Sunday, April 20, 2008


Well, it's been fun, but it looks like I've reached the end of The Ultimate Book. Again, I wrote this a couple of years ago and really only posted it incrementally to be a dick, but I hope those readers who've read it enjoyed reading it. I mean, I enjoy reading it, so it must be pretty awesome.


John, Bill, and Jeannine were all sitting around their dinner table one Tuesday night in August. The wedding was five years ago. Nothing of importance had happened since, and it was very unlikely that anything ever would again.

“Pass the potatoes, please,” requested Jeannine.

“Here you are, dear,” replied John.

“So guess what happened to me today,” said Bill. “You’ll never guess. It’s the most amazing thing ever. I’ll give you three guesses.”

John smiled, “Did you find another penny?”

“How’d you know?” asked Bill, slightly put off.

“I’m John; I know everything!” replied John. “And you’ve said the same thing at the same time for three days now.”

They all burst into hearty laughter. Bill was now more or less like a son to John and Jeannine, so they had thus far decided not to have a child of their own; likewise, Bill had decided not to marry anyone, but his reason was simpler: no woman could tolerate him.

John’s house had been rebuilt, right after the wedding. Well, it wasn’t so much rebuilt as replaced. John had decreed that his palace in Denmark be airlifted overseas and placed right where his old house was. It was the finest house on the block, not least of all because of their assiduous groundskeeper, Pompetus.

Everyone envied the Morgans, with their wealth and power and perfect marriage. As Jeannine often pointed out, marrying John had really been quite convenient, since having been married to his uncle Claudius already, she didn’t need to change her last name again.

From time to time, Mischa and Cyprus came to visit. John was a little apprehensive about letting Cyprus in, what with her boundless evil; but she tried to keep it in check whenever she was there, and their visits were always pleasant.

Mischa, as he had planned to do, had found Rupert in Rome right after the battle, and he too was a frequent guest at the Morgan dinner table, sometimes alone, sometimes with Mischa and Cyprus. A stationary life never really suited him though, and he continued to work as a mercenary.

“You know John, one thing always bugged me about that whole Josiah Malum business,” said Jeannine, setting the potatoes down.

“It was heads up too. That’s better luck than heads down,” continued Bill.

“What is it, Jeannine?” asked John. “You’re still thinking about that thing? That fool will never bother us again, you know; there’s no use worrying about it. It’s all in the past, and we have our whole future ahead of us.”

“True, but…well…this one thing just nags at me. We spent all that time fighting his evil plan, but what was his evil plan? He never came out and said it, and you never told me either,” said Jeannine. “I mean, it’s really frustrating to work so hard against something without fully knowing what it even is.”

“Yeah, she’s right!” said Bill. “You promised you’d tell me too, but you never did. What was Josiah’s plan, John?”

“Oh, I never told you two?” said John. “He was going to buy out Blockbuster and bring back late fees.”

“Ah. That would’ve sucked,” said Bill, nodding.

John looked around the table, at his loving wife and best friend, then shook his head happily and smiled.


It was John’s favorite day of the week.

The End it?

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Ultimate Penultimate Chapter: CHAPTER EIGHTY ONE

He was wrong, however; that was the last any of them saw of Josiah Malum, and he would never get a chance to exact vengeance on anyone. He was finished.

After the battle, Magentabeard, Bjorn and Ron bade John, Bill and Mischa fond farewells.

“Yarrgh, unlike the last time we parted, this time I doubt we’ll meet again, mateys. Take care!”

They all walked off into the sunset, either to look for a new ship or for a replacement for Plank Walkin’ Pete. Probably a ship. They needed to hide on the seas from now on, because they knew that Hades would come looking for them. They were supposed to be dead, after all.

Cyprus took great joy in dismantling the titanium skeleton of Josiah bone by bone, delighting in his piteous, petulant protests. She really was the most evil person alive. The operation which had replaced his bones with metal had also somehow given Josiah the ability to continue living as long as his head remained intact, so Cyprus kept it that way – she brought it back with her, as a souvenir, and kept it in a jar.

Josiah didn’t mind, figuring that at least now he was closer to Cyprus than he would’ve been otherwise. He continued making evil plans, but without a body, or freedom, he would never be able to enact them. I’d feel sorry for him if he weren’t such an asshole.

