Selected Stories from Couch Face: Volumes 1-6, EXPANDED, and Condensed, only because I’ve run out of ideas…. Oh dear.

Couch Face:

Selected Stories from Couch Face: Volumes 1-6, EXPANDED, and Condensed, only because I’ve run out of ideas…. Oh dear.

By Q-burt

Table of Contents

Prologue:

1. From Season 1– what? There’s nothing from season 1.

2. From Season 2 ½

3. From Season Fwee . . . 3

4. From Seasons 4:4:4

5. From Simply “5!”

6. From Season 69er’s

7. From Season 7

8. From Season ?

9. From Season 8

10. Season’s End

Prologue:

And when you’ve run out of ideas, walk…

From Season 1

Oh, I guess there is one story…

The smartest genius that ever lived was a savant, and she was locked in the cupboard. Yes, she was.

After the government found her, a drooling dribbling idiot apparently, they locked her parents away and shattered her shackles, but not a minute after they were to relocate her to the proper home they found, through a stroke of dumb suggestion, “Hey, let’s give her an IQ test!” that she could process faster than the nearest supercomputer.

They cleared out the home she was locked in, out of curiosity, and found that out of the ratty remainders of her brain she had erected a pillar of intellect not since beat since God. This was when they first learned she was a blessing.

Now, she had discovered well before we did that the sun was to explode, and she was the only one with the idea to save us. “Spudtt. Spuddert-tuh. Spudtt!” and turned a potato and its simple electricity into a portal to a whole new world in which to transfer all humanity. Simply because we asked her to.

“It was only nice,” she said in the few words she knew. And clapped and clapped and clapped.

Spud.

Listen. “We live in the City of Parody next to the Town of Allegory, which is somewhere in between Neo-Phoenix, and right across the street from the moons of Galileo on Jupiter, I think, in a little dimensional vortex I call home. . Sometimes, we borrow sugar.

“This does not take place on Earth. This takes place in a far different dimension.

Those of us in this dimension despise Earth because we know we are only a mirror image of Earth.

You see, we live in a City called Parody neighboring a Town called Allegory. Can you dig it?

We are nothing but cheap copies of a planet called Earth so we despise it!

For example: “Earth has Batman, we have Black Man. Earth has Superman, but we have Super Duper Uberman.  “Earth has Chairface Chippendale, but we have Couch Face, the closet-case Heterosexual. .

“We are but mirror reflections of you and your universe, however imitated poorly;  and if you were to find the mirror image of yourself in this

Universe you would be very disappointed to find that you yourself would be so superior to it in every which way.. well,

that you might have the least bit shred of a little thing we don’t have here: Self-Esteem. .   -That’s how much better a God is at making a solar system. That’s why they call it, ‘real life.’ Do you get it?

Look in a mirror, find us there; see your reflection as pretty and be amazed at how wonderful you feel for being so beautiful in comparison to us that  everything  we  know  here in our world of Couch Faceis but a mock imitation crab in your hands.

“Putty.

Illuminate us with your beauty, fair reader. For we have none in the City of Parody next to the neighboring Town of Allegory… None but the varmints and fleas.”

Mirror Earth.

5th Story introduces this World of Superheroes, and Villains, that the mutations of the Bomb Wars, for lack of a funnier word to call it, were created.

STARRING MANLY MAN, AND BLACK MAN, “Hero Boy Got His Cape Stuck in the Revolving Door. He Pulled a Tooth and Tried Gallantly to Smile.”

I hate beginnings. They take too long. You always have to introduce everyone, give their back stories. Phooey, I say!

Gimme an ending, gimme a work in progress! Throw me into the middle of things!

Then, see my interest pique?

* * *

Listen. Long, long . . . ago.  When time was two years old. Maybe three. No, seven!

When time was a pimply adolescent, maybe a boy!

à — we’ll stop there.

It was Manly Man, valiantly trying to wrestle a glacier. He wins!

“No, that’s the wrong guy, fella! That’s the Ice Age–you’re trying to fight the Fire Age.”

Manly Man, valiantly trying to wrestle the sun. . He loses*.

* The first thing he fights is global warming. He puts a headlock round the sun…

This all took place in the Three Great Cities, the Seven Suburban Paradises..

On a planet the shape of a Mr. Potato Head, frosted over with the Third Ice Age, and Nuclear Winter.

I suppose, then, fighting the Ice Age was the right thing to do.

With cities built in the tropics, as that was the only place warm enough to sustain life. With great encroaching ice jungles on the outside, working their way in, and giant insects in the jungles beyond, tiny dinosaurs within.

..Everyone was a mutant from nuclear mutation.

Most of the people in the World of Spud had claws, you should know. Some, like Manly Man, had hooves. But when he put on his Steve costume, he put on monkey hands as well.

This was after all the regular ‘human beings’ had died off in Spud and were survived by all the Animorphic people- some say replaced for the better- 20 years after people.

* * *

Mutants! Mutants! There were mutants all around.

There was nothing but devastation and waste in the desert and in the ice jungles beyond. Nuclear winter, and summer, clashing once again! A world populated with charcoal brickettes–a statuette and her shadow penciled in chalk on the ground from the nuclear blast, against a wall, in a hard-with-ash alley. .

* * *

For now, a hero– for that was what the world needed– was posted on the great rooftops of the city Kersepolis, cape blowing in a wind, looking out on the city below, a city which, populated with heroes, didn’t need much help, it seemed. But there were villains, to be sure. Villains by the truckload.

Cool. Manly Man narrated this next ditty in third person aloud as he ran along, rooftop 2 rooftop, for all to hear. “He stands like a sentry for Justice and Good Ole Fashioned Know-How!” said Manly. On the balcony now, looking out. “He looks out at the horizon, a desperado; a maverick in a good way; a rebel against Devils; a hunter of the illusive Mayfly known as Love!”- but that’s Vash the Stampede.

People wondered aloud, “Who is he talking about?” “Is he crazy?” “Talking to himself like that? Yeesh!” etcetera.

“He’s also getting a ticket for swimming too fast in a non-swimming lane,” said the officer.

“Darn the luck! Darn!” said Manly.

(The world of Spud had roads made of water, not granite. All travel was made by boat)

On a ledge now. Looking out.

Hair blowing in the wind.

* * *

About Manly Man’s hair, and a few other burly objects. Manly Man had hair like something you’d surf on. He had a nose like something you’d ski on. You could skateboard on his molars. He had a mighty fine bite.

. . He was prettier than any 38-year old man had a right to be. From getting hit in the sore noggin so many times in active combat, Manly Man’s catch phrase was: “WILL SOMEBODY ANSWER THAT PHONE?”

Manly Man’s super costume was a Hugh Heffner robe and pajamas he put on with no belt. They called him Manly Man, the Ultimate Male, and was he? He was the best!

On Manly Man’s uniform* there is a picture of a king pushing a woman off a cliff while opening a jar of pickles.

*on his chest

On his butt there is the provocative, platinum decals truckers wear on their mud flaps — both cheeks bearing one naked woman — highly exposed.

“You’re lucky you’re hot, coz if you weren’t, no one would kiss you,” someone told him.

The normal people, or Normies, superheroes called them, were having a picnic on that roof near him, and were staring at him, eating their lunches.

Said Manly says to a group of Normies, “Please don’t stare. I’m terribly self-conscious,” and walked away. He couldn’t fly.

* * *

This all took place in a city called South Kersepolis.

So by method of logical deduction, it wasn’t North Kersepolis, and it wasn’t East Kersepolis. It was as far south as possible to avoid the cold, right at the equator.

Here, public executions occurred regularly throughout the day.

Duels between Superheroes and Supervillains was the thing.

The Slave Market was all the rage.

The Whore Pit was visited religiously.

The Temples of Satanic Worship– that too.

Police found dismembered daily with their body parts switched.

And horribly Gigantic Semi-Intelligent Monsters lived quite contentedly in the sewers below, rising up only to say, “Could you turn that noise down? Some of us are trying to sleep.”

If you could be able to see the mirror people in this world of ours, this parody of your world, you would think everyone was a caricature.

We are toons, we are toons, we are

comic book characters, and even less than that- shadows of a comic book character in a City called “Parody of Itself!”.

. . If I could translate this into an alternate medium, it would be a cartoon, in fact. In the likes of Teen Titans or the Venture Bros.

I hate that I have to resort to just the book.

No one reads these, do you?

* * *

But now, I guess, we must introduce another character.         Introducing ‘BlackMan!’ Our temp. hero for this particular short. He’s got a tight ass.

He’s like Batman, only his theme is based on a skin condition. BlackMan! Eccentric Protector of the Night. Enemy to Evil.

*Flash*

(A flash of lightning!) Wowie. That was a big one! I see his silhouette in the shadow of a fallen star.

You almost see him, but he’s not wearing a stitch of white on him. If you’re blind, don’t worry. You wouldn’t see him with your super senses. He’s also very small.

Not two feet tall, in fact, but he’s terribly smart, and can crack very scientifical schemes in a wink. Are you writing this down? In spite of his racial handicap, he was a high society boy. “At least I’m not woman,” he decided. “Then it’d be real hard for me to get up here.” To be black and a woman- what a drag.

* * *

We’ve been fighting for ten pages,” said the hero, said BlackMan. “Aren’t you conquered yet? Whuddya mean they edited that out? That was the best part!”

“We better get this over then,” said the villain.

“We had better.”

Now, BlackMan and Manly Man were a team. Manly Man was a new superhero- in training, leastways. Manly Man was what’d you call, a sidekick. That is, until the Guild League of Superheroes accepted him. They never did, in the end, but I probably shouldn’t have said that. That spoils everything.

Manly Man went on, a maverick hunter of Love and Justice anyways.

But first. He needed to be trained.

“I’m sorry, what was your name again?” said BlackMan.

“Man. Manly Man.”

“Watson will have to do now. Until we think of something to call you,” said BlackMan, and swooped off, after the villain, running on the rooftops, bounding from top to top to top. The highest of highest of civic-minded pursuits: Superheroics.

“So we’re do we fight crime firsst?” said Manly Man.

“There’s a typo in your sentence. I hate typo’s,” said BlackMan. “Everything must be kept tidy, in order. Ah, there’s a crime in progress,” and swooped down to where an elderly man was opening the door to his house with a bag of groceries.

“Vile fiend!” said BlackMan. “Breaking and entering, eh? You philistine. You cretin! You–”

“You New Yorker?” said Manly Man, wanting to be included to in the place-important insults.

“Right- New Yorker,” said the old, elderly man. “This is my apartment. I’m not breaking and entering. I’ve got a right to be–”

BlackMan knocked him out with a blow from the elbow to the head, and Manly Man eagerly observed him, ‘til BlackMan said, “Now we’ve got to make sure the apartment is rid of explosives and all that. You never know what these sickos will come up with,” and broke into the apartment, entering, and began to smash all the ceramic jars, looking for bombs, until concluding there was nothing here, said, “Right.”

“Hey, boss,” said Manly Man. “Maybe it was his apartment.”
“This bloated pile of evil could never be a respectful citizen,” said BlackMan, indicating the elderly old man, and his groceries. “See that? He stole someone’s groceries! We must return it to their rightful owner,” and took the groceries from his hands and made off with them. “Ah. Apple fritters!” and chewed a few pastries. “That’s the spoils of good citizenship,” said BlackMan.

“But, boss, isn’t that stealing?”

“It’s our reward, for being civic-minded,” said BlackMan, tapping Manly Man’s head. Then swooped down into the street, and Manly Man bounded down after him, keeping pace, until they came to a drunken bum on the bottom of the street.

“Ah!” said BlackMan. “Knocked out. Stone cold! By the thief. Look, Watson. This man is the innocent here- we’d best return the groceries to him, and bring him up to his apartment.”

BlackMan and Manly Man hoisted the stone-cold hobo up to the apartment, with alcohol breath panting in Manly’s face, then sat him down on the man’s bed, while BlackMan took the keys from the elderly old gentleman and gave it to the hobo, then taking a knife from out the hobo’s other hand, and said, “The thief’s weapon! The fiend! The old man must’ve left it on him while he was asleep. To frame him, and make the police think little of him. Well! Two can play it that game!” and took to outside, tied the old man up, who had just awaken only to say, “May I be frank with you?” only to be conked out again, “Sure, and I’ll be Jim,” said BlackMan, and putting the knife in the man’s hand, and spilling some blood on his hands, dragging him to the police department just down the way and leaving him just out the door.

“Now, we’ll need a murder victim,” and shot a suspicious-looking baby across the street- (what would a baby be doing out here in the middle of the night? That was the suspicious thing)- and led a trail of blood to the knife.

“Where do we go next, boss?” said Manly Man, only stopping to wonder how the bullet wound would match the knife- and to question his boss’s ethic. But that was a suspicious-looking baby..

“To an early breakfast,” said BlackMan. “The sun is just rising. Another day of Virtue for BlackMan and Watson the Boy Wonder.”

“It’s Manly Man.”

BlackMan was joined by fellow superheroes, old and wise, they were, old friends, and they began to talk about — super things, until Manly Man turned the conversation around upon seeing a lovely lady, saying, You know, I’ve never struck out.

“No way!” said BlackMan. “Prove it. Go up to that girl right now, and don’t strike out.”

“What will you bet me?”

“Nothing. Just do it based on a dare. Peer pressure.”

“You’re on!” said Manly Man, and took off to the lady, a very pretty lady at that, and slicking back his hair, his perfect hair, his gentleman’s hair, went over to her table, said, “Hey, I’ve never struck out before. See, those guys over there, they bet me I wouldn’t strike out when I talked to you. I was just wonderin’, Can I strike out on you? I’m really looking to embarrass myself. I’ve never felt embarrassed. It should be thrilling!”

The girl only laughed. Then she only smiled. Then she only said, “Sure, I’ll play your game. Actually, I find your bashfulness quite striking,” only stopping to only lift up her shake and pour it down his pants. “How ’bout that? Call me,” and whispered her phone number into his ear.

* * *

Manly Man can’t fly, “but I’m in terrific shape,” HE WANTS YOU TO KNOW*. * Cape blowing in the wind. How burly.

Says he to the reporter after he had solved the crime, saved the day; killed a monster; dropped a kitten, “Did you see that thing my cape was doing in the wind a moment ago? Did you get it on tape?”

Oh, he looked so cool!-   and here she was asking about that girl he was with- who was she?

Voom! He’s off again. .

Manly Man had to take the water bus to the rescue, you should know, so now you do, because he can’t fly and he has no car and he isn’t super fast.

“I’m the wind. Whoosh! Keep following me,” he said to the cameras. So, they did.

I think, for a bit, I need to pause and think.

..Okay, I’m done. But I really think I need to tell you this:

In another land. . clothe me in strange clothes.

In these strange clothes, I observe our new world technology.

* * *

Technology in the world of Spud. It’s got these suction tubes like the ones they got in banks to give you cash and check, only bigger, and you put people in them, and it transports you a mile a second, from one place to the other. Sometimes, it malfunctions, and it sucks so hard it sucks your limbs off or there’s traffic jams and you use up all the usable air. So people resorted to the river road, with drinkable streets, on water bus. It’s not very logical. But it’s cool!

The water bus is what Manly Man took to action.

But that was only because he couldn’t fly.

* * *

Manly Man was once a superhero who did nothing, you know. Fought no crime. Took no patrols. Just sought media attention- ..until one of his two wives got on his tail about it and said, “You better be pulling your part.”

“Sheesh, Love!” he said. “In that case, I’ll light up both the Marvel and DC universes*.”

* you have to know barely next to nothing about comic books to know why this is relevant

He saved the world just the morning after. Spud-Town seemed to be very many a time in peril, in fact, so the heroes took shifts, and he got lucky.

But he couldn’t fly.

“Oh don’t talk to me about my ‘flight’ problem,” Manly Man was talking to the super villain he had finally caught up to, who may have mentioned something about how he was not able to fly.

Super Heroes are shamed if they can’t fly. Manly Man hated to use an elevator to get to the top of any building to fight crime!

He caught the criminal, anyways, and the media attention caught up. Huffing, puffing. “Ah, so you’ve made it. Get a picture of this too.” He made burly poses over the criminal.

The reporter asked him about his uniform:

: On Manly Man’s uniform on his chest there is the picture of a king pushing a woman off a cliff while opening a jar of pickles, by the way. On his butt there is the provocative, platinum decals trucker’s wear on their mud flaps — both cheeks bearing one naked woman — highly exposed.

But I digress a little, only to stop and think.

What else should I talk about? . . .

How ‘bout the Aerial traffic of superheroes in South Kersepolis.

Aerial Traffic

There has been much debate the last ten… thousand years.

Two superheroes: Batman or Spiderman- who would win in a  fight?

It’s Rush hour.

..Batman and Spiderman are gliding through the city skyscrapers until they bump into each other. .They sue each other. They do this a lot!

Idea.

-So. The local Superheroes had a meeting where they decided to put up Stop Signs so Superheroes didn’t break each others bones and sue each other for grievances.

* * *

But back to the story, if there is one.

BlackMan had picked up another crime, this time a real one, or so he thought.

It was about some mad dentist stealing teeth from all the hopeful, grinning, happy children– boys’ smiles only. How peculiar.

By that time he had picked up the case on the News, it was raining terrible in the City. It was raining everywhere, everyday, in every season. At least until Evil was vanquished and Justice prevailed. But would humanity ever attain such purity?

Speaking of rain, have you looked outside?

It’s raining white people. It looks like sheep, because they are sheep. We call them Sheeple here. Though some are quite intelligent, they follow anything you..  They’re really quite nice, though. Really! 😮

BlackMan and Manly Man passed by these in the crowd, both in their uniform, them not giving a passing glance at the heroes in full tights, and Manly said, “Boss. How are we going to find our malefactor?”

“What’s ‘malefactor’ mean?”

“mal·e·fac·tor [mállə fàktər]

(plural mal·e·fac·tors)

n

wrongdoer: a wrongdoer, especially a criminal

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.”

“Oh. Follow the rotting teeth, I suppose,” said BlackMan, looking down at the ground.

“The teeth?” said Manly Man.

“On the ground,” said BlackMan, pointing.

Manly Man looked down where BlackMan was looking, and sure enough, there wasn’t any teeth. Just candy corns. Then he looked closer and found that they were really just orange and yellow teeth– painted that way by so many years masticating candies.

“Masticating?” said BlackMan. “What does that mean?”

“Check the surrounding context,” said Manly Man. “mas·ti·cate [másti kàyt]

(past and past participle mas·ti·cat·ed, present participle mas·ti·cat·ing, 3rd person present singular mas·ti·cates)

v

1.  vti chew food: to grind and pulverize food inside the mouth, using the teeth and jaws

2.  vt grind to pulp: to grind or crush something until it turns to pulp

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.”

“Stop doing that!”

“What?”

“Stop defining everything! It takes the mystery out of everything. No, what I mean is- stop using such big words.”

“I wasn’t using big words this time. That was the author’s mistake. He thought he was all the smarter for it.”

“The author?”

“Yes. Didn’t you know, this story’s fictional?”

BlackMan looked at his black hands. “No way! I thought this was real life. Though I have been barely described, and so has the City, Kersepolis. Back to the case, I always say! Let’s see what my niggers back at the bar think of this trail of breadcrumbs.”

Said Manly Man, a white man, to BlackMan: “If you don’t like being called ‘nigger’, then why do you always call each other ‘nigger?’”

“Hey, you can’t use that word.”

“Yeah- that’s our word!” said a nearby Afro American.

Fat white maggots, I insult them.

The way it is. You can be racist, so long as he’s white.

Why can I only hate a man if he’s white? a nearby future-character wondered, called Couch Face, as he had a couch for a head, the neck up. He was also a minor villain. I’m not one for discrimination. I want to hate everybody.

So, I’ll tell you this story. I was going out for Subway, a white friend, me, a black wife, and her husband are asked this question: “Are these together, or separate?”

Two separate, but equal orders,” says the husband. “You’re trying too hard.”

Anyways.

* * *

Whenever Couch Face kills, he zips down his pants and writes his signature in the dust. “A clue!” said BlackMan.

Couch Face was of the opinion that everything in the world was his, he just hadn’t picked it up yet.

That was why he wasn’t so surprised when someone pointed a gun at Couch Face once, he went, “Whoa!” said Face, holding up hi hands. “Looks like a holdup;” and took the gun away from her, reversing the charge.

“Sorry,” said the girl.

“It’s alright,” said Couch. “You didn’t mean to point it at me. Give me those diamond earrings.”

“I know my fist has landed on that face once before,” said BlackMan, upon crossing him in the act of robbery, though not noticing, or even seeming to care, or recognize it for a burglary.

“That’s just Couch Face,” said Manly Man. “He’s harmless. He’s the worst villain in any sentient race’s history.”

“There’s another word I don’t know!” said BlackMan. “Sentient.”

“It means–”

“Oh, don’t tell me,” said BlackMan. “It takes all the mystery out of it.”

Suddenly, a suddenness happened all of a sudden in a manner that was almost immediate.

Boom! said the explosion, wiping its oil-drenched mouth, then exploding more so in fiery flame.

Here was our first clue.

It was a plastic toy clown, smoldering*

* in the wreckage of a doll factory for underprivileged residents.

This  was  our  last  clue**.

** we know who it was.

* * *

Thanks for paying heed!

..and by the way you’ve continued to read my book up to this point, I like you. You know I like you. You keep me up at night, thinking about you- all these wonderful people, thinking about the things I have to say. 🙂

* * *

Meanwhile… on the rooftops of the Cambridge School for the Higher Learned… Said BlackMan to his sidekick, “First we head to Clown University. Where fooling around is an art.  Watson!”

The name’s Manly.. I’m new around here. I’m not Watson.

“Well, I’m a detective. I have to call you something.”

I said my name’s–!”

“Watson will have to do for now. ‘Til we think of something to call you.” He laughed. Ha, ha, ho. “Hey, I know! You’re new around here. For your first assignment as my sidekick, coz all the others were killed in tragic clown-related accidents, I’m sure, why don’t you think of a nickname for yourself before Watson really does stick?”

“How ‘bout… Robin?”

“Robbin’ ?..  Don’t give me slang, boy! You’re a superhero. Superheroes don’t slang. They pronounce every syllable, including their -I.N.G’s.”

“You’re just full of jollies.”

Shut up.

“Let’s go to the Clown College.”

“Why not?” and taking his sidekick by the waist, well, he did that thing Batman does so well only Spider-man could do better, and they swung off to a new adventure. Whoosh! “I’m the wind, u’see!” he informed him, and swooped s’more away.

* * *

Now, for a public service announcement.

Currently, we at W.E.T. White Entertainment Television for White Peoples are discussing who is the most persecuted race. The Jew says, “I’m the most persecuted race.” The African says, “No, I’m the most persecuted race.” The Black Jew says, “I win, I think. I’m the most persecuted. I deserve fudge!” Sonny, what’s your opinion?

“You’re really proud of being whipped, hanged, burned, and gassed aren’t you?”

“Don’t forget it. If you do, I’ll remind you.”

The cow says, “Moo,” meaning, ‘Well, they make hamburger out of me- does that count?” And I’m a woman. *Eh-hem* went the anchorman. Onto other topics of conversation, “Andrew, tell

meagain why–”

I’m black,” said the cow.

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am! I’m black with white-It’s the same thing with a zebra.”

“What happened to the white side?”

“I like to think that side never happened.

Someone give me a milkshake. I hate to make my own in the sight of camcorders.”

Someone get this cow a milkshake!” said the anchorman.

“-Hey, don’t call me a ‘cow’~!”

Cow was a race on planet Spud.

So was goat. And chicken. And octopus. And manta-ray. And blackbird. And Pikachu.

“Sheeut*,” said the anchorman.

* shit.

The heifer dropped a big one.

* * *

BlackMan spent his life being a color. Black this and black that.

He only hired white maids in homage of 700 years of oppression.

Another cool one . .  BlackMan still wears shackles so he’ll never forget those who still live in bondage.

* * *

Said sidekick hero-in-training Manly to full-fledged veteran crime-fighter BlackMan as they entered the Black Cave, “Have you read the revolving papers lately? I really think you should take a look.”

“Papers! Papers!” said BlackMan. “If I wanted anything to do with papers, I’d be a lumberjack; I’d go ask Spider-Man, Superman, Clark Kent, Peter Parker!  But no, I do my own interrogating. I make my own work. I don’t take to that yellow journalism, coloring every heroic act I do for a sin.

“You know, I saved a baby from a falling building, and what does the Commissioner and his hairy-necked lackey say about me, ‘BlackMan: a public menace.’ It should be a crime!”

Manly Man interrupted, “I thought that was J. Jameson’s thing.”

“Oh, it is. In Spider-ville. But this is SpudTown! We have our own way of thinking!”

“But I really think you should read this Front Page! Seems to me, Boss, there’s this Mad Dentist-”

“We don’t have time for Mad Dentists! It’s clowns that concern me. And in this city, they’re never funny.”

He was waiting for a prank to be pulled, but what was all this about dentists, and missing teeth? Shouldn’t there be missing jewels? Where’s the trail of breadcrumbs? Why was it that, after leaving his Black Cave, there was a trail of candy corns leading out to a Candy Store that read: “Caution: May Rot Teeth. But if you have love of life, use discretion and enjoy ‘em anyways!”

Nothing but teeth- and not a single clue as to where the clown was!

“But, boss! That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“Exactly what what’s saying?” said the BlackMan.

“Your trail of breadcrumbs.”

It took BlackMan less than 30 hours before he arrived at the conclusion. “To the Happy Future Leaders of SpudTown Daycare, Young Watson! I think there may be fireworks tonight.” *Boom!* But it had already happened.

Revolving. Spinning Cinematic Black-n-White Paper read the next day, “Children’s Hospital in Burning: Could Our Masked Marauder Be the One to Save Us Now?”

* * *

Quit calling them dirty, they’re not dirty. I’m sure they use soap. Have you showered today?

For example. A Mexican maid who sucks people’s houses with her vacuum cleaner.. She showers every day and constantly flushes her poop.

* * *

BlackMan and Manly Man were then in the BlackBoat. Speeding at dozens of miles per hour down the liquid city streets. Heading towards their destination.

The Shit Vender was vending out shit today on the street’s liquid sides but BlackMan told Manly, “Don’t take shit from anybody.” Don’t you see that sign, man. It says, “No shit.” Hear me!

But, it seemed, they had arrived too late.

“My word,” said BlackMan. “It’s gone up in great Peruvian flames!”

“Good,” said Manly Man. “I thought it had caught fire.”

“Oh, but it did, we’re off to!- I don’t know where we’re off to.”

“We could go to Denny’s and get the Lumberjack Slam,” suggested Manly.

“Jolly good idea,” said BlackMan- and they were off! At dozens of miles per hour.

* * *

After they breakfasted at Denny’s, they decided to do a little crime fighting on the side while the idea of the next big shebang turned around in their minds.

Said Mr. Tasty Freeze, “I like to make little laughs on my cold theme.”

“Freeze!” said the hero. Pun.

“That’s Mr. Freeze! Now, it’s time I put you on ice!” and froze him. “Ha! I’m funny! Because I’m not a fire theme, so I can’t just say, ‘But I’m just warming up,’ and blast you. No! All my witty puns must be based on the fact that my head is cold!”

He started singing “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner, and singing good. He had to have a little song and dance number. Villains are terrific dancers.

“Fine! If you don’t like it, I’m switching to fire theme!” and got transgendered to a lady called Misfire. “Now, I think I’ll buy some real estate in a volcano somewhere and sing songs about how much I love magma.”

* * *

In other news,

..On the side of Tooth Road was an arcade where you could shoot streams of water into a clown’s mouth while another comedian splurts you with seltzer. “Hi. I’m your next dentist. Want a cherry sucker?”

Some children fell for this, but others walked away. She was a killer clown. The arcade was a heist to lure children unawares.

It turned out that this mad dentist roaming the town was also a former alumni at clown college.

It seemed there were 222 separate operations, each obsessive errand done to she who the boy-victims referred to as ‘the Clownths…’ they lisped to the Masked Detective.. as all their newly formed Adult teeth were taken out and replaced with candy corn.

So many colourful smiles there would be, if they all could smile. As of now, they were hurt. “She told us not to smile… She told us too much candy was bad for us, but did we listen!”* /

* Not a single girl was harmed in the making of this scheme. Only the boy ones.

* * *

This silly girl called Misfire was put down in a matter of minutes by BlackMan and his new sidekick, Manly Man, before the next big villainous heist went off.

* * *

Gay is the New Black

. – yes. “Gay — it’s the new African American. It’s the new black. It’s a new race now- well, practically.”

“Hi. What nationality are you?”

“I’m a faggot — from Fagotia.”

Then there’s handicapped people.

They think we owe them something, so we gotta smile and laugh and be pleasant, whyoughtta, listening to whatever they say for however long they say it, whenever they come by.

Brothers, this is wrong. Sisters, you too. Don’t think I’m going to count you out! Um.

Who’s being treated with inequality now?

The couple, overpowered by manners, smiled at the jovial cripple nervously.

Listen. This is so important right now!

..In the World of Spud, there are sky domes that sit on top really high poles, five hundred feet in the air. These are either full of carnivals, amusement parks, malls, or zoos. Escalators in glass domes leap up to them in a winding corkscrew motion. These are the shopping centers. You don’t need to know this, but it’s fun to see what’s around.

It just so happened that the next happenin’ celebrity fundraiser was to be had in one of these lovely sky domes. Lit up, at midnight.

Every celebrity fundraiser, and subsequent terrorist bombing, happened at night. And that’s why they were here.

It’s the sophistication of BlackMan’s real self- boy billionaire Jack Potter- that makes him interesting. He arrived in chariot.

Him and Manly, in fact, were off to a charity ball to check if any of the major Crime Lords were also there: to avoid taxes, and to have fun.

Manly said it was a waste of time. Manly said this was stupid. Manly said to him in his private ferry, ‘Where’s the action, man! Show me that!’ Potter said, ‘Patience, Man,’ and be done with it. Don’t be a moist banana.

Instinct told him the Crime Lords masquerading as bleeding-heart politicians would be there- in the underbelly of the City’s dark side- and its rotten core; of the Apple, of the Peach, of the Plum, whatever berry or nut or fruit or national bird this town of Spudton was representing.

He said to Manly, “You’d best listen to Jack Potter,” as he was only a hero in training, and that meant that they come to the ball in s-e-p-a-r-a-t-e chariots and at different seasons of the night life, and ask around from there. Manly arrived in buggy.

Charity of the night: ‘Gay Awareness Month’

; their speaker, Gaylord Baxter. “Some people really are gay, you know,” was his social gospel. He had a lot of gay friends, mostly by choice- not by chance meeting in college, or in school, or at work, what have you. That’s just the kind of thing he did.

He’s a forgettable character. I only remember him now because he’s right in front of me.

In fact, there’s really nothing special about him.

Couch Face went with him. He’s the one to remember.

To go off on an inexcusable red herring:

Couch Face is so evil, that even in the peak of summer, the sun doesn’t shine on him.

You can take a theatre light from film class and shine it on him, and the light will evaporate before it hits him and turn to darkness. That’s how evil Couch Face is. Plus, he’s a racist. That’s why dark, to him, means evil. He likes it that way.

The sun never shines on the Couch Face house.

There’s always thunder clouds and lightning booming on his house, while every other part of Couch Face’s neighborhood has a proud, happy sun simply beaming over it. Nothing but sunshine in that neighborhood!

However, today he had just lost the lease to his house*. I don’t even know what that means, because I live with my parents, but I think it’s awfully important, and so Couch Face will live with his parents for the remainder of this episode to the best of my knowledge..

* It was a volcano at the top of a roller coaster if you remember.

His future bride, Commando Kiss, was stalking behind him. To go off on an unforgivable red herring: Commando Kiss said, “I don’t have friends. Only minions.”

How evil is Commando Kiss? Whenever she snaps her finger, there’s an explosion in a foreign country.

When Commando Kiss is being waited upon, she always feels a little nervous in between all the silences. There’s always secret assassins, and she wants to make sure to get them flustered so she can keep them on their toes.

To make sure her soup is safe she takes out a canary from her purse and puts it in the soup, and if the soup doesn’t kill it from assassination poisoning, food poisoning, or untimely drowning, she eats it cold as a topping with the soup. How delightful.

She squeezes the head between her teeth, and sucks out the insides.

She crashed her car into a busload of babies. The babies survived. The bus survived. She survived. The crash didn’t. The crash went up in fiery flames. The crash exploded!

The fruit cart guy saw this, and exclaimed, “Aww, someone’s going to crash into me!” and ran away.

“Oh gay, okay, oh, pleez,” said Manly. That’s all they wanna do is hang out with gay people now,

he told Potter, because they think they’re better people for it. (That’s just another form of discrimination).

“Choosing our friends is discrimination?”

“Shh! Quiet!” said Potter.

“Think- I’m only asking you to consider it. Just for a second. Basing friendship on exterior or- hey, is gay an interior thing?”

“I never thought about it like that,” said Gaylord Baxter from behind them. “Don’t go cracking any jokes about putting any bodily parts into my interiors, though.”

“I wouldn’t think of it.”

“Kiss me.”

Said Manly softly upon passing Potter for some more head cheese for his crackers, “He’s a jolly fellow.”

You offended him, is what,” said Potter, upon another chance meeting across the ballroom floor, as they had now divorced into separate pairs, and all the members of the board, the committee, and its members were segregated into mates,

the boys forced to dance with the boys,

and the girls forced to dance with the girls, just right. They sashayed, they pivoted. They did the huchi-koola. “Gosh, dancing with men is fun! Now my partner can actually lift me above his head!”

You’re trying too hard,” said Potter to Manly. “Just act natural. No more puns, no jokes. Save that for superheroism. When you’re with me in the Ritz clubs for oddball crackers.. You step like I step. You do like I do.”

“Whatchu talking ‘bout?” said their partners.

“Nothing!” they said, and switched partners. Unwittingly, they had just switched with themselves. Manly was now dancing with Potter. Potter was now dancing with Manly. They were finally aware of how gay they had just become.

“How are we talking to each other this much between passings?” said Manly.

“You know, this tender-hearted Character development scene has us all in stitches, but I haven’t a clue!”

The Dance over- the Tango, the Congo, and the Two-Step Mull, they had now dismissed themselves to discuss poultry with the elite- photographers had said much of Manly Man.

They loved his smile, his artistry; his criminal wit. What a hero! We want more!

BlackMan put a hand on Manly’s shoulder. “They like you, yu know…

Come on, let’s go!”

“Into the night?”

That’s right,” and they were off.

The CrimeLords had nothing to say, maybe this night’s parody of the Riddler would have something to say about it.

Q-burt was at the ball among them, hiding behind his closet. “Right now?” he said. “I’m living with my parents. My parents are rich–not me. I just pay room and board. I’m poor as Methuselah. They only let me in because I was the author, not that I had any money or nothin’.”

Jesus had crossed dimensions and visited both worlds, earth, and the new earth; so I could say ‘Methuselah’. He was popular across the Galaxy. They knew his Bethlehem star. They had his book, and he signed it.

This mirror earth shared many opinions. Yes.

Leaning against the comic book page, I read up on current events & stuffs.

It seemed the Mad Dentist had struck again.

* * *

BlackMan and Manly Man were soon interviewing villains to find whoever was behind these — teeth incidents.

The first villain they intercepted on his way to a tennis match was the Mysterious Floating Head in Shadow. He had the tennis racket in his mouth, and the balls slung over his head. He was a disembodied, floating head.

Said he around the tennis racket, “The clown?

“She chews out creeps like you for breakfast! She can get a pretty good balanced meal that way! Breakfast!”

Said BlackMan, “Breakfast, you say? Then in that case I don’t think I can take her. I was always more of a Sunday Bruncheon guy myself.”

“What? You can’t talk to Breakfast that way. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It’s a great way to get your start! in business, college; on dates.”

“I believe you.”

“Always remember to floss after meals!” said the Mad Dentist near them, who was actually the one they were looking for. .. . … … .. “Oh, go away!” said BlackMan and Manly. “We’re trying to think here! Whodunnit?”

The Mad Dentist left.

Said the villain they were interviewing, turning, “Don’t you think that freaky stethoscope guy wasn’t the least bit suspicious?”

“Huh. Y-eah! But only now after we just realized it!”

You let him get away!”

The Mad Dentist had left.

“Yes, on dates,” said the Mysterious Floating Head in Shadow. “Which, in that case, I’m off to one, and I haven’t done anything bad as of yet, so you can’t detain me.”

But the Mad Dentist had left a trail of yellow-orange teeth leading up behind him, as he was carrying a sack full of them.

They followed him up to this boring sign. It said, “DENTISTRY.”

“Oh, that’s a boring sign, ‘DENTISTRY.’ They should have a happy, smiling tooth,” said Manly Man.

But the Mad Dentist had given them the slip. Had led them awry. Had one of the Mad Dentist’s henchman carry the bag of rotting teeth, and when they apprehended him, all he said was, “Fooled ya.”

“We’ll get out of you where the Mad Dentist lives.”

“Of course you will,” said the henchman. “She lives in our hearts. She is the great spirit that loves all little good boys and girls. She–”

“Oh, no, not a cult,” said BlackMan.

“Always remember to floss your teeth after meals,” said the henchman judiciously. “Such is the inner path to peace and enlightenment, and good fresh breath.”

BlackMan, as a joke, you know he was joking, cut open the man’s chest and looked inside, and there was a little person living in it, but it wasn’t the Mad Dentist, it was Jesus, and he waved, and said, “I think you got the wrong man, guy.”

“Jesus Christ!” said BlackMan. “What are you doing here?”

“I live in this guy’s heart. He accepted me at the mission when he was just a lit’le boy, just this tiny,” and demonstrated so with his hand. There was a little couch that rolled out into a bed, and a kitchen, and Jesus was playing videogames. “I think as of late he’s got me confused with the Mad Dentist, though,” said Jesus Christ. “You see, recently, he’s got into this cult.”

“Okay, that’s enough. Where is he?”

“Ask him over there. The Questionnaire.”

The Questionnaire was practicing his super villainy skills in one of the basics in villainy: grand theft auto. Like a tennis swing, or any ballsport, you always want to know the basics if you want to accomplish anything big. To keep your skills sharp. He had just hijacked into the bumper boat when Manly Man tapped him from the back, and BlackMan said, “Boo. Did I scare ya? I bet you were scared. Besides the fact that we’re going to take you into the big house, I’ve been talking to Jesus–”

“…You’ve been praying? How droll.”

“–and he told me to talk to you to find out about the Mad Dentist. Where is he?”

The Questionnaire began to sweat. But only because BlackMan had put a hot lamp in his face for questioning purposes. “Oh, her? Oh, sure. I know where she is.”

Said the Questionnaire to the superhero team of Manly and BlackMan after they deciphered his clues,

“I’ll give you a hint,” he says. “Question me this, Question me that. The place you are looking for does not come in a size 4 — hat.”

“No one understands those riddles! Not even the Riddler!”

“Fine. If it’s not an abandoned warehouse, it’s some unsuccessful Theme Parkery that’s just  been  foreclosed. There’s only one in this Tri-City area. Good day!” and was released. BlackMan knew exactly where the Mad Dentist was hiding…

* * *

What do you know about being Super?

“-Have you ever changed your clothes in a phone booth?”

Manly Man spends hours combing his hair to get that perfect curl, with a dry-cleaning bill to turn you hair white.

* * *

Like I said, BlackMan knew exactly where the Mad Dentist was hiding.

Thereupon finding it, I won’t say where, as even I don’t know, it was such a good hiding spot, BlackMan found the Mad Dentist, and said, “If it’s a fight you’re looking for, try starting one with me!” and leapt in the air, but stopped in mid

jump kick, like a cartoon, hovering. “Wait. That’s no good,”  and stopped to contemplate a better opening pun. He never found one, so the story was never begun. I need an opening pun or I can never defeat him!* * ‘tis the super hero’s way.

But he was too late! It was root canal by starlight. The commissioner was getting an unexpected tune-up.

Whereupon seeing BlackMan for the first time, the Mad Dentist said, “Well. Well, well, well. So you’re here. So I’m aware of that. Well. Join me and together we can leave this mortal coil and be bathed in the eternal essence of absolute evil!”

“Sure,” said the hero.

“What?” said the villain. “Aren’t you supposed to say something like, ‘I will never join you! You and your dark ways are blah, blah, blech, etcetera, etc, and you know the rest?’”

“I thought about it. But you give a pretty convincing argument. I’ll join you. Sure. I’m convinced. Let’s go be evil and stuff!”

BlackMan, however, didn’t see it this way. Fool, otherwise known as the Mad Dentist, didn’t see it either.

She* asked him for a bag of sugar once in the past and he said he was out, and that produced a violent strain in their relationship- she thought he was hiding out on her!

* They had mistaken her for a guy, but upon further look, found he was a woman.

From that moment on they were the best of enemies- violently so.

“So, we meet again,” said Fool.

“I’ve never seen you before,” said BlackMan.

“What? We’ve met before.”

Her henchman said to the evil boss when she got angry: “Don’t get so worked up. Think of your blood pressure.”

Introducing Fool! The goofball, the comedian, a classless clown. She’s our villain, if you remember. The Mad Dentist Clown from before, right?

Here, Fool performed a root canal by starlight on the captured Police Chief in front of his 60-year-old parents.

They started to fight.

Manly Man had two left feet so it made it very hard to fight crime (because he can hardly run).

The chase started out moderately exciting, but short-lived.  BlackMan, meanwhile, had the power to run faster than Kenyans. He’s black.

They stopped running.

Said BlackMan to Fool, “Why steal the smiles off so many adorable children- pulling all the cute ones’ teeth? Shame!” Bombing all those children’s hospitals.

“Don’t you peeve to me about Justice, Nigger Man!” said the Fool. “I am Woman. I’m the Nigger of the world. It’s not like my heart I put out into this Man’s man’s man’s man’s world hasn’t been stepped on repeatedly*. It’s more than that. Um. Now, you got me flustered. Those children don’t deserve their smiles! Also, did you notice that the only smiles I stole were male ones, and only after they’d lost their baby teeth and formed the New ones?”

* ‘did you notice I put three song references into one whole paragraph? Did ya? DidjaDidjaDija?’

“Yeah, I kinda put that together right now- why is that?”

“Weren’t you listening? Ah, you never listen to me! You’re always doing this!”

“I’m sorry, babe, were you monologuing?” and picked a bomb out his teeth. “This little clown-shaped bomb was supposed to go off, ‘boom’, huh? I was disarming it during that whole conversation. Look, I’m sorry. You’re a woman. It’s hard to take everything you say seriously, coz you talk too fast, and always- so needy!”

“You never listen!”

Said Manly, “Will you two girls shut up? Look, I was reassigned by the Long Underwear League to this city for a reason- they needed young blood to take care of all this action. Action! I was told.”

“Again with the prejudice! Girl- did you hear that, he called me a ‘girl’?”

“He called us both girls,” said BlackMan. “So we’re squares.”

“No, but it’s not square for me! He called me ‘girl’ coz girls whine a lot. He called you ‘girl’ coz he thought you were wimpy! Don’t you see why I’m so cheesed off here?”

This was getting us nowhere..

Manly Man and BlackMan looked to each other, then to Fool, and punched her out. *Pow, Blam* “Yes, we see. But we also stressed you out so much in your own feminist angst that your defense went down. Kinda makes you think… Should I act first, or talk later?”

Then this happened.

“No, but my plan’s over and I’m going to jail for life.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” said BlackMan. “I love you, Fool! You may be a fool, Fool, and I the fool for being so foolish- but I love you.”

There was a little brown fire through Fool’s white mask. “Well, I- kinda sorta like you. And to possibly avoid Liffe… I could… try to love you.”

“So come with me!”

.. “When, exactly?”

“No, come, as in ‘get over here’, I didn’t mean anything sexually.”

“Oh-!  Oh- oh!”

“Hey, we can’t let her get away with this. It’s against the heroic creed!” cried Manly.

Said BlackMan, “Dress her henchman up like her. Give them Life- they half deserve it.”

Said Manly Man, “That would be a wicked half-justice.”

He could hardly believe it.

Then this happened.

“I don’t even care anymore, what you do with them,” said BlackMan. “Baby, I’ve been searching half my life over to put Fool in prison for what she has stolen, and now she has stolen my heart.”

“Blech.”   -and taking her hand, stole her away.

Do you want to hear what happened at the end of the story or not?

BlackMan went to jail a day later and got off for good behavior. Fool was wearing too much makeup, so the police didn’t recognize her, and in the end, they took a one-way ticket to Neo-Japan, because they liked the color there, she and BlackMan, and Fool loved to wear those pigeon-dropping masks with little kimono dresses, or was that a Chinese thing?- and they both were fooled by Love- is it worth it, is it real, and got divorced not two seconds after death some thousand miles later.

And the villain and the BlackMan left, hand in hand, most decidedly. T

o find the more negro side of the moon.

And whooshed off.

* * *

In a prison, a prisoner asks for cheese and crackers as his last meal. It was his favorite.

* * *

Anyways.

You know when you’re young, and think your dad’s Superman, then you grow up and realize he’s Bruce Wayne? / “-NO.”

Well,

We all need a little hero, and the theme of this chapter is A World without Superman.. The Citizens of Spud couldn’t imagine it.

A hero is born out of a disaster that must be avenged. A supernatural incident. Okay- fine-

also, there are police officers. I mean, firemen, because we like them better.

These are heroes too.

Manly Man was never born out of disaster. As far as he remembered, he’d always been super strong. His mother was a German farm girl. And his father was Russian Orthodox. Two great powers coming together made quite the strong– oh, but his parents were superheroes too. That could’ve helped.

Said the Long Underwear League, upon finally inducting Manly Man as an official member, licensed by the state so he could perform triumphant acts of superheroing without any government or police interference, “State the superhero creed.”

To fly around doing good deeds for people who are good.”

“Good. Now grow some wings, and get back here and we’ll award you your badge.”

“But! But!-”

“ —

Now move it!” and Manly left the assembly. An official superhero- kind of.

* * *

Ever after his training with BlackMan, Manly Man got up every morning at noon to fight crime. He’d go “On Patrol” for hours and hours with his new sidekick every day, looking for crime, but nothing happened. He just ran around a lot on the tops of city buildings.

Superhero, hail a cab. ‘I gotta get there fast, hurry!’

“You a superhero?”

“…”

“I hate your kind. Get out.”

“What?!”

“You never pay me after you get out, you’re in such a hurry. Get out.”

“O. Okay,” and found one that would give him a ride.

Solved a crime.

* * *

In other news. .

A Superhero -(not Manly)- couldn’t make any money superheroing, so he quit using his super powers to fight Evil and decided instead to fight the evils of Telemarketing-  that was one job-  and to fight the evils of a building not being there..  In that empty lot…  next to the fish store-  that was the second. 

This superhero hailed a cab, in full cape, and was brought to the projects-and-construction segment of the hospital where he fought the evils of a building not-being’s-there by building one there.

Look!

He’s tilling the land with his bare hands like a machine and working the girders together, all by himself and with a few mercenary scalpers who worked together barking orders at the superhero together. Together they said, “Do this,” and he did it.

“You’ll pay me? — with money!” says the hero. They’re never paid.

Two cops came in at the very end to clean things up, and Manly Man discussed life with them, ‘my fellow heroes,’ he charmed them, and even went to the station with them, sat in a chair the wrong way, watched them fill out paperwork.

Present tense now.

..Boo-Cat wears a cape and a diaper*. * I’m cute that way. / Manly Man picks her up. “C’mon, Cat. Let’s go get you changed.”

And, as BlackMan is led away, a lone figure loses himself in the shadows of the silent night- but he’s not important to the story. I only mentioned it because I thought his butt looked cute.

After Manly Man loses yet another expendable sidekick, he says to Boo-Cat, “Hyere now, Cat.” Pops open a beer, gives her the lid. “It’s just you and me now.” Hops up on his lap- laps at the suds.

Season 2 ½

8th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 8th Story or not yet.

 “Don’t Need Kites Coz We Learned to Fly

WARNING

: Fascinating only if you’re willing to be mentally engaged.

If you’re one for escapism, that’s good. If you’re one for douchebaggery, that’s even better. It’s not misspelled.

* * *

It is always August.

Autumn is the season in this story. It wasn’t quite Spring and it wasn’t quite Winter. But everything was frozen.

Birds would fall from the sky, fully cooked.

It seemed they had run into an invisible firewall separating country from country*.

* You know those lines on a globe that separate country from country? Well, those are real on spud.

They sang Twelve Days of Christmas, or whatever, before they crashed into the cornfield.

* * *

In some other news, non-related news, news worth considering, listen.

An airplane from the U.S., or United Spud.. was assaulted today by the Drug Lords’ Mud Men as they had crossed state aerospace without asking nicely; Mud Men flying high on the rocks they have thrown.

Manly Man was flying first class at the time. Flying in on a big silver bird.

Manly Man called all the women flight attendants in the plane ‘waitress.’ “Yo, waitress! These peanuts are salted- I said, no salt!”

“Busy for a moment. We’re crashing.”

“Oh, I better get buckled in, then.”

“You most certainly should. Cheers.”

“Cheers.”

They fell.

..Sang the kiddos, Let’s go fly a kite. Up to the afterlife!

And they all went up in flame. .

Manly survived the plane crash by landing on his head, his safest, most hardest feature. . Manly: The sole survivor of the plane crash.

Well, there were six or four dozen more, but they really weren’t that important. “Luckily, I landed on my head,” he explained to the girl reporter later. “If it were my feet I would’ve been a goner. I would’ve been crushed, you understand!”

* * *

“Attention, Southwest Airline Survivors.”

Don’t worry. The airplane hasn’t crashed yet. Close, though.

First, we dance.

Everyone’s dancing. It’s a sexy party, and all the stars are invited.

We’re 30,000 feet in the air and a few hands, and we’ve lifted them up, prayed to Almighty God, “Give us wings.”

* * *

Now came the terrorists.

They were beat down pretty easily, actually. They couldn’t dance. We had stepped all over them.

* * *

Then there came a few Arabs in towel-heads. We waved to them and they said, “Hello.” We gave them our thank-you’s for their history, their culture, and their heritage.

A terrorist walked by. We gave him a light for his cigarette and pretty soon the bomb exploded!!

* * *

We don’t know how that happened, but now we’re falling down. Down, down; up a little-  Now, the wind has caught us, but we’re falling down!

And then we hit an elevator…

* * *

This elevator could go only “Up” and “Down” and found life pointless when it only has two choices: “Up” or “Down,” while humans can go Sideways. “Why can’t I go sideways?” said the elevator to its counselor on the 15th floor.

“Because you’re a stupid elevator!”

Listen!

Now, we’re all in this elevator- trapped. Standing room only. And one of us is a terrorist.

Can you figure out who? It’s not the Nazi, it’s not the Arab; it’s not the white-skin, it’s not the Jew.. Hm.

* * *

I think it could be Uncle Franco. He was always a bit touchy when it came to bombs. “Bombs. Bombs? What? I’m not hiding those!”

The small bubble of

VOID immediately surrounding the explosion was the space of our elevator, and there wasn’t much of it. “We’re going down,” cried the hospital lady.

The elevator went down real fast.

“We’re going up,” cried the man.

The elevator went up.

“We’re going nowhere!!” cried everyone.

The elevator stopped. It didn’t go anywhere.  Hm.

* * *

Hey, let’s beat that terrorist over the head. Which one is he?” “What if he…  was a cat?- let me explain!”

“Why would he be a cat?”

“Some people check in pets through the luggage, right? Wouldn’t that be the perfect place to hide a bomb? In the belly of a cat?”

“..No. No, not really.”

“Oh. Uh- Oh. Oh. Um. Well, do you have any good ideas?”

“What if he is a creature from the Ninth Dimension?”

“Is that supposed to be funny? No, I wouldn’t believe that. The Eighth Dimension- yes. I’ve been there; but not the Ninth. There are no apartments there-  everything’s so expensive.”

Forgive me, but “..Tenth?”

“No, not the Tenth! It never existed!” said the monster from the Tenth Dimension.

“Well, who could it be then?”

“Hey!” said the monster. “Which of us is a terrorist?”

The terrorist raised his hand.

* * *

Hey, get him!” They all shot him with the guns they had brought on board the airplane*. * as their carry-on item.

His last words were: “I was just scratching an itch..” and died, not before saying, “But I also want world domination, a soda, and to blow winged-vehicles up.

Behind you!” and the whole of them looked behind them to where another terrorist had them all up on gunpoint. .

* * *

There were about 500 people, you understand, so this gun had about 500 nozzles at the end, with loaded bullets, which is a lot. I mean! “I may not be a good shot,” he said. “But I can never miss. Give me all your teeth!”

“What? Is that supposed to be funny? Don’t you want our money?”

“Give me all that too. Jolly good idea. You, too, lady! Empty those solid gold dentures. Good, now. Kick it across the floor.”

She kicked it across the floor but it bit his lap and now we know who the terrorist is, so how else we gonna kill time- any ideas?

This isn’t very funny, is it?

I know.. L

* * *

Someone interrupted them, “Okay, who wants to play terrorist again?”

“We weren’t playing anything.”

“Oh. Sorry,” someone said.

“We could use that phone right there and call Manly Man,” said Manly Man.

“Good idea!”

So they called Manly Man.

“Hello,” said Manly Man.

They turned to him: “Save us!”

Manly Man had just finished closing his cellular phone. “Okay, I got a great idea. I’ll use my lasso of…  Honesty!” And took out a whip made from the mustache of a dinosaur*.

* a single, wild hair, a very manly weapon.

“That’s kinda stupid.”

“I am Super Strong, though,” said Manly. “Here, I’ll just open the door,” and opened the door only to find that the fun was over. “Everybody out, come on.”

* * *

But this beginning was all a red herring waste-of-time to buy me time the author time as he hadn’t any ideas.

How ‘bout we … just talk?

We haven’t talked for a while.

What do you wanna talk about?..

…Hm…Hm…

Interesting…Interesting…

Question. So when birds are singing, are they singing or are they talking? “They’re obviously singing when they’re singing.”

“When do they communicate?”

Our engaging conversation would have gone on a good five pages more, but just then a fish jumped out of the clouds, upside down, and picked a flying dinosaur out of the sky.

The wingspan of a humpback whale. It flies*.

*In sky, and in water.

Way up there where are lashes made of fairy dust- eyelashes of a boy in flight- like a star fallen from heaven. These fell from the sky. Some thought this was Peter. Others recognized it as a bird. I thought it was super- either way.

* * *

I just had a super great good terrific idea. Wanna hear about it?

Regardless if you want to hear about it, you know I’m going to tell you anyways, so I’ll just shut up and start narrating.

So there was a certain dictator of a certain third world country. Even the rich were poor here. So like the commonwealth. Um. I suppose that isn’t possible.

The only one who could be considered rich was the certain dictator, and he liked balloons. I mean, he really liked them. One could say– and so they did– that he had an obsession of them.

As of now, he was in his water boat, on river road, watching the blurs for a drive in the country, the quickening trees. With special guests from neighboring third world nations- they were all in the center of the world, and they all spoke Spanish, curiously. Though, they were in fact, from the Middle-East.

*Queef* “I like balloons. You like balloons?” said a certain dictator.

“For diplomatic reasons, I’ll say yes,” said a particular third world special guest.

*Queef* Gas released from a balloon he was playing with in his hands. That’s — that’s what that was- if you were wondering.

They turned the conversation. “Dinner starts at eight. You wanna go?” said the world leader to his communist friend.

They went.

10 pages into the story, the certain dictator and his pals got into his hot air balloon and they went for a ride. “I really like balloons. You’ll love it.”

15 pages later, and it was stolen- I’ll tell you how later**.

** and for what purpose.

(-“

That was a very secret, government balloon.”

“They took my balloon!” said a certain dictator.

“We had better get it back..”)

* * *

This town doesn’t look good in snow. Some do. Some wear it like a Giftmas beard — but not everybody looks good in beards.

There is no Christmas; only Giftmas, because the people on Spud changed the name of Christmas to Xmas; so as not to be offensive to those who celebrated other holidays. Then they forgot what the “X” stood for.

So, because Xmas seemed to revolve around gifts so much, they logically deduced that the X in Xmas must stand for “Gift”. .So: Giftmas.

There are few things more eternal than Giftmas music.

Now all the Third World children- (and that was, indeed, most of the children on Spud)- were opening presents. Their contents thus opened: Sticks and rocks. Most of them were rocks.

Don’t waste your money on toys, was the special Third World advertisement that December. Get em rocks! All childs like rocks! It’s a free toy   : )  Does that tell you how sad our Spud-lind economy has become in this winter wasteland?

* * *

Watch the mountains, the lake–the clean world.

It rains.

Said the child, feeling the weather, “The angels are peeing.”

“Red rain,” said the parent. “That’d have to be a very painful urine.”

This wasn’t just an expression, and this wasn’t being poetic. On Spud, there really were 6-winged angels.

As for the parent and his child, they were fleeing under this rain from another war fueled by the blood of angels- were they winning, were they doomed? Whose side was evil, whose was good? Listen!

This is no joke here!

It seemed the demons had much influence on politics, and one had even run for mayor; one was a drug lord in a foreign land, one was a ruler of all Spud, and his name was ‘

father to the Politard’.

* * *

It seemed all Time was waiting, and under the red rain of the peeing angels was a land infused by the rage of the losing side.

However, this is only the weather, and weather always changes.

* * *

But the main story, and our setting, focuses on three foreign kids, two older girls and a young boy just old enough to know sucking his thumb is dirty, but doing it anyways, fleeing from their oppressive society under one DemonRuler* ,

the principilaties, the leaders of this world, and leaving their parents behind, fleeing over ‘U.S.* borders’- (no, they’re not Mexicans, but they very well could be)- fleeing in a blimp thingy they stole from the military and the military of their country of origins wants it back! That red balloon I talked about before, only not mentioning that — it was ‘red’.

* U.nited S.pud

As no one wants to live in a place of civil war and drug lords anymore, there’s almost no government and no order, but a Citizen Police that has taken over, contending with the drug lords. .

* * *

But the Blimp, the children find, had enough explosive power to destroy all Border Patrol and cause World War 4 with the SuperPower the Border Control defended; and all the minor snowfield countries surrounding. Whoa~

It must be stopped, then

* * *

They took off to a place just below the clouds.

“Every astronaut thinks his space flyer is a pony.”  Yeehaw, he says.

* * *

Yes, the winterberry. Winterberry: an actual fruit the children picked from the stars, plucked like a ripe fish from the sea- this is what feeds them on their long journey.

Their harvest full in the basket of a great balloon.

Put feed the nets, put sail the sun! eat full, me hearties, yo ho!

* * *

It is always August. Despite the fact that it was almost Spring.

And Giftmas season was in full swing.

That is an unintentional rhyme scheme, and not meant to be cute, but if it is, good for you for noticing.

Have a chewy, delicious cookie.

A dinner Giftmas party, after church in a more stable economy of the world-  wine-tasting and merry-making, a Giftmas ham, a Giftmas toast-  Real toast!

Fooling around in front of half our Giftmas card list, and I was there. We made jerks of ourselves.

Churches went caroling. . ‘So bring us some frickin pudding, so bring us some frickin pudding. Bring it right here! We won’t go until you get some — ’

What would baby Jesus want for Giftmas?

Said the three-year old, “Let’s get him a puppy!”

This was all so very random. So like a Giftmas party.

Which reminds me!

The Baptist Church Superheroes were competing against the Lutheran Superheroes on Easter morning this year: winner gets control of the city for a day: this is to demonstrate how we have lost the meaning of holidays over time, which is so very, very sad L

Said the deacon, “Today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.”

Said the pastor, “Sheesh! Do you always sound so lame

o over the holidays?!” Smiles.

One of the girls let out an e n o r m o us exclamation.  “I love it! It’s huuge!”

She loved the present God gave to her J

* * *

I still like balloons. I wanted to be a balloon repair man,” said a certain dictator.  “I felt sad for all those burst balloons, so happy and red, now wet- dead*. I wanted to restore their former glory. I’m not even gonna talk about flown-away balloons.

* That’s an unintentional rhyme scheme.

“They make me sad. It’s like-a kinda death,” came on his accent s l o w l y, a real tear falling now as he watched his dream fly away, for the first Full-Passenger balloon since the Hindenburg had gone up. “I really do like — I only hope their passion for big, red shiny ones is as big as mine,” and sobbed, retiring into his well-moneyed room.

