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Notes: Feel free to use the challenge if you want! Insanity abounds in this fic -- but it sure was fun writing! Please note that no offense is meant to anyone from Texas, Wyoming, or Seattle, tribes living in the wild, old women who may or may not smell like fish, Christianity, or ANYTHING else. This is all meant in fun.

P.S. To anime fans: can you guess which character cliches the five priests are based on? Huh? Can you? ^_~ Yeah...I don't own that anime, either, heh heh...

Warnings: A bad Texas accent among other things; complete and utter insanity; a smidge of language; a dash of vulgarity; probably more.

The Challenge:

Use each of the following objects -

Flügelhorn

Pignolia

Geoduck

(optional) swimsuit

(optional) tom-tom

(optional) remora


Use each of the following phrases -

"Wait! That’s an Old Testament text!”

“Where’s the cheese?”

“How can we oppress acorns?”

“Let them eat fish!”

“DON’T GO TO BAGS, WYOMING!”

“The pine is good.”


My Response:

Once upon a time, a baby was born. It was a joyous occasion, and all the angels of Heaven and Earth sang. The baby’s name was Jesus. Little did young Jesus know. Very little. After all, he’s only about two hours old. Anyway, little did young Jesus know that one day he would go on to found one of the greatest religions of the world. The little baby Jesus had a very interesting life lying before him, but he didn’t know very much about that either, and in any case, that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about five of the followers the little baby Jesus had about 2,000 years or so after his death.


These five followers of the little dead baby Jesus were on a roadtrip to the northwest. It might be noted that these five followers weren’t entirely sure if they had the right name, but they knew that it was the region which contained Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, and all those other “big sky” states. Anyway, they were going out there to a big empty place where all the farmer hicks live to try and convert them to Christianity.


These five followers were all Asian men living together in the big van they were using to drive out to the northwest. The van was a very beautiful van, with pink and yellow flowers spray-painted onto it in the style of the ever-popular time known as the 60’s. But, this story is not about their vehicle, nor the lovely pink-and-yellow spray-painted flowers. It is about the missionaries themselves, and their journey to this strange hick town located somewhere in the northwest region of this strange land known as the United States.

So about these followers of the dead child Jesus. They were five in number, as I have previously said, and all men. Their names were as follows: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.

As it happened, the one named Acts was a rather hungry young fellow, and gave no heed to the deadly sin of gluttony. The one named Matthew was, to be truthful, a bit of a jerk, and *he* gave no heed to the holy Second-Commandment of loving thy neighbor as thyself. The one known as Mark was a man heavily bent on righting the wrongs of the world, and much did his cries of injustice ring out upon that journey. John, on the other hand, was a quiet young man, and the wisest of the quintet, though not much did he show it, for he was a bit embarrassed about his drooling problem and kept his mouth shut to avoid it. Luke was the most cheerful of them all, and truth-be-told his only fault was that he was a bit of a crybaby in times of great emotion.


But enough of this. We must be on with our story. For by this time, the roadtrip to the northwest is already fully underway, and our scene opens to reveal Matthew driving, Acts sitting next to him manning the maps, John and Luke sitting quietly in the seats behind them reading their ever-sacred holy texts, and Mark sullenly sitting in the back grumbling about some injustice or other already that had been done to him.

“Hey Matthew,” Acts said to the one he named, “is it just me, or is that a hitchhiker standing in front of our van waving for us to slow down?”

Matthew simply grunted, and placed his foot slightly harder against the accelerator.

“No Matthew!” Luke cried, “don’t hit that person! They are but a mere traveler like ourselves. Be nice and allow them to ride with us!”

But Matthew paid no heed to young Luke, and the hitchhiker seemed in serious danger of being squashed. But Acts, whose heart was kind, if a little insatiable, at the last moment grabbed the steering wheel from Matthew’s hands, and swerved the van so as not to hit the person waving their thumb at them. It may also be noted that this person was now waving a certain other of their digits at the quintet as well.

Seeing no other choice, Matthew stopped the van in the middle of the highway, and opened the door, glowering at the person before them.

“Get in,” he grunted, pointing a gun at the person’s face.

The person eeped, and wisely complied with the insane man’s orders.

“Howdy,” the newcomer drawled in a heavy Texan accent. “Ah’m from Lubbock, Texas.”

“Oh really? Is that so?” Acts asked. “I have an aunt who lives out there. Great food. Love the chili-dogs. Now tell me, are you a Christian?”

