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Joseph LoDuca Dawn & Incantation
Tonight has been most conclusively non-groovy. Let’s just say I’ve clocked up some miles travelling from hell and back; an expedition which I hadn’t the faintest idea I would be partaking in before coming here for a relaxing weekend getaway. Five close friends, one dilapidated cabin miles away from civilization, a whole cavalcade of laughs right? Correctimundo, although I had no inkling that they would all come at our expense. If you had mentioned before this evening that I would be burying chunks of my girlfriend in various plots before the night was out then I would have guffawed dead in your face. After the fact, I would still likely do the same, although my merriment would be thinly veiled madness as it ain’t been no picnic. Linda was one cool chick before we came here and now…well now she’s one dead chick. Not that that bothered her; she still had every intention of spoiling the party, even from beyond her shallow grave. It’s amazing how the woman you love can become your worst nightmare in a matter of hours but that’s exactly what transpired. Consequently, I think I may remain single for the foreseeable.
From the offset, something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it initially, but I had a feeling this rickety shack housed some kind of bogus secret. The moment we stumbled across the Naturon Demonto and that dusty old cassette player, the ambiance took a turn for the more ominous although the manner in which it escalated has knocked me for twelve and that’s two pair of sixes. It would appear that we unearthed some kind of ungodly curse when we pressed play and it has been kicking our asses ever since, repeatedly I might add. I’m unsure whether I should be feeling relieved right now to be the last man standing; death would have at least offered some relief and living in perpetual hell really isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. As my friends succumbed one-by-one; the chances of seeing another shift at the hardware store became rather slim pickings. Now, in a relatively short number of hours, I can barely remember how to operate a price gun. Madness is some crazy shit, let me tell you.
There’s no conceivable way out. The bridge is down and that presented our only escape; once that option was quashed it began to sink in that this waking nightmare would not be one we’d arise from. Still, after the horrendous sights I’ve been made privy to in the past couple of hours, I’m still desperately trying to remain upbeat. These are the moments that separate the men from the boys and my father always told me I had a strong chin so I primed myself for the fight accordingly. I’ve taken every last shit Frisbee flung at me and returned it to sender, not the acts of your average Joe but, instead, the rearguard of a king. This isn’t my time; my epitaph has not yet been scribed and, for as long as there is breath in my weary bones, I shall have something to say about this incessant torment. As for those dastardly Deadites, they can suck my boomstick if they think they’re getting the upper hand with me. I may be but a single man but in a previous life I was someone of great purpose and importance; it’s funny that you only ever work that out when staring in the face of demons but right now I’ll take any positives I can muster.
It’s all the fault of the Deadites. If you’d have asked me about them earlier I would have suggested they were a low-rent punk band from Massachusetts. They’re nothing of the sort but that’s not to say that they don’t enjoy a good sing-song. Unfortunately their thing is repetition and, considering the chorus of their rousing anthem consists of “we’re going to get you”, their sound has gotten old fairly quick. Linda was in fine singing voice; her heartfelt rendition was nothing if not committed. She was like that old vinyl 33 that keeps on skipping; cackling the same sorry verse until which point as I could feel my own sanity dissipating. I always told her she was naturally beautiful so why she felt like she needed to spread on the war paint like she did is anybody’s guess but there wasn’t sufficient make-up remover in the world to remove that hellish emulsion. Her eyes, ordinarily my favorite part, were no longer those of my Linda and instead glazed with impenetrable madness. It also appeared as though she had inherited a particularly gnarled case of menstrual cramps which she held me personally responsible for. Talk about henpecked.
Come to think of it, all three girls had been a royal pain in the ass since we first listened to those incantations. While Scotty and I battled against the ancient undead that we had unwittingly unleashed, the trio welcomed all-comers as each in turn became possessed by these malevolent free-roaming incubuses. Cheryl was first to buckle; my sister always did suck under peer pressure although she was admittedly helped on her way by some frisky foliage which forcibly and unceremoniously filled her with sap. She took that wood good and, when she arrived back at the shack clearly shaken from her ordeal, our first thought was that she was off her rocker. Trees don’t just molest you without a damned good reason and we put it down to a simple case of cabin fever. More fool us; had we seen what lay ahead then we may have taken her audacious claim more seriously as suspect sexually stimulated shrubbery would be par for the course amongst the chaos which then ensued.