(It seemed a group of three children, later identified as two girls and a wart, had commandeered the mightiest vessel of space-flight since… this was the first since..)

Well, there were enough bombs in this ‘impenetrable’ balloon to sink the grand Potato that is Spud! All the terrors of the Middle-East were unleashed that night.

* * *

Looking down from here, I can see all the male-patterned baldness, said the wart.

They were way up there. In the place just below the clouds. Where everything doesn’t look like ants– just like really small houses and boats.

All they did to steal the balloon was simple: they got into the crowd touring around the military base, and when it was offered opportunity to hop into the balloon, they did. And the rest is history.

I suppose they did have to overpower the man manning the balloon, and they did have to slowly evade bullets? No. The balloon was quite quick. They would have been shot down had a certain dictator not said, “No! That’s the experimental balloon! That’s my favorite balloon! Don’t shoot!”

Now the idiots at the guns didn’t say, “Shoot?” and shoot at them, because they were smarter than that. And so, everything on Spud being either autogyro, balloon, or helicopter, and no jets- it was hard to catch up to them, as this particular balloon was so fast in the air. And quick rising.

“From up here, I can see all the male-patterned baldness,” said the wart.

“Yeah, I know that,” said the youngest.

The eldest said, “How far ‘til the border?”

They checked their map, it was right below the instruction manual they were just barely old enough to read. “3 inches,” said the youngest.

The eldest bopped the youngest on the head, and said, “Ignoramus! Every inch is 100 miles. We’ve got 300 miles to go before we hit South Kersepolis border.”

The youngest started to cry. “You didn’t have to — to be so mean!”

The eldest’s frustration, brought on by lack of sleep, fear of the battleship following quickly on their wake, and hunger, dissolved into pity. She patted her forehead. “For mother, I’ll try to remember not to hit you again. For father, I’ll remember to spit in your eye if you don’t remember that I’m in command after our parent’s are gone. Remember that?”

The youngest only sobbed. It had begun to rain.

There was a fire on a nearby country mountaintop.

* * *

The Roaring Lambs were there doing a Giftmas album. “This should be our last one- we’ve covered all the standards. You won’t even recognize them.”

The

[head] lead singer wore her winter suit, made of wool* * she’s a lamb, you know.

The two girls and a wart in their blimp ran aground in a cold, icy place and needed to find some food or starve, or at least until they could find a way to re-float their blimp. They had just lost the battleship and its hundred autogyros behind a cloud. They went turkey-hunting there in winter.

“Oh, hi Roaring Lambs. Recording on a hilltop?” they said, and flew off again.

After picking up a mountain turkey, they left the Lambs to their music.

They sang about toys and ice cream, the Lambs. Well, you can’t just sing about videogames and clothes!– but that’s what they’re getting. “Let’s sing about videogames and clothes this time,” said the Lambs.

And so. They did.

It brings point to mention: the Politard, a very high political entity, was near. To put the greatest band in all the land’s contract into signature.

Whenever the Politard was near, some butler was shoving tea in her goddamn face. Or pushing cigarettes. A rock -n- roll star must play the politician. “Thank you. You’re fantastic creatures. Thank you,” our lead singer told the mountainside audience, then exited backrock to meet The Man: Politard. Sharpening her pen. Selling away a soul.

She knew a certain dictator by close association, the Politard. Well she should. He* was her father.

* a certain dictator

The Lambs, and their iconic leader, Heartscream, were recording high on that hilltop for that mountain sound, anyways.

As a more bizarre case of mutant animorph, it gave him real trouble holding that microphone, being a slippery squid with no suction cups*.

*  and there came his on-screen angst.

But this is probably boring you. Let’s speed ahead. Back to the story. I was just trying to merchandise.

* * *

June* was launched.

* the name of the balloon

Not afraid to fly, but to crash.

Trying to hit the ground, and missing unsuccessfully-  that’s flying! Or not.

And the eldest, the youngest, and the wart were only 100 miles away from South Kersepolian borders.

But it was raining. And it was thundering. And this made it difficult to see.

Some gravity leeches only came out when it rained, and were in the rain. Some rain came from up the earth, in geysers of cloud sublime, and there were leeches too; some rain comes from the heavens, and there were more there; but they only come out when it rains, the red rain- ‘swimming in the rain’, up and down. Does this grip you? I see.

There were a lot of weird, flying creatures.

There be flying manatees and floating jellyfish, man-of-war, and sky whales. The theme is they’re all aquatic flyers, and very few birds, flying dinosaurs, and that’s because there’s actually a very real sea above the clouds in this land where all life aquatic swoop down to clean their viperous throats and blow their holes, for air or for hunting, did you get all that? of people meat mostly. After all, it’s only fun. And extremely dangerous.

Treacherous, miserable creatures.

This is when the children were flying in the Great Balloon- dyed red like the rain.

“Ka-chew!” It was cold.

* * *

As you may suspect, are these children blood related? Well, the youngest and the eldest are. But the wart was a stowaway.

What age are you? asked the wart to the eldest girl.

“10 Winters, 10 Summers,” was her poetic response.

“This many,” counted the wart. Showed his hand. The wart was the youngest of them, despite the fact that the ‘youngest’ was called the youngest.

He wasn’t really a wart.

* * *

Giftmas Shopping: W

hen I made the purchase on my credit card, I realized I’d wasted something. I realized I’d only get so much money in my life–and that was it. Let me tell you a little secret: I have a problem.

* * *

There was an ocean above the clouds, the wart explained.

“No, there’s not!”

“Yes, there is. Where else do you think the water comes from?”

Not at that moment, but at some time later, maybe a minute, as if to punctuate this like a poorly-timed joke, a dolphin leapt out of the cloud, upside downwards, and picked a bird out of the sky. By the ulterior ocean’s gravity, [it] fell back in.

The wart took out his slingshot and shot the next dolphin that came out of the sky.

“Hey, don’t do that!” said the eldest.

“Why the heck not?”

“Because — because it’s not dignified! Those are noble creatures.”

“I used to shoot them all the time back home.”

The youngest tittered.

“What are you laughing about?” said the eldest.

* * *

A certain dictator, meanwhile, was giving them chase from a few hundred feet away.

“Captain! We’re within firing range. Should we fire?”

“No!” said a certain dictator. “That’s my balloon. You could damage it. We’re to catch up with them, and take back the balloon. Nothing more.”

* * *

The crust of winter, this was soon becoming a condensation on the elasticity of the blimp- “but we shan’t ever lose them.”

“Shan’t? What’s all this ‘shanting’?” said the youngest.

Said the eldest, “It’s the great English tradition in literature, y’know. I thought we could be like the Pevenses, you know, Chronicles of Narnia, the Wardrobe.”

“But we’re most certainly Neo-Mexican*. Why so articulate?” We should be discussing spiced foods, mariachis; bull fights, the flamenco guitar.

* I said this was Spud, but what you must realize is Spud is really a mirror-guess of future-Earth. No, it really is. Don’t laugh! Don’t.

“That last half’s Spain!”

“Oh, I don’t know! How’re we going to talk for the rest of this book? The first translation is English.”

“Well, you won’t see me shanting,” said the wart.

The other two girls** disagreed. They liked to say ‘shan’t’- it made them feel wonderful. ):

** (The wart was a boy, the other two were girls.)

Not at that moment, but a bit later, a flying red hairdo fell out of the clouds, bounced on their balloon, and slipped on down, fell in the basket, and said, “Hi. We don’t get much traffic up here.”

..There was a nickname for the flying red-haired girl they met on their journey. The girl who was born in mid-air and had never come down because she’s scared of the ground and had heard great rumor of the terrible things that goes on down there: The Flying Tomato. That’s her nickname. “I’m not going down there, the birds tell me there are terrible things that go on down there!” she said miles into their knowing her.

“How have you stayed up here for so long?”

“Mostly, I swim.”

“You swim?”

Said the red-haired Flying Tomato, “Yes, don’t you know there are lakes above these clouds, great lakes? and I ride the sky dolphins all through it*. I’ve learned to hold my breath.”

* .. and rode the wind, and the sky porpoises, and swam above the clouds so full like berries ‘bout to burst. The Flying Tomato!

“Where are your parents?”

“Parents?”

“We had parents,” explained the girls.

“Don’t think I’m going to say something stupid like, ‘the sky is my parent, the moon, the stars’- no, my parents come up to visit me from the earth in their autogyros and bring news. They tell me bad things about it, but mostly they tell me of Peter.”

“Then why don’t you come down with them?”

“Peter?”

Said the Flying Tomato, “To protect me. . Pan! Peter Pan! The flying boy! O, I’d love to meet him.”

“I read his story. He sounded cute,” said the eldest girl, who above them all, understood love.

Flying for the first time, her heart went a flutter with a sudden thrill- but it wasn’t love. It was greater than love. It was adventure!*

* that 18th century romance. 

Held birds flutter more gracefully when freed.

Many people hated me for talking so ill of love, so they put this book down.

* * *

Very much below them, there were the sidewalk Santas giving ohms for the poor.

This is really a very good thing. Don’t think I’m so cynical that I don’t recognize the good parts of the Season.

* * *

A certain dictator was gaining on them in aerospace. He said, “They won’t get far on hot air and fantasy.”

The enemy aircraft had taken a pit stop to fill up on gas, as they had left to chase the balloon with very little in their tank. They didn’t think they’d get this far.

The enemy aircraft took off again, not afraid to fly but to crash. .  “This baby’s got a 2000 horse power engine,” and went Heeyah and whipped 2,000 horses in front of the flightless passenger plane, dragging it into flight, “Why’d we make it a lead Zeppelin anyway?”

They decided to name it Microsoft Works but that seemed to fail also. It’s an old computer joke, I know.

* * *

The reason a certain dictator was gaining, as the balloon was certainly faster than a certain dictator’s cumbersome battleship, was the balloon had broken down mid-air.

Said the Flying Tomato to their balloon; she kicked it and said, “I said, Work. That’s an order!”

“That doesn’t work with machines,” said the eldest.

“It gets my dolphins to work..”

Suddenly, the balloon worked again.

“Tolja,” was all the Flying Tomato would say.

“Ah! You didn’t tell us nothing,” said the youngest.

A certain dictator was within shouting range, he said, “Hey, I’m still coming to get ya!”

The wart shot him with his slingshot.

The others were puffing fake cigarettes. You know when it’s just cold enough that every breath of yours is able to be seen? Well.

The children loved to pretend they were aged, hacking, coughing smokers-   they were very stressed, you see, and this has become accustomed of the stressees: the Cool population.

The children hit the gas, and they were then hundreds of more feet in front of him.

Snow worms- fantastic creatures!- luckily, these ten hundred tons snow worms– aw, you don’t wanna hear about that.

How they flew in from a crack in the ground below and snatched up the sky sharks in mid-flight.

Or how they couldn’t even fly, was the mezmeration of it all; that they had simply bounded. *Leapt*. Bounced and landed.

They came from deep within the Spud’s crust, if you’re wanting to know, living off potato and secreting fried chips, freshly baked in the innards of a worm in a million, tiny organ-like shapes.

There were holes all over the Spudlind.

The dictator’s crew got excited thereupon seeing them- they never seen them before! They shot at the worms, and missed, and hit the balloon on the basket, and the wart got down and said, “I’m dying.”

“No, you’re not. They just shot you in the leg.”

“Well, my leg is dying.”

* * *

They lost a certain dictator behind a cloud, and made it to the crescent moon. Touched down, as their basket was ruined.

The moon set sail upon the gale.

The Flying Tomato said, “While we’re here we might as well pick up some spare ribs,” and got off the balloon. Began picking apart pieces of the crescent moon, yellow pieces of hot, cooked, fresh- it was a wonder they were fresh- spare ribs. Then hauled them into the balloon.

“Funny. I thought the moon was made of cheese,” said the eldest.

“That’s just silly,” said the Flying Tomato. “Anyways, people up here take their fill of as much spare ribs as they can carry, and then carry on.”

“Wouldn’t the moon be used up by now?”

“Every month in fact. That’s why there’s a new moon every month. It comes out of–”

“Stop right there. I feel this is getting sillier than can be believed.”

“We might as well make good use of this moon,” said the Flying Tomato, and opened up a hatch in it.

Riding the moon as if it were a Planet with thrusters. A spaceship, maybe?

“I’ll fly behind you, and give the battleship a scare.”

Chickens fluttered for scared. The Moon brought wolves.

“Whoa! Like, this is a spaceship?” said the youngest.

The wart said, “Humph.” He thought his slingshot was enough to ward off the battleship.

The Flying Tomato said, “No. It’s a tour bus. It’s my job to pick up travelers and guide them around. But I see you three are in trouble. I’ll stick with you, and give the battleship a scare. They won’t be expecting something this huge to–” the moon suddenly ran out of gas. “Would you look at that?” and cautiously observed the engine.

The battleship had just come out of the clouds, and observed the crescent moon with a chew mark from the baby teeth of the wart.

“Luckily, I carry spare gas in my hairdo,” and brought out a canister of it, filled the tank, and set the crescent moon on a crash-course collision with the battleship, got back into the balloon, with plenty of spare ribs to fill them for the whole journey to South Kersepolian borders.

* * *

It’s cold out there. Feel the winter in your hand. Peer just a quarter inch over the balloon. See all that nothing down there? .. You can barely see the ground!

* * *

So, there was a flying superhero known as ‘The Fly, Convenient Huh?’ that’s his real name, you know; and he went flying around and met the children high in the air and said, “What are you doing up here?- it’s cold. You could get wet.”

“Ah, but first, it must rain,” said the Eldest.

Said the Superhero, “I don’t like to fly in the rain,” and flew around them some more. Buzz, Buzz. He was really quite attractive, however his name implied. “It says in the superhero creed I’m supposed to rescue falling children,” looking into it, “but you don’t seem to be in any imminent danger.”

“We like to think of it as falling with style,” said the eldest. “Ah! Toy Story! I see,” and buzzed around them some more. Loop-de-loop. Corkscrew. He was really quite proficient. *Buzz, Buzz*.

“Hey, do you know Peter?” said the Flying Tomato.

“..and the Wolf? Yes, David Bowie did a narration of that. Quite a voice.”

“Pan! Peter Pan! I’m to marry him some day, my parents say.”

“I know of Gallenthmir, his descendant. Have you ever met?”

Gal-in-th-meer.”

Said the Fly, “She flies on the wind, they say.”

Said the Tomato, “Well, I can do that.”

“Don’t think you’re so special. Gallenthmir is the stuff of legend- they say she came from a human and a fairy, and Peter Pan part bird..  I really don’t like to fly in the rain.” It had begun to drizzle. “Looks like the sky has sprung a leak.” Looked up.

“That’s impossible,” said the eldest. “Clouds just spit water, they’re all water.”

“No, it’s the lakes up above, I’ve seen them,” said the Fly. Questioning the sky. “This conversation has gone as far as it can go. You kids be good,” and soared off with this warning: “So: Fall with style! Watch for the elephant with the hat!” *Blink*, and was gone.

They didn’t know this would mean Gallenthmir.

* * *

Turbulence.”

“A cloud must have sneezed.”

“I don’t think they do that.”

Points to a cloud and waves a fan at it. Inside was a sleeping giant upon whose moving wings was a cloud-machine. “Giant. He’s making weather.”

“Funny, I thought oceans did that.”

“No, I think this is funnier.”

Don’t get smart.”

“I’ve always been above average.”

“Hey, would you look at that? The weather-maker is waking up. We better go.”

“We better be the wind.”

And they took off, faster than the giant could suck them back in.

* * *

The Flying Tomato stole lightning from the clouds that day so there was no more lightning, but there was still thunder. The thunder is the lightning crying out from where they are muffled, in fact, and held captive deep inside the Lightning Thief’s knapsack; just stolen away..

Submitted for your approval..* Codependent relationships.

*The sky’s negative, and the ground’s positive, so the lightning connects. Opposites kiss.

It’s like, “Okay,”

-and sometimes they fight, but mostly they just hold hands. -Every thunderstorm, you can even see their hands connect. The sky’s very co-dependant, it’s always looking down. Does this bore you? Sometimes they don’t talk for weeks. It’s a love story 😉

* * *

So how do we ditch the dictator?” said the Flying Tomato, while the eldest softly explained, and the wart tried his luck with the slingshot, and the youngest looked back in time to when nothing bad had happened.

“Wait! I know!” said the Flying Tomato. “We could go back in time!”

“In time?” said the eldest.

“Yes. In time,” said the Tomato. “Follow me. There should be a time warp stuck on an island on the back of a giant fish called Morlaq flying above the clouds.” She took control of the balloon, despite how much the eldest protested it, and went above the clouds, through the water, and sure enough, not a mile in front of them, there was the great flying fish and the island atop it. “I had planned our meeting all along. Secretly, of course,” said the Tomato. “You don’t really expect us to be that lucky to be as so close to the god fish.”

“The god fish?” said the eldest.

“That’s what they call her. There’s a dimensional warp on her back, but we gotta come in unnoticed, or she’ll scream at us, and sick her Mor-spawn at us.”

The balloon, freshly wet, dried off in the midday sun, and then, alight on a breeze, went suddenly bank right, behind the Morlaq’s gaze, and, to quicken this landing up, the Flying Tomato hit the gas and landed on the tree-littered tropical island on the back of the god fish.

She directed the other three out, and said, “Careful now. She has ears on the side of her head. Besides that fact, where else would they be?” and disappeared into the brush, came back, said, “I found it.”

* * *

It was a portal the color of mud- that is to say, every color was well-represented on its first formation, only they had mixed now, and formed a lasting brown hue that was detestable at most, and loathsome at least.

It was in the nostrils of the great god fish that this portal was first found.

“And we have to go through that?” said the youngest. “Well, honey,” said the Flying Tomato. “It’s the only way.”

In faith, they stepped inside, and by faith, they stepped through the portal, through a film of muddy boogers, and ended up in an elevator with banana yellow wallpaper and a little dial that read, “Present. Future. A certain dictator’s past–that is where you’re wanting to go, isn’t it?” said the elevator.

“Um,” said the eldest.

The youngest only shrugged. “If it’s where we want to go, then let’s go there, and get it over with.”

“Right,” said the elevator, and jettisoned them back to the past.

This all happened very quickly.

The children traveled back in time to meet him, figured out the villain that killed their parents was once a pure innocent kid once, with a bike, pets, and a big, red rubber ball, and he even had his own Giftmas, but his rich parents couldn’t afford the island he wanted for Giftmas, and it was all very sad.

They traveled back to his time and were about to defeat him, when one of the children, the Eldest, said, “Wait, we can’t kill him now! He was a kid once!”

“-And I had pets!”

“Yes, an old man is nothing, for it is not cute, but a child . . Ah!”

“I Had Pets,” is his last words before dying. .

..They freakin killed him.

* * *

A child willingly commits suicide- Depressed, and he knows what he’s doing. 8 years old, his country bombed, and he’s seen it all. He’s adult enough to crap his pants about it. Don’t patronize him.

This never happened.

It had happened, under a certain dictator’s rule, but now that a certain dictator also never existed, the country was no longer bombed, and the child had no longer seen it all.

Which gives us pause to think?

If you could travel back in time and find Hitler as a child, would you kill him? Or would you let him live and let die?

* * *

A sidekick with wings on her feet came near; “Wingfoot”, they called her. “Have you seen the Fly?” she said.

“He was just here a few moments ago.”

“I am so over him! He said we’d be man and sidekick, faithful to the end, but when I say to meet me at the strange cloud zooming left, does he listen? He’s not here!” She fluttered off, peeved.

She saw a strange cloud.

The strange cloud happened to be a BattleStation, hiding. “That’s cloud cover!” said the Tomato. “They’re right behind us!” “But that’s a flying pig.”

On sight of flying pigs: “This is silly. Pigs don’t fly. They’re renowned for not doing that,” said the eldest. And so, their skyship was shaped like a piggy- to confuse them.

“Let’s sink that Piggy!” and so, went on a quest to destroy the battleship that had been chasing them all along, cannoning them out of the clouds.

“But wait! We killed the dictator! This balloon of ours shouldn’t exist, the battleship shouldn’t be after us.”

What the children didn’t know is that the balloon was a prototype made not by a certain dictator, but by a certain scientist, and while the world was indeed a better place now that their ‘Hitler’ was gone, and their parents then materialized back out of death, their country had seen the rise of a new dictator.

And the god fish had flown off into outerspace, to a place they could not reach her.

Meanwhile, Villainous Dictator took a butterfly and bit off its wings. “That means you too soon, sillies.” Scary!

* * *

The children were being shot at by their pursuers. And by the border patrol.

An entire army firing after just one balloon. The bullets then hit the balloon, but it didn’t pop. “We’re hit!”

Said the Wart, “After all those bullets–really?”

* * *

But they were so close to the border! It was only a couple thousand feet, and they’d be safe.

The treaty between the two nations was that no army vehicle could pass borders.

As could be expected, something unexpected happened.

The Sky Bus came in at the intersection of Stratus and Cumulus and waited for all the seagulls to hover in and perch on the birdcage in place of the usual bus seats. The driver asked the children’s balloon if they’d like to stop,

-since they had arrived at the bus stop for birds and other flying mammals, and the children’s said, “What’s the fare?”

“Free,” said the busman. “And a 5 dollar deposit for–   animorphs.”

The children checked themselves. They certainly were animorphs, part ‘human,’ part some mammal. “But we’re flying, aren’t we?”

“You weigh too much,” they said, and floated away. .

I may have not mentioned it, but the friction from their battle had blown up the Battle Station, and crushed the border patrol’s militia. Their balloon had shot back, I only didn’t mention it because I just didn’t care to .. you know .. mention it.

After they had unknowingly blown up the Battle Station, the border patrol was still chasing them, but this time, with a little fear-  the kind that comes with respect. Look! There she was!

Upon sighting Gallenthmir, a fat blob in the distance apparently, floating like she didn’t have a care where her legs went . . Wart said something agreeable that equally amused them.

“The brain flutters,” said the eldest girl. The youngest laughed. “Yes, she is rather rotund.”

The two girls laughed at their newfound English accents.

Flying turtles went by, and a feather from their wings dropped on the Tomato’s rather speckled nose, a turtle feather.. (A turtle feather is like pixie dust to a zeppelin. It can make even lead shoes fly.*…

*(So the legend goes the first flying whale became that way when it swallowed a turtle, but where’d the other flying creatures come from, I wonder? Maybe the legend was wrong. Maybe, like evolution says, an elephant just looked up at the sky and decided to fly.).

Then they figured out that Peter Pan had grown up, decided to mate a wife, and died. Gallenthmir was his descendant.

She was the elephant with the hat the Fly had warned them about–

— swimming frog-wise.

You won’t like this next part.

“Is that Pan’s last leg on this world-  really?” said the Flying Tomato, and broke a tear. A sad smell is connected to a bad memory-  it smelled great. It was pine, in a matter of speaking- the universally acknowledge scent**. “Where are you, Peter? Are you really that old?..” “I don’t like to fly in the rain,” “I don’t like to fly in the rain,” “

I can’t stand flying in the rain!” “I’ve got to get down,” “I’ve got to get down,” “How do I get down without killing myself?” The Flying Tomato said all that. But the porpoises don’t ride that low..

** There were bad omens burning up in those trees.

“We’ll take you down,” said the eldest.

“Will there be boys there?”

“-Some.”

* * *

Little Cloud: a Short Story

People cheer on a little cloud, the only cloud in the sky, small and stratus.

They cheer it to get in front of the sun and block it for them because they were hot outside and they’ve been working out in the sun all day..

This cloud had red hair.

* * *

Now the balloon was crash-landing, just a thousand feet from the border. Sprinting down from the sky, falling faster than gravity could pull him.

. .Freefalling–it’s the sensation of flying that kills me. I mean- in a figurative way- makes me feel good!

While falling . . A tree grazed their feet. “We’re getting lower,” said the eldest. “Go on, Tomato. Jump!”

“But there are no porpoises to catch me.”

“The trees’ll catch you. I only see ocean after this, and we’re going at such a speed-”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have come with you.”

“Nonsense!” said the eldest. “It has been an honor soaring with you.”

The wart and the youngest saluted. “The highest… Maybe we’ll all jump!”

“Feel! The angels are peeing again. When will they stop peeing?”

* * *

The explosion brought on from the battleship was poised, like a crucified figure against the sky.

“Jesus Christ!” those living on the border towns below said.

“Jesus Christ” was an ancient guru sage, and some say resurrected savior of the world. A benevolent, wandering hobo..

Jesus Christ was also a very popular swear word. And some say, the meaning of Giftmas. But no one who said ‘Jesus Christ!’ when swearing thought of Jesus Christ the person while they were doing it. They only thought of the shit they got on their fingers in the bathroom or how they stubbed their toes on a rock or how they banged their heads or how their wife or husband had cheated on them. It used to be a prayer.

But in other news.

“Oh god! Oh god!” now just means good sex.

Just so you’ll — understand the context there.

The children landed on the rock below. Right next to the sand and the foam of the sea- The Single Sea. There was only one continent on Spud. It brought us all together. And with broken bones, tumbled up, limped or crawled to the edge of the border.

I may have not mentioned it, but there were those of them on the battleship who had survived. They had also crash-landed, and broken some bones, and were limping after the children.

It was a limp race.

Onward, the children crawled, and onward, their pursuers pursued them.

As to be expected, something unexpected happened.

Theirs wasn’t the only vessels which had crash-landed. As I have said before, Spud was riddled with ghosts.

Here, the dead rose back from the grave: “The Flaming Hindenburg”, and followed the limping children and their pursuers to the new land.

It was a ghost vessel come back from the rubble of its fiery grave.

They weren’t zombies. They were beautifully alive- and that was what freaked people more. “But you shouldn’t be here!”  said the border patrol.

“Lady, I’ve been wanting to land on the other side of this ticket for a long time, and now my tour is complete.”

* * *

But that wasn’t very important.

What is important, is the children had crossed borders.

And their pursuers– had stopped.

My heavens!  

And now the border patrol, after finding there was a military on the South Kersepolonian doorstep, put up a firewall grid around the entire country, closed it up from every commuter- no one’s getting in- not even the people who’d just gone vacation!

A cloud canopy was put over a city to protect it from foreign invaders*.

*Anything trying to come in will be slapped by lightning or torn apart by gales.

* * *

title went flying,

Under My Feetthe earth just fell away

Said the Daddy Bird to the baby bird about to fly, pushed off a cliff, “Today, you are a man.”

All the little squirrels were chirping and gathering their nuts for the season, many of these squirrels come to welcome their children home from long passages.

* * *

Now, farther down from them, a girl took a red balloon she bought at the park and went flying. . not running-flying, but actual high-in-the-air, you already guessed it! Flying!

Somewhere, below all that noise, Wife’s kids were opening presents.

Said Wife’s kids, “A chicken! Just what I wanted~!” She did too. She asked for chicken this Giftmas and got the whole KFC bucket.

The other kids just asked for brown paper packages tied up with string, like they saw on the TV. They were too young to know that anything was inside of it.

They were poor this year..

The End.

What else do you want me to say? Get out of here!

13th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 13th Story or not yet. This one’s about Murder By Numbers. 1, 2, 10. It’s as easy to learn as your ABC’s.

“Are Not Shoes Fake Feet?,” based on that old joke, “Why is 6 afraid of 7?” starring not a person, but a number 6, who is afraid of 7, suspecting him of murder of the rich number 9 by means of using 8 as a tool, framing it like 8 did it. “Because 7 8 9.” You already know the ending. Don’t you?

I want the unexplainable in my life…. no, really I don’t, I’d like to know everything! I just said that coz it sounds, well- profound.

I feel like a great weight has passed through me.

Oh, that bowel movement felt good!

* * *

Anyways. You could hear people sinning in the background, anyways…

To the detective, “What do you have to be so sad about?” “Look at the world.”

He looked out at the nice, suburban paradise.

“Not that world, this world.” He directed him to the sludge of the slums.

“Oh-”

That world.”

In a desperate point of history, this is no time to be alive!

Save me, hide me, help me!

The commissioner walker in, said, “Aw, we were having a good day.”

I think people buy beers because they want to buy friends. Can I buy you a drink?

* * *

Just outside, in the dirty city, gangsters shot at a tender young maiden with their tommy guns, then they missed and said, “We missed?” -&- “Man, dude. We suck!”

Crime just breeds in the air. But out of what, and who gives us these ideas? lamented the detective, and called the police department, but they were too scared to hit the streets.

Listen. I’m here to tell you a story where all the characters are numbers.

A detective (6) had to figure out a murder mystery. It’s an action-packed thriller, and in the end he figures out that 7 8 9! Everyone is disgusted. 7 is found out to be a cannibal! No one expected that because 7 looked like he was a lucky man, and had everything going for him. He said, “You can count on me.”

“Aw, shut up. That was a terrible joke! that wasn’t even funny at all!”

“…Uh…I thought it was, erm, ah, cute, you know.”

“Quit while you’re ahead, 7. Just quit.”

Look, I could keep going, but I gotta pee, is a good excuse I think, so- we’ll just stop there. ..

Okay, I just got back now and figured out it was malignant. I’m gonna die soon, apparently. Don’t laugh.

Have you discovered your Malefactor? said the commissioner to the detective.

This was bleeped out for our children-audience. We’re trying to build up a children audience. Is it working?

The detective swore.

* * *

Pursuit of Knowledge, or Truth, is an Easter egg hunt. Our foremothers put the eggs there before us, prepared before we knew it, and we’re sent out into the fields, scurrying out, rejoicing in our genius that we discovered an egg. But you didn’t ‘discover’ the atom. People who think they’ve discovered something, they act like they made it. But it was always there. Your Parents knew this.

Not really. You discovered it. It’s not like an Easter Egg hunt at all! Our parents knew nothing. We know more than they do now. This is all very misleading! Now, I’m very mad. 😦

* * *

The detective had just walked out of the downtown city bar, and decided to walk out into the dirty city.

Some numbers are funny. Some aren’t. Prime numbers and odd numbers are funny! Even numbers aren’t. Anything for laughs. Are you listening to this?

The detective was the number 6.

In what would be his hands, he put them in what would be his pockets, and with what would be a laugh, laughed, sighed, died a little, walkin’ in the rain, softly, in the rain, sadly, humming a tune of the words he’d forgotten.

He could only now think of his daughter. The one he’d failed. She’d been dead, must have been, going on 5 years now. That’s not funny, however that is a prime number.

It was the same type of case- a woman violently beaten, raped, and eaten, and he was disgusted by it.

He’d remember just the day before how it was Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work Day, and as he’d all run out of daughters, he took his wife, and his wife saw a skeleton from a murder case laid across the table. “That’s immodest. She should cover up. She’s overexposed,” she said, and how it made him laugh.

* * *

Rape is a very serious, solemn, sober unfunny thing.

* * *

horrible flirt

When a guy slaps a girl on the butt, she feels violated. When a girl slaps a guy on the butt, he feels flattered, even admired. However unashamed.

This is because the girl who slapped the guy on the butt usually won’t come out and stalk him down, and kill him afterwards.

These two differences bear reflecting…

* * *

The detective was through with walking in the rain, with time to think, and decided to hang out on his balcony, sharing stories with his colleague it took two cigars to tell.

“This is no time to be alive,” his colleague told him. “Have you found your malefactor?”

“I’ve run down a list of suspects, and I’m thinking it could be– but this is silly.”

“Who? It could be who?”

“It could be 7. Who ate 9.”

“7 . . . Ate 9?? That’s impossible!”

“I thought so too. He was such a lucky guy, and had everything going for him, and as much as I wanted this detective case to be long, drawn out, and mysterious, I really think so. I think 7 ate 9.”

“They were married, you know.”

Said the detective, 6, “Hasn’t there ever been a time you wanted to kill 11?”

“11 what? People?”

“No. Your wife.”

“All the time. But I never tell detectives.” He finished smoking, threw it in the ash tray, got up on his numbered heels, and said, “I need a cognac.”

“Did you notice that’s the only thing we ever do is smoke and drink?”

“I thought you liked that.”

“I do!”

* * *

Generally, people do what they think is cool, and right, and easy. To do the opposite would make one a horrible person, or a rebel in a good way. I usually do the opposite myself. It makes me feel distinguished.

Nnn. But it’s sad that you have to become an alcoholic to be liked in school. More than moderately liked, which is ‘popular’.

We all want that.

I want that.

So here, I have watered the cactuses. The cactuses are going to get so drunk right now!

* * *

Anyways, number 6* and his colleague got hammered, and 6 was back on the case. It was a very simple case now that he’d solved it. All he had to do now was — walk over to number 7’s house and knock on the door, search warrant in hand.

* the detective, remember? Have you forgotten already?

He walked once around the block first in contemplation of what he was going to tell the misses back home. 7, after all, knew the family. 9 was a big help in the kitchen in the holiday.

Somewhere, in the past, a dress walked up the boulevard with nobody inside of it, just a hollow inside. Had gloves, high heels, fur coat, hat.

It walked up to a number 9, it being very mysterious as with any book such things can be hidden and left to the imagination, and it said,

“Madam, I don’t think you know me, but I do know you, and it’s all very frightening. Can I have you?”

* * *

It was a hostage situation. “Oh, god, please help me!” She was praying to Jesus. High atop a very high building. In chains.

The rain made it seem like the whole world was crying..

The girl in question, a number 9, was a celebrity, and had just been picked up by a swaddled stranger who wasn’t a stranger, and only then when she cried, “Gasp!” did she see just how familiar he was.

They were speaking to where a litter of numbers stood below, three little sixes sitting side by side as a joke, and the negotiator negotiating poorly over the phone, and 9 said, “I’ve got money! If you get me out of this..”

The familiar strange swiped the phone, and said, “I don’t want anything, so the negotiations are at fault. I only want to suck the love out of my victim here, murder her, and then I think I’d like to go out for ice cream–”

“Why?”

“Well, I’ve always enjoyed killing. As of late, I haven’t had as much time with the wife and kids to make time for it, so I’m killing the wife.”

This is why the detective thought it was the husband who did it. He was only partly right. They were never married. They were engaged during the time she was married to her true husband, as she lived with him- a second family, really. They looked at him through their binoculars, anyways. Behind all that mask, he looked like– they couldn’t see him. Was he invisible? No. What number was he? 1.

Said the protagonist below, not a protagonist in this story, in any way, but a protagonist in most stories he was involved in, “I don’t trust him…”

“Funny,” said she to the main character. “He said the same thing about you.” They said this very far, far away.

But high, atop the building, the killer was about to do weird things to the hostage.

* * *

Here’s some advice to all you killers out there! Said the killer anyways before he did this, “Never get to know the people before you kill ‘em. That’s the rule! But you knew that, and now you got attached, and now, don’t beat me up if I’m not crying my eyes out in front of you!” This made it so much easier to destroy her then, because he did know her-  and he knew her every weakness-  and he was without a heart..  for a very long time now.

* * *

Number 6 was poised, what would be a hand, if numbers had hands, over the door to the husband’s house, and decided on bringing his lunch over in case no one was at home: a plate of cold spaghetti. He may or may not have eaten it, while he may or may not have lit a cigarette. And lit another cigarette.

The husband opened the door, quite expectedly, and quite unexpectedly, said, “Put that cigarette out.”

“Oh. This?” said the detective. Swallowed it.

Come on, adults. Drama’s not real. No one ever jokes–or if they do, they’re never funny jokes! No one eats that many plates of cold spaghetti! Cancer’s not that frequent. And if we ‘and lit a cigarette’ just that many more times, we’d ne

ver have time to smoke them.

Let’s back up a bit. I title this, ‘A crush on my stalker.’

* * *

Those breakup scenes-  she always opens the door right when the cheater kisses another- Does she ever think to knock? how does she keep getting her timing so straight?

This took place while the stalker was still alive.

This is important! Bear with me a moment.

Said the man* to the woman** in the grocery store, “You must think I’m a slut.”

* future stalker ** future stalkee

“Why?”

“Because I just dropped my pants down in front of you when you weren’t looking.” Blushing.

“But, sir! Mustn’t you first be wearing them for it to be an inappropriate gesture?”

He wasn’t wearing pants. Well, he was, but not the ones he dropped. They were [both] just at the checkout line in a retail store and the new pants he was buying had dropped. He dropped them. He dropped his pants.

This started a laugh that started a liking that started a marriage that started an argument that started a break up that started a separation of Father from kids that started the stalking of all her problems- and she still, as of yet, loved him.

Please read on. I’ll give you a chewy, delicious, digital cookie 0:

* * *

Yes,” said the husband. “I’m the killer. I cheated on myself. See the killer was seen as number 1, but sometimes the number 7 gets confused with the number 1, so they have to put a little slash through it. I’ve never put that slash through me, so I had two relationships, two families, both with the same woman. Well, what if I put the little slash on me now? How ‘bout that.”

“Well, why’d you do that?”

“Well, I’ve always enjoyed killing.”

“No, why’d you do it?”

“I got jealous of myself. She was spending so much time with my alter ego, I started feeling like she didn’t like me for me.”

“You’re mad.”

“I keep telling everyone that, I am mad, but they won’t believe me. So- are you going to take me in- for manslaughter?”

Said 6, “Do you — do you want to be taken in?”

Said 7, “No,” and lunged at 6, tried to bite his jugular, but 6 dashed to the right and let out a raging left hook that hit 7 square on that little line thingy you put on a 7 to tell it apart from a 1.

As their father was knocked out, 6 noticed 7’s children were on the floor, laying pretty in a can of baked beans.

The stove was still on, and the refrigerator was open, and 6 said, “Hi,” and the children said, “Are you going to take him away? He just got here.”

“I suppose I am going to have to take him away,” said number 6, looking rather embarrassed.

“He’s never around. Always off with that– (he thinks we don’t know about it, but we do)– other family of it.”

Said the detective, “The worst father is never around.” That’s the worst type of parent.

The Killer had no father. He was just a fraction of two numbers that had split. Not whole at all. Neither divisible by 2 or 5. Not even the prime numbers would pay him heed when he was just a little kiddo. Play was tedious. And boring. He learned, instead, to dissect live — I guess there’d be no animals in this, so– what would he dissect?

* * *

Anyways, the number 6 put 7 in shackles, and carried him to his car, and escorted him to the police station when suddenly a giant hand reached in from the sky and picked up the police station and jostled it until everyone got dizzy, then a giant eye and face looked through the window, and a big, red mouth said, “ ‘ello, Governor.”

It was Commando Kiss, in fact. The p-rn star.

The whole thing was just Commando Kiss’ game, playing detective. She thought she’d try her luck in being the good guy for once, see where it’d take her.

..Kiss was just playing with her abacus, counting up death counts, those she had killed. Playing with numbers. Kiss felt real good about that for a while, then she hated herself*. Then she prayed.

* for being in the mafia

Then she begged the dear merciful heavens for forgiveness!

Someone answered her in the night. He said, “Dear child.”

That’s all he said. She cried a little, then felt better. Something touched her cheek. Her tears dried up.

Still, somewhere within her game, the detective and his colleague were talking life out in some sooty balcony somewhere.

“Well, if you wanna talk ‘life’, leave me out of it. I’d rather talk about a videogame.”

6 spat into the dirt and stepped in it, grinding it with his boot. He did this for pleasure. He did this for the heck of it. But mostly he did it because he liked feeling gritty, cheap, dirty–like he was part of some black-N-white film noir. It involved a lot of Proper nouns like Pledge Furniture Cleaner and Dr. Pibb.

“Here’s to a couple of confused grownups. Cheers!” “Cheers.”

“Clink.”

Just more opportunity to get drunk and evade reality, I guess*.

* But isn’t that what fantasy’s for?

17th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 17th Story or not yet.

TITLE ABOUT THE TRULY WISE, STARRING OLD MAN PAINTER: “You Are Wise, Mithrandir, But With All Your Subtleties You Have Not Wisdom.”

What color are your eyes?”

“Green.”

“What does green look like?”

“Like the trees.”

“I couldn’t imagine. All these colors out there, all these shapes and figures. I can’t wrap my mind around it,” this from the Dot in the Black -n White world. From a blind man, who couldn’t see.

A slight smile, hardly visible, on his lips.

* * *

Blind people understand what it means to trust. And why it’s good. They get it. Plus, they’re disabled. What else could they do?

Now, for a story:

* * *

Once upon a time, there was a cannibal, and his name was not Bill, and he absolutely adored flowers! But that’s not important right now. Nor ever.

“Let’s talk about something else.” Someone:

One day, Old Man Painter received a package with no return address. He suspected it was a bomb, so he swallowed it whole, and waited for it to explode. It did. He survived with mild internal bleeding. .

Three days after, he received another package with a return address, and it said, “Sorry. Have you finished that painting you’ve done of me?” I was a little mad for it being a bit late.

* * *

Most people will bet their lives on that which disturbs is art, but I will show you something better! I think you’ll enjoy it. You might even find it sinful*.  * because there is little in it.

But back to Old Man Painter.

Snow. ‘S kinda like a blank canvas. Old Man Painter was writing his name in it in a golden splash– the best he knew how. This was the pinnacle of his art.

Being so lonely in spirit, he talked to the wind in the park, coz the pigeons wouldn’t give him no mind. He talked to the wind their feathers make. Ere they depart him.

He thought about the old days, which, ironically, were when he was very young …

* * *

When he was very young, he lived in a quaint little house in the countryside. But there was a secret to that house that made it — special.

The secret of Young Man Painter’s house was that it was not a house. Before your mind gets damaged with thought, let me explain: This house was a plant.

. .It grew from a seed that came from another house that was not a house and had roots like a tree. It was a tree house, of course!- by careful observation, what else would it be?

The house continued to grow bigger and bigger. New rooms were added, new extensions without the aid of construction worker. Everything grew from the roots on down and everything above ground was what people might mistake for a house made of wood.

It took magic soil, and one hell of a climate, to cultivate it.

The Grand Duchess of Russia came by one day in a tour of the Spud-lind countryside, hearing, quite remarkably, that at this neck of the wood there still existed a thing called ‘magic’ . .  The Grand Duchess of Russia. Hm. Now there’s a character. This was the woman who asked Young Man Painter to immortalize her in canvas, and I’ll tell you why later.

I suppose now is later enough. She didn’t want to pay much money..

* * *

Young Man Painter was a discount house painter by then, but upon walking by his villa one day, she remarked remarkably, “I like your shutters. You’re hired,” and Voila, a young man who had made his living all the live-life long by the family trade had become an artist.

So he worked, and he painted. It was his first painting. He was very proud of it.

What it looked like from here. . A picture stepping toward you. It was quite a piece.

The Grand Duchess of Russia arrived just the very next day.

Said she who had posed for the picture, “Picture, I shred!” of the first painting Young Man Painter had made of her, and tore it apart, so he was demanded to make another one. “..More real this time,” she told him. “More me. I want to see all the microscopic organisms on my face.”

The next picture looked like it was stepping right towards you. In fact, it did- and stole Mr. Painter into the Painting world, but that’s for later. Let’s watch how it happened.

* * *

After so much work… and no progress, the Grand Duchess of Russia was to come at eight o’clock in the p.m., and Young Man Painter only had four hours to complete the painting.

He found the shreds of the old picture, and pieced them together, and this time, copied the old into a new, adding touches here and there, a few microscopic tidbits there, and she came and, upon observing it, said, “Hmm. Not bad.” It looked exactly the same as the day before.

At about that time, no a bit later, the painting had become so real that it grabbed the Grand Duchess of Russia and stole her into its world, and Mr. Painter only screamed and said, “How am I going to get paid now?”

* * *

After finally finishing the masterpiece for the Russian Madame that demanded him of it, “It’s so good, I’m afraid of it,” said Young Man Painter of the masterpiece.

This was before the Grand Duchess of Russia had arrived.

It was pretty good for a housepainter, yes it was, and it was staring at him. He stood behind it and it turned around, staring at him.

Not a half hour later, it had sucked him into the painting!

Once arriving in a new land, in the land of grey and pink… It was an immense cartoon nightmare. There was Krozbots and Yanos. Kreegers and Zespars. A land of crazy stairs going up, down, and confused if they went all around, and melting clocks on the beach.

And he met a troll.

“Funny. You don’t speak like a troll. More like Mickey Mouse.”

“Stereotypes. I’ll have you know I’m a high tenor! I can sing Steve Perry.”

“Really–let me hear Don’t Stop Believin.”

“He’s had better vocals. Now listen– Regardless of my Mickey Mouse voice, I’m a bridge-troll and I’m larger than you. I’m big, you’re little. I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m old, you’re–”

I’m 92 years old.”

“And I’m four times that, so lissenhere, youngun.”

Young Man Painter was kidding about the 92 years old thing.

“I’m going to eat you,” said the troll.

Young Man Painter laughed, and nearly said, “Wait, I painted this painting. I don’t have to take this from my own painting,” until he realized just how real the painting was.

It was frightening how painful the troll’s bite in his painter’s arm had become.

He backed off, and armed only with a brush and those little weird-shaped things that hold all the colors, brushed at him, and painted away half his leg, and the troll fell down in rage, and said, “Right. I’ll get you for that.”

Young Man Painter remarked remarkably at his own genius, and then jumped on the troll and painted him into a corner, painted him smaller, pinker, and cuter.

Just a little mouse, and he stomped on him, and carried on.

He reminded himself, “I’ve got to get to that Duchess or I’ll never be paid!”

* * *

It is a known fact in Spud that a paint brush is magic in the right hands*, of the particularly artistic hand.

* On the outside, it was an ordinary brush. On the inside, it could do wonders…

Young Man Painter’s paint brush was, in fact, magic.

It could do anything in this world, anything close to his artistic ability, which is very little. He doesn’t have a very big imagination.

* * *

Young Man Painter passed over the hill, and under the hill, through strawberry mountains, and gum drop — uh. Things.

But suddenly, everything had gotten a good deal wetter. He had come to an ocean.

In a painted 2D universe, with paper moons and air so thick with paint fumes it is difficult to breathe without coughing, gulls held up by strings, and a sea of unmixed paint.

His dog* ate the paint set, and crapped a rainbow.

* I may have not told you, but Young Man Painter had a dog.

An entire sea made out of paint, but the colors won’t mix. Sea of paint that two lovers look over, ere they kiss! There were yellows, greens. Blues, reds, and ones you can’t imagine. There were no browns.

All the unfinished paintings of the world were held inside here, doorways to new worlds. And on the sides of the sea of unmixed paint, paintings were hung in aerospace like clouds, for there were no clouds, just entry points to new worlds. And fish hopping up out of paint water with a hand up their ass, puppets in this world.

Young Man Painter needed a way across, so he painted himself a boat. Not a very good boat, just good enough to get by. Very kindergarten-ish.

And set off. In search of the Grand Duchess. On his way, he talked to one of the creatures of the deep, “Where am I?” “Here.”

“Where’s ’here’?”

“Right here.”

Very silly creatures, fish.

She had the name of a cartoon character. Francesca Fish.

“Well. . Bye now.”

“Bye.”

Young Man Painter carried on.

* * *

Be humble, and with confidence, young artist. You have to have a little ego to be an actor, a performer, a singer–but if you have too much: You lose all your talent. Therein lies your — aha! — creativity…

* * *

On the right, and sometimes to the left, sculptures rose above the oceans.

Naked bodies gleamed with paint and oil.

It seemed two sculptures were already under way of a very heated debated.

“Art is that which disturbs. Really? Are two cats dry-humping on a hot picket fence art?”

“It can be . . . It’s all how you go about it.”

“Porn provokes, but it’s not necessarily art.”

“Not always.”

“Oh, would you look at that? An animorph.”

They both looked and saw Young Man Painter sailing by in the sea of unmixed paint.

Said Young Man Painter, “Have you seen a fat lady go by here? She wears real bad clothes. Bad attitude. Upturned nose.”

“Yes. We saw a lady. But her clothes were well refined, and fashionable.”

“Oh,” said Young Man Painter. “Well, it couldn’t be the Grand Duchess of Russia.”

The statue’s heads turned and said, “You know what else was well refined? The Statue of David was highly refined. What does that mean? Ask me in person, and I’ll explain it to you.”

“I like the Statue of David,” said the other statue.

It’s art because there’s nipples. See, there are 6 nipples. That’s art times 6. That’s 6 arts!

“Oh, you guys are no help,” said Young Man Painter, and sailed on.

He heard them having a shouting contest from far away, Look at all those arts! I have two masterpieces growing on my chest.

* * *

Michelangelo’s David is nude–wears no pants. “There, I put pants on it. I fixed it,” said Young Man Painter.

Both statues were aghast with horror.

* * *

In my opinion, the greatest piece of art ever.. The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel — Michelangelo.

Some hated this piece of genius simply because it was situated in a church. Some of these people were radical atheists, and wanted to do something about it.

Radical atheism came into being because they needed something to do. They were bored of being depressed, and so decided to give hating their opposition a try. It gives them hope, a meaning, and–  something to do;

Where are the dinosaurs? Some people believe that’s where God is now. In the past tense, in the was.

* * *

You’ve got to put flaws in the marble slab — if you want people to believe you.” This while Old Man P is carving a marble dick.

* * *

And then, after the sea of unmixed paints was exhausted, Young Man Painter ran into the Painted Desert. He needed a ride, so he painted himself a car. Not a very good car, just good enough to get by. Very kindergarten-ish.

He would’ve painted a plane, but he was afraid of flying, you understand.

He traveled on for a good bit. He was lonely, so he painted himself a boyfriend. He was gay, so– But his boyfriend cheated on him with a neighboring paint brush, so he painted the wiener off his boyfriend, and put him in death row. Young Man Painter crossed a great gorge. Into a land of cartoon animals.

Everything was stick figures and color-me coloring book drawings, not colored in the lines. And a happy, smiling sun that beamed, as it were.

* * *

I talk to your picture, my favorite one of you.

Everything was cartoons.

* * *

Uh. I can’t think of anything. Maybe an anvil lands on his head? Acme, it says.

He survives…

In cartoons, the four-fingered hand looks normal. Five is just too many. Why?

But Young Man Painter was in a cartoon universe now, and had stepped in front of a great divide.

In the cartoon world, to get across the great divide, from one place to another, do the obvious thing and that is, don’t look down. Never looking down, we cross the gorge and keep crossing. Never fall down!

..He didn’t fall.

Uncharted cartoon wilderness lay in torment here.

* * *

Russian castles. The King is crying. “The crown’s too heavy. It hurts my head.” He’s got a headache.

The queen comforts him. “Baby, my baby. Mother is here. Mother will comfort you.”

“Grandma’s coming!?”

The Queen nurses her own headache. “Something like that.”

She takes him to bed. She tells him a story. “In this story was a prince, and this prince was a king, and this king grew to be a major headache.”

“Tell me the one about the prince! Stop there! I want to here about when he was young.”

“Ah,” she exhales*. “When we both were babes.” Sings him a song.

* Cute ; ).

The Grand Duchess of Russia was held in captivity here for being an asshole.

Yes, in some countries you can be put in prison for most anything.

* * *

An artist must be smarter than his audience. This is a very hard thing to do. There is no greater critic than the ordinary people. Average Joe is much, much smarter than you think. It’s a collective brain! He’s probably smarter than you.

You as in me. Me as in– this is a very hard thing to be smarter than the collective intelligence of everybody listening. In fact, it’s impossible!

* * *

Young Man Painter had just passed the Great Cartoon Gorge, and been welcomed by many cute cartoon farm animals into a realm of size and color.

He had saved their land from the Titanimals, and would have married their queen, if he wasn’t — you know.

Now, he was at the base of many Russian Castles. But there was no entrance across the gorge, because he could hear the Grand Duchess of Russia screaming there.

He painted a rainbow bridge across, and walking past, painted the guards to the side, and walking in, painted out the bars, took the Grand Duchess by the hand, and brought her back.

It was quite simple.

What?

You want me to go into detail about it?

Okay, so he stopped by the King and Queen of this particular castle, and said, “So.”

“So,” said the King, whose crown had hurt his head. “You’ve got a magic brush. I’ve a magic brush too.”

“My king, don’t do anything brash,” said the Queen.

“But, sweety pumpkin, I haven’t got into a good ole fashioned duel in centuries.”

“What about the fight we had last week?”

“That was marital combat. I mean, a sportsman’s duel. Brush to brush. Back to back. Painting.”

* * *

Boo-Cat asks Old Man Painter, “Meow-meow?” what are you painting?

“A turtle.”

“Meow?” an actual turtle?

Old Man Painter understood. He was applying actual brush strokes to the backs of the turtle. Painting the turtle’s physical shell because he couldn’t draw a real one.

The only woman Old Man Painter ever loved was Boo-Cat.

* * *

No, I don’t really feel like having a duel,” said Young Man Painter. “I’ll just be leaving then.”

“Wait!” said the King. “You can’t leave without a fight!”

“Yes, I can. I’ve thought about it, and I can live without a fight. Plus, I don’t have very good imagination. I can only draw stick figures.”

“He’s lying,” said the Queen.

“Not about the little imagination part,” said the King. “I’ve seen his paintings. They’re childish.”

“Kids have imagination,” said Young Man Painter, defending himself seemingly.

The King directed Young Man Painter to his paintings. “Observe.” And showed him a painting.

Said Young Man Painter of the painted girl: “Wow. She’s got beautiful symmetry.”

He wished he was that girl. Sometimes*. /

* Sometimes, he liked being himself.

* * *

Being naked is supposed to be artsy somehow. It is. Take your towel off. Be a masterpiece. Don’t laugh.

Most of the King’s masterpieces could use pants, or at least a nice shirt.

The King showed Young Man Painter his paintings.

“It’s all lies, of course,” said the King.

“Lies?”

Painting is a lie. It’s not real, and we love it. So are cartoons, but cartoons are rarely accepted as art.

He showed Young Man Painter many paintings.

And Grandma’s painting. You just want to hop in that painting and take a walk down the path, through the woods!

“Now, what do you think of that?” said the King.

“They’re good. Now, can I get the Grand Duchess of Russia out of here?” said Young Man Painter.

“..You’re not impressed?”

“I am. Very. But I’d be more impressed if I saw a demonstration. Just how fast can you paint these paintings?”

The King took out his magic brush, and finished one in a good half second. A flurry of strokes that seemed as if there was no brush occupying the air between swipes.

“Well, darnit,” said Young Man Painter. “I was hoping while your back was turned to paint you into a tiny corner, and put bars around it, and then–”

“–paint me in chains?”

“No, put you in a dress.”

“Show me your paintings if you think they’re much better.”

“I didn’t say they’d be much better,” explained Young Man Painter. Young Man Painter pulled a painting out of the clouds. “

I’m proud of this painting,” said Mr. Painter. And grinned. “I did it with my best friend Gary, who I absolutely adore. It’s like a picture of two young boys gone fishing. It’s got the smell of memories on it– it smells like a memory.”

And that it’s from outer space- that automatically makes it bad? For crying out loud.

Art is a technique. It’s a skill. If you’re good enough, you can pull off anything. Picasso was weird. We still appreciate him. Now that definitely wasn’t reality. For crying out loud.

“But it is bad,” said the King.

This painting of Mr. Painter’s was so bad you almost feel bad for criticizing it. It’s like kicking a man on crutches.

Now, Old Man Painter made one masterpiece, and only one his entire life, but finding out that it would cause more harm than good in the long run once released, he destroyed it. That was 7 years ago.

He’s never made anything near as good nor anything that could be called good since.. What a moron.

* * *

To defeat the villain, Young Man Painter painted him into a defeated way, painted him into the corner- put a box around him, bars, and prison stripes. Painted into a tiny corner.

Said the cartoon drawing of the King, sliced in two, “I’m nothing but a paper cut.”

A single coat of skin painted on your skeleton; painted in soft colors, pink and whatever.

This paint will shut off your pores.

And I slowed down just to listen to the irrefutable paint sound that was the House hung up to dry!

* * *

Old Man Painter say, ‘An artist has reached a new level of maturity when he finds that he’d rather be in the process of perfecting his art than wasting his hours away in front of a sporty TV. That is when the office, the work room, they become the playground: When you realized you’d rather be painting than counting your fingernail clippings in front of Crap Television.” — Old Man Painter, sometime in the future.

It doesn’t mean you’re good, but it’s a new level, anyways. Congratulations. Have yourself a chewy, delicious cookie.

* * *

He painted the King into a tiny corner, and walking past, painted the guards to the side, and walking in, painted out the bars, took the Grand Duchess by the hand, and brought her back.

It was quite simple.

What?

You want me to go into more detail about it?

Okay, the guards all had — GIANT CRAYONS for weapons! And the — the castle was made of, like, play-dough! And there was a — 50-foot Lincoln who guarded the jail expertly crafted out of paper mache!! I dono. This was all in Young Man Painter’s artistic world, and he wasn’t very creative.

* * *

The Grand Duchess of Russia had fallen in love with him, but he said he had to leave. “You’re just gonna get up and leave?” said the Duchess.

“How else am I going to get home? I’ll take the trolley.”

* * *

A thousand years later, said the old man, “I know this face, it may be aging. But I have beautiful bones.”

He was reaching the end of his craft.

“But how can you stand growing old?!” said Boo-Cat.

“I stand just fine,” said Old Man Painter. “There’s something sweet about growing old — romantic. It’s the wisdom, I think.”

Aw. Onto Season Fwee!

* * *

Here’s a picture: Pink hand of dawn holding its mouth, then letting out a sigh of stars, swirling.

Night held a pink hand over all our mouths — breathless, it all seemed to say.

Anyways, I’m sick of having to look up to some famous dead guy’s art and people say, ‘That’s a masterpiece, that’s great. That can never be done again!’ You can admire that, but you can’t do that.

Who were those great artists before anyone knew about them?

They were me. They were you. They were nobody. They were losers.

Season

Fwee . . . 3

19th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 19th Story or not yet.

TITLE FOR FAIRY TALE GONE WHACK, STARRING an Evil Little Girl and ‘grandma’ GALLENTHMIR: “Grandma, What Big Teeth You Have!” “Oh Yeah? Well, You’re Mean!”

‘Anything Went,’ a prologue.

In the beginning à

Stories weren’t all so dull.

They were short, well-paced, and had pictures. This made all the young kids say, “Yay.”

Now they’re long, complex, and annoying. Nothing pops out to punch you.

It’s all old lovers stuck in their office suits sitting down to lunch in houses, or college dorm students way up high on balconies lighting matches and slurping up a cold plate of spaghetti..

As that old poem used to say, though it might’ve been a prophecy, “Good authors too who once knew better words / now only use four-letter words / when writing prose,” now it’s down to two-letter farce. “..Anything goes.”

..this is a book about a longing for an age when things were simpler, and in a way, holily avowed*.

* There’s an adult word for you, so mature us adults never use it.

Title, One Fish, Two Fish, Blue Fish, Gay Fish.” Is that what we’re all about today?

The. This is the typical beginning for a story.

The first thing grandmother said to the small boy was, “Don’t.”

The grandmother’s sentences all began with “Don’t”, while the small boy nursing a rag doll’s all began with “Why?” Have you noticed this?

“Don’t! Boy! Get your hand out your nose.”

“Why?”

Basically, that.

The grandmother picked up the little boy and brought him over to the dinner table. She cooked them both a delicious, nutritious meal, low sodium.

Said the grandmother, “I have to watch my salt.”

“Me too,” said the child, and put the salt shaker right in front of her. “Sometimes, it escapes!”

* * *

Name of the little boy: Boy Cried Wolf.

And all he ate was chocolate.

To he who would, if he didn’t stop eating! become a Man-of-Chocolate, she told this tale… 

Now, there was once a boy who decided that since women love chocolate so much, the only way they were going to love him- (an ugly little boy, really) -was if he encased himself in chocolate. This was serious! Really.

But when he did this and walked around town, women flock’d in from all over the town and licked him away piece by piece, ‘til pretty soon, he’s gone and eaten by the women he’d wanted to attract! But it is safe to say, he died with a smile on his face, licked to death by beautiful women… “Now what did you learn from this?” said grandmother to the little boy.

“That it is better to give than to receive.”

Something like that…”

* * *

The second story she told him was Knots.

Length,

Knots

Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Let down your hair!” / “It’s too short!” / “Okay, let’s wait a while.”

* * *

Cheese and Rice! Grandma’s out of the pen!

“Roll out the keg–Grandma’s coming!”

