The Beautiful Monster

 

 

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Most stories happen once upon a time. This story takes place twice upon a time, since the first time ended badly, so time travel was used to fix it.

Twice upon a time, there was a sad monster who was very beautiful. His name was Thomo Wellby, and nobody wanted to rescue him from the fluorescent pink and green tower he was kept in. The totally wicked wizard surfer, Longrus, had kept him there for at least seventeen years.

Thomo longed for the day his savior would come, but he had no idea when that could be. A duck once came into his room, but it only quacked loudly and gave him a feather.

Meanwhile, in the center of the Reunion Kingdom, a knight found a Monster In Distress ad on the town billboard. The ad was for one Thomo Wellby. Fortunately, the knight often found herself turned on by beautiful monsters. So she set forth to save Mr. Thomo Wellby from his captivity and maybe get a little something-something for her trouble.

While carelessly examining her provisions, she came upon a bridge guarded by a bearded demon. However, the demon was either apathetic or distracted, and let the knight cross unharmed. The knight shrugged and went on her way.

The outskirts of the Reunion Kingdom was known hither and yonder for its bizarre perils that usually increased in intensity. Typical as it was, the knight knew that the next obstacle was not quite as easy.

A giant cauldron prevented further access to the road, so the knight attempted going around it. The cauldron, stubborn as most kitchenware, cobbled just enough to confound her. Hopelessness loomed overhead. She tried reasoning with it.

“O lovely cauldron!” Flattery usually won them over to her side. “Why do you cease progress? Hath some wretched Wiccan enchanted you to passive-aggressively get over a poor date?”

The cauldron screamed. “YOU’RE BLACK!”

This was half true. She herself was born in the East, a light-skinned people as they go. But her armor, naturally dark, had suffered many scrapes and bruises that made the metal appear black.

“Cauldron, why must we argue? I wish you no harm.”

“YOU’RE BLACK!”

“Pot, you test my patience. Is the color of my armor the cause of this? If I remove my armor, will you let me pass?”

“YOU’RE BLACK!”

“You tested my patience and hacked it from my core! Pot, you yourself are, in the plainest of terms, black!”

The pot examined its own flesh.

I was black the whole time… Is my bias borne from shame? The pot got too existential to be semi-motionless and walked away on its stubby little penguin feet. The knight ventured forth.

For about seventeen weeks, the knight traveled unhindered, despite the occasional jester throwing pies at her. She didn’t care for this practice at all, even though the pies were her favorite flavor: Spam. When she was about to assault the jesters, the King of Jesters approached her.

“HARK!” he bellowed, “Thou mayst only pass if thou canst solve the riddle!”

“Proceed,” the knight neutrally responded.

“What,” asked the King of Jesters, “is the reason my people have been throwing pies at you?”

The knight sincerely considered the riddle for a moment, then flicked the King of Jesters on the forehead, which lead to a pratfall into a pile of mud.

“I know not, but I believe you likely instructed them to.” With that, she went on her way.

The King of Jesters was subsequently mauled to death by a napping muddy jaguar. He was reincarnated as a chipmunk.

Another month passed by, and the knight was beginning to get hungry. She found a nest with eggs in it, opting to cook up a delicious scrambled egg souffle.

An angry bard approached her. “FORSOOTH! FORSOOTH! THOSE WERE MY EGGS, THOU HARLOT!” The bard’s blind rage intensified until his face turned blood red.

“Hold your wrath, sir,” asked the knight. “Were these your offspring or nourishment?”

The angry bard took a moment to respond with the greatest use of language possible. After fifteen moments, he exclaimed the following: “YES.”

“Were they both?”

The angry bard took a magic wand from his pocket and gave it to her. “That will show thee, thou hopefully promiscuous wench!”

He glared at the knight and waited for her to become uncomfortable. She chewed on a mint leaf. Late for his shift at Grill Jester, the angry bard walked away.

Curiously examining the gift, the knight lazily shook the wand. Nothing happened. She threw it away in the nearest recycling bin. The wand, combined with nineteen other wands in the bin, began to glow. After a few moments of the recycling bin stretching, wobbling, crumpling, and praying, it ceased. The recycling bin turned into an enormous lamb.

