The Rainbow Warlock's castle stood along a rocky cliff. Ordinarily, I avoided touching its walls for fear of removing paint from the styrofoam, but recently things had become more lifelike.
I ran my fingers over the cold, clammy stone, gazing upwards. Instead of terminating in a giant green foam compositing thing, a real tower...towered over me. An actual owl flitted through dead trees and brush in a place that should have been a painting.
As a child, I would dream of the castle when sick with the fever. I floated into the building as it whirled around me like a rotisserie. I incorporated this off kilter vision into the planning of the Commander Weirdo show.
By now I shouldn't have been shocked by anything, but seeing this in real life...
I approached a massive iron portcullis, flanked by two scary lion statues. The eyes on the statues glowed red, their heads turning toward me with a low growl. "State the nature of your business."
I slowly backed away. "Uh...no business...If you heard me in the forest saying something about snapping a homo's neck, that was, uh...about someone else."
The stone lions roared at me, padding closer.
"Okay, okay," I stammered. "So his magic is responsible for sending me into this hell hole, but I've changed my mind about killing him. Really!"
I retreated further down the trail.
The lions laughed at me, returning to their post.
"Pssst!" A fuzzy black dog's head emerged from a drain pipe on the side of the tower.
The thing, consisting of darkness and shadows, panted in amusement as its glowing yellow eyes regarded me. "Commander Weirdo! What happened to your space uniform?"
I scowled. "None of your business, Clog-Dog!"
Earlier, in the burning ruins of a camp, one which does not in any way resemble that of an authentic American Indian tribal land, a trenchcoated, cigarette smoking guy named Cancel Man had pointed a Litigation Gun at me. "One squeeze of this trigger and all the news outlets will believe you've joined the KKK. You'll never find work again."
With arms raised in surrender, I asked, "What do you want?"
Cancel Man took my red jumpsuit, forbidding me from first emptying its voluminous pockets of useful gadgets, as well as the equally useful Weirdo Belt, and its associated Space Gun. I walked away from the encounter in my boxers.
Luckily, Cancel Man had left one of the tipis untouched, wherein I uncovered a terrycloth bathrobe, sparing Magic Land from viewing my pasty white overweight physique.
Clog-Dog stared at me.
"And don't call me Commander Weirdo anymore. It's...Frank Peniston. Pronounced `Pennn-iston.'"
Thankfully, Clog-Dog only lived in the gutter, refraining from obscene commentary.
Noticing an annoying lump in my pocket, I reached in and pulled out a rubber ducky.
Clog-Dog snickered at me. "Scrub time, scrub time, rub a dub a dub time, scrub a dub a doo—"
I grabbed the little monster by the scruff of its neck, shoving the rubber duck down its throat. Clog-Dog shot back inside the pipe with a whistling squeak.
Someone clicked a Zippo lighter behind me. I glanced into the shadows of the forest and saw a small flame illuminating a square jawed coffee brown face. An ember flared on a cigarette, dragon smoke puffing out. "Having problems getting in?"
I glared at my stolen jumpsuit. "I'm fine. Did you want something else? You've already taken my career."
Cancel Man only puffed his cigarette.
I undid my sash. "How about my bathrobe? You want this too?"
Cancel Man shuddered, coughing like he'd just about swallowed his cigarette. "Nooo thank you! Look, I was only offering to help, one hero to another, but if you think you've got this—"
I gave the man a shove. "Hero! I'll give you hero, you piece of shit!"
I managed to knock Cancel Man against a tree, but he answered by pressing his Litigation Pistol against my chin. "Watch yourself, blubber butt."
He slipped away into the darkness.
Upon his departure, something crinkly popped on the ground. Upon a search of the area, I discovered two packages of Doctor Chews A Lot Super Saltwater Taffy among the weeds.
`Mega Thick!' the label read. `Note: Not recommended for individuals suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction.'
With a mischievous grin, I unwrapped both, marching back to the gate. "Here, kitty kitty..."
I offered one piece to the stone lion on my right. It sniffed the candy, licked it, damn near bit my hand off trying to eat it.
The label proved to be accurate, the statue vigorously gumming the huge piece of taffy like a dog with a pouchful of Big League Chew.
The other stone lion looked suspicious, but also snapped up a piece, and the two produced enough "Mahm mahm" sounds to rival a breadmaking machine.
I hurriedly slipped past them, grabbing the bars of the portcullis.
Nope, definitely not spraypainted plywood or rubber. The gate weighed a ton, and featured no convenient levers or pulleys.
Through the slats lay the landscape of delirious childhood fever dreams. Not part of the original studio set. It didn't matter though, I had no means of ingress.
When I turned to walk away in frustration, the gate shot up with a noisy rattle.
I crept across the threshold, casting wary glances from the right to the left.
A secondary rattle prompted me to look up.
I screamed and dove out of the way just seconds before the portcullis crashed down again. An evil laugh echoed through the chamber beyond.
I shakily rose from the floor, moccasined feet shuffling across polished marble flooring, in the lobby of what appeared to be an office building. Square golden arabesque designs of various patterns bedecked the walls, just like in my nightmares.
Squeak! Clog-Dog poked his head out of an air conditioner duct above my head.
He seemed to be attempting communication of some importance, but had a rubber duck blocking his airways.
"What is it, boy?" I prompted. "Sounds...like?"
Just like in my nightmares, several large arabesqued floor times fell away, and out came swarms of hungry alligators and crocodiles. They burst from doorways, from behind the reception desk. The door to a swampy looking board room popped open, and more reptiles joined the swarm.
They slithered fast, rushing toward me with their drooling, snapping mouths.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.