John (very reluctantly) thanked Mischa for helping, however insignificant his part had been. There was obviously still animosity between them, what with one’s being responsible for the other’s death; but they were adults, and they put it behind them, intent on rekindling their once decent friendship.

“So where are you off to now, Mischa?” asked John.

“Oh, I will probably go back to Rome and look for Rupert. I think he is still knocked out in the Coliseum,” said Mischa. “He is probably wondering what happened.”

And Mischa was gone.

Time passed, as it usually does. John managed to get his job back somehow, despite his horrible temperament; and so did Bill, despite his terrible incompetence. The two maintained a solid friendship – after a while, Bill’s idiocy began to grow on John, and they became roommates. Bill’s mother was very amenable to the move, as she had grown quite fond of Saul, whom she found adorable.

Jeannine and John got married. If her being responsible for his resurrection weren’t enough, her sticking by his side throughout the fierce battle with Josiah convinced John that Jeannine was uncannily devoted to him, against all logic. He’d never find another woman like her. They started dating shortly after the defeat of Josiah Malum, and a year later, they were engaged.

The wedding was a glorious affair, and friends of both John and Jeannine came from all over the world. Mischa attended, with Cyprus (whom he’d inexplicably married); she’d even brought Josiah’s head along. Bill was John’s best man, and he ate the whole wedding cake; he was grounded for a month, by John, who was acting in loco parentis.

And as for me, Flapjack the Ghost? Well, let’s just say I was so bored that I decided to write a book. I give a whole new meaning to the term ghostwriter, don’t I? Oh, that’s good!


Monday, April 14, 2008


Bill raised his hand and started jumping up and down, his desire to be the center of attention overriding his desire not to die.

“Me! Me! Pick me!” he said.

“Suit yourself,” said Josiah, now rushing toward Bill.

“No!” cried John, thinking quickly and tackling Josiah before he could get there. “Stay away from my friend, you monster!”

The two men struggled on the ground for a while. Despite his greatly augmented power, Josiah couldn’t seem to overcome John, who was fighting furiously for the life of his – wait a minute, did he say friend? Wow. His friend!

The fact that Jeannine was shouting encouragement might also have contributed to John’s extra strength, though probably not. Effects like that are often vastly overrated.

“If any of you guys have any ideas, now would be a great time to use them!” called John, desperately trying to keep Josiah pinned down.

“I’m picking up something with my psychic powers,” said Cyprus. “I know where we can find a magnet big enough to stop Josiah! But there’s no way we’ll be able to get there fast enough. Unless…”

“I’ve got it, Comrade!” yelled Mischa. “We’ll take Josiah’s helicopter.”

“Great idea!” agreed Cyprus. “I killed the pilot on my way in, just because. Come on!”

Mischa and Cyprus ran to Josiah’s helicopter, which was parked outside. They got in and hurried to where Cyprus’s clairvoyance had detected the magnet.

“I only hope we get there fast enough, Comrade!”

“We will, Mischa. I’m sure of it.”

Meanwhile, Bjorn and Ron had joined John in his quarrel against Josiah, and the three together managed to keep Josiah down. Magentabeard walked up to him, gun in hand, and prepared to fire another bullet right into the secretary’s face.

“It won’t work, Magentabeard!” yelled John. “His entire body is titanium; nothing can penetrate it.”

“Yarrgghh, I know what I’m doing, matey!” said Magentabeard, firing the gun.

The bullet hit Josiah in his left eye, blinding him. In his left eye.

“My left eye!” wailed Josiah, in excruciating pain. “That was my favorite eye! God dammit, I hate pirates!”

“If you’ll just hold still, I’ll shoot out the other, matey. There’s nothing like symmetry when it comes to blindness,” said Magentabeard, aiming his pistol once more.

“No thanks,” said Josiah, throwing Bjorn, Ron and John off him at once in a gigantic burst of strength. “I’d rather just kill you.”

He got to his feet again but tripped over Bill, who had decided to take a nap on the ground. Thus stunned, he was vulnerable to another assault from John and the remaining pirates.

