to tutor the student herself at her own house, which was not against school rules. The study sessions probably started off innocently enough. Then she would make her move on the student, much like she did with Raigen. The students that succumbed to her charms would eventually end up on those discs down in that secret room.  In the case of Michelle Bailey, she was an easy lure into Annie’s web. She found herself sharing in drugs, then sex not long after. Michelle became hooked on heroin and needed Annie to keep providing it. The price was her body, which both Annie and Jagger had abused time and again. Michelle became pregnant as a result of Jagger. Michelle attempted to blackmail either one or both of them, but she would discover that she was in way over her head.  Raigen needed confirmation and knew exactly how to get it!

Raigen was sitting on Annie’s steps to her side garage entrance when she pulled in. The garage door came down as soon as the car stopped. Annie got out of the car. “How did you end up in my garage, Raigen?”  Raigen pointed to the back doorway. “Unlocked.”  Annie unlocked the side door and opened it. When they were in, Annie closed the door and put her purse down. She snatched Raigen into her arms and gave her a long, lustful kiss. When it was finished, Raigen stepped back to catch her breath.  “You left me before, you naughty girl,” Annie purred.  Raigen pecked her lips. “Do you have any more of that iced tea? I’d like some before we fuck.” Annie laughed a little and walked to the refrigerator to get the pitcher of iced tea. She filled two glasses and handed Raigen one.  “I can’t stop thinking about you, Miss Judge,” Raigen said, in a lustful tone.  “I’ll teach you so much, honey.” Annie drank her tea.  Raigen took a little bit of iced tea into her mouth. When Annie had finished hers, Raigen spit the tea in her mouth back into the glass and put it down.  “Aren’t you going to . . . to drink your . . .” Annie slumped to the floor and was sleeping peacefully. 

Annie stirred. “Wha . . . wha . . . What the fuck?!” She began to struggle.  “Now is that any language for a school teacher, Miss Judge? Or should I simply call you Annie?” Annie stopped struggling. “Raigen?! What are you doing? I can’t see anything! Untie me!” Raigen turned on the lights. “What the fuck? This is – !” “That’s right, Annie. I found your little playroom. Nice thing about it: no windows – and soundproof.” Annie was bound to the bed with bungee cords. Raigen held up a soda can. “Oh, I hope you don’t mind since I drugged the iced tea.” After Raigen finished the soda, she slithered onto the bed and looked down into Annie’s face. “That’s quite a collection of homemade porn – with many underage students.” She raised a hand to her ear. “You hear that? That’s you and Stephanie Drabick out there on your TV.” She put her hand down. “Stephanie was a straight-A student. Eventually, she went wrong. The day she was expelled, she was coked out of her gourd.” Annie struggled to free herself again. “Your mother put you up to this! You knew she was over here – snooping around!” Raigen held up a copy of the local newspaper. “According to the Press, Michelle Bailey was reported missing. In other words, public knowledge. Mama doesn’t even know I’m here.” I leaned in. “Or what I’m about to do.” Annie stopped struggling and yelled, “Untie me, you little shit!” Raigen gave her an evil look, which made Annie gasp. “I’m hardly little. In fact, you’re about to satisfy my bloodlust.” She slithered back off the bed. “You’ve ruined many innocent students in our high school. Seeing all those discs, you’ve been doing it for years. And for what? To satisfy your insatiable appetite for sex?” Raigen moved to her table and picked up some photos. “I’ve been quite busy today, learning about what happened to Michelle Bailey.” Raigen turned the first photograph around and showed it to Annie, then another. “She was burned alive and buried in a forest outside North Ridgeway. You orchestrated the whole thing.” Annie was horrified. “How did you find out . . . ?”  “Where Michelle was buried? I didn’t know. That’s why I needed help.” Raigen raised her eyelid. “Since you enjoy having threesomes in your movies, how about we have a threesome? Oh, I have to change the disc. Be right back!” Raigen left the room and returned a few minutes later, with Jagger Nelson secured to a wheelchair. He was just in his boxer shorts. Annie gasped in horror. “What did you do to Jagger?!”   “Oh, you mean the cuts across his chest?” Raigen answered. “I tortured him until he told me everything. Jagger was your pawn in exchange for sex, drugs, and good grades. Guess that explains why he can’t play football for shit. Oh, and that disc you’re hearing now is the one with you, Jagger, and Michelle.” I raised my finger. “I know Jagger got Michelle pregnant.” Annie fired back, “She tried to blackmail me for money because she was pregnant!” “And you orchestrated her death; Jagger’s too drugged out and stupid to make plans like that.” I clasped my hands together. “Your days of being a sexual predator are over, Annie!” Annie gave Raigen a mocking look. “Oh, you going to call Mommy about Jagger and me? Go ahead! I’ll tell Mommy how sexy her little baby girl looks in her birthday suit. I’ll tell Mommy how nice and meaty your big, round tits felt in my hands. I’ll tell Mommy that you slept with your math teacher!” “Weren’t you listening, Annie? Mama will never know about tonight.” Raigen turned to her table and lit a candle. She picked up a spoon and a heroin packet. After mixing up the heroin, she prepared a syringe. “Okay, Jagger, let’s see how many of these it will take before you overdose. Jagger Nelson . . . let the punishment fit the crime!” Jagger struggled as Raigen attempted to tie a giant rubber band to his arm. She elbowed him in the face, dazing him. When Raigen finished preparing his arm, she administered the injection. Jagger was high in no time.  Raigen turned to Annie. “What you’re getting will be much worse.” Annie yelled and protested as Raigen prepared a second heroin syringe. As soon as it was ready, she administered it to Jagger. “There you go.” Jagger’s head slumped back; he would never move again. Raigen turned and picked up a gasoline can. She opened it and soaked Annie with the gasoline.   “Don’t do this, Raigen! Please! I am begging you!” Raigen pointed outside. “You hear that? That’s one of the scenes where Michelle begged you and Jagger to stop as you both sexually abused her again and again. Neither of you gave a fuck.” Raigen dropped the empty gas can. “Then Jagger doped her up. Here’s a mathematics question for you. What is the probability that one of your students might be a serial killer?” Annie finally opened her eyes after shaking the gas away from them. Then she looked at Raigen. “You are not a serial killer! You’re much too young!” Raigen took a ball gag from her table and secured it to her mouth. “I’m nineteen, Annie. I’ve been killing people since I was eight. It all started when a third-grade bully kept picking on smaller children on the playground at my elementary school. One day, he went too far and fatally stabbed another kid with a pocketknife. He needed to be punished. Getting a knife from the school kitchen was easy enough. Stabbing him once in the stomach during lunch period got the job done. No one even looked my way.”  Raigen picked up a box of matches. She took one out and lit it. “Annie Judge . . . let the punishment fit the crime!” Annie gasped when she saw Raigen’s evil face. “Oh, God! It’s you?! You’re the Angel of Death?!” Her speech was muffled, but Raigen understood her completely.  Raigen tossed the match at Annie. Her body was engulfed by fire almost immediately. Her screams were still muffled. Raigen stepped out of the room and watched her thrash wildly as she burned. Soon she stopped moving forever. Raigen got undressed and threw her clothes into the fire.  Raigen picked up a fire extinguisher and put the fire out. She didn’t want the evidence to burn up when the police would find the bodies. Raigen had been wearing plastic gloves when performing the murders. She had all of the books containing the drugs neatly stacked on the couches. The discs and the pictures would also be found.   Raigen used Annie’s lavish shower and cleaned herself good. From there, she dressed in her cheerleading outfit. She gathered her usual evidence of her being at the scene and took it with her. She would make her anonymous phone call to the North Ridgeway Police Department in a few days. In the meantime, she would dispose of her evidence and then be at North Ridgeway High School in time to cheerlead for the home football game.

Drake groaned as he realized he was now entering the village of Strickfield. He was still grief-stricken at what had happened to Annie Judge. Why, Annie? Where did you go wrong? Why couldn’t we have been happy? Then he focused on the Angel of Death. You had no right! NO RIGHT!! I know you’re here – in Strickfield! One way or another . . . I WILL FIND YOU AND PUT YOU AWAY!! That’s a fucking PROMISE!! Drake finally pulled in at the Strickfield Police Department and got out. He went inside to find his uncle waiting for him. “Drake . . . I was wondering when you’d finally roll in.” Drake smiled. “Uncle Jeffrey! Yeah, I just got here.” The two of them shared a brief hug. Then Jeffrey took Drake to his office and told him to have a seat.  “You settled here in Strickfield yet?” Jeffrey asked.  “I will. My apartment’s ready,” Drake confirmed. “I just have to get used to living here. My apartment’s near Strickfield University.” Jeffrey nodded. “You going to be okay with taking this job?” “You bet I am!” Drake declared. “I’m going to find the Angel of Death – and expose him!” Jeffrey sighed. “Drake . . . just one word of advice regarding the Angel of Death. Nobody, I mean nobody, talks about the Angel of Death here. We just don’t. Plain and simple. Now don’t go sticking your nose where it don’t belong. I offered you my open detective position because of your outstanding record when you worked in Erie City. You’re one of the two best detectives I know. Don’t make me regret bringing you on here.” Drake was irate. “Uncle Jeffrey, don’t you understand? The Angel of Death is a murderer! He’s literally taking the law into his own hands when he kills all these people.” Uncle Jeffrey shook his head. “Not people, Drake . . . criminals! Ones that the courts won’t touch. The Angel of Death is doing what we who are sworn to uphold the law can’t do.” Before Drake could further protest, Jeffrey raised his hand. “I don’t want to discuss the Angel of Death any further. Like I said, we simply do not talk about the Angel of Death here. That means you don’t either.” Just then, there was a knocking at the door. Chief Kazmierczak motioned for the girl to come in.  “You sent for me, Chief?” the girl asked.  “Drake, I would like you to meet Raige Devereux. She’s our college intern that I was telling you about. She’s also the other best detective that I know. Damn sharp mind on this one, much like you. She’s helped us solve all our toughest cases.” Then he looked her way, “Raige, this is my nephew, Detective Drake Kazmierczak. I’m going to stick you with him and let him shadow you from now on. I think the two of you will work very well together.” Drake barely heard a word of what Uncle Jeffrey had said to him. Once he had gazed upon this very beautiful angel, he was glad that he had come to Strickfield after all. 

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Jun 02, 2021
Ep.85 – Taco Tuesday - How HUNGRY Are You?!
00:29:29

Episode Notes

Who's hungry?! What could be less threatening than a taco? They're crunchy and delicious... and they certainly won't destroy your body and consume your soul or anything...

Taco Tuesday by Keith Tomlin

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

My god, what is happening to me?  I’m trapped in my own body.  I can feel myself moving, walking around but I am not in control.  Sometimes, if I concentrate hard enough, I can see out of my eyes but that is becoming harder and harder to do.  I occasionally hear bits and pieces of muffled conversation but, as time goes by, that too is fading away. All I know is that I am slowly losing my mind.  I don’t think I’m going crazy but my memories are fading away, losing all of the details that make up my life.  I mean, I know my name is John Davidson and that I was born in Ohio but I can’t quite remember what city.  I know it started with an ’S’.  Sandusky?  Springfield?  I just can’t remember.  My childhood is gone along with most of my high school and college days.  I know that I currently live in Columbus, Ohio but the rest of my life is like looking into a foggy darkness.  The only memories that are clear are the events that happened the last few days.  I’m afraid that if I don’t keep at least that much fresh in my mind, there will be nothing left of me.  I think it began a few days ago.  It was morning and I was standing in line at the coffee shop in the building in which I work.  I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes when I heard a cheerful voice behind me. “Do you know the best thing about Tuesday mornings?  It’s not Monday!” I turned to see a man in this 30’s, dressed in a nice suit, grinning broadly.  I didn’t recognize him but I figured he must be new here.  It’s an unspoken rule that you never talk to others in line, especially this early in the morning.  Regulars to the coffee shop know this and everyone follows this tradition. “Yeah, huh.  I know,”  I said.  Not my most eloquent statement but it was early and I was trying to walk that fine line between being polite and trying to discourage him from further conversation. I turned and faced forward, hoping this would signal my unwillingness to converse but I wasn’t surprised when he continued talking. “It should be a great day, super-duper!  It’s supposed to hit 75 degrees with no chance of rain,” said the jovial voice behind me.   I rolled my eyes, not turning around to look at him but giving a noncommittal nod and a low grunt. He continued, “I can’t believe that we’ll be stuck in an office on a day like this.” I made sure not to move a muscle, I didn’t want to send any hint of encouragement. “Say, pal,” he said, “you look like a man that enjoys a good taco.” Ok, I admit, this piqued my interest.  It was an odd thing to say to a stranger during the morning coffee rush.  It wasn’t just the words he said, it was also how he said it.  His voice had taken on an authoritative air and I had turned to face him without realizing that I had done so.  His eyes locked with mine and I could not look away. “Last night,” he stated, “I ate at this Mexican place that was out of this world.”  He sighed, a blissful look momentarily passing over his face before he continued.  “It’s a bit out of the way but, friend, it is worth the drive. Get the tacos.  Trust me, it will change.  Your.  Life.”  He pulled out a business card and handed it to me.  “Here’s the address, check it out.  You don’t want to live to regret it.” I took the card like a man in a daze.  I mumbled something and turned to face forward and realized that no one was between me and the counter.  The barista was asking if I was ready to order and, from the tone of this voice, this wasn’t the first time he asked.  I hurried to the counter and placed my usual order.  While waiting on my coffee, I took a look behind me and found that the man was gone.  I began to doubt that he was ever there until I felt the outline of a business card in my shirt pocket.   The rest of the morning blurred by as usual.  I had the same worthless meetings, the same meaningless tasks. I nodded when I was expected to nod and shook my head when I was expected to shake my head.  I had thought that working at an advertising agency would be glamorous, that I would come up with clever ad campaigns, pitch ideas to grateful clients, and sit in on photoshoots with beautiful models.  Instead, I’m the guy that makes the visual aids to use in other people’s presentations.  If the client likes it, it’s because the account executive had an amazing idea.  If the client hates it, it’s because I screwed up the layout.  Oh well, it’s not all bad, one time I got to pick out the font.   It wasn’t until lunchtime that I thought about that strange man again.  I had only a few minutes to grab lunch and I ran down to a burger joint on the corner.  As I bit into my sandwich, I realized that it tasted like cardboard.  The fries tasted the same way.  All I could think of was tacos and the thought of anything else sickened me.  I ended up throwing the hamburger and fries in the garbage and walking back to work, stomach growing.   The rest of the day, I could think of nothing except tacos; seasoned ground beef, topped with lettuce and cheese in a toasted shell.  My distraction showed and I was asked several times if I was ok, once by someone who actually seemed concerned.  I assured everyone I was fine and I somehow stumbled my way through the rest of the workday.  At 5:00 pm, I left work and immediately drove to my favorite Mexican restaurant.  As I parked the car, I realized that the thought of the tacos from this place turned my stomach.  I sat in my car confused, my stomach growled, demanding food, but the thought of eating here made me retch.  I finally remembered the business card in my pocket.  I grabbed it, ripping my shirt in the process, and looked at the address printed on the card.  I threw the car in gear and sped out of the parking lot.   I drove out of town and, after a 35-minute drive, I pulled into a parking lot in front of the restaurant listed on the card.  This strange building looked out of place, a one story structure made out of heavy gauge steel sheets, glowing with neon light.  It looked a strange sight, this neon monstrosity sitting at the edge of an empty field in the middle of nowhere.  My stomach ached, huger pains shooting up into my chest.  I quickly shut the car off and scurried inside.  I don’t remember much about the inside of the place.  I recall there was a strange-looking man, small and lanky, who lead me to a seat at a rough wooden table.  He slipped away without saying a word.  I also seem to recall other people, some writhing on the floor, but I can’t be sure that was real, everything seemed like a dream.  After a minute, or maybe an hour, the small man returned, bearing a plate full of tacos.  He placed the plate in front of me, nodded, and disappeared again.  Well, to be honest, he could have been standing next to me the whole time, I only had eyes for the tacos.  I quickly grabbed a taco and brought it up to my nose, taking a deep breath.  For a second, I thought I smelled rancid meat, mildew, and rot but that was quickly replaced by the tantalizing scent of taco meat so fast that I doubted I even smelled it in the first place.  Hands shaking with anticipation, I took my first bite.   Pure ecstasy.  My god, every nerve ending in my body seemed to explode with pleasure.  I was shivering so badly that I could barely hang onto the taco.  I could feel every inch of my body pulse with orgasmic delight.  I took a second bite and the feeling increased tenfold.  I could feel every hair follicle standing on end, each one so sensitive that any movement would send shivers of pleasure coursing throughout my entire body. I was so erect that I ached, my penis straining against my underwear so hard that I thought it would burst out of my pants.  Every breath I took stoked the fires of my pleasure; each movement sent waves of shivers down my spine.  I climaxed over and over and over again.  I slid down the chair, ending up on the floor.  I have no idea how long I laid there, twitching with the slightest breeze, sated and sore.  I eventually struggled to my feet and stumbled out of the restaurant but I have no recollection of driving home.   Next thing I know, my alarm is going off.  5:45 am.  I am still spent, every inch of my body aching.  The thought of moving sickened me, but after trying three times, I finally make it out of bed.  It never crossed my mind to call in sick, I was operating solely on autopilot.  I brushed my teeth, showered, shaved, dressed, and drove off to the office, all done in a daze, each movement born of repeated gestures I did thousands of times before. I didn’t snap out of it until I was standing in line at the ground floor coffee shop.  A coworker tapped me on the shoulder. “Damn, John, you look like shit.  Late night?” the man said.  It took me a moment to come up with a name for that face…  Steve, no, Stevens, Chad Stevens, from Accounting.  “Yeah, not feeling the best, Maybe food poisoning…” I mumbled.  As soon as I said poison, it was like flipping a switch.  My stomach started to rebel and my bowels turned to water.   I ran out of the coffee shop and stormed into the men’s room.  I dove into a stall, barely making it before I painted the back wall with what little was left in my stomach.  I quickly pulled down my pants and emptied my bowels violently.  My whole body broke out in a sweat, my suit sticking to my skin.  After several rotating rounds of puking and shitting, I finally felt a cold numbness come over my body.  I cleaned myself up as best I could and limped out of the restroom.  On the way out of the building, I vaguely remember a few people gasping when they saw me but I ignored everything except moving my foot to take the next step. Just like the night before, I didn’t remember the drive home.  My next clear memory was sitting on my bathroom floor, head hanging over my toilet, my body naked and covered in sweat.  I had no idea what time it was or how long I have been there.  All I knew is that I kept vomiting over and over, an endless heaving into the porcelain bowl.  There was nothing in my stomach to bring up but I kept retching.  My stomach was on fire, burning pain shooting up my torso.  I began puking up blood, first just a tinge of red in the bile that I was bringing up.  That tinge quickly turned into a crimson flood as I felt things inside me begin to tear.  The blood soon became chunky with bits of tissue as my body began to purge itself of its internal organs.  The chunks became larger and I struggled to pass bigger and bigger pieces.  The heaving became a torrent as my muscles locked up and I became a gruesome parody of a fountain statue that gushed blood and guts instead of water.  Time lost all meaning as I sat there frozen, watching my life’s blood spill out all over the bathroom floor.  Finally, after an eternity, the muscles let loose and I collapsed.  The searing pain had been replaced by a dull ache.  I lay there on the edge of unconsciousness until I felt a new pain, this time in my bowels.  Blood began to pour out of my ass as the whole process began again, this time from a different orifice.  I tried to scream but could only manage to weep.   Sometime later, I woke up.  I didn’t remember passing out but I must have been unconscious for quite a while.  The floor of the bathroom was a puddle of congealing blood and bits of flesh, already starting to crust over.  The buzzing of a dozen flies filled the air as I opened my eyes.  It took a second to realize that the pain was gone, replaced by an emptiness, a coldness, a dark void.  It was a very peculiar feeling, I could tell my body was freezing and I should be shivering with cold but I felt no discomfort.  The side of my head was stuck to the white tile floor and I had to struggle to peel my cheek from the carnage that trapped it.  This was repeated for every part of my body that was submerged in the mess and left me panting and weak.  My arms and legs shook with effort as I crawled to the bathtub and flopped over the edge of it.  Using the last of my energy, I turned on the faucet and flipped up the plunger to engage the shower.  I remember watching the water start to fall on my face as I blacked out once again.   My next conscious memory was standing in front of my dresser mirror, adjusting a blue and white striped tie.  Shocked, I looked down and realized that I was dressed in my one my nicer suits, my suit jacket neatly folded on the bed.  It was bright, the early morning sun was shinning through the bedroom window.  I started to leave the room but stumbled as I found it very difficult to make my legs move.  It was as if I had to concentrate on every movement, each step feeling as if it were my first ones.  I stumbled past the bathroom and stopped dead, looking at the immaculate floor.  There was no sign of the bloody mess I expelled.  I walked into the bathroom, frantically looking for any sign that it really happened, that I wasn’t going crazy.  Finally, as I tore the room apart, I found a thumbnail sized hunk of flesh stuck to the back side of the shower curtain.  Seeing that, I dropped down on the toilet seat and wept, not knowing if I was glad it wasn’t a dream or overwhelmed because I hoped it was.   I sat there for hours, until there were no more tears left.  I stood and moved over to the sink and splashed water on my face.  I wanted to cry again after I realized that I could not feel the temperature of the water.  I could tell it was wet but it could have been scolding hot or freezing cold, the temperature didn’t register on my skin.  I pinched the back of my hand and felt nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing, I could feel pressure, I knew that my fingernail was pressing hard into my skin but there was no pain, only numbness. I had to find out what happened to me and the only place I could think of to start was the taco restaurant.  As I walked through the house and out to the car, I began to relearn how to control my muscles, my legs started to lose their jerky motion as I continued to use them.  It took a few minutes of driving before I was able to lightly press the gas or brake pedal instead of jamming each one to the floor.  Jumping on the highway, I drove out of town, heading to the country, towards the restaurant.  I realized that thinking about those tacos did nothing for me, in fact, food in general held no interest, even though I would guess it’s been over a day since I ate.  I was not hungry, I was just… empty. After a half an hour or so, I pulled into the driveway of the restaurant, or at least where the restaurant had been.  Looking around now, all I saw was an old, dilapidated barn next to a corn field that stretched as far as the eye could see.  There was no doubt in my mind that this was the spot and yet, how could it be?  I got out of the car and wandered around the lot, looking for any sign of the restaurant.  The barn was filled with old farm equipment, rusty and tangled in weeds.  I made my way though the ancient junk to a rickety wooden ladder that led up to a hay loft.  Leaning out an opening in the loft, I gazed at acres and acres of cornfields.  I was about to turn away when I noticed a clearing in the field behind the barn.  Straining my eyes, I could make out a series of large circular patches burned into the ground.  It looked familiar, like something I may have seen in a documentary on the sci-fi channel.   Excited about finally having something I could investigate, some possible answers to the myriad questions I had, I turned to make my way back down the ladder.  Suddenly, I felt a presence, something lurking behind me.  I spun around before realizing that it wasn’t behind me, it was in me, a shadow on my mind.  This dark entity grew larger and began seizing control of my body.  I tried to fight back but it grew too strong, too fast.  I was ripped from my mind and plunged into a wold of darkness.  Time lost all meaning and I struggled not to go mad.  Hours, maybe days passed and I continued to plunge deeper into darkness.  I used to be able to see out of my eyes if I concentrated but now that has slipped away from me.  I can no longer feel any sensation outside of the void.  All I have left of me is my memories and those too are fading away.  I don’t remember where I was born, where I live, or even what my name is.  My whole life is gone, every memory that makes me what I am is vanishing.  I keep trying to remember whatever I can, to keep it fresh in my mind but each minute I seem to lose more.  The last thing I remember is walking into a barn filled with old farm equipment and that too is fading.  Dear god, I am fading.  I am lost. ———————— Chad Stevens looked at his watch and shook his head with impatience as he looked at the three people in front of him in line at the ground floor coffee shop.  He hated his job, he hated his coworkers, and he hated that, as the newest hire, he had to pick up coffee every morning for everyone in accounting, even though he worked there over three years.  Sighing, he checked his watch again. “Do you know the best thing about Friday morning?  It’s not Monday!” said a voice behind Chad.   Chad hung his head and ignored the man behind him.   “It looks like a great day, peachy!  It should only reach the high 60’s with a slight chance of rain,” said the voice, sounding too happy for this time of the morning.  “It should be a crime that we’re stuck in the office on a day like this,” he continued.  There was something familiar about that voice and Chad turned to see who spoke.   “John! Wow, you look a lot better, man,” Chad exclaimed.  “The way you tore out of here on Wednesday, I figured you would be in bed sick for at least a week.  I heard it took the janitorial crew two hours to clean out that bathroom stall.  How are you feeling?” Chad said, looking concerned. “Me, I’m super duper! Never been better!” John said, with a huge grin on his face.  “Say, pal,” he said, leaning close to Chad, “you look like a man that enjoys a good taco.”

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May 26, 2021
Ep.84 – The Black Museum - A Collection of Horrors Awaits!
00:28:24

Episode Notes

Antiques are so cute, a fun waste of money with an educational flavor... Unless the history is dark and gruesome... and EVIL.

The Black Museum by John Oak Dalton

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Transcript:

They were taping the Halloween special at the visitor center in Ipswich because they couldn’t afford Salem at Halloween but fuck it, Steve thought, the rumor was this was the last season of the show anyway.  He would just say in the cold open they were in Salem and who would know the difference. There was a guy with a Jim Abbott rookie card which wasn’t worth much, but the guy was telling a good story about seeing him play at the University of Michigan, so they’d probably use it in the episode.  They only had a trickle of people here wanting their junk to be appraised for the show so they would have to take what they had. Junkin’ Coast to Coast had been broadcast for seventeen years on a second-tier cable channel and had been steadily declining in viewership since the original host had the temerity to kill himself.  It used to be called Junkin’ with Joe but Shit with Steve didn’t have the same ring to it so there you go. The bitch of it all, in Steve’s mind, was fucking Joe died with a belt hanging around his neck and a bunch of furry porn around his feet, but all of that has been conveniently forgotten and Steve was never going to be considered as good as the original guy. His videographer Yvonne had the baseball card guy squared up on a head and shoulders shot and was half turned away texting somebody.  She had been his primary shooter on the East Coast, and since the budget of the show kept shrinking year over year they traveled less and less and stayed closer to New York, and Steve’s other videographers in other parts of the country dropped away.   But even though they spent a lot of time together when they were shooting the show, and stayed at the same hotels and ate together every night, they had never hooked up.  Never even brushed hands.  Yet Steve felt like Yvonne was breaking up with him. This old lady comes up with another fucking Blenko vase and then after that was a lull, and Yvonne stepped out into the cold fall night and called somebody.  Steve watched through the windows of the visitor center.  When she hung up Steve went outside to confront her. “Are you looking for another job?” “It’s the last show of the season, Steve.” “Yeah, but we’re starting again in Portsmouth in January and people have always cleared out a bunch of shit over the holidays.” Yvonne shook her head.  “I’m hearing this is it.  Even if it isn’t I gotta keep an eye out for me.” Steve pointed at her cell phone. “Who was that?” Yvonne just shrugged.  “It was Rich, he’s on that dive bar show now where they show people how to fix them up, make a new drink menu, that kind of thing.” “Where he went when he fucking cut out on Junkin’, yeah.” “That’s not how he sees it but yeah.” “The asshole who hosts that?  We were at the upfronts in Boston with the network guys, and he was a douchebag to everybody.” “Yeah, but Rich says that’s only when he drinks.” “The whole premise of the show is him fucking drinking!” “Well, Rich says he needs a second shooter, so…” “So you’re the first shooter on my show!” Yvonne just looked at him, then slides her eyes back through the window of the visitor center.  Steve follows her line of sight and sees a guy in coveralls with a little book under his arm, and fuck my life if that isn’t probably a Civil War diary about somebody nobody gives a shit about. So Steve just set his jaw and Yvonne followed him back into the visitor center.  A blast of warm air and close smells hits them. “Hey, thanks for coming out to the show, if you’ll sign this release we can sit down and I can check out what you have there.”   The guy looked pretty nervous up close and only gives a little bird-like nod.  While he is scratching his name on the clipboard Yvonne holds out to him the fake smile dropped from Steve’s face. “Hey, can I look at this while my videographer sets up real quick?” “Sure, man, that’s why I brought it.”  the guy said.  “I found it when I was cleaning out my uncle’s attic.  He passed over the summer.” Steve swallowed hard and takes the small, soft-edged book while Yvonne gets ready to clip a lavalier mic on the guy. Steve frowned with distaste and puts the book down quickly on a nearby table.  Both Yvonne and the guy look at Steve with surprise. “Take that mic off, we can’t talk to this dude.”  Steve said with finality. The guy in the coveralls raised his hands in mock surrender. “Hey, man, I just want to know what I have there.” Steve looked at him steadily.  “It looks like you have a diary bound in human skin, and I don’t dick around with shit like that.” Now the guy looked more surprised than he did before.  He holds his hands open wide. “I-I didn’t know that.” “You said you got that from your uncle?  Maybe you should turn that over to the police.” “The police?  What?  It ain’t like that.” Steve just shrugged.  “I don’t care what it’s like, I’m not going on camera with a book made out of somebody’s skin.” Yvonne retreated behind her camera and doesn’t check her cell phone, for once. The guy in coveralls looked through the window of the visitor center to the darkness beyond, where nobody else is coming to bring their old crap tonight.  Then he looked square at Steve. “Okay, this is the straight story, man.  I’m a plumber, okay, I work for the city, we get this call there’s water running out of this old abandoned building, way down by Choate Bridge.  We go down there, water running across the street, eventually I gotta break into the place, look for a busted pipe, see?” “This is the most boring fucking story that involves a diary made of human skin I have ever heard.” “Okay, okay, so wait a second, I get in there, I shut off the pipe, I start looking around a minute.  This old boarded up place is full of all kinds of shit.  It looks like medieval torture shit and a bunch of other stuff I don’t know what it is, but there’s probably some money in all that, right?  But I can’t haul all that out with my partner just outside so I just grab this book off a shelf and thought I would bring it here tonight, see if this shit was worth anything.  My grandma watches your show, you know?” Steve is actually able to ignore this comment because his mind is working, working.   “What’s your name, dude?” “Why you got to know my name?” “I’m not calling the cops, I just want to know what to call YOU.” “Jimmy.  Jimmy Corey.” “So what other kind of stuff was in this place, Jimmy?”   Jimmy shrugged.  “Maybe some other weapons, some guns and shit, but I’m not touching somebody else’s guns.” “I have a feeling that was a good idea.  Just hang loose a second.” Steve lifted his chin, and Yvonne follows him to the corner, out of earshot. Yvonne looked at him like he was crazy. “Yvonne…I think this dude here found a Black Museum.” Yvonne arched a brow at him.  “A BLACK Museum?!” “Jesus, not that kind of Black, calm down a minute—“ “Now I have to calm down?!” “It’s not that kind of Black Museum!!  The original was in London, but now it refers to any place where somebody has collected artifacts from various crimes…on the circuit, you know, the world I live in…sometimes you hear about private collectors…” “You mean people that want like, a picture a serial killer painted, shit like that?”

“I mean, that’s a mild example, but yeah.” “We’ve never seen anything like that come through.  You sure that is human skin?” “Yeah, it is.” “So what do you want to do?” Steve looked back at Jimmy. “We need to get this guy to take us to that place.” “What?  Why?” “Just trust me.  And when we get there, don’t stop rolling tape for anything.” “My contract says I’m done at 7:30.” Steve shook his head angrily. “Forget about 7:30!  We’re looking at Season 18!  Believe me.” “Uh-huh,” Yvonne said flatly.  “Season 18.” A few minutes later Steven and Yvonne piled into Jimmy’s panel van and headed towards the river. “You oughta do a whole show on the Choate Bridge,” Jimmy offered as they got closer.  “It’s one of the oldest bridges in the United States, if not THE oldest.” “Can someone take that bridge down and bring it into the Ipswich Visitor Center?  No?  Then it can’t be on the fucking show.” Jimmy just shook his head.  “It was just an idea.  And when did you shave your beard?” “What?” “He’s talking about Joe,” Yvonne threw in. Of course he’s fucking talking about Joe, Steve thought. “Never, Jimmy.  I never shaved it.” Jimmy blinks owlishly, then steers the panel van into a gravel lot next to a large, dilapidated building with the bridge looming close by, close enough that brackish water seeped up through the gravel all around them when they stepped out. Steve looked around.  “Somebody could urban renew this shit, put in a boardwalk, turn this into something.” “ It’s gotta fit in with the history, it’s how we do things around here,” Jimmy answered, as he fiddles the latch where a snapped-off combination lock hangs. Yvonne crowded in closer to Steve. “There’s some sort of shape over there.  Looks like a dead raccoon or something.” Jimmy doesn’t turn around. “I’m a plumber for the city.  If it ain’t got at least one shoe sticking up we don’t check it out.” Steve was about to ask Yvonne if she was rolling, get her focus back, when something came out of the darkness ahead with a sound like THWIP THWIP THWIP and suddenly the blackness around Steve was total. When Steve next opened his eyes something warm was running down his face, and he knew it was blood because Yvonne was directly in front of him and blood was running from a scalp wound on her head, too. Near her was a guy dressed all in black, with an ugly face tattoo, and fuck if the guy wasn’t swinging a bola from one hand. Jimmy stood stiff-legged off to the side watching as Yvonne stumbled in a loopy circle and carefully put the camera on the ground, seemingly in a daze.   Then the man in black uncoiled like a serpent and let the bola go, and the rope wrapped around Yvonne’s neck, and the two steel balls at the end clapped against Yvonne’s skull and her legs went out from under her, and she quit moving. Steve’s vision swam.  Jimmy’s voice, growing shrill, cut through the gathering dark clouds. “You said you’d let her go!” The man turned his gaze on Jimmy, who took an involuntary step back.  But he kept on with his protests. “You said you’d let my girlfriend go if I got him here!” The man in black’s voice skipped down Steve’s spine.  “I did set her free.” It was the last moment you have before reality sets in.  Jimmy licked his lips. “Where is she, then?” “Over there.” Jimmy didn’t want to look.  “Behind them boxes?” “Behind them…what didn’t fit in them….” Jimmy fell to his knees, his eyes rolling back in shock. The man in black took a step forward, pulling a six-inch blade from an unseen sheath and opening Jimmy’s now-convenient throat from ear to ear.  Steve watched the blood make a bright red arc before he passed out. When Steve awoke this time the man in black had been busy.  He had strapped Yvonne, still only semi-conscious, to some sort of torture device that Jimmy had described as medieval.  But the strained part awake in the back of Steve’s mind told him, despite the terror flooding all the other parts of his brain, that it wasn’t built that long ago, maybe as recently as the 70s.  Could have been a sex toy somebody built in their garage, or a prop from a chintzy b-movie. Steve’s mind snapped clear when the cold eyes of the man in black sought him out. “You’re back with us, junk man,” the man said, and Steve thought, oh, we gotta do this shit like that. Steve got to his hands and knees, then slowly to his feet.  He surveyed the torture device from a short distance, with a critical eye. “So this is a Black Museum.” “Your unfortunate friend Billy did not lie about that.  I’ve been quietly working on my kingdom here for some time, and the pieces are almost complete.” “That bola?” “It was used by a teenager in Mexico City in the early 2000s.  He threw it off an overpass through a bus window, killing the driver and causing the bus to flip, killing a dozen children.  He was listening to a band called Clowns Eat Little Girls and he said in court the music told him to do it.” “And the knife?” “It’s a Korshun with the serial number filed off, of course.  Translates to ‘Kite Bird.’  A former Russian Special Forces soldier used it to kill more than 20 prostitutes in the Balkans throughout the 90s before INTERPOL caught up to him.” The man in black lifted Yvonne’s chin with one pale hand and studied her skull like you would a piece of fruit in the produce aisle. “We will start with this device,” and something in the voice now made Steve’s hair stand on end.  “It was built and used in the early 70s by the man who became known as the National Road Killer, and many a poor hitchhiker with fewer prospects than this young woman spent their last hours here.” He turned his eyes back to Steve again. “But you can set her free.  All you have to do is assist me with the final pieces of my red puzzle.” “So I can end up like Jimmy?  Thanks anyway, dude.” Yvonne mumbles.  “Steve…” The man in black frowned, and his disapproval is like a hand closing around Steve’s throat. “The simplest switch on this device starts moving joints in ways they should not go.  Then it gets more complicated from there for your friend.” Steve barked out a laugh. “You got this shit all wrong.  She’s not my friend.  She works for me.  And you can get camera people by the bagful in New York.” “Fuck you, Steve!”  Yvonne cried out, her voice warbling with desperation. “It’s the gig economy,” Steve shrugged. Steve’s comment even brings this stone cold killer up short. “Do you not even want to know what I want you to do?” “Lay it on me, scribble face.” The man in black waved the Russian blade in a slow, lazy arc.  Then it disappeared with a whisper back into its sheath. “This is a grand blade, one that has taken many lives, but several years ago, an elderly man brought a knife to your show, and you sent him away after telling him that the blade was worth very little.  That man was named John Wallace Hansen, and he died last year.  On his deathbed it was alleged he revealed he had killed a dozen women with that blade, but was never caught because he had made a pact with the devil.  He was probably never caught because of his fabulous wealth, which he also ascribed to his pact. I believe that knife now rests with his daughter.  I want—I need—for you to reach out to her and offer to re-evaluate that knife. Then do what you have to do to bring that knife to me.” “Where does she live?  If it’s Peoria, it’s gonna be a minute.” “As it happens she lives very nearby in Salem, where you taped the program her father appeared on.” Steve shook his head.  “You got something wrong.  We never taped a show in Salem.  We couldn’t get in there this time either.” “You had a beard back then.” The pain in Steve’s skull cleared, but his eyes began to see a red haze. “I never had a fucking beard.” “It was many years ago now.” “I’ve hosted this show seven years.” “No, before that.” “Before that…” Anger flooded through Steve’s rubbery limbs. “That…was…THE OTHER GUY!!” Without realizing what he was doing, Steve lunged at the man in black.  His hand instinctively went to where he had seen the tattooed man slip the knife away and suddenly Steve had it by the handle and was pushing the blade upward, upward, and it went under the man’s chin and through his tongue and stuck somewhere in the roof of his mouth before blood began gushing out through his teeth. He fell to his knees as Steve had watched Jimmy do, and with that in his mind he picked the bola up from where it lay on the concrete floor nearby and pulped the other man’s skull with it until even the twitching stopped. Steve started undoing Yvonne’s bonds with blood-slicked hands and as he looked closer at the device it was a fucking good thing it never started up, he might have puked. “Yvonne, what I said, it was bullshit.  That guy was never going to fucking let us live after I did what he wanted.” “Steve, what I said?  I meant it.  Fuck you, Steve.” “Fair enough, I got you into this.  We both got hit in the fucking head, that’s not great, we both said some shit.” “But I did what you told me to.  I never stopped shooting. “ Steve stops untying her for a short, surprised moment. “What?” “I never stopped shooting.” Steve looked over at the camera Yvonne set on the ground when they first walked in. “Oh shit.” Eighteen months later everything was working out fine for Steve.  He wasn’t charged with anything, and the footage made him a kind of hero.  There was renewed interest in his show, but Steve got too big for it and now was about to host a special on a major network, live from the original Black Museum in London, with the current curator from New Scotland Yard answering his questions. He had invited Yvonne to join him as a producer but she didn’t want to leave the dive bar show.  She had ended up hooking up with Rich, so maybe that was part of her plan all along.  Rich and Steve had mended fences, and Rich told him Yvonne hardly ever woke up screaming any more. Of course, as soon as Steve was cleared by the cops he went to Salem and found the daughter and bought the knife with what savings he had left, though the daughter had heard the rumors too and was happy to get rid of it.  Not for fucking free or anything, Steve noted. The first couple of days Steve didn’t do anything with it, but eventually he went down to the dumpsters behind his Astoria apartment building at night and waited for rats.  A couple of nights after that and he finally hit one after getting pretty good at throwing the knife, and also having plenty of targets. The very next day a woman who had dumped him came back into his life and they went to bed together right away and then she moved in a few weeks after that. But before she decided to move in Steve was able to kill another rat with the knife and the next day an aunt he never fucking saw anyway left him a couple grand. So fuck it, he started figuring out this dark web shit and advertised the knife for sale to collectors.  And he zeroed in on a guy in Philly who bragged about having his own Black Museum.   Steve drove out there one weekend and this dweeb started showing him all the stuff he had squirreled away before he showed him any money.  Steve’s trained eye instantly saw his Hitler stuff was lumpy bullshit but the serial killer paintings were probably real so as soon as he killed the guy with the knife he took the paintings and a couple other things. The next day the network called about the live show.  So he was going to go back to the dark web.  These creeps shouldn’t be buying that shit anyway.  And guess what, he didn’t have to sign his name in blood in a book or go to the crossroads in some Southern town at midnight.  And if he actually did make a deal with the devil it was like he told Yvonne, TV was the gig economy, he’d probably already sold that shit.

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May 19, 2021
Ep.83 – Wilson Road - A Creature is Loose in the Woods!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Two cousins saw something BIG and furry in the woods, now they have to investigate as the sun begins to set... We know curiosity killed the cat, but what did it do to the WOLF?

Wilson Road by Charles Campbell Buy the book at http://valleyboypublications.com

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Transcript:

There is nothing like a dirt road in the Deep South. The dust kicked up by your truck when you race up the hill after a long day of hard work. The occasional deer that looks back at you curiously when you round the corner is a sight to behold. There are snakes that slither across the dirt road to get to the other side of the woods. You will see hawks scoping out prey from the trees as you move down the dirt road. There are many surprises when you go up or down an old fashioned, in the woods, authentic dirt road. I should know. I grew up in a big house at the top of the hill of one of these roads. A road that was named after my family – Wilson Road. There is one story above the many that stands above them all. It was late summer and my cousin came running up the road. He was out of breath and it was a night none of us would ever forget. “Danny! You got to come down the hill!” Tanner hollered. He had his hands on his knees as he sucked in air like no tomorrow. “What happened?” Danny asked as he rose from his seat on the back steps. “I saw something down there. It took off in the woods. Go in the house and get the shotgun real quick,” Tanner said, finally catching his breath. “Was it a deer? You know we can’t shoot a deer with a shotgun,” Danny said and began to sit back down. “Don’t get back on your ass! Get in the house and grab the shotgun! It wasn’t any deer. I don’t know what it was exactly, I just caught a flash of it but it was big and it was an animal.” “You probably just saw a dog,” Danny replied as he turned to open the door. He’d grab the Remington that sat just inside the doorway. What the big house was not low on was shotguns. There were a few Winchesters, a couple of Mossbergs and four Remingtons. Danny grabbed the box of shells and Tanner was waiting for him at the edge of the dirt road. “Come on, I’ll show you where I saw it.” “I ain’t shooting a dog, Tanner, just telling you that now.” “It weren’t no dog! Come on!” Tanner wasn’t a small guy. He was a seventeen year old that hit his growth spurt at thirteen. He was six foot three and still had a little growing left in him. Danny was much smaller in stature by comparison, standing at just five foot six with a slender frame which made it kind of funny that he was the one in charge of the shotgun. Tanner lumbered down the hill like Sasquatch with Danny following close behind. Tanner pointed, “It was down there near the bottom of the hill, off close to the creek bed.” “Alright then,” Danny racked the Remington and stepped off the dirt road and led the way in front of Tanner. The two of them made their way down to the creek bed and Danny noticed something right off the bat. There was a litany of broken branches lying about. It was as if someone tossed them about haphazardly all over the ground. They were definitely out of place as the tree line was approximately fifteen yards or so from the edge of the creek bed. “You see anybody dumping their sticks down here?” Danny asked Tanner. “No, there ain’t no tire tracks. I don’t know why they’d lug all these branches down here by foot; be easier to run them over to the Langley dump,” Tanner answered. “Well, these limbs didn’t magically fly from the trees. We ain’t had no big winds in a couple of months at least and I was down here at the creek two days ago and these weren’t here,” Danny said. He did a three sixty to see if anything else jumped out at him. Tanner acted as if the limbs weren’t a big deal. The big deal was the something he swore he saw. “I don’t know nothing about the stupid sticks but what I saw was standing about where we are now.” “You see any prints?” Danny asked. Tanner was looking at the ground looking for that very thing. “No, but you know how this ground is. It don’t hold prints that good.” “True,” Danny said. “Let’s walk up the creek a bit.” Danny took the lead and Tanner followed. It was going to be dark soon but the two of them knew these woods better than they knew just about anything else in the world. “Keep your eye out for moccasins,” Danny warned. Tanner rolled his eyes to signify that Danny must have forgotten who he was talking to. Tanner fancied himself as the moccasin king. He had so many skins hanging on his wall that he lost count of them. “I don’t know where it could have gone. We’re almost up to the old finishing plant,” Tanner said. “You think it might have went in the plant?” Danny asked. “Could be. I just got a quick glance before it took off. It was big and dark. You’d think I was going crazy but I know what I saw and I ain’t smoked any weed in the last week if that’s what you’re thinking. That bad shit I got from Frog last time taught me the error of my ways,” Tanner said with a nervous chuckle. “Yeah, I don’t know where he got that shit. He must have grown that out by Langley Pond. It messed you up pretty bad. Glad it didn’t kill you,” Danny said and chuckled himself. Darkness was creeping up around them. They could still see the lights from the big house but it was quickly receding. “Wish I would have grabbed the flashlight out of my truck,” Danny said. “You want me to run up there and get it real quick?” Tanner asked. “No, you about died when you ran up there a little while ago. I’m not telling Nana you died of a heart attack while we chased your fake monster to the finishing plant. You got your lighter, don’t you?” “Yeah.” “We’ll just light a few sticks if we need to. We know our way around here.” “That we do.” There was a crash. It sounded like a boulder was dropped from the second story of the finishing plant. The two of them looked at one another and they knew they were going to find out where the noise came from. Danny broke into a jog and Tanner fell a little behind. The boys came up on the tricky part of the trek. They had to cross a narrow pipe on foot. One misstep and they would go tumbling into the creek below. Danny could walk it in his sleep. Tanner could move quickly across it in the stark light of day but he took measured steps in the narrow light. He could tell that he would probably have to take the long way back to the hill when they were done at the plant. No way could he balance back across the pipe in complete darkness. Good news is that Danny would take the long way with him. Danny stood at the end of the pipe patiently waiting on Tanner to finish crossing. He stayed quiet as not to startle his large cousin. “Alright, let’s go,” Danny said once Tanner cleared the pipe. The boys walked the grooved out path to the old plant. There was a redneck Hansel & Gretel trail of tossed cigarette butts and rolling papers. The abandoned plant was a cool place for the Valley kids to break shit. Danny suspected the crashing sound they heard on approach was one or more of those said kids screwing around the decrepit building. And it was probably one of those kids that Tanner saw at the creek bed. The sun was almost fully set with only the last haze disappearing, surrendering the day. It was a good thing they were wearing shoes with heavy soles because the crunch of broken glass under their feet as they got closer to the building was now prominent with every step. The darkness finally enveloped them completely and the night sky was star filled with a full moon that provided adequate light. There were no clouds in the sky and that was good. What the boys didn’t need was to be stomping around the inside of the gutted plant with zero visibility. Danny was very good directionally but complete darkness would definitely test his skill. “Let’s just stop for a minute and listen,” Danny said as he held the shotgun by his side. “I think you saw a buck, Tanner.” “It weren’t no deer, I know what a damn deer looks like,” Tanner whispered angrily. “Alright, shush,” Danny replied. The boys got quiet and listened. The wind had ceased and the crickets weren’t as noisy. They could hear some of them but not the overwhelming chorus that was common for this time of the day, in this part of the woods. Danny finally broke the silence. “Well, Tanner, I ain’t going in there unless we hear something. I don’t feel like tripping over something and breaking my neck. We can take the main road back. I know you can’t cross that pipe now,” Danny said. “Come on man, I didn’t make it up. Let’s wait about five more minutes and if we don’t hear nothin’, then we can scoot back. Just five more, ok?” “Alright then, five more and then we are out of here,” Danny replied. “Five minutes then,” Tanner said and no sooner did he get the words out of his mouth, there was another loud crash and it definitely came from the second floor of the plant. “Let’s go,” Danny said flatly. The boys entered the plant from what would have been the back entrance when it was functioning. Now there were entry points everywhere that the walls had crumbled. It certainly wasn’t a safe place to be screwing around, especially at night. What remained of the old stairs near the back entrance was a precarious stack of bricks that resembled stairs but there were chunks missing where you would have to really stretch to reach the next usable step. This wasn’t a problem for Tanner but presented a challenge for the shorter legged Danny. “Let me hold your lighter real quick,” Danny motioned for Tanner to hand it over. Danny flicked the Bic and carefully took the lead. Tanner stayed close behind so he could grab Danny if he fell backwards. The boys paused when another crash broke the silence. “Shit, it’s up there, all right,” Tanner whispered. “It’s not an it, it’s just some kids and they’ll piss their pants when they see us come up there,” Danny said. “Cuz, hope you’re right. What I saw weren’t no kids. Make sure that shotgun is ready,” Tanner said. There was no jest in his voice; there was a calm clarity that Danny didn’t recognize in his cousin. Tanner was never clear about anything so this gave Danny some inner pause to hear this unfamiliar tone in his voice. The two of them got to the second floor. Abandoned spindles were spread all around and the light from the night sky peeked through the many holes and craters in the walls. There were a number of large holes in the floor that would send you on a rapid descent to the first floor if you stepped fully into one – unintended booby traps that the boys would have to navigate in order to get to the sound’s source. There was another crash; bricks exploding back in the darkest corner of the second floor. It was completely engulfed in darkness and Danny was beginning to second guess their decision to chase Tanner’s beast. Maybe it wasn’t as imaginary as he’d thought just moments before. “It’s back there,” Tanner said and pointed. He had no reservation in his voice. It was more determination. Determination that they were going to find out what he saw and if they needed to pump it full of shotgun shells then so be it. “Watch your step,” Danny whispered back. “Stay close and follow my exact steps. It might still be some kids screwing around back there and I’m not shooting anything until I can see it.” “Gotcha,” Tanner replied in agreement and understanding. The wind picked up just a bit. The boys got closer to the dark side of the second floor and there was another explosion of brick against wall. Danny flicked the Bic again and held it out in front of him just for a second. He would have to give it to Tanner to hold the shotgun properly but he wanted to see if anything would reveal itself before they completely walked into the darkness. The boys heard the shuffling of what could have been claws but they still couldn’t see anything. “Ok then,” Danny said and handed the lighter back to his cousin. “Keep it lit.” Danny paused for a couple of seconds, held the shotgun out in front, ready to fire and hollered out, “Who’s back there?! Come on out now!!!” Tanner was steady with the lighter and his breath was measured. Danny couldn’t believe how calm his cousin was. Danny didn’t scare easy but he was beginning to feel something approaching fright but he fought the urge to be trigger happy. The boys stepped completely into the darkness and that’s when the red eyes turned to look at them. “Oh shit, shoot it, Danny, you don’t need to see it!” Danny fired the Remington into the darkness just below the red eyes. There was a growl of anger that shook the boys to their core. Danny chambered another shell and it screamed out of the muzzle with nothing but death as its intent. The red eyes were still there and the beast moved quickly. Danny was in the process of racking the third shell when the barrel of the Remington was sliced in half. The beast was in front of them now. Danny couldn’t believe his eyes. It was straight out of the movies, only it was much worse. The creature’s eyes were blood red and its canines were bared. It stood a good foot taller than Tanner and twice as wide. It was haunched on back legs. Tanner and Danny stepped back into the lit part of the plant and the creature walked toward them. The boys couldn’t just turn and run; they would surely step into one of those death traps. They had to back away slowly and hope for the best. As they stepped, the creature continued to follow. They should have just left this thing alone in the dark. Finally, the boys got a full body look at the monster. It was covered in black fur from head to toe. There was burnt hair and scorched flesh where the shotgun shells found their mark but did little but really pissed this thing off. It had the ears and snout of a wolf. It was a creature of muscle and destruction. It snarled in anger and had a hunger in its eyes. But, it also didn’t attack. It looked at the boys. Tanner and Danny were silently making their peace with the Lord as the creature was almost on top of them. They were going to die; no doubt about it. Tanner and Danny closed their eyes and wished for a quick death. Danny could feel the hot breath of the creature on his forehead and then it moved to Tanner. The calmness Tanner displayed just moments before was all gone. He pissed himself. The creature jumped into one of the craters in the floor and disappeared into the woods. Tanner and Danny kept their eyes closed for another minute or two. Tanner was the first one to open his eyes and he poked his cousin in the back. “I think it’s gone,” Tanner said nervously. Danny opened his eyes. He was still holding the shotgun. The creature had turned it into the sawed off variety. “Let’s just wait here for another couple of minutes before we go back out. Just in case he’s out there waiting,” Danny said. “Let’s not. If that thing wanted to kill us, he would have. Let’s just get out of here, get to the road, get back to the house and don’t say shit to anybody about this. That was a damn werewolf, Danny.” “Yeah, I wonder what it was doing back in that corner.”

“Well, we are on a need to know basis and we don’t need to know, let’s go!” Tanner shouted. And...that’s exactly what the boys did. They went home. They were asleep in their beds when Grandpa climbed up the back of the house and slipped into the attic. He’d transform and be down for breakfast. Grandpa was a good man. He wouldn’t kill someone unless he had to. When he transformed, he’d take out some of the deer around his property and then take his aggression out on the many bricks inside of the plant. It was better than ripping out throats and bringing the weight of the world down on his family. Grandpa was happy that the curse had skipped over Tanner but Tanner’s kid, if he ever had them, would be subject to the curse. And maybe that kid would succumb to the animalistic urges of the hunt. Fortunately for the Valley, the man that currently lived at the top of Wilson Road did not. THE END

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May 12, 2021
Ep.82 – Fun in Funeral - Clowning Around is DEADLY
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Clowns are funny, right? Well not when you find out the true dark secrets of these creatures that walk amongst us handing out balloons and laughter... Is that a chuckle you're hearing or a blood curdling scream?!

Fun in Funerals by David O'Hanlon

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Transcript:

