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Now in our seventh calendar year
PCR #309  (Vol. 7, No. 8)  This edition is for the week of February 20--26, 2006.

"Capote"  by Mike Smith
A Tale of Two Sergeants...."When a Stranger Calls"....Rain  by John Lewis
Haunt X  by Mark Terry
Happy Birthday....Pulling The String....Passing On....My Favorite Films--Chapter 8  by Mike Smith
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Creature's Corner

Hello everyone:
Things have been super busy around the castle and the gang of usual suspects has kept me jumpin'. (Things at work are busy as well which affords little computer time.) Here's the lineup for the day.

A Tale of Two Sergeants
First we have a tale of two sergents. Yes, in a bold (and completely independent move; yeah, right) both DC Comics and Marvel have returned from the archives to once again fling us into World War II. Yes, both Sergeant Rock of Easy Company and Nick Fury are back on the shelves competing for your hard-earned dollars. Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy is being helmed by none other than comic legend Joe Kubert and I'll tell you what; it looks good. I always enjoyed Rock and Easy so it's good to have them back.

Over at Marvel, the team of Garth Ennis (writer), Darick Robertson (artist), Jimmy Palmiotti (inker), Raul Trevino (colors), and Joe Caramagna (letters) take us back to Tunisia in Northern Africa, 1943 for what looks to be a wild ride in Fury's early days.

If you like good old style World War II action run out to your nearest comic store and grab both of these mini series. I know I will. (Hell, I already have)

"When A Stranger Calls"
I went to the movies last week to see the remake of "When A Stranger Calls" and while it was mildly entertaining there was nothing new here to see. The old saying; "Seen it, Done it" comes to mind. I'll give it One-and-a-half screams on the Creature Scale. The best part about the movie was the preview to "UltraViolet." MMM-MMM!! I'm counting the days.

We can ask 'til we're blue in the face, but with every waitress, waiter, busboy, and hundreds of screenwriters walking around, script in hand, trying to fuel the next major blockbuster, it amazes me the amount of remakes Hollywood continues to pump out. I know the arguments in favor of it but you know what: I DON"T CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give us some new movies or we'll make them ourselves. Remember, Hollywood: You Have Been Warned. (Jeez, when are they gonna wake up).

Anyway, back to our scheduled program.

I hope those incredible storms that blew through the area didn't get you down (they sure were a doozy). Hell, it rained so hard that the parking lot across from the store looked black with only the shadows of cars visible. I've never seen that before. It almost reminded me of the story I wrote, "Pillars Of Fire."

Anyway, here's a little light reading in case we have another rainy day. Enjoy!

It seems like most of it is over for now though who knows what manner of beasts may have used the blanket of rainfall to move undetected among us mere mortals. Strange creature's whose fluid-based bodies move in tandem with the rain, in turn becoming part of the fury of the storm. Making their way from their cummulo-nimbic domain down to an unsuspecting world below to inf...(forget that word) spy on us. These...these things without form, these abominations which mimic the very water we drink... wish to make our world...part of theirs.

I know they are out there yet I can say nothing for to speak is to be branded...and put away into that god forsaken place. I will not go there. Not when the world needs my help to defeat this...this enemy. I'm writing these words so that others may know the truth, the truth that lies out there...out there in the "STORM."

Wait...be quiet. I think I can hear them now. To the untrained ear the sound is like the hiss produced by a heavy downpour but...I...can hear between the drops. I... can feel the electrostatic resonance which is their signature as they glide among the puddles on the roof, easing their way down the walls as easy as the water running down the side of the building. They may fool others...but not me. Not now...Not ever.

I have long dreaded their arrival, ever since those many years ago, after the war. We were on maneuvers, moving through the clouds. Colonel Manning spotted the first one and reported the sighting. I was his wingman...I said nothing...but I followed. At first I could see nothing though Manning still claimed he saw a disc. He aimed his trajectory nearly vertical and took off. I followed closely, hoping to catch the faintest glimpse at the thing Manning had spotted. Still nothing.

We continued climbing and I realized that we would soon be beyond a safepoint if we were to return. Still, no sight of Manning's infatuation afforded itself to me. I begged Manning to abort, to give up this insane crusade but his mind was already gone...and now I know why. Was he catching a glare from his canopy or was what he saw really there. I had to know. I had to see it for myself.

Shifting my Tiger Plane slightly to the left I peered through the clouds. I had no idea what I was looking for, just that I was looking. Then I saw it. Manning's flying "Jellyfish." It had a centralized disc shape to it with lines of what appeared to be electro static luminescence creating a star shape in the disc. It appeared to have the same consistency of water and that same lack of color look. There were several tentacles dangling beneath the phenomenon, dripping what appeared to be some sort of electrical energy from the tips.

My instrument panel began to act up. That's when I saw the second one. I hollered over the radio for Manning to abort his insane ascent. Still he continued to climb almost straight into the heavens, all the while claiming to be gaining on the strange aerial phenomona. He was insane with the lust of discovery. This was Manning's find, Manning's "Child."

As we continued our Ascent I noticed my gauges were not reading properly. I looked to my right and saw a third "Sky Jelly." It dawned on me , at that instant, at that very second...we were being lured into a trap. I throttled down, backing out of the deep climb I was in. Manning continued to climb. The last sight my eyes beheld was that of Manning disappearing into a higher bank of clouds, laughing maniacally, with three of those things following him.

I made my descent, joining the squadron again. Nothing was said by anyone, especially those who listened as their squadron Commander changed from a sane leader of men into a babbling idiot.

They had infi... sorry, clouded his mind with a vision they planted inside there. Who knows what Manning thought he was chasing; an Angel perhaps. I know better; it was more like the song of the Sirens.

The official report said that Manning suffered from an extreme case of vertigo but I know differently. I was there, I was witness to the abomination. I too was touched by their influence. And now, all these many years later, I feel them again. I know they are here, brought to us by the rain. They can fool others but not me. We are destoying their world, they seek to do the same. Little do they know, I'm onto them. It's time to gather the gang and do a little hunting. My name is Sam Crawford, Stygian Raider, and I hate rainy days.

Don't ask me where that came from. It just popped into my head. Actually it's a derivative that takes place after the events in "Pillars Of Fire."

Have a Great Week. Hopefully I'll see you in Seven. Have a Great Weekend. C-Ya!

The "Creature"  The Creature from Clearwater

"Creature's Corner" is ©2006 by John Lewis.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.