So sorry for the long-ish gap in more original posting folks, been a bit hectic off-late. This particular story in fact has been sitting and staring at me like a spurned lover since I left it half-done some days ago and it’s been aching to be finished. (okay, I just got how dirty that sounds but you know what? I don’t care, it’s kinda funny too!)
Anyway, this story is a bit of nostalgic trip for me. The basic premise always was what it is even now, albiet a little tweaked here and there, but the principle story is what I wanted. What DID happen along the way though, was that I found so much more I wanted to toss into it and struck upon an idea of inserting little tid-bits into it, stuff that – as the title suggests – take the storys journey onto Nostalgia Lane. Now if, like me, you are a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you might actually pick up all of them – or none if you’re a bit of a thicky – but at its core it’s meant to be a fun romp and I hope you all enjoy reading this.
Oh and here are 3 songs to go with it, the first one goes right at the start of the story and the other two can be played at points in the story I’ll indicate with asterisks like so: (*) And a special thanks to InMon, whose prompt (stuck in the elevator) had originally started me on this story though it mutated wildly from where I began!
Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy * (to be played at the start of the story)
Bad to the Bone ***
I eagerly look forward to any thoughts this brings out in you dear reader. Cheers…
The languid music flowed into his ears, making him hum along and sway every-so-slightly as he waited for the lift to reach his floor. Eyes closed and totally at peace, Jahaan softly sang along:
“Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style
Ain’t got no gal to make you smile,
But don’t worry, be happy…
Cause when you worry, your face will frown,
And that will bring everybody down…”
A bell chimed on the edge of his awareness and seconds later he had to thrust a hand forward to hold the closing doors open, “This is why you keep your eyes open genius.” he chuckled to himself.
Rolling his supply cart in, Jahaan pressed the button for the second basement, he needed some more disinfectant liquid and to empty his garbage bag. Day after day, it never ceased to amaze him how much waste these yuppies accumulated everyday in those tiny bins in their tiny corporate cubicles.
A soft bounce and ‘ding’ later he was getting off and headed for his ‘office’, parking his company vehicle at the door. Inside the room was fairly sparse, posters, a music system, a desk and a couple of chairs – it wasn’t much but it was his. Plonking into the familiar dent he’d painstakingly nurtured in his seat, he looked over his table-top, grimacing a little at the Rubiks-cube that had been his nemesis for years. Still wasn’t sure why he kept it around. And then there was his great love, the dream-girl he’d had a thing for since… well, always – Samantha Micelli. Of course the framed picture he was looking at was Ms. Milano all grown up now, but it was on that show that he’d been smitten. (**)
He fished around in his bottomless pit of a drawer, seeking a prize. A short while later he was back to work, prepping his vehicle to ascend once again to the pantheons above. Suspicious little clouds swirled around him and in his wake as he pottered around. He put his smoke out in the carts water-pail and tossed it after the garbage he’d just finished tossing in the dumpster, whistling as he grabbed his cart and headed back to the service lift.
Moments later he was on his way back up. The mellow vocals of Tina Dico crooned over Zero-7’s “Home” and he could feel himself start to zone out again. ‘Ah what did it matter?’ he thought to himself. So he misses his floor and has to make the trip back down? Wouldn’t be the first time and with his trusty iPod by his side, what did it matter? He had the whole night ahead of him.
The music began to approach the magnificent crescendo, but suddenly a resounding ‘THUD!’ sounded above him and he felt the whole lift shake. Pulling his headphones off, Jahaan’s brow furrowed with concentration as he tried to listen for more sounds. There was a momentary sound of metal striking metal and then the whole lift jerked violently. He barely got out an “Oh shit!” before he was tossed to one side and landed hard on the floor as the lift came to a halt and the emergency lights clicked on.
Shaking his head clear, he reached for the emergency call box, but the line was dead. Clanking sounds from the roof of the car drew his attention. His first thought was “Gremlins!”, but that didn’t last long once the thumping grew louder, making the whole car shake and the electricity flickered wildly as it struggled to stay on.
He was starting to freak out more than a little, imagining every horror or slasher movie he’s ever seen. Images of machete’s and butcher knives dripping with blood hacked through his mind along-with terrifying claws and fangs that threatened to rend him limb from limb. As if to drive his terror home, a gigantic sword-like blade stabbed through the roof and almost impaled his groin, eliciting a scream of terror from him as he scrambled away from it. The blade retreated, only to stab again and again and again, one slicing a nasty wound across his left shoulder blade as he continued to flop around in that tiny space for dear life. (***)
In his frantic state though, he didn’t even realise the doors behind him had been pried apart until the leather-clad woman who had done it was firing her 12-bore shotgun at the ceiling and he heard a high-pitched wail coming from above. It took a moment to blink away some of his shock as the sounds of shooting and pounding died away momentarily. He did not still notice the hand held out to him.
