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Copyright Infringement: An Adventure of Epic Proportions Written By “The Majestic” Harry J. Chong

This Book is Rated R for Raunchy Dedication

This is dedicated to Maranda. May this entertain you in ways I cannot imagine.

Copyright? I don’t need copyright! (Completed: Sunday, September 27th, 2009 - 4:29 PM)

Rule #1 of Writing: DON’T WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF Fuck it! Chapter 1 This story begins with a boy named Harry. The character is based on me. Praise be. If you have a problem with that you can go stick your head in a toilet full of turd… Chagrin. That is what I was full of on this day. I kicked my feet along the ground and groused under my breath. My fat girlfriend dumped me. I was coming back from her apartment after some breakup sex. My penis was flaccid and droopy, which made me in a sort of mood. I knew it was dangerous to walk around at this time of night, because Toronto, Canada is fucking dangerous…but I didn’t care. I was mad. Life was shit for me. I had nothing. No job. No car. No money. Sure there were some good times, now and then, but it was ephemeral (short lived/temporary) and it never gave me long lasting satisfaction. So I decided I would have to do something worthwhile. I sauntered through the snow and came upon a homeless man—a bum if you will. He stood up and looked at me with puppy dog eyes. Not the cute kind, but like a Chihuahua. It was disgusting. I wanted to take a pan and stab out his pupils. “Give me some fucking money,” he asked me. Well, he didn’t really ask me. It was more of a demand, but there was a raised inflection at the end. “No way,” I yelled back. “I’m not giving you shit. Get a job or deal drugs.” He looked at me with an increasing amount of chagrin. The bum’s eyes were wild and untamed. His sticky, smelly, hair waved in the cold wind. Snow dropped upon his face. I stepped back, readying for a fight. My fists were tight like a balled up piece of clay left out in the sun. “If this son of a bitch attacks me,” I thought, “I’m going to take that garbage can and slam it over his head like in the Godfather.”

But it didn’t happen. He grumbled and went away. I did too. That was a close call. I continued walking and I went into the coffee shop ahead of me. I was chilled to the bone from this Canadian weather and I wanted an overpriced cup of coffee. I walked to the counter and frowned at the woman behind the counter—since women are inferior to men and must be treated thusly. “What do you want?” she asked me with a smile. Damn her. “Well,” she said again, “what do you want? What can I get you today? How may I help you?” “Chillax!” I yelled like a white person. “I’m thinking. All this shit is confusing. There isn’t an small, medium, and large. All this is in some gay foreign language.” She interrupted. “It’s Italian.” Italian my ass. This is Canada. Speak the fucking language. Damn it. I looked at the menu written in chalk against a blackboard and though for a while. The queue of people gathering behind were getting anxious. These were caffeine junkies. They wanted their morning fix. But I wouldn’t be rushed. They could burn in hell—if it existed—for all I cared. Damn them. Damn it all. I unfolded my arms and stopped looking. “Coffee,” I said grumpily. “Give me a big cup. And don’t make it over $5.00. I’m on a tight budget here. This is just a splurge.” The woman adjusted her top and looked very annoyed. She wanted me to conform and use the language provided, but I refused like a maverick of epic proportions. She left for a moment and went into a room. I have a feeling she was spitting in my cup or taking a piss or spraying her tit milk. That bitch. She returned promptly. There was a large cup of steamy hot coffee. I had no idea there were coffee making machines back there. I was about to take out my wallet, but she told me it was on her. Now I was suspicious. My eyes glared at everyone as if they were all a part of this. They hate curmudgeons like me. They want me to be hung like Saddam Hussein. Well, I would not be fooled. I placed the coffee cup on the counter and told me to get me a new one or I would slap the silicone out of her breasts. God, I’m such an asshole. She started to cry. I felt sorry for her. As I found out after some probing and talking to her, trying to console the dame, she was trying to pick me up. Me of all people. A total… JERK. Oh, I get it now. She’s

attracted to me because of my roughness. But I tell you, it’s not always like this. I’m cynical. I can be a dick every whenever, but I don’t act like a twat on a regular basis. I’m just steamed from being dumped. I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson today. I shake the woman and tell her to snap out of it. “Hey,” I told her, “stop crying. Snap out of it. Be a man.” She stopped crying. I asked her what her name was. “Ariana,” she replied, “Ariana Richards.” Fucking hell. It was that broad from Jurassic Park (directed by Steven Spielberg, grossed like $900,000,000). You know here. She played the young blonde girl who hung out with Sam Neill/Dr. Grant. I wondered what she was doing in a dump like this—yeah, I called Starbucks a dump. So what? Well, what the fuck is she doing here? I asked her that. I tried to calm down at the same time. “Get over yourself, Harry,” I said in my head. “Play your cards cool and you could score big time.” Ariana looked up at me. Why do people always look up at me? I’m not even that tall. “Do you want to go out on a date?” she asked. I choked for a moment. This is the girl who I’ve wanted to fuck since I was thirteen. I think I was thirteen. Can’t remember. Hell of a long time ago. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll go out on a date with you. But promise me you’ll sign my underwear and act out scenes from the movies you’ve been in.” And surprisingly she agreed. So some time had passed and it was the next day. Morning arrived. Ariana was beside me in bed—naked. No. Not because we had sex. We’d drunk too much, took our clothes off, and passed out. Nearly threw up, too—but didn’t for some reason. I can’t believe we didn’t get it on. I guess Ariana isn’t a slutty McWhore like most girls. I suppose it’s now time to kick her out. I ripped away her blanket and shook her. “Hey! Wake up! Wake the fuck up!” I didn’t want to swear and be callous, but during my stint in the army I found it to be somewhat effective. “Hey! Wake up!” Ariana gave me the middle finger and dropped her chow (I think it was pizza) onto my rug. I stood up and gasped. I was a poor bastard, and near the edge of total poverty, and about to be kicked out of my apartment (equivalent to “flat” for you Brits out

there), but I sure as hell didn’t want my place being messy and smelling like C-list puke. Fuck this. I scooped her up into my arms and carried her into the hallway. “I’m not ready to go,” she pleaded. “At least give me my clothes.” Her clothes were long gone. I refused to give her anything of mine to wear. Again, not because I’m a mean fellow, I just have nothing to give: two pairs of pants and a couple shirts not fit for a woman. “Go home,” I told her while dropping her to the floor. Ariana bumped her head, but was out of it, and it didn’t seem to hurt. She stood there in all her female glory. She started to scream, “Rape! Rape! This man raped me!” I took a step back, I always step back when surprised, and replied in a rage. “Cunt! I did not rape you! What do you take me for, huh?! Yes—we were both naked, lying in bed—but you know damn well right nothing happened. So fuck you and fuck off!” But Ariana was angry. She was wild. Wild like a bush. She punched me across the face. I was slugged down by a girl. My head hit the floor. I went down like bricks. It was a hell of a hit. There were stars in my vision. I saw the actress leaving down the hallway. “Something’s wrong here,” I thought. I was blacking out. Slowly. Then it happened. Several hours, or several days, or several months had gone. (No idea.) I woke up with a pounding headache. I wasn’t in the hallway of my apartment. I was in the snow, on the long driveway of a gray-bricked mansion. My joints ached. A man in a tuxedo appeared. It was the butler. I didn’t know his name, but for sheer laziness, I will call him Alfred. “Alfred,” I said, “what am I doing out here?” The butler corrected me. He had a thick English accent. “My name isn’t Alfred. It’s Bob.” “Well, fuck, Bob,” I said, “what the hell is going on here? Somebody brought me here. You must know.” Bob kicked me in the ribs. My face twisted in pain. I got up and held my guard up. But he seemed to be no more of a threat to me than I was to myself. “I’ve no idea why you’re here,” he said. “But my master wishes to speak with you. If you go to the mansion he will explain.” I looked through the gate. Then it suddenly opened up. I

was reluctant to go in, but I saw Bob shooing me in. I had nothing better to do, so I did as was told—beside there was no going back to my apartment. They must’ve boarded that up. So I went up the long, winding path and arrived at the cream colored, double-doors. I knocked and they immediately opened. A figure in shadows appeared. It stepped into the light and revealed itself. WHAT THE FUCK. It was Shia LeBeoeuo—SHIA. Shia put his hand on my shoulder. “Harry,” he said, “I must welcome you into my home. Come in and we will speak ‘business.’” He did that quotes gestures commonly employed by Emma Watson. (Hermione Granger from Harry Potter as you all know.) I went into his Shia’s large, Jewish mansion. I don’t know what I called it a Jewish mansion, when it was so clearly constructed by Italians, but it had a certain Jew ring to it. What was that Jew ring? Right. Money and prestige. Shia took me through his giant fucking home, paid for by Transformer 3, and showed me around. We went into his bedroom. It was well decorated—nah, it looked like shit. Everything was pink. I had no idea the boy was into pink “shit.” My eyes hurt from the lurid color. “What gives with the color scheme?” I asked the mega movie star. Shia shrugged. “I just like pink. It has a soothing effect—like Pepto Bismol. Do you not like it?” I was a guest in his home. I didn’t want to insult him. I just wanted to know why he brought me here. “It looks like shit, but you’re an eccentric fucking celebrity. It goes well with your ego.” Surprisingly, he accepted that response. And he took me into his brothel (which was a part of his room). Jesus, what type of person has a brothel in their home? But there it was. A large, square facility with girls from top to bottom. All the faces were strange to me, all but one. Alexa Chung was standing shyly in the corner. It seemed odd to me. Why would she, a woman like that, be a depraved prostitute for Shia LeBoof—but, alas, there she was. Though upon thinking about it, going over it a few seconds, I saw that she was dressed differently; more high class than the others; not in glass heels or anything like that. She must’ve been top dog around here. Managed the place I bet.

She came forward and extended her arm out to me. I shook it. Shia smiled at the same time. “Is this the one?” asked Alexa while looking me up and down as if a cut of meat. Her tongue went across her lips. “What does that mean?” I asked. “The one? Like Neo from the Matrix?” The brothel girls 69ed while the three of us talked. Shia had his hands in his pocket, casually, almost too casually. “This is the one,” he assured Alexa. “It is him. I’m certain.” I was befuddled. I thought about bolting. But who could resist the mystery and the ego-trip of being called “the one.” I played their game, if it was one, and further inquired. They told me that they had been trying to get to me for years. “I’ve always been in the same place,” I told them. “Toronto, Canada. You could have found me if you wanted to.” Alexa grabbed a martini from a silver tray being carried by one of Shia’s brothel slutters. She drank it in one gulp, olive and all. “It’s not that easy,” she said. “There were forces working against us. This has been quite an effort, and I’m afraid this isn’t even the hardest part of our endeavor.” This shit was serious. Shia closed the doors behind us. I saw that there was a gun in his back pants. Boy was ready for action. “What do I have to do?” I asked. “Give it to me straight.” I became surrounded on both sides by Alexa and Shia. They took me by the arms and led me forward. I was still confused. We went past the slutters and to a huge painting of a naked woman—and I mean fucking huge. Thing was to the height of the ceiling, which was nearly 30 feet high. I looked at the painting, trying to grok its meaning. All I could tell that this nude female was horny and ready. Her legs were spread wide at 45 degree angles. It made me think of Alexa. “Damn,” I said. “That’s one hell of a painting you got there. Must’ve set you guys back a pretty penny—but why are we looking at it?” Alexa didn’t answer me, but rather spoke to the painting. “Open sesame,” she said. Then the painting began to move. The nude woman came to life on the canvas and turned around. She grabbed the rims of her anus and pulled it open to reveal a secret passage. My God. I had never seen quite a sight. Although there was no smell coming through, the back of my mind recalled

memories from the toilet. “Take him in,” instructed Shia. “Explain everything to him—where it is safe and the walls have no ears.” Alexa led the way, and her and I went into the nude woman’s asshole. It was surprisingly pleasant. I found myself walking along a grassy path full of daisies. “This is all too much for me,” I told Alexa. Alexa gave me a “shhh” and we continued along the way ‘till we got off the path and to a door. She opened it with a golden key, and I was taken to an open field where there was a red barn at the end. I found the place unusual. It seemed like we were outside, but at the same time indoors as well. Perhaps it was an illusion or some sort of holographic world. Everything was a little off; the trees not quite right, and the birds not so birdy. But, regardless of my usual paranoid thoughts, we headed for the barn. It was open, so we went in. As I stared at Alexa’s long, half-Asian, half-British legs, she used her fingers and tilted up my chin so we met eyes. “We are safe now,” she said. “We are in a world without them.” I didn’t know who or what she meant by “them,” I merely nodded my head and gave a little grin. “Okay,” I said. Then Alexa took in a breath, readying to explain all that was. “The universe is ending,” she explained. “And not just the physical world as we know it—all existence in every possible manner. There are forces acting against us. They want us to be gone.” I was skeptical. How is that possible? “Why would anyone want us gone?” I asked. “Must there be a reason for evil?” she answered. Then she continued on, telling me everything—more than I wanted to know. She explained how Satan and God were real—much to the chagrin of Richard Dawkins—and that the quote unquote Almighty was losing the battle. Satan was trying to wipe out humanity, its existence, and anything associated with it. Again, the question is, why? Maybe he was rejected by a woman. God knows. (Pun intended!) “And how might I be of assistance?” I asked. “I’m a nobody. I can’t even tie my shoe laces properly.” Alexa insisted that I could do it. “You are the one,” she said. “We know so. It was written in the scriptures. You will save us all. How? I’m not sure. That information is beyond any of us. We just know you’re the one, and

we wanted to meet you before you became famous.” I was shocked. Fucking shocked. Like a retarded child who sticks his finger into an electric socket. “What the fuck?” I blurted. “This whole elaborate meet up was just to see me before I became famous? So you know nothing? NOTHING?! How am I going to prevent the end of the universe on what you’ve given me?!” Alexa Chung shrugged. “Don’t ask me,” she said. “I’m a young, pretty woman. I don’t know much about anything.” I was disappointed. I thought this was going to be a secret organization. I thought this was going to go somewhere. So I’m the chosen one, but I have no idea what to do. I’m the new Christ figure, apparently, and what do I do with that? Maybe I should take my pants off and cum on Alexa’s face for misleading me. No. I won’t be doing that. That’s disgusting—we’re not even dating. “Damn you, Alexa Chung,” I thought. “Damn you and your beautiful, beautiful legs.” “I should be leaving now,” I told Alexa. “It’s getting late and —well, I have nothing to do. But I feel like a moron standing here. I half-expected this to be a secret organization like in the Matrix. You know: the resistance. Again, I watch too many movies, but it was a fucking good movie. Yeah. Fuck you, Alexa. Fuck you and your beautiful body.” Alexa soured her face. “I’m more than just a body.” I disagreed with her and was promptly tossed out her and Shia’s kooky fucking complex. I was on the pavement once again. I got to my feet, once again, and dusted myself off. The weather was unusually warm, especially for the middle of November. How long had I been in that mansion? I looked at my watch. (It had a calendar.) It wasn’t the month I thought it was. It was August of the next year. Holy shit. I couldn’t believe it. I stopped a passer-byer. “Excuse me,” I said, “do you know what year and month it is?” The passer-byer ran away as if I was crazy. Actually, I am crazy, but it’s rude not to answer a person’s questions. Fucker. I dashed down the residential street ‘till I got to a busy intersection. I went to the newspaper box (the only one in town) and smashed the front window open to take a paper. I unfolded it

and looked at the horoscope and comics section. Then I checked the date on front. Indeed it was August. August the 1st to be exact. Jesus. Had I gone through some kind of time warping facility ran by Alexa Chung and Shia LeBeouf? Or was I out of my mind from all the drugs I had been taking? (Marijuana no doubt. Also goes by the nickname “Mary Jane,” which I am quite found of..) No. No. No. I knew myself. This has never happened before. There has to be more to it. I came upon the traffic lights and crossed to the other side. As I walked along the sidewalk I noticed my clothes were entirely different. I was in a suit and there was a nametag which said my name: Harry. Goddamn it. I hope this is an extreme prank. But who would go through such lengths to destroy my sanity? I had vexed many people before, but not enough which would merit a complete mind fuck. Damn it all. This wasn’t my cross to bear and I was hungry like a Hippo. So I forgot about all that happened before and went into the plaza where there was a convenience store. I went inside and headed to the potato chips section. The Pakistani clerk stared at me with great contempt. His eyes were boring a hole into the back of my head, but I ignored it. Business as usual I figured. I got a bag of Volcanic Doritos and sauntered over to the Slushee (a.k.a. Slurpee) machine where there was a choice of several flavors: Coca-Cola, root Beer, orange, and cherry. I took the cherry, filled up a clear, plastic cup the size of my head. I got to the counter. The clerk, I saw, was looking into the security monitors. There was a young, suspicious negro in the back. I thought he was harmless, but you never know. “Hurry this up,” I said. The clerk glared at me. He scanned my items and rang up the total. I reached into my pocket and dumped out a bunch of change to pay for my goods. Then I took a penny from the “take a penny, leave a penny” box. The clerk was slow in collecting my money, as he was consumed with the kid perusing the rear of his store. I drank my cherry Slushee with eyes looking up. Then the clerk stepped off his elevated platform and went to confront the kid who was taking his sweet time to choose chocolate bars. I waited for the chaos to ensue. The clerk touched the kid on the shoulder. The kid turned around and smiled. There

was a gun in his hand. “BACK THE FUCK UP!” he shouted. I dropped my Slushee to the ground in shock. Well, I wasn’t really shocked, but kind of disappointed. I’m not one for stereotypes and clichés—but there he was. “Give me your money!” shouted the kid. The clerk was stammering, “I’m, I’m, I’m just a clerk. I make minimum wage!” The kid pushed the clerk back to the counter where I was as well. I averted my gaze and tried not to make any eye contact for fear of being pistol whipped. The clerk did was he was told. He opened the cash register and emptied out all the money into a burlap sack marked with a dollar sign. The kid looked inside the bag to check it. There was, maybe, $100.00 at best. Fuck. I was nervous. I slowly tried to back away, but was stopped. “Where the fuck you think you’re going?!” shouted the kid. “You ain’t going nowhere.” Uh-oh. Grammar Nazi syndrome was beginning to arise. Double negatives. I don’t like them. Argh, I struggled to keep my mouth shut. Luckily, I had the will power to be quiet and listen to instructions. I went back to my spot. The kid put his gun on my head and demanded my wallet. I went into the back of my pocket, with much chagrin, and gave him what I had— a brown, leather wallet with absolutely nothing in it. Duh! Why do you think I used a bunch of change? Just to be annoying? The kid looked in my wallet. He was supremely pissed. All that was inside were a couple bus tokens—he took them—but it wasn’t enough. This nigger was out for blood. I put up my hands. Everything went into slow-mo. I felt several bullets go into my chest. Then the young robber fled. I was on the white, vinyl floor, gasping for air. I was spitting up serious blood. The clerk called 911 and hovered above me, looking with concern, but not knowing what exactly to do ‘till the ambulance arrived. I mustered my energy and spoke carefully, aware that these could be my last words. “You bastard. This is all your fault. You dirty, smelly Paki.” And in my last moments I was abandoned. The clerk left out of anger. There I was pouring blood and he left. Jesus. Some people are so immature. I’m half-conscious. What more could I say? I’m not a writer. I don’t have an ounce of wit. Well, I guess

this was the end. I was starting to fade out. Nope. The lights went out. GREAT. The clerk turned off the lights. Cheap son of a bitch. But then again, it is better for the environment. Though, I’m sure his reason were for spite. Ah , well. I knew I shouldn’t have opened my mouth. Generally that leads to trouble and being thrown into jail. Freedom of speech my asshole. An hour later. I was still on the floor. The ambulance did not arrive. The paramedics and city workers were on strike (as I later found out). Lazy pricks. Well, what to do? I gather I only had a minute more of thought; then I would be 6 feet underground or burnt up and sprinkled in a duck pound. I decided that I wanted people to find me, my body, in a unique position—not like a pathetic victim with his arms sprawled out. I mustered the energy to strike a pose. I made it look like I was doing the Chicken Dance. Kind of funny if you know what it is. Okay. Ready to go now. I closed my eyes. Nothing happened. Actually, I felt quite good. I sat up from my pool of blood. I stood carefully. I removed my soaked shirt and looked at my body. The wounds had healed up. I wasn’t hurt. I felt no pain. I felt—healthy. What was going on here? Could it be? Could this be what Alexa told me about? I thought so. I left the convenience store and walked aimlessly around Toronto. Chapter 2 I became tired after walking, and so I went to check into a homeless shelter. It smelt like shit, but considered that I had no shirt, I wasn’t complaining. I went to the counter and asked the gruff woman if I could crash for the night. She took out a cigarette and put it in her mouth. She lit it and took in a deep drag. “Yeah, there’s an empty spot on the floor if you don’t mind. But I don’t know why you’d stay here, especially considering the nice weather now. It is summer after all.” “I never thought about that,” I said. “I just thought I’d get more than just a spot on the floor. Maybe a sleeping bag?” The woman put out her cigarette when she was her supervisor walk by.

