“And the bad news is this hammer,” I was telling the interns, when somebody suddenly kicked open the door to my office.
“WHERE IS HE?” The intruder screamed. Normally, I would assume DOB was just making another dramatic entrance, but the distinct lack of puns about my name being yelled suggested otherwise.
“TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!” I replied, noticing that my intruder was both female and shirt-clad.
“I SAID WHERE IS HE?!” She yelled again.
“I SAID TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!” I replied once more, because I am not a quitter.
“Listen, Brockway. I’ll give you one chance at this and one chance only: You will tell me what you did with Ross Wolinsky, or I will be forced to take drastic action.”
“TAKE YOUR SH-“ I began, but was interrupted by her interruption.
“I’m not going to take my fucking shirt off! Just answer the question! I know you know what happened to him! What, you come out of nowhere with your stupid ‘Images That Are Awesome’ bullshit and Wolinsky just coincidentally is never heard from again?! Tell me the goddamn truth!” She was waving a pistol around erratically, the insanity-sweat sexily beading on her crazy-brow.
Nothing like a hot, sweaty, yellow-pajama clad woman, right fellas?
“You have a point,” I said, slowly realizing that Wolinsky’s updates had indeed stopped the second I came on board, “maybe it’s a company policy? We both have intense beards, you see, and I think there might be something in the employee handbook regulating beard output via-“
“NO MORE LIES!” She broke in, “just tell me why he left and nobody has to die tod-“
“INTERRUPTION!” I yelled abruptly, “See how rude that is? Doesn’t feel so good, does it? Now, lady, I didn’t do anything to Ross, but whatever beef you think you have with me, don’t drag the interns into this, okay? Just let them go…” I said selflessly, knowing that tales of my heroic, self-sacrificing nature would significantly increase the moisture levels in the secretary pool – which is already pretty moist, considering that it's literally a pool full of secretaries.
We call them "secretaries" for tax purposes.
“What interns? There’s nobody here,” she said, craning her neck like an insane, deadly, large-breasted crane “The dolls? Are you talking about the dolls with the smashed in heads on your desk?”
“Oh, uh…” I squinted through the mescaline haze, “No. Nothing, they’re uh…my balls,” I said, trying to cover for my drug-fueled psychosis, “that’s what I call my balls: ‘The Interns.’ So, y’know...let ‘em go.”
A long, awkward silence passed as the confusion swept over her. I took the opportunity to alternately gesture at my crotch, and then shrug like ‘whaddaya gonna do? You gotta let these balls go!’
“Enough stalling,” she said, motioning me towards the door, “we’re going to get some goddamn answers. Where’s Jack’s office?”
“Whoop,” I said, “wop bop boop.” My mouth seemed to want to make Do-wop noises; I considered it only polite to let it do so. Mescaline is a hell of a drug.
Pictured: How I see most editorial meetings.
She sighed with disgust and led my impotent, hallucinating mess of a body from office to office in her fevered search for Ross. She asked Bucholz, but she couldn’t decipher that gibberish language he calls ‘Canadian English.’ She interrogated and beat Swaim half to death before she realized that he liked it. We left him bleeding on the floor, still insisting that he pay her for the “best afternoon of his life.” DOB’s office was empty – well, empty of people, anyway. It was filled to the brim with hastily sketched cartoon pornography and empty bottles of Mad Dog 20/20. We thought we heard a gentle sobbing, and saw a slight shift in one of the debris piles, but I guess she didn’t have the heart to check. Finally, we arrived at Jack’s door.
“Have you ever watched the colors bleed?” I asked her, “Do you…d’you think it hurts?”
“SHUT UP,” She cried, pistol-whipping me in the back of the head, “O’Brien! Open up, if you value the life of your employees!”
“I don’t!” Came the muffled response, “but you sound hot. So I’ll bite.”
The door slid open almost silently, and Jack stood there in all of his royal affluence; his purple and gold robe billowing in the breeze from his platinum wind machine.
“What do you want, lady? You’re interrupting ‘Jack’s Rock Hour,’ and unless you’re down for posing splay-legged on a white corvette, I got no use for you.” He sipped from his golden skull-engraved chalice, and flashed some horns at nothing in particular.
3PM - 4PM. DO NOT DISTURB UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO ROCK.
“I want to know what you motherfuckers did with Wolinsky! There was nothing! No explanation! No goodbye! Just this jabbering dickhead and his retarded Cracked fan fiction!” She screamed, shaking me.
The wound on the back of my head throbbed with every syllable. The pain felt like…what? Like a C-sharp. That was it! Pain was definitely a C-sharp. So what does that make the feeling of my fingers touching each other? That feels like an E-minor, I thought, and I set about intently listening to the song of my physical body. Then I realized that 10 minutes had passed, and something was in the middle of happening. The girl sat on the edge of Jack’s desk - glaring seductively at me with all of her sexy hate - while Jack screamed into the intercom.
“Penny, any word from Wolinsky? We’ve an interested party up here that has brought up something quite...interesting. That was poor word choice, I know, but tell me: Has Wolinsky been in his office at all in the last few months?”
Penny is our secretary downstairs. She’s always had a thing for me, I recalled. General disgust is a thing, right?
“No sir, not since December. We sent an intern, Ted, to check up there, but when the elevator came back down there was only a doll that bore a strange resemblance to Ted lying on the floor. I felt compelled to take it home, and put it in my kid’s bedroom. Every night since she dreams of a young man crying in a vast white void, she says that…”
“Penny, goddamn it! If I wanted your life story, I’d watch the Lifetime Network Movie of the Week about it, where you’d probably be undervalued by your children, and an abusive husband would beat you. I will be that husband Penny, do you understand?! So keep your damn answers to the point. Nobody’s seen Wolinsky, correct?” I thought that Jack was making a move towards the girl’s gun while she was distracted by my sudden, inexplicable gyrating, but he was just refilling his skull chalice with that special mix of bourbon and Kool-Aid that he calls ‘Jack Juice.’