The death of a Clown is no laughing matter.  It leaves a bleak, unhappy void in the universe equal to the amount of Joy the departed had caused. Fennis Farcemeister, Whiteface of the Amityville shudder, had brought happiness to millions. His body rested in the lavender casket with his bright red shoes sticking straight up and his orange hair jutting over the side. Before him, a pedestal—too large for its contents—stood erect as a grim reminder of the task to come. The remainder of his shudder mourned in their own ways while they awaited the arrival of Pastor Crumb.  “How are we supposed to close the lid?” Popsy Pringle asked gruffly, wiggling the toe of Fennis’ shoe. “Might as well just slap some Crocs on him.” “You don’t have to be in such a hurry, Popsy,” Sweet P. Cheepskate sobbed. Sweet’s brother, Blippy, put an arm around her shoulders and nodded in agreement. The twins were the shudder’s resident tramps. The tears rolled down Blippy’s rotund cheeks and disappeared in the smear of his greasepaint beard. The siblings both focused on the pedestal or, more accurately, the egg resting atop it. Blippy chewed his lip nervously and tipped his torn top hat respectfully.  “We all know you’ll be the next Whiteface,” he said softly. “You don’t have to be so eager to take it. Callousness is for humans. Clowns are better than that.” Popsy groaned and gave his nose a squeak. “Spare me.” Blippy gasped at the insulting gesture and sobbed on his sister’s shoulder. Waldo Tatters’ tie-dye shitkickers clopped across the wood floors with his spurs jangling until he stood before the egg. Its scaly, vermillion shell was painted with Fennis’ likeness and locks of his hair snipped and glued to the sides. Every Clown had an egg in their shudder’s reliquary. Waldo traced his finger across the curve of the egg. He took off his cowboy hat and pressed it to his denim shirt. Rodeo clowns were rogues and rarely allowed membership in a shudder. Fennis saw beyond Waldo’s wily, psychotic, demeanor, however. “Don’t you worry none, pardner,” the cowboy said, lowly. “We won’t take too long.” “We’d better not.” Popsy checked his oversized watch. “Where the hell is Crumb? No one likes a sad Clown.” Sweet squirmed uncomfortably in her pew. She’d see a Pierrot once. It was the worst thing that could happen to a Clown.  The Code called for funerary games so that the laughter of the shudder could carry the soul to the Palace of Joy. If the games didn’t appease the soul of the departed Clown however, it would become trapped in the void, and they would return as a Pierrot—a hideous, undead monstrosity that devoured flesh and spread coulrophobia. You can’t bring Joy if the audience thinks you might eat their faces.  “The Code don’t cop to convenience,” Waldo reminded him. He looked at the flower on Fennis’ lapel. Its pedals danced in the artificial wind of the oscillating fan, but Fennis remained still. “Rather get on with the Chase myself, all the same.” “It’ll be a hell of a blow-off.” Blippy tugged the handkerchief from his breast pocket dragging out an extra three feet of multi-colored linen. He blew his nose on it and folded it back into his pocket. A sad smile stretched across his chubby cheeks. “Fennis will be able to rest easy in the Palace seeing the party we threw for him.” “Gonna be a different kinda party, if’n we don’t get a move on.” Waldo patted the egg and sighed. He turned to Popsy. “Who’s the peckerhead anyway?” “His name is Al,” a new voice said. “Al Musing.” The shudder turned their attention to the tiny, trapezoidal door leading to the church’s rectory. Pastor Crumb’s four-foot height made it through the door easily, but the prisoner he escorted on a leash took to crawling on his knees to fit through. Pastor Crumb jerked backward as the leather strap went taut. He huffed and waited for the prisoner to catch up, using the moment to attend an urgent itch south of his bulging belly. “Al doesn’t like Clowns,” the Pastor said. He adjusted the white collar beneath his second chin. “I imagine he’s really going to hate us after tonight.” The shudder laughed.  Al tried to stand when eighteen-inches of checkered vinyl kicked him square between the shoulders. Popsy knelt on the human’s back and held his hand out to Pastor Crumb. “Enough propriety. Give me the biscuit.” Crumb took the revolver from the inside of his jacket and twirled it clumsily on his finger. He shook his head. “We have one more point of business.” He waved for Popsy to move.  The Auguste Clown growled, but rose nonetheless. Popsy rolled his gloved hand theatrically and gave a phony bow. He slapped the toe of his shoe down on Al’s face.  “There’s no reason for you to get up,” he said around the nub of the smoldering stogie between his yellowed teeth. “Get on with it, Pastor.” “Fennis Farcemeister was a Clown of the highest order. We gather here not just to honor the Code,” He glared over his shoulder at Popsy, “nor to anoint a new Whiteface. We are here to say a final goodbye to a Clown that was more than a mere leader or friend. Fennis was a mentor when we were ignorant, a father when we were alone, and a force of will when we were rebellious. He brought Joy to the humans like no other Clown before him, and in doing so he restored this shudder to a place of reverence among all Clown-kin.” “Amen, Pastor Crumb,” Sweet agreed. “Fennis did such wondrous works in his two-and-a-half centuries,” Crumb continued. “Why, if it weren’t for him, we might not even have the squirting flower gag. He took juggling to new heights, literally, by doing it on the tightrope. He restored the pooting bag to glory when he showed the humans how to make their whoopee cushions. There has never been a more beloved and potent Clown than Fennis, and never shall there be. We have made a grand day of remembrance; however, the time has now come to say our final goodbye.” “Goodbye,” they all shouted in unison. Pastor Crumb flipped the lid of the casket shut on Fennis’ corpse. It remained propped open by the bulbous toes of his shoes. The shudder chuckled at Fennis’ final gag. Crumb’s belly jiggled with raucous laughter. His laughter cut off as abruptly as hitting pause. His smile fell and the greasepaint did nothing to hide the dour expression etched on his face. “Al Musing, you have been chosen as the guest of honor,” Crumb grumbled. He waved his fingers to signal Popsy away. “A Clown is dead, a human must die. That is the Code to which both our kind are bound.” Al stood up slowly and tore the burlap sack off his head. He glared around the room at each of the Clowns. “You got to be fucking kidding me.” “Do we look like the joking kind?” Blippy asked. Sweet stood and sauntered to the casket. She dragged a wicker basket from underneath its stand and knelt with a smile toward Al before dumping the contents out. Her aquamarine hair tapered to fuchsia ends that acted like arrows directing all gazes to the struggling buttons of her unkempt hobo-chic blouse. It took great effort, but finally Al’s eyes jumped from the cleavage to the cleavers skittering across the floor. They were oversized and ancient, specked with rust and old blood, and accompanied by matching mallets.  “So,” Al cleared his throat, “which one of you makes balloon animals?” “We all do, dummy,” Blippy informed him. “Good. Start with a cock and go fuck yourselves.” Waldo chuckled. “Pardner’s got some guts.” “I’ll be wearing them like a big, pink boa,” Sweet hissed sordidly. The blade of her cleaver scraped a divot in the floor. “I’ll keep you alive while I pull them out, so you can tell me how ravishing I look before I split your skull open.” “As appealing as that sounds, how about we just split and fuck each other silly?” Al winked and blew her a kiss. Blippy jumped up fast enough to knock the church pew over. “That’s my sister, dickweed!” “Your sister?” Al gave the Clown a critical onceover. “Your mom had an affair.” “You sonofabitch!” “Enough tomfoolery,” Crumb shouted. He jammed the revolver into Al’s waistband. “We’re not animals. We’ll give you a shot… but just the one.”  “Fuck it. Why not?” Al pulled the leash off his neck and threw it down. “What’s the game?” “Time for games has passed,” Popsy said. “The Chase begins now. All you got to do is survive until midnight.” Al grabbed Popsy’s hand. The Clown jerked away, but Al held firm and turned his arm over to look at the face of the oversized watch. Forty-seven minutes remaining.  “Probably be easier just to kill you all,” Al suggested. “That’s funny.” Popsy shoved Al away from him. “You’re a real comic… Al.” “Choke on my McNuggets, Ronald.” Al jogged for the doors.  The Clowns set off giant party poppers, showering him with confetti and whooped with excitement behind him. Once he was outside, he took in his surroundings quickly. A polka dot Volkswagen Beetle was parked along the front of the Clown church which looked more like a converted funhouse with its colorful façade and odd angles. It was also smackdab in the middle of fucking nowhere. Rows of tombstones extended as far as he could see by the moonlight.  “Think, Al. You need a plan.” He had a head start, a gun with one bullet, and five Clowns hellbent on murdering him in less than an hour. The outline of a mausoleum caught his eye. “You can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without a laugh.” A train whistle screamed inside the church. Waldo rubbed his ears. “Krusty H. Christ, Blippy!” Pastor Crumb mirrored Waldo. “You dolt!” “Sorry.” Blippy hung his head and tucked the whistle into his overalls. “I just wanted to let everyone know the Chase is starting.” “We’re all in the same room, dipshit.” Popsy slapped him in the back of the head. “Besides, Crumb starts the Chase.” Crumb patted Fennis’ corpse and proceeded to the pulpit. Popsy tapped the back of his cleaver against the metal head of the mallet until he got the precise rhythm. The toes of Clown shoes tapped in harmony with it. Popsy scowled and licked his lips with excitement.  “Strike up the band, we got us a human to kill!” Popsy roared. Crumb pressed the button and “Stars and Stripes Forever” blared to life through the church’s PA system. The four others roared and stormed from the building in pursuit of their quarry.  Blippy took aim and smashed the handle free from the mausoleum door. It wasn’t his first Chase, and the prey usually went straight to the nearest shelter. He twirled the mallet in his hand and kicked open the door with a floppy, torn shoe. Sweet rushed into the building with her weapons at the ready.  The place was empty. The bronze name plates of the dead spread across the two, long side walls and the back wall was occupied almost entirely by a stained-glass window depicting the first Clown at the center and his six disciples in panes around him. Sweet crossed herself and approached the ornate tomb that sat in the center of the room. She took a deep breath and pressed against the top with her shoulder. Its heavy, stone lid scraped open slowly. She expected Al Musing to reach out for her, but nothing happened. She peeked inside and muttered an apology to the skeletal remains within the tomb. Doughy the Mime rested, as silently in death as he had been in life. Sweet turned to her brother and shrugged. “He’s not here, Blippy.” She looked around the otherwise empty room. “Guess we got it wrong this time.” “Rats!” Blip threw his hammer down with a clatter. “I just knew he’d come straight here. Where else could he be?” “Probably headed to the hedge maze. Let’s meet Waldo there,” Sweet suggested. The two tramps skulk out the front door and froze as the lights blazed before them. Circus music sounded from the VW Bug’s horn as it sped toward them, throwing a shower of dirt and grass from its spinning tires. Sweet cartwheeled out of the way, but Blippy was too slow.  “Sorry to Bug you!” Al howled with a laugh. The car struck Blippy low, flipping him onto the hood. His face smacked against the windshield, streaking the glass with his greasepaint. Al smiled at him from the other side.  The car smashed through the front wall, ramped off the tomb of Doughy, and launched into the air. They crashed through the massive window, showering the yard beyond in its psychedelic hail. The car landed hard. The tires exploded, the shocks collapsed, but its momentum kept the Beetle careening forward until it hit the oak tree.  Al batted the air bag down and beat his shoulder against the bent door. It finally squeaked open and fell off beside the car. Al got out and popped his neck with a groan. Blippy B. Cheepskate’s eyes dangled from his skull, forced out by the impact. The rest of him just burst open like a confetti-filled balloon animal and sprayed the area in viscera. Al chuckled. “Guess that answers how many cars you can fit in a clown.” Sweet jumped over the car and slashed at Al with the cleaver. He ducked and rolled, grabbing the car door, and swinging it by the window frame to bat the diminutive nymph away. “Let me get the door for you,” Al quipped. “Hardy-fucking-har-har.” Sweet spat blood. “With jokes like that you could be a birthday clown.” “Do you think I have the chops?” “I’ll give you some chops!” Sweet lunged forward. Al held the car door up like a shield. Sweet’s cleaver cut through the thin metal with ease. Al fell backwards, flipping the tramp over him in the process. He snapped to his feet, but Sweet was up before him and climbed his body. Her stockinged legs wrapped around his neck. She locked her ankles behind his back, twisted her fingers into his mop of blond hair, and squeezed her thighs tighter.  “Lucky fella, dying with your face in my cotton candy.” Sweet laughed maniacally as Al weakened and fell to his knees.  Sweet dropped backwards, grabbing her own ankle to tighten the hold. Al threw ever-weakening punches at her. She drove her elbow into the top of his head like a jackhammer. Al slumped over. His fingers tapped and dragged through the grass for anything that might help.  “Enough clowning around.” Sweet stretched out, reaching for her cleaver. “I’m going to cut off all your appendages in alphabetical orde—arrrrrgh!” Sweet rolled away from Al. She prodded the ragged hole in her thigh tentatively. The human choked and gagged behind her. “Fucking clowns always leave a funny taste in my mouth,” Al coughed, scouring his bloody face with the sleeve of his sweatshirt. Blood spurted between Sweet’s fingers while she worked a fuchsia tie from a pigtail to tourniquet the gaping bite mark. She seized the cleaver while she could and turned around… to find him missing. “Fuck!” Sweet panned around searching for him. She limped back to the church to regroup with Pastor Crumb in case the others failed to kill Al in the allotted time. Someone needed to be there to smash the egg. Whoever it was would become the next Whiteface… and Popsy would not be pleased. It beat the alternative. Sweet stopped in her tracks. Of course, if the human, killed them all, there’d be no one left to laugh for any of their spirits. Sweet gulped at the thought.  She needed to stay in the hunt. Al groaned and rubbed a rising knot on the back of his head. The she-clown had kicked his ass. He needed to fight smarter. If he made it to midnight, they’d all leave him alone. That’s what they said anyhow. If you can’t trust a clown to keep his word, then who can you trust? He crept along the hedge row following the shouted goading of one of his hunters. He slipped through a gap in the wall and realized he was standing in a maze. “Of course, I fucking am,” he whispered.  Well-spaced LED lights shone on the gravel track between the verdant walls on either side of him. They didn’t give him much light, but enough to pick out the deep grooves of cowboy boot tracks. He stayed low as much to keep his eye on the trail as to avoid detection. His sneakers gave him some advantage on the shifting rocks. As he moved through the corridors, the cowboy’s voice grew louder. Then he heard the jingle-jangle of the spurs.  Al sank to his knees and crawled to the edge of another opening, peeking around cautiously.  The boot heel struck him square in the forehead. Al toppled over, blinking spots from his vision. He got to his hands and knees when a kick met his ribs.  “Giddy-up, fuckaroo!” Waldo howled. He watched the rodeo clown—thumbs hooked on his belt loops—dancing closer to him. The tie-dye boots shuffled through the gravel and then buried into his side again… and again. Al tried to escape. Waldo kept pace with the human, kicking him like a soccer ball as he rolled away from the deranged clown. Al felt the poke of branches in his back when he reached the wall. Another solid kick went into his gut. His microwaved dinner splattered the Clown’s boots. “You dirty sumbitch!” Waldo licked his glossy red lips. “I’m gonna line dance your fuckin’ face into pudding for that.” Waldo’s smile faded when he saw the gun barrel jabbed into his crotch. He patted the air and took two steps back.  “Ever seen a clown juggle without any balls?” Al groaned and pressed himself up, keeping the gun trained on Waldo. He steadied his aim between the Clown’s eyes. “You only got the one shot, pardner.” “There’s only one of you.” Al straightened his arm and squeezed the trigger. The flag snapped out of the barrel, unfurling in an orange banner that read ‘BANG’ in purple letters. Al sputtered his lips and shook his head.  Waldo slapped his thighs and whooped happily. The Clown danced in a circle, booming with laughter at the timeless gag. He turned back around and snapped his fingers, holding them at his hips like firing pistols.  The miniature flagstaff rammed straight through his eye. Al swung the dummy revolver like a hammer, driving the spike through the back of Waldo’s skull. The Clown tipped over, the flag sticking out of his face fluttered lightly in the breeze.  “Bang, you’re dead.” The gloved hands burst through the brush and seized Al around the throat. He battered the geometrically-patterned, yellow silk sleeves. His knuckles clanked off the oversized wristwatch. The Clown’s muscles tensed and Al’s face was pulled closer to the protruding branches. Al closed his eyes tightly, feeling the twigs clawing at his lips to get to the soft tissue beneath. “He who laughs… last!” Popsy shouted with a great guffaw. Al reached through the bush and grabbed the first thing he could. Popsy’s laughter turned to high-pitched wailing.  “Let. Me. Go,” Al growled. Popsy’s white-gloved fingers sprang open and Al released him. The human strolled around the corner, popping his knuckles. Popsy rubbed his sore crotch and growled angrily. “Alright, Bozo Big-Dick. It’s just you and me,” he said. “We’re about out of time.” Popsy checked his watch. “Shit. I really wanted to enjoy killing you, but I can’t be late getting back to the church. I spent too many years in the shadow of Fennis. It’s my time to be the Whiteface.” “You killed your boss, didn’t you?” Popsy glared at him quizzically. “How’d you know?” Al shrugged. “Everyone wants to kill their boss.” “You killed Fennis?” a soft, melodic voice said from the shadow between two of the lights. “He was never going to rest until his egg was smashed. That’s why you were in such a rush to kill this human.” “You two clearly have things to discuss,” Al said, holding his hands up defensively. “I’ll show myself out.” “You’re not going anywhere.” Popsy adjusted his absurdly large tie. “Sweet, I understand you’re pissed.” Sweet hobbled forward, brandishing her cleaver. “Oh, that’s an understatement.” “If the human lives, Fennis becomes a Pierrot.” Popsy drew his weapons from his pockets. “We have to kill him first. It’s the Code.” Sweet looked at Al, then back to Popsy. She kicked the gravel with a frustrated shriek. “Two of us have a better chance, Sweet.” Popsy smiled at her. Al took his shot while the Auguste was distracted. He lunged to tackle him, only for the hammer to come down on the small of his back. Popsy drove a knee into Al’s chin. The human wrapped up Popsy’s legs. The Clown shimmied, trying to get his ridiculous shoes through Al’s grip. “Finish him, Sweet!” Popsy shouted. Sweet gripped the cleaver in both hands and raised it high as she stalked closer.  “Break the egg!” Al yelled. Popsy stopped struggling. Sweet lowered her weapon slightly. “Become the Whiteface,” Al said, shuffling his feet under himself. “Stop him!” “No,” Popsy hissed.  He glared at Al, then shot a glance to Sweet. Her tongue pressed against her cheek as she thought it over. If she smashed the egg, she would be the Whiteface and her and Crumb would send him to the Alley for trial. That couldn’t happen. There was only one punishment for jestericide. The thought of such horrors sent shivers up Popsy’s spine and steeled his nerve. He swung his own cleaver. Sweet’s head popped off her shoulders in a fountain of blood. She stumbled about, tripping over Al, and collapsing beside him. The stump gushed, her body twitched… and Popsy laughed malevolently. “Sweetie, you always did give the best head.” Al kicked off, pulling Popsy’s legs out from under him. He grabbed Sweet’s cleaver and swung at the Auguste, slicing the toe of his shoe off, but missing the meat inside. Popsy rolled and kicked the knife from Al’s hand before scrambling back to his feet. Al spotted Popsy’s mallet and rolled across the ground, scooping it, and coming up to his knees in a single motion. Popsy brought his cleaver down for a killing blow. Al deflected it and smashed the Clown’s ankle with the hammer. Al tried tackling him again and was successful. The mallet swung wildly. It struck Popsy’s bright red nose with a squeak that drowned out the crunch of the bone. Al laughed. It was all he could do. Laugh and swing. Hit and squeak. Over and over.  Squeak.  Squeak.  Squeak.  Until Popsy’s face collapsed and the mallet just made a sticky, thick smack with each repeated blow. Al finally stopped and came to his senses. He checked Popsy’s watch and headed back to the church. There was still one Clown left to kill and only four minutes to do it in.  Al stepped into the Clown church and saw Pastor Crumb writhing on the floor. The top of a white head with flocks of orange hair was buried in his abdomen, munching noisily on the Pastor’s guts. The Pierrot lifted its gore-streaked face and hissed. “You must be the famous Penis the Clown everyone’s been telling me about.” Fennis stood in a hunkered, crooked mockery of normalcy. He tore at his clothing, revealing the ‘Farcemeister’ family name across his powerful chest. The Clown’s bared teeth wiggled in their sockets and fell away as fangs pushed through the gums to take their place. Smoke rose from his pores, steaming his greasepaint from his face and taking the flesh with it. Bone showed through in the original pattern of his makeup. The Clown shuddered and his chest tore open with a great blooming flower that spurted its nectar into steaming puddles on the floor. The Pierrot lunged forward. Al cocked back the mallet and took aim at the egg resting on its pedestal. He flung the weapon at it… and missed. The hammer sailed harmlessly over it and struck the massive cross behind the podium. The ornament rocked on its hangers. Fennis drew closer to Al, running with his now clawed hands tearing at the floorboards like a circus monkey. Fennis sprang into the air. The Clown seemed to fall in slow motion as Al awaited his demise.  The cross crashed down on Fennis’ coffin, knocking it into the pedestal and tipping it over. The vermillion egg hit the floor a moment before Fennis landed on Al. The egg shattered, splattering the floor with its gooey, unnatural contents. Fennis exploded. The force knocked Al to the floor ahead of the tidal wave of viscera and blood that washed over him. He worked to untangle himself from a length of intestine and stood up, dripping with Clown goo.  “I’ll probably laugh about this later.” He spat out a piece of flesh and shook his head. “I hate clowns.” Al limped toward the exit. He just wanted to go home—back to his shitty basement apartment with his Hot Pockets and his porn collection and he never wanted to see another fucking clown. He threw open the door of the church and groaned. Sweet was ambling toward him with her head in her hands. Blippy dragged his remains across the graveyard’s lawn. The snapping of the bang-flag blowing in the wind drew his attention to Waldo helping Popsy navigate the headstones. Al slammed the door and backed away from it.  The knob started to turn.  “It’s midnight,” he sobbed. “I made it. This isn’t fair.” “No.” A pair of bloody hands clutched his shoulders and Pastor Crumb leaned close to his ear with a giggle. “It’s a circus.” The door creaked open and the others shambled in. Crumb bit into Al’s cheek and the others closed in around him. Al saw their fangs and the bone showing where makeup had been. There was no one left in the shudder. No one to bring their souls to Joy anymore. Sweet threw her head at him and the damn thing latched onto his chest while Crumb dragged him to the floor.  Popsy stood over him, his words came in a gurgled mess… “Laughter… never… dies.” The End

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May 05, 2021
Ep.81 – You Are What You Eat! - Prepare to Be Skinned ALIVE!
00:34:39

Episode Notes

Who's Hungry? Aaron is going crazy over his co-workers vegan diet, but how far will he go to prove MEAT IS WHAT MATTERS? Find out, and make sure to bring napkins...

You Are What You Eat by Rob Fields

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Transcript:

Robbie Farns walked into Mirren Automotive, the factory where he worked, about twenty miles from Strickfield. He didn’t particularly care about the place or the job itself, but at least it was steady work with a decent paycheck. He’d been working there for a couple of years now, at least as a way to pay his way through Strickfield University. As he walked through the plant to get to his work area, he knew it was going to be hot as hell. Carrying his lunch box, he knew he would soon get even more hell from one of his coworkers about what was inside.  Robbie had been living the vegan lifestyle for the last few months. He had been careful to avoid eating literally anything that came from animals. That included – in addition to not eating meat – dairy, eggs, or any processed foods containing animal byproducts. Whenever he’d go out to eat, he was careful to avoid eating fried foods cooked in shared oil. He had even gone to a vegan festival in Erie City.   When Robbie reached his work area, he punched in at the time clock. After putting his earplugs in, he went to his locker to change into his work shoes and prepare for his shift. It wasn’t long before he was greeted by a troublesome coworker in the form of Aaron Jameston. Aaron and Robbie were opposites in many ways. Robbie was a head taller than Aaron, also thinner. Robbie had long dark hair that went down to his shoulders and was always clean-shaven, while Aaron kept his head shaved and had a long, shaggy beard. Robbie’s skin was a clean slate, while Aaron had many tattoos. The big difference was that Aaron was a hunter who always bragged about his kills, the trophies that he kept from many of them, and all the meat that he enjoyed. Then he learned that the new guy in his department, this quiet young pup, wasn’t a meat eater – a vegan – which got his attention in more ways than one.  As always, Aaron just looked at Robbie with contempt and disgust. Robbie knew and expected this every day, but he didn’t care. He’d been used to people picking on him about his vegan ways. Some of his other coworkers had asked him many questions about his veganism, mainly because they were curious. For the most part, people usually left him alone. Aaron Jameston, however, had issues with Robbie and would be anything but subtle.  “What kinda rabbit food you bring today, Rabbit?” Aaron asked, taking a seat at a picnic table across from Robbie.  Robbie remained calm, in spite of the nickname Aaron had hung on him. He looked up at Aaron. “What do you care?” Aaron was twice Robbie’s age and never liked when people back-talked him. There were times when he wanted to just lay into Robbie. Sure, Robbie always did his job and turned out great numbers. Just the same, he wanted to find something – anything – to justify giving Robbie a good ol’ fashioned ass whooping. As long as they both worked for Mirren Automotive, however, Aaron couldn’t physically lay a hand on Robbie, in or out of the plant. Not if he wanted to keep his job. “What, you don’t wanna tell me?” Aaron said in his always-threatening tone.  Robbie sighed. “Look, we both know you really don’t care about the food I bring. So why don’t you just save it?” Aaron smiled, which Robbie knew was never a good thing. “Lemme explain somethin’ to you, Rabbit. I don’t know what you think yer doin’ with all this vegan bullshit. But here, outside Strickfield, we’re hunters. That means meat is the way we do things. We love our meat. We kill for our meat. We eat meat! Now you come in here with yer vegan bullshit and expect us to just stop eatin’ meat?” Robbie held up his hand in front of him. “Whoa! Let’s get something straight. I don’t go around telling anybody to not eat meat. There are vegans out there that would, but I personally don’t care what you eat. You eat what you want, and I’ll eat what I want. I mainly do it for health reasons, if you must know. I’ve lost weight because of it.” Aaron kept on him. “So . . . you sayin’ we’re all fat fucks ’cause we eat meat?” True, Aaron was quite portly for a little man, but Robbie wouldn’t go there. “I never said that. Don’t put words in my mouth.” Aaron threw his arms up. “Why the fuck be a rabbit? Why can’t you just go bust yer ass at the gym or somethin’? Why you gotta be so fuckin’ different?” Robbie countered, “Again, what do you care? I’m not here to preach vegan. I’m here to do my job and get paid so I can keep the lights on at my place, eat, and attend college. Leave me alone, okay?” Aaron smiled more sinister now. “Yeah, yer a rabbit now.” He pointed at Robbie and shook his finger. “I seen yer kind before. Yer gonna crack. Yer gonna be back. Yer gonna eat meat again. Know why?” He leaned in a little. “’Cause that’s the way it is. Our ancestors have been huntin’ and eatin’ meat since caveman years. Meat is the way! The only way! There ain’t no room in this world for fuckin’ rabbits like you. People like you are weak. Always have been.” Just then, Robbie and Aaron were greeted by the presence of their boss.  “Hey, Aaron, you causing trouble back here again?” Mike Cruz demanded. “How many times have I talked to you about that? You looking to get wrote up or what?” Aaron wasn’t even afraid to talk back to his own boss. “You already wrote me up! What more you gonna do? I’m just havin’ a conversation with Rabbit here.” “I don’t see anybody here named Rabbit,” Mike snapped. “Last time I’m telling you, quit getting in everybody’s shit! I’m sorry about what happened to your sister, but mind your own goddamn business! You wanna keep going this way, I’ll give you your final write-up. After that, I’ll have no other choice but to walk you out. That what you want? You both do good work in this department, and I don’t want to lose either one of you. But if you keep it up, Aaron, you’re gonna be out on your ass. We on the same page here?” Aaron chuckled and looked at Robbie. “Know what, Rabbit? Yer part of a dyin’ breed. I mean it. Yer dead! Know why? ’Cause we meat-eaters hunt rabbits and other plant-eaters like you. You understandin’ me, you fuckin’ weaklin’? Only the strong survive! It’s only a matter of time before you end up like all God’s creatures . . . right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy! My sister was a fuckin’ rabbit – just like you. It didn’t keep her from bein’ kidnapped and killed a few months back. And you know what?” He pointed in a random direction. “The fucker that did it is still out there – still roamin’ free! And that’s another thing! Women are in the same place as you rabbits on the food chain – nothin’ but weak, dead weight. When the killer catches up to you . . . I’m gonna laugh my fuckin’ ass off.” Mike had had enough. “You know what, Aaron? Go home! This ain’t negotiable! We don’t need your shit here. It’s obvious you still ain’t over your sister’s death. Go home and cool off. Last warning! You come back in here tomorrow and start your shit again, I won’t worry about no final write-up. I’ll just walk you out myself, and you won’t have a job here no more.” He pointed in the direction of the nearest door. “Go home! Now!” Aaron didn’t move at first. Finally, he slammed his palms on the table, making sure he got Robbie’s attention. Then he stood up, still smiling his sinister smile at Robbie. “Be seein’ you, Rabbit.” “Move!” Mike commanded him.  “Fuck you, I’m goin’!” Aaron snapped.  Robbie and Mike both heard Aaron yelling and cursing as he moved to the exit door and walked out of the plant. Robbie was relieved to not have to work with Aaron, at least for today. 

Robbie managed to avoid Aaron when he returned to work. He started taking his lunch box to a different break area and eating there. Mike had told Aaron not to talk to Robbie, unless it was work related. However, that didn’t keep Aaron from giving him his sinister looks.  Over time, Robbie had heard around the work area about what had happened to Aaron’s sister, Susan. Aaron had never gotten along with Susan. True, Aaron was old enough to be Robbie’s father . . . and Susan’s. Aaron’s mother had taken over raising him when her husband, David, had died of a heart attack. Aaron was around ten, and he never really got over the loss of his father. After that, he looked up to his uncle, George, who was even meaner and more vicious than his dad. Still, Uncle George taught Aaron everything he knew about hunting and fishing.  Then, when Aaron had reached twenty, his mother had met a man named William Sanders. Aaron didn’t think much about it at first. As far as he was concerned, William wasn’t going to be around long. All of the other men before him had left. But months went by and William was still around, committed to his mother. Aaron never saw the surprises coming when his mother made two big announcements. The first was that she and William were getting married. The second was that she was going to have William’s baby. Aaron flew into a wild rage and threatened to shoot William. As far as Aaron was concerned, he was the man of the house – end of story. Just the same, William and Rosie were married. Months later, Susan came into the world.  Aaron would never come to accept this daughter as his sister and let William and Rosie know about it on no uncertain terms. As Susan grew up, Aaron would be verbally abusive towards her. Being an overbearing bully, he never had to raise his hand to her. Over time, Susan became both angry and afraid of Aaron. As long as William and Rosie were around, Susan felt some semblance of safety from Aaron.  Over the last two years that Susan had lived at home, she had taken up a vegan lifestyle and refused to eat anything that Aaron had put on the table for her. Aaron became increasingly frustrated and abusive with her because of it. Susan had finally decided that she wasn’t going to tolerate Aaron anymore. During her junior year at Strickfield High School, Susan moved out and went to live with friends who shared her compassion for animals, who were also vegan. It had taken a restraining order to keep Aaron away from Susan.  After Susan graduated from high school, she had gone on to Strickfield University. Aaron was around forty and had become meaner and bitter than ever. During this time, Rosie had died. William died not too long after. By then, Susan was living in a dorm room at Strickfield University.  Aaron had been arrested once for breaking the restraining order during Susan’s freshman year at Strickfield University. He’d gotten drunk and confronted Susan in Wilder Hall, the student union building. Susan decided not to press charges, and he was released. The police gave him a warning about what would happen if he broke his restraining order again.  Aaron had heard through the grapevine that Susan had met someone on campus and was seeing him. He didn’t know who the person was, but he was determined to find him and make  life hell for anyone who thought about hooking up with Susan.  A few months later, Aaron was arrested again when it was revealed that both Susan and her boyfriend had been kidnapped. The remains of their bodies were found not too long after, with their clothes on them and the flesh and muscles stripped clean off. Aaron went into a rage when he was in jail and screamed up and down that he had nothing to do with the abductions or murders.  Aaron would be released since it was proven that he didn’t abduct and kill Susan and her boyfriend, whose name he didn’t know because he never could remember it. He had been home drinking with friends, all of whom were able to vouch for him. Aaron continued to go further down the spiral, and it showed at Mirren Automotive. If it wasn’t for Mike Cruz keeping the peace, Aaron would have created quite the hostile working environment. 

A month later, Robbie had accepted some overtime at Mirren and was given an hour break to go and get some dinner. Robbie hadn’t packed extra food for the overtime period, but he knew that Rockne’s Bar and Grill across the street was a place that had vegan options and decided to go there. Robbie went in and sat at the bar. Rockne himself knew Robbie and told him of the vegan special, which was a meatloaf dinner with macaroni and cheese and a vegetable medley.  Robbie felt the glare and saw that Aaron was sitting about four seats down from him. Still, he knew that old man Rockne didn’t put up with Aaron outbursts in his bar any more than Mike Cruz did at work. Aaron gave Robbie his sinister smile, but he made no move.  Robbie looked back to Rockne. “Sounds good. I’m going to go use the restroom.”  “Your food’ll be waiting here for you when you get back, kid,” Rockne said.  Aaron watched as Robbie walked away. He watched with even greater anticipation as Rockne prepared the college rabbit’s food. He put the finished plate on the table and then put the silverware next to the plate. He finished it off by putting a glass of water down. As soon as Rockne went to the back, Aaron struck. He had a big bowl of beef gravy that he used for his plate of food. There was quite a bit of it left. He picked it up and moved over to Robbie’s plate. After making sure that Rockne was still in the back, he tilted the bowl and poured the gravy all over everything. When he finished, he went back to his seat.  When Robbie returned and sat down, he immediately noticed the gravy all over his food. When Rockne came back out, Robbie made his complaint. Rockne looked at the plate. “I didn’t put any gravy on that, kid.” He groaned. “I’ll getcha a new plate.” “The fuck you will!” Aaron called out. Then he pointed at Robbie. “You just sit yer ass down there and eat that food right there.” Rockne pointed right at Aaron. “I’m putting this meal on your tab, you little son of a bitch.” Aaron ignored Rockne and got off his stool. “Well, come on, Rabbit! Sit down there and eat.” Rockne said to Robbie, “Don’t touch that food. I’ll getcha a new plate.” Aaron glared at him. “No, you will not! He’s eatin’ this one.” He glared at Robbie. “Eat that food there! Or I swear to God I’ll fuckin’ feed it to you myself.” “Since you tainted my food, I’m not touching it,” Robbie replied in defiance.  Aaron’s glare turned into a sinister smile. “Fine, have it yer way.” Aaron hauled off and punched Robbie in the face with enough force to send him backward and flying over a nearby table. Aaron was quickly around to the other side. He pulled Robbie up and hauled off on him again. Before Robbie could fall, Aaron picked him up into a fireman’s carry. He took Robbie to another table and slammed him right top of it, making the table collapse. “What’s the matter, Rabbit?” Aaron taunted. “It’s vegan food, ain’t it? I just spiced it up a little for you.” He kicked Robbie in the gut. “This place used to be just for real men. Then you fuckin’ college kids came along with yer vegan shit. Now Rockne’s servin’ rabbit food here.” He kicked Robbie in the gut again. “You can’t even get a real man’s meal in here no more.” He kicked Robbie in the gut one more time. “Because of you fuckin’ rabbits!” Robbie tried to pick himself up. Aaron helped him up enough to punch him hard in the gut. “Look at you! You ain’t even a real fuckin’ man. Yer just some sissy-ass kid who can’t even fight me.” Aaron grabbed Robbie’s hair and pulled him back to the bar. Before Robbie could think, Aaron shoved his face right into the gravy-soaked food. Then he started rubbing Robbie’s face in it. “Come on, Rabbit! Come on! Eat that fuckin’ rabbit food. Doesn’t that gravy make it taste that much better? Huh? Mmmmmm . . . ! Eat as much as you want!” But the sound of the pump-action shotgun quickly forced Aaron to let go of Robbie. Rockne had pulled his shotgun out from underneath the bar and was now aiming it right at Aaron. “Let go of the kid, you little bastard!” When Aaron hesitated, Rockne screamed, “I said let him go!” Aaron finally let go of Robbie and stepped back very slowly. Rockne gave Robbie a wet towel. “Here, kid, wipe yourself off. Don’t worry, I just called the cops.” Aaron raised his hands in front of him as Rockne kept the gun on him. “Now, look here, old man . . . We wouldn’t want –” “Shut the fuck up, Aaron!” Rockne interrupted. “You’re done here! You hear me?! You’re banned for life from here. You ever step foot in my place ever again, and I’ll blow your goddamn head clean off. And you know I mean just what I’m saying! And don’t think I ain’t collecting what you owe me for wrecking my place.” Then Aaron heard another voice. “Hey, Aaron! You ever step foot in Mirren Automotive ever again, and I’ll have security walk your ass out.” Aaron quickly spun around and saw Mike Cruz standing there. He pointed right at Mike. “Bullshit! You didn’t see nothin’!” “I saw enough,” Mike said. “You’re fired! You hear me? Fired! Don’t even bother coming back to work. I’ll be in on Saturday. You can come back in and get your shit then.”  Mike came over to Robbie. “You okay, kid?” Robbie nodded. “I’ll be all right?” “I got the police coming,” Rockne told Aaron. “I’m pressing charges on you. You’re paying for all the damage you caused here – and that ruined plate.” Aaron pointed right at Rockne. “Fuck you, old man! You ain’t gettin’ one goddamn dime outta me.” He pointed at Robbie now. “This ain’t over between you and me, Rabbit! Yer permanently on my fuckin’ shitlist!” When Rockne raised the shotgun to Aaron again, Aaron shouted curses as he turned and stormed out of the bar. 

Around 3:00am, Aaron sat in his pickup truck and eyed the Mirren Automotive east parking lot. Aaron took another swig out of the bottle of whiskey he’d brought with him and felt the alcohol mix really good with his anger. He caressed the double-barreled shotgun that he had sitting in the passenger’s side.  “Yeah, you think I can’t think, huh, Rabbit?” Aaron muttered. “Maybe I never knew yer fuckin’ name, but I know where you leave here from. I know what car you drive. I’ll fuckin’ kill yer rabbit ass before you make it back to that panty-waste college of yers.” He took another swig, then shouted, “Vegan, my ass!” He didn’t have to wait that much longer. Eventually, he saw a small group of people coming out of the plant. He raised his binoculars and saw that Robbie was among them. He grinned with anticipation. “Ooooh, yeah! I’ll get you easy, boy. I’ll run you right offa the goddamn road. Then I’m gonna go on a little rabbit hunt.” As Aaron reached over to caress his shotgun again, he suddenly realized that it was no longer there. “What the fuck?!” Suddenly, he felt the double barrels being pressed right up against the left side of his neck. Aaron turned his head to see who managed to sneak his shotgun out of the open passenger’s side window and brought it over to his side. His eyes went wide when he recognized the face.  “You?!” Aaron choked out. “Can’t be . . . ! Yer – !” Aaron didn’t have time to finish. The person quickly raised a pistol and fired it. Aaron gasped when he felt the dart hit his chest. He blacked out seconds later. 

Aaron opened his eyes and groaned. “What the fuck . . . ?” he mumbled.  Aaron sniffed and recognized that all-too-familiar scent of smoked meat. When he managed to overcome more of the tranquilizer, he realized that he was tied up and elevated in some backyard somewhere. He looked and saw somebody was roasting a big slab of meat over an open fire.  “What the fuck?!” he repeated.  The person turned around. Then he moved over to Aaron. In the dim light, Aaron could see Robbie now. “Oh, hey! Glad to see you’re awake, Aaron. Guess that was some pretty good tranq, huh?” Aaron glared down at Robbie and demanded, “What the fuck you think yer doin’, Rabbit?!”   Robbie laughed. “Why . . . just watching you hang around. Literally! Pretty soon, you’re going into that little building right behind you. Since you can’t see it, it’s a smokehouse. Oh, and you’re going to be getting smoked to perfection. Once you’re skinned, that is . . .” Aaron screamed with rage and tried to squirm free. Robbie wasn’t in the least bit intimidated. When Aaron couldn’t fight anymore, he glared at Robbie again. “Lemme go, God damn you!” Robbie laughed. “Congratulations, asshole! You were right about me. Me being a vegan  won’t last. Okay, when we first met, I was eating vegan. Not because I wanted to, mind you. But the real truth is . . . you were the one I was hunting. See, I’m a hunter, too. Except I don’t just hunt deer and other wild animals. I also hunt for people that might make some great, tasty meat. And, yes, you were definitely right about meat being the way. Believe me, you were so right. And you are going to make some great eating once you’re all finished smoking.” Aaron growled. “When I get my fuckin’ hands on you, you son of a bitch . . . !” “Good luck with that,” Robbie said. “You might want to look down at your legs, though.” Aaron looked down to see that he not only had no pants on . . . he no longer had his lower legs!! Only stumps where they once were. “Holy motherfuckin’ shit! Oh, my fuckin’ god! Jesus fuckin’ – !” “Oh, for fuck’s sake, would you please – for once in yer life – just shut the fuck up?” a female voice familiar to Aaron called out from the back door.  Aaron looked to see the girl who came and stood next to Robbie. “I did see you outside the factory . . . Susan! But . . . but . . .  yer dead!” Robbie wrapped an arm around Susan’s waist. Then the two of them shared a kiss before they looked at Aaron again.  “Our plan worked, lover,” Susan said. “Yes, it did,” Robbie agreed.  “Goin’ to college was the best thing ever happened to me,” Susan explained to Aaron. “You see, when I met Robbie, he was such a sensitive guy. Yeah, he done has his problems, such as all the meat he eats, but he’s still all sweet on me. I mean, I literally fell in love with him at first sight.” Robbie smiled. “I used to think girls were trouble, especially the ones who lived out here in the country. Then I met your sister here – a country girl – while I was at the university. Boy, did she ever catch me off guard. Now, I don’t know how I ever lived without her. Anyway, when she told me about what an insufferable prick you were to her and how she had so many sleepless nights because of you . . .” He sighed. “I flat-out suggested just killing you.” Susan was angry now. “And, believe me, you don’t know how many times I wanted to blow yer fuckin’ head off while you was sleepin’. Robbie done showed me that killin’ you will be so easy. We’ll even benefit from you, too. Surprise! I ain’t vegan no more. Turns out I love eatin’ meat.” She giggled a little. “Human meat!” Susan picked up a knife and carved off a small piece of the meat from the roast. She turned back to Aaron. “This here’s one of yer legs over this here fire.” Aaron was horrified to see Susan put the cut meat into her mouth and eat it. She turned to Robbie. “Mmmm . . . smoked to perfection,  baby.” Robbie smiled at Aaron. “For the record, I did go vegan for the last few months. See, Susan made a little bet with me. She said I couldn’t be vegan for two whole months, so I agreed to try it. She in turn agreed to try eating human meat. If I made it two months, which I did – today, she would go back to eating meat on the full-time basis.” He turned to her. “Don’t worry, hon, I won’t hold you to it. If you want to be vegan, it’s fine by me.” They shared another kiss. Then Susan said, “Vegan food is mighty good, but I’ll consider eatin’ human steaks. As long as it don’t bother you that I still wanna eat vegan.” Robbie shook his head. “No, we can eat vegan food. You were right, it’s actually not bad. I’d say we found our happy medium, you and me.” They kissed one more time.  Again, Aaron struggled to free himself. He roared and thrashed with all his might. Finally, he realized it was useless and gave up.  “You were dead, Susan!” Aaron protested. “You and yer college boyfriend both.” “You saw two bodies we done carved up,” Susan corrected him. “Robbie and I put our clothes on them bodies. The police never even thought to do any kinda forensics to see if they was really us or not. We’re both legally dead. My new name is Megan Farns now. We got married shortly after we decided we was gonna kill you.” “Speaking of killing you, Aaron,” Robbie said, “we’re going to strip the flesh off you. Then we’ll put you in the smokehouse and smoke you to perfection, just like we did your legs. Susan wanted to keep you alive long enough so she could see you before we do what needs to be done.” “I know I’ll savor every bite of you until yer all gone,” Megan murmured.  “Still think I’m a rabbit now, you short little fat fucker?” Robbie teased.  “This is bullshit!” Aaron cried. “Bullshit!” “Puttin’ up with you all them years of my life was bullshit,” Megan snapped. “Now I’ll sleep peacefully, and with my wonderful man.” She glanced at Robbie. “I’m done talkin’ to this shitheel now. Thank you for this opportunity, honey. I love you.” “I love you, too, babe. Here, I’ll give you the honors,” Robbie said, handing her a buck knife. Megan stepped up onto a sturdy metal ladder to look at Aaron one last time. “This is for my life of hell, you fuckin’ Neanderthal!” Aaron screamed as Megan stabbed him hard in his stomach. His blood was spurting out quickly. He groaned, intent on not giving up on his life. Megan knew this and drew back again for another hard stab. Aaron Johnston knew that the second stab would be . . .  THE END!!

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Apr 28, 2021
Ep.80 – Dead and Breakfast - Behind the Snowy Blizzard There's a MANIAC!
00:15:42

Episode Notes

A group of teens get stranded by a severe blizzard, luckily they've landed on the doorstep of a humble Bed and Breakfast where they can get warm for the night... But something else is lurking in the white snow and it's dangerous.

Dead and Breakfast by Morgan Moore

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Transcript:

The screams of a young woman pierced the night as the source of the din exploded from the backdoor of her home… letting loose another screech in her wake.

Her screaming didn’t last long as the cold night air cut off her wind, forcing her to stop to catch her breath.

She was enjoying a night to herself while her mother babysat for her… but the peace she was hoping to get was shattered when a stranger knocked on her door.

When she opened it, the man rushed her and chased her into the living room… a bottle to the head lead to her escape.

And here she was, taking a break to regain her composure.

She was freezing, but there was no way she was going back into her house. A neighbor… any neighbor would have to do.

The young woman started to walk towards a distant gate when the man shoved his foot into the small of her back.

With no time to react, he flipped her over, sitting knees first on her stomach.

Stunned by the blow she looked up at him, as the ice pick… recently pilfered from her home… entered and exited her heart repeatedly.

When he was finished the man stood up and slid the ice pick into the pocket of his jacket before walking off into the cold, bitter night.

. . . . .

“I think it’s stuck Matt.”

“Really? I hadn’t noticed Rachel.” Matt replied sarcastically.

Rachel, Matt, and their friends Danni and Jack had been trying to get in one last camping trip before the weather turned bitter… but a blizzard appeared out of nowhere mid-week, so the quartet had packed up and hit the highway.

The blizzard in full swing, the group took the recommended detours and ended up in a town called Oldsville… or more accurately on the front lawn of a house they almost hit as they skidded off the road thanks to the ice surrounding Oldsville.

“So now what do we do?” Danni asked as she held her arms against her body for extra warmth.

“There’s no way we’re gonna get any help out here tonight.” Jack remarked.

“Well we have to do something or else we’ll freeze.“ Matt interjected.

Rachel looked around the area. He was right she thought; they’d freeze to death if they stayed out here.

Rachel looked around the neighborhood, and noticed that the lights were off in every house except for the one they were stuck in front of. “Hey guys, it looks like the people who live here might still be up. Why don’t try asking them for help?” she suggested to her friends.

The other three looked at each other and shrugged.

“I’m game… as long as they have heat.” Danni said.

“And a warm bed to go with it.” Jack added, grabbing Danni by the waist and bringing her into a kiss.

“Don’t get too lovey-dovey, you might get stuck together, and not in a fun way.” Matt said as he hauled out everybody’s bags from the car.

The four trudged up to the house and banged on the door all at once.

Almost immediately the door swung open. A middle aged woman stood between them and the interior.

“Yes?” she asked, slightly annoyed.

“Hi. We’re sorry to bother you. But we slid off the road and uh, into your yard…” Matt started gesturing to the car. “...anyways it’s stuck now. Is there any way you could let us spend the night?” he finished before giving the woman a warm smile, the others following suit.

The woman looked at the group and shrugged a bit. “Well, I guess we’d be a really terrible bed and breakfast if I didn’t let you sleep here. Come on in.”

She ushered them inside.

“A bed and breakfast? I guess we lucked out big time. I didn’t see a sign out in the yard though.” Rachel remarked as she and her friends stripped off their winter gear.

“It’s more than likely covered by all the snow.” The caretaker explained.

She lead the group to the kitchen and after a few minutes handed them each a hot cup of tea.

The foursome downed their beverages eagerly which elicited a chuckle from the caretaker.

“Are there any other guests staying here?” Danni asked.

“Nope. You kids are probably the only ones we’ll have until the weather blows over.”

“How much do we owe you?” Jack asked.

“Don’t worry about it tonight. We can hash that out in the morning… no point in handling the business side of this now when you may end up staying longer.”

The group looked at each other sheepishly.

“Sounds like a plan then.” Matt said, breaking the awkward silence. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired. Would you excuse us ma’am?”

“Not at all. The rooms are upstairs for guests, pick whatever ones you want. My room is down here if you kids need anything.” She explained, giving them a smile.

. . . . .

The stranger trudged through the harsh winter conditions. He did not know where he was going… he was only moving because he felt the urge to do so.

He would need shelter soon.

As if reading his mind the snow let up some… the lights of the nearby house beckoning him.

. . . . .

Rachel walked into the room she and Matt had claimed, buttoning up a pajama shirt as she did so. Matt sat on the bed looking at his phone.

“Anything interesting?” Rachel asked.

“I was checking the weather. Looks like the snow is definitely not stopping until late tomorrow night.”

“I guess that means we will be staying here for a bit.” Rachel said, blowing a strand of hair from her face.

“Looks like it.” Matt said sternly.

. . . . .

The stranger pried open the backdoor of the dwelling and slipped inside.

Finding himself in a kitchen, he sat down at a table and pulled off his coat.

He removed an ice-pick from his pocket, laid it upon the table and sighed at the sight of the instrument before him.

. . . . .

Danni collapsed onto Jack and smiled before rolling off of him. The two lovers lied next to each other, sweat covering them.

“I’m gonna take a shower while there’s still hot water.” Danni said, exiting the room.

Jack dozed off seconds later, only to come to in pitch blackness.

He stumbled to his feet in search of his phone, and the light it would provide.

The stranger rushed at Jack and pinned him against the wall.

Jack’s assailant slid a gloved hand over his victim’s mouth tightly.

The blows came fast, tearing his flesh savagely again and again! The stranger let Jack’s body collapse to the floor before heading to the bathroom and the sound of running water…

. . . . .

Matt and Rachel rushed into the bathroom as Danni’s screams rang out repeatedly.

Now here they were, face to face with a psychopath.

“Run!” Matt screamed as the stranger bolted towards them.

The duo rushed down the stairs, nearly falling over one another as the stranger pursued them.

Their eyes went to the front door, widening in joy that they would be free of this nightmare.

The stranger tackled Matt.

Rachel screamed.

Matt turned his head to look at her as the stranger slit his throat.

The killer stood up and turned to face Rachel.

She bolted and dove out window in the far side of the room and ran pell-mell into the cold night.

. . . . .

The frigid air assaulted her lungs and skin.

Rachel pressed on, desperately searching for signs of life in any of the neighboring houses.

Minutes passed and she was ready to give up when a light appeared from a distant home.

She stumbled forth, up the stairs, and beat on the door until her knuckles bled.

The door opened a crack and a middle aged woman peered forth from the slight opening.

“Please… please help me!”

The woman looked at Rachel, stunned. She gathered her wits and spoke.

“What’s the matter?”

“Somebody is chasing me! He killed my friends!”

The woman ushered Rachel inside and bolted the door.

. . . . .

“Honey I’m home.” A voice called out.

“That’s my husband. Let me go tell him what happened to you.” the woman said as she left the room, wringing her hands.

Rachel listened to the sound of a clock ticking away in the kitchen.

The gentle “tick-tock” droned on and on as Rachel’s eyelids grew heavier and heavier

. . . . .

Rachel started awake as footsteps approached.

In the doorway stood the stranger, ice-pick in hand.

His lips split into a gruesome smile.

Rachel’s bloodcurdling scream rung through the neighborhood and across the cold Winter’s night.

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

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Apr 21, 2021
Ep.79 – Torture and Other Job Skills - Being Out of Work Can be KILLER
00:37:19

Episode Notes

Being out of work sucks, especially when that's how you value yourself. But what if you have another calling, a deeper calling... a DARKER calling...

Torture and Other Job Skills by Killian Crane

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Transcript:

Have you ever been laid off? I had my dream job in management. Good benefits, great pay. Small company, room to grow. Every day at work was a genuine pleasure. Most people say that to kiss their boss’s ass. But not me. I loved my job. When Debra left me, the job was all I had. I poured my soul into it. Those under me, they didn’t understand. They whispered behind my back, called me, “pushy, tight ass... nut job.” Some of them even called HR on me. They couldn’t understand. I demand nothing but the best from my team. Do your job to the best of your ability and we’ll have no problem. Do sloppy work, and I will make sure you face the consequences. And as for all the whispers behind my back, what they failed to realize was that my methods worked. I was by far the best manager at my job. Punctual, organized, efficient. Those under me knew my expectations. You see, people are like coal. If you put enough heat and pressure on coal, it becomes a diamond. Diamonds are the standard we should all strive to achieve. One thing I cannot stand is failure. I punished those that failed me. There are far too many weaklings in the workforce. The answer of course isn’t to fire them on the spot, that’s a waste of coal. But punishment, that’s the answer. More heat, more pressure. There’s a diamond in there somewhere. I was the best at making diamonds... until this fucking COVID-19 virus. I will never forget the day my boss Ryan called me into his office. The first words out of his mouth were, “I’m sorry I have to do this.” He was flat, formal, and precise. I sank into my chair. He said some more things about the virus, uncertain times, cutbacks in every department. Across the board, he said... I didn’t listen to all that. I was too busy looking into his eyes. They said everything I needed to hear. He wasn’t sorry, not at all. He wanted me gone. I couldn’t help but cry. It was unsightly and unprofessional, but the job was my everything, my only thing. And he took it from me. He leaned back in his chair and sighed. “It came from corporate. Nothing I can do.” Years of service, up in smoke. As COVID made a killing, so did delivery services. I had everything delivered to my apartment; food, basic supplies, alcohol. Not that I was afraid of the virus, I just... didn’t have the strength to go outside. I was a failure. Me, the best employee in my division, possibly in the entire company... had been laid off. Let go. I knew it had nothing to do with the virus. That was just an excuse for the higher ups to trim the fat. I never thought of myself as fat before then. Fat was something gross to be discarded. I hated myself, but more, I hated everything else. I started the search for a new job immediately. I updated my already outstanding resume, surfed the appropriate websites. Someone would have me. My bed became my new office as I searched. My laptop lay to my right, next to the television remote, the pretzels, the two liters, the whiskey, the box wine... I used the same cup for everything. Saved time during the search. Every time I went to the door for a delivery, I had to kick the daily paper out of the way. Despite the pandemic, the paper never stopped coming. Over time, they became a pile next to the door. They had their own ozone, their smell of ink and paper so much more pleasant than the rest of the place. It was funny. The world shut down, but not the mail. Should have been a mailman, I thought. Definite job security. Of course, there were no mail jobs available. There were almost no jobs available. And the ones that were disappeared fast. The market was more dog eat dog than ever. I’d send in my resume and check back the next day to find the position no longer available. And I hadn’t gotten a call. Their loss, I thought... but then more and more listings disappeared. Blinking out like stars in the night sky. When the check from the government came in, that was the worst. I’m sure it thrilled some people to receive one, but not me. I felt like a leech. More than anything, I wanted to work. To earn my way. But the night sky had grown dark, and so had my apartment. In the darkness, I fantasized about hurting Ryan. A lot. I wished it was just me and him and a fucking pipe wrench... Those weeks were hard on my ex, Debra. She called me often. I remember standing in my bathrobe at the window talking to her. The view was nothing spectacular, but it was nice to stand in the sun and listen to her voice. Too bad I couldn’t see her in person; she’d caught the damn virus. “I’m worried about you,” she said weakly between wheezes. I held my phone in the crook of my neck, checking my robe for smells. I’d flipped it inside out a few times in the past week. It itched, but I had a fix for that. A sort of numb-all recipe I’d perfected. “Me?” I asked on my way to concoct the recipe. I accidentally stepped in a puddle. Liquid seeped through my sock and in between my toes, “Don’t worry about me. Hey, this might cheer you up. I found out today they shut down my entire department. Even Ryan, the asshat that fired me, lost his job. And I think he has COVID!” “You shouldn’t laugh at that,” she said, “COVID’s no joke. I’m not liking it so far.” “Well, I hope it fucking kills him. Hang on, let me put you on speaker.” I put the phone down on the table. It was tough to find free space, so I knocked a takeout container to the floor. Globs of congealed rice spilled onto the hardwood. “I know you loved your job, but you shouldn’t say things like that.” My old job... it was why she left me to begin with. Late work hours, dates cancelled, time missed and all that. As she droned on about what the fuck ever, I poured myself the perfect numb-all. Three fingers of red wine, two fingers of bottom shelf whiskey. Pour over ice and slosh until mixed. Only one more ingredient... “No, I’m not,” I said, holding a little orange bottle. I wasn’t sure if that was the right response or not. Based on her silence, it wasn’t. Debra had left the bottle here at our- my apartment after a surgery on her knee. My supply of the last ingredient was low. The pills rattled as I popped the top and fished one out. Debra snorted. “You’re being strange today.” “Eh.” “Is there any way I could maybe see you, you know, after I get better? I’m just… tired of being cooped up.” I put the pill on my tongue and washed it down with a sip of my drink. Numb all coming right up. “We’ll have to see. I’m just so… busy these days.” “Busy?” “Yeah, sorry… can’t... can’t talk right now, I’m at work.” She went silent for a while before finally saying something terrible. “Take care of yourself, okay?” “Hey,” I said, ice clinking as I downed the rest of my drink, “who’s my pretty girl?” I licked my lips and tasted the world slowing down. Debra had a tattoo on the small of her back, a purple butterfly. Thinking about it made me the numb-all version of hard. “Stop,” she said, “you know it’s not like that anymore.” “Come on,” I slurred, touching myself. I tried to hide the slur, but that hadn’t been my first drink of the day. Or my first pill. “Who’s my pretty girl? Smile for me.” “Call me sometime, will you?” Fucking bitch, I thought before hanging up. Oh, how I wanted to fuck her brains out, and maybe more. If only... Oh well, I thought, eyes bobbing listlessly upon the fucking wreck that was my apartment. Before, I kept things spotless and sanitary. I did my laundry the second the hamper filled up, wash, dry, fold, iron, put away. Now there were dirty clothes on every piece of furniture, empty bottles and containers on every flat surface. The floor was a minefield of trash and puddles. The smell of household cleaners and soap was gone, replaced by something... sad. The only agreeable smell came from the pile of papers near the front door. It’s ozone of pressed ink smelled so nice… I blacked out then, not sure for how long. I woke lying on the ground in a half-dried puddle of piss, my head nestled against the help wanted section. And then it came to me… The help wanted section! Why hadn’t I thought of it before? How stupid had I been? Of course, all the job positions would be online, but what if…? I tore into the pile. That ozone of ink and paper stained my fingers as I flipped and tore and read. Loose sheets crumpled and flew away. I didn’t care about the news; everyone knew the world was going to hell already. I devoured the job ads, holding them in the light pouring through the window. And I was right! Every single paper had the same offer! Every single one of them! “Management position. Job is challenging and a test of dedication and skill. Nothing but excellence will be accepted.” I danced with joy, kicking trash and splashing in puddles as I spun around and around. I tripped over my couch and busted my lip on the armrest, but stood with not a care in the world! The answer had been in front of me all along! Everyone had missed it because no one reads the paper anymore! There wasn’t a phone number to call, only an address. I had no time to shower. Some other desperate fuck might find the ad too. I laughed at his misfortune. “Sorry, pal,” I screamed at the top of my lungs, “I’m gonna beat you to it!” I tried calling Debra. She didn’t answer. I found that she’d called me in my blacked-out state, but… I’d call her later, after I gave her the good news. Because things were about to change. I would get that job. I would. I peeled my wet underwear off, splashed water on my pits and junk. Put on deodorant, scrounged around and put on my cleanest work clothes. Slapped a mask over my face. I felt the blood of my busted lip leaking onto it. I grabbed another mask off the floor so I could change them when I got to the interview and filled my flask; four fingers of whiskey, topped to the brim with red wine. I mixed them together and took one good pull of liquid courage to calm my thudding heart. I pocketed the flask, my phone, wallet and keys. One good slap to the face, and I was on my way.  I barely remember the bus ride there. I worked through what I needed to say at the interview… but I was nervous. Like my first date with Debra, only worse. This was my chance out of the hole. My only chance. I lowered my mask and took another pull. The bus came to a halt at my stop. I paid as I got off and was stunned by what I saw.  The building was beautiful; a perfect square of black glass, like an onyx finger pointing accusingly at the sky above. I smelled the threat of rain through my mask. A good rain was just what the world needed. The filth could drown in it… but not before I got inside. I hurried across the street as thunder echoed in the distance. I stopped shy of the door, checking my dark reflection. I fixed my tie, checked my mask. Yep, there was blood. I threw it out, licked until there was no more red, and put a new mask on. But not before another pull of liquid courage. The whiskey wine burned my busted lip, as well as a fresh pain I hadn’t noticed before. In my fall, I’d apparently knocked one of my teeth loose. I wished I’d brought a pill or two… and then I remembered something else I should have brought. My resume! I’d come empty-handed! Lightning arced in the sky. Too late. I couldn’t go back... The flask loosened my nerves. The pain in my tooth made me sharp. It was time to prove I wasn’t fat to be discarded. I was excellence. I was perfection. I walked to the door like I owned the place and hit the buzzer. The sun was low in the sky. I thought maybe I was too late, but someone buzzed me in. The place was dark. No receptionist, no activity. An open elevator cab was the only source of light in the place. I stepped in and knew that something was wrong. This building was immense… but there were only two buttons. No floor numbers, just an up and a down. The boss had to be upstairs. Downstairs was probably to a parking garage or something. I pressed up. I worked my loose tooth with my tongue as I ascended. The wait was agonizing. When I thought it would never end, the doors opened. To either side were empty offices… but straight ahead I saw a man in a massive office standing behind a desk. He stared down at the world through a great window. Someone must have buzzed me in, and I hadn’t seen another soul in the entire damned place.  I tread towards his office, scared for reasons I didn’t understand at the time. Even from behind, this man exuded power. He spoke without turning. “Come in.” His voice was velvet ice. I couldn’t help but follow his command. I stepped into his office like I’d stepped on a puppy dog. He turned with a smile. His hair was neat, blonde, slicked back on his head. His face was clean-shaved. I realized with broiling anxiety I hadn’t shaved before I left. I reached to shake his hand. “Hello, I’m- “ “I know who you are,” he said, gesturing to a chair, “Sit.” My stomach turned.  “You know who I am?” I did as he command and sat down. Though I was scared, I couldn’t help but admire him. He was beautiful. And terrible. All my preparations flew out of the window, if I’d had any to begin with. I sat, crossing my legs and then uncrossing them. I didn’t want to seem disrespectful. He walked to a small cabinet. “Drink?” A test. He wanted to see how professional I was. He poured himself two fingers of scotch. It was my chance to impress him. I pulled my flask from my pocket. “Thank you, but I brought my own.” He laughed a practiced, unreadable laugh. Maybe I’d passed his test, maybe I’d failed spectacularly. I noticed there was no name placard at his desk. I didn’t know what to call him. “What do I call you, sir?” His coal eyes went to my mask. “You don’t have to wear that around me.” I took it off, noticing this mask was also soaked with blood. It was odd he’d said nothing about it. I began to spiral. Whatever this was, it was feeling less and less like an interview. I recognized the look in his eyes. It was the one I gave my employees when I had them right where I wanted them. At my old job, I constantly tested those under me, prodded them like a shepherd, herded them in the direction I wanted them to go. Now I was being herded. But towards what? “So, sir... what are your expectations?” He took a sip of his bourbon. I took a sip from my flask. It helped to even me out. Nervously, I pressed on my loose tooth, grimacing at the pain. The man studied me with that look. “I expect excellence. Nothing more, nothing less. And I think you have what it takes.” “You do?” “Yes. I think you have all the qualifications.” At this point, I was at a crossroads. I wanted this job, even though I didn’t really know what it was. But everything in me told me to run, so I tried to take an out. I pretended to pat myself down, looking for something. “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I forgot my resume at home, on my desk.” The man smiled. He saw what I was trying to do. “You don’t need it. You see, I’ve been waiting for you.” The urge to down the rest of my flask was strong. I tried to hide the tremble in my hand but couldn’t. Taking this interview had been a mistake. But… I was compelled. And desperate. He knew that. “Waiting for me?” “Yes. You finally saw my ad in the paper.” The room spun. I thought for sure I had lost my mind. “It’s a shame,” he said, “no one reads the paper anymore.” I stopped fighting the urge to down my flask and just did it. It poured over my loose tooth, and the world stopped spinning. The man finished his drink as well. “Are you ready to begin the interview?” I could barely control my breathing. “This… isn’t it?” “No. The interview is downstairs. Come.” He stood and walked out of the office. I hurried to my feet and followed. We got in the elevator cab, and he pressed the down button. We went down… and down… and down… and down. Far longer than it took me to go up. It got hot. Maybe actual heat, maybe my nerves. Questions buzzed in my head. I realized I never even asked what the position was for, yet here I was in a box descending the depths with this stranger. “So... what do you do here? The ad was vague.” “It’s best if you see for yourself.” The elevator didn’t open to a parking garage like I thought it would. It opened on a pristine hallway lit by fluorescent lights. At the end was a large metal door. The man walked ahead. He looked over his shoulders and called to me. “Here, boy.” He clicked his tongue, and I was out of the elevator. As we walked, he pulled a keycard from his inner suit pocket. He waved it in front of a reader, and the door popped open with a hiss. Beyond was pure darkness. Someone was in there, crying. The man smiled at me. “Are you ready to begin the interview?” He stepped inside, and fluorescent lights illuminated the room. Ryan, my old boss, rested on his knees sobbing. His arms were clasped in chains that hung from the ceiling. Every part of me screamed to run, but I stepped inside anyway. Ryan looked up at me. There was recognition in his face. “Thank God, it’s you! You have to help me!” On a rolling table next to him lay a red pipe wrench. I couldn’t believe what I saw. “What... what is this?” The man held his chin in one hand, studying me. “This is what you wanted, isn’t it?” “How did you know?” He gestured at the wrench. “This is the job. This is what you will be doing.” He gave me a wink. “Show me excellence.” My heart thundered in my chest as I approached. Ryan forced a smile on his face. “Hey man, it’s good to see you! Jesus Christ, help me! I’ve been in here for days now!” I lifted the wrench in my hand. The weight felt good. Really good. Ryan shook his head. “What are you doing?” I pressed so hard on my loose tooth it popped out of its socket. I grinned at Ryan, blood seeping out of my mouth as I spit my tooth out. It jangled on the floor like an ivory marble. “I’m sorry I have to do this.” I was flat, formal... precise. “No,” he cried, eyes bulging like a pig at the slaughterhouse, “please! No- “ I swung. Hard. The wrench sank into his temple. His eye popped from its socket. He sputtered a bit, then went limp in his chains. I grabbed him by the hair, hauling him up. “No,” I said, “he can’t die. He can’t fucking die!” The man grabbed my shoulder, surprising me. “Why can’t he die?” “Because... I want more!” The man’s eyes went from twin black coals to shimmering diamonds. He touched Ryan on the ear, and he came back to life screaming. “It hurts!” The little piggie squealed, “oh God, it hurts!” I hauled his face to mine. “No God! Not here! I’m your god now!” I pulled the dangling eye from his head and popped it in my mouth. I tasted his sorrow as I chewed. “It came from corporate,” I shouted over his screams, “nothing I can do!” We played with Ryan for a very long time. I struck him, and the man brought him back. All that anger and fantasy released with unholy zeal. Goddammit I was in heaven. I fell to my ass, heaving. Ryan hung from his chains in an unrecognizable slump. His ozone was salty but sweet. Tears stung my face. “Thank you,” I told the beautiful man, “Did... did I do good?” He nodded. I smiled and wiped the tears away. “Does that mean I got the job?” “Not quite. There’s one more test.” He snapped. The lights went out, and Ryan’s ozone disappeared with them. The man snapped again, and the lights came back on. When my eyes adjusted to the sudden illumination, my heart stopped. Where Ryan was once shackled sat Debra, bound by chains dangling from the ceiling. She screeched, trying to stand but was unable.  “What- what-“ she stammered, too shocked to speak. The man put his hand on her shoulder. His eyes were black coals that sucked her in. “Relax, my dear,” he cooed, stroking her cheek, “take a deep breath.” She calmed at his touch. “Where am I?” “You’re home, where you belong.” “No, I’m not. I was in my apartment, on my couch. How did I get here?” “You’d be surprised what lands you here.” “Where the hell is here?” The man pointed at me. “Isn’t it obvious?” She fell silent as she looked me up and down. I looked down at myself. Ryan’s blood still soaked my everything. The man ran his fingers through her hair. She shrank from his touch. “I want to go home now.” The man laughed. “I told you, you are home. This is where people like you go.” “People like me?” “People that deserve to be punished.” She winced at me as I stood, wrench in hand. I found the man staring at me. His gaze was piercing, but I found the words. “Do... do I have to?” The man’s eyes glowed like diamonds. “Do you want this job?” I remembered being in my apartment, dirty and all alone. All Debra had left me with was a broken heart and a little orange bottle of pain pills. I’d never admit it, but sometimes I would fantasize about fucking her, hurting her, sometimes both. But I never dreamed I would have the chance. Now, I wasn’t so sure. It didn’t feel right. The man backed away as I approached. Her eyes pleaded for help. I remembered all the good things. Cuddling with her as we watched television, walks to the park on late nights, drunken cab rides home. Thinking about those things, I almost wanted to set her free. “I tried calling you,” she said. “I know. I was going to call you back.” “I was in so much pain. And then I blacked out.” I cradled her face in my hand. She flinched from me as Ryan’s blood stained her jaw line. “Good news,” I said, “I’m having an interview! I think I’m doing really well, too.” Her lip trembled. “Get me out of here. Please.” Our time together had been sweet. And I was mostly to blame for why things fell apart. But... I needed this job. She looked confused. “What are you waiting for? Let me go!” I felt something in my heart rot as I fondled the edge of her chin. “Who’s my pretty girl?” Tears ran down her face and over my hand. “Please,” she begged, “let me go.” I gripped her face tight, scrunching her lips together. “Who’s my pretty girl?” Her mouth worked like a fish out of water. “I... I am. Just please- “ “I thought things weren’t like that anymore.” “They are! I swear to God- “ “No God! Not here! Only me! I’m your god now!” She burst into sobs. I almost felt bad, but I just had to rub it in. “Still feeling sorry for me?” She whined as she looked away. I choked her, forcing her to look at me. Heat and pressure... I would have my diamond. As her face changed colors, I let go. She collapsed, coughing. “What do you want?” She screamed. “I want you to smile.” “What?” “Smile for me.” “Please... don’t do this.” “Smile for me, pretty girl.” She looked me in the eye, still crying. A forced, agonized smile split across her face. I gripped my wrench tight. I remembered how pretty her smile was. Those candid moments at a restaurant, in bed after a date, in the morning over breakfast.  Those thoughts drowned as I remembered all the things she said to me when she left... She mewed like a bad little kitten. “Things- things can go back to how they were. Would you like that?” I grinned back at her. “Sorry. Can’t talk right now. I’m at work.” Her smile evaporated into a shriek, and my wrench found her teeth. We played for a very, very long time. When I finished punishing her, I collapsed in a heap and passed out. I woke up in my apartment, head resting against the mostly shredded pile of newspapers. Lying next to me was a sheet of paper. Only... it wasn’t a sheet of paper. It felt wrong under my fingers. Too soft to be paper, and too thick. I instantly dropped it to the ground when I realized it was human skin. It suctioned to the floor. The flowery script stared up at me. I peered down and saw that it was a contract. A job offer. I’d done it! I was a contributing member of society again! I found a knife and pricked my thumb. It burned as I pressed on the dotted line, right next to a very familiar purple butterfly. Have you ever been laid off? I thought I had my dream job. Good benefits, great pay. The company was small, family oriented. I genuinely enjoyed coming to work every single day. Most people just say that to appease the boss. Now, I’m the boss. Now, I have my dream job. My nightmare job. Every day I’m at work, I feel myself changing. When I look in the mirror, I see my eyes are now as black as coal. Maybe one day you’ll get let go from your “dream job.” You’ll find yourself numb and alone and lost. Maybe you’ll see a special ad only found in the paper. After all, no one reads the paper anymore. That ad will lead you to a tall building made of black glass. Come on in. We’re always hiring.

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Apr 14, 2021
Ep.78 – The Last Days of Jimmy Flavor - Ancient Books and Hard Drugs Don't Mix!
00:33:35

Episode Notes

Tonight Jimmy Flavor is a world class thief and he's taking on a demonic cult for fun and profit.