It went into the palm of her thick hand. “Yeah, yeah,” she said. “We’ll give you a sleeping bag.” She bent down and stood with a sleeping bag in hand. She tossed it to me and pointed in a direction. “Go down there,” she said. “And don’t step on anybody. Most these bums are cranky. Not that they’ll do anythin’ to yah, but you’d better avoid confrontation. Their nerves are still and tough from all the booze in their systems.” I took my sleeping bag and ambled through the hall and arrived in an open space. There was a spot in the middle. I tiptoed there amidst the sleeping poor, and lied down. I went into the sleeping bag. It was lumpy. I didn’t know what I was doing here. It would probably be better to go outside and just lie on the concrete —but I couldn’t bring myself to that for some reason. Just to have everyone staring at me and knowing my situation in life. Fuck all that. I was going to hide away from the public as long as I could. As I was staring up at the ceiling, thinking what to do with myself, and thinking of all that happened, there was a whispering voice. “Psssssst,” said the voice. “Is your name Harry?” Who said that? How could anybody here know who I was? I looked through the room lit only by the moonlight and saw a smiling face. It was a girl. She was blonde with freckles. That much I could make out. “What do you want?” I asked. “And how do you know my name?” The voice stood and walked over to me. She stood there and I saw who she really was—Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson. (The actress from Harry Potter.) WHAT THE FUCK?! Good God, I said that aloud. Now everyone was awake. But none got violent. They simply swore at me and went back to their sleep. I whispered to Emma, “What are you doing in a homeless shelter? Aren’t you a multi-millionaire? Shouldn’t you be acting or studying or something?” Emma told me she was looking for the one, and had heard it was me. She wanted to join me in my adventures. I nodded in agreement. Not that I think she would be a useful person for helping me to halt the end of the universe, but rather because she was beautiful—really, really beautiful—and hopefully sexually attracted to me. “Yeah,” I said. “You can join along. The more the merrier… By the way, how did you know I was ‘the one’?” I did the quoting

gesture with my fingers again. (Looks like rabbit ears. You know.) Emma said she learnt about me through the internet. After the huge earthquake a year ago, Sylvia Brown and other loony-bin psychics said there would another huge catastrophe, and that only “the one” could stop it. Apparently, according to the clues they gave out, I was that one. The 4Channers found me. I was the new celebrity to them—kind of like pedobear. (That is a cartoon grizzly bear who is a pedophile.) “Alright,” I said to Emma Watson. “I assume you have better accommodations in this. Shall we go to your place?” Emma Watson took my hands and lifted me to my feet. “Let’s go,” she said. “I’ll take care of you for as long as needed.” I shook my head. “I just want to stay for a night or two. I don’t need you to baby me, Emma. I am not going to become a burden on you. I’m my own man—albeit a poor man.” Emma shook her head. God, she was cute. “No, no, I insist. Don’t be silly. You and I are going to save the universe. I’ll do whatever it takes.” I couldn’t disagree with her. So we both left the homeless shelter and stood at the edge of the sidewalk. A limousine appeared and we went int. We said nothing to each other as it was in motion, but there was an awkward tension. I didn’t know what to say to her exactly I’ll be honest, I was quite intimidated. She’s probably the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. “I can hear you,” said Emma. “You’re speaking aloud.” Shit. “I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I wasn’t aware. I have a tendency to go into deep thought. Sometimes it comes out and I’m not even aware. I guess it’s kind of arrogant of me to narrate my own life, but I’m not doing it on purpose.” Emma laughed. “Ha-ha-ha!” Her thin lips stretched across her face like a piece of pink taffy. I wanted to kiss them so bad, but I was feeling sort of mellow. The leather seats of the limo were massaging my back. “Swanky,” I thought. “Okay,” I said, “how shall you and I go about stopping the end of the universe? Do you have any information I should know about? What does the internet say? I’d like to know.” Emma reached into her pocket and took out her iPhone. “Hold on a minute,” she said with her lovely, English accent, “I’m going to Google this whole ‘end of the universe’

thing. I can’t recall everything I learned about you.” She was taken to Wikipedia where, under the term ‘end of the universe,’ the prophecy was explained with extraordinary detail. She took a couple minutes to read it to me. Apparently, I was going to somehow slay Satan and all his evil forces. Though, the article did not state how. It had everything on the subject but that. How useless. As I brooded, pursing my lips, and staring creepily at everything I could (this was all new to me), the limousine suddenly stopped; we arrived at our destination—whatever that was—and the doors flung open. Emma dragged me along outside. I tilted back slightly, looking up at an ivory tower. Now, I don’t mean to say it was luxurious, but that is what it was called—Ivory Towers —and it was painted in white. “Follow me,” said Emma. “I’ll show you into my flat. You’ll love it. There’s enough room inside to play vampire baseball.” The limousine behind left; the two of us went inside where we were greeted by a homosexual security guard. I knew this because he was, oddly enough, wearing bicycle shorts. But I think it might have been the heavy lisp which gave it away. “Emmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” he said. “Sooooo glad to see you again! Who’s your friend? He is sooo adorable!” Emma told him my name was Pedro. She didn’t want him to know I was the chosen one, or he might try to join along on our little adventure. He kept calling me Pedro throughout our entire 10 minute conversation. I feel he was trying to pick me up or something, but I’m not a very good looking fellow. I’m yellow-skinned with dark hair, and I’ve got a belly the size of a keg. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll see you later!” Then the conversation ended. Emma and I continued on our way. We went to the end of the lobby. As we arrived, an elevator opened up. Good time. We went in and stood beside a stranger. At least I thought he was a stranger. His face looked awfully familiar. “That guy looks familiar,” I said to Emma while trying to point surreptitiously. “Do you know who he is?” Emma pushed number five (5) on the button panel. A whhhring sound was made as we went up. “Yes,” she

said. “That’s my neighbor from across my flat… Christopher Walken.” “CHRISTOPER WALKEN!” I said in my outdoor voice. Then Christopher Walken lifted his chin. “Uh, hello there,” he said. “Nice to meet you.” I couldn’t believe it—that voice he uses in his movies is his actual voice. You know. That slowly, kind of broken talk, sort of like William Shatner. “What’s the matta, kid,” he said while looking at me with confused eyes. “Haven’t you seen a human being before?” I didn’t know whether or not that was a joke. I laughed regardless. Very manically, too. AUGH-HA-HAHA! LooOoOLLll!!!!1 Jeez. He seems scared. I shouldn’t have thrown in that “LOL” bit there. He edged into the corner, very quietly, saying nothing more. I felt stupid. The elevator stopped on floor five. Emma and I got out, but I see that Christopher did not follow (even though he allegedly lived on the same floor). He was being a paranoid, old man. There was nothing I could do. I walked along with Emma and we got to the front of her door (Only one of two doors in the entire hallway. There were only two units for each level.) She was looking mighty fine, even under the buzzing fluorescent lights. I took her by the hands before she could get out her keys. “Emma,” I said, “do you think we’ll ever be more than just friends who try to save the universe?” She thought for a minute, maybe less, and opened her mouth with a nervous grin. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I only like you as a friend.” Damn it. How long have I known this woman for and she’s already stuck me in the friend zone? I’ll never get out of it. “Fine,” I replied. “If that’s what you want. But when I save the universe the girls will be all over me, and I won’t even have time to speak with you. Is that what you want?” I continued with my idle threats. “Do you want to lose me that way?” Emma’s been with many men, and knew I was talking out my arse. She dismissed me with a silent raise of her eyebrows—defeating my hopes of marrying her and having children with her—then we went into her apartment without further debate. I was a bit sad at the moment, thinking how I was shot down by the most beautiful woman in the world, but I quickly got over it

when I smelled something baking in the oven of this luxurious flat. “Is that food?” I asked like a hungry puppy. I hadn’t eaten a good meal in a long time. “What is it?” I said while smelling the air. “I don’t know,” replied Emma. “I haven’t been here in some time. Didn’t put anything in the stove for sure… I’ll check and see.” “No!” I replied with a shriek. “Aren’t you an actress? Damn it. Don’t you watch movies? You go there and you’re dead. I’ll go and check it out. Okay? You stay put.” Then I balled my hands into fist and went slowly to the kitchen. My tilted my head and looked beyond the wall with one eye showing. There was a tall, skinny man with blond hair in an apron. He hadn’t yet noticed me. It was a very large kitchen. “Who are you?!” I cried. The man became startled. “Who are you?!” he yelled back. I returned the question. And this went back and forth for a while ‘till Emma came and interrupted us. “Jay!” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?!” It was Emma’s boyfriend Jay Barrymore. (Perhaps you’ve seen the photo of them two snogging on set. Jesus. Did that right behind the director. Imagine what they’ve done when nobody was looking. Not any of my business, though.) “What are you doing here?!” repeated Emma. Jay lowered his head to adjust his tie. He appeared well dressed aside from the green “Kiss me! I’m Irish!” apron. “I’ve come to make amends,” he said while clearing his throat. “I’ve come to make you a dinner—maybe we can make up?” I took a step back as Emma charged forward with her hands curled like claws. “MAKE UP?!” she yelled with righteous indignation. “You cheated on me! You slept with another woman! You expect me to forgive you just because you made me a meal?! What the hell is wrong with you, Jay?! I loved you and you cheated on me! I gave you my body! I gave you my soul! I gave you the keys to my flat—damn it, give them back!” Jay took off his apron, put it aside, and went into his side pocket. He reached down and took out a key. As he extended his arm to return it, Emma snatched it away and placed it into her brassiere. Then I watched the former couple argue for a good hour. It was a bit awkward, though I had a good seat, front row for the whole spectacle. When they had finished the dinner was fully

ready. The roast, what I presumed to be a roast, was done. “Perfect timing,” I thought. I took in the smell with my flared nostrils. Jay stormed off and left. Now it was only Emma and me—and there was a romantic “let’s get back together” meal waiting for us. How convenient. Though, Emma didn’t seem to have much of an appetite at this point, I insisted to her that we shouldn’t let anything go to waste. The starving children in Africa would be devastated. So we carried everything to the dining room and popped open a bottle of champagne. I poured a glass for the each of us. “Wow,” I teased, “your ex really went through a lot of trouble to do this, didn’t he?” Emma cut a piece of meat and put it on her white plate with a side of mash potatoes and butter. “I don’t care,” she said. “What he did was in excusable. I emotionally invested in him and went bankrupt. Damn men. I hate men. If you weren’t the chosen one I’d kick you in the testicles I would.” I put my legs together at that moment. “But this is good food,” I said, trying to change the topic. “It tastes like something you’d pick up at a restaurant.” Emma seethed with anger, but I could see she was calming down. I pulled my chair in closer when I began to feel more comfortable. “So,” I said, “how might we go about stopping the end of the universe?” The tension in the air was starting to leave. Emma was now in a different head space. She’d forgotten about Jay. “Well,” she said, “there are a few things we have to go over here.” She put a hunk of meat into her mouth and spoke while she chewed. “In order to stop this destruction we must stop Satan… Right… So how do we stop him? And if we want to stop him where is he? How does he look?” I was bewildered. Still I knew nothing. “Maybe somebody else knows something,” I suggested. “You’re a well-connected person. Do you know anyone who could help us to answer our questions? To solve this Scooby Doo type mystery? Could be the old man down by the river. He’s always seemed sinister to me.” The chandelier overhead swung from a draft, as if to say: “Don’t delve any further into this madness. Give it up and go home, Harry.” But I’m a stubborn kind of guy. Also, I don’t listen to chandeliers. Fuck the chandeliers I say. They think they’re so classy.

“Why are you staring at the ceiling?” asked Emma. I stuttered. “Oh,” I said, obviously lying, “I was just admiring the color scheme of your apartment. I like it. White ceiling. White walls. White floor. Not very creative I’d say, but I admire your consistency.” Emma put down her fork. “Okay,” she replied. Then she took out her iPhone to check a list of numbers. “I’m going to call up a friend of mine. I think he could help us out with this whole ending of the universe thing. Just give me a minute here.” I nodded. “Hello,” said Emma on her phone with her legs neatly crossed. “Is Uri Geller there?” Uri answered on the other line. His voice was staticy (stah-tick-ee). It sounded like he was from far, far away. Maybe in another galaxy. “Wazzzzzup!” he hollered. (I visualized his tongue sticking out like an idiot.) “Ha-ha! Just kidding! How are you, babe? Long time no see, eh!” I couldn’t believe this was Uri Geller, though, it sounded exactly like him. I watched Emma become uncomfortable, but I suppose he was the only psychic she knew. (I know you balk at the idea of psychics, maybe, but where else can one go when they need important information? A scientist? Ha! Them and their truthiness!) I leaned back on my chair, balancing on two legs, like a bored child would in a classroom. I tipped back too far and fell. But Emma didn’t notice. She was still busy with Uri on her phone. “Yes,” she said. “Where can we meet you?” Uri Geller grunted. I think he was taking a shit. “At a restaurant,” he suggested. “They’re noisy places. Nobody will be able to eavesdrop. The clattering of plates and chewing mouths would be too much.” Gee. With all this covert talk I felt like I was an Asian James Bond—same as regular James Bond, but Chinese and with a small penis. Emma looked at me, asking with her eyebrows what we should do. I shrugged indifferently. I didn’t care. Restaurant. Park. Brothel. Whatever. “Okay,” she said back to Uri. “A restaurant it is. Tomorrow morning—and where shall we eat? Somewhere fancy?” So we ended up at Tim Horton’s. It was just about 6:00 AM. What an ungodly hour to wake up. Uri had a cup of coffee in front of

him, double-double style, while Emma and I drank English tea. I popped the brown plastic lid off my cup and dunked my French Cruller. “So,” I began, breaking the proverbial ice, “what’s the scoop?” Uri looked jetlagged. He had flown from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Toronto, Canada, over night (sonic jet) and his eyes were a bit red. “I don’t know what you mean by that,” he told me. “But I presume you want to know how to stop the end of the universe?” We all nodded eagerly. “Tell us,” said Emma while brushing back her long, golden hair. “Don’t leave out any details, even if saving the universe requires Harry to be anally raped with a ball gag stuck in his mouth. Be as graphic as possible.” I nearly spit up what I was drinking. Uri was smirking. “Heh, no, none of that,” he said. “Saving the universe will require more than that.” Then he flipped through a brown leather notebook he was carrying. On the pages were symbols which he translated aloud—in Hebrew. “Fuck-sake, man,” I said. “We’re not Israeli. Translate what you’re reading into ENGLISH.” Emma kicked me under the table, telling me not to be so rude. I apologized. Uri accepted and continued. “It says that you need another person—not me—to help,” he explained. ”Though you are the chosen one, Harry, according to this you need to make a team of three. I don’t know why, maybe triangles are lucky, but it’s what I’ve got.” I mused. “So,” I said, “this is more like Harry Potter than the Matrix, huh? Oh, fuck. I do not want to hang out with a goddamned ginger.” Emma glared at me. Her illustrious career as Hermione Granger had given her emotional attachment to her friend Rupert Grint, who she thought was gorgeous, but not particularly fuckable. “So what if it’s a ginger?” she said. “Redhead hair is quite attractive in England, don’t you know that?” I laughed. “Get off your high-horse,” I replied with irreverence. “We’re in Canada. This country isn’t run by some old, buck-toothed woman. We have this thing called taste…” Uri hid his face behind his cup of coffee, sensing a swearing contest ‘bout to come. But Emma, the gentle soul she was, kept cool, and instead hit me in the brain with a school lesson. She went into her wallet and showed me the back of a loonie. (For those who

don’t know, that is our dollar coin. You might have seen it—big and golden with a duck on it.) There was Queen Elizabeth’s fat head. “Why are you showing me that?” I asked who Emma pinched me. “You idiot,” she said with gritted teeth. “Why do you think the bloody Queen is on the back of your coin? For fun?! She’s on there because she’s the head of state for Canada! It goes: Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister. Get that through your thick skull! You’re acting like an American!” “WHAT?!” I yelled. “DID YOU CALL ME A FUCKING AMERICAN?! HOW DARE YOU! WHY! WHY! I OUGHT TO SPEAK IN CAPS FOR THE REST OF THIS BOOK!” Uri pulled me down. “Relax,” he said. “You’re going to get us kicked out.” I didn’t want that to happen, so I took in a deep breath, swallowed my pride, and stayed quiet in my seat. Emma sneered at me from across the table. “Well,” I said, “this is turning out to be a productive meeting. “All we know is we gotta get another person on board. Anything else in that journal of yours?” Uri thumbed his notebook. “Not much,” he said. “There’s a riddle of some sort, where you will find the third member of your party.” He slowed down his voice and read verbatim. “The person you seek is one who you see each week. Close and near, but hardly dear. Dark in hair, plump and fair, docile, somebody you would not fear.” I clapped my hands. I loved rhymes. “What a riddle,” grumbled Emma. “It’s vague as a horoscope. That could be anyone.” She turned to me. “Harry, do you know anybody who goes by that description? Who do you see each week?” I was punched in the arm by Emma. “God!” she yelled. “You visit this dirty, strip club each week?! What’s wrong with you! Don’t you men have any morals?!” I rubbed the spot where I had been hit. “I’m not having sex with them,” I said, trying to defend myself. “I just like seeing naked ladies. It means nothing—there’s a no touch rule.” The Zanzibar sign above our heads flashed. It shone a yellow light on Emma’s scowling face. “Come on,” she said while grabbing my arm. “Let’s just go in.” I was dragged along to the front door. There was a security guard blocking the way (whom I’d

never seen before). He wasn’t very tall—I was about an inch taller —but he was well layered in muscles. I swear, his right bicep was bigger than my ass cheek. The hairy, Italian fellow mostly definitely worked out. “Need yah IDs,” he said in a stern voice. “You don’t have ‘em, you don’t get in.” I went into my back pocket and felt I had no wallet. I’d forgotten it at Emma’s place. It was left on the nightstand of the bedroom she let me live in. I tried to explain to the bodyguard what happened, and that I was a regular, but he wasn’t buying it. “Step back,” he said as his arms unfolded, “uddawise I’m a hafta get tough.” Emma took out her ID. “He’s with me,” she said, showing it to the bodyguard. He stared for a good ten seconds. Then his jaw dropped down. He could barely speak. (Yes, even more so than before.) “D-d-d-d-dis is increbdible,” he stammered. “I, I, I, I’m a fan huge—ugh! I mean! I’m a huge fan! Ms. Watson, Ms. Watson! So glad to meet you! My name’s Petey! I loved Harry Potter! You wah da perfect Hermineee!” I slapped my forehead. Aw, not another fan. Every time! Every goddamn time we go out! She’s always getting the attention! HEY, ASSHOLES! I’m the chosen one! What about me?! Hellooo! Gonna save the universe here!” There was a simper on Emma’s face. “Oh, thank you,” she said in her polite, show business voice. “It’s so kind of you to say…” The bodyguard was giddy, but I could tell my “actress friend” wasn’t too keen. There was another (real) voice going on within her head. “Fucking crazy fans,” was what she was thinking. “These bloody people can’t leave me alone for one second! Is there a sign on my back that says ‘annoy me.’ NO! NO! I do not want to take a photo with you and give you an autography! Damned sick and tired of it! And always with the same questions—‘Was it fun making Harry Potter?’ Blah. Blah. Blah. FIRST OF ALL, I’ve made other movies. AND no, it was not fucking fun. I act in front of a green screen, yah moronic cunts! I didn’t actually attend Hogwarts! Making a movie is boring as arse! You stand around all day and read lines you remembered from the night before. Is that anybody’s idea of fun and exciting? Bugger off I say!” The bodyguard was still smiling. If only he knew. “C-c-can I have an autograph and a pictcha?” he asked. “Yah know, if it ain’t

no inconvenience.” I watched Emma carefully, seeing if she would throw a tantrum, but she was calm and gracious as usual. She posed beside the bodyguard. I took his cell-phone and used the camera to take a picture. I returned it to him with a: “Here you go.” He looked at it and appeared very pleased. “And da autograph?” he said in his most polite voice. I could see Emma was slightly irritated, but again she gave a smile. “What should I sign?” she asked with a pen in her hand. The bodyguard pulled up the elastic on his underwear. “Sign dis.” God, I felt bad for Emma. Maybe if this was a one time thing that would be okay. But I could only imagine how many times she’s had to deal with these weird mother fuckers. (Yes. You could say I’m one as well, but FUCK YOU. This is my story. Ahem, continuing on.) I wondered if she would actually go through with it and scribble onto his dirty undies. She seemed apprehensive. I nudged her lightly and told her to just do it. “Just do it,” I whispered. “We need to get into the strip club. If you piss him off he might toss us to the curbside. Look at him. He’s obviously on steroids. Have you not heard of ‘roid rage? Could flare up at any moment now. Please, Emma, for the welfare of the universe…” Emma lowered down to sign the bodyguard’s Fruit of the Looms. I was pleased as punch. But as I grinned, she suddenly jumped back and put her hands out in protest. “No,” she said, “I’m not doing it. This is asking for way too much. I’m not signing your nasty knickers. Fuck you and your big fat muscles.” The bodyguard clenched his teeth and balled his hands into fists. He was obviously offended. I tried to defuse the situation. “Hey,” I said, “who wants to hear a joke? Knock! Knock!” (Nobody can resist a “knock, knock” joke.) “Who’s there?” asked Emma. “Doctor,” I replied. “Doctor Who?” she said. Then I nodded with a smirk—but nobody laughed. I tried to explain the joke. It only made things worse. The bodyguard was still pissed—he punched me in the nose and knocked me flat to the pavement. (Jesus H. Christ, man! I’m not the one who refused to autograph your undies! Punch Emma Watson! She’s much stronger than me! Girl can take a hit like a boxer!) “Alright,” he said, “I feel betta now. Come into da strip

club if you’s want.” Emma helped me up. I stood with a glare, making my eyes even smaller than they already were. (I’m Chinese by the way—that’s hell fucking small.) I wanted to fight back, but I was flabby and weak. Trust me on this, kids. When your parents say not to eat ice-cream for breakfast there is a reason. “How could you hit my friend like that?!” yelled Emma. “I ought to kick your fucking arse!” The bodyguard laughed with his muscley chest jiggling. “Is dat so?” he asked. “You weak, little woman. You couldn’t beat up a blind baby wiff two missing arms! Haw-haw-haw!” I stood back, knowing something was going to happen. Then Emma rolled up her sleeves—actually she had no sleeves, but did the gesture anyway—and she pulled back her arm. I blinked for only a second, but missed what had happened. It was all so fast. There was the bodyguard lying on the floor, crumpled like a piece of paper. He was out cold it. His nose was broken and bleeding profusely. “Holy shit!” I cried. “You killed him!” Emma checked his pulse by putting two fingers on the side of the neck. “No,” she replied. “I just knocked him out. He’s unconscious. No worries.” …No worries?! No worries?! You fucking decked a man twice your weight! “Where the hell did you learn to fight like that?” I asked. She appeared reticent, but answered me anyway. “I don’t know,” she replied. “But in that one punch it felt like I hit every paparazzo and pushy fan I’d ever met in my life… It was quite liberating to be honest. I see now why men like to watch Ultimate Fighting.” I gave a silent nod. Then we went into the Zanzibar. Inside looked like a cheap Persian disco, and it smelt of an old boy’s locker room—sweaty and full of pouring pheromones. I could see Emma wasn’t breathing through her nose. She and I sauntered around in exploration. “Where’s this ‘person’ you always see?” she asked while trying to avoid eye contact from the perverts which surrounded us. I darted my eyes side to side, scanning every area for the stripper I regularly saw, but she wasn’t around. Maybe she had a day off. Mind you, searching around for her didn’t exactly get my spirits down. Though, I could see Emma was getting irritated. “Goddamn it,” she complained. “I’m going to leave.” I

pulled her back. “Stop,” I said. “Just give it a minute. Go the bar and get a drink if you’re so bored.” So I left and went to check the private rooms while Emma got a drink. I went behind the first curtain that came my way. I found myself in a circular room. There was a man having sex with the stripper. She was on his lap. I went in for a closer look. “HEY! WHAT’RE YOU DOING HERE?!” yelled the man. Then I saw his face. It was Jay Barrymore. (Remember? Emma’s exboyfriend.) I didn’t know what to say. What could I do? Call him a sleazy slut? That’s pretty much all men, anyway. “You sleazy slut!” I yelled. “How could you?! I mean—going to a titty bar is one thing—but having sex?! You probably have HIV now!” Jay pushed the stripper off his lap (who looked suspiciously like Natalie Portman) and told her to go away. Then he sat there with his legs open, as if it weren’t a big deal. “Excuse me,” I asked, “do you think you could put your cock away? It’s quite rude to have it out when speaking to another fully clothed person.” I tried to keep myself from getting sick in the mouth. “Fine,” he said. Then put on his pants and stood. “What are you doing here? Is Emma with you?” I told him she was at the bar getting some alcohol, probably a beer. “Shit,” grumbled Jay. “Don’t tell her I’m here. I don’t want her to see me like this. We might get back together.” (I doubted that.) “Okay,” I agreed. “Just help me out then. Have you seen the dark haired stripper named Maranda? The mixed up, French chick. She should be around here if I’m not mistaken.” “I saw her snorting a line in the girl’s washroom,” he replied. “She should still be in there. Probably with a nose bleed. Fucked out of her mind.” I rushed out in the open area of the strip club, and went to the bar and took Emma away. “What’s the matter?” she asked with a Molson Canadian in her hand. Then we went into the girl’s bathroom. There was nobody, it seemed, inside. I could see why. It smelt like piss and was colored puke green. Very dirty looking all around, even the mirror looked sticky. “Why are we in here?” said Emma with her hands on her hips. She finished her beer and chucked the bottle into the trash can. “Keep an eye out,” I said. “I don’t want to be tossed out too soon.”

