Minnesota Nice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ripley lives in Minnesota, a cold place in the center of America. Life is great, the 80s are rad, she’s healthy, she’s happy, she’s in danger.

Submitted: November 17, 2019

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Submitted: November 17, 2019

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Minnesota Nice









 

Every superhero story has a beginning, then ultimately an end. It’s what they do in between that’s important. However large or small, people will remember the heroic acts performed by heroic people. There will be others. People will always try to emulate you, try to be like you, it never matters if your actions are good or bad. Good and evil are irrelevant in the eyes of psychopaths and monsters.

 

“Hey, Mysterio!” A rather large man, wearing a Captain America t-shirt too small for him, yelled from the far end of the giant room, “your costume’s shit!” 

The person wearing the Mysterio costume raised his hands in the air, in a what the hell kind of fashion. “Thanks there dude,” the person behind the fishbowl helmet said ironically.

The room was brightly lit to show off the various posters, signs, and little pieces of papers with the words, “75 cent comics for sale!!!” Booths with DC, Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek, littered the big room in long rows stretching from corner to corner. Advertisement posters trying to sell the new Sega Genesis home gaming console, read, “bigger than Nintendo,” but somehow those posters seemed to be barely hanging by a nail.

Walking in late would make this convention probably look like some psychotic riot, due to all the crazy poorly made cosplay outfits scattered throughout the room. People from all sides of the spectrum walked in groups, some were dressed as Jedis, some people wore fake pointy ears with red, blue, and yellow shirts, and some people were walking around in clown makeup with matching green hair.

And then there were two celebrities who were only recognizable to a true fan, some newcomer named Jim Lee, and the man himself, Frank Miller, who came to show off his new Batman Year One graphic novel that promises to be one of the best. He was the one Davis had come for, he was the reason he’d been standing in line for about an hour. His legs began to shake, “lightweight,” someone behind him said.

“ ‘Scuse me?” He said smiling, his smile disappeared as he saw the fishbowl headed Mysterio costume. 

“Oh come on now! It’s not that bad doncha know,” Mysterio took off his dark fishbowl and revealed a girl with boyishly short dark blue hair underneath. “I’m keeping the cape on though,” she combed her frizzled hair back to normal. Davis continued to stare. “What?” The girl seemed slightly agitated.

The smile grew back on his face, “oh nothing.”

The blue haired girl began smiling as well, “oh come on, what is it?”

“It’s just…” the man paused, “I’ve just never seen Mysterio so short.”

Quiet snorts exited the back of her throat as she laughed. “Well maybe everyone in the comics are short, eh?” The girl looked at him for a moment before saying, “hello there, I’m Ripley.” She stuck out her hand.

“Davis,” he returned the handshake. 

“Let me guess whatcha dressed as,” she said cheerfully, “Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Peter Parker?”

“Actually, generic fan boy.”

“Ah, and what’s your power?”

“Apparently standing in line for an hour.”

Ripley snorted as the line moved forward a step. “So do ya live in the area?” Ripley asked.

“Oh Ya, just couldn’t live without the freezing temperatures and constant blizzards.” Davis said.

“Oh fer cute and a smart ass, very nice.” Ripley said. She drew a pen from her bag of pictures and signed comics, and looked around her, “Do yah have a piece of paper?”

Davis patted his pockets in search for one, and found nothing. He shook his head. “Sorry-“ he stopped talking when the girl with the blue hair took her Mysterio glove off and began scribbling on it. “Now whatcha doin there?”

Ripley didn’t say anything, then handed the glove to him and turned away from the line. Davis spoke after her, “well didn’t yah want an autograph from mister Miller?”

Ripley spun around, now walking backwards, a huge grin on her face, “You betcha!” She raised a Batman Dark knight Returns #1 up in front of herself. To the right of the cover, beside the iconic silhouette of Batman and the blue lightning, was Frank Miller’s signature. 

 

———

 

Two days later something rang loudly in Ripley’s kitchen, she calmly walked to it and picked it up off the receiver, the long cord hung helplessly down to the floor. “Hello?” she said like she just recently woke up from a very deep sleep. She waited a second for a response from the person from the other side, then she said, “you betcha, see ya there.” She grabbed her camera from under some dirty clothes, one shirt in particular reading, “Take A Chill Pill” in bright purple letters.

