Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Fun With Phillip Hall

Halloween Fun Book Giveaway Entry
(A.C. Hall is a participating author in the giveaway)

Scrolls Season One

Directive 57
By Phillip Hall

      "Why'd you leave me?" a harsh voice whispered.
      Kenny fell out of his bunk and onto the hard metal floor.  He jumped up, then stumbled over to turn the lights on.  He pushed the light panel and nothing happened.  He squeezed his eyes tight, and held his breath.  His mind was racing for a logical reason as to why he was hearing the voice of a friend from long ago. 
      "Go away now, please," Kenny said in a weak voice.
      "I'll be back for you, Kenny," the voice hissed.
      The lights came on, and Kenny slowly opened his eyes.  He couldn't see without his glasses but he could tell there was no one else in the room with him.   He collapsed to the floor and started crying.

* * * * *

      Curt stood in front of the small mirror and splashed cold water on his face.  His heart was racing, and he had to take deep breaths to calm down.  He looked in the mirror for a long moment, then shook his head.
      "What are you doing, honey?"  Brittany asked.
      "It's nothing," Curt responded.
      "You don't have to lie.  I know it was the dream again, because I had it too."
      Curt turned around to face her, but when their eyes met they quickly looked away from one another.
      "I'm sorry you keep having the nightmare too," Curt said.
      "Halloween is coming up in just a few days… "
      "Oh stop with that Halloween business,” Curt interrupted.  “You know I hate all the Earth holidays and..."
      "...and after you're promoted to Captain General you plan to abolish all Earth holidays, starting with Halloween," Brittany said in a playful tone.
      "Yeah well, you keep on making your jokes while I make a life for us and future generations to come.  A life lived for us and not for all those worthless pukes back on Earth," Curt said sternly.
      There was a knock on the door.  Curt straightened his shirt a bit then headed to see who was there.
      "Don't worry, I'll get it," Curt said sarcastically.
      He hit the button and the door slid open.  Kenny stumbled into the room.  He was covered in sweat and was almost hyperventilating.
      "Oh it's just you.  Today is an important day Kenny.  Go away," Curt said.
      "No.  I can't.  It’s Trevor, I don't know if he's dead or not.  I mean I ..."
      Curt slapped Kenny across the face, knocking his glasses off.  Kenny stood unmoving, in shock.
      "Shut up you fat idiot.  Every year when it gets close to Halloween we all have the dreams.  Big deal.  Trevor died 13 years ago because he didn't leave your lard butt behind.  It was all yours and his fault.  Me and Brittany had nothing to do with it."
      "You were going to leave us, Curt.  You pulled the bar out of the door and left Trevor behind.  I mean the blood and… and..."
      Curt stepped forward and grabbed the smaller man by his collar.  He pulled him close.
      "In one hour I am going to be elected the youngest Captain General to ever take control of a seed ship.  Do you know what I've sacrificed to get this honor at the age of 28?  I have worked myself half to death!" Curt yelled, then paused and took a deep breath.  "We've covered our tails for 13 years now, Kenny and I'll be damned if some nightmare is going to unravel all that I've worked for."
      "Yes of course.  You're right, Curt.  Like always, I'll just follow your lead."
      Curt smiled, then let go of the smaller man's shirt.
      "I knew you'd see things my way.  Now go pick up your glasses and I don't want to see you until the day after Halloween, because I know you're going to be a nervous wreck until then."
      Kenny turned to find his glasses and was greeted by Brittany.  She was holding his glasses out for him.
      "Thank you, Brittany.  I'm sorry for interrupting this special day for you two," Kenny said.
      "Oh it's no worry.  It was good to see you..." Brittany said before being cut off.
      "She's fine, Kenny.  It's me you should be worried about making angry.  After all I'm about to be your Captain General.  Now make yourself scarce."

* * * * *

      "My second order of business as your Captain General is to issue directive 57," Curt said.
      The conference room was packed full of dignitaries and civilian leaders.  There was a loud buzz around the room as everyone spoke in hushed tones about the directives their new leader was giving.
      Curt smiled to himself and soaked in the thought of all these scoundrels having to answer to him now.  They'd all have to do as he said.
      "People, please settle down.  I know what I'm directing you to do is different from what you've done in the past but it's far past time that we set the course for us and not for Earth.  We are generations of space farers, not Earthmen," Curt said.  "So please pay attention to the holo presenter up front and I will explain directive 57."
      The lights dimmed, and all eyes went to the front.  Curt stood with a pointer and showed each of the steps for his plan.  He explained in detail what would be done.  Once again a murmur arose from the gathered leaders.  Gerald, a housing leader, stood up and spoke.
      "Captain General, first off you have abolished all Earth holidays.  In doing so, you have wiped away generations of traditions.  Now you want to open up deck 57, strip it down; flood it with radiation, then vent the entire deck into space?"
      "You've summed it up quite well, Gerald.  Only one thing you got mixed up there.  I don't 'want' to do this, I am doing this.  Is that clear?" Curt asked.
      He paused for a long moment, seeing if anyone would challenge his newfound authority.
      "It's high time we leave the past in the past.  It's up to us to plan for the future and that future is right now.  Let's get started erasing where we've been so we can have more room for where we're going."

