THE FESTIVAL OF SAMHAIN
PROLOGUE- DRIVING ME INSANE
OCTOBER 31, 2004
Crackle, crackle. Whip, whip.
The smoldering remains of the Med-EVAC helicopter were spread around the roof of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital like the grizzly scene of a World War II-era battle. Several bodies and other parts were strewn across the roof like the morgue from hell. Smoke rose slowly from the scene and into the dark, overcast night sky.
Despite the destruction, there was still life amongst the carnage. Lying nearby were 18-year-old Madison Mauberry, who, until this night, was a young, innocent straight-A student at Haddonfield High School; Dr. John Loomis, psychiatrist and nephew of the late Dr. Samuel Loomis; and the boogeyman himself, Michael Myers, who had returned to Haddonfield once again to sit atop his throne of blood.
As she slowly came to, Madison, feeling the heat of the wreckage, noticed a flaming piece of a propeller nearby and latched onto it. There was a slight sizzle sound as her hands melded with the blade opposite of the flame, but she didn't feel a thing. She knew this was her opportunity, and she had to take advantage of it, or else the burns on her hands would be the least of her worries.
Using the propeller as a crutch, she managed to get to her feet when she noticed Michael Myers choking the life out of Dr. Loomis. Limping badly, Madison charged Michael with the little strength she had left in her body. Michael, so engrossed at finally ending the life of his newest adversary, didn't see her coming until it was too late. The flaming end of the propeller skewered Michael like a shish-kebob, emerging out the back of the boogeyman and sending him spiraling over the ledge of the hospital. However, on his way over, the cunning Michael managed to yank on the propeller as well, taking Madison along for the ride with him.
Michael crashed to his doom several stories below, but the resilient Madison managed to grab the ledge and hang on for dear life. Her energy rapidly diminishing, she desperately hung by her fingertips as she looked down and saw Michael's body bounce on the pavement below with a wicked thud. Not long after, sheer mayhem ensued, as hundreds of angry townspeople rushed his body and began to pummel it with whatever weapons they had scrounged up. Some had pitchforks. Some had baseball bats. And still others had torches, determined to burn Michael at the stake and end the madness once and for all. In a scene eerily reminiscent of the movie 'Frankenstein', Michael disappeared beneath the irate mob, not even putting up a fight.
Madison, clinging to life, quickly turned away, unable to watch any more. Unfortunately, as she turned, she lost her grip and one of her hands slipped off of the ledge, forcing her to claw at the side of the building with her fingernails. Three nails bent backward and instantly came right off, sending even more blood dripping down her arms and into her face. As her vision blurred, she thought for sure she was destined to die right next to Michael, when Dr. Loomis suddenly appeared above her and grabbed her by the wrist.
“Madison, hold on!” Loomis gasped, still struggling for air himself.
“I can’t!” Madison screamed back in agony, and Loomis saw why. His hand was right on top of the stab wound she had suffered earlier in the night.
Loomis felt his grip loosen as her blood slowly seeped down his arm in a small trickle. Luckily, at that point, a group of National Guardsmen emerged through the roof's access door, followed by several of the town mob.
“I got you sweetheart,” a middle-aged man with a heavy Italian accent yelled down as he was able to reach Madison’s other arm, easily yanking her back onto the safety of the rooftop.
“It’s okay, it’s okay. It’s over,” town veteran Sonny Piati said as he held the bewildered teenager in his arms.
Madison wept uncontrollably as she watched the sun rise over the horizon.
The body of Michael Myers was zipped up in a black body bag and taken under military control. With several security escorts, Michael was on his way to a heavily guarded, maximum security military prison.
Sitting alone inside an ambulance, Madison, wrapped in a blanket, watched as the media circus unfolded around her.
“Excuse me, Ms. Mauberry?” Sheriff Barnes asked, peeking his head inside the back of the cab.
“I’m done answering questions, I just want to go home,” Madison coldly replied, staring up at the sheriff in sheer exhaustion through bloodshot eyes.
“You have a visitor m’am,” Barnes simply informed her and stepped aside as Karen Mauberry rushed to see her daughter.
“Mom!!!” Madison shrieked in joy and hugged her tightly, the tears instantly rolling down both their faces.
