As he trudged back onto the cool grass that covered the grounds of the Great Valley, Ken Blake looked back over his shoulder for a moment, a little suspicious at what the big deal had been about. In his hands he held a small little plant that had been given the name “Audrey III”. Clearly, he didn’t know why Victor Veloci had been so keen on him buying this particular plant.
Ken didn’t trust that raptor-brained criminal, but deep down he couldn’t say no to making a purchase and bringing a plant here to the Great Valley. Maybe they would like it when it would grow in the future, anyway. Who knew…maybe it could leave a print in the past and make something extraordinary happen in the far future!
Ken grinned at that. That thought in his mind made him feel more confident as he quickened his pace to a light jog. He knew someplace where he knew he could plant it, and maybe after some careful growing, he could show the others later on.
Perfect, the young lad thought. Maybe like this the other dinosaurs might come to respect me in a different way too, instead of just sitting on me and giving me wedgies all the time. If I learn to make a great plant grow here in the Great Valley, then I can’t wait to hear what they’ll say about tha-“OW!” He suddenly flinched the moment he felt something prick his finger.
Looking down, he noticed the head of the plant seemed to be sucking on his finger. Was it alive?
Ken stopped dead for a moment to take in what was happening. Yes, without a doubt it was actually sucking upon his finger. The plant was alive! How peculiar.
For some strange reason though, his finger seemed to be feeling really numb, almost as if it was falling asleep or something…
Suddenly, Ken jolted. He realized that it was his blood…the plant was sucking the blood out of his finger! “Ow…watch it!” he flicked the plant and pulled his finger free. He sucked on it for a moment, trying to let blood refill it and regain its movement. He didn’t like that numb feeling very much; it stung a little too where the plant had pricked him.
Ken frowned and looked down at the plant. It appeared to be shaking in a rather strange way, and making a whiny sound of some sort, almost like it didn’t approve of having something precious taken away from it.
Weird, Ken thought. But still, maybe it would make a great plant for Halloween. It is at the end of this month, and I can’t wait for it to come. Plants do feed off water and sunlight as well, anyway, so it should be okay…
Grinning again as he remembered his plan, Ken took off again, to the place where he knew he could keep his plant hidden safe…
“What’s this now, Ken?”
Ken nearly jumped out of his skin the moment he heard Trinity’s voice. Turning around, he saw the Adventurer appearing from behind a mango tree with a curious look on his face.
“Uh…w-what’s what, Trinity?” he asked nervously, afraid maybe his secret would be exposed too soon.
Trinity just looked at him suspiciously for a moment, and Ken feared the worst…
“What’s with hiding out here in Hidden Canyon, Ken? I thought you were meeting with Michael over near the Secret Caverns today.”
Ken blinked. “Uh…oh yeah, yeah, I am. I just wanted to look for some special fruit first.”
“Not Sweet Bubbles, I hope,” Trinity shook his finger tauntingly. “You and Ruby have already eaten a lot of them, buddy. But if you’re keeping something secret here that nobody should know about, then I won’t say a word, okay Kenny bud?”
Ken nearly breathed a sigh of relief, but held it in time to prevent suspicion. He knew that Trinity was good at keeping secrets, and it seemed the Adventurer hadn’t even noticed Audrey III inside the hollow Candy Berry tree trunk nearby. It was a good thing that Ken had covered it with a huge bunch of fruit as well.
“Uh, yeah thanks, Trinity,” Ken forced a keen smile. “I’ll be going pretty soon…I’ll meet you later so I can see you off tonight.”
“Yeah, thanks Ken,” Trinity grinned. “Tonight’s the time-flight out to the African Jungle…I can’t wait to see my friends again for my birthday. Bet they’ll be wondering where you might be too.”
Ken pulled a face. “Don’t even go that far, okay?”
Trinity just laughed. “I know, I know, just kidding. I’ll see you later, Kenny.” Then he was gone, running off to join the others for a game of ‘Swimmer ‘n’ Splasher’.
Ken finally let his sigh of relief out of his lips. “Whew,” he walked back around to the tree where he had hidden Audrey III, and carefully moved the fruits aside.
But when he reached into the tree, the first thing he immediately felt was something latch onto his finger…
“Hey, stop that!” he pulled his hand away. “Plants do not drink blood, do you understand? Even if you have got a little mouth which you obviously do, why can’t you use it to eat things like fruit?”
The little plant poked its head out from out of the tree, and it seemed to stare up at him, whining with a strange pleading sound.
