Sunday, December 20, 2009

Question the First

"Question the first," I began, "What the heck are y'all? You were like a dragon, but now you're a bunch of trucker ghosts. What's the deal here?"

They responded in a voice that sounded like the Vienna Boys Choir, if the Vienna Boys Choir were made up of adult ghosts. "We are the tormented spirits of meth addicts. The leaders of Clan Platypus on this planet searched far and wide to find those who were the most desperate, the most broken and the most addicted. They collected us together and took us to their underground base, deep beneath the Earth, where the dinosaurs roam free and the cheese fountains flow.

"At first, we thought we were the luckiest people in the world. Not only did we get to live with dinosaurs, which the ninjas had tamed and were using as beasts of burden, but Clan Platypus gave us all the meth we could use. It was heaven for a time. We would wake up in the afternoon, get spun on meth and then do whatever we took a mind to do.

"We built stuff, we cleaned, we collected things and we souped up the dinosaurs with blowers and slicks. And we listened to a whole lot of Skynard. But it was a lie, it was all a lie. The ninjas were just building our addiction to their horrible drug. Slowly, very slowly, they began to spread rumors that they were running out. We would receive less and less each day until, finally, we got none.

"It took mere hours for the withdrawal to kick in. We were shaky and itchy. By that time, it felt like ants had colonized under our skins, because the crystals had grown there. We scratched and scratched until the skin came off. Incidentally, this is how we learned we could feel pain again. We began to feel the throb of arms and legs we'd broken while doing our wild activities. The worst, though, was the emotional pain.

"Without the drug, our minds began working again. We started to see what animals we were becoming. We wondered aloud at some of the things we did, especially souping up those dinosaurs. Dinosaurs don't need giant, fat racing tires on them. They're animals, not cars. We also realized that our favorite music besides Skynard, which was mostly Kid Rock and Slipknot, totally, totally sucks. Strangely, Skynard still rocks pretty hard. We figure that's because they were making music before the drug became popular and they'd possessed that one thing that has become a detriment in modern music; talent.

"Then, just when we thought we were going to be clear of the drug, the ninjas brought more. We began to binge. We built and destroyed, built and destroyed. What we didn't notice is that they were keeping us off the drug longer and longer. When you're addicted, every day is much like the last. They just go by in gray blurs when you don't have the drug and in colored blurs when you do.

"Clan Platypus kept up this boom and bust cycle of meth of years. They were very scientific about it. They would dry us out before we did lethal damage to ourselves and they would deliver more drugs only after we were over the worst of the withdrawal. Finally, they cut us off entirely.

"At first, it was like every other time. We went through the withdrawal knowing that more drugs would be delivered to us soon, if we just stood it. But it was not to be. We waited and waited. A month passed. Then another month. Then a season. Then one day we woke up and found a year had passed since they took the meth away. Yet we were not clear of the itching, the hurting and the craving.

"Clan Platypus had induced in us a state of permanent withdrawal. We craved and craved, but the drug never came. We searched, we fought, we cried, but no drugs were to come. We became twisted and hateful inside. We all became extra destructive. Some of us destroyed things; tearing the tires of the dinosaurs, pulling down the dams on the cheese rivers that had been meticulously built out of toothpicks. Others destroyed other people, getting into fights that, more often than not, ended in murder. The rest of us destroyed ourselves.

"It didn't matter how it happened, or how long it took to break, all of us ended up dead in one way or another. And when we did, instead of the sweet release we were hoping for in death, we only got more slavery at the hands of Platypus.

"The Clan has a special council of 13 necromancers, consisting of the sons of the 13 top members. At first, the leadership didn't know what to do with their necromancers. Sure, they knew that their sons had gone off to Ninja college and gotten it into their heads that they were going to study Necromancy instead of something respectable like Disemboweling or even something practical like Camouflage Techniques. The leaders all thought their sons were just going through a phase and would eventually change their majors, but it was not to be.

"On the day the 13 sons graduated, the fathers finally accepted that they had necromancers in their ranks now. It was considered shameful at the time and many of the leaders attempted suicide before they had to show their hooded faces at the next ninja convention with a necromancer for a son. Two of them succeeded in their attempts, only to be revived by the very sons that gave them shame.

"It was this revival that made Clan Platypus reconsider. If the 13 sons could raise the dead, even after the dead had been eviscerated, beheaded and thrown in a volcano, then what else might be possible? They gave their sons free reign to experiment and develop their skills. We, the twisted souls you see before you, were one of their early projects. They purposefully corrupted our souls until our only outlet was death. Then, when we tried to die, they trapped our souls in glass bottles marked with two particular sigals; one that instructed us on what to do if ever we were released, and the other to continue to torture us. Then, they took those bottles and placed them strategically around the entrance to their underground volcano lair.

"Until today, we didn't know what our instructions would be. But then you and your group broke open our bottles and set us free. Many of us tried to flee, but the pain became too great. We were slowly pulled back to the corporeal sphere and we naturally formed into a dragon. Then, the hunger hit us. It was like the hunger each and every one of us died feeling towards meth. We had to feed, and so feed we did.

"But then you, Pat O'Neil, gave us the kick in the behind that we needed. Your scolding made us use our minds again. And your understanding has eased our suffering. You have set us free, good sir, and we shall always be indebted to you for that."

I was stunned. "Wow. That is some story, fellas," I said.

"It sure is," they responded. "You have two more questions to ask."

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