“Take my hand if you want to survive.” said the woman, making him turn and really notice her for the first time. Tall, muscular, athletic with close cropped hair, she was a living breathing amazon. “Come on!” she said, increased urgency in her voice.
Gathering his wits, he reached for her and she hauled him out almost like a child out through the low opening and he stumbled to his feet in the corridor. Wordlessly she started heading toward the mezzanine balcony that overlooked the entrance lobby below. Behind him he heard the sounds of metal tearing and an inhuman screech and felt fresh fear propel him forward after her.
On reaching the balcony railing, he looked down to see the night-guards sprawled on the floor and a hard-top ’87 Mustang GT parked INSIDE the lobby. Before he could fully process what he was seeing, his amazonian protector threw him over her shoulder like a sack and ignoring his girlish squeals, hopped over the railing to the lobby below – one storey down. He screamed the whole way down until the landing knocked the wind out of him.
“What the hell is going on here?!” he gasped as she strode to the car, unperturbed, and he scrambled after her.
She climbed into and started the car and for a brief moment as she gunned the engine to life, he thought about his situation and froze. That is, until the metal rending sounds from the lifts increased and made him jump several feet forward and into the passenger seat. Almost as soon as he was seated, the car roared forward and out of the formerly floor-to-ceiling glass doors and bounced and swerved as it sped around the meandering drive-way toward the exit.
“What the hell is that thing and what in the name of all that’s fucking holy is going on?!” he half-yelled, still scared but a little less panicked and frozen than before.
“All you need to know is that you are important because your children will be, one day. And that ‘thing’ is here to kill you so that they are never born.” she replied, jerking the steering hard as they burnt rubber around the last turn before the gates.
Just as they were about to reach the gates, something hit the back of the car and made him start. He looked back to see a misshapen, part-man, part-metallic creature from a nightmare clinging to the boot of the car, sparks visible behind them as part of it dragged on the road. It clawed for a grip, tearing the boot cover in it’s efforts, screeching the entire time.
“Shoot it! Shoot it!” she shouted at him, shoving the big shotgun at him as she struggled to control the swerving car.
He jerked away from the gun at first but then gripped it and felt a surge, like he was He-Man being granted the ‘power of Greyskull’. With his newfound confidence, he gripped the barrel in his left hand, grabbed the shells she was offering and reloaded. Taking a quick breath, he turned the gun toward the monster trying to kill him, pointing it right at what he assumed was its face. The beast let out a defiant scream that made his ears hurt but Jahaan gritted his teeth, steadied the gun as he braced his back on the dashboard and said, “Say ‘ello to my lil friend!” before emptying both barrels.
A moment later, the creature was tumbling and sparking in the distance and Jahaan was grinning like an idiot. “Wax off mother fucker!” he shouted, then turning to his new friend he said, “So what now?”
She simply turned and said, “I need you to wake up.” before grabbing him by the shirt and bashing his head into the window next to him, sending him to shocked oblivion.
Jahaan jerked awake, tangling himself in his sheets. He winced, putting a hand up to his head where a dull ache was throbbing away. He blinked and started looking around, there was a bed but he was on the floor. When he started to roll over however he heard a familiar voice say, “I said, wake up.” and he found himself face-to-face with a black, steel-toed boot. Looking up, who should he see, but the towering amazon from his dream.
“Dammit T! This is getting ridiculous. Now you’re even rescuing me from weird, stupid shit in my dreams.” he said as he sat up and rubbed his sore head where he had hit it on the floor when she’d shoved him off the bed he’d been sleeping on. “What do you want anyway? I was sleeping here.” he asked.
She just looked at him briefly in her peculiar, cyborg way, as if contemplating whether to bother replying and than said, “Your clothes, give them to me, now.”
“What?!” he asked perplexedly.
“Your clothes.” she repeated, “We have been on the road many days and you are… starting to bother my odour receptors, so I am using this houses washing machine.”
He started to strip down and wrap himself in the bed-sheet, toga style and she took the ripe garments one by one and then turned to leave the room once he was done.
Jahaan couldn’t help but chuckle to himself as she strode out, “I pity the fool that gets in your way or doesn’t do what you say T, I truly do.”