They fought back and forth for nearly ten minutes, until Mischa and Cyprus returned, carrying the giant magnet. Where they’d obtained it was a mystery. The battle ended; Josiah was frozen. He had been paralyzed by the magnet.

“We did it!” cried Mischa. “We defeated Josiah!”

“We? Mischa, you’re the only one here who didn’t do anything,” said John. “You just went with Cyprus, for no reason at all. You should’ve been here helping us fight.”

“Oh, well when you put it that way, I guess my part in the whole quarrel was rather insignificant. But nonetheless, Josiah is defeated!” said Mischa.

“Damn right he is,” said Cyprus. “Let that be a lesson to you: never think about getting revenge on me! Because I’ll know, because I’m psychic.”

“I may not be able to move, but that doesn’t mean I’m finished. Oh no…you haven’t seen the last of Josiah Malum! I’ll be back, and then I’ll get my vengeance on all of you!”

Saturday, April 12, 2008


No, really. Hades, upon finding out that Mischa was, if anything, a worse assistant than Saul, let him go. Having no friends or family, he simply wandered around aimlessly until he saw a house in ruins. Moving closer, he realized that there was, in fact, an epic battle occurring: a battle between his former friend and his former boss.

“Mischa!” cried Josiah. “Thank goodness you’re here. Help me defeat these fools. Then get my car washed, and pick me up dinner.”

When Mischa answered, he wasn’t trembling.

“No, Mr. Malum. I quit,” he declared. “I’ve decided to take control of my own life. This means not taking orders from you anymore.”

“Dammit Mischa, you can’t quit! I own you!” said Josiah, clearly panicking now that the odds continued to pile against him.

“You do not own me anymore. Oh, hello, Cyprus,” said Mischa, noticing his should-be wife for the first time. “Hey, are we getting married or what?”

“No. We’re teaming up to take down Josiah,” replied Cyprus, not taking her eyes off the Secretary.

“Oh, well that sounds good too. Hello Comrades!” he said, waving to John and Bill.

“Yes, hi, Mischa,” replied John. “All right then. All four of us will attack him at once; there’s no way he can stop that many people.”

“Don’t be so sure of yourself, mailman,” spat Josiah. “I didn’t become Secretary of Evil by not being able to fight four people at once, you know.”

“Perhaps you can fight four, Mr. Malum. But can you fight…eight?”

“Yes,” said Josiah. “Yes, I can fight eight.”

“Oh,” said Mischa. “Well, there are eight now.”

Indeed there were. The four-on-one battle was just about to begin, when who should appear but Magentabeard, along with the entire crew of The Pirate Ship! They were back from their adventures and ready for action, ready to come to the aid of their friend John.

“Arrggh, mateys!” yelled Magentabeard. “How be ye?”

“How did you guys get here?” asked John. "Not that I don't appreciate the help, but to be honest, I've sort of forgotten all about you."

“Yarr, a few hours ago we crashed into an iceberg and died, but on our way down to the Underworld we met up with Mischa here, and he told us that you all might need some help!” said Magentabeard. “Now, who’s the scurvy cur we need to teach a lesson?”

“The man made of metal, Comrade,” said Mischa.

The intensity of the battle with John had stripped some of Josiah’s flesh off; patches of his metal skeleton were now clearly visible.

“All you fools do is talk, talk, talk. I don’t care if there are four, eight, or a million of you; I won’t rest until you’re all dead! Then my evil plan shall commence, unchecked by you scum!” proclaimed Josiah. “Now die!”

He charged forward, directly at Ron Goldstein. Ron dodged and Josiah ran into what remained of one of John’s walls; then Magentabeard took out his pistol and fired off a shot, which did no damage thanks to Josiah’s metal bones.

“Arrgh, his bones are as dense as hardtack, mateys, and not nearly as delicious!” said Mischa. “We’ll have to find another way to kill him!”

“I know the way,” said John. “Magnetism.”

“Oh,” said Plank Walkin’ Pete. “I can control magnetism.”

“Yarrr, you can?” exclaimed Magentabeard. “Why didn’t you say so, you moron?!”

“You never asked. Sorry.”

Pete focused intently on Josiah, attempting to use his powers of magnetism to tear the man apart. Unfortunately, nothing at all happened.

