"WAIT 'TIL ZILLA COMES!" by batboy
That ol' cave on the west side of Spooky Hill is well known, but not visited much anymore. Campfire tales say 'tis haunted. The entrance is 'bout doorway size, but then opens up right away into a cabin sized room. Past the entrance chamber, an eerie, dank passage snakes its way deep underneath the hill. Nobody with a lick of sense ever goes beyond the entrance room 'cept maybe a few of them weird spelunkers. Years ago, some ol' fool hermit supposedly lived in that there cave one winter. Rumor has it that livin' there done drove him crazy as a loon.
Some fellah named A.S. Swipe had one of them newfangled motorbikes and used to love ridin' through the hills and woods on it. He was all the time scarin' the little critters and tearin' up the whole countryside on that noisy contraption. Late one day, the blasted thing finally broke down. Swipe was madder than a wet hen 'cause now he had to hoof it all the way back to town.
He decided to take a short cut home, so off through the woods he went. Goin' over Spooky Hill he noticed the sky suddenly gettin' dark and mean lookin' clouds movin' in. Big storm comin' for sure. Better spend the night in that ol' cave. Sure he'd heard 'twas haunted, but shucks, no such thing as ghosts. Inside he went, just as the first rain drops fell.
Slowly his eyes got used to the gloom. A little bit of light still filtered in from the entrance, but it would be night all too soon. Somebody had made a fire ring out of chunks of limestone and enough old wood piled to one side to build a fire. Soon the cave room seemed much more friendly with a nice little fire burnin' away the dark and cold. Shadows danced on the cave walls from the flickerin' flames. Lookin' around, Swipe saw a stalactite within reach, so like an idiot, he broke it off for a souvenir. Shouldn't of done that. Next, the fool scratched his initials into the cave wall.
Hey, dang the luck, what's this? An ol' rickety wooden camp stool and an ol' dusty book. He soon settled down next to the fire and began readin'. Meanwhile, the wind outside was blowin' and the rain was pourin'. Swipe heard a little noise and looked up. What's that at the edge of the firelight? Oh, just a small cave salamander. He went on readin' all nice and cozy. The storm went on stormin'. He heard another noise. What? A bigger salamander crawled up joinin' the first and asked, "Whacha wanna do with 'im?"
"Wait 'til Zilla comes," the little one answered! That's kind of odd thought Swipe, could of sworn I heard them little guys talkin'. He shook his head and soon went back to readin'. Pretty soon he heard another unusual noise. Lookin' up this time, he saw a salamander the size of a cat sittin' beside the other two.
"Whacha wanna do with 'im?"
"Wait 'til Zilla comes!"
"Must be hearin' things," Swipe muttered. "Salamanders can't talk". Now he was a bit nervous, but eventually went right on readin' that ol' book. By and by he heard that same peculiar noise again. This time a salamander as big as a dog had joined the other three subterranean amphibians.
"Whacha wanna do with 'im?" The bigger one croaked much louder and deeper than the other smaller salamanders.
"Wait 'til Zilla comes," was the reply!
Can't be real, Swipe thought. Must be dreamin'. A bead of cold sweat trickled down the middle of his back. His feet started feelin' clammy and his throat turned real dry. Pretendin' to read, he went back to the book. He casually glanced up. Eight glowing salamander eyes stared back at him unblinkingly.
The fire was dyin' down to coals, but he was too scared to move. Outside, the rain kept rainin' and 'twas the only sound 'cept the howlin' wind. The minutes crept by. One page was read and reread without actually being read.
After what seemed like an eternity, a louder slitherin' noise reached Swipe's ears. The book he was holdin' started shakin'. A fifth cave salamander 'bout the size of a calf crawled up and got in line with the rest of 'em.
"Whacha wanna do with 'im?" bellowed the newcomer.
"Wait 'til Zilla comes," answered the others!
Fast as lightnin', the terrified man leapt to his feet which knocked the stool straight over backwards with a loud crash while the book he'd been readin' fell unnoticed to the ground with a thud. Quick as a wink, he bolted out the cave entrance. As Swipe sprinted off into the stormy, dark night he yelled back over his shoulder, "Tell Zilla I couldn't wait!"
[This message has been edited by batboy (edited 06-08-2000).]