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  • Writer's picturemarikenney

Horror and Jesus: 99

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Over a year ago, I wrote a book. Since then, I haven't done much with the story, so I thought I would start uploading each chapter to motivate me to edit and get the story how I want it to be.


The story is a horror filled love letter to youth lock-ins. If you are not familiar with a youth lock-in, it is exactly what it sounds like. Churches would lock their youth members in the church over night for times of fellowship and fun.


In reality, not a lot of fun was to be had. In one youth lock-in, the youth pastor thought it would be fun to have an eating contest. Youth members would have to run up to paper bags and pull out food and eat whatever they pulled out.


One unlucky member pulled out a can of cow brains in milk. That was fun watching a high schooler try not to vomit everywhere. That's what Jesus would have wanted.

So, I present you Chapter 1 of Jesus Lock-In Massacre: 99'

_________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 1

“Man, fuck this place.”

Mikey Bosarge’s strained voice ricocheted through the massive, empty parking lot of the Gulf Coast Restoration Church. Mikey wished his voice would carry forever, so everyone in this stupid town could hear, but for Mikey - his message died as soon as it hit the thick DaSato Forest surrounding the church.

Mikey craned his neck up to take in the full form of the red-brick goliath that stands tall even in the towering, thick trees. “A light on the hill”, Lead Pastor Frankie Willis calls it, but what Mikey and his friend Stevie calls “a hella big turd on the hill”.

Mikey pulled his lips into a tight grimace and turned back to his open backpack sitting on the clean, damp church parking lot. He couldn’t waste anymore time. Mikey swiftly crouched over his bag, zipping it open, and as if they were soldiers, began to line spray paint cans on the dark asphalt.

SNAP

Mikey jumped awkwardly to his feet, knocking over a spray can soldier in the process. He turned to the sound, but didn't move any closer to the forest. Mikey’s brother had warned him about all the weird stuff that went down in the woods. Even though Mikey knew his brother was a liar, he still didn’t want to take any chances. Mikey scanned the darkness for any movement.

Mikey's gaze shifted to see Stevie’s silver Lexus whip into an empty handicap parking space. The door to the Lexus swung open revealing the wiry frame of Stevie Dunn. Stevie or his full Christian name, Stephen Kenich Dunn Jr., named after his father “Big” Stevie Dunn of Coast 103.8 fame. “Big” Stevie Dunn had become the voice of conservative political radio in the early 80s and then opened a chain of mattress stores in the mid-90s, so Stevie never had to worry about money.

Mikey and Stevie were the founding members of the LBC Losers Club. The night they created the LBC Losers, Mikey and Stevie were hanging out in Stevie’s dad’s garage, smoking a joint made from “the best green around” which in reality was just oregano and mint. Mikey had found the “weed” in his brother's porn chest. Mikey wasn't the only Bosarge boy fooled by fake weed.

As Stevie and Mikey got hella blazed, their discussions moved to their boredom with life and their mother-freaking weird-ass families. Both Stevie and Mikey had grown up as Southern Royalty and had every reason to be bored. Life can be tedious when there aren't too many obstacles getting in the way. And in a small town like this, these boys got away with everything


Last year, the LBC Losers recruited Richard Cuevas, a harmless kid, who many older women in Long Beach called “a little touched”, so Mikey and Stevie knew Richard would make for a great recruit. On Richard's first and only night as an LBC Loser, Mikey and Stevie convinced him to help them place a Port-O-John on the railroad tracks at a major intersection in town. Richard was easily convinced. Mikey and Stevie got away with it, of course, but poor Richard, being 18, would be serving in the Harrison County Correctional Facility well after Stevie and Mikey graduated from Ole Miss.

If they made it to graduation.

From behind Stevie, coming from the woods, was who Mikey recognized as Jacob “Holier Than Thou” Maloney, followed by some middle schooler Mikey didn’t recognize wearing an oversized hoodie. Stevie waved a greeting towards the two boys.

Mikey grimaced.

“What the hell, dude?” He spat out, waved his hand wildly in the air, like the spoiled child he was. “Mr. Jesus Saves?” Mikey continued. “That’s who you recruited?” He poked.

Stevie turned to Jacob and the hoodied middle schooler and rushed out “One sec”, as he jogged towards Mikey. Jacob and the nameless kid obliged; and Stevie, knowing that Mikey was just going to be a little bitch about all this, put on an easy-going smile and spoke first.

