Josh Freeman, owner and operator of Misery Nob Mt. stood on the porch of the lodge, sipping coffee watching over the slopes like a lifeguard on a beach. Long story short. He was a big time surfer back in the day. Competitions. Awards. All that good stuff, till he lost his left leg to a shark. He wanted to get as far away from the water as possible, start over so to speak and took up skiing instead.
Something here wasn't right. For some odd reason the place smelled like fish. Not saltwater. More like the Chesapeake. He recalled fond memories of his visits to Baltimore. Best crab cakes he ever had.
The place is a mad house. Busiest time of the year. Temperature twenty- eight to thirty degrees. Light wind.
People dressed in all the named brand colorful ski attire scattered over the slopes. Young. Old, middle-aged. Getting away from the daily norm and escape into another world. Leave all their problems behind. College kids out to get laid. Drunk. Party on.
Inside, the lodges are filled with snooty high ranking businessmen plucking away on their laptops, holding meetings, refusing to leave their job behind like its some kind of unwritten law to have a good time.
Some are real good skiers.
Some not so good.
Some just down right clumsy.
Doesn't matter though. Everybody is just out to have a good time here on Misery Nob Mountain.
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
One skier is yanked under the snow. Blood spraying up in a cloudy mist.
Josh saw a large red cloud in the distance.
Sounds of soft humming like bees and soft crunching of ice.
He could hear screaming.
One skier sunk into the snow.
He didn't know what was going on but he had to get everybody off the snow.
“Everybody off the snow! Off the snow!” Screaming at the top of his lungs.
He ran out there to get the kids away who were skiing at the youth section.
“What’s going on?” a vacationer asked.
“Just get off. Everybody get off.”
The mist getting closer.
“Away! Away! Away!”
All he got was dumbfounded looks. Like what is up with this crazy dude. None of them had no clue he was the owner of the new lodge. To them he was just some kind of nut who needed to be arrested.
As the skiers started to sink into the snow. Blood spurting from the crater kind of got people's attention rather quickly.
Skiers skiing as quickly s possible for their very lives.
One met his death when he smacked into a tree.
Another skied off the side of the steep slope.
Two skier actually skied right into each other cracking skulls together.
Mommies grabbed their children running for safety.
One mommy grabbed her child and started skiing away bout as fast as she possibly could but unfortunately wasn’t quite quick enough and was yanked under as if they’d just sunk in a patch of ice.
Before he saw that, whatever it was in the snow creating all this gulped him down like he was their morning breakfast.
Second day of the big opening and this happens. All the money he invested into this lodge and worked so hard for in the short time it takes you to eat your breakfast it was quickly being chopped to smithereens.
He saw the blood,.
Heard the screams.
Yet he felt there was absolutely nothing he could do. He felt helpless.
What the heck was out here?
Grabbing a gun he fired into the cloudy mist.
Three… Four times.
Something rose high in the air,r large as a German Shepard.
The first thing that came to mind was that it looked like a large fish. A very large fish.
Another one jumped.
A whole pack of them.
People scattered from the slopes but most now were too far away to make it out of there safely.
He fired three to four more times.
Reloaded. Fired into the red mist. He figured if he fired into the mist he would hit something.
Now, they were making their way closer. He ushered everybody into the lodge, those that could make, trying the women and children first type of thing but at this point the entire place was in chaotic turmoil.
Paramedics and fire trucks arrived quickly on the scene. But unfortunately they didn’t stay too long either. Laws of nature wasn’t exactly on their side.
Paramedics came and tended to some of the surviving victims.
Some lost legs lying there in a snow covered blood puddle.
Some completely gone.
Body parts and entrails were littered everywhere like it was a horrible plane crash.
Two paramedics assisting a victim were trying to place him on the stretcher when one of them saw the red cloud in the distance.
“Look at that,” he said to the other.
Eyes squinting intently. “What is that?”
“Looks like a red cloud.”
It didn’t take long till they realized that was what Josh explained to them. It also didn’t take long for them to realize what was happening.
The cloud growing closer.
Then something jumped out of the snow.
“Looks like a large fish.”
“I saw it too.”
A fish as large as a dog.
It’s mouth moving up and down.
There were more.
Dozens of them.
“Ohhhhh my Goooood!”
That was both of their final words as the fishies flew in the air coming down on top of their heads.
Blood spurting like a fountain as their bodies continued to stagger around as if trying to find where their heads went.
Their heads rolled onto the snow. Eyes still wide.
A fish gulped it down as if it were a worm.
CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH GOES THE SKULLS.
One would tend to think that the safest place was the ski lift which was stopped. A couple were on it.
