Buried Bones And Drooling Dead Part 2

Ralf, Louie, Kat, Vladimir and Bella nervously followed the chupacabras into their city dwellings, a constant Mexican siesta below the desert. They started in wonder and confusion at the strange town with no obvious leader or organization.
The town was large and the ceiling to the underground city was very, very tall. There were houses, but they too were very large and it seemed odd that that the chupacabras who were small creatures with a height of 3 feet or so would inhabit them.
The houses were made of brown clay and mud, and bones littered the city streets. There was no light in this city. Perhaps chupacabras had no way of lighting the city, but unlit cities were not unusual for monsters. Many monsters can see in the dark without a problem, and light only exists in cities that seem to miss living on the surface, so they will light torches or use magical means to recreate the sun, moon, and stars.
Many chupacabras were laying drunken on the street, and still others skulked about suspiciously, flitting about dark allies and staring openly from windows with their faces pressed up oddly against the glass, smudging their noses and fogging up the window with their hot stinky breath.
Louie couldn’t shake the willies feeling he was getting, Ralf and Vladimir were terribly ill at ease, and Kat panted nervously and wondered if these things were too icky to try and eat.
Only Bella was unworried by the strange creatures, and she confidently led the group down the dusty dark streets. “It looks like they don’t have any sort of leader. We’ll have to find someone who can get us out of here on our own.”
“Hey, you.” Ralf turned to a lone chupacabra who was laying on the ground beside them. The chupacabra opened an eye and stared at him, then rolled over to sleep.
“Oye! Ralf gave him a sharp kick in the side, and the chupacabra looked at him again, and then started licking its lips creepily.
“Never mind!” Ralf decided, shoving the others away from the strange creature.
They hustled down the street where chupacabra after chupacabra made strange faces and started following them. The monsters, save Bella, were exceptionally creeped out.
“Guys, I think I’d like to get out of here.” Louie whispered nervously as the crowd behind them grew.
“Oh, they’re probably harmless” Bella waved, unconcerned.
“Bella, even if they’re harmless, they’re creepy.” Kat pouted. “Should I try eating them?”
“Don’t eat them. They look like walking indigestion.” Ralf smirked.
“Bleh” Kat remarked, but considered it regardless.
They made it for a ways down the road into the city before the crowd of creeping chupacabras became too much even for Bella. She turned and yelled at them angrily “GET LOST YOU DUMB DRUNKEN LAZY FURLESS DOGS!”
They stared at the dumbfounded, perhaps not understanding the words that were coming from her mouth, but they remained fixated with an air of complete stupidity.
A lone chupacabra waddled up to the front and stood standing weirdly on its hind legs. It didn’t speak. None of them spoke, they realized. It made a series of gestures with its front paws and then the others started closing in on the group.
Bella sighed and took a drink of her coffee. “Do you know who I am, mutts? Because I know who YOU are.”
The chupacabras stared at her blankly. There focus was on the group. They didn’t get a lot of visitors and it should be no wonder why not.
Bella sighed. “Right, you never learned the whole communication thing.” She shook her head and turned to her companions. “There’s no telling if they can even understand us.”
“What do you mean? They don’t speak at all?” Louie asked, mildly curious while still uncomfortable.
“These are creations of the mad geneticist General Fliegan. He used to be a human, until some experiment went horrible wrong. He’s a giant fly mutant now, you know.” Bella stated nonchalantly.
“Did he make these things before or after he became a giant fly mutant?”
“Before. He didn’t speak monster then. Fliegan has made a few monsters, but the chupacabra is one of two that humans ever found out about.”
“What else has he made?” Kat asked, staring down a pack of chupacabras that were getting too close to her. They were surrounded and Bella was completely unworried.
“Have you heard of Mothman?” Bella inquired with a shrug.
“The flying moth dude that’s been freaking humans on the east coast? Ha! I KNEW it wasn’t alien related!” Ralf laughed nervously, eyeing the chupacabras.
“Ha, aliens. As IF there’s any kind of life out there!” Bella laughed.
“Well hold on, I would argue that!” Louie started when Bella waved him to hold on a moment.
She waved her arms and pointed at the chupacabras, and began dancing a funny little dance around in circles. She hopped, and started singing a strange song with nonsense words;

Wickity wackity changing and zappity
Puppies and poodles ickity doodles
Happily hopping zoodles and stockings
Grow to your sizes turn back your timezes
Ginny and friends together again
Grow grow grow
Change change CHANGE!

Bella stopped dancing and the chupacabras started getting funny expressions and backing away from the witch. Their faces twisted, their jaws opened wide, and they started growing.
Their paws slowly turned into hands and feet, their long weird looking legs became thick muscly arms and legs, their pointy canine teeth became square and thick. When the transformation was over, only their black beady eyes remained the same, and they had grown to a great height of 30 feet tall!
Bella took another sip of her coffee and mercifully they all became clothed. She then bowed at the group.
“How-how-how?” Kat stuttered staring at the giants, who grinned with broad ugly faces and wide gaping mouths.
Louie had backed up but they were surrounded, and backed into the leg of a burly giant female who grinned almost sweetly, or maybe hungrily at him. With giants it’s hard to tell.
Ralf worked his mouth open and closed, while Vladimir hid behind the small Bella for protection.
“General Fliegan used giant blood to create these. Somehow the personalities of the giants were preserved in the chupacabras, but in the chupacabra form they had no way of expressing that they were in fact giants.”
“What about the goat sucking?” Louie asked unsurely.
“Giants love a good meaty meal. It may be that goats were all they were able to get ahold of here.”
“Can they understand us?” Kat asked, no longer considering the giants as a potential meal. Not unless one spontaneously lost a finger or something.
“Yeah. But giants aren’t good communicators.” In response to this, the nearest giant lifted Bella up with a giant hand and shouted loudly and happily. The others cheered as well, happy to be themselves again. Kat found herself able to relate, and cheered loudly as well.
“My monster friends! I promised I’d find you, all of those years ago!” Bella smiled at the happy giants.
The giant that was holding her up stared at her in confusion and surprise. “Gin-gin?” It asked, spittle flying in all directions.
Bella nodded, and in a poof of smoke she turned into an entirely different witch. While her skin still remained green, it had turned to a more pleasant shade, a forest green instead of the snot green her skin had been. She now stood tall, at 5’9 and her hair was long and a sweet soft shade of brown.
“Huh?” Louie muttered, suddenly not minding Bella’s crush on him but wondering if this was just a disguise.
“I’m Ginny Greenteeth.” Bella smiled and made a little bow.
“You are? Who’s that?” Kat asked, tilting her head at the witches transformation.
“I’m an English witch that was well known for my love of drowning humans. That used to be my fix. Then one day I disobeyed the queen, and in her anger she banished me here, to the desert. I wandered the desert in anger and frustration. Trust me, you don’t want to be near a witch that hasn’t had her fix.” As Bella said this, the giants nodded, recalling the wrath they must have seen when they first met Bella.
“I eventually found a new fix, a very difficult thing for witches to do, and I made friends with the giants who helped me plan my revenge against the queen Hecate. However, Fliegan ended up capturing the giants and using them in his deranged experiments while I was trying to find the desert trolls.”
“The desert trolls? The ones that had mysteriously disappeared from this place?” Vladimir asked.
“The same.” Bella nodded. “I had turned them into some sort of vegetable in my rage when I was first banished here, and I had meant to turn them back again once I had discovered a new fix. Problem was, they weren’t where I had left them, and I couldn’t remember what I had turned them into. I’m afraid they were probably eaten.”
“Oh! No, I don’t think they were!” Kat and Louie cried, and Ralf removed a turnip from the satchel.
Bella looked hard at the turnip, and gave it a poke. It meeped.
“IT IS! YOU FOUND THE DESERT TROLLS!” Bella danced. “Ohh. They’re not going to be happy to see me…”
“Still, perhaps they’ll help us on our mission!” Kat shoved the turnip in her face.
“Kat. I aim to seek revenge on the queen AND on general Fliegan for what they have done. They both want this uprising to happen.” She stared at Kat to see if she got her meaning. Kat didn’t, and tried to shove the turnip in her face again.
Bella pushed it away. “Kat, I don’t plan on letting the uprising happen. It could give the queen a chance to fight the other monsters for the surface and I just don’t want her getting anything that she wants.”
“You helped her destroy Blub.” Kat stated.
Bella sulked. “I HAD to, to gain her trust!”
“Well, why not kill her before she can claim land on the surface?” Ralf asked. “Same with the mutant guy.”
“They’re not so easy to kill!” Bella hollered, balling her fists together in anger.
“Well, surely we can build enough monsters together on our side!” Kat offered. “You giants will help us eat the witch queen and the fly guy, right? Then we’ll all have a giant feast with all of the dead bodies they’ll be after the war!” Kat grinned in delight at the thought.
The giants grinned at the thought as well and cheered with the howling happy werewolf.
“You know, it might work.” Louie offered.
“How are we going to get enough monsters on our side?” Ralf asked.
“Besides, we want to leave a small population of humans to eat and chase around. It’ll keep a monster thin, you know. How can we win an uprising, reclaim the surface, keep some humans around and defeat several other monster armies to boot? It’s a bit insane.” Vladimir offered.
“I have a vague idea on how the biological warfare is going to work. If the reports that I have read are correct, then we might have a shot at achieving most of our objectives. What we need to do now is recruit monsters to our small cause.”
“What if it doesn’t work?” Ralf asked.
“Worst case is, we all die.” Louie shrugged.
“Oh, well, that sounds like a plan. Let’s see how it goes.” Vladimir rolled his eyes.
“So then, that means we need the trolls on our side, right?” Kat asked happily, holding up the turnips again.
“Fine, fine!” Bella groaned and took another swig of coffee. She was nearly empty now. They would need more coffee soon.
Kat placed all of the turnips in a pile in front of them, and everyone stared, waiting to see what will happen next.
Bella first turned back into her ugly short self, explaining that maintaining her old image took away needed magic. Witches naturally take a form after their “fix,” and the more common and simple a fix the uglier it tends to make you look. Coffee is a very simple and common fix, so it tended to make you ugly.
Alcohol as a fix was the same way, and the queen Hecate had to remain nearly constantly drunk to maintain her magical beauty.
Turns out drowning people and enjoying it makes you pretty. Who knew?
She then danced about the trolls, singing another song as she did, though it was less energetic this time and had a lot less hopping about from foot to foot. Vladimir wondered if the dance was necessary or just for show.