Jimmy Flavor's Last Day by David O'Hanlon

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

Jimmy Flavor stood in the shower letting the water scald his back. He took a drag off the cigarette and watched the smoke disappear into the steam, the same way the water hid the tears. Through the gap in the plastic shower curtain, he could barely see the revolver sitting on the chipped countertop through the manmade fog. The water pressure was shit in the sleazy motel, but it got hot. Hot enough to scour away the last three days.  Jimmy tried to ignore the knuckles rapping against the flimsy motel door. The television was blaring with an old war movie. The knocking turned to pounding. Jimmy listened to the rattle of machinegun fire through the TVs busted speakers. He leaned his head against the wall and took another long pull off the smoke before dropping it into the blood-tinged water pooling around his feet. It twisted and danced its way to the drain behind him.  The boot hit the door and he heard the frame shatter. His fifty-dollar deposit wasn’t going to cover the damages. He bunched the shower curtain in his fist and stared at that damn gun. Flavio Jimenez wouldn’t have reached for it. But Flavio was a charcoal briquette in the trunk of a firebombed car sitting in an abandoned lot. Jimmy Flavor felt the first, cheap plastic ring snap off the curtain rod as he made his decision. The more lives a man lives, the more deaths he dies. 

Three Days Ago

Flavio Jimenez tightened the tiny screws into place, one after the other in the cramped cellphone repair kiosk located around the corner from the mall’s food court. He shifted uncomfortably on the cracked vinyl stool as the aroma of Hamburger Hamlet’s kitchen wafted around him like a malicious spirit, leaving in its wake a slime trail of grease that Flavio could feel oozing through the pores of his skin. He powered on the tablet, unlocked the screen and turned it off again before sliding it into the envelope with the customer’s contact information on it and placing it in the ‘service completed’ drawer beneath the counter. Dweeb Space 9 was the premier cellphone and tablet repair service provider for eastern Oklahoma—at least that’s what the sign said. Flavio opened another oversized plastic bag and removed the archaic Nokia 8210. The customers were celebrating their twenty-year anniversary and wanted to recover their first text messages. He pressed the power button for no result and, of course, there was no charger included. He swiveled on the stool and pulled open the drawer for antique accessories. The cords were organized in a tangled ball wrapped in duct tape inside a grocery sack. Flavio sighed and dropped the bag on the counter. It’d be worth noting that he hated his job, if he liked any facet of his life at all. He did not. Flavio didn’t live, so much as he existed. In school, his grades stayed just high enough to graduate and he didn’t participate in any extracurriculars. Since no one was offering attendance scholarships, he went to work at Dweeb Space 9 and continued to stay there for the next seven years. He lived with his mother and sister and helped with the cleaning because he couldn’t cook anything that didn’t come with instructions on the box. His father was the risk taker and they lived comfortably on the life insurance as a result. It taught Flavio at an early age, not to do more than absolutely necessary.  Mediocrity was a lifestyle he was born to, with a slight build and average face which he kept hidden behind a shaggy mop of black hair and perpetual five o’clock shadow. Flavio hated his hair because it reminded him of how stupid his name was. He was not ‘yellow-haired’ not that anyone in Etawa, Oklahoma knew that’s what it meant. Flavio was the butt of his own inside joke. It was a name that led everyone to believe he spoke Spanish, which caused him both irritation and shame since he did not. The worst part, however, was his best friend CK. Since their first meeting in sixth-grade, CK insisted that Flavio must be Spanish for— “Yo, Flavor!” CK shouted as he jogged to the kiosk. No matter how many times he said it, or how many Spanish dictionaries he was given, Chandler ‘CK’ Kosinski insisted that Flavio meant ‘flavor’ and refused to call him anything else. “Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” Flavio asked. “Jobs are for people that don’t like making money.” CK waved at the DS9 sign. “Case and point.” “You got fired again.” Flavio prodded the Nokia’s charging port with one unidentified cord after another. “Just find something that doesn’t suck and stick with it.” “Or,” CK leaned on the counter and glanced around before continuing, “we could do one night’s work and make enough to buy this kiosk and make a living off dumbass high school kids… or guys with absolutely no forward momentum, like yourself.” “That’s the worst motivational speech ever. Ha! Got it.” Flavio set about freeing the correct cord from the tangle. “What is this one night’s work?” “I told my priest about my side gig at confession,” CK said. “Stealing copper isn’t a side gig, it’s a felony, but please continue.” “So is stealing nudes off those phones, but I know you got a collection.” “It’s a service fee for all the dick pics I have to see.” Flavio looked up from his work with a sour expression. “Did you know people are putting domino pieces in their dicks now? Why is that a thing?” CK cocked his head and scowled. “I never realized how happy I was not knowing a thing until I learned that was a thing I didn’t know. Can I get back to the fucking point, Flavor?” Flavio rolled his hand in an exaggerated call for CK to continue. CK looked around to make sure no one was close enough to hear him. “So, Father Roland came to me the other day and said someone robbed the church and he wants to hire a couple guys to go get it back. He asked if I knew any hardcore, stick-up men and I told him I had the perfect guy. A real fucking professional thief.” CK snapped his fingers and pointed a finger-gun right between Flavio’s eyes. “You told your priest that I was a thief?” Flavio pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.  “Kind of.” CK scratched at his platinum goatee. “I told him about a guy named Jimmy Flavor. I said he was this hotshot bank robber from Texas. Look, it’s an easy job but Roland won’t hire me unless I bring in someone with experience.” “You want me to lie to a priest, so he’ll hire us to steal shit? That’s the most Catholic thing you’ve ever said, CK.” “Six-figures, Flavor. That’s what he’s offering.”  Flavio’s face ruined any feigned disinterest. “Get cleaned up.” CK slapped some folded twenties on the counter. “Cut your hair, shave that depression off your face, put on your club clothes, and meet me at the church in the morning. This is the kind of opportunity that could change your life, bro. One night of taking a fucking chance for a change and then you can go back to stagnating in normalcy.” “Jimmy Flavor, huh?” Flavio tried not to smile as he said it. That was a much better name than ‘Flavio Jimenez.’ His gut twisted with a feeling he didn’t recognize at first. Then it hit him—he was excited. “What time?”

Flavio slept in a succession of short naps—a victim at the mercy of his own excitement and anxiety. He was already up and looking at the stranger in the mirror when the alarm went off behind him. His shaggy mane was replaced with a short-cropped fade and the scruff on his face was nothing but a tidy soul patch below his lip. He smoothed the collar of his red, flame-adorned overshirt and shut off the alarm before heading outside.  Flavio’s car was the only extraordinary thing about him. The 1953 Bel Air his grandfather bought new, and his father restored before his death, was Flavio’s only love. He cruised across town, wringing the steering wheel the entire drive. When he pulled up to the curb outside Saint Anthony of Thebes Catholic Church, CK was already waiting. He sat on the hood of his Kia Optima and talked to an elderly priest. Flavio watched them in the mirror for a moment, looked at himself and took a deep breath.  “You’re not Flavio Jimenez anymore. You’re a hardcore criminal. Act like it.” He got out of the car and strolled over to the other men with a false confidence he hoped hid the shaking in his knees. He nodded to CK.  “This is the guy I was telling you about, Father.” CK slid off the chipped, dented hood. “Meet Jimmy Flavor.” Flavio eyed the priest suspiciously. “You don’t look like a criminal mastermind.” “I’m Father Roland.” The priest didn’t offer his hand, which was busy manipulating the beads of a rosary. “What I’m hiring you for is hardly criminal. You’ll be acting with the full blessing of the Vatican.” Flavio looked to CK and then back to the priest and scoffed. “Don’t dip shit in sugar and call it a cookie, padre. You asked for a thief because you want thievery. Things that don’t belong to you now, are going to by the morning. That’s what you need to know. How about you cut the ‘mission from God’ line and get to the part where you tell me what I need to know to make that happen.” CK’s eyes were wide with disbelief and Flavio hoped his didn’t match. He wasn’t brash or disrespectful. But apparently, Jimmy Flavor was. Even his voice sounded different. It was deeper, with an edge that made Flavio uncomfortable. The priest nodded and smacked his lips. “Well, I was told you were the real deal so I shouldn’t be taken aback by such pointed speech,” Roland said. “The Vatican was in possession of certain artifacts linked to a Hittite cult, worshippers of an unsavory deity of disease called Jarri. They entrusted the collection with an explorer in the sixteenth century who was instructed to bury them far within the New World.” Jimmy Flavor shrugged. “You don’t need a stickup man for grave robbery.” “Some of the artifacts have been found,” Roland said. “The cult was revived at the beginning of the twentieth century, as seen with the arrival of the Spanish Flu. The Church has been trying to suppress these men and their machinations for some time. We recovered an idol in 1921 and a grimoire, a spellbook, in ’33. Both items were interred in the catacombs beneath your feet.” Jimmy Flavor looked at the sidewalk, then back up at the venerable cathedral. “You know who jacked you?” “A businessman named Earle Price is High Cleric of the Jarri cult.” Roland flicked his wrist, wrapping the rosary around his fist in a deft movement. “They’re rolling the infernal dice of damnation in a gamble to seize power beyond earthly comprehension. COVID, wild fires, rising hatefulness; they’re all signs of the cult’s meddling. Soon they’ll decipher more of the grimoire. We need it back before that happens.” “Sounds like a fucking D&D campaign.” Jimmy turned to CK. “This is what you’re wasting my time for? You want me to steal a book from some rich cocksucker for The Absent-Minded Preacher? The fuck was you thinking?” “The Vatican is paying a twenty-percent finder’s fee.” Roland shrugged with disinterest. “The book alone would be worth one-hundred-thousand-dollars for you. Retrieve it and the idol, and you could triple that number. However, the grimoire is the priority. They’re not fighters, Mister Flavor. This city is overrun with gang bangers that would jump at the opportunity. I would prefer a professional get back our belongings cleanly. That does not mean I won’t send an army of amateurs to butcher them all. Take it, or leave it. The deal is on the table for another thirty seconds.”

He took it.  The day passed much differently. Jimmy Flavor didn’t want to let go and Flavio found himself along for the ride. He spent money in anticipation of the small fortune coming his way, investing in a new outfit and an eight-ball of cocaine before hitting the biggest club in the city just after dark. Flavio could count the amount of times he got high on one hand, but Jimmy Flavor was railing coke like an 80’s stockbroker. By the time his savings were gone, he was popular enough to drink for free until he found other pursuits more worth his time.  At three a.m., his cellphone lit up with a text message from CK telling him it was time to meet. He pushed away the hand on his thigh to the dissatisfied groan of the woman beside him. Jimmy got dressed quickly and stepped into the bathroom. The other barfly was still in the shower and he wiped the steam away to check his appearance in the mirror. Flavio hadn’t been with two women in the last year, but Jimmy took two back to the hotel at the same time with ease. Jimmy Flavor was supposed to be a figment of his imagination—a character to play for a night.  But he was more than that. Flavio stared deep into the dilated pupils of Jimmy Flavor and saw himself cowering inside. The thief lived life so fully that he was birthing himself in the void of Flavio’s empty husk. Maybe he had been the imaginary one all along. Jimmy’s eyes flicked to the blurred, naked form through the translucent shower curtain. There was no way he could ever go back to the droning zombie he’d always been. He was Jimmy Flavor.

CK screamed as he plummeted from the top of the twelve-foot concrete wall that surrounded Earle Price’s estate. Jimmy turned and went back for his friend. The barking of the Dobermans was full of hate and frustration as they tried clawing their way up the wall in pursuit of the thieves. Shouting cultists drew nearer, followed by the mechanical groaning of the gate’s motor. The barking changed directions as they bolted to the opening portal. Jimmy dragged CK to his feet which produced another scream. He looked down and grimaced at the angle of CK’s shin. The protruding bone tented the pant leg. “Quit being a pussy, it’s just a sprain.” Jimmy glanced over his shoulder to the moving outline of the gate. “We have to go before the dogs get out!” Too late.  The duo shambled along another twenty feet before Jimmy let go. CK landed in the wet grass face-first and stared up at his friend in shock. The dogs were closing the distance faster than they could hobble. CK would get some stitches, but Father Roland promised the Vatican would keep them out of prison. Jimmy mumbled an apology and dashed away before the first dog dug into CK’s broken leg. The others circled their prey and pinned him in place, forgoing further pursuit of Jimmy. He stopped running at the end of the drive and heaved breathlessly in awkward silence. No one was chasing him.  The robbery went smooth… for a moment. A single shot into the ceiling sent the twenty-odd cultists cowering. Then things got weird. The lights flickered, the room got cold—then there were the words and the darkness. The wallpaper peeled away in strips with whispers from within. Jimmy grabbed the book and pistol-whipped the guy in the fanciest robes before they bolted through the front door. The dogs were on them in an instant. And those damnable words followed them across the yard like buzzing insects.  In the glaring floodlights, Jimmy could see robed silhouettes hoisting CK from the ground. Then came the screams. It was a demented shadow puppet theater from his vantage point as he saw the faceless shapes stringing CK’s intestines from his writhing figure. Lightning crackled overhead and CK went quiet. Jimmy watched the body fall limp and the figures turn his way. More whispers came from all around him. He didn’t understand the language, but he knew the meaning. He knew it was time to start running again.

Jimmy climbed through the bedroom window and shook off the rain. CK had the idol when he fell, but Jimmy still had the grimoire. He tossed the book on Flavio’s bed and stripped off his wet clothes. He heard his mother, always an early-riser, banging around in the kitchen. The red numerals on the alarm clock showed him a future that wouldn’t happen—the shrieking buzz of the alarm and the droll routine of getting ready to stagnate in the Dweeb Space 9 kiosk.  Never again.  He was a professional thief now. Jimmy dressed quickly. He would sleep when he got to the church and collected his payment from Roland. A glass shattered down the hall and Jimmy froze in place. His revolver was sitting on the bed next to the book. He stared at it trying to will it across the room and into his hand. His mother moved like a ballet dancer in the kitchen. He’d never seen her drop anything. His gut tightened and he tiptoed to the weapon, slipping it into his waistband and dropping the book into an old backpack that he slung across his torso.  The screaming started and he found himself in wet pants once again. Flavio wasn’t gone completely, it turned out.  His bedroom door flew open, crashing against the wall. Mari’s face was streaked with tears. His sister’s mouth opened to cry out when the visceral tentacle twisted around her neck, pulling her to the floor. Jimmy watched as the mound of slithering entrails converged on her body, smearing bile and blood across her satin pajamas. The puckered orifice of the disembodied stomach slid across her cheek like a snail, leaving a sizzling trail of digestive juices burning through the flesh. The small intestines gyrated across the carpet, securing Mari in their embrace. The organ positioned itself over her and forced its contents into her mouth with a wet squeal. Jimmy jumped through the window in a crash that did little to cover his sister’s agonized screams. He rolled through the mud and sprinted down the sidewalk to his car. The engine rumbled and the tires fought for traction as he pressed the accelerator all the way down. Flavio didn’t believe in anything he couldn’t see, but he still wouldn’t have believed what Jimmy had seen. Those sick bastards gutted his friend and somehow animated his guts into a grotesque hound to track him. Everything the priest said was true. The Cult of Jarri was real. The things they could do were real and if the magic was real, then so was their depraved god. That meant the world was up shit creek if he let them have the book. They already killed everyone Flavio cared about. Soon, they’d find him and he’d be just as dead. He rubbed the tears away from his cheeks. Jimmy Flavor wouldn’t be so easily killed. He would get the book to Roland, collect his money, and disappear. He still had five shots in the revolver and only an hour until dawn. He whipped the car around a corner and slid across the lanes before straightening it out. Jimmy took a deep breath and eased off the pedal. In his rearview, all he saw was wet asphalt reflecting the streetlights. The monster wasn’t back there and he let the breath out softly. Then he saw something else. The man lumbered down the sidewalk in soggy clothes. His wet, shaggy hair clung to his face. Jimmy pulled up to the curb and let the headlights fall on him. They were about the same size. Jimmy stepped out of the car with the pistol hidden behind the open door. The man’s clothes were ragged and dirty and a soggy cardboard sign was folded in the outside pocket of his backpack. “Hey, you need a lift?” Jimmy called out through the downpour. The man turned and jogged over to him. Jimmy’s thumb cocked back the hammer when he realized they were about the same age too. The man rested his hands on his hips and smiled a toothy grin. “Thank you. I thought I’d catch my death out here,” he said. “You have.” Jimmy raised the gun and fired a single shot through the man’s front teeth. Jimmy loaded the body into the trunk and drove to the abandoned Kmart where he worked on removing the rest of the teeth. He emptied a gas can over the body and tossed a hastily made Molotov cocktail at his beloved car. The last piece of Flavio ignited with the shattering beer bottle. A fireball tore through the sky as the fuel tank exploded and the sirens of rushing firetrucks became the soundtrack for Jimmy’s long walk to the church. Ahead of him the sun was rising on a new day.

Saint Anthony’s was empty and unlocked. Jimmy drew his weapon and called out for Father Roland. The priest didn’t answer. Jimmy continued his search, eventually coming to the open door of the rectory on the second floor. The smell burned his nostrils and he held his shirt tight over his face to combat the fumes which grew stronger as he explored deeper into the apartment and turned into the bedroom. A figure stretched across the soiled bedding. Above the white priest’s collar, strips of smoking flesh clung to the exposed skull. He jerked the shirt away and vomited across the foot of the bed.  He scanned the room for the creature and found a smoldering slime trail lingering across a windowsill and down the wall outside. Jimmy calmed himself and went back to the bed. A fanny pack sat on the night stand with tightly rolled cash inside. Jimmy stuffed it into his backpack with the grimoire. His fingers caressed the ancient leather tome. He pulled the book out and flipped through the mildewed pages. The TV chimed an announcement of breaking news; the police were looking for twenty-five-year-old Flavio Jimenez in connection with the murders of his mother and sister. Jimenez was suspected of strangling the women and trying to dissolve their bodies in acid. Tears welled up in Jimmy’s eyes.  He sniffled and cleared his aching throat. The cops would find his car soon and call off the search. He had to disappear before they realized it wasn’t his body in the ruins. He slammed the book closed and put it back in his bag. The Vatican still wanted it and didn’t know he’d already been paid. Vatican City was its own country with no extradition treaties. He could hide out there until he got fake papers and then slip into some Italian village with enough money to never work again. He made his way out of the church. The clouds were parting and the rain was just a light drizzle, shimmering in the sunlight. Things were going to be okay. He just needed to lay low and contact the diocese. Jimmy enjoyed the moment of calm. The Cult of Jarri must have taken the bait and assumed he was dead. That’s why the intestinal-creature wasn’t waiting around for him. He was free and clear until they ID’d the body in the Bel Air. That gave him a day or two. Jimmy smiled. It would all be over with a phone call.  The black Chrysler eased to the curb. Jimmy’s face fell. He recognized Earle Price behind the steering wheel. The passenger door opened and another man stepped out. Jimmy drew the revolver and put two in the man’s chest before he could finish telling him they just wanted to talk. Then he ran. He ran until his lungs hurt, until he thought his legs would break away and continue without him. The Cult would be on his trail again. He was running out of time and bullets and he pushed himself faster down the sidewalks and alleys, never looking over his shoulder to see who was chasing him.  He just ran.

The phone call went well. The Bishop said he would send someone to collect him and the book. Everything was falling into place until the five o’clock news showed the world the face of spree killer Flavio Jimenez. Footage from a traffic camera showed him gunning down Price’s goon in high-definition. They were also blaming him from Roland’s murder.  The Etawa Acid Killer was suspected to be at large. Armed and dangerous—and completely fucked. Jimmy dumped the cartridges out of the revolver and tossed the spent casings into the waste bin, one after the other, flinching as they clinked off the metal side. He pushed the two remaining bullets into the cylinder and snapped it shut. Two bullets and maybe twenty minutes to go.  He changed the channel to some war movie before heading to the bathroom. He turned on the shower and peeled away his clothes. The cultists, the police, and the Vatican were all coming to get him. There was nothing left to do but wait to see who got there first. He tapped a cigarette from the pack and lit it before stepping into the shower. He took a long pull and let the water scald his back. The movie was blaring in the other room but he could hear the knocking over it. It was urgent, frenzied pounding. Someone was shouting. Jimmy looked through the gap at the revolver sitting on the counter. He spat the cigarette into the water, watching it twist as it drifted away behind him. There was blood in the water, but he didn’t remember being injured. The door shattered with a brutal kick.  Jimmy bunched the shower curtain in his fist. It definitely wasn’t the Church. He ripped the curtain down and stepped out, retrieving his pistol and aiming it at the back of the door. He could hear the men yelling more clearly. State police. He cocked the revolver. Jimmy Flavor wouldn’t be taken alive. The cops would lock the book away safely. The Vatican could collect it from them after the dust settled. At least then the Cult of Jarri would never have it. A smell stung his nose and he thought about the blood in the shower. He turned his head upward slowly. Through the steam he could see the dripping, pink mass swarming across the ceiling.  The stomach shifted through the writhing intestines overhead. The sphincter puckered and blew an acidic kiss that splattered Jimmy’s bare feet. The bathroom door burst inward. Jimmy’s finger tightened on the trigger while the intestines tightened on his throat.  He heard two shots. He thought they might have been his until he felt the damp tile press against his cheek. He stared at the thing slithering across the ceiling. His head lolled over. A chunk of brain matter oozed down the side of the bathtub. He was sure it was supposed to hurt, but he didn’t feel anything anymore. The room got dimmer. The voices got quieter.  And Jimmy Flavor died just as quickly as he had lived. The End

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Apr 07, 2021
Ep.77 – Glenda's & The Snake Lady - Slithering Terrors Await You!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

On a cold night alone in the backroom of a dive bar Redd has the chance to find out the truth with the help of the menacing Snake Lady... but will the truth set Redd free or will it reveal the prison he actually lives in?

Glenda's & The Snake Lady by Charles Campbell http://valleyboypublications.com

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Transcript:

Glenda’s bar and pool hall has been a Valley staple for as long as anyone could remember. The beer was always cold and pool sharks with names like Bonehead and Tater frequented the joint over the years. Glenda’s was open for business Monday through Saturday. It was only closed when Christmas or Thanksgiving fell on a day other than Sunday. Glenda’s was open for all of the others; July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day. It was a place for adults to congregate and shoot the shit, bitch about their bosses, spouses or whatever gripes they wanted to get off their chest. The booze flowed and there were way too many fights to count. The front windows of Glenda’s were replaced at least twice a year because of out of control drunken brawls. The Burnettown PD had to be called over to Gloverville on a regular basis to sort out the riff raff, and there was a lot of riff raff to be sorted. There were bouncers employed at Glenda’s over the years but most of them wound up in the middle of the brawls instead of defusing them. One of the things...or, more properly, the thing that distinguished Glenda’s from any other redneck bar in the South was the legend of the snake lady. There was a dark room in the back of the bar and legend tells that on certain nights of the year it had an inhabitant. She would slither in from a secret entrance directly into the dark room. Glenda would chuckle if you asked her about it and blow it off as nonsense. But, it wasn’t nonsense. The snake lady is real and this is the story of a man that witnessed her firsthand. This is an unfiltered recount of what Redd Jones saw and heard on a cold December night back in 1985. 1985. Snow flurries fell upon the Valley which was a very rare thing. Even the hint of snow in this part of the country shut down schools and businesses. But one establishment that stayed open rain, shine, sleet or snow was Glenda’s. And Glenda’s was the favorite spot of Redd Jones. Redd lived on Oak Street in Gloverville and was a widower. He lost his wife, Edna, five years earlier when she died peacefully in her sleep. The coroner listed it as natural causes; open and shut, case closed. Glenda’s was certainly a place that Edna didn’t approve of and it was a spot that Redd never stepped foot in until about six months after Edna had passed. The visions of her kept him from sleeping. She would whisper in his ear in the middle of the night, always making him smile; a smile that would quickly give way to sadness when he reached over and felt the cold sheets of the empty side of the bed. Finally, one day after walking to the Minit Shop to get a loaf of bread, the neon light of Glenda’s caught his eye. Before, he never paid it much attention. It blended into the background of everything else that didn’t matter when Edna was alive. But today, it shined brighter than ever before. Redd didn’t walk into the Minit Shop that night. Instead, he crossed the street and into Glenda’s. His life would never be the same. It all started with his first beer and it snowballed from there. Redd had never been a big drinker, especially when Edna was in his life. He did the booze it up to be a big man in high school from time to time but it didn’t follow him into adulthood when he had to get a job, pay bills and provide for his wife. He and Edna never had any children which, in hindsight, may have been a bad thing. If he had children in his life the neon light of Glenda’s may have remained dull and in the background. Redd was quickly burning through his life savings and was earning a reputation as the town drunk. Glenda’s was his life night after night after night until this December night in 1985. He stepped into the bar and the atmosphere felt different. “Glenda here?” Redd asked as he stepped in from the cold. “Nah,” Sally Broner began, “she went to get Darnell. She said she was scared to drive in the snow,” Sally finished and popped the gum in her mouth. “Scared to drive in the snow?” Redd chuckled. “There ain’t no snow out there. It’s meltin’ soon as it hits the ground. Darnell better get her bony ass in here.” Edna would turn over in her grave if she could hear her husband speak in such a tone. “Well, that’s what she said. I’ll get your Bud,” Sally said and hit the tap. Something was a little off in Glenda’s tonight but Redd couldn’t quite put his finger on it. There weren’t as many people at the pool table for one and a good many of the usual suspects weren’t there. Surely the threat of a little icy rain the news wanted to call snow didn’t keep them home. Glenda wasn’t here. His favorite barkeep, Darnell wasn’t here. What the hell was going on is what Redd was thinking. Edna was the farthest thing from his mind. He was sure she would whisper her disapproval later that night just when he fell sound asleep. He only had Sally to look at and, quite frankly, her buck teeth freaked him out a little bit. He felt like he was talking to Bugs Bunny every time she opened her mouth. He wanted to shove a big carrot in it. Sally slid the cold mug over to him with that big What’s Up Doc grin on her face. He glanced down at his watch and it was almost eight o’clock. He figured he’d drink until about ten and then stumble home so he could get his beyond the grave scolding from Edna. Redd rested his elbows on the bar and Sally moved down the line to talk to Bonehead. He was looking for somebody to snake money from at the pool table. Redd finished the frosty mug and was about to signal Sally for another when the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. He had the uncontrollable urge to look to his left and Redd could see the light emitting from the bottom of the closed door at the end of the hallway. The door had always been there. It was at the end of the hallway just past the bathrooms. It was never anything special; never caught his eye. Maybe it was a room full of booze or maybe there was a bedroom back there so Glenda could just crash on nights she didn’t feel like driving home to Clearwater. Redd never cared about that room until tonight. Tonight, there was a purplish glow coming out from the keyhole and space under the door. It was a glow that pulled Redd away from his Budweiser and back into the curious man he used to be. Redd stood away from the bar and walked down the narrow corridor. He passed the restrooms and stopped in front of the closed door. Sally didn’t call for him to come back and get another beer. Nobody seemed to notice Redd step away from the bar. Redd froze in front of the door. He looked down as the purple glow seemed to press around his feet. There was a chill back here. It felt unnatural, like he was alone in a graveyard – just he and the spirits. “Come in,” the woman’s voice spoke from the other side of the door. Redd reached for the door knob. His hand trembled as he grabbed the knob; it was as cold as ice. He turned it, stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. The room was illuminated in purple by the black light hanging from the ceiling. The walls of the room were black as soot and there was what appeared to be a large wooden crate in the back of the room. “Who, who’s in here?” Redd asked. He could see the breath cloud like cigarette smoke from his mouth when he spoke. “Come closer,” said the woman’s voice. Redd stepped closer to the crate but he remained far enough away as to not see what or who was inside. “Who are you?” Red asked again. There was fear in his voice but the curiosity was there. He liked that feeling. It made him feel just a tiny bit normal. “I’m who you want me to be,” the woman’s voice said and continued, “come closer, Redd. Come closer and see what you came to see.” Redd’s curiosity overtook his caution and he took long strides toward the crate until he stood directly in front of it. He closed his eyes before the last step and kept them closed. “Why are your eyes closed, Redd? Open them and see what you came to see. Hear what you came to hear. You came in here for a reason, Redd. I’ll tell you what you want to know.” Redd took as deep a breath as he could. He imagined he was about to dive head first into the deepest corner of Langley Pond and he would have to do so on full lungs. After taking the breath and holding it for just a moment, Redd opened his eyes. He immediately thought that he was dreaming or just maybe he was dead. The being he was looking at was beautiful for sure but definitely not human. Her face was slender and seductive. She had the upper torso of a woman but from the waist down, it was the body of a long, black snake. Her eyes were bright yellow with the slit pupils of a viper. Her hair was long down her back and it was dark. Redd couldn’t quite make out the true color in the purple hue of the room. She slithered from her box like a cobra out of a charmer’s basket. “Oh my god,” Redd whispered. He was frightened but much like the prey of a viper, he was frozen in place; transfixed by the otherworldly eyes staring into his soul. “Why did you come here, Redd?” the snake lady asked. “To numb myself to the world,” he answered. Redd was under the spell of the gaze. He was hypnotized by the snake lady and all his answers had to ring true. “Is it because you lost your wife?” she asked with a hint of compassion. “It is,” Redd answered shortly. “I don’t reveal myself to many, Redd. People don’t think I really exist. They think I’m a made up vision in the minds of drunken men. Is that what you believe, Redd? Do you think I’m a drunken hallucination that you will forget when you wake up in the morning?” “I don’t. You are very real. You are in front of me and I barely finished my first beer.” “Good, Redd. So, when you walked into the room, what did I say to you?” “That you would tell me what I wanted to know.” “That’s right, Redd. I will tell you exactly what you want to know but make sure you think on the question because I will only answer one question. So, be certain it’s the question you really want answered,” the snake lady finished and the room fell silent. She could see Redd truly contemplating what he wanted to know. The gears were turning behind his eyes and the snake lady was patient. She would wait however long it took for Redd to ask his question. “I know what I want to ask you,” Redd said flatly. “Go ahead and ask,” the snake lady replied. “Tell me, truly, how did my wife die? The doctor said natural causes but I don’t think that’s true. I would like to know how my wife seemed fine when we went to bed and how she never woke up. I need to know the true answer to that question.” “I will answer that question, Redd. I don’t think you are going to like what I have to say but I did tell you that I would answer anything you wanted to know and you have asked the one question and that is the only question that I will answer. Your wife was murdered. She didn’t die of natural causes.” “What? How?” “I have answered your question. You asked how she died and I answered. I told you the stipulation and you accepted,” the snake lady replied and began coiling her body back into the box. “No, no, no! You didn’t answer the question. I asked you how my wife died. You didn’t tell me how she was murdered. You just said murdered. That’s not a full answer!” Redd shouted in anger. The snake lady stopped her coiling retreat and sprang back out of the box. “I will tell you how she was murdered in exchange for something.” “Yes, anything. I still have some savings; I’ll give it all to you. Tell me how she was murdered. Tell me who killed her.” “I don’t want your money, Redd. Look at me; do I look like I barter in human things like money?” “Well, what else could I possibly offer you?” Redd asked. “A sacrifice,” she answered coldly. “What kind of sacrifice?” he asked. “A sacrifice of spirit you might say.” “My soul?” Redd asked. “No, not your soul. I need you to tell me something that you’ve never shared with anyone, including your dearly departed wife. And it must be true. It must be something that you would be ashamed to admit even to a snake lady in a dark room. I need to know your deepest, darkest secret, Redd. Then, I will give you the answers that you seek. It is a sacrifice of your sacred spirit. Men harbor secrets that they take to the grave. I need to know your gravest of secrets, Redd. Tell it to me,” the snake lady finished. Her yellow eyes were locked onto Redd’s sullen face. “I killed a man when I was a teenager. The man was Lester, Lester Chitty. He was a well known man around the Valley, sold insurance. Anyway, I was deer hunting by myself and I saw him in a clearing about thirty or forty yards away. I don’t know what made me raise the rifle. I was there for a Buck. But, I raised my rifle, lined him up in the scope and pulled the trigger. I ran away as his body fell to the ground. Over the years I convinced myself it was something I made up. I remember hearing on the news about Lester being killed in an ‘apparent’ hunting accident. It was no accident. That was my last day hunting.” The snake lady smiled and a black forked tongue shot from in between her lips. “That’s a good one, Redd. Lester was a well known man around these parts, that’s for sure. He met me once. He told me his secret.” “What?” Redd’s expression was puzzled. The black light in the room intensified. The purple glow got bigger and filled the entire room. “Your wife was poisoned. You said there was no autopsy and there was a reason for that,” the snake lady said. Redd’s eyes welled with tears, he was about to learn the answer to the question. The question that caused him to look up at the neon sign and walk across the street to take the first drink. The drink that landed him in the destructive cycle that was now his life. In that moment, he didn’t know if he could handle the answer the snake lady was about to give him. He wished he ignored the door; wished he never walked down the hallway and put his hand on the cold knob. He wanted to take it back. Walk backwards and put his life in reverse. Put it in reverse all the way to the point when he and Edna were preparing for bed that fateful night. Back before she took the first sip of that deadly glass of innocent looking water. The snake lady pursed her scaly lips and gave the answer. “Do you remember the coroner’s name, Redd?” It struck him like ice water splashed in his face. He looked up at the snake lady, lips quivering and replied, “I do. The coroner’s name was Steven...Steven Chitty. Lester Chitty’s brother.” “Steven came to see me, Redd. He gave me his secret and I suppose you figured out the question he asked.” Redd was sobbing in his palms as he shook his head. “You have your answer, Redd. You will never see me again,” were the snake lady’s final words to him as she slithered back into the crate and disappeared into the darkness. The black light went off and Redd stood alone. Redd walked out of the room. He wasn’t dazed. He wasn’t confused. Darnell spoke to him as he walked down the hallway back into the bar area but Redd ignored her. Instead, he made his way to the front door and stepped into the icy rain. He walked back to his house on Oak Street. Redd pulled out an old tape recorder that had been sitting in the closet for years. He dumped the long dead C batteries out of it and replaced them with fresh ones he retrieved from the kitchen’s junk drawer. A blank Memorex tape was already in the machine. Redd pressed the record button and recited what happened to him on this night. He made apologies to his wife for her having to pay for his unforgivable sin and to Steven for killing his brother in cold blood. After Redd finished with the sorries, he rewound the tape, placed a sticky note on top of the recorder that read, Play Me and went to the shed out behind his house. He slung the anchor rope over one of the thicker branches of the big oak in the middle of the backyard. He thought of the times Edna lay on a blanket under this oak, just reading a book. Redd fashioned the noose and pulled a chair from the kitchen table, brought it outside and placed it under the tree. He stepped onto the chair, secured the noose around his neck, cursed the snake lady under his breath and kicked the chair away. The End.

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Mar 31, 2021
Ep.76 – The Bad Schoolgirl - Vampire Cheerleaders vs. Taibon!
00:36:39

Episode Notes

There's something not quite right about the Strickfield High cheerleading team... They've added violence, malice and blood to their routine!

The Bad Schoolgirl by Rob Fields

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Transcript:

I walk into the main entrance of Strickfield High School with Eileen Donnerly, or just simply Einstein. Einstein was a name her older brother, Martin, hung on her because of how unbelievably smart she is. How smart is she? Well, over that blizzard weekend, Martin and I just finished having some hot morning fucking. We stopped for some pillow talk, and he told me that Einstein once took his HDTV apart. She easily put it back together, but now he could access all of the satellite channels and streaming services for free. She even doubled the picture quality.  I look at the little geek now and just want to wring her fucking neck, but of course I won’t. The problem with Einstein is that she’s always so fucking direct with me; she never sugar-coats shit. For example, I asked her why I fucking put up with her. I would’ve expected her to say because I’m sleeping with Martin. But no . . . she says it’s because she’s so cute and that I really like her. Sigh . . . I do have to admit Einny is cute. I also have to admit the little shit does grow on you.  We’re walking the halls of Strickfield High, and I know I’m in hell. Just a few days ago, I had to deal with Jarren Hatley when she was on the ultimate caffeine high and tried to send Principal Matthew Van Diest on a permanent vacation. Speaking of whom, he’s standing right outside the door to the main office. And he’s eyeing both me and Einny. I’ll tell him to fuck off if he says something to me, but he doesn’t. He’s definitely checking me out, all right. Either he’s got an eye for me, or it’s the fact that I’m wearing this fucking schoolgirl outfit again: plaid miniskirt, white blouse with the sleeves torn off and tied up at my tummy, and my 80s Reebok Pump basketball shoes. I’ve been wearing this fucking outfit because if I wear any of Einny’s other clothes, I’d feel batshit claustrophobic and shred them. And I don’t really want to go shopping for new clothes.  “Okay, Einny, where are these vampire cheerleaders you want me to check out?” I ask. “They usually hang out in the north hall,” Einny replies, in her mousy voice. “This way.” I let Einny lead me to said hallway. Sure enough, six cheerleaders are huddled together and yacking away. I immediately see the items of Olde Bloodstone they’re wearing as jewelry. Olde is spelled old with an e on the end. See, I’m the only vampire who can truly walk freely in the daylight. These bitches are using Olde Bloodstone to be able to walk in the daytime and not burn.  Einny and I just walk right past them. Then I start hearing nearby jocks whooping and hollering. Turns out they’re doing it to me!  “It’s the Bad Schoolgirl!” “You’re such a badass!” “Will you marry me?!” “How about a date, babe?!” And that . . . definitely pisses off the cheerleaders. Remember, most cheerleaders love the attention since they are at the top of the food chain in the female circuit of high schools. Now that they’ve seen me, they’re not going to be so happy. In fact, they all turn towards me and advance. The hallway gets quiet in a big fucking hurry. I’m ready to defend Einny if they decide to vamp out.  “Who said you could walk our hallway, bitch?” Alissa Mirren demands.  Her twin sister, Allie, grins. “This is our hallway. You need special permission to walk it. How much money you got?” The other four just look on in anticipation. I really feel the need to laugh. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Being the one unique type of vamp that I am means that I can detect other vamps, whether they’re Master or not. Now these bitches are just regular vamps, which means they think I’m completely human. Only other Master Vampires can detect me. In this case, they don’t notice my eyes are red.  I give them the same sexy smile that Martin loves so much. “Oh, you two are so cute!” I raise my finger. “How about this? You two can take turns sucking my dick . . . and I’ll come and go wherever the fuck I like.” The twins just look at each other, mouths wide. They’re ready to start a full-on fight with me. I quickly raise my arm. “Now’s not the time . . .” I give them a quick nod to my right. They look to see Principal Van Diest staring attentively down this hallway.  The twins each raise a hand, telling the others to back off.  “We’ll let you go this one time as a courtesy,” Allie says.  “Next time you come down here, you’ll be paying,” Alissa adds.  I laugh as Einny and I turn and walk away.  Einny asks me, “You think that was wise, Bells?” “What, pissing them off? Fuck yeah, they’ll be looking for me – exactly what I want.” I lightly slap her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan.” And then I smell Principal Van Diest coming our way. I wait for him to reach us.  “What can I do for you on this very fine day, sir?” I crack, not even turning around.  He takes hold of my shoulder and turns me around. “Look, I know you’re new here, but we don’t need you starting trouble already.”   I smile. “No trouble . . . No trouble at all. Like you said, I’m new here. Just want to get familiar with my new school.” He glares at me. “Um, I heard what you said to those girls.” “Yeah, and . . . ? You gonna take me to the office and wash my mouth out with soap?” Then I glare back and tell him to where only he and Einny can hear me, “I would love to see you try.” He’s irritated with me, but he knows he can’t really do anything. Then I show him my schedule. “Room 237 . . . is first period. Far as I’m concerned, we’re allowed to walk the halls freely to get to our classes. Maybe you should say something to the cheerleaders. Unless, that is of course, they’re in charge here?” When he doesn’t answer me, I flash my sexy smile again. “Way I see it, the students run this school. You’re just here collecting a paycheck. If you really do run things here, then fucking grow a pair.” As I turn to leave, he grabs my arm again. “Don’t you test me!” I’m still smiling my sexy smile. “That’s more like it.” I take my arm back. “Now fuck off and help make this high school a better place.” Einny and I turn away from the principal and resume heading to Room 237. The cheerleaders just glare at us as we walk right past them. I even make sure to flip the twin bees off. 

  • *                         * Throughout the day, I end up having classes with both Einny and members of the cheerleading squad. I can easily keep an eye on said people. The downside is that several horny boys are keeping their eyes on me. I hadn’t planned on being labeled the Bad Schoolgirl, but what could I do? I couldn’t just let Jarren Hatley have her way with Principal Van Diest. Oh, well . . . I don’t have to be the least bit afraid of the boys. I catch an occasional glare from whatever cheerleaders are in my classes, but I just give them right back.  Thanks to my ultra-sensitive hearing, another Master Vampire quality, I can easily hear the cheerleaders talking. Tonight is a basketball game in the gym. After the game, they’re meeting the boys for their ritual. They don’t say where. Yeah, you bitches do that. You go hunt for your victims . . . and I’ll hunt all of you

That night, Einny and I are just outside the gym. Sure enough, the cheerleaders are inside and the game is going on.  “What are you going to do, Bells?” Einny asks me.  “Oh . . . I think I’ll head on in and watch the game,” I tell her. I can tell Einny’s a little scared. “You can go home if you want. I can handle those bitches.” Einny shakes her head quickly. “No! I got you into this. I’m going to see this through.” I turn my attention back to the gym. “Me, too. Then I can move on.” Now Einny’s gone from scared to upset. “No!” “We can talk about this later,” I say.  “No!” Einny grabs my wrist and pulls me into the empty library. Then she points right at me. “You are not going to just up and leave Martin like that.” I fold my arms in front of me. “I asked you this before. I’ll ask you again. Am I just supposed to wear Martin’s college ring? Look! I only stayed because you told me there were vampires on the cheerleading squad. Okay, I confirmed they’re vampires, and I’ll deal with them. Once I do, then that’s it. I’ll give your uniforms back, get my shit, and leave Strickfield.” Einstein’s really pissed now. She shakes her head. “I said no! You are not walking out on Martin like that. He’s really into you.” She points right at me. “And not just because you’re fucking him.” I narrow my eyes on her. “What are you saying . . . ? That Martin’s in love with me? I don’t buy that. We’ve only known each other for about a week. We’re just sleeping together, Einny. That is it! And you . . . What, are we just supposed to be besties, hang out at the mall together, and do each other’s nails? I’m over a hundred fucking years old! I hunt supernatural vermin. I’m a fucking Taibon. I’m a fucking Master Vampire! A normal life will never be in my future. Why can’t you understand that?” “Stop acting all high and mighty, Bells!” Einny snaps. “And stop running away all the time!” “Who the fuck is running away?” I demand. “I don’t have any family left to run away from! I’m the last in my family tree! I’m alone in this world, and that’s the way it has to be.” I unfold my arms and raise my finger. “Has it ever occurred to you that my being in your house is potentially putting both you and Martin in terrible danger? All an enemy would have to do is know that I’m staying with you both and they’ll come at me – through you two!” I point to the gym. “Case and point. Those bitches know you’re with me. What’s to keep them from attacking your house?” Einny and I continue to argue. Some of Einny’s shit gets to be repetitive. I’ve finally had enough and walk out of the library. Einny’s right behind me. “We’re not done here, Bells!” “You’re risking bodily harm, Einstein!” I tell her when she grabs my wrist again.  “You are not going to just up and leave Martin like that!” Einny hisses.  I don’t turn to her. “I really don’t have time for this shit right now! We’ll talk about it when we’re done with what I’m here for.” I look inside the gym. “Fuck! The game’s over! The cheerleaders are gone!” I turn to Einny. “I could’ve been keeping an eye on those bitches. But, no! You had to get all fucking emotional on me!” I turn to her. “Why don’t you just go on home?! I’m gonna have to track them down now – before they hurt innocents. You’re just slowing me down here!” I march right into the gym to start tracking the vampire bitches. Unfortunately, I can hear Einny crying behind me. I can’t worry about that right now. But then I suddenly stop dead in my tracks.  God damn it!! Thornton Jillian never had any fucking feelings when he was a Master Vampire. You’d think that when his blood mixed with mine, I’d have no feelings, either. True, I’m a Master Vampire, but I’m my own breed. I still have my humanity, which means . . . I still have feelings. And now . . . I feel like a complete piece of shit for hurting Einny’s feelings.  I turn around and walk back to her. “Okay, come on.” She doesn’t move. I have to make this right. “Okay, I admit it. I’m a fucking hardcore cunt. You should know by now that I don’t have a filter. I say what I feel. I’m just telling you the honest truth here.” This is the hardest thing for me to say. “I’m sorry, okay? I know I was harsh, but I just wanted you to understand. I can’t be with anybody on a full-time basis. I just can’t.” Einny gets her shit together. “Martin’s been taking good care of me ever since our parents died. He’s been working at Mirren Automotive during the week, and Friday nights and weekends at Denoyer’s Grill just to keep a roof over our heads and the bills paid. All while taking classes at Strickfield University. He’s all I have. I just want the best for him. I know he’s really into you. My brother’s been with other girls, but he’s never looked at them the way he looks at you, Bells. I’m begging you! Please don’t hurt him!” I put a hand on Einny’s shoulder. “Martin and I will talk about things and go from there, but I make no promises.” She nods. “Okay.” “Okay. Now come on. Let’s go find those cheerleaders.” We turn and head to the girls’ locker room. As I suspected, they’re not in the showers. I’ve been around them long enough to get their scents. When we go outside, I see their footprints in the snow . . . until they just stop dead.  “They flew away, Einny,” I tell her. “They turned into bats and flew off. I can’t go after them since I can’t change form.” “You’re a vampire and you can’t change form?” Einny shrieks.  “If I can, I’ve never figured out how to do it. I’ll have to leap in order to go after them. If you’re coming, then you’re gonna have to hang on tight.” I grab Einny and leap high into the night sky. I still have their scents in the air. I manage to go a full three miles before I have to land and take another leap. Glad Einny remembered to wear her jacket. The scent is getting stronger as I land near a forest. Then I look and see some cars. I recognize a few of them and know they belong to some of the jocks. Stupid, stupid boys! They probably met up with cheerleaders thinking they’re gonna get laid. Yeah, they’ll fucking get laid all right!  “It’s gonna get dangerous inside these woods, Einny,” I whisper. “You need to stick close to me. When I tell you, you run and hide.” “Got it, Bells,” she whispers back.  I take Einny’s hand and lead her into the woods. The bitches aren’t that far away now. Their scent is very strong. Thanks to my vampire vision, I can easily see in the dark as if it’s still the light of day. We walk a little bit until we move behind a big redwood.  There are four guys there with the cheerleaders. They’re all around a campfire. It looks as if two of them are flat on their backs, while the other two are in a trance. I know I could’ve saved them if I’d acted sooner. But . . . I have feelings. I guess it’s no wonder why other vampires I’ve taken down tell me that having feelings is my biggest weakness. Fuck them!  I lean over to Einny and whisper in her ear. “Stay here!” I see her nod before I let go of her hand. I take off my shoes and hand them to her. Then I move and leap over to the other side of the fire. Everybody hears me land. When I reveal myself, everybody else that can look at me does.  The twin Mirren bees point right at me.  “You shouldn’t have come here!” Allie hisses.  “Six of us to one of you!” Alissa notes.  “You really came out here – alone?” one of the other cheerleaders asks in surprise.  I put my hand to my chin. “Hmm, six of you to one of me . . .” I lower my hand and look at them. “Yeah, you’re right. Those are definitely bad odds. Yours . . .” Then I vamp out, changing my face and readying my claws. Then the bitches . . . scream?! What the fuck?! The bitches are actually scared of me?! I guess so, because they all turn tail and run. The two guys that are still tranced just stand there. I check on the two guys that are down.  Einny approaches me. I’m ready to tell her she should’ve stayed put, but I know she’s concerned. “Are they dead, Bells?” I feel for pulses. “No, thankfully.” And then I finally understand. “I know why those bitches are wearing the Olde Bloodstone. Einny, what made you think they were vampires?” “I saw them smile and show fangs – like yours,” she tells me. “Alissa also showed me her claws. But . . . but they have to be vampires. They turned into bats, right?” “Yeah, they did. But they freaked out when they saw me, Einny. They can’t possibly know that I’m a Master Vampire.” “You mentioned Olde Bloodstone, Bells.” “Right, and here’s what I determined. If they were true vampires, they could use Olde Bloodstone to be able to walk in the daylight. However, they would have to keep their stones charged by drinking twice as much innocent blood. And by innocent, I mean virgin blood. I’ve been listening around school. I haven’t heard a single story about any bodies being drained of blood – or of that many people disappearing. So we get to the only other possibility. Those bitches are practicing witchcraft and are using the Olde Bloodstone to turn themselves into vampires. Yes, they can walk by daylight, which means their transformations aren’t complete. They have to charge their stones with soul energy in order to maintain their powers and continue their transformations. What they don’t realize is once their transformations are complete, they would need virgin blood to charge their stones to be able to walk during the daylight. I think you and I both know that pure virgin blood is very hard to come by in this day and age.” I point to the guys. “You keep an eye on them. I’m going after those fucking bitches.” They didn’t turn into bats this time. I can easily find the six girls, thanks to both their scents and their footprints. Seriously, I’ve heard over the years that cheerleaders can be such fucking airheads, but this is too much!  I easily find two of them together. They’re both holding each other. Their faces are half-vamped. Suddenly, they scream and try to come at me. Classic rookie mistake! I snatch the both of them up and toss them over my shoulders. They both hit the snowy ground and groan. I’m on both of them before they realize it. They scream as I reach my claws out for them . . . and relieve them of their Olde Bloodstone jewelry to make them human again.  I hold one girl to me as I glam the other and get information. When I get what I want, I glam the other. Unlike normal vampires who can only glam as a means of hypnosis, I can both bend people to my will and actually look into their memories, whether they remember or not. I come to find that these bitches have indeed killed people by taking their souls to charge their Olde Bloodstone jewelry. I could easily kill these two, but I’m not a butcher. No, I have a much more suitable punishment for them. I peer so deep into their psyches and corrupt them that they ultimately end up going insane.  I let the girls go and pursue the others. Two more scream as they come out of their hiding places and attack me. I easily swat them away like flies. They truly have no idea of how fast a full vampire can move, even moreso for a Master. I’m on both of them before they can even get up.  “So tell me . . . was this thing with using Olde Bloodstone to turn yourselves into vampires your idea?” I ask, knowing full well that it’s not.  “We just wanted to live forever,” one of them says.  “We just wanted to be important,” the other says. “You don’t know what it’s like to be invisible to people.” I’m not sure whether they can see me smile or not, but I find what they say funny. “Actually, yes, I do know what it means to be invisible to people. The only difference between you two and me is that I choose to be invisible. But you two . . . such stupid girls, you took lives for selfish reasons. Well, now you’ll have all the attention you two could ever want. I’ll see to that personally.” I take their Olde Bloodstone and make them insane also. That just leaves the little twin Mirren bees.  Like the others, they’ve made the mistake of screaming before attacking me. These two are fully vamped out and want to give me a fight. Looks like these twin girls are the strongest out of what was their squad. They’ve probably siphoned more soul energy compared to the others. Well, they are Mirrens. All they care about is money and power. But being a Mirren means so very little to a Taibon.  While Alissa and Allie are close enough to being full vampires, they’re finding out that there are bigger predators out here than them. They try to fight me with just basic street fighting. I’m a master of many different martial arts. To finish them off, I thrust my foot into one twin’s gut so hard that I can hear her spine crackle hard in many places. Then she falls onto her back. As for the other twin, I quickly bring my other foot up over my shoulder and connect with her neck. The slight crack tells me that I’ve damaged her spine also. She falls immediately. After relieving the twins of their stones, they become fully human once more. Only now, the two of them are paralyzed for life. I could drive them insane, but I feel I’ve done enough. No, I won’t let them die out here.  I bring the former cheerleaders back to the campfire where Einny is. I know she has a smartphone, so I tell her to call 911 and ask for some ambulances. I still feel soul energy inside these stones, so I recite the spell to release the energy and send it back to the rightful owners. The two guys that were flat on their backs begin to move again. I make sure they’re okay before I glam them and make them forget about me.  “You’d better get out of here, Bells,” Einny tells me. “I can see the flashers coming over there. I’ll get this.” I see where Einny’s pointing. “Good idea. You gonna be okay if I leave you here?” Einny grabs my wrist one more time. “Please don’t leave Strickfield! Don’t leave Martin!”  “I’ll be at the house when you get home, Einny. I promise. Also, I promised you that I’d talk to Martin. I’ll be waiting for you.” When Einny lets go, I leap into the air and am long gone before the police and ambulances get there. I have no doubt that Einstein will take care of everything. 

Well, I won’t go into every little detail about all the sappy shit. It’s two weeks later, and it’s Friday at Strickfield High School. I look at my nails that Einny polished for me.  God damn you, Einny . . .  As you can tell, I did keep my word to Einny and remained at the house. Martin was already home when I got there. He looked tired from his classes. Still, he had enough energy to come and take me in his arms. As much as I wanted to tell Martin that we were done and that I wanted to leave Strickfield, I realized I just couldn’t do that to him – not like that.  Again, part of me wished that I’d lost my emotions when I became a Master Vampire. But I love – and need – to feel, which is something very few vamps can do. Martin and I made love for the first time that night; normally, we just fuck. As for Einny, I think she pretty much knew that I was sticking around.  The next morning, still two weeks ago, Martin had to go to work and then classes. He would be gone all day. It was just Einny and me, and we went to school. Wouldn’t you know it? Both of us were called into the principal’s office.  Turned out that the talk of the school was that the cheerleading squad was permanently gone. It was in the Strickfield newspaper that something had happened to them in the woods near the south end of the village limits. Four of them were committed to a facility called Glennview, which was near North Ridgeway. As for the twins, they ended up in a special hospital over in Shore City where they would be cared for for the rest of their lives. It didn’t surprise me that their parents didn’t want to care for them themselves. Fucking rich misers . . .  Anyway, getting back to Principal Van Diest, he had both Einny and me in front of him. He pointed right at us. “I don’t know what happened with the cheerleaders, but I know . . . I know that you two had something to do with it.” I roll my eyes. “Can you even prove any of this shit? If not, go fuck yourself and let us go back to class.” “Oh, you’re both going back to class, all right!” He stood up and put his palms on his desk. He had this weird smirk on his face. “I want you two go and see Miss Temple in her office. Now! I believe you know the way, Eileen. You can take our new student here to meet her.” When Eileen got up, I was a bit reluctant. I wanted to see what else this shitheel had to say. When he told me to get going, I got up. Before we left, I made sure he saw me give him the finger and flick my tongue.  Einny took us to the gym and to Miss Temple’s office there. Turned out she taught a few of the gym classes, a few of the English classes, and was also the cheerleading coach. She looked really fucking happy to see us. There were four other girls there, too. I won’t go into details on them, but just seeing the six of us . . . We had to be the strangest mix there. Miss Temple couldn’t wait to tell the six of us that we were all the new fucking cheerleading squad! “Bullshit!” I quickly told her and stepped back. “You can fucking kiss my ass!” Believe it or not, Miss Temple wasn’t even upset with me. She just simply said, “Language . . .” Then she explained that Principal Van Deist had personally hand-picked the six of us to be the new cheerleaders of Strickfield High. I still told Miss Temple to go fuck herself.  Then I about lost my fucking shit when I saw that Einny and the others gladly accept their uniform and shoes. As much as I protested, Einny looked so happy to have been given such an opportunity. I would’ve also told Einny to go get fucked, but we’ve had time to bond over the last several days. So . . . not only am I possibly developing feelings for Martin, I’ve gotten used to having Einny around. I think I’ve said this before, but she fucking grows on you.  As soon as we were back out in the hallway, I grabbed Einny’s shoulders. “I am so gonna fucking kill you!” “No, you won’t,” she said quickly. “I’m your best friend.” Again, always so fucking direct.  Getting back to now, I’m wearing a fucking cheerleading uniform. It’ll be another game night as a full-fledged cheerleader. Oh, and now I’m known as both the Bad Schoolgirl and the Bad Cheerleader. Einny told me she had a reason for the two of us joining the squad, and it wasn’t for us to show off our tits and asses in front of the crowds at the basketball games. Einny explained that a lot of shit goes on here in Strickfield. She promised me there would be more than enough work to keep me here for a very long time. In other words, we’d be keeping our eyes and ears open for shit to investigate. Over time, I would learn other interesting things about the other four cheerleaders. So I sigh to myself and realize I’ve gotten too close to the Donnerlys . . . and the great food at Denoyer’s Grill. Looks like I’m stuck in this fucking village indefinitely.  Seriously, why couldn’t I have lost my feelings when Thornton Jillian’s blood mixed with mine over a hundred years ago . . . ? 

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Mar 24, 2021
Ep.75 – My Dog, Doug - What Lurks Behind That Cute Face?
00:30:41

Episode Notes

New house, new dog, but what evils could lurk inside of both?!

My Dog, Doug by David O'Hanlon

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Transcript:

“Daddy, I want this puppy,” Abby’s tiny voice replayed in Barry’s head as he wiped the dog shit off of his barefoot. Lindsey found the Armant on Craigslist. Normally, they were extremely hard to find outside of their native Egypt, not to mention expensive. Smart, protective, and loyal—they were the perfect breed for just about any family. He wasn’t a very large dog, less than two feet at his scraggly shoulders, nor did he look like he ate a lot. Plus he was free, which sealed the deal.  The lady had told them that Doug needed more attention than she could provide, which wouldn’t be an issue with Abby. Why anyone would name a dog Doug, however, was beyond Barry’s understanding. Still, Abby and Lindsey thought it was adorable. So, Doug the Dog joined the family with an excited wag of his curly tail and a more excited screech from Abby.


The Warner’s had just bought a new home. It was much larger than they needed, but the location was isolated and it had been priced to sell. That was always a plus for the frugal Barry Warner. The fourth bedroom was an extra, so Barry had made it into a playroom for his daughter—who promptly rechristened it the set of the Abby and Doug Tea Time Review.  Every afternoon, they sat at the pretty, pink picnic table in front of a live studio audience of stuffed animals while Abby talked about the cartoons that her and Doug had been watching. Doug’s role consisted of sitting on the bench and fighting the urge to lick his own ass. Barry credited the dog for being such a good sport. Every once in a while, the dog would even offer a yip of agreement to Abby’s seven-year-old opinions on the geopolitical climate of Oz and other fantasy worlds. They had been in the house a week when the noises started—scratching in the walls that immediately sent Barry’s horror writer brain into action. You can’t write scary stories without believing, on some base level, that it could actually happen. Barry was a practical man, so he immediately got out his EVP recorder and began to scan the house. Obviously, there was something strange going on. He didn’t pick up anything out of the ordinary, though.  Lindsey told him it was probably nothing. By the second week, they began to find things out of place or just missing altogether. Still, Lindsey insisted that they were simply being forgetful or Abby was moving them in an attempt to be funny. Who wouldn’t find disappearing house keys humorous, after all? And the attic door opening on its own? Well that was just a real gasser. Lindsey swore it was a breeze blowing in from some bad seal or something, but Barry had written this novel twice and knew the skeptic was always wrong. The strangeness continued over the next three weeks and Barry was thoroughly convinced that there was a ghost in their new home. It seemed Doug thought so, as well. Barry had been woken up at three one morning by a low, long, growl emanating from the playroom. Barry crept down the hall armed with a less-than-intimidating participation trophy from a Halloween writing contest. He found Doug standing on the picnic table, ears pricked up, and teeth bared. He was staring at the ceiling growling continuously.  “Doug,” Barry whispered.  The dog didn’t respond. More growling at the ceiling, but nothing else.  Barry stepped further into the room and said the dog’s name again. He noticed the time on the Disney clock.  It’s just a coincidence, he tried to convince himself. It’s definitely not a demon. Still, he cocked back the little trophy unsure if he would be better striking with the faux-marble base or the bedazzled jack-o-lantern topper. Barry reached for a play broom propped up on the Little Tykes kitchen and bumped the spot on the ceiling Doug appeared to be staring at. Barry jumped as things in the ceiling ran in different directions to get away from his thumping. In the dead of night, the tiny claws scratching the crawlspace echoed around him. Barry patted the dog with a sweaty palm and went back to bed, but not to sleep. That would take a while.  It’s definitely not a demon, Barry. He reassured himself. Shit. Please don’t be a demon. Once the sun came up and some Lucky Charms went down, he was ready to do some investigating.  “Doug, find the rats.” He pointed at the ceiling with a thumb.  Doug, climbed into the chair next to him and waited for his cereal. Barry looked down at his bowl, spooned out the last couple of marshmallows and slid the soggy leftovers to the dog.  “Don’t get used to it. I’m only doing it because you’re my canary today.” Once Doug was done eating, Barry grabbed a box of Milk Bones and headed for the basement door. Doug whimpered and looked towards the ceiling. He ran upstairs and Barry followed after him.  Maybe the rats are isolated upstairs. Or maybe the ghosts live in the basement. He wasn’t sure which idea he would prefer.  The spry young dog made it up the stairs long before he did and he watched as Doug ran over to Abby in the playroom and gave her sloppy kisses. Abby gave him a hug and told him she loved him, after which the dog trotted back to the door, looked up at Barry, and gave a sharp bark before embarking back down the stairs.  He wanted to kiss his human goodbye before we face certain death. Barry wiped a manly tear from his cheek. The basement stairs creaked as Doug and Barry inched down them. The dog was alert, Barry was spooked. His bladder quivered with each groaning step. The basement was well lit and spacious, the exact opposite of what every horror movie, ever, had prepared him for.  He waved his EVP recorder around the room. Nothing. Doug stopped suddenly and began sniffing the air. He cocked his head sideways and then walked cautiously to the old work bench on the far side of the basement. Barry watched as Doug worked his head underneath the bench and came back over. Doug dropped the dead rat at Barry’s feet. Its head and one of its legs were missing, but it was most definitely a rat.  “Damn it, Doug.” Barry kicked the rat. “Lindsey was right. I’ll never hear the end of this. We better find the rest of them.”  He was sure there had to be more of them after the noise they made the night before. He inspected the baseboards for any holes they could be using to get around. It occurred to him, that he didn’t actually know what a rat’s hole looked like. He doubted that it would be the neat little archway of the cartoons. He heard the scratching again. An unseen rat ran overhead. Then another. Then a small group. A frantic burst of barking sent him into the air and knocked ten years off of his life. Doug was going ballistic. The Armant snapped at the air, snarling and barking, as he bounced around. The scratching in the ceiling grew louder and spread across a wider area than before. There were a lot of rats up there and they were all moving at once—moving towards him.  The antique, asbestos ceiling tiles broke under their weight and dozens of rats poured from the ceiling. They swarmed around Barry’s ankles and crawled across his feet. He went Michael Flatley on their asses and started stomping out a jig in an attempt to kill the vermin before they could escape. He slipped on one’s rupturing carcass and almost fell into the sea of rodents. Doug ran the direction the rats had come from, hitting the wall full force. The rodents scurried away from Barry in too many directions for him to keep track of, but the dog was focused solely on the wall. Barry screamed shrilly and slapped the beasts away as he struggled upright. He shook and checked to make sure none were clinging to him before joining Doug by the wall. He beat his fist against it to see if there were any more rats hiding. But there was no scratching or fleeing this time. No, there were no sounds of frightened rats. This time, something knocked back. Barry and Doug exchanged concerned glances and then both ran for the stairs.


