by Johnny Foxx
Basically this is Jumanji with monsters instead of jungle creatures. Sounds fun, right?
|[Introduction] Lately I've been on a bit of a nostalgia kick, more specifically for movies I used to watch a lot as a kid. One such movie was the original Jumanji. Then I thought, what if instead of African animals, it was mythological creatures that appeared from the game in real life? Thus, this story. Anybody who wishes to join in is more than welcome. Just let me know and I'll send you an invite. Hope you enjoy the story!|
|100 Years Ago...|
On a dark summer night, deep in a fog shrouded forrest, two brothers, ages 14 and 10, tredge through the pitch black with only a lantern to light their way. Each of them carries a handle attached to either side of a wooden chest, like paulbearers at a funeral. The younger of the two brothers carries two shovels slung over his shoulder, almost like a soldier and his rifle. The deep, dark wood might seem foreboding, even downright terrifying to most people, but after what these two young boys have been through, it's no worse than a stroll in the local park for them.
Finally, they come to a stop. "Here should be far enough." Says the older brother. They set the chest and lantern down and begin to dig. Whatever it is they're burying, they make sure to dig deep, lest some poor, unfortunate soul should discover it. As they lower the chest into the freshly dug pit, the younger one asks "What if someone finds it?" The elder brother just gave him a deathly serious stare before replying "May God be with them."
As they prepare to fill in the hole, the edge of the pit crumbles beneath the younger brother's feet, causing him to slide into the hole. He manages to grab onto an exposed root, his feet dangling about a foot above the wooden chest. Suddenly, seemingly from all around, a low, feral growl seemed to echo through the air, followed by what sounded like a pack of howling wolves, and an ungodly roar of some terrible beast.
"Help!" Cried the boy "It's pulling me in!" The noises grew louder as the eldest quickly helped lift his brother from the hole, only to fade just as suddenly once he was back on firm ground. "Come on, it's almost over." Moving as fast as they possibly could, they buried the chest in the cold, dark earth, and made their way back home. To their dying days, they never spoke of what was in that chest to anyone, not even each other. But they never forgot the sheer horror and trauma of what it put them through.
Jason was on his way home from school, and decided to take a shortcut through the park. As he made his way across the lush green grass and past the scenic flowerbeds, he started to think about the events of that particular day. By some miracle, he had finally built up the courage to ask his crush, Sally, out on a date. To his utter delight, she had said yes! He couldn't help but think that this had been the happiest day of his life thus far. Little did he realize, it was about to become the most horrifying. As he approached the center of the park, he thought he could hear a strange noise, like a muffled growling coming from a nearby cluster of trees...
|(Seriously, a 500 character minimum? Some folks don't like writing that long, especially when tired or short on time.)|
"Might be a good idea to tell the groundskeepers about that noise," he muttered. "Might be a fox or something." He kept walking, avoiding the growling area.
Soon enough, he got to the fast food place that he was meeting his girlfriend at.
Sally came in, and sat at the booth with him. "So, what's the plan? Dinner and a movie at the theater?"
"Well, that's what I can afford," said Jason.
"Sounds alright to me," said Sally.
"By the way, your uncle works at the park, right?" Jason asked.
"Mind telling him that there seems to be some sort of animal growling in the trees in the center of the place?" Jason asked. "I'm not sure what it was."
"I'll mention it to him," said Sally. "He says it's spooky there at night."
|(I hadn't thought of that. I'll take off the limit, then. But honestly, it didn't seem like that much to me.) |
After enjoying their meals, the new couple made their way to the local movie theater. Being a gentleman, Jason let Sally choose what film they would see. The movie they ended up seeing was nearly three hours long, so by the time it was over it was dark outside. Fortunately, Jason kept a small flashlight in his jacket pocket for such occasions. They had agreed to hang around with each other a while longer after the movie at Jason's house, before bidding each other goodnight. Both Jason and Sally's parents were currently out of town, so they figured they wouldn't need to ask permission.
As they walked down the empty streets, chatting back and forth about various topics, they came to the park Jason had cut through that afternoon. "Feel like taking a shortcut?" Jason asked. Sally hesitated. "I don't know, like I said, my uncle tells me it gets awfully creepy in the park at night." Jason chuckled, holding out his hand and saying in an exagerated British accent "Fear not, M'lady, I shall protect you." Sally giggled. Hand in hand, they walked through the now darkened park. Jason silently admitted to himself that Sally hadn't been joking. It really was creepy here, as his flashlight illuminated the trees and their twisting, leafless branches. But he wasn't too worried, thinking the worst thing they could encounter was a raccoon or a stray pet. Oh, how dreadfully wrong he would soon learn he was.
As they approached the center of the park once more, again Jason heard that same growling sound coming from the trees. "There it is." He said as he came to a halt. "Let's just go." Said Sally "Whatever it is, it doesn't sound friendly." But suddenly, Jason was overcome by a strange feeling, like an uncontrollable urge to see where the noise was coming from. He headed towards the cluster of trees, with Sally following him, not wanting to be left alone in the dark. "What are you doing? Let's just get out of here." But Jason didn't respond, his eyes were almost glassy, like he was in a trance.
