Halloween Game the Fifth
On October 31, 2004, a ragtag gang of college kids were
on their way to a Halloween concert/party/haunted house. The group was led
by Billy Melnetz, a third-year freshman philosophy major. Famous for his
slackering and “Where’s the Monkey?” t-shirt, he heard about the party and
gathered a gang together for a Halloween roadtrip.
The player characters that accompanied him were:
Yuri Romonov, 23, a metaphysics major and aspiring paranormal investigator
(played by Chad)
John Johanson, 23, a mechanic and paranormal engineer (Paul)
Captain John Meatshield, 20, philosophy major with a penchant for duct tape
(Tyler) (and “Captain” is his first name. awesome.)
Bob, 20, a member of the Anime society and certifiable psycho (Will)
The Good Doctor (so nicknamed ‘cause I lost his character sheet) (played
Driving in his ’92 Lincoln Towncar and playing the best
of the Eagles, Billy is excited about the party. “Check out these tickets:
black ink on black paper. Now that’s scary.”
The others investigate their own tickets, seeing them
to be black paper with black ink, barely visible when shown at an angle to
the light. Billy continues, “Yeah, the guy who gave them to me was crazy.
Some creepy old wrinkled guy who kept saying how it would be the greatest
Bob, who for some reason hated Billy with an insane passion,
threatens Billy’s life if he doesn’t shut up. So anyway, they drive on and
on, till the sun sets in the west, casting a grim bloody crimson up into
the sky. Soon it is very dark, and everyone begins to grow concerned that
Billy is very much lost. He claims innocence till they suddenly pass a tall
green highway sign, featuring several holes from a shotgun, that read, “Welcome
“Halloweentowne?” Billy frowns and tries to check the
map from his glovebox. “That doesn’t sound right.”
All around the poor missing car are dense woods and a
lonely stretch of highway. There are lights in the sky, one orange glow of
a town ahead of them, and a smoky red light in the woods behind them, like
that of a bonfire. And then they finally see taillights in front of them.
Just as Billy’s car approaches, there is a loud gunshot
that rings over the sounds of Hotel California. Then the taillights dim and
then disappear, whatever making them driving away to town. They approach
slowly, then Billy slams on the brakes, throwing everyone forward and killing
“There’s a guy in the road!” Billy yells. Immediately,
several people jump out to investigate and find a guy with scraggly hair
wearing a gray-green plaid shirt, laying facing away. As they come near,
he struggles into a sitting position and points a handgun at them all.
“Came back to finish me off?” he yells at them, while
holding his stomach from an obvious gun wound.
They eventually calm him and explain that they didn’t
shoot him. Once they tell him that they aren’t from Halloweentowne and are
just lost, he trusts them and explains everything that is going on. Soon
he loses consciousness, and they drive into town to find a hospital. Meanwhile,
Yuri and discuss the possibility of doppelgangers.
As they drive through the town, the gang sees a quiet
town with happy Halloween partying. Other things, however, seem strange.
Evil things prowl in the shadows. Yuri starts taking a lot of pictures with
the digital camera he brought to use at the party, which obviously will be
missed now. As they drive, Yuri asks about their tickets again, and they
all can’t find them, somehow disappeared from their pockets.
Suddenly something seems to grab the car from behind,
stopping it with a powerful grip. Billy starts panicking and flooring it,
but to no avail. It seems the darkness itself is attacking them. With quick
thinking, John shines a maglite back at it. With an unholy scream echoing
through the night air, it releases the car, and they peel away.
They soon arrive at the hospital, where ambulances seem
to be driving people in and leaving to find more. Paramedics barely notice
them as they carry Greg into the emergency room. Billy, meanwhile, checks
his car under the safety of the parking lot lights, finding huge handprints
and claw-marks dug deep into the metal shell of the car.
Inside, Greg is taken to emergency surgery while the Captain
listens to the nurses bemoaning the strange busyness of the night and goes
through Greg’s wallet and license. John meanwhile grabs a phonebook, stealing
the map inside. Yuri leaps onto the laptop he brought, storing his photographs
and looking for information in his electronic encyclopedia. Strangely, his
internet does not seem to work.
Bob wanders back to the surgery ward, seeing the doctors
finishing up on Greg. He walks in and steals Greg’s stuff, taking his many
protective charms, including a necklace containing every lucky symbol imaginable.
When the doctors ask him what’s he’s doing, he lies and says the nurses told
him to get his stuff (including a lot of hidden weapons). They believe him
and don’t care. Nice job Bob.
