Re: A Case of the Creeps (6)
- "What the hell is that?" screamed Mick, diving through a doorway as a
yellow, green and red cyclone swept through the room.
"I don't know, but we shoulda had that to scare the TV crew!"
responded Gary as he struggled to free himself of his disguise. The
sheet was heavy with syrup and flour, and he was still disentangling
himself with a fist slammed into his head.
"Silly man, aren't you a little old for trick or treat?" uttered the
bizarre creature as he seeming bounced away from the punch toward
Mick. "Now, where's your friend?"
"Right here, you damned freak!" screamed Mick, swinging a tire iron
at the Creeper. The costumed hero flipped back away from the swing,
his feet coming up to catch the criminal under the chin. Mick went
sailing across the room, slamming into the opposite wall. Checking
both men, the Creeper found them both unconscious. He quickly bound
them with strips of cloth from the ghost costume.
"Sounded like they had another partner somewhere. I'll have to track
him down before he causes any trouble."
At that moment, the halogen lights that had been placed throughout
the mansion by the television crew all went dark.
- "Dad-blasted, frazzing, furgin' switch box!" A metallic crash echoed
through the darkened basement, followed by a stream of muttered
"Hmm, I wonder where the crooked little wannabe electrician might be
hiding," mused Deadman as he drifted down into the basement. The
darkness was no impediment to the ghost, as he homed in on the sole
living being in the massive space below the mansion. He was just
about to dive into the man's body when a door opened above and the
light of a high-powered flashlight flooded the basement.
"Hey, there's somebody down here!" cried a voice. "Looks like he was
messing with the power linkages!" A half-dozen people started down
the steps. "Get him out of there, and get that power going before we
come back from commercial, or we're screwed!"
Don Mallard dove away from the switch box, unknowingly evading the
unseen Deadman in the process. As the assortment of technicians
swarmed through the basement, Don crawled along the floor, seeking an
exit. He crawled under a rusting set of laundry tubs, making his way
toward a dumbwaiter that he had spotted earlier.
"Blast it, can't spot his aura in this crowd now, and I still ain't
seen his face." Deadman hovered over the scene, trying to spot his
Looking back toward the crowd, Don rose up on his knees and started
lifting the roll-up door on the dumb waiter.
"Thank you kindly!" screeched the Creeper as he burst out from the
shaft of the dumbwaiter. "Oddly enough, they don't have handles on
the inside of those things!"
"Gaaah! What are you?" screamed Don. The others turned toward them,
watching as a seemingly-normal looking man was attacked by a bizarre
figure bursting into the room.
"That freak must be the one messing with the show!" yelled Andy
Pickard. "Get him!"
"Aw, man, not again," muttered the Creeper as the crowd started
chasing him around the basement.
- In the darkened basement of the leFarge mansion's basement, beams of
light swept around, seeking the Creeper. Six men spread out,
seeking the garish being they believed responsible for blacking out
the building and the live television broadcast taking place.
The Creeper, while trying to evade capture, was seeking the true
culprit. Unbeknownst to him, another was seeking that same criminal.
Now that the freak show has spooked Donny-boy, I can hop in his body
and let Creepster bag him, thought Deadman. As he dove toward the
prone criminal, he spotted something more urgent that made him
"Don't worry, guys, I'll bring him down!" cried one of the men,
pulling a pistol from his waistband. He held the gun in both hands,
sighting down the barrel at the bright yellow patch of skin that was
visible in the shadows. Changing direction with a speed possible
only for a ghost, Deadman veered over and passed unseen into the
body of the gunman. His hand was already squeezing the trigger, but
Deadman managed to jerk his arm upward so that the shot missed, and
the bullet struck one of the heavy wooden beams supporting the floor
The sound of the gunshot made everybody freeze. "Christ, Harv, what
the hell did you bring that thing for? You might kill somebody!"
Another man reached out to grab the pistol, meeting no resistance as
the Deadman-possessed shooter let go of the pistol. The Creeper saw
this out of the corner of his eye, and took advantage of the
distraction to catch up with Don Mallard, who was moving in a low,
crouching walk toward the stairs leading up to an outside exit. As
Mallard reached for the door, the Creeper launched himself up the
stairs, slamming into the back of the crook. Together, they crashed
through to door and into the long untended garden. Two swift
punches, and Mallard was no longer in the world of the waking.
Funny, mused the Creeper, I was sure that guy had a clear shot at
me. It was almost as if someone got hold of his gun hand or
something, but there wasn't anybody there. Was there?
- After a short delay that was filled with stock footage assembled
just in case of a problem with the live broadcast, Jack Ryder was on
the air again, escorting his viewers on a televised tour of the
mansion. In the kitchen, the hanging pots and pans rattled on cue,
just as the special effects people had arranged. The camera on the
main staircase remained focused on nothing. Passing through the spot
where the fake ghost had appeared earlier, Jack shivered.
"Amelia leFarge may not be here tonight, but it sure feels like
something has been here recently," intoned Jack, with a hint of
menace in his voice. The cameraman had to stifle a laugh as he
The show was entering its last few minutes as the tour ended in the
solarium. The plan was for Jack to express his regrets that they
hadn't been able to capture the ghosts on the camera that night, and
to promise a follow-up special. The camera was then to look out the
door over the long-wild gardens, and the credits would roll over
Jack entered the room, waiting for the temporary lighting to come on
as they had rehearsed earlier. When it did not, the cameraman turned
on a small spotlight mounted on the camera dolly, and they continued.
"Well, friends, it appears that we have run out of time tonight.
Regrettably, Miss leFarge chose not to favor us with her presence
"I beg your pardon?" Jack started at the sound of the light,
feminine voice off to his left. The camera turned, and on the edge
of the spotlight they both saw a young woman sitting on a divan that
had not been there earlier in the day. "Am I to understand that you
are looking for - *gasp."
"Is, um, something wrong?" asked Jack, hesitation evident in his
usual brash voice.
"Adrian! You've returned at last!" The ghost of Amelia leFarge
started toward Jack, but stopped. "Oh, you're not him. But you look
very much like him." She turned and looked at a dusty painting on
the wall. Both Jack and the cameraman gawked as they saw the image
of this same young lady paired with a man bearing a striking
resemblance to the reporter.
"Actually, I have returned, my love." Three heads, two living and
one not, turned toward the terrace. There stood the translucent
image of a man in a battered World War I infantry uniform. "Thanks
to the help of your friend here." He gestured to his left, but only
Amelia leFarge could see the white-faced man in the red and black
costume standing there with a smile on his face.
- At last!
Sorry for the long delay on the conclusion of this story folks.
Last couple months have been nuts, like most of the rest of the
year. Now, I've got to dash off for a job interview...
- --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, immortalwildcat
> Sorry for the long delay on the conclusion of this story folks.'Cat, good deal. And just under the wire too (as I am doing an E-1
> Last couple months have been nuts, like most of the rest of the
> year. Now, I've got to dash off for a job interview...
archive update on Wednesday to tie out 2003). I hope the interview
- --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, libbylawrence
> Nice ending. I enjoyed seeing these two lesser lights in DC'sLibby and Martin, thank you. You must have been helping my karma,
> universe. Good luck with your job interview!
because, barring any surprises on the drug and background tests, I
start work on Monday. Normal, full-time employment at last!