Thursday, April 24, 2014

Part Ten

The Creepers of McCall’s Ridge

Part Ten


            The creepers reached for Ernie, their rotting arms wobbling in the still evening air. For a split second he froze and stared at their hands. The five creepers were covered in gore from the meal that they were making out the dead soldier that lay next to the road but their fingernails were what stood out to Ernie; yellow in color but they seemed to glow in the dying light of the day. Ernie broke himself from his trance and began to run past the creepers towards the last place he had seen his brother. The military vehicle was smoldering now. The rubber from the tires was completely burned to gooey black masses under rims that sat on the ground. Ernie frantically sprinted around the vehicle calling out his brother’s name but only succeeded in calling in more creepers from their dinner of soldiers next to the truck.

            Ernie peered along the road, the same direction the soldiers had approached from the lake and could hear the rubble of more military vehicles coming. He ran deeper into the woods while the creepers began to divert their attention to the sound of the approaching vehicles. He slid on the soft pine needles as if he was sliding into home plate and then lay still under the relative concealment of a fallen pine tree. Ernie watched as three armored Hummers slowed to a stop next to the smoking truck and several soldiers in mixed uniforms began to unload. Each man began to take aim at separate creepers and took quick head shots to dispatch the closest threats first and then began to move outwards. Ernie’s stomach began to toss around as he watched more and more creepers emerge from the wood line and make their way towards the soldiers. Several stepped within feet of his hiding position, moaning, and dragging their feet as they slowly made their way to a quick death at the hands of the skilled killers.

            These men seemed different than the ones him and his brother had faced near the lake and more recently after the blast he had created. The shooting stopped and several of the soldiers began to simply walk around with long bladed knives and stab their slow moving attackers in the tops of their heads and then moving on to the next slow moving target. Ernie was mesmerized by their efficiency in killing. These boys are good, he thought to himself. The passenger side door on the second Hummer opened and a man in a crisp looking uniform stepped out with a stubby cigar protruding from his mouth. His white hair was cut closely to the skin on the sides with it forming into an extreme flat top. Ernie watched as the man slowly scanned the area around him, turning his head slowly revealing two wicked scars that streaked across his right eye and down his right cheek. Ernie shivered as he stared at the man whom resembled the cliché of every military officer he had ever seen in a bad action movie.

“Get out the oracle.” The officer said in a voice that sounded like sandpaper.

“Roger that, sir.” An obedient soldier said as he walked to the back of the rear Hummer and dropped a metal tail gate. “Let’s go dummy! Get up!”

            Ernie turned his head sharply to the left as he lay in the dirt to try and see the ‘oracle.’ The Hummer shook violently and the soldier stepped back and pointed his rifle into the vehicle. He began to shout warnings into the truck until the shaking stopped and whatever was inside began to comply. Ernie watched as the rear of the truck stooped then shot back up as a huge beast leapt from the rear truck and landed with a thud to the muddy road. Ernie couldn’t breathe. His breath was caught in his throat as he stared at the shackled, hairy beast standing in front of the soldier. It slowly stood to its full height, which had to have been eight feet by Ernie’s estimates, and turned to walk to the officer only after glaring threateningly at the soldier pointing his rifle at him.

            As the beast walked, Ernie took in all its features; its large slopping forehead, red eyes, long shaggy brown hair, bare chest, and large feet…big feet…BIGFOOT? Ernie’s heart pounded in his chest as he stared at the beast that he had heard so many stories about but had never believed was true. So many folks from the hills had believed that it was real and had claimed to have seen or have had heard its calls in the middle of the night but Ernie had just written them off as folklore or old hills tales. Now he was staring right at the hairy beast as it walked in heavy shackles to classic action figure officer. It stopped walking and stared at the man as if he would tear him apart if his hands weren’t chained securely to his stomach.

“Where are they, Oliver?”

Oliver? Ernie wanted to laugh out loud. Bigfoot’s name was Oliver?

Oliver looked in Ernie’s direction and said in a squeaky voice, “Under that fallen tree.”

Ernie would have broken out laughing at the response if it wouldn’t have been for the shock that Bigfoot had spoken or that all of the soldiers were now pointing their weapons in his direction.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Part Nine

The Creeper’s of McCall Ridge

Part Nine

            Preacher had allowed Grover into his home only after he had taken his battered and muddied boots off at the door, explaining to the young man that, “my old lady will flip her lid if you track mud in her home.” Grover stepped into his home and found that there were dead birds dangling from the ceiling; hundreds of them. He paused staring at the scene while the old man pushed passed him and shouted into the home, “Hey old woman! We got us a guest!”

“What?” A female’s voice shouted from the back of the home.

“You heard me you ornery old bat! I said we got a guest!”

A woman in a red checkered dress darted from around the corner, her steely gaze locked on Preacher. “What did you call me?” She snarled.

“I said you heard me and I love you a whole bunch!” He said smiling.

Grover fought back a smile as the old woman never blinked. “That isn’t what you said. You’re lucky I love you or I would have already put a pillow over your head in your sleep. Hello young man. Have a seat. Would you like some tea?”

“Yes ma’am. That would be great.”

The old woman disappeared into the kitchen to retrieve Grover’s tea.

“I would like some too honey poo!” Preacher shouted.

“Get it yourself!” She shouted back.

“Boy. You would think the man would be the king of his castle.”

Grover started laughing as Preacher walked into the kitchen to retrieve his own cup of sassafras tea. He was left alone to wonder how he was going to live without his brother. Though they had argued often, it had been small squabbles and always on a brotherly level. Now, without him, the world seemed empty and alone. Grover stared at the floor and thought about the soldiers gathered around the lake and began to plan his attack.


            He could hear the creepers chewing. Though his eyes were open, at least he thought they were open, he couldn’t see anything. There was a heavy weight lying on top of him and it smelled horribly. The creepers growled at each other and continued to chew. It was if they were eating beef jerky and spaghetti right next to his ears. His body ached and throbbed with pain as he tried to remember what had happened to him. He remembered the explosion and the jet flying in but there was nothing after that. He pushed the heavy weight that covered him with his arms until he could see the failing day light streaking past the dead creeper that he held in his arms. The large caliber bullets had made a mess of its body creating a soupy mess that spilled out on Ernie’s body. He fought back the bile that tried to escape his stomach and slowly scanned the area around him.

            He could see five creepers eating what was left of a soldier a few feet from him. None of them acted as if they had seen the movement of him lifting the dead creeper from his position. Ernie groped around him and could not find a weapon. He slowly wiggled from his prison of several other dead creepers and then stood. The cool air of the forest gave him goose bumps as well as seeing the creepers slowly turning their heads to focus on him. Ernie froze. The creepers, like cows, slowly chewed the meat that dangled from their lips but never let their eyes move from Ernie. Ernie slowly raised his arms out in front of him, mimicking a classic zombie and said, “Braaaiinns.”

The creepers snarled and stood from the dead soldier and began shuffling towards Ernie.

“Crap. I totally thought that was going to work.”