Cthulhu loves me,
This I know,
For the High Priests tell me so.
He won’t eat me,
No not yet.
He’s our lord,
All dank and wet.
Author unknown…possibly insane!
Shannon and Sally bickered gently as they walked steadily up slope from the lake.
“So,” Asked Shannon, “What’s so all fired important about finding bears?”
“Look I like bears!” Replied Sally as she stepped between the trees, “Is that so unusual?”
“That depends,” Shannon stopped for a moment to drink from her canteen, “If this is some sort of perverted fetish, then yes it is unusual.”
“Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to dress up in a bear suit and have you chase me as I run naked through the forest!” Sally explained.
“Oh good,” Shannon replied straight faced, “Glad about that.”
“Look,” Continued Sally, “I’ve always been interested in bears ever since I was a little girl…”
“That would explain all the toy bears in your bedroom.” Interrupted Shannon.
“Yeah right,” Sally agreed, “Miss Willow came to me to ask how she should make Rupert behave an’ such. I’ve read and watched everything I could find on bears but I’ve never seen one outside of a zoo.”
“So now you thought you’d drag one of your sisters on a trek through the woods to be eaten by bears.”
“Shows how much you know,” Said Sally hautily, “If you get attacked by a Black Bear you can distract them with an apple!” Then more quietly, “If it’s a Grizzly that’s a different matter…but hey we’re Slayers! One bear, two Slayers, no contest.”
“Yeah,” Granted Shannon, “The bear wins every time! I’m sure Miss Willow an’ Miss Kennedy will cry buckets over our graves…If there’s enough left to bury!”
“Oh ye of little faith.” Muttered Sally as they tramped further into the forest.
He watched them from behind a tree as the Paleface girls walked further into his forest. He would lure them on until they were hopelessly lost and then he would strike!
Sally stopped and spun around scanning the trees.
“What’s wrong?” Asked Shannon coming to a halt and following Sally’s gaze.
“Don’t know,” Replied Sally relaxing a little, “Thought I felt something out there.”
“Not bears was it?”
“No not bears,” Sally slipped her pack from her shoulders, “Something…something jealous? Didn’t you feel it?”
“Sorry no, I was too busy thinking about being eaten by bears.”
Sally opened her pack and pulled out her axe.
“D’you think that’s really necessary?” Asked Shannon.
Sally nodded her head and Shannon pulled off her pack and pulled out her short swords, they turned and continued their search for bears.
“You can always tell the Slayers on a nature ramble,” Announced Shannon with grave yard humour, “They’re the ones armed to the teeth.
As soon as they drove up to the cabin they knew something was wrong. They had left Rupert the Bearbot sunning himself in a deck chair on the jetty with Sylvester curled up next to him. Now they were nowhere to be seen.
“Okay,” Said Willow, “What’s gone wrong here?”
“Maybe they got bored.” Suggested Kennedy as the car pulled to a halt.
“Bearbots can’t get bored,” Explained Willow, “Sylvester yeah I can see him wandering off. But he’d come bounding out to greet us as soon as we got home.”
“While pretending not to be too pleased to see us of course.” Added Kennedy with a smile.
Willow started to get out of the car.
“Where’re you going?” Kennedy wanted to know.
“I’m going to investigate.”
“Oh no you’re not!” Ken ordered.
“Well you can’t go and we can’t sit here all day.” Explained Willow.
“We could call the police or wait for the girls to get home.”
Willow looked at her partner and pinched her.
“OW!” Cried Kennedy rubbing at her arm, “What was that for?”
“Just checking,” Smirked Willow, “Um, call the police? Is this a Slayer I see before me?”
“Sorry the whole weird statue thing must have got to me more than I thought.” Kennedy admitted.
“Look I’m going in.” Declared Willow getting out of the car, “Mega Witch talking here!”
“Then I’m going with!” Announced Kennedy squeezing out of her door, “A pregnant Slayer is better than no Slayer.”
Both women looked down to see Tara scramble out of the car to join them.
“NO!” They said together.
Tina and Alice loaded everything they had brought back into the boat and pushed it out into the lake. While Tina bent over the outboard motor trying to get it started; Alice searched through the weapons bag and pulled out the box containing her new Wakizashi. Taking the sword from its box she turned to Tina.
