A collection of horror, mystery, and science fiction tales, with contributions from fellow writers, James Darko and Dexter Lynch. If you wish to contribute, I'd be happy to showcase your writing. Just send me a message. The stories are free to read and always will be. Some are better than others (I'm speaking only for myself), but I can't give all my best ideas away for free, ha ha. Feel free to share any stories, but please be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Note to readers: This is a sequel of sorts to an older story of mine titled Exploitation. Read Exploitation at this link: http://warpedtongues.blogspot.com/2014/01/exploitation.html
Halloween. Poltergeist. The
Exorcist. Rosemary’s Baby. A Nightmare on Elm Street. Prom Night. Terror Train.
Phantasm. Hellraiser. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Evil Dead. My Bloody
Jeffrey Miner was convinced he’d seen every horror film
the world had to offer. That was until his friend, Dan Coscarelli, introduced
him to a flick called Bonesaw.
Made in the early 70’s, the film was brutal even for its
time. It was way more savage and aggressive than Texas Chainsaw or Halloween.
The blood and gore was ample and so very realistic. The actors were virtual
Jeff had never seen them before in any other films, and
he assumed like many horror movie stars of the 70’s and 80’s, that they
probably faded off into obscurity. The guy who played the villain was a real
gem. Jeff couldn’t determine if this unknown star was simply a very convincing
actor, or if he was some nutcase the director picked up at the local psych
Squirming on his couch, Jeff forced himself to watch Bonesaw alone all the way through to the
end credits, where he spotted the name Jack Hopper. He took to the internet and
typed the director’s name into a popular search engine.
Jack Hopper’s IMDb page listed two movie credits. The
first was Bonesaw. The second was a
film called Ravage.
filmed in the 70’s, was pulled from theaters a week after its release. It was
never released on VHS or DVD.
could one film be so violent, so offensive that no studio would dare let it see
the light of day? Jeff scoured the internet for information about Ravage, but his searches turned up nil.
He couldn’t find any information about the cast or crew. All he confirmed was
that the film was written, directed, and produced solely by Jack Hopper, and
the villain was played by Lucas Hopper, most likely the director’s son or
up every horror website and forum he could think of in search of a bootleg
copy, but none seemed to exist. He tried finding it on YouTube, Netflix, and
other video streaming sites. No luck.
was starting to wonder if this film was merely a myth, an urban legend meant to
drive devoted horror fans mad.
night, he thought about that film. The title and the mystery surrounding the
film couldn’t escape his mind. To Jeff, this film was a hidden gem waiting to
be discovered. One way or another, he had to see it.
passed as Jeff continued to scour the web. He checked his email one day and
found a message waiting for him from Dan Coscarelli.
this out,” the email said. The accompanying link led Jeff to a website that
promoted a special, one-night only screening of Ravage in Jack Hopper’s hometown.
have to go see this,” Jeff wrote back.
was Dan Coscarelli’s reply.
screening was to take place at a VFW hall in Eden Harbor on Saturday, June 22,
2013, and the event was to be hosted by Jack Hopper himself. On Friday, they
had their bags packed into the trunk of Jeff’s Oldsmobile Cutlass and we’re
ready to go.
Coscarelli had invited along another horror aficionado, Nick Foley. Jeff wasn’t
thrilled by the prospect of spending an entire weekend with Nick Foley, but he
figured enough booze would get him through it. And they had four cases of beer
packed away in the trunk.
offered to drive the whole way there, Jeff raided one of the cases early and
grabbed six beers for the road.
weren’t even clear of Greenville before Nick started his incessant babbling.
you ever seen Oldboy?” Nick asked.
“I’m not talking about the remake; I’m talking about the original.”
Jeff said. “I saw it.”
one of the best revenge films I’ve ever seen. I could go on about it for hours
please don’t,” Jeff said, cracking into the first bottle of beer.
about Audition? That film made my
it,” Jeff muttered, guzzling his beer.
about Sinister? Now that movie scared
the crap out of me.”
it,” Jeff said, finishing the first beer.
you’ve seen a lot of movies. I’m surprised we don’t hang out more.”
didn’t respond. He just popped open another beer and wondered if this kid would
ever shut up.
been to a convention?” Nick asked. “I went to a horror convention in New Jersey
a few months ago. I got to meet Zack Snyder. He directed the Dawn of the Dead remake, you know?”
