A couple of years ago, I set out to write a little homage piece. After all, every person that's ever put words on paper marries their influences in attempt to make their mark, why would I stray from tradition?
I fashioned my laptop into a cauldron and in an effort to create a little witches brew, took a public domain character, the Heap, and added some not so subtle nods to media that has melted my heart since I was a kid.
Like the other stories I've published on this blog, these scripts are first draft and are far from perfect. I'd just rather have them out there in the world rather than spending eternity as a Google Drive file. So if you have issues with formatting or find any other blunders, don't freak out. My hope is that some people may actually like the concept. Should you dig them and identify those little nostalgia nuggets I included, let me know. Otherwise this story went from death by drive file to buried via blog. Equally heinous fates that will elicit an earth shaking "UGH" from the author.
Thanks for taking the time to check out the first three parts of this Heap story. It's set in the early 90's and stars a Texas Sherriff desperate to find a missing boy in a town invaded by a monster. Well, that's the nutshell at least.
The Heap: Krawl
By David Schultz
The image of a backyard. Chain link fence around a paint chipped home illuminated only by the moonlight. A lone bedroom light shines from the house. That window is open merely a crack. The grass un-kept, with the focus being a clump of dry weeds.
Narration: June 17th, 1991 Gibby Texas
Comfortable summer breezes slow on this summer night now that darkness has blanketed the sky. Most folks have put their children in bed, turned off the television set and retreated for a good night’s sleep. The Maddox family is no exception.
Bedroom light goes out. The weeds start to stir, grow. Long like a three-pronged claw.
This evening, however, is far from a run of the mill here in Gibby. Normally lights out would be the signal for racoons to rummage through garbage cans and mosquitos to sneak through holes in the screen. Tonight however, something bigger and much more sinister begins to stir.
The weeds are beginning to form a body. Sinewy muscles formed from dry twigs. The anatomy is not unlike that of a prehistoric raptor. It’s target, the slightly opened window.
Something ungodly has grown in this normally quiet town that will leave it scarred. It’s eye, like a headlight obscured by fog, has set its sight on an innocent victim. This is the beginning of something unholy.
The head now fully formed has a single eye in the center of it’s misshapen head and beams bright, through the windowsill. Like a headlight suddenly turned on, cutting through the night directly on a toddler sleeping in bed.
Full page, police bulletin board in the sheriff’s office.. Front and center on the worn flyers is that of a missing toddler. Tommy Maddox, 3. Last seen June 17th. Reward for information $$$. Below the notices is a coffee machine and a full ashtray. Calendar on same wall reads August 1991. Bottom of page, title box.
Two men in the cluttered office. Len Morrow the sheriff is seated behind his desk arms crossed while Mayor Conway paces the room. Conway is dressed in an ugly, plaid blazer, cigarette in hand.
Conway: Dammit Len! We’re going on two months and you still got nuttin’ on the boy. No leads, not a damn trace. Elections are coming up and I can’t afford to have a dead- (hushes)
...A dead child influencing people at the polls.
Len: Missing child Mayor. Don’t you go declaring nobody dead. I ain’t given up believing he could be alive somewhere. And you’re right, there’s no evidence either way but-
Conway: Look at you with beams of rainbows blowing out yer butt! You know just as well as I do, it’s gone on too long and that means the worst. How in the hell is there nothing? Poof, damned boy is just gone. You check the parents again?
Len: Yessur. Handful of times now, they’re clean and I’m not bringing any more pain to them people. No fingerprints, footprints, nor sign of struggle. All we got is an open ‘sill. FBI rolled in here, didn’t get no headway either. We are doing the best we can with what we got.
Conway: Do better! As for those nitwits at the FBI, y’all can hold hands and take a long stroll down the highway to hell! Find out what happened to this damned kid or I swear to you I’ll-
Len: You’ll what? Lest you forget Mister Mayor, I got two boys of my own who are terrified every time I turn out the lights now. So unless you have some information pertinent to my investigation, take your sorry, bureaucratic belly aching and get out of my office!
