As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence. It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam. This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started. Each one is 99 cents!
Waking up on a bean bag chair, Lloyd has only a faint memory of what happened after he was pulled from the train. He reaches out to touch the rough walls of the shack, which is lit by a single window in the door. A pinch on his neck makes him think he has been drugged, but he touches the spot to find a large ant is gnawing on his flesh. He squishes the bug between his fingers and takes a minute to check himself for more, but finds only a few itchy bite marks on his scarred stomach. Without thinking, he drinks from a nearby glass of water before spitting it out and scratching at his tongue. Lloyd knows that he has to go outside and searches for a weapon, but the only thing he can find is a cracked antler hidden under a pile of hay. Gripping the pointy club, the serial killer kicks the door open and charges a few steps before the midday sun blinds him. He trips over a stone and flips onto his back, the impact jarring him enough that his residual grogginess is erased.
Struggling to his feet, Lloyd takes in the collection of shacks and tents that dot the peak of Devils Tower. Cacti and shrubs are the only plants in view and there are chipmunks nervously darting from burrow to burrow. Bones litter the ground, many of them bleached so white that they reflect the sunlight. Nearly twenty men and women are watching him, all of them wearing orange pants and graphic shirts. It takes him a moment to realize that all of the cannibals have black hair, the dark color natural to only a handful of clan members. Lloyd raises his weapon when they start to surround him, but sees that it splintered during his tumble. Tossing the remains away, he is about to charge when a scrawny man leaps onto a boulder and grabs him by the shoulders.
“Welcome to the Lloyd Tenay clan!” the cannibal declares with a grin. He waves for the others to clap and cheer, which cuts off as soon as the man snaps his fingers. “My name is Leader Lloyd and we’re all big fans of yours. We heard you were going to be on the train going through our territory, so we had to meet you. That was so amazing how you killed Climber Lloyd. Pinned him right to the side. No wonder you’re a legend.”
“I sense this is going to be a name nightmare for the audience,” the serial killer whispers while freeing himself from the other man’s hands. Taking a few seconds to get a better look at the men and women, he notices that all of them have nametags. “That makes things easier. So, I’m a little lost here. I shouldn’t have a clan since I’m not a cannibal. Maybe I got some blood in my mouth when killing or I’ve chewed off hangnails, but who hasn’t done that? Since this is a big mistake, you can just let me go.”
“Can you sign my chest?” a busty woman asks, bounding out of the circle. She hands the confused man a knife and takes off a shirt that depicts a blood-covered girl. “My name is Slutty Lloyd because . . . I fuck people. Figure my prey would be happy to go out with a smile. Just carve your full name on the right one. The left is a little too sensitive.”
“Sorry, but I couldn’t live with myself if I defaced national mammaries . . . I mean monuments like those,” Lloyd mutters, pocketing the knife. He nearly yelps when she grabs his hand and presses it into her skin to create a red mark. “I have a bad feeling about what you’re going to do next. Just do it in private because you probably need a mirror and I can’t believe I’m giving tips for this. Is this where you guys pounce and eat me to steal my power? That’s how this cannibal war thing gets kicked off, right? I kind of forgot since I heard about it a long time ago and, frankly, I don’t really care to be involved.”
Leader Lloyd rolls off the boulder and comes up with a femur that he pushes against the prisoner’s forehead. “We don’t really give a shit either. You see, the cannibals are such idiots that we couldn’t resist fucking with them. Since you’re not a monster or deceased, choosing you was the best way to make them fear that we had the advantage. Ever since you got out of prison, the other clans have been going nuts trying to either wipe us out or finding their own totem, namesake, or whatever the fuck you are. It’s all in good fun. You can believe me once you take this bone.”
Eyeing the smiling man, Lloyd takes the femur and immediately knows that he is holding a piece of plastic. He bends down to touch more of the pile and finds that each one is a smooth fake. Feeling a little better about his situation, the serial killer tosses the femur back to his wild-haired host and quietly spins his knife. Walking in a circle, he reads every nametag and chuckles at a few that make no sense. Stopping in front of one called Gassy Lloyd, he is about to ask about it when he thinks it a better idea to continue moving. By the time he is done, the cunning murderer has a decent idea of what he is up against and returns to the clan leader with a friendly smile.
“Here’s where you lost me,” Lloyd says while stepping around a cactus. He slips and lets his foot come down hard, the impact splintering a bone that is near the bottom of a carefully arranged pile. “If you wanted to spend your life screwing with the other clans then why bother bringing me up here. Even if you don’t eat me, which I’m thankful for, this could kick off that war. You guys will get drawn into it. So, what’s the point? By the way, somebody should bring Slashy Von Boobage over there a towel. Maybe a sewing kit too. I’d say you’re all off your meds, but you idolize me, so that’s to be expected.”
“Tell him about the plan!” a man named Bellowing Lloyd shouts. He is immediately stabbed in the face by Twitchy Lloyd, who continues butchering until she falls asleep.