Then I looked under the stalls, going from right to left. First one. Nobody there. Second one. Nobody there. Third one. Still, nobody there. Then fourth. Same deal. “Fuck,” I thought. “Maranda must’ve quit. I remember her saying she wanted to quit and go straight. Become a registered nurse.” Then I said aloud, “She’s not here. Let’s go.” Emma looked at me like I was a total moron (which I sort of am) and tapped me on the head (Hellooo! Anybody home?). “You can hide your feet,” she said. “Look over, not under.” I did as was told, but going from left to right this time. And there in the middle stall was “my” stripper Maranda. She shrieked in fright. “Don’t worry,” I said soothingly, “it’s just me. Harry. Remember me? I visit you all the time. I’m a regular.” Maranda wiped the powder off her nose and got off from the toilet seat. She came out to meet me. “I swear,” she began with a trembling voice. There was a spot of blood underneath her nose. “I swear I’m going to go clean. Just filling in the time yah know—so what can I do for you? Who’s your friend? Looks familiar. Is she a stripper from another club? The Pink Taco?” Emma didn’t like being confused for a stripper, but at least Maranda wasn’t another crazed fan. “No,” she replied. “I’m not a stripper. If you must know I’m an actress… I had a small part in those Harry Potter movies. Ahem, maybe you’ve heard of it?” Maranda shook her head. “Oh, no, I’m sorry. I haven’t. I only read books. Though, I am well aware of the ‘H.P.’ phenomenon. I think it’s a very—” I interrupted. “We’re not here to talk about wizards and magic damn it. We have important business to discuss. So if you’d like to hear it…” Maranda listened. I continued. “The universe is going to end,” I said in my most stern voice, “and we need your help. Why? I’m not so sure, but apparently, it’s what has to be done. Will you join us?” Emma nervously bit her fingernails. I leaned in close to listen to Maranda, maybe she was whispering. “I don’t buy into your story,” she replied. “Why ever would the universe end? Especially at this time?” Fuck. Now I had to convince this woman that the universe, in fact, might end. (I hardly believed it myself.) It’s hard to convince skeptics of any sort.

“JUST DO IT!” I yelled. “THE FUCKING UNIVERSE IS ENDING! STOP BEING A SELFISH CUNT!” Then Maranda broke down and began to cry. She sat on her plump bottom with tears running down her cheeks. (Bad move I guess.) Emma stooped down beside and rubbed her on the back. “There, there,” she said. “There’s no need to cry. It’s okay if you don’t want to come with us… My friend’s an idiot. Don’t listen to him.” I felt terrible. “Yes,” I said in agreement, “I am an idiot—but I’m sorry that I lost my temper. I went Christian Bale on you, and it was inexcusable. Will you forgive me?” “Yes,” said Maranda as she stood. “I will…” The three of us left the washroom. The strip club was more than half empty and we were easy to see. In my sight I spotted the bodyguard who Emma had decked only earlier. There he was standing with his other friends, equally as muscular, and probably twice as stinking. “Trouble at twelve o’clock,” I said with my finger slightly pointed. I turned to Maranda. “Is there a backdoor or a window we could leave through?” Maranda shook her head. “Sorry, the only way out is through the front. Why do you ask?” Emma quickly explained, but the bodyguard and his goony pals were approaching fast; and they were a racially mixed bunch which scared me a great deal more than I wanted. Not that I’m racist or anything like that, but I knew if the black dude stomped down on my face for that last lethal blow, it would have a negative impact on those of similar ethnicity. As if these African-Canadians don’t have it hard enough. They don’t need “one of their own” to fuck it up for them and cast them under bad light. But politics aside, I was dumbfounded, and could only think of scenes from kung-fu movies. Maybe there was a move or two in there that could come in hand for this impending fight. I kept fantasizing ‘till Emma stepped on my foot and told me to knock it off and stop daydreaming, which I aptly denied doing. (It was mental research!) And so, out of my stupor, one of the three of us had to think of a plan fast. I had nothing, but Maranda snapped her fingers. “I know,” she said. Then she took off her gear, and fully naked, started swirling around. Now, mind you, there were other nude women in the club, but her movements were additionally

enticing. It appeared as if she was a pro in belly dancing. That added to her misty allure and began to draw in a crowd of men, who conveniently, made a human barrier. It bought us time as the bodyguard and his friends only had an obfuscated view of us. Emma and I put our heads together. We talked over the skeezy music as best as we could. “What should we do?” I asked. Emma, in spite of her recent and fruitful academic career, and worldly travels, could only come up with “let’s make a run for it on the count of three.” So that’s what we did. I counted aloud, “1… 2… 3!” Then the two of us bolted through the crowd of perverts, grabbed Maranda, and bolted past the bodyguard and the others. We go out to the front and we ran down the sidewalk as fast as we could. Then after several minutes, when all seemed safe, we stopped at a corner, hidden away from public view. I thought the three of us were safe, but there, unnoticed, was a piano being pulled above head. There were a pair of knuckleheads trying to get it into their home. The rope didn’t snap and fall on any one of us, like some would expect, but rather Maranda was having an asthma attack. She clutched her still-naked chest and wheezed from air. The running we, I guess, took her body by surprise. She didn’t have an inhaler or any medicine on hand, since that was stuffed in the gstring which she dropped to cause the distraction to help us escape. “But not to worry,” I thought. “We live in Canada where healthcare exists for all, poor and rich.” Then I prompted Emma to call 911 with her fancy phone. And so, in less time than it takes to deliver a pizza, an ambulance arrived on scene. With red lights splashing, it stopped and hoisted our stripper friend onto an orange gurney. “Is she going to be okay?” asked Emma with genuine concerned. “It’ll be fine,” replied the paramedic. (I saw that Maranda was having tubes shoved through her nose to supply oxygen.) “This sort of thing happens all the time.” “Can we accompany her to the hospital?” I asked. The paramedic replied, “Sorry, bud. There isn’t enough room. But if you want to visit she’ll be at Toronto General. You’re always welcome during visiting hours. You and your attractive friend who looks awfully familiar.” Then the ambulance left with Maranda.

Emma and I held each other. We feared for her life and ours. Actually, we didn’t really hold each other, I sort of just grabbed her with my arms in an opportunistic for moment for a few cheap feels—but she’s a compassionate woman and took my insincerity for genuine concern. Ha-ha. Chapter 3 An hour or two had passed since the incident. Emma and I stood outside the hospital. Maranda came out through the sliding doors, discharged with a clean bill of health, and gave each of us a hug. (Did you expect her to stay in there for that long? It was only an asthma attack.) “It’s good to see you’re okay,” I said with relief. “And now you have some clothes on.” She was wearing plain jeans and an aqua green sweater that read “Roots.” Emma smiled. “I guess we can go back to saving the universe. Now that our trio is complete, we can solve this mystery.” “Yup,” said Maranda. “So where’s the limousine?” She eagerly looked left and then right. I guess she had “Googled” Emma Watson—bet her eyes rolled like a slot machine, too, showing green dollar signs. “There won’t be any limousine,” I tried to explain. “We’re taking a taxicab, plain and simple. Nothing fancy.” Maranda looked at Emma almost indignantly. She had expectations from a quote unquote celebrity. “I’m a spend thrift girl,” said Emma. “I apologize if you thought otherwise, but I only splurge when the mood is right. I don’t like emptying my coffers for no reason at all. You know, it’s not always Chanel and D&G. I regularly go to Topshop and Tesco.” “Never mind,” replied Maranda. “Let’s walk instead. Why not save even more money?” I wasn’t sure if she was being sarcastic or snippy, but there she was walking along without a frown. So we followed behind. And after several minutes we found ourselves on another non-descript Torontonian street. “Is anybody hungry?” I asked while trying to keep pace. “We could go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s or Burger King. My treat.” Emma narrowed her eyes. “Are you sure you can afford that?” I folded my arms, somewhat annoyed. “And what is that supposed to mean?” I asked. “I’m not

totally broke you know. I invented a board game. I receive royalties every now and then. Not much, really. Not enough to get me into a good home, but it’s about $150.00 a month. It keeps me from going hungry.” “What’s it called?” asked Maranda. I had a smug look on my face. “Slutopoly,” I replied. “It’s like regular Monopoly, except in my version you’re a pimp, and the property is women. I’ve been told it’s misogynistic.” Emma barked, “IT IS MISOGYNISTIC!” I laughed, “Haw-haw-haw. Silly goose, it’s just a game. I don’t actually feel that way about the ‘fairer gender.’ Haw-hawhaw.” I have no idea why I was laughing like that, but I’m sure I was making a jackass out of myself. “I’m sorry,” I said. I wasn’t sure why I should apologize for my entrepreneurial ventures, but I felt in the wrong. Emma put her arm around me. “It’s okay,” she said. “As long as you don’t accept the money they give you it’s fine.” I choked for a moment, but not out of nervousness or anything like that, but because I felt she was being too possessive—much like Hermione Jean Granger in Harry Potter. (She would kill me if she could hear what I was thinking.) “Why should I not accept the money?” I asked. “I worked hard for it, and I need it to live.” Maranda looked quietly, keeping to herself. “Well?” I said, coaxing Emma for an answer. I could feel Emma’s arm getting tighter around my neck. “WELL,” she said quite loudly, “you’re living with me now. So you don’t need that cheque (check). You have all the food and shelter you need. I’d say it’s very generous of me, but it would be impolite.” I rolled my eyes, but said nothing. After all, what could I say to that? She took good care of me— almost like a mother—and anything that would come out of my mouth would just be ungrateful. I shut myself up and nodded complacently. “Are you giving me the silent treatment?” asked Emma. “I’m serious. Slutopoly is immoral even on the highest grounds. You should be ashamed. You’re the chosen one. I don’t want to you to be like that.” I stopped and stamped my feet, now I was well annoyed. “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!” I shouted. “STOP TRYING TO BE THE BOSS OF ME!” I was hysterical. I

fliiiiipped out like Michael Richards when he went: “Niggers! Niggers! Look! There’s a nigger!” on stage at the Laugh Factory. (This fine video can be found on YouTube if you’re wondering.) Emma didn’t say anything. She just took her arm off me and kept walking. I was being ignored. Made me feel like utter shit. After a few minutes I had to say something to patch things up—but Maranda spoke up for me instead. “Don’t ignore your friend,” she said. “You’re only angry at him because you care for him. A stranger wouldn’t get to you like this, even if the words were more hurtful.” I crossed my fingers. That seemed thoughtful enough. It ought to do the trick! “Fine,” said Emma with a sigh. “I forgive you, Harry.” I clapped my hands like a seal. Then I looked at Maranda, and without saying a thing, showed my appreciation for bailing me out. “So,” I said, now feeling more merry than before, “why don’t we stop off at a McDonald’s?” The three of us stood in front of the doors at the local McDonald’s. But we could only look because the doors were locked. It appeared as if there was some construction going on inside. I knocked on the glass. An employee in button-up shirt came out. I believe it was the manager. “The dining area is closed,” he informed us. “You’ll have to use the drive-thru.” Then he went away. “Mother fucker,” I grumbled. “Does it look like we have a car?!” Maranda took both Emma and I by the arms. She dragged us to the drive-thru area. “What’re you doing?” asked Emma. “Have you gone mad?” We stood in front of the black speaker-box. “Jump at the same time,” said Maranda. “You need to activate the sensor in the ground.” Then she yelled, “Now!” So up our feet went and we landed with a DA-DOONG (As best as I could describe the noise). A hissy voice came up. “Welcome to McDonald’s,” it said. “How may I help you?” “What do you want?” I whispered to Emma and Maranda. “It’s on me, remember?” Emma wasn’t too hungry, so she opted for a regular-sized strawberry milkshake, while Maranda wanted large fries. I spoke up in a clear voice to place the order. “A small strawberry milkshake, large fries, and two double cheese-burgers

for,” I said. “A WONKA-WONKA-WONKA,” was all I heard. The speakers were garbage. The red L.E.D. display showed what was just purchased: “SML S. MILKSHAKE; LRG FRIES; 2 DBL CHEESEBURGERS.” We went to the first window. Maranda was adorable, pretending to be behind the wheel of a car. “Honk, honk!” she jokingly said. I went into my pocket and got out a few toonies and loonies—Canada’s two dollar and one dollar coins, respectively, if you didn’t know—I handed them to the frowning worker. He returned my change. A single penny. “Go on to the next window,” he said. We did as we were told and went to window #2. I glanced back and saw the driver in the car behind staring in bewilderment. “Yo, yo, yo,” said a young woman as the drive-thru window #2 slid open. “Here’s yah food.” Then she gave us a cup, which I handed to Emma, and tossed us a brown bag with the McDonald’s logo on front. I looked in it of it to check if everything was there. It was. I gave the fries to Maranda. “Thank you,” I said. Then we were on our way. As we were leaving, a car swerved in front of us and blocked the way. It was big, boxy, and white with silver tinted windows (where nothing could be seen). Not the most popular type of design for automobiles, but I didn’t think too much of it. These morons were probably lost. “THE OTHER WAY!” I yelled. “These are backdoor shenanigans!” The front left window of the white car rolled down. And suddenly everything turned slow-mo. I could see an arm with a gun pointing. I wrapped my arm around Emma and pulled her down to the ground. Maranda stood there dumbfounded and was shot full of bullets. Her fries slowly spilled out of the box as she collapsed at the knees. The blood which pooled around her body reminded me of when I was 5 years old and dropped that Heinz ketchup bottle in the kitchen. The white car reversed and drove away. Emma and I gathered around Maranda. We heard her last dying words, “Don’t remember me for my job—I’m not a stripper—remember me as a human being.” I stood and shook my fist. “DAMN YOU TO HELL!” Chapter 4

The third member of our party was dead. We hardly knew what to do. Who did this and why? We researched online and called those who we could get into contact with, but the more we were told the more confusing it became. There were bits and pieces of information, here and there, which would often conflict with each other. Could all this be real? Could it really that the universe was ending, or had we just fallen into a trap for some major prankster? “And who came up with this idea about the end of the universe?” I asked. “Who SPECIFICALLY said I was the chosen one? Tell me that again if you’d please. I seem to have forgotten.” Emma fluffed her pillow. (Yes. We were in bed—but for no nefarious reason. There was a flood in her flat/apartment, and the room she gave me was soaked. The bed was out to dry by the window.) “Do we have to talk about this now?” She rolled onto her side. “I’m tired. There’s a pile of scripts on my desk, and I haven’t even got to number one. Goddamn agent’s been bugging me all day—God, everyone’s been bugging me all day. Harry, it’s not easy being beautiful, talented, and famous. Everyone wants a piece of you.” “I’m grateful for what you’ve done,” I said. “And I know you’re a hardworking girl. But we have things to discuss. Important things of no trivial matter.” I stared at the ceiling with water in my eyes. “Somebody I liked was murdered, for a reason I don’t know, and a lot of crazy shit is happening all around. My brain hurts from thinking, but I’m not going to sleep until we’ve made a step forward. Are you with me, Emma Watson? Are you? Or are you going to let everyone you know be wiped from existence, because you’ve got a need to get a couple Z’s? Tell me.” With a yawn Emma pulled the blanket over her chest. “Stop worrying,” she said tiredly. “I know somebody. She can help us. She’s wise beyond her years. If she doesn’t know, nobody knows. She’ll answer everything.” I couldn’t wait. I sprang out of bed, turned off the lamp on the nightstand and left the room. I went to Emma’s library and sat down by a computer. Though I looked online earlier, I thought I might be able to root up better

information. Last time I was pressed for time. Now I was feeling a bit more relaxed and in the mood for some research. I went on Mozilla Firefox and Googled the fuck out of the internet. The computer sparked at the back and crashed—so I ditched the P.C. and went onto the Mac. Things seemed to run fine. I perused forums and about every website I could get my hands on. Anything that knew about this whole ‘universe ending’ deal. I stole one of Emma’s notebooks and jotted down information onto the loose sheets of lined paper. It was all more or less what I was told before. The universe was ending. I was the chosen one. The forces of were orchestrating this whole ordeal. But what gives this information legitimacy? That’s what I wanted to know. So I went back onto the Mac and let the L.C.D. monitor burn a hole into back of my head. (Not literally, of course. I’m being poetic here.) Several hours passed and the sun was rising. I rubbed my eyes. I rolled the chair back and stood. Then I flopped down on the sofa to the side of the room. All I found out was that Nostradamus had some offspring, and his great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson—who predicted the earthquake about a year ago—was preaching to anyone with ears that the universe was going to end if we did not stop Satan and his evil plans for total destruction. And mind you, the annihilation of not just us humans, but everything comprehensible. This dimension and the next. So life and the afterlife. ALL EXISTENCE. But why would Satan want to do this? Doesn’t the fool know he, though evil, is part of the universe? I didn’t know and I closed my eyes out of fatigue. I could hear the birds outside chirp as I faded away into slumber.

Chapter 5 After visiting Maranda’s grave Emma and I went straight to Toronto Pearson International Airport (A.K.A. Pearson International) around the late morning. I was dead tired, but had earlier drunk a huge cup of coffee from Tim Horton’s. It seemed to do the trick. We had no luggage, so going about was fairly easy.

We got out of the cab and went into the terminal. It was clean and bright with large windows which let in the sun. Emma put on a baseball cap which read “Oxford,” but it wasn’t to give her face shade, rather it was to hide it. She also had on a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. I thought she looked silly, but I didn’t say. We stuck close by to one another and shuffled to the area where they scanned your body for weapons. I went through the rectangular metal detector with ease—I didn’t even have keys. But Emma was having a more difficult time. Her body was adorned with various trinkets and jewelry. The security people were looking her up and down, though, I suspect it wasn’t because they thought she was dangerous, but rather because she was a celebrity. The perverted black man was checking her up and down way more than he needed to. I stepped back and asked him what the trouble was. “Nothing,” he said. I knew he was lying. This made me pissed off as hell. Nothing I hate more than liars. “Look, damn it,” I barked. “Stop ogling her. I know that’s what you’re doing.” The security guard stood straight and adjusted his crappy hat. “See here,” he replied, “if you interrupt me one more time I’m going to have to detain you.” I puffed out my chest and started screaming, “HELP! HELP! This man’s just touched my girlfriend’s breast! And his hands are on his way down for the rest of her bits and pieces! Rapist! Rapist! This man is a rapist!” I caused a huge scene. People gathered around, and airport employees gathered. Luckily more than half of them were women. “What’s all this?” snapped the older lady who looked like the leader of the pack. “Have you been fondling a customer?!” “I have not,” replied the security guard. His face was blushing. “He was,” I added. Then I pointed to Emma. “Look at this fine specimen of a woman. Who could resist a grab and pinch whenever the urge arose? He was touching her in an inappropriate manner! I swear! I’ll sue this place for all it’s worth! I’ll have everyone arrested! This isn’t a brothel!” Then airport security apologized. “Go along then,” one said. They looked terribly embarrassed, so much so they hardly even noticed that Emma was Emma Watson: the famed and beloved actress. They ushered us ahead and personally escorted us to the air

bridge (that’s the tube which connects to the plane). I could hear the hapless security guard being reprimanded in the background. “These perverted shenanigans of yours are inappropriate!” cried a superior, her voice was slowly fading. “How could you…“ I couldn’t help but snicker. Emma was relieved, but a bit peeved that I had to resort to such methods in order to extricate us from that perverted, black security guard. (Not that it really mattered what color he was, I just thought you’d like to know. Any stereotypes you observe are merely your own racism. “It’s racist if you are.”) We went into the airplane together and we were greeted by a stewardess with a big, phony-smile. “Hellooo,” she said. “Welcome to Air Canada. Have a safe flight!” Yeah. No. I think I’ll have an unsafe flight. What a stupid thing to say. I gave a quick sneer then left with Emma. We went to the back and sat in the corner. A little child came to us and gave us the once-over. Then he left without a word. “I want to switch seats,” said Emma. She was on the outside (for all to see) while I had a cozy place right by the window. “No way,” I grumbled. “I like being able to look out.” Emma glared and glared. “Fine,” I conceded. I got up and switched. As I sat down a big, fat, greasy Persian man appeared and sat between us, taking the last of the three seats. “Friends,” he said with his arm out, “so nice to meet you. I am Azad al-Bashir Zarin. Nice to meet your acquaintance.” I didn’t shake his hairy hand. I leaned out as far as I could and kept my distance. Though Emma was nothing but kind. She exchanged pleasantries with Azad and gave him her autograph. He went on and on about Harry Potter, even though that was some time ago, and kept raving about how it changed his life and how it prevented him from jumping off a building. “You know,” I interrupted, “you’re fucking insane.” Emma looked nervous. Then Azad laughed heartily, “Ah-ha-ha! I know! I truly am! But what can one do when they are Persian? We are all feisty and passionate! It must be the spices in our food!” I didn’t know what to say, but the plane, thankfully, was taking off—and that meant time to buckle up and shut your shit for the Captain’s announcement. I stuck a piece of gum in my mouth and loudly chewed. “Good morning, fellow Canadians,”