Meanwhile, the sound started to grow louder as it was joined by echoes of monstrous roars. When Jason finally stopped walking, he got down on his knees, set his flashlight aside and began to dig his fingers into the ground in front of him. "Jason! What are you doing!?" Sally tried and repeatedly failed to get her boyfriend's attention. He just wouldn't stop digging! After several minutes, Jason had dug a deep hole with his bare hands. Sally could only stand there in disbelief at what she was seeing, before Jason finally heaved a wooden chest out onto the surface and climbed out of the pit.
Once he was on solid ground again, he finally regained his senses. "What? Where are we?" He said confusedly. "We're still in the park. What was with all that?" Sally said, pointing to the hole in the ground and the chest that had been at the bottom of it. "How did you even know that was down there?" Jason could only stare dumbfounded at what was apparently his handiwork. Sally picked up the flashlight and shined it at the chest. It was clearly very old, judging by the decaying wood and rusty remnants of what must have been a lock.
"What do you think is in it?" Jason didn't answer. Instead he just now noticed that the growling and roars had stopped, and the only noise now was the distant chirping of crickets. Sally bent down and hesitantly opened the chest. The rusty hinges creaked loudly and the lock practically disintegrated at her touch as the lid rose and they both looked inside. Sitting at the bottom of the chest was a large rectangular piece of polished black wood. Carved into the surface of it in red gothic style letters was one word.
"What is it?" Asked Sally. "Looks like some kind of box." Said Jason. "Let's just get to your place, we've already been out here too long as it is." Tucking the object under his arm, Jason took Sally by the hand and lead her to his home. Once there, they laid the box on the dining room table and noticed it had hinges. The box opened up like a pair of cabinet doors, revealing what could only be described as a boardgame inside, with multiple twisting pathways all leading to the center of the board where a small glass dome sat full of some strange black fluid, like a magic eight-ball. "Who buries a boardgame in the ground?" Said Sally curiously as Jason read the inscription on the left side of the game's bored.
"Monstrossica, a game for those who wish to quest, to put their courage and mettle to the test. Roll the dice and read your clue, but beware of what may come for you. What appears cannot be undone, until a single player has won. Reach the center of the game, and end it by calling out its name."
"What does that all mean?" Said Sally confused. Jason just shrugged as he noticed a small compartment in the upper corner of the board. He opened it to find a pair of dice, and four intricately carved obsidian game pieces. Each piece was shaped like a mythical creature. A dragon, a werewolf, a gryphon and a sphinx. Suddenly, the dragon and werewolf, as though by their own will, quickly flew from the compartment and to the starting point on the board.
Both Jason and Sally's eyes bulged at what they had just seen. Sally tried to pick up the pieces, but they were stuck fast to where they landed. "Magnets, maybe?" Jason said "It must be." Jason picked up the dice to examine them, when suddenly the doorbell rang, startling them and causing Jason to drop the dice. He got up to answer the door, not noticing that the dragon piece had moved five spaces across the board, and inside the center dome, words began to form.
Jason opened the door to find it was his friend from school, Rob and his girlfriend Tess. "Hey, Jason! Sorry to bother you, but my car just happened to run out of gas down the road, and both our phones are dead. Would it be alright if we used yours?" Before Jason could answer, Sally called him back inside. "What's wrong?" Sally pointed to the center of the board, which now read: Her teeth are sharp, she howls at the moon. You'd better run, or face your doom.
Rob and Tess had followed Jason inside. "What's going on? You guys playing a game or something?" Just then, a loud, high pitched howl echoed from outside. "That's weird." Said Tess "I didn't think there were coyotes around here."
"There isn't." Said Jason, when suddenly...
|The lights went out, the wind blew the doors open, and windows opened and shut rapidly, as did the cupboards, and then the doors inside the place began opening and closing, as lightning flashed and thunder roared.|
"A little over-dramatic with the effects E.P.!" called out a female voice. "Lights on!"
When the lights came on, there was clearly a werewolf in a dress, one of the sort that would be seen as scandalous in the 1920's. They walked over to the game, and looked at the words. "A lot of ambiguity and gray area in this phrase."
"What are you talking about?" Jason asked.
The werewolf looked at him. "It was your piece that summoned me here. These words affect you. Likewise, the words anyone else gets, also affects them."
Jason gulped. "How do they affect me?"
"Depends on how I decide to interpret them," the werewolf said. "By the way, the name's Violet."
"Nice to meet you," said Violet. She tapped on the words. "There's plenty of ways I can read this as. How is up to me. I could be friendly, yet annoying, or all the way to a beast that will eat you."
Jason looked at the words. "Says you'll be my doom?"
"Depends on how you quantify doom," said Violet. "I could destroy your homework, which would get you caned, or whatever your school uses as punishment - that's a type of doom, as you miss out on fun events with your friends. Or, I can try and eat you up like a nice piece of ham - that's a type of doom too."
Jason gulped. "That last one would kill me."
Violet chuckled. "Against the rules for me to kill you, same with anyone else whom you summon. We just make things, difficult."
"I'm pretty certain being eaten would kill me," said Jason.
"No, but the trick would be getting out of my stomach," said Violet. "There's four ways to do that - up, down, knife, and magic - all of which come with their own issues."
"So, how do you read this?" Jason asked, looking at the words.
"Since you seem like a decent kid, I'll start with being annoying and mischievous," said Violet. "Also, since you're mine, I'll help you out of any jams, for a price."
"What kind of price?" Jason asked.
