One day last year, I was out with a friend shopping at garage sales, trying to find furniture for his new apartment. The day was bright and sunny, ordinary for Florida. When we had found all of the furniture he needed and people started to end their sales, we started driving home, when he pulled over into the yard of an elderly couple, who were still sitting by their table of things to be sold.
There were mostly ceramic statues and old books, things you would expect from people of that age, but one thing really caught my eye. On the table was a box of maybe twelve movies. I started digging through them, seeing mostly uninteresting titles starring Tom Hanks, my least favorite actor. I was about to walk back to the truck when I noticed that one tape said “AAAH!!! Real Monsters - The Final Scare.” My heart started racing with excitement, seeing as how I had never seen this episode, and the fact that I had assumed this show had completely disappeared. I asked the price of the tape, and the old man said he’d take ten cents for it. He had no use for it since his grandkids were all grown and never watched the tape. At the time, I didn’t notice his odd tone of voice.
When my friend and I had returned to his new apartment, I insisted that we procrastinate on unloading the new furniture so we could watch the tape. He agreed, and put the tape into the built-in VCR on his small television.
The episode started with ten seconds of static, then cut to the dump. In place of the normal dark colors of the beloved cartoon were almost painfully vivid hues, the most prominent of which was a disturbingly realistic blood red, splattered over the trash and soaking into the dirt, the texture of which was more carefully drawn than normal. The soft sound of static continued in the background while the camera slowly zoomed in toward the washing machine, which was now dented, scratched, and splattered with small bits of brain matter. I cringed at the appearance of the familiar dump that had been warped to look so horrific.
When inside the monster academy, most seats were empty, except the spots where Krumm, Ickis, and Oblina were sitting. Zimbo, the obnoxious monster from the episode “Ickis and the Red Zimbo” was flying around in a clumsy circle around a malicious-looking, angry Gromble, looking as though someone had stabbed him in his left wing. The Gromble looked up at the trio with hyper-realistic eyes, his red lips twisting into a horrid grin. He held up a single finger, as if to indicate that he wanted the monsters around him to stop talking, which was quite unnecessary considering the fact that no one was making a sound.
“Tonight”, he hissed, ” the four of you will team up, and perform ONE FINAL SCARE. A scare so horrifying that it will be your last. You must complete it soon, like our fallen brethren have already done.” He looked at the ceiling, and paused for maybe thirty seconds. “Go. Now. Now. NOW!” He screamed, causing Ickis to cringe, the first sign of movement from the trio of monsters. Oblina uttered something under her breath, sounding like “Iam est vicis ut had advenio.” Krumm nodded and added “Iam est vicis ut quondam porro in abyssus.” Ickis then shakily whispered “Iam est vicis nos must intereo.” Zimbo laughed sadistically, “Iam nos ero terminus of plures ago!”
My friend, who had taken Latin courses in high school, whispered those phrases in English, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
The scene then cut to black for about a minute, then slowly brightened to reveal the four monsters hiding in an alley, malice in their eyes. Oblina picked up Krumm, throwing him out of the alley, under a bus, a look of genuine shock on his face. Photorealistic blood splattered over the front of the bus and the streets as I watched my favorite character die, his eyes rolling to the feet of a small child, who began to sob. The blood on the windshield caused the bus to swerve, hitting a young family and smashing them against the side of a large building as the remaining three monsters remained hidden in the alley, chuckling in an unnerving, demonic manner. “Ickis, you next!” Oblina screeched enthusiastically. The camera zoomed into the face of the small red monster, who was shaking and stuttering helplessly in fear. A single tear dropped from his eye as he hesitantly nodded. Ickis put on his normal scary face, but the context was all wrong, making the lovable monster an unnerving beast too aware of his own fate.
Ickis then walked slowly to the center of a group of people watching an obese street mime intently. He creeped up behind the man in black and white stripes, climbing up his clothes and in a flash, digging his small claws through the back of the man’s skull, tearing audibly through bone and brain tissue until his now even redder hands emerged from the mime’s eyes. The mime fell backwards onto Ickis, and the monster’s bones could be heard crunching under the weight of the mime as the photorealistic gore splattered the crowd.
The camera cut back to Oblina and Zimbo, whose laughter echoed throughout the small alley. “Shall we do the final honors together?” Zimbo asked. Oblina nodded.
The two walked over to a young boy who was frantically attempting to help an old woman across the street, away from this terrible scene. Oblina grabbed on to Zimbo and the obnoxious monster flew upwards, lifting them quickly across the street and in front of their targets. Zimbo swiftly flew down the old woman’s throat, leaving a grotesquely large lump, as the sound of small wings beating against flesh could be heard from inside. The lump that was Zimbo jerked around uncontrollably for a moment before the sound of Zimbo’s wings silenced and the lump in the old woman’s throat stopped moving. The woman, now blue in the face, fell to the ground. “Grandma? GRANDMA?! NO! NO! NO, NO, NO!!!!” the boy was screaming violently. He then began to smash his head onto the pavement, the wounds getting worse and worse until the screen faded to black.
The camera cut back into the Monster Academy, where a blood-splattered Oblina stood in front of the Gromble, who had an evil grin on his face. “Oblina, how marvellous!” He said as the scare played on the screen. “You managed to kill all of these humans, AND trick the others into a sure suicide? This is the best scare I’ve seen in decades!” The Gromble stared at Oblina for maybe a minute, his grin only growing wider and more grotesque, before saying the words “Congratulations, valedictorian.”
When the episode ended, my friend and I stared at each other in total shock. He was shaking violently, as if having a seizure, before going still. I took this tape to the Goodwill nearest to my house. Thinking back, it was a horrible idea, since I would never wish this episode on anyone. So if you’re the unfortunately nostalgic person to find this tape, burn it. I wouldn’t want you to suffer from these horrid nightmares I’ve been having lately…