October 2008 Archives

Raid on the Island of the Dead

Chapter 8

By Dwayne MacInnes

Chaplain Brodin hurried after the captain paying little heed to the pain burning and pulsating in his wounded hand. He was finally able to catch up to the American officer inside the laboratory. Jennings was down on his knees upon the broken down steel door furiously wiping away the dust covering it.

The chaplain for the first time saw the German graffiti painted on it. Jennings looked at the Chaplain and pointed down towards the word.

"I couldn't figure it out before," Jennings rapidly explained. "I've never came across this word before. I knew the root of the German word 'tot' meant dead. But this says 'untoten'. When I saw that magazine with the title 'The Undead Strike' I figured it out. This word is German for Undead!"

Captain Jennings stood up and grabbed Brodin by the shoulders. "The Germans succeeded. They found their Uber-soldat formula! They have made all the islanders undead."

Brodin stared at the captain for a while before scratching his head. "I'm sorry cobber, but you've lost me. What is undead?"

Jennings ushered Brodin back to his chair in the laboratory facing the bed sheet pinned on the wall. The captain wound the film in the projector back a little and then he flipped off the lights.

The sheet again showed the film. It was playing what it was before they were interrupted. The image of the camera zooming in on the face of the dead girl on the bed played before their eyes.

Suddenly the girl's eyes flung open and she stared up towards the camera. In a fit of rage the girl started thrashing her head biting and gnashing towards the camera. The camera operator turned towards Dr. von Jutt. The German scientist known as the Todesengel was beaming with pride. Several of the Japanese doctors began shaking hands with each other and von Jutt before the film suddenly finished.

Captain Jennings flipped the lights on again. Brodin was rubbing his eyes in mixture of disbelief and readjustment to the light.

"That girl was dead, right?" Brodin began.

Captain Jennings nodded, "And they brought her back."

"But she wasn't alive," Brodin noted, "she was..." The chaplain desperately tried to grasp for the correct word.

"She was undead," Jennings supplied the word.

"That means at this very minute we are being surrounded by..." Before Brodin could finish Jennings was outside the lab yelling for Reynolds.

The sergeant was not long in running towards the captain.

"Sergeant, call the men to arms. Start distributing any weapons in the armory. Make sure they know how to use the Stielhandgranate," Jennings rapidly started ordering.

Stielhandgranate (Potato Masher)

"Cap, the what?" Reynolds asked.

"Sorry, those stick grenages, ah the 'Potato Mashers'," Jennings rapidly explained. "We need to make sure those vehicles down in the courtyard are working and we need to start gathering all the stuff in this lab."

"Yessir!" the sergeant replied and started to run down the hall. However before he went far he turned back towards the capain. "Sir, what exactly are we preparing to fight?"

"Those natives are a German experiment."

* * * * *

Jennings with Brodin and Reynolds present held a brief war council in the lab. There were still several hours before the submarine would return the raiders. Every minute also brought more of the undead natives to the walls of the fortress. The raiders would have to remain in the fortress until it was time to rush for the beach.

The remaining contents of the German armory was distributed among the soldiers who were now lining the wall of the fortress. All the raiders had makeshift masks over their nose and mouth to help stifle the malignant smell of human decay. They now more resembled bandits from the Old West than they did US Army personnel.

The raiders received a quick lesson in operating the Karabiner 98k bolt action rifle. Jennings felt it wiser to expend the German munitions before using up the vastly more limited supplies of the US make. Until sundown the soldiers would try to reduce the numbers of undead at their doorsteps by shooting at them. This would give the soldiers something to do and give them the practice. They were going to need it once they broke free of the fortress.

A few barrels of gasoline were hauled up to the walls to be held ready for when the breakout was imminent. The soldiers not on the wall rapidly began gathering all important material dealing with the Uber-soldat formula and packed it into the Opel Blitz truck.

Opel Blitz

Jennings grabbed a satchel and started to pack von Jutt's journal, the film, and some of the notebooks into it. This he decided he would trust only upon his person. The constant crack of rifle fire started as soon as Sergeant Reynolds finished the lessons.

Jennings climbed the stairs to the wall to survey the results the men were having. The MG42's in the towers opened up rapidly firing their 7.92mm rounds into the mass of walking dead below. The results were less than satisfactory. Though the machineguns' rounds would tear a decayed limb off a native, it did not put one out of action.

The men with the bolt-action Karabiner 98k rifles were having better results. Mainly as they were learning, only a shot to the head would effectively disable an undead person. With this lesson in hand, Jennings gave orders that the men were to take their time and aim for the head.

The captain descended the stairs again to help with the loading of the trucks. As Jennings reached the courtyard, he noticed Brodin sitting upon some crates with his head in his hands.

"Father, are you alright?" the captain asked.

The chaplain looked up with sweat pouring from his brow towards Jennings. "Yes, I am just feeling a bit ill right now."

"You look pale. When we get you to the sub we'll have them give you some stuff to help you out."

Brodin only nodded his head unconsciously rubbing his wounded hand wrapped in a blood-soaked bandage.

Without warning, an unholy wail cut through the air. The unnerving alarm even overpowered the continuous crack of the rifles on the wall. Again, as it did the previous night Jennings felt a chill run up and down his spine.

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Iapetus Saves Albuquerque

Chapter Twelve

By Douglas E. Gogerty

The son of Iapetus grabbed a few meteoroids of his former foe, and threw them at Cyber-Iapetus. The mechanical monster turned to see where the minor attack originated. The young monster gave a roar of challenge to the cybernetic weapon system.