Violet grinned. "That's for me to decide."
|Rob and Tess, who had just been staring in stunned silence since Violet arrived, suddenly spoke up. "Wait wait wait, hold on a minute!" Rob interjected "You're telling us you came from inside this boardgame?" Violet nodded "Exactly. You should all be thankful I was the first one to be summoned. There's a lot of other monsters in there too, many of which are not very friendly towards humans." |
"So the more we play this game, the more monsters will appear and potentially cause trouble for us?" Sally asked. "Bingo." Said Violet. "What if we just stop playing all together right now?" Said Jason, and Violet chuckled "Then you'd be stuck with me forever. Didn't you read the instructions? The only way to get rid of whatever comes out of the game is to finish the game itself. Personally, I don't much care either way. It's been ages since I was out of there last, so I'm fine with hanging out in this world for a while."
All four teens looked at each other in silence for several moments before Tess spoke up "So, if we play too, and something dangerous comes out of the game, what then?" Violet smirked "I might be able to help, depending on what it is that appears. For a price as I said. But if all four of you play at once, the better chance you have of finishing the game quickly and sending everything back before your families come home. I seriously doubt you want to explain to your folks why there's a werewolf in your house, am I right?"
She did have a point. Jason and Sally looked to Rob and Tess, who looked at each other and shrugged. "This all seems like some crazy dream." Said Rob "But I guess we're in." Taking a seat at the table, they picked the gryphon and sphinx pieces up, and placed them on the starting point. "I went first, so I guess it's Sally's turn." Said Jason. Sally rolled the dice which came up seven. Her piece moved seven spaces along the board, and the center dome displayed the words: Through the air he moves unseen, something from a ghastly dream. You'd better find yourself a priest, for no other mortals can harm the deceased."
Immediately after Sally finished reading the clue, the table began to violently shake before lifting off the ground and levitating in the air. "What's going on?" Said Rob, while Violet put a paw to her face in annoyance. "Oh no." She said "You just summoned Billy, the poltergeist."
|"How bad is he?" Sally asked.|
"Depends on how you define scandalous these days," said Violet. "But, at the very least, he likes watching women change clothes, especially when he's possessing them, and using the mirror, so that the victim has to watch what he does. Then he puts on something that would make their mother gasp in shock at."
"Already done that sort of thing," said Sally. "Mother wants me to wear a dress, and not be a tomboy."
"Sounds like I got my work cut out for me," said the voice of a young man.
Violet looked over at a mirror, where a man in their late-teens to early twenties stood, again wearing clothes from the 1920's. "Nice to see you too, Billy."
The man nodded. "Likewise. By the way, we might need to update the outfits. We're a hundred years behind the times."
"Get to it then," said Violet.
Suddenly, a spark zapped from the mirror, to Sally's smartphone. "Hope you don't mind!" came Billy's voice from the speakers. "Oooh! What's this Internet thing?" Suddenly, various images of various outfits showed up. "Nice! Easier than the Sears catalogs!" Then, a Dominatrix-type outfit showed up. "What do you think Violet?"
Violet scoffed at the image. "They're a little young. Wait a few years for that stuff."
"Spoilsport," said Billy. The screen flickered again, more clothes flashing by.
Jason looked at the rules. "So, is there anything you guys aren't allowed to do?"
"Can't kill you, or anyone else, and since you're not quite adults, can't drag you into bed," said Violet. "Anything else however goes, and since we have the ability to do things humans can't do, there's a lot of things you'd think impossible."
"Like what?" Jason asked.
Violet grinned, and snapped her fingers.
Suddenly, Jason found himself the size of a mouse! He looked up at Violet. "Change me back!"
Violet chuckled. "Not quite yet!" She then lunged, and grabbed him. "I want a snack." She then opened her mouth, and dropped Jason in, swallowing. "That hit the spot."
"You ate him!" Sally exclaimed. "You murderer!"
"Told you, can't kill him," said Violet, as she sat down. "He'll be fine, and if he's yet to escape by the time his next turn comes around, I'll roll for him." She looked at the board. "You hear that E.P.! I said I'd roll for him!"
A word came up on the center. "Fine."
"Who's E.P.?" Sally asked.
"I call him Eternal Pain," said Violet. "Especially in my tail. Although he used to call himself after some rock singer named Elvis Presley, who had this hairdo and a white outfit with diamonds."
|The three of them couldn't help but scoff at what Violet had said. "So whatever this thing is, it's an Elvis fan?" Violet chuckled too "I know, right? Don't ask me how he knows about him when the game was still buried while Elvis was around because I have no idea." |
"What exactly is E.P. anyway?" Asked Tess. "He's the spirit in the game itself. Some of us think he created the game, others think he was just a random player that ended up inside it. Whatever he was or is, he generally likes to cause chaos and make life difficult for whoever finds the board by summoning monsters with every roll of the dice." Just then, a muffled voice could be heard coming from Violet's belly.
"Sorry kid, but I told you I was going to be something of a hindrance for you." Said Violet with a smirk. "You can try climbing your way up my throat to get out, but don't expect an easy trip." Tess, who just wanted to get the game over with, had already picked up the dice and was preparing to roll. She rolled a three, and her clue was " Her bite is death, her webs like tape. Once you're in, there's no escape."
"What does it mean?" Asked Sally.
"Only one thing it could be." Said Violet, before turning to Tess and saying "You might want to start running, sweetheart."
"Why? What is it?"
But before Violet could answer, a long, thick strand of web shot from above them, attaching to Tess and quickly yanking her up to the ceiling. The three teens looked up and immediately screamed at the sight of a huge half spider, half woman creature, which was currently encasing Tess in a cocoon of it's webbing, drowning out her screams.
|"Hello Cilia," Violet said. "Been a little while."|
"Oh, she's here!" came Billy's voice. "Great! I love playing bondage games!"
Violet looked at Sally. "Do you have one of those player piano thingies? He hates Mozart."
"Got something better," said Sally, as she pressed a few buttons on her phone. "There's an app for playing music."
"No!" Billy screamed. "None of his stuff!"
"Then respect their ages," said Violet.
A muffled sound came from Violet's stomach.
"Let's just say it involves someones' sister, and let's leave it at that," said Violet.
Sally looked back up at Cilia, who was busy wrapping up Tess, like a spider would a fly. "What's she going to do with Tess?"
"Depends on the dice roll," said Violet. "Tess might end up in a similar predicament as Jason, or she'll end up turning into a drider, just like Cilia. She's got four turns to escape, and mind you, that webbing is coated with a substance designed to cause prey to slow down, keeping them from flailing while being wrapped up."
"Can we help her escape?" Rob asked.
"Thing about the webbing would apply to you as well," said Violet. "But, you could roll for a rescue. Call 'Odds' or 'Evens', get what you ask for, and she'll break free of the webbing. That being said, come her turn again, after she rolls, she'll want to move, because Cilia will try again, and it only gets more difficult as time passes."
"What if the rescue attempt doesn't work?" Rob asked. "I mean, will Cilia roll for her?"
Violet looked up at the drider. "You willing to roll Cilia?"
"Sure," the drider said. "Hey Billy! You willing to roll?"
"Might as well," came Billy's voice.
"Um, is it possible for Jason or Tess to rescue themselves?" Sally asked.
"As long as they make the right call on the dice roll, on it being odd or even," said Violet.
"Can I try to save both?" Rob asked.
"Not on the same turn," said Violet. "One or the other, and don't say odds for one and evens for the other, as that won't free either of them."
"What happens if we're all caught by monsters, and can't roll?" Sally asked.
"Depends on if the monster is willing to roll for you or not," said Violet. "As long as we're willing to roll, the game continues. But, here's the price - we roll for you, you start turning into monsters yourself."
"Is there a way to stop it?" Sally asked, looking up at an almost wrapped Tess, and then at Violet's stomach.
"Doing your own rolling keeps it at bay," said Violet. "Winning of course undoes everything. That being said, even when fully transformed, your mind is still your own."
"What if none of the monsters are willing to roll?" Rob asked.
"Haven't heard of that happening," said Violet. "Most tend to want to keep rolling, so that we can return to our home. Kind of prefer home to being trapped in this world."
"Alright, I roll to rescue Jason," said Rob, as he shook the dice. "Odds." He let the dice drop onto the table, showing six.
"Ooh, even," said Violet. "He's still mine, for now."
The final piece moved. Words once more appeared.
"Large by any measure. Hunting for pleasure. She'll have you to treasure."
Rob looked at Violet. "I should run, right?"
Violet grinned, and nodded. "You just summoned Draka, who is a dragon, and when she's after someone, she's hard to escape from."
"Can I leave the house?" Rob asked.
"Since you rolled, can't go more than 500 paces from the board - as a fird flies, mind you," said Violet.
A loud thud was heard.
"That would be her," said Violet. "Run, and hide."
Rob took off, looking for someplace safe.
A green dragon came into the room. "Where are you?" they said, in a sing-song voice. "Come out, come out, where ever you are." She then walked through the room, seeking her prey.
"She won't hurt him, will she?" Sally asked.
"Like I said - there are rules we have to follow," said Violet.
There was a scream, and the sound of footsteps running. Then, there was the sound of larger ones pounding.
"I hope she doesn't wreck the place," said Sally. "Jason's parents won't like it if the place is wrecked."
"It would be undone once you win," said Violet. She then tapped her belly. "Okay Jason. Your turn. Do you want to rescue yourself or Tess?"
A voice came from her stomach.
Violet blinked. "That's noble of you. Odds or Evens?"
The sounds came again.
"Alright," said Violet. She shook the dice. She dropped the dice, and a four came up, and Tess dropped onto the couch, with only a few strands of webbing sticking to her.
"What happened?" She asked. "One moment I was up the-" she looked up, and there was a split open cocoon, and Cilia was grinning.
"Got to give the boy credit," the drider said. "Gave up a chance at self-rescue to save a friend. I might like this group."
Violet nodded, and words formed on the board.
"You Dummy. Enjoy Mommy!"
Violet growled. "I hate you E.P.." She then groaned, and leaned back on the couch, as her belly swelled, as did her breasts. Soon enough, she looked nine months pregnant.
"Is Jason alright?" Sally asked.
Violet nodded. "I'm just nine months pregnant with him, and come his next turn, I'll need to find a bathroom."
"Will he be a baby?" Tess asked.
