Part 1   Part 3

A soft clinking sound caused the Sheriff's head to stir. "Whazza?" he said drunkenly, still groggy from the mickey King had slipped in his drink.

"Silence, fool! The Master of Terror may hear us!"

Sam shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs from it. He saw the cowgirl, steadily striking at the manacles that held him in place. The tool she was using looked like an icepick, and as she dug into the lock, it made the same sound that woke him up.

"What are you doing?" asked the Sheriff in a stage whisper.

"Freeing you, dung-eating fool!"

"Oh sure, be cranky. I won't tell you the easy way to do it, then."

Lilith fixed him with an upraised brow that set off the coldness in her eyes perfectly.

"If I could, ye'd already be dead for that."

"If you don't, I already am. He left the keys on that table over there," the Sheriff said, indicating a small coffee table with his chin.

The cowgirl stalked to the table on the other side of the basement and squinted down at it. "These?" she asked, holding up a set of ancient looking keys.

"Yeah, that's it. Now get me the hell out of here!"

Lilith had almost made it across the room when they both heard the heavy footfalls of King's steps.

"Dammit!" she cried, drawing herself behind the shadows cast by the staircase and becoming perfectly still. The Sheriff glanced in her direction and could not make out the form of Lilith, although with that hat she should have been an obvious target.

"So, how's my little sacrifice?" jeered King, coming down the steps. "In just a few hours, the stars WHELP!--"

The Master tumbled down the stairs and landed in a crumpled heap of tangled limbs. Lilith ran from behind the staircase and shoved the key into the Sheriff's wrist bindings.

"Stupid woman," snarled King, dragging himself to a more graceful position. "You're gonna pay for that."

Lilith had managed to turn the key and unlock the right manacle before a black bolt of energy slammed into her and flung her across the room.

"Lil!" Sam cried, desperately working the key in the left hand manacle.

"So you think the Gunslinger Baroness is going to help you out of this one? Uh-uh!" King said, more crackling energy forming between his fingertips.

The blast came at the same instant the Sheriff felt the click in his handcuff, and he spun/dropped to the ground, feeling the electric energy whiz through the air and making the hair on his scalp do some jumping jacks.

The Master growled, a low, animal sound, and pounced on the prone Sheriff. Sam swung up blindly, feeling his fist connect with something fleshy and solid. King made a sound like a deflated balloon and dropped, holding his gut.

Not sparing a second, the Sheriff was on his feet and diving across the dungeon for his Magnum .44 that was on the coffee table. King roared again and let loose with another blast that missed widely, smashing into the wall and breaking little chunks of stone loose.

Sam's hand fell around the familiar grip of his revolver, and he rolled over to his back, gun aimed straight into the face of King. At his side, he could see that Lilith had recovered and was holding both of her pistols out at King. The Sheriff tossed a smile to her, which she promptly ignored.

King began to chuckle annoyingly. "Well, kids, what do we have here? A good old fashioned Mexican standoff." He held his hands up, palms out, and the tendrils of dark electricity were gone.

"Hate to run so soon," Sam said, climbing to his feet and holding a hand out to Lilith, which she swatted away.

"Not a problem," King said cordially. "But first, you need to see my pets."

With that, he snapped his fingers, and what seemed to be a brown tide flowed out from behind the staircase. It took Sam a moment to realize the undulating mass was a whole swarm of cockroaches.

"Oh ha-ha, Uncle Stevie. I saw Creepshow a dozen times, and that was one of the dumbest bits. Why not use the zombies? At least they're unstoppable."

King grinned at them, a smile that sent chills down the stout Sheriff's spine. "No, you don't understand. These roaches were bred in the Amazon. The locals call them Pirahna Bugs."

The Master of Terror held out a pack of hotdogs and dropped them into the pile. The Sheriff blinked as the cockroaches went into a feeding frenzy, climbing over each other to get a piece of the weiners. In the span of ten seconds, any trace of the hotdogs were gone.

"So, if you insist on leaving, at least give my pets a goodbye present," the evil King said to the intrepid pair, as the disgusting brown legion came at them.

"Any ideas?" Sheriff Sam asked his companion, keeping his gun trained at the horde.

"Aye. Make your peace with God."

The Sheriff really didn't like the sound of that.

Part 1   Part 3   Email the Sheriff