Please enjoy the following short story, excerpted from my book Six Tales of Terror. Originally published in 2005 as a chapbook, it’s now available only on Kindle. When I sat down to write these stories, little did I know one, “Coed Terror in the Ivory Tower of Doom,” would in 2011 become the basis for the indie horror film Headline News. I intended them to be short, campy tales in the spirit of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, and used the card game Grave Robbers from Outer Space to randomly generate the titles, characters, settings, and creatures.
Lair in the Mouth of Evil
Wayne Blagg worked diligently in the bowels of the Lawrence B. Hamlin Medical Research Center, which was located across from the New Dawn Christian Bookstore on the third floor of the Cheapside Mall. He had been hired for an internship there to assist in a cutting edge of biotechnology: reanimating deceased pets, which attracted millions of dollars in grants every year.
He was currently fixing a Golden Retriever some state senator’s daughter lost to a pool-related accident. The process was long and complicated. The dog had been frozen, shipped to the research center, and Wayne was in the midst of replacing its old blood with new, super-oxygenated blood. If he was interrupted for any reason, the consequences could be disastrous not only for the project, but also for his career prospects.
It was then that a whine pierced the air and interrupted his thoughts. “What do ya mean I can’t go in there?” the high-pitched voice yelled. “I can go anywhere I want!”
Wayne growled and tried to focus on the work at hand. The temperature had to remain constant or the animal would start to decay, and it couldn’t be resuscitated if there was any cellular degeneration.
“Ma’am, I can’t let you in,” a man’s voice shouted in the other room. His statement was followed by a series of alternating light and heavy footsteps that came closer and closer.
“I want to watch!” the girl yelled as the door to the lab burst open.
Wayne lost his concentration and bumped the temperature gauge. “Damn it!” he cursed before quickly correcting the mistake.