Yearning to be free

“Don’t they look happy?” Betty asked. “Swimming around in that huge aquarium, they’re fed and cared for, and haven’t a care in the world.”

Henry Limpet suspected that there had to be a catch. There’s always a catch. Like those stories that he spent so much time reading, there’s always a hook, always the unexpected surprise ending. He began looking suspiciously around the tank for the shark, the baited fishhook or the fishing net.

 ***

“Look at them out there. I’m telling you, they’ve got it made. They don’t have any worries or troubles at all. You’ll never see one of them madly swimming for their lives with some shark on their tail.”

“You’re right, Nemo. When’s the last time you saw one of them gasping for air, dying of the fin rot or floating belly-up?”

“Now boys, stop the lollygagging and hurry along,” said Mrs. Guppy. You know what they say: ‘The water’s always cleaner on the other side of the tank’.”

parkinkspot sq logo

160 words. In response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt:

Army of Ineffective Badness

“I’ll tell you what we need, and that’s a sweet young hostage.” The Dark Lord scowled at his skeleton troops. “The Hero has a Love Interest, they always do. Send a batwing patrol immediately and bring her to me.”

“Yes sir.” Captain Fodder set the plan into motion.

Dark Lord began to pace. This was obviously the Training Sequence, when both armies made their final preparations before the Big Climactic Battle. It bought time to raise and arm more skeletons, but it also gave the hero more time to train his peasant army with the use of basic spear and archery techniques. At least this sequence didn’t particularly favor either side.

“Fodder, we need to get the troops marching on the castle well before dawn. If we can arrive before their Clever Traps are set up, it will save a lot of pain in my arse.”

“Of course sir, I’ll start them marching by two. It’s not like skeletons need sleep anyway.”

“We’ve got to get over the wall and retrieve that Nercronomicon before the Hero ever takes the field.”

“Why don’t you just send the air force in, Sir? Snatch the thing and run?”

“I’m not sure. Whenever Dark Lords have superior air power, they never seem to use it sensibly. I suspect it would shorten the plot buildup too much. No, we’re contractually required to move in by land.”

Fodder sighed, “Of course, your Badness.”

At that moment, the batwings returned with the Sheila.

“Give me some sugar, baby,” the Dark Lord delivered the standard misogynistic magic words, and negotiated the evil kiss despite her ridiculously ineffective struggles. In a few moments, she was bound to Darkness as his new Evil Queen.

Black magic rocks that way.

“That’s the last thing we need, get the army moving, Fodder.”

Well before sunrise, the undead army quietly surrounded the tiny, sleeping castle. Neatly avoiding several Standard Pitfalls, Fodder moved his army in quietly while hidden in the darkness, unseen by the sleepy wall guards. No reason to get the Hero out of bed before Evil is set up.

The scaling ladders went up on all four sides of the castle and armed skeletons poured onto the battlements. The screwhead human forces were quickly butchered, the gates opened, and the Dark Couple strode triumphantly inside.

“Still no Hero?” the Dark Lord paced the courtyard, perplexed.

“Not a sign of him, sir.”

“I just don’t understand. No Necronomicon either?”

“No sir.”

Bad Ash had considered every contingency, covered every plot twist, and prepared for every trap. There just wasn’t any way he could lose this time. He hadn’t even Monologued to inform the enemy of all his plans. What power of good hadn’t he guarded against?

“Sir…” Fodder spoke with great reluctance.

“What?”

“Are we… Is this the right castle, sir?”

Nooooo! Overcome by the greatest and most ridiculous of all Good Guy powers, Unrestricted Serendipity!

parkinkspot sq logo

499 words, inspired by this week’s Finish That Thought #2-49 prompt.