I made this because I had to.
This was the second time in the last two hours that Briadru4 and Thisismynightmare found themselves being forcibly taken to a destination that they had not intended to go to. In this instance they were being dragged along the ground in a large rope net; a considerable step down from the relatively luxurious rape van. Briadru4 began to take stock of the situation. They were most definitely trapped. Even if their captors stopped to take a rest they would still have the several hundred pound rope net to contend with, not to mention the fact that those aforementioned captors seemed remarkably comfortable with pulling two squirming women along the forest floor, even despite their handicap of having no opposable thumbs. Resigning herself to dealing with their situation when they reached their destination, she tried to wiggle herself into a comfortable wedge.
“Is there any more turkey jerkey?” She asked Thisismynightmare.
“Sorry. I ate all of it. I think there’s some fruit leather. Look behind my left shoe.”
Briadru4 began to search behind her foot, finally pulling out a plastic-wrapped treat.
“I hope it’s not poisoned,” she said unwrapping it and putting it in her mouth.
“Eh. Probably not,” Thisismynightmare shrugged as best she could given their situation.
“You seem remarkably sanguine about this whole situation,” Briadru4 observed.
“I dunno. I figure, how much worse could it get, anyway? Also, it might be the exhaustion talking, but don’t you think that panther and bulldog are kinda cute?”
“I suppose. If you’re into that sort of thing,” Briadru4 responded.
“You know me. I’m into every sort of thing.”
Finally they came to a stop. Briadru4 and Thisismynightmare looked up. In front of them stood a large wooden cabin. Fozzy the Chair bent over and peered at them.
“Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey. We’re here.”
They slowly rose to their feet as Fozzy removed the netting. As they stood up, Dusky Panther addressed them.
“Now, I just want y’all to know that we ain’t gonna tie your hands or nothin’. You are a guest in our home, and you deserve some hospitality. Now she…” He continued, indicating the cabin with his head. “She don’t take kindly to people who reject her hospitality. Now, sure. You can run. We ain’t even gonna stop you. But just so’s you know, there ain’t nothin’ ‘round here for miles ‘cept for rocks and trees. And when we catch you — and rest assured, we will catch you — she will be mighty displeased. She is inclined to show her displeasure in all manner of cringe-inducing ways. And I’m not talking having to sit through your best friend’s standup bringer show hearing people make jokes about small dogs and why women go to the bathroom in groups cringe-inducing. I’m talking Human Centipede: First Sequence cringe-inducing.”
“Listen, man. Thanks again for that.” Fozzy the Chair interjected.
“Don’t mention it. You were great. It was those others. Yikes.”
“Did you like my joke about werewolves and Coors Light?”
“Didn’t you hear me laugh? I thought it was great.”
“I think you were the only one.”
“It’s a thinker. That audience was not full of thinkers.”
“What was the joke?” Thisismynightmare asked.
“Oh, uh…” Fozzy the Chair began to shuffle his feet, awkwardly. “It was nothing.”
“C’mon. I want to hear it.”
“It’s really stupid.”
“Ok, Fine…” He cleared his throat. “So, basically, I have this bit about being a werewolf, then at the end I say, ‘And the worst part is that I can’t drink Coors’ Light anymore.’”
Thisismynightmare laughed. “Haha! That’s great!”
Briadru4 turned to her. “I don’t get it.”
“You know, because it’s the silver bullet.” Thisismynightmare explained.
“Ohhhh. I get it. That is funny. And a thinker.”
“Yeah. I think I need to tweak it a little,” Fozzy shrugged.
Dusky Panther raised his hand. “So, are we just gonna stand here all day or are we going in?”
“Oh, right.” Fozzy the Chair stood up straight. “Let’s get on in there. And remember what Dusky Panther said about hospitality and cringing and whatnot.”
With that they stepped inside. They were immediately greeted by a blast of scents. A mixture of old wood, leather, gasoline, and iron filings that made Thisismynightmare and Briadru4’s eyes sting. Once they got used to the somewhat dim lighting they were able to make out the rest of the cabin. As far as they could tell, it was made up of only one room, decorated surprisingly homey. A fireplace crackled against one wall, the mantle covered with small glass animals. Dotted throughout the rest of the cabin were various needlepoints. Briadru4 looked closely at some of them. They were all sayings: “’The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.’ –Lao Tzu” “’I have a disease? Bullshit. I cured it with my brain.’ –Frederich Nietzsche” “’I think the Holocaust didn’t really happen.’ –Bil Keane.”
“Odd…” she thought to herself. Scanning the rest of the room she finally saw what the other two must have been referring to as the matriarch. Sitting in a rocking chair was something. It was really hard to tell what it was. Some sort of roller coaster? A giant metal tinker toy? Modern sculpture? Whatever it was, it raised one “arm” and spoke.
“Greetings to y’all. I am Mountains Beyond Mountains. And you have been trespassing in my woods.”
A Serious Monster trudged through the network of sewers, lead by Facetaco, Polythene Pam, Girl Philosopher, and a beeping device that Facetaco held out in front of him.
“Boy, this sure is fun! Like a regular adventure! Derrida!”
A Serious Monster had to brace herself against the wall to keep from vomiting.
“Please,” she choked out. “I’m having enough trouble with the smells as it is.”
“Sorry. I didn’t know you’d be so sensitive.” Girl Philosopher pouted.
“Yeah. Past the touchy on the left hand side.” Polythene Pam added.
“That’s enough!” Facetaco barked. “We have to concentrate. Besides,” He continued. “She’s clearly being irritable Durham.”
They continued on in silence. Suddenly, the beeping device began to beep with more frequency. It was all, “Beep… beep… beep beep beepbeepbeepbeepbeep.” You guys know what I’m talking about.
“We’re here.” Facetaco held up his hand.
Looking up, they saw a manhole overhead. Polythene Pam scrambled up the ladder until she reached the cover. Morphing her arm into a thin wedge she began to pry the cover off. After a few seconds of effort they heard a metallic clank and pop followed by her voice.
“We’re in!” She called down.
The rest of the crew followed her through the manhole onto the street. Across from them stood The Narrator’s house, fusion reactor and all.
“I can’t believe we’re finally here.” Girl Philosopher whistled, breathlessly.
“Finally he will pay for his crimes against nature.” Facetaco seethed.
“So what’s the plan?” A Serious Monster asked.
“Plan? Oh… uh…” Facetaco stumbled.
“You do have a plan, right?” She asked.
“Of course I do. Of course. Let me see here.”
He began to rifle through his bag. “Plan, plan, plan. Where are you? Ah, yes.”
He produced a piece of paper. On the top was written “Plan For Defeating The Narrator.”
“Ok. Let’s see here. Step 1: Find The Narrator. Ok. Check. Step 2: Defeat Narrator. Hmmmm….” He trailed off.
“That’s it? That’s your plan?”
“Yeah… It seemed more complete in the initial stages…”
“I can’t believe you guys. You know what? Here’s my plan.”
A Serious Monster reached into her jacket pocket for her flask of Jameson, downed it in a single gulp, and began to stride forward towards The Narrator’s residence.
“What are you doing?” Facetaco called after her in a loud whisper.
