Short Story – The Marshmallow Malice
Enjoy at your own risk.
Neal scoffed at the sight of the three men cowering before him. They were nothing but filthy peasants in his eyes; parasites that only know how to drain the successful and rich with nothing to give in return. Yet here they were, begging for forgiveness.
“Please, sir, you must understand. We can no longer pay. We have nothing.”
“If you have nothing, you have no value. Get out.”
“But our debt to you is simply impossible to pay off. You must show us mercy.”
“Mercy?” Neal turned away from the men and poised his behind in their direction. “Tell that to my butt.”
He flicked his finger, snapping one of his buttcheeks. Neal’s ass vibrated and shot out an intense shockwave, blasting the three men out of the window for miles.
With a sigh he sat back in his desk chair and wrapped himself in a blanket he stole from an unattended stroller in the lobby. The company refused to repair the windows in his office after the fifth time Neal sent a debtor flying through it. While his bosses loved his enthusiasm and profitable results, they couldn’t stand completely behind his methods. So he had to endure the mild discomfort of his office being pretty chilly up there on the eighteenth floor of a high rise Loan Shark Emporium.
Neal had asked for another office or for one final window repair but the company wouldn’t budge. He admired their greed; it’s what kept them in the business. With no other choice left, Neal turned to black magic; one similar to that which granted him his incredible powers in the first place.
He opened the only drawer in his desk that didn’t stick and took out a huge book. It was filled with dark magic spells, from necromancy to blood rituals and even all the way to the formula of 90’s pop music. Yet, Neal only craved one particular page. He’s been studying this page for so long that even without the use of a bookmark, he could flip to it instantly with only three attempts.
“There it is”, he spoke out loud. “The transportation of planets. With this guide I can send Earth to another solar system. A solar system similar enough to survive yet slightly different, in a way that I can finally stay warm in this glacier of an office.”
He flipped over to the next page and stared at the illustration. That was all he needed to wield such incredible power: the legendary Marshmallow Amulet. It appeared to be nothing but a simple, squishy, sugary treat attached to a thin thread, but this artifact had unfathomable magical properties. He always knew he had to do it, but now he finally understood why. Neal could not delay it any longer. He had to set his plan in motion, and with it, the entire planet.
He slammed the book shut and jumped out of his chair. Caught by a draft, the blanket flew out the window, but that was fine. It smelled too much like newborn anyway and soon he wouldn’t need it any longer. Neal stepped onto the ledge of the broken window and admired the view. He could see the entire cloud of smog covering the city; a beautifully dark grey carpet of fumes that slowly suffocated the lesser humans who were too stupid and lazy to become successful and live beyond the smog.
Neal stepped over the ledge and torpedoed towards the ground. With calm and grace he stretched his legs out in front of him and grasped his buttcheeks. Then he began drumming his fingers. Light shockwaves slowed down his rapid decline. He kept drumming as he flew through the cloud. As soon as he broke through the smog, Neal slapped both of his buttcheeks, creating a shockwave that slowed down his fall significantly. He gently fell butt-first onto the sidewalk and got up immediately.
“No time to lose.”
He patted the dust off of his behind which shot shockwaves onto the street. Cars, pedestrians, and a traffic light blasted off the pavement and into a nearby building. Neal ignored the mayhem behind him and headed South. According to his book of black magic he would find an antiquities store about three blocks away that could potentially sell the magical item he sought.
It wasn’t very hard to find an antique store in a modern city. If you find yourself in a place filled with ancient, mostly wooden garbage, you’re at the right place. Neal stepped through the entrance and felt claustrophobic amidst the piles of stuff around him. Chairs, tables, and other trinkets were stacked almost all the way to the ceiling. With careful steps he walked up to the counter where a bored young man was enjoying a bowl of soup.
“I’m looking for an amulet”, Neal said.
“Sure, just let me finish my avocado lobster bisque here real quick.”
The young man proceeded to slowly slurp his soup and moan with every spoonful.
“I don’t have time for this.”
Neal swept the bowl off the counter. Soup spilled all over the floor and splashed onto one of the many piles of antique trash.
“There, you’re done with your soup. Now show me where to find the amulet.”
“Soup? That wasn’t just soup you ignoramus? That was an experience. And you ruined it! Come here and let me lick you!”
“I don’t care about your sou-, wait what?”
“Let me lick you, you bastard!”
Neal took a few steps back and held his hands up.
“Hey man, no judgment and all but I think you got the wrong vibe from me here. I’m just looking for the Marshmallow Amulet.”
