Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Since the mid 1940s, young women had been reported missing in and around the town of Pinebox, Texas. Perhaps what made the report all the more strange was when the women would disappear.
Always on the night of St. Patrick’s Day.
The days leading up to March 17 always started becoming unusual for David Zabloski, reporter for the Global Inquisitor, now working undercover as an adjunct professor at East Texas University.
The first incident started a week before St. Patrick’s Day.
As he exited the shower in the morning, David was surprised to find a shamrock drawn in the condensation on the bathroom mirror.
He searched his apartment expecting an intruder.
The apartment was empty. The door leading out of his unit was still bolted from the inside.
The following day, David heard something fall to the floor in his kitchen. There, he found a box of Lucky Charms had mysteriously fallen out of a cabinet, spilling its contents on the floor.
The next day while driving, the radio suddenly blared to life, playing “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.
The day after, a young woman he would later learn was Kelly King—the last girl to disappear on St. Patrick’s Day—appeared in David’s dreams, quite dead and covered in clovers.
That morning, David received a visit from two FBI agents who introduced themselves as Special Agents Ace Freeley and Special Agent Gene Simmons. They said they were investigating the disappearance of Kelly King, who used to rent the same apartment David now occupied.
David questioned the agents’ validity so didn’t offer to help them, despite being threatened by the two agents with hampering their investigation into the woman’s disappearance.
After they left, David called the local FBI field office and reported the two agents. The field office said they didn’t have any agents in the area who happened to go by the names of two band members from the rock group, KISS.
David was glad he didn’t provide the two imposters with any information.
Besides, he didn’t like KISS anyway.
On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, while talking to a student who knew Kelly King, David’ cell phone rang. The caller ID showed it was Kelly’s cell phone number. Upon answering the call, he heard a burst of static followed by a disembodied voice saying, “He killed me”.
On the day of St. Patrick’s Day, while attending a rally on campus, David spotted Kelly’s ghost. Before disappearing, she gestured to a flyer promoting the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration being held at the Pizza Barn and mouthed the word, “Leprechaun.”
David decided to drop by the Pizza Barn late in the afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day.
Even though the sun hadn’t set yet, the place was full of revelers.
Outside in the back lot, Zack Lore’s band, Suburban Fright, was busy playing cover songs while a mini rodeo was underway.
David also spotted other members of the Garage Gamers Group mingling with other students from ETU and the locals. He told Richard Skald that he had a feeling another girl would disappear that night and that the others should help keep an eye out for any thing unusual.
After a few hours of sipping green beer, David was offered another round by a waitress who said claimed that one of the patrons was offering a round of drinks to everyone at the Barn.
When asked, David was pointed to a man—a small person—seated near the dance floor with three young women with him. The man had dark hair under a green “John Deere” hat and wore a pair of denim overalls and a t-shirt.
He laughed often and loudly. Three empty pitchers were on his table.
When asked, the waitress explained that the small man was a popular local named Michael Collins, or Mickey to his friends. To add to this, one of the three women Mickey was with got up and walked over to the jukebox. Moments later, “Hey Mickey” by the 80’s singer, Toni Basil, began blaring across The Pizza Barn as more people stood up to dance.
David approached Mickey’s table and without asking sat down. He then started questioning Mickey and stating how he knew about Mickey and asked if he knew who Kelly King was.
Mickey claimed to have no knowledge of Kelly but winked and said that if Kelly was a beauty, he’d like to meet her. He offered to buy David another round.
To David, it was obvious that Mickey fancied himself as quite charming and definitely what many would call the life of the party.
The small man reminded David of the character Tyrion Lannister on the cable TV series, Game of Thrones. Although smallish, the women adored him and he played the part of a womanizer quite well.
When David kept pushing, Mickey threatened to call the bouncer over and have David escorted out.
David decided to leave Mickey’s table.
On the way to the bar, David spotted the two men posing as FBI agents. He sat next to one of them and began to interrogate them.
The two men confessed that they were brothers named Dean and Sam Remington. They were in Pinebox investigating the disappearance of Kelly King and the other mysterious disappearances on St. Patrick’s Day.
When he pointed out Michael Collins, the two brothers said they asked about the small man and found out that he owned a ranch outside of town.
The ranch was called, “The Rainbow Ranch”. Furthermore, some of the women called him “Leprechaun” every St. Patrick’s Day since he was full of ‘lucky charms’ as they say.
The rest of the night went on with the music getting louder and the crowd getting wilder.
At around midnight, David spotted Mickey and one of the girls at his table flirting heavily. After a few minutes, they both got up and started to leave The Pizza Barn.
David quickly followed. On the way, he ran into Joseph Holland. He insisted on Joseph giving him a ride.
But Joseph said he didn’t drive to the Pizza Barn and that he was having way too much fun to leave.
David insisted that he tell the others he was going to follow Michael Collins.
Just then, the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” began to play on the jukebox. David glanced over at the jukebox and thought he saw Kelly’s ghost standing by it. But the mysterious figure suddenly disappeared.
Outside, he could barely make out the taillights of a truck speeding away from the Pizza Barn.
He also spotted the Remington brothers quickly getting into a black Chevy Impala SS nearby.
He ran up to them and offered to accompany them since they, too, were headed to Collins’s ranch.
On the way to the ranch, the Remington brothers talked about how they were Slayers—no not members of the 80s band—but rather, individuals tasked with hunting supernatural creatures and entities most people only thought existed in nightmares and urban legends.
They had also heard about the disappearances of many young women in Pinebox since the mid 40s.
While most attributed the disappearances to that of a serial killer, the Remingtons suspected something more supernatural was at work.
The Rainbow Ranch was located off a dirt road a few miles outside of town. A dilapidated barn stood on one end of the property while a two-story ranch house—equally in disrepair—stood on the other side of the property.
A wooden fence surrounded the entire property.
The Remingtons, along with David, parked the car far enough away to mask their approach.
After they got out of the car, the brothers opened the trunk. To David, the trunk resembled an apocalyptic weapon’s cache. Swords, crossbows, and several firearms along with boxes of ammunitions took up the entire trunk’s space.
Each of the brothers grabbed a pump shotgun. Dean handed David a Glock.
All three carefully made their way onto the ranch.
The barn, save for three horses in their stalls, was empty. They tried to avoid spooking the horses.
Past the barn, they spotted Michael’s truck. It was parked right next to the house.
They carefully made their way to the truck. Besides a couple of pieces of lumber in the truck’s bed, it was empty.
They spotted a large set of cellar doors. Light could be seen through the cracks in the doors.
They crept up to the doors and when they were ready, flung the doors wide open.
The air in the cellar reeked of death. Bones littered the floor. Clothing and jewelry were piled along the walls. Skulls hung from bent coat hangers attached to the rafters.
The girl David saw leave with Michael was in the far corner, tied to a chair. Mickey was between her and the David and the Remington brothers, hammer in his hand.
Mickey yelled something defending his “treasure”. He noded toward Naomi and then toward the bones on the floor saying they were, “Magically delicious!”
The three quickly battled with Mickey who suddenly turned into a gruesome looking small humanoid dressed in a leprechaun outfit. He wielded the hammer with skill. The leprechaun would also suddenly disappear during the fight, only to materialize a short distance away and continue his attacks!
They were able to free the bound woman during the fight, but not without taking injuries from the leprechaun’s savage attacks.
Meanwhile, the heroes’ attacks were barely hurting the leprechaun.
When all seemed lost, a loud car horn blared from the road.
Everyone spotted a sedan driving fast up the road. From inside the car, the heroes saw the Garage Group Gamers.
The cavalry had arrived!
The leprechaun, sensing he was outnumbered, suddenly vanished with a curse and a vow to exact his revenge upon those who made him lose his “treasure”.
David was shortly released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries.
The Remington brothers didn’t stick around too long, but not before giving David a contact number for him to reach them.
Inspection of The Rainbow Ranch over the succeeding weeks revealed dozens of graves, some going back to the 1940s, while some were more recent. The bones were later identified as those of the missing women.
All had died from blunt force trauma to their heads.
Among the remains, they found Kelly King, Mickey’s last victim.
Sometime in the future…
Somewhere in the U.S.
“I hope this place is to your liking,” the real estate agent said hoping to close the deal. The man he stood next to stood just over four feet in height. Yet, there was something unnerving about the way he conducted himself, the real estate agent thought. “I believe it’ll suit your needs perfectly. It’s isolated. Far enough outside of the city. And large enough to accommodate your needs.”
“It’s perfect,” the small man said with a grin. “I’ll take it.”
“Forgive me,” the agent said. “But what is it exactly that you do, Mr. Collins?”
“I work with my hammer,” Collins said. “I am an artist. I sculpt metal into works of art.”
“What will you be calling your business? I’d be happy to refer you to my clients.”
“Rainbow Metalworks,” Collins said with a wolfish grin.
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