"Physically if not mentally," said Violet. "Still, he'll be normal-sized two turns after that."
|"This game just keeps getting weirder and weirder." Said Sally as she picked up the dice. "Just wait." Said Violet "You all haven't seen anything yet." Sally rolls the dice, and they come up nine. Her piece moves nine spaces, and her clue reads: "A hunter feared by monsterkind. You had better find a place to hide." At these words, Violet's eyes visibly bulged from their sockets in fear. "Oh no!" She said in a panicked voice. "Not him!" |
"What is it?" Asked Sally. "Everybody get down!" Was all Violet said before she practically dove on to the floor, which wasn't so easy with her now pregnant belly. Immediately afterwards, there was a gunshot from outside, shattering a nearby window as the bullet embedded itself in the wall, right where Violet's head had been moments before.
The rest of the monsters began to panic as well, as running footsteps were heard from outside the house, and suddenly the front door was kicked off it's hinges as in stepped a man in a long black coat, a wide, round rimmed hat, and a bandolier across his chest, with a Winchester rifle in his hands.
Without saying a word, he cocked the rifle and took aim at Violet as she lay cowering on the floor. But in a surpring turn of events, Sally stood and blocked his shot with her body. "Wait!" She cried "What are you doing!?" The man paused, lowering his rifle with a look of confusion. "I could ask you the same thing." He said in a gruff voice. "Why would a human protect a monster?"
"Well, for one thing, she's pregnant with my boyfriend. It's a long story, don't ask. So if you kill her, you'll kill him. Second, why are you trying to shoot her in the first place?" The man shrugged. "I'm a monster hunter. It's what I do. I was going to mount her head on my wall, but I suppose I can't if she's got your friend inside her."
"Who are you anyway?" Asked Tess. "Jacob Kruce." The man said. "I come from a long line of professional monster hunters. We protect people from the likes of them." Suddenly Cilia yanked the gun from Jacob's hands with her web, pulling it up and out of his reach. "Listen." Said Sally "These monsters have done us no real harm. We're trying to send them back home by winning this game. There's no need to kill them."
|Tess's smartphone then vibrated. She looked at it. There was a text from Sally's phone.|
"He's a murderer! Also, he's not human! He only looks human! If Sally doesn't move right now, she'll be wishing we'd done something to her - Kruce doesn't follow the rules! He's a parasite that got trapped in our world! He's no protector! He will kill her in ways that are so horrible, our tricks and shenanigans are friendly by comparison! Oh, and this is Billy, in case you're wondering."
Tess blinked. Then, she got another message.
"That gun ain't his only weapon!" the text said. "He's using a magical third-hand to draw a large knife from behind him! Look in the reflection from the window!"
Tess glanced, and sure enough, she saw something drawing a knife from behind Kruce's back!
|It all happened so quickly, afterwards everybody paused to process what just went down. Tess shouted "Sally, duck!" And Sally instinctively did so just as the hunter threw the large Bowie knife straight her, lodging itself in the wall behind her. In the split second where everybody paused after that, Kruce charged straight at Sally , his face distorting as he let out an furious roar. His eyes turned pitch black and his teeth became long and jagged. He grabbed Sally and lifted her off her feet, snarling in a much scarier voice than before. |
Sally desperately struggled to get free, but Kruce's grip was like a vice, and only tightened the more she fought. Kruce's jaw stretched wide enough to engulf Sally's whole head, and he lowered her towards his gaping maw as she screamed as she screamed.
But suddenly, Kruce vanished in the blink of an eye, causing Sally to drop on to the floor alongside Violet. "Where did he go?" A few seconds before, Tess, thinking quickly, rolled for turn and prayed that something would happen to get rid of Kruce, and lo and behold, it did. "Hunter with knife and fangs and gun, I declare your roll undone!" Read the center come. After breathing a sigh of relief, Sally asked Violet "What was that, and why were you so afraid of him?"
"He's some kind of malevolent spirit that got trapped inside the game. Since he's not originally part of it, he doesn't have to follow the rules like we do. As for why we were so scared, let's just say we've had run in with him in the past that we really don't like to talk about." Violet angrily turned to the board and growled "That was a really rotten thing to pull, E.P.!" The words "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" appeared in the center of the board, making Violet even angrier.
Now, now Violet." Came Billy's voice from Sally's phone "Don't go losing your temper, or you might end up doing something we'll all regret." Violet took a deep breath and exhaled. "You're right. Let's just get this damned game finished. Now then, Sally brought Kruce out of the game, Tess rolled to get rid of him, so now it's Rob's turn. Where is he anyway? Last I remember, Draka was chasing him."
Just then, Draka came downstairs to the dining room with Rob along over her shoulder. "Look what I found!" Said Draka " A cute human boy!" Violet chuckled "Just don't get too attached to him, he's already got a girlfriend and sooner or later well have to go back home. You know the rules, he can't come with."
"Well then, I'll just have to enjoy what time I have with him." She gave Rob and affectionate lick on the cheek with her forked tongue. Rob looked over to Tess with a look that said "This was not my idea!" Much to his relief, Tess gave him a nod of understanding. "Alright Rob, it's your turn." Said Violet as they all took their places at the table once again. Draka had Rob sitting on her lap as she sat in his chair, hugging him to her torso. Rob rolls a six, and the clue reads "Don't be fooled, that's not a quake. You might want to run, for safety's sake."
The walls began to rattle and the floor shook as the sound of booming footsteps slowly became more and more audible. "What is it?" Asked Rob as the shaking and footsteps great stronger. Violet just smiled. "Oh, you're really in for it now." There was a loud creaking and groaning as the roof of the house was lifted away. Everybody looked up to see a huge face of a woman staring down at them. "Hi Gloria." Said Violet "Long time no see."
|"I should run, right?" Rob asked.|
Violet looked at him. "Only if you don't want to be squished between her breasts."
