Author: Erin Cummins PM
This is a WIP crossover with Salem's Lot. For those who haven't read Stephen King's Salem's Lot the beginning can be a little confusing as well as give away what King's book is about.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Sci-Fi - Words: 2,877 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-19-04 - id: 1827616
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Brown now covered the boy's once pale skin; still paling when too much fear crept into his once small yet now matured body. Seeing what he had, how could his body and mind not mature, after all?
It had been several years since the older man and the boy left the small, scenic Maine town. Dirt and grease had formed in they're both now shoulder length and once golden blond hair. Their once smooth skin was now rough and hardened from the constant traveling. In the older man's left hand was a vile. Contained within it, holy water from the nearest Mexican church. Beginning to place the vile back in his bag, the water began to glow a bright blue causing the older man to wince at feeling the presence in the vile strengthen.
"I'm going back," he began, "Things there aren't finished yet." He clapped a gentle hand on the boy's shoulder.
"There is nothing you can do against the master. Drop your weapon and the boy will live, priest," Straker had said.
The creature had let go of the boy who ran over to his parents. "I think they're dead father," he had cried, sadness and anger running through him.
"Run!" The priest ordered, glancing quickly from the creature to the boy and back to the creature.
"I'll kill you," the boy had threateningly pointed at the creature.
Thinking back on that day, Mark Petrie couldn't believe there was still unfinished business back in Salem's Lot. Him and the older man had been more than confident that they had put an end to the creature. Now, feeling the older man's firm grip on his arm, Mark knew differently.
A discarded, week old Portland paper was found by the black man. Some kind of yellow substance – most likely dog urine – covered part of it. He wrinkled his nose in disgust at the odor it gave off but picked it up anyway. Some news was better than no news and he was covered in ectoplasm anyway (which depending on who you talked to could be worse than dog urine). The front page exposed the headline: "Ghost town in Maine?" What followed was a detailed article of the event and infestation of what had happened in the small town of once having 1,319 inhabitants. The black man and eldest of the Ghostbusters read the article intently, always falling on the name of Salem's Lot more known to the locals of Jerusalem's Lot. Zeddemore tucked the dog urine paper under an ectoplasm covered teal arm – keeping the article visible – and headed back towards the converted ambulance.
"Glad you could rejoin us Zed," Peter grinned, not noticing the new item Zeddemore brought back with him, "If you don't mind though I'd like to sleep in my own bed tonight, preferably slime free, than another motel," he added.
The Ghostbusters were on their way back to New York from Bangor, Maine after having just finished a job dealing with a rather feisty class four ghost who had given the Psychologist the hardest time possible. Dr. Peter Venkman, Psychologist and Paranormal Investigator & Eliminator, was still completely covered almost from head to toe - save his face and hands - in green goop that could have easily been mistaken for jell-o.
It was Spengler who noticed the nearly tattered and odorous newspaper with Winston. "Really Winston, must you have brought that with you into the car?" He asked pinching his nose shut from the strong, nauseating smell the paper emitted. Stantz and Venkman followed Spengler's lead, pinching they're noses shut as well.
"Sorry guys, but I think you and Ray should take a look at this article I came across Egon," Winston answered.
"What'd ya find Zed?" Peter asked glancing at Egon and Ray, the two scientists already fully emerged in the article.
"Gosh, Winston, this is great!" The occultist beamed when he had finally finished reading. "If I'm reading this right we've got another vampire on our hands."
"Ray, I don't think I can take more vampires after our Lupusville case," Peter groaned.
"This is a bigger problem Peter," Egon's bass voice spoke gravely. "We were able to contain the were-wolves and vampires from escaping Lupusville. However, if this vampire that arrived in Salem's Lot began feeding on the people who lived there those people as well as the original vampire would be able to leave freely to pursue more victims. We need to go there and look into this further."
"Great and not even getting paid for this gig either," Peter sighed, "alright let's get going."
Not too long later they arrived in the town, a fog bank (not uncommon for Maine) arriving with them. The town was small and had a quaint, historic feel to it. They're attention, however, was diverted immediately to something else that sent shivers up they're spine even before they even set eyes on it. They stopped Ecto for a moment peering out the window up at the abandoned house on top of the hill. The four men got out of the car to get a better look when two young men – one in his mid-thirties and the other in his mid-teens – appeared, barreling over the psychologist and the physicist. Stantz and Zeddemore helped their colleagues up before turning their attention to the young men.
