Once upon a time there was a story that began with the phrase "once upon a time." The Main Character woke up. Emsie yawned. Emsie went back to sleep. They weren't fond of stories that began with the phrase "once upon a time" and wanted to try and wait for a better opening.
No dice. Emsie knew that there was much to be done in this story. They put on their leather jacket to let the world know what a badass they were, cranked up their Harley and sped out to the weapons store. Once there, they were turned away for wearing only a leather jacket. So that's why the seat on the Harley felt so strange today...
Returning fully clothed in the standard Badass Jeans, Badass Jacket, Badass T-shirt and Badass combat boots, they hoped that no one would realize what a corporate schill they were for the Badass Clothing Company. They stomped out their cigarette at the door and swanned back into the weapons store, glaring darkly at the owner for their bizarre policy of not allowing people who were 95% naked to buy weaponry. In Emsie's mind, people who were 95% naked needed a lot more weaponry than people who were fully clothed.
They perused the weapons. Medieval steel shone in deadly spikes. Spikes of doom. Handguns glinted with dark grey and black foreboding. Poisons on the back shelf winked malevolently in the overhead fluorescent lights. Bazookas bazooked. Sherman tanks sucked at the oxygen with their long slurpy straws. Destroyers stuck partially off the metal shelving they sat on as if eager to leave the darkened store and return to their homes in the sea.
Emsie REALLY liked this store.
Emsie sought out a relatively friendly looking salesperson to help them with their purchases. One that wasn't actively picking their teeth with shiny stilettos. The shoes, not the knife. Sane people to work in a store like this were hard to come by. The salesperson glared at Emsie through a plastic smile and pulled out several items as they pointed at them in the case below. Finding two that suited them, Emsie headed to the cash register and purchased the items as well as some Korean gum in Coffee flavor, as their check-monkey paid the bill.
Emsies eyes glittered darkly in the filtered light behind their Badass sunglasses. An evil smile, filled with anticipation, flitted across their lips. Tonight would be good. They gunned the Harley and sped off back home to prepare. A bowl of cheerios. A long soak in a hot bath with papaya scented water. A mint daiquiri. And a long nap until the plot resumed. Yessssss.........excelllleeeennt.
Hey, you spend your free time your way and Emsie will spend their free time theirs. You don't hear them complaining about what YOU did last Saturday.
Darkness fell like a guillotine on the blighted land of Wherever the Hell the Character lives. Waking from their nap, Emsie smoked a big cigar. They pulled back on the leather jacket. The new weapons were inspected once again, found to be perfectly satisfactory and placed neatly inside the jacket for easy quick access. They stalked out to the Harley for the long ride ahead, kick starting it with a quick, easy movement and heading out, Emsie's long dark hair flowing deity-like in the wind as they tore up the rode on their way to the Final Destination.
It was a dark and stormy night. Emsie winced painfully at the second horrible cliche' so far. Emsie winced from the rain, stinging their face. Emsie winced as rivulets of water meandered coldly down their neck, and they wondered why the hell they hadn't had the foresight to wear a helmet for once, instead of insisting that their hair flow deity-like in the wind. Now it was plastered sadly to the back of the leather jacket.
The castle loomed forebodingly in the headlights, as is their wont. Emsie glided up silently to the stone entrance, and moved the bike behind some bushes, setting it on its kickstand. Stalking around the castle, Emsie searched for an entrance. There was the large wooden door at the front, but no, that would be expected. That would be too easy.
Two hours later, after having gone all the way around the castle, Emsie knocked at the door. The door swung open to reveal Mr. Winkles, back from his long vacation in Paraguay. Mr. Winkles look appraisingly at Emsie, standing there tired and muddy, their hair soaking wet, water running down their face, looking for all the world like a drowned rat. Cool, thought Mr. Winkles. I wonder if the Mahster will let me keep it??
Mr. Winkles silently led Emsie into the house. Winkles was used to visitors on dark and stormy nights. It was in the job description and it may have gotten old long ago, but hey, a paycheck's a paycheck.
Following Mr. Winkles, Emsie took the first opportunity to sneak away and skulk freely around the castle. Emsie skulked craftily. They liked the word skulked and did so with much verve, thinking to themself "Skulk."
"Skulk Skulk Skulk Skulk Skulk."
The castle was large, dark, cold and labyrinthine. Emsie crept up the stairs, sticking stealthily to the sides and the shadows, never making a sound. Down the long hallway they snuck, under the ceiling babies, past the vaulted doors, to the end and the gilt entranceway that commanded the rest of the area with aplomb. Emsie came to it and studied it quietly, carefully. It was partially ajar. This was almost too easy.
Emsie kicked the door open with a thundering crash and pulled the two stakes from their places inside the jacket, running in screaming "Begone, Foul Fiend!" They rolled across the floor to avoid any retribution and leapt into the air catlike, plunging the stakes deeply into the bed that sat in the middle of the room.
Vlad sat quietly at the table across the room and rested his weary head in his hands, muttering to himself quietly "not again....not again". Turning to Emsie, sprawled across the now punctured silk sheets, looking around the room for the voice with a look of a rabbit in headlights, he said "I hope you know those were imported."
"Those were imported." Vlad spoke slowly, as if to an imbecile. "They're exxxxpennnnnsiiiivvvveee."
Emsie was a little surprised by the reply. They crawled sheepishly off the now mortally-wounded mattress, looking at the ground a lot. Emsie mumbled apologetically "Sorry..."
"Look, why don't you just have some hot chocolate. You like hot chocolate, don't you?"
"Ummm.....well.....yah," still twisting their toe awkwardly into the Persian carpet.
"Then why can't we just have a quiet time and some hot chocolate instead of all this mucking about destroying my things??"
"Well, y'know..." Emsie stammered, trying to explain..."You're a foul fiend...and it's like....you should BEGONE. You know? Its....well....EXPECTED....I gotta do the whole tortured hero thing and like, save the town blah blah blah....ummm.......right??" Emsie looked up at Vlad hopefully, waiting uncomfortably for a reply.
Vlad shifted in his chair and sighed. "....how cliched. Look, if you REALLY REALLY want I'll torture you, but wouldn't you rather have some hot chocolate?"
Emsie's mind, clouded not by the Foul Fiend before them, but by the feeling that they REALLY screwed up and were looking like a first class fool, pondered what they thought to be the only two options.....torture......hot chocolate....torture.....hot chocolate....
Meekly, Emsie replied "Yes, please." They moved to join Vlad at the table and sat across from him. "D'you have any of those little marshmallows?"
Vlad poured some chocolate from the teapot into a handy spare cup from a side table. "No, but Mr. Winkles does, he feeds them to his rats."
And the story faded out unceremoniously on the polite little tea party, much to the Main Character's relief.