“Oh. Guess I forgot how. Sorry.”

Josiah killed Pete, then turned to the rest of them.

“Who’s next?”

Friday, April 11, 2008


When they arrived at John’s house, they found it in ruins. The battle between John and Josiah had grown fiercer and fiercer, demolishing the building in the process; but both combatants were still going at it.

Josiah fired five bullets, exhausting his ammunition, but all of them were deflected by John’s shield. John followed up with a jab from his sword, which hit Josiah square in the chest but was stopped by his metal sternum.

“You’re a better fighter than I expected, Mr. Morgan,” said Josiah. “But I am the Secretary of Evil, and I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve.”

Josiah jumped backward and slowly, calmly, took the cigarette from his mouth. He dropped it to the ground, extinguishing it with his foot after it hit.

He took his gun and tossed it away, then assumed a battle ready stance, motioning for John to attack. John held his weapons ready, not daring to make the first move – he knew Josiah was planning something.

What he wasn’t planning for, however, was Bill, who ran into the house and stood right between Josiah and John.

“Hi guys! Playing war? Can I play? Just don’t hit me, cause I bruise easily,” he said. “Bruises hurt.”

“Get out of the way, Bill! You don’t belong here; this is a serious battle!” yelled John.

Josiah took advantage of John’s temporary distraction, leaping clear over Bill and dashing forward, catching John off his guard. Josiah tackled John to the ground, knocking the wind out of him and forcing him to drop his weapons. The Secretary of Evil raised his fist above his head, preparing to finish the mailman off with one fatal blow.

“That looks fun! Wee!” said Bill, jumping into Josiah and knocking him off of John.

“Get off of me, you insufferable clod!” shouted Josiah, tossing Bill away as easily as if he were a rag doll of slightly below average intelligence.

Josiah leapt up again, ready to pounce on whoever moved first. But it wasn’t John, or Bill, as he was expecting – it was Jeannine. And she was grinning.

“What are you grinning about, you idiot woman?” asked Josiah. “I’ve knocked both of them to the ground, neither of them is armed, and it’s only a matter of time before I finish them off.”

“Look behind you, Malum,” said Jeannine.

With some trepidation, Josiah turned around. Cyprus was there, looking extremely angry. Josiah’s heart gave a little leap; he obviously still had feelings for her.

“Cyprus! What are you doing here?” he asked brightly.

“Combining clairvoyance and telepathy, I read your mind a little while ago and saw that you were planning to exact vengeance upon me, Josiah,” said Cyprus coldly. “I’m afraid I can’t let that happen.”

“Oh, I just said that in a fit of rage, Cyprus,” said Josiah. “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you! I’ll tell you what: help me finish off John, and I’ll forgive you for rejecting me.”

“No, Josiah. I’m not helping you anymore. I came here to stop you, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

“Ha! You’re going to help John now, are you? Well, it won’t make a difference! I’m unstoppable – insuperable! Nothing you can do will prevent me from destroying him, and if you stand in my way, then I will destroy you!” declared Josiah.

“Oh, but you’re wrong,” argued Cyprus. “I was always more evil than you were. Why do you think I wasn’t interested in you? I realized you were a pretender, merely a dilettante; so I turned you down. And now, Josiah, I am going to finish you off.”

Josiah clenched his fists in anger, reluctant to fight the woman he had coveted. To make matters worse, in the time it had taken them to speak, both John and Bill had gotten to their feet once more. And then all hell broke lose.


“Who are you?” demanded John. “Can’t you see that I’m already busy with an intruder? Give me five minutes.”

“Wait John!” cried the doctor. “Josiah is far too strong for you to defeat without assistance. He has greater strength now than he did before, but he also has a weakness, and I’m the only one who knows what it is. You need to –”

Josiah fired a bullet directly into Dr. Graham’s skull, killing him instantly. He didn’t even put down his cigarette, but he did take another long drag, smiling contentedly.

“Now that that little interruption has been dealt with, shall we continue?” he asked.

“I don’t know who that was or how he got here,” said John, “but if I’ve learned one thing from my time being dead, it’s how to finish people’s sentences for them. Your weakness is magnets!”

