Suggested Audio Candy
 Harry Manfredini “Friday The 13th Theme”
 Harry Manfredini “Friday The 13th Part III Theme”
 Alice Cooper “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)”
I’m starting to suspect that I may be playing unwitting host to a death curse you know. I mean, what other explanation could there be for the constant peril tossed my way, none of which classifies as mild I hasten to add. Study the facts, since first saddling up, I’ve been to hell and back quite literally, fled from 8 ft xenomorphs with personal space issues, been run ragged by Deadites, had my dreams invaded by the 1984 poster boy for hot and spicy meatballs, and taken counsel with everyone’s favorite kinky wizards, the Cenobites. If I was begging to be cut some slack, then it appears that my pleas fell on decidedly deaf ears, as it has been one close-run thing to another and I’m fast running out of nerves to have shot to pieces. When I accepted this gig in the first place, I was under no illusion that it would be anything less than a challenge. However, when your hernia sprouts its very own mini hernia, it’s time to start weighing up the pros against the cons and it’s all looking a little too one-sided for my liking. Thus I decided to give my next move rather a lot of consideration and here’s what I came up with.
Safety in numbers. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. After all, there’s far less chance of coming a cropper when you surround yourself with other fresh meat primed for the carving and I’m more than content just to fade into the crowd and let some other poor douche take one for the team. Besides, I’m tired of spending night after night on my lonesome and, for all his bright ideas, Bonus Brain happens to be a pretty naff conversationalist. Moreover, I’m getting more randy with every passing moon so the time is right for the wrangler to mingle and it just so happens there are a group of co-eds heading off in an old RV to some tranquil summer getaway in the next hour so I’ve decided to tag along for the sheer hell of it. I am ordinarily rather self-sufficient and love nothing more than to kick back in my own company without having to conform. Problem is, I keep coming unstuck. Bonus Brain has already warned me that any more hijinks and he may well fly the coop and, despite the fact that it would free up some space in my cranium for a new pinball machine, I have to admit that I’d miss the little bastard if he ever departed.
Personally I’m looking forward to engaging in a spot of binge drinking, pot smoking, skinny dipping, and unprotected sex and have been assured that my travel companions have all three bases soundly covered. So, without any further ado, I guess I should introduce you to my new buddies so we can get this show on the road. First up there’s Blane and the term “does what it states on the tin” is most certainly applicable here. Blane is a jock through and through, flaxen-haired and sporting the kind of ripped physique that only a course of anabolic steroids can provide a seventeen-year-old. He frequently gazes into his pocket mirror and enjoys nothing more than strutting around in vest and crotch-stifling denims just for attention. Then we have Bert and every group needs itself a resident joker, a role he not so much accepts as lives, breathes, and farts. Seldom serious for a solitary second, he constantly feigns his own death in aid of nothing other than Bert’s own amusement and, chances are, he was dropped on his head at birth and never made a full recovery.
Needless to say, Bert has not yet had the pleasure of getting laid although he’s not the only lily-white virgin in this group. Beatrice is intent on saving herself until the right one comes along and the kind of girl who date-rapists flock from far and wide to defile. Her mousy brown locks are as lackluster as her sense of adventure and she wouldn’t say bollocks to a goose even if it were pecking her chastity belt. Bruno is a black dude, prides himself on possessing the gift of the gab, and would even wear his Ray-Bans in a blackout. Meanwhile, his girlfriend’s name is Bernice and she is also of African-American persuasion. Bernice has a tendency to run off at the mouth and swears like Kelly Osbourne after one too many Rolling Rocks. Her hoop earrings are so oversized that she can cover distances in excess of 10 km without her feet ever once touching the ground. Bart and Brady are the resident skateboarding stoners and, while never scientifically proven, it would appear that they co-own a single brain. And making up the numbers is Betsy, a buxom blonde beauty with breasts that barely squeeze into her boob tube and a vagina that has seen more action than Chuck Norris in the eighties and will likely require reconstructive surgery by her thirties. Betsy loves nothing more than a naked midnight swim and believes Tunisia tastes better with mayonnaise.
