A "Tree House of Horror" fic. Three chapters, each a separate story. I do not own "The Simpsons", they and all related characters are property of Matt Groening (rhymes with "complaining"), Twentieth Century Fox, et al. Father O'Flaherty is my somewhat my own character. There was an Irish priest in a recent episode, but I doubt that his name was "O'Flaherty" (I got the name while listening to the Clancy Brothers' song "Nell Flaherty's Drake"). Furthermore, his character is very much my own writing. The following stories are original, so you let me know if they appear on Fox anytime soon. Copyright 2005 Fionn Whelan.
Tree House of Horror 2005
Tombstone Gag: We see the Springfield cemetery. The rusted gates swing in the wind. We see various tombstones. One reads "'Friends': Good Riddance!". Another, "Jason Alexander". "The other Jason Alexander (The one Britney married)". "The First Amendment." Someone runs up and, with black paint, blocks out the tombstone. "The Second Amendment"; which is riddled with bullets.
Couch Gag: We now see the Simpsons' home. The family rushes in. Marge is dressed like The Bride of Frankenstein. Homer is dressed like Mike Meyers. Bart is dressed entirely in black, with a black wig and his face painted white, and black dripping from the corners of his eyes and his lips. Lisa wears a school girl's dress and has pigtails. Maggie wears white, and is horribly pale, with gashes all across her face. The camera zooms in on Homer, who turns and raises a knife. It cuts to Bart. A crow lands on his shoulder, and he strokes it, then looks towards the audience and cocks his head to the side. The camera pans to Lisa, who smirks and holds up a noose. It cuts to Marge, who hisses. Finally, the camera cuts to little Maggie, whose head does a 360-spin, then vomits green all over the screen. The vomit slides down to form the names of the producers. The crow swoops across the screen and it cuts to the first segment.
The Simpson family is watching TV in the living room. Maggie is playing with he blocks, and spells out "Stoker" with them.
"THIS IS KENT BROCKMAN WITH A SPECIAL REPORT. LOCAL EXOTIC DANCER APRIL SHOWERS, ALSO KNOWN AS PRINCESS KASHMIR, WAS FOUND DEAD IN HER APARTMENT AN HOUR AGO BY HER FORMER EMPLOYER, BELLE. THERE WERE NO SIGNS OF FORCED ENTRY. THE ONLY MARKS ON HER NECK WERE TWO PAIRS OF SMALL PINHOLES ON EACH SIDE OF HER NECK. DEATH WAS CAUSED BY HYPOHEMIA, LOSS OF BLOOD. NO BLOOD WAS FOUND IN THE ROOM. THE POLICE HAVE NOT YET RULED OUT FOUL PLAY"
"Yes," says Chief Wiggum, a microphone held near his head, "While we have not yet ruled out foul play, our best guess is that this was done by mosquitoes, possibly mutated by toxic waste from the nuclear plant.
"Pah!" says Mr. Burns, sitting in his study, "My mutant mosquitoes are perfectly harmless!"
A giant mosquito lands on his armrest.
"C'mon," it pleads, "'Frasier's gonna be on in three minutes!"
"Now, Buzzy, I believe it's Smithers' night to pick what we watch!"
"Sounds like the work of vampires!" said Bart.
"Oh Bart! You know there's no such thing as vampires. And even if there were, in addition to the scientific and philosophical implications posed by their very existence, why, if they do exist, have we not encountered them until now?"
"I don't now, maybe because next week is Halloween!"
"Kids, I'm sure they'll catch whoever did this."
The next day…
"Okay class, as I'm not getting paid enough to stand up here and read to you only for you to forget it in five seconds, I'm just going to put on movie while I work on my resume so I can get a less demeaning job." says Mrs. Krabappel.
"Ah, public school." Says Bart, leaning back in his desk.
"Oh, and just so Skinner doesn't get on my ass about this, I want you all to have a peace of paper out and say that you're taking notes on it."
"And, I expect a two-and-a-half page summary, double-spaced, normal font. Due tomorrow."
"D'oh! And it was going to be a perfect day!"
"Uh, Mrs. Krabappel," calls Millhouse, sitting up straight, waiving his arm, "I…I need to use it!"
"Fine. Go! Just don't fall in. That was an ordeal I hope I never have to go through that ordeal again."
"Mmm…my shrink's gonna get an earful tomorrow…"
Mrs. Krabappel clicks the remote and turns the movie on.
"Aww-man! Not "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas"!" moans Bart.
"This movie sucks!" yells Nelson.
"Too scary!" screams Ralph, covering his eyes.
"Ralph, you're in the wrong class again! Get out!"
A very strange and unpleasant hour-and-a-half passes. Finally, Bart says:
"I should've played hooky today…I mean, where's Millhouse?"
"Ah!" says Krabappel, holding her head in her hands. She walks over to the door, and calls to Groundskeeper Willie.
"Willie, Millhouse is stuck in the toilet again! Go fish the little geek out!"
"Ach! No way, lassie! There's' a no way Willie's gonna go and plunger the li'l geek outta tha' loo, ya-thong-wearin' Pill-popper!"
"Do it Willie, or I'll report you for your ties to Scottish terrorists!"
"Grrr…very well. But tha' wee'uns gon'un done it fer the' las' time! Ach!"
Willie storms into the boy's restroom with a plunger and a crowbar.
"Alright, ya wee gadfly, where are ya?"
He looks down into the stalls, and sees Millhouse's shoes. From the angle they're at, it seems as though he is stuck in the toilet.
"Don't worry, laddie! I'm here ta' save ya!"
He kicks open the stall. Millhouse is suck into the toilet. His head is hanging back. There are two small wounds on his neck. A thin trail of blood trickles down his throat and onto the tiles. He isn't moving.
"No…Ach! God no…I hate cleanin' up blood! I'll never get those stains outta the enamel!"
In Washington, D.C....
"Hey Sculley! Get a look at this!"
Agent Fox Mulder tosses a copy of the Springfield shopper on his partner's desk.
"Another killing in Springfield. Same MO: the only visible marks on the body are two small puncture wounds over the jugular vein, the body is completely drained of blood…cellular dehydration."
"Are you telling me that a vampire is killing people in Springfield?"
"All I know is that certainly falls under our jurisdiction. There's over sixty X-files describing deaths just like this. And more than half of them are dated sometime in late October. I booked us a flight for Springfield."
"Wait, that Springfield?"
Outside Springfield Elementary…
The kids are walking home from school warily. Several have crucifixes and garlic. Rod and Todd carry Bibles and crosses.
"Fear not! God will protect us!"
Nelson punches them.
"I told ya so, Lis'. It's vampires!"
"Bart, there are no such thing. It's probably the work of a crazed lunatic who thinks that he is a vampire and has to drink the blood of the living in order to stay alive. All that garlic isn't going to save you."
"Yeah, but it covers up my BO"
When they arrive home, they smell a hideous stench.
"Yuck! Mom! What is that nasty smell?"
"I'm making your favourite, Lisa! Garlic soup!"
"That's not my favourite!"
"Well, you're gonna have to learn to like it cause I'm not taking any risks! Until they can rule out vampires, it's garlic soup and garlic bread every night!"
Bart throws his backpack down by the door and puts his hat up on the coat rack. He notices several garlands of garlic hanging above the door.
"Nice decorating, Mom."
"Thank you, honey. I hope you like the flowers I got, too! I think they really spice up the place!"
Lisa looks at the dried flowers sitting in a vase by door. She sniffs them.
"Mom, is this monkshood?"
"No, it's wolfsbane."
"Same thing, Mom."
The next day at school, the children notice a strange man and woman standing outside the school, watching the children enter.
"Hey, you're that FBI guy who said dad was crazy!" says Bart.
"Yes, I'm Agent Mulder and this is my partner, Agent Dana Sculley."
"You know, were it not for the ineptitude of the intelligence agency, the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon might have been averted, you know." says Lisa.
"And all the while we were out chasing aliens!" Sculley says tritely.
"Hey, aliens can do a lot worse to us than some Arabs with box cutters!"
In space, Kang and Kodos watch on their on their ship's giant monitor.
"Shazbat! He's on to us!" says Kang, throwing down his box cutter.
The two agents analyze the scene of the most recent crime. Scully looks at the blood stains on the side of the toilet.
"It would seem that the culprit took most of the victim's blood with him. Aside from this little spill here, there's no sign of any bleeding. And the victim was said to have been completely drained of blood, and that his cells were dehydrated."
"Hey Sculley. Look." says Mulder, pointing up the vent above the toilet. The grate is broken, as though it was forced out from the inside,
"Probably rats. The school is pretty shabby."
"Maybe. But I think it's how the killer attacked him."
"Mulder, that vent is eighteen by six inches. There's no way that anyone could fit through that."
Mulder gives her an unsatisfied look.
"You know, it is possible for vampires to change shape."
"Of, so whoever did this changed into a bat?"
"No, most likely a fox or very large rat. Vampires can take the shape of any of the creatures of the night. In "Dracula" he takes on the shapes of wolves and bats. And small animals do his bidding."
Sculley rolls her eyes.
"C'mon. Let's go look at the other crime scene."
At Princess Kashmir's Apartment…
"Hmm…not much blood here, either. Just a few drops on the sheets, that's all."
"Sculley, could we get a list of all the names of everyone who was in the complex on the night of the murder?" said Mulder, who was looking suspiciously out of one of the windows.
"Because that woman going into that room over there was at the school. I think she was one of the teachers."
