Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Saturday the 14th

Gabz sat down with a heavy heart. He had tried so hard to do them in but he had failed. Why hadn't his plan worked even after calling the Ghostbusters? The Ghostbusters had willingly volunteered their latest device: the vacuum spectre. But since it was Friday the 13th, everything that could go wrong did. The vacuum spectre multiplied the dead children instead of eliminating them. And now Goreville was redder and bloodier than it had been ever before. Back to work, thought Gabz.

The clock struck twelve: Saturday the 14th.

Gabz jumped to his feet and grabbed his black-light torch. There were left just six hours before the whole town would be up. Cautiously peering outside to make sure there were no drunken poltergeists returning from the party, he opened his door and stepped into the stark moonlit night. But there was really no need to be afraid as most of the bogeymen were having a gay hangover. Gabz sped all the way to the other end of town, his nostrils reeking with a smell that was deeply rooted in his memories and full of allusions that made him scowl with disgust.

When he touched Witching Point, he put down his equipment which was mostly contained in a huge haversack. After rummaging through its contents for a minute, he pulled out a pack of the latest haemowipers: Patent no. 394846A999. Tearing it open, he drew a sheet and wiped the ground nearest his feet. Then he shone his black light over the spot to see if the job had been done.

It was! Gabz let out a silent yell of glee. These new haemowipers were as good as their name; maybe this year it wouldn’t be that much of a burden.

Next he wiped the neighbouring tree trunk, then the fence of the first house - that used up an entire haemowiper – then the huge rocks that marked Founder’s cleavage. It was customary for him to work from outside to the core. Within the next two hours, Gabz had finished most of the town’s periphery and he was already feeling the strain although the haemowipers had made it a bit easier for him. However, on entering the inner vistas of Blood Valley, he couldn’t help wincing as he saw the gory mess smeared all over the place: houses, trees, vehicles, shops. It was awful.

His sharp eyes strained to the roof of one house where he could just make out the lower half of some voluptuous woman in a pink nightgown. He bent down to work without a thought, except for one that always stirred in his mind on every Saturday the 14th:

Why do they somehow always miss me?

Why do they always let me go without a scratch?

He extracted large black plastic garbage bags from his haversack and stuffed them with whatever he found: entrails, a piece of tongue, someone’s testicle, a prosthetic limb - no, he threw that back out then picked it up again - , a baby’s nose. The bags were filled, tied and left at the corner of each street from where the garbage men would usually collect them later during the day. The stains, as expected, were wiped off with haemowipers.

Exhaustion dripping from his brow, Gabz stood up straight to give his back a much-needed stretch. But then the five o’clock cocks crowed and made him realize that there was only one hour left. And he rushed like a madman into Centre Square.

This part of town was the worst-affected. But, there was a conveniently placed incinerator here. So after collecting the mangled bodies in a wheel barrow, Gabz could directly toss them into the incinerator. He also managed to climb up the roof and get that half woman body down. One particularly nasty aerial job was to throw down a few sizzled teenagers who were lying on top of the power lines. Thank goodness, they didn’t bring the line down with them, thought Gabz. A much distorted part of the local policeman’s body was found - still clutching his gun. Oh boy, we’ll need another one of those, said Gabz to himself. And he discovered a couple happily making out in their car, only for their skins which were neatly peeled off. These two turned out to be quite cumbersome to pile into the wheel barrow as they slipped out of his hands more than once. Yet, eventually, Centre Square was ticked off on Gabz’s list.

He sighed as he looked at the clock tower and saw that he had only ten minutes to go. Only the cemetery remained to be attended to. Contrary to popular perception, the cemetery was usually the safest place to be on any Friday the 13th, but definitely not on Saturday the 14th.

Gabz shuddered as he entered. An old zombie they called Murphy, who was missing an eye, came and threw his arm around Gabz. “Where ya bin, mah buddy?”

Gabz really didn’t like talking to them so he kept silent. Moreover, he was racing against time to complete his job. But Murphy followed him everywhere he went. He teased Gabz. “Lissun pal, we gut shum rheally bobbin’ bluddy ‘eads be’ind ore stones.”

But when Gabz went looking for those bloody bobbing heads, he only found the skulls they’d dug up last year. Why don’t y’ll finish me too, shouted Gabz, frustrated.

Murphy guffawed. “Pal, yer useful, don ya know?” A few other zombies roared in response, but most were busy settling into their tombstones. Then it happened.

The sun rose and Murphy who was preoccupied with tormenting Gabz was zapped with a streak of sunray. He should have been in his tomb, thought Gabz regretfully although he had wanted to strangle Murphy just minute ago.

The cemetery was now clear. Gabz could finally get some rest. Once again he ran all the way. He must not be seen by the townspeople, he knew. His home was just as he left it - quiet and peaceful – and the bed screamed invitingly. But before tucking himself in, Gabz looked into the dull, oak-framed mirror beside his bed. He squinted hard until he saw the smoky wisp that was his reflection. Good job Gabz, he told himself, and went off to sleep until the next Friday the 13th.

Almost at the same time, the inhabitants of Goreville were stirring in their beds. They woke up and came out of their houses to greet each other with bright morning smiles, to admire the beautiful weather and to go to their temples and churches. It was such a wonderful day. Every memory gory day before had vanished. No evidence of bloodshed. The garbage men collected the bulky black plastic garbage bags that lined every corner in Centre Square which was already buzzing with shuffling feet and chirpy conversation. It was as if a thick sheet lay all over town covering the bitterness of yesterday. So people pretended that everything was OK. In a day or two they actually began to believe that their little pretence was for real. And after a while no one even remembered that there ever was a Friday the 13th. That’s why it always got them.

Only Gabz won’t be too pleased.


Blogger BlogyDogy said...

Hey you write a lot of strange looking stories that really keep me glued! Are you planning to come up with an anthology of your creations in the print? If yes, do let me know.

Keep up with the good stuff. I consider myself less fortunate for not getting to spend time withya guys in Caferati. Do visit my blog when u find time. Catchya laters - ciao!

12:41 AM, June 08, 2005  

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