Anyhoots, everything appears to be both hunky and dory at present and I’m gelling rather well with my new friends which is an encouraging sign given that I’m in my forties and was masturbating into a gym sock long before any of this lot even had tails. We’re currently stretching our legs in a nearby town before the final leg of our journey and it seems like the ideal time to mingle with the locals and get a feel for the place. As a matter of fact, one of the residents appears to have something he wishes to share as we speak. I’m not altogether convinced that all the marbles are in the Kerplunk chamber so to speak and, considering two twelve-year-olds just pelted him with rotten eggs as they passed on their BMXs chanting “Crazy Ralph smells of Ralph”, I’m guessing this ain’t the town mayor. Nevertheless, I try not to judge a book by its cover, and that’s likely why I find myself fighting off freaks every stumbling step of the way. Don’t look now, but he’s just finished fastening his bicycle clips and is making his way over. Let’s see what he has to say.
“You’re going to Camp Blood, ain’t ya?”
“Camp Crystal Lake actually. You don’t happen to know any shortcuts do you?”
“You’ll never come back again”
“What’s that old-timer?”
“It’s got a death curse!”
Looks like we’ve got a live one here. Boy do I know how to pick ’em. I’m a little concerned about the death curse deal however as I read nothing about that in the brochure so it must have been in the small print.
“So in a roundabout way, what you’re saying is?”
“You’re doomed! You’re all doomed!”
“Look up there, is that a blimp?”
Phew. That was a close shave. I swear I’m a magnet for nutbags you know. Good job I plan to ignore his inane blathering and do the precise opposite to heeding his warning. The group vote is unanimous and we’ve decided not to let local legend get in the way of us doing the kind of dumb shit that teenagers and forty-year-old wannabees do when left to their own devices. I’m glad that we did as it would appear that we’ve arrived at the ideal time for a late afternoon dip and Camp Crystal Lake looks to offer all the amenities for a rather glorious spring break. This presents a perfect opportunity to ogle the talent and, while Beatrice’s all-in-one swimming costume resembles something that you’d win in a raffle’s second prize, Betsy is more than making up for it with a skimpy little number that parades her 34 Cs rather exquisitely.
What is even more pleasing to the eye is the glimpse of unpruned eighties bush poking out both sides of her bikini bottoms. Let’s not go pouring on the fertilizer just yet, I’m somewhat partial to a shaven haven, and ordinary service will presume once more come Sunday the 15th. But a couple of days won’t hurt and it saves on dental floss I suppose. Pubic hair just so happens to be fried chicken’s very worst nightmare. Speaking of night, while the swim has been a refreshing and eye-popping diversion, the sun has now begun to sink away beneath the trees and it might be a good time to head back to the cabin before it gets any darker. Bart and Brady won’t be joining us as they’ve heard about the magic mushrooms supposedly rife in the forest but, for the rest of us, it’s pretty much game on and I have a rather quaint idea for a good way to pass a little time and get a little more naked. All being well, I won’t even need this rohypnol as the great thing about co-eds is their complete inability to hold their liquor.
My suggestion of Strip Poker went down a storm and things are already starting to hot up nicely. Admittedly Beatrice has hardly thrown herself into it and just cried off as she reckons she has three chapters of War & Peace to get through for an upcoming book club review, while Bruno and Bernice have decided to engage in their own nocturnal activities back in the van. But that’s fine and dandy with me as Betsy is a lousy card player and already down to her skimpies. Better yet, her poker face just happens to be identical to her normal gormless one, and I swear I just caught glimpse of a pair of threes so I reckon we’re about to hit pay dirt. But what’s this? Curses, Bart and Brady still haven’t returned and Blane has decided to call time on our game and do the typical alpha douche thing of going searching for them. While glad to see the back of him after watching him flex his pectorals for the past fifteen minutes, I’m not overjoyed that Betsy has agreed to accompany him as I’d bet my bottom dollar it’s just a ruse to get in her panties and can’t see this selfish bastard saving me a spot either. I know I’ve been harping on about wanting an uneventful vacation to steady the ship but this is taking it to an extreme that I’m not altogether comfortable with being saddled with Beatrice and Bert for sole company.
