An "Evil Dead" Anecdote: "Return Policy"October 28 2015 at 9:00 PM
AN EVIL DEAD ANECDOTE: "RETURN POLICY"
Starring Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams
Morgan Freeman as Eldridge Stone
Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar
Emma Stone as Teri Tobacco
and Ginnifer Goodwin as Gretchen Halspont
To call the court case a "circus" would be an exaggeration. It was worse. Much, much worse.
For months, the drumbeat leading to the trial had built steadily, as lurid details emerged, sometimes contradictory but always gruesome.
The facts were well known. A young woman named Mia Allen had been lured to a remote cabin by her brother and circle of friends, hoping to perform an intervention and help her recover from
her heroin addiction. An addiction that had been preceded by years of personal turmoil, including her own mother being institutionalized.
By the end of that weekend, her brother and the others were all dead, and none of them intact. Not in the slightest. They had been mutilated in grotesque ways. And Mia emerged from the
woods covered in blood, acting shell-shocked, muttering incoherently about ancient demons and abominations.
The press, as they do, had a field day. Could this slight young woman, still in her early 20s, have committed such horrors? Wait, she was a heroin addict; had whoever sold her the drugs
come looking for revenge? Or did they stumble across some deranged redneck torture family, or meth-heads?
And what to make of the book found at the scene of the crime? It had been described as being filled with bizarre scribblings and what looked to be incantations, and bound in some sort of
leather that some speculated might be made of human flesh. It far predated the current terror, perhaps by centuries. But it had been sealed as state's evidence and had not been seen in
the year and a half since the crime scene was first examined.
But today, as a psychiatrist speculated about the possibilities of the defendant becoming unhinged, it was rumored to be about to make its big debut.
The book was called the Naturom Demonto, according to Mia in her rare moments of lucidity.
Mia was not in the court this day, for fear that she would be too hard to control while the discussion focused on that book. Could she have focused her mania on this tome, been
overwhelmed by speculation of what the twisted symbols in it meant, or used it to rationalize her mutilations of her brother and friends, claiming they had become demons? Did she believe
it was a book of evil magic, or was she pretending for the sake of a planned insanity defense?
That had been the source of the previous night's endless speculations on talk shows hosted by shrill cable news hosts, each trying to come up with some angle more twisted than the last.
But now the time was almost upon us for that day's proceedings to... well, proceed.
Toward the back of the courtroom, a woman in her mid-30s slid quietly into a seat among the spectators who had been lucky enough to win the lottery for that day's seats. That virtually
guaranteed them a moment of fame, as they could share with reporters and gawkers outside what had happened during that day's proceedings.
But this woman was nonplussed about the crowds she had pushed her way through to get in; in fact, she had such a calm demeanor it was hard to imagine she could ever express much emotion.
She was conservatively dressed, with dark brown hair worn in a short pixie cut and she had bright, perceptive eyes beneath hornrimmed 'hipster' glasses.
As the rules demanded, she had turned in her smartphone at the front desk before entering the courtroom.
She idly tapped the rim of her glasses, and imperceptibly muttered "I'm in."
A block away, her faint whisper rang out loudly over speakers in the back of a van. From the outside, the van was -- well, garish, an electric blue and purple monstrosity with a silver
unicorn rearing up on its hind legs painted across the side doors.
Inside, it looked more like a surveillance vehicle, filled with monitors, computer equipment and recording devices.
Two figures were hunched over the equipment, and through the monitors they saw the courtroom as if looking through the woman's glasses.
"Excellent, excellent," said one of the figures, an elderly black man with unkempt hair and pinstripe three-piece suit. This was Eldridge Stone, and he had spent a lifetime researching
things most people ignored, scoffed at, or considered sacriligious. Beside him, adjusting dials frenetically, was a very pretty young woman with thick eyebrows and hair dyed a
particularly gaudy shade of blue.
Eldridge Stone leaned close in on the monitor, squinting to make out details. "Gretchen, my dear, would you kindly turn about 30 degrees left?"
In the courtroom, the woman complied, her field of vision tilting slightly until we saw a table where the defense attorneys and a gaggle of professional types sat huddled, talking
intensely as they looked over some papers.
Eldridge frowned. "Teri, can you zoom in on those papers?"
"Not without bending lightwaves," the blue-haired woman said, trying not to sound too snarky but failing in the attempt.