Their leader glares at the snoring figure and fingers a machete on his belt before turning with a wide grin. “My apologies. Accidents happen, which is why we can’t always keep our ranks at the proper amount. There used to be forty-eight of us since that was the number of victims you had before the collapse. Currently, we’re down to thirty-nine. Ten of our people are standing guard on the walkways, which is why we look smaller than we are. Now, our hope was that you could lead us in a raid against one of our neighbors. That would really make the other clans fear that we’re about to start the war.”
“Sounds like fun, but I’d have some conditions,” Lloyd says before tripping again. He takes several hard stomps to regain his balance and casually leans against the boulder. “First, I have a train to catch, so I don’t have the time. Second, I really can’t do it considering you aren’t really fans of my work. I didn’t kill forty-eight people. That number was an exaggeration made by a comic book that used me as some resurrected monster. The real number was thirty-three, which a real groupie would know. Any idea on how to fix that?”
Leader Lloyd scratches his chin and walks away from the boulder, his hand going to his machete. Approaching the slumbering cannibal, he calmly puts his weapon through the woman’s back and slices her open. Turning in a circle, the man aims his blood-dripping blade at five more clan members. Pounced on by their friends, each victim is violently attacked with weapons that range from knives to a cast iron candleholder. Leader Lloyd returns to the boulder and takes a seat while the extraneous members are slaughtered. Only one person attempts to fight back and manages to snap a young man’s neck after losing an arm. Since killing the survivor would put them below thirty-three, the others abruptly stop and walk away. A woman with a stethoscope hurries over to pick up the fallen limb and goes about sewing it back on as if that will fix the problem.
“I’m guessing that’s Doctor Lloyd,” the real one says, his nerves on edge after seeing such a brutal display. Scowling at his foot, he bends down to scratch at a cut and swiftly lets his hand brush against a pelvic bone with bite marks. “It’s definitely a good start and I like your efficiency. That the right word? Maybe I meant your effervescence. Always get those mixed up. I’m rather disappointed with the shirts since I don’t recognize any of the characters. Looks like you guys made up your own, which doesn’t feel . . . Yeah, I guess going topless works. Didn’t realize you all have my tummy scar. That’s dedication. By the way, I feel a little naked without a really sharp and big weapon. Can I borrow that cutlass, Pirate Lloyd? Thanks, and I like the pink corset on you.”
Flipping the weapon, the serial killer gets used to the weight before neatly slicing the cannibal’s head off. Before the rest of the clan registers what is going on, Lloyd rushes to his right and kills several more people. Having become bored with the sword, he hurls it at a seven-foot tall man and chuckles when the hilt hit his target in the groin. He tries again with a broken rib and is amused to see the jagged end catch the towering figure in the eye. Sprinting for the nearest shack, he knocks the flimsy structure over in search of a weapon. All he finds is a terrified rattlesnake, which he grabs by the tail and throws after spinning for a second. The reptile hits a heavily tattooed woman in the face and she falls screaming in pain, the high-pitched sounds driving a cannibal on roller skates to stab her in the stomach.
With matching grins, the entire clan advances on Lloyd at a slow and methodical pace that causes him to yawn. He shrugs before walking away and entering a tent where he finds a crude spear. Stepping outside, he casually throws the simple weapon and hits the tall cannibal in his remaining eye. As the large body falls backwards, the others charge with wild screams that are quickly caught in their throats. A short man and sneezing woman are too slow to stop their advance, which brings them into range of Lloyd’s newest weapon. Wearing floral oven mitts, the serial killer wields a heavy pot of hot soup, which is strewn across both of their faces. In agony, they are too busy trying to see to avoid getting their skulls smashed in with the skin-melting cookware.
“Maybe I should have said fifteen because this is going to take a while,” Lloyd mutters as he runs again. He leaps over an abandoned chainsaw and claims a large rip saw that he holds like a sword. “We all know that thing only has enough fuel for me to turn it on, laugh maniacally, look cool, and then die with a sputter. Haven’t killed anything with a saw like this since my woodshop class. I told the teacher I was going to make a bust of my favorite supermodel. Not my fault we had different definitions of the word.”
Swinging the wobbly weapon, Lloyd barely manages to gut one of the cannibals, but the wound is not enough to kill them instantly. He comes down hard with an overhead chop that gets the saw stuck in the man’s torso. With no other ideas, he tries to pull it back and forth, but there is too much resistance for him to make any progress. Nearly overrun by the others, Lloyd cartwheels away and comes up holding two antlers. Figuring the second time is the charm, he lunges at a set of twins and stabs them in the legs. Hitting the femoral artery on both targets, the serial killer tears the sharp weapons across their skin and flips them before they can strike with their fire pokers. He snatches the iron rods out of their hands as they go over his shoulders, the pair giggling as they die. Blocking a baseball, he stabs another cannibal in the chest and spins around to throw his extra weapon. The heavy projectile misses the woman it was heading for and slams into the back of the dead man he assumes was named Tall Lloyd.