Terrible trolls I have deceived you
Terrible witch am I
Turnips you are, but turnips no more
Trolls again, friends again you and I

Trickity tappity trolls and turnips
Vegetables squirmy and round
Wallups and dollups whipity woo
Turn back to trollses
Turnips no more-ses
Grow grow grow
Change change change!

With the end of her chant the turnips began to shake and twist and wiggle and spin. The rolled about and moved alarmingly alive and shaking violently.
With a great loud “POP!” Each turnip suddenly exploded and an angry grumpy troll stood in its place. One by one they all turned back into trolls, and each looked more upset and frazzled from their time spend as a vegetable than the last.
“How could you do such a terrible thing to us, witch?!” A great tall troll with a big ugly nose and large floppy ears asked Bella, while baring his yellow crooked teeth.
“Well, I was in a bad place in my life…” Bella began, but the trolls only looked more angry and unhappy. One reached out with an angry arm, when Kat hopped in the way happily waving her tail and grinning stupidly at the newcomers.
“Is it true trolls can eat hundreds of people in just one sitting?”
The troll who was reaching for Bella hesitated, and looked at her in confusion. “Uh, well, yes…?”
“Oh!” Kat danced. “I once ate a whole warehouse full!”
“What’s a warehouse?”
“A big old building! Is it true that trolls like to sometimes cook the humans too? Or trick them into thinking you’re friendly and you’re having them over for dinner, except you EAT them instead!?”
“We’ve done that…” A troll answered, and they all started to look rather proud of themselves. Even the giants, who also eat humans but aren’t as good as tricking the humans looked at the trolls in awe.
“When we eat human” one giant stated, ”we have to hunt them, sometimes fish them out of their homes. We never think to trick them, by asking them over for dinner.”
The trolls held their heads a little higher. “It isn’t easy” one troll stated. “You can’t just invite a human over for dinner. Trolls have a reputation for eating people, so people are wary. You have to gain their trust.”
“Or make them think that you are dumb and have a lot of gold, so they think that they can just kill you and take your stuff!”
“Hahahah, humans!” The trolls laughed merrily, and forgot their anger at Bella.
“Listen guys.” Louie interjected in the human eating reminiscing. “Since you giants and trolls have been out of the loop, I think we need to catch you up a little on what has been going on.”
“What’s been happening?” A giant asked.
“The humans have taken over the surface since you have been turned into turnips. There are so many humans that they’re almost impossible to count, and they outnumber us by many.”
“THEN WE SHALL HAVE A FEAST!” A troll roared, and the rest of the trolls and giants joined in a happy and loud exclamation.
“WAIT WAIT WAIT! Don’t get too excited!” Louie hollered. “The humans have weapons that can easily defeat us! We have to attack at the right time! I think I know a way we can do that. I need everyone to help us out here, this is very important! It’s the only way to take back the surface, destroy up to 80 percent of the human population, and defeat the other monster armies while we’re at it!”
“How?” Bella looked at Louie, hearts in her eyes again.
“Vladimir was telling me that his information suggested that General Fliegan has been working on creating a zombie virus to infect the humans with.” Louie began.
Vladimir’s eyes lit up, perhaps catching on to Louie’s plan. “But he’s been having trouble. I’d heard whispering that the zombies tended to pick up some of the stronger personality points of the monster that donated the D.N.A. That’s why they need Kat, she’s well known for her tremendous appetite for humans!”
“So aren’t trolls and giants.” Kat put in. “And what’s D.N.A.?”
“Deoxyribonucleic acid.” Louie informed her. Kat nodded her head with an utterly blank expression. “Trolls were thought to have disappeared, and giants haven’t eaten people in a long time, perhaps Fliegan thought the changes he’d made to them was irreversible.”
“Ok, so…the zombies will take on the personality of the monster that gives the D.M.A. stuff” Kat frowned.
“D.N.A. and only the strong personality traits. The parts that are easily noticed. For instance, I like science and reading, Louie‘s kind of gruff and Vladimir can be dramatic.”
“What about me?” Bella asked, leaning toward Louie.
“That you got a thing for green men!” Ralf laughed, and Bella glared daggers at him.
“So if they use my uhm…stuff” Kat started, while Louie waited patiently for her to get the thought out, “the zombies will eat every human they can without hesitation.”
“Right, and no offense Kat but you’re not sneaky or tricky like a troll, so the zombies with your D.N.A. will likely run in blind and unthinkingly and eat everything they can get a hold of. This means we have a hope for saving some of the humans.”
“How?” Kat tilted her head. Even the trolls and giants had leaned in, wondering how this was a trait they could use to their advantage.
“We need to warn the humans that the zombies are coming. This will inspire the ones that we can convince to defend themselves. Problem is, we don’t have long.”
“But how can we warn the humans?”
“We need Bella’s magic. She has to make them think the world is ending. Thanks to Hollywood, humans will assume that the end of the world also means the dead returning to life.” Louie turned to Bella, who was shaking her head.
“Louie, I don’t have that kind of magical power anymore. When a witch ends up having to use a common and easy fix, it not only makes her ugly, but it limits her magic and her creativity.”
“Then you’re going to have to start drowning people again.” Louie said, and knocked the coffee pot out of her hands.
Bella screamed bloody murder and instantly went for his throat, but Ralf caught her just in time. “Bella, this is for your own good!”
“AHRRGSGGHHYYTAGAJABJJJHAGA!” She screamed inconsolably.
A giant reached down and dangled Bella carefully by the back of her neck so she couldn’t bite him. Louie looked up thankfully at the giant.
“We need to storm the nearest town, and get water and a few humans. Bella has to start drowning people again!”
Kat hopped up and down in excitement. “Let’s go get some humans!”
Louie turned to Kat and grabbed a fist full of her fur. “Listen Kat, you HAVE to learn self control, or the zombies will eat everyone. I want you to practice that at the town today, understood? We’re counting on you, and if you want to eat a human ever again after this war, you’d better listen.”
Kat huffed in annoyance, and proceeded to sulk behind the large party of trolls, giants and the original monster mix.
They made it to the surface with a still wailing and screaming Bella, and peaceful towns paused from their work in the fields or homes to listen to the screaming noise that got closer and closer.
The ground shook from the feet of giants, and animals scattered in every direction at the terrible sight.
When they crested the hill and the village came into view, the villagers screamed in terror and while some fled, some stood frozen, eyes unable to process or believe what they beheld.
The giants smashed the buildings, the trolls chased the children, and Kat chewed on a building in complete frustration.
Every time she tried to eat a family, or even just take a large bite out of someone, Ralf hit her on top of the head with a heavy yeti fist. Kat growled in agony, and eventually sat and howled in anguish next to Bella who was also howling like a banshee.
Self-control was hard for both monsters.
They sat by a riverbed that bubbled with murky brown water. Finally a few trolls brought some humans to the river where the giant was still holding Bella. They plopped the humans by the water, and let Bella go. Bella stared at the humans, who were focused on Kat. This was because Kat was opening her mouth wide and stalking toward them, eyes glinting with a crazy hunger.
Ralf clubbed her on the head again, and Kat considered eating Ralf.
Bella stared at the water that had pooled around her feet. Brown like coffee, but it didn’t smell or taste like coffee. She looked back at the humans, which Louie was dragging into the water now.
Her eyes were glazing over, and she was falling back into her memories. Drowning people in the water, pulling them under and watching them struggle and scream. Feeling the power of an old kind of magic, a strong and dark magic that once made her rival even to the witch queen Hecate.
This was the real reason she had been outcast. She may have disobeyed the queens orders to drown people less, but the real reason was that Hecate felt threatened by the clever and powerful witch Ginny Greenteeth, and decided to get her out of the way. Back then Hecate’s fix was tricking humans into thinking she was a goddess, and a goddess that could not defeat the foul witch Ginny Greenteeth was not a goddess that the humans would continue to worship.
Louie held a human under water, hoping it would inspire Bella. She watched the human thrash and struggle, and she felt herself moving toward the other humans still being held captive. Her hands clenched and unclenched, her arms reached out, and with a spray of water she brought the human down. She didn’t stop at holding them just under the surface, but brought them down, down, down, to the deepest part of the river and she held them there like a crocodile would.
She held them until they stopped struggling, and even after the light left their eyes. This wasn’t a game for Bella. This was a sacred task, a hunger that all monsters possessed, the hunger to hunt, eat, and destroy humans.
She let the human go, and it didn’t float nor sink. She felt herself change, naturally the tall and beautiful Ginny again. She was back, and she felt the ancient and evil power sweep over her.
Ginny exploded from the water with a great wicked grin, and Louie sighed in relief. She’d been down there so long he was afraid the human got the best of her.
Kat snuck a human in her mouth in the commotion.
Once they had stormed the town and traveled back to the city Ralf, Louie, Vladimir, Kat, and Ginny regrouped to discuss their next plan of action while the trolls and giants slept from their feast.
“That was a tiny village, so our attack should go unnoticed.” Louie started.
“So what’s the plan now?” Ralf asked.
“We need to get Kat to base 51. Kat needs to remember that we need to keep some humans alive and has hopefully learned some self-restraint. We need to convince General Fliegan however that she hasn’t changed and is as bloodthirsty as ever.”
Kat nodded enthusiastically.
“In the meantime, Bella…or, Ginny?” Louie glanced at Ginny.
“Better call me Ginny, I just don’t feel like a ‘Bella’ anymore” Ginny stated.
“Very well, in the meantime Ginny and Vladimir will recruit monsters to our own private army, while convincing the humans that it is in fact, the end of the world.”
“Oh, we’re going to have to part ways?” Ginny asked sadly.
“For now.” Louie gave her a small shy smile. “We have a lot to do and only a few days to do it in.”
“Ok, shall we try and meet in a few days? When and where?” Ralf asked.
“We have three days until the human Thanksgiving here in the United States. Let’s use that day as our day of attack. We attack at sunrise in three days, take over the surface, and then prepare to fight Lady Hua-yang’s army and Queen Hecate’s army. We can meet that evening so we can battle together.”
“Understood. I’ll bring us to you.” Bella told him.
“What about Mother’s army?” Kat scratched her ears with her back leg.
“Lady Hua-yang will undoubtedly stop her army before the uprising. They may be on their way to battle each other as we speak.” Vladimir told them.
“Then I think it’s time for us to go.” Louie stated, and Ralf and Kat stood up to leave.
“How will you cross the human border?” Vladimir asked.
“Kat can take a break from practicing restraint.” Louie grinned, and Kat panted happily.