The distraction allowed Iapetus to make a full out attack. He swept the legs out from under the weapon system. Once the weapon was on the ground, Iapetus jumped on top of it, and began pounding on the weak spots.

The young monster rushed over to where his father wrestled with his mechanical rival. The weapon system saw the rush and launched some missiles at him with its good hand. Further, the shoulder doors open and began firing at the elder Iapetus.

With the mechanical monster pinned beneath him, Iapetus avoided the bullets as they fired into the air. The missiles did strike the son of Iapetus, but did little damage to the young beast. Nevertheless, Cyber-Iapetus sent several more waves of missiles at the oncoming young monster.

The missiles hit their mark as the young monster kicked a hole into the side of the mechanical beast. At this, the storyteller rushed towards the fighting monsters. The others were too surprised by this development that they were too late to stop the rushing man.

The two monsters continued to wrestle with the weapon system as the storyteller ran up to them. However, they held the weapon still to allow the man to enter the created hole. Once inside, he managed to shut down the system.

Further, once inside he removed the weapon system's remaining munitions. Thus, even if it returned to auto-protect mode, it would have no missiles or bullets at its disposal. It had already depleted its fire breathing reservoir.

The storyteller exited Cyber-Iapetus and the two monsters briefly relaxed. However, there were still things remaining to be done. The aliens were still lurking somewhere.

Out of the sand, a craft emerged. Before it rose too high, the son of Iapetus jumped upon it. The weight of the young monster forced the craft to the ground. It tried and tried to shake off the monster, but was not successful.

The storyteller walked calmly over to where the alien craft sat. Again the others could do nothing to stop him. The alien craft door opened, and the Iapetian entered. The door closed behind him.

The young monster got off the craft. The alien ship took off, but landed near the Humvee where the other three men remained. The door opened, and the storyteller beckoned the three men to join him. Reluctantly, all three joined him -- even Captain Cheever.

Communication among the group was difficult. The aliens were not able to make sounds to speak any human language. However, they could enter information into a machine that could make the sounds for language. Fortunately, the aliens learned some human languages before setting out to encounter the humans.

The spoken words by the men would enter into a device which transformed it into a form available to the aliens. Thus, communication was slow but it was possible.

"We demand the return of our ambassador," stated the alien captain.

"Sorry, but that is impossible," replied Captain Cheever.

"Please explain," the alien responded.

"With all due respect, the alien craft crashed," answered Captain Cheever. "There were no survivors."

"Do you know that?" whispered Dr. Maland.

"I have information not publicly available," responded the military man.

"Please elaborate," the alien urged.

"As you know, our air is toxic to your people," began Captain Cheever. "The crash landing breached the protective suit of the pilot. Thus, your ambassador perished shortly after the crash. Further, he decomposed quite rapidly under the exposure of our air. This all happened before we could get to him."

"That is indeed distressing," stated the alien. "What is the status of his ship?"

"It was beyond salvage. Most of the wreckage was taken to a secure location, but it is simply a pile of twisted metals," stated Captain Cheever.

"Are there any remnants of our ambassador?" asked the alien.

"The remains of your comrade were photographed in their discovered state but have not lasted his time on earth," explained Captain Cheever. "These images may be made available to you if you demand proof of my words."

"You have defeated us and our Sletfernian Sand Monster in a fair fight," replied the alien captain. "We are in no position to make any demands. In fact, you may punish us in whatever manner you see fit."

"Our people are not a punitive people," responded Captain Cheever. "We are sympathetic for your cause. While your actions might not be completely forgiven, I will speak on your behalf. We will attempt to make this right."

"Very well spoken human," replied the alien. "What is our next step?"

"Let these civilians off," answered Captain Cheever "and I will make the necessary arrangements."

"But..." begged Dr. Maland and Dr. Plate.

"Agreed," replied the aliens as they herded the men out of the ship.

The three men stood there and watched the ship take off with Captain Cheever aboard. There was nothing that they could do to take that trip. They looked around and had to determine what they were going to do. The rental car was quite a distance away, and Captain Cheever did not leave the keys to the Humvee behind.

As they stood there, the two giant monsters approached. The storyteller climbed upon the tail of the son of Iapetus. Dr. Maland and Dr. Plate followed this lead. The young monster carefully took the men to the rental car.

The three men entered the car as the two monsters walked south towards the gulf. The men discussed it and drove back to where the mechanical weapon system sat.

Dr. Plate grabbed several meteoroids. These pieces of a former giant creature would provide a great deal of interesting study material for the astronomer and his cohorts.

The storyteller climbed aboard the greatly damaged Cyber-Iapetus. He powered it up and left the area into it. With the holes in the armor, he would not be able to follow the Iapetian family. He would have to find some other way to get the weapon system to his island home. Nonetheless, he began steering it towards Florida.

Dr. Maland waited until everyone had finished their tasks. He asked Dr. Plate where he wanted to go. While his truck was in Santa Fe, he was fine with going to Albuquerque. Thus, the two men headed to the city that Iapetus had just saved. From there, they headed home.

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Raid on the Island of the Dead

Chapter 9

By Dwayne MacInnes

As suddenly, as it began the alarm died off. Captain Jennings quickly leapt from where the chaplain was resting and returned to the wall.

"What the hell was that?" Jennings yelled to Reynolds who was still firing into the mass below them.

"One of those bastards still had a good set of lungs," Reynolds replied never taking his eye off the task of shooting the undead natives gathered below him.