Like Grandpa–with blonde highlights. Her name was . . . Gallenthmir. Hereby referred to as Granny Nin.

Granny Nin wore crack cocaine in her highlights. “How else would I get my hair so high?”

Said Grandma to her grand child, “My how you’ve grown.”

“How very original of you, Grandma. Truly.”

Granny Nin’s so old that, back in her day, there were no antiques. She doesn’t like this joke. She doesn’t feel it’s very accurate. She’s a queen for accuracy. “Truth be told…” she always says.

“Grandmother,” said Boy Cried Wolf. “When are you going to tell me your next story?”

“Now,” said Gallenthmir. “Um… I can’t think of anything! Why don’t you just read a book?!”

Flip the page. *Turn*

She* put her hand to her mouth and soaked the whole hand in tongue then stamped it to the dog end and flipped the page.

* Granny Nin

* * *

Lil Suzy entered the room just as Gallenthmir, hereby known as Granny Nin, was taking brownies out of the stove.

Grandma says “It was hotter than blazes,” instead of “It was hotter than hell.” Said the grandma when she means, “Bullshit”: “Hooey!”

Never stare directly at Grandma. It burns.

“Why do we all instinctively know to kiss?” Lil Suzy asked this, but Boy Cried Wolf corrected her, “

The penguins don’t,” he said. “I’m sorry-Eskimos.”

The penguins don’t. Look!

Lil Suzy cracked herself across the stovetop and broke a tooth out her jaw. “I need 100 bucks! How much will this make me?”

Put that tooth under your pillow. The tooth fairy will give you a grand, said Granny Nin. Just don’t do it again.

Anyways, Grandma set us gently to bed, and told us a fairy tale.

I always liked Fairy Tales. I was raised on them. They’re harsh, sure, but that’s what makes them interesting. Value Tales intrigue because there are certain repercussions, as a Choose Your Own Adventure, whether you choose to “Kill the Dragon,” or to “Kiss Her.”

-Anyone- Anyone at all?

But there always those who hate Fantasy, who can’t stand the unrealistic.

But if Fantasy’s so apart and far from realism, why do we dream?

Said one kid, “Can we hear about the one with Goldborne and Osborne again?”

Said two kid, “Yeah, we want attorneys at no expense to us too!”

Said three kid, “Yeah, and real estate off the western seabord!” Why do we never hear these questions from kids?

It’s an American culture thing*. But there’s no shame in having an imagination. Let’s sing the imagination song.

* Anything interesting is shunned and replaced with Pledge Furniture Cleaner L

* * *

The next day her grandchildren said to Granny Nin, “Hey, Grandmother! Tell us a story about Mirror Country.”

“I don’t know any stories. Mostly, I just sit still and watch TV. Gee, isn’t this going to be a boring episode? The very beginning leads us to believe that it’s all going to be about a buncha children’s stories, and– and who cares? God!”

Granny Nin’s grandson was poking a spider with a stick. “Gosh, Grandmother, look at this ugly bug.”

Said Granny Nin to her grandson, “Don’t say he looks ugly. Say his looks give him character.” J

A fairy came in and listened in to their conversation.

Fairy speech is the sound of ringing bells.

The fairy came in and landed on my hat.

Everyone was wearing large, weird hats at the time. . Cool!

Flip the page. *Turn*

* * *

Have You Ever Read the ‘Little Engine that Did?’” said Granny Nin. “It’s pretty boring. All he does is sit around, reminiscing about the good old days when he was- could-ing.’” We admire his determination.

Anyways, so Grandpa played a game with baby, saying “Got your nose.” Baby replied, “Gimme back my nose, you bastard!”

Said Granny Nin, “Oh, I know a story about Mirror Country. Here’s one I had not twenty years ago…”

* * *

The Island of Indecision: a heart-warming tale with a message*

* plus, it’s got pirates too!

By Granny Nin

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Destiny Islands

Chapter 2: The Sea of Glass and Sweet, Breathable Water

Chapter 3: The Island of Pompous Pricks

Chapter 4: Whirlpool Reef

Chapter 5: The Island of Inflatable Pants

Chapter 6: A Happenin’ Spot for Whales

Chapter 7: The Island of Irregular Bowel Movements

Chapter 8: The Ghost Ship Came at a Full Moon at Midnight

Chapter 9: The Island of Vaguely Specific Super Powers

Chapter 10: The Master of Puppets

Chapter 11: The Island of Dreams Come True

Chapter 12: The Storm to End All Debates About Which Storm Was the … Oh, we haven’t time to make chapter titles! It’s coming.

Chapter 13: The Island of Indecision

Chapter 14: The Edge of the World… not being found. The world isn’t flat! It’s a circle.

Chapter 15: White Shores

Destiny Islands

White shores. .

The P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins* was christened at dawn, and its crew set out the very same day. A crew of puppets whose master’s hands were stuck up their bottoms.

* silly name, isn’t it? we’ll explore why that ship’s name was in a moment

All in Mirror Country were puppets, of course.

Of course. Why not. Sure!

J

J J

The captain, of course, was Gallenthmir. Pronounced: Gal-in-th-meer. She was the only one without a hand up her blouse. And that made her look important, as she wasn’t always grimacing and fidgeting all the time.

The others were all puppet pirates. Hired hands from the shore.. Yo ho!

There was Too Fat, and Too Slim; Handy in a Fight, Not Handy in a Fight (they just called him Jim), the chef, Cojack, and Cindy, of course. But they all died of scurvy.

Only Cindy’s muffins survived, being immaterial. And so, Gallenthmir named the ship after them; the muffins, of course, which she took quite a liking to- Poppyseed, why not- and set off with a new pirate crew.

This time, she brought plenty of apples.

J

J J

The first mate’s name was French, no one could pronounce it; the chef’s name was inconsequential; .. the little woman who sat in the crow’s nest’s name was inexcusable.

The rest of the crew, she couldn’t afford, having lost her last crew. But she had eight arms and six wings, Gallenthmir, so– it was easier to man the ship.

So it was just the four of them, and Gal*. All female, for she didn’t trust the males, after they all went and died on her**, and she had just gotten over a bad breakup, and didn’t want a chemical romance on board. Female pirates, all. Not a first, I’ve done this in other books..

** Fourteen hands. *** It wasn’t that women were particularly better at pirating. It’s just the way she wanted it.

J

J J

“Now, I’ll just have to think of names to call you,” said Gallenthmir.

“Captain. Just call us by our positions. We don’t need names,” they didn’t say that, that would be stupid.

Gallenthmir called the first mate, whose name she couldn’t pronounce, Frenchie. The chef, she called Chowder. And the little woman who sat in the crow’s nest, spotting islands with her telescope, and breathing indiscreetly between puffs of pipe, she called an idiot, you’re an idiot, that’s not how you open a sail! Then she gave her a name: Um, er, ah. Nancy Pennington. Yes, it is. It’s a good name. I just thought of it.

Actually, if you must know, and you may, and you will, and you should, Gallenthmir had a talent, a wonderful thing, because besides how everyone would gather when she started to sing, she could split herself into four people, all skilled in the pirate arts, and so she had a crew, and named them– each due what they deserved..

Besides, if you wanted to get something done you had to do it your selves. And if you want to get anything done, how could you count, tell me, how could you count on other people? So Nancy Pennington was Gallenthmir was Chowder was Frenchie was Nancy Pennington was Gallenthmir. Confusing? Good!

Each of them had wings. And a hand up their butt.

She could have produced more puppets, of course, but more would be tedious. She only had eight arms.

J

J J

Tiny dinosaurs flew in the sky, and swarmed in the deep. But why do you need to know this? The answer, of course, you don’t!

J

J J

“Why are we setting off to sea?” asked Nancy Pennington*, the crow’s nest girl, looking through her telescope, or whatever it is crow’s nest person look through. “To find the edge of the world?”

* (But their brains were kept separate. They still had to think and act and do according to whoever’s body Gallenthmir’s hand had been occupying.)

“No, no. Something much more interesting,” said the captain, Gallenthmir, pacing. “We’re looking for the- oh, I’m sorry? Did you say ‘the edge of the world’?”

“I did.”

“Yes, we’re looking for that. They’re always looking for that in fantasy literature. That, and to chart a map of the world, and its major islands. There’s a whole magical world out there ready to be mapped, and pirated, and us master cartographers are the ones to do it! Imagine the price of such a map. We’ll be rich as worlds!”

“You said ‘world’ three times, Captain,” said the freshly named crew.

“So I did. Spank me. Spank me very much. Well, should we be shoving off, then? I brought a big screen TV in case we got bored.” She took out the big screen TV and christened the ship with it. Smash! “*Yawn* I’m bored. There’ll be no TV watching on ship. It’s all business.” Though, in truth, she had kept a large TV in the Captain’s Quarters for herself.

L

L L

Gallenthmir took out her compass, the one that didn’t point north, but pointed to where the happiest place could me. “This way to True Happiness,” she said, standing on the bow. “By the way, that’s what we’re looking for. Coz a man once came up to me and said, ‘Can you ever find true happiness?’ Well, I found a compass that points there.” Bought it off of a gypsy.

I want nothing short but the world, she said. I want everything. That’s why I said it* three times..

* world

Oh, the open sea, said the narrator, Q-burt, sweaty from whatever it was he was doing before the camera crew came in and he said, “Hi there, you scared the crap out of me.” What a charming place, he went on. Over land and over wave. Smell the sweet tang of salt. Feel the sting of an ocean spray. Flying fish not quite accomplishing what’s in their name, more just jumping for extra large distances, but they had wings, y’understand. A marlin’s singular searching horn hunting for large schools of silver fish like underwater tornadoes down there. They swam like mermaids!

J

J J

Giant insects sailed over the Moon, and into the Sun, got burnt. And landed in the ocean. Swam away.

The Sea of Glass and Sweet, Breathable Tea Water

The first sea they passed was the Sea of Glass and Sweet, Breathable Tea Water. There was no salt. Instead, there was sugar. This made all the fish, who were hypoglycemic, quite happy. And hyper.

If you jumped in, you could scarcely breathe without getting giddy.

The sea looked as glass, and smelled of tea, and bore the color of a paint bucket of unmixed dyes.

The sky was ornamented with gulls.

J

J J

“I always wondered what it was like under the waves…” said Nancy Pennington from the crow’s nest.

“What?!” said Chowder.

“I said, I ALWAYS WONDERED WHAT IT WAS LIKE UNDERWATER.”

“You always wondered what it was like under Scotter?! Well, I knew him. Apart from the weak pelvis thrusts, it was quite cool.”

“Shut, you two,” said Gallenthmir, and examined her compass. “The Happiness is that way!” pointing.

Gallenthmir manned the wheel.

Nancy Pennington manned the crow’s nest.

Frenchie manned the cannons and floors.

And Chowder manned the kitchen.

J

J J

Now, I think it right to disclose a bit about the P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins. The boat.

It looked like my head. Its face was the bust of a merman, in swimming shorts. (Statistics show that most women find men attractive, so this wasn’t quite surprising. Where does one go to meet available women?) It had a wheel, a crow’s nest, a sail, a kitchen below, and several slaving hands below that that pumped the oars. Some of these hands were shoved up the puppet’s blouses.

It looked like my head. Teeth in the water. Eating a tuna on toast.

J

J J

Said Nancy Pennington, looking through her telescope, “What ho! Mermaid off the-! Left!”

Said Frenchie, “Aren’t we pirates? Aren’t we supposed to say, ‘Yo ho! Mermaid off the port bow?’”

Gallenthmir looked at her reflection shining off the shimmering floor, and said, “These floors aren’t clean enough. Get back to it, Frenchie.” A pirate can’t stand to see that her treasure doesn’t reflect all that glistens and gleams.

Indeed, there were mermaids. And mermen. Mer people. Not too far down, there was an underwater castle and village, in fact. The mer people rode on giant sea horses, and lived in spiral snail shells.

A merman waved at Frenchie, and she blushed. He was quite striking with his bare, waxed chest. The merman said, “Ahoy, pirate! Why not stay at a luxury inn under wave? Throw your anchor overboard, and we’ll show you a good time.”

“But we can’t breathe underwater!” said Frenchie.

“You can here,” said the merman. “This the Sea of Breathable Water. For land walkers, anyways.”

Gallenthmir was looking through the clear, clear water, clear as liquid water in a clear glass, and, fact of the matter is, she was drooling. There was treasure down there..

Gallenthmir saw the beautiful, shining castle. She wanted it. She wanted it all.

J

J J

They swam down the underwater steps and found they could breathe in this water, like I told you, while mermaids can’t, like I didn’t tell you. In fact, they die*. So they have to surface for air every few hours.

* mermaids do. How inconvenient for them. L

The water looked as glass, and tasted like a sweet, sweet tea, as well you know.

They were fish shepherds down here. Shepherds of the Deep Wet Stuff, they called themselves, out of want to name themselves**, and a little good humor. The tuna fish would perch on their arms, and allow themselves to be stroked, and with their sea horses they would send out dolphins to bring the fish around in droves, into pasture. Then brought into the slaughterhouse, to make scale-coats, and tuna on toast. Mmm.

** they wanted some sort of government, this small underwater community

The grounds keeper lived in a giant clam shell. Quite inconvenient when he wanted to get out, so he drilled a little whole in it with a marlin. He said,

“Greetings, land walkers!”

The pirate crew gave proper salutation.

“Are you the pirates we’ve been praying for? We’ve got a problem.”

“Wait, no one told us you were praying for pirates,” said Gallenthmir.

“Is there a problem with praying?” “-No.” “You see, there’s this sunken underwater ship that’s rust is destroying our pastures, and is full of treasure; and normally, we’d go and get it, but it hurts us as well, and is guarded by sharks, and we thought pirates brave enough to go looking for it.”

Surely, treasure will make me happy, thought Gallenthmir..

“You may have the treasure once you eradicate the rust.”

“We accept!” said Nancy Pennington.

“You’re not the captain,” said Gallenthmir. “But we do! . . We accept.”

“May our various gods be with you.”

J

J J

They stayed at the Turtle Shell Inn for Seasoned Travelers and took off first thing in the … morning glow? But it was always morning! Where was the moon?!

For there never wasn’t never a happy, grinning sun whenever Gallenthmir was around. She fed it once, and it’s since never left her. How annoying.

The sun still shined to the bottom of the deep wet stuff. It was quite a powerful sun, though small. The size of an engorged beach ball little Billy had blown up with too much air, testing his lung strength. It followed Gallenthmir wherever she went, so there was never a night. The puppets on the other side of the planet were quite depressed about it being gone, but there was always night lights to scare the bogeymen away. And there were bogeymen in Mirror Country.

And the Moon, scared of Gallenthmir after she had taken a bite out of it, since she said it sampled like a cookie, was scared of her, and so stayed on the other side of the world. Brightening the other side with its twilight. A strange glow for a moon, and, indeed, the other moons* gave it hell for being only able to glow twilight and not moonlight, for all those moonlight lovers out there.. Um. Some people say when I turn around and flex my calves, they look like moons. Or at least the crack in your ass when you moon somebody.

* there were several other moons

..L Eh-hem. But about that sunken ship!

J

J J

It filled the sweet water tea with rust. Quite an unsightly blood color. When before it was the color of a paint set the dog had eaten and crapped a rainbow. Also unsightly. The iron ship had been pierced by the Duke of Whales, the Iron Narwhal..

Hammerhead sharks by the thousands? hundreds? millions? dozens? ..No, there were just two this time, and, fat with the competition of just that amount, were hardly able to thrash their tails and allow themselves lift enough not to die in the water from not allowing their gills to breathe.

“Oh, look,” Nancy Pennington bubbled. “There are just two of them.”

“Yeah,” said Chowder. “And we’re slow.”

“But they should be just as slow. Look how engorged they are!”

“Maybe,” said Frenchie. “When they swim around to the other side, we can make a run for it — a swim for it, I mean.”

“Great idea, we’ll say it was mine,” said Gallenthmir, and dove in the minute–

“But what about those eels?” said Chowder. And then, the three looked, and their captain was gone.

“Captain! Wait!” said the three shipmates, and swam after her.

The ol’ Narwhal still patrolled about in that vicinity, looking for other ships to test its might upon. Thank my various gods it wasn’t here.

L

L L

Then it suddenly was.

Oh, dear.

It drove a hole right through Gallenthmir’s middle, but luckily, Gallenthmir had already punctured a hole in her middle so as to save her throat from all the bulimia she had performed in the toilet to go from a size nine to a size three.

J

J J

Now Gallenthmir had the strength of a very small dragon. I should have described it to you earlier, but Gallenthmir was part dragon, and part frog. It was never certain, by legend- as she was indeed of legendary origins- as to how her parents got together: blind date, maybe. Maybe they were both blind, or maybe they donated their eggs to a clinic, and somehow they got switched in the frog and dragon departments. And Gallenthmir was born. Anyways, Gallenthmir grabbed the narwhal by the horn, stuck it in even deeper- just to show that she could- drawing the narwhal farther in, smoke billowing up the corners of her mouth, and head butted the whale on the brain stem. Her head, being very thorny, literally quarried its way through the whale’s skull bones!

. . If you stand on my head, you won’t sink as much.

Now, why did I just say that? . .

L

L L

Consider: Well, if you remember, the P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins looked like my head, it did. It does. It looked like my head, with a little body attached to the neck at the bottom that performed all the swimming to thrust its bulk forward. You probably hadn’t noticed that before. That’s because we were over water, not under it, dummy.

If you stand on my head, you won’t sink as much.

If you stand below it, you’ll see all the sails and oars are superfluous. It was the swimming man, me, who did all the work. I was their boat, and did they ever give such a boat more than swimming trunks on his birthday for all his efforts? No-oooo.

Muffins.”

“What?”

“There’s a narwhal imbedded in your butt!”

“Oh. So that’s what the crack is for.”

The narwhal was imbedded in my butt. ..It seemed, after it had been head butted by Gallenthmir’s megaton force, the resulting impact had sent the narwhal and its horn straight up my—

–As you may know, this would have been more comfortable if I was accustomed to having sharp, jagged objects rammed up my–

–Ass you may also know, this wasn’t the most important subject, so maybe we better continue on:

Anyways, they had their boat* checked in to the hospital, the narwhal was dislodged, the ship was removed of its rust, and they had their treasure. 8 gold doubloons.

* me

L

L L

Gallenthmir was quite pissed about it. She went back to Mer Man central, and talked to the grand something-or-other of Mermen, who considered himself a reasonable Merman, and she said– she didn’t say anything.

He was just too damn cute in that clamshell of his!

“Yes?” he said.

“…” said Gallenthmir. Blushing.

Then: “I think was the captain wants to say is, we want our money back. Figuratively speaking. We didn’t get enough booty on the ship,” said Nancy Pennington.

Said the Merman, “We never checked the ship. We never knew how much treasure it contained. As per our conversation, ‘You may have whatever treasure you find within, and just that, once you eradicate the rust’, we owe you nothing.”

“You didn’t say that.”

“Yes, I did. I remembered distinctly I said that.”

“Oh, shoot,” said Gallenthmir. “This is when I do something I really don’t want to do.” L

“And that is?”

“Lay my eggs all over the place. It’ll really ruin tourist attractivity.”  J

She did.

..Shall we continue on?

On to Chapter 3!

The Island of Pompous Pricks

On this island, were the royalty of Mirror Country. They were pompous snoots.

“My first criticism,” said Frenchie. “Is all these islands are based upon a theme.”

“Well,” said Gallenthmir. “They try.”

J

J J

Hoist the sails. Swab the decks.

L

L L

“Which way to True Happiness, Boss?” said Nancy Pennington.

“Zigga zigga boom,” said Gallenthmir, and checked her compass. She pointed: “That way!”

“Do you have to say ‘zigga zigga boom’, Boss?”

“-Yes.”

Chowder whammed a gong and shouted from the kitchen, “Supper’s ready! Come get your chum! But first, we pray to Jesus.”

“Okay!”

“Now, anyone- can anyone answer this question? Where does Jesus live?”

Said Nancy Pennington, pointing to her chest, “In my heart. I hope he has a little bed in there. Oh, and he rides his bike in my brain!” They were all firm believers. Pirates though they were.

The wind from their laughter blew their boat far, far away. So they had to go catch it.

The island in question looked like a well-groomed dog. They recently had it carpeted, and there was a singular rolling hill, carved to pieces by home-decorating and littered by mansions. There was a plethora of statues of important historical figures no one remembered.

J

J J

Everyone here was rich, but still, they were not happy.. I couldn’t see why not. I’d be happy with a million dollars.

L

L L

They were all wearing opera glasses, and watching something very far away, and unseen, you should know. And now you do.

“What’cha lookin’ at?” said Nancy Pennington.

“Hem, haw,” they said. “Why, the play, my dear.”

Nancy Pennington looked out as far as she could. There was no play.

“Is that your only idea of sophistication? Watching plays?” said Gallenthmir, suddenly.

“Hem, haw,” they said. “We don’t see you doing anything sophisticated.”

“WANNA COME TO OUR BARBECUE?” said Chowder from the boat, far ‘way, and whammed the gong.

Terror. No- there’s a better term for it -scarification. “See?” said they, recuperating after such a dreaded advance. “We don’t do … barb-e-qew.” How unpleasant.

L

L L

Gallenthmir noticed one of the richest-seeming men, in his studded suit, gold cane, and fresh, new, good top hat, and she said, “Sir?”

“M-yes?” said the gentleman.

“Are you happy?”

He looked liked he had just come from the cleaners. “Should I be? I can rent happiness, you know.”

“You’re not a happy man?”

“Not really. But I have my hobbies.” He grinned. You could see all forty five molars had diamond studs. He had quite a lot more teeth than the normal puppets had. “Now, do simmer down. The third act is in session.”

Gallenthmir cocked her head in curiosity. “What’s it like being rich?”

“There’s no life like the high life,” said the rich puppet, and played with his gold strings, the ones richer puppet’s wore. “My only complaint is, it’s hard finding a place for all my stuff.”

“I’ll be rich someday. Then, I’ll be happy. But first, I’ve got to find the greatest treasure in the world first!”

“Do tell.”

“Do all rich people have to go around and say ‘do tell’ all the time?”

He put down his opera glasses. “My good woman. There are many going arounds from island to island in the never-ending search for Fun, but no, we don’t have to say ‘do tell’; we could look at a sunset and say, ‘Dude…’ but instead, for all our money’s worth, we sigh, and say, ‘How lovely, what a beautiful view.’ If that’s what your asking.”

Said Gallenthmir, “Do you want to know about the greatest treasure in the world or not?”

“I’ll take a chance. For the sake of our conversation, I’ll say, ‘Sure,’ instead of, ‘Dude. Spill your heart out, babe.’”

“Well, however I don’t think anyone would say that,” said Gallenthmir, which made him sweat a bit, and told him they were traveling cartographers on a quest to map the world, find the end of it, if there ever was one.. which in all probability, there probably was not!! and that this map would then be named the greatest treasure in the world, as there’s since never been a map of it before!

Said the old puppet, drawing his cane in the dirt, “That’s only the greatest treasure in the world if you’re a master–I’m sorry–hard core cartographer. Well, hem, haw. What you should be looking for is the Black Pearl.”

The Black Pearl? What’s that?

“I take it by the look on your face you’re wondering what the Black Pearl is, and where to find it. Well, I’m something of a traveler of the world too, I’ve seen it all and nearly the end of it, and should’ve made a map of it myself. I’ve been looking for it for years. It’s a big, black pearl the size of a puppet’s head that shines like star fire within its inner glow. Oh. But I’ve since given up, feeling that now- after so many years- it’s not worth it.. I found it for a bit, but its sort of unreachable now.”

“For a bit?”

“It fell off my boat.”

Gallenthmir was drooling now. “Well?”

“It’s in Whirlpool Reef..”

“Whirlpool Reef? Where’s that?”

“It’s a little out of the way if you’re on your way to True Happiness, as I’ve heard your crew members whispering about, but if you find it, you could have enough money to rent happiness like I and my high society do. It’s the good life.”

“Really? ..Draw me a map.”

He gave her one, already drawn. “Only I should mention, it’s surrounded entirely by whirlpools, and is inaccessible by boat, which is the only way of travel these days, unless you grow wings and fly.”

“I have wings,” said Gallenthmir, flapping them, and walked away, and picked her way to shore, and motioned to her crew. She said to them, “I don’t suppose we’ll find Happiness here, ladies. Better make our way back to the P.S. . . shit.”

J

J J

Chowder and Frenchie joined her for barbecue, whilst the little lady, Nancy Pennington, loitered there-a-while, around the rich locals, saying, “What’cha doing?” until finally Gallenthmir came floating back, and grabbing the puppet Pennington by her strings, led her back to the P.S. I-don’t-give-a-care.

But not a minute later, Gallenthmir came back to the Island, only to say, “Old gentleman. This map is ruined.”

“What? No, no, no. The map isn’t ruined. It’s simply written in code.”

“Code? What does it say?”

“Only dolphins can read that. Didn’t I mention that? Find some, then have them lead the way.”

J

J J

As luck would have it. . On their way in any direction out, there were dolphins jumping, and saying, “Would you like to engage us in a game of Chance?”

“Chance?” said Gallenthmir.

J

J J

We are the Gambling Dolphins, said the dolphins. How else are we supposed to stay rich and keep our apartments out with these rent prices? We settle in fish.

Said Gallenthmir. “No, thank you. I’m looking for the Black Pearl. Have you heard of it?”

The dolphins stopped leaping to wonder if she was serious, they even stopped chasing the flying fish they were in pursuit thereof, and Gallenthmir threw her anchor over board. One dolphin, who looked to be the king of them, as he was wearing a crown, said, “Yes, it’s a legend around these parts. But we need a map. And no, I’m not the king of us. We just dined at Burger King, and it was my birthday.”

Gallenthmir showed them a map of it, and they looked quite satisfied. Nodded. Said, “Come. Follow us. . . That is, of course, we’ll show you, if you win a little game of . . Chance.” They were addicts.

A seagull popped in overhead, flying, and said, “They’re real gamblers. It should take a lot of luck, and by chance, some skill to beat them.” Then took off in a never-ending hunt to find a rock to crap on.

But Gallenthmir could direct the wind. Gallenthmir could conduct it with a conductor’s rod. Point it in any direction she wished. It* flipped the dice the dolphin’s spouted out their holes, and landed on the proper numbers, and then, when the dolphins bade them follow, well. They did.

* the wind

Whirlpool Reef

The Reef here was all twisted out of shape from al its whirlpools.

The conch and coral were beautifully red in color.

They had won the game of Chance, as I said, and the dolphins had led them right to it. Well, close enough, close enough so that Nancy Pennington could spy it through her telescope. They didn’t say why they stopped so suddenly, but they did.

A little sea turtle nursed its eggs, and crawled slowly back to the ocean. Nancy Pennington took note of that. And said, “Hey, guys!”

The dolphins handed back the map, and said, “Thanks for all the fun.” They alone, of all species, could read the map. It was all math, in opposition to the letters and symbols of ordinary maps and all that. Dolphins love math.

J

J J

When they had reached Whirlpool Reef, the dolphins bade them goodbye, and Chowder, who saw fins in the water not a while back, and out of a mild curiosity for soup that night, laid out a chum bucket, and fished for sharks. “You three go ahead,” she said to Gallenthmir and Nancy Pennington, and Frenchie. “I’ll get supper ready for tonight.” Wasn’t it so like Chowder. . always thinking of food? Well, if you knew her.

But the map hadn’t disclosed one detail, and that was who was guardian of the Reef. It was the almighty- (or at least he thought he was, having so many seaside legends of his own)- Krakken. With snapping beak, and so many arms.

“We’ve almost reached the Reef, Captain!” said Nancy

Gallenthmir’s face took on the look of a cow who had suddenly grown intelligence and realized what it was exactly the farmers were touching when they milked it for sustenance. Said Gallenthmir, “Man the cannons!”

“But we’re women!” said Nancy Pennington.

“Happiness isn’t this way,” said Gallenthmir. “It’s the Black Death!”

L

L L

The Krakken, all black, an omen of impending doom, popped out of the water and said, “I like a good sea battle. I’m a regular seaman. Fire the cannons, they won’t hurt me. But my beak will penetrate your boat.”

I cringed at that. I was the boat. I had ears on the side of it and eyes for jeopardy.

The Reef was surrounded with whirlpools, and they suddenly knew why. It was the Krakken! He was lord of whirlpools. He lived in whirlpools. It was almost impossible to get in. So they didn’t! Why bother? He appeared in a whirlpool, great and powerful.

But a sudden storm appeared on the– on the– left. And it blew their ship into it* with the wind from its laughter. Ha. Ha. Ha, it said. Now, Nancy Pennington wasn’t sure, but she was pretty sure, and what she was sure of was that she had seen the form of a lovely woman walking on water in the midst of the storm..

* the Reef

J

J J

Safe for now.

There was said to be the Black Pearl on the bottom of this Reef somewhere, anyways, in a giant clam that had learned to walk, as the crudely-drawn-by-dolphins algorithm math map may indicate. Gallenthmir decided, since they were there, to go after it.

She looked all around her. The Krakken was certainly gone with the storm.

A sudden fish jumped out of the water and said, “Lovelydayforaswim, isn’tit, miss?” almost as quickly as it could before it fell back into the water, and Gallenthmir said, “M-yes. Especially when it’s pearls we’re after,” and fitting on her sea helmet, fell into the water.

And propelled herself forward with her tail.

J

J J

They passed many strange, talking, bubbling animals on the way to the giant clam with feet.

Careful clown fish, all orange and black and white, and their poisonous sea anemone houses with many feelers they made home in. Poisonous ringed octopus. Poisoned sea snakes. Sea horses, what didn’t look like horses, not poisonous. Flounder, quite invisible from the front, but fat on the side, also not poisonous. Manta ray, with its– but why am I giving you a marine biology lesson? Read a book!

..Oh, I see. . You’re already reading one..

Well, there was the puffer fish, and if you’re interested in that, you can just check the internet. They puff out with spikes when scared, and deflate when– most of the times, they’re deflated.

J

J J

Coral that looked quite like human brains, only colored and planted in the sand, formed most of the base of the entire reef. But it was sharp. And it was cruel, this growing thing. To touch it, however not poison, was to oftentimes, if tide allowed, inflict a cut. Attract. . The barracuda. Which was staring at Gallenthmir’s delicious mass right then.

She said, “Ohmygosh, a barracuda,” and shot it with her dart gun. The bloodied fish gave out a bubbled, “Hey, I was just looking at your face to see if I had recognized you from school!” and fell back into the deep, and didn’t bother her no more. Fishies go to school, you know.

And then she found it– but It wasn’t very important. So she passed on, and found the Black Pearl in a yawning giant clam with feet.

The clam walked away, yawned, showing the Pearl once more, like a tongue ring, and said, “Do I know you?” The clam was the size of a– of a– it was pretty big!

“Who? Me?” Gallenthmir said through her mask, amplified a hundred times through water. As she had a little speaker protruding out so she could talk to fish.

“Yes, I was wondering if I knew you from school.”

“I know fish travel in schools, but do clams go to college?”

“Funny. No, the goil I was looking for wasn’t quite funny.”

“Who was it?” said Gallenthmir, getting out her crow bar, and motioning to the two others who had accompanied her with additional crow bars. Bubbling through their air masks.

“Yea, she was a beautiful goil. Ten feet tall, like yerself. And she always had the problem of nosing into one another’s businesses. You’re not nosing, are ya?”

“Keep talking.”

Every time the clam talked, the shell would open, revealing the fleshy pink layer that had coated the unfortunate grain of sand that would become a fabulous black pearl so many years before, and now was as beautiful as a good day after the War had finally ended.

Said the clam, “Bright eyes. .Pirate smile. .Big, heaving chest. How am I seeing you without eyes?”

“You have eyes. They’re right here,” and poked him in them. And how he howled, and opened his mouth, revealing the tongue ring, and Gallenthmir dove after the shining black object of her affection, but the clam jumped and closed its mouth by reflex, and Gallenthmir was . . Gallenthmir was . .

“Oh, it’s terrible!” said Nancy Pennington.

“No, it’s not,” said Frenchie. “Look.”

Many openings broke through the clamshell on several angles, and the many hands of Gallenthmir could be seen scratching away for more opportunity on living Life out of a bloody clamshell, and then the clamshell could be seen slowly opening and suddenly, quite suddenly, WHAM!

The clamshell burst its top, and Gallenthmir could be seen holding the top piece of the shell with six hands, and strangling the pink, fleshy mass with two, looking into its ‘eyes’, wherever eyes could be found, saying, “You do know me from somewhere. Your dreams, little clam. Muhaha!”

The clam’s speech was jumbled, as if it now had no teeth. “Sssthweeter dreams I never had, Miss. Now, would you pleathe let go of the Pearl. You don’t know what you’re mething with.”

“No, your bad dreams. The kinds you run in.. You know. Um, erm, nightmares.”

Gallenthmir tore the pink sea animal out of its shell, and then she– and then she put it down, and put the Black Pearl in her special carrying case she brought down just for the occasion. “I’m keeping this,” she said, showcasing it.

And the pink mass, which was really just a muscle with organs inside, muscled away on the ocean floor, without a shell. Poor thing, thought Nancy Pennington, as Frenchie followed the driving tail of her lady, Gallenthmir. Swimming with all arms, as a many-armed thing swam slowly after them.

L

L L

I’m not one for suspense. If you want suspense, read a true love, high adventure, Thriller book. So here it goes.

It was the Krakken that swam s l o w l y after them.

And here’s the other thing I’m just dying to disclose.

The pearl Gallenthmir had found was not a pearl, it was, in fact, an egg. An egg the giant clam, Crawly, had been charged by the egg’s mother for protection. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I know, it’s old expression my mother used to use, but I like it.

So, thereupon hoisting the Black ‘Pearl’ on board the P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins, it was now not a surprise to the reader that the Krakken desired even more so to smash the tiny vessel to bits. Yes, it was so horrible, I used italix.

Began the Krakken, “Who among you steals my eg?-”

“Eat this, please,” said Gallenthmir, and shot a cannon with a bomb in it down the monster’s beak. And it exploded. Gallenthmir didn’t walk away, and not look at explosions, quite often as cool guys do. She quite* easily sat down, and watched the wretched thing go up in cinders. It was raining Krakken. “Mm. Fried foods,” reflected Chowder, opening her mouth, and letting them fall on her tongue like snowflakes; and Frenchie looked in wonder at her captain, while Nancy Pennington looked on.

* there’s that ‘quite’ again. I use that a lot. Sorry.

The Island of Inflatable Pants

On this island, everyone’s pants were inflatable. So they floated upside-down, just a foot above the ground. Their heads pointing towards the ground.

The island itself was a giant tree growing right out of the ocean, you should know, whose roots were the island. That’s a lot of firewood.

J

J J

“Buy our pants, you’ll be happy you did,” said a neighboring vendor.

“Did you say, I’ll be happy if I buy your pants? Did you say that?”

“No, ma’am. You said that.”

“Because if I did buy your pants, and I’m not saying I would, I don’t think I’d be altogether happy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

The inflatable pants merchant hovered over to his stand and said, “Well, what about this? We’ve got some good merchandise here.”

Said Gallenthmir*, “Junk, junk.”

* She had been the one in conversation with him, right?

“This junk is solid gold! It’s on sale. 3 dollars.”

Said Gallenthmir, “Junk. But it’s my junk. I want it all! I’ll try it. I’ll even buy the inflatable pants!”

“Whatever fits you, miss.”

She tried them. They worked just fine, but she wasn’t particularly happy. She was for a while, but it didn’t last. It had that new car smell. She loved that. That always made her happy.

Suddenly, hark the herald, angels did sing, and Frenchie, who was thinking about death at the moment- (she was quite morbid) -dropped her mouth, and checked her eyes.

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Angels were descending from the sky onto the Island of Inflatable Pants, on a stairway built to heaven, and bought pounds after pounds of inflatable pants. To, you know. To help them fly up there.. They sang a new song about it:

Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Our pants can inflate now. It’s like sitting on a cloud. This is great.J

Frenchie was star-struck. No, she was God-struck! She was on her knees. She built a small monument and a shrine to the exact location of the stairway’s port unto the world, and the angels could only laugh and say, “Hmm. I wonder why they’re doing construction down here.”

Said another angel, “I know. It’s inconvenient. Right in front of our Stairway to Earth, so we can go shopping and to the mall. Maybe we should tell God to, you know, remove it with, you know.” It was right in the way of the Gate to Paradise.

“I know,” said the other angel, and passed on.

J J J

On this island, the seagulls nested, crying, “Number one! Number two! For us, it’s just the same!” Seagulls, on pink frosted rocks.

It took me a while to figure that out.. It’s a little science, and a little immature toilet humor.

Puffins, a type of bird that flies and swims, the only type of bird, dove off the rocks and into the ocean for a swim, while sea lions basked in the sunny roots, and barked like dogs do. Clapping their flippers.

Meanwhile, Frenchie had an idea to chop down the island tree for firewood, but that would take all century, so Chowder dragged her off and said, If you have so much time on your hands, you could help in the kitchen; while Nancy Pennington put her hands on her hips and spoke to the sea lions, “I know you have ears, so speak to me.”

Their whiskers twitched. But all they did was bark.

“They’re the only dumb animal in Mirror Country, kid,” said Gallenthmir.

“Really?”

“No. They’re just stubborn.”

A sea lion smirked and went, “Humph!”

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There wasn’t much doing here, save blowing up inflatable pants, and that did murder on the lungs, or maybe it strengthened it- I don’t know, I’m not a lungitologist! So they passed on. Following Gallenthmir’s golden compass to True Happiness.

A Happenin’ Spot for Whales

It was called Whalebone Cove, but that was not because it was made of whalebones. I’ll give you half a moment to think about that after I say that it was where sea mammals got their erections.

A very happenin’ night spot for sea mammals!

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It was a bar in there. Smoke hung in the air like little clouds of cumulus. One of the whales cheated at poker, and another whale took out his glass contact- (the kind that still works underwater) -smashed it on a table, and used it like a sword. They got into a fin fight, and it was quite bloody, but I’ll spare you the gore, mostly because I just don’t care to go into it.

A giant squid came in through the door, and shouted, “Spermy~! I’m calling you out!”

How quirky ;p

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A sperm whale got up from the blackjack table, and stood up to his full 60 feet. He had very muscular abs, and a big, fat head. He had been performing sit-up’s in the company of immodest groupies. “Squid. I thought I drove you out of town.”

“You did. In your sister’s car. But then I drove back in my brother’s Mercedes, and with much more confidence, being in a much classier car than a–”

“–We don’t need to drive cars! We’re water creatures..”

“Oh, right.”

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They fought, but it wasn’t very exciting. The squid let out a jet of ink and latched itself on the sperm whale, and then the sperm whale devoured him. I guess that was kinda exciting..

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There were other events:

A porpoise ran away with a mollusk. But there wasn’t much to it. The mollusk tripped on water, and the porpoise realized he was too drunk to tell the difference between a good-looking mollusk and a run-of-the-mill North Atlantic Right Whale.

Man, oh man.

A lot of hippies had gathered, and were having sex right alongside of them.

One of them got into a debate with an out-of-place Republican who’d gotten — in all likelihood — lost in there.

Said the hippie, “Trees are people too, you know! Have you ever met a tree, man? Have you ever shook boughs with a tree? Have you ever exchanged petals? You don’t Know their herbi-culture!”

Poppycock. “I don’t even know you, man!” said the man in a business suit, who looked quite out of place in all the fornication.

Said the hippie, “I don’t even know myself, sir. That’s why I’m trying to find my meaning in life in herbology.” Sad L

The hippie smoked a whole bush, then he slept with it. Hippies love nature.

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“Surely, sex will make me happy,” said Gallenthmir, and joined them for a good week. I mean, it was a good weak. It made her happy in sudden bursts, sleepy a little afterwards, yes, but it got boring after the following seven months. She’d explored every inch of the human frame. Now, it was just chores.

The very same hippie who had talked to the man in a business suit came out wearing a bush, or maybe that was his own hair, and he said to Gallenthmir, “You’re new around here.”

“No, I’m not. I’ve been here for several months. We’ve even dated. I met your parents!”

“Oh. Well, I was wondering–”

“Yes?” said Gallenthmir, looking up expectedly, or down. She was ten feet tall.

(Nancy Pennington and the rest were up at the ship, by the way, as they had gotten bored of being in the Whalebone Cave, and wanted to set out on an adventure.)

Said the hippie, “Are you going to eat that? I mean, would you like to join our resistance?”

“Am I going to eat what?”

He didn’t seem to be listening. “That– that– resistance of ours. We’re here to protect the whales, it’s our –” he looked for a better word, but couldn’t find it “–job.” He had his pinky up his ear. Hippies generally hate jobs.

“And does protecting whales — having a job, having a purpose — does that make you glad?”

“Purpose? Right.. Well — most of the times. I do it for myself personally. It makes me feel good. I don’t really help other people unless I get something out of it.”

“That’s sort of — selfish; but if you makes you glad, maybe it’s rational self-interest.”

Said the hippie, “That’s a good way of puttin’ it! So would you like to come with us?” and reached out.

“Several times,” said Gallenthmir.

“To the harpoons!” said Frenchie above them. She was in one of her French-type moods. The kind French persons get into; which, by the way, how did she get into a French mood, when there is no France, and how are they speaking in English, when there is no England?

“You know. That’s a solid question,” said Frenchie, in French. “But first, we fight.”

And joined some wild poachers in poaching; you know, the way poachers do, with sharpened objects and such, while Green Peace protested with signs that read, “We can’t read.” . . (I’m sorry, it didn’t say that)- it read, “We’re standing in line, we’re carrying signs” …  But it wasn’t very convincing to the other poachers.

“Say that to our faces!” said the poachers. “We can’t read.”

“Exactly,” said the hippies, and pointed to their signs. The ones that read– oh, what do you know? It really did say that.

Anyways, the whole thing was broken up by a squad of puppet police, and the poachers disbanded, and Green Peace celebrated by going out for sushi.

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Gallenthmir was a tad disappointed by the whole affair. She rounded up her crew, and set off in the direction of True Happiness, the kind she hadn’t found yet.

While Sirens on the sea- bodies of beautiful women, legs of monster- cried out, Want me! Want me! give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Find your happiness here!

The Island of Irregular Bowel Movements

Meanwhile, in between islands..

“What’s that?”

“A giant insect.”

“No, Captain! What is that?”

“It’s a giant, flying insect. They’re quite common in the Spud-lind*, which is connected to our world with the many reflections off pools of water; or mirrors. Watch this. I’ll show you a door.” Gallenthmir picked up her pocket mirror, a mirror used for makeup, and pointed to her reflection and the reflection winked at her, doing something different with its body than she had done with hers. Then, it suddenly got bored, and walked off.

* Spud-lind, or Spud, was the former earth before it got nuked and turned into a frozen potato shape by that infamous trixter in my previous books. .Mirror Country was connected to it through some magic means. You had to smother yourself in chocolate, and dress up like Miss Piggy to get there, to Mirror Country, mostly to be accepted by the puppet kind, but once you got there, once the chocolate melted, you’d be instantly transported back. What a hoot.

“Captain! Where’d it go?”

Said Gallenthmir, “You don’t expect them to stand there all day, do you? They’ve got things to do, butts to kiss. That was just one of the many entrances into Mirror Country, our home. I’ve been on the other side. It’s a crazy place.”

“Well, what’s it like?”

“Well, for one thing. They all wear shirts on their tops and pants on their bottom.”

“Well, Captain, isn’t that a normal thing to do?”

“I know. It’s weird. They’re all so normal over there. I’ll tell you something else that is irregular.”

On this island, everybody had irregular bowel movements. Boom! They landed on its shore.

Nancy Pennington’s and Captain Gallenthmir’s talk was over.

About the island:

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The island itself was an extinct volcano with a little lake inside*, and boats where there stood little outhouses with half moons on them, but it wasn’t dirty. No one could go. They were all in a state of suspended constipation. There, they were like ornery hippos in teacups, bouncing around like a game of bumper boats, bouncing into each other. Engorged from non-relief.

* like in the story before, yes, you noticed

The crew off the P.S. Bring Muffins were on the case.

Gallenthmir, and Nancy Pennington, and Frenchie leaving the ship, whilst Chowder prepared supper. And ere, they climbed up to the peakest peak of the peak of the volcano, and treading down it, paid for a rent-a-canoe, as the compass pointed directly through the Island, following East, West, North, South- all over the place, really- ere they bumped into some guy.

He said, “Sorry, excuse me, pardon me,” and boated off in a paddle boat.

Not too far off from that exact spot, a constipated vendor shouted out, “Agh! Try these marvelous concoctions for fast, effective relief. Happiness: in fourteen flavors. Agh!” Hey, he promised.

Gallenthmir tried one, but it made her dizzy as a side effect whenever she stood up too fast, and she was almost too regular the next day.

“How come this doesn’t work with you?” she came back to ask him.

“Yeah!” said Nancy Pennington. “We want to know.”

“I’ll kiss you, if you tell us,” said Frenchie. “I’m quite skilled.” She’s French, you know.

Something bit her on the head. She looked up.

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Something sharp had indeed hit her, but it wasn’t an animal. It was a prune pit.

Prune-pits fell from the sky, and landed with several distinct noises. Every sound of thunder was a fart. It seemed the gods were quite regular, and had been holding out on the little people.

The vendor pointed up. Grunting. “It’s not us, it’s them. Agh! This island is cursed by the gods.” To need the prunes, but only get the prune pits. Sad L

“Then why don’t you leave?” asked Frenchie.

His face was mutilated in torment from his horrid affliction. “Agh! We would, but do you really think paddle boats would get that far on the Open Sea? We’d be capsized by the monstrous waves. Besides, other puppets don’t really come out this far. It’s uncharted ocean wilderness. Agh! I’ve tried every kind of relief-medicine there is out there. If only we weren’t in pain, why, we could be happy.”

“Say ‘agh’ more. I’m not in pain,” said Gallenthmir. “I’m not happy.”

“Yeah! She’s not happy!” said Nancy Pennington. “That’s why we’re off on this journey. To find True–”

“Love?” suggested the constipated vendor.

“No, I was gonna say ‘Happiness’.”

“Well, you won’t get it here. Agh!”

“Thank you for your — time,” said Gallenthmir, turning away, and pedaling for the side of the cliff face.

“Thank you for your — business, stranger.”

Suddenly, the water turned all red, and began to cook. Gallenthmir, who was paddling with her arms, recoiled and said, “Yee-ouch! Hot!” and finding a nearby paddle boat, leapt into it, right on another puppet, and began to paddle away with her mobile feet powering the device. Frenchie and Nancy Pennington quickly followed her in her pursuit, and then, it happened..

..But it wasn’t very important.

What was really important is that the volcano had blown its top, spilling boiling water, and the town of Constipia was destroyed! Spilled into the ocean. It just about scared the crap out of everyone, and they were quite happy about it. Everyone rejoiced J

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On the open sea again, great white sharks hunted for seagulls, leaping out of the water, while Gallenthmir threw up the side effects of her relief-medicine overboard.

The Ghost Ship Came at a Full Moon at Midnight

Listen. Look. Believe!

Have you ever seen a ghost before?

…Hey, I can’t tell what your answer is, I’m asking you.

The ghost ship came at a full moon at midnight, captained by inane puppets wearing Technicolor bed sheets.

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“Boob,” they said, meaning with every particle of their being to say, “Boo.” But, ya see, Gallenthmir was quite busty, and they glowed in the dark, her bust, and they must’ve had this distraction in the back of their fluorescent minds. They also said, “Give me all your booty.” But they were low talkers. Gallenthmir didn’t really hear them.

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“So we’re pirates, right?” said Nancy Pennington. “When are we going to do any pirating?”

“Now?” suggested Frenchie.

“Now,” affirmed Gallenthmir.

The ghost pirates whispered as loud as they could, “Boob!”

“Did you hear something?” said Frenchie, mopping the poop deck. Nancy Pennington was busy in the crow’s nest, keeping a sharp lookout for pirates, and other hazards, while trying to contain herself from laughter at the thought of ‘poop’. She had her pirate hat tipped over her one good eye, the other one, the one with the patch I didn’t tell you about, making sure all dangers were accounted for. Softly snoring.

“Boob!”

“Did you hear something?” said Frenchie again.

Said Chowder, from the kitchen below, “Yeah. That’s like saying ‘penis’ as loud as you can in math class.”

Gallenthmir was at the wheel, piloting the ship when she saw them. “Pirates! Other pirates! Oh, good! Oh, good! Maybe we can exchange phone numbers, and travel together.”

A flaming skeleton in pirate coats, with peg legs and eye patches, and burning parrot, piloted the ship. The parrot always complaining about its feet getting too hot.

Shape-changing demon were its pitiless crew.

They had since been undecided about what shape they were going to be, and were in a mix somewhere between a bucket of ice water and one of those volcanoes you get from mixing whatsit and baking soda together in all those science experiments at home school.

“My lord,” said the shape-changing demons, now a beetle, now a stick. “They’re not spookified!”

“How can that be?” said the ghost pirate captain, his head flaming, looking through a telescope. “We are. We’re very scary.”

“Maybe they don’t hear us. We are low talkers.”

“If we could just raise up some kind of sign, Captain,” said another shape-changing demon, now a dish of pork, now an ocelot.

“I know!” said the captain. “Let’s just kill ‘em, and steal their booty.” He took off his skull, set his head on the ignition to a loaded cannon, and fired first shot. It bounced Gallenthmir in the chest, but Gallenthmir, being made most probably of rubber, bounced it right back and it tagged the ghost pirate captain in the lip, if a bone could have lips. It seemed halfway melted off.

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“Captain, what was that?” said Frenchie, from the P.S. Muffins.

“Ooh! Ooh! I know what it is!” said Nancy Pennington, from the Crow’s Nest, looking quickly through her spy glass.

Said Gallenthmir, “Before you start chiming like a monkey, and you already have, why not help pick me up, I think I was just hit by a cannonball.”

“WHO WANTS A MIDNIGHT SNACK?” shouted Chowder, from below. “I just marinated it in whiskey sauce. It’s my own double delicious bread puddin’.”

“No one likes your pudding,” said Frenchie.

Another shot, and Frenchie found herself bounced overboard, caught on a cannonball, and jettisoned into the bottom of the ocean.

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Not too far down, maybe a couple of dozen feet. (It was a shallow ocean.)

There, there were swimming red lobster, and a giant crab (12 feet tall, with pinchers). It merely waved a How you do? Scallops. The scallop said, “I’m allergic to bivalves. Achoo!”

“What’s a bivalve?” bubbled Frenchie, who had suddenly hit rock bottom, as it were. And was meticulously trying to undo her crumpled-in body from the cannonball that led her down.

“Ask me again. Maybe I’ll tell you. Achoo!”

“What’s a?–”

“Save your breath, air breather. If you must know, it’s me. It’s me. A bivalve is me. I’m allergic to myself! It’s quite the conundrum. Achoo!” “How does one ‘achoo’ without a nose?”  This is important.

“One does it quite easily. Achoo! How does one breathe underwater without gills?”

Up above, it was midnight. How it was midnight Gallenthmir didn’t know. It was always noon wherever she traveled.

What had really happened, is the Moon had been nursing a grudge against the sun; it had nursed once since long ago.. Let me tell you about it.

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Listen. This is important. I said, Gallenthmir had fed the sun once, and it’s since been following her around. What I failed to mention, is what she had fed it from!

She had sampled a cookie-shaped bite off the moon and handed it to the sun in exchange that the sun would always point her in the right direction overseas and on land.

Now, the Moon had come back with many moons, for payback. It had collected them from other planets. And they were beating up on the Sun!

“But what happened to the ghost pirates?!” I’ll get to that later.

Ah, I better tell you now before I forget.. L

What really happened is, the ghost pirates’ cannons became so loud that a particular band of angels in the clouds above heard them, and shouted down, “Hey, knock it off. We’re playing an etude!”

“Yeah, it’s really quite amazing. Would you knock it off?” and looking down at the cannon fire, which wouldn’t knock-it-off, they fell down from heaven, loosened their wings, hovered over the ghost ship, took out their fiery swords, and said, “Demons again? How many times do we have to tell you to keep it down?”

Said the demons, “But we were whispering as loud as we could! Just like you told us.”

“It’s not the shouting this time, it’s the cannons.”

The ghost pirate captain, meanwhile, was in a rage putting himself back together again. The ham bone connected to the steak bone, and all that. And one of the shape-shifters, having just turned into a dog, was playing with his bones.

Anyways, the angels beat up on them. Sunk their battleship. Victory.

But about that moon nursing a grudge on the Sun and beating up on the Sun with its other moon-buddies… :

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What you see in Mirror Country is exactly as it appears.

If the Sun appears to be rising, then it is.

If the Sun appears to be setting in the water to bed, then it is.

If the Sun appears small, and not much bigger than the Moon, than, well, they are that small. You could reach up and crunch it* like a cookie.

* the Moon

So the Sun and Moon were gone, off, away, somewhere. The Sun had, in fact, been kidnapped, and the world had become a good deal colder.

This is important, how?

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Now, Gallenthmir and her crew would have to steer by stars. But that was the trick!

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You see, in her world, stars were pranksters. They were never where you wanted them to be.

You looked up, and there was the Milky Way.

You looked away, you looked up, and it was just a curdled milk stain on the rug, and all the stars you had hoped would stay quite still, the Polaris of your northern sky, were gone! Tripped away somewhere. They were winking, always to each other, and not too far away, laughing at you.

But Gallenthmir’s compass wasn’t broken. She would have to steer by that. Putting all faith in a gypsy trader.

And so, the Ghost Ship came at a full moon? Full Moon? Where’s the Full Moon?! It had been revoked, and was beating up with its brothers and sisters around the Sun.

And the world had grown a bit duller..

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Meanwhile, meteor showers with happy, talking sparks rained from the heavens. They were the angels. Having a good time. Playing etudes.

And what of Chowder’s midnight snack she had been fixing?

Now, that it was forever night, they had a barbecue outside, on the boat, alight with Tiki torches, and Chowder wore a “Don’t kiss the cook” shirt, as they were all women, and they weren’t that way.

Gallenthmir checked her compass. Then pointed: “This way to True — oh, what’s the point!”

The Island of Vaguely Specific Super Powers

Red rain.

Again, the angels were making jokes, philosophizing, getting closer under the stars*, peeing again. Must be a very painful urine..

* swapping manly stories

Actually, it was tiny microscopic creatures that made it red, which sugared the oceans, made it sweet, but the inhabitants of the sea didn’t know that.

“Shouldn’t we have parrots?” said Nancy Pennington.

“What do you mean?” said Frenchie.

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On this island, anyways, all the inhabitants had vaguely specific super powers.

Like, for instance, Sits-On-Glass-and-Bleeds-Pheasants Boy. Whenever one was in the need of pheasants*, all one had to do was break a favorite vase and wham down Sits-On-Glass-and-Bleeds-Pheasants Boy on it and out popped your favorite dish- a bird.

* quite a commodity

Disposable Lad was afraid he was going to be the next to be eaten.

Happy Man shouted, “I’m happy — ALL THE TIME — it’s great!” He was only happy because he was on crazy pills.

“If I just had your oddly specific super power,” said Gallenthmir. “Then I’d be happy.”

The island itself was hovering above the water, treading on legs. The island had legs.

All the denizens of the island looked to be no more than 11, 12 years old, but they were of an esteemed age. Their longevity went way beyond the lives of several turtles.

“No, I’m really 12.”

Oh. Forget that then..

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Back to the time they first found it!

It was an icy waste of a world. A frozen strip of lunatic desolation.

An archipelago of many small islands in a frozen land. Killer whales capsizing small glaciers to get at their penguin sweets. Polar bears, swimming.

And suddenly- CRASH- the P.S. Muffins crashed on an iceberg.

The water around this island were all frozen in Time, so you could climb up an ocean wave, stand on a seagull. Overhead, the albatross hang motionless upon the wind. Everything is quite solid. And they were on an island filled with superheroes, and no one to save but themselves..

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“And does helping one another — you know — caring selflessly for another puppet being make you happy?”

Said Sir Points-Out-the-Obvious-a-Lot, “It does especially if you’re not bipolar. If you are, can I recommend a good therapist?”

“That’s not obvious.”

Therapist Man came flying out of the shadows, with flowing cape, with his prissy hands bent like a velociraptor, and he said, “Yes? Vot?” He landed with his hands on hips. He looked quite powerful.

All of Gallenthmir and her crew were on the main Island, with the exception of Chowder, as the compass had led them there. She had stayed back to keep safe the ship.

Said Sir Points-Out-the-Obvious-a-Lot, “They were just wondering how you can find True Happiness?”

Said Therapist Man, suddenly conjuring out a couch, and ushering Gallenthmir and crew to sit, “Yes? Vell. It’s quite simple. All vun must do to be, how do you say . .  happy … all vun must do is . . . See a therapist twice a week! Yop.” He, also, looked twelve years old. But was wearing the tweeds of a therapist.

“Are you sure that’s the correct answer?” said they.

“Vy, certainly,” said Therapist Man. Puffing his pipe.

And so they did. But seeing a therapist, you could see him and see him, and it didn’t matter if you ever got any better. The only good thing was, well, they couldn’t help but look forward to it, and it did make them a little happy to share their thoughts and feelings, their life history, but it did major damage with their booty- I guess that’s the only good three things.

After a while, they simply couldn’t afford it.

“Right, we’ll need more booty if we want to be happy extensively,” said Gallenthmir. “Don’t put this location on the map. ‘Tis a silly place. Let’s go! I gotta pee!”

Said Nancy Pennington, “I gotta pee too, Sir,” she meant ‘Captain,’ I think, “but right now, we gotta get our ship fixed first!”

“Oh, right,” said Frenchie. “Awesome.”

Said Chowder, who had gotten bored of waiting in the boat, catching up, “I tried eating the berries here, but they wouldn’t pop in my mouth. Is there some reason this entire island is frozen in time, save its denizens?”

“That’s a short story, actually,” said Can-Make-Burgers-out-of-Tree-Roots Boy. “It’s because we wanted it that way.”

“You see,” said I-Can-Do-Anything-You-Can-Do-But-Better-Is-Something-I-Do-and-Is-Also-My-Favorite-Song Woman. Um. “It all began back when we children came overseas with our parents and got in this big, bad storm.”

Many superheroes continued the tale, but we’ll just stick to one long continuity, instead of saying who continued what part of the story.

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Said the vaguely specific powered superheroes, one after the other, “Then we saw the form of a beautiful lady walking on the water, and it was odd, but it was too late! Our boat had capsized . . . (switch of storyteller) . . . Our parents died trying to save us, and once we were abandoned on this mysterious island, we came in contact with a mysterious artifact. . . (switch) . . . The Black Pearl! . . . (switch) . . . The real Black Pearl, not the fake one! How do we know about that? Everyone this side of the world knows about it . . . It transformed us into these, these super heroes with such weird and fantastic . . .” “and pointless,” said Frenchie “ . . . powers. We were only very young at the time, then, once the oldest of us began to age and die, and we realized we were going to die some day too, so with our powers combined, we summoned Captain Planet, but he couldn’t do anything  . . . Oh, c’mon, laugh! I thought it was funny.. Then, with our powers combined again, by luck and some skill, we froze Time around this island so we could live forever!”

“Second thought,” said Gallenthmir, dictating. “Chart this on the map, and underline it.”

“Right,” said Chowder. “Can you fix our ship?”

They super powered up the ship. Now it could backflips. Sideflips. Corkscrews. The ship could skip, jump, and loop-de-loop. Tie its shoes. Leaping on water. What a pointless quality. Joy.

“And about your question,” said they. “Living together without parents is tough, but with friends, and with having each other, and with the help that comes from the two, I think — yes, I think we can be happy…” J

The Master of Puppets

Gallenthmir was sitting in her captain’s cabin, engorging herself with ice cream, watching her big screen TV, when Frenchie came in.

Now, Frenchie noticed the TV first, where a little goldfish in a bowl was swimming ‘round and ‘round inside it on screen, it seemed. “Captain. You’ve been holding out on us.”

“Oh, the TV. There’s nothing on.”

Good men are hard to find sometimes, but if you know the right places… you can find them.

Frenchie was a pirate, and a good man. She wouldn’t settle for the rest of the crew being held out on.

“Captain!”