Eldridge harrumphed. "Well, then, what good are you?"
"No damn good at all," Teri said with a grin. "But we can do this..."
She typed on a keyboard and another screen came up, this one with an angle looking upwards at one the defense attorneys as he talked excitedly.
"What are you--" Eldridge started.
"The attorney's phone is on the table in front of him," Teri said distractedly. "Tapping into his camera, and we can see..." She paused dramatically... "up his nose."
"Amusing, but..." Eldridge started.
"'Sumerian expert says these are just funeral incantations'," Teri said. Noticing Eldridge's raised eyebrow, she offered "lipreading. But he's not saying anything we don't already know."
Eldridge Stone's eyes narrowed. "That book is hardly 'just' funeral incantations," he grumbled. "Read the wrong one, and it will be a funeral for all of mankind."
Teri snorted. "Dun-dun-DUUUUN!!!" she proclaimed.
Eldridge smirked. "Young lady, you know perfectly well what we're facing here. Getting hold of that book is vitally im---" He trailed off, his eyes narrowing as he looked at the computer
monitors. He leaned in to the microphone.
"Gretchen pan your head to the right toward that bailiff," he said.
She complied, and the computer screen followed her point of view.
The bailiff stood there, shifting in place a bit impatiently. He was in his 50s, solidly built, lantern-jawed, one of his hands gloved...
"Ash Williams," Eldridge said in a low whisper.
Over the speaker, he heard Gretchen utter a barely-audible gasp of recognition.
Teri sat bolt upright. "What? Where? I've always wanted to meet him!" she exclaimed.
They watched this man for a long moment.
"I thought you told me he'd retired from this supernatural stuff," Teri said.
"I thought he had," Eldridge replied. "But perhaps he's investigating on his own. Perhaps he heard about the murder case and realized it was another Book of the Dead, like the
Necronomicon that caused us so much trouble about 15 years ago..."
Another bailiff came up and whispered in his ear. The second figure was a youthful Hispanic man, lanky with a thin mustache. Eldridge's eyes widened.
"Pablo?" he asked to himself.
In the courtroom, Gretchen watched intensely.
Over an earpiece, she heard Eldridge's incredulous response. "Who?" she asked, as quietly as possible.
Eldridge took a deep breath. "I believe that young man is Pablo Simon Bolivar, but I haven't seen him since he was a small child. His uncle is a Brujo - a Honduran shaman - I worked with
many years ago." He paused. "Gretchen, keep your eyes focused on the two of them. Teri, can you lipread anything they are saying?"
Teri's voice came over the earpiece. "'and once you grab the book, I will cast a spell of disorientation to stop them from following - are you listening to me, Mister Ash? What is it?
What is wrong?'..." Teri paused... "'That woman in the glasses... I think I recognize her...'"
Gretchen and Ash's eyes locked. Her eyes widened, and he raised a gloved finger to make a shushing motion.
Thirty seconds later, alarms rang out through the courthouse.
Ash Williams came barreling down a flight of stairs, book of the dead gripped in one hand, while behind him multicolored smoke billowed and swirled. He staggered through emergency doors
and out onto the sidewalk, spinning and narrowly avoiding losing his balance as he looked around. Locking his gaze on a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 across the street, he regained his
composure and started to stride purposefully towards it... when a garishly painted blue and purple van pulled into his path. The panel door slid open and a cute blue-haired girl leaned
out, motioning toward him. "Hurry, Ash!" she exclaimed.
"Do I know you?" he started, then looked back and saw security personnel beginning to race out of the courthouse, and jumped in. The van pulled away, tires screeching.
Ash looked around and saw Eldridge Stone at the wheel of the van. "Aw, man, you?" he said.
"Me," Eldridge said, reaching back and extending a hand.
They shook hands, then Ash looked around at the equipment in the van. "Wow, some setup you got here, old-timer," he said.
"We've been monitoring the events in the courthouse, waiting for a chance to gain possession of the Naturom Demonto," Eldridge said. "It seems we were not alone in this."
Ash scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah, I heard about that damn book on the news and put two and two together," he said. "Came up with a plan to snatch it, with help from my pal Pab-
hey, wait, I'm supposed to meet back up with Pablo at a coffee shop a few blocks from here."