"Cap, look!" Corporal Vanders, who was standing a few positions down from Reynolds, motioned out towards the jungle. Jennings followed the man's flailing arm to see hordes of undead marching out of the jungle in an endless stream.

"Oh my God!" Jennings exclaimed. He could not help but notice as the few hundred undead were now becoming thousands as reinforcements arrived. Even a few undead German and Japanese soldiers were in the mix.

"Sir," Reynolds shouted over the din. "We cannot keep up this barrage forever. We will run out of ammunition."

Jennings looked towards the west to see the sun was finally starting to dip into the ocean. However, once the raiders left the safety of the walls they would be vulnerable to the growing horde of undead.

"We have to stay here as long as possible!" Jennings shouted back. "Slow down your fire and make every shot count!"

"Yessir!" the sergeant responded as he broke away and started running down the wall issuing the orders to the men.

The mass of undead tried to approach the walls of the fortress. However, the bodies of their fallen comrades acted as obstacles to the clumsy undead trying to climb the hill. As they tripped over the bodies, they tended to roll down the hill knocking over more undead.

The unearthly moans mingled with the constant crack of the rifles and the semi-steady bursts from the machineguns. The sky fittingly turned a blood-red hue as the sun disappeared over the horizon.

As the sky deepened to a deeper blue, the guard towers switched on the searchlights to help the exhausted soldiers find their targets. The undead mesmerized by the lights tended to stop and stare into the blinding beams. This helped the men reduce the undead further.

"Captain," Private Pike said urgently behind the captain. "The padre is looking pretty bad."

Jennings rushed down the stairs again with the private following behind. The captain noticed that the truck was fully loaded with several crates and barrels. However, there was still enough room to carry several men in the back.

Chaplain Brodin lay prostrate upon the ground in a delirious state. Sweat covered his face and his bloodshot eyes darted back and forth as the chaplain moaned and uttered incoherently.

"Private, get him in the kubel. We will be leaving shortly. Do anything you can to ease his distress."

"Yes sir!" Pike snapped as he lifted the sick chaplain into the backseat of the kubelwagen."

The firing on the wall was starting to slacken as the men were starting to deplete their remaining rounds. The captain looked at his watch; it was time to begin the evacuation.

Jennings again ran back up the stone stairs to the wall. He located the sergeant and grabbed his arm.

"Okay, start getting the men into the vehicles and let's try to open a path from the gate," Jennings ordered.

Reynolds nodded and started pulling the men from their firing positions. Most of the men descended towards the courtyard and began piling into the vehicles. Those few that remained on the wall began lifting the drums of gasoline and pouring the contents over the side thoroughly dousing the undead below. Once the barrels were nearly empty, the soldiers tossed them over the side. They watched intently as the barrels rolled down the hill and dispensed their remaining fuel among the throng of undead.

Once finished with their task, these soldiers too retreated to the courtyard and climbed into either the truck or the kubel. Jennings, Reynolds, and Vanders were all that remained on the wall. The captain reached down, grabbed a 'Potato Masher', and flung it over the wall. The sergeant and corporal followed suit.

The three explosions burst in rapid succession and limbs flew in the air simultaneously as the gasoline soaked undead burst into flames. Fire surrounded the wall and spread down the hillside following the path of the fuel barrels. Once it reached the source of the gasoline, the barrels too exploded rocking the night air.

The three men ran down the stairs. Jennings jumped behind the wheel of the Opel Blitz and revved the engine to life. Reynolds and Vanders threw the gates open and ran to the motorcycles. Before the two noncoms were on their bikes, Jennings gunned the truck out the steel gate. The kubel followed close behind with the two motorcycles bringing up the rear.

The two-ton truck burst through the burning debris knocking over any undead still lucky enough to be standing. The men in the back would take the occasional pop-shot at any undead they could view in the wavering light. Private Williams driving the kubel followed the truck as closely as he dared. Vanders and Reynolds weaved their motorcycles as best they could around the burning corpses lining the road.

The scant light emanating from the truck's headlights soon ceased as the constant collision with bodies soon broke them both. Driving as fast as he dared, Jennings drove down the road into the jungle. It was not far into the jungle before the undead thinned out and the driving became easier.

In the kubel Private Pike washed the chaplain's face with a rag wetted with the water from his canteen. Private Driscoll rested Brodin's head on his knees as Williams followed the truck. Private Quaid in the passenger seat would look back occasionally to check on the chaplain.

"How's the padre doing?" Quaid asked.

"Not good. If we don't get him help soon I'm afraid he will die," Pike answered worriedly.

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Bulwer-Lytton Contest Inspired Story

Part One

First sentence by
Garrison Spik

The rest by
Douglas E. Gogerty

Every year San Jose State University's Department of English & Comparative Literature holds a contest "where WWW means Wretched Writers Welcome". It is a contest in "honor" of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton who was known for writing "It was a dark and stormy night" fiction.

Thus, I have taken the "winner" of this year's contest, and expounded upon it to make a complete story. Enjoy!

* * * * *

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."

Which was quite coincidental since his name was Sam DeLaney so his last name was DeLaney, and he was from Piscataway, N.J., but he did not have anything to do with forging manhole covers; in fact, he worked like so many other hard working people in Eden Prairie, MN at one of the many retail outlets, but this one was selling sweaters to high school girls.

Mary Ellen, who with Sam DeLaney made up the couple, purchased a sweater from him with puppies on it that she thought was quite fashionable when she was in high school but that time had long passed and in reality it was never fashionable and now it was threadbare and worn because of the intervening years but it was a memento of their first meeting so she wore it often whenever they got together.

