The Finale of MAD

The Finale of MAD

Graham Edmonson, Writer

Link to Part 1:

Arthur, Syl, and Mr. Bell crept along the edge of the beach. The sun was just rising and their long shadows stretched across the sand. By then they had figured out that nothing on the island was real, it was all metal, ostensibly portrayed as life. On their left was the water, still under the dark spell of the moon, while on their right the sun was beginning to illuminate the rest of the island. They followed along the shoreline until they reached a large rocky cave. Here the smooth shoreline was interrupted by sharp and irregular pylons of rock. 

“This is it,” Mr. Bell said, “this leads into the basement of the house. In there is a lab, it’s filled with equipment. We can get into the house that way. The metal sphere that pumps the blue liquid is in there. The place the creature charges is above, on the second floor.” 

“The journal says that the blue liquid is like energy,” Arthur said. 

“That is why we must destroy the heart, the island will have no energy source.” Mr. Bell crept up to the entrance, “Alright, let’s go.”

They approached the mouth of the cave hesitantly. Syl peeked around the corner. 

“There’s a ledge.” Syl said,  “We can move along that, it’s too rocky to swim.”

Syl entered first, then Arthur, and Mr. Bell last. The ledge only jutted out about a foot and they had to hug the wall to maintain balance. Down from the thin rock ledge was a six-foot fall into the water. The whole scene was silent and daunting. The cave was deep. They shimmied across the rock path for a long time before they rounded a corner. A saturated blue glow became apparent. After about thirty more feet the water ended and there was a plateau of rock. On this plateau was the laboratory. It was like a large room measuring about twenty by thirty feet. The walls were bare rock except for the far end, where there was a door. 

“That’s the door we came through,” Mr. Bell whispered, “it leads to a staircase that goes upstairs.” 

They inched their way through the rest of the rock edge and stepped onto the plateau. As they approached they noticed that the cave was covered in words painted in red. In childlike handwriting, the words “I’M NOT MAD” covered the walls of the cave, the letters all crooked and hardly legible. They tiptoed over to one of the tables. They each grabbed a makeshift weapon of some sort. Arthur grabbed a wrench, Sylvester and Mr. Bell took hammers. Mr. Bell slipped a syringe into his pocket as well. 

“Let’s go,” Syl said. 

They tiptoed to the door, moving painfully slow. Arthur was in front and had just reached the door when a deafening roar boomed from the left of the room. 

“WHAT?” both Arthur and Syl exclaimed, looking over. 

From a mass of cords and metal on the wall the beast emerged and began untangling itself from the wires. 

“It’s down here too!” Arthur shouted, “Upstairs, quick!”

Arthur opened the door. Syl and Mr. Bell rushed past him and into the house. Arthur followed suit, quickly closing the door as another roar reverberated throughout the house. He heard the door open down below. Afraid to look back, he turned immediately to the left and ran. 

The door let out on the right side of the house. Arthur followed Syl and Mr. Bell over to the left, where he had gone when they first explored the mansion. They passed through the kitchen and up the staircase. Once at the top they turned into the hallway. 

“Search the rooms,” Mr. Bell said, “we have to find where that energy source is.” 

They spread out down the hall and began to open doors. 

“Here it is!” Syl shouted, from the far end of the hall. 

Just as he said this they heard the creature’s footsteps as it clambered up the stairs towards them. Arthur and Syl ducked into the rooms they were closest to and hid. Mr. Bell ran across the hall and into the same room as Arthur. 

They listened as the being reached the top of the stairs and walked to the end of the hall. 

“Do you think it knows that we are going for the energy source?” Mr. Bell whispered to Arthur from inside of their room.

“It might,” Arthur suggested, “maybe it’s going to guard that room.” 

“Arthur,” Mr. Bell whispered, his breathing accelerated, “isn’t Sylvester in there.” 

Realizing that within moments Syl would be found, Arthur burst out of his door. 

“Over here!” he yelled, and the creature stomped down the hall in his direction.

Arthur ran down the stairs as the beast followed him. Syl and Mr. Bell would destroy the energy source but he knew that the creature would not be stopped immediately. He sprinted through the house, passing through rooms that he had not seen before. The creature followed close behind him but he dared not pause for a moment to look back. He rounded a corner into another room. He heard no footsteps pursuing him and so paused for a breath.

“My gosh.” he paused, glad that he could rest for a moment. 

He decided that he should keep moving. He walked across the room towards the pair of doors to his left. The house was quite old and the room he was in did not have contemporary doors, but barriers that slid out from either side of the wall. He walked towards these. As he passed through these doors into the next room, the beast jumped out from around the corner and grabbed him. 

“WHAT!” Arthur screamed as he and the beast fell to the floor. 