announced the Captain over the P.A. system, “this is your captain speaking. I know most of you don’t pay attention to these things— or so I’ve been told—therefore I will take the time to practice my singing. If there’s a producer on board, I’d like to say that my name is Bob and I’m 42 years young. Okay. Here I go…” Then he sung. I couldn’t believe it, he actually sung: “Oh, baby, baby! Oh, baby, baby! Oh, baby, baby, how was I supposed to know—that something wasn’t riiight! Oh, baby, baby, I shouldn’t have let you gooo, and now you’re out of sight!” Good God. “Stop dancing,” I yelled to Emma. She ignored me ‘till the song was over. I slapped my forehead. “The captain is a good singer, no?” asked Azad as he gave me a nudge with his elbow. I wanted to jump out of the plane, but we were already high in the air. I sighed and called for the stewardess by raising my hand like a child in school. “Yes,” she said. “How can I help you?” I read the tag across her uniform: “Karen.” Karen was a tall, in shape, blonde. I stared at her pink lips. Although I wouldn’t say she was better looking than Emma, I thought she was pretty damned gorgeous. I shook my head. “Duh,” I said. I actually said that. “I’d like a soda. Me thirsty.” Azad poked me in the side with his thick finger. “Don’t worry,” he jokingly said, “if your tongue falls out I’ll be sure to catch it. I have reflexes like a cat.” “What would you like?” Karen said with a smile. (“You,” I thought in aloud in my head, but for fear of being slapped did not.) “Ginger-ale,” I replied, trying to be suave, “if it isn’t too much trouble.” Azad then added, “And bring several bags of peanuts. I don’t know what it is about airline peanuts, but they taste extra good.” Karen nodded and looked at Emma. Emma put down her book: “Jane Eyre.” She rubbed her nose (an adorable quirk I thought) and looked up. “Nothing for me, thanks. I have a hot mince pie and a dollop of brandy butter sitting in my purse. Wouldn’t want it to go to waste.” Karen simpered, unsure how to respond. “Okaaaaay,” she said. “I’ll return in a few minutes.” And then she went on her way. While waiting I looked across at Emma and saw her reaching into her Chanel purse. Azad stared too as, lo and behold, she took

out a mince pie with brandy butter. She neatly laid the items onto the tray in front and then used a plastic fork to eat. The creamy brown beef reminded me of poo. So I stood up with a gurgling belly, excused myself, and took a few steps down to the washroom (A.K.A. the bathroom). It was cramped inside, I could hardly turn, but I got myself oriented in the right position. I sat down onto that cold, metal bowl. As I waited for my excrements to drop, I wondered how anybody could have sex in a place like this. You’d have to be a contortionist to get two full-sized adults in here. I suppose the Mile-High Club was mostly for midgets. I leisurely whistled to pass the time—but probably wouldn’t have if I were fully aware of the trouble going on about the cockpit of the airplane. There was a huge problem with the flight control system. The pilots were panicking, and they cursed the heavens and the executives who decided it would be wise to install software designed by Microsoft. Now everything was wicky-wacky and nobody knew what to do; so a stewardess, Karen the same lady from earlier, was sent out to beckon a nerd from within the cabin. Karen walked quickly on her heels and spotted a young boy playing “World of Warcraft” on his notebook computer. He was maybe fourteen at best. “Hello,” she said, interrupting his video game. “Could I please have a moment of your time?” The young boy stared at Karen’s chest. “Sure,” he replied. “Anything you want—and I mean anything.” Now, normally Karen would have said something to this particular commentary, but did not have the time in such an emergency. She took up the young boy by his arm and dragged him along to the cockpit. The pilots looked back. “Who the hell is this?!” yelled Captain Bob. “I wanted you to get Bill Gates—so I could punch ‘im in his fucking face!” The young boy was nervous, wasn’t sure what was going on. Karen pushed him forward. “Sir,” she said, as the airplane lights were flickering, “I think we should give him a chance. I think he can fix our problems.” Captain waved his hand. “Fine,” he grumbled. “Do your worst.” The young boy understood what was going on. He stepped forward and positioned himself between the two pilots. There was a touch-screen monitor in the middle. Karen watched anxiously but

didn’t know what was going on. She took out a pen and paper and wrote down her final thoughts, figuring, that anybody relying on Microsoft software would surely die. Back in the cabin in area, where Emma and Azad were, there was a commotion stirring. A Muslim man was screaming hysterics (A.K.A. a language not called English) and brandishing a machine gun. How he got it on board, who knows, but he was out for blood. He was pissed at America for invading his country and destroying his goats. He kicked open the washroom door and grabbed me off the shit pot. I then became a hostage. Emma shrieked. Well, I suppose it was my fault. I shouldn’t have been talking aloud and narrating my entire life—but I did—so no use now looking back into the past. I went along with the Muslim man and was taken to the cockpit. The young boy and the pilots and Karen were still trying to solve their software issues. I could see out the window that we were tilted down, heading for the ocean. “I am taking control of this aeroplane,” yelled the Muslim man. “And if you do not me obey I will shoot this man full of bullets.” Of course, he was referring to me. Ugh, I could feel his dirty nails digging into my arm. Captain Bob and his co-pilot got up from their seats. They and the young boy, who had not solved a damn thing, moved aside. The Muslim man eyed Karen. Then he went to the touch-screen monitor in front. “What is this?” he asked with irritation in his voice. “Is this aeroplane working at all? There is nothing here but a frozen screen and a prompt to turn on ‘updates’!” Everyone shrugged. (That’s Microsoft for you.) I on the other hand was sweating profusely. My shirt was soaked from front to back. Though I was no longer being held with a gun to my head, I was surely nervous; but not so much for myself, but mostly Emma. She was a charming, young lady, with millions of fans, close family, and friends—certainly she’d be missed. I, on there hand, at least during this point in my life, was far less important. If it came down to it, I wouldn’t find it too difficult to sacrifice myself for the greater good. But what was I to do? Either way we were screwed. “Let the terrorist deal with the situation,” I reasoned—and he did. He solved the software

problem. He swapped the “Microsoft Avionics” program for something called “Linux Flight,” which made the plane magically (my thoughts at least) straighten up and fly right. We were saved! But now what to do of the Muslim man? Considering his computer skills and intelligence, I would rather keep my distance. He was keeping a watchful eye. “What are you going to do to us?” I asked. I received no response. I cleared my throat. “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO US, CRAZY TERRORIST!?” The Muslim man turned around and put the barrel of his machine gun to my nose. The plane it seemed was guiding itself. “We are going to go to the United States,” he said, “where I will blow up your country. Vengeance will be mine, you rapacious American!” What did he call me? WHAT DID HE CALL ME?! AN AMERICAN?! AN AMERICAN?! I pushed his gun out of my face, and with lighting fast reflexes, Sparta kicked him across the floor. I jumped on the Muslim man and bashed his face in with my bare elbows. Karen pulled me off. “He’s dead already,” she cried, “heee’s dead already!” I stood up, dusted myself off, and went out, returning to the cabin. As I walked down the aisle I noticed people gawking. I grabbed a spoon from someone’s tray and looked at my face. There were spots of blood on my skin, which of course, I promptly wiped off. I continued walking and went to sit beside Emma. (Azad had diarrhea from ordering the curry and, thusly, was on the toilet—for how long who knew.) Emma didn’t see everything, but had an idea of what I had been through, spotting the small, red fleck above my eyebrow which I’d forgotten. She put her hand on mine and smiled. I puckered my chapped lips, awaiting a hero’s kiss—but it didn’t happen—all I got was a “good job, buddy” punch in the arm. Damn it all. Chapter 6 We arrived in Scotland. Emma and I took a taxi to the moors. The driver dropped us off on a dirt road. The two of us walked through the grassy grounds and stopped by an open area. There was the

sound of bagpipes playing in the air. I put my hand over my eyes and looked out. There was a large group of people convened in an area opposite. They were standing and stretching. For what, it was yet to be discovered. I could see many redheads and blonds, but not anybody with black or even dark brown hair. “Should we go?” I asked. “I don’t see her at all.” Then Emma pushed me ahead and we began to walk. “Don’t be shy,” she said. “’They’re only Scots…” I wasn’t sure if she was talking to me or herself. After all, she was an “English bastard” as many around these parts would so often say. “You there!” yelled a man as we got closer. He had on a kilt. “Is any of you English? Settle a dispute for us, eh?” Emma stood behind me. “No,” I replied, “just a Chinaman and a Frenchwoman (which was technically true)! But why don’t you tell us your problem and maybe we can solve it?” The man walked over to us. I looked at his Scottish beret—like a French beret but with a puffy ball on top—and then past his head. I was now near enough to see what was happening in this field. There was a log-tossing contest going on where there was an assortment of people going about their business: pipers blowing on bag pipes, haggis chefs (haggis is like a sausage if you didn’t know), the few judges with their score sheets, and a plethora of Scots in traditional garb—kilts and kneehigh socks—throwing big fucking pieces of wood. (At least that’s what I said in my head). “Well, eh?” barked the man, interrupting my thoughts. He looked back at a few of his fellows. “What’s your solution?” I replied, “First, tell us your problem—and your name if you don’t mind.” The man introduced himself as Ewan McGregor. “THE Ewan McGregor?!” I exclaimed. “Sex symbol of Scotland and star of ‘Trainspotting’?!” Ewan nodded and gave a charming wink; which was something only he could pull of without looking like a creepy pervert. “So,” he said, “what I have for you is a question— to settle a dispute—who are the bigger assholes, the English or the Americans? Now, my and my chums are equally divided on this. On one hand the English have been up our arse-holes well much in the past—but on the other hand the Americans are presently going about with their rapacious activities. Past vs. Present I suppose.”

I answered easily, “The Americans, of course.” Ewan then pointed to Emma. “And what do you think?” he asked. “Now, I know you’ve descended from a load of English bastards, but a woman’s opinion is always valued amongst men.” Emma was quite for a moment, then an indignant expression appeared upon her face—and she yelled so loudly that everyone stopped to look: “STOP MAKING FUN OF THE ENGLISH! THE ENGLISH ARE A FINE PEOPLE! MY DAD IS ENGLISH, MY MUM IS ENGLISH, AND I’M DARNED PROUD OF IT! IT’S YOU DIRTY SCOTTS WHO ARE THE ARSE-HOLES! AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE?! GUINNESS IS A TERRIBLE DRINK! IT’S BEER AND CHOCOLATE SYRUP!” I slapped my forehead. Oh, now you’ve done it, Emma. We are going to be lynched by a slew kilt-wearers, and it’ll be all your fault—how could you insult their beer?! Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I’ve my countries mixed up. Ewan leaned backed and had a hearty laugh. “Ah-ha-ha-ha! You silly woman! Guinness is Irish! It isn’t Scottish! Slag off on something that is! Maybe you should’ve said Irn-Bru (pronounced ‘iron brew’) was shite instead! Ha-ha-ha!” Emma folded her arms, more pissed off than ever before, and walked off without saying a thing. I quickly said a goodbye to Ewan and followed where she went. “Slow down,” I said. “You’re going too fast. We’re not playing a game of field hockey here.” But Emma ignored me. “Come on,” I pleaded. “I don’t see why you’re in such a grumpy mood all of a sudden—or maybe—is it that time of the month? Has Aunt Flow come for a visit today?” She stopped and turned ‘round with a pointed finger. Her sharp nail almost poked me in the eye. “I’m tired of all this,” she angrily said. “I’m tired of these damned people and their noses high. Am I not a human being? Am I not somebody who deserves better treatment? I’ve been through loads of shit in my life, maybe more than the rest of ‘em—but because I’m a slight more privileged they judge me and look down at me unfairly. I tell you, it’s a hard living. I get no rest. It’s always this or that, from fans and from haters and from strangers. But nevertheless: be nice, be polite, smile, smile, smile. I’m going mad. Mad I say.”

I didn’t know what to say. I heard these complaints before— and like others brushed them off, too—but Emma was particularly vocal today and I couldn’t possibly ignore that. I suppose her feelings all this time had been bottled up. She’d kept tight lipped. I thought of how to respond to her verbose rant, but didn’t know how. My brain hurt as it usually did, though, I blamed nobody but myself. It was my choice to sniff glue as a youngster, and I surely did regret it. My abilities to think and perceive were severely damaged. Well, well, well… Now, where was I going with this? Oh, yes. Emma Watson was severely upset. What to do to remedy the problem? Naturally, with only half a mind in my head, I bent over and picked a single daisy from the ground and offered it with a smile. “Pour vous,” I said in the best French accent I could do. But before she could respond a lady jumped out from the bush. “Stop picking my flowers!” she cried. “Off with your head if you do keep it!” I dropped the flower and stood right beside Emma. I thought I might die today by the hands of this crazy woman, but half-remembered my ordeal from earlier on in this book—uh, I mean my life. (I was shot and survived.) I took a branch from a tree, snapped it off, and wielded it like a sword. “Do your worst,” I said. “I learned to fight from Star Wars and other various forms of entertainment!” And so with that, the crazy woman swung her fists. I defended as best I could with my makeshift weapon. But she was feisty, and in a kilt, which allowed her extreme mobility; while my jeans restricted the movements of my legs. Eventually, after thirty seconds or so, I was flat down with a foot upon my throat. I squinted and looked up at this woman who I called crazy. Her face looked familiar, but it was hard to tell who it was, because her face was painted like William Wallace (blue stripes on each side). My God! Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Prophet Muhammad, Moses, and Jesus H. Christ! This was no “crazy woman.” It was J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. “Why be you in these parts?” she said. “Argh, matey!” Why was she talking like a pirate? “Argh,” I said in return. “I mean you no harm. I’m with…“ Then I pointed up. “…Emma Watson. You know her. I’m her friend.” Emma waved “hello.” J.K. Rowling hoisted me to my feet

—she was strong as an ox. “Oh,” she said in a now normal voice. “I had no idea. Are you the one?” I replied smugly. “Yes, I am the ONE. Are you J.K. Rowling? Or maybe I’m mistaken.” J.K. Rowling gave a half nod. “Well, actually,” she said, “I’ve gotten married at this point. I now go by Jo Murray. That is my husband’s surname, of course. You might’ve heard of him. He’s an extremely talented anesthesiologist—often puts me to sleep without medicines.” “So now,” I interrupted, “I have to call you Jo Murray? J.K. Rowling is only your nom de plume (that’s French for penname)?” J.K. Rowling nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I’d prefer if you’d call me by my legal name: Jo Murray, Joanne Murray, or if you’d like, Mrs. Murray.” I stepped forward with my arms folded. “Well, well, well!” I replied with a sneering face. “You call yourself J.K. Rowling for ‘X’ many years, and now you expect us to change our minds and call you ‘Jo Murray’? I for one will not be had. J.K. Rowling you were, and J.K. Rowling you will be. And if you don’t like that, then I will not save the universe. I’ve had it up to here (I raised my hand to my neck) with this whole saving the universe thing! None’s it make sense, none’s it going well, and none’s it will go further well when I am gone! Blame yourself for the imminent destruction of this planet and all the stars which surround it, all because you insist on further confusing and frustrating me with your silly last name!” J.K. Rowling shook her head in disappointment. “Muggles!” I looked at Emma. Was she serious? Was she really calling me a Muggle? A fucking Muggle! “Fine,” I said. “I’ll save this stupid universe, now just tell us what we have to do and we’ll do it.” Pushing back her long, golden hair, J.K. Rowling took us into the forest. After a minute of walking, no more, no less, we stopped in a rounded area where there was a roaring fire going about in the middle. The fire snapped and crackled. It was enclosed with stones. But it seemed strange. There weren’t any wood there or any leaves or anything at all. The flame was going by ways I didn’t know. “Magic,” I thought. Then I noticed there was a propane tank and line running through the ground—oh, it was just gas.

“Now,” said J.K. Rowling as she sat upon a log, “let us roast marshmallows and enjoy the fine Scottish weather. Don’t waste it. The sun only comes out twice a year.” I sat beside Emma. We were handed skewers and rainbow marshmallows. “Okay,” I said, “what do you have to tell us?” J.K. Rowling only smirked and placed an eye on Emma. The two exchanged a strange look which I could only describe as “lesbian…” But that was mostly just a fantasy. “Ahem,” I said, clearing my throat. “Will you please stop roasting marshmallow? We need to know how to stop the universe from ending.” J.K. Rowling was silent. Emma whispered to me, “Stop calling her ‘J.K. Rowling.’ Can’t you see it annoys her? That’s why she isn’t answering. Get with the program.” What is Hermione Granger going on about, I’m not—oh! Yes! JO MURRAY, not J.K. Rowling, was silent. “Okay,” said Jo Murray, “that’s better.” Then she stood suddenly and began to twirl around, jumping up and down, and tossing about salts and different herbs through the air. “I will contact the spirit world,” she went. “I will pray to the gods and use my body as a conduit to receive their information. Ohmmmaaaaa, ohmmmaaaaa, ohmmmaaaaa—I am going into a trance. Be ready for the transition. In the coming moment I will neither be Jo Murray or J.K. Rowling. I will be Zeenor the great woman warrior. She will tell us all that is needed to know…” Then Jo Murray fell to the forest floor—THUMP! Emma shrieked and leaned against shoulder. “Oh, no!’ she cried. “She’s dead!” I shook my head in disappointment, but as I half got up to see the trouble, Jo Murray suddenly arose—or was that Zeenor? “Hello,” said Jo Murray in a deepened voice, “I am Zeenor. I have come from far and away to help you. What questions do you have of me?” My face sunk into my hands, but Emma seemed to believe that this was, in fact, a dead woman warrior from some time long ago. “Nice to meet you, Zeenor,” she said. “I’m Emma Watson and this is my friend (she pointed to me) Harry.” Zeenor (A.K.A. Jo Murray) put her hands on her hips and roared with laughter. “Aw-haw-haw!” she went. “What puny men you have in this era! What a fat weakling he seems! Why! Why!

Men in my day were twice as tall and twice as muscular! Even a little boy could lift a cow up on his head!” I ignored the commentary and simply gave a sigh. “Oh, tell us, oh great one,” said Emma, “how do we prevent the end of the universe?” Zeenor put her face in the fire and gazed inside as if it were a crystal ball. Then her face came out—un-burnt. “Yes, yes,” she said. “To stop the end of the universe you must perish the evil master. Destroy him and your troubles and mine will be over.” “Satan?” I asked. “Is that what you mean by the evil master? I’m sure it is.” Zeenor stepped over to me and slapped me thrice in the face; once on the right cheek, and twice on the left. “Do not mention he-whose-name-we-shall-not-say!” she said. Her hair was standing on end. “Ooooh, I can feel the dark forces swarming. Do you feel it? The darkness?! AGH! THE DARKNESS!” Emma, frightened, closed her eyes and covered her face. The wind blew heavily, whipping around leaves, and twigs, and dirt. “Tell us about the end of the universe,” I implored Zeenor. I was becoming angry and desperate. “Tell us everything, you stupid woman!” Zeenor stopped flailing and stood still. She put her arms out straight and cupped her breasts. (Remember, she looks exactly like J.K. Rowling, which makes matters all the stranger.) “To end the end of the universe,” she muttered, “one must… One must… One must… The evil master… He is… He is…” Then she started twirling again. I had enough of her shenanigans and grabbed her by the shoulders. “J.K. ROWLING!” I yelled. “FOR FUCK-SAKE! STOP PLAYING THESE GAMES AND TELL US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW!” Just then, as Zeenor opened her mouth, a raven landed on my shoulder. It spooked me and made me jump back. I tried to shoo it away, but it stayed in place. Its sharp feet were curled, and firmly affixed by my skin. Emma stood to help, and tried to make it go away by making scary growl noises, but it didn’t work. Then, unexpectedly (or maybe expectedly), Zeenor took the black bird and put it between her teeth. She bit of its head, and drank its blood from its neck like a bottle Coca-Cola, or if you prefer, a Pepsi. “Good God,” I thought, “J.K. Rowling is the reincarnation of Ozzie Osbourne! Wait a minute, is he even dead? I don’t even

remember. I’m so confused and disturbed. Make a memo, brain, to check on the internet.” “Ah!” screamed Emma. She stood behind me. My head tilted up. Zeenor was floating in the air. “It’s the wind,” I reasoned. “Strong wind, yeah.” But there she went, higher and higher, ‘till she was at the highest tree. “To end the end of the universe,” she said in a booming god-like voice, “you must destroy Satan when he is in his human form—or you must destroy the seals—destroy them all—make destruction to end the destruction!” I was ready to ask more questions, but Zeenor dropped down and reverted back into Jo Murray. Jo Murray stood and shook her head. “God,” she grumbled, “I’ve got a headache… What happened while I was out?” Emma’s eyes went wide. “Oh, Jo,” she said, “you wouldn’t believe it! I thought—” Then she was interrupted by the raven from before, the one now without a head, it was walking about and hopping around. I was shocked at first, but quickly got annoyed. I ran over to it and gave it a punt out the forest. “Good riddance,” I said while dusting off my hands as if I’d done something difficult. “That thing thought it was a chicken!” “Now tell me,” said Jo Murray, “what did Zeenor say?” I told her everything about happened while she was out of her body. I didn’t even leave out a single detail. It was all too vivid to forget. “Ah-ha, I knew it,” she declared. “I’d been studying these things, and I wondered if my suspicions were correct. Yes, this will help us all a great deal. We’re on the right path indeed.” The right path, huh? Well, if that’s so, then the trail is curved like a twisty straw, and there is a ton of Canada Goose shit littered all over the place— and I’m stepping on it. Must remember to pick up a pointy stick to pick it off! “Okay,” I said to J.K. Rowling (fuck it, I’ll call her whatever I want now), “could you elucidate on the sitch-ee-ay-shun?” J.K. Rowling took out a notebook with lined sheets of paper and scribbled handwriting. (Scribbling to her, mind you, not me. I thought she wrote beautifully.) “There are five seals,” she explained, “which protect the earth and universe at large. I don’t know why, but there are people trying to break them open—

though, don’t get the idea that you can stop them. It’s no use trying. You can only destroy the seals so they may never ever be tampered with. Previously there were seven, but two are gone.” I scratched my head. “Wait,” I said, “why can’t we stop the people?” “There are thousands of them!” declared J.K. Rowling. “Thousands up thousands! And they keep spawning! Kill one and they are replaced!” Emma was surprised. “Thousands you say?” she said. “What is it about the seals that make so many want to open them?” J.K. Rowling clenched her fists and answered solemnly, “The seals are not seals like on an envelope. They are living, breathing, breathtaking creatures—” “Sea lions?” I dumbly said. “NO!” snapped J.K. Rowling. “Not sea lions, yah moron—WOMEN! The seals are women. And don’t ask any dirty questions of me. You know what this is all about.” How curious! So there are five virgin women, seals which if penetrated, will lead to the obliteration the universe and existence as we know it. “But why do these things exist?” I asked. “It makes no sense at all. Who actually creates a self-destruct button on the ship, so to speak?” J.K. Rowling looked again in her notebook. Her eyes scanned back and forth. There were a lot of things written. “Well,” she said, “when God created the universe he was fearful of humans. So he made an out. That’s all I’ve gathered in my studies.” “And what else can we do?” asked Emma. “What about Satan? Can he really be destroyed in his human form, that is, if he has one?” J.K. Rowling brooded. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I haven’t the foggiest. He—I’m sure that he is a he—could be anybody. Maybe it’s Chuck Norris. Killing would be an impossible task.” I kicked my feet in frustration. “Well,” I said, “all these things seem impossible. Just tell us what’s needed. Who are they and where are they?” I knew this wasn’t the end of our investigating, but still I had hoped. “I don’t know,” shrugged J.K. Rowling. “That’s beyond what I’ve gathered over the years. You’ll have to find that out on your own. I’m sorry.” Then she skipped away—back to the log-tossing contest—before I could ask any more questions. But I suppose it would be pointless. Emma and I left the forest. Famished, we went off to find some food.