The pair were like a Burlington Northwestern Santa Fe freight train and a Metrolink train in Placentia, CA, at the intersection of Van Buren Street and Orangethorpe Avenue, near the Atwood Junction; they were bound to run into each other eventually, and they did at a convention of sweater wearers sponsored by Sam's store.

Nonetheless, not everyone was a fan of checkered taxi ride burning rubber love; however, not because she lived approximately 1,027 miles from New York City or that she was against east coast elitism, but because she was not the recipient of such love from her husband Sam DeLaney, and that woman was named Samantha DeLaney which caused all kinds of difficulties when the someone asked for Sam DeLaney on the phone.

Just like Isaac Newton's and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's independent invention of integral calculus, Sam's and Mary Ellen's affair was bound to be discovered sooner or later, but the pair was hoping for later; however, those hopes were dashed when Sam DeLaney, Sam's wife, came home early from work on a sunny but unseasonably warm autumn afternoon in October with what could be described as a rather bad case of projectile vomiting.

Needless to say, Sam's day was going to get a great deal worse, but in actuality both Samantha's and Samuel's days were going to get worse, but Samantha's day was already going bad with the vomiting and all, where as Samuel's day was going pretty well, what with the rendezvous with his mistress, and the fact that he was not currently selling ugly sweaters to demanding teenage girls.

While the situation was quite embarrassing with the yelling and the vomiting, what made it worse for the two women was that they both had the same sweater with the puppies that they liked so much which made them realize that they had more in common than just the man in their lives, but on the other hand, it could just be that Sam the sweater salesman used the same sweater salesman technique on both women, which was clearly effective.

It was your standard love triangle, it may have been an acute, obtuse, or even a right angled triangle, but the problem is that it was not a triangle at all because there was another person involved making it a love rectangle or at the very least a love quadrangle because the definition depends on the angles, and who knows, it may have been a love pentangle or hexangle or even more people may have been involved as who can ever tell in these types of things.

Easton Leuer, which is pronounced 'lower' not in a lower and deeper voice but as in the word 'lower' such as 'lower level of the parking garage' which is where Easton worked as a parking attendant making sure the basic sports utility vehicles, like the Cadillac Escalades, were not parking in the compact spaces which happened to be a very common occurrence at this garage and was quite a parking hazard to other patrons with these big cars sticking out too far into the isles and using two spaces where the space was designed for one.

Since the early bird gets the worm, Easton believed he could get whatever he wanted because he was up earlier in the morning than just about everybody because he had to be at work before everyone else due to him working at a busy parking garage where so many parked their cars for work, but the thing that Easton never realized was that the early worm gets eaten by the bird; thus, getting what you want because you were early was not necessarily a good thing which perfectly exemplifies his relationship with Mary Ellen.

Easton and Mary Ellen's love was like an invisible six foot white rabbit named Harvey who could only be seen by one person and that person would have to be Easton because Mary Ellen had know idea who Easton was let alone that he had any type of crush upon her, but he was under the impression that they had a very serious relationship from her daily parkings in his garage despite the fact that they had never spoken.

With all of the players set up like characters in a bad detective story where everyone has a motive to kill everyone else, but not all of the motives have been expounded to the audience and not all of the details have been given but nonetheless, the audience is expected to guess the outcome of the whodunit even though no one has actually done anything wrong at this point in the story.

Nevertheless, when a headless women, who was wearing an ugly but remarkably very worn sweater with puppies on it, was found in the Mississippi river occupying a 1978 two-tone brown Chevrolet Chevette with expired New Jersey plates, authorities believed that foul play was involved, but the first order of business was to determine who the occupant of this classic vehicle was and why she was attempting to drive in the Mississippi river.

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Raid on the Island of the Dead

Chapter 10

By Dwayne MacInnes

Jennings slowed the truck down to a safer speed. The undead were behind them and it would not be long before they were on the beach. The men would quickly transfer their cargo into the rafts and then they would be safely in the submarine.

Williams concentrated on driving. He stared ahead and closely followed the truck. When the Opel Blitz slowed down Williams had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending the truck.

"Dammit, Williams!" shouted Pike from the backseat. "Are you trying to kill the padre?"

Before Williams could issue an apology, Driscoll solemnly broke in, "He's already dead."

The four men in the kubel all cursed inwardly. Pike reached over and closed the chaplain's dead-staring eyes before laying the wet cloth over Brodin's face.

"I guess he's in a better place now," Pike said.

"Man, are you kidding. He's a priest," Quaid said incredulously. "He's got a one-way ticket to heaven."

Driscoll reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He stuffed one between his lips before passing the pack around to his companions. Each man grabbed a smoke.

"Thanks," Pike said. "I hope you have something to light these with."

"You bet. I've got a lucky lighter I always carry," Driscoll replied.

"What makes it so lucky?" Quaid asked.

"It always lights on the first try," Driscoll responded. To prove his point the private flipped the lid and the lighter flickered to life only to have a gust of wind extinguish it.

Quaid laughed, "Lucky lighter indeed."

Driscoll frowned, "Hey, it lit. It just blew out from the wind."

The private flipped the lid again and this time the flame resisted the wind to ignite the end of Driscoll's cigarette. After a quick deep puff that deepened the red glow of his smoke, Driscoll offered the lighter's flame to Quaid.

"Thanks, after everything today I really need this," Quaid responded as he brought his cigarette to life.