Indeed, she was. It was Ms. Hoover he spied, going into her apartment. But, as it turns out, another teacher, Mrs. Krabappel, lived in the very same apartment complex. After questioning them both, and some yelling and slapping with the manager over getting the names of everyone in the building, they left for their car. It was nightfall now, and the air is growing colder. Mulder gets in and starts up the engine. Sculley feels someone staring at her. She turns around and sees Bart just as he ducks back into the alley. Mulder gets a call on his cell phone.
"Yeah. Uh-huh. Thanks chief. We'll be right over."
Sculley grins at the boy's pluckiness. She enters the passenger side of the vehicle.
"I just got a call from the police chief. A new body was just stumbled upon. Drained dry; two puncture wounds in the throat."
They raced off to downtown Springfield, to a dark and suspicious alley. Hans Moleman lay on his face. Two fine holes are in his neck.
"Whew! I'm glad you showed up!" said Chief Wiggum, "I mean, Bureau involvement means I don't have as much paperwork. Heh heh."
"Let's get him down to the lab. We need to do a thorough examination for the corpse."
Down at the Forensics Lab…
"Well, I'm quite perplexed, d'yahoy!" says Prof. Frink, "I mean, all three have had every last drop of blood drained from their bodies, and all three exhibit the strange cellular dehydration glavin, but this new corpse is different. The two wounds are slightly farther apart, wider in diameter, and are not are deep. D'yehem."
Sculley dons a pair of latex gloves and examines the corpse it is stiff and horribly pale, and the skin is taught, clinging to the bones.
"It's like he was freeze-dried," observes Mulder.
"Have any killings like these occurred before, Professor?"
"Ah, well, now that you mention it, we've have nearly thirty. Going back as far as ninety-one, drm-hrm."
"Ninety one…I wondered what happened that year?"
"Let's see," says Sculley, holding up The Simpsons: The Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family, "'Lisa's Substitute', 'Bart the Daredevil', ooh, the first 'Tree House of Horror' episode."
"That explains much. Thank you professor."
"No problem. Please put in a good word for me at the Bureau. I mean, what with my experiments and tamperings and tinkerings I sometimes break the law, burhey!"
It is now night. The children are all snug and warm in their beds. Homer is snoring loudly. All are wearing garlands of garlic around their necks. Lisa wakes up, and removes the garlands, tossing it into the trash can. She walks, as though in a trance, down the hall, and to her parents' room, and deftly removes the garlands from their necks. She walks down the hall, down the stairs, and out onto the lawn. The air has grown cold and misty. A dark figure waits for her in the fog. It's red eyes gleam from behind the lenses of their glasses. The figure reaches out, beckoning Lisa to join her. She walks, stiffly, over to the dark woman. A deep, womanly chortle is heard.
Homer is asleep in his bed. He was dreaming that he was at the Maison Derriere. A stand-up comic was just finishing his act, and everyone is chortling.
"Heh-heh-heh. Yeah. Dating really does suck."
The lights dim. A spotlight shines on the curtains. Slow, jazzy music starts up. A long, slender legs sticks out from behind the curtain. The crowd whistles and cheers. Princess Kashmir struts out in a revealing, shimmering gown. She struts and slinks, singing and humming seductively. She catches Homer's eye, winks, then licks her ruby lips. Homer starts to drool and glarrrrr….Until he notices Marge sitting next to him, wearing her cap and nightgown.
"Heh-heh," he laughs nervously.
"Hrrmm…" she murmurs angrily.
The dream fades and Homer finds himself in bed, all hot and bothered, Marge looking at him angrily.
"What were you dreaming about?"
"Umm…you, of course! I was in no way fantasizing about a certain, recently-deceased stripper…d'oh!"
Princess Kashmir drops from the ceiling. She grins and nasty, lopsided grin. Her eyes turn red, her eyebrows arch up, and her lips pull back in a bestial sneer, revealing two long, sharpened fangs.
"Nyah!" screams Marge. Princess Kashmir slaps her across the face, knocking her out of the bed. She pounces on Homer, holding him down with her clawed hands.
"Hello, Homer. Care to dance?" She arches her back, and opens her fanged mouth.
Homer screams like a schoolgirl, and then belches. The foul, oniony fumes blast her in the face. She topples off of him, gasping for air. Homer seizes a baseball bat next to the bed, and tries to hit her. She leaps into the air, and turns into a bat, and flies through the window pane.
Homer rushes to Marge. He pats her hand, then runs off to call the police.
"Help me! Vampires are attacking my house and turning me on in my dreams!"
"Yeah, sure. Good one, Homer," says Chief Wiggum, hanging up.
"Who was that?" asks Mulder, walking in with Sculley.
"Oh just some prank call from the Simpson house about vampires and stuff. Always get crazy calls this time of year."
Mulder and Sculley look at each other, and then rush off to their car. They arrive at the Simpsons' house in ten minutes, and hop out of the car, leaving it running. They draw their pistols and advance on the house cautiously. A faint whimpering is heard, and Sculley sees little Lisa, lying on the grass in her nightgown. She holsters her gun and picks her up in her arms. Lisa's head lolls to the side. She has two small holes in her neck. Mulder knocks on the door, and Marge opens it.
"Agent Mulder, FBI. We were at the police station when you husband called. This is my partner, Agent Sculley."
"She's breathing, but her pulse is weak."
"I'll call an ambulance!" Mulder said, getting out his cell phone.
"Oh no, my poor baby girl!"
"She's lost a lot of blood. She needs a transfusion."
"Hello? Yes, this is FBI Agent Fox Mulder. I'm at 742 Evergreen Terrace; we have a little girl who's been bitten. She's lost a lot of blood and is at risk of going into shock. We need an ambulance immediately."
Inside the house, Sculley sets Lisa on the couch. Marge is crying wringing her hands. Homer sets his hand on her shoulder. Bart rushes in.
"Bart, hurry! Get some bandages and some disinfectant!"
Mulder comes in.
"Mr. Simpson, what exactly happened here tonight?"
"Well, I was dreaming that I was at a local burlesque house, watching that one dancer who was killed last week, and then I woke up and she slapped my wife upside the head and tried to suck my blood. My garlic breath scared her away, and she turned into a bat and flew out the window."
"Uh-huh," Sculley said, nodding.
"What about your daughter? How did she end up outside?"
"I have no idea! We set the alarm, and the kids don't know the code. Somehow, she got out! I only noticed that she was missing after that dead woman attacked us and I went to check on the children."
"Can I check upstairs?" asks Mulder.
"Sure," says Homer, leading the way. Sculley stays with Marge. Bart returns, and she bandages Lisa's neck.
Homer shows him the bedroom, and the broken window. Mulder turns on one of the bedside lights to get a better look at the broken window, and notices bits of blood on it. He takes a latex glove out of his pocket, and rubs the blood on it. He turns it inside out, and places it back in his pocket.
"Can you show me the children's room?"
Homer leads him to the kids' rooms. Mulder notes that there are garlic wreathes in all the rooms, but that Lisa's is in her trashcan by her bed.
The ambulance arrives, and Lisa is rushed off to the hospital. Mulder and Sculley do their best to assure the Simpsons, then leave for their car.
"So, whatdya think, Sculley?"
"Well, Mulder, the man clearly had been drinking. He had booze on his breathe. His medical records show that he has an I.Q. of 85. He only graduated High School, and that was do to clerical error. He has a crayon embedded in his left frontal lobe, and has completely destroyed the rest of his brain with heavy drinking, blows to the head, signing up for experimental vaccines, and regular exposure to radiation. Remember the wild goose chase he lead us on that one time?"
"Sculley, did you notice anything funny about the décor of their house?"
"Garlic. Garlic and wolfsbane. In every room."
"Well, Mulder, this is one of the least intelligent and most impulse-driven towns in the United States. Strange murders have been happening, the police force is inept and unable to save them, the murders bear many resemblances to what vampires are said to do, and so they turn to superstition and pop culture for protection."
Mulder shakes his head and gets in the car.
"I found some blood on the broken window. I'll take it to the lab in the morning, and we'll see if it matches the blood of that strip dancer who was killed."
Sculley shakes her head in disbelief.
Sometime the next day…
Sculley is going through the background checks of all of the employees at the school. Mulder walks in.
"I just got back from the hospital. The little girl's gonna make it."
"Mulder…look at this."
"The principal of the school is an ex-Green Beret. He served in Vietnam. He was captured and spent nearly two years in a Viet Cong prison camp."
"So? You're thinking that it made him snap."
"Just a thought…ha! The janitor at the school has quite a rap sheet. Aggravated assault, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, indecent exposure, sexual harassment of a co-worker, discharge of a firearm within city limits, ten DUI's, and…ties to Scottish terrorists."
"Yeah, but that wouldn't make him a blood-drinking serial killer."
"Well, it's our best lead."
Mulder, Sculley, Wiggum, Ed and Lou arrive at the school. They storm onto the playground at recess with their weapons drawn, and handcuff Willie in front of the students.
Down at the police station…
"Okay Willie, why did ya' do it?" asked Wiggum.
"I tell ya I dinought! If Ah'd ever kill any man, I'd be tha' pansy Skinner…or…an Englishman!"
"C'mon, Willie. You snuck into that stall, and brutally murdered the Van Houten boy, and drank his blood. Admit it!"
"Ah'd ne'er do tha'! I may eat 'aggis, ah may e'en eat blood sausage, but tha's where Willie draws the line! I was somewheres else, ah swear!"
"Alright, Willie," said Mulder, taking a chair and sitting in it backwards, facing Willie, "Where were you?"
Willie's eyes dart about suspiciously, and he scratches the back of his head.
"I…was…ya' won' tell Skinner, will ya?"
"As long as it can be proved that you were there, you get off, pardon my saying this, Scot free."
