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Susan vs. Catrina

by on August 26, 2011

Last time, in the Susan Chronicles, the diabolical Mistress of all Character Hell had just opened the door to the secret treasure chamber of the Dwarves of Twilyt’s Dum. It was a very fulfilling moment for her. Ordinarily the villain didn’t win; she knew that perfectly well. The hero always shows up at the last second, the villain gets caught monologuing, Wile E. Coyote never catches the Roadrunner, and good triumphs over all. Ordinarily. But Susan figured she had all her bases covered. The heroine couldn’t show up to save the day, because Susan’s mind was in her body, and as long as that little time-share arrangement lasted, Susan had nothing to worry about. Myron the Saltbender had the sidekick covered, so he couldn’t do any sudden bursts of heroism. Susan had no intention whatever of monologuing. Not now. Not when she was so very close.

The secret chamber was appropriately dark and musty. Idly Susan wondered why treasures were never hidden in bright airy chambers with lacy wafting curtains and a flowerpot, but she decided not to pursue the matter further. She had a lot more important things to think about, one of which was the slumbering princess Ermingarde lying peacefully on a mattress in the center of the chamber. Susan blinked. “Really, guys? A mattress? What, no canopy, no four-poster, not even a bunkbed? You just threw her on a mattress and called it a day? Dwarves. Honestly.”

Myron sniggered. He was about to make the usual sycophantic comment that minions like himself usually made, when he realized that Susan was already moving into the chamber. Myron scrambled to catch up, blurting out in his desperation to appease his potentially wrathful leader, “I’ll bet they didn’t even build a proper treasure chest, right? Prob’ly just threw some coins in a sack and left, eh?”

Susan paused. She glanced around. Her breathing quickened in anger. “Myron…I don’t see a sack. Do you see a sack?”

“Er, no, I was-”

“Actually, I don’t see anything. Not a sword. Not a treasure chest. Not a gold coin or Spanish doubloon or even so much as a state quarter from Wyoming. Nothing. There’s no treasure. None. Zilch. Nada. ZIP.”

“Er…maybe it’s hidden under a rock?”

Myron had only just gotten the job through the Minion’s Union not that long ego; he wasn’t an expert in minion-villain relations, and really didn’t know when he should keep his mouth shut. It was knowledge he would never have the chance to acquire. Susan drew Caitlin’s lightsaber and cut him down without so much as a flicker of hesitation. “Oh, blast,” she said aloud, “I’ve started randomly slaying my minions. Perry, buddy, if I start monologuing, can you let me know?”

Perry snickered. “Sure thing. Right after you find your ancient dwarvish treasure that doesn’t actually exist.”

“Shut. It.” Susan snapped, her eyes blazing. “Oy, I hate this. I am so looking forward to Friday. Ah, Friday. Friday. Gettin’ down on….wait. Why is that song in my head?”

“What song?”

“You know. Yesterday was Thursday. Today it is….gah! It’s in my head now! What on earth!”

To explain Susan’s mounting alarm, one must understand that, being the supreme mistress of all Character Hell and the incarnation of pure evil, Susan wasn’t exactly prone to absolute honesty. When she told Caitlin way back in Episode 9 that the record for how many times a person had listened to the song was three hundred and forty-seven million, she had pulled that number right out of thin air. As a matter of fact, Susan herself hadn’t even heard the original song all the way through. She had read the lyrics online, knew the basic idea, but she’d never listened to it. There was no logical reason why that song should be going through her head. Unless…

Susan’s eyes twitched back and forth. “Caitlin. It has to be her. She’s in my head!”

“Actually,” Perry couldn’t resist pointing out, “since it’s her head to begin with…”

She should have walloped him like a good villain would, but Susan suddenly had a very strong impression that she shouldn’t wallop Perry because Perry was a nice guy, really, deep down, and “Gah!” she exclaimed. “She’s still there! Get out of my mind, you stupid freaky princess twip! Out! Shoo! Begone!”

But Caitlin wasn’t going anywhere. All of a sudden Susan’s mouth twisted, and she spoke in a strangled whisper. “Susan…I swear…I am going to hurt you.”

“Oh no you’re darn well not!” Susan snapped. “Because it’s not Friday! You’re sittin’ in the back seat; I’m still kicking in the front seat, and-AAAH!”

