The Night the Squirrels Died
By Dan Cheek
28 November 2007
© 2007 Dan Cheek
For once, Sam’s house was quiet. It was the middle of the night and everyone, including all of the Puppets, was asleep. This was a rare event. Normally, at least one of the Puppets would be awake, either watching television, or fixing a late night meal, or blowing something/someone up with insane amounts of explosives. At any rate, tonight everything was quiet.
Sam, as usual, slept in his room with his bedroom door locked. He knew that if the Puppets really wanted to, it would be all to easy for one or all of them to open the door and wake him up, sending him even further down the road of insanity that he had been traveling since they moved in with him. And they woke him up a lot, usually to confess to him their latest atrocity. Still, it provided him with just enough piece of mind that he was able to drift to sleep.
It was two seventeen in the morning when the sirens began going off. From all over the house, loud electronic alarms began echoing. Sam jumped awake, not quite knowing what was happening. The noise was so loud and so constant that he couldn’t form clear thoughts. The thoughts he could form involved him murdering all four of the Puppets who lived with him. Those thoughts were still ripping through his mind when he made his way out into the hallway.
Bob, the unofficial leader of the Sock Puppets from Hell was standing there to meet Sam. Sam thought briefly about kicking Bob through the wall, but decided against it. “What in the holy fuck is that noise,” he screamed at Bob.
Bob gave a little shrug and replied, “Not a clue. It’s kind of loud though, eh?” Sam decided that he did indeed want to kick Bob through the wall and was preparing to make an attempt at it when Lost Cause and Goblin came flying around the corner.
Goblin, a raging beast of a Sock Puppet, was trembling with anger and foaming at the mouth. Clearly, the combination of the loud noise and being woken up in the middle of the night had sent him into a tizzy. Sam allowed himself a smile as he imagined Goblin eating the other three Puppets. The smile disappeared when Sam realized that should things come down to that, Sam would probably be the next item on Goblin’s menu.
“Sam,” Lost Cause, the manically depressed Sock Puppet said in a pleading voice, “Could you please turn that alarm clock off? The noise is making me suicidal.”
Sam looked down at Lost Cause is disgust. “I don’t think that noise is an alarm clock, LC. It sounds more like a god damned air raid siren. In my house. Feel free to kill yourself at any time, though.”
“Actually,” a mister-know-it-all voice interrupted, “It’s not an air raid siren. It’s a squirrel alarm.” The voice belonged to Doctor Sanity, resident scientific mastermind and the fourth member of the Sock Puppets from Hell. “And it’s going off because we’re under attack.”
Sam, Bob, Lost Cause, and Goblin all stood there, with blank stares on their faces, as they tried to digest that. Finally, Sam broke the silence and asked, “Under attack by who?”
“Squirrels,” Doc Sanity shouted in response. “The god damned squirrels are launching an offensive against us at this very moment! And if we just stand around here, we’ll all be dead in minutes! We must defend ourselves! To the lab!”
With that, he turned and took off running. He quickly made his way up the stairs which led to the attic, where his lab of horrors was located. Lost Cause, in a panic, was rushing along with him. Sam and Bob watched them zip away and then they looked at each other. “We should probably either join them or stop them,” Bob finally said.
“Damnit,” Sam sighed as he and Bob took off in a sprint, trying to catch up to Doctor Sanity and Lost Cause. They made it to the top of the attic stairs just in time to have a thick, incredibly solid metal blast door slam in their faces. “When the hell did that crazy bastard install this,” Sam asked.
“I suppose that’s what all the hammering and sawing and screaming was about a few weeks ago. And here I thought he was just milking a cow,” Bob answered. Sam thought about asking why any of those sounds could be associated with milking a cow, but then decided against it. He did his best, despite the blaring sound of an air raid siren going off in his house, to focus on the task at hand. He needed to get in that lab and stop Sanity from doing whatever it is he was about to do.
“Battle stations,” Doctor Sanity’s voice rang out across a loud speaker. The sound of the air raid sirens had stopped, but now all of the lights in the second floor hallway were blinking on and off.
“Open this fucking door,” Sam yelled back, as he beat his fists against it. Each slamming of his hand was met with a dull, hopeless sounding clank. It was as if he were attacking it with a feather. “Sanity,” he screamed again, “I said open this fucking door!”
