It began as a low hum -- no, not really a hum. You could feel it rather than hear it. But it gradually increased in pitch and volume until it was clear. It was a hum. And it sounded familiar. I couldn't quite place it. Then it hit me: it was "Garry Owen." That's not a tune you hear every day. But I knew that, whatever it meant, it was important. Suddenly, the hum became almost unbearable. Then the smell of ozone. A bright flash and the impression of smoke, and then...There, standing in front of me, was Evil Glenn Reynolds. He had a confused look on his face. He wasn't where he meant to be. Or so I thought. I found out later, he was exactly where he meant to be, just not when he meant to be.
"Damn Ray-O-Vac batteries," he muttered, slapping with his left hand what looked like an oversized Universal Remote Control. Turns out that's just what it was: a remote control for our universe. Seems he had punched in "20005," the year he was seeking, but the URC had missed one of the zeroes, so he was accidentally in the year 2005.
Recognizing him from an episode of "America's Most Wanted," I knew who I was dealing with. I immediately grabbed a crucifix. He looked at me with his yellow eyes and snarled. A claw reached out and crushed the crucifix, rendering it dust. "You watch too many movies, my good man," he cackled. A boney finger rose and tapped my chest. I immediately fell back into the chair, almost frozen with fear and fascination.
The, I heard the humming again: "Garry Owen." Turns out the TV was on the History Channel and they were talking about Custer and Little Big Horn. Evil Glenn followed my gaze to the television. "Ah, Colonel Custer. He was a brave, but foolish man. And I often told him so."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"You don't understand, do you, pathetic human?" said the evil apparition before my eyes. "You know who I am, don't you? Or, you think you know who I am. Now, you're looking all confused. But it's really quite simple. You know me as one who runs a little blog on this thing you call the 'Internet.' But I'm more than that. Much more." Then he laughed that evil laugh of his.
"Okay, what's that got to do with you thinking you've spoken with George Armstrong Custer?" I challenged.
"YOU DARE MOCK ME?!" he thundered. The whole house shook and the lights flickered. "With this," he said, holding up the Universal Remote Control, "I can complete my mission to return the cosmos to the chaos from whence it came." He chucked again.
I asked, "So you gay or something? Why do you say things like 'whence' and laugh like Vincent Price?"
His eyes turned from yellow to red and flashed a look of both disgust and amusement. "Your death will be slow and painful, that I promise."
He walked slowly around the room, his black cloak flowing silently behind him. "But since I see that you waste your life away watching television and DVDs," pointing to my collection of movies, "I will fulfill your fantasy of telling you everything before you die. Just like I did with Sean Connery before I killed him and replaced him with Roger Moore."
"George Lazenby," I corrected.
"SILENCE!" he shouted. "I changed my mind about him. Besides, it does nothing to further the story." He had me there. He continued, "With this," holding up the Universal Remote Control, "I can travel to any place, any time, any where. I simply punch in the spatial and temporal coordinates and, voila! I can be anywhere I need to be."
"So, like, it's a time machine?" I asked.
"That and so much more," he responded. "With this, I can go any place at any time." "Yeah, I got that part, dude," I said.
The red eyes turned black. I sat quietly, waiting for him to continue. He told me that he has roamed the earth since the dawn of time, carefully watching as life developed. He said that when he grew tired of watching man, he decided that it was time for him to take the world back to its initial chaos. So he traveled back and forth throughout history, setting wrong all the things that had gone right. Custer was just one of the people he encountered. He tricked him into taking his foolish excursion to the Little Big Horn and there, disguised as an Indian brave, personally shot Custer through the heart before leaving him to be mutilated by the real Indians of the attack.
He told of his influence in starting the Spanish Inquisition. He talked of his talking peasants in Europe into raising rats as pets, which in turn, gave rise to the Black Death. He went on and on about how he used his Universal Remote to travel to so many places, then with his powers of persuasion, talking people into doing things that resulted in so much tragedy. And, when his silver tongue failed him, he used his mastery of the black arts to possess key people, and personally cause death and destruction wherever he traveled. His crowning achievement, he said, was possessing a young Al Gore and inventing the Internet. "It shall be the downfall of all mankind!" he crowed. "People don't understand what a tool it is, and will let it rage out of control. It will eventually take over the world, and feed off the bodies of humans for power itself."
"Wasn't that the Matrix or something?" I asked. He raised his arm and struck me repeatedly around the head and upper body. I passed out from the pain.
When I came to, I was alone. Had it all been a dream? Was any of this real? Had the voices in my head ... no, never mind about that. Where was the Evil Glenn Reynolds?
It was a silly dream, I decided. It had to be. So, I turned the television on. It was on Lifetime. That wasn't right. I grabbed the remote and dialed up the Discovery Channel. "Mythbusters" was on, so I settled down to watch. Then the telephone rang. I picked up the handset and looked at the Caller ID. It had no name listed, but the number was 865-974-2521. That wasn't familiar. I answered anyway. The now-familiar voice on the phone said, "Tell anyone about our talk and you'll die death more horrible than you can imagine."
Shaking, I put the phone down. Please, now that I've told you, tell no one. I want to live.