“Man, I know. I know, but come on...Jacob wants to join. He basically chased me down at the Winn Dixie this morning and said some hella crazy shit about ‘seeing the truth’, or whatever, and I thought, hey..why not? He’d make for a good fall guy. Think about it? Youth Grouper goes crazy? And he wouldn’t even get into a lot of trouble. He can say that he was, like, hella blinded by the Devil, or whatever.”

Mikey studied Jacob and the hoodied middle schooler. Mikey had imagined punching Jacob in the face numerous times. He never told anyone this, because Jacob - for whatever reason - was loved by the majority of the town. He was just a good little Christian kid. He volunteered. He fed the homeless. He saved dying animals. He led the Worship Band. And worst of all, he loved Christ - a lot. And now, by the looks of it, Jacob was also a babysitter

Mikey scowled and then asked, “What about that small one? Who is he?”

“Brent? No..wait..Braxton? Bart? B..something. I wasn’t listening.” Stevie offered, swatting away two love bugs entwined together, “Freakin’ love bugs.” He spat out.

“Isn’t he a little young?” Mikey questioned - shooting a glance at the kid.

“Huh?” Stevie swatted at another pair of love bugs, killing them and wiping the remnants on his jeans.

“I think it’s hella weird that these bugs just bone down everywhere, like they don’t even care about privacy. I don’t know why the universe created something as weird as lovebugs. I mean, I get it. Like love bugs can be sweet. Two lovers entwined for eternity -”

“Stop.” Mikey interrupted. “Who’s the kid?” He continued.

“Oh, yeah,” Stevie, unfazed by the interruption, continued, “Jacob said that the kid was like his little brother, but not like his real little brother, like Jacob volunteered because the kid comes from a hella messed up situation or something.” Stevie answered.

“But why did they come from the woods? That’s strange, man.” Mikey asked, crossing his arms tightly over his chest.

“I don’t know dude. Maybe they’re, like, boy scouts or something?” Stevie shrugged his shoulders.

“That’s weird, right? Him and this kid, just chilling in the woods together?” Mikey asked - eyebrows squeezing together.

“Sure. I guess. But stop bugging man. We’ll keep an eye on them and if it turns weird, we’ll beat the hell out of Jacob. And then dip. Deal?” Stevie offered with a cheshire grin.

“Huh.” Mikey imagined his fist bursting through Jacob’s perfect little face. He smiled. “Deal.” Mikey turned towards Jacob and the kid, “Come over here!”

Jacob and the kid walked towards Mikey and Stevie. As they moved, Mikey noticed how odd the middle schooler looked. Not only was the kid wearing a hoodie in the middle of the summer, but the way he was carrying himself seemed off - as if there was something bigger hiding under the hoodie - wanting to get out. But as Jacob and the kid got closer, what Mikey found more unsettling than the kid’s form was Jacob's hand firmly planted on the kid’s shoulder.

Mikey shuddered.

“Howdy, Brother. Are you ready for tonight?” Jacob removed his hand from the hoodie and held it out towards Mikey. Jacob wore an unnatural smile. Mikey stepped back, laughing dismissively.

“Okay...whatever...Just follow us.” Mikey waved his meaty hand towards Jacob and the kid. Jacob smiled, placed his hand on the kid’s shoulder, and followed close behind.

“What’s up with Jacob?” Mikey whispered to Stevie, keeping one eye focused on Jacob’s wide smile and the hoodied kid.

“I don’t know, dude. Nothing? I mean, he’s just hella intense.” Stevie answered, noticing Mikey’s scrunched up piggy expression.

Stevie fought back a laugh, but offered, “Don’t worry. They ain’t wearing trench coats. We should be fine.”

Mikey’s face relaxed.

“Yeah. You’re right, dude.” He turned to Jacob and Jacob's odd little companion.

“We got to do this fast, mmkay? The security guard only takes a forty-five minute break.” Mikey barked, chin jutting out - a sneer painted on his pudgy face.

“Take your weapons.” Mikey directed. Stevie - a goofy grin on his - saluted Mikey. He grabbed a can and jogged with a purpose to a spot of open red brick wall. He dramatically extended his hands open.

“Be my muse.” He cried to the wall. He picked up the paint can -

POP

Opened it.

SHHHHH -

and started tagging the phrase: ``LBC Loserz wuz here 1999”.