Back in the waiting room, everyone is sitting around until
they notice the lights in the parking lot popping their bulbs and going dark.
The living darkness marches across the lot toward the hospital, at last coming
to the edge of the window. And then a pause, followed by a horrible crashing
as something invisible bursts through the window. It grabs the Good Doctor,
a shadowy hand making visible impressions in his arm as it tries to drag
him out into the darkness. People hold him by the other arm, and a tug of
war begins for his life. They at last chase the arm away with a rune-covered
knife taken from Greg’s possessions.
John begins barricading the door and windows with chairs,
while Billy insists they should make a run for it. After a brief fight, Billy
dashes out into the parking lot, heading for his car. They watch him go,
doubting they’ll ever see him alive again. Soon, the darkness returns, breaking
through the barricade and dragging a paramedic out screaming into the night.
Fearing for their lives, John leads the way to the hospital’s
chapel. They pass a room with a horridly screaming possessed girl, whose
grandparents are sitting sadly in the chapel. They hold up there for a while,
hoping the chapel will keep them safe.
And then, suddenly, there’s a loud yell from down the
hallway. Greg’s voice shouts, “Hey, you guys!” They happily meet Greg, who
is well-bandaged, fairly messed up over the drugs, and wearing scrubs. They
run down the stairs (dude, it’s Halloween, don’t trust the elevator), hoping
to escape back to Greg’s house.
When they reach the waiting room, they find a horrid troll,
about 4 feet tall, very muscular, and screaming Norse profanities. Greg throws
a chair from the scattered remains of the barricade, knocking the tv off
of its place in the upper corner, and causing it to fall onto the troll’s
head, electrocuting and smashing him. Just to make sure, Bob caps the troll
in the head with a shot from the 9 mm he took from Greg’s stuff.
Greg leads them out to the lighted ambulance port and
hops into one. Everyone else follows him, and he flicks on the siren. Sirens
“We’re stealing an ambulance?” someone asks.
Greg replies, “Nah, I’m just going to borrow it. I’ll
bring it back tomorrow.”
After dodging past several shadows of monsters, Greg drives
the ambulance back to a quiet suburban neighborhood. Most houses are simple
split-level domiciles, but at the end of the street is a veritable fortress
with its windows boarded up and surrounded by a chain-link fence. Greg punches
a remote to deactivate the defenses and they enter the garage. As they go,
a large man in a trench coat with his right shoulder much larger than the
other across the street.
While at Greg’s house, the gang picks out some weapons
from his vault. He explains that the past couple of years had been rough
what with being raided by the police and locked up in an insane asylum. Not
too fazed by their crazy host, Yuri and Bob ask about magic items. Greg shows
them his basement, loaded with tons of locked lead boxes. Bob tries to open
a particularly sensitive box, but Greg stops him.
“This is what happens to people who screw around with,”
Greg tells Yuri, giving him an old journal. “I found it in a curio shop a
while ago. It was written by a guy who was here in the ‘20s. Went pretty
much completely crazy.”
Once they feel armed, Greg himself suits up, redoubles
his bandages, and sets out on his motorcycle into the night to make the year’s
income. The gang also sets out, driving the borrowed ambulance into the city,
hoping to find their doppelganger monsters and end the nightmare night.
They drive out randomly, searching the streets and seeing
various horrors. Staying in the ambulance, though, they seem safe enough
until strange lights appear above them. As freaky ‘50s sci-fi movie music
begins to play, the engine and every electrical device begins to shut down.
The lights come closer, a huge beam centered on the deadened ambulance.
With a scream, they all bail out into the street. John
runs further down the street, Yuri and the good doctor head into a nearby
alley, Captain hides near the entrance to a Pakistani diner, and Bob runs
up the street toward a department store. Seeing the ambulance abandoned,
the lights fly away. Coming out of their hiding places, John sees the horrid
red eyes of a thick-fingered mutant peaking up from a manhole. The Captain
meanwhile hears strange calls and dozens of huge yellow cat’s eyes staring
out from the half-opened door. Meanwhile, Yuri and the doctor dodge an alligator,
which soon scampers away.
Bob, however, has better luck. He calls to the others
and says, “The department store. Since we’re fighting doppelgangers, we could
change clothes and thus not get mixed up.”
With a gunshot breaking out the storefront window, the
gang makes it inside and heads across the dark floor for the clothing racks.
Bob heads for the camouflage, the doctor plans to find a new suit, and the
others spread out through the shadows of the darkened department store. As
Bob finds a new shirt, Yuri approaches him and says, “Bob?”