The knight decided to keep the lamb and name it Bisley. For two days, she and Bisley were inseparable, taking turns riding on each other’s backs. On the third day, tragedy struck. Despite the knight yelling loudly at her lamb to stay still while she took a pee break, Bisley ate some poison mushrooms and died. The knight mourned over Bisley’s corpse, while the angry bard appeared before the distraught adventurer.

“FORSOOTH! Now you know my suffering!” That’s what the angry bard would have said, if the knight hadn’t pushed him to the ground and stomped his head in. The angry bard was lucky to survive, but not quite as lucky to have been rescued by a bear that forced him to marry her.

Bisley’s death deeply affected the knight’s heart, and she felt as though she couldn’t move forward without her companion. She transmuted the sorrow she felt into purpose, and hoisted Bisley onto her shoulders, taking his rotting corpse with her.

An old crone jumped out at the knight, nearly startling her. The crone wiggly-waggled her finger and made a disapproving clicking noise. “FOOL! Do you not know that you can revive your grotesquely-large lamb for a piece of gold?”

The knight begged the crone to tell her more.

“I have an enchanted map that can lead you to a reviving well. Throw in your gold piece, and your wish will be granted. And you can have the map for seven and three shillings!”

The knight knew a scam when she heard one, and threw hay at the crone. The knight pressed onward.

Nearby in a fluorescent pink and green tower, Thomo Wellby was finding himself growing somewhat depressed. All he had in the world was a duck feather, which couldn’t even grant wishes, which he realized that it would have been odd if it could.

Thomo heard a grunting noise out his window. A woman carrying an enormous lamb was approaching the tower. Thomo was to be saved!

The knight knocked gently on the door. Longrus mellowly questioned the intruder. “Chuh! Who is is, bruh?”

“It is I, the beautiful monster’s savior!”

“Nuh-uh, bruh! That monster is, like, all mine, bruh!” Longrus accidentally opened up the drawbridge. “Whuh-uh, bruh!”

The knight stormed the tower, killing about thirty lingerie models. Finally, the knight found Thomo’s room.

“I’m here to save you, you beautiful monster!” With fiery loins and almost satisfactory passion, the knight picked up the beautiful monster and ran out of the poorly-painted tower. Longrus wasn’t willing to lose Thomo, specifically because having a monster around allowed him certain tax breaks. Longrus flapped his unusually long ears and…

POOF! The knight turned into a potato peel.

“Now, come back, Monster-Man. Like, we can’t end it like this, bruh.”

Thomo clutched his duck feather tightly, and a single tear orange fell from his eye. The tear burned up the feather, exploding into thirty thousand ghosts.

The thirty thousand ghosts spoke as one. “What is your wish?”

The furious vision of the ghosts horrified Thomo into making the wrong wish. “What… what choo…” He meant to say “What are you, exactly?” A small copper watch manifested before him anyway.

Longrus caught Thomo and locked him up in the tower again. Thomo banged his head against the wall for forty-seven years, wishing he had a chance to do it over again. Alas, for forty-seven years, that wish did not come true.

One snowy Wednesday, the battery on his watch died. So Longrus, losing his grasp on evil in his old age, gave him a new battery. The battery had magical properties, and would turn the machine it was placed inside into a terrible pun. So the watch became a time machine.

Thomo reset his watch, which flung him back to the moment when the duck feather started granting his wish. This time, Thomo would enunciate.

Thomo said, “I wish I had a way to save the knight and myself!”

The ghosts melted like fine butter, and covered themselves all over Bisley. The dead lamb rose.

“MAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” said the enormous zombie lamb. With one swift movement and forty-seven non-swift movements, Bisley ate Longrus and used the power of love and casual indifference to restore the knight back to normal.

The knight seemed to be a tad peeved. “Mister Wellby, it seems you never needed my help at all! If only you knew of my mistrials!” The monster looked so forlorn and sexy to the knight that she was no longer in control of her desires. The knight longingly embraced Thomo.

Afterward a wonderful time for two lonely individuals, the knight with Thomo in her arms and Bisley as her steed rode off back to the Reunion Kingdom.

A group of monks turned Longrus’s tower into a discotheque, but the idea was centuries ahead of its time and only worthwhile for ten years in all of history.

 

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Snow Day To Live

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Only 17 hours prior, the entire Northwestern area had received a snowfall that accumulated at levels unparalleled for eight years.