After walking around for a bit, we found a place by the corner street. I looked up and saw a stone-grey building, but where the café entrance was it was all painted red. The sign just above our heads read the name of the establishment in gilded, lower-case letters: “the elephant house.” Apparently, this was where J.K. Rowling penned most of Harry Potter—in fact, they called it “the birthplace of Harry Potter.” How arrogant I thought, as if it would make a difference if she sat in there or in a Tim Horton’s. “Should we go in for something to eat?” I asked Emma. “Is the food any good?” She went inside without words. I followed behind. She took me to the second floor where in the back there was a quiet area by the window. It had a magnificent view which over looked the peaceful streets and—most of all—a mountain-like hill which had a castle sitting on top. As we settled into our seats, enjoying the vantage point, a waitress in a red apron came up to us and said, “Hello! Can I take your order?” Neither I nor Emma responded. The two of us were busy chatting. “Can you feel the energy?” asked Emma. “I can’t believe I’m in the seat where J.K. Rowling penned Harry Potter. It’s surreal, isn’t it? Without her I’d never have been the actress I am now. I have so much respect for—” The waitress interrupted with a clearing of her throat. “Ahem! That is not ‘where J.K. Rowling penned Harry Potter.’ I’m sorry to disappoint you.” “Isn’t this the elephant café?” asked Emma. “Or am I in the wrong seat?” The waitress simpered. “Well,” she replied, “this is the elephant café, and you are in the wrong seat—but not in the way you think. This is a franchise. There are several dozen locations all throughout the U.K. and they look exactly the same. Again, I apologize—but it was management who thought banking on J.K. Rowling’s fame would be a good thing. I suppose it is from a monetary aspect.” Emma looked disappointed. “Then where is the original location?” she asked. “I could swear this was it. I even doublechecked on MapQuest. This SHOULD BE the elephant café where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter.” The waitress corrected her, “I’m sorry, but it isn’t. That place burnt down several months ago—

which was across the street. So, I imagine you’d get confused. But this café is merely an homage; a replica; a duplicate; a clone if you will.” I put my hand on Emma’s shoulder and rubbed it in consolation, but she pushed it away and frowned—women are so moody. “Come on,” I said. (“Come on” is my answer to many things.) “There’s no need to be in such a foul mood. This is still a fantastic café regardless of its historical insignificance. Why, just look at the magnificent view out there?” I pointed to the window. “And the weather is fine as ever. We’re in Scotland and there isn’t even a cloud in the sky. I see no reason to sulk. YOU KNOW WHAT? You need a deep fried Mars bar. That’ll cheer you up. Waitress, bring us a pair of deep fried Mars bar. Don’t skimp on the calories either! We need energy to save the universe!” The waitress dropped her pen and paper. “Save the universe?!” she exclaimed. “You’re the chosen one aren’t you?!” I had a smug countenance on my face—yet again. “Yes,” I replied, “I am the one.” Emma picked up newspaper from the table and swatted me on the head. “I’m helping, too,” she added. “It’s not always about you.” She crossed her legs. “And there are supposed to be three of us. So I don’t know why it must always be ‘the chosen one.’” The waitress became excited. “Oh,” she said with a jump, “can I have your autograph?” Emma sighed. Then she looked about in her purse (which I hadn’t noticed earlier since it was so small) and took out a blue Sharpie marker. “Oh, oh,” interrupted the waitress, “I didn’t mean from you—I want one from Harry.” I laughed. “Hey,” I said with surprise, “how about that! Somebody actually wants my autograph!” Emma threw me her marker. It bounced off my chest and landed on the floor. I picked it up. Then popping off the cap I looked at the waitress, “Where shall I sign?” She went into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a photo. She laid it in front of me on the table. I stared at it with one eyebrow up. It was me—but I think it was photoshopped. I had on a cowboy hat and I was riding a nuclear missile. Oh, well. I obliged. “There you go,” I said while handing the now-autographedphoto back to the waitress. She put it away and left with a smile. I

heard her faintly say, “I’ll be back with your Mars bars.” So Emma and I waited. We looked at each other back and forth. There was a tension in the air—but neither of us were sure what it was. Maybe we were falling in love? It seemed, all the times together, we kept teasing and bickering each other as schoolchildren with crushes would. “Were we falling love?” I clumsily blurted out. “What?” replied Emma. “What do you mean by that?” (That meant “N-O.”) I felt a lump form in my throat. I nervously rubbed it down. “Never mind,” I said. “I must be coming down with a cold.” “COLD MY ARSE!” yelled a voice. I looked to the corner. Jay stood and came toward me. “Mad bollocks,” he said. “You’ve a fancy for my girlfriend!” Emma hissed, “I’m not your girlfriend anymore—and—have you been stalking me?! Oh, Lord!” I put my feet on the floor and pushed back to move my seat, trying to distance myself as much as possible. “Look, Jay,” I said while pressed against the wall, “there’s nothing going on between the two of us. We’re only on a mission to save the universe. THE UNIVERSE, of which, includes YOU!” Jay put his hands on the table and looked Emma directly into my eyes. “If you think I’ll let you go so easy,” he said, “you’re wrong. I’m not going to let that Asian man and his little dick come between us. I won’t let it come at all!” Emma rolled her eyes. “Jay,” she groaned, “you must stop these shenanigans. You’re far too jealous! And what makes you think I’d ever date the ‘chosen one?’ You know as well as I do that I don’t like famous people. They’re far too keen on themselves and their careers. Are you aware that Brad Pitt has posters of himself in his own bedroom? Well, that’s what the ‘Daily Mail’ said. Then again they also said I’d died in a horrific car accident several months ago.” “Emma,” said Jay in a tired tone, “I apologize for overreacting a minute ago—but today I am not here to stop you from engaging in romantic relationships. I have come for far less selfish reasons.” Emma appeared interested yet at the same time skeptical. “And what are those reasons?” she asked. Jay cleared his throat. “Ahem, ahem,” he began. “Now you must know by now that I have been keeping a careful eye on the both of you, and after careful observation, I’ve come to conclusion that saving the universe is far

more important than my passionate, intense, undying love. So with that, I’ve used my resources—I work for the government if you’d forgotten—to dig up some useful information. I discovered who murdered your friend Maranda and why. Would you like to know more?” We all nodded. Jay continued. “She was murdered by a secret organization called the Illuminati. You know, the men in white— they work for the devil—and I believe to a small extent Dan Brown. They’re trying to stop you guys from saving the universe, which makes no sense at all, since they’d all be obliterated. Ahem, well, I suppose evil needs no logic.” I was skeptical but had no reason to believe that Emma’s bitter ex-boyfriend would have any sort of grudge—least the harmful type. “Alright,” I asked, “and what can we do about the Illuminati?” Jay farted. FFRGHHH! “That’s what you can do,” he replied, “fart. (I.e. Bupkes.)” Emma put her hand out like a fan and tried waving away the smell. Her nose was scrunched in disgust. “Goddamn it,” she groused, “must you do that here?” “We’ve split,” replied Jay. “I’m a free man. I’ll fart all day long if I want…” And so he did—FFRGHHH! I coughed, trying not to choke on the fumes. “Okay, okay,” I said, “we get the point. Now what other sorts of information do you have?” As Jay was about to answer, the waitress from earlier returned upstairs, and there she had our orders being carried on a wooden tray. She bent gently at the knees and put the large plate of deep fried Mars bars onto the table. I put one in my mouth and hungrily ate. “You were saying?” I beckoned Jay. “Right,” he went on, “I believe I know who the third member of your party is. Her name is Alice Newton. You may have heard her name once or twice before, Emma. She was the little girl who read J.K. Rowling’s manuscript and helped get it published.” The waitress exclaimed, “Agh, that’s me! I’m Alice Newton!” Emma had Mars bar goo in her mouth as she spoke. “And how,” she asked, somewhat jealously, “are you going to help us stop the end of the universe? What could you possibly do?” Alice Newton loosened her apron and sat down on one of the chairs. “I have a 6th sense,” she explained excitedly. “I know things—that’s how why I

recommended Harry Potter to my dad all those many years ago. I saw a flash. I saw something. I just knew.” I was skeptical of Alice, though, that was bias from the many encounters I had with so called “psychics.” Most of them were full of shit. “What can you do?” asked Jay. I folded my arms. “Yes,” I added, “what can you do? Look into the future?” Alice pulled her seat closer. “A bit,” she said, “but I can also put my foot over my head—just joking, just joking—I can do remote viewing. Have you heard of this? It’s where you see things without actually being there. I’ll demonstrate if you’d like.” Emma bit down on her lip and grumbled, “Okay. Fine. Just hurry up.” Alice gave us each a piece of paper. “Write down any number you want,” she instructed, “from zero to a million. It doesn’t matter.” We did as told. “Now what?” asked Jay. Alice smiled, “Now I’m going to tell you what number each of you has written. Okay. I’ll begin.” She rubbed her temples like a psychic and then guessed (I presumed they were guesses.) “HARRY—you’ve written ‘1,000,999.’ JAY—you’ve down ’42.’ And EMMA—your paper says—you’ve drawn a picture of me being hung on the gallows. Hmm, it’s not so bad I must say. Do you paint? I can tell by your style.” Emma’s face became red. I grabbed the paper from her hand and looked. Jay peered over my shoulders. “My God,” he exclaimed, “you’ve really drawn that! How bitterly offensive!” But Alice wasn’t offended, not even a little. “When can I join?” she asked. “Right now,” I replied in a relieved tone. I was glad our search for a third member to our party was over. “Let’s go on this and stop the end of the universe. Tell us where the seals are.” (I explained everything she needed to know, and all that we knew.) Alice closed her eyes, once again, and used her powers to peruse the planet. As she went from place to place, from country to country, we could see her dripping sweat and trembling ever so slightly. It was like she was in suspended animation. Then Alice suddenly flipped off her chair and awoke. Jay and I helped her up. “What happened?” I asked. She responded in a hoarse voice, “I don’t know. They’re blocking me. It’s like there’s a wall there. And they’re not—they’re not human.” Emma stood

with the rest of us. “Not human?” she said. “Then what would they be? Cats?” Alice shook her head and put two pointed fingers behind her head (like horns). “I don’t know,” she said. There was a long pause. “But I found something out while searching the planet —I found Satan in his human form. But you would never in a million-billion years guess who it is. Oh, oh, oh, it is very surprising. Nay, beyond surprising, beyond believe. You just wouldn’t—“ “FUCK-SAKE!” I yelled to interrupt. “Just cut to the goddamn chase! WHO IS IT?!” We all went quite and cast our eyes upon Alice. Alice opened her mouth and slowly spoke, “Barack Obama…” Everyone took a step back at the very same time. “Barack Obama?!” Emma said incredulously. “The President of the United States of America?! You’ve gotta be kidding!” Alice was beginning to become defensive. “You cocky English woman,” she went, “listen to me. I am not a normie like you. I have what they call a 6th sense. I can see what others can’t— and that’s much more than I can say about you.” Emma lunged forward in a rage, but Jay jumped ahead and held her with his arms. “Stop,” he cried, “we are not going to solve any problems by fighting with each other! We need to co-operate! This is a team! You, me, Harry, and Alice! Together only we can stop the end of the universe!” I raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘me’?” I asked. “Jay, you’re not part of the group. It’s a trio… The scriptures say nothing about a foursome. I’m sorry, you’ll have to leave.” Jay clenched his fist as if he was going to hit me. So I squeezed one eye small and prepared for a punch—but he only sighed and went to the window. He stood there with his arms rested high against the frame. His head was hung-low. Emma looked at him with sympathy. “Jaaaaay,” she slowly said, “there’s no reason to feel sad. Yes—you may not be coming along on our little adventure, but you know what, you’ll still be with us in mind and spirit. We won’t forget you. I promise.” Chapter 7

“Did you call Jay to give him an update?” I asked. Emma bit on her fingernails. “Ohhhhh shit,” she said. “I completely forget—ah, well! Nothing grand has happened yet. What would I tell him about, anyhow? The shitty weather?” Alice looked through the Edmund Scientific telescope. “I see him! I see him!” she exclaimed. “Come take a look, everyone!” I scuttled around the duffle bag on the floor and went around to see. I too was in shock. I showed Emma who nearly jumped off the roof in excitement. “MY GOD!” was all she could say. “MY GOD!” Alice brushed back her wet, brown hair and let out a deep breath. The cold rain was thoroughly pouring. “Get the sniper rifle,” I commanded while vapor came from my nostrils. “We have to do this. Now or never.” Emma was reluctant. Her good natured soul couldn’t go through with killing anyone, even if it meant saving the entire universe. “Must I watch?” she asked. “Blood has never been my thing.” I patted her on the head in an overtly patronizing manner. “No, no,” I told her. “Babies needn’t see.” She splashed some water in my face. I stuck out my tongue, “Har! I’m already wet!” “You know,” said Alice, “this is my first time in America…” I went into the duffle bag and took out the high-powered sniper’s rifle. I loaded it up with a bullet. “Is that so?” I asked, making idle chit-chat. “You know Emma’s been here for school before. Where was it you went, Emma? R.B.U?” Emma glanced behind, checking if anyone was watching. “What’s R.B.U?” she asked. “Rich Bastard University,” I replied. I then felt a punch on my arm. Alice double-checked the telescope and took pictures using the built in camera. The photos (wirelessly) uploaded into the Panasonic Toughbook which Emma generously gave me a week earlier. We all sat around to stare at the screen in disbelief. Barack Obama was sitting in the White House—the oval office—facing away from the window. On the back of his neck was the mark of the beast: “666.” But that in itself was not enough to blow a hole through his head—at least that’s what Emma thought. “We can’t do it,” she protested. “It isn’t enough evidence. They’re just silly numbers.”

I became annoyed. “What’s with you and your attachment to Obama?” I asked. “He’s not Jesus Christ you know—and even if he was, we’d still kill him. Remember that whole nailing to the cross thing? Yeah. Go study your goddamned Bible, Emma.” Emma folded her arms and growled. “Fine!” I conceded. “We won’t kill him right away! We’ll watch for a few more minutes and see if he acts suspiciously. Then we’ll make our decision—okay?” Emma didn’t seem any happier, but she agreed. “I think I can stream the telescope’s image right to the laptop computer,” said Alice. “It’ll allow us to see at the same time.” She pressed a button and a live image appeared on the Toughbook’s screen. We monitored Barack Obama for any suspicious activities. But he just sat there by his desk penning things onto a notepad. “Can you get a closer look at that?” I asked. “Can we see what he’s writing?” Alice zoomed in. The writing was in an ancient, nearly indecipherable language. Emma was surprised, but still stuck to her ground. “It’s nothing,” she said while looking at the rest of us nervously. “He’s the president! He must be writing a letter to the prime minister of another country or something!” “That language isn’t officially spoken by any countries,” retorted Alice. “In fact, it’s barely even known—it’s older than Aramaic.” I folded my arms. “Now what?” I asked. “Do you till not think he’s the devil?” Alice adjusted the telescope for a better view. Obama went behind a screen and reappeared—there were two horns atop his head and a tail hanging out the back of his pants. His eyes stopped to stare out the window. They were as red as blood. “Egad!” I screamed. My finger was pointing. “Are you seeing this, Emma?!” Emma gave in. “Fine,” she relented, “maybe he is the devil… Maybe he is Satan. But I’m still not going to watch. You two do whatever you have to. I’ll wait ‘till it’s over.” “Aw, c’mon,” I pleaded. “At least a little peak?” Alice took the sniper rifle from the floor and placed it on a stand for me to use. I got down on my belly and looked through the scope. This thing had a range of over a mile. My hand shook as my finger touched the trigger. I could see right into the oval office—Obama’s family entered and they were paying a visit. There was his wife

Michelle, and his two children, Malia and Sasha. I didn’t know what they were doing, but I saw a delicious cake. “I can’t do this,” I thought in my head. “I can’t kill the president in front of his family…even if he is the embodiment of all evil.” Aw, fuck it! I pulled the trigger. A direct hit. Obama’s brains splattered all over the place. His family was hysterical. They screamed, running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I took my eye off the riflescope and turned to Emma and Alice. “It’s done,” I told them. “The ordeal is over.” Then we put our things away and stood together. We left the rooftop and traveled down the stairs to convene on the streets below. “Well,” said Emma while shaking my hand, “it’s been great knowing you, Harry.” My face went long. “Is that it?” I asked with a frown. “Will I ever see you again? We’re friends, aren’t we?” Emma shook her head. “I’m sorry,” she replied. “I’m a famous actress. I have projects to do—movies, television, charity gigs—I don’t have time for another friend. You have to understand. It’s not personal. I care for you, but I can’t care for you anymore.” I continued desperately. “But, but, but,” I stammered, “I thought…“ Emma interrupted, “Stop. Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself and it’s isn’t much attractive. Just accept things the way they are. Take your rejection like a man. AND DON’T cry. I hate people who cry. When I broke up with Jay he cried. It was pathetic.” Alice took me by the hand. “Don’t worry, Harry,” she said in a calmly voice, “I’ll be your friend. You and I can be buddies.” “I don’t want to be YOUR buddy,” I snapped. “I WANT EMMA!” Emma’s hands went on her hips. “Oh, that’s nice,” she said. “You get bitchy with me because I don’t want your friendship, yet you do the same thing to Alice—how hypocritical.” I struggled for words, only being able to stutter letters. “I, I, I, I, I, I, I…” Then I shouted. “I’m in love with you! Don’t you see that?!” Emma was dumbfounded (so was Alice). “I’m getting back together with Jay,” she blurted after a moment of awkward silence. “WHAT?!” I yelled. “You told me he was an obsessive, boring piece of shit!” Emma crinkled her nose in annoyance. “He’s

changed a lot since we broke up,” she explained. “AND he protected us! Why’d you think we never ran into those illuminati people again? Because Jay kept them away! He pulled some strings at the government and they kept an eye out for us!” I was curious. “How did he do that?” I asked. “He’s a fucking security guard!” “Jay is clever like that,” Emma said. “That’s why I like him.” I wanted to say more, but I had to catch a Greyhound ride back to Canada—and the conversation was pointless. “Whatever,” I said. “I don’t need you or anybody else.” Then I stuck up my middle finger and went around the corner of a building to where a bus would arrive. Chapter 8 A month had passed. I hadn’t seen Emma or Alice in all that time, but I did get a few e-mails. Yes. I got my act together, and I was working a fabulous job at a Chinese restaurant while living in a stinky, basement apartment. I was lying on my squeaky mattress with my hands behind my head as a pillow. I thought what to do with the rest of my life now that the universe was saved. I didn’t want to go to sleep, since it was only 6:00 PM (I worked from about 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM), so I went outside for a walk like I usually did when bored. I walked for several minutes and stopped at the local, elementary school. It was empty, but I saw a group of men dressed in white suits. I went in for a closer look, tiptoeing, and recognized a face. IT WAS JAY. He, he, he—that English Bastard—he’s part of the illuminati! And I bet he was the one who killed Maranda (the stripper) too! I was furious. I marched over to him (I obviously wasn’t thinking at this point) and confronted him with a pointed finger. “You!” I yelled. “You cunt sniffer!” Jay turned to me nonchalantly, knowing he was assuredly safe with his other four mates behind him. “Ha, ha, ha,” he laughed in his snooty Londoner’s accent. “I’ve been playing you all like a fiddle.” I calmed down a bit. “What do you mean?” I inquired. “And why the fuck are you here?” Jay took out a comb and brushed back

his hair (or what was left of it, he was going bald), taking his time to answer. “I’m here to keep an eye on things,” he said smugly. “And to answer your first question—I think you already know the answer.” I thought for a minute, but quickly figure it out. “YOU manipulated us to assassinate the president,” I exclaimed, “didn’t you?! He wasn’t even a part of any of this!” The group laughed. “Very good,” replied Jay. “You’ve figured it out. Now aren’t you curious to as how we pulled it off?” I wasn’t. “No,” I said. “Not really. I already know. You lied to us, brainwashed Alice to feed us false information, and you digitally manipulated the images we saw on our laptop computer.” Jay frowned. “Aw, you’re no fun.” I went into his face and become more confrontational than before. “WHY IN THE WORLD would you want to end the universe?! And why would you want us to kill the president?! Because he’s black? Don’t like ‘niggers’ is that it?! That’s what all the white suits are about, eh! You fucking supremacist!” Jay remained calm. “I’m getting tired of your badgering, but I’ll answer your question anyhow, because that’s not the type of person I am. Well, we got you to assassinate the president because he was trying to make the world a better place—hence, hindering Satan’s plans—and I don’t want to the universe to end. None of us do. But, you know, we get paid a hell of a lot of money. Do you know how much money we get paid for working a year?” “No,” I replied, “I don’t.” “Ten million pounds a year!” exclaimed Jay. “I make more money than my girlfriend who is an international, fucking movie star!” It was a lot of money, maybe $20,000,000 Canadian, but I was still perplexed. The end of the universe is—the end—the end of all existence as we know it. What would the point of money? I posed the question to Jay. “Silly rabbit,” explained Jay. “The universe isn’t ending right away. It’s going to cease existence in twenty years—estimated—when all the seals are finally broken. So, I still get to enjoy my youth, my money, and live a fancy-dance life.” I began to relax and became a bit at ease. (At least my time to halt the end of the universe was relatively long.) “Okay,” I said, “but it’s not just the universe as we see it which gets wiped out—

