The Rite of the Chainsaw
by Alan Mittag
The goblins flooded into by room like a green tide. They dragged me out from under the bed, lifted me over their heads, and carried me away.
Now I was here, tied to this chair in the basement below the stadium. The goblin riot seemed to have calmed down, but they were still angry. So angry. Hundreds of goblins were lined up to take the field for What Chainsaw?, expecting a glorious death in front of the blood bowl world. When the first two matches didn’t go as they planned, the little guys threw a fit far beyond Coach Sestonn’s ability to control.
They even wrote a letter to the MML Commissioner, demanding that their second week match with the Ogres be erased, so that they could play again, hoping the ogres would manage to splatter a couple of them across the pitch if they just had a second chance.
But days went by without a word from the Commissioner. I’ve been tied to this chair for two days. Surpringly, the goblins have been keeping me fed and in good health. I think they are just using me as a threat to get what they want, and that they don’t honestly intend me any harm. But they do keep me under constant guard.
Shroomage sat on his giant ball as he watched me eat the chicken wings they brought in for me, his little legs kicking at the air. When I finished the last of the wings, his little head cocked to the side.
“You like being strapped to chair?” Shroomage said.
“Of course not,” I said.
“Me either,” Shroomage said. “I hate that the most.”
“Maybe you could untie me?” I said. “I promise to behave.”
“No can do,” Shroomage said. Then his head cocked to the other side. He jumped down from his ball, reached in his pocket, and pulled out a spotted purple mushroom. “I was saving this to make a juice, but I could give it to you.”
I shook my head no. It looked poisonous.
“Mad Cap mushroom. It will make you strong. You could break ropes and be free.”
I shook my head, “I appreciate the thought but….” The little goblin shoved the mushroom in my mouth. The whole thing. And then he covered my mouth with his hand so I could not spit it out.
“Chew,” he said. “Chew and swallow.”
I struggled against him, but despite his tiny size, the goblin was so strong. I had no choice but to obey. I chewed. And then I swallowed.
Within seconds I could feel it working on me. The world was changing. So many bright colors, twisting and spinning around each other. I don’t know how long I sat there, admiring the colors. But eventually I stood up and stretched my arms. I felt great. The world was beautiful and I was part of it.
Shroomage was still there, but his ears were stretching longer and longer the more I watched them, eventually tying behind his back in a braid with a blend of red and purple flowers. “You feel better?” he said.
“I do,” I said as I stumbled out of the room and out into the hall. As I watched, flowers sprang up across the dungeon floor, a myriad of colors and shapes. “Everything is so beautiful. This is how the world really is? How come I could not see it before?”
From behind me, a heard another voice laugh. “He’s tripping balls.”
“I gave him mad cap.” Shroomage said.
“What if he goes crazy?” A third goblin said. Where were they all coming from? Then I saw two more step right out of the wall, pushing the flowers aside like a curtain of beads.
“It might be fun to watch.” Said another one, flowers burst forth from his mouth as he spoke, rising into the air like bubbles and popping when they hit the ceiling.
“Wow,” I said as I watched the flower bubbles.
“I have an idea,” some goblin said.
Suddenly I was spun around. Once. Twice. Maybe more. Maybe many more. I wobbled on my feet.
“Alan!” a goblin said. His voice in a panic. He coughed as I looked down at him, and a single petal shot out, drifting down to the floor. “ALAN!”
“What? What’s going on?” I said.
“ZOMBIES!” He turned and pointed down the hall. Zombies were coming. The flowers on the wall were gone. The happy swirling colors were gone. Blood soaked the walls. A dozen zombies meandered toward us, their arms outstretched. Their mouths open in a sorrowful scream.
“Oh my god!” I said. “Zombies!” I turned back to the little goblin. “What do we do?”
The goblin handed me a chainsaw with a red handle. “There’s only one thing you can do.”
I accepted the chainsaw. Its weight felt good in my hands, like it was made just for me. This was my calling. This was my purpose. I was here to save humanity. No, not just humanity. Everything. I was going to save everything.
“It’s us or them!” the little goblin shouted.
I understood. “I have to do this.” I said, revving up the saw.
There were more zombies now. Humans swirled around me, running from them as they screamed. Helpless. Human bodies littered the ground. Blood everywhere. Zombies were launching themselves at the humans as they tried to run away, eating them alive as they screamed.
I let out a scream of my own and charged down the hall, “You get away from them!” Chainsaw in hand, I hacked and slashed at zombie after zombie. The bodies twitched and came back to life, both human and zombie body alike. “Their heads!” I shouted through the screaming to the goblins that were fighting by my side. “You have to cut off their heads!”
Head after head I cut, and the zombies stopped twitching. I was right. But there were more. An endless number, and I was the savior of humanity. Only I could stop them. Only me, with this Chainsaw that had fallen from the heavens and chosen me to stop the apocalypse.
I fought my way out of the stadium. There was a line of zombies coming from the nearby town. That’s where this whole thing must have started! As I cut down another I yelled out to my companions, “Follow me. I know where they are all coming from!”