“No.”

“O-kay,” and left her.

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The P.S. Muffins, following the course of the golden compass, ended up in the very inner sanctum of Mirror Country, where the Puppet Master controlled all the puppets, and the puppets got to thinking maybe the thoughts in their heads weren’t also all schneegily puff. That’s not a word, nor a phrase, but I think it makes sense most anyways. Doesn’t it?

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Here, there were cardboard seas, and cardboard stars. Everything was — fake. Everything looked like a play that backstage some secret hands had been running cheap special effects. And stars held up by strings. The gulls held up as if by invisible strings. In fact, that’s what they were. And little men were busy running to and fro, with shark fins on their backs, to give the illusion of a possible calamity.

Suddenly, the curtain dropped, and the critics came up. They were on the balcony. They said, “It’s so real!” ….

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The audience either applauded or booed at that point, I can’t tell you which. It was a particularly Central African audience from Earth, and they applauded or booed in different ways than the Western cultures do. Some by clicking their tongues.

The maestro started up the music, and said, “Alright, you cool cats.”

The curtain came back up at the stroke of the maestro’s hand.

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And suddenly, the man with a million arms came from backstage, the Master of Puppets, with his hands up the puppets on the cardboard sea, said, “I can’t keep doing this!” and walked out. To his trailer.

It stopped the whole production that had been playing of

The Island of Indecision: a heart-warming tale with a message*

* plus, it’s got pirates too!

By Granny Nin

And the producers went quickly to his trailer and tried to reason with him: the Master of Puppets. So did Gallenthmir and her three puppets: the puppets she had volunteered to take over to lighten the Master of Puppets’ load, as she had a few extra helping hands.

The puppets performed a puppet show to cheer him up.

“No, this is pointless,” said the Master of Puppets. “You can’t possibly find True-! Look, I looked.” And massaged his arthritic hands, holding them to warm over a candle. “And you,” said the Master of Puppets to Gallenthmir’s puppet crew. “You’re nothing but underlings. Slaves. Puppets, with nothing in your head but what your superiors put into them. You can’t possibly ever be glad. But I can rent it. I know the secret!”

Said Nancy Pennington, “But someone told me money and power isn’t essential in, in — ”

“Someone was wrong. That’s the secret.”

The compass’ needle wasn’t pointing at him.

Somewhere, wherever special effects were taking place, cardboard blue whales hopped through the cardboard seas, the undertow dragged them away. The underwater river currents swept us this way and that!

Listen, it’s gonna take some time to convince the Master of Puppets to begin the show again, so in the meanwhile, could you please just enjoy the following anecdote until we convince him? Thank you.

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Meanwhile, at the Moon’s parent’s house..

The Sun was tied up in the basement, where the Moon often went to bed in the morning after a long night of shining! Well, sometimes shining in the day, but not so often after the Sun and Moon had their little fight.

“Please,” said the Sun. “Let me go.”

“Okay!” said the many moons.

“Really?”

“-No,” said they.

“Darn the luck. Darn!”

“Boss, what are we going to do to ‘im?” said the many moons.

Said another moon, “Are you sure it’s a him? Could be a she.”

“Never mind that!” said another. “The point is, we’ve brought ‘im here, now we’ve got to decide on how we’re going to bash his brains to bits!”

The Sun chimed in, “Uh. Suns don’t have brains.”

“Well, then, we’ll cook him!”

“I’m superheated with thermonuclear fusion.”

“…We could cut him.”

Said the Sun, “I’m pretty much all gas. The blade would go right through me.”

“We could blow him up.”

“I’m already an extended explosion.”

“I get it! We could douse it in water!”

Said the Sun, “You sure you want boiling water to burst all over you? I’m quite hot.”

The Moon looked tense. If, in fact, a moon could look, does look, did look, tense. She formed a team circle with the other moons, looking the other way, and they began to susurrus. That’s the sound your mouth makes when you whisper. Sss. Susurrus.

The ropes tied around the Sun just then realized that the Sun was quite hot*, and so they better start snapping before they catch fire, so they did, and the Sun crept off, up to the Moon’s parent’s garage, and stole away in the Moon’s father’s car.

* They had been listening to the conversation

Now, the Moon was in trouble. End of this story. The beginning of another one..

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Thanks for paying attention!

He’s ready now. J

Well, the Master of Puppets was finally convinced with an early Christmas bonus, a 15% salary raise, and a cheese log, and that made him quite happy for a while, so he stuck his hands up our butts and continued the show.

Meanwhile . . . During the show, and as the curtain rose, and the audience either booed or applauded . . . The ship was leaping over a sandbar, and making evasive actions against enemy pirates that tried to trap it, and pillage its booty. Leaping over and between the ships.

It led them a tad off course*.

* Just a tad, however long in distance a ‘tad’ is.

And into a sea serpent. A type of long, swimming dragon. Which, upon rising, blew a gale of weather out its throat and took Gallenthmir and her crew into a place far, far away from their mission. And close, close, closer to harm…

The Island of Dreams Come True

This island was laid out on the back of a giant sea turtle. A moving island.

A turtle’s back is perfect for carrying islands, at least if the turtle is large enough, though sometimes, if he shifts too much or dives, it can be quite a bit of a hassle. It’s been done before.

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He dove while our four pirate adventurers were on board. They didn’t know it was on the back of a turtle where they had put their anchor.

Luckily for them, they were all wearing swim wear.

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Then, just as suddenly as it had dove, it rose upwards right beneath them. An island with a sign on it promised, This is the island where all your dreams come true!

Thought Chowder, What if I accidentally spilled a bunch of grease overboard and made fish sticks? And pop! Fry! Sizzle! There they were! Right in her hands. Right?

Thought Frenchie, I want my dream man, and out came the richest snootiest French man riding a horse with a silk shirt and a rose in his teeth you ever saw.

Thought Nancy Pennington, I just want a bagel, and chomped on it quite nicely.

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On this island, dreams really did come true. And that was the last thing you wanted, believe me. How many dreams of yours were nightmares you just were clawing to get out? You probably ran in them. But this time, there would be no waking.

Suddenly, their thoughts were racing to all the things they didn’t want to happen, and those happened too. Goblins and ghouls under the stairway, and in the closet, and under the bed, and sometimes, in the toilet, reaching out to grab you, that was my bad dream. Monsters and aliens of every kind!

“But if my dreams came true,” said Gallenthmir. “Then I know I’d certainly be happy! If I just had this, or this, or this, or that. If I became the greatest pirate the world ever knew…” and thinking it, dreaming it, it happened. Her dream came true!

(And meanwhile, her crew fought off the Darkness.)

Gallenthmir suddenly *POOF!* amassed the greatest treasures in all land and distance over and under waves. Diamonds, rubies, gold, pearls. Towel boys. And the world came to see her. Ha! She was loaded.

She was star-struck with all the Rich and Powerful she had met. And after endless days of signing her autograph to lesser pirates, she wrote an odd thing on one of the younger girl pirates, “If money can’t buy happiness, I guess I’ll have to rent it.” The line reminded her of an old fool she had met at a previous island. She sat up, went to her captain’s quarters to think about it.

But it was hollow, and pointless, and short. In all reality, so long as she didn’t continue pirating big things, her fame went suicide off the edge of celebrity, and even when she did, and her fame went up, she wasn’t truly satisfied with that. She needed more! That’s all she dreamed of. More. The more she got, the more her pleasure increased. And that was fun and good. No but’s. It really was fun. But it was only a dream. And dreams are for chumps.

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She couldn’t sleep in the Island of Dreams Come True. Her tired eyes were open, her lungs heaving. She climbed up and smelled the sugary air of the sweet ocean. Picked up a tea cup and dunked it in, drunk sweet nectar.

Dismissing the occasional nightmare with a blow from her pistol and a cut from her rapier. None were formidable to meet her.

Over the port bow, the only part of the boat I know, humpback whales were out there drinking the same filth they bathed in- they defecated in, a cesspool of fish excrement. Such a wingspan. It quite nearly flew.

See how it lifts its head and leaps out the water, pumping its tail in good, full strokes? thought Gallenthmir. If only she could be as free as they.

And then she saw a curious thing.

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Fish that were huge from the front, but invisible from the side? No, she was quite used to the bizarre in Mirror Country. She’d seen weirder things on TV, on fish bowl television.

No, she saw great bubbles of water suspended in the air. Gravity couldn’t have them. She’d like to fly away too. But silly! She had wings.

She flew up with them, and talked among the stars.

“Hallo!” said they, winking as stars often do. “Wot’s a good-lookin’ woman sech as yerself doin’ wid the likes o’ us?” It reminded her of a bloke. It had to be a bloke, this star. Brummy.

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“I’d like to ask God and Heaven what the secret to True — well, He knows what’s on my mind, doesn’t He?” she said, hovering, crossing her eight arms. One of her arms quite occupied with picking her nose.

“Shor He does!” said a star. “Jes’ pray to Him. He’ll answer. You’ll hear ‘im in your heart. That is, of course, if yer listenin’. Bear in mind, there will be many signs. Don’t miss ‘em.”

The ghost ship came again at midnight, at a full moon, but then the Moon’s parents called about their car that had gotten stolen, and revoked the Moon’s outdoor privileges, and so she had to go away; and the Sun came to save the day, driving in the stolen car, shone a light on the ghost ship, and the ghosts were no more..

The Storm to End All Debates About Which Storm Was the … Oh, we haven’t time to make chapter titles! It’s coming.

Gallenthmir had left her wishes of Dream Come True, and fallen out of heaven like a wishing star, faced all the monsters of her nightmares, loved all the lovers of her dreams, and still felt upset that she wasn’t, as of yet, in her mind, ‘truly’ happy. Not continually.

Maybe more true love and high adventure would satisfy her.

The first monster of her dreams she faced on these perilous shores was the Hydra, in retrospect, she remembered. With its many heads, and long neck. Cut off one head, and four more grow in its place. She had often dreamed of it, chasing her down a forever hallway. Now, it was revenge time.

She made quick work of this beast of burden by punching a hole in its stomach with her eight arms and then putting a bomb in there and watching the sky rain down Hydra in many blood-colored shapes that pleased her like she’d done before.

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After she gathered up her crew, and their dreams fulfilled, they set out to sea again to, to not True North, but True — you know what it is. You do. But they encountered the same storm some adolescent superheroes had faced so many centuries back..

This storm capsized the boat in a matter of minutes!

Let us explore those minutes.

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First minute, the ship set sail upon the gale.

Said Gallenthmir, “Man your stations!”

“But we’re women!” said Nancy Pennington.

They saw a lady suddenly walking on the water, directing the waves, the thunder, the storm. She seemed quite peaceful in spite of it all. Then Gallenthmir remembered: all things in Mirror Country were clap-on, clap-off. She clapped her hands, and the storm was no more. The lady walking on the water said, “Hey!” and clapped her hands, and the storm was back in its boat-capsizing mood.

Clap-on, clap-off. Gallenthmir fired a harpoon at the lady on the water, and the lady cried, “Hey!” and the harpoon was attached to a rope, so Gallenthmir brought the lady on board, hoisted her up, and said, as she was suspended in the air, “Just what are you doing, ma’am?”

“Forgive me,” said the lady, giving salutation. “I am Madame Storm. I am in charge of the weather.”

Said Frenchie, “That’s like naming the ice cream man Mr. Cone. Are you sure that’s your name?”

“Sure as rain.” Resting on a pillow of winds. She smiled.

“Rain can’t be sure. It’s inanimate,” said Frenchie.

“Anyways, it’s my job to direct the moods of the weather, and I’ve decided its Storm day. If you’ll excuse me…” She picked out the harpoon imbedded in her chest, flopped like a fish on deck, and then splashed right back into the water. She had to right herself as she was wearing special, extra large boat shoes to float on the water*. But the storm only ran around her, it didn’t run through her. She was quite safe, and quite happy, and quite alone in her mission.

* It didn’t have anything to do with magic that she floated like she did.

But Madame Storm turned around on heel. And began to clap madly!

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It was an intense clapping competition between her and Gallenthmir, if there ever was one! And so, there was. Flamenco style, accompanied by Spanish guitar courtesy of a flamenco hair band that Gallenthmir had hired as left-overs right off Dream Comes True coast. She had always wanted one. A Spanish flamenco band. And suddenly the boat was cut in two quite easily as a sponge cuts through, cuts through, cuts through . . a ton of iced cabbage– (or a hot knife cuts through butter. It was one or the other. I forget.)

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The storm came in a tornado made of sweetwater, picked up the P.S. Bring Cindy’s . .  Eh, or what was left of it, and set it quite gently to rest on the Island of Indecision.

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The ship. Broken from journey*.

* It cracked my head open. Luckily, my body escaped!

The Island of Indecision

It was only a small rock island. Nothing special about it. No power to it. But to them, it was . . Da, da, da . . The Island of —

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-On this island, the voyagers were indecisive about their journey; and should they continue on? What was the point without a boat? They needed to ask the locals.

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Well, there was one local. They met a masked magician on the island there, sitting down to a table of flavorful food. He was gently napping. His face deep in syrup from those little pancake thingies you get in France–whuddyakallem? When he woke up, he righted himself. He said, “Oh, I know why you are here. But you will never find Ultimate Bliss. What are you going to do, cry about It?” He was nursing a headache.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

He led them to a door, and said, “Please.” Opening the door, they found they were in an upside-down castle; the castle’s top, or bottom- (whatever way you’re looking at it)- jutting into the ocean deep, balancing on its stem, the entire island.

“I thought it cool to build an upside-down castle. No, I’m kidding. It was once right-side up, but then some mysterious lady began a storm with her mystic powers and capsized the whole island, so now the bottom is facing up and the top is facing bottom. Dreadful. This is the Island of Indecision, only because I haven’t decided one wallpaper to furnish the walls.” It is. I named it. It’s my island.

“Blue,” suggested Gallenthmir. For a color wallpaper.

“No… No, I shouldn’t so. Too much blue in the ocean.”

“Yellow?” suggested Nancy Pennington.

“Too loud a color.”

“Red!” suggested Chowder and Frenchie together.

“You know — I’m just not sure. I don’t think I’m ready yet. Would y’all like some sodas?”

The master of the castle climbed up several furniture pieces ‘til he reached an upside-down refrigerator, and opened it, a little Eskimo boy handed him five colas, and he closed it, worked his way down, and they sat on the ceiling.

“Actually, I’d like a Dr. Pepper,” said Nancy Pennington, but Gallenthmir smacked her across the head, saying, “Nancy, you’re a guest. Be glad with what you get.” Then turning to the master, with smiling eyes: “She’s glad to get a cola. By the way, stranger, we haven’t asked your name.”

“My name is rather embarrassing..” said the master of the castle.

“How embarrassing could it be?”

“That’s right. How embarrassing could it be? Well, it’s Bates.”

Gallenthmir extended a hand, “Pleasure to meet you Master . . . Bates?…” L

Master Bates nursed his headache.

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They looked out the window now and saw an angler fish with a little lamp over his eyes so that he might see. Glow fish. Gleam fish. Shine on, Fish. But then a giant something with so many arms jetted in and drove the lamp to darkness.

“I thought angler fish only existed on the bottom of the ocean,” said Chowder.

“This is the bottom of the ocean. It’s a small ocean.”

“What was that?” said Nancy Pennington.

Said Master Bates, “My pet.”

“Your pet?”

The bulging vein on his forehead suddenly seemed to subside. His features softened. “The giant squid, Tommy, I’ve named him. I love looking out the window and seeing Tommy..”

“I love squid! Squid tastes neat!” said Nancy Pennington.

“I wouldn’t have a pet that tasted so good,” said Chowder. “I’d probably end up cooking it.”

A chair fell from the ceiling? .. floor?

“Oh, drat!” said the master of the castle. And felt his head again. “I’ve nailed all the furniture to the floor and walls, so they wouldn’t look silly upside-down there, but you know, sometimes they come loose and need a good re-bolting.”

He threw it* up in the air and shot it in several places with a nail gun, and it stuck.

* the chair

“Don’t open any windows or doors down here. That wouldn’t turn out to be a happy story.”

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Said Master Bates, “Tell you what. If you figure out a way to turn my castle right-side up again. I’ll tell you where to find Ultimate Bliss.” He had one bad, long headache that had lasted him for years. He’d been thinking about it for eternity.

Gallenthmir shrugged endlessly. This was quite impressive, as you may have never seen a being with eight arms shrug before. “Fine, fine,” she said, and climbed her way out to … “That’s an impossible task! Lord!”

“So’s trying to find out what you’re looking for,” said Master Bates. “Humph. Good day.”

Gallenthmir waved her squad over and said, “We’re still a pirate crew. We’re a team. We’ve still got a mission. Come on! It’s not too much farther on, come swim away with me. You can stand on my shoulders. I’m quite stable.” She left to find the — Edge of the World, but it seemed their ship had found them. It seemed to have a mind of its own, and it did. It seemed to have been thinking about them. Its face looked a bit happier since last time they met.

They took it, first thing, to —

The Edge of the World… not being found. The world isn’t flat! It’s a circle.

Well..

“If I can’t find True Happiness, I don’t wanna live!” said Nancy Pennington. “I’d rather throw myself off the edge of the world.”

But there was no edge of the world, they found out. They ended up on Destiny Islands, the exact place where they had set out from. .

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Could such a place exist? they wondered. A round world? What about all the upside-down people living on the other side of the world on this round planet? What about them? How could they live with the blood rushing to their heads?

I suppose the compass did point in the right direction. But it pointed all — around — the world*.

* What a rip-off!

More on that later. But first they had found a plug in the very opposite end of the Destiny Islands they had set off on, and the compass to True Happiness pointed directly in that direction. Well, there was a lighthouse, but it couldn’t be that drab, old thing. “It’s gold, gold, gold!” said Gallenthmir. “I just know it! The key to Ultimate Bliss.” Their ship had run aground on it. A diamond-seeming object. “Quick! Nancy Pennington! Frenchie! Chowder! Help me with this.” And they pulled.

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And they pulled.

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And they pulled..

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They pulled, and pulled, and pulled, but nothing worked. They even so much as went underwater, attached the plug to their ship, and sailed in the opposite direction, but there was nothing doing.

“There seems to be a great suction pulling on the end, Captain,” observed Frenchie. “Maybe if we–”

“–Bomb it?” said Gallenthmir. “Yes, we could bomb around the objects to loosen it up. Crew! Help me with the bombing. We’ll load the cannons and unload everything on the plug. Give ‘em all you got!”

They directed the cannons downward and shot in highly specified locations all around the plug; to loosen the sand, and soften the plug; then they set the timer for the bombs and backed up at 15 knots, pulling on the plug, and Heave!  Ho!  Heave!  Ho!

“Captain, it’s working!” said they.

They could see their efforts had borne fruit. The plug had loosened. And BOOM! As suddenly as the plug had ripped off from its stem, a great suction like never before and never again began to pull at them.

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“Oops,” said Gallenthmir.

The ocean suddenly lurched, and experienced a hiccup.

“Oops,” said Gallenthmir.

The water became waves as tall as houses fit for giant men.

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“I think we did it, Captain!” said Nancy Pennington. “We’ve found the treasure.”

“Fool!” said Gallenthmir. “There is no treasure. Just a hole in the ocean.”

And everything, everything, everything between islands, filtering into it. Oh, sure, it was plugged up by me, the P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins, at first, but that didn’t last. For my head had broken, and the leak of all earth had begun.

And drowned the Master of Puppets, who lived his life quite selfishly in the caverns below the world. Sitting on a pile of gold. And only then, when he looked up, in his final moments, did he say, “I don’t think I really deserved this.”

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Jellyfish. Coral. Minnows. Water bugs. Tuna. Nesee. . Oh, I can’t spell that name! The Loch Ness Monster.

Everything, everything became a suction moving backwards, and back, and back, like the backwards whirlpool of a toilet in Australia country, and FLUSH! and suddenly, there was no more ocean to pirate..

It was the end.

It was over.

The world had all but dried up.

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And the resulting violence had broken up the P.S. Bring Cindy’s Muffins and tossed Gallenthmir and her crew ten final miles in the direction towards the True Happiness as promised on Gallenthmir’s golden compass.

And looking up, where had the water gone? Nancy Pennington knew. She saw what the others had failed to see in their panic.

She looked back and saw a great column of water rising up out of the plug and to the heavens, and on it all the creatures of the deep, with haloed heads, swimming up the last of the water ‘til the water filled the skies, a reverse Noah; as all the water that had been there before the Flood was back where it began, and spread out. In clouds. The beginning of all life. The Single Sea. .

And Destiny Islands had ridden a geyser to the stars.

All the ocean life had died. Waterfalls falling upward, leading back Home.

White Shores

A giant insect landed on the Moon and took it away.

Kidnapped.

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And the final tide rolled in, and the final tide rolled out, and in the last tide pool was left four tiny persons. Faces in the sand.

They ended up at the end of their own town of Destiny Islands.

The End?

No, but first, this happened:

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They came upon the Island of True Happiness.

Gallenthmir’s compass had led them all the way 360 around the world, only for her to realize that True Happiness could be found just a quarter mile from her house. It was a man’s house*, and inside was a smoking fire, and he turned around, and said, “Hi.”

“Hi,” said Gallenthmir, and smiled. Like this: J

What’s your name?

Joi, he said.

She checked her eyes. The compass pointed directly to him. Inside this lighthouse.

You’re here because you’re looking for happiness? said Joi.

“Yes. How did you know?”

He got out his cane, and stood up. He said, A lot of folks are popping in nowadays, said they’d wandered the world looking for it, and I’m the one who’s got it.

He opened up a black book, the book, and read to her the opening lines of a chapter he had marked. “Eh-hem. Dear traveler, You’re looking too hard. What you may dismiss as trivial, the little things, could be the key to your Happiness. Are you married? Are you unmarried? Don’t go looking elsewhere unless it’s a bad fit. Um.” Now, I bought this book off a traveling priest years ago, his only copy, and since then, people have been bugging me for answers.

“I didn’t want a self-help book,” said Gallenthmir.

He stopped reading, putting his reading glasses down, and said, “The key to your Happiness, Gallenthmir, is simple: It’s different for everyone. You need to Believe in something. You need some One. You need– What am I saying? I don’t think any one can be happy all the time! Happiness comes from our happenings. True joy, or contentment, comes from within. Joy comes from God. True Happiness comes from being content with what you have. I shall not want. The good king Shepherd said that. A wise king. You’re a pirate, are you? You want the world, don’t you? Well, then. This is just coming from a lowly lighthouse worker, but I think you’ll never be happy..”

The End.

“Wait, what!” said Gallenthmir. “That can’t be the ending, can it?”

But it was.

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Don’t look so sad. Buck up. It’s your birthday today. I got a cookie for you… J

When Gallenthmir read this, a bedtime story- one that reminded her of something: She cried at anything that reminded her of her youth, being advanced along now, in years.

* * *

Let’s continue with this story, Mother Snow covering the ground with a white quilt and reading it a story.

In other news, a bug landed on my brother’s nose last night. The bug gave his nose a loving bite–but it might have been a fairy.

It was a very small fairy, I think, or whatever small creature you can think of on short notice. Hugged the tears of a giant. He was crying.. It was that small!

But look! The bug decided to tell them one last story. Tidying up the children’s minds.

A bedtime story does this brilliantly, you know–you need to assure your children they’re safe. That: “No harm can come to them.”

Reassuring them of their fears..

* * *

An adult tells a lie–is mistaken–says she has no flaws, and her rule is fair. Children do not dispute the wisdom of such powerful beings. Not for ages.

End.

21st Story: I’m not sure if this is the 21st Story or not yet.

TITLE ABOUT KILLING INSECTS, THE ONE WHERE EVERYBODY SHRINKS DOWN, AND IT’S ALL A PARODY OF ’THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN’, STARRING COUCH FACE AND MANLY MAN AND THE PARODY OF SPIDER-MAN, ‘Insect Man’- wait, do they even get show up? “We Were Outside Burning Ants with a Magnifying Glass When …the most logical thing in the world happened…  We all shrunk down a bit.

-The lawn had soon become a rainforest!!!!

Rainforest, a definition: So much water in the air that you drown if you try to breathe.

Actually, this definition didn’t work too well, as this was the desert, and the rain* hadn’t been turned on for five months.

* the giant’s sprinkler system

* * *

So. First..

First, one toe shrunk so small the red blood cells couldn’t fit. Cut off the circulation.

Then the rest of him* shrunk, and all was well!

* our giant

(The giant had two friends who had shrunk down with him- one was me, one was some other guy.)

..

No, I’m not gonna do a heartwarming story about how we should see things from a bug-eye view**, then show you a family of dung-beetles and their grubs being haunted by the tyrants of Humanity. Instead, I’ll just show you a squished Man.

** Life Under the Boot

Some bugs are just pests.

* * *

Now, I think it necessary to tell you…

Author’s Note:

Now, this story doesn’t seem to work for Couch Face, coz, if you remember, all the bugs in this universe are giant!!!! Okay, how do I make this work?

Okay, what it is, I’m thinking..

…Got it! I actually thought for quite a long time between “…”, I bet you didn’t think that.

Okay, so there was a race of giants not so far off out of the borders of the Three Cities, and they were all bigger than the giant bugs, until that day the most logical…

..thing happened.

* * *

So that’s how we shrunk down, Bug.”

The Bug paused to wipe its face and hands*. It was standing on a pile of dung.

* Bugs are quite cleanliness-conscience creatures.

“Aw, you don’t wanna know. You don’t speak our language.”

“Know what?” said the Bug.

“You speak!”

“I spoke!”

“And– do you understand my predicament? Me and my friends are really small now, where before, we used to be giants!”

“You speak my language,” said the Bug.

“Oh, you’re probably not very smart, why am I talking to you?”

“That I’m not,” and buzzed off. Was a bug somewhere else.

* * *

On Planet Spud, the night is luminous, for all vegetation glows. You could make out under that.

They were then in the glowing vegetation, beneath the tulips, beneath the grass.

The first thing they saw was a big beverage their parents had left on the grass. . So big it possessed a lunar tide.

“What do we do with this?”

“Ah, I dono. Contemplate it.”

“That’s an extreme thirst.”

This drink could take years!

Proportion: Add a drop of cyanide to the ocean, you’re not gonna feel it.

..After swimming in this cyanide stew for a bit, they got out, freshly toweled, and said, “Well, that didn’t accomplish much. Hey, let’s head for our house! Maybe our parents will know what to do with us.”

* * *

I’ve only seen the world from my perspective (what of seeing the world from an ant’s perspective?) Who cares?

I certainly don’t.

Anyways.

But not too much before they were burning aunts, one or the other. It is the cruelty of a child working a sun burn into a colony of ants with a mirror. A mirror that reflected a child’s gleeful grin.

* * *

Now they were in grass jungles.

Following a path of dog urine to the house they knew since they were very small– for giants, at least.

Oh, the shrunk-down places they visited: a giant shoe!

How the bugs festered around this area. Its smell- intoxicating.

Wouldn’t it be annoying if someone was just poking you all day? That’s what flies are.

Said one or the other, “The Only Good Bugs is Named Bunny*” *-and even he’s kinda annoying.

* * *

Let me tell you a magical tale.

When the first twoyear old let out sweet tantrum in greed for a toy, the first grubby maggot was born and so gave rise to insect-kind.

It’s not true, though. That’s not how it really happened.

Kinda makes you think I wasted your time…

* * *

Anyways, they were on their way. Over rock, and under the rock, where mutants fester- until they realized going under rocks was the best way to get themselves killed; that’s where the most poisonous bugs lived.

And on that way, they discussed their condition to one another.

Said one, “How far do you think to our house?”

“Shut up,” said the other.

A great insect passed them by.

“We could ride one of those- if we could tame it. It would make the journey much easier.”

“Shut up,” said the other.

He’s one hell of a conversationalist.

* * *

..In the world of Spud, there are no small insects, in fact, and all dinosaur people wear coats when it rains.

Um. The central city in Spud is called South Kersepolis and is surrounded entirely by a series of huge walls that keep the giant insects out. .The insects can’t fly.

Because of their massive girth, most can only hover. Pigs fly. So do all the tiny dinosaurs that sting–and spit.

“They can’t fly, you know.”

“But they can run. Come!”

They leapt on one, but its various legs didn’t know which way to go. They tried another, and it was much the same. And all the talking bugs only said, “Hey, buddy. We’re not gonna let you ride us.” I guess they’d have to walk it. “And yes we can– we can fly! Want a demonstration?” and flapped their wings, landed on a satellite a long time far away.

* * *

Only at the end, they realized we didn’t shrink, but the insect kingdom and our backyard had grown. But that’s skipping a bit too far ahead, don’t you think?

There were so many tiny dinosaurs about, anyways, and so many big abominations to hunt them! A dragonfly came and carried off a mighty Longneck. Water bugs choked on a Croc.

Upon spotting one, I* never jumped so high in my life! Normally, I can’t do that.

* I was there. I was among them. I was living among giants- probably not for much longer.

It’s just that these insects are so very fast, you understand, and this had scented me. It didn’t see, it scented! I smelled like a full intestine, and bugs love-

-you know what they love..

How that grass

diet bug grew so big, I’ll never know. Most vegetarians I met were very thin.

* * *

Oh, the shrunk-down places we visited: a cookie with cream filling, for food.

Said the one, “Whoa. We’re the size of boogers. How do we eat this?” Obviously, someone must have had dropped it.

Said the other, “Shut up.”

This supplied them with nourishment for the long trek home.

On their way, they found a snail.

The slime trail follows him home.

* * *

At cockroach level now..  I think we were getting bigger.

And a giant ant the size of a small dog is carrying a baby with its rattle down the sidewalk, then down its hole.

I have these tiny hands, see. I want to save things with them. What do you think happens to the baby? does it die? Can we show this on TV?

By the time we had stopped the ant, it was too late.

* * *

They and I all together- that is to say, We– continued on through grass jungles, and came upon a large Lego block.

“We’d best rest here for the night,” said one.

“Shut up,” said the other.

“Why do you keep saying that?”

“Well, coz- coz it’s your fault we’ve shrunk!”
“How do you come to that conclusion?”

“The super-intelligent ants shrunk us down after you suggested we burn them with a — with a magnifying glass,” said the other.

Said the one, “No, they didn’t. I don’t know how we shrunk down.”

“Me neither..” said the other.

Said the one, “We’d best go to sleep anyways.” And we did. A Lego block we used as our house. I slept in the grass just outside, under the glowing dots.

In the morning, we met a giant scorpion, face to . . Would you call it a face? We said, “This is beginning to get too much like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

“Shoo,” said the one, shooing. “Shoo, scorpion.”

Said the scorpion, “I’ve not done anything bad. I’ve just stopped to ask directions.”

“Sure. Take a left at the rock. Head straight on ‘til you see the house that it so obvious to see, you can’t miss it.”

“Do you guys wanna hear a joke?”

“No. You’re hideous,” said the other. “We just wanna get you out of here. That’s why we gave you bogus directions.”

“Oh. Okay,” and left them.

We continued on in the morning.

* * *

They met another bug, a beetle, over dandelion and over muddy water. I didn’t. I had left them. I didn’t think they’d get anywhere.

The first thing the bug said, the bug said, “You told me size didn’t matter!” That’s what he said. It is. They told me all about it later.

Apparently, he had gotten in a fight with his wife, his contacts had fallen out, and he couldn’t tell us apart from a stick.

Our answer, as I had just come back to retrieve my glasses: “You’re a bug. You’re tiny. Of course it matters! You’re the bottom of the food chain. I squish you and I squish you,” and stepped on his giant head. “I’ve never met you before. You have no cause to say that. Go away.”

The one said to me, “Idiot, in this world insects are huge. We’re just giant.”

“Oh.”

It left.

What is a speck with wings?* / What if it had an intelligence? / What if it had a thought, and that thought was Love, and that love wanted to…  make a difference, however small? * (Answer: A gnat or a very far-off airplane)

..Okay, now try our world, is it tiny?

At eye-level, no. With a mega-scope, yes it seems, but is it unimportant?  !!

This was the world’s smartest termite: An insect possessing memory. He said, “..I remember that. It was really entertaining.” I didn’t say he’d be creative or anything. He was still just a bug in a roach-like car, low and creeping.

The bug had built it. It was to scare the other insects. Honk, honk.

Small creatures must live by their wits, you understand. This thing had little wit, but it tasted just great.

“Like teaching an ant how to read. You see, their minds are so tiny they can’t fit but one letter at a time!”

Break me offa half of your intelligence. We’ll share an IQ point.

* * *

A

nd we passed millipedes, and spiders, and walruses, and flies.

* * *

Now, for a scenario. In present tense. A fly tries to ram a flyswatter and conquer a mile stretch of fly paper.  . (see? Present tense)

It’s war, sister! Like broken insects scurrying away from bodies that were once a unity of the self. ..? Is this poetry enough?

The one and the other watched this with moderate detachment. A war-drenched countryside, and grass jungles. “I wonder what the hell happened there.”

Corpses were everywhere.

* * *

Not just then, but a good deal later, the sprinkler system went off at full flood.

And the one and the other must run for higher ground!

But it seems they were getting tinier and tinier. So tiny they could see all the textures in a leaf.

* * *

God is quality, even at this level. Ever taken a microscope and looked at a piece of leaf?

Without your advancing eye, it’s just a piece of leaf, but with the microscope it is infinity!

It goes on and on*, more complex the more you look at it. More bits than we can ever put into an Apple Computer, a 3D Emulator, a Videogame.

* “like this book.”

We advance and advance in our sciences, but still we haven’t discovered the end to all of God’s devices, neither on this planet nor in the mysteries above.

* * *

They could see all the hairs on a bug.

* * *

…nor in the mysteries above.

I don’t think He thinks bugs are ugly, whether you care or not. I think He thinks they are good and beautiful. They’re different than us, though, and anything different than us, even just a little bit different than us–  we call it weird. All weird means, in itself, is ‘different’. And I love variety.

Are you paying attention? Great!

You’re not? Great too!

He told me something very special then. “Don’t use the phone now or the guy working on the phone lines will be electrocuted.” I took these words to heart, and still live to these words to this very day.. That doesn’t work, though. I mean!

-Hey!

* * *

Anyways L

Shrink.  I’ll carry you around in my pocket J

* * *

The one and the other went past Flies, Ants, and Mosquitoes. And in most countries: Locusts.

Squish a fly. Spread the guts all over the lawn, the one said to the other.

Watch a mosquito pop on your hand, full of blood.

And ants–  Ants are kinda like the garbage men of nature. They told me once. “

It’s our job, damn you!

..Anyways, the one and the other* and I went back to that Lego block and decided to sleep again.

* They were over-sleepers.

“Well, okay,” I said. “But the morning AFTER, we continue on and find our house.”

“Shut up,” said the other.

The mosquito hawks were out.

Said me, observing the outer world, “…Don’t let that mosquito eater in.”

“But it’s good! It eats all the bugs,” said they.

“Have you ever seen a mosquito eater actually eat a mosquito?” I said.

“No, but you gotta believe your biology lessons,” or else, what are all those biologists for?

The mosquito eater said, “Buzz, buzz.”

“Oh. Go away.”

It went.

..It saw a light.

It went towards that light…

FLASH! Night had become day.

Like a bug zapper over a barbecue grill. In fact, that’s exactly what it was.

* * *

After having seen “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” Couch Face always checks his cereal for people before eating. If there’s no people, he doesn’t eat it.

* * *

They and I- that is to say, We- awoke to the sound of rumbling.

A Spudquake. Alternate definition: Lack of pleasant organization. It was really just the lawnmower, going off.

Yes, a lawn mower had gone off, but it was very far away, so there wasn’t any danger*.

* I suspect you were wishing for more danger, but really, the insects were quite agreeable. They even let us hang out in their webs.

The grass was, in fact, a shag carpet.

Couch Face’s shag carpet actually grew! He liked to roll down grass hills, but he didn’t like to get itchy, so he recently had his backyard all carpeted. “Bring a lawnmower. The rug’s getting tall.”

He was throwing a party that day. Everyone tolerable was invited.

He was actually very tiny at the time he invited them, tinier than the bugs, but he knew some giants. So he developed a growing ray that grew himself up to their size, so he could party with them.

They looked like they were decent party animals. And animals can throw wild parties.

One of them, a giant girl, flicked off a hulking mosquito, then said to the squashed bug, “Sorry, sir, but who are you?”..

This was a mosquito about yay big. Do you need more description? It was about yay wide and yay tall. Really!

Said another girl to a bug, “Sorry. I normally don’t kill anything — but you’re really ugly.”

* * *

Seriously!

The burned horseflesh and the flies still biting. ‘Dessert!’ they quailed, sipping greedily with alien mouths.

They didn’t have teeth, flies. The digestive enzymes let the acid do the eating.

They’re so ugly! I sometimes doubt what God was doing when he made insects, but then I come to think, maybe he was just enjoying Himself, creating something entirely new. Maybe mosquitoes were just an ancient plague that never died out. Maybe we lecherous lot deserve to be bitten every now and then.

* * *

Anyways, the one and the other were back on their journey towards the house- where else would they go? Bees ran air raids on wild flowers, meanwhile.

And a bee came in from that raid and said, “Buzz, buzz.”

To the bee, “So buzz off!”

“Fine,” said the bee. “But I encourage you to be more original in your insults.”

The one and the other traveled over rock and stick, until they came to a wall…

* * *

Captive flies buzz their wings between closed screens. We may be desperate insects. Trapped in our dimensional world.

..If the brain could see in four dimensions, it just might see God.

I don’t think it’s for the amoeba to question the scientist who built the microscope to observe it, “How does it work?” because the amoeba won’t appreciate it.

Even if it had lifespan enough to form a thought with what gelatinous mass it had, it’d just think, “Um.” It wouldn’t understand. Besides, it’s brainless.

So are His ways higher than your ways. It’s such a complex step of being several flights up from amoeba to a scientist.

I wonder if there’s another level.  .

While tiny people do tiny things.

Yes, I know that’s an unfair comparison.

* * *

Not just then, but a little while later, the two former giants had arrived at home. “Mom! Dad!” they said.

But it was the wrong house.

The one and the other and I had, in fact, arrived at a giant insect’s house.

Giant insects in a home saw a person the size of a mouse to them and said, “Oh my! It’s huge! Quick — kill it,” in what language they could muster. This perspective is weird to us. It should be. Isn’t it stupid to say bugs have feelings?

The one and the other were then trampled under foot, and made out with not a few bumps and bruises.

“That was weird,” said the one.

Said the other, “Shut–”

“–Okay, okay!” said the one. “That was the wrong house. I picked the wrong house. I’ll find the right one next time.”

They and I- that is to say, We- looked over the grass jungle and saw the right house, stepped on in, and their parents found them on the floor, and my parents found me likewise, and now they keep us in a miniature house, and we were never quite recovered, so the two ‘giants’ and I had to move to South Kersepolis- where people are generally smaller than bugs- to be accepted; and it was all very sad.

Couch Face had shrunk we three giants, it seemed, in punishment of working a sunburn into an ant; but he would not share his ‘growing’ remedy with us.

* * *

Only at the end, they realized we didn’t shrink, but the insect kingdom and our backyard had grown.

* * *

So. Why’d I talk about bugs for 13 pages? Hm.

For fun, I think.

..Why we hate bugs, besides that they bugs us, is: Shoo, fly. You’re ugly and you’re small. We don’t like you. You’re not a puppy!! And I agree.

That’s our only reason. . They’re also annoying. And some are poisonous. And if they were bigger, we’d hate them more..

If it were a flying puppy at that size, maybe we wouldn’t squish it. This is why Gallenthmir laments over squished flies. If it was a flying puppy, we’d love it, but a bug of that size,

it’s  gonna  eat  me

* * *

But move over. Get lost. I’m busy. Incredibly.

I’d say busy as a bee, but just look at all ‘em ants in army patterns.

..For me, I say, Bees got it easy, they float, they fly. Lackadaisical, they take their time*, but there is a reason they call their contemporary the Hurrying Ant, or I do.

They have–oh— <> so many adventures. Up a rock, on a Coke can, a tree.

* They even take little sips on each flower. Do so in turn.

24th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 24th Story or not yet.

Landing Safely to Rest in the Dish of a Doberman Named Kiljoy

Says the villain, “You fools! Your foolishness amuses me!”- from X-men, the Animated Series. Actual Quote, Phoenix saga. Wanna check?

It is a little known fact. . Pushed around for being so small:

Most common thugs in Couch Face had tommy guns and were dressed in zuit suits! They looked like they came out of the 1940’s. Freshly schmucked. They were called the Days of the Week Gang, and they went Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, to the mall. Thursday never showed up.

The young boys’ mind who invented them, a telekinetic of very powerful proportions, was intentionally taught wrong by his parents*, and so turned to a life of crime by inventing all the gangsters in the tri-city area. He was a rebel.

* “Cows go cluck, Oinks go moo.”

His mother was very disappointed in him for this** and so, sent him to his room, and there he has remained, brooding. . Keeping the villains fulla cash. Booming!

** though it was really her fault, she was ashamed of him; she never thought he’d go that far

But now he had escaped, and it was up to the superheroes to undo him! But now, gone mad, he was extra powerful. .

So the superheroes all drew straws on the ground, and after having the local wizard turn the sandy straws into bendies, went to the local smoothie shop. Said, “Well, I’m not going in. That’s the biggest villain this side of Spud!”

“Well, I’m not going in.”

“Hey, I thought we drew straws!”

“Yeah, mine doesn’t bend. I’m really upset about that. Wizard!”

Said Merlin, “Yes, my liege.”

“Bend my straw.”

“*Ouch!* “-Not that one!” Oh, c’mon, I thought it was funny.

“Joking, joking!” said the Merlin and then got them all to business. “I have conjured you all here today to say that that kid must be stopped-  we haven’t decided on his name yet. We thought Little Nicki, but that’s been used, and Damian too! so how bout Billy- no, that won’t do either.

How bout Dead? You’d all want to see him Dead now, won’t you?”

“Yes, the name thing’s all very confusing, but whatever you call him, Dead must be killed!”

“Yes, kill Dead!”

“Down with Dead!”

Can you believe all these unseen voices talking right now are just two people?-  Manly Man and the Wizard?”

“Don’t be stupid. We are very popular! Look at all those people staring at us,” and drawing straws, Manly Man was definitely the longest so he was decided to go off! on the Quest to Kill Dead.

Some oddballs joined them later.

“Yes, Dead must die!”

“Who’re you?” said Manly.

We of the League of Evil Villains also want to see Dead killed, you wanna know why? Because he won’t join our super group after oodles of invitations, and this insults us!” There they were. The entire League of Villains, their brains ‘undulating, postulating- forming schemes.’

“Look: if you’re all off to kill your own member-”

“Not a member!”

“-leave me out of it,” and Manly Man went home. He was hurt from having his man thing compared to a straw and needed a good tantrum nap; so the villains took it on from here. In fact, you won’t see another hero in this story, and that’s all we’ll see of Manly. “That’s not even a fair comparison!” he wants you to know. Oh, c’mon. Laugh with me.

Really, this is all a tale about villains, so, as heroes would only get in the way and want to fight the villains out of the picture ‘til we no longer see them.. we the Board of the League of Villains thought it best to get Merlin’s evil brother to get the hell out here and help us.

Yes, Couch Face is in this, but it’s hardly about him this time! This time it’s about Brains. “Undulating, Postulating- forming schemes.”

I guess it’s a little about him.

* * *

The Super Villains all faced off against Dead, the kid mastermind, and lost. Then they paid him off, and he stopped bothering them. Money can work wonders.

Gee, I guess this thing’s over.

What would you like to talk about?

We haven’t talked in a while.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. I see…

Now, it’s my turn to talk.

Every morning, Couch Face awoke to a happy polka band under his house and then he sang out the window.. bobbing his head along, swinging his hands, and they sang back, then he leapt through the window- (he frolicked, he floundered)- then suddenly he shot them all, killed them all until they were dead. But they always reincarnated every morning on his lawn–every morning!–due to some evil property.. so he had to make the best of it.

He tried keeping their bodies in his cold-cellar to freeze for nice, cold beefsteaks, but whenever they reincarnated, the bodies disappeared, so he had to eat it up everyday very quickly. Everyone eventually gets sick of Polka.

* * *

What else do you wanna talk about?

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

WATCH OUT BEHIND YOU!

..I hope you didn’t fall for that.

Anyways, now that the young man’s mind that invented the villains was out spending money on videogames, the villains were in disarray about who among them was going to be the leader. I thought I’d make a good leader, but I was just a little kitty cat, so they said, “You’re just a baby,” it had nothing to do with my catness, I was just too young, they thought, and so– this is stupid, isn’t it?

Let’s talk about something else.

Like I said, everything was in disarray. All throughout South Kersepolis, the little children were crying, and the cats were caught in the rain, and the villains had taken this opportunity of disorder to do some shoplifting, and vacationing– relaxing stuff like that.

But there was one among them who would never take a vacation.

Said the villain to his lackeys, “

Destroy their lives. End their pasts and the miserable complications of their beings!”

“What?”

“Hurt them ‘til they’re dead, bimbos.”

This villain, of course, was Couch Face. Who above all things, took himself a little too seriously.

WATCH OUT BEHIND YOU!

And then, Couch Face went to his other job. Working at the YMCA, watching the children at the pool. He laminated his couch cushions so they wouldn’t get wet.

Not far away from this villainous scene, a hero was — would you look at that? Manly Man came back!

I guess there are heroes in this section 🙂 Woo hoo!

“I’ve heard of you,” Manly said.

“Nothing good, I hope,” said Couch Face, catching up, saying, “Huff, pufff. Don’t hurry too quickly ahead of yourself, Q-burt! I had just gotten back from the Y. Huff, puff.”

“Where were are you?”

“What? You know where I was? I have a second job at the Y. Supervillainy doesn’t pay much when you’re as mediocre at it as I am. Ahem. Anyways, I was going to do something bad to you.”

“Well, why?”

“Because I’m a super villain. And you’re a superhero.”

Couch Face had an imprisoned hero, who he kept in his cellar: Manly.

* * *

Said the imprisoned hero to his torturer, “Don’t you have some pressing cool-guy errands to go to?”

“-No,” and killed him. Instead of leaving said torture chamber for some bomb scheme on the moon*.

*(There are no stupid villains in this story. When they pull a gun on the hero, they don’t make friendly conversation with them. They just shoot. “Bye.” / “Bye.” / *Boom!*)

“Scream if you need anything.”

Actually, sorry. It wasn’t Manly Man who got shot. It only looked like him. It was his stunt double, as Manly Man wasn’t comfortable doing his own stunts, and his stunt double was caught and shot instead of Manly Man. It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it? I mean, if this were really a movie, Manly Man would be in no real danger of being captured by a fellow actor–

“You’re thinking too hard,” said Q-burt. “You’re ruining my book.”

“But I am Q-burt,” said Q-burt.

“No, you’re not,” said Q-burt. “You’re only my stunt double,” and shot him.

You know, another thing villains say a lot is “Join me!” Couch Face said this to Manly Man’s other stunt double, but the double said, “You’re very unconvincing.  You talk and you talk and you monologue, and still, we’re not on your side- don’t you see? You can’t convince us. We’ll have some epic light saber duel here anyways.”

*Bang*. “How bout if I just shoot you?”

“Would you look at that? I’m already shot,” and fell down. Dead. . That’s how it went.

The hero was dead, it seemed. But this would only happen in real life, or in a villainous story, which is this one- a story all about villains, and starring  Villainy.

But no human being is perfectly evil.

We will look into the one who perfectly is*.

* the evil one.

* * *

Don’t worry. Manly Man’s perfectly all right.

He escaped with some big-breasted blonde, and is currently on some island somewhere, sipping an alcoholic poison that tasted a little sour and a little sweet.

* * *

Like I said before, we’re going to look into the one who’s perfectly evil. First, let’s talk about evil.

What is it?

I think if you tried my cooking, you might just say, “I think this is what evil must taste like.”

Causing demons to materialize.

* * *

That’s the one thing that’s evil, I think. Demons.

Have you ever exorcised a talking baby?

“What’ll you be after the exorcism?” they ask me.

“Smarter. Healthier. And better-looking. You’ll have a platinum-plated chin and good, fresh breath.”

Satan, the neighbor’s dog. Kept the baby awake all night.

The baby was possessed with Satan. He’d play with him all day. Satan was a really good friend. The dog, I mean.

I suppose there isn’t really a story to all this, isn’t there?

How ‘bout Couch Face comes back? I like him. He has a couch for a head.

Good morning. You’re in trouble,” he said to the baby, who also possessed by Satan. “I’m the local exorcist- well, it’s my third job, and I think I’ve gotten quite good at it. Here’s some holy water I picked up at the store. And some crosses. And — and some communion stuff, the bread and the; I was gonna bring wine, but you’re a baby.”

The baby spun its head around like an owl.

“Yeah, I’ve seen that before in a movie. I watched all the movies. The Exorcist, The Exorcist 3, even the Exorcism of Emile Rose. And I’m pretty confident in my–”

The baby puked acid all up on his dress. Couch Face was back from his ballet lessons, as he was playing the part of the girl at the time, and had forgot to change between jobs.

WHAT’S THE TIGHTS FOR? said Satan from out the baby’s mouth.

“I’m a superhero.”

NO, YOU’RE NOT.

“Yes, I am!”

YOU’RE LYING.

“How did you know?”

I’M THE PRINCE OF LIES. I THINK I KNOW A LIE WHEN I SEE ONE.

“You don’t SEE lies.”

RIGHT.

“I saw a ghost come into my house, open the door, change my Christian radio coz it bugged him,” said Manly Man, who joined him in the exorcist thing. They were exorcist buddies.

“Well, I can do that!” said Couch Face. “That doesn’t impress me. How scary of it to change the channel? I’m shiverin.”

“Worship me now?” asked the evil dog he was dogsitting. A Doberman. You know his name if you’ve read the title– the title of this episode, I mean. And rotated his head around.

“Well, I can do that!” said Couch Face.

Presently…

Says the evil baby, in high, delicious voice, “

I’m gonna kill people with my face.”

Aw . . . Adorabubble.

With my face!” it screams, and pow, your head explodes.

Luckily, Manly dodged this advance, and Couch Face tripped over a quarter- it’s a real hard thing, tripping over a quarter. You should applaud him.

Whenever this particular evil baby laughs, lightning breaks out and then it starts raining inside. “Oh poo,” she said, and restrained her laughter. Her name was Summer. She was afraid of lightning.

* * *

No one outside the church ever says anything bad against Satan. Not one. Try to notice this.

“You’re paranoid.”

“I am paranoid.”

Manly Man said to a ‘dog,’ picking her up, shaking her head, “Why  are  you  a  DOG? You need to know this,” and released her. “Go on your doggy adventures. Gimme a full report. I’ll be waiting.”

Pawing away, “I’m a cat, you moron.”

In other news, Couch Face believed all animals were put on this earth to make faces at him. That is why they must be destroyed.

I guess Satan the Dog was actually Satan the Cat.

“Manly Man,” said Couch Face. “Can you help me restrain this baby? It’s climbing up all the walls.”

“She’s climbing up the walls, Couch.”

“Didn’t I just say that? I remember distinctly I said ‘she’.”

Manly Man restrained the baby, pinning it to the bed, while Couch Face talked to the parents with the two exploded heads. “Do you have to restrain it like that?” I’m sure the two parents would say, if their heads were still on, and I’m sure Couch Face would explain it to them, “Yes, or else they beat us up.”

POOR, POOR DEVIL, said Satan from out the baby’s mouth. WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME?

Anyways, “I don’t get all this Sympathy for the Devil thing. He’s not gonna be your friend. Or if he is–he’s gonna be very weird about it,” said Manly Man. “Maybe steal your wallet. Steal your soul. Con you out of your farm-boy inheritance.”

“Sounds like a decent guy to me,” said Couch Face.

EH-HA-HA-HA.

Demons have zilch emotions- none.

“You’re mythologizing us!” said the demon.

“What?” said Q-burt.

..A ghost and a monster joined them. They were rubbing their tired eyes, and looking blearily through the dark. The ghost yawned, and said to the monster, “I already told you there are no such things as scientists! Now go to sleep.” They didn’t believe they existed.

“Scientists exist!” cried Q-burt. “They’re the proliferators of Truth!”

“You err on the side of righteousness,” the demon told me.

“You don’t exist. You’re a demon,” I told him.

“I believe I exist,” said the demon.

“In a book, you do!”

“I believe God exists.”

“In a book you do!”

“I’m a believer,” said that devil. “Oh, but I am! Just like a demon is a believer in god, I am- helplessly so- at the inexorable proof*.” Satan is a believer too. Um.

* existence. The cosmos.

* * *

You got demons in your closet.

* * *

Anyways, we’ll come back to that exorcist thing in a bit.

Anyways, all villains were once a part, at least in some small manner, in a debate club, though as much as they go on and monologue with you, they never convince anyone, except the villain in 1984; Couch Face looked up to him. He was the exception.

Couch Face was hoping to convince his torturers–excuse me–the ones he would be torturing–through words alone, and a little force. “Maybe, then, I’d be up there,” he dreamed. In the Halls of the Great Villains, and their father–you know who their father is.

He was a rebel, right?

Rebels don’t know what they’re rebelling against half the time, though. Mostly, they’re there for the culture and free food. To belong somewhere. What a sad, lost people! They know not what they do.

* * *

Now, we’re rounding back to Satan and the baby.

Couch Face was just talking to Satan, “I looked up to you, man. But possessing a baby. That’s just low stuff, dude.”

Try to notice this..

That one who doesn’t believe will say anything about God, anything bad, anything at all, but when it comes to the devil, they just stick their tongue out, put some horns on his head. They don’t scare about anything at all- but Satan, he’s one to fear.

The air is wild with demons.

“You’re paranoid again.”

“Yes, I am!”

* * *

Now, it’s time for a joke.

“How many demons does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “TELL US!” for we are Legion and we are wanting to know. “1 to screw it in. 2 to screw it in. 3 to join in, screwing it in! 4 to screw it in. 5 little demons,6 little demons,7 is a Legion! Now they just flooded your house, destroyed your crops, and put sand in your well. 8 to screw in a light bulb.”

“And your sister’s now one of the insane,” added a demon. “She’s in a hospital, and she thinks she’s Jesus. She should’ve stayed away from that light bulb.”

* * *

Couch Face and Manly Man were aggressively exorcising the baby: “The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!” now, they didn’t say that, instead they said, “What legal right do you have to be here?”

The devil said, I BROKE A FEW LAWS. I’M NOT REALLY SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.

Said Manly Man, “But we know God doesn’t allow possession unless you have a legal right.”

“Hey, Satan,” said Couch Face.

WHAT?

“What’s it like being the Prince of Darkness?”

WHY ARE YOU ASKING? YOU KNOW I’M JUST GONNA — YOU KNOW — LIE?

But Couch Face was evil too. Couch Face was confused, at the moment. If he was the Prince of Darkness, he’d brag about it.

How evil is Couch Face?

Couch Face saved a pony once…  He ate it afterwards.

So much innocent meat was slaughtered today.

He was only doing this exorcist gig so he could one day, by chance meeting, meet Satan, the One he idolized.

Manly Man did it by hobby, as he was a — proliferator of righteousness.

Couch Face said to Satan, “There are certain rules we villains follow — we kidnap babies, sure, but only if we know we can get something out of it. Why are you doing it?”

DEVILS ARE HIGHLY LEGALISTIC, YOU SHOULD KNOW. WE DON’T DO ANYTHING, UNLESS THERE IS A LEGAL RULE THAT JUSTIFIES IT. WE TORTURE BECAUSE WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE.

“Torture a baby?” said Manly, the innocent, Manly, the brave. “What did it do?”

HM, said Satan. WHAT DIDN’T HUMANITY DO? LET’S SEE, THEY ‘KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY,’ JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER, THE DEVIL. THEY LIE, AND THEY CHEAT–

“But a baby isn’t able to make such decisions yet.”

THERE ARE GENERATIONAL CURSES. THIS BABY IS UNDER MY CURSE. HIS FATHER WAS IN HELL’S ANGELS, AND SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL, DRANK BABY’S BLOOD FROM A SKULL.

Hell’s Angels, We’re a Bunch of Older Guys on Motobikes.. They just like the concept of fire. We’re on fire. Our bikes are on fire. The engines are fire. The tire tracks we leave-  are so fast they’re on fire!

Our wings are on fire!

This cigar- is on fire.

For those easily impressed by pyrotechnics, you might prefer Satan-  just for this reason.

I’m impassioned for the light. How long has it been since ‘righteous’ was a cool word? The 80’s?

Anyways. I’m a nerd.

It was then that the real exorcist I’d put in for mail-order had arrived. The postal worker brought him in.

The exorcist began working right away on me.

I was possessed!

..Halfway through, “Why do you torture us?”, said the demon to the exorcist, and yet you torture me. You selfish creature.

And yet you expect nothing back. No retribution, no justice. No pain.

That which you do is that which is coming to you, unless you have received Grace. But your fate is sealed. And as long as you continue to sew pain, you will reap it. Anon.

He didn’t actually say that. What he really said was, “Pass the butter. This toast is delicious!”

Said the postal worker, “Dude, there’s no such things as devils.”

Said the devil, “Yeah. Don’t be so superstitious.”

* * *

Why do you want to meet Satan, Couch Face? You’ve met the Prince of Beepers, wouldn’t you rather meet the King of England?

People are sometimes very illogical.

Demons have no emotions. They know only to kill.

They’ve no sympathies, they don’t like you.

“I like the darkness,” said Couch Face. “I’ve always loved the dark side. I like to think of myself as — the bad boy.”

Then again, Satan’s children don’t seem all that happy, loved, or secure. For those dabbling in the dark arts, is Satan really so loving if you feel so lonely, mean, and oppressed under his hand? You feel like a worthless–  You’re not worth that. He is not worth it.

“I feel accepted with those in the dark arts. These are my people,” he said to me. “What’s love got to do with it?” would be a good point, counter-point.

* * *

Event: Severed heads went bowling.

It was the baby’s parents’ head, and now that the real exorcist had come in, said, “What movies have you been watching? You don’t restrain a baby.” The exorcist worked wonders over the baby, and within three hours, said, “This house is clean,” and left them. “That devil put up one hell of a fight.”

Couch Face said to the exorcist, “Was that the real Satan we were fighting?”

“The real Satan?” said the exorcist. “My lord, no. All of them say they’re Satan, or some type of ancient god. They just love pumping their egos. You know. Villainous Catch-phrase, ‘The Power! The Power!’ But that wasn’t the Prince of Darkness. If it was, it would’ve taken me more than six hours.”

“Why six?”

“Just because. I’ve exorcised him, and banished him to hell twice before.”

“What’d he say to you?

“To a villain, everyone is a pathetic fool. Even those smarter than them.”

“Did he call you a pathetic fool?”

“-A legend..” said the exorcist. “Satan thought his was bigger than God’s. Satan took 1/3 of the schoolyard to bully the one who he took for a loser. In the restroom, Satan saw that God’s penis was bigger than his, and so, formed an army against him.

“Satan was expelled from the schoolyard for making stupid with 33% of the classroom. Their grades, then, failed*

*  like the percentage of their number. They fell along with him.

“They swore an oath, in hatred, and then struck against God’s children. ‘We will fail them all.’

“‘If I’m going down,

I’m taking you and your favorite person with me.’”

DISCLAIMER: This legend is completely based around another legend..

“So what does it all mean?” said Manly Man.

“Please. Call me Linda. The teenage exorcist.”

“Okay… Linda,” said Manly Man to the exorcist.

“Hey, would you two exorcists-in-training like to go out to a movie?”

“What movie’s playing?” said Couch Face.

“A scary movie.”

* * *

They hover over your night bed. The Incubus, the Succubus do. “Will you love me?” he told me. He offered me his tail.

Like an earthworm in a nostril cavity, swimming in brains and a deep, deep thought; I sneezed.

..I’m alarmed.

* * *

I suppose the story should end just there. But it doesn’t.

The next day, Couch Face was watering the plants in his backyard with his zipped-down pants when another villain walked squarely into his yard.

“Yeah, what do you want?” said Couch Face.

Said the villain, “Do you really think your powers are a match for?-”

“-Yes.”

“DO YOU REALLY THINK?-”

“Yes!”

“Oh….  Then fight me.”

