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Shadows in Limelight

by on April 11, 2012

It was the biggest concert Edison City had ever known. This, of course, led inexorably to one of the biggest traffic jams the city had ever known, as tens of thousands of people collectively decided that they knew a shortcut no one else did, only it all turned out to be the same shortcut, which left them about as stuck as they’d been before. And those were all the people that were late; the stadium itself was positively jammed with people who’d bought tickets months in advance, and who’d been camped outside the stadium doors almost as long. The noise level was so loud it was impossible to communicate except perhaps by semaphore. Indeed, it was a wonder anyone could actually hear the words of the song, what with the music itself being louder than a loud thing that’s loud. But no one in that crowd really cared that their eardrums would probably never be the same, least of all the delirious-with-joy fan in Row C, Seat 42. She was within the line of sight of her idol. That was all that mattered. That, and she had a shirt emblazoned with the band’s name on it in shiny purple glitter. “OMG!!!” she screamed euphorically. “MAGELLANIC CLOUD!”  She did this, presumably, under the impression that there might be a person standing nearby who was totally unaware that this was a concert by the band Magellanic Cloud, and who had perhaps wandered into the stadium by accident.
Not everyone was quite as ecstatic as she was, or as devoted to Magellanic Cloud. There was one person who’d blown right past devotion and barreled on into full-blown obsession territory. In any other city she might have stopped at covering over her bedroom walls with creepy stalkerish photos of Magellanic Cloud with herself photoshopped in. But this was Edison City, home of superheroes and villains alike, and through a series of improbably chemical accidents and straight-up cosmic weirdness she had become more than a merely obsessed fan. She had become…the Sinister Bunny Boiler.
The Sinister Bunny Boiler wasn’t in Row C, Seat 42, or any other seat for that matter. She was on a boat. She had bought that boat in Argentina, during Magellanic Cloud’s 2015 World Tour. The only reason she had bought that boat was because the secretary of the cousin of the agent for Magellanic Cloud’s lead singer, Artemis Wallaby, had stood on a spot near the bow, and left a scuff mark on the planking. The Sinister Bunny Boiler treasured that scuff mark. She also treasured the boat, which was why she had registered it as The Magellanic Cloud and Especially Artemis Wallaby Is Like The Greatest Band Ever OMG!!!. She had then sailed that boat all the way from Buenos Aires to Edison City. Now, standing at the bow, she glared metaphorical daggers at the stadium and its crowd of screaming fans. “Squirrel minions!” she howled. “Attack!”
The squirrel minions, who were actually mutant saber-toothed squirrels genetically reborn from their predecessors in the Late Cretaceous Period (science! yay!), took to the skies, which they could do because they all had tiny jetpacks. Each of the ominously shrilling squirrels carried a photograph of Magellanic Cloud, allegedly bearing Artemis Wallaby’s real-true signature. But it wasn’t really. No, that nearly illegible bright green scrawl was actually made of magical ink, psychically connected to the darkness in the Sinister Bunny Boiler’s soul, embodied with power to suck the life out of anyone who touched it. The Sinister Bunny Boiler could feel her power growing already, the closer she sailed to the stadium. She could see Magellanic Cloud in all their glory emblazoned across a JumboTron on the shoreline. Now, as the squirrel horde closed in, she let out a maniacal laugh. Soon she would be the only fan of Magellanic Cloud alive, the one true groupie. Soon-
But, like most supervillains, she made her villainous laugh a little too soon. Inside the stadium, the otherwise devoted fan in Row C, Seat 42, felt a sudden uncomfortableness. She’d never read the Spider-Man comics or seen the movie, or she might have recognized the sensation, but even so she very quickly had the distinct idea that something was about to go very wrong somewhere. Magellanic Cloud was in danger! Her fellow fans were in danger! Artemis Wallaby! She had to do something!
It is important to note at this point that she had never been this close to Magellanic Cloud before. This was the first concert she had actually been able to attend, though she’d followed the group since grade school. So that was why nothing unusual had manifested itself in her life, until now. But this was Edison City, and weird things happened in Edison City, and so that was why all of a sudden she felt like her mind went into fastforward, like a Chipmunk version of a popular song on Youtube, and suddenly she was running very fast past all the people and across the stage and ooh hey shiny lights and wow she could actually run up the light-post and leap into the sky and oh dear those squirrels looked mean but now she could fly what when did this happen and why was she thinking without punctuation oh well but hey she could fly at the squirrels which looked like really deranged squirrels honestly but now she was hitting the squirrels with fists so fast it was like they were on fire just like Charlie Sheen not that she’d ever met or reenacted scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen but then she didn’t have DirectTV she had Netflix and now the squirrels were emitting little shrieks of terror and flying away and hooray the day was saved and now things were slowing down again…and she was flying. Hovering, technically, in the sky above the stadium. “Eep!” she exclaimed, the full reality of her situation dawning on her. On the bright side, she had a perfect viewpoint of Magellanic Cloud, and she was high enough in the night sky that no one below really noticed her.

