Tommy was becoming increasingly more and more paranoid with the events that unfolded mere weeks before. Coach Feratu died to give him some info that he wasn’t sure was even true, making the sacrifice even more pointless than it was meant to be. Something rubbed him the wrong way about it. Who would even be after Coach Feratu? He mentioned it was a long story but it was a story that Tommy wish he knew now.

Tommy heard knocking at the front door. He sighed as he picked himself up from the bed, his eyes painted with grey circles. He hadn’t slept well. He opened the door slowly as a pair of claws jutted out just beside his left leg. He slammed the door on the claws, opening and closing before it finally closed all the way.

He looked out the window, straining to see who was at the front door. He was barely able to decipher it through the glass, a fogged surface. He wondered what the point of having a such vague viewpoint through glass was. Whatever it was, it seemed like something small and nonhuman. He opened the door carefully.

A team of munchkin monsters awaited him. Furry, small, and having all kinds of little bits of horns and claws placed in them; some of them logically, others not. He glanced at them and opened the door wider, stepping outside. They didn’t seem to be the under impression to attack all the sudden or anything.

“Alright, what is it?” he asked. A monster rubbed his throbbing hand from the pain that had been inflicted before. Another monster rolled his eyes as they looked over to him.

“We are in the understanding you’re a monster hunter,” said one of the monsters. “You must understand that we do not mean harm but there is something dark coming. Something from the depths of blue, but red as blood. And we mean to purvey you a message of warning and of peace…”

Tommy looked at them. “Well, get on with it then.” He stated. The monster seemed annoyed.

“Basically, we’re asking you not to kill us.” the monster stated, interlocking it’s claws.

“Why would I go about doing that?” he asked, scratching his head. “We only kill monsters that threaten the school.”

“Well… it’s happened before. History repeats.” said the monster.

Tommy felt something move beyond his presence. Someone was watching. He walked over to the end of his porch to spot. He recognized what fleeting details he had to go off, strands of red hair, a small glimpse of pink sneakers, what seemed to be a grey sports jacket…

“Jess?” asked Tommy. Jess stepped out from behind the pillar. Tommy was confused and irritated. What was she doing at his house? She waved her hand nervously.

“Hey…” she said. Tommy diverted his attention back to the monsters.

“Well… I mean, if you’re not interfering with our lives in a harmful way, I suppose I can say I’m not gonna kill you. But you better not, you hear me?” he said, shooing them off. Jess stepped forward towards Tommy. “What are you doing here?” he asked in a much harsher tone than he intended.

“ okay?” she asked. Tommy was pierced by her words, placing his clawed grip onto his head.

“I’m fine… just stressed out. I guess a... friend of mine died. Laura nearly died, I nearly died… I’m a mess. But how are you?” he asked, putting his hand down. Jess looked at him kind of concerned.

“Well… I’ve been wondering this for a while but have you ever thought about training someone else to be a monster hunter?” Jess asked. Tommy scratched the back of his head.

“I can’t say I have. I dunno if you could though… seeing as you have to be some kind of… prophetic black dude or british blonde girl… I think that’s how it works? I don’t know what’s going on Jess, and that scares me. Something’s under the school, something’s not right with the janitor that’s been teaching me and Laura, something awful is lurking under the surface of my life and I’m the only that’s been trying to figure it out. Laura doesn’t give a shit. I doubt Michael gives a shit, I don’t know what his role is…” Tommy said, the external expanse of stress laying out before him.

“I mean… you don’t have to take me on as your monster hunting apprentice but… I dunno. Something seemed so cool about killing those unicorns that one day and I dunno, I just wanted to be part of it.” Jess explained.

Tommy sighed. “Alright, fine I’ll do it,” he said. Jess jumped up in excitement. “We’re not doing it right now though, we’ll do it later. I’ll text you when I’m ready, I guess. Do I even have your number-?”

“Here’s my number.” she said, handing him a slip of folded and ripped paper. She walked out, doing a little gig with her walk and Tommy couldn’t help but crack a little smile. He glanced over to where the monsters were, only to see that they had gone off.

He sighed pretty deeply. Winter was here, best not to waste it.

Tommy met with Laura in the early school morning. She had seemed to be over her near death experience with top-mark grace, but he was still shaken by it.

“Looks like a goddamn bus ran over you. What the hell happened?” asked Laura, a slight smugness in her walk present today.