Half an hour has now passed and I’ve got precious little to report I’m afraid. The closest we have come to incident is when Bert decided to play a trick on Beatrice and struck out in considerable style. Itching powder in her sleeping bag may have seemed like a good idea at the time but, considering she sleeps in a hazmat suit, the joke ended up being on him. Consequently he shuffled off forlornly swinging his fake machete in frustration and now he’s missing too. To make matters worse, the electricity has just blown, and we’ve been plunged into virtual darkness. There’s a fuse box over by the barn house so it only seems right that I do the chivalrous thing and go check it out. So here I am, standing outside in sub-zero conditions and pounding rain getting soaked through to the skin. And do you know what? It’s way too quiet for my liking. Occasionally the silence is broken by somebody chanting “Ch ch ch Ah ah ah” from behind the nearby shrubbery but I just know it is Bert as this has his handiwork written all over it. Indeed, I know full well that he’s not far from here as I watched him stumbling along with that stupid phony chopper stuck in his forehead. He’s a real bag of tools that one, although, I have to hand it to him, it actually looked fairly realistic with all that fake blood.
Ready for some more bad news? Looks like somebody has tampered with the circuitry as it’s seemingly way beyond repair. My first thought was to consult Bonus Brain as he spends half his time watching MacGyver but even he can’t make sense of the tangled mass of wires and I think it’ll just have to leave it until just before dawn when I have more natural light to work with. I shall therefore step over Bert’s “dead” body (seriously, who does this Muppet really think he’s going to fool?) and get dried off as a rather charming cougar promised me that she will come over for a nightcap and I’m expecting her any minute. Had I negated to mention Pamela Voorhees? How awfully absent-minded of me. I wouldn’t be a very good wrangler if I didn’t have myself a backup plan would I?
While clearly no Betsy, Pamela isn’t actually half bad for a withered old hag, despite eerily masculine hands and a set of teeth like a row of ebony tombstones. I’m not sure that I’ll be slipping her any more than my tongue as one moment of lockjaw could end future generations of wranglers in a solitary heartbeat. I’ll be happy just to have some company and hopefully she won’t harp on about her son like she did at the general store where our paths crossed. Poor little defenceless Jason, there’s no danger of me forgetting his name as that’s all she blathered on about the whole time. Apparently he drowned in these very waters or something like that; I’m not altogether sure as I had begun to zone out at that point. Anyhoots, if Pamela comes over, then she’d better bring the tea bags as I fully intend on bending her ear about all this. It’s either her or Bonus Brain and, considering he’s currently halfway through season two of Dempsey & Makepeace and has a thing for Glynis Barber, I’ll be lucky to get a solitary grunt out of him.
That’s strange, the RV lights are blazing. Something is starting to tell me that skulduggery is afoot and I guess it’s high time I go check things out for myself before anything else untoward plays out. This could be dangerous and I don’t wish to place you in peril so I suggest you make yourselves at home and keep an eye on Beatrice for me. Don’t get any ideas above your station as I’ve already called dibs on her virginity just in case she finally ripens and won’t be best pleased if I return to broken promises and shattered hymen. Remember we’re a team Grueheads and I’m the one sticking his neck out so you’ll just have to make do with sloppy seconds. As for Pamela, well you can knock yourself out if she arrives, as I’m pretty sure she’s seen some mileage. Hold the fort and I’ll meet you back here in ten minutes or so.
Okay so I’m now officially freaking. Not sure how to tell you this so I think I shall just opt for the blurt. They’re dead, all of them. My first stop was the RV and, when I opened the driver-side door, Bruno’s lifeless body flailed out arms first and some callous swine had slashed his throat and even made off with his Ray-Bans. If I didn’t know better, then I’d suspect that the killer propped him there with every intention of me stumbling across him. In the passenger seat, still strapped in, was Bernice and things weren’t looking much better for her as attested by the woodsman’s hatchet embedded three-inches deep in her sternum. Naturally I panicked and, despite the fact that the cabin was closer, felt compelled to run into the dense thicket screaming at the very top of my lungs. About a hundred yards off the beaten track I received my next jolt.
