I looked at Brandon in shock. “You’re Brandon Boswick, Monster Masher?”
“That’s what it says on my birth certificate, Chet.”
“It doesn’t say ‘Monster Masher’ on your birth certificate!”
He shrugged, “You’re right. It says Brandon Monster Slayer Boswick, but I thought the alliteration would sound better.”
“I thought that was just your parents being silly!”
“No Chet, I’ve been slaying monsters all my life. Did my first solo kill when I was six; a first-grade werewolf.”
“How come nobody knows about it?”
“Everybody knows; they just don’t believe it. They figure I’m just a weird kid who makes up stories.”
While we talked, Brandon snapped the magazine into his automatic shotgun and checked it over. We were just outside the cafeteria, where things had gone south since somebody cried “zombie”. The door was barred from this side with a couple of broom handles. Finally, Brandon put on a pair of shop-class issue safety goggles and a dust mask.
“What’s that for?”
“Blood spatter. Now, where’s that eyewitness?”
I looked around and spotted Mr. Dammerung, the Principal. I waved him over.
“Has that been in your locker all semester, Brandon?”
“Only when I’m at school, Mr. D. Now, tell me what you saw.”
The Principal gulped a couple of times, then steadied himself. “It was horrible. The pale skin, the sunken eyes, the tattered clothes, and those macabre painted-on grins. And that horrible laughter! No!”
“Mr. D, get it together! How many were there? How did they get in?”
“There were eight of them, maybe nine. They drove in from the kitchen in Mr. Armitage’s Smart car. People were screaming and yelling. I only barely got out with my life!”
After that all he could do was whimper. Brandon looked thoughtful.
“I’m not sure they’re zombies, Chet. We may need another strategy.”
“They drove. Zombies don’t drive. Something’s not right; I need to get a look at them.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
“Yup. On my signal I want you to pull those broom handles so I can open the door a crack and see in. When I push the door to again, put them back. Got that?”
“Sure Brandon, you can count on me.”
On his signal I pulled the broom handles out. He opened the door and peeked in, then pushed it back shut forcefully.
“Brace it! Brace it now!” He looked visibly shaken. His normal confident expression was gone, replaced with stark fear. I slid the handles into place again.
“What’s wrong, Brandon?”
“It’s worse than anything I’ve ever encountered. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, angry spirits, even mummies: those I can deal with. But this might be too much.”
“What is it?”
“Clowns. Somebody let a carload of clowns loose in the school. I’m going to need a bigger gun.”