John and Carol were practically the perfect couple. Perhaps them having opposite personalities is what made their relationship so successful. John was very outgoing, extroverted, and he never seemed to be afraid of anything. Carol loved that about him, and to say she was attracted to his bravery and manliness would be an understatement.
And needless to say, John loved his girlfriend. In her eyes it was a miracle that she found John, and she wouldn’t trade him for anybody. In John’s eyes, she wasn’t too bad. She was fairly attractive. Not the hottest girl in town, but she was by no means ugly either. But John didn’t love her for her looks, they were just a compliment. He loved her for her personality. She was very kind, and she would always accept people, no matter their flaws, insecurities, mistakes and what
have you. He also felt very protective of her. He always wanted to help her, be there for her, make sure she was happy, or at least try to.
Carol never minded John’s protectiveness. She had anxiety, and having John always trying to protect her helped. If anyone disrespected her in anyway, he would make it very apparent that he wasn’t happy. He would get up in their face, and intimidate them with his height (6’ 9”). Everytime, it was always the same line. “Say that to her again, and you’re gonna feel my foot in your ass!” he would always say. It always worked, and Carol admired this about him. She loved the way his strength seemed to cast a spell on her, making her love him.
Their relationship was perfect. They lived their lives without a care in the world. But something terrible was about to happen. Something that would test John to the limits of not only his strength, but also his sanity.
John had gotten off work early that day. He wanted to go home, back to Carol, but first he had to do something. Instead of taking the road back into the suburbs to his and Carol’s house, he went to the city’s local supermarket. And it was a big supermarket too, comparable in size to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. In all honesty, he didn’t need to go to a mall that big, for he only had to buy one thing.
He walked up to the automatic doors and they parted, letting him in without him ever having to slow down to give the doors time to open. He walked forward, across the marble tiled floors that were ever so neatly polished. In front of him was the map of the mall that was at an intersection in front of the main doors. The intersection was underneath a section of the building where the ceiling was very high. Palm trees were growing in the large plant bed that was behind the map He looked at the map and created route in his head from where he was to the Kay Jewelry store. He took that route, and walked through the open shutters into the store. He admired the peach and red colored walls. The stands mannequins that were only part of the “body” only enough for the jewelry to be displayed. There were glass cases along the walls displaying all kinds of jewelry. There was gold, diamond, emeralds, rubies, amber and more precious stones that had been melded into everything from ear rings and necklaces to rings and brooches. As soon as he was in there, he asked the first employee he saw, “Can I see your wedding rings?”
“Yes of course,” the lady said, and she led him to a glass case with a wide array of wedding rings, each displayed carefully and placed securely in their black fabric cases. “We have a very fine array of wedding rings, made with everything from diamonds to rubies.”
“Thank you,” John said to the lady with a smile.
The lady smiled back and replied with a “no problem.”
He took his time choosing a ring, picking the one that was not the most expensive, but the one he thought Carol would love the most. Finally, he choose one. It’s cost, roughly $3,500. Needless to say, it was several small diamonds and a perfectly polished stainless steel hoop. He found a different employee and told them that he had picked a wedding ring to buy. The employee was a man this time, and he unlocked the glass case and removed the wedding ring John had specified. To ensure that John wouldn’t run off with the wedding ring, even though John would never think of that, the employee walked him up to one of the registers and began preparing for John to pay for the ring.
“Who’s the lucky lady?” the man asked with a jealousy happy expression on his face.
“My girlfriend. Been together for five years now.”
“Nice,” the man said. “And that comes to a total of $3,747.45.”
“Holy ****. That’s an expensive ring. But she’s more than worth it.”
“I hear ya. The ring I bought my wife cost nearly that much.”
“Damn,” John said as he swiped his credit card.
The man packaged the ring in it’s brown bag with the “Kay” logo on it and said “Good luck my friend.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.” John replied. He said his goodbyes and returned to his car.
John arrived at his house and took his key out of his pocket to open the door, but as soon as he looked at the door knob, his heart sank. The door had been busted open. “Carol!” he shouted as he kicked the door open and ran in. He looked around and was filled with dread. There was with- out a doubt evidence of a struggle. The lamp had been knocked down and broken, dishes were thrown out of the cupboard and broken, books flown everywhere. But the worst part, John found Carol’s necklace. The golden amber necklace he had gotten her a few years back. Carol saw it as a sign of John’s love for her, and she would never go anywhere without it.
John’s hands were trembling. He knelt down slowly and picked up the necklace. It was without a doubt Carol’s. John didn’t know what to think. His girlfriend, who he was about to propose to, had been kidnapped.