it’s the after life as well. Don’t you know that? You will be dead and there will be nothing for you after!” Jay folded his arms, laughing along with the others. “Ha! You think that’s actually true?” he asked. “You think fucking five virgins could actually cause such a cataclysmic event? None of this makes any sense. It’s horseshit, mate. You actually think I work for the devil? Fucking fairy tales that is! Don’t believe the hype, Harry. You’re not the chosen one. Okay? That’s the truth. Now, go home and wank off or something.” My head was swimming. I didn’t know what to believe. Jay was a master at manipulation. He mixed truth and lies together, so you’d never know when to believe him. I couldn’t discern a damn thing to save my life. I went away, leaving the illuminati, and returned to my basement apartment where I took a well needed rest. I woke up with a pounding headache. The cheap, plastic, Ikea clock on my wall read 4:00 AM. I turned onto my stomach and tried going back to sleep, but a telephone ring roused me out my drowsy state. RING! RING! I got to my feet and answered the call. “Hello,” I said. The voice answered in a thick, proper, British accent (it wasn’t Emma), “What the fuck are you doing?!” It continued on while I searched for words. “The universe is going to end and you’re on your fucking bollocks, resting up like a little Nancy! Un-fucking-believable!” “Who is this?” I asked. “You sound familiar.” I could hear a jumping on the other side; the caller was getting overly-excited. “Fuck-sake, man!” he yelled. “Get of your fat-arse and meet me at the Scarborough Bluffs (a cliffy area in Toronto with a waterfront)! Click. He hung up. I shook my head, out of confusion, and paced back and forth. I wasn’t sure what to do. But looking at my crummy, basement apartment, I decided I didn’t have much to lose at all. So I got into my dirty, blue jeans, and went up the stairs to leave. It was almost 5:00 AM. The sky was turning from black to a dark blue. I arrived at the Scarborough Bluffs after taking a hellish, bus-

ride. I walked along the pathway and saw a figure in shadow. He waved at meet. I went toward him. His face came under the sunlight and was revealed. “Fucking plonker,” Gordon Ramsay said with folded arms. He was dressed in a white chef’s shirt. “What the fuck took you so long? I’ve been waiting here more than an hour. Don’t you have taxi-cabs in Toronto?” “What do you want?” I replied. Gordon took out a spatula and smacked me over the head. “Fucking wake up!” he yelled. “Weren’t you paying attention to the phone conversation?! I’m here to help you stop the end of the universe!” He went on while I stared at my feet like a beaten dog. “I’ve located three of five seals.” (He handed me a map which I took and put in my pocket.) “Took me a hell of a long time, so don’t fucking wank off. Get back with the bloody trio and MOVE YOUR ARSE!” I calmly replied… “What if I don’t want to?” I asked, purposely being stubborn. “What if I don’t want to do a damn thing?” Gordon Ramsay smacked me across the face and yelled (again), “THIS ISN’T YOUR CHOICE! IT’S YOUR DESTINY!” I rubbed my cheek. “There’s no need for physical violence,” I replied, “you English Bastard.” I waited for retaliation, but Gordon was calmer now. “Look—I know you like to plonk down on your arse and do shit-all. But you are the chosen one, and if you don’t do anything, we’re all fucked. Don’t be selfish, stop thinking of yourself.” I agreed. I was being selfish. Gordon Fucking Ramsay was right. I went into my pocket and took out the map he’d given me. I saw that there were three different marks for three different locations; and on the backside were pictures, and information about the three seals. A trio of stunningly, beautiful women: Jenny McCarthy, Helen Mirren, and one who I’d met before, Alexa Chung. “Fuck,” I exclaimed in disbelief, “I can’t kill these people!!! Do you want an angry mob to hunt me down and string me up by the neck?!” Gordon scoffed, “Grow a pair of fucking bollocks! Jenny McCarthy is an anti-vaxer, indirectly killing millions of children with stupid parents, and you’re telling me you can’t pop a cap in her goddamn head?! What the hell is wrong with you?!” I nodded in agreement, “Well, you’re right on that one—but Helen Mirren

and Alexa Chung? How can I murder a granny and the only Asian, female, talk-show host on American TV? That would be tragic.” Gordon kicked me hard in the shin, making me hop. “GET ON IT,” he demanded, “or I will use my butcher’s knife and chop off your fucking ear!” (Movie Reference: Reservoir Dogs.) Chapter 9 I arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport (A.K.A. LAX). It was just before the noon and tired travelers were scantering about (i.e. walking with little/no purpose). I went into the lounge and sat in a cushy, white armchair. I took a newspaper, which I found by my side, and read it to pass the time. I went straight to the horoscope section to see what it said for SCORPIO: “Oct 23rd to Nov 21st – Today will prove to be a challenging day, but your superstitious tendencies will be your downfall.” Fucking hell… I put the paper down and crossed my legs, waiting for Emma and Alice to appear. As I turned my head to look at the window, I saw in the reflection a swarm of people with cameras. They were here. I got up and pushed through the paparazzi. “Emma,” I yelled, “it’s me!” Britney Spears turned around and rolled her eyes, pointing away. “Over there,” she mumbled. I spun and saw Emma walking toward me. Alice was by her side. The two looked exhausted. “Emma,” I yelled once again, “it’s me!” I waved with enthusiasm, my past bitterness was gone upon seeing her wonderful face. Alice gave me a hug while Emma stood there with her sunglasses, standing distantly. “Let’s hurry this up,” she said. “I don’t have all day.” I took her by the hand and gave her a French-style kiss on the cheek. “My darling,” I said, “why the long face?” The paparazzi turned their attention from Britney and began to gather around the three of us instead. Alice stood behind me while Emma barked at all the men surrounding her, “What is the matter with you people?! Fuck-sake! How’d you feel about yourselves knowing that you live under the shadows of other people?! Huh?! ANSWER ME!” Nobody answered. They just continued clicking their cameras and recording their video, happy that they captured this “celebrity’s

tirade.” I became extremely defensive. I pushed at the “paps,” causing them to fall like dominoes. I took Emma and Alice and we all ran outside before they could catch up. I hailed for a cab which came as soon as I whistled. The doors opened. The three of us hastily jumped in. The driver took of immediately. “So, off to Jenny’s?” the driver asked while steering aggressively. The voice sounded familiar; then he turned his head. It was Gordon Fucking Ramsay. “What are you doing here?!” I screeched. Emma and Alice were equally perplexed (why is the U.K.’s great chef driving a cab?), but seemed too tired to speak up. “Here to keep you on track,” said Gordon. “I’m taking you to Jenny McCarthy’s. There should be a briefcase by your legs. Pick it up and take a look what’s inside.” There was indeed a briefcase. I picked it up and rested it on my knees. I opened it. There was a vial with clear liquid inside, though, I was sure it wasn’t water. “What is this?” I asked. Gordon Ramsay explained, “That there is swine flu—since Jenny’s an anti-vaxer, and hasn’t taken her shots, she will die once it gets into her system.” Emma was disgusted. “I didn’t agree to this!” she protested. Alice kept quite. Gordon continued to drive while his body was full turned toward us. “Who the hell do you think you are?!” he yelled. “Hmm?! Since when did you become Madame Morality, Hermione Granger?! Go back to Oxford and put a pair of bollocks in your mouth and shut the fuck up!” Emma did not take kindly to the offensive language. She grabbed Gordon by his flax hair and stared him in the eyes. “LISTEN TO ME! DON’T YOU EVER SPEAK TO MY LIKE THAT AGAIN OR I WILL RAM MY FIST DOWN YOUR THROAT!” Gordon was gob-smacked. He went back to driving and stayed silent for the rest of the trip. After about half an hour we arrived in front of Jenny McCarthy’s mansion. Everyone (except for Gordon, of course) left the cab; it disappeared as soon as we set foot in front it the gates. Alice looked up immediately and pointed to the security cameras. “What’re we going to do about those?” she asked. I pulled down my pants and showed my arse. “That’s what,” I replied. “Christ almighty…” Emma snickered (which made me

smile). I checked my pocket. The vial of swine flu was still in there. A voice came through a speaker. (It was the intercom by the gate.) “What are you doing here?” it grumpily said. “No solicitors! Alriiighty then?!” I huddled with Emma and Alice. We whispered amongst each other for about minute; then we came up with a plan. We stood and went to answer the intercom. I held down the square, brown button to reply. “Hello,” I said in my most pleasant voice. “My name is Harry—and my associates and I are here to, erm, clean the negative energy. Your girlfriend, Jenny, is an indigo mother, yes?” The voice replied, “Whyyy, yes! Aaalriiiiighty then! Come in!” The gates in front of us opened. We hastened along the walkway and got to the mansion where we rung the doorbell. A man with bulgy eyes peeked out. “Are you the negative energy cleaners?” I glanced at Emma and Alice. Is this guy nuts? We had a talk with him less than a minute ago. “Yes,” I said, trying not to call the man a proper, daft cunt, “we are. May we come please in? Is Jenny at home? She’s the one who called us here. Did she tell you?” The man opened the door—Jim Carrey stood with his hands placed firmly on his hips. “Nooooo, she did not!” he exclaimed with a goofy grin. “I’m never told anything— Jenny expects me to read her tweets! And it’s just like, ‘aaalriiighty then!’ Women, huh?! Hey, is that Emma Watson?!” Emma smiled, “Ah-ha-ha! You know, that’s so funny! I get that all the time!” Jim Carrey folded his arms. His eyebrows slanted down. “Get out of here!” he said—with a smile. “That is hilarious! But I can definitely see the resemblance, although, I think you’re much prettier than Emma Watson. She can be a bit of an uggo without make up, eh?” Alice giggled. “Yes,” said Emma, trying not to let her temper flare, “she can be a bit of an uggo.” I shook Jim Carrey’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you,” I said. “I love your movies. They’re so funny. I especially liked ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ It had me doubled up with laughter.” Jim looked askance. “Aaalriiighty then,” he replied in a slow voice. “Why don’t you all come in now?” We followed him inside and were taken to the living room. (A very large living room, mind

you.) Then he went upstairs to fetch Jenny McCarthy. Emma and Alice sat down while I paced back and forth. “Fuck,” I thought aloud, “this isn’t going to work.” Emma crossed her legs and leaned back casually. “Relax,” she said, “just stick with it and everything will be fine.” Alice cleared her throat, “Ahem. I don’t mean to be a negative Nelly here, but my biggest concern is that Jenny McCarthy isn’t one of the seals at all. You really think she’s a bloody virgin? She was on the cover of Playboy. I bet a million guys’ve already fucked her silly already.” “Yes,” I replied. “She wouldn’t be a virgin under normal circumstances—but we aren’t under normal circumstances. She’s a virgin.” Alice couldn’t comprehend. “WHAT?!” she yelled in disbelief. “SHE’S HAD A BLOODY BABEEEEE! Are you telling me she’s immaculate?!” Emma could hardly believe it herself, but she agreed with me. “Yes, it’s true,” she added. “The anti-vaxer had a miracle baby…” I sank my face into my palm (also known as a “facepalm”). Then, just as I lifted my head, Jenny McCarthy arrived. She twirled toward us in a white, velveteen dress, which seemed to match the décor of her home. “Hellooo,” she said cheerfully. “Are you here to banish the negative energy?” Emma and Alice stood. “Yes,” Emma said, “we are.” Jenny clapped like an excited seal, “Oh, Jim’s so romantic! He’s always planning these little surprises! And it was so adorable the way he tried to pretend that this was my idea —well, nevertheless I appreciate the treat. Shall we begin? How do we do this? This is my first time to be honest.” I stood stupidly, unsure what to do. Then Alice took me and Emma by the arms, and we followed her lead. The three of us thrashed about, with zero coordination, and sang a chant… “If you wake up and don’t want to smile, If it takes just a little while, Open your eyes and look at the day, You’ll see things in a different way. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,

It’ll be better than before, Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone. Why not think about times to come, And not about the things that you’ve done, If your life was bad to you, Just think what tomorrow will do. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here, It’ll be better than before, Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone. All I want is to see you smile, If it takes just a little while, I know you don’t believe that it’s true, I never meant any harm to you. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here, It’ll be better than before, Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here, It’ll be better than before, Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone. Don’t you look back, Don’t you look back, Don’t you look back, Don’t you look back, DON’T YOU LOOK BACK!” Jenny squealed with delight, “Bravo! Bravo!” We all gave a bow. “And now,” I said, “to finally banish the negative energy— we must sprinkle the blessed water.” Alice and Emma looked at

each other nervously. The mood of the room suddenly changed. I went into my pocket and took out the vial given to me by Gordon Ramsay. I trembled as I put my fingers onto the cap. This was not something I wanted to do. It was hard, especially when looking at Jenny who was still bright-eyed and enthusiastic—then I splashed her with the swine flu. “OH!” she said in surprise, “what is this?! Is it some sort of herbal juice?” I, Emma, and Alice nodded at the same time. “Yes, it is,” we told her, lying through our teeth. “It’s, uh, been infused with the, uh, essence of mother Gaia.” Jim Carrey appeared. “Aw, hey,” he greeted us with a wave, “mind if I join in on the fun? Aaalriiighty then?” Jenny kissed him on the lips, smearing him with swine flu. “Do you feel that negative energy disappearing?” she asked in a bubbly tone. “It’s like a burden’s been lifted off my shoulders… Is Evan asleep (Jenny McCarthy’s little son)? Go upstairs and bring him down. I want to rub some essence of mother Gaia on him— maybe it’ll get rid of his autism!” “NO!” Emma yelled. She held Jim and Jenny by their shirts before they could move. “There’s, erm, not enough essence of mother Gaia to go around.” She giggled nervously. I dumped the rest of the swine flu liquid into a potted plant behind and showed the empty vial. “See,” I said, “there’s no more left. Aw, sorry. I guess Evan will have to try some later, huh?” Alice simpered. Jim put his arm around Jenny. “That’s okay,” he said. “Maybe next time?” “Sure,” I said, “maybe next time. (Suckers, there won’t be next time!)” Then I slowly started moving toward the door, while Emma and Alice followed. We were politely showed out. As the three of us went down the walkway, we could hear Jim and Jenny talking from behind. “What a pleasant bunch,” commented Jenny. “So friendly.” Jim agreed. “Yes,” he smiled, “there’s nothing sinister about them at all…” Chapter 10 “Well,” I said, “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey are dead—died of swine flu.” I stared at their smiling faces on the front of the

newspaper. “I feel like total shit, but we had to do it.” Emma smooshed her face into her palms. She felt terrible guilty. “I know, I know,” she replied. “But that doesn’t make me feel any better at all. Her son has no mother. I’m a murderer!” Alice put her hand on Emma and gently rubbed her back. “There, there,” she said in consolation, “you’re not a murderer… Don’t think of it as killing, dear. Think of it as a sacrifice for the good of her son. She gave her life for him, so he could live. We did the right thing.” I looked out through the hotel window. Snow was falling onto the busy, New York street. “Do you have the tickets?” I asked. Alice took three tickets out of her purse for MTV’s “It’s On with Alexa Chung.” Emma looked pale. She went to the mini-bar and grabbed some alcoholic drinks. She chugged down a little bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. “How long have you known Alexa for?” I asked. “I had no idea she had a TV show when I met her in Toronto. I just thought she was a model.” I received no answer from Emma. She was on the bed with her socks off, spread out, staring at the ceiling with exhaustion—and maybe some confusion. “I don’t want to do this,” she said. “I shouldn’t be part of this trio.” Alice tried to change the topic, “You know I hear New York City has a very high crime right. I wouldn’t be surprised if I got buggered.” I yawned and looked at my watch. At this point everything seemed routine, but I was still having trouble grasping the concept of the end of the universe, and we were about an hour away ‘till the “Alexa Chung show” would begin recording. “So,” I said, “what would happen if just one of the seals were broken?” Neither Alice nor Emma knew. There were a plethora of theories on what could/would happen. Some believed the world would crack in two; some believed we’d just vanish in an instant; some believed the Almighty Zeus would appear and lightning bolt every human to death; clearly nothing was for sure, (is anything ever for sure?) except the fact that something terrible would eventually destroy us. Alice and I stood in the studio audience (why we had to stand, I don’t know why) while Emma was interviewed by Alexa Chung. Alexa was wearing shorts, sitting cross-legged in a royal purple,

armchair. Her feet were wrapped in gladiator sandals, pointing seductively toward the cameras. I had such a huge boner—just joking. No, well, um, sort of. Anyway, it was unnoticeable. “So,” began Alexa, “it’s nice to see you again, Emma. (The two shook hands.) The last time we saw each other was fashion week in London.” Emma smiled. “Yes,” she replied, “it was quite a fun time… Remember when we ate those bowls of double fudge, ice cream in front of the models? Ah-ha-ha! I swear I could hear their stomachs rumbling!” The audience clapped (prompted by a lit sign which said “please clap.”) Alice and I followed along, although, we disagreed with the whole notion of teasing starving women. I let out a yawn. Emma and Alexa prattled on about England and boys and this and that. (I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention.) Time went by slowly—but it did—and the show was soon over. Everyone clapped. They were shown out by the security guards, but Alice and I stuck around and rejoined with Emma (who was still talking to Alexa). I waved to Alexa—the type of wave you give to somebody you already know—but she didn’t remember me; so, I reintroduced myself. “Hello,” I said in a polite tone, “I’m Harry.” I then introduced Alice with a point. “And this is my friend Alice.” Alice smiled, but said nothing more, being shy as usual. Alexa invited us to tour of the studio. So, we went ‘round back and looked about. It was pretty boring stuff: lights, cameras, rooms, halls, and green walls. I wasn’t particularly impressed, nor was Emma, but Alice seemed to be eating it up. She often had her mouth open in awe; it was all new stuff to her—and to me as well, but I usually have that don’t-give-a-damn attitude. After several minutes of walking aimlessly, the four of us arrived in front of a door with a large, golden star on it. Inside the star was silver lettering which read: “Alexa Chung.” It was her changing room. She took us inside. The room was surprisingly large. It was about the size of a studio apartment—and it was lined with clothing, from front to back. There were enough garments in here to cover up all the nude sun bathers on the beaches of Ibiza (Spain). “What do you think?” Alexa asked Emma. “Not bad, huh?” I sniffed the air and smelt the scent of female rivalry. Emma

casually folded her arms, then gave the place a once-over. “YEAH, not bad,” she replied. “It’s almost the same size as the trailer I had for the Potter movies.” Alexa sense the hostility. “WELL!” she said while putting her hands together. “That’s the end of the tour!” Then she turned to me and Alice and shook our hands. “Thank you,” I mumbled. As we were about to be shooed out, there was a knock at the door. Knock! Knock! “Miss Chung,” said a muffled voice. Knock! Knock! “I’ve surprise for you!” Alexa let in the person on the other side. Fuck—it was Gordon Ramsay. He wheeled in a serving cart with loads of food. Steam could be seen rising from the plates. There were all sorts of traditional, British cuisine, of which included mince pie, filet steak, and Yorkshire pudding. “What are you doing here?!” I whispered in annoyance. Gordon replied with his teeth together like a ventriloquist, “I’m here to keep you on track. Shut your bloody gob and play along.” Then he looked at Alexa with a phony smile. “Help yourself! The food is fucking fresh!” Alexa was delighted; she’d never tasted Gordon’s food before. She took a fork and eagerly put a piece of fried Pollock (fish) into her mouth. She slowly chewed to savor the taste. “This is fantastic! It’s so tender, yet the skin is crisp. Just crumble in your mouth. “Yes,” grinned Gordon, “eat every last morsel… I want to see an empty plate… MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!” His hands curled into claws as he maniacally laughed. I elbowed him in the ribs telling him to “stop it.” Alexa’s face turned bright red. “I don’t feel so good,” she groaned while clutching her stomach. “Ohnhhh…” She went on to make dry heaves. “Huh-ugh! Huh-ugh!” Emma and Alice stood back. They held each other’s hands. I grimaced at the site. I held Alexa while rubbing her back, trying to make her feel better. “Easy now,” I instructed. “Lay down. I’m going to call a doctor.” She did as I told her and went to lie upon her blue sofa. She was disoriented. Half her body, one arm and one leg, hung off the edge. I sprang to the wall and took the telephone off its hook. But as I began to dial Gordon stopped me. He shoved me out of the way. “What the fuck are you doing?” he asked rather condescendingly.

“Don’t take one step forward and two fuckin’ back, yeah?” I didn’t reply. Everyone watched as Alexa convulsed like mad. There was a tear rolling down Emma’s cheek. The sound in the room was revolting: “UrGh-UgH-URgh-aH-uRGh-URGh-AH-UrgH-aH!” Alice covered her ears. Gordon seemed satisfied. He folded his arms while wrinkling his forehead. I went to the door and locked the top. I could hear people walking outside. I was extremely nervous. Sweat was dripping from my forehead and pulling around the bottom of my chin. Then, finally, Alexa died. Her body stopped moving; it rolled off the sofa, and fell to the floor with a thump. I went to check her pulse. I placed two fingers on the side of her neck. There was no heart beat. “She’s dead,” I somberly said. “…It’s Off with Alexa Chung.” Chapter 11 The big, stone heads of Easter Island stared at us as we walked along the beach. We stopped behind one of the statues and took cover. Emma and Alice stayed silent as I spied on Helen Mirren with binoculars. She was topless, relaxing, laid spread out on a fluffy, pink, beach towel. There was a straw hat over her face. I could barely believe that she was one of the seals—she was so old —but damned good looking for her age. I definitely would not kick her out of bed… Well, maybe I would, because of the whole end of the universe thing. But if that wasn’t the case, then no, surely I wouldn’t. “What a great body,” I whispered to myself. “60 years and probably still pliable.” Emma pinched my arm in disgust. “Stop perving!” she whispered angrily. “Be careful,” warned Alice. I laughed, “Ha! Be careful of what?” I spun the cylinder of the revolver in my hand. “She’s a woman! Er, I mean, she’s old—won’t put up a fight.” I dropped my binoculars and scuttled ahead. I got down, crawling on belly, as if a soldier moving under barbed wire. I stopped on a small hill where I couldn’t yet be seen. “This is it,” I thought. “I’ll be the man to kill the world’s most beautiful geriatric.” As I rose up I heard screaming. Alice and Emma were hollering for me to turn

around. “HARRY!” they yelled. “BEHIND YOU! HARRY! OPEN THOSE SMALL ASIAN EYES AND LOOK BEHIND YOU! (Well, the last part may have just been in my head.)” But it was too late. I felt myself lifted into the air and then I was slammed against a rock. My gun fell out my hand and I was lying stiff on the ground. There were stars spinning about. Helen Mirren appeared into my vision. “What do you think you’re doing?” she asked. “Hmm, young man?” She put her foot atop my chest, keeping me down. “Ohnhhh,” I replied in pain. “How did— how did you—ohnhhh—never mind—are you going to kill me now?” Helen put her hands on her hip. “An eye for an eye is not my philosophy,” she said in a sternly tone. “I am not going to obliterate you, though, I could if I wanted.” She helped me to my feet. I rubbed my aching back. Emma and Alice came out from hiding. They ran across the beach and joined with me and Helen. “Are you okay?” Alice asked. She started rubbing my shoulders. I folded my arms. “Where were you when I was getting tossed like a rag doll, huh?” Emma frowned, “Stop whining. We’re here now, aren’t we?” Helen was amused, grinning at Emma and I who were arguing like children. We went on for a good ten minutes, only stopping when rain started to pour. Everyone ran for shelter under the rudimentary gazebo built by locals. As thunder clapped we huddled together for warmth. I was staring at Emma soaked in her white t-shirt. I could almost see her whole chest. “I KNOW YOU’RE STARING,” Emma suddenly growled into my ear. “And I know you’re narrating in your head, so fucking stop it. You have the look in your eyes—this isn’t the bloody Wonder Years!” “I love rainstorms,” commented Helen while preening back her silvery hair. “All storms in general—everything except for shitstorms.” In that moment Alice came close to me and rested her head against my chest. I felt uneasy, but let her stay, continuing as normal. “Yeah,” I said in agreement, “shitstorms are the worst. I remember this one time I had diarrhea and—” BAAABOOOOOM! A bolt of lightning struck Helen in the head. She collapsed and fell to the floor. Her body twitched madly, while her hair was aflame. Emma ran to a puddle and scooped up the fresh water.