“You better get yours out.”
“Yeah,” Said Alice, “There’s something…cold nearby.”
“Cold?” Queried Tina.
“Yeah ‘cold’…I can’t explain.
Just then the motor burst into life at Tina’s urging and they started for home at an exhilarating five miles an hour. Alice took control of the boat while Tina grabbed her own Wakizashi from the bag.
“Not using ol’ faithful?” Asked Alice referring to Tina’s Katana.
“Too big if we’re attacked while we’re on the boat.” She explained, Alice nodded her head in understanding.
Just then Tina’s Spider Sense started to scream at her, ‘DANGER! DANGER!’ It yelled almost blocking out her ability for rational thought. She looked over at Alice who was obviously feeling something herself; the two young Slayers watched the surface of the lake.
It was Tina who saw it first, something just under the water heading like a torpedo directly for them.
“Look!” She said pointing at the disturbance in the water.
“And there!” Alice gestured towards another wake.
Wakizashi’s whispered from their sheaths. Suddenly the boat was pushed off course as a grey-green hand grabbed hold of the gunnel. Alice swung her sword and cut through the creature’s wrist. The hand fell lifelessly into the boat as the water turned red around them. Two hands grabbed the stern of the boat and a large frog-like head appeared out of the water. It opened it’s mouth and made a sound like an old boiler bubbling.
Tina turned to confront this new menace, the monster seemed to be either trying to climb into the boat or capsize them. Taking a firm grip on her sword she rammed the blade into the creature’s open mouth and watched in satisfaction as it came out the back of the vile monster’s head. Its already cold black eyes went completely lifeless as it slipped back beneath the water.
The boat left the patch of blood stained water behind it as they ‘sped’ towards safety.
“You think that’s it?” Asked Alice wide eyed.
“Maybe.” Replied Tina unconvinced.
Just then a spearhead appeared through the bottom of the boat and water started to pour in.
Willow peeped in through the back door. They had found it open as they had walked around the cabin looking in through the windows, so far they had found nothing.
“Anything?” Whispered Kennedy from behind her.
“No.” Replied Willow, “We’ll have to go in.” She looked at Kennedy, “You ready?”
Kennedy nodded her head, and Willow looked down at her daughter.
“An’ you keep a tight hold on your Ma’Ken’s hand.”
Tara nodded her head with that really serious look on her face that small children can make. She put her finger to her lips.
“SSSSSSSSSSSH!” She hissed loudly.
Willow nearly had kittens. When her heart had stopped hammering in her chest she led the way into the kitchen. Nothing seemed to be out of place, she turned at the sound of a drawer opening, to see Kennedy retrieve a carving knife and brandish it in her hand.
“This way.” Said Willow walking quietly out into the family room.
“THIS WAY!” Called Tara trying to drag Kennedy into the family room after her mom.
Willow recovered quickly from her second heart attack and knelt down in front of Tara, she took the child by the shoulders.
“Please sweetie,” She begged, “Be quiet, like a little mouse, for mommy.”
Again Tara nodded her head and wondered at the strange games that adults played. Willow headed towards the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. Kennedy felt her skin begin to tingle as Willow built up a charge of magic. Slowly they started to climb the stairs, and then came to a sudden stop as one of the wooden steps protested at being trodden apon.
By the time they were half way up the stairs they could hear a low growling, yowling noise coming from one of the bedrooms. The trio flattened themselves against the wall outside the room. On a signal they burst into the room, Willow with a glowing energy ball in her hand, Kennedy with her carving knife held above her head ready to bring it slashing down on whatever monster lurked in the room. Tara held on tightly to her Ma’Ken with one hand while she clutched her favourite rag doll Slayer in the other.
“PLEASE MA’AM,” Begged the red haired youths cowering in the corner of the room, “Call off your cat!”
Alice grabbed hold of the spear shaft and pulled with all her strength. The spear came away easily and she threw it overboard. Tina grabbed a lifejacket from the bottom of the boat and lept onto the hole trying to staunch the leak with the jacket. Alice recovering from hauling the spear out of the hands of whatever had thrust it through the hull turned to see a frog like head appear over the bow.
