PART 5: THE MONSTER, PART II
"Oh, my God," Britta whimpered as the beast came to a stop ten feet away from them. It growled softly and continued to glare malevolently in their direction, and the group was able to get a good look at the creature.
It towered over the friends at about fifteen feet tall, and its tough, leathery skin was a dull shade of red. It had two powerful and muscular legs, like those of a dinosaur, and a long, lizard-like tail that repeatedly coiled and un-coiled. Its front arms were long and vaguely primate-like, with long, blade-like claws at the ends of its fingers.
Its face was like a mix between a crocodile and a shark, made even more explicit by the yellow, reptilian eyes and the long, slender jaw filled with jagged, yellow teeth. The monster sniffed the air briefly, and seemed to be briefly distracted, glancing upwards.
Jeff gently pushed Annie, and glanced significantly at the others. It was clear to all of them what he meant: Run.
As one, the friends turned and bolted back down the path, back toward the dock. Too terrified to scream, their breath came out in ragged gasps.
There was a ferocious roar behind them and the sound of thudding footsteps.
"It's chasing us!" Troy cried.
Jeff looked back briefly and caught sight of the creature quickly gaining. He let out a hysterical laugh. "I can see that!"
Without thinking, he reached out to both sides of him, grabbing Annie and Abed's arms. He shoved them forward. "Keep running!"
Higgins watched the chase on the monitor. "The Whore is falling back."
Martin nodded gravely. "Ready the trip-wire."
Higgins pressed a tiny red button on the keyboard in front of him.
Up on the forest path, a tiny, silver wire lay in the path, heavily disguised by the dirt.
The monster was gaining, but Annie thought that they were gonna make it. They were almost at the dock, and the beast was far enough back that they had time to get in the canoes and get away from the island. "I hope that it can't swim!"
Suddenly, she heard Britta give a sharp scream. She looked back and saw that her friend had tripped. The blonde lay sprawled on the path, struggling to get back on her feet. The monster was rapidly closing in.
"Britta!" Annie slowed down, planning to stop and help her. Jeff grabbed her arm, pulling her away and, even as she hated herself for it, she saw that he was right. The creature was too close.
She turned away, trying to block out Britta's screams as she ran.
Martin winced at the Whore's gory demise, nearly gagging when a piece of her flew from the Apex's jaws, splattering against the camera's lens.
Higgins, on the other hand, cackled with glee. "Awesome!" He pulled out a candy bar from his pocket and tore open the wrapping. "I knew that the big boy would come through for me!" He took a huge bite.
The older man looked at his partner, his disgust evident on his weathered face. "How can you watch something like that and enjoy it?"
His younger partner rolled his eyes and took another chomp of his candy bar, flecks of chocolate sticking to his face.
Martin shook his head and looked at the screens. "They've reached the docks."
Higgins chuckled. "Haven't they got a surprise, huh?"
Jeff felt like he was going to pass out when they finally reached the dock. For a brief, terrifying second, he thought that the boats were gone, but then he saw them, still tied to the same place.
He finally slowed down, his feet thumping on the wooden panels, and the others followed his lead.
"Is it...Is it following us still?" Annie stammered.
Abed glanced back at the forest. "It doesn't look like it."
Troy looked numbly at his feet. As Jeff worked to untie the canoes, Annie went over to him and gently touched his shoulder. Abed shuffled over, as well.
Troy looked up. "We left her. She fell, and none of us went back."
"None of us could have done anything," Jeff snapped as he finished untangling the second rope.
A heavy silence fell over the four friends.
"Ugh, this is boring!" Higgins whined. He stood. "Get me when something good happens."
"Where are you going?"
"Getting another piece of candy from the vending machine."
"You've had enough."
"Whatever. Just destroy the canoes." With that, he left.
With Higgins safely out of the room, Martin muttered to himself, "Little fat shithead." Looking at the screens again, he pressed a few more buttons.
Hidden machines in the lake began to stir. Suddenly, long, sharp spikes suddenly shot up from the lake floor below the canoes, puncturing them.
As she began to climb into the boat, Annie was startled by a sharp punching noise. Water began to rush over her feet.
"Oh, God! No!" Jeff cried out as the boats began to sink
Annie quickly scrambled out as their only means of escape disappeared beneath the shallow water.
"What are we going to do now?" Jeff said, clearly unable to tear his eyes away from where the vessels used to be.
"What happened?" Annie asked, confused.
"Maybe they...hit some sharp rocks?" Abed guessed, clearly unsure.
"Does anyone have a cell phone?" Abed asked.
Jeff started, and then he reached into his pocket.
"There's no service. Well, that's just GREAT!!!" He punctuated his shout with a wildly exaggerated punch into the air.
"Uh, guys?" Troy said, finally speaking again. "I think we should get out of here."
The group looked back at the woods, where the creature stood, watching them, its teeth stained red.
When it charged, the friends did the only thing that they could think of: They jumped into the water.
"What'd I miss?" Higgins said as he came back in, eating from a bag of Skittles.
"The Apex came back. They jumped into the lake."
"Cool." Higgins threw his head back and dumped the rest of the candy into his mouth. "Are the nets ready?'
To the group's dismay, the monster followed them into the water. Apparently, it could swim.
Jeff had no idea what they planned to do. There was no way that they could swim all the way back to land.
Below them, a small machine popped out of the lake's floor. It aimed upwards, and it shot out a small net. The tangled webbing wrapped around a pair of flailing legs, pinning them together.
Troy suddenly couldn't move his legs, and he briefly sank below the water. Using his arms, he broke the surface and uttered a strangled cry for help. Before he sank under for a second time, he looked back and saw the beast coming closer, looking like a red crocodile. It was pretty far away, but...
When he came up again, he was relieved and overjoyed to see the others coming back for him. Abed was the closest.
He reached out for his friend, and Abed grabbed his hand. For a moment, everything seemed alright.
Neither of them noticed the monster suddenly surge forward, closing the last few feet at an astonishing speed. Neither of them felt it when the massive jaws closed over them, killing them instantly.
* * * * * * * * * *
PART 6: THE END
"Okay," Martin said. "That does it for the Scholar and the Fool." He watched as the two remaining survivors struggled in the water. "That just leaves the Athlete and the Virgin."
The two men were silent as they watched the Apex swim back to the island.
"So, what? We just leave them to drown?" Higgins said after a minute, gesturing at the screens. "That seems...anticlimactic."
"Whatever happens, happens. They might turn back to the island. There's no way that they'll make it across."
"Why didn't we put a forcefield up, just to be sure?"
"The lake is big enough. Besides, you can't hide a forcefield in a body of water. It'd be clearly seen, even from far away."
"What are we gonna do?"
Jeff and Annie treaded water, watching in silent shock as the creature climbed back onto the beach and stalked into the forest.
"They're dead," Annie said tonelessly. "It's just us now."
Jeff didn't reply. He closed his eyes, treading in silence. When he opened his eyes again, he looked around. "What do you want to do?"
The mainland was pretty far away. It didn't seem like they could make it. They might have to go back to the island.
However, they both knew what was waiting for them on the island.
"Uh, let's..." Annie paused and swallowed hard, images of Troy and Abed and Britta's mutilated remains flashing through her mind. "Let's try to get back to the mainland."
"Yeah." She smiled weakly and briefly. "I'm a great swimmer. We'll make it."
Jeff nodded. "Okay. Let's try." He held out his hand, and Annie slipped her hand into his.
Wordlessly, but taking comfort in each other's company, they headed towards the direction of safety.
A half hour later, Higgins and Martin were packing up and getting ready to go.
"Well, that was fun," Higgins said. "Can't wait for next year."
"I'm surprised that Edison managed to keep her head above water for so long. After Winger went under, I thought for sure that she'd go quickly."
"I've gotta go tell the wranglers to get the monster and put it back in its cube, so..."
"...Yeah. Anyways...good night."
After Higgins left, Martin found himself alone in the room. He looked back at the screens, and stared at the lake. He sighed heavily, turned out the lights and left.
- Halloween Horror Story (2/2)
PART 5: THE MONSTER, PART II