Halloween Themed StoriesAnimal Robots Stone Transgender Halloween Other Sc-Fi Year 2015 Published Stories
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"Present arms." Conner Opaqua snapped his hand to his forehead and in the process snagged his finger on the dead bug graveyard he called fly-fishing lures on his hat.
"Gimme a break, Bughead. This is my great-great-grandfather's Civil War uniform." Will Rynton adjusted the woolen jacket and posed. Sweat covered his back.
"Bad idea dressing up as a Yankee Corporal." A mumbled southern drawl slipped out of the Predator mask topping Boog's green lizard costume. It covered his torso from the waist to the top of his head in green scales and highlighted his muscles.
"Boog Tyler, you threat'nin' me?" Will asked.
"I never threaten, Corporal Scrooby, but you better watch out for my Daddy. He has real Southern blood flowing through his veins and Yankee blue always gits his hackles up. He maight have you lynched by a gang of ruthless naihn-year-old DARs." Will ignored his silliness and admired his own image.
"If anyone deserves lynchin' it's you for jumping out from behind trees and scaring kiddies. You do find some ugly, ugly and I mean ugly, costumes. I'm taking the easy way out. This is my best fishing outfit," Bughead said. He wore jeans, tattered out green t-shirt, rubber boots, bamboo pole and his prize fishing hat.
"Buzz kill." They laughed. Corporal Scrooby opened the apartment door.
"As the last rays of the sun slink away, coeds await to be swept off their feet, beer waits to be swilled and my dick is getting twitchy." Bughead held an imaginary girl in his arms and waltzed out the door.
"Let's walk. I don't want to drive home drunk." Corporal Scrooby brushed a non-existent piece of dust from his uniform.
"Sheee-iit! I don't like the park," Bughead said.
"Scared of the dark, Injun? I thought Seminoles had consort with the spirit world?" Boog mumbled through four sets of fangs. He raised his gloved hands and wiggled the claws in front of Bughead's face.
"Ain't fraid o' nuthin, especially not an over-muscled jock in a rubber mask. Tell ya what. We walk the three paths and whoever gets to the party first, gets the girls."
"Fine," answered Scrooby. Three young men stepped off the sidewalk.
Designed by a haunted gardener, Henry Hill Park in Manassas contains three, paths from one corner of the park to the opposite corner. A system of raised and lowered walkways and monuments guarantee the three paths never cross.
Night murmurs and ominous shadows fills the trees. Corporal Scrooby walks tall in his uniform. Take note, the voices say, A blue-coated Yankee walks. Cool air shuffles dead leaves. Voices beckon. Soldier boy, they whisper. Soldier boy, the voices slip from the earth. We've waited so long. Where've ye been?
"Who's there?" Scrooby calls out. A squirrel dashes across the path and up a tree. The would-be soldier walks on. Twilight becomes night and the moon hides behind gray clouds. The leaves rustle. Footsteps? He thinks. Thoughts of soldiers, blue and gray fill his mind. He hurries. Damn Bughead and his jokes, he thinks.
A third time the voices speak: He comes. The foresworn. O perfidious paladin, you remembered.
"Who's there," he calls again. A platoon appears from the trees. Blue uniformed men, deathly pale complexions, rifles and bayonets at the ready.
"Sumner Abraham Rynton, the threat of rebels be clear, take your rifle and stand by our side once again," the Lieutenant says. His platoon -- men his age, men with young beards and old scars, men with dirt and mud on their clothes, men with blood on their hands -- these men need him tonight.
"They are marching down the path, sir." Corporal Scrooby doesn't believe his own voice as it answers his Lieutenant. He takes his place behind a tree and loads his rifle and pistol and waits. Footfalls of boots stepping lightly on gravel and the breathing of men draw close. The Lieutenant signals. Scrooby sights his rifle on the chest of Johnny Reb. He has the face of an angel, the blond hair of Adonis and the gray uniform of the enemy. Their guns spit lead and smoke. A black hole appears in Johnny Reb's doublet, spinning him around, revealing a bloody back of ripped cloth and flesh as he falls. Scrooby charges, bayonet held high. He battles a soldier in gray, bare steel on steel. They aim to gut each other in a mad frenzy of thrusts and parries. Thunder stops him. A deafening sound. A cloud of blue smoke billows in the autumn air.
