Monday, 19 October 2015

Monster Bash, Tier 1: Werewolf vs. Ghost

Good evening, sports fans, and welcome to the inaugural Monster Bash!
For the longest time, for Halloween, Mankind has celebrated those twisted creatures of sinister might and dark magic for the fear they can incite. But, I don’t think it’s enough to include an entire barrage of beasts every single time we want to celebrate one day. After all, how can we decide which of these nightmarish freaks is truly Monster Supreme?
Well, pure and simple, why not drop them in an arena and see who is left alive? Well, standing at least . . . or floating. Whatever, we want to know which one can outlast the others in a standoff.
So, for this Halloween Countdown, we’re doing to throw down in the ring, and see which of eight classic monsters will defeat the rest, and be 2015’s Monster Supreme. I’ve selected eight monsters to play within an elimination contest bracket, paired them up randomly and we’ll see who wins.
So, without further ado, let’s go to the arena!

- - -

  “Thank you, Matt,” I say to myself, as I am somehow now standing in the middle of a twilit graveyard and wearing a tuxedo and heavy set of headphones while holding a microphone. “I’m standing here, in the Horton-Meier Churchyard, a scene which has been graciously provided to us for this year’s Monster Bash. Just a small property, but it has a lot of character and useful sites for these fights.”
I start walking to the far side, where there is a table set up with two secondary characters and a pretty young woman wearing a glitzy formal dress. Her skin was brown, and her curly hair draped around her shoulders.
 “This year, I’m joined by Jayalaw, who will be helping us to comment on tonight’s entertainment. How do you feel about tonight’s fight?”
“I think that there’s more to the contestants than meets the eye,” the woman said. “For some reason people don’t like werewolves, but most of the time they are normal human beings. We’ll have to see if the were-part of the wolf will be able to apply human smarts.”
 “Indeed, especially up against a ghost. You can give a geist a good whack, but if you want to take them down, you’ve got to find that haunt, or exorcise them somehow. So, the werewolf will have staying power, but that won’t count for anything if he doesn’t fight smart this evening.”
“The ghost also shouldn’t take things for granted. They may be dead with an immortal soul, but souls are only human, and humans make mistakes. Both contestants need to be on their toes his evening.”
 “So you think the human factor will be the deciding factor in this fight?”
“Oh definitely. There aren’t many monster stories where the monster uses his brains to get out of a bad situation. But to be honest I don’t watch many reality shows, so I don’t know how to predict winners. I merely plan to observe, to see who avoids wiping out.”
 “Well, someone will have to wipe out tonight, I’m afraid. Oh, and they’re bringing in the contestants now . . .” I say. Off to the left side of the churchyard, near a copse of trees, the gates were opened by two stagehands and a large truck backed into the yard and the helpers opened the doors. A man wearing a flannel shirt and jeans, with salt-pepper hair and a five-o’clock shadow jumped down out of the truck. On both of his wrists, heavy chains were tied.
 “In this corner, tonight we’ll be seeing Gareth Donahue, a thirty-four-year old car mechanic from Darwin, who also happens to be a ravenous werewolf,” I say. On the other side of the field the gates are opened and two stage hands step in carrying what looks like a jar with a candle inside.
They place it on the ground and open the lid, and instantly the glass shatters, and a small girl flickers into existence, a woman wearing a business suit that looked rumpled and wet, and her dark hair was hanging around her face. Her whole body seemed to flicker slightly and glow a sickly shade of blue.
 “And in this corner, he’ll be facing off against Sasaki Tsukiyami, a Brisbane girl migrant from Japan who was murdered by a jilted lover at the age of just twenty, and returned as a vengeful spirit . . . whose possessions have been donated to us by the Tsukiyami family for the sake of this evening’s entertainment.” I stand up and scream. “It’s Hound versus Haunt, who will win?  Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! Three . . . two . . . one, FIGHT!”

