AOH :: BARNEY04.TXT|
Day of the Barney III
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Necktie Junction)
Subject: Day of the Barney III reposts (installments 1-8)
Date: 16 Aug 93 22:37:36 -0600
Organization: Macalester College
Hi, this is the author here, thanks to all of you who've passed on praise and
other nice stuff to me via the e-mail and what not. Some of you have told me
about missing installments, so here's a complete repost of what I've done so
far. I hope this fills in the gaps. The conclusion will be out in a day or
two. If some kind soul could write me back and let me know if this made it
out, that'd be cool; also, please let me know which alt.barney group it made it
on, I'm aiming at three right now....(:
Thanks, and happy reading!
--Brian "stuuuupppppeeenddoouusss!" Bull
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
* Earth, 65 million years ago, Mesozoic Period.
The air was moist and hot, titanic green plants rustling in the breeze.
Primordial cries and calls filled the valley, as tall, lumbering behemoths
nestled near the lake shore. At the water's edge, large clusters of crested
reptiles knelt down to sample the lush cool grasses growing out of the water.
Further away, upon the sloping crags and knolls, stood the flesh-eaters.
But one particular carnivore was not occupied with eating. Not for the moment,
anyway. This particular creature, whom scientists eons later would label
Tyrannosaurus Rex, was eyeing a small patch of earth very intently. Buried
under the dirt rustled her hatchlings, cracking open their egg-casings and
clawing for the open sky. There were about six in the litter, and as the last
one struggled free of its shell, the mother dinosaur nodded intently, satisfied
at their emergence. She instinctively lowered her head and sniffed each
infant. The smell was fresh and healthy for all of them, but she
The first five baby tyrannosaurs were lanky, scaly creatures with bright yellow
eyes and mottled grey and green skin. The sixth was...different. The mother
leaned closer, examining the last infant dinosaur with a suspicious gaze.
The tiny baby tyrannosaur stared back at her. She felt an instinctual
loathing, but wasn't sure why. This particular newborn had definitely been
hatched from her litter, but it had very little in common with the rest of its
It was purple.
The mother tyrannosaur reeled back, confused and afraid. The purple baby
gurgled and smiled. She hesitantly approached it again. She then noticed that
besides being purple, it was smooth, chubby, and had dead, empty eyes. And
when it smiled, which was often, it had a sinister, threatening chuckle that
startled her and the other newborn tyrannosaurs. The mother was struck with a
sudden urge to crush the little beast under one of her heavy, taloned feet, but
her mothering instinct kept her from doing so. At least for the moment.
* * * * * * * * * *
Under a sweltering sky filled with the fading rays of the sun and swarming
pteryodactyls, the two giants roared and lunged at each other upon the marshy
field. The tyrannosaurus rex kept herself away from the thick, knobby tail of
the ankylosaurus, who squatted below her, wary of her massive jaws filled with
jagged sharp teeth. Around the edges of the field, a lone triceratops and a
pack of lambeosauruses watched.
The battle had lasted for several hours, and both opponents were exhausted.
The tyrannosaur realized that if she couldn't feed her children soon, they may
starve or wind up devouring each other. With a final effort, she lunged
towards the ankylosaur and snapped at its head.
The armored dinosaur turned away and slapped its hard, bony tail into the firm
thigh of the flesh-eater. She growled in rage and whipped around toward the
front of her opponent, her flesh sore and broken where it had been struck. She
flung her powerful leg over the shell of the ankylosaur and clasped it over the
edge, just above its hindquarters. She yanked it towards her, flipping the foe
onto its back and knocking it breathless. It desperately flailed its thick
stumpy legs in the air, trying to right itself upon the ground, but it was a
futile effort. The next moment, the tyrannosaurus bore down upon the exposed
underbelly of the ankylosaur and ripped out its entrails. In a spray of blood
and bone, the tyrant lizard claimed her prey and roared in triumph. The sound
echoed throughout the valley and hills, resounding her victory.
It was not much longer when she returned to her nest, dragging a large chunk of
the ankylosaur's flesh towards her hatchlings. The baby tyrannosaurs chittered
busily and scampered upon the bloodied morsel, and the sounds of their eating
pleased the mother. Then she looked upon the purple one. It was not eating.
Rather, it was staring blankly at her and smiling. She growled back as a
retort, but it did not appear to phase the fat, stocky creature. She turned
away and helped herself to the rest of the meat.
* * * * * * * *
At a neighboring nest, a styracosaur was facing a similar dilemma. Though she
too had given birth to a fine litter of hatchlings, there was something odd and
unsettling about one of them. It was a female creature, with starry blue eyes
and a high, squeaky call. Unlike its siblings, it had smooth green skin
and bright pink dots. It also walked about on its two hind legs, not on all
fours like the rest of the family. It preened and giggled constantly, and all
of the other babies in the litter ignored it, as if afraid. And while the
styracosaur-mother had sharp, spiky horns, it noticed this one did not. In
fact, she wasn't even sure it was of her kin.
She went about her way, the newborns following after her, munching on ferns and
flowers. Other styracosaurs in the herd raised their gaze at the family, then
stared at the green, bubbly one at the end. They too, were sensing a great
deal of discomfort and insecurity.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Dawn rose and the mother-tyrannosaur rose from her slumber. Her gaze rested
upon the litter. She noticed that many of the hatchlings were now able to run
quite steadily through the dense brush and many snapped at the flies and gnats
that filled the dense air. She shifted her gaze uneasily upon the fat purple
dinosaur, who sat on a rock, rocking back and forth, smiling serenely at the
yellowish sky. She had noticed it had not even eaten once, but was still plump
and growing rather rapidly. She began thinking more and more of plodding over
and wrapping her jaws tightly around its firm belly, she found it easier to
fight the maternal instinct given the loathsome nature of this purple
miscreant. Had she not been staring so intently at the purple baby, she would
have noticed a green, bubbly creature faintly resembling a styracosaur
approaching the knoll.
The purple infant began giggling and smiling even more when the green dinosaur
appeared alongside it. The mother tyrannosaur reared back in alarm. The
mother styracosaur, who had been searching for the baby green freak, came upon
the scene and reacted likewise. As the two behemoths watched in rapt
fascination, the purple and green dinosaur faced each other and began an odd
call. It was a series of sounds, repeated over and over in a continuous
rhythm, and as they continued, the two newborn creatures clasped their hands
together and began swaying back and forth. A song and dance.
Moments later, the sky turned a turbulent red, and volcanoes began erupting
with unbridled ferocity. Lava and smoke spewed into the sky. The ground
shook, causing great cracks to emerge and forests were shattered into
splinters. Cries of confused and frightened dinosaurs filled the air, and a
tremendous heat began to build in harsh intensity.
The mother tyrannosaurus fought to approach the purple and green lizards. She
was filled with an immediate desire to kill them and rip their flesh
off of their skeletons. But as she struggled, she became aware of a more
immediate menace and looked towards the sky...
Steadily approaching the earth blazed a gigantic, fiery orb. The light was
blinding and the heat incredible as it broke the atmosphere, igniting
it and causing a tremendous upheaval in the soft surface and rolling oceans.
The next instant it exploded against the earth's fragile crust.
The tyrannosaurus was thrown off of her feet and she roared in fear and
confusion. The entire valley was filled with the cries and howls of terrified
and wounded dinosaurs, many who stampeded blindly into the center of the
explosion, which had sent a billowing, rumbling column of smoke and fire into
the violent sky. Great clouds of dust and debris began darkening the horizon,
and as the tyrannosaurus struggled back to her feet, she noticed with great
dismay her newborn children, dead on the ground. They had either been trampled
to death by panicking herds or suffocated by the intense heat and debris. She
bellowed in rage and despair, then fixed her gaze upon the purple and green
dinosaurs below her. She lurched after them, but suddenly found herself
gasping for air. Her lungs began to burn and swell from inhaling the hot dust
and smoke, and within seconds the mighty giant fell to the ground and died.
By the end of the day an eerie silence had fallen upon the land. The sky was a
mosaic of blacks and blues, clouds rolling in fantastic patterns over the
landscape. Dust and ash gently floated in filmy clouds upon the surface,
lightly coating the dead and dying bodies of dinosaurs. The temperature had
fallen rapidly and some of the marshes had begun to freeze over. A faint
breeze whistled mournfully through the racked forests, and off in the distance
an unusual sound was heard. At the edge of the valley two stocky figures
waddled off into the distance, hand in hand, singing the very song that
preceded the comet's impact....
I love you, you love me, we're a happy family....
With a great big hug and kiss from me to you, won't
you say you love me too?
TO BE CONTINUED....
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Prologue, Part 2
* Earth, Meditteranean Region, 19 A.D.
The little boy was tempermental, uncontrollable, and rash, thought the servant.
It was hard to believe he could grow to become one of the Empire's leaders.
How often the child would run about waving a toy sword, stomping about in his
riding boots, ordering ridiculous commands at her and the others. And they
once believed that he was a fine young man, a boy destined for greatness and
leadership. But that was before the appearance of the so-called demigod,
"Barnichus". After his arrival, the youth took on a more sinister, unbridled
behaviour that the servant feared would cause great hardship for the people.
She quietly peered into the next room, to observe the boy playing with
Barnichus, a fat, squalid, and _purple_ beast loosely wrapped in a green toga.