She walked outside, the chill instantly hitting her in the face, “Oh, it’s a warm one taday,” she muttered to herself. The snow beneath her boots crunched with every step she took away from her little suburban house and closer to her little grey Honda. She opened the car door and grabbed a small plastic scraper and began scraping the ice from her window. When she was finished she was surprised to find that the car had actually started on the first try. She drove on to the homicide. 

 

The house she pulled into seemed normal enough, white walls, black roof, nice looking neighborhood. It wasn't until she lowered herself under the police tape that the smell hit her in the nose like a freight train. She’d smelled something like this before, it came with the job, but it was never this strong. Ripley quickly began to think of how many bodies she’d be taking pictures of. “Oh hey there, Rip,” detective Holmes greeted.

“Hey there, Fred. Whatcha want me ta take pictures of taday?” Ripley asked.

“Just take some pictures of the window there.”

“Ya sure,” Ripley leaned forward, camera at eye level, and took a picture of the window pane where the glass used to be, “Hey Fred?”

“Yes Ripley?”

“Ya see the glass too, right?” Ripley said signaling for him to come over, “did ya see how the little pieces of glass are only on the outside?”

“Oh yah Rip, I guess that’s true now ain't it,” The detective squinted his eyes, coffee in hand. “Maybe you should be the detective here dontcha know.”

“Thanks a sure lot Fred. What next?” She put on some latex gloves.

Fred's eyebrows faltered as if he just realized his dog died. “Well the real problems in the living room,” he said.

“Oh ya?”

“Ya,” his voice was broken and soft, “just… brace yourself, put this on.” He held up a filter mask.

Alright Fred.” She opened the door to the crime scene, the smell of dried blood and dead bodies passed right through the mask. She began taking pictures, blood covered about 85 percent of the room, the rest was littered with pieces of some kind of shaved bear skin rug. “Heya Fred?” Ripley asked.

“Ya?” Holmes said.

“What’s this stuff?” She was looking at the pink and red leather laying on the floor.

“Forensics said that’s skin,” he said, “so ya know, I wouldn’t touch it.”

“Ya, no kiddin’,” she said, taking a quick picture. “So there’s no body?”

“Not one we can find. Must be a real sick son of a gun.”

Ripley began to look past all the blood, skin, and some apparent intestines that were stuck to the ceiling, and analyzed the room. Did a kid live here? Ripley began to think, but quickly wiped it away when she saw one rectangle shaped controller laying next to an Atari 7800 gaming system. Judging from the rest of the superhero insignia around the room, Ripley came to the conclusion that it was probably a single male that lived here, no kids. There would probably be two controllers, one for the actual child, and one for the manchild, who is apparently in love with Batman. She almost thought about telling the detective what she thought, but decided against it,  best leave it to tha professionals.

The detective walked up behind her, stepping over a pile of, well… something, “So where dooya think the little one ran offta?” This made Ripley smile.

“So do you guys have a name for the person missin all this blood?” Her camera flashed bright as she took a photo of a picture frame covered in blood. She raised her eye off the camera and squinted at the photograph. The picture was of an old lady and her, what Ripley had guessed to be, her grandson. Ripley felt as if someone had just punched her in the heart, Ripley´s grip on her camera faltered, the camera fell, dangling at her waist. She looked around and scanned the tops of tables, counters, even the tv stand. She murmured, “Oh geez,” when she saw her Mysterio glove perched on a counter near a very long, very bulky, white Motorola DynaTAC mobile phone. “Oh geez,” she repeated.

 

———

 

During a long and dragged out conversation with Detective Holmes, she told them about the convention she attended. Since her job was a very good alibi, she was free to go home.

 

That night when she was sleeping in her bed, she dreamt of something that she had dreamt of a million times before. Every dream was the same, she, at the age of six, stepped off the school bus onto her familiar home driveway. The flashing blue and red lights, yellow tape, the crowd of officers, the nice policeman with a name tag reading “Mason” telling her she can’t go inside. “Just hang out with me, ok?” He’d say this every time.

Every time she dreamed of this, She would try to remember any body bags being rolled out the front door. She always came up with nothing, not even a damn ambulance. The only thing close to it was the ever so often cleanup crew that would come out with trash bags filled with, snow maybe?

The last thing she would dream of would be of her aunt and uncle picking her up from the police station.