“Grabbing the world by the balls!” She yelled back to him. “I got tiger blood in my veins!”
She walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
As the seconds counted down to their demise, Agent Cakeordeath couldn’t help but find the metronomic sound of their impending doom to be strangely hypnotic. She stared at the flashing red numbers, watching them change in rhythm.
“Snap out of it, Cake!”
Agent Huckabeast shook her out of her trance.
“We need a plan! Stat!”
“Oh, right. Uh. Let’s see…”
She began to go over the device.
“Ok, so, we have a dead man’s trigger with no reversies double tapsies, a pressure switch with extra doohickeys, and enough C4 to blow us into a brunoise.”
“What’s a brunoise?” Dr. Principal Enchman asked.
“It’s a cooking term. It means 1/8th inch by 1/8th inch dice.”
“Guys!” Agent Huckabeast interrupted. “We only have twenty-five seconds. We need to figure out something or we’re going to die!”
Agent Cakeordeath stood up.
“Well,” She began. “I can’t disarm it. Not in the time we have. Our only choice is to run.”
“Will we make it?” Dr. Principal Enchman asked, his voice beginning to shake.
“It’s unlikely. But we have to try,” Agent Cakeordeath said.
They turned around and began to run back the way they came. Suddenly, Sergeant Duncan stopped them.
“Wait!” He yelled. “Where’s Capu Flapu and the Spasmatic Pentagrams?”
They turned around. Standing by the bomb was the little mustachioed robot. He turned to them.
“You all go on ahead. If I run with the bomb in the opposite direction it will increase your chances of survival by three hundred and twenty three percent.”
“But Capu!” Duncan wailed.
“Enough, dear Duncan. You have been a good partner and a good friend. I am but a machine. A collection of wires and diodes and moustaches. Actually, just one moustache. But this is life. Life is for the living. So live, Sergeant Duncan. Live.”
Sergeant Duncan was bawling now, and had to be restrained by Agent Huckabeast.
“And Dr. Principal Enchman,” Capu Flapu continued as he picked up the bomb. “I do hope you find your lost love. Now fly, you fools.”
With that, he zipped down the hallway and disappeared around a bend.
“Come on,” Agent Huckabeast urged them. “If we don’t run now his sacrifice will have been in vain!”
The remaining four broke into a sprint.
Behind them they heard a low rumble. It got louder and louder, when suddenly a wall of flame leapt out behind them. They dove to the ground as debris flew over their heads. Then, as quickly as it had started, it was over.
They slowly rose to their feet, dusting themselves off.
“Is everyone ok?” Agent Huckabeast asked.
Dr. Principal Enchman and Agent Cakeordeath nodded, coughing. Sergeant Duncan began to sob.
“Capu Flapuuuuuuuuuu!” He wailed, gnashing his teeth and rending his garments.
“Hey now. There’s no need to rend.” Dr. Principal Enchman began comforting him. “I only knew him for about ten minutes, but he was a good robot.”
“He was more than that. He was my friend.”
“I know. But you can honor his memory and his friendship by continuing what you set out to do. Such as, I don’t know, helping me find my lost love?”
“I suppose…” He sighed deeply.
“That’s the spirit!” Dr. Principal Enchman slapped him on the back.
Nearby, Agents Huckabeast and Cakeordeath were reuniting.
“Are you sure you’re ok?” Agent Huckabeast asked.
“For the hundredth time, yes. I’m fine.” Agent Cakeordeath brushed his hand off.
“Listen. About before. I’m sorry about what I said. I know you were just doing it for me. I mean, I was faced with losing you right now, and I can definitely say I would have done the same thing.”
“You listen to me,” She said, looking at him straight in the googly eyes. “I have been shot, stabbed, electrocuted, waterboarded, almost blown up, punched, kicked, and Ke$haed. None of those things hurt as much as what you said to me.”
“I know. I have no excuse. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”
She looked at him. Slowly, her features softened. They embraced.
“Let’s never fight again,” Agent Cakeordeath smiled, tears streaming down her cheeks.
There on the tunnel floor, covered in debris, a giant furry blue monster and a Norma Shearer lookalike began to make out. It was… weird.
The police had photographed the crime scene, bagged all of the neccessary evidence, and finally left the Teacherfriday residence. BabyFriday, The Kelburrows, and Teacherman stood in the hallway, still in disarray.
“What the shit do we do?” BabyFriday demanded. “Are we just supposed to sit here and wait for a call from the police?”
“Pretty much,” The Kelburrows shrugged.
“My sister is out there somewhere. Our friends are out there somewhere! I can’t just do nothing!”
Teacherman patted her on the shoulder.
“It’s ok, honey.”
She shook his hand away. “It’s not ok! Obviously you can’t be expected to have any concern, seeing as you can’t really remember them. But I’ma finna go crazy if I just sit around here twiddling my thumbs.”
“Where else can we go?” The Kelburrows asked.
“That officer suggested we find a hotel,” Teacherman interjected.
“But what if they come back? How will they know where to find us?” BabyFriday posed, sassily.
“That’s a good point.” The Kelburrows nodded.
They stood there for a minute, thinking. Slowly, Teacherman raised his head.
“I… I used to work at a University, right?”
“That’s right, honey. You did! You’re memory is coming back!”
“Slowly. It’s coming back slowly. What if we went there? They have dorms, right? And wouldn’t they maybe check there if they came home and didn’t find us?”
“Well, it’s not the first thing I thought of, but that does make sense. What do you think, The Kelburrows?”
“Seems like a decent enough idea to me.” She shrugged.
With that, they piled back into the car and pulled out of the driveway. As they drove down the street, they were unaware of a maroon Cadillac pulling out behind them. In turn, the driver of that Cadillac was unaware that the “Check Engine” light had just turned on. Elsewhere, The Narrator was unaware that a large group of hybrids was making their way through the sewers on the way to his house, KajusX was unaware that the long-rumored movie adaptation of Preacher finally had a confirmed director, and an unemployed musician was unaware that you have to take the beans out of the can before microwaving them.
“So… do we have a plan?”
A Serious Monster was getting antsy. It had been several hours since she first made contact with the Hybrids, and all they had done up to this point was fiddle with dials and make horrible puns.
“Calm down, ok? We’re formulating a flan.” Facetaco said, glancing up from one of the computers.
“Mmmm. Delicious flan.” Polythene Pam piped up from behind a stack of equipment.
“Bleep Bloop flan plan.” R2D2 Esq. shimmied.
“Seriously. These puns are getting really annoying.” A Serious Monster angrily interjected.
“Sorry. We can’t help it,” Facetaco shrugged. “It’s a side effect of the hybridization process.”
Girl Philosopher nodded. “It’s markedly worse when we’re around other hybrids. Usually we can control it by ourselves. David Hume!”
A Serious Monster had to stifle her vomit.
“Hey. Be careful there, Retch Armstrong,” Facetaco called out.
“Yeah, Little Retchard” Polythene Pam chimed in.
“Bloop Blorp Puke Skywalker.”