“Why must we fight?” said Couch Face. “We’re both villains.”

“Well, you see,” said the villain, and showed him a piece of paper and a pen. “I’m Satan. You wanted to meet me?” He was a white angel, with no halo.

* * *

Couch Face enjoyed a jolly good laugh.

“Quite.”

“Quite.”

“Muhuhahahaha!”

“Fafafafafa!”

“Gyahaha!”

“Nyuk nyuk nyuk.”

“No, that’s Curly from The Three Stooges.”

“Oh. What’s an evil laugh?”

“Think Bowser from Mario Brothers. Bwahahaha. Really low. From the gut. You’ve got to do it low. From the balls. And evil!”

* * *

You’re not Satan,” said Couch Face.

“I am,” said Satan. “I am Satan.”

“Then — do a trick. Set that mountain on fire with your breath.”

“Too vulgar a display of power, don’t you think?” said Satan. “Tell you what. If you bow down, and worship me, sell me your soul and all that, I’ll give you complete control of my world — the world, I own it — for 24 hours.”

Couch Face shook his hand, and said, “Sure. Not that it’ll work.”

“You might feel the least bit dizzy,” said Satan, and knocked him on the head with a head butt.

Couch Face woke up, the next day, with a million people on his front lawn, sprawled out, bowing down to him. Couch Face rather enjoyed it. “Coincidence,” he said. “Must be bowing towards Mecca. Silly Muslims.” And went for his door, but by the time he opened it, the President of South Kersepolis had come out of his closet to say, “Couch Face, we’re giving you the key to the city, and the world too!”

“Is there any drawback to this?”

“Well, yes,” said the President. “You are held completely responsible should anything bad happen to your world.”

“Great, then, baby!” said Couch Face. “I wanna start a war. World War 2 was a great sequel, yes. I can’t wait ‘til 3 comes out on the shelves.” And left on his hovercraft for his new mansion, apparently, apparently it was his for a day, and slaughtered 1/3 of the world’s population with not the setting off of a few bombs, ‘til there came a quick knock on the door, and Couch Face noticed a white angel with no halo was knocking again on his door. “I think you’re going to have to stop now,” said Satan.

“But I thought you liked war,” said Couch Face.

“I do.”

“But I thought you said I was gonna be King of the World for a day.”

“I did.”

“So isn’t this a bad enough thing that you’d congratulate me?”

Said Satan, “I meant to kill, steal, and destroy them, but if everyone’s dead, who am I going to kill anymore? It’s no fun. Look, if you leave now, you don’t have to bow down to me.”

“I didn’t mind that part,” said Couch Face. “I think I — yes — I think I’ll remain King for the remainder of the day!” and shut the door.

Said Satan, “NO WAIT! . . . You don’t have to bow down and worship me. Phew! I’m glad I got that thing off my chest.”

“I don’t mind the worshipping part,” said Couch Face. “It’s just — this 666 mark that suddenly appeared upon my wrist is getting itchy –”

“Know what? I think the reader knows where this is going,” said the false angel. “If I give you back your precious soul, will you please not ruin entirely my precious world? You’re eviler than me.”

But of course, this was not entirely true. They shook hands, and Couch Face walked away from those evil friends of his, all bad influences to his good, and walked in on an old friend.

Said the friend, “Yeah. Nice to see you. I haven’t seen you since…uh…The past…Wh.o are you?”

“Your ex-husband!” said Couch Face.

“I’m not gay.”

“Oh…Were you ever gay once?”

“No.”

“Would you like to be?”

“Hmm…Does it involve cherries?”

Excuse me?”

“I mean, are there cherries?” He motioned with his hand. “Are there cherries? On top? Cherries on the top?”

“Well. See ya.”

“See ya.”

“Maybe we’ll meet again someday.”

“That would be magical.”

“In fact, I’d like to meet you again right now.”

And they never did.

* * *

Back to the torture machine.

There was a hero being tortured, you remember? Well, it was Manly Man. If Couch Face couldn’t rule the world for the remaining 10 hours, it was a comfort to know he still had a hobby.

* * *

When Manly was under pain of torture! he screamed, in fact: “Not my handsome face! Not hers either — she’s very pretty.”

Here, Couch offered his mortal enemies beverages even as he tortured them. “Can I offer you a Coke or a Dr. Pepper or something? Scream if you need anything. Ha.”

“I’ll take the Dr. Pepper, thank you. Ouch! Ow! Ouchy!”

“Boss!” said a henchman.

“WHAT?!” said Couch Face.

(We’re going to do the rest of this in the present tense, so hold on to your butts)

“I don’t get it, boss. Why don’t we just shoot him?”

“Have you no taste for theatre? A mighty hero such as Manly deserves a good exit. Okay, give me a gun.” He shoots him. “See, that was boring.”

Manly Man dies. (See, present tense, like I told you.)

“So?-what? Is the series over?”

“I believe so.” (Present tense!)

“But it doesn’t have his name in it. It’s got Couch’s name in it.”

“Yeah, but he’s the hero.” (Present!-  ‘hey, shut up!’)

“I think maybe in ten minutes something will happen.” They wait ten minutes. Nothing happens. (Present! ‘I said, shut it!’)

“Is he really dead?”

This is how Manly Man first turns into a zombie, if you’ll note.

“Anyways, let’s burn him.

They burn the body. The whole body.

“Okay, now it’s over.”

After the lackeys leave, Couch Face, bored of no longer having any arch-nemesis- (‘and that’s how you get in the papers’)-.. reads Muhuha Monthly- takes Manly Man’s ashes to an old voodoo woman and says, “Sigh. How can I bring him back?”

“This will only work for a year, Couch. Then he’ll forever be a zombie. Old magic has its rules.”

“500,000 double dollars.”

“Honey, you just bought the rules out of magic! I guarantee he’ll last five years before turning into a zombie in a soon-to-come story in Couch Face called ‘Undertaker, Please Drive Slow’.”

* * *

Meanwhile, an angel and a demon were hovering right above them there-abouts. Said the Angel of God to the Demon of Hell, “The only way these people can go about their happy, little lives is if they do not know about us.”

Our brains swell with anticipation.

Like an earthworm in a nostril cavity, swimming in brains and a deep, deep thought; I sneezed.

..I’m alarmed.

* * *

A legend.. (not to be taken literally- you can skip it if you like, but then, what’s the point in reading it? I’d read it)

Here, Satan spoke out of the ranks of the choir of angels and said, “Let me be God in your place and I’ll show you a better land,” and God said, “No,” and the angels that stood by Lucifer’s side out of the choir of holy God said, “We respect your decision, holy master, but can we tell you we don’t give a stink?” and God said, “What is this in my side, a thousand years from now, no, five thousand, or three, is it a hole I see,” and Satan said here, “What’s this, God?” and stabbed him, and God told him very sternly,

“Let me tell you why that blade of yours didn’t work, ye Judas, who greets me with a very unholy kiss*,” and pointed it as his heart, “You weren’t aiming it at the right place,” and stabbed himself, and he bled out a holy offering of love; and out of the shining corners of his heart came a maelstrom of thorny crowns that read, “Master of the Universe,” and Satan said, “Oh,” and God said, “Oh yes, you knew this wouldn’t work and yet you still did it, and this doesn’t make me happy I suppose, instead, it really rips my heart out,” and ripped his own heart out and said, “What did I tell you the day I borne you from my very limbs, Son, wasn’t it, ‘this is the happiest day of my life, I  really love you, I really truly love you, and yet you do this? Depart from me, you vile murderer of the whole world Why have you done this? You ruined everything?” and still, three millennia later, they were fighting, because they still just couldn’t beat God and Satan said,

* “, lest ye tongue be cursed, you snake”

“Let us kill his only Son, then we can take his part as King; you see, it is God’s folly that he has become a human man, he was since immortal ruler, we tried it once to kill him, yet with a blade, this mortal Heracles,” for they were in the time of the Romans now, or was it Greek, he spoke six or seven hundred of the original languages since Flood and Babel, and said,

“God has made himself a man and called it Son, and it is the Father, so long as we sting his heart this time with the axe of the Roman Empire, my empire, my world, yes it is, we can!–” but before the words were out of his heart, and not before they were understood, God said, “I heard that,” and said, “Try me,” and sent his Son anyways, and the Son grew in stature with its growing and in wisdom, and in knowledge of the point of his being, and then Satan said to his angels, the ones from God’s choir, the ones who had joined him,

“Look at the pity dog scrape for articles of clothing, he is just a wandering hobo on the earth, a common peasant; this time, angels, Belthasar, Jezreel, I say we take his heart by the vein and squeeze it, and that we just keep squeezing it, till it sees no more,” and so went to Judas, and to Peter, and to Pilate, and had the King of Kings hanged, and Jesus, giving up last breath to the father, healer of worlds, said, “It is finished!” and died, and Satan threw a sexy party. 3 days later, of course- well, you know of his legend. Can I tell you that some of these legends tell true?

Four months later, as Satan was yawning on the edge of the pit, and Abadan, keeper of the Pit, Pig-lord and ruler of the holy realms of Satan’s doom, said, “It stings my heart,” and stung him with three nails, one through the right hand, one through the left; two through the feet, and said, “Take this cross, you killed a friend, oh, wait, I’m a demon too,” and hung them on it, and you know the stories, of Satan coming out of that pit and telling his legends to the immortal mandolin, of Mick Jagger who said, “Please let me introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste,” and then, can I tell you, only 80 years after, did God come back and say, “Mick Jagger?” and Mick Jagger, shivering, said, “Lord?” and God said,

“ ‘Will you love me?’ .. and Satan said, “Pshaw!” and thirty hours later, Judgment day was done . . . There was one convict left, a tortured entity, an ancient and powerful and wise being, and he flicking unholy booger, said, ‘You know. I really tried to kill you, but you just keep coming back. You’re like this fly on my finger, you’re like this woman I just can’t resist, putting her under my thumb, and squeezing her with my nipples,” and five hours later, after the Lord had impressed him with wonders, and miracles, and love-elixirs, and time alone just to think, how he had ruined this world, and why it would have happened anyways, and you know why? And he said, because it is the heart of humanity . . No, it is mine! . . To cry! Because my people who are not my people continue to say exactly the words you have said to me just right not 4 hours ago, and to fuck me and to fuck me, and so I say, “…”

And

“and Satan? You like bloodbaths, do you? . . -Sit in one!” and threw him past the last gate until no-salvation, and showed him the bloods of infants, of brides-to-be, of merry-making soldiers in arms, and taking him by the fist, showed him his arm and said, “Is that a nail? “Did you nail me to a tree?” and Satan said, “I dono, God, I just don’t want to think about it,” and God said, “My beloved Lucifer, my first-born, my own, because you have spilled the blood of the saints, of the goodlies, of the first-born sons of my cattle, and because you have fucked my flock, now receive your anal torture,” and the nail in God’s right hand stuck into his anal lobe, pierced it, and the angel, now singing high, said,

“This I say to you, God, ‘nothing I do regret, stick the knife in, Daddy, make me your little –” here God stopped him and said, “Not in the front of the kids, they know nothing of your evil. And now I don’t wonder why I torture you. . Because you first tortured them,” and sealed the last gate. Satan cried, not why, or woe, or but, or oh gee, but a “I don’t think he deserved me. To all those who believe in an evil God what hates their moral fibers, I was that God on earth. Believe in me instead,” and God said,’

‘…[this was bleeped out for the crying of the flock of the devil, who, now in Hell, said, not why, or woe, or but, or gee, but a ‘I don’t think he deserved me,

“ . . . One more thing, He said, ‘cut his tongue off. He’s not going to use this thing to lie anymore,’ and closed the gate, went to his refrigerator and cried, not ‘what have I done?’ but ‘oh, what they have done to me.’  . . . . Three days later, he rose to tell them, something absolutely wonderful.  . .  . .Will you wait for me those three hours? I want to tell you something.  . . 3 hours pass, so did six days, then a final rest, then his decision. God had figured it out!

* * *

He started to sing Hakuna Matata from his favorite play of Shakespeare, Macbeth, and read them a note he had put on the refrigeration processor unit he used to cool his food. Yes, God had moved up from the printing press of Johan Guttenburg to eating waffles with him, and after serving them a hearty breakfast, said, ‘Stay with me this one more night, in prayer, and offering, and tomorrow I will tell you why I have been fasting these last six days, and on the seventh, I rested. . .

One more thing, I love you.’

Here, the saints consoled him, “We love you, Master! Don’t cry anymore. You’ve shed blood, you’ve already shed enough tears,” but he said, “Don’t you understand, my people, it was him who wounded me, not you anymore, don’t cry, I wipe off all ye tears,” and they said to him, “It’s the 23rd century. Ye don’t have to use ‘ye’ anymore,” and here God said a very sweet thing, “I may be aged, and elderly, and if ye were to name me an age, I would be dust, but I am still a happy woman, for today is the day of my son’s Wedding, and today we have killed the bee who stung him, just for the sake of tearing him a new ass,” and here the saints rejoiced, rejoined, and said, “We don’t know what to say. Can you say it for us?” and He said, who said, “Don’t even worry about it. Look: I built a cake for you. Celebrate my birthday today. You will never need a blanket, I’m going to fetch my royal sweater, and give to you all my clothes, and my scepter, and you be divine with me; take part in your Creator’s work, and build a whole new world with him, this time without evil decisions. I want to tell you why I love you all. I want to take you all to a little boat in a lake by a little cabin I love and tell you each why you are here and why you are red in the face in love with me right now. . Can I tell you that you don’t deserve it? Can I tell you that I couldn’t care?”

Are you crying right now? Why?

And God told them, “It is not a sin to cry.”

Um.

Seasons 4:4:4

29th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 29th Story or not yet.

TITLE OF SOMETHING ROYALTY, IN A BODILY ADVENTURE INSIDE THE ALIEN BODY, INHUMAN, VERY STRANGE, STARRING CHARLES THE FOOD: “The Redigestion of Charles the Food

Charles the Food was actually something King Charles just ate- an egg which he had swallowed whole. .

*Burp*

Excuse me.

..

The egg was a dragon’s egg, always a magical thing; and so Charles Food inherited the memory of the baby egg. Just a potential dragon that never was, a sorta halfway creature, thereabouts.

When King Charles discovered this he ordered, by Royal decree, that the Food piece to be removed; but King Charles discovered something much worse: a baby. . He was pregnant.

How?

* * *

The royal health is in jeopardy! We must save Charles the King, Til Duskandrio. But what must be done about the dragon and the baby?

Sit down, good prince, and I shall tell my tale; starring babies of all ages.  Why?

Babies know this world is hard. That’s why they always be whining all the time.

You quickly figure out this does nothing to help you.

* * *

Nothing.

* * *

Old Man Painter often shouted and argued with his arthritis who he suspected was growing an intelligence of it own. It argued back to him often, he said. And on a World like Spud, this wasn’t a much uncommon thing. No one questioned it. It was all too normal–to be odd.

Why is this important?

Have you ever argued back with a piece of food before?

Said King Charles to the creature in his meal, “You can emerge now from my chips.” He had just puked him up.

* * *

Charles the Food arose and said, “Dada.” He had puked him up.

“Shut up. I’m not your ‘Dada’.”

“I know,” said Charles the Food. “Poor Charles the Food has no one for a father.” And sobbed.

“Anyways, I need you to do something for me.”

Charles the Food perked up. “What is that?”

“There’s a certain something inside my body that has made me sick. I heard from my doctors that only someone small enough to enter my body can remove it. I also hear from them that you’re a highly intelligent creature that lives within the bodies of other creatures, living off the bacteria in the host body*. In short, you’re a parasite. But a good parasite. You eat the bad bacteria. Is that right?”

* the doctors had told him all about the organism living inside of him called Charles the Food

“I’m only 5 minutes old, boss,” said Charles the Food.

“Could you go back into my mouth — here?” said King Charles, pushing back his lower lip. “And find that certain something that’s been ailing me?” he said, talking over his finger. “I’ll let you live in the body of a porn star.”

“That’s every parasite’s dream!” said Charles the Food. And leapt into King Charles’ mouth.

A shrinking bacterial mission, growing so small he can fight a disease firsthand, a veritable zoo of bacteria.

* * *

How’s life in the bloodstream?” The micro-organisms were talking.

“Just fine. But we’ve been having some heavy traffic problems around the pancreas.”

“Oh really? Charles should cut down on his sweets, then. I’ve always been an environmentalist, but I just don’t know how to convince Charles to cut back on those hamburgers he likes so much. How could I? I’ve been in this bloodstream a long time. 2 days if you can believe that. But at the rate we’re going, I don’t know if I’ll live to reach 4 days and see my grandchildren grow old.”

“I feel contagious. No one comes near me.”

“You are a germ.”

“See, it’s remarks like that–!”

* * *

Charles the Food was then moving down the throat, into the stomach.

And he came upon a wart. Now, a wart isn’t an uncommon thing, but an in-grown wart is a catastrophe.

“Harumph!” said the Wart.

“What? — what did I do?” said Charles the Food.

“It isn’t what you’ve done, it’s what you’re about to do.”

“What am I about to do?”

“You’re about to say something stupid.”

“Listen. I’m here to get rid of the evil virus.”

“See, I’m psycho. I knew you’d say that.”

“You mean, psychic?”

Said the wart, “Well, you won’t be getting rid of that ‘evil’ virus so easily. It changes whenever it’s once again recognized. It’s like AIDS. AIDS– I knew an AIDS once. When I was in the body of another…”

“Then wouldn’t the King have AIDS too?”

“The King does have AIDS. He received it from his — lover…”

“Welp,” said Charles the Food. “It was a pleasure talking to you,” and left him.

“Harumph!” said the Wart.

* * *

Charles the Food then landed in the stomach. “It’s not AIDS that ails him. I know AIDS.”

AIDS said, “What’s up? I haven’t seen you in a few minutes. How have you been?”

“AIDS! It’s you! How’s the family?”

“Multiplying like a virus,” AIDS said, with a laugh.

Charles the Food punched — er — it. “That’s not funny. Anyways, I’ve got to tell you, you’re gonna have to leave this body, or I’ll eat you. That’s my job.”

“Yeah, right, and I’m the King of England.”

“What does that even mean?” said Charles the Food, and ate the virus. Charles the Food was quite a dangerous inner-body organism. Carnivorous. And deadly.

* * *

At about that time, Charles the Food discovered the baby.

Oh, no, he had since decided. This is what’s ailing him. I can’t eat his baby.

You’d think a simple X-ray would suffice.

* * *

Listen. When Couch Face was born, they found claw marks on the walls of her* uterus. Imagine passing a couch, but no, the couch came afterwards!

* his mom

But that’s beside the point.

Anyways, I had to have one of those inner body adventures. Let’s start one now!

First, Wife explains to her children that the baby is inside her tummy and the kids, frightened, point a finger and says, “She ate the baby!”

But that has nothing to do with our inner body adventure, now, does it?

* * *

You take a risk in parenting: You never know how your child is going to turn out. Not from conception, not from birth, not from triedout toddler to struggling adolescence,” said King Charles. Neither they all. Not one. “I wonder how our Charles the Food is turning out.”

* * *

Meanwhile, in the body…

How to unscramble an egg, Charles the Food thought. He looked up.

Everything in existence was draining through that tiny hole up above. Into the stomach, down the throat. .

I watched life come from an egg.

Then I wondered about life, how it began, how it was, how impossible it all seemed to have happened altogether, and deduced there was some divine purpose to it all.

I couldn’t kill it.

How to get out the mighty King Charles? Where do you think he would leave King Charles’ body?

…Whether or not you thought what I was thinking, I’ve got to say, No.

No, he wouldn’t go out that way. It would make a legendary cinematic debut, maybe even a triumph: the butt exit. But no sense, really! Who would ever go that route?-

-no, instead Charles came out the way he came in- belched out the throat- (that’s called ‘Puked’ by the way)- the redigestion of Charles the Food: on a tide of alcohol.

By then, he* had lost all control of her bodily functions.

* King Charles

* * *

King Charles was a character to whom food had no taste. He’s really very skinny.

He liked to eat pretty things, sometimes, though, and pretend he’s enjoying it.

I wonder, said the king. “What does purple taste like?” And tried something on his dish.

There are little creatures swimming around in my soup, he noticed. Sir waiter, what are they?

At about that time, he puked up all over the table, and there was Charles the Food.

“You can emerge now from my . . . chips,” King Charles said.

“Oh d-d-d-dear,” said Charles the Food. “That thing you told me about before.”

* * *

Y-es?”

“That thing about what’s ailing you?”

“Y-es?”

“It’s your baby, man. You’re having a baby. But a man — having a baby — imagine that! You’re probably gonna die!”

“I won’t imagine that, thank you. Hm,” said the King, and thought about it.

The waiter came to his table and said, “Um. Sir. If you’re finished talking to that throw-up, I’ll clean it up for you.”

The King backed up, and gestured. “Just leave that piece of food there.”

“You mean, this piece of food?” observing the parasite.

“Yes,” said the King.

Aborting a fetus is.. “How big does something have to be to be terribly important?” said the King. He seemed to be considering the thing.

* * *

You know what’s relaxing, boss?” said Charles the Food. “Laying backwards in water the same temperature of your body (98.6). You should take a dip. You look all sweaty,” said Charles the Food.

* * *

King Charles had Charles the Food cleaned up, and sent to his room, a room filled with chocolates and candies- of many-different colors.

Not far from King Charles, a famine was happening in his land.

“More hot water for breakfast, honey?” said the wife.

Said the husband, “That would do great, my love. Thank you. And for the children?”

“Fresh-baked rocks.”

King Charles knew about this, but did very little about it.

Listen. If you’re spending every aching minute worrying about where every meal’s gonna come, are you really in the mood to rise against an oppressive government?

That’s why the world isn’t thinking, ‘progress.’ They’re thinking, ‘lunch!’

* * *

And now, a baby’s first word: ‘The’.

“He said ‘the’.”

“The! The!” and clapped his hands.

Babies — those precious little slackers.

Anyways.

* * *

What ya think for a baby name?” said King Charles, Til Duskandrio. They were on their way on royal water car back somewhere or another.

“Museum,” said a servant.

Or 55 miles per hour!” said another servant.

“Or N. 100th St,” said the driver.

“..You’re just reading this off traffic signs, aren’tcha?..” said King Charles.

“How ‘bout, ‘Is that coherent?’” His servant’s face was very serious. “..Administrative offices.”

So:

Charles the Food went on a royal quest, by royal decree, to find what was upsetting King Charles’ upset stomach: it was a male pregnancy, in fact.

So the mission now was does he abort it? Can he? It’s a royal baby, the next in line, and without doing the abortion the King may die! Does he do it? Does he have the clearance to land — a very sharp object?

..Not too long later, they arrived at the abortion clinic.

* * *

To a baby: “Say ‘Dada’.”

“Father,” said the baby. “Father. This is silly. I’ve known you for six months now. I’m liable to call you ‘Dad’. Now I know I just moved in, and I don’t pay rent, but” and gibbered. *Poop*.

* * *

They were in the abortion clinic.

“Are you sure you want to do this, boss?” said a servant. “They might label it an assassination.”

“Oh, really? An abortion an assassination? I think not.”

“That’s some positive thinking, boss!” said another servant.

* * *

Old Man Painter was not a vegetarian because he loved animals. He was a vegetarian because he hates plants.

Couch Face only ate things that had parents.

Why do I mention them? Because it had parents.

* * *

Anyways.

They were in the abortion — uh — room. I’ve never been there. I’m not speaking from past experience.

Anyways.

This is really weird. See what you think of it.

So Mr. Suave says: “I like my girls young.”

“But that one’s not even a day old!”

“She’s had plenty of time to mature in the womb. Look, Quit babying her, Lance! Learn to let go. Let her live her own life. Let her be with the man she loves.”

“But she’s my daughter. I just had her. And you’ve never even seen her yet!”

“From the moment I have yet to lay eyes on her, I loved her with the most undying love. I ask for her tiny hand.”

“She’s just a baby, dude!”

With a wiggling finger: “Sometimes a father has to let go to let her little girl become a woman, blossom into womanhood. Let me to tell you a story: . . If you nail down an eagle’s wings, will it not be incapable of flight, of freedom, of spreading forth its wings and soaring over the sparkly lakes and rainbows, and through the trees, and over the hills and through the valley and oceans, and?-”

“Shut up.”

“Can I at least come to her birthday party?” Deathly silence.

“You’re a very strange person. Please go away.”

Now, why did I talk about all this? I suppose it revealed a bit of personality about the abortion doctor’s — uh, erm — character.

Mr. Suave then came into the abortion room, and said, “How do you like your eggs, guy? Scrambled?”

“Please,” said King Charles. “No jokes.”

Mr. Suave smiled. “Down to business. I like that. Okay, we’re going to have to cut you open.” He took out some sleeping gas, and his sharp instruments, and got right down to it.

* * *

I felt small, very infinitesimal and unafraid. No one could find me, thought the baby. It blinked its eyes.

It had eyes.

And ears.

And brain.

And heart beat.

And fingernails.

The sharp instrument came in from the side, and the little parasite dodged to the right, grabbed the sharp instrument by the end, turned its course around, and sent it through Mr. Suave’s head. Aborted the abortion doctor.

Now, you’re probably thinking many things right now. I’ve already demonized the abortion doctor, made him look like a pedophile, and then I killed him. I mustn’t think much of abortion.

You’re probably right.

* * *

One day George Foreman realized you boil lobster alive. Why not other animals?

And so, the George Foreman broiler was born! This baby was non-extension, bring-me-back-to-life, then-cook-me-all-over-again technology!

Back in that time when you wanted to visit your family you went to the graveyard. See, a bomb dropped on that city.

But I go to the aquarium. My mom and pop- the Lobsters- live there. That’s their nomenclature: Mr. and Mrs. The Lobster People.

* * *

The King fell into a coma, baby-faced, and woke up with a beard, saying, “Hey, who put this beard on my face?”

“I did,” said the abortion doctor. “I thought it’d be funny,” and it was. “I thought it’d look like a hundred million years had passed.” The cobwebs were a good effect too, right?

“Well, it did. How did the abortion go?”

“It — well, it,” the abortion doctor looked to the other doctors for help. “It fought back.”

“It what?”

“It killed Mr. Suave,” explained the abortion doctor. Then said, “Psst!” and whispered to him over his hand, “He had it coming, though. He was rumored to be a pedophile.”

King Charles threw up his hands. “So abort the baby! If you don’t, I die!”

“It’s more complicated than that,” said the abortion doctor. “Why did you throw up your hands? Now, you’ll have to retrieve them.”

“No, it’s not.”

“..You’re right. But nonetheless. It’s more complicated than that!”

Abortion doctors are people too- they got families, pets, love; obviously, they’ve got jobs. These abortion doctors were sensitive people. They knew what they were doing. But they couldn’t, in all conscience, kill something that knew how to kill them, because it may just kill another doctor. Um.

Why, the little tyke was a superhero. It had super strength! It was nigh invulnerable, they found out, ere they tried to abort him.

They used syringes, nail clippers, chainsaws, instruments of varied degrees of sharpness, really, a Samurai’s katana; but none of these worked on the little guy.

The samurai was quite put off at that, and dishonored at having failed at the abortion, aborted himself. (Samurai are known to end their lives if they lose a battle– they can’t stand the shame of losing.)

“I’m afraid, we’re going to have to–” began the abortion doctor, “–try again.”

* * *

In the World of Spud, there are sky domes that sit on top really high poles, five hundred feet in the air that are either full of carnivals, amusement parks, malls, or zoos. Escalators in glass domes leap up to them in a winding corkscrew motion.

A moody beach that reacts, not to seasons, but moods, is seen here. If people feel happy there, the sun shines brighter. If the people are sad, clouds come out. If someone is acting bitter or cold, it snows. If someone is in a rage, a tsunami comes. Don’t go to their during election time. You don’t want to get mad.

This was a very stupid invention. And it was. It was. It really was very stupid.

There was an important Dinner Hospital here, anyways- Great hospital food- that King Charles visited. He was sick with the baby, and it was an either-him-or-me situation, but he’d tried everything: electrocution, burning, poison, but nothing could kill the little tyke. He was, as far as King Charles was concerned, a new Greek god.

“Do you recommend the chicken wings?” said King Charles.

“With all of my heart,” said the waitress.

But now, there was more pressing business. The doctor had come in!* He said to the king, I removed your soul to make room for more stomach. Now you can eat more.

* that’s probably not a sentence to add an exclamation to, but I like it, so I’ll keep it, so shut up

“Good, good. I never needed it. I could never find a place to put the danged thing. But what about the baby?”

“Oh. That. We–” whisper, whisper.

“You what?!!”

“We opened up your stomach and smothered it in chocolate. Put little piggy ears on it. That sort of thing.”

“But why?”

“We thought it’d be funny. We never did that before.”

“Well, un-smother it in chocolate. Right away!” Then: Said King Charles just then, “My stomach goes flip-flop.” Something had turned..

“We were just joking with you,” said the doctor, and turned away.

There are so many intelligent Indian doctors working right now! Several of them were working on King Charles, in fact.

He was dining at a place called “Eat.” This is the restaurant in which Couch Face and all the villains hung out. King Charles took up a reservation there, mostly because he heard they had plenty of purple, and the Indian doctors worked on him. He was getting fatter and fatter*.

* the baby made his gut grow.

Said Charles the Food, eating beside him. “You know, boss. Fiber is like the Force: it binds us all together,” said the food particle, my little parasite, nodding its what’d-you’d-call-a-head.

“You know, I’m really not in the mood,” said King Charles. “I’m about to have a baby through my very narrow urethra.”

“Hey, I got an idea!” said one of the doctors. “Instead of killing the baby, why don’t we just take it out?”

“Oh,” they said, and did. They took the baby out of his — male equivalent uterus — and threw him in the trash. This worked well until the baby climbed his way out, then began to sort of fly around. And-exact-his-vengeance-on-the-doctors-who-wouldn’t-let-him-grow.

No, this really didn’t happen. King Charles decided, “Wait!” right before they decided on taking out the baby. “I have a better idea.” King Charles said to Charles the Food, “I had AIDS?”

“You did.”

“Could you — check for any other diseases in there?”

“Isn’t that what doctors are for?”

“But my doctors are so very incompetent. What you do — it’s amazing. Also, could you sort of — talk to the baby — and get him to come out without killing anybody?”

“I could.”

Meanwhile, Charles the Food, having lodes of inner body adventures- oh, you’ve missed so much fun!- had just solved the problem. And been belched out the speaker!

The Doctor checked the body of the just-burst stomach and said, “Hello!”

Not too soon after, he had found the baby. Smothered in chocolate.

That ending was a bit rushed, wasn’t it?

So much hate in one world- Why’d we ever have kids?

Simply “5!”

38th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 38th Story or not yet.

“When You Wake Up, Where Does the Dreaming Part Go?” 

Don’t you know? Truth is something of a scared animal around here.” It must be sought after, not hunted. Coerced. It’s a bunny.

The Sleepwalker stood with head tilted all the way to the side, and said, “Snore.” She was dreaming, and in her dreams, was the speaker of Dreams. He who spoke into dreams, in the matters of truth and ethics.

Said the speaker of Dreams, “You knew that, didn’t you?”

“Zzzzz,” she said.

“Then I will speak to them in dreams and omens.”

* * *

All these wishes were made at the very beginning of this story …

“Plants are so content. I wish I could be one too.”

“I wish I had her hair!”

“I wish we had a cat.” “Maybe we did..”

“I wish I was never born.” “Hoo, boy! That’s a harsh thing to wish upon oneself.” Said Old Man Painter on his art-astrophies: “I wish I had a steady hand…”

I wish we’d stop making enemies of each other.

Girls cost time and money. “Give me my money back.” I wish I hadn’t bought you a dinner.,,

Couch Face said, “I always wished I was gay. But women à they have so much finesse à so much agility. I love their abilities,” Said Couch Face, “But I wish I was. I wish I was gay. Then I could reap all the societal benefits. People would really let me do anything I wanted, y’know?”

I wish I could erase all the moments I didn’t like. I’m wishing for callused hands, wishing for quick adulthood and to rid myself of this baby face. . .I wish I could feel your throat, Gallenthmir!  I wish I was a wishing well. To have all I wanted.

I wish, for the moment, to pretend. .

. . to be the look of a man who can die at anytime, and still be happy. .

Concerning the well-spent life. . Truly, this must’ve been the look Jesus had when he died.

I wish I was a bullet, so I could fly all day. –

And prayed.

* * *

The Sleepwalker made her way ‘round the tops of the buildings at night, fighting crime, and entering the dreams of the unforgivable, terrorizing them at night. Criminals! Wrongdoers! Pimps, whores, thieves, cheats, and liars. If they weren’t already sleeping, she’d send them into the dreaming world, and await with holy rage for them there.

They would soon feel her wrath. Their sins would be their undoing.

..Up to this point, you may be thinking the Sleepwalker was a tad over-zealous. Well, she was. But she didn’t know it.

You see, she only dreamed of fighting crime, she never actually knew that she was doing it all the night long.

Though she would wake up on the other side of her bed in hot sweat, and a little blood, blood from someone else- not her; which would leave her cause to wonder.

You see, her abilities were super-enhanced whenever she went to sleep. At daytime, she was a regular person- at nighttime, she slept-walk around, saving people in the city of South Kersepolis, and punishing the wicked.

She just dreams of kittens, and always ends up back in bed. She doesn’t even know.

As it was, she was on her way to Wife’s house.

Wife woke her children by doing this: She strokes their hair and kisses their foreheads. There was nothing bad in this particular house; but there was going to be.

* * *

To all the girls who said they’d meet me in my dreams: ‘Thanks.’” No one else would show up.

“In your dreams,” said the girl who rejected me.

“No, in reality,” I urged her.

Put the kids to bed for this one.

The Sleepwalker leapt through Wife’s window. One of her children had just refused to eat broccoli. He must be punished!

* * *

She drenched him in honey, then through a bees nest into the center of the room.

I hate this kind of justice. To me, it’s not justice. It’s just not eye-for-eye.

* * *

By then, the Superheroes Guild had gotten word of the new vigilante, and her holy terror, and many had tried to stop her, but failed.

They were at wit’s end.

‘Til they realized they could stop her, if they sent the right man.

..They sent Old Man Painter up to talk to Manly Man, as he was a resident superhero with some moderate amount of power.

Once Old Man Painter walked seven stories up to carry a message to Manly Man’s bedroom who wouldn’t answer his phone. The first thing he said to Manly Man, huffing and puffing, collapsing on the floor, was, “Why on earth would anyone live 7 stories up?” and after Manly Man helped him up, Old Man P relayed to him this urgent message: “The Sleepwalker is out, and she’s out of control! Someone needs to stop her. You’re strong. You do something.”

“Is she cute?”

“I wouldn’t know,” said Old Man Painter. “Sure.”

“I hear she — sings in her sleep.”

“Mostly, about mass-murdering.”

“I’ll take the case.”

* * *

The Night Life. Nights that become Mornings.

Manly Man tracked her down deep into the night, then said, “Listen here!”

She only turned back and said, “Snore.”

“Listen! You can’t do what you’re doing. It’s not right. It’s not just!”

She only lolled her head to one side, and said, “Zzzzz…”

“Who ever ‘Zzzzz’s’ in their sleep?” said Manly Man. “I suppose negotiations are at an end. I’ll have to fight you.”

Her body stiffened where it was, and she picked up a sack of sand, and, lifting out some sand, judging it, made first lunge.

Manly Man lunged back, but by the time he got to her, he had gotten sand in his eye and fallen asleep. Into the dreaming part of life….

* * *

I, however, couldn’t sleep, even with sandman’s help.

I tried to go back to sleep and find my dreams again, but I had thoughtlessly misplaced them.

I made some waking-up noises, and that was it.

I went over to Manly Man’s house.

Manly Man did his best backstroke on the waterbed, sleep-swimming, and I watched him.

“I’m pretty tired.”

“You’re even prettier when you’re awake,” I told him. I was telling the truth.

I went back home and settled into bed.

Zzzzzz…

I had this nightmare I was falling up all the time, and had to hold onto things like mountains and airplanes, so I didn’t fall into outer space. It irked me.

Here was my second nightmare:

In it, I saw just a head sitting on the couch. That’s all he was. Watching TV.

What’s that one thing where you can’t tell if it was a dream or if it actually happened?

Do dogs have nightmares? I ask you.

Watch ‘em run in their sleep!

* * *

The monsters grow out of the closet, and The Sleepwalker is still unleashing holy terror.

To all those who didn’t pray, she — she — she duct taped their buns together.

This was Old Man Painter’s prayer to God every night, “Please be real..”

After praying, he got up and walked over to Gallenthmir’s neck of the woods: a mirror. It seemed Gallenthmir only showed up in reflections. She appeared in the screen, which had Old Man Painter saying, “Wow, you’re really old!”

Said Gallenthmir, “Show some respect.”

Gallenthmir is as old as you want her to be. She can be one hundred and ninety. She can be three and a half. She can be This many.

She can take all your abstracts, and turn all you hate into a fish.

If you pry open Gallenthmir’s eyes, which are ever-closed, you’ll see fish bowls swimming round and round. Goldfish.

* * *

The Sleepwalker leapt between buildings, pouring sand from a sand bag between houses, into people’s eyelids. She had since had a list of every name in the City. At first, she let some have breaks, but after a few had broken curfew, she had since decided they were all evildoers.

Slipping to them, some nightmares.

She dreams every night she has insomnia so she never gets any rest.

Couch Face sleeps like the owl.

Maybe she was jealous of the people who could sleep without running.

Slipping into nightmare: Into Evil Dreams.

* * *

Beware: The hurrying night things are out! They creep in and out of my dreams.

This was my nightmare: Manufacturing eternal macaroni art. Ack!

But I have a gong for an alarm clock. It alarms me in the morning. Saved by the bell.

Waking up from stupidity: punched awake.. The Sleepwalker sat on my stomach, and, if she could, looked right into my eyes. “You’ve not been brushing your teeth,” she told me. “Unforgivable!” and sent me into some wild delusion of nighttime fantasy.

Then, she heard the sound of a gunshot, and was off to Couch Face’s house. Couch Face- who owned several weapons of mass destruction- and was planning a mass murder tonight.

* * *

Couch Face only dreamt in red–like his whole world was a submarine.

When Couch Face couldn’t sleep, he counted the seconds he had left to live.

When he did dream, he dreamed he had conquered the world, but this would never happen.

He dreamt big. That’s his tragedy.

He dove into the night like a falling star, gone.

Once The Sleepwalker had arrived at his house, he was already conked out over the plans of his world domination, and looked fairly innocent, if it wasn’t for the meat in his cellar.

“Innocent cows — sacrificed?” said The Sleepwalker. “This will not do!”

As punishment, she had decided to ground up the meat of his best friend and feed it to him, but had since decided it would be too messy, so instead she let him off with a warning, and said, “Next time. Next time.”

* * *

Lightning turns night to day and black to blue and I held the soft gelatinous fire of it all in my hands. But it stung me! So I dropped it.

There was a creepy Swedish girl not far off who collected nightmares, you should know. Believed we needed nightmares or we wouldn’t know how to react to future events. They tell us to change our ways; to take life hardy and be cautious.

She was out scaring children who had stayed up after curfew.

The Sleepwalker stood on her balcony, blending into the night, and said, “Snore,” then passing into her dreams, said, “I see we have a common aim.”

“…No, we don’t. I just like to scare children. I’ve always liked scaring children.”
“No, to punish the wrongdoer!”

“And what is right?” said the creepy Swedish girl. “Can you tell it to me?”

“Simple!” said The Sleepwalker. “Most people don’t believe in a truth because they don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings in saying there’s a truth. Because if there’s a truth, there’s a wrong. People don’t feel good when they’re wrong. They want to always be right.

“So they eliminate all existence of wrong and consider everything right.

“That’s the truth about our Ethic.”

“And do you, alone, hold the answers?” said the Swede.

The Sleepwalker only nodded her sleeping head and said, eyes ever closed, “I’ve thought about it. And yes– yes, I think I you’re right. You’re right about that. I, alone, do hold the answers. Will you join me in my holy quest to purge evil off the sin-soaked streets of this city?”

“If you answer me one question,” said the Swede. “If I’m right, and you’re right, and we’re both right, are we both right?”

“Um… Yeah,” said The Sleepwalker, sweating a bit.

“So more than one of us has the answer. I’m still not joining you.”

She went back to scaring children who had stayed up past curfew.

Sometimes the hamster falls asleep at the wheel.

I don’t know what I mean by that.

* * *

Gallenthmir, a very powerful entity, knew dreams weren’t doorways into the unconscious or meaningful gibberish; no, but they were the possibility to journey into an internet of minds, all connected in the great circle of?- is my New Age poo-poopery boring you?

In my dreams, I pull my head off my shoulders. I hold It high in the air. “Cantelope anybody?” I pick them off a piece of my mind, as some old lady miles before once told me, “I’d like to pick at your brain. You seem very interesting.” I am, I told her.

Anyways, The Sleepwalker had arrived home and gotten into bed, and said, “I’m bushed! Another day of sorting out evils and goods. My righteous fury knows no ends!” and had a terrible dream- (she fell like a stone enchanted.

Nnnnn…) and woke up a normal, regular, beautifully flawed person.

A dream doesn’t have to be nice. The manners of a dream are unexpected, whether it will turn out to be your friend or nemesis, that’s yours to see.

Instead of worrying when you’re gonna get that wanted sleep that may never come, why not enjoy all parts of the day? Make it a movie night! For example.

Watch every Disney movie whose number of major characters are prime numbers or are divisible by 3*.

* What an annoying suggestion.

Or sing Karaoke to stay awake.

* * *

About sleep: Welcome the Darkness.

* * *

The Sleepwalker went about her day, and noticed all the bads of society. She couldn’t take it. She could hardly live.

Upset?-Can’t take it? “I’m gonna go to sleep and when I wake up the world better get sane!” and it did. We were all very happy about it. And there was much rejoicing. We even had cake.

If I ended it there, wouldn’t that be a terrible ending?

But I, I’m not done yet: I want to sleep on a bed of breasts.

* * *

Listen.

During REM sleep, Boo-Cat can walk around, not like a dog who just lies there, running in a spacious state of air treadmill.

The Sleepwalker was much the same.

She could sleep in the air without falling.

I’m listening to the house sleep, creaking its bones and spine. I can’t sleep. Neither could Couch Face. Unless…

..Couch Face was not able to get to sleep at night unless he put headphones on his head with the noise of babies screaming and toddlers crying, tortured things.

The lullaby of crying babes. Ah.

The Sleepwalker came back to punish him again. “I warned you!”

But he was ready. This time, he poured sand in her face, and she fell into a deeper sleep.

Into Novacaine Highway.

* * *

In this dream, The Sleepwalker was on a highway, surrounded by evil people, and their modes of transportation, and she was running.

Above the people were thought bubbles, and connected to them, an internet of minds. All the thought bubbles popped up into one cloud of sleepy weather, an atmosphere of thought, and pleasant dreaming.

Novacaine Highway.

She was running, and she was running slowly. She couldn’t keep up. Then she noticed things strings attached to her hands leading up, and she looked up, and she saw Couch Face pulling the strings like she was nothing but a puppet — and she was.

Tell the truth. “When you say ‘L.O.L.’, do you really laugh out loud?”

Do you?

A younger, healthier Sleepwalker walked into the room, anyways. I told her about my nightmare, and she said, “L.O.L.”

She told me of her dreams. The dreaming part.

The dreaming part. As It becomes more real, you become more terrified..

* * *

An Atheist Prayer’: “Please don’t exist Please don’t exist,  Please don’t exist.”

Have you ever met one of these people? Are you one of these people?

Don’t give up. I love you.

* * *

I’m waiting for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. You feel like you are moving through a world in them, but that world is created from the inside.

Everything in your life is being tested here.

There’s no risk in this sleep. It helps you figure out what to do next in all this nonsense.

If you die, try, try, try again.

* * *

After being prodded and pulled in Novacaine Highway, The Sleepwalker, Couch Face accidentally tripped over his shoelaces and fell in with her, and said, “Oops.”

“Oops?” said The Sleepwalker.

“You do have a name, don’t you? I can’t just called you ‘The Sleepwalker.’”

“What about you? You got a name?”

“Scout,” said Couch Face.

“Sarah,” said The Sleepwalker. And put her hand out to shake his hand. He didn’t take it.

“I’ve heard about your unholy terror,” said Couch Face. “That’s some real evil stuff you’ve been doing. We of the guild of Super Villains are proud to add you to the — we call it a ‘team’, but it’s more like a cult.”

“But I’m not evil.”

“Your deeds tell me otherwise,” said Couch Face. “The Land of the Unwaking they call this place, anyways,” said Couch Face. “We had best make our way out. I had only meant to torture you for attempting to torture me. Now, I’m stuck in my own nightmare land.

On Spud, dreams are a real place. Whenever a person falls into a dream, they go into a separate reality and become a very small person inside a thought bubble.

Sometimes these dreams are “shared dreams” and the thought bubbles gets entangled.

Thus, after a long night of lovemaking, some-lovers-sleep-so-close-their-thoughts-get-entangled-and-they-make-a-wet-dream-of-lovemaking-inside-their-dreams*.

*(No, this isn’t a real fact. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen to you!)

And so, the phrase “In your dreams,” is a compliment when a man asks if he can have sex with a woman and she replies as such; and so they set a date: “When would you like to have me over?”

..On rare occasions, some may slip into a dream and find themselves waking up on the other end of a cave, miles from home.

So many people on the world of Spud become insomniacs to avoid this fright. But no worry! It only happens twice in a lifetime, and, if you’re lucky, 14. It happened to Couch Face 7 times. That’s half as lucky.

On the 5th time, his dream got entangled with Manly Man* and their dreams collided into a few others, and so heroes and villains and a few of their lovers got caught in this world of dreams.

* not through sex, silly J Geez!

Is this interesting you?

There is a Thought Police for such times in the world.. They have Thought Police sleeping around the clock, in fact, ever-ready for such dire times, ready to make sure that no villains try to take advantage of these dreamlands and enslave all humanity with its mind-controlling powers.

Coz you know hypnosis is linked with sleep,,,

-and some have learned a way to pop in and out of their own thought bubbles as tiny versions of themselves, phantoms in the real world, real in the real reality of the other, traveling between Bubbles*.

* Thought bubbles

Am I boring you? I had hoped not.

That is what Couch Face desires: The power to turn Thought into Reality.

Most of Manly Man’s dreams are about commercials and microwave dinners. Couch Face’s dreams are mostly about– not so much the ruling of the world, as the obtaining of it — no evil villain had ever ‘ruled’ the world — for long. .. He did have that one dream, though. He dreamt big. That’s his tragedy.

* * *

The petals of some great flower was waking in the night.

“I’m not rolling my eyes, I’m counting sheep,” said Couch Face. “Follow me. I’ll lead you out of here. But only because I’m proud of you for being so evil.”

“But I’m not evil!” said Sarah Sleepwalker. “I’m a superhero.”

“Pweh! A superhero cuts up a four year old for refusing to eat his peas?”

“It was broccoli, and they were bees.”

“That’s not your Biblical eye-for-eye,” said Couch Face. “I know a thing or two about justice. And it’s — if you tear off a tooth, I pull out your tooth; not punishment by death for some misdemeanor. That’s when justice goes off the deep end into Evil.”

“Well? What about you?” said the Sleepwalker. “What do you think the Truth about morals is?”

“I don’t know,” said Couch Face. “Existentialists believe truth belongs in air quotes. Quote: ‘’. // Unquote. // / Most of them are profoundly depressed Scandinavian guys.”

Truth? Untruth?

There’s a fine line between the two, and no one knows where it is.

* * *

They continued on down the Novacaine Highway, thumbing for a ride. Couch Face showed his shapely, shaven legs, and stopped a trucker, who was dreaming about hot legs at the time.

“Step in, super villain,” said Couch Face. “This is the Internet of Minds. Dreams. Here, they are all connected.” He laughed. “We could get in so much trouble.”

“Well, I’m just here to — to see that justice is done,” said the Sleepwalker.

“Just get the hell over here.”

She hopped in.

As they drove on, Couch Face explained to this little sand lady the thing about dreams…

* * *

Dreams have always meant something. Dreams are the way you explore your soul.. That’s what it is. That’s all it is. Dreams are way to explore the inner worlds of your soul.

They may be fantastic events sent from a super being as a godsend to help you.

When the sun goes to bed, and it’s time for you to snooze.

I like to fly in my sleep.

You know how people Zzzzz when they sleep but really they don’t? Snoring, he physically says, “Z’s,” then “Zz’s.” There are a trio of dream police doing this next to you.

Like going to sleep in a dream. If you get sleepy in a dream world, you must be tired.

I like to fly in my sleep.

* * *

Said Couch Face to the trucker once he had gotten them to the end of the highway, “Goodnight and drive safely.” He let the Sleepwalker help herself out, then said, “Not!” and the trucker went on.

“You see those dream bubbles up there?” said Couch Face. “We could get into so much trouble.”

Cast yourselves away, for the adventures of the night!

And led her up to one, popped one open, but she stopped him, and said, “I can’t allow you to do that.”

He pushed her and said, “C’mon, ya moron. Pick your side. Are you evil or good already?”

“I’m g-good. And you frighten me.”

“But you’re so powerful when you’re asleep.”

‘I — I am?”

“Y-yes.” Couch Face looked behind him. “Night is rising. This is a prime time to get into some real mischief. Whether or not you want to come is up to you.”

Couch Face found a prime target: a married couple, and hopped into their dreams:

:Wife talks in her sleep. Steve listens in his sleep. They’re a perfect couple–but only when sleeping. When they wake up, it’s just hell.

..He woke them up; hovered back down, said to the Sleepwalker. “Are you done dragging my tail here? Friggin choose sides!”

* * *

Sometimes, I wake up, I die a little.

* * *

The next dream Couch Face found was an infant’s.

You adopt a baby, and you think it’s such a good baby because it’s sleeping all the time, “This is the best baby evuh!” but really, they’re in shock. It’s a defense mechanism because they can’t handle what’s going on in their lives all the time.

Why’d I say that?
Out of concern for children everywhere, bozo.

Many people wonder: this is why teenagers sleep so much. “Life wouldn’t be worth living without sleep.” Such people fantasize about death all the time.

Couch Face put on his clown costume, and made happy faces to the baby. He always loved children. And made it laugh.

This made the Sleepwalker think twice about him when he came out. “Now, why did you treat those adults so terrible, and that baby?–”

“I sympathize with infants. Infants aren’t capable of evil. It’s everyone else — who needs the tar kicked out of them.”

“I see,” said the Sleepwalker, when she did, in fact, did not see.

“Can you believe I wasn’t evil once?” said Couch Face, with sand in his cushions. “But that was a long time ago. Oh, here’s where we can stir up some real mischief! A super hero!”

* * *

About sudden flying, a superhero that sleep flies, like a Sleepwalker, but considered a sleep flier: “Sometimes, I wake up in mid-air.”

Couch Face hopped inside this dream bubble and popped it when the superhero was at its highest peak over the City, and down went the superhero, ‘til SPLAT! Luckily, this hero was nigh invulnerable.

“Anyways, I’m leaving,” said the Sleepwalker.

“Good luck finding your way out of here!” said Couch Face.

She turned around. “Why?”

“I know my way out of here. Do you?”

“You’re lying.”

“Would you like to test that hypothesis?”

“I just don’t like you, Couch Face.”

“I’m a more likable character than you, girly. At least I stick to my principles of mischief. You don’t even know right from wrong.”

“I do too!”

“Okay, tell it to me.”

Gallenthmir had a moral compass that always points to good. “I’ve found it!” She cheers on a newspaper fighting against a Spring breeze.

To tell if what you’re doing is wrong, ask if Couch Face likes it. There’s your Moral truth.

The Sleepwalker thought of this. She said, “I’ll just ask if you like it, and you’ll tell me, ‘yes’, and then I’ll know it’s evil.”

“Smart one,” said Couch Face. “Okay, I’ll show you the way out, but only if you promise to not butt in to me about morals.”

The Sleepwalker once again offered her hand. Couch Face sneered at the gift.

* * *

The kind of truth that hurts people’s feelings — sometimes that’s the right truth.

Cicadas live underground, for example, sleeping for seventeen years, they come out to mate for a month, and then die. Is there a lesson in this, or is it all so — funny?

It’s all so silly. “I suppose so…”

* * *

All you’ve got to do is open your eyes, and jump,” said Couch Face, and prodded open her eyes, so that she could see that the very end of Novacaine Highway was a deep canyon going forever down.

“I can’t jump. It’s too far down.”

Couch Face sneered, if a couch could sneer, but said, “Take my hand. It’ll go down easier.”

* * *

In my waking, my grip with my ever-loosening dream boy got thicker and thicker. How I wished I could hold his hand once more! Maybe I’ll go to sleep- ‘til four..

Once you suspect yourself of dreaming, however, you wake up.

* * *

And ran. And leapt. And landed — back in reality!

* * *

It couldn’t be a dream, could it?-when

someone pounds you in the face, you don’t wake up bleedingJ .

J

lest you fell from your bunk, and the 50-foot monkey that fell on you You took for Mighty Joe Young turns out to be your sister.

Don’t let go!

Like waking from a horrible dream and finding all that around you was worse, conking yourself on the head, and begging for nightmares- that’s where my life is now, thought the Sleepwalker.

“Oh, come now. It isn’t all that bad,” said Couch Face.

It is.

“It can’t be!”

Our chins were in our hands like dreaming children.

“Softly, dreaming children.”

Just children. I had a terrible dream last night..

Couch Face softly explained to her, “Dreams are just that — They’re dreams. They help get you through the day. Then there’s the nighttime, the long nights. Dreams can hardly pull you through them…”

The two of them lay awake ‘til morning, and no one said a word.

 

 

 

41st Story: I’m not sure if this is the 42nd Story or not yet.

“In a Country I Can’t Pronounce

In the Land of Mordor, in the Fires of Mount Doom, someone sneezed. But no one really noticed, because no one was around, but it still happened. Yes, it did! Why are you arguing with me?

God!

A long time ago…. In a galaxy far, far away… People spoke English too, and most of them were human.

What I like about Fantasy, anyways, is, I know this place. I don’t have to go to stupid New York to do research. This’ll be a fantasy.

Said the old geezer on fantasy, “Ah. Fantashy.” He was missing a few teeth.

* * *

Men of Faith say.. this is a hard time.. sent to us from God, to strengthen our spirits. But we don’t like them very much, so we don’t pay attention..            

Listen. The Romantic North of the Spud-lind was fading, become ice.

This is appropriately sad. The wind is disappearing from the world, fire is fading, the water is becoming polluted, and the earth is rotting.

Of this, I’m painfully aware..

In this universe, here, the world of Couch Face, the World of Spud, was a polluted world with great snowforests growing at a rapid rate, swallowing up cities faster than they can burn them, so in a few decades more and the whole planet will be one giant snowforest with rivers of melted snow ..

A terrestrial winter wasteland, as beautiful as it is lethal!

Trees of glass flower up in a complexity of pipe branches, cyllindric, tube-like branches filled with rivers of melt like blue blood that you can ride down on, on great rafts of ice, and the water of melt is warm, almost hot.

Everything reflects back on you, the whole world a surface mirror.

Winter fell immediately, Instantly. Like one minute, everything was summer hot. . Then. .

But that matters very little.

What did matter was:

Manly Man the Ultimate Male was climbing the dreaded Mount of Areyakiddinme, in search of a sword made of thunderbolts: the legendary Sword of Areyakiddinme.

But upon finding it, he fell off the mountain at the shock of power and broke his body in the snow.

* * *

My curiosity compelled me to stop.

I looked down at the blue body of the frozen superhero, and said, “Meow.” I was a cat, you see. Cats are curious.

He awoke from his stupor, and looking at me, said, “Ow.”

* * *

Meanwhile, Commando Kiss was on the run.

“I hate these epic journeys. I should be pampered. I want a bath. I need room service.”

When she came upon Manly Man, upside down, in the snow.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“Dying, apparently,” said Manly Man. “And you? You’re that famous porn star. What are you doing here?”

“I got involved in a major crime syndicate- yada, yada, yada- and now they’ve come to kill me.”
“You ‘yada, yada, yada’d over the best part.”

“It’s not really too important. They chased me out of South Kersepolis, anyways. I came as far as I could.”

“Could you do me a favor?” said Manly Man.

“Yes?”

“Could you kiss it and make it all better?”

* * *

Anyways, Manly Man got up, despite the broken bones, and said, “It would be wise of you to join me. I know of a village not too far from the base of this snowy mountain that may just keep you safe from your pursuers. Don’t worry. You don’t have to carry me. I’ll be alright.” He could take pain. Despite the broken bones, he crawled the two hundred feet it took to get there- it wasn’t very far.

* * *

I want to say — I’m hot. I want to say I’m shiverin. In a country I can’t pronounce, I can’t say anything.” They didn’t speak their language.

And all around them, the people were naked.

This country I can’t pronounce. They’re so independent, they’re starving- they have no economy, no trade, no import, no export! But they sure do have nice breasts.

They’re naked. Why do they do that?

They stayed in that town for several weeks, until Manly Man took Kiss by the hand, and said, “I think it’s time we start moving again.”
“But you’re not fully recovered.”

“I think those men are after you.”

She checked back to some suits with tommy guns, who said to them, “Yeah, we’re after you.” Their secret aliases: The Shaker Brothers: Salt and Pepper.

“Oh, shoot!” said Commando Kiss. “I guess we’ll have to fight them.”

Manly Man stretched out on his broken body on his soft bed, and said, “You’ll have to fight them. My body’s broken. If only I’d landed on my head, I’d be fine! But I landed on my feet. My head is nigh invulnerable.”

Kiss said, “R-ight,” and ran back to the Ice Jungles, leading the suits with tommy gun into the snow.

Manly Man stretched out in his bed and snuggled with his teddy bear, until he heard “Bang! Bang!” and a scream, and then he looked at his nice, cushy area, and his cute nurses, looked at his official superhero’s badge, and said, “Damn,” got up on his broken feet, and crawled after them. Thought twice about it, got some crutches, and gimped off.

* * *

I’m deep in the ice jungles of . . . Somewhere. And the Lord of Darkness claimed to return in 1,000 years and kick our butts with frost magic.

Barbarian chieftain of his tribe, he was very scary, this Dark Lord. I mean, he was very scary! He reigned somewhere in the Third World.

Manly Man came upon this tribe on his crutches, and said, pointing to a center-fold he had in a dirty magazine, “Have you seen this babe?”

They only said, “Ooh! Ooh!” ogling the beautiful maiden. Not very smart things, barbarians.

The Lord of Darkness said, “Muh toog a watta.”

“Muh toog uh what?” said Manly Man.

The Lord of Darkness took out his sword and said, “Fyen! Sid!”

Manly Man said, “Oh, c’mon! That’s not a real language.” And took out his sword and bashed the Lord of Darkness over the head ‘til he conked out, then gimped into the deep ice jungles, over river, and over froze-over pond. It was all ice. And it was snowing something fierce, until he heard “Bang! Bang!” and that familiar scream again.

He pushed through the brush until he came to a great insect with a tail that, when flopping down, went, “Bang! Bang!” and was screaming mad like a woman.

“Know what? You tricked me. I think I’ll squish you.” And lifted up his sword, but when it came down, there was Commando Kiss, hiding in the bug’s exoskeleton, saying, “Stop! Shush! I’m hiding.”

“You skinned a bug. How?”

“They passed just by this place not too long ago, but I’m mimicking the mating call of this thing has thrown them off. What do you think of it?” and screamed like a woman does.

“It’s very — erm — convincing. Look, this isn’t getting us anywhere. Why don’t you come with me, out of the growth of the Ice Jungles, and come back to the village? They’ve got grapes there, and fan girls, and cute girls to feed me! Oh, it’s great there!” He turned around. “Wait! Where am I? I followed your voice so deep into the jungle, I can’t decide where we are just yet.”

“Well, this stinks,” said Kiss.

“It sorta does.”

They heard some manly screams, and Manly Man gimped on over in his crutches, over fallen logs, and warm, warm rivers, and found the gangsters being eaten alive by a beautiful creature with a Venus fly trap instead of legs in a crystal pond.

Upon sighting it, it said, a her most assuredly, “I am an ancient and powerful being. .”