It was Blane, hanging upside down and butt naked from the tallest oak in the forest, and he’d been sliced open from asshole to appetite and left dangling. To be entirely honest, I had mixed feelings about this one as, had he not been slaughtered, then I would likely have taken matters into my own hands before the night was through. Fucking jocks were the bane of my life as a teenager and I wasn’t relishing history repeating itself, so the coyotes could have him as far as I was concerned. For the record, I was right about the steroids, as his twigs and berries resembled a deflated balloon on a bed of cherry tomatoes. What irked me far more was that Betsy’s fate had been no more hospitable and she too had to suffer the indignity of meeting her grisly end in the altogether. It’s a shame as, while she may have taken more cock than a rooster burglar, her breasts were really rather splendid. That was until they received an entire quiver of arrows. I checked to see if she was still warm as it seemed a shame to waste a good erection but, alas, I’d left it too late and rigor mortis had already set in. Further on down the trail, Bart and Brady were also as dead as door nails, and skewered together like a human kebab. I’d seen enough so dashed back here to let you not know of the horrific new developments and that is us pretty much bang up to date I believe.
I see that Pamela’s Range Rover is pulled up outside and, if there’s anything you wish to tell me, then I’d say now would be a grand time to share. What’s that? She turned out to be a wrong ‘un? She also killed Beatrice? Poor defenceless, timid little Beatrice? Okay calm down and explain what happened. She pulled a hunting knife from her sock? Go on. She then proceeded to chase the poor girl out into the surrounding woods? Beatrice tripped over her feet all fell flat on her face seventeen times? On the seventeenth time Pamela pinned her down and plunged the blade into her abdomen? She managed to grab a nearby boulder and bash her attacker’s brain in? So you’re saying that they’re both dead then? Well who am I supposed to screw now? I’m devastated if were being honest, this isn’t at all how I had envisaged this weekend turning out. I guess the only positive is that the danger has now passed right? What do you mean look behind me?
While I’m rather digging on the hockey mask, something tells me that this chap isn’t about to offer me a lift back into town. I think my first clue was when he started cracking his knuckles, my second the fact that he is briskly heading this way looking like he means nothing less than business, and the final straw the machete in his right hand coated in fresh blood and brain matter. Ordinarily a wrangler wouldn’t dream of backing away from a fight but that’s why so many of my predecessors have wound up in body bags and I’m all for bucking that particular trend. Thus I shall do my very best impression of Gump and hope this buys me the time to consult Bonus Brain and work out a more permanent solution. I hate to say it old buddy, but I could really do with your help right now, as I’ve just arrived at the river’s edge and there appears nowhere else for me to run.
“Cooey. Bonus Brain. A little help here?”
“Give me strength. Jump in the canoe you pillock”
Ingenious. There is indeed a discarded canoe in the vicinity and this should help put some distance between me and my unruly shadow. That said, after paddling out to the center of the lake, I’m starting to realize the flaw in Bonus Brain’s plan. You see, Jason is coming in after me, wading through the water with machete raised above his head, and ready to gut me like a pig. Damn you to hell and back Bonus Brain for what was quite clearly a bum steer.
“How could you be so callous? You’ve betrayed me and after all we’ve been through”
“Don’t be a flid all your life wrangler. Look at the size of his head, he’ll never be able to tread water with that bulbous bonce. You think Rocky Dennis was a keen water-lily? No he wasn’t. John Merrick would never have fitted in on the Orca either, Quint would have thrown him overboard as an anchor”
He may have a point you know. True to form, my pursuer appears to be in the midst of sinking without trace and, where this was beginning to look like the final chapter, it may well end up a new beginning after all. And would you look at that. Bert just got up from the ground and dusted himself off; must’ve realized that nobody was ever going to fall for his stupid stunt. I’ve half a mind to bludgeon him to death with my paddle and make off with his clown shoes as mine are at the cobbler’s being reheeled at the moment. Actually scrap that, he just lost his balance and tumbled face first into a metal bear trap so no bludgeoning required. Better yet, it’s still Friday and this luxurious log cabin is booked until the end of the weekend so it looks like I’ll get a chance to kick back and soak in dawn’s early light. Hold on, who’s making those bubbles by the side of the canoe? Did one of you just fart?
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014