"Well…ah was in me shack, on th'edge o' th' groun's. I was with a pretty wee lass. I'd been years since we met, an' I wanted to talk to her. We sat, and drank an' ate, one thing lead to ano'er an-"
"Whoa, yuck! TMI!" said Wiggum.
"Can she verify this?" Mulder asked.
"She's been stayin' wit' me in me shack. Ye can ask 'er if ye take me back."
"Sure thing. Thank you Willie."
After questioning Willie's girlfriend, and visiting with the principal Skinner to talk about what little progress they had made, Mulder and Sculley left.
"So much for that lead." Mulder mused.
"What about the Principal?"
"I checked. He was in his office, on the phone with the superintendent. The super confirmed it."
"Where to from here?"
Mulder's cell phone rang.
"Agent Mulder. Yes. Be right over."
He hung up.
"That was the professor down at the lab. The results came back on the DNA test."
At the lab…
"As you can see here, the DNA is a perfect match. However, it of importance to note that there were some strange anomalies with the blood. First of all, even though blood usually coagulates in four minutes when exposed, it was still in liquid form when it arrived, d'yahoy. Furthermore, there were no white corpuscles found in the blood, and the red corpuscles were all quite misshapen. We though that it might me sickle cell anaemia, but that only affects African-American poysons. And, while on the subject of anaemia, there is absolutely no iron in her blood, in any way, shape, or chemical compound. Which is strange and makes me scratch my head in confusion and bewilderment and, oy, I need a new shampoo!
"See, Sculley, she was there!"
"But that isn't possible! I mean, she's still in her grave, right?"
They thank the professor, then head for the cemetery. They wake up Willie, who, in addition to being the groundskeeper for both the school and the church, is also the grave keeper.
"Ach! Ya' would'n believe how oft'n Ah af ta' dig som'un up! They might as well keep 'um above groun'!"
They followed Willie through the dark and windy graveyard. The graveyard sloped gently upwards, and then arched sharply downhill. The yard was thick with unkempt grasses and cracked mossy headstones. Angels, soldiers, mourners, and crucifixes stood in their in silent attention, watching them. They came the Princess Kashmir's grave, in the lower grounds of the cemetery, where the ground was always slightly soggy from the ersatz sprinklers and the rain. Willie handed the lantern to Sculley, then handed Mulder one of his. They began digging. After nearly an hour of laborious digging, Mulder's spade struck the metal sarcophagus. They dug out the dirt from around it and hauled it up from the earth. Willie fetched his hammer and crowbar. He hammered the iron crow through the seam of the lid, and then wrenched it open. It was empty.
"Mulder, this proves only one thing."
"That she isn't in there. I mean, it's possible that someone stole the body after the funeral party left, and then sealed and buried an empty casket. Maybe they cremated or discarded the body and just had an empty casket there for the entire funeral service."
"Well, a' any rate, no'un dug'er up before us. The groun' was undisturbed."
"Look at it this way, Sculley. The Simpson girl was found with two puncture wounds in her neck. Both parents saw the stripper in the room, and the blood on the window confirms it. And yet, both the EMS technician on the scene and the coroner said that she was dead. And now, we find that her grave is empty. Doesn't this make you even a little suspicious?"
"Not at all. The murders are the work of entirely unrelated psychopaths. The fact that her body was not in her coffin means that it is possible that it was never placed in there in the first place. Or, perhaps necrophiliac grave robbers took it, and covered the ground with that ready-made lawn stuff they have."
"Sculley, the psychic acrobatics you put yourself through astound me. Open your eyes!"
Sculley simply rolls her eyes and shrugs.
"Look, if we come back here tomorrow, in the daylight, and the body is still missing, I'll drop this and we can go on with another lead. If she's in there, then I want you to agree to come back here just before nightfall later that afternoon."
"Alright. Willie, put 'er back in."
"Ach, eh'm always doin' e'ryones shit jobs! Why don' theh jus' get off there arses an' gi' me a break once ena while!"
At high noon the next day, they returned to the cemetery. The sun shone bright on their dark jackets, making them uncomfortably warm. Willie, drunk and odd-smelling, was spewing profanities. They came once more to the dancer's grave. The ground was still light, making their second dig much easier. They came once more to the casket, and yet again struggled to haul it up from the narrow grave. Willie kicked the coffin open; Sculley gasped.
Inside the box lay the dead Princess Kashmir. Her skin was a ghostly white, except for her deep red lips and flushed-face. Her eyes were ever so slightly open, revealing the creamy whites.
"Well, Sculley, there you have it."
"It's possible that they placed it back some time since last night."
"I never thought that it would be me saying this to you, but, 'possible, but highly unlikely', Sculley. At any rate, whether she's a vampire or people are stealing her every night, we'll find out when we come back later. Willie, throw er' back in."
Willie obeyed, albeit with a near-constant stream of profanities.
The two agents walk back up the hill. As they reach the crest, they saw the Simpson family making their way through the headstones. Marge saw them, and called.
"It's so good we found you. We were just at the police station. There were five attacks that happened last night! Five bodies washed up in the harbour this morning!"
"Where are the bodies?"
"The morgue. Listen, Mr. Mulder, Miss Sculley, our daughter is getting frailer every day. She needed another transfusion this morning. We want to help you. I've had some experience as a patrol officer."
"What about your husband and son?"
"Well, Homer's been mayor, a vigilante leader, and was the leader of the Stonecutters. And Bart, well, he goes to a public school, so he's had plenty experience with guns and crime."
"Look, we'll be coming back here at about five thirty this evening. We'll have Chief Wiggum and his men with us, but some extra backup would be appreciated. Meet us outside the gates at five thirty."
It is now dusk. Mulder, Sculley, Wiggum, Ed, Lou, Homer, Marge, Bart and Willie trudged through the jagged lines of tombstones in the swiftly fading light. As they rounded to crest of the hill, Mulder, who was leading the group, stopped, and ordered the others to hush. He crouched, his gun pointed to the ground, straining his ears against the sudden silence.
"We're not alone here."
Wiggum nods and looks to his men. Lou pumps the shotgun, Ed holds up his rifle. They advance, crouching low. They here voices, coming from behind one of the mausoleums. They slunk up to it, and stood, backs to the wall, weapons ready. They listened…nothing…nothing…a sneeze. They burst from around the corner, guns raised.
"FBI-freeze!" shouts Sculley.
They saw Fr. O'Flaherty, Seamus, Rev. Lovejoy, Sideshow Bob, Sideshow Mel, and Krusty. They, too, were heavily armed and pointing rifles, except for Fr. O'Flaherty, who was holding a crossbow.
"Reverend Lovejoy? Fr. O'Flaherty?" exclaimed Marge.
"Krusty?" Bart asked.
"Hey, um, kid!"
"It's alright guys, we know these jokers," Wiggum instructed the two agents, "Alright guys, what's the story?"
"We are here, good constable, for the same reason that you are here: the empty casket of April Showers." Sideshow Bob replied in his rich, Shakespearean drawl.
"Well, that's nice of you," said Chief Wiggum, "But this is police business."
"Please, let us handle this. Go back to your homes." Sculley instructed.
"Yeh don't know what yer dealin' with," the old priest said gravely, shaking his head, "That thing, the thing ye saw in the girl's grave…that wasn't her. She is now a dearg-due, a possessed corpse; nosferatu."
"How do you know?" Mulder inquired
"We heard what happened at your house, Homer," Bob said, gravely, "and you're not the only one. Rumours and flying about like frightened finches. Just this morning, Vicar McGough, the vicar at St. Wittlebee's Episcopalian Church, which my cousin and I attend, was found dead on the beach. He had two fang marks in his throat, and was completely drained of his blood."
"Do ye think that it was a coincidence that her sarcophagus was vacant last night, and that, this morning, there were several new victims?!" Mel intoned dramatically.
"How do you know that it was empty?"
"I've been keeping watch o'er her grave, lass. I suspected, from the life she lead, and the way she was killed, tha' she might 'ave turned. The fact that she wasn't there last night, but was here today, only proves it," said Father O'Flaherty.
"Well, come along if you must. But in doing so you wave all right to sue if someone get's killed, okay?"
"Oh, alright. Fine."
"Fine…wait!?" said the ever-disinterested Rev. Lovejoy.
The motley band pressed on. The sun was pressing hard against the horizon. They came at last to the grave, the soil still disturbed from their diggings. They set up camp behind a large monument within sight of the grave, and waited, sitting in the overgrown grass. The sun passed the threshold. It was now dusk. The light was fading fast. Gold…Red…Violet…Blue…Black.
It was perfectly dark. The stars shone brilliantly, bright as diamonds, just out of reach. Crickets chirruped in the bushes. The only light came from the power plant, and the faint, purplish haze over the city. Sculley was beginning to feel that, yet again, she had proven her partner wrong.
An eerie blue light filled the cemetery. Blue flames rose from Princess Kashmir's headstone. On several others, too, appeared the bright, shimmering will-o-wisps.
Mist, fog, thin, trailing wisps, rose from the graves where the flickering lights shone. It rose is steady columns, forming, congealing, materializing. Men, women, were standing above the graves. Men with pale faces. Women with cats' eyes. Homer felt the few hairs left on his head being tugged at. He looked up. Princess Kashmir was on the monument, clinging to it like a lizard.
They rushed from the large statue. The dancer slid down its side, and landed on her feet. She advanced on them, and her fellow ghouls did likewise. The lawkeeprs pointed their weapons, but the priest and the reverend told them to lower them.
"Hello Homer…it's been a while," the dead woman purred, slinking ever closer, "Come. Dance with me. Come away with me forever, and pay no heed to the garish sun." She shook, causing the bells on her outfit to jingle. Homer could hardly control himself, even with Marge just three feet away from him, with a gun. All except Sculley and Marge were awestruck, even though her words and charms were not directed at them.