It became increasingly clear that one day she would forget her mother and father’s faces, no pictures could bring back their voices, or how much they loved her. If they loved her, she had no idea, it was such a long time ago.

There was one thing, however, she didn’t think she would ever forget. The wedding rings, both of them a dark green, (Ripley knew she got her nerdiness from somewhere). The rings, along with the bodies were also missing from the scene.

 

Ripley awoke in a pool of sweat, no longer wanting to sleep. Instead, she walked into the kitchen and prepared herself a bowl of cereal. Her fuzzy bunny slippers slid across the floor towards the wooden chair beside the kitchen table.

 The entire bowl emptied as she sat and stared at her Mysterio fishbowl helmet. Her mind wandered as it switched from the crime scene from today, to her parents crime scene, and finally to Detective Fred Holmes. Ripley had already connected the two murders together, and as much of a friend Fred was, he honestly would never catch the killer. What could a photographer do, against a city full of monsters?

An hour later she returned to her home, with a paper bag full of cloth, sewing thread, and a new sewing machine.

Tomorrow, she would buy a crowbar.

 

———

 

She smiled under the mask she had sewn for herself, to her surprise, her vision was perfect through the white spaces for her eyes. The mask resembled some sort of mexican wrestler you would see in someone’s backyard. The rest of the suit was barely anything more than a two piece dark purple spandex bodysuit with a belt at the waist, a long empty holster at her side.

After quite a bit of, i’m missing something, (at the moment she looked like a webless purple spider-man), she left her reflection in the mirror and opened her closet. She pushed aside a shirt with an alien egg below the caption In Space No One Can Hear You Scream, she grabbed a plain blue hoodie and quickly cut the sleeves off at the shoulders and put it on over her costume. She flipped the hood over on her head, “Well ain't that so much better.”

Before she left she slid a crowbar, also spray painted purple, into its holster. she opened the door and thought, who needs martial arts when yah have a heavy piece of metal? 

 

———

 

When she arrived at the crime scene from before, she hesitated to grab the yellow tape blocking the doorway. When she did, the realization that there was no turning back set in. thoughts like what the heck am I doin?, what’s wrong with me?,  am I twelve? I shouldn't be doin this! Flooded her mind.

After an eternity, she pulled the yellow tape over her head and opened the door. The new smell of cleaning supplies and bleach made Ripley’s eyes water. She searched the main room for anything the police officers might have missed. She searched for something obscure. She walked upstairs to his bedroom. She doubted that anyone have even been in this room in the entire investigation. She looked around and saw a poster of Wargames. If Davis wasn’t currently in multiple different body bags, Ripley would’ve married this man.

Dark dried blood droplets littered the floor. Ripley could tell he was probably stabbed in his bed, then he either struggled with the intruder, or the intruder let him walk by himself down to the living room. Where the intruder apparently ripped him to shreds. There seemed to be no struggle since the only thing that was damaged, or thrown, were the bed sheets.

She opened a drawer next to the bed, nothing. Then the closet, nothing. It wasn't until she was headed out the door when she thought of under the bed.

She leaned down on her hands and knees, looked under and saw a piece of paper. She reached in and retrieved it with the tip of her finger. Ripley almost dropped it onto the floor when she saw the smeared blood on the paper. Ripley knew that it most definitely was Davis’s hand that made the downward smear on its surface. It’s what was underneath that interested the new superhero. Underneath was an address, the handwriting was sloppy and in a hurry, the pencil marks were a deep black. He pressed down hard, but why?

Her heart almost jumped from her chest, the flashlight behind her flew up and met her face, “Freeze!” It was a police officer.

Ripley threw her hands up, “Oh gosh i’m sorry officer,” Ripley’s voice sounded scared, she tried her hardest to make her voice crack with fear.

“Put your hands on your head!” The police officer yelled. Ripley did as she was told. The cop stepped closer to her, gun pointed at her head. He put his hand onto her wrist, she heard his pistol slide into its holster, she felt the cool metal of the handcuffs touch her skin. She grabbed his hand, what am I doin?! Her hand latched down on the crowbar at her side, Oh geez im sorry mister! She swung it at his face, the hard metal made a faint ding sound, Ripley squinted and sucked air through her teeth as the officer fell to the floor. Blood seeped out of his brand new gash he had in his cheek. Ripley had a foul sense of both regret and pride as she threw open the bathroom door and retrieved the closest thing she could find to a bandage.