“I heard you the first time,” Sanity’s voice rang out from the loud speakers again, “But I’m afraid I can’t open the door, Sam. We’re currently in a Defcon-Four, honest to God, no bullshit, Class One squirrel alert. According to the regulations, this door can not be opened up until, and not before, the threat has been neutralized.”
Sam dropped his head and rubbed his forehead. He squinted his eyes, looking for all the world as if he were trying to keep his brain from leaking out of his eye sockets. For a moment, Bob thought it might actually happen. “Shall I fetch the welding torch, Sam,” Bob finally asked, after he had given hope of seeing Sam’s brain leak out of his eyes.
“We have a welding torch,” Sam asked surprised, “I didn’t know we had a welding torch.”
“We have lots and lots of things you don’t know about. Follow me.” With that, Sam and Bob took off down the attic stairs, down the second floor hallway past the master bedroom and the guest rooms, and then finally down the stairs to the main floor of the house.
Goblin, still standing at the bottom of the attic stairs, let out a slow, long sigh and then made his way down the stairs to the first floor. Not to help Sam and Bob with their little mission, but rather, to see what was on the Discovery Channel.
Up in the lab, Doc Sanity rushed around, constantly checking flashing monitors, pressing random buttons, and pulling and pushing levers. Lost Cause, not sure what else to do, stood in a corner of the lab, watching Sanity whisk around. “Um,” he finally asked nervously, “How’s it going, Doc?”
Sanity came to a stop and looked over at Lost Cause, who was standing there in a corner, mindlessly watching him rush around as he was doing his best to defend himself and everyone else in the house from an attacking squirrel army. “We’ll be lucky to survive the night. There are a lot of those sick little bastards out there and there first wave is about to hit our main defenses. See?” He nodded over to a monitor that was flickering, filled with static. Every now and then it would blink off for a few seconds and then jot back to life. A sick buzzing could be heard coming from it.
“Doc,” Lost Cause asked cautiously, “Do you remember that time that you ran around the house, throwing grenades out the windows because you said there were ninjas trying to sneak in? And then it turned out there were no ninjas. It was just the guy from the electric company checking the meter. Remember that?”
Doctor Sanity stood there, looking at Lost Cause look back nervously at him. “I fail to see your point, Lost Cause. First off, that ‘guy from the electric company’ was a very well known ninja assassin. Had I not blown him into little bits of dust, everyone would have realized that. And all of the other ninjas who were with him obviously took off running after they watched me vaporize their leader.”
Lost Cause stood their and pondered that for a second. Finally, he looked up at Sanity and smiled. “Well, Doctor, if you say so.”
Doc Sanity nodded back at Lost Cause. “Now hold on to your nuts, LC, I’m about to show these squirrels the full fury of this battle station.”
Lost Cause’s eyes widened. “Um, battle station?” Doctor Sanity couldn’t hear Lost Cause, however. He was too busy running around, pressing buttons and giggling to himself.
Downstairs, Bob and Sam were rooting through a closet in the hallway. “I know it’s here somewhere,” Bob said as he tossed another boot out of the closet, narrowly missing Sam’s head.
“Incoming,” Doctor Sanity’s voice boomed from one of the hidden loudspeakers. With that, the sound of heavy machine gun fire could be heard erupting from outside. The whole house shook and vibrated as a whole arsenal of heavy weaponry exploded into action just outside. Bright red, yellow, and white lights flashed through the windows, indicating the muzzle flashes of the weapons. World War Three was kicking off in Sam’s backyard.
“Fuck,” Sam yelled as he threw himself to the floor, ducking for cover behind a sofa. “What the hell is going on?”
Bob came running up alongside of Sam. “Sounds like Doctor Sanity is taking this whole ‘squirrel invasion’ thing very seriously. Hopefully, the squirrels aren’t as armed as well as he is.”
“This is insane,” Sam said as he got back to his feet. “That crazy little bastard has crossed the line. I’m going to go beat down that door and then chop him up into pillow stuffing. C’mon.” Sam grabbed a wooden baseball bat and charged up the stairs. Bob was following him, struggling to carry the welding torch, which he had just found under a pile of old Better Homes and Gardens magazines.
On the sofa in the living room, Goblin sat intently, watching some Discovery Channel special on the mating habits of blind, retarded, sex addicted sheep. It was one of those shows that was so horrible and unwatchable that the Discovery Channel people had decided to air it on American television at three in the morning, hoping no one would ever watch it, but still filling a time slot and providing something to compete with Cinemax soft porn.