“Christian?” the Texan asked. “What’s dat? Ah ain’t heard of no Christian.”

“You haven’t heard of Christianity? INJUSTICE!” Mark screamed from the backseat.

“What’s wrong wit’ him?” the Texan asked.

Acts shrugged. “Hey Matthew? I’m hungry. Where’s the cheese?”

“It’s in the fridge with the leftover acorns,” Luke told him when it became apparent that Matthew was once again giving the group the silent treatment.

“Acorns?” the Texan asked. “You got dem things here? Good fer nuttin’ pieces o’ cow dung dey are.”

“Now, now,” Luke scolded the Texan. “You shouldn’t say such things about acorns. You’ll make them feel oppressed, and oppression is a sin against Jesus.”

“Ah don’t worship no Jesus,” the Texan drawled angrily. “Ah’ll oppress any gosh dern thing Ah want.”

“How can we oppress acorns?” Mark asked from the backseat. “They don’t have any brains! They wouldn’t even know if they were being oppressed!”

“Never underestimate a person’s feelings!” Luke shouted.

“Acorns aren’t people!” Mark shouted back, unbuckling his seatbelt and leaning across into the seat in front of him, preparing for a fight.

“An acorn is ALIVE!” Luke told him, standing up also, ready to duke it out with Mark. “It can TOO feel!”

The two missionaries launched themselves at each other, kicking, punching, and yelling obscenities it really wouldn’t do to repeat here.

The Texan turned away from the duel and reached into the fridge, pulling out the acorns and cheese and tossing them to Acts in the front seat, who immediately devoured them.

“So where’re y’all headed?” the Texan drawled.

“We’re going to the Northwest to convert people to Christianity!” Acts replied.

“The northwest?” the Texan asked, fear suddenly growing apparent in its eyes. “DON’T GO TO BAGS, WYOMING!”

“Huh?” Acts asked, looking up from his meal.

“Why not?” Luke asked, looking up from his position of being about three inches away from Mark’s fist.

“Dunno,” was the Texan’s reply, the former dazed look returning to replace the current look of fear.

“. . .?” John asked, looking up for the first time from his reading of his ever-sacred holy texts.

“Five letter name of the Messiah. . .” Acts mused. “Hmm. . .Any letters?”

“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

“Hum. I’ll have to get back to you on that one,” Acts admitted. “Sorry.”

“. . . . . .”


* * *


Silence fell upon the quintet-turned-sextet as the van suddenly entered the shadow of trees. But, much to the regret of certain members of the group, the silence didn’t last for long.

“What’s that noise?” Mark asked, looking pointedly towards the front seat where Acts sat happily chewing on something.

“Don’t ask me,” Acts replied. “I’m not doing anything. It sounds like drums.”

“Mebbe it’s dem ghost critters yer always hearin’ ‘bout in places like dese,” the Texan suggested, peering out the windows nervously. “Beatin’ on der little tom-tom
in-stru-ments.”

Matthew snorted from his position behind the wheel. No further comment was needed from him.

“G-ghosts?” Luke stammered. “Th-there are *ghosts* here?”

“Sure dere are!” the Texan replied, taking Luke’s fear as a sign to continue. Mark however, took the Texan’s comment as a sign to hit it over the head with a Bible, and he promptly did so. The Texan collapsed to its knees, muttering something about grandmothers before passing out.

“Mark!” Luke cried in horror. “You *killed* it! How could you?!”

“It’s not dead!” Mark retorted. “How *dare* you accuse me of murder! INJUSTICE! It would be more like an act of mercy towards the world!”

Luke’s jaw dropped. “How can you *say* such a thing! Remember the teachings of Jesus! ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you!’ ”

“Wait! That’s an Old Testament text! Misquotation of the Bible -- corruption of the words of our Lord -- INJUSTICE!”

And before long, the kicks and punches were resumed, along with the screaming of obscenities it really wouldn’t do to repeat here.

Quite suddenly, as the brawl was nearing dangerous levels, the van screeched to a halt. With the sound of the engine gone, the strange noises from outside of the van could be heard much more clearly, and Luke and Mark each paused mid-punch to listen. Even Acts stopped his incessant chewing to try and hear the sounds outside.

“Geez, it sounds like someone’s having sex out there!” he commented at length, and then continued his consumption of the few remaining edibles left.

“Wh-what do you think it is?” Luke asked, his lower lip beginning to tremble in his fear.

