Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Lex, Nancy Adams, Mike Barnwell, Joe Sawyer
Genres: Drama, Holiday, Horror, Mystery, Suspense
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: Something wicked lives in McCready’s Marsh.
Chapter Summary: Halloween in Smallville…’nuff said! ;)
Date Of Completion: February 12, 2018
Date Of Posting: December 2, 2018
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1506
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.
"IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!"
Dr. Henry Frankenstein
Lex would never be sure what happened that Halloween night. Some of it was clear. Some of it was fuzzy. Some of it he never would remember.
“Pretty sexy costume you’ve got there, farmboy.” Lex said as Clark closed the door on another group of trick-or-treaters.
“Really? I could say the same about you.”
“You don’t want to suck my blood?”
Clark blushed. “Maybe I want to suck something else.”
Lex grinned. “C’mere, Count.”
They had enjoyed a quick whirl of passion before the doorbell rang again. After the last of the trick-or-treaters shuffled down the driveway, Lex and Clark made sure they were no longer disheveled and drove into town in Lex’s Porsche as Martha and Jonathan had taken the truck. The night was appropriately eerie as a full moon rose high in the sky. As they passed the spot where he had seen the broken stalks, Lex felt a chill run down his spine. Had he imagined the whole thing? If you lived in Smallville long enough, you were bound to lose some of your marbles.
Nancy Adams was keeping an eye on events in town as the movie started. People liked the outdoor venue and despite the cool weather were happily sitting on lawn chairs with blankets and munching on roasted chestnuts, hot buttered popcorn, and warm sausages in toasted buns. Hot chocolate and coffee were available along with cold soft drinks. There was an air of festivity as the good citizens of Smallville had fun.
The urgent voice turned Adams around. Mike Barnwell, the high-schooler who delivered groceries for Roger Gaffney, looked extremely rattled.
“What it is, Mike?”
“Something weird’s going on out at Eckersley Tannen’s place.”
“He’s nowhere to be found, and there’s a terrible smell right at the edge of his property, like the marsh.”
The sheriff frowned. “I’ll go take a look.” She beckoned her deputy over and Joe Sawyer walked quickly across the lawn.
“There’s something odd going on at the Tannen place. I’m going to check it out. You keep an eye on things here.”
Adams hurried to her patrol car and quietly drove away.
“Classic,” commented Lex as he and Clark stopped at the chestnut stand. He sipped his hot chocolate while waving to the Kents in the front row while Clark purchased two bags of warm chestnuts.
“I agree.” Clark sipped his hot chocolate. “I kind of feel sorry for the monster.”
“Yeah. He’s like a newborn in this world, trying to understand. People are coming at him, calling him a monster while he’s just trying to make sense of things.” Clark accepted the bags of chestnuts from the vendor. “He needs someone to teach him.”
“Yeah, ol’ Doc Frankenstein dropped the ball on that one.” Lex suddenly felt uncomfortable discussing the mad scientist of the film. He grabbed his bag of chestnuts from Clark’s hand. “Let’s go find some seats.”
They found an empty bench under a bare oak tree and ate their chestnuts and drank their hot chocolate. The air was cool as an owl hooted somewhere off in the trees. The large screen flickered with the black-and-white drama as it unfolded. Dr. Frankenstein hurried to prepare his experiment as lightning flashed and thunder rumbled. Lex felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and looked quickly over his shoulder, but there was no one…or nothing…there. He met Clark’s quizzical look with a smile and turned back toward the movie, suppressing a shiver.
Nancy Adams twisted her mouth as she examined the water puddle on the edge of the woods of the Tannen property. It smelled brackish, making her think of McCready’s Marsh. She’d spent a lot of time there recently.
Her knees ached as she squatted down. There was an eerie silence around the Tannen farmhouse. The livestock was long gone, sold off by Eckersley to pay his taxes, and the family dog had died soon after. With Eckersley missing, the farm was deserted. Her flashlight was the only source of illumination as clouds temporarily blocked the moon. The hairs on the back of her neck were standing on end.