No one, except the Sinister Bunny Boiler. She’d done her homework, you see. She knew the mystical origins of her powers, knew that they grew stronger the closer she got to Magellanic Cloud, and she suspected that there might be someone like her whose powers were devoted to good instead of evil., someone who would be…the Ultimate Fan. Fortunately, her powers were very much like her rival, and if the Ultimate Fan could fly, so could she. But as it turns out she didn’t have to, because the Goodyear Blimp suddenly trundled below the Ultimate Fan, blocking her line of sight to Magellanic Cloud. Her flight powers gave out just then, but luckily she landed on the blimp. Unluckily, the blimp was heading out towards the river, which was where the Sinister Bunny Boiler’s boat was located. The Sinister Bunny Boiler snatched one of the photographs she had left, and hurled it like a Batarang towards the blimp, aiming right at the Ultimate Fan. But the Ultimate Fan still had some power left, since she was still relatively close to Magellanic Cloud even though she couldn’t say them, and so she managed to duck just in time as the photograph zipped over her head. Then she looked down, and saw the boat, and the SBB, and in a flash of brilliant deduction she realized that the SBB had something to do with the flying mutant squirrel attack, and so she dived down off the blimp, landed smack in the water, swam frenetically to the boat, and leaped on deck, whereupon they engaged each other in fierce battle. They did take a timeout once to catch Artemis Wallaby’s stirring solo in the instant classic Magellanic Cloud love song You Are My Trebuchet, My Lovely Trebuchet. 

It was just as Artemis Wallaby sang the words “Oh, baby, I will miss ya, like a rock from a ballista”, when the Sinister Bunny Boiler got an idea. “Hey,” she asked, “why are we fighting?”

“Um….” the Ultimate Fan said. She had thought it was obvious.

“I mean, I like Magellanic Cloud. You like Magellanic Cloud. But we both know that a lot of the people down there don’t like Magellanic Cloud. They’re just posers, right? They probably don’t even have the limited-edition Songs of Primordial Nucleosynthesis CD that came out last year.

“I love that one!” the Ultimate Fan exclaimed in adoration. “Especially the Deuterium Love song. You really think they wouldn’t have it?”

“Hardly,” the Sinister Bunny Boiler sneered. “They’re probably off listening to Lady whatsherface.”

The Ultimate Fan’s eyes widened in horror. For one dramatic moment she teetered on the edge. Maybe the Sinister Bunny Boiler had a point….then it occured to her that one should never make common cause with a person who has the word “sinister” as part of their title. “I don’t care what you say!” she declaimed triumphantly. “In the words of Artemis Wallaby-”

“Oh, who cares about Artemis Wallaby?” the Sinister Bunny Boiler snapped in exasperation. “Everyone knows that she was brought in to replace Stella Muskrat.Who was a much superior singer, by the way.”

“LIES!” the Ultimate Fan shrieked in wrath, and slugged the Sinister Bunny Boiler so hard that she skipped across the river water and bounced onto a shoreline, right into the back seat of a police car which, by amazing coincidence, was parked right near the water’s edge and had its back door improbably open. And so the world was saved once again.

Or…was it?

No, actually, it wasn’t. Because one of the flying mutant saber-toothed squirrels had gotten away. One of the mystically evil pictures of evil wafted gently down into the stadium, and was caught by a random person in the crowd, an ordinary person in her way, who was scheduled for tryouts for a bit part in a movie the next morning. The evil energy of the Sinister Bunny Boiler gave her personality the tiniest push towards evil, and as a result she wound up delivering an impromptu villain monologue, which she delivered with such flair that a passing talent scout offered her a role in a much bigger production: Catrina: the Movie. That was where she was when Susan dropped by one sunny afternoon, and the plot of this story received its inexorable tie-in to the Catrina Chronicles….’*cue ominous organ music*

  1. Great work once again! You reallly should be getting paid for this!

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