What Marge and Dana saw was not what the others saw. Their men's eyes perceived a wild, untameable creature, an alluring fruit of poisonous flesh. They saw a hideous, bedraggled creature, a filthy, loathsome harlot, who would kill them and take for herself those they loved. The stood, transfixed, paralyzed with hatred for this alien thing.
"Come…dance with me…in the moonlight!"
Homer swayed on the spot. A thin stream of drool oozed from one corner of his mouth.
Father O'Flaherty thought that he heard something, a faint voice calling to him, as if from across a great sea. At once he came to. He reached into his jacket, and produced a golden crucifix.
No longer was the temptress strange and alluring. No longer was her face so sweet and seductive. No, there was not but hatred in her eyes, hatred, and fear. She flew back, as though struck by a freight train, and clung to the statue, snarling at the group, her face pulled, contorted, so that it no longer resembled the one she had worn in life. The others, who had been standing in silent attention, came now running at the group. Seamus, Robert and Mel drew their crucifixes. The Undead screeched and covered their eyes, cowering and wailing. Father O'Flaherty lowered his crucifix, holding it forth at the creatures, trying to assist them in driving them back. At this, Princess Kashmir leapt. Marge caught her in the air with a spray of shot. She was knocked back, yet, beyond all reason, landed on her feet. She growled as her lips pulled back in a hideous leer, revealing long, sabre-like teeth. A bolt from the father's crossbow struck her left breast. She wailed in pain as flames erupted from the wound. She was enveloped in flame, and fell. When she hit the earth, only ashes remained of her.
Her comrades moaned in sadness, then turned towards the small band, baying like hounds and growling like lions.
"Run for it!" yelled Father O'Flaherty. Shots fired. They sprinted through the overgrown cemetery, tripping over tree roots and headstones, trying to keep their footing on the wet, overgrown lawn.
As she ran, hair flopping about, Marge heard a howl. She looked to the side and saw wolves, great, bristling wolves, running alongside them, leaping over the gravestones. She forgot to watch her feet, and tripped over a small grave marker.
Robert noticed her, and ran to help her. She wasn't speaking, and gave only a slight whimper. He tried to help her to her feet, but then saw that her ankle had been painfully sprained by her fall. The wolves closed in. They growled menacingly, their eyes shinning. Robert reached down the front of his shirt. He held out a small pewter crucifix. The wolves whimpered, and fled. Robert hoisted Marge over one shoulder and ran off, struggling under her added weight.
The others stood on the threshold. They were fending the creatures off with their crucifixes. Robert met them, and handed Marge to Homer, who carried her to the car. They were off in a screech of rubber and cloud of blue smoke. As Bart looked out of the back window, he saw the creatures giving chase. Their pace was that of thoroughbreds, yet they soon fell behind. Bart gave a sigh of relief, then turned to help his mother.
"You alright mom?"
"Yes, honey. I just twisted it, that's all…Homie! Follow them! Jeez, where were you going?"
They followed Mulder and Sculley, who were following Chief Wiggum, who was following O'Flaherty and his group. They sped through the streets, dodging traffic and speeding through yellow lights. Homer slammed on the brakes, sending Bart flying up against the windshield.
They were outside Springfield Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Downtown ('Bishop does not know combination to safe!'). They got out, and, at his urging, followed the old priest into the cathedral.
The cathedral was dark and majestic. All was dark, except for where candles cast their flickering yellow light upon the faces of saints and Apostles, looking down upon them with their proud and solemn faces.
Father O'Flaherty shook his head, and then turned to the others.
"I was ordained in the Year of Our Lord, 1956. I was ordained in the minor order of the exorcist. By 1959, I had performed five exorcisms. I was called to St. Peter's the July of that year. His Holiness spoke with me, and asked if I would be interested in a special assignment. That year, I joined the order of the Knight of St. Michael, a secret society of priests and laymen, dedicated to defending Christendom from the agents of Satan."
"I was a member for but a few years. After the Second Vatican Council adjourned, the new Pope disbanded the order. It was a dark and confusing time for the Church. The ideals of the Enlightenment, and of the architects of evil of the previous century, the ideas of Marx and Freud and Darwin and Kant, and of Nietzsche, were seeping into the daily culture. Modernists, Socialists, Communist, had infiltrated the Council, and set forth their agendas. While only the Pope himself knew of the order, informed of its existence by its leader when he ascends to the throne, he saw the writing on the wall. Latin would be replaced by vernacular, Friday abstinence no longer observed, modern subjectivist philosophy taught in public schools…"
"People were saying that evil is only subjective, that there are no universal rights, and no universal wrongs. Not just radical philosophers, but priests, seminarians, people teaching wee third graders in Catholic school. Some said 'There is no Devil. At most, he is a personification of the concept of evil. At least, he is nothing.' Exorcisms were rarely performed, though, as we have seen, the need for them, and the need for preventative measures against demonic attack, only became greater. And so, I was assigned to this backwater district, and gladly forgot all about vampyrs and werewolves and Satanists. But now, now it has caught up to me. An' I fear I'm too weak to take up the fight."
They stood, mulling over all he had just said. Finally Sculley, the eternal pessimist, spoke up.
"If such a secret society ever did exist, then why would it not be in any of the FBI's or CIA's records? I mean, there are countless so-called 'secret societies', but all of them that really exist are know about, at least by the FBI or CIA."
"No. Ya see lass, as I said, the only person who knows is the Pope, and he was the only one outside of the order who ever knew about it. Only priests ordained into the order of exorcist, Jesuits, and single laymen, were ever allowed to enter. And in order to join, one must be invited to do so by the Pope himself, and pass the rigorous physical and intellectual tests."
"But what about documents? Surely, something was written down by someone!"
"That's the thing. All documents that mention anything about the order or its members were burned with the election of ever second pontiff. That is how we have been able to exist, unknown to the world, for nearly five hundred years. And, with the order disbanded, its members destroyed all remaining traces…except for their memories. And now e'en those are fading. Forgotten, lost to Alzheimer's and to the grave. Of the six members of the group still alive, I am the only one who is still able to recount the tale I just told you. One had a stroke and is unable to speak or write. Another went mad and is now in a state hospital. One is horribly ill and may die any day now. Two are too old and senile, one of whom due to Alzheimer's disease.
The old vicar shook his head and sighed. He turned and said "We'll be safe here for the night. Feel free an' stretch out on the pews. I'll be in the office."
The ragtag group settled down in the back of the grand and beautiful cathedral. They brought some candles over from one of the grottos, for warmth and light. Homer pulled some marshmallows out from his pocket, and he and chief Wiggum roasted them over the flickering votives.
"Bob, Mel…how is it that you met Fr. O'Flaherty?"
"Well, as you may know, we used to attend St. Wittlebee's. We found out this morning that he had been killed last night, in the same vampiric fashion as the others had. We had heard that Fr. O'Flaherty had been an exorcist, and that he had a rather extensive knowledge of the supernatural. We went to consult him, and, well, he told us the whole St. Michael's bit, and here we are! He told us that the victims may become the Undead themselves, and he had had his man Seamus watching the graves. He strongly suspected that Princess Kashmir had become one of them, and so, my cousin Mel called Krusty, who has quite a collection of firearms, and Rev. Lovejoy joined us, for he too was concerned about what was happening and had heard of the good vicar's expertise. The rest, as they say, is history!"
Outside, standing just beyond the threshold, were the vampires. Amongst them, Hans Moleman, Snake, and Dr. Marvin Monroe. They turned. A large, dark bat descended from the sky, and lost its shape in shadow. The shadow took the shape of Montgomery Burns.
"What has the priest told them?"
"All that he knows."
"Do any of them suspect who?" he inquired, eyebrows raised.
"Not in the slightest."
"Eeeeexcellent! Leave them. We can not enter here, and at any rate, they shall be wasting their time. Heh-heh. By All-Hallow's-Eve, these streets shall be stained with blood, and we the frail children of the sun shall submit to the children of the night! Come! Dawn is near!"
They departed on black velvet wings. Little did they suspect that Bart, having been sent to check if the coast was clear, had heard them through the crack in the door.
They were awoken the next morning by the prodding of a collection basket.
"Don't got any. Go'way!" Homer grunted. They sat up, and say that a Mass was in progress.
"Ah!" yawned Marge, "Is today Sunday?"
"No," said Sculley, who had been raised as a Catholic, "Mass is said every day. Look. It's mostly old people and businessmen."
After Mass, they went to speak with Father O'Flaherty. They drove to his rectory, and followed him inside.
It was a small, dusty, and rather cramped dwelling, and smelt of potatoes and tobacco. He led them through the sitting room, with its cigarette burn-pocked upholstery and light streaming in through the smelly curtains, and into the kitchen.
Crusty pots and pans filled the sink, and the smell of potatoes, fish, and spoilt milk filled the air. In the kitchen, there was a rug, beneath which was concealed a trapdoor. The door had seven locks on in, and a crucifix was set into a small relief cut into the door. The priest undid the locks with a set of rusty keys he took from under the refrigerator, and lifted up the heavy door. There was a dusty stair case, leading off into the darkness. The old father took the candelabra off the kitchen table.
"Anyone got a light?" he asked.
Krusty had just lit another cigarette, and he took his Zippo and lit the seven candles.
The priest led them down the creaking wooden staircase. Robert observed that the walls were earthen, not stone, and supported with buttresses. This is clearly a man-made passageway, he thought.