Gareth begins by jogging across the graveyard towards the ghost. She watched, creepily, tilting her head awkwardly, her black hair hung over her face so that only one of her eyes could be seen. As he came within three metres, she suddenly shrieked.
 “Don’t you dare . . .” Sasaki hissed.
 “What, are you scared?!” said Gareth with a smirk. “Or are you just trying to scare me?”
He swung a right hook at her head, but his fist passed right through. He just sighed.
“I should have figured as much . . . so does this mea-”
The ghost shoved him with both hands, and Gareth went flying backwards. Head over heels, he landed awkwardly on his shoulder and rolled backwards, landing on his front.
 “You can’t hurt me . . .” Sasaki hissed, as she lifted off the ground and floated towards him. He didn’t move at first, and it seemed like maybe he’d been knocked out, but after four seconds, he suddenly pushed himself up and shook himself off.
 “I’m starting to really hate you,” said Gareth, his voice deep, almost hoarse, “I’m gonna have to lose it . . . faster than I expected.”
There was a sickly cracking sound as his bones began shifting and growing. There was a swift ripping as his muscles expanded through his shirt and became covered with wiry, brown fur. His face became elongated, his teeth grew. As he transformed, he got to his feet in time for claws to shred through his shoes. The werewolf snarled and as the clothing fell from him and the last of his form snapped into place, he took a step forward and roared.
The force of the sound made the ghost’s clothing and hair move as though in a sudden, strong gust of wind. The werewolf snarled and leapt, face-first with jaws open wide. He dove straight through the ghost, but as his enormous form flew through hers, her body dissipated like smoke.
The werewolf looked confused, as it sniffed around, pawing at the ground. Sasaki reappeared, looking a little dazed as it stumbled to its feet, but before the ghost could regain her composure, the werewolf ran forward and slammed a great claw through her, and into the ground. Breathing heavily, the wolf sniffed left and right. After another ten seconds, Sasaki reappeared, this time behind him. Before he could turn around she floated off the ground and grabbed him by the hair on his back. The werewolf barked sharply, as she drifted upwards, and pulled him off the ground. The werewolf twisted and swiped, grunting and snarling but couldn’t reach the fur on its back. The ghost drifted a good five storeys above the ground, and sideways so they were floating above the gravestones. Then, she dropped him. A headstone crumbled as he landed on top of it with his chest, and the werewolf made a high-pitched yelp.
It crawled away from the headstone, limping, and looked up at the ghost in the air, frothing at the mouth with rage. After a few deep breaths, the werewolf stood on its hind legs and pounced up. It leapt almost twice his height, claws outstretched, but it wasn’t high enough. It tried again, but couldn’t get any higher, and the ghost floated overhead, looking down at the wolf from above.
The werewolf let out a mournful howl, then seemed to tense and flex its muscles. The beast started to shrink, muscles shivering and bones snapping as he returned to a man-like form. But the transformation did not complete, rather than Gareth’s human form, he reduced to a wolf-man, with muscular arms and a wiry mane, but smaller and with more exposed skin.
 “Gotta fight smart . . .” growled Gareth, holding his bruised side as he wandered towards the path in front of the church. Gareth saw the shattered remains of the glass jar near the fence, he sniffed at the pieces before scraping it into a pile, scooping it with the dirt so he wouldn’t cut himself, then he looked up at the sky. “You’ll never win if you fly around up there!”
Sasaki flickered for a moment, then held out her arms, as though on an invisible crucifix and screamed as she began to plummet down towards the ground. Gareth scooped up the dirt and glass quickly into both hands, and as Sasaki landed on the ground, he threw it.
She shrieked in pain as her ghostly form dissipated again, like smoke.
 “Salt and iron,” said Gareth, smiling. “You can’t just slip through salt and iron, can you, bitch!”
Sniffing around, Gareth caught a scent and ran towards the church. It was only a small, wooden thing, barely twenty-five square metres. Inside, the lights were lit, and Gareth was looking around until something caught his eye. Sitting atop the lectern, and very much out of place, was a little, china doll. He approached it, but as he got half-way, Sasaki appeared behind him.
 “You can’t hide from me . . .” she warned. Not wasting a second, Gareth leapt towards the lectern, and grabbed the doll, landing awkwardly and rolling into the wall. But he managed to get to his feet.
 “Does this look familiar?” he said, breathing heavily.
 “No . . . wait, don’t!” shrieked Sasaki, as she recognized the doll.
With a cruel grin, Gareth held the doll above his head.
 “NOOO!” screamed Sasaki, but the doll’s head collided with the corner of the lectern, and shattered. Sasaki screamed an otherworldly scream and her form was encompassed by blinding light, then exploded into particles of smoke.

A bell sounded, and I stepped out from behind the commentators desk.
 “We have a winner!” I yelled, running towards the church. “That was way more exciting than I imagined . . . ghostly apparition has its benefits, but being linked to an inanimate object seems to be one killer weakness. Gareth, come out here!”
Gareth stumbled out the door, still holding his side, but smiling.
 “Gareth, you’ve survived round one. How do you feel?”
 “I feel like crap,” he said, breathing heavily. “But I’m glad I got rid of that shrieking banshee . . . that was fun, but it hurt like hell when she dropped me.”
 “Yeah, I think you’ve got a broken rib. We’re gonna get you patched up before your next match. But, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the Werewolf!”
The other three commentators clap, and Gareth stumbles off towards the churchyard gate.
 “Alright, but that was just round one. To find out the Monster Supreme, you’ll need to stick around. Come back tomorrow for Round Two, where two more monsters will face off in our Monster Bash!”

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