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BRIDE OF SAM! by SAMUEL Z. GREST
CHAPTER ONE : BEAUTY ENTERS MY LIFE
I was playing triple chess with my best friend Moss Biskin and the blue rat who lives inside my head. Triple chess was a game we’d invented, which let the three of us play each other at the same time, on the same board. We each had less pieces than we’d have in a normal game of chess, but it was much harder and we had to be at our sharpest when playing it.
Moss was in the middle of telling me about a cannibal he’d defeated in the Abalon Jungle (he was trying to distract me into making a mistake!) when the door to my office burst open and the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen entered, screaming, her eyes wild with terror. "Help me!" she screamed. "It’s after me! It’s going to eat me! It –" Before she could say any more, she fainted, and I had to jump forward quickly to catch her before she hit the floor.
CHAPTER TWO : A TALE OF HORROR
Her name was Demonia and she was lovely. She had a beautiful face, long hair and slim hands. Her feet were big — I’ve always fancied girls with big feet. "Who do you think she is?" the blue rat who lives in my head asked. He was shivering, the way he always does at the start of a dangerous case. "I don’t know," I said. "I don’t trust her," Moss Biskin grunted. "Shut up!" I snapped, wiping her hair from her face, gazing at her closed eyelids and her gently parted lips as she breathed lightly, still asleep (I knew her name because I’d read it on the label inside her jacket when I’d taken it off and hung it up).
Eventually Demonia awoke. "Where am I?" she gasped, staring around my office, frightened. "It’s OK," I told her. "You’re safe with me. I’m Sam Grest." She smiled when she heard that. "Thanks heavens!" she cried. "I was trying to get here when the monster attacked." "Monster?!?" Moss Biskin, the rat and I shouted together, alarmed but excited — it had been almost a month since we’d last had a scrap with a real nasty monster.
Over a cup of tea and a plate of warm rat biscuits, Demonia told us about the monster which had attacked her, her brother and two of their friends. It was a purple-skinned, fat creature, who dressed in a white suit and drank the blood of its victims. It killed her two friends and kidnapped her brother. It said it would eat him unless Demonia married it. "Don’t worry!" I interrupted hotly. "I won’t let that happen!" "Thank you, Mr Grest," Demonia said, kissing me to show how grateful she was. "Please," I muttered, blushing madly, "call me Sam."
CHAPTER THREE : IN HOT PURSUIT
I wanted to leave with Demonia straightaway but Moss and the blue rat were less than wholly enthusiastic. "There’s something wrong about her," the blue rat squeaked. "I don’t think she told us the whole truth," Moss Biskin added. "You two are just jealous," I replied, "because I’m the only one she kissed. You can stay here and mind the office — I’ll go with her by myself!" Moss and the blue rat tried to talk me out of it, but I wouldn’t listen, and soon I’d left with Demonia to head off in search of her brother. She kissed me again when we were alone, and said she thought she was falling in love with me. I hadn’t felt as happy since I’d cut off the head of a murdering ogre on the banks of the Zalabu river!
The last time Demonia had seen the purple monster, it had been heading for the cliffs of Dead Man’s Munch. I knew those cliffs well — they were one of the few places on the planet I’d gone out of my way to avoid in the past, knowing how deadly they are. I almost went back to get Moss Biskin and the blue rat – I was scared by myself – but Demonia hugged me tight and kissed me a third time, and after that nothing in the world frightened me, so off we set!
CHAPTER FOUR : ON THE CLIFFS
Strong winds howled around the cliffs of Dead Man’s Munch. The cliffs were tall, some of the tallest in the world, and the ground at the bottom was jagged and sharp — if we fell, it would be the end of us! Demonia and I crept along the edge of the cliffs, trying to keep out of the way of the hands of the dead people which stuck out of the rocks and swiped at us as we walked, trying to knock us off. We were doing quite a good job of avoiding them, and were almost at the end of the cliffs, when a hand struck me hard in the back. I teetered on the edge a moment, but then gravity grabbed me and I toppled over — and fell to what seemed a certain, grisly death!
CHAPTER FIVE : A NARROW ESCAPE
I would have been a goner, except in the nick of time I remembered the mini parachute I keep in the heel of my left shoe. I wasn’t sure if I was wearing that pair of shoes today, but I had nothing to lose, so I ripped the shoe off, held it above my head and tapped three times on the heel. To my intense relief, the heel slid open and the parachute blossomed out. I landed a few seconds later, harder than I would have wished — but alive!