Since his mysterious arrival at the palace, the future emperor and the chubby
monster had played for hours on end, singing mindless little tunes and
performing perverted little dances. It was surely this creature, this
demon-god, that had warped a promising youth into a future madman. It would
weigh heavily upon Rome when this child took the throne.
"Dulcinus," whispered a fellow servant, "we must prepare for tonight's banquet
at the throne room. The boy will be alright."
"I wish that were true, Nera," she replied. "but I have great fear for the
empire. Ever since that Purple Beast arrived with his little green companion,
I fear our precious Caligula has been corrupted ."
* Southwestern Europe, late thirteenth century
The little boy was lonely, he watched the sailors unloading the boats from the
distant countries. Various spices and metals were taken from the bellys of the
great ships, and the child wondered if he would grow up to become a great
sea-traveler. His thoughts were disoriented when a small, fuzzy rat came
scampering down the rampway towards him.
His father told him to kill any rat, since they ate precious grain and ruined
various cargo with their foul droppings. The boy kept his eye on the rodent
and grabbed a heavy stone off the ground. He raised it high above his head
"Now hold on there, little boy. Don't you know it's not nice to hurt small
The boy turned around, and saw an immense, grinning purple beast. Alongside
stood a smaller, green dinosaur with thick lashes and pink dots.
"Who are you?" asked the child, lowering the stone.
"Our names aren't too important right now," giggled the dinosaur, "what is
important is that you learn that all animals are special and can even make
Suddenly the two creatures began singing a little tune about the love and
affection a housepet can give, all the while dancing gleefully about the dock.
The little boy looked on, entranced.
When they had finished, the little boy said, "I believe you two are right. I'm
not going to kill this poor little rat. In fact, I'm going to sneak him into
my house and feed him grain and milk!"
"Why that's wonderful!" bellowed the fat purple beast. "And as it gets older,
it'll share love and affection for you, though not as much as I have for you.
Let me sing another song for you, my little friend".
The boy listened on in rapt attention as the two dinosaurs sang:
I love you, you love me, we're a happy family....just collect
more rats and give them a home, you'll find a love you've
"I just loooovvveee little pets!" bubbled the smaller, green dinosaur, cradling
her blanket. With that, she and the purple dinosaur leant down and hugged the
little boy. They fondly waved good-bye and quickly disappeared behind the huge
stacks of cargo.
The little boy picked up the rat, and several others on his way home. His
heart was filled with joy and happiness, he hoped he would see the fat purple
creature (was it a dragon, maybe?) again. When the boy got home, he crept to
his room and let the rats loose upon his bedding. He immediately got bread and
milk to feed them, and soon the small pack was gurgling happily, their scaly
tails draped lazily over the boy's thigh. A moment later, the boy felt an
itch. Did these rats have fleas? Or lice?
The Black Plague swept through Europe like wildfire that season. Hordes of
scaly rodents feasted upon the diseased corpses and countless millions died
within a short period. It would become one of the greatest disasters in
* Northern Europe, early 20th century.
The corporal scrambled madly through the trenches, the Allied troops were
closing in on his position. He had no weapon with which to defend himself, and
most others from his regiment had already successfully retreated from the
charge that threatened the entire encampment. Biplanes bearing the Allied
insignia flew overhead, doing battle with triplanes emblazoned with the iron
Cross. All signs showing that World War I was coming to a gradual end.
The corporal looked behind him. In the distance he could see dozens of
olive-clad British soldiers filing through the trench. It was likely that he
would be caught, possibly killed. Many Allies had a certain deal of resentment
to unleash upon the Germans.
Suddenly, the corporal was lifted off his feet and yanked behind a collapsed
munnitions shed. He turned around and to his surprise saw a huge, stocky
purple dinsosaur smiling at him.
"Now just be quiet," whispered the blubbery beast, who was clad in a grey
trench jacket and spiked helmet. "Follow me and I'll get you back to your
The astonished corporal nodded and followed the huge purple reptile. The two
of them wandered through acres of barbed wire and foxholes, until they could
hear the distinct rumblings of trucks and tanks in orderly retreat.
"There you go, friend!" said the dinosaur. "Here are your friends, pulling
back to Germany. It's too bad that you have to be on the losing side".
"Maybe for now," grumbled the corporal. "But maybe one day I'll make the
orders. My country is in ruins, but I'll bring it back on its feet and make
those guilty pay for our suffering. We won't be beaten for very long".
"Well that's a wonderful attitude!" reeled the purple creature, exposing his
clean, wide teeth. "You certainly are a good sttuuupenndousss sport! I wish
you luck, and want you to know I _love_ you." And with that, the purple beast
hugged the corporal, who looked a bit uncomfortable with the gesture.
"By the way, who are you and why did you save me?" the moustached man asked.
"Private Barney at your command, sir!" chirped the dinosaur, snapping to
attention and saluting. "I saved you because you are my special friend!"
"Thank you, Herr Barney," replied the corporal. "My name is Adolf
Schicklgruber. But I have grown wary of that name. You may address me as
Adolf Hitler. And soon I will make my mark upon the world, I promise."
* North-centralized Europe, early twentieth century
The little girl had known of the war for quite some time, sometimes she heard
the distant buzz of bombers high overhead or saw the occasional flare in the
distance. She was part of a big secret though, that she kept to herself and
within the family. Well, actually there was someone else.
She had spent so many months in the upper attic, sheltered from the rest of the
world and fleeing oppression. Yet it was a lonely existence, which is why she
was so happy to have a magical visitor come to her recently. He was big, fat,
purple, and always so cheerful, and the two spent many hours singing and
dancing. But not too loudly, as they might be discovered. Occasionally he
would bring his green companion, who talked like a three-year old and had a
high, squeaky voice. Who ever they were, she was glad they were there to keep
Just that night her fat dinosaur friend, Barney, had talked to her about
secrets. Why was her existence so hidden from the rest of the world? She
couldn't really tell him, only that this way she and her family were safe. He
laughed and said friends never keep secrets from each other, especially when
they really, really, _really_ loved one another. Finally, she gave in and told
him who she was, what their family was doing stored up in an attic, and what
her hopes and desires were. He hugged her and thanked her for being so honest
and open, and for the moment, she felt good too. But then he left shortly
afterwards and hadn't been back since. That was just last night.
Suddenly, there came a pounding at the door. She was alarmed. Was it her
purple friend? He had never approached from the attic entrance before. What
was it and why were her parents so terrified?
The door was suddenly kicked in, and a squad of black-uniformed men came in.
Sirens rang from outside. The man in front, brandishing a 9mm luger and
swastika said, "If it wasn't for our informant, we'd never have caught you
miserable bunch!" He laughed cruelly at the little girl and dragged her
Anne Frank and her family were seperated and shipped away from their native
Holland. Anne was never seen again.
* North American continent, later twentieth century
Kids nation-wide flocked to the TV screens and watched the premiere of a whole
new PBS show, "Barney and Friends". The show peaked in ratings and millions
poured in as children watched the antics of a fat, purple dinosaur named Barney
and his squeaky, child-like green companion Baby Bop.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Years later, Barney performs a live concert broadcast from Washington D.C..
During the show, he incites children everywhere to riot and kill any person
over the age of twelve. In the resulting holocaust, children become his
unwitting servants and Barney reigns supreme from the former White House. Baby
Bop is put in charge of overseeing the Purple One's secret nurseries, which
breed deplorable mutant creatures known as the Loved Ones.
After several years of absolute rule and dominion, Barney and Baby Bop are
killed by Jeremy Phillips and his sister, Fran. Both were respectively marked
for execution and impregnation, following their thirteenth birthdays. Jeremy
escaped his execution, rescued Fran, destroyed the nursery, and shot and killed
Baby Bop. Fran killed Barney while saving her brother from his murderous
talons. After the incidents, children and surviving adults reunite to refound
civilization, completely free of the Great Purple Beast and his minions.
Or so they thought.
End of Prologue
TO BE CONTINUED......
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter One: Fossils
Jeremy Phillips sat back in his chair, feet propped upon the table, his eyes
glued upon the news. On live TV police were busy lifting a colorful, drenched,
serpentine creature out of the river. Upon resting the body upon the banks,
one investigator lifted the creature's headpiece off, revealing the bloated and
pale young man inside.
"This is Barbara Stanford coming to you live from the Potomac River, D.C. where
police have just discovered the remains of Tony Lopez, found dead in the
costume that made him famous to children all over the country. Known to many
as "Derrick the Dragon", Lopez is the fourth kid's show emcee found murdered
in the past five months..."
The phone rang. Jeremy's wife Lana lifted the receiver and handed it to him.
They both knew who it was.
"Hello?" said Jeremy.
"Kee-risst! Jeremy, are you seeing what I'm seeing on TV right now?"
"As a matter of fact, Bill, I am. Four in five months. How's Reggie handling
"He's pretty shaken, I mean, like, who wouldn't be? We're taping a show right
now, I guess he's doing okay with the kids and all. How about coming down so
we can talk after today's run?"
"Sure, I'll be there within the hour." He hung up and looked over at Lana.
"Bill's running headless about this murder thing. I need to go down and keep
him and Reggie calm. Tuck the kids in for me, will you hon?"
"No prob, dear," she replied, sitting up and straightening her blouse. "It's
almost their bedtime anyway. She leant over and kissed him. "Don't be up too
"I'll try," he replied, and made his way out to the car. The station wagon
sputtered and farted black smoke, then chugged its way down the quiet lane.
Jeremy Phillips had seen quite a few strange things in his thirty-four years.
