“Oh KENT…I love you so much!”
“I love you too honey.” I gaze deep into my fiance’s widened eyes, losing myself in the shimmering reflection of sun-sparkled water that glistens off her shining irises.
She sighs and snuggles closer to me. I strike a gallant pose on the prow of my ship—The HMS Bitefighter—as wind ruffles my open-chested shirt and my long-but-still-manly hair whips back all romantic-like. I’m handsome enough to sport one of those curly strongman mustaches, and as it’s my third pride and joy (first comes my fiancé, then The Bitefighter), it maintains its impeccable shape due to the high-quality whale tallow I use to hold it firm.
“When do you think we’ll settle down and have children?” she whispers into my shoulder.
My eyes search the horizon, drinking in the beauty of Caribbean archipelagos limned by a color-splashed sunset. “It depends on what Queen Anne asks of me, dear. Of late, the pirates who hail from Gram-Ar Not-Si have increased their villainous activities; those treacherous curs have—”
She stiffens against me. “Speak not of such matters!” she cries. “I would treasure this moment we have together and contemplate peace and serenity, not violence and avarice! Damn the crown for cursing us with those wicked shackles that Man dresses in fancy trappings and flowing trim—those evil daemons named Duty and Honour!”
I take her gently by the shoulders and hold her an arm’s length away, staring deep into her eyes. “It is how I am designed, love. I cannot help the fact that I am the most skillful buccaneer to have ever lived. Much the same as I cannot help the fact that I’ve had to construct a special harness to hold my enormous genitalia firmly in place, lest the head of my gigantic member reaches down to my right sock and yellows its brim.”
She sighs and looks down at the easy-rocking deck. “I know, Kent.” She meets my gaze. “It’s why I love you so much. You are the living embodiment of All That Is Man.”
I hug her close. “There there, sweetheart. Perhaps it would ease your mind to retire belowdecks and juggle my gorgeous scrotum between your sublimely dainty fingers.”
She breathes deep into my chest. “It would, Kent. I would love that more than anything. But first I have a favor to ask.”
“Name it,” I whisper.
She pulls back a bit and holds something between us. I lean away and see that she’s holding a tiny velvet box in both of her hands. My brow wrinkles in puzzlement. “What is that?”
She clicks it open. Inside is a stunning diamond ring.
“Wear it and think of me, my dashing buccaneer.” She gazes soulfully into my eyes.
I hiss through my teeth. “Jacquotte, do you realize that diamonds are a near-worthless commodity? As we speak, the Illuminati are enacting millennia-long plans to artificially boost their price. These filthy merchants intend to power the diamond industry through a dehumanizing empire that demonstrates the barest pretense of ethical conduct. The symbol you hold in your hand is the greatest irony, for while it outwardly represents love, it actually represents the exact oppo—”
“I DO NOT CARE!” she screams. “Put on the ring, Kent! Put it on for ME!”
With the word “me” her voice deepens into a double-toned, echo-filled baritone straight from the depths of Hell. I shove her reflexively away, my mouth parted in astonishment. Darkness pools and stretches over her face, and much to my horror, her shadow grows long across the deck.
“Put it on,” she hisses, the skin around her cheeks and eyes now wrinkling into something that resembles centuries-old parchment. “PUT IT ON!”
A haunting, troubled melody drifts through the air, and a chorus of whispering voices drifts across the ship. One of them becomes clear. In a sibilant rasp, it declares:
“One Ring to rule them all…One Ring to find them. One Ring to bring them all…”
My fiancé finishes: “And in the darkness…BIND THEM!”
She hunches over and begins giggling. Her back twitches and ripples, and a second later, giant bat wings erupt from her scapula. She rears back and crows in an unearthly wail, her face now transformed into one that would rival The Beast’s.
I don’t know why the manner of my speech changes when I deliver my next statement, but I can’t help it: “DAMN WOMAN! YOU’S A CRAZY-ASS BITCH!”
The bat-thing before me continues shrieking with hideous laughter, and I realize that all is lost. I’m no match for this hell-fiend. Not unless…
I reach into my thigh-bag, and withdraw a scroll that an old wizard with an awesome beard gave me three years ago. He informed me that when I was assaulted by underworlders, this very scroll would save my life.
As I yank it open, my eyes catch sight of the illuminated manuscript’s intricate title:
Suddenly, I see a fleet of flying metal vehicles swooping toward The HMS Bitefighter. My Inner Man Child leaps to the fore and I instinctively know their real names: X-wings. Their s-foil turbolasers let loose with a torrent of light, causing my ex to shield herself with her bat-wings and scream in anger. She stumbles to-and-fro as wooden shards from blasted planks jet up around her. A few more volleys and she takes to the skies, flying in an unsteady lurch, her wings still smoking from fresh laser burns. One of the X-wings descends over The Bitefighter and a shapely woman in black tactical gear rappels down from its cockpit.
“Who are you?” I ask fearfully.
She pulls back the balaclava from her face and shakes her head, freeing up a mess of gorgeous black hair. She gives me a dreamy smile.
“Soccer Mom Prime. I’m here to rescue you.”
I scootch to my feet and tentatively dust my hands over my trousers. “Do I…do I know you?”
“Not in this life,” she replies. “I’m here to help you.”
“With what?” I cock an eyebrow.
She waves an arm, encompassing the ship, the sea, and the evil diamond ring lying glittering on The HMS Bitefighter’s shattered deck. “This is all an illusion, Kent—none of this is real. You’re meant to be more than this; you’re meant to be the Man Whore to end all Man Whores.”
“Man Whore?” My forehead wrinkles, then smooths. “Yes…for some reason…I don’t know why…but that sounds right.” After a brief pause, I add, “That FEELS right.” I glance around, taking in the ocean, the islands, the splendid dusk, and return my gaze to hers. “That feels truer than anything I’ve heard in my entire life.”
Her smile widens. “Ever been to Dagobah?” She rolls her eyes. “Never mind—of course you haven’t. It used to be a real shithole, but my friends and I have spruced it up; now it’s got wifi. Our place even has an indoor pool and NY style pizza on demand.”
“Wi-fi? NY style pizza?”
She shakes her head, her smile transforming into a bemused grin. “You’ll find out. Come on Kent, it’s time for you to return to your Man Whore roots.”
I take her hand, and the rest of my life is spent in a whirlwind of lightsabers, space fighters, and torrid sex where I’m used like a cheap piece of meat you find on the discount aisle at Safeway. I also meet the REAL Bitefighter, and lemme tell you, buddying around with a feisty little 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire beats owning a stupid ol’ ship any day!
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