“Time out for a water break!” the serial killer abruptly shouts when he is nearly cornered by the doctor. Amused by how the woman goes for a bottle on her belt, Lloyd swiftly grabs her rusty shears and stabs her up through the chin. “Uh, you’ve got some water going down your neck. You really only have yourself to blame for falling for that one. By the way, your nametag has doctor spelled wrong.”
“I’m the one who gets to kill and eat him!” Slutty Lloyd declares as she pounces from the top of a shed. She misses and lands on all fours, which causes her to roll and hop up in an attempt to slice open her target’s gut. “I might seem stupid and unnaturally top heavy, but I can murder like the best of them. Heck, I’ve already killed seven of my clan mates to get them out of my way. You already said you can’t destroy my tits, so how are you going to win? Can’t stab me in the heart since you’d have to go through the fun bags. Surrender now and I’ll fuck you before you die.”
“As tempting as your CDC petri dish of a snatch is, which is not at all, I’m going to have to pass,” Lloyd says as he jumps back. Finding a knife on the ground, he flips it into his hand and lunges forward to run it across the woman’s neck. “It’s called a throat, dumbass. Most people use it for more than occasional penis parking and massaging. You know, it’s where the air goes to get to your lungs. Then again, you might not be getting enough oxygen to your brain. Stop flailing, Crazy Boob Lady, because you’re only making me twist this. Oh, that’s just death twitches. My bad!”
“How did you know we were going to eat you?” Leader Lloyd says as he cautiously approaches. He leans to the side when the serial killer hurls the knife, which hits the roller skating cannibal below the ribs. “You really are bad at throwing things. Have you hit anything you’ve aimed at? I mean, you did get Giant Lloyd a few times, but one was an accident and the other two weren’t very good shots. Besides, hitting him is like shooting an elephant with a rocket launcher. You can’t miss.”
“That’s what your mom said . . . Sure, we’ll go with that classic,” the grinning murderer replies. He rubs his hands together and cracks his neck, which is starting to feel stiff. “I will admit that you nearly had me. Praise and looking like me was weird, but I figured it made sense considering the clan is named after me. The only thing you messed up on were the bones. Sure, you put a bunch of fakes on top of the real ones. One would only figure it out if they looked closer, but you’d have killed me if I tried that.”
“So, how did you figure it out?”
“I’m barefoot and I’ve broken enough bones to know what it feels like by touch.”
“You truly are an impressive man.”
“Awww, now I’m going to blush while killing you.”
Lloyd waits for the drooling cannibal to charge, the man’s machete held high for an overhead chop. The instant the leader’s arm comes down, the serial killer darts forward and catches his enemy by the wrist. He swings the limb towards the ground while digging his thumb into the man’s flesh. The machete falls from the cannibal’s fingers, which allows Lloyd to catch it and slam the blade through his enemy’s back. Thinking he missed the kill shot, he delivers a few solid hacks to the head until the body crashes into the bones at their feet. As the serial killer turns around to face the last two clan members, gunshots ring out and the creeping survivors are laid out with bleeding holes in their heads.
“Did we really have to come up here?” Luca asks while she slings her rifle over her shoulder. Counting the bodies, she sighs and kicks a fake skull into a dying fire. “This was such a waste of time. Now, we have to climb back down and get to the train before it leaves without us. You two owe me a day off.”
Giving the other woman a friendly pat on the arm, Cassidy takes in the sight of widespread carnage. “Stop complaining. You enjoyed the climb and those fights we got into. I saw you smiling and heard you mumbling about finally finding a challenge. Although, I will agree that I feel foolish for coming up here. Those last two were using a bike chain and a . . . pool noodle wrapped in razor wire. Yeah, these are definitely Lloyd Tenay fans. So, let’s get going because it’s a long climb down.”
“Actually, I think there’s an elevator or something over there,” Lloyd says as he points to a distant structure. From so far away, they can barely make out the intricate pulley system of an old lift. “There’s no way they could have climbed up here with me unconscious. Given how stupid many of them were, you’d probably have been able to get it sent down. Not that I don’t appreciate you taking the hard road to save my perky ass. Speaking of perky, that bikini top is not doing you any favors up here, blue blood?”
“No fighting until we-” the mercenary begins to say. She is cut off when Luca charges after Lloyd and the pair practically race towards the elevator. “Run for the edge of the mountain. Real smart move there, buddy. Hey! Nothing more than wedgies, purple nurples, and wet willies over there. Maybe a culturally insensitive sunburn, which I know is what you would call it, Lloyd. By the way, I have to warn you about something! You fired a lot of itching powder around the room, especially in the bathroom.”
“Stop staring at the busty corpse, kid, and rescue me like the delicate damsel that I am!”
“Eh, he’ll figure things out when we get back.”