An hour later, the policeman woke up with a small Thundercats band-aid placed on his wound. A piece of paper with sorry penciled on it sat on his belly.


 

Ripley stood in front of the building with the address from the paper she found at the crime scene. It was a restaurant with a neon sign above the door saying “Sushi Town”. Ripley was no longer wearing her costume, she had left them in a duffle bag in her car. The night was 20 degrees, so Ripley left her coat in the car as well. Puffs of condensation blew out of her nose as she opened the door.

A man behind the counter had his back turned away from her, he was cutting some fish. “Hello there,” Ripley said, breaking the silence. The man jumped and yelled something Ripley couldn't understand. She looked around and finally noticed the restaurant was currently empty.

“Oh sorry about that ma'am,” he said, laughing at himself.

“Oh no don’t apologize, I scared tha livin jesus outta yah,” Ripley said, “Are ya still open?”

“Oh yes ma'am, almost 24 hours a day,” his giant grin seemed slightly put on rather than genuine. “What will you be having today?”

“Oh well-” Ripley began, but was cut off by the man behind the counter.

“Yuri!” the man’s yell made Ripley’s ears ring. Then he yelled something in a different language, which actually meant something like, “Get your ass out here now!”

He turned back to Ripley and said, “sorry.”

The man from the back kitchen emerged and went right to where Ripley was sitting. His nose inches from Ripley’s face, screamed, “What do you want?!” Ripley jumped in surprise.

The man behind the counter yelled something foreign, the uncomfortable man walked back to the kitchen. “Sorry about him, he’s got the Aspergers.”

“Oh yah?” Ripley said, a forced smile on her face, “you can hardly tell.”

“No need to be nice,” he grinned again, “I know the boy pisses off every person he talks to. So what will we be eating today?”

“Oh well that’s the thing,” Ripley said, “I’m actually lookin for someone.” The man’s head darted up, the smile gone from his face, he sneered. Then he seemed to relax again, his smile reappeared.

“I see a lot of people every day, we get a lot of customers.”

“I see, but-”

“I’m so sorry, but we are actually about to close. Goodbye,” the man said. Ripley looked at him for a little longer before getting up and leaving. A man wearing a red leather coat, yes like the one from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, knocked into Ripley as she opened the front door. “Oh sorry there.” She could smell all the grease in his hair.

Ripley said nothing, as she listened to the man behind the counter say, “hello, welcome in!”

 

After an hour of waiting in her little car, Ripley watched the old man through the window turn the neon open sign off as the man with asperger's opened the door and left. She pulled her mask down over her face and pushed the hood over her head. Her boots made a crunch as they connected to the snow. She looked through the dark unvacant restaurant, she grabbed her crowbar and broke the glass that made the door. She reached through the door hole and turned the lock on the other side.

The dark is a quiet place to be in, anything can happen. Someone could be right behind you, hell, something could be behind you. Horrible things happen in the dark, along with some of the most beautiful things humanly possible. And yes, Ripley had been thinking about these things, all of them. But she can’t get the images of her parents being carried out of her childhood home in a couple doggie bags.

A solitary light shown upward from somewhere in the kitchen, she slowly creaked open the swinging door and found the light was hiding behind a wooden hatch in the floor. Ripley could hear something very faint coming from below, she couldn’t figure out what it was. She pressed her ear against the cold hatch. She heard a woman singing in german, it sounded familiar. She pulled the hatch open, under it were a long series of stairs leading straight into darkness. Ripley could feel how damp her armpits were. She grabbed her crowbar and began down the stairs, she could hear her gloves creak as her grip tightened on the metal.

Ripley noticed that at the end of the stairs was a sharp corner, a lightbulb lit it up. The music grew louder with each step, 99 Luftballons, an older song that the German pop singer Nena had released five years earlier. Ripley couldn't stop twitching, then an ear piercing roar almost made her scream in fright. It sounded just deeper than a lion’s roar.

Ripley had finally made it to the bottom, she realized she had her crowbar in a defensive position over her head, ready to swing. She wished her breathing wouldn’t be so heavy. Her mind had never been so quiet. Another loud roar, then a familiar voice yelled something foreign. Something banged into the side of a metal cage. Ripley peeked around the corner. She hadn’t even thought of the phrase “Oh what the fuck” before today, she just broke the streak.