Meanwhile, in a small college town in Maine, other spooky forces were at work.
The alarm buzzed angrily all too early in the morning, and the sleepy eyed college student looked at the clock in irritation. It was 6:00 am and the room was still dark. The sun hadn’t even gotten up yet, so why did she have to?
She rolled laboriously over and her hand hung over the snooze button. Maybe five more minutes of precious sleep? However she thought better of it when she recalled the need for coffee and last minute cramming for the test she had first thing that morning.
The college student flopped gracelessly out of bed and dragged her feet across the floor. A fluffy white cat greeted her at her bedroom door, and she patted the chirpy creature on the head while she made her coffee.
The smell filled the small kitchen and she stood for a moment, book in hand, admiring the aroma and letting it seep into her brain through her nose in the hopes of a small kick start to her sleepy head.
Once her coffee was poured into her mug, she gathered her things so that she could go and wait for the bus to bring her to campus, where she could find a quiet nook to study in before class.
However, she soon found that she was missing something very important and no amount of searching turned it up. She flipped over the couch to look underneath, searched her closet, tearing books and clothing out and they scattered across the room in a gigantic mess.
Her entire apartment soon became an organized mess of “searched” and “not searched”, and once the second pile disappeared she sat in confused defeat in front of the searched pile. Even her cat sat atop the pile and was staring at her in wonder and confusion. Her owner had finally gone completely insane. The cat had always known it was coming.
The student looked at the cat, considering whether or not the cat might have taken the lost item. “Ashe?” She asked, and the cat only chirruped at her from the pile of laundry, furniture and books.
The student sighed, and then begrudgingly left for school, hoping that no one would notice that we was missing her left shoe.

Emily and Nichole zipped across the western landscape, heading resolutely South while listening to monster radio. The speaker was talking about the upcoming war and the obvious dispute between the two monster groups.
Some felt that it was time to take the surface and reclaim what was once theirs. Thanks to the giant werewolf attack in Boulder the war was clearly on. Others felt that the humans could be fooled and that they should remain underground, no uprising was really needed, nor did they have a chance at surviving. Still others felt that they ought to go even further underground and forget the whole thing.
A lot of monsters were backing up the uprising however, and most of the talk followed what they might do once they reclaimed the surface.
“I think I’d like to start a human farm. You know, save a few from being eaten by everyone and then farm them as food.” Said one werewolf sheep farmer who was getting tired of eating only sheep.
“I hope to get some land, and have a nice house by a quiet river somewhere.” A Naga told the radio reporter. “I love living underground and all, but it would be so nice to sit in the sunlight again.”
“I plan to take over the old cities that will be left after we take out the humans. I hope to turn the London Tower into a club if it’s left standing after the war” a gargoyle informed them. “It could be a great hang out place and maybe even a spot for young monsters to hang out instead of getting into trouble.”
“A museum might be a thing to make. Something to warn other monsters that letting the humans or any lesser species for that matter get out of hand can cause great consequences. We should have taken the surface back long ago, or at least stopped them in the industrial revolution. They got too smart and too many for their own good!” A Jinn discussed with the news reporter. This Jinn in particular happened to be a well known monster historian and resented the genie myths that humans made about them granting humans wishes.
“It is my hope, with the humans gone, to locate the dragons and the giant birds like the Roc and the Thunderbird that have been hiding and sleeping deep, deep, below the Earth’s surface and bring them back. Such creatures have been hidden away for too long and need to be brought back.” A young Greek Faun spoke earnestly through the radio.
“Dragons?” Nichole bemused. As if to answer her unasked question, the Faun continued.
“They are said to be slumbering in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, but they haven’t been seen for many centuries and these are only rumors. Potentially true rumors, but rumors all the same.”
“DETOUR!” Nichole shouted, and turned the chopper East.
“You want to find dragons? What about our mission?” Emily asked.
“Who cares about the mission? We have lots of bombs and wine! Let’s go find some dragons!”
Emily sighed. “Ok, but let’s hope the kitsune doesn’t get too mad at us.”
At this point it was already evening, and it would take all night to fly to the triangle. Instead of falling asleep and crashing the chopper, Nichole put it down and they napped in a quiet and empty cornfield.

Kat, Ralf and Louie stared at the floodlights that swept across the desert landscape. Armed guards lazily walked along the walls that divided Mexico and the United States, smoking and talking loudly to each other.
They were fearless, thinking that the only thing that might lurk in the darkness was refugees and drug smugglers. Little did they know that three monsters waited patiently for the right moment to leap and tear them to shreds.
Kat’s tail was twitching the way a cat’s would, and she was stretching her jaw open and closed in preparation to swallow the men whole. The trick with eating a military man however was to disarm them, because when they shoot their guns from inside her belly it gives her terrible indigestion.
While a werewolf may be defeated by gunfire, if the gunfire is sufficiently numerous enough, nothing can defeat a werewolf once it was inside their stomach.
Finally the moment was right, and Kat sprang into action. She cleared the ground between them in two mighty leaps, and was up the wall by the third jump. She knocked the gun out of the man’s hand and it flew away. She had accidently taken his arm off with it, and he spurted blood from his shoulder.
The man watched his arm sail away down to the ground, and then screamed bloody murder. Kat threw him up into the air and swallowed him whole while the other five guards turned and started firing at Kat.
She leapt into the middle of a group of three that were rather drunk and had been sharing a few bottles of tequila, and she knocked the weapons out of their hands as well. In the frenzy (she was a bit distracted, two guards were shooting at her and they weren’t missing each time) she accidently slapped a head off of one of them.
All four remaining guards stopped to watch the head fly through the air and land with a sickening thud on the ground in front of them. The headless body flailed in a horrible fashion, and then sank to the ground, lifeless.
The two men further down the wall raised their guns again, eyes wide with fear, when Ralf and Louie grabbed them from behind. They were then dragged down to the ground where they experienced a bloody horrible death.
When Louie and Ralf climbed up the wall they saw that Kat had eaten the other guards and was sitting expectantly in the Hummer that they had left behind.
Ralf shrugged. “I’ll drive.”