Barry went to the basement later in the day to clean up his kills before they started stinking. He rushed to dispose of them before Lindsey got home from work—partially to spare her from the gruesome bag of squished rats, but mostly to avoid admitting he was wrong. Unfortunately, she pulled in right as he dumped them in the big green can. Apparently, ghosts weren’t as scary as rats. As soon as Barry recounted the day’s adventure, she ran to their room and packed a suitcase for her and Abby. Barry and Doug would be left to handle the raging rodent problem. He tried to tell her about the strange knocking and how he thought that was a sure sign of a ghost.  “It’s a sure sign of a big damn rat, Barry!” She shoved the clothes into the bag haphazardly.   And that was the end of the discussion. If your wife says the house isn’t haunted, then the damn house isn’t haunted. That’s the way it works. Barry sighed in defeat and helped her pack. They left that night to stay with family in Rogers, away from rabies-infected vermin. Barry sat on the couch and opened a can of Arkansas Red. He turned on the EVP recorder just to be sure as he opened his laptop.  “Tomorrow we have to find an exterminator, Doug. Tonight though, tonight we are kings!” The 69 Eyes began playing through the laptop speakers while Barry ordered a pizza. “Would you like breadsticks or cheesy bread?”  Doug cocked his head and groaned. “Right, stupid question.” Six sticks of cheesy bread and one slice of Meat Cravers later, the dog was lying on its back half asleep and gassy as hell. Barry was trying to enjoy a Hammer films marathon, but the scariest thing in the room was the dog’s farting.  The next morning, Barry stepped into the pile of dog poo by the front door. The squishy warmth between his toes, reminded him of his horrible decision-making the night before and he made a mental note not to feed the damn thing pizza ever again. He cleaned up the mess and started looking for an exterminator.  Every job can be done three ways. Fast, correct, and cheap… but you can only get two at a time. He checked the Google reviews and found one that said “Cheap, same day service.”  Yahtzee. We have a winner. He dialed the number while munching on a piece of the leftover pizza.  He had time to kill, so he decided to get some writing done and sat down at his desk. He was halfway into his second paragraph when Doug nudged his leg. The dog held the TV remote from the playroom in his mouth.  “Abby’s not home, you don’t have to watch cartoons today.”  Doug whined in response.  “What? You want to watch cartoons?”  Doug’s tail wagged viciously.  “Right. Of course you do. Come on, then.”  Barry went into the playroom and turned on the TV and started whatever movie was in the DVD player. Doug hopped into one of the miniature papasan chairs and waited for the show to start. Barry sighed and retreated to the office where he managed an entire page before Doug was whimpering next to him again. “Not now, Doug.” He gave the dog a gentle push with his foot.  The doggie door was unlocked so the dog could let himself outside and there was a bowl full of food. He wanted for nothing. Doug gave a small bark, spun in a circle, and ran to the office door. Barry grunted and turned back to the computer screen.  He started rolling sideways slowly.  Barry wasn’t sure how to process the sight of the small dog dragging the office chair. Barry got up and Doug ran out of the room. Barry followed him and found him sitting on the bench of the pink picnic table. Doug looked at Barry, then the TV, then Barry again. “Really? You want me to watch cartoons with you?” A single bark and some frantic tail wagging answered the question. “Can you understand me?” Another single bark. “You’re shitting me, right?” Two barks. Barry twisted his mustache around his finger, looked at Doug for a long minute, and then decided that this was the official limit for crazy in one week.  “I’m going back to work now and I’m going to pretend this conversation never happened.” He had just sat down when the banging on the door made him jump back out of it. All he wanted to do was finish one damn chapter, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen. He looked out of the window and saw a PT Cruiser painted to look like a rat in his driveway. It even had a tail bolted onto the hatch.  “Cheap and tasteful, I see.” Barry stomped down stairs and opened the door.  The man in the brown coveralls was some horrific hybrid of John Goodman and an outhouse. He spat a glob of tobacco into Lindsey’s potted fern, narrowly missing Barry’s zombie garden gnomes. Barry squinted at the name stitched over the man’s breast in bright yellow. Looking back at the man, Barry was certain it was neither a typo nor a nickname—the exterminator’s birth certificate definitely said ‘Ham’ as well. “What’s bugging you?” he asked with a brown-toothed grin. “Get it? Bugging you.” “You’re a rodent exterminator, so no. Not at all, in fact.” Barry stared blankly at the neanderthal.  “Well… rats.” Ham fake laughed at his own pun. “Not even a chuckle, huh? Damn. I worked hard on that setup too. Look, I get paid twelve shitty bucks an hour to crawl my big ass around in spaces sized for midget turds while handling chemicals that’ll probably have me growing tumors in my eyeballs. I suck at this people greeting stuff, but I’m mighty good at waffle-stomping cute and cuddly rodents. So, what do you want me to kill?” “Now we’re getting somewhere.” Barry smiled. “Rats, lots and lots of rats. They’re in the walls and ceilings. About forty of them fell through in the basement, but we’ve heard them upstairs too.” “Awesome. Rats are easy.”  Ham slapped Barry’s shoulder. “I’ll start by putting bait stations and—” Barry cut him off. “Do you know how to write a novel?” The exterminator thought about it. “Don’t reckon I do.” “Do you want to learn?” Ham gave an honest shrug. “Not particularly.”  “Well, I don’t want to learn how to kill rats. I do, however, want to write a novel. So, you kill the rats, I’ll write the book, and when you’re done I’ll write you a check for an hour longer than you actually worked, so you can go grab a beer or something.” “Hell, that sounds like a mighty good deal.” Ham rubbed his double set of chins thoughtfully. “You know, my boss makes me use this really shitty poison. It only kills the weak ones, that way you think you’re getting your money’s worth, but still have to call us out for a second visit. But if you were to make it two extra hours, and pay that bit in cash, I’d go ahead and use the good stuff now.” “You have a deal, good sir. Now go make things dead, please.” Barry went back to his office and found Doug sitting in the rolling chair with a can of beer in his mouth. He let the slobbery can roll across the desk when Barry walked in and then picked up his ball from the seat of the chair.  “You’re trying to bribe me into playing ball?” A single bark. “No, Doug. We’re not playing ball. Go watch cartoons and lick yourself. I would if I could, but I keep falling off the damn couch. Revel in my envy of your flexibility and let me get some work done. Please?” Two barks. Barry grabbed Doug’s collar and tugged until he got out of the chair. He picked up the beer, flopped down in the seat, and thumped the top a couple of times before opening it. “This is a really cool trick, though. Tell you what, when I finish this chapter we’ll play a little catch.” Doug skulked out of the room without a sound and returned to the playroom. Barry continued working on his chapter. The hero had just found the zombie whorehouse and he needed to keep the image alive—well, undead—while he completed the scene. He heard a crash down the hall and let his head fall on the desk. The solid mahogany hit back and he immediately regretted the decision. If Doug was tearing things up, he was going to get dropped in a wok before the night was through.  In the playroom, he found the dog. Only Doug, didn’t look quite like Doug. The tan and black fur ball rolled around on the floor whimpering. Barry felt the sudden tinge of guilt. The previous owner said the dog was needy, but he never thought it would drop dead from lack of attention.  Doug’s collar snapped off as his neck bulged and pulsated and then he went suddenly still. Barry stepped closer to check on him. Doug’s front leg reached out from his body and Barry stopped in his tracks. The toes had extended into nubby little fingers. He looked over the dog’s body and realized that wasn’t the only change. He looked stockier. And his hind legs looked… wrong. Slowly, the dog got up and stood on his back feet—his only feet. The bipedal Doug looked at Barry and then lifted a tea cup from the picnic table. He took a sip of the make-believe beverage with his brand-new pinky in the air.  “Oh shit.” Barry eased the door closed and backed out into the hallway. The door knob turned and Doug stood there for a long moment. He raised his furry doggy hand and wiggled his fingers.  Barry ran for the stairs, taking them two at a time. That is until he missed a step and took the last six at once. He met the hardwood floor with a thud. He tilted his head back and saw Doug bouncing down the stairs as best as his restructured legs would allow. Barry got up, felt the pops and aches from the fall, and limped to the kitchen. He threw open the basement door to get the exterminator, but stopped on the steps. Doug ran into his back and they teetered for a moment. Both of them stood there, staring down into the basement. Ham was nowhere to be seen… and neither was the floor. Instead there was just a tide of writhing black fur as thousands of rats tried to move around one another. Doug and Barry exchanged looks, decided that the basement was officially off limits and promptly headed back into the kitchen. Doug shut the door, which was somehow more disturbing than the rat orgy in the basement.  Barry huffed with his hands on his knees. Doug stepped forward, standing eye-to-eye with the author. Barry gave the dog a quick kick in the balls and bolted away while he yelped behind him. Barry hobbled back upstairs with Doug the dog-boy in pursuit. He screamed for the exterminator, but got no response. Doug growled behind him and Barry ducked into his bedroom, slamming the door. Doug tried the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. “Ha! You can’t pick locks can you, Doug?” Barry yelled through the door.  He leaned against the door and tried to process everything. An excited panting echoed his own heaving breathes. It was then, that he remembered the bathroom that connected their room to Abby’s.  “Oh, you got to be kidding me.” He turned around in time to see Doug launch himself through the air.  The door shattered into splinters as the dog collided with him. Barry laid in the hall, sucking air with a Doug sitting on his chest. Barry swatted the dog off him and tried to get up only to feel Doug’s teeth latch onto his ankle. Barry swung his leg like an extra in a ninja flick and bounced Doug off the drywall. Doug, the malevolent size of a toddler, threw a punch straight into Barry’s groin. The author collapsed and hit the dog with a piece of the broken door. They both groaned on the plush carpet, trying to catch their breath.  Whatever was about to happen, however, was interrupted by the attic door swinging down. The oversized exterminator did a funny little roll down the narrow steps and face-planted.  Ham scrambled to his feet, jumped over Doug and Barry, and ran away with a final scream of “Brownies!”  He moved quickly for a man his size—too quickly as he hit the stairs faster than he meant and went toppling down. Doug and Barry got up and walked to the top of the stair case. At the bottom, the exterminator was still in the wreckage of a curio cabinet. His neck was bent at an unnatural angle and with a halo of broken action figures around his leaking skull. “I didn’t think anything else would surprise me today, but here we are.” Barry twisted his mustache. “My insurance is going to go through the roof.” Doug gave a bark of agreement.  “What do you think he meant when he said—” “Knock, knock,” a raspy voice said behind them. Doug and his human turned around hesitantly. Twelve tiny men, about a foot tall, with sharp teeth, and clothes made from rat hides were standing with spears and swords made of broken glass.  “Brownies.” Barry sighed. “I guess that means Lindsey was right. It’s not ghosts.” Doug barked once. “Well Doug, what do you say?” Barry looked down at Doug. The shape-shifting pooch laced his furry fingers together and popped his knuckles.  Barry rolled his shoulders. “Let’s kick some brownie ass.” One bark.


As it turned out, cleaning dog crap wasn’t nearly as much work as getting brownie stains out of the cream-colored carpet. The ambulance had taken away the exterminator’s body and his boss promised a ten percent discount on any future service for the inconvenience of his worker dying in Barry’s home. Barry negotiated it up to fifteen. Lindsey and Abby would stay the weekend at her parent’s house while the poison worked on the rats. Which meant there was only one thing left for Barry to do. The sauce sizzled as Barry tossed the meat and vegetables in the wok. The damn dog had done a number on him and he had taped ice packs onto the various bruises. An imported bottle of Irish whiskey and fistful of ibuprofen were helping with any remaining pain. He spooned the stir fry over the noodles, grabbed a beer from the fridge, and went to the living room. He pushed play and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter started up on the big screen.  Doug took the beer from Barry and cracked the top open. His mouth wasn’t designed for cans, so he poured it into a bowl on the coffee table and lapped it up. Barry took a bite of his stir fry and offered the plate to Doug who gave a low growl. “Oh, don’t be like that. You haven’t even tried it. It’s actually pretty good. And we have to do something about the rats, so eat up. Tomorrow we’ll try smoking some.” Doug took a tentative bite of the rat chow mein and proceeded to pig out once it met his discerning approval. “I hope you know, you’re going back to doggy Doug when the girls get home.”  Doug let out a quick bark of agreement before holding the plate out for seconds.  “You’ve got hands now, go get your own.”  Barry put his feet up on the table and sipped his whiskey. Doug was certainly a handful, but it wasn’t all bad. The shape-shifter would make a great assistant and he liked all the classic horror films—he even gave Galaxy of Terror two freaky thumbs up. Having a dog-monster might actually be pretty awesome. Time would tell. Barry would work on the new book tomorrow. Tonight, him and Doug were kings again. The End

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Mar 17, 2021
Ep.74 – Old Jerry - The Trickster Becomes the Treat!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

Kids think they have a monopoly on Mischief, but tonight Old Jerry may just be the king of Tricks and Treats!

Old Jerry by RT Raynaud

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Transcript:

Great. Another broken blade. Goddamn Sawzall. This Japanese piece of shit just isn’t built for hard work. Or is it Chinese? I dunno. It’s one of those Oriental countries. I mean, if you’re using it in an air-conditioned, perfectly ventilated workshop a month after you bought it, and all you’re cutting is 5/8” plywood, it’ll work great. But, I swear, the moment you take it outside… or it gets dirty… or what you’re cutting is a little messy… you spend more time on saw repair than you do actually sawing. Hmmph… maybe I’m being too hard on it? I’m pretty sure that bone isn’t something the saw was designed to cut. … No, fuck that. This thing is designed to cut through aluminum. Bone shouldn’t be a problem. I should’ve just paid the little extra for an American made one. Fucker, fine. There. New blade. You happy, saw? Can we please finish this before sunrise? I still have a hole to dig. Relax, Jerry. Breathe. Just a little bit more work and you’ll never have to see this kid’s smug little fucking face again. At least he’ll never egg your house again on Halloween. I bet this was the little shit who’s been doing it every year. Without fail, each November 1 is spent cleaning rotting egg off of my stucco. Or toilet paper out of my tree. Or a smashed pumpkin off of my porch. I have been vowing for years to catch the fuckface who kept doing it. And I did, didn’t I, you little bastard? You thought that you could get away with it again this year, huh? You thought, “well, I’m just going to pick on Old Jerry. Just minding his own business.” You didn’t count on the fact that I was watching this year. That I saw you in your little Devil costume throw that egg, with your friends Dracula, Zombie, and Skeleton cheering you on. That I would recognize your stupid little costume when you walked up to my door alone asking for candy. Kind of a bonehead move when you think about it. Everyone knows that, when you’re “Trick-or-treat”-ing, you walk up to the door, knock, ask for candy, get candy, and go onto the next house. It’s called “Trick-Or-Treat”-ing” for a reason, you know. It’s in the disjunctive: you do one OR the other, not both. That would be “Trick-And-Treat”-ing, moron. Even if it wasn’t just plain illogical, if you’re going to do both, you should do the trick after you’ve already gotten the candy. Duh. And you’re NEVER supposed to go into the person’s house. Particularly when you don’t know them. Particularly if you’ve already egged the house because you’re a cocksucking, asshole kid with no sense of decency. Particularly when you’ve been fucking with Old Jerry for years already. You weren’t the sharpest crayon in the box, were you chief? OHHHH! Shit! See? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You’d think that a saw could cut through some viscera without getting all jammed up. But noooooo. Ugh. Blood’s all over the place now. Fuck… it’s in my goddamn eye. Hold on, this shit stings. Even in death, you’re giving me crap. Alright.  . I need a new saw. When this is all over, I’m gonna dump this fucker in the hole with you, bud. You know, I honestly wasn’t expecting the “welcome to my haunted house” line to work. Most kids probably would have politely declined; it was the obvious play. Admittedly, I hadn’t expected you to have the balls to actually walk up to my house. I didn’t have the time to think of a really creative way to lure you in. I was in the middle of cursing myself for my unpreparedness when you said “thanks, mister” and waltzed through my front door like you owned the fucking place. You fell for my ruse hook, line, and sinker; complete with stupid smile across your chubby idiot face. I had such a hard time restraining my joy as I marched you through the house towards the kitchen. I probably could’ve done without that snide comment you made about how my home looked “more like a haunted crackhouse”. Yeah, I get it. I live by myself and I wasn’t expecting guests. It’s as clean as I mind it, but it probably couldn’t hurt to dust and mop more regularly. Now that I’m reflecting on it, the condition of my house probably helped sell the half-baked scheme in the first place. But, who the fuck are you anyway? You’re just some idiot kid. What the hell do you know about interior decoration? You probably have a fucking video game poster on the wall in your room. Ugh… classless fucking asshole. And the comment about the insects on the dishes in the kitchen sink? Apparently, you’re too good to eat bugs. I mean, it’s food that walks right up to you! You’ll eat whatever the hell “nougat” is; but if it has a thorax, all of a sudden, it’s too gross for you. Bourgeois bitch. I swear some people have no vision. But, you know what I regret? I regret not having a video camera set up to capture your face when you turned to me and said, “this is a pretty lame haunted house”. You were expecting to see me disappointed at the bad review. I could see it in your eyes; in your shit-eating grin. You wanted to ruin my night; to inflict psychic torment on who you thought was a poor earnest haunted house proprietor with your “dissatisfied customer” routine. I mean, I know it was just a ploy to get you in the house, but I was offering you a FREE haunted house tour. Gratis. As far as you knew, it would cost you nothing. Despite this, nothing would have given you more pleasure than to see Old Jerry’s feelings hurt. It’s just sadistic when you think about it. You relished the opportunity to be an asshole… right up until the moment I cracked you in the forehead with the hammer you never noticed me holding. If we’re being entirely honest, I hit you too hard. I wanted you to know what was happening before I turned your lights out. I wasn’t going for a “scream of terror” or anything like that, but, if I had my druthers, a “no, please stop” would have been nice to hear you say before the end. To be fair, blunt force head trauma is more of an art than a science. And, it’s not like I do this very often. To kids your age anyway. As was, you dropped limp without a sound. But, oooooh, boy, it was still pretty sweet. I’m getting chills thinking about it again. I knew I had to hit you again to make sure the deed was done, if only to make sure you couldn’t surprise me and get away when I turned my back. I’ve been down this road too many times to know that one should never underestimate the resiliency of the human body. Afterwards, I dragged you over to the basement door and pushed you down the stairs. There was no way for you to somehow magically escape from down there. I suppose I may have been being too cautious, but these are the kinds of lessons experience teaches you, I suppose. That’s the difference between Old Jerry and “other people”; I like redundancies. But, my worries were needless. You landed at the bottom with a dull flop, eyes open and dilated. You were clearly dead, your blood droplets spattered all over my basement stairwell. Oh… remind me later to get to the pharmacy to pick up some hydrogen peroxide to clean all of this up. Then came step two of my plan: cut you up into little pieces so that I could properly dispose of you. I mean, of course, I kept the tastiest parts of you for dinner this week, but my refrigerator is only so large. Eventually, the rest of you’d start stinking. Eventually, the smell would draw notice. Best just to dump you in a shallow grave and be done with you. I had just been hoping that the disposal part of this process hadn’t been so taxing. If only this saw would cooperate. I mean, look at me; I’m covered in your blood. Old Jerry looks like he’s been… well, like he’s been in a basement cutting up a body all night. HA! No? Well, I thought it was funny. Being splattered with your blood does make for a pretty convincing Halloween costume at least. When all’s said and done, kiddo, you’re actually pretty easy to talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I still think you’re a prick. But, I haven’t had this much human interaction in months. Ever since the psychologist lady told me to stop coming by. Man, now THAT is a story. You see, the court ordered me to see a shrink a couple times a week. But, one week she forgot to give me my prescription. I ran out over the weekend, but her office didn’t open until Monday. So, I did some researching to find where she lived and went to her house… SHHHHHHH! Do you hear something? . . . I think I just heard a knock on the front door. Hold on. Lemme go see. . . . Hey, wouldn’t you know, your friends Dracula, Zombie, and Skeleton are here. They look a little worried. Perhaps here to check up on you? Ah. Now I see why you were so bold in coming up to my house: this was all just some bit. You must’ve thought your friends had your back if anything went wrong. Maybe you should’ve stuck with the plan and only asked for candy. Who’s the joke on now, bitch? They sure did take their time in coming to your rescue, didn’t they? No doubt the product of an extended debate as to whether to go tell someone and risk getting in trouble for tonight’s hijinks. I really have to question your friends’ wisdom in approaching the same house you didn’t come out of. You really picked some idiot friends. Seriously, what the hell are they teaching you kids about the mechanics of “Trick-or-Treat”-ing these days? Like I said, go up to house, get candy, leave, approach next house, repeat. None of this is rocket science. But, I suppose they still are “witnesses” who can “link you back to me”. And I really don’t want the police sniffing around here. WAY too much for them to find. Oooooo-wee, they’d bury Old Jerry under the jail if they found half of the shit I have down here. A few too many skeletons in the closet. And in the crawl space. And under the floorboards. And in the backyard. Do you think they’ll fall for the same haunted house ruse you did? I mean, you did give me a great costume! How’s about it, hoss – you in the mood for some company? Yeah? Then we’re agreed! Let me go get my hammer. . . Oh, fuck. The goddamn saw. How the hell am I gonna cut up three more of you with this thing? 

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Mar 10, 2021
Ep.73 – Slasher - Making Movies Can Be MURDER
00:00:00

Episode Notes

A group of college students set out to make a slasher movie but when real bodies start piling up who will survive these halls of horror?!

Slasher by Rob Fields

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Transcript:

Prologue

The group that was to breathe new life into the Strickfield University Film Society gathered in the movie room at Wilder Hall, the student union building. When Professor James Corgen arrived to conduct the meeting, he sat on top of his desk and looked at the others.  “I see we’re missing somebody,” he said.  “I’m sure Jennie will be here shortly,” Jessie, his busty, red-headed daughter, assured him.  The professor appeared annoyed. “I’m not talking about your sister.” Just then, another girl entered the movie room. “Sorry I’m late. I got delayed.” Jessie turned to her. “It’s okay, Vickie, you didn’t miss anything. In fact, we’re heading out shortly.” Professor Corgen looked at Vickie. “You did read the script, right?” “Trust me, I know my lines,” Vickie assured him.  “I know why Vickie got delayed.” Bethany Mirren looked over at the others and made an obscene pantomime of giving oral sex, getting a few chuckles out of some of the males present.  Jessie pointed right past Bethany. “Hey! Don’t want to work with Vickie Valentine? There’s the door! We’ve only got one shot at making this movie. Just say the word and we’ll recast you.” Bethany flashed a toothy smile. “Your ad said you needed big-breasted girls for your movie. It just surprises me that you’d hire a porn star.” “That porn star can actually act!” Jessie fired back. “She’s already starred in a horror movie for the North Ridgeway University Film Club. The Murder Club is kicking ass all over the film festival circuit. My contact at North Ridgeway told me it’ll be getting a limited theatrical run in a few months. I want our movie to get that same prestige, especially if we want to keep the Strickfield University Film Society going.” “We’ve lost a lot of money over the past six months,” Professor Corgen explained. “Dean Roth won’t set aside any more money in the budget for us unless we can start making some of our own. We have just enough money left to make our movie. My daughter here wrote a script, which is both excellent and an homage to cheesy, exploitation horror. I don’t personally care for horror movies, but I feel Jessie’s going to do well with it. She’ll be in the movie with all of you, but will also be directing Slasher, the title. I’m merely here as an adviser. I don’t want any animosity between any of you, especially with Vickie Valentine here.” Jessie pointed to Bethany. “You in? Or out?” Bethany shrugged. “I’m in.” Jessie smiled. “Excellent! Now . . .” Professor Corgen picked up a bag and opened it. “All of your smartphones are turned off and go in there. No interruptions due to someone getting a text!” Some were reluctant in handing over their phones, but they were all collected.  Jessie took an excited breath. “Okay, let’s head on over to the old Performance Hall. It won’t be torn down for a month yet. Dean Roth gave us permission to shoot Slasher there. Everything will be up and running, including the showers in the basement dressing room. If none of you want to go home, you can crash in one of the many old classrooms. Are we ready?” Cody King stood up. “Let’s go!” Everybody left the room and exited Wilder Hall. They walked across campus until they came to the boarded-up building that was once Performance Hall. The building had seen better days and was why a new building had been constructed. When Jessie was looking for locations to shoot Slasher, she had to convince Dean Jerry Roth to allow the Film Society to have the former performance arts building until it was time to be leveled. He finally consented and wrote her the permit she needed. He also had signs posted that only the Film Society had access to the building.  When they reached the front doors, Jessie unlocked them and they all went inside. Jessie was so excited to be shooting her first feature film that she could barely contain herself. She took a deep breath and turned to everybody. “Okay, people, our first scene is already set up. Head down the hall to make-up, and then we’ll start.” The first day of shooting for Slasher was about to begin . . .

1

Jessie sat on the edge of the stage and looked over her copy of the script. Before long, she heard a door opening to her far left and saw her father coming in.  “We’re shooting the opening scene in here,” she informed him.  He came and sat next to her. “You’re going to do just fine, Jessie. I suppose I’m curious. Why did you cast an adult film actress?”  “I told you, Dad, she really can act. I had a chance to see her in The Murder Club at North Ridgeway University a few months ago and knew she’d be perfect for Slasher. I met Vickie that night and showed her the script, which she loved. I can’t pay my actors much, but I’m glad she took the role anyway. Vickie’s trying to do more legitimate movies and get out of porn. I want to help give her that chance.” He put a comforting arm around her. “Okay, it’s your movie. I said I’d back you.” Jessie opened her script again. “Like I said, we’re shooting the first scene. I couldn’t find anybody to play the Scream Queen killer, so I’m playing two roles.” She picked up the blank white mask that signified the killer. “I still can’t reach Jennie. Do you know if she’s coming?” Her father looked grim. “I didn’t want to tell you, but your sister won’t be joining us for our meetings again . . . ever.” Jessie looked worried. “What’s going on?” He sighed. “She’s the reason we’re having our money problems. I discovered she’s been embezzling money from the Film Society.” Her mouth opened wide. “Oh, my god!” Then they heard a noise. Professor Corgen quickly stood up and walked into the stage area. “Somebody’s up in the catwalk.” Jessie found a flashlight and joined her father. She turned on the flashlight and pointed it upward. “I don’t see anybody.” “I’m telling you, I saw somebody moving around up there, Jessie.” Jessie slowly shined the light around a few more times. “I still don’t –” Suddenly . . . the figure appeared! The figure was obviously feminine, with a build similar to Jessie. The figure had the same red hair as Jessie’s and wore a sexy, form-fitting white dress that showed off how full and ample her breasts were. However, this female figure wore the very same mask that Jessie held in her hands. This girl was dressed as the Scream Queen, the killer of Slasher. She looked down at Jessie and her father for a long moment before she produced a bow and arrow. Before either of them could react, the Scream Queen took quick aim and shot the arrow – right through Professor Corgen’s heart!  Jessie screamed as her father fell forward – dead before he hit the floor! Jessie looked up to the catwalk on impulse, but the Scream Queen was gone. Jessie held her dead father to her and sobbed.   It was several minutes before the cast came in, ready to shoot the first scene. When they saw what had happened, they either gasped or screamed.  Jessie turned to them. “Get out of here! Call the police!” Stanley Farnsworth quickly turned and left. It wasn’t long before he was back. “The doors are all chained up and the windows are boarded up! We can’t get out!” “Oh, bullshit!” Cody King snapped. “Get outta the way!” The cast members reached the main doors to find they were indeed chained tightly shut from the inside. They went and checked the other doors. Hope quickly turned to despair when they found the other doors were chained in the exact same manner.  “We’re fucking trapped in here!” Cody yelled. “Bullshit!” “People, come on, we need to keep it together here,” Vickie Valentine said. “Let’s go back and check on Jessie.” They went back to the stage and found Jessie still holding her father’s body. Vickie lowered herself and convinced Jessie to put her father down. Jessie did and became angry. “I told you people to call the police!” “Let’s all go together,” Nate Henry piped up. “There should be a phone in the office.”  “What about the bag with our phones?” Stanley inquired.  Jessie looked dismal. “Dad put them away somewhere. I don’t know where.” Vickie stood up and helped Jessie to her feet. “We go to the office, then.” 

2

The seven of them entered the main office and found the landline phone. Stanley picked up the receiver and punched 9-1-1. Then he turned to the others with a grim look. “It’s dead!”  “Bullshit!” Cody snatched the receiver from Stanley. After putting it to his ear . . . “The worm’s right! The killer probably cut the line.” He slammed the receiver back onto the cradle. “Fuck!” Vickie quickly cried, “Easy, people. We can’t be losing our shit here! Not now!” Bethany sneered at Vickie. “Just because you’re the porn queen doesn’t mean you’re the queen.” Cody turned to Vickie. “Don’t lose our shit?! We’re trapped in this fucking building! The phone ain’t working! We are so fucked!”  Lizzie Jones finally got her words in. “I’ve actually been looking for a weapon or something, but . . . I can’t find so much as a single tool! I even went to a few of the other rooms nearby. There’s nothing to use as a weapon to protect ourselves in here! The killer’s thought of everything.” Stanley groaned. “We need to – Ohshit!!” Everybody else screamed and panicked as the Scream Queen now stood in the doorway – armed with a chainsaw! With one quick movement, she yanked the cord to bring the lethal weapon to life. Before Stanley could turn to move away, the killer thrust the chainsaw underneath his groin and worked right up the middle. Blood sprayed and splattered everywhere. The Scream Queen’s once-fully-white outfit and mask and exposed skin were being blood-splattered. When the killer finished, the two halves of Stanley fell to the floor.  The Scream Queen gave them a long, blank look before she turned and disappeared. The remaining six were too shocked to run after her.  “What the fucking fuck?!” Bethany screamed. Then she whimpered when she finally realized that she had Stanley’s blood splattered on her. “Eeew!” Jessie suddenly pointed to Lizzie. “You say there aren’t any weapons? I don’t believe that for a second! I’m sure the murdering cunt pretending to be the Scream Queen wants us to think that. There have to be things we can find to use as weapons. We just need to search the other rooms in the building.” “I’m all for looking,” Vickie offered.  Bethany pointed to the doorway. “Hey, porn queen, in case you were sleeping through all this shit, that fucking psycho bitch is still out there!” Vickie glared at her. “No shit, airhead! We can’t just stay in here with our heads up our asses! You people can stay here if you want. I’m going with Jessie.” “We really shouldn’t be splitting up,” Nate stated.  “Like Vickie said, we can’t just stay in here,” Lizzie recalled.  “Hold it! I’ll go with you and Jessie.”  As Nate reached out to take Vickie’s hand, she slapped it away. “Hands off! I’m married!”  “Sorry.” Jessie turned to the others. “You three stay on this floor and look around. We’ll head up to the second floor. Plus, we still have the basement to check.” She turned to Nate and Vickie. “Let’s go.” Jessie, Nate, and Vickie split from the others and headed for the second floor.  

3

Bethany and Cody were looking through drawers, closets, and other places where they might find weapons. Lizzie noticed that Bethany wasn’t really making much of an effort. She seemed to be opening things slowly, all while keeping her eyes on Cody. She also noticed that the rich girl had conveniently unbuttoned enough buttons on her top to reveal the ample cleavage in between her two surgically-enhanced breasts.  Truth be told, Cody really had an eye for Lizzie and kept checking out her ass whenever she wasn’t looking. Bethany noticed this and couldn’t understand why he would want to hook up with a future Suzy Homemaker, when he could have her hot and naked. All he had to do was just claim her. She had no problem answering Jessie’s ad for big-breasted girls to act in her movie. Bethany knew she had the biggest ones out of every girl in the cast. Hell, even Vickie Valentine’s natural ones didn’t measure up to hers. Bethany had spent a pretty penny on her breasts to turn lots of heads. Yet, Cody was wanting Lizzie? Oh, but Bethany wasn’t giving up so fast. After all, she was from the infamously-rich Mirren clan . . . and Mirrens always got what they wanted.  Well, Bethany knew she couldn’t just strip naked for Cody, not with Lizzie right there. She would certainly continue to work her charms on him. Oh yes, he would definitely give in to her. If he was a good lay, she would keep him for as long as she would continue to want to play with him.  “Everything good, Lizzie?” Cody whispered.  Lizzie, the lookout person, whispered back, “I’m not seeing anything.”  Lizzie kept looking one way, then the other. In truth, she wanted to help search for weapons, but spoiled Bethany just had to have her way. She’d had enough of Bethany’s hem-hawing. Before she could turn to tell Bethany to trade places with her, the blood-splattered Scream Queen was suddenly right there in front of her.  Lizzie screamed when the Scream Queen grabbed her T-shirt and ripped it open to expose her bouncing breasts. Then the Scream Queen grabbed Lizzie by her long dark hair with the left hand and sank the blade of a boxcutter into her flesh just below her ribs with the right. With a few swift, precise movements, Lizzie’s stomach had been sliced open. Still holding Lizzie’s hair, the Scream Queen forced Lizzie to quickly drop to her knees – causing her internal organs to drop right out of her stomach with a loud, sickening PLOP!! Lizzie’s corpse fell onto its side.   Cody charged through the door, knocking the Scream Queen to the floor. The Scream Queen quickly got to her feet and ran away.  Bethany shot out of the doorway. When she saw what was left of Lizzie, she quickly cradled Cody’s arm. “Holy shit! What are we going to do now?” “We gotta keep looking for shit,” Cody said. “We don’t know if the others’ll be back or not. We gotta look out for ourselves now and find a way outta here.” “Please don’t leave me!” she moaned.  “Shhh! Shut up! Come on.” Bethany nodded and held Cody’s hand. He squeezed her hand and led the way.  4

Jessie, Nate, and Vickie were on the second floor. They stuck together as they carefully examined classroom after classroom. They couldn’t find anything available to be used as a weapon. Not even so much as a pen.  Vickie groaned in frustration. Nate put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I know. This psycho seems to have thought of everything.” Jessie groaned in frustration herself. “Why is that sick bitch doing this?!” “You’re guess is as good as mine,” Nate replied. Vickie shook her head quickly. “We just . . . Goddammit, we just came here to shoot a horror movie!” She grabbed her hair and groaned again. “Am I being punished for being a porn star? My parents have never agreed with me doing porn to pay for school, but they supported my decision. I’m trying to get out, I really am.” Jessie stepped in front of her. “Look at me, Vickie! Look at me!” Vickie slowly focused on her. “I see you.” “You do what you have to do to pay for college, I get it. I know Strickfield University’s not the cheapest college. I don’t think the Scream Queen is targeting you specifically. You’d be dead already – just you.” She hugged Vickie. “For what it’s worth, thank you for much for agreeing to be in my movie.” Vickie hugged her back. “Thank you for asking me.” Then they came apart. “I don’t want to die. I’m a senior this year, and I want to graduate. I’m finally at a point to where I can leave porn and do something meaningful.” “What are you majoring in?” Nate asked.  Suddenly, there was a loud racket down the hallway from them, which made them gasp!  “We have to go check it out,” Jessie whispered.  “Are you crazy? The Scream Queen might be down there!” Vickie whispered back.  “Someone might be in trouble,” Nate offered.  Vickie really didn’t want to go, but she nodded. They all cautiously moved down the hallway, checking every room along the way. Soon, they reached the room where they were sure they heard the noise. They entered the bloody room and found the remains of murdered crew members everywhere.  Nate had to quickly cover Vickie’s mouth to keep her from screaming. Jessie had to whisper to her to get her to calm down. When she did, Nate removed his hand. Then Nate saw glass bottles of water on the desk. Being really thirsty, he picked one up and opened it. He’d only taken two swallows before he quickly spit it out, just missing Vickie. But he couldn’t tell her that what he had just consumed was not water.  It was a highly corrosive acid! Vickie screamed in terror as Nate fell to his knees. His face, throat, and the flesh on his chest and stomach had melted away completely. Blood was pooling around his corpse quickly.  Suddenly, the Scream Queen appeared with a bloody fire ax in her hands.  “Fuck you!” Jessie shouted.  The Scream Queen raised and swung the ax at Jessie’s neck. Jessie ducked – barely! When she came up, the girls both shoved the killer to the floor and ran out of the room. 

5

Cody and Bethany were exploring the basement now. They still hadn’t found any weapons, in spite of all the rooms they had checked.  Bethany’s arm was still wrapped around Cody’s as she continued to cling to him. “Why? What did we do wrong, Cody?” Cody sighed and gave her a brief, comforting hug. “I don’t know. What I do know is we gotta get the fuck outta here.” They walked into the dressing rooms. Seeing nothing, they turned and walked into the shower room. Bethany was really scared now. “God damn it!” She held herself as she backed herself into a corner and seemed ready to cry.  Cody moved to her and held her to him. “Hey! Don’t come apart on me here. Come on, blondie, stay with me here. Stay with me . . .” Cody moved his hands to the sides of Bethany’s face and began kissing her hungrily. Bethany snatched him to her and kissed him with equal hunger. Bethany let him finish unbuttoning her top to expose her abundantly large breasts. Cody had seen Vickie Valentine’s natural breasts many times when he’d watch her adult movies, but Bethany’s enhanced ones were much bigger. And to a guy, bigger was always better, right? Also, he would have liked to have hooked up with Lizzie, but . . . she was dead. For all Cody would have known, they were all going to die.  Fuck it . . . he thought.  Cody and Bethany undressed each other. Then Bethany turned on all the showers. As far as they were concerned, there was no Scream Queen in this steamy world. At least not for a few adulterous rounds of pleasure. For them, the sex was everything they’d both imagined.  They were so into each other that they never heard or saw the figure appearing at the shower entrance. As Bethany was having her third orgasm, she opened her eyes and screamed! 

6

Cody screamed himself when Jessie yelled, “Are you two fucking kidding me?!” Vickie appeared next to Jessie. “Really?! We got a fucking killer running around in here, and you two are . . . are . . . This!” After Bethany turned off the showers, the naked couple grabbed for their clothes. Bethany took her time in getting dressed. Once more, she let her pride and status as a Mirren get the better of her. Still topless, she turned to Vickie and pushed up on her breasts.  “Get a good look, porn slut,” she purred. “They’re so much bigger and better than yours.” Vickie just looked at her. “Yeah, and . . . ? Unlike you, people are willing to pay damn good money to see me fuck in the shower. What’s your excuse?” Bethany just sneered at her. Then she turned her back to the opposite entrance and finally started to put her top back on. As she went to button it up, she screamed when the loud roar of a very large drill tore through the air. Bethany gasped and started choking on her own blood when the huge drill bit went into her back and come out just below her prides and joy. Blood spilled from Bethany’s lacerations – some going down a nearby drain. Bethany finally fell forward off the drill bit and died.  The Scream Queen came into the room and revved the drill in front of the last three still alive. The Scream Queen slipped on the wet floor and fell, allowing Jessie, Vickie, and Cody to escape. The Scream Queen got up and moved with amazing speed to retrieve the drill off the floor and begin pursuit.  7

Jessie, Cody, and Vickie made it to the stairway and ran up two steps at a time. Back on the first floor, they ran down the hallway. The raging drill made it quite clear that the Scream Queen was right behind them. As they made the turn to the stairwell, they just missed being hit with the drill that the Scream Queen had thrown. The drill had stopped when it hit the floor. They ran up to the second floor and kept moving. So far, the Scream Queen wasn’t in sight.  When they reached the catwalk doors, Cody opened one and motioned for the girls to go in before he followed. They were careful in moving across the catwalk above the stage. The house lights suddenly came on, which made them all scream. As they reached the opposite doors, one of them opened. The Scream Queen stepped in. This time, she had a spear in her hands. Vickie quickly grabbed the spear and struggled to take it from the killer. Finally, she had seized it. The Scream Queen just stood there and seemed to be watching. Without warning, Vickie turned and drove the spear under Cody’s chin with enough force so that the tip came right out through the top of his head. Cody shook and gurgled for a few moments before Vickie just shoved him right off the catwalk. Cody’s head landed on the hard wooden floor where the sickening sound of 19his skull shattering was heard.  Jessie gasped and looked at Vickie. “Why?!”  On impulse, Jessie reached out and ripped the Scream Queen’s mask right off. Her knees wobbled when she saw the face of the killer! “What the fuck?!” she whispered loudly. Jessie held the bloody mask in her hands as she stared into what seemed to be her own reflection . . . a second Jessie Corgen! 

8

The second Jessie Corgen laughed gleefully. “Hi, sis! Miss me?” Vickie grinned an evil grin. “You don’t recognize Jennie, your own twin sister?” “You killed Dad!” Jessie cried. “Why, Jennie?!” Jennie quickly raised her finger. “Why?! Didn’t you hear Daddy earlier? He found out I was embezzling money from the Film Society. Guess I got a little too greedy. Also . . . why should I have to wait until he dies to get all those millions? When I can have it all now!” Jessie shouted, “That’s what this was about? Greed?! You were so goddamn greedy that you killed our father – for Film Society money?!” Jennie laughed. “Stealing money from the Film Society was bonus money . . . but no. You know Daddy had a pretty fucking hefty life insurance policy – worth millions!” Jessie put the rest of the pieces together. “With Dad dead, you’ll be the only beneficiary. You’ll be set for life. The Film Society will close down for good, and you’ll be on your way to a tropical paradise where you can live out the rest of your life. And you even had to go so far to make sure the Film Society’s horror movie would never be made. Anything to make sure Dean Roth would have no choice but to close the Film Society down, right?” “Oh, you’re wrong about one thing, sis,” Jennie purred.  To Jessie’s surprise, Jennie eased Vickie to her for a passionate kiss. Then they turned to Jessie.  “Remember when I told Nate I was married? Jennie’s my wife,” Vickie revealed. “We eloped around the time we came up with this plan.” “Which means we will be living in paradise,” Jennie added. “A little money and a crooked lawyer and I also got the will changed. All of Daddy’s money and insurance will go to us – as in Vickie and me. I’ll never have to bust my ass for anyone ever again. Also, my sweetheart will be done with porn.” She moved away from Vickie and towards Jessie. “Sorry, sis . . . Nothing personal.” Jennie reached out and shoved Jessie hard off the catwalk. 

9

Jessie screamed only for a moment, until she landed on the back of her head and was still forever. Blood began pooling around her head and neck.  Jennie turned to face Vickie, who stood with her back to the railing. “No more loose ends, love.” Vickie gave Jennie a sinister smirk. “Wrong, honey.” Suddenly, Vickie grabbed Jennie and flipped her over the railing. Jennie screamed all the way down until she landed and broke her neck.  Vickie looked down and smirked again. “Sorry, honey, but there’s only going to be enough money for one person – me! Till death do we part.”  As Vickie left the catwalk and headed downstairs, she pulled a set of keys out of her pocket, which would unlock the chains and the doors. Vickie Valentine – the unlikely sole survivor – stepped outside. She pulled out her smartphone from in between her breasts, turned it on, and called the police. Truly, Vickie was indeed a great actress; the police bought everything. Vickie would only have to wait a short time to collect all of the money, graduate from Strickfield University, and say goodbye to the porn industry forever.

Epilogue

The cast and crew were pleased at their screening of Slasher, which played at the Strickfield Centennial Theatre downtown. This particular screening was invitation only, which included the cast and crew along with the Film Society backers who contributed enough to get tickets to the screening as a perk.  The end credits began to role and the house lights came up. Jessie and Jennie Corgen were sitting with their father, who congratulated them on a job well done. Jessie motioned to the cast and crew members present to make their way to the lobby for a meet-and-greet.  Many of the cast posed for pictures. However, Vickie Valentine would end up signing copies of her adult movies that people happened to bring with them, in addition to posing for pictures.  This screening was to celebrate that Slasher had made it onto the film festival circuit. Once it would finish there, it would play on the midnight movie circuit, followed by a limited theatrical run. In all, the Strickfield University Film Society would earn enough money to both keep their doors open on campus and have a budget to film the sequel, which the Corgen Twins had already written the script for. They knew they were going to re-sign their cast and crew to help make it. Vickie Valentine was already guaranteed her role as the star – and accepted it on the spot.  Vickie Valentine would now be able to leave the porn industry and become a premier horror movie starlet. Not only had she agreed to star in Slasher II: Valentine’s Day, she would also go on to star in other horror movies for other independent studios. She hadn’t forgotten that Slasher had made her a star and made it a point to make herself available whenever the Corgen Twins offered her a role.  Bethany Mirren, Vickie’s rival, had actually been approached by Vickie’s former agent about a career in porn. Bethany would never admit it, but she had actually considered it. However, it was no secret to the other cast and crew that she and Cody were seeing each other. The secret they shared between themselves was that they actually did have sex during their shower scene; they just didn’t seem to want to be apart after that.  When it came to the rest of the cast, Nate Henry and Stanley Farnsworth would receive individual offers to appear in or star in other independent movies. Only Lizzie Jones had actually been signed to a Hollywood contract out of all of them and would go on to win Oscars.  As for the Corgen Twins, many of their movies are still playing on the midnight movie circuit to this day. And many, many more are on their way . . .

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Mar 03, 2021
Ep.72 – Grave Consequences - What Happens When a Grave Robs You Back?!
00:30:20

Episode Notes

Stealing from the dead isn't a terrible way to make a living, it just takes a little getting used to. But what happens when a grave tries to STEAL YOU in return?!

Grave Consequences by Killian Crane

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

Dennis’ shovel bit into packed dirt. Years of practice told him he’d passed the five foot marker. Only a few more inches and his blade would strike the coffin lid. This was one of the good cemeteries. It was off of a main road, but the town was sleepy and there were no lights. No lights meant he could park damn near on top of the grave. He wouldn’t have to lug everything from a block or two away. As an added bonus, the night dripped with a heavy fog. It would be impossible to see his electric lantern from a distance.  Mr. Pyles told him to look for an old money tombstone, and he wasn’t kidding. The once lavish tombstone had a statue of a weeping angel wielding a sword staring down at Dennis as he worked. At the angel’s feet read “Here lies Vanya Mills.” Her birth year was worn away, but she died in ‘62. Chances were, anyone coming to check on dear old Vanya was either an old fart or buried close by.  He dug faster, feeling sweat drip down his chin. He learned long ago to keep plenty of sweat rags handy for long nights, and there was a fresh beach towel already waiting for him in the driver’s seat of his truck. He had a change of shoes in his covered bed, where he’d place his muddy boots and tools of the trade in one large trash bag and his haul in another. If it was too big, he’d just wrap it in painter’s plastic and tape it up.  Once upon a time, Dennis was something of a jack of all trades. A pipe fitter when he could pass a drug test, a construction hand when he couldn’t, and a thief in between. It was a stroke of genius that he found his favorite form of larceny; grave robbing.  Many homeowners were getting home security systems. The ones with anything worth stealing, anyway. The same was basically true of people. You’d never guess who all was packing across the country. Sure, some places had hinky gun laws, but that didn’t stop granny from carrying a .45. Dennis knew that from experience. Several years ago he held up an old woman and she pulled heat on him. Luckily her hands shook something fierce. The .45 rang his ears, but didn’t ventilate him. Dennis had enough gumption to snatch the revolver from her hands. He retaliated, stomping granny’s ass into the ground. She had just been protecting herself, but she damn near killed him. To teach her a lesson, Dennis made sure she had the ass whooping of her long life. When he found the only thing of value she had was the revolver and a coin purse with a whopping $5 in change, he decided that robbing people was just too much drama. That night, he used the $5 to get a coffee at a local diner. The night had been rough, so sweet thang at the counter wasn’t getting a tip. The local paper was on the counter, opened to the obits. One in particular caught his eye. A local heiress, pretty little thing, probably in her forties, had kicked the bucket. She wore something intricate around her neck. The black and white picture didn’t do the thing justice, but he could tell it was gold and diamonds. It was then he had an idea. While he waited for her to be buried, Dennis pawned the .45 for $300, then went to the hardware store for the things he thought he’d need; a shovel, crowbar, mallet, good rope, bolt cutters, flashlights and a lamp, towels and large trash bags. It all came out to just under $200. Another $85 went to a shit hole motel nearby, and the last $15 to his name went to a good hot meal. He had a full night’s work ahead of him, and needed to have his strength up. Once he was at the cemetery, he realized just how brilliant his plan was. Graveyards were empty at night. The dead made people uneasy, except goth kids but they were easy to scare off. Another plus, there were no pigs on patrol. Small town pigs couldn’t be bothered that late when there was a car to sleep in or donuts to suck on. Best of all, graves didn’t call the police or shoot back. They were buried treasure, waiting to be plundered. As he dug up the heiress’s grave, he had this feeling of destiny. This was what he was truly put on the earth for. His shovel bit greedily into the dirt. Like a first date, he was both nervous and excited to meet little Miss Money. When he finally felt the thunk of his shovel on her coffin lid, he scraped away enough of the dirt to put his hand on bare wood. He gave the coffin a little knock. “You in there, sweet thang?” No answer. “Don’t you worry. I’m on my way.” He cleared the dirt away from the top and the sides, and slid his crowbar under the lip of the lid. It was like he was at the casino pulling the handle of a slot machine. Would he hit? Would he bust? He pulled the crank, and the lid popped with a hiss. She still smelled sweet, like flowers. He turned away, caught in a sneezing fit. Anything scented always did this to him. Well, damn near anything, really. He had a sensitive nose. He sniffled, embarrassed that she saw him like this on their first meeting. But that embarrassment evaporated when he saw gold chain encrusted with diamonds around her pretty little neck. Jackpot. He took the necklace off her. She didn’t seem to mind. As he stared at her, he had another bright idea. She wasn’t doing anyone any good laying in that coffin. But maybe she could still be good to someone out there… He threw the heiress over his shoulders and loaded her into the backseat of his sedan. It took a little doing to get her seated, on account of her being so stiff, but he got it done. Dennis buckled her in and covered his work. In the drivers seat, he wiped his forehead with an old bandanna. He saw her through the rear view mirror, staring at him. The glue holding her eyes closed had come undone. It freaked Dennis out a little, but she was just a stiff. Nothing she could do anymore. “I know this car ain’t what you’re probably used to,” he said, giving her a bashful smile, “but I hope you enjoy the ride.” He threw the sedan in drive and crept out of the cemetery. To Dennis’ surprise; it didn’t take much searching to find a buyer for the heiress. Down a dirt road that the sedan didn’t like, he found the old ranch house of a Mr. Pyles. He was an old man with a look in his eye of terrible intelligence. He and Dennis shook, and he explained that he was a sort of… artist. After viewing the heiress and seeing what he liked, he paid Dennis $2,000 for her in cold hard cash. He was floored, like a kid looking at the ocean for the first time. Before Dennis could leave, Mr. Pyles fetched two glasses and a batch of moonshine from the cabinet. “You got time for a drink?” the old man asked. “I got an offer you might like to hear.” Dennis never was one to say no to good money, so he stayed for the drink. “I been looking for someone like you,” Mr. Pyles said, “been looking a long while. You know, in the right hands, a dead body can be spun into gold.”  He poured two shots of moonshine, and slid one to Dennis. “How would you like to make this a regular thing?” Dennis stared at the shot of moonshine, reminiscing about the thrill of the dig. He flexed his fingers, remembering the tension of his crowbar under the lid of the coffin... For the sake of formality, had to ask. “What’s the pay?” Mr. Pyles smiled. “Same for her, $2,000 a stiff. Anything on their person is a bonus for you, unless specifically instructed otherwise.” For Dennis, it was a no brainer. They toasted. The moonshine burned on the way down, and their pact was forged. Mr. Pyles gave him a burner phone, a name, a photo of a gravestone, and an address. Dennis set out immediately. Things went that way for three good years. Since then, Dennis sold the sedan in favor of a four wheel drive truck with a long bed and a hard cover. An eight foot bed meant he could put a basketball player in the back if need be. His new profession took him all across the country. He found that northern dirt didn’t give like the ground in the south, and the more rain a place got, the better for the older graves. Wet ground meant the coffins weren’t busted when he got to them. He wasn’t sure why that was, he just knew it meant he had to do less work. A busted coffin meant playing archaeologist, and on more than one occasion it resulted in a bust. Despite his love of southern coffins, southern air played hell with his allergies. They were bad enough as it was, but the south really let him have it. He caught a sneeze in the crook of his arm for probably the tenth time that night. The angle looked down at him scornfully. “Bless me,” he said, blowing a snot rocket at her feet before he kept digging. Most of the houses near the cemetery looked like old money. Chances were, Vanya was probably a trophy wife for some local millionaire when she was alive, meaning she carried some trophies into the afterlife. Dennis hoped, anyway.  He wondered if Vanya was feeling lonely down there. Maybe she was looking forward to finding a new friend in Mr. Pyles. He wasn’t sure what the old man did with any of the bodies. Dennis brought him all kinds of people at various stages of decay. He learned that graves over 50 years old were usually just the frame. He enjoyed those graves the best. Bones were easy to pick clean and load in the truck. As he bit into the dirt, the shovel jolted with a thunk. “Thar she be,” he whispered with a smile. He cleared away enough dirt to touch the coffin lid. If that little bit was any indication, Vanya’s coffin was a good looking one in it’s heyday. Finger’s crossed for a bonus, he gave the lid a little knock. “I’m comin’ for ya, old bitty. Ya better be decent.” He cleared away the dirt as he had so many times before, and grabbed his crowbar. If the lid wouldn’t act right, he’d have to grab the mallet and force it open. But he wasn’t worried about that. Vanya was gonna be a good girl. She wanted to feel the air on her old cheeks again. And, if she played her cards right, she could leave with Dennis… Like a good southern coffin, the crowbar slid under the lip with no resistance. Gripping it in his hands, feeling how ready the lid was to pop, Dennis wiped excited sweat from his brow. Would he hit? Would he bust? All he had to do was pull and find out… The lid popped with a hiss. Dead air swelled into the night sky, and Dennis found himself in another sneezing fit. Allergies and the dead didn’t mix well. “It’s okay, old gal,” he said once he could breathe again, “we’ll get you out of that stinkin’ box.” Lid up, Dennis leveled his lantern, not understanding what he saw. Where Vanya should have been, there was a ragged hole leading somewhere below ground. Dennis lowered his lamp, trying to see past the dark. Uneasily, he realized that wherever the hole went, it went deep. From the depths below, a screech shattered the silence of the night. Dennis tripped face forward. Before he could grab for anything, he was falling through the coffin into nothing. As he slid, the dirt scraped painfully into his stomach. Then he stopped sliding and started falling, spinning in the air. Something not dirt broke his fall.  A jolt of pain shot from his ankle as he landed wrong, and his lantern went out. Above, he heard the coffin lid slam shut. He was left in total darkness. Instinctively he reached for his leg, but he was waist deep in something slimy and dense. His heart pounded in his throat as pitch black pressed in on him. The smell was unbearable, making him vomit on himself. He tried to be quiet about it because somewhere someone was crying. He fumbled for his lantern, fingers trembling as they dug into slime and something else. “Please,” he whispered, the sound of his echoing voice terrifying him. After what felt like an eternity, he found the lantern.  He pressed the button, but it wouldn’t come on. “No,” he hissed, “no, no, no.” He jammed the button madly, but still the light wouldn’t activate. He felt himself sinking deeper. Liquid drenched his clothes and wet his skin. Whatever it was, it felt disgusting. “Please!” he cried, terror almost drowning him. After an eternity, the lantern blessedly came on, and the echoes of someone crying stopped immediately. Despite its blinding effect, Dennis held the light close to himself, thanking the powers that be that it wasn’t dark anymore. But as his eyes adjusted, and he saw what it was he’d fallen into, realized what it was that he smelled, he wished otherwise. He was in a large cavern. As he squirmed, he sank deeper into a pile of bodies, each of them at wildly different stages of decomposition. Through the muck he could see they were missing parts. Faces ripped off, hands missing, bodies torn in two. He tried to wriggle free, only succeeding in falling further into the pile. The dead weight began to press on him, and with the little air he had left in his lungs, he screamed. From the single rough entrance to the cavern came a faint light, accompanied by wailing. Whatever the crying thing was, it knew he was near. He tried to turn off the lamp, but the button was jammed. The glow beyond the cavern grew brighter as the patter of bare feet and wild shrieking closed in on him. He was out of time, and only saw one option. He flung the lantern away and played dead. The crying thing stepped into the cavern, having to hunch over. She was tall, with long red hair and impossibly long arms and legs. She wore a ragged black dress that was much too short for her skeletal frame, exposing her bony legs to the tops of her thighs. One slender hand held an electric lantern, bathing the room with questing light. With her other hand she held her face. Tears streamed between her fingers and down her forearm, where they dripped from her elbow. Peeking between her fingers, Dennis got a look at her eyes. They were puffy and impossibly red and searching for him. It took everything he had to keep up the act. Her hand, which ended in jagged nails covered black with grime, dropped from her varicose face, revealing crude makeup that ran down her cheeks. And cracked lips dribbling the same black grime on her fingers.  What that grime could possibly be, Dennis didn’t want to know. Snot flowed from her nose and a fresh line of drool leaked from her mouth. She looked like she was always trying to say something, but the tears only allowed hitching sobs. Her cries reminded him of his mother’s the day his baby brother was put in the ground. That memory in this strange place sent cold sweat trickling down his spine. He wanted to look away, but he didn’t dare move.  She put her lantern down and reached for the one Dennis had flung, picking it up with two spindly fingers. She sniffed at the handle, licking it with a long dirty tongue. Tears streamed down the lantern, glistening in the light. She gently placed his lantern on the ground and sniffed at the air. Her nose danced in his direction. With a sad grunt, she worked both hands into the pile of bodies. She fished out the bottom half of a corpse, her other hand still searching the pile. Her sobbing mouth worked around a bloated thigh, every bite a struggle as her teeth sank into decayed flesh. Black goo bubbled around her mouth as her slender neck flexed and pulled. The sound of old thigh meat tearing from bone made Dennis sick again, but he kept his face stone dead. His eyes begged him to blink but he didn’t dare. As she chewed and swallowed, he could feel her other hand questing the muck near him. The dark liquids oozed down the length of the half corpse, mixing with her tears into the dirt. Even as she ate, she sobbed.  Her fingers prodded his foot. His heart jumped in his chest as she grabbed him by the ankle, testing him. As she pulled his leg, he grimly thought of his crowbar against the lid of a coffin.  Would she hit? Would she bust? She squeezed, shooting fresh pain up his leg, and he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt his ankle was broken. Like her, he began to cry. The tears rolled down his cheeks, but somehow he kept himself from blinking. Back and forth she worked his leg, forcing Dennis to use willpower he didn’t know he had to stay absolutely still. There was a rumbling in the pile. Her questing had disturbed some precarious balance, and the meat shifted in response. Dennis became even more entangled, only his head above the pressing corpses. The mourner squealed, her hand darting from his ankle and to the shifting. She thought she had him. This might be my chance, he thought. It was a slim one, so impossibly slim, but maybe if she didn’t find anything, she’d move on. It would be terrible, but maybe he could wait her out. There had to be another way out of this cavern, she got down here somehow. He wasn’t sure yet what he’d tell Mr. Pyles, but he’d burn that bridge when he got to it. Right then, he just had to stay calm.  As the pile shifted, the body of an ancient woman whipped around to face Dennis. Around her bony neck was a solid gold necklace sparkling with fine emeralds. He was face to face with Vanya Mills. He didn’t know how he knew, but he did. This night had already been the craziest of his life. He was terrified, and he should have been screaming. But all he could do was look at that necklace. Jackpot. It was beautiful, easily the most valuable thing he’d ever seen on a dead person, easily worth more than the bones wearing it. Dear old Vanya was just another skeleton, begging Dennis to pick her clean. Mad glee threatened to creep into his stone face. He flexed his fingers, fighting the urge to grab the precious jewelry. The mourner wailed in anger, grabbing a body and flinging it into the cavern ceiling. It exploded up there like a party favor, and parts rained. An arm struck Dennis in the head. He couldn’t scream now. He had to have that necklace. This thing thought she had him licked. She didn’t. She didn’t have any idea who Dennis was, what he was capable of. He was in his element. He understood then the intoxicating thrill he felt the night he stole the heiress. His entire life had been building to this very moment. He breathed careful, shallow breaths, reveling in how the dead made him feel alive. Vanya must have been able to read his mind, because as he stared into her empty hollows, she gave him a tight, knowing smile. He wanted to smile back. No, Vanya, he thought unblinking as his vision began to blur, you won’t get me that easy. I’ll be getting out of this one. And that necklace around your scrawny neck will be mine! The mourner collapsed, pulling at her hair, ripping it out in clumps, and pounding her fists into the ground.  The thuds made Vanya’s head tilt to one side. Now she was questioning Dennis. She thought she had him licked too. She and the mourner were in this together! He might take Vanya’s head as a souvenir, just to spite her. Take her on a vacation paid for with her necklace. That would show her. That would put her in her place. Who did she think she was? She thought she was a match for Dennis? He’d robbed hundreds of graves! Hundreds! All of them preparing him for this, his masterpiece! You can’t stop me, Vanya, he thought, no one can! I’m getting out of here! I’m gonna win! Vanya laughed at him. Not out loud, but in his head. As she did; her head whipped back and her jaw fell open.  Dust spewed from her skull into Dennis’ face. The kiss of death hit him just right. He wanted to cover his face, but he was thoroughly trapped by the dead. His grand plan to steal the necklace and Vanya’s head evaporated as he let out a loud sneeze. The mourning lady stopped pounding the ground, and their eyes met for the first and last time. Terrified, Dennis realized he knew that look in her eyes all too well. Jackpot.

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Feb 24, 2021
Ep.71 – Party in the Woods - Unexpected Guests Have Big Claws and Bigger Appetites!
00:17:51

Episode Notes

A party out in the wilderness gets crashed by some unexpected guests. They're mean, they're big and their hungry for YOU!

Party in the Woods by Joe Solmo pennedinblood.com

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcript:

Tristian and Becca made their way down the wooded path behind Tristian’s neighbor’s farm. Josh and Emily went to bed pretty early, so for years Tristian had brought friends down here behind the farm to explore the woods. As he got older he explored less and came to the woods to drink and party with the girls from town.

Becca was new to town, just moving here a month ago. Tristian was infatuated as soon as he saw her in the hall in school, her long brown hair flowing behind her. He followed her after school trying to come up with something to say to her to spark a conversation. It paid off though, he thought as he sneaked a glance at her behind in the moonlight through a break in the trees.

She carried a bottle of Jack Daniels in her right hand, it was already missing a quarter of the brown liquid inside. She was more of a drinker than he was, he noted with a smile. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the way she walked, the curves swaying back and forth, it was mesmerizing. The swaying stopped in front of him.

“Tristian, did you hear that?” she whispered to him.

“Hear what?” he asked at a normal volume.

“Shh…something in the woods,” she replied. “Do you guys have bears around here?” She asked with a little bit of fright in her voice.

“I didn’t hear anything. Don’t worry I have been coming here since I was a kid, there is nothing out here that can hurt us,” he said and smiled that famous smile that got him the girl on numerous occasions.

Becca still stood there for another moment, when she didn’t hear anything she began to walk the path again, but cautiously. Tristian snuck up behind her and grabbed the bottle from her hands. She let out a scared yelp as he laughed at her. He took a big gulp off the bottle, letting the alcohol burn his throat.

“Are the others meeting us up here?” Becca asked. She wouldn’t agree to coming out to the woods with a guy she just met unless others were going to be there. He scrambled to find another couple to come along.

“Yes, it’s not much farther now. We got a little fireplace from an old house,” Tristian said. “It must have been from the seventeen hundreds,” he said.

“Sounds cool,” Becca said.

Thinking of the fireplace, Tristian frowned. He should be able to see it from here. He knew Greg and Beth were here already. He saw Greg’s car down by the side of the highway on the way over. Maybe he was just lazy, he thought.

The moon was hidden by the boughs of the trees above. Tristian made his way in the dark to where he knew the stone chimney was. He could barely see the lighter stone in the darkness. He felt around to the right where he stacked the kindling. It felt wet, but he didn’t remember it raining recently. “Greg if you pissed on our wood I will kill you,” he called out to the night. He hoped Greg heard him as he banged Beth, or whatever they were doing.

He grabbed a book of matches from his pocket after stacking the wooden branches into a small teepee shape, with pine needles and last fall’s leaves under. “I can’t see anything,” Becca said from behind him.

“One second,” he said, masking his disappointment. She was one hell of a looker, but she seemed kind of annoying to him. He struck the match, which blinded him for a second with its brightness in the almost complete dark.

He instinctively moved the match to the pine needles under the wood before it burned out or the wind got it. He saw spots in his vision as he gently blew on the pine needles. “Yes!” he called out as the fire came to life. It wasn’t piss on the sticks, it was a darker, thicker color. It reminded him of the bottle Becca carried. “Hey babe, can I get a drink,” he said getting to his feet. The sticks were catching now and the light from the chimney was spreading. Becca didn’t answer him. “Babe?” he said and turned around.

