Andre – Page 28


The stairs give out under your weight and collapse to the hard concrete below. The two girls scream and shriek, desperate to flee.

From the corner of your eye, you can see Melissa make a run for the walkout door. Under all the rubble of the broken staircase, you couldn’t hope to match her pace. The skeleton would eat you alive.

The beast howls and screams, filling the small room with unbearable sounds of terror. It reaches back into the chasm from which it came and draws forth a huge, double edged sword.

Heidi’s scream is so loud that you have to close your eyes and clamp your hands over your ears to keep it from bursting your head. The skeleton scans the room and spots the annoying blonde cowering in the corner near Darren’s limp form.

Did Darren pass out? No way. Not super-macho-football star Darren. The unholy beast locks his gaze onto Heidi’s head and slowly marches forward. You pull a piece of the broken staircase over your chest and wait.

Heidi’s ear-splitting cries pound in your head. The skeleton hefts his sword high above his head and smiles, if you can call it that. A flicker of movement catches your attention. Darren slowly gathers his feet under him and rises, slightly at first, to a crouching position. As the skeleton brings his weapon down and abruptly ends Heidi’s scream, Darren jumps and soars through the air. The athletic quarterback grabs onto one of the wooden struts overhead and swings his feet deftly over Heidi’s headless corpse. Using the evenly spaced struts as monkey bars, Darren passes over your head and lands in the doorway above you, quickly disappearing into the first floor of the house.

You freeze. The demonic beast holds Heidi’s head up like a grisly lantern and peers around the room. It looks right at you. You hold your breath.

Finally, it turns and marches out of the basement where it chucks the bloody head far into the distance. You know you can’t possibly hope to climb like Darren, so you wait. You slow your breathing as much as you can and you will away the restlessness in your arms and legs through sheer concentration.

Moments later, the beast returns, but your eyes are closed and you can’t tell what it is doing. The stench of Heidi’s corpse stings your nostrils but oddly, it isn’t a nauseating smell. Perhaps if Heidi had been someone you cared about, you might feel a hint of pity or sorrow. Maybe the politicians are right and you’ve seen so much death on TV and in videogames that you just don’t care. Either way, you’re simply thankful that your head is firmly attached to your body.

The skeleton mutters a few lines of incomprehensible dialogue into the burning chasm and departs, leaving you in relative silence. You hear the cackling of flames and the hiss of steam, but most of the fear leaves your body.

It takes several minutes to move the rubble enough to stand, but the skeleton doesn’t return.

“Darren!” You call out as loudly as you dare. No response. “Darren! Melissa!” You wait for a moment, straining to hear, but get no answer.

You walk slowly past Heidi’s headless body and grimace. At least it wasn’t me, you think callously. Your eyes wander down the curves of the lifeless body and you realize just how much of a perverted high school teenager you really are. So much blood has soaked Heidi’s shirt that one of her nipples pokes through as though her corpse is just as vain as she was alive. Your mind takes a few darker turns and you shake your head, pushing the thoughts as far away as you can. There are bigger problems ahead.

You peer out of the walkout door and search for any signs of life – or any signs of undeath, for that matter. You see nothing. Not even a squirrel hopping around in the yard. I need a weapon, you think, conjuring up images of Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness. But if the skeleton returns and sees you, you’ll end up like Heidi.


What do you do?


To search the basement for a weapon, turn to page 71.

To run for the cover of the trees, turn to page 47.