Hey there, fellow horror geeks and monsterphiles! Prometheus back with round #2 of FRIGHT FRIDAY’S Random Bracket! This fight will be a bit different and marks a milestone in FFF history! That’s right! It will be the first time we have animal competitors! Not one, but both of today’s competitors! I present to you, Bruce (Jaws) VS Anaconda!
Let’s check out our fighters!
What can I say? I love Bruce and always have. A giant great white shark with the appetite of 15 football teams, all this guy does is eat, swim, and make baby sharks. What’s not to like?
Bruce has no super-powers; he isn’t invulnerable to attack and he can’t breathe above water or if he stops swimming for too long. But if you think that counts him out of this competition, you’re gonna need a bigger boat. (Okay, I’m done, I promise.)
Bruce has tremendous jaw strength, I mean, he really earned the nickname. If you plan on taking him down, you’d better stay clear of those teeth. Bruce is known to be aggressive and show at least some capacity for reasoning… at least when it comes to getting his next meal.
A big freakin’ snake. What else needs to be said? This dude is really no joke though. Capable of crushing pretty much anything to death, especially if it breaths, the sheer strength of this animal is incredible. You definitely don’t want to get into a wrestling match with it, by any means.
Again, no super-powers, and no invulnerability, but the Anaconda’s speed is highly enhanced due to its size and strength. Its senses are also very finely tuned to hunt you down.
The Anaconda can move fluidly in freshwater but cannot survive in saltwater. Capable of feeding when on land but is much more clunky when not submerged. Don’t sleep. It’s still, much, much faster than you.
“Sergeant Dempsey, round everybody up, we set sail in 15. Ready up.”
It was early, even by military standards and the sun had yet to rise.
The Sgt. looks at his commander, an older, career military type who was always in a bad mood.
“Yes, Sir. I’ll ready the others. Has it been loaded on the vessel and secured?”
“Sgt, were you asked to secure the creature? Was that your job? Or, were asked to ready the fuck up?”
“To ready up, sir.”
“Then do your job. Let the team I asked to secure the thing do theirs.”
“Yes, sir. Understood.” Sgt. Dempsey wasn’t a fan of Captain Reed’s methods, but he certainly couldn’t argue with his results. The man was a legend in the barracks. A status he earned with one successful mission after another. Probably the reason he was chosen to head up this dangerous little journey.
The Sgt. heads to the barracks to retrieve the others. In all, there were five of them. Himself, Corporal’s Johns and Meeks, Private Jensen and Captain Reed. Sgt. Dempsey is second in command on the trip, and he desperately wants it to go smoothly. A commendation from Cpt. Reed would mean a lot for his future. In and even outside of the Army.
A fact he would constantly remind himself of in times of doubt or worry. Times like now when he has to go be in charge. Especially having to give Corporal Meeks orders. Meeks was clearly still sore that he got promoted over him last month. He opens the door and enters the room, stiffening up immediately.
“Johns, Meeks, Jensen, we’re heading out. Let’s move.”
Private Jensen, the youngest of the group, stands up first, eager to comply. “Yes, sir.”
Johns and Meeks are a bit slower getting to their feet, following closely behind Sgt. Dempsey and Pvt. Jensen. They meet Cpt. Reed on the vessel, a large, cargo-style ship heavily reinforced by the military. Cpt. Reed addresses them as they board.
“Welcome aboard soldiers. Today we embark on a very important mission, and although it does not call for direct combat or any high-profile rescues, I assure you boys, the danger is veryreal. I’ve hand-selected you for my own reasons, so if you are here, that means I trust that you can get the job done. Don’t disappoint me.”
He looks the four of them over as if inspecting them.
“That’s your job. My job… is to get us there safely. Then back home to the arms of our loving women. I hope that you all trust in me to do just that?”
All four men reply in unison. “Sir, yes, sir!”
“Good. Now that that’s been put on the table, are there any questions on your orders?”
“No, sir,” replies Pvt. Jensen. “I do have a question pertaining to the mission, though, sir.”
“Spit it out private, we don’t have all day.”
Pvt. Jensen looks at the other three men standing with him with a slight smile, then back to the Cpt. “When do we get to see it?”
“Son,” replies the Captain, clearly not in the mood for jesting. “You had better pray to sweet baby Jesus that you don’t.”
“Sgt. Dempsey will show you to your sleeping quarters and fill you in on the rest of what you need to know. We set sail at 0600.”
The mission was simple. The government had something they wanted to transport to a top-secret facility. Their job was to get it there quietly. No questions asked, of course. There were rumors and whispers going around about what it is, but Sgt. Dempsey wasn’t concerned with rumors, only the mission. He walks ahead of the other men, leading the way to their bunks. Pvt. Jensen is the first to break the silence.
“This boat is huge, holy crap!”