Slobber slank down to the floor, creating a thick puddle. Ripley looked at its long fur, it was the darkest shade of black she had ever seen and seemed to cover it entirely. 

The monster’s head was perfectly cylindrical, it’s mouth seemingly stretched entirely around its head, a row of jagged teeth were barely visible through the fur. Its body was similar to a 10 foot lion. In the cage it stood on all fours, it hit the metal again. The man stumbled backward, his hands in the air. He yelled something again. The walls were carved in various markings and symbols. A torn apart t-shirt lay next to her feet, Ripley could barely tell that it had a Batman symbol on it.

Something inside overcame Ripley, she screamed, “hey!” The man turned around, but instead of surprise, Ripley saw disappointment. The captive monster rammed the cage one last time, the huge bared door swung open. The man caught the full force of the attack, the monster ran straight up the stairs past Ripley, breaking through some of the wood floor as its paws made contact with them.

She made the decision to check on the man before pursuing the monster. She leaned on a knee, and was instantly sure there was no helping him. The door had made contact with the back of his head, his right eyeball was halfway popped out of its socket. Blood pooled in his mouth. Ripley pushed her hood off her head and took off her mask. She tried to put the eyeball back in its socket, a reddish/white pus oozed onto her fingers. She ultimately put her hand over it. She had no idea how to comfort him in his final seconds. He smiled, “I am so so so sorry Ripley,” he said, choking on his blood.

“How do...?” Ripley asked, her blue hair was wet with sweat.

“I saw you in the papers,” more coughing, “when you were younger.”

“I knew who you were as soon as you opened that door.” A single teardrop trickled from his good eye. “I failed you and your family, I am sorry.” One of Ripley’s eyebrows flew up. “I am the one who-” Ripley wiped some blood off his lip. “Whenever someone turns, they, they come to me. I turn them back.” His eyes were barely open, his voice sounded broken and raspy.

“My parents?” Ripley’s voice stuttered.

“Don’t go… into...” The man was dead. 

“Damnit!” Ripley yelled in frustration. Her head jerked backward towards the staircase before sprinting up them. The final lyrics of the german song playing on a single walkman, faded away.

 

Ripley got up to the main floor and jumped through the hole the monster had created. She looked around and saw it perched on the roof of a small building. It jumped off and ran down the road. Ripley pulled her mask back over her face and ran to her car. The tires skidded on the built up snow that once lay on the asphalt, making a white arch fly behind her.

One thing that scares the hell out of Ripley, is that right outside of every city in Minnesota, there is a long road of nothing. If someone were to stand in one spot staring at the road, you would probably see about two cars every two hours. Nothing but snow, the occasional picket fence, and a farm. Anything can happen out here, it could take days for anyone to find her body if she died here. Especially in the darkness of night.

After a mile of chasing the thing, red and blue lights flooded her view. A police officer had clocked her going 90. Backup was surely coming because she was not stopping, she would not stop for anyone until she found out what happened to her parents.

Ripley watched as the black haired Monster took a sharp right, Offroad. She could also see what it was running toward, a mining yard. Ripley Followed it, swerving as she turned. The monster jumped up over the gate with the words danger do not enter, thank you. She rammed the metal gate, making each side swing open violently. She drove dangerously under some kind of man made construction site, she thought it looked like some kind of giant jungle gym consisting of silver and yellow pieces of metal. The police cruiser trailed right behind her.

The thing burst through a closed mining cavern door, a metal sign with a skull and crossbones slammed in the snow.

Ripley’s car stopped, the back wheels suddenly almost further up than the front tires. The police officer did the same a few feet behind her. They both got out of their cars.

“Stop whereyah are an put your hands up!” The police officer screamed, while pointing his pistol at her head.

Ripley threw her hands up and took off both the hoodie and the mask, her short hair danced in the wind, “Did ya even see that thing!” She said, pointing her head at the entrance to the cave.

“Well I uh… did see somethin,” he said. The cops eyes darted in various directions, as if to check if there was a second monster. He switched his gun to his left hand then back to his right hand.

“Please sir, ya gotta let me in there,” Ripley pleaded.

“No!” Ripley could see the puff of smoke exit his mouth, “I hafta call for backup.”

“Don’t you dare tell them there’s a big monster roamin around town,” Ripley said, eyebrows raised like a mother talking to her son. “You hafta lie to them, tell em I’ve got a hostage. Otherwise they won’t believe ya.” 

“Yah.. okay,” the young cop lowered his pistol and walked back to his cruiser and started rambling into the radio. 

Before he could turn around and ask some more questions, she was already gone.

 

Ripley had brought along both the crowbar and a heavy duty flashlight. Neither could give her the reassurance she needed. She thought about taking the cops gun, but she was no ninja.

The cave was drenched in darkness, she couldn’t see anything other than the curvy circle the flashlight made on the cave wall. The wall was lined with industrial grade light bulbs, all of which were either turned off or broken. A single drop of moisture managed to fall onto Ripley’s forehead, she jumped more than she probably should have.

Somewhere around 6 to 10 minutes passed as she dove deeper into the quiet unknown. Finally a growl broke the tension, she had managed to make it to a large room. The giant room looked as if it were for the main mining drill. She saw a giant drill near the wall she had entered, a panel of switches and buttons sat beside it. “Oh geez,” she whispered.

Another growl echoed through the cavern, Ripley’s eyes followed the noise up to the roof, where the thing sat and waited. It must have seen her too, because it roared, the repetition of the echo that followed hurt Ripley’s brain. It lunged at her, Ripley felt her heart in her throat. The thing’s jaws opened and tried to close around Ripley’s head but she threw her crowbar up and blocked the incoming teeth. The monster’s clamping mouth did not falter, it held on to the purple weapon. Ripley tried to find its eyes, but failed, she didn’t think it had any.

It’s head jerked savagely back-and-forth, Ripley tried her best to hold on as well, but the thing’s head quickly rotated and bent her wrist backward, for a split second her middle fingernail touched her forearm. The monster slammed her in front of the drill. The grip on the crowbar was almost pointless as the metal began to bend. Ripley screamed. The drill began to spin, she used all of her might to push the monster’s head closer to the drill, he shook some more. The drool that splattered on Ripley’s face quickly turned to blood, the screwdriver like point turned the monsters head to mush in an instant. The monster was clearly dead, but Ripley pushed on. She didn’t let up, she did not stop. Her teeth shown in anger, a warrior scream blew through them, mostly anger and frustration rather than bravery. The monster’s head slowly stopped spinning, along with the drill.

Ripley threw the thing off her, crowbar still clenched in its teeth, and looked up, the police officer from outside was standing at the control panel, mouth wide open. “We Minnesotans hafta look out fer each other,” he said, sweating like he had been dangling over a volcano.

Ripley looked down at her hand, an immense pain punched her in the face, she screamed. She had never broken a bone in her body before, it pulsed like a heartbeat. “Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh!” Both ulna and radius bones poked through the skin.

“Jesus!” The cop yelled as he ran over to her, “okay um… this’ll really really hurt.” He took off her glove, and lightly cupped his hands under Ripley’s, “OK, 3… 2-” he pushed upward on her hand, it made a crack sound, Ripley’s eyes widened, she made her own painful noise. “Sorry, put pressure on it,” he said.

“Are tha police outside?” She sniffled.

“They should be,” he said, “let’s go an givem a good talkin to before they send in tha swat team.”


 

Down the long Corridor to the outside world, Ripley saw a door that she did not see the first time walking in. “Wait,” She said, they both stopped.

“What is it?”

“Wait here a second?” She sounded more ordering than questioning.

“Alright, i'll be here, I guess.”

The door creaked as she opened it, dust fell from the top. Behind it was a small room, a desk, a mug with pencils and pens inside, and a large map of the cave hung on the wall. According to the map, the central mining core was only the entrance, The rest were various corridors, hallways, and more drills. She looked down at a small book on the desk, it looked like someone’s journal, she picked it up. A bookmark had marked its place, she started there. It said,

 

June 2, 1963

Dr. Weyland has instructed me to find out how these “things” are changing. And I have the metamorphosis documented. First they shed the skin, they tear it off with some kind of intense adrenaline, the bones pop into place, some organs are thrown from the body, yadda yadda yadda. The fur rapidly begins to grow. The only thing however, is that I have no idea if it’s scientific or satanic. When I asked Wayland he told me, “We stopped checking for monsters in our closets when we realized they were inside us.” I still have no idea what the hell that means.