“It’s okay, sweetie, I’m here,” Karen assured her as they both began to whimper in joy.
Madison just held her tightly and they cried together in a jovial wave of relief. But to Madison, something still wasn't quite right. She suddenly had the feeling that she was being watched. Still. Despite everything. Her adrenaline suddenly kicked in once again, and the teen hurriedly glanced off into the woods around her, and thought for a brief moment she saw a dark figure disappear behind a set of large pine trees, but then, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone.
No, she thought, puzzled. It couldn't be.
Then she overheard a call come over the handheld radio of Sheriff Barnes.
“What?! That’s impossible!!!” Barnes shouted back into the radio. "Say again?"
Madison's eyes widened in terror as the transmission that would haunt her for the rest of her life was repeated:
"Sheriff, the body has just been identified as Sonny Piati of Haddonfield...suspect is NOT in custody...I repeat, SUSPECT IS NOT IN CUSTODY!"
Madison placed her hand over her mouth in disbelief and went into complete shock as Barnes rushed to his police cruiser and sped off down the road, his lights and sirens blaring into the distance.
Loomis, recuperating nearby, heard the update as well and started running down the road after Sheriff Barnes, maniacally screaming, "NOOOO! NOOOO! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"
TEN YEARS LATER
OCTOBER 30, 2014
The cries of Dr. Loomis slowly faded into the night as Madison Mauberry, now 28, came to, sitting atop a small wooden stool. Nearby, a cheerful looking jack-o-lantern sat perched atop a formica countertop, dimly casting an eerie amber glow into the tiny room. The pumpkin slyly smiled at Madison as she lit up a cigarette (a Camel of course) and inhaled a long, relaxing puff. She blankly stared into a large, rusty mirror, clearly not recognizing her own reflection. The wall-length mirror, which bore a large crack in the middle, had two long fluorescent bulbs above it, but it was the jack-o-lantern that basically provided most of the light for the room. Brushing her now dirty-blonde hair, Madison knocked the ash off the end of her menthol with a twitch of her lip. There were two more stools in the room, one on each side of her, and all three sat in front of that same broken mirror. The room, no bigger than the average restroom, had clearly seen better days. Two of the four walls had holes in them, and badly needed a fresh coat of paint. It was probably supposed to be white, but was so horribly discolored that it barely passed for gray after so many years of deterioration. Various stains of god-knows-what adorned the walls, as well as several lines of graffiti, including the number 666, a devil's pentagram and a line that read, "Fuck The Man" in black spray paint. Next to it, the letters "WO" were scrawled in red so that it read "FUCK THE WOMAN" instead. Out of everything in the room, only the door itself resembled anything even remotely new, but that wasn't saying much. Large pipes lined the ceiling above the door, with some unknown substance quietly dripping down off of it.
Since that fateful night in 2004, Madison's life had gone into a complete downward spiral. She managed to graduate Haddonfield High School, but that diploma was largely ceremonial. She knew there was no way in hell she'd finished the required coursework, but based on everything that had happened, she likely got a free pass from the administration, who were merely trying to sweep the whole ordeal under the rug. Regardless, Madison went on to Haddonfield Community College, determined to make it work and move on with her life. But thanks to frequent bouts of night terrors and clinical depression, she dropped out after her freshman year. It wasn't all bad, though. Through one of her classmates, Madison was able to meet her new best friend-- a needle-- and pretty much everything that came with it. Since her scars were a permanent reminder of her personal hell, she decided to add to them by shooting or snorting almost anything she could get her hands on. Heroine, cocaine, crystal meth. You name it, she did it. A decade later, the end result was not pretty. She tried therapy, rehab, medication, and even quitting cold turkey, but all that led to was more wasted money-- and more night terrors. She'd also become totally estranged from her mother and ended up looking like a forty years old street urchin.