He had lived through the Age of Barney (a.k.a The Purple Holocaust), which he
felt could prepare him for anything. Once he had found Lana, fathered two
beautiful kids, and landed a job as a programming consultant for a childrens'
television station, he thought he could put it all behind him. But he had an
uneasy feeling something was afoot. He parked his car at the station and
walked into Studio C, filming area for "Chester Owl and Friends".
Reggie was downing a glass of bourbon when Jeremy walked in, still wearing his
owl costume. He looked up and mumbled a nervous hello and stared ahead at the
wall. Bill, the director and co-producer of the show approached Jeremy.
"There are only so many more kid-show hosts in this town," began Bill. "If
they don't catch who's responsible, Reggie may be next. Then what? No more
Chester Owl and television grants!"
"Let's get him out of town for awhile," whispered Jeremy. "We can carry the
ratings on a few weeks worth of reruns. Kids love Chester, they'll get along
fine until he gets back."
Jeremy never thought he'd be consultant for a kid's show of all things. Not
after the horror that the Purple One had brought upon the world. But then
Jeremy had figured that the whole problem was not a kids' show, but how it was
done. It was his idea to have the emcee be modeled after a real creature, not
a mythical or extinct one. The owl symbolized wisdom, common sense, and most
kids liked the feathery, wide-eyed features of Chester. But most importantly,
Chester never made false gestures of love or unconditional acceptance. This
set him apart distinctly from the Beast of Purple, who had used such gestures
to sway and warp children's minds until they were programmed disciples. Not to
mention Chester didn't giggle excessively, smile idiotically, or talk in a
moronic fashion. It was these qualities that had gained "Chester Owl and his
Friends" tremendous praise from critics and families alike.
But now the recent kid-show murders had put a damper on things. First victim
was Melissa Mouse, who was found beaten to death under one of the prop pieces
for her show. A few weeks later came Magical Merlin of the Wonder Universe,
who was pushed down an elevator shaft in his own apartment building. The last
one before Derrick the Dragon was Doogie Dog, who had been run over
consecutively by a heavy diesel truck. Who was doing this and why was anyone's
guess, Jeremy was absolutely clueless.
Moments later they got Reggie into a van, the venerable owl was quite
inebriated but insisted on driving home on his own. Jeremy demanded that he
call upon getting home, then the next day they'd book him for a flight back
home. As the van drove off, Jeremy and Bill became aware of someone else in
the studio. They looked up and met the blistery gaze of Thorton Marshall, one
of the creative consultants of "Chester" and the least liked employee of the
"Take it easy now," he said with a mild sneer. He walked down the stairwell
and fixed his thick glasses upon the two men. "I was just watching the great
creative genius at work. Such concern you show for your employees, Mr.
Phillips. Pity those other kid-show creatures didn't have you around, most may
be alive today. But I imagine if you have the gall to blow away some fat
purple dinosaur who never did you an ounce of harm I suppose-"
"What the hell are you chiming on, Marshall?" said Bill, his wrinkled brow
flashing red. "How many times do I have to tell you never to bring up that
bloated sack of-"
"Sorry, just forgot," smiled Marshall. "You know, Jeremy, there are quite a
few people out there now who claim the so-called Great Act of Love and the
Purple Holocaust never occurred. That it was all fabricated, and you are one
of the biggest liars around."
"You are absolutely pathetic, Thorton," stammered Jeremy. "Get out now if you
want to have an office tomorrow. One more word out of you and you can kiss
your poorly-earned paycheck goodbye!"
"Point taken, Mr. Phillips," said Marshall, backing towards the rear of the
studio. "I don't know what made me say such terrible things." The next
instant Thornton had gone downstairs.
"You gonna be okay, pal?" asked Bill, resting his hand on Jeremy's shoulder.
"I'm gonna be fine".
"Let's go grab a small bite and drink," suggested the older man, "then we'll
call Reggie later on and see if he made it back okay." The two went outside
and down to a roadside tavern.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thorton Marshall was by definition, a fanatic. Not drugs, not cars, not women,
not even money. Though he was rich, he didn't exclaim his wealth upon such
material items or possessions. Rather, he was an eclectic gatherer of
forbidden objects, items that were banned or prohibited from cultured society.
When he had heard his two co-workers leave, he scampered down to the vaults,
where voice/retina access scanners opened up his private cache. He leeringly
fingered the contents inside, and pressed them tightly against his face and
body in the darkness of the deserted studio. He lit an antique torch and
looked the doors outside the vault. Again he cradled himself against the
A plush, purple Barney doll. A Baby Bop blanket. Several pirated Barney and
Friends videos. A "Barney's Greatest Hit's" CD. Barney balloons, lunch boxes,
tote bags (with the infamous lead paint), books, comics, figurines, party
favors, and of course, the ever-lovin' Barney SONGBOOK and TAPE. He pulled out
a recorder and placed the tape in. Syrupy, flimsy music chimed out of the
speaker and flooded the vault...
I love you, you love me, we're a happy family, with a great
big hug and kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too?
"Yes, yes, oohhh Gooddddd, YES!! I love you Barney, I love youuuuu!!" squealed
the man, reeling in orgasmic frenzy and sweating excessively. "Oh do I love
you, let me love you for now and forever, my friend Barney, be mine, be mine
The next instant, Thorton Marshall shrieked in ecstatic abandon and collapsed
to the floor, unconscious.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It wasn't until he saw passing motorists' amused expressions that Reggie
realized he was still wearing Chester Owl's bodysuit. Damn, he thought, how
embarassing. Still, he was almost home and then he could let his bosses know
he had made it home okay. In some ways he hoped the police could be more
available, the idea of an armed patrol surrounding his house sounded
Suddenly, he felt the car lurch from under him, and he heard a tremendous
hissing sound. The van fought him for control and weaved into a thick old tree
by the side of the road. The collision shook Reggie out of the seat and onto
the floor. When the dust cleared, he picked himself up and went out to review
the damage. Both front tires where shredded to thick shards of rubber.
"Damn, damn, why now?" grumbled the emcee. As he was ready to start walking
home, he saw a pair of headlights approaching in the distance.
Within seconds a huge purple van had pulled up alongside the wreck. There were
two people (?) in the front, but it was so dark Reggie couldn't make out their
features. The driver seemed to be pretty obese, though.
"My goodness, it appears that you're in a wreck!" said a low, dopey voice. It
sounded faintly familiar to Reggie.
"Good drivers and passengers always wear their seat-belts!" giggled another
voice. It was oddly familiar as well.
"Uh, hey, do I know you guys? Maybe you could give me a ride home or
"Why, absolutely!" chirped the bigger passenger. "I sense you and I are going
to be Special Friends. And do you know what I want to give you?"
"Uh, look man, all I want is a ride, I don't need any gifts," muttered Reggie,
who was still trying to remember where he had heard that voice before.
"I want to give you a stuuupppeeennnddouuuss hug! Then we'll take you home,
" Oh yes, I weally like to wide in cars!" squeaked the shadowy passenger.
"Oh cripes, let's just do it. Here's your hug and let's go..." the man walked
over to the driver's side and leaned into the window. Fat purple arms
enveloped him and Reggie caught a glimpse of gleaming, perfect white teeth. On
the passenger's side beamed a pair of bright blue and starry eyes. Weren't
there a couple of dinosaurs on television a long time ago who had-
"Oh God, let me go you fat purple bastard!"
The man was pulled in through the driver's window, his legs thrashed
desperately against the door. His cries were quickly drowned out by the sound
of ominous laughter and as the immense white jaws closed upon his head, all
sound was drowned out as his skull was crushed and chewed to hard, grainy
chunks. The two passengers feasted upon the dying man's twitching body, and
were someone to observe from a safe distance, they might suspect they heard
I love you, you love me, we're coming for Jeremy...it's been
so long, I hope he doesn't mind, Barney has an axe to grind....
An hour later the purple van drove off into the night, leaving a puddle of
blood and feathers upon the road. Meanwhile, up at the young man's house up
the grade, a telephone was ringing into the dead silence.
TO BE CONTINUED....
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter Two: Veil
Jeremy Phillips and his co-worker Bill were shown the remains. Had it not been
for the bloodied feathers and the wallet left behind, no one would be able to
even remotely guess that they were of Reggie Middleton, formerly known as
"Chester Owl". The two men stared at the grisly pile of flesh, speechless.
"It's like the poor fellow was chewed by some giant dog or something," said the
coroner, replacing the sheet. "What we can't figure out is how the bites are
so clean and sharp. When a dog or other animal devours food, the bites are
ragged, torn, and uneven. But not this one. In fact, the bites more closely
remember those of a person with perfect teeth. But no one could have jaws as
wide as that."
As Jeremy and Bill walked back to the car, Bill muttered, "It's over. No more
Chester Owl, and probably no more kid shows for a long time. We can stand by
reruns for awhile, but there's no denying the media will jump on this one.
I've got a statement prepared already, it's just a matter of finding a
respectable reporter who isn't going to have every family in America scared to
"It won't be hard, Reggie's death was the most horrendous," replied Jeremy,
scratching his neck. "God, Bill, what kind of creature does a thing like that
to a man? His head was chewed to bits, not even a full dental record could be
obtained. We're dealing with a lethal maniac or deranged animal of some sort,
and the police should be notified. How many kid-show emcees are left in the
"About five more, assuming they still want to go on the air. There's Flubo the
Clown, Ricky Rabbit, Sally Strawberry, the like. I think they're all pretty
much into revised contract negotiations, bargaining for more security."