know,” Jeff said, already exasperated.
time they were three towns over, Jeff had pounded four beers. They took a brief
pit-stop so Jeff could empty his bladder and grab more beers from the trunk. He
grabbed a few extra for Nick, hoping the alcohol would tire him out and finally
shut him up. He didn’t look like the drinking type. A few beers and the problem
would be solved.
accepted the beer with gratitude and chugged it down in a desperate attempt to
appear cool and to try and keep up with Jeff. Not an easy task, as Jeff would
tell you himself.
was a good three hours from Greenville, but to a few gore-hounds like Dan,
Nick, and Jeff, the trip was worth it.
beers deep, the alcohol had not taken the effect on Nick that Jeff had hoped
for. Feeling quite buzzed, Nick was more talkative than ever. But Jeff at least
managed to shift the conversation from movies to things like cars, music, and
got a girl in your life?” A drunken Jeff asked Nick as he started to warm up to
him two hours into their ride.
not currently,” Nick said, almost embarrassed to admit it.
not a virgin, are you?”
no,” Nick said, forcing the words out. “A lot of hot girls go to those conventions.
I’ve had plenty of con-pussy. I went down on this girl that was dressed like
Sailor Moon at the last con.”
exchange the strangest facts when they’re under the influence,” Dan remarked.
Moon?” Jeff repeated. “How old was this chick?”
was old enough,” Nick said, lying through his teeth. There was never any girl
at that convention, or any convention for that matter. He was just trying to
fit in. “You got a girl?” Nick asked Jeff, trying to take the focus off of
broke up with Brittany months ago. I was trying to get with this chick named
Lyndsey. But it turns out she’s a dyke.”
not a dyke,” Dan corrected him.
course she is. She wouldn’t sleep with me.”
because a girl won’t sleep with you, that doesn’t make them a dyke.”
you,” Jeff said, taking a swig of his ninth or tenth beer. “When was the last
time you got laid?”
weeks ago at Mac’s party. Me and Nikki Larson in the guest bedroom.”
Nikki Larson…I hope you used protection.”
one to talk,” Dan laughed from behind the wheel. “What about that sleazy girl
Tiara you used to fuck? Double bagging it wouldn’t even offer protection
against that slut. You’d have to triple bag and top it off with a shot of
no need to get personal,” Jeff muttered. “I was just making a joke. And for the
record, I got myself tested after I moved on from Tiara. I’m clean.”
you,” Dan said, repeating Jeff’s line in the same monotone fashion.
“You ever bang a chick without a rubber?” Jeff asked
Nick, and Nick shuddered as the conversation shifted back to his sex life, or
lack of a sex life.
“Can’t say that I have,” Nick said. “I always use
“Nothing beats skin to skin,” Jeff assured him, twisting
the cap off another beer and flicking it out the open window.
“I wanted to try it once,” Nick said. “But the girl said
“It happens. At least she didn’t turn you down
“Right,” Nick said, laughing nervously.
“I mean, it sure doesn’t bother me getting turned down by
that dyke, Lyndsey. I’ve been turned down for almost every reason you could
think of. But I still go back for more.”
“I got turned down by a blind chick once,” Dan
“Ouch,” Jeff said. “That’s gotta be the worst form of
“Nah the worst form of rejection is when you’re whacking
off and your hand falls asleep on you,” Dan joked.
“I believe that’s called a perfect stranger,” Nick said.
“You would know,” Jeff said, and Nick blushed, hoping
neither of them noticed.
“We should’ve brought some weed,” Dan said with regret.
“Maybe we can score a bag before the screening tomorrow,”
Jeff said. “Someone in this town has to sell pot. It’s a given.”
“I’ve never smoked before,” Nick said.
Jeff laughed. “Kid, you’ve got a lot of living ahead of
By the time they reached Cherrywood, it was dark and Jeff
was passed out in the passenger seat, a collection of twelve or thirteen empty
beer bottles scattered around his feet.
They checked in at the front desk of the Sails Inn, the
hotel that Dan had made reservations at. Dan and Nick retired to their rooms,
letting Jeff sleep it off in the car.
* * *
Jeff awoke with a nasty hangover and severe dehydration.
He left the car, first in search of water. When he acquired a bottle from a
nearby vending machine, he chugged it down like he did with the beers and then
went off in search of coffee.
