|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Eight
05 - Lizards - Black Gryphen
Disclaimer: Okay, this ISN'T a story about psychotic Hansons hacking up people. Simply, because these Hansons, aren't exactly Hansons. What they are you never quite figure out. (My sister said that was the problem with the story. That and the fact you never found out WHAT it had to do with lizards. But I think you can maybe figure it out. Cuz it really does have alot to do with them...)
STEPH: I wonder when they'll get here… I probably don't have much time, so I'll write this as fast as I can.
I'm Steph. Steph Warn. And maybe just by extremely bad luck and stupidity, it's my job to "warn" the world. I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes. That's a quote from Airplane 2. Its stupid I guess, but I still love that line. Maybe cuz I've always been fascinated by the many ironies of life. Well, this doesn't exactly fascinate me. It is ironic though. I, a Hanson fan, have the oh-so-wonderful job of telling the world the truth, before they come and kill me. That's right. Hanson. They're going to kill me. And it's definitely not the first time they've done something like this either. I'm just hoping they'll pick a semi-painless way to kill me. Not with an ice tong like they did to Jared or with that nasty butterfly knife like Chisty.
Chisty and Jared… my two best friends. They always have been. I met Chisty when I was 11. Jared I had known even before that. We went to pre-school together. People called us 'The Twins' because we both had brown hair and brown eyes. We hung out together constantly, and we became known as 'The Siamese Twins'. But this last year, we became closer than ever before. I still can't believe they're gone. They were the only other people alive who knew the truth about Hanson. And to think. We had actually wanted to meet them. We went through a ton to meet them. Just think of all the work we did. Maybe I should start there…
Stephanie Warn, Charisma Novick, leaned excitedly over Jared Olson's shoulder.
"Are you in? Are you in?" Charisma (or Chisty, as Stephanie, Jared, and a few of her other close friends called her) squealed excitedly.
"Hold on." Jared mumbled, staring at the screen of his computer. He shook his head once, blinking his eyes. "Damn, I need a new monitor. Or new contacts…"
"What's taking so long?" Stephanie asked, her hands clenched with frustration.
"Chill, Steph. Mercury's security is pretty tough. I don't wanna get caught."
"But you've been working on this for almost a week now."
"And I'm gonna get in today. As soon as this processes…" his eyes lit up, as the crunching noises his computer was making stopped and a schedule appeared on the screen. "We're in."
"Scroll down, scroll down!" Chisty said, leaning over.
"Relax. I'm as excited about this as either of you, but you breathing down my neck is starting to make me hard." Jared said, grinning, as he tapped the Page Down button a few times.
"Jare, your sick." Steph said, shaking her head.
"No, I'm just honest."
"Bet you're about as far from hard as anyone can get, pencil-dick." She mumbled, her eyes scanning down the screen.
"There!" She pointed.
"March 18th through April 23rd! Staying at… omigod. They're at the Bates Hotel." Chisty started laughing, and Jared just stared. "So?"
"Bates? Hello? Like in Psycho? You really don't know your Hitchcock. Bates was the name of the guy who ran the hotel in the movie 'Psycho'."
"Oh yeah. The dude who's mom who went around stabbing people, right?" Chisty and Steph looked at each other, before bursting into laughter.
"What? What?" Jared asked, throwing his arms up in the air.
"N-nothing, Jare." Chisty said, controlling her laughter. "Well, at least now we know the rumor is true." She grabbed a large hair-clip from the desk, twisted her hair up on her head, and clipped it. The clip was barely able to hold all of her abundant black hair. She surveyed her face in the mirror, batting her long eyelashes, and admiring her dark Asian eyes. "The whole California story is just a lie to tell fans, so they'll give them a break. What room are they in?"
No answer. "Guys?" She turned around and sighed in frustration at the two teenagers lying on the floor, apparently welded together. "Excuse me? Would you two mind ungluing your lips for a while? We've got work to do, and your dry-humping can wait." Jared and Steph pulled away from eachother, both breathing hard. Jared climbed into the swivel chair in front of the computer.
"What'd you want to know?" He asked, his voice rough, and his breathing still heavy.
"Now you're hard." Steph whispered, gently pressing her lips to his neck. He moaned slightly, and turned to kiss her freckled nose. She giggled and pulled back, as Chisty rolled her eyes. "Jared, Jared, Jared. What would your mother think? And Steph, I'm hardly worried about your mom. Try, your boyfriend?"
"Is an idiot. I don't give a fuck about him. What room is Hanson in?"
"3rd floor, room 207." Jared said, grinning.