"You know, there was a time where a certain kid's show host would look great
getting his skull broken and chewed up on the air. "
"Only you were too young to know better," chuckled Bill. "Jeremy, how you
survived that killer dino is beyond me. Then again, I'm glad I survived
myself. However, what Marshall said yesterday is true, I'm afraid. There are
some skeptics, all young and cocky as hell, who are saying the Purple Holocaust
"I know," said Jeremy, unlocking the station wagon. "But that's the price for
removing all evidence that it ever occurred. Every Barney song, video, toy,
and suit has all been outlawed and burnt. We're not talking censorship, Bill,
we're talking about keeping a lethal beast from Hell away from our children".
" I think Marshall would like to put the fat purple ass back on the tube,"
grumbled the older man, "his kind scares me. Where is he today anyway?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thorton Marshall called the receptionist, and said he wasn't feeling right and
would be gone all day. Actually, he was calling from the basement of the
studio and hadn't felt better. Upon hanging up, he gleefully made his way back
to his secret vault and foraged through his forbidden collection of Barney and
Baby Bop paraphernalia.
He slid a copy of "Barney and Friends" into the VCR and watched enraptured for
several hours. Occasionally he had to stop the tape as he would begin
hyperventilating and spastically wriggle in perverse glee at the purple
dinosaur's antics. More than once he would wrap his arms around the television
set and smother the screen with kisses, or he would caress his plush purple
Barney doll softly and lovingly.
"Barney, Barney, oh my one and special friend Barney," cooed the middle-aged
man, his thick glasses steaming over. His hot sweat drenched the little doll
and he would teasingly wrap the Baby Bop blanket over its eyes, playing
"peek-a-boo" for several hours more. Finally, once he had exhausted all
possible yet unspeakable pleasures from the videos and doll, he collapsed upon
the floor and eyed the tall wooden box in the corner.
It was time.
The man rose and began tearing away his clothes. Stripped bare, he flung
himself towards the box and unlocked it. Upon seeing the contents the man
sighed loudly then giggled. With a child's glee, he hurriedly slid into
the Barney costume and donned the headpiece.
"Our fun and learning never ends!" he cackled.
* * * * * * * * * *
Lana sat on the couch, watching the news. The anchorwoman announced the death
of Reggie Middleton, and the newscamera rudely focused in on the poor man's
remains. Lana disgustedly turned away from the screen and decided it was time
to check on her children, Stacy and Mark. She didn't know where Jeremy was, he
had missed dinner and hadn't called to say where he would be. She checked her
watch and decided it was time to put the kids to bed. Maybe afterwards she
could call Jeremy's sister Fran and see if she knew what became of him.
* ** * * * * * *
Fran sat before the gravestone and placed the flowers upon the cold, marbled
stone. Jeremy had told her that one day she would have to get over it but she
couldn't. She had hoped for so many years that they would find their parents
alive and well following the Purple Holocaust, yet when the phone rang it
wasn't them. It was the coroner who had discovered the remains in a destroyed
section of Baltimore.
The couple had been shopping in a toy store when the Great Act of Love
occurred. Packs of frenzied, mindless children had broken through the front
doors and made off with every available Barney toy they could find. And, true
to the spirit of the Great Act, they killed any adult they could lay their
clutching hands on. All the coroner could say to console Fran and Jeremy was
that it appeared to be quick. But she could never forgive herself for being so
swayed by Barney, at least she was there to pull the trigger when Barney
attempted to kill her brother. She could still feel the recoil of the pistol
and the sight of the bullet disappearing between the fat reptile's shoulder
She sat another moment in silence and made her way out of the cemetery. When
she got back she could call her boyfriend, then maybe drop a line to Jeremy and
see how he was doing in light of the whole kid-show murders. The radio blared
the violent and gruesome murder of Chester Owl, she wondered who would be so
cruel and insane to do such a gruesome act.
* * * * * * *
"I'm not sure if this is going to work, but it's worth a shot," said Bill,
holding the recorder and portable television. He walked ahead of Jeremy as the
two men made their way down to the vaults.
"The resolution on the players are pretty good, I think we stand a chance,"
answered Jeremy. "We gotta see what Marshall's been into down here, and I
could care less about company privacy. He's up to something".
On Jeremy's cue, Bill turned on the television and the recorder. He hit
"simultaneous play" for both machines and faced them towards the retina/voice
access unit for the vault. Thorton Marshall's wiry, bespectacled face appeared
on the screen, and the player muttered, "Thorton Marshall".
The two men held their breath. The access unit hummed and scanned the screen.
It chirped and green lights began flickering. The next instant the vault door
unbolted and slowly pried itself open.
"Hot damn!" whispered Bill. "I knew Marshall's video resume tape would have
Jeremy nodded in agreement and the two men stepped into the vault. Jeremy
beamed the flashlight and stared aghast at what he saw. Bill gaped in
Barney and Baby Bop paraphernalia littered the floor, covered the walls, and
hung from the ceiling. Every available doll, book, toy, party favor, video,
and clothing known in existence. In the center of this disorder stood a tall,
empty box, it's latch undone and its contents...gone.
"That sick S.O.B," muttered Bill, "he's got a whole stockpile of Barney crap
down here. "
For Jeremy, it had been years since he last saw a Barney doll. The sight of it
made him feel creepy and hollow inside. Just twenty years ago, he used to
sleep with one just like it. Staring into its dead, evil eyes made him
shudder. He picked it up and hurled it against the vault wall, where it
bounced back upon the floor.
"Call the police," said Jeremy. "We've got a lunatic collecting forbidden
* * * * * * * * *
Lana looked back in the bedroom. Stacy and Mark were fast asleep, tucked
firmly into their beds. When Stacy turned seven next year, she'd get her own
bedroom. Mark, who was five, would probably like the idea. They were
beautiful children, she thought Jeremy had done a great job being a father for
them. She blew the two children a kiss and went downstairs to make herself
some dinner and watch TV.
Moments later, the children were awakened by a curious scratching at the
window. In the faint moonlight they could see a curious silhouette pawing at
the latch. The two kids stared at each other for a moment, then steadily
approached the figure. Upon a closer look, they saw it was a fat, smiling,
purple dinosaur. It was smearing blood upon the glass.
TO BE CONTINUED......
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter 3: Masquerade
When Jeremy returned home, the lawn was dotted with blaring, flashing police
cars. Investigators were combing the yard and surrounding area, making out
what they could in the harsh glare of strobe-lights and high-beams. Lana was
inside, talking to the chief investigator. Jeremy came in and embraced her,
she was shaking and her face was wet with tears.
"It happened sometime in the last hour," she stammered, "go up there Jeremy,
tell me what you think..."
Jeremy slipped past the flimsy tape barricade at the foot of the stairs and
went up into his children's bedroom. A few photographers were just leaving,
having shot a few good rolls of film. Jeremy surveyed the scene, dumbfounded
Blood was spattered against the window, thick, scabby prints impressed upon the
glass. No breaks, however, it seemed that the window (which was always kept
closed at night) had been opened voluntarily, not forced. There didn't appear
to be any signs of struggle, though the blood was evident of some foul play.
And then, as Jeremy's eyes fell upon the beds, he hesitated, then shuddered.
He backed away from the object propped against the pillow, aghast. He left the
room, never lifting his gaze off the hellish figure that was left behind,
either as a message, maybe a warning.
It was a Barney doll.
* * * * * * * *
"Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, I know things don't look exactly bright at this moment,
but I have reason to suspect your children may be unharmed", said Chief Davies.
He scrunched his brow and adjusted his glasses. "The blood found on the window
was smeared on the _outside_, and our lab techs just finished analyzing it. It
doesn't match the blood types of your kids. Rather, it matches that of Glenda
Pattikin, also known to her viewers as "Melissa Mouse". She was found dead
tonight in her studio, bit in half at the waist. The time of death was about a
full hour before your kids disappeared."
"Meaning that who ever is killing the kid-show emcees is now kidnapping
children?" asked Lana.
"It would appear that way. The only real connection is that Jeremy here is a
consultant for children's programming, maybe it's a statment of some sort. But
to date, we've not received any calls or messages demanding ransom or making
any clear declarations. But rest assured you two, the whole force is out
tonight coming the grounds."
"There...there was a doll left at the scene," said Jeremy, still feeling
"A Barney doll, yes, I saw that," said Davies. "I understand you are the one
who liberated the children during the Purple Holocaust?"
"Yes, my sister and I pretty much killed Barney and helped reunite the children
and adults. I think who ever did this has it in for me because of that.
Earlier my friend Bill and I ran across some Barney and Baby Bop memorabalia in
one of my employee's personal vaults. Name was Thorton Marshall. Any word?"
"We got your call and sent out an APB on the man, but we haven't turned up
anything. Reasonable to guess that this man may be the killer, though
nothing's circumstantial. Do I understand right that you saw an empty box in
"Yes, right in the center of the floor. Nothing in it, I don't know
what he'd have in there."
"My hunch is that Mr. Marshall had a costume in there. If he was a
Barney-fanatic, enough to keep practically every toy, book, and CD there,
chances look good he'd have a costume as well. If he's not parading around in
a purple lizard suit, he may be dressed up as Baby Bop. I'll call dispatch
right now and alert the force."
* * * * * * * *
When Fran heard the news, she left her dwelling immediately. She didn't want
to be left alone, and terrifying thoughts swelled back in her head. Visions of
Barney and Baby Bop, the hordes of scampering, blubbery Loved Ones, the murder
of thousands of adults....
