Just a Nightmare

by Emilio, age 10
Just a Nightmare Emilio likes to write fantasy fiction and nature-inspired poetry. He once inspired a Wired Magazine story, a fact of which he's proud. When not at Writopia, Emilio likes to practice archery and camp and carve.

“Jake ran as the nightmarish creatures followed him, their horrible screeches cutting through the still night air like knife grating on stone. Jake felt drops of sweat fall on the stony ground as he ran into the foggy black.”

Jake ran as the nightmarish creatures followed him, their horrible screeches cutting through the still night air like knife grating on stone. Jake felt drops of sweat fall on the stony ground as he ran into the foggy black. Running from the evil witch Baba Yaga and her foul tiger and lion felt sapping of his strength. Jake ran into the inky black as the nightmare ensued. The ground stopped as Jake tumbled, as he fell into a hateful, scorning darkness. Jake snapped awake, and awoke to a bed drenched with sweat. Looking around, Jake saw the drooping, sleepy-eyed moon through the open blinds and thought to himself, It was just a nightmare, just a nightmare… Knowing he wouldn’t sleep again, Jake walked into the kitchen and was immediately greeted by the warm smell of pancakes wafting through the room. Jake entered the kitchen thinking, Russia could not smell better than this. Being a P.I has its perks. Just as he was about to bite into his fluffy warm syrupy mountain, the phone rang. Ring! Jake almost shouted his favorite Russian curse word “mudak,” meaning sh*thead. Suddenly, his pet gnome, Tret Elponocks — wait, scratch that — his gnome roommate, Tret Elponocks, entered the room. He was a serious no-profanity believer and would’ve punched Jake had the phone call not been from B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence) central.

“Jake, we found a frog nest in the woods 15 minutes from your base.” 

“Copy that central.”

Jake scrambled to pull on his gray B.P.R.D. logoed suit and jumped into his dark silver modified DeLorean, thinking, This is how to drive in style. Arriving at the cave where the frog nest was and pulling out his silver bullet submachine gun (and thinking he was not the lone ranger), he entered the cave and saw a horrible sight: all of the frogs were dead, but, more interestingly, most were covered with bloats and burns. Whoever had killed them was fast. The sulfur-like smell of magic, of a supernatural being, wait, the smell of smoke and gunpowder? Jake jumped as the cave collapsed in a fireball much like the fireball of an 1800s Russian hand grenade. Whoever was behind this was old or old-school. It was time to go to info central, a.k.a the gossiping horse tavern. Walking to the counter, he ordered a 1% proof beer. Obviously Jake was a weak drinker.

Jake asked the bartender, a bald man with a dark beard and eyes that seemed to always be half-way peering at someone, “Have you seen anything… weird.”

Keeping his voice low, the bartender replied, “Na’w, but I been hearing whispers, whispers about Baba Yaga and children going missing, little children… ”

 After having another beer, Jake walked back to the house. Then grabbing his computer, he dug into the vast files of the B.P.R.D. online library. Entering into the search bar, ‘Baba Yaga,’ the results were limited only to Hellboy’s personal report after fighting the witch. Hellboy believes she escaped, but her whereabouts as well as powers, allies, and all other weaknesses were unknown except one: Christian artifacts. He would have to call the Vatican, which meant calling his ex-wife turned nun who he had not seen or spoken to for 20 years. He hated making calls like this. Every number he dialed made him weaker. 

“Victoria,” Jake said. 

Victoria coldly replied, “Jake, what do you want?” 

Setting his jaw, Jake replied, “I need you to pull some strings.”

“For what?” Victoria asked.

“I need a holy pendant.”

 “Why?” asked Victoria.

 “To kill Baba Yaga,” was Jake’s reply.

 “Jake, where are you?

 “Russia,” was the only reply from Jake.

 “Fine. Bye.”

 And that was the last thing Victoria said before hanging up. A couple days later, a package arrived with a note:

Handle with great care. (Do not break unless your paycheck is over a million dollars.) (Still don’t break.) P.S. This is the holy pendant of Charlemagne. 

“Wow, she really overdid that. I have a weird feeling she wants me to break this.”

Carefully unpacking the 2,015-year-old pendant and praying it wouldn’t break, he heard a knock on the door 

“No, I don’t,” replied a tactical gear clad Victoria (with holy water shotgun).

After hastily getting dressed, Jake was stopped by an armed Tret Elponocks.

“And you are going where without me?”

Jake was shocked at the sight of his battle ready ex-wife and gnome. He watched her as she unpacked her vast set of ancient weapons and artifacts.

“Here,” she said as she handed Jake a set of 1800’s Russian hand grenades.

“You said you thought this was what was in the cave?” Jake examined the items before confirming. “How the hell did you get your hands on these?” He turned to her, obviously impressed.

She shrugged. “Black market, that’s all.”

Jake’s eyes widened. “You seriously broke the law just to get your hands on these?”

“Hell yeah,” was Victoria’s response. “We need to find out if these are really what caused the explosion.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure I caught the explosion on the suit cam. So if we do some math, scratch that, a lot of math, we can analyze the blast and check the blast to the charge. We’ll figure it out,” Jake explained.

“Suit cams, forgot you had those.” Victoria frowned. “Ugh, I just wasted 13,000 on those just for nothing!” She was yelling a little too loud now.

“No, you just got us the iron that we needed for attacking Baba Yaga. Plus, it blows up,” was Jake’s smart*ss reply.

“Okay, if you’re so da*m smart, where’s Baba Yaga?”

“Well?” said Jake.

“That’s problem number two.”

Plugging in her computer, she searched for an obscure Youtube video that just happened to be on the B.P.R.D. channel. (She crunched the numbers.) Only 0.0000000000001% of 1,300,000,000 watched. But, it said what they needed. Thy got hooked up with the B.P.R.D. Russia Kazakhstan-Russia border agent, who had been hearing reports of children going missing in the border town of Kongelsk. Kongelsk was a small town with a thick surrounding wood and a small stream. Then, Jake, Victoria, and Tret flew to the nearest airport and then helicoptered in.

In the town, after ordering local vodka (just ‘cause), they headed over to the agent’s house to discuss Baba Yaga. The agent welcomed them with freshly baked gingerbread and more vodka.

Later, they hopped in an SUV and headed into the surrounding wood. After driving into a clearing, they saw (after blinking in the sun for quite a while) a small cottage on chicken legs. Seeing smoke coming out of the firepit, and after drawing weaponry, they headed closer to the cottage. Baba Yaga opened the door and immediately the house started running.

After jumping back in the SUV, revving the engines, and going as fast as possible, they finally caught up to the quite fast chicken-legged house. Victoria opened the car door and fired off a holy water shell. The house briefly stopped, as if in pain, and then continued. An hour and 20 bucks in gas later, Baba Yaga’s house stopped, cornered in a limestone quarry. Baba Yaga then opened the door, and after chanting words in ancient Slavic, a strange red light emitted from her hands, destroying the SUV. Promptly, Victoria fired another round from the holy water shotgun, and Jake fired some silver bullets from the submachine gun. 

After a bullet hit Baba Yaga, she yelled, “You cannot kill me! As long as Russia endures, I will survive!” 

All firing stopped. A silence fell over the quarry. 

Back at base, another round of torture came from Abe Sapien (who just happened to be the Russia/Kazakhstan border agent in disguise). More terror awaited… Paintball guns.


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