The stairway lead them for, as Bart counted, one hundred and forty-four steps down, to a heavy steel door. A crucifix hung above it. Father O'Flaherty opened the door, and, with the candelabra, lit a reservoir of oil that ran along the walls and through the centre of the room, a la "Indiana Jones".
"These are my archives. Here, I store all my vampyr, werewolf, witch, and demon-related literature, and the weapons I once used to fight them. Look for suitable weapons and armour. I must consort my library for answers."
"Cool. Bwa-hu-ha-ha!" laughed Bart as he ran to grab the deadliest-looking thing he could find.
"Oh, Marge! We're in a life-and-death situation! I'm sure it's appropriate, and perfectly legal to let him pack some heat! Right?" he added, turning towards the three policemen, who were busying themselves with trying on chain mail and armour.
"Huh, oh, yeah, sure," Wiggum said as he girded a sword about his broad waist.
Bart looked about and tried to pick up several weapons. Most that appealed to him were either too large, or too heavy for him to use. He eventually had to settle on a short sword and a small, 22-calibre pistol. He hovered about, looking at the racks and cases of weapons.
"Wow, stakes! They're a looked a lot smaller in the movies!"
"Of course, Bart," Sideshow Bob intoned from behind him, causing him to jump.
"In the movies, they make it seem that one merely shoves something wooden through a vampire's chest and they're through. In reality, the stake can be of either wood or silver, but must be blessed. It must be long enough to go clean through the creature's chest and through the other side."
"A proper stake is struck either through the heart, the navel, or both, whilst the vampyr is lying on its back. The stake must go through the body, and into the earth. It must go deep enough into the earth to remain erect without the vampyr being present. And of, course, you must go on to cut off the head, and remove the heart, and stuff the corpse with garlic, and burn the corpse…"
"I get the point, Underdunk."
Meanwhile, the old priest was going through his ancient books and manuscripts. The light was poor, and his eyes were straining against the dim light and smudged, faded text, mostly written in Latin or Greek, which he knew fairly well. Some was in Russian, some in Gaelic, and some in German, languages he had neither used nor studied for years. He closed the book, then went over to a small chute in the wall. He deposited his newspapers there each day, sending them sliding them down to his cavernous inner sanctum, to be filed away on his next visit to the catacombs. He perused the headlines. Nothing. Nothing. Burns Purchases Local Blood Bank!
"Eeeexcellent!" he said victoriously. He rushed off to the main chamber.
"We have to kill the vampire chieftain!"
They all stared at him blankly.
"Sigh. The local vampire boss, the one who has lived the longest, from whom all vampyr in this region are descended from. Who in this town has lived the longest? Who is the most evil? Who bought the local blood bank in '93? And whose touch withers fresh vegetables?"
"Mr. Burns!" they all screamed.
Later that afternoon…
The small band drove the long and winding road to the Burns Manor. All were heavily armed, and hand been given a crucifix and the Brown Scapular.
"If the agency finds out about this, we're through; you know that, don't you?" Sculley pestered.
"Yes, I know. I'll get sacked and you'll get my job. I know. How'ya gonna' phrase this one in your report, Sculley? "Mass Hysteria"? "Mob Uprising"? "Battle Between Two Rival Cults"?"
"I'll just say that we joined the local law enforcement and deputized civilians in attempting to arrest a local cult leader, and that he got impaled on a stake in the process."
They arrived at the wrought iron gates of Burns' palatial estate. Chief Wiggum pressed the button for the intercom.
"Um, hello?" inquired the voice of Waylon Smithers.
"Yeah, this is police chief Wiggum. I'm here with a bunch of armed loons. We're here to stake Mr. Burns through the heart, chop of his head, stuff his mouth with garlic, open his thoracic cavity, cut out his heart, burn it, then dismember him, burn his corpse, dissolve his ashes in holy water, and them into the sea."
"Uh, can you give me a minute?"
Sirens went off. Armed guards, dressed in red robes and tall fur caps, and armed with halberds, partisans, and billhooks charged at them.
"Orrr-eee-oos, nooo, no!" they chanted.
"Quick chief, ram the gates!"
Chief Wiggum backed his squad car as far back as he could, smashing the front of Homer's car ("D'oh!"), then smashed into the gates. After doing so about ten times, the gates finally gave way. Homer, Father O'Flaherty, Mulder, and their respective passengers followed him as he drove up to the house, the irate guards chasing after them, cutting across the lawn.
They arrived outside the front doors, grabbed their weapons, and raced to the doors. They were locked.
"Okay, stand back! Let a pro handle this one!" Wiggum said, shoving them all aside so he could kick the door open. Several kicks produced nothing more than sweat and bad odour.
"Well, what'dya 'expect? I am huff morbidly obese. Woo!"
Bart rolled his eyes, then took out his lock-picking set. A few pokes, a twist, and the doors were open. They dashed inside just as the Winkies were converging on their position. Wiggum caught a spear in his buttocks as he ran in.
"Where to now?" asked Krusty.
"I know where. When Burns was nurturing me to be his heir, I noticed that there was a chamber he fled to everyday, just before it got dark. It's behind the wardrobe in his room. This way!"
They followed the puckish young lad through the foyer and to the foot of the grand staircase. They stopped. Waylon Smithers waited for them at the top, dressed in a lavender suit, with a frilled undershirt and a puff of lace at his throat, a sabre on his belt. Father O'Flaherty stepped forth.
"Stand aside, lad. Our fight's not with you."
"Oh, but it is. Whoever wishes to kill Mr. Burns, wishes to kill me!"
"Beat it, Liberacce, or we'll waste ya!" Krusty said, pumping his shotgun.
"If you want to kill Mr. Burns, then you'll have to kill me first!" he said, his voice trembling and cracking with passion. He drew his sabre, and pointed it at them.
"Maybe we can go around?" Sculley asked of Mulder.
"No," Marge said, having spent two weeks tending the Burns manor, "There's only one way up to the second floor."
A loud thud was heard. The front door was shaking and rattling, as the Winkie guards outside battered it with a railroad tie.
Sideshow Bob had made his decision. He drew his rapier and his dagger, and began to climb the staircase.
"No!" Sideshow Mel called out.
"Robert!" Father O'Flaherty barked.
The fey thespian shot them a look of steely determination. He ascended the stairs.
He now stood on the left right side of the landing, his foe, on the opposite. He assumed the stance of an epeeist, his dagger ready in his left hand. Smithers stood with the sabre in both hands, held out before his chest. The blade quivered slightly, but his face was determined. Robert smiled. He had studied fencing, epee, rapier, sabre, broadsword, and katana, since he was a child living in Somerset. He clearly hasn't studied fencing. Ha! The way he's holding it, he'll break his thumbs if he ever manages to strike anything.
Smithers charged, screaming. Robert parried. Smithers regained his footing with alarming speed, and swung again and again. His swings were swift and desperate. Robert blocked every one. He was not trying to land a strike, yet, just waiting for an opportunity to take him off guard. He saw out of his periphery how close his opponent's feet were. He feigned a strike, prompting another mad swing. He caught it with his dagger, then stabbed.
Smithers lashed out with his one hand, grabbing the thin blade. Roberts was briefly stunned, then, as quickly and as forcefully as he could, retracted the blade as he leapt back and prepared for another blow.
The thin metal sliced Smithers' skin as if it were soft cheese. Warm, bright red blood spurted forth in rapid pulsations.
Smithers grabbed the sabre with both hands. Blood was spilling onto the rug. He swung, overhead. Robert side-stepped the strike as he deflected it with his angled rapier. The blade crashed into the hardwood. In a single motion, Smithers swept the blade under Robert's freakishly large feet, and brought the sword above his head. Robert pounced. His rapier pierced Smithers' belly just at the navel. Blood began to flow to the floor. A red stream began to trickle down the stairs. Smithers took a step back, then stepped down one stair as Bob drove the blade further in, piercing his innards. Blood swirling up in his spittle, Smithers tried to bring his sabre all the way back for a strike. Robert shoved the rapier in, up to the hilt. The tip peeked out the small of Smithers' back. He fell, the blade sliding smoothly out of him. He tumbled, flipping, thudding down the stairs, then fell to the floor.
A loud crack was heard as the fibres of the mighty oak doors began to give way. The company, with Bart at the head, raced up the stairs. Robert was cleaning his blade on his handkerchief.
"Lead the way, Bart," he said as he dramatically placed his sword back in it's sheath. Bart pointed down the hall, and they followed. At the third door on the left, they stopped. It was Burns' room. The door was locked, and had a skeleton lock, the likes of which Bart was not familiar. Marge, having once been a police officer, and having scored one hundred percent on the door-breaking portion on her test, kicked the door open. Bart pointed to the black wardrobe leaning against the wall. Sideshow Bob went and began to push it. It did not budge, and felt monstrously heavy.
"Well, don't just stand there!" he scolded. Homer joined him, yet between the two no progress was made. Willie joined, then Mel, then Mulder, then Seamus. It began to move, just a bit. Marge went and pulled on the other side. It slid, slowly, grinding. Slowly it revealed a black door, made from some form of marble. There were no locks, nor keyholes.
"Alrighty then!" Willie said, taking his keg of gun powder and dumping nearly all its contents around the door. He lit a match. "Stan' back!"
The door crumbled. They peeked inside, coughing through the smoke. A black staircase, lined with torches, slunk and skulked into the darkness. Torches burned in braziers along the walls. Mulder and Father O'Flaherty each took one, and the priest, crucifix in one hand, flame in the other, lead them down the stairs.
Onward, downward. Into the abyss. The stairs seemed to go on forever. Sculley, ever methodical, ever attentive to details, noticed that the steps were growing shallower, and more sharply angled.
"We must be near the end."