"Right." Steph said, nodding her head. "Go to the hotels site."
They faxed the hotel, supposedly from room 207 (it'd taken Chisty almost an hour to set that up), asking for a key to the room to be saved at the desk for a Mr. Jared Olson.
"Okay, everybody, pray." Jared mumbled, as they waited for a call to confirm.
"Hey, baby, I know my stuff." Chisty said. "That phone call is going to be transferred straight here, and room 207 isn't going to get so much as a single ring." She grinned, confident with herself.
"Okay, great. Me'n Jared'll pray." Steph said.
"Oh, thanks for that vote of confidence, guys. Nice to know you believe in me." Chisty glared at her friends, who tried to ignore the sarcasm in her voice. Suddenly, the phone rang, causing all three of them to jump.
"SHIT! Turn the music down!" Steph squealed, flinging herself at the radio.
"Why? Wouldn't Hanson have music playing?" Jared questioned.
"Oh yes." Steph said, her sarcasm, if possible, even stronger than Chisty's. "I'm sure Hanson always listens to The Offspring. One of their favorite bands, I'll bet." She turned off the CD, and they all waited anxiously as Jared picked up the phone.
"Hello?" He asked, his voice quavering only slightly.
"Hello, Mr. Hanson, we called to confirm a key to be saved for a Mr." there was a pause as the lady checked her paper work. "Jared Olson?"
"Yeah, that's right. Jared's an old friend of ours, lives in the area."
"Alright Mr. Hanson. Thank-you."
"Thank you." Jared said politely, before hanging up the phone.
"AAHHH!" He yelled, jumping on Chisty and hugging her. "It worked! It worked it worked it worked!"
"YES! ALRIGHT!" The three collapsed into eachothers arms, laughing, screaming and crying in they're excitement.
"Hi, I'm Jared Olson, I'm here to pick up a key for…" Jared paused, rooting around in his pocket. He pulled out a piece of paper and glanced at it. "Room 207?"
"Oh, of course." The lady behind the desk said, removing the key from one of many hanging on the board next to her. "We'll have to see some ID, naturally."
"Right." Jared said, pulling his drivers license out of his wallet and handing it her.
She hardly even glanced at it before handing it back to him. "207 is on the 2nd floor, third door on your right."
"Thank you." He stuffed both the key and his license in his back pocket, walking to the elevator, where Chisty and Steph met him.
"Bing-go!" He crowed, as the door shut behind them. He pulled the key out his pocket, and let it swing back and forth. "I don't know if I'm happier that we're actually going to meet them, or that I made it through this alive! You do know I could get arrested for this."
"Yes, I know! Thank you sooo much for risking this for us." Steph flung her arms around him, pressing her lips to his, and grinding her hips against him. He moaned, and the key slipped from his hand, tumbling to the bottom of the elevator. Chisty sighed, shook her head, and picked it up. "If that'd fallen through the shaft, you'd be very very sad right now."
Steph was now laughing hysterically, still in Jared's arms. Jared was trying to control his breathing when she looked up at him. "Heh heh. She said 'shaft'." The two burst into laughter, and Chisty couldn't help but join in. The elevator stopped suddenly, and they all froze.
"Omigod…" Steph mumbled.
"C'mon you guys." Chisty said, "we're gonna end up going back down or something stupid because we didn't get out of the elevator in time." She stepped out, and the other two followed her. Walking slowly, they reached the third door on the right.
Chisty took a deep breath, pulled out the key, pushed it into the lock, and turned it. She heard the 'click' of the door unlocking and opened it. The three stepped in, and what they saw, left all of them completely speechless.
Taylor Hanson leapt off the bed he'd been sitting on and slammed the door behind them. "What're you doing here?" He questioned his voice rough, growly, and strangely inviting. His eyes had a reddish glow, and a joint hung from his lips. Other than that, he looked exactly like he always did, except his trademark long hair was black. "W-we came to meet you." Steph squeaked.
He looked at her for a moment, taking his joint out of his mouth, and moistening his lips, with just the tip of his pink tongue. Like a cat. Chisty thought, and giggled to herself. His eyes flew to her face. "What's so funny… Chisty?"
"Y-you know my name?" He smirked. "Hey, Zac?" Zac, his hair also black, looked up from his place on the bed. So far he'd just been lying there, staring at the ceiling, and Jared had actually been wondering if he was conscious at all.
"I say we kill them." Taylor said, still staring into Chistys eyes.
"Nah… we can at least fuck 'em first." Zac mumbled. He thrust his pelvis into the air and moaned. Jared realized that he was even higher than his brother.
