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Catrina’s Wonderful Life

by on December 31, 2011

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our persiflagian heroine was clinging to the struts of a helicopter, a helicopter which held (who else but) Susan, ex-mistress of all Character Hell. Catrina had by now completely lost track of how many times something like this had happened. She had a sudden burning desire to meet her author and give him a good whack over the head with a hammer. What wrong had she committed, what terrible thing had she done in a previous existence, to get herself constantly written into perilous situations fighting Susan again and again and again? Worst of all, in the confusion that had followed her smacking facefirst into the side of the helicopter (“And thanks so much for that,” Catrina interjected), she had dropped her towel.

“Wait a sec!” Susan interjected, just as she was about to fire a machine gun into Catrina’s face, “when the flagnog did you get a towel?”

“Don’t you remember? NaNoWriMo this year? Catrina IN SPACE?”

“You idiot!” Susan yelled.

“You know,” Catrina yelled back, (clinging to a struts of a helicopter while its blades are spinning overhead does tend to increase the yelling), “I’m getting really tired of you mocking me!”

“I think it’s justified in this case!” Susan yelled even louder. “Our author (and what a moron he must be) is still editing that thing! Yeah, sure, he’ll probably put it out there next year, but ’till then, how is anyone supposed to know that you got a towel to begin with?”

Catrina had to admit that Susan had a point. Of course, if she was right, then that meant…”So our continuity’s pretty much shot to heck at this point, huh?”

“I don’t know: do you remember getting married?”

“Getting what now?”

Susan smirked. “Exactly!”

“I GOT MARRIED?” Catrina was so startled that she almost dropped the helicopter. “When was this? Who? And why don’t I…wait. This whole story means nothing, doesn’t it? I just got dragged in here out of proper continuity because I’m supposed to have a happy New Year’s Eve adventure just like I did at Christmas! I’m not an independent character after all, I’m just a stupid prop! Honestly, I wish I’d never been written to begin with!”

Now, it was very foolish for Catrina to say such a thing, because in stories characters who make wishes like that nearly always have them granted, and they don’t usually like what happens next. Susan, naturally, heard her wish and broke out into a positively feral grin. “Your wish is my command, oh toweled one!” And before Catrina knew what was happening, Susan had thrown aside her machine gun, snatched a red lightsaber from someplace, and run Catrina right through her spleen.

Catrina winced automatically, expecting to feel a shock wave of pain and anguish. She had died twice so far (not counting that thing in Catrina in Space) but neither of those deaths had included a lightsaber to her spleen. Still, just on general principle, she had expected it to hurt. A lot. She was somewhat disconcerted when it didn’t. She didn’t feel anything at all. For Susan’s sake she winced again and let out a shriek of agony, but Susan didn’t seem convinced. “Yeah, I know it doesn’t hurt, so stop shrieking, ya faker. This isn’t an ordinary lightsaber. It’s the Magic Spleen-Piercing Lightsaber of Time Changes.”

“Of course it is,” Catrina said. “Better than the Funky Chicken, I’ll give you that. So, what does the Magic Spleen-Piercing Lightsaber of Time Changes actually do? Besides the obvious, I mean.”

“You got your wish,” Susan sneered. “You weren’t written.”

Suddenly there wasn’t any more helicopter. The strut vanished right out of Catrina’s hand and she started to tumble towards a distant parking lot below, but the thought “Oh crap oh crap I’m gonna get horribly splatted” had only just gotten to the first Oh crap when she realized that there wasn’t a parking lot either. Another second, and there wasn’t anything. She was surrounded by complete, empty, and very cold darkness.

“Hello?” Catrina called out. “Anyone there?”

She didn’t even get an echo. Or a reply. That is, until Susan crept up behind her and yelled “BOO!” If you have ever found yourself suddenly in complete darkness and then you hear a sudden voice yelling “BOO” you can probably understand why Catrina, brave as she was, leaped a good two feet in the air and let out a good shriek. When she landed, and heard Susan laughing her fool head off, Catrina had another understandable reaction: she snap-kicked Susan right in the mouth.

“OW!” Susan yelled. “Fine! Be that way! See if I care! We’re stuck here for eternity thanks to you, so you could at least stop with the snap-kicking!”

Catrina felt a cold shudder running down her back. “I’m stuck here. With you. For all eternity.”

“Yep. Wanna have a Friday sing-along?”

The princess felt a scream welling up inside her. To counter that, she quickly asked, “Okay, what on earth happened? Why exactly are we here?”

“Duh. You weren’t written. You got your wish. Yay. So, as a consequence of that, you weren’t there in Episode 13, “Caitlin vs. Susan”, when you stopped me from destroying all fictional reality by burning the Puzzle of Worlds. So now all fictional reality’s gone.”

“No….” Catrina gasped. “But…what about my, well, husband and kids? You said I was married, right? You tell me where my love interest is, Susan!”

