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Tales To Tell 'Round Midnight: The Summer Before The Summer The Shock Shack Shocked Back

They called it The Summer Of The Boozin' Car Parties. A more appropriate name would have been The Summer Before The Summer The Shock Shack Shocked Back, but they had no premonitions of the future or the title, so The Summer Of The Boozin' Car Parties was acceptable. They did, after all, have tons of Boozin' Car Parties that summer.

Their first twelve Boozin' Car Parties were some of the most fun, because nothing specific went wrong. Their 13th, however, was THE most fun, because everyone got laid that night. The fourteenth wasn't so great, because Eleanor The Guy got arrested, went to jail, and no one ever saw him again. One can only imagine what happened to him, or one need only pick up a copy of "Welcome To Terror Prison And Also Real Prison: The Eleanor The Guy Story."

After Eleanor The Guy left, it was clear through simple math that the group was down by one and they needed a replacement friend. Auditions were held on Tuesday, call backs were Thursday, and when all was said and done and they were done saying it, no one was good enough, so they marched off to their car to get some booze with one less friend than they were used to.

"Where we heading?" asked the cheerful bottle of liquor as they exited the liquor store.

"The lake house or the cliff house or the beach house or something similar," said Collars. His real name was Colin, but he hated people who wore a lot of collars, so everyone called him Collars.

"Hell, yeah," said Daroline as she got into the back seat. "We'll be safe there."

"Speaking of safe," Pierre pointed out, "let's all put on our seat belts," and everyone immediately put on their seat belts. "You know," Pierre continued. "In France, we call seat belts baguettes."

"I didn't know that," said Colin from the driver's seat. His real name was Randy, but he wore a lot of collars and Collars was clearly already taken. They would fight about it later and no one would be better off for it.

"It's true," Pierre continued still. "In France, most things can be referred to as baguettes. It's kind of like aloha in that respect."

"Or like how the only word Eskimos know is snow." Daroline added. "My dad owns a lakeside autumn home in Eskimo City, Eskimo, and we go there every year to try to melt the tire swing.'"

Colin slammed on the breaks and turned around, his eyes wild with rage. "Would you guys shut the damn up? I'm trying to figure out where we are!"

Collars took a breath and spoke calmly and deliberately. "Listen, Col," he said. "It's been maybe eight paragraphs of mostly dialogue since we left the liquor store. We're probably barely out of the parking lot."

"That's a good point, Col," Colin replied. "But look!" Colin pointed out the many available windows to reveal they were in the middle of the desert.

"Dessert?" Collars asked, and handed out some Crudcicles TM to those who put out their hands.

"Thanks for the dessert, Col," said Daroline. "But my god! We're in the middle of the desert!" She turned to appease Pierre. "Or the middle of the baguette, as it were." Pierre smiled.

Collars could not take it anymore. Not only was he claustrophobic, but he was also deathly afraid of confined spaces, so he opened the door and got out. The wind whistled high that night and sand quickly swept up into Collars's eyes, and Collars hollered into the emptiness.

"SAND!!!" he shouted, and hopped back into the car. "We can not go out there," he told everyone as he wiped sand from his eyes. "Too much sand."

"Well, what do we do?" Daroline shrieked. "How did we even get here?"

It seems all too obvious now, because they were later told how they got there, but the four of them sat in silence for a good four minutes while pondering that question. Pierre was the next to speak.

"We have to go," he said.

"Go?!?" shouted a clearly 'roided up Colin from the driver's seat. "Go where? We're in the middle of the desert somehow!"

"We can't just stay here. We've got to tell this place aloha and get out of here."

Before anyone could agree or disagree, Colin stepped on the gas, which could probably be considered a form of agreement so I really should have said "Before Collars or Daroline could agree, Colin agreed by stepping on the gas," but I didn't and there's no going back now. Before Collars or Daroline could agree, Colin agreed by stepping on the gas.

"Great," Daroline said like a bitchy little snot. "Let's just go farther into the desert until we run out of oxygen and die. You know that sand deletes oxygen, right?"

"Of course I know sand 'deletes' oxygen, you bitchy little sn-"

"CRASH!" said the car as it crashed, sending no one anywhere because they were all wearing their seat belts.