The steps disappeared into the blackness, and the ground grew level. They heard the sound of water.
Around a corner lay a great underground river. In the dim torchlight, it seemed as though it were made of ink. A single gondola bobbed about in the darkness.
"Burns must lie on the other side. This wee coracle can't carry us all. I must go, as I must be present for the slaying. Seamus must come, as he's the only other practicing Catholic." As the priest said this, his eyes fell on Sculley, who looked away.
"An', I'll need Mulder fer backup fire. Scully, you, the policemen, and Krusty, should anyone come by, you provide the covering fire. Homer, Robert, Willie, you take anyone who gets too close. Mel, Krusty, an' Bart, stand near that corner. You'll be the fallback. If the others need to retreat, let them get behind you, and fire while they reload. If I'm not back in fifteen minutes, run. And don't stop until you reach the cathedral. At dawn, leave town by boat. Go to Catalina, or one of the little islands, any one with a Catholic Church."
He took up his bag. Seamus busied himself with untying the gondola. Mulder looked at Sculley. They stood, for but a moment, gazing into each other's eyes. Then, unable to hold back, they began to kiss.
"Hey!" Homer interrupted loudly, "I thought that your relationship was platonic! PLATONIC!"
Sculley groaned and rolled her eyes. Mulder gave her a meaningful look, then boarded the gondola. Seamus pushed them off into the blackness. Sculley ran up to the edge, and called to Mulder.
"I love you!" she called, sounding surprised at herself.
"I know," he said gravely.
And he was gone.
Marge looked to Homer and grinned. The sight of two young people, so enamoured with each other, had filled her with excitement.
"That was just like in that movie, remember, Homie? That one famous, critically-acclaimed science fiction classic we saw on our date?"
"Yeah…Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow…"
The three slipped through the inky night. The torchlight had long faded into the darkness. It felt as though they were journeying to another world. Mulder looked at his watch. It was ten after five. In but a matter of minutes, the sun would be gone.
The rest of the band waited in the dim red light. They spoke not a word. At one point, a sound was heard, like pebbles falling down the steps, that caused them to jump and seize their weapons. Several numbing minutes passed, and there was not a sound. Slowly, they relaxed.
Bart sat, knees against his chest. He thought of Millhouse, dead. Lisa, hospitalized, clammy and pale, clinging to life. He looked at his dagger and pistol. A real adventure, he thought. A real one. With vampires and secret societies and guns. But he didn't feel the least bit brave.
A face half-peeked around the corner. His eyes were red and teary. He stepped forth. In each hand he held a flintlock pistol. Marge screamed. Sculley leapt to her feet. A steel slug struck her shoulder. Lou drew his pistol. A ball struck his torso. His vest saved his life, but the force of the shot took his breathe.
Smithers cast both guns aside, and drew another pair from his waistband. Wiggum got a shell right through a flabby cheek.
"Ah! Cripes! That smarts!"
Smithers levelled his gun with Marge's face.
He was hit in the knee. His arm sagged. He tried to raise the pistol again.
He dropped his gun. His teeth clenched. He took three staggering steps forward. Marge raised he handgun.
Blam, the first gunman got him, clean in the heart. Smithers blanched, one leg buckled and shook.
Willie hit him with a shower of bear shot. He was thrown into the inky water, and disappeared.
Bart dropped his pistol. The clip was empty. Tears welled up in his eyes. Homer set his hand on the boy's shoulder. Trembling, Bart looked up. A rare look, a look of pride, gleamed in his father's eyes.
For what seemed like a century the three men paddled their tub through the grimy darkness. Mulder thought that he saw a twinkling star on the horizon. Then another. Soon, the lights of many torches were scene, flickering like ghosts. They had reached the other side.
As there was no dock or key, they drug the gondola up unto the ground. Father O'Flaherty readied his holy water and his copy of the Rituale Romanum. Seamus took three half-meter silver stakes, a hammer, and a surgeon's saw. Mulder held his crucifix and pistol before him.
A dark hall lead them up a grand and terrible black staircase. The staircase went up and up, seemingly bringing them as far up as they had gone down. At last, they reached the chamber were Burns coffin did lay.
The sarcophagus was made of gleaming lacquered wood, black as sin. Above it loomed a marble statue of Burns, its spidery hands dangling menacingly above the corpse.
Seamus heaved the lid from the coffin. Inside it lay Montgomery Burns, his eyelids squeezed tightly over his bulging eyes, his lips stained black.
Father O'Flaherty stood at the head of the coffin. He opened his book, and began to read aloud. Seamus took one stake in his left hand and the hammer in the other, and stood, ready to strike. Mulder was ready with both his crucifix and handgun.
Seamus placed the point of the stake right at the withered old crone's navel. He raised the hammer high above his head. His muscles tensed. Mr. Burns opened one eye.
With a scream, Seamus brought the hammer down upon the stake. It ripped through Burns' leathery skin, crunching as it hit his spinal column. Burns' eyes opened wide, gleaming like hot coals. Again, the hammer struck the stake. Crack. The spine was snapped. Again and again it drove the stake through the wood of the coffin. Burns growled and writhed. He reached for the stake. Mulder held his crucifix in his face as Seamus rushed to set another stake. Burns flung himself flat against the bottom of the casket, screaming in fear, turning his head back and forth. O'Flaherty took a vial of holy water, and splashed it upon Burns. A scream, a bestial cry of utter pain filled their ears as the water hit his flesh, pealing the skin away from the bones, dissolving his sinews like sugar in water. Seamus took another stake, and stuck it right into Burns' chest. He raised the hammer, and slammed it down, driving the stake out of the back of Burn's chest. He fell silent.
Seamus took the surgical saw. The father blessed it and sprinkled it with holy water. Seamus sawed off the old monster's head. With pliers, he pulled out the four fangs, which the padre placed in a vial of holy water. Seamus placed a large clove of garlic. With a silver needle, he sewed his lips shut. With torch, he charred the wound shut.
Mulder held the surgeons saw. He placed its teeth right above the solar plexus. Seamus took the hammer, and struck it until there was a load crack, and a thin stream of blood. They pried the thin, bird like ribs aside. With a knife, they cut the heart out from around the stake, slicing it into seven pieces. Father O'Flaherty had made seven circles of salt upon the floor. They placed each piece in one of the piles. Seamus sprinkled them with kerosene from a small bottle he had. They lit them. With flames of gold and neon blue, the pieces crumbled into ashes. Father O'Flaherty deftly scooped them all up, then placed them in his another of his bottles of holy water. The places where they had been burned, he washed clean with holy water.
They stuffed the chest with garlic and salt, them closed it and sealed the flesh with more thread. They took Burns' head, and drove the final stake though the dome of the skull. They placed it in a fresh pile of salt, and sprinkled it with holy water. The remainder of the kerosene was poured over it, and it was lit aflame. It burned with incredible speed, with alternating flames of orange and ghostly blue. The ashes were collected and placed in another vial. The skull, though charred, was still intact. Holy water was poured over it, and it dissolved, bubbling and fizzing, a thin steam rising from the puddle. Again, the spot was cleansed.
As there was no more kerosene, Seamus, Mulder, and Father O'Flaherty used the oil from the nearby lamps and the whiskey from their personal flasks to ignite the corpse. Again, the ashes were collected, again, the bones dissolved. When they left, there was not but a few charred spots on the stones, and an empty coffin.
They arrived on the other side. They all cheered and "woo"-d. There happiness was interrupted by the arrival of Burns' Winkie guards and flying monkey minions. They lowered their halberds menacingly and growled.
"Where is our master?" they demanded.
Reluctantly, Father O'Flaherty showed them the fangs. A wave of shudders and murmuring ran through the crowd. One Winkie, their captain stepped forward.
"He's dead…you killed him!"
"Please…" Marge tried to explain.
"Hail to our deliverers! The wicked Burns is dead!" he cried, falling to his knees.
"Hail to our deliverers! The wicked Burns is dead!" cried the Winkies, rattling their weapons. The winged monkeys jumped up and down, chattering happily.
The left the Burns home to see Lisa at the hospital. They were all ready to tell her how they had slain the head vampire and saved her from their menace. But when they arrived, they found her in critical condition, the fang marks in her neck redder and ever more ragged.
"No…we killed him! This can't be!" Marge sobbed, grabbing on to Homer's sleeve.
"If Burns wasn't the 'ead vampire…then 'hoo es?" Willie cried.
Mulder was determined.
"I don't know…but I find out. C'mon. Sculley, hit the computers. Terwilliger, you two hit the libraries. Mel, the town records. Wiggum, Lou, police files. Padre, Seamus, Willie, Krusty, and Ed, you go to all of the cemeteries, starting with that one we were at last night. Kill as many vampires as you can, and if you find the grave of one, destroy it. Mr and Mrs Simpson, I advise that you stay here and keep Lisa safe. Rev. Lovejoy, you go and help Marge's sisters with Maggie. I'll go with Sculley to help the cops with the research. Let's roll!"
They researched, searched, and racked their brains all through the night. Every record, every receipt, every dental visit, every crime, every recorded action of every citizen or visitor to Springfield was looked up, scrutinized, and worked into the bigger picture they were labouring to paint.
Just before dawn, after several pots of coffee, ten packs of cigarettes, a couple No-Doze and half a bottle of Focusin, Mulder saw the all important connection.
