Posts Tagged ‘Night Skies’

Milwaukee Wisconsin, August 15th, 1999

“In fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the world today is beginning to speak the same language. We are satellite- and Internet-connected. We are fast moving toward a cashless economy, a one-world government, a one-world court and a one-world church. We are building a universal city with a one-world church whose tower reaches into heaven.”

“Just like the Tower of Babel!” Franklin’s mother shouted in enthusiasm while other members of the congregation clapped and cheered in agreement. Jerry Falwell’s sermon continued.

“But the Trinity has come down and looked us over,” the reverend said, “and it seems that God doesn’t like what he sees. He may be preparing to confound our language, to jam our communications, scatter our efforts and judge us for our sin and rebellion against his lordship. We are hearing from many sources that January 1, 2000, will be a fateful day in the history of the world.”

Franklin stood up and cheered. Caught up in the moment, he briefly forgot about his mind off his nearly passed out drunk father sitting next to him. Since he lost his job last year he’d taken to the bottle while his mom took to religion. Deciding they needed to escape the sin and debauchery that she claimed gripped their tiny town of Plainfield, Franklin’s mother took the family to the big city of Milwaukee for a religious retreat. Franklin was familiar with Falwell. He remembered a few years ago the reverend said something about one of the Teletubbies being gay. Franklin wasn’t sure about that, but he hoped Falwell was right about January first. Back home, the church his mom drug him to preached hard on the Y2K scare that was in the news and how it was a sign of God’s judgement. At first Franklin was annoyed at having to get up early on Sunday mornings, but a wrathful god massacring humanity sounded pretty awesome. In the last few months he’d been obsessed with those Columbine kids who massacred their school. Reading some of their journals that were posted online, and he started to think both them and God had the right idea. Fuck the world and everyone in it, blow this place to smithereens and start again. Maybe almighty God will get creation right next time.

Like all the speakers before him, Falwell started hawking his book and other merchandise to the crowd before him. Franklin looked at his watch impatiently as the program was running over. After hearing one last plug of merch he looked to the door behind him. One of the local ministers made an announcement that after a short break the adults would have special small group sessions and there would be some programming for the youth.

“Oh wonderful, you can make some new friends.” His mom said.  

“Mom I’m going to meet my friend, you know that.”

“Oh, dear just go check it out. It will be fun.” She said before she and Franklin’s dad went to the adult study.

Franklin felt agitated as he got off the bus. According to the horror message board he frequented, Patrick was going to LARP with some people in nearby Cooper Park. Franklin planned to meet him there, but he was late. He never tried Live Action Role Playing Before. No one in his little shit town would have the imagination to try something that cool. He looked around the park and didn’t see anything yet. Then he spotted a girl dressed in all black standing next to a guy that was big like a football player. The girl’s bright red lipstick was noticeable from afar, when he approached, she smiled at him, her exposed jaw revealed a set of plastic vampire teeth.

“Hey Franklin.” He turned around at the sound of a male voice to see a teenager, dressed kind of normal, t shirt, jeans, Air Jordon’s, but he was carrying a plastic crossbow so Franklin presumed he was a LARPer. “Patrick, good to meet you. Sorry you missed the LARP. We ended up starting early.” Nodding his head to the other guy he said, “Tim here has to go in for early football practice.”

“Hey I’m Tim, nice to meet you.” the other teenager said waving his large hand at him. Franklin said nothing as Tim said “Sorry, I gotta head out.”

“Later.” Patrick said as Tim walked away with his arm around the vampire girl.

“He plays football?” Patrick said in disgust.

“Yeah, he’s cool. He also plays in my Shadowrun campaign.” Patrick said, referring to the cyberpunk themed table top role playing game. Patrick couldn’t conceive of a jock being a gamer. He didn’t have a lot of time to ponder this as Patrick asked, “So, you want to hang at my place?”

Later, walking into Patrick’s house, Franklin asked, “Aren’t your parents home?”

“Well, I just live with my dad and he’s at work.”

“Sweet.” Franklin said as he followed Patrick up the steps. He wished he didn’t have to live with his mom. Walking into Patrick’s room, Franklin expected a shrine to horror movies. What he saw were posters of sports figures he didn’t recognize. He looked confused as he stared a few athletic trophies set up in a display case.

“Those are for track.” Patrick explained before asking. “What sports do you do?”

That question was preposterous. “Uh, I’m, I’m not into sports really.”

“All about the scary movies huh?” Patrick said, picking up the Night Skies DVD. “Cool, well, you want to  check this out then.”

Franklin nodded and Patrick loaded the DVD player. Picking its remote control, he said “On the forums you said something about Easter Eggs?”