"Gosh, Peter, are you okay?"
"Never better Tex," Peter smiled, clapping a gentle hand on the youngest member's shoulder and patting it before brushing the dirt on him off his brown and teal trim jumpsuit.
Egon and Winston had begun helping the man and boy up after Winston had helped Egon up.
"Out of our way immediately!" The man demanded.
"Whoa m'man. You two are not going anywhere until we find out why we just became bowling pins," Winston answered brushing remaining dirt off of their new guests.
"I'd settle for your names as well," was Egon's response.
"Ben Mears. This is Mark Petrie; now if you don't mind please let us go. We have urgent business that needs to be settled," Ben's face anxious and plea a distressing tone.
"Man you two look like a train wreck," Peter commented, he and Ray finally joining their colleagues and the two men.
"Besides if you tell us what's going on maybe we can help," Ray added, looking down a moment later at the wooden item at his feet. He picked it up, examined it briefly, and stowed it in his breast pocket.
"It's a long story," Ben reluctantly answered.
"We've got the time." Peter held his nose. "Besides maybe you two should get cleaned up. With the way you two look and smell you might scare off what you're hunting," he added attempting to crack a joke.
"Look we're after two men named Straker and Barlow," Mark interjected seeing Ben's anxiety steadily growing.
"There's no time for explanations!" Ben glared at Mark.
"There's always time for being hygienic," Peter remarked as the guys proceeded to usher Ben and Mark to the car. "How else could Mama Venkman raise a good lookin' kid?" Cracking another joke.
About an hour later the six of them sat down on the front porch of the old boarding house formerly run by the late Eva Miller. Spengler and Stantz – out of the four of them – ever curious to learn more about the quaint town insisted Ben and Mark begin explaining.
"What about this Barlow and Straker you mentioned?" Spengler asked.
"Straker was Barlow's familiar," Ben answered impatient for him and Mark to be on they're way.
"Hmm . . .. a familiar," Ray muttered, more to himself than to everyone else around him, feeling at the wooden object still tucked away in his khaki uniform.
"Wait a sec, time out, I'm lost." Peter put his hands up forming a T. "What the hell is a familiar?"
Ray pulled the wooden item stowed in his break pocket out. "A familiar, Pete, is a human being who does things for a supernatural creature who may be otherwise unable to do so themselves." He paused. "Say for example a witch or a vampire?" He asked glancing towards Ben and Mark. "What I hold in my hand is a wooden stake. It's used to thrust into a vampire's heart in order to destroy it. I found this while you guys were talking to Ben and Mark, here."
"Who had been the first victim?" Spengler immediately asked, pushing his round red-rimmed glasses up his nose for the umpteenth time that day.
"Ralphie Glick," Mark answered quietly, remembering that night all too well and figuring the cat was now out of the bag, "he and his brother, Danny, were on their way home from practicing a school play with me. Danny made it home in a dazed state, but Ralphie never made it home at all."
"From what I've been able to put together," Mears explained, "is that Ralphie Glick became the first victim. He then went after his brother, Danny. Danny then went after Mike Ryerson who runs the cemetery on Harmony Hill as well and so on and so forth. From that point on more residents of Salem's Lot succumbed to this disease that infested the town." He paused. "I would never have known about this had I not come back to write a book on the Marsten house," adding to the explanation.
"The last victim was who?" Winston asked.
"Susan Norton, daughter of Ann and Bill Norton as well as my very brief girlfriend, was it's last victim," Ben paused sighing, "or so we thought."
He and Mark exchanged glances. No longer on their own, man and boy had finally been able wash up. They're faces and hair no longer looked grimy and dirty when they finally began their story for the Ghostbusters. Ben Mears looked to be about in his mid-thirties – although you couldn't tell that by looking at him – he looked more like a man in his mid to late twenties. Mark Petrie, on the other hand, looked much older than his fourteen-year-old age. He wore glasses (although by now they were nearly tattered beyond usage and recognition) and if his hair had been styled differently he might have looked like a younger Egon Spengler.
"What about that house we spotted when coming into town?" Winston asked. "Our attention was drawn to it like a moth to the flame."