Corp. Johns replies immediately. “It has to be. You hear what we’re carrying? Some giant freakin’…”
Sgt. Dempsey interrupts. “It doesn’t matter what it is. We’re only here to transport it.”
Corporal Meeks intercedes, “Yeah, well how are we going to get it off this damn boat, if we don’t know what it is? Always be prepared. Isn’t that your motto? How can we be prepared if we don’t know what to prepare for, Sgt?”
They enter the sleeping quarters and on each bunk is a piece of paper marked classified. He hands one of them to Corporal Meeks. “Didn’t you read the briefing?”
The corporal goes to reply, but Sgt Dempsey cuts him off. “Because if you had, you would know that we aren’t responsible for getting it off the boat. There’s a team already there waiting for us. That’s their job. Not ours. So, in other words, Corp. Meeks, we don’t need to know shit about what it is.” He turns to address Corp Johns and Pvt Jensen. “Are we clear?”
“Good. Now let’s talk duties. On those pieces of paper, you will see a schedule. We sleep in shifts, two at a time while the other two walk the perimeter. I argued for one at a time, but the Cpt. feels that the vessel is too large for one man to walk alone. Also, he feels that it would be too boring leading to slacking off, and possibly, to somebody falling asleep on duty. I have to agree.”
He looks around the room before continuing. “Get comfortable. It’ll be three days there, three days back. Pvt. Jensen and I have the first shift soon, at 0600 when we set sail. Johns, Meeks, when we wake you up for your shift, we’ll be deep at sea. Hope you aren’t susceptible to motion sickness.”
Pvt. Jensen walks the corridors of the vessel underneath the flat, exposed surface while Sgt. Dempsey walks the top – meeting at the stairway leading down and switching positions every 30 minutes. Both of them are armed with an AR-15, a back-up sidearm, a knife, and an LED flashlight.
As they pass each other on the stairs for the second time, they give a salute. Pvt Jensen stops for a moment. “All clear… again. Can we take a break?”
“No. The orders are to remain moving at all times.”
“Don’t know, didn’t ask. You want to go to the Cpt’s private quarters and wake him up to ask for yourself?”
“You think they’re expecting trouble?”
“Not that I know of. Why do you ask? See something?”
“No, it’s just,” he holds up his AR-15. “If they weren’t; would we be holding these?”
“It’s just a precaution.”
“Just radio me if you see anything, okay? There’s nothing to be nervous about.”
They proceed along their respective routes, Pvt. Jensen now up top. Right around the very center of the boat, he passes an extraordinarily large cargo crate for the second time. It’s marked property of the United States Government and the only holes in it are at the very top, about two stories up. He clutches his AR-15 tightly and lightens his steps as he passes by it, imagining what could be inside.
He makes it past the crate, and at the end of the vessel, he turns to make his journey back around the other side, already dreading it. About 20 paces from the black, looming storage container, a heavy impact rocks the boat, knocking him to the deck unexpectedly.
He jumps back to his feet quickly, with his rifle ready. He walks his route, adrenaline taking over, his eye to his sight. Sgt. Dempsey yells through the radio.
“What the hell was that Private? Over.”
Jensen reaches for his walkie but is knocked down by another impact, this one much harder and clearly coming from the side of the vessel closest to him. Again, he is back to his feet quickly. He slowly makes his way to the edge of the ship, and peers over, rifle first. A large dent can be seen in the hull, but clearly not enough damage to be from a torpedo. No other ships are visible. The water is quiet. He grabs his walkie talkie and pushes the button.
“I don’t know, sir. Looks like something hit the…”
Another impact shakes him, almost knocking him over again. A cracking sound can be heard coming from the direction of the storage container.
“I’m on my way up. Stay there.”
Jensen makes his way slowly toward the oversized crate, his heart beating almost out of his chest. His rifle is pressed against his shoulder tightly, but his hands shake with anticipation and angst. As he draws closer, he spots a large fracture going down the side of the metal container. Something heavy bangs up against it from the inside. He stops and reaches for his walkie talkie. “Hey, Sgt.… we have a problem, over.”
The Sgt. meets Johns and Meeks in the corridor on his way to the stairway, just as his walkie talkie goes off.
“What the hell is going on Sergeant?” asks Johns as he wipes the sleep from his eyes.
“I don’t know. Both of you on me. Jensen’s up there alone.”
They make their way up the stairs, and on to the deck. They pass lines and blocks of smaller storage containers on their way to the middle of the ship. As they near, Meeks spots Jensen’s legs sticking out from behind the container. They start to move as if being dragged.
“There. Behind the crate.” He points as they run to the side of the crate with their weapons drawn.
Sgt. Dempsey stops them before turning the corner, raising his hand in the hold gesture. “Johns, check it out. We’ll cover you.”