In desperation, she frantically launched into her own theme song. “Oh I’m evil for sure, I’d make a throw rug from Eeyore, I mock the elderly and poor, ’cause I am Susan, hear me rawr! My favorite color’s black, no, red! I tell small kids that Santa’s dead! I’d make a pinata from your head! I have a pet cat, named it Fred! I always sing in minor key! I have a lair in Germany! I’m better than Caitlin, you see! My villain song just hit verse three!”

Susan’s left eye twitched manically. She could practically feel Caitlin’s personality surging back. She couldn’t let that happen, not yet. Frantically Susan flourished the lightsaber and charged towards the still-sleeping Princess Ermingarde, determined to whack her head off while she had the chance. But just as she brought the blade down, Susan’s arm snapped aside, and then her whole body wrenched with it. She tumbled to the side of the mattress, her elbow slamming hard on a stone tile. Susan swore violently, realizing that she probably had only a few seconds more before Caitlin regained herself. Then she paused. Was that a click? Had she just heard a click?

With a loud, sonorous rumble, part of the chamber wall abruptly slid open. Light flashed from behind it. Sparkly light. “AW YEAH!” Susan yelled, more excited than that eleven-year-old girl in Texas who was named mayor for a day and promptly named a street after Justin Bieber. Susan sprinted forward into the glittery treasure room, not even caring about the piles of shiny gold coins or jewels. Her eyes flew to the sword. A long blade of smoky dark metal, a hilt wrapped in white cloth, lots of random runes that would’ve made a Tolkien fan weep for joy…it was one of the Five. The Swords of Literary Power. Susan had no idea which one, and she didn’t have time to ponder. She charged forward, her hand clasped the hilt, and suddenly sharp beams of white light flashed all around her….

***

“Maralyn! It’s a girl!”

“So it is,” the queen replied in happy tiredness. “What shall we call her?”

“That’ll be easy,” the king said, gazing into his small daughter’s eyes. “We’ll name her Ca-“

*KZZZZZZH-FLASH*

“-trina.”

***

“Okay, Myron, here’s the deal. You get Princess Catrina to say the magic words, and that’ll release me from Character Hell and let me walk about in her world. It’s perfect! What could possibly go wro-

*KZZZZZZH-FLASH*

“On second thought, I think I’d better send your twin sister Myronica. That way, in case the worst happens and I lose control of Catrina, I can have someone to fall back on, possession-wise. I could possess you, in a pinch, but that’d just be….ew. Myronica”ll do just nicely.”

***

Her hand let go of the hilt. She staggered back, her head spinning. “Whoa…trippy.”

“Catrina!” Perry yelled, rushing towards her. “Is that…erm….are you….yourself?”

“Catrina? Who the h-” Susan froze. “Continuityslicer. Holy cow. The beard lied. This isn’t the Themesword; it’s Continuityslicer!” Her mind raced with possibilities. Continuityslicer’s power was that it could randomly change any element of a story’s past. Ancestors, birth names, gender, sidekicks, origin stories, power sources, anything. The awesome and completely unpredictable power of the Retcon was now in her grasp. Trouble was, she only had about two seconds to realize this, before she felt herself slipping away again. Susan looked frantically around and there! Myronica! Granted, Myronica was still technically dead, but a zombie minion was better than nothing. She concentrated on the hapless form and called on all the mystical dark powers she knew. There was a flash and a bang, and suddenly Zombie Myronica came wobbly to her feet.”Braaaiiins….er, I mean, yeah. I’m still Susan. Not a zombie. That was kinda obligatory, though. Right, where’s my former host body person? Ah. There she is! Who’s a good wittle….oh. your mind’s back. And you’ve got your lightsaber. Well…” Myronica clenched her fist, but apparently this continuity’s version of Myron wasn’t a Saltbender. With a sigh, she bent down and snatched the nearest weapon that came to hand: a rock. “Let’s get this fight scene going then, shall we?

Meanwhile, Princess Catrina convulsed, shuddered, and collapsed on the floor. Then her eyes flew open, and she scrambled upright again, more mad than she had ever been, by a long shot. “Two things,” she rasped, almost as if she’d forgotten how to talk clearly. Which, considering that she hadn’t been in control of her vocal cords for several days at last, wasn’t that far off the mark. “One. I liked my old name. You had no right to change that. And two….