Len slams his fist on his desk, spilling coffee and knocking over a family photo. The mayor visibly perturbed snuffs his cigarette out on the floor and leaves. Len looks alarmed at what he has just done and quickly picks up the photo. It’s of his wife and two sons. The wife is a blonde with a red handkerchief in her hair and both the young boys have matching bowl cuts. The older one is giving a thumbs up, while the youngest smiles wide revealing a missing front tooth. Len props the photo back up again and begins to clean the spilled coffee.
Three teenagers toss stones at a car in a junkyard at dusk. The scrawniest closes an eye, rears back like he’s pitching a baseball and nails the back windshield.
Boy 1: Bullseye! Let’s see you guys top that!
Boy 2: Okay, calm down there, Nolan Ryan. Anyone can hit something that big from fifteen feet away. (Hands him a bigger rock.)
Try nailing that barrel in the middle of the sludge over there.
(He motions over to a large puddle in the distance.)
Boy 3: You kidding me? With that noodle arm of his, he’ll be lucky to make it half way.
(Slaps mosquito on his neck.)
I’ll tell you what, you nail that rusty old barrel and I’ll get you a date with my sister.
Boy 1: Cindy?! She’s a senior! No way she’d be seen out with me!
Boy 3: Swear to god above. You hit that sucker and I’ll set the whole thing up, no strings attached. Now hit that bad boy with all you got.
Boy 3 winks at Boy 2, who hands Boy 1 the rock. Boy 1 focuses, takes his pitching stance once again.
Boy 2: What are you waiting for? Do you want a date with Cindy or not? Don’t be a wuss.
He snickers and slaps Boy 1 on the back.
Boy 1 rears back and throws the rock. It flies high in the air and hits the edge of the barrel with a *TINK*. Boy 1 turns around back to the other boys, arms outstretched in victory, while they look on in shock.
Boy 1: Whooo-eeee!
Boy 1 breaks into the MC Hammer “You Can’t Touch This” dance and sings.
Boy 1: 🎵 From London to the Bay! Yeeeeaaaahhh! 🎵
As Boy 1 continues to dance with pride, Boy 2 points over at the barrel which sinks with a mighty *SPLORTCH*. Boy 3 also notices the sudden submersion.
Boy 2: Did you see that?
Boy 3: Yeah, but what the-? That can’t be more than six inches deep of water…can it?
Boys 2 and 3 walk towards the small pool of water as Boy 1, oblivious, continues to celebrate by himself devoid of rhythm. As they near the edge of the puddle, Boy 1 takes notice of his friends' slow, yet inquisitive mosey.
Boy 1: Where are you guys going? I won fair and square!
At that moment the Heap bursts from the water, sending mud and muck flying everywhere. He towers over the boys who are drenched in the sludge.
Boy 1 (eyes wide): Jesus! RUN!
The boys flee, running out of the junk pile on to an adjacent dirt road.
Sheriff Morrow drives down the road in his dusty Jeep. Over the CB, a woman’s voice calls over with a crackle.
Lois: Sheriff, you there?
Len: Hey Lois, what can I do you for?
Lois: Howabout for free?
Len smiles and she continues..
Lois: Sheriff, we have a situation over at Video Store. Some nut job is screaming about late fees and refuses to leave.
Len: Lois, I’m off for the night. I’m plenty sure Deputy Leav can handle some wackadoodle whining about-
He catches a glimpse of the three boys bolting down the road as fast as their legs will carry them.
Len: Lois, I have to run. Call Leav.
Lois: All right. Oh hey, don’t forget today’s your annive-
He clicks off the CB, hits the siren and speeds off towards the boys. The boys slow, exhausted. Leaned over, gasping for breath. Len leans out the driver side window.
Len: Now what’s got you guys jumping like frogs in a frying pan? Up to no good are you?
Boy 2 (panting): No sir… we seen...a monster...down at the junkpile…
Len: A monster huh? Well, that there’s something I gotta see. Hop in the back.
The boys look at each other terrified.
Boy 1: N-no way sir! I ain’t going back there ever again! Please!