“Here.” Jacob held out the can to the hoodied kid who took it and held it in front of his hoodie opening - inspecting the can.

“Is he dumb or something?” Mikey called over.

Jacob and the opened hoodie hole flip their attention to Mikey. Mikey swore he heard a low hiss coming from the middle schooler.

“Hahaha! Funny. You’re funny.” Jacob answered - sincerely. “Thanks for inviting us.” He threw up a thumbs up and an even larger smile.

"Whatever, losers!" Mikey called out to the two. The hoodie - with a grunt - advanced towards Mikey. Jacob pulled him back, before he could get too close.

"It was a joke. Jeez." Mikey spat out. “You keep your little buddy back.” Mikey watched as Jacob dragged the hoodie back to the open wall. Mikey, in the light, swore he saw a dark stain form just under the opening of the kid’s hoodie.

“Is he drooling?’ Mikey mumbled under his breath. Mikey shuffled his focus back towards Stevie.

“You think that kid is okay?” Mikey asked, narrowing his eyes.

“Huh?” Stevie responded. His hands danced widely over the clean, red brick - envisioning his next masterpiece.

“The kid. Do you think he’s okay?” Mikey asked - raising his voice to knock Stevie out of his haze.

“Sure.” Stevie answered - keeping his eyes firmly on the clean, brick.

Mikey turned back to see Jacob holding the can out to the kid.

“Take the can. Shake it.” Jacob exaggerated every movement. He vigorously shook the can in his right hand - very familiar with the movement.

POP

He pulled off the top.

“You pop off the top and then you --” Jacob turned the spray can towards the wall and marked it with a dark black line. The hoodie peered up at the wall - seemingly, unimpressed. And swiftly, turned back to Mikey.

“What the hell?” Mikey mumbled. He turned to Stevie. "Dude? Did you -"

"Man, chill out." Stevie's hand hovered over his almost finished masterpiece. "Everything will be cool. Just go and tag some bricks - and be cool."

"But -" Mikey started.

"Be cool." Stevie finished.

Mikey - knowing he couldn't fight with Stevie - turned his focus back to the wall in front of him. He opened the can - ready to spray - when a shiver crawled up his body and gripped his neck. He turned back to Jacob and the kid, finding Jacob leading the kid towards the back of the church, further away from Stevie and Mikey. As he watched the pair go, Mikey felt, for the first time in his life, that maybe something bad was actually going to happen tonight.

******************************************************************************

“You know this used to be like protected land. But Pastor Willis came along and was like, naw man. I’m gonna tear this shit up. And you know what’s messed up about this whole thing? They didn’t even need to build this church. Can you believe that nonsense? The old church was only like ten or fifteen years old, or whatever. Like. It was fine - I guess it didn’t have enough parking spots, but whatever? Carpool. Like damn. It’s not that hard. But now it’s a movie theater, I think? Which, dope. But movies aren’t as important as…like, nature. Man, we humans suck.” Stevie waxed poetically as he waved the spray paint can to finish the phrase, “HAIL SATIN”, on the left-winger red brick walls. He slid further down the wall and started painting a comically large yet anatomically correct penis.

“But, Mariah, that goth chick who graduated like last year, I think?,” He continued, “It's technically her family's land. But the Pastor is like some sort of antichrist capitalist pig, man. Like fuck like the earth, cause Jesus is gonna come back and destroy it anyway. You know, I bet if you looked in the dumpster you would find so many Coke rings not even cut up, because fish are like worthless right? Since Jesus can multiply them. Like dude. Think about it.” He finished the monologue by smashing his hand hard against the brick wall. “Got you.” He wiped the remnants of yet another lovebug couple on his pants - now littered with the carcasses of lost lovers.

Mikey ignored him - his mind on what Jacob and that kid could be up to. They had been tagging for at least thirty minutes, and would need to leave soon. Mikey knew it would be easier just to leave them behind, but he felt odd about leaving Jacob alone with the kid.

“Did you see where they went?” Mikey barked at Stevie. Stevie, eyes locked on his masterpiece, answered back “Who...oh. The kid and Jacob? Nope.”

“Great. Thanks.” Mikey called back, flipping Stevie off. Stevie, without missing a beat or moving his head, held up his right hand, flipping the bird right back.

“I’m gonna go find them.” Mikey called back.

“Cool.” Stevie continued, thankful for the silence.