“Wait, let me guess. You want me to put down my rock, and you’ll put down your sword (lightsaber, really, but why be picky?) and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?”

The princess formerly known as Caitlin gave a most unprincess-like snarl. “No. Oh, no. I am not Westley, you are not Fezzik, and you know what? You keep the rock. I’ll keep my sword. And there’s no try. Civilized or not, I’m ending you. Now.”

Zombie Myronica hefted the rock. “Bring it on, sugar plum.”

*VSSSSH VMMM VMMM BMMMM VMMMM*

*FLING*

*SMASH*

“Huh. Rock does not apparently beat lightsaber. Rats. Well. I suppose I’ll have to call on my evil dark powers of evilness. Ahem-hem.” *cough” “Corpus juris secundum!”

A short pause. Catrina looked bewildered. Perry wasn’t much far behind her in the bewilderment department, especially as he understood Latin. “That’s not a magic spell, that’s just a set of legal encyclope-”

*WHAM*

Out of nowhere a gigantic encyclopedia smashed through the wall and knocked Catrina flat. Then another, then another, until a veritable storm of hefty legal tomes had blasted into the chamber, ricocheting around and smashing helter-skelter into things, mainly Catrina and Perry. Within seconds they were whelmed over, trapped beneath a looming pile of immense books. In the chaos, Catrina’s lightsaber fell from her hand, and Zombie Myronica Susan snatched it from the floor and brandished it high. “That was for the Jumbotron,” she said. “Now, then, just to recap, you’re flat on the ground, no weapon, with giant legal encyclopedias pinning you down. I, on the other hand, have your lightsaber, and I am perfectly willing to use it. I’ll take your surrender now.”

“Do you honestly expect me to surrender?” Catrina said as fiercely as she could muster.

Susan had been really hoping Catrina would say that. “No, Princess Catrina, I expect you to die! And I’m not leaving the room either leaving you in some ridiculous death trap all by yourself, oh no, we’re finishing this now! Say goodnight, Gracie!”

*VMMM VMMM*

*SLASH*

….

Will Catrina survive? Will she ever get used to her new name or will she end up changing it to an unpronounceable symbol? Did the 1990s just call, and do they want their joke back? Is 42 really the answer to life, the universe, and everything? To find out, be sure to read the next Catrina-Susan-Caitlin-whatever-we’re-calling-it-now Chronicle episode, coming next week.

Also, this story was written using Prompt Thirty-three of the Chrysalis Experiment.

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11 Comments
  1. OMigosh, your blog looks different! I like it! Easier on the eyes. I’m tempted to change the Chrysalis blog’s look, have been for a while…but not sure what to do about the graphic 😉

    • hypotheticallywriting permalink

      I’m glad you like it. I’ve been thinking about changing for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to it until today. And not only is it nicer aesthetically, it has more room for widgets and such. Hooray for widgetry! 😛

  2. Bah! Loved it! If I write an Evil Susan, can she reference your song? Poor Catrina, lol. As usual, I laughed all the way through.

    Diggin’ the blog do-over, too. So many new places to click!

    • Yes she can; my song is for all the Evil Susans of the world. The whole vast diabolical Susanic community. 🙂

  3. Some people lead truly interesting lives, don’t they?
    I hardly ever meet zombies!

    • I don’t either, but if I do, I will be prepared because I have read the Zombie Survival Guide. It has many useful tips. For example, stairs. Zombies cannot climb stairs, apparently. So just get in a two-story building and you’re safe.

  4. LMAO. I think is fabulous that “Friday” came back into the mix. And a mention of Bieber, too!! Classic!

    In every story I read, there is just too much to comment on that I could probably go on for days on each story. haha. loved the reference to the legal tomes too 😉

    • The Bieber metaphor, about the girl who was named mayor for a day and named a street after him? That actually happened. True story.
      And the legal tomes reference, well, this story got written fairly shortly after I’d started law school. You can tell. 😛

      • My friends who work in the Law library at my uni would probably get a great chuckle out of all your law posts too 😉

  5. Coincidentally, I myself have just started working at the law library. so you can expect many more legal references in future.

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