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Cliffhangers, Part 6

by Marc Richard

An installment of Cliffhanger Week

Last time on Cliffhangers....

(The four guys obey, as five gelatinous beings come into view. They latch onto each member of the party. Kira alone, fights back, rolling into a ball and setting off a bomb to knock off the creature.)

Kira: Take that!

(The creatures retreat)

Zeke: What the--GAHH!

(Kira freezes Zeke with an ice missile and jumps on him to reach a nearby cliff)

Kira: Later guys!

Derek: Hmm...now that's what I call having hidden talents.

Marc: To put it mildly. I wonder how she managed not to blow herself up when she used a bomb to free herself from the creature?

IJD: (extracting a miniature plasma blowtorch from the small toolkit attached to his belt) Some people just have a high tolerance for pain and bodily damage, I guess.

Derek: What's with the blowtorch, IJD?

IJD: I'm going to use it to thaw out Zeke.

Zeke: (from inside his coating of ice) MMMmnnGHMmmpfNNNGHGH!

IJD: I didn't quite catch that.

Derek: He's saying something about pain and bodily damage. He sounds pretty agitated too.

Marc: Then I'd better intervene before things get out of hand.

IJD: Don't be silly. This won't take long. (he ignites the plasma torch)


Siren: WooohWooohWooohWooohWoooh!

IJD: (putting his hands over his ears) What the heck is that awful noise?

Kira: I think it might have something to do with the fact that we're in a police car driving at full speed down a highway.

Zeke: How can you tell this is a police car? We can't see from the inside if the doors are painted black and white.

Kira: Well, this whole scene is in black and white. Besides, there's a fancy police radio set here in front between me and the driver. See? It's got a hand microphone on a curly cord and everything.

Zeke: That doesn't prove anything. We could be in a taxicab.

Kira: Nope. There's no fare meter. This is definitely a police car.

Derek: Fare enough...

Marc: Ouch.

Derek: ...but why am I driving it? I'm not a cop. This is probably illegal or something!

Kira: I wouldn't worry about that. We're all wearing police uniforms.

IJD: That was going to be my next question.

Kira: You're wondering why we're all wearing uniforms?

IJD: No, I'm wondering what kind of a stupid police department would pack five cops into a single cruiser.

Derek: Especially since there's plenty of room in the police car just ahead of us. I only see one officer in there.

Zeke: Since this seems to be Marc's fantasy, maybe he can explain all this.

Marc: (checking his watch) I won't have to. It's...

Zeke: Let me guess...7:57 PM?

Marc: ...just about time for us to get some answers.

Narrator: (offscreen) The police department responded at once to the shocking double murder which had left two victims dead. Minutes later, Lieutenant Bradford and his men were on the scene...

Kira: Okay, that's helpful to know.

Narrator: ...mercifully unaware of the horrific fate that Fate had in store for them!

Kira: Unsettling, mind you, but helpful.

Derek: Hey, the cruiser up ahead just turned into that dirt road on the right.

IJD: I vote for following it.

Zeke: I vote for driving away from here as fast as possible until we get to a Dunkin Donuts shop.

IJD: You're scared, aren't you?

Zeke: No, I'm hungry.

Kira: Two words: television set.

Zeke: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (tries to hide under the seat)

IJD: He's scared.

Derek: Anyway, I'm following the other car. Here goes. (turns the wheel and drives up the dirt road)

Kira: Well, we didn't have far to go. I can see the police car parking next to that farm tractor over there.

Derek: This is strange...I could have sworn that there was just one person in the cruiser but now I see four people coming out of it.

Kira: And I could have sworn that it had a siren and flashers on top. Now it just has a siren.

IJD: And I could have sworn that on the highway it was a black-and-white 1956 Ford. Now it's an all-black 1957 Chevrolet.

Marc: I'd also like to point out that on the hightway we were driving in daylight but that here it's the middle of the night. I'm suprised nobody noticed that little detail.

Zeke: I noticed. Everything is pitch black!

Marc: That's because you're still hiding under the seat.

Zeke: Oh. (emerges cautiously)

Derek: (parking car) A couple of the guys who came out of the car are dressed in suits and fedoras. They must be inspectors. Let's go listen to what that farmer is telling them.

Kira: Are you sure he's a farmer?

Derek: He's got a tractor.

Kira: Yes, but look at all these gravestones. This isn't a farm, it's a ceme...

Zeke: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (tries to hide under the seat again, but Marc pulls him back out)

Kira: ...tary.

IJD: (getting out of the car) Well, I'm going to check this out. The suspense is killing me.

Derek: (grumbling as everyone else gets out) Did you have to put it that way?

Farmer: (talking excitedly to the plainclothes officers) That's where I found them, inspector! It was a horrifying shock!

Lieutenant Bradford: Well, you did the right thing to call the police. Being scared to death is a job that defenseless citizens should leave to professionals like us. (waves his gun at his officers) Let's go have a look.

Kira: (whispering to her colleagues) Let's stick close to them and see what all the fuss is about.

Derek: Right. (they follow the others to the edge of a swamp next to the cemetary grounds)

Sergeant Crandel: (pointing) The farmer was right, Lieutenant. Two dead bodies.

Bradford: My God, what happened to them? It's ghastly!

Patrolman Kelton: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (runs to hide behind a nearby crypt)

Zeke: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (runs to hide behind the same crypt and crashes into Kelton, knocking both of them out)

IJD: (moving in for a closer look) Ugh. They look like Commander Sonak after he got killed in that transporter accident in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Kira: It's more like what happened to the Vulcans who were mentioned in The Expanse. It looks like they've been anatomically inverted -- their viscera are now on the outside of their bodies.

IJD: What an offal way to die.

Derek: What an awful pun that was.

Marc: Look who's complaining about awful puns.

Crandel: Lieutenant! Look! There's a monster coming out of the swamp!

Bradford: It's a monster all right -- I remember learning about such things at police school.

Crandel: It's coming straight for us!

Bradford: Let 'em have it! (the police officers open fire at the monster with their revolvers, but their shots have no effect)

IJD: (drawing his gun) We should help them out!

Derek: Help them out with what? That's not a real monster! I recognize the scene: it's from the original 1954 version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Kira: (pointing to the left of the swamp) And what about the guy over there who's also heading our way? Is he from the same movie?

Derek: No, that's Boris Karloff from The Mummy in 1932.

Marc: Don't forget Lon Chaney Jr. from the 1941 The Wolfman, over there on the right. It seems that we're boxed in on three sides.

IJD: Will somebody please explain what's going on here? You make it sound like we're being attacked by stock footage.

Marc: We are. It was all I could afford on the ridiculously low budget I was given to produce my part of our adventure.

Zeke: (crawling back to the group along the ground, commando-style) What did I miss? Is the scary part over yet?

Kira: It wasn't much of a scare. We're surrounded on three sides by stock footage of attacking monsters, but the way back towards the police car is still wide open.

Marc: A situation easily remedied.

(A loud rumbling sound is heard. The 5MV staff looks in the direction of the police cars. The scene cuts to a herd of buffalo stampeding straight towards the camera amid a cloud of dust. The scene cuts back to a close-up of the 5MV staff.)



Next time on Cliffhangers...

Reality gets seriously bent!
Lucy: Now I'll hold the football while you run in as fast as you can and kick it.
IJD Brown: Huh? Wait a minute, I think I'm in the wrong joke here!

And the suspense reaches the breaking point!
Suspense: SNAP!
Zeke: Ow!
Kira: Oooh, that's gotta hurt.

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This was originally published on June X, 2005. Yes, X. Just to piss you off.

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All material © 2005, Marc Richard.