She stepped on the accelerator and made her way toward Jeremy and Lana's house.
It was only a few blocks later that something caught her eye. As she waited
for the green light at the intersection, she saw something large and puffy
dancing in the city park. At first she couldn't tell what it was, but as it
passed under a dim streetlight, it's fat purple body was perfectly illuminated
and Fran felt the blood pumping through her temples. She slammed the pedal
against the floor and spun the car after the big bloated reptile.
The car knocked trash cans and small bushes into the air, and the vehicle
rocked and swayed over the uneven ground. It wasn't until her headlights were
right on the creature's back that he seemed to notice her. Suddenly the chubby
dinosaur screamed in terror and began running away. His fat, stocky legs could
only carry him so far however....
"Eat steel you worthless slab of purple lard!!" screamed Fran, as the plump
lizard bounced off of her fender, smacking into a tree. She slowed down, threw
the car into reverse, and backed over him again for good measure. Seeing that
her quarry was knocked senseless, she stopped the vehicle and secured a crowbar
from the trunk. She approached the groaning dinosaur steadily and cautiously,
brandishing the heavy iron bar before her. "So, Mr. Happy-saur, where's my
niece and nephew? Why did you kidnap them, huh?"
The fat purple creature coughed and wheezed, it had inhaled a lot of dust and
was bleeding at the mouth. Then, to Fran's surprise, its stocky purple arms
removed its head and only then did she realize it was a costume...
Thorton Marshall looked back at her through thick, sweaty lenses, rolled his
eyes, and collapsed upon the ground, unconscious.
"Oh my God," Fran whispered, leaning over to examine the frail man. She
checked his pulse. Steady, but he may need some immediate attention.
"Why Fran, don't you know it's not nice to run over people, especially if they
resemble your old pal, Barney?"
Fran froze. The voice had come from behind her. So clear, so close, so very
"Mean, mean, Fran! Wun over nice helpless man in fun Barney-costume! Bad as
brother! Mean, mean, Fran!" scowled a squeaky voice, also from behind, also as
Fran leapt to her feet and tried to escape, but only after a few steps she felt
a heavy blow against the back of her head. She saw lights flash and flicker
before her eyes, then her head hit the grassy earth. In a roar of demonic
laughter, the world turned black.
* * * * * *
Jeremy was feeling panicky. He was unable to reach Fran, and no one was
answering calls at the studio. No one had called from the police, meaning
Thorton Marshall had not yet been found. Lana was in bed, sleeping off a
tranquilizer. Here he sat alone, fidgeting and restless, waiting for a call or
visitor. He decided to go into the basement and fetch himself a cold beer out
of the cooler.
He went down the creaky wooden steps and turned on the light. He pulled open
the cooler door and pulled out a frosty, wet can of beer and popped it open.
As he guzzled the frothy cold brew, he suddenly became aware of a presence in
the basement with him. He paused and listened.
"What has befallen the Great Liberator?" said a raspy, almost scratchy voice.
Jeremy spun around and faced a creature, perched upon a cluttered old card
table. It stood about four feet tall, had light, scaly skin and fine serated
teeth. Its appearance was reptilian, though its overall shape was
man-like. It wore a moth-eaten, green and purple robe and wielded a
staff emblazoned with amethyst and emerald gemstones. It scrutinized the
human with piercing yellow eyes. A thin, wispy tail rolled back and forth
behind it. Fine silvery hairs trailed down the back of its head and neck.
Jeremy sucked in his breath. For the first time in twenty years, he was face
to face with a Loved One.
TO BE CONTINUED.....
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter Four: Remnants
The two beings eyed each other suspiciously for several moments. The air was
filled with an uncomfortable silence, one that grew increasingly unsettling.
Jeremy had never seen a Loved One who looked so tall, so lizard-like, so.....
...stately. Had he been a young man of thirteen again, he most likely would run
away or try to kill the beast before him. But there he was, unsure of
himself. It was as if he knew the creature somehow.
The Loved One sensed his hesitation. "Jeremy Phillips, the Great Liberator,
freer of children and destroyer of Barney's First Incarnation. You do not know
me, but I have known you for quite some time." The creature's yellow eyes
narrowed, the black crescents adjusting to the light. " I am known as
Maca'hzar, Acolyte of the Underworld. What your kind refer to as sewers and
tunnels, basically. "
"Where are my children, and what have you done to them? Tell me, or I can kill
you here and now!" demanded Jeremy.
The Loved One scowled at the threat, and scratched his chin with thin, scaly
fingers. "I could've killed you anytime. You and your whole family if I
desired. I've watched you for years, Jeremy Phillips, I know many things
about yourself but have always let you live untouched, in peace. And now you
would threaten the wisest and most powerful of the Loved Ones? Were I the
Purple Beast himself, you'd be dead long ago."
" You speak," said Jeremy, who had just observed the creature's ability, " you
speak English, and fluently. No other Loved One has done that."
" By definition I am a freak, a rare exception to my kind. My abilities are far
above most others of my race, but I didn't come to talk about my traits with
" Alright then," Jeremy said resignedly, "what does your master want and will
he let me have my children back?"
Maca'hzar chuckled a deep, throaty laugh, then fixed his gaze back into
Jeremy's strained eyes. "I am not servant to anyone, especially the Beast of
Purple. I am not here to represent him, only myself. We had, say, a
disagreement some time ago, and I have been cast out from his rule ever since.
Rather, I am here to warn you, Jeremy Phillips, of the impending doom that
Jeremy looked back at the Loved One in surprise. For some inexplicable reason,
he could not bring himself to disbelieve the scaly, razor-toothed creature. He
listened with rapt attention.
"Barney is back, Jeremy. He has your children and your sister. Baby Bop has
returned as well, and the two of them are back for your blood. Barney is
immortal, he can never be permanently destroyed. His life essence is that of
the most pure, unrefined evil in the universe, there is no existence outside of
that. But, there are ways to defeat him."
"I don't understand you."
Maca'hzar reached into the folds of his tattered robe and produced a dull,
jagged shard that looked like stone. One side was smooth and marbled, the
other was dull and rippled. He placed it into Jeremy's hand, and closed the
human's hand around it tightly. "For sixteen nights I prayed and meditated by
the light of the moon, burning ancient roots and oils, awaiting an answer.
The message I give to you, Jeremy, came in a dream I had the sixteenth night."
The Loved One leant over to Jeremy, and placed his scaly, reptilian hands over
his temples. His cold reptilian eyes burned into Jeremy's, and the
creature hoarsely whispered, "The mother shall break the cradle".
Jeremy stood in dumbfounded silence. Maca'hzar smiled, exposing a thin line of
yellow, jagged teeth. He made his way off of the table and began shuffling
into the darker corners of the basement. Before Jeremy could completely regain
his senses, the Maca'hzar had disappeared. All Jeremy could do was lean
back against the wall, contemplating the odd shard in his hand, and the
"The mother shall break the cradle."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The next morning Jeremy arranged for Lana to go visit her mother down south.
He managed to stay behind on the excuse that he needed to work with Bill and
plan out a continuation of "Chester Owl and Friends". They saw each other off
at the airport and then Jeremy drove home. A phone call from the police
mentioned the odd disappearance of his sister Fran and that Thorton Marshall
was still unaccounted for.
The entire day Jeremy boarded up the windows and doors to the house, loaded and
stocked a shotgun and 9mm pistol, and waited. Within time he would have the
answers he desired.
* * * * * * ** * * ** * * * * * *
Bill called the Phillip's residence several times that day, but no one answered
and the machine was off. He desperately wanted to reach Jeremy and
inform him that several thousand dollars worth of studio equipment was gone,
and that investigative reporters wanted to talk to him regarding Fran and his
Work had been tedious that day, auditions for the new Chester Owl were pretty
mild given the recent emcee murders. Finally he closed shop a few hours early
and decided to collect Marshall's Barney collection and torch the damned pile.
The police had already had seen the evidence, Bill wanted it gone and out of
Within the hour Bill had poured gasoline over the entire vault and ignited the
evil collection of dolls, toys, records, and books. Purple flames rose high,
and as the older man watched, he thought he began to see odd, disturbing shapes
forming in the plumes of smoke and fire. He also began to feel uneasy, as if
he was being watched and condemned by an unseen force.
* * * * * * * * *
Jeremy started abruptly at the noise. He darted off of the couch and swung the
shotgun back and forth, looking for intruders. After a moment he realized that
what he had heard was the clock striking midnight. He nervously laughed, and
sat back down. He hurriedly drank a canister of cold, bitter coffee, and
listened in the somber darkness of the house.
All was silent. The home stood still and empty, Jeremy rechecked his firearms
and waited anxiously. He had an intuition that something was out there,
outside the house, waiting for him to lose his guard and become vulnerable.
What Maca'hzar had said greatly disturbed him, and Jeremy wondered what chance
he stood against the Beast of Purple and his green companion, Baby Bop, if they
were truly back from the dead.
