Saturday, December 27, 2003

TNT: Ch. 12

Two agonizing hours later, Vlad and his new-found friend were walking out of the hospital into a cool fall Illinois day. Vlad didn't have a clue where Eric and Gina were, but he figured they'd all meet up at the factory. This quickly ceased to be a concern when he spotted them walking out of a house together.
"How long was I in that coma," he joked, "That you two have bought a house here and are living together?"
"Nonsense, Vlad," Gina quipped back, "I'd never be living with him when we're still engaged."
A look of understanding passed over his face. "So the ring was from you, and not a lobster."
"Yes," she answered in slight confusion, noticing the crustacean for the first time.
"I was wondering when someone was going to mention that lobster," Eric chimed in, "Why is it covered in symbols?"
Suddenly Gina looked scared. "Vlad," she said in a slow, scared voice, "Let me see that lobster." He brought it closer to her. "Get rid of it. Let it go."
"I do not see what you have against my lobster friend. He may have odd body art, but there could be many reasons for-"
"Vlad, I don't want to talk about it. Please get rid of that lobster. For me. It will be fine on it's own."
"I would oblige you, Miss Gina, but I can't get rid of it. It follows me if I put it down." He demonstrated by setting it down and walking for a few paces. The lobster followed, with alarming speed.
"Well," she relented, "Just keep it away from me."
"Very well."
They walked in silence for a little longer.
"Gina," Eric began, "Why did you-"
"I said I didn't want to talk about it."
They walked the rest of the way to the factory (about ten feet) in silence.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

TNT: Ch. 11

Vlad awoke the next morning to find his finger clamped in a lobster claw.
"Ow!" he shook the lobster off of his hand, but seeing lying on the ground, immediately felt sorry. (He also wondered why it was covered with occult symbols, but that was a minor detail.)
"Small crustacean, I did not mean to hurt you, but why were you clawing at my rin- Wait a minute - This is not my ring! I have no rings. Perhaps the lobster was giving it to me as a gift. Here, you may have it back." But it wouldn't come off. Try as he might, it was stuck.
At this point, the nurse, having heard the "Ow!" rushed in. "Mr. Bergljotssen, You're up!!" she cried.
"Please call me Vlad. And we have this kind creature to thank for my recovery, " he gestured toward the lobster, "Modern medicine is a wonderful thing."
"Mr Bergljotssen, that lobster is not affiliated with this hospital! I will remove it immediately."
"Ma'am, I owe this lobster much. Let me keep it here."
The nurse had a concerned look on her face. "Let's finish up your paperwork and get you checked out. You can take it with you when you leave.'
"Very good," replied Vlad as he scooped up the creature, "It reminds me of a pet I had when I was a boy. Of course, he was a crayfish and not a lobster, but times were tough in the old country and only the rich had lobsters, and they mostly ate them. (Not that I can blame them; lobsters are quite delicious in the right sauce. Anyway..."
As he talked, the nurse was having the sort of thoughts health care professionals are generally ashamed of, namely "I liked him better in a coma."

Friday, December 19, 2003

TNT: Ch. 10

"Gina!! Gina!!! umm... Annette!!!" Eric ran through the street yelling, but to no avail. This was odd because Wheatsfield was not a big place. There was the junkyard, the hospital, and the Imini building, along with sme scattered houses, a store, and a gas station. Eric really was running through THE street. As he ran, he noted the astounding lack of theaters and felt a pang of guilt. Perhaps Gina was better off without him.
"Eric!" uttered a familiar voice, "Stop screaming your head off. You should be with Vlad."
Gina was poking her head out the door of one of the houses."
"He's awake, Gina! He's gonna stay there till morning. But I had to find you. I'm sorry. I had my priorities screwed up. But, now that we're all back together again, we should visit the factory. We're here anyway."
She thought for a long moment.
"Okay. We'll go in the morning. Until then, I'm spending the night here. I'll ask Mrs. Butterworth if you can too."
"You're rooming with a stranger?"
"You pick up a few things when you live on the road. She seemed nice enough. Hold on."
She popped her head in and closed the door. A few minutes later it was back.
"There's only one spare bed."
"Oh," he said awkwardly, "so we sha-"
She slapped him. "I meant you'd be sleeping on the couch."
"Gotcha." They went in, ready to finally end a long hard day.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

