I’m chilling with my buds in a cabin we’ve rented for a weekend. We fill our time by cracking beers, throwing wisecracks, and having all the “what if Batman fought a _____” discussions we want. As we’re tearing into racks of fall-off-the-bone ribs and perfectly seared steaks, a deep howl emerges from the arboreal winter that surrounds our cabin. “What the f— was that?” I blurt. I stare at my buddies, who are in various stages of grease and sauce drenched satiation. One of them—for the purposes of this story I’ll call him Fightmaster—slowly lowers a meat-laden bone down to his plate. Firelight reflects off his wide, glimmering irises. “I don’t know. Didn’t sound like any—” Suddenly, Fightmaster freezes. Like a stop-motion magic trick, his mouth spouts a bloody speartip. His unbelieving pupils roll upward, then he collapses face-first onto the table, a six-foot spear now halfway through his head. Before the rest of us have time to scream, the windows burst inward, and tweenage girls begin tumbling in, all of them sporting savage war paint and crude, caveman weaponry. The first one in screams, “Hashtag Bieber!” and hatchets one of my friends in the face. Holy shit! Feral Beliebers! The rest of my friends are mowed down by a series of throat-stabs, mace-strikes, and swipes from something that looks like a stylized halberd. Soon I’m the only one left, and I’m doing my damndest to pull a Neo Vs. Agent Smith as I dance between wickedly curved blades that sing through the air. I cry out like a little bitch as a katana cuts deep into the meat of my left arm, and out of desperation, I scream, “PALAMEDES PUBLISHING!!!” The lights flicker, there’s a thunderous crash, and then I hear a growly, take-no-shit, god-of-suburbia voice. “Leave them to me,” Martha Stewart intones. The Beliebers weigh her with their eyes. No one moves a muscle. After a hanging moment, Martha’s mouth crooks in a grin and she winks insolently at the lead Belieber. The tweenage killer’s eyes widen, then she charges the Food Network star with a blood-curdling shriek. Martha slaps the katana in between the flats of her palms, twists and breaks the blade, then she whips out two of her favorite shanks from her time in tha Big House. She leaves them buried in Belieber #1’s eye sockets, then drops into a kung-fu sweep that launches the feet out from under another. She side kicks #3 in the sternum, arm-drags #4 in close, then snaps her neck. As she does this she meets my eyes and smiles savagely. “Get out of here Kent!” She throws an elbow, dislocating someone’s jaw, then twists another one’s blade and stabs its owner with it. “You’ve got some nice, squat-thickened hammies; if you stick around, I might not be able to refrain myself from molesting your fine ass.” She gives me a predatory wink that sends a chill down my spine. I run out the door, haunted by thoughts of what this hardened ex-con might be referring to with her salacious comment.
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