“Yeah, if you fiddle around on the menu screen.” Franklin took the remote control from Patrick’s hand and pointed to the TV screen.” “Look here,” he explained, “it doesn’t look like the cursor can go here, but watch.” Pushing the left arrow button on the remote, an area of the screen was highlighted that wasn’t highlighted before, indicating this was an item to be selected.

“Oh cool, how did you do that?

“Like this.” he said, holding up the remote. Pushing the directional buttons, Franklin moved the menu icon back and forth. Them after clicking the icon on the hidden spot, a deleted scene was loaded.

“Wow, that’s awesome!” Patrick said as the gigantic star filled sky of the southwestern united states appeared on the screen. The two teenagers watched as the sound of a Native American wind instrument drummed through the speakers of Patrick’s small TV. On the screen, the camera panned down to the image of a campfire. A mother and daughter sat among their fellow tribesmen.  Looking up at the sky, the mother said  “Our people have stories about a tribe that flew on an eagle all way up into the heavens.” The child’s eyes widened with wonder as her mother went on. “They flew so far away they had to live among the stars.”

“Really, they’re speaking English?” Patrick laughed.

“Listen to this part.” Franklin said urgently. To him, this wasn’t hanging out and socializing, this was getting his friend up to speed.

They both resumed watching as the woman explained that that one day this special tribe will come back to their lands. Just then, a flurry of shooting stars streaked across the sky. “Is that them?” The young girl excitedly pointed her tiny finger up to the heavens.

“Maybe,” the mother said, “maybe they’re coming to take you away!” The young girl laughed as her mother proceeded to tickle her. “OK, that’s enough stories. It’s time for you to go to bed.”

Later, while the young girl lay down beneath the open sky, she could not bring her self to close her eyes. Her gaze remained fixed on the sights above her. One of the shooting stars she’d seen seemed to have been moving slower, almost hovering over her people. In fact, it looked like the light was drawing closer. It’s bright white glow grew larger and larger. The rest of her people slept as she watched in wonderment this ball of light landing on the Earth as though it were a giant eagle. No sound was made as it appeared to touch the soil. Her eyes unable to move from it, the young girl said but two words. She drug out the syllables as she spoke, it was a phrase the filmmakers knew the audience would be familiar with.

“They’re here.”

“Cool, I remember I was a little kid when Heather O’ Rourke died.” Patrick said, referring to the child actor who starred in the original Night Skies film, and tragically passed in the late 80’s.  “That really sucked.”

“Yeah, she could have been in the TV show.” Patrick referred to the Night Skies spinoff TV series that aired on the sci-fi channel.

“Uh, yeah,” Patrick said, turning to his computer. The sound of the 56K modem indicated that he was connecting to the internet. “Anyway, you want to watch the movie a bit.” Franklin agreed and selected the ‘play feature’ option on the menu. They continued to make small talk while the movie played and Patrick typed on the keyboard. The familiar bleeping sound of AOL messenger occasionally accompanied the sounds from the movie. Soon Patrick asked, “So, you got a girl back home?”

“Uh, yeah there’s this girl back home. Lindsey.” Her name hung from his lips, like honey on a spoon that was just out of reach.

“Cool.” Patrick continued typing on his keyboard. After a few minutes he said “Hey, what time do you have to get back?”

Looking at his watch, Franklin said “Yeah, I should probably get back soon.”

“That’s cool. I’m gonna go meet this cheerleader chic in a bit, but I can give you a ride if you need it?”

“Sure.”

Later, after saying goodbye to Patrick, Franklin entered the church where he saw his mom kneeling in prayer with the minister. His father looked at him, his eyes betraying no emotion but his mother immediately looked back after the sound of the door opening. “Oh my heavens where were you?” She rushed up to her feet and came toward him. “We were just about to call the police.”

“Told you he was fine.” His father said. Smiling and nodding at his son he speculated, “Probably out with some girl.”

“No,” Franklin responded, frustrated. “I told you I was out with Patrick.”

“Who’s Patrick?” His mom asked.

“I told you who Patrick is.” Franklin couldn’t believe his mother’s ignorance. “That guy I met online.”

“Wait,” The minister interrupted, “So, you met a man online and you went to his house?”

“He’s my age.” Franklin said annoyed. “I came on this trip so I could meet him.

“And what were you doing with him?” His mother said, still concerned.

“God mom, we just watched a DVD.”

“Son,” the minister interupted again, “was this a pornographic DVD?

“No you asshole, it was Night Skies IV!”

“Franklin!” his mother scolded. Meanwhile, his father looked at his watched, appearing just as annoyed as Franklin was.

