Thursday, October 13, 2011

Part 11: A Conversation

Am I dead?”


I said that out loud?”

The unfamiliar voice chuckled and said, “I can’t say for sure.”

Am I dreaming?”

Don’t know.”

I let out a heavy sigh and said, “I don’t hurt.”

I opened my eyes to complete darkness; however, I could see myself. I was clothed in white cotton pants and a white cotton shirt. The clothes seemed weightless. I looked around for the myriad of wounds I had sustained in the Welcome Center but nothing was there. I did not have even a single cut. I glanced to my right, and in the void of nothingness was a light pole with a flickering flame and a single moth bouncing around the light. A man was leaning against the pole, and I assumed this was the source of the unfamiliar voice. He wore an olive colored trench coat that covered most of his body, a black shirt with a white tie, and an olive colored brimmed hat.

He lit a cigarette and peered at me. I stood and asked, “Where am I?”

He took a drag and said, “Where do you want to be?”

For some reason I wasn’t becoming annoyed with him answering my question with a question. I said, “Home. I just want to go back where I came from.”

He blew out smoke and said, “Are you sure?”

Confused, I asked, “What do you mean?”

He flicked his cigarette between his pointer and middle finger with his thumb and said, “What makes you think the world you came from is better than the one you’re in now?”

I… I… I don’t know. I honestly don’t remember where I came from.”

He narrowed his eyes and took another drag, “You might want to give it more thought, then.”

What are you not telling me?”

He laughed, “What are you not telling yourself?”

I thought for a moment and said, “Something doesn’t seem right.”


I mean, something about all of this – this whole world – doesn’t seem right. This is not the world I know. Something seems off.”

You mean Watcher?”

Yeah… but not just him. His world. My friends. The people I know…”

Or don’t know.”

Yeah… you’re right. Why don’t I remember the people in my life before I woke up? Why am I just remembering characters?”

The man looked at me and said, “Makes you think, eh? Did you exist before you woke up?”

I looked at him and could see his face from a distance. It was indistinct, but I could tell he raised his eyebrows at me. I walked closer and said, “Are you saying I was created?”

He flicked his cigarette again and said, “Look, I’m not saying anything. I’m just trying to get you to think… to look around… to see things that you didn’t see before.”

Before what?”

He smiled and said, “Before there was a ‘before’.”

I got closer and I strained to see his face. A dark shadow from his hat hid it from view, and as much as I tried to see, I couldn’t. I asked, “Why can’t I see your face?”

You’re not trying.”

I tried harder and harder, but I couldn’t make out any detail. I said, “No, I can’t see it.”

Whose fault is that?”

I rubbed my eyes and said, “I’m dreaming.”

The man said, “Again… maybe.”

I looked up and said, “What does Watcher want from me?”

You should probably ask him.”

I ran my hands through my hair and said, “I did… and… he… he responded just like you.”

That’s interesting.”

Are you Watcher?”

The man shrugged. He spoke from under his hat, “Maybe you should ask yourself that question.”

I opened my mouth to speak but closed it. The man chuckled and said, “Just know, there is no malice behind what he gives you.”

Is there malice behind the intentions of what he gives me?”

The man laughed and said, “You’re getting the hang of this conversation.”

He threw his cigarette on the ground and stamped it out with his foot. He turned his back to me and said, “Time to go.”

I didn’t try to stop him or ask more questions. I watched him walk away and fade into the nothingness that surrounded me. I leaned against the light pole and looked up at the dancing flame. The moth was still bouncing and fluttering around it. I sat down and leaned the back of my head against the pole. I sighed and closed my eyes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Part 10: It All Boils Down to a Nightmare

I was lying on my back while Eli was tending to Hulk. Eli asked, “What happened?”

I didn’t answer. It wasn’t that I was ignoring Eli’s question, it was that I felt like I couldn’t spare any energy to speak. I was beyond exhausted. Every part of my body was hurting, I was dehydrated, and I had lost a lot of blood. Eli could tell, and he rushed to my side. He gave me water and cleaned and rebandaged my wounds. My right eye was swollen shut.

“I can’t see.” I said.

Eli looked at me and said, “It’s over. It’s over Marcus. You won’t survive the guardian.”

“Lance it.” I said.

“What? No. I’m not doing that. That could blind you.”

“Eli, what difference does that make? Huh? I have to do something.”

“Marcus, you barely have the energy to speak…”

I cut Eli off and said, “But, I’m alive. The others are going to be dead in a few minutes if I don’t kill the guardian.”

“Marcus! The others are going to die regardless if you kill the guardian or not. That’s not going to make a difference.”

“Eli… you’re… you’re wrong.” I reached up to him and said, “Help me up.”

Eli helped me into a chair and lanced my eye. Blood squirted in a stream, and soon, my right eye regained vision. Eli said, “All right. Better hurry. That’s not going to last long.”

I ripped off what was left of my shirt and harnessed my swords. The lock to the final door had dropped to the ground, and I flipped up the latch and opened the heavy, iron door. I stared into the darkness and walked through.

The door, of course, disappeared, and my environment revealed itself to me. I was in a boiler room. The red lights made the steam and pipes glow with a dull aura. The air was hot and thick, and it was difficult to see very far. The pipes of the boiler room were close together and claustrophobic but were open enough to make narrow “trails” that were difficult to traverse. The trails also led to multiple catwalks and grated stair cases. The boiling steam became a constant problem, and I had to wary of it in every direction or face having my skin charred.

The boiler room did not surprise me, and I had half expected it; given whom the demiguardians were. I wandered deeper and deeper, further and further into the boiler room maze. “I don’t have time for this.” I thought to myself.

An idea hit me, and I sang out loud, “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door.” I ducked under a pipe and continued, “Five, six, get a crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late…”

“NINE, TEN, YOU’LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!” Freddy yelled as a bladed hand swung over my ducking head.

It was Freddy Krueger. He was dressed in a dark trench coat, his red and green sweater, fedora, and work pants and boots. On his right hand, he wore his glove that boasted four razor-like blades. His face was melted and burned, and he looked at me and said, “Like what I’ve done with the place?”

“Looks the same, Freddy. You kind of suck at interior design.”

Freddy cocked his head to the side, put his left hand on his lips, and in a lispy voice said, “Oh Honey, now, now. That’s not very nice. You’re breaking my heart.” He walked closer to me and continued, “Now, let me have yours!”

The stab came quickly; however, I was able to get out of the way. I retreated down a stairwell and into another hallway of pipes. I started to jog down the corridor, but from a narrow alley, Freddy appeared and greeted me with a clawed swipe. Fortunately, I was able to keep my head from being shredded, but the blades caught my back and part of my left arm. I retaliated with a cross swipe with my wakisashi across Freddy’s gut. My slice was deep, but Freddy laughed at my attempt. His wound closed by itself and even his shirt rethreaded itself.

Freddy raised his bladed pointer finger to me and said, “Tsk tsk tsk. Marcus, Mark, Marky-mark. You’re in my world now, Cupcake.”

He picked me up and dragged my face across some piping and then threw me behind himself, down another stairwell. I rolled down the stairs and landed on my back. I shook my head and looked around. I was in an open room. The irons walls still had a dull red glow, and in the center of the room, fastened to the wall was a large, open furnace raging with fire.

I heard Freddy, step by step, slowly walking down the stairs. I stood and readied my swords, and Freddy mocked me by mimicking my motions in an exaggerated manner. He said, “Ooooohoooohooo. Shiny. Now, tell me Marky-mark, did you really think you could come in here and just ‘wham-bam-thank-ya-ma’am’ me and that would be it? Huh?” He flicked his claws and they made a “schling-ling-ing” sound that resonated in my ears.

Freddy opened his mouth again to speak; however, my windmill shuriken was already soaring through the air. It struck Freddy in the mouth and severed the top of his head from his bottom jaw. The shuriken returned to its resting place as Freddy’s head rolled to the ground. Freddy’s body stumbled around a bit and then turned to me. His tongue was still attached to his lower jaw and flicked from his mouth. It stretched across the room and bashed me in the chest. I flew across the room and hit the iron wall. I groaned in pain as I tried to stand.

Freddy’s body walked over to his head, jammed his claws through the face, and fashioned it back in its rightful place. Freddy pulled his claws out of his eyes, twisted and popped his neck, and said, “Ya’know, Marky-mark, you should’ve been a chiropractor. That readjustment was amazing.”

