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Episode the One Hundredth

by on January 26, 2014

Last time in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had just been transmogrified back into her human self from a theremin by means of the magic word “uvula”. Before she continues on with her adventures, however, our story takes a short detour to recognize a Very Important Moment in the Catrina Chronicles, an anniversary celebration inspired in part by a certain episode of a certain space western….

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a princess. And in a small out of the way corner of her kingdom, there was a locally beloved little pub called the Blue Newt. One fine spring afternoon, the pub was crowded with its usual regulars getting themselves thoroughly plastered, when its doors flew open, and in walked a brown-haired woman in a black denim jumper, with little silver skulls where the buttons should be. She stalked to the bar and demanded a drink. Then, having gotten the attention of pretty much everyone there by her dramatic entrance, she raised her drink high. “A toast! I got words,” she said. “I’m saying, this is an auspicious day. And since I’m not a random purple-coated minion, I’m pronouncing auspicious like Australia, not like Asgard, just so you know. Anywho. We all know what day it is. It’s Susanification Day!”

There were a few perfunctory cheers, as the Blue Newt’s patrons tried to remember what Susanification Day was supposed to be. At the end of the bar, another woman abruptly slammed down her tankard of blueberry cordial and rose. Her green eyes flashed. The patrons gave a much heartier cheer when they saw her, for they recognized her as their own Princess Catrina. “One. This isn’t your anniversary, it’s mine. You haven’t had a hundred stories about you; you weren’t even introduced until Episode Eight! Two, you’re the villain. This isn’t the Susan Chronicles; this is the Catrina Chronicles. So why don’t you just go away so I can have my milestone celebration in peace?”

“What are you gonna do, hit me with your shovel?” Susan said. “Or maybe one of your other weapons? You keep switching them out; first you had a standard laser sword, then a Sporksaber, then a towel, now this shovel thing. Make up your mind, why don’t you?”

Catrina had often been vexed herself at her author’s continuity errors, but she didn’t much appreciate Susan going on about them. Besides, Susan had friends. All at once from the crowd emerged Vladimir the Marauder, and his brother Murphy the Terrible, both of whom Catrina had defeated in one way or another. Susan snapped her fingers, and in a puff of smoke and flame appeared Catrina’s evil brother Edmund, followed by a pack of horrible monsters from Character Hell.  Behind them came a mob of zombie penguins ominously clacking their beaks. Susan smiled. “Even if you had all your weapons, you’re still way outnumbered.”

A slow smile spread over Catrina’s face. “Maybe not so much.” There was a crash from the opposite end of the bar, and in stormed Colin the Mime-Assassin, Master of Very Sharp Knives, accompanied by his bride Margaret the Vocal Coach Commando. Princess Ermingard drearily meandered in behind them, and behind her came Katrina, who wasn’t entirely sure which side she was supposed to be on. Along with them were Phoebe the Dryad, the Naiad Triplets, Fred and Sparky the Fire Gnomes, the Yellow Fairy, Thrud the daughter of Thor, and even Jennifer, the random civilian Catrina had once rescued from an imminent squishing by train. Leading them all was Luke, formerly Perry, Catrina’s royal consort. “Hey, dear,” he said. “I brought friends.”

“So you did. Well done, love,” Catrina replied.  “I think we can get this party started now.” She raised Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!).  “Unless you’d like to surrender, Susan?”

“Oh, no,” Susan said. “Not on your granny’s corset cover.”

“Thanks for that mental image.”

“No problem,” the ex-mistress of all Character Hell said. “You want a party? Fine. Let’s party!”

Susan gave a piercing evil whistle, and suddenly the walls of the Blue Newt smashed in. Beyond, on the green fields outside, a huge army of sheep had assembled, far outnumbering Catrina’s plucky band. Leading them was Floss Anita, major domo to the Cow, whom all the sheep worshiped. The army began to chant as one voice. “EM-ta-LA! EM-ta-LA!”

Jennifer blinked. “Are they chanting about the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act?” She was a nurse in a hospital, so she would know.

Catrina shrugged. “I don’t know. My author never explains these things to me. A hundred episodes, and I never got a satisfactory explanation for anything. I’ve been killed off and resurrected so many times I lost count. I’ve been kaboominated. I was turned violet, and magenta. I’ve been miniaturized. I’ve been teleported. I’ve been transmogrified. I got married, had twin babies, and skipped the whole nine months of pregnancy after eating alien apricots.  I was put on trial for murder of an alien blob, attacked by a mummy juror on a towel dispenser, and nearly executed by a fleet of space-traveling bugs. I was even subjected to a Justin Bieber metaphor, which is singularly unfortunate under the circumstances. I can’t recall what it exactly was now, but…”

Catrina’s shoulder angel rushed up with a helpful flashcard. “Thanks,” Catrina said. “Right, so it was, ‘Time and space broke apart like they were in a relationship together and time had just asked space whether she was interested and space said no but they could still be friends, and time was like baby, baby, baby, oh, like, baby, baby, baby, no, like baby, baby, baby, no, thought space would always be miiine.'”  She rolled her eyes. “Honestly. I should just let Susan kill me now.”

“Well, since you asked…” Susan said, and the sheep army of Emtala readied their weapons, as did all the other minions and antagonists with them. “Any last words?”

“A few, actually.” Catrina pulled a small notebook from her pocket. “You see, I’ve consulted my planner, and today really isn’t a good day to die. Maybe next Tuesday. I have an opening next Tuesday. But till then…”

All at once there was a flash in the sky, and in flew a spacecraft, shaped like a gleaming white comma, laser cannons aimed right at Susan. From it boomed the squeaky but thrilling voice of Ferdinand Roderick Marshalham Willingsford the Seventh, captain of the good ship Dangling Participle. “Every sheep there put down your weapons, or we will blast a new hole in this medium-sized planet.”

Susan, with little choice left, signaled her army to back off. She snarled a final insult at Catrina; unfortunately, the thrum of the Dangling Participle’s engines made it impossible to hear what she said. “Mutual, I’m sure!” Catrina yelled back as Susan stormed off.  Then, as the space hamsters teleported down to them, Catrina laid down her shovel and raised her glass of blueberry cordial. “Now that the antagonists are gone, I think we really can have a party. But first, a toast. To my author, and his friends who contributed ideas and random words. I’d like to keep on having adventures, but not too many, nor too stressful. And that idea you’re having about the treasure hunt and the war on Atlantis or whatever? Don’t, please. Thank you. At any rate, to life!”

“To life!” toasted the others, and then they all set about dancing, and so, once again, their story came to a satisfactory conclusion. And they all lived happily ever after. For the moment, anyway.

This has been a very special episode of the Catrina Chronicles. Seriously, it’s been fun, these past three years of Catrina stories, and I hope to have many more to come. For the previous 99 episodes, go here. For Catrina’s adventures in novelized form, go here. And, as always, thanks for reading.

 

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4 Comments
  1. Yeah! I am not great a fan as I could be, I am not up to date, and have a lot of back reading to accomplish as well, but I love The Catrina Chronicles.

    • Any kind of fan works for me, up to date or not. I haven’t been on schedule writing them either; I had meant to do one every week, but I missed a few last year. Ah well. 🙂

  2. Wow, 100 episodes. I know I haven’t read the earlier ones, but I got most of the references here! Oh, and I think it’s funny when you have the characters complain about the author… not a POV taken in most stories I’ve read. May Catrina’s torture, I mean, adventure continue 🙂

    • I don’t know of too many meta-stories either where characters complain about their lot. There was a movie, Stranger than Fiction (I think) where Will Farrell played a person who discovered he was a story character. Very inspiring. 😛

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