“I started thinking…” he said before being cut off by Laura.

“You should stop doing that, clearly not good for your health.” said Laura. She laughed a little as Tommy’s facial expression still hung limp.

“I started thinking about all this shit we do, you know? What the fuck is going on? Why did Coach Feratu try and warn me about that shit if it didn’t matter? Like, clearly he was risking his life to give me that info-” Tommy said, his hands pulling on his tired face. Laura was tired too, of his shit.

“Tommy, none of that shit matters. Dude was clearly crazy or something, besides he’s a monster and we kill those.” Laura said, her arms folding.

“Laura, for fucks sake, just take something seriously for once in your life. I mean, you fucking dated and hell, pretty sure you had…” Laura closed Tommy’s mouth.

“Look, can we not talk about that? All I have are kind of bad memories of that.” she said, her face actually somewhat serious.

“All I’m saying is that we need to look beyond the surface of this. Beyond this school, even. Remember the runes and shit we found under the school?” Tommy asked, hoping any of it would piece Laura’s mind. “Just… fucking listen to me, please.”

“Look, if you wanna go on a fucking goose chase for some ‘truth’, alright. Fine. I’ll even go with you to prove how pointless this was, how you wasted my fucking time-” snapped Laura.

“Ya’ll fighting?” asked Michael, appearing from the corner of the hallway and heading straight towards them.

“No.” said Tommy. Laura crossed her arms, most of her lip on the left side of her face.

“Good. I kind of regret that I… was fighting with her before she died.” said Michael, a bit of solemn feeling on his face.

“What’s below the school?” asked Tommy, trying to press through with his questioning. Michael had been saying stuff like that more and more often, drawing parallels with his past, yet never any context that Tommy could figure out much more than he was telling them.

“The school? Well… I suppose I couldn’t hide that secret forever. It’s built on top of a pyramid of sorts. Was one. Who’s to really say for sure in it’s current state. The slime’s gone now.” Michael stated, looking down.

“Any other monsters attacking?” asked Tommy. Michael glanced at him.

“What do you want, kid?” he asked back. “You’re not gonna find anything. Place has been deserted for years.”

“Years…” Tommy repeated. Michael’s eyes opened up.

“Wow, you really think there’s something going on, don’t you?” Michael said, laughing a little. “Knock yourself out.” He threw Tommy the keys to the teacher room.

Tommy grabbed the keys. His eyes squinted and then opened to full. Well then, if they wanted him to prove it, he was gonna find it.

“Jesus christ, Tommy, you can’t be serious about this,” Laura said, sitting on a table in the teacher’s room as Tommy attempted to recall how they opened up the secret door in the teacher’s room. She pulled on her black knee high socks, for they were falling to her ankle again.

“Look, I know something’s going on. Michael said years. Also, why would he know if it was deserted or not?” asked Tommy. He was on his hands and knees, pressing any strange bumps in the carpet down. Laura rolled her eyes, folding her legs.

“Look, Tommy, I have to tell you something. You’re fucking nuts.” said Laura. Tommy glanced over to her as she insisted with her face that she was telling the truth. Tommy put his head down again as he looked for some kind of secret button, switch, whatever…

“What’s the deal with Jess?” he asked, catching Laura off by surprise.

“Jess? Why the hell would I know anything with Jess?” asked Laura. “Do you mean if she’s dating anyone? Shit, I hope not. Is she single?” Tommy looked up. “Well, is she?”

“She was over by my house, asking if I could train her to be a monster hunter like us.” explained Tommy. “I was wondering if you knew about that?”

“Oh she wants to become a monster hunter now? Lame. Ugh.” said Laura. Tommy rolled his eyes.

“Aren’t you a monster hunter?” asked Tommy, knowing full well that she was.

“Yeah, but we don’t need another jackass on here.” explained Laura.

“Yeah, we already got one.” said Tommy, smiling.

“Exactly- wait was that about me or you?” Laura asked as Tommy smirked. “Well?!”

“Anyway… I’m gonna train her later, I guess. Depends if we get out of this alive or not…” Tommy stated. He pressed another weird bump on the carpet but nothing else happened. “ you have a crush on Jess?” he asked.

“Honestly… just kind of desperate, really.” she said, leaning back. “I’m not finding a lot of the guys around here to be good options and hell if I’m going back to Andrée. So… y’know.”

