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Halloween Zeitgeist: Terrifying Tales from the Islanders Twilight Zone

A dimension of sight, sound, mind and hockey.

Time enough at last
Time enough at last

Submitted for your approval, the New York Islanders, a professional hockey team often seen on the fringes of competency. Stuck in the vast, nebulous expanse of the mediocre, the errant wish of their loyal fans is that their boys be "special" and stand above the crowd as crowned victors. Tonight, they've all got front row tickets, which, contrary to plan, happen to be in the darkest arena of the Twilight Zone.


Title: "Mr. Kreider's Kingdom"

Synopsis: Montreal, Quebec, Canada. June, 2009. A day Islanders fans have been waiting for. Their long suffering franchise receives a gift from the hockey gods. A first overall pick, and the ability to select a once-in-a-lifetime player the team can build around for the next decade or more.

But general manager Mike Milbury has different plans. It seems a mysterious man named "Old Scratch" has a favor to ask of Mike, whom he helped get a lifetime contract to run the Islanders a few years earlier. Old Scratch wants Mike to take a certain prospect - a gritty, reckless forward from the Boston area but hardly a superstar - with the first overall pick. Of course, Mike could refuse. But if he did, Old Scratch would make sure he'd regret it.

So after some sleepless nights, Mike does what he has to, taking Boston College's Chris Kreider first overall. The fans are shocked into anger. The media is stunned. Even Kreider can't believe  his incredible luck. Mike keeps his job.

So what if the Tampa Bay Lightning, led by star centers Steven Stamkos and John Tavares, win the next six consecutive Stanley Cups? Mike's gonna be alright.


Title: "Clothes Make the Man"

Synopsis: Fall, when the leaves change, the air gets crisp and hockey is right around the corner. But this year, Autumn is interrupted by an alien invasion.

The visitors aren't here in the spirit of exploration or diplomacy. Their aim is to enslave our planet, as they have others in the galaxy. These are no rampaging brutes from outer space. They are cold and calculating shapeshifters, who have been watching Earth for years, studying how to paralyze its inhabitants with the most unshakable and debilitating disgust imaginable.

Using transmissions of hockey games caught in their intergalactic radar, the invaders know what revolts humans the most - the Islanders' Fisherman logo. Wearing the horrible shield and transforming into the living embodiment of its accursed focal point, the aliens wreak havoc on the streets, sending people across the globe running scared.

Only the strongest collectors of vintage Islanders paraphernalia can survive.

NVMC TwilightZone-2

Title: "Slow Place Like Home"

Synopsis: This is Wallace McCluskey, 52-years-old, a man fueled only by a bottomless anger at the inevitable march of time. It's taken away his unfiltered cigarettes and newspapers and replaced them with organic produce and computers. But now, it's come for his Islanders, who are leaving their home of 43 years, Nassau Coliseum, and moving to some shiny place in the damn city.

Oh, if only his team could stay in The Old Barn forever. Everything is just perfect the way it is. Why does everything need to change?

Ticket in hand, Wallace sets out for one last game at the Coliseum. But when he arrives, the arena is... different. It's burnt out and crumbled, as if hundreds of years have passed. Concrete blocks sit scattered around a pockmarked ice sheet. The roof has holes big enough to see the clouds through. The narrow concourse is barely wide enough for two people to walk abreast. And the bathrooms are festering, waterless tombs of horror.

Where was he? When was he? How did this happen?

Frantically, he asks a child dressed in team gear how their boys are doing. "Terrible," says the kid. "Since they signed that eternal lease with Nassau County, they've stunk, mister. No one wants to play here."

Wallace reaches into a nearby trash can for a discarded copy of Newsday. He reads the headline, "New Coliseum ready to start construction!" The date: Oct. 31st, 2215.

The people, dressed in blue and orange rags, rush to climb the stone blocks, each looking for just a few feet of space to call their own for the next couple of hours. Wallace is caught in the throng, unable to protect himself. He grabs onto a pretzel cart, but its weak aluminum umbrella pole breaks like a twig.

Wallace McCluskey, 52-years-old, disappears into the crowd. He is trampled and kicked and beaten. He passes out on the cold, crumbling concourse floor in a sticky pool of centuries old beer, ice cream and mustard. The last thing he hears is a muffled voice, cracking from broken speakers above...

"Fans, let's h.. it f...yo.. Ne... ork... Islanders..."