“Come on now, why don’t you eat fruit instead?” Ken tried to ask it. “I’ve given you water, and sunlight, and all the fruit you can eat, but you’re still not happy. Can’t I find you anything else besides the blood from my fingers?”
But dismayingly, the plant seemed to shake its head.
Ken gave in. He wasn’t in the mood to try and find anything else now. He simply sat down and carefully took the plant from out of the tree. Putting it on his lap, he regrettably held out his fingers.
Audrey III immediately clamped onto one of them and Ken tried his best to endure the numb feeling through his fingers as his blood was slowly drained.
It had been three annoying weeks now, and Ken had had to put up with constant questioning from the others why he had been having sore hands since then. He clearly didn’t tell them anything about Audrey III and its enticing taste for blood; he felt he still wasn’t ready to tell them about it as he had an idea. The plant could make a surprise appearance when Halloween would come. It was only six days away now, and ever since last year, Ken had taken a great liking to it.
Thinking about it, he thought perhaps Halloween would be perfect to show off Audrey III. It was, after all, growing up to be quite an unusual plant. It seemed to have an oddly-shaped head, not much like a flower, but more of a head with jaws. Ken remembered seeing one of those types of plants before, but where had it been from? From a movie he had seen some time ago? He couldn’t remember, but if there was something he remembered about it, it involved a serious amount of blood.
Ken really hoped deep down that this really wasn’t the same case. He was only a young boy after all, and compared to an adult he hardly had barely the efficient amount of blood for a creature like that anyway.
The thought was still curdling through his mind when he made his way back to the Hidden Canyon where the plant he had been nurturing for the last three weeks stood perfectly still amongst the fruit trees, acting as if it was lifeless.
Ken snorted. “Very funny,” he said. “Don’t pretend like you’re just a tree…there’s nobody around, just me.”
Audrey III immediately began moving, opening its jaw-like head up to reveal a wide-open maw. Seeing the maw like this had at first scared Ken while the plant was growing, but looking at it now, he was too used to it that he didn’t even flinch. It made a deep growling sound, as if begging for food.
But Ken was very annoyed with the fact that while the plant had been growing, its appetite for blood had increased as well. “Come on, it’s too early,” he groaned. “And my fingers are sore beyond sore right now. I can’t make enough blood nowadays to keep your appetite satisfied, can I?” He hung his head moodily, not sure how to comprehend the situation…
“Feed me,” a sudden voice growled.
Ken’s head shot up. Who said that?
“Feed me,” the growl came again, this time from Audrey III.
Ken’s eyes went wide. Had he just seen the plant’s jaws…move?
“Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-what the…?” he gasped. “You can talk?”
“Feed me, boy,” the plant seemed to growl with its chlorophyll lips, and the jaws moved up and down as the plant hovered on its stalk, saying, “I can’t survive without blood, ya know!”
Ken was bewildered. He had seen talking dinosaurs before, and even some talking animals in some places, but now seeing a talking plant was something completely different. He couldn’t believe what was happening.
“But I can’t keep giving you blood!” Ken complained. “Surely you’ve got to have something else!”
“’Ay, listen kid,” Audrey III protested. “I has gotta ‘ave blood if ma point in living’s gotta make any sense around ‘ere! Yer see, ah was born ter have blood; it’s ma nature to be a ‘bloodcoholic’!”
“What in the world is a ‘bloodcoholic’?” Ken shrugged in confusion, not understanding the plant’s little joke. “You’re becoming a really weird creat…er…um………plant-thing, and there is no way that I am getting anything that has blood in it for you like this.”
“Come on, it ain’t that difficult, younging!” the plant sniggered. “Why doesn’t yer go and go it from somebody that does ‘ave blood, eh?”
“Because I’m not a killer,” Ken pointed out. “I’m not going to butcher somebody for their blood to keep you satisfied, not even if there’s anybody I hate in any world I’ve been in.” And before Audrey III could say another encouraging word to him, he immediately turned and stormed off in a temper.
Undoubtedly, Ken was feeling very unnerved. He was beginning to wonder if he hadn’t made the right decision after all, to get that plant from the shop in the first place. He never should have listened to Veloci, never trusted his opinion on what to choose for the Great Valley.
But what was he going to do now? He felt he had to get rid of Audrey III somehow, because if it wanted blood so much, it might become so ravenous for it that it might prey upon any unknowing passing person or dinosaur in the valley. He would have to destroy Audrey III…kill it, even………
No! What was he thinking? Ken Blake was not a killer. He was only a boy, for goodness sake! He was still so young, and the last thing he wanted was to have blood on his own hands this early in his life. What would his friends think of him? What would his family think of him? What would anybody think of him?