Mikey’s eyes squint trying to correct themselves to the dark. His eyes scanned the clean, red brick wall of the church as an edge of black entered his view.

“Huh. Not bad.” He whispered.

Black symbols littered the once clean, crimson brick wall. Mikey recognized the symbols from the Marilyn Mason CD his brother kept hidden in his weed chest. His brother kept the CD hidden, because his mother didn’t want the devil in her home.

“Cool.” He lifted a pudgy hand up to the wall and wiped two fingers across the wall catching an unseen protruding brick piece. The sharp brick sliced into his middle finger, splattering blood on the strange symbols.

“Frek!” Mikey shoved his bleeding finger into his mouth. His eyes caught the red glare of his blood on the church wall.

“Niceth.” He forced out, finger still in his mouth. Mikey leaned closer to inspect his handy work. But as he inched closer to the blood - it began to shake, quiver and dance closer and closer to each other. Mikey removed the wounded finger from his mouth and leaned closer to watch the show.

“What in the …” Mikey trailed off watching as his blood joined together in a small, dancing red puddle. Mikey raised his unharmed hand towards the blood pool. He cocked his head, blinking rapidly, hoping that this was just a trick - a trick of the light.

“You sure no one will see us?'' A voice danced through the darkness, pulling Mikey’s focus away from the crimson plash.

“Jacob?” Mikey whispered and turned to the sound. Mikey marched towards the back of the church, tightening his shoulders, and organizing his thoughts, getting ready for whatever he might find.

“Please let me get to punch him.” Mikey muttered to himself. He really wanted to punch Jacob, and what better reason than messing around with a kid. Mikey reached the edge of the treeline to see Jacob kneeling before the kid.

“What the…'' Mikey inched closer, trying to get a clearer picture before making his move. He watched as the hoodied kid picked up a hand and placed it on Jacob’s head.

“STOP!” Mikey rushed towards Jacob and the kid. He grabbed Jacob by the back of his perfectly manicured hair and threw him to the ground. The child retreated just to the edge of the darkness.

“What is wrong with you, Maloney?!?” Mikey advanced upon a cowering Jacob.

“It’s not what you think.” Jacob answered, rubbing the back of his head. “Why’d you have to pull my hair?” Jacob’s drawl squeaked out.

“Shut up, dude. I’m calling the cops.” Mikey turned to leave, but hesitated, turning back to the kid hidden at the tree line of the woods.

“Hey kid, come on. Let me get you out of here.” Mikey leaned towards the hoodied figure. As Mikey got closer, a stench filled his nose. He gagged and pulled back.

“Watch out, Mikey. You’re upsetting him.” Jacob’s eyes dart to the small figure of the middle schooler.

“I think you’re the one upsetting him. Look at him.” Mikey pointed towards the kid, who stood with a warm, viscous drool dribbling down the hoodie.

“Dude, that’s messed up!?” Mikey pulled back. “What’s wrong with him, man?” Mikey turned to Jacob - eyes alive with fear and disgust.

“Just leave him alone, Mikey.” Jacob responded, calmly. Jacob had to remain calm. He had to remain calm so the evil could get what it wanted.

“Leave him alone? You’re the one who’s hanging out with some weird-ass inbred kid in the dark.” Mikey chortled out, trying to hide the fear in his voice.

“He’s not a kid.” Jacob retorted. “I was getting him ready.” He continued.

“I knew there was something wrong with you. Jacob Holier Than Thou - a freaking pervert.” Mikey held out his wounded hand to the child- forgetting about his cut. “Come on. Let’s get you out of here.”

“You’re not going anywhere.” a sing-songy - voice teased.

Mikey tensed.

“What was that? Come on, kid, let's get out of here.” Mikey’s voice strained, no longer trying to hide his fear. His eyes now on Jacob - hand still outstretched to the hoodied child - Jacob looked disappointed in a way.

“Ow!” Sharp, quick pain shot through Mikey’s hand. He held his hand up, where his middle finger once was, now blood spurted from his palm, middle finger gone, replaced with ripped skin and a jagged piece of bone. The kid drooled out a dark pink froth, chewing something under his dark hoodie.

“Wa--”

The thing pounced, teeth landing in the soft flesh of Mikey’s neck. In one swift bite, Mikey’s head bounced off the clean church lawn, as Mikey’s neck spouted out thick, red, blood - like a horrific waterfall down his shirt and pooling on the well manicured church lawn.

