Previously on Ghoul….
A mysterious fatigue nearly crippled Sam as he drove into the campground. Ghoul woke him up, of course, cause that is what anyone would do if they were a decent co-pilot.
The campground itself appeared dismal, lackluster and pathetic. And it was grey, hazy. Like everything was shrouded with subtle obscurities. All the signs pointed forward, to Moose Lodge. Sam realized that his senses were dulled; couldn’t hear but for his and Ghoul’s voice nor smell the woods around him.
But that didn’t last long. An immense belch of otherworldly magnitude erupted from within Moose Lodge. Then, this happened….
There was something about a raging throng of crazed hipsters charging towards me that really got the blood pumping.
“Run away,” I yelled to Ghoul, wherever he was.
I didn’t make it far, maybe twenty feet before I was trapped. The hipsters were spry and agile, like bouncing ferrets, and my frantic opened-palm slaps were dodged with such ease. Seconds later I was brought down, hard.
“Get off me you bastards.”
My arms were bent to the small of my back and I was shackled at the wrists with coarse rope. Bound, yes, yet strangely, comfortable. What was also peculiar: the hipsters hoisted me from the ground with nothing but sincere apologies.
“Really sorry about this,” said one. “Usually the folks are fast asleep when they come through.”
Another asked, “Never had to take anyone down before. Are you okay?”
“Just doing our job. I am sure the boss will make this right somehow,” added this hipster who looked identical to the rest.
They ushered me to Moose Lodge at a brisk step. Ghoul was nowhere in close vicinity, although I couldn’t really tell; the fog was too thick to tell what was going on. Two hands grasped high on my arms. “Watch yourself, we will guide you,” came from my side, so I followed suit, stepping up until we were level again. I felt like I was being marched to my death at the end of a London pier.
The pace quickened, and I finally heard a voice other than mine. It was nothing more than mumbling, but it was close, within spitting distance. My sense of smell was coming back, too. There was pine and earth and sweat and fire and something burning, like hair.
Then there was light.
A frightening wail, deep with terrible bass pierced into my core. I felt meager, insignificant. Paralyzed with fear. There was such power ahead that I had to kneel. I was shielding my eyes while silently begging to whoever was listening to spare my life, just this once. The fog around myself and the nearby hipsters was pushed away by some invisible force. I glimpsed around to my captors, counting their numbers: five flannels, no Ghoul (where the hell did he go?) and something else… something of the purest evil.
“I will eviscerate your essence and victimize your entrails in the dark recesses of the farthest void.”
That threat was brutal, authentic with sinister tones and inflections that spawned from a vile underworld of unknown origins. However, the blonde beauty in the winter beanie who issued it was quite opposite. I guessed she was five-foot four, possibly early twenties with a knack for producing flames from her reptilian hands. She had a tail, too. My mental stability was about to snap like a pent-up fault line yet somehow it held; having an undead housemate desensitized life.
Oh, and there was Kurt B., that tool, cowering before this odd lizard-like woman.
“No! I swear, they were out cold. I was just getting ready to go get them when Darren over there,” Kurt pointed to the other hipsters but I couldn’t make out who this guy Darren was, “needed me to help him, once again, down at the water.”
“Not cool, man. You know I have a hard time with the pods—
“Silence your face-hole!” The woman flashed a burning stare to the one I guessed to be Darren, then returned to Kurt. “You can’t even count right. How I was so fooled to give you more responsibility. But don’t worry, I have just the job for you.”
Flames shot from her claws like a Vietnam era flamethrower, reckless and unnecessary. Kurt was ablaze, squealing as the fires consumed him. The woman then brought her attention to me.
“So you’re the one who resisted the spell… what are you?”
She wore an oversize jacket, unbuttoned all the way. I didn’t think there was a need for suspenders; a belt would have worked just fine. But that wasn’t the issue. No, not by a long shot. My mind finally decided to reject the false scenarios I created for deflecting the obvious horrors I experienced. What I saw was a hipster chick with flame-shooting-lizard-hands. And she had a tail like a raptor’s. What I wanted my mind to believe was that this woman was actually a circus performer juggling torches and iguanas so fast that she appeared reptilian. The remains of my sanity laughed at this feeble attempt, and then left without saying goodbye.
Madness seized the reigns. I convulsed and began stammering something quasi-religious. Then I sobbed. It probably didn’t help matters that this part-hipster, part-reptile was flicking its forked tongue inches my face.
“You’re just a plain-old-boring human, huh?” she gave an air of disappointment that quickly shifted. “But there is something else… something deed that reeks on you.”
The fog crept in once more and the terrifying lizard woman blended away.
“Take him to one of the cabins. Don’t let him out of your sight or you will all dine on the bowels of the lowest demons!”
She was gone. I garbled chaotic nonsense like a straitjacket regular as my two jailers, whom appeared through my wretched insanity as winged hyenas, hauled me off to my cell deep within the campground.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017. All rights reserved.