with Kalie Zamierowski!
[Michael’s Note: Who’s ready for some…ORIGINAL FICTION?!? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, today marks an exciting new chapter in my little blog’s life. Kalie and I have co-authored a short story/piece of fan fiction/genre mashup…whatever you want to call it. It’s an idea we’ve been playing with for months and finally just wrote it! Playing to what we love, we’ve taken the Stephen King classic The Shining and dropped the Ghostbusters into the Overlook Hotel. We had A LOT of fun and can’t wait to do this again. While she’ll disagree, about 95% of the credit for pulling this off goes to Kalie. She’s the gifted writer, capturing everything so eloquently. I have no idea how she does it. I helped with the plot, dialogue, and characterization but she did all the heavy lifting :). We’re really proud of it and hope you enjoy it too!]
Part I: Dick’s Bedroom
Dick Halloran reclined on his bed’s orange and green chevron comforter with a concomitant feeling of sudden distress. The feeling was much like being sick, and feeling a chill jolt through your body, leaving your bones aching and bumpy gooseflesh on your arm. He felt the onset of a vision and lay still, steadying his breathing for what he suspected would be an onslaught of fear. The buxom, naked goddess women who hung on the walls began to fade into a hazy, impressionist backdrop, and the voices of the anchors on the Chanel Six News started to slur together; their words became incomprehensible, then their voices turned to static. Suddenly, he was not in his comfortable, vibrant orange bedroom in Florida, with its spicy incense scent and warm lamplight. It was as if a bit of fog amassed together until it formed the outline of something vaguely sinister and passed over him. And he knew, immediately, by the vile stench of death that seeped through his skin and into the foundation of his being, where he was. He would recognize the stench of the Overlook Hotel anywhere – and not a literal, material stench. No. A rotten smell was unnerving but tolerable. The Overlook Hotel had a spiritual stench, sick and vaguely malicious, that became especially bitter, especially poignant, when it was active, so to speak. The hotel is active, he thought with fear and a jolt of angst, as he studied the dark halls and hanging lamps. His thoughts turned immediately to Danny. The boy. He thought. I feel the boy.
Soon after that thought struck him, he turned around to see a hunched figure with wan, white-gray skin and a string of drool dangling from his bottom lip. His eyes seemed alert but far away, intensely fixed on something invisible in the infinite distance. The boy was huddled in a corner, shaking violently, with a tremble that defied the steady, insidious heartbeat, the unmistakable pulse of the hotel. His shake was reckless and spasmodic, the ostensible byproduct of unspeakable fear. The boy was present in body, but not in mind. His mind seemed to be screaming to Halloran, from some unknown corner of the earth, that he and his mother were in grave danger. Halloran speculated. He had feared, to be sure, that the Overlook Hotel would wake up during the off-season, but he hadn’t dared guess the form of that heightened activity, for he had tried to meditate on the best possible outcome, believing – albeit naively – that if he emitted those positive vibes into the atmosphere, perhaps they would combine to yield safety and security for the fragile family who decided to spend their winter in that silent, merciless edifice.
Was it a vengeful spirit who hid in the hotel’s crevices during the busy season, the lingering spirit, perhaps, of the angry woman who had taken the razor blade to her wrists so many years ago after learning that her husband, a wealthy and corrupt lawyer, was cheating on her? Or was it a spirit more powerful, more archaic, a resentful remnant of the Ancient Indian Burial ground that had been demolished to build the hotel so many years ago? Or was it…no. But that couldn’t be. Suddenly, Halloran was in another hall, one well-lit near the kitchen, as if he were a piece on a game board or a small plastic doll in a dollhouse, and some anonymous but omnipotent hand could pick him up and set him anywhere it pleased. In a flash, he saw a deft figure, crouching forward awkwardly but making quick headway in front of him. It was no ghost – though likely, he immediately realized, the man was not himself. It was a figure in tight-denim bottoms and an ordinary brown jacket, wielding an axe with a shining, sharp blade, which he held in front of him, cocked at an angle. The figure was stumbling like a drunk, screaming Wendyyyy in a voice both knowing and sinister that tried to fain laughable though wholly unbelievable innocence. Jack Torrance. The hotel is working through Jack. That man – who, frankly, Halloran had always thought a little odd – had turned into a no-man, a bumbling but destructive, soulless force, who, Halloran surmised, was hell bent on slicing the axe’s blade through Wendy and Danny at the hotel’s persistent mandate. He was a moving, breathing demon.