Boy 3: I swear to God Sheriff, we saw a demon! Heck, Willie here crapped his pants even!
Boy 3 points at Boy 2.
Boy 2 (Willie): Nuh-uh! That’s mud is all! The monster threw it up all over us!
Len takes stock of the boys and frowns.
Len: Enough of all that guys. Get on in, I’ll take you to the station and we can call your folks to come an’ getcha.
Back at the station, Lois has brought the boys blankets and they sit visibly shook. Lois is mid 30’s, modestly dressed and holding a cup of coffee.
Lois: Need a little kick Sheriff?
Len: No thank you, Lois. Can you call these boy’s parents and let ‘em know they’re here safe and sound.
Lois: Sure. Tried getting their numbers but the kids are shook. I’ll just hit the Yellow Pages. What do you make of it? Talking boogeymen and mud, are they all hopped up on cough syrup or something?
Len: One would think with them spouting that nonsense. But the scrawny one there is Rickie Wood’s kin. Got a solid head on that skinny neck. Daddy keeps him in line.
Lois: Well, he is the only one not covered in poo.
Boy 2 (Willie): It’s mud!
Lois: Oh... now you wanna talk. Okay, mud then. Still, even if stringbean over there ain’t riff raff, the whole thing screams of something weird.
At that moment Deputy Leav enters with a disheveled man in cuffs. Long hair and a long scraggly beard dressed in a dirty rock tee and sweatpants.
Leav: Hey there Len, Lois. This here stumblebum’s been hollerin’ about how he returned Tremors on time. Jumped the counter, the whole nine.
Len (looking at the man): What was the fee?
Man (angrily): Six bucks. The movie totally sucked too. Can you believe that?
Len: Wow, that there’s a hefty overdo. Well, get him comfortable over in that there cell. Can YOU believe we got the premiere of “Poorly Lit starring Flickerin’ Fluorescent” ya can watch ‘till your heart’s content? Gotta say though, fee’s gonna be a bit more than to your liking.
Man: Comedian, eh. Don’t quit your day job.
Len responds from over his shoulder as Leav leads the man away.
Len: Best you believe I wont. Got too many lousy movie critics to wrangle up to meet my monthly quota.
He turns to Lois.
Len: Awrighty. I’m heading out to the junkpile. Find out what these darn kids were really up to.
Lois: What? It’s already dark out. Just look in the morning or send Leav. Empty Robitussin bottles can wait.
Len: It’s on my way home anyhow. That’s how I came across these scrablin’ bandits to begin with.
Lois: I think somebody forgot about his anniversary.
Len: Aw crud!
Len slaps his knee with his hat.
Len: I’ve been up to my neck with the Mayor and the Maddox case, just plum forgot. Can you call my wife and tell her I’m sorry, and I’m on my way please?
Lois: I’m issuing apologies for you now? Did you even get her a gift?
Len: Naw, if I forgot the darn day what makes you think I’d remember a present? She’s gonna have to settle with an I.O.U.
Lois: Better be a big one then.
Len grabs his keys and rushes out the door.
Len: Bet your sweet bippy it is!
Lois smiles and takes a sip from the coffee mug. Then turns to the phone.
Len has arrived at the junkpile. It’s dark, he begins to scan the area with his flashlight. The POV is coming through the bushes, looking at Len. He shines his light over at the car with the cracked back windshield. Then towards the ground. He quickly shines over a large footprint made with caked mud. Then immediately shines back directly on it.
He kneels down to examine the large print when he hears a sound unlike anything else. Akin to a guttural croak *CKCKCKKKK*. He feels a hot burn across his back shoulder and drops the flashlight.
He has been clawed at and flesh bleeds, ripped. He steps back as to run, kicking his flashlight, sending it into a tailspin on the dirt. Then he sees the creatures one glowing eye. It rears back, ready to pounce and deliver the Sheriff a swift death, when suddenly it is struck in the side of the head by a giant muddy fist.