She gathered up her sword as the lake-monster; that was either trying to climb aboard or force the bow underwater; struggled to get out of the water. She slashed at the beast’s head and cut through it’s neck. The head fell back still attached by a thin strip of skin and sinew to its body. Warm, bright red blood sprayed over the boat and its passengers.
“ALY!” Cried Tina from the bottom of the boat, “Steer!”
With no one at the motor the boat had started to describe a large circle in the water. Alice clambered over Tina and grabbed hold of the outboard and brought them back on course for the cabin. Tina used her sword to cut up bits of lifejacket and then stuffed them into the hole made by the spear. When she had reduced the leak to a mere trickle she started to bale using a plastic mug from their picnic basket.
Shannon and Sally stood back to back in the small clearing near the top of the ridgeline above the lake. They eyed the trees and bushes warily as they gripped their weapons.
“So not bears.” Said Sally, she turned to face the sound of something moving through trees.
“Let’s go home.” Suggested Shannon.
“Which way?” Asked Sally.
“Down of course.”
“Which down?” Pointed out Sally, “Can you remember which way we came up?”
“Now you mention it…no!” Exclaimed Shannon, “I can’t see the lake from here…too many trees. Maybe if we climb a tree we can get our bearing?”
“Yeah, right let’s do that,” Agreed Sally, “What’s that?”
Shannon listened carefully.
“Water,” She said, “Water flows downwards, find the stream and follow it to the lake?” She suggested.
“Okay,” Said Sally, “This way!”
Bokwus, the Forest Spirit, chuckled softly to himself as the Paleface girls walked deeper into the trees and became hopelessly lost.
There was something about the pregnant lady with the carving knife that made the Van Damme boys very nervous. That and the robot bear and its long sharp looking teeth and claws; and not forgetting the huge black and white cat that still snarled at them from across the room.
“Alright Sylvester,” Called Willow as she walked over to the cat, “Everything’s okay now.”
She bent down and stroked Sylvester behind the ears, this seemed to calm the cat and he went and sat down by Tara.
“Okay you two,” Willow looked at the two youths who stood dejectedly in the middle of the family room, “What the heck were you doing in the bedrooms?”
“Ma’ told us to do some repairs.” Claimed Cletus, Billy-Bob nodded his head in agreement.
“LIARS!” Called Kennedy flicking the knife from one hand to the other.
“Yeah,” Agreed Willow, “Shall I zap ‘em with a Truth Spell or do you want to cut a few fingers off ‘em, honey?”
Kennedy raised her knife and took a step towards the boys.
“NO!” Screamed Billy-Bob backing away from the knife wielding pregnant maniac.
“Truth spell?” Asked Cletus trying to hold on to his dignity and courage.
“Okay truth spell it is!” Willow gestured with her hand making the sign for the spell; there was a sound like little silver bells jingling.
“Right then,” Demanded Willow crossing her arms over her chest, “What were you up to?”
“We were installing web-cams in all the bedrooms and bathrooms so we could spy on you and put it on the web.” Said Cletus as he tried to stuff his hand into his mouth to stop himself from talking.
“Perverts!” Snarled Kennedy.
“Yuck!” Agreed Willow, “What shall we do with you?”
“The very worse thing you could do,” Announced a terrified Billy-Bob, “Would be to call the Sheriff and hand us over to him. Unless you intend to kill us and dump us in the lake. In which case if you drop us in at Bear Point the chances are no one will ever find our bodies!”
The brothers exchanged horrified looks.
“Tempting.” Commented Kennedy.
There was a loud ‘THUNK!’ from the direction of the jetty. Moment’s later Alice ran into the room still clutching her sword in one hand and in the other the head of a ‘Frog-Man’. She was covered in blood and only wearing her bikini briefs. The two boys starred at her for a moment before Billy-Bob fainted clean away.
“Teens hurt!” Cried Alice tears making tracks down her blood streaked face.
Willow exchanged glances with Kennedy and then rushed out to the jetty followed by Alice.
“This is silly,” Announced Shannon as she sat down on an old tree stump, “We should have found that stream by now.”
