Frightening February Day 27: The Hook.

This one is a bit messier than the others.
#FrighteningFebruary continues.
A Man Without His Hook
“Old Man Winters”
Barnacle Bill

The man with a hook for a hand is an Urban Legend.

CONTENT WARNING! Gore, Body Horror, Torture, Assault, Graphic Depictions of Violence, Occult, Demon, Blood. Reader discretion is recommended.

    Plot Idea 1: A Man Without His Hook.
    We all know the old Urban Legend about the teenager who goes on the date with the Sheriff’s daughter. Things get progressively scarier and the kids high tail it out of there. When they get home, the arm and hook are attached to the kid’s back bumper.

    Well, that’s how it went for Lacey (Sheriff’s daughter) and Amanda. They went out to have some time in the woods alone together and were chased by the stereotypical creep with a hook. Amanda was convinced they ran him over. When they got home, the hook and the arm were still hooked to the luggage rack. Police combed the area for the body, but never found one. Lacey was grounded to her room for life and Amanda’s parents were called.

    The story makes it back to the group and coincides with a rash of mysterious disappearances in the nearby countryside. Every town has its special teen makeout spot, a lover’s lane or Seventh Hill in this case. It borders on an old, rundown, abandoned apple orchard where a bunch of teenagers died in the 1970’s or so the story goes.

    The only survivor back then described being brutally hooked through the collar bone and pulled from her boyfriend’s car before being knocked unconscious. When she awoke, she managed to free herself and run away before the killer came back. She then received medical attention, witness protection, and moved far away from the area. Only recently has Kristy Potroff, now 67, come back to town, but the group can do the research on this if they need to.

    The group may have already heard about the missing persons, including four area teenagers, all last seen at Seventh Hill. An extensive search by law enforcement concluded nothing publicly. Off the record, a missing hunter was found in one of the sheds at the old apple farm, hacked to bits. Not wanting to cause a panic, the sheriff and his men all agreed to keep it quiet.

    Now that Lacey has narrowly escaped a brush with the killer, the Investigators have been called in, which also includes full police cooperation if they can capture or stop the killer before his reign of terror spreads. His implement of choice is a prosthesis baling hook, tempered and sharpened with a serrated back edge. From there, the killer uses a variety of farm tools from sharp knives to pitch forks.

    Can the group stop the Urban Legend Hook Killer before he strikes again? Is it the sheriff’s oldest son? Maybe even Lacey herself? Or Amanda? Or the 70 year old reverend that lives down the road and on the other side of the hill?

    This sets up nicely for multiple Urban Legend scenarios if done carefully. It is up to the Keeper as to whether or not there is an air of the supernatural in this case. Could the killer be making sacrifices in exchange for youth, invincibility, or some other nefarious reason?

    D&D 3E Hook Horror.

    Plot Idea 2: “Old Man Winters”
    This starts in media res after a long night of chasing, and being chased all around an old orchard by a hideous bipedal vulture horror with hooks for hands. The group has discovered that the creature is not supernatural at all, but a man with an animatronic suit. See it turns out Old Man Winters was going to sell the land to a Halloween themed amusement park chain, only the locals petitioned the city to have it made a public landmark. But no one would want to visit a place haunted by a hideous monster.

    They unmask the man in the suit, and as they already suspected, it’s Old Man Winter. After some denouement, he swears revenge on the Investigators. “You haven’t heard the last of me!” he spits while being hauled off in handcuffs.

    Things quiet down for a day or two. police order the area to remain closed until the bodies of two missing teens last seen near the area are found. Winters remains in custody with no next-of-kin to bail him out. The horror suit remains impounded in police lock-up.

    The next night, a report comes in from a sheriff’s deputy of something seen on the road near the orchard. He emptied the entire clip of his Glock 17 into the thing before running away. His patrol car was thrown off the road by the creature. The deputy barely made it to the nearest farm house before whatever it was stopped chasing him. Of course, this makes it back to the group immediately.

    Old Man Winters laughs in his cell. He keeps repeating, “It worked. It finally worked.” He was moved to a private cell after severely injuring another inmate and using the blood to draw a symbol on the floor. Later he was searched when a chalk circle and pentagram was drawn on his cell floor. He openly mocks the group when pressed. He has gone quite mad from captivity and knowing some ancient ritual.

    Can the group stop the horror before anyone else gets hurt? What did the deputy really see? Is it a hoax again or is there something more out there?

    Plot Idea 3: Barnacle Bill
    Bill Barkley came back from his stint in the Navy with a medical discharge and a prosthetic arm. His right arm was sheared off in a freakish accident. Seven of his crewmates were charged for negligence, gross misconduct, and Bill’s injury but were later let off the hook by the JAG office due to insufficient evidence. It didn’t help that is commanding officer didn’t like Bill much.

    Now all of the men have retired from the Navy. Ensign Whitley was the first one to turn up dead. He was flayed through the midsection and his skin held open by large fish hooks. Whitley was gruesomely disemboweled from there. Whitley, a 250+ pound Navy boxer would have been very difficult for one man to take down alone.

    Police are baffled. Then another body turns up. It’s the commanding officer. Lt Stephens is found gruesomely drawn and quartered on a sort of homemade rack with hooks through multiple limbs and his torso. Signs begin to point to something more supernatural. Symbols are found on the floor at the scene in an unrecognizable language.

    Can the Investigators stop Barnacle Bill before he strikes again? Is this the work of a cult or one man? Are there demons involved? What supernatural horror has Bill embraced in exchange for all of his power? (*Please don’t sue me, Mr Barker?)

    Thanks for stopping by. Sorry if this one was off the rails gory. Hope I didn’t scare anyone away.

    Author: Jeff Craigmile

    I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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