“What?” Bob asks.
And then the apparent Yuri shoots at him with a handgun
from the shadows, Bob barely dodging. John and the real Yuri look up at the
shot, and it becomes apparent that the doppelgangers are among them. Bob
and the Yuri-double fight, the good doctor fights himself, and various other
copies hop out of the shadows. It’s ludicrous, and somehow a lot of grenades
get thrown! The Captain, significantly wounded, leads the way out of the
door, only to find it guarded by a shadowy form.
“Uoy taht si, niatpac?” the doppelganger asks, waving
his machine gun. (They speak English backwards. Creepy, isn’t it? Well, I
find it creepy anyway.)
After a short firefight, the doppelganger is wounded and
retreats outside. They pursue them to find him jumping into a stolen bank
truck. After a defensive hail of bullets, the truck pulls away from the burning
building. As they watch it go, the good doctor joins them from inside the
He looks at them and suddenly shouts, “Yah!” Everyone
turns to see him stare with wide eyes, wholly black from pupil to iris to
cornea. Now that’s scary!
The doctor doppelganger pulls a grenade from under his
jacket, pulling the pin and holding the dead man’s switch. The gang holds
their guns at him, but, if they shoot him, they’ll be caught in the horrid
blast. And so, the doctor escapes into an alley and into the night. The real
doctor, unfortunately, was caught in the destruction. Sniff, sniff.
Meanwhile, a strange strip of flame marches down the street,
heading for the towering inferno of the former department store. The guys
stamp part of it out, finally leading it away so that it will not envelope
the power of such a fire. And so, wounded and scarred after the battle, the
gang head back to Greg’s house to recuperate. Along the way, they are chased
by a trio of werewolves on horseback wearing cowboy hats (easily shot by
John’s sliver 9mm).
The gang arrives back at Greg’s, seeing the same guy in
the trench coat watching them on the sidewalk. They decide they need bigger
weapons to punch through the armor in the bank truck and get the doppelgangers,
and, after finding a list of emergency numbers in one of the drawers at Greg’s
desk, they begin calling. This would be a humorous montage. So they talk
to Father O’Malley, Rabbi Krabowski, and many others, at last getting through
to the gruff Lt. Davis at the Halloweentowne National Guard Armory. Bingo.
So Captain, Yuri, and John head out in the ambulance across
town to the armory. Meanwhile, Bob stays behind to watch the place. He goes
down into the forbidden basement and finds the box he wanted to open earlier.
Inside, there is a pair of skull cufflinks that look up at him and start
talking. They promise to give him the strength and speed of ten men. Bob
accepts, clipping them onto his t-shirt’s sleeves.
While Bob dabbles in the possessed magics of Halloweentowne,
the others are nearly to the armory, but must pass by the Halloweentowne
City Zoo. Just before everything seems okay, they hear a horrific roar. And
then a small herd of dire elephants (with huge, multiple tusks and spikes
and all kinds of crazy stuff) crash through the gates and ram them. Eventually,
they scare the elephants away with grenades, though the ambulance has seen
They arrive at the armory to see it being destroyed by
a huge ‘40s style B-movie robot with lasers and huge crushing claws. The
national guard are fighting with desperate defense, but nothing can stop
it. The Captain drives the ambulance into the back of the armory, smashing
through a fence and coming to loading dock. While the Captain keeps the engine
running, Yuri and John dash into the armory to find heavy weapons. With the
building crumbling around them, they find a box marked ‘9-D Super Rifle’
or something really big and scary sounding.
As Yuri and John load the crate, a soldier hurries up
to Captain with a wounded soldier and calls out, “An ambulance! Finally,
some luck. Hurry, get Johnny out of here, he’s really taken a beating.”
The Captain feels pity, but says he can’t help. With the
weapon loaded, the gang drives off, leaving an angry and confused soldier
behind to face the approaching giant robot. They race across town, arriving
back at Greg’s house to find Bob sitting staring at the news of terror on
television amid dozens of opened lead boxes and various scary-looking stuff
While John and Captain ready the WWI-style anti-tank rifle,
Yuri goes into the house to get Bob. Bob sees him, stands, and quickly encourages
him to put on this possessed hat he found. His face is bizarre, and the cufflinks
on his sleeves seem to be yelling at him. Yuri is understandably disturbed.
After a tussle, Yuri runs to the garage, shouting to hurry
with the gun. John fires up the ambulance and open the door, hurriedly backing
out as Yuri follows. The Captain fires the rifle at Bob, blowing a huge hole
in his chest. Bob, however, simply smiles and keeps walking toward them.