“Yeah,” Agreed Sally sitting beside her friend and watching the trees for movement, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“That there’s no stream and that we’re being deliberately led further into the forest for some nefarious purpose?” Suggested Shannon.
“Yeah,” Agreed Sally, “What’s ‘nefarious’ mean?”
“Never mind.” Said Shannon as she pointed back the way they had come, “Let’s go this way, and this time we mark the trees so we don’t get turned round.”
“Right!” Said Sally springing to her feet glad to have a plan to follow, “An’ we’ll ignore that nasty water sound. Talking of which I need to pee!”
Shannon rolled her eyes and gave Sally an exasperated look. Sally ignored her friend and walked off and disappeared behind a tree. Pulling down her jeans she squatted to pee. “Why is it,” She wondered aloud, “That the heroes on TV shows never need to pee?”
Sally stood up and pulled up her jeans, picking up her axe she walked around the tree to find herself alone!
“SHANNON!” She yelled, there was no reply, “Darn and heck and oh crap!” She muttered angrily.
“SALLY!” Called Shannon, there was no answer. “Where the hel-heck has she gone?” She asked herself.
Shannon walked over and stood where Sally had stood only minutes before, studying the ground she followed the marks left in the forest litter by Sally’s passing, they faded out after a few paces. Shannon looked behind the tree that she had seen Sally go behind, there was not a sign of her, she gripped her swords tighter. At a noise from behind her she turned to confront the creature that stood half a dozen yards from her, she brought her swords up into attack position.
“What the hell are you?” She demanded taking a step towards the creature.
“I am Bokwus, Spirit of the Forest paleface.” Replied the creature in a voice that reminded Shannon of those really cheesy ‘Red-Indian’ accents that you got on old westerns.
The creature itself about six feet tall; it had long light brown silky fur a wide face with big sad eyes and a large mouth full of big sharp teeth. It kind of reminded Shannon of the Monster character on Sesame Street or was it The Muppets? The creature took a step towards Shannon and raised it’s arms to reveal long sharp looking claws on the end of it’s fingers.
“Now just a cotton-pickin’ minute,” Said Shannon not too sure where the ‘cotton-pickin’’ had come from, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
“You are a stupid paleface girl who desecrates the forest like all palefaces.” Replied Bokwus stepping closer to Shannon.
“What’s with the ‘paleface’ thing?” Replied Shannon as she started to circle the Spirit, “That sounds like ‘racial profiling’ to me,” Bokwus stopped and looked puzzled his head tilted to one side, “Yeah that’s right,” Explained Shannon as she continued to circle the creature, “See a ‘paleface’ so you assume she’s out to desecrate the forest!”
Bokwus growled and made a lunge at Shannon who deftly skipped out of the creature’s reach. Bokwus growled and charged, passing her by before coming to a stop and turning to face her again. Shannon was not impressed, Bokwus moved slower than a vamp, he looked strong but she had the feeling he was not used to people fighting back.
“Okay here’s the deal,” Announced Shannon, “I’m Shannon the Vampire Slayer, and if you tell me where my friend is we’ll go home and never enter your darn forest again. Or you can die, it’s up to you.”
“I cannot die!” Cried Bokwus drawing himself up to his full height, “I am eternal like the forest!”
“An’ I’m a lumberjack!” Sighed Shannon going into a combat crouch.
Bokwus launched himself at Shannon, who met him with her whirling blades. Shannon chopped into the Forest Spirit sending bits of arm flying through the air and blood spraying over the trees and ground. Bokwus screamed in pain and surprise and tried to back away from the terrifying paleface and her flashing blades. Shannon pressed her attack, hacking at the creature’s head and body forcing him to his knees. She raised her sword for the killing thrust.
“Tell me where my friend is and you can live!”
“Never!” Replied Bokwus.
Shannon rammed her sword into the creature’s throat only to see him vanish before her very eyes. She heard something behind her and turned to confront whatever it was only to see Sally step from behind a tree. Sally studied her friend for a moment; she noted the blooded swords and the splashes of blood all over Shannon’s clothes. She took in the signs of a fight on the forest floor.
“Okay,” Sally began, “What’s goin’ on? I go behind a tree for a pee an’ you slay something! What gives with you?”