Jack Juice: Like this, but it makes you yell at children and sometimes you go blind.
“Correct, sir,” Penny replied, “ever since Wolinsky read aloud from that old book he found in the company cemetery, he hasn’t possessed a physical body to speak of. It’s been awful hard to keep track of him since then.”
“Has he left a message? A note somewhere? Has there been any suspicious activity?” I could tell Jack was getting worried now, but I was far too busy dancing to the orchestra of my feelings to empathize with him. Perhaps I could work ‘empathy’ into the next movement…
“No, sir,” Penny replied, “he had a package delivered to him on the winter solstice, and then nothing.”
“A package? On the winter solstice?” Jack sighed in exasperation and pinched the bridge of his nose. I finally worked ‘empathy’ into my Nerve Sonata, which my body physically interpreted as repeatedly thrusting my crotch in his direction.
“Penny,” he continued, “was there anything odd about the deliverymen? Anything…unusual?”
“Not really, sir. They had red, flowing uniforms. Kind of young and real innocent looking. Oh, and they were hovering.”
“That would be considered unusual, Penny. Did you not stop to consider that these ‘deliverymen’ may have been the Teen Triumvirate - the rag tag group of young sorcerers who FUCKING EXORCISE ROSS WOLINSKY TO THE NEGA-DIMENSION EVERY WINTER SOLSTICE?!”
“No sir, their I.D. tags clearly said they were from Triumvirate Delivery Services and…ohhh,” you could hear the realization sweep over her like Johnny swept the leg in The Karate Kid.
This is my simile. It may suck, yes, but I chose it and I will stick with it to the bitter end.
“God...damn it...PENNY! Now we have to do the Moon Sacrifice again to break the Ice Seal of Norgoth! Do you have any idea - any fucking idea whatsoever - how hard it is to get a hold of a Norwegian virgin with hair the color of driven snow, who has never contemplated lust or eaten of flesh?! This expedition is coming out of your paycheck, Penny.”
“Sir, please,” she began to protest, but Jack had already hung up the phone, whirled it about in the air like a lasso, then smashed it through the floor-to-ceiling windows. My God, he was mighty! I worked ‘respect’ into my Expression Symphony, which was signified by doing the worm across his floor, apparently. I idly wondered if the mescaline was kicking in yet.
“Dan,” Jack said to the closet, “come out, Dan. We’ve got a problem here.”
There was no response, just complete and utter silence. The girl twirled her gun about her finger. Jack waited impatiently. The only sounds came from the muffled impacts of my body hitting the floor, and then the rustling fabric as I wormed my way across it.
“Dan, this is no time for games. I need to you get down to the supply room and requisition me some vegetarian Nordic virgins. There should be three still on hold under 'Wolinsky’s Reimbursable Expenses.'”
“JACKBOOK AIR!” Dan said, exploding out of the closet - all of Jack’s coats glued around his body as a sort of crude closet camouflage.
DOB: All the skills of a ninja, all the motives of a sex offender.
“You had me at hot virgins!” DOB said, his face peaking out from between Jack’s hot pink mink and his deep blue blazer.
“I didn’t say ‘hot virgins,’ Dan. You just get down there and fill out the ‘Blonde Virgin’ form, and make sure to check the ‘Vegetarian’ box this time. Last time you forgot, and that bitch ate a hot dog at the Calling Circle. They’re still scraping Swedes off the walls for a hundred miles in each direction.”
“Gotcha, Jack-a-Mole. One hot vegan; blonde on top, intact on the bottom. Comin’ right up,” DOB hustled out the door, his hangars clanking with every step.
“AND KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS,” Jack yelled at the disappearing figure.
“NO PROBLEM,” DOB replied a bit too quickly.
“AND BY THAT I DO NOT MEAN THAT SHE CAN WEAR YOUR PANTS WHILE YOU PUT IT INTO HER,” Jack clarified.
“Awww…” DOB said, rustling away. You could really hear the disappointment in his voice, which I attempted to channel into my Body Orchestra, only to find that I was no longer dancing. I was huddled in the corner, inexplicably wet from head to toe. I must’ve done something when I wasn’t paying attention to myself, but I wasn’t there at the time, so I couldn’t tell you exactly what.
“Brockway, pull yourself together.” Said Jack, picking his glue-covered rhinestone cardigan from the floor.
“Crazy bitch with gun,” Jack said, pointing to the obviously overwhelmed young woman, “I’m done pretending to be scared of you. I could take that thing away and feed it to you with a nice carbonara sauce and a side of mixed greens before you could say ‘take me, He-Man,’ which I assure you, you will. Now get out of my goddamn office. We have work to do.”
Pictured: A man who absolutely does not have time for your shit.
As she swooned to the floor, overcome by Jack’s infamous ‘Fuck You’ charisma, I staggered through the door after my boss, and up to the helipad. There was a long road ahead of us: We had a virgin to kill, an Ice Seal to break and a motherfucking blogger to bring back. His name is Ross Wolinsky, and come Hell or high water, he is coming back…
Never mind. DOB screwed the virgin. Apparently, he thought it wouldn’t count if they both got into his pants at the same time.
Read more from Robert at his own site, I Fight Robots, where he can taunt you some more with false promises of your unfulfilled dreams.