The Taylight Zone - Anthology Four

15 - 666 - Joe

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" he repeated over and over. "This isn't happening! This isn't happening!" It's just a dream...he thought, a very bad dream. A nightmare.

Zac tripped on a stone. Hitting his cheek on the rain-soaked pavement, he knew it wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare....yet he was wide-awake.

"C'mon c'mon!" Taylor yelled to him. "They're coming."

Isaac stopped running and so did Taylor.

"We can't leave him," Isaac hissed.

Taylor gave his brother a death glance. "He's just slowing us down, Ike. it's
either him, or all three of us."

Isaac opened his mouth, but nothing came out. "They're coming. Listen. I can hear them shouting."

Taylor cupped his hand behind his ear. He heard them too. They were still

Zac tried to get up. He was out of breath, and at the moment, couldn't care
less about his own life.  "Just go," he whispered. he tried to say it louder,
but was unable. He could feel a warm substance swelling in his mouth. Blood. He rolled on his stomach and let it drip from his mouth.  "Just go," he

At that moment, the angry mob burst thought the trees.

"Kill them!" a teenage girl yelled.

"You suck," a forty year old man shouted.

"You are the devils in disguise!" an elderly lady cursed.  "You must be killed
before it's too late!"

Taylor saw them at took off for the cornfield.

Isaac stood there, motionless.  A cool sweat froze his body. He muttered some gibberish under his breath.

He turned his head slowly to see his brother ditch him and disappear between the six foot tall cornstalks.

He turned back to the angry mob.

"You impregnated my little girl with the Devil's son!" a fat man with a rifle
yelled at Isaac.  He raised the gun slowly and fired. It got Isaac between the

He dropped dead.

Meanwhile, across town, Alex Mason, Taylor's best friend, furiously drove his
blue bike uptown.  He stared ahead while repeating "Must save them. Must save them"

"Where'd the little one go?" a college guy asked, spit flying from his mouth.

The mob looked around.

Zac was nowhere to be seen.

"Taylor! Tay!" Zac shouted in a whisper. Blood trickled down his chin.

Taylor heard his brother calling for him. He stopped. "Zac?" he called. "I'm
over here!"

"Over where?" Zac hissed?

"Over here, jerk."

"Where?" Zac asked. "All I see is cornstalks. You're the idiot who came in

"Bite me," Taylor muttered. "It's a good hiding spot. This corn field is like
a maze. When we make it to the other side, we'll be near our house...."

"Yeah, as soon as we run five miles stupid!"

"Shut-up. I'm thinking."

"Jesus, Tay! We don't have all night! These people are out to kill us!"

"Fine, then," Taylor said. "Just follow me and stay close behind."

Zac said nothing. Sometimes he despised his older brother. He always treats
him like he's a little kid. If he could, Zac would beat up Taylor sometime.
Just for the fun of it. Yeah. Show him who's boss. Zac grinned at his
cleverness.  Wait a sec! What am I talking about? I'd never beat up Taylor.
I'm talking crazy. Yeah. That's right. The angry mob has just made ME angry. Once this is over, I'll be fine again....yeah.

Taylor twisted and turned throughout the corn maze, sometimes whispering to himself.

Zac thought for sure Taylor would lead him back to the mob.

Taylor stopped. "Where's Ike?"

Zac said nothing, just frowned.

"Where's Ike?" he asked again.

Zac looked up at his big brother with his big brown puppy dog eyes.


"He's....he's back there," Zac whispered, pointing behind him.

"How come he hasn't joined us yet?"


"What?!? That's absurd, Zac. Isaac is NOT dead. He's not dead....he's right
behind us."

Taylor turned his back to his younger brother and kept running. He was
speechless. What if Isaac IS dead? Did I just see him for the last time 5
minutes ago? I didn't even get to say good-bye. A thousand different emotions ran through Taylor's head as he zigged and zagged.  A tear rolled down his cheek. He stupidly tripped on a fallen cornstalk.  He lay motionless on the ground.

Zac could hear him quietly crying.

Taylor rose on his knees. He stared up at the full moon.  His eyes were
glistening with tears.

He tried to fight them back but he couldn't. There were too many people in the mob. They wanted him and his brothers dead. What for though? They weren't bad kids. Sure they occasionally cussed and had bad thoughts, but who doesn't? Not everyone is perfect. Right?

"Dammit," Taylor muttered under his breath. "DAMMIT!"

Zac was startled by Taylor's outburst. He'd never seen his brother this angry. He was scared of him for a second.

Taylor slowly rose to his feet, brushing back the hair that clung to his damp
face and wiping the tears away. "Let's go..." he breathlessly said. He didn't
run, but walked instead.  He was tired of fighting. He's not even sure WHAT
he's fighting. A bunch of psycho people who think they're evil? We're just
innocent kids. He knew that was the truth.

"Tay..." Zac began, "We'll get thought this. We can go home and get mom and dad and--"

"Shut-up Zac."