The flashlight continues to spin as Len falls backwards to the ground. What he witnesses is viewed as one would a flip book. Fragments of action followed by those ghastly sounds. *CKCKCKKKK!*. The creature is now on the chest of the giant, shredding away muck that lands on Len’s cheek.
The blood loss is too fast. Len is starting to lose consciousness. He tries to raise himself with one elbow. Unable to look away from the unfathomable sight before him. The flashlight then stops it’s spin. The light finds a home directly on the source of action as the heap takes the jaws of the creature, ripping them apart, and as a result it’s head. The eye of the beast flickers out and so does Len’s stamina.
Flat on the ground he feels the thud of footsteps as they grow near. His eyelids nearly shut, the Heap towers above him then leans closer. His face a mere inches away.
The Heap: You’re welcome.
Len passes out.
END OF PART ONE.
The Heap: Krawl
By David Schultz
It’s dawn in the forest. The morning sunlight pierces through the branches of the trees, illuminating the fresh dew beads that cling to anything green. The Heap sits on a large stump. No longer made of mud and sludge, he now wears a lush coat of shrub,wet moss and elm bark. The radiant glow emanating through the trees entertains him, and he looks peacefully at the sky.
Behind the Heap, Sheriff Len Morrow lays on the ground. His shirt removed, with a brown salve on his back shoulder. His eyelids flutter and within seconds, unfamiliar with his surroundings, suddenly sits up in a state of bewilderment. He reaches to his back, wiping away the salve. The wound he suffered the night before has disappeared. He is not allowed time to take stock of his situation however, as a deep voice demands his attention.
The Heap: Good Morning.
Len leaps to his feet, one arm outstretched.His other hand reaches for an empty gun holster.
Len: Good lord!
The Heap shakes like a freshly bathed dog. Dew flies off him.
The Heap: Draw! Heh. Sorry, I don’t care for weapons.
Len realizes the holster is empty. His other arm still reaching out in a weak self defense attempt.
The Heap chuckles and rises to his feet. Len looks up at the figure roughly ten foot tall.
The Heap: Please, you have nothing to fear from me.
He shakes again, shedding bush and twigs. The Heap is now as tall as a man, albeit still very thick, wide and lush.
The Heap: Better?
Len rubs his hand through his hair frantically, eyes wide at what stands before him. He then looks down, only capable of mustering up mild hysteria.
Len: This just can’t be...I’m dreaming is all. C’mon now Len, WAKE UP!
He slaps himself in the face with both hands aggressively, as one would splash water on their face above a sink.
The Heap: Whoa, calm yourself young fella! I didn’t tend those wounds only to watch you go mad.
Len reaches to his shoulder blade once again to where his cuts should have been. His mind flashes back to the night before. The raptor like beast with the glowing eye. His flesh tearing, and the Heap destroying the creature.
Len slumps to the ground, then raises his head to address his host.
Len: Aw, Hell. What am I... dead?
The Heap chuckles again and smiles wide, revealing full rows of wooden teeth. His demeanor is light, cheery.
The Heap: No, no...you’re not dead. We are both very much alive, sharing a beautiful morning together in the woods.
He looks back to the sky.
Len is perturbed by the happy attitude on display from the Heap. His discombobulation has worn off, and his tough personality returns.
Len: Listen up Santa Claus, I’m obliged to you for killing that thing and saving my hide, but let’s quit with the hippy dippy hee-hawing and cut to the chase, now as I see it-
The Heap frowns and interrupts.
The Heap: Killing that thing, huh? Oh, how I don’t miss the hubris involved with being human. You cannot kill it, just as I cannot be killed. Well, at least by means you would understand. Her defeat is only temporary, and what you witnessed last night was me instigating a sense of...shock. She is out there somewhere, sprouting from a seed as we speak.
Len: Her? What in the world are you mister?
The Heap: Not sure you’d believe me.
Len: Believe you? I’m talking to a shrub in the morning sun! Let’s hear your yarn. Worse that can happen is it might delay my date with the doctor at the funny farm.
The Heap motions his hand outward, causing a wall of green to erupt from the ground. The vines and leaves writhe as he tells the story, similar to pin art, adding shape and depth. The Heap wiggles his fingers and squints at the greenery.
