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Authors: Ray Garton

Invaders From Mars

BOOK: Invaders From Mars
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LAST NIGHT,
DAVID SAW A SPACESHIP
CRASH IN THE WOODS!

But no one seems to believe him. The next day, his father investigates the site—and returns, acting very strangely. Next it’s his mother, then his teacher, then a classmate—all programmed, zombie-like, with strange scratches on their necks. David’s last chance is to get to the Marine base and alert them—before a vital secret mission is sabotaged, before the Martians take over the planet Earth!

THE CANNON GROUP, INC.
PRESENTS A
GOLAN

GLOBUS
PRODUCTION OF A
TOBE HOOPER
FILM
INVADERS FROM MARS

STARRING
KAREN BLACK

HUNTER CARSON
TIMOTHY BOTTOMS

LARAINE NEWMAN
JAMES KAREN

BUD CORT
AND
LOUISE FLETCHER

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
EDWARD L. ALPERSON, JR.
AND
WADE H. WILLIAMS III

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
IVOR LESLIE DILLEY
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS BY
JOHN DYKSTRA
INVADERS CREATURES DESIGNED
AND CREATED BY
STAN WINSTON
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DANIEL PEARL
SCREENPLAY BY
DAN O’BANNON
&
DON JAKOBY
BASED ON A SCREENPLAY BY
RICHARD BLAKE
PRODUCED BY
MENHEM GOLAN
AND
YORAM GLOBUS
DIRECTED BY
TOBE HOOPER

INVADERS FROM MARS

“Mom, please . . . don’t go over the hill.
Pleeeeze!”

“Why not, David? What’s wrong?”

He clutched her hand pleadingly. “Mom, something terrible happened to Dad up there. I don’t know what, but
something.
He got a scratch on his neck and now . . . now he’s not
Dad
anymore! And it got the chief and Officer Kenney, I
know
it did, just now, out there!” His throat began to feel thick and tears stung his eyes. His sweaty palms were sticky against his mom’s cool skin as he held her hand in both of his. “Mom, please don’t go over the hill,
please!”

POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020

Text and cover artwork © 1986 CANNON FILMS, INC. and CANNON INTERNATIONAL B. V.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020

ISBN: 0-671-62697-3

First Pocket Books printing June, 1986

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Printed in the U.S.A.

For:
Tim, Brandee, and Shawn
With love from:
Uncle Ray

Thank you . . .

Scot Holton for countless helpful telephone conversations; Lee Blaine and Mike Mulconnery for patient cooperation; Richard Curtis and Dennis Etchison for some experienced advice; Susan Davis, Mary Papas, and Gina Walworth (who sings beautifully) for all the java.

C H A P T E R
One

D
avid Gardiner reached up and grabbed a shirt at random with hardly a glance into his closet, tugged it down from its hanger, and slipped his arms through the short sleeves. As he clumsily buttoned it, he hurried across his bedroom to the fat white and black telescope his dad had given him for his birthday. It was mounted on its stand at David’s window, like a soldier at his post, where it seemed to keep watch as David went about his business.

Putting an eye to the scope, David scanned the bright and dewy morning. Birds flitted through blurred branches and fuzzy clouds wandered leisurely across the distant blue. He pulled away a moment to tuck his shirt into his pants, then he peered through the lens again, placed a hand on the side of the scope, moving it down and to the left, creating a swirl of color as it passed rapidly over the trees and brush on Copper Hill. He stopped on the trail and followed it up the hill until it disappeared over the top, then traced it back down again, searching. He scanned the trail a second time, then turned from the telescope to the alarm clock ticking softly on his night stand next to his dumpy little Mr. Potato Head. It was 7:30.

“She’s late,” David muttered, wondering if she was sick or something.

He went to his dresser, opened a drawer, and removed a fresh pair of socks, then perched on the edge of his unmade bed. Two copies of
Fangoria
magazine, jarred by the sudden movement, slowly slid from the bed onto the floor. The faces of several horror-movie zombies stared up at David from the magazine covers as he put on his socks.

