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Fantasticoe Spring 2011

"Travis"

Nick Havens

Travis's sword cut the air, but the wind drowned out the swishing noise it would usually have made. He could almost envision his swing cutting a wound in the air, leaving a gaping, raw vacuum that reality rushed to fill back in. The wind however, could not kill the noise the sword made as it decapitated his latest nemesis. But it was okay; he had made sure that his nemesis wouldn't have time to scream and alert any nosy neighbors. He pulled out a dingy washcloth and wiped the blood off his blade.

"Mustn't have you rusting out on me," he said to his dear Pricilla. He then sheathed her, sauntered away, and drove his moped back to his apartment.

As he lay in bed that night, cats crawling all over him, he reflected on his kill. It had been an easy kill, but still, he did a good job and was proud of that. It really had been too easy, though. He wondered if it was a trap of some kind. Some diabolical kind of reverse-pschologizin'. Oh well. In any case, he was one step closer now.

"Looks like we made the news again, babe," he smilingly declared to Pricilla. She glinted back at him. She was so pretty and so talented. He spread out the article on their latest achievement. It read "Police Stumped by Brutal Decapitation. The victim was a single man of 26, named Damien Curtis. He was murdered last night on his front porch. Interrogations of those who knew him have so far turned up nothing."

Jenkins, a jovial old fart of 71, was rocking back and forth on his porch, reading the morning paper. He had a waist-length beard and no hair on his head. He put the paper down and took a drink from his hot mug of brown sugar water. He liked his coffee far too sweet for anyone else's taste. He liked everything sweet. He picked up his cat, Boots, and they both begin to doze off after a brief petting.

Jenkins was jolted back awake by a horribly out of tune reveille shouted by a young man with spiked black hair and a red leather jacket. The reveille gives way to maniacal shrieking as the young man begins rofling.

Jenkins joined in, a slightly whistling "Heeeeee hee-hee, good morning to you, sonny! What can I do fer you?"

Travis jumped to his feet and begins walking calmly up to Jenkins' porch, his jacket sporting some interesting new brown spots. "You know what I'm here for, old man! The time has come for you to give me my due! You can't avoid it any longer! I'm about to give you what you deserve!"

Scowling now, Travis takes a few dashing steps and jumps, somersaulting high into the air. At the zenith of his jump, his body blocks Jenkins' view of the sun. He begins diving towards a red X just a foot from Jenkins' rocking chair. He does one last flip in order to land and slashes Pricilla out forward, blurring the air in front of Jenkins' face.

"Here we are, my boy!" Jenkins says, reaching his hand forward with a bag bursting with Jolly Ranchers.

"Yeah-heah, baby! Sensei Jenkins knows what's good!" Travis surveys his handiwork on Jenkins' newly-shaved chin. Not quite as good as last time, but it would do. He had left a few hairs intact. I'll just blame Pricilla, he thought. She had been in pretty awesome shape last year, so it wasn't totally unfair to blame her this year. Right?

Travis begins walking back to his moped. He glances over his shoulder at Jenkins and freezes when he notices Boots. He tilts his head to the side, stroking his chin with his left hand. In mid-stroke, he swivels around to face the two, crouching down and rubbing his hands together in front of his chest. He tiptoes cartoonishly up to Jenkins and Boots, the former having fallen asleep already or died or something, and snatches Boots up. To make it up to Jenkins, he slashes off the last of the old coot's few whiskers.

Wading through the cats back in his apartment, Travis imagines that Pricilla would be angry for having been forced to do something as unsavory as shave an old man. "Shut up! Your job is whatever I say it is! But you know I love you, baby." He throws her into the wall and she stays there like a good girl.

After a nap, he launches himself off his bed. This action was much to the dismay of the other residents of his room, as evidenced by the fact that his bed had become an ocean of meowing. He crouched on all fours and began barking at them. This didn't really do anything, but they quickly bored of their protest.