Josiah was dumbfounded; John knew his weakness! This was quite a bad turn for Josiah, since prior to that very moment, even he hadn’t known his weakness.

“All right John, so you know my weakness. I don’t see how that could possibly help you now, unless you have a comically large magnet hidden somewhere in the house,” said Josiah.

“Maybe I do, Malum,” lied John. “Maybe I do.”

He lunged forward, hoping to knock Josiah out before he could compose himself. Unfortunately, Josiah was already quite prepared, and he fired a shot.

John, however, had great reflexes; and he jumped nimbly aside, the bullet missing him completely. Then he reached into his pocket. Josiah flinched until he saw what John had pulled out: a simple flower, completely black.

“See this, Malum?” asked John. “I picked it from Hades’ garden right before I left the Underworld. Do you know what this is?”

“It’s a flower,” replied Josiah.

“It’s a flower from the Underworld. Do you know what that means?”

“No. And I don’t care.”

Josiah fired his gun and a bullet rapidly made its way toward John’s chest, but suddenly there was a flash of light, and when Josiah could see again, he found that John was completely unharmed; furthermore, he saw that John was now carrying a glistening diamond shield, the same one he’d had at the battle in the Coliseum!

“I am a hyperbotanical engineer, Malum. I know everything there is to know about unusual plants. Flowers from the Underworld have special properties, properties you couldn’t even begin to fathom. This one,” said John, raising the flower, “arms me with whatever weaponry I was equipped with at the time of my death.”

“So that means…”

“Yes!” shouted John, as another flash illuminated the room. “The magical sword is mine as well. Convenient, no? Why, if this were a story I’d even go so far as to call it lazy writing! It looks like this fight’s going to be a bit more fair than you thought it would be, doesn’t it? So what are you waiting for, Malum? Come get some.”

“Impudent little worm!” yelled Josiah, firing three shots in rapid succession.

All of them were blocked by John’s impenetrable shield. John then raised his glowing sword high above his head and brought it down fiercely, attempting to cleave Josiah Malum in two.

Taking advantage of the fact that his bones were essentially unbreakable, he parried John’s slash with his arm, using his other to throw a deadly punch that, if not for John’s shield, would have killed him.

Jeannine, who had managed to stay out of sight for the duration of the battle, saw that Josiah was distracted; and she took the opportunity to leave the house, planning to get help. She ran over to Bill’s (his trail wasn’t hard to follow) and furiously pounded on the door. Bill answered.

“Hi Jeannine! We can’t talk long, cause my mom says I’m not allowed to answer the door. I’m grounded again. What’s up?” he asked.

“John is in trouble! Josiah is in his house; they’re fighting right now! He needs your help! Hi Saul.”


“Sorry Jeannine, I’m not allowed to go outside again. Mom grounded me for staying out too long. She says I can’t leave the house again until I’m 30,” explained Bill.

“You’re 37,” said Jeannine.

“Oh. Let’s go!”

They dashed back to John’s, praying that they weren’t too late.

Monday, April 7, 2008


“So you paid the fare to cross the river by offering Mischa as a slave? That’s priceless!” said John, laughing. “And he never even married Cyprus?”

“No, I think Josiah ordered him to relinquish her, or something, and he obeyed,” replied Jeannine. “He’s like that.”

“Yeah, Mischa always was subservient. Good to hear, Jeannine; good to hear. You know, I’m glad you started traveling with us. You’re much better than Bill.”

“Hey, that’s not –”

“Shut up, Bill.”


John had warmed up considerably to Jeannine since his resurrection, most likely because without her, he’d still be dead. This cheered Jeannine up greatly, as for the first time in a long time, she saw her chances with John improving.

“So what now, John?” she asked brightly.

“We’ll go to my house; I need to set some things in order. Like my job. I’m pretty sure I’ll be fired after failing to deliver mail for so long. But hey, it sure is a good thing the exit to the Underworld is only a block away from where I live,” said John. “And you say the entrance was only a few miles from the Coliseum? What convenience!”

“I love blocks!” exclaimed Bill. “My favorites are Legos. I built a castle once! But then a wave knocked it down. Or maybe that was a sand castle.”

“You know Bill, now that I think of it, it’s even good to see you again. You appreciate a lot of things after you die,” said John.

