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Catrinayashi Maru

by on October 18, 2011

And now, another episode in the Catrina Chronicles. Roll film!

“Mr. Splork, fire!”

The alien reached for the appropriately big and appropriately red button that would instantly trigger a thousand laser cannons. As his slimy tentacle descended towards the button, Catrina ran through her options. This didn’t take long, since she only had two. Die, or….okay, so she only had one. A thousand laser cannons were pointed at her; behind hovered a swarm of Velociraptors in attack helicopters. All she had was a lightsaber and a flannelgraph. There was absolutely no way she could hold off a thousand laser cannons and flying dinosaurs with one lightsaber and a flannelgraph. She couldn’t win. Any second now a thousand plasma beams would vaporize her into tiny little molecules. She wouldn’t even have time to say the Montius Pythonicum spell. Even had she had the time to finish it, all that would happen was that she would be instantly transformed her into a newt. Newts are about as vulnerable to laser cannons as anything else. So, the rules of the game were entirely against her. She could give up, or….suddenly Catrina smiled, that slow half-smile that meant very bad things for anyone in her way. Not all the rules were against her, she knew. Because (and she thought this was really brilliant), she was, after all, only a character in a story. And that meant her thoughts were the words of the story. And that meant that as long as she could spend words by thinking, her writer couldn’t use other words to write her death. Mr. Splork’s tentacle descended still further towards the button and p-but Catrina was too quick for him! She began thinking as hard and rapidly as she could. She thought about math, and salamanders, and Friday, and yes! Friday! For the first time in a long while Catrina was grateful that she’d been forced to listen to that song three hundred forty-seven million and one times. Quickly she ran the words through. Yesterday was Thursday. Today it is Friday! We we we so excited. We so excited. We gonna have a ball today. Tomorrow is Saturday! And Sunday comes afterwards! I don’t want this weekend to ennnnnd!

Catrina kept on thinking, powering through the rest of the verses. Then she searched about for another song. Or a mathematical formula. Or….yes! A federal statute of the United States government! 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b)! A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by l-

Darkness fell like a random flour barrel falling onto someone’s head. It was as if a giant light switch had suddenly been flicked off. Catrina gulped a bit nervously. Perhaps she’d overdone it with the federal statute. Then the lights came back on, except now she was in a cold, white-walled, sickly-green-linoleumed room. Before her was a long metal table, behind which sat…Catrina blinked slowly. Spinach? Tiny little spinach plants?

“Ahem,” one of them coughed, further throwing Catrina’s world a-kilter. “We have summoned you here because you have violated the rules of your people.”

“Well…” Catrina said, “I didn’t expect the Spinach Inquisition.”

Nobody expects the Spinach Inquisition!” the little spinach planets chorused in unison.”Our chief weapon is very sharp leaves and the ability to pause the story! Our, ahem, two weapons are very sharp leaves, the ability to pause the story….among our weapons…oh, never mind.” They were still saying all this in unison, which was very disconcerting for poor Catrina.

“The point,” the leader of the Spinach Inquisition went on, “is that you aren’t following the guidelines of the story! You aren’t supposed to stall the action with an internal monologue!”

“What was I supposed to do?” Catrina replied angrily. “Susan was wrecking everything, continuity was falling apart, I had wings for heaven’s sakes, and I had a fight with Perry on top of it and I really hated that because….well, that’s none of your business anyway!”

“Oh-HO!” the spinach inquisitor squeaked maliciously. “I think someone’s got a love interest!”

“I do not!”

The plants began waving their leaves in the air and chanting in unison. “Catrina and Perry, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-”

“Hey, guys?” Catrina interrupted, and her voice was so very quiet and calm that the spinach plants paused in their chanting. “You messed up.”

“How so?” the leader said, still trying to stifle a giggle.

“When you brought me here, you forgot to leave out my lightsaber.”


The Spinach Inquisition gaped collectively. “But…”the leader protested, “you cannot kill us! We are the Spinach Inquisition!”

“Kill? Oh no. That would be wasteful. I had a better idea. See, with all this running about, fighting Velociraptors, nearly getting laser-blasted to bits, I’m finding myself rather in need of a snack.”

“You can’t snack on the Spinach Inquisition!” the plant leader screamed in outrage. “Who do you think you are, Popeye?”

Catrina smiled. “I yam what I yam.” Her blue blade flashed forward. The Spinach Inquisition gibbered in horror and fright. The blade stopped one micrometer away from the leader, so close that it singed his very leaves. “Tell you what. You send me back to where I was-no, strike that. You send me back to the point in the cave right after I summoned the Panda of Unusual Size. I think that should do it. And you promise never to bother me or anyone else in my story again. If you do…I’ll come back for seconds.”

The Spinach Inquisition had little choice. The leader made a whimper of assent and waved his leaves. The lights flickered out again. When they came back on, Catrina found herself pinned under the pile of legal encyclopedias just as she had been in Episode 21. Only this time, when she heard the mighty roar of the Panda of Unusual Size, she yelled out quick as she could, “Hey! P.O.U.S.! Make sure she doesn’t get the sword!” She heard a thump and a clang, and Susan using dreadful language and then a quick flurry of footsteps as the P.O.U.S. chased her away. Catrina newtified herself, scurried out from under the books, waited until she got better, and then retrieved Continuityslicer. She paused briefly, holding it gingerly by the hilt. If she had the Power of the Retcon, couldn’t she….no. Some powers were better left not called on.

“Right,” she said to Perry once she had dug him out from under the legal encyclopedias, “back to our dilemma. How are we going to wake up Princess Ermingard? And, incidentally, you don’t remember the little fight we had in the last episode, do you?”

“But we didn’t fight in the last episode,” Perry said.

Catrina sighed with relief. “Hooray for time travel and Spinach Inquisitions.”


“Never mind.”

This has been an episode of the Catrina Chronicles. Be sure to tune in next time, when our perspicacious heroine might (or might not) finally solve the Secret of Shmirmingard. Also, this story was written with Prompt Forty-Two of the Chrysalis Experiment. Thanks for reading!



  1. LOL. I read the first few words of the 2nd paragraph and it made me realise how much I have missed. I really am terrible! I’m going to make it a goal for 2012 to get all caught up on Catrina!

  2. I have not read the other Catrina stories but this is an amusing read. I didn’t might the way the way the story zip-zaps from one thing to the next, very much like a tv show.

    Those P.O.U.S. reminds me of the movie the Princess Bride in which there are R.O.U.S. – Rodents of Unsual Sizes. That movie’s quite fun to watch.

    have a lovely day.

    • The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies! It is indeed fun to watch. The book’s fun to read, too. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Why are these buttons ALWAYS red?

    • I suspect because no one would take the villain seriously who yelled, “And now, I shall push the big pink polka-dotted button OF DOOM!”

      • Though that might be a thought for a future Catrina episode 😀 a pink polka-dotted button of doom!

        Love how the story came back to the point when it all went wrong, so Catrina could make it right again…for now!hehe

        LOVE the Spinach Inquisition 😛

      • I just might use the Big Pink Polka-Dotted Button of Doom in a future episode. It sounds very…Susanic. 😛

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