Mario walked across a beautiful meadow and observed creatures meandering. He saw blocks floating in mid air. With a purposeful jump, he shattered the man-made structures with his giant, unnaturally dense head. He stomped with malice on every meandering creature in sight. As onlookers gasp in terror and sirens howl in the distance, Mario escaped into the sewers.

Everyone knew he would be back.

***

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“It has to be just right,” Alex said. He placed the final few boxes into the truck just so and tilted his head inquisitively. “Okay, hand me a long straight one,” he said. His friends stared at one another.

Alex’s best friend nudged his wife. She spoke up: “Honey, all we have left is this lamp. Just put it here on top.”

“NO. We’re starting over! Reset!”

Alex’s friends groaned.

***

photo credit: ohnogc via photopin cc

photo credit: ohnogc via photopin cc

“So, what’s your name?” said the lady at the space bar.

“My name’s Shepard. I’m here to save the world.”

“Ooooh, sounds adventurous.”

Shepard considered his options. He could tell her that it was a hard and life-altering responsibility. It sure as hell wasn’t adventurous. He could tell her that it was none of her business. Or he could…

“How about I show you an adventure tonight? In my bed.”

“Um.. ah.. hm..” She started to back away.

“I mean, like, sex.” he said. But she was gone.

***

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Billy knew he would have to leave the funeral early. If he didn’t leave in fifteen minutes, he’d have a field full of dying crops. The animals would have a field day with his vegetables. Billy wouldn’t be able to feed his kids.

Worst of all, his friends would see how ugly his place had gotten. He’d be laughed out of Farmville.

Repulsed by the thought, Billy bailed out of the funeral, drove home as quickly as possible, grabbed his watering can out of the back of his truck, and started throwing water everywhere.

Finally, Billy could relax. He sat on the steps, not bothering to shower. He knew he’d need to water the crops again in ten minutes anyway.

***

photo credit: Infomastern via photopin cc

photo credit: Infomastern via photopin cc

Joe got home after a long night of trick or treating with a bag full of candy. “Give me that,” said his dad, as he swiped the bag from his hand.

“No fair, Dad!”

“It’s for your own good. You’ll make yourself sick if I let you have all of this at once.”

Joe got home early from school the next day, well before his dad got off work. He looked first under his dad’s bed, then in his closet. Finally, he found it, in his sock drawer. He grabbed the candy and dumped it out unceremoniously in his bedroom.

Joe didn’t hear his dad come in. When he opened Joe’s bedroom door, he shouted his name with frustration and anger. “Joe, what have you done!”

Joe wasn’t listening. He kept sorting. He couldn’t stop. He put the jellybeans next to the jellybeans. He put the chocolate coins next to the chocolate coins. He grouped the pixie sticks. When he was done, he faintly heard his dad’s plea.

“Just give me the candy, Joe.”

Joe forgot his words the second he heard them. “I’m almost done,” he said, shuffling the candy, and beginning to sort again.

***

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photo credit: van.brussel via photopin cc

He was back.

“I’m just doing my duty,” said the young man they called Soap.

“Still, it’s a mighty impressive feat you’ve accomplished out there,” replied the reporter. “Can you tell me how you did it? How did you manage to kill so many enemy combatants on your own? How did you manage to be so resourceful? Your platoon tells me that you kept finding rocket launchers and grenades just when you most needed them. Did you have some secret knowledge of enemy caches? How did you do it?”

Soap looked behind the reporter into the beautiful meadow and saw creatures meandering. He saw them speaking to one another. He saw man-made structures that could easily be toppled. He tilted his head inquisitively.

“Mr. Soap?” said the reporter. She looked behind her and saw nothing out of the ordinary.

“I’m here to save the world,” said Soap.

The reporter was caught off guard. She knew something out of the ordinary was happening. She asked in hushed tones, “Are you telling me there is something happening here? On American soil? Something you plan to protect us from?”

Soap saw his fellow soldiers standing around, eying him knowingly. They began to laugh. Soap felt shame. He whispered back, “Look you can’t tell anyone what I’m about to tell you. Some already know, but you can’t tell anyone.”

The reporter was wide-eyed. “Of course.”

“I’m only a level 9.”

When the reporter heard this, and saw the look in his eye, she tried to swipe the gun from his hand. It was too late.

She viewed the aftermath in terror. “Give me the gun, Mr. Soap.” They both heard gunshots and shouts of fellow soldiers in the distance. It’s yet another battle. But everyone is shooting everyone else.

“I’m almost done,” he said, reloading his gun.

As onlookers gasped in terror and sirens howled in the distance, Soap escaped into the battle.

feature photo credit: Rob Sheridan via photopin cc


Richard Clark

 
Richard Clark is the managing editor of Gamechurch, the editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, a regular columnist at Unwinnable, and a staff writer for Kill Screen. He can be reached at deadyetliving at gmail dot com or followed on twitter @deadyetliving.