At present, the snow that had once kept many schoolchildren happy at play began to depart. It had completed its task, keeping snow-shovels sold, and an unseasonable sun began to recall the clouds’ excessive shipment. Overall, it had been a fairly balanced snow day, and everyone in the Northwestern area could be considered more or less satisfied.

Not everyone. Not Charlie.

For the past four hours and change, Charlie Stood laid in the snow on his back, waiting to be asked why he was flat on his back in a pile of freezing mush, and also if they could get him a hot dog, as a cart was sixteen feet from his head.

He responded to those who asked that he’s trying to become evaporated with the snow. No one lingered long enough to offer him a hot dog, and the vendor eventually moved his cart to an area less hazardous to his sales.

Out of boredom (yet still fairly lucid, if not misguided in his endeavors), Charlie began pestering a stop sign.

“It’s like this, Ernie,” choosing the name based on his company’s slogan, STOP & EARN!, “Some people wish they could fly. Not me. I’ve always wanted to be pulled up through a straw. A rapture, I suppose.” He paused to give the vendor a dirty look. “I’ve heard that some frogs have been evaporated and rained down to earth.”

A pigeon sat on his head.

“I’m terrified of large bodies of water, so I’ve been waiting for a large enough snowfall.” Ernie politely said nothing. “STOP & EARN!, huh? My company makes its living from stealing potential clients from smaller companies. Stop other businesses from succeeding and we earn. I may not earn today, but I’ll feel good that I stopped.”

“Give me a break! Look, we all have problems, but being pulled into the sky isn’t practical, and if it was possible, it’s not the way we deal with our problems! Take it from me: STOP whining and make some constructive change. You can trust me; part of me was once Sigmund Freud’s spectacles.” This is what the stop sign would have said if it had consciousness.

The pigeon would have nodded. “How many of my brethren have been run over, maliciously slaughtered, devoured, yet not one human removes their remains? It’s disgraceful, sir! It’s, it’s distasteful, sir! But do I mope? No! I relieve myself upon randomly selected members of your species! Get up, you sad-sack!”

Rather than cooing all this, the pigeon relieved itself on Charlie and flew off.

Charlie wiped off the pigeon’s souvenir and closed his eyes.

Three minutes later, a woman’s low-pitched shriek could be heard.

Ten seconds following that, Charlie felt a sharp and wet pain in his face 36 times in succession.

Charlie opened his eyes. A woman somewhere between 46 and 46 and 11 months yanked him by his lapels.

“YOU…” Her nostrils seemed to produce their own smoke. More likely, it was the chilly winter air.

“SENILE…” The woman’s skin, normally the color of cardboard, currently resembled the shade of the hot dogs across the street. The hot dog grease on her hands and mouth added an unintended authenticity.

“FART!” She belched, trying to cover it up after the fact by placing a sheepish hand over her mouth.

“Hello, Ms. Ginley. I can sue you for assault, you know.” This possibility never actually crossed Charlie’s mind, instead begging for her forgiveness regarding whatever it was he did to her.

“You old idiot!” (July Ginley was only ten years younger than her subordinate, but she never liked to waste potential insults.)

“I find you in the snow like some drunkard layabout,” (July Ginley had a habit of drinking six types of alcohol on weeknights, eight if she was with friends.)

“And now look what you did!” She lifted a leg and pointed at her boot. “Your stupid face got kicked so much that it wore down the sole!” July Ginley wiggled her long red toes at her subordinate. Charlie really wanted a hot dog.

(This was a little prank July enjoyed pulling on her employees. All of her shoes were modified by a former college roommate to allow the sole to be detachable from the rest of the shoe. On this occasion, the sole flew from her boot into the hot dog bun of a young boy. The terrible taste of the sole would later be described by the boy as “The greatest thing that could have happened to me.”)

July licked her palm. “Wait… have you been to work today?”

Charlie confirmed he hadn’t with a tremendous lack of motion.

Brown curls flew threw her damp hands. “Do you see the button with our company logo hanging from your coat? DO YOU NOT THINK IT AS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO HAVE MY BUSINESS REPRESENTED THROUGH A FAT OGRE LYING IN THIS… SKY GUNK?!”

Charlie quivered. The “sky gunk” was melting evermore rapidly.

“ANSWER!” She kicked him with her soleless boot.
“ME!” She kicked him with her soleful boot.

“I just… I just wanted to be evaporated.” He had no problem telling strangers, but he turned his gaze when he said it to his boss.

July’s muscles softened.

