Saturday, February 26, 2011

Creature's Night In, Flash Fiction Friday

"It is a little known fact that the undead are fond of cards, dice, and board games. You see, since they live forever, they have so much time to kill." - Brom Stoker, on his death bed; courtesy of the library of the Knowmordenudo Institute.
"Can I get you something sir?" Carrington asked in a snooty voice as he set down the candelabra on the huge dining room table. He made sure to set it so that it illuminated the board better and to make it easier to see the deeds. "Perhaps I could bring you some refreshments?" he offered.

"Yes Carrington, I will have a patty melt and a Diet Coke. The Wolfman will have a leg of lamb with mint jelly. Frankenstein wants a meat lover's pizza with a bottle of Jack Daniels. The Mummy will have clam chowder and see if there is any of the key lime pie left will you? Have you got all that?"

"Yes sir, to the letter. I'll only be a moment," and Carrington bustled off.

"Now," Dracula sighed as he turned his attention back to the board, "Whose turn is it? Wolfman landed on Marvin's Gardens and Frank went to jail, so Mummy that makes it your turn."

"My pleasure," the Mummy's voice whispered like the wind blowing through dry leaves. He rolls a nine, rounds Go and lands on income tax. He has too much cash and property to try and pay the 10% so he just tosses his Go money into the pot in the middle. Dracula tries to roll the much coveted double fives to get out of jail and land on Free Parking in one fell swoop but he doesn't get it. He pays his fifty bucks into the pot and moves to Community Chest. Second prize at a beauty contest $10. While the Wolfman slowly counted out his move to Luxury Tax, Dracula looked around the table to see how his competition was shaping up.

The Mummy was a contender. He owned all of the cheap side of the board and had hotels on everything, not to mention a fair amount of cash. The Wolfman was in a strong position too. He had the reds with three houses each which amounted to a pretty steady income. Frankenstein however had been backed into a corner early on by spending so much time in jail while the other three had been snatching up properties left and right. Sure he had the railroads and the utilities, but with nothing he could develop, he was just walking the board and donating his money as he went. Dracula eyed his green ones with the couple of houses and hoped that it would be enough to eliminate the others and he would be crowned the victor in this Battle Royale of high finance.

It was Frankenstein's turn but he just sat there quietly, staring off at nothing in particular. The Mummy nudged him. "Oh I am sorry. I'm holding up the game aren't I?" Frankenstein said in his deep, baritone voice, "So sorry. I was wool gathering. I was just wondering which of us is the scariest? You know, just out and out fright-wise." Frankenstein rolled but remained in jail.

"That is a very interesting question," the Wolfman replied before scratching behind his ear with his back foot, "Who do you think is the scariest Mummy?"

"Here you are gentlemen. Piping hot from the kitchen!" called out Carrington as he wheeled up the trolley and began to remove the lids. "For you sir, a Cobb salad and a tepid Mountain Dew, A can of Spam and a mint julep for the Wolfman, fish tacos and a bottle of Old Crow for Frankenstein, and corn chowder for the Mummy. And I am ever so sorry sir but I'm afraid the key lime pie has been eaten."

"What the devil are you playing at Carrington! This isn't what we ordered at all!" Dracula thundered. He explained the order in detail and waived him away. Carrington wheeled the trolley off with some haste but not before Frankenstein had snaked his long arm out and nabbed the whiskey. He took a long pull from the bottle and dabbed at the little bit that seeped out from the stitches at his throat. "Ahhh," he sighed, "So, Mummy, you didn't answer. Who do you think is the scariest?"

"Why I am you silly boy," the Mummy was always a little condescending to Frankenstein because of his young age, "The mighty Ra has endowed me with the strength of twenty men and I am relentless in my pursuit of defilers and heretics. I never rest and will cross vast oceans to deliver my vengeance on those who offend Ra!" His voice rose and fell like a dessert sandstorm, then he paid through the nose for Street Repairs with five hotels.

"Well I don't care what you say, I know that I am the most frightening," the Wolfman growled. "I appeal to one of the most primal of fears, the fear of a predator. I am an archetype. I am the Hell Hound of old if you will, but my fright is universal. Who outside of Epypt is going to be afraid of a bandaged man, while everyone runs from a rabid wolf. Case in point. Drac, it's your turn." Dracula rolls and lands on the one yellow one the Wolfman owns but it's mortgaged.

