Title: Midnight Riders
Author: Pete Clark
Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press
“Gather ‘round people and you shall hear about a bunch of bullshit that is clear. Of riders and horses and monsters too; your parents lied - they can still get you. Hardly anyone who was there is alive to dispel the rumor, uncover the lies, but there was more than one man who rode that day and more than just Redcoats who got in their way.”
Along the way, Longfellow lost something in his translation it seems.
Boone was sure he heard Revere scream as the zombie Forbes charged at them. On his way, Forbes took a nice hearty bite out of an off duty soldier who happened to be nearby. “Grullarrk,” the soldier said clearly before falling to the ground. Forbes Zombie was fast. A hell of a lot faster than Forbes was in real life. How the heck did that work out, Boone wondered. Oh well. He unslung his double-barreled reverse musket, an invention of Revere; the guy was good for something, thought Boone as he fired and turned his former commanding officer’s head into a floating cloud of red mist. He then flipped the release on his musket, spun the barrels so that the fired barrel faced back and the loaded faced forward, and he vaporized the downed soldier’s head as well just to be sure. He wasn’t about to let any zombies rise on his watch. “Everybody to the wall,” Fraser ordered. It seemed that Boone’s gunfire and the shrieking had alerted the remaining werewolves, who were apparently done feasting on the French and wanted to upgrade to a little English breakfast. “Zombies and werewolves,” whined Revere. “I sure hope no vampires show up.” “Vampires?” Boone countered. “What are you, a child? Vampires aren’t real.” “They’re not?” asked Revere. “No - vampires are just a myth. But dragons, dragons will fuck your shit up,” said George Washington.
Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders is his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. Someday, it will be out. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories, and Tales from Midnight's Graveyard, a collection of unconnected horror, science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural stories. He cowrote Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story with author Sarah Daltry. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic. When he is not writing, Pete tends to ignore everyone around him and obsess over sports.
Top 10 Urban Legends
Here are some Urban Legends I like in no particular order.
Three Men and a Baby Ghost
This is a bad movie from the ‘80s. But in one scene, you can see a ghostly figure in the background that is not meant to be in the movie. Booga booga. It is in fact the dead ghost of a boy who killed himself in the same house that the scene was filmed. This legend ran wild for a bit after the movie and I know people who rented it just to show other people the ghost scene.
Creepy? Well no. It was just a cardboard person-shaped standee that no one had remembered to move. But at least this crap movie got a few more rentals out of the legend.
Killswitch Invisible Demon
Killswitch is a video game. At the beginning, you had to choose between playing as a female or as an invisible demon. As playing with an invisible character is rather troubling, people choose the female. In addition, it was rumored that if you defeated the game with the demon, all your data of the game would be immediately erased. So there was no evidence of anyone having ever beaten it as the demon. One day, some guy got the game and said he was going to record his entire playthrough as the demon. The posted video featured only the gamer looking as his screen and weeping. The explanation for this is unclear.
A classic that everyone knows but sometimes, in the right environment, it can still make mirrors scary. Go ahead and say Bloody Mary three times in front of a mirror. I dare you.
“Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?”
A college student comes back to her dorm room and does not want to disturb her roommate. Variations of the story is that her roommate is either sleeping in order to rest for a big exam or possibly banging her boyfriend with the lights off. So, to be nice, the arriving roommate does not turn on the light and ignores whatever sounds come from the other side of the room. Of course, what is happening is her roommate is being murdered in the dark and when she wakes the phrase, Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light, is painted on the wall in blood. Kind of creepy to think that someone is only a few feet away and killing someone. And also nice to know that some killers are thoughtful enough to leave without disturbing their victim’s roommate.
Another alleged video game. You remember arcades? Great. Me, too. Well, this game supposedly arrived in random arcades with no information as to how the game appeared. It had only the name of the game and a single joystick. The game was fun and people played it; however, the rumor is it drove people mad. Some had seizures and a few committed suicide. It was also told that men in black clothes came and worked on the game from time to time. Sketchy as hell. I’m sticking with Rolling Thunder.
Wizard of Oz and the hanging Munchkin
There is a scene where, if you look closely as Dorothy heads down the yellow brick road, you can see a dead munchkin hanging from a tree. He was sick of being a damn munchkin and hung himself. Nobody noticed until after. So his dead munchiness is in the movie now.
Or actually no. Apparently it was some kind of rare bird from a zoo or something. That is actually pretty good too.
New Urban legend: In the Wizard of Oz, as Dorothy is going down the yellow brick road you can see a mysterious demon bird from Hell’s zoo. It is on a tree and waiting to eat her soul.
The Midnight Rider
This is one of the most likely to be true. Legend says that if you purchase two copies of Pete Clark’s Midnight Riders in paperback and hold them against it other, cover to cover, while you chant ”Ich liebe dieses buch” three times, then the ghost of Benedict Arnold will come out of the joining of the spines and tell you the true story of his betrayal. If you’re nice, he may also mow your lawn. Booga booga.
Daddy Long Legs
When I was little, we had many daddy long legs spiders in our yard. And frequently I was told that they are the most deadly and poisonous spiders in the world. While I was running away, the person would then shout at me, “but it can’t hurt you.” This was confusing. The rumor here was that its mouth was so small it could not bite a human and so its mighty poison was worthless. Ha ha almost scary spider, squish you. This is not true. The spider’s mouth is actually plenty big enough to poison the hell out of you! That or it isn’t poisonous.
Chaos in Cars
There are a few of these and I sort of like them all. The people on a date hear scratching so, in terror, they drive off and a hook is stuck to the door. Ouch for the creepy guy. Or somebody is flashing their lights behind a kid driving at night; he or she is terrified and drives home only to discover that a killer was in the back seat and whenever the pursuer flashed their lights, the killer would lay back down. A killer scared of high beams apparently. Or the one where the kind person gets out of the grocery store to find a tired old woman wrapped in blankets in her back seat. “Oh but I’m cold and tired,” she would say. Then the cops come and discover it is some dude with an axe dressed as an old lady. Ah cars, they’ll get ya.
Top ten lists
People who read top ten lists and mentally mock the items listed or think, this one is stupid; what about this other one that I like? They are destined for a well heated corner of Hell. This legend has been passed on for centuries but the tale has grown with the internet’s obsession with lists. So mock lists at your own risk as the list reaper will, uh, reap you? I guess. Yeah that works. Booga booga again.
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