While Ralf, Louie and Kat drive on to Base 51 to meet with General Fliegan, who had also traveled all night, Nichole and Emily had made it to their destination by the time the sun had come up.
They hovered over the water, drinking their morning cup of coffee and contemplating how to wake the sleeping dragons.
“How do we know they’re even down there?” Emily asked.
Nichole shrugged, and looked back at the pile of explosives behind them. “I think I know a way to find out.”
They lifted the bombs and prepared them to go off in the water, and one after another dropped them into the ocean.
They sank and exploded beneath the watery depths, and both mummy and gnome cheered to see the aqua fireworks and flying dead fish that accompanied it.
When the water settled, they both leaned forward to stare at the water, and found themselves troubled by the stillness that they found.
“Well damn” Emily sighed.
Nichole however was determined, and tried another round of explosives.
Again the water frothed and foamed, and fish flopped lifelessly out of the water while smoke bubbled up to the surface, but no giant creatures emerged from the dark depths below.
They stared at the water, sipping their coffee in silence as they watched the bubbles float furiously to the surface. When they were done the water was still again, except for the waves, and still no giant creature stirred.
Emily saw the look of utter disappointment on Nichole’s face and giggled. Nichole didn’t appreciate this, and in a fit of sudden grumpiness and begrudging she pushed Emily out of the chopper and into the water below.
Luckily for Emily her coffee was safe in a seal tight mug, but she was nevertheless displeased to be suddenly in the cold Atlantic Ocean. She sank into the watery deep with her arms crossed, pondering what she could do to Nichole to get revenge, when Emily noticed that her coffee mug was floating away from her.
She reached for it, when a great blue dragonhead got in her way and glared at her. Picking up both Emily and the coffee mug, the dragon took her to the surface where he could scold her properly.
“What do you think you’re doing, waking me from my nap?” The dragon asked angrily while holding the little gnome up to his face to see her better.
Emily decided to respond by biting the dragon on his nose with her tiny but sharp teeth.
“Ow!” The dragon cried, and dropped the gnome.
“Give me back my coffee!” Emily hollered.
“Coffee? What coffee?” The dragon answered, pretending to not know where it went.
“It’s in his other hand still!” Nichole called from the chopper.
The dragon looked up, only then noticing the helicopter that was circling his head, operated by the optimistic mummy who kept hollering at him to breath fire and come destroy stuff with them.
The dragon noticed all the dead fish around him and smirked. “Something fishy is going on here.”
“Oh, very funny. Now shut up and give me back my coffee!” Emily snapped.
“No, you mean very punny” the dragon corrected her and then puffed his chest in pride at his own humor.
“Are you the only dragon down there?” Nichole asked from the chopper.
“No, but I’m the only dragon up here.”
“I’ll shoot you.” Nichole threatened.
“Well that’s not very nice.” The dragon stated, unworried by her threat.
“That’s the point!” Nichole yelled getting irritated.
“Did you wake me up just to threaten to shoot me?” The dragon asked, uncomfortably pulling Emily off his tail where she had latched on and was trying to cause him discomfort. “You’re not very hospitable” he said, trying to poke fun at the fact that Nichole was covered in rags.
“I’m gunna shoot. Get out of the way Emily.” Nichole informed them.
Emily was too determined to get her coffee back however and ignored the mummy. She had managed to get onto the dragons’ head and was running toward his other arm with a look of rage and determination.
He moved his arm out of her reach, so she turned and bit his ear instead. The dragon yowled and surrendered the coffee, “Ok, I hear you!” He then placed the tiny menace on the chopper, where they made faces at each other while Nichole yelled at him.
“Why don’t you go back under and get the rest of the dragons?”
“Why would I do that?” The dragon asked, sticking his tongue out at Emily. Emily returned the gesture and added a pig-nose as well, lifting up her nose with one finger and blowing a raspberry at the dragon.
“Because I said so.” Nichole replied, as if that should be enough of a reason for anyone.
The dragon scoffed. “You’ve said a lot of things. Doesn’t mean I need to listen.” He then stuck his fingers in his ears and crossed his eyes at Emily.
Emily again returned the gesture, and stuck her tongue out again, trying her best to make a worse face than he was making.
Nichole aimed her bazooka at him. “Will this make you listen?!”
“How can it? Bazooka’s can’t talk!”
“This one can. It says BOOM!” Nichole grinned and fired at the dragon.
The dragon snapped the weapon from her grasp and dodged the rocket. He decided that he had had enough of this and decided to go back to his nap. The dragon reached out and grabbed the chopper, and shook the two monsters out into the water. Then he broke the helicopter and tossed it into the water.
Nichole and Emily watched it sink in dismay. “Our wine…”
“You jerk!” Emily yelled and swam toward the dragon so she could hit him, when another red dragon emerged from the water.
It held up the rocket. “Did someone drop this on my head?” It growled.
“He did it.” Nichole and Emily both pointed at the blue dragon.
“Hey! What?!” The blue dragon protested but the red dragon was already on him, breathing smoke and fire.
The blue dragon sank to safety beneath the watery depths, and Nichole and Emily cheered for their hero.
“Hey!” Nichole yelled excitedly. “Want to come with us and blow stuff up?”
“Yeah!” The red dragon roared. So they clamored onto his back and off they went, to destroy and conquer the world.

Meanwhile, the rising of the sun that day brought Louie, Ralf, and Kat to base 51. The ambled tiredly up the steps, and where met at the door by Lady Hua-yang and a few other military monsters, armed to the teeth.
“I thought you’d never make it here.” Lady Hua-yang scolded, and her eyes scanned the sky, perhaps looking for a helicopter and a rogue gnome and mummy.
“The harpies set us back a bit. Is Mother’s army still something we have to worry about?” Louie asked, marching up to Lady Hua-yang.
“I will deal with her personally now that I am assured of your location and the mission’s success.” She turned to Kat. “Kat, we have to run some tests on you to make sure you are still the match we need. We can not fail, so I don’t want any surprises.”
Kat nodded and drooled. Kat didn’t know she was good at acting.
They went inside and were promptly met by an excited General Fliegan.
“There’s the man eating monster I’ve been looking for!” He rushed forward and shook Kat’s paws excitedly. “Come, this way, this way! There’s no time to lose now!”
Kat was lead down a hallway into a giant lab room. In a glass room they could see zombies milling about the room. It appeared that they were having some kind of spasm.
“What’s wrong with them?” Kat asked, mouth open in concern.
“Someone made the mistake of showing them cable television. They learned this…this…twerking thing during one of the shows.” General Fliegan looked terminally embarrassed.
“Ugh.” Replied Ralf, Kat, and Louie.
“So what now?” Kat asked.
“We need you to eat this room full of humans. We just need to test your human eating capacity.” General Fliegan turned Kat toward another room, that was packed full of women, men, children and the elderly. Some looked sick, most looked terrified. Kat noted that a few of them looked completely off their rocker.
She knew that this was it. This was no time to hold any restraint, and that she could ponder her actions after they’d taken her D-stuff. She had to prove she could eat anything and everyone with a reckless abandon, but she felt a twinge as Mother’s words ran through her head while she stared at the room full of humans. “If you eat all of them, even the good ones, then you are no different than the humans that killed those wolves.”
Kat saw the family of wolves inside her head, and she remembered the rage she had felt. Instead of making her rethink her actions, to make her show restraint, the words burnt into her brain and heart and stomach and made her resolve not to leave any in this room alive. No human should have to see the horror that she was about to partake on them and survive with the terrible memories.
Kat decided from now on, every death will be humane; every death will be quick unless that human deserves, through some evil misdeed of their own, a crunchy death between Kat’s mighty jaws.
Lady Hua-yang opened the door, which swung open in what appeared to be slow motion, and she stood back to watch as Kat ate the entire room without a moment’s hesitation.
Human after human went simply flying into Kat’s mouth and she ate them like she was in a pie-eating contest. She only stopped once to belch loudly before returning to her heinous work, jamming human after human between gaping teeth.
After only a few minutes the room was empty and Kat sat down in a tired heap, panting.
“Whoah, how many humans was that?” Ralf asked, eyes growing wide. Beside him, Louie worried that Kat had lost her resolve to keep any human left alive.
“That was one hundred humans.” General Fliegan grinned, happy with the results. It was plain that Kat was a human eating machine and this was a strong characteristic that should carry on to the zombies.
Lady Hua-yang smiled delicately as well, coming to the same conclusion as General Fliegan.

Next they extracted some blood from Kat, and she didn’t find this at all pleasurable. It took several monsters including Ralf and Louie to hold her down so that General Fliegan could extract the needed D.N.A.
Once obtained, General Fliegan rushed down the hall to mix the concoction. “We will have to wait only a short while. This process doesn’t take long, and soon we can use the infection on our test subjects.” General Fliegan looked again in disappointment at the first few batches of zombies, which were thankfully no longer twirking, but were doing yoga now instead. One of them attempted a downward facing dog when their jaw suddenly popped off.
It looked at the jaw sadly.
“How will the attack be spread?” Kat asked.
“All major airports will be hit. It takes a day for a healthy human to get sick and become zombie-like, which will be enough time to spread the disease fairly evenly. Once a human is infected and it kills another human, they disease spreads much, much quicker. The transformation can happen in as little as five minutes.” General Fliegan informed them, leading them to their rooms.
“You may stay here for now. A guard will accompany you if you wish to leave the room. Food will be brought in shortly, that is, if you are hungry.” He stated, glancing to Kat. Kat shrugged and grinned.
“We thank you for your service. Soon we will again have the surface.” Lady Hua-yang appeared and bowed to them.
“Any time” Ralf smiled sweetly.