I was at a loss. I wasn’t sure what to do at this point. I racked my muddled brain for ideas but nothing seemed logical. Freddy was still slowly walking towards me. Sparks lit up the shadows as he scraped his bladed fingers across the wall.

I was still lying on the floor because my previous attempt to stand failed. Freddy looked at me and said, “You do know laziness is one of the 7 deadly sins?”

I looked up and said, “I thought it was sloth?”

Freddy shrugged and said, “Tomato, tomahto. A boy your age shouldn’t be sleeping the day away.”

Freddy rammed his claw into the ground. I pushed myself up and four giant blades erupted from the ground to the ceiling. I narrowly missed being impaled. I now had my back against the far wall with Freddy in front of me. He smiled and pulled his claw from the floor and rammed it into the wall next to him. I ducked the four giant claws that emerged from the wall behind me. Freddy began to scrape his claw down the wall and the giant claw began to move towards me. Freddy tried his best to pin me; however, I was able to evade the giant claw.

Freddy once again removed his claw from the wall and began to clap mockingly, “Bravo! Bravo! That was a sexy dance. I think you missed your calling.”

Freddy disappeared in a puff of fiery smoke and reappeared behind. He swiped at me and grazed the right side of my face which caused me to stumble backwards. Freddy rushed me and swung with a downward swipe. I blocked it in between my two blades and kicked him in the gut. The kicked staggered Freddy backwards and he retaliated with two cross-body swipes. I moved from the danger and connected with two stabs and a downward cut with my swords. As before, the wounds instantly closed.

Freddy laughed and swung his claw at my head. I ducked under it and saw sparks above me from his claw connecting with the wall. I jammed my wakisashi at an upward angle through his chest and sliced him across his head and stomach with my katana. The wakisashi was stuck in his chest, and I drove my katana downwardly through the top of his sternum and through his back. Both of my swords stuck into Freddy as he staggered backwards.

Freddy began to gurgle and dropped to his knees. He started to spit up blood and shake violently. He looked up at me and started to yell, “NOOO! NOOOOOO! HOW CAN THIS BE?”

His gurgling became louder and his shaking became for violent. He let out one last groan and fell on his back. Relieved, I fell against the wall and put my head between my knees. I ran both of my hands through my hair and said “Finally” out loud.

Freddy began to laugh, sat up, and said, “Pretty good, huh? I should be an actor.”

Freddy pulled my swords out of his chest and threw them to the ground. He looked at me and said, “You’re an idiot. Did you really think that magically your plastic swords would start working? You know, I was told something once, and I think it fits this situation.”

I stood up and tried to run up the stairwell, but, suddenly the iron walls closed on the stairs. I was trapped in this room with Freddy. I turned around, and he said, “Where ya going, boy. Lemme, learn ya something.”

He walked closer to me and continued, “So, yeah, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, there was this thing I learned. I think it was on the Internet. Anyway, it said, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.’ So, guess that makes you insane, eh?”

Freddy stuck his claw through my left shoulder and ripped it out. I fell to the side exposing the right portion of my torso. His claw tore through my ribs, and I felt my breath leaving me. I fell to the ground and was lying on my left side. I looked up and saw Freddy laughing at me as he raised his claw to finish me.

The satchel that Ryu had given me opened when I fell to the floor. One of the blood rubies rolled on the floor and began to melt. Freddy stopped laughing and yelled, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT? WHERE?”

The ruby had melted into a puddle of blood. Quickly, I poured the rest of the rubies on the floor. Dozens of rubies scattered along the iron floor and began to melt. The red puddles moved by themselves into one large puddle. Hundreds of hands began to reach up from the puddle and then it exploded into 243 angry souls. I slowly stood to my feet and started to cough up blood.

The vengeful spirits encircled Freddy and began to attack him. They started to pull him to the large, open furnace against the back wall. Freddy was screaming, cursing, clawing, and kicking; trying to get away from the spirits. They continued to pull him, and in one giant heave, the souls tossed Freddy, along with themselves, into the fire. Freddy began to burn and scream.

I had been limping my way towards the furnace, and Freddy reached out with his claw to try and grab me. I slammed the furnace shut, and it sliced off the bladed arm at the elbow. I reached down and unfastened the claw from the charred hand. I stumbled to my swords and sheathed them while holding on to the claw.