“Let’s investigate!” Acts cried, throwing open the door to the van. “Besides, it’s getting boring in here, and we’re running out of food. There could be a 7-Eleven somewhere nearby.”

“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,” John commented with a snicker, but jumped out of the van anyway.

Seeing not much choice, the rest of the group followed (excepting, of course, the Texan, as it was still lying unconscious on the floor of the van). As soon as the last of them had exited, everything suddenly went silent.

“This place is creepy!” Luke whimpered, huddling closer to his friends. “Let’s get out of here, okay?”

“Aw, c’mon; it’s not *that* bad!” Acts told him.

Just then an odd squealing sound was heard, getting progressively louder as the seconds ticked slowly by. The dirt road the quintet was standing on began to tremble, soon nearing earthquake levels, all the while accompanied by the squealing, until suddenly, a little pink beast came zooming out from the protective cover of the foliage.

“Ohhhh,” Acts gushed, “how *cuuuute*! Look Matthew, isn’t it adorable?”

“It’s a pig, you imbecile,” Mark told him.

“Well, duh, but look at it! It’s so cute!”

The pig was running in circles around the group now, and the shaking was beginning to scramble their brains. Matthew pounced upon the fleeing beast, and held it up into the air. The shaking stopped, and as one, everyone collapsed.

“I feel dizzy. . .” Luke groaned.

Acts snatched the pig from Matthew’s arms, and began crooning to it as though it were some sort of small child, and he its mother. “Aww, aren’t you just the sweetest little pig in the whole wide world? Yes you are! Yes you are! Oh, and you smell just like magnolias! How wonderful! I’ll name you Pignolia! My little Pignolia; you’re so cute!”

“. . . . . .,” John commented, and promptly fainted.

“Oh no! John’s fainted! We’ve got to get help, you guys!”

Everyone blinked.

“I’m hungry.”


* * *


“I’m still huuuungryyyyy,” Acts sang, as the quintet trudged unhappily through the trees. Well, the quartet was trudging, and the fifth being still unconscious was in the process of being carried.

“How can you still be hungry?!” Mark griped as he slung John’s body over his other shoulder. “You already ate your gosh-be-darned pig, for crying out loud! There’s no food here! Quit complaining!”

“Well I’m sorry if my stomach and I have offended you, but I can’t help having a fast metabolism.”

Mark was unable to think up a good comeback for that as he was quickly losing his breath in an effort to keep John’s face from dragging on the forest floor.

“Can’t (pant, cough) someone else (pant, pant) carry this (gasp, groan) for a while?! This is (pant, pant, deep breath) INJUSTICE!”

“Goodness Mark, you certainly do have a healthy set of lungs!” Luke chirped cheerfully as he skipped along with his bouquet of wildflowers. A trail of brightly-colored butterflies followed along behind him, and the sun shone brighter in their wake.

Mark blinked in disbelief. “In. . .just. . .ice,” he managed to sputter out before he too collapsed to the ground in a dead faint.

“Oh my,” Luke replied.


* * *


“Man, now I’m *really* hungry!” Acts moaned, clutching his stomach.

“Me too,” Luke sighed. “What about you, Matthew?”

Not surprisingly, there was no answer.

“Must. . .have. . .sustenance!”

“If your *that* hungry, why don’t you eat some wild mushrooms or something?!” Matthew finally snapped.

“Hey. . .that’s a good idea! Thanks Matthew!”

Acts ran over to the nearest bush and glomped it, beginning to shove facefuls of berries, leaves, and sticks down his throat.

“Mmm. . .food. . .”

The first bush thoroughly destroyed, Acts turned to the next closest thing, and started the process over again.

Before long, the entire forest within a ten yard radius had been destroyed, and Acts, with his appetite finally sated, came casually strolling back to his friends through the wreckage.

“The pine is good,” he told them, brushing the few remaining crumbs from his lips. “Well, let’s go! Can’t just stand around here all night, can we?”


* * *


Five hours later, the trio-once-again-quintet-as-their-two-other-companions-had-finally-woken-up stopped their trek and set up camp. Seeing as they had no tent or sleeping-bags, it was a rather easy process, and before too much time had passed, they were ready. And before too much more time had passed, they were asleep.

Which meant that they didn’t hear it when the strange noises they had heard earlier that day in the van started up again.

It meant that they didn’t see it when hundreds of shadowy figures stepped out from behind the trees.

It meant they didn’t see it when the mysterious group surrounded them.

It meant that they were helpless to stop whatever this new, strange menace had in store for them.