Goblin giggled as the sheep ran around, fucking everything with a hole. At one point, two of the sheep began gangbanging the camera guy. The narrator, obviously sickened by what was happening, could be heard making vomiting sounds in between his description of the ordeal. Some other guy came running into help the cameraman, armed with a stick, but he ended up getting raped by the sheep, too.
A loud explosion went off just outside the house. The lights in the house flickered, with the television briefly loosing reception. Goblin let out a low growl, his eyes narrowing, as he prepared to kill someone for disrupting his show. However, after a few seconds, the lights came back on and the television spurted back to life. Goblin happily went back to watching his program while the chaos exploded all around him.
Back inside the lab, Doctor Sanity was sitting intently in front of a large bank of old computer monitors. Each were filled with all sorts of images, ranging from radar screens, thermal targeting screens, to Playboy screen savers. “We’re holding them back, LC,” he said in a proud tone, “But just barely. I knew I should have installed more flame throwers in the bushes along the side. Make a note of that, will you?”
Lost Cause, who was still sitting in a corner, intent on watching the insanity unfold around him, looked up with a worried look on his face. “Um,” he said hesitantly, “I can’t really spell all that well.”
Sanity shot a look over at him, and then turned his attention back to the monitors. “Never mind then. Come here and watch as this horrible little squirrel army impales itself on the spear that is my ingeniously conceived defensive perimeter.”
Lost Cause hopped over to stand alongside the doctor, looking up at all of the glowing, flashing images. “Impressive, isn’t it,” Sanity asked after giving Lost Cause a chance to take everything in.
“Sure,” Lost Cause answered, “Um, do you have any hotdogs or anything in here. I’m kind of hungry.”
Doctor Sanity stared at Lost Cause for a long moment. He considered thirteen different ways to kill him, ranging from vaporization to implosion. Finally, he let out a long sigh, deciding on letting the silly little moron to continue wasting space. “The battle’s almost over. You can eat when we’re done.”
Just outside the lab, Sam was feverously beating against the door with his baseball bat. Bob, wearing a pair of old, over sized sunglasses that were secured to his small face with a rubber band, was making the slightest of progress with the cutting torch.
Sam was covered in sweat, all of his veins protruding from his neck and forehead. He was sure he’d just suffered three or four aneurisms, but he didn’t really care. He continued to beat against the door for all his worth. Cracks were beginning to spider down the length of the bat, a result of it being bashed against a solid steel door. “Fucking bastard shit faced whore kill the monkey piss, ow, and all his goddamn toys Jesus Christ I fucking swear, ow, squeeze the life out of him with my bare hands,” Sam muttered to himself in between slams of the bat.
Suddenly and without warning, the massive steel door opened, sliding silently to the side. Sam, exhausted from his bat attack and small heat attacks, fell to the floor. Bob switched off his cutting torch and tossed his glasses. “Hello,” he hollered out, “Anybody home?”
Doctor Sanity came bounding out of the lab, a massive smile on his demented little face. “Cigars for everyone,” he exclaimed proudly as he passed a shrink wrapped cigar to Bob. He tossed another over to Sam, who was making gurgling noises and twitching. “We fucking won, boys!”
Bob cocked his head to one side, “Um, won what exactly?”
“The squirrel assault on us failed,” Sanity answered in a jovial voice, “What’s left of their pitiful force is in full retreat. That’ll teach’em, eh?”
Lost Cause walked out of the lab, puffing on a cigar. He stopped and looked at Sam who was now making wheezing sounds when he breathed. “What happened to him,” he asked.
Bob looked over at Sam and then back at Lost Cause. “I think he suffered a stroke of something as he was trying to beat down the door and kill you both. I imagine he’ll be better by tomorrow. I’m going back to bed.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Lost Cause said in agreement as he trotted after Bob. Doctor Sanity, deciding against sticking around and waiting for Sam to regain consciousness, joined his two fellow sock puppets.
Downstairs, Goblin was sitting on the couch, howling with laughter as three sheep tried feverishly to impregnate an ice cream truck. The narrator, who had by now slipped into shock, could be heard weeping and pleading for someone to come and shoot him in the head.
Outside, the bodies of over fifty squirrels, or what was left of their bodies, covered the backyard. No one would ever be sure as to whether this was, indeed, a failed squirrel offensive, or just another one of Doctor Sanity’s warped delusions gone horribly too far. However, no one would ever forget the night that the squirrels died.