“Darnit, that’s another lightbulb gone out,” sighed Lyrical.
“How many is that this week?” asked Aquillea.
“Four, at least,” answered Tern. “Those were pretty new bulbs, too.”
“We must have a short somewhere, or perhaps the wrong kind of fuses,” OwlHarp offered.
“Let’s check the fuse box, then.”
“Are you out of your mind? It’s Halloween.”
“So you never go in a dark basement this time of year. Don’t you know anything?”
“Yes, Miss Smarty Pants, I happen to know that the fuse box isn’t in the basement, it’s in the maintenance closet on this floor.”
“Oh. Well, that’s okay, then.”
They all went off to the maintenance closet and peered inside. It was a normal enough closet, and the light was working. Aquillea opened the fuse box and found a weird assortment of fuses in different colors and sizes. “This is all wrong,” she said.
“What can we do about it? All the hunters are hiding from us,” said Tern.
“We don’t need those lousy men to help us. We’re educated women, we can figure it out.” Lyrical reached out and grabbed one of the big purple ones, and they all felt a little zap and saw a giant spark. When the spots faded from their eyes, they realized the closet had disappeared and been replaced with an arena, again lined with gymnasium mats. They looked down and found they were each wearing a white cotton gi with white belts tied in a strange knot at their waists. OwlHarp immediately began singing “Kung Fu Fighting,” and the other girls groaned.
Four dark Things appeared and surrounded them, and stood straight, arms at their sides. They all bowed formally, then took their stances.
“I don’t know karate,” said Tern. “They’re gonna pulverize me.”
“It’s not karate, it’s judo,” Aquillea informed them. “The gi is different from karate.”
“She’s right. I dated a karate instructor once. Woof.” OwlHarp spaced out in reminiscence.
“Nevermind that, we’ve got to defend ourselves somehow,” Lyrical said as the Things slowly advanced.
“Well, the thing about judo is, it uses an opponent’s energy and momentum against him,” said Aquillea. “So if we don’t attack, they can’t do their thing.”
“I’m all for peace, but I think being immobile during an attack would be foolhardy,” Tern said.
“Well, I know for sure that fighting will cause me to lose, so I guess standing here wouldn’t be any worse.” OwlHarp stood still, as did Aquillea. Tern and Lyrical kept their fists up, ready to block or parry or whatever the occasion might call for. As it turned out, neither reaction made a difference. Aquillea had been right about judo using an opponent’s energy against him, and as science has proven, the human body can be an excellent conductor of one form of energy in particular.
The Things pulled cables from the battery systems they carried in backpacks strapped over their gis. They leapt at the hapless Debs and connected the cables onto their victims and threw the switches. Deadly levels of voltage were poured into the girls’ bodies, which twitched and jerked, locking them up so they could not even scream. They dropped dead, limbs in stiff and awkward formations, small wisps of smoke emanating from their charred insides.