* * *


Luke woke up, and yelled. Really, really loudly. And believe me, I do mean really. Really. So it really wasn’t surprising that his really loud yell woke up his other sleeping comrades.

And it really wasn’t all that surprising that Luke screamed, either. Because when his companions woke up, they all screamed as well. And it really wasn’t all that surprising that they all screamed as well, because had you been there, you would have screamed too. Because, well, they were faced with a rather frightening image.

A band of savages surrounded them. Who were all wearing bathing suits. Red polka-dotted bathing suits to be exact. Quite frightening indeed.

Having succeeded in capturing their captives’ attention, the one obviously in charge stepped forward. “We are here to investigate the destruction that was wrought upon our forest today,” he said gravely.

Everyone pointed towards Acts. “He did it!”

“Me?” Acts gulped. “Wh - what did *I* do?”

“You ate their forest, Acts,” Matthew told him sternly.

“Well I was *hungry*! And besides, you told me to!”

“So you admit that you are guilty of the first of the crimes that we accuse you of,” the leader of the savages stated coolly.

“*First* of the crimes?” Mark gulped. “What *else* have we supposedly done?”

“Dere dey are! Dat’s dem Ah tell ya’s! Ah nev’r ferget a face! Dem’s da ones dat conked me on da head!”

“Oh no,” Mark blanched.

“Do you admit to bringing this creature with you into our home?” the leader demanded, gesturing to the Texan as it was dragged forward.

Luke began to bawl. “We admit it!” he cried. “We - we did it! We’re guilty! We’re sorry! We’re so sorry! We didn’t mean it! It was an accident! We’re sorry! We won’t do it again! Waaaahhhh!”

“. . . . . . . . .,” John said reasonably.

The tribe leader blinked. “I see. We will take this into consideration as we decide your punishment. Goodnight.”

“Dem’s da ones! Dey’re dem! Git dem, will ya’s?” the Texan’s voice continued to drawl into the night as the band of savages disappeared.

“Well. . .” Mark said.

“Perhaps we should leave,” Matthew suggested.

“I’m with you, Matthew!” Acts agreed, nodding heartily.

“. . . . . ..”

Luke sniffled and dried his eyes.

And so the quintet continued walking on through the forest. Matthew kept a firm grip on his gun, often aiming it experimentally through the trees and frightening the small forest creatures. Before too much time had passed, they came across their van once again.

“How’d this get here?” Mark asked. “We were walking away from it all day.”

“Maybe we took a shortcut,” Luke suggested.

“Or maybe someone moved it,” Act spoke up.

“Or maybe we were just walking really slowly this morning.”

“Or maybe we just walked around in a big circle.”

“Or maybe. . .something else. . .happened.”

Mark blinked.

“. . . . . . . . .,” John said.

“He’s right,” Mark sighed. “It’s *not* going to do us much good if it’s stil broken. We’ll just have to keep walking.”

“Ohhh, do we *have* to?” Acts whined. “I’m hungry and my feet hurt! We’ve been walking all daaaay.”

Matthew leveled his gun at Acts’ head. “Walk,” he commanded.

“Okay,” Acts eeped.

And the journey continued.


* * *


“Do you guys hear that?” Mark asked, glancing around warily.

“Hear what?”

“That noise that sounds suspiciously similar to the native Indonesian war cry.”

Everyone paused and listened.

“No.”

“Nope.”

“. . .”

“Come to think of it, I do, actually. Let’s go.” The group decided to pick of the pace a little.

“BONSAAAAAAIIIIIIIII!”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

A crazy looking girl with dark braided hair and tortoise-shell glasses jumped the group from behind.

“Who in the hell are *you*?!” Matthew snapped.

“Hi!” the girl chirped.

“What are you doing here?”

“Hi!”

“What do you want?”

“Hi!”

“Psst! Matthew! I think that means she wants some cocaine,” Acts whispered.

“B - but doing drugs is *dangerous*, Acts!” Luke whispered back.

“Well why else would that girl keep on saying ‘high’?” Acts asked.

“It’s an abbreviated form ‘hello’ you idiot!”

“Oh, well excuuuuse me!”

Seeing nothing better to do while the group was standing around chatting, John whipped out his trusty crossword puzzle from. . .well, wherever it is he’s been keeping it all this time. His sock, perhaps.

Now then. Whatever could that five-lettered word be for the name of the Messiah? Hmmmm. . . .

