Part Three: Expendable Youth

October 26th, 1990. New Jersey

Cruising down I-78 in his gargantuan Chevy Impala, George was like the captain of a boat cruising through the garden state. While the automobile’s cassette player blasted Slayer’s new album, Seasons of the Abyss. George slowly rocked his head back and forth as he screamed words to Expendable Youth.

‘injured soul lies on the ground

head blown off face down

lying in a pool of blood

an accidental death homicide 

expendable youth

fighting for possession

having control a principal obsession

rivalry and retribution

death the only solution’

As he pulled off the Interstate, he thought about what all he might buy today. He had a lot of his favorite movies on VHS already, and owned a lot of posters and other merchandise. That actor his sister liked never did one of these shows before, so it would be cool to get him. He also didn’t yet have the poster for last year’s Friday the 13th movie, so he would keep an eye out for that. 

Expendable Youth came to an end. The next song on the cassette was Hallowed Point. This was a much faster paced song with the usual intense lyrics.

‘instinctive regression

with intent to kill

no regard of human life

or the blood spilled’

George could care less that any drivers who passed him saw his long mop of hair flopping about the car while he furiously headbanged to the rapid drumbeat and the piercing electric guitars. However, his head suddenly stopped and he quickly turned the dial down as a cop began to tail him. Now he carefully eyed his speedometer as he didn’t need another ticket, and he knew that cops targeted out of state plates. The dead skin on his knuckles cracked as he gripped the wheel. His face shifted from that of a serious metalhead to a still mask of stoicness. 

“Fuck!” he then yelled as Hallowed Point finished, bringing the cassette to the end of side A. He just realized his Zodiac killer mask was still at his apartment.

At least he managed to get his car in one of Hoboken’s parking garages without incident. Soon he took the train across the river into New York City. Once he got to the convention venue, he saw people dressed up as characters from all the classic horror movies; Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and his favorite, Friday the 13th. All the psycho’s were out, there were even some old school Frankensteins and Draculas. It totally sucked that he forgot his mask. His Zodiac killer T-shirt would have to do. 

Naturally, George was a seasoned veteran of the convention scene, already having many autographs of the greats that all the noobs now gathered in long lines for. Looking around at the sea of vendors on the convention floor, he calculated his options. Nearby, he saw someone at a table who had a few girls talking to him. Seeing his handsome features George understood why. He wished girls would talk to him like that. He hovered close while he watched the girls woo over the celebrity. After the wenches walked away he went over and introduced himself. 

“Holy shit it’s Eric Cord!” George said excitedly. 

“Pleasure to meet you.” the actor answered politely, not seeming to mind the fan calling him by his character name.

“Man that sucks that Werewolf won’t be back next year.” George complained. “Such a good show, the creature effects were wicked!” 

“Thank you, I appreciate it,” the actor said graciously. “We had a good run though. Anytime you make a TV show, you never know if it’s gonna get past the first season. We were lucky we got as far as we did.”

Reaching his hands out like a beast George said “Well it’s been four seasons of savagery and I loved it! It blows hard that it will be gone next year. Is there anything you can tell me about the rest of the last episodes?” George was anxious to hear his answer, as the fourth and final season was now airing on the Fox network, and would wrap up this spring. 

“Well if I told you too much you wouldn’t watch it right?” The actor laughed. “I can tell you this though, the story will have a definitive ending.”

George about jumped out his skin and asked “You mean Eric is going to finally kill Nicholas Remy and break the curse?” 

“Now I didn’t say that.” The actor cautioned. “I’m just saying all the loose ends will be tied up. We won’t be ending on a cliffhanger or anything like that.”

“That’s such a rarity in this business man.” George said, talking as if he were a Hollywood insider. 

“It sure is.” Gesturing to several photos at his table, the actor asked “So, would you like an autograph?” 

“Definitely, let me see what you got here.” Looking down, he saw several pictures of the actor that were from the show Werewolf, as well as a few from Night of the Creeps, an obscure horror comedy, and a few one off appearances in various TV shows like Murder She Wrote, Family Ties, Hunter, and Dynasty. Another one caught his eye, one of the actor in a white coat. “Oh that’s General Hospital.”George said.

“Yeah that’s right!” The actor sounded surprised. “Do you watch the show?”

George was revolted that anyone would even think to ask him if he watched something as stupid as a daytime soap opera, but he managed to keep his answer to a minimum. “No my sister does.”

“That’s cool. Well I’d be happy to sign a pic for her.” he said as he picked up his sharpie.

George naturally wanted a Werewolf photo, but he didn’t want to seem like a dick in front of the actor, so he reluctantly selected a General Hospital photo and handed over his cash.

“Thanks man, appreciate it.” The actor signed the picture and asked. “What’s your sister’s name?” 

“My sister’s name is Helen.” George said, looking longingly at one of the Werewolf photos. He may have been a horror nerd, but he knew enough not to blow all of his money in one spot.

“Ok, ‘To Helen,” the actor wrote out a brief message for his fan who he didn’t know, and handed the picture to George. “Thank you very much buddy.”

“Thanks man,” George took the photograph and stepped away from the booth. Before putting it in the small black bag he carried with him, he stopped in the aisle to take a look. People walked around his massive frame while he read the inscription. “To Helen, thanks for watching. Yours truly, Malcolm ‘Mac’ Scorpio, a.k.a. John J. York.”

October 26th, 1957, Plainfield Wisconsin

In the woodshed Sally felt something brush against her shoulder. She covered her mouth as she gasped. There was no sound, save the awful squealing outside. Nothing but blackness was visible behind her. She wouldn’t dare turn on a flashlight had she possessed one, but she did have a lighter. The small flame lit up the enclosed space, and the first thing Sally noticed were a pair of human feet. They were spread apart, bound to an overhead beam. There before Sally, a female corpse hung upside down, her torso split open, gutted like a deer.

The flame extinguished as she dropped the lighter to the ground. The door made a loud banging sound as it flung open and her own shrieking scream accompanied the howling of the ghoul. Sally ran as hard as she could toward the road, not even trying to see where the fiend was. She could hear it though, crying out somewhere behind her, and she heard its footsteps too.

Now a third sound cracked the empty night air, Sally winced as she heard the shot of the rifle. She thought if she could just get to the tree line she may have a chance. Mercifully, a pair of headlights emerged ahead of her. Her legs desperately ran toward the light as she put some distance between herself and the fiend. Another gunshot flashed as the pickup truck slowed down. She ran directly toward the front of the vehicle, frantically waving her arms. The truck swerved to her left, nearly knocking her over, it’s tires skidded in the grass as the truck almost flew into the trees. Circling back around, Sally planted her left foot on the rear tire and pushed herself up into the truck’s cab. Slamming her hand into the back window Sally screamed “Go Go!”  She could see the man driving through the back window, he immediately sped away. As she looked back to her left, the road behind her disappeared in the darkness. Sally shed tears of relief, and, she had no thought to what made her do this, but looking back as the shape of the terrible dark house vanished from her sight, she cackled hysterically. 

Whatever that thing was that chased her, it was far behind her now. She didn’t see it frantically throwing itself around the road, it’s rough skinned hands still gripping the rifle as its arms flayed and its body spun around aimlessly in a dance of madness and violence. 

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