Then she threw it on Helen’s head, dousing the fire. I went to look. “Is she dead?” Alice asked. I nodded—and put my hand up for a high-five. “Hey, hey! Good job, guys!” Emma gave me a swift kick to the shins. “Goddamn you!” she yelled. “Have some bloody respect! A woman just died!” She kicked me again. “Damn you… DAMN YOU, HARRY!” “Jayzus Christ!” I screamed. “What the hell is your problem, Emma?! Why’re you being so hostile?!” I saw Alice moving away, trying to distance herself from the situation. Emma started to cry (Heh. Women are always crying). She pounded me on the chest telling me I wouldn’t understand. Then after about a minute— several bruises later—she broke down, and confessed, “I’m one of them.” I put my finger into my ear to scrape out the earwax. I didn’t think I heard properly. “You’re one of what?” I said. I repeated myself. “You’re one of what!?” Emma breathed heavily. Her chest slowly rose, up and down, as if she was on a ventilator. “I’m one of the seals,” she told me. She started to choke up. “Jay is part of the illuminati… (I already knew that part—but for reasons of diplomacy didn’t say.) He’s been protecting me…” Alice returned from her corner. She became 2 furious, 2 fast. “WHAT?!” she yelled. (Emma tried to reply but was cut off.) “WHAT?! ARE YOU TELLING ME WE’VE BEEN BUSTING OUR BOLLOCKS WHILE YOU’VE BEEN UNDERMINDING US THE WHOLE TIME!? YOU HAVE BEEN DOING THAT?! HAVEN’T YOU?! Aw, you selfish, English bastard!” I stepped in front of Emma, using my body as shield, to protect her. “Now, now,” I said, “the poor girl’s scared. Don’t be yelling like a Welshman. She is trying to be honest with us. Let’s not condemn her for telling the truth.” I gently turned to Emma. “Now, Emma— Emma, Emma, Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson—how long have you been privy to this information?” A frown formed on Emma’s face; against the rain it almost looked like she was melting. “I’ve known all along,” she admitted. “Actually, I moved to Canada and found you so that people would leave me alone. They wanted me dead—but when I became a part of your ‘team’ they went away. I swear, I didn’t want to stop you

at first, I really wanted to help—but when you set out to ‘destroy’ the seals I had no choice. I had to be a ‘thorn’ in your side— without letting you know, of course—” I folded my arms, terribly pissed off. I didn’t know how to react. I trusted Emma and she betrayed me. I felt cheated. How many times did she fuck things up? I don’t know, but I’m sure it was a lot. I turned my back while Emma continued to try and explain herself. “I didn’t want to die, Harry,” she told me. Her voice was desperate, wanting me to forgive her. “Don’t you understand that? I want to live.” She went on as I stayed silent. “And which one of us really knows if the universe will end if I get buggered? Why should I be condemned for wanting to live like a full life like everybody else?” She showed me a silver ring on her pinky finger. “See this? My grandmother gave it to me. I wear it to remind me ‘what I shouldn’t be doing.’ It’s worked thus far… I’m doing my part, Harry… Alice…” I turned around and gave Emma a hug. Alice joined as well. “It’s okay,” I said in consolation. “Don’t worry… Don’t you worry, my dear…” Chapter 12 Time went by quickly... Chapter 13 It seemed so fast… Chapter 14 A year was gone… Chapter 15 I gave up on stopping the end of the universe—but it wasn’t like before, it wasn’t because I was lazy or stopped believing. It was because I WAS IN PRISON. Sentenced to life for the murder of

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey! Well, sure, I got some kudos from the pro-vaccination community, but I was still behind bars, and IT SUCKED ASS. THE WHOLE EXPERIENE WAS TERRIBLE. I WENT INSANE. I, A PROUD GRAMMAR NAZI, HAD ACQUIRED THE HABIT OF TALKING LOUDLY AND ONLY USING CAPITAL LETTERS WHEN WRITING. FOR SOME REASON I FORGOT ALL THE LOWER-CASE LETTERS. AND THIS, OF COURSE, DROVE MY FELLOW INMATE (AS THEY SAY) BAT-SHIT CRAZY. BUT WHAT DID IT MATTER? I WAS STUCK HERE FOR THE REST OF MY DAYS. THE FOOD WAS TERRIBLE, THE SMELL WAS TERRIBLE, MY BED WAS UNCOMFORTABLE, IT WAS BORING AS FUCK, AND THE GUARDS WERE TOTAL BITCH-ASS NIGGAS. (THAT’S A WORD THE OTHERS TAUGHT ME.) Okay. Okay. Okay. I’ve calmed now. No more caps. Okay. Okay. Okay. Gotta stop repeating myself. Gotta stop repeating myself. Shit. I’m going bonkers in here. “Hey, Paul Bernardo,” I randomly yelled. “Wanna play checkers?” (Paul Bernardo is a Canadian serial killer/rapist from Toronto.) Paul was on the top bunk. His fat, hairy arm came down with a middle finger. “Fine,” I said, “if you’re going to be immature I can play by myself! Who needs you?! You’re a disgusting human being! And you know what?! You know what?!” He lazily replied, “What?” “You’re a fag!” I jumped up and down like a child. “And Karla Homolka is a smelly, dodge cunt! Your mother raised you wrong, Paul! You fucked up son of a bitch!” Paul got up and went down the ladder. He stood in front of me while his belly hung from his shirt. He looked at me with narrow eyes, but I wasn’t afraid of him, I was nearly a head taller. “What’re you going to do?” I asked. “Huh?” I poked him in the chest. It was pudgy and soft. Paul rolled his eyes. “FINE! Let’s play goddamn checkers!” I clapped my hands and got the checkerboard out from under the bed. I quickly set it up and the two of us sat on the floor. (I liked playing checkers at night because I could concentrate. Except for the maniacal scream every now and then, it was fairly quiet.)

“Your turn,” I said after moving a piece to the side. Paul went “hmm” and tapped his fat chin while he thought. He ran his fingers along the board then reluctantly took one of my men. “What is this?” I asked. “You’re cheating.” Paul became defensive. “Every time! Every single fucking time! You always accuse me of cheating when I’m winning! This is why I don’t like to play with you!” The both of us stood at the same time. We faced each other in a hostile man. Shit was about to go down. But the night prison guard, Gary Coleman, came along. Using his baton he tapped on the bars. “Hey,” he said, “what’s all the hubbub? Go back to sleep!” Paul gave the middle finger and irreverently grabbed his crotch at the same time. “Oh, no,” I thought. Then Gary Coleman used his keys to open our cell. He came in, staring up with a glare. “I’m sorry,” Paul apologized with his hands up. “I, I, I was just joking! Can’t you take a joke!?” Gary drew back his baton and whacked him in the shins. CRACK! Paul fell to his side. I winced —but considering what the fucker did—I didn’t feel sympathy. Gary went to town. The prison was where this ex-actor (see: Diff’rent Strokes) took out all his frustrations. The frustration of having his money stolen, the frustration of being hassled for autographs, the frustration of being called a negro-midget; it all came out in his little, black fists. Paul cried for help, “Haaalp! Haaalp!” (Fuck that. I wasn’t going to help a rapist-murderer.) He pleaded for mercy, “Please, have mercy! I’m sorry for what I’ve done! Don’t you have any sense of morality!? This is corruption!” Gary replied like an emotionless robot, “Watchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Watchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Watchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Watchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Watchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” I took the opportunity to make a getaway. I snuck out, grabbed Gary’s keys while he was distracted, and quickly ran out. Luckily none of the other prisoners noticed me trying to escape; well, there was that crazy guy who looked exactly like Tim Robbins. He grabbed me by the shirt and begged me to help him. “I don’t belong in here,” he desperately cried. “I’ve been framed for murder! I’m the real Tim Robbins.” I returned a blank stare. “For

fuck-sake, man! The actor from ‘Jacob’s Ladder’! Don’t you recognize me?!?!?!” I glanced behind. The other guards would be coming around soon. “Fine,” I said. Then I opened his cell. Tim gave me a hug. “You won’t regret this! I’m a very smart man!” The both of us hurried to the end of the prison hall. It went without incident, but there was a gate in front of us. None of the keys I had worked. “How do we get through?” I whispered. Tim examined the metal. “Everything has a weak point,” he told me. “Especially goods made in China—I just have to find it.” Then he struck one of the bars with his knuckle. The gate collapsed into a dozen pieces. Clank-clank-clank-clank-clank (That was the noise it made). We went on and continued. We arrived at the area where guests were let through. There was a dopey looking guard watching out over the two bulletproof doors that blocked us from leaving. This was the way Tim and I had to go; otherwise it was a run through courtyard with shotguns behind us. We were low on the floor. “Any bright ideas?” I asked. Tim was stumped. He shrugged his shoulders. Just as he did the dopey guard yawned and got up from his seat. With a waddle he went to the coffee maker and poured a cup of coffee. He dumped in loads of coffee and sugar then stirred it with a Popsicle® stick. Tim and I took a minute to go back and forth. Neither of us had any idea what to do. The dopey guard returned to his leather chair. His feet went up on the monitoring console. The sound of his sharp heels hitting the simulated-wood cover startled me. It gave me a thought. I whispered to Tim. He nodded. I took off my clothes. (Bear with me here.) Then I stood up in full view of the guard and spread my arms and waved. The guard rubbed his eyes (in disbelief) and stood. I hoped he’d be a macho, alpha-male and not call for back up. He didn’t. He reached at his holster, taking out his gun. He charged out with a scream and shot me several times in the torso. Tim grabbed at his hair, “Augh! What the fuck! Harry! What kind of plan was that!? You just got yourself killed!” I grinned and let my head flop to the side. There was blood pouring from my mouth.

My body was stiff and without a heart beat. The coroner who examined me decided that I was 100% dead—in fact, that’s what he wrote on my body. BUT from my earlier encounter at the convenience store (several chapters back) I knew that I was immune to bullets. I was only in a deep coma. However, the prison people didn’t know any better and they had to dispose of my corpse. They tossed it into Lake Ontario. (Since the city of Toronto was nearly running a deficit, which was not allowed, they had two choices to deal with the situation: raise taxes or cut expenses. Luckily, they opted to cut expenses—well, everywhere except for politicians’ salaries. Damn that David Miller to hell.) I floated aimlessly through the water. (Being that I was not actually deceased, the air in my lungs had not escaped, which kept me a float.) After many hours I washed up on shore where Emma and Alice came to collect my body. They put me in the trunk of their ’92 Mazda MPV minivan and took me away. I’d no idea why they put me in the trunk, since the damn thing had enough space inside for a small sofa. But that didn’t matter I guess. I was passed out after all. Several hours went by; then at midnight I awoke. Like before, my body was completely healed. I got to my feet and spun ‘round to look at my surroundings. I wasn’t where I expected to be. Neither with Emma nor Alice, I found myself in a cold, gray, doorless room with a two way mirror. The fluorescent lights above my head buzzed, giving me a mild headache. “Where am I?” I thought aloud. A voice replied, “You are in my grasp.” I reworded my question, “I meant literally. Where am I literally?” There was a faint shadow of a person moving behind the two way mirror. It responded with a laugh. “Ha-ha-ha! Don’t make me laugh! Ha-ha-ha!” I went to the corner and sat. I leaned my head into my hand. “Well,” I said tiredly, “well, well, well… There’s nothing I can do now…” I closed my eyes and began to snore. “WAKE UP!” yelled the voice. “I’m not done with you!” I lied down on the floor, curling up into a ball like a dog or cat. As I became comfortable I heard a noise. Whoosh. I stirred out of my tired state and looked up. There was a hole in the ceiling (I guess

that’s how I came in, through a hatch); from which a strange creature came down. It was an anthropomorphic cat. It had the body of a woman and the head of a feline. I stood back in alarm. “Jesus Jonathan Christ!” I exclaimed. “Who—what are you?!” “Harry,” replied the cat-woman, “there is no need to be startled.” Then she got down on all fours and started rubbing her body against my leg. “I am not here to harm you.” Her arse went into the air. “I am here to help you.” And she began to meow. “Meow, meow, meow, meow…meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.” I scratched my head, unsure how to respond. “Yesss,” I said, feeling uneasy. “Meow indeed.” The catwoman licked her hands and then stood. “Sorry,” she apologized. “Habit, you know… Now what did I want to tell you?” “Cheezburgers?” I asked in a facetious tone. “Om nom nom.” The cat-woman swiped at me with her claws in annoyance. “This is no time for jokes!” she exclaimed. “The universe is going to end! And you know what that means—no more internets!” I gasped, stumbled back, and nearly fell to my bottom. NoooOoooOoooOOOOOOO! Not that! “Help me, feisty feline!” I pleaded while on my knees. “What must I do to halt this tragedy?! TELL ME!” The cat-woman put her hands together, as if saying a prayer, and somberly rested her face against them. The lights in the room change from bright white to crimson red. “I have been here through the ages,” she told me in a wispy voice. “I have been here through the ages—but in recent times I have come to be known as a ‘furry.’ I’ve come to fix that travesty… I will once again be known as a purveyor of wisdom and knowledge… Chosen one, my mind is yours. Ask me any three questions and they will be answered. I know all that was, is, and will be.” I pulled at my hair—egads! The responsibility! What should I ask?! I can only ask three questions! Think, Harry! Think! The catwoman played with a ball of yarn as she waited for me to decide. “Okay,” I said, “okay. I’m ready.” I cleared my throat. Ahem! “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” Wait—no—DAMN IT! Why’d I ask that?! Harry, you moron! You’ve wasted a question! The cat-woman grinned, showing her sharp teeth. “A minimum of four hundred and fifty

six,” she replied, “if properly executed.” As I was about to open my mouth she interrupted. (How rude! (Pop culture reference. (Full House))) “Choose wisely.” she warned. “You’ve only two questions left. Think for more than a moment.” I walked around in a circle, deep in thought: “What would Jesus do?” I asked. “…Die on a cross then forgive everyone for their sins. …Mm, I’d rather not. …AW, MANnnUGH! This is harder than the time I had to choose between Coke and Pepsi.” Family Guy Style Flashback FADE IN: EXT. “PEPSI CHALLENGE” TASTE TEST BOOTH – DAY Harry is given two small, plastic cups: One of black liquid A and one of black liquid B. He tastes each, supping slowly. WOMAN So, which one do you prefer? Drink A or B? HARRY (looks with consternation) FUCK YOU! FADE OUT:

“OKAY!” I exclaimed to the cat-woman. “I’m ready for question number two.” She looked at me with skepticism. (“Sure, buddy.”) I took in a deep breath, assured that what I would say would be absolute genius. “HEY!” I blurted. “Do you use your tail to pleasur —“ Then I stopped before I could finish. If I didn’t finish it wouldn’t count as a question. “Uh, no, no! Wait! That’s not my question!” I hit myself in the head, trying to get my fat brain to work. After a minute I began to calm “Alright,” I said with a deep exhalation. “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?” The cat-woman gave me a sidelong glance. It was almost as if she’d heard the question so many times before. Her reply was

terse: “42.” I jumped up in (angry) excitement. “WHAT!” I yelled. “That’s from Hitchhiker’s! You just ripped off Douglas Adams! You don’t know anything at all, do you?!?!?” The cat-woman shot me a look: “I’m a fucking cat! Can’t you see that?!” I turned around and banged my fists on the wall. I was frustrated, but not in the sexual manner. Then I remembered my whole raison d’être. It was a light bulb moment amidst this madness. “…Who is Satan?” I asked. “And how can I stop him from ending the universe?” The cat-woman smiled. “The answer to those questions would be useful, wouldn’t they?” she replied while bearing her teeth. “But they are questions, and that makes them two. You can only choose one to be answered. Which will it be, mm? The identity of the devil or how to defeat him?” I thought for a minute remembering how I killed Barack Obama, how I mistook his Halloween costume as a sign of the devil. Then I decided. “Who is he?” I asked. “Who is Satan?” (BTW – The term “devil” and “Satan” are interchangeable.) Then I held my breath. “Steve,” replied the cat-woman. “STEVE!” I exclaimed. “You mean that guy down the street with the pet squirrel named Mr. Nuts?!” …A ball of tumbleweed rolled through the room… “No,” said the cat-woman in a droning tone. “Not him.” Then she took out an iPod (damn, everybody has one these days) and showed me the screen. There on it was a picture of Apple’s beloved CEO: Steven P. Jobs. He had a grin on his face and was dressed in blue jeans and a black, turtleneck sweater. “Satan is Steve Jobs?” I asked with an incredulous stare. “It couldn’t be… Why… How…? I don’t understand… I always thought it would be Bill Gates!” I stammered in confusion. “I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! I don’t get it! What has he be doing that could possibly result in the imminent destruction of the universe?! It doesn’t make sense!” “The universe functions on the energy and the goodwill and the spirit of humanity,” explained the cat-woman. “Once that stops —once 51% of people become douche-bags, it can no longer sustain itself. And who are the douche-bags you ask? Well, there are too many to name, but there are certain types: lawyers, of

course, politicians, sports enthusiasts, Oprah fans, extreme conservatives, hipsters, communists, parking space stealers, rednecks, home-wreckers, minorities, and the ubiquitous CONSUMER WHORE. And therein lies the problem—while the other categories aren’t growing much, the consume whore section is going gangbusters. Nowadays people think buying stuff is a grand achievement; and this mindset, this materialism, is creating cold, uncaring, callous people with vapid, energy sucking personalities. Society’s reason for existence is dying. Harry, you must stop this. The Fruit Cult must be destroyed! Steve Jobs is the devil!” Chapter 16 My prophetic dream ended. I rolled out of bed and found my skin damp with cold sweat. I picked up the phone from the nightstand to dial a number: (9*5) 475-54*7. “What do you want?” asked a gruff voice on the other end. It was my old friend from high-school — Paul Micallef. He was a strange character, a stony Welshman who claimed to be the reincarnation of Hunter S. Thompson. Now, I wasn’t sure what to believe, but he certainly looked the part (albeit a younger version), and he was a cigar smoking, hard drinking, gun-toting man, who often wrote newspaper articles, and participated in gonzo journalism. “It’s me, Harry,” I replied. “How’re you doing, Paul?” Paul barked at me, “I told you, that’s only my legal name. My real name is Hunter S. Thompson goddamn it. Now if you dun start calling me Hunter I am going to hang up on your dirty ass.” I could hear “Hunter” on the other end adjusting his cap and sunglasses. “Okay,” I conceded, “I’ll call you Hunter. But I still don’t buy into this whole reincarnation shit.” Bang! Bang! Gunshots casually rang through the receiver. Hunter then exhaled. “Alright,” he said. “What do you want? Keep in mind I don’t have my dune buggies anymore. Buggers fell of the cliffside an’ exploded. Dogs went off the railings, too.”

