Thursday, June 1, 2017

Story 188: When Living in a Horror Movie, Don’t Turn Around

[This is from recently watching The Cabin in the Woods and Alien: Covenant, so it is rated a soft R]

            Newbie suddenly found herself running down a dark alley: she had no idea how she got there or even who she was running from.  Another figure stepped out of doorway in front of her and she crashed into it; she gasped in the shock, noticed that the figure was as young and attractive as herself, and was about to start running again when it stopped her with:
            “You didn’t scream or fall down.  Good.  You just might make it here.”
            “‘Here’?”  Her curiosity overrode her impulse to keep running forever.  “Where is ‘here’?  I was in the middle of teatime with Lord and Lady Bassett-Stokesworth when I was plopped down in this alley – running from an unknown danger – wearing these strange clothes – and speaking with a completely different accent!”
            “Yes, these crossovers happen occasionally, can’t be helped.  Shall we?”  He gestured to the other end of the alley where the main street and temporary safety awaited.  “I don’t think our menace will wait forever before catching us up – oh, there he is!”  He looked towards a figure standing at the end of the alley around where Newbie had arrived, but he turned her away from looking there.  “No, best you don’t see.  Off we go!”  They ran to the street and navigated through the crowds.
            “What’s going on?”  Newbie tried a different approach.  “Who was that?  Who are you?  Who am I?!”
            He spoke without looking at her, concentrating both on their route and on appearing valiant.  “You are the possible Lone Survivor – I may be, too, if I play my cards right – and that guy was our Shadowy Menace.  You can call me Hero.”
            “Is that actually your name?”
            He looked squirrelly.  “No, it’s really Danforth.  Not even Daniel – how could my parents do that to me?!”  She stared at him as they walked.  “All you need to know is that you have to survive, no matter what!”
            She almost crashed into a hot dog cart – still operating at approximately 11:30 at night – as she continued to stare at him and asked: “That’s very thoughtful of you, but why me in particular?”
            “Somebody has to.”
            “Oh.  Then what about all these people around us?”
            “That clueless rabble!  They don’t count!”
            “Then who does?”
          I do!”  He stopped short, facing her to underscore his passion on the subject.  “All of my friends, my best friends in the whole world and I were randomly stalked by this guy, for no other reason than we know how to party and he doesn’t, and now they’re all gone and I’m the only one left!  And now also you.  Welcome!”
            “But I don’t want to be randomly stalked!  And why would he stalk me – if you’re the only one left from your crew, he wouldn’t know me from Eve!”
            “Yeah, well, he likes to save the girls for last, and from what I can tell he miscounted his kills and ran out.  So you got pulled in.  Sorry?”
            “Oooh, that’s not fair, I’m supposed to be falling in love with the Duke of Dorsetshirebury right now!”
            “You could fall in love with me, if you like.”
            “And what good would that do?!”  He hung his head in shame.  “That’s what I thought.”
            He looked up sharply over her head to see behind her.  “Oh no – he’s found us.”
            “Well of course he’s found us, we haven’t exactly been ninjas in our escape!”  She started to turn to look back and he grabbed her shoulders.
            “No!  Whatever you do, do not look at him!  Once you realize that he’s behind you and you turn to confirm it, you’re toast.”
            “Who is he, Medusa?”
            “No, he just needs you to acknowledge his presence before he kills you.  Deny him that and you’ll be able to get away.”
            “What about you?  You’ve stared at him about 50 times already and I’ve only just met you!”
            He now stared at her intently.  “It’s too late for me.  I’ll hold him off; save yourself!”
            She impatiently brushed off his hands that still were on her shoulders.  “Why don’t you just call the police and have them arrest this guy?  He’s probably possessing all sorts of weapons, so they’d have no problem believing you.”
            He looked at her sadly.  “That never works.”
            “How do you know – have you tried it?”
            “That never works!”  He wailed.  “Now run – he’s standing literally right behind you!”
            “Wait a minute – ” she started to turn.
            “Don’t look!”  He screamed.
            She turned back.  “Fine, I won’t look.  Buy why is no one else doing anything about this scary person supposedly standing right behind me all threatening?”
            “They can’t!  They’re the powerless world that is unable to save us!  We have only ourselves!  So run, set up a convoluted death trap, and destroy him once and for all!”
            With that suggestion, Danforth “Hero” Deadbody pushed past Newbie and launched himself at Shadowy Menace.  Newbie flinched as she heard the screams, slashing metal, and squishing sounds behind her.  The surrounding crowds continued about their business, and she slowly began walking away from the crime scene.
            Farther down the street she began to run, taking it all the way out of town.  In the creepy countryside she found a foreboding abandoned barn, where she arranged sharp farming tools, a trap door, and bales of hay to lie in wait for the guest who she knew would arrive shortly.  She hid in the loft, holding a scythe and musing to herself.
            “Should my triumphant phrase when he gets his comeuppance be ‘Never mess with a farm girl!’?  I technically live on one, but the tenants are the ones who do the actual farming – ”
            Shadowy Menace’s noiseless entrance interrupted her internal debate; she burrowed herself some more into the hay as she heard the farming tools, trap door, and bales of hay all fail spectacularly in their attempts to dismember, fell, and/or crush their target.  She waited patiently as she heard him climb slowly up the ladder to the loft and stand silently behind where he sensed she was encased in hay.  He brought his axe down onto the pile in victory; the pile naturally was empty and Newbie lopped off Shadowy Menace’s head with the scythe.  It was doubly impressive since she was able to do it backwards.
            As he fell, she crowed to the barn wall: “Never mess with a farm-owning girl!  No, that’s not right either, my father is the one who owns the farm – ”
            “You made it!”  Hero-Dan appeared at the barn entrance – he was a bit messed up.
           I made it?  What about you?”  Newbie said as she climbed down the ladder.  “How could you survive all that I heard him do to you?”
            “Well, it’s quite a story,” he started, his eyes darting furtively once behind her.
            “He’s standing right behind me again, isn’t he,” she said.
            Dan nodded, with sadistically crazy eyes.
            “Head and all?”
            He nodded again, biting his lip in glee.
           “Well, Danforth,” his jaw dropped open in shock, “thanks for all the tips, you were a big help.”
        She dispatched him with the scythe, then took care of the Shadowy Menace once again backwards, this time finishing off the latter more than completely and burning the remains.  Afterwards, she propped on foot onto the pile of ashes, placed the handle of the scythe onto the floor, placed her other hand on her waist, and declared:   “Face it, boys – I’ve always been a fast learner.  Yes, that was perfect!”  She laughed hysterically, then saw the mess all around her and realized that she still was stuck in the wrong genre.
            “Now what?”