Thursday, December 6, 2018

Halloween Hijinks

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Feeling worn out after finals, the gang met up at the annual Greek Street Halloween Party, an all-out attempt by the various greek societies along Green Street to attract new pledges and be recognized as obviously superior party-throwers.

Prior to the arrival of the group, one frat got into some Halloween trouble...

Though the houses vary in quality, one of the worst houses is Beta Zeta Theta, dedicated to athletics and the betterment of physical skill - or in the case of most of those living there, the quickest way to get expelled.

Mikey Oldsen and his buddy, Steve Greeno, went looking for Halloween decorations at a resale store. They found a bunch of old junk, plus an old skull in a glass box. Steve was a little freaked out by it, but Mikey had a brilliant idea, and decided to use it to play a prank on a fellow BTZ member. Halloween night, the two decorated a table in the backyard with the plastic bones, spiders, occult symbols, and the skull. They claimed they had discovered a "magic ritual" that would allow them to transfer the knowledge of a book into their very minds. Wary but willing members of BZT joined them, and while Steve spouted his magic incantations, Mikey pretended to drink himself under the table. At the conclusion of the ritual, Steve shattered the skull-box on the ground next to Mikey, who suddenly "rose" from the ground, having applied some hasty (though believable) zombie makeup, and began wandering around, moaning, "Bros..." Their buddies freaked out, and a good time was had by all. Zombie-Mikey then collapsed for real, and his laughing buddies carried him to the frat-house couch for him to sleep off his booze.

Meanwhile, the group arrived. Alistair was dressed as William Wallace (the movie version, with a kilt); Michele Kuhns, Alistair's new girlfriend, was dressed as Bible Girl, the sidekick of the cheesy 90s "superhero" Bible Man, and Toby was dressed as Polycarp (not, you're thinking Magicarp, I mean Polycarp). Will arrived later, dressed as a generic college student.

A few minutes later, the group heard a scream, and rushed to figure out what was going on. They found a young woman holding her arm; they probed the gathered crowd for answers, and eventually asked the girl outright what had happened. Someone in zombie makeup had jumped out from a bush and bit her arm! A thorough investigation of the bush in question resulted in a few footprints and a shred of what turned out to be rubber zombie-skin from a mask.

Michele demanded to know why Alistair was snooping in a bush, and if there was another girl involved. Alistair managed to talk his way out... this time.

Scouring the street for more information, the party found Steve, sitting on the side of the road and cradling his arm, muttering, "What did I do? What did I do?"

He spilled the whole story of his buddy Mikey, adding that Mikey had attacked him. He lead the group back to the table. After a cursory glance, the party left in search of Mikey again. This time, they found him, prowling in the bushes. Toby, eager to bring down the menace, hefted the nine-iron he found in a golf bag, and took a swing at the zombie from behind. While it connected, it didn't do much damage. Alistair fired a rock from his slingshot, and Michele planted herself between Alistair and Mikey, taking her role of the shield-toting Bible Girl seriously. Will jogged over to Toby's side, attempting to fend off any blows his friend might take.

Mikey turned and took a swing at Toby; Toby swung back. At one point, Mikey managed to land a punch on Will, who moaned that he hit like a truck! Toby took a batter's stance and swung for the back fence. The golf club clipped Mikey's shoulder and glanced off the side of his head; Mikey dropped like a sack of potatoes.

Toby and Will hauled the unconscious Mikey to his frat house, where a grateful Steve pointed to a well-used sofa. Congratulating themselves on a job well done, the party returned to the festivities.

Thursday, Nov. 1

The next day, Alistair caught sight of Mikey in the hallway, exiting an early Advanced Physics class. He caught up and asked how he was feeling; Mikey seemed not to recognize him, though oddly, seemed none the worse for wear after his drinking and head wound. He didn't even have a bruise...

After classes, Alistair and Toby visited BZT again, and went through the junk used in the "ritual". While most of it was cheap dollar-store props, the skull on the ground seemed remarkably realistic. Toby carefully lifted it up with a plastic bag found under the table.

Alistair took it to GlenMac, who seemed very interested in the whole ordeal, but was unfortunately late to a long-running class, and couldn't help out. He suggested that it was unlikely the skull would injure on touch, as a plastic bag wouldn't protect from an airborne contagion or similar.

The group poked and probed the skull, attempting to uncover any secrets it may contain. The skull was hollowed out, and seemed to be covered in tiny holes, rendering it light as a feather. Toby, shining his phone flashlight into it, caught sight of some old writing; eventually, Alistair thought to grab a blacklight, and the text was revealed:

Mortuo homine comedit omnem animam viventem, mors venit cito. Cave! Mors venit!

Toby quickly ran it through Google Translate, and came up with the following text:

"When a wicked man hath devoured every living creature, death comes quickly. Beware! Death is coming!"

Ominous indeed! More research netted a match for the text.

In the 1700s, a group of monks lived on an island, north of England. One summer, monks bringing supplies to the island found the other monks entirely gone; nothing remained but a skeleton. Written on the ground was the warning, translated to: "bodies were consumed... death inside... I'm already dead..."

The monks, terrified, assumed that one of the monks had died, risen as an undead, and eaten the others, before falling again to death, leaving only his skeleton. They buried the bones, blessing them with holy water, and took the skull back to have it further blessed. The warning was written on the skull, and it moved from place to place, eventually being stored in a glass box, and kept in a collection in Longview.

All seemed to be going well, until that evening at supper. Will saw Sarah, the girl who had been bitten, and realized she didn't look too well - pale and shaky. Her friends were discussing taking her to the ER across the street, and eventually helper her up. Will, nudged by his friends, walked over and asked how she was doing. Her friends told him that she hadn't been feeling well, and they were going to driver her to the ER. Sarah looked up from the floor and stared at Will. She muttered, "Bros...", then her friends lead her away.

Across the street, Will caught sight of Mikey, again in his zombie makeup. He alerted the others, and they crossed the street. Mikey charged out of the trees; once again, Michele planter herself in front of her boyfriend, yelling, "Leave him alone! He's foreign!"

Without the aid of a set of golf clubs, Will and Toby decided to grapple Mikey, grabbing his arms and legs and hoisting him off the ground. Alistair tried to thump him with his slingshot, and even Michele joined in at one point, kicking him ineffectively. While Will and Toby managed to keep him restrained, he thrashed and kicked, once almost biting Will. After a minute of fighting, the campus police showed up. Alistair, thinking quickly, yelled something about ponding him; the officers asked them to put him down, and the moment Mikey's feet hit the ground, he bolted. The police asked a few questions, then left.

Thinking about it, those who had tried to fight Mikey realized his makeup seemed a lot more firmly attached this time... and he was tougher, too.

Did the skull turn Mikey into a real zombie? Why did he seem so normal during the day? What really happened on that island, long ago? Just how cracked is Michele, really? Will Mikey-Zombie return? Will Sarah be ok? Learn all this and more, assuming the group solves the mystery!

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