As I was sitting up, tucking the mini parachute back into the heel of my shoe, Demonia appeared beside me. "You’re alive!" she exclaimed, startled to see me unharmed. "It’ll take more than a simple fall to kill Sam Grest," I chuckled, then frowned. "How did you get down here?" Demonia smiled crookedly. "I climbed down," she said. "I was so worried about you, I didn’t stop to consider my own safety." I couldn’t see how she’d done it – the cliffs were so sheer, I’d have said they were impossible to climb – but then she kissed me again and I stopped worrying. Slipping my shoe back on, I clambered to my feet and we went looking for Demonia’s brother.
CHAPTER SIX : WHERE EVIL DWELLS!
After a short search, we discovered a tunnel leading underneath the cliffs of Dead Man’s Munch. I zipped out the torch I always carry, flicked it on, and we advanced. Demonia was breathing heavily — I assumed it was with fear, so I gave her a hug to cheer her up. She felt bigger than she’d been before, and wider, but I couldn’t see very well, so I put it down to my imagination.
The tunnel led to a huge cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. There was a platform at the centre of the cave. On it was slab. On the slab lay the rotting corpses of two monsters. Next to the slab stood a fat, purple-skinned man with red eyes and fingernails. He was giggling uncontrollably. "What’s going on?" I shouted. "Who are you and where’s Demonia’s brother?" "My brother’s on the slab — and so’s my other brother," Demonia said behind me, and her voice was much lower and coarser than it had been. Turning to look at her, I got the shock of my life —she’d changed into a monster!
CHAPTER SEVEN : REVELATIONS
"What’s going on?" I roared, stumbling away from the monster. "Revenge is what’s going on!" Demonia sneered. She was huge now, with two big red wings and dark green fangs. Her ears were pointy and her eyes were sharp like a demon’s. "You killed my brothers, so now I’m here to kill you!" All of a sudden, I understood what was happening. "Your brother was the Monster From Mongolia!" I gasped. I’d killed him a long time ago. His brother had tried to return the favour in Transylvania several months later, and I’d killed him too. I now knew there’d been a third member of the MFM family — a sister!
"You can go now, Murlough," Demonia said to the purple-skinned creature on the platform. "Thanks for the help." "No problem, dear lady," Murlough gurgled in reply, then left by the rear exit. "Now for you!" Demonia hissed, creeping towards me on her five hairy legs. "I thought I’d killed you when I pushed you over the edge of the cliff, but when I flew down after you, I found you’d survived. You got lucky that time, but your luck ends here!" So it hadn’t been one of the hands of the dead which knocked me over — Demonia did it! "Stop!" I warned her. "Don’t make me kill you like I had to kill your brothers!" She laughed. "You can’t kill me!" she jeered. "When I was in disguise and kissed you, I was wearing magical lipstick. That’s why you fell in love with me — and that’s why you won’t be able to harm me!" To my horror, I realized she was telling the truth — when I tried to raise a hand to fight her, it wouldn’t move! I was completely powerless — and about to die!
CHAPTER EIGHT : SWEET TIMING
Demonia was almost upon me, claws exposed, fangs dripping with green drool. "I’ll kill you slowly!" she croaked. "And I’m going to eat you. And when I’m finished, I’ll squat over a toilet and –" "Not so fast!" someone shouted behind her. Spinning, the monster found herself faced with a grim Moss Biskin and a glowering blue rat. "What are you doing here?" Demonia screeched. "We followed you," Moss Biskin said. "We guessed what you were up to, and set out to put a stop to it." "You’re fools if you think you can kill me," Demonia snarled. "We don’t intend to," the blue rat said, then raced between the monster’s five legs and handed me a damp handkerchief. "Use it quick!" he told me. "We smeared it with the antidote to her magic lipstick." Demonia screamed when she heard that and darted towards me. But I was quicker than the monster, wiped my lips clean with one swift sweep, pulled an axe out of my rucksack, and cut her head off just as she was about to devour me.
"Well," Moss said, stepping up beside me, "that was a close one!" "Yes," I sighed, glad to be alive, but sad at the same time. "Never mind," the blue rat said, crawling back inside my ear to its home. "You’ll fall in love again. Plenty more fish in the sea." "Let’s just hope there aren’t plenty more Monsters From Mongolia!" Moss Biskin laughed, and after a brief reflective pause, I turned my back on the dead monster, bid farewell to the memory of the only girl I’d ever love, slung an arm around Moss Biskin’s shoulder — and I laughed too.