“Aren’t you getting it? This isn’t like the movie where it’s just a more messed up future. Perry’s not going to be working late at the library (which, technically, he would be anyway, because he’s a librarian’s assistant). This isn’t even Potterville, okay? This is nothing. Zilch. Zip. It’s all wiped out!”

Catrina couldn’t believe it. And, it turned out, she had a good reason. “Susan, the only reason you were able to set the Puzzle of Worlds on fire is because I took care of the mutant duck for you! If I hadn’t been written, I couldn’t have done that, now could I?”

A sudden look of hesitation crossed Susan’s face, not that Catrina could see it, because, you know, complete and utter dark. “Yes…well…um…ah-ha! Remember Episode 23, when I used Continuityslicer to wipe out every story’s timeline and cause reality to collapse, again?”

“Yeah, but still, you wouldn’t have had Continuityslicer if I hadn’t accidentally allowed your spirit to possess me in the first place! And, by the way, I should have mentioned this before, but, ew.”

Susan facepalmed. “Stop ruining the moral, will you? The point is, somehow or other I would have destroyed fictional reality! I was working on doing that anyway when I first decided to go back in time and kill your mother, who, by the way, is back to being dead now! As is your whole kingdom. Because, guess what: even if you do weasel out of this fictional reality thing, you still don’t exist. And that means I don’t either, because I was created so I could be your nemesis! And..wait….crap.” She vanished before she had time to scream.

Catrina was alone. All alone in the dark. It wasn’t exactly pleasant. She tried to hum a tune, but it kept turning out like Friday. And then the true horror of her situation dawned. She didn’t exist. And that meant all the other characters of her stories didn’t exist either. Colin the Mime-Assassin. Her parents. Shmirmingard Castle. Princess Ermingard. Perry.  They weren’t there because she wasn’t there. Catrina didn’t have a bridge to pray at, so she did the next best thing: she flung herself to her knees. “Okay!” she yelled out at her author, or whoever else might be listening. “Get me back! I don’t care what happens to me…well, actually, I kinda do, but that’s not the point! I want to be written again!” her voice went out into the darkness around her, and nothing happened. “Please…” Catrina whispered, her eyes getting misty with emotion, “Please…let me be written again.”

All at once she heard a noise. It sounded like…just maybe…a steady thwipthwipthwipthwip. Before she could work out what it was and why it was thwipping, she felt a sudden sharp pain, and all at once wind blasted in her face and she was clinging to the helicopter struts again and she was alive! “Hey!” Susan yelled from above her. “Your spleen’s bleeding, ya moron! Are you aware of that?”

“What the…” Catrina said. Then she glanced down, and realized that Susan hadn’t stabbed her with a magic time-changing lightsaber after all, but just a pointed stick. “Ha ha ha! My spleen’s bleeding, Susan! My spleen’s bleeding!”

“Um…yes? It is? Yay?”

But Catrina, powered by sheer joy and happiness, gave a mighty pull on the struts, swung herself up into the chopper, and snap-kicked Susan so hard that she felt out the other side, plummeting down until she landed upon a water buffalo in a zoo that just happened to be below her. The poor water buffalo was sorely injured, and Susan was immediately taken into custody, shrieking like a madwomen that she would get Catrina for this if it was the last thing she did. “Merry Christmas!” Catrina yelled down, waving from the chopper, “And a happy New Year! In jail!” She then politely asked the pilot if he could fly her to the nearest hospital, please, because her spleen really was bleeding and that seemed like a rather serious problem. Fortunately the pilot got her there in time, and she had it removed safely. Of course, it is not true that the spleen is a completely useless organ: Catrina would now be increasingly at risk of getting pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis, and that was assuming she didn’t contract an overwhelming post-splenectomy infection. She would probably be required to take more antibiotics and vaccinations, and quite possibly a-

“HEY!” Catrina yelled from the hospital. “For once, just once, can’t I have a really happy ending?”

Right. And so, as Tiny Tim would have observed in this situation, try not to lose your spleen, because it really is important.

“And as Rebecca Dew would have observed, that is the last straw!” quoth Catrina.


This final Catrina story of the year was written with the last Chrysalis prompt of 2011, Prompt 52. Thank you so much for reading the many adventures of Catrina, not to mention all the superheroes and socks and battle-bots and zombie penguins and everything else in this mad crazy-fun story-writing experience. Assuming the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t get us all next year, I can safely say there’ll be many more stories to come, especially since Catrina’s got to get back her spleen. And isn’t a spleen just a fun word to say? Spleen spleen spleen.

Anyway. Happy New Year!

  1. This was a wild ride! Great job!

  2. I fiiiinally got to story #52! wow 🙂 This was a lovely way to end, and I’m glad i didn’t have to read Catrina in Space BEFORE this, ’cause I have yet to read it . hehe

    • Yes; I think I may make a Catrina holiday story a tradition. It’s a nice way to close out the year. 😛

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