No matter how weird, Ken couldn’t bring it within himself to kill, not even if it was a blood-crazed psycho plant that he had hidden himself in the Hidden Canyon.
But what could he do?
Bringing his hands up to his hair, he tightly held it in frustration and grunted to himself as he tried to find, somehow, within the vault of his brain, a possible solution to this problem he had made.
The situation was only getting worse.
Audrey III’s constant complaining was now beginning to be quite a headache. Constantly demanding for blood, any possible sustenance whatsoever was now driving Ken up the wall. He had had enough…this was going to stop once and for all! He had finally decided not to put up with Audrey III not even for Halloween, because for all he knew, it would just demand blood from his friends if he would show it to them.
But this time he had a plan. He knew that if he couldn’t control Audrey III from going berserk, and if he couldn’t kill the plant, he just had to isolate it…at least trap it for a while, until he was ready to tell his friends about it and do something about it. At least he hoped it could happen quickly, because if Audrey III’s din was going to get any louder, somebody might eventually hear it and come to investigate, to walk unknowingly right into Audrey III’s hungry jaws…
He stepped into the canyon. The plant turned to face him. “Yer bring me any food yet, kid?” it demanded.
“That’s all you ever think about!” Ken stood his ground. “But I’ve had it with you, Audrey III! This is the last time I’m going to tolerate this from you, and now I’m putting my foot down because I’m sick of your mind and mouth always being on blood. So I’m going to leave you here until you perish, do you understand?”
Audrey III seemed to be silent for a moment, and then spoke, “Hey kid, ya don’t really think you can leave me here just like that, do ya?” Suddenly, its long tendrils that seemed to protrude out from the plant began to lift from the ground and hover slowly towards Ken.
“I do, and you’d better not try anything funny,” Ken took a step backwards, towards the entrance to the Hidden Canyon.
“Or what, kid? Ya think yer just gonna tap the wall and make the rocks tumble down to trap me in the canyon like that, eh?”
Then to Audrey III’s surprise, if it showed any, Ken seemed to smirk. “Well, actually…I was thinking of something along those lines, only…” Then his hand reached up to a nearby vine hanging from the rocks, and he pulled it hard.
There was a sudden rumbling sound, and Ken immediately turned and bolted from the entrance to the Hidden Canyon. He barely glimpsed one of Audrey III’s tendrils come swooshing up towards him, when suddenly…
CRUNCH! A huge rock tumbling down from above landed straight on the tentacle, and a painful shriek could be heard as more rocks came crashing down, completely blocking the entrance up and sealing the plant forever inside. The rumbling forced Ken to lose his footing and he fell down, laying still for a moment before finally rolling over and sitting up, seeing the thrashing tendril protruding out from the aftermath of the rock-slide. A moment later, the tendril finally lay still.
Ken breathed a sigh of relief. That had been a close call…but he had done it. With the blood-crazed plant trapped in the Hidden Canyon, one problem was over.
Now that he didn’t have to think about Audrey III anymore, he decided that perhaps he would get something safer for Halloween, and quickly too, because the day was tomorrow and he had to hurry.
When he finally met up with the others, he was immediately asked, “Hey Ken, did you hear something strange earlier? It sounded like an Earthshake.”
Ken knew; undoubtedly the cave-in had aroused suspicions. “The entrance to the Hidden Canyon caved in,” he told them. “I was just leaving the canyon when the entrance collapsed behind me. I don’t know what caused it.”
It wasn’t the full truth, but it wasn’t a total lie either.
And the others seemed to believe him, so Ken felt a little better. He immediately hurried over to his time buggy so he could shoot back through time and find something quick before the special day came.
He couldn’t help but feel though, that something horrifying was going to take place the very next night. He didn’t know how, but maybe he was still just feeling a little edgy after having done his business with Audrey III.
31st October, Halloween
Tonight, they had met together in a clearing of the Great Valley, Ken along with Shelly, Josiah, Jane, Michael, Littlefoot, Cera, Petrie, Ducky, Spike, Ruby, Chomper, and even Guido had come for a visit.
It seemed that there was only one person missing…
“What’s taking him so long?” Jane curiously asked the others. “He’s never been this long to bring the treats.”
“Hmm,” Shelly thought for a moment. “Maybe we could ask Arty if something happened to him.” She flicked out a communicator and pushed a dial on it. There was a moment’s pause…
And then, “Hello, Shelly?”