Screaming for help. They could see it all loud and clear. But it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that help wasn’t coming for a while.
They told each other lies like they were going to be okay. Everything was going to work out and they would figure out what was going on and get them off here eventually. But when they saw the way the fish chomped down on the paramedics it didn’t make them feel any better.
Silence fell over the snow like calm water.
Nothing but bloody scattered body parts could be seen from above.
Perhaps this was the safest place.
The boy holding her close telling her everything is going to be okay. Of course she believes him.
Until a large fish jumps out of the snow missing her foot by a hair.
She screams. Raises her feet.
Being the tough guy and a wanna be her hero so he wins her heart he hold he covers her the best he can, cradles her feet on his lap.
Another fish jumps.
Blood dripping from its teeth.
SNAP SNAP SNAP
Again it misses.
She's screaming 'oh my God we're going to die'
“No we're not going to die. We'll be okay. Promise.”
She wants to believe him but is having a hard time at it.
Another fish jumps, this time it bites her foot off.
The cart rocking.
He's beyond the tough guy syndrome as helplessness sets in deep within his soul cause now he don't know what to do.
Her shaking is causing the swing to rock more and more.
Fish can smell the fear, they are so close to having them both for snack.
Yes, that's right.
Piece of his leg here.
Piece of her arm there.
Josh is watching all this from inside the cabin.
“Do something!” one lady screams.
Josh grabs his shot gun. The hills are alive with the snowrahanas jumping in and out of the snow like they were in the Amazon.
“Are those what I think they are?” a man asks. He is in his thirties and is a Lawyer.
“I've never seen fish like that in my life,” a woman said. She is hot to trot and is also the lover of the married lawyer guy. The lawyer's wife is standing beside her and doesn't have a clue to what her dirt bag husband is up to.
“Piranhas,” a man said. This guy is a scientist.
Josh shoots into the cloud of piranhas as one of them jumps through the snow with an arm in its mouth.
Three or four fall flat.
Not for long.
All stared in disbelief as the piranhas got back up.
“Well, now. Isn't that just dandy?” the lawyer said. “Zombie prianhas. As if things aren't bad enough already.”
“What are piranhas doing living in the snow?” An old fat man asked.
Scientist scratched his head thinking that this one is beyond any of his understanding. This world has really sent him for a loop these days and to be perfectly honest he has no idea what is going on in this world.
Lawyer opens his laptop and announces that he is accepting clients for those who wants some compensation promising a nice return.
Josh gives him an evil stare. He hated them so much tearing down several of those signs along the interstate was on his bucket list. Nothing more than a white collar way of stealing money from people. Professional liar so to speak. Heck, a drug dealer selling pot from the trunk of his car has more morals than a lawyer.
Josh Points the gun at him and tells him to keep his mouth shut.
Lawyer boy raises his hands high telling him to calm down. He was only kidding.
Of course he would say that now with a gun pointing at his sorry loser butt. “No you're not,” Josh says.
The lawyer closes his lap top and goes back and sits in the corner.
He can't stand scum bags like him.
INJURED? WE CAN MAKE YOU MONEY. WE DON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
HURT IN AN ACCIDENT? WE CAN GET YOU WHAT YOU DESERVE HERE AT FELLER AND FELLER.
WHAT'S YOUR CASE WORTH? I'VE BEEN THERE. I MEAN BUSINESS
Josh has made up his mind that if this lawyer guy opens his mouth one more time he's gonna cap him.
A fish smacks into the window.
Snowrahana flops around on the floor. Smashing tables with its tail. Jaws moving up and down longing for the tastes of fresh flesh.
Josh puts the barrel to its head and blasts the creature to smithereens. No way this sucker was coming back to life.
People wiping off chunks of fish fish guts off them with disgust looks on their faces.
Josh enlists the help of two other men to assist him in securing a board over the window. While they were at it he had plenty more scrap in the basement and boarded up all the windows.
“Feel like we're preparing for a zombie apocalypse,” a man said.
“It's worse than that,” Josh said. “I don't know where these things came from but they are fast and vicious. At least zombies stagger.”
“Depends on what kind of zombies they are,” fat man said. “There's the Voodoo Zombie, Chemical zombie and also the Viral zombie.....”
Josh cut him off. “Okay okay, we get the idea.”
He went around making sure everybody was okay. So far up to this point, everybody on the inside was doing fine.
“Any idea how we're gonna kill these things?” a woman asked.
Just as she said that a fish jumped taking a large bite out of the front deck surrounding the lodge.
Five to six others tore the jump ramp apart. From inside they could hear the sound of cracking wood as the snowrahnas feasted happily.
Fat man said. “You realize we're just sitting ducks in here?”
Josh looked at him. “We're fine in here. Trust me”
“Oh yeah, then can you you explain why there's piranhas chewing up the concession stand?”
“Like I said. We're going to be fine.”
Fat man grabbed a piece of chicken from the fridge. “I should've known better than to take a vacation to a place called Misery Nob Mt.”
His fat wife slapped him. “You're just ticked off cause they canceled the hot dog eating contest. She continued to smack on him repeatedly. He begged her to stop but she kept on keeping on.
Josh shouted at them to break it up. He didn't need this right now. If he had it his way he'd feed both their fat asses to the fishies, which at this point probably wasn't a bad idea.
A short while later after conducting some major research on this unusual occurrence the scientist had it all figured out. Apparently he discovered this myth about a lake which used to be here back in the day over a hundred years ago. The lake was supposedly haunted by Indian witch doctors which were buried here.
Everything dead here, rises.
Indians, fish, crocs and of course the big fish.
Some young chick over hearing the conversation brushed it away as foolishness. Until a croc's head busted through the door.
Chomping into the fat man.
Fat man gurgling for help as his body was being devoured by the powerful beast. Tail whipping around, smashing the tables and chairs until Josh put the barrel to the croc's head and pulled the trigger.
Party kid wearing a white Sharknado tee-shirt said, “Seriously, dude. What is going on around here?”
“It's part of the end of times,” someone from the Good Graces Church Group said. “It's all in the bible, son.” He stood on the chair fixing to take advantage of this great opportunity to win lost souls. “Repent now and be saved from your sins!”
Of course everybody was at the bar having a drink trying to calm their nerves as the church group member explained that booze won't solve the problem.
“No, but it sure helps make it easier,” someone yelled back.
“Save yourselves now before it's too late!”
Sadly, it was too late for that fella when a snowrahna smashed through the window biting off his head.
The fish snarling, growling, sounds of scull crushing as the fish chomped vigorously.
People running backwards trying to get as far away from the thing as possible when the fish scooted around on its front fins.
Snapping. Taking a bite out of anything it possibly could.
“Get away from that thing!” a woman screams. She is an older woman, wrinkles and age spots and stuff and that moldy smelly fragrance old people give off. She was too old to be skiing but was there on a vacation to meet someone she met on OLD FOLKS NEED LOVE TOO.COM.
Party on I say.
She rolled backwards on her walker, swatting at the fish with her cane. You'd think people would come to her aid cause she's such an old woman but since we live in a self-centered society where people pretty much just worry about themselves these days, everybody ran and left her for bait.
Cept Josh. God bless him.
Josh shot thing in the head. Made it dead. Still flopped around though. Snapping its jaws.
So he fired again.
Mouth wide. Gills flapping.
Is this thing ever gonna die?
One more time.
“Shoot the thing already,” he heard someone say. A voice he didn't pay any attention to, cause it was the voice of a coward. This guy screaming shoot it already was saying from the far side of the room.
Josh thought, when I'm done I may shoot him myself.
Finally the fish stopped flopping just before it was about to take a bite out of the old ladies leg.
He was about to drop his guard and walk up to the fish.
“Sucker is still alive,” someone said.
Mouth moving up and down.
The fish's body was still though. As long as he played it safe. He was curious to see what this thing was all about anyway. He knelt down beside it. “What big teeth you have there, sweetie.”
The teeth were stained yellow, dripping blood.
The fish's eye looking at him intensely as if it were saying you haven't seen the last of me. He punched the fish hard several times. Scales cutting into his knuckles like ice. He pounded more and more.
It was lights out for the little fishy.
“I think you got him good this time,” someone said.
Josh wiped the blood from his chin. “Lets hope so.” At this point he couldn't be sure about anything considering what he's seen so far.
Loud banging outside the building.
“What is going on?” a skier said. He was a young dude, all done up in the sporty attire, one of those that made you think skiing costs a fortune.
Outside hundreds of fish jumped in and out of the snow like it was water. Jaws snapping vigorously. To make things worse a shark fin surfaced. Chills swept around the back of Josh's neck. He was just learning to live with the fact that he lost his leg to a shark attack. Now, he had to relive it.
Fish were destroying his building. His life. Everything he worked so hard for.
A loud crash as a fish popped its head through a gaping hole snagging the poor scientist fella taking him down in one gulp as if he were nothing more than a simple snack.
The most beautiful woman Josh had ever seen came from the far corners of the lodge slicing off the piranha's head with a machete. She had long black hair, beautiful body, big boobs, the whole nine yards and sporting a light blue tee-shirt with 'A reel expert can tackle anything.' written on the front. He also noticed she was missing her right arm just below the elbow.