But John had no time to weep, no time to grieve. He had work to do. He kissed the stone of amber on the necklace and put it in his pocket, and he said aloud, “I’m coming for you Carol.”
John was undoubtedly strong, but he was by no means unarmed. He unlocked the weapons locker in his room and was relieved to find that whoever had stolen carol had not been able to break open the weapons locker and steal John’s guns too. He removed his M1911 Handgun, mil- itary grade, very powerful with its .40 caliber bullets. John took it out along with it’s holster and fastened it to his left leg. He also took out the twelve gauge shotgun, armor piercing, but it took a very long time to load. He fastened its holster across his back and placed the shotgun in it. He de- cided that it would be best to only take those two guns so he could move fast and not have to carry much.
After he had gotten the weapons, he got a crowbar he had and pried open a floorboard in the corner of the living room, where he kept all the ammo for all of his guns. He took as much as he could, and he began searching the trashed apartment for clues. Anything that could give him a clue as to which direction Carol and her kidnappers went. He spent at least an hour and a half shoving books out of the way, pushing up fallen cabinets, getting everything out of his way. Fi- nally, he found something. And he knew exactly what it was.
It was a medallion, and on it was the symbol for his city’s local meth dealer. A year earlier he had done a drug deal with him. He had promised to pay him eventually, but he never did. It seemed that the meth dealer, Murphy, had grown tired of waiting. He knew Murphy was not a crazy man, so he would probably be expecting payment and would turn over Carol when he got it. But John had other plans in mind. He was going to kill Murphy, for stealing Carol, and he had to do it fast.
It was nighttime, and John drove towards Murphy’s house in the city. It wasn’t really a house, more of an underground bunker with a very small above ground entrance. John didn’t want Murphy to know that he was coming, so he parked a few blocks away from the entrance.
The entrance to the bunker was in the middle of a mobile home lot. None of the homes were occupied though. It was a sales yard.
Slowly, he made his way towards the entrance. He was dressed in dark clothing, and he moved quietly, jumping from shadow to shadow as to not be detected. He faced no resistance on his way to the entrance. He remembered it when he saw it. If you didn’t know what it was, it would look like just a storm cellar. But it was much more than that, as John was about to find out.
John holstered his shotgun and and armed his pistol, because the pistol would make less noise as he moved. As carefully and quietly as he could, he lifted up one of the doors, horizontal to the ground, and climbed in, closing it carefully behind him. Inside the “cellar,” it was very dark. He could only make out what was a couple feet in front of him. He turned on his headlamp and put it to the lowest setting possible. He continued forward, staying crouched so his footsteps would generate less noise.
There was something off about the bunker to him. The air was stuffy, and filled with the scent of old cigars and meth. There were no pictures on the walls, no decorations of any kind. There was also no carpeting. The floor was pure cement as were the walls. There bunker must have been filled with long tunnels for there was a light wind going all directions. But most of all, the bunker was just downright creepy. But John couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
Another one of the many things that was off about the bunker was that there were many cages with dead animals in them. Everything from pigs to monkeys to rabbits. And many of them had gruesome deformities. Extra limbs, tentacles spurting out of their back, sharp pointy teeth, and wicked claws on their hands and feet. Murphy had been using them as guinea pigs.
“What the **** is going on here?” John said to himself. He decided it’d be best to worry a- bout the dead animals later and keep looking for Carol.
His progress was slow. He had to very carefully open doors, and he always winced when he did, for he was afraid that the creak of the door would give away his position. Murphy’s hideout was bigger than he thought. After opening what seemed like countless doors, he came into a room that nearly made him vomit. Bodies. At least fifteen bodies had been fastened to the wall. Some were pierced through the neck on a hook. Others had their hands and feet nailed to the wall like Jesus had been to the cross. Some were fresher than others. The older ones had started to rot, and to say they smelled like death (no pun intended) would be an understatement. The stench was sick- eningly sweet, and flies buzzed everywhere. When he shined his light on the rotting corpses, he could see little white maggots wriggling around in the flesh.
John struggled trying to keep himself from coughing. His brain couldn’t quite compute what he was seeing. The smell burned his eyes like onions. Murphy was a crazed serial killer, and no one had ever suspected it. John had to find him and kill him. Now he had two reasons to kill Murphy. One for kidnapping his girlfriend, and the other: to avenge all those people Murphy had killed.