“Seriously! Enough!” A Serious Monster slammed her fist onto the desk. “You listen to me. I agreed to join with you because you said that you had a way to reach The Narrator. Now, I’m very sorry about what he did to you all, but I have a job to do. If you aren’t going to help me, that’s fine. But let me know now.”
“Calm down. We’re almost ready to go.” Facetaco mollified, not looking up from his computer.
“Yeah. Calm down, Optimus Whine.”
“Shhh. Quiet, Polythene Pam.” Facetaco scolded.
He squinted at one of the many monitors in front of him.
“Ok. Here’s the situation,” he began. “Ever since his dismissal, he hasn’t had access to the laboratories at the University because duh. Clearly, he has to have found another laboratory to conduct his experiments. I had R2D2 esq. hack into the Department of Water and Power and check the grid for any unexpectedly large power spikes. We cross-referenced the data with tracking information for industrial suppliers of beakers, bubbly chemicals, giant wires, and imposing-looking giant metal things that whirr. We further cross-referenced those with B.J.’s Wholesale Club’s sales of human hybridizers. It has taken us several months, but we finally found the address: 271 Raed Ave.”
“Oh,” A Serious Monster replied, impressed. She stopped, suddenly. “Wait. Did you say 271 Raed Ave.?”
“You mean his house?” A Serious Monster asked.
“No. I mean his lab.” He responded.
“That’s his home address.”
A Serious Monster took out her notebook and pointed to a page.
“See? Look. This is where he lives. 271 Raed Ave. You guys have to have known that, right? I mean, that’s the first place you checked, right?”
Facetaco coughed quietly.
“Right? I mean, you guys didn’t buy all this equipment and do all this work instead of just looking up where he lived online, right?”
Polythene Pam began to shuffle, awkwardly.
A Serious Monster walked over to the computer and brought up Google Maps. She typed in the address and zoomed to street view. There was The Narrator’s house, the entire left side converted into a fusion reactor. She stood up and looked around the room. All of the hybrids stared intently at the floor.
“Are you guys kidding me?” She asked, incredulous.
“Ok, fine. You were right. There’s no need to cop an attitude, Smuggsy Bogues.” Facetaco fired back.
“Yeah. Does your facial scrub contain pompous?” Polythene Pam added, brightening up.
Facetaco turned to her. “Huh?”
“You know. Like pumice? A lot of facial scrubs have pumice?… Pumice? Pompous?…” She trailed off.
“Meep Boop Cocky Balboa.”
“There we go. Nice one, R2.” Facetaco patted him on the top of his dome.
“Do you have any idea where he could have taken her?”
Just Desserts was talking with Paper Street Soap Company on his earpiece, who had urged him to pull over to the side of the road so as to avoid future accidents. “Did you know that talking on the phone and driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk?” He had said. Just Desserts had responded that that statement was hyperbolic at best, and that all statistical evidence pointed to the fact that talking while driving, although unsafe, was nowhere near as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. It was really the most fascinating conversation. It ended when Just Desserts agreed to pull over, “just to get you off my back.”
“Thank you for pulling over. I worry about your safety.” Just Desserts began. “In terms of Thisismynightmare, I’m checking some things right now. It looks like The Narrator owns two cars: A Kia Sportage and a Chrysler Rape Van. I was able to hack into the Kia’s Lojack, and it looks like it’s parked in his driveway, and has been for at least a day.”
“What about the Rape Van?”
“That one’s a toughie. No Lojack.”
“However, I was able to access the traffic cams from near BabyFriday’s house, and I found a large, white, windowless van exiting her street about an hour ago. I just sent you the image.”
Just Desserts took out his phone and downloaded the image. It was as Paper Street Soap Company described.
“ENHANCE.” Just Desserts spoke into his phone. The picture zoomed in on the driver.
“ENHANCE.” The picture zoomed in even closer. There, sitting in front of the steering wheel, was the unmistakable gleaming metal wolf’s head of the Winbot.
“That’s him! That’s the car!” Just Desserts shouted.
“Ok. No need to yell. Let’s see here…” There was the sound of typing on the other end of the line.
“Alrighty,” Paper Street Soap Company continued. “I’ve been able to follow the van through the traffic cameras up until it got onto I-90 northbound. I’ll keep checking tollbooth cameras. Hopefully it’ll pop up. In the meanwhile you should head out there.”
“Already on my way.” Just Desserts tightened his helmet and sped off.
“Do you see anything?”
Thisismynightmare called ahead to Briadru4 as they trudged through the forest.
“Just trees.” She responded, pressing forward.
“Shouldn’t we have reached the road by now?”
“Who knows? Maybe? I’ve never been out here before.”
“Sorry. Hey. Would you rather have your food have no flavor or have everything you eat have too much flavor?”
“No flavor. Because ‘too much flavor’ means I can’t eat it. I’d rather it be bland than be inedible.”
“Good point. I’m hungry.”
“I know. Me too.”
Briadru4 stopped and waited for Thisismynightmare to catch up.
“You doing ok?” She asked.
Suddenly she stopped and stared at something in the distance.
“What are you looking at?” Briadru4 asked.
Instead of answering, Thisismynightmare broke into a sprint. Briadru4 began to follow.
“Do you see?” Thisismynightmare called behind her. “Look!”
They reached a copse of trees. Resting at the bottom was a large item.
“A fruit basket!” She cackled with glee.
It was, indeed, a fruit basket, full of delicious-looking fruits, preserves and nuts.
“Wait a second, Thisismynightmare, maybe we shouldn’t…” Braidru4 began, but it was too late. She had already run over and began to rifle through the items.
“Look, Briadru4! They have jerky!” She squealed, holding up a package of Trader Joe’s teriyaki turkey jerkey.
Suddenly there was a loud CRACK, and the leaves beneath their feet began to move. Within a second they were hoisted up into a giant net and left dangling above the forest floor.
“Thisismynightmare, you idiot! Look what you did!” Briadru4 yelled.
“You know what?” Thisismynightmare said, her mouth full of dried apricots. “I ain’t even care.”
At that moment, two figures emerged from the bushes. One was an adorable bulldog. The other was a rainbow-colored jungle cat.
“Well, lookee here, Dusky Panther. Looks like we caught ourselves a coupla humes. She’s gonna be right excited.” The bulldog drawled, looking up at them.
“Yessiree, Fozzy the Chair, she will be.” He nodded, putting on sunglasses. “As for me, I’m so excited I could poop.”
Deep underground, beneath the headquarters of The Agency, Chris Trash was trying to entertain his hostages.
“Hey, now, buckaroos. Don’t you be being all sad with the sour pusses. Agent Cakeordeath will be returning very soon with my chip, and you all can be on your merry ways.”
Agent Huckabeast spat on the ground.
“She’ll never give you the chip, Trash. No matter what you do to us.”
Chris Trash laughed.
“My friend, I am hoping for your sake that you are being wrong. If she is not back in twenty minutes, you are all going to be dead people.”
From the back of the group there was a collective shuffling as Duncan cleared his throat.
“Oh, dear. That won’t do, old sport. You see, I rather enjoy living, and would be ever so put out if I were to no longer be doing so,” he stammered.
Dr. Principal Enchman began to nod furiously in agreement and Capu Flapu began to rock from side to side in distress. Chris Trash fired his gun into the air, silencing them.