Becca was standing in front of him, ten feet away with the bottle still in her right hand. Her widened eyes stared past him towards the chimney. “What the hell’s gotten into you,” he said and took a step closer, but she didn’t move. He watched as the bottle slipped from her hand and struck the ground, spilling its contents.

“What’s wrong with you?” he said grabbing the bottle off the ground to save its contents which he tried to pour down his throat. He stopped with the bottle to his lips. Becca still hadn’t moved. He started to get a creepy feeling and turned towards the fire.

The light from the flames illuminated the immediate area. The stack of wood he had piled there yesterday was definitely wet, but it was also red. It looks like something bled all over it. His eyes fell to just in front of the stack of wood and he saw the source of the blood.

Greg, naked to the waist lay on the ground, twisted in a way Tristian could only describe as… wrong. His face looked behind him and several vertebra stuck out from a gaping hole in his neck. His eyes were wide open in fear, similar to Becca’s.

He turned towards his would be girlfriend, but she was still looking in the same direction. Tears streaked her cheeks and a sob escaped her lips. He turned back to see what she was looking at, and that’s when he noticed Beth.

Blonde hair mixed with crimson blood covered her young face from the caved in skull before it sunk into the opening that her missing lower jaw left behind. She was completely naked behind the wood pile. Tristian approached her body carefully. He tried to speak but nothing came out. She had large scratches or claw marks crisscrossing across her naked breasts at an inch deep filled with rivers of blood. One of her legs was missing. Just missing. How does that even happen? He couldn’t see it anywhere, but he did find her lower jaw. It looked like some sick bastard had tried to rape her with it, but all it did was tear her pubic area. Teeth peeked out from between strings of her mangled genitalia that hung from her body like the streamers on a five year old girl’s bicycle.

Panic started to settle into Tristian. He stepped backwards away from the mangled corpses of his high school friends. “Becca,” he called out. “Run.” He turned himself to run and saw a horrid sight. Behind Becca, who still hadn’t moved from the same position, stood three humanoid shapes. Their eyes reflected the firelight from the chimney.

“Becca?” Tristian managed to say before the creatures moved. In an instant two grabbed his date and held her arms back behind her. He heard a sickening pop as one of her shoulders were dislocated violently. The pain seemed to break Becca out of her shock. She screamed.

The third creature charged Tristian. He managed to land a punch on the monster but it didn’t seem to have any effect. It grabbed him and forced him to his knees, placing one of its large clawed feet on the back of his legs so he couldn’t get up.

“Help me Tristian!” Becca called out. It was her last words. One of the creatures hands suddenly protruded from her lower abdomen, tearing out of her flesh with a violence Tristian had never witnessed before.

“NO!” he called out in horror and began to sob. He swore the creature holding him mocked his cry. Tristian saw the moment Becca died. He could see it in her eyes. The moment it ceased to be Becca and became only a sack of meat. It was worse than the mangled corpses of his friends, watching her die like that.

Becca’s body fell down to the ground. The two monsters fought over her, tearing pieces of her flesh off in front of him. The same flesh he was admiring just a short time ago. Tristian couldn’t take it anymore, he put his head down, letting his hair cover his eyes but the creature holding him reached down with its gray hand and pulled his hair until he once again was facing Becca. 

Not only did they seem to enjoy killing, but it seemed they enjoyed making him watch. He cried out.

When the two creatures finished dividing up Becca they began to eat. Tristian struggled, but the creature’s strength was too much for him. He clenched his eyes closed to block out the horror in front of him, but the creature seemed to know. It dug a dull nail into the back of his neck every time he closed his eyes, only letting the pressure off when he opened them again. 

Closed or open, he was being tortured. He kept them closed as long as he could take the nail digging him, never in the exact same space, then opened them until the pain from the nail was replaced with the evisceration of his date.

It seemed to go on forever. He couldn’t take anymore. He tried to move again, but the third creature that held him, did so diligently. “Go on, get a bite,” Tristian called out to his captor. It was the only thing he could do, mocking his torturers.

He had no way to track time, but at least fifteen minutes passed as he watched his date disappear piece by piece down the gullets of these hellish creatures. He couldn’t take anymore and closed his eyes to escape but his ears picked up on the wet, snapping of teeth through her flesh and bones. It reminded him of tearing the wings off a chicken dinner and it made him want to throw up.

The creature holding him down pushed him all the way to the ground. He opened his eyes and looked at what was left of Becca. At that point he did throw up, but it had nowhere to go being forced down to the ground. He breathed in his own vomit and thought he was going to drown.

The creature yanked him up back to his knees as the other two  approached. He was pulled all the way to his feet and with a last act of defiance he kicked the groin of the creature right in front of him. It stepped back from the impact then reached out with its grey skinned hand and grabbed his chest, tearing cloth and flesh away from his body.

He screamed, the pain was intense. “Just fucking kill me already,” he yelled out, just wanting it done. He couldn’t take anymore. “Do it you cocksucker!” The monsters didn’t heed him. One of them grabbed his hand and held it out. The first creature, that had been holding him the whole time switched places with the one that tore a piece out of his chest.

It looked him directly in the eye, with an evil intelligence behind its gaze as it slowly and deliberately raised his hand to its mouth and bit off his thumb. He screamed out into the night. He held on to a slim hope that Josh or Emily might hear him in the quiet country night. They had just had a newborn so maybe they would be awake feeding it, he thought.

The creature bit off his middle finger, and smiled, Tristian’s blood and flesh still sitting in its gaping maw. Its body shook with small convulsions, with a grunting sound. A shiver shot up Tristian’s back as he realized it was laughing at his misery.

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Feb 17, 2021
Ep.70 – Be Mine - This Valentine's Day They Want Your HEART!
00:00:00

Episode Notes

On a cold Valentine's evening a young woman finds out she has a secret admirer, and they want more than just her heart... And they'll do ANYTHING to get it!

Be Mine by Shane Migliavacca

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcript:

She’d just sat down on the bed, with the cat snuggling up next to her, when the knock at the door came. Blake looked over at her roommate Cassie, buried in her phone and closer to the door.

“Door?” 

Cassie didn’t answer. 

“Nope, guess not.” 

Blake looked down at her cat, Dean. 

“Sorry buddy.” 

She stood, as the cat looked up at her completely disappointed. 

Blake crossed the small, messy dorm room as another knock came. 

“I got it.” 

“Huh?” Cassie mumbled. 

Opening the door, Blake was greeted by Maggie from down the hall. The girl beamed at her from behind a pair of thick glasses. 

“Here.” She thrust a pink heart shaped box at Blake.

“Uh, thanks. I guess.” Blake said, taking the box. 

Maggie frowned. “It’s not from me. It was sitting on the table in the lobby with your name on it.” “Oh, thanks.” A box of candy… for her? There was nobody she could think of who’d do something like that. 

“Going to the Valentine’s dance tonight?” Maggie asked, before Blake could shut the door.

“Nope, got a paper to finish.”

“That sucks.”

Blake shut the door. It really did suck, but not for the reason Maggie thought. She was struggling with the assignment, dragging her feet on it since day one. Now the deadline was looming. 

There was a pink envelope taped to the box’s front with Blake’s name written in glitter. Inside was a Valentine’s card with a cute cat on the front which read ‘Your purrrfect’. 

Underneath the card’s message was another, written in red ink. It read ‘Roses are red, violets are blue. I choose you. Meet me under the east bleachers at 8 pm’.

“What’s that?” Cassie asked. 

“It’s alive.” Blake answered. 

“Huh?”

Blake rattled the box. “Someone left me a Valentine's gift.”

“You got a secret admirer.”

“Guess so, they want me to meet them tonight, under the bleachers.” 

“Probably some townie rapists looking to assault a rich college girl.” “I’m not rich.”

“They don’t know that. Pop that fucker open.” Cassie said, sliding forward on her bed. “Bet there’s a human heart inside.”

“Nope, candies.” Blake answered, popping a chocolate into her mouth. 

“Damn.” Cassie groaned. “Gonna meet this mystery admirer?”

“No time for love Dr. Jones. I’ve got a paper to finish.” Blake pet the cat, still lounging on her bed, before picking up her coat and book-bag. “I’m off to the library. Billy’s letting me in.”

“Oh kinky.” Cassie laughed. “There’s your secret heart sender.”

“Billy? I’m pretty sure he’s gay.” 

“Well, so are you.” Cassie stated.

“It doesn't work that way. He doesn't have the kind of… parts I like.”

Blake slipped on her coat, and rested the strap of the book-bag on her shoulder. 

“What about you, meeting Steve at the dance?” 

Cassie’s gaze drifted over to her phone lying on the bed next to her. 

“Naw, he’s busy tonight. Just gonna chill here with the cat and some TV.”

“Oh, sorry. I knew you were looking forward to it.” 

A smile crept across Cassie’s face. “Hey, we could go together.” 

Blake could see the hopeful look in her friend’s eyes, which made what she had to say painful.

“I’m sorry… I-I wish I could.” She said. “If I don’t hunker down and finish this paper… I can’t screw up. My parents sacrificed a lot to get me here.”

She could feel her heart start to beat a bit faster as she imagined going back home after flunking out… the disappointment etched into her parents’ faces.

Blake felt sweat trickle down her cheek as she started to breathe more rapidly. 

‘Control’, she told herself, taking in a deep, slow breath. 

“Don’t worry about it. I wasn’t totally serious about it.” Cassie said, perhaps sensing her friend’s stress. “I’m better off staying in tonight anyway.” 

“Everything okay?” 

“Yeah, just a little bummed. Nothing big.”

“You sure? I could stay.”

“I’m sure. Go. Get that paper done.” 

“Okay. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I never am.”

Blake stepped out into the hallway, making her way past a group of girls all dressed up for the dance, before stepping outside into the bitter February air. The cold cut through her as she started across campus.  Taking a pair of earbuds from her coat, she hit ‘play’ on her phone. She’d put together a mix for tonight… something to get her motivated and keep her going. 

Walking along a lit path, snow and ice crunched under Blake’s boots. Taking in a deep breath of cold air, she felt her heartbeat going back to normal. 

Since middle school, Blake had suffered panic attacks. She had trouble keeping her grades up… trouble fitting in. She’d found ways to cope with it over the years with the help of the school counselor, Miss Cheryl. 

Getting this paper finished would relieve a lot of stress. 

Most of the campus buildings were dark, only lit by a few lights left on inside and some spotlights outside. So many shadows, perfect for a townie to be lurking. Blake wanted to laugh off Cassie’s comment, but here… alone in the night… she wasn’t so sure it was something to laugh at. 

Stopping to adjust her heavy book-bag, Blake became aware of something as the song she was listening to faded out. Footfalls on the snow. 

She turned, picturing a salivating pack of townie boys ready to pounce. 

Ready to swing her book-bag like a mace, Blake wouldn’t go down without a fight.

She turned and found herself face to face with a campus security guard.

“Hey… hey miss.” The man nodded. “Where are you headed tonight?” 

Not wanting to get Billy in trouble, she fibbed. 

“Meeting a friend to study.” She smiled. 

She noticed his name-tag read ‘Stu’. He looked like a ‘Stu’ Blake thought.

“I see, nose to the grindstone and all that. Commendable.” 

“Thanks.” 

Blake could feel his eyes on her as she continued on. She felt a little better knowing there was somebody out keeping watch while most of the campus was at the dance. 

The library, designed in the mid-sixties, stood out against the rest of the campus which had been renovated in the last few years. 

She knocked on the staff door around the building’s back. After a few minutes of standing around waiting, and thinking Billy wasn’t even in there, the lock clicked and the metal door opened. 

A young man, a thin shadow of stubble covering his lower face, peeked his head out. His eyes darted back and forth before stopping on Blake. “Is it secret? Is it safe?”

“Billy.” Blake said, wearily. 

He smiled broadly. “Sorry, couldn’t resist… all this clandestine shit.”

“It was your idea for me to use the staff entrance.”

“Didn’t want somebody seeing you come in the front after hours. Old man Styles would have my ass for breakfast.” 

Blake shivered as the wind gusted. “Gonna let me in already? My non-existent lady balls are freezing off. ”

Billy stepped aside and Blake entered what appeared to be the library’s office area… a cluttered mess of desks and cabinets. From somewhere in the library, Elvis crooned away as they stepped into the main room. Only half lit, the library was a maze of bookshelves and shadows. 

“Feel free to set up shop anywhere, I’ll be down here doing inventory awhile, so don’t worry about getting the boot.”

Blake smiled. “Thank you for this. There’s just too much chaos back at the dorm to focus, besides Cassie didn’t go out tonight.”

“Oh, she didn’t go to the dance?”

“Naw,  got stood up.”

“Kind of the same for me, all my help bailed so they could go to the dance.”

“Well, at least you got the King.”

“Music isn’t gonna be a problem is it?” 

“Nope. Brought my own.” Blake pointed to her earbuds. “Where’s it coming from anyway?”

“Old man Styles has a record player hooked up to the PA. He’s got a shit ton of vinyl in his office.” Billy pointed over his shoulder at the head librarian’s office. “Helps the night go quicker.”

Blake headed upstairs, and plopped down at a desk off in a corner.

With her paper and reference material laid out on the desk, Blake popped open an energy drink and took a sip.

“Sweet, sweet caffeine.” 

She un-paused her music and got to work. 


Cassie’s finger hung over the ‘send’ button. How long ago had it been since she’d sent it? She wasn’t sure. 

She read the message again:’ I know about the two of you’. 

The message remained unseen by Steve. A part of her regretted sending it, the part that still loved him… even though she’d seen them together. 

Fuck it. Fuck him, the shit.

“More Cheaters coming up.” The TV promised. 

Cassie pet the cat lying next to her.   “Here I am on Valentine’s Day, petting my gay roommate’s pussy, watching Cheaters all alone.” 

Cassie groaned, tapping the back of her head against the wall. 

“Sorry kitty, but I gotta bounce.” 

Cassie put on some lipstick, looking at herself in the mirror.

“Fuck you Steve.” 

Putting on her jacket, Cassie looked at the cat curled up on her bed.

“I’ll leave the TV on for you. Learn from Cheaters pal… don’t fall in love.”

Snow had begun to fall, whipped along by the wind. Cassie was in the mood to do something bad

She could head to the dance, maybe find some action there. No, all those couples… dancing… kissing.  She’d feel more alone then back in their dorm room. 

Instead, Cassie headed towards the library. 

She hugged herself as wind blew across the path, swirling snow in its wake. 

Cassie approached the sliding glass doors and peered inside. 

She knocked on the glass.

“Hello? Anybody around?” 

She shivered and knocked on the window again. There seemed to be music coming from inside. Someone had to be in there. 

“Hey! Anybody alive in there!”

“Keep it down!” A voice barked at her from inside. 

Billy glared at her from over a stack of books.

Cassie frowned. “Sorry. Jeez. Is Blake in there?”

“Why?”

“I’m her roommate. I gotta tell her something.” Cassie shivered. “Please.”

Billy shook his head. “Go around back.” 

“Thanks.”

Going around the back of the building, she saw the door open and the young man motioned for her to hurry up.

He slammed the door shut behind them as Cassie silently gave thanks for the heat. 

“When I invited Blake to study here tonight, I didn’t think it was an open invitation.”  

“Billy?” Cassie asked. “Blake didn’t tell me you were such a grump.”

He laughed. “I just don’t want to get my ass in trouble. This job helps pay the bills.”

Cassie looked him over. “I don’t see any trouble with your ass.”

This visibly threw him off. 

“Um, so Blake is upstairs studying. I can show you the way.” 

“No need to show me. I’ve been here before… I know her hangout spot.” 

“I’ve noticed you around.” 

“Really?”

A loud knock from the front of the library startled the both of them. 

“What the fuck?” Billy complained. “Are you expecting somebody?” 

“Um, no. Unless the cat followed me.” 

“Bill Murdock?” A man hollered from outside.

“Shit.” Billy said. “Stay here. Stay hidden.” Billy left the office, Cassie could hear him talking to the other man… music from the speakers obscuring some of their conversation. 

Billy assured him everything was okay. 

The man laughed, then wished Billy a goodnight. 

He came back looking harried. 

“Everything cool?” Cassie asked. 

“Yeah, just the security guy making his rounds. You better head up before someone else shows up.” 


Stu  almost made it back to the ‘security hut’ as he called it, when his phone rang. The ‘Psycho theme’ ringtone told him all he needed to know. He didn’t want to answer it… but ignoring it would be worse. 

“Hi honey.” Stu tried to sound happy as he answered. 

“What are you doing?” 

“Walking my rounds. How about you honey?” 

“Sitting here alone! What do you think?” 

Shit. Wrong choice of words. “I’m sorry baby. If I could get out of this I would. But there’s nobody else.”

“Tell me the truth. You're not banging one of those young college floozies, are you?”

“No… ” He tried to reassure her. “I never would. I love you.” Somebody giggled. 

“Are you laughing at me?” He asked.

“The hell are you talking about?”

The childlike giggle came again. This time he was sure it wasn’t his wife.

“Okay, who’s out there?” 

Another giggle from somewhere in the dark, just off the footpath. 

Stu took out his flashlight and shined it into the darkness. He expected to see a couple of the students pranking him… instead there was nothing. 

“Stu! What the hell is going on?” His wife asked.

“Sorry honey, work… got to go.” 

He hung up.

Stepping off the path, he shined his light over the snow covered ground. There was nothing out of the ordinary… but a quick flash of movement among the trees caught his eye. More giggling rung out. 

“Look, knock it off kid. Go back to the dance or the dorm.” Un-holstering his pistol, Stu approached the trees. 

“If I catch you and you’re high on something, your butt will be expelled!”

His gut instinct was to walk away. Don’t give the little punk the satisfaction of playing their game. Sadly, when it came to his job, Stu was a stubborn man… so he went forward. 

“Listen. Show yourself. I’ll take you in, you can sleep it off on the couch and go in the morning. Sound good?”

Stu was answered with the sound of glass shattering. 

“Shit. Had to do this the hard way.” 

Ahead, through the trees, Stu could see the side of the Visual Arts building. The glass of one of the ground floor windows had been broken. Shining the flashlight inside, he could see traces of snow on the dark linoleum floor. 

“So much for a quiet night.” He muttered, entering the side door.

Rounding the corner he stopped. Something was laid out on the floor in a straight line leading further down the hallway. 

Stu bent down, getting a good look at what was sitting on the floor… a little pink candy heart. 

For the first time he could remember, Stu was scared shitless. 

As much as he wanted to head back to the hut and forget this crap, he couldn’t. 

He stood, gun at the ready, and followed the trail of candy. The trail ended in front of a pair of large auditorium doors. 

Stu nudged the doors open slowly. The large room was completely dark. 

He advanced slowly down the main aisle, swinging his flashlight side to side. The light danced over the seats, pausing on each one long enough to see… nobody. 

There was only one place left someone could be hiding, the stage.  The stage was made up to look like a girl’s bedroom. There was a large bed, a desk, and nightstand. 

As he walked up the wooden steps to the stage, there was an obvious shape under the blankets on the bed… a human shape.

“All right.” Stu said, gun trained on the bed. “Game’s up.”

He yanked back the blankets in one swift motion, ready to grab the little shit hiding there. 

A grinning plastic face stared up at him from the human-sized doll that laid there. 

Suddenly, pain erupted from his left Achilles tendon. 

He fell hard sending his gun and flashlight from his hands and across the stage floor. 

Stu watched as a figure slid out from under the bed and stood brandishing a bloody knife in their gloved hand. 

The short figure wore a beat up old army jacket, with a gray hoodie underneath. The hood was pulled up, hiding their face in shadows. They playfully waved at him.

“Oh god.” Stu stammered. Turning over, he crawled towards the gun. “Leave me alone!” He screamed.

Those words would be Stu’s last as the figure jumped on his back, driving their knees in, and knocking the wind out of him. Stu felt the cold steel of the blade against his throat, as that childish laugh filled his ears. 


Cassie found Blake sound asleep at her desk. 

She didn’t have the heart to wake her sleeping friend. Instead she went downstairs where Billy was still hard at work as Bobby Darin sang about the sea.

“Don’t you ever take a break?” 

“Sooner I get this done, sooner I get to go home and sleep.” Billy said, scanning a book. 

“Sleep is overrated. C’mon, take a break.”

She walked over to Billy and leaned on one of the bookshelves, trying to look as seductive as possible. 

“How’s Blake doing?” Billy asked, sounding a little uncomfortable with her close proximity. 

“Unfortunately, she’s sleeping. Now, here’s my thing. I’m having a bad night. I need something, anything to take my mind off the shit.”

She leaned in close to Billy’s ear. “So, how about taking a break?”

“Listen, you're very attractive. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. But...um, I have a lot of work here and shit.”

She kissed him on the cheek. “I can help, I’m very good with the Dewey Decimal System.”

“Well…”


“Oh!” Cassie exclaimed. “So not gay.” 

“Huh?” Billy looked up at her. 

“Nothing.” She said, breathing heavy. 

They were in the back corner of the library, behind a shelf of rarely used books. 

Cassie laid her head on Billy’s bare shoulder.

“I don’t do this, it’s just tonight.” She said. “I don’t want you to think I’m easy.”

“I don’t… I wouldn’t.” Billy said. “I know this is just a fluke… a one time thing.” 

“I wouldn’t say that.” She laughed. “We’ll see… okay?”

“Yeah!”

Cassie laid there feeling her heartbeat go back to normal. It was the first time she noticed the silence. 

“Record stopped.” She said.

“Guess so.” 

“How much trouble would you be in if Oldman Styles caught us?” 

“Are you crazy, he’d have my ass thrown out of school.”

“From what I’ve heard, this isn’t the first time someone got some in the library.”

“Miss Walton?”

Cassie nodded. “And Coach Greer. It’s a rumor anyway.”

Billy laughed. “It’s more than that. I almost walked in on them one night in the projection room.”

“She might have asked you to join in!” 

The pair giggled.

“Well, I got to get back to work.” Billy said. “I wish-”

Cassie cut him off, kissing him. 

“I know, duty calls.” She sat up. “I’ll go see if Blake is up.”   The PA crackled with static as another record started to play. 

“How?” Cassie asked, looking at Billy.

“Only one way.” He replied. “Somebody else.” 

“Who? Blake wouldn’t, I don’t think.”

“I’ll go look.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“Stay here. If it’s the old man or Stu or somebody… I’m toast.”

He surprised Cassie by giving her a quick kiss on her cheek. She watched him hurry off, feeling a sudden nervousness. 

She waited, listening. 

With the music it was hard to make anything out. Cassie could hear Billy say something, then he yelled one word that sent a chill through her whole being.

“Run!”


Blake woke with a start. 

She’d dreamed of a dark figure standing behind her, stroking her hair. A great mechanical roar erupted from within it, making her jump. 

Above her the overhead heater rumbled to life.

How long had she been asleep? How much time had she lost? She’d only meant to grab a quick nap. 

Groggy, Blake fumbled for her phone, knocking over an empty energy drink.

“Caffeine, you betray me.”  

The earbuds dangled from her ears, but her phone was gone. Blake checked the rest of the desk and the floor. 

“What the hell?”

It couldn’t just be gone.

From downstairs music drifted up. Billy was still here. The music was something classical, though Blake wasn’t sure of the composer. 

Blake went downstairs, despite the music, there was an odd stillness to everything. 

“Billy?”

The song reached its climax before going to static. Outside wind rattled the library’s large glass windows. The snow was starting to fall heavier now. 

The clock over the front desk said 1: 30. She’d slept for hours. 

“Billy.” She called out again, worry straining her voice. 

From somewhere in the library a childlike giggle answered her.

“C’mon, this isn’t funny. Stop screwing around.”

Fear climbed up her ribcage and threatened to take hold of her.    A flicker of light caught Blake’s eye. Something moved in the library’s rear, accompanied by the sound of voices. 

The light was coming from the conference room. The wall mounted TV had been turned on, and a presentation on the college's renovation played to a darkened room. 

A lone figure sat, back to Blake, watching the screen.   Blake walked around the side of the seated figure, before she saw their face, she knew. 

Billy sat there unmoving, staring straight ahead. A large bloody wound covered his chest. His arms laid outstretched in front of him, his hands cupped together holding something.

An offering.

A heart sat in his hands. A note was pinned to it… ‘I heart you’ written in blood. 

She ran from the room, and charged the front door, only to find it locked. 

Frustrated and scared, she pounded on the glass, but it was unwavering. 

There had to be another way out. The office, where Billy had let her in!   Entering the office, Blake scanned the room, there could be somebody hiding behind one of the desks. The door on the other side of the room might as well have been miles away. 

Blake grabbed a silver letter opener from the nearest desk. She held it out like a crucifix to ward off some unseen evil. 

Blake got to the door without incident and found it locked. 

“Shit.” 

She headed back out to the main area. There must be another way out… a fire exit, something... 

She headed through the center of the library. Something slowly moved down one of the aisles, making Blake stop. 

Crouching, she slid the letter opener into her jean’s pocket. She crawled on her hands and knees, trying to get a better view. Slowly she pulled a book from the shelf, and peered through the gap, coming face to face with Stu the security guard. His body lay on the ground, lifeless, his head tilted to the side looking straight at her. 

Her breathing became louder, more ragged… threatening to give her away. 

Control. 

A gloved hand gripped her shoulder. 

“Boo!”

Grabbing a book from the shelf, Blake lashed out hitting somebody. She didn’t stay to see who. 

She ran, throwing books over her shoulder at an unseen pursuer. 

Blake ran back to the entrance, pounding on the glass. “Let me out!” She screamed. 

Enthusiastic clapping made her turn to see a figure sitting on the checkout counter, a hood obscuring their face. 

“Wow! That was great!”

They pulled the hood down, revealing a young woman with short black hair. 

“I was surprised.” The girl said, holding up a cell phone. “You have an eclectic taste in music.” 

The girl started swiping through tracks on the phone as Blake stood watching in shock.

“Some of it is good… but there’s a lot of crap.” She continued going through the songs. “Crap, crap, crap.” 

“Ooh.” She laughed. “Barracuda!” Tossing the phone over her shoulder.

“What the fuck is going on?” Blake asked.

“Why didn’t you meet me?” The girl sounded hurt. “I sent you chocolates. Would it have been so hard? I thought you were different then those others.”

Blake had seen this girl somewhere before… in the dorm or a class… maybe they’d passed in the hallway. 

The girl looked at her genuinely hurt. “You don’t remember? First day orientation? You sat down next to me and smiled. We talked about how nervous we were. Or that time I tripped? You stopped when nobody else did… helped me pick up my books… asked me if I was okay.” The girl sighed. “I’ve loved you since I first saw you. That's why I got transferred to Mr Sigmond’s class. So I could be near you.”

“You-you killed Billy because of me?” Blake felt her head spin. 

“Like the song says, the problem with me is you.” The girl jumped down from the counter. “Billy wasn’t the only one. As you saw, I killed that doofus security guard… can’t have him interrupting.” She reached into her jacket and pulled out a keychain. “Besides I needed this.” 

This was madness, Blake needed to get away… get help. She felt her heart beat faster… felt it harder to breathe. 

“You think I’ll just fall in love with you?”

“Why not? You're the only one who ever noticed me… no one else has. They ignore me.”

“Oh god, you insane bitch.”

“I’m in love.” 

“Maybe, maybe you are.” Blake smiled. “You did all this for me?”

She walked towards the girl. “I don’t even know your name.” 

“Terri. My name is Terri.” 

“That’s a nice name.”

Blake reached her hand out towards the girl. Her other hand slid into her pocket, touching the hilt of the letter opener. 

Terri grabbed Blake’s outstretched arm, pulling her along.

“C’mon! I have one last gift for you!”

They stopped at the door to old man Styles office. 

“What’s behind door number one?” Terri asked. “Any guesses?” 

Blake held the letter opener, now concealed under her shirt sleeve. What could this maniac be planning?

“No? All right.” Terri sighed, a little disappointed.  

She opened the door, to reveal a beaten Cassie lashed to Mr. Styles’ chair.   Terri wheeled her out of the office. 

“Oh shit.” Blake took a step back. “What have you done?”

“Nothing… but you’re going to. See, she had to come snooping around… screw up everything. She gave Billy a pretty good screw before I killed him.”

Cassie glared at the girl. A muffled “Fuck you.” could be heard through her gag. 

“If you really, really love me, then you’ll kill her… like I killed for you.”

Terri pulled Stu’s gun from her jacket, and pushed the barrel against Cassie’s temple. With her other hand, she pulled a large knife out and tossed it onto the floor in front of Blake. 

“Two things can happen.” Terri stated. “Pick up that knife and kill her… or I kill the both of you.”

Blake shook her head in disbelief. “How would we get away with it? Your fingerprints… my fingerprints… all over everything.”

“Simple. She did it. We’d be each other’s alibi. She went nuts, killed Stu… fucked Billy… and then came after us. We killed her in self defense.”

“And we live happily ever after?” 

“More or less.”

Blake looked down at her best friend, then up at Terri. Bending down she picked up the knife and stood in front of her terrified friend. 

Terri trained the gun on Blake. “Don’t try anything.” 

Blake and Cassie locked eyes. 

“Would you just kill the bitch already.” Terri ordered. “It’s been a long night.”

Blake took a deep breath, finally in control. 

She pushed the chair into Terri with all her strength, knocking the girl down. The gun erupted as Terri fired. 

Blake fell on the girl. They struggled, and the gun flew from Terri’s hand. The two fought for the knife, until finally the knife found its way into Terri.

Terri looked into Blake’s eyes, and smiled, blood staining her lips. “She loves me. She loves me not.” Terri lamented, touching Blake’s face before letting out a groan and going limp.

Blake used her last bit of strength to cut her friend free.

“You okay?” She asked Cassie.

“Not really.” Cassie laughed, choking back tears. 

“Fuck.” Blake said, looking down at her side. An expanding red stain darkened her shirt. “I’ve been shot.”

“Hang on, I’ll get help.”

Cassie ran into Styles’ office. Blake could hear her talking to 911. 

Blake leaned against a bookshelf, looking at Terri. 

“Happy fucking Valentine's Day.” 

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Feb 10, 2021
Ep.69 – Good to the Last Drop - A Hot Cup of MURDER
00:33:26

Episode Notes

Who doesn't like a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter's morning? Well this percolator will make your coffee give you a lot more than a pep in your step, it could make you KILL.

Good To the Last Drop by Rob Fields

For more of Bella Taibon check out Episode 64 "The Last Taibon"

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

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Transcript:

Adam Lester watched his girlfriend, Jarren Hatley, move around the kitchen. There were days when he really enjoyed seeing how animated she could be as she multitasked. She did it all: worked on washing dishes, tending to the stove for making both her breakfast and her lunch, wiping things down, and even making a fresh pot of coffee. She would even be able to talk to Adam as she did all these things.  Adam was one of the premier basketball players on the Strickfield High School team. Adam had always been about sports from his days in Strickfield Junior High all the way to now. He even had scouts come and see him, some offering him full rides through colleges and universities. However, he would have to keep his grades up and be able to graduate. Mathematics was never his strongest subject, which was why he needed a tutor. Around football season, Adam saw a flyer on the school bulletin board that Jarren Hatley had put up about tutoring. He texted her number, got a response, and she had been tutoring him in math since their first session. Adam hadn’t planned on taking a real liking to this geek, but his overall grades were greatly improving because of her – not just math. He was so grateful to her one day that he kissed her, just intending for it to be a peck on the lips. But it ended up becoming much more. Now Adam and Jarren were an item, the talk of Strickfield High.  The one thing that Adam couldn’t believe about Jarren was how much caffeine she drank. Now, she was pouring her freshly made coffee into a thermal cup to drink at school. She had just finished everything when she smiled at Adam. “Okay, done!” Adam accepted the breakfast sandwich from her, along with a kiss. The two of them were about to leave when they heard a strange noise. They both looked to see the coffeemaker making louder noises. Then it gave off a sudden surge; they saw a brief, giant spark of electricity. Shortly after, the coffeemaker was smoking.  “Shit . . .” Jarren muttered. “And I just bought it last week.” “Take it back,” Adam suggested. “You still have the receipt?” Jarren gave him a look of finality before shaking her head. “Best Buy’s going to think I abused it.” She sighed. “I’ll just have to buy another one, but I’m not going to have time today.” “That’s right, you’ve got those meetings tonight,” Adam recalled.  Jarren sighed. “Student council after school. Key Club right after. Followed by your football banquet.” Adam smiled and eased Jarren into his arms to give her a gentle hug. “Don’t worry, I’ll find you a new coffee pot.” Jarren looked into his eyes. “You’re not going to have time. We could make it out to Strickfield Towne Center Mall before they close at nine, but Best Buy closes at eight.” Adam caressed the side of her face. “I’ll get you your coffee pot tonight. That’s a promise.” They kissed one more time before they left her house and went to school.  *                    *                    * After the football banquet, Adam and Jarren couldn’t get out of Strickfield High fast enough. Adam drove them out to Strickfield Towne Centre Mall. By the time they had pulled in and parked, Adam saw that Jarren was sound asleep.  “Probably hit the wall,” he mumbled to himself.  He wanted to wake her up, but she looked so peaceful that he just let her sleep. He got out and went into the mall. As Jarren had said, Best Buy had closed at eight. There were only a select few other stores open. Adam shook his head to himself. He couldn’t believe this mall was still open. There were so many vacancies, especially after the holidays were over. He kept expecting to come to the mall and see it finally closed for good. Still, it continued to stay open.  Adam moved past the food court, which only had a Subway and a mom-and-pop pizza place. Just thinking about food made him think about Denoyer’s Grill. He checked out the rest of the mall, but he wasn’t having any real luck. There was one last store down where Radio Shack used to be.  “Tinker’s,” he muttered. “What have I got to lose?” He walked to the store and went in. He couldn’t believe all the odds and ends that were there. Just then, a man in his late forties approached him. “Can I help you, young man?” Adam shrugged. “I hope. My girlfriend’s coffeemaker crapped out on her this morning, and I promised her I’d get her another one – tonight.” The man smiled. “Well, my good man, you’re in luck. I just happen to have one right over here.” The man took him to what appeared to be a percolator. Adam gave the man a look of uncertainty. “She’s more of a Mr. Coffee type person. She wants her coffee as soon as she gets out of bed. I mean, she lives on coffee – and energy drinks.” “I do have energy drinks in the cooler by the cash register, but I’m afraid I can’t help you in terms of an automatic drip coffee maker.” The man raised his finger. “However, your girlfriend will never have to worry about electricity with this percolator.” He lowered his finger. “Unless she’s using electric . . . ?” “No, her dad made it so her house either runs on natural gas or burning wood.” He took a deep breath. “How much?” “Hey, no pressure, son.” “I know, but I want Jarren to be happy and have her coffee in the morning. Maybe she can learn to appreciate this. If not, I’ll get her what she wants tomorrow after basketball practice.” The man took the percolator, and they went to the cash register. A few moments later, he quoted Adam the price. “Twenty dollars.” “Twenty dollars?! For this thing?” Adam raised his hands in front of him. “I mean, this thing’s gotta be an antique.” “And you are right. However, you look like your heart’s in the right place with wanting to get this for your girlfriend. So for you . . . twenty dollars.” Adam dug out his wallet. 

Adam knew that Jarren’s dad would be uneasy if he brought her home as crashed as she was. Adam carried her from his car and into his house, after he unlocked the back door. He carried her up to his room and laid her down in his bed. After covering her up, he went back downstairs to close and lock everything back up. As he was about to lock up his car, he saw the percolator he’d just bought from Tinker’s and picked it up.  Adam went back inside. After locking the door, he decided to see how the percolator worked. He found a quick video on YouTube and knew he could easily make morning coffee for Jarren. 

The next morning, Friday, Jarren yawned and woke up. She saw she was in Adam’s room and turned to see Adam sleeping in the recliner next to the bed. She yawned again and moved to wake him up. Adam opened his eyes, and she kissed him. “Good morning.” “Hey,” he whispered. “You all right?” She nodded. “I could really use some coffee, though.” Adam raised his finger. “Say no more. I bought a percolator for you last night. We can try it out before we leave for school. Why don’t you go take a shower? I’ll head downstairs and make your coffee.” They kissed again. Then Adam watched as Jarren got some fresh clothes out of the two dresser drawers that he let her use for when she’d stay the night. Adam yawned, staggered out of his room, and walked downstairs. 

Jarren came down freshly dressed and accepted the mug of hot coffee from Adam. “I never made coffee before, baby, so I hope you like it.” Jarren didn’t hesitate and took a drink. Then she looked at Adam. “This is really good.” Adam gave her a weird look. “Really?” “I’m serious. This is delicious.” She took another drink. “Very strong – just the way I love it!” Adam wasn’t the cook that Jarren was. All he had to offer her was prepackaged food from the cupboard. She accepted a pack of Pop Tarts and opened them to enjoy with her coffee. Adam poured her some more and topped off her thermal cup that he had washed before going to sleep. 

Adam and Jarren had a little time before class, so they sat in the cafeteria and talked about whatever. It wasn’t long before Adam’s fellow jocks approached him. The truth was that Adam never really cared for any of them, especially when they showed their obvious contempt for Jarren.  “Can it wait until class?” Adam demanded, without so much as looking at them.  Brent Haskel snickered. “I don’t know why you put that ho before your bros, man.” Then he looked at Jarren. “Get the fuck outta here!” Adam was ready to get up and stand up for Jarren. Much to his surprise, Jarren immediately stood up. She looked at Brent with such a sharp glare; Adam had never seen this look from her before. “Why don’t you make me, asshole?” The other jocks laughed. Then Brent leaned in. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you, geek.” Jarren didn’t back down. “Yes, you did. You know, this school must be pretty desperate for a basketball team if they’re letting just any dumbasses play for them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you haven’t even won one single basketball game!” Apparently, Jarren’s stating of the obvious was too much for Brent’s ego, because he grabbed Jarren and raised his fist to hit her. As Adam was about to fight him, Jarren struck first. Still glaring at him, she raised her right hand – with lightning speed – and dug her long fingernails into the side of Brent’s face. She seemed to take great pride in dragging her nails down his flesh, making him scream and bleed fast.  The other jocks were about to attack Jarren, but several teachers were quick on the scene. Brent Haskel kept crying out as he continued to bleed from his face, blood dripping on the floor. 

When Jarren opened the back door of her house and walked in, she saw her father waiting for her. “You wanna tell me why the fuck Principal Van Diest just called me to tell me that you’re SUSPENDED?!” Jarren took a drink of coffee from her thermal mug, finishing it. She didn’t even seem to care that her father had just yelled at her, as he had done so many times before during her life. “Yeah? And . . . ? Sure, it’s quite all right for a guy to try and beat me up, right? But when I strike back, oh fuck no! Nooooooooooo! That’s never fucking okay! You’re just supposed to be quiet and –” Her father lashed out and slapped her so hard that she fell onto the kitchen floor. Then he pointed down at her. “Don’t you ever talk to me like that in my house!” Jarren glared at him and slowly stood up. She put her hand on the side of her face and felt the heat her father had just inflicted on her and knew her face was red. Lowering her hand, she said to her father in a deadly whisper, “This is the last time you ever put your hands on me, you son of a bitch!” Without warning, she grabbed a knife out of a nearby cutting block and went at her father. He screamed as she stabbed him, making him bleed fast. Then she stabbed him a second time!  A third!  A fourth! Again . . . and again! When her father was lying dead in a pool of his own blood, Jarren laughed maniacally before she licked the blood off the knife. After she growled in satisfaction, she decided that she wanted some more coffee. Since the coffeemaker was still wrecked, she remembered the percolator at Adam’s house. 

Adam had been depressed after watching Principal Van Diest yell at Jarren. When she stood up and turned his desk over, he pointed to his door and yelled that she was suspended and for her to, “Get the hell out! Now!” What had happened to Jarren? She was always such a sweet girl. He knew that she had it rough growing up, being raised by an abusive father. Still, she had always kept her head high. She was the best thing that had ever happened to him. It wasn’t until the day’s events had unfolded that Adam realized that he truly loved her with all of his heart.  He wanted to call her, but Jarren didn’t own a cell phone. Her dad wouldn’t let her have one. He decided that he had had enough of seeing Jarren suffer. He was going to go and get her and bring her to live with him. He would protect her from her father if push came to shove. He decided to stop at home first. He noticed the snow was starting to come down and remembered the blizzard that was forecasted for the weekend. When he walked into his house, the strong smell of coffee filled the kitchen. Jarren was sitting at the table, wearing one of Adam’s football jerseys, and drinking her coffee. “Hi, honey.” Adam quickly sat across from her. “Jarren, are you okay?” Then he saw the red mark on the side of her face. “Oh, my god . . .” Jarren took his hand and another drink of coffee. “I’m fine, babe. Just fine now.” Her face appeared more sinister. “Daddy’s not a problem anymore.” Then she looked to the percolator. “Have some coffee. Just made it fresh. It’s really cold outside, especially with the blizzard here now.” When Adam declined, Jarren shrugged. “More for me.” Adam took her hand. “Listen, you don’t have to worry about your dad. You can stay here with me – as long as you want.” She squeezed his hand. “I told you . . . he’s not a problem anymore.” She nodded to the window. “You sure you want to be cooped up with me during the blizzard this weekend?” “I don’t want you to go,” Adam replied.  Jarren finished her cup and put it down. Then she stood up, came over to Adam, and sat on his lap. She gazed into his eyes. “I want you.” They kissed passionately. After a while, Jarren got off Adam’s lap. She took his hand and waited for him to stand up. Then she led him upstairs to his bedroom. 

It was Wednesday morning before Strickfield High School could reopen. Adam and Jarren walked in holding hands. Many eyes turned to Jarren. She no longer wore the clothes people were accustomed to seeing her wear. Her hair was dyed red and was frizzy and wild. Her clothes now showed off her tapered legs and skinny figure. Adam didn’t know what to make of Jarren’s new attitude – or her makeover. She seemed like her old self when they were together all throughout the blizzard.  Jarren stopped just in front of the principal’s office. “Here, hold my coffee.” She handed Adam the thermal mug and marched right into the office.  Principal Van Diest hadn’t expected Jarren to burst in . . . literally burst through his door.  The principal pointed to her. “You aren’t supposed to be here! I suspended you for two weeks!” Jarren stood in front of his desk, raised her arms, and slammed her fists down. Principal Van Diest couldn’t believe that skinny Jarren Hatley had just destroyed his desk. She glared at him now. “Let me make this clear to you, asshole. I come and go when and where I please. You want to keep pissing me off, I’ll be glad to put you through another desk. Seriously, I am so sick of your fucking shit! How many times have you let bullies run rampant here, while you punish people like me?” She pointed at him. “That changes today! You hear me?!” Principal Van Diest raised his arms in front of him as Jarren grabbed him and lifted him right off his feet. She glared into his eyes. “Don’t fuck with me!” Then she dropped him back into his chair, turned around, and walked out.  Jarren smiled with glee as she took her coffee back from Adam. “All settled . . .” The two of them hadn’t walked ten feet from the office door when it slammed open. The principal burst out and pointed right at Jarren. “You are expelled from Strickfield High School! Leave here now, or I’ll call the police!” Jarren stopped. She chugged the rest of her coffee before she handed the mug back to Adam. She turned around and flexed herself, causing loud cracks to come from her neck and back. Then she gave Principal Van Diest her evil glare again. “You just don’t listen to reason, do you?” Before Principal Van Diest could yell another word, Jarren grabbed him. Easily lifting him up and over her head, she threw him several feet down the hallway. He might have crashed right through the windows of the cafeteria had he not been caught by someone else. When he felt himself being put back down, he turned to see the blonde girl who had caught him. Next to her was Eileen Donnerly, whom most everybody knew as Einstein. He knew Eileen, but he had never seen the blonde girl who now looked even meaner and angrier than Jarren Hatley.  “Principal Van Diest, what is going on?” Eileen asked with surprise, in her mousy voice.  Suddenly, Jarren was right there. She grabbed Principal Van Diest with one hand and shoved the blonde girl so hard that she flew back and through the gymnasium doors. Then she shoved Eileen so that she fell hard onto her rear.  “Now . . . Matthew, where were we?” Jarren sneered.  “Jarren, stop!” she heard Adam calling out.  She didn’t seem to hear him. “I’m going to put you right through these fucking cafeteria doors. Then I’m going to put you through every goddamn table.” Suddenly, Jarren felt Principal Van Diest being snatched away from her. The blonde was back. She put the principal back down and snapped at him, “Get the fuck out of here!” When Principal Van Diest moved away, the blonde turned to Jarren. “You just made a huge mistake, you fucking skank. Nobody puts their fucking hands on me like that. You want to fight?! Let’s fight!” “Bells!” Eileen called out to her.  Bella Taibon quickly turned to Eileen, yanked her up, and pushed her next to Principal Van Diest. “Get him the fuck away from here, Einny.” Jarren grabbed Bella and attempted to throw her, but Bella was ready for her. Much to Jarren’s surprise, Bella was quite strong herself. Jarren found herself being thrown into the gym now. She landed on the floor and slid to the halfway point of the basketball court. Bella marched right in shortly after.  “I seriously do not need this fucking shit, this morning!” Bella snapped. “First, I had to spend the last several days in this motherfucking village during that blizzard! Then I have to wear these fucking clothes just to be able to come to school!” She yelled over her shoulder. “A fucking schoolgirl outfit?! Really, Einny?” She glared at Jarren. “Now I’m in a fucking school. And I have to deal with you first thing this morning? What, did you put your fucking tampon on wrong or something?” Jarren screamed like a banshee and ran at Bella. The two girls met and started trading punches. Bella could easily have avoided Jarren’s fists, but she wanted to know what sort of a supernatural being she was dealing with. When Bella determined that Jarren was just a human, she started taking more of the offensive.  Bella lifted Jarren off her feet and threw her into the bleachers. She crashed through them and groaned. Jarren was quickly back on her feet, both bleeding and bruised now. She screamed at Bella again as she came out from inside the bleachers. Then she ran at Bella again.  Bella knew that she couldn’t unload anymore on this girl, as much as she wanted to. Despite having the strength and powers of a thousands-of-years-old Master Vampire, she would have to subdue her without killing her. Bella snatched Jarren and wrestled her to the floor.  The two girls wrestled one another. Bella couldn’t believe that this human was so strong. Just by seeing the crazed look on Jarren’s face, she knew that Jarren was on something. She had seen many addicts in the past. While Jarren certainly wasn’t on drugs or alcohol, Bella knew there must have been some magic or potion that was making Jarren extraordinarily strong – and crazy.  Bella was especially annoyed at the people who came into the gym just to snap pictures or take videos of the fight. No one would ever see it, thanks to Bella’s inability to be photographed. But in the hallways, students would call it the geek girl vs. the bad schoolgirl.  Bella focused and took the defensive as Jarren threw fist after fist at her. She hoped that Jarren would tire and become easier to subdue. When she saw that this wouldn’t happen, Bella snatched Jarren and took her down to the floor. She wrapped her legs around Jarren’s midsection from behind and locked Jarren’s upper body in a full nelson type move.  Jarren screamed and struggled to break free, but Bella was far too strong and could keep Jarren in her place. Bella held her incapacitated for several minutes.  “Stop this!” Bella yelled. “Now!” “Never!!” Jarren screamed.  Bella soon realized that Jarren’s strength would never diminish, but she had one more trick up her sleeve. She released Jarren and watched her get up. She came right at Bella, which was what Bella counted on. She snatched Jarren and held her so that she could lock eyes with her. Bella never really liked using her glam on people, but this was one time where it was warranted. Jarren felt herself under Bella’s spell and quickly became weaker because of it. Soon, she fell to the floor and went right to sleep.  Eileen and Adam both came into the gym.  “Bells, is everything okay?” Eileen asked.  When Bella was sure that no one else could hear them, she answered, “I glammed her. I don’t know how long she’ll be out, but we need to lock her up somewhere where she can’t hurt anyone.” Adam knelt down next to Jarren. He took her hand and wondered what had happened to his beloved. In fact, that was what Bella wanted to know. She snatched up Adam and glared at him. “What’s she on? You better talk to me. I really don’t want to have to glam you.” Adam protested again and again that he really didn’t know. Bella believed him and put him down. She didn’t let him go, however. “Sorry, boy, but you leave me no choice.” Adam felt himself sink into Bella as she glammed him to her will. Being that she was a Master Vampire, she knew that she could go even further with her glam. She could actually peer deep into Adam’s mind and see everything that he had seen. She looked upon the last week. Then she came to the memory of him visiting Tinker’s at Strickfield Towne Center Mall. And then Bella understood.  After removing the glam from Adam, the three of them waited as Jarren was strapped down tightly to a stretcher and taken away. Adam was ready to leave with the paramedics to be at Jarren’s side, but Bella stopped him.  “Not so fast!” she snapped. “We’re going to your house first. I want to examine that percolator you bought for your girlfriend.” “But . . . !” Adam started to sputter. Then he sighed. “Okay . . .”

Adam, Bella, and Eileen walked into Adam’s house through the back door. Bella immediately spotted the percolator and opened it. The remaining coffee inside was still hot and smelled strong. Bella uttered a brief incantation and discovered that this was no ordinary coffee pot when it gave off a feint red glow.  Bella turned to Adam. “How much of this fucking shit did your honey drink?” Adam sighed in exhaustion. “I really don’t know . . . Jarren drinks so much caffeine.” Bella closed her eyes and stifled a groan. Then she opened them. “Okay, we’ll assume she drank quite a bit, based on what we’ve seen from her.” Then she poured the remaining coffee down the drain.  “Is something wrong with that coffee pot, Bells?” Eileen asked.  “Oh . . . nothing much,” Bella replied. “The metal body is made with traces of Olde Bloodstone – that’s Olde, with an e on the end. Not the kind of shit you want falling into the wrong hands.” “Isn’t that a birthstone?” Eileen asked.  “Take the Olde away, and you’ve got the birthstone,” Bella replied. “Keep it in, and you’ve got some potentially dangerous magical properties that come from it.” Bella turned to Adam. “Your girlfriend’s coffee was tainted with it. There’s a fucking good reason why Olde Bloodstone goes great with a percolator. The tainted coffee brought out whatever pent-up emotions your girlfriend had. Now, it can be good or bad, depending on the person. Say you would have drank the tainted coffee, and you being hopeless romantic, it would have made you appreciate love that much more. You’d even be able to score most any girl you wanted. But in the case of your girlfriend . . . She must have had some really scary shit happen to her.” Adam explained about how Jarren had gone through many years of abuse at the hands of her father. Then he finished with, “She was always such a cheerful person whenever I saw her. When I finally met her dad, I knew right away something was off about him.” Bella looked a little sad now. “I’m really sorry, Adam. Your girlfriend drank all that tainted coffee. It brought out all the pent-up rage that had been building up inside her over the years. The more she drank, the more she percolated. Until she couldn’t take anymore and started lashing out. Like I said, Olde Bloodstone goes real fucking good with a percolator.” She got serious and looked him right in the face. “Now . . . let’s take a little trip to this mall of yours.” *                    *                    * Adam’s jaw dropped. “I’m telling you, Bella, it was right here. I’m not making this up! The store was right here – where the old Radio Shack used to be. Right here!” Bella looked at Adam. “I believe you. When I glammed you, I saw the store called Tinker’s. It made me think of a certain motherfucker named Eisley Tinker. See, he’s known and renowned in the supernatural world for fixing and rebuilding things . . . only he likes to add something . . . special to them to make supernatural shit happen. I ran into him some sixty years ago. Even now, Tinker’s still a slippery son of a bitch. He must have known people would be coming and . . . poof! No more fucking store! The problem is . . . we won’t know where Tinker will turn up next.” Just then, Adam received a call on his smartphone. It was from Strickfield General Hospital. The more Adam heard, the more his emotions lifted. “Yes, that’s great! Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!” When Adam hung up, he looked to Eileen and Bella. “Jarren’s going to be okay. She’s sleeping soundly. She’s going to be kept at Strickfield General until she’s gone through her caffeine withdrawals.” Then he groaned. “But how will Jarren ever be able to come back to school? I mean, a lot of people saw what she did. And then there’s Principal Van Diest . . .” Bella sighed. “Sorry, honey, but I can’t possibly glam that many people. I can glam Principal Van Diest so that Jarren isn’t suspended anymore, but the rest will be up to her.” “Thank you,” Adam said.  Bella knew that Jarren Hatley would be okay, but what about the other lives that Eisley Tinker had claimed? Bella was even more upset now that she couldn’t leave Strickfield knowing that her old enemy had returned. Sooner or later, Tinker, you’re going to fuck up. And then . . . you’re fucking ass is MINE!!

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Feb 03, 2021
Ep.68 – Careful What You Wish - Only Death Comes From This Genie
00:38:16

Episode Notes

Penn and Ed are an unlikely pair who encounter and ancient evil from the deserts of the middle east, how can they stop something with the limitless power to grant any wish?!

Careful What You Wish by David O'Hanlon

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Transcript:

Penn reached for the doorbell. His finger hovered over the button as it had the last two times he tried to bring himself to ring. He sighed and jabbed the button. Ed’s face pressed against the glass of the nearest window. Penn chuckled at the sight of the freckled, buck-tooth face smiling excitedly at him. The door opened and Penn was greeted by a far-less enthusiastic individual.  Penn shifted uncomfortably. He didn’t look like an ex-con in his new jeans and custom polo shirt, but he felt the same way he did every time he was pulled in for a police lineup. Ed’s mother, Janet, held an obese chocolate-point Siamese cat against her chest and stroked it like a movie villain while she eyed the man on her doorstep. Janet slipped her robe up over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow.  “You’re Ed’s friend?” Penn shifted the brown paper bag into his left hand and extended the right. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Penn.” “Been in a few too would be my guess.” She waved him inside. “You’re going to let the other cats out.” Penn stepped inside and glanced around the restored Brownstone. Three tabbies lounged on the furniture. A Maine Coon lifted its head from the arm of the recliner to survey the new arrival to its domain. The cat was seemingly unimpressed by Penn and went back to sleep.  Penn turned to Janet. Ed had told him his mom used to be a famous model, but the horrible marriage and subsequent vodka-and-valium-based diet hid the fact now. Janet looked like she should be bumming smokes outside a 7-Eleven. Penn felt a tinge of guilt. He knew better than anyone not to judge a person by their circumstances. She dumped the Siamese onto the loveseat and straightened her pajamas before pulling her robe closed and tying the belt tightly around her slender waist. “Don’t you think it’s weird hanging out with a ten-year-old boy?” Janet snapped the elastic from her bun and let her brown hair fall as she walked past him and into the kitchen. She grabbed a glass from the dish strainer and banged it onto the countertop. “You’re like thirty, after all.” Penn shrugged. “So are you.” “Thanks for rubbing salt in that wound.” Janet poured orange juice into a glass and reached for the Popov bottle atop the fridge. “You can have something to drink if you like. Lactose-free milk, sugar-free Kool-Aid, caffeine-free tea. We even have the shitty soda that lacks all of the above.” “I’ve got a water bottle in the truck, but thanks.” “Cut the shit, Penn.” Janet sipped from the bottle before pouring a splash into the juice. “The boy’s allergic to everything. No one hangs out with him because they want to. The last date I had was four years ago and Ed broke out in hives because of the guy’s cologne. He has to wear a dust mask to walk through the living room because of the cat hair. The inhaler, the EpiPen, anxiety meds, and Allegra for sinuses. Seizures at the movies, motion sickness at the fair, panic attacks at the mall. There’s nothing you can do with him. Ed shouldn’t even go to the park, or wherever it is that he spends his time. What do you really want with him?”  Ed sneezed around a corner. Penn wasn’t sure where the boy was, but knew he was within earshot. Janet’s eyes flicked toward the noise and back to Penn. Calling her son a loser clearly wasn’t outside the norm. Penn’s fist tightened, crumpling the paper sack noisily.  “Healthwise, there’s a lot of things wrong with Ed. Everyone else sees those conditions as things that make him weak. I see them as the reasons he’s got such a big goddamn heart.” Penn stepped closer to Janet and took the glass from counter before she could drink it. “They’re Ed’s conditions, but you’re right, they do interfere with your life. You have to take the extra precautions and I bet that’s exhausting.” “Don’t you patronize me!” “I’m not. Honestly. I can’t imagine what you’ve had to sacrifice to protect him, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ed doesn’t get to be a kid.” Penn chugged the screwdriver and scowled at the aftertaste. He cleared his throat. “What I want is take him for the weekend so he can experience a sleepover, watch cheesy horror flicks, play too many video games, and eat a fuck-ton of red-and-green gummi worms with his friend the way regular kids get to. And you can go to the spa, or the mall, or a date, or at least to a liquor store with better vodka.” “You are one ballsy sonofabitch.” Janet huffed and put her hands on her hips.  “Thank you for noticing, but let’s keep this professional.” Janet’s face slipped into a smile for a brief moment, then the serious, judgmental glare returned.  “You want to know what’s in it for me?” Penn shrugged. “Ed’s the only person that’s ever seen anything good in me. I want to return the favor. I want to give him the experiences he should be having and as an extra bonus, I’m giving you the weekend off.” “He’s got school Monday.” Janet took the glass from Penn and jabbed the rim into his chest. “You have him home by seven Sunday night or you’ll be the one with medical conditions.” “Whoo-hoo!” Ed shouted from around the corner.

Ed climbed into the unmarked moving truck and clicked his seatbelt. Penn handed him the brown paper bag. “I don’t think your mom likes me,” he said. “To be fair, mom doesn’t get enough guests to know how to like people.” Ed uncurled the lip of the bag. “What’s this?” “A present, obviously.” “Presents don’t usually come in brown grocery bags, Penn.” Ed giggled and pulled out a black polo shirt. “Hey! It’s like yours.” “Exactly like mine,” Penn said as he tapped his own embroidered pocket. Ed found the chest pocket was identical and featured a stitched moving truck in green thread and gold letters surrounded it—Ed and Penn Moving Services. Ed reached into the bag once more and pulled out a lunchbox. He opened it and found a bag of gummi worms, a sandwich, two juice boxes, and a protein bar. Ed smiled sadly. “What’s wrong?” “I’m too weak to help you move things.” “People have little things to move.” Penn tussled Ed’s shaggy hair. “Besides, you don’t get stronger by not trying. I used to be scrawny.” “Really?” “Really. And look at me now.” Penn flexed, straining the sleeve of his shirt. “How do you think I got this strong?” “Because you had nothing to do but workout when you were in prison?” Ed answered chipperly.  “That’s entirely true, and also not my point.” Penn pursed his lips. “Even if you can’t help with the physical part all the time, I’m going to need someone to help with all the business stuff. They don’t teach book keeping in the joint. And you have to help me paint the truck.” Ed sat up quickly. “Any color?”  “Of course. Ready for our first job?” Penn held out his fist. Ed bumped his knuckles against Penn’s hand. “Absolutely, partner.” 

Crumbs rolled down Ed’s shirt and joined the others in his lap while Penn lugged the mattress up the loading ramp and into the back of the truck. Penn was right and the couple had lots of little things for Ed to load. Still, he felt bad leaving the heaviest stuff to his friend. He shoved the rest of the sandwich into his mouth. “Is there more?” he asked between bites. “Yeah, but not much.” Penn pointed to one wall of the truck. “Think you can move those boxes over in front of the dresser? There’s a big curio cabinet and two footlockers that I think would be more stable there.” “Sure thing!” Dahlia patted Penn’s shoulder as he hopped out of the truck and rested her hands on the bumper. “You’re a good helper.” “Thanks,” Ed said. “You have a lot of cool old stuff.” Dahlia laughed. “Oh love, this isn’t ours. My grandfather was a bit of an adventurer once upon a time.” “That’s so cool!” Ed scooped up a box and set it on top of the dresser. “So, this is all his treasures?” “Some of it. After my grandmother passed away, Poppa Harp became a hermit and most of it just stayed here collecting dust. My daddy used to tell me all his stories. I’m sad to say I never got to meet the man, myself.” “That does kind of suck.” “Kind of.” Dahlia tugged at a violet braid and twisted it around her fingers. “Not knowing him means I get to hold onto the hope that some of the magic in those stories might actually be real.” “Oh, magic is very real.” Ed smiled knowingly. “Where is all of this going?” “I’m sending it all over to a colleague. They’re going to sort it and sell it for me.” “Why not keep it?” Dahlia laughed sweetly. “Oh, I’d love to, but there’s just too much of it. The hubby and I are moving to New York. We found us a cute little townhouse… the operative word, being little.” “That’s too bad.” Ed lifted an ornate bottle from one of the boxes. “This stuff is really nifty. I’d love to hear the stories about each one.” “Maybe you will, love. I’ve got a book deal with a big publisher up North. I’m going to write all about Poppa Harp and his adventures.” “I can’t wait to read them.” “I’ll send a signed copy to you and your dad,” Dahlia said with a smile. “Oh, Penn’s not my dad. He’s just my best friend.” Ed’s face soured. “By default.” Dahlia cocked her head. “How’s that?” “He’s my only friend, so I guess he has to be the best one.” Ed stared at the bottle in his tiny hands.  “Well, now you got two, Ed.” Dahlia smiled at him. “I got to pack up a couple more boxes that I think would fit perfectly right where you’re working. I’ll be back in a tick.” Ed leaned on the dresser and turned the bottle in his hands carefully. Raised figures around the vessel were carved from the green glass itself. Ed stepped toward the back of the truck and viewed it in the sun. “Nifty,” he gasped as the glass changed to brilliant red in the direct light. Figures bound to one another formed an unending chain near the base of the bottle above a silver cap cut to resemble flames that engulfed them. A cutout figure towered over them with a staff in his hand and the neck of the bottle was shrouded in a silver sleeve with intricate engravings of stars over the man. On the opposite side of the bottle was another figure bound by a giant snake with a hood over his head. He turned the bottle upside and felt the weight shift. Then held it up to light to discover it was empty. He shook it again, feeling the invisible contents bouncing about.  “No freakin’ way.” He rubbed his thumb over the constricting body of the serpent and tucked the bottle away in its box as he heard the dolly bounce off the front porch. “This is so cool.” It took another forty minutes to load the rest of the things and say goodbye to Dahlia and her husband. She got Penn’s mailing address to send the book like she said and tipped both of them in cash for their hard work. They were cruising down the backroads to avoid the rush hour traffic.  Ed turned up the radio and bobbed in his seat to Iggy Pop’s ‘Butt Town.’ Penn laughed at the boy and threw up his horns before headbanging along with the music. Ed exploded with laughter. Neither of them was aware of the happenings in the back of the truck. They couldn’t hear the glass snake’s body fissuring or the tiny pieces falling away from the hooded figure now free of its reptilian restraints. They couldn’t smell the acrid, semi-sweet fumes spilling over the lip of the bottle as the building smoke forced the cork up. Penn checked the time on the dashboard clock and grunted. “What’s wrong?” Ed asked. “I was hoping we’d have this all dropped off before dark so we could go to the park and get those hotdogs you like so much for dinner.”  “If I had helped more, we might have been done faster.” “Don’t do that. It’s not your fault. It’s our first gig, we’ll get faster.” He shrugged. “Besides, there’s a place nearby that has huge coneys with every topping imaginable.” “Like?” “They’ve got one call the Gut Buster where the dog is inside onion rings in a cheese toasted bun and drowned in chili.” “Sweet! I think I’ll have two of those.” They both laughed. “Can we go to the mall?” Ed rubbed Dahlia’s twenty-dollar tip between his fingers.  “Sure, we can do whatever you want, kid.” He squeezed Ed’s shoulder reassuringly. “But I thought you didn’t like the mall.” “I’ll take an extra anxiety pill.” Ed hung his head. “I want to find mom a perfume I’m not allergic to.” Something thumped in the back of the truck.  “Shit.” Penn slapped the steering wheel. “I forgot to strap the mattress down.” Penn pulled over and unbuckled. Ed’s eyes grew wide as he realized the source.  “Don’t go, Penn. It’s not much further.” “It’ll only take a second, kid.” Penn winked and stepped out, skirting the side of the truck in case of passing cars.  Ed clamored out of the truck and watched as Penn rolled the door up. Penn sniffed the air and fanned his hand in front of his face.  “Why’s it smell like a fucking opium den?” he asked no one in particular. The ornate bottle clattered along the metal floor of the truck and rolled off the end. Penn caught it before he could hit the ground. He sighed and held it up for Ed to see. “The mattress must have knocked over a box. Probably some old timey cologne that stinks,” he said.  “How many years have I been captive?” A set of glowing eyes shined in the darkness. Penn knelt next to Ed. “I thought magic had to have a battery.” “What do you think you’re holding?” Ed whispered.  “What is the price of my emancipation, master?” The thing in the back of the truck’s voice was a rumbling hiss, like steam through rusted pipes. “What is owed of Babak?” “Master?” Penn looked at the bottle quizzically and snickered. “Is that what I think it is?” “Yes and no,” Ed gulped. The speaker came forward. His body adorned in a silk cloak with strands of gold that shimmered in the setting sun. Wrinkled hands curled at the ends of the flowing sleeves before reaching up and pulling the hood away from his face. A sweeping, gray mustache covered his entire lip and swept out in grandiose curls. “Do you free me without obligation?” Babak asked. “You’re a fucking genie!” Penn exclaimed.  “An ifrit,” Ed corrected.  “The master is learned,” Babak said. “Speak quickly. I have been gone too long.” “Not until you grant us three wishes, though,” Penn said. “The Law of Suleiman binds me to one.” Babak held up a single finger. “I am free of my glass prison and now bound only by the hesitation of the master’s words.” “I’ve seen enough horror movies to know how this turns out. I wish you were back in the bottle,” Penn said. “It was the boy who set me free. He must make the wish.” “Wish him back in the bottle, kid. It’s not worth the risk.” “I wish I wasn’t a burden,” Ed blurted. “Fuck!” Penn waved his hands in the air. “Nope. That doesn’t count. He’s just a kid. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.” Babak twisted one side of his mustache and grin menacingly. “It is done.” Ed doubled over with a screech and collapsed to the gravel shoulder. Penn dropped to his knees and hugged him close. Ed’s fever was growing fast enough that Penn could feel the heat rising off him.  “What the fuck did you do to him?” “He will be a burden no longer.” Babak shrugged.  The ifrit burst into flames and flashed overhead, streaking upward and flying above the city like a comet. Penn lifted Ed and hurriedly put him in the cab of the truck, shut the back, and climbed behind the wheel.  “Don’t worry, Ed.” Penn pulled onto the road in a wide u-turn across traffic. “I’m going to get you to the hospital and then I’m going to go beat the shit out of that genie.” “Ifrit,” Ed said weakly. “The hospital can’t help me.” “Hospitals can fix anything,” Penn lied. “The ifrit were created from the first flame in the universe.” “How do you know this shit?” “I read a lot.” “You should be reading Dr Seuss or something. Not… I don’t know.” Penn waved his hands. “Not whatever the hell you’re reading.” “Dad didn’t leave me any of those. He left me books on magic.” “I thought you said your dad was some scumbag talent agent.” “He left because he wasn’t my real dad. Mom had too much to drink and told me. It was my fault too.” “No, that doesn’t make it your fault. Your real dad is probably much cooler and that guy was just a chickenshit. Not the point right now.” Penn shook his head. “If not the hospital, then what do I do to save you?” “Get Babak to go into the bottle.” “Easy enough.”  Penn grabbed his phone out of the console and pulled up the internet app. He steered with his wrists so he could type faster in the search bar. “Where are we going?” Ed wheezed. “He called the bottle a prison. Getting out of prison is something I know a lot about. When someone gets released, they want one thing.” “A woman?” “No!” Penn looked at Ed incredulously. “That’s the second thing. First comes real food. There’s only one place that serves Middle Eastern cuisine in this part of Oklahoma.” “Get him back in the bottle.” Ed broke into a coughing fit, spattering blood across the glovebox. He laid over and put his head on Penn’s leg. “It’s not your fault if you don’t save me, Penn.” Penn stroked Ed’s hair—strands came loose and clung to his fingers. He pressed the accelerator down to the floor.