Gray reinforcements stand barely a dozen yards away. Pain fills Scrooby's world. his right arm lies on the ground with his rifle, a bloody sleeve hangs at his side. He fumbles for his pistol but a second report fills his gut with pain. His stomach puffs forwards and bursts open soaking his uniform with blood and viscera. He falls forward onto a body. It is the Lieutenant, shot through the temple. Johnny Reb's footsteps fade away to silence. Leaves stir. Hours pass. Finally, a soldier in blue approaches, lifts Corporal Scrooby's bloody body and holds him.
"Remember me, son of my son, remember me. I fell engaging the enemy. I did not run. Neither will you when asked," the soldier says. In the distance, a teller bell announces death. Scrooby counts the toll, knowing the number. His battle is over. History played out.
The bare twigs of Azaleas and red berries on burning bush shape formal gardens along the sidewalks guarding. Blue-green holly bushes border a cobblestone path. A fountain creates a moss-covered rill leading to a small pond. Its plantings include gunnera, candelabra primulas, and rodgersias.
On this night, a creature walks the second path. It is, like Boog, broad of shoulder and chest, muscles built on muscles, strong and unafraid. This path too, grows dark. It makes the squirrels and rabbits run with fear. Gravel turns to stone. Trees become swamp. The moon slips behind the clouds and not even starlight illuminates his path. The creature doesn't care. With new eyes, it sees the path glowing with life. Luminous insects, radiant fish and all manner of living things abound in silvers, golds, reds and purples. His feet, now huge and clawed grip the ground through the moss and mold.
An alligator floats towards him and attacks. Digging his claws into the beast's skin, he grabs its jaws with bare hands. With one single superhuman yank, he breaks the alligator's jaws and cracks its neck. The sound of breaking bones and ripping tendons frightens the lesser creatures. He stands on the carcass and proclaims his dominance, then rips the carcass apart, bathing in the blood and gore, throwing pieces to the four winds. Clouds streak across a baleful moon.
An energy beam blackens the ground nearby. Beasts howl in the wind. The royal hunt begins. He is the prey. He flees, climbing the vines, going up to avoid the claws of scorpion-headed bloodhounds. He listens to the footfalls of the beasts of burden -- beasts with two heads, sabertooth fangs and claws sharper than eagles. High in the trees, now, he scans the ground below. A half dozen of his kind search the surface of the swamp and the trees with darting red lasers. He scrambles higher to reach the crown. A red dot illuminates the tree above him. A blast of steam and heat throws him backwards. He lands on a granite outcrop. His bones break and his body crushes. He lies helpless.
The leader of the hunt comes to him and howls. He lifts Boog's broken body high and throws it to the ground a second time. The courtiers pass the leader a knife. Boog watches in horror as the alien opens his chest and cuts his heart from his alien body, anointing him with his own blood. The leader sinks his fangs into the fresh heartmeat, dripping blood drips from its jowls. Boog wants to scream but he has no voice. The leader slices through Boog's neck and lifts the severed head high for all too see. They cheer a new trophy for the leader's lodge. He stuffs the head into a sack. Darkness.
The third path in Henry Hill Park passes by a masoleum with a lone sarcophagus. A single piece of granite faced with marble effigies of Greek and Roman soldiers, filled not with bones but the memories of those dead to the living.
They say that the dead call to the living. But the dead hold no fear for Bughead. The living haunt him. He hurries because He hates the dark. He hates the quiet, thoughtful, dark of night. The moon, past its prime and barely more than a quarter hangs low in the sky unable to cast even its dim silvery light on the path.