She straightened up, unbuttoning her holster. Her hand hovered around her gun as she flashed the light at the edge of the woods. The beam of light froze as Adams felt her stomach tighten. “My god,” she whispered. She stood over the enormous footprints sunk deeply into the hard ground. “Just like the prints in McCready’s.” Fog began to drift in from the direction of the marsh.
The wind rippled the shrubs and undergrowth at the edge of the property. Adams shivered as an owl hooted from somewhere in the woods. The fog was cold on her skin.
She frowned as she saw a flicker of light in the distance. What the hell?
“Fire!” she hissed.
Nancy Adams jumped into her patrol car and followed the glow of the flames, fog beginning to envelop the countryside. She called in the fire and bounced along rutted roads and paths that were barely passable. When she parked and ran toward the flames, she dreaded what she was going to find.
The fog seeped into town. Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed, though only on-screen as Dr. Frankenstein pulled a lever and the table containing the creature slowly lifted upward toward the opening in the laboratory roof. Electrical discharge crackled in the lab as the storm grew wilder.
Most people were too absorbed in the movie to notice the fog, but Lex took note of it. Tendrils of wispy fog crept onto the square and snaked around trees and people, the coolness touching warm skin. Clark seemed utterly captivated by the movie as he slowly ate his chestnuts and sipped his chocolate. Lex felt uneasy but chalked it up to it being Halloween, or maybe the feathery touch of the fog on his skin.
The trees surrounding Smallville began to shake as a gust of wind blew through the square. Strange noises reached Lex’s ears, but they were muffled by the fog. The table on-screen began to lower as the cinematic storm reached its zenith. Closer than Lex would have liked, there was rustling in the trees as he hurriedly ate a chestnut. On-screen, the creature’s hand moved. Clark suddenly went still.
Dr. Frankenstein cried, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”
A loud, squishing sound in the woods was followed by the ground shaking and a bloodcurdling scream, while on the screen, Dr. Frankenstein laughed maniacally. Lex felt his senses battered as a rush of air caused him to drop his bag of chestnuts. The fog rolled in thickly and obscured not only the screen but the audience as well.
No answer. Of course he was gone.
Lex was never quite sure of the events that night. Was there chaos or just people discomfited by the sudden fog? The noises were terrifying but could it be a Halloween prank by jaded teenagers?
It was impossible to see anything. Snatching up his bag of chestnuts, Lex stumbled against the oak tree. Suddenly he froze. That smell! It was moldy marsh water, just like the puddle by the side of the road that he’d investigated.
The ground shook underneath his feet as Lex felt himself tilt, and he grabbed the tree trunk. Was that someone screaming? He coughed and wished he knew where Clark was, though he had a pretty good idea.
Dracula versus Frankenstein?
A shattering roar was mercifully muffled by the fog. The word ‘bear’ drifted through the fog, but Lex was skeptical. Time slowed like molasses in winter, and Lex slumped against the tree. He heard another scream but this time it came from the screen, though he wasn’t one hundred percent positive. It was hard to gauge where sounds came from in fog.
Lex’s movements were sluggish as he fought to stay upright. What was going on? Since when did fog cause such reactions, but then, this was Smallville. He could hear thrashing in the woods, then more ground shaking. Was it an earthquake?
“Clark,” he whispered.
One huge rumble and people fell like tenpins. A roar was swallowed up by fog as if it never happened.
By the time the fog lifted, the confused citizens of Smallville found their seats and resumed watching the movie as if nothing had happened. Dizzy and cold, Lex found his seat again, anxiously hoping that Clark would show up. The fog hung on the edges of town and in that peculiar way of fog, sounds came from directions that confused the ear. Lex could have sworn that he heard a bellow, but it could have been his imagination. He felt dumbfounded at his reaction and everyone else’s as he watched the saga of a misunderstood monster unfold in a small European village.
It was the weirdest night of Lex’s life, and that was saying something.
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