Joseph LoDuca Love Never Dies
The final straw was Linda. Having already been forced to lock my own sibling in the cellar; I was teetering mighty close to tipping point. So when she lunged at me with a ceremonial dagger and the evident intent to maim; I was having none of it. I loved Linda, at least, I think I did. Alas, the line between love and hate is a fine one, finer still when clearly I’d sown my last seed in her patch. I killed her, drove that dagger deep inside her and watched Linda die in my very arms. Anyone under the assumption that death is the end is sorely mistaken as I think I preferred her before the last drop of her essence drained away. The tool shed seemed like the perfect place to provide her the send off she deserved and, in particular, the chainsaw seemed most decisive. Considering I work in a hardware store; I’m no stranger to revving one of these beauties up so all seemed groovy.
However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. This was my Linda; Ash’s special little girl, the object of my erections right through high school. It just seemed too messy a denouement; especially given as she had finally relocated her own tongue. I was already aware that playing fair wasn’t high on the Deadites’ list of priorities but I didn’t expect them to stoop so low as to bargaining for my affections while at my lowest ebb. I’ll never make that mistake again. As I prepared her final resting place, she blindsided me with one final hysterical attack and I was left no choice than to terminate our relationship conclusively. These Deadite scum clearly didn’t have any idea of who they were fucking with. If I had been more quick-witted then I would have held my arm aloft and chanted “hail to the king baby” but, in my defense, I had just buried my high school sweetheart…in a number of locations. Even an unshakable hero like myself can’t be blamed for a little melancholy in such circumstances.
Speaking of which, I feel particularly bad for Scotty. He was an able wingman and valiantly fought to the bitter end as evil manifested so cruelly. Meanwhile, as he was taking one for the team, I was beginning to get the distinct feeling that it was all about me. Damn right I take it personal when I’m forced to watch my sister transform into a drooling hell hag, decapitate my own girlfriend with a shovel, and watch my very best buddy succumb in the most unkind manner imaginable. They were plain taunting me and those Deadites messed with the wrong alpha as you don’t go through life with a chin like mine and not learn how to operate your dukes. It was too late to save Scotty and I was sworn off girls for the foreseeable; but I still had my own skin to save. They wouldn’t take me without resistance; I’d endured all the provocation I was willing to take and these deadbeats had finally met their match. The bridge may well have been down and escape looking ever more distant a proposition but, as a wise man once said, “if you can’ beat ’em, beat ’em” or words to that effect.
Joseph LoDuca Kandarian Dagger & Book Burning
A man like Ash doesn’t leave home for a long weekend in the sticks without first packing his finest can of whoop. If they wanted some of me then they could come and grab themselves a hunk as I had every intention of being inhospitable and giving them hell before they could take me. By all accounts, things could have gone worse. I’m still standing although, after holding a three-minute conversation with the head of a deer and by about the third blood geyser taken to the face in short succession, things could be better. I think mild dementia has begun to manifest but am pleased to report that its my very own strain of unhinged. We’re talking postal; the kind of nutbag that befriends venison and claps along like Steve Martin in The Jerk as the rip-roaring ho-down commences. Yee haw indeed; I’m pretty sure I have vacated the loop and currently this rocking chair is my new best friend. Occasionally, I slap myself in the face. Ordinarily I would object to such fragrant self-punishment but I’m perilously close to being past caring.
I have made an executive decision to stay here at the cabin. I’ve searched high and low for a way out of this nightmare and the results were far from encouraging. Thus, I’m setting up my stool. If all else fails then there is always the wood shed and I’ll tool myself to the nines before they try anything underhand again. Bring it Deadites, construct your army of darkness and I shall send every last sniveling one of you back to hell. Stop slapping me hand, you’re really starting to irk my chain now. I mean it, there’s still plenty of fuel in the chainsaw. Don’t flick me the bird, who the hell do you think you are anyway? Unhand me you heathen. Stop it that tickles. Alright then, just a quick one but remember we’re on a timer here. Oi! Stop wasting the hand cream. That’s it I’ve had it. I suggest that this be where we part company but thank you for listening to my tales of despair. I’ll be fine, you just turn around and walk those child-bearing hips to the banging door. Don’t mind me; I’ll be groovy. Right then hand, you’ve got three and a half minutes and make it sexy.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2015