"Evil Dead: The Series" Episode 17.5
"Natural Born Fingers"
In all his days with the Beaumont County Sheriff's Department, Claude
Hollister had never seen anything like this.
He stood in the middle of the Roadside Diner.... or, more accurately, in
the middle of the blood-spattered wreckage that had once been the diner.
The walls were mostly intact, but the windows were shattered, tables were
overturned, and out on the sidewalk in front of the diner, covered with
sheets, were the remains of seven people.
Outlines inside the diner marked where the bodies had been found, not all
of them intact. The owner and chef, Melvin Sharples, had been dismembered
with a cleaver, one of his hands mangled from a meat grinder apparently
used before he had died. One of the waitresses on duty, Vera Louise Gorman,
was crushed to death under a jukebox. The other waitress, Florence Jean
Castleberry, appeared to have died from a simple gunshot wound, but...
inexplicably... one of her hands had been chopped off at the wrist, and was
Then there were the patrons... two locals Claude knew well, Henry Kaplan
and Earl Hicks, and two out-of-towners with no ID on what was left of their
bodies. All murdered, brutally and viciously, sometime just after dawn, for
no apparent reason. No money had been taken from the register, and each of
the victims' cars were still in the parking lot. Revenge was an unlikely
motive, as all the victims had been brutalized equally.
More likely, Claude was dealing with a psycho. A nutjob who had somehow
wandered into the diner and caught everyone off-guard.
"We found some fingerprints," Deputy Willy Flick called out from the blood-
Claude headed that way quickly, and Willy silently pointed to fingerprints
dotting a large splash of blood. It was a curious pattern, as if the killer
had placed a hand on the countertop and tapped his fingers across the
blood, leaving behind tiny fingertip prints reaching to the end of the
What could it mean? Claude scratched the back of his head, trying to make
sense of it.
Where all other evidence came up either inconclusive or downright baffling,
the fingerprints were, at least, a start.
Especially when Claude got the word that they had found a match: Ashley J.
Williams, a man living in Detroit.
He didn't have much of a criminal record: the only reason his prints were
even on file were connected to an incident from Williams' college years,
when he and his friend Scott Jarvis had been dragged into a barroom brawl
with some bikers over a woman named 'Big Berta'. Jarvis had his jaw wired
shut for months after, and Williams emerged from the fight with only a few
scrapes and a cut chin. Not bad for a college boy fighting some Hell's
Claude made a few phone calls until he got hold of the right people at the
Detroit police department, who seemed more familiar with Williams than
Claude had expected, considering the thin file.
Yes, Williams was known to them. Yes, he was still living in the Detroit
area. When Claude told them what had happened, two detectives said they
would haul Williams in for interrogation.
Claude didn't expect them to find him... after all, if this Williams had
been here in Kentucky on a killing spree, it was unlikely that he would
have gotten back to Detroit and resumed his normal life by now..
A few hours later, Claude got a perplexing call: yes, Ash Williams was in
Detroit. But no, he wasn't a suspect. The evidence must have been tainted.
Claude was outraged at the charge; there was nothing wrong with their
evidence. The computers had clearly found a match between the fingerprints
on the countertop and those belonging to Williams.
So how could these detectives claim otherwise?
"The prints you IDed were from Williams's right hand," Detective Lewis said
calmly on the phone.
"Yes!" Claude replied angrily. "I've got them on the screen right here,
there's no doubt that---"
"Williams doesn't HAVE a right hand,"Lewis interrupted.
Claude didn't know what to say.
"He says he lost it about seven years ago in an accident with a chainsaw,"
Lewis said. "We saw the stump. It's not new. He wears a mechanical hand he
built himself, looks kind of like a glove from a suit of armor. I asked him
why he hasn't gotten a more traditional fake hand, and he told me that--"
"What does this have to do with my case?" Claude interrupted.
"Nothing, chief, that's the problem," Lewis said. "Now, Williams does have
a twin brother, whose prints might be very similar---"
Finally, a twist in our favor, Claude thought.
"--- but his brother Rhett has been in Scotland for the past week, on a
business trip, so he's out too," Lewis finished. "Talked to him by phone
about fifteen minutes ago, to make sure he was where they said he was."
"So Ashley Williams was no help?" Claude asked.
"Nah," Lewis said. "He was a bit shaken about the news of prints from his
hand being found --- but then again, who wouldn't be? I told him not to
sweat it, it was probably just a computer glitch."
"Probably so," Claude admitted, then thanked Lewis and hung up the phone.
And stared at it for a good five minutes, thinking things through.
What the hell?