Suddenly, like a patient who’s been resuscitated and spits out a mouth full of water, Halloran gasped for air and opened his eyes to a room that now felt alarming for its hue. His bedroom was unforgivingly hot, and in a breathless state of near-shock, he felt like he was sinking deeper into the comforters, his head embraced by the pillows, as if his own bed sought to consume him. He tried to lay still and steady his breathing as an assiduous eddy of panic swirled around him. The horror of the vision had touched one of the deepest, most inaccessible parts of his soul. And while he tried to calm himself, he cursed himself, repeatedly, for not doing something, not stopping the family somehow. But what else could I have done? He thought. One cannot stop a man he doesn’t know from accepting a job as a winter caretaker at an esteemed hotel. He acknowledged his powerlessness but he damned himself anyhow, for surely he had predicted the boy might be poisoned by the hotel’s caustic venom, and in his mind he had simply let it happen. Dick, there’s no time for this. You must act, and you must act now.
And with that, Dick sprung up from his bed. He reached for his black rotary phone and dialed the number, the all-powerful, seemingly God-sent number of the one group of people who he conjectured could help him in this situation. He had contemplated – if only for a split second – flying into Denver and taking a Snowcat to the Overlook hotel immediately, without consulting experts. He was energetic and could have made the trip easily, would have made the trip without hesitation to help Wendy and Danny. But despite all his experience with the Overlook, all his psychic ability, he didn’t have everything: he didn’t have the training, the scientific knowledge, the tools that it took, and the track record of proven results. But, he knew people who did. He tried to calm his nerves as the phone continued to ring. He would not go to the Overlook alone, he would go with them. Please pick up, for the love of God, please pick up he muttered as he bounced restlessly on the edge of his bed. Suddenly, the sassy, quick voice of a young woman answered brazenly on the other line:
“Ghostbusters. Whaddaya want?”
Part II: The Arrival
At 1:30 on a blustery Wednesday, four men in their mid-thirties poured out of a slender carrier jet and onto the tarmac of a small local airport on the outskirts of Denver. Dr. Peter Venkman raised his arms above his head, arched his back and stretched as his three colleagues – Dr. Raymond Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore – stomped out of the jet with bags in their hands and backpacks hoisted over their shoulders. Venkman was a tall man with thinning hair, deadpan eyes, and a wry, sarcastic smile that reflected his cynicism.
“So the client calls us from Florida and we end up in Colorado in the middle of winter. How does that make sense? We’re charging extra for this. We can probably double our rates for hazard pay. I can get frost bite, lose a finger, lose a toe…”
“We can’t charge extra because we’re uncomfortable,” Ray interrupted Peter’s bitter ramblings and tried to position himself as the voice of reason.
“It’s not just discomfort. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. I could lose the will to live, and where would we be without my charisma?” When Peter turned his head, Ray rolled his eyes.
“As opposed to making up fake charges, maybe you could help us get all the equipment in out of the cold,” Winston chimed in.
“As long as we’re not outside in the wind for more than four continuous hours we’re okay. The equipment’s designed with temperature failsafes. It’s protected from overheating, as well as freezing in extreme temperatures. The equipment’s fine,” Egon reassured Winston.
“Yeah but we’re not,” Winston replied. “Let’s get this stuff inside and get a cup of coffee.”