“My friends, it is no use worrying about how will be of the killing of who. This is nonsense talk, is what this is. Let us have distraction, yes? Who likes ‘Would you rather?’?”
There was no response.
“Very good. I will begin,” he continued. “You have sandwich. Best sandwich in world. But, if you eat it, you will be punched in mouth, very hard. Would you rather eat sandwich first? Or get punched first?”
The group remained silent.
“Come on, my friends. This is easy one.”
Chris Trash answered himself. “Well, I would get punched first because it is better to experience brief pain if you know reward is coming. I could not enjoy sandwich if I knew punch to face was coming right after. Good. Yes?”
He walked over to Dr. Principal Enchman and stuck his gun in his face. “Good answer, yes?” He demanded. Dr. Principal Enchman quickly nodded his head in agreement.
Chris Trash lowered the gun. “We play another. Would you rather be in portable toilet and have it tip over onto you, or put your penis in a mystery butt?”
He circled the group slowly, stopping at Duncan.
“Well, Mr. Duncan? Toilet dump or mystery butt?”
Duncan gathered himself.
“It’s Sergeant Duncan. And to answer that question would not be gentlemanly.”
Chris Trash laughed.
“You misunderstand, my friend. I am not asking. I am telling. You answer: Toilet Dump or Mystery Butt?”
Duncan resolutely shook his head, his lips firmly pressed together. Chris Trash cocked his gun.
“One last chance. Toilet Dump or Mystery Butt?”
Duncan remained still.
Huckabeast jumped up, pleading. “For God’s sake man, answer the question!”
Chris Trash now had the gun pointed firmly in Duncan’s face.
“Toilet Dump or Mystery Butt? TOILET DUMP OR MYSTERY BUTT?”
Duncan began to hum God Save the Queen.
Chris Trash began to squeeze the trigger.
“STOP!” The voice rang out from the other end of the hallway. Standing there was Cakeordeath, holding a metallic briefcase.
“Put the gun down, Trash. I have the microchip.”
Chris Trash turned to face her.
“Slide it to me.”
She did. He opened it, never moving his gun from Duncan. After inspecting its contents closely he snapped the case shut and rose to his feet.
“It appears you have fulfilled your part of the deal. And now, I will fulfill mine.”
With that, he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Cakeordeath ran over to Huckabeast and embraced him.
“I’m sorry it took so long. You have no idea what I went through to get that chip.”
Huckabeast turned away, coldly.
“How could you do it?” He demanded.
“What do you mean?” She asked, confused. “I did it for you. I couldn’t stand to lose you.”
He whirled around to face her. “So you sold out your country? Your job?”
“But… But Huckabeast…”
“Uh, Guys?” Dr. Principal Enchman tried to interject.
“Not now, Principal Enchman.” Huckabeast said, turning back to Cakeordeath. “Do you realize what’s going to happen now that Chris Trash can build the MacGuffin Device? Goodbye, us. Goodbye, world!”
“Seriously, you guys…” Dr. Principal Enchman tried to interrupt again.
“Seriously, you, Dr. Principal Enchman. Now is not the time,” Huckabeast reprimanded. He started to resume speaking to Cakeordeath, but Dr. Principal Enchman spun him around.
“No. It is the time. Look.” He pointed to the ground. Agents Huckabeast and Cakeordeath followed his finger to a black box left on the ground. There was a digital display on the top. It read 00:00:45. And it was counting down.
The car carrying The Kelburrows, BabyFriday and Teacherman turned onto Bangs St. without any further incidents, be they motorcycle-related or otherwise. They were startled, however, to see a squadron of police cars parked in front of the Teacherfriday residence. They pulled into the driveway and exited the vehicle as an officer quickly ran out of the house.
“Are you the owner of this domicile, ma’am?” The officer asked The Kelburrows.
BabyFriday stepped forward. “I am. What’s going on here? Who are you?”
“My name is officer Superglue. I’m going to need you to stay by the car.”
BabyFriday got all up in her face. “Not until you tell me what’s going on. Why are there cop cars here? “
“Please, ma’am. You need to relax. There’s been a break-in of some kind.”
“A break-in? Are Thisismynightmare and Briadru4 ok?” The Kelburrows interjected.
“I don’t know who you’re talking about.” Officer Superglue responded.
“My sister and our super exclusive best friend. They were staying here while I was at the hospital. You mean they aren’t here?” BabyFriday began to get hysterical, restrained only by The Kelburrows’ vice-like grip.
“I wouldn’t panic just yet. It’s possible they just stepped out for a minute, then got scared when they saw the wreckage inside,” Officer Superglue attempted to calm.
“They would never leave the house unguarded! Something’s happened to them!”
BabyFriday broke free of The Kelburrows’ iron-like arms and ran towards the front door. At that moment, another officer exited the house holding a bucket. They collided, spilling the contents on the ground. They were bones. Dog bones.
“Skeledog! Noooooooooooooooo!” BabyFriday screamed to the heavens like that William Shatner “Kahn!” gif.
The Kelburrows ran over and pulled BabyFriday, kicking and screaming, from the front door. Officer Superglue went to help, but stopped when she noticed that Teacherman was still standing by the car, staring at the house, a dazed look on his face.
“Are you alright, sir?” She asked.
He snapped to attention. “Oh, yeah. Sorry. I have amnesia.”
“Not now, no. I mean, I do. Or I did. No. I still do. From before. I have amnesia from before.”
“Oh. Like Memento?”
“I don’t know what that is.”
“It’s a movie. It’s really good. You should see it.”
“Maybe I already have? I don’t remember.”
“Oh, right. Amnesia. So how’s that going?”
“So far so good, I guess. I remember waking up in a hospital with a bandage on my head. And that wailing lady said she was my wife. I remember bits. Like, from before. With her. I’m pretty sure she’s telling the truth. And even if she isn’t, she’s smokin’ hot. So there’s that.”
Officer Superglue nodded in agreement. “That she is.”
They stood there watching her writhe in The Kelburrows’ herculean grasp for a minute before Officer Superglue snapped out of it.
“Right. Well. Fake wife or no, you guys should probably stay at a hotel tonight. Here’s my card. Give me a call when she’s feeling up to it and we’ll get a statement from you guys.”
Teacherman took the card and put it in his pocket.
Down the street a man in a trench coat sat in a maroon Cadillac, watching the scene unfold in front of him through a pair of binoculars. He finished his Mr. Pibb and crushed the can with one hand.
“Soon,” he said to himself, quietly. “Soon.”
Previously, on Gums of Our Lives:
“That’s what she said!” “Who ARE you?” What happened?” “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?????” “I work alone.” “Is it permanent, Dr. Doctor Girlfriend?” “Shut up.” “Oh, dear. This is a spot of bother.” “NOW!”