“Hi, Arty,” Shelly replied into it. “Have you seen Trinity, by any chance?”
“Well er, actually…” the reply came through, and then…
The sound of footsteps nearby caught their attention. They turned to see Arty approaching!
“I was hoping you could tell me,” he asked. “I found his door open back in the future, and his crystal was just sitting on the coffee-table.”
Ken blinked. “That’s weird…Trinity’s usually never without his crystal.” He turned to Josiah. “Do you think we should look for him?”
“No, wait a minute. What about Slyder, Arty?” Josiah asked. “Was his car in the garage?”
“Actually, I didn’t think to check the garage for Slyder,” Arty thought for a moment. “But I did see some tyre tracks heading off into the northern forest, and I—” his voice suddenly dropped off the moment he heard a strange vibration. “Huh? What’s that?”
Everybody glanced around. It took them only a couple of seconds to feel the strange vibration underneath the ground. But it didn’t feel like an Earthshake or something…it sounded almost like something was burrowing its way through the ground.
Then the rumbling intensified…almost as if…
As if it was coming straight for them!
Then a tendril shot out of the ground, hovering in front of the gang in a mocking wave.
But amongst all the group, Ken was the only one to recognize it. “Oh no!”
Suddenly, another tendril shot out from the ground nearby and lassoed him. “Yeow!”
“KEN!” Shelly cried out. She tried to move but was stopped as another tendril shot out and slammed into her, bowling her back into the others and sending them falling back.
Then an even bigger rumbling sound came closer…
BLAMMM!!! A section of ground burst out, and a huge hungry plant emerged from the tunnel it had created. “AH HA!” the ravenous Audrey III cackled. “Got yer, my little morsel!”
Ken squirmed in the grip of the tendril that held him. “How in the world…I…I trapped you!”
“Did yer really me you could trap me?" Audrey III laughed its head off. "What a joke! When a plant like me becomes so determined ter eat one way or another, anything’s possible, ya little squirt. Now I’m gonna finally have mah belly filled no matter whoever ah eat!”
But despite the dangerous situation, Ken appeared to show more annoyance than fright.
“Hold on, Ken, I’m coming!” Michael attempted to lunge and throw his Dino Ranger rope to try and do something to improve the situation.
But Audrey suddenly lashed it with a free tendril and sent it twirling back around Michael, holding him tight and dangling him above the air, before the tendril lashed out and caught him too. Michael was petrified, but not as terrified upon seeing Ruby get caught next, who also attempted to help Ken by dodging another tendril and jumping over another, but getting caught by the third.
Chomper growled ferociously. “I’m a Sharptooth,” he boasted. “I can bite this plant to pieces.” And he immediately lunged…
And instantly became the fourth lassoed victim in the grip of Audrey III!
Ken grumbled in his tight grip. “Some rescue this is turning out to be,” he shouted. “And some Halloween too.”
Audrey then whipped out another tentacle to wave in front of the others as a warning. “Any more of you come any closer and I’ll make mincemeat outta yer friends, ya hear me grub snacks?” the plant snarled. “My feud is not with you lot – it’s with this ignorant little brat ‘ere!” He shook Ken heavily to prove his point.
“You horrible beast – I never should have bought you to begin with!” Ken shouted angrily at Audrey.
“Well, you’ll learn yer lesson well for this, snack!” Audrey salivated. “Nobody’s gonna save yer now!” And the plant began to hungrily open its mouth, slowly lowering Ken down towards its awaiting maw…
Then, Audrey stopped.
A new strange sound could be heard. Everybody turned to see a familiar vortex start to form nearby.
Arty blinked. “Trinity…?”
Sure enough, a second later the familiar blue Chrysler 300 came sliding out of the vortex and bolted straight for Audrey III. There was a squelch, and the plant was knocked backwards, its tendrils immediately losing their grips on Chomper, Ruby and Michael who fell to the ground and were pulled away by the others, but Audrey’s grip on Ken remained strong.
Slyder slid to a stop nearby, and the angry plant turned to face the new threat…
But the moment Ken saw Trinity in the driver seat, he noticed something different.
Trinity sat there staring up at Audrey III, looking paralysed…
Like a zombie.
And with a deep blood-red glow in his eyes.
Ken suddenly recognized that look. Hey…does that mean…
“RRRAAAAWWWWRRRRRRRRR!!!” Suddenly, a powerful demonic beast lunged out from hiding in the back seat of Slyder, and landed on the ground, snarling at Audrey III. It was a hound, its body covered in a thick, matted, coat of grey fur with a black mane, and its eyes a deep blood-red. A strange green spooky aura appeared to be emitting from the hound’s entire body, almost as if it was some kind of possessed creature sent out to attack and kill its victim.
And it looked like it meant business.
Even Audrey seemed to shudder upon seeing the hound. “No, not you!” it stuttered. “Don’t take me ter hell!”
But hell was clearly on the hound’s mind as it lunged towards Audrey III, then vanished into thin air and reappeared behind the plant, biting and clawing at its neck, causing the plant to shriek in pain. It began lashing out with its tendrils to try and catch the hound, but every time it came close the hound simply vanished and reappeared from another direction to attack again. Everybody simply watched as the battle continued until finally, the hound had done enough damage to the stem…
And Audrey fell to the ground, dropping Ken as it collapsed, dead on the ground.
The hound panted, and then turned to look over at Ken. “Young Ken…are you hurt?”
Ken looked up, and happily laughed as he ran over to the hound, not caring in the least that the others were watching in utter astonishment, hugging the dangerous beast while the hound in turn sat down and smiled at the young boy’s embrace.
Then Ken looked up. “But…why are you here? How did you know what was happening?”
“I sensed you were in danger this year, Ken,” the hound told him. “So I possessed your friend and used him and his transport to travel here, where I knew I would find you.”
Ken turned towards Slyder, where nearby, Ducky, Jane and Arty were trying to shake Trinity awake, who still appeared to be zombie-tranced.
The hound seemed to let out a nervous laugh. “Ahem…I forgot to wake him up,” he uttered sheepishly. He walked up to the car, causing Ducky, Jane and Arty to draw back nervously. “Unfortunately, my trance cannot be undone the way I used it to possess him. The only other way to break it…”
He bit straight into Trinity’s arm! “YEOW!” Trinity cried out and fell out of the car, his eyes immediately snapping back to their ordinary look. He lay there for a moment, before Jane and Arty finally helped him up to his feet, and he held his arm close to where the bite was. He looked up and saw the hound…
“Oh great,” he murmured. “Does this mean I’m cursed now or something?”
The hound turned back towards Ken and whispered into his ear. Ken laughed as he heard the hound’s words. “No, you’ll just have to eat a lot of candy tonight,” Ken told him. “And feel the spirit of Halloween for good this year. When the morning comes the curse will be lifted.”
Trinity just stared at Ken and the hound for a moment, and then at Arty and Jane. He drew a breath through his lips. “Whew, now I think I’m beginning to see where Ken got his love for Halloween,” he finally spoke.
Then Shelly and Josiah decided to step in, stern looks on their faces. “Alright, Ken,” Josiah demanded, “Explain to us exactly what you had to do with a killer plant like that almost eating you and the rest of us!”
“And how in the world did you befriend a monster like that?” Shelly frowned at her brother.
Suddenly, the hound growled at them, and both of them drew back, not wanting to face the wrath of Ken’s new bodyguard. Ken simply smiled at Shelly and Josiah. “He’s not a monster…he’s a friend.” He patted the hound’s back. “How’s about we enjoy Halloween first tonight, and then I’ll tell you everything that happened in the morning?”
Shelly and Josiah glanced at each other, but shrugged and decided to accept it for now. Tonight was supposed to be a happy occasion, even if all of them had almost faced certain death. Already it seemed the Great Valley kids were warming up to the hound, and though cautious at first, the other humans were beginning to as well.
And for a change, Ken Blake was the centre of attention. This time it was not attracting attention by being captured by something and being teased as a play-toy or seat cushion.
By the time the gang had finally collapsed with so much fun and partying, they settled to sleep while the hound lay protecting Ken from anything dangerous that night, whispering a “Happy Halloween,” into his ear. By the time morning came, the hound had faded into the night.
When the gang was all awake, Ken told the gang everything that had happened, and they immediately went to burn Audrey’s dead remains. Michael immediately drove off with Christine to hunt down Victor Veloci, to get vengeance on him for having tricked Ken into getting that plant in the first place.
Then the Time Kids and Dino Ranger went back through time to leave the Great Valley in peace for a while. The only casualty they had at the moment was a sick Adventurer, who had had to endure the Halloween treatment so that the curse would lift. The candy had made him feel a bit crook, so Arty took him home for a couple of days, until he would be feeling better.
But as they drove off, the last words Ken heard from Trinity were: “I had really been hoping to get back at Ken for that spook last year.”