The Heap: Hmm… No, that won’t do... Ah! Here we are.
Len observes like a student watching his teacher write on a chalkboard. Images of dinosaurs appear on the green.
The Heap: The Earth is made up of many forces. The plant realm considers all others as a malevolent species. As such, a champion was grown to defend it from any form of danger they may pose. A collective of plants were designated to combine and mimic flesh based organisms the best they could to combat all threats.
The creature that attacked Len appears on the display, savagely killing an Alamosaurus.
The Heap: Unfortunately, the champion inherited similar instincts of the creatures they modeled themselves after. Defend became destroy. This made them nearly impossible to control, and unlike other living creatures that inhabit our world, there was no need to evolve.
The creature turns away from the Alamosaurus towards Len. It’s long snout with razor sharp teeth reach out and snap in 3D, causing Len to jump back.
The vines move again, forming a monkey made of bark.
The Heap: The realm, realizing it’s folly, decided a system of checks and balances needed to be put into place. Hence a “new wave”. Rather than consisting of all plant pretending to be flesh, the new champions should be a hybrid. They selected a being that exhibited kindness, good. Upon its death, a transfer of consciousness occured. This allowed for empathy and reasoning beyond what the realm could instill upon its own kind.
The vines show the bark money enlarging and throttling the original raptor champion.
The Heap: Throughout history new champions were selected based on attributes that were needed at the time.
Images of various plant people throughout various time periods are shown within the vines. They warp into the head of a young man wearing an aviator cap and goggles.
The Heap: I myself was a human like yourself. A pilot even, albeit not a very good one. When called upon, I rose again to serve.
He motions to the green board as his WW2 military plane crashes into the ground in a ball of flames.
The Heap: I go as ordered to help maintain equilibrium and now that path has led to you.
Len wears a look of astonishment that is quickly changed to skepticism.
Len: Wait. You said we were both alive, but by the looks of it you ended up crispier than the last s’more on a campfire.
Realizing his poor choice of words, Len apologizes.
Len: I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said it like that.
The Heap: No, you probably shouldn’t have. And yes, my physical form died that day, but I was reborn as something greater.
Len: And this realm? Are they your boss, they tell you where and when to go?
The Heap: Not directly. I serve the Mother. She is the guiding hand that leads me to where I need to be. Humans refer to her by many names. Let’s see...there’s Gaia, Demeter, Ceres, Persephone-
Len: There with the “her” again. You’re saying what attacked me is a she?
The Heap: Yes. Females are the dominant sex within the realm, and serve as our rulers. That’s why she’s here to begin with. After existing for millions of years her life cycle is close to an end. The need to evolve I spoke of has finally arrived. But the concept is foreign, and she’s perverted the natural order. A human child has been selected as an incubator. In one way the process is absolutely brilliant, highly dangerous however-
Len: Hold up, did you say human child?
The Heap: Indeed, a toddler. He was required for the gestation process. A sprout.
Len jumps to his feet in jubilation.
Len: YEE-HAW! That’s gotta be the Maddox boy! Is he still alive?
The Heap is slightly taken aback by the burst of enthusiasm.
The Heap: Yes. Technically, but-
Len: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was right, you ARE Santa Claus!
Len pats the bare skin on his chest, acknowledging he is shirtless.
Len: Hoppin’ Houdini! I gotta get a shirt on and tell my wife all about this, where’s my jeep?
The Heap: Down the road where you left it. We didn’t need to travel far, but Len-
Len: Great! I’m coming right back I promise! Will you be here?
The Heap: In essence, I’m everywhere. Please, hold on-
Len takes off running shirtless out of the woods, past the junkpile and to his Jeep. He speeds off down the dirt road leaving a large trail of dust in his wake.
The Heap seeps into the ground.
Len pulls on the front lawn of his home, nearly hitting the mailbox that reads MORROW in individual, reflective stickers. A yellow ribbon is tied to the telephone pole out front. He skips up the front steps to the porch when the front door swings wide open. Both his boys are there to greet him.
