by Adam Esquenazi Douglas
Check out part one here!
When last we left our heroes, Popeye the Sailor Man and the Powerpuff Girls had found themselves at the mercy of the masterminds of the greatest cataclysm in cartoon history: Pinky. And the Brain.
“Narf!” a voice said in the distance.
Hearing such nonsense, he wondered if his hearing had gotten damaged or maybe he was concussed. Or maybe he was like the girls, too damaged by the destruction to make sense of anything ever again.
What he saw next certainly didn’t help.
Approaching him was a pair of…mice. One lank, walking spiritedly. The other, stout, at a cautious pace. Behind them was a real menagerie. What looked like a dog in a karate Gi followed the duo. Another pooch bedecked in a red suit and cape (and did he spy some jewelry?) was swallowing what the Sailor Man assumed was a vitamin of some sort. And behind both of them, the malodorous missile that had crashed into them outside the lab. In all black save for a massive yellow “M” on his forehead: the monkey.
“The Devil was out of control, Pinky. His spinnings, while thoroughly effective at creating deadly destruction, was simply too unbridled to leave as an x-factor. He had to be eliminated.”
“I think I know what you mean, Brain, but he never did return my basketball shoes. TROZ!”
“Be that as it may, he had to be excised, and now our plan has come to full fruition.”
The rodents stopped before the Sailor Man. The one with the big head eyed him hungrily. The other one stared intensely at his own thumb. And then licked it.
The Sailor Man stayed silent. They had taught him how to resist torture in the Navy. What’s the worst a couple of squeaking animals could do?
“With the components we gathered from Gadget alongside the ample amount of technology Monkey was able to confiscate from his “dearly” departed former owner’s laboratory, we’re now able to maximize the Water Tower’s amplification to take control of every animal on the planet, and reform this planet in the name of non-mankind!”
“FJORD! That’s really great, Brain, but why did we have to kidnap the nurse and this girl band?”
“As preusual, Pinky, you assume without thinking, and think without assuming. This human contains within his arms a mutated gene that grants him superhuman strength to multiple degrees through the simple act of vegetation ingestion. By harvesting his limbs, I shall isolate the gene and genetically modify our animal army to become an unstoppable fist of fur and fangs across the globe!”
No. Not his arms. He remembered the first time they rowed him out to sea.They saved his skin more times than anyone could remember. And they’re what she had liked about him best…
He shouted protests, but the walking talking zoo had already moved on.
To the girls.
“By causing a reverse chemical reaction with a concoction of snips, snails, puppy dog tails, and a pinch of chemical Y, the energy given off by this trio shall be enough to achieve maximum wattage ensuring our device controls the entire animal kingdom. And are you thinking what I’m thinking, Pinky?”
“I think so, Brain. But there’s no way they’d finance A Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode-by-episode remake with sock puppets.”
“No Pinky. No more trying. We will TAKE OVER THE WORLD!”
The mouse laughed heartily. The Sailor Man was panicking. They had taken away his spinach. He saw it lying in a box alongside a nametag that had the last name “Stoppable” and some multi-colored jewelry.
And then the smell of monkey was gone.
He looked up. Purple knockout gas. It always was purple knockout gas.
As his body seemed to grow heavier by the second, his eyelids five-hundred pound weights each, he thought of her thin frame…her red dress…her eyes….
When he woke back up, everything was harmless.
And, in his case, armless.
He could see the big headed mouse carefully extracting blood from his severed extremities. Dazed, he looked over. The girls were finally awake
But they were definitely girls.
The experiment must’ve been complete. Their tubes had been lifted. An image is everything, and their five eyes told him all: they were powerless.
He yelled at them to run. They looked at him. Helpless. Either because they couldn’t understand him or maybe because they knew there was no where to go.
That got the mouse’s attention. He waddled over.
“I see you’re awake. Good. My new friends and colleagues are starving. Here, boys and girls! Dinner!”
He whistled into the distance, and Hell answered.
Creatures of all shapes and sizes. Talking turtles, an upright walking puppy, an abomination that could only be described as half-dog half-cat, and so many more crazed creatures slinked over, drool on their fangs and blood in their stares.
The Sailor Man started to rock back and forth. Maybe if he tried, really tried, he could remember being back at sea. Remember the sway of the boat, the wheel in his hands, the smell of the sea.
Or was it her?…
Glass shattered down as all parties looked to see who had broken through the overhead ceilings.
He was six and a half feet tall, and was grinning like a mad man. His outfit did all the talking. And apparently what he had to say was F!
“Oooooooo lookit the puppies and kitties and bunnies and mouseys and severed limbs!” He ran from animal to animal petting them all one after the other, rubbing bellies like mad, and trying to get one chihuahua with a bad attitude to play fetch with the Sailor Man’s southpaw.
The animals, completely transfixed by the mouse’s device responded with rage. They chomped and bit and scratched at him, a wave of zoologic violence that offered no ebb.
“Tee-hee, puppy kitty kisses!” the F! Man laughed off. “Oooo, lookit the mousey with the big big big head coming to me. Hey, big head mousey mouse! You must eat a lot of brain foooooooooooooooooooo!”
The F! Man flew away as the big-headed mouse drew back for another punch if needed. It wasn’t. The experiment had been a success, and the Sailor Man’s strength was now his. The mouse laughed. Finally. Finally, it would all work.
“POIT! What’s the nurse doing, Brain?”
The Sailor Man had used the brief seconds the F! Man had unknowingly given him to make his way towards his spinach. He may not have his arms, but if he chowed down, maybe he could head-butt the rodents to oblivion.
He was almost there.
The mouses fist slammed in front of him, smashing the last can of spinach to bits, and sending the nametag and rings flying. He lifted the Sailor Man in one hand…and raised a fist in the other.
“Ha ha! Foolish MAN! Always the folly of man. Thinking that everything can just be consumed into solution. You destroyed this planet in the name of constant consumption, but now Mother Nature strikes back. And we all know that her strongest organ truly is the…”
“Heart?” a soft, sad voice said from afar.
The mouse froze solid, and dropped the Sailor Man. All the animals immediately stood or sat in place, entirely immobile. Pure obedience.
The Sailor Man looked to where the voice had come from. The girls were approaching, each wearing some fancy new jewelry. The little blonde one wore two blue rings (probably to match her dress), with a drawing of a water droplet and a wind gust on each respectively. Buttercup wore two more, with a flame and a stone drawn on each.
And the little red-haired girl’s? A heart.
The mouse was still frozen, but his massive mind had returned.
“The rings? But we took those from the bodies of a bunch of hippies! They were to be spoils!”
“Shut up, fat head,” the red-haired girl said. And he did.
A little while later, after the girl had commanded all the animals to relax and return to their owners, Buttercup and Baubles (right? He’d figure it out), were affixing two metal arms to his frame.
“The professor taught us a whole heck of a lot about robots and science and nerdy stuff like that,” Buttercup said, squinting through her one eye to line up the socket and joint.
“Gad…get,” Bobbler (right?) read off the arm’s metal. “Gadget. With a hard T. Or is it French? Ga-shey?”
“Try them out, Mr., um…” the red-haired girl was at a loss. They never did exchange names.
He made a popping sound with his mouth. And then pointed to his eye.
“Bubble face?” Bubbles (! That was it!) asked?
“No, dummy!” Buttercup yelled.
“Girls, have a heart,” the red-haired girl said. Her ring glowed. “Popeye?” she asked.
And the first thing he did with his brand new (possibly French?) arms was embrace the trio.
He had once had three great loves: his arms, the sea,…and her.
And, now, he had three new ones.
Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent.
He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and http://schmameover.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.
He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.