Suddenly the young man’s eyes popped up in surprise. He slid his long, pointy tongue back into his mouth.
“The legendary Marshmallow Amulet? Why do you seek it?”
“Look, I’m not asking you why you want to lick people and you don’t ask me what I want that amulet for, alright? So, you got it or not?”
“No, I don’t have it”, the man sighed and lowered his head. “I was at an auction and had the chance to acquire it for my store. But, alas, when it came to bidding on it, I was a fool. I could not make up my mind and someone else, someone quicker on the draw as they say, won the Marshmallow Amulet. Later I realized that it was that exact relic that I would need to achieve my ultimate goal. But now, I just don’t know what to do.”
“Do you know who has it?”
“Forget it, I already tried to lick them and they just wouldn’t get close enough.”
“What the hell is wrong with you? No, I’m going to take the amulet from whoever has it. Tell me where it is.”
“You can do that?” He looked up at Neal with new found vigor in his eyes. “You can just take things from people?”
“Of course, if I need it, I’ll take it. And if they put up a fight, let’s just say I’ll slap some sense into them. It’s like taking a blanket from a baby.”
“Ugh, curses. I wish I knew what to do. On one hand you’d be a welcoming ally to obtain the amulet, but on the other…I simply don’t know if I can trust you not to foil my own plans.”
“Let me help you with that decision by saying that I will most definitely foil your plan and you’re not an ally. I just need you to point me in the direction of the amulet. I don’t need your help.”
“Fine then”, he reached underneath the counter and produced a digital compass. “This is the device I use to find magical trinkets. You can scroll through the interface until you find the Marshmallow Amulet, press the search button, and then follow the compass to where it leads you.”
Neal held the machine in his hands and inspected it thoroughly. It had a big screen, one red button, and a wheel on the side.
“I don’t get it”, he admitted.
“Press the red button to turn it on. Use the wheel to scroll through the menu. Press the same red button again to choose the item you want. That’s it.”
He looked at the device again, closer this time. A pearl of sweat ran down his temple as he tried to understand the intricacies of this strange piece of plastic. In his mind, the red button and the wheel became an unsolvable math equation. The screen blinked in millions of different colours, beeping noises taunted him, dared him to press a button.
The man’s voice brought him back to reality. Neal chucked the compass onto the counter.
“New plan, you’re coming along with me, lead me to the amulet, and we’ll figure out who can use it first when we get it.”
“You’re whack, brother.”
“Says the soup licker.”
“You’re lucky I haven’t decided yet whether I should kick your ass for spilling my soup. But for the sake of calling me by my real name: I’m Trike.”
“Neal. I’d say it’s a pleasure to meet you but it is a mere necessity.”
“Not the nicest fellow I’ve made my acquaintance with, for sure.”
“Ok, I have to ask. What are you doing?”
“Whadda ya mean?” Trike looked at him with a genuinely confused expression.
“You can’t seem to make up your mind whether you want to sound sophisticated, normal, or like a gangster rapper. What’s with you?”
Trike picked up the digital compass and activated it while he made his way around pillars of antique crap and walked towards the store’s entrance. When the compass picked up a signal, he opened the door and waited for Neal to follow.
“You’re not gonna answer me, I guess.”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
It took them forever to get to their destination. Mostly because Trike put Neal in charge of calling a cab and after several failed attempts of unlocking his own phone, Neal gave up and offered another solution. With Trike wrapped tightly around his body, Neal slapped his ass numerous times to catapult themselves into the general direction of where the compass was leading them. This form of transportation was fairly quick but not precise enough for the sudden turns Trike would announce.
Eventually, they arrived at a giant mansion, or at least that’s what it looked like from afar. Up close they recognized it as several smaller buildings smushed together to form one enormous monster-house.
“Those aren’t just random buildings”, Neal said once they stepped up to one of the many ground floor entrances. “Those are restaurants. Pizza restaurants.”
“After that butt-slap transport, I didn’t think this would be the weirdest thing I’d see today. How do you do that, by the way? Where does one learn the way of the butt?”
“I didn’t learn it”, Neal couldn’t find a doorbell and tried the door. It was unlocked. “I got it from a witch.”
They stepped into the building, or one of the many buildings, and seemed to have entered a functioning pizzeria. A stereotypical looking Italian man dressed in a white uniform approached them with a big smile on his mustached face. Traces of dried flour hid in the cracks of his skin.
“Eyyyy, welcome to Pizza Mama Mia, what can I get you guys?”
“Oh, no, I don’t know”, Trike’s hands trembled. “I wasn’t prepared for this. I don’t know what kind of toppings they have here, or what crust. I’m not ready, I don’t know what I want.”
“Relax, Trike. We’re not here for pizza.” Neal turned to the Italian man. “We’re looking for a magical artifact and we know it’s here somewhere. Give it to us and I will consider not destroying your establishment.”
“Eyyy, what’s the matter you guys? We’re just making pizza here. Nothing magical other than Mama’s recipe. How about it, huh? A large pizza tradizionale for two?”
Neal slapped one of his buttcheeks and the entire entrance behind him was torn apart by the shockwave.
“Or, uh, maybe I bring you guys to Mama herself, eh? I’m sure she can answer all your questions.”
“Lead the way.”
Neal and Trike followed the Italian man through the kitchen, behind a heavy steel door, and up one spiraling staircase. They reached an office where a young woman with bright red hair sat on top of a heavy oak desk. She was on the phone but ended the conversation quickly when she saw them approach.
“Mama, these people here are looking for something and had a very…convincing argument.”
“Thank you. You may leave us. I’m sure we have quite a lot to discuss.”
She jumped off the desk and went behind it to sit in an abnormally huge chair. With a quick motion of her hands she gestured for Neal and Trike to take a seat across from her. Both of them accepted the offer after Neal nudged Trike to sit down, too.
“I just saw the live security footage”, the lady said. “You ripped a hole in one of my pizzeria’s by just slapping your butt. Very interesting.”
She presented a tray of food to them, none of which had any pizza whatsoever. There were various cheeses, breads, sliced meats, boiled eggs, and fresh vegetables. Then she sat there motionless, except for her right index finger which was tapping constantly on her desk.
“Would you care for some breakfast?”
“Do you have any soup?”
“We’re not here to eat.” Neal budged in before the lady could answer Trike. “I’m assuming you are Mama Mia? You don’t look Italian.”
“And you don’t look racist, yet here you are. No, silly, that’s just the name of one of the pizza restaurants I own. You can call me Loona.”
“Are those all different restaurants slapped together to form one huge building?”
“Yes, although I can’t say I’m satisfied with the number of pizzeria’s I own yet. But you two aren’t here to talk about the food industry, are you?”
Loona kept tapping on the desk this whole time and it was driving Neal nuts. Nonetheless, he still had no idea where in this maze of Italian restaurants something such as the Marshmallow Amulet would hide. He had a feeling that the red-haired lady, Loona, was a powerful woman. She wasn’t phased by his buttslap shockwave like any normal person would have been. This meant that she had her own secret and until he knew what it was, he had to approach with caution.
“We’re looking for the Marshmallow Amulet and you have it, so hand it over before I slap your skin off your face”, he said calmly.
Loona stopped tapping her finger. She didn’t move a muscle and just stared at them.
“What’s up with her?” Trike asked. “I swear I didn’t lick her!”
“Dude, that was never in question until you just mentioned it. Why do you have to keep bringing that up?”
The ground vibrated beneath them, yet Loona remained motionless. The walls and floorboards of the office were torn apart as skeletal creatures crawled out.
“What the hell are those things?”
They were surrounded by an army of these monsters inching their way towards Neal and Trike, completely ignoring the red haired woman.
“Ok, give me a second, I’m gonna lick them!”
Before Trike had a chance to approach the creatures, Neal whooped his own ass and send a flurry of winds into all kinds of directions. He wiped out the hordes, but for every fallen monster, ten new ones crawled out of the walls. Neal slapped his butt sore but it was fruitless. The monsters were closing in. With their skinny arms and fingers, they stretched and reached for Neal and Trike, and then suddenly they disappeared. It was quiet again in the office, except for the sound of Loona’s tapping.
“I know who you are”, she said. “You went to the witch to grant you powers beyond anyone’s imagination. You’ve forsaken your past identity to take on that of a superior being and received a goal you didn’t know the meaning of back then.”
“How do you know all that?” Neal asked, still in shock of the empty office with no sign of the hideous creatures he’d just seen.
“I went to that same witch. But unlike you, I have worked towards my goal from day one. That’s why I built this pizza clusterfuck. I was destined to create a monopoly of pizza delivery services by combining them all together. I still need to find my magical artifact to fully achieve my goal though, but as you see, I’m well on my way to victory.”
“Wait, so you don’t need the Marshmallow Amulet for that?”
“No, I’m looking for the legendary Flex Tape.”
“Flex Tape!” Trike sat back into his chair. “I’ve heard tale of such legend. Folk say it even works under water.”
“If you don’t need the amulet, why are you hiding it here? Or did Trike’s compass not live up to its expectations?”
“Because unlike you, I wasn’t an idiot. I knew others have come to the witch before me. After receiving my power, nothing stood in my way to threaten her into revealing all other extraordinary people created by her black magic. All their goals, strengths, and weaknesses. I was collecting all artifacts just so no one could achieve their goal before me.”
“What does it matter to you? I don’t care if you have the pizza monopoly. Why would I need to stand in your way if your bullshit would never be in my way either?”
“Perhaps YOUR plan of planetary transportation wouldn’t affect my goal. But his…”, she turned to face Trike for the first time, “…could prove problematic for me.”
“Oh what are you on about now?” Neal took a step towards Trike and patted him on the back. “This kid is just a soup eating antiquities nerd.”
With a swift motion, Trike shot out his pointy tongue and slid it across Neal’s face. In an instant Neal’s stiff body hit the floor. He couldn’t move. His every muscle was paralyzed. Neal heard Loona get up from her seat and walk up to him. She examined his motionless body.
“Fascinating”, she said, then turned to Trike. “How long do they stay paralyzed after you lick them?”
“I don’t know if there’s a time limit. But from my experience they only regain the ability to move after I lick them again.”
“He can’t talk, he can’t blink. This is truly amazing. You’re not gonna do that to me right?”
“You understand why?”
“Because you summon an army of the damned by staying motionless, and paralyzing you would only make you unstoppable.”
“Exactly”, Loona smiled. “Look, Trike, isn’t it? I don’t know what the witch was thinking, but she created roughly twelve of us. You hear that? A dozen powerful beings either wasting their talents or searching for the same objects, or trying to reach the same goals. There isn’t really much variety. I checked.”
“Wadda ya want?”
“We don’t ALL have to achieve our goals. But you can help me achieve mine. And isn’t that better anyway? Just be successful by my side than accidentally screwing up your own destiny because of one lousy decision you made.”
Neal could see that the young man was intimidated by the red-haired woman. But that bastard paralyzed him, so he wished that she would cut the crap and tear him to pieces already. Maybe that would help him regain his movement? Better than being licked again. Trike himself looked paralyzed by Loona’s sheer presence.
“You will never have to make any major decision yourself again. I have underlings, you can have an assistant. You can even be MY assistant. And all it takes is you sticking around, until I find the Flex Tape, complete my mission, and then paralyze me so that I can raise an unending army, trampling all over the world, forcing people to hide in their homes, with only one source of food delivered to their doorsteps: Mama Mia Pizza.”
“I personally don’t care too much for pizza”, Trike replied unimpressed.
“Oh we can expand our menu to something more suitable for you, my friend. Maybe…some fancy soup?”
Trike’s mouth watered at the thought of soup. He licked his lips and a drop of saliva trickled down his chin. It hung onto it for a second that seemed to last forever. Then it finally fell and splashed on Neal’s forehead.
A storm of electricity surged through his veins. He took a huge breath that startled Trike and Loona. Neal had to act quickly. He lifted his hips, then slammed his bottom on the floor. A shockwave shot him straight up and against the ceiling. When he fell back down he landed awkwardly on his feet and struck a pose, pretending that it went all as planned.
“Hey, you’re back. Sorry, I got startled and licked you.”
“Well, this sucks.” Loona went back to her desk and opened a drawer. “But I think I can solve this…misunderstanding of ours.”
She pulled out a gun and pointed directly at Neal.
“This is probably a more reliable way of paralysis.” She stepped closer to them as if the black magic that turned her into a villain compelled her to monologue. “Poor Neal, clearly you are the most powerful between the three of us. You have more agency of your ability, and yet here you are at my mercy. I’ve come too close, you know?”
“How close?” Neal asked, looked at Trike and blinked once, quickly. “How much CLOSER do you need to get?”
“Until the very end, of course”, she said, stepping further towards him. “As I already said, I have put my plan in motion immediately and I’m closer to it than any of you or the others could ever get.”
“You know about all artifacts, right? How many of the villains needed the Marshmallow Amulet?”
“About six in total. Would you believe that? Half of the villains created needed the same artifact to fulfill their evil destiny. And by the way, you two were not the first ones to show up.”
“You killed whoever got here first?”
“The first one was an accident. I forgot that spoons could be a weakness. But yeah, the others died after they refused to serve me. And now it’s your turn, Neal.”
She pushed the gun into his chest, aiming for the heart.
“You were so close”, Neal said.
“Were? Don’t make me laugh.”
“But you’ve come too close. Close enough to get licked.”
Trike slapped Loona with his tongue. She didn’t even have one last flinch left to pull the trigger. Unlike Neal, Loona was able to stand upright while she was paralyzed. Neal stepped aside and grasped the gun out of her hand.
“The skelethings should come any second. You didn’t think this through, did you?”
“Of course I did, Trike. Reach inside her shirt while I keep those things at bay with the gun.”
“Are you nuts? I already licked her without consent. I’m evil but I’m not a monster.”
“She said half of the villains created were searching for the Marshmallow Amulet. When so many powerful beings come to your home to take the one thing that could fulfill their goal and ruin yours, would you not always keep it on you?”
The army of the damned started clawing its way out of the walls. Neal decided to give Trike and Loona some privacy and stepped a few feet away from them, making it much weirder for them, actually. He aimed at the first monster that slowly crept towards him. Then he froze. He didn’t know what to do next. How would he fire a gun? Was there only one thing to pull or are there other things to work on first? Wasn’t there something called the safety? Was it on or off? Did he have to cock this type of gun? How would he know if there were any bullets? And how many? Was he aiming it the right way? Where would the bullet come out?
“Wasn’t the point of using the gun to shoot those things?” Trike yelled, elbow-deep in Loona’s cleavage.
“Wasn’t the point of you reaching in there to grab the damn amulet?” Neal rebutted.
“Oh I got that already.” He raised his other arm, holding the Marshmallow Amulet.
“Then what are you still doing in…never mind, let’s get out of here.”
Neal dropped the gun and they both sprinted out of the office. As they ran down the stairs and through the steel door, dozens of monsters broke through the walls and gave slow-motion chase to them.
They stood on a hill outside, looking down on the pizza mansion. At this point it looked like hundreds of those creatures poured out of the building. The stereotypical Italian staff must have been dead by now, and Loona would be still standing stiffly in her office.
“This is bad, Neal. There’s more and more coming. We can’t stop them without releasing Loona from her stasis, and we can’t do that because I will not step foot in that monster infested pizza palace. Truly, we have brought the end upon our very home.”
“We have the amulet, and this is not our problem.”
“It will be once this never ending army overruns the rest of the world, don’tcha think?”
“What’s your goal, Trike?”
“What are you trying to achieve with the help of the amulet? You’re not here to save the world from an undead invasion, so why bother? Loona mentioned that your goal might stand in her way. I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of you having such a potentially disastrous goal. But if that’s the case, why worry about those things down there? Why try to fix this? Are you gonna be a hero or are you gonna follow your destiny? You have to make a decision, dude.”
“I…I don’t know. Ever since the witch performed the dark ritual of villainy, I have lost my ability to make decisions. Even following the path of finding the Marshmallow Amulet and fulfilling my goal wasn’t a choice I made myself. It was one bestowed onto me by the witch.”
Trike tried to sit down on a protruding rock but then second-guessed whether it would be too uncomfortable to sit on. It would make him look like an idiot if he sat down and then immediately got back up again. But he was also not in a standing mood, either.
“It wasn’t the witch that decided your path. It was your destiny.” Neal observed the horde spreading out into all directions. “You should follow it.”
“Why? You put off finding the amulet until now, and so did I. All of those who were trying their hardest to fulfill that stupid destiny are either dead or paralyzed. But we’re fine. Why should I not just go back to the antique shop and live an ordinary life? Why should I care about this random goal assigned to me?”
“Because even though we don’t remember anything from our past lives, something made us so desperate that becoming what we are now was our last resort. I don’t remember why I craved this power either, but I won’t brush off my past decision to obtain it. Going to that witch to perform the ritual was the last conscious choice you made, and in your condition, I’d say you shouldn’t let that choice go to waste.”
“We’re supposed to be villains, Neal.” Trike let out a long sigh as he reflected on his minor criminal record. “I just don’t feel that evil.”
“You don’t have to be devilishly evil to qualify as a villain. You just have to be selfish.”
“Huh, I guess I still won’t qualify for that then”, Trike handed the Marshmallow Amulet to Neal. “You can use it first. It’s not like I won’t get a chance to after. Besides, I’m curious to see what kind of solar system you’ll send us to.”
Neal inspected the amulet. It looked so simple. A marshmallow and a thread. Yet this was supposedly a relic so powerful almost half of the witch-made villains required it for their very different agendas. Finally, he held it in his hands. Finally, he could put an end to this chapter and see what awaited him beyond his destiny.
“So, uh, how does it work? Do I squish it? Do I eat it?” Neal asked.
“Seriously? Your ineptitude doesn’t solely lie within modern machines but also extends to ancient artifacts?”
“You think you sound so smart when you do that, but talking like that in between crappy rap lyrics doesn’t do you any good.”
“Haha, aight, brother. Imma show you where it’s at.”
After Trike gave Neal directions to a place where the amulet would be most suitable to use, they traveled at the speed of butt and finally arrived at the top of a massive volcano.
“So we just roast the marshmallow over an active volcano and that will unleash its power?”
“Not quite. You have to speak a magic spell while you wear it. This will enchant the amulet. The volcano’s energy should transfer into the artifact.”
“Alright, what do I say?”
“Ignis in terram.”
“Sounds just as much like nonsense to me as Wifi and Bluetooth, but what do I know? Well, here it goes.”
Neal put on the Marshmallow Amulet. It felt heavier than when he was simply holding it. As if the weight of its power surfaced right when the amulet recognized his worth. It must have had some kind of sensors modern cars had that signaled when you were about to hit another vehicle with your shitty parallel parking attempt.
“Ignis in terram!”
The amulet began to vibrate instantly, then the marshmallow turned into a bright white glow.
“Nice, it’s working. Do I just make a wish or wha-”
Neal got hit by Trike’s slithering tongue. He was paralyzed with his mouth still open in mid-sentence. At least this time, he didn’t get smacked so damn hard and stayed upright.
“Thanks for your help, buddy. What’s that face? I know you’re paralyzed but you truly look puzzled. Let me explain real quick before I initiate the end of the world.” The monologue curse infested Trike deeply, he could not resist. “You see, I knew where the amulet was, I had the goddamn compass after all. But I needed someone to come along with me for two reasons. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you both.”
Despite the paralysis, Neal managed to let out an annoyed groan. Trike circled the stiff body to ensure there was no movement whatsoever while he delivered his unnecessary speech.
“First, I needed someone to overpower Loona because I knew she killed a bunch of the others who tried to get the relic. Second, I needed someone else as a stand-in for my goal. You see, I had to erupt all volcanoes in the world, and plaster the earth with fire and ash to fulfill my destiny. Dropping the Marshmallow amulet into the biggest active volcano would cause a magical chain reaction that would achieve the exact result I am aiming for. There was just one little hook and you’re not gonna like this: it also needed a sacrifice. I don’t know if it was my inability to make decisions or just plain fear of death, but I felt like I couldn’t fulfill my prophecy by just dying in lava. How could I enjoy the mayhem if I was dead? And you know what, you were right. All I needed was to be selfish. That’s where you come in, Neal. You’re wearing the amulet, you spoke the magic words to ensure the amulet does exactly what the volcano eruption spell aims for, and now…well, now you’ll just need a little push.”
Trike punctuated his last word by pressing his index finger against Neal’s forehead. Stiff as a board, Neal tipped backwards and plunged towards the belly of the blazing mountain. He caught fire long before he reached the gooey surface. As he burned up, the amulet worked its magic.
The volcano began to rumble, as did all other volcanoes around the globe. Active or not, all magma beneath Earth’s crust was going to surface that day.
“Thanks again, Neal. I really appreciate it. I wouldn’t even know how to get here without you.” Trike looked around and took a deep breath as he enjoyed the scenery of this tropical island.
“In fact, without you, I don’t know how to get out of here either.”
The lava was bubbling and began to rise.
“Well, this sucks.”
The witch held onto her table full of beakers and glassware as the earth shook. The tremor was over as quickly as it began. The man on the other side of the table could barely keep his balance.
“What the hell was that?”
“The end of the world, my dear”, she cackled fiendishly and continued her brew, then she handed it to the man.
“Is this safe to drink?” He asked.
“Look, pal, the whole planet is on fire, no one can predict the constant falling debris coming through the smog, and there’s a bunch of skeletal monsters crawling on lava. Do you want to be a hero or not? Drink the damn potion and follow your destiny to save the world. Don’t forget to stop for taco’s. You’ll need it.”
The witch cackled some more. Like, way more than anyone would be comfortable with.
For real, she’s still going.
And here are the lovely entries of the three mortals who became our villainous main characters: