Halloween 2017: Choose Your Spooky Outcome: Chapter 7

                “Let’s play the odds. There’s a riled up deathite in the basement, it has to be protecting something. Besides, Victoria, that kind of low-quality monster is no match for you, right?”

                “Duuuude, you know that’s not how this one works.” Jim is up again, wobbling about in a stance that seems pre-destined to end with him on the ground. “Final girl is a slasher staple, but this is a haunted gore fest. The monsters get chopped up by a leading dude with a sharp weapon.” He nods, probably unintentionally, to the bloody axe still resting in your hand.

                Shit, he’s right. Wicked Death keeps the same protagonist through the whole series. Except, wait, there might be one ray of hope. “Hang on, there was the reboot where-”

                Booing from everyone else in the room drowns you out, and someone even throws a half-eaten sandwich at you. “Fine! Nobody likes reboots, I’ve got it. Damn, you’re a sassy bunch for people afraid of getting killed.”

                “Better to die with standards,” someone from the back yells. Great group to be saving, right?

                With your course already set, you head back to the basement door. Flinging it open, you swing your axe wildly about just in case the monster was waiting to jump out and attack. Too bad, you’re not that lucky. There’s only empty stairs waiting. You descend, Jim and Victoria close behind, waiting for the slightest movement. When the door slams shut, you twirl around ready for action, but seconds later you hear the lock click over and it all makes sense. They’re not taking chances on something else getting loose while you’re down here exploring. Or they wrote you all off for dead. Hard to disagree with either strategy, especially given the body count on these sorts of movies.

                Slowly, you creep along in the darkness, only a few specks of light coming through from poorly boarded up windows. Should you have asked for a flashlight? Nah, that’s just going to get knocked out your hand in a crucial moment. A little more light would be nice though.

                When the glow appears, you briefly wonder if perhaps you’ve acquired magical powers in this movie’s world. Then you turn to find Jim holding a lighter, which does make a lot more sense. After all, even before entering the movies you were dressed as a werewolf, not a wizard. “Where did you get that?”

                “Table, duh. Can’t smoke shit without something to light it with.”

                Great, now Jim is schooling you on logic. Maybe just be glad for the light and keep moving. You prowl along, going past rotted walls that mirror parts of the cabin above. It couldn’t just be big and open, oh no, you had to come to a basement with places for things to hide behind. After a turn, you notice a new source of flickering light. This is definitely going to be bad if you head toward it, but if you’re hoping to find the Deathnomicon that means diving headfirst into trouble. There are no movies where getting that damn thing is easy, or safe.

                Motioning for the others to stay back, you move carefully forward. The nearer you draw, the brighter the light gets, until you turn the next corner and find yourself looking at some sort of ceremonial altar. Candles are running across the walls, with drawings in what look like blood dripping along the floor, forming a strange pattern you can’t understand. In the center of the pattern, though, there is one familiar item: the Deathnomicon. It’s just sitting there, waiting to be claimed.

                You may not always be the swiftest bird in the flock, but even you can tell an obvious trap when you see one. The minute you step forward, something will rush out from the shadows. Instead of plunging ahead, you turn slightly back, never letting the doorway fully leave your gaze, to wave Jim and Victoria closer. Hopefully they can catch the monster by surprise when it rushes you, and together you’ll all be able to get hold of the book.

                As you look to them, you’re just in time to see movement from overhead. Guess it was a trap after all, only you weren’t the target. Nope, looks like the hideous monster wanted someone who wasn’t armed. Pretty sound thinking; really, too bad you didn’t consider the idea earlier.

                Before you can yell a warning, the deathite has already landed in front of Victoria. A hideous swipe of its claws looks like it will disembowel her, but when the claw has passed there are only three narrow trails of blood across Victoria’s stomach, plainly visible through large gashes in the plaid shirt.

                “Become one of us. Give in to the wickedness and join.” Oh shit. Hurting people is one of the ways deathites spread. Killing is a big one, but dire enough wounds can do the job as well. Victoria, thankfully, seems unconcerned. She grabs the monster’s head and yanks it forward, smashing her knee into its face.

                “Tell whatever dark god you serve to practice for a few more millennia before stepping before me with such paltry offerings.”

                Much as you want to help, there’s more movement catching your eye. From the ceiling of the ceremony chamber, you see shadows lowering from ceiling. Turns out there was more than one monster down here, and while Victoria might be immune to them you are very much flesh and blood. Running as fast as you can, you bolt forward, grabbing for the Deathnomicon. It’s still clearly a trap, but you don’t have any better options than leaping into it.

                A clawed swipe goes for your head as you duck low, barely avoiding it, then fend off another attack with your axe. Diving low, you scoop the Deathnomicon up in your free hand, whirling around to find five deathites all staring at you. Your eyes dart about, searching for an option. The candles are still flickering nearby; maybe you can burn the book. You’re pretty sure that does something in one of the movies, although damn if you recall which. This series is more Jim’s flavor than yours; he would know the correct move, assuming he’s in the right mindset to recall it. The doorway is right there; maybe you can find your way through and go ask him. It’s a risky tactic with serious downsides if you fail, though. There is one more option to explore: you could try reading from the Deathnomicon. That always does something. Not always something good, mind you, but something.

                Whatever you want to try, I’d recommend getting on it soon. The deathites are closing in, their bloody claws gleaming in the light of the burning candles. Take too long, and your body will be used to give those nails a fresh coat of paint.