Ali the witch marched down the halls with determination. They had little time to act, and they had to act now that witch queen Hecate was in a drunken stupor. It wasn’t that she had purposely drunken more than she could handle. It was that Ali had made sure the shots were mixed stronger than she was used to.
Ali needed the witch queen out of the way. As a close friend of Ginny Greenteeth, this was also about revenge. She ordered the witches to prepare themselves, whatever transport they chose was fine, but they planned on striking the White House around dinnertime. If the Americans believed the world was coming to an end, perhaps that influence will help the rest of the world believe that the end was coming.
Bella and Vladimir had made it back to Bell that morning to inform her of the plan, and Ali was delighted to hear that Bella had gotten back into drowning people again.
“That’s such great news!” Ali cried, hugging her old friend.
“I see your fix hasn’t changed.” Bella noted, seeing all of the animals that Ali kept in her room.
Ali laughed and scratched her head. “Yeah, turning humans into animals and collecting them is still a hobby.”
“What?!” Vladimir cried. “You mean that YOU’RE Circe!? The Greek witch that queen Hecate had executed for defying her?”
“I had to fake my death, chance my name, and pretend to have a new fix, all to get close to the witch queen Hecate again.” Ali told them. “Hecate is weak. Her fix these days is alcohol, and I can’t believe how ugly she is when she’s out of her fix. Uglier than you on coffee, Ginny.”
Bella smacked her friend. “How did you hide all of this from Hecate? If she saw your room she’d know you’re Circe.”
Ali shrugged. “She’s always drunk. I Just tell her my fix is collecting fur, for fur coats. She doesn’t even notice that they’re all alive.”
Bella giggled. “So can we count on the witches to be on our side?”
“Anything to overthrow Hecate. They’re not fond of her at all. Anytime anyone shows a smidge of promise she chops their heads off. She hasn’t put herself in a favorable light, that’s for sure.”
“Good. A witch should be able to use her full potential and not have to hide. These poor witches probably don’t realize that Hecate is nothing like the witch she once was. No one worships her anymore. She’s just a drunk on a throne.” Bella smiled.
“So we attack at midnight. We’ll make it look like a tremendous and unbelievable sight, something no human can ignore. Then we’ll head for the governments of every country. All with the message, it’s the end of the world.”
“Good. I’ll send a raven over to base 51 to check on the zombie progress.”
“Careful.” Ali warned, “If they find the raven they might think it’s from Mother’s army. I’d hate for you to lose a good raven.”
Bella thought about it and then smiled. “Then I’ll send a bat instead.”
Vladimir frowned.

Vladimir appeared in a poof of smoke, transported by Bella’s magic. He was sure that would use a lot of magic, and Bella was certain to be drowning some Boulder townsfolk right now to make up for it.
Vladimir was in Ralf’s room, and he looked up in surprise from the large pile of food in front of him. “What are you doing here?”
“Came to check on things. The humans are getting their only warning tonight at Midnight. Any news on the zombie virus?”
“We’re gunna be called in tomorrow morning to see the results. Kat made a great show of eating humans in the test, we’re hoping she still has some restraint.”
“Did they only use Kat’s D.N.A.?”
“No, they took some of mine and Louie’s too.” Ralf shrugged.
“Maybe your own resolves will help balance Kat’s need to eat everything in sight.”
“We can hope.”
“Ok, Bella’s going to send me back in a few hours, so for now I’ll just hide in here.” Vladimir resigned, and then slipped under Ralf’s bed.
Ralf shrugged. “Tell her to send you again tomorrow morning. That’s when we’ll know what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, Nichole and Emily were wrecking havoc on top of their new BFF Kohdie the fire dragon. They had no respect for other monsters plans, no regard for the summons of war or the calculated strategies that others had spent their lives planning, to win the war.
They were doing what they wanted to, and damn everyone and everything to hell that disagrees with them.
“What shall we destroy?” Nichole asked. She talked as though they hadn’t crashed their dragon through a mini mall and two parking garages already.
“Hmmm” Emily pretended to think, but already knew what she wanted destroyed. “Remember our college?”
“I’ll miss it.” Nichole sighed, pretending that she really would. She wouldn’t of course.
Emily giggled. “I never liked the human city above our college either. Burlington. Bleck, what a bunch of yuppies and hicks!”
“Hicks? You know you’re wearing a plaid jacket, right?”
“And tie-dye.” Emily added, showing her that beneath her gnome jacket she wore a purple tie-dye shirt.
“I have to agree with you though. That town sucks. Let’s trash it.”
Emily giggled evilly. “I just have one stop that we need to make.”
“Ok!” Nichole grinned, and they flew into a school playground, and the dragon knocked the giant slide over before sailing up again.

Wendall sat alone in the small office. Outside the streets were unusually quiet, even the morning-commute was unusually small, and everyone seemed to wear a panicked or unhappy face as the drove by.
Wendall watched them drive by, faces tight and eyes hard. A few of them were crying, all woman, and he wondered why.
Wendall was still in his pajamas, feeling no need to get ready for work. Tomorrow was Thanksgiving, and Wendall was grateful for the disappearance of Emily, the ghost gnome that had haunted him for too many years.
He sat and took a deep long sip of his warm coffee, French roast with a peppermint creamer. As he drank his eyes caught an unpleasant sight.
A large red dragon flew low over the street, breathing fire and setting a few houses on fire. Wendall saw Emily happily sitting on the dragon, and she caught his eyes and laughed evilly at him. Her evil giggle made Wendall gag and cough on the coffee, which he spat out and turned the window brown with spray.
The dragon was soon gone from sight, lifting off back into the sky and disappearing in the clouds.

The red lights were flashing, panic in the office. War was started! War was here! If this isn’t world war three, who knows what is, because a real, live bonafide fire-breathing dragon is lose, the White House is under attack, and somehow, something even more confusing and terrifying had happened.
First Sergeant Forest Green looked around frantically around his room, his house, and his closet. “What the Blazes?” He cried, throwing about things in the room, unable to find what he was searching for.
His phone was ringing off the hook, and he turned to grab it hastily, unable to ignore it any longer. “Hello, Hello?!”
“Green, where the HELL are you?!”
“I’m on my way! I Just…god-DAMNIT! I can’t find my other shoe!” Green was about ready to pull his hair out.
“You’re not the only one. Just deal with it and get in here!”
Green placed his phone down in mild wonder. He’s not the only one? What does that even mean?
He looked about the room for an alternative, and his eyes fell on a shoebox and some duck tape. He sighed miserably. Who said that war was fashionable?

Circe the witch lead the attack, dressed up as one of the four horsemen in the Christian Apocalypse. She rode the red horse, representing war. With three other witches, Ginny included, as the other horsemen. Ginny rode the pale horse; which represented death.
The witches stormed the white house, with only the witches riding the horses visible. Government officials fled in terror, screaming like little girls and wetting their pants.
The military tried to surround them, but the witches paid them no notice. “The END is coming!” Circe yelled, clear and loud.
A man, scoffing and thinking the witches appearance nothing more than a hoax, stomped up to Circe and touched her arm to forcibly remove her from the area. Circe looked down at him, sharp dressed with an earpiece on suggesting that he was C.I.A. She smiled, sweetly, and then turned him into a penguin.
The crowd gasped and stepped back. This clearly was no hoax.
“Your end has come, humans. You can no longer be permitted to live. Your God has abandoned you.”
The people groveled and cried. “Is there nothing we can do?”
“No.” Stated Ginny, grinning widely at their terror.
“How will we die? By fire?” One man asked.
“Zombies?” Asked a teen.
“Both.” Smiled Circe.

The next morning Louie, Ralf and Kat were woken up early to see the results of the test. The zombie made with their D.N.A. mix was chewing on the walls, waiting for them to send it in some food.
“This is promising.” General Fliegan said.
Once lady Hua-yang arrived, General Fliegan activated the button to push some healthy humans into the room. The zombie didn’t hesitate. It was on the humans in an instant, biting and chewing and generally making a big bloody mess.
Even Kat felt proud at the zombie’s obvious appetite.
Louie and Ralf watched with some mild concern. They needed the zombie to be bloodthirsty and ravenous at this point, because if the zombie showed General Fliegan and Lady Hua-yang any hesitation they would find another monster’s D.N.A. to use.
However, they saw in this beast no hope for any signs of restraint or self-control at all, and worried that once these zombies were released the humans wouldn’t stand a chance.
Lady Hua-yang smiled. “We send out the virus at once.”

General Fliegan nodded and left the room, marching smartly to a room with many phones and screens. He flicked them on and informed the demons on the receiving end of the calls that they were to collect the virus he would be sending them via genetically modified bat (they weren’t really genetically modified, they just had little rockets on their backs) and they, as demons, would possess aircraft personnel and spread the infection via coughing, spitting, whatever they had to do to get as many people sick as possible. “We should have some zombies all over the world by tomorrow morning.” Lady Hua-yang smiled. “Time to go silence Mother and her army.”
Lady Hua-yang marched silently out of the room and the others stared at the zombie. The zombie stopped its chewing to look up at them, and despite being covered in fresh blood and bit of skin and guts, they swore they saw it wink at them before it returned to sticking his head in the victims now empty chest cavity.

High above the clouds the city of Burlington was unaware of what was about to hit them. Half the city was upset over the loss of their left shoes, flaky college girls cried over the loss of the UGG boots that they thought made them look pretty. The other half was unconcerned since they were hippies and had always wanted the joy of not having to wear shoes.
Store supervisors and managers told the swarms of people that they too, were out of left shoes. There was not a single full set of shoes anywhere, and no one knew why.
News stations tried to make light of the situation, but everywhere there was a tense sense of worry and dread. How could something like this happen? Who was responsible? Where can they get in line to yell at someone?
Swarms had made their way to the White House. This must be Obama’s fault. Others found their way to shoe manufacturing companies, and much to their dismay they were all out of order. There were missing gears and large pieces of machinery that the factory could not work with out.
The world was falling into chaos, and it was because of shoes.
While the city of Burlington cried or danced in their bare feet, a shadow crept across the land and those who saw it stopped their crying or rejoicing to stare in wonder and concern.
A dragon burst from the clouds, red as blood and as real as anything, and crashed magnificently into the college. Fire licked the building edges and the dragon took great joy in knocking over buildings like a real life Godzilla.
It knocked over the Bursars office under Emily’s direction, and they lead the dragon to the mall, where they had him dig. Kohdie dug, deep into the earth, tunneling toward the monster college that lay directly underneath.
The dragon broke through the deep hard mud and rocks that separated the two colleges, and let lose a mighty breath of fire onto the campus below.
Instantly the monster campus caught fire, and was overwhelmed with singed monsters running amuck, panicked as they held their finals and smoking essays that they had spent far too many hours working on.
The library was soon in ruins, and then the campus food court was destroyed. No one mourned the loss of the food court.