He pulled up a facemask that he always had so he wouldn’t have to stand the smell. But now his mind was shouting “Carol!” Was he too late? He carefully examined all of the bodies. Carol had only been kidnapped that day, so she wouldn’t be one of the older bodies. After care- fully examining each body, he was relieved to find that none of them were Carol. He continued on his search, keeping up his state of carefulness. He came to a room that was a long hallway, about a fifty feet, and it led to a throne at the end that looked like it came right out of medieval kings and castles movie. And sitting in the throne, was Murphy.
“Have you finally decided to pay me?” Murphy asked.
John turned off his headlamp and continued walking towards the throne which had a light above it that seemed so bright compared to the rest of the bunker which was pitch black. As John came out of the shadows and his figure became clearer to Murphy, he shouted, “Murphy! You son of a ********
Murphy stood up from his throne and picked up Carol by her blonde hair. John hadn’t noticed that she was lying right next to Murphy’s throne. When he saw that Murphy had Carol, he stopped dead in his tracks, but he had advanced far enough so that Murphy could clearly see him. Murphy had his arm wrapped around Carol’s neck, and in the other he had a knife to her throat.
“Drop your gun or I slit her throat,” he negotiated. John began to lower his gun, but when it was only a foot off the ground, he turned it to point at Murphy’s head, and pulled the trigger.
Murphy dropped the knife and he went limp. His body hit the ground with a thud. Carol fell to her knees and started sobbing. John holstered his pistol and ran up to her and hugged her tightly. She sobbed into his chest and was just sitting there. She was still fear struck, and all she could do was just cry. Some of the crying was from fear, the other from relief. Regardless, John’s arms around her comforted her. After about five minutes, John removed his arms from around Carol and placed his hands on her shoulders. “I’m getting you out of here,” he told her. Carol nodded and tried to stand up, but she fell. John took a closer look at her body and was horrified. She was spotted with bruises. There were several cuts on her arms and forehead that had bled a great deal, but had stopped by now. Her pink blouse didn’t look pink anymore. It was covered in mud and dirt, and so were her blue skinny jeans. Her blonde hair had been shiny and smooth the last time John saw her, but now it was a muddy fritz. There were black streaks running downward from her eyes, caused by her tears that made her makeup run. And she couldn’t walk, because Murphy had nearly killed her by forcing her to do too much meth.
“Don’t worry baby, I’m getting you out of here. Come on,” he said. He picked her up, her legs draped over one arm and her neck over the other. He cradled her head to his chest and she wrapped herself in her arms. But before he departed he took a good long look at Murphy’s lifeless body. Murphy was, or had been, a fat man. He had dressed fairly nicely, with a pair of blue Levi’s and a button up shirt tucked into his pants. Around his head, blood pooled from the bullet wound. John went up closer to his body and spit on it. He was proud of what he’d done.
John headed back to the exit of the room with Carol in his arms, but something stopped him that caused him to trip and Carol to hit the floor quite hard. He felt a sharp, shooting pain in his ankle, like he had been stabbed with several knives. But they weren’t knives, they were claws. And the claws were attached to a hand that grasped his ankle and swept his feet from under him and dragged him away from Carol.
“Not leaving, are you?” a loud, booming, demonic voice said. He looked at his ankle and saw a large clawed hand release its grasp from it and followed the hand with his eyes back to its owner’s body. John couldn’t believe what he was seeing. A monster?
It was at least ten feet tall, and it’s arms were half the length of its height. It’s chest looked brown and gooey, but it’s pectoral and abdominal muscles were very visible. From its back, several wriggling tentacles shot out. It’s feet were clawed just like its hands. And it’s face, a twisted and deformed face, but that face was Murphy’s.
“What the hell are you?” John asked, cowering before the hulking figure.
“Heck of a thing ain’t it? Sure as **** beats the living out of dying.”
John pieced it all together in his head. Murphy had been performing experiments on those dead animals he saw earlier, and Murphy had become a part of those experiments.
John did his best to stand up, but it was painful, and he was limping because of the wound on his ankle. But he did manage to stand up, and he reached behind his back to grab his twelve gauge shotgun. It was a heavy weapon, about twenty pounds. He aimed and fired strait into Murphy’s chest.
“That gun’s not gonna work the way you think it will,” Murphy said. John pumped the shotgun and fired another, and another. Murphy still showed no signs of slowing down. He walked up closer to John and swung his hulking arm at him, throwing him across the room and into the wall. John hit the floor with a thud. He was groveling in the bits of concrete that flew from the wall when he hit it. He managed to stand back up, only to find that Murphy swung his arm at him again and threw him into a different part of the wall. John managed to get on his back just in time to fire a blast into Murphy’s face. Finally, it affected him. Murphy was knocked back a few steps. This gave John enough time to get on his feet and run over to Carol and try to escape with her.