Manly Man looked her up and down, and said, “Sw-eet! Can I have your number?”

“No, you may not have my number! It’s unlisted. If you’re interested in older woman, try the phonebook or your local library. Now, I bid thee adieu!” and turned into the night, and the stars above.

Well, well. Well, well, well. Well,” said Kiss.

Said Manly Man, “Yeah?”

“Well, well, well. So you’re a hero. So you’re here. So I’m aware of that. Well,” said Kiss. “What do we do now, hero?”

“We could — make out?”

“Oh, c’mon! Just because I’m a porn star, doesn’t mean I’m that easy.”

“But I saved your life!”

“Hardly. That fly trap creature had already digested those men by the time you reached me.”

“It hadn’t digested them. It was just swallowing them.”

Manly Man checked his surroundings. “We’ve gotta make our way out of here, anyways.”

“I said, I’m not making out with you.”

“I mean, get out of here.”

“Why? What did I do?”

* * *

Not forty pages into the story of lame, non-interesting world-travel- I mean, it would be interesting, I’m sure, if you were there and could take pictures, but the Ice Jungles were just the same everywhere:

: Trees of glass flowering up in a complexity of pipe branches, cyllindric, tube-like branches filled with rivers of melt like blue blood that you can ride down on, on great rafts of ice, and the water of melt was warm, almost hot.

Giant insects were a-buzz everywhere. On every yawning flower.

I suppose it was sort of interesting to those of you who like pollen..

But the residents of this planet were used to these things. It wasn’t interesting to them, is all I’m saying.

“Boy, we’re lost!” said Kiss, for the umpteenth time.

Um. Suddenly, they sank upward, into the clouds. They were flying, as some heroes do.

It seemed great, rushing air currents were powering them up from below.

They looked down.

It was the breath of a giant!

“These things don’t die easily,” said Manly Man. “I’ll kill it in its sleep.”

“You’ll kill that?” said Kiss. “You’re crazy!”

“You forget. I have the Sword of Areyakiddinme!”

“Areyakiddinme?”

“No. I’m not. It’s the legendary sword, and the legend is, whoever nabs it will become a legend himself?”

The legend grabbed the sword on the sharp, and dropped it. Ow.

To the living legend: “That’s real legendary of you.”

“All men die, not every man looks good with a sword,” he told her.

“Well, you do. You look dashing!” she told him, and he smiled.

* * *

They fell into the giant’s mouth, and the giant woke up.

“HEY,” he said.

“What?” said Manly Man.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY MOUTH?”

“The American Crawl, apparently,” said Kiss. “You’ve got a lot of saliva, boss.”

He spit them out and they shot an arc around the sun and landed KERSPLAT. Right back in the Ice Jungles. The advantage of this being, they got to see which way the Ice Jungles ended.

And the Northern Lights.

..Lights in heaven were dancing to the sound of drums and I have a soft, peeing sensation. Relieving.

* * *

They headed back through the Ice Jungles, and on their way met a Yedlin, abominable and fierce monster of the snow. He had a leash on his collar and leading up to it was the Lord of Darkness from not too many scenes before.

He looked pissed. Both of them.

“Muh toog a watta!” he screamed, in a rage. “Mesmar!” and leapt at Manly Man with whole sword drawn- for that matter, why would he have half a sword drawn? Frosting Manly Man with frost magic.

Manly Man reflected the hit with his head- which luckily, for him- was harder than rock, and split the sword in two. “Luckily, the blow landed on my head. If it had been my feet, I’d be a goner, you see!”

He took out his sword and said, “I still don’t see how you guys communicate with language like that”- his utter battle cry.

And so the legend went, in the Viking North, Manly Man did quest for a sword made of thunderbolts. To get it you had to climb to the highest peak of Mount Areyakiddinme and hold up a hilt with the blade there and invoke the mighty power of Thundergod.

* * *

If you want to know, the hero lost, but tell the children he won. Make them believe evil never conquers..

* * *

Manly Man returned home, ass freshly kicked by the Lord of Darkness, body more broken than the day before, and Kiss followed him.

He stopped to ask the barbarian King of the area about the sword- if he lost, what was it good for? Could he sell it? The barbarian King told him a very useful thing, “After I die, you can eat my heart. It will give you power,” in another language, of course. He looked very serious about this.

Really, Eskimos have 49 different words for snow, but only one way to write their names in it. But I suppose they could use crayons.

* * *

Giant insects and tiny dinosaurs roamed the fields in these ice forests, anyways. Insects too giant for even Manly Man’s powers.

Mechanical flying whales sailed beyond..

Suddenly, a sudden suddenness happened all of a sudden in a manner that was almost immediate!

A very gothic castle appeared above the surface of the snow, and Kiss ran inside. “C’mon!” she said, turning back. “Let’s get out of the snow.”

“Don’t you think this isn’t the least bit suspicious? It just jutting out of the snow like that?”

“You’re too cautious.”

“My good woman, I’m never cautious.”

They stepped on in and a monster with an apparent skin condition popped out with forty feet, twenty feet tall, popping blisters, and said, “Who goes there? He better not be black, white, yellow, or copper-skinned. I hate foreigners.”

In a very ancient Northern castle, there were all sorts of monsters, in fact, and the Monsters’ Names were “Intolerance,” “Bigotry,” and “Silence”- but the poets grabbed the monsters by the chain, and they all came tumbling down, one over the other. And we were all very confused about that. Where’d the poets come from? …

“Are you Anglo-Saxon?” said Intolerance.

“No, we’re white,” said Kiss. “Well, I’m tan. And Manly’s pink as pig. Would y’all like to go for milkshakes?”

The monster was popping its skin condition.

Intolerance said, “‘Y’all’? Is that Southern? I hate Southerners. I hate milk. I’m lactose intolerant,” popping blisters.

Bigotry said, “By the look of you, you’re both deaf, dumb, and stupid,” sipping a chardonnay. “Ha!”

Silence said nothing, picking his teeth.

“Rather disagreeable characters,” said Manly.

“By the look of you, you’re both Phil Collins fans,” digging out his ear. The monsters had very self-destructive habits, you see.

They were very taken aback at this remark. “Not at all!”

“Anyways, we don’t like you,” said the monsters. “Get out of our castle.”

“But you’ve just met us! You don’t even know us!”

“First impressions are the best impressions,” the monsters sang.

Kiss confided in Manly Man: “Like me? How can they not like me? I’m as cute as a used tampon.”

And so the North was won, and the slaves were freed. But the war was not over*- there was still Pride and Prejudice throughout the Northlands, the Southlands, and the Eastern-Western shore. ):

* “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, Q-BURT?”

“This place is weird,” said Kiss. “Let’s leave this place.”

* * *

What was the point of that last scene?” said Kiss.

“I don’t know,” said Manly.

* * *

But Manly Man was wandering in the iced-over barrens: He wondered why the snow didn’t melt when it was so hot from bleeding. The Lord of Darkness really put one on him.

“Manly,” said Kiss.

“Yes, Kissy?”

“We’ve been walking on for hours. Aren’t we at South Kersepolis already?”

“Um. Hold that thought.”

In the barren, frosty wilderness, Manly Man hunted and kills a giant three-headed monster and cut off its kneecaps for a trophy of what he’s done–pasting the trophy to his refrigerator.

He’s a legend in the making.

It was a country so foreign, we all needed subtitles, and art buffs found our ethnicity delicious.

“Oh, where’s he from?”

He’s from a country you have to take shots for, said Kiss. . Ha!

“It’s just a walk towards sunrise, Kissy,” said Manly Man. “Nothing more.”

“You mean, if we keep walking towards that sun we’ll see South Kersepolis rise up?”

“Um. Hold that thought.”

A swamp dragon confronted them on their way, and Manly Man slit and gutted it.

It was just a jump down the dragon’s throat, and he found treasure.

“Hey, I found treasure!” said Manly Man.

“But I want to find home.”

Now, Commando Kiss changes her name every month. “Today’s name is Nancy Pennington. Has a nice ring to it. Nancy Pennington.” She did this before she was on the run. And like a woman who is in the habit of changing her hair color. .  Home to her would mean more running, but at least she’d shaken the Shaker Brothers.

“It’s nighttime anyways,” said Manly Man, and set up a shelter.

She didn’t stop to ask how a house made of cold snow could keep them warm.

“Manly?”

“Yes, Kissy.”

“You’re brushing against my skin again…”

“Oh… Sorry…”

“And Manly?”

“Yes, Kissy?”

“I don’t mind that you’re brushing against my skin again.”

“Oh… Really…”

“And Manly?”

“What?”

“Hold me. But don’t tell Couch Face about this.”

* * *

Manly: Back then . . .“I was a fish trying to be a whale.” That wilderness was too big for this superhero. I’d best be heading home.

 

 

Season 69er’s

 

 

 

 

44th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 44th Story or not yet.

“Don’t You Hate That Feeling? When You Gotta Sneeze, But You Can’t? 

 

I guess the best word is none at all.

Empty space. -The best word for it is what you do with semicolons after you figure out they’re not important anymore; I suppose the semicolon also had to never have existed..

* * *

Outer space.

It’s really, really . . Big.

The noise. The sound of space. The sound of Silence- it’s excruciating!

* * *

Why are we here? And where are we going?

“Good existential questions. Get-meta-with-me!”

“Godblessyou,” I said.

“I didn’t sneeze. Don’t remind me I can’t!” and started crying*.

* Concerning the girl who was cursed so she can’t sneeze, no matter how she cries or wants too: Gallenthmir.

God was in the room, watching over us.

“God, where do you come from?” / ‘Outerspace.” / “What?” / “Outer-space.” / “What?” / “From outside space, that is my land.” / “What?” / “-I’m an alien.” / / “what?”

* * *

I dropped a sun in the middle of the room, and everyone began to spin, on elliptical, around it.

* * *

So, by the way. Who’s the villain in this episode?

“Some Comet. Superheroes are always saving the world from Some Comet.”

“Asteroid, actually. And it talks!” Manly Man had to save the world from Some Asteroid, but he couldn’t fly!

It kept mocking him of that fact. “Super hero need wings?” so Manly Man bought a ticket on the 7:40 Space Flight.

They were filled with superheroes anyways.

Meanwhile, Gallenthmir, who could fly, decided she would have to be the one to save Spud. And although she didn’t care for Spud, as it was not her world- No, Mirror Country was; she did have five friends there. She had the rest of this heroic voyage… for those five friends.

Superhero High sponsored Manly Man’s trip.

At Superhero High. “I’m sorry you’re so glum. What’s bringing you down?”

“Physics! Physics, man.”

“I hear that. Gravity SUCKS!”

“School curriculum can suck itself.” None of them could fly.

But gravity wouldn’t bring Manly Man down. No. He was blasted to the stars.

* * *

A Moving panorama of stars. Ah.

* * *

But the ship sponsored by Superhero High couldn’t quite fly, so Manly Man had to look for a bigger sponsor.

He signed with the United Rural Association of NASA Association of Spud is Special, Or U.R.A.N.A.S.S.

Mirror Country sponsored Gallenthmir. There was no acronym for that.

They shot off at, more or the less, the same place and time, for competitive reasons: To see who would save the world from Some Asteroid first, as they both took separate world-sponsored flight:

Manly Man sponsored by big-budget South Kersepolis, the newest model; Gallenthmir sponsored by Mirror Country, who had much less a budget: a little clunker paper-clipped together, with wooden wings. Well, not really paper clips, but it was a clunker nonetheless.

“If it isn’t Ms. Poopy Pants,” said Manly Man.

“If it isn’t — actually, I have no name to call you,” said Gallenthmir. “Um.”

“You’re looking chipper today. Think you’ll win?”

“People who use the word ‘chipper’ are usually big, bad-teethed British snob wannabes, and beating you will be a breeze.”

“You’re that confident?”

“I’m that moody,” and got into her clunker. A ship powered by pure emotion.

While Manly Man got into his. From the Mud to the Stars.

Dawn was exploding out the back of his ship; a spaceship took flight — the explosion out the back exploded the night into a temporary and semi-lasting day! — dawn blinked, dawn winked, dawn dissipated and disappeared…

* * *

A giant super entity reached for his fridge door, opened it. There was a series of inhabited planets inside, they were categorized like rocks. He reached for an orange one. Up to his lip, he bit it! — a cheeseburger.

*Munch, Munch*.

He rubbed it off, as a schoolyard boy rubs an apple; the populated continents shift, they scream.

Bacteria! He breathed in. “Ah.”   

-You know that feeling you get after a long, hard day’s at work, and you’ve only eaten once that day, and that next time may not come ‘til tomorrow? He had this now. Sipped his drink. *Slurp. Glug. Suck.*!

He walked into a room of giants, and overheard the following conversation:

“You know what, Buttercup? You’re an extreme thinker!!!!”

This extreme thinker was the most brilliant inventor in the world! On her world.

This would be more impressive if there weren’t other worlds and universes out there, and if the population of her planet weren’t 3. She was hardly an Inventor at all, in fact. She had just made a turkey sandwich.

She sneezed at the pepper of it.

A good sneeze could blow your brains out. Achoo! Achoo!

Gallenthmir landed on this planet first, and said, “Whoo! I’m surprised I made it this far. Anyways, I stopped to fix ship. The thing darn near broke down.”

“I’m the smartest thinker in the world!” said the most brilliant inventor.

“Well, great. Good. Good for you. You deserve two gold stars~!” J “Thumbs up. High five,” but the most brilliant inventor left her hanging. “Anyways,” said Gallenthmir, looking downcast.

The most brilliant inventor in the world got right to it.

Meanwhile, Manly Man was caught in the teeth of the giant entity at the very beginning of this little scenario, Udragoth the Devourer of Worlds, and being wedged out with a toothpick. “I can’t believe — HE JUST ATE SPUD! How do I save the world now? How am I to be famous?”

But the world would still be there. It’d just have to go through the digestive track first; and tracked out, would still be in harm’s way. This brought some comfort to Manly Man, whose super speedy ship would finally catch up to Gallenthmir a million miles later.

He didn’t bite Spud. He only swallowed it.

“Hey, I reserve the right to swallow some things.”

* * *

Couch Face was ever-conscious of the earth spinning millions of miles an hour beneath him. It never left his mind. He was always nervous that it’d stop some day and he’d be splattered against the wall of a nearby citadel.

He looked up now, in the belly of some — beast! And said, “Oh my. It’s the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.”

“Hey, I love that song!” said some hippie.

* * *

This next one takes place on a particular planet far away from the world of Couch Face.

Here, there was a man with an ego so large he had a planet-sized head and a human-sized body, the little body walking around on the surface of that globular noggin*. * head

His space spear shot lasers. And there was an itch he could not reach on his nose.

Do you remember that Giant Man with the fridge? Well, here he was again, playing pool with the planets. The deepest canyons and highest peaks on the earth were smaller than that of a billiard ball, so all the giant did was wipe off the wet stuff (seas) and play..

What a jerk.

Gallenthmir landed on this planet to refuel, and, as she was already in the lead, decided to take a break to help a mate in need. She was a superhero, you know.

“SorrysirhowcanIhelpyou?” she said as fast as she could into the giant noggin’s ears. She was in a race to save the world, you know.

Can you count to infinity?” said the strange planet.

“-No.”

“..

Okay.”

“I’ve been trying to count to there for years, but I never make it. There’s nothing else to do on this planet — well, me — but run around. There, you see, there’s my body over there. Trying to reach this itch on the back of my nose with this space spear I developed for such an occasion need itch arise, but no. It’s still not long enough!”

“I’m sorry, uh, why are you counting to infinity?”

“I’m an insomniac. I’m counting sheep.”

“How do you know about sheep? Sheep are millions of miles away from here on a planet called Spud.”

“You could be some help! Could you reach my itch? In return, I’ll service your ship, and even get it some hyper drive to go faster. I’m a whirl at mechanic jobs.”

Gallenthmir needn’t answer, she simply reached up, picked his nose, rose up just a bit higher, and itched precisely where he told her to itch.

There were other itches.

* * *

Meanwhile, Manly Man was lost somewhere in space. An awesome subject, space. His starship had taken heavy beating from the great floss which picked him out of the World Devourer’s teeth.

Here, he was passing worlds, and worlds within worlds. Into the light fantastic.

A brief lapse in narrative

(skip this if you wanna)

You don’t need to leave Earth to find fantasy.

You don’t need to charter a train to Hogwartz, cross through a wardrobe, sail on eagles’ wings to Middle-Earth; to-warp-speed-at-8-miles per hour past the speed of lightà to find fantasyJ . No.

Because Fantasy exists everywhere in this earth and in the earths beyond. In the sexy good looks of nature: Trees. Flowers. Rivers. Mountains. Oceans, Valleys.

You call it!

Deserts, Birds. .Mammals, Raptors, Insects. Fish that can only be seen from the light of a submarine glow.

Journey to the center of the earth and to the depths of these lowest oceans. Voyage to a view of Us from the new moon, the super-heated surface of the sun, and the very tip of that Milky Way, reach out and have it a bit-  sounds like a travel brochure. It’s okay!

Because this universe has something special to it: What do you think that is? . .

The Galaxy–An ocean overflowing, and unending. Until its end, because the universe is just like an ant crawling surface on the top of a balloon*– yes, it is. I studied it in Astronomy class, I got a B**.

* Bound. ` ** So you know 83% of this is true information.

Well, I’m all out of ideas.

-And the analogy still stays: this

is an ocean.

The water holds meteors, and comets swim where asteroids would, intermingling and exploding, along such fashionable names such as ‘supernovae’ and ‘white dwarfs’ and ‘neutron stars’.

* * *

Manly Man passed them through, not giving a thought to the miraculous he saw on the right or left, and for that part, why would he? Do you? It’s just rocks, and stars, and dust, and junk.

Press the flush button, won’t you?  It’s a paint flush- Night is segregated in whirlpool clusters in constant rotation.

Imagine the colours*.

*there are so many.

Bound to the force

n tune of a song:

Gravity: language of the stars.

..Here’s where my merry goes round. I

f it would.

* * *

Manly Man looked just out the window, just a passing glance.

Gallenthmir was really in the lead. He’d have to bop her one once he caught up. The universe…

What can be binding it all together?-mass. What can be expanding it out into infinity?-motion. What began it all in the first place?-we don’t know, we have theories*. Was it a big bang?-possibly. Yes. I think so. A sudden reaction of chemicals?-I don’t see why not, but what started it?

* we put our faith into [‘em] without proof of evidence, just strenuous observation.

Could it be that?–but I’m not gonna finish this sentence, I forgot what classy thing I was gonna say. It was gonna be good, now it’s lost forever!..

What guided these streams of intelligence to form the human brain?

Random chance: is that our only answer? What I mean is, is that your final guess? “From what I understand”. “That’s great!” :]

Nothing thought, Nothing planned,

Nothing built this all.

We’re all just one calamitous mistake, you mean?-dust in a fell wind.

If…

If all in a matter of matter-

all time, and energy; all creation is schemed by a great big mass atomic *kablewy* of bombs, spawned from void?- Am I losing you?

…Then freak Hiroshima should be the spawner of worlds.

It only pays to deduce.

Listen.

Alien Fish swim. They also walk.

Gallenthmir, meanwhile, was walking right up the walls and ceiling as the gravity’s all off like Mario Galaxy.

She flies!

*T

ell* –

.. as far as humanity goes, the best we can ever do in building biological intelligence is steal somebody else’s designs

*. . an infraction nothing less than copy-right infringement. In which there’s no originality.

* blue prints, red prints, one fish, two-headed trout.

Create life by cloning somebody?-darn. Doesn’t prove that you can do anything else besides steal the smart kid’s idea?-damn. Don’t come to me for the answers.

I’m right where you are.

 

In the pain of it.

 

Manly Man, meanwhile, was still on that 7:40 space flight. When Manly Man got mad, he yells in Arabic whenever he eats peanuts–especially when he’s on an airplanes. This made some people think he was a terrorist. There were others on board who paid admission to see a superhero in action, but it wasn’t revealed who Manly Man was, so this was terribly frightening. He was on flight to save the world from that comet-  that asteroid I told you about before. He was mad for justice.

Humor me.

What I think I’m trying to say is.

All evolutionary theorem I learned in summer school bypassed the fine line in quotations ‘just a theory’ and claimed we had something to be certain in.

They can’t teach you anything in school if it’s not true- Same thing, T.V.

Are you listening?

We live in an age that has closed its minds off to anything in spiritual magnitude that could unearth or upset us. F

or wrath of the demon spirit inside.

Looking right out the window, you could see Gallenthmir.

People often mistook Gallenthmir for a planetarium (w/ poor complexion, of asteroids plunging into her moon and cratering her surface).

I like to fly through space too, and make fun in her. Sometimes, I get a little tired from all my play.

Goddammit.

If You Pick Up  a  beautiful  piece  of  poetry written in such stroke of passion, and pure geniusnessssess, do you just shrug your shoulders and say, Oh, that’s beautiful;

“What fugckin mistake made this?”  I bet a cat knocked over a bottle of ink on tha’ little accident 100 years ago, then it slowly evolved words on its surface.

I can’t wait to see what Random Chance will think of next.

I gotta B!

Ya read books? Somebody writes those, right?

Something to think about*.

* we never doubt it.

Falling up: I just descended into space.

* * *

That must be very strange, seeing everything out of a billion eyes, I said.

“I’d say it’s very strange seeing things out of two,” said the alien to You.

This, this alien, who saw everything, past, present, and future, like it was a 2-dimensional sight laid out before her like  a  map. Like a far-away hillside, a mountain, and You-

-You’re stuck with your two eyes, unable to see around and around, she wants You to know, a little hole in a box incapable of knowing the future things… of only understanding the present; of not appreciating the past. Unless you’re a historian.

..This may have just been a metaphor for God’s omnipresence. This may have just been a mutant wart.

What’s it to you that a dimensional being could see all and observe all with so many eyes yet still avoid the magic, and keep the science?

What’s it to anyone?

Gallenthmir, on this strange planet, serviced for the third, and she had hoped, final time, was closing in on Some Asteroid terribly.

Manly Man, behind, on the trail of her space wake, was losing it: Lost in time, and lost in train of thought.

* * *

Your butt is not a storage space, but Gallenthmir had to find somewhere to store all those granola bars.

Gallenthmir was somewhere in outer space, which, in itself, is not nothing, if you must know. “How could there be nothing?” she asked.

“If there was nothing, there’d be nothing. If there’s something, there’d be something,” came her answer.

She turned around, and a saw a curious little alien sprawled out in her ship.

“How’d you get in here?”

“Same way you got in here. I opened the door.”

“How are we speaking the same language?”

“Aliens love earth-languages, especially English, it being the Hollywood language, and we get great connection from the satellites that send out wavelengths–”

“–It sounds like a big headache.”

“What are you doing out here?” asked the curious, little alien, with sticky pads on her feet.

“I’m here to save the world- well, my world, anyways- from Some Asteroid.”

“Some Asteroid?” said the curious little alien with sticky pads on her feet. “I know that rock. And we can’t have Earth blown up, we get such good reception there on the TV. I must join you.” And joined her, whether she liked it or–

“Not, little man! You’re not joining me,” and picked her up, opened the hatch, and threw her into cold space.

Worlds whirl past her. Fogs her window!

But she was still stuck to the ship, going, “Aha!” if she could, coz you know sound can’t travel in space.

* * *

Gee, I don’t know.

I think people underrate this. “Uh” and the universe was created. No, it’s science. It’s Architecture!

Oh, but enough of that! Let’s talk about the Denver Broncos.

Anyways,

if there was always nothing, then there’d be nothing. If there was always something, then something would come from that. And so we have God, our origin story. In theory.

Of course, then there will always be special people who say this is illogical. To say that an egg could not come from The Chicken!

* * *

On a very small planet, Manly Man was tossing a guitar to the left and in a few moments it hit him to the right. “It’s a small world,” he explained. And he was very rigorous, fixing guitar and ship. He was nearly reaching Gallenthmir by now! But she was still in that lead. By a trot, skip, and a jump.

* * *

I, meanwhile, had woken up on the Moon, and was watching Wall-E with a space friend.

“I saw Wall-E! I wanna go to outer space!” he tells me. I wanna go to the stars. Just not so close so that I burn.

“Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it?” I tell him.

The moon made a wattage and I slept in her glare..

* * *

They had reached Galaxy’s Edge both together.

Orion’s wearing his belt tonight. His pants never drop.

Oh, but you probably didn’t need to see that..

“Where are they?” said Gallenthmir of the people she was looking for– people who could tell her how to stop Some Asteroid.

“Right under your nose!” said some alien voice.

She sneezed and out popped the people she was looking for. They were all wearing rain coats, because they didn’t want to be slimed upon. Though there was much debate as to whether the original colors of the fashion was green.

“How do I stop Some Asteroid?” asked Gallenthmir.

“You can’t! It’s gigantic. You’d need — a blaster the size of Japan!”

“How do you know about Japan?”

“We love their shows, don’t you know? They’re televised all across the galaxy. Please don’t tell me Earth’s in the path of Some Asteroid.”

Gallenthmir only hung her head. Gallenthmir had just received a wire from the command center in Mirror Country, the little puppets and their strings on the intercom, and asked her, “What’s it like in space, Gallenthmir? You’re our first envoy there.”

You’re just a bit nearer God, in space, she told them. That’s what it feels like. Put in one more flight to these stairs. “Higher.” “Heaven.” Over and out.

“Roger.”

* * *

Long before Magellan discovered the new world*, there were the imperialist Anglo-Saxons. So pumped up by their own self-worth that they colonized the universe and made all subdued nations take English classes in college as an elective if you want, maybe, and that’s why all aliens speak French.

* so to speak.

They look like us because it’s hip. And when filming it into movies, it makes it less expensive as well.

Yes, they speak English as well. I got that.

* * *

They reached Gallenthmir’s cousin, and his little body running around on his great big head, in which comets, moons rotated ‘round and ‘round. Of the same tribe as that last little planet creature.

And crawling on planet’s face, the Wuzzubers. The planetary inhabitants.

They brought out a space blaster the size of her cousin’s head, and said, “Zap it with this! This’ll do ‘em!”

The idea swam mechanically into vision. “You mean, that’s all we have to do?” said Gallenthmir.

“We really would miss your television programs should anything happen to Earth.”

“It’s called Spud now,” said Gallenthmir.

“No, it’s not, that’s stupid.”

“You must know that those shows you’re getting are at least 200 years old from all the travel,” said Gallenthmir.

“…”

“What?!”

“Didn’t you hear anything?- she’s insulting you.”

“What?- I didn’t hear anything.”

“It’s true. I called you many names in my head.”

“She’s psycho, you know.”

“. . Psychic?”

“..You’re an idiot.”

* * *

Manly and his “assistants” were traveling via spacecraft.

A geographical blur below them. An asteroid so large it had weather patterns. Heading straight for Spud! Or where Spud would be once Udragoth the Devourer of Worlds had … defecated it out.

Looking down at the land below from where you are sitting on a cloud, and wondering, if this be a map, where are the lines?*

*–there’s no dividing a planet. It’s the people that want dividing.

* * *

What I am about to say to you will turn your small world upside down, said a curious little alien to her.

“Well, that’s okay, coz our world is spherical.”

“Oh. Well, ours is flat, so that would be detrimental..”

“What’s up?”

“The constellation of Taurus.”

“So. What are you going to tell me?”

“I forgot. Let me think of it.”

My thoughts race sometimes, and I can’t keep up!

On their way, Gallenthmir went by strange creatures, voids, and shapes.

Just a funny, waddling nonsense.

Said the guy who was about to turn your small world upside down, hardly detrimental, “Oh. Your Midi-chlorian count isn’t very high, young Jedi.’ What?

“Yeah, well, I got shots for those.”

At this point, Gallenthmir hit a wall.

I don’t mean she crashed into a wall, or crashed mentally due to long exhausting days as a telemarketer. No, when I say my said-s I say them straight. She hit a wall!

She had landed on Some Asteroid, and crashed into a wall! A wall made by human hands.

They humans wished to blow up their own planet, but Manly Man and Gallenthmir did stop it. Simultaneously.

With ray guns.

* * *

Not too far away, universally speaking, Udragoth and his friends were out playing tennis with the planets in this Solar System, when they suddenly took a wrong turn into the Sun, and got fifty degree burns. Puked out the planet Spud, back into place, which was not very likely, as there was so much space in the galaxy, the both situations.

Aliens. Pweh.

* * *

Aliens. The alien distraction! We’re more concerned with aliens now than earth things. Is it a search for lost technology, or eternal life?

“All hail to the five-breasted queen of the Sivix 6.” She was nursing quintuplets as she ruled.

Manly Man liked that planet.

“It’s time we headed home,” said the pilots of Manly Man’s starship.

“Aw, but I like it here.”

But it was time to go.

Every astronaut thinks his star ship is a pony. Yeehaw, he says.

* * *

And Gallenthmir, she stayed with her cousin for a coupla months after not seeing him for so long, just visiting, then headed for home.

But the noise. The noise of Silence. It was excruciating on the way back.

I can drown it out with my thoughts, thought Gallenthmir.

The winds on the moon have gone 25 on the plains of I-don’t-care, thought Manly Man.

Shoot for the moon. You’ll get halfway there, and the view is great! thought Gallenthmir.

Still your head is a floating chair. Sitting there ..  You feel explosive, thought They All.

Look up at that weird, little thing with me.- What is that?

Everyday Artists capture the beauty of the greatest work of art known to huMannity: the Universe.

That’s right. Nature’s my favorite sculpture. I have a hardon for sunflowers.

-First thing many people think about when they think of beauty, besides a Playboy centerfold, is the night sky-

-Could be J

Stars radiate with an oily sorta glaze.

Poets dream of the moon and philosophers paint the stars and artists sketch the sun, but if you were paying attention, I said that already. I

t’s already done.

The poet’s breath upon the night sky is all White Noise..

It’s a kinda prettiness, I think.

We can’t stop dreaming about such hot rockin boobage, to be pertinent.

And now, look out the window.  I’d love for you to stare.

The sun is just beginning to shut its one bleedineye, whereupon she slowly gallops and fades into the West.

Author of Light and Love, Celestial Painter; a few more notes and we might just have ourselves a Haikuà if we could only put foot in hand -&- not in mouth.

Shoot. .  Maybe that means anything..

.anathemas snaem taht ebyaM  . .seY

You don’t need to be a star to twinkle 😉 “Gee, you’re corny..”

 

 

 

 

48th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 49th Story or not yet.

 “It’s Been a Million Miles Since Breakfast

Breakfast is no time for people to cry, now is it?

We* were all lost on that island together!.. Crying. Crying.

* Manly Man, Couch Face, Gallenthmir, Kiss, Wife, Old Man Painter, Boo-Cat

We had all gone on a three hour tour, and ended up lost together. Sobbing.

* * *

About the island we were stuck on…

It’s the top of a sleeping giant’s head with its hair as the palm trees, but they don’t know that. Can you picture that?

So the rest of it is underwater. And Gallenthmir slept in it- the hair. It was her turn to dream first, as the others stood guard.

* * *

There’s always that joke, which book would you bring if you were stuck on a deserted island together?

Well, Gallenthmir brought Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure. As it wasn’t a real book, that was the joke.

I brought my copy of the Roaring Lambs’ album Quantity is Job 1.

Wife brought a cheese Danish.

Kiss, a porn star, loathed calories. She brought her hair kit.

Oh, the things they carried!

Manly Man brought the muscle.

Old Man Painter brought a paint set and acrylics.

Couch Face brought himself. Just himself. And that hulking couch cushion on his head.

* * *

We could play sand volleyball.”

“Or go surfing.”

“Or make a sand castle.”

“Or we could snorkel.”

“And go camping!”

“Or form a new society, and mate all the time.”

“Or make a smoke signal and get the hell out of here..”

“All good ideas,” said Couch Face. “I think the best one was mine.”

“What was your idea?” said Wife.

“Didn’t you hear what I said?” said Couch Face.

“No.”

An ocean is made up of little drops — just drops. They could work on sipping up the drops little by little until.. Well, eventually, we can walk out of here.

“Forgive me, but that’s the stupidest idea ever,” said Kiss. “Cute, though.”

* * *

Listen. . .There are dinosaurs all over the world in Spud. Some in zoos: for petting or just for looking.

The too-wild to tame were driven out into the Ice Jungles long, long ago, but all aquatic dinosaurs can be found everywhere, even in the liquid, drinkable streets where people drive.

Even now- in our present age..

But they were poisonous. All the critters around here were poisonous, even the fish.

Fish are in terrific shape from all the aerobics training they do*-

* an inexpensive thing, swimming.

Um.

We tried hunting for fish, but after eating one, one of us died- the captain of the ship, you don’t know him. He was the first and only one to try it. Not a very memorable or likeable character anyways, so he was killed off.

* * *

Sobbing into a pillow from hunger. I woke up three days later, and wrote a haiku.

* * *

Look down there.

There are huge memories in the water, swimming.

Not fish, but memories. This was the Memory Ocean. Whatever memory you had, reflected back at you, from beneath the waters. It was a very dangerous place. Let’s go into that. What memory was Kiss hiding?

Kiss remembered being hunted by gangsters, and pow! There were the Shaker Brothers, Salt and Pepper, with tommy guns chasing after her.

Wife remembered she had lost her keys, and wham! There were her keys, fresh in hand.

The others caught onto this, and thought, “Wow, what if we remember back our home?” and tried it, with all muscles, and a vain in their brain, but such a memory was too big for their head, and couldn’t quite form.

The food they remembered all tasted — tasteless. Like a memory, it had no form, only substance. No nutrition. Nothing what the body needed.

And Manly Man- Manly Man remembered a monster he had fought in his sophomore year of Super Hero-ism.

You can just imagine the problems this caused.

* * *

Where’d you get that ketchup?” said Kiss to Gallenthmir, poking a clam with a stick.

I AM A POWERFUL WIZARD.”

“Really?” She put down her stick.

Said Gallenthmir, “Yes, and the sand on the beach tastes much better than ketchup. I brought ketchup with me.”

“You’ve been holding out on us. I’ll drowning you for that.” Kiss quickly dunked Gallenthmir’s head under the water. She was starving! “Drowning is the punishment!” she shouted in childish glee.

About suffocating under the ocean . .It’s one of those things you don’t love until after it’s lost; nobody loves breathing. You just like that it’s available.

She* had more lung capacity than a grey whale, however.

* Gallenthmir

We were pretty sure she could scream under water for more than a minute and you could hear it in the surface world above.

But Old Man Painter had quickly taken the two girls apart from each other, and said, “People! People! Please! We’ve got to survive here.”

* * *

In the world of Spud, fish-people walk the dry land, and in the deserts. They walk around in power suits with fish-bowls where their heads are or some walk around in those old German diving suits, filled with water.

They then saw some and said, “Are you guys edible?”

“We’ve tried ourselves once, and died of sickness. So sorry,” and went back, into water.

You can’t feed yourself on ideals and principles, was its message that day. Some people have to work, it bubbled.

Listen.

A fish in a river says, “I will go back to the big water.” The big water is the ocean. The fish all refer to it as that. They call the ocean ‘the big water,’ a lake, ‘the little water,’ and a river, ‘the long water.’ Stupid little creatures, fish.

We watched them march back into the ocean, hungry, as we couldn’t catch them. They were ghost fish. A memory of food.

“If you’re so hungry, why don’t you go into those woods and bite a deer?” said one.

But there were no deer.

Every half month, because we were kinda hungry, we were forced to eat each other, as there was no freezer of fun nutritious snacks to feed on.

* * *

Once I bit my tongue and I tasted awful. This was when I decided I wouldn’t be a cannibal.

You can start laughing like a pirate here.

Some of us were crying!

Wife doesn’t remember how to cry properly. She cried from her ears. She cried quite frequently so she had to carry around a special kind of Hanky at all times to dab at them whenever a mood swing busts a floodgate.

Oh, but we were hungry.

The beer I had for breakfast wouldn’t hold me for the next three weeks we stayed on that island.

“What it is, we’ve got to eat someone,” said Couch Face. “Now which of you is the most expendable?”

“I think you are,” said Manly Man.

“My face can turn into a bed!”

“Right..”

“Well, what about Gallenthmir? She’s pretty good-for-nothing.”

“I can fly!” said Gallenthmir. “What if a ship came and we needed?–”

“Didn’t you try flying before but you got lost in all that nothing, and so had to come back?”

“…Yes.”

Negotiating the ocean. Steering by stars. Not a very easy thing to do.

There was a deer out there, swimming in the ocean. And a treasure chest appeared on shore.

Gallenthmir bit it. The deer.

She went, Gallenthmir hungry. Gallenthmir want eat!

Whenever she’s hungry, she goes to a baby impulse and screams, “Waaah!” and that’s how you know she’s hungry.

We decided to eat her first, but oh, how she fought back!

* * *

Stand on the ocean until you start sinking.

We played games to stay off the hunger. Some of us began to see things as the water we drank wasn’t fresh.

God is not dull. No one ever said the ocean was dull.

“The ocean is dull.”

“The fish like it.”

I’m really scared,” said the clown fish.

The Ocean. “The Ocean. It’s a big toilet. Only with tons of food swimming around inside. Mmm…”

A fish popped out of the Ocean, big as a whale.

The wingspan of a humpback whale. It flies.

Over the course of time, we didn’t care if they were poisonous, spiky, or belligerent, we ate fish bodies whole.

* * *

Sometimes, I feel I can eat a whole horse. Sometimes, I feel I can eat a whole species,” said Gallenthmir, on observance of the fish.

We had yucked her out. Found out she was poisonous.

Wanderers across the face of the ocean: The albatross. They don’t need rocks to stop. They can rest on the waves. They can sit on the wind. If only Gallenthmir could float, we could all use her as a boat.

* * *

An old hurricane some time ago. Name of Sherry. She flooded my backyard. Now, a hurricane was flooding the island.

Great lazy storms. In hurricanes of bubbles!

The ground was busy going to and fro.

At the news of this event, Commando Kiss screamed like furniture being moved. Skooched on the tile.

Not from fright, but excitement.

To blow dry her hair, Commando Kiss went into a hurricane, and dried it. She liked it that way. If she wanted to dry her hair, she’d stand outside during a ..

* * *

But I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean. Probably more than anything else. Even space.

In the sea of breathable water, the fish eat out of your hand and allow themselves to be stroked. Sweet, sweet water, like sugar. We drank it, and it filled our hearts, but it didn’t fill our bellies.

* * *

Not two days before the day after tomorrow, which is Yesterday, in which we were all insane, and couldn’t keep track of time worth a penny, an event in which we battled with pineapples took place. . . Pineapples??

Where’d those come from?!

“Ew, yuck, a vegetable,” said Wife, and dropped it.

“These pineapples might just save our lives,” said Old Man Painter.

“Aw, what do you know?” and bopped him over the head with one, and we all started fighting ‘til our pineapples were mush.

Our new society had discovered war.

* * *

Not much to do on a deserted island..

* * *

Listen. If you’re spending every aching minute worrying about where every meal’s gonna come, are you really in the mood to rise against an oppressive government?

That’s why the world isn’t thinking, ‘progress.’ They’re thinking, ‘lunch!’ I’ve said this before.

Now that I’m starving, I’ve finally realized, I’ve been holding so much out on the rest of the world. There they are, starving alongside of me.

The tears of repentance are deep. I’m up to my eyes, and his hand wipes them clean. I need no longer to swim. I sleep on my back, truly sleep! I float!

Like, one time, I saw a hobo outside a McDonald’s restaurant. His was the saddest face in the world. I said, “I’d like to help that guy, if I could only find the time.”

* * *

A man, a woman, and a child, holding hands, interlocked, as they plummet to the depths of the sea. The Single Sea. There was only one continent on Spud*.

* Or that is what they call our planet here**. **This Mirror-Earth.

They were lost on that very same island with us together. I only didn’t mention them, as they were all boring. They didn’t want to find out what else we would do if we continued on getting crazier.

“We could build that signal fire,” said Old Man Painter. And did.

Just as suddenly, the island rose up, and we were in the clouds now, and the island began to walk.

We looked down, and there, a giant thing in bathing trunks, made of sand and pineapple, rose out of the deep, and scratched its head, which was the island hair we had inhabited. It scratched an itch, and the itch was us, and picked, and flicked, and by the time we had flown off its head, it snatched us just as quickly, with creature reflexes, and said,

“I bet you thought I was an island, right? Well, I am, in part, but I’m also an organism. Pretty sweet, right?”

We nodded very gravely. We thought it might eat us.

“That’s right. I’m not going to eat you, but I am going to warn you: if you ever make camp on the top of my head again, I’ll have you each— uh. I’m not much good for threats, but you were building a fire there. That hurt!”

“Do you know where we are?” asked Couch Face.

“In the ocean.”

“What part of the ocean?”

“The big part.”

“That being?…”

“The part with all the fish.”

“You’re losing me.”

“..Have you ever tried drinking up the whole ocean to find your land legs and walk on home? That’s what I’d do,” said the giant.

“But you’re huge!” said Manly Man. “You’re like a whole continent.”

“How ‘bout I do this? I’ll swim you home, if you do one thing for me,” said the giant.

“What’s that?”

“Look! I’ve always wanted to be on TV, to be a star, to sing, but I’m a little camera shy! Could you — record me singing, and send my voice in to some agents?” said the giant.

Manly Man just happened to be married to a big time record producer, and said, “Yes!”

“Good. After that, can we get something to eat?” said the giant.

They answered, “Yes!”

 

 

 

49th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 49th Story or not yet.

 “She Woke Up with the Screen Still Going and the TV Filled with Snow” 

 

Where am I?

“TV Land.”

The channel?

“If whoever’s on the other side decides so- yes? But no. This is BET. Black Entertainment Television for Black People. We’ll see what the Viewer decides next. Some call him ‘remote’ coz he’s far-away.”

“Who’s the Viewer?”

“Why, you were. Um? It’s actually very easy to explain. I’m told I basically come off as very mysterious when I first try to instruct people on what TV Land is. Basically, what my friends tell me to say, is you’re inside TV.”

“Wait, how’d I get here?” says Wife.

““Don’t you read the titles?”

“ ‘She Woke Up with the Screen Still Going and the TV Filled with Snow,’ yes, but that would imply I was the viewer.”

“You were. Until you fell into it.”

I’d like to quote a quote I heard by the Fairy Oddparents which I think sums up this idea, “In the future, there will be 500 channels . . . And nothing to watch” – Butch Hartman

* * *

And who are you?” said Wife to . . . Whoever it was that was talking.

“I’m the TV Guide,” said the TV Guide. “Just call me TV for short.”
“How ‘bout I call you ‘Cynthia’?”

“…Um. Okay, sure. Yeah! Gotcha.”

Cynthia led Wife to the next channel.

* * *

It didn’t really look like it was snowing, but there was static on this channel, so they continued on.

* * *

The next channel had vertical lines of varied colors on it, and frustrated, Cynthia said, “Follow me!” and continued — ugh — on…

* * *

There were so many channels.

Game Show.

Religion.

Talk show.

Sitcom.

Action.

Comedy Channel.

The Cooking Network.

News.

Infomercial.

Soap operas.

Commercials.

Saturday morning kid cartoons.

The weather channel.

Anime.

Late night Porn.

The Wild World of Sports.

The Channel Selection Channel.

Music Channel.

Premium Movie Channels (HBO), which is as good as late night porn.

* * *

I’m bored. Are you bored?

What should we watch? How ‘bout a Game Show?

It was an obstacle course / -slash- / quiz show.

There was nothing else on TV at the moment, except the Channel Selection Channel.

Wife, meanwhile, had climbed Fridge Mountain Retail. Oh, it is a beautiful mountain with refrigerators stuck all over it! so it’s easier to climb, and snack if you forgot to bring some.

Then they quizzed her.

But none of the questions she really knew.. All having to do with subatomic matters. In truth, she began to think elsewhere.

All over Spud, there were tiny dinosaurs so that you can fit them in your wallet, or balance them on the tip of a pin, while the insects were gigantic. Also: the people in Spud were all part animal. Listen! There were no humans. Really. And very few humanoids! Many of these worked in the office.

There were strange creatures in every story. They worked at Wife’s job. There were ghosts who held jobs there, and the one Wife had talked to happened to be one. He said, “I’ve died, I know that, but I haven’t saved up enough money in life for retirement yet. I’m the only life insurance my family will ever get!”

She was thinking of her family, in fact, and how she missed work this day by getting stuck inside the TV.

“You have one life line remaining,” said the Game Show Host with the fake Game Show grin.

“Um — 3.1211 subatomic molecules,” said Wife.

“That is — correct! You won a new car! What other fabulous prizes do we have for her?”

Said the deep-voiced, unseen announcer, “We have Doors Number 1, 2, and 3. Which would you like to open?”

“All of them, actually.”

Said the Game Show Host, “Nice try, but only one can be opened.”

“3, then.” And opened it to find herself on the other end of the Religion Channel, discussing predictions on the end of the world.

* * *

Christians are taking over the world, they’re having more and more children, and no one’s doing anything! We need to do something about this frightening epidemic.

Put a condom on it. Join the Christian Liberation Front today! Couch Face goes out passing pamphlets in the park.

They’re predicting the end of the world, but never getting it right, faking miracles, taking money from naïve, innocent good people, selling holy water for exuberant prices, and then, the good things they do, giving to the poor, visiting the sick, giving shelter, food, and water to the needy.

Be gentle to those who don’t believe. Be gentle to them. “Oh, shit,” many times means “Oh, desperation*.” /

* Not in desperation to make a joke, but, “Oh, help me.” I’m desperate. Don’t say, “Language!” Neither should you judge.

All quiet on the Rapture front. It’s May 22nd on the other side of the world*.

* When it was predicted for May 21st.

The Viewer was bored of end-time predictions, and so, changed the channel: A talk show.

* * *

Said the Talk Show Host, sitting there, in his chair, “So… What you’re telling me. At the end of all this hurt, this agony. Just hell! Pain!  Is you’re in love with a planet?”

Said Manly Man, who was being interviewed, “Oh, but you haven’t seen it from a cosm-o-nautic side. Have you ever been to a planetarium?”

“Get out. No, I mean it! You’re wasting my time! Out!” ..and kicked him out the building. “Okay, how ‘bout you?”

“Who? Me?” said Wife.

“What’s your story?”

“I’m a — a housewife.”

“Next!”

Cynthia led Wife to the next channel.

* * *

You can’t outrun explosions while swan-diving, but cool guys do it all the time. Cool guys don’t look at explosions. No. They got other cool-guy errands to do.

Who’s got time to watch a boring explosion?

At about that time, Wife and Cynthia crashed their car into a busload of babies. The babies survived. The bus survived. She survived. The crash didn’t. The crash went up in fiery flames. The crash exploded!

The fruit cart guy saw this, and exclaimed, “Aww, someone’s going to crash into me!” and ran away.

..There’s always a propane truck in action fliks.

One truck saw this crash, and tried to evade it, but tripped over a slippery-when-wet sign and crashed into the bus next to the babies.

They were all dentists, in fact, so not many people cared when they went up in oil and fire. Hey, Dentistry hurts! Manly Man cared, however. He had perfect teeth.

All this while a motor home* had a high speed highway chase against police boats on TV.

* house boat. 

This is funny.

Cynthia and Wife, both looking at the expressive display of computer graphics, because, well, who wouldn’t? tripped and fell into the next channel…

* * *

The comedy channel.

Said the comedian to his audience, suddenly stopping, “What? Stop looking at me! I’m not a TV. Am I really that interesting? Stop laughing!”

Smiley Faces to show what the crowd is feeling during this comedy performance:

: [

/ : ] / : } / : { / : |

They weren’t sure.

I keep trying to figure out if my life’s a comedy or a tragedy. I think it’s a bit of both, but I have yet to see how it ends.

A lot of my friends–(which is a little, because I have so very few)–say I could be a comedian, but I know I could never do it.

It’s not that I’m afraid of being on stage, I’m not, but there are those rare times where you just stand on the stage, hot light in your face, and forget your lines.

It’s in those times where I know I should have been a car mechanic, or at least something where you wouldn’t be booed publicly for doing your job incorrectly.

Maybe I’d better be a voice actor. At least then, all auditions are rehearsed off a paper of electric letters. .

By the way, I’m not a human, I’m a cat, and my name is Boo, and I’m a female at that, so the dream pretty much dies there.

. . “My philosophy rocks yours,” the comedian tells the audience to warm them up for — suddenly, Wife is on stage with the microphone in her hand.

There’s not too many woman comedians, and if there are, they’re seldom very funny.

Wife was left, stage-shocked, freaked, and said, “Um.”

The audience began to get nervous.

She told the only joke she knew!

Yes, I was just wondering: Is your refrigerator running?”

“Yes, I’ve just caught it.”

“-Dangit!”

Don’t you hate it when your audience is smarter than you are?

Look, I could make you die with a single joke. But I’ve never read that joke because if I remembered it just now, right now, in my given economic situation, I’d already be dead by page 1.

That’s when the punch line is read. It’s a funny joke. I just wish you could’ve heard it. Oh, you would cry!

You probably would.

* * *

The next channel Cynthia led Wife into was the Cooking Network.

Wife brought to set a halibut and wanted to marinate it to get rid of the smell. Steve started cooking up some eggs and Wife said, “That smells good.”

“Sure does,” said Steve. She also brought in some tuna steaks from the local aquarium. That’s a place in the Spud where you can pick up any type of fish that’s ever existed and have a fish fry. It’s like a grocery store, only you get to pick them fresh and swimming in their natural habitat — an aquarium.

They fish the fish out and give it to you either to hack up or they hack it up there.

How cute, thought the producer. Now tell us how to fix our suppers and fill our bellies, already!

Wife, again, had something in her hand she really didn’t know how to use. For all her housewifery, she never cooked. She ordered out. She seldom cleaned. She did nothing.

Once again, she froze in the spotlight. You would too if you had your skills. Then she got wild for the camera and attacked the producer with the knife because he called her, “Get on, woman!”

“No one calls me ‘woman’!” and pricked him. She didn’t even draw blood.

Well, she was kicked out, anyways, and Cynthia, who was in the audience at the time, followed her, on into the next channel.

* * *

Wife worked at the News channel. It was her first job.

Look at all the rivers-  But those aren’t rivers; those are roads! Just out the window.

Drinkable, sweetwater roads were the roads in Spud. Logical? No! But they were so fun.

Intriguing, really.

Wife got in bumper boat traffic on her way to work today not 20 minutes early, everybody on the water roads quite busy, twisting in and around society like a corkscrew; and because everyone was laminated during their safe journey to home or to play, or to work especially, and because all the roads’ sides were rubber, and because there was never a fatal bumper boat accident save through drowning, they didn’t honk much. They just bumped into the person ahead of them, laughed, and hooted, and said, “C’mon!–  C’mon!” like they’re soon to convince you to move someday. It’s a sorta argument, a game; a rebuttal. There were no cars in Spud.

After Wife chased a decapitated hand like a tarantula across the floor, the hand found an owner and shook hands with Wife. Then slapped her. The hand belonged to her boss. “Be gentle to your boss’s bodily parts next time, Miss. I shall not tolerate the contrary.”

He was a fall-apart zombie.

The big wig top executives flew to work in their autogyros and parked on the top floor, Commando Kiss among them. “Niccce whirlybird,” she hissed. Commando Kiss was part snake, you should know, or you won’t get this.

Immediately, they got to work!

Most of work in the world of Spud was done in separate dimensions created from dimensional warps all kept in separate filing cabinets, so it’s even more condensed than the Deskworld of Japan. Said Wife, “I think I can understand that.”

“And she didn’t even need pictures,” said Kiss.

The few habitable areas of space in the world were so overpopulated, you see, aw, I lost you, didn’t I?

I hate it when I ramble on too long!

Well, the only place to build that was up was gone! So they created their own parallel dimensions to store most of the office space. Anyways.

Where Wife worked, her office space was a parallel dimension inside a very tiny closet, so small you had to crawl through, and go on several diets before the crawling. Wife, being a very petite woman, passed the size exams with only two normal diets. But the space inside was enormous!

She got the job as the weather girl. Mostly because she had high hair and shapely legs.

“Um. To the left of me, you’ll see some weather. To the right . . More weather.”

Smart for a weather girl.

Her* boss’s name was Malevolent at first, then he changed it to Deep-voiced Big-Head Villain Man: He had a deep voice and a bald, floating, disembodied head. He had a body, he just couldn’t find it. Did I mention he could do somersaults in mid-air? Just a head?

* Wife’s

Yes, a giant, talking, flying, bald white-man’s head was the absolute head of the super villains and dark, shadowy figures were his advisors in his League of Evil.

This man was the demon from hell who controlled the top of the industry. The Top Executive. The big wig. He wore a wig sometimes, as he was very ashamed of his chrome dome.

Wife got promoted to a job almost near his one afternoon, in fact, she did, and talked to him on the board of directors and found out that his company was evil —  after that, because she couldn’t well learn how to smile as she kills —  she quit. “I don’t know how Malevolent handles it, but whether this is a woman or a man’s job–   it’s just not right.” The Good Cop and the Bad Cop stood behind him.

No one knew who the bad cop or the good cop was; nor could they tell the difference between them.

Now that News is here we don’t have to have our own opinions.

If it weren’t for TV** we’d have our own opinions. And here I am, producing my own book- I’m part of it*. *The problem.

** movies, books, entertainment.

* * *

The amazing thing about the Miracle Blade is it can slice through a boot and still retain sharpness enough to cut a ripe tomato without squirting juice!

I have watched years of public television to help me know this.

If you guessed right, this was an infomercial, whether you guessed right or not.

* * *

The next channel was a Soap Opera.

At a table where two lovers are dining, “I’m having your baby, Todd.”

“How?”

“It’s been six months since my last period.”

“How? We didn’t even have sex yet.”

That’s-not-important-right-now. What’s important now is how we’re gonna screw this baby. How do you like your eggs?–scrambled or poached?”

“Can’t we talk about this?”

Wait!  If I can’t have an abortion — then I don’t wanna live!” and tried to fling herself off of the Sports Stadium they were in, but he caught her.

Said their Stuttering Bartender near them to Commando Kiss, “What’s your p-p-p-  poison?”

Anything alcoholic will do.

Wanna g-go for a drink?

“Quit speaking like that. It tasks me.”

He stopped.

* * *

Boring! Boring!

The next channel was a commercial.

“Not satisfied with your wife? Pimp your wife out. Customize your ride!” said Wife. Now that Wife said it, you don’t know what the hell to think.

* * *

The next channel was one of those Saturday Morning Kid cartoons.

Some hunter was chasing some bunny with some weapon and the hunter chased the bunny to a cliff, and the hunter cornered the bunny, and the bunny got out a Macme saw and began to saw the cliff where he was at the end, and you’d expect that to fall, not the entire world behind it, but the world fell, and then Wife, who had gotten sick and tired and hungry, came upon the bunny, snapped his neck, cooked him up, and ate him.

Came walking on nothing, not looking down; that is, until she did look down, and raised a sign that read, “Oh no.” And finally fell.

But she survived with just a few bandages. As in some cartoons.

* * *

All Grandma watched when she was alive was the weather channel. She loved that channel. Even if nothing was going on. She loved the music. She loved the way the weather girl smiled with the sunshine and pouted with the storm.

She never watched the news. “If you want to know what’s going on, look out the window.” Some people thought that same reason in reverse. I think this makes Grandma a lovely character : ).

* * *

The next channel was Anime.

Said Wife the naïve: “I was watching an anime, and I keep seeing all these people falling down whenever someone does or says something stupid, and I’m wondering: Do they do that in Japan?”

“Yes, that’s their custom,” said Cynthia.

On another note,

“Squirtle’s retarded. ‘Squirtle, Squirtle.’ That’d be like me going ‘Human, Human.’” Pokemon is retarded. Why’d I say that?

Well, because, half of the Asian world is infested with Pokemon!

Just hit the DBZ fighter when he’s powering up!

“Listen, son.  You can’t fight a tidal wave.”

But that’s Japan for you, it’s a crazy place. All those Super Saiyans going off, cities being destroyed.

The Japanese running from the man in the Godzilla suit screaming, “Yaaiee!”

Look. If you’re into this stuff, you’ll get it. If you’re not, it’s gonna sound completely unreal.

Anime story with flashing action lines, even if they’re just standing still, began to talk, “WE SAY THINGS.”

“We say things just as much!”

“We say things more!”

“We’re gonna keep on saying things until there is the illusion that this dialogue has any importance!” Shivering, back to back. “I got hair in my eyes.”

I got hair in my eyes too.”

But you didn’t get it, did you?

Turns out they were actually moving, very slowly.

Camera zooms out and we see a whole slew of Asians crossing paths and destinies in a flowery field full of feathers. And Squall’s there. “I love you!” No one can talk about me in the third person! They’re all orphans. “We’re all born here, you know. WE’RE ALL BORN HERE.” They were all orphans under one Mom*. * This bears significance.

Aw, I like it. Don’t you?

It’s kinda an inside joke, sorta maybe. Oh, you’d love it if you’d got it!

But you don’t. Or you do.

Here’s my impression of Dragonball Z.

DBZ power levels; “He’s in terrific shape!”

“He’s in more terrific shape than I am!”

“We’re all in terrific shape!”

They were in terrific shape. Substitute ‘strong’ for ‘terrific shape’ and you got actual DBZ dialogue.

They’re strong! He’s too strong!

‘Strong’ is the most used word in all DBZ.

Look at all the cell phones in post-modern anime. That’s all they do is show off their cell phone technology. In post-modern anime. Death Note and such.

And the movies!

“Bob!”

“Carrie!”

“Bob!”

“Carrie!”

“TETSUO!”

“Who’s Tetsuo?”

“Oh, he was in that one Japanimation movie. Big deal back in the day. What was it called again?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

* * *

One of God’s finest accomplishments: Sex. And still we say to him, “FUCK YOU!”

Commando Kiss was featured on late night porn.

What Kiss got, she got from her parents. The kind of tired beauty that everybody wants.

She stole beauty from the mermaids. Obvious beauty.

The beauty of centuries of fertile breeding. Natural beauty!  Pinch her cheeks, stand back, and watch her glow- beauty.

Wife felt very out of place amongst all those perfect breasts.

Read on. It gets even more pointless! I promise you!

So. A girl walks in. Guy says, “I notice there’s a saxophone playing whenever you’re around. I don’t find you attractive. Does this mean you’re sexy?” am I looking at you wrong?

Think. Commando Kiss’s hands are dirty, but her clothes are clean. She walks on a shimmering cloud of disinfectant.

And think. Porn isn’t natural*. Before, people’d just think of the person in their lives, their workmate, schoolmate who turned them on and get off on that; but  now  we  have fetishes that we’d probably never have before due to the high accessibility of anything we want and that’s caused a cancer in us like a tumor to grow and become — well. Whatever it is you want it to become!

*It’s voyeurism.

And then you don’t want it.

And then you want it again. And then, after years and years of soul-searching, google-searching, you just don’t care..

It’s a cruel, crazy, beautiful world.

* * *

An instant replay. Wife was tackled by the Denver Broncos!

No, what really happened was– Wife had entered the Wild World of Sports.

Not many people like sports in Spud. There are no Olympics in the World of Spud. Instead, there are potato growing tournaments and interior decorating leagues. Also, there’s a World Martial Arts Festival, where all the super hero and villains of the universe compete, but it’s not very popular. Fox is thinking on canceling it.

Are you upset that I have nothing to say about sports?

* * *

A fishbowl was set on top of a television set. “It’s the best thing on television.” Get it?

Another character put a Kleenex box on the set. “Now there are two things on television!” Right on.

The Channel Selection Channel.

I guess I didn’t have much to say about that.

* * *

Next was HBO. The Premium Movie Channels.

All people ever do in movies is die. It’s hilarious. I wouldn’t want to be in movies.

It starred a mutant romance between a Hacklefish and a Corentan*, anyways.

* a sand worm.

“My love, oh, my love!”

“Joshua! Don’t wait for me.”

“The children are slipping from us, Todd.”

Good news is: Every week the hero will die in a different way.

This play. . It wasn’t very good.

You ache for what you have never known!

Cynthia was crying, “That was the best — damn theatre I’ve seen — ..ALL YEAR! WOW! And to think, no one’d thought they could make it together because they were too different. Well, that’s just prejudice! Why? Why? Why’d she have to die?” *Achoo*

Wife said, “What? I thought that was terrible.”