There were magazines and comic books scattered all over the room, sticking out from under the bed, on the windowsill by the telescope, stacked on the desk around his computer, propped against the transparent glass cookie jar that held his penny collection. Behind the computer, against the wall, was a rectangular display case that held David’s rock and crystal collection, which included a genuine fossil of a leaf. On a card table between the wall and the end of the desk, a light bulb shined over a terrarium, warming Jasper, the lethargic alligator lizard that lived inside.

The room was cluttered with Godzillas of all sizes, toy spaceships, ray guns, a communicator just like Captain Kirk’s, a three-headed rubber snake, a Pinnochio bank, a complete set of
Star Wars
action figures, a cereal bowl full of fake eyeballs . . .

“How do you
do
it?” Mom often said. “This room was clean two days ago! One of these days, I’ll come in here and I won’t be able to find you. This stuff is just gonna take over and you’ll never be seen again.”

But David liked it that way. He enjoyed having all of his things around him, out in the open, visible. He got nervous when they were put away in drawers, in the closet, under the bed. They were too valuable to be hidden—too valuable to him, anyway.

He could hear his mom and dad talking in the kitchen downstairs, their voices muffled by the piercing sounds of the food processor and the orange-juice squeezer. The smell of something cooking drifted into the bedroom through the closed door. It was a dark, burnt smell.

Dad’s probably cooking breakfast again,
David thought as he tied his shoes.

“Fire!” Mom shrieked, her voice rising easily above the racket of the kitchen appliances.

There was a clatter as Dad bellowed, “Shit!”

“Jesus, George—the
pan!”

Dad’s definitely making breakfast.

David tied his shoes, then bent down and scooped up the fallen magazines, tossing them back onto the bed. As he returned to the telescope, they slid onto the floor again.

Someone turned off the squeezer in the kitchen. Then the food processor was silenced and David could hear his mom’s voice, softer now as she spoke to his dad, indecipherable, but with an edge to it.

Then he heard: “David! Get away from that telescope and get
down
here!”

“Yeah, Mom!” he called over his shoulder as he leaned toward the telescope. He passed over the hill a few times, going all the way to the road that curved in front of the house and led into town. Then he swung the scope back to the trail.

He passed over a spot of blue and turned back to gaze on it. There she was, popping in and out of view behind trees as she jogged along the fence. She became more visible as the greenery thinned out. She was wearing a blue jogging suit that hung loosely on her and was spotted with perspiration. Her forehead glistened with sweat and her eyebrows were bunched together, her face tense, strained. She was moving along at a good pace, her blond hair bouncing on her shoulders, her arms pumping at her sides as she ran.

She was the new school nurse. David didn’t know her name yet, but she seemed nice. So much nicer than the last nurse, Mrs. Nivens. She’d been old and hunched, always cranky, as if she needed a nap. This one was younger, pretty, and she always smiled at David when they passed in the hall—even if he didn’t smile first! Unlike Mrs. Nivens, who’d always smelled like moldy bread, the new nurse had a warm cinnamony smell about her, sort of like Thanksgiving. It was such a nice smell that whenever he passed her, David slowed down a little to catch it, to enjoy it while it lingered behind her.

She’d only been at the school about two weeks. Apparently she lived nearby because she jogged around the trail on Copper Hill every morning. David hadn’t spoken with her yet, and almost wished he’d bang his head on the monkey bars or sprain his ankle playing kickball so he could get the chance. Not that he had anything in particular to say to her; she just seemed so much nicer than most of the grownups at W. C. Menzies Elementary School.

“Sounds like you got a
crush
on her,” Doug had told him.

“I do not.”

“Sounds like that to
me!”

Doug was David’s best friend, but every once in a while he was a real dork.

The nurse began to disappear behind branches and bushes, her long, tan legs carrying her swiftly and gracefully over the hill. Then she was gone.

BOOK: Invaders From Mars
8.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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