The wheels of the machine sprang to life with a heavy groan. The deafening sound of gears turning reverberated in the small run-down room. A normal man would find the noise overwhelming but Rayland Green found it rather musical. The hungry machine devoured the power from the last few soul stones he had left in this world. Multi-coloured lightning filled the room, illuminating the many pages that lay scattered on the floor. Horrible drawings of various bodies strapped to chairs and tables. Ink stains and crudely written messages next to a few, detailed how the subjects reacted to the experiments.
Rayland held his finger above the small red button. Months of experiments led up to this single moment, using every last resource he had at his disposal. Even his assistant; a lonely gremlin he had found roaming the bayou. The gremlin was raving mad and judging by the multiple bruises on his body, Rayland guessed that the other gremlins had cast him out. After gaining the gremlins’ trust, he tricked him into leading his own kin right to Rayland’s front door, giving him a healthy supply of subjects. He had used up the last one yesterday and the fool didn’t want to bring him more. Rayland decided to tie him to the table instead.
The lightning became darker in colour and raged heavily, tendrils trashing around the room. Rayland cast a quick prayer to whoever would listen and pushed the button. The machine groaned, spluttered a few times and then silence fell across the room. A console sprang to life as various gauges started moving. “Bloody hell!” Rayland exclaimed as one of the gauges quickly moved into the red. He sprinted over to the back of the machine and dropped to his knees, reaching for the emergency release valve. With a grunt, he turned it and a billow of thick green steam erupted out from the machine. He cried out, flinging his hands up to protect his face. The steam melted his lab coat, burning the flesh underneath. He walked back to the main console, inspecting the damage the steam had inflicted. He quickly bandaged up his arm and returned to the machine. When he saw all the gauges had settled he forgot all about his arm. As he pressed the button again, a high-pitched squeal pierced the silence. Rayland shuffled around making sure that all the liquids were being transferred correctly into the subject’s body. When all 4 vials were empty, the subject was still screaming; which was a good sign. After various tests, he had discovered that his subjects didn’t wither away so fast if they were alive when the liquids were introduced into the bloodstream. “Come on,” Rayland muttered to himself, clenching his fists. “Die already.” The squealing reached an all-time high and then suddenly stopped. Just a few more seconds he thought. He could feel his heart pounding against his chest and images of walking up to Von Shtook and showing off his creation filled his head. Showing that he too could conquer death. The
Rayland’s mouth was salivating.
White foam started pouring from the subject’s mouth.
He couldn’t breathe.
The subject’s breathing grew shallow.
Everything came down to this moment.
The Gremlin’s body jerked and trashed and cried out. After a few moments, he stopped. Rayland rushed forward and placed a hand on the green chest, hoping that this time it worked. His heart dropped. Against the palm of his hand, he could feel the little gremlins heart still pounding heavily. Rage filled his mind. Rage at the stupid gremlin that lay on the table, rage at Albus Von Shtook for filling his mind with the fantasy of giving life. Rayland viciously slammed his fists down on the gremlins chest. The little breath that the gremlin had gotten into its lungs was forced out, again and again, Rayland’s fists smashed down until he was exhausted. He stood there for the longest time, thinking of all the lives he had ruined and the evil things he had done. How he had lied, stolen and killed in his pursuit of power and just like that he was free, free of the spell Von Shtook had on his mind. Rayland turned around and left the house, released from his compulsion to become master of the undead.
What he was unaware of, was that he did indeed create something. Something that he just abandoned in that house. The Gremlin, Benjamin Kipson, opened his eyes.
The air in the run-down house had a different feel to it. The once quiet house was now filled with happy whistles and eager talking.
“So y’all see, friend,” Benjamin Kipson said with a grin, pointing to the machine. “This here thing were set up all awful wrong, but ay knows how ta fix it good.”
Benjamin looked up from the console into the face of a rotting gremlin. He nodded a few times. “See Jimmy, that’s what ay like about y’all, y’all’re such ayy darn good listenuurr. Even thou we just met today, ay feel like we are a-goin’ ta be thay best av friends”.