And then, suddenly, the guy from across the street in a trench coat appears
at the opening door. He sheds his trench coat, revealing himself to be some
kind of disfigured cyborg guy with a giant right arm (thus explaining the
hunch shoulder). Thus, they are surrounded and pretty much screwed.
And then, John slams on the gas, backing over the cyborg,
who tears off the back doors. The ambulance flies out into the street, leaving
the robot-guy and Bob alone. Bob horridly begins eating the cyborg, quickly
swallowing him and absorbing his power. Then cyber-cufflink-power-Bob turns
on his friends, who have used the time to try to escape.
Just as they reach the end of the street, he catches them,
grabbing hold of the back of the ambulance. The Captain aims the rifle, shooting
him with an enormous point-blank shot, blasting him away from the ambulance
and tearing away the back bumper. He then turns to destroy them all, when
something catches his eye.
In the distance, a ’92 Lincoln Towncar appears, driven
slowly on a sputtering engine. The doors and roof are ripped off, plus plenty
of smoke pouring from the back. A frazzled Billy drives it, looking desperately
for a way out of the nightmare town.
“Billy!” Bob cries, his voice deep and half-cybernetic,
remembering his hatred for the guy who brought them here. His hulking mass
charges at Billy, who screams and tries to hide under the dash. Bob then
begins to eat him.
The gang takes this chance to fire some grenades, blowing
both of them up. Saddened by the loss of their buddies, the guys continue
on with their quest to destroy the doppelgangers.
John calls Greg on the radio, and he answers with the
guttural roar of a motorcycle engine in the background. He asks if Greg has
seen the truck, but the reply is negative. Greg furthermore mocks his suggestion
of finding them via astral projection. Anyway, John at last begins searching
for them all over the scanner, hearing a lot of screaming and doom. But then
he finds a police car calling in pursuit of an armored truck at the corner
of Grand and Main, and then the line goes suddenly silent.
With the Captain’s driving expertise or whatever, they
finally come upon the truck and begin a crazy car chase with tons of gunfire,
grenades, and at last a deafening boom of the heavy rifle, which punches
the engine block and kills the truck. Seeing their doom, the doppelgangers
make a sudden stop and abandon the bank truck, their shadows disappearing
over a fence. There are only three of them left: Anti-Yuri, Anti-Billy, and
The three stop the ambulance and back up, finding that
the doppelgangers ran into the Halloweentowne Cemetery. Arming themselves,
they begin pursuit. John uses his knowledge of the psychic connection between
them and the doppelgangers and cuts Yuri, causing Anti-Yuri to scream out
in pain and give away their position. The cry comes from the tall mausoleums
near the opposite corner of the cemetery. So, the gang heads after them.
As they cross into the center of the graveyard, there
is a horrible echoing thunderclap, followed by an equally terrible voice.
“Trespassers! You must be destroyed!” The sky suddenly fills with black bloody
clouds and bolts of lightning that strike the ground. Immediately, thousands
of death cries and gasps come from the graves, and zombies spill out of the
The gang fights against the zombies and doppelgangers
alike for a long time. Anti-Yuri dies in a grenade explosion, along with
Anti-Bob, and the psychological shock sends Yuri into shock. John stands
over him, fighting off the wretched, never-ending onslaught of zombies. The
Captain faces Anti-Billy, both severely wounded, and Anti-Billy wielding
a gun at point-blank range. Anti-Billy readies his weapon, smiles with his
black eyes sharp, and aims squarely at Captain.
Suddenly there is a crack from a rifle, and Anti-Billy
drops his handgun. The three look up to see a guy in a leather jacket by
a motorcycle holding a sniper rifle at his shoulder. Greg makes one final
wave as the zombies and graveyard disappears around them. They find themselves
in the gravel parking lot outside of a haunted house / college party, bleeding
and lucky to be alive. People turn to see them after they appeared and quickly
cries go out to call 911.
Thus the nightmare ended. The Captain completed his studies
and became a professor, using Halloweentowne experiences to shed new philosophical
light on the possibility of alternate dimensions, though never telling anyone
about it. John, too, completed his mechanical studies, and lived on as an
average mechanic who had a penchant for getting really drunk around the end
of October every year.
And Yuri Romov became an ecstatic, though unrecognized,
paranormal investigator. However, all of the digital photographs and recordings
he made that lurid night were disfigured and corrupted. Nothing at all is
decipherable, except for a scraggly-haired guy holding blurry leaden boxes,
someone matching missing persons descriptions from years ago…