Driscoll then reached over towards Pike who anxiously awaited the lighter. As the flame passed over the chaplain's corpse, Pike noticed that the wind had blown the rag aside revealing Brodin's face. The soft flickering glow of the lighter bathed the chaplain's face; Pike dropped his cigarette when Brodin opened his eyes.

"You dumb-ass. He's still alive!" Pike shouted gleefully.

"What!?!" Driscoll exclaimed.

Quaid turned around in time to watch Brodin sit up straight and look around.

"Take it easy padre," Quaid said before he noticed the chaplain's dead eyes turn towards him. "OH Shi..." Quaid started to cry before Brodin reached up, pulled himself up to Williams, and bit him on the neck.

The unlit cigarette in Williams' lips flipped through the air as he screamed out in pain. Blood spurted from his neck and he unconsciously stomped down on the accelerator. Pike and Driscoll wrestled with the undead chaplain in the backseat as Quaid reached for his rifle.

The light kubel burst forth in a fury of speed before colliding with the back of the Opel Blitz truck. The men in the truck screamed in horror as they tumbled out the back. Jennings felt the German truck lurch forward and before he could hit the brakes, the vehicle lost the road and smashed into a tree.

The kubelwagen crumpled upon itself as it slid under the truck's rear, burying itself under the Opel Blitz. The sudden accident caught Corporal Vanders by surprise and the corporal crashed into the back of the kubel killing him instantly. Only Reynolds, who stayed back a ways to act as rear guard had time to react and was able to lay the motorcycle on its side causing both man and vehicle to tumble until they both came to a rest upon the wreckage.

Steam hissed from the truck's ruined radiator. Jennings shook his head; miraculously, he had only bumped his head upon the steering wheel opening a gash in his forehead. The captain wiped the blood out of his eyes and looked over at the two men beside him who were now laying dead halfway out the windshield.

The captain fought to open his door, which finally acquiesced after some kicking and shoving. Jennings stumbled out into the night air. In the scant moonlight, he surveyed the wreck. Underneath the truck's rear, the kubel sat buried with its occupants. A few of the men that were in the back of the truck were lucky enough to be picking themselves off the ground. Some had broken bones others were just stunned.

Out of the dark, Sergeant Reynolds staggered over to the captain. "What happened?" the sergeant asked.

A groan from the kubel captured their attention. The captain and sergeant moved to the back of the truck and looked underneath. There helplessly pinned in the steel body of the German vehicle writhed the undead body of Brodin.

Jennings reached for his Colt .45 automatic and primed it. Then with deliberate aim, the captain put a bullet into the chaplain's head.

"How many men are left?" Jennings asked Reynolds.

The sergeant snapped back to earth and looked around him. "Looks like about half a dozen. I still have my motorcycle, but it looks like we will have to walk from here."

"Okay, get the men..." before Captain Jennings could finish a mournful moan broke out from the jungle.

"Damn!" shouted the captain. Jennings ran back to the truck's cab and pulled something out. He returned to Sergeant Reynolds with a satchel.

"Take this and get on that bike. You have to make it to the beach. Make sure this gets to the Brass," Jennings said as he thrust the satchel into Reynolds arms.

"Sir," Reynolds started to protest.

"Dammit, Sergeant this is an order," Jennings said. The captain began gathering the wounded and stunned survivors. They started gathering rifles and prepared for the undead that would soon issue out from the woods.

Reynolds lifted his bike from the road and started it. Jennings looked over towards the sergeant while priming the Tommy gun still slung over his shoulder. "We'll hold them back. Get to the beach."

Reynolds revved the bike and tore off down the dirt road. It was not long before the jungle erupted into the sounds of rifles and a submachine guns. Occasionally, it was punctuated by the explosion of a grenade. The battle still raged as Reynolds reached the beach and pulled a raft out from its concealment.

As the raft motored out towards the dark silhouette of a submarine, Reynolds noticed that the sound of gunfire died off. The sergeant dropped his head in remorse before he heard the last sound of a Cold .45 fire a single shot.

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Bulwer-Lytton Contest Inspired Story

Part Two

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Finding the identity of a headless corpse is like finding a particular blue fin tuna that was caught the day before but was released because it had this scary gash in its side, but your engagement ring was lost and perhaps this tuna got a hold of it and you need to get it back; fortunately, this was not going to be like this because she had her driver's license with her.

It is really hard to match a driver's license photo with a person without a head, but with a record of height and weight and home address there was a place to begin for getting a proper identification of the person although she probably lied about her weight and perhaps even her height because that is what people do, but without the head perhaps they were in the ballpark on the weight.

After a few days of investigation, they were sure it was Mary Ellen since she missed a few days of work, she did not show up at her apartment ,and the fact that her parents positively identified her from a scar on her left side she got as a teenager backing into their 1976 Sea-Island Green Mercury Comet's car door which was slightly rusty, and she had to get a tetanus shot, so they went to a fancy sweater boutique and got her a nice sweater with puppies on it.

Like putting together a Great American Puzzle Factory 550 piece jigsaw puzzle of dogs playing with a football under autumn leaves, the police investigators were beginning to get the picture as to what happened to Mary Ellen, who was the girl who liked a sweater with puppies upon it which was quite ugly in the opinion of all of the police personnel who saw it.

Like in the 15th century when there was an unknown continent between Europe and Asia and some person convinced the Queen of Spain to provide provisions to sail west to get to the east and finds North America which was named after a map maker rather than this Italian sailor, the affair between Sam and Mary Ellen was bound to be discovered by the authorities.