Before we continue with the story, it is necessary to explain a few things about the Winbot, and, in turn, his creator. When creating an artificial intelligence, one can program certain abilities to aid in its performance of its dedicated task. However, due to the aforementioned intelligence, the created often is able to learn new skills and abilities that its creator had never intended. In the case of the Winbot, he is actually quite skilled in many respects that The Narrator never envisioned. He is adept at pointing out hypocrisy. He has a preternatural ability to find racism and denounce it. His aesthetic sense, in particular, is more finely tuned than The Narrator could have dreamed. However, there are many basic skills that the Winbot never acquired by virtue of being created in a laboratory. One of those skills yet acquired is that of predicting human behavior. In the mind — if you can call it that — of the Winbot, humans behave in a very specific pattern. There is no concept of motivation behind their actions, other than basic wants: food, sleep, pretty girls, pogs. That is why, when he went to open the van doors, he was not prepared for the force generated by the kicking Briadru4 and Thisismynightmare.
The Winbot stumbled backwards, question marks flashing on his chest, as the two young women leapt out of the van. They stumbled on the gravel but quickly regained their footing.
“Quickly! This way!” Briadru4 shouted, grabbing Thisismynightmare’s arm and pulling her into the woods.
“Where are we going?” Thisismynightmare panted, out of breath.
“It doesn’t matter. Just away from here.”
They plunged deeper and deeper into the forest, glancing quickly behind them to see if they were being pursued. After what seemed like hours, they finally stopped behind a large oak tree. Exhausted, dirty, and enbrambled, they sunk to the ground, their backs resting against the trunk.
“Do you think he’s following us?” Thisismynightmare asked, looking back.
“I don’t think so.” Briadru4 responded, gasping for air. “I also don’t think it’s a he. More like an it.”
“Yeah. I was afraid of that.”
“Why? Do you know what it is?” Briadru4 demanded.
“No… At least, I don’t think so.” Thisismynightmare wiped her forehead. “I don’t know. I’m afraid it has something to do with my husband.”
“Because you ran away?”
“Maybe. I don’t know.” She began to cry. “I’m sorry, ok? I’m sorry I got you into this. I’m sorry I was so selfish. I didn’t know!”
Briadru4 grabbed Thisismynightmare and pulled her close.
“You listen to me, ok? You are not being selfish. The Narrator is a horrible man doing horrible things, and it was about time that you did something about it. We’re the Super Exclusive Best Friends Exclusive club. We’re there for each other no matter what. If that means getting lost in the woods while being chased by a psychotic robot possibly designed by the husband you ran away from, so be it. So if you don’t like it?…”
“… Y’all butthurt.” Thisismynightmare finished, wiping her eyes and smiling.
“That’s right. Now let’s get up and try to find some shelter. It’ll be getting dark soon.”
As they stood up, Briadru4 contined. “Now, if I remember my Bear Grylls correctly, we came from the east, which means the road was travelling north to south. I say if we head southeast we’ll probably hit the road again. What say you?”
“Sounds good to me, super exclusive best friend.”
With that, they continued through the woods, whistling a jaunty tune, blissfully unaware that they were being watched.
After a day in the waiting room, BabyFriday was going a bit stir-crazy. The Kelburrows had dutifully stayed by her side through the ordeal, lifting things that needed to be lifted and going on runs for chocolate pie. They had gone through both the normal and advanced Sudoku books, and were desperate for things to do.
“Oh look,” BabyFriday remarked, looking up at the television. “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne is on. I suppose we could watch that.”
Thankfully, at that moment Dr. Doctor Girlfriend appeared in front of them.
“BabyFriday? The Kelburrows?” She called out.
They quickly jumped to their feet, scattering chocolate pie crumbs, as they ran over to her.
“What’s going on? Do you have good news?” BabyFriday asked, hopefully.
“Mostly good.” Dr. Doctor Girlfriend smiled. “It appears that there was not any serious brain damage, which means, although your husband’s memory is still compromised, there is a possibility that he will regain and remember much if not all of his previous life.”
BabyFriday squeed with joy as she leapt up and hugged Dr. Doctor Girlfriend.
“That’s the best news! Thank you so much!” She grabbed The Kelburrows in the hug and began to jump up and down.
Dr. Doctor Girlfriend extracted herself from the hug party. “Don’t be too overexcited. There is still a chance he may never remember anything.”
“But there’s a chance he will! When can I see him?”
“You can see him now, if you like.”
Dr. Doctor Girlfriend led the way through the double doors into Teacherman’s waiting room. He looked considerably better than the last time they had seen him. His face was clean, his moustache trimmed, and a fresh bandage had been put on his head. A smile slowly crept across his face when he saw them.
“You… You’re my wife, aren’t you? You’re… BabyFriday?”
At this, BabyFriday burst into tears and ran over to the bed, embracing him tightly. “Yes! Yes! It’s me! You’re ok!”
Teacherman winced as she squeezed him.
“Not so hard, please. I’m still mostly broken.” He looked into her eyes. “The doctors told me I may be able to get my memory back. I remember some things. But… I’m sorry.”
She stopped him from speaking by shoving a finger onto his mouth.
“Shhh. It’s ok. We will work together. We’ll get you remembering.”
Two hours later, after filling out the necessary discharge paperwork, BabyFriday, Teacherman, and The Kelburrows were in a car, driving home, singing “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Curiously, Teacherman knew all of the words. Before they had time to react, a motorcycle that had been travelling in the opposite direction decided to pass the car in front of it, nearly colliding with them. The Kelburrows slammed on the breaks.
“What in the Criminy Jeep Jorps was that?” She exclaimed.
“The Kelburrows! Language!” BabyFriday admonished.
“Sorry, BabyFriday. But that motorcycle guy almost hit us. He must be going somewhere in a hurry.”
Just Desserts managed a quick glance behind him as he sped on his motorcycle, hoping he didn’t just cause an accident. An accident takes time, and time was one thing he didn’t have.
As A Serious Monster followed Facetaco through the sewers she began to question the choices she had made in her life up to this point. Choices that lead to her following a man with a taco for a face through a sewer, trying to gather information to find the missing wife of a mad scientist. Perhaps I should have gone to law school, like my parents wanted she thought to herself.
Facetaco turned to her as he contined to lead the way. “You’re probably thinking that you should have gone to law school, like your parents wanted.”
“How did you know?” She asked, startled.
Facetaco laughed, a hoarse, bubbly, unpleasant noise. The laugh turned into a violent cough as he expectorated something that A Serious Monster hoped was refried beans.
“Because that’s what they all think.” He garbled, wiping his mouth with a napkin.
Before A Serious Monster could say anything Facetaco held up his hand. “Yes. Before you say anything. There have been others. That is all I will say on the matter. Come with me.”
A Serious Monster stopped in her tracks.
“I’m not going anywhere until you explain at least something to me. Who are you? Why is your face a taco? What did The Narrator have to do with it?” she demanded.
Facetaco moved surprisingly quickly. Within a second he was in her face. His breath was warm and cheesy.
“You want to know?” He growled. “Fine. I’ll tell you. I used to be a man, like you. Well, not like you because you are a woman. I use ‘man’ as a short for human.”
“Why didn’t you just say ‘human’?”
