Friday, April 15, 2011
The Midnight Society presents...
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, J. Rodimus Fowler calls this story...
Axes to Axes, Dust to Dust
My name is Richard Hutchins and I used to be a fireman. Used to be, is the correct wording because now when there is a fire we just watch from our boarded up windows. The monsters stand around laughing and snorting, watching the fires burn, grabbing any unlucky soul that they could catch and roasting them on the fire.
These things were huge, some of them ten feet tall and they had enormous feet and hands. Their mouths were not small either, big enough to eat a man whole and pick their teeth with his bones. Our leg bones were just right for that. They resembled large gorillas with the heads of wide-mouthed frogs with two sharp fangs protruding up from their lower mandibles. Their skin was reptile like and scaly with a dull grey color. They also had webbed feet with a particular grizzly looking set of claws on the end.
No one knows where they came from. They just came walking up one day. We only know that they won’t leave. We have to stay indoors almost all of the time now, which makes it hard to even get bread and milk these days, let alone some good whiskey.
Just yesterday, Tim Hobolder was on the way to get some groceries when he was scooped up by one of the monsters in a most painful way. The monster pulled Tim’s hands behind his back so hard that it dislocated one of his shoulders, and then it drug him around the corner behind the Post Office. After a few minutes of silence we heard screaming, violent uncontrollable screaming then we heard silence again. Only the monster came back from behind the store. The bastard was laughing whole heartedly.
I had been watching from my windows and so had Tony Leone. He was my neighbor and part of Squad 13. Tony and I lived beside each other and Von lived across town, we could see his roof from our houses. That was Squad 13 the Honeycutt, Georgia volunteer Fire Department.
Jerry (The Axe) Mahoney was our squad leader and I wished he was here. He had gone on vacation two weeks ago and was supposed to be back last Tuesday. The monsters had shown up in his stead. He was clear headed during complete chaos, and this was an exacting chaos. He was the best axe man I had ever seen. I am no slouch with an axe and neither are my guys but we were one man short. Since the day the monsters had arrived there had been no sign of Jerry.
Von was very sneaky and tried shooting them at first. Their skin would just absorb the bullets with no harm. Some of the other town’s people tried Molotov cocktails, but the monsters were resilient. It just made them go on a rampage, violently striking out against the nearest person. All of the townspeople learned to stay locked up in their homes unless necessity took over. The monsters slept outside in the middle of town so they could catch anyone that they saw trying to leave. Those that tried got it the worst. They were toasted, ate and bone-picked. We learned fast ‘out of sight, out of mind.’
The monsters quickly learned who ran the shops, and replaced the necessary dead. They knew to keep the vital shops open so their food source, us, would stay ripe for the picking. Our friend Gregory was forced to take over the grocery store.
Last night Tony and I went on a supply run to see Gregory. We carried our axes with us just in case. We left under the cloak of night. We made our way, hiding from time to time but we made it to the back door. There was a ladder that led up to the roof and there was a hatch that led down into the store. We made it inside with no problem until we saw the look on Gregory’s face.
One of the monsters was standing right beside us. I noticed it was missing its left hand. It leapt out quickly, but not quick enough. I hit it square in the mouth with my axe, sinking it so deep into its skull that it got stuck. Tony followed my action and chopped off the monsters right hand. I put my boot on the monsters forehead and had to jerk with all my might just to get my axe free. Then we cut off all the monsters limbs, even his frog shaped head.
It worked, tearing them to pieces, actually killed them. These bastards were mortal after all. “Axes to axes, dust to dust” Tony said. We just looked at each other and smiled.
This morning when the monsters found the pieces of their dismembered friend they immediately went on a rampage. Gregory was the first to get caught. He was screaming as one of the monsters slammed him to the ground hard enough to kill him.
They grabbed everyone they saw, even breaking down doors and snatching people from their homes. They piled up the bodies in the middle of the road in the center of town. Tony came straight to my house and we called Von up on the county issued walkie-talkies and told him the plan. Since Jerry was gone, that made me the next in command. It was time to fight or die trying.
We suited up in our protective firemen’s gear, boots, coats and helmets. We walked right out my front door towards the center of town. I walked with my axe slung over my shoulder. Tony held his with both hands, ready to strike.
The first monster to see us came running our way. As soon as he was in reach, Tony swung his axe like the mighty Babe Ruth. He made contact, splitting the monsters mouth even wider with his deadly face shot. I followed that blow up by taking each of the monsters hands and feet.
In half the blink of an eye another monster was on top of us. It slapped Tony across the back with its large hands, knocking him to the ground. I slammed my axe down into the monsters foot, cutting right through it.
Then from out of nowhere Von was on the creature, like ink on paper. He had a machete in each hand and struck the monster on each side of the neck in a “V” shaped pattern, sending its head rolling along the asphalt right up to Tony. Tony got up and kicked the head down the street catching the attention of two more monsters.
They stood their ground and we stood ours, no one making the first move. Then we heard the sound of steel being drug against asphalt. The sound even caught the monsters by surprise. They just stared past us. We turned our backs to the monsters and saw the silhouette of a man dragging an axe behind him along the road.
It was Jerry (The Axe) Mahoney, in full fireman’s gear. His yellow coat was now crimson and his face was covered in blood. He said, “All right, let’s get these frog-looking S.O.B.’s…Squad 13 Honeycutt, Georgia.” “Its axe time, boys!”
Then we took his lead, gripped our axes tight and started walking towards the monsters. The monsters actually looked scared, scared of a group of volunteer fire fighters with no fires to fight, but a fight we would bring!
For the next hour or so, the middle of towns square sounded like steel cutting flesh, and flesh hitting stone. All of the people left their hiding spots and came outside to watch. As soon as we, the Squad, had killed the last of the monsters left roaming around we stopped to catch our breath. Jerry, Tony, Von and I raised our axes and touched them in the air, just like a high five for blades.
All of the town’s people that were left gathered around to thank us. Jerry spoke up and said, “Who wants to take Gregory’s place? We need a new grocery store attendant.” I looked over at Jerry and said, “Is it time my friend?” He simply nodded.
The rest of the Squad and I reached up and pulled our fake faces off revealing our true selves. Our dog-like faces scared the shit out of the townspeople, but at least we weren’t as scary as the monsters that we had just taken care of. Who would have guessed that the Volunteer Fire Department Squad 13 Honeycutt, Georgia were a bunch of dog-faced freaks? Dogs mark their territory, and we had marked ours. The monsters should have known that but in the end, they were kind of stupid.
-J. Rodimus Fowler