The good cop / bad cop interrogation technique, where one cop acts all friendly with the suspect and the other acts mean, is an effective method for finding out information on criminal suspects but was completely ineffectual on Sam DeLaney because he was so frightened and distraught that all he did was wail like a spoiled child whose parents have decided to not give into the tantrums so the child gets increasingly louder until the parents give in.

The police investigators had more luck with Mrs. Sam DeLaney as she went on and on like the same spoiled child explaining the proper tantrum technique to the kids on the playground and how it worked the time a highly sought after "Tickle-Me Elmo" was obtained, and fortunately for her she had an alibi at the time of the crime because she was at the emergency room of the local hospital with what could be called a bad case of projectile vomiting.

From interviewing some of the individuals Mary Ellen's work, the police discovered the relationship between Easton Leuer and Mary Ellen, and when they went to his place to ask him a few questions, they discovered the shrine of Mary Ellen in one corner of his room where he hung photos taken with his Nikon D-60 digital SLR camera with autofocus 75-300mm zoom lens and printed on his HP Color LaserJet CP1215 and placed in frames purchased at Walmart for $1.99 plus tax.

Like a Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpagraph with a palladium dial, an 18k pink gold face, oblong watch buttons, and a black alligator band with tongue buckle, the case was ticking along very nicely as they already had three suspects and eliminated one who, as the hospital stated, had a very bad case of projectile vomiting, but the other two had motive and opportunity to do the deed but they wanted to follow up on the 1978 Chevrolet Chevette that she was found in.

Following this particular lead was like driving the 1978 two-tone brown Chevrolet Chevette in question on Lombard Street in San Fransisco with the twists, turns and the bumps in the road which became quite a fascinating journey that led to a certain crime family in New Jersey that for reasons of an on-going federal investigation will not be mentioned here.

The Chevette was formerly registered to a William DeLaney Jr. who, with his brother Lester, run a company that forges manhole covers in Piskataway New Jersey, but he had reported the car stolen several years previously and it was a shame because he wanted to give it to his son on his 16th birthday but instead gave him a used slightly rusty 1976 sea-island green Mercury Comet.

When the classic Chevy Chevette was stolen it had 25,672 miles on the odometer and since it only had 5 digits William DeLaney Jr. explained that it had 125,672 miles on the car and since it had 27,411 miles on the odometer at the time it was retrieved from the river it was either driven 1,739 miles or 101,739 miles in the intervening years; thus, the police concluded that the car was driven to Minnesota and parked for when it was needed.

The long term storage led the police to the previously mentioned crime family and also to Mary Ellen's considerable gambling debts which were aggravated when she placed a large bet on the 13 point favored Minnesota Viking against winless Detroit Lions and while the Vikings managed to win, they only won by 2 points and Mary Ellen was unable to come up with the money she owed the said crime family.

With more investigation, both Sam DeLaney and stalker Easton Leuer were cleared from the murder investigation of Mary Ellen as Orlando "The Flamingo" Jackson confessed to the crime as a part of a greater on going federal investigation in exchange for entering the federal witness protection program and testimony against other members of the flamboyant crime family.

* * * * *
The End

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Raid on the Island of the Dead

Epilogue

By Dwayne MacInnes

Sergeant Reynolds was able to pass the material in the satchel over to his superiors. Upon studying the material, the military high command had the sergeant moved to a desk duty for the remainder of the war. Although the sergeant often told his tale of the raid on Na'h Tu Putalaki, the military denied such a raid ever existed and none believed Reynolds.

Nevertheless, the Army awarded the sergeant the Bronze Star Medal for his bravery. Despite this fact, Reynolds soon took to drinking once the war ended. One night in an alley behind a bar in a small Midwestern town, Sergeant Reynolds drank himself to death.

The US military continued their own secret research into the Uber-soldat formula. Of course, it was now given the English name of Super-soldier. For years, the research revealed nothing new. The men who volunteered all shared the results that befell the natives of Na'h Tu Putalaki. They became the reanimated dead unable to comprehend orders with an unquenchable appetite for the living. A simple bite was enough to spread the infection. There was no cure.

Therefore, the military buried its research in a vault. None ever spoke of the vault in public and only a top-secret document revealed the location and details of the vault. So, it sat for decades forgotten.

The island of Na'h Tu Putalaki became forbidden ground. The Army Air Corp warned B-29 pilots with damaged planes to ditch in the ocean and avoid the island at all costs. To disobey was punishable by death. After the end of the war, the army sent another group of soldiers to investigate the island. None ever returned.

The military spread the story that the island was the site of a super anthrax virus test to discourage the curious. Any unfortunate civilians who ever entered the island also never returned.

It was in the year 1946 that the island of Na'h Tu Putalaki became part of the US Pacific Proving Grounds. This was merely an excuse for the US to drop an atomic bomb on it in 1948.

As for the crew of the German U-boat that evacuated from Na'h Tu Putalaki official Nazis records are scant. There was a single message received by the Japanese a day after it left the submarine pen under the fortress. It simple said, "Plague ship, must scuttle."

It was in the 1980's during the final struggle of the Cold War that the military decided to resurrect the Super-soldier formula. A few new experiments were conducted and all met with disastrous results.

The Super-soldier formula, the military felt was too dangerous and they were ready to shelve the entire project. However, in the beginning of the twenty-first century an ambitious, desperate, and not entirely enlightened President ordered the renewal of the Super-soldier project.

This time it was hoped that with the help of ColTech pharmaceuticals that the Super-soldier formula would yield positive results. Under the guise of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease did the research take place.

