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"Run!! Run, you stupid, fat, green--"
Huffing and puffing with fatigue, Ozzie turned what barely passed for a neck to face his feminine cohort. "I'll have you know, Flea, that no matter the situation we are in, I am still your superior, and I won't have you insulting my weight. Furthermore--"
Slash trotted up alongside him. "Just run, Boss."
Ozzie scowled. "I don't run, I float."
Flea whizzed past both of them. "I don't care what you do, just so long as you get out of my way before the whole damned castle collapses on us!"
Ozzie and Slash both glanced over their shoulders, only to witness the ensuing chaos that had begun so abruptly. Pillars were toppling. Walls were crumbling. The place the three of them called home, Magus' fortress, was crumbling to the ground. Startled by the rate that everything was deteriorating, Ozzie picked Slash up, slung him over his shoulder, and bolted out the door.
Once outside, the motley threesome slemnly observed the destruction of the once majestic, albeit creepy, kooky, and altogether ooky castle.
"Y'know, I have this strange urge to snap my fingers all of a sudden," Slash said thoughtfully.
Ozzie glanced at him, a puzzled look on his face. "Snap your fingers?"
"Yeah," Slash said. He held up three fingers. "Twice."
Flea cleared her--no, wait, his--uhh... its throat. "Perhaps later. First, we ought to observe a moment of silence forpoor Master Magus."
"Master Magus? Of course! There's no way he could have made it out alive!" Ozzie pondered aloud. "Doubtless now he's buried beneath all that brick and rubble... and the aluminum siding from the library that we added on after we moved in... and the screen door from the back patio. Oh, and of course the--"
"You do realize, Ozzie, that a moment of silence calls for actual silence, don't you?"
Slash nudged him. "She means 'shut up', Boss."
The three of them stood silently for a moment. Then: "Do you think we should deliver a eulogy or something?"
Flea tapped her/his/its chin thoughfully. "I suppose so. Slash, would you do the honors?"
Slash nodded grimly. "His house was a museum, when people came to see'im." A fond smile touched his lips. "He really was a scree-um..." A tear came to his eye. "Sir Magus of the Mystics." Ozzie and Flea lowered their heads. "Duh dah dah dum," Slash continued, snapping his fingers twice. " Duh dah dah dum," he repeated, once more snapping his fingers. " Duh dah dah dum, dah duh dah dum, dah duh dah dah dum." After a final two snaps of his fingers, Slash bowed his head along with the others.
Suddenly, Ozzie snapped his fingers. "Oh, God, not more snapping,"moaned Flea.
"No! Don't you two get it?" Ozzie yelped excitedly. His two companions shook their heads. "I was Magus' right hand man. Now that he's gone, I'm the new leader!"
"I dunno, Boss. Doesn't it seem kinda morbid to talk about this right now?" Slash said cautiously.
"Yeah, and besides," Flea sneered, "doesn't it stand to reason that when thte head's been cut off, the right hand becomes as ineffectual as the rest of the body?"
Ozzie scowled. "You're just jealous since all you got to be was the left foot."
"What does that make me, Boss?"
Ozzie glared at Slash. "That makes yout the right foot, obviously!" He shook his head. "Honestly. Am I the only one that sees the logic in these things?"
"Apparantly so," Flea quipped. "Regardless, gentlemen, we have a more pressing matter on our hands."
Ozzie crossed his arms and cocked an eyebrow. "And that is?"
Flea glared at him. "Well, Greenie, in case you haven't noticed, that beautiful pile of rubble at our feet used to be our home."
Flea rolled her/his/its eyes. "Okay, see if this makes sense: our humble abode is now a mess of crumbled bricks. Hence, now we are lacking a base of operations, as it were."
Ozzie offered her a blank stare. "Meaning?"
Flea's nostrils flared. She/he/it attempted to compose him/her/itself for a moment. "I'm going to put this in simple terms for you." Flea pointed to the ground. "That on ground was home. Fall down go boom. Now we no have place to live."
Ozzie's eyes lit up, albeit very dimly. "We don't have a home! We're homeless!" Flea nodded grimly. Ozzie continued to hoot and holler. "We don't have a home! I got it, I got it! Woo-hoo! Ozzie is so smart! S-A-M-R-T! Yippee!!" He stopped for a moment. Then: "D'OH!"
"Looks like you hit the head on the nail there, Ozz," Flea said with a smug grim.
Slash glanced at her/him/it. "Ain't that supposed to be 'hit the nail on the head'?"
Flea shook her/his/its head. "I know what I meant."
Slash stared for a moment. "Whatever you say, uh, Flea." He turned and looked at Ozzie. "So, what're we gonna do, Boss? Even guys like us gotta live somewhere..."
Ozzie shook his head. "I honestly don't know. Let's go into town and see if we can figure somethingout..."
"And so, your honor, it is for these reasons that I humbly request my budget to be increased by 2000 GP."
The short bald man stared up at the rugged adventurer. "Let me get this straight, Mr... Toma? Is that your name?"
Toma nodded. "Yes sir, your honor sir."
The shorter man cocked an eyebrow. "What's with this 'your honor' crap?! I'm the mayor of a small town in the country, not some court judge!"
Toma paused. "Well, sir, I use the term 'your honor' to accent the fact that you are obviously a man of much honor, and a well deserved role model by all."
The mayor rolled his eyes. "Ahh, stuff it, you flake. You spent ALL of my damn money and you STILL haven't found the Rainbow Shell?"
Toma gulped. "Well, sir, that is to say..."
The stocky man's nostrils flared. "You think I'm going to finance your damned alcoholic binges anymore?" Toma shrugged his shoulders. "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!!"
"But-but sir..." Toma stuttered.
The enrageed man looked around in desperation for something to throw at Toma. Toma got the hint and left hastily.
As Ozzie approached the entrance to the maypr's cottage, the door suddenly swung open and a rugged looking man rushed out. As Ozzie turned to stare at the fleeing human, he was pegged upside the head with a shoe. Ozzie's face contorted into an expression of pure rage. "Oww! What the hell was that for?"
The mayor glared at him. "Who are you? You must think you're really something special getting your buig fat green head in the way of my clobbering that stupid flake!"
Ozzie's nostrils flared. "Did you just say fat?"
Flea stepped forward. "Whay my corpulent companion here is trying to say is--"
"DID YOU JUST CALL ME FAT?!" Smoke ws pouring out of Ozzie's ears. His hands slowly contorted into fists.
Flea smiled seductively at the mayor. "Excuse us, this'll only take a second." He/She/It swirled to face Ozzie. "Listen, master," he/she/it hissed with a sneer, "what we're TRYING to do here is secure a new temporary residence. Your antagonistic nature isn't helping matters much in this area."
Ozzie scolwed at her/him/it. "So?"
"So shut the hell up, dullard," Flea growled, a fake smile upon her/his/its face. She/he/it turned to face the mayor again. "Sorry for the interruption..."
The mayor smiled lecherously. "Quite alright, madam."
Slash gave Ozzie a nudge. "Isn't Flea a guy?"
Ozzie shrugged his shoulders. "I dunno; it never came up in conversation, so I decided to leave it alone."
Flea slowly sauntered over to the short man and playfully tousled his hair. "So, anyway, what my friends and I here are wanting to know is if we could stay in this humble town for just a teensy-weensy bit of time. See, our house was..." she/he/it paused for a second, "vandalized by, uh, vandals, and we need a place to stay until it's...renovated." Flea smiled at the mayor coyly. "So whaddaya say, huh, big guy?"
The mayor giggled. "For you, dear, anything."
Flea clutched her/his/its hands to her/his/its chest in mock surprise. "You'd do that for me? Really?" She/he/it pinched him on the cheek. "You're so sweet..."
Ozzie rolled his eyes. "So we can stay then?" he addressed the mayor.
The mayor glanced in his direction and raised an eyebrow. "You? No. Her?" He smiled broadly. "Yes."
Ozzie mumbled a few choice words under his breath. "So what are we supposed to do then?" Slash asked.
"How am I supposed to know?" the mayor said haughtily. He tapped his chin for a moment. "Well, there is a forest on the outskirts of town. Go see what you can find there." He looked Ozzie over again. "Plenty of other green fellows there too. Not as fat, though."
Ozzie growled again. Slash grabbed him by the arm and began to drag him out of the cottage. "Thanks, we'll check it out."
The small frog looked at his significantly larger companion. "What is it, bobby?"
Bobby glared at him. "Dammit, why do you always have to do that?"
"You said my name in lower case. I think i deserve a capital at least once. I mean, I'm a big guy. I need a big letter."
"Whatever you say, bobby."
Bobby's nostrils flared. "Dammit, you just did it again!"
Bobby was about to come up with a nasty retort, but was cut short by the arrival of two new creatures.
"Is this the place, Boss?" the taller, sword-carrying one said.
"I can't believe that short little... pervert called me fat! I mean, he was no anorexic himself! If I could get my hands on that little..."
"IS THIS THE PLACE, BOSS?"
The fat green one stopped mid sentence and looked around him. "Hmm... It's forest..." He looked directly at Bobby and Bud. "There are frogs... Yeah, this is good enough."
Bobby cleared his throat. "Uhh... exactly who are you guys, anyways?"
Ozzie looked down at the fat frog. "Who am I? Why, I'm... King Ozzie, ruler of all the Mystics, that's who!"
Bud rolled his tiny eyes. "Yeah. Right."
Ozzie looked toward the small frog. "What did you just say?"
"I said there's no way in hell that you're the ruler of all the Mystics, ozzie."
Ozzie cocked an eyebrow. "What did you just call me?"
"Ozzie. It is your name, isn't it?"
Ozzie shook his head. "No, you just... lower cased my name. Why did you do that?"
Bud looked up at Ozzie defiantly. "I don't know what you're talking about!"
Ozzie's nostrils flared. He picked up the small frog and shook him violently. "Don't give me that! You little green freak!"
Bud gasped for air. "Who are you calling freak, you fat idiot?"
Ozzie scowled and squeezed the little frog. "Take that back!" The frog's lifeless legs swayed in the wind. "Hello? Little frog person?"
Bobby gasped. "You just killed Bud!"
Another frog peeked his head from around a bush. "Who did he kill?"
Bobby turned his head to address the older frog. "Bud."
Yet another frog, a yellow one, appeared next to the old frog. "Bud? Why?"
The yellow frog shook the older frog. "Wake up, you old bastard!" He looked up at Ozzie in anger. "Why did you kill Bud?"
Ozzie gulped. "He, uh, didn't capitalize my name..."
The yellow frog calmed down. "Oh. Alright. That's okay, then."
Slash stared at the tiny group of frogs puzzically. "It is?"
"Yeah. He pissed us all off, pretty much," the older frog rasped.
Bobby cleared his throat. "Let me introduce us. I'm Bobby. The old guy is Don and the yellow guy is Gary." He gestured around their surrounding with his tiny arms. "And this is our humble home."
Gary stepped forward. "For getting rid of Bud for us, I think you deserve something special. Don, tell them what they've won!"
Don stood up. "Well, Gary, for single-handedly crushing the tender life out of Bud, that obnoxious little bastard, this lucky pair of misfits has won a free room and board at Bud's former abode!" He sat back down. "Don't spend it all in one place."
Ozzie looked at Slash. Slash shrugged his shoulders. "Well, we needed a place to stay..."
Toma sat alone on a bar stool in the corner of the town's tavern, nursing a cider. "I tell ya, Mac, life just isn't treating me right anymore."
The man next to him turned to face him. "Young man, who are you talking to?"
Toma blinked a few times. "Mom?"
The man frowned. "I think you've had a bit too much cider for one day, sonny."
Toma waved the man off. "Pshaw, old fool. Ol' Toma can drink with the best of 'em."
"Well," came a voice from behind them, "you're in luck, because the best of 'em just walked in."
Both Toma and the old man turned to face the origin of the voice. There stood Flea, who signalled to the bartender to give her the strongest thing available.
Toma smiled and hiccuped. "I app-ri-shee-ate a woman who can down 'em like I can."
Flea cringed. "Woman?"
Toma chuckled. "Don't play coy with old Toma, now." He leaned over and smelled Flea's hair. "Hmm... you smell purty."
Flea backed away. "Well, you don't. So get the hell away from me."
Toma sat up in his stool, only to slump back down in it again. "Listen to this broad! Do you know who you're talking to? I'm Toma, the great adventurer!"
Flea rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Leave me alone." She sat down on the other side of the old man. Suddenly, her head perked up. "Did you just say adventurer?"
Toma grinned. "Yup. You name it, I've been there."
Flea fluttered her/his/its eyelashes. "Then that means that you'd know if there were any castles or anything just sitting around anywhere, doesn't it?"
Toma grinned. "Anything you want, I can tell you." Flea smiled and started to open her mouth. "At a price," Toma interjected.
Flea blinked. "Excuse me?"
Toma grinend broadly and scooted his stool out from under the bar. "Yup. Lap dance. Now."
Flea's nostrils flared. "Lap dance?" She smiled. "I'm not that type of... girl." She paused. "How about a kiss?"
Toma shook his head. "Nope. Lap dance."
Flea cringed. "And afterward you'll tell me where the castle is?" Toma nodded.
The next five minutes would be the longest five minutes of Flea's life...
"You did what?"
Flea glared at Ozzie. "I got us a new place, okay? So shut up about it now."
Slash walked down the staircase to the entrance where Ozzie and Flea were bickering. "Nice place. Nice and roomy."
Ozzie grinned. "Flea here had to give a drunk guy a lap dance to get it, too."
Flea scowled. "Keep it up, fatty, keep it up."
Ozzie's nostrils flared. "Did you say fat?"
Slash interjected between the two. "So, now that we have a place to live, we can begin to rebuild Magus' empire, right?"
Ozzie's eyes lit up. "Yeah, I guess we can." He stepped forward dramatically. "And once we assemble an army, then we can once again try to conquer the world!" Lightning flashed outside as he cackled triumphantly.
"What was the point of that?" Flea asked.
Ozzie shrugged his shoulders. "I dunno. Villian stuff. You understand."
"I'm sure I do..." Flea rolled her/his/its eyes. And with that, our story ends.
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