"Yet another victory for Travis!" he bellowed. "Haaaa hahahaha-HA! Now it's on to the final boss battle!" He hops out the window and mounts his noble moped, speeding off towards his destination with Pricilla extended diagonally up and forward.

"Shit! Shitshitshitshiiiit!" He abruptly stops the moped and reverses the thirty yards back to his house. He jumps up the stairs three at a time and a few minutes later, jumps back down them, only now with pants.

He speeds down the middle of the street, grinning maniacally—probably both because he was excited to face this enemy, and because he had just downed three Red Bulls. As he rounded a corner, something came into view that would be mistaken for a ball if not for its—his—impeccably stylish apparel. He sported a tuxedo, a top hat, and needless to say, a monocle. Travis stopped and got off. He glanced again at the giant of a man, picked up his moped, spun around three times, and threw it at the man. As the moped careened toward him, this man-ball showed no reaction whatsoever. The moped met its target and continued traveling at a constantly diminishing rate towards the center of a man for about a foot. For a second, it didn't move at all. Then the man's stomach ejected it by way of returning to its previous perfectly rotund state.

The moped flies back towards Travis. He assumes a lefty baseball hitter's stance and with the flat of Pricilla, sends it back in the direction of the man-mountain. It goes slightly off course, collides with a lamppost and explodes. The resulting wave of air knocks the man's monocle to the ground.

Bending over to collect it, the man remarks, "My, my. This sort of behavior simply will not do, Mr. Travis."

"You son of a bitch! You guys have made me waste so many of those! Don't you care about my wallet? I'll barely have anything to live off after I get another one! What the hell are you doing here, anyway? Get back in your lair!"

"Ho ho ho, my eagerness to finally meet you in person has overcome me, I'm afraid. We'll just have to conduct business here. My deepest apologies, Mr. Travis."

"What? No way! You gotta at least show me the princess or something! How do I know that you're going to give me anything at all?"

"Oh dear, Mr. Travis… What I have for you…is the identity of your father. It is none other than myself!"

"That's a good one! You look nothing like me! In fact, you look nothing like anybody."

"Oh that's right! Please excuse my blunder. I am, in fact, your dear brother."

"But you don—" Travis's objection was cut short as the top half of the giant man—which was apparently just a robot—to reveal three men. All three were about four and a half feet tall, and two of them had bright orange handlebar mustaches. The third wore a paper bag over his head.

Fed up with all the nonsense, Travis dashed forward and slashed off the first mustache-man's arms. The other disappeared in a technicolor cloud when he slashed at it. Paper--Bag Man ducked so fast that he ducked right out of his paper bag as Pricilla clove it in two, only to reveal another paper bag on his head.

Paper--Bag Man pirouetted hastily away from Travis and produced what appeared to be a quadruple-barreled shotgun. He began firing blindly in all directions. Travis let out a girlish yelp and went to hide behind a wide oak tree.

"Fine, fine, I won't hurt you. Come on out." He heard.

Cautiously, Travis got up and walked back into the middle of the street. Not cautiously enough! Travis was flattened by a fire truck! Paper Bag Man began to walk away, a job well done. However, he was cut short by a cry behind him.

"Yes! Now I'm two-dimensional, biatch!" And indeed Travis had become 2-D. There was no depth to him whatsoever. He began sidestepping towards Paper--Bag Man, who was trying to circle around him to get a good shot. After a good ten seconds of this, Paper--Bag Man gave up and backed away from Travis and removed his second paper bag, revealing himself to be none other than Jenkins.

"HA! Sensei!" Travis shouted. "Who'd have thunk it?"

"Why, anyone who's ever watched a movie should have, sonny! I'm the only other character in the whole damn story!"

"That makes perfect sense! Now that you mention it, I've known all along! I always did kind of want to kill you!"

"Perfect."

The two engage in one last embrace. Then they take two steps back each and turn around. Jenkins fires and Travis tosses Pricilla. Laughing together, they both die, remarking that their routine was getting old anyway.

And then Travis woke up! No, not really. They're dead.