Kids in unison: Dad!
Len bends down to hug his boys.
Oldest Boy (Mike): Where you been Dad?
Len: Mikey, you would not believe what happened to me!
Len rises to his feet.
Len: I don’t have a lot of time boys, been a major break. I really need to talk to your mother, where is she- OOF!
An overstuffed gym bag flung through the air hits him right in the bread basket. His wife Jan, with a face as red as the handkerchief in her hair, stands at the end of the hallway, fists clenched.
Jan: Boys...upstairs NOW.
Both boys waste no time hustling up the steps.
Len’s still in the process of catching his breath when Jan storms down the hallway. She proceeds to lay into him.
Jan: Our anniversary Len? You don’t even bother to come home! Spend the night with that whore secretary of yours? You smell like perfume, and where the hell is your shirt? Filthy pigs, both of ya! Leave!
Len: Wha- Perfume? Oh man, the woods. Jan, I’m sorry. Really I am, but babe, I ain’t foolin’ around with Lois. Heck, In a way I wish I was, it would be easier to explain.
Jan: Jokes Len?! This is no time for crackin’ wise! Your crap is in the bag, go back with that hooker and have yerself a good ‘ol time. I don’t care anymore Len! You broke the last straw. I put up with your job, and all that flirting with the floozie!
Len places his hands on Jan’s arms..
Len: Lissen, last night isn’t what you think it is and I got more important things to deal with right now than you hootin’ and hollerin’ at me. I came home to tell you something important!
Jan: More important than us?
Len: Yeah, I...yeah.
Jan turns from him and starts to cry.
Len: Baby, please…
Len’s face physically agonizes over his decision which ultimately leads to him walking out and slamming the door. *THUD*
He looks up, gym bag in his hand, at his kids looking through their window. He waves goodbye and returns to the jeep. He drives fast, yet again, down the road.
Inside his cab, he pulls a button up shirt from the top of the gym bag and slides the first sleeve on his right arm. He uses his knees to steer to fully put on the shirt. The CB crackles an indecipherable sound, diverting his eyes from the road. He looks back up, eyes wide and slams his foot on the breaks with all his might.
The dust clears from in front of the jeep and there stands the Heap, tall and large once again. He looks upset and holds out his hand. The Heap opens his fingers to reveal Len’s gun and sheriff’s star.
The Heap: I wasn’t finished.
Len steps out of the cab and takes the gun from the Heap’s palm.
Len: I do believe you’re right, but quite honestly, I ain’t in the mood for talkin’. Get in, let’s save that kid.
END OF PART TWO
The Heap: Krawl
By David Schultz
Len drives down a residential street. He looks over to the passenger seat. There sits the Heap, no bigger than a Cabbage Patch Doll.
Len: This is your idea of going incognito?
The Heap: I don’t think the fine citizens of Gibby are prepared to see a man made of moss riding shotgun.
Len: Agreed! I’m seein’ it and can’t believe it. This has all been such a whirlwind. I’m having a hard time making heads and tails of everything, I have questions.
The Heap: I bet, ask away.
Len takes a left turn. A street sign with an arrow reads Downtown.
Len: How do you do all this? Go from mud to plant? Big to small?
The Heap: As long as the source material is of the Earth, I can maintain any form and shape it as desired.
Len stops at a red light.
Len: Can you talk...y’know, to flowers?
The Heap: Aren’t you right now?
Len: Fair enough.
Bystanders on the sidewalk see their sherriff seemingly talking to himself. A man on a bench outside of a barbershop sits reading the paper. He glances up, then returns to read with just a shrug.
The light turns green and Len continues.
Len: So all of this champions and plant realm business, seems to me y’all got quite a bit of infighting going on.
The Heap looks up and outward of the passenger side window to reflect and pauses prior to answering.
The Heap: Well, we are family after all.
Len thinks of the argument he just had with his wife and the disappointment on his kids faces from the window as he left.
The Heap interrupts his recollection.
The Heap: Our plan is sound. Are you sure you have the resources we will need?