In the meantime, the noises that sounded suspiciously similar to the native Indonesian war cry were getting progressively closer to the small group.

Looking up from his crossword puzzle, and back through the trees, John noticed that he could see vague shadowy figures darting back and forth among them. That odd tribe that had approached them last night, no doubt. Then, quite suddenly, with absolutely no warning whatsoever (excepting of course the shouted cry of “Look out!”), a tom-tom flew through the air and lodged itself in a tree mere inches away from John’s head. John gazed dumbfoundedly at it for a moment before deciding that it would perhaps be wise to move.

Seeing his companions still involved with whatever argument it was that they were having over the mentally incapacitated girl, John decided they would simply have to catch him up, and off he walked.

Coincidentally, none of the troupe happened to notice the departure of their companion, and neither did the rest of the tribe surrounding them. Also coincidentally, none of the troupe happened to notice the arrival the tribe. That is, until Matthew got a spear jabbed in his back.

“Yeowch!” he yelped, and in the commotion accidentally let of a round of bullets from his revolver. Several crows fell dead at the tribe leader’s feet.

He made a deprecating clucking noise. “Now you wreak further destruction upon our homeland,” he muttered in his gruff, gutteral voice. “No manners whatsoever. Humph.”

Matthew rubbed his sore spot and shot the tribe leader his patented Death Glare©®™. Unfortunately, while it worked on ditzy waitresses in truckstops, it did not work on the tribe leader.

“Upon thorough consultation with the Geoduck of Doom, we have decided on your punishment,” the tribe leader said solemnly.

“Uh-oh,” Acts eeped.

“Death. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” The tribe leader laughed evilly, as all good evil tribe leaders must.

“Wait a second!” Luke cried. “Did you say *Geoduck*?”

“Yes. The Geoduck of Dooooom,” the tribe leader replied mechanically.

“That sounds like some sort of heathen god! The Bible says that that is *not* allowed!” Luke scolded.

“Not. . .not allowed?” the tribe leader gasped. “But - but - but -”

“There is only *one* God!” Luke proclaimed proudly.

“O-Only *one*?” the tribe leader gasped. “Do you mean to say that there has been a great war among the deities from On High and this one is the sole survivor? Oh! Saddest of days! What has become of the peaceful heaven where the warrior Kings of old once rested?” And the tribe leader knelt down upon the forest floor, and pounded his agony upon the ground, and wept.

“Way to go, Luke,” Acts whispered. “Now they’re all acting like the world’s ending.”

“I - I didn’t *mean* to upset them!” Luke tried to defend himself, eyes beginning to brim with tears once more. “I - I - *I’m* *sooooorryyyyyy*!” And he too knelt wailing down and wept.

Matthew crossed himself once and sprinkled holy water over the crying pair before quickly backing away from the banshee-like wails.

*Honk*.

“Huh?”

*Honk*. *Honk*. *Honk-honk*.

“What the. . .?”

*HONK*!!!

The tribe-leader suddenly raised his face. “You have angered it. . .” he whispered in awe.

“Angered what?” Mark wondered, gazing dazedly around.

Luke looked up as well, tears trickling down his cheeks. His jaw lowered slowly to the ground, and he lifted a trembling finger to point behind Acts, who was as always standing oblivious to any danger.

The eyes of the others turned slowly -- oh soooo sloooowly -- to face the menace.

Matthew lifted a severely shaking hand to point his gun at the creature standing behind Acts, but shooting it proved to be impossible, as in his terror Matthew accidentally dropped his weapon.

You may at this point be wondering just what it is that has these four priests so scared. Well, I’m afraid I’m unable to tell you at this point in time for fear of upsetting some of the younger readers of this tale.

Just kidding!

It was the deranged girl from moments before, only by this time, she was looking more like some sort of mechanical goose than a girl.

“I. Am. The. *GEODUCK* *OF* *DOOOOOM*!!!” she suddenly squawked, flapping her little mutated half-arms, half-wings violently.

“Ohhh dear,” Mark stated.

And Acts continued to stand oblivious.


* * *


“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. . .”

“Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. . .”

“Um, um, um, um, um. . .”

“What?” Acts asked.

“Behind you,” Luke whispered, just as the Geoduck completed its transformation from girl to rampaging beast. Acts turned around, and seeing nothing staring him in the face, looked down.

“Ohhhh. . .how *cuuuuute*!” he squealed. “A cute, fluffy little ducky!”

“Err. . .”

“Oh my. . .”

“That’s a man-eating *monster*, you freak!”

“Oh, Matthew, don’t be silly. This is no monster, it’s a little bathtub toy!” To prove his point, Acts reached down and scooped up the little robotic duck in his arms. To which its response was taking a mouthful out of Acts’s hand.

“Ow!” Acts yelled, and threw the robot against the nearest tree, where it exploded in a bright flash of sparks.

Everyone blinked.

“The almighty Geoduck has been destroyed. . .” the tribe leader said in awe. “Truly this omnipotent god you speak of is ruler of us all! We have seen the error of our ways and we rejoice in this new era!”

“Gee, that’s nice. Might as well just have a big group hug to celebrate,” Matthew muttered.

Luke kicked him. “Don’t be rude,” he scolded. “This is a big day for them!”

Matthew rolled his eyes.

“Dearest of friends and teachers, we must give to you the greatest of gifts to prove our thanks to you,” the tribe leader continued, turning to his fellow tribe members. “Men! Draw your flügelhorns!”

As one, the tribe whipped out their instruments from *somewhere* in the dark recesses of those bathing suits they were wearing.

“What’re they *doing*?” Acts wondered.

“Dearest of friends and teachers, we bestow upon you our most prized posessions -- our flügelhorns. They have brought us the greatest of luck and will do the same for you. Thank you.” The tribe leader bowed as he placed his flügelhorn in Luke’s hand. “Guard them well.” The rest of the tribe deposited their own flügelhorns at the group’s feet, and then disappeared.

But suddenly, the tribe leader’s voice floated back through the trees. “And rest assured, dear friends, that the other of your problems has already been taken care of.”

“Um, thanks,” Acts called and grimaced. “I think.”

“Well. Now what?” Mark asked.

“Has anyone seen John?”

“I *knew* we were forgetting *something*!”


* * *


John, in the meantime, had reached the highway, and was currently standing by the side of the road with his thumb stuck out. And before very long, a car stopped.

“Hiii,” a girl in the front seat gushed, sticking her head out. “Need a lift?”

John nodded.

“My name’s Beatrice. Hop on in. I’m afraid there’s not much room, so I guess you’ll have to sit on somebody’s lap. Not that they’ll mind, I’m sure.”

The girl flashed him a large grin and stuck her head back in the car, and suddenly the back door opened up, revealing a huuuuge crowd of girls lounging all over the back seat.

“Hiiii!” they all gushed.

John’s jaw dropped.


* * *


“I’m booored,” Acts whined. “There’s nothing to do around here. When are we going to get there? I’m boooored. There’s nothing to do around here. When a -”

“WILL YOU SHUT UP???!!!” Matthew screamed.

“But Maaaatheeeewww. . . .”

BANGBANGBANG!!!

“You missed.”

“No Matthew, don’t!” Luke cried as Matthew looked about ready spring Acts and rip his head off manually. “Look, there’s a house up ahead. We can spend the rest of the night there.”

Matthew paused, ready to leap at a second’s notice. “Fine,” he grumbled, repocketing his gun. And so the quartet wearily walked up to the little cottage positioned just outside of the forest belonging to the savages.

Mark walked up and rang the doorbell. An ugly, wrinkly old lady who smelled like fish opened the door.

“Yeees?” she asked in a strange, dusty voice. “Can I help you, young man?”

“We were wondering if you had a spare room we could sleep in for the rest of the night,” Mark explained politely.

The door slammed in his face.

“What?” he squawked. “You didn’t let me finish you stupid bitch! INJUSTICE!”

“Allow me to take care of it,” Matthew told him, and rang the doorbell.

“Yeees?” the same ugly fish-lady said again as she opened the door. “Can I help you, young man?”

Matthew pointed his gun at her face. “Open the door and give us a room to spend the night in,” he demanded. The woman paled.

“All right, sonny,” she creaked. “Come right in. My husband Frank’s in the living room watching TV. I’ll just tell him we’ve got company and then I’ll take you to your room.” Humming to herself, the strange old lady trundled off down the creepy hallway to a door which everyone assumed must be the living room.

“We’ve got company, Frank,” they could hear her saying. Then, when there was no reply, she walked back out and led the quartet back down the same hall.

Curious as ever, Acts peeked inside the living room as they passed it. It was suspiciously empty of any husbands named Frank. There wasn’t even a TV. Acts paled and ran to catch up with his friends.

“Matthew,” he whispered, “I think that weird, creepy old lady is deranged.”

“Shut up,” Matthew replied, and ignored him.

“But Matthew. . . .”

Nothing. Acts gulped.


* * *


John was happily reclining on a couch having grapes fed to him and pretty girls fanning him. He sighed in contentment. Peeking outside the window of the car he noticed a roadsign.

“Fifteen miles to a strange hick town in the northwest region of the United States,” it read.

/Oh good/, John thought. /I’m almost there./


* * *


“Wow, this room smells like fish,” Luke said.

“You guys, I really think this lady is deranged!”

“So which bed do you want?”

“Mmm, I’ll have the one by the window.”

“You guys!” Acts called desperately. Too late. Everyone was suddenly settled and snoring except for him. “Well I can’t sleep with some freaky psycho lady in the same house as me,” he huffed, and so sat down to sulk because no one would listen to him.

Of course, before long Acts was busy snoring on the floor.

“Yummy, chocolate cupcakes and corndogs. . .potato chips and grapejuice. . .popcorn and pineapples. . .foooooood. . . .”

“Oh, are you hungry?” the creepy old fish-lady asked as she walked in the room, incidentally brandishing a rather large scythe.

“Fooood,” Acts moaned.

“Ohhh Frank!” the lady sang. “Won’t you get this nice boy some food?”

Pause.

“What do you *mean* you refuse to feed these people? We can’t let them go hungry! Let them eat fish. I’m sure we’ve got some leftover remora in the icebox.”

Pause.

“DON’T BE STINGY FRANK! FEED THE NICE MEN!” With the loud screech, the four young priests awoke with a start, only the see the fish-lady swinging her scythe around in the air.

“TAKE THAT FRANK! AND *THAT* YOU GODDAMN BASTARD! I HATE YOU, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF TRASH! I’M LEAVING YOU, FRANK! I LOVE HANK, NOT YOU! I *NEVER* LOVED YOU, FRANK!”

“Eek!” Luke yelped, and dove under the covers of his bed in fear.

“She’s possessed by the devil! Satan-spawn!” Acts yelled, brandishing his cross at the insane old woman. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” Not surprisingly, the screwball paid Acts no heed, and continued to swing her scythe.

“Matthew, I think this would be a good time to leave,” Mark told him. “You grab Acts, I’ll get Luke. Then, we run very, very fast.”

“Can we grab the remora she was talking about on the way out?” Acts asked, suddenly interested in the prospect of food rather than vanquishing the hell-born demons of the world. “I’m starved!”

“Gee, let’s think about that for a second, Acts. No,” Matthew told him, and shoved the hungry boy out the door, just as Mark did the same for Luke.

“GET BACK HERE FRANK! I’M NOT DONE KILLING YOU YET!”

“Okay, time to implement the second part of the plan,” Mark said, and he and Matthew grabbed their charges and dashed out of the house.

“But what about the reeemooooraaaa?” Acts wailed as he was dragged farther and farther from any hope of sustenance, and deeper and deeper into the night.


* * *


“Heeeyyyy, you know, that body lying there on the road up ahead looks awfully familiar.”

Upon hearing this, Matthew, Mark, and Luke squinted forward through the mists created by the rising sun. And they discovered this: that the body lying crumpled by the side of the road did indeed look awfully familiar.

Luke gasped suddenly in recognition. “Oh my gosh!” he cried, “it’s John! Oh no, what’s he doing lying there? What if something *horrible* has happened to him?” Tears began welling up in Luke’s eyes, but before he could begin bawling in earnest Matthew shoved him.

“Quit your blathering!” he snapped. “If it bothers you that much, why don’t you go and check if he’s okay?!”

“Wh-why are you so mean to me?” Luke sobbed piteously, and buried his face in his hands.

“Just. GO!” Matthew screamed in rage.

“Okay, okay, you don’t have to yell! Sheesh, I’m right here you know,” Luke muttered, and walked forward the few paces to see why John was lying there by the side of the highway.

But upon being questioned, John refused to answer, simply beating his head against a nearby telephone pole.

“Well at least tell us what happened to you after you walked off in the woods!” Acts demanded.

“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,” here John paused for breath. “. . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,” here John paused for effect. “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..”

Acts stared at him in awe. “You’re joking!” he accused in disbelief. “Damn, if that happened to me, *I* sure wouldn’t be lying around out here in the middle of nowhere!”

John hung his head in shame, and once more flung his head into the telephone pole. “. . . . . . . . .,” he whispered sadly.

“You *what*?!” everyone squawked in disgusted amazement. “That’s sick!
Ewww. . . .”

Once more, John hung his head in shame, and went back to slamming his head into the telephone pole.

“Well, what’s done is done, I guess. And look, we’re only five miles away from that hick town we’re supposed to be going to,” Mark pointed out.

Everyone looked at the road ahead. They followed it into the distance with their eyes, looking up. Waaaaayyyy up. No, you’re still thinking too low. It’s higher than that. No, up more. A little more. Just a smidge higher. . .there! You got it. That’s right, *that* high.

“INJUSTICE!!!” Mark screamed.


* * *


A hand slapped the flat ground that marked the beginning of the hick town. It continued to slap uselessly for a few more minutes, then finally found a handhold. A second hand joined it. A pair of eyes suddenly peeked over the top, followed by a nose, mouth, and chin. Following that, two elbows, then an ankle swung up, and Matthew heaved the rest of him over the cliffside to the flat area beyond. He lay there, panting and sweating after his brutal climb.

“Excuse me, a little help would be nice!” Acts’s voice wafted up to him, and with a long-suffering groan, Matthew dropped down a hand with which to help his companions scale the final few feet of the cliff.

Before too much longer, they were all there.

“We made it,” Mark gasped. “We’re finally here. We can convert the townspeople to Christians now! After all this -” He stopped talking suddenly, all color fading from his face before the blood came rushing back to infuse it with the same shade of purple that is rather becoming on a plum. “I - i - i,” Mark could not even force the familiar word past his lips, so great was his shock.

“What is it?” Matthew asked, and stood up beside him to gaze upon the town. The lower half of his mouth suddenly discovered that the ground made quite a comfortable resting place and decided to stay there a while.

“Now you guys have got *me* scared!” Acts yelped, and stood as well. A twitch suddenly started in his left cheek, quickly spreading to engulf the rest of his face in a dance that would span the ages.

“Uh-oh,” Luke whispered, and stood himself to see what made his companions stare so. Tears welled in his eyes, and spilled down his cheeks in a waterfall that would make Niagara Falls feel envy.

Now John stood, bracing himself for the horror that was sure to come. And come it did. “Oh. . .BUGGER!” he yelled, but not even this monstrosity of an event was enough to pull his companions’ attention away from what they saw, and as one, the entire group collapsed in a dead faint.

For what they saw was a horror so great that no one in their position would be capable of standing it for long. For what they saw. . .was the greatest cathedral in all the land, dedicated to the worship of none other than. . .the dead baby Jesus.


The End.


No wait, not quite! Don’t leave yet, there’s one thing more!!!


For later on that day, the townspeople discovered the bodies of the five young Asian priests lying atop the cliffside, and they took them in and nursed them back to health. But the great shock that they had undergone was enough to turn them from their jobs as missionaries, and today this is no longer their line of work.

Acts joyfully took up the job of being the town food critic, and his nights are often spent frequenting the all-you-can-eat buffets the northwest has to offer. John became the town Librarian, and to this day spends his time happily in the Periodicals section doing the crossword puzzles beloved to him. Mark was proud to become the small town’s resident police officer, judge, and one-man jury, and everyone now lives in fear of him and his punishments. Matthew too became a police officer, but found the town to be too small to hold both him and Mark, and so moved to Seattle where he happily bombed opinionated civilians with nerve gas whenever they decided to hold protests against city organizations. Luke alone kept faith in the dead child, and became the minister at the church, every Sunday becoming so overwhelmed at the power God offered that he broke down and wept for joy in the middle of each service.

And so, they all lived happily ever after.


The End.

For real this time.

No really, I mean it. You can go now. Stop reading!

Leave me alone! GO AWAY!!!! IT’S OVER, OKAY???

What more do you want?

Nothing?

Oh good, for a second there I was worried you might want more of the story.

Phew, my mistake. Sorry. Bye!

I said, bye!

Bye.

BYE!


The End.



Comments

The following comments are for "[Fic] Challenge Response"
by Bryony

yea yea!
I like! Very much! Gundam Wing, no? Let me see if I can guess - no, dont tell me! Ok, Luke is Quatre, Mark is Wufei, Acts is Duo, John is Trowa, and Matthew is Hiiro!!!! Mwahahahahahah!!! I figured it out! good story in response to that challenge - personally, i couldnt think of anything to write for it. I mean, I probably could if I racked my brains, but... Very nice, very nice!

( Posted by: diason [Member] On: August 10, 2001 )





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