Rob started running.
"500 paces in any straight line!" Violet called out. She then looked at the giantess and the dragoness. "Word of warning: Kruce got out once, and I'm sure he'll show up again."
Sally and Tess watched as fear became evident on the faces of the two monsters.
"Not him!" Draka exclaimed.
"Anyone but him!" Gloria shouted.
"Is he really that dangerous?" Sally asked, nervously.
"Everyone's afraid of him," Violet said, with a shudder. "The things he does - we're just pranksters really. Kruce is Pure Evil, with a capital P and a capital E! You'd be dead for sure if not for Tess's roll. Speaking of which - Cilia, you done yet?"
"She's got a free hand to roll dice and aside from her mouth, her head's uncovered," said Cilia.
Sally looked, and saw that Tess had, once again, been cocooned. "What if Kruce comes back?"
"I'll carry her in that case," said Cilia. "You can trust me on that one."
Sally then noticed that Draka and Gloria were also gone. "You'd think that those two would make noise."
"Only if we want you to hear us," said Violet. "I'm surprised Billy hasn't tried anything to you yet."
"Too scared at the time," said Billy's voice, which seemed shaken. "Next turn though, hopefully."
"Guess that makes it Jason's turn," said Sally.
Violet grimaced. "One moment." She left the room.
Sally then heard some groaning, and then some rather loud crying. She then heard some other sounds. She then watched as Violet came back in, with a bundle of cloth, holding it close to her one breast. Then, she recognized the sound - that of a baby having milk, directly from a breast!
"Drink up little fella," Violet cooed in a sing-song manner. "Mommy needs you big and strong!"
"Noying!" came the voice from the bundle.
Violet looked at Sally. "It's a boy." She then shifted the cloth a bit, and Sally saw a human baby, but those ears -
"Those ears are like yours!" Sally exclaimed.
Violet nodded. "He needed me to roll, so the transformation started. If I roll for him again, he'll grow a tail. It's like that game where you call out letters, and for each wrong letter, a body part gets drawn. Enough wrong letters, and the game is lost. More times I roll for him, the more like a werewolf he'll become."
"But, he won't be stuck like that forever, right?" Sally asked.
"Get to the goal and say the magic word, and all is undone," said Violet. "Even Kruce can't prevent that!"
|Sally decided to take a closer look, and came over to Violet. "May I?" Violet shrugged "Doesn't bother me. Just be careful with him, he was just born, after all." Violet gently placed the now newborn Jason in Sally's arms. The human\werewolf hybrid gazed up at her curiously before reaching out with his tiny hands. Sally couldn't help but smile. She already thought Jason was cute before, but now as a baby he was even more so. |
Sally gently tickled his chest, making him giggle before he grabs her finger and places it in his mouth. "Ouch!" Sally quickly pulled her finger away. "How does he have teeth already?" Violet took Jason back into her arms as she explained "Because of the magic of the game, he'll age at an accelerated rate for as long as the game goes on."
"So if we take too long he could end up an old man? Even...die?" Sally asked worriedly. Violet nodded. "Don't worry about it too much though. Like I said, finish the game, we disappear, and everything will be back to normal." Violet resumed nursing Jason while Sally took her seat again. "So, does this technically make you his new mother now?" Violet asked as she picked up the dice. "I guess it does." Said Violet, looking down at her new "pup" as he continued to drink. "I have to admit, rebirthing a kid kind of makes you feel a sort of connection with them, you know?"
"Yeah, it's called the umbilical cord." Said Sally as she rolled. They both chuckle at the joke before reading the clue. "In the darkness you must hide, or else you'll end up crispy fried. Your thirst is great, so you must drink. Joke's on you, you just got jinxed!" Sally only had a look of confusion on her face. "What in the hell does that mean? I mean, I get the first part, I have to stay out of the sun. But it's nearly midnight now, so I don't need to worry about that. But what about that last line? I've been jinxed? What does it mean?"
Sally soon got her answer, as she felt a sharp pain in her upper jaw. she felt her teeth to find her canines were now pointed fangs. She also felt her body getting colder as her skin became extremely pale, and her throat very dry. Just then, Rob came out from his hiding spot. "Is that giant lady gone?" The next thing he knew, he was tackled to the ground by Sally. "Hey! What are you doing!?" He exclaimed as Sally loomed over him. "Sorry, Rob, but I'm dying of thirst and you smell absolutely intoxicating, like a fine wine!"
|"For the sake of your friend, I'll hope you'll settle for a cheap plonk!" |
Sally turned her head, and saw that Violet had exposed her other breast.
"You're not bound by the rules," Violet said. "If you don't know what you're doing, you'll kill your friend."
Sally looked down at her friend, and saw how scared he was. "I'm sorry." She got off of him, and walked towards Violet. "What about you?"
"I'll be fine," said Violet. "I can heal."
Sally got next to violet, and got on her knees. "You sure about this?"
"Given I already got one set of teeth nibbling on me, another is no issue," Violet said, as she placed a hand on the back of Sally's head, guiding her to the nipple. "Drink up."
Sally bit down, a mix of blood and milk going into her mouth, Violet's hand holding her head still.