The world began to fade, and the door to the Welcome Center appeared. I crawled through it and fell to the floor. I stared at the Welcome Center’s ceiling, and I felt my life leaving me. Everything became dark, and I took my last breath. In my mind, I heard a familiar voice.

The voice said, “Sleep.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Part 9: Typical Friday at the Camp

I was writhing on the floor in pain as the door closed behind us and faded into a wall. Blood was pouring from my shoulder; the wounds on my back had reopened; and the back of my neck, torso, head, and legs were riddled with shards of glass. I had never been in this much pain in my life, but I was still functioning. Amber was lying limp on the floor; barely breathing.

Hulk was holding his bloody arm and said, “She’s not going to live very long. We can’t take much more of this, dude.”

I nodded in agreement and tried to speak. The pain overtook me, so I took a deep breath and said, “C’mon, Hulk. One more demiguardian.”

“Okay, brother.”

“Wait!” Eli yelled.

Eli rushed over to us and tried to patch us up as best he could. He looked at me and said, “Keep this up, and you’re not going to make it to the guardian.”

I shook my head and laughed. Eli finished the stitch on my shoulder and said, “Okay. Good to go. Marcus, be careful.”

I stood to face the remaining doors, and I saw that the wooden door’s lock had fallen. Hulk and I limped to it, and as before, we opened it and jumped through.

Once we passed through the door, water surrounded us, and my lungs filled. I was shocked at being in water, and I didn’t know whether I was up or down. I was able to reorient myself because of the moon’s glistening light on the water’s surface. I swam as hard as I could, but the air in my lungs wasn’t enough. I blacked out; however, before I blacked out I felt someone grab me.

I woke up on a muddy bank coughing up water. Hulk was standing over me and said, “Dude, I thought I lost you.”

Coming to grips to what had just happened; I looked at Hulk and said, “Thanks, man.”

“No problem, brother. Take a minute to get yourself together.”

I looked around my environment. We were on the shore of a lake. Around us were docks, jet skis, lodging, and camping grounds. I knew this place. I put my head in between my legs, and my grief almost overtook me as I held back tears. Hulk saw my unusual behavior and asked, “You all right, man?”

“Hulk, I know where we are. I know this place.”

“Whadduya mean, dude? What’s the big deal?”

“We’re in Camp Crystal Lake… ring a bell?”

Hulk shook his head, “Kinda. Maybe, not really sure. I think I’ve heard of it. Why?”

“Probably better if you don’t know. C’mon.”

I stood and motioned for Hulk to follow me. He re-sheathed his maul and axe and I readjusted my swords, and we walked through the mud away from the lake. I was exhausted and hurting and my wounds had once again reopened. I could tell Hulk was sharing my plight as blood continually poured from his arm and various other wounds. His gait also was slowed and had evolved into a limp.

We climbed the hill from the lake to a gravel road and followed it. After a few minutes of walking, we arrived at the camp’s main building. It was a quaint wooden lodge that had a sign that read “Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake”. The main building was also surrounded by other log cabins, which formed a circle around the camp grounds.

We carefully eased our way onto the porch of the main building, and I glanced inside through a window. I turned to Hulk and said, “Yep. He’s here.”

Hulk gave me an inquisitive look and said, “Who?”


“Who’s Jason?”

“He’s a crazed, super-human serial killer. Here, take a look.”

I pointed for Hulk to take a look at the devastation that had happened in the main building. Bodies and body parts were strewn on the floors, walls, and ceiling, and the inside of the building was in an obvious state of upheaval.

Hulk said, “Whoa, dude. That place is wrecked.”

“Yeah. We gotta find him. C’mon, let’s look around.”

We searched the buildings and the nearby woods, and while we found abundant evidence of Jason’s warpath, we could not find the killer. Our search led us back towards the lake to a modest shed by the dock. As we approached, we heard struggling and the shed began to shake. Suddenly, a woman screamed. The scream was so shocking and blood-curdling that it caused both of us to stumble. We heard more sounds of struggle and more screams, and then there were sounds of metal tearing through flesh. The screams were silenced.

It was obvious that Jason had just murdered a helpless woman, and we cautiously crept closer to the shed. The shed door flew open and a headless, disemboweled body was thrown to the ground. Jason emerged from the shed and immediately saw us. He faced us and stoically walked in our direction. Jason was larger than Hulk. He was covered in bloody, tattered clothes, wielded his infamous machete, and, of course, covered his face with his iconic hockey mask. Hulk turned to me and asked, “How do we kill him?”