Part III: At the Overlook
A terrified mother looked into the blank eyes of her once warm little boy.
“Danny, wake up!” Wendy Torrance shouted as she looked ardently into her child’s icy stare. The drone of a cartoon show murmured in the background as Danny stared – beyond her, beyond the room, out into the depths of a place she could not see, let alone reach.
“Danny’s not here Mrs. Torrance,” droned the mechanical voice of Danny’s imaginary friend, Tony. Wendy could see in her son’s eyes that part of him was lost, at least temporarily – part of his had escaped the insanity of her husband, the mystery of the hotel, and had retreated elsewhere.
She took a deep breath and tried to compose herself. Her ranting husband had to be ambling around somewhere in the hotel at large, outside the caretaker’s quarters. Wendy lit another cigarette and started pacing around the room. This episode was worse than the one Danny had before they came to the Overlook. He had just fainted before. Now he was operating completely inside the personality of another being. In the back of her mind there was the vague terror – one she did not want to voice to herself, let alone anyone else – that if she didn’t resurrect the real Danny from his hidden tomb soon, he would be irrevocably covered in the dirt of this chaos and gone for good.
Wendy knew she would have to gather her courage to leave the caretaker’s quarters and search the hotel for her husband, who had lately taken to rambling around the hotel shouting, sometimes looking at her menacingly, knowingly, as if he were unfurling a plot in the crevices of his mind that only he was privy to. She had walked in on him once in the Gold Room, sitting at the bar, talking as if there were a bartender standing across from him. Of course, no one was there.
She kissed Danny and told him to stay put, which he would, she knew, because he moved so slowly, so perfunctorily now. She locked the door behind her and ventured into the hotel foyer to look for her husband.
Part IV: Help Arrives
“If The Overlook is full of as many entities as you say, this could be unprecedented! It could have more class three and class four manifestations than the disturbances in the Altoona Travelling Circus of 1919, the Synecdoche Barbershop and Tavern of 1882, and the Napa Hot Air Balloon Parade of 1978 combined!” Ray exclaimed gleefully as he leapt, partially, out of his seat.
“There’s definitely a publishable paper here. Ray, look at this! The PKE readings are already starting to surge,” Egon exclaimed as the men, huddled in the Snowcat, got closer to the Overlook.
As the group began unloading their equipment, Dick silenced their banter with a grave admonition. “I can feel the Overlook more than I’ve ever felt it before. This hotel is active, and its spirits are alive. I’ve seen things here that most people could never imagine, and right now the Overlook is feeding off the Torrance’s. I have full faith in your abilities to save the Torrances, but know that fighting against The Overlook is serious business. The Overlook is, to say the least, a formidable opponent.”
“Yeah yeah, I’m sure it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. All in a day’s work,” Peter responded cavalierly. “The only question is whether or not we’re gonna have to hit you for overtime pay before we get this wrapped up.”
“I don’t know about having seen this before, Peter. According to my readings, the hotel seems to be in a constant state of flux between a class three and a class seven,” Egon interjected as he examined the small black PKE meter, his stern expression becoming more unnerved. “I can’t seem to get a fix on any one entity in there.”
The four men entered the hotel with Dick and dropped their bags in the lobby. A faint series of screams emanated from a distant room. Peter, Egon, Winston, and Ray looked at each other knowingly, took off their jackets, and put on their Proton Packs in unison. With astonishing rapidity they entered the high-ceilinged foyer where they laid eyes on the frightened figure of a woman swinging a bat at a maniac ascending the stairs toward her.
“Give me the bat Wendy!” the mad Jack Torrance demanded as he beckoned his screaming wife. With tears in her eyes Wendy swung at the air incessantly, rhythmically, so as to create a space between herself and her disturbed husband.
“Okay, let’s be professional. Who wants to deal with the crazy guy while I make sure she’s okay?” Peter asked. But no sooner had he spoke those words then a loud crack filled the air, and the men watched Jack fell backward down the stairs. In a moment of panic, Wendy had valiantly whacked him over the head with her baseball bat and sent him tumbling.
