Zack: You arrive at a single-story house of modest construction. Its shingled roof is greening with age. It could use a fresh coat of paint. Cecil slumps in the truck, pouring out a julep from his thermos and waving to you to go on.Steve: "We meet man, Joe." I get out of the truck and approach the house.
Zack: Everyone else is accompanying you.
Steve: I knock loudly on the door and declare, "Joe from South Carolina has come to see you Albert Gist. Throw open your house to us."
Zack: A bespectacled man answers the door and reacts with great surprise when he sees Joe standing with you. "Joe, what are you doing here?"
Steve: "Yes, this is good question."
Zack: "It's Master Caleb, Sir. He been messin' around with a new mojo man come to the plantation from down south somewhere. Master Calbe and this man been doin' somethin' secret and now there's talk of a special ceremony by the old Obeah stone. They got my sister, Master Albert. They came right in and took her for prisoner. They tried to take me too but I was too fast."
Zack: Once Joe finishes his story you see Albert is visibly upset and pale. He asks Joe to go into the kitchen and fetch some drinks. When he is gone, Albert turns to you and explains that Caleb is his estranged brother. They had a fight years back and Caleb stayed to run the family plantation. "He believes in magic and obviously he is up to some terrible business down there. I suppose I will need to put a stop to it."
Steve: "What is Obeah?"
Zack: "It's like voodoo," answers Wanda.
Zack: "Right," says Albert. "My brother believes in that and so do many of the workers. I studied it for a time, but never very seriously."
Steve: "You want me crush Caleb's head?"
Zack: Albert reacts with shock, but before he can answer you hear a long, rattling burst of machine gun fire from outside. It is followed by several more long blurts of a machine gun firing. Chang throws himself flat on the floor and covers his head. Wanda and Regina are busy looking at Albert's book shelves. Sharon Derriere faints onto a couch.
Steve: Samson is a man of action. He will draw out his truncheon which he carries at all times and throw open the door to confront the gun-toting villain.
Zack: Tires squeal and you see a car roaring away down the country road. It is chased by another burst of gunfire. Cecil is standing in the road and awkwardly holding a huge Browning machine gun with steam rising from its water-cooling jacket. He cries out as he touches the hot barrel and nearly drops the gun on the road. He sets it down to pick up his julep from the hood of the truck. "I bought it after that creature I told you about, but I can't hit anything with this contraption."
Steve: "Mister Talbot, who was recipient of gun shots?"
Zack: "Some filthy hillbilly and negroes outfitted with pistols. They were planning an ambush. Lucky for me I was fiddling with the bullet chain for this thing. What is it, a belt? All those bullets strapped together? Too heavy if you ask me."
Steve: "Sound like Caleb sent assassin to shoot Joe and Albert. It is time for revenge. By the wintery wastes of Siberia, we will make your brother pay. Then I will crush his head."
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.