Hey guys, here is the first part of a new collaborative writing effort from Jeff Daily and myself (plus the drawing at the top of the post is from me too). It's called LAB (which is short for Laboratory (or is it Collaboration)) and is about a mad scientist and his soldier friend who poison people with chemicals to transform them into monsters. But why? What do they get out of it? And who are they anyhow? Oh my friends, stay with us on this one. A mystery might unfold, some brand new lessons may be learned, and, oh yeah, you get to read about fucking monsters! Everybody wins. Alright, friends, hope you had a good Thanksgiving, and read on, I dare you. Ooohhh...
chapter 1 - friends Two friends lost in the jungle stumbled upon an abandoned laboratory. Fred stepped into a broken glass doorway. The song of the angels, he shouted, finding a batch of untouched water left lying about an errant shelf. William discerned that there had been a civil war here. Must have been guns. Must have been many people not pleased at all. The two snatched to bottles from a prepackaged cellophane crate. They smiled. The day previous, they had heard and seen many strange happenings. A tree fell over in the distance without reason. The cries of men sounded. Stray light sifted through canopy and struck them upon their brow. The jungle heat beat their backs. They were looking for a rare plant. Fred was a professor. William was his friend. Adventure, they both cried. But they had fallen from the true trail. In the abandoned lab, the men sat upon comfortable chairs and began to drink their waters. William grunted. No day like today, he remarked, chugging the cool clear. Fred relaxed, laid his head back, thought of his wife, and began to sigh. The water they drank started to turn in their stomachs. They fell ill. The bland lights of the compound began to seep into their minds. More voices. Sounds of stranger beings came into existence. Entire reality writhed upon the floor, snake-like, jiving and uncoiling. Fred stood up. He roared. William slopped in his seat and fell on the floor. We’ve been poisoned, he made to say, but his mouth no longer moved. Both men fell silent. Night came. The roiling tremors of the chemicals hidden in the water began to take effect. A transformation.
Wire bristle hairs came shooting out of William's cheeks and chin. His skin turned gray. His eyes oozed blood. William looked as if had been dead for 60 years. He stood up and looked at Fred. Fred had not changed his physical appearance so much as grown about 5 feet. He was taller than tall. His tongue was a snake's tongue and his teeth now had venom waiting to find a victim. The two friends couldn't speak. They couldn't even look at each other without gasping in horror. They seemed to retain their humanity while at the same time lost all communication. It was as if they were prisoners inside their new bodies.
What was once Fred glanced upon the new wonder of the average world. He spit hot venom in William’s direction then raced out of the compound. William, in his aged stupor, moved his body quickly to follow. The instincts of these new beasts were fixed upon a grand discovery. They had to find what once was lost. As the two beasts lunged about the fresh night, a figure stepped from the shadows. A man dressed in soldiering garb emerged. He grunted, plucked a knife from his side, and followed the trail of the monsters into the jungle. Fred reached to touch tree limbs. Spiders screamed in his presence. He was a new god. He snatched a small creature and devoured it. In his glory, he did not notice that William was loose behind. And neither of the beasts realized the boots of the soldier advancing as well. And further still, waiting in the lab, another figure sat watching remote cameras. Fred roared. William caught him and jumped upon his frame. The anger in their mutated bodies unraveled and swaths of red blood drained from William’s eyes. The bristling wires of his chin snapped into Fred’s lean neck. Their eyes traded ominous passion. Fred plucked his friend and tossed him a fourth of a mile into a tree. The growl of piss and steam. Wild night! Fred tore through the brush in hot pursuit. William gathered rocks in his hands and leapt into the air, hungry. Fred snapped in a twirl. Blood shot from his shoulders as William struck him with stone. The beasts moaned. Their minds were lost. They tussled in the jungle, and wrapping arm over arm, legs for loops, they spun and fell down the side of a hill. Landing thud, each monster gripped the other by the neck and began to squeeze. They coughed chaos in symphony and rolled in foliage. But they stopped suddenly. Something beautiful had caught their gaze. They were now in the presence of the rare plant they had once sought. The flower of the great desire, ripe with white lotus, stood proud in their faces. Fred felt himself a moment; William was stunned. The two beasts who were made of angry fiber began to weep. The flower lilted upon a breeze. The moment snapped. From nowhere, the soldier pounced and stuck the creatures with tranquilizers. They moaned, but having seen their plant, the two merely folded and collapsed upon another. The soldier tossed a net over their bodies and dragged them away. A trail of unique blood remained in the fuzz of the night, spiraling in cursive towards the abandoned laboratory. Strange cries were heard echoing out the youth of the night. Away in the bowels of the laboratory, the seated figure began to giggle. He stepped away from his camera screens and into the light. He had a white frock and mangled hair and wild fingernails. The scientist began to imagine the possibilities of new creatures of fashion. He placed his hands together and started to hum.