Zac stopped talking. He stared at  his brother's back. He has the desire to
hurt Taylor again. Kill him, even. This isn't only Taylor's life on the line, but also his own. Why is he being selfish?, Zac thought. Zac shook his head.
What am I thinking? Taylor's my family. I love him. I'd do almost anything for
him....well, NOT dress up in that chicken outfit for Halloween again.....No. Tay is my brother. We share the same blood.

Taylor began walking away.

Zac ran up next to him. "Tay! We can get help, and these...murderers will be
brought to justice for killing Ike. We've gotta get home first."

Taylor looked down at Zac. "...Maybe you're right..."

"I am! I am! Let's get out of here."

Taylor and Zac ran throughout the field.

Alex skidded to a halt thirty feet from the cornfield. He watched as the mob
stormed the cornfield.

"Dammit!"  Too late, he thought. Maybe I can find them first though.

Alex pedaled towards the cornfield, but stopped as he watched one person set a cornstalk on fire.

"Jesus! They're feakin' kamikazes....not caring whether they live or die!
They're on some sort of suicide mission!"

"Yes," someone said from behind.

Alex turned around.

A gorgeous young lady with long blond hair and twinkling blue eyes stood near him. She didn't look like a psycho.  "My friends and I are on a mission....for God. He's pointed those three children as Satan's servants. They must be killed at once."

Alex's jaw dropped. "What the HELL are you babbling about? They're good guys. I know them! They'd never hurt anyone...let alone work for Satan. You're crazy!"

"No, I am not. Once we have killed them all take a look at the back of their
heads. you will see the sign of the devil and know we speak the truth."

"Sorry, lady, I'm not gonna let you kill them." Alex dropped his bike and ran
for the blazing cornfields.  He stopped before entering. I must be nuts, he
told himself.

Taylor stopped.

It suddenly got warmer.

He sniffed the air.

Smoke. Something's on fire.

"Zaaaaac..." he said cautiously.  "You smell that?"

Zac stopped. "Smells like.......smoke?"

"What's on fire?" Taylor asked.

His own question was answered when he saw that the cornstalks were on fire.

"Fuck," he muttered under his breath.  "Just......great."

Soon enough, the fire was all around them. It was like the fire had a mind of
its own.

An angry mobber jumped between two stalks, four feet from Taylor and Zac.

"Gotcha now," he taunted. "You little devils are dead." He raised a machete
into the air.

He swung it down at Taylor, who jumped at the right moment. he tumbled to the ground and disappeared behind some stalks.

The big man looked at Zac. "You'll do," he growled.

Zac thought he saw a yellow circle around the man's head. Before he knew it, the machete was in his left arm. He cried out...for his brother, Taylor. He
needed him now more than ever.

Taylor jumped onto the man's back, catching him off guard.

Zac fell one way, and Taylor and the man fell another.

Before he even knew it, Taylor had the machete in his hand. God must be
watching over him. His face turned white as he slammed it into the man's
chest. The guy murmured something that sounded like "devil" and then he was dead.

Taylor slowly got up.  He looked at the knife. He felt nauseous. He dropped
the knife as a tear rolled down the cheek. ""

Taylor was shaken from his trance when he heard Zac crying. He was still
alive. Thank God.

Zac was badly injured, but he was still alive. He was losing blood fast.

Taylor helped Zac to his feet. "Let's get going...before the rest come. How's
your shoulder?"

Zac's face was pale. "I'm not sure....I can't feel anything on that side of my
body. I don't wanna die, Tay. I don't wanna die." His tears came fast. He
can't understand why people would want an innocent kid like him dead. He's not evil.

A gunshot erupted.

Zac was taken off his feet.

"ZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC!" Taylor yelled. He dropped to his knees by his brother's motionless body. He's dead. "Oh...God..." he whispered. "I thought we'd make it, Zac. I really did," he cried.

Taylor was stick to his stomach. He wanted to throw up. He wanted to curl up
by Zac's and Isaac's bodies, and die with them. He had nothing to live for.
His brothers were his whole life. They were best friends. Now Taylor's all

He heard the mob behind. He didn't move. He would die tonight along with his brother's. He'd never see his family again. Nor his friends. Nor any fans.

He slowly stood up and faced the crowd who hurled insults at him. They hated him. They wanted him and his brothers dead. They got their wish.

Taylor was struck dead with a bullet to his heart.

It's all over.

Alex ran blindly throughout the cornstalks. His guide was the angry voices of
the mob. He entered the area of death. He saw his best friend's body along
with Zac's. The mob had vanished. Rain extinguished the fire.

He felt sick. Taylor was dead. Isaac was dead. Zac was dead. Three innocent kids, killed for what? Sport?

Alex remembered what that lady told him. "You will find the sign of the devil
on the back of their heads." Alex shook his head. That's just nonsense.
They're not the Devil's helpers. No way.

Alex squatted by Taylor's body. He lay face down.

As Alex reached for Taylor's head he remembered an old saying: "Curiosity
killed the cat."

Alex touched Taylor's damp hair. He slowly used his hands to brush it forward. He looked at Taylor's neck.

He was speechless. A cold shiver ran down his spine. He could almost hear
Taylor laughing.

The "666" insignia on the back of Taylor's neck glowed a bloody red....

Alex laughed, slightly amused and kind of confused. "Weird...."