* * * * *

      Curt strode down the hall wearing a full yellow containment suit.  He carried his helmet under his arm.  There were over 200 men behind him as they approached the main hatch for deck 57.  He reached out to push the open button when someone shouted from behind.  He turned and saw Kenny running up.
      "Don't do it, Curt!"
      "Go home, Kenny, right this second."
      "No, I won't go.  Don't you open up that deck.  Spraying radiation and opening the airlocks isn't going to change the past."
      Curt stepped forward and reared back to punch the fat little man, but something caught his wrist.  It burned like fire but was cold like ice.  He tried to jerk his arm free but found that he couldn't.  Then a chill voice whispered in his ear.
      "He doesn't like when you do that."
      Curt's heart skipped a beat and he became light headed.  He stumbled into the hatch release and the giant doors to deck 57 began to open.  Curt stepped back and stood side by side with Kenny.  They both stared as the doors opened to reveal the dimly lit hallway beyond.  The red emergency lights flickered and for a brief moment they saw a teenage boy covered in blood standing halfway down the corridor.
      The lights flickered again and the figure was gone.  Kenny turned and ran away.  He ran straight through the now confused group of workers.
      Curt stood unmoving for a long moment, staring down the long hallway.  Suddenly there was a hand upon him.  He jerked around, swinging wildly.  He caught the side of one of the engineers who was there to help with getting deck 57 cleared out.
      "Sir, are you all right?" the Engineer asked.
      "Ummm, yes… of course I am.  I uh... just need to go home for a bit.  I need to take care of my wife."
      Curt didn't wait for a response, he simply took off running.

* * * * *

      Curt rounded the corner and headed for his room.  He wanted to make sure Brittany was okay.  As he approached the room there was a metal pipe lying in front of his door.  He ignored it and hit the open panel.  The door didn't respond.  He could hear something happening inside.  He pushed the button over and over but it wouldn't respond.  Then he heard a blood curdling scream from within.
      "Brittany!  I'm coming," Curt shouted.
      He picked up the metal pipe, barely noticing it was covered in blood.  He jammed it into the door and started wrenching backwards.  Soon the door popped open and he sprinted inside.  He almost slipped on the wet floor but kept his balance.  He switched on the lights and he immediately began to retch. 
      Blood covered the walls and dripped from the ceiling.  Brittany was nowhere to be seen, but blood and gore were all around.  Curt dropped to his knees, shaking his head.
      "No, no, no, no.  This isn't happening.  This isn't real," he mumbled.
      "Yes it is real.  As real as the day you left me behind on deck 57 with that sick monster, the mad engineer.  You left me there to die, Curt.  You, Brittany and even Kenny.  He didn't just kill me, Curt.  He tortured me for weeks, until he had finally had his fill.  Then he cut me to pieces with his plasma wrench," the ghostly voice said.
      Curt looked over and saw the ghost of Trevor standing in the doorway to the bathroom.  The teenager was a ghastly sight to see, covered in blood and with gaping wounds all over.
      "I'm sorry, Trevor.  I'm so sorry," Curt whimpered.
      A shrieking laughter rose up from the ghost.  Trevor walked slowly over.
      "You're sorry?  Oh you will be sorry, Curt.  Very sorry indeed," Trevor said in a low voice.
      There were footsteps approaching from outside.  Curt struggled to his feet and watched as the ghost vanished.  He turned back to the door just as Kenny came in.  The portly man came to an abrupt halt.
      Kenny stood in the doorway with his mouth wide open.  He stared at all the blood, then at Curt who stood in the middle of the room holding a blood covered metal pipe.
      "What have you done?  Where is Brittany?" Kenny asked.
      Curt looked down at his blood covered containment suit and the metal pipe.
      "I didn't do anything," Curt replied.
      "I'm getting the authorities and I'm telling them everything!"
      "No!  You will do no such thing.  Help me clean this room up and look for Brittany."
      "I will not.  I'm telling everything!" Kenny screamed then turned to run.
      Curt sprang after him and without thinking he threw the metal pipe.  It soared through the air and hit the man square in the back of the head.  Kenny went down hard.
      "I told you to stop," Curt shouted.
      He ran over to where Kenny had fallen and picked up the metal pipe.  Kenny struggled back to his feet.
      "I'm telling everyone the truth about you," Kenny said wearily.
      Something inside of Curt snapped.  He swung the metal pipe down hard, crushing Kenny in the head.  He fell unmoving to the floor.
      Curt continued screaming and swinging the pipe over and over.  He continued hitting long after Kenny stopped moving or breathing. 
      "Now that's the spirit, Curt," Trevor said.
      Curt looked up to see the blood covered visage of his one time friend, then he looked down.  On the ground below him were the pummeled remains of Kenny.  Blood was everywhere.  It soaked his hair and stained his hands. 
      Suddenly the entire ship shook violently.  Curt dropped the pipe and braced himself.  Alarms began sounding and emergency lights flashed. 
      None of it truly registered as he just felt broken inside.  He stared at the horrific image of Trevor smiling at him.
      "That'd be all the airlocks on every deck except this one opening.  I might have rewired them to open on all decks when those on 57 were opened.  I'm certain that at least a few thousand people were just sucked out the airlocks to their untimely deaths."
      "Why?" Curt asked.
      "Oh I think you know why, Curt.  You're missing the real question here, aren't you old friend?  The question is, why now?"
      Curt simply nodded his head.
      "I wanted to kill you at the highest point in your life.  I didn't want to just kill you, but to kill your dreams and your legacy as well.  You had it all and now all you have is a half dead ship, a dead wife and you murdered Kenny."
      The sound of people approaching caught Curt's attention.  He looked up at Trevor.
      "Go ahead.  Kill me,"
      Trevor laughed a shrill laugh, and shook his head.
      "Oh no my friend, it'll be much worse if I leave you to the people who are left onboard.  You gave directive 57, which caused all of this and you made sure every person knew you were in charge.  By the time they're finished with you it'll make what the mad engineer did to me look like child's play."
      As the bloody ghost of Trevor slowly faded away, Curt screamed out.
      "No!  Don't leave!  Help me!"
      But there was no reply.
For more information on Phillip Hall please go to Hall Brothers Entertainment     

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