Torrential winds accompanied by thunder and lightning raged outside and within: “Kidnap, rape and murder… perhaps not even in that order! That was their intention. Which could have… no… would have transpired, had I not escaped. I’m lucky to be here, lucky I made it out of that blasted floating death-trap… lucky to be alive!!!” Phillips concluded with his usual dramatic exasperation, almost challenging anyone to dispute his argument.

Around the room other members nodded with resigning sighs and restrained eye-rolling. They’d heard Phillips’ “close encounter” tale time and time again, and knew his conviction of this being the most horrific of fates was unshakable. However, I knew he was wrong and tonight would prove as much. For the Society of Scientific Study of Harmful Homo sapiens Horror (or SSSHHH for short) couldn’t rest on the laurels of one fanatic.

“Abduction, probing and dissection,” I interjected, “If you’re going to tell that story, at least use proper terminology.” All eyes (including Phillips’ glare) turned towards me. “Now gentlemen,” I continued, “if permitted I will tell you of a collaborative horror that by far trumps our dear associate’s redundant prattling.” (I checked my watch) “I’ll be brief as time grows short.”

“When I left here earlier tonight, to avoid Phillips’ familiar lecture, I found myself in the very storm that rages about us now. A rogue bolt of lightning ignited the chem lab in this very building, causing a massive explosion that killed all present… save myself.

At the time, I was limping down the shoulder on a flat. Conveniently finding a rest stop to wait out the storm and make repairs, unfortunately a saucer-full of alien-greys had the same idea. They approached, armed, looking quite hostile and unlike Phillips, who took one for the society… I ran!

They pursued, into the downpour and forest, where a light led me to a cabin in the woods. Inside, found a young man in the throes of lycanthropic transformation, which climaxed simultaneously with the greys entering the cabin, and battle ensued. They drove the man/beast away with blaster-fire…but not before being bitten.

The chase continued with werealiens at my heels. Seeking refuge and ducking into a small cave only succeeded to rouse the cave’s residents, which took to leathery wing and attacked the extraterrestrial skinwalkers. They were, of course, vampire bats.

Thus moments later, flying, blood thirsty, werealien vampires with laser pistols pursued me into an abandoned summer camp…only to encounter an undead, machete-wielding hockey player. Being that both parties were, in fact, undead, the ensuing battle might have waged until dawn. Had a stray laser blast not struck the crate (which surely fell from a truck, on the road, I now sighted) open. An endless plethora of small furry creatures spewed forth and in a ravenous, piranha-like fashion, devoured the combatants and became infected with all their horrific, undead glory. And then…they came… for me.

Through the woods, down the road, in the dark, in the rain; I can’t tell you how I found my way home. Just barely ahead of my psychotically-insatiable-undead -werealien-vampire-critter…. (with lasers and machetes) pursuers. Only to discover my wife… in bed…with another man… my best friend… my brother… my evil twin!!!

“Now to be honest, (lighting a cigarette) I’m not certain as to which is more horrific. My aggressively evolving pursuers, my wife’s affair, or the darkness in mine own heart in leaving the back door propped open.”

The room had fallen silent, wide-eyed looks and every mouth agape to my tale. It was, of course, Phillips who broke the silence. “Utter absurdity, you speak in a past tense of events which are currently happening on a different timeline… explain yourself and retract this nonsense you’re blabbering!”

“Ah yes… time… allow me to explain that. You see, I’ve been at a prototype for a time-machine for some time now. All that was left was a final human trial. In the terrors I’d experienced, and my wife’s infidelity, I felt I’d nothing to lose. Knowing the horrors out there or incineration in here would spell my doom, I chose to perish in a blaze of glory surrounded by friends and colleagues. In short, I traveled back and then never left.”

There is a clap of thunder followed by a defining BOOM! I raise a glass to all present- “Gentlemen… it’s been a pleasure.”

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.