Just off to the side of the mall was the alchemy building. Nichole recalled a Monster Ecology friend of hers that had hated Alchemy class, and decided to do her old friend a favor and destroy the building. When Kohdie smashed the building with a thrash of his tail, the building tumbled and broke while wafts of purple, green, and yellow smoke billowed out from the remains.
Having thoroughly trashed the building, including the building named Shibles were Emily had had most of her classes and viewed it as akin to a prison cell, they returned to the surface to continue destroying Burlington.
With a grin, Nichole pointed out a fireworks store, and Kohdie happily set it on fire. They found themselves extremely surprised by the resulting explosion and Kohdie lost his balance in the sheer force of the gigantic ‘BOOM’!
Fire works rocketed out of the building, all of them at once, and there were quite a few. “Oooooh!” said Nichole and Emily, “Ahhhhh!”
Then they said “Weee!” as they flew through the air when Kohdie lost his balance, and they landed on the Magic Hat Brewery. At this, they shared a happy grin, and vanished into the building.
They came out moments later, singing “I just can’t wait to be King!” and drunkenly clinking glasses together.
“Light weights” Kohdie sniggered.
“Ooh!” Emily suddenly had a thought, and Nichole turned to her expectantly. They were having a lot of fun, and Nichole wondered why on earth they didn’t do this more often. Oh, right, because normally they would get caught and be in so much trouble.
“Let’s go to lake Champlain and scare some people!”
“Ok!” Nichole grinned, and they hopped back onto Kohdie, who first trashed the Waterfront Park, sticking his feet inn the ground and nocking over trees, and then they sailed off into the sky leaving the smoking city in a pathetic ruin.

Lady Hua-yang met Mother in Monster Hollow. The great bear had been waiting there for the kitsune, sharpening her great claws and prepared for battle.
Mother had only wanted peace, but war had already broken out. There was no turning back. Now Mother would at least go down with honor, and fight the insane kitsune that had started this whole battle.
Mother was certain that Lady Hua-yangs next plan was to take over the entire surface, and the kitsune had a love for carnage. If the humans were gone then Lady Hua-yang was sure to attack her people. Mother would protect them with her life, and take down the fox demon.
Lady Hua-yang lost no time into changing. She turned from the ancient Japanese lady that she normally appeared as, to the nine-tailed demon fox with eyes bright as fire and fur as dark as ash.
“Time we end this, bear.”
Mother said nothing, but charged at the fox.
The monsters of Monster Hollow watched in fear and awe at the battle between the gigantic bear and the fearsome fox, teeth flashed and claws swung in the air as they growled and tackled each other.
The bear bit the fox’s leg and swung her into the air. The fox flew through the air but returned baring her own sharp teeth for a deadly attack. She went for the bear’s throat, but the bear was too strong and fast. She swiped the fox away with a gigantic paw.
The kitsune was not deterred, and lunged again this time attempting to blind the bear with her many tails, slapping the bear in the face.
The bear, annoyed, lunged at the fox but this time missed. The fox rounded the bear and bit her ear, which enraged the bear. Mother thrashed angrily, and tossed Lady Hua-yang away, but before she could regain herself the kitsune was on her again, tearing at her neck.
Mother dug her claws deep into the fox’s chest and tore her away, and they both sat and glared at each other, bleeding and growling.
Mother’s wound was deep, and she knew she only had one more good attack in her. Lady Hua-yang was doing much better, and waved her tails angrily while trying to decide if her ribs were broken now.
“You can’t win, bear.” Lady Hua-yang hissed.
Mother had no breathe left to argue, but rallied her strength and swung at the fox, her last strength and fierce determination in one mighty blow.
She made a hit, her claws connecting with a face, slashing the kitsune across her furry nose and sending a spray of red across the rock walls.
Lady Hua-yang rolled across the rocks and slowly got back to her feet, but Mother had fallen, exhausted and drained of too much blood.
The kitsune, triumphant, limped weakly from the Hollow and to the war that was waiting for her above.

While Lady Hua-yang battled the werebear Mother, demons all over the world were going to the airport, and possessing a human who works there. The ticket agent, bag handler, security officers, all possessed and had a terrible cold.
Before the demons possessed the humans, the humans were infected with the zombie virus. The demons then possess them, and start coughing and sneezing on whatever they can.
Some demons sneezed and spit in their hands, and then touched as many people in the airport as they could. They were extra friendly and made an effort to touch people’s shoulders or shake their hands at every possibility.
Some were not as discrete, and “accidently” sneezed in people’s faces.
Thus the zombie virus was spread, in every airport and in every nation in the world.
Thanksgiving morning was met with a blood red sun and an ominous quiet. Red and blue lights lit up the streets in the early morning, and the sound of sirens barely covered the sounds of screaming.
Loved ones who had suddenly gotten sick and died hat night opened their eyes and crashed Thanksgiving dinner with a new diet and a bity attitude.

In several homes however, after all of the broadcasting on television about the attack on the White House and the sightings of a dragon, which was supposedly tied into the terrorist attack in Boulder with the giant werewolf.
Some folks were not easily lied to, and they didn’t appreciate the news media treating them like they’re stupid. They had been preparing for years, picking up hints and suggestions about an impending zombie apocalypse from the media.
They had decked out their vehicles, planned counter attacks to a zombie invasion, mapped out where is safe to go and had piles and piles of canned food, weapons and med packs stashed into safe rooms that they had spent nearly all of their savings on.
When the zombies came, they had a hard time pretending not to be excited.
Jackie and Sophia, two 25 and 27 year old sisters, were one of the few that were prepared. They had hosted meetings with their close friends for a few years to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. It had started out as fun, just a game while they watched zombie movies and ate popcorn.
“If the zombie apocalypse happened, I’d hide in the mall!”
“That’s a terrible idea! Every time people hide in the mall in the movies they always get shanked by some zombie who was in the mall before it was closed and locked up!”
“Well where would YOU hide?”
“A Bar! Lots of booze and it’s secure enough to keep the drunkards out!”
“Bars have the same problem! There’s always some dude already in there!”
“The only possible way to stay safe is to build your own secret base!”
The talk progressed to actual plans, and somewhere down the line their plans became serious. When they were old enough to get jobs they started saving, all of the friends pooled their extra money together. Money for a safe house, and for supplies. They build a place that no zombie could get in, and they filled it with nearly a life’s supply of food.
Sophia and Jackie woke up early that morning to the alarmed phone call of one of their best friends Nick. Sophia wearily picked up the ringing intrusion and answered with a groggy “hello?”
“Sophia, it’s seriously happened. I mean we knew it was gunna happen soon, all the monster sighting and missing left shoes, and-and-“ Nick dropped off in a serious of hysterics.
“Nick, what are you trying to say?”
“Sophia, it’s ZOMBIES. ZOMBIES! Oh My GOD ZOMBIES! We need to go to the base! We need to get our family! Zombies!”
“Nick, CALM DOWN. We have a plan for this.” Sophia was already up, pulling a zombie preparedness kit out from under the bed and looking out the window. Jackie shuffled into the room curious who was calling at the early hour, and saw the kit on Sophia’s bed.
“Oh.” She said, and dashed out of the room to make sure the house was secure.
“It’s not that I’m scared Sophia, I’m EXCITED! WOOO! I’m gunna shoot some zombies!”

Sophia tried hard not to laugh, this was hardly the time for celebration. “Get your stuff. I’m putting you in charge of calling the others, and meet us at the base.”
She put the phone down and looked outside, where she could see shuffling figures in the dark, and it raised the hair on the back of her neck. This wasn’t quite what she imagined.
“Jackie…” She called nervously, and her older sister moved into the room, carrying her gun and nearly ready to go.
Jackie leaned over to look at the sight that Sophia was looking at, and her jaw dropped in astonishment at what she saw.
“It’s not zombies, is it?”
“No…I think those are…trolls?”
“Aw, shit. We didn’t plan for those.”
They watched the trolls shuffle down the street, peering into the still sleeping houses as though planning which one to attack first.

Back in the forests of Maine, we return to out original hunters in the woods. Scott and Randall sat in the cabin, clutching their guns to their chest and staring wide-eyed out the window.
“You know Scott,” Randall stated, staring out the window, “I don’t think this is bigfoot anymore.”
They were deep in the forest, in their favorite old hunting shack. Scott and Randall had been saving up money since they were kids together, pooling in pennies and dimes and saving bottles for the return money.
After years they had saved the money up, and purchased the small plot of land in the woods. There they constructed the cabin with their old buddy Jim, Jim who was eaten by what they thought was bigfoot only a month ago.
The cabin could only be reached by old logging roads, and because the logging roads changed so didn’t the route they would have to take to get to the cabin each year.
They hunted deer and sometimes even bear in these woods, and the cabin represented fond and dear memories to them. That’s why Scott and Randall returned to the old cabin, and now that they felt sure the end of the world was coming there was only one thing left to do.
Scott lifted up his beer and drank, and Randall did the same. They watched the zombies wander through the woods outside their window, finding it strange that the zombies didn’t pay them any attention. They instead wandered on into the woods, sad looking and mopey.
Scott and Randall were surprised, this was not the way they imagined the end of the world to happen. It just didn’t feel right.
“Should we go down fighting or something?”
“What’s the point?” Randall returned, plopping down in his seat.
The radio was on and they closed their eyes, leaning back and drinking their last drinks.