"Everyone's fine," they all said in unison.

In front of them was only darkness, and no one wanted to see whom or what they hit.

"We can't go out," muttered Collars as he rocked back and forth like a really scared 4-year-old in a rocking chair. "The sand."

"You're gonna have to look sometime," said the now slightly shook up bottle of liquor, "or we're all garbage meat."

Daroline pet the bottle lightly, trying to calm it. "One of you should look," she said, "The rest of us will take care of the liquor."

"No, we'll all three look," said the liquor bottle in Pierre's voice.

"Pierre's right," Pierre said, "Daroline, you stay here and make sure we don't end up somewhere ELSE we shouldn't be. And take care of that bottle. We'll have another boozin' car party yet. You'll see."

Pierre exited the car. Collars and Colin followed suit. Daroline stayed with the bottle, which hit on her the entire time the guys were gone ("Drink me, I'm liquor," the bottle would say).

Outside, Pierre had assessed that the car had collided with what looked like a broken down shack.

"Well, how the crumb did it get in the middle of the road?"

"It must have just jumped in front of me!" Colin shouted, the veins pulsing under his skin in a really gross, 'roided out kind of way. "Oh, shit... what do we do?"

"We should call the police," Collars muttered.

"No way, man!" Colin shot back. "No FUCKING way! We gotta clean this mess up and get outta here is what we gotta do!"

"It might have family," Pierre pointed out.

"Who gives a SHIT?!" Colin screamed. He seemed to get bigger as he got angrier. "What kind of shack has family or friends? And not in a superficial way, either. I'm talking about friends and family it really cares about? And what kind of shack jumps in the middle of the street?"

"A shock shack!" said a raspy voice from behind them. "You scared it."

"Get away from us, old man!" shouted Colin, purely on instinct. Colin, you see, was molested by a raspy voice. Luckily, as they all turned around, they discovered the raspy voice belonged to someone, a hooded figure of the type you might find on the side of a desert road, just waiting to tell all it knows about shock shacks.

"You are in for it now, kids..." the figure continued, ignoring Colin. "That there is the mostskittishshock shack I have ever encountered. And you four and your little bottle of liquor gave it the scare of its life."

"Well, we're all REAL FUCKING SORRY, ya old coot," Colin growled as he angrily punched the air in front of him. "Maybe it should have looked both ways before it crossed the street."

"We actually are sorry, sir," Collars assured. "We don't even know how we got in the middle of the desert. We're just trying to drive around and get drunk."

"Well, I can't help you with how you got here, buddy," the figure rasped, "But I can tell you that you better watch yourselves from now on. That there shock shack may be startled now, but it'll get mad... and it'll remember what you did to it. Then it'll startle you... to death."

"De-"

"Death!" The hooded figure confirmed. "Next time, don't find yourself mysteriously transported into this mysterious desert. Dessert?" the hooded figure asked, and held out someCrudciclesTM .

"At a time like this?" Pierre pointed out.

"The worst is over, at least for now," the hooded figure told them.

Colin, Collars, and Pierre each took a CrudcicleTM, and the hooded figure looked up at them.

"Of course, if the worst is over 'for now,' then that would actually mean that the worst is yet to come," he told them.

Colin, Collars, and Pierre started opening their CrudciclesTM.

"So, yeah," the hooded figure said, "The worst is yet to come."

"When will it get its revenge?" Pierre asked.

"In exactly one baguette," said the figure, turning to walk away.

"That can mean anything!" yelled one of the four main characters.

"I know," the figure replied over his shoulder as he walked away.

"So how is that helpful?" Pierre shouted.

"It's not supposed to be," said the figure as it disappeared.

The main characters stood for as long as it took them to all get sand in their eyes, then everyone was back in the car and ready to drink and drive some more.

To be continued...Other Tales To Tell 'Round MidnightThe Mask Next DoorThe Halloween That Was Actually Arbor DayThe Undelivered PackageThe Slightly Haunted Mansion Party Across The Street From The Significantly More Haunted Mansion PartyNow You Invisible, Now You Dont InvisibleNightmare At Nightmare High

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