Friday, March 21, 2008


Josiah stood opposite Shamus, still in the Coliseum. Cyprus was off to the side, anxiously waiting for the fight that she knew could resume at any moment. The two men stared each other down, both prepared to strike at the slightest provocation.

“Well laddie, are you gonna come at me, or would you rather I come over there and show you what pain feels like?” taunted Shamus.

“I’ll attack you when I’m good and ready. Or maybe I’ll just kill you, because I have an evil plan to initiate!” retorted Josiah, taking out a gun.

Before Shamus could react, Josiah fired. The bullet moved so quickly that even Shamus couldn’t dodge it, and it hit him square in the chest. Under normal circumstances, of course, a bullet would do nothing to Shamus Flanagan – but this was no ordinary bullet.

It was laced with Xenonite, an element only found deep beneath the grounds of Ireland; it was Shamus’s one weakness. Before long, the leader and sole surviving member of the NBA was on the ground, writhing in agony.

“Amusing,” noted Josiah. “You remind me of Mischa, with all the writhing. So, Flanagan, how does it feel to be defeated by me, Josiah Malum, Secretary of Evil? Actually, don’t answer that. I’d rather answer it myself. It probably feels BAD. Right? Of course I’m right. I’m always right.”

Josiah burst into evil laughter, and Cyprus joined in, followed by the entire stadium. Evil laughter is contagious like that. They laughed together for a while, but the novelty wore off after about a minute. Josiah and Cyprus looked at each other and, without a word, exited the Coliseum.

Getting into Josiah’s Escalade, they drove to the apartment where Cyprus had been staying. Josiah was elated.

“Well, Josiah, that certainly went well. Shamus and John are both dead, Mischa’s partner has been eliminated, and Mischa himself would never oppose you, what with his lacking willpower. Everything is perfect. So when will you start that evil plan of yours?” asked Cyprus.

“As soon as the clock strikes 4:00,” replied Josiah.

“It’s 6:30.”

“Oh, well, tomorrow then. I can wait – after all, there’s nobody in this world who could possibly stop me now!” boasted Josiah.

He started to laugh again but shortly realized he had burned himself out for the day, so he quietly settled down and lit a cigarette. Then another.

“You should really stop smoking, you know,” warned Cyprus, who had begun to prepare dinner. “It leads to lung cancer. Wouldn’t that be ironic, if after eliminating all of your enemies, you were defeated by lung cancer?”

“I suppose so, but I’m immune to irony, so I needn’t worry,” responded Josiah.

“Immune to irony?” asked Cyprus, chopping carrots.

“Yes, it’s a very interesting story. I’ll tell it to you sometime, but not now. No, tonight is a night for celebration, not reminiscence. What’s for dinner?” asked Josiah.

“Beef,” said Cyprus. “I’m butchering the cow as we speak.”

Indeed she was, very brutally. Josiah knew then that he had make this woman his wife, or at the very least his concubine.

Of course, she had been reading his mind for hours, and combining precognition with telepathy she was already aware that Josiah would eventually think that; thus, she was prepared.

“I’m not at all attracted to you,” she said, catching Josiah off guard.

“Oh. You’re fired,” said Josiah, recovering surprisingly quickly.

“All right then.”

Josiah walked away.

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