The truck crashed through the front of Saffron Palace, sending patrons of the restaurant fleeing in all directions. Penn stepped out of the cab and slammed the door, pointing the bottle at Babak, who sat at his table completely unbothered by the destructive entrance. “You can get back in the bottle or I’m going to jam it up your ass,” Penn warned him. “You’ve worked so hard, please,” Babak gestured to the seat across from him, “join me for my first meal.” “I’m not asking.” Penn sat the vessel down. “You in the bottle, or the bottle in you.” Babak combed back his white hair and shook his head. “You cannot threaten me any more than a louse threatens a camel.” Penn slugged Babak square in the nose, shattering it and tipping him over in his chair.  “I figure that magic lamp is like solitary confinement. The guys in solitary get soft. They can’t take a punch.” Penn kicked the ifrit in the ribs. “Now get in the fucking bong!” Babak’s mustache smoldered. The bittersweet smell of opium trailed from the glowing ends as he rose to his feet. Penn backed away slowly. The threads of Babak’s robes ignited and the garment fell away from his naked body as ash. Penn lifted a chair over his shoulder. Babak’s mouth stretched open until his jaw unhinged and continued to stretch wider still. His voice emanated from deep within him. “I am that which was created before all else. From the first flame, I took my life. You, child of the mud, are born in my shadow,” he said. “You suck at talking shit.” Penn lunged forward, swinging the chair at Babak’s face. A fiery cloud launched from Babak’s maw and engulfed the furniture. Penn let go and jumped back, gasping at the remains already scorched to a cinder between him and the ifrit. The creature laughed. Smoke oozed from his pores. Yellow-brown perspiration dripped from the wiry hairs of his broad chest. The glow returned to his eyes and his skin combusted.  Babak clutched Penn’s arms, searing his flesh and tossing him effortlessly across the restaurant. The fiery figure stalked the room, leaving burning footprints in his wake. The ceiling tiles darkened overhead. Penn crawled under a table, only for a fireball to set it ablaze. He shot from beneath it and ran to the kitchen as more flaming orbs streaked past him and ignited the furnishings.  Penn pulled his shirt over his head to examine his wounds. The creature’s handprints were black spots of charred flesh. “Jesus, I look like a fucking Whooper.”  The plastic swinging doors melted into a puddle as the ifrit pushed through them. Babak turned slowly to face Penn. “Where is your bravado now, little louse?” he growled. “You know what the hardest thing about getting out of prison is?” Penn asked, looking around the kitchen for a weapon. He grabbed a large, curved knife and pointed it at Babak.  “Enlighten me.”  The ifrit touched the point of the knife. The blade glowed intensely until the tang cooked through the handle and Penn tossed it aside with a shriek. He continued moving away from the walking inferno. “The hardest part is knowing the whole fucking world went on without you. Everyone lived their lives, moved on and did their own thing.” The creature paused and cocked its head. “This is true.” “Everything changes when you’re locked up. No one gives a shit that you’re gone and the world isn’t the same when you come back. So much shit has been invented that you can’t keep up. Bet you never even heard of ANSUL.”  Penn grabbed a pot and slung the boiling oil at the ifrit. The liquid flared to life, burning everything in its path. Secondary fires flashed around the kitchen. Babak’s laughter boomed. He stepped toward Penn and raised an accusatory finger. A gout of flame speared outward and contorted into a flaming sword that stopped inches from Penn’s face. Then the ANSUL fire suppression system engaged. First came the high-pressure blast of chemicals that extinguished everything, followed by the blanket of heavy foam that knocked both combatants to the floor. Penn pushed himself up and slipped about until he got his footing. He spat the non-toxic, but non-tasty, foam from his mouth. Babak sobbed on the floor in a quivering mass beneath the white, sudsy blanket. His flesh was charred from the fire-suppressing agents.  “Let’s get you back in the bottle.” Penn grabbed Babak’s arms and the burnt flesh stripped away in his hands. “Eww!” The ifrit curled into a fetal position as his cooling skin crumbled and broke away leaving a human-shaped briquette on the floor. “Fuck!” Penn kicked the corpse and it shattered into soggy ash. “You weren’t supposed to die. I need you to fix Ed!” Something stirred among the debris that used to be Babak’s ribcage. “What the shit?” Penn knelt to inspect the movement.  He dug his fingers through the slog, revealing a green, fist-sized, orb stretching open within the ifrit’s body. The red poppy petals pushed through and twisted open. The petals shuddered and the oversized flower moved shakily across the ravaged organs beneath it. Penn touched the petals. The flower twisted violently and the four, vice-like fangs buried deep into Penn’s hand. He jumped back, howling in pain. The fake flower lost petals as Penn shook his arm violently, revealing the creature whose back it grew on. Its spindly legs fought for purchase as it was slung back and forth. Penn banged it against a counter top, freeing himself from its bite—at a cost. He grimaced at the exposed bone before reaching for towel to wrap around the wound.  A cowering cook ran past Penn and into the wrecked dining room. Penn ignored him and followed the monster’s tracks through the foam and out the service entrance to the alley beyond. He groaned. The overhead lights left pools of piss-yellow light between the restaurant and the neighboring building.  “Come out, Babak,” he called. The ifrit did not oblige. Thin digits caressed Penn’s bare shoulder and squeezed the tense muscles sending a ripple of goosebumps up his spine as he whirled around. The creature wasn’t there. Just the cook.  The diminutive Iranian man glared at Penn from behind thick lenses that occupied entirely too much of his dark face. The man held up the magic bottle. “You forgot this,” he said softly. “It seems to be missing the cork.” “Shit. I hadn’t thought of that.” Penn took the bottle. The man reached into his white smock and produced a cork of his own. He held it up, showing Penn the burned in hexagram on its wide top.  “I think you’ll find this one fits perfectly.” The man scampered away. “The fuck am I supposed to do with the bottle?” The cook stopped at the door. “Put the ifrit back inside. Do you know nothing?” “As a matter of fact, I don’t.” The cook rolled his eyes and sighed. “Ifrits don’t like light. Flush it out, nail it to the earth, invoke the name of Suleiman and return it to its vessel at once to undo any wish it has granted. It is not that difficult.”  The man disappeared inside and slammed the door. Penn’s shoulders sagged. He put the cork between his teeth and pulled out his phone, flipping on the flashlight.  “Okay. I got light and a bottle. Where do I get nails? I don’t see a hardware sto—ooh! Motherfucker!” Penn cast the light down and found the source of the sudden pain. He lifted his foot and, with it, the broken slat of a pallet. He slid down the brick wall and pried the board loose. The rusted nails squeaked as they passed through the rubber sole of his boot.  “Oh good, now I have nails.” He panned the light around. Nothing moved. He tilted the phone under the dumpster beside him. The monster screeched and lunged from its cover, attacking the phone, and knocking it to the ground. It scurried away and Penn crawled after it until he could get his feet under him and run. The thing’s ten legs carried it much faster than Penn could hobble. It cleared the alley and found itself in the glare of a streetlight. The ifrit screamed again and bolted around the building.  Penn rounded the corner and searched for the thing. Then he saw the back of his truck sticking out of the side of the building. Ed was slumped against the tires—his clothes saturated with sweat and his face void of color except for the explosion of freckles. A clump of hair blew away from his head on the breeze. Bloody spittle dripped down his chin as his body spasmed with weak hacks. Penn slid to the ground beside him. He hugged the boy and stroked his cheek. The fever was gone, but Ed’s skin was deathly cold in its wake.  “Come on, kid. You saved me. Stay alive long enough to let me pay you back.” “It’s okay,” Ed moaned. “At least I’m with my friend.” Penn wept as the boy fell limp against him. The ifrit shimmied out from under the truck and stared at the two humans with its beady, red eyes. Its fangs spread in a clicking-hiss that sounded like perverse laughter. The monster moved forward slowly, crawling across Ed’s wilted form. It watched Penn cry, but the man didn’t move. Babak took tentative steps onto his thigh and then stood tall and repeated the evil cackling.  “What’d you call me, Kazaam?” Penn sniffled. He wiped his nose on the back of his hand, still clutching the broken board. “A ‘child of the mud,’ wasn’t that it?” Babak blinked each of his six eyes. “Guess that makes me part of the earth.”  The board met Penn’s thigh with a sharp, wet smack. Babak squealed beneath the wood, with the nails pinning him in place. Penn pressed the board down harder and spat the cork into his free hand. He placed the hexagram against Babak’s face. Smoke roiled at the contact of the divine symbol and infernal flesh. “In Suleiman’s name, get the fuck in the bottle.” The creature’s flesh vibrated, shifted, and burst into a cloud of brackish smoke that swirled down the neck of the ornate glass vessel. Penn stuffed the cork into the top, sealing the ifrit within. His head thumped against the tire and he hugged Ed close.  “I’m sorry I was late, kid.”

Janet adjusted the flowers in their vases. Her hands shook as much from stress and heartache as from the lack of a drink. She hadn’t had a drop since Penn returned without her son. She wouldn’t touch it ever again. Ed only ever had one friend, but the flowers seemed to come from everywhere. Even some lady in New York sent some. It seemed all the time Janet spent in a bottle, her son spent touching the lives of others. None of them were his friends. Just Penn. The rest sent cards explaining how Ed helped them. How the words and smile he shared touched them. She reread the cards and broke down in tears again. Penn placed a hand on her shoulder. She slapped it away.  “I never knew what he was doing when I’d send him away,” she said, holding up the cards. Penn took them and flipped through the stack. He’d read all of them several times. “Ed told me magic is just a toy without a battery.” He set the cards next to the flowers and took a bag of gummi worms from his pocket. He’d picked all the other colors out to leave only Ed’s favorite red-and-green ones. He put one between his teeth and slurped it up before offering them to Janet. She smiled softly and plucked one from the bag. “What’s that even mean?” she asked. “Ed shared his magic with people that needed it. He got that from somewhere. Maybe you fucked up in how you showed it, but you still loved him or you wouldn’t be crying in a bag of gummi worms with me. That was the battery to his magic… love.” “They still don’t know what happened,” Janet said.  “Severe allergic reaction,” a small, Middle Eastern man said from behind oversized glasses. He stepped into the room and slapped the iPad against his palm. “Possibly something found in the secondhand moving blankets inside Mister Pennington’s truck.” “Pennington?” Janet glanced up at Penn.  Penn pointed at the man. “You’re the cook.” “Obviously not, since I am clearly the doctor.” He nodded happily. “And you are Casper Marion Pennington, are you not?” “Wow. Your parents hated you,” Janet said. “Yeah.” Penn pinched the bridge of his nose. “I am.” “You should be more careful of the things you allow a boy to play with,” the doctor scolded him. Ed turned away from the harsh glare of the overhead fluorescents with a groan. “Mom? Penn?” “About damn time you woke up, kid.” Penn rubbed Ed’s shaved head. “How are you feeling?” “Like I was in a car crash.” The doctor cleared his throat. Penn squinted at him then turned his attention back to Ed. Janet shoved him out of the way and snuggled her son. Penn sat on the corner of the bed and dug in his pocket with a groan. The skin grafts were tight and pinched. Ed pushed his mother’s hair out of his face. “Mom, you’re smothering me.” “I’m sorry, baby.” She kissed his cheek. “For so much.” Penn put his hand on her shoulder again and this time she let it stay. “Good thing you woke up when you did,” Penn said. “Why’s that?” Ed asked as excitedly as the recently resuscitated could. “Because you almost missed the coolest, most fun holiday there is.” He handed Ed a narrow box with a ribbon around it. Ed opened the box and smiled, holding up the prize inside. “I can’t believe I forgot.” “That’s right kid, it’s National Kazoo Day.” The End

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Jan 27, 2021
Ep.67 – Adam's Tale - Vicious Bloody Terror Comes in Small Sizes!
00:21:07

Episode Notes

On a camping trip Adam learns that bears and wolves aren't the most dangerous creatures in the woods, something else is coming and it's hungry for blood!

Adam's Tale by Joe Solmo http://pennedinblood.com

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript:

In another time, the cool, damp, night air would have felt good on Adam’s drunk face. The moonlight shone between the thick branches of an ancient maple tree only feet away. It might have been a mile away as far as Adam was concerned. It was the pine tree he worried about. The pine tree that he could smell but not see. Its rough bark dug into his back as he struggled with the bonds that held him in place. How he got here was some sort of mystery. The woods he remembered. A party he remembered. Camping with friends was the last thing that he remembered. Where were they now? Did one of them do this? Where was Felicia? He tried again to turn his head to get a better view of his surroundings, but he still couldn’t move. Something was around his forehead keeping him against the hard, rough bark of the tree.  He strained his ears, listening for some clue that could give him answers, but the only sounds he heard were a rustling in the branches above him in the trees. At first, he was alarmed but relaxed after realizing that whatever was up there, was too small to give him trouble. It was the animal that tied him up, that he was most interested in, anyway.  “Are you out there?” he asked the night and listened. No response. He knew the man had to be out there somewhere.  “Hello?” Adam called out to his captor. Frustrated, he kicked his feet, disturbing the bed of pine needles. That was when he heard the snicker. In the shadows of the maple in front of him something moved. A flash of orange light illuminated a face Adam had never seen before as it lit his cigarette. Who was this guy?  “Who are you?” Adam asked, straining to see in the dark. “Let’s not worry about that now. You won’t be around long enough for us to get acquainted. It’s near midnight. The witching hour and all that,” the stranger said, waving his cigarette around as he talked.  “Where are my friends?” Adam asked. “What did you do to them?” “I didn’t do anything. All I did was set the plate. Everything has to eat,” the stranger mumbled. “What the fuck does that mean? Untie me!” Adam said.  “Why would I do that. Today has been going great so far. The best in a long time. They will be pleased.” Adam struggled against the bonds that held his arms behind his back, nearly dislocating his shoulder in the process. He grunted with the effort, which made the stranger laugh. He approached Adam and kneeled down, making intense eye contact with Adam. He got so close Adam could smell the man, a combination of cigarette smoke, sweat and halitosis, but the man’s icy stare kept him from retching from the smell. There was a timelessness in those eyes. He was only two inches from Adam’s face now. Too close for Adam. “Save your strength for the screaming, there will be lots of screaming,” he said and cracked a smile. He touched Adam’s cheek with his lit cigarette.  Adam yelled out and tried to twist out from under the burning cigarette, but the iron clad grip on his head wouldn’t let go. He cried out into the chilly night again and again as the man burned him. Each touch a shock of pain on his cheek. “Yeah, like that. I think you will do fine,” the stranger said and laughed. In the distance a wolf howled, followed by another. Adam’s eyes widened. “Don’t you worry about them, now. Even they won’t come here,” the stranger said and flicked the rest of his cigarette at Adam. “This here is a special place. It’s time I head on out. They don’t like to be watched. This should buy my farm some time. They oughta leave me alone for a year at least.” “Who?” Adam said, but the man wandered off into the darkness without giving him an answer. He heard the wolves again and wondered if that was going to be how he died, torn to pieces by wolves. What was it the stranger said? The wolves won’t come here? Why not, he thought. He could smell the cigarette still burning and thought about it catching the bed of pine needles all over the ground on fire. He had a morbid question cross his mind. Would he rather die in a fire, or eaten by wolves? He almost laughed at the idea of getting a choice. He wondered if the wolves like Bar-B-Que. A half hour passed, the cigarette burned out and the wolves didn’t get any closer. He could still hear them howling out there in the forest somewhere. His cheek hurt from the stranger’s cigarette burn barrage and he wished he could look at it in the mirror. He heard sound of a small animal rustling in the dead leaves somewhere in front of him, near the maple tree the man had been standing by.  He wished he knew why this was happening to him. The maple tree reminded him that the path beyond it leads to an old natural chimney. A rock formation that leads down into the earth. He had found out about it on a hiking app and he convinced his friends to come out here to hike and camp, but where were they now? He hoped they were ok. Adam thought his hand was going numb, the pins and needles sensation was beginning to set in, but then he realized it felt more like tiny little bites. He wiggled his fingers, and felt something furry run across his hands. What the fuck was that? Another nibble on his fingertips. “Ouch, you fucker!” he said and wriggled against his bonds as hard as he could, and to his surprise he freed his hands. He quickly worked on whatever was tying his head to the tree and wriggled free. He stood up and turned around to find a chipmunk sitting there, considering him with its black eyes. “You the one that bit me?” he called out and kicked at the rodent. It easily dodged his foot in the moonlight.  Adam rubbed his cheeks and tried to get a good idea of his surroundings. If the large maple was there, then camp must be this way, he thought and headed off in that direction trying to work the cramps out of his muscles. The little chipmunk hopped after him on the forest trail, keeping its distance. With all the roots and rocks, Adam stumbled through the woods while trying to make it back to camp, twice he almost fell, his hand was covered in mud and sticky pine pitch. He wiped them on his pants as he continued through the wood. He could just make out a fire ahead in the distance. It must be his friends!  He called out to them. “Felicia! Jacob!” He got no response. He stumbled into the clearing, but he didn’t see anyone. His tent was on the other side of the dying fire, he went over to it and opened the flap. Felicia was inside, wrapped in her sleeping bag. They must have gone to sleep, he thought. He climbed into the tent and shook her, but she didn’t move. She was always a heavy sleeper. He poked her harder and lit the small battery powered lantern they use on camping trips. “Wake up! We have to get out of here!” he said. Finally, she was stirring he thought as he watched her swallow and turn her head.  “Come on!”  Her mouth opened and a chipmunk climbed out, his face a crimson mask of Felicia’s blood. It squeaked twice and ran past him to the tent opening where another one was sitting watching him with those cold black eyes. “What the fuck is going on?” he called out and looked back down at Felicia. He shook her again, and got a better look at her. Her mouth was agape and he realized with horror that she had no tongue. He turned towards the doorway and saw that now there was about a dozen chipmunks standing there on hind legs watching him. The one with the bloody face took a step forward. “We are Tamias,” the bloody one squeaked.  “Tamias,” the rest chirped in high pitched unison. “I’ve fucking lost it,” Adam whispered to himself and shook his head. “We demand payment for the transgression,” the chipmunk said. “Payment must be made. We demand it. The deal cannot be altered.” “I have no idea what you are talking about. What did you do to Felicia and Jacob?” he asked. Then started to laugh as he realized he was having a conversation with a chipmunk in a tent next to his dead girlfriend. Did he forget that he ate a bunch of mushrooms? “Two hundred cycles ago the deal was made. This land, our land to be shared. For a price. The blood price must be paid. A life for each season that passes, and we would share our sacred forest with the man and his kin. The most fertile land for his food to grow. Waters that grant a long life,” the chipmunk squeaked. The moonlight lit the orbs that watched him above its chubby cheeks. “I don’t understand,” Adam said and charged the entrance to the tent. The chipmunks scattered out of his way. He turned towards the tent and started to tear up as he glimpsed Felicia through the tent flap. The Tamias formed a circle around him, keeping out of kicking distance. “Human. You are the blood price. You and your friends must be given to the Tamias. The price must be paid!” the spokesperson for the chipmunks squeaked angerly. “You’re not going to get me. JACOB!” he yelled trying to get his friend to wake up. Maybe together they could escape this nightmare. “You friend is with the Dux Tamias. He cannot hear you,” the bloody chipmunk said calmly. “You will meet him soon yourself. The time draws near. The price must be paid.” “You can’t have us!” Adam yelled and ran to his friend’s tent. He ripped open the tent flap and jumped back at the horrid scene he saw inside. There was a chipmunk the size of a St. Bernard in the tent digging into his friend’s flesh, blood was everywhere. The large rodent turned to face him, an entrail hanging from its mouth, the soft tissue stuck between its elongated rodent teeth. He heard the patter of the chipmunk’s feet as they approached behind him. He backed out of the entrance to the tent, retching from the smell. “Dux Tamias, he is the sacrifice,” the bloody faced one squeaked and saluted the large beast. “It is promised. The blood,” the largest said leaving the tent. There was a shine of intelligence in its black eyes. “The blood,” the bloody one said. The rest of the chipmunks crossed their arms in salute as well, then returned to all fours. “Oh, fuck this nonsense,” Adam said and punted the closest chipmunk across the campsite. He turned towards the big one. “You want some of this?” he said angerly. “You are the promised. Bring the bowl,” The Dux Tamias said in a deeper voice that still squeaked and the bloody faced chipmunk ran off with two others.  Adam looked around for a weapon. He saw his hiking staff near his tent. He worked his way over to it, keeping his eyes on the Dux Tamias.  “You going to pay for this,” Adam said picking up the hiking staff. He pulled off the rubber tip that covered the metal spike underneath. He brandished it like a sword, pointing the tip at the Dux Tamias. “The bowl, the blood,” rang squeaky chipmunk voices as one. The bloody faced chipmunk returned with the others dragging a stained wooden bowl. The Dux Tamias stepped closer to Adam, a sneer crossed its adorable chubby cheeked face. “Stay back. I’ll skewer you and all your little friends. Roast you over the campfire,” Adam said and swung the staff at the large chipmunk. “Just like picking up trash!” he said and stabbed down, impaling one of the chipmunks who let out a chilling death squeak. The rest of the chipmunks circled Adam and started to squeak in unison to their approach. A marching cadence of the chipmunk army’s approach. Adam swung and knocked a chipmunk over. He turned towards the large one that was getting a little too close for comfort. He felt the weight of a few of them climbing up his legs, and tried to swat them off. That’s when the big one jumped on his back, knocking him to the ground. He hit his head on something hard and got dizzy.  The Dux Tamias stuck its face close to Adam’s. “In two hundred years we have not gone without the blood. We will not now. Know this human. Your blood will satiate a hunger in us that is almost impossible to control. It keeps your species safe. It’s a noble thing, you are doing,” it squeaked. “The Blood. The bowl,” bloody face chipmunk said and dragged the bowl closer. The chipmunks all climbed on his back. He body was growing weak. Did he hit his head that hard? “By now the enzymes in our saliva have worked into your bloodstream. I am sure you remember a few nibbles back in the forest, yes?” came the voice behind him. Panic began to set in. For the first time Adam was worried for his own safety. Numbness took over most of his body as they moved the bowl under his cheek. He felt the Dux Tamias bite into his neck, and then the warm trickle of his own blood run down into the bowl. He couldn’t turn his head to see, but he felt the chipmunks leave his back and heard them slurping from the bowl. The Dux Tamias moved its form in front of Adam. It was hard for him to concentrate. The corners of his vision began to turn dark. He tried to focus on the dog sized rodent in front of him. That was when he noticed all the chipmunks were lined up in front of him like a buck toothed firing squad. “The Blood. The Life,” they all squeaked from the hole between their adorable chubby cheeks. Their black eyes flashed red before they charged him. He was helpless to stop it, Needle teeth tore into his face. He might have screamed just before darkness took over and he succumbed to the chipmunks will. 

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Jan 20, 2021
Ep.66 – For the Mother - Nordic Legend Becomes Bloody Reality!
00:25:08

Episode Notes

In a remote estate distant in the mountains something mysterious and bloody is going on, and it's all FOR THE MOTHER!

For the Mother by Mark T.B. Shields

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Transcript:

Astrid’s newly married grandparents had immigrated to America from a small Scandinavian village as teenagers a lifetime before she was conceived . In a similarly small California town, they opened an even smaller general store which grew just enough to support them and their one child; a girl named Synnove. The two of them worked very hard and when their only child grew up and married a fine young man from the city by the bay, they bought a small cabin in the nearby mountains on the lake. After a life of hard work and the birth of their first grandchild, they retired to the small cabin. 

Thanks to her grandfather, Astrid had always loved Norse mythology. Growing up she had spent most of her summers with her grandparents by that quiet lake.  Her grandfather took it upon himself to tell Astrid the many legends he brought with him from his childhood home.  She loved him telling and retelling her fantastic tales as they sat by the bonfire each summer night.  He told her tales such as “Sif and her Golden Hair”; “Sigurd and the Dragon”; and “Thor’s Fishing Trip”.  He seemed to know them all and when he inevitably retold her a story some night months later , they were always nearly identically.  He retold them as if he were relaying history; he retold them with passion;. he retold them like he believed them; and she remembered every word.  

Of these stories her favorite was always “The Death of Baldur''. The tragic tale of how Odin's wife Frigga's favorite son Baldur was killed by his blind brother Hodur aided by her adopted son Loki.  In the tale, a jealous Loki put the arrow in the hand of Hodur that killed Baldur the Beautiful.  She always wept by the time it ended. Forever hoping that this time Baldur would survive. 

After high school she applied and was accepted at Stanford where she chose her major, Actuarial Science, as a way to ensure future financial success. Although interesting to her, she wanted something a bit more light-hearted to break up the difficult class schedule. On a whim she decided to take an elective in the spring semester of her Junior year called “Early Scandinavian Folklore & Mythology” .   This class soon became the highlight of her week.  At first it was the fact that her knowledge of Scandinavian folklore rivaled that of her professor.  She became a textbook example of a “Subject-Matter Expert” for the course and it made her very happy that the other students asked her for help often.  She seemed always to be the first to answer questions in discussions and to have the last word when it mattered.  Astrid loved the class as it was a way to always feel like she was close to her summer home and to help solidify a rather high GPA. 

This unintentional mental domination of the other students went on for nearly half the semester when her world changed forever. A handsome young student started to audit the class and immediately put everyone’s knowledge in that hall to shame. He usurped her position at the top of the class by having the ability to fill in holes of every legend they studied no matter the obscurity of it.  

The mysterious new student was not only well versed in Scandinavian Mythology, he was what one would call a perfect physical specimen.  In his usual attire of t-shirts and cargo shorts one could see an insanely muscular body that was only highlighted by his long blonde flowing locks and sky-blue eyes.   

To her girlish delight he introduced himself to her one day after class. It took her by her own estimation a good sixty seconds before she was able to respond. As he introduced himself as Baldur and looked into her eyes her first thought was “Yes, you are a god”.  

When Astrid finally spoke all her timid voice could say was her name “Astrid”.

“Yes, you are divinely beautiful” he said and when he asked her to walk with him, she was literally helpless to say no. 

That afternoon as they walked around the campus talking; she thought to herself that she was falling in love with a man she had just met. She didn’t know how this was possible, but she knew it was true.  That night she lost her virginity to this God among men and less than a month later they were married.   From that point on they were bound for life. 


Astrid was glad to be finally meeting Baldur’s family. Although they had been married since late spring, this winter trip had been their first chance to come together.  During the eight-hour drive from Stanford to his family homestead near Mt. Whitney, her excitement grew.

“Are we there yet?” 

Not taking his eyes off the winding mountain road Baldur said “Astrid, we are officially five minutes closer than we were when you asked the same question five minutes ago.”  Running her hand down his powerful arm she cooed, “I know, it’s just that I have never met your family and you have told me so little about them.” 

“We’re just like most families.  We fight, but love each other. Mom is overbearing; dad is solemn; and my brothers are out to kill me if I don’t watch out.  You see, a normal family dynamic.  We should be at the cabin soon.” 

She glanced at the odometer and smiled knowing they were very close.  She giggled “Only about five miles out.” 

“Correct” was all he said as he turned up a driveway and drove under a stone arch emblazoned with their family's name; Borson.  As they pulled around the last corner and the home came into view Astrid was stunned.  He said they had money, but the home that sat before her was at least 20,000 square feet. 

“How can your family afford this?  You mentioned money, but this looks like money should not be a problem for your great-great-grandkids” 

Baldur pulled into the eight-car garage and said "It won’t be.  We are very financially secure."  After he hopped out of the car he swung around and grabbed her door. "Welcome home."   She smiled and followed him in. 

As they entered the living room his parents sat sipping what appeared to be iced tea. 

"Mother. Father. We’re finally here." His dad stood and helped his pregnant wife to her feet. "Are we the last to get here?"  

"Yep, your brothers are downstairs preparing for later.  This must be the wife." 

"Mother, father meet Astrid.  Astrid this is my father, Odin and my mother Frigga." 

Astrid extended her hand. “Great to meet you. Baldur has told me so much about you.”

"Come now dear, we’re family now. Give your new mother a hug."  Reaching out Frigga gave Astrid a hug and Odin followed suit.  While still holding her Odin asked if she liked the house. 

"How could I not?   It is the most beautiful home I have ever seen."  “Thank you.  The family has been working on it for a while now.  It was my fathers and his father before him. When I die, it will get passed on to the next generation.  This place is what you would call the family home.” 

Releasing the hug Astrid replied “Well, it’s truly breathtaking lovely, and it truly is great to meet Baldur’s parents.” 

“Hush dear.” said Odin. “We are your parents as well now. Baldur, let’s go help your brother's downstairs.  Leave the women here to get acquainted."  

Pointing, “After you Father.”

As the two men left the room,  Frigga grabbed Astrid ’s arm, "Come, child. Let’s get a drink,” 

As they walked, Astrid asked if everyone in the family was named after a Nordic god.

"No, just the three of us.  My other two sons are Larry and Christopher. Not as interesting as Baldur, but still good names. Now come sit. Drink some mead.  We cracked open a barrel.  I will warn you though, it will knock you on your bum."  Astrid walked over and grabbed a mug off the coffee table. "What brand is this?" 

"Borson, we make it ourselves."  

"Obviously you guys make it yourself, you’re Nordic gods," Astrid took a drink and was amazed. "This is incredible." 

"Thank you, now come sit, before you fall.  We have so much to talk about."  Astrid sat after taking another sip. Her face was already getting warm. 

"Now Frigga or should I call you mother?" 

"Call me mother that is what I am." 

"Ok mother, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think you should be drinking.”

“And why is that?”

“Well, because of the baby.  Research shows”   Cutting her off and rubbing her own belly, Frigga said “I can assure you this child is perfectly fine.  I drank with all of my children and you can see how they turned out” 

“But”

“But nothing, our family all drank the mead and have given birth in this very home” 

Astrid was sure she had heard her right.   Europeans had not even gotten to California until the 1800's and as impressive as the home was, over 1000 years was a mistake spoken by a drunk old woman. 

Frigga took another drink of her mead and let out a sharp quick cry. Chuckling she said “The baby wants to join the world soon.   Either that or she wants more mead. “ 

“ You are an amazing woman. How is this possible at your age you even conceived?  How old are you?  I have so many questions?  I am so sorry if I stepped on any toes.”  

“Nonsense.  No toes were stepped on. You are family now and as family you are free to know these things.  This body is 84 years old and the child will be born tonight I would guess.”  “But shouldn’t you go to a hospital. No offense, a woman your age having a baby is incredible, but complications make it far too dangerous to do here. Put down that drink and let me call an ambulance.” 

Finishing another mug Frigga relays, “You will do no such thing child.  All my sons were born at here.  This body knows its job and it has never failed.” Standing to go get another drink Frigga continued “Baldur said he had found the perfect wife, strong and independent, and I have to agree.   We are a powerful family and you are now a part of us” 

Before Frigga could fill her mug, Odin came back into the room “It's time my dear.  The food is on the table," and left the room as he had entered.   

Frigga said “Splendid, just splendid” Holding out her old hands, “Now child, help an old pregnant woman to dinner.  We have prepared a special meal for just this occasion.” Not knowing what to say, Astrid got up and helped Frigga down the stairs to the dining room. 

The dining room was breathtaking. The logs were stacked side by side and on end perpendicular to all the other logs she had seen so far.  On one wall was huge stone fireplace that held small trees burning at a temperature that would have made walking into the room unbearable were it not for a large opening in a sidewall.  The opening looked out upon the mountains and the valley below and the view was breathtaking. The four chandeliers were made from the bones of dozens of animals with each arm holding candles large enough to burn for days. From the wax collected under the chandeliers Astrid guessed that 100’s if not 1000’s of candles had lit this room.    A thirty-foot table was filled with an unbelievable variety of foods and the centerpiece of the table was a roasted goat sitting on a huge platter. 

As the women entered the room the men all stood up and toasted them “For the Mother'' and downed their full mugs.   Odin grabbed his wife and walked her to the head of the table taking a seat at her right hand. Baldur grabbed Astrid and did the same with her at the other end. 

Frigga stood and said, “By the gods, let us feast” and sat back down.  

Larry and Chris stood and served the feast.  Larry drew a pitcher from a huge barrel sitting in the corner and walked around the table filling all their mugs. Chris carved the meat in the middle of the table in a manner that more resembled ripping than cutting.  The two husbands went around the table collecting food for their wives.   

When the plates were set in front of the women, Astrid thought a 300-pound lumberjack would have a problem putting a dent in this thing.  She looked around for some utensils, but saw none save the large carving knife Chris had used to cut and rip the meat. Frigga on the other end of the table grabbed food off her pate and ate with complete loss of manners. 

With a mouth full of food Frigga yelled across the table to Astrid  “Eat and drink my dear.  I promise you will not eat another feast like this for a long time.” 

Astrid looked down at her plate and picked up a piece of cheese.  She took a bite and was enthralled by what she tasted.  Next, she grabbed a piece of the goat and again could not believe how good it was.  She washed it down with the mead and stopped. 

“What are these spices?  I’ve never tasted anything like these?”

Taking only a short break from stuffing food into her face Frigga responded “They’re herbs from a time long forgotten. Now eat” 

Astrid continued to eat. The meal was like no other she had ever had.  All the foods were exceptional. As if reading her mind Larry walked over and topped her off her mug.  Any gratitude she may have felt was lost in the moment she grabbed her mug. Mead, cheese, meat, mead, meat, vegetable, meat, mead, oblivion. 

During the feast Astrid lost all conscious thought and in oblivion she passed out from far too much drink.


Even as Astrid’s body began to slowly return to her control, her mind was instantly aware of itself.   Feeling both an extreme cold wind and unbelievable heat at the same time, she opened her eyes and tried to adjusted to the sight of a huge fire burning halfway between the low balcony she sat outside on and the mountain cliff over which a blizzard wind was blowing. 

As she tried to stand, she found herself tied to her chair by a rough hemp rope. Her fear was instantaneous and all consuming.   She screamed to be let up, but was ignored by four shadowy figures standing nearby. 

While looking around for any way to free herself, she noticed that the four hooded figures were standing in front of Frigga, who was laying on her back tied to a wood table.  Her mouth was uncovered so her screams could be heard if anyone was listening. 

The wind brought the chants of the men “For the mother, for the mother” again and again.

This mantra punctuated by Frigga screamed “Get it out. By the gods now it is the time my children. Now get it out.”  

One man walked between Frigga’s legs and another moved around to her head.  From where she was laid Astrid could see it was Odin between her legs, but could not tell who went to her head.  Astrid screamed “Untie me you assholes!”  The men ignored all she said. 

Odin raised his hand, and all went silent for a moment.  He spoke in a voice more powerful that she imagined this old man could produce. “It is the midwinter solstice and the time for a new mother has arrived.”

The other three men resumed chanting “For the mother”  and continued getting louder and louder as time went on.. Odin produced the large carving knife from under his clock. Passing it around, each son cut Frigga as the knife was passed to him.  Frigga screamed with every cut.  Stunned to silence, Astrid could only stare as this madness unfolded in front of her. 

As the knife returned to Odin, he spoke again and the other three men went silent.  “The midwinter solstice has come again and with a new mother chosen.  Her old body shall be renewed as all that is old shall become new again. May this child be acceptable to our goddess Frigga.  May many seasons pass in the new.  May we find a splendor by her hands.”  

The three sons each knelt and kissed their mothers weeping naked body.  As they stood each repeated “For the mother” 

Without warning Odin sliced Frigga open from her pelvis to just below the ribs opening her womb.  Frigga screamed in pain.  The son at her head took the knife still in her body and completed the cut from ribs to throat loudly breaking each one as he cut through it. Frigga was still crying out in pain as Odin took the daughter from her belly and the son took her heart from her chest. 

Two of the sons picked up the dead woman and walked into the pyre with it.  One moment they were there, the next all that was left were their screams of pain. Even if they had tried to escape the heat rendered that impossible. 

Odin, carrying the child, walked to the edge of the cliff. Standing there he raised the child in his old shaking hand and began speaking in a strange language, “At the dawn of a new millennium we speak. Dette vintersolverv var en spå fra mange måner siden. En død skal få nytt liv og hva var gammel skal bli ny igjen. Brenne den gamle og nye skal stige. Aske til aske, blod til blod, For mor.”  As he finished speaking to the night, he lowered the child and kissed it. With a smile on his face he said, “I love you Frigga, now and always”.  Standing for just a moment more he stepped off the cliff with the infant into the oblivion.  The wind coming over the cliff stopped as suddenly as it had begun. 

Astrid could not see what had happened to Odin and the child from her vantage point.   The sudden stillness did nothing to allay her fears and with a soft voice she began to plead with the cloaked figure standing next to the sacrificial table.  Growing louder her pleas went unnoticed by the motionless man.  

After many long moments everything changed. A wind so powerful that it suffocated the blazing pyre flames and brought about a night only lit by the full moon.  It struck the cloaked man and knocked him back to Astrid ’s feet.  He was still… motionless and Astrid was able to finally confirm what she already knew; her husband had killed Frigga.  He had killed his own mother and he had left her tied to a chair to witness these horrors.  

Screaming at him and begging for answers he finally broke his trance.  Rising; with his mother’s heart still in his hand and the knife in the other; he turned and closed the distance between himself and his wife.    Astrid was helpless to stop what came next.  Baldur took the still warm heart and forced it into her mouth, cutting off her cries.  With savagery she thought impossible from her sweet husband, he forced her mouth closed on the heart.  Her teeth severed off a chunk of the heart and held it in her mouth.  Her last rational thought was that, “That flavor.  It’s Figgas blood”.  

She greedily devoured it and pleaded for more from the man she loved.  He cut her free and dropped the knife.  She stood and took the once beating heart from his hand and said, “Jeg tar dette hjertet av min mor. Jeg lever av det. Jeg spiser det. Jeg skal bli det. Dette gjør jeg for mor.” before devouring it in ecstasy.  

A short time later the husband leaned over and picked up his sleeping bride. Carrying her inside he took her to the new moon bed.  As he stood watching her, she awoke with a smile on her face. Turning her head, she saw her husband and exclaimed “Odin my Odin. Oh, how I love The.” 

Her Husband smiled back at her and said, “Frigga, you are so beautiful. I love you Frigga, now and always. For the mother.”    The End

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Jan 13, 2021
Ep.65 – The Last Taibon - Bloodsucking Vampires BEWARE!
00:34:25

Episode Notes

The Last Taibon by Rob Fields

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Transcript:

It’s dark, the middle of winter, and it’s a fucking blizzard. I’ve been walking along this highway for a while now, keeping tight hold of my Reebok Pump basketball shoes. I suppose I take great joy in knowing that I’m walking around in the elements half-naked and barefoot, and am actually quite comfy. Also, I’m fucking soaked from all the snow. I’ll have to take my clothes off and let them dry when I can find a place to take shelter. Not the first blizzard I’ve walked through, and it won’t be the last.  It’s about an hour before I finally see the lights of what appears to be a tavern. I turn and walk across the snowy parking lot and past several covered cars. I’m sure there’ll be people inside waiting out the storm. But I’m wondering if a certain motherfucker named Richland Jillian will be inside.  I open the door and walk in. Of course this fucking place is going to be filled with men. They all look at me, some gawking that I’m dressed like a slut, while others are probably wondering how long I’ve been out in the blizzard like this. And, no, I don’t see Richland Jillian in here. Might as well have a drink before I head back out. Not a single motherfucker in the place says anything to me as I make my way to the bar and sit on a stool.  The bartender slowly approaches me. “Can I . . . help you?” I point to the bottle. “I’ll take that Fire Water – all of it.” He just looks at me. “All of it?” I dig into my tattered jean shorts and pull out some money. Then I slam it onto the bar. “Did I fucking stutter?!” The bartender takes my money and hands me the Fire Water. No asking me for an ID, which is how I like fucking it. After popping the spout off and draining the hot cinnamon liquor, I slam the bottle down and see the looks on everybody’s faces, especially the bartender’s.  “You, um, want anything else?” he asks me. I point to the unopened bottle of Jim Beam. “All of it?” Slapping the bar gets that bottle put right in front of me. I open it up and this time enjoy my drink. So delicious . . .  Then, one of those motherfuckers finally decides to approach me. I suppose I’m always asking for this kind of fucking shit since I’m a blonde who’s wearing tattered, short denim shorts and an athletic top that’s only good for covering my small titties. Like I said, I look like a total slut. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to wear normal clothes for a very long time. And now . . . I’m pissed when a guy who looks like he could eat me whole puts his hand on my shoulder.  I neither hesitate nor look his way. “Hands off, motherfucker!”  He clamps down on my shoulder now. “Quite a mouth on you, little girl. Little young to be in here, aintya?” I almost swing my bottle to shatter it on his head, but I stop and remember that it’s Jim Beam. I take hold of his wrist and make him scream in intense pain. Then I turn around and give him a kick that sends him flying across the bar and smashing into the jukebox. Oh well, country music sucks major dick, anyway.  I turn around to see a few other so-called men bold enough to come at me. I have no problem picking one up and slamming him right through a table – one-handed. I grab the other one and throw him behind bar. He hits the back and falls forward. The rest of the motherfuckers quickly back away.  I turn to the bartender and grab him to me. “Nearest town!” He gulps when he sees my red eyes and points in the direction. “Strickfield! Five miles!” I let him go. “Thank you.” I pick up my Jim Beam and my shoes and head back out into the blizzard. 

I’ve finished my Jim Beam by the time I cross into Strickfield. After dropping the bottle in a trash can, I walk around some more. Very few people are out in this blizzard. I do see a few cars on the streets, though. Then I see more bright lights and become excited. It’s a twenty-four-hour diner! Yeah, Denoyer’s Grill’s bound to have some good comfort food.   I walk into the diner and get the same looks as the motherfuckers back at the bar. The college boy behind the counter gives me that look. I hold up my wet men’s basketball shoes for him to see. Then I drop them to the floor and slip into them. The guy smiles. “You can sit wherever’s open.” I park my sexy ass at the counter. Minutes later, I get my order. Wow! Now this is a fucking burger! I pick up the huge burger and take a bite. Sure wish I had more Jim Beam to wash it down. The Coke will be just fine. The counter boy keeps stealing peeks at me. Can’t really blame him. Some of the other patrons in here are staring at me with contempt. Fuck them! I ask the counter boy, “You don’t have any booze in here, do you?” He shakes his head slowly. “Unlimited soft drink refills is the best I got, Miss.” I slide my empty Coke glass to him. “Fine.” After I get my refill, I slip my shoes back off and relax some more. The counter guy is still looking at me. “You’re probably wondering what my fucking story is, right?” “Miss, please refrain from using profanity,” he asks me. “We’ve got other customers in here.” I smile a little. “Okay . . .” I look at his nametag. “. . . Martin. Since you asked nicely . . .” Also, this guy’s really cute, pretty easy going. I think I kind of like him.   “What’s your name?” Martin asks.  I flash him a sexy smile. “Bella.” Martin finally answers my question. “Okay, Bella . . . I guess you could say I’m curious, yes. I mean, it ain’t every day that I meet . . . well . . .” “A hot little devil like me?” I finish for him. “I get it. I know I’m not dressed for that blizzard outside – far from it. I’m cold and wet all over. But when you’re me, things like blizzards and summer heat don’t really bother you.” “Um, you’re not on any kind of drugs, are you?” Martin asks.  I laugh a little. “I can drink all the booze I want and down a hundred ecstasy tablets. None of that affects me. Not when you’re not human.” Okay, fuckers! Here’s where you pay attention to what I’m about to tell you – and Martin, instead of wondering when I’m going to take my clothes off and fuck Martin’s brains out.  As I’m sure you horror freaks already know, I’m not a normal girl. I mean, come on . . . a girl like me who looks about seventeen or eighteen doesn’t just throw around big men like they’re pillows. And I certainly wouldn’t be walking around nearly naked in a fucking blizzard, neither. I’m what you would call a Master Vampire. Or maybe . . . a derivative of one.  My story begins around 1889. I came from Shore Village, which would years later become the huge megalopolis known as Shore City. I came from a family that was anything but normal. See, when you’re a Taibon, you’re forever fucked. Your life is tied to shit such as magic and the supernatural. You spend your whole fucking life training and fighting this shit. I actually started training under Gramps when I was about four.  Every day it was the same fucking shit. Up in the morning . . . breakfast . . . training . . . lunch . . . more training . . . dinner . . . nightly hunting . . . sleep. I was already a trained killer by the age of six – and the bitch that I am now. In other words, innocence lost. Even then, I found I was always having to compete with my older brother, Nicholas. It was always a motherfucking rivalry between him and me.  Nicholas was a good three years older than me. Still, he would prove to be a way better fighter than me. I’m not afraid to admit it. Still, he was always so sure of himself that he made it a point to prove it even to me. Probably why he always called me Runt. Still, I could be a pain in his ass, too. Gramps and Grams saw how vicious and clever I could be and called me Little Devil. Anyway, Gramps used our sibling rivalry to make us better fighters. Probably too well. I couldn’t tell you how many times Gramps had to break us up when we’d lose our shit and go at each other.  Anyway, Nicholas got to be so good at what Gramps taught him, that he was actually good at killing Master Vampires. Master Vampires are quite powerful and are many times older than your average garden variety vampires. The older vampires get, the more powerful they become. I don’t mind telling you that Master Vampires are harder than fuck to destroy. Still, Nicholas actually surprised Gramps out in the field by taking one down – by himself. He understood the vampire weaknesses much better than anyone in our family. The fact that Nicholas liked to face Master Vampires by himself didn’t sit too well with Gramps. Even I voiced my concerns. Of course, Nicholas didn’t want to hear me and let me know about it on no uncertain terms. It was shit like that that made me just want to yank his dick off and choke him with it.  So . . . Gramps started spending more time with me and working with me himself. Even though Nicholas continued to show his dominance out in the field, I had that gut feeling that he was asking for it. I mean, how long would his luck last? Remember that saying about how no matter how good you are, there’s always going to be someone else better than you?  That someone was Thornton Jillian, who was the worst Master Vampire the Taibon family had ever faced. Jillian was thousands of years old and had slaughtered many of our family, including my own parents. The Taibons were renowned for taking down the supernatural, but Thornton Jillian would prove to be the deadliest motherfucker we’d ever faced. In fact, he was the reason why I’m the last Taibon.  That fateful day came. Thornton Jillian attacked our property without warning. When Jillian subdued Gramps and me, Nicholas fought him and gave him one hell of a fight. It seemed that Nicholas was finally going to end him once and for all. The problem was that Nicholas got a little too overconfident. I knew that Jillian was someone you never let up on – even for a second.  Jillian attacked Nicholas the moment he saw the opening. Just like that, he tore my brother’s throat right out. Nicholas still managed to cling on to life, until Jillian ripped his heart right out of his chest. Then he turned on Gramps and me. He slaughtered Gramps with a simple swipe of his claws across his throat. Then he turned on me. He hurt me pretty bad, but he refused to kill me. In fact, I had to watch helplessly as he killed Grams, too. He left me alive to remind me of how easy it was to decimate my entire family, even rubbing my face in it that I was the last Taibon.  I could’ve just laid there and cried like I’d been raped. Thornton Jillian had greatly underestimated me. Through my injuries and pain, I forced myself to stand. I mean I was beyond pissed! All I could think about was how I was going to make that motherfucker wish he’d never been born.  So, I worked through my pain until I was fully healed up, training myself harder than even Gramps had ever trained me. I studied Grams’ magic books and made some potions to use in my upcoming fight. I trained and retrained, perfecting my skills. I mean, I’d been at it for months. Finally, my patience was burned. It was either Thornton Jillian or me.  I went out hunting for that motherfucker. I fought and destroyed one vampire right after another – anything to lead me to Thornton Jillian. I even met a Master Vampire bitch who hated Jillian as much as I did, but she swore she wouldn’t tell me where he was unless I let her take me to bed. Yeah, I was that fucking desperate to find Jillian. Her information paid off, and I finally caught up to him.  I challenged Jillian to one final showdown. He just laughed at me and told me to go back home, saying I should find a husband to serve and make babies with. But when he learned that I’d all but destroyed his tribe, he knew he had to take me seriously. He promised me he’d kill me quickly.  I was ready for the fucker and this time put up one hell of a fight. I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes Nicholas did in underestimating Thornton Jillian. Otherwise, the Taibon bloodline would be ended. I was the last one who stood between Jillian and his reign of terror.  At one point, Jillian slashed me just below my tits and injured me. I was bleeding out fast. It was now or never! If I was dying and going to hell, I was taking this motherfucker with me. I threw the last of my potions at him, which only slowed him down. He grabbed me and told me he was going to make a new tribe – using my womb. But I had one last trick up my sleeve.  I pulled one last vial of potion out of my long hair and threw it right in his face. I had to cover my own eyes as the liquid sunlight burned brightly . . . searing his flesh. He dropped me, giving me one last chance to strike. I kicked him backwards and into a tree. A branch, which worked as a thick stake, pierced his heart. This alone wouldn’t stop him, though. Not a Master Vampire! I needed to decapitate him too!  As I pulled out my knife, I had forgotten about underestimating Jillian. He grabbed me and pulled me right onto the sake with him. He told me that I would be his wife in hell. Knowing I would die soon, I made my last attack on Jillian. He was going to find out why my grandparents called me Little Devil.  I raised my knife and pressed it against his neck with all the strength I had left. I screamed like a fucking lunatic as I moved the knife like a saw and worked it through his neck, through the bone, and finally . . . the head fucking fell off! I slipped off the stake and fell onto my back. I was so badly hurt. I laughed as I relished my intense pain. I had finally done it! I had killed Thornton Jillian and avenged my family. Knowing that, I closed my eyes and prepared to meet up with Jillian in hell. I was only dimly aware of something dripping quickly onto my chest. 

When I woke up, it was morning. I felt . . . fucking fantastic!  I sat up and saw that I was still wearing the tatters of my clothes. I saw I was completely healed up. Not even so much as a fucking scar! I growled with excitement and stood up to look at the headless corpse of Thornton Jillian again.  “Fuck you!!” I screamed at it.  Holy motherfucking shit! I just couldn’t help myself! I felt so! Incredibly! Powerful! The first thing I noticed was my arms and legs. I fucking had muscular definition. I mean, I really felt incredibly strong. I also realized that I could see much better than I ever had. What the fuck had happened to me?  I pulled Jillian’s body off the tree and started a blazing fire that burned his remains until there was nothing but ashes. As I watched, I felt that my clothes were just too . . . constrictive! I tore my jacket away and ripped tatters off my shirt. I kicked my shoes away and tore the legs off my pants. Anything to feel free. Half-naked and moaning in satisfaction, I turned and walked away.  I went back home and straight up to my bedroom to contemplate my next move. I was now the last Taibon. Everything was mine: the house, the greatly-vast family fortune, all of our tools against the supernatural . . .  And then I screamed when I saw the full-length mirror beside my dresser. “What the fuck?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I shot right up off the bed and straight to the mirror. “No, this can’t be!”  But it was! I had no reflection! No fucking wonder I felt so powerful! Did Thornton Jillian fucking sire me?! Suddenly, I realized something else! “It’s fucking daylight outside! How the fuck can I be a goddamn vampire?! HOW?!” I moved to the window again and threw open the curtains. The daylight washed over my body, but I wasn’t burning in any way. Then I opened the window and leapt out to the ground below, landing like a cat. I looked up at the bright sun. It actually felt wonderful. And then I felt the fangs growing in my mouth. I even turned my fingers into claws.  “How the fuck can I be out in the daylight?! NO fucking vampire can exist during the daytime – not even Thornton Jillian!” I yelled to nobody. Then I remembered the drippings I had felt before I passed out. I remembered that I was in a lot of pain from my injuries. And I finally understood! “FUCK!!” I screamed at the sky. “WHY?!” What happened? Thornton Jillian’s fucking blood had dripped and poured from his open neck and into my chest wounds – into my heart. Jillian’s vampire blood had fucking mixed with my pure Taibon blood – tainting me. But . . . Jillian never drank from me. He never once tasted my blood. I remembered that clearly! Yet, a large quantity of his blood dripped and poured into my wounds and turned me. I couldn’t cast a reflection or a shadow anymore, I felt so very wild, I was incredibly strong, and I could be in the daylight. And then I realized I was no longer breathing.  Even though I’d destroyed Thornton Jillian, he still had the last laugh. Or did he? I realized I could still feel my heartbeat. But vampires don’t have heartbeats! What the fuck kind of a vampire was I?! Through the many years that passed between then and now, I found that I would never age a single day. I would be seventeen forever. Ah, but you would think that I’d have to drink human blood in order to keep my youth and beauty, right? Nope! In fact, as soon as I felt my stomach screaming at me, I tried using my new fangs to drink from a murderer I found in an alleyway. One bite and two swallows later, I quickly shoved the fucker away and puked my guts up. The only thing that took that fucking awful taste out of my mouth was several roast chickens from a nearby inn’s open flame. I used to eat like a bird, but now I have one hell of a monstrous fucking appetite.  Over the years, I toured the world and found masters who could teach me in more ways to fight. One of them even taught me ways to reign in my libido, which also grew – much like my fucking appetite. Yeah, Thornton Jillian really changed my life, didn’t he? However, I am still a Taibon. My family’s mission has not – will never – change. I still hunt creatures of the night who would prey on innocent people. Taking down monsters, witches, and other vampires is so fucking easy now since I’m way stronger and far more powerful than they are. Having Thornton Jillian’s blood mixed with my own made me an instant Master Vampire. I guess I still have to answer that big question: Is this the ultimate fuck you to him . . . or for me?  Speaking of hunting supernatural scum, let’s get back to the present day. While telling my story to Martin behind the counter at Denoyer’s, I managed to wolf down five half-pound cheeseburger platters, complete with fries, lots of Coke refills, and even two whole strawberry-rhubarb pies. Oh, and one large order of onion rings. Both Martin and Denoyer himself watched skinny little me put all that food away. I think Denoyer was wondering if I was going to be able to pay for everything. Not only did I pay for everything, I even gave Martin a very generous tip.  And then I turn to see the motherfucker who was sitting by the door leaving. I get up to follow him.  “Hey, you left your shoes on the floor!” Martin calls out to me.  I glance over my shoulder. “I’ll be back for them.” I give him my sexy smile again. “And you.” I head back out into the blizzard. Sure enough, the motherfucker’s waiting for me. “You really didn’t think I’d fucking find you, Jillian? Please . . .” Richland Jillian is the younger brother of Thornton. Not quite a Master Vampire himself just yet, but he’s getting up there.  “Will you never relent, Taibon?” Richland yells.  I raise my hands, which are now claws. I even put my vampire face on. “Suck my dick!” Then I howl a battle cry and leap right at him.  It’s too fucking snowy for the people inside Denoyer’s to see the two of us fight it out. Richland Jillian has been dodging and evading me for a good year now. Every fucking time I’d catch up to him, he’d always use my need to save innocents to get away. He loves to call it my greatest weakness. But no . . . I’m a Taibon and that’s what Taibons do. But I’ve finally got this motherfucker right where I want him.  Richland is quite strong. He’s definitely a bigger man than what his brother Thornton was, though nowhere near as powerful. Remember, Thornton was a Master Vampire. Richland claws me, but I have one hell of a healing factor. When Richland realizes he can’t possibly win, he tries to escape.  “Nope! Don’t even think it!” I tell him. “NO innocents for you to throw in front of me this time!” He roars one last roar as he tries to slash my throat with his claws. But I see it coming a mile away. I snatch his wrist and punch him right in the chest – enough for me to break through his chest cavity and seize his heart. Then I pull it out and pulp the thing right in my hands. The body falls over, and that’s all she wrote. Just to make sure, however, I glare at the body and make it burst into flames. I’ve never been able to figure out how to change form, if I can even do that. I can, however, create fog or mist, command animals and insects, and even make fire appear.  When Richland Jillian is finally ashes and blowing away in the blizzard, I morph my face and hands back into human again. I move to the lake across the road from Denoyer’s and wash the blood off my arms and hands. When I’m finished, I turn and head back to Denoyer’s. I do have to reclaim my shoes . . . and a certain counter guy.  When I come back in, I see some nerdy librarian bitch talking to Martin. They both turn to look at me.  “Hey, you came back!” Martin exclaims.  “Am I interrupting something here?” I ask.  Martin shakes his head. “Not at all. I’m about done here, and my little sister came by to get me. This is Einstein. Her real name is Eileen.” I look at the librarian. “Ah, little sister. Of course you are . . .” “Wow! Were you really hanging around outside dressed like that?” Einstein asks in amazement.  “Still a free country, right?” I reply.  Then Denoyer calls out from behind the counter, “Martin! Sheila’s here now. She’ll relieve you shortly. Get home safely.” Martin smiles and looks at me. “Still want to come home with me?” I give him my sexiest smile again. 

Martin’s sound asleep as I slip out of bed and put my tatters back on. I pick up my shoes and quietly slip out of the bedroom. Martin definitely satisfied me. Now it’s time to get the fuck out of Strickfield and move on to another town . . . another adventure . . . another malevolent motherfucker to destroy . . . “Now you weren’t thinking of just leaving my brother, were you, Bella?” a familiar voice calls out to me as I reach the front door.  The lights turn on, revealing the librarian, Martin’s little sister, Eileen Donnerly – Einstein.  “What the fuck were you doing, waiting up for me?” I snap. “I needed to get laid. I liked your brother. We both got what we wanted. No commitments. I’m gone.” Einstein gets right to the point. “My brother doesn’t just take anyone to bed. You must have been really special to him. I’m not going to let you hurt him like that.” I roll my eyes. “What do you want from me, Einstein, to wear his fucking ring?” Einstein folds her arms in front of her. “I want for you to stop running and settle down here. I want for you to be good for Martin.” She raises her eyelid. “I think we could even be great friends, you and me.” I laugh now. “What motherfucking planet are you from? I don’t live in Strickfield. I don’t even fucking belong here. I don’t belong . . . anywhere really.” “You’re a vampire, right?” Wow! Subtle, ain’t she? Before I can ask how she knows, she points to a nearby mirror. “Okay . . . So?” I roll my eyes again. “I didn’t kill Martin, okay? I don’t even drink blood. Nasty fucking shit!” “Oh, I know you didn’t,” Einstein says. “But . . . my big brother’s really into you. You’re staying, Bella. And on Monday morning . . . you’re coming to school with me.” Before I can tell her to go fuck herself, she quickly unfolds her arms and raises her finger. “You walk in the daylight, right? So it’s settled. You’re coming to school with me on Monday.” She laughs a little.  Now it’s my turn to fold my arms in front of me. “What makes you so goddamn sure that I’m coming to school with you?” I drop my arms. “Please, Einny, fucking enlighten me here . . .” She gives me a cute little smile. No, not the kind that says she’s got me right where she wants me. It’s the kind of cute little smile that belongs to a cute little face like hers. “Because . . . I believe the girls who are on the cheerleading squad at Strickfield High School . . . are also vampires. Maybe they’re not like you, but they are vampires. Possibly all six of them.” I raise my finger. “Let me stop you right there, Einny! As far as I know, I’m the only one who can walk in the daylight. How the fuck can these so-called vampire twats walk the halls and attend classes? Hello! Sunlight comes in through pretty much every fucking classroom window at a school.” Einstein shakes her head. “Oh, I don’t believe they’re like you, Bella. But they must be doing something to be able to walk around during the daylight. And I don’t think they’re wearing sunblock.” I nod in agreement. “There are very few ways vamps can move around during the daylight, but nothing they can do on their own. They need . . . outsides sources, if you will. And damn sure not fucking sunblock.” And . . . Einstein fucking smiles. The little bitch knows she’s got my attention now. “I’ll give you some of my clothes and shoes. I think we’re the same size.” I glare at her now. “If you’re fucking lying to me about this, Einny, I’m going to take you and offer you as a free meal to other vamps.” But . . . I can tell she’s not lying. I just don’t want to stay here in this fucking village is all. “Fine, I’ll go to school with you on Monday morning. Fuck!” Einstein smiles. “That means you’re also spending the rest of the weekend with us. Guess you’d better head back upstairs, then . . . Bells. Good night . . .” I give her a dirty look and raise my middle finger before I turn and head back upstairs. Martin’s awake when I enter his room again. Yeah, he knows I was about to leave him sad and lonely. I need to fix this – fast. I get naked again, climb back into bed, and we screw some more. Might as well occupy my time since I don’t really sleep, and Monday is several hours away yet.