The Sails Inn had a coffeemaker at the front desk, and
the clerk offered to pour Jeff a cup on the house. Before Jeff could ask the
clerk if he’d seen his friends, Dan approached the front desk.
“Ah, you’re awake,” Dan said. “And you’ve got coffee.
Excellent. At least you won’t be grumpy.”
“Kiss my ass,” Jeff replied.
“I’ll just leave you alone until that coffee kicks in.
Nick and I will be in the car when you’re ready.”
Jeff finished his coffee, thanked the clerk, and joined
them outside. In the car, Nick was looking at brochures he had acquired in the
lobby, and Dan was checking the directions he had printed for the VFW Hall.
“We should drive by this place, at least so we know where
it is,” Dan told Jeff. “We’ve got plenty of time ’til the movie starts, so
after we drive by the place, we can look for some bud.”
Dan started the car and passed Jeff the directions. “You
“I’m too hung over to be navigating.”
“Then give the directions to Nick and let him navigate.”
Jeff passed the directions back to Nick and they were on
their way. The VFW Hall was just half a mile, or two rights and three lefts
from the Sails Inn.
The place didn’t even look operational to Dan. But he
tried to think of any VFW Hall that looked active in the daytime, and he
couldn’t think of one. He expected a small crowd would be formed by show time.
Jeff was wondering if the place had a bar and if they’d be serving liquor at
Two blocks from the VFW Hall, they crossed paths with a
teenager. He was wearing a black hoodie and carrying a skateboard under one
arm. “Pull over,” Jeff told Dan.
Dan pulled off to the side of the road and Jeff rolled
his window down. “Hey,” Jeff said to the kid with the skateboard. “We’re in
town for the weekend and we don’t know anyone around here. You know where we
can score a little bud?”
“I think I might be able to help you,” the kid said. “The
name’s Trent Resnik.”
“Nice to meet ya, Trent. I’m Jeff. This is Dan, and
that’s Nick in the back there.”
“Pleasure,” Trent said. “I don’t have anything on me, but
I have some back at my house. Can you give me a lift?”
“We don’t really know you,” Jeff said. “But on the other
hand, we do really need some bud.”
“So is it a yes or a no?”
“Hop in the back with Nick,” Jeff said. Trent opened the
backdoor and climbed in.
“It’s just down the road,” Trent told them and Dan
started driving again. “Hey, are you guys in town for the big screening
“Yes,” Dan said. “How’d you guess?”
“We don’t get many tourists here in Cherrywood,” Trent
said. “Not much to see. But the screening has attracted a lot of outsiders. You
know, my dad is friends with Jack Hopper. I can show you where the guy lives.”
fucking with us?” Dan asked.
I’m not fucking with you,” Trent said. “He’s got a farmhouse about two miles
from here. Make a left at the stop sign and I’ll take you right past it if you
made an immediate left at the stop sign and they were on their way. From that
point on, it was the scenic route. The houses became less and less frequent as
they drove on. A clear blue sky painted a beautiful, yet ominous backdrop.
eventually drifted past a corner mailbox that read HOPPER and Trent advised Dan
to hang a right. Dan cut the wheel to the right and clouds of white dust kicked
up from the dirt road he had turned onto. The house was a good five-hundred
feet away from the road.
certainly wasn’t the kind of celebrity pad you’d see on television. Jack
Hopper’s place was a decaying old farmhouse with no cattle or crops on sight. Beside
the property, an old Quonset hut with a corrugated roof and sides that looked
like something out of World War Two. The whole exterior of the hut was coated
were several others vehicles parked alongside the hut. A silver pickup truck
with New Jersey license plates. A black BMW with NY plates. A blue Ford
Firebird with Pennsylvania plates.
about this didn’t sit right with Dan, who was eyeing up Trent through the
rearview mirror. “How many people live here?” Dan asked.
Jack and his son as far as I know. You guys wanna go inside? Jack loves meeting
think we’ll pass,” Dan said.
afraid I must insist,” Trent said. “When I said my dad was friends with Jack
Hopper, I never really explained how. You see, my dad sort of works for him.
And that sort of means I work for him.”