He was running now, as fast as he could. John could hear Murphy catching up behind him.
“I’m gonna getcha,” Murphy said. “I’m gonna getcha.”
His thundering footsteps grew louder and faster. Murphy rose up his huge arm to swing at John, but his timing was off, and he only scratched John’s leg. Still, it was enough to trip him, and send both him and Carol flying. Carol was thrown into the wall. Still unable to walk, all she could do was just lie there. John decided it would be best to leave her there for the time being and face Murphy with his hands free.
He got out his shotgun and fired another blast into Murphy’s head, which knocked him back a few steps. And another. But John knew he could only keep this up for so long before he ran out of ammo, and Murphy wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In the midst of all the chaos, John noticed something out of the corner of his eye. A huge propane tank, big enough to take out the entire bunker if it were to explode. John knew what he had to do. He aimed for the tank, but didn’t fire. If the propane tank exploded, Carol would die too.
Since John didn’t fire, Murphy took the opportunity to attack. He lifted his huge clawed hand and swung at John’s abdomen, nearly impaling him. John was now being lifted into the air. John turned his head to look at Carol, and he saw Carol getting up. She was finally able to stand.
“Carol, run!” he shouted. Carol saw what was happening, and she obeyed John. She ran as fast as she could, back towards the stairs and out of the bunker. Murphy saw that his prize was gone. He was now ****** more than ever.
“You know, I was gonna kill her,” he said to John. “But I guess you’ll have to do.”
“Not today,” John said. He pulled his pistol out of his holster, aimed at the propane tank, and pulled the trigger.
From behind her, Carol heard a deafening boom. She turned around and saw a huge fireball rising into the sky that illuminated the dark landscape for a few moments. “John!” she said. She ran back to the bunker and saw what remained of it. The entire ground had been blasted out, and bits of concrete were scattered around the crater. She climbed down the stairs into the still burning hole and began searching for John. She was coughing and shouting John’s name. The black smoke burned her eyes and blurred her vision. Not only were her eyes burning, so was her skin. The fire from all around her created a meth filled inferno.
“Carol.” She heard a weak voice from behind her. “Carol.” It called again. It was John. Somehow, he had managed to survive the blast. He was under some floorboards that had gotten blasted up in the explosion.
“John, John!” she cried. She moved the floorboards from over him and helped him to his feet. He was very weak. His black shirt was soaking with blood from Murphy’s claws spearing him. They managed to climb back up the stairs, where they were greeted by a police helicopter shining its beam on them. All around them were fire trucks and police cars. Two SWAT officers helped them up and into the helicopter above them.
Carol was put on an IV to help flush the meth out of her system. John’s intestines had been severely damaged. With only twenty percent of his intestines intact, he would have to eat through a tube for the rest of his life. He had also suffered third degree burns in several parts of his bodies. Carol was glad that he was alive, but she was also glad that his face hadn’t been burned. About an hour later, they woke up in a hospital. They were in beds that were placed next to each other.
John had woken up first, and he had been holding Carol’s hand ever since he did. When she woke up, he said to her with a weak but genuine smile, “rise and shine sleepyhead.”
“John, you made it.”
“Takes more than a mutated meth dealer and a giant explosion to kill me.” He reached for his pocket, but his pocket wasn’t there. Instead he found himself in a hospital gown. He looked to the nightstand that was on his left and found his belongings there. Among them was Carol’s amber necklace. He picked it up and moved his hand over to Carol. “I found this at the house. I wanted to give it back to you,” he said.
“Thank you,” Carol replied sincerely.
Three Weeks Later
After three weeks of recover and therapy, John was finally able to be discharged from the hospital. He was not working that day, but Carol was. Carol had cleaned up the house herself, even though she didn’t have to. John would have done it willingly if he wasn’t in the hospital. But none of that mattered now. He had identified a point in time that would be a good chance for him to do what he had been waiting three weeks to do.
He heard the lock turn and the door open. Carol walked inside with a “hey babe.”
“Carol, sweetie, I’ve been meaning to ask you something for a while.”
“What is it?” she asked. She had been getting situated at the kitchen counter, putting her keys away, getting her shoes off and what not. She turned around to find John down on one knee in front of her.
“Carol,” John said. “These last three years we’ve been together have been the best of my life. And I want to spend the rest of my years with you.” He took the ring case out of his pocket and opened it, revealing the shiny diamond to her. “Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?”
She said yes.