Ash Williams paced nervously in his apartment.
It had been two hours since the police had let him go, and he had gone back
home to think things through.
The first thing he had done was look around the house carefully, extremely
His fingerprints, at a crime scene.
The hand? Could it have come back? It didn't seem possible. It had been so
long since it had been cut off, in that cabin back in Tennessee.
But then, it had never turned up. It didn't go back with him to the Middle
Ages. The last he had seen, it was gripping the Kandarian dagger that it
stabbed the professor's daughter with, before the vortex tore the cabin to
But wouldn't it have rotted to pieces by now? Maybe. Maybe not.
Perhaps he was thinking of the wrong thing. There was also 'Bad Ash', his
evil doppelganger, which he had last vanquished when it resurfaced and
attacked him day after Thanksgiving, more than a year ago. He made
inquiries, as subtly as he could, about the body after the attack. The
police told him that it had been incinerated. He had no reason to doubt
them, did he?
Of course he did. Ash functioned best when he was most paranoid.
And right now, his paranoia was on overdrive.
Okay, those were two possibilities, what else? What was he not thinking of?
A 'new' Evil Ash, maybe. The first Evil Ash had been born of his flesh from
one of dozens of tiny, evil replicas of Ash from his journey to Medieval
Perhaps one of them survived all these centuries, and somehow found a way
to become larger.
If not, maybe this had something to do with Eldridge Stone and his
conspiracy theories, that someone out there, someone high up somewhere, was
after Ash. Was he being framed? If so, it was clumsily handled. The
conspirators surely would know not to duplicate the prints of the hand he
no longer had.
Assuming, of course, there were even conspirators, something Ash doubted.
The forces of darkness just swirled in the shadows and attacked when
opportunity arose, they didn't form secret societies and wait patiently.
Heck, maybe it had nothing do to with the Deadites at all.
Maybe.. let's see... maybe some psycho thrill-killer left the fingerprints,
and by a statistical fluke, his fingerprints had been switched with Ash's
in the FBI files due to some computer glitch. A Y2K bug, maybe.
If Ash could have found any bookie taking odds on the macabre, though, he
would have bet on it being either the hand or Bad Ash.
But he was never good at figuring these things out. That was best left to
people like Eldridge Stone, who Ash had called and was still waiting to
hear back from.
Until then, Ash had looked around his apartment verrrry carefully, keeping
an eye out for either disembodied hands or rancid dopplegangers.
Ash was good at fighting the forces of evil. He wasn't good at waiting. It
made him nervous. Made him even more paranoid than he already was.
If the damned thing, be it five-fingered or two-legged, or something else
altogether, would just Show The Hell Up!
But until it did, all he could do is wait and worry.
And Ash didn't like doing either.
In all his days driving for FreshFast Foods, Jerry Reid had never had a
morning like this.
It had started normally enough. He woke up at 5 a.m. in the Starlight
Motel, on exit 172, and decided to check out early, grab some breakfast at
the nearby Roadside Diner, and hit the road to get his shipment to
Springfield before nightfall.
As he strolled toward the diner, it had quickly become obvious to Jerry
that something was wrong. The most telling piece of evidence was the broken
window, and the body of a 20-year old, hippyish boy hanging out of it.
Jerry took a step back, registering the horror of the young man's body,
when the doors of the diner flung open.
What happened next... well, that, Jerry hoped, would be for psychiatrists
to talk him through and figure out, assuming he didn't end up dead in a
Because what he thought he saw... what he thought he was STILL seeing...
was as impossible as it was insane.
As Jerry gripped the steering wheel of his rig, he caught a glance out the
corner of his eye.
It was still there. Damn it, it was still there.
A hand, holding a revolver.
Just a hand, mind you. Holding that pistol, as if it were attached to a
forearm that was in turn attached to a thug.
In front of the hand was a map, with a trail crudely drawn on it with
Beside it was another hand, this one slender and female, with long press-on
fingernails painted hot pink. While the male hand that gripped the pistol
jerked about, as if alive, the female hand just lay there, flat and pale.
The Hand shifted its wrist-stump around, changing the balance of its weight
so the pistol aimed directly at Jerry's head.
"Whoa, whoa, now," Jerry said nervously. "No need to do that!"
The hand scurried forth a few inches, still gripping the pistol with its
thumb and forefinger. With its pinky finger, it tapped on the map.
"Yeah, I know, the exit's coming up in about half a mile," Jerry said,
forcing a smile. "Don't you worry, little fellow. We'll have you where you
want to be..."
The hand tapped on the map again, where it had circled the city of Detroit