“Desperate?” asked Tommy. “You’re not that bad of a person, you could probably get a date going on if you wanted to.”

“Well… I just told you, I’m just not finding a lot of people I’d want to get personal with,” Laura said. Tommy hunched his shoulders and then relaxed them again. “I mean… I could get with you but nah… that would be too weird.”

Tommy paused for a moment. “Me?” Laura shrugged.

“It would be easy, I guess. But like… I thought about it for like three minutes before realizing it was kind of dumb. We already argue enough as it is, I don’t need that shit messing me up beyond that.” Laura said.

“...should I be honored?” asked Tommy looking at her. He never thought about it happening.

“Nah.” laughed Laura. Tommy laughed back and then pressed another weird bump in the carpeting that opened the center of the floor.

“Well, found it. Secret button. I dunno how I’m going to mark it if we need to go back here again, though.” said Tommy.

“You know we’re not coming back to this, right? I mean… there would be no reason to do so. Unless there’s something cool the slime was covering up.” said Laura.

“I dunno, it’s good to know these things, right?” asked Tommy.

“I suppose,” said Laura. “Hey, what did they do with your bag of salt? You know the one you left when I shoved you in here?”

“I have no idea. Huh.” he said, thinking about it. It was apparently a good enough distraction for Laura to push him in again. He fell to the bottom, descending to the water floor and then bobbing back up. He climbed out as he heard Laura scream down.

“You gotta stop fucking do that.” he said, his hair trickling out drops. She laughed as she got out, utterly soaked and shaking off the water.

Tommy and Laura saw a red colored pyramid as they exited out the tunnel. It had blood colored bricks, building up to a red stone diamond with a golden eye appearing on it’s four sides.

“Wow, the slime was obscuring this?” asked Tommy, admiring the handiwork of the red pyramid. He walked towards it, taking in every detail of massive structure. Laura stopped and put her hands on her hips, looking around a bit.

“Didn’t this place… wasn’t it kind of different? How did we miss this?” She said, placing her hand on her chin in curiosity. Tommy ignored her and was running toward the red pyramid, it’s wide square entrance in sight. Laura had to run to catch up to him, stopping as he did in front of the downwards steps inside. Scarab beetles ran across the steps and walls, flowing out like drops of water. Tommy and Laura took cautious steps in.

“You got any light?” asked Tommy. He looked to Laura, empty-handed as usual. He shoveled through his pockets, finding nothing. “What even lurks down here? Could we take it down if we needed to?” he asked. Laura heavily groaned.

“Why the hell do you think I know?” she roared at him. Tommy put his hands up in defense.

“Just putting my thoughts out, bouncing them off you,” he explained. He ran his hand across the darkening wall. “Stay close, who knows what’s out here.” he ordered. Laura snuck close by him as they went into absolute darkness.

“Hey, Tommy,” she said, the dark covering up her expressions. “You alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine I guess. Still… kind of shaken up by by Coach Feratu’s death. And well, school’s been stressing me out as it’s nearly the end of the semester and shit…” He felt the end of the wall and curved his hand around it to find more bricks.

“Oh right, winter break’s almost here,” she stated plainly. “It’s our last year in school and we’re wasting it with monster hunting. I don’t even have a date for the prom or anything.”

“Prom?” asked Tommy. “I thought you hated those?”

“Eh, I’m so-so on them now,” she said narrowly. “Bad enough we’re doing this, figured prom might actually be kind of fun,” Tommy couldn’t see it but she let out a small smile. “It’s on like a cruise ship or something this year? Like… I dunno how that’s gonna work out but it’s on a boat.”

“Eh, maybe I’ll go too.” supposed Tommy. He felt a scarab beetle crawl across his hand and violently yelped and shook it off. He carefully placed his hand back on the wall.

“What was that about?” asked Laura, laughing a bit. Tommy shook his hand up and down as he caught his breath.

“Just a bug, don’t worry about it.” he said. Laura looked uneasily at the wall. She didn’t want any bugs on her.

“Suppose you’re right, there’s something else going on under the scenes. What would that even be?” she asked. Tommy turned around to face her.

“I don’t KNOW what’s going on, that’s the problem. I want to know, I want to get to the bottom of this. Whoever killed Coach Feratu killed him to prevent SOMETHING from getting out and Michael’s connected to this somehow and-” Tommy began.