I shrugged and said, “Together.”

Hulk gripped his axe and maul, and I unsheathed my swords. We looked at each other and breathed a sigh, and then we rushed towards the murderer. Since I was faster, I was ahead of Hulk, and I tried to anticipate Jason’s next move. Hulk’s axe flew past me and imbedded itself into Jason’s chest.

“Good throw.” I thought to myself.

The axe staggered Jason and opened a perfect opportunity for my attack. Jason had reached to remove the axe from his chest which caused his vision to divert from me. I leaped in the air with my wakisashi in my left hand and my katana in my right. With a reverse grip, I drove the wakisahi through the neck and shoulder of Jason, and then I spun myself around; flanking the monster, leaving the sword in place. I knew in order to overcome Jason we had to immobilize him somehow. I gripped my katana with both my hands and used a downward, cutting slice to the back of Jason’s right leg. I felt the blade touch bone, and I yanked it towards the ground. The edge was sharp enough to sever the hamstring muscle, which I knew I had done because the back of his leg drooped open. Jason growled in pain, and I ducked under his machete swing as he clumsily tried to turn and attack me.

Hulk connected with a devastating swing with his maul to the back of Jason’s skull. I heard the skull crack and saw a few pieces of his head fly through the air. Jason growled again and stood up; unaffected. I drove my katana through his side of his ribs almost to the hilt. Jason turned and looked down at me. I was a shocked at the amount of damage we had done that was shrugged off by the serial killer. Jason’s elbow connected with my nose and caused an explosion of blood. I fell backwards and rolled. I was dazed and my vision was blurry; however, I could tell that Jason coming for me, dragging his leg. In spite of everything, he was holding his machete with my two swords and Hulk’s axe still driven into his torso.

Again, Hulk caught Jason with another vicious blow to the head with his hammer. Hulk raised the maul for a third blow, but it was blocked by Jason’s forearm. The crushing strike broke Jason’s arm almost in half and caused the bones the jut through the skin. Jason lost the use of his right arm and dropped the machete. My head was beginning to clear as Hulk was raising his arms for his fourth attack. Jason smashed Hulk’s exposed ribs with his left fist. I saw Hulk’s ribs break, and Hulk spit up blood. Jason stood and head butted Hulk. I knew the blow cracked Hulk’s skull, and I wasn’t sure if he survived the hit. Hulk fell limply to the ground.

I had to act quickly, so I pitched the windmill shuriken at Jason. Like always, the shuriken cut through the air; however, it did not return to me because it had become stuck in the side of Jason’s skull. Jason growled again and started to approach me once more.

I couldn’t believe it. This monster literally had our weapons stuck in him and showed no signs of stopping. The shuriken had cut the straps of Jason’s mask, and it waved back and forth unstably with each rocking step that Jason took. I was catching glimpses of his hideous face the closer he got, and I had no idea what to do next.

Jason took another insecure step, and it shook the mask loose. It fell to the ground and Jason moaned, leaned over, and placed it back on his face.

“Yes.” I thought to myself.

I wiped the blood from my face and ran towards Jason. I jumped shoulder first towards his mangled leg and knocked him to the ground. I grabbed the machete on the ground and turned around. A giant fist was coming straight for my head. I maneuvered under it and braced the machete, blade side, towards the fist. The blade sunk between Jason’s middle and ring finger and cut down to the wrist and remained in place.

Without hesitating, I ripped the mask from Jason’s head and threw it towards the lake. Jason roared at me while spit and blood flew from his mouth. I tore the wakisasha loose and jammed it through his left eye. He stumbled backwards and peered at me. In a quick motion, I freed my katana from his side and pushed it through his right eye. This caused the monster to drop to his knees. I removed the machete from his fist, took careful aim, and, with both hands, I came down and wedged the machete between his eyes. The blow went through the skull and nearly cleaved his head in two. Jason fell to the ground dead.

I gathered our weapons and returned to Hulk. His face was a bloody mess and swollen, but he was still alive. I knew he wasn’t going to last long, though. Soon, the emptiness engulfed us and the door appeared. With all of my remaining strength, I dragged Hulk back into the Welcome Center.