The following is the classic Cabin in the Woods horror movie scenario from a slightly different perspective. Just imagine, what would happen if Ash from the Evil Dead series was better at problem solving?
Evil Dead With A Cool Head
Once the captain of the Titanic ordered the lifeboats loaded no effort was made to save the ship. The task seemed too daunting. The first officer shut the watertight doors and the crew resigned themselves to their fate. Glug glug glug. It took two hours for the ship to sink. Two hours that could’ve been spent clogging the leaks with canvas sheets, mattresses, and rugs. Two hours to reduce the flow of water into the boiler rooms. Two hours to seal the forepeak scuttle hatch and prevent the forward bulkhead from sinking.
The Carpathia made contact with the lifeboats only two hours after the Titanic sank.
Had Captain Smith ordered the crew to go into damage control, rather than make peace with their creator, he might have been able to save his passengers. Instead he was awestruck by the overwhelming odds against him. He froze up, both literally and figuratively. I wasn’t about to let the same thing happen to me.
Like Smith, I was in a state of shock. How could I not be? Something had picked my sister Cheryl off the floor, worked her jaw like a ventriloquist dummy and told us we’d be dead by dawn. When she collapsed my girlfriend, Linda, went to check on her only to get stabbed with a pencil for her trouble. My best friend Scotty thought to lock Cheryl in the cabin’s cellar, but the damage had already been done.
Linda’s blood turned black, revealing the spiderweb of veins beneath her skin. Her eyes turned milky white. She sang, “Not another peep. It’s time to go to sleep.”
I decided to duct tape her to the love seat.
That’s when Scotty’s girlfriend Shelly threw herself at him and puked black bile into his mouth. He dismembered her with an ax before I had time to intervene. When Scotty’s limbs started twitching like a marionette on a string, I applied my duct tape solution and left him writhing in a chair of his own.
I was stuck in a cabin in the woods. The bridge had collapsed on our way in. Cheryl said she was manhandled by a tree when she went hiking, so footing it wasn’t an option. I was stuck with a trio of possessed people regaling me to tune of, “We’ll swallow your soul. We’ll swallow your soul. We’ll swallow your soul.”
The situation screamed of gloom and doom. Shelly’s limbs stopped twitching shortly after Scotty had severed them. Dismemberment had gotten the job done. I brought a chainsaw in from the woodshed, but considered it the nuclear option. I also had a shotgun, but the shells were in the basement with my satanic sibling. What I really needed was something to plug the hole in my sanity.
To tell you the truth, my anxiety was acting up before Linda and I started packing for the trip. We’d been getting serious, talking about getting jobs at the S-Mart before we figure out what we’re were doing after college. I was planning on using the trip as an excuse to propose to her, but I chickened out when it came time to buy the ring. I ended up buying a silver ring shaped pendant instead. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realized it was tiny magnifying glass. Jesus Ash, get a clue. I was afraid she’d see it and reverse engineer my thought process and this gift would trigger another conversation about commitment.
That’s why I packed an extra bottle of my anxiety medication. Now that the situation had gone belly up I counted the tablets I had left.
The demonic trio filled the cabin with barnyard sounds. I contemplated duct taping their mouths shut, but decided not to go anywhere near their gnashing teeth.
I should’ve seen our iceberg coming. The cabin we were staying in was a time share. The previous tenant, Professor Raymond Knowby, specialized in translating ancient documents. He’d left his latest flesh-bound find: the Necronomicon, in the cellar for us to discover. It seems like Knowby gave something in the woods a wake up call and got sucked into a vortex for his efforts. I may have accidentally hit PLAY on the reel to reel where he recorded his resuscitations. Now I was the captain of a sinking vessel of my own.
Shelly and Linda took turns faking moments of lucidity, telling me they were fine only to snicker and break character when I got too close. I thought they were giggly before, but once they got ancient Kandarian demons in them they couldn’t stop cackling. The mounted moose head laughed along with them. Then the lamp joined in. Even the face stretched across the cover of the Necronomicon was chuckling.