"Your mad, Zac. You and Ike both. Always thinking with your dicks." Ike came into the room, a beer bottle in hand, black hair on his head. He set the bottle down on the bedside table, and climbed on top of Zac, and started to kiss him passionately.
Taylor sighed and shook his head, as his brothers tumbled off of the bed, still entwined together. "I rest my case." He directed his attention back to Chisty, who was staring at him openly.
A smirk crossed his face, and he took another drag on his joint, before turning it around, and pressing it to her lips. She started licking it eagerly, and he laughed. "Take a drag, maybe two." He ordered.
She sucked on it, before going into a coughing fit. As soon as she was able to stand straight again, she took another drag, and started coughing again.
"Chisty, are you insane?" Steph screamed, jerking her friend away from Taylor's evil eyes.
Chisty shook herself. "I-I'm sorry, Steph! I dunno what I was doing! I tried to make myself stop! I did!" She started crying, sobbing into Steph's shoulder.
Steph clung to her friend. "She has asthma you asshole!" She screamed, angrily. "You could give her an attack! She's allergic to weed!"
"I know." Came Taylor's infuriatingly emotionless voice. "And she left her inhaler at home, on her dresser. It was a mistake really. She was packing all the stuff she needed in her purse, and you called and distracted her. If she dies, its just as much your fault as mine."
"I didn't do it on purpose though!" Steph glared at him. "How do you know all this stuff about us? Jared, how…" she paused. "Jared?"
He was staring at Ike and Zac, who by now were missing most of they're clothes.
"You like what they're doing, don't you?" Taylor asked him, but it wasn't a question. "You never told Steph and Chisty why you liked our band so much… why don't you show them?" Jared quickly turned his head to stare at the opposite wall.
Taylor's soft, cruel laughter came again, as a helpless tear ran down Jared's cheek. "Isaac, Zac, come here."
Lips still locked, the two stumbled to they're feet, and staggered over.
"I say we kill them now." Taylor said. "Hey, look. Our buddy Jared is a fag, just like you guys."
"All the better. We can fuck him too." Ike said. Chisty, Jared, and Steph started, and stared at him. It was the first time he had spoken, and his voice shocked them. Rough, like Taylor's and Zac's, but not deep, not with the same growling tone that they both used. Ike's voice was higher and whispery, like a ghosts.
"I say we kill them first." Taylor said, raising his voice for the first time today. "I want to kill them now." Still, he did not sound angry, just like he was voicing his mind in a slightly louder voice. Not eager, not anything, other than maybe slightly whiny. He ran his hands back through his black hair.
"Okay, fine." Zac said. "But after that can we fuck them?"
"Sure. It's always better like that anyway." Taylor smiled. "More blood, less screaming."
"You just like it better because that means you get to kill them all the sooner." Ike pointed out.
Taylor smiled again. The cold, condescending smile that chilled Stephs blood. "Maybe." He reached out and laid his hand on Stephs chest, right above her heart. His fingernails
dug in, as his hand
Blood started running down Stephs chest, as gouges seemly impossibly deep poured forth her life. She screamed over and over, and Jared stared in fascination at the blood running down. It soaked her shirt, leaving it a brownish shade, instead of the original blue. Taylors smile widened, revealings his
teeth. Jared saw Steph pull away, leaving skin and blood in Taylors hand. The blood seemed to keep on running, pouring out of his hand, and he laughed. He grabbed for her again, catching her arm, pulling away flesh, how could his
nails be so impossibly sharp? Steph, crying, turned, and started trying to open the door. Taylor grabbed on to her shoulders, and she pulled away, leaving
ten rivulets of blood running down her back. The door was locked and no one could remember where the key was. She started running towards the window. Taylor was hot on her heels. He wasn't going to let her get away. She wouldn't get away. Jared turned his attention to Chisty, watched as Isaac held her hair, and Zac pulled out a knife. Chisty was crying, sobbing, pleading with them to let her live. Zac was laughing, and he gently pulled the huge knife across the underside of her chin, leaving a thin trail of blood.
Ike pulled on her hair, causing her head to jerk back. Zac daintily flicked out his tongue
licking away the blood.
"Mmm." He said, smiling. "Want some?" He leaned over and kissed her, and she tasted the metallic flavor of her own blood, and cringed away.