Her innocence was long gone. That was taken by Michael Myers unofficially years ago, but not long after by some greasy mechanic at a truck stop in Russellville. Her fair skin-- gone. That was now covered in several tribal tattoos up and down her arms, in her lame attempt to hide the bumps and holes that gave away her addiction. Also gone was her trademark flowing red hair. In its place was a shoulder-length, dirty-blonde butcher job, because 'that's what the customers like', her boss Alby always said. In the background, Madison heard the jukebox playing Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen". There was a knock at the door, and the music got briefly louder as it opened, then muffled again as it closed. In stepped 300-pound Alby Shantz, the latest proprietor of the 'Rabbit In Red' gentlemen's club. Alby, the ever-opportunistic showman, considered his club 'the premier club in small-town Illinois'; however, Madison was quick to remind him that it was nothing more than a tiny, run-down old titty club where truckers liked to stop to get their rocks off on their way to Chicago. At which point, Alby, he of the bifocals and triple-chin, was quick to remind Madison what the back of his hand looked like, adding to the many bruises on her once-beautiful, now-ravaged, face.
"Hey...Goldilocks, you're up next," Alby joked, pointing outside the door. "The three bears are waiting. Don't forget your costume."
Madison took one look out through the door, which was slightly ajar, and gasped. There, at the base of the stage, were three behemoth men, harassing her friend Cherry, who was dressed up like a schoolgirl trying to entertain them. As she completed her usual routine, the song began to fade on the jukebox, causing the men to start to boo. Sensing the tension, Cherry decided a mood change (and costume change) was in order, and descended the stage, passing Alby in the hallway on her way back to the dressing room. Glaring at her, Alby just chuckled and smacked her bare ass with the palm of his hand.
"Hey, Maddy, I got the next one, then you're up," Cherry mumbled as she quickly got into her new costume— that of a biker in skin-tight leather (and ass-less) chaps. Madison nodded in acknowledgment and stared at herself in the mirror with various types of makeup scattered about, including foundation, perfume, and several shades of lipstick.
"Do we really have to do this Halloween shit?" Madison complained to Cherry, who only half paid attention to her as she adjusted the top half of her costume. "Alby knows I hate this fucking holiday."
"Me too," was Cherry's meager reply, passing her on the way back out. "But he's the boss. And I don't know about you, but I really need the money."
Madison, in deep thought, nodded in agreement and took a long slug of whiskey from a half-empty bottle nearby.
"Yeah, he's the boss," Madison sighed to herself, looking over as Cherry disappeared back into the main floor. "And if he wants Halloween, I'll fucking give him Halloween."
Out on the main dance floor, Motley Crue's tune "Looks That Kill" blared over the sound system and Cherry, working up a sweat, had clearly redeemed herself with the men at the base of the stage. A small pile of dollar bills, fives, and tens greeted her as she approached, cracking her whip for effect. The oval-shaped stage took up the majority of the center of the floor, spanning one side of the club to the other. Down from the stage was the main seating area, where several rows of round wooden pub tables and high-back chairs littered the floor leading all the way toward the front door. The bar portion of the 'Rabbit In Red' lined wall to wall at the main entrance, with one shoddy pool table to its immediate right, lazily decorated with orange and purple Halloween lights. There were also several cheap "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" signs scotch-taped to the wall sporadically throughout the entire building.
Several small TV's hung behind the bar in a row, each one showing a different sports channel. They could not be heard because of the loud music blaring from the jukebox, which was purposely positioned right outside the dressing room door. There was one bearded biker in a leather cut shooting pool at the front of the bar. Other than that, it was just the three sasquatch look-alikes at the base of the stage and the bartender, Duke, who wasn't paying any attention. He was just going about his business washing glasses and wiping the counter.
Emerging from the back, Alby carried a case of beer over to the bar and set it down. Cherry finished her routine and exited the stage to whistles and cat-calls, as the “three bears” started tapping their beer bottles on the stage, anxiously awaiting an encore.
After about 20 seconds, the stage lights went out and the entire area went black.
"What the fuck is this?" one of the men complained from the shadows.
Then the music hit.
The song was "Blood" by In This Moment, and as the main vocals and riffs kicked in, Madison stepped out onto the stage, adorned by large black lights and cheap strobe effects. The three men's jaws dropped. So did Alby's.
Standing before them was not Goldilocks at all, but rather, the Bride of Frankenstein.
Madison had totally re-made herself. She was now sporting a long white wedding dress and white heels, topped off with black lipstick and eye shadow, as well as a tall black wig with gray and white streaks on each side of it. She looked like Marge Simpson on crack. Literally.