An hour later Jeremy was asleep. His hands held the shotgun loosely and he
never heard the curious scurrying noises coming from the attic and the
basement. A few moments later the gun was lifted out of his hands and his head
tightly wrapped in a thick green blanket. At this point Jeremy suddenly
awoke and felt warm, pudgy, taloned hands pressing his arms against his back
and tying his legs with rope. The man kicked and screamed, but he was
overpowered. Seconds later a hot, toxic liquid was poured over his head and he
* * * * * * * *
When Jeremy regained his senses, he became aware of a damp, yet metallic smell,
and felt his back pressed against a cold, unyielding surface. His eyes
adjusted to the dim lighting and it was then that he realized he was inside an
immense cavern, deep under the surface. His arms and legs were firmly bound
together, and the ropes steadily burned into his wrists and ankles. The sound
of dripping water could be heard from unseen corners of the chamber, and as
Jeremy strained, he began to hear a distant melody, one that unnerved him and
brought back a multitude of horrifying memories...
I love you, you love me....we're a happy family....
with a great big hug and kiss from me to you, won't
you say you love me too?
"Damn you!" cried Jeremy, struggling to retain himself, " We killed you! We
killed you and your hell-spawned servants! You're dead, do you understand!
Dead! Dead! " His screams echoed throughout the cavern. "Where the hell is my
sister and my children you sick, pathetic bastard?!?"
There was a long silence. Suddenly, he felt a huge, fat, stocky paw run its
fingers through his scalp. The voice he heard shattered his nerves.
"Why, Jeremy! What a way to talk about your old friend Barney! Why, if I
didn't know any better, I'd think you were mad at me!"
"If you don't let me go, you fat purple bucket of scum, I'm going to rip you
apart piece by piece myself!"
The sleepy, moronic voice laughed long and loud. "Jeremy, don't be silly!
With your arms and legs tightly bound like that, I wouldn't think you could
even snap your fingers! Such a temper, I never knew you'd grow up to be such a
" I want my children back, Barney...come on, you've got me now, why don't you
let them go? They haven't anything to harm you, you can't justify holding them
here against their will...."
"Why Jeremy, I'm surprised at you," said the voice. The chubby paw pushed
Jeremy around so he could see behind him. "Why should I get rid of my new
Jeremy looked up and saw the horrible, familiar figure of Barney, the Purple
Destroyer of Worlds. Jeremy's children, Stacy and Mark, were both beside him,
hugging the fat bloated reptile around his waist. They looked down upon their
helpless father with looks of remorse and disdain.
"We don't love you anymore, Daddy," said Stacy. "Barney's the only one we love
anymore, and he loves us."
Mark, wrapping his arms even tighter around the dinosaur's waist added, "Barney
loves us more than you, and we're staying with him...forever."
"Well, that's wonderful!" chimed Barney, wrapping his arms lovingly around the
two children. "I guess you're not much of a father, are you Jeremy? Seems to
me that Stacy and Mark, my Special Friends, are much happier here!"
Jeremy stared in horror and disbelief. His own children, whom he had loved and
cared for since their birth, were now rejecting him before the very creature
who had destroyed his childhood, wrecked his world, incited riots that killed
his parents, and haunted him in countless nightmares that he glimpsed in
Barney had returned with the ultimate vengeance.
TO BE CONTINUED....
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter Five: Apocalypse
Jeremy Phillips hung suspended from a thick, sinewy rope, his body slung in a
tightly woven net. He stood motionless in the air, about fifty feet down a
lightless, bottomless chamber. The dark was impenetrable, the coolness stark
and constant. Up above, the Purple Beast's gibbering, chittering servants, the
Loved Ones, adjusted the coils and would occasionally hurl stones or mud down
at the helpless figure. Jeremy cursed the creatures under his breath, and
struggled to escape his bonds. Yet, were he to loose himself of his
restraints, there stood the chance he could loose his balance and plummet into
the inky blackness below him, to an unseen fate.
Occasionally, Jeremy heard singing up above, and he recognized the voices of
his children, Stacy and Mark, coupled with that of Barney and Baby Bop. He
still did not know what became of his sister Fran, and he wondered too what had
become of Thorton Marshall, who he originally suspected of kidnapping his
What Jeremy couldn't figure out was why he was alive. As an adult and original
destroyer of Barney, he figured the fat bloated lizard would have killed him in
a similar fashion of the murdered kid-show emcees. Perhaps Barney wanted him
to suffer, to see his own children reject him? Jeremy's train of thought was
momentarily broken when he heard singing again, just outside the cavern mouth.
I'm Barney, you love me, I am here for eternity...open your hearts
now, let me inside, by my laws you will abide....
"Wonderful singing, everyone," said Barney, "but let's try it again from the
top, with a bit more pitch and less pause between the verses."
Jeremy listened and understood immediately. They were rehearsing. But for
* * * * * *
"Over here," motioned Bill, "this studio and studio A and B were looted
sometime yesterday. They didn't take everything, but everything needed to do
an independent broadcast and beam it off our main satellite. Whoever took this
stuff plans on doing their own show, and on a large scale!"
Chief Davies finished writing his notes, and clapped the pad together. " So
you're saying that who ever works the stolen equipment will be able to
broadcast all over the D.C area?"
Bill shook his head, his eyes upon the floor. "More than that, officer. Who
ever works that stuff will be able to broadcast uninterupted...nationwide if
they wanted to. Our relay station ties into forty-seven others, all across the
country. Who ever did this had some outside help."
"Do you think it could have been Jeremy Phillips? He just disappeared."
"No, not Jeremy. Jeremy's the most solid character on the face of the earth.
I've my suspicions, but time will tell I reckon."
* * * * * * *
"Why Thorton Marshall, look at you!" beamed the Purple Dinosaur. "I do believe
you're in a lot of pain!"
Thorton Marshall looked up at the chubby reptile and weakly smiled. The man
lay on his back upon a thick, high, concrete slab under a sickly green sheet.
His body was covered in blue, purple, and black spots where the flesh had been
bruised and broken. Various sections of his body twisted and bent in painful
positions, indicating the injuries he had sustained when Fran Phillips ran over
him in her car. Were it not for the dense padding of his Barney Suit, the
damage may have been much worse.
Barney and Baby Bop stood cheerfully over the broken man's limp and broken
body. Barney was garbed in a surgeon's smock and headpiece, and gleefully
applied a cold steel stethoscope in various areas of the patient, eliciting an
occasional groan and short cry of agony. Baby Bop was donning a nurse's
uniform, and held a tray of rusting, jagged, surgical blades and dingy sponges.
Off in the corner sat a trio of Loved Ones, preparing their instruments. Fran,
who had struck Thorton in the park with her vehicle, sat strapped to a chair
and was gagged. With a nod to the musicians, Barney began to sing...
Thorton Marshall got run down, ee-i-ee-i-o!
And boy is he in loads of pain, ee-i-ee-i-o!
With a crushed rib there, a fracture there, here a break,
There a break, everywhere a break-break,
Thorton Marshall got run down, ee-i-ee-i-o!
The purple dinosaur began applying bandages and removing fragments of debris
from the injured man's wounds. Thorton began to beg for morphine, but Barney
just laughed and pushed the man's head back upon the slab. Baby Bop cut in
with the next verse...
Thorton Marshall is a mess, ee-i-ee-o!
I doubt he'll be the same again, ee-i-ee-i-o!
He's lost some blood, his pulse is weak, here a clot,
There a clot, everywhere a clot-clot,
Thorton Marshall is a mess, ee-i-ee-i-o!
Fran watched in horror and revulsion as the two dinosaurs began wrapping
Thorton in old tape and applying crude splints to his shattered limbs. He
would be better off getting medical care in the hospital, thought Fran. This
form of medicine was barbaric.
At the close of the song, Barney and Baby Bop laughed long and hard. Thorton,
in his delirium, began laughing too. The Loved Ones who had playing the
instruments, only looked on in partial interest. They gibbered to each other
and began to pack their weathered instruments.
"So Thorton," beamed Barney," you'll be feeling sttuuuupppeeennddousss in no
time! Just let Dr. Barney thank you for letting us acquire all of that
wonderful studio equipment!"
Thorton gasped under his bandages, he was having a hard time breathing.
"You...you're welcome, Barney....anything for a Special Friend....I hope it
"Happy?" chirped the dinosaur. "You bet your life it makes me happy! C'mon,
Baby Bop, let's give our good friend Thorton an extra-special hug!!"
The two gaily-colored lizards knelt down around Thorton and wrapped their arms
around him. The two creatures squeezed the injured man tightly, causing him to
scream in unbridled agony. Snapping and popping noises protruded from under
the tape. Finally Barney and Baby Bop ended their hug and danced arm in arm
out the room. Thorton reclined back on the slab, coughing up blood and
suffering flashes of light before his eyes.
Fran had worked off her gag and caught her breath. She eyed Thorton scornfully
and said, "Some 'friends' you have, you sick fool. Don't you know they use
people like you?"
"Shuttup," wheezed the pile of bandages on the slab, "you don't know what true
* * * * * * * * *
Jeremy was awakened by the sensation of rising upward. He realized that his
cage of rope and darkness was being lifted out of the chamber, and his eyes
steadily adjusted to the cave lights at the opening. He was immediately
restrained by a few packs of blubbery, goggle-eyed Loved Ones, and the
creatures propped him against a thick, leathery-chair. Before him stood a
chair and a television set.
A moment later, Barney appeared on the screen. Jeremy grimaced and spat at the
"Now, now, Jeremy, that wasn't really nice," chuckled the purple dinosaur. "I
hope you have been comfortable with your new home, I've got so many wonderful
things to tell you!"