He laughed again, throwing back his head. Murmuring to himself, he started carving into her arm, as if it was wax, or soft wood. Jared stared at the patterns. They seemed so familiar but so strange at the same time. Beautiful, in a way. What you could see of them at least, before her blood covered them. He suddenly realized she was
screaming and wondered why. Ike was chanting the same words that Zac was saying, and the two voices blended in a bizarre
harmony. Jared was almost able to make out words, but they made no sense to him, spoken in some strange, long-lost language. "Ast suddo'aram carda
formle'k gashto mansk g'near
tornah'l. Ast suddo'aram cardas formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l.
Ast suddo'aram carda formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l. Ast suddo'aram cardas
Chisty was sobbing and had her hands clamped over her ears. Why? Jared wondered. It was beautiful. So beauti- his thoughts froze, as he heard another persons scream. Who was that? Who else was there? He turned his head, looking around. Steph scraped her fingernails along Taylors cheek. She had almost made it to the balcony. Almost… just a little farther. Her nails were long and sharp but they didn't even break the
skin. She didn't have a chance. Her mind desperately searched for any memory of the karate lessons she'd taken when she was younger. With a sudden yell, she kicked towards him, aiming for his lower stomach. He grabbed her leg, the skin peeled away easily, and he threw her down.
Her leg twisted in an impossible position and she cried out in a paroxysm of total agony. She tried to stand, but her leg gave way. Tears poured down her cheek and she stopped fighting. Exhausted, she sobbed. Taylor walked towards her
a smile still on his face. "Ast suddo'aram cardas
formle'k gashto mansk g'near
tornah'l. Ast suddo'aram cardas formle'k
gashto mansk g'near tornah'l."
"No!" Suddenly, Jared was running towards Taylor and he slammed into his side, lifting him off the ground and carrying him a good three feet. All the muscles in Jareds arm went numb. It was like hitting a
brick wall. He stood, and staggered towards Steph. Taylor sat up, seemly uninjured. The look on his face was one of amusment. "Oh shit." Jared muttered.
"Chisty…" Steph mumbled. "Must save Chisty… I'm sorry Chis… I'm sorry…"
"Chisty! Damn!" Jared picked up Steph, and swung her over his shoulder. She screamed as he accidentally brushed her leg. "Sorry, babe, I'm sorry." He turned, just in time to see Zac stab the knife into Chistys stomach. She screamed, again and again. Zac pushed something on the knife
and blood started pouring out of her mouth in a flood. Steph was bawling.
There was a broad grin on Zacs face, and he continued chanting. "Ast suddoram carda formle'k gashto…" with a sudden move, he twisted the knife, and Taylor and Ike started laughing. Taylor. Jared spun around. He was right there! Oh god! About two inches from his face, was Taylors smile. His
blue eyes, shone, and Jared wondered for a brief moment if he was crying, before seeing he was, tears pouring down his cheeks. Blood red tears.
Jared screamed, still holding tightly to Steph as she screamed and cried.
He ran to the balcony, and Taylor grabbed his arm. His fingernails, and then fingers sank straight into Jareds arm. Fire shot through every inch of his body, his head spun, nausea gripped him and he fell, screaming with the agonizing pain as
the skin ripped right away from him. He jumped to his feet and staggered to the window. He kicked it until the glass broke, shielding Steph with his body.
Taylor walked towards him and he gripped Steph closer to him, and did a free-fall out of the window. They landed on the next balcony down. He gasped, trying to keep his head from hitting the floor, Steph was
still screaming, as he climbed over the edge of the balcony, dropped about three feet, hit the ground, and collapsed.
"Steph, y'gotta stand. I can't run carrying you." He pulled himself to his feet, grabbed her hands and pulled her up. She wrapped her arm around his neck, and he wrapped his around her waist. They started limping along, as he worked as a crutch. "We're gonna make it, Steph. We're gonna make it." He mumbled, trying to go faster. He had a unfading mental picture of Taylor, blood-red tears running down his face, and a broad grin.
"Chisty… Chisty…" she mumbled. "We gotta go save Chisty… I gotta save her."
"You can't save her. Chisty is dead. No one can save her now." Jared spoke bluntly, but his voice broke, and unbidden tears ran down cheeks.
"No, no, no, Chisty… she can't… no…" she babbled, and Jared wasn't even sure if she understood what he'd said.
(please, please help me)
Moving as quickly as they could, they left the small town and headed towards a small barn you could see in the distance.
"See Steph? Theres a place for us to stay and it'll be nice and warm and we'll get all cleaned up, and you can go to the doctor about your leg, and then we can go home soon… just as soon as Hanson leaves."