Bughead, the night accuses. Sweat covers his back.
You've been a naughty boy, it says. He breaks into a nervous jog. The night air clings like a thief, stealing heat, making him shiver.
Bughead, the night speaks stronger. It condemns. It accuses. Panic burns in Bughead's chest with each breath. He knows what will happen. He runs. His muscles burn. His legs want to stop but he will not.
You must be punished, The voice says. His feet slide under rubbery legs and he falls.
"I didn't do it. It wasn't me. The other teens, they did it." His legs refuse to support him. He leans against a tree, gasping for breath, lungs afire, back aching. There is a crack and he feels the leather across his back. The snap so loud in his ears, he wonders why the blow didn't break bones. The second crack shatters the air. He jerks forward as the leather slides across his bare flesh.
The rough bark becomes planks. The stump becomes a chair. He is back home in his basement. He lies over a bare wooden chair. The leather strap strikes a third time leaving fire and pain behind.
"Please Daddy, please don't hurt me," he begs. He struggles against the ropes binding his hands and feet. His skin rips and red lines paint his hands and ankles.
"Kill my fish, didja?" Crack! The leather strikes again. "You or your little bastard friends poured beer in the aquarium, didn't you?" Crack again, this time across the small of his back, over the kidneys. Bughead screams at the pain. The leather strap rises and falls another half dozen times accompanied by his screams and grunts of his father's anger.
"That's it, pump a few tears boy. Cry like a baby." The words precede another half-dozens blows ripping broken flesh, bruising muscles and organs in his quaking body. There is a pause for two deep breaths and the assault begins a fourth time. Bughead screams his guilt with every blow, screams for forgiveness, begs for salvation. He hears nothing but blood pumping through his ears. He prays beyond all hope that the ordeal is over. He feels the warm blood drying tight over his body. It's stain buttressing his shame, his guilt.
"Please Daddy, no more Daddy. I'll never do it again. Please let me go, Daddy," He begs. It isn't the voice of a young man; it's the voice of a child.
"You like to sneak my beers, too? There's a beer for you." A sudden coldness hits his back turning fire into icy pain. The alcohol burns his soul and brands his sin upon his bare flesh. Through the pain, Boog listens. His ordeal isn't over.
A heavy powder covers his back. The open wounds turn to fire. The pain so intense, he can't scream. "Salt, you bastard, something to make you remember this day forever."
"You'll never forget this beating, rotten destructive boy, never," his father screams. The whoosh of the leather strap precedes the pain. Bughead screams to drive the world from him. He screams to create a sound so loud that the house might fall in and crush him. He screams as if to die then the pain would stop. But the leather continues to whoosh. And then, there is blackness.
Tufted violets, California poppies, staid mums and orange sweet peas greet the visitor at the entrance to Henry Hill Park. Sheafs of corn and wheat stand high at the entrance amidst cornucopia of gourds, squashes and pumpkin proclaiming the season.
A car horn blasted the three boys back into the world of parties, studies and books.
"Yoohoo!" three girly voices squealed from behind the headlights. Scrooby, Bughead and Boog glanced at each other. One remembered the dead. One remembered the fantasy. One remembered the living. Eyes met. Promises exchanged. Never talk about this night's revelations.
"Don't you guys ever look when you cross the street?" The three young men stared through the headlights of a convertible. Girlfriends dressed in frilly costumes looking like princesses and fairies -- all pinky and glittery, sparkly tiaras and giggly grins stared back at them.
The horn sounded a second time. Corporal Scrooby squared his shoulders and gathered his thoughts.
"Only if you're in the road, baby. We were going to walk through the park."
"Silly boys, why walk to the Halloween party when you can arrive with the prettiest girls in college?"
"Hey dreamboat, get in and let's go."
Scrooby, Bughead and Boog didn't hesitate, not for a second.
(2240 words more or less)
FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.
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