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Jan 06, 2021
Ep.64 – Satan's Shotgun - Death Won't Stop His Gory Vengeance!
00:22:54

Episode Notes

On New Year's Eve 1899 the ball isn't dropping but bodies are falling all around! A bloody vengeance that spams over lifetimes is about to conclude! Shotguns and rifles are nice, but an undying revenge can't be stopped!

Satan's Shotgun by Daniel Wilder

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Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcription:

I had me a revelation come New Year’s Eve of 1899… Jesus weren't nothin’. 

I reckon I could resurrect myself like a right heavyweight champion… long as my boy’s bones held out that is… but admittedly I couldn’t hold a candle to that water to rotgut routine, and I sure as fuck couldn’t walk on water, and there sure as shit aren’t any virgins in my vicinity… I guess I truly meant that coming back from the dead wasn’t any great shakes.

What brought me to that bit o’ revelation were the events of nearly 12 years prior… 1887 if you can cipher… the night Gideon Pharoh’s Nightmare Zodiac Death Gang came a-knockin’… and that’s exactly as those hocus-pocus braggarts billed themselves too; Nightmare Zodiac Death Gang… should have spent more time practicing with pistols than coming up with candy-ass gang titles, but I digress…

Ya see, I was a simple man then… farming… maybe a bit of trapping, not to mention interpreting for the local tribes and those they cottoned to trade with. It wasn’t the high life, but it was good enough for me, ‘Lizbeth, and our boy… Lazarus.

That name was a bit of on the nose serendipity that the fates served up to us by the by, let me tell ya true… and I sure as hell wasn’t amused.

T’weren’t eighteen months after our boy’s birth that that sack-headed side-winder Gideon and his posse arrived on our doorstep and ended his life… and his momma’s… but as was their folly, they never checked if my heart had stopped… and to be fair I never asked them why they were so sore with me and mine, so yeah, mistakes were made all ‘round on that day.

So, once their devilish deeds were done, they headed off into the still night with nary a thought of the hell they had born that day… and still my heart continued to beat… like a native drum… a doom dirge banging away to attract any midnight mother fucker within six hundred and sixty-six yards… and attract it surely did.

The shaman entered what remained of our home casual as can be… the fully bandaged man he lead on a leash followed seemingly devoid of thought as well as grace.

He slinked his way over to me like a mongoose, all sinew and glide… the bones around his waist clanking together like the gnashing teeth of some desert devil risen from an unholy hell ready to feast.

As my eyes strained to focus, I saw that bastard light a fire of green flame… a flame he used to rend the prone form of my boy to ashes and bone in as much time as it takes to tell.

I admit the darkness took me then as I was a powerful sight weaker in constitution than I am now… though I have a dread vision of that bandaged fella placing a lip-less mouth o’er my own and blowing a dust that reeked to high hell of rot deep into my lungs that made them feel as it they were filled with the fires of ol’ Scratch himself!

I came too walking along a trail deep in the nearby Adirondacks, a foul scented wrapping from the shaman’s… friend… tied tightly around my eyes. While you may get to thinking that would seriously impede my journey, the exact opposite held true… I could sense where I was going, and just where the first of those I sought were hunkered down.

So onward I trekked; my boy’s bones rattling in the leather sack strapped to my left shoulder. 

That same rattle let any man or beast in my path know that I surely was not to be fucked with as I began my stride along revenge’s rough road.

I walked those wicked woods until the sun fell low, and the sky was streaked in hues of lavender and rose… and it was then I came upon the cabin on New Year’s Eve, painted as it were in two differing colors… sky blue and soft pink… the abode of Gemini, two doses of poison in one pill.

The smoke that poured from the chimney let me know those that needed correcting were home sweet home.

I didn’t stand on formality…

The door exploded inward from the impact of my left shit-kicker, splinters spreading out like buckshot acting as my callin’ card.  

It took me a fraction of a second to realize no one was visible in the room, magic eyewear or no… but I could smell them just fine.

Naturally, they didn’t surprise me none when the exploded from the shadows of the cabin’s ceiling… however the fact they could move together like a great spider in their conjoined state definitely raised an eyebrow.

I unloaded my rifle with a thunderous roar. The shot tore a nice chunk in whatever the lady side of this thing was called, but she wasn’t going down by a long shot. 

Before I knew it, the male side of the equation had maneuvered himself in such a way that he both knocked me to the ground, and managed to wrap the fleshy band that kept these two eternally bound around my neck. 

That same bit of flesh began flexing and throbbing until I couldn’t draw a breath, the various veins and sinew contained under that warm sleeve pulsing like a bag of snakes.

Things began swirling and growing ever darker… that’s when I died for the first time.

The shaman appeared shortly thereafter though my enemies never noticed, although if they did I wager they’d have been confused as all get out. See, that fella simply strolled in, leaned low, and whispered in my ear. 

“Use a bone?”

I didn’t quite gather what he was on about, but it seemed like a question I should answer in the affirmative. 

He reached into my rucksack, pulled out one of the twelve bones of my boy that clattered inside and shoved that rune covered ivory femur right in my mouth.

It dissolved on contact with my tongue, and I was back in business.

I sat up, puked, and roared at my killers who had now sat down to a nice warm meal after their deed was done.

What I did next would become a bit of a legend. 

See, I grabbed the steak knife out of the hand of the twin closest to me… who honestly didn’t even resist… probably the shock of a corpse interrupting his din-din.

Anyway, I took that blade and commenced to slice that ribbon that held them together like a rabid wolf. But then I had a pang of conscious… these two have been together since day one, so it would be a shame to take that away from them.

Fortunately, I learned to sew at a tender age.

I can only imagine the look on Gideon’s face when he saw one… or two… not sure how they counted themselves… anyway, saw a member of his posse fixed mouth to crotch of their opposite number like those Yin-Yang symbols the Chinese fellas out west were so fond of. 

And “imagine” it would have to be as once my work was done I sunk into the Earth outside the Gemini’s doorstep and there I slept for a full year.


And so it went; at the very end of each and every year I’d rise up and put a murder on one of those psychos.

Pieces… hard to breathe with concrete in your gills.

Taurus… let’s just say he wasn’t just a bull from the shoulders up, but that would be his undoing when I rammed that tally-whacker straight down his throat. 

Aries, Leo, Cancer, Sagittarius, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn, Aquarius… dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, and double dead… don’t ask.

Year after year I fought, and year after year I lost a little bit more of my boy, piece by piece.


Finally I came to Scorpio, and if you think the other menagerie made for a one-of-a-kind corpse gallery I can assure you all that the final member of that gang… minus their ringmaster, but I’ll get to his arcane ass in a tick.

See, after the decade and change of carnival exhibits I’d tussled with I wouldn’t blame ya none if you wagered Scorpio would be some kind of insect man, but it wasn’t, hell it wasn’t even a man.

As you could guess from the hiring of those darling siblings I jawed about earlier, Gideon didn’t give a single shit if those that worked for him were men or women… a real rarity as far as evil posses went in the late 1800’s… course half those mother fuckers would be a right challenge to even classify as human.

When I sauntered up to that gypsy wagon lady Scorpio called home I could just tell I was in for a hell of a time.

The scent of burning herbs filled the air, and the roaring flame burning brightly beside the gaudy wagon was doing a solid job of roasting a large pheasant.

I hunkered down by the fire… it always feels good to warm my hands after pointing my boots towards the sky for twelve months.

The lavender and crimson curtains that covered the entrance to the wagon parted and she appeared. A raven haired beauty with eyes as cruel and cold then a whole nest of vipers could possess. 

“I told Gideon doing your wife and boy was a grave mistake.”

“Well, it’s a mistake that will surely put you in your grave, Missy.”

She laughed, and I had to admit it was an unbelievably delicate thing.

“If that is to be my fate there is little I can do to change it.”

I spit at her feet. “Yup.”

“Won’t you come inside a moment?”

“It’s your funeral, you can have it any way you want.”  I entered the wagon, and beheld the interior which contained nothing save for an opulent bed. I sat down and waited for the show to start.

She slid into the bed beside me, pushed me down, and started to rub up against me all feline like. I grabbed her hair, tugged it hard and whispered the most romantic thing I could think of into her ear… 

“This is for ‘Lizbeth!”

I drove the blade of the hunting knife through the back of her head before she could even realize I had pulled it from my left boot. 

She made that weird gargle whistling exhale thing that you never really get used to and then the light in those big brown eyes went dim.

“Should have started with this one.”

I managed to remove my knife from her skull and kick her ass right out of the wagon in a near seamless movement. 

I heard her hit the ground and then… 

“Splash?”

Her skin flew through the curtains and collided with the far wall of the wagon with a sickening sound akin to pig innards being thrown at a whore-house.

“Ah, here we go… “ I said as the giant scorpion “clickety-clacked” through the entryway. The odd thing about this here scorpion had a great set of breasts and a tail equipped with rather ornery lookin’ cock where that poisonous sting should of rested.

“I’m going to fuck you one way or another, lover!” the beast spat from a mouth full of spear-like teeth and bad intentions.

“Get in line sister.”

I drew my iron and unloaded on that nightmare with barrel a-blazin!

That damn tail whipped at me again and again as Scorpio’s face looked like a vat of prize-winning chili… and to my horror the loads that appendage shot were some sort of acid. While the walls of the wagon began to dissolve the bitch stopped her bucking.

Well fuck me silly, I didn’t die this go around. I wonder if I’ll still take a dirt nap?

“Yup.” I said as I folded into the cold earth.


For the first time in years I dreamed.

I saw my family… the unspeakable terror life had become… the soul-crushing scream into the abyss I’d make year after year as I was reborn to put down one monster after another… and I saw that burlap headed bastard that had made this all so.

And I saw children… unfamiliar children with their faces tinted a glowing blue the exact hue of which I’d never seen the like of before.


Guess what day it is?

That’s right, the day I end the life of that masked son of a bitch and finally rest in peace. That’s the theory anyway.

The morning of New Year’s Eve of 1899 I had that “Jesus” thought I mentioned at the start of this yarn… and I found my self wandering the streets of ol’ Manhattan Town, beastly bandages in place.

Everything was cold gray… until I got that unholy vision that Gideon was well and truly a man about town… though he wore a false human face over his rough mask.

I followed him around a pace, but he seemed to make stops at random, and although he made no indication that he knew I was there, but I knew damn well he did.

Finally he got the drop on me after a rather well-executed disappearing act in the Bowery.

“Let’s retire to my residence and talk this through, eh dead-man?” he purred.

“Yup” I answered.


We entered the luxurious townhouse Gideon called home.

“Please, relax.” Gideon said, gesturing to an array of sofas and chairs that festooned his abode.

I took a load off on a nearby Persian rug… that furniture was doubtless cursed and would spell my doom if I dare put my ass upon it.

“Are you a gambling man?” he asked.

“Not by nature, no.”

“I am. And if I had to play my hand, I would wager you want to know why I chose you and your kin to slaughter.”

“The thought had crossed my mind a time or two if I am to be honest.” I answered true.

“I had heard that if you do someone a cosmic level injustice… like a random killing for instance… then powerful magic is revealed to those willing to travel a dark path.”

“You heard rightly.”

He gestured toward my rucksack. “The magic?”

“My son.”

“Your son became the rarest of magics? You should be kissing my feet for this gift.”

“I see it a tad different.”

“I wager you do. Nevertheless, my theory was correct.” “Nevertheless you should have listened to your pet bug.”

“Scorpio? She was always the most in-tune of my menagerie… “

Was is the operative word.”

“I care little that you killed any of those sideshow attractions.”

“You’re all heart.”

“No, I’m all business.”

“How so?” I queried. 

“Let’s say you give me the last bone in your sack, and I let you walk out of here and live a long and happy life.”

“Let’s say I do… what does that give me? An eternity without those I love… those you took from me.”

“True, but a life is a life.”

I thought on this a spell… and I had me a revelation, hold on… you’ll see.

“Fine, you want the bone, here it is.”

I removed my son’s skull from the sack and held it up for that snake to see.

“Glorious… please, let me hold it!”

The shaman spoke into my ear for the last time. I nodded.

I tossed my boy’s skull to Gideon… and as that bone grew ever closer, I drew my pistol and fired!

The skull exploded when the bullet hit the bone.

The shaman laughed.

His Egyptian pal laughed.

I laughed.

Gideon however, did most assuredly not laugh.

The shards of the skull became as unto missiles and pierced Gideon’s mask in a hundred razor-sharp volleys.

He did that gargle thing and fell like a sack of potatoes.

“That’s that then.” I said.

I waited for some sort of cosmic redemption… would I stand before my family once more? Would I finally be able to rest?

A glowing letter “A” appeared in the sky.

A glowing “S” followed.

And another “S”

“Ass… real cute.” I thought as I finally succumbed to the darkness.

*** 

Brent laughed.

“ASS… classic.”

“Yeah man… this game is so easy if you have enough quarters.” Todd said. “I’ve beaten it like a hundred times.”

The duo walked away from the cabinet as the attract screen of Satan’s Shotgun called out to the next player… and ‘Lizbeth and Lazarus died anew.

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Dec 30, 2020
Ep.63 – Satan Claus - Revenge is his Gift and it isn't Free!
00:30:54

Episode Notes

On Christmas Eve a brother and sister decide to invoke the urban legend of "Satan Claus" to get revenge on their rotten stepfather. Will the fabled bloodthirsty monster come to their aid or is the true horror what awaits them living in their own home?

Satan Claus by Keith Tomlin

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcription:

December 25, 1998, 1:45 am. Edward burst out of the backdoor of his house.  His foot missed the second step of the concrete stairs and he went sprawling, landing hard on the neglected wooden deck of his back patio. Gasping for breath, he struggled to his feet, losing one of his slippers.  After a few tries, he regained his balance and raced off into the woods that edged his backyard.  Burrs and thorns tore at his skin and clothing as he plunged into the darkness.   As Edward ran, he heard a loud crash as something large and powerful followed after him.  An unearthly roar, filled with hate and rage, rang through the night.  Edward pushed himself harder, charging faster into the forest.   After a few minutes of running in a blind panic, Edward felt a sharp pain run from his chest and down his arm.  He gasped and dropped at the base of a large elm tree.  Sobbing, he worked himself into a sitting position, trying to breathe through the pain.  He wiped blood from his face, some his, some from his wife.   Hearing a branch breaking, Edward tried to push himself up but the pain in his chest nearly caused him to blackout.  Fighting unconsciousness, he felt hot breath on his face as he fought to open his eyes.  When he did, Edward saw yellow, bloodshot eyes staring into his as the creature snorted, sending its moist, rancid breath into his face.  It let out a blood-curdling scream as it reached for him with long arms ending in razor-sharp claws.   As the creature tore Edward apart, his last thought was not of the intense pain or the realization that his life was over, it was a question.   ‘Is that thing wearing a Santa hat?’ Edward thought as he passed into darkness. 

December 24, 1999, 11:15 am. Emily looked incredulously at her 13-year-old brother, Tyler.  “Satan Claus?  Are you fuckin’ serious?” she said. “Well, yeah… I mean… It’s real, well, not real but they think it’s real.” Tyler said, trying to gather his thoughts. “So, we’re going to summon a pretend demon dressed like Santa Claus to take care of our stepfather?” Emily said with scorn.   “Well, sorta.” Tyler sighed, taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out. “Ok, so… take the legend of Bloody Mary.  The story goes that if you look in the mirror and say her name three times, she will appear and start killing people.  Now, everyone knows that’s not real.  If you’re having a sleepover with friends and they dare you to look in the mirror and say her name, you will.  You know it’s not true and nothing will happen.  But,” he said excitedly, “If it’s night and you’re alone in the house and you’re standing in front of a mirror when the thought crosses your mind to say her name three times, will do you it?”   Without waiting for an answer, Tyler went on, “No, you would not.  And why not?  The logical part of your mind will say, ‘surely, it’s not real, it’s just crazy talk’ but, on a primal level, you know that if you say her name three times, she may appear.  This belief is what gives these creatures their power.” Tyler paused, slightly out of breath. “You are one weird kid,” Emily said. “Yeah, well, you know… growing up in this house does tend to make one unusual,” Tyler replied, solemnly. Emily shook her head, “Ok, I’m still confused, what creatures are you talking about?” Tyler looked Emily in the eyes, something he rarely did with anyone, “To be honest, I don’t know.  I just know they exist.  Throughout history, different cultures had legends of horrific creatures that terrorized the common folk.  I think that these were all some kind of a supernatural force that draws power from the beliefs and fears of the people.  If enough people believe in them, then these ghosts, demons, or whatever, can draw strength and life from these beliefs and they will actually become these creatures.” “Wow, I…  I think this is insane.” said Emily, speechless.   “I know and I accept that but I need your help.  For you, this is a win-win.  If you help and it works, we will be rid of that asshole forever.”  Tyler looked at Emily, who nodded emphatically. “If it doesn’t work, then you have something else to make fun of me for, not that there is any lack of material for that.” Tyler said, pointing to the piles of role-playing manuals and superhero comic books stacked up around his bedroom.  Not for the first time, Emily was amazed at how smart her brother was, naïve and childlike but also so goddamn smart.  She had sworn to herself to do whatever she had to do to make sure that he reaches adulthood without life crushing his soul.  She was only a year older than him but she was a survivor.  She could take all of the pain and suffering that life, and her stepfather, could dish out.  Tyler, however, was a fragile soul.  If this helped him deal with all the bullshit then she was willing to go along with it. “Fuck it, I’m in,” she said, “consider it your Christmas present.”  “Well, uh… really?” Tyler said, clearly expecting more resistance.   Emily continued, “Look, this is the most batshit crazy thing I’ve ever heard but, you’re my brother, and I’ll do anything to support you.  So…. Satan Claus?”   Tyler took a few seconds to blink some tears away.  “Ok, so…  Satan Claus is an urban legend that has been around for at least 15 years.  Basically, it’s a story of a department store Santa that was beaten to death by a gang of kids and his wife got her revenge by baking cookies with her blood.  She tricked the kids into eating them, which caused her husband to come back from the dead and kill everyone.” Tyler finally paused to take a breath.  “At least nine times in the last seven years, there have been a series of gruesome deaths on Christmas eve so brutal that the police have suspected it was either the work of a satanic cult or some kind of huge, unidentified wild creature.  I disagree, I think it was the legend of Satan Claus that killed them and that’s what I want for dear old Frank.” Tyler said, referring to their stepfather.   “He deserves to die,” Emily said in a cold, hard voice, “For what he has done to mom, you, and what he has tried to do to….”  Emily trailed off. Tyler awkwardly reached out and patted her hand.  “I know, he will pay for all of it.”   “So, all we need to do is get Frank to eat some cookies?” Emily asked. Tyler nodded. “What do you need from me?” Emily finally asked.

December 25, 1999, 12:36 am  Emily rubbed the Band-Aid covering her finger, thinking that only her brother could talk her into using her blood as an ingredient in a cookie recipe.  If she had to be honest, she enjoyed cutting her finger more than baking the cookies.  The first batch ended up a burned, smoking mess and she had to mix up, and recut, a second batch.  She shook her head, thinking about the things that people do for family.   Emily looked down at her brother, asleep on the couch next to her, and sighed.  She loved that crazy little bastard.  She turned back towards the large picture window to keep up her vigil on the dark street outside. After a minute or so, the lights from an approaching car lit up the neighboring houses.  Emily leaned further over the back of the couch, face pressed against the window, to get a better look.  When a familiar car pulled into the driveway of the house across the street, Emily grabbed her brother and shook him awake. “Tyler!  Frank just pulled in our driveway.” Emily whispered loudly. Tyler sat up, rubbing his eyes.  Looking around, he asked, “Where is Mrs. Patterson?” “Mrs. Patterson is in bed, it’s past midnight.” Emily said.  Mrs. Patterson was an elderly woman who lived across the street from them and, understanding their volatile family situation, often let the kids spend the night at her house while their mom was working the graveyard shift at the nursing home.  “Grab the binoculars and keep your voice down.” Emily commanded.  Tyler’s eyes popped open as he suddenly remembered what they had planned for Frank.  He grabbed his cheap pair of binoculars from the coffee table and joined his sister, leaning over the back of the couch.

Frank pulled into the snow-covered driveway, his ragged old Ford sliding to a stop, almost hitting the garage door.  He opened the car door and stumbled out.   Frank was a tall, lean man, what some may call wiry.  He had a face that used to be quite handsome and may still be to some, hidden under the years of hard living and even harder drinking.  Frank lived to drink and spent most evenings complaining about his miserable life to the regulars at Whitey’s Tavern, a dive bar a few blocks from his house.  He would usually come home shitfaced; tonight, however, he was well beyond that.  One of the bar patrons, a well-to-do businessman that liked to flaunt his success, kept buying drinks for the house.  Frank kept drinking and he kept getting angrier.  

Frank’s past kept rolling around in his head.  Why has his life turned out like shit?  Why is everyone against him?  Why did that bitch of an ex-wife keep hounding him for money to buy gifts for a bunch of ungrateful little shits?  Why did his current wife keep picking up extra shifts when she should be home taking care of him?  Why do her fucking brats show him no respect, in his own goddamn house!?  Frank shut the car door and made his way up the icy walkway to the front of the house.  Swaying, he opened up the front door and walked inside. “Hey!  Anyone here?” Frank bellowed, slamming the front door.  “Where the fuck is my dinner!”  Frank listened to the sounds of an empty house as he remembered that his bitch wife was working tonight.  Frank mumbled curses under his breath as he walked across the small living room to the kitchen.  Seeing a pizza box on the counter, he opened it up and grabbed a slice.  Chewing on the cold pizza, he walked over to the fridge and grabbed a beer.  He was walking back to the living room when he noticed a plate of cookies with a note under it.  Squinting, he picked up the note and read it. “Frank, I know we have not gotten along but, for mom’s sake, I want to try to fix that.  Please accept these cookies as a peace offering.  Merry Christmas, Emily.” the note said. Frank picked up the plate with the cookies and turned back to the living room.  He paused at the end of the counter and dropped the cookies, plate and all, into the trashcan. 

Tyler reached out and grabbed Emily’s arm. “He picked up the cookies!” he said excitedly, looking through the binoculars.  “He’s walking… wait, oh no.  He threw them away.”  Tyler said quietly as silent tears began to roll down his face. “Give me those.” Emily said as she grabbed up the binoculars.  She brought them up to her face and pointed them at the run-down house across the street.  Because a particularly violent outburst from Frank last week resulted in the curtain rods being ripped down, she had a good view of the living and most of the kitchen.  Emily focused on Frank, sitting in an armchair, drinking a beer, and watching TV.   Emily sighed, lowering the binoculars, “Damn.  Oh well, we tried.”  She turned to her brother and her heart broke when she looked upon his face, wet with tears.   “Hey, don’t worry, we’ll get through this.”  Emily reached out and hugged Tyler, who began to sob louder. “Ok. It’ll be ok.” Emily leaned back and looked Tyler in the eyes. “You know that this wasn’t going to actually work, don’t you?” Tyler shrugged, wiping at the wetness on his cheek. Emily sighed, “Ok, fine, I still owe you a Christmas present.   I’ll go over there and try to get the asshat to eat a blood cookie.  Even if some creature doesn’t rip him a new asshole, it would be fun just watching that.” Tyler hugged her tightly.  For a few seconds, Emily hugged him back.  She then stood up and looked at Tyler.  “You stay here, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”  Walking away, Emily thought once again, ‘The things you do for family.’

Emily stood on the front stoop of her house, shivering in her thin jacket.  She took a few deep breaths, trying to buildup her courage.   ‘Damn it, why did I agree to do this?’ Emily thought.  Exhaling, she turned the doorknob and walked inside. “Oh, hi Frank”, she said as she shut the door. “Where the fuck have you been?” Frank said, without taking his eyes off of the TV set. “Oh, I’m staying at a friend's house.  I just stopped by to pick up something I forgot.” Emily answered. “Where’s your retarded brother?” Frank said, still watching TV. Emily ignored the insult, “He’s staying with them too.  Mom knows.” “Your mom doesn’t tell me shit.  I never know what the fuck is going on in my own house.” Frank said raising his voice. “Oh, I figured she would.” Emily said. A silence fell over them, only broken by the muted sound of the television. “Uh, did you see the cookies I baked you?” Emily asked, hesitantly.   Frank tossed an empty bottle across the room.  It landed on the bare wooden floor and rolled to a stop next to a table lamp.   “Get me another beer.” Frank said. Emily stood still for a few seconds, trying to keep her temper in check.  She then walked to the fridge and grabbed a beer from a half-full six-pack.  She paused and grabbed a cookie out of the trashcan before moving to the living room.   “Here’s your beer.” Emily said, trying to sound cheerful.  She sat a beer on the end table next to Frank’s prized recliner.   “Also, here is one of the cookies I made for you.” She said, sitting a cookie down next to the bottle of beer. Frank’s arm shot out and grabbed her by the arm.  He began moving his index finger, lightly tracing circles on the inside of her wrist. He looked up at her, sneering. Emily pulled out of his grip.  She glared at Frank, struggling to hold her temper.  “Look, I am trying to be nice.  I made you some cookies as a peace offering, the least you could do is to try one.” Emily said through gritted teeth. Frank opened the beer and took a long pull from it.  He slammed it down on the end table, smashing the cookie.   “If you want to be nice to me,” he said sarcastically, “you can make me a sandwich.”   After a few moments, Frank looked over and noticed that she was still standing there, staring daggers at him.   “Look, women are only good at two things,” he said, “cookin’ and fuckin’.  It’s your choice.” Balling her hands into fists, Emily turned and walked back to the kitchen.  After taking a moment to calm herself down, she opened up the fridge and grabbed some bologna and a jar of mayonnaise. Hearing the fridge door open, Frank yelled, “Get me another beer, too.” Emily ignored him and grabbed a butter knife from the utensil drawer.  She slapped the bologna on a piece of bread and smeared a generous portion of mayo on top.  Reaching back into the trashcan, she grabbed another cookie.  She rolled the jar of mayonnaise over the cookie, reducing it to crumbs.  Scooping up the crumbs, she tossed them on the sandwich and smashed the second piece of bread on top.   She turned around and dropped the plate as she ran into Frank, who had walked up behind her.  Taking advantage of her surprise, he reached and pulled her close to him, the alcohol from his breath burning her eyes.  “I decided that I’m not hungry, which only leaves one option.” Frank said.  Emily growled with rage, bringing her knee up with all of the might, swinging towards his crotch. Frank laughed as he turned slightly, taking the blow on his upper thigh.  “Darlin’, you ain’t gonna catch me with that move again.”  Emily started to reach up towards Frank’s face, her fingers curled into claws. Frank’s hand shot out and grabbed her by the neck.  “Stop fighting or I will crush your fucking throat.”  He growled as he squeezed her neck.   Emily began to panic as Frank squeezed harder.  She was swinging her arms wildly, trying to knock his hand loose.  Frank wasn’t a large guy but he possessed an unexpected strength.  He used that strength to lift her up by the neck and slam her down on the counter. Emily’s head hit the Formica counter hard enough to cause her to briefly lose consciousness.  She woke up to fingers tugging at the buttons on her shirt.  She tried protesting but it felt like she was moving in slow motion.  A slap stung her cheek and threatened to send her back into the darkness.   Frank pulled his hand back and slapped her again.  “Little Miss cock tease.” Frank said, leaning over her.  As he brought his hand back to hit her again, something flew by his head.  He looked up as a pair of binoculars hit the front door and shattered. “What the…?” Frank said as something leaped on him from behind, arms reaching around his face.  Frank laughed as he realized who had attacked him.  “It’s the little fuckin’ retard, coming to rescue his sister.” Frank said, grinning like a madman. Frank reached back and grabbed Tyler by the back of the shirt and tossed him into the refrigerator door.  Tyler slid down and hit the ground hard. With Frank’s hand off her throat, Emily was able to catch her breath.  As she coughed and struggled to clear her head, she reached out with fumbling hands, trying to find something, anything, to help her.  When she felt a cold, metal handle, she grabbed it and swung it blindly at Frank.  The mayonnaise covered butterknife slammed into Frank’s upper arm, burying itself deep enough to hit bone.   As Frank screamed and ripped the knife out of his arm, Emily began rolling along the counter.  Hitting the edge, she fell off, landing on the trashcan and sending it crashing across the floor.  The noise jolted Frank into action and he leaped forward, trying to grab her ankles as she scrambled across the cracked linoleum onto the cheap, threadbare carpet of the living room.   Emily crawled toward the front door but stopped when she looked back and noticed Tyler, who was beginning to stir on the kitchen floor.  She tried to yell for her brother but her bruised and swollen throat could only manage a weak moan.   Frank stormed into the living room.  As he approached Emily, she cocked her leg back and aimed a kick at his knee.  He jumped to the side, avoiding her strike, and pounced on her, pinning her to the carpet.  He leaned forward, inches from her face, and said, in a quiet, rage-filled voice, “Merry Christmas.” Frank leaned back and started swinging his fists at Emily’s head.  She did her best to block the blows but he kept on swinging, unleashing the rage upon her.  After a few moments, he stopped, out of breath, and looked back toward the kitchen.  Tyler was standing there, holding something triumphantly in his hand.   “Frank!  Let her go!  I’ll do it, I swear!” Tyler yelled, holding his hand out. Emily looked up, her face already starting to swell, and tried to focus on Tyler.  When she saw what he was holding in his hand, a realization hit her like a bucket of cold water.  She knew what he was about to do.  she knew and she believed.  Emily tried to yell at him to stop but all she could do was lay there and watch.  Frank, looking confused, stood to face the youngster.  Tyler held up a cookie for a few seconds and then yelled, “Take this, you son of a bitch!”  He then shoved the whole cookie in his mouth and started chewing vigorously.   Frank shook his head and said, “You are one fuckin’ weird kid.” as he began to move.   Tyler stood there, defiantly chewing as Frank closed in on him.  Just as Frank crossed over into the kitchen, a loud thud shook the house.  At first, Emily thought a car hit their house but as a thunderous roar pierced the night, she knew that Tyler had been correct, Satan Claus had arrived.   Frank, who had his fist raised to strike Tyler, turned and took a few steps toward the door, holding his ears.   The screams suddenly stopped.  There were a few seconds of silence, dead silence where the only sound you could hear was the beating of your heart.  And then the front door exploded.   Fragments of wood, glass, and metal shot through the air revealing a gruesome creature.  The creature filled the doorway, ducking down to enter the room.  It had a vaguely wolf-like face and large, pointed horns.  It wore a tight dirty red jacked trimmed in white fur on its apelike torso.   It stood on two massive legs that ended in cloven hooves that caused the ground to shake with every step.  It had long, wicked claws at the end of its elongated arms.  The strangest part was the almost comical undersized red hat that sat on the creature’s head.   Frank appeared dazed, dozens of small cuts along his face and arms.  He staggered forward as if he were going to push by the creature to leave.  The demon looked down at Frank as if amused then grabbed him by the neck.  It raised Frank high and then slammed him to the floor. Emily stumbled to her feet and ran to Tyler, who was slumped against the fridge.  The creature roared as it began to tear Frank’s chest open.  Emily grabbed Tyler by the shoulders and turned toward the backdoor when a body part, probably a leg, flew across the room and slammed into the wall next to it.  She then gathered Tyler up and ran down the hall to her mom’s bedroom, the only one with a lock on the door.

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Dec 25, 2020
Ep.62 – The Weather Outside is Frightful - There's a Blizzard and This Killer's Blood is Just as Cold!
00:23:58

Episode Notes

During a record breaking blizzard two cops answer a call that turns into more than they bargained for when they discover an ax weilding maniac hell bent on spreading Christmas fear!

The Weather Outside is Frightful by Shane Migliavacca

Buy the new book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcription:

It was the worst blizzard the city had seen in over a decade. In time the storm would be known as ‘The Christmas Eve Blizzard of ‘73’, but tonight it was just ‘the storm’.    

Patrolwoman Halsey Stone strained her eyes scanning the sidewalk as the radio car crawled down the street, her partner Officer Roy Soccorso at the wheel. This part of the city had been hit hard by the country's current financial stagnation… decaying buildings, junk piled on the side of the street, broke down cars left to rot in open lots… for Stone this was too much like the poverty she'd grown up around. 

Many of the large buildings were seemingly abandoned, but in truth whole families lived within their walls, as did the normal cast of junkies, drunks, and other shady characters. 

An anonymous caller had reported a woman screaming for help. They'd circled the block a few times, but come up with nothing. The blizzard had driven everyone indoors… between the strong gusts of wind and the visibility being shit, nobody in their right mind would be out here. But here they were, on Christmas Eve no less... not that either of them had anywhere else to be… Stone had left her family behind when she’d moved to the “big city.”, and her partner was estranged from his wife and daughter. 

Stone’s left hand clasped and unclasped her holster. Almost keeping a steady rhythm.

"Enough," snapped Soccorso.

"What?"

"With the holster kid."

Shit. She hadn't realized she'd been doing it. She could get lost in thought sometimes. "Sorry."

"This is just a bullshit call kid."

"Sure." 

Stone took off her uniform cap. She smoothed back some of her long blonde hair that obstinately refused to corporate. 

"What? You think there's something to this call? Probably just some junkie trying to steal a few bucks… or some asshole trying to stay warm by raping a bitc-" He stopped himself. His face reddened a little. "Sorry kid."

Stone adjusted her dirty blonde ponytail. Maybe he was right… 

"How long do you want this to go on?" Soccorso said.

"What? Your shitty attitude?"

"No Okie. Looking for our phantom suspect."

God she hated that. When somebody back at the precinct found out about her family coming from the Ozarks, one of the assholes had started calling her ‘Okie’. They'd got it from some old song, and it stuck like glue.

"You got somewhere to be?" She said, somehow making it sound like “fuck you”.

He shot her a look. "No, just think our time could be spent better."

She drummed her fingers on the dash. All she wanted to do was bounce Soccorso's head off the dash… the anger was always there, had always been there. Once it scared her, now it was a friend.

"You know what, Okie? I'm going to make it your call. Do we continue looking?"

Stone took a deep breath. "My choice? No bitching?"

"Your call."

Since she’d been a kid, she’d had a “feeling”… she could always tell when something bad was coming. Stone had that feeling now.

"Another time around. If there's nothing… we go."

"Okay. Fair enough."

Soccorso turned the corner, as outside the wind gusted. Stone could feel the car move a little pushed by the wind.

"We've been at this dance for almost a month now kid, I'm supposed to be training you… be your partner… and I know jack and shit about you."

That was the way she liked it. There was too much in her past. 

"What's there to know? I'm from Missouri."

"You should open up more. Hang out with some of us."

"Why? You guys constantly make fun of me… where I came from."

"That's just ribbing you… no different than any other rookie. You make it harder on yourself anyway, acting like a brat."

"Sorry I'm just not Miss Fun and Games."

The woman came out of the blanket of falling snow, running at their car screaming. There was blood on her hands and jacket. 

Soccorso swerved the car, and ended up in a snowbank. Stone was already undoing her seat belt. 

"Fuck! You okay kid?"

"Yeah."

The woman came running towards them. Stone started to open the door.

"Oh god, officer I'm so sorry." 

"Ma'am, take it easy. Is that your blood? Are you injured?"

She shook her head. "No." The woman was shaking. "His-his blood."

Soccorso tried getting his door open, but the snowbank wouldn't give as he slammed the door repeatedly against the packed snow. 

Stone took the panicked women towards their car.

"What's your name ma'am?"

"Dorothy. It's Dorothy."

"Okay Dorothy, I need you to get in the back of the car."

Dorothy hesitated.

"What? Why?"

"You'll be safe. Until we can get somebody to look at you."

Soccorso finally gave up on getting his door open. 

Dorothy slid in, and sat in the middle of the backseat. A steel mesh separated Dorothy from Soccorso. 

"You'll be safe here. Now can you tell me what happened Dorothy?"

Dorothy told her how she'd been cutting through the alleyway on her way home from the corner store when a large man had come out of a nook in the alley and chased after her. When she fell on the icy ground he grabbed her. Terrified she pulled a metal nail file from her purse, stuck it into his leg, and made her escape. 

Dorothy pointed to the alley across the street a little ways back.

"It was there."

"Thank you Dorothy." Stone said. "You’re very brave. My partner will take care of you until an ambulance arrives.” 

"I will?"

Dorothy looked up at Stone, perhaps sensing what was about to happen. "I looked into his eyes, officer… there was nothing inside."

Stone tied to reassure her. "It's going to be okay."

"Kid, don't even think-" Soccorso said.

She cut him off. "Call it in. Get back up."

Stone slammed the door shut before he could protest any more.

Stone took off down the street towards the alley Dorothy had indicated. 

This was it… that feeling of dread that she’d felt. Her heart felt like it was going to break free from her chest. 

She made it to the alley. He could still be here… nursing his wound she thought. Ultimately he wasn’t in the alley… but something was.

The nail file. He'd pulled it out… now he'd bleed more and make her job easier. Stone followed the blood down another alley and out on to a deserted street. 

She had never been much of a hunter. Her dad had tried to teach her, but her patience was lacking. He'd seemed so disappointed in her, but those times out in the woods with him, just walking, those were some of her favorite memories of growing up. 

But now her father was spending another Christmas in prison. She sighed.

From somewhere above, Christmas music drifted down. Hark the Herald Angels. 

The heavy snowfall was quickly covering the blood. 

Stone came out of the alley. She heard voices and a door close. 

She spun around, her gun at the ready. 

A young couple stood there holding Christmas gifts, a look of shock etched on their faces. Their little dog on a leash yelped at her.

The man raised his hands dropping the gifts.

"Have you seen anybody suspicious.. other than me… maybe bleeding?"

The dog continued yelping. The man pulled hard on its leash. "Shut up Mitzy." 

Stone wouldn't mind slamming the guy against the wall. 

"No, officer." 

"I need you both to go back inside. There's a dangerous and wounded man in the vicinity."

Stone crossed the street. The trail continued down the side of the street past a large abandoned building. Then it stopped. 

Ahead of her, Stone heard a loud metallic ‘clank’… like a metal door or lid closing. 

She regretted leaving Soccorso behind. “No” Stone thought, “This is where I show them what I can do”. 

She crouched. Slowly she peeked around the corner of the building until she had a full view of the small street that lay beyond. 

There, next to an abandoned theater, was a metal hatch set in the ground. Those led to basements Soccorso had told her. Stone, gun at the ready inched towards it. Snow had been brushed off… very recently. 

And there was a bloody handprint on the hatch. “Got you bastard” she thought!

She pulled a rag from her jacket. There was no way she was taking a chance of fucking up the evidence. 

Her service pistol ready, Stone pulled on the hatch. Locked… of course. She'd have to find another way in. 

Then she heard it… the rustle of wings. Stone looked up. 

Perched on a rusty metal railing was a large white owl. It stared at her with its large luminous eyes… eyes that looked into her. She stared at it transfixed. 

Then it struck her what it was sitting on… the railing of a fire escape!

She ran over and discovered the bottom of the escape’s ladder was just out of reach. Frantically she looked around for something she could use to get up there. 

And there it was, sitting against the far wall of an adjacent building. An old plastic chair. She carried the chair over, and on tiptoes she reached and pulled herself up. All that tree climbing as a kid paid off. 

The fire escape led to a locked second story metal door. Not far from it was a window set above a narrow ledge. She stepped over the metal railing, and on to the ledge.

The wind howled. She feared a really strong gust might blow her off her perch on the ledge. Her feet knocked snow free as she inched towards the window. 

Finally she made it to the window. Using the flashlight from her belt Stone smashed through the glass and climbed through the window into the dark interior. 

She played the beam of the flashlight over the floor and walls of what had once been an office. The broken glass crumbled underfoot as she made her way through the room. 

Stone crept into the hallway, and soon entered the main theater area. Paint was chipping off the walls, and the seats that hadn't been ripped out or defaced in some way were covered in years of dust. She headed towards the stage area. Her snow covered boots kicked up dust as she moved, leaving wet tracks on the dirty floor. Stone climbed onto the stage. 

An ugly looking green couch sat by itself at the center of the stage, the curtain pulled shut behind it. She opened the curtain and entered the backstage. 

Stones flashlight beam caught a blank white face. She almost pulled her trigger before she realized a mannequin stood before her. 

She walked past the expressionless mannequin. 

"Fuck you asshole."

There was a long dark hallway that led off the backstage area. Old mattresses were stacked in a haphazard pile, stained with god knows what. A musty smell permeated the air. 

A large wood wardrobe sat in the middle of the hall, rotting. Stone raised her weapon in her left hand, and reached out with her right. She yanked the door open, causing it to fall off in the process. Stone backed up… it was empty.

Continuing on, she passed  a pile of broken props and raggedy costumes on racks, before arriving at a metal staircase leading to the basement.

She headed down, the metal clanking under her boots. The basement hallway was lined with brick, and appeared to be in better shape then the walls up above. 

Another foul smell filled the air down here… the smell of something rotten.

A mattress lay on the floor. Next to it sat stacks of books and empty soup cans. Someone was living here. On the wall were taped to it were newspaper clippings and excerpts from books and magazines… all concerning ax murders. Above them, scrawled in blood it read: THE AXEMAN COMETH! 

“Oh great, he’s got a secret identity” 

At the far end of the room was a metal door. A large rusty chain was wound through the handles and secured with a padlock. 

Before she could reach for the door, something wet hit her face. Stone turned her beam upwards to see multiple severed arms hanging from large strands of butcher’s twine. 

Not thinking she bolted forward and crashed into the metal doors with all her might. The doors tore from their rusty hinges and crashed to the floor with Stone in tow.

She quickly sprung to her feet and swung her flashlight around the new room. Taped to the walls in various sizes were crosses made out of paper. She inspected one of the crosses on the wall closest to her to find it was made from Bible pages. At the far end of the room was some kind of demented altar made primarily of lashed together bones. A large metal cross stood at its center surrounded by a multitude of crimson candles which filled the surrounding air with acrid smoke. 

"I've taken their sin." A deep voice said from behind her.

Startled, Stone spun around to see a brute of a man covered in shoddy, blood stained clothes standing in the doorway cradling an ax in his arms as if it were a newborn baby. Around his right leg a rag was tied where he'd been stabbed by Dorothy.

"I cut it from their bodies."

"You killed them."

"Freed them. They died without sin."

He walked forward towards her with a limp.

"Freeze you mother fucker!" Stone barked, her voice trembling.  

He stopped in his tracks.

“I was chosen.” He held out the ax. “It chose me.”

"Shut up!” She didn’t want to hear his psycho sales pitch. “Put the ax on the ground and place your hands behind your head."

He stared at her as if not comprehending.

“I’ve been to another plane… ascended. I was sent back to do their work here.”

"Do it fucker!" Stone screamed, her anger getting the best of her.

He set the ax down tenderly, putting his hands together behind his head.

"Kneel."

He did as he was told with some effort.

She moved forward and kicked the ax away. She noticed before it’s flight that it was covered in strange symbols.The wind outside sounded like whispers in the air… calling her. 

"I can't help but notice you’re left-handed" he said.

This caught her off guard enough that the man was able to lunge at her legs with a pocket knife, catching her in the side of the right leg.  The .38 and the flashlight fell from her hands as she instinctively touched her wound. Stone retreated as painfully he stood and retrieved his ax.

"Do you know what it's like to die the painful death of a million screams in silence every day?"

Stone fell against the wall, leaving a trail of blood in her wake.

"Then they came to me. Angels. Took my pain. Gave me this ax. God teaches us with pain. That's how we become worthy of his love. Through pain."

He limped forward. Stone’s head began swimming wildly.

"Would you like to meet God?" he asked, raising the ax.

She felt the cold metal sticking in her leg. With all her remaining strength, and channeled anger, Stone pulled the knife from her wound. The pain was immeasurable. 

“You first!” Stone screamed.

She plunged the blade deep within his breast causing him to howl in agony. Stone pulled out the blade and brought it down again… and again… and again… until blackness took her.


She awoke to find the man in a fetal position, sobbing loudly.

Stone crawled forward and found her .38. The man started to slowly rise, using the ax to prop himself up.

"Don't you move." Stone said hoarsely.

"I could have helped you." 

He stood fully on shaking legs.

"I-I said don't move."

She took aim. Her arms felt like rubber.

"Cleanse the world of sin."

He limped towards her dragging the ax along the ground.

"Stop." She said, her voice breaking.

"You see it, don't you? See them… it’s in your eyes. In your soul.” He said reaching out for her with a bloody hand. 

Stone squeezed the trigger, firing a round into his chest and another into his forehead. His brains exited his head in a geyser of gore. He fell to his knees, the ax clattering to the ground. Then he fell forward… his body shuddered and lay still. The darkness took her once more.


Stone saw her parents playing with her as a child, followed by the great white owl, swooping down from the sky. It landed in a tree, watching her. It spoke to her… "Okie? Okie?"


"Okie? Okie?" Soccorso called from somewhere out in the hall.

"He-Here!" She said. Stone wasn't sure if he'd hear her.

He stumbled into the room.  "Hang on kid."

He put a hand over her wound, pressing tight.

"Back-up is coming. Stay awake okay?"

She grabbed his arm.

"God, my corns are killing me after tracking your damn ass all over town.”

"I'm dying, and your bitching about your feet?!!"

"Shut the fuck up, you’re not dying… they make them tough where you’re from, right Missouri."

She nodded and smiled.

“Well, Merry Christmas Missouri.”

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Dec 23, 2020
Ep.61 – Babes in Terrorland/Santa's Letters - A Blood Red Christmas is in Store for You!
00:31:27

Episode Notes

Tonight we have a DOUBLE FEATURE! Two wicked stories! One about a cute toy shop with a dark secret and another about someone who is playing a DEADLY GAME of Secret Santa...

Babes in Terrorland/Santa's Letters by Morgan Moore

Get the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P4ZF9LG/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_X.p2FbW448V8Z

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

Get Cool Merchandise http://store.weeklyspooky

Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

Contact Us/Submit a Story twitter.com/WeeklySpooky facebook.com/WeeklySpooky WeeklySpooky@gmail.com

This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

For everything else visit WeeklySpooky.com

Transcription:

Babes in Terrorland

As with many holiday seasons before it, parents and children flocked to Barron’s Toy Store, in the village of Greenseas. 

In the middle of the crowd was Justin Barron, a fourteen year old with an apron featuring a handsewn version of the store’s logo in the middle. Justin was staying with his grandmother, the owner of the store, for the holidays while his parents were away on a business trip. He was enlisted to lend a hand almost immediately upon his arrival with it being the store’s busiest time of the year. 

Justin could never understand how she managed it all on her own… but she had been doing it ever since his grandfather died a few years ago, and was managing it successfully somehow.

Justin moved around the store as best he could seeing how crowded the small store was. The building itself was an old brownstone with the store situated on the ground floor and Mrs. Barron’s home on the second floor. 

The store could become a claustrophobic nightmare when business was booming, but he managed stocking the shelves and helping out customers as best he could. 

By the time three o’ clock came around Justin was spent and was ready for the day to be over so he could finally get some rest. Those thoughts were interrupted when he laid eyes on Cathy Wilcox.

He had known her since fourth grade and had a crush on her that never faded. Justin always wanted to tell her how he felt, but he could never muster up the courage to do it. Somehow he could picture everything he wanted to say, but anytime he saw her it all vanished.

Justin felt himself beginning to melt as he kept looking at her. His face turned bright red and immediately Justin began to do some busy week around the area, trying to disguise the fact that he had been staring at her. 

Justin’s heart beat faster and faster as if somebody was pounding away on a drum, but that came to an immediate halt when he felt a gentle tap on his shoulder. He turned around and saw Cathy there.

“Hi Justin.” Cathy said sweetly.

“H-hi Cathy.” Justin stammered, his face feeling like it was on fire.

Cathy gave him an intimate smile, her blue eyes seeming to shimmer to Justin. “Mind if I ask you a question?”

Uh-oh Justin thought. She’s gonna chew me out for looking at her, and in the middle of the store too. Everybody’s going to think I’m some perv. “Sure.” Justin responded after a brief pause.

“Could you help me and my sister real quick?”

What a relief Justin thought. “Oh, yeah, for sure. What do you guys need?” He asked, she then began to walk away down an aisle, Justin followed close behind her.

“My sister found something she wants but I can’t reach it and neither can she. I saw you and thought I’d ask you to bring it down for me, since your so tall and all.” Cathy explained.

“Ohhhh. Yeah I should be able to get it for you.” Justin replied with a smile.

Cathy returned the smile. Man she’s sooooo cute Justin thought as they kept walking beside one another.

The two eventually got to their location and joined Cathy’s sister Janet. Upon seeing Justin and the apron identifying him as a store employee, Janet pointed upwards towards the top of the shelf she was standing at.

“That one please.” Janet asked Justin.

Justin looked up to where the child pointed and saw a clown doll. The doll had been in the store ever since he could remember. It had a wooden head and hands and was dressed in a hand sewn outfit colored silver and blue. A jester hat adorned it’s head; bells dangling down playfully. 

Justin had always thought it looked creepy, and other people must have thought the same thing, as the doll had been around the store ever since he was a child. But maybe, finally, someone had found the doll appealing and wanted to give it a home.

Justin smiled and reached up, just barely able to get to the doll. He got a grip on it and brought it down, handing it gently to the little girl.

“Here you go.” Justin said.

Janet smiled as she held and stared at the doll. Cathy turned to Justin and gave him a big smile, he returned it in kind.

“I want him!” Janet responded energetically as she held the clown doll up to the two.

“How much is it?” Cathy asked Justin.

“I’m not sure, it doesn’t look like it has a tag on it. Let’s ask my grandma.” Justin said.

They arrived at the register, to find Justin’s grandmother smiling at the three. “There you are Justin, what cute friends you have there” she said. Cathy blushed lightly at the comment.

“Hey grandma,how much is this? There’s no tag on it or even a sign on the shelf it was on.”

His grandmother’s smile turned to a slight frown. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry. That doll isn’t for sale. I only keep it on the shelf for decoration.” She explained as sweetly as possible.

“But I want it.” Janet told her. “Are sure you’re not able to sell it?” Cathy asked.

“Unfortunately I am dear. My husband made the doll many years ago for Justin’s mother, and it has too much sentimental value for me to sell it… it’s been watching over the store for years” Justin’s grandma explained to the three.

Janet frowned, tears starting to well up. 

Justin smiled a little bit at the two and at his grandma. “It’s alright. I’ll put him back.” Justin said. He then made a motion with his head for Cathy and Janet to follow him.

The three of them made their way back to the aisle. Janet looked utterly devastated that she couldn’t have the doll, and Cathy looked equally saddened for her sister. 

Once they got back to the aisle, Justin put the doll back up. He then turned to Cathy with a small grin. She tilted her head in confusion.

“What is it? Why are you grinning like that.” She asked him.  “Because, I know of a way to get the doll for Janet.” He explained. Janet’s face brightened up at once. “Really?! How?!” Justin moved a bit closer to Cathy so that he could talk to her in semi privacy, Janet frowning when she realized what was going on.

“My grandma is going out to a party tonight and I’ll be alone for hours. Come on by around eight  and I’ll let you in. We can get the doll then.” He explained to her.

“But she’ll notice won’t she?” Cathy asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. Just be here by eight.” 


Later that night Justin made his way downstairs to the store,and opened the front door to find Cathy and Janet standing there. Justin frowned a tiny bit as the two girls made their way inside.

“Why’d you bring your sister?” He asked, doing his best to hide his disappointment that it wasn’t just Cathy.

“She wanted to come and I couldn’t get her to stay home without spilling the beans. I told my parents I was going out with friends and she threatened to tell them what was really going on.” Cathy explained.

“I mean it isn’t entirely untrue. You are hanging out with a friend.” Justin said with a small smile.  “I’m going!” Janet blurted out and ran towards the aisle with the doll.

“How are you going to explain this to your grandma?” Cathy asked as she walked past a display of a toy war scene.

“Oh. I’m going to tell her I ordered a pizza and just forgot to lock the door on my way back up. I’ll take some money out of the register and hide a few other toys, maybe knock some displays over to make it look like somebody broke in and robbed the place.” He explained.

“That’s pretty clever. Mean… but clever.” She responded as she stopped by the register, Justin stopping in front of her.

“Hey what can I say.” Justin said.

Cathy smiled a bit as she fiddled with some small toys by the register. She looked around and then returned her gaze to Justin. “Why are you doing this for us? Why are you risking getting in trouble?”

His mind raced at a million miles an hour, trying to figure out how to explain why he was so willing to help her sister out. No, help her out. Before he could give it any more thought he blurted out his response.

“It’s because I like you I've always liked you I think you’re sweet and cute, and I just wanted to help because I like you and thought maybe you’d like me back if I did it!”

He gasped for breath. 

Justin closed his eyes and took several deep breaths, eventually regaining control of his breathing. After a few brief minutes he opened his eyes, finding that Cathy was staring at him, her mouth dropped open some and eyes wide. 

Dread filled Justin, his heart beating harder and harder. Oh no, she’s gonna leave and never speak to me again and tell everybody I’m a loser and freak.

But she surprised him by smiling at him, warmly and widely. Justin slowly smiled back. They brought their faces close to one another, only a hairs breadth apart.

The scream that ripped through the air put an end to that.

“Janet!” Cathy called out and rushed off towards the location the scream emanated from, Justin following in her wake.

The duo arrived to find Janet laying on the floor screaming and crying in agony, her eye sockets bleeding profusely. As for the former residents of those yawning black holes, they were in the hands of the clown doll. The toy turned its head and looked at them. 

Justin and Cathy bolted from the aisle, the clown doll right behind them. As they ran down the aisles Cathy shrieked as other toys began to spring from the shelves and joined the hunt.

Stuffed bears and lions pawed at them with vicious claws that sprang from their plush paws as metal model cars pelted down on the teens like rain, leaving bruises and cuts. 

Justin managed to grab a baseball bat from a nearby barrel and started swinging away, as Cathy grabbed a stick horse and did the same. The two sent toys flying left and right, but more and more came forth.

Soon Justin and Cathy found themselves surrounded. They continued to swing away, but soon the terror toys grabbed their weapons and pulled them away, leaving the pair defenseless. 

Justin and Cathy looked at each other and took hold of each others hand, ready to accept their doomed fate.

The store lights came alive and bathed everything in a warm fluorescent glow, causing the pair to start. 

“Oh no, look at this mess.” the voice of Justin’s grandmother rang out. The older woman looked around at all of the toys, who now looked back at her. She stopped a few feet away from the rattled teens.

“Grandma! W-what’s going on!? Why are you home!?” Justin spat out in a mix of confusion and anger.

“And why did they attack us and… my sister… my god, Janet!” Cathy started but soon stopped as she succumbed to raw grief.

The senior shook her head and sighed. “I suppose I should explain. You see these toys, all of them, they come alive every nightfall.”

“B-but why… how!? ” Justin demanded.

“Justin, dear, your grandfather...your grandfather made them that way. Business hasn’t been the same for years, not since that damn department store opened up. Then when we learned your grampa didn’t have long left… he was afraid of what would happen to the store… to me. It was his opinion that without any help the store would have to shut down, so he decided to create some help.

Your grandfather had come across a strange scroll during the war, in a bombed out toy store… a store he swore was filled with screaming, burning toys. You can guess the rest. These toys have been cleaning, stocking, and providing security… as you have seen… here ever since. These wonderful toys, they’re loyal and always have been… always will be. 

Justin and Cathy were taken aback. They believed it all, after-all how could they not. But something still bothered them.

“Oh thank god! We’re safe then!” Cathy told them. The two smiled as they looked at each other and then at Justin’s grandma. But the frowns faded as they saw that the elder in front of them was grim.

“G-grandma…” Justin started with a shaky voice.

“I’m sorry love. But you were trespassing. You know I don’t like you coming down here at night, to say nothing of your friend here and her sister. The store was closed. Besides...they don’t move during the day, but they can still hear. When I left for the party they told me about your little plan. That’s why I came back early.”

“You mean you’re going to turn us into the police?” Cathy asked.

“No. Unfortunately for you two, I leave all security matters up to them. Your fate is up to them and I believe I know what they will do with you.” She explained. 

The toy soldiers from the war scene filed in, aiming their guns at the teenagers. Justin and Cathy’s faces displayed pure and utter terror.

With that Justin’s grandmother left and made her way to the stairs. She looked over at the two again and shook her head and sighed. Then, with a flick of her wrist she turned off the lights to the store. 

A stream of sharp ‘BANGS’ filled the store.

Santa Letters

Every year millions of children send letters to Santa Claus, expressing their wishes of what they hope will be under their tree come Christmas day. 

But, what if somebody used those letters for a not so joyful purpose? It has happened and the following is purported to be the true account of those events. This is the case of the ‘Circleville Santa Letter Murders’.

In 1978, the citizens of the small Ohio town of Circleville were beginning their Christmas season like any other; planning the December holiday while eating Thanksgiving dinner, making travel arrangements, and all the other hullabaloo that comes with the impending season. 

While the adults were occupied, the children of Circleville were planning as well; once more taking up the job of writing letters to inform Old Saint Nick of their Yuletide desires. Even the local schools were caught up in the fun, setting up small deposit mailboxes for the kids to place letters in.

All was well in Circleville as December came and Christmas magic filled the air even more than it already had throughout November. Everything was peace and joy... unfortunately that was all about to change.

In the early morning of December seventh, ten year old Dylan Jones was delivering papers for the Circleville Herald like he always did. When he reached the house of Joe and April Robinson he was about to be greeted with a horrendous site. 

Jones went around back to deliver the paper as he always did when he discovered the mutilated body of five year old Mary-Kate Robinson, a letter to Santa Claus nailed to her forehead. The boy screamed so loud that almost the entire neighborhood was jarred awake and came rushing to the scene. 

Police questioned the family, friends, teachers, everybody within the small community to try and figure out any clues and leads as to who may have committed this horrible crime, but no answers emerged. Unfortunately for the town it was not the end of this tragedy.


On December twelfth around twelve o'clock in the afternoon, eight year old Michael Stollings was on his way to the park to meet up with a group of friends. At two o’clock his friends called Michael’s house and informed his parents that he had never showed. Immediately the Stollings phoned the police, worried about their son, the fate of the Robinson girl foremost in their minds.

It wasn’t long before the police found Michael, much like Mary-Kate Robinson; dead with his body mutilated and a letter to Santa Claus nailed to his forehead.


The next day sheriff Patrick o’Kyle held a press conference in which he vowed to put a stop to this chaos. Curfews were put in place to make sure children of all ages were home by five o’clock at night, and the youngsters were also advised to travel together in groups. Soon things looked to be improving and a week went by without anything happening. That was soon to change.


December twentieth was another quiet day. 

Fred and Darlene Brooks headed out for a long overdue date night, leaving fifteen year old Tonya Wisecup in charge of their children. 

The pair returned home at close to midnight to find their home bathed in darkness. Upon entering the house the two noticed a smell they later said reminded them of rotting meat. They didn’t think much of it as they had recently been battling with raccoons getting stuck in the attic and dying. Tired and tipsy the Brooks went to bed, assuming that their babysitter was down in the basement asleep, spending the night as she tended to when she had school the next day.

When they awakened the following morning, the couple went downstairs to check on Tonya and see if she had indeed stayed overnight. What they discovered was nothing short of a bloodbath. Their children; John, Laura, Victoria were all dead… letters nailed to their heads, but this time there was a chilling new twist; a limb from each child was placed under the small Christmas tree set up in the basement.

As for Tonya, she laid discarded on the floor, cut from neck to groin and left to bleed out.


Later that day the city announced a new curfew for all residents, stating everyone in town must be home and have their businesses closed by four p.m.. Sheriff o’Kyle also advised residents take extra precautions to keep their homes locked and defended. 

The city became a ghost town come four o’clock. The chimes of clocks that rang the curfew hour ushered in eerie quiet. December twenty second and twenty third came and went with no incidents, but the town remained firmly on guard.

The morning of December twenty fourth came with no surprises as well. It was a dreary winter day; the gloom and holiday cheer mixing together like cold and warm fronts.

Circleville had started to loosen up slightly, something not hard to do considering it was Christmas Eve. The curfew was still in effect, but that seemed to almost add to the magic of the holiday as families stayed bundled in together,celebrating in warm homes that stood in contrast to the cold outside.  

Night came and the hours drifted along. It seemed that perhaps these terrible crimes were at an end. 

Christmas morning came and the police who had stood guard in the city streets throughout the night started to head back to the station, ready to go home to their own families to celebrate. But before anybody could leave a call came in. Somehow the killer had struck again, right under their noses. Twice.

The first victim was ten year old Jackson Devins who was found dead in his bedroom by his parents, his window pried open. At the same time police also discovered the body of six year old Addison Fergurson who’s body was found in a shed in her family’s backyard.

This sent the town over the edge into a full blown frenzy. Who was responsible for all of these deaths? How could anybody have broken into the homes and committed the crimes without being caught? Who was next?

Police set up barricades to close off the town and began a city wide manhunt, joined by the town’s residents. 

All day they searched, and the next day, and the next. For a solid week they searched, but no leads arose and no culprit was found. 

The new year came and it seemed that, finally, there was peace. No murders had been committed since Christmas, and law enforcement officials theorized that there would be no more incidents since the season was over. 

On January tenth Circleville held a citywide memorial service in honor of the victims and has held a similar service every Christmas Eve since.

These murders left many questions, all starting with who the murderer was. Upon reflection, they stated that they believed the murderer, due to the use of the letters the children wrote to Santa Clause, had to work for either the postal service or the school. As such the police conducted mass interviews for all post office and school employees.

While everybody interviewed seemed on edge, nobody stood out as being a psychopathic killer. As the weeks rolled on the case began to go cold. Without conclusive evidence to form any leads, the city and police made the controversial decision to stop the investigation.

1979 continued on, the tragedy still hanging over the town of Circleville like the spectre of death. 

People slowly started to return to what they could call a “normal” life, with only hushed whispers of the “The Santa Letter Murders.” remaining. 

Months went by and soon it was November. The Christmas spirit began to grow in the town once more, but it was tempered by fears of a new murder spree possibly arising.

In preparation, Circleville schools announced they would not put up letter boxes for kids this year as a safety precaution. The post office took action as well; stating that any letters addressed to Santa Claus would go straight to the police for protection. Everything that the town could think of they implemented, hoping to avoid another year of mayhem.

December 1979 began and ended with no murders. This left everyone baffled. Why did the killer not strike again? What was it about this year compared to the last to make him or her not lash out? 

Perhaps the crimes would be nothing more than a freak event, an unsolved mystery like so many others. That feeling continued into the next year, and for the next, and on and on.

To this day nobody knows who could have been behind the murders. 

Christmas in Circleville was never quite the same, but the years dulled the fear somewhat, and the police allowed the post office to accept letters to Santa once more… but did not allow the school to re-open their drop box. 

The same question always pops up; who did it? While law enforcement never did name a suspect or conduct any arrests, o’Kyle later said that he had a theory of the murderer’s identity. 

He suspected that elementary school teacher Linda Morrison was the killer after discovering her dead from suicide in January 1980. His reasoning was based on the fact that she was the one responsible for handing the letters to the post office in 1978. 

It was his belief that she made photocopies of the letters before delivering them. As for how she would have selected her victims, o’Kyle claimed that she did so based on which children in the school were receiving discipline for bad behavior. 

However there was no concrete evidence.

Perhaps it was Morrison, trying to enact a form of discipline on the children who acted out and the parents who raised their children to act as such. Though perhaps it was a disgruntled post office employee. Maybe it was somebody else who worked at one of the schools. Some theories suggest it was o’Kyle himself or another person within law enforcement. 

Doubtless, no one will ever know for sure. 

All that is known is that the fear lingers in the cool, crisp winter air that one day, the devilish deliverer will once again return, bringing Christmas terror to the town.

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Dec 16, 2020
Ep.60 – Welcome to Tiny Christmas, Iowa! - The Secret Santa Here is DEADLY
00:34:39

Episode Notes

An overworked business woman takes a new job in the midwest winter wonderland town of Tiny Christmas, Iowa. As her Christmas spirit starts to warm up like a hot cup of cocoa something isn't quite right and giftwrap isn't all that's hiding things.