“Maybe it was just a loan shark or some shit? He didn’t seem to know much,” shrugged Laura. She felt something go across her hand, not a bug, but some kind of linen bandage. “Hey, what’s the big idea-” she started as she felt more bandages wrap around her. And then suddenly she was gone.

“Laura?” asked Tommy in the dark, spinning around and attempting to find Laura. “LAURA?” he yelled out in the dark, stumbling about. She would have answered by now if this wasn’t some kind of prank. She could be mean sometimes, but never this mean.

He came across a shattered lantern, barely able to make it out in the dark. Next to it were some lamp oil and matches. He picked the lantern up carefully, shattered glass dropping onto the floor, echoing in the red brick tunnels. He carefully poured some lamp oil in and set a match alit, putting it close to the oil inside. The lantern flickered with light.

He could see now. The etchings of hieroglyphics in the tomb, the passageways ahead and behind. He walked forward, turning a left. “Where are you, Laura?” He didn’t know, he wasn’t sure if he was ever going to know. One second she was there, another she was gone.

At the end of the hallway was a cat. More specifically, one made of gold and other raw materials. In the ornate cat’s jaw held a golden staff, the wings of a crane at the end of the staff. He glanced at the staff, feeling it’s etched edges that went across the stick before lifting it out of the cat’s mouth. Nothing moved.

He headed down the halls he was sure he hadn’t been to before, although he knew he was more than likely running in endless circles. Across the walls were etched pictures. A man and a woman and something that wasn’t quite man, wasn’t quite woman. There were a ton of birds and reeds too, so he figured it had to be important.

Some other etchings interested him. Something that looked kind of like a bipedal bear taking down a robot alligator, a man with a rod with a star at the top of it holding it up against a dark cloud, something that seemed to be thorns with the letter “N” etched into it. He pressed his finger against the lines, tracing over them, trying to figure out if they meant anything.

Something howled down the hall.

Laura found herself in a lit room. Dimly lit, mind you, but she could make stuff out. A gold statue of a cat, a hippo, and a crane. They dazzled in the flickering fire of the torches hanging on the wall. Sparks flew towards the center of the room, which was an ornate table with a picture of kimono-clad woman with two katanas and a set of black and white demons circling around her. In the back end of this little room was probably the most interesting: an opened sarcophagus.

Something tapped her shoulder. She shot forward, running, before taking a look back. Then she kept running again. The mummy simply sighed as he had a bunch of scarab beetles fall from the ceiling right in front of Laura, causing her to pause. They ran away from her. She looked at the mummy, who crossed his arms.

“Sit down, will you?” asked the mummy, clearly tired.

“Well, explain why you kidnapped me first, asshole.” rudely answered Laura, who crossed her own arms.

“Monster hunters… always so petty,” croaked the mummy. He sat down at the table. “I ‘kidnapped’ you to talk to you.”

“Well… why?” asked Laura as she took a seat. The mummy poured his ancient hands on his head.

“It’s a troublesome sleep for me. The world’s most ancient, and dangerous, sleepers are about to awaken again. And I tell you this because I believe that you’re not aware that they may awake because of you.” replied the mummy. Laura rolled her eyes.

“What?” asked Laura. “How would anything I’m doing wake anyone up?”

“Monster hunters… although it is a job that must be done, it comes at a price. The crimson ash scatters across the moon, forcing it into a blood moon. It awakens them. The world will then plunge into chaos.” spoke the mummy. Laura tapped on the table.

“Oh noooo, whatever shall we do,” spoked a bored Laura. “Moon looks fucking fine the last time I fucking saw it. Now, if you’re asking to die, I can arrange that-”

“You don’t take my words seriously, do you?” asked the mummy. “No matter… I suppose these things are to meet their bitter ends one way or another. I have already met mine, my shambling body only a vessel for the long sleep I have been in. But it has stirred.”

“So what do you want us to do?” asked Laura. She seemed more annoyed than worried. “We can’t just stop killing things that threaten existence of innocents, can we?”

“I suppose not.” said the mummy. Laura slammed the table.

“Then what the fuck do you want from me? What the hell do you want from Tommy? I’m sick of this shit too but guess what, I can’t just suddenly stop on a fucking dime-” she yelled at the mummy before becoming quiet and distant. “-I’m so sick of this shit. I thought it would be fun but all it’s been is a waste of time for everyone involved and I suppose now it’s not even a waste of time but something that will end the world...” she thought out loud.