"It's all going to be fine," Violet said, patting the back of her head. "I'll help you with this."
|Maybe it was the spell altering her tastebuds, but Sally actually found herself enjoying the current situation. The cocktail of milk and blood tasted like nothing she'd had before, and she was soon squeezing the breast she was drinking from in order to get more from it. "Hey now, let's not get carried away." Said Violet with a note of warning in her voice. Sally finally had her fill and released the nipple from her mouth. |
"Sorry about that." She said sheepishly "But I couldn't help myself, it was just so tasty!" Violet nodded "Just be careful you don't get addicted." They all sat around the table again, with Jason having finished nursing as well at this point, and Violet gently bouncing him on her knee. It was Tess's turn once again, she rolled the dice with her free hand and got a four. As her piece moved across the board, everybody silently prayed that whatever came next, it wasn't Kruce again.
|"You're no winner. You're just dinner."|
"Oh goody," Cilia said, rubbing her hands.
She was about to grab Tess when the words changed.
"Oh crap! He escaped the trap!"
At this, the monsters paled.
"Grab the board and run!" Violet exclaimed.
"Kruce?" Rob asked.
"Oh yeah," Violet said, picking up Jason. "Now move!"
|Sally managed to grab the board, but before they could go anywhere, everything around them went pitch black. Sally found herself in a narrow stone hallway of some kind, the game board still in her hands. Seemingly from all around, she heard a deep, wicked voice let out an evil, bone chilling laugh. "Now we play MY game!" Sally could hear Violet's voice in the distance somewhere. |
"Damn you, Kruce! You can't just hijack the game in the middle of a round!"
"Says who? Your petty rules? You know they mean nothing to me! But, I'm in a sporty kind of mood, so I'll give you all a fair chance just to make things more interesting. Right now, you're all in separate sections of a labyrinth. Anyone who can make it to the center in under an hour, will be sent back to the human world and you may resume from there. Those who fail, will remain here with me! Oh, and be careful in my maze, there's all sorts of surprises around every corner, and none of them you will find very pleasant! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
A gigantic hourglass appeared hovering in the air, above the center of the maze, the sand inside slowly draining away. "Better get moving!" Kruce's voice taunted.
|"Yeah! I know one good trick to going through a maze!" Violet shouted. "It's called 'Go Straight Through The Wall!' Gloria! A little 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' action! Everyone else, hit the ground!"|
Sally got onto the ground, just in time to hear, and feel, what seemed to be an earthquake. She then saw cracks forming along the area where she was, and a big hole opening, as well as a large hand belonging to the giantess, who then grabbed her.
"Got you!" the giantess said. She then rushed through more sides of the area.
Sally watched as the giantess managed to locate her friends and the other monsters.
"Now what?" Rob asked, the last one picked up.
"Get to the center," said Gloria. She crashed through more walls. Sometimes they'd catch glimpses of certain things best left undescribed, but nothing was fast enough to catch them.
Soon enough, they got to the center, with plenty of time to spare.
"You cheated!" came Kruce's voice.
"You're one to talk!" said Violet. "Besides, there wasn't a rule that stated that we couldn't create our own path. The rule was to make it to the center of this maze, and here we are."
Kruce scoffed. "Fine!"
The group found themselves back at Jason's home.
Violet looked around. "Something's not right."
Sally looked at her. "What do you mean? Are we at Jason's home?"
"Yes, we are, but Kruce let us go too easily," said Violet. "That parasite always has a trick up his sleeve."
"Well, just who is he?" Rob asked.
"To know him is to know of the game's history," said Violet, as she sat down. "First thing to note is this - every myth is based on truth. Monstrossica is the home of all of the creatures of those myths. Greek, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, Aztec, Mayan, Australian Aboriginal, Native American, African, some tribe no European has ever heard of, and of course, Urban Legends - all reside in the board. Explains Elvis a bit to be honest."
"What about Kruce?" Sally asked.
"He entered the game in the 1850's," said Cilia. "Shortly after the Gold Rush in the American West. Seems that he was a miner who got off by killing families, and especially children. He was hunted down, but escaped justice by hiding in the worst wilderness areas. The law never did find him - instead, he ended up on the wrong end of a mama grizzly bear. Kind of explains the teeth and claws. Let's just say that the Devil didn't want him in Hell, so he bounced from one plane to another, until he ended up in ours, which was also about the same time E.P. showed up - and while I'll complain about him being annoying, one thing you need to know is this - E.P. is the spirit of a kid. I don't know if he was a past victim of Kruce, but Kruce wants to destroy him."
|"You're damn right I do!"|
Kruce's voice had spoken from the board, making everybody jump. "Kruce!" Growled Violet "What are you up to now?" Kruce laughed a cold, humorless laugh before responding "Let's just say your little friend E.P. has been...retired, for the rest of the game. So, I'll be taking over!" A look of fear immediately came to everybody's face. "And before any of you say that I can't do that, need I remind you the rules don't apply to me? From here on out, the game is going to get a lot more... interesting!"
Nobody bothered to protest, seeing they had no choice but to continue. Taking their seats once more, Kruce said "Now then, I believe it was Rob's turn. Go on, Robby, keep this train moving!" As Rob picked up the dice, he noticed he was only ten spaces away from finishing the game! If he could just roll a high enough number, he could end this nightmare. He tried dropping the dice to land on ten, but Kruce was far too crafty for such a simple tactic.
