|The Story||The Authors|
|T.Tillman, the cheery troglodyte, whipped the trult out of his bag and began cramming it deep into the empty cranium of Roger. Roger's head began shaking like it did when his Mommy put more cat puke on the tray of his high chair. No, no, no. It had not passed his visual inspection. "No, Mommy, NO!" The waves of nausea began passing over him again. Fish guts. Fish oil. Why did she insist on feeding the kitty sea food? Oh, Roger had become an expert on what was passed before his gaze. He thought it all was coming his way again. More rancid cat puke. The Head of All Bodyless Heads had decided the time had come to replace the beeswax and sawdust with a genuine trult! Roger had no way of knowing it, but henceforth and forever his "shitte wouldde sinketh likek any Mortall Mannes!"|
"What was that?!" Roger cried out, waving his arms frantically over
his head. "Were those bats?" "No, no, it was only me," Roger recognized
the voice as that of the disembodied head but now not so booming.
"For some reason that I haven't yet been able to explain, changing
from a godlike apparition into a less imposing human form causes
hallucinations - not unlike those caused by magic mushrooms - in
all those who witness it. Sorry." the man shrugged. Roger could
only stare at the man and the man became visibly uncomfortable as
the silence lingered. Finally, he cleared his throat. "I guess
I should introduce myself. I'm Pope John Paul Georgeanringo II."
"You can't be the Pope." Roger said. |
"Because the old Pope hasn't died yet." Roger was beginning to doubt the intelligence of this being.
"What old Pope?" the Pope asked.
"There's only one Pope! You know, the guy that's so close to God that he rides around in a bullet proof golf cart! The Pope - THE Pope!"
"Oh, that guy." said the Pope, nodding to himself. "He's a fake. But enough of all that, we have a job to do."
|It occurred to Roger that a disembodied head has a very difficult time actually shrugging but for some reason he decided to keep these thoughts to himself. They continued in silence for several moments until Roger spoke timidly, "I already have a job." Pope John Paul Georgeanringo II sighed theatrically but said nothing. Roger continued, "It's just that when you say 'we have a job to do' it reminds me of a superhero from some old comic book, and they frighten me." The Pope eyed Roger wearily, "You mean the thought of this as yet unmentioned job frightens you?" Roger considered his words carefully, "No, old comic books frighten me. The ink gives you cancer ..."|
"Oh, so it's cancer you're worried about — hold on a sec, now
where the hell did I put that damn thing...?" The Pope (whose body
now appeared in tandem with the dispersing of the fog and the visual
manifestation of the room, a dusty workshop long since given over
to overwhelming clutter) tossed multiple cellphones of sleek black
or gunmetal grey willy-nilly behind himself, digging deeper and deeper
into the piles of rubbish and cable-wire, disemboweled portable CD
players and vaguely familiar remotes. "A-ha!" he said, at last. "Here
she is: The Red Cellphone!" |
"The Red Cellphone?" queried Jake. "What's so special about that? Don't they come in Happy Meals now?"
"No, no, absolutement no, my erring boy, those are iMacs that come in the Happy Meals (I've collected all twelve of them myself), while this —" holding up the ordinary-looking Red Cellphone — "This puppy is my direct, toll-free line to —" He pointed with ritualistic solemnity at and through the ceiling, nodding knowingly at Roger. "The Big Guy."
"You mean — Ronald McDonald?" gasped Roger, feeling fingers of static hop like electrified lice up and down the nape of his neck.
"Sssshhhh — we just say R. around here. He gets upset if you use his full name. So, anyway — it's cancer you say you're worried about?" Roger nodded. "What's you're Social Security Number?" Roger told him. Pope John Paul Georgeandringo II dialed a number from memory on the cell-phone and listened to the other end of it ring.
"Brian?" he shouted.
Roger couldn't hear the other end of the conversation.
"Yeah, Johnpaulgeorgeandringo II here... Listen, can you check on somebody for me? Great, great...Yeah, here goes...041...65...9971...Yeah, that's him, Weaver, Roger...What? When? Oh, really? Well, I'll be dipped in pigshit...No, no, that's not a request, Brian, I just meant, you'd just never guess from looking at him...Ha ha ha — alright, listen, I gotta go, we have a Code Red here — no, howbout Sunday...brunch? The Blue Water Grill? Great, great. Okay. No, Brian — no, I told you, of course I'm taking my medication...Yes...I swear to God... Gotta go...I'll see you Sunday."
He hung up then and turned impishly to Roger. "Nothing to fear, my boy. There's no cancer in the works for you." He chuckled and turned away abruptly, before Roger had a chance to question him further. "Let's get going," he called. "We haven't even started yet..."