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The Deadliest Poison Known to Man

May 25th, 2004

A Quake/The Stand/Resident Evil dream. I do hope this does not become a common genre.

The young cast of the Daily Show and I (which happened to be composed of such people as Brian Sheehy, Matt Lucas, Todd Miner, etc, all clad in very spiffy blue suits), were wrapping up filming in the basement of a high school, sitting around chatting making jokes. I was lamenting internally that they never found my stuff funny enough to air. Oh well, humor is subjective. Eventually we wrapped and proceeded upstairs, into…

A post-apocalyptic world of dead bodies and living dead. The school was now also a subway/railway station, and was crowded with frantic, desperate, armed people on the verge of madness all trying to get the heck out of dodge, who as time progressed were just as likely to shoot you as the enormous undead thing that was chasing you. Aside from my overdressed high school fellows and I, there was an evil white-and-raven-haired seductress a la the Nightmare Life-in-Death, a lithe and youthful Ben Vereen in a cream-colored suit, and an assortment of cops, national guard members, and monstrous drooling alien/zombie things.

People were falling or dying or dropping their guns out of sheer clumsy terror left and right, so there wasn’t much trouble arming oneself. The trouble was that many of the guns were low on ammo or power, and had only minimal effect on the monstrosities. I watched the young cast of the Daily Show picked off one by one. I went through the contents of several pistols, an mp5, and a long white pump-action tube thing loaded with deer slugs that I knew to refer to only as a ‘boom stick’, all with little effect. I encountered one beast in the high school gym that I had to hit three times right in the throat with the boom stick before it went down.

It was thus that I found myself, the Nightmare Life-in-Death, and Ben Vereen cowering together at the door to the gym while three or four half-mutilated monsters dragged themselves inexorably towards us across the basketball court. All I had left was a pistol with three rounds. Daylight called to us from outside, but we were afraid to leave. Inside were weapons and other people. Who knows what waited in the light.

Ben Vereen looked about to piss his pants. Life-in-Death was advocating the “Let’s have sex before we die! Please?” theory of post-apocalyptic strategy, and I was contemplating a dash for the far end of the gym to loot the pile of bodies there for ammunition, when the beasts reached us.

Life-in-Death screamed and disappeared. Ben Vereen went down like a sack of meat, and a beautiful chrome-plated pistol came into my hands, which I could tell by the weight was fully loaded. The beast was occupied with tearing Ben out of his cream-colored suit, so I stepped lithely over them and ran, looking for other living people.

All of a sudden I was running blindly through the poorly-rendered, poorly-lit underbelly of a quake map. Erin was leaning over my shoulder asking what I was doing now. “This is the same game I was playing before,” I said. I picked up another mp5 with half a clip, unloaded it into a few more beasties with minimal effect, and ran on. I sprinted past what I thought was some kind of mutant and or undead dog, ran up some stairs, and turned to fire on it, knowing I couldn’t hope to outrun it.

“Destiny!” A woman’s voice shouted beside me. Life-in-Death ran past me to embrace the ravening mutant dog, which turned out in fact to be a very friendly and endearing black lab puppy named Destiny, who could see the future, and seemed immune to both the grasping claws of demons and the flying lead of madmen. He led us through the subway station to a dwindling knot of survivors on the upper level, then ran barking off to some other good deed.

Granted a momentary reprieve, I sat down to review the contents of Ben’s chrome plated pistol. Imagine my surprise to find it contained far more than simple 9mm rounds. It had four different compartments inside, containing bullets ranging from .22 to .70. I was bewilderedly attempting to figure out how a little pistol could possibly fire a gigantic mortar round like that without killing its wielder when someone in a white lab-coat leaned over my shoulder and plucked one of the .70 rounds from my hand. He twisted it open with a flick of his wrist, and revealed the clear vial of white powder contained inside. “This is the deadliest poison known to man,” he said, and it was immediately taken for granted by all that it was.

Looking around I noticed two gazes that to my eye looked decidedly mad: those of the man in the labcoat and George Clooney. I could see in their eyes that they wanted the poison. Who knows what for–to get rid of everybody but themselves. They advanced on me. I backed off, frantically trying to reload the gun. They followed, until we had left the other survivors behind. I was sure they were being eaten even as we spoke. So it was me and these two madmen. And the sun was coming up–the real sun. I had to do something, quick.

To my own shock and disgust, I yanked the cap from the vial of deadly poison, and with a jerk cast a pinch of it into labcoat’s eyes. He gasped, blinked rapidly, and fell to the ground in convulsions. Clooney gave me a confused look. I repeated the gesture. This time I spilled a little of the powder on my hand. It burned. Clooney’s eyes were red, like he would cry at any second. I felt bad for him. And for me.

I woke, to immense relief.

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