Johns nods and with his eye to his sight, he slowly turns the corner just in time to watch Pvt. Jensen’s feet disappear into the mouth of a large black snake. “What the fu…” He pulls the trigger, but the snake uncoils with lightning-fast speed, striking him and knocking off the boat and into the cold, dark ocean.
“Johns!” yells Meeks as he runs around the corner.
“Meeks, fall back!” The sergeant tries grabbing a hold of him but is too late. The long, muscular body of the mutant snake wraps around him quickly, constricting with every passing moment. Sgt. Dempsey falls back to the side of the ship. “Johns!”
“I’m okay Sgt, I got to find a way back up. Can you throw the ladder over?”
Sgt. Dempsey runs to the side of the ship, looking for the rope ladder. Every second the fear of being struck from behind becomes more real as the snake digests Corporal Meeks. Captain Reed comes running up the stairs as Dempsey tosses the rope ladder over the side and yells to Johns. “It’s on the other side, Johns! You got to swim around!”
“On it,” replies Johns from the black water.
“What the fuck is going on, Sergeant?” The Captain looks around, his Desert Eagle in his hand.
“That fucking thing got loose. It got Jensen and Meeks, knocked Johns into the water, sir.” Another impact against the side of the boat knocks both men to the deck momentarily.
“Yeah, well, I don’t think he’s out there alone, Sergeant. He’d better move his ass.” The two men look over the edge of the ship, they could just barely make out Johns in the water near the end of the ship. “Johns, careful out there,” yells Cpt. Reed. “Something big is out there with…” Suddenly, the captain is lifted into the air, his head and shoulders within the jaws of the giant Anaconda.
“Fuck!” yells Sgt. Dempsey, squeezing on the trigger of his rifle. A few shots land in the body of the snake, and it slithers off quickly, disappearing into the lines of crates, taking Captain Reed with it. Sgt. Dempsey runs to the other side of the boat and peers over the edge, looking for Johns.
Johns was about halfway to the ladder hanging down the side of the boat. The sun is coming up, and as Sgt. Dempsey watches Johns, a large fin appears in the water behind him. “Johns! Swim, fast! There’s a fucking shark behind you!”
Johns, succumbing to natural human instinct, turns around to look. He sees the fin coming straight at him, and immediately realizes his fatal mistake. Years and years of extensive training fall to the wayside as fear turns to paralysis. The fin disappears and a moment later, he is violently yanked into the ocean from below.
“Johns!” Sgt. Dempsey yells as he watches the water turn red. Realizing he is on his own, and that the snake is still aboard the vessel, he turns around with his finger on the trigger. No sign of it. The thing could be anywhere on the ship by now. Suddenly, he is knocked off balance by another blow to the side of the ship. This one causing the hull to split open. The vessel starts taking in water fast, leaving his only option the lifeboat on the side.
With his choices being: get in and row like hell, or stay here and sink - or get eaten by a snake, he drops it into the water and jumps in. He rows with everything he’s got, trying to get away from the sinking ship. Before he can make it far enough, the Anaconda lashes out, extending its body off the boat and biting into his shoulder. The snake lifts him into the air, bringing him back to the deck but Bruce shoots up from the water grabbing onto Sgt. Dempsey’s legs and tearing him in half.
This infuriates the snake and it drops the remaining half of the sergeant’s body into the ocean, raising its head and striking at the shark in the water. It manages to dig in and tries lifting Bruce from the water. The over-sized Great White is too heavy for the Anaconda though, and the snake lets go.
Bruce, now with a taste of blood, crashes into the vessel again, busting another hole in the side. The snake strikes again but is unable to coil around the bulky frame of the shark and its small, sharp teeth become stuck in Bruce’s thick hide. Bruce plunges, dragging the snake into the water.
The Anaconda wraps its tail around the rail of the ship, and as the shark fully extends the snake, it loses a few teeth from the impact but is set free and coils up on the deck of the ship, waiting to strike again.
A few moments pass and the ship’s deck is now almost level to the water when the fin reappears. The snake waits patiently, intently watching the warm-blooded Great White shark as it comes closer. Bruce comes crashing onto the deck of the ship, and the Anaconda strikes quickly, latching onto the side of the shark’s face, but as it lands, Bruce bites the rest of the snake in half instantly. His powerful jaws and sharp teeth cut easily through the thick meat of the Anaconda.
As the sun rises over the blood-stained ocean, Bruce swims off into the distance with half of the dead snake still attached to his face.
Well, there it is. Bruce for the win, and for our hearts! It was fun pairing these two together and figuring out a way they could meet. Once that boat came down to sea level though, it was a wrap for the Anaconda. If Bruce gets his mouth on you, you are going down.
What do you guys think? Yell at me in the comments and let me know! Were you team Anaconda or team Bruce? Check back next week for MR. BABADOOK VS PENNYWISE THE DANCING CLOWN! For updates on the series, be sure to follow me on Twitter!
Until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi