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Mystery in Hazzard Swamp

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*Bo glances over at Jesse as the snap of the safety going off on the gun breaks his concentration on the beast and he is relieved at the reminder that they have the gun to rely on. Swallowing harshly, Bo glances back up at the beast to find the beast stepping aggressively at him and for Bo the world goes still and dark as he is reminded of yesterday's attack.

Bo was never one to admit to fear, even to himself, but as he feels the beasts heavy breath move his hair, there was no escaping the escalating fear within him. Fear at the strange feeling of hoplessness that the beast brings within him. In any other occassion, he would at least fight back against the opponent in his attempt to escape and to win against the 'bad guy'. But staring at the huge beast and it's sharp teeth and strong hands, Bo knows there is little he could do to fight against the beast without having a death wish for himself. His only chance for survival against the beast is to run and hope to be able to run fast enough to get away from the beast or to find a good enough hiding place as to the beast won't find him. Which is something Bo is unfamiliar with. He's always been taught not to run and hide from his problems, but to face them and to deal with them. Even if that does mean to fight or a confrontation. . .

The beast being only a couple of feet away from him, running away doesn't seem like an logical option either. Yesterday proved that the beast would only reach over and plow him onto the ground.

Bo snaps out of his transe as the beast snorts and Bo is forced to take a step back before the deafening shot explodes through the eery silence of the swamp. Bo freezes as he watches the beast snorts as it is thrown backwards and for a moment Bo is filled with premature relief. Relief at the sight of the beast being on the ground and thoughts of returning home is quick to flood his thoughts. Bo reluctantly looks away from the beast and over at Jesse who stands with the gun still pointed at the beast, his body is tense, and his attention remains fixated upon the beast.

The beast gives out a loud angry snort to grab Bo's attention and shock fills Bo's body as the beast is quick to climb back upon his thick and large feet. Anger seems hot in the beast's dark eyes that is fixated upon Jesse and then Bo as if confused as to who had inflicted the pain upon it.*

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Upset that he had fired both barrels at the same time and had no more ammo in the gun, Jesse frantically reaches in the chest pocket of his overalls to reload.

As he pulls out two more shotgun shells, his nerves get the best of him and he drops them both.

To his shock, the monster reconsiders a second attack and chooses to flee the scene. He starts slow and then picks up speed. Jesse feels instant relief but it is short lived. Out of the thick brush to their left, the Duke men are shocked at what appears.....another swamp monster!....not nearly as tall but every bit as menacing looking as the first one. The second monster gives Bo and Jesse a short angry glance and then begins running behind the larger one.

Once again the relief felt by Jesse is short lived.

As if living a nightmare, Jesse looks ahead at the path the monsters were heading and witnessed a sight that sent chills up his spin. The sight was right in line with the path the monsters were running.....Daisy!

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*Bo fearfully takes it all in as his relief at the sight of the monster running from them is quickly comes to a halt in sight of the smaller beast. "Two?" he hears himself state before he sees a familiar figure nearby in front of the path of the beast.. The familiar figure that Bo recognizes immediately, but takes a moment to sink in. "Daisy?" he whispers before he eyes her and then the running beasts that is going right at her. His fear for his cousin is quick to stampede over his own fear for himself and Jesse and he begins to run through the thicket, several feet to the side of the beasts, in hope of reaching Daisy before the beasts do. Branches and thorns roughly grab at him to scratch against his throbbing body, but his fear for Daisy is more powerful over him than the pain. Ahead in the thicket, a bent over figure is apparent just besides the thicket and the path and several feet to the side of Daisy. Luke. Small relief sinks in at the sight of his older cousin who is so much closer to Daisy than he is. He takes a quick glance over at the beasts that continue to run towards them, closer to them than Bo is. Looking ahead, Daisy screams in fear as she sees the beasts coming at her for the first time and she seems frozen in fear in the path. "Luke!" Bo screams, knowing he has the best chance of saving her than he does.*

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Speeding toward Daisy with the speed and fury of a runaway freight train, the largest beast seems focused on her and is unable to concentrate on anything else.

Then something forces the monster to lose his focus as Luke lunges toward him with a vengence. The monster alters his path slightly to go around Luke and his face crashes into a large low hanging branch.

What happens next shocks all four Dukes and stops them in their tracks. The tree branch decapitates the swamp monster. His head rolls into a puddle as the monster's body falls to the ground. Close behind, the small beast trips over the larger one and falls on top of him.

Seeing their opportunity to attack the smaller monster, Bo and Luke jump on him together and start punching him with everything they have.

Then, the large headless beast joins the fight, striking Bo in the stomach.

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*Bo hears himself yelp aloud in pain upon the contact of the beast's thick and heavy fist powerfully landing on his stomach, sending Bo flying harshly on the ground. Only to inflict more pain within his already throbbing body. Sitting up and waiting for the swamp to stop spinning around him, Bo's eyes adjust well enough to find the headless huge beast coming at him again. Despite the fear within him, Bo finds himself somewhat amused at the thought of being attacked by something headless. Fighting back his thoughts and emotions, Bo rolls away from the beast just as he goes for another blow at Bo and without Bo there, the beast loses it's balance to fall upon the ground with a large thud.

Breathing heavily, Bo slowly pulls himself up and takes another look at the smaller beast to find Daisy and Luke pinning it against the tree. Looking back at the larger of the two beasts, he finds it back on it's feet and something protruding from it's chest. Instead of attacking the beast that attacked him, Bo stands and watches in amazement as the beast seems to shrink and a moment later a human's head pops out of the beast's upper body, where the beast's head once been. Only to insert relief and anger within him.

Relief to find that it wasn't a real beast as they all had thought it was all along. Relief to know that it was only a made up beast that a familiar person hides behind. Bo may not be the best fighter, but at least, with people, he has a chance of fighting against with the hope of beating them if it comes to a fight. The beast he had little hope of ever fighting against and winning. But angry at the familiar person that had dressed up and had attacked his family, scared his family. Even Molly and Alice. With his body still throbbing from yesterday's attack along with the fresh ach in his stomach is enough to remind him of the pain the beast had inflicted; not just to him, but his family. But also anger at himself for being deceived by a costume. For believing in a beast; something he had always known as fiction before this adventure.

"You low down piece of garbage -" Bo begins to state towards the beast before looking over at Daisy and Luke and yells, "This ain't no beast. I'm willing to bet that one ain't either. Just a bag of garbage!"*

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*Grabbing a large dead stick for a club Jesse heads over to help Luke and Daisy only to see that the smaller monster is laid out and not moving. He then turns to the larger monster, also laying down, but as his club starts to swing downward, he notices a man's head sticking out of the costume. Shocked, Jesse sees the familiar face of Milo Beaudry*

Jesse "Milo?!"

Milo "Yes sir Mr. Duke. Please don't hit me. I'm sorry fer all the trouble we caused."

Jesse "We?"

*Jesse looks over at Luke and Daisy as they're pulling off the head of the costume wore by Milo's brother*

Daisy "Sledge Beaudry?!"

*Sledge still hadn't regained conscienceness*

Luke "What in the world's going on here?"

*Behind Jesse another figure enters the picture. It's Hard luck Jones*

HLJ "I'll tell ya what's a going on."

Jesse interrupts "I think I already figured it out. I do believe I smell shine in the air"

Hard Luck *looking ashamed* "That's right Jesse. That job I got at the distillery wasn't very exciting so I went back to my old ways. I figured the swamp was a pretty safe place but being the cautious feller I am I hired these boys to scare folks away from the still."

Jesse "But that's impossible. The monster I saw 50 years ago looked exactly the same as the costume Milo has on."

Hard Luck "It is the same Jesse. My grandpap made that costume fer the same thing. Made it out of gator skin...amongst other things. Even reinforced the inside chest compartment with stainless steel. in case he ever got shot. I've kept it around all these years. Grandpap was nearly as tall as old Milo here so it fit him just fine. I made the one Sledge is wearing.

When we was just kids Jesse, grandpap used to run all over chasing folks away who got near his still."

Jesse "And he scared Andrew Harkness's grandpa to death"

*Hard Luck held his head in shame*

Hard Luck "I'll destroy the still Jesse if it will make everything alright"

Jesse *yelling* That's the least yer gonna do after all the trouble you caused around here!"

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*Bo watches and listens in as he slowly makes his way over to where Luke and Daisy are standing, looking on in amazement themselves. "Looks like we missed about everything while we was away," Luke slowly states, elbowing Bo in his sore ribs before giving Bo a tight hug that Bo is quick to return. "At least y'all were able to hold off the last of all the action until Daisy and I showed up."

"Yeah Sugar, it was the least you could do," Daisy joins in jokingly as she gives Bo a hug before she runs over toward Jesse, once again feeling safe. "We're glad to find y'all OK after all that Cooter had told us."

Bo slowly nod, glad to have Luke and Daisy back once again. Life didn't seem whole without them. Especially having the room to himself after so many years of sharing it with Luke. Was too quiet.

Bo was just as glad to see the beasts' true identity revealed and to see this adventure coming to an end and Bo is just as excited at the thought of getting away from the swamp and returning home once more. Excited at the thought that life may be returning to normal. As close to normal that Hazzard could allow at least.*

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