Madison clearly had the attention of all six men in the club, and even Cherry, who peeked around the corner of the dressing room to see what the buzz was about. She began by kicking off her shoes and twirling around the large silver pole in the middle of the stage. She couldn't see, but off in the distance, she heard the whack of the cue ball (or was it the stick?) striking the other balls on the table, and all sorts of other commotion.
It wasn't long before Madison disappeared into her "zone" and had the dollar bills flying onto the stage as she whipped her body around the pole with ease. Alby, surprisingly pleased with his prized dancer, joined the men at the base of the stage. Up, down and sideways, she was passionately working the pole as the heavy hitting metal song blasted from the juke. With each twirl, an article of clothing came off and found its way to the stage floor. Man, those guys sure are making a lot of racket, she thought, sensing motion all around her. But thanks to the bright spotlights and strobes, she couldn't see a damn thing. Oh well. Fuck it. Keep the money coming.
Eventually, Madison was stark naked and flat on her back on the middle of the stage. Her nipples protruded from her C-cup breasts, and she arched her back over and over in a move the "three bears" always thoroughly enjoyed. Strangely enough, this time there was no reaction. In fact, as the song reached its climax, Madison had to go to the very edge of the stage to make sure they were even still there.
As the song faded, Madison sat on her knees on the stage and finally spotted the three men-- or what was left of them.
Their throats were slit from ear to ear and they were leaning against each other, looking like a sick, twisted version of the Three Stooges. Their mouths were still open, and there was a large amount of blood pooled at the brim of the stage. Nearby, Madison's wedding dress and shoes started to stain crimson red in the blood, and she couldn't seem to locate her underwear.
The reality of the moment rapidly set in, and in a strangely familiar moment, Madison, still wearing the tall Frankenstein wig, leaned her head back and let out a loud blood-curdling scream that would have rivaled that of Elsa Lanchester in her portrayal of the monster's mate back in 1935.
Then the entire building went black.
The emergency lights kicked on from each side of the club, but Madison still struggled getting down off of the stage. She managed to remove her wig and find her underwear, but that was about it. She started to step away, but backed right into a pair of legs dangling from the ceiling. She looked up and screamed as she saw her boss hanging from a twirling ceiling fan, with a strand of the orange Halloween lights wrapped tight around his throat. Not long after, the fan gave away under Alby's immense weight, and sparks flew everywhere as he nearly crashed down right on top of her. The blades of the fan narrowly missed her as well, impaling a table nearby instead.
Shrieking, Madison stumbled over to the end of the bar to grab the phone and call for help. Unfortunately, when she picked up the receiver, the line was dead. "Duke?! Duke!! Where are you?" Madison shouted, hoping to get help from the bartender. She managed to find her behind the counter and discovered a flashlight on the floor, but she almost wished she hadn't. As soon as she turned it on, Duke was there staring right back at her-- with an icepick sticking out of the top of his head. Madison let out a blood-curdling scream and retreated backward, hopping over the top of the bar to the main floor. Her next instinct was to get the hell out of there as fast as possible, and even though the horrors of ‘Hell's Night’ had always been in the back of her mind, she suddenly found everything coming back to her. She never thought in a million years this would happen again. Not after all this time.
As her bare feet hit the floor of the club, she starting running for the red 'EXIT' sign. Just as she did, she slipped and fell, her feet coming out from under her and sending her flat on her back. Groggy, she slowly rolled over and saw what she'd slid on. It wasn't water. Or beer. It was blood. And it had coated her entire back in crimson. Madison, stunned and dazed, used the pool table as leverage and got back to her feet. At that point, even the backup lights began to flicker, and Madison almost missed the dark figure spread across the table above her. On her way back to her feet, she shined her flashlight over and discovered that it was the biker, lying horizontally on his back across the table. He had a broken pool cue shoved through his throat and out the back of his neck.
"AHHHHHHHH!" Madison yelled, this time falling back to her knees as the biker's lifeless eyes stared back at her in surprise. Sensing the danger closing in around her, but not quite seeing it, Madison crawled on her hands and knees toward the exit. She looked up in a panic and saw the red 'EXIT' sign-- but also saw the pale white mask of Michael Myers.
