Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just Another Day at the Job

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Suddenly, we were surrounded by the spaghetti worms and Darren's brilliant fucking idea of covering them in tomato sauce had only made them stronger.

"What do we do now?" Magda asked. "I've heard these things can strip a person to the bone in just over seventeen years."

"Jesus," Darren said.

"I'll tell you what we're not going to do," I said, "And that's throw Parmesan or garlic bread on them!"

"At least I had an idea!" Darren yelled. "What have you done?"

I studied the stone walls of Professor Nefarious' hidden sanctum. There was no way we were getting through those.

"Wait a minute," I said. "The sewing kits!"

"You mean the ones given to us by customized milking machine that achieved sentience?"

"No, no, not those. The fully automated ones we stole from the samurai/Viking/gas station attendants that we fought at the bottom of the Swimming Pool of the Apocalypse."

"That's it!" Magda said. "Release the sewing kits!" And we did. But it was too late. The spaghetti worms were upon us.

I'm a strong man but I went into spasms as they crawled up my pants legs. Not only were they slimy and squirmy, but I swear they must have come straight here from the refrigerator. My spear gun was useless against them. Magda made progress, hacking at them with the sharp end of her snow shovel, up to her waist in gore and tomato paste. Darren tried his acrobatic fighting technique, slid, and fell on his back. I looked on horrified. Darren's jaw stretched wide while hundreds of worms all fought to force their way into his mouth at once. Even his nostrils were filled. If I didn't act now, he'd be dead.

I scooped him up and punched him hard and high in the gut until he Heimliched them all over the dungeon walls. Darren was out of the fight, gasping for air and sputtering phlegm and spit and bile. I held him up while I stomped the little bastards under my meat-tenderizing boot soles. The attack slowed and I looked around to see what happened. The sewing kits had kicked in, stitching the spaghetti worms into three great big worm-blankets. We were safe. For the moment.

The blankets saved our lives during our cosmic Stratego game against the Walrus Lords, but after that . . .

After that, things got weird.

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