In a fight or flight scenario, a lot of people pull a Captain Smith. They see blood. They faint. This freeze response is hardwired into our reptile brains as a survival instinct. Those of us who struggle with traumatic stress are more likely to find ourselves turning into deers in headlights. In my dreams I’m a quip spouting action hero, but in reality I’m a kid from Michigan who is governed by an overdeveloped stress response. Hence the medication.
Without my medication who knows what would’ve happened? I could’ve panicked, decapitated my girlfriend with a shovel, and painted the cabin with the shotgun. Instead I battened down the hatches, boarded up the windows, and reinforced them with the mattresses. When my sister tried to crawl out from the cellar I set a refrigerator on top of the door. When Scotty started rocking back and forth I put him in the corner and tied his feet to the radiator.
Linda managed to get the pendant into her mouth while I was distracted. She bit down in an attempt to shatter it. I pried the chain free before she could get a mouth full of glass. She bit for it like a dog leaping for a cut of beef jerky. When I tossed the pendant it landed in one of the Necronomicon’s empty eye holes.
That’s when something started pounding on the ceiling. I peeked outside to find the trees had pulled themselves up by their roots, crept up the lawn, and were bashing the house in. My possessed friends cheered on their Kandarian compatriots.
“Dead by dawn!”
“Dead by dawn!”
“Dead by dawn!”
When the branches breached my fortress I revved up the nuclear option and did a little pruning. Any tree that dared poke its arm into my cabin was drawing back a stump.
I wasn’t going to give into my anxiety. I had faith that my Carpathia was on its way to save me from drowning.
When the chainsaw sputtered out I went for the ax and kept right on chopping. Sunlight shown through cracks in my fortress. The magnifying glass pendant caught a glint of it. It seared a hole into the book, scorching the leather right between its lips. Smoke bellowed from Linda and Scotty’s mouths. They went into convulsion tearing the duct tape around their shoulders. My sister banged on the cellar door until the refrigerator started moving. The Necronomicon bit my finger when I wasn’t looking. The book had come alive again, whaling along with my cursed friends.
I got an idea. I wasn’t sure if I could keep this Titanic from sinking. I wasn’t an exorcist, I couldn’t cure my friends’ of their demons, but maybe I could manage their symptoms.
I fed the book my anxiety medication. Cheryl’s banging on the floorboards slowed to a subtle thump, Scotty lost the strength to tear his restraints any further, and Linda drooled onto her shoulder. The Necronomicon’s tongue hung out of its mouth. It was snoring.
With the book subdued I decided to page through and examine my options. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the creepy chicken scratch or the warning to LEAVE THIS BOOK ALONE jotted in the margins. The demonic etchings of the half men half serpents, the crimson batwings, and the gouged eyeballs made even less sense. I decided that if this book was they key to curing my friends I had to do something about its contents.
I whited out every word, painted over every picture, and when each page was cleared I busted out the color crayons and drew hearts, flowers, and unicorns.
When a voice from the woods cried out, “Join us!” I fed the book another tablet.
When I thought I was finished I realize the cover was still as hideous as ever. I refilled through Linda’s purse until I found the art supplies I needed.
When Linda and Scotty came around they didn’t seem to mind the fact that they were bound. They were as chipper as ever, maybe even a little too happy about it.
When I was sure my sister was cured, I slid the refrigerator back, went down into the cellar, and left the Necronomicon where we’d found it. It was no longer a threat, not with the makeover I’d given it.
After getting a lot requests for prints of my art I decided to open a store on REDBUBBLE where you can find prints and a whole lot more.
3 thoughts on “Evil Dead With A Cool Head”
brilliant story Drew, now I want to see the book!
Thanks! I’m going to started editing my book We the Damned this November. We’ll see where it goes from there.
“That’s when Scotty asked where Shelly was …”