His head hit the floor with a massive crash, breaking the tile. He felt blood trickling down his head. It was warm and the bleeding took his mind off of the beast for a moment. That was until the beast began to swing at him. He rolled his head to the left, barely avoiding a metal fist that fell where his head would have been. He struggled and writhed about, but the thing had him pinned down and he could not escape. Another attack crashed down just to his right, breaking another tile. 

As he writhed about he tried to reach down to his pocket. He withdrew the wrench he had taken earlier. As the beast lunged down for another attack, he took the wrench and jammed it into the beast’s steel gut. As it lunged down to attack once more it twisted and crumpled over, unable to move with the wrench in its stomach. It screeched and rolled over. Arthur jumped to his feet and ran as the beast lay writhing on the floor. 

He sprinted back towards the door to the basement, where they had come in through the cave earlier. He heard the thing screeching with agony in the other room but knew that it was only a matter of time before the thing pulled the wrench out and could move again. He reached the door down to the cave and threw it open. He heard the thing running about back through the house. 

‘It can move again, I have to act fast!’ Arthur thought to himself. 

He sprinted back onto the plateau, where they had entered from the cave, and ran straight for the edge. He had noticed when they were first coming in that there was a small and beaten old canoe tied up just down past the rocks. The water was about five feet below the edge of the plateau there. He frantically scrambled to untie the boat. Clumsy with fear and haste, the knot flopped about in his hands.

He heard the creature descending the stairs. 

“Come on! Come on!” he muttered to himself, panicking so that his hands trembled and he dropped the knot. 

“RHOOOOAOOAOOOOAORH!” The creature sounded another hideous noise and approached Arthur at the edge of the plateau. 

Arthur finally gave up his attempt to untie the knot and just as the creature made a swing to grab his neck, stood up, and lept from the edge, down into the water. He began to swim away but his path was riddled with rocks that jutted out of the water like the cave’s misshapen teeth. He dared to turn and look behind him to see if his pursuer had followed suit. But the beast was still on the edge of the rock. It would not jump. 

“Hah,” Arthur said to himself, “beastie can’t swim.” 

As the beast stood on the edge, more footsteps came down the stairs. Syl and Mr. Bell emerged from the doorway. 

“ARTHUR,” they both screamed upon seeing the scene in front of them.

The beast then turned its focus and began to lunge at them. 

“It can’t go in the water!” Arthur yelled out to them. 

He did know if they heard him, however, because they had become tangled in a fight with the beast. First, it lunged at Mr. Bell, who dodged out of the way just in time and managed to stick his hammer into one of the openings in the beast’s chest. The monster shrieked in agony and turned toward Syl. Syl dodged the initial attack but in doing so down to the floor. The beast leaned over him with a crooked and malevolent smile. A spark flew and the thing’s head twitched demonically. It lifted up its heavy iron fist to swing down at Sylvester. 

“Dr. Martin Dreden!” Mr. Bell suddenly shouted from over on the rock ledge by Arthur, “YOU ARE MAD!”

The beast turned immediately upon hearing its former name. Syl lunged to his feet and stabbed his hammer into the gut of the beast. The beast crippled and fell down, half leaning off the edge of the plateau. With one final shove, Syl pushed the creature into the water. The monster fell down towards the bottom of a cave and onto one of the rocks below. Its chest was pierced as a rock jutted straight through its middle. At just the same moment, on the side of the cave, Mr. Bell hoisted Arthur up onto the rock ledge. 

The beast lay impaled on the rock, half in, and half out of the water, as the water below trembled with electricity. Lightning cracked and flew about the cave and the creature writhed in a deadly seizure. A terrible cry of agony reverberated and Arthur thought that just barely distinguishable among the terrible noise, he heard the creature scream. 

“I’M NOT MAD!” it said.

Once the lightning had ceased and the creature lay still, they all fell over, tired and relieved. 

“It’s finally over.” Syl sighed from the ground. 

“Did you guys destroy the heart?” Arthur asked. 

“Yes we did,” Mr. Bell answered him, he held up his syringe filled with the blue liquid, “I took this as well, maybe they can study it back home.”

They laid on the ground, catching their breath. Finally, they got up and untied the boat. They lowered themselves down carefully into the boat, a difficult task considering how far below the water was but they dared get in the water themselves for fear of being electrocuted. Once in the boat, they found a pair of oars. Arthur looked at the handle of his oar closely and could just make out the word “Ornsby” carved into the side. 

They rowed out of the cave, navigating between the treacherous rocks. As they passed the remains of the beast they sighed, reiterating their relief as the day broke and the nightmare was chased away. They rowed for hours out into the ocean until they could no longer see the island. 

“Land ho” Arthur shouted, and they pulled into the village of Costa Hechizada.