Frankenstein sets aside the bottle, sits back in his chair, and folds his long arms over his barrel chest and nods politely. "I can see your point Wolfman but by that same logic, I'm an archetype as well. I am literally the living dead. I am a corpse, the most obvious representation of death in even the most primitive mind, and I am reanimated to walk among people once more. I don't know that I am the scariest, but I am at least as frightening as you my hairy friend. I think we can all agree that I am the most gruesome among us, and I think that ought to count for something." Frankenstein collects the Wolfman's two hundred dollars for landing on Short Line, lights a cigar and takes a few puffs. 

"I will concede that your appearance borders on the ghastly, while mine tends to lie much further at the other end of the scale, I am happy to say." Dracula began, "But if we are to follow the argument that the Wolfman put forth, then I am the oldest archetype and therefore the scariest. If he is the Hell Hound, I am the Devil himself. I am this malignant spirit or demon who manipulates the minds of innocents so that I may feed on their suffering. I am known for my penchant for seducing and deflowering beautiful maidens, always with the same tired temptation of eternal beauty, eternal life, and an unearthly love. Oh, I think I hear Carrington coming. Good. I'm starved" No sooner did the words leave his lips, than in comes Carrington pushing a laden trolley. "You better have it right this time, or I'll have your guts for garters!" Dracula threatened.

"No, no. Everything is as it should be. I brought everything you wanted. I have Doritos, Slim Jim's brand meat snacks, a beaver skin hat, five raw yams, a six pack of AA batteries, ramen noodles, a road flare, a bottle of Blue Nun, whole wheat hot dog buns, and a shaving mirror with a built in clock/radio." Carrington bowed and smiled insipidly.

"Carrington! You adlepated ninny hammer! What in the nine Hells am I going to do with a shaving mirror?" Dracula roared.

"It's got a clock/radio," Carrington offered softly.

"You boob!" Dracula was so angry he stomped his foot. "Alright, give me the Doritos and start pouring the wine. And be quick about it!" He sat down in a resigned huff and proceeded to stain his fingers orange as he stuffed his face. "Anyway, that is my argument on why I am the scariest of us all," he said between mouthfuls, "Who's with me gentlemen?"

"I don't know that I would agree with you there," Carrington mumbled as he poured the wine.

"You have an opinion on this matter Carrington? Well please enlighten us!" Dracula taunted.

"I would have thought it would have been obvious. I am the scariest one here." The walls rang with their collective laughter as each monster in turn snickered and guffawed. "Laugh if you must," Carrington continued, "but look at it from my point of view. Each of you is capable of horrible violence, but I'm a member of the service industry. I am overworked, underpaid, am apt to snap at any minute and most days, I could give a shit if you get what you want. There's four of you and about a million of me. So now who's scariest?"



  1. Ha! Great ending! I'm pretty sure I served all those guys when I was a waiter, and I never thought to indicate that I could kick all their asses.

  2. EXCELLENT! Its early here right now and I just woke up everyone laughing my ass off. More to the point, I spilled my coffee with aftershock giggling.

  3. Oh bravo, Doc! This is excellent - a truly wonderful little vignette! Loved the idea of these characters sitting down to a board game when they could have been out terrorising the populace! I also like the notion that Carrington and his cohorts could actually wield some kind of power - unfortunately that doesn't seem likely in my neck of the woods!

  4. Touche, sir! Lovely little twist.

    I would so love to join in on a Friday night games night with that bunch!

  5. Coaster Punchman- See, you were scarier than the undead and didn't even know it!

    Beach Bum- Sorry about the coffee. I thought it was pretty funny when I wrote it but I can never tell. If it makes me laugh, then that's how I write it. Sometimes it works and other times it falls flat. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    Sue H- I was a little stuck at first as to what kind of "battle" to have them engaged in, so I settled on Monopoly. Why not? They have all this time to kill.

    Barbara Bruederlin- Thank you dear, and I'm certain they would want to play with a Bad Tempered Zombie!


  6. Great story! If only the working stiffs would band together and throw over the vampires...

  7. A LOL moment for sure, very creative, thanks for sharing.

    L Turner

  8. This made me laugh out loud. I love the picture of them sitting around playing the board game, rating their 'scarability' so to speak, and then the twist at the end? Oh yes. I agree. Carrington IS the scariest of them all. Loved this!

  9. Haha! I never saw it coming...! Carrington is absolutely right... Doc, this story is really neat - it has a truly epic feel to it yet it revolves around the silliness of monsters at a boardgame. This should be in a book.

  10. This was great – from monopoly down to the twist at the end – besides, who can pee in the lobster bisque or spit in the coffee and still be able to find a job at the place right down the road?

  11. There is just enough to get you the interesting point without boring you. It's a truly fun and fascinating story.

    Kitchen Benchtops


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