"Sculley…nineteen ninety one…Ms. Cordaelia Hoover left for a two-and-a-half month hiatus after being diagnosed with Lime's Disease. She returned, and, that November, the first attacks were recorded. She said that she stayed with relatives in Tahoe during that time, but she has none: she is an only child, adopted, and her adoptive parents died two years before that time. Neither parents' parents were still alive, both were only children, had a total of three cousins between the two of them, and, to top it all off, her family moved here from Canada. She was present in the first two, in which the fang marks were identical. The vent in the bathroom runs is connected to one of the vents in the classroom she was teaching in. It's entirely possible that she is our culprit. And, as she was born in Canada, she has to have somewhere a box of earth from her native country."
"But, Mulder, there are a few holes, though. How is it that she became a vampire while away? How did she get to Canada and get the soil? How did she disappear into a vent in front of her class? And how was she able to use her powers during the day, in broad daylight?"
"She's the one, Sculley! I'm calling the guys…Hey, Father. Rally the troops. We're headin' to Ms. Hoover's apartment!"
Half an hour later, the door to Ms. Hoover's apartment was blow open. They stormed in, tossing aside all her furniture, rifling though every cupboard and drawer. In her bedroom, in her walk in closet, they found a large trunk with a beaver sticker on it and a maple leaf painted on. Inside, they found it lined with black, pebbly dirt. Father O'Flaherty sprinkled it with holy water, covered the earth with blessed salt, then placed a piece of Consecrated Host inside. Seamus sealed it with nails of silver, and then the father placed a blessed crucifix upon it.
"Is that it?" Reverend Lovejoy asked.
"No," Fr. O'Flaherty said, "It's unlikely that a vampire would have only one box. There's at least three: this one, another one somewhere near here, and one at the school."
They fanned out and searched the grounds. Every room, every vent, was turned inside out and upside down. In the furnace room, they found a box covered with stickers of Rush and Shatner. It was blessed with holy water then, as it would be easier, thrown into the furnace.
They headed for the school. The sun was near the horizon now, and every tree threw out a long and frightening shadow. The people on the street seemed to be followed by thin, black giants, hobgoblins ready to snatch them away into the night.
They arrived at the school. The flaming leaves danced in the high autumn breeze. They saw Ms. Hoover walking to her car.
"FBI!" Sculley shouted. Hoover froze, her face white. She dropped her books and ran to her car. Mulder, Sculley, and the three policemen rushed to stop her. The engine revved, and she spun about and sped away into the fading light. They remounted and pursued her through the strangely vacant streets.
"Where's she going?" Mulder inquired.
Father O'Flaherty had a sombre look about his countenance.
"…the Burns manor…"
Indeed, she led them up the hill, through the tree-lined streets and the well-kept neighbourhoods of the bourgeoisie, and up to the hills where the wealth of the down dwelled. At the peek was Burns Manor. She sped through the broken gates and up the gravel drive, her pursuers riding her exhaust cloud. She broke so abruptly that she spun about on the loose gravel. Recovering swiftly, she leapt from the vehicle and ran up to the shattered oak doors.
The group arrived and saw her run inside. The howl of a wolf reminded them that the weary sun was now lying against the horizon. They armed themselves.
Marge and her three former partners, the three policemen, were armed with automatic carbines and semi-automatic pistols. The good father supplied them with bullets filled with holy water, and trench knives gilded with silver. Homer and Willie carried shotguns. The padre gave them shells he had made, 12-gauge shells filled with silver coins that had been cut into quarters and blessed. Willie also had his enormous claymore sword. Seamus carried a sniper's rifle with a silencer and night scope, which was fitted with silver bullets. As the calibre of his rifle was fairly high, the bullets were quite large; the father had cleverly filled the hollow tips with a mixture of holy water and blessed oil that had spoilt, and was thus unfit for liturgical use. Krusty carried a double-barrelled shotgun, with plain shells. He had been given several silver stakes which could fit down the barrels. Mel carried a hunting bow, with silver-tipped arrows, and a silver-plated hunting knife. Robert carried a rapier and dagger, both of sterling silver. Bart carried his pistol and tiny sword, as well a water gun that had been filled with holy water. The two FBI agents carried their standard-issue pistols, with standard-issue copper coated lead bullets. The priest carried a crossbow, with silver-headed bolts. The heads contained tiny packets of holy water that burst on contact. As a backup weapon he carried a sword, made in the old Celtic style with a leaf-shaped blade. Also, for some reason, Marge had managed to get a katana.
All in the party were given two crucifixes: a small silver one to wear about the neck, and a large one of iron and bronze to carry and use as a shield, and a vial of holy water. Sculley rejected both crucifixes and the holy water, and had to be persuaded into wearing a belt of garlic cloves about her waist and a monkshood blossom on her lapel.
They entered the dusky manor just as the sun was setting.
The news of Burns' death had spread swiftly. With the hated tycoon and tyrant dead, and his snivelling, sycophantic crony Smithers gone as well, the working people of the town had descended upon his manor and released all the pent-up aggression, and, with the Winkie guards long gone and the hounds now running free in the streets, they were able to do so with ease. The paintings, the statues, the gold; all of Burns' earthly wealth was pillaged. That which could not be lifted, or dropped into the back of a waiting truck from an upper story balcony, was smashed or burned, or otherwise damaged and defaced, as an expression of their hatred for Burns' and his cruel pettiness, and the utter luxury he lived in while they worked two shifts and lived in run-down apartments and crumbling shacks in the filthy inner-city.
The looters and revellers were gone now. Spilled drinks stained the floor. The carpets were soiled with mud, wine, and urine. Almost every pane of glass had been shattered or painted, and the large statue in the foyer had been toppled, and it's head stolen.
"Alright lads…and lasses. She could be anywhere. We'll split up. Mulder an' Sculley, you take the northwest bit of this floor. Simpsons, take the northeast. Police, southeast, Krusty and the Terwilligers the southwest. The Reverend, Willie, Seamus, and I will take the dinning hall, ballroom, and kitchen. If we clear this floor, then we move on to the other three stories an' the attic."
"If a room is clear, sprinkle holy water on each door, on each window, and on each wall while saying "I bless this room in the name of 'The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Ghost'. If ye run low, use this blessed chalk, and draw a line aroun' each door and widow, and draw a cross on door. Once a room is safe, no vampire can chase ye there. If ye run outta' ammo, or are outnumbered, draw yer crucifix, say a prayer, and run for a safe room. If any'un get's hurt, or ye get outnumbered, call out, and run into the foyer. Three shots, fired three times, will be the signal for a retreat."
They set off, the Simpsons and the FBI agents to the right, the police and the clowns to the left, and the clerics and the groundskeepers down the middle.
Mulder and Sculley separated from the Simpsons and set off down the right side of the hall.
"Let's start with this room here," said Sculley.
The opened the door, and entered a dark room. The high vaulted ceiling and echoing marble floors unnerved the two agents.
"So Sculley…what's your scientific explanation of all this?"
"A neurological disorder that causes the first for blood, correlating to impaired immune system and anaemia."
"But that does nothing to explain the fact that we saw people materialize out of thin air, turn into animals, climb up walls like Spiderman, and burst into flames when hit with a silver arrow?"
"Shh…I hear something…"
There was a slit rustling. Air from a vent caused the papers on the floor to lift and rustle like the dead leaves outside.
The double doors on the other side of the room opened a man, naked, blood dripping from his lips, his eyes gleaming red, came running at them, screaming a primal cry. They both fired. His approach was impeded by the impact of the bullets, yet he neither bled nor showed any sign of pain. Mulder shot at his feet. A bullet hit him dead in the ankle, causing him to stumble.
He slid on the papers on the marble floor. Mulder ran up, loaded a fresh clip, and tried to shoot him in the head. His head dipped and bobbed like a snake. Mulder stomped on his chest, and fired a round in his throat, then three into his skull. The creature went still. A shrill scream was heard. They turned and saw legions of creatures, UnDead with bloodless faces and wild eyes, coming towards them.
"Run!" Mulder cried as he reached for his crucifix. He thrust the crucifix at their faces. A loud crack was heard as those nearest to him were flung into the air and clung to the wall like frozen flies. The others squealed and retreated. He threw the bottle of holy water like a grenadier and ran. As they ran down the hall, they heard bursts of gun fire. They saw the Simpsons retreating down the hall, firing into masses of wailing freaks. Homer bit the lid off of his holy water and flung it. It splattered on the vampires, melting their flesh into a red, gooey paste.
They ran into the foyer, and saw Krusty, Mel, Robert, Father O'Flaherty, the Reverend, the policemen and the groundskeepers rush in, pursued by the UnDead. They ran for the door, only to see it open and reveal hordes of shrieking nosferatu. They drew their crucifixes, repelling them. They were surrounded. Bart fired his water gun. The blessed water dissolved their flesh from their bones as spittle melts candy floss. Out from the crowd stepped several men and women with guns. They were not afraid of the crucifixes, nor were they hurt by the water. Their flesh was warm, yet their eyes betrayed no such warmth. They were men in league with the vampyr.
"Well-heh-hell! Look who has come for supper!" a woman's voice laughed. They looked to see Ms. Hoover, now wearing a flowing red gown. She sneered down upon them as she waded descended and made her way through the crowd.
"Welcome to my home!"
"Bitch!" Bart spat. A nearby vampire growled, and Bart raised his water gun. The vampires' human servants raised their weapons. Bart relaxed his hand.
"I am Countess Cordaelia! And these are my minions: the Kirk Van Houten! (one of the humans pulled of his ski mask, revealing that he was, indeed, Kirk Van Houten), Leopold (another, particularly husky fellow removed his mask), Lunchlady Doris (a grinning, pale-faced, yet still smoking Doris waved from the crowd of vampires), Troy McClure (Troy, now a vampire, steps forward)-"
"Hi! I'm Troy McClure! You may remember me from such horrifying experiences as 'Your Aunt Selma's Third Wedding' and 'Police Academy 5: Please God, No More!'"
