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Catrina Sees the Funky Chicken

by on September 9, 2011

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our persiflagian heroine was being crushed under a giant pile of magically conjured legal encyclopedias. Worse yet, Catrina was about to have her head sliced off by her arch-nemesis, Susan, Mistress of all Character Hell. Susan, still possessing the body of her ex-minion Zombie Myronica, wasn’t following the usual villain rules: she hadn’t gone away to leave Catrina in a fiendish death trap (thus providing a convenient opportunity of escape), she hadn’t stopped to deliver a long monologue about her long-term plans or her delight in her victory, she hadn’t even delegated the job to a nearby minion who might have developed a sudden attack of conscience. She just came on, lightsaber in hand, intent on inflicting Catrina’s third death. It was not our heroine’s best day ever.

She had only seconds to live, she knew. Five, at the most. Maybe ten, if Susan missed the first swing. Seconds, either way. Catrina’s backstory flashed before her eyes. There wasn’t much to see. A lot of sword-fighting practice, the occasional excursion to the marketplace, chatting with Colin the Mime-Assassin…there was so much more that wasn’t there. Catrina wished now more than ever that she wasn’t only a character in a story, with a vaguely defined past only alluded to at critical moments. She wanted a real past. She wanted a real life, one that didn’t just flash before her eyes right before she died. She hadn’t even had a romantic subplot yet. And even if she had…all it would’ve been was a subplot. Catrina didn’t want a subplot; she wanted a relationship, with people who weren’t defined by their role in the story, but real people, gloriously unpredictable un-plottable people. She knew she was going a little heavy on the pathos and this whole flashback scene was probably cliche, but…”darn it,” Catrina exclaimed, “I am not a cliche!”

“Sure you are,” Susan said, pausing just as she was about to bring the blade down. “That whole life-flashing-before-your-eyes thing? Please. That never happens. The only thing that’ll flash across your eyes is bright blue plasma. And, incidentally….” Susan just couldn’t resist. “Have you considered how insignificant you are?”

“Excuse me? I’ve got twenty episodes so far! I’ve saved all fictional reality!”

Susan smirked. “Well, whoop de freakin’ doo. So what? You know you’re a story character, right? So that means that all you are is a bunch of lines on a page. An electronic page, no less. All it would take is one power outage,  one solar flare, one server crash, and boom. You’re gone. Bereft of life, you rest in peace. You would be an ex-character. And there’s maybe, what, ten, twenty people who’d even remember you. Now I know what you’re saying to yourself; yes, I could get wiped out of existence by a power failure, but Susan’s part of the same story so she’ll go too, right? Wrong. See, I’m an incarnation of pure evil. As long as there’s a bad guy anywhere in fiction, I’m in like Flynn. But you? You’re just a character. A bit player. Twenty episodes of meaningless tripe. You’re Myspace, I’m Facebook. Deal with it.”

At this point an optimistic hero would’ve seized the opportunity to interrupt Susan’s monologue with a daring escape. But Catrina had made a mistake of her own; she’d listened. And as she listened, Susan’s words bore down on her more than the legal encyclopedias piled on her back.  Her life flashed past her eyes again, this time in fast-forward mode, and Catrina realized that it hadn’t really meant anything. Susan was right; it was all just words on a page, and if that page got destroyed, that was the end of it. Her whole existence was a sham, which meant that she might as well not have stopped Susan before at all. Who cared if every fictional reality got destroyed? They never really existed anyway.

Susan had paused in her monologue, and waited in delight as Catrina talked herself over the event horizon of despair. Sometimes monologues did work, if only you could get the hero to pay attention. As much enjoyment as Susan was getting out of this, however, she knew she should wind things up pretty soon. So she raised the lightsaber and…Susan furrowed her brow. “No…no, no, no, this is just silly. Killing you with a lightsaber? Please. That’s been done. And done. This is a really special moment for me; I don’t want to ruin it by using a derivative weapon. ” Then she smiled fiercely, in much the same way that a mime wouldn’t. “Fortunately, I got this.”

She tossed aside the lightsaber, and produced a laser rifle. “But not just any laser rifle,” Susan corrected the narration, “Oh, no, this is a multi-plasmic ionized hyper-incendiaric exo-boosted super-mega-ultra-laser blaster death cannon of doom! I call it…..pause for dramatic effect…..the Funky Chicken!”

Susan had expected Catrina to close her eyes and give up in absolute surrender, completely whelmed over by the sheer firepower. Instead, Catrina’s face, which had been pale with despair, suddenly turned an odd shade of red. She looked almost as if she were choking. Then, slowly, she gasped out, “The Funky Chicken. You named your laser rifle the Funky Chicken. You’re…you’re the incarnation of pure evil, supreme ruler of Character Hell, the most diabolical villain in fictional history, and you named your unstoppable super-weapon the Funky Chicken!” Catrina couldn’t restrain herself anymore, and burst out into a peal of refreshing hysterical laughter.

Susan was thunderstruck. “Oh….yeah? Well….well, you think you can find a bigger chicken?”

Now it was Catrina’s turn to smile fiercely. “No. But I do have a panda.” She cleared her throat. Then she paused. “Er, Perry? You still have the bean, yes? Didn’t you lose it back in Episode 16?”

“Yes, but it just now magically reappeared in my pocket again. And can you hurry? These volumes of American Jurisprudence 2nd are hurting my spleen.”

“Right. Here goes. She does not get eaten by the eels at this time!”

*Flash*

Susan quirked her left eyebrow. “Oh, look. A panda. A….very big panda. A very big panda that looks like it’s on meth. Oh crap.”

*ROOOOOOOOOOOOOARRRRRRRRRR*

The mighty paw of the Panda of Unusual Size came down, smashing the Funky Chicken to bits. Susan fled in abject terror from its wrath. Catrina sighed. “Well, that was fun. Except we’re still stuck under all these legal encyclopedias. Unless…” an idea sprang through her mind like a springy thing that springs. “Montius Pythonicum!”

*Flash*

Perry gasped in shock. “Catrina! You’ve turned into a newt! What-”

Quietly the Catrinewt scurried out from under the pile of books. There was another flash.

“I got better.”

This has been another episode of the Catrina Chronicles, written using Prompt Thirty-Five of the Chrysalis Experiment. Tune in next time as Catrina tries to figure out how to solve the Secret of Shmirmingard, in the second story arc finale!

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9 Comments
  1. AHH! Loved it. I’d almost forgotten the Panda of Unusual Size; how silly of me.

    • Funny thing: I was actually going to give this a much sadder ending. Then I thought, Catrina stories shouldn’t be sad. Catrina stories should be funny. Then the chicken line came to me, and from there, the P.O.U.S. was inevitable. 😛

  2. You’ve placed our precious heroine into some rather ingenius death-traps, haven’t you?
    Good work!

  3. Dude, I am so behind………….need to figure out the last Cait…trina story I read. Maybe you can help me out?? LOL

  4. New word! persiflagian! love it 😉

    a newt!!! classic!!

    Loved this line: “an idea sprang through her mind like a springy thing that springs” 😉

    • persiflage, or persiflagian, is one of my favorite words. Along with “marina”, and “thrice”. 🙂

      • Those words are all awesome! But one of MY all-time faves is ‘smote’. hehehe

  5. Ooh, good one. Not to mention its variants. Smite, smitten…smiter. 😛

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