TNT: Ch. 9

Rob Bluntz was Silver Moose of the Order of Floobel, a powerful position among the Followers of the Whey. It meant he was next in line to be gold Moose, which was the highest position in the order of Floobel, the second highest among the order. It was a good position, but at some point everything had gone wrong. Currently, he was standing at a crossroads outside Wheatsfield, Illinois, trying to consult the Sacred Lobster of Bune-Doom, whom he had been carrying in a special lobster satchel (The Blessed Lobster Satchel of the Everlasting Fish, Cheesecake Forever Be with Him). It had stopped indicating a direction, which either meant he was at the right spot, or the lobster was hungry. The problem was that Rob had run out of Holy Lobster Food and to feed the Sacred Lobster anything else was blasphemy. Of course, he had the authority to bless lobster food, but he needed running water and a goat to sacrifice.
It was just as he was debating this that he got hit in the head by a toaster and knocked out cold. The lobster wriggled out of the satchel and scuttled off.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Comment This!

A guy named Nik at has a free comment hosting service that I'm now using for this. Shout out to Nik, and if you're reading this I will PayPal you the two dollars soon.

Monday, December 01, 2003

TNT: Ch. 8

She was awakened by a mad shouting at the door.
"You have to let me in! My friend is in there! Vlad!"
"No, but practically! He's my best friend!"
"What's his last name?"
It seemed that Eric was here. She'd bail him out.
"I can't believe you, brother! Forgetting my fiance's last name, on the way to the wedding! And after what happened to him, because of your lousy driving!"
"But that's what I came to tell you... sis. I finished talking to the insurance company and-"
"Oh get on in!" said the fed up nurse, "But don't be staying the night!"
Once out of earshot, they resumed their conversation.
"Fiance?" asked Eric.
"Well, they've got some stupid rule about staying the night here. Anyway, what's the deal?"
"We've got no car and almost no money. But I have a quest, and I will-"
"Your quest has your friend in a coma. Let's get our priorities straight."
Eric tried to interrupt her but was shushed.
"No, let me finish. This isn't my quest and it isn't my fight, but this morning I gave up my dream of being on Broadway to get in a car with a crazy man because I thought he had a vision and a quest. Since then it's been one bad thing after another. I'm only still here because poor Vlad got sucked in like I did and someone should stay with him. Now that you're here, I think it's your responsibility. Try that on for a quest."
She stormed out of the hospital, leaving Eric at Vlad's bedside.
For a moment, everything was quiet, except for the beep...beep...beep of Vlad's heart moniter.
"Vlad. Poor Vlad. I did suck you in, and I got sucked in too. To something bigger than me, something I don't understand. A crazy dream about a new toaster, that would be better than the old one. It could still be out there. Who knows? Who cares? All I know is that I ran into my old toaster today, and it's as malicious as ever. As much as I'd like to go home and call it quits, I don't want that toaster and its brethren to be all there is. I couldn't live in a world like that! I'm going to find a real toaster! A good toaster! A just toaster!"
"And I will join you, Eric Smellick!" said Vlad sitting bolt upright.
"What happened?" he asked more calmly.
"Its a long story, but if you want a place to sleep tonight, pretend to be in a coma."
"And what will you do?"
"I'm going to find Gina!"

TNT: Ch. 7

Gina had been waiting for most of the day. She'd used some valuable food money to eat at the hospital, but was weary of where to sleep. By her original calculations, she was in New York by now. There was some margin for error financially, but not much. The best thing to do, she concluded, was to sit by Vlad's bedside all night. She understood that it was a common practice for family members or close friends of injured people. Of course, he was almost a complete stranger, but it was a place to stay. She had almost dozed off, when a nurse came in.
"Excuse me, ma'am, are you kin?"
"Not exactly," she replied, sensing trouble. "How's he doing?" she changed the subject.
"He's in a coma, didn't they tell you?"
"I must have... forgotten." In fact, the doctors had been keeping her out of the loop all day.
"Well, if you're not kin I'm afraid you'll have to come back tomorrow. We had to do that after we had bums sleeping by random beds."
"Please," she said, discreetly slipping one of her rings onto Vlad's finger, "Vlad and I are... were... engaged -" at this she began to cry.
The nurse looked uneasy.
"Well, I guess that's alright dear. Take care."
She left. That was close. Her years of fake crying to get her way with her parents had paid off. But how long could she keep this up? Oh well, it was a problem for tomorrow.