"-Bea Simmons, That Man Who Says 'Yeeeeees?', 'Bleeding Gums' Murphy, and (a vampire, who was wearing a long black cape with a flared collar turned around; he was a strange-looking fellow with curly hair, ruffled shirt, and swimming goggles) 'Weird Al' Yankovic!"
"Yes!" 'Weird Al' said, like in his 'Dare To Be Stupid' music video.
"He's a vampire?" Homer asked.
"No, I just invited him for a brief cameo."
"So…" Father O'Flaherty said, looking her over, "It is you who are the Chieftain, the Master!"
"Ah! It's the old exorcist! It's amazing, that old kooks like you are still alive and running about playing hero! Yes, old Hunter, I am the Master. But I am much more than a mere Master-class, a regional lord!"
"I was orphaned as a child. I spent the first four years of my life in a grimy orphanage, shivering under the thin sheets in the miserable northern winters. A family adopted me. They were kind, yet foolish and nauseatingly sentimental. They man moved frequently with his business, and it was not long before we found ourselves in this crapbucket town. They died, cancer, for the man, and grief, the old lady, but I was sixteen and had a job and car, and they had left everything to me without stipulation, so I convinced the judge to let me live by myself. I went on to college, in Springfield, because I didn't have enough cash and had missed out on any opportunity for a scholarship, got a teaching degree, and taught at Springfield Elementary. I was diagnosed with Lyme's Disease in nineteen-ninety one, and took a break to recuperate and visit the land of my birth. There, I decided that, at age thirty four, having not dated since high school, stuck in a dead end job in a dead-end town, diagnosed with a horrible and incurable disease, I had no reason to live. Before I could end my life, I encountered a vampyr, who told me of my ancestry and noble purpose."
"You see, my mother was Countess Olenska, the daughter of Vlad Dracula, the King of the Vampyr, and one from whom all vampires are descended. My mother had died, murdered by a few remaining Hunters, but I was a mortal descendant, her child, and thus, was not destroyed in her slaying. She had set aside some of her own blood, which the vampires of her coven had guarded and preserved. I drank it, and had it pumped into my veins. Ah, it was a feeling like I had never seen before! Every image, every grain, every fibre…I felt like I was experiencing every sensation for the first time in my life. My mind felt as though it was throwing off sparks! My illness was cured, and I was truly alive!"
"I returned to Springfield, and continued to live my mortal life by day. Every night, however, I regained my power, and the thirst. My followers were able to help me by sending me blood. Every autumn, with the waning of the moon and the Eve of All Hallows' growing near, the thirst became more powerful, too powerful to slake, to subdue with bottled blood. I needed it warm, and fresh! And, this year, with my followers in town having grown quite numerous, and my thirst ever so powerful, I decided that it was time to come out, as it were, about my…lifestyle. Hmm-hmm-hmm! By Halloween, every man woman or child shall submit to my rule, die, or join my legions."
"What of Burns then?" Mulder inquired.
"He has been a vampire for some time. Since the early seventies, I believe. His protégé, Snake, killed the old man. But he was only a minor vampire lord, a newcomer, not a pureborn, an aristocrat."
"But what do you want from Lisa!?" Marge cried.
"Ahh, she's the key to my master plan. You see, dear Marjorie, your daughter is not just another bright child. Have you ever wondered why it was that your husband and his family seem to be cursed with bad luck? Do you know why it was that Abraham Simpson and his family fled Europe at the turn of the last century? You see, your husband, Homer's, great-great-grandfather was none other than Count Alucard, the dhwampyr son of Count Dracula. Your children are descendants of the Count, and, amongst vampires, nobility."
"Shut up, boy!"
"But that is not all. You see, Lisa is eight years old, past the age of reason. Bart is past the age of reason as well, but, unlike Lisa, is neither a Buddhist nor was he born by Caesarean section. Also, she is a girl. Maggie is as well, but she is an innocent, and killing her would amount to nothing. You see, as a descendant of the King, as a girl, as a child who is not a Christian, and who was born of Caesarean section, she fulfils the requirements of an ancient spell required to resurrect Lord Dracula, and usher in the new Era of Darkness."
"Dracula was killed in Walachia in 1905 by the Order of the Knights of St. Michael!" said Fr. O'Flaherty.
"No. Dracula can not be slain. He was weakened, yes, and staked, and his flesh blackened by flame, but he was not destroyed. As long as there is evil in this world, there will be Dracula, and as long as he is, the children of the night shall endure."
"His charred remains lie in his ancient castle. Amongst our kind, it is said that 'From one neither born of woman nor son of man, neither the first nor last, shall come a son, from whom will come drops of Rain Crimson, which shall revive the sleeping King. In her veins at birth flows His Blood. Re-born of his fruit, the Blood of His seed shall fill her veins and her core.' Lisa, not a son of man, nor born of a woman, is that child. Her child, if fathered by another descendant on the Count, shall be able to revive the count. By sprinkling his blood upon his ashes, he shall be able to bring him back to life!"
"The spell says that she must be 're-born of his fruit', made into a vampire by one of the offspring of Dracula. I, as a granddaughter of the Count, reborn of the blood of his daughter, count as one of his children. I have been draining her blood over this last week, and soon, she shall die!"
"Wait! Has she not been receiving transfusions?" asked Sideshow Mel.
"Yes, but that matters little if I can drain ten fully grown men in one evening. Plus, it should be noted that Lisa and I share blood types, and that it has been my blood, my blood, flowing with the blood of my mother and my grandfather, that has been replacing her own blood. Soon, the only blood in her veins shall be mine. Then, she shall drink my blood, and become one of us! She shall give birth to the son of Christien, who is the great-grandson of Alucard. That child, once vampyr, shall be able to raise the Count."
"Why you-!" Homer growled, cocking his gun and levelling it with her face. The other vampires growled and the evil men prepared to fire.
"Homer, even if you shot me, your daughter would still die. It is night, and so much of my own blood is in her that, if I am slain by night, she shall die!"
"She's lying!" the old priest whispered, "Shoot her', and your daughter will be saved and every vampire in the town shall be finished!"
"If you hit me! What if you miss? All the same, my men will fire, and you, and your wife, and your son, and every one of your friends will die!"
Homer held the gun but inches from her face. Her face was proud and haughty, but fear was in her eyes. He lowered the barrel.
"Good little man! Boys, take their arms!"
The human stepped forwards and began to take their arms.
A shot was heard, then another. Several vampires burst into flames, then crumbled into ash. Smithers, covered in mud, pale as the grave, staggered in, waving a Kalashnikov. He went for the humans first, hitting each one he could with a steady burst. The vampires descended upon him, and pulled him to pieces. Homer punched the man who was trying to take his weapons, grabbed his shotgun and aimed at Hoover. She disappeared in a cloud of mist. He fired into the crowd instead.
They fought fiercely, firing into the crowd, chucking holy water bottles like hand grenades. A vampire, in the form of a wolf, charged Bart. After several loud, confusing seconds, he found a vampire at his feet, slowly crumbling into ashes, and several cuts on his head and right arm.
Eventually, they decided to flee. They drew their crucifixes, fired a few more shots, and made a break for the door. They rushed for their cars and began to drive. On the edge of the grounds, heaving a large wooden box over the fence, was Ms. Hoover. Homer leaned out of the car and fired, shattering the wooden box. She screamed, and dematerialized into a cloud of mist. The watched as it drifted into a nearby car.
The mist poured into the driver's nostrils. He screamed as her felt a cold poison spread through his flesh. His skin melted, as though wax, then reshaped into that of Miss Hoover. She sped off North.
They followed her onto the freeway. A vigorous, action-packed, 'Matrix Reloaded' chase/fight followed.
Five minutes to dawn, with their gas tanks near empty, they were almost at the Canadian border. Only Seamus had ammo, and only one shot. Father O'Flaherty had a bolt or two, but not silver-tipped. Suddenly, it dawned on him
"Seamus, shoot out her window. Get ready."
The priest opened the glove box, and removed a small, golden container. Inside it was a single, consecrated host, which he was to deliver to a sick parishioner. He placed it inside the head of a bolt, and cocked the bow.
Seamus fired, shattering the back window of Hoover's car. She looked over her shoulder. She saw Fr. O'Flaherty leaning out of the window, aiming his crossbow. She looked ahead; the border was half a mile away. She pressed the accelerator to the floor. The engine whined, then clunked. She was out of gas. The car slowed. She got out, and began to run. The priest fired. The bolt struck her in the middle of her chest.
She fell to the ground as though time was running slow. The wound festered, blackened, smouldered. Then it burst into flames. Blue flames spread out along her flesh, charring it. Red, orange, and yellow flames followed, her skin and clothes falling off in flakes and chunks. There was a bright light. Only the arrow, two fangs, and a pile of ashes remained.
Later that Night…
Bart watched gloomily from the hospital window.
"Aw man! This is the crappiest Halloween ever!"
"Now Bart, you should be thankful that we're alive, and that your sister wasn't turned into some evil queen bee vampire's clichéd plot device!"
"Thankful, schmankful! I want to go trick-or-treating!"
"See ya later!" Mulder said as he walked by the door, dressed as an alien. Sculley was dressed like Princess Leia.
"Grr…" Bart growled, "Hey, um, can you guys let me have some of your candy when you come back?"
"Now, Bart, until we're sure of your condition, I don't think that you should take anything but water and particularly unpleasant medicines. Huh-he-he-heh!" laughed Dr. Hibbert, "Besides, it's time for your next shot of morphine."
He injected Bart with a copious amount of opium.
"Huh-he-he-heh! Happy Halloween!"