Thursday, March 17, 2011


By MJ Heiser

The fires of a red-hot rage fueled by injustice and fatigue spread through your limbs. Damn it! This isn’t fair! You only wanted to eat some chicken. Instead you end up scrambling for a new wardrobe and getting blasted back to Revolutionary France to deal with a runaway royal and her douchebag boyfriend.

All you know is that you aren’t going to take this anymore. You frown. “Oh yeah, tough guy?” you say. There’s a strange, breathy, needling quality to your voice, and you realize that you sound a little bit like Sugar Ray Leonard. Or Mike Tyson. Through the scrim of your exhaustion, you’ve also noted that you’ve started the “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” shuffle made famous by Muhammad Ali. The adrenaline in your system is making you giddy. I don’t know how to fight! you think gleefully to yourself. And I haven’t watched wrestling since Hulk Hogan’s day!

Napoleon watches you carefully. Suddenly, you see it: That strange twinkle in his eye that tells you that not only does he understand combat, he really, really enjoys it. He’s studying your moves for danger. A smile on his face makes it clear he knows there is no real danger.

“Monsieur,” he says politely with a deferential nod, “are you in need of a way to relieve your bladder?”

Marie giggles.

You stop shuffling and gape stupidly at him. “Huh?”

With a lightning quickness you can hardly believe, he draws his sword and draws a line across your guts. You feel warmth spreading down your abdomen. Blood. You also feel warmth spreading down your thighs. Piss.

“Or shall I do it for you?” he laughs, as the lights in your mental attic dim and go out.

The last thing you hear is the electronic squawk of Nubleman’s voice: “You ridiculous moron.”


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