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Catrina Say What?

by on July 1, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had just defeated the zombie penguin apocalypse, again, with the help of her friends the space hamsters. Now, however, she’s got to face up to the aftermath….

Catrina stood on the sidewalk of Edison City, Sporksaber in hand, waiting for the post-battle montage music to start. That, or the voiceover; she knew getting Samuel L. Jackson to do it was a long shot, but she at least hoped for someone fairly impressive. This was tradition, after all; the battle was over, they had won, and now came the celebratory music and narrative voiceover. But…the music didn’t start. Instead she just stood there on the sidewalk, listening to sirens wail in the distance, watching as medics and police officers rolled into action. Catrina let out a long sigh. Then she deactivated her Sporksaber, clipped it to her belt, and went to see if she could help with the cleanup.

She’d hoped that she might have the opportunity to do something heroic, such as saving a small child from a burning building, or perhaps using her Sporksaber to slash through rubble and free trapped civilians, but it turned out the Edison City emergency teams were already taking care of that sort of thing; what with all the apocalypses, zombie risings, and superhero squabbles over the years, they’d gotten used to it. Catrina was informed, however, that a lot of rubble had fallen down into the city sewers, blocking pipes and so forth, and someone needed to go down their in the muck and clear things out. “Oh. Joy.” Catrina said, but she went anyway. They never mentioned this sort of thing in the stories, she reflected.

About an hour later, she clambered out of a sewer grate, having suddenly remembered a pressing personal issue. A blue form shimmered into existence nearby. “Hey,” Perry said. “So, that thing with the lawnmower worked out, did it?”

“Perfectly,” Catrina said. “Incidentally, I think I may know a way to get you resurrected. Just thought I would mention that.”

“Do tell.” Perry replied. “I don’t suppose it involves some sort of horrible cloning procedure or zapping my corpsified self with lightning like Frankenstein’s monster, does it?”

“Good heavens, no. Where do you get such ideas? I’m going to bring you back with a magical spleen.”

Perry gaped. “Ah. Well. That explains everything, then.”

But Catrina was already off to the center of the city, where the Dangling Participle had come to rest, its sleek comma-shaped form rising above the skyscrapers. Perry floated behind her, still a bit nervous. “Are you sure we should be resurrecting me? I mean, I’d love to be back in the land of the living, sure, but aren’t there rules against this sort of thing?”

“Oh, it’s not just you,” Catrina said. “I’ve got to get Santa back as well. Ermingard will be devastated if I don’t.”

Just then, a reddish ghostly form popped in. “Hi there!” Santa said. “Sorry to interrupt all this, but I just heard you wanted to bring me back, and I’d actually rather you didn’t. Character Heaven’s a fairly nice place, you see, and I’m terribly enjoying myself what with all the hot chocolate that’s just hot enough to warm you up inside but not so hot that it scalds your mouth, and the magical marshmallows and so on. Besides, I was going to retire from being Santa anyway.”

“But…” Catrina said, a bit startled. “You’ve got to come back! If you don’t, there won’t be a Santa, which means there won’t be Christmas! Think of the kids!”

“Why can’t he do it?” Santa said, gesturing at Perry. “Your friend there hasn’t had too much to do in the story so far, has he? This seems an admirable solution!”

Perry hesitated. “But, I’m not sure…I don’t think I can be-”

It dawned on Catrina just then that if Perry became Santa Claus, and he was still married to her, that would make her…”We’ll take it!” she said, her face lighting up like an unfortunate squirrel who’s just bit a tad too hard into a power line.

“Excellent!” Santa said. “And in point of fact, if he’s going to be Santa, he doesn’t need the Golden Spleen anyway. All he needs is what we in the trade call Christmas magic.” Santa waved his hand, and there was a blinding red and green flash and a distant jingle of bells, and suddenly Perry found himself living again, and wearing the traditional Santa suit. He dashed towards a nearby window and looked at his reflection. “Oh, good,” he said, “no beard. I really wasn’t looking forward to that.”

Then, behind him, he heard Catrina giggling hysterically. “I’m Mrs. Santa Claus,” she chortled. “Who’d have seen that coming?”

At that moment, Ermingard and Katrina arrived on scene. They had a perfectly good explanation for their fortuitously-timed arrival; they had seen the Dangling Participle zapping the zombie penguins away, watched the spaceship settle in the city center, and come to the conclusion that where the space hamsters were, there Catrina would be also. They weren’t wrong.

Ermingard had prepared a speech full of apology and remorse, and vowing to set off on a journey of redemption to help the helpless and so on, firing her Spork-Arrows at the forces of evil so she could find some forgiveness for having slayed Santa. She was very much put out to find that Santa seemed perfectly fine with being all-the-way dead, not to mention that Perry had already taken his place, so her speech wasn’t really necessary at all. Ermingard sighed bleakly. She’d begun to expect that sort of thing, hanging around with Catrina.”Well,” she said, tossing away her flash cards, “if you don’t mind, I’d rather go back to the twelfth century, please.”