“E… evaporated? Did you say evaporated?” Her eyes grew dewy.

Charlie’s breathing overtook his ability to speak.

“Ever since I was a girl, I wanted to be evaporated, to see the heavens.”

A pregnant pause was ruined by July’s belch.

Charlie tried speaking. “Do… do you really want to be evaporated?”

July angrily squealed. She began piling snow on his large torso. “NO, YOU FREAKING DIPSTICK! I always wanted to own a large company and stomp on my enemies! There are no more dreams to conquer!” She removed her soleful boot and hit Charlie over the head, the only part she didn’t cover with snow.

“And, and EVAPORATION? Let it be understood, Stood. Under no circumstances will you be permitted to work for my company again. You are FIRED! YOU HEAR ME! FIRED!”

She tossed her boot over his face and checked her watch. Late. She would refer to it as a “company lunch.”

With the boot over his face and unable to speak, Charlie Stood was unable to get up from his snow dungeon. Later in the day, some teens buried the boot for whatever teen reason.


It was a week until the snow was all but forgotten.

July Janice Ginley was meeting with her board of directors to discuss her replacement during her vacation in “sunny Greenland.” No one liked her enough to correct her.

“Board members, my temporary replacement will be the next person to walk into this room!”

July had decided on her cousin. No business acumen, but how much damage could someone do in two and a half months?

“Gentlemen, I present to you…”

Thunder could be heard screaming outside. A sudden downpour trickled against the bricks of the building. The lightning landed through the roof, directly on top of July Janice Ginley.

A rosy-cheeked woman, 52, soaked to the bone, rose from the floor and examined her personal area, oblivious that she was on top of another human being.

The woman swept her faint blonde hair and rang the water out. “That was… that was definitely worth it,” she panted, holding a weary hand to her chest. She looked down at a twitching woman, unconscious. “I’m sorry, did I do that? Let me help you up.” She lifted July and turned to face the board.

“Oh. Hi! Um, have you seen a man with grey hair? Well, half of you have gr… His, uh, it’s Ch–”

In a spectacular bit about lightning striking twice, the woman dropped July, who was immediately crushed by Charlie Stood.

“Lorelei! Th-thank goodness! This was, was the best week of my…” Charlie rubbed an eye. “This is… was my office! Hello, Tommy!”

Tommy scratched an elbow, but Arnold wished Tommy would scratch his own for once.

“What are you… how…”

Lorelei laughed. “Turns out that the human body being made mostly of water has truth to it. And I’m not insane, like my brother accused me of being!”

Charlie clasped her hand. “Insanity runs in pairs.”

Clark cleared his throat, causing him to choke on something in there. “Um, well, they can’t be Ms. Ginley’s replacements. They didn’t WALK into the room. So who is is?”

“Excuse me,” Matt the new hire said, casually walking in. “I have some letters for Ms. Ginley.”

The whole room burst with applause. Matt shrugged.


Lorelei and Charlie live together with a crop of frogs they found in the clouds and rescued from becoming sidewalk residue. They make money through interviews, book deals, X-Treme E-vap-o-RAY-SHUN lessons, and Lorelei’s 3.2 billion dollar inheritance she received from her nephew. No longer having to STOP & EARN!, Charlie’s conscience is at peace.

Matt was so competent while July was in the hospital that the board elected to replace her. In a move lacking full knowledge of the individual, Matt brought his son to thank her and get some advice. The advice she offered them was so unpleasant that it should never be chronicled, and it caused Matt’s son, Lenny, to shove the boot sole he found in a hot dog into her mouth.

This caused her to remark how they should make “edible shoe soles,” causing Matt to take Lenny out and never return. But the remark lingered, as years later, Lenny patented various types of shoes: Shoes with replaceable Velcro straps, shoes where you could slip in a special printable paper to “Customize it to the MAX!”, one size, color, gender, or occasion fits all shoes, and of course, shoes specifically made for evaporation. Lenny never made edible shoe soles, as that would be terrible.

Being The Shoe King, marrying Lenny would have meant his wife would have shoes for life, but he happily married Greta, The Wheelchair Iron Maiden. He never looked back.

July Janice Ginley was unable to return to her office, or any office, due to medical and ethical reasons. However, her injuries are so terrible that she needs to take several painkillers a day, so she’s technically happy.

Ernie the stop sign is still unable to speak.