Resnik, Trent’s father, stepped out from the door of Quonset hut wearing a
butcher’s apron that was stained red. He was carrying something behind his back
that Dan couldn’t quite make out until Harry was in front of the car and
pressing it against the windshield.
out!” he screamed through the glass.
do what he says,” Trent suggested. They all stepped out of the car slowly and
work, boy,” Harry said to Trent. “Now you park their car alongside the others
and you get going.”
sir,” Trent said, following his father’s command.
led the three to the Quonset hut at gunpoint and forced them inside. There, a
man in his sixties stood behind a camera set up on a tripod. He was a gaunt
fellow; his skin crinkly like leather, but lacking in color. His hair was a
memory of the past. This was Jack Hopper in all his glory.
corrugated sides of the hut were caked in blood, and several blood stained
pairs of handcuffs dangled from the ceiling. “I’m sorry to inform you that the
screening has been cancelled tonight,” Jack said. “But you’re going to be part
of something better. You’re all going to take part in the sequel. You think
you’re true diehard horror movie fans? Let’s see if you’re up to the test. The
others certainly weren’t.”
like yourselves that traveled here, hoping to get a glimpse of something
special. I guess they got more than they bargained for. They were just
throwaway victims you see at the beginning of every cliché horror movie. But
you guys have the potential to be my supporting cast. I already have a main
motioned to the seemingly lifeless young man lying on the floor of the hut. A
man that Dan Coscarelli recognized as Clive Whedon. He had been abducted from a
hospital on Long Island months ago and nobody had seen him since.
had been drugged and rendered unconscious as Jack was building up to the final
already have a villain,” Jack said as Harry cuffed their hands to the chains of
the ceiling. The door to the hut opened and Lucas Hopper emerged. “I call him
Crater Face. Wait ’til the world gets a glimpse of him.”
Crater Face stepped closer, the three friends understood that the nickname
stemmed from his deformity. Lucas suffered from Parry-Romberg Syndrome. It’s a
rare facial syndrome that is characterized by progressive degeneration of
tissues beneath the skin, usually occurring on one side of the face.
layman’s terms, he has a bit of a crater face. It looks as though the whole
left side is being pulled into a sinkhole.
eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body went limp as he lost
consciousness for an undetermined amount of time.
* * *
Nick awoke, praying it was all just a dream. But as his
eyes adjusted to the lights, he could see it was no dream. He was still chained
beside Dan and Jeff, both of whom were bruised and badly beaten. But they were
me when you’re ready, daddy,” Crater Face muttered, speaking out of one side of
always ready,” Jack said. “The camera’s rolling. Just do your thing, son.”
Face wandered over to the tool bench and ignored the three friends’ pleas for
mercy and freedom. “Let’s see what we have here,” Jack said, turning the camera
and zooming in on the tool bench. “Scalpel. Nail gun. Sledgehammer. Chainsaw.
Hatchet. Machete. Butcher knife. All the ingredients required to make a
successful horror movie.”
do you want me to do?” Harry Resnik asked.
Jack said. “I’m afraid your services are no longer required.”
Face snatched the nail gun from the bench and squeezed the trigger twice. One
nail pierced his throat. The second went through his left eye.
throwaway victim,” Jack said, laughing sadistically. “Now let’s see what you’re
Face perused his tools of destruction again and picked up the machete.
don’t,” Nick begged. “I still have so much to see and do. I don’t want to die a
it!” Jeff remarked, as if this revelation made any difference.
what if I’m a virgin?” Nick said. “I just don’t want to die. Please, I’m
begging you! Just let us go and we’ll forget all about it! I swear!”
chitchat,” Jack screamed. “Off with their heads!”
one slash of the machete, Nick’s head was severed from his shoulders. It rolled
across the floor of the hut and stopped somewhere near Clive’s unconscious
Jack shouted. As his son raised the machete, Jack had second thoughts. “Stop!”
Face lowered his weapon.
other plans for these two. Grab the scalpel, and skin this one alive,” Jack
said, pointing at Dan.
“No, please don’t,” Dan said as Crater Face placed the
machete down on the bench and picked up the scalpel. Tears were streaming down
Dan’s face. He tugged at the ceiling chains, thrashing and flailing around in a
futile attempt to free himself. “I have a family–a mom, a dad, a sister. They
need me, and I need them. Please reconsider. Please just let us go. You don’t
have to do this.”
“Please, save your tears,” Jack said. “It’s a waste of
Crater Face lumbered over to Dan and made a small
incision at his temple that caused him to wince. Then a second incision in the
other throbbing temple.