Almost instinctively, Winston ran back to the front door to look through the bags for rope to bind Jack’s hands and feet. Peter casually sauntered over to the shaking Wendy, raised his eyebrows, and said, “That was an impressive swing. I always appreciate a woman who takes care of herself and loves baseball. Dr. Peter Venkman.” With that, he offered her his hand.
“Danny! My son,” Wendy began. “Something’s wrong with him. We need to get help for Danny.”
“You’re in luck,” Peter replied. “I’m really good with kids. I’m really good with moms, too. I’ve got everything under control.”
“Venkman, there’s an abnormally high amount of supernatural possession in Mr. Torrance here,” Egon remarked while gesturing toward Jack’s limp body. “Go grab the pack with the positively charged mood slime. We need to spray him down to undo the possession. Ray and I will go check on the boy.” Venkman exited the room, with Ray, Egon, Dick and Wendy following close behind him.
Part V: Grady Intervenes
After a series of flashing lights, the ornate ceiling of his writing room in the Overlook came into focus. Jack could feel a relentless pounding that seemed to turn the hard bones of his skull to mush and slice daggers through his brain. Though he could see the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, everything was spinning, just a little bit. It didn’t take him long, however, to situate himself.
That bitch must of knocked me out, he said. She’ll do anything, any fucking thing to keep me from fulfilling my duties to this hotel. He thought to himself as a little groan came out of his mouth.
Mr. Torrance, a booming voice pervaded the room. It came from everywhere and nowhere at once. Mr. Torrance, it seems your wife has outsmarted you, Mr. Torrance. We at the Overlook are becoming uncertain that you’ll perform the duties you promised. It was Grady, the hotel’s former caretaker and resident spirit-in-chief.
“Dammit Grady,” Jack mumbled and moaned a little. “I can hardly see straight. But once I can stand up I’ll get the bitch, I promise, I’ll get her.”
Do you promise to perform your duties if we help you, Mr. Torrance? Grady’s voice was polite but firm. Jack agreed and felt a sudden levity permeate his body. His head stopped pounding immediately, and he rose to his feet as if two magic sets of arms – one holding each side of him – had raised him from the ground to standing position. It was as if Wendy had never hit him with the bat in the first place.
You will need an axe, Mr. Torrance, Grady instructed. Jack found himself walking to an adjacent hallway, where a fire ax was attached to the wall. He stretched out his arms and wrapped his fingers firmly around the wooden handle. With relative ease – for he felt unusually strong, stronger than he’d ever felt before – he raised the axe from its holder and lifted it in front of him, briefly admiring the glistening metallic blade before he considered how to approach his next task.
Part VI: All Work and No Play
“How could you lose him? He was literally unconscious when we left,” Ray shouted to Winston over a walkie-talk in disbelief.
“I don’t know. Venkman and I just came back with the mood slime and some ropes to tie him up annnd he was gone,” Winston answered. “We’re gonna start moving through the hotel, see if we can find Mr. Torrance – and whatever else may be bouncing around this place. Let us know when you’re done with the kid.” Then Winston turned to Peter and said, “Okay, we’ve got a possessed father to find and who knows how many ghosts to grab, let’s get to work.” But Peter was facing the typewriter with a stack of papers in his hand and his eyes fixated on the print.
“I know all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…but a little more work might be helpful. Really, I think if he could just clearly state his thesis, this could be a contender for a Pulitzer Prize.”
Part VII: The Caretakers Quarters
“He’s been like this all day. He came to me from room 237 with handprints on him and a blank stare. I’ve tried to wake him up, but his imaginary friend Tony says that he can’t wake up. He’s been like this ever since,” Wendy explained, more calm and composed now that she was in the company of Dick Hallorann and the Ghostbusters.
“This is extraordinarily bad,” Egon said.