Staring at him in disbelief, Madison manically backpedaled away. The Shape, standing tall and motionless above her, slowly took a couple of steps forward. "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" she yelled, bringing herself back to a vertical base. She reached back over the bar and grabbed two small knives from behind the counter and tossed them at Michael weakly, missing badly with both. Madison then tripped over several of the bar stools in the semi-dark and frantically made her way toward the dressing room, shouting "CHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYY!!!! HELLLLLLLLLLP ME!" However, when she reached the door, she found it was barricaded shut. Madison's head went on a swivel, going back and forth from the door to the approaching white mask of The Shape and back to the door again. Screaming, she finally threw all of her weight at the door and opened it just as Michael reached the jukebox nearby. Falling inside, she shut the door and saw what was barricading it-- the body of Cherry, naked and pinned to the door by a butcher knife. Her eyes were bulging from their sockets as Madison noticed her whip was around her neck as well. Acting quickly, Madison grabbed whatever she could find and pushed it against the door, including a small table, as Michael began to bang on the door from the other side. Madison backed away in terror as Michael started to bust through the door. She turned and saw an extremely tiny linen closet on the opposite side of the room, and, realizing her predicament, mumbled, "fuck".
Moments later, Michael successfully barged into the room, breaking through the door and knocking Cherry's body to the ground with a thud. Casual and cool, he stepped into the room slowly, yanking the butcher knife out of Cherry as he did. He scanned the room to the left, then the right, then back to the left again. Nothing. Then he heard a small thud coming from the closet and immediately made his way over there. It didn't take him long to crash through the cheap particle board of the door, but when he did, he found it was empty. At the same time, Madison, who was hanging from the pipe just above the entrance, dropped down behind him. Michael sensed it and immediately turned around-- just as Madison swung a long fluorescent globe at him, breaking it over his head and temporarily blinding him. Michael dropped his knife and staggered backward, trying to clear the glass out of his eyes. Madison grabbed the knife and stabbed Michael in the chest three times, sending him falling backward into the closet with the knife sticking up from his lifeless body.
Exhaling, Madison stepped away from the closet and, breathing heavily, continued to stare at the monster for any sign of life. There was none. At that point, all she could think of was how proud Dr. Loomis would have been of her. Throwing on a black Danzig t-shirt from the counter, Madison limped back out into the main floor and found her way behind the bar once again. This time, there was no mistaking her call for help. She found the emergency button under the bar and immediately pressed it. Sighing once again, Madison went back to the dressing room to make sure everything was still in order-- but gasped in bewilderment when she saw Michael Myers was gone.
"Oh fuck!!!!" she cried, raising her hand to her mouth.
Totally terrified, Madison stepped back from the room and out into the main floor. As she did, the white visage of The Shape's mask slowly came into focus behind her, but by the time she realized it, it was too late. Michael had grabbed her by the hair and spun her around, bashing her head against the wall with a loud bang, leaving a large hole in the plaster.
Dizzy and concussed, Madison squealed in pain and fled up onto the stage, with Michael not far behind. Madison somehow got to her knees, but by that time, Michael was upon her, brandishing his butcher knife once again. Blood was dripping down from The Shape onto Madison's face as she looked up at her attacker in awe, her vision blurred blood red. So this was it, she thought, sarcastically smiling at him. After ten years, this was how it was finally going to end. I guess you really can't kill the boogeyman after all.
Clearly surprised by Madison's smile, Michael grasped a handful of her hair and yanked her head back. Then, he surgically ran the sharp edge of his blade across her throat with precision, severing her jugular vein. As she bled out, the last thing Madison Mauberry saw was the pale white mask of Michael Myers, tilting his head over her in sadistic enjoyment as everything faded to black one final time. A moment later, Madison's body went limp beneath him, and The Shape released her, dropping her flat on her back onto the stage with a thud.
Outside, the front door of the 'Rabbit In Red' opened and Michael emerged, quietly stepping out toward the parking lot. At the same time, the sounds of approaching sirens caught Michael’s attention, and he disappeared into the woods at the back of the club. Almost on cue, several police cars came to a screeching halt at the entrance of the club.
They never even knew he was there.
Proceed To Chapter 1
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