Welcome to Tiny Christmas, Iowa! by Michelle Adler

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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This episode sponsored by HenFlix.com

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Transcription:

I let out a sigh as my Uber passed the "Now Entering Tiny Christmas Iowa" sign. "According to the sign it's the Tiniest most Christmasiest place in all of Iowa!" My Uber driver Ajeet chuckled, sensing my displeasure.  "I'm sure it's just as Christmasy as all fuck" I say, trying to come off cheery and almost succeeding until that curse word at the end. I lied on my interview.  I hate Christmas, I hate the midwest, the only thing I know about Iowa is that it’s a Slipknot album, and I have never designed a window display in my life. I am just an unemployable, grumpy, freelance graphic designer from New York City, trying to find any work that isn’t stocking shelves at a grocery store.  To be honest, I didn’t realize the position was out of state until after I’d applied. I’d initially intended to turn the job down as I’d never had any desire to live anywhere other than the city that never sleeps. The high-rise condos, rats, street vendors, homeless people on every street corner, bodegas also on every corner, and constant bustle are things I’ve lived for, but at this point, maybe it’s time to stop pretending I could make it in NYC anymore.  It wasn’t like I had a support system either. No family left and no friends to speak of.  I hadn’t even been on a date in the last two years. My social life revolved mostly around my interactions with my landlord, none of which were pleasant.  I heard that she was so happy I was leaving apparently she even threw me a goodbye party.. After I left. I lived for my work, but things had been so hard lately. Maybe It was time for me to give up.  Maybe it was time for me to start over. “Ma’am, that’s all good and fine, but we’re here.”  Ajeet said while simultaneously unlocking the doors. I hadn’t realized we’d even stopped… or that I was talking outloud.  I guess it had been awhile since I’d been around other people.   I started to open the door before even looking at where I was. When I did, I pulled it back shut. “This can’t be right,”  I mumbled, fumbling for my phone to pull up the address I’d been given.  I was sure I was supposed to be in front of a house, my new house, or, I don’t know, anything, but instead we sat in a desolate parking lot on the outskirts of what was hopefully the correct town at least. Though it looked anything but Christmassy. In front of me, bloomed an industrial complex with a small collection of seemingly long abandoned warehouses and factories.  I felt a jolt of fear ping through my body.  It was quiet here, too quiet. Quiet enough for me to be raped and murdered without anyone noticing.  “This is as far as I can take you,” I jumped as I realized Ajeet was already grabbing my luggage from the trunk. “What? Why?” So no murder then? “It’s a small town and a beautiful day.  Why not take a nice stroll through town on your way? I think the farmer’s market goes till 3..” He dodged. “No.. I-I don’t want to walk and it’s 30 degrees!” I said while repositioning the luggage he’d removed back into the uber,  “I just want you to finish driving me. What’s the big deal, it’s your job for christ’s sake!” Ajeet paused. “Listen, I don’t go in there. Tiny Christmas is not a town for people like me” He pointed to his turban.  “They’re racist…?” “I don’t know what you want to call it, but I just don’t want to spend the afternoon stuck there while they try to convert me… again.  Last time I didn’t even get to take a lunch break and I’m really hungry today, so you’re on your own.” He said as he finished re-removing my luggage. “Like I said, small town, very friendly, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding the place.” “W-well, I personally respect the Islamic religion” I chased him as he walked back around to the drivers side door and pulled it open, “I’ll even buy you lunch, how’s that?!” “Nope. Therapist said I need to start defining my boundaries or people are going to walk all over me for the rest of my life, “He slammed the door and pressed the lock down, “Enjoy your stay in Tiny Christmas, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.” With that he and his Nissan Altima, pulled out of the lot. “Wait! You can’t be serious!!” “And I’m Sikh, you asshole!” He called back as he sped away. I stood there shivering in the cold, confused and becoming increasingly angry at my predicament. “No, you’re the asshole,” I grumbled as I grabbed my luggage and resigned myself to walking into town.  As I’d mentioned before, I was basically left to fend for myself in an abandoned wasteland.  A beautiful young woman such as myself should not have to subject herself to such a dangerous situation.  I pushed through the dystopian scenery with a confident stride, preparing myself for whatever unsavory situation lay ahead of me.  However when I finally rounded the last warehouse, I was not prepared for what I saw.  Ahead of me, across a set of train tracks, lay the most adorable little downtown I had ever laid my eyes on.  As I walked onward the air became filled with the scent of pine, cinnamon, and roasted chestnuts.  The streets were packed with happy looking townsfolk, each one going out of their way to say hello as I passed. And Ajeet was right, there was a farmers market!  As nice as this all was, I have to admit I was a little uncomfortable with the level of friendliness and Christmas I was experiencing. I felt a bit of guilt well up inside me for not immediately being drawn into the merriness. I managed to brush it off quickly, though.  I wasn’t wrong, they were the ones that were wrong. As I slowly became increasingly annoyed at the pleasantries I happened upon a coffee shop. “Welcome to Christmas Coffee!” An overweight elderly woman hollered in an alarmingly cheery tone as the door jingled closed behind me. "Would you be able to point me in the direction of 616 Pine St?" I am an unemployed graphic designer with no chit chat skills. "Oh! I know who you are! You're the new window display coordinator from the big city!"  "Well yes, and I'm running late--" "Oh sweetie, you look just about chilled to the bone! Did some ethnic cab driver refuse to take you the whole way?" She asked. I wondered how common of a thing that was. "Here you go," she poured a cup of coffee and slid it to me "free coffee, on the house! I'm Amanda by the way." I took the coffee avoiding her outstretched arm, "that's really very nice of you, I'll be sure to stop back when I'm settled, but I'm running late right now, so.." Yeah, I was never coming back. "Oh right, 616 Pine was it? Make a left then it's two blocks down. You couldn't even miss it if you wanted to!" I thanked her and sped out the door before she could continue to waste my time. I took a sip of the coffee as I walked out into the holiday pandemonium and stopped dead as the warmth hit my tongue. This was... the best cup of coffee I'd ever had in my life. It was rich and full bodied with notes of cinnamon, allspice, and honey. It brought back a flood of childhood memories. Drinking hot chocolate after school as my mother brushed the snow out of my hair, watching movies huddled by the fire, my mothers warmth as she rocked me to sleep. God, I missed her. If only, I thought, I could have something like that again in a real, non coffee based sense.. Wait, what was I thinking? I am a powerful, competent, unemployed graphic designer.  I’d never wish for a family, I convinced myself, brushing the tears from my eyes.  I went to take another sip of coffee, but I was beginning to feel nauseous, so instead I dropped it in the next available garbage can. Amanda was right, this place was hard to miss. Two blocks down was almost a full mile away and basically in the woods. The quant tutor with 616 scrolled across the door was the only building on the entire street. As I walked up the driveway, I realized how eerily quiet it had become. I hadn’t seen a single car pass me in the last half mile.  I shivered as the wind whipped up, this was the perfect place for an unsuspecting young woman to be raped and murdered. I was all alone.. No wait, I was being watched. “Well hello there, Rachel!” I jumped as the door of the house popped open to reveal a smiling middle aged man in a suit. “Oh. oh, hi…” I tried to collect myself, “You must be--” “Correct! I’m Jake from the agency, so glad you were able to find your way here! I was getting a little worried that you hadn’t been able to find a ride into town.”  “Funny you should say that---” “Anyway, this is the place!” He cut me off, holding the door open beckoning me inside. The interior, despite having a certain charm, was covered in a layer of dust and white sheets. The air had a musty quality that signaled that this place had been long forgotten. I sighed, I do not like cleaning.  “As mentioned earlier,” he continued, “it’s $250/month and you’re responsible for paying all utilities as well as any yard work or snow removal that needs to be done. Also, I think there are Christmas lights in the basement so you won't even need to buy any to decorate.” “I won’t be needing them, but thank you, I just want to settle in.” “Oh,” He seemed crushed, “Well, they’re there in case you change your mind.  It would probably go a long way to making the place feel like home.” “Umm thanks… well, how long has it been vacant?” I slid my fingers through the dust on the fireplace mantle and almost gagged at the many years of dead skin cells. “‘Bout five years, I think?” “That’s.. Why so long?” “I couldn’t really tell you, I’m just a real estate agent, I don’t own it or anything,” He shrugged. “Oh.” “Well, I mean, if I had to guess, maybe it was the murders.” “Murders?” I parrotted. See! I knew I was going to be raped and killed! “Sorry, I misspoke, disappearances is what I mean. It’s not really murder without a body.” Jake said matter of factly, “But anyway, that was a long time ago and I heard that tenant was like, really into meth, so it was likely drug related.” “Wait, didn’t you say---” “Anyway, here are the keys,” He handed them to me while also turning the doorknob “You should be good to go! Have a wonderful life in Tiny Christmas!” And with that he was already halfway down the walk. “...Murders?”

I had an unremarkable first night despite wondering just how many “disappearances” Jake had accidentally inferred. I tried not to concentrate on it too much, I was starting my new job the next morning after all.

Holidays And More! occupied the largest building in town. It was two floors of highly polished marble and glass. The first floor held the perfect area for a window display, but was currently empty. “This will be my canvas,” I thought.  I put my hand up to the glass wistfully only to have it slapped from the otherside of the glass by a burly man with a beard.  I jumped back and he let out a chuckle and motioned me to come inside. “I’m Mr. Santan the general manager,” The burly man explained, giving me a firm handshake. “Great to meet you in person. Thank you so much for the job.” “We’re just so pleased you accepted it.  The entire board was unanimous in the decision to hire you. Your plan for a Christmas display that gets us back to our roots is genius!”  “Thank--” Before I could finish he pulled me in for a hug. “Say no more, Ms. Adler, we’re just so happy we can add you, another true believer of the magic of Christmas, to our wonderful family!” He said while patting me on the back. I recoiled slightly and he seemed to catch my discomfort and let me go.  “Sorry, I just love Christmas so much, I get carried away sometimes.” “Thats… I just, I should probably get to work, right?” I deflected. “Oh, of course!  There’s only two weeks till the big reveal after all. I’m sure every second counts.”  Mr. Santan led me over to my workspace and introduced me to my assistant, Tom Thompson, a tall and slightly too handsome man in a red vest. I felt.. Uncomfortable looking at him for too long, like I might, I don’t know, blush if I did?  “You know Tom, you could take notes from Ms. Adler here,” Mr. Santan said before leaving, “Up your holiday game a little and maybe you’ll be the next one promoted!” Tom looked towards me and let out a little sigh, “Yes sir.”

On that first day, we spent most of our time going through boxes, taking inventory of what supplies the store already had so I’d know what we would need to buy. “So,” I broke the silence, “Mr. Santan wants you to up your holiday game, eh?” “Yeah, I guess he’s noticed I haven’t been my normal cheery self for that last.. Couple years” He seemed as surprised by that timeline as I did. “That’s a long time not to be happy.” Like I’d know what happy was.  I was a weirdly employed graphic designer caught in what was increasingly feeling like a low budget Christmas movie. “I guess so, I just haven’t been myself since my wife died.” Ohh, he was single and not even the divorced kind!  Widowed, the good kind of single! I stopped going through the box of christmas lights, my hands were shaking. “Yeah, it was really tragic. She hit a deer..”  He was going on about his dead wife, but all I could concentrate on was my own heartbeat as it began to speed up.  Why did I care if this guy was single? What was happening to me? I concentrated on regaining my composure.  I just needed to take it easy. This had been a big move, a huge change, and I’d lost my bearings. It was perfectly reasonable that I would feel confused and even want to fit in. Things would get less weird once I was used to my surroundings.  “...and that’s when we took her off life support.” Oh god, he was still going, “I just don’t think I’ll ever really love anyone again, you know?” “I get it, but you’re young, you’ll meet someone again when you’re ready.” I tried to console.  He blushed slightly. “You’re a really good listener, you know? Hey! Would you like to come over for dinner on Sunday? We make a big meal after church so it’s always nice to have some extra company.” “Oh no, no, I don’t want to impose, we don’t really know each other and--” “Please? Think of it as me repaying your kindness for letting me dump all my problems on you like this.” He begged. “Well, when you put it that way, sure.”

After a relatively uneventful week, I awoke from a particularly weird nightmare at 3am Saturday morning to the sound of talking. Frustrated and groggy, I did what any good New Yorker would.  I pushed the window open with a level of violence that this house had probably never seen and leaned out into the dark. “Shut the fuck up or I’ll fucking come down there murder you!” I yelled, the, slammed the window shut, and lay back down. It was quiet for a minute, but then, was that chanting? By that point my complete consciousness had returned and I realized that I was no longer in an apartment, I was in a house.  I was in a completely isolated house. No one should be outside.  I lay there in silence, trying to get a grasp on what I was hearing. Chanting? Crying? Maybe it was a wild animal, I thought. I’d heard foxes kind of sound like people. I honestly didn’t want it to be people or animals, both seemed like they could be dangerous and for the first time since the day I’d moved in, I considered what the word “disappearances” could possibly mean.  After what may have been hours the strange noises dissipated, but I did not sleep for the rest of the night. In the morning, I decided maybe I would put up those Christmas lights. The house had no exterior lighting at all and seeing as it had sat unoccupied, there was a chance someone could still think it was vacant and try to break in.. if the noises I’d heard were people anyway.  If it was foxes or wolves or something, the light should deter them too. Despite being opposed to my core beliefs, I’d do it for my safety. I found a box with one whole strand of lights in it in the basement. Just enough to do the awning out front.  I figured it was better than nothing and it also meant I didn’t have to spend all day putting them up, so win win. There was however, another box in the basement.  I’d thought it was more Christmas decorations originally since there was a piece of garland at the top, but when I brought it upstairs I realized that what I had really found was a gun. A shotgun of some sort, to be more specific. Along with it was a little box with just a few bullets in it, seven, I counted.  I’d never really handled a gun before and felt conflicted about realizing that it had been in the house with me for the last week. Who’s was it and why would they leave it, anyway?  Shit, for all I knew, all houses in Iowa came with guns.  After some careful contemplation and youtube videos, I decided to keep it by the door, loaded, in case I did end up running into whatever I had heard the night prior. When I heard the noises again that night, I at least managed to convince myself I could protect myself and got the smallest bit of sleep. By the time Tom came to pick me up on Sunday, I was already exhausted and a little jumpy. “You look tired, are you ok?” He asked as I fastened my seatbelt. His genuine concern made my heart feel all warm for some reason. “Yeah, just insomnia.” “I used to have that real bad when Joanne first died.  It’s hard being in that house all alone, huh?” “Not really. Why would it be hard?”  “I just guess I find being alone really difficult. Everyone needs someone to hold at night.” He informed me. Was he suggesting he wanted to hold me at night?  We arrived at his parents' lovely little colonial only a few minutes later.  I may have neglected to say this, but he’d been living with his family since his wife died.  I thought it was a little weird, but I also knew grief could really mess up a person, so it was better I didn’t judge.  Anyway, the house was all decked out in a literal ton of blinking christmas lights, outside and in. It was really too distracting and tacky for my taste. His mom and dad hugged me immediately as we entered and thanked me for taking such good care of their son. Did they think we were a couple?  Did I want us to be a couple? What? No! We had a nice dinner and his family told me stories about what Tom was like growing up. After dinner they wanted to sing Christmas carols so his mom gathered us around the piano as his father played. I don’t know any full carols, but I managed to stumble through alright. We laughed a lot. It was.. It was really nice to feel like I was part of something again. It made me miss my parents terribly.  I wanted so much to feel safe and loved like that again. Maybe, I thought, just maybe the Thompsons could be my new family. Maybe this place could be my new something to be a part of. We kissed my driveway before I got out of the car.  He told me he was falling for me. Maybe I was falling for him too.

I woke up in pure panic at 3am. I wasn’t even aware of why I was so scared for a minute until the events of the evening came back to me.  Something was terribly wrong with me. And the noises were back.

The next week was crunch time. We had to make this display the most wonderful the town had ever seen. We could do it, I knew we could. Tom and I spent most of our waking hours together making sure everything was perfect for the big reveal on Friday night. Well, he spent most of his waking hours, I mean. He was probably sleeping, I was still hearing those weird noises. However, I was beginning to think that living in the country just meant hearing unexplained sounds at night. It was nothing to worry about and I had that gun just in case, which I’d decided to leave by my front door indefinitely. Plus, Tom and I were considering moving in together, so he would be able to protect me. Everything was ok. Everything was better than expected. Friday went wonderfully. Mr. Santan praised us both and offered me a permanent position which I gladly accepted.  I invited Tom over that evening to celebrate. “So are you going back to NYC for Christmas?” He asked me as we cuddled on the couch. Christmas was just five days away, wasn’t it? “Nah, I’m just gonna get some Chinese food and watch movies.” “That sounds really sad, Rachel, you should come over to my house. We always decorate our tree on Christmas eve then we do presents in the morning. You can sleep over, it’ll be fun!” He suggested. “My family loves you, so I’m sure they’d be so happy to have you.” “That sounds really nice, but actually, I think I just want to take it easy.” “Oh.” His expression fell. “No, it’s not like that, but I’ve…” I needed to be honest with the man I loved, “I’ve been lying to you. I’m not..” There was that chanting again. “Lying?” He asked, but then saw the fear on my face. “What’s wrong?” “Do you hear that? What is that?” I said in a whisper, my voice shaking. Tom listened for a second.  “The singing? That’s carolers isn’t it?” I held my breath to try to ascertain what I was hearing.  It was getting closer this time. Tom was right.  It was people singing. “Carolers” I breathed. “Yup, the weekend before Christmas they go out and sing at people’s houses.  Didn’t you have that in New York?” I shook my head. Had this been what I was hearing the whole time? Carolers practicing somewhere? “It sounds like they’re right outside.” I jumped as the doorbell rang, but convinced myself it was ok to answer it. Outside were seven of the townsfolk decked out in Christmasy attire. As soon as they saw me they began to sing. I wasn’t familiar with the song, but it was just so beautiful that tears started coming to my eyes. Here I’d been all worked up about people singing Christmas songs. This wasn’t NYC, nothing was going to try to hurt me here, no one had been anything but kind to me. I stood in the doorway listening for a long time, just taking in the joy. I let the New Yorker part of me fade. It was ok now, I was ok. Maybe I should go get some money for them or something, I thought. That was the least I could do for this kind of spiritual awakening, right?  I was about to turn around to find my purse when something stopped me.  I stopped me. What the fuck was I doing? I was a savvy fucking new yorker, I didnt need this dumb shit. This wasn’t even what I wanted..at all. What was I even doing with this boring, sad guy? I didn’t even like men and I hated Christmas carols! “Hey can you guys that's enough, you can stop now.”  I pleaded. "Really, please stop." No one seemed to hear me. I felt a deep primal fear rise up in my stomach. I needed to lie down or something. I needed them to stop singing already.  “Tom, can you--” I turned around just in time to see Tom lunge at me with a weird looking knife. Instinctively, I dodged and pushed him to the ground. I am a New Yorker who knows how to defend myself. I grabbed the shotgun. “Awwwww” The carolers grumbled in unison. “What the fuck is going on here?!?” I spat, clenching my weapon tightly. “You ruined everything, that’s what.” One of them moaned. I pointed my gun at the small crowd, “Are you trying to “disappear” me? Is that what this is?” “You know Tom, if you hadn’t waited so long…” One of them began.  Tom was now sulking on the ground behind me.  I was waving the gun wildly between him and the carolers now.  “I just wanted it to be perfect, I’m sorry guys.” Tom shrugged. “She’s gonna taste like shit now. Adrenaline fucks everything up,” another said. “Will someone please tell me what’s going on!?” I shouted. “Tell me or I kill every one of you!” Tom sighed, “We were just trying to teach you the true meaning of Christmas.” “By killing me?!” “Of course not. Think of all the love we showed you these past couple weeks, that’s the true meaning of Christmas!” I recognized this one, it was the woman from the Cafe. “We know you felt it, we could tell.” “Felt it? This- this isn’t me! What did you.. Have you been putting something in my food?” “Aw, sweetie, don’t be so paranoid, everything we gave you was simply made with love, something you’ve been sorely lacking.” Amanda explained. “Well, that and just a tiny bit of LSD.” The others nodded in agreement. “You fucking dosed me with LSD?!” “What we did, Rachel, was give you the best two weeks of your life and we even got you back in touch with your religion!” said Mr. Santan. “My what?!” “Now you can die happily!” Tom chimed in, now standing over me again with that knife, smiling manickly.  “I’m Jewish you assholes!” I screamed and shot a bullet into Tom’s confused looking face. His body thudded to the floor. “Oh man! How are we gonna explain this to everyone?” they whined as I turned my gun back on them, “Can we even sacrifice a Jew?” “You’re not sacrificing anyone.  If you try, I’ll blow all of your goddamn brains out.” I threatened, holding the shotgun mere inches from them, but they ignored my warning and continued discussing my murder, like I wasn’t even there. Fucking rude townies. “It’s not ideal, but where are we gonna find a christian this close to the ceremony?” Santan explained, “A Jew is probably better than nothing. Even if she is all upset and will probably taste like sadness.” “Hey! I bet I taste just fine!” What was I saying? I did probably taste like sadness. But that wasn’t the point, they were trying to kill me! I knew if I wanted to survive the night and ever see my actual home again, I was going to have to stand my ground and take those fuckers out then and there. I broke their disagreement with a single shot, fired directly into the chest of the weirdo closest to me. He fell to the ground in a motionless heap. That was finally the motivation the rest needed to actually come at me. But I was the one with the gun. “What? You’re not even going to try to rape me first?” I shouted as I fired mercilessly into them. Turns out it isn’t actually that hard to shoot people when they’re that close to you. I don’t know if I killed them all, but I certainly shot them enough to make it so they’d have a hard time chasing me if they survived. I ran as far away as I could get before calling you.  I don’t know if others are coming for me, but I’ll be ready if they do. I would have called the police, but I’m sure they’re in on it. You were right, that town is crazy. ”

Ajeet let out a sigh. How many times, he wondered, was he going to help someone flee from a crime scene? This couldn’t be worth the money. He’d be better off working for one of those takeout services. Yeah, he was going to sign up once he got home. No more transporting crazy people, just transporting food to crazy people.  “Wait, weren’t there 8 of them total?” He asked hoping this didn’t set her off,  “Didn’t you say that gun only had seven bullets? Doesn’t that mean you missed one?” Rachel thought for a second. Nope, she’d definitely shot 8 cultists, she’d counted. “I guess you could call it a Hanukkah miracle,” she giggled. Ajeet let out a fake laugh, not sure what she meant. “So.. airport then?” “Yeah, please.”

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Dec 09, 2020
Ep.59 – Christmas Rage! - Santa Has an Axe and He's Coming!
00:34:40

Episode Notes

It's Christmas Eve and a maniac has gone crazy with an axe, killing anyone that crosses his path... However there is an ever more dangerous predator out on the streets and they aren't out caroling...

Christmas Rage by Rob Fields

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcription:

December 23rd – Evening

Strickfield Towne Centre Mall only seemed to be a hopping place around the holidays. The vacancies left during the usual ten months out of the year were mostly filled by seasonal stores. There was even a Santa Claus House in the mall’s center court. Families would line up with their children, many of whom had Christmas lists to give to Santa.  But on this day, things were about to take a macabre turn . . .  Santa Claus had just taken his seat on his throne. Templeton Mirren, the owner of the mall, and his family were right there in front of him. Santa just sat there and looked right at them.  Templeton appeared to be patient. When Santa’s silence got to be too much, Templeton leaned in and whispered loudly, “If you don’t get your act together, Stanley, you’ll be enjoying this Christmas on your fucking welfare check!” Stanley Monroe was always tapped to play Santa Claus from Black Friday until Christmas Eve at Strickfield Towne Centre Mall. But as Santa slowly stood up and glared at Templeton Mirren and his family, he seemed to have a foreboding presence. Then, Santa opened the door to his house and received several screams when the slain, bloody body of Stanley Monroe just fell onto the porch.  The families scattered in different directions. Santa took his time as he reached inside the house and pulled out the same bloody ax that he had used on Stanley earlier. Then he marched toward Templeton Mirren, raising his lethal weapon. Templeton Mirren turned and yanked a nearby father right in front of the Santa. The father never uttered a peep as Santa buried the blade right in his head. The other bystanders were too frightened to see what Templeton Mirren had done. They never saw him or his wicked wife grab their children and leave.  From there, Santa pulled the ax out of the father’s head and buried it in another bystander as It Came Upon a Midnight Clear slowly began to play over the mall speakers. 

Christmas Eve Morning

I awaken in a different room and remember that I’m here at Franklin Sloane’s house. Franklin invited me to come home with him for Christmas. Franklin and I have been seeing each other since late August. In fact, he’s been my only companion this semester.  After I take a shower and get dressed, I hear arguing downstairs. I make my way down and stop short when I hear that I’m the topic of discussion. Actually, it’s more like Franklin’s parents are giving him a hard time about me. The more I listen, I more I hear his father, Joseph, and his stepmother, Delphine, just discouraging him. His dad tells him there’s no way that a ‘big-titted puttana’ like me would ever care for him. They tell him that I’m just using him for my own selfish ends.  Franklin argues back and tells them that I’m nothing like that. He tells them that we’ve been seeing each other since the beginning of the fall semester. He asks them what I could possibly be using him for.  Here’s the irony. I am using Franklin, but not for the reasons his parents are implying. They think I’m with him for money, or that I’m waiting to humiliate him. I’m fully aware that people look at Franklin and decide that he’s the biggest nerd there is. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard people whisper that to each other when they think I’m not listening? I even hear those same people wondering how someone like me would even be with Franklin.  Delphine tells Franklin that I’m way too beautiful for him. She even tells Franklin that I would never have sex with him, that people like me belong with fraternity boys. Yes, I certainly could have had my pick of a fraternity boy, or even a jock. The problem with those types of guys is that they would only want to have sex with me just for a short time. They would not want to commit to me. No, I need much more than they’re willing to give.  For those of you who haven’t been following me since the beginning . . . From the time I came into the world, I have never felt so much as a single emotion. Perhaps my being emotionless is why I’m a serial killer. Your society has labeled me the Angel of Death, because I destroy those who prey on innocent people. I suppose the closest thing to emotions that I feel is my ever-insistent bloodlust, which pushes me onward to claim my victims. In fact, I’m feeling the urgent need to kill right now.  I make my way to the dining room. The family doesn’t hear me come in until I’m right there, right when Franklin yells at Delphine, “That’s your problem. You always think everybody’s out to get me. Well, Raige isn’t like that!” Franklin becomes quiet when he realizes I’m here. The family is just looking at me now.  “Perhaps I should just go,” I say. “Clearly, I’m not wanted or welcome here. I’ll just get my things and go back to my dorm.” Delphine looks sternly at me. “You heard everything?” I nod once. “I did. And you’re wrong about me.” I fold my arms in front of me. “Please, enlighten me. What do I hope to gain by using Franklin?” Delphine takes a deep breath. “Do you see yourself, Raigen? Do you see Franklin? Do you see how completely mismatched the two of you are? You can have any man you want. Why would you settle for Franklin?” While I myself don’t have emotions, I have come to understand a great deal about how emotions can move people, both positively and negatively. Watching enough television and being around Mama long enough will do that for someone like me. “So, let me get this straight . . . just because I’m a beautiful girl and Franklin’s a nerd, I would not want to be with someone like him? Then . . . why would I date Franklin? Why would I agree to come home with him for Christmas?” Delphine glares at me now. “Well, I don’t know. Why don’t you tell us?” “I agreed to come here with Franklin, because he asked me to,” I reply. “I wasn’t going home for Christmas, and Franklin didn’t want me to be alone. I’m thinking he invited me out of the kindness of his heart. That’s why I choose to be with Franklin. He’s kind to me. He’s never once tried to take advantage of me. I enjoy his company.” I unfold and lower my arms. “I can’t believe that you and your husband would cut Franklin down like this. Especially you – a church minister.” Delphine took over being the minister of Strickfield Community Church after the scandal with Minister Darren Harlow years ago. Yes, it’s the usual type of scandal you read about – with children. After Harlow was removed, Delphine became the new minister. She had to work very hard to keep the church going, but she managed to do it. I was a freshman in high school when this happened, by the way. Delphine’s been quite strict on Franklin ever since, according to what he’s told me about her and from what I’ve just witnessed.  I put a comforting hand on Franklin’s shoulder. “Are you all right?” Franklin shakes his head. “Can we just leave, Raige?” “Yes! Yes, we can!” I reply. “Go pack a few things and we can have Christmas at my dorm.” Franklin leaves the dining room. His parents only glare at me before I turn and head back up to the guestroom to pack my things. You’re thinking that I want to kill them both, right? Nope! They’re both innocent, so I can’t kill them.  Ah, yes . . . Now we’re getting to what I want to tell you. I currently have an even greater need to satisfy – even more than my need to kill. Now, while I don’t feel anything emotional, I do feel things that are physical. I know when I need to eat, drink, sleep, clean my body, seek comfort . . . I did say that I’m looking to use Franklin. As of late, I’m feeling the need to have sex. I was able to get by for many years without having to fulfill this basic need. Now my sex drive is becoming as insistent as my bloodlust. It’s because of this that I’ve come to realize that I need a mate, a constant companion. I need someone who can be good company for me and satisfy my sexual desires when the need arises. In turn, I would be just as responsive to my mate. Would you call me a primal girl, in spite of my highly developed brain? Perhaps you would be right. Franklin Sloane is one of the few young men at Strickfield University who has taken an interest in me. Over time, he has shown me that he is both a suitable companion and an intellectual peer. I really don’t care that Franklin is a skinny nerd who talks about chess or contemporary movies. I don’t even care that the rest of you in the female population are repulsed by him. Unlike you, I don’t have it me to be repulsed by him. On the other hand, I don’t even have it in me to be able to love him. Regardless, Franklin has proven himself to be a suitable companion for me, and my desire is for him to be my mate.  Franklin comes and gets me. “You ready, Raige?” “Yes, we can go.” We head downstairs and to the front door. Before we leave, Franklin turns to his parents. “I really thought we were going to have a normal family Christmas this time, even with my bringing Raige. But I can see that’s never going to happen. Come on, Raige, let’s go.” Once more, Franklin’s parents and I exchange looks. Then I turn and leave with Franklin. 

Franklin is settled in my dorm room; I didn’t have a roommate during the fall semester. The only reason I’m allowed to stay over the holiday break is because I’m attending classes here at Strickfield University next semester.  Franklin looks pretty down. “I’m sorry you had to see that back home, Raige.” We’re both sitting on our beds. I reach across and take his hands. “May I say something?” He raises his eyes to mine. “Sure.” “I know you’re probably having your doubts about me. Please don’t. I really do want to be with you.” “But why, Raige? Why are you still with me? Delphine’s right, you can have any man you want.” I could ramble to Franklin about why I want him, but I have learned that actions can speak a lot for a person. Still holding his hands, I move across to Franklin’s bed. Then we kiss. The more we get into our kiss, the more I’m feeling that I can’t hold back anymore. I need him so desperately. I let go of his hands.  Franklin is surprised when he sees me stand up and take my clothes off. Once I’m naked, I pull back the covers on my bed and lay down to face him. “It’s just you and me, Franklin. The dorm is all ours. I want to take this next step with you. If you do too, then come and be with me. I only want and desire you, Franklin.” Franklin trusts me enough to where he knows I’m sincere. He removes his clothes and climbs into my bed with me. 

Christmas Eve – Late Afternoon The Strickfield Community Center was always a place where parents could bring their children on Christmas Eve for things such as Christmas stories, Christmas cakes and cookies, hot chocolate, and visiting with Santa. It had been just as much of a tradition as the fact that each and every house in Strickfield would be decorated to make the village look like a winter wonderland, with the exception of the walled off property that belonged to the Mirrens. In fact, Delphine Brewster-Sloane helped run the establishment along with a few other mothers.  Delphine was making more mugs of hot chocolate when Mrs. Patterson walked into the kitchen. She gave Delphine a look of desperation.  “Mary? What’s wrong? Hasn’t our Santa arrived yet?” Delphine asked.  Mary Patterson reached out, stopped motionless for a moment, then fell flat on her face to reveal the ax that was sticking out of her back.  Delphine screamed! Then she looked up and screamed even louder as a blood-stained Santa Claus stormed in and retrieved the ax from Mary Patterson’s back. Santa looked right at Delphine and watched her scream when he drew back the ax. Somehow, she forced herself to duck. When the ax blade became embedded in a cupboard, Delphine shoved Santa down and ran out.  Delphine tried to yell for everyone to leave – quickly. The shrilling scream of the Santa Claus From Hell overshadowed the soft Christmas music. Then more screams overshadowed Santa’s as he chased after people while swinging the ax, sinking it into a few more parents.  Delphine grabbed a folding chair and moved at Santa to try and keep him from killing any more parents – or even children. Santa howled with rage and disarmed Delphine with a few hard swings of the ax. Santa shoved her down and raised the ax for the kill. Delphine held her hands up and screamed as her life flashed right before her eyes. 

Christmas Eve Evening I awaken and know that Franklin and I are spooned up together. We spent much of the afternoon having sex. Franklin has definitively proven to be my chosen mate as he satisfied my every desire. I in turn focused to satisfy his. Then we fell asleep together. My need for sex is satisfied for the time being. However, my need to kill is as urgent as ever.  I manage to slip out of bed. Franklin is still fast asleep. I need to go out and prowl for a kill. Since it’s Christmas Eve, I don’t really think I’m going to find anyone. I may end up having to wait until the day after Christmas to look for somebody. My bloodlust is demanding satisfaction, but I’m not going to take an innocent to do it.  I get dressed and grab my smartphone. I leave the dorm and begin my walk around Strickfield. If Franklin texts me, I’ll just tell him that I’m picking up food for us from either Andy’s China Garden or Denoyer’s Grill downtown, which are always open.  If I had emotions, I’m sure it would simply amaze me at how this village goes all out for many holidays, including Christmas. Every house is decorated and lit brightly. Some of the yards even have animatronics. In spite of all this, I still continue to feel my constant numbness.  It isn’t long before I hear the sounds of police cars in the distance. I decide to go and see what’s going on. I know I’m only a police intern, which is why I’m not being called. Strickfield P.D. only calls me when it comes to detective work. If there are that many police cars, it’s probably something more dire that doesn’t require detective work. Just the same, I’m going to go and see for myself.  When I get to the scene, the Strickfield Community Center, Mayor Patrick Gunter recognizes me and waves for me to come over. “I know you’ve been helping the police, but this doesn’t require you tonight.” “Can you at least tell me what’s going on?” I ask.  Mayor Gunter tells me that there’s an escaped lunatic from Glennview Asylum inside the building wearing a Santa Claus suit and killing people left and right. He mentions how this Santa left bodies all over center court at Strickfield Towne Centre Mall last night. As Mayor Gunter keeps talking, my bloodlust is going crazy – commanding me to claim this Santa! Just what Mayor Gunter tells me alone is enough to where I don’t have to do my usual research.  But the question now is how do I get inside the Community Center without the police seeing me? Then I immediately have a plan and proceed with its execution. I say good-bye to Mayor Gunter and wish him a good holiday. 

I know the village of Strickfield very well, thanks to all of the maps on hand at the police station, including the one for the sewer system. Because of my highly photographic memory, I immediately remembered the way into the Community Center through the sewer tunnels. I open a manhole cover down in the crawlspace where the shower pipes are located and come out that way. After putting the cover back on, I begin my hunt for this Santa. My bloodlust is nagging at me now. It doesn’t take me long to locate Santa. He’s got a few women trapped in the kitchen. And then I immediately recognize Franklin’s stepmother as one of them. When we started seeing each other, Franklin told me that Delphine volunteers her time here when she’s not being the minister for the Strickfield Community Church.  It looks as though Delphine got beat up, but she’s still alive. I know that Franklin would be devastated if anything were to happen to his parents. The two of them put Franklin down, and yet he still thinks the world of them. I literally don’t understand it. Just the same, I know I’ve got to do something to save these people.  Santa never says a word. He just glares at the eight women he’s holding hostage. He even raises his ax and brings it down in front of them, making them shriek or scream. Even I understand how cowardly it is for an empowered male to attack a helpless female. I tighten my fists as my bloodlust now screams for me take!! His!! Fucking!! Life!! I must use my head. I can’t just go in there and fight him. It would be different if Santa wasn’t toying with those women. Then I move stealthily into the kitchen. He doesn’t see me as I carefully slide open a drawer and pull out a kitchen knife. All I have to do is just draw it back . . . then I’ll fling it right into his back.  As I raise the knife for the kill, I get a texting chime on my smartphone and know it’s from Franklin. That throws off my plan as Santa turns and sees me with my knife raised. He screams and rushes right at me. Delphine is surprised to see me now.  “Raigen, no!” she cries out.  When Santa reaches me, he swings the ax wildly. I quickly hit the floor and feel the rush of the blade going right over the back of my head. As I quickly turn onto my back, Santa raises his ax and brings it down. I turn over again and hear it hit the floor. I get to my feet and kick Santa in the back of the knee to take his leg out from underneath him. Santa growls and falls to the floor. I still have the knife in my hand. Before I can raise it to stab him, Delphine surprises both of us by crying out and ripping the ax away from Santa.  “Raigen, get out of here! Now!” Delphine cries.  Santa quickly gets back to his feet. Then he reaches out and grabs the ax, having a struggle with Delphine. I don’t see the other women that were with Delphine and determine that she must have gotten them out while I was distracting Santa. I’m definitely ready to stab Santa now, but I know that I can’t let Delphine . . . Wait a minute! She won’t know that I’m a serial killer. Killing Santa would just be a matter of my helping Delphine.  Neither Delphine nor Santa can see what must be the evil glow in my eyes that all of my past victims have seen. All I have to do is move up behind Santa. Delphine will be splattered with his blood once I slice his throat. But common sense gets the better of me. I can’t let Delphine see just how violent I can truly become. She might tell Franklin, and I would possibly lose my mate. I have another idea.  I quickly make my way around to where Santa can easily see me. “Hey!” Santa’s eyes are on me as I pull my Christmas sweater up and show him my large breasts. “Peekaboobies!!” His eyes are locked right on my breasts, which gives Delphine the advantage. She yanks the ax out of Santa’s hands and swings it to catch him right in the gut. He groans and stands for a long moment. I pull my sweater down as Delphine removes the ax and nails him one more time before he finally goes down.  I quickly pull out my smartphone and call the police. I get Mayor Gunter and tell him that everything’s all right and that Santa’s slayed. My bloodlust is screaming at me for a fresh victim, but . . . I had to give my kill to Delphine to keep my secret.  Delphine and I are alone now after I finish talking to Mayor Gunter. She turns to me and gives me a stern look. “Really, Raigen? Showing him your dirty pillows?” I look sternly at her in return. “You are still alive because of my ‘dirty pillows’. Never forget that!” Delphine and I keep glaring at one another. Finally, Delphine softens her expression and sighs. She looks around and moves to make sure that we’re truly alone. I can’t imagine why she would need to do that. She returns to me. “Yes, you did save many lives today, Raigen.” Then she leans in and says quietly, “I know who and what you are. Don’t try and hide it from me. You are the Angel of Death.” Then she backs away to get my reaction.  I just look at Delphine. “I think you’re mistaken.” Delphine shakes her head slowly. “I’m not. You don’t know, Raigen, but many years ago you saved many lives that night. Including mine.” Just then, Mayor Gunter comes in with some police officers. He points right at me. “Raigen Devereux! Over here! Now!” Delphine mouths to me, “We’ll talk later.” I nod to her and address Mayor Gunter, who gives me hell for not keeping my distance on the count of my being a college intern. At the same time, he congratulates me on being the hero. Of course, I make sure that Delphine is given her fair share of the credit since I didn’t stop that Santa From Hell alone. 

Christmas Afternoon I look into the eyes of Templeton Mirren after I remove his blindfold. Then I remove his wife’s. I have both of them secured to tables in their basement. Then I remove their gags.  “What the fuck is this?!” Destiny Mirren demands.  I move to the front where they can see me. I have a remote control in my hand and turn on their television. “I have a little video here that I’d very much like for the two of you to see,” I tell them.  I play what is the security camera footage that was taken from the Strickfield Towne Centre Mall. Could I have gotten any more lucky?! Chief Kazmierczak was a little strapped at the station, so he asked me if I’d stick around and go through the security footage from the mall. After texting Franklin and letting him know where I was, I went to the station and looked over the footage. Then I saw the angle to where Templeton Mirren had grabbed an innocent man and pulled him right into the path of the killer Santa, just so he could preserve his own life. His wife had seen what her husband had done and wasn’t concerned in the least. She only moved to get Templeton and the kids out of the mall quickly. Neither Destiny nor Templeton looked back.  After finishing the footage, I stop the video and look at them. “Any questions?” “So what?” Destiny groans, looking as annoyed as she sounded.  “All this over an insignificant man?” Templeton adds.  “It looks to me as if your family could have easily gotten away, but you grabbed that man and pulled him right in front of the killer, guaranteeing his death. In effect, you killed him in cold blood. Your wife saw you and didn’t care, in effect condoning what you did. So now . . . I’m going to claim the both of you. Your children are with their grandparents. I’ve even disabled your cameras and your security system. It’s just us three here.” I even have pictures to display of shady bank records and illegal money laundering. I even found some Dark Net stuff that they were involved in – too much to list here. But seeing this security video – from his own mall – was more than a red flag for me. Normally, I’d have killed them just based on that, but I wanted more to give to the police. After all, these two are from the infamous Mirren family.  The two of them are quite emotionless. The only difference between these Mirrens and myself is that I was naturally born without emotions. These two are of great money and privilege, so much that they just stopped caring.  I’m wearing a plastic poncho and have an ax cradled in my hands. Oh, wait! It looks as if they do know fear. They see my evil glare and beg for their lives. Oh, but it’s sweet too late for that . . . “Templeton and Destiny Mirren, let the punishment fit the crime!” Destiny screams as I bring the ax right down on her face! And . . . I feel so much better, now that my bloodlust is finally being satiated. 

Christmas Evening Delphine called Franklin and made things right with him. She even told him to bring me back to the house for Christmas dinner. I agreed when he asked me and all was well. Franklin’s dad still gave me distrustful looks, but that was it.  Delphine asked me to help her in the kitchen so we could have our little talk. As it turned out, Delphine had indeed discovered my secret. When she said that I had saved the lives of her and many children that night, it was because she had discovered Minister Harlow’s terrible secret. She had tried to stop him on her own using the legal system, but his influence was too strong. She decided that she would bring him down alone, even if it meant breaking the commandment regarding killing.  As it turned out, I had read the story about Harlow in our newspaper in North Ridgeway. I came to Strickfield to claim him after I did my research. I broke into Harlow’s house, not knowing that Delphine was already there ahead of me. I ended up finding five children that Harlow had locked up in his basement. I freed them and told them to keep quiet. Harlow wasn’t expecting a high school freshman girl to come for him. After going up to the second floor and beating the living shit out of Harlow, I tied him up to his bed and castrated him. Even then, I remembered Mama’s words about making the punishment fit the crime. Delphine had been hiding in a closet, possibly waiting for the right moment to strike Harlow herself, and discovered that I was the Angel of Death. After cleaning myself up, I gave one of my burner phones to the kids and told them to call the police. Delphine told me that after I had left, she had explained everything to the police – leaving me out of it.  Delphine gave me a big hug and thanked me for what I had done, today and back then. She promised me that she would keep my secret. The only thing she asked was for me to not hurt Franklin. I in turn promised her that I wouldn’t. Delphine never so much as gave me – or Franklin – a hard time ever again. 

That night, Franklin and I go back to my dorm. After we have sex, Franklin and I talk. He tells me that he only wants to make me happy. I tell him that I am – well, in my own way. I’m more than content on having Franklin Sloane as my mate, and I tell him that I’m not leaving him.  Franklin has a realization. “I have something for you, Raige.” He gets out of bed and brings me a small giftwrapped box. I unwrap and open it to reveal his high school class ring.  “It’s not much,” Franklin tells me. “But I know how I feel about you. Maybe Dad and Delphine are right about you being too good for me. But I need to know . . . Raigen Devereux, will you marry me?” “I will,” I say without hesitation.  Franklin is speechless in his emotions. But he finally finds himself and puts his ring on my finger. I return the favor by giving him my high school class ring on a necklace. I only wish that I could feel the love that Franklin feels for me. Regardless, I will be a good wife to him as he will be a good husband to me.  So . . . this turned out to be a very good Christmas for me after all.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Dec 02, 2020
Ep.58 – Turkey Shoot - Blood Thirsty Vengeance is on the Menu!
00:34:52

Episode Notes

On Thanksgiving day something is hungry and loose in a small down and it's not content to be the centerpiece of your dinner anymore. Murderous turkey's are coming, and you pissed them off!

Turkey Shoot by David O'Hanlon

Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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The white sheet was a Rorschach test of ruddy blooms across the uneven surface. Sheriff Eldon Hart dabbed VapoRub on his upper lip as he entered the makeshift morgue of Rhoda Baines’ office. It was little more than a meat locker built along the back wall of Country Smiles Dentistry. The tiny township of Fiddler’s Gap rarely needed a morgue—and nestled in the Ozark Mountains, they didn’t call on a dentist much either. Still, between her dental practice and double-duty as county corner, Rhoda’s office stayed busy enough.  Deputy Alex Hargrove was new to area. Despite eight years in law enforcement, this was his first corpse and he slathered the VapoRub on his lip into a greasy mustache. Rhoda waved him off when he offered her the jar and she chuckled softly. The sound was somewhere between melodious playfulness and a braying mule and it brought a smile to the stone face of Sheriff Hart.  Rhoda snapped on a pair of nitrile gloves and passed the box to the cops who did the same. Hart flipped on the articulated examination light. He nodded to Rhoda who pulled the sheet back like a lounge-act magician clearing a tablecloth from beneath the guests’ glasses.  “Whoo!” Deputy Hargrove leaned away. “That’s not what I was expecting.”  “Nope,” Hart added, simply.  The body was largely held together by the remains of his clothing. The face consisted of a few patches of flesh too stubborn to come off. The eyes were gone, along with the lips which left the tobacco-and-blood-stained teeth grinning around a maw occupied only by the stumpy remains of the victim’s tongue. The spine was a stretch of ashen desert between ravaged muscles with the soft tissue of the throat completely absent. Hart walked along the length of the steel table as he continued his observations.  Holes, ranging from pencil-width to fist-sized, dotted the torso and the flannel shirt was in tatters around the wounds. The connective tissue of the left arm had been torn away, leaving the appendage in the sleeve, but no longer attached to the body. The gut was hollowed like a jack-o-lantern. The shredded blue jeans held much of the same. Hart poked his finger into a hole in the man’s thigh and then examined the bare tibia below. “Okay, so what are we looking at here?” he finally asked. “Dead Caucasian male in his thirties. No ID, but he does have a tattoo on his forearm… the part that wasn’t ate, that is.” Rhoda used a sponge to clean the torso. “Foxy found our victim about five this morning and brought him to me. I’ve left him alone, but I did a cursory examination.” “Hell, Foxy shakes like a tweaker in an earthquake. How’d the old fart bring…” Hargrove waved his hand at the body, “this, without it falling apart?” “Carefully.” Rhoda shrugged.  “Alright, but what was an old hermit doing out in the woods that early?” the deputy asked. “Foxy hunts turkeys for family’s that can’t afford one for Thanksgiving,” Hart answered. “The Fox family’s done it since the Great Depression. Foxy doesn’t like people, but he cares about them.” He prodded another hole. “What’d you mean by the part that wasn’t ate?” “The soft tissue was destroyed—throat, crook of the arm, belly, eyes. The intestines are missing large portions and some organs are gone in their entirety.” Rhoda took a gauge and measured a puncture wound for their benefit. “These are peck marks.” “Well, shit. I’ll go put out the APB right away.” Hargrove clapped his hands together. “Big ass bird, red thing on his head, answers to Woody.” Hart smirked and then cleared his throat. “Scavengers dig in through the soft spots. Could be vultures found him.” “That was my first thought.” Rhoda rolled the man on his side and raised his shirt. More peck marks and long cuts adorned the flesh. “There’s no lividity, however.”  “Meaning?” Hart scratched at his stubble, suddenly wishing he’d stopped to make himself presentable before coming to see Rhoda. He snapped his fingers best the gloves would allow. “Shit! He bled out.” Rhoda bit her lip and smiled. “Precisely. He was either very recently dead or… nevermind, that’s ridiculous.” “Maybe not,” Hargrove said, catching up with Rhoda’s line of thought. “Maybe he fell and knocked himself out cold. Might’ve been in a coma or something and they thought he was dead.” “Perhaps.” Rhoda watched the young deputy for a moment. “Pretty good theory, regardless.” “We need Foxy to take us where he found him.” Hart leaned in to examine the cuts. “This is a murder until we prove otherwise.” Benoit ‘Foxy’ Foxworth III leaned on the tailgate of Chevy C100 with his pipe clenched between his teeth. The truck was four different colors and two shades of rust, putting it at odds with the palatial home beyond. The Foxworths made their money in copper mining and then reinvested in oil which ensured Foxy could live comfortably for twenty lifetimes. Still, he never liked people enough to bother impressing them, so he only kept the truck running at best. The octogenarian sharpened the thin-bladed knife meticulously while he watched the battered Dodge Durango crunch up the gravel drive. Foxy kept the trees clear so he could welcome any guests with a warning shot should they come up uninvited. Foxy set the whetstone down and sheathed the blade before going to meet the officers. “I ain’t kill him,” Foxy said before the window was down all the way. “I didn’t reckon you did.” Hart put the SUV in park and turned his hands over thoughtfully. “Now if he’d been shot, that would be different.” “Well he weren’t.” Foxy stared at the sheriff before sighing and opening the backdoor of the Durango. “If we’re going back out there, you’re taking me to get some groceries on the way back. I forgot bread.” “I think we can manage that.” The ride along the old highway took them by Caroline Marvell’s Dine Inn motel and eatery, which counted as the area’s fine dining. The girl was barely twenty and inherited the establishment after her parents were murdered. She didn’t know much about business, but Hart made sure she turned a profit—any petty offense would be overlooked if you went straight to the Dine Inn and tipped very generously.  Caroline waved from the front door as she finished setting up the sandwich board advertising the annual community Thanksgiving dinner that evening. The locals started the tradition when the mines dried up in the last days of the nineteenth century and kept it alive ever since. Hart even made a trip to nearby Marshall to pick up rolls and canned cranberry sauce. It didn’t seem like much of a contribution compared to the work others put in, but no one was hungry enough to eat the Sheriff’s cooking—including him. The general store’s freezer section provided the meals he didn’t get at the diner.  “You been to the Dine Inn yet, Alex?” Hart asked. “It’s on my list of things to do, sir.” Hargrove stared out the window at valley just beyond the flimsy guardrail. “You really think it was birds?” “Weird shit happens out here.” Hart slowed for the turn on the old logging road. “Foxy, we going to be able to reach this spot?” “Mostly.” Foxy puffed the sweet, rich smoke between the officers. “Game trail is pretty clear but she’s going to be bumpy. We’ll have to go across the holler on foot though and then it’s about a mile as the crow flies.” “Why’d you go all that way to shoot a turkey?” Hargrove asked. “Ever hunted turkey, boy?” Foxy squinted at the deputy.  Hargrove turned in his seat. “No. I used to hunt deer back home, but we don’t get a lot of turkeys.” “They’re elusive,” Foxy grunted. “The valley we’re going to has natural borders that aren’t worth the effort to most hunters—human and otherwise. When I was a kid, we called the valley Turkey Shoot, because there were so many of them critters about. Then came the ‘quake of ’53. Weren’t no easy way out there after that. No one hunts Turkey Shoot no more.”  “So, what made you take the trip, Foxy?” Hart teeth clacked together as the tire dropped into a pothole. “Been hearing the gobblers out there for a bit. They’re getting loud like there’s too many of them, so I went to check and found a path.” Foxy scratched his chin. “When they opened the dam a few months back, it must have moved some stuff. Left a pass straight to Big Creek.” Hart turned onto the trail. They bounced in their seats until the tires found Foxy’s ruts and settled in for a marginally smoother ride. Hargrove braced himself against the dashboard and shook his head while they banged down the path. “This is more than bumpy.” Hargrove’s head thumped against the window. “Are we there yet?” “’Bout another twenty minutes,” Foxy laughed. Foxy had a great sense of time. Twenty-one minutes later, they got out of the SUV, put on their coats and grab some water bottles. “Is that,” Hart pointed at the metallic backpack, “what I think it is?” “Oh, damn. Umm, I forgot to tell you about that,” Hargrove said. “You sent me to Searcy County to buy their old gear last week. Remember?” “I don’t remember a flamethrower being on the list.” Hart scowled. “They used to burn weed crops with it and I thought it might be useful.” Hargrove shrugged. “Besides, it was only fifty-bucks.”  “A flamethrower is never going to be useful.” Hart shut the hatch and shook his head. “Maybe next time you can find a bazooka.” Hargrove’s smile beamed. “I think they have two over in Pulaski. Want me to call them?” Hart pinched the bridge of his nose and started into the woods. They used the overabundance of rocks as natural stairs down the slope of the holler. Large outcroppings loomed overhead. Foxy crunched through the fallen leaves and detritus, leading the way to a groove left by a long extinct waterfall. It was steep and narrow, but craggy enough to allow the geriatric to shimmy up. Hart and Hargrove followed his lead.  They made it to the edge of Big Creek where they took a breather on top of a large, flat rock. The dam at Lake Pocahontas drained along the formerly dry riverbed that people took to calling Big Creek. At the moment, it wasn’t particularly big. It looked like Foxy was right and the opening of spillway had displaced dozens of boulders, many as large as a car along this path. A series of calls sounded nearby—a rapid, putt-putt-putt that faded down and away from where it began. “Boys, we done been spotted,” Foxy said and pressed himself up, stretching his back before stepping into the creek. “That call means danger’s close.” A single yelp answered the call from a tree top. Then another to the other side. “What’s that mean?” Hargrove asked.  Another half dozen of the short calls came down. Foxy squinted at the tree tops. “That’s the others saying they’re watching us. Come on. We’re almost there.” The leaves just on the other side of the creek were still damp with blood from where the John Doe had been killed making the forest floor a slippery mess. Hart huffed into his hands and rubbed them together. The man’s weapon lay undisturbed next to the largest collection of blood. A turkey feather twisted lazily in the puddle. Hart knelt and collected the shotgun, inspecting scratch-marks across the receiver. He eased the pump back and found a shell still in the chamber. A brown streak darted from the tree tops and disappeared behind a knee-high stone. Hart brought the shotgun up on instinct. “The hell was that?” Hargrove moved his hand to his pistol. “Was that a bobcat?” “No, numb-nuts.” Foxy laughed. “Was a turkey.” “Turkeys can’t fly.” The deputy saw the other men’s expressions and sighed. “Can they?” “Damn city folk,” Foxy grumbled. The bird bobbled out from its cover and Hart lowered the gun. It hissed once and called out in a burst of clucks and yelps. Another turkey answered him and lighted nearer the three men. Two more came down. A third glided past Foxy and settled beside him. The five turkeys, fat, juicy gobblers, started walking slowly. Their dangling snoods swelled and rose erect above their beaks and their wattles flared out. “What’s with the bird boners?” Hargrove asked. “That’s the snood,” Hart answered. “Means they’re excited.” “I know I’m sexy, but you’re really not my type,” Hargrove said to the closest of the flock. Six more turkeys dropped into the gaps between the others—also male, and also engorged. With the extra members, the formation became clear and the birds circled the men. Foxy’s knife hissed as it cleared the leather sheath.  “They’re doing a predator check.” Foxy shook his head. “They want to make sure we’re not a threat, that’s all.” “Then why you getting antsy?” Hart looked at the old man and the blade trembling between his bony fingers. “Sonsofbitches are huge. Not one less than thirty pounds. And look at the snood on that one.” He stepped closer to the sheriff and pointed out one of the birds, then redirected his finger. “And that one.” “What about it?” Hargrove eased his pistol out.  “It’s probably a foreign concept to you,” Hart said with a smirk, “but the ladies like big ones. There’s one dominant male in an area. Why are there two massive toms in this group?” Hargrove bent and squinted at one of the accused as they continued their death march around the trio. “That’s a mighty interesting question, Sheriff. I got a better one?” He shifted to a two-handed grip on his weapon. “Why the fuck has that one got flannel stuck in his chest hair?” Hart glanced at the bird and saw the shred of red shirt dangling from the beard and the slightly too-dark spots on its feathers where blood had caked on. He saw it, but he didn’t understand—not until the bird flapped toward him, gobbling ferociously. The sheriff backpedaled and fell with the bird coming straight for him. He raised the shotgun, barring the creature’s attack. Its claws scratched at the steel along with the older markings and Hart realized just what had happened to the dead man in Rhoda’s orthodontic mortuary. Deputy Hargrove kicked the bird like a game winning field goal and opened up with a barrage of gunfire before it could right itself. He grabbed the sheriff’s collar and hoisted him to his feet. The turkeys were no longer circling. They stood perfectly still looking at their fallen comrade and then at the trespassers. The birds took methodical steps forward, clucking between themselves and the circle began to dilate in on the humans.  Foxy snatched the shotgun from Hart and fired, leaving a cloud of drifting feathers where a turkey used to be. “We should be running!” The three men sprinted for Big Creek, blasting away at their attackers. The birds gave chase. The trees rustled with excitement and the hens began swooping to the ground and joined in the pursuit. A fierce, primal gobble filled the valley and snapping branches signaled the coming of more feathery fiends.  Hart looked over his shoulder in time to see the single, titanic beast tearing from the underbrush. The Saint Bernard-sized tom lowered its head and ran for all it was worth to catch up with the rest of his rafter. He quickly passed the others who fell in formation behind him. Hargrove dashed across the creek and took a knee, laying down fire for Hart. Foxy was hobbling along as fast as his eighty-three-year-old legs would carry him, but the birds were closing in. Hart stopped, turned, and lifted the senior over his shoulder. The slide locked back on Hargrove’s pistol and he reached for a fresh magazine only to find the holder empty. Hart crossed the creek and dumped Foxy into the deputy’s arms, wheezing from the effort.  The men made it another hundred feet before Hargrove slowed and tugged Hart’s coat. “Wait!”  “Now’s not the time to wait, kid.” Hart turned and stopped cold. Foxy limped ahead and rested against a tree to see what the hold-up was. He watched the birds flapping their wings and calling out in frustration as they paced the near-side of the creek among the array of scattered boulders. He raised the shotgun to his shoulder and lined the bead-sight up with the large, dominant male.  “Don’t shoot,” Hargrove said, patting the air. “It’s turkey load. You get past the feathers on that thing.” “Kid’s right,” Hart concurred. “Why’d they stop?” “Because they’re dumb,” Foxy grumbled. “Them rocks used to be one big heap. They don’t realize the wall is gone.” “And they never needed to fly over it.” Hart backed away slowly. “Let’s get back to town and call Game and Fish. Man-eating turkeys is their jurisdiction.” “Why?” Hargrove asked. “Why are they eating meat?” “They always ate meat, numb-nuts.” Foxy lowered the shotgun. “Turkeys eat lizards and snakes. They get big enough, I reckon they start on squirrels and groundhogs too. That monster, probably takes down anything he comes across though.” “And the bird with the biggest face-dick gets all the turkey pussy,” Hargrove muttered. “Shit. These others are his babies. They got their daddy’s taste buds.” “What is he doing?” Hart pointed at the father of the flock. The big tom took a hesitant step forward, prodding the ground with long, slender toes before curling his claws into it. The snood dangling over the side of his face twitched and swelled. He clucked twice. Some of the hens answered with yelps and putts. Two males mounted the boulders, their heads jerking side-to-side quizzically before one of them hopped down and landed on the other side. The leader threw his head back and gobbled, causing a chain of jovial calls from his brood. “I think they just figured out they can leave,” Hart whispered. “They got everything they need here,” Hargrove replied. The smaller birds squatted and wiggled in place before launching themselves into the air, soaring just over the heads of the men.  “Like you said, kid—they got their daddy’s taste buds.” Hart started jogging toward the car. “It’s Thanksgiving, they’re going to want to have supper with the family just like everyone else.” “The diner,” Foxy said grimly. “They can’t fly for very long, but they can go where we can’t. We can still beat them there if we hurry,” Hart said on the run.  The tom cried out and leapt onto a boulder. For his height, he was considerably lean thanks to his largely carnivorous diet. Hargrove watched him for a moment. “Something that big can’t fly right?” he asked. “I must’ve missed Animal Planet when they was talking ‘bout giant, flesh-eating turkeys,” Foxy told him. The turkey squatted. “Fuck me!” Hargrove turned and darted after the sheriff with the bird’s wings beating powerfully overhead. ** The Durango slid to a stop in front of the Dine Inn with its lights flashing and siren screaming. Foxy leaned against the window, still panting from exertion. Hargrove sprang out and addressed the line of diners making their plates along the buffet tables. “Everybody get inside the turkeys are coming,” he shouted. Everyone cheered. “No, not the ones to eat,” he corrected. “The ones that are going to eat you.” The residents looked at the young man curiously and exchanged glances. Some eased further from the bedraggled deputy and others burst into laughter. None of them moved inside. “Listen up!” Hart cocked his rifle. “The deputy gave you a lawful order. There’s a flock of rabid turkeys attacking folks and I’m going to need all of you to proceed to shelter immediately.” “Turkeys can’t get rabies, Sheriff,” Barney Allen said. “And they travel in rafters, not flocks,” Willard Bly added. “It’s a new rabies.” Hart pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s from China.” “It doesn’t matter what it is.” Rhoda pushed her way between the folks gathered around her table of assorted pies. “Foxy found a dead man this morning and what the Sheriff’s saying lines up. We need to get you all inside.”  “That’s why you don’t let no dentist be the coroner,” Barney grumbled. “Let alone a woman dentist. It all sounds fake to me. Ain’t no such thing as killer turkeys.” The killer turkey that divebombed Barney did not agree.  The man crashed into the arms of Willard, who screamed highly as the bird thrust its head into Barney’s throat and wriggled deeper into its prey. He dumped Barney to the sidewalk and ran, shouldering smaller diners out of his way. A tom hit him between the shoulders, driving him through a table full of greens. Everyone panicked. Some of the mountain folk drew guns and fired at the birds that were gathering overhead and landing in the streets. The sharp ping of a ricochet was followed by the hollering of the bystander it struck. More of the residents ran for the gun-racks in their vehicles for more formidable weapons. Most just ran.  A shotgun blast removed the car mirror a foot behind Hart.  “Every fucking time,” Hart groaned. “These yahoos are going to kill as many of themselves as the goddamn turkeys do. We need to wrap this up!” “I’m open for suggestions, boss.” Hargrove kicked a hen against the side of the diner. A jake landed on his back and pecked his skull. He shrieked as it tore a strip of flesh from his neck. He swatted at it, only for the foul fowl to roll and slice his hand with its spurs. The bird pushed its head into his flesh and the deputy fell to his knees. There was a boom and the attack finally ceased.  Hargrove reached behind him and pulled the severed head of the juvenile from his collar. Feathers drifted calmly around him and Caroline winked at him from behind the sights of her shotgun. She pivoted and hit another and then a third. Hargrove tried to ignore the swelling of his own snood while he watched the girl pick off murder-turkeys like she was trying to win the big stuffed animal at a carnival duck-shoot. The rafter gathered its numbers. Turkeys swooped from the roofs and tackled anyone still running. A tom circled a pickup, clucking angrily after the prey that cowered beneath it. A pair of smaller jakes had no problem spotting the man and sprang at him, pecking at his legs. The man kicked at them and clutched the undercarriage as the birds tried to drag him out. An artery tore open in his fight, splattering the road and drawing more turkeys to the party.  Gunfire erupted tearing chunks from the road and managing to kill a jake before the turkeys leapt back into the air. Bullets pinged through the bo