“I don’t know. I’m not getting any readings off the boy,” Ray replied.
“Not the boy. The PKE energy around us is pulsing at an alarming rate.”
“So, the psycokenetic energy is steadily growing…but nothing’s coming off Danny? Nothing’s holding him in this state? So what’s wrong with him? And how do we go about waking Danny up if he’s not possessed?”
“I know the boy is in there because he reached out to me, somehow. Danny, as we know him, has found a safe spot and put his imaginary friend Tony in power to deal with the horrific events that have transpired. Room 237 is haunted by the malevolent, abusive ghost of a suicidal woman who must have laid her hands on Danny. I think it was too much for him. But he and I can communicate in our heads, we can shine, so I think I can find him,” Dick explained.
“Okay, let’s give it a shot,” Ray conceded. And he got on the radio. “Winston, Pete, we’re about to perform a spontaneous, untested, highly experimental ESP extraction in an uncontrolled environment on the boy who’s…uh, apparently shining…like Hallorann does. Wish us luck. And make sure you guys check out 237 as you’re sweeping the hotel, there’s something going on in there for sure. We’ll meet up with you when we’re done.”
Part VIII: Winston and Peter Journey Through the Overlook
The white light faded as the trap closed, and electricity shot around its edges. Peter looked down at the trap, then up at Winston. “Jesus Christ, we just bagged a blow job-giving bunny. I don’t even want to know what the hell’s in 237.”
“Well, right now we have two creepy ass twins staring at us from down the hall,” Winston replied. Peter turned toward the twins and paused. The girls were nearly identical, with menacing blue eyes and cold ivory skin. They were dressed rather fancily for the occasion. “Where you off to girls?” Winston said casually, trying to build a rapport.
“Come play with us Winston. Come play with us Peter,” the two spirits crooned in unison. “Come play with us, for ever, and ever, and ever.”
“Well, that sounds horrible,” Peter said as he unhooked his blaster from the Proton Pack. “Light ‘em up.” Two identical, arced beams for two identical twin ghosts shot out from the barrels of the Proton Packs and wrapped themselves around the girls small, ectoplasmic bodies. The bodies dangled in the air like awkwardly placed Christmas tree ornaments until Winston slid the trap down the hall, and placed his foot on the peddle to open the trap and suck the twins in.
Staring at the door of room 237 thirty minutes later, Winston remarked, “I guess this is 237.”
Peter flippantly grumbled, “Yeah we’re here – one ghost bartender and dozens of displaced 1920s party-goers later. We are definitely charging overtime for this.”
Winston reached for the door and opened it slowly. The men entered the room, Winston first, Peter following closely. Peter’s eyes scanned the ornate, brightly colored room with its blue-green octagonal carpet, its plush furniture, and its intricate lighting. As he was admiring the stately décor, the slim wet body of a beautiful naked woman emerged from the bathroom. She walked proudly, gracefully toward Peter with her chin up and her eyes focused on him. Her hair was neatly slicked back, as if she’d just exited the shower. Peter immediately stopped Winston by putting his arms in front of Winston’s chest. “That’s alright,” he began, “you’ve been working hard today. I’ll fly point on this one.” And he started walking toward her.
“Of course you will,” Winston muttered sardonically.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Peter Venkman. Where’re you from, originally?” Peter asked the glamorous apparition. But suddenly, the wan, graceful woman morphed into a hideous hag with green-gray patches of decay embedded in her ample, sagging skin. Her once beautiful, proud face morphed into a beady, bat-like countenance with malicious eyes. Peter jumped back abruptly as the crone leaned forward with her arms sticking straight out and inched her wet, lacerated, rotting body toward Venkman while laughing loudly and insidiously.
“Winston, a little help here.”
“Of course,” Winston sighed again.