Unfortunately, a group of animal activists from the University of Washington broke into the ColTech facility in Marysville, Washington. The group of radicals had hoped to free tormented test animals. Instead, the students found transient and homeless people tied to beds.

Appalled at what they witnessed the students quickly went to the task of freeing the human guinea pigs. Unknown to them the victims were all experiments for the Super-soldier formula and were long dead. The newly revived dead wasted no time in attacking their rescuers. A few students were able to escape from the lab, but undead had bitten everyone and in the rush to leave, a fire broke out trapping all inside the complex.

There the story would have ended if it were not for the quick response of the fire department. Again, the living dead attacked the rescuers and before long, the Pacific Northwest became a land of the dead.

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Every now and again I run into something that makes me laugh. So, when I run across something during the week, I plan on posting it on Fridays.

Apparently, there was a mis-translation of the A-Ha song "Take on Me." For those that do not know, A-Ha is a Norwegian band. Thus, after all these years, someone has come along and made the correct translation from Norwegian into English. The song makes sense now! Take a look!

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Lots of people come here looking for Campfire Stories. Thus, with it being so close to Halloween, I thought I would post one of my favorites.

The Pink Monkey

Part One

By Unknown

Transcribed and embellished by
Douglas E. Gogerty

It was a dark and stormy night. Roger was only part of the way to his destination, and with the rain coming down in buckets like it was, it was slow going. Thus, he decided to find a place to ride out the storm.

Unfortunately, his GPS navigation system took him along a little used highway. There were no hotels or motels or bed and breakfasts anywhere to be found. However, as he was creeping along in the downpour, he spotted a faint light in the distance. He decided to make his way towards it.

He drove a short distance, and he came to a sign that read Private Driveway. He decided that this was where the light he spotted was emanating. Therefore, turned into the driveway and continued to go towards that light. Perhaps the homeowner would put him up until the storm blew over. At the very least, he would be off the road.

As he turned into the driveway, a bolt of lightning struck briefly lightening the road. It was twisting and turning driveway with scraggly trees closely lining the edges. There were many times when Roger thought the trees were jumping out in front of him. Many of these ancient trees along the way showed scars of previous drivers running into them. Thus, they looked gnarled and bent, giving them more of an ominous look.

Eventually, the driveway led to an enormous mansion. It looked like a 14th century castle. It was constructed entirely out of stone. It had turrets and even a small moat. Fortunately, a small bridge crossed the moat and led to the front door. Also, a light in one of the towers was still on. It must have been the light he saw from the road.

He pulled up as close to the front door as the driveway allowed, and parked his car. The rain was still coming down hard. He thought about waiting it out in the car, but the front door had a covered porch and he did not think he would get too wet making his way there. Thus, he opened he car door and made a run for it.

Despite the short distance to the front door, Roger was drenched by the time he reached the porch. He rang the doorbell and shook off as much liquid as he could. He rang a few times and eventually an old man opened the door.

The man was grizzled and bent over. Perhaps a long time ago he was a tall handsome man, but now he had a permanent stoop. He walked with a cane and one eye was milky white. He had on a pair of thick glasses and his thinning hair was snow white.

With a gruff and raspy voice the old man said, "Come in! Come in! You'll catch your death of cold if you stay out there on a night like this."

"But..." started Roger.

"Are you going to stand there all night? Or are you coming in?"

Roger entered the entry way, and the old man closed the door behind him. Before Roger could say anything the old man spoke again. "It is no good having you stay in those wet things -- follow me."

"But I...," was all Roger got out before the old man started again.

"Terrible weather tonight! It is not fit for man nor beast. I haven't seen a storm like this in quite a few years. Probably not since I was in the Amazon basin. Keep up young fellow."

For a bent over man who walked with a cane, he moved swiftly through the house. He led Roger to a spacious room with walnut paneling on the walls. There was an armoire in the corner that the old man opened. He pulled out a robe and some pajamas.

"Put these on," the old man insisted. "We'll pop your clothes in the dryer and they'll be ready in no time."

"But," was again the only thing Roger could get out before the old man interrupted again.

"Oh! Don't worry about these old things. They were a gift to my butler the year he died. Alligators -- nasty beasts! He never got a chance to use them. They'll keep you warm until your clothes are dry. You can put your things in this bag. I'll wait outside while you change."

Roger was a bit stunned about the whole thing, but his clothes were quite wet. He removed his wet clothes and put on the silky pajamas and the nice flannel robe. He put his wet things in the bag the old man gave him, and headed out the door.

"Very good," began the old man as Roger walked out the door. "The dryer is this way. It'll have those clothes dry as the Sahara in no time."

"My name is Roger..."

"Of course," interrupted the old man. "Where are my manners? We don't get strangers up in these parts much any more. I'm just a bit out of practice I guess. My name is Xavier Zimmerman the fourth. Nice to meet you."

"Nice meeting you, and..." started Roger.

"Yes. Yes. Very nice," began the old man. "Here is the dryer. Just pop those in and they'll be as right as rain -- pardon the expression."

Roger was confused as he tried to put his clothes in the contraption that Xavier called a dryer. It was unlike anything he had seen before.

"Sorry, I forgot that not everyone has a dryer like mine. I saw this at a hotel in Japan and thought it was much more reasonable way to dry clothes than one of those tumble things. Here, let me."

The old man placed the clothes on a few racks, closed the door, and adjusted a few knobs. It hardly made a sound.

"It'll dry your wet things without wrinkling them and all that," assured the old man. "Now come! Follow me."