Len: More positive than a pregnancy test after prom night. We’ve got enough firepower down at the station to distract that creepy crawly so you can trap it, do your mind meld thingamajig, and get the location of where she’s keeping Tommy Maddox.
The Heap: Yes. Her consciousness operates independent of our holism. So I need to physically tap into her memories. It won’t be easy.
Len: Isn’t the hardest part gonna be finding her to begin with?
The Heap: No, much like the raptors she modeled after, she’s a hunter, a killer. Last night she didn’t finish the job. I expect her to track YOU down.
Len looks nervous as he pulls into his parking spot at the police station.
Len: Two shakes, I’ll be right back.
Len leaves the Heap in the car and enters the station.
He sees Deputy Leav escorting the disheveled man from issue one towards the exit.
Leav: Mornin’ Len. Can you believe Mr.Madman here made bail? Gotta let him back out inta the world to mix with the other animals. Oh hey, Lois is running a little late and I’m heading home for a power nap. Camped out here last night with my paperwork piling up.
Len: Are Stan and Jack on duty today?
Leav: Yeah, they’ll be here this afternoon.
Len: Mind hanging tight until they arrive? I know it’s a crummy thing to ask.
Leav: BBQ on you?
Len: Buddy, you just hang on to your hat. I got me the best B-B-Q you ever B-B-TO in the works.
Leav: Awrighty. Got yerself a deal.
Leav leads the man outside and hands him a manilla envelope with his paperwork.
Leav: Keep your nose outta the dirt now, y’hear?
Man: See ya on the flip side fuzz!
The man proudly struts down the walkway and passes Len’s jeep. He looks into the passenger side window and sees the Heap sitting there looking back. He immediately does a double take, but now the Heap is gone. The man begins to shout.
Man: Aliens! Little green men! It’s an invasion!
Leav: Aw jeez!
Leav rushes and re-apprehends the man and places his hands behind his back.
Leav: Not even a full minute of fresh air and here you go howling again like there’s a full moon.
Man: Leggo of me!
Leav forcibly brings the struggling man back inside as Len, looking to head out is carrying a visually duffel bag with each hand as he passes them.
Man: There’s an alien outside! Gimme a hat, gotta protect my brain!
Len picks up his pace. He sets the duffel bags on the ground next to the jeep and out of the corner of his mouth he whispers.
Len: Are you still in there?
The Heap: Underneath the seat.
Len sighs in relief. He loads the bags of weapons into the back seat. Just as he is about to enter the vehicle, he hears a call.
Mayor: Len! Where you off to? Our conversation from yesterday ain’t done!
Len: Talk, talk, talk, talk...My life is chock full of chit chat. Mayor, I ain’t got the patience nor the time to deal with your sh-
Just then a Dodge Omni comes screeching around the corner and crashes into another car in the parking lot. It’s Lois. She’s bleeding from the nose and has deep scratches all over her arms.
Len rushes over to her car as do a few passerbys. The mayor stands at the back end of Len’s jeep. He reaches her window and discovers she’s in rough shape, no condition to speak. Before he can ask if she’s okay, she looks at him, reaches out and takes his hand hard.
Lois: Jan...it’s got Jan…
Lois: She wuz real mad...came to my house... to talk…thought that wuz bad...but then the devil hizzelf showed up...
The passenger side door of Len’s jeep comes flying off and is sent through the air. The Heap is full size, standing tall. The Mayor falls to the ground and the bystanders jaws drop. Leav flings open the front door to the police station, like the bystanders in awe of what has just transpired.
The Heap: Where?
Len: Half mile south, blue place on Hillman Road!
The Heap transforms into pollen and the wind carries him away in a spiral.
Len: Leav! Call an ambulance NOW!
Leav rushes back inside as ordered, the disheveled man peeks out the door at the chaos and runs away.
Len pulls his hand away from Lois. He addresses the other people next to the car.
Len: Watch her!
Len dashes back to his jeep and leaves tread marks on the parking lot pavement as he speeds south.
