Pigskin spotted the Houston Hogs Coach on the other end of the football field and charged straight for him.
‘Here we go!’ said Jack. ‘Everyone take off your football uniforms and enter the Zone!’
Sam took off her football uniform. ‘Zone: Winter!’ Her skin turned to ice.
The rest of the Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts took off their football uniforms and entered the Zone too.
The death row prisoners turned on the charging Pigskin. These were the worst serial killers that Dominguez State Jail had to offer. Puck was sure they’d at least be able to get some good hits in. All eleven of them tackled him at once. A blur of motion, Pigskin slit the prisoners’ throats with his warthog tusks.
Puck shrugged. Guess they weren’t so tough after all.
Commotion from the audience to the left.
An army of slashers was cutting their way through the reporters and camera operators to get to the football field.
Wait a minute. Where they wearing sports gear? Puck squinted: the Golfer, the Fencer, the Kendoka…. She slapped her forehead.
‘What’s going on?’ said Mezu.
Puck sighed. ‘I know these hosers. They’re the Sportsmen.’
‘How do you know them?’
‘I sort of, kind of, maybe used to be in their slasher gang. Don’t judge me, Mezu. I was young, dumb, and needed validation.’
Sam sniggered behind her.
The Batter, the boss of the Sportsmen, raised a baseball bat filled with razors at Pigskin. ‘You’ve hogged the sports-themed slasher spotlight for too long, Pigskin! It’s time for the Sportsmen to shine!’
The Sportsmen reached the football field and rushed Pigskin.
Commotion from the audience to the right.
An army of Tommy Gun-toting suits were shooting their way through the reporters and camera operators to get to the football field.
Did she know these guys? Puck squinted: Giorgio ‘Gorgeous George’ Basciano, Nicholas ‘the Nose’ Mancuso, Vincent ‘the Vinyl Collector’ Badalamenti….
Puck turned on Sam. ‘Mountie, did you skimp on wiping out your share of the American Mafia?!’
Sam looked down and shuffled her feet. ‘I killed a thousand of them to get my Zone Special, but then the Don’s mom made me lasagne in the restaurant while I was waiting to assassinate the rest.’ She raised her head, her eyes shining. ‘But I did leave a scary “Pay your income taxes” message on the check to throw them off! I wrote it in lasagne sauce so it looked like blood!’
Puck, Jack, and Mezu slapped their foreheads.
Joe Spaghetti, the Don of the Spaghetti Crime Family, pointed his Tommy Gun at Pigskin. ‘You slasher freaks want to go to war with La Cosa Nostra?! Okay! You’ve just brought a knife to a gunfight!’
The Spaghetti Crime Family reached the football field and rushed Pigskin.
Pigskin looked like he was struggling under the dogpile of blades and bullets for a moment. Then his eyes flashed orange, and his skin turned to magma veined with lava. He threw up his arms and sent the Sportsmen and the Spaghetti Crime Family flying off him. Dozens of men fell to the grass screaming, burning, and melting.
Pigskin had entered the Zone.
‘Sam, you’re up!’ said Jack.
Sam walked to the front of the group and knelt down. Her arsenal of guns burst out from her back. ‘Y’know, I’ve always wondered why in fiction about people with superpowers, they never also use high-tech weapons and armour to make themselves even more powerful.’ She grinned. ‘He who dares wins!’
She blitzed Pigskin with her arsenal of guns, anti-materiel sniper rifle, minigun, rocket launcher, and all the rest firing in tandem until the last of her bullet casings sprinkled to the grass.
Pigskin fell to his knees.
Sam quickly grabbed a pair of hatchets from the holsters on her hips. ‘Zone Technique: Whirlwind!’ She threw the windy hatchets at Pigskin.
Pigskin keeled over.
Then he got back up and charged.
Puck scoffed. ‘Oh, yeah, Mountie, you’re a super soldier alright! Think you broke a whole nail there!’
Sam waddled to the back of the group with tears in her eyes. ‘Shut up. I tried. You’re a bully.’
‘Warhead,’ said Jack, ‘you’re up!’
Warhead pressed a button on the side of his ballistic missile helmet and rocketed towards Pigskin. ‘I’m going to blooow!’
He exploded on impact and knocked Pigskin off his feet.
Then Pigskin got back up and charged.
So long, Warhead. We hardly knew ye…you lunatic.
‘Aztec, Hawaiian,’ said Jack ‘you’re up!’
Yes! No more playing around! Now we’re going to do some real damage!
The Aztec and the Hawaiian powered their stone-edged wooden sword and a shark tooth-edged wooden sword with miniature suns and sharks. Then they dashed at Pigskin, slashed him, and jumped back.
A crippling hit-and-run!
Pigskin lunged forwards and smashed their heads together.
Sam blinked. ‘Wh-what?’
‘D-don’t panic!’ said Jack, ‘They must have just got careless! Mantis, Jellyfish, you’re up!’
Mantis crossed his chain sickles. ‘Zone Technique: Mantis Legs!’
Jellyfish crossed her multi-headed steel whips. ‘Zone Technique: Jellyfish Tentacles!’
With their giant praying mantis and giant jellyfish Spirit Beasts mimicking their movements behind them, they slashed at Pigskin from afar.
Pigskin grabbed the chain sickles and multi-headed steel whips, pulled Mantis and Jellyfish towards him, and impaled them on his warthog tusks.
Puck began to shake.
Pigskin threw the bodies off and chraged.
Jack looked with wide eyes at the Plague Doctor and Nurse Lovejoy. ‘I….’
The Plague Doctor patted Jack on the back. ‘It’s alright, old bean. All men of medicine set out to cure all maladies within their lifetime, and all men of medicine so far have failed, but we get a little closer to success each time.’ He turned to Nurse Lovejoy. ‘Shall we dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight, my little aardvark?’
Nurse Lovejoy clasped her hands together. ‘Oh, let’s!’
The Plague Doctor held up his poison syringes. ‘Zone Technique: Toxic Toxin!’
Nurse Lovejoy held up her bone saw. ‘Zone Technique: Bloody Valentine!’
They started exuding poison gas and a bloody mist. They dashed at Pigskin and slashed him.
In two quick movements, Pigskin kicked their heads off.
Puck’s legs gave way. She fell on her behind. ‘Help! Police! There’s a slasher on the loose!’
‘Puck!’ Jack pulled her up. ‘You’re up! Use you’re Zone Special!’
‘Oh, right!’ She walked with trembling legs to the front of the group. Memories flashed through her mind.
Her mother beating her with a wooden spoon for coming in second place at her middle school’s hundred-meter sprint.
Throwing a baseball bat at a boy in high school for telling her she threw like a girl.
Receiving the gold medal at her college’s swimming championships and getting to look down on all the other girls from the podium.
I’m number one! I’m number one! I’m number one! I’ve been number one at every sport I’ve ever tried, so why would now be any different?! Pigskin’s a failure of an athlete! Yeah! He collapsed and died while trying to perform the winning touchdown at the Mega Bowl! Coming back to life and killing everyone who knew about his condition, that’s just him being a sore loser!’
‘I’m not scared of you, you hoser! I’m the strongest! I’m going to be the Number One Slasher!’ She raised her bladed hockey stick above her head. ‘Zone Special: Ice Age!’
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