“It’s OK.” The minister said to Franklin’s mother. “Franklin, you have to be careful about meeting people on the internet.”

“I only came on this trip so I could meet him, and I hardly got to hang out with him because your crap went on all day!” Then, turning to his parents, he said. “Now come on let’s go home.” He stormed out of the church and walked towards his parents’ car. He couldn’t believe in the stupidity of these people. Sitting in the car, fuming, he thought to himself, there was one thing he hoped these people were right about. He hoped the world really did end this year. If he ever would have prayed, he would have prayed for this planet to be obliterated. Watching his mother sobbing while coming out of the church, his father meekly following behind, he cursed his lot at having to be raised by these idiots. As they opened the doors and plopped themselves down in the car seats, he thought to himself, if they’re still alive in the new millennium, he might have to do the finish them off himself.

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Part Four: Hallowed Visions

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-con, New York City

Victoria held Dan’s hand as they walked down the aisle looking at all the vendors. She spotted a group of guys sitting around a table with a few hardcover books, sheets of paper, and twenty-sided die, “Oh look?” her black lipstick shined as she smiled. “Should we see if we can join this session?” 

“Sure, let’s check it out.” Dan answered as they approached the area set up for a table-top role playing game. Every guy at the table shifted their focus on the approaching couple. One of the guys nodded in approval of Dan’s shirt from the first Halloween movie. The rest of them grinned at the sight of Victoria in her tight leather top. “You guys playing?” she asked.

“You bet.” one of the gamers said as he stroked his little beard. “We’re setting up for a Ravenloft session. Wanna play?”

“Yeah that would be great.” Victoria said, excited as she and Dan sat at the table.

A pencil thin guy seated with the group looked sharply at Victoria and asked. “Do you know what Ravenloft is?”

“No, I don’t!” Victoria’s pale face lit up as she asked, “Can you tell me?”

“Well, it’s Dungeons and Dragons with some horror elements.” the man said. His voice deadpan serious as he asked. “Do you know what Dungeons and Dragons is?”

Putting her finger in her mouth like a valley girl from the recently passed decade, Victoria said “Uh, yeah, like I think I heard of it.”

The man then condescendingly raised a sheet of paper in his hand. “Ok, well this is a character sheet that you use to play in the Ravenloft setting.” While his eyes locked on her cleavage he continued to explain, “You have different skills and abilities, and..”

“And you encounter the Dark Lords like Strahd Von Zarovich, ruler of Barovia who wishes to win back is love Tatyana.” The nerds jaws dropped, some out of surprise, others out of infatuation watching her finish, “Or, Vlad Drakov, whose military ambitions are forever doomed to failure. It’s a pretty dark place, but at least Vecna and Lord Soth managed to escape.” Finally, two of her black nailed fingers pointed back to her face as she knelt toward him and yelled “And by the way, my eyes are up here asshole!” before storming away. 

“Nice job dipshit!” she heard behind her as Dan caught up. 

“Sorry about that,” Dan sounded so embarrassed. “You OK?”

“Nothing to be sorry about.” Victoria then eyed the large back blocking the aisle ahead and said, “That guy’s gonna be sorry if he doesn’t stop blocking the way.”   

As the large man looked around, Dan squeezed Victoria’s hand. “Oh my god, I think I know that guy.”

Taking a few steps closer, she heard him yell out “George! George!” The man turned around and waved as Dan asked, “George it’s really you?”

“Of course, it’s me!” the man answered. 

“Long time no see brother! How are you?” Victoria watched Dan excitedly high five the man while other convention goers walked around them.

“I’m good, I’m good.” Dan’s friend said before eying Victoria up.

“This is my fiancé, Victoria.” Dan introduced. “She got to school after you were gone.” Then turning to her, Dan said, “Honey, this is George.”

“Nice to meet you.” she said as she noticed the General Hospital picture George was putting into his black bag. “Oh, you got John York’s autograph!” she said excitedly.

“Yeah,” Victoria was a little confused as George now looked like he could barely hide his irritation. She then understood as he explained. “It’s for my sister.”

“That’s so sweet of you to do that. I’m sure you’re a fan of General Hospital too, right?”

She realized by his facial expression George had no idea she was kidding. Thankfully Dan intervened with, “Last season of Werewolf!”

“I know, that totally blows.” Geroge instantly reacted. “I was talking to ‘Eric’ though, and he told me they’re wrapping the story line up. So at least there’s that. I hate when things end on a cliffhanger!”

“Awesome man!” Dan said.” Well, we’re gonna check out some posters at this venue here.” Dan pointed to a booth down the aisle.

