You were lucky enough to get a clue about the monster’s true weakness, it would be kind of silly not to use it. “Can you really distract a movie monster made only to consume fear?” Before the question is even fully finished, you look over to find that Jim has unwrapped big sections of his costume, and seems to be limbering up for some sort of dance.
“I made one of those British royal guard dudes piss his pants, I can handle this.” To your utter shock, Jim launches into a routine that is well-choreographed, graceful… downright hypnotic, honestly. Did Jim have a theater major or something? You never remember him actually going to class, so it’s hard to tell. Regardless, he’s putting on quite a show, and somehow you aren’t the only one to have noticed. Fearsipper is staring at Jim as well, pulsing red eyes moving slightly in time with Jim’s flourishes.
This is… weird, even by your standards, so you decide not to dilly-dally. Diving in low, you grab the film right out of Fearsipper’s hands. Gripping the first piece, you start tearing, instantly drawing a groan of pain from the monster, whose attention flips right back to you. Okay, so this is definitely working, but going piece-by-piece might not be the best idea.
“Little more hurrying up, if you don’t mind,” Jim calls. He’s still shaking it for all he’s worth, but not even Jim’s rhythm can stop Fearsipper from looking toward a direct threat. That gaping maw of yellow teeth opens as you rip another section. The monster shudders, cracks of white light appearing along it’s chest, yet it continues to advance on you. Even without fear, that thing can tear people’s limbs off their body; it’s a major selling point on the posters. Okay, look, I know the situation is life or death right now, but you need to rent an arthouse film or something if you survive, this is getting ridiculous. Anyway, a monster lumbering toward you, looking pissed and injured while you hold a reel of film that’s taking too long to destroy.
You need something faster. The axe might work, but you doubt Fearsipper will give you time to set it down and line up your strikes. The method has to be faster, unstoppable, all-consuming. Just like that, the idea hits you as Fearsipper’s outstretched claws barely miss.
“Jim! Light it up like you’re trying to impress a girl!”
There aren’t many benefits to living with someone like Jim, in fact precious few that you can think of, however there is the odd perk here and there. In this case, the boon is that not only does Jim know his way around a lighter, but you’re familiar with all his favorite tricks and methods. Such as the fact that when Jim is trying to impress someone, his favorite way to fire up a bowl is with a lighter and a can of hairspray. But in a pinch, most aerosols will work; spray paint cans very much included.
You flip the film into the air, sending it on a high curve, directly in Jim’s path. He won’t have long to make the shot, yet you’re not worried. If there’s one thing Jim knows how to do with absolute skill, it’s light shit up. Sure enough, as the reel sails in front of Jim it is met with a lovely plume of orange fire, catching the film instantly alight. It lands on the ground and keeps burning, oh shit you didn’t think this through. Of all people though, Jim is on it. With practiced skill he gets a foot under the film and kicks it up into the air, catching it in a metal trash can and setting them both carefully on the floor. “One guaranteed hook-up lighting session, as you requested.”
Fearsipper isn’t looking too hot, which is of course to say that he’s burning to death. Flames burst forth, but unlike the deathites Fearsipper seems as though he’s made of kindling. In no time he’s been completely consumed, leaving behind only a flash of white that ripples out from you, washing across the room and out into the theater itself. Racing into the nearest projection room, you peek through the window to find that the screens are working again. What’s more, the audience seems to be back in place, laughing and jeering at the scenes as warranted.
A thud from nearby reminds you that Victoria is still locked up, and if you want to survive the night then getting her free might be prudent. One twist of the knob is all it takes and she comes striding out, eyes flashing like she’s primed for a fight. “Where is the decrepit squash that dared to crawl into my pumpkin patch?”
“T-t-t-toasted!” Jim announces. “Burned up and crispy. Looks like the theater is back to normal too, least what I could see through the window.” Jim points to what is clearly a poster for an old movie in a case, not a window at all, but he’s right about the crowds so it’s not really a battle worth fighting. Plus he was a big help this year. Let him have a few wins.
“That’s good.” Victoria looks around, as though expecting Fearsipper to pop back. “Generally, in these sorts of films, don’t they return before the end?”
“Fearsipper relied on that trick less,” you explain. “Those movies were more about the slow burn of figuring out who kept releasing him from his puzzle prison.”
She looks at the floor, and the symbols covered by dongs, once more. “Do they? That does raise the question of where these retail peons obtained such a valuable scroll. Sadly, it seems they are past the point of being questioned, and too late in All Hallow’s Eve for us to ask them across the border. Our night may be done, yet I feel we have not dealt with every issue presented.”
“We took care of the bad guy, right?” Jim asks. “That’s our shtick! Now let’s go salvage the rest of this night by getting more snacks and finishing some movies.”
Although she’s still slightly hesitant, Victoria starts to nod. “I suppose you are right. There’s no more for us to do here, and revelry is as important a part of All Hallow’s Eve as terror. It is, after all, a celebration. Very well, let us return to the cinema and see what is still playing. Nothing from the Wicked Death or Terror Camp series, though. I fear that after stomping their antagonists, those films won’t hold even an illusion of terror for us.”
Together, the three of you head back downstairs to catch a show, leaving behind a terrible scene that is going to mentally scar the poor manager who stumbles upon five of his employees’ corpses. That’s his problem though, for you, this Halloween has reached:
Well done, everyone! You made it to the end of this year without a single death! That means you’ve earned yourselves a treat. As in year’s past, I’m going to let you vote what you would like to have, and it works the same as all the other choices so far. Your options are:
1. Bonus Chapter of Super Powereds:
2. Sneak Peek at Villains’ Code 2:
The sequel to Forging Hephaestus is still in its infancy, but I do have a section I can share with you all.
3. Spooky Short Story:
Recently I had rights for some short stories return to me, which means I can share one publicly if you want a last bit of spooky before the Halloween season is over. These are from the REUTS fairy tale collection, in case you’re wondering if you’ve already read them.