But before Winston could intervene, the old woman thrust Peter across the room with what seemed like superhuman strength. His body flailed uncontrollably and his back slammed against a wall, fracturing part of his Proton Pack. Winston began firing his Proton stream at her, but immediately realized she would not be an easy target. The old woman, still caked in mounds of putrid gray and green flesh, began bouncing around the room buck naked like a particularly nimble, fast-moving cheetah. Winston could hardly track her body as she bounced from carpet to wall to corner, knocking over lamps and leaving puddles from her waterlogged body on the expensive couches. The room echoed the shrill sound of her unrelenting screams and shrieks as she bounded from wall to wall, Winston’s proton stream leaving scorch marks in her wake. Finally, the seemingly frail, inadequate beam wrapped around her strong, imposing body.
“Grab the trap! I don’t think I can hold her long!” Winston yelled to Peter. The wavering beam flexed and pulsated, shaking like it was uncertain in could control the ghost’s brute force. Finally, the old woman emitted a final, barbaric yelp as the stream exploded, set the woman free, and sent Winston and Peter flying out into the hallway. Peter grabbed the empty trap as Winston fired again. Winston caught her body with the proton stream, but again, the stubborn ghost woman wriggled and thrashed around, making it difficult for the stream to contain her. Although her ability to disrupt the flow of the stream was almost unprecedented, eventually it harnessed here defiant body, Peter slid the trap under the ghost, set his foot on the button, and the ignominious ghost of room 237 was ensconced in metal trappings.
Peter and Winston sent a radio transmission to Ray and Egon. “237’s clean. Where’re we meeting you?”
Part IX: Dick Rescues Danny
Danny floated in a dark sky speckled with glistening white stars. He was aware of himself, but he couldn’t seem to do anything. Someone, who was like him but not himself – Tony – was on the outside, doing everything for him. Tony told him to stay, stay in the star-speckled night and float, until all the bad things went away. Tony said he would take care of the bad things for Danny, and that Danny should just wait. But suddenly, while Danny was floating, he felt the presence of someone familiar, someone he had talked to awhile ago. Then he heard a voice.
“Hi Doc! It’s me. I’ve been sent to find you, Doc!” It was Dick Hallorann, the nice man who had talked about shining to him and could shine like he could. He could see Dick’s hand, reaching out to him, but he wasn’t sure if he should take it.
“Tony told me I should stay here, Dick.”
“That’s because Tony’s afraid,” Dick answered. “But you don’t need to be afraid anymore. Your mom’s waiting for you and there are people here to help you.” So Danny grabbed Dick’s hand and felt a strong pull. The bright stars and the midnight sky evaporated around him, as the outline of a familiar room came into focus. The first thing Danny saw clearly was Wendy’s kind smile. Her eyes relaxed as she breathed a happy sigh of relief. She scooped Danny up in her arms and said, “How’s it goin’ doc?”
“Good, I guess. Where’s daddy?”
“We’re going to find daddy, doc. Mr. Hallorann, Dr. Stantz, and Dr. Spengler are here to help us save him.”
Danny turned to Ray and Egon. “Are you guys the Ghosbusters?” he asked, with some hesitation.
“You bet. Don’t worry – your dad’s in good hands,” Ray assured Danny.
“Ray, I think you need to look at these readings,” Egon interjected.
Ray looked at the meter in surprise. “It’s still growing…and it seems to be coming from every direction.”
“But that reading’s a Class Seven. And it’s coming at us from every angle. How can there possibly be that many Class Seven entities in here?”
“I don’t think that’s what’s happening. I think the hotel itself is the Class Seven.”
“What’s a Class Seven?” Wendy asked.
“A Class Seven is the most powerful class of ghost you can encounter. It includes godlike beings, demons, and other powerful manifestations. These manifestations are capable of communication with human beings, but they’re totally alien in their thought processes, desires, emotional needs, and more often than not, their origins,” Ray explained to Wendy. “It’s not a bunch of spirits trapped in the Overlook that are causing all this trouble. Rather, the Overlook itself is. It appears to be a gateway, calling and holding all these malevolent spirits but…it’s more than that. It appears to be that the Overlook itself is something born of another plane.”
