Horror and Thriller Fiction posted June 6, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
The untimely death of a poetic legend.

The Demise of Dean Kuch

by Thomas Bowling

Dr. Terry Fying's Crumbling Crypt Contest Winner 

“Welcome to another episode of Dean's Dungeon. Tonight, we will be visiting the scene of Dean's demise. This is a story of intrigue. It's a soul-stirring tale of murder. One of the greatest poets of our lifetime comes to a brutal, and tragic end.”

“How could we lose one so young? Cut down like a sapling, as it were, in the prime of life. So many of his writings have yet to be published. In one form or another, his spirit will live on, capturing the hearts of millions, long beyond his passing.”

“With the Passing of Dean Kuch, we lost a giant. We'll not see the likes of Dean again. The world is a sad place tonight. Join with me, as we bid farewell to our friend.”

The rattling of chains and howls of demons can be heard as the program begins.

“So, you're still among the living, I see. I must warn you, what you are about to witness is unlike anything you've seen before.”

More rattling chains and howls are heard.

“Welcome back. I'm glad to see that your heart is still safely in your chest, at least, you hope it is. Some people have been known to join the dead while watching. Maybe you're dead, and don't even realize it.”

Still more chains and howls. A Vincent Price voiceover is heard. "Welcome, boys and ghouls. Come in, if you dare, but be forewarned, some have entered through these doors, never to be seen again. Could this happen to you? Only time will tell, my friend. Only time will tell. Hahahahaha.”

Mr. Price continues.

“Meet Dean Kuch, as he once appeared. Soon, you will see him transformed into a terrible victim. Sadly, this ill-fated man has entered Dean's Dungeon. His life will never be the same again.

“Many, like Dean, have stepped into the dark unknown, never to be heard from again. You will see a man frightened, beyond his ability to comprehend the terror that surrounds him.

“You will see a man brought to the brink of sanity, and then pushed over the edge. For Dean Kuch has stepped into - Dean's Dungeon.”

There is heard the sound of a creaking door, as it slams shut.

“From the moment he stepped through the threshold, Dean Kuch's fate has been sealed, and he doesn't know it. Soon he will learn of the terror that awaits him but by then, it will be too late. He has already passed the point of no return.”

The program breaks for a commercial.

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A snappy tune plays. Young girls in mini skirts dance around the screen

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Program bump music starts, accompanied by the trademark rattling chains and demonic screams.

“I'm glad you stuck around for our story of woe. I wouldn't want to be Dean, and face what is about to befall him.”

We join a smiling Dean, as he walks along a grassy path in the park. Unknown to him, dark eyes are watching, following as he cheerfully makes his way through the woods.

The trees are full of chirping birds. The sky is a beautiful azure blue, with just a scattering of billowing, white clouds lazily drifting overhead. The waters of the lake are pristine, with a lovely complement of swans, swimming in a choreographed dance of pure perfection.

Dean looks around at his surroundings. He smiles broadly and begins to skip. He sings a happy tune of his own creation as he goes. He momentarily stops to feed an insisting squirrel.

“Hello, there, Mr. Peabody. How are you today? I didn't forget you. Let's see if Dean's got an extra peanut in his pocket." He reaches into his pocket and produces a treat.

“What do you know? It just so happens I found one. I wonder how that got in there. I guess somebody's watching out for Mr. Peabody. Here you go. Take this home, and share it with Mrs. Peabody.”

Life is good - so far, but unknown to Dean, danger lurks just around the corner. He doesn't know why, but an uneasy feeling comes over him. He almost whispers. “Mr. Peabody, do you want to walk with me?” But, Mr. Peabody is nowhere to be found.

Unexpectedly, darkness and a chill falls on the path. A few moments ago, there were children playing in the woods. Now, Dean finds himself alone in a cold, dark, strange place. His heart begins to beat faster, and he quickens his pace. An unknown dread fills his thoughts.

What's happening? he wonders. He assures himself that he must have missed the report of a solar eclipse, but wasn't there one just a month ago? No matter, there must be a logical explanation. Dean begins to jog. As he does, a pain shoots up his arm.

Oh, God, I'm having a heart attack. But it is nothing so dramatic.

Phyllis Stewart steps from behind a tree, holding a BB gun.

“Ha, I got you, scary man. Put that in one of your poems and smoke it. Who's got the last life now? Why did I say that? I meant the last laugh now?”

Dean falls to the ground in agony. Phyllis has mistakenly used one of the poison pellets she uses for shooting doves in her front yard.

Phyllis begins to panic and calls out, “Dean, Dean, are you alright? It was just a stupid joke. Stay with me, Dean. I'll call an ambulance.” Alas, it's too late.

Thus, ends the life of the greatest poet, since Edgar Allen Smith.

The sound of a creaking door and maniacal laughing can be heard.

“Thank you for joining us this evening. Survivors may exit through the front doors. I wouldn't go out the back if I were you.”

Dr. Terry Fying's Crumbling Crypt
Contest Winner


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