"You really shouldn't have done that, Rob. Trying to cheat me out of my fun again? Just for that, I have a special punishment in store for you!"
|The least of the odd things was Rob's piece moving backwards. However, there was more things happening, like a mass of vines appearing.|
"What are those?" Rob asked.
Violet's eyes widened. "Tell me that you've heard of stories about man-eating plants?"
"Yeah?" Rob said.
"These are them, and they aren't bound by the rules," said Violet. "Tell me that you have something that kills plants around here!"
"I think that this place has a garden shed," said Sally.
"Then we'd better get going," said Violet. "There's a bunch of different ones with different tricks for catching prey."
|But before anybody could move, a long, thick vine had descended from the ceiling and snatched Jason, who by this point had progressed to the stage of a toddler, out of Violet's arms, and dragged him upwards toward a large blue bulb that had split open to reveal rows of sharp teeth. "Mommy!" Cried Jason as he was raised ever closer to his doom. Maternal instincts kicking it, Violet leaped from her chair and tore the vine apart with her bare fangs, catching Jason and landing on her feet on top of the table. |
"Sally, get to the shed!" Said Violet as everybody dodged various carnivorous plants that began to spring up from the floor and walls. Sally barely managed to dodge a flying gob of acid that a plant had spat at her as she made it to the front door.
|"He's definitely rewritten some of the rules," said Cilia. "These things aren't supposed to come through the barrier - not like this!"|
"Where's a dead priest when you need one?" Violet muttered, as she grabbed the board. "Everyone, grab a hold of someone and get out the door."
|By sheer luck, everybody managed to get out of the house. They could only stand and watch the plants and vines began to break through the walls and windows of the house, soon making the whole place look as though it had been abandoned and left to be reclaimed by nature.|
Kruce's cruel, haunting laugh echoed through the night air. "Now then, I have plenty of far worse things in store for anyone who tries to cheat again. I believe it's Jason's turn, but since he's still regressed, Violet will have to roll for him." Violet let out an annoyed and exasperated sigh. She was getting pretty fed up with all this. What's worse, when the game was finished she'd have to go back in the game world along with Kruce!
Everybody sat on the front lawn, the game board laid in front of them. Violet reluctantly rolled the dice, which caused Jason to sprout a long, fluffy wolf tail from his backside. His piece moved five spaces, and Kruce said "Let's see how, what haven't you lot dealt with yet? Oh, I know!"
|"Alright," said Violet. "Regardless of what happens, we keep these kids alive. Also, when we do get pulled back into the game, we're going to find someplace to trap him for good!"|
"No argument there," said Cilia. "Think a demon of fire and a spirit of ice might be able to come up with the capability to seal him in stone this time."
|Before Violet could reply, she suddenly found herself pinned facedown to the ground by a gigantic paw. Everybody looked up to see the paw belonged to an enormous lion with a woman's head. "A sphinx?" Said Tess "I really hope we don't have to answer a riddle, because I was never good at them." The sphinx began to bat violet around like a cat toy, purring as it did so. "Don't just sit there!" Yelled Violet "Help me!"|
|"Oh, sorry," the sphinx said, letting Violet free. "Been a while since I got out of the board. What's going on?"|
"Kruce is in control," Violet said, as she stood up.
The sphinx groaned. "Explains a few things."
"Tell me you're still bound by the Rules," said Violet.
"Can't do any permanent harm to the people who live on this side of the board," said the sphinx. "That being said, things have changed on our side. It's becoming a nightmare, with a lot of fighting and arguing, but none know the reason why."
"It's because of Kruce, as far as we know," said Violet. "We figure he's trying to break free."
"That's just great!" the sphinx muttered. "I was hoping to have some fun with the one that summoned me, but nope - Kruce wants to break free. Well, he's getting no help from me!"
"Let's hope that E.P. can regain control," said Violet. "I'd rather deal with that little pain's antics instead."
|"Isn't there some way we can deal with Kruce now?" Asked Rob "Some way to keep him from interfering so we can finish the game?" |
Violet hesitated. "Yes, but it would be extremely dangerous, especially to you humans."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, there are two methods. The first is we can do a sort of ritual, like an exorcism to force him out into this world and deal with him then. But even with all of us together it will be a struggle. Or, the players can go into the game itself to face him, but the longer you're in, the more you risk becoming a permanent part of the game."
|"There is one benefit to summoning him here directly," said Violet. "Get to summon everyone else in the game. All of us working together, might be able to beat him for once."|
|The human players all looked at one another, then back to Violet. "Sounds like our best chance is to force him out of the game." Said Sally "But how exactly do we defeat him once he's here?" Violet sighed "It won't be easy. While we're all fighting him, keeping him busy, the rest of you will have to...well..." |
"You're really not going to like it."
"Whatever it is, we'll deal with it. Just spit it out!"
"You'll have to..."
|"Keep playing the game," said Violet. "Someone still has to get to the end and say 'Monstrossica' in order to undo all of this. After that, bury it where it can't be uncovered."|
"Where?" Sally asked.
"Bottom of the ocean would be good, or the heart of a volcano," said Violet. "Failing that, deep in a cave, or in the sub-basement foundations of some building, or any place that won't see the light of day for at least a hundred years, and make sure that no one else knows about what happened here. Good news there being that winning undoes everything."