"Like what, you bloated sack of-"
"Your cage for instance. Did you know that the chamber you've been hanging
over is a gateway to an entirely different world? One cut of the rope that
binds you, and you'd be falling into a different time, a different
place...there'd be no return for you. If you remember watching my old
programs, you should know I'm really good at magic. That chamber's my best
"Why am I still alive? Make it easy for all of us and kill me now."
"Why Jeremy," gaped Barney, pressing his hands against his face in obvious
disbelief, "I can't believe you said that. Surely you want to stick around for
the premiere of my new show. I'm making a comeback, and I want you to be there
as my Special Guest of Honor!"
"Like Hell I will. No network is going to run your crummy perverted program,
and I'm not going to be on it, either!" snapped Jeremy, his disgust steadily
"Oh, but we're not using a network. My special friend Thorton lent me all
kinds of super-great studio equipment, with which we can broadcast anytime,
anywhere. People will have no choice but to watch my program. And I also
insist you appear on it!"
"And if I don't?"
The Beast of Purple sighed. "Well Jeremy, I guess if you don't, I'll have to
get very, very upset. Maybe even take it out on those you love..." With that,
Barney pulled Mark and Stacy onto the set with him. The two children smiled
and waved at their father from the television screen. "Well kids," continued
Barney, "looks like your father refuses to be on my show, so I guess I'll have
Before Jeremy's horrified eyes, Barney's gigantic maw enclosed the tender young
heads of his children, biting them off and crunching the tender morsels between
his teeth. The headless bodies dropped to the floor, spitting blood upon the
"Noooo! Oh my God, noooo!!!" shrieked Jeremy, flailing madly in the chair. He
clenched his teeth in rage and horror, and began to sob uncontrollably...
"April fool, Jeremy!" chuckled the fat, bloated dinosaur. "Those were just
examples of our new special effects models, superimposed and animated upon the
screen. Sure was convincing, wasn't it?"
Before Jeremy's relieved eyes, Stacy and Mark walked onto the screen,
unscathed. They were giggling uncontrollably.
"Boy Dad, you sure were scared!" said Stacy, holding her sides. "As if Barney
would really do anything bad to us!"
"Yeah," said Mark, his face red with glee, "he loves us too much for that.
What I wouldn't give to see your face again when you thought he bit our heads
Barney leant towards the screen and winked at Jeremy. "But let's not press our
luck, shall we?" He then returned to the two children and the trio began to
I love you, you love me, we're a happy family....
with a great big hug and kiss from me to you, won't
you say you love me too?
Jeremy slumped back into his chair, broken and distraught. The Loved Ones
placed him back into the net and lowered him back into the chamber, into the
icy stillness. As Jeremy disappeared under the thick veil of black, he heard
Barney's voice calling after him from the television monitor:
"See you on the set tomorrow, Jeremy!"
TO BE CONTINUED.....
DAY OF THE BARNEY III: SPECTRE
Chapter Six: Vendetta
Jeremy slid his watch over to the thin shaft of light that trickled from above
his netted cage, and learned that he had been Barney's prisoner for four days.
It was only a matter of time before the Loved Ones would hoist him out of the
chamber and escort him to the studio, there to be a special guest on the
all-new "Barney and Friends", co-starring Baby Bop and his own children, Stacy
His thoughts hearkened back to the time when he was a lone thirteen-year-old,
put against the bloated purple monster. Back then he had the element of
surprise and decision, it was hard to have those when your foe had you dangling
from a rope and your own children rejected you. It had seemed for the
moment that Barney had all the cards.
Suddenly Jeremy became aware of a scraping noise, of stone against stone,
coming not from above, but just below him. He fidgeted uncomfortably and
strained his eyes, but all he could see was blackness. Was this the end? Was
this some faceless denizen of an alien dimension, come to devour him as he lay
helplessly bound in rope and darkness? He bit his lip and waited.
The sound of stones shifting became clearer, and suddenly a thin orb of light
shone from below, accenting two yellowish eyes with thin black slits for
It was Maca'hzar.
The weathered, reptilian Loved One motioned Jeremy to be very quiet, as he
produced a thin, platinum blade from under his cloak. He quickly began to cut
Jeremy's bonds and as Jeremy's eyes got accustomed to the light, he saw that
the Acolyte had constructed a tunnel that opened out into the chamber itself.
Another moment he was free and was crawling down the tunnel following Maca'hzar
* * * * * *
"What do you mean he escaped?!" bellowed Barney, his eyes focusing on the
frantic and uneasy Loved One. The pudgy, balloon-faced creature shifted back
and forth on its elephantine feet and chittered out excuses and apologies. In
his rage, Barney lifted the creature off of his feet and flung him down the
chamber shaft. The pathetic creature shrieked as it plummeted into the horrid
darkness. Its fellow Loved Ones backed away in fear from the enraged Beast of
"Stupid, stupid, servant!" stammered Baby Bop, who pounded her feet against the
cave floor. "Fall forever, down big, big, scary hole! Same thing for all of
you others, if you lose Jeremy! Fall forever!"
Thorton Marshall came into the room, pushed along in a wheelchair by two Loved
Ones. His bandages were filthy and speckled with blood the man had coughed up
on himself following his "surgery". He gingerly cradled a Barney doll in his
lap. "Barney and Baby Bop," he began, "we're ready for recording if you are."
"Why that's wonderful!" chimed Barney, completely changing his demeanor. "I
can't wait to get my show back on again! Are the musicians, children, and
technician ready to go, Thorton?"
"Yes, Barney, they are," wheezed the chair-bound fanatic. "And every available
Loved One is out searching the tunnels for Jeremy Phillips. Trust me, Barney,
he won't leave this cavern without his children and sister."
"OOoooohhh, I just love making television shows!" squeaked Baby Bop, wrapping
her favorite blanket around her shoulders. "Let's go everyone, time to play!"
* * * * * * * * *
"I didn't think I'd see you again," said Jeremy, washing his face before an old
"My respect for you is very strong," replied Maca'hzar, reclining against a
pile of velvet cushions. "I see the Purple One suspended you above the
Dimensional Chamber, a gateway to many planes of existence. It was my design
and invention, though he likes to take credit for it. What he doesn't know
about is the secret passageway and den I installed during its original
construction. Allows me to see and hear many things." The silver-haired Loved
One ran his claws over the jewel-encrusted edge of his staff. "The second
dawning of Barney is almost underway."
"He's got my kids, my sister, and is ready to make television shows again,"
muttered Jeremy. "But I've no weapons and very little idea on how to take him
"The mother shall break the cradle," said Maca'hzar. He lit another candle.
"God that's ambiguous", Jeremy grumbled, drying his face and sitting across the
scaly creature. "Can't you give me something more tangible, more concrete to
work with rather than this mediocre Dungeons and Dragons lingo? What's your
impression of the message?"
Maca'hzar whistfully shut his eyes and sat in silence for a few moments. When
he opened his eyes again, they blazed with a mysterious fire and he spoke as if
from the bottom of a deep, hollow well.
"All creatures great and small, Jeremy Phillips, share one thing. Despite
one's strength or power, all must lower themselves before the dawn of their
existence. What we hold dominion over cannot precede us. Rather, we are
vulnerable to the era that came before our destiny.
" A child subverts to the will of his parents. A masterpiece of art is nothing
when reduced to the mere canvas. Every dawn is but a pale afterglow of the
night before it. Salmon fight to find the grounds they were born in, and
either die or die trying. A tree, when reduced to the merest sapling-"
"Whoa, whoa whoa," interupted Jeremy. "Please, Maca'hzar, you're losing me
here. I didn't want talks on fish, art, kids, whatever. What does this all
have to do with destroying Barney?"
"Is it still with you?" asked Maca'hzar. "The fragment I gave you back in your
Jeremy fumbled through his pockets, he produced the flat, textured shard from
his shirt. "Yeah, it's here."
"Good, you will be adequately prepared. When the time comes, all will be known
to you. I wish I could help you Jeremy Phillips, but the Great Beast of Purple
is of my own flesh and blood. My power will not be of much use against him.
It is upon you, the Great Liberator, to destroy his second incarnation and save
your world again."
* * * * * * * *
"My Loved Ones have not been able to find Jeremy," bubbled Barney, "but as I
remember Thorton, you are quite handy with some of this equipment. Show me what
Thorton idly wheeled himself over to a monitor and keyboard. He paused to take
a deep, hoarse breath, then began punching keys as fast as his shattered hands
could muster. "Just like the effect we did with the kids getting their heads
bitten off," he began," we've taken a superimposed image and manipulated it to
simulate movement. In a sense, enriched animation. We got a video clip of
Jeremy head on. With some voice enhancement, we can make this computer
simulation say and do anything we want. Do you have your statement handy?"
"I absolutely do!" beamed the purple dinosaur. "Punch that in and let's see
the magic!" Thorton punched in the text and hit the return button. The
computer monitor flickered and whirred for a few seconds. Then, a computer
simulated image of Jeremy Phillips blipped onto the screen, looking incredibly
life-like. Thorton hit another series of keys and the computer-Jeremy began
Hi, my name is Jeremy Phillips, and I welcome everyone out there
in television land to watch "Barney and Friends", coming back after
twenty stuuuppppennnddouuusss years! I now realize it was wrong to
destroy Barney's reputation, and Baby Bop's too, but now that I'm
older and more responsible, let me be the first to say that Barney
is my very special friend and I hope you all watch his show, tomorrow
night at 9:00 pm. Barney's back from the dead and he looovvveesssss
"That's wonderful!" chirped Barney, jumping up and down in glee, "Thorton,
broadcast that clip every half hour on every major network. I just can't
wait!" The purple lizard's ecstatic giggling and dancing filled the studio.