“You died?” asked Bill.

“No Bill, you just had to go to the UNDERWORLD to get the GOD OF THE DEAD to wake me up from a nap,” said John.

“Oh, okay. That’s what I thought.”

Together they walked to John’s house, John and Jeannine holding hands. A smirk spread across Jeannine’s face.

“So what happened to Josiah and Cyprus?” asked John.

“I don’t really know; Shamus was holding Josiah off to give me and Bill time to escape with you. For all we know, he might’ve won!” said Jeannine hopefully.

“I doubt it. Shamus is strong, but Josiah wouldn’t enter a battle he couldn’t win,” said John.
“Except that first one against Shamus…but after losing to him once, I’m sure he wouldn’t let himself lose again. At least, I don’t think he would. I really have no way of knowing for certain. Ah look, there’s my house. Bill, why don’t you run on home? Your mother’s probably worried sick about you. You can take Saul.”


“You’re right John. I was supposed to be home over a year ago. She’s gonna ground me again, I can tell. Oh man…” lamented Bill, taking John’s advice and running home, with Saul cheerfully bringing up the rear.

John stepped onto his porch and withdrew a key from his wallet, which he miraculously still had on him. Into the lock he placed it, opening the door, to reveal a Josiah Malum, grasping a cigarette and smirking more broadly than Jeannine, with a maniacal glint in his eye.

“Malum! What are you doing here?” John demanded. “This is my house, and you’re trespassing.”

“Hello there, Mr. Morgan,” said Josiah, exhaling smoke. “As you’ve probably noticed, this is your house; and I’m trespassing. You’re also probably wondering what I’m doing here.”

“Your powers of repetition are impressive, Malum,” said John, “but I’m not impressed…by them. Get out of here before I kill you.”

“And how do you expect to do that? I already killed your friend Shamus,” replied Josiah. “I think it will be quite a cinch to get rid of you as well.”

“Bring it on, you fool.”

Not a second later, Dr. Graham burst through the door.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Josiah was distraught. Not only had he failed with Cyprus, twice, but now his failure had discouraged him from carrying out his evil plan. He just couldn’t concentrate, try as he might.

“Damn that woman! I wish I knew what she were thinking, like she knows what I’m thinking. I really ought to find a way to stop that,” he said to himself. “No, no. She’s out of your life now, Josiah. Move on. Begin the evil plan. Yes. The evil plan! Sublimate your anger into planning ability!”

He set to work once more, but he was shortly interrupted by his secretary, who entered the room looking nervous – Josiah was notorious for shooting the messenger, both literally and figuratively. The last person to give him bad news was still decaying on the floor of Josiah’s office.

“Mr. Malum, moments ago your scouts spotted Jeannine, Bill and John – now alive – leaving the Underworld. Mischa was not with them. We have reason to believe he was found out and killed, probably because of his gross ineptitude” she said.

“That’s a shame,” said Josiah insincerely. “So! John is back, is he? Well, I can’t very well begin my evil plan with him still around. He’ll have to be dealt with. Brutally.”

Josiah halted his evil plan – again – and began contriving new ways to neutralize John. There was some difficulty involved; after all, if a man comes back from the dead, he’s obviously a pretty tough person to get rid of. Josiah lit a cigarette to help him think, and just as he was raising it to his mouth, the idea came to him.

“Of course! I’ll just kill him myself!” said Josiah. “It worked for Sanchez and Shamus; why wouldn’t it work here? Yes! It’s brilliant! Hades never brings people back to life more than once, I’m assuming.”

And with that, Josiah left his office, getting into his private helicopter. He nodded to the pilot, putting a fresh pack of cigarettes into his cup holder.

“Take me to the home of John Morgan,” he instructed. “There’s going to be an unpleasant little surprise waiting for him when he gets there: me! I mean, I. I almost disregarded the rules of predicate nominative there. That would’ve been embarrassing.”

The pilot nodded, and they were off. Josiah was much happier now, having practically forgotten about Cyprus altogether.

Unbeknownst to the Secretary of Evil, however, the metal endoskeleton he’d had implanted was more than just a metal endoskeleton: it was also a tracking device. Someone was listening to him all the while.