The old man led Roger into his parlor. It was another enormous room. It was paneled in oak. It had a fireplace at one end with an ornately carved surround and mantle. The old man offered him a chair. He flicked a switch and the fireplace ignited. He poured two glasses of brandy and took the other seat by the fire while handing Roger a glass.

The two men talked for quite a while. Well, Xavier did most of the talking. Xavier told Roger all about his travels. The old man had been on every continent of the world. He had seen and done many things in all his years.

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Wax

Part One

By Dwayne MacInnes

Amanda stood outside the two story building in a small Ohio town. The marquis identified it as "Benson's House of Wax". She sighed heavily as a flood of memories and conflicting emotions hit her at once.

The grandfather who raised her since she was twelve had recently died leaving her the business that she stood in front of now. She remembered her grandfather's patience, care and love that he showered upon his granddaughter. She also remembered his wax creations he sculpted in the building's basement. Both bloomed to a radiant perfection under his guiding hands. The John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe figures still bring people in from all over the country. Furthermore, Amanda became a beautiful young woman.

The two lived in the apartment in the upper story. It was not large but it was comfortable and it was home. These were two things she really needed right now. For not only was Amanda dealing with the loss of her closest and last surviving relative, but she had finally divorced the abusive man that had been her husband and captor for the last three years.

Bruce initially was a charming and loving man. However, shortly after Amanda moved back to New York with him to take up their new life, Bruce underwent a dramatic change. Prince Charming suddenly became Mr. Hyde. The mental and verbal abuse was one thing, but the physical beatings and the ‘rough sex' were another.

Once away from family and friends, Bruce isolated Amanda from the outside world. She had become a prisoner holed up in a penthouse apartment in New York City. Like a whipped dog she obeyed Bruce's every order and cautiously moved around for fear of bringing his uncontrollable wrath upon herself.

What changed everything was when she answered the phone while Bruce was away on a business trip. Amanda would never have dared answer the phone while Bruce was in town. He screened his calls religiously and if Amanda ever answered the phone, he would yell at her and beat her relentlessly.

Why Amanda answered the phone, she could not say. Maybe she felt compelled to by some higher power. Or more likely, she was rebelling against the torment she faced every day. In any event, it turned out to be for her. An old friend had been trying to reach her for weeks. But Bruce would screen all the phone calls and the mail. Further, there was not a computer in the house for Amanda to send or read email.

At first, Amanda was devastated at the news that Grandpa Benson had been gravely ill and finally had died two weeks earlier. Amanda spent the rest of the day crying and lamenting the fact she did not even get to pay her grandfather a last visit. She did not get to say ‘I love you' one last time.

As these lost moments ran through her head, a fire began to burn inside her. Bruce did this to her. He had denied her access to her family. Even now he was trying to keep her grandfather's death a secret. It was all part of his scheme to hold dominion over her.

A long repressed rage began to build. Eventually, it consumed her. By the time, Bruce returned home three days later, Amanda had moved out and had filed for divorce. Getting a restraining order was not too difficult especially after medical doctors identified several healed fractures and broken bones. In fact, the city was bringing charges against Bruce.

* * * * *

Amanda cared little for that now. She had business to attend to in her home town. She had to get Grandpa's things in order and she had to begin to pick up the remaining shreds of her life. She had everything she needed to begin anew.

The museum could still bring in a modest means of income. Amanda did not immediately know if she would continue to run it or try to find a buyer. However once she entered the doors, she felt compelled to do everything she needed to keep it going.

The corridors already had several new exhibits on display. Grandpa Benson had been preparing for Halloween. It was the biggest time of year for the business. The waxen characters representing historical and fictional villains and monsters greeted Amanda.

There was Jack the Ripper in his top hat and long coat with a bloody scalpel raised in a gloved fist. Next to it was Frankenstein's Monster his black stitches contrasting starkly against his cadaver gray skin. The beautiful, pale skinned woman with long raven black hair and ruby lips slightly parted to reveal two sharp white fangs was new. Amanda went over and looked at the plate describing her grandfather's latest creation.

Lillith exiled to the Land of Nod, birthplace of the vampires:

"Adam's wife, his first. Beware of her.

Her beauty's one boast is her dangerous hair.

When Lilith winds it tight around young men

She doesn't soon let go of them again."

Quoted by Mephistopheles from Goethe's Faust

Amanda smiled for the first time in a very long time. She had finally come home. These wax characters were as much family to her as her own grandfather. Maybe because in a sense they too were his children. Given the same care and love he had freely dispensed upon his granddaughter.

* * * * *

Amanda spent the remainder of the day moving in her scant possessions and cleaning up the small apartment. At first it was hard looking at everything her grandfather had in the apartment. But somehow, she felt his presence was close by and she continued the tasks at hand.

By night fall Amanda decided to take in a late movie. The theater down the road was playing a double creature feature for the Halloween season. The 31st was just a week away and the museum would be too busy for Amanda to enjoy herself until afterwards.

Amanda grabbed her coat and exited the museum locking the door behind her. The air was cool and crisp as the autumn leaves danced down the street in the slight breeze. She excitedly jogged down the sidewalk to the ticket office of the theater.

Unbeknownst to her, a dark figure moved out of the shadows and ducked down an alley. The figure found a low window leading to the museum's basement. A few quick jerks of a crowbar had the window open and the figure slid inside the building.

"I'll teach that bitch a lesson," Bruce thought betterly as he moved around the various equipment and boxes in the basement.

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Finally, definitive proof that "space aliens" exist!

"What do aliens have to do with Halloween?"

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