“The idea of a doorway between this world and the spirit world is not anything new,” Egon continued.“The Romans believed the ancient city of Hierapolis, in modern day Turkey, held a doorway to realm of the dead, ruled over by Pluto. For the Greeks, you could enter Tartarus via the River Styx or through the Gate of Taenarus , located in a city on the southernmost tip of Greece. American folklore posits the woods off Trout Run Road in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, hold the Seven Gates of Hell. For the Celts, it wasn’t a doorway per se so much as a time. During Samhaim, our modern Halloween, the vale between the worlds is the weakest, allowing the dead to cross into the land of the living. We even found a gateway to another dimension on top of an apartment building in Central Park West. But the Overlook isn’t just a gateway. It seems to be sentient.”
“So you mean the hotel is conscious?” Wendy clarified.
“Yes,” Egon answered. “It’s not just a door that’s been opened. It’s manipulating your husband for some sort of desired end. It’s feeding on his anger and your fear. In addition to holding a host of Class Four entities, it seems to be simultaneously drawing in and pulsing out demonic energy at increasing rates. As it’s consuming and creating this energy it’s becoming more powerful, more awake as Mr. Hallorann put it and it’s beginning to play with time and the minds of those inside it. Somehow this hotel has taken on the properties and powers of a conscious, acting demon, although its rooted in one spot. It’s corrupting what’s inside of it, keeping what it can damage and control, and destroying what it can’t.”
“That sounds bad,” Wendy remarked.
“That sounds about right to me,” Dick added. “I can still feel it getting angrier, and it’s been getting angrier since we arrived. If you ask me, we need to get out of here.”
At that moment the walkie-talkie sounded. Winston and Peter had been successful.
“Alright. The boy’s safe. We’ll meet you in the grand room. We have to find Jack and get the hell out of here.”
Part X: The Overlook Fights Back
“I told you hazard pay was going to be appropriate,” Peter said, after Egon and Ray explained the sheer power of the Overlook.
“It’s mad and getting madder,” replied Egon. “It intentionally destroyed your pack. It knows what we’re doing, what we can do, and it’s figuring out how to stop us. We need to get out of here as soon as possible.”
“We can’t leave without Jack!” Wendy explained.
“Don’t worry, ma’am,” Winston reassured her, “we’re not leaving without your husband.”
As if he had been summoned by the mention of his name, Jack’s looming silhouette appeared at the top of the stairs, holding the long handle of a heavy axe. Off to his right was the tall, shadowy figure of a man with glowing eyes who Jack kept calling “Grady.”
“You know, he doesn’t seem like he’s good with kids,” Peter told Wendy. “Personally, I’ve always hit it off with women whose sons are being hunted by demonic forces…if you want to go get a drink after all of this settles down.”
“Peter, mood slime,” Ray and Egon shouted in unison.
“I’m on it,” and Peter left to get the mood slime.
As Jack descended the stairs, Winston slipped off his Proton Pack to avoid damage. He moved himself to the right of the room to position himself between, on one side, Wendy and Danny, and on the other side, the raging and raving Jack. As Winston moved to the right, Egon and Ray stepped to the left, pulled their blasters off their Proton Packs, and charged them as they approached the ghostly shadow of Delbert Grady.
“Ready…one, two, three!” Ray shouted. Ray and Egon fired, but Grady disappeared and the darting beams hit the wall behind the place the shadow once stood. Suddenly, Grady jumped behind Ray and Egon and thrust them up the stairs. They simultaneously slammed against the wall and fell on the platform on top of the stairs. Grady howled and deftly sprung up the stairs after them. Ray looked at Egon. “Just like the Township building in Poughkeepsie?”
