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This story was inspired by a #horrorprompt on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter) with the word prompt “wrench.” I had a lot of fun crafting this piece in the campy horror genre, blending a little off-kilter humor and gore with a political twist. Get ready for a wild ride where the supernatural meets the absurd, all within the high-stakes world of a US Presidential Campaign.

Enjoy the story, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

The smell of hot dogs and political promises wafted through the air, mingling with the stench of desperation and hand sanitizer. It was the height of the US Presidential Campaign, and the candidates had chosen the old, abandoned hardware factory as the latest battleground for their town hall debate. The place hadn’t seen a wrench in action for decades, and the only tools around were rusted relics of a bygone era.

The candidates’ entourages—journalists, aides, and the occasional confused voter—milled about, trying to look busy. The debate was about to start when the lights flickered, casting eerie shadows over the decrepit machinery. A chill ran down everyone’s spine, but they chalked it up to the building’s age and the candidates’ speeches.

Out of nowhere, the moderator, a perky reporter with a penchant for bad puns, let out a blood-curdling scream. “Holy toolbox! Someone just sabotaged my microphone!”

Everyone turned to see the moderator clutching the now-useless mic, her face a mask of horror. The candidates took the opportunity to quip, one of them saying, “Well, I guess the sound of silence speaks volumes about my opponent’s policies!”

Laughter broke the tension, but only for a moment. The lights went out completely, plunging the factory into darkness. The sound of metal clanking and distant, echoing footsteps filled the void. Panic set in, and the crowd began to scatter, bumping into rusty tools and each other.

“Everyone stay calm!” shouted one of the candidates, fumbling for his flashlight. “It’s probably just a… uh, power outage. Yeah, that’s it!”

The flashlight flickered to life, casting an ominous glow over the scene. To everyone’s horror, they saw that the factory’s ancient, forgotten machines had come to life. Wrenches spun through the air, hammers pounded on empty anvils, and saw blades whirred menacingly.

“Looks like someone’s really screwed this place up,” said a journalist, nervously laughing.

The entourage darted in every direction, narrowly avoiding the onslaught of murderous tools. One campaign aide, a plucky intern with a knack for getting into trouble, tripped over a loose bolt and screamed, “I can’t handle this anymore!”

Amidst the chaos, one brave voter—a retired plumber who had come to the debate for free snacks—grabbed a rusty wrench from the ground. “Stand back, folks! I know my way around a tool or two!”

With the finesse of a man who’d fixed one too many leaky faucets, he swung the wrench, knocking a flying hammer out of the air. “Let’s nail this problem down, once and for all!”

The group rallied around the plumber, who led them through the maze of animated tools. With each step, he cracked jokes and swung his trusty wrench, deflecting attacks and boosting morale. “Guess these tools just couldn’t handle the pressure!”

Suddenly, a monstrous figure emerged from the shadows, towering over the chaos. It was a grotesque amalgamation of rusted metal, oil-slicked gears, and shattered tools—a monstrous being known as The Wrench Wraith. Its eyes glowed with a sickly yellow light, and its voice was a cacophony of grinding metal.

“Who dares disturb my slumber?” it roared, sending chills down everyone’s spine.

The candidates, shaking but determined to save face, stepped forward. “We’re here for the debate!” one shouted. “And we’re not leaving until we get some answers!”

The Wrench Wraith laughed, a horrible, grating sound. “Then you shall face the ultimate challenge!” With a wave of its jagged arm, it unleashed a horde of tool minions—rusty screwdrivers, malevolent mallets, and sinister saws—all bent on destruction.

The plumber gripped his wrench tighter. “Time to tighten some screws,” he muttered, leading the charge. The battle was fierce, with tools clashing against tools, and the factory echoed with the sounds of combat and terrified screams.

Despite the odds, the group fought valiantly. The plumber, with his quick wit and quicker reflexes, managed to outmaneuver the minions, delivering pun-filled quips with every swing. “Looks like you’re all a bunch of loose screws!”

Finally, they cornered The Wrench Wraith, its form flickering as it struggled to maintain control. The plumber raised his wrench high. “This one’s for democracy!” With a final, mighty swing, he struck the Wrench Wraith’s core, causing it to explode in a shower of sparks and twisted metal.

The lights flickered back on, and the machinery fell silent. The factory was a mess, but everyone was alive—and strangely, a little more united. The candidates, covered in grime and looking more human than ever, turned to their savior.

“Thank you,” one of them said, extending a greasy hand. “You really saved our campaign.”

The plumber shrugged, wiping his hands on his overalls. “Just doing my civic duty. Now, how about we discuss some real issues, like fixing this broken country?”

The debate resumed, and despite the bizarre turn of events, it was hailed as the most electrifying and wrenching campaign moment in history. As the crowd dispersed, everyone agreed that democracy, much like a well-oiled machine, sometimes just needed the right tools to keep running smoothly.

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