I slip bitterly back into consciousness.
Blood is running from my mouth to the top of my head and dripping up to the ceiling, where all the igloo furniture has somehow been attached. Weird. Hang on…
I’m hanging upside down. Blood is running from my mouth down to the top of my head and dripping down to the floor, where all the igloo furniture is in its rightful place.
My twin brother appears.
“How’s it hanging?” He says.
“Fine, fine.” I reply. “Any plans for today?”
“Oh, let’s see now… killing you and reclaiming my rightful inheritance?”
“Your rightful inheritance?”
“You really don’t remember? Right, listen carefully to this valuable piece of exposition because I’m going to at quite a pace and I don’t like repeating myself. Ready?”
“I can’t think of anything that will make me any more ready than this, so yes.”
“Okay. You and I are twin brothers. I’m Sean Berman and you’re Basil Berman. Daddy is Daddy Berman, founder of Berman Confectionaries and inventor of the Berman Permachoc, remember? Chocolate that doesn’t melt?”
“What’s the point of that?”
“Does there need to be a point? Was there a point in the telephone? The aeroplane? The stylophone? Anyway, it turned out that there was a point because the African and Indian sub-continent loved the stuff. People without fridges, you know?”
“Why didn’t they just buy normal chocolate and eat it before it melted?”
“Here’s why, Basil.” My brother said with a frown (sorry, a sinister smile) as he produced a cattle prod and zapped me between the legs.
“Ow, that smarts!”
“It’s a delayed reaction. Just wait a…”
“FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARKK!!!!!” I responded.
“Right then, so if there are no more questions I’ll continue. No? Good. Anyway, poor Daddy died last week in a freak accident involving a vat of chocolate and a psychopathic serial killer son."
"Daddy died a rich man with a large will. A large will that leaves none of his money to his psychopathic serial killer son – me, and all of his money to his goody two shoes can’t-put-a-foot-wrong famous doctor son, Basil…”
“I’m a doctor?” I interrupted, forgetting myself in the excitement. “Of course! I always kneFRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARKK!!!!!”
“Don't interrupt... so to claim my rightful inheritance all I need to is kill you and steal your identity.”
“It’s not really your rightful inheritance in that case is it?” I thought, rather than spoke.
“You may speak.”
“But everyone thinks I’m you. Plus, I don't know if you realise this, but this place - the igloo, everything - is just a figment of my imagination.”
“You been having dreams about cops and doctors again Basil? This place is real alright. Does this feel real to you?”
“You see despite my many faults, Daddy still had a soft spot for me and pulled a few strings to arrange for my exile here in Igloo Land rather than a trip to Old Sparky. When you came to visit me in prison I borrowed your identity with the help of a cup of tea laced with LSD-25 and a large fist. It’s a pretty straightforward, easy to understand and not at all far-fetched story really.”
“But why bother coming back here? If everyone thinks you're me you could just claim the inheritance anyway? And the horror films? What do they all mean?”
“ Okay, number one, quit looking for plot-holes, and two, I like horror films. Horror, Sci-Fi, you name it, I'll watch any old shit. Have you ever seen The Deadly Mantis from 1957? It’ll be on in a minute.”
“Can you turn me the right way up to watch it? FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARKK!!!!!
I'll be fine like this."
Fountain of Fear - It's almost *Thanksgiving*, and here's a supernatural appetizer (with an Native American twist!) to whet your whistle from the Jan. '54 issue of *Out of th...
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