Len arrives at Lois’s house to find neighbors have formed a ring around the front door. He jumps out of his jeep and pushes his way past the onlookers. Halfway outside the house lies Jan, covered in blood. Len rushes to her side, falling to his knees. Unwisely he attempts to cradle her. Lois’s head limply falls back onto his forearm revealing her neck has been slashed.
Len: Baby? Baby, look at me…
Her eyes are devoid of life. She is gone. Tears well in Len’s own eyes then roll down his cheeks.
Len: Honey I’ll be home on time, okay? God, please give me another chance to get home. Jan PLEASE!
He runs his fingers through her bloodied hair. Her signature handkerchief slides off into the pool of crimson that has formed in the doorway from her wounds. Women in the crowd begin to cover their mouths and weep. The men look away as the sounds of an ambulance siren grow near.
Len leans his head back as to wail, but he is unable to cry out. Tears roll over his top lip and into his mouth as he gasps for air.
An EMT crouches down next to Len and places a hand upon his shoulder.
Len with jaw clenched: NO!
Len hunches over and buries his head into Jan’s chest, covering her body like a protective cocoon. He continues to cry with no sound, only gasps for breath between weeps. Behind him a ghastly and all too familiar guttural croak coming from inside the house. *CKCKCKKKK*
The EMT slowly rises from his crouch, illuminated by the eye beam. Len doesn’t bother to raise his head. A three pronged claw swipes at the EMT’s face but comes centimeters short of his furrowed face. The creature lets out a loud SKREEEE! Unbeknownst to the witnesses, the Heap has the beast by the tail. It’s talons grab at the door jam, but it is expeditiously pulled back inside, leaving deep claw marks.
The living room picture window shatters into a thousand pieces as the creature was punched through it. People scramble. Len stays in his position of grief. Landing on the front lawn, the creature immediately assumes an attack position expecting the Heap to leap after her. But instead, the grass grows long, binding itself to her legs.
She lets out a piercing screech as a battering ram of soil and rock is thrust into her chest from below, the bystanders that remain on the outskirts of the action cover their ears.
The same soil that served as the battering ram now coils around her body, morphing into the figure of the Heap. He has her in a choke hold, feet one with the earth allowing him to torque.
The Heap: Len! RUN!
Len remains motionless over his wife’s body.
The Heap: DAMN!
The Heap inches his fist closer to the side of the writhing creatures jawline. He unfurls his fingers and embeds them into the side of her face.
The Heap: Yes!
The creature stops struggling and begins to twitch. The Heap himself releases the tight grip he once held and closes his eyes to focus.
The onlookers that remained also see the combatants have become calm. They begin to throw rocks and garbage at the Heap.
Bystander 1: Murderer!
Bystander 2: Get him! Kill that lousy heap of crud!
They all continue to cry out in hate. The objects that pelt the Heap cause him to lose his concentration. He blinks.
The creature now too has returned to reality, he eye gone from flicker, back to full beam. She lets out yet another *SKREEEE*, and her body deconstructs. Unwinding into single strands of straw that dart like a dagger into the turned soil with a *plip*.
The Heap turns to face his tormentors, but they all scatter the moment he shows signs of life. He swivels his head to Len.
Len quietly: You fixed me...can you do the same for her?
The Heap: No. She is beyond my help now. I’m truly sorry.
Len: You should've let it kill me.
The Heap: Len. You need to go protect your boys.
Len raises his head. Blood covers his face and the corners of his mouth are white with foam.
Len: What did you just say?
The Heap: Your kids Len. She knows who you love. When she’s able to return they’ll be in danger.
Len lays his wife down gently and starts to rise to his feet. The Heap offers help, but Len slaps his hand away. He wipes his mouth.
Len: Maddox. Tommy Maddox. You pinpoint where he is?
The Heap: I have.
Len: Good... real good.
Leav pulls up in a police car. Len’s gaze surveys the chaos around him and then locks on to the reader. The world around him moves in slow motion.
Len: We gonna get that boy home to his folks so they can hug him tight. Never let him go again. Then...I’m gon’ kill that motherfucker.
END OF PART THREE