“Don’t get all women’s lib, alright? I voted for Hillary. Anyway, I used to be a human. I was short on cash and saw that they were paying people to be subjects in an experiment at the University of Internet Science and Blog Technology. So I applied. I was accepted. The Narrator ran the experiments. If I had known then what I know about him now, I never would have consented. But I didn’t. He was experimenting with human hybrids. In his delusions he thought that it was the way of the future. I, as you no doubt can tell, was the attempted melding of a human and a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the pico de gallo matrix and the machine shorted out, leaving me scarred as I am today. I received a hefty settlement from the University for my silence. I’ve been living in the sewers ever since.”
A Serious Monster stood there, stunned.
Facetaco turned abruptly. “Now you know. Let’s go.”
They continued along the sewer until they arrived at a large grate on the wall. Facetaco ran his hands along the side, coming to rest on a small rock. With a modicum of effort he slid the rock out from the wall, revealing a keypad. He punched in an unseen code, and with a loud rattle, the grate slid open. They walked a short distance to what looked like a solid wall. Facetaco pushed on the center, revealing a seam, and parted them, stepping through. A Serious Monster followed, amazed.
“These curtains feel weird.” She remarked, passing through them.
“They’re made of roast beef. Another one of The Narrator’s crazy hybrids.”
A Serious Monster wasn’t sure why, but she suddenly felt very dirty.
“Well, here we are.” Facetaco stated matter-of-factly as they exited the curtained hallway into an extraordinarily large cavern.
A Serious Monster looked around. The first thing she noticed was how brightly lit everything was. Her eyes, having been used to the dark of the sewers, took a moment to adjust. Her first impression was that of a giant technological warehouse. Stacks of computers and other machines lay in neat rows along the floor with wires snaking between them, up the walls, and into the rest of the sewer system. The air was full of beeping, humming, whirring, and the faint acrid smell of burning metal. There were several other figures busying themselves about the machines. They stopped when they saw Facetaco and A Serious Monster enter.
“Come on over, everyone,” Facetaco bellowed. “We have a guest.”
Three of the figures approached the pair.
Facetaco turned to A Serious Monster “As you no doubt have guessed, I was not The Narrator’s first attempt at a hybrid. I learned of the others’ existence when I was banished to the sewers. Let me introduce you to some of them.”
The first, a small robot, came forward.
“This was The Narrator ‘s first attempt at any sort of hybrid. In this case, a robot and a lawyer. May I present to you, R2D2, Esq.”
The robot shook in place. “Beep Boop torte reform.”
Facetaco shook his head, sadly. “Unfortunately, his grasp of English is limited, to say the least. He is, however, a whiz at interfacing with machines. He was the one that first organized the survivors via craigslist.” He turned to the next member and continued. “This was The Narrator’s attempt to make a plastic human.”
A tall woman stepped forward, dressed in jackboots and a kilt. A Serious Monster was taken aback. There was no question that she was attractively built, one would even say good-looking. And yet, A Serious Monster couldn’t help but think she looked somewhat like a man.
Facetaco held out his hand. “A Serious Monster, meet Polythene Pam. Polythene Pam, A Serious Monster.”
They shook. A Serious Monster couldn’t help but notice how cold her hands were.
Facetaco turned to the third member and continued. “Finally, we have quite possibly the most diabolical hybrid attempt by The Narrator. I honestly have no idea where he gets his ideas like this one. It’s just so horrifying. Anyway, please let me introduce the attempted hybrid of a girl and…” Facetaco shuddered, took a deep breath, and continued. “A girl…. and… a philosopher.”
An adorable little girl came forward. “Nice to meet you. I’m Girl Philosopher. Do you want some candy? Heidegger!”
A Serious Monster retched in her mouth.
Facetaco turned to her, grimly. “Now you see why we have to stop the Narrator. To stop abominations like this from ever happening again.”
A Serious Monster nodded, solemnly.
Briadru4 was jostled awake by the bumping of the floor. She stretched her hand out and felt the wall behind her. It was cold and metallic, like metal. She listened and could hear a dull hum in the background followed by the occasional loud thump. She was also dimly aware of the sensation of moving. “Briadru4? Are you there?” She called out. She heard a stirring a few feet to her left followed by an audible groan. Briadru4 crawled over to the sound.
“Thisismynightmare. It’s me, Briadru4. Are you ok?”
Thisismynightmare slowly sat up.
“Where am I?” She asked.
“I’m not sure. I think in a van of some kind.”
“I wish I knew. We were watching 16 and Pregnant and then the doorbell rang. The next thing I remember is waking up in this van.”
Outside the humming slowed to a stop, and changed to a dull crunching sound.
“We must be turning onto gravel,” Briadru4 deduced. “That means we’re probably close to wherever they’re taking us.”
“Where are they taking us? And who’s they?”
“I wish I knew.”
The van pulled to a stop. They heard the front door slam and feet crunching on the gravel, approaching them.
Briadru4 turned to Thisismynightmare, hurriedly. “Listen. I need you to do this with me. When whoever it is comes to open the door, I want you to kick it as hard as you can with me. Can you do that?”
The footsteps got closer and closer until they reached the back door, where they stopped. There was a loud CLANK as the hatch was released.
“NOW!” Braidru4 screamed as she and Thisismynightmare kicked with all of their strength.
Speeding down the street on his motorcycle, Just Desserts was talking to Paper Street Soap Company through the earpiece he had set up for him. “So, Papes, any idea where I can find Thisismynightmare? She needs my protection.”
“That’s what she said!” Paper Street blurted out on the other line.
“Ugh. This is no time for games. Someone’s life is in danger! The Winbot came to my house looking for her. He’s not going to stop looking until he finds her!”
“Sorry, dude. You set me up perfectly. I couldn’t not say anything. Hold on a second. Let me see here…” He trailed off. Just Desserts heard the sound of typing through his monitor. After about fifteen seconds Paper Street got back on the line.
“Ok, so, this is what I was able to find. Apparently she has a sister who lives in the area. She could have gone to stay with her.”
“Perfect. Where is she?”
“192 Bangs St.”
Just Desserts swung his motorcycle around and gunned the engine towards Bangs street, hoping against hope that Thisismynightmare was there, and, if she was, that the Winbot hadn’t gotten there first.
A Serious Monster arrived at El Rey Delicioso at 4:17 and proceeded to walk to the back alley, one hand with a death grip on the handle of her gun, the other with a death grip on a chorizo tostada. A voice spoke from the shadows.
“You’re late.” It said.
She spun around and pulled out her gun. “I had to get lunch.”
“It’s after four. That’s too late for lunch,” the voice growled.
“When you keep my hours, it’s never too late for lunch,” she responded, taking a large bite out of the tostada.
“Fine. Whatever. You’re here. That’s what matters.”
“Who are you?” A Serious Monster asked, walking slowly towards the shadows.
“Holster your weapon and I’ll tell you,” the voice rumbled.
She did so, simultaneously finishing her food. She held her hands up after wiping her mouth. “Here. I’m unarmed. And untostadaed. You can come out.”
A tall man stepped out of the shadows, wearing a long trench coat with the collar turned up and a fedora pulled down low over his eyes. A Serious Monster stared at him.
“O-M-God,” she gasped, “Your face! It’s… it’s…”
“A taco. Yes.”
“What… I mean… how…” A Serious Monster was at a loss for words.