“I've had it with these stinkin' fish,” she said.
Not only could Josh keep his eyes off her boobs he also couldn't help but notice the saying on her shirt. She was nicely tanned, the natural way, which showed she was a creature of the outdoors. Her hand was calloused but still had the attractiveness of a woman's touch. When she spoke she was loud and very clear but there was still a delicate beauty in her voice.
“Fisher-woman I see.” Josh said. Actually, trying to be politically correct.
“Born N' raised.” She went on to explain how the Amazon was her obsession and how she'd lost her arm to a croc while out studying piranhas in the Amazon, which she first visited when she was eighteen. She went on to explore various jungle ecosystems, captured Anacondas and Black Caiman with her bare hands before she lost the one arm, that is. She also participated in various hunting expeditions. She was indeed the most interesting woman in the world.
Studying Piranhas? Hmmmm.
Seems the two of them have something in common. Josh had to admit he was very impressed. “Any thoughts about how we can kill these?”
“By the way, I'm Liza.” She held out her hand.
“Nice place you have here, Josh.”
Looking around. “Used to be.”
She pulled out a smoke and lit it. “Don't mind do you?”
Normally he would but she earned the right to smoke anywhere she wanted. “Not at all.”
“First thing. Piranhas are diurnal, which means they hunt in the day and sleep at night. So whatever we're going to do we only have a couple hours left. We need to create a bait.”
“That's right. They eat it, they die. That simple” She slapped her hands. “End of fish story.”
He wished it were that simple. “Okay, like some meat or something? I've gotta freezer stacked full of beef, chicken. Plenty of lamb, but that's way too expensive.”
Then someone stated that it all sounded good but how was she going to get all that meat out there without getting ate on herself.
This was a good question.
One which she had the answer for.
There was a helicopter on the roof
“You know how to fly that?” Josh asked.
“Of course I do,” she says, as if it were the silliest question on earth. Of course he should've known better than to ask such a stupid question since she'd proved over and over that she is the most interesting woman in the world.
She instantly took charge of the SNAFU situation and had everybody going to work stuffing the meat full of boric acid powder she'd found in the cabinets that was used to help keep the cockroaches under control. She explained how fish are extremely sensitive to pesticides and it drops them like flies. One drop of a pesticide in a small pond can contaminate the pond in a very short amount of time and all the fish will be floating on the surface with bloated bellies.
Josh went up in air with her along with a couple other volunteers and they tossed the steaks out on to the snow.
From above the fish were jumping, snapping.
One of them grabbed hold of the rail on the chopper. Tore off a large chunk causing the chopper to swirl but Liza managed to get a good hold on it while Josh kicked the fish in the mouth. It was then she thought it would be better to fly a little higher.
They tossed the contaminated steaks and chops out into the school of the fish and watched as they took the bait as if they were starving.
Hundreds of fish jumped out of the snow latching onto the steaks.
Thirty minutes later they were belly up on the snow.
Liza circled around. Some of the fish breathing heavy, but couldn't move and they were on their way out of there.
“Must be thousand of these things out here,” Josh says. “Job well done Liza.”
“Why, thank you sir.”
The choppers engine spat and sputtered.
Oh oh,” she says.
“What do you mean oh oh?”
“I mean. Looks like we're low on fuel.”
“How low? Like empty low?”
“Like empty low.”
It was then he wanted to curse, real bad, maybe even say a few nasty things to her on count that all of a sudden he didn't like her.
Wasn't her fault though. She wasn't just trying to fix the problem. He didn't think to look at the fuel gauge either.
The chopper began to swerve, swirl out of control. The sound of the engine dropped to a slow deadly hum.
Down the chopper went.
Liza wasn't giving up.
While she worked to save what little butts they had left Josh was thinking about how hard they'd worked and killed these fish and now they may meet their demise in a chopper crash.
The snow getting closer.
Liza pulled back hard on the lever while pumping the flapper pedals or whatever they're called.
THUMP and THUNK
She looked at him and smiled. “You okay?”
Josh looked himself over making sure he wasn't missing anything extra. 'We're okay.”
“Of course we're okay.”
“I mean you really did it.”
“We did it,” she corrected.
Now, of course he was liking her again. He kissed her, full of excitement they were still alive.”
Oh, sorry,” he said. “Couldn't control myself.”
“Neither can I,” she says and kissed him even longer.
People clapping, cheering in the background but they didn't hear that.
Her arms embracing him.
Her lips tasted like fresh Mako with wine sauce.
Josh was in for a great nite. He just knew it.