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Creative Prose

THE RISE OF THE PIN-DEMONS by Benjamin Klaiman '17

Before you read this, I have a little bit of a side story to tell you.

A little over 15 minutes down the road from St. John's Prep, there is a bowling alley called "Sunnyside Bowladrome." The scoring machines there looked like they were from the 80s, but that's not all: if you don't do so well on a throw, one of two animations will appear involving two (or more, who knows?) strange malevolent little creatures about the size of bowling pins (or so they were depicted). When I saw these, I had to look them up. I started by looking up the Computer’s manufacturer, Mendez, but I found nothing. Nothing! So when I went home that night, several thoughts swam through my head: Why were they created? Why did the developers decide to create them? But more importantly, what are they?

So, clueless and answerless, in my “spare” time I desperately tried to create a type of origin story for the strange "pin demons" (as I called them from then on) that was a little over a week in the making. So, I hope you like it. – Benjamin Klaiman ‘17

THE RISE OF THE PIN-DEMONS by Benjamin Klaiman ‘17

In the year 19XX, a blimp named the Air Fortress NOAH was flying high above the sky of Danvers, Massachusetts. It was a research blimp with a single cannon for defense, where miraculous scientific discoveries were made, and also where a part-time paranormal research center was housed. In this paranormal research center, multiple freshly caught specimens, some strange black balls of energy, were housed in the most secure compartment in the Fortress (which had a striking resemblance to the ghost-containment unit from Ghostbusters).

It was almost the end of the day, and the man keeping a careful eye on the compartment (whose name will not be revealed for his family's sake) was about to head to his living quarters, also onboard the Fortress, and turn the lights off for the night when his boss came in and told him to take the night shift. Disappointed, he returned to his post. Eventually, at 12:02 am the next morning, he fell asleep in his chair, passed out. Suddenly, NOAH lost power, and the crew members could have heard the slight "power-down" noises that the machinery made, but they were fast asleep. Because the most secure compartment was also powered by the generator, the ultra-high security functions that kept the specimens from escaping shut down along with everything else. Because that was shut down, the shadowy blobs (which had the molecular makeup of light energy, giving them the ability to fly through clear objects, like glass) flew out of the glass windows of the compartment and through the side of the ship (which had glass windows). Eventually, they landed a few inches above the ground in front of a bright pink house down the street from a very well-known preparatory school. They rushed down the street, causing absolute pandemonium along the highway and more than a few car crashes up and down I-95. Eventually, they came across a quiet bowling alley, specifically, one Sunnyside Bowladrome, closed for the night. Again, they flew in through the barred windows. There was only one light on, the one over lanes 16 and 17. There was one staff member taking the night shift, asleep behind the register behind the shoe counter. Then, the blobs spotted two sets of candle-shaped bowling pins. They went up in front of them and absorbed their physical essence, and a few seconds later, the blobs grew bowling-pin-shaped bodies, small, pointy, and crooked, yet symmetrical ears, beady red eyes, arms and hands with little fingers, and legs with feet and toes. Reformed, they were the exact same height of the pins they had absorbed and copied.

The staff member sleeping woke up and witnessed the ruckus that the now-named "pin demons" began to cause. She quickly ducked behind her desk and quietly called the NOAH staff, who replied that they were more than happy to help, because they flew over Sunnyside quite often. They hovered over Sunnyside, sent down a rope, and sent troops down armed with ultra, super-powered, awesome, all-out amazing UV-light ray... light bulbs. (The paranormal blobs seemed to hate ultraviolet light.) The NOAH staff snuck in while the pin demons were busy at work, by some unknown process, converting the other bowling pins into more of their kind in mere seconds! Several pin demons manned the pin reset buttons, and after ten pins were changed into pin demons, they pressed the reset buttons, 10 pins dropped down, doomed to be changed forever, and the process repeated, almost like a factory. It was absolute "pin-demonium!”

Everyone realized that this could go on over and over again, and because of this imminent danger, they had to be stopped! Quickly and quietly they dimmed all the lights, so that they couldn't see, and they replaced all the lights in the place with UV bulbs; even the ones in the manager's office! And on the count of three, all the lights were turned on, and the effect was immediate: due to the effects of the UV light, every pin demon in the place slowly eroded away from the outside in, whilst running for cover at the same time. Within minutes, the hundreds of thousands of pin demons that had formed were eventually gone forever. Having did a job well done, the NOAH staff went back aboard their mother-ship, and left once more, vowing to never let something like this happen ever again. And as for the staff member? Well, he took a well- deserved break, needing some time to recover from the incident and, to be honest, he was not paid very well anyway.

The next night, one of the computer displays at Sunnyside turned on with a lime green background, and a pixelated pin demon appeared, and he mischievously grinned and cackled...


To this day, the pin demons reside in the several score monitors around Sunnyside Bowladrome. The best way to lure them out is to do horribly on a throw, after which they will mock and make fun of you, although they are essentially trapped. There are two instances in which they will appear:

This is the more common one. If your throw isn't that good, a movie will play. The movie will depict a bowler throwing a ball, but stumbles, and right as the ball is about to hit the pins, it stops, and two pin demons appear on either side. The scene then changes to the same two pin demons pulling and ripping the poor bowler in half, with a pink "S" strangely appearing in between the two halves.

2. This is the more rare one. If you're lucky enough (or unlucky enough, as the case may be), you'll see one animation in place of the other one. If you do really horribly on a throw, it will be the exact same thing up to the point where the pin demons appear on either side of the ball. After that, a big pin demon will appear up close, and laugh and laugh at you with its hand waving up and down, with the bowler trembling in the background. This also explains why the scoring computers have never been switched out for modern ones since then, for if they did, the remaining pin demons in the computers would be free to wreak havoc once more.

So, if your ball suddenly stops mid-throw, RUN!!!

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