 

June 23, 1963

I’ve figured out how to call them, lure them to their salvation, lure them to me. The Devils seem to be attracted to anything that is familiar to them outside of their home. Say a family man turns, i'll use a picture of his son. Or an archaeologist, I’d use a unique velociraptor claw that they alone would recognize to be their own. A child, maybe a teddy bear that meant a lot to them. Every time they go straight to it.

 

August 31, 1971

The newspapers have shown me Weyland’s curse has taken another victim two victims today. A little girl’s parents were ripped away from her, god, i'll never forget the picture in the papers, her face, void from emotion itself. I’m going to try and help get this girl’s parents back.

Ripley turned the page.

 

September 3, 1971

It took some doing, but I have acquired the parents wedding rings, I’ve never seen them green.

 

The next passage is a little hard to read, it seems rushed.

September 4, 1971

It’s failed!  I’ve tried the same damn exorcism every fucking time! And yet it still doesn’t work! This is the first time it hasn’t worked, it’s the first time the victims weren’t some goddamn science guinea pig of Weyland’s, or some asshole who didn’t deserve to drink my piss! Why can’t I get that little girl’s face out of my head!


 

September 4, 1971

The only thing to do now is to hide them, I am too old to fight, and this way no one will get hurt. It is 3 o’clock in the morning and I have just put the two rings in the old mining caves near Fargo. Hopefully none that come after, will be drawn to the two I have trapped here today. 

God help us.

 

Ripley stopped reading here, she turned around to the doorway, the cop was no longer there. Screams of agony, torture, and pistol fire faintly echoed into the room. Her heart began to race, a nervous twitch shook every muscle in the girl’s body. The screaming stopped. She grabbed a pen from the cup with her only useful hand and held it as a weapon, ready to stab.

Two sets of oversized paws thudded louder and louder, closer and closer. Ripley was hyperventilating. The things emitted a low growling sound, similar to a diesel truck sitting on idle. Ripley’s eyes watered, the panic set in and she whined.

She thought of making a run for it, but that was shut down when the two furry demons appeared in the doorway. Ripley’s whines grew louder with each breath until she was screaming like a baby. They both stepped in, drool hitting the floor. Ripley began screaming, “No! No! No! No! No!” Her mother and father slowly got closer and closer, they were playing with their food. The one on the right slashed its paw to Ripley’s leg, creating four deep lacerations, blood flooded down her leg. Ripley grabbed the cuts with her hand as she exhumed bursts of broken sobs and screams. “STOP!” The demon on the left reached out with damning speed and clamped it’s teeth down on Ripley’s leg, she fell to the floor. The demon began dragging the girl back towards them, Ripley’s fingernails chipped off as they dug into the solid rock floor. A genuine call for help exited the back of her sore throat. When dragged in the middle of the room the other demon bit down on her right arm, instantly ripping it off. Her painful yells turned to a high pitched scream as the veins and muscles ripped from her shoulder. The other demon let go of the leg, and stood over Ripley. Drool landed and fell in front of her bloodied face as the other demon shook the arm in its mouth like a dog. Ripley tried crawling away, her left arm doing all the work while the right nub smacked helplessly up and down, her mangled legs dragged hopelessly along leaving a streak of blood in its wake. No more screams came from Ripley’s mouth, she was in shock, the blood had been pouring like a fountain from her mouth. She gurgled and wheezed on the cool air as her lungs tried to breathe. The monster standing above her finally shot its big head down and took Ripley’s head into its jaws, the demon ripped it off. The crawling stopped.

 

———

 

Outside the mine entrance, the morning sun poked its head up over the horizon, a heavy SWAT team of 10 people gathered together. A row of white police cruisers stood in front of the entrance, cops with drawn weapons took cover behind their open car doors. One man, probably chief of police, said into a megaphone speaker, “Alright men, I want this to be quick an easy, ok? You know the drill, shoot ta kill, we’ve got hostages in there, so check your fire.” The swat team formed up in a single file line and entered the mine.

About three minutes later, they lost radio contact. From inside the cave it sounded like a losing war. All of the police officers behind cruiser doors, aiming at the entrance with their pistols, heard roughly 10 rifles being fired at will. Then silence.

About three minutes later a shadowy image emerged from the blackness, it was a SWAT team member, he was covered in blood head to toe. Someone yelled, “Medic!” before one of the demons grabbed him by the torso with its powerful jaws and abruptly pulled him back in.


© Copyright 2020 James Zeller. All rights reserved.

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