“The Narrator. That’s how.” He wrenched open a manhole cover and began to descend. “If you want to know more, follow me.”
A Serious Monster paused for a second. Do I really want to follow a man with a taco for a face down into the sewers?
He popped his head back up. “Are you coming?” He blurbled, cheesily.
“Of course.” She responded, and followed him down the manhole.
That is what she said.
Agents Huckabeast and Cakeordeath hurried Dr. Principal Enchman down the corridor as Capu Flapu and Sergeant Duncan trailed close behind.
“I don’t understand what’s happening! What’s the security breach?” Dr. Principal Enchman asked, panicking.
“Calm down, you turd. It’s nothing. Probably just the Russians.” Agent Cakeordeath replied.
“The Russians? I thought they were our allies!”
“Guh. We really don’t have time for a civics lesson right now. Ok, take the next right.”
The convoy turned and headed down another hallway, this one even more drab than the tunnel they first went down.
“Will you at least tell me where we are?” Principal Enchman whined
“What does it look like? Escape tunnels, obvs.” Agent Cakeordeath shook her head in disgust.
They turned another corner. Standing at the end of the hall was a giant bearded man pointing a large-caliber machine gun at them. They skidded to a halt. The man spoke, his voice heavily accented.
“Greetings Agents Cakeordeath and Huckabeast. It has been, how you say? Far too long.” He smiled, revealing a row of gold teeth.
“Chris Trash! I should’ve known you were behind this!” Agent Huckabeast spat, beginning to advance.
“No no no. Not so fast, Mr. Huckabeast. I have gun. And I can shoot you and your pretty girlfriend. Now take out all of your weapons and pass them to me, pretty please.”
The Agents complied, kicking them across the cement floor.
“What do you want from us?” Cakeordeath demanded.
“It is very simple. You have in your possession a microchip. The 12AX76V6 This is verrry powerful chip. And I want it.”
Agent Cakeordeath turned to Agent Huckabeast.
“But that can be used to power the MacGuffin Device! We can’t give it to him!” She whispered.
Chris Trash interrupted. “Hey now, my friends. No whisper whisper. You know how they say, ‘Secrets, Secrets are no fun. Secrets, Secrets get people SHOT!’” He fired his gun into the air. The echo was deafening.
“Now, here is deal,” he continued. “Agent Cakeordeath, you will go into mainframe and retrieve microchip. Everyone else, you will stay here with me. We will have a fun parties, yes? Good.”
Agent Cakeordeath looked at Agent Huckabeast, who nodded. She turned to Chris Trash.
“I’ll get you your chip, you son of a bitch. But then you let everyone go, kapish?”
“Of course. Of course. I am not bad guy, my friend. But to make sure there is no funny business, you have one hour. After that I am starting to kill these people, yes?”
Cakeordeath gave him a stare so cold it would freeze ice and then turned and ran back where they came from.
Sargeant Duncan piped up, “I say, old sport. Did you say we would be having a party? I could go for a game of Rounders.”
Chris Trash let out a huge belly laugh. “Rounder? I am hardly knowing her!”
Just Desserts arrived at BabyFriday’s house and ran up to the front door. He went ring the bell but noticed the door was ajar. He pushed it open a bit more, yelling through the crack.
“Thisismynightmare? Are you here? It’s Just Desserts!” He called.
There was no response. He called again.
Growing concerned, he pushed the door open all the way and stepped into the house. The foyer was in complete disarray. The couch cushions were thrown about the room, the curtains were torn off of the wall, and the dog skeleton lay in pieces on the floor. There was a large black puddle on the carpet. Just Desserts bent down and smelled it. Oil. He was too late.
Back in her office, A Serious Monster was poring over the research she had done on The Narrator while singing Kanye West’s “Monster.”
“Everybody know I’m A Serious Monster,” she rapped under her breath, and then smiled at how terribly clever her new lyrics were. She had been scouring the internet and making phone calls all day, and her eyes, neck, ears, wrists, and right shoulder were all dully throbbing. She reached into her desk and pulled out a bottle of Jameson. “Oh, hello, old friend,” she said, lovingly. “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” The bottle, unsurprisingly, said nothing.
“What’s that, Jameson? You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”
The bottle remained steadfast in its resolution not to respond.
“Well, then,” A Serious Monster continued, “We’ll just see about that.”
She unscrewed the top and poured herself a glass.
“Heeeeeere’s A Serious Monster!” She said, downing it in one gulp. Suddenly, she was startled by the phone ringing. She picked it up.
“Hello?” she managed to mumble in the way that people mumble when they’ve only been talking to themselves and bottles of whiskey for the past week.
“Someone’s been watching the Jack Nicholson marathon on AMC,” the voice on the other end rasped quietly.
A Serious Monster shook the cobwebs from her head.
“Who is this?” she demanded.
“A concerned party,” the voice responded in the same dull rasp.
“How are my television-watching habits your concern?”
“They are not. I was merely saying that so that you know that you are being watched. And listened to.”
“Is that supposed to scare me? I’ve been watched and listened to before.” She began to reach under her desk for the .38 magnum she kept hidden there.
The voice on the other end sighed.
“Please. There is no need to reach for your gun. You do not know where I am, for one. For two, my intention is not to hurt you. I want to help.”
“I work alone.”
“Not against The Narrator you won’t. Not if you want to live.” The sudden strength in his voice made A Serious Monster pause. He continued. “I have information that you won’t find in any internet search. If you are interested in my help, come to the alley behind El Rey Delicioso in one hour.”
A Serious Monster started to respond, but was greeted by a dial tone. She looked up at the clock. It was 3:17. She did the math. One hour later would be 4:17. “Great,” She thought to herself. “I’m gonna miss the beginning of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The Kelburrows and BabyFriday sat in the waiting room of the hospital, waiting, as one is wont to do in a waiting room. A woman in a lab coat emerged from the exam room and approached the two of them.
“BabyFriday?” She asked.
They stood up. “I’m BabyFriday,” she responded.
“Nice to meet you.” The doctor extended her hand. “I’m Dr. Doctor Girlfriend.”
“Do you have any news about my husband? Is he going to be ok?” BabyFriday asked.
“Well, he received a serious blow to the head. It doesn’t look to be fatal, however, so that’s a good thing.”
“But what about his memory?” BabyFriday interrupted.
“I was just going to get to that. It seems as though there might be some damage to his brain, specifically in the medial temporal lobe. It’s too early to make any definite diagnosis, but it’s possible that he could be suffering from some sort of memory loss.”
“Is it permanent, Dr. Doctor Girlfriend?” She asked, growing desperate.
“We have to run some more tests. It’s possible that due to the trauma suffered from the explosion he could have what we refer to in the medical community as ‘wonky brain.’ Sometimes a trauma is so horrific that the memory centers shut themselves down. The purpose is to protect the body from reliving those horrors, but, sometimes, older memories are temporarily blocked as well. We’ll have to keep him under observation for the next couple of days to determine the severity of his injury.”
“I can’t afford to keep him here that long! Our medical insurance doesn’t cover memory loss due to traumatic explosions!” BabyFriday began to grown desperate.
“Not to worry, BabyFriday. Your husband’s medical bills are being taken care of.”