"That would be the Marsten House," Ben answered, his voice soft with a hint of coldness to it. "Hubert Marsten, known to those who lived in Salem's Lot as Hubie, had that house built for him and his wife, Birdie. Hubie had been the president of a large New England trucking company in the 1920's. Hubie and his wife retired wealthy to Salem's Lot in 1928. They lived like hermits in that house of theirs except when coming into town to do shopping. By the stock market crash they had lost a good part of that wealth-,"
Mark cut Ben off. "From what had been talked about in town up until Straker arrived with Barlow, Hubert it seems slowly went mad. His wife was found sprawled in a corner of the kitchen around the back of the house. Her head had pretty much been blown away by a close range shot-,"
Another cut off again, this time from Ben. "Hubie was found hanging from a rafter, a noose tied around his neck. The town's people that went up to the house after Hubie and his wife were initially found discovered a shot gun had been rigged with string attached to the trigger to the front door as well as run down the hall to another doorknob. Anyone who went in from there would have gotten a direct ticket to join angels."
"You mentioned though that the book you had begun writing when all hell broke loose and people started disappearing was about the Marsten house though?" Peter asked curiously.
"I went into the house on a dare once when I was nine. There was a club some kinds had formed that I so badly wanted to be a part of. They told me the only way I would be accepted is if for my initiation I went into the Marsten house and brought something out from inside," Ben paused. "So I went into the house and pinched a snow globe I spotted. I was about ready to leave, and should have, when I got the growing urge to go upstairs to where ol' Hubie had been found. I really wanted to impress these guys and I figured I'd grab something from out of that room as well.
The four men listened intently as Ben continued his story. "When I got to the room and opened the door everything was fine at first. The room had the same rotting look and formaldehyde smell expected of an old house, but as I looked up into Hubie's face an eerie feeling came over me. A moment later the eyes opened and his discolored, purple face stared directly at me. I still don't know if I truly saw that or if it was just my nine year old imagination embellishing on the story I had heard, but I high tailed it out of there, not looking back."
"Wow! Neat!" Ray's enthusiasm overcoming him and winning glares from his three friends. "What?" He asked innocently.
Leave it to Doctor Raymond Francine Stantz to find the most perilous situation exciting and fun, Peter thought lightly shaking his head and cracking a smile. The four men had been in countless situations that looked hopeless and yet in the end Ray's enthusiasm never seemed to falter.
Ben continued. "I only came back to the Lot because I needed to draw on inspiration for writing from my subject as strong as I could. I even tried leasing out the Marsten house, but learned that someone had actually bought it. If it hadn't been for the story idea I had come up with though I would have steered clear of here."
"You mean you left Salem's Lot for a while?" Winston asked, his curiosity now as big as Spengler's and Stantz's.
"Yes. In '51 a fire began that started at the Marsten house and worked it's way down to the town. My Aunt's house was one of the unlucky houses that got burned down. After that happened we packed up and left for where I was originally from."
"You mentioned that someone bought the house? At the time you heard that did you think that a bad thing?" Spengler responded.
"Well, yes, considering that no one in the town in their right mind would ever buy and live in that house after what happened to Hubie and his wife."
"How long have you two been on the hunt?" Ray asked.
Ben thought for a moment. "We left Salem's Lot in '76 and it's now '87? Just over ten years. We've been going where ever there's been one of them spotted."
"I'm sorry Susan, I'm so sorry," Ben had whispered as he held the steak over his former girlfriend's heart, driving it in a moment later.
Her anguish and screams had only lasted a couple of minutes as Ben continued thrusting the stake further into Susan's heart, pinning her down at the same time making sure she wouldn't be able to fight back even the slightest bit. When her body finally limped back down onto the bed covers Ben removed himself from her, gave her a quick last glance and left the room where Mark had been waiting.
"We've got to keep moving. There'll be more coming after us soon," Bed had explained to Mark.
God that was only two months ago in Mexico, Ben realized thinking back on that god-awful night. Tears had trickled down both cheeks as he also remembered how painful it had been for him to leave Susan behind still knowing she was in the Marsten house, not being able to help her like he wanted to and should have.
A black hand snapping fingers in front of his face yanked Ben from his thoughts.
"Yo, you okay m'man?" Winston asked getting Ben's attention back.
For the first time a sliver of a smile made an appearance on the face of Ben Mears. "Yes, I'm fine. At least as fine as a man can be who has been chasing vampires for a while now. You four should continue on your way and leave me and Mark to deal with these creatures though."
"We've dealt with vampires before though, Mr. Mears," Egon began to explain, "Perhaps we can help if you will only let us.
Ben nodded. "Very well. Mark and I have much more to fill you in on."