“Just like Poughkeepsie,” Egon agreed. Ray threw the first beam. Grady easily dodged it by jumping to his right, where he connected to Egon’s beam, fired a half a second behind Ray’s. Grady writhed maniacally as the beam faltered and shook. The walls of the hotel pulsated with the struggle, as if they were lungs, flexing in and out, gasping for air. Grady began howling, and the howling grew louder and angrier, and louder and angrier, as Ray fired a second containment stream to hold the petulant specter. After Ray’s beam wrapped around Grady too, Ray threw his trap under the ghost, opened the trap, and the Overlook’s entire infrastructure shook spasmodically as the struggling Grady descended into the box.
Meanwhile, Peter had just entered the room with a tank of positively charged mood slime on his back. He saw Winston, who moved with muscles and training honed from years in the Marine Corps, was able to consistently and methodically dodge the blows that Jack tried to dole out with his foreboding axe. In one smooth movement, Winston grabbed the axe’s handle as he swept Jack’s feet out from under him. He flung the axe to the side as he wrestled Jack, who was now thrashing and foaming at the mouth like a rabid raccoon, to the ground.
“Any time, Pete,” Winston shouted as he struggled with the virulent Jack, who was kicking and screaming on the ground.
“Alright, time for a shower you wild-eyed psychopath,” Peter commanded as he opened up the tank and spewed the sticky, pink, positively charged mood slime all over Jack and Winston.
“Keep it up Vekmen,” Ray instructed as he watched the PKE meter. “The Overlook’s not letting go without a fight.”
Peter continued emptying the entire tank of seeping, wet mood slime on the struggling pair in the middle of the floor. Suddenly, a blood-curdling, bone-chilling, otherworldly scream rose from the very foundation of The Overlook as the mood slime broke the hotel’s hold on Jack Torrance. Jack’s body relaxed, and his stunned features slowly scanned around the room.
“I love you man,” Winston said while looking at Jack, still held below him. “I don’t care if you have crazy eyes, weird sweaters, and that sketchy razor-stubble beard. I love you, and I’ve got a good feeling about you. I want to get to know you. Like really know you. You know? Seriously, I’m digging your whole vibe. You’re a solid dude.”
“Okay, buddy,” Peter said as he lifted Winston off Jack. “I know it’s gonna take you awhile to shake off the effects of that mood slime but we gotta get out of here now. How ’bout we flee now and hug later huh?”
“Is it really you? Are you okay Jack?” Wendy ran up to her husband and hugged him.
“What’s going on? Who are these people? Why are we down here? And…what am I covered in?” He asked with a fair bit of confusion.
“We’re the Ghostbusters, Mr. Torrance,” Ray explained. “You and your family are in great danger. The Overlook is not the employment opportunity you were promised. We have to get out of here now.”
Carrying the traps, now filled with the malevolent residents of the Overlook, the weary band of ghost-hunters and possession survivors exited the evil building and headed toward the Snow Cat.
“Uh, not that I’m itchin’ to go back in that hellhole, but what are we gonna do about the hotel?” Peter asked. “We’ve got a lot of creepy Class Fours bagged and tagged but one of Denver’s premier tourist destinations is certainly not ready for the summer season.”
“I don’t know what we can do,” Egon replied. “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“Whatever we can do, it’s going to take a lot more research,” Ray said. “I have to get back to the bookstore and read everything I can find about haunted locations and demonic doorways.”
“Good. We’ll come back another time to fix the hotel, and we get to bill for a second on-site visit. Everybody wins!” remarked Peter wryly.
“This is going to be a tight, uncomfortable ride down,” Dick observed, as they all started to pile into the snow cat.
“That just makes it easier to cuddle. I love you guys…have you mentioned how much I love you?” Winston gushed.
As the snow cat began to creep down the snowy Colorado Mountain side, the insidious Overlook loomed in the backdrop, watching, with malice, the lucky inhabitants who had escaped.
—with apologies to Stephen King, Stanley Kubric, Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis 🙂.