Jacob’s breath intensified and his pupils dilated as he watched Mikey’s body convulse and fall to the ground. His heart pounded against his ribcage. The pounding traveled up to his head - beating against the part of Jacob that could stop this.

Mikey’s body lurched one final - violent time.

"Wow." Jacob gasped.

“Dude?” Stevie’s voice shook through the night.

The nameless kid looked up from the puddle of Mikey’s body and locked the hoodie hole on Stevie.

“I’m out.” Stevie screamed. Like a flash, he galloped towards his Lexus.

"Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit." Stevie uttered between sprints. He didn't dare look back. He didn't want to see. Stevie's lungs burnt and his body ached, but he was still sprinting. Still making his way towards the --

THWOMP

Stevie’s legs fell out from under him and before he could regain himself, the evil thing was on him. The evil thing’s black teeth dug into Stevie’s throat. They ripped and shredded through tendons and veins - as large bursts of dark, red blood and phlegm spewed out. Jacob stood in awe as the kid ripped Stevie’s arm from his torso with a sick, wet snap.

Something inside of Jacob pulled him - he turned his gaze - gasping for breath. He turned towards the back of the church and as he reached the edge of light, he flopped down on his knees to the grass. He held his hands up to pray.

“Abba Father, if I am wrong. Please, please. Just stop me.” Jacob kept his eyes tightly shut - thin lips pressed firmly together. He waited. Listening for God’s answer.

“If you’re real, if you really love everyone on this earth. You’ll stop me. Okay - in Jesus’s name - amen.”

“Hey - Oh my god!” A voice boomed through the parking lot.

Jacob had forgotten about the Security Guard.

Maybe this was God? Maybe God had sent the Security Guard to stop this?

Jacob stood to his feet and moved towards the man.

“Sir!” His voice cracked through the darkness. A flashlight landed on Jacob - who stood shoulders hunched - scratches and blood on him.

“Jacob? Jacob is that you? Oh my god, what happened?” The Security Guard kept the flashlight trained on him - even though the lighting around the church was strong enough to erase any star light.

Jacob opened his mouth to speak, but he’s overwhelmed. God had stopped him. Tears began to fall down his cheek.

“Thank you.” Jacob replied through sobs. He knew he wasn’t ready for this. This wasn’t right. It couldn’t be right. And God was actually answering his prayers. He had waited so long. Prayed so hard. Now, finally God would show Himself. God would save him.

“Whose that?” The Security Guard moved his flashlight on the hoodied figure advancing towards the two - from the darkness of the woods.

“Oh no.” Jacob whispered. He turned his eyes towards the security guard - red and swollen with tears. “I’m so sorry.”

“What?” The Security Guard kept his light trained on the hoodied evil, but eyes trained on the shivering frame of Jacob.

“What’s going –”

The thing jumped on top of the Security Guard, landing on his shoulders and jamming two of his long-black nails into the Security Guard's eyes. Jacob turned away - but heard the loud angry growl from the thing. Jacob turned and watched. The Security Guard thrashed and tried to fight, but much like the others - his fight was futile. The thing yelled as he pulled his hand up - pulling the top part of the Security Guard’s head off - like a grotesque champagne bottle - splattering parts of him all over the well-loved church lawn. The Security Guard’s limp body fell to the grass. The evil thing moved towards Jacob - cocking its head - confused by Jacob’s bleary, sad eyes. The thing pulled up a blood - gore-covered claw and wiped away a tear and pulled the finger up to his mouth - suckling on it like a baby.

Jacob shuddered.

“Do not fear.” It growled out. Jacob wished the thing had kept its original -sweet voice that called out to Jacob - lured him in.

“I won’t.” Jacob shook out.

The thing held out a hand to Jacob. Jacob looked up at the creature’s claws -pieces of Mikey, Stevie and the Security Guard sloshed off each finger.

Jacob hesitated - waiting for God.

But no help arrived.

God had made his choice. So had Jacob.

Jacob took the evil thing's hand - smearing Jacob’s hand with the blood of its victims. Jacobs stood, looking at his new savior.

“More?” It growled. Jacob sighed. He couldn’t fight this evil anymore. Might as well go along with it.

Jacob pointed to the large, bright church sign standing at the front of the church : “TOMORROW NIGHT GULF COAST RESTORATION CHURCH SUMMER 99’ YOUTH LOCK-IN”

The evil thing smiled.


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