“I was hoping you would,” Catrina said. “See, being Santa, Perry’s got to stay in this time period for a bit, and of course I’ve got to stay with him, so someone’s going to have to look after Shmirmingard for a while.”

“But what about meeeee?”Katrina whined. “I’m supposed to be your nemesis, right? I mean, yeah, I teamed up with you for a while, but that was just because of the whole zombie penguin thing. Now what am I supposed to do? Like, am I the villain of Ermingard’s story, or, like, yours?”

“I already have a nemesis,” Catrina said frostily. She’d never much liked her evil movie adaptation of herself. If Catrina had known about the fanfic versions of herself already being penned somewhere in the recesses of the Internet, she would’ve been horrified. “Speaking of which…” Catrina continued, “where’s Susan?”

No one knew. They spread out, combing over the city, searching every back alley and tearing through piles of rubble. When they finally got to the church of St. Expeditus, where Susan had fought her last battle against the flying flaming mutant zombie penguins, all they found was a burnt smear on the sidewalk. That, and a note, written in an unfamiliar hand on an elegant piece of paper. Catrina picked it up gingerly, expecting that it would read something ominous and sinister. What it read was: “What’s a kumquat?”

Ermingard, back to her usual glum self, sighed wearily. “Oh dear. Another cryptic clue which someone will have to decode. What do you suppose it means?”

Catrina had already reactivated her Sporksaber. “Means she’s gone back to Kumquat City, that’s what it means.”

But then they noticed that Katrina had turned deathly pale. She alone among their little band had been born in the modern timeline, as 2016 was the date of the movie from which she had sprung. That meant she had recognized the handwriting, particularly the little elegant curlicue of the W in “What”. “I know who wrote this,” she said in a fearful whisper. “It’s not Susan. It’s Doctor What.”

“Doctor Who?” said Catrina.

“No, that’s been taken.”

“What’s been taken?”

“He hasn’t been taken anywhere, he’s gone to Kumquat City.”

“Who’s gone to Kumquat City?”

“Who doesn’t have anything to do with this story!”

Catrina said, very patiently, “I don’t know who doesn’t have anything to do with this story, I only know the people that do have something to do with the story. So I’m going to ask again. Who has gone to Kumquat City?”

“No he hasn’t!” Katrina snapped. “What has!”

“I don’t know what’s gone there!”

“Yes you DO! I just told you!”

“You told me what?”

“Yes!”

A light of understanding flickered in Catrina’s eyes. “Doctor Yes has gone to Kumquat City?”

“Who’s Doctor Yes?” Ermingard jumped in.

“Who isn’t Dr. Yes,” Katrina retorted. “He’s Who!”

Ermingard blinked. “I don’t know who, that’s why I asked.”

“Of course you don’t know Who, he’s in a completely different story! Actually several of them. That’s not important. What’s important!”

“What is important?” Ermingard asked.

“Exactly!”

“OKAY!” Catrina yelled, fully exasperated. “Let’s just start this all over again. Someone left this note as a clue for us to find, because they’ve gone to Kumquat City, and they’ve taken Susan with them. Now, all I want to know is, what has gone to Kumquat City!”

“You’ve got it!” Katrine exclaimed.

“Oh boy. Look, I’m going to have to stay here and handle this Santa thing; why don’t you two head back to Kumquat City and stop….whoever’s there.”

“Whoever?” Ermingard asked. “That’s the guy’s name?”

“No, it’s What.”

“Let’s don’t start that again,” Catrina pleaded.

“Start what again?”

“He’s already started, that’s the point!”

“Who’s already started?”

“No, he hasn’t, What has!”

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAS! THAT’S WHY I ASKED YOU!”

Catrina facepalmed. “I’m going to the North Pole now. Perry?”

“With pleasure,” Perry said, and together they climbed into Santa’s sleigh and rocketed off into the sky, leaving Ermingard and Katrina arguing fiercely about interrogative pronouns. And so, they all lived happily ever after. For the moment. Of course, there was that thing with the meteor….not to mention the mermaids…..but that’s a story for another time.

This has been another exciting episode of the Catrina Chronicles. To read prior episodes, click here. To catch up on other stories that don’t involve Catrina but do involve Fillmore Streamlet, a whole new exciting character, go here. Thanks for reading! 

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6 Comments
  1. Ha! Very Marx brothers.

    • I’ve never actually seen them; I was going more for Abbott and Costello. Same difference, it seems. 😛

  2. Old-time laughs for the modern age! Nice work!

  3. Oh my god, that whole Dr. What thing was a supreme crack up. And that’s a classic retort, “I’m going to the North Pole.”

    This episode definitely did have the feel of an ending, but of course it has to be “the end…for now”, ’cause that’s always the way! I can’t imagine a day when it really will be the end, but it could happen, I know 🙂

    • I don’t expect the Catrina Chronicles will really end for a good long while. At least, I’d hope not. 😛

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