As soon as he said the name, he knew he'd made a mistake. She instantly started bawling and wailing again. "No! Oh god! No no no! Its not them! It can't be! No! Get them away! Get away! Lizards! Get away! Help me! Help me! I don't wanna die! To young, to young! Chisty! Chisty! Someone gotta save Chisty! They're alone! All alone! We gotta save them! Gotta save Chisty!"
Oh no. She's delirious. He realized, grabbing her and pulling her along. She struggled against him. "Steph, stop it! It's me! They're gone! It's just me! It's Jared!"
"No! No! Gotta save them! They need help! Save Chisty! Save her! Save her! Get away! Get away! Lizards! Get 'way!"
"There's no lizards here! There's no lizards anywhere around here!
C'mon!" He flung open the door of the barn and pulled her in. As soon as he shut the door again, she fainted.
A half-hour later Steph woke up, to find herself covered in bandages, lying in a bed made of hay and a dusty horse-blanket and her leg set up on a hay bale. Jared was asleep beside her, a bandage wrapped around his arm, but blood was soaking through. The only other thing he appeared to be wearing was his boxers. Steph blinked her eyes, feeling exhaustion overwhelm her, even more severe than the pain. She dropped off once again into a dreamless sleep.
"In here. They're in here." Her eyes opened wide, and she scrambled, half crawling, half dragging herself into the far corner of the barn. She heard a faint sniffing noise, and then Zacs voice again. "Yeah, definitely here." The door opened, and her voice caught, as she realized Jared was still sleeping in the hay. "There he is! He must've dumped the girl." Ike said, and Steph cringed in horror at his startling voice.
"Dumped her?" Zac questioned.
"Yes." Taylor agreed. "He would've had to carry her the whole way. He probably dropped her in the field and decided to save himself."
"Look what I found." Zac laughed, sounding very pleased with what he found. Steph dragged herself forward, and saw Zac holding the last thing she expected. "Someone left one of those old ice tongs here." He started laughing again and walked over to Jared.
"Ast suddoram carda…"
Taylor interrupted him. "Give me those. You got to kill last time. The girl. I get to kill him." Taylor grabbed the
tongs, and started laughing.
"Don't take too long." Ike said. "We've still got to find the girl."
"I won't… but I won't do it while he's sleeping either. He'll know this is more than just a bad dream…" He closed the ice tongs on Jareds arm, and Steph heard the loud "crunch" of his bones and blood started flowing. Jared awoke, screaming at the top of his lungs in agony. He writhed desperately, trying to pull away, and the three boys standing over him began to
"Ast suddoram cardas formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l. Ast suddo'aram cardas formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l. Ast suddoram cardas formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l. Ast suddo'aram cardas formle'k gashto mansk g'near tornah'l." They chanted in unison.
"No! No! No!" Jared shrieked and screamed, trying with all his might to pull away. Isaac took one arm and Zac took the other, and they held him down, as Taylor removed the tongs from his arm, and moved them to just above his head. Jared cried, openly, and tears ran down Steph's cheeks as well. Taylor lowered the tongs until there was a point resting on either temple. He squeezed
them together. Steph watched in horror as Jared screamed, arching his back, a scream that wracked her body as much as it did his. A scream that echoed across the field, introducing the world to his agony, a scream, that was suddenly silenced.
(I'm so sorry.)
"Nooo…" Steph moaned. All three boys turned around at once.
"Oh no." She murmured to herself. Grabbing the rifle sitting next to her and dragging herself upright, she climbed through the window, carefully avoiding using her leg. She tumbled out of the barn, and crawled into the field, working carefully between rows of corn. Almost instantly she heard they're voices. "Where is she?"
"In the field somewhere. But I can't smell her."
She dragged and crawled along, her stomach flat against the ground. I will make it… I've got to… I'm not going to die. She thought to herself. I'm not.
STEPH: All night I crawled around in that field. All night. Only once did they come near me. I saw Isaac for About five seconds before I blew his face off. I didn't have a choice. It was bizarre. Like his face was just suddenly gone. He didn't even have a chance to scream.
I didn't stay to find out if he survived, just went crawling of in the other direction as fast as I could. Finally, they left. Guess they figured they could find me later or something. It took me two days, but I finally made it back home.
That was earlier today. Everyone was gone, my sister in school, my mother at work. About a half hour ago, the phone rang. I picked it up, but no one answered my "hello"'s. I guess they figured out where I live. The front door is opening, I guess its them. I don't have any reason left to live, so I don't mind them killing me. I'm going to send this now, because I have no time left. There's alot I wish I could've told you, but at least now you know. Stay away from them. They're not human. I don't know what they are, but they're not human. Or at least, they're not now. I hope it's not going to hurt to much.