Halloween 2016: Choose Your Spooky Outcome: Chapter 10

                So, when faced with a world twisting nearly beyond recognition into a realm of horror and huge shadow-monsters knocking over solid stone, your plan is to pick up a tree branch and whack them with it?

                Bold move.

                Snatching the branch off the ground, you begin racing toward the hulking figures. It’s stupid, and insane, and will probably accomplish nothing, but you know what? It feels right. This is what’s been wrong all night, you kept racing away from the crazy and dangerous situations. That’s not you. You barrel in headfirst like an impossible moron, trusting in luck and your friends to keep you safe. Idiotic a plan as it is, it at least feels like something you, the real you who doesn’t work cubicle jobs or eat microwave sad-meals (unless you’re super drunk and the delivery places are closed), would do.

                Amped on adrenaline, you let out a loud yell of triumph as you slap at one of the shadow monsters with your stick. It does nothing. Less than nothing, really. You still can’t make out many of their features in the dim light, but you do see the stick pass harmlessly through its back. Maybe they aren’t real after all? That thought lasts all of five seconds until one of the shadow creature’s arms whips back, striking you in the chest. The force of the blow sends you literally flying through the air, until you land heavily on the grass and slowly roll to a stop.

                Given the pain in your torso, it’s safe to conclude that those things are real, or at least real to you, which is fundamentally the same from your perspective.  Also, they hit like fuckers. That was a glancing blow and you’re lucky to be alive. If you’d hit a tree instead of sailing through the air, that might have been lights out for good. Victoria probably isn’t going to be too happy if she pulls a corpse out of whatever this place is, and even dead you’re not sure you’d be beyond her wrath.

                Unfortunately, the sounds of more headstones being knocked over betrays the fact that those shadow monsters are approaching, and fast. A lone punch from one of them sent you through the air. If they all gang up on you, it’s as good as over. Scrambling through the grass, you try to pull yourself to your feet. If you’re going down, it’s not going to be on your back. Before you make it all the way up, however, a new noise splits the air. The sound of thunder, so close and loud it’s like lightning hit mere feet away, despite the cloudless sky overhead. Then you hear some of the dumbest, most beautiful words to ever grace your ears.

                “Whenever big-breasted co-eds, or awesome roommates, are in trouble, Godpunch Lightning-Fucker will be there!”

                There’s only one man who can speak those words without a trace of shame in his voice, and as you cast your eyes about it’s easy to spot him. The dude is literally glowing with power and floating several feet off the ground. His costume looks a little different than last year, but there’s no question about it: Jim is here, dressed as Godpunch Lightning-Fucker and rocking some Halloween costume magic.

                “Jim!” You yell at him, as if he didn’t know you were there, overwhelmed at seeing a familiar, friendly, face at long last.

                “Hey man!” Jim holds out his hammer, letting out a blast of energy that wipes out the approaching line of shadow creatures without effort. “Been a while. How are things going, and are you holding anything stronger than booze by chance? Victoria cut me off from my stash until this was done.”

                Yup, that’s Jim alright.

                “What the hell is going on here? Where are we, how did you show up, and what are these things?”

                Jim stares at you, his glowing eyes blinking several times. “So that’s a no on the enhanced party favors then? Guess it’s fine, we should be able to head back soon enough anyway.” The blinking starts again, only this time it’s not Jim’s eyes, it’s his whole body. The glow is starting to short out, fading away a little with each interruption. He drifts downward, his feet hitting the ground as he lands near you and the glow vanishes completely.

                “Balls, I forgot that wasn’t going to last. Really should have kicked more ass when I had the time.”

                You follow Jim’s gaze to the destroyed headstones, where the shadows are beginning to form back together into solid masses.

                “Dude, buddy, I need you to focus for a minute. What the hell is going on right now?” You grab him by the shoulders, all but pleading with him to give some answers.

                “Right, shit. Sorry, keeps slipping my mind that you’re in the dark. The short version is that we’re in a wish, and Victoria is back home trying to punch through to bring us out. She juiced my costume earlier tonight, but apparently magic doesn’t work so well here. Part of why getting you out is such a bitch. Not really sure how I got here, I was supposed to come over with her at midnight. Godpunch is summoned by reckless bravery though, so if you did anything truly stupid that might have been enough to yank me through.”

                Okay, that didn’t make a lot of sense, but at least it was something. Victoria is busting you out, this world is some kind of wish, and most important of all you’re not crazy. Yanking out the phone, you check the time. Five minutes left.

                “So if magic doesn’t work here, what the hell are those things?” You point to the shadow monsters who have nearly reformed. Oh, and there are twice as many this time, isn’t that just a fucking cherry on top of this shit sundae.

                “How the hell would I know? Victoria just said the place would have defenses. I’m going to take a wild swing and guess they’re that.”

                Crap. What are you going to do? “Crap, Jim, what are we going to do?”

                “Dude I literally just rode in on a lightning bolt of magic and I’ve barely had any drugs today, how am I the one you’re asking for a plan? Let’s just try to not die for the next five minutes.”

                Huh, near-sober Jim makes some oddly good points. Come on, think! You can try to outrun these things, they’re faster than they should be but not full on sprinters. Maybe you can outwait the clock by keeping ahead of them. Then again, they do seem to be sticking to the darker parts of the graveyard, so it’s possible they can’t go into light. If you and Jim hunker down under one of the lampposts, you may just last long enough to get out of here. And, of course, there’s always the tried and true classic of hiding. Strong as these are, you don’t get a very wily vibe from them, so that might be enough to buy you five minutes.