"That may still work out," Teri said, motioning to a computer monitor. it showed Gretchen's point of view as she and the lanky bailiff quickly, efficiently, worked their way through the
crowd getting out of the smoke-filled building and toward the Oldsmobile.
Shortly afterward, the five people sat squeezed into a booth in a mostly-empty coffee shop.
Ash and Pablo had swapped out of their bailiff outfits for street clothes. Teri sat with her hands under her chin, gazing dreamily at Ash. And Gretchen stirred sugar into her coffee, took
a sip, then stirred in more. Eldridge sat at the head of the booth.
"Figured you'd be retired by now," Ash said as he jabbed his fork into a pile of scrambled eggs covered in hot sauce.
"No rest for the wicked, Mr. Williams," Eldridge said with a grin. "The forces of darkness are always... forceful."
"So this your whole team?" Ash asked, motioning to Gretchen and Teri.
"No," Eldridge replied. "I have a few other people I can call on as the mission demands."
"Shame we didn't get to carry out our plan to snatch the book," Gretchen said. "It was much more clever than 'grab the book and cause a distraction.'"
"I have no doubt, my lovely new friend," Pablo said agreeably. "But our plan had an advantage too, you see. It worked."
Gretchen's eyes flared momentarily.
Eldridge took a long, slow sip of his hot tea. "So what is your plan from here, Mr. Williams?"
Ash shrugged. "Mainly, I wanted to get hold of that book before it caused any more problems," he said. "You don't want some fool getting hold of it and unleashing Deadites on the general
"True," Eldridge said, taking another sip of tea.
Ash looked over at Teri's moony expression.
"I've heard so much about you over the years," Teri said, "but I didn't know you'd be so... rugged..."
"Sorry, kid, I'm old enough to be your pappy, and depending where you grew up I just might be," he said. "But Pablo, he's--" Ash looked over at Pablo, who was winking at a clearly-disinterested Gretchen. Ash elbowed his companion in the ribs.
Ash turned his attention back to Eldridge. "Main thing is, we find a way to get rid of this book before it causes any more mayhem."
Eldridge leaned back, glancing around to make sure no one was listening in on them.
"It's not a simple matter of burning a book like that one," he said. "It is bound through with evil, and we do not know if some of that could 'leak through'. Storage somewhere no one
could get hold of it would be best. My plan was, once we had liberated it from police custody, to take it to a friend of mine in the Himalayas and---"
Ash waved his gloved hand dismissively. "Ohhh, no, that's a one-way ticket to trouble," he said. "Something goes wrong and poof, you have Deadites possessing the bodies of Abominable
"So what's your genius idea this time?" Gretchen asked. "You gonna just keep it?"
Ash snorted. "Oh, hell no," he said. "You'd have to be a Class-A Bonehead to keep something like that lying around in your house. No, we've got a plan. But the fewer details we share, the
better off you'll be."
Shortly thereafter, Ash and Pablo stood in the parking lot watching the van drive off. Ash nodded at Eldridge Stone, who nodded back.
After a long moment, Pablo glanced at Ash.
"Did we have a plan for getting rid of the book? Because I don't remember a plan for---"
"We don't have a plan," Ash interrupted brusquely. "I just didn't want Professor Knowitall there to think we didn't have a plan."
"Which we don't have."
Pablo considered this. "But we've got the book, so it won't fall into the wrong hands."
Ash nodded. "Yeah, I'm about due for some good luck for a change."
"And you're going to keep it safe?"
"Of course I am," Ash said as he opened the driver's side door on the Oldsmobile. "What am I gonna do, get stoned and accidentally read a resurrection passage?"
"Yeah," Pablo said as he got into the passenger seat, "that would be a pretty stupid thing to do."
Ash cranked up the radio, playing Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'" as they peeled out of the parking lot.
| SFX: SLOW CLAP||The Wise One||Nov 3, 2015, 11:04 PM|
| yes, sick people enjoy my stories||Omar||Nov 4, 2015, 7:56 AM|
| Re: An "Evil Dead" Anecdote: "Return Policy"||Enargy||Dec 21, 2015, 8:43 PM|
| Yes, I have considered that||Omar||Jan 2, 2016, 2:35 PM|
| since they've announced plans for a Killer Klowns series||Omar||Mar 31, 2016, 8:09 AM|
| Re: An "Evil Dead" Anecdote: "Return Policy"||Nameless One||Jul 27, 2017, 4:48 PM|