The bloated creature sagged downstairs to share the news with Baby Bop.
Thorton finished the rough editing and prompted the relay stations back on the
earth's surface. Towers across the globe hummed and flickered as the signals
began pouring in. Antennas across the country's homesteads hissed and spat
static as the video blips surged into television sets.
* * * * * * * * *
Bill had just sat down with a cold beer and TV dinner, and eagerly switched on
the tube to catch the closing moments of the Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota
Twins. With the score tied and the bases loaded, the batter lobbed a high ball
into center field, the field man raced desperately to catch the ball plummeting
to the earth, the crowd held its breath as the ball and the fielder's mitt
raced against each other and then...
Hi, my name is Jeremy Phillips and I welcome everyone out there
in television land to watch "Barney and Friends"....
Bill about choked on his beer. He coughed up foam and it speckled against the
fuzzy surface of the television screen. "What the hell-?"
......Barney's back from the dead and he loooovvvveesss you!
"Damn, that was Jeremy," muttered Bill, wiping off the excess foam. He called
the central studio in the downtown area. "Hello Susan, this is Bill. You just
saw it too? Good. I've an idea they're gonna be broadcasting this ballyhoo a
lot in the next day, get Mace and his crew to track down that signal. Pronto!"
* * * * * * * * * * *
"You aren't going with me?" asked Jeremy uncomfortably.
"I've done all I can for this battle," said Maca'hzar, opening the portal
entrance. "Jeremy Phillips, you are strong and of pure soul, I remind you to
keep on your guard and remember all that we've talked about. If it is meant to
be, you will triumph over the Great Beast of Purple once more."
"Maca'hzar, you know, I don't know why, but normally I would be drawn to kill a
creature such as you. But you're not a typical Loved One. I don't feel any
inner desire to destroy you..."
The creatures eyes squinted, and he smiled a thin, tapering smile. "As it
should be. Here, I've one more thing to give you. " Maca'hzar unfastened a
tarnished, slightly rusty firearm from behind his shoulder. He unstrapped a
few clips from his belt and handed it to Jeremy. "Magic is magic," he said,
"but there's something to be said for technology. You will need this time to
time, Jeremy Phillips." He turned and went back into the tunnel.
Jeremy watched the dwarfish figure disappear, speechless. The next instant he
slammed a clip into the main chamber of the gun. He scurried down the hall and
towards the main cavern.
* * * * * * * * * *
"Three, two, one!" called Thorton, adjusting the camera field. The Loved One
ensemble immediately began playing a rollicking, clumsy melody and a chorus of
children's voices could be heard:
Barney is a dinosaur, come back to be your good friend, and
if you love him as much as I you'll want to make it happen!
Barney loves us very much, Barney loves us always!
Let him in your empty heart and enjoy lots of fun days!
"Ugh, that's some horrible stuff," groaned Fran, strapped into the chair next
Thorton snorted under his bandages. "Shuttup, miserable wench! He's a genius,
and he's gonna make the world a happy place once more!" He got so worked up he
started coughing and wheezing, hacking thin spackles of blood upon the control
panel. Fran observed some of the exposed areas of his body, and saw some where
turning a spongy green.
* * * * * * * *
Five hours later, the cast and crew decided to take a break. Barney and Baby
Bop were especially jubilant. They had already taped the performance segments
of the show, now all that was left was the live segments. The broadcast would
begin in just a matter of minutes. The two creatures hobbled about the set
merrily, dancing with Stacy and Mark, and giggling uncontrollably. As the band
of prancing children and dinosaurs romped about the stage, they did not notice
the human figure up above them in the lighting rails.
Jeremy peered down at the small ensemble, and readied his gun. He had to stop
the broadcast and do so without harming his kids. A few feet back dangled a
Loved One technician, whom Jeremy had strangled with some leftover electrical
chord. Its eyes bulged out of its sockets, the pasty orange tongue hanging
down upon its plump, blubbery chin. Jeremy eyed the creature with disgust,
Maca'hzar was a much dignified creature than the majority of Loved Ones he'd
encountered. Not fat or blubbery, but sinewy and covered in broad, jagged
scales. In some ways like a miniature dinosaur...
* * * ** * * * **
"There it is again!" yelled Bill, pointing to the screen. "Whoever's
broadcasting this junk is doing it every half hour on the hour! Mace, you any
closer to locking onto that signal?"
"One more transmission should do it," said the haggardly man, scratching his
head. "It's definitely within a twenty-mile radius, and below the ground.
Must be a hell of a transmitter".
Bill checked his watch and counted down for the next half hour. The time just
rolled by and by....
* * * * * * * * *
Jeremy heard laughter and chuckling below him. Barney, Baby Bop, and his two
children, Stacy and Mark, had just finished another song and were making the
final adjustements to the set and props. Loved One technicians scampered about
the studio, preparing for the live broadcast, which would begin in a matter of
minutes. Jeremy pried his mind for a plan, but nothing came to light. The gun
begun to feel heavier and heavier in his grip, but he knew he could hold on.
As long as he went undetected.
"Thorton," began Fran, "you are one sick guy. Those two beasts bandaged you up
like the Middle Ages or something. Your whole body's began to blacken and
spoil. If we don't get you to a real hospital you'll die!"
"Quiet, woman," said Thorton, staring into the monitor. "Obviously you've
never experienced true love before. Barney came to this world to love us all,
unconditionally and without expectation. People like you and your worthless
brother don't understand that, in fact you're scared of it." He pressed the
Barney doll against his chin. His voice suddenly grew syrupy and infantile.
"My pwecious wittle buddy Barney woves me and would never hurt me."
"Ooh, God help me," said Fran, rolling her eyes and turning away in
Suddenly the lights dimmed and the Barney soundtrack chimed in. The monitors
flashed to Barney and Baby Bop, coming out of two respective tombs, dusting
themselves off, and looking about in a lush green meadow with blue skies and
flitting butterflies. Stacy and Mark came out and the four of them began
dancing hand in hand. Fran looked down at the set but saw nothing. She then
realized this was a pre-recorded segment. The song was an obvious rip-off of
Barney and Baby Bop, having risen from the dead, want to dance and
laugh and play, and become your loving friend....
The music was off-synch, miscalculated, and poorly played. Fran grimaced at
the sound and became ill. Thorton swayed around in his chair, tapping his
dingy fingers in tempo. Once the music was over, the lights flared up upon the
soundstage, illuminating Barney and Baby Bop in all their glory. Thorton
checked the frequency monitor. The signal was getting out. TV stations across
the continent were picking up the broadcast, on every major network. He
giggled in delight and kissed his Barney doll.
"Why, hello everyone out there! It's me, Barney the Dinosaur!"
"And *me*, don't forget *me*, Barney! I'm Baby Bop, and I just loovvveee being
back on television!"
"It's been twenty years, boys and girls, but we're back! More songs and love
for everyone! And I know some of you out there watching right now are in need
of a special friend. Do you know what? I want to be that special friend with
you!" The sagging, purple lizard slurred the last few words with a saccharine
emphasis that made Fran lose control and she began throwing up. On Thorton.
"You vile wretch, you've vomited on my precious Barney doll!" screamed the
bandaged lunatic, his thick glasses steaming over in rage. He immediately
tried to rise and strike Fran, but his injuries kept making him stumble. He
fell on the floor and kicked around in desperation.
Back on the set, Barney and Baby Bop paired together and began expressing their
love for all of the viewers.
"You know, Baby Bop, I feel so much love for our new and old viewers, I feel
"Pwaying with my blanky?" cooed the spritely green dinosaur.
Barney chuckled. "No, but that sounds like a stuupppennddooussss idea too.
But what I was really going to say was that I felt just like *singing*!"
The Loved One ensemble picked up the cue and began playing the opening chords
of the most powerful, infamous, familiar song of the Purple One. The two
dinosaurs began swaying and holding hands. Barney opened the piece...
I love you, you love me....
The next moment there was a loud resounding crash. Barney turned around and
noticed Baby Bop had been struck by a huge metal strobelight, that had been
dropped from above. The impact had pretty much snapped Baby Bop's neck clear
in half, and the petite green dinosaur lay gurgling at his feet. Barney looked
up just as another light fell his way. He caught it in mid-air and saw Jeremy
dangling above him, brandishing a thick metal blade.
"Why Jeremy Phillips, what a long time! Were you the one who dropped the light
upon poor Baby Bop? That wasn't very nice! Didn't your parents tell you
cutting tension chords on light equipment could be dangerous? Come on down and
let's sing a song about safety!"
"Bite me, you worthless purple gasbag," snarled Jeremy. "I'm cancelling your
show right now!"
A horde of Loved Ones had scampered up the balcony, after Jeremy. He saw them
approaching and leveled the gun at them. Bullets blazed and sparks flew as
Jeremy gunned down the whole lot. Orange and pink blood spattered all over the
set like rain.
"Get him!" bellowed the fat purple reptile, and several more packs of Loved
Ones scampered up the rails. As Jeremy inserted a new clip and prepared to
level it at the oncoming horde, the entire railing lurched under the combined
weight and was completely torn out of the wall the next instant. Jeremy, the
Loved Ones, and several hundred pounds of lighting and sound equipment
plunged towards the soundstage below. Screams filled the air as the hapless
bunch fell all five stories....
TO BE CONCLUDED.....
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