* * *

The Viewer got bored, and decided, if nothing was on TV, he’d turn to music, and just fall asleep.

Classic Mexican Folksongs.

“I love how we’re farther from Mexico, and there’s more Mexican channels,” said the Viewer to himself.

Then he changed it to classic rock.

It’s a riot in the eardrum.

On the cover to the album ‘Trilogy’ by Emerson, Lake and Palmer was . . . Emerson, Lake and Palmer looking left at some unforeseen object: I think they’re all watching TV. “Hey, dude. We forgot to change.” And they’re naked.

“No, we’re changing right now! Can’t you tell?”

Oh, you have to see the cover. Look it up!

Oh, well. There you have it. The cover of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s “Trilogy.”

Three men on a couch, watching TV, in between changing for the next gig… They’ll do it eventually. Why did I say this? I just had to!

This had entertained the class. I was lecturing on the local university about music, and surprise, surprise, it was a lotta wonder all the Sheeple were paying attention to a little speaking cat like me.

* * *

Sitcoms.

About the late night TV hours — lonely: You’re either watching Gilligan’s Island or you’re on it.

It’s a very lonely process, sitting by yourself, with your sitcom friends making the laugh track work.

Sitcoms encourage me to live, you should know.

If I didn’t have sitcoms- well, they’re comfort for me, they calm my mind, they let me live, you understand?

If I didn’t have sitcoms, or some way to exhaust my laughter, my confusion, my hatred, my guilt- I wouldn’t be here- standing, sitting, running, jogging, driving, or whatever  I  am  doing here today.

I don’t have many friends. These- these are my friends (about sitcoms). L

“Ah. Honesty–what the audience looks for, and what they applaud,” said Cynthia. “It’s time to get you home, Wife. Nothing else is on.” And took her by the hand.

L

 

 

 

 

Season 7

59th Story: I’m not sure if this is the 59th Story or not yet.

“What All Humans Want: To Exist and to Breed, and to Have the Freedom to Do Both” 

*If you remember, Spud was the new earth.

 

And Humans are all animorphs*. *they’re humanoids, that means. Part animal, part–

They weren’t human. They were humanoids.

* * *

Keeping this in mind, speeding past an intergalactic space trucker who I piss off, he says, “Hey, mac! What you want?”

What I want? I say. I guess what all humans want: “To Exist, and to Breed, and to have the Freedom to do Both.”

“Buddy, you’re crazy,” he says, and goes warp speed, light speed too slow.

We’ll be exploring what it means to be human in this section.

..This is a little ditty about aliens. There will be a lot of cow jokes.

Cows are important in this story as they are the ones doing all the abducting, abducting aliens from their planets for revenge on what all the aliens have done to them.

Now. For the story…

* * *

So. Like I said, this is about aliens, and cows, and things.

Boo-Cat the cat, that is, the narrator, that is, me, had eaten the fly that was the ruler of a very small planet, though powerful, as punishment for eating their leader, had charged her with a mission to survey the minds of all intelligent life on Spud, until they were ripe for alien harvesting.

A dog in his second summer coat pranced forward not too long later- maybe a month, a week. This was all very frightening to me. You see, I was just a cute, little Russian blue cat if u remember, a girl one. I couldn’t cream corn. He’d cream me.

There are bullies in the animal world.

-“No, idiot! It’s me,” said a non-animorphic dog. “The Supreme Ruler of the Universe- cousin to the one you ate! The fly. How’s the hostile takeover of this, er, ahm- potato planet coming?”

“G, ur frightening to a lil kat like me,” I mewed. “Couldn’t yu have cum as a fisssh?”

“My cousin came as a much less appealing fly, and u ate him.”

“No, c, I like flies, they’re-!”

“INFIDEL! HOW DARE YOU SPEAK LIGHT OF MY COUSIN’S DEATH BEFORE I DO! Now, I’ll be coming back in a round trip hostile takeover of the universe, 10 years time in your time, and if this planet is not crawling with pestilence, famine, parasites, and brain-sucking Seth MacFarlane cartoon shorts by the time I return, your butt’s Universal property, pal. I’ll have all the dogs in the tri-city area humping your ear canal. Now off with you!” and rocketed to, like, Jupiter or something. The bug did. Boom, Zap. Boom! Went Transformer, Beast Wars edition, and I never saw him again ‘til a very special episode involving a rather small massacre of poultry.

So, in short, Boo-Cat ran around, feeling around the whole neighborhood’s thoughts to see if their brains are ripe. Ripe for alien harvesting.

The Metal Heads and the Long Hairs are anyways

She was psychic.

Back to the sea! one cried.

Here, we see a colony of de-evolutionists deciding they want to De-Evolve and go back to the ocean. Swimming. In faith of a theory.

So they took their pet dogs and a colony of 100 people, dove off a cliff, hit sea, and swam around in there for centuries, waiting to grow fins, gills, and tails.

It worked!

Wait. . I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but–

They tried living in the sea for day after day, month after month, year after year-

is this getting boring? –for thousands of years, but not much happened. .

The only thing that happened was all those people* who tried to go back to the sea kept dying of heat exhaustion from too much exposure to the sun.

*Those who joined their movement died also.

Not much happened.

Try it out yourself.

“How does the body know to evolve? after so many jumps off a cliff the body says, ‘Hey, I could use some wings.’” … Yes. Yes, I understand. It’s random mutation.

* * *

One Alien said to the fly on his wall, “Oh yes, Earth*. The fish planet. Too much H20. H20’s acidic on my planet. It’s a wonder how they survive. I was very surprised they had life here there. I knew Venus had life because its heavy atmosphere is perfectly suitable for it and the temperature is just right, but Earth? Earth was a big surprise!”

* Spud was so far away they still knew it as Earth.

“Open a textbook, ya wack-off! That’s all very mysterious, but water is the very essence of life!” said the fly.

“Not in this dimension. This is a cartoon. Cartoons is different!”

* * *

Long before humanity, maybe two or three days, but that being a long time as I’m not very patient, aliens had invaded and abducted the cows.

An alien came to abduct only the milk of the cow. It turned the cow over and beamed up all the milk, milking the udders dry to just bags of sand.

…The cows would soon seek their revenge for all their spilt milk. Oh, they would. They would.

The cows were planning their revenge.

* * *

2 aliens walked in, and they were very tall. 8 feet, with large heads.

“So your race must be very tall. Yeah!-And smart.”

“No, we’re just very tall ourselves. The others are deformed and retarded. The average us is not much shorter than the average Mandarin*

* Chinese.

“We are the Tallness, and because of our coolness, are regarded as the master rulers of our people. We’re also not very smart. We were wondering if we could borrow some of your inventions. So can we have some?”

What?”

“Rockets. Furniture. Hot dogs. We rode in on an asteroid. We live among the Asteroid Belt.”

At about that moment, a stampede of cows rolled them over and took them to the nearest barn, topped them over a bale of hay, and stuck a probe up their — this was sad. They didn’t have asses. Where would they stick the probe?

The cows began to moo, one to another. If you could understand their language, you’d know they were distressed at this disadvantage.

Anyways, they trampled the 2 alien leaders, and not too long after, their alien race would come in from the asteroids.

* * *

When Old Man Painter’s liberal friends asked him if he was a humanitarian, Old Man Painter sneered and said, “Humanity? Scoff! I’m not gonna defend those bozos. If they messed up the planet, they can fix it themselves. But no — can they? I’d rather root for the winning side.”

“Who’s the winning side?”

“When you figure out, tell me.” But who cares? He’s not always right.

Not at that moment, but a little while after, alien astral travelers had landed on another planet. They said, “We’re humans. From earth.”

The scariest human being.

Meanwhile, some advanced race had landed on their distant star.

Where the first alien abduction takes place: In a warm cow country.

* * *

Long before Magellan discovered the new world*, there were the imperialist Anglo-Saxons. So pumped up by their own self-worth that they colonized the universe and made all subdued nations take English classes in college as an elective if you want, maybe, and that’s why all aliens speak French.

* so to speak.

They look like us because it’s hip.

Does that work for you?

Then the Egyptians built aliens. To fool us.

They couldn’t have done that! The pyramids. They’re not White!

* * *

Dude, where’s my cow?”

“Do you think, maybe, she’s been abducted?”

“By what?”

“Dude, there’s no such thing as aliens.”

“Shouldn’t I be telling you that?”

“But what are those over there!”

Said the hippie, “Fight the power! Unless we’re the power. Then don’t fight us.”

Humanity is clouding a space- “it must be wiped out and made room,” said the alien.

Humanity..

You think humans are the geniuses, with all their technology, but the human body and all organic tissue, that is the greater machine. It’s a science even to understand it. And no one can completely comprehend the human brain, not at least at the publishing of this novel.

“If you’re an alien, how do you know Earth language?”

“I watch too much TV, Like you. Now shut up and admit you Earth’uns have excellent programming!”

The aliens had landed. . On a town called.. Earth. But the cows were ready for them. “Beef’s excellent, yes, but try chicken!”

There was a sign in front of this road that said, “Earth’s the best place on earth! It’s good to live on earth!!” Some thought this too general.

* * *

The aliens fell into the cows’ trap. All those messages the cows had rolled over in the cornfields for alien landing pads were really loaded with dynamite underneath the corn, and when the UFO’s landed, boom!

So the aliens backed up a bit, and said, “There’s something wrong with Earth.”

“It’s called Spud now.”

“What? What? No, it isn’t. That’s a stupid name. Spud means ‘potato’ in their language.”

A girl was thrown before their — um — feet?

She was really into importance based into one being a human being.

To a bunch of people, “Stop it! He’s a human being!” for example.

To her parents: “Stop it! That animal’s a human being.”

To a buncha aliens (that wanna eat her), “Stop it! I’m a human being!”

Said the alien, “Great, human beans. My physician did advise I get more lentils in my diet. You’ll do just fine.”

“But I’m a human being!”

“And I’m a frog. You don’t see me getting sappy regarding any particular breed or race. Species.”

Human: Cook until golden brown, unless he already has a tan. Then eat raw.

Healthy alien snack food says, “It’s got that salty human aftertaste kids love!”

Not too long before..

An alien monster, this very same one, who wanted to eat Commando Kiss, said, “What strange kinda creature are you?”

“Please don’t eat me. I’m a bitch.”

“Never heard of a Bitch before. Are they tasty?”

To not be eaten, Commando Kiss said, “Bitch meat is tough and poisonous, and I’m as bitchy* as they come.”

* The Bitch word: it’s hip. // It’s what I say when I want to get people to like me. Uh.

* * *

You human?”

“Very human — want to see?”

“You say ‘Human’ too much. It’s almost like you think the more times you say it in a paragraph, the truer it becomes.” I got one: “He wears the mask of humanity.” How profound.

* * *

Cornfield Empire. Aliens were out conquering corn country. But the cows were ready for them.

As soon as the aliens got out of their ships, the cows, in clever alien disguises, walked in.

“Um,” said an alien. “They don’t look like us.”

“Maybe they’re sick.”

“That’s it! They’re sick! They probably gained a few pounds due to their sickness.”

“And a few legs?”

“Yes!”

The cows then studied the alien controls, which were surprisingly simple, why would you make the controls hard? The farther a civilization progresses, the simpler things should be.

And after enough time had passed, the cows got used to the controls, and began to pilot it, the aliens suspecting quite a bit, but not doing anything about it, as the cows in their clever disguises were quite a big deal bigger than them, and they didn’t want to get in a hoove-fight.

“You think those are cows in disguise?”

“Yeah, but what can they do?”

Anyways, the cows trampled the aliens to death, got into the control room, which was controlled by simple thought- you think, and the ship moves- and set a gentle course back to the alien’s home, as was directed by the alien mothership, and began to abduct aliens and what do you think they did to them?

* * *

The story should end there, sadly, but it doesn’t.

You see, there were still a good deal of aliens left behind who had left the ships, and their robots.

Said the ultra-powerful robot to a local congressman who was trying to understand the aliens and their plight, “If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages. I know a few words in each.”

“Can I hear a few words in Guam?”

“No, that’s not one of the languages.”

“Pekinese.”

“Nope.”

“Catholic.”

“No-o-o.”

“What do you speak, then?”

“English is the best one.. For now. But-  I, I-I, I am taking a class.”

“Spanish?”

“Si.”

Nearby, a human was having trouble with his self-esteem, feeling so very small and insignificant, and the robot said, “You’re not tiny. The universe’s just really big!” Have a little self-esteem, “but don’t think too much of yourself that you’re a butt-head.”

“You’re a butt-head,” said the human, and walked on over to his son, who said,

“What’s it like to have sex with a cow, Dad?” said the son. “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never had sex with a cow.”

“Isn’t Mom a cow?”

“No. Where would you get a strange idea like that?”

“Oh, your buddies at work. They said Mom was a cow.”

“ . . . Aren’t you going to ask me what sex is?”

“-We already know about that.”

* * *

Aliens giving out free rectal probes, get ‘em here!

I want one.

This, too, was another cow trap. Cows now ruled the solar system. Now they were going to get back at “humans” who used them for meat.

They had already taken the secret formula of ‘cow juice’ aliens used in their new earth-conquering shampoo called ‘Lather, Rinse & Obey’. Now with an evil formula. It was this foreign particle name brand in which the aliens hoped to conquer all human life.

* * *

Said the Boss Alien Monster after the cows killed it, and took over the solar system, “I’ll never meet a girl!!!”

“Help! Help! The aliens are being invaded.”

The cows, who, with enough technology, had now developed a sense of translating their cow-language, hereby called Moo-speak, into the brains of their friends: the chickens, and their enemies: the aliens, and — ugh — humans. Who, above all, warred against each other.

They gathered the aliens and humans together and said this, “Moo!” which when translated meant, “Listen!”

And said what you are doing to each other is a sin.

“What is sin?” said the alien.

In Moo-speak: “Sin is–  sin’s kinda like. .  Well, in the end it kills you.”

“What kills you? Sin?”

“Sin.”

“So it’s a sickness. A cancer.”

“Malignant. You don’t always see it! Hidden in the ancient desires of Adam’s heart.”

“Well, Who’s Adam?”

“Why, he’s the one who authored sin in the first place. Or maybe it was Hacatan. You know him by his second name: Lucifer. Because he’s in need of some restraint.”

“Why restrain anything? Don’t you want to be free?”

“Tell me, You. What are you free of?”

“Well, restraint for one.”

“Restraint of what? City walls? So you have no walls, you have no boundaries, you have no means of keeping the germs out, and the hidden viruses that wait in every cookie, and then what? It’s a land without doctors, that’s what. It’s a land without governing officials who say, ‘Well, that’s not right, you shouldn’t have killed your dog Snoopy, Snoopy never did any harm to anyone. Snoopy was a saint,’”

“Snoopy was brilliant!”

“-and if I stole something from you, who would you be to tell me I should give it back in a land without wrongs and rights? You’d be a nobody, you’d have no power, it’d be a place of chaos and criminals and everyone would be shot! Isn’t that fun?”

“So… Restraint is freeing?”

“I’m not talking about throwing yourself into a 9-5 prison at cubicle at work. No, I’m talking about the kinda freedom a dog has when his master is kind. A nice master the dog knows will take care of him. The kinda freedom a dog has in a dog park, or an Adam in his Eden; to have all the world to play in but all the hurt outside, where a dog can sniff a tree, a butt, piss on the lawn, you name it, but nothing is wrong within these restraints and everything is right.”

She told me, “Right outside are the wrongs and the wrongs are the predators, and the predators are the big cats, the lions, the tigers, and the Tyrannasaurus kid molester, and you don’t want that.”

“Well, What do I want?” Um.

She told me, “You want a place where you can have the freedom to-  Well, there is plenty of freedom to piss on God’s lawn, it’s just so much better when the leash you wear is not heavy, it’s full of mercy*

*and is loose enough to run the whole courtyard.

“Outside are the dogs, the bad ones, and that’s a mouth of shaving cream.. That’s a bite of death. That’s the thing that kills, the thing that keeps you up at night, sweating; the thing in the dark you don’t know and you don’t want but you know it’s there, and it’s there waiting. That is sin.  It’s a–”

“-It’s a cancer?”

“Sorta like that..”

To the conservative party, “Stop being so stiff. Assholes.”

To the liberal party, “You wanted to be free, and so freedom you shall have. In abundance.” Freedom to die. Freedom to live.

Freedom to lose. Freedom to be a slave. Freedom to be a jerk, to be a dick*; freedom to love, freedom to hate, freedom to give freely to a compassionate fellow human personality in need** :).

* Freedom to harm, Freedom to hurt. ** some not deserving. 

Freedom to stop reading at the end of this sentence.. / Freedom to express. Freedom to create. Freedom to pick one’s friends, to exclude one’s enemies. / / Freedom to listen on and maybe come to some honest conclusion. / That maybe not all freedoms in our world… are worth pursuing. / To me, I say, God grants us all a freedom, and with that comes the one freedom we all deny

an existence of. /// Freedom to Sin.

I enlisted in the human race. Some lost. I came in second.

* * *

Now, we have come to sin against you, said the cows.

So here was the idea. Let’s recount how it’s placed out.

Cows invade.

(This takes place in present tense)

Cows invade from outerspace on UFO’s, abducting aliens as payback for the centuries that the aliens have spent abducting cows- are you still paying attention?

This’ll never happen.

The cows eat the aliens as punishment, then go back to chewing their own cud in various green pastures.

“Why do you want to destroy the earth again?” the cows ask the aliens.

“It’s not that we want to destroy the earth, Spud, life, the universe, everything. It’s that we don’t like it. That bird kept me up all night. It just kept on — shouting at me. So I threw some rocks at it. It threw back a toaster oven. Then it made fun of my hair!”

* * *

Said an invading alien to a human who said, “But they’re people!”

Said the people, “So what, so they’re people. There’s a mosquito, those are cows, and those over there, they’re people. So what?”

Semi-intelligent Human cattle.

* * *

Here, too, was another sin.

Couch Face attempted to flood the world with a garden hose. “Hold on,” he said. “This may take a while. God knows what this is going to do to my water bill, but it’s worth it. For the sake of the death of all humanity. Watch as your precious planet drowns. Watch. Moo-hoo-haha.”

People started using it for a swimming pool. The Water Company sent in a Swat Team to shut him down.

Rebels?-yeah right. You make it look like you’re rebelling but really you’re just doing what everybody else is doing*.  “You total conformist,” she says. “You have no idea, do you?” * and that’s almost natural- that’s easy. Admit it.

Said the evil villain, “Today, the world! Tomorrow, uh — MORE STUFF!”

Said Couch Face, “World domination? Ha! Impossible. I’d rather rule one nation myself. The whole world, well–that’s just too hard. They’d rebel in factions, how’d I take care of them? It’d be like constant daycare. I’ll settle for politics. But I wish I could’ve ruled the world. I’d make it all purple- my favorite color.”

* * *

But he’s still a human being.”

“No, he’s an alien.”

“Oh..”

“You like living on earth?”

“It’s my favorite planet,” said the earthling. “It’s where I keep all my stuff.”

* * *

Why buy the cow when you can get the eggs for free?” said one of the alien ambassadors.

“Moo?” said a cow.

“I mean!-”

The cow began to explain in Moo-speak, instantly translated in their minds, “Look, we don’t mind you milking us. In fact, we quite enjoy it. But abusing us! That’s different.”

* * *

There had come a heated debate between the laid-back cows and the more conservative Cows. 

See?

It seemed the cows wanted to just let off steam while the Cows* wanted to just click their jaws. In this way, they clapped.

* they, of all conservative creatures, knew it was only right to capitalize their names, a proper noun

It was all over humans. “Should we eat them?- coz they taste like pork.”

The liberal cows who felt they didn’t need to capitalize their names were more liberal on this. “Yeah– do whatever you want. Pro-Choice!” The ultra-conservative Cows who knew one must capitalize one’s name to be proper and prim were more pro-life. “What about my life? We want it now. We’re hungry!” said they.

They argued and argued until they both starved and the humans let themselves out the easy-to-escape prison bars for how thin they were, said, “Why were they arguing?”

I suppose they had sinned too.

* * *

Human Eradication Mode. Active.

Singing with pain-  no, one does this. They shout! they scream, they cry.

In their humor of it, the irony of their existence, their brain confusion.. they may sing a little but not for long before they shout, they scream, they cry. In their humor of it, then…

When silence gets painful: shout!

Humanitarian just means a person who cares about people, in theory. There’s nothing to be scared about it. It’s healthy. It’s good.

One humanitarian sang a communist anthem:

“Imagine there’s no hope for-any-of-us: It’s easy if you try.

Sang King Hippie,

Imagine all the people… converted to my point of view. Ooh-hoo-oooh-huh-hoo. 

* * *

Aliens. We couldn’t find gods on earth, so we look for meaning elsewhere.”

20 years after people this will look like an alien planet anyways. .

* * *

In the beginning of this story, the Real Alien came down and said, “I’m the alien you’re looking for.” Said his name was God.

We just didn’t hear him because he was right under our nose hairs.

– well he wasn’t a foreigner of earth.

He said his planet was called Zion. He said his people were Jews*. They seemed nice enough…

* From Jewpiter.

She was one hell of a guy, that– wait,

is God a girl?

* * *

..Why did God have boobs?

* * *

..We laughed that day. Many cried. Some died, more started living. She took us to her planet, in a planet surrounded by stars, with nine planets, and one sun, the Solar System, and we found, as speculated, that earth didn’t exactly revolve around us. It revolved around the Alien.

Don’t get lost yet! Don’t!

* * *

Then she took us to her spaceship and, much to our surprise, the things Styx called ‘aliens’ had vanished to the skies, and the littlest angel, Billy, said, “Come sail away. Come sail away. Come sail away with me! Come sail away. Come sail away. Come sail away with me!!” and all God’s children said, “…Are we supposed to say, ‘Amen’ coz-   this is a holy moment, isn’t it? So why don’t I feel judged??”

She said, “Because you shouldn’t have to be.”

And then she took us to her starship, and much to our surprise, the place we had called home was an alien planet to which all aliens.. They looked up to us. We looked down to them.

They called us their inspiration.

* * *

They were microscopic creatures, these aliens, stuck in icebergs in the polar caps of Mars. And on Europa.

And you won’t like the rest, but I’ll tell you anyways.

You’ll figure it out.

The real aliens, the foreigners from the heavens, they only smiled, they said; “So. Do you want a ride? Or would you just like to warp there?” There was a worm hole in the holy chest of God. She said, “Step inside.”

..She said her home planet was, “Earth.”

The aliens we were looking for were us..   Kinda disappointing, but in the end, we all would never change it.

Season ?

The following is a Magnum Opus of Fantasy Wonder I’m sure you won’t forget, but if you skip it, you will be missing:

61-170th Story: I’m not sure what number this is yet. Title, MIRROR WORLD STORY

 

Says Q-burt, “I have come to bring sense back to the world,” and a little non

sense*. * Seriously, he’s very small.

Warning: this book contains red herrings.

* * *

Listen. There’s a small pond in Spud just outside Kiss’s house that is infinitely deep. It’s one of the unknown entrances to Mirror Country and the fish people use it to enter Spud on some occasions.

It is said they that find it have slipped in and out of heaven.

Walkin down the street, just a-havin a think. Then plop!

* * *

On another note,

Manly Man once drowned trying to save himself from drowning once he saw his reflection in the water.

Commando Kiss did her makeup in the reflection of a bald woman’s scalp.

The Politard applied her lipstick in the reflection of another man’s sunglasses.

Whenever confronted with his reflection in the mirror, Mr. Painter sweats at the sight of how ugly he is.

All these are entryways into Mirror World. “You look wonderful,” said mother dear.

“It’s your reflection in my eyes!”

“Thanks!” These too.

Wife made fun of Mirror World. “An alternate world where dogs talk and, um, have human pets! Plus, it’s opposite.

But not exactly opposite, because if everything was opposite, our insides would be out, and we wouldn’t exist. Think about it.” So it’s not really opposite.

“Well, it tries!” said Gallenthmir.

Manly Man fell for himself every time he passes a mirror*.

*Gallenthmir watched him do this all the time from the other side- she finds this one amusing.

But why did you need to know that?

Gallenthmir only lived in the Mirror Country. Sometimes you’ll see her reflected in the glass or in mirrors or in puddles.

* * *

So.

..A Girl woke up.

Out of one eye she saw a cartoon door, through which a wh

ole cartoon world could be seen opening inside or out. The other [eye] saw reality.

She chooses the door. Also, an entrance into Mirror World.

Thought Wife the first time she went into Mirror World: “Dare I?” / I dare.

Wife had soon entered Mirror Country through some means? Through a portal of her own tears, and positive self-reflection? That would be mirror enough. No, I’ll tell you the real way she entered it later.

* * *

There were islands in the clouds.

Wife stood at the mirror, and knocked.

You see, her baby’s just been stolen through that same mirror, and she had to try something. It worked for that magic guy. It might work for her.

“You stand at the mirror.”

Mirror World? Sounds like an Antique Store Festival for scarcely used mirrors.” They’d since decided to change its name to Mirror Country.

“Well, it tries!”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that already. Will you let me in?”

“Not unless you apologize?”

“Fine. I’m sorry!”

“..You didn’t sound very convincing. If you want in, beg.”

“Fine. I beg you to let me through, or I’ll knock you right in the reflection.”

“Thanks! Hearts~” and let her in, but not five pages in, she bumped into a freak called Gallenthmir, and her being so massive of a thing to bump into, Wife fell flat over, and said, “Hey, watch it! Who are you?”

“I am me. Who are you?”

Gallenthmir was drawing with a cane in the sand, and her ignoring Wife annoyed Wife so Wife said, “What are you drawing, even?”

“Your attention,” said Gallenthmir. “Now, that you’re paying me that, listen.”

“To what? I don’t have time for this!” said Wife, and left through the– where just was she?
There were islands in the cloud.

Imagine if nothing everything but the roads fell away, this was Mirror Country.

She bumped into Gallenthmir again and Gallenthmir said, “Ho golly! You know your way around here, Bonnie? You lose your way, Bonnie?”

Wife’s real name was Wife. But during playground hours at the elementary school… people called her.. “Actually, I was looking for somebody else. And how did you know I was called by that name?”

“I figure you’d have lost your way if you found me. That’s the only way people find me, you see — when they’re not looking for me.”

“How’d you know my nickname was Bonnie?”

“I watch a lot of TV.”

“Answer me, woman!”

Said Gallenthmir, “That’s my answer. I have a lot of spare time. See, this mirror to me is like a television set and I’m looking out onto your world, and I flip through the channels, and occasionally a re-run will show your happy childhood again–”

“–that’s sorta.. creepy.”

Anyways. Mirror Country, said Gallenthmir.

What if everything but the roads altogether fell away? A planet that’s one elongated road. This was Mirror Country! She told her.

* * *

Gallenthmir was very playful in her banter, but Wife didn’t have the time to banter.

Said Gallenthmir after someone takes their journey too seriously, “Yes, I see. We are very serious… You are searching for your lost child, no doubt. Couch Face took him. He plans to eat him, but only once he arrives at the Cheeseburger of Despair. How did I know that? He, too, wasn’t looking for me, and so, found me.”

Listen. This was the Beginning of a Story about Wife’s one annoying boy that Couch Face stole into the Mirror Country in which Wife tried desperately to steal back!

But back to Gallenthmir, why not. And this enchanting land called Mirror Country.

* * *

Gallenthmir believed the sun actually followed her wherever she went, and in Mirror Country, it actually did! In fact, the sun was like a little animal, or a great big beautiful bird, flocking around, rotating on her axis.

She did have her own gravity being so big. She was planetary. But you’ll find, in the world of Spud, things don’t quite work your way. “In Spud, the sun’s not nearly so loyal, to follow you round,” said Wife. “Oh really?” said Big G. “What a silly system.”

In division, simply by carrying the 3, she brought them all to the end of Mirror Country.

But they decided this was too soon, and so, decided to go off on a more epic adventure. They really could have solved it at the start.

“So how do people know to show up?”

“We don’t advertise. People simply pop in and out of here. Time-theorem states that people will show up at the place of least resistance-here.”

But hark! What’s that?

A torso with a head bobbled up to Wife and cried, “My feet, my feet! They’re running away from me!”

“Where’re your arms? You’ve no arms too!”

“They ran off with my feet. The two of them fell in love. This is a very serious thing — will you help me?”

She did.

* * *

They were walking on the Forever Road, up by Novacaine Highway. Where the streets are not marked, and most windows are darked: A place you could sprain both elbow and chin.

“Here,” said Gallenthmir. “You’ll be needing this. It’s a sorta map.”

Gallenthmir carried around a pop-up map like a pop-up book, in fact. With that map, she could put her little self in or pick up little replicas of You, and put them screaming on any part of Mirror Country she so desires. Do you understand that? Great!

It worked, oddly.

However, you could only read it if you had those theatre-styled 3D goggles.

The reason Gallenthmir never used them was because she looked ridiculous in them, and she’s all about fashion. “It’s embarrassing!”

But why do you need to know this? The answer is, you don’t…

What you do need to know is that, in Mirror Country, everything is upside down, in logic, and in physicality, so you stand on the roof, and you better not trip, because if you do, you fall into sky. Falling up, anyway.

*Nothing is right-side up. It’s wrongside down. From where you stand, you have to climb up to reach the sea, where you are free to keep swimming up until you reach the hollow center of the mazy planet!

* * *

Wife had tripped, but Gallenthmir caught her, and as they ascended into the islands in the clouds, connected to the watery core of the Country by strings the like that puppeteers use to puppet puppets, Wife and Gallenthmir were soon talking, and Gallenthmir was explaining the wonders of Spud to Gallenthmir, and Wife remarked, “There’s a whole lotta world outside!”

“What do I care about outside?” said Gallenthmir. “There’s so very much to do here- here! In Mirror Country!”

But they were interrupted, by a little clock with wings.

“Do you guys have a second?”

“Yeah, we keep it in a display case. Wanna see it?” said Gallenthmir.

They were soon being chased by a dinosaur… It was all very random. But if I don’t give off the impression of complete unpredictability, I think I’d be shortchanging you a bit. That’s really how Mirror Country was.

Mirror Country. Where the flowers run around, laughing. They’re really annoying. Don’t talk to them.

* * *

Of size: the Tyrannosaur had come out of a very small thing: an envelope Gallenthmir had received as a late prank April Fool’s gift from her relative. Yes, they have April Fool’s here, too. Living proof that big things come in small packages.

* * *

But now, I fear, we must back up a bit.

I fear this, because backing up often causes some trouble in the continuation in the plot, and to pause a book that was, altogether, progressing forward can often pose as an annoyance.

So, what about you, are you annoyed yet?

Said Couch Face* just a little before Wife had entered Mirror Country, “

Sure–sure, I’ll find your child. And at no expense.” And led her to the entrance to Mirror Country, which was really no entrance at all: through your dreams. “Anyone can enter Mirror Country. In fact, everyone enters Mirror Country at least twice in their lifetime, so long as they’re not an insomniac, or die early, for Mirror Country exists only in our collective imagination.

* who, if you remember, had kidnapped her child, though she didn’t know it yet

“But wake up, ya wacko!

“I can see just by looking at you that you are a very tired woman and haven’t got much sleep. You’ll be due for a dream soon. Good. Goodt-. I also see that you overslept in your younger days and may have entered dream world twice already, you being a dreamer who has lost her dreams. That means you can no longer enter the Mirror Country. Uh. But what about those other people who did?! Hm.”

Said Wife, “But I must find my boy! Isn’t there some other way?”

“Only if forced.. But I fear the Mirror Country will not accept you for long, as if you are an itch at the back of the throat it wants to barf back out. Indeed, you will not make a good taste in its mouth. I’ll have to coat you entirely in chocolate–with a coat of Muppet skin.”

“Why chocolate?” said Wife. “But don’t other people enter more than twice?”

Said Couch Face, “Yes, but they never last. And I thought you’d be surprised that you’d have to also dress up like Miss Piggy! Why chocolate? Because chocolate makes everything go down easier. You’re a homemaker by a profession–and it’s a noble profession, I don’t doubt that. What I doubt is how can you not know the secret of getting a child to swallow a Bad-tasting Vitamin? You’re not that good of a housewife, are you?–Wife–losing three children in the span of four years? Now then, let’s get you fitted up in a chocolate Miss Piggy outfit at once. I have a striking porker ensemble that will fit your wide hips, sister woman, and I think you’ll just love the fabric–it’s fabulous.”

“Why Miss Piggy?”

It worked, oddly.

* * *

The room crowded in like a fist. Look around and you see that it really was a fist. And Wife and Gallenthmir were traveling in, more or less, the right direction.

Gallenthmir could turn into a white rain. She could shift her molecular structure until she was a cloud, then pour herself down. Does this impress you?- no? yes? She only did it as a party trick. Nothing practical.

Where’s my child?

“Right there,” said Gallenthmir, pointing to one of those Mall Maps that said, “You are here,” and quite humorously, I think, said, “He is there.”

“How did you know that was what I was thinking?”

“Minds are as books to me, Wife. They’re easy to read, if you know how.”

After which Wife showed Gallenthmir her little Hourglass timer I may not have mentioned before, but it was important, for Couch Face had given it to her, and, at the end of that, said Couch Face, her little baby would die- after showing Gal that, Gallenthmir slapped her hand and shoved into it a bigger timer, “You’ll need more time,” she said.

As long as she held this timer, said Gallenthmir, her smothered-in-chocolate Miss Piggy suit wouldn’t crumble–until the sand ran out.

It was big enough to last ‘til the next Jerusalem. So there really wasn’t much pressing for time.

* * *

While they walked about in the right or wrong direction, Gallenthmir was never quite sure, Gallenthmir ‘entertained’ Wife by telling fart jokes. She just kept on cr-cr-cracking them off.

This was a wrong time to tell fart jokes, though.

To Chris Hilgemann, “Did anyone ever tell you you look like Chris Hilgemann?”

But hark! A problem asserts itself!

Two doors were opening and closing so fast that the animals who tried to get through it got hewn in half, because the happy doors kept talking and gossiping. “How are we going to get through them?” said Gallenthmir.

Said Wife, infuriated, “Tell them to shut up!”

“Oh, that might work. Hey, you doors! Shut up!” and so, the doors stopped moving..

They continued on.

* * *

But after traveling on for a good day or so, Wife got terribly hungry.

“And there’s no food for miles but this melting, chocolate suit!”

Said Gallenthmir, picking up a stone: “I know one. These are like most rocks in your world: They’re round, squishy, and full of juice!” and bit into it. Quite easily, it squirted juice. Quite hard though it seemed on the outside, you could still bite into it, and some of them would peel.

This stayed off their hunger, and not at that moment, but a good deal later they came across a very hungry man-eating cow. Since they were women, they were quite safe.

They asked him the question.

“You know, moo, He went West from here. Other than that, I don’t know.”

“Thank you!” and sailed ahead.

It was day, and then, it was night. And Wife noticed a distinct change in Gallenthmir, night and day.

Gallenthmir’s curse. Though she was grandmother to all in Mirror Country, by daylight she had a beauteous youthful expression, but by night she was withered, decrepit, and old. By the shape of her face, her and Commando Kiss looked like they were sisters, though they were eons apart.

* * *

Of weirdness: “Hey! Everything looks like noodles in here.”

* * *

Is there any way to go back?” said Wife.

“In time?” said Gallenthmir. “No. But, as in any maze, you can always retrace your steps! Follow the breadcrumbs Home.”

* * *

Of belief & imagining: You can stop pinching yourselves.

* * *

Said the bizarre slug creature to the floating brain, after bumping into each other,  “Do you mind?”

“Yes. I mean, no. I mean,

that’s such an awkward question! Which means no?: No or Yes?”

This isn’t going anywhere, is it? I thought it might . .

* * *

Magic place: Whenever the big gong rang, someone turned into a wittle piggy here.

* * *

Um.

Wife and Gallenthmir met up in the maze with Couch Face, who they had been chasing all this time, and Couch Face looked real startled and nervous and the other group looked real scared, and Wife said, “Have you—-eaten the child yet?”

Couch Face gulped and shook his head: “No.”

Wife smiled and they began chasing after Couch Face again..

Through a magic, mystifying place: Where Frogs Are Forbidden.

Soon, they fell into some liquid, not necessarily water, in a sea of unmixed paints, where the paints wouldn’t mix, but the colors stood out apart from each other. There were no browns.

This is impossible,” said Wife.

“That’s what they said about rocks,” said Gallenthmir. “But then one day some self-edifying jerk went and built one. Now here we are. Miles of civilization- as solid as one.”

“As solid as rocks?”

“No, we couldn’t use those. They were too steady. We had to use self-edifying jerks. Miles and miles of them. Oh, c’mon! I thought it was plenty funny!”

“..You’re kinda weird.” They got out of the sea, and brushed themselves out.

“You know, I keep telling everyone that, but no one will believe me. I’ll get us out of here. I should of done this in the very beginning. Come, Magic Carpet!” said Gallenthmir, her hand in the sky.

After standing there for two hours, summoning it, she realized, “Oh, but I took the magic carpet to the cleaners. I guess we’ll have to take the mass transit system.”

“You mean a taxi or bus?” said Wife.

“No–I mean, a transit fat guy with a lot of mass. He’ll carry us on his back,” and hopped on the next magic fat guy, who carried them to their next destination. And dropped them off. For a magic barrier made it impassable for flying magic fat guys, as easy as that is to believe.

Open your eyes and believe, he told them.

* * *

Concerning the Cheeseburger of Despair: “I’ll have a cheeseburger, for the good of my hot — buttered — soul.”

* * *

It was in a different world, a cruel world.. where they made journey.

Said Wife to Gallenthmir who had been busily paving a road. “What are these?” said Wife.

“Good intentions. They’re what the road’s made of.” “What road?”

“This road! The road I’m paving.”

“C’mon, they gotta be made of some type-a brick!”

Where a buncha weird ‘Ch-Cha-Ch-Ch’ noises were made higgily piggily, and everything you say is spelled out and commented upon!

“No, they’re purely goodness! I intended them. Look, we’re going in circles here. Unless you have some good intentions to pave this road, kindly get out of my way. I’ve got to save the world.”

“With good Intentions?”

“Gladly,” said Gallenthmir. “Couch Face lives in hell. That’s where we’ll find him.”

It’s weird growing up here. Even for Gallenthmir.

The road to hell is paved with . .

* * *

About invisible mountains… Wife and Gallenthmir’s road of good intentions led to one, and they had to make the journey swimming round in the watery core of the planet.

After Gallenthmir and Wife went underwater, and the water appeared breathable.. “Hm,” said Gallenthmir. “I appear to be amphibious.”

“No, you doof!” said Wife. “The water’s breathable.” It’s magic water. “I suppose that isn’t a duh. I mean, most water, as to be expected, tends to err on the side of unbreathability.”

In Mirror Country, fish walk out of the water and up Wife’s breast, opens the door to her throat, dings the little gangly thing in her throat no one can remember, then hops on down.

* * *

Anyways,

But Wife had enough of this country. She had enough of everything.

Something frightening appeared here, though, and she looked.

A ghost bus that phantomed lost spirits through the sea.. It worked just fine. She said, “Hey, I’m a lost and lonely spirit! Can I come with you?”

The driver nodded, its head falling off, put the head back on, then said, “Argh.” It was a zombie driving.

Both Wife and Gallenthmir hopped on.

Here, there was nothing to do but read. Such classics as “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and “Shut Up, I’m Drowning.”

* * *

About Lost-in-Labyrinth: so many twists and turns, where to go?

* * *

Said the dark lord Couch Face to Wife when Wife demanded her child back, “Kids are just retarded people with very small bodies. Why should we cherish them?”

He threw a ball at them and they tripped on it, and they chased him on.

Into the land where sounds lose their shapes.

..To a pyramid so tall that planes ran out of fuel just to reach the top. Only Gallenthmir could reach it — by throwing a log clear into the air — and then hopping on top of it till she finally reached the top in two or more days. Wife had joined her.

* * *

On fantasy: You have to believe the Impossible is merely Preposterous.

* * *

Try to stop the top of your head from unscrewing and floating away. You can’t here. Not in all Mirdom.

But onto buses*.

* Buses are important in this story, and I’ll tell you why.

The ghost bus had only taken them so far, until realizing Gallenthmir and Wife weren’t dead, then kicking them out.

The buses to the center of Mirror Country were really fast, so to catch a bus, you really have to catch one! Most times, Gallenthmir used spider webbing, but lassoing works too.

“I gotta get to Couch Face!” said Wife.

“Don’t hunt for death, girl. It finds us all soon enough,” said Gallenthmir. “It won’t be an easy road, I tell you.”

In Mirror Country, we don’t take kindly to metaphors. Butter, very truly, flies.

Colossal antlions poke their head out to devour you.

Each planetary island is sprouting holes, sinking, withering from within. .

It was a wonderful and hellish place, all in one, in which you are both taken aback, and taken for granted..

* * *

About breathtaking views: The world looked like an enormous coloring book that had never been used.

* * *

Listen.

Sometimes, the sun stays up late. It gets tired of bedtime, and so, sometimes you’ll never see the sun at all, but it will be vacationing on a distant moon. Sometimes, tired from vacationing, it will sleep in and not come out for many months, coz you know sometimes you need vacations from our vacations. This happens more often in Alaska than anywhere else. Here it does anyways.

Said Wife to Gallenthmir, “And how, again, do you get to Mirror Country?”

“Third star to the left, and straight on ‘til Morning.” “Really?”

“No, that’s just silly. You dress up like Miss Piggy, smother yourself in chocolate, and you’re automatically there. You’ll be surprised how many visitors we’ve been having.” Ha! In a stupid, dumb, dumb, idiotic way, that’s kinda funny.

“Oh, really? That’s how I got here!”

They traveled, and came upon the land of clones.

On observation: Some looked even more like each other than they did like themselves.

But the whole of it was a labyrinth! Impossible to cross!

“No,” said Gallenthmir. “To succeed, one must believe the impossible is merely preposterous.”

To find the way [through the labyrinth], Gallenthmir ripped a page out of the paper of reality, which was our comic book, pop-up book universe, and the tattered walls of reality shattered to reveal a new path. “Sometimes, when a path ain’t there, you gotta make ‘em.”

“Hm.”

Everything was made out of paper or cardboard. But no one was an artist. Some suspected there once was a Great Artist who made Mirror Country, but most said, “It just happened.”

But there were no artists in Mirror Country. Everyone was a Mathematician. All the Muppets had college degrees. The more college degrees they had, the more they were convinced that ‘it just happened. The paper origami evolved itself.’ Everyone has a Graphing calculator in hand, calculating logarithms and Axes of power.

But Wife and Gallenthmir were on a mission, and so passed these mathematicians without so much as a word.

* * *

Wife had soon got an itch and stuck her finger in her bellybutton.

“No-oooo-ooo. No! Don’t do that!” said Gallenthmir. And explained: In Mirror Country, too, bellybuttons are dangerous! I thought I’d tell you. Stick a finger in there and you could just lose it. It sharpens pencils. It has teeth.

“Well, how else am I going to itch it? Are we coming up on Couch Face or not?”

“-We’re almost there.”

* * *

Prose: If I can’t look upon your beauty, I’ll see its mirror.

In Mirror Country, time is unbounded.. You can hang out with your friends in any Time of Your Life you feel like. / “Remember the time when we . . . susurrus, susurrus.” Whispering. / “Yeah, those were the Good ole days!” / “Let’s go there.” / “‘Kay!” and you do.

But that’s not important. I only mentioned it because I thought it utterly wicked*.

* wicked here means ‘cool’. I suppose my geek is showing.

* * *

Not too far ahead of them, they came upon a strange woman. It was strange she had made it this far in this dangerous place – alone. “Old woman! Where do you come from here?”

“Backwards.”

“Where are we going?”

“Forwards,” said the strange woman.

“Truly weird,” said Gallenthmir.

They had soon reached the place where fun comes to die.

Said Wife upon first entering here, “Well, I wouldn’t have chosen this interior.”

“Where we off to?” said Wife.

“Here’s a picture of the invisible castle,” said Gallenthmir. “I don’t see it.”

“That’s the spirit!”

The floor was shivering. “Shiver, shiver,” came the sound of its shivering. The floor was, in fact, not a floor. The floor was a furry, purple people eater and its name was Dennis.

“Hello,” it said.

“Shut up,” said Gallenthmir.

Here, in Mirror Country, things say out the sound that they would make. “So you better not masturbate in private, or I’ll know it!” said Gallenthmir. *Masturbate, Masturbate* went the sound effect. They followed this sound effect, for Gallenthmir knew this was how they would find Couch Face.

* * *

It led them to a perilous sea. The world was either all roads, or all water.

And there he sat, on a toad stump, dropping tears like bombs. Couch Face turned to them, weeping. Then screaming, said, “Ah!” and ran off with the child.

They stopped at the edge of the perilous sea, and Gallenthmir clapped her hands. A storm had been raging. It raged no more.

“How’d you do that?” said Wife.

Gallenthmir explained, in Mirror Country, all storms are clap-on, clap-off. Gallenthmir got into a boat Couch Face had left at the beginning of the sea. “Come. Couch Face is over the sea.”

“But what if the storm comes back?” said Wife.

“Like this?” said Gallenthmir, and clapped her hands. And it was a raging storm again.

“You crazy?” said Wife. “You’ll get us both killed!”

Gallenthmir said, “Sit back,” and just when Wife thought she was about to die, Gallenthmir clapped her hands and the storm turned off. Wife thought this was magic, but Gallenthmir enlightened her that she can do it too. She did.

They ended up on the other side of the clap-on, clap-off sea, and Wife played a little more with it, ‘til realizing they only had so much time before her hourglass timer had exhausted its last piece of sand.

She found herself, on the other side of a place called Thought.

A lot people get lost in Thought. “Most of them get lost in Thought because it’s unfamiliar territory. All you need is a map. See?”

That’s an encyclopedia.”

“No, it just comes in a deceptive format.”

Here, they came upon a door.

Knock, Knock, Gallenthmir put this in bold lettering and put it under the crack. The gate swung open.

They had just passed the ocean, Thought, the Door, and were on to the Cheeseburger of Despair. But first they must pass the dreaded Tickle Fish.

The Tickle Fish. A fish that tickles you purposely until you laugh yourself out of oxygen, then drown, while it slowly carries you off to its shell for dinner!

Wife bit the monster on the nose. Then head butted it.

K.O.

It really wasn’t much of a threat.

“Now, the Cheeseburger of Despair,” said Wife. “I wasn’t aware Despair grew on mould.”

“Where did you think it grew?”

They came upon it. The dreaded Cheeseburger of Despair. To the place where you can touch the horizon. No, really, there you can! There’s an end to it in this world, and you can reach out and pet it if you want to.

In the Cheeseburger of Despair, the heart of Mirror Country, beneath a land that appeared as glass and cheeseburger armpits, there was a world with real– “Yes, there are,” said Couch Face. “I made them myself!”

As requested from his evil uncle Harry, who actually wasn’t all that evil. The idea just appealed to him, so he made it so. A name.

“..Real what?”

“We can’t say it! It’s too horrible.”

There’s also dread ketchup and mustard pits, and dread mayonnaise for foreigners, he explained. It didn’t work very well, you just got all messy. On top of the real– whatever it was.

In definition, the Cheeseburger of Despair was a Quarter Million Pounder, gone dreadfully mouldy..

They had since been told Couch Face was very dangerous, but upon meeting him at the top of the thoroughfare, he was very genteel to them, and even offered Wife a deluxe condo package experience and a luxury cruise* if she just kindly turn around and leave. Of Course, Wife said yes to this, who could refuse? but then Gallenthmir beat her with a sharp stick. “Wife, it’s your baby!”

* on jelly seas, too. Classy fit 😉

“But it’s a once in a lifetime offer!” was Wife’s rebuttal.

“Have your husband work two jobs! He can afford it! C’mon, there’s some deluxe superheroing to do,” and instead of fighting with Couch Face, which would be very foolish, since this was his world, they played competitive videogames with him to see who was the superior person, and therefore, worthy to raise the baby, why not.

But of course whoever won these competitive videogames, and went through all the obstacles correctly, and answered the most questions, wins!

Couch Face won, but Wife cheated him out in the end, and then they had a healthy boxing match.

It was between Wife and Couch Face, are you paying attention?-and Wife almost nearly won, or she would, if Couch Face didn’t freak out at the end and sick his little man on her. At this time, Gallenthmir jumped in and snatched the baby. The two ran out of Mirror Country for their lives!

Couch Face said, “Wait! Don’t go! Let me explain!”

“Oh, shut up. You’re terrible. I’m leaving!”

“Wait!”

“No. I’m leaving. You’re all insane. This place is weird.”

“I agree,” said Gallenthmir, nodding. “What a silly system.” And left with her.

They were homebound. On their way, with the baby..

* * *

You’re kinda literal,” said Gallenthmir to Wife. “You should try being more symbolic.”

In a matter of minutes, Wife grew several years old, reflecting upon this sudden revelation. Indeed, she had matured much in the past ten seconds. If she matured any faster, she’d fall off the branch and decay. From 0 to 60—years—in half a minute!

It was as though she had come down upon them from a great height.

After Wife came back, she said to Steve: “Steve, you’ll never believe all the adventures I’ve been having! I –”

“Shut up,” said Steve. “All you did was miss some good TV.”

Mirror Country is like dragons, explained Gallenthmir not a moment later, who was now sitting on Steve’s couch.

“How?” you ask.

“Dragons are make-believe.. That’s why we like them. Coz they’re safe! They can’t harm us. And we’d love them to stay there..”

 

 

 

 

“8″

(monster movie night)

The following are two horror novellas, complete in one volume:

170-180th Story: I’m not sure what number this is yet. Titled

Zombie Story

Zombie Story

Undertaker, Please Drive Slow

Let me remind you why you were once afraid of the dark

If I fail to remindsend an irate complaint to my editor

.

Hesaidmostcreepythingsinvolveprecious, little girlsyouencounterjustaroundthe corner. If this Is true, the Powerpuff Girls are the scariest thing in the universe.

* * *

For those afraid of the dark: the kinds of beliefs you are immune to in the daytime, the nighttime superstitions, there is a place for them, and it is called the Darkness. And it’s what we’re going to explore in this episode.

I have no mouth for them, but I must scream!

Listen. Roaming the countryside, hoping to scare something into existence! spooks and ghouls actually exist on the planet called Spud. The big potato planet is full of hairs, too, and that’s extra bloodcurdling ..

It scared the shit out of Wife.

The south built their valleys on these hairs.

Just scale to the top of them, and even, in the smallest hair, there are divots big enough for a micro

civilization to grow food on.

Anyways, Wife and Manly Man were on a trek to a cage-fighting match in Shalom, as Wife was a cage fighter, and Manly Man just enjoyed good, clean fighting.

Why don’t you keep driving?” said Wife.

“I could, but I’m afraid of the dark. But I know how to get rid of that,” said Manly. “Whenever I’m in a dark place, I close my eyes. See?” And he closed his eyes and veered off the road and crashed into an old abandoned farm house. “Well,” he said. “Looks like we’re going to have to spend the night. I’ll clean the sheets, you can do the laundry,” and Manly Man stepped out of the car and into the kitchen and started making dinner. “How do you like your eggs?” he asked.

The woman- (secretly Steve’s wife, Wife, but dressed as someone different) -said something and Manly Man cooked them over-easy anyways.

Said Wife, “What do we do now?”

“That’s not important right now,” said Manly Man. “What is important is that I’m a superhero. See?” and he reached up for the stars and went “Voom, voom, SHAZAM!” and made like he could fly, but he really couldn’t, so he hung his head in shame.

“Well, I haven’t really gotten the mechanics of a bird’s wings figured out, and I haven’t really got in any major scientific accidents involving radioactive spiders or killed parents or born from another planet, but if a billionaire brat can dress up like a rat with wings and fight crime with tights and ninja stars, then maybe a suburban boy like me can too! Plus, I got a wife who’s rich as shit.

“Sorry to mention it now, and not to disturb you,” said Manly Man. “but I’m a necrophilia, so I rape dead bodies. Well — if they’re cute enough.” Then he laughed. “So don’t go dyin on me!” Retired into bed.

* * *

Every- single- romantic  comedy  cover..  Ever.

It’s two people looking other ways, going, “We’re so attracted to each other . . .” That’s pretty every movie cover too.

This romantic comedy’s gonna be different, though; mostly because it involves zombification.

I’ll explain what zombification is in a moment.

Okay, it’s been long enough!

Zombification is the process of becoming zombified. Okay, what’s that? It’s  becoming  a  zombie. Sounds like a cheap definition you’d get out of a Webster’s.

Let’s watch while it happens. Scream when you want to.

You don’t really have to scream.

* * *

Just read the signs along the road: Path ends suddenly

-You won’t catch it

Watch out

Ya just missed it!

->If you’re reading this, you should be flying off the road by now.

->If you’re reading this, you’re a  ghost, and so is Wife

Manly Man answered his phone on his way to a woman’s house, while on the highway. He said, “I got in an accident. I’m dead.”

* * *

Wife could paint a highway with someone else’s blood, but screamed at the sight of her own.

I only mentioned this because she was screaming now. She had got a pen prick from writing down in her journal, and this was weird, because she wasn’t flesh and blood.

It’s weird, but Wife’s kids are see-through, you should know. We, the reader, know that that’s what you get when you have sex with a ghost.

“What?-is that possible?”

No. No, it’s not. Not at all. But it’s interesting. And I like it. Blonder children there never was..

But she didn’t know she was a ghost. She fell off the side of the road in an accident, and woke up in a lighter form, and floated off, and lived her ‘life’, or her death, quite contentedly after the accident.

* * *

Fear is mounting.

Be afraid with me here: Give me a reason to fear.

“What are you afraid of?”

I don’t know.”

Shall I tell you then?”

Note to the weak of spirit: There’s a ghost in my trailer who enjoys sobbing till dawn, in fact. She likes it because she’s lonely and wants other people to hear her too.

Ghosts. Ghosts and zombies. Let’s talk about zombies.

You ever see it when that gecko’s disembodied tail is thrashing around?

Some people say that’s what a zombie is. Not alive, but animated. Just thrashing around.

* * *

Anyways, Manly Man and Wife got attacked by vampires not soon after I described that last sentence. To defeat them, it’s quite real.. they had to fend them off until dawn or until that pizza Wife ordered arrived, the one with the extra garlic. The pizza boy got lost, however, and went on a quest of his own, ere we follow his adventures as he becomes the ultimate vampire slayer, second to Alucard, third to the Belmonts, and Buffy? Buffy sucks!

Said Wife, “It seems this is a love story. And I’m not a romantic. What should we do?”

“Just sit around, I guess,” said Manly Man…

“But there are zombies chasing us!”

“Look, they’re sitting down too. Taking a break.”
“Oh, I hadn’t known! It’s break time!”

“Maybe they’re too lazy to chase after us.”

“No, if there’s anything to know about a zombie is, they’re persistent. Look, here they come, the break’s over.”

Zombie cried, “Brains!”

Thirty minutes later, when they had them cornered, said the Zombies, “No, you misunderstood us. When we cried, ‘Brains,’ we were complimenting you on your intelligence.”

All the Zombies cried, “Brains! Brains! Academics! Intelligence!

I want to learn!!!”

Wife was afraid of these terrible creatures, but brave, she continued on in spite of that fact.

Being brave isn’t not being scared. Being brave is doing what you’re afraid to do. Hm. My mother told me that once.

(Fears inhibit and protect us. If we didn’t have any fears, we wouldn’t know what bullet to dodge. Fear is enabling us to survive, fear is our struggle for that!).

* * *

Wife was afraid of spitting and not having enough water in her mouth to accomplish the task. She tried to spit at Manly Man for insulting her, but the spit caught in the wind and flew back and hit her face. “I toldja you shouldn’t have tried that,” said Manly Man.

“Welcome to my nightmare.”

Listen. The unexpected twist here was Manly Man and Wife turned into zombies a quarter way into the Story and then they discovered that they were actually quite intelligent, zombies. And they went to zombie meetings and zombie knitting circles and zombie hoedowns. Zombie barn dances and zombie college.

“This is weird,” but really they just said, “Unhhh…”

* * *

Thereupon being cornered, Manly Man waved a torch and pitchfork at the zombies and said, “Back! Back!”

The smartest of the zombies said, “Brave lad. You don’t know fear, do you?!”

We’ve never met,” said Manly Man, who wasn’t afraid, but knew a good bite from a zombie wasn’t healthy for you.

He was soon bitten on the neck, and died.

When Manly Man became a ghost for a while, and looked back at his body, he thought, It was a nice body, he thought. He had always been quite attached to it. And ere he looked at Wife’s body–he wished he had been attached to that too; if she had a position for him to fill.

A hand held* in a thunderstorm is a comfortable thing, you know.

* ‘course I’m talking bout hand-held videogames.

He came back to life as a zombie not soon after. This story jumps around a bit. Don’t worry. It’ll do that.

* * *

Here’s a joke:

Manly Man told Wife that after all this running, they’d look great, and the zombies were too slow to catch up, and Wife reminded him, “Zombies are tireless! That’s their biggest advantage,” and she told him the story of the tortoise and the hare, only to deviate that in this version of the story the hare falls asleep and the tortoise eats the hare raw.

“Alright, then,” said Manly. “Then we’d best keep walking briskly. They can’t outwalk our walk. This race won’t be won through running. It’s all stamina.”

“But that’s the one thing they have more than us!”

“That, and numbers. But we sure are a handsomer lot than they are. Let’s race! I mean–

let’s walk.” Just walk away.

* * *

Wife thought of her favorite things while scared- as Maria suggested- her children.

After being scared of a storm, one of Wife’s kids say: “I hate thunder,” she said. “I hate its guts.”

How it made her laugh.

* * *

They were a good deal ahead of the zombies, so they stopped to order some pizza.

I’m bored I’m afraid,” said Manly.

“Aw, don’t be scared,” said Wife.

The sky may blush.

The unfriendly dark.

Lightning strikes.

The sky blushes again!

Drains full of blood — scab them over and the vermin drown!

Wife had frequently called Steve a pig, but Steve had denied it.

She’d never seen his corkscrew tail, he wore a special underwear, like skin. “I just thought that was a growth.”

Steve was Manly Man’s alter ego. His other secret identiy.

* * *

Wife survived, at first, because of one thing: fear. It’s a great motivator, particularly to move one’s feet. And the zombies were chasing them. But weren’t they dead already?

I suppose these were confused zombies. “Unnnhh. No, get the live humans. The live humans!”

“You are so cute when you fear for your life,” said Manly Man.

Here, she found enough blood in herself to blush.

* * *

But back to Wife and Manly Man.

Whenever they’re in a scary place, a Gothic Choir music plays. On the third time this happened, Wife asked, “What’s with that gothic choir following us around?”

“Oh them,” said a local. “Just ignore them*.”

*“It won’t be much you getting out of them, unless it’s spooky wind noises you’re after.”

Later on, during an intense scene where Manly Man and Wife were being chased by zombies up a mountain, The Gothic Choir that always followed them around, singing “Ahhhhhh! Ah! Ah!” started losing their breath,

collapsing one after the other,

giving final epic notes for the team, as all strugglers were picked off one-by-one. Whoo! They sang to each other dramatically, “Don’t be a hero, Barney!” and then: “But I must hit one last High C for the Choir boys!”

“I know. That’s been your dream ever since we were little choir boys in that Lord of the Flies picture, stranded on that deserted island with Piggy and Piggy died.”

“I had a bad feeling about that Piggy.”

Wife said, running from zombies, “All this running is great for the buns and thighs.” Human again.

* * *

Out here the Wilds Things are dark, queer- and savage.

“The pace quickens as the blood thickens.” Scabs.

Sky turned dark and full of flour!

“It’s so dark and spooky, and so on.”

Wife and Manly had soon reached The Spooky Bridge. Yes, it was. That’s what it’s called. This bridge got washed out. There was always a rolling mist there.

It’s very spooky.

A bird screamed in the distance. Like a woman.

Are you scared yet? L

But somehow or another, through fear or confusion, they got separated.

The terrible thing is that there was no one there to be afraid with him, thought Manly Man.

He watched dark little drops of him fall from his side in his brain confusion, and even met a ghost.

The ghost was getting ectoplasm everywhere.

“Hello, ghost,” said Manly Man.