Outside a zombie paused, letting itself fall behind the group and it looked into the small cabin. It tilted its head and wondered, seeing that the men must have known it was the end of the humans, but they didn’t seem afraid.
The zombie found that it could respect that. This surprised the zombie, that it could feel such a thing as respect.
The zombie watched the men closer, stepping forward and moving toward the cabin glass, but the men inside didn’t notice because they were too busy leaning back with their eyes closed, drinking and talking quietly.
The zombie heard the music, and something about the music reminded it of a past, of a self it used to be. Was that possible? Was it ever anything before it was dead? What was that? Was it like the humans?
The zombie too, closed its eyes and tried to relax, to bring about the same serene expression that the men had inside the cabin.
The zombie tried to dance, moving its feet automatically, a muscle memory it would seem. In fact, the zombie was again surprised to have such vague memories, and after dancing in a small and almost happy circle he looked in again through the window.
He watched the men open another beer. They held it close and dearly, knowing that it would be their last. They drank slowly and thoughtfully, swirling the drink about in their mouth.
The zombie wanted to try that too. The zombie was sure that it might remember, it might feel the happiness that the men seemed to get from the drink that looked so very familiar.
The zombie shuffled to the door, and found it latched. So he knocked, slow and purposefully. However the men inside didn’t hear over the sound of the music.
So the zombie kicked the door it. Zombies don’t have very good manners.
When he kicked the door down, the men stood up and Randall blindly shot at the zombie in panic.
“Oh, oh my god!” Scott cried, seeing the body as it fell to the ground.
“Jim?” Randall asked, mouth hanging open.
Jim had only lost his balance, but he didn’t enjoy getting shot at. He growled at the men in hunger, and the men cried in dismay.
“Jim, Jim snap out of it! It’s us! We’re your buddies!” Scott cried sadly as Jim stood up. Jim stared at them in consideration. Did he still want that drink? Would it really make him happy? What was happiness to a zombie if it wasn’t eating? Was that why he felt to sad? Why all of the zombies felt so very, very sad?
Jim moved toward the men, but they lacked the will to shoot. He stretched out his arm and reached for Randall, and Randall tried to step back but was frozen in terror.
Jim instead grabbed his beer, and he closed his eyes, and he took a long, long sip which he mulled about in his mouth and tasted like it was his very last beer.
But it didn’t make him happy. Jim didn’t feel anything at all.
So he turned to his old friends, and he ate them.

The zombies outside had turned at the sound of gunfire, and when they finally shuffled sadly to the location, all they saw inside the cabin was the zombie Jim sitting in an old chair and tapping his foot to the music playing on the radio.

The wandering zombie trudged morosely down the street. It passed a group of screaming, terrified humans, and it considered eating them. But something held the zombie back.
The zombie so desired to eat the humans, the squishy, juicy humans.
Oh, how it loved the sound of their screams and the look of horror on their faces. The way you could see the whites all the way around their eyes, and how sometimes they blubbered and cried as if it could save them.
He loved the way they crunched between his teeth, and the squishy texture of their…brains.
But the zombie couldn’t simply eat them all. It didn’t understand why, it just knew that it couldn’t eat them all. So the zombie walked, saddened and confused, wondering which humans it should eat.
As if to answer the zombies question, a man running from a pack of hungry zombies pushed a woman down so that he could get away. He didn’t see the zombie standing in the street, all by itself, and when he ran close the zombie decided that he looked exceptionally tasty. Too tasty not to eat.
So the man ran by and the zombie reached out, and crunched his teeth into the bone of his arm. The man fell, screaming, and was unable to escape the grip of the lone and hungry zombie.
Just as the zombie had thought, the man was too tasty not to eat.
All too soon there was nothing left of him, and the zombie was again overcome with sadness. It couldn’t eat them all. How very sad. But which ones COULD it eat?

Emily and Nichole sat on the lakeside, watching the humans run and scream. Yesterday before dark Kohdie had dove into Lake Champlain, and then suddenly emerged when there were a lot of people around. He scared the living daylights out of several folks, who thought they had seen the American version of the Loch Ness Monster, Champ, in Lake Champlain.
While this was great fun, and they were up most of the night terrorizing the Eastern countryside, they eventually had to sleep and woke up to the humans in a complete panic.
They were trying to fight back, military was flying and zipping about everywhere, trying to quarantine cities and attack any and all monsters on sight.
Of course this meant nearly all of the monsters were out too, and while humans vastly out numbered monsters, monsters were a bit harder to kill and therein laid the challenge.
This was in the monsters favor, but all the same Nichole and Emily weren’t too keen on getting hit with the human weapons that they kept seeing. Missiles, fighter jets, tanks and all sorts of other things were passing while they hid, just out of sight.
Kohdie had hidden in the water again, but they knew he couldn’t stay long, the humans were sure to come looking for Champ anytime soon.
“Let’s go with Kohdie to get the other dragons. I think they’re been asleep for long enough, don’t you?” Emily spoke softly as a hummer full of armed military men and women drove by.
Nichole was watching them with eyes glinting, pondering ways to curse the humans and have some fun. She glanced to Emily and mulled the idea over. “Could be dangerous.” She pointed at the military jets souring overhead.
“Could also be fun” Emily grinned, holding up some grenades she’d taken from an unsuspecting human.
“Why didn’t you just SAY you have grenades?” Nichole said, taking one from her and holding it like a prize.
They then walked over to the water, and whistled for Kohdie to come out. As he did there was of course a great commotion. Humans in the vicinity screamed and went into hysterics, while several of the military jets suddenly turned around and headed right for them.
“Ugh.” Emily sighed. Humans are such a nuisance.
“Let’s go!” Nichole yelled and they hopped back onto Kohdie. Kohdie flew low and knocked over several buildings and tipped over a tank with his tail, before flying high into the clouds to try and lose the military jets.
“Where are we going?” He asked, while Nichole and Emily held on for dear life. He was doing all sorts of areal acrobatics.
“To get the other dragons!” Nichole yelled through gritted teeth.
“Except for the punny one!” Emily agreed.
Kohdie laughed. “Most dragons ARE punny!” However, the gnome and mummy didn’t catch that as the jets started shooting loud missiles at them.

Kohdie dodged them and hit a plane with his tail, which went spiraling down into the remains of the campus library. Most of the town of Burlington was destroyed yesterday and still smoking from the fire that they had caused by setting off the firework factory.
Burlington was just as much of a mess as Boulder.
Nichole and Emily ignored the smoking remains, and traveled gleefully over the wreckage of the Eastern United States.
Happily, dragons make good time while flying so it only took a few hours to reach the Bermuda Triangle again.
However, of course, they couldn’t go straight there.
They first traveled along the coast, setting fire to buildings here and there and chasing after a few jets that tried to come after them.
Eventually they made it to Florida, and looked at Disney down below.
“Damn!” Nichole hissed.
Emily looked and saw what upset her. “They giants destroyed Disney before we could!” Then she thought, “I didn’t know the giants were still around. Huh.”
They circled and landed in front of the giants, who paused in their destruction to stare at the dragon, gnome, and mummy with small black eyes.
“Hey! Stop destroying all of the fun stuff!” Nichole yelled, waving a fist at the giant.
The giant ignored her and returned to smashing the giant globe in Epcot.
Nichole threw a rock at the giant, who groaned in disapproval but returned to rocking the globe. Not liking being ignored, Nichole closed her eyes and cursed her very hardest, and the globe suddenly fell on the giant, who toppled over underneath it and was squelched.
“Oops.” Nichole shrugged, and then decided that she didn’t mind, since she had technically destroyed the globe.
“Hey! Let’s go on some rides while we’re here!” Emily suddenly exclaimed.
They delightedly ran into the park, only to find pretty much everything had been shut down.
“Lame.” Nichole whined, and they ended up hopping back onto Kohdie and setting the place on fire before returning on their quest to get the other dragons.
In another hour they had made it there, and Kohdie dropped the gnome and mummy onto a boat while he plunged underwater.
Emily and Nichole sat on top of the abandoned boat, or perhaps it only looked abandoned. They noticed splotches of blood here and there and the still wet footprints of what looked like large webbed feet.
Nichole thought about a human book she’d once read, Call of Cthulhu. She wondered vaguely if that story might be true, and she imagined the sleeping god underneath the sea with the dragons. She imagined the feet of deep ones has left the wet prints, and had pulled the humans under the water in a foamy, bloody display.
She shook the thought from her mind as she saw the water begin to foam and boil. It swirled and tossed with such violence she thought that perhaps a bloody battle was taking place under the water, or perhaps Cthulhu himself was coming out to greet them, on this day, the end of humanity.
Then she saw the most fantastic thing that anyone will ever see. Dragon after dragon sprang from the water, scales hard and glowing in the sun, teeth white and sharp.
There were water dragons, Chinese dragons, European dragons and Norwegian dragons.
Dragons that were gold and gleaming, rusty and gray, some as white as fresh snow and some the color of the darkest night.
Among the dragons were other fantastic creatures, such as the gigantic Roc, whose feathers easily shed the ocean’s waters as it flew from the depths to the bright sky.
Following it came the North American Thunder bird, a great brown eagle with lightning stretching from its wingtips. The sky darkened around it with threat of a storm.
Then came a sight that neither Nichole nor Emily ever thought that they would see. A graceful ball of flame erupted from the waters, and unfolded into the delicate form of a great orange bird.
“A phoenix.” Nichole sighed at the sight.
The stared at the passing of the flying beasts as they flew off and away into the distance. “I think that was the most amazing thing I’ll ever see.”
Kohdie surfaced last and grinned at them. “That’s all of them!”
“Good work!” Emily grinned. They were sure to win the war now.
“Do you think Lady Hua-yang will be mad at us for not finding the werewolf?”
“Nah. She’ll probably be happy we brought back the dragons, that should make up for any damages we did.”
“Cool. Now what?”