“The first Ravage
wasn’t a success because the studio couldn’t understand the brilliance of it.
All those victims died at the hands of my son. It was real as real gets. Too
real for people to handle at the time. So they disowned the film and had all
the reels burned. But I have a feeling this sequel will do much better in
today’s blood-and-gore saturated market.
the film won’t be released in theaters. Instead, we’re going viral. We’re going
to broadcast the sequel across the internet. YouTube and any other streaming
site we can upload this bad boy to. I have a feeling it’s going to be wildly
released a bloodcurdling scream as another long incision was made across his
forehead and Crater Face dropped the scalpel and slowly began to flay the skin.
screamed and thrashed around. Out of desperation, his knee rose up and struck
Crater Face in his nether regions. He fell to the floor, cupping his hands over
his swollen privates.
up, you idiot!” Jack screamed. “We have to finish this!”
had begun to regain consciousness and it was all coming back to him. His
friends Zack and Eli being brutally butchered in this very hut. His escape. His
abduction from the hospital. The months he spent chained up in Jack Hopper’s
remembered it all, and he was livid.
scalpel from the floor found its way into Clive’s hand, and he plunged it into
Crater Face’s eye. A horrible squeal echoed through the Quonset hut. Clive
grabbed the sledgehammer from the tool bench and took a swing in Jack’s
direction, smashing the camera to pieces.
backed into one corner of the hut, cowering, begging for mercy. “The keys,”
Clive said. Jack tossed him the keys for the handcuffs and Clive went about
setting his new comrades free.
don’t kill me,” Jack begged. “I was just trying to make a movie that every true
horror fan could appreciate. I’m simply an artist.”
no tears,” Dan repeated. “It’s a waste of good suffering.”
all grabbed a weapon from the bench and advanced on him.
* * *
Jack Hopper was kept alive long enough to experience
every agonizing moment. Every stab, every cut or slash, every whack of the
sledgehammer. In the end, his body was nothing more than a puddle of blood and
a stack of broken bones.
Free from the Quonset hut, they checked the Oldsmobile
and found the keys were still in the ignition. A maimed Dan crawled into the
passenger seat and let Jeff drive for a change. He floored it out of the
driveway in reverse.
Jeff reached the road, he put it drive and intentionally mowed Hopper’s mailbox
down. Then he sped off into the looming night.
going to get you both to a hospital,” Jeff assured them. Shock was starting to
set in on Dan and with the loss of blood, Jeff wasn’t even positive he’d make
it to the hospital.
caught the glare of headlights in the rearview mirror and saw the truck gaining
momentum behind them. It was the silver pickup with Jersey plates.
Face stuck his hand out the window and aimed steady with the nail gun, firing
away. The first shot shattered the driver-side mirror. The second nail that was
propelled from the gun got lodged in the glass of the back windshield.
couple of nails and Jeff knew the glass wouldn’t hold up. It’d shatter and they’d
be easy targets.
you guys buckled in?” Jeff asked.
Clive said. Dan was too weak to respond, but Jeff could see his buckle in
place. So he pumped the gas and got ahead a bit.
slammed down on the brake pedal. The silver pickup collided with the back of
Jeff’s Oldsmobile. Jeff knew the vehicle wasn’t built like today’s cars with
fiberglass or plastic. The Oldsmobile was solid and had absorbed the impact of
the crash as Jeff had expected.
trunk was damaged beyond repair, but aside from a few bumps and bruises, none
of them were harmed in the process. Jeff glanced in the rearview mirror and saw
no movement in the silver pickup that was smashed to bits. He called 911 and
slumped down in his seat, waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
* * *
too late for Dan. He died before the paramedics could make it.
Whedon was given a cellphone and got to speak with his family for the first
time in months. They were so relieved just to hear his voice. “I’m coming home,”
he promised them.
was virtually delusional when the cops tried to question him. He didn’t know
where to begin. He’d seen so many sights that could not be erased. And now the
police were asking him to relive these horrors again and again.
told them to search the farmhouse and the Quonset hut, to look at the video
tapes. They’d find their answers there.
they finally managed to pry the door of the silver pickup open, the cops found
nothing. Crater Face was gone. He’d left a small trail of blood that traveled
across the road and ended near the woods.
cops were certain they’d find him, and Jeff didn’t doubt it. He just wondered
if they would live to tell the tale.