“Hello, little human,” said the ghost.

“Actually, I’m part pig.”

Said Wife to her zombie pursuers, meanwhile, “Oh, please don’t kill us.”

“And why shouldn’t we kill you?”

For one, “I do the best impersonation in town!”

She did her impersonation of James P. Morgan.

“Who’s James P. Morgan?”

“I — don’t know. Be back to you on that.”

Flash. It became day for three seconds.

“Oh, She’s Going to Do Something Sudden.”

She jumped through the bushes.

If you are a human and you believe you have outrun the undead pursuer, it would do you well to remember the story of the tortoise and the hare.

There’s no tension in this, is there?

You know they’re all going to be alright. It’s not really a story, more like an endless train of pointless jokes.

* * *

Remember when you were young and scary wind noises were enough to pull the soul out of your body? That was what it was like now.

Expect your blood pressure to spike.

This was back when Wife and Manly Man were still walking through the forest, hand in pockets Away from screaming-like-women zombies. Before they were zombies. Before they were separated.

Said Manly Man to Wife, “You’re gonna run through the forest and trip.”

Instead, the Zombie walked through the forest and tripped.

Break the status quo sometimes.

Said the zombie, walking slowly after them, “Wish.-I.-Could!-Walk!-Faster.”

Wife said she wasn’t scared but she was shakin like a Frenchman in a thunderstorm.

She clung to Manly Man’s arm. She was — surprisingly solid for a ghost. She was one of those ghosts that wasn’t aware it had passed over, and so, had retained some form. In a manner of speaking.

It was like holding onto hard jelly.

* * *

3 fears.

Couch Face often suddenly drops down, laying flat on his stomach, clutching the earth with both hands for fear that the world would suddenly stop turning and he’d be flung at 700 miles per hour into the nearest wall!

Commando Kiss doesn’t want to die because she’s afraid it will get in the way of her career.

Gallenthmir cries when flowers die. She gives them each a funeral. . Freak.

* * *

Manly Man said to Wife when he accidentally fell into her lap, “As you wish,” he said.

“I don’t wish,” said Wife, pushing him off her lap.

Then, Manly Man, turning around, surprised, said, “You mean to say you’ve never wished. Not on a genie, nor upon a star?!”

It was then that they heard a distant crooning. Out of the mist, a form formed, holding some long-drawn object. Crooning “Strangers in the night,” out came Frankenstein Sinatra, and they shot him, but he survived and he got better, and they start clapping along and he continues singing, unbidden.

He never stopped — singing. .

But onto more important things.

“Just walk briskly. That’s your protection.” Zombies are slow.

Wife was trembling like a leaf in the wind.

* * *

Feel sorry for the zombies. One of them is an old man with a cane. Some have needles in their arms. Some eat mice and worms. Some eat each other’s hands. See that the zombies are humans? That they are us and we are them.

One is a blind zombie mother carrying a zombie baby.

* * *

This next part happened a long time ago, right before .. he turned.

Manly Man cried over the body of Wife, who he thought was dead. He found a wheel of cheese. “Pepperjack,” he said, and started bawling. “T

his was her favorite cheese.” He leaned down to kiss her.

Sharply, she woke up from the dead and bit him on the lip.

Said Manly Man, “Whoa, baby!*” and soon he fell over, dead it seems, and woke up as a living undead.

* “Slow down. Be gentle.”

This was how it first happened.

“Our first kiss,” said Wife.

Said Manly Man, “You jerk! Now I’m a zombie too!”

“Well, it was your fault I got — zombified. You should suffer the consequences.”

“By the way, you’re not really a ghost, or this wouldn’t be possible. You’re a zombie!”

No, she’s a ghost. I’m pretty sure she’s a ghost.

“No, she’s not! Or this wouldn’t be possible.”

Um. Then what is she?

“A zombie,” said Manly Man.

This, too, was out of sequence.

* * *

They were, then, in the dark. Said Wife, “But this is a different kind of dark. A pretty dark! I like it.” You can see their houses by dark. It’s the color of nighttime.

The zombies who had bit Wife who had bit Manly Man walked up to them, and said, “Would y’all like to come to a barn dance?”

And Wife and Manly Man said, “We actually understood that!”

“What? We’ve talked before!”

“But before, we were just joking about understanding you. When you said, ‘Brains!’ ‘Brains!’ and ‘unhh…’ because you guys were pathetic. Now, we’re actually understanding you.”

“There’s much fun in being a creature of the night. The night life is all life!”

Bats drinking coffee to stay awake. Vampires drink coffee to stay awake ‘til noon. . The rebels of the Night.

The Silence seemed to dislike being disturbed.

* * *

Humans again.

As they were running through the woods, the woman kept tripping and Manly Man shouted, “Pull up your skirt, woman! Stop tripping,” and she said, “It’s not the skirt, it’s my shoelaces.”

“What?” he said, still running.

“It’s my shoelaces, not my skirt,” she said.

Then Manly Man’s shoelaces got untied and he tripped. “Why do we keep tripping?! What’s with all the tripping?!”

But that was a long time ago. Oh, the good times! Where have they gone?

Now, they were zombies. Manly gave Wife a golden football necklace on a platinum chain as a gift while they were zombies. He tore it off the neck of a villager after they both cannibalized them, raiding and pillaging. “Why, isn’t that sweet,” said Wife. Hm. These were good times too.

* * *

Sometimes Boo-Cat screams. Like a woman!

* * *

Wife made a pretty dead girl. “I mean, you’re a pretty attractive zombie.” And as Manly Man said to her later when she got all self-conscious about her looks: “Baby–you’re more beautiful in death than you ever were in life.”

“Gee–thanks.”

“No, I mean it! That green hue really brings out your breasts.”

Then, genuinely interested: “Oh, do they?”

* * *

Back when they were held up in an old, abandoned farm house, mass-zombie slaughtering was like trying to chainsaw a mattress.

It was like trying to chainsaw a mattress, Wife thought, until she realized she had missed and actually was chain-sawing a mattress.

Said the zombie ruler, “Only a moron would try to kill something that’s already dead. Submit and join us!”

Manly Man shot him in the brain with a double-barrel.

“!” said the Zombie, who had before been biting through my mind.

About having fun zombie-killing: Violence solves everything.

* * *

The Good Zombie’s Advice: “Don’t eat smokers. They’re highly carcinogenic.”

“When the kitchen wall gives, I’m heading for the cellar,” said Manly Man. “Wife, you’re an experienced fighter, head with me.”

The light is hiding. It’s afraid of the dark. Funny how its hiding creates this effect.

“Don’t forget to kill Philip.”

Good Ole Phil was a loved-one that had turned into a zombie. They couldn’t forget to kill him, as he had begged them to kill him if he’d turned. He couldn’t live the life eating other people’s brains!

Wife stopped them all, the zombies, with a megaphone voice. “Wait.

What’s your motivation?”

“I kill because —- uh . . . ” Doesn’t have one. He’s so one-dimensional. Killers.

It’s a knife in the dark, but I cut through the fog.

With a smile on what was left of her face!

* * *

Wife freaked out over fish. Seeing their dead, emotionless faces, eyes lidless, glugging with those kissy expressions scares the fear of very tiny things into her.

Couch Face’s worst fear, on the other hand, is that there will be a tiny person drowning in his cereal, and he’ll have no spoon.

Cleans out your liver to see a boy scream like that.

Manly Man was nigh invulnerable. He didn’t have any fears. Well, death and taxes. And flight. He couldn’t fly.

* * *

It was soon morning.

Thursday Morning of the Living Dead.

And they had held out all night.

At the strike of morning, Death himself came out and said, YOU TWO ARE SUPPOSED TO  BE DEAD. I’M HERE TO COLLECT YOUR SOULS.

“Just as the doctor says: Danger is unhealthy,” said Wife.

Manly Man said, “I like fighting zombies all night long. It makes me feel heroic.”

“I didn’t know Death was gay!”

WHAT?

“Oh, I thought you were all pro-men with that big He’ll on your shirt.”

“That’s not ‘He’ll’, that’s ‘Hell’! I’m the friggin devil, can’t you tell! There’s no apostrophe!”

“He’ll do what? What’ll he do? C’mon, I can keep a secret!” said Wife.

“He’ll fry you up for a nickel, that’s what he’ll do. I’m the angel of Death.”

“You’re full of, like, the stuff we do after we eat a lot.”

“Shit?”

“No, I haven’t yet. How are you?” Oh, c’mon. Laugh!

“What about the story? Go on with the story.”

“Oh that? There is no story!”

“Oh.”

* * *

And when Manly Man died, he laminated himself to keep the germs from ruining his hair.

Death surveyed both their zombie-bit bodies. “Check her head for a shovel-shaped dent.”

Then they arose, soldiers in his armies.

Into the despairing twilight.

Wife to Manly: “Why didn’t you tell me I was in love with you?” she said this to her after she figured out she was married to him and he to her. .

* * *

Okay, what do we do now? Now that — um — they’re both dead?

I’ll close my eyes and make it all disappear.

There’s nothing in the dark that wasn’t there when the lights were on! Knowing this, it’ll help you through life.

Life is best lived.

* * *

So they say, when lovers have need of moonlight, it is there-So the sun at High Noon dropped, and the shiny Cheeseball replaced her.

“It’s getting early. See that sunrise there. It’s getting earlier and earlier with each passing moment.” Undertaker, please drive slow! I think we can make it- if you just. If you just- if you.

Because, With a friend, the night’s not quite so dark!

“Have a nice day.” : )

So, here we are, one foot in the grave, one foot on a flower.

Get off that flower. Give it to me. / You should be ashamed! / L / Aw, don’t cry. Here’s a flower. / J See?

Whatever happens, death or resurrection, it will be a new experience.

We will soon have gone the way of mortals.

Here we see two bony lovers dead in a cave. Skeletal fingers held in a clasp.

 

 

The End of this story. The beginning of another…

 

 

180-195th Story: I’m not sure what number this is yet. Titled THE POLITARD’S MANSION

There are three competing trains in the ghost world: Death, Nightmare, and Illusion. But only one of them brings you to the other

side.

(I can think of no finer way to end a buncha stupid relationship crises than a costume party featuring Death himself)

* * *

The huge door opened in response to my first knock.

We many walked in*. There were Go-carts everywhere.

* A lizard arrived and shed its coat** and the butler took it.

** [skin]

Surrounding The Politard’s mansion, there was a white powder, and here we say, What’s that? “That’s rat poison.” “Has it killed her*** yet?”

*** the Politard.

The full moon was freaked out.

Politard’s Ball took place on Hallow’s Eve, in fact. That’s Halloween, but you’re smart, you get it.

* * *

Someone clinked a glass, rose at the dinner table. “Toast!” he said. Someone threw him two, freshly buttered, and he sat down. “Thanx.”

We all applauded.

Now the guests were all greeting each other.

A person shook a limp wrist in the air, and no one took it. “I wasn’t sure if you were just creating weather, or– Do you want me to shake your hand?”

“Shake my hand,” he said.

For a charitable cause, bachelors were auctioned off.

The Politard stood up, anyways, and gave her glass a clink. “Attention! There will be much fun today. On me! Now, I want to know that everybody’s willing to have a good time.”

We were all agreed. Applauding.

* * *

Listen. The Politard’s mansion is so large some consider it its own country, or in the very least, a city-state. Indeed, it has its own currency, and a populace made up of butlers and maids, and a few towel boys. The butlers do all the cooking. The maids do all the cleaning. The towel boys sometimes work overtime on certain private parts The Politard said needed waxing.

* * *

Everyone dressed appropriately. They did!

“I bought very uncomfortable shoes,” said Commando Kiss. Heels.

Getting ready for the party… Gallenthmir had since went into a ladies shoe store, but none of the shoes would fit her, so she went to a gentleman’s shoe store.

None of the shoes would fit her there, so she went to a Clown and Party store.

None of the shoes would fit her, so she went on a rocket, and found intelligent life on the Land of Fancy, and, greeting the giant big-footed Galumpers there, she went to their shoe store. They didn’t sell shoes, so she went home. None of the shoes would fit her. “Too bad,” she said. “They would’ve been a perfect fit.”

. .  changing clothes and putting on makeup, until she looked exactly the same she looks now.

Said Gallenthmir, “It’s okay. The party will be great! I brought Fun Dip.”

Politard smiled, “Eh-heh,” took the Fun Dip, and tossed it in her priceless flower pot rich people usually have lying around, I dono, EVERYWHERE.

* * *

Steve and Manly Man were there.

Even Death was invited, but he wasn’t very popular, and he was always sulking, what with all the bad posture from so much overkill at the day job and the graveyard shift****, “Ha, ha, not funny,” he said, so he left early and everyone was the better. He came back plenty anyways–every time someone is murdered. Someone was going to be murdered tonight, in fact; oh, did you know–didn’t I tell you? Many someones…

**** and a few pizza boy delivery positions

In the middle of this fine party, the lights went off, all the minor characters were murdered, and this left just the main characters, with Mad Butler What Foams and that black guy who always dies first.

Either that, or what really happened: The Politard said, “Okay, everyone! The Party was fun. I don’t need you anymore. Now go home!” and everyone left, except for those who’d received an invitation that read in red ink, or was that really ink?: I can think of no finer way to end a buncha stupid relationship crises with my closest friends than a costume party featuring Death himself. Stay a little while longer after this party, and let’s have some fun. It’ll be a game.

Even The Politard received this letter, which baffled the rest, because they thought this party was a Politard thing.

But a little after-party ensued that none of them did expect–they stayed a little while after, while no one talked, and the maids and butlers and towel boys were cleaning up, while the Mascot Goofy’s and Donald Duck’s in abundance ushered everyone either to the exit or out.

In this way, all that were left to the after-party to play a little game of Clue as invited by–)no surprises here(–the Killer; were The Politard Herself; Couch Face; Wife; Gallenthmir; Old Man Painter too, Boo-Cat, Manly Man and Steve, always in separate rooms; whoa, look at all the semicolons! !

Commando Kiss, the Mad Butler What Foams (since all the other butlers and maids and towel boys went to bed early), and the black guy who wasn’t invited but came out of the separate but equal bathroom late and said in a very blackish sorta way, “I ain’t hittin those streets tonight. Someone’s gonna get hella killed out there! No, I’m stayin right here!” but The Politard said to him there would be escorts, but due to mad paranoid, the black guy, we’ll just call him Ed, he said,

“Hey, you’s probably gonna set me up! No, I’s stayin right here.” The Politard said,

“Funny. Very well. There is food and bedding in the West Wing,” and Ed sat primly down on a nice sofa, and then turned around and said, “Hey, what’s this squeaky toy?” and tossed the little man that used to be on Couch Face’s face and then looked down and said, “Oh, it’s just Couch Face. I thought I smelled a cat.”

“A rat,” said Couch Face. “You mean you thought you smelt a rat! And get off my face!”

“No, this lil critter,” and he picked up Boo-Cat, who was me, and I purred so sweetly he just about cried. “So is that a costume you’re wearing?” he said.

“Fine! Fine!” said Couch Face, he can’t take this What’s-That-Thing-On-Your-Face? skit anymore. “

SO-MANY-PEOPLE-ARE-ASKING-I-JUST-MIGHT-COME-OUT.

“Come out of what?” said Ed. “We know you’re gay.”

Couch Face took the couch off his face and revealed a very untanned and, actually, quite handsome face with frost blue eyes. He wasn’t hiding anything.

“I knew you were cute!” says Kiss.

“Dude, you white as hell,” said Ed.

“Very funny,” laughed Face. “No, I mean it,” and they both shared a laugh.

“Whoa, total man-in-the-iron mask!” said Kiss.

“I’m the only man here,” said Manly Man, indignant that he  was not the center of all sexuality.

And after a pleasant moment, Old Man Painter got bold and said very happily, “Well, I’m gay!” Everyone went silent for a moment. No one reacted. Then: “Yeah, we knew that.”

“But aren’t you going to throw a party for me?” said Painter.

“…Uh-no,” they say. “We’ve already compared the two, and we agree: that Couch Face admitted he’s straight is a much larger and sudden step than the baby steps you’ve been making all along. Congrats on the — what is it, your birthday or something?”

“Shut up,” said Old Man Painter, and we continued on with the story. If, in fact, there was one.

Said the Politard, “You want to see the Pie Chart of Comparisons. If you see this here. Here’s your personal growth here, Mr. Painter, all gradual and what not, and here’s Couch Face’s. Boom! See, one static line of evil for several years, and then bang: One explosive and unexplained character arc that probably should’ve never have happened, but it all works out in a comedy, I suppose!”

“You bought a laser pen for that?” said Mr. Painter. “I want one.”

“We all have them. It’s what’s in this year,” said the Politard.

* * *

Let’s go back a little, before Couch Face came out of the closet.

I only got that “I feel like a million bucks” phrase today–when I had a million bucks.

The Politard’s mansion had rollercoasters and go-karts and ice cream vendors, and teacups going round and round and pony rides. And her own private fortune teller. She even had long, irritating lines to wait in. It’s like Disney Land.

The Politard’s Mansion was so huge, in fact, it had its own atmosphere.  It rains.  It lightnings.  Sometime, it Jell-O’s, but that was a personal touch of the Politard, whenever she had a craving for it. No, a separate atmosphere*.

* Cut off from Spud.

Towel boys were everywhere. Said Wife, “Yummy. I wouldn’t mind having a pool-boy!”

Said Gallenthmir, “What? He’s cleaning the pool?!! He is so h-hot right now!” She loved towel boys.

“What makes a man so hot for cleaning the pool?” said Couch Face. “Maybe I’ll clean a pool.”

He went outside in a sweater, and came back all sweaty. He went to the co-ed bathroom afterwards, and Gallenthmir followed.

Gallenthmir went to the bathroom then, in that instant, and came back all sweaty.

Couch Face also left that same bathroom, and came out all sweaty. He was smoking a cigarette. “What? I’m still a homosexual!” Everyone was looking at them. A man had a camera, and it flashed. He pulled up his pants. They were down, then.

The Politard asked Couch Face if she could see him in the living room. “Cute, but could you stop disturbing the guests? You’re not a towel boy, you’re a couch head, and you’re supposed to be representing villains on good behavior. Do shape up!”

Couch Face blushed, and ten minutes later, Gallenthmir came out of the bathroom all sweaty. Manly Man came out of the bathroom too. He hadn’t broken a sweat, but his face looked like this :>

Gallenthmir commented on the turkey roll-up’s and how they made her feel fat. Manly Man said, “Baby, you never looked better!”

Ten minutes later Gallenthmir came out of the bathroom, and was all sweaty. Six other men carrying trays of turky roll-ups also came out of the bathroom too. And were very sweaty. One of them said, “W-hoo.”

Can I speak with you?” said the Politard, tapping on all their backs. “Surely, she couldn’t be that good! . You’re all fired incidentally. Get out of here!’

The Politard tapped Manly Man on the back. She said, “How was she?”

“I think I’m in love!” said Manly Man.

“Could you tell me what she did with her mouth to what part of your body? I think I could make you grin.”

He leaned in close to her and said, “…Pspspspsps.”

She said, “Oh, really..” and brought him into the bathroom.

3 minutes later, The Politard came out of the bathroom. Is this becoming a nuisance? She was all sweaty. Manly Man also came out of the bathroom. He had just broken a sweat.

I think this is my sexiest chapter ever! . . Wait, no it’s not.

Do you remember the one with all the pornography?

I did it three times just now writing all of this. I had to use a lot of–

“-Can I speak to you?” The Politard tapped me on the shoulder, “Yes?” I said.

“You’re fired, incidentally. These sex jokes are getting too spontaneous.

And you’re using up all my favorite dinner napkins. Get out of here!”

I left her, and my heart was crushed! I came out of the bathroom.

Another chapter of Couch Face, done!

The Politard let Manly Man watch her undress.  She let him.   She actually quite enjoyed it.

* * *

The Politard complained to her caterers, “Why are the tails pulled off the shrimp? That’s half the fun. It’s where you hold it!”

* * *

To get to know us faster, anyways, I had each of the major characters answer this question: “What are you afraid of? or are you afraid of the dark?”: Most people are afraid of little girls — the ones in Shining horror movies. It’s just awkward meeting a homicidal toddler in the living room. How do you greet her? Give her a Wollipop. “Hey, little girl.”

What are you afraid of?

Some Answers

: [Please read this.

1) The Dark (Boo-Cat); 2) Raped to death (Wife);

3) Bugs (Commando Kiss loves hiding from them); NO, READ IT!

4) Making Mistakes (Steve’s freak accounting, having to refill paperwork); FINE, DON’T..

5) People are afraid of the unknown. Imagine what a traumatic experience it was for us when we were sucked out of the womb. Floating around in a paradise, a warm world, then spanked into the unknown.;

6) Being alone (Gallenthmir–alone in her Maze World, faced with just herself, a mirror);

7) Drowning in the deep blue sea. (Manly Man can’t swim!) Sharks at the bottom? Most likely.

8) Torture (mental/emotional/physical. Old Man Painter doesn’t fear death. He knows him too well.); AND ONE MORE.

9) Fear of failure–undeserved. (Couch Face, who fails endlessly at taking over the world).

What’s yours?

* * *

I would have danced all night.

* * *

What’s smelt egg?”

It’s already been sniffed. You don’t have to worry about smelling it. They checked.”

* * *

The Politard’s Mansion is so big it has its own weather. You can clap-on and clap-off the weather too.

* * *

Lots of dinner conversation going on, as it was all a bit random. And gems, atoms small, on the Politard’s finger- “We’d call that dust in my world,” said the Politard.

Head Cheese, or ‘Meat Jelly,’ was passed around. Good for your joints, you know. Cheese made from brains and junk. , Made from old sheep.

Said Wife, “I’m going to eat this animal. And let it nourish my body.”

“No, don’t!” screamed Gallenthmir, who was a vegan.

Over Politard’s fireplace mantle hung the head of a blue whale and the bust of a harpy.

Is she rich?- she’s a duchess!

Some of The Politard’s servants got lost on the front lawn outside and had to camp out to survive.

On all four horizons, they couldn’t see the palace.

* * *

You are very sweet. A little girl tapped Manly Man on the shoulder and said, “Mister ‘Tard, will you dance with me?” The Politard was so enamored by this little girl’s plea, cutting in with them and she said, “Honey, why don’t you go?”

“Really?”

“Go-o.”

* * *

The ‘34 was sewage!

* * *

The Politard had the world’s tiniest full-grown giraffe. It’s 2-feet tall, from hoof to throat! On its front was a sign that read: Not for eating. This was specifically for Couch Face, who might do such things.

* * *

Suddenly, a suddenness happened all of a sudden that was very spur of the moment. A note dropped from the ceiling, drenched in blood, and the Politard read it aloud to her friends,

If my mom should die before my dad, I should be very surprised. If by chance or storm or serial murderer this planned event should happen, I should not say I would be altogether equally sad.

Look: I wouldn’t be all together at all!

If by chance, Daddy lives on he’ll miss his woman, he’ll never marry, and seeing an old man grow so suddenly older — that makes me sad, you understand?

“But seeing my dear mother live on, going from bachelor to bachelor, a young girl hopping yachts while still in her 50’s — well, you must understand why that made me the serial murderer!Sincerely, the Killer.

Hold on.   Wait a minute.   This is just starting to get interesting . . .  

But the Politard laughed it off, it must be a joke, and continued on with her party.

* * *

To a band of nerds on a Saturday nite: “Why aren’t you out partying?”

“We’re boring people.”

* * *

The rich get richer, and they spend all their money on weird food.

Fresh beluga caviar, quail, and head cheese. “Gazpacho”. Say it with me: “Gazpacho.”

Most of the Politard’s cuisine was based on a dare..

But don’t fret. The killer will strike again.

Have a ball with us first!

* * *

On Halloween, Super Heroes come to the costume party dressed as normal people.

It’s just like every other party.

It’s also the only time a year a Super Villain could come to a party and not be totally noticed.

It was also the only time of the year so many secret identities could be found drinking cocktails and sipping chai tea in one place.

“What would you like?”

Said Gallenthmir. “O! Anything with bubbles.”

At such a rich man’s party, Wife said, “I don’t know anything about art. May I still stand here? However, I…”

‘However’ is just a fancy but.

“Have you met The Hildegardes?”

“I don’t think I know the family.”

The Politard and Manly Man were sitting by the pearl fountain, and Manly Man was looking deeply into her eyes.

He said, “Politard . .”

“Yes,” she hung on his every word.”

“Politard?”

“Yes!”

“..Have I ever told you how beautiful my eyes are?”

* * *

Said Commando Kiss to Manly Man, “So you think you’d be a good suitor- marriage and all that.”

“I  offer  my  services.” *Bows*.

Pah!”

“Honey- I was merely playing. I have enough trouble at home- well, homes really. I have many homes and many ladies all throughout the Scottsdale area.

Laugh with me! Ha.” “Ha’s right.”

* * *

One room in Politard’s Mansion is all trampoline, the walls, the roofs.

But where is our murder mystery?

It’s waiting out there. You’ll find it!

“Lady Politard, where’s the little girl’s room?”

“Lady’s crapper–third door on the right.”

It was then, she unknowingly met the Killer, but in passing, never said a word.

* * *

Your dirty socks are downstairs, warding off evil spirits.

* * *

Pellegrino Mineral water. She had a whole bathtub full of it! It filled her pools, her veins, her pipes!

* * *

How do you spell hoedeurves?

* * *

Said Politard on tasting the appetizers before the Ball, “Mm. A triumph!”

She wore stiletto shoes, a pink top, and a very fierce expression.

* * *

But where is our murder mystery?

Stop asking that, ya funny bunny. Death finds us soon enough.

First, let’s party! Here’s something I find peculiar.

All the butlers and maids in The Politard’s mansion had gotten lost in the mansion and didn’t know where they were. There were arrows on the floor. They asked their guests, “Do you know where we are?” Everyone had to use bumper cars to get around. Bumper cars so nobody gets hurt. There were a lot of accidents.

“So where does everyone summer?”

“Ah!” Someone died.

* * *

All of them swimming around in a goddamn pot of tea.

* * *

After hearing about the murder: “Oh, how exciting!” said some snooty rich people, looking for thrills.

“Call me a golf cart, I’m leaving,” said some of the safe ones, anyways.

Those that didn’t leave fell through the floor.. And landed on something like a bed sheet.

It was a murder mystery on the phantom train in the basement down bottom. And the rich people said, “Back, back, or I’ll hurt you.”

“I wasn’t always dead, you nincompoop!” said the ghost. “In fact, I was just at Politard’s party this evening. Something big’s going on, something bad, and it seems the Underworld is in your basement. Politard, did you know about this?”

“Surely, you are just dressed up this way to spook us. It was a costume party,” said The Politard. Politard had fallen through as well. So did Wife. And Kiss.

“Well, but I feel dead! no one ever talked to me at that party, so I took the elevator down, got chased by some monster and ended up here, on this train. They’ve seemed to taken an acceptance to me, what with the bed sheet.”

“It is a nice fabric,” said Wife, caressing it.

“I suggest you all get some bed sheets too before the whole Underworld figures out I’m talking to you bone bags.”

Right, and so they did.

This time the costume party would save their lives, and Wife, being already an undead zombie, and a ghost, thought it only fitting that she get out of these clothes and talk to her people. They were floating all around.

“Oh Peter!” speaking to an elderly chap in cane and tweed coat, with only the mustache and the pipe in his face visible. “Haven’t drank blood with you since the last chapter.”

“You sure make an old phantom feel alive,” said Peter. “Are these your friends? Dead too, I shouldn’t wonder, or why’d they be here, on this train to the Netherworld? It’s so nice to see such young people taking interest in suicide at such a tender age, so’s they can visit their elderly.”

“Um. I’m afraid we’re not on visit, Herr Peter. Psst! Some of them are alive.”

“What?! Sound the alarm! Open the floodgates! We’ve got a live one here!” and Peter Phantom spirited off, through walls, to warn the head Kaiser piloting the train.

“Way to go, housewife,” said Commando Kiss, an insult she and Couch Face would later share on their honeymoon.

* * *

Meanwhile, zombies, werewolves, vampires, and the like, had been released from the Nethers, and been dispersed all through the mansion.

It was a very dangerous going out.

* * *

Some of the guests suggested they hire ghost exterminators to lose their ghosts.

Said Mad Butler What Foams, “Lose our ghosts? You Ghost Busters are here to destroy our ghosts? We love our ghosts!   They help us weave through dimensions, twist our necks around, Spider-man on walls; and write on the walls in strawberry jelly. Maybe raspberry.” He considered it for a bit, then he said,

“Besides. It helps increase the market value for eccentric rich wackos like moi.

“And when I’m deathly alone,” confided Mad Butler. “The voices in my head keep me company…”

* * *

Rich boy makes more money with a lost tooth than you do with a paid salary.

* * *

They made their way back up to the ball room.

The Politard’s Mansion had Spooky Steps. They counted different going down than going up. 141 going up. 73 going down.

And somewhere, the Killer was among them.

* * *

The killer among them said words like, “It is only inevitable. Mmm… I like that word.”

“Oh, quit it!” said they, not noticing the killer was among them.

Oh, he was here alright.

But they were still hungry.

They tried the appetizers.

About an appetizer: “Try this, anyways.”

“With a gun to my head, I wouldn’t try that.”

“Let’s put your words to the test,” said the Politard. Pulled out a gun.

A toasted lizard treat!: “I’m not gonna eat the head. Don’t ask me why, I’m just not gonna eat it.”

* * *

I love you from the bottom of my bank account.

* * *

Let’s get back to the adventure!

While they were trying to survive the night, the Politard said, “And so, the slumber party begins.”

A few of the men tried to sneak into the girl’s room, but the Politard said, “No boys tonight. You got your own room this night, in the West Wing. My manservant will show you there. Go play boy games, no girls allowed. But here, I am queen!”

So The Politard, Gallenthmir, Commando Kiss, Wife, and their precious ickle cat, Boo-Cat, had a slumber party. They painted their nails, put on a guacamole face. “Let’s go shave our bodies,” said Commando Kiss.

“You’re weird, go away,” said the Politard, and had her manservant escort her to the West Wing for the night, partially because she was jealous of her beauty.

“Come back when you become a lady,” said the Politard.

So. With the exception of Kiss, the rest continued on their slumber party, talking about boys and womanly difficulties and why not ask a girl just what they do on these things?*

*Go watch Sex & the City to figure out how to relate to girls. I dono.

..After much fun happened in the realms of girldom anyways, Gallenthmir picked up the blue Boo-Cat in her lap, and scratching her ears, spoke into them, “Go find out what Kiss is doing. Go!”

and sent her out the door, and Boo-Cat, sneaking past the murderous zombies and having all kinds of adventures of her own, finally found the West Wing!,

and figured out that Commando Kiss had riled up all the boys with a terrific speech, whose main bullet point here was: “Okay, we’re gonna kick some butt. And a little tail!”

-which Boo-Cat thought meant her own, Commando Kiss all red in the face, coz she wasn’t allowed to sleep over. Saying, “Now let’s go crash that slumber party!” and all the men and the black dude go, “Alba Gu Bra!”

..and follow Commando Kiss on a quest to end the party, but Boo-Cat runs back before they can reach them

and and and

warn the other girls who think maybe they could just scare them with their guacomole masks, but The Politard said, “No, that’s just stupid,” don’t be silly, girls, and they instead decided to barricade the doors;

but The Politard said,

Look: two of these guys have super strength, I know it, and one of them a super brain, and even if we did barricade the doors, they’d probably go through the vents due to Couch Face’s master plan, so what do we do?” and Gallenthmir said, “But you forget. We do have Gallenthmir.” Wife said,

“We’re never gonna win with a haughty tauty attitude like that!” but The Politard said, “But, but, but you still have me!” and Boo-Cat mewed as if to say, “But they’re guys–and yeah, Kiss too, practically! What do a coupla broads like us think they’re gonna do against all that brawn like them?” and The Politard said, “I guess we’ll just have to use our looks, then.”

“Yes, but Kiss is with them. How are we to seduce them if Kiss is snapping her fingers, waking them up? Um.”

Said Gallenthmir, “Boys don’t understand the sophistication of tea parties, right, Teddy?” to the stuffed bear.

A long argument took place here, and then they all pretty much agreed.

“If it’s a woman you’re a wanting, send me,” said Gallenthmir, but before the battle had hardly begun, before Manly Man and before Old Man Painter had broken down the door Gallenthmir had buckled with seven mattresses, the lights went off in the whole mansion, and somebody screamed.

The lights flickered on. Gallenthmir laid on the floor in a puddle of her own bodily fluids. Dead.

“Well, that ruins our battle plans,” said The Politard. A pause, then: “Run like the dickens, ladies!” and Wife and Boo-Cat followed after The Politard; running from Commando Kiss, still tripping in her high-heels, “I hate these damn things!” she said.

Manly Man ran on after them, while Old Man Painter and Couch Face looked down at the last out-spilling brain of Gallenthmir and said, “Hey, guys: Don’t you think we should investigate this? Make like Scooby Doo and listen!”

And they all came down, back to sanity, and stopped their feuding, just to investigate.

Said Kiss, “Of course, you know, Politard, when this is all over, I  am  going  to  get  you.”

“Case over!” said the Politard. “Kiss is the killer. LET’S GO.” And put up her dukes.

“I could go all night!” said Kiss, puffing out her chest, but at that moment, the floor caved in, and they woke up a day and a night later in relatively the same place, just a few stories down.

This was the second time this happened..

They were in the basement, if you wanted to know, which was the opposite of a haunted Toys-in-Attic kind of place: damp and bitter cold, surrounded by corpses that wanted to eat them.

Anyways, they got out, left for the kitchen through a secret entrance. And since they were up, they decided to sit and watch Television. Until the television became alive.

But that’s not important. They just busted up the television, and opened the refrigerator.

But there was a parallel universe through the refrigerator, a swirly twirly galaxy filled with asteroids and comets.

Just then, something blew!

“Okay, men,” said the Politard, sounding very military. “We’ve got to survive the night until the police arrive. I’m afraid all the phone lines are dead. It’ll take the police a good three hours to get past my lawn. The best thing we can do, is split up and look for the killer, two by two!”

“That’s a terrible idea.”
“Fine. We’ll just stick together, and wait it out.”

* * *

If we don’t have it, you should’ve brought it with you.

* * *

But onto other things.

For example, if someone wants to say, “Tell your friend to go piss off,” the Politard would intercept. Watch: / “Tell your friend to go! –” / “ — buy some new shoes. Exactly,” said the Politard, and thus confused, the intercepted one shuts up.

* * *

But they had soon got bored, and several of them had to use the bathroom simultaneously. So they decided to all go together.

On their way, they met two little pretty girls in the Hallway right before the Mansion burst its blood vein and filled with blood.

They were twins.

“Wait! What’s so scary about children?–least of all, little girls?” said Wife.

So instead, the bunch of them just passed right by them, and when the little girls tried to stop them by making spooky wind noises whoosh and spinning their heads ‘round and ‘round, climbing walls like a bug, they just swatted them away, pushed ‘em down, and trampled them. No big deal there.

They left back to the kitchen, where all the food was.

* * *

There was a magician, meanwhile, to entertain Politard and her extended guests.

He wasn’t very good.

“Okay, you’re fired,” said the Politard. “Hugo! You know some party tricks. Your mother was a Wicca. Cut that useless magician in half.”

Hugo the ManServant went, “urgh,” grabbed the magician in two Kong hands, and cut him in half with his pinky nail.

“Very convincing, Hugo, but he was worth more to us alive. No receipt this way.” Well, Crowd. There’s been a human sacrifice here; don’t tell me Lucky’s life wasn’t worth it.

Tea and cookies will be served on the lawn.

* * *

Said the killer, “I’d like to apologize for the following murders. I’d like to — but I won’t.”

* * *

Again, they had to go to the bathroom. “If I’m not back in 5 minutes–  wait longer…”

* * *

Said Manly Man to Commando Kiss, “What dressing will you be having?”

“The Caesar.”

Then with a very grave, serious face, looking reminiscently through the window. “He was a great man,” then looking up. “Actually, the Caesar they named it after was Mexican.”

“You ruined my dreams.”

Wanna be remembered forever?-name some dressing after you.

* * *

Mostly everybody’s moving now. They’re exploring the mansion, because they started to think, “How stupid would be to stay in one place when the Killer’s just gonna come get us?” Let us find him before he finds us.

“But one of us is the killer!” said the Politard. “If we stay in one place, we’ll always know where to find him–or her, so as not to be sexist.”

Said Gallenthmir, “But there’s got to be a beginning to all this insanity, some distortion in reality, a gravitational portal into the Netherworld, or Mirror Country. Did you notice that a few of the zombies were puppets? If you ask me, this is Couch Face’s work.”

Said Couch Face, “Hey, I’m reformed!—ALRIGHT. Hey, how did you get unkilled? I thought I–”

“That’s true. One of us may be the Killer,” said Manly Man. “But there is also a whole lotta zombies out there that have risen from the basement that need slayin, and I’m all for it.”

“But we just did that, sweetums! in the last episode,” said Wife. And slaying zombies got us zombified, or don’t you remember?

Kiss said, “If you ask me, the best thing to do is find a garrison, a holdout, and stay in there, and wait this out until morning comes. Are you listening? That should send all the vampires back to their ethereal hangout.”

Said Old Man Painter, pointing to the note the Killer had left, “But the Killer said the longer we stay in one place, the more he or she will get all pissy on us and slaughter all who don’t play the game of trying to find Whodunnit! You’re supposed to go from one room to the next, battling zombies and evading ghosts and necking luscious vampires as you go. That’s the rules!”

“What?–are you the killer? How do you know?”

“I’m not — um.”

And all of a sudden, a buncha cannibal zombies come out, eating people and stuff.

It was all in good fun, but because Manly Man and Wife had already befriended the zombies not so long ago in the last episode of Couch Face: the Closet-Case Heterosexual, they just shook hands; then the zombies joined them as their own very own Army of the Dead! To fight against the Werewolves and Vampires and Ghosts and Demons and Skeletons. Nightmares.

Said Wife, “Couch Face, you did it, didn’t you? Just come out with it already!”

“This is my closet!” said Couch Face. “And I’m reaping the benefits; and I’m not coming out!”

“I mean, saying you were the Killer.”

“I’ve killed before, but as of yet, I haven’t killed tonight, and unless you don’t stop bugging me, I may kill again.”

“So you confess it!” said Gallenthmir, who he had killed.

“Hey, I thought I killed you!” said the Killer. “Ooops!”

Let’s forget we heard that. It ruined the ending.

Gallenthmir felt her slit throat, and said, “I got better.” And then took out Couch Face’s dagger from his back pocket, and lifted it higher.

“I said I’m sorry for taking over your dimension, Gallenthmir. Sorry! Why don’t you go argue with your twin sister, Kiss, or something? Get you both off my back.”

“Actually, she’s my cousin–”

“..Whatever.”

* * *

About a costume ball: Dress up like jerks, get juiced, and dance badly.

* * *

.. and Couch Face said, “I hate this particular story. I never win,” and Commando Kiss said, “I hate poetry. It’s too pretty,” and Gallenthmir said, “I hate you all. You’re so dumb,” and Boo-Cat said, “Mrow?” and the Mad Butler What Foams said, “Fungah. Uh?” because he’s a type-a Igor, and the black guy said, “You know who’s a great public speaker.”

“Dude,” said Old Man Painter, and the Politard said, “Why don’t I ever get any lines until now?” because this was the first time we ever heard her speak or saw her in the same room, this particular story, and even then, you never see her face, it’s always covered by something, and then the Killer said, “Have you guys found out who I am yet?” and they all turned to the Portrait he or she was talking behind and said like a mocking kid, “No-o-o-o,” and the Mad Butler What Foams went, “Da. Da. Daa” like a Soap Opera Murder Mystery Soundtrack, and then he struck a gong. Which The Politard said, “You know. I think that’s my favorite instrument,” and Manly, “Shut up! No one wants to hear you talk,” and she said, “Who’s paying your cable?” and Manly Man didn’t say a word after that. .

In fact, Steve and Manly Man were both found dead, because the light flashed and Manly Man and Steve were the first found murdered, only it was strange because Manly Man was the top half of Steve and Steve was the bottom half of Manly Man, like they were both undressing out of each other, and Commando Kiss went, “Kee-yute,” and they discussed who they thought was the Killer after that because everyone suspected Steve and Manly Man coz they kept going in and out of the room, and everyone looked at Couch Face and he said explosively, “Whut? I didn’t do it! Kiss, tell them I didn’t do it.”

“For a kiss,” said Kiss.

“O, you never let up!” said Couch.

The light turned off again that time, and, naturally, Kiss, being the curviest and the prettiest, screamed, and the light turned on again, and it was only a joke.

The Mad Butler What Foams was standing in the corner, flipping the switch on and off again, going, “Hurgh. Hurgh. Hurgh,” because that’s the way he laughs.

“Poor guy,” said Wife. “Has asthma.”

“H

e wishes he had asthma,” said Commando Kiss. “I’m gonna pop him one!”

The light went off again, a gong was struck, and The Mad Butler What — he didn’t foam anymore, if you get what I mean. Commando Kiss said expansively to the house, “O, Killer! Darling! Could you stop killing everybody? I think I’m starting to get laryngitis.”

The Politard said, “Honey, I’ll take up the screaming duties. I got the pipes, see?” and she pulled out some bagpipes and started playing, and already, don’t you see how the story goes? Does the madness ever stop?

* * *

Time flies when you’re having cake!” said Gallenthmir.

* * *

Anyways, they got bored and start playing a game of Clue and only then do they start to realize that whenever they rolled that dice something began to happen, and it kept happening. “Okay: Who possessed this board game? Jumanji, was it you?”

“Robin Williams will pay,” said Couch Face, shaking his fists, laughing orgasmically, then rubbing his hands together.

But you’ll only get that if you know the movie.

The answer is, Manly Man and Steve did it, and it was revealed at the very end that they were, in fact, the very same person. They’re all the same person! It boggles the mind–

–no, really, Couch Face did it. He always did it. He played the villain.

* * *

Afterwards, The Politard took a cruise to all the poorest places in the world to say, “Neah, neah. Look what I got!” and flaunted her riches, and invited them to join her, but they said no, they’d had enough adventures so far, what was left of them. She took a cruise, and never left the vessel. She might as well have stayed in a boat-shaped hotel.

She hardly ate a thing on that cruiser.

The Politard didn’t weigh enough for a hanging. String her up and she just blows in the wind. Kiss was considering this.

How can you own that boat* without guilty conscience?

* yacht.

* * *

I party in the morning.

* * *

And the party was over. It was just Politard and her manservant. The zombies, and werewolves, and vampires had slaughtered the rest, and in the morning gloom, she had decided to hire more.

Her breakfast in bed was usually a bedside concert. She missed that this morning.

“I wish I had what they had,” said the Politard, watching the ratty remainders of her guest walk away, lost, on the front lawn.

Said the Politard’s manservant, “But Madame, you have everything! What could you ask for now that ye be fed to heart’s content?”

Said the Politard, “Wrong, Manservant. Wrong. Wrong. There is one thing I do not have. More. I want this — this — here I make that thoughtful Sss sound — More, yes. Yes. That’s what I want.”

Politard told a very short story to her manservant,

Now, a woman who was very rich tried to own everything, even the wind grasped between her fingers. She set out to own the wind because she already owned the world and wants to own everything. “Now, what would you say to that woman?”

“I just don’t know. I mean-”

“Then I have no answer for you.”

Rich people are usually much more unhappy than normal people, but the Politard was really very–sad satisfied. She’s satisfied because she feels she’s led a good life and already has everything, but she’s crying because she can’t take it past her grave.

..Rich man’s car is a shell, a skin, a skeleton in which rich man hides away–  from the world. No one can get him.

He is in his-self, and all outside him are the ones who can hurt him; but now he is comforted in his women and in his lust, and in his metal coat of wires, and of wheels.

$Cha-ching$

Season’s End

 

196. Maybe the title should be:

TITLE OF THE FINAL BATTLE BTW GIANT MONSTERS TO SEE WHO’S THE COOLEST, STARRING COUCH FACE AND MANLY MAN TEAMING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:

“Sparks from the Hooves of Giants: the Mighty Cockroach I Slain in Battle, Attack of the 50-Foot Buildings!-, or I Got Attacked By My Mom Once, among other Schwashbuckling Adventures*.” The Earth Must Groan Under Hated Feet. * this stands for “Rosy Battles Pink Robots.”

Heroes never have the plan. It’s always left to the villain to do all the thinking.

Heroes rush in like love, which is almost certainly dumb and deaf, bonking off. That’s why — today — Couch Face would be the hero.

It took criminal thinking, and a plan, to save this world. At least today.

* * *

Let me remind you of this superhero world we live in. A rock that can fly and climb walls, for example- Whoosh!

But it’s just a radioactive rock that talks. Just a super-radioactive rock with a brain and no face or anything. It can’t pick up anything. It has a family with a regular human wife and regular human children, but it’s just a rock. And we’re amazed at it. Then there’s “Stub My Toe, I Will” Lad. A character who feels the repercussions of things before that causes them happen!

Like, he starts bouncing around and rubbing his toe before he stubs it or drops a rock on it.

He had happened to trip over Rock Man.

Rock Man never recovered after that incident. He gave up his whole career, and decided to live out the remainder of his days.. inside a bottle.

* * *

The city bloomed up in the effect of a flame. If a flower could dress like a flame.

The City. For within her, a whole civilization raged.

How Couch Face wanted to rule that city. And that is why he must save it. Who wanted to rule over rubble? A monster, maybe. He’d have to have his truce with Manly . . For now. “Let’s save the world, you jerk!”

The City called South Kersepolis.

Public executions occurred regularly throughout the day.

Duels between Superheroes and Supervillains.

The Slave Market.

The Whore Pit.

The Temples of Satanic Worship.

Police found dismembered daily with their body parts switched.

Horribly Gigantic Semi-Intelligent Monsters living quite contentedly in the sewers below, rising up only to say, “Could you turn that noise down? Some of us are trying to sleep.”

* * *

This time they were to have their revenge. No? Those were different monsters than the ones in our story.

The Monsters in our story came from an island near the Southern pole.

They keep shaking fists at us. For their time was short.

Time is short. Time has been called many nicknames. Among them Shorty. Zaccheus. And little person. But it sure seems like a whale’s length in size.

It seems long, is what I mean.

Time is a very recent thing in eternity, and it always will be.

* * *

And now, the first monster had struck the City. And Manly Man had come to save it. “What am I doing?”  he said.

“You’re doing great!!”

But he had been fighting crime all night, and so, fell asleep.

* * *

Couch Face prodded him in the face the next night, and said, “Buddy.”

Then getting serious: Said Couch to Manly Man, “Join me and together we can leave this mortal world and be bathed in the stuff of absolute evil!”

“Sure,” said the hero.

“What?” said Face. “Aren’t you supposed to say something like, ‘I will never join you! You and your dark ways are blah, blah, blech, etc, and you know the rest.’”

“I thought about it. But you give a pretty convincing argument. I’ll join you. Sure. I’m convinced. Let’s go be evil and stuff.”

The two of them joined forces. “First evil thing we have to do is save the City,” said Couch Face.

“How is that evil?” said Manly Man.

“We’re doing it purely for selfish reasons,” said Couch Face.

“To get media attention, like I always do?”

“No. So that we can save it from becoming rubble, so that we may one day rule over a fully-functioning city made in our image.”

* * *

Not two months before, Couch Face had Manly Man tied up in his Secret Lab under the Pool:

While Manly Man and his hot blonde babe girlfriend were strapped to a chair in Couch Face’s neighbor’s evil ‘under-a-pool’ lap, said Manly, “You’ll never get away with it, Couch Face!”

“Get away with what?” said Couch Face. “I haven’t said anything yet.”

“Whatever it is you’re going to say, you evil spooge!”

Couch Face gave an epic monologue.. Whoa, but if it wasn’t convincing! He should be a motivational speaker.

Manly Man said this to Couch Face after Couch Face’s monologue: “Yes, but can you dunk?”

Couch Face brought out the Harlem Globetrotters and they started dunking basketballs in every which way. Sometimes, Couch Face even let one of the Harlem Globetrotters jump on his face for an alley oop or bounce off his face with the balls, which is close to the same thing. Couch Face jumped on his own face and used the springiness of the springs to dunk a basketball.

Manly Man said, “Wow. You’re really good. I didn’t expect that.”

Couch Face brought out his instrument of torture. “Remember,” said Couch Face. “This isn’t going to hurt me at all.”

After a minute, Manly asked Couch Face, “Well, aren’t you going to leave?”

Couch Face was sharpening his instruments. “Why would I leave?” he said, sidelong.

“To…You know? Give me a fair chance to escape.”

“But that would be stupid. Why would I leave when I could get done with you once and for all?”

“I don’t know. Hasn’t that always been the way it’s been? Super villain gives the superhero a chance to escape whilst superhero breaks free and foils super villain’s plan at the last microbe?”

“You’re stupid. You’re all stupid. I’m staying right here with my cat, Muffins*, and I’m going to watch you die. Nice and slow. Then I’m going to take over the world.”

* he hated cats, but it was expected of him

“Don’t you have an important, secret evil meeting to go to?”

“Yes,” Couch Face got up. Then he sat down. “Hey!” said Couch Face. “You’re not going to fool me with that one!!”

So. How did Manly Man and his Blond Babe Girlfriend escape from Couch Face’s plan to “hurt them evilly”?

It went as such.

Manly Man asked Couch Face what he was going to do with them and Couch Face told them all his evil plans in a long, sprawling monologue. Then Manly Man said, “Well, that’s stupid.”

“No, it’s not,” said Couch Face. “I think it’s a good plan.”

“No, it isn’t,” said Manly Man.

“Nah-uh.”

“Yeah-huh.”

“Nah-uh!”

They blew raspberries at each other, making fart noises. “Yeah-huh. Stupid, stupid, stupid.”

Said Couch Face, “Smart, smart, smart!” Beating his head.

Eventually Manly Man made Couch Face cry and give up his evil plan to conquer all life on earth. Hostile take over. The whole thing.

Couch Face cried and Manly Man laughed. Then Couch Face released them both and Manly Man pointed, “Go on. Get out of here, stupid-stupid-stupid head.” And Couch Face cried and said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I tried, I did!”

“Go on. Get,”

-and Couch Face, crying, left his own secret evil laboratory under the pool, and turned off the power to his ray that would enslave all rodents on the earth and take over humanity and just left.

Manly Man and the Blonde Babe then made love under the pool on the torture machines for a bit, whipping each other and playing Dominatrix for a while, then Manly Man said, “Boy, that was a good plan! Whoo.”

Freakazoid, I love you..

Couch Face then sought a psychiatrist who asked him to reevaluate his identity and he said, the psychiatrist said, “And why do you feel you are mad at the world?”

“It’s not that I’m mad at the world, I love the world,” said Couch Face. “That’s why I want to, you know, take it over.”

You know, he told him. I’ve never taken an Ibu Profin or an Aspirin and actually felt any better.

Pain doesn’t necessarily kill, his therapist tells him. It warns.

Couch Face allied with Manly simply because he didn’t want to rule a ruined world.

If Couch Face could — he’d set all the world to music — like Mary Poppins.

* * *

Not too far off, a monster was terrorizing the City.

Said the damsel to the monster terrorizing the city: She was in distress: “You there! Are you the one in charge of this! This!”

“This what?”

“That was actually my whole sentence. I was hoping for you to break me off. Interrupt me. Go on.”

“Um. I was actually out of words altogether. Aren’t you to reprimand me?”

Maybe we should go out. I mean, we have so much in common.”

“Well, don’t go too far.”

* * *

Presently,

A big leaf blew across the screen, and you think it’s only a little one ‘til you see the giant leaf catch against the side of the house, twice as tall and half as wide.

It seemed the Land of the Giants was advancing..

They had been warring at our southern border with all the superheroes and military of our Big City for so long and had finally broken through the border.

But onto other things.

So, now. The monster bent down to the damsel and said, “I need Three Fitty.”

In an instant death, near-death experience, there is no thought. You just emote: shock.

This is the emotion the damsel felt now. Confronted at a monster who could throw death at a glance.

* * *

* * *

We’ve got evil pants to fight!” You’d expect there to be a battle between Good and Evil Pants, but this was merely a demonstration at a seminar.

Instead of fighting for Justice today, Manly Man was attending a motivational You-Can-Do-It hero seminar.

Said the motivational super hero, “Don’t just hate Injustice. Love Justice. Do something about it.

Manly Man went, “Uh-huh. Uh-huh,” and took notes. And wrote little smiley faces next to the parts he thought were extra important.

A citizen came bursting into the seminar and said, “Several of you are needed in the City! The Giants have crossed the southern border!”

* * *

The heroes immediately ran out of their seminar and got to the southern border lines.

That was when Manly Man had first started to fight the monsters, then fell asleep, then joined Couch Face.

After which, a superhero moved Wife’s boat out of the way of a monster’s stomping heel. “Well, I’m pretty happy for you,” said Wife. “You’re pretty strong,” said Wife. “You’re a superhero. Save my marriage.”

J

So Manly Man said to Couch Face, “So. What do we do, boss? They’re bigger than us.”

“It’s always left to the super villains to do the thinking!” said Couch Face. “You just use your brute strength and good looks to trip them up for a while, stall them from smashing any buildings, or any of my favorite shops or restaurants, and I’ll build a giant robot to fight him.”

Manly Man did so.

* * *

My advice to monsters: “Never eat anyone your mother knows.”

* * *

Couch Face came back with a giant robot.

“Bad robot!” said Manly. “Down! Stay!”

“It’s me, silly,” said Couch Face. “Get in! I built a super suit made just for your skills.”

A giant butterfly was soon terrorizing the city, anyways.

“Like Mothra?”

“Worse than Mothra — it’s a common– friendly– BUTTERFLY!!”

“No, our pollen!” said the bees who held citizenship.

Said the fat man in a dangerous situation, “Walk for your lives!”

* * *

In a tiny little world full of vacuum monsters. .  The dirt is clean. It’s the people that need removing.

We vacuum suck the people off the dirt so the dirt can go about its way, they explain.

* * *

In other news, a giant snail was in the middle of the road, holding up traffic. Kinda hilarious, actually. It wasn’t hurting anybody. Only causing work-related ulcers.

A bi-Cyclops (or two-eyed monster) tripped over the snail. He was a reject in the one-eyed world, and was on his way to work. Now, work for a monster was powering over city skyscrapers, and that’s what he did, as a profession, but it didn’t make any money, it just made enemies, sure the citizens were enough for food, but money puts curtains in the houses.

* * *

But hark! A monster cometh.

I like this part. I think you’ll like it..

Manly: “I can do it. I’ve done this before!” It was his first mission against a giant monster.

Guy: “I thought this was your first giant monster.” See?

Manly: “I started out in small crime. Most of them little guys are boxers. Plus, I’ve got a wife who’s into jazzercise. Two of em.”

Guy: “Two wives! Lord! No wonder you keep hearing telephone noises with all that!–”

So, came a clock beast monster for Manly Man to fight, his first giant— thing..

A Wing

ed hour-glass.

He grabbed hold of time as it swung by. Dong!

Said the giant beast to Manly Man, “Manly Man? You mean the adjective describing the noun is also the noun? Um. I’ve never heard of you. .

You’ve got a minute to impress me

(with your best heroics.) Go!”

Manly Man did a little dance. It was exotic.

“Who said I’d be impressed with dancing? Shed a leg or something. Turn on fire. Fly! You do fly, don’t you?”

“..No. But I’m super strong.”

“Oh, super strong! Isn’t that the most general and boring super hero trait ever. I hate you. My children hate you. My children’s dogs hate you. Go away~.”

“..Well, you haven’t done anything yet,” said the adjective that describes the verb*

* as Manly Man defended the name Man as being..  an active word, rather than just one of those regular ones that just, um, er, sits around!: Nouns. A word that exercises and does pull-up’s: Verbs.

“Well, I’m a monster! I don’t have to do anything yet! I generally just walk around, terrorizing 50-foot buildings and apartment complexes, and it strikes fear just to look at me.”

“Breathe fire.”

“I — I can’t breathe fire,” and walked away ashamedly. Never came back.

* * *

Couch Face, meanwhile, had beat up the monsters with his giant robot. It was quite simple, really. He didn’t stop to terrorize the city. He didn’t want his favorite restaurants destroyed.

He was a wine connoisseur.

About Couch Face: I think that little pervert just saved the world.

After which, he came to the King of Monsters, and the King of Monsters said, “Well done. We’re leaving now. But we’ll be back. And in larger numbers.”

Couch Face knew what he had to do.

He followed them to the Southern pole and put his giant robot on self-destruct and blew up the island of the monsters.

The tragedy was, he set the timer for the bomb too soon and got blown up in the process.

Couch Face gave his life for us. None of us truly thanked him . . He wasn’t a hero. . He did it all on a bet. “Bet you wouldn’t save the day if for one day it would make you feel like a hero?” and thinking a bit evilly, he did. He gave his life for us. Selfishly.

We’re living with our head in the lion’s mouth, our hands on the horns of the bull!!

The earth shook with his battle.

* * *

After, Alien robots invaded from space, but when they arrived, they found the home monsters of the home planet had done most of the work for them, so, feeling insecure and unnecessary, they left. The monsters were scary to them. “They can have this wacko planet!”

* * *

Said the henchman of the City of South Kersepolis to the evil villain leader,“Can I go, boss? My wife is in labor.”

“Give Sarah my regards,” said Disembodied Floating Head Villain. “Send me pictures. Wow. One of our own gave his life for our city in the name of villainy, huh? We better built a couch-faced monument to that guy after we take over the — the city.”

But Couch Face came crawling back. Couchless. His head blown clear off.

*Sniff*

The girl says, dying, “I have loved you . . . For a  very long . . . time. I  —

oh crap! I’m not dying! Gosh, this is going to be so awkward!”

“See you at the office.”

“Whatever!” and she ran away.

It was Commando Kiss. She had just confessed her undying love for him. Of course, he already knew that.

Oh yeah, under the couch was a face. He really didn’t have a couch for a head, it was just his favorite hat. He was really quite handsome.

* * *

It’s so hard to love. There’s so much to hate.

Says the superhero, I hate this world. Screw it. Screw it all. Why do I care so much? I guess it’s coz I like the people.

“I went through life with good intentions. I have few regrets. Most people loved me. Some hated me. Sucks to  be them.”

Um.

Said Manly, “I’ve got to stop Couch Face from conquering the world. But he’s so ba-d at it!”

* * *

These moments in my life I’ve scribbled and erased a million times.

The life going out of my face.

I have lived my life in pursuit of the Inalienable.

Up to the point where it ceases to amuse!

Life is a series of being reintroduced to the world and being violated, my friend. Don’t get used to it, or you’ll live. That’s my first advice to you.

I imagine I’ll be shouting when I die.

* * *

So Couch Face was back from saving the world, by the way.

He looked worried.

He was always waiting for his heart to explode, you see. He sweats with each beat. He’s a very sticky man.

After saving the world, Couch Face thought about conquering it.

Manly Man can’t survive without his microwave. That is his secret weakness. Without it, he can’t eat! So when Couch Face discovers this, he steals it away, and evil triumphed that day.

And here I’m trying to find a way to end this story.

* * *

Independence has failed me. How many times I try, I eagle, I conquer, I soar; I can’t go a month without personal contact- their voices, their laughter, their touches, their warmth. It seems I too must… find a little someone. Outside myself.

That’s my second advice.

I hope that these characters of mine and their stories have touched you the way they’ve touched me. I’ve hoped they would come off the pages and walk with you and be with you and sit in your heart.

If there’s one you relate to, hold onto her, and don’t let go.

I only relate to all of them because they’re all like me.

I’m selfish like Couch Face.

I’m prissy like the Politard.

I’m sassy like Commando Kiss.

I’m naïve like Gallenthmir.

I’m tender-hearted like Old Man Painter.

I’m a bitch like me.

I’m impassioned for the Light like Manly Man.

I’m as absent-minded as Wife.

I’m a cat-lover like Boo-Cat.

Well, that’s it. I’m all out of stories.

Goodbye now. Goodbye.

And remember: Always eat your green vegetables, and look both ways before crossing the road. You’re important to human history.

So long, and thanks for all the support!

It was a weird book of short stories, but I hope my characters live with you a long time after.

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