Dr. Doctor Girlfriend glared at her, disapprovingly.
“Sorry. By whom?”
Dr. Doctor Girlfriend looked over her chart.
“Let’s see here… Ah yes. It says, ‘A Mysterious Benefactor.’”
BabyFriday turned to The Kelburrows.
“Do you know anyone named ‘A Mysterious Benefactor’?”
She shook her head.
Dr. Doctor Girlfriend looked at the chart again. She held up her hand.
“Wait. It says here that the person’s name isn’t A Mysterious Benefactor, but rather a designation. They prefer to keep their name anonymous.” She looked up. “Wow!” She exclaimed with delight. “It’s just like a Dickens novel!”
Back at BabyFriday’s house, Thisismynightmare and Briadru4 were watching 16 and pregnant, unaware that, just outside the door, the Winbot stood, gleaming menacingly in the moonlight. He extended his metal finger and pressed the doorbell.
Teacherman stumbled through the front door. He managed to cough a strangled “Help me,” as he collapsed into The Kelburrows’ arms. In response, she screamed. The other girls quickly ran to the entranceway. “What the hell is going on?” BabyFriday began to demand in the nicest way possible, but stopped as soon as she saw the tableau in front of her. “T—Teacherman?” She stammered, before fainting. Thisismynightmare and Briadru4 came in right behind her, screamed, and fainted.
Five minutes later The Kelburrows was able to revive everyone with the smelling salts she kept in her purse for just such emergencies. BabyFriday groggily opened her eyes. “What happened?’ She began. “I just had the craziest dream that Teacherman was still alive.”
“It wasn’t a dream,” responded The Kelburrows, “He’s in the living room.”
BabyFriday started to faint again, but The Kelburrows shook her awake.
“No time for fainting! It’s real! Go to him!”
“But… I can’t… I’m too weak.”
The Kelburrows grabbed BabyFriday by the shoulders.
“Well, I may not be able to carry your load, BabyFriday, but I can carry you!”
With that, she hoisted her onto her back, and carried her the ten feet to the living room.
“There you go. You’re welcome.” She said, plopping her down in the easy chair.
BabyFriday ran over to the couch and clutched her husband’s face in her hands.
“Oh, Teacherman. I thought I’d lost you,” She sobbed, embracing him.
Teacherman did not return the embrace.
“What’s the matter?” She continued. “It’s me! BabyFriday! Your wife! Look at me!” She held his face up to hers.
“I—I—I don’t… I don’t know you…” He mumbled, confused.
“What do you mean?” She said, growing desperate, “Is this a joke?”
“No… No joke… Where am I? What is this place?”
“This is your home. I am your wife.”
“I… don’t remember. I… there was…explosion… my head.”
He touched the top of his head, his hair matted down with blood.
“We need to get him to a doctor!” The Kelburrows sprung into action. “Here. We can take my car.”
She grabbed Teacherman and BabyFriday, one on each shoulder, and carried them out to the car. She turned back to the house.
“Thisismynightmare and Briadu4. You stay here. I’ll be back.”
Still groggy from the screaming and fainting, they nodded.
The Agency headquarters was in a nondescript building in an office park, as befitting a shadowy organization that thrives on deception and secrecy. Agents CakeorDeath and Huckabeast brought Dr. Principal Enchman through the front entrance, past the Starbucks, and into a Dentist’s office.
“Am I going to get my teeth cleaned first?” Dr. Principal Enchman asked, jokingly.
“Shut up,” responded CakeorDeath.
She twisted one of those teeth cleaning thingies on the tray, and a false wall opened behind the plastic potted plants. They passed through the entrance and the door closed shut behind them. Standing there to great them was a robot with a toupee and a man with half a face. Agent CakeorDeath stepped forward.
“Allow me to introduce our friends from across the pond. Members of the RLF.”
“RLF?” Dr. Principal Enchman asked.
“Royal Lorry Force, old chum,” the man with half a face smiled. “Sergeant Duncan is my name.” He proffered his hand. Dr. Principal Enchman shook it.
The robot stepped forward. “And I am Capu Flapu and the Spasmatic Pentagrams. You can call me Capu Flapu for short.” They, too, shook.
“You’re probably wondering why we brought in a couple of limeys,” CakeorDeath began. “You see, they know a little something about your missing girlfriend.”
“Oh dear,” Duncan said, adjusting his ascot, “This is a spot of bother.” He coughed nervously. “You see, your erstwhile female companion, I believe you knew her as Lilbobbytables?”
Dr. Principal Enchman nodded, silent.
“Yes, well. Oh dear. How shall I put this? It seems that you were unaware, but she was actually an undercover agent of the RLF. She was just supposed to come here for some undercover work, the details of which I can’t get into at this moment, for reasons I’m sure you will understand.” He twirled his moustache and continued. “Anyway, she was supposed to keep a low profile, but something changed. She… She fell in love. Her status was comprised, so we had to fake her own death before she was actually killed.”
Dr. Principal Enchman stood there, speechless.
Sergeant Duncan coughed again. “So… on behalf of the RLF, we are dreadfully sorry. No hard feelings, eh, sport?”
Dr. Enchman still said nothing.
“So, there you have it.” Agent Cakeordeath said, breaking the silence. “Now make with the information.”
“But… But you said you’d help me find her.” Dr. Principal Enchman stumbled, still in shock.
“And we will. But first we need information.”
Suddenly, an alarm blared across the room.
“SECURITY BREACH IN SECTOR SEVEN. SECURITY BREACH IN SECTOR SEVEN.”
Agent Huckabeast sprung into action. “Quickly, everyone! Into the tunnel!” He turned and ran, the other agents and Dr. Principal Enchman behind him.
“What’s going on?” Dr. Enchman asked as he was pushed along the corridor.
“Security Breach in sector seven. Durrr.” Agent Cakeordeath replied.
There was a knock on the door at #1537. Paper Street Soap Company looked up from his computer. “Ah,” he said, “That must be him. Come with me, Just Desserts.” They walked upstairs and opened the front door. Standing there was Batman holding a chainsaw.
“KajusX, meet Just Desserts. Just Desserts, meet KajusX.”
They nodded to each other as KajusX entered.
“So this is the guy who needed weapons?” He asked, his voice a deep growl.
“I am,” Just Desserts responded. “I’ll take whatever you’ve got.”
With that, KajusX produced a duffle bag from his tool belt and began to remove weapons from it. “Smith & Wesson .38, Mossberg 12 gauge, Desert Eagle .50, Bushmaster AR-15, Colt M1911, H&K hk416, Sig Sauer P226. Not to mention a Kramer assault knife.”
“Impressive,” Just Desserts whistled. “But what about that?” he said, pointing to another item in the bag.
“This?” KajusX asked, picking it up. “This is mine.” He smiled mischievously.
Paper Street laughed. “Yeah, Just Desserts. You don’t fuck with KajusX’s chainsaws.”
“Sorry. Didn’t know.” He picked up the Mossberg.
“You know what time it is?” Just Desserts asked.
“No. I left my phone downstairs.”
“I’ll tell you.” He cocked the gun. “It’s monster hunting time.”