“Are they alright?” I asked. Hunter puffed on a cigar while talking. “Not really,” he replied. “But one of them did survive. He lost two of his front his legs. We renamed him Vietnam. None of the other pups knew what it was like; they weren’t there.” I sat down on the floor. “Hunter,” I explained, “I’m in a bit of a pickle.” He nodded, going “mmhmm.” I went on, “I need to borrow some of your equipment.” Hunter thought for a moment. “What sort of ‘equipment’?” he asked. “I told you about the dune buggies. An’ I don’t not not have no ‘you know’ what no more; all out since that trip in Vegas.” Emma and Alice were waking up at this time. It was about six in the morning. I tried to quiet my voice. “Hunter,” I whispered, “I need some weapons.” “What for?” asked Hunter. “That’s mighty suspicious. What’re you gonna go do? Kill the President? Because if you must know he’s already been killed. Damn head near exploded, too. It was the messiest thing I ever saw on the news circuit. But I knew that man would be blown to bits one of these days. Racism is rampant in this country. I went outside yesterday an’ some bugger called me a ‘goddamn Mexican.’ I suppose the burrito in my hand didn’t help the case, but it was misidentification at its worse. I put his eye out with a cigar—the damn thing wasn’t even lit.” “Harrrrry,” Emma called from outside, “where’s my breakfast?! You promised me some bloody breakfast! Marmite on toast, with cheese, and a tomato (tuh-maw-toe)!” I yelled back, “Who do I look like?! Jamie fucking Oliver! The deal was to pay you back by being your bodyguard, not your cook!” Emma marched into my room (well, technically it was hers) and grabbed me by the ear. “I will not tolerate your foul language,” she nagged. “I don’t care if you are the ‘chosen one’! (She did those air quotes with her fingers.) You are a self-centered, man!” She pointed, almost touching my nose. ““Now, I’m not your mother, but I’ll put you over my lap and spank your bottom if I must!” Hunter’s laugh could be heard through the phone. “Don’t laugh,” I told him while pulling away. Then I picked up the receiver. “I’ll be visiting you in the late afternoon. Just get your bunker ready. It’s gonna be raided.” I said “goodbye” and hung up. (Always say “goodbye” damn it! That’s proper phone etiquette! You say “hello” and

“goodbye”! None of this movie bullshit where you say nothing at the end of conversation!) Emma put her hands on her hips, “What’s all this about visiting a friend?” I wondered why she was in such a terrible mood. I bet the starlet was having another heart break with her boyfriend. There was always something up with those two. “On and off” seemed to be their relationship’s philosophy. “What is it this time,” I asked with a sigh. Emma grabbed me by the collar, “You men are all the same!” She shook me like a Polaroid picture. “You’re cheaters—cheaters, cheaters, pumpkin eaters!” I glanced behind upon hearing footsteps. Alice was just outside the door. (Eavesdropping, perhaps.) “He’s an asshole,” I quietly said, “but what did you expect? Dating a famous actress put him into the upper echelon of society. Plus, what man with half a libido could turn down a supermodel from Italy? If you find one I’d like to know.” Emma kicked me in the shins. “YOU, YOU, YOU,” she stuttered, “YOU DON’T EVEN CARE ABOUT ME! ALL YOU CAN DO IS MAKE SNIDE JOKES AT MY EXPENSE! AND AFTER ALL I’VE DONE!” I gazed into Emma’s furious eyes— then I grabbed her slim body and embraced her for a kiss. She pushed me off and kneed me in the groin. I fell to the floor, writhing in pain like a man who was kicked in his testicles, which is exactly what happened. “Why?!” I asked. “Whyyy?!” Alice came into the room, hearing my distressed voice, and lifted me to my feet. “What’s going on?” she asked. “Harry, there’s a cop here looking for you.” Emma pushed past me and went to the front door where there was, indeed, a police officer. “Wow,” Officer Mark exclaimed with a wide grin. Then he lifted the blue hat sitting on his bundle of yellow hair. “You’re, you’re, you’re—I love Harry Potter! Oh, could I bother you for an autograph!? Please, Miss Watson! Just one! And a picture!? Nobody will believe me!” So, while Emma worked her—erm—magic, Alice opened a back window and helped me climb down a gutter pipe to escape. I got down safely on the sidewalk. I whistled for a cab then gave the driver direction to Hunter’s place.

Chapter 17 About eighteen hours had passed since I left Emma’s place. I was jetlagged and tired, but arrived at the Grand Canyon. I got off from a bus and went to the tourist area where there was a glass “U” shaped floor hanging over the gorge (A.K.A. the Grand Canyon Skywalk). A worker made me put on yellow booties to cover my shoes, then after I walked to the very tip to meet Hunter. Hunter was wearing a bucket hat and sunglasses, looking down while smoking a stogie. “You made it,” he said in a stoic tone. “Thought you fell off the edge side. Goddamn place is trippy.” I shook my head. “No,” I replied. “I’m fine.” Hunter flicked away his cigar butt. It fell slowly against the wind. I counted it in my head: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…” It took nearly a whole ten seconds for it to fall. “So,” I said suddenly, trying to make small talk, “did you hear about the Cereal Serial Killer?” “No, I haven’t,” replied Hunter. “Why don’t you tell me about it?” “Oh, well,” I explained, “it’s just a guy—maybe a girl, who knows—that goes around murdering people while they eat breakfast; usually, of course, cereal. Personally, I think it’s ironic. Breakfast is supposed to be the healthiest meal of the day. But is it really healthy when it puts you at risk of being stabbed in the face with a knife? Ha!” “That’s goddamn sad. But by the same token, anybody who eats ‘Lucky Charms’ as a morning meal would’ve probably lived a long, loveless, unfulfilling, tedious life—one where the only emotions experienced are through the medium of fiction.” “That’s kinda bleak, don’t you think?” “The truth, like medicine, is often bitter.” Hunter and I left the skywalk. Then he led me out to the yonder where we stood quietly for several minutes. He gave me a glance every now and then while drinking from his canteen, but did no more than that. I knew he was thinking of something, because after

he chucked away his empty can of Southern Comfort, he wrote something onto a big, yellow notepad from his pocket. “What’re you writing?” I asked. He paused to adjust his sunglasses, “A writer never reveals the plot—it ruins the high.” So, as I stood there while Hunter wrote away, out of the corner of my eye appeared a mysterious, bright, green van. It drifted along the rocky surface, then spun, and came to a stop in front of us. The door slid open. There was a big, brown dog (a Great Dane) wagging its tail. I looked to the front. The driver, who looked like a stoner out of the 1960s, gave me a smile and wave. I returned the gesture. “Let’s go,” Hunter instructed as he went in. “No time to waste. This place gets dangerous at night.” I complied with a nod; then the four of us were off on wheels, headed to Las Vegas. I sat on my bottom, resting my back against the tin wall decorated with hippy flowers. I felt uneasy while the big fucking dog kept grinning. “What the hell do you want?” I grumbled. “Stop staring!” Hunter scolded me, “Jesus Jonathan Christ, Harry. It’s a goddamn mutt. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie.’ It ain’t gonna do anything to you.” I folded my arms and frowned. I glared at the stoner who was keeping an eye on us via the rearview mirror. “Hey,” he said while taking a sharp turn. “There’s room up front. You can always sit with me.” For obvious reasons I declined. “No thanks,” I replied. “I’d rather not…” Then I turned to Hunter. “Hey, you hungry?” I looked at my watch; it was morning already. “I need to get mah eat on.” Hunter winced at my (mis)use of Afro-American vernacular. He put up his foot and turned his head slightly, “You up for some breakfast?” The stoner looked back, “Know any good places to eat?” Then at a moment’s notice we were upon the city of Las Vegas. The bright lights scorched our eyes. The place was buzzing with tourists, gambling addicts, transients, whores, and geeks who’d read Hunter’s “Fear and Loathing.” Many of them were coming off from a night of debauchery, and thus, looked wary beyond belief. I stretched my neck and watched as an obese fellow

waddled down the sidewalk. He threw up amidst a crowd, but nobody raised an eyebrow; although, their noses twitched as if somebody had just took a huge shite on the floor. “Where shall we eat?” I asked. The stoner stopped the van. “Cereality,” he replied as his foot went on the brake. “It’s a chain of cereal restaurants. You can go in and eat a bowl of cereal—any type you want—with extra toppings.” “That’s stupid,” I said with a snort. “Why don’t I just go to the fucking supermarket? A fat box of cereal costs less than $4.15 (four fifteen). I can eat that for a week at least.” Hunter opened the backdoors of the van which let in the Vegas air. It smelt like KYJelly and Chanel No. 5. “Alright now,” he said, “time to get some grub. But don’t load up. It’s an hour ‘till my place.” We got out and went into the Cereality shop ahead of us. (The dog was left behind.) There were a lot of people inside. I didn’t want to wait in line to eat a bowl of cereal, so I goaded Hunter into doing something. I whispered into his ear. It was too profane to say aloud. He rested his sunglasses on his head— Then took out a banana. He pointed it like a pistol. “Alright, e’rybody! Hands in the sky!” he exclaimed. “This is a robbery! All the cereal belongs to me! An’ if anyone says otherwise I’m ‘onna start taking hostages! Any questions!?” The customers in line cleared away. (“The Cereal Serial killer,” one of them whispered.) I hopped behind the counter and pushed away the terrified clerk. The cap on her head fell off. I got a (clean) garbage bag and filled it with all the cereal I could get my hands on. “Get some ‘Count Chocula’!” yelled the stoner. “And some ‘Cap’n Crunch’! Don’t forget the ‘Froot Loops’!” After grabbing a jug of milk, he, I, and Hunter hightailed outside, returning to the van where sped off onto the road. Each of us felt a surge of adrenalin, realizing that we’d just robbed a shop of its precious cereal. I opened the garbage bag to check the goods. But as soon as I did the stoner’s dog stuck its snout in and voraciously ate. I shooed him away with a spirited kick to the ribs. “Sorry about that,” apologized the stoner. “I haven’t fed ‘im in a while. Last night he tried to eat my penis while I was asleep—my fault, though, I shouldn’t have smeared it with peanut butter—and dog biscuit

crumbs.” Hunter looked at me with a shrug. “Riiiiight,” I said while putting cereal and dehydrated marshmallows into my mouth. “But how do—” I bumped my head as the van suddenly jumped over a speed bump. I went to the front and looked in the right hand mirror. There was a police cruiser following us from behind. It turned on the sirens atop its roof: Weehurrr! Weehurrr! Weeeeehurrr! “Oh, shit,” we all exclaimed at once, “the cops are after us!” “Gun it!” yelled Hunter. He pushed the stoner out of the way and took control of the wheel. He stomped on the gas pedal, and weaved in and out of traffic. “Damn it,” he continued, “we need to lose some weight!” I grabbed the dog and shoved it out the window (which wasn’t a particularly easy task). It rolled out into traffic and collided into the windshield of an eighteen wheeler, causing it to flip and crash into a fiery explosion, which created a horrific traffic jam along the entire Vegas strip. I looked back. The pursuing cop was conveniently sandwiched/trapped between vehicles. The noise of honking was maddening, but it was soon left behind as we escaped. Yeeeah, mudda fucka! Three hours later, after a round of shenanigans, and the death of our stoner friend, Hunter and I arrived at his place. It was a dingy, shack of a house, bang, in the middle of the desert. “This is your place?” I asked in an incredulous tone. “Not bad—the Unabomber would be jealous.” Then we went inside through the rotting, wood door. Hunter walked over to a cabinet on the wall and opened it up. There were dozens of similar looking keys, all hung neatly on silver hooks. “Now, which one is it?” he thought aloud. Then he ran his fingers along and stopped at the bottom. He took a key from the corner. “Alright,” he said with a grin, “let’s get busy.” I followed Hunter downstairs into the basement; I kept low, trying to avoid the cobwebs. He went over to an odd looking desk (the kind with animal feet) and picked up a metal box. He unlocked it with the key in his hand, from which he took out a revolver. “What’s that for?” I facetiously asked. “Russian Roulette?” Hunter goose-stepped over to the door in front of us. “No,” he replied, “it’s the master key—” Then he shot off the

knob. I was motioned in with a wave. The two of us went in. The fluorescent lights were flipped on, revealing a huge cache of weapons. It was a veritable armory. “Take what you need,” instructed Hunter as he guided me around, “but don’t get caught. Cops got more cojones (kaw-hawnes) these days. They’ll search you without reason. I got pulled over once for having a dirty car. Told that bugger where to stick his Glock; gave me a week in the slammer. That’s where I learned how to pick locks.” I went around examining the weapons. There were so many to choose from. It was like a candy store for postal workers. But I wasn’t self-indulgent. I chose simple weapons: a couple grenades, a few pistols, a shotgun, and, of course, lots of extra ammo. There was about fifty extra pounds on my body. “You sure you can handle that?” asked Hunter. I puffed out my chest like a man, and waddled outside, very much off balance. I struggled to go up the stairs, but I managed. Hunter followed me outside like a concerned parent looking after a child. “I think you should lighten the load,” he suggested. I stood with my back to the whipping sands. “I’m going to fight the devil,” I replied. “I can ‘lighten the load’ by firing some bullets.”

Chapter 18 Cupertino, California – 6:00 PM I went into Apple Headquarters and asked for Steve Jobs (a.k.a. Satan). The receptionist informed me he was on vacation. Fuck. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – 11:30 PM I unfolded a piece of paper and read an article I’d printed out from Wikipedia:

“Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916 I a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawai’i on the island of Hawai’i. It displays the results of hundreds of thousands of years of volcanism, migration, and evolution— Evolution is not real. It is a phony science supported by Adolf Hitler…” Wait a minute—ugh! Damn you, Kirk Cameron, stop vandalizing Wikipedia with your nonsense! I crumpled the piece of paper in my hand and chucked it into a creek of magma, which made it go up in flames. (Have you seen “Terminator 2”? You know that part where Arnie was dipped into the hot metal? Sort of looked like that.) I continued along the path, which was a now-dysfunctional-road covered in hard, black layers of volcanic crust. “Harry,” a voice called out. “Harry! I spun around on my heels. Who could it be? Emma and Alice ran toward me. “What are you doing here?” I asked. Then I gave them a hug. “Are you going to help? Want a gun?” “Nooo,” Emma said longly. “We’re not here to help, per se—” “We’re here to give morale support,” finished Alice. Then she handed me a Microsoft Zune. “What’s this for?” I asked while scratching my head. “It appears to be some sort of non-Apple, electronic, music device.” “It’s a Microsoft Zune,” she replied. “The purported ‘iPod’ killer. Take it with you—as a lucky charm.” So, I placed the Zune into my pocket and put the accompanying earbuds into my ears. I touched the screen for “music.” The first song which played was Alicia Key’s “Superwoman.” Not really that relevant, since I’m not of that particular gender, but I did appreciate the thought. “Thank you,” I said softly. I faced Emma and Alice and shook their hands. “Goodbye for now. I hope I’ll see you again.” Then I turned and went on my way to stop the ill-fate of the universe. I trekked onward ‘till they were completely out of sight. After an hour or so I reached the peak of a volcano, where lo and behold was Steve Jobs relaxing on a sun-lounger. His arms were behind his head and

he had on dark shades, which exactly matched the shape of his idiosyncratic eyeglasses. I wiped away the sweat from my forehead and called out, “Steve!” I was ignored—so I called out again, this time louder, “STEVE!” Same result. So, I did it once more, but this time added in his last name, after all, Steve was a common name: “STEVE JOBS!” There was no reaction from Steve Jobs except for a yawn which coincided with a billowing of volcanic steam. As I stood dumbfounded, I suddenly realized that I was using the wrong name. I slapped my forehead. His real name wasn’t Steve, it was Satan. “Satan,” I called in a normal, room-loud tone. “Rise up and face me. Your time has come.” (I was just acting tough by the way, in truth I was shitting myself.) Steve Jobs got to his feet and came toward me. Then he stopped to clap. “Bravo,” he said with a mocking voice. “You’ve found me, chosen one. Now, mm, what do you plan on doing to me?” I deepened my voice, trying to sound dangerous. “Gonna kick your ass is what,” I replied. “Gonna toss your salad, too!” (I had no idea what that meant.) Steve spread out his arms. “Come and get me,” he said. “…If you can!” I took out a sawed-off shotgun from my jacket, quickly aimed, and squeezed the trigger. The kickback made it flip out from my hands. The buckshot went astray, uselessly hitting a piece of rock. “Damn,” I thought aloud. Steve laughed, “Mwah-ha-haha-ha-ha!” I fumbled for a pair of handguns. Then when I got my nerves in order, I held them out as if I were Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. “Ha, it’s going to take more than that,” laughed Steve. “THAT’S RIGHT,” interrupted a voice. I looked over my shoulder. There was Emma’s (ex) boyfriend, Jay, pacing up the volcano. He was panting, clearly out of breath, but managed to reach the peak. He stood by my side. “What are you doing?” I whispered. “This is my fight! Go away!” Jay took one of my guns. “I’m here to redeem myself,” he replied, “to wash myself of my sins, and to make up for what I did to Emma. I will give my life if

necessary!” Then he stood in a kung-fu pose. I slapped my forehead. “Jay,” I said while giving an intense glare, “you have to get out of here! You are going to die!” “Never!” cried Jay. “Never! This is for Emma!” Then he bounded forward and the world through my eyes suddenly went into slow motion. I could see every movement of his pistol as it fired. But the attack was useless; the speeding bullets only bounced off Steve’s mighty chest. I jumped into the fray to join the fight. However, my help was equally fruitless. The Apple CEO had us “on the ropes,” and we were being pummeled with ease. I cried out in pain as an iPhone was repeatedly pounded over my fragile skull, “Auuugh!” Jay, in a desperate attempt to stop Steve, jumped on his back—big mistake. Steve spun and Judo flipped him into the mouth of the volcano. I could hear his agonizing scream; it echoed into my ears. “Youraagh!” I could smell the burnt flesh, which reminded me of an overdone steak. (Mm, steak…) Steve smirked. He gave me a come-hither gesture. I was mad as hell. I screamed a warrior’s cry, then took out a grenade from my pocket, pulled the pin, and lobbed it forward. But the green, metal ball hit a stone and rolled back toward me. Panicked, I hastily turned to run. However, my clumsiness made me twist my feet and trip. I tumbled down the volcano ‘till I stopped, caught in a conveniently placed ditch. I got up and dizzily leaned against a palm tree. I groaned while touching my face which was full of cuts. Before I could collect myself, Steve suddenly appeared. His hand reached out, wrapping around my neck. It squeezed tight and hoisted me off the ground with ease. “Why?” I asked as my feet kicked. “Why end the universe, Steve Jobs? What’s the point?” The warm Hawaiian winds blew while Steve looked on with a cold stare. “Like the song says,” he replied, “love hurts…” “What do you mean by that?” I inquired. “What’s that gotta do with anything?” “I was rejected!” Steve answered. “She decided to destroy my heart—so I decided to destroy her world!” “I thought you had a wife—Laurene?” “Hellooo! Anybody home? I’m Satan! I’m cheating on her!”

“Of all the things you’re doing, that is the most awful.” Steve tried to (verbally) defend himself, but at this point I was paying little attention. The oxygen supply in my brain was becoming depleted. I desperately gasped for breath as my vision started to darken, even though it a cloudless, sunny day. “Please,” I pleaded while struggling to get free, “I haven’t used up my ‘Air Miles’ yet—they’ll go to waste!” “Alright,” said Steve in a sudden change of mood. “I’ll give you a chance, Harry.” Then he put me down. “Let’s play a game instead.” I rubbed my reddened throat and stood. “What sort of game?” I asked with a raspy voice. “Is it ‘Clue’? I know who the murderer is! It was John Landis with the helicopter!” “Goddamn it,” said Steve. “It is not ‘Clue.’” He paced around, almost in a nervous manner. “What is it then?” I asked. “Hmm?” “A game of chance…” “Oh?” “It’s a little something I invented while at Reed College.” “Were you drunk?” “Yes,” Steve nodded. “But I still think it’s quite useful for settling conflict.” “Get to the point, please.” Steve smiled and reached behind his back (which made me jittery.) He slowly lifted his arm and revealed a large, golden revolver gripped between his fingers. But it was no ordinary weapon I gathered, as it was engraved with intricate details of a religious nature, and there were bird wings attached to the sides. “That’s a funny gunny,” I commented with a distressful grin. “Will we be using it?” Steve stroked his revolver. “This is the infamous ‘angel killer,’” he told me. “It was used on Angel Zephon…quite judiciously I must say. Heh, can you believe I got it off eBay for only $151.30? There wasn’t even a reserve price; a real bargain in my opinion.” I cleared my throat to interrupt. Ahem! “So,” he went on hastily, “here’s what’s going to happen…” He put a single bullet into his revolver—one of the six chambers—then spun the

cylinder. “I am going to put this thing to my head and pull the trigger.” He did a dry run while explaining. “If nothing happens, you go next. And after that, if nothing happens again, it becomes my turn. Then we go back and forth ‘till somebody drops. Winner’s left standing. I call it—THE GAME OF LIFE.” “Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “That’s just Russian Roulette. And didn’t you say a couple paragraphs back that you invented it ‘while at Reed College’? But you went to Reed in the 1970’s. There’s no way Russian Roulette is less than 50 years old.” “Well, it doesn’t matter what you think,” replied Steve. “We’re playing it.” “Fine,” I said with a sigh, not really having much of a choice, “who goes first?” “I’m thinking of a number from one to ten in my head. Guess it and you can choose.” I took in a deep breath and took in a moment to think. I didn’t want to go first. “Isssss it five?” I asked in a slow voice. Five was my lucky number. “Why yes,” replied Steve. “Congratulations.” He clapped in a mocking manner. “Now, shall I begin or shall you?” I pointed. “You shall,” I answered. Then I looked on as Steve calmly put the barrel of the revolver into his mouth. (Is that how we were supposed to play it?) “You know,” he said, “it would’ve been a wiser choice to go first, Harry. I have a one in six chance of surviving this—the highest chance of survival there is. But the more we go on, the lower your chances become. By going second you fucked yourself over in a way. Not a lot I would say, though, I think every little bit counts. Well, that’s my philosophy.” He pulled the trigger. The gun’s hammer slammed with a click. Nothing happened. “Di di mau,” said Steve as he handed me the revolver. I took it and put it in my mouth. My tongue quivered upon tasting the metal’s bitter flavor—then I bit down, and with eyes shut, squeezed the trigger. Click. I was still alive. Whew. …But the game wasn’t over, and we had to continue on. …So we went back and forth. …’Till turns three, four, and five were gone. …The next pull of the gun would be lethal. …And I was up.

“Well,” said Steve with an obtuse grin, “I guess this is it. Do you have any last words?” I shook my head “no” and put the revolver into my mouth, knowing that a bullet was awaiting me. My finger trembled as it went onto the trigger. I wept horribly, barely able to come to terms with my fate. I thought about my life and all that I had missed out on. I regretted the bad decisions I made, the failures, and felt remorse for the people I hurt—like Emma and Alice. If only I could do it over again. I prayed for a miracle, but neither Superman nor Jesus Christ appeared in my time of need. And so it appeared that the universe was, indeed, going to end because of my incompetence. I tried desperately to negotiate with Steve, but he was steadfast on following the rules of the game. There wasn’t much I could do. An agreement was an agreement. I squeezed the trigger. And I opened my eyes, half-expecting to be at the Pearly Gates. But I was still on a volcano in Hawaii. The revolver had malfunctioned. “I don’t believe this,” complained Steve. He grabbed it from my grasp and looked down the barrel. Then it went off without warning—bang!

Chapter 19 A year had passed since my run in with Steve Jobs. I hadn’t done much with myself since that tumultuous time—but, nonetheless, things were slowly getting better. I reconciled my differences with my estranged family, I made some new friends, and I was promoted at the Chinese restaurant where I worked. Now, my living wasn’t anything glamorous—far from it—but I was fairly satisfied. Things were looking up. Emma Watson began filming of “Harry Potter 9.” Alice Newton opened her own café. And I remained an unsung, but happy, hero.


Copyright Infringement: An Adventure of Epic Proportions  

The universe is about to end and there is only one person who can save it. What will he do? Go on an adventure of epic proportions, of cours...

Copyright Infringement: An Adventure of Epic Proportions  

The universe is about to end and there is only one person who can save it. What will he do? Go on an adventure of epic proportions, of cours...