“Cool, I want to get the new Friday the 13th poster.” Victoria now realized George would be joining them.

Making their way through the swarm of people, the trio came to a booth that had bins of posters, including several large posters on displays facing out towards the crowd. One of the posters facing out featured a ferocious looking werewolf chasing a young girl through a back alley. 

“Remember when we saw that back in school?” Dan remenisced.

“I do remember that.”  George answered.

Dan pumped his fist remembering. “Man, I was so excited that they finally put a Halloween movie back in the theaters.” 

“Are you a Halloween fan?” Victoria asked George.

“I liked the series,” he answered, “but I’m more of a Friday the 13th fan myself.” Halloween is cool, but I like following a series like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street that tells one continuous story.”

“Yeah, I hear you.” Dan said. “I was always a fan of carpenters vision though. I got all the posters except number three. Hoping to score that one here.”

“I never saw that one anywhere.” George said. 

“That’s the first one they released direct to video,” Dan relayed to George, “and they didn’t make a lot of promotional material for it. Really sucks.”

“It’s in here somewhere.” The vendor poked his head out from behind the display while finishing a transaction with another customer. “If you dig around here long enough, you’ll find it.”

“Cool,” Victoria looked back at him and asked, “Do you have the poster for Night Skies?”

“It’s in there somewhere hon.” The vendor winked at her as he answered.

While Victoria started digging through the bins George pointed back to the poster for Halloween Six: Curse of the Werewolf, to say, “I heard there’s a producer’s cut of that movie.”

“There is,” Dan said with a devilish smile on his face before revealing, “I saw it.”

“That’s so cool!” George said as he began looking through posters himself. “I wouldn’t mind seeing it.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.” Dan recalled, himself now looking through a bin of posters. “Somebody on campus got a hold of it last year. They explain more of the lore and stuff, but maybe the coolest part is that there’s an extra scene with Donald Pleasance!”

“He played the priest in that one, right?’ George asked.

“That’s right, Father Samuel.” Dan answered. “There’s a scene where he mentions he has a cousin in..,” Victoria smiled as she knew Dan loved talking about this, “guess where…” George shrugged his shoulders. “Haddonfield!”

“What!” The wheels were turning in George’s head. “Wait, so it’s linked to the first one?” Victoria knew George would be surprised at this news, as none of the Halloween sequels after part two were connected.

“Well who knows,” Dan speculated. “It could be just a gag for the fans, just like how in each entry someone is always watching the previous movie.”

“Right?” George recalled. “In part three a commercial for the first one comes on in a bar, right?”

“Correct” Dan said, “and in part four they go see part three in the theater.”

“I can’t remember what happened in the last two!” George said in frustration.

“Part five they rent part four from the local video store,” Dan said, “and part six they are on the set of part five.”

Both Dan and George turned to Victoria as she squealed in excitement. At long last she’d found the poster for the Stephen Spielberg horror film Night Skies. It featured a creepy image of Extra-Terrestrial aliens terrorizing a family on their farm, above the image of a little girl read the words “They’re here.” the movie’s famous catch phrase. “This scared the shit out of me when I was a kid!” she recalled, as she pulled the poster out of the bin and made her purchase.

Dan struck gold next. “Here you go George!” George rushed over to Dan who pulled out the last poster in the bin he was searching. It was a poster for last year’s Friday the 13th Part Eight. Dan admired the image of New York City in the background before he handed it off to George who immediately went to pay for it. Dan then walked over to the bin George had just been searching.

While George and Victoria paid for their finds, Dan finally struck paydirt. “Bingo!” His face lit up like a Christmas tree as he saw the silver letters that spelled out Halloween III at the top of the poster, on which red skies hung below a silhouette of a trio of trick or treating children. 

“Oh shit!” George excitedly quoted from the film’s poster. “The night no one comes home!” The trio high fived each other as Dan purchased the poster for Halloween Three: Season of the Witch. Victoria looked up at the displays of the other posters available. The vendor also had the poster for Halloween Six: Curse of the Werewolf. Victoria remembered how that was the first Halloween since number two to be put back in the theaters. It was a great movie, and it made werewolves cool for a couple years. She could see down the aisle where John York was happily signing autographs and mused that perhaps that cycle has come to a close. 

Victoria had only just met George, but she could already tell he usually wasn’t often quiet. He too was looking at the poster for Halloween Six, and she assumed he was reminiscing too, but she then realized George fixed his gaze on the woman, the woman and her bare legs, her bare legs and her skinned knee.

George snapped out of his trance at the sound of her asking him, “So, how long have you been a horror fan?”