“There may be a way to reverse the effects but I only know about it. I have no idea if it works or…” he paused. “Or even if it’ll be even that effective.”

“Get on with it, you piece of shit. The candle’s burning, my cards are on the table. I don’t need anything from you.” said Laura, still hostile.

“Why are you so violent?” the mummy asked.

“I told you, I’m sick of this shit. I want to be a normal person again instead of some… monster hunter.” said Laura.

“Well, I can’t do anything about that, so chill.” said the mummy. He brought out a lapis blue bird statue and placed it in the center of the table. He twisted the bird’s head, revealing it to be hollow inside. He poured out some ultramarine dust on the table. Laura looked at it curiously. “Blow it.” he commanded. Laura rolled her eyes and attempted to blow it in the mummy’s face, but the particles disappeared before it could even get on him.

“There you go.” she said.

“I suppose I should tell you about it.” said the mummy.

“Nah, I don’t give a shit.” said Laura, putting her feet on her table. Suddenly there was a sound of someone running behind the wall. Soon, a segment of the wall fell down and Tommy was holding a gold staff, his brown skin glistening as he breathed heavy.

“Found you,” said Tommy. He walked towards the mummy and walked over to slam his head in with the staff. The mummy’s head didn’t do anything but scrowl in annoyance.

“Knock that off.” said the mummy. Tommy readied the staff.

“You better tell me what’s going on...” said Tommy, looking at Laura. “You okay?”

“Yeah… I’m fine.” she said, crossing her arms. Tommy took a moment to let the room sink in and then grabbed Laura’s arm and pulled her out of the chair. The mummy looked more and more annoyed.

“Alright, you wanna know what’s going on?” asked the mummy. Tommy nodded. “Alright, listen up…”

“The blue dust is supposed to counteract the red dust… or blood mercury as they call it.” said the mummy. By now, Tommy had dropped the staff and was sitting down attentively listening as the mummy talked. Laura sprawled out her arms across the table in total boredom.

“You’ll also need this,” said the mummy, holding up a golden plate with an eye etched into the middle. “If this were to fall in the wrong hands…”

Tommy picked it up and examined it. He tucked into his coat pocket. “Yeah, don’t let this rare artifact get in the wrong hands. Got it.” He and Laura exited the room before the mummy could say anything else. The mummy shrugged and returned to his tomb.

Tommy walked around for a bit before realizing he was lost. “We’re not lost… right?” she asked.

“Well, the nice thing about pyramids is the ceiling all goes to the same point.” He slammed the brick ceiling hard enough for some bricks to fall out of place. Laura looked at him oddly.

“When were we able to do that?” she asked him. Tommy shrugged.

“Since now, I guess.” he said, jumping like some kind of video game character to the floor above. The two made it to the top of the pyramid and slid down, landing on rock solid ground.

“Told you something was going on.” he said, holding out the golden plate. Laura rolled her eyes as he placed it back inside of his coat pockets.

“It was still a waste of my fucking time.” she said. She followed Tommy towards the ladder that would lead them out of the underbelly. They poked out from a sewer hole, where Michael and his van were waiting for them.

Tommy gave him the gold plate.

“I think you probably know what to do with this more than I do, right?” he said, dropping into his hands. The janitor looked a little befuddled.

“Where did you find this?” he asked.

“The pyramid under the school.” shrugged Tommy. Tommy and Laura walked off as Michael glanced at the plate.

Tommy sat outside the freezing weather on his porch as Jess walked up to him with a gym bag. She cracked her fingers together.

“Alright, let’s do this.” she said. Tommy got up and prepared to train her.


Michael walked towards the Nuckelavee. He handed him a book, the cover being the gold plate Tommy gave him. The Nuckelavee breathed an awful air.

“So… you’ve got the Necronomicon…” the air filled up with a terrible stench, of a thousand bleeding sea animals rotting in the ocean. A lantern next to the Nuckelavee glowed ever so softly.

“Bring her back.” solemly said Michael. Two horribly disfigured hands clasped around the book. It shifted to the Nuckelavee’s left hand and then it grabbed the dim lantern.

“I’ll bring her back when they arrive.” laughed the Nuckelavee.