Nichole gazed off into the distance. “Well, I don’t see any smoke coming from that direction, she pointed. “Let’s fix that.”
Emily giggled evilly.

Murmur finally clawed his way out of the city of Blub. Since the attack where the humans had unexpectedly dropped a bomb on the city and betrayed them, he had been stuck under the water with no way out.
It had taken some serious digging and tunnel hunting to finally find his way out, and that made him very grumpy.
The Merfolk hadn’t survived. The shock had killed them, but as a kelpie Murmur was of stronger fixings and had survived the bombing just fine. But he wasn’t at all happy, even if he was in the very least satisfied with remaining alive.
Murmur was going to get revenge for this, one way or another. He, a proud and beautiful kelpie couldn’t let such betrayal pass.
When Murmur was just a wee Kelpie his mother taught him to fight against those who would do him harm. She taught him to be fierce, to be unpredictable, to protect himself and those he cared about.

Murmur was determined to enact his revenge, and no human would be sorrier to see his angry face. He wasn’t just going to drown them, as his kelpie roots would inspire him to do, no. He would do something so much worse to them they would be sorry they had ever been born. Sorry that they had ever heard of the monsters and their army, sorry that their end would be at the angry hoofs of Murmur.
Murmur was rage, Murmur was vengeance, Murmur was wrath.
Murmur was also in the line of fire, and as he rounded the corned angry and plotting, his eyes widened in dismay when he saw the falling bomb, destined for the wretched witch city Bell.
Murmur never had only enough time to curse the humans one last time before he went up in flames.

Command Sergeant Major Frederic Wilkins had gotten the message, and he shuddered with the terrible weight of what he must do.
There were dragons everywhere, trolls, ogres, witches, every thing and every nightmare was out there wandering the street and it was clear they didn’t stand a chance.
France was being invaded by packs of werewolves; they were storming the countryside and terrorizing people in the streets.
In Japan they were overrun with Tengu, monsters that look like birds of prey but have human features and are highly skillful with a sword. They were slashing and chopping up people left and right.
Norway’s shores were under attack by krakens, crawling to the surface and eating everything that could get a hold of.
The Greek aisles were infested with Sirens, and men were happily being drowned to death by the beautiful creatures rather than face the horrible deaths of the zombies that walked the shoreline, ready to chew people’s faces off.
The world leaders had had a discussion that day. They decided that there was simply no way in Hell they could win this.
They were now outnumbered thanks to the zombie virus, and the people were in such a state of panic there was no controlling them. Things had been bad with the werewolf running amuck in Boulder, and the attacks at all the government houses in every country where the witches came foretelling them of the apocalypse. Unfortunately they perceived the witches warning as a threat, and they had focused on fighting rather than preparing to save themselves.
Now the order has been decided, and Command Sergeant Major Frederic Wilkins was charged, no, burdened with carrying out the final act.
Humans would not surrender the planet to the monsters. But they would die trying to save it from them. Even if it meant doing something foolish and incredibly stupid.
They were going to bomb the world. The whole world. Every last house, every last person.
No more Dunkin Donuts, Wilkins thought. No more Packers. He’s never see another game, or enjoy a cigar. If he had kids, he might think about how he would never see them again. But Wilkins never had a family, he was always too busy.
What was the point of being too busy in life, if it meant to had no one to miss when the world went up in flames? Wilkins decided he had made a mistake, but there was no way to change things now.
Wilkins picked up the phone. He had to pass on the message, order the troops and such. As he took a step he looked down in irritation. He never thought he’d have to end the world with only one shoe on.

Kat sat atop a hill with Louie, Ralf, Vladimir, Ginny and Circe. They watched the world burning, the humans screaming, everything coming up in smoke.
“We won’t survive this, will we?”
“I somehow doubt any of us will.”
Kat snatched a human that was running by and ate him whole. “Ahh. To think that might be my last meal.”
Louie and Ginny held hands and watched the bombing get closer and closer.
Ralf sighed. “We could try going underground. Might increase our chances.”
Vladimir shook his head. “The humans know where all the monster cities are. Mother had to tell them in order to get their help. They’ll be focusing their fire on the cities, I doubt anything will hold up.”
Circe cuddled with a fluffy orange tiger that peacefully sat next to her as they watched their impending doom get closer and closer.
“I DID IT!” The monsters jumped when they heard an unexpected voice, and there floated Danny the poltergeist. He was panting (as if ghosts can pant) and looking terribly triumphant.
“You did what?” Ralf asked.
“I stole ALL of the left shoes!” Danny gestured toward the explosions that were getting closer and closer, as if it was his doing.
“So WHAT?! You didn’t stop the humans from fighting!” Louie hollered angrily.
“Yeah, but I caused a hell of a lot of chaos! Hee hee!”
“Ugh.” Louie sighed, and decided he’d rather not have his life end fighting with a zany poltergeist.
They sat together in silence, feeling the incoming heat with a sense of calm.
“Well, it’s been fun.” Kat grinned.

All of the word was in flames. It wasn’t that the zombies couldn’t show restraint, they did. It also wasn’t because of the humans destroying themselves and the planet they live on. That was what everyone thought was the way the world as they knew it would end. A nuclear war; humans fighting humans over nothing at all. But this was different. While the earth was indeed destroyed in a giant war, it was not between humans. It was monster versus human, and nobody won.
Humans had dreamt of and feared monsters and the unknown for as long as they have existed. Humans never realized until too late that this was because monsters DID exist, and they were the greatest threat to ever face man.
But if monsters are real, and are more than just a figment of our own imaginations that we may place our fears into, if a monster is more that just an idea, and exists outside of the darkness hiding within our own hearts, then where did they come from?
Is there such thing as a god? Is it as Command Sergeant Major Frederic Wilkins predicted, that we were all placed on the planet Earth by a giant space mantis named Phazod?
As usual, the human theory about why we are here and how we got here was wrong. But then the question still hangs, where did the monsters come from?

High above the atmosphere, sitting in the cold empty of space was a ship. In that ship were two blue, bug eyed looking aliens named Barnk and Flogading. They stared at the various instruments and diagrams on the screens in front of them. They were lost in thought and in deep concentration as they added figures and determined results, pulling the statistics into charts and analyzing them with a fascinating speed.
Suddenly the screen flashed and another face came into view. It was grand high leader Jukardoey, and it gave a short greeting of “Gvarnug” before it waited expectantly for their report.
“Gvarnug boss Jukardoey. As you know this is the closing of our 6 billion year experiment on the pest species hominins. As we have seen in each of our test planets, the hominins evolve exactly the same way in each planet with only minor differences. On this planet there are skin color variations of pale and peachy to nearly black, with other colors in between, but there are no blue, green or orange colorations on this planet.” Barnk displayed pictures of the hominins present on earth.
“Like every test we have thus far conducted, they all end up destroying their planet along with everything else living in it given the chance.” Flogading displayed the ghastly images of human destruction. “They also attack each other, even in the presence of a greater threat.” Now images of human war and genocide filled the screen.
“They enslave each other, treat their animals terribly, and fight in the name of some archaic god that they think is all knowing loving, but desires for them to kill each other in his name.”
Jukardoey scoffed. “At least our people know there’s only one possible god, if any at all. Speaking of which, has our experiment done anything to help us prove its existence?”
“No. But as a pest control, the introduction of monsters has worked more than 70 percent of the time to rid the planet of the pest species hominins without destroying the planet.”
“Only 70 percent? Why not all of the time?” Jukardoey asked.
“It seems that in rare cases the monsters team up with the hominins and they destroy the planet together.”
“Well, Phazod knows we don’t have a better answer. But at least even with the use of monsters the humans are still destroyed? I suppose we’ll have to implement the monsters on all of the planets populated with the pest species hominins. Good job boys.” Jukardoey logged off and the screen went blank.
Barnk and Flogading, chief hominin exterminators straightened their many ties and nodded their many heads. “Lets get to work, Flogading. Those hominins are everywhere, we don’t want them taking over the entire Western Spiral Arm Galaxy.”
“We may be too late. Damn things breed like magathrips on a sunny day. They’re probably out of the Milkyway galaxy and have infested all of the surrounding systems by now. Ugh, we may have to hire some interns, this is a big infestation we’re dealing with. Too big for just us, I think.”
“Oh, Phazod help us. I hate dealing with these retched things.”

Meanwhile, somewhere out in the realms of space and time, a giant mantis named Phazod sneezed another universe into existence, where it hung in the air for a moment before falling to the ground in a spray mucus.
“Phazod, cover your damn nose when you sneeze!” Complained his wife, as she smacked him scoldingly on his great green head.
“Yes, dear.”

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