Benjamin clambered onto a chair, opening the machine’s soul stone container and peering inside. He smiled at the small pebble like a parent would smile at a child. “You are so close,” the voice whispered in his head. “So close to getting what I want.” Benjamin’s said with a hint of longing in his voice. He closed the container and jumped off the chair.
“Now it’s y’all’s turn,” Benjamin said rubbing his hands together. He dragged the corpse now dubbed Jimmy over to the table and dropped it on top with a heavy thud. The voice had assisted Benjamin in fixing the machine so when he turned it on there was no more groaning of gears. Multi-coloured lightning once again erupted from the machine but this time it was more focused. It was redirected and fired into the corpse, lightning dancing across the body. Benjamin could see its fingers starting to twitch. With a click of a button, the machine went silent. Benjamin slowly crept over to the table and peered at the corpse. The once green body of the gremlin was now a pale grey. Its movements were jerky as it sat up and surveyed the room, looking at everything as if for the first time in its life. Benjamin felt pure joy. He jumped up onto the table and wrapped his arms around the newly reanimated corpse. Finally, he had a family. Jimmy was to be his first family member. Jimmy Kipson.
Rayland decided he had been too hasty in abandoning everything he had worked so hard to achieve. All the work he had put into bringing one of Albus Von Shtook inventions to life. He pushed open the door to the run-down house eager to resume his work. Hopefully, the gremlin hadn’t died in the few days since he had last seen him. He needed someone to do all the grunt work while he barked out orders. Rayland was surprised to find the house spotless. Normally, all the surfaces would have been covered in an inch of muck and dust. He pushed open the door to the machine room when he was greeted with a peculiar sight. A thing that looked like a Gremlin was doing a very bad job at sweeping the floor. It was standing in a single place, slamming the broom up and down against the wooden floor. The grey Gremlin had a crudely written sign over its chest. “Billy Kibson.” The thing had noticed him and was looking at him with dead eyes, turning its head this way and that, not sure what to make of this new being before it. The broom was still moving, almost rhythmically hitting the floor as the Gremlin watched him. It opened its mouth and let out a horrible shriek. Two more Gremlins appeared from behind the machine. One had washcloths tied to its hands and the other armed with an empty bucket. Their signs identified them as Jimmy and Francine Kipson.
“Boss?” a familiar voice asked from behind him. Rayland turned to find his assistant looking at him.
“What is this?” Rayland asked weakly, gesturing to the Gremlins.
“Oh? This here is mah family!” the assistant said happily. Without a moment’s hesitation, Rayland picked up his assistant. The wooden wall shook violently as he slammed Benjamin against the wall.
“You stole my work!” He bellowed. “It was supposed to be me that conquered death! Me! Not some stupid Gremlin that can’t even tie his own shoes!” Rayland slammed him again. He was about to do it for a third time when a sudden pain shot through his leg. He dropped the Gremlin and looked down. Jimmy had his teeth sunk deep into Rayland’s leg. He could already see the blood starting to ooze through his pants. Before he could cry out in pain, Billy charged at him growling loudly. With a mighty swing, he brought the broomstick down onto Rayland’s head. Rayland stepped back a few times trying to find his bearings when his legs gave out and he fell to the ground. Rayland tried to register what was happening when Francine leapt onto him and sank her teeth deep into his cheek. He didn’t even scream when she tore off a piece of flesh. I am going into shock, Rayland thought weakly. He could feel the warm, sticky blood gush from the wound on his cheek as the gremlins continued devouring his flesh. A sudden surge of adrenaline coursed through him giving him the strength to fight back. With a roar, he grabbed the gremlin that is on top of him and threw her off. He kicked out savagely, his foot crunching into the skull of the gremlin that was eating his leg. Just as he is about to stand up the broomstick hit him again. Lights danced before his eyes as he felt the crack of the broomstick against his skull. Rayland fell back down, stunned. Sitting there motionless as the gremlin he had kicked in the face moved into his vision. He could see that he had broken the things’ nose and for a brief moment he felt pride. The broken nose didn’t seem to bother the gremlin as it looked down at him with something that resembled a smile. It waited a moment before leaping onto him and biting down hard into his neck. Warm blood splashed onto its face as Raylands vision darkened.