Dr. Doctor Graham, the man whom Josiah had turned down for the assistant job right before he’d hired Cyprus, had sworn revenge on Josiah Malum for rejecting his application. He’d concocted a number of elaborate schemes, finally settling on one when he heard that Josiah was in a coma.

He had managed to sneak into the hospital and perform the complicated bone-replacement surgery without anybody’s noticing, and now he could keep constant tabs on the Secretary.

“That fool thinks he’s going to kill John? Not if I have anything to say about it!” said Doctor. “And I do have something to say about it.”

He got into his car, turned it on and accelerated to top speed, recklessly chasing after Josiah.

“I could’ve been his assistant. I could’ve been the most loyal, dedicated assistant ever. But now I am his enemy. And he shall feel my wrath!”

Thursday, April 3, 2008


“What the hell do you people want? How dare you disturb me?” thundered Hades. “I’m in a bad mood today, so whatever you’re about to say, make it quick.”

“O mighty Hades, King of the Underworld,” began Jeannine –

“Save it. I’m not in the mood for fulsome obsequiousness,” ordered Hades. “Just tell me what you want so I can laugh in your faces for having the audacity to ask me.”

“Well,” said Jeannine, “Our friend John was killed in a battle, and we were wondering if you could give him his life back. It’d really mean a lot to us. To me, anyway.”

“No,” replied Hades. “I’m in too bad a mood to grant that kind of request.”

“Why are you in such a bad mood?” asked Jeannine. “That seems to be the only thing anyone here can talk about.”

“I’m in a bad mood because my old secretary quit, I had to find a new one, and I hate him. Saul!”

Into the room bounced a happy-looking boy who looked to be around 16 years of age. Jeannine wondered why he had died so young, then realized that he was probably murdered, because the urge to kill him had already struck her.

“Hi!” said Saul cheerfully.

“He’s the worst assistant I’ve ever had,” lamented Hades. “My old one, Death, was much better. Saul can’t even obey the simplest instructions!”

“Then why’d you hire him?” asked Jeannine.

“I wish I knew,” answered the god. “Anyway, Saul! Get out of here. I am bored with you.”

“Yes ma’am! I mean, I mean, yes sir!” said Saul, tripping over his own feet as he kowtowed out of the room.

Jeannine had already begun to formulate a plan, Charon’s advice beginning to make sense. Hades hated Saul, and because of that, he was in a bad mood, which made him reluctant to help them. So…

“If you bring John back to life,” said Jeannine, “we could take Saul off your hands! We already have a new assistant lined up too: Mischa Petrovitch. He used to work for the Secretary of Evil.”

“Josiah Malum? Wow, his assistant would be nice to have. I’ll bet he’s really evil, isn’t he? Sadistic, cruel…isn’t he?”


“That’s great! All right, I’ll give your friend his life back. Where is he?” asked Hades.

“He’s right outside this room,” answered Jeannine.

“Excellent. Saul! Come back in and bring that body,” commanded Hades. “And don’t screw it up!”

“Right! Anything you sir, say. I mean, say, sir. I mean…no, that was right. Was it? Oh no!”


Saul stumbled into the room, dragging John’s body behind him with great effort. After several awkward minutes, he managed to carry the body to within a reasonable distance of Hades’ throne. He stood there until Hades pointed sternly at the door, through which Saul nervously scurried.

Hades looked down at John and snapped his fingers. John sat up instantly, gasping for air – alive. He looked around, wondering why he was now alive, and then saw Hades. Having minored in Greek mythology, he immediately recognized the god for who he was.

“Hades?” he asked. “Am I in the Underworld? Did you bring me back to life? Who brought me here? Why am I asking questions; I’m the smartest man in the world.”

“John! You’re alive!” cried Jeannine, rushing forward to hug him.

“I should’ve known,” chuckled John, shaking his head. “I suppose I owe you some thanks, Jeannine. Without you, I’d still be dead.”

“Hi John! Sleep well?” asked Bill. “That was a really long nap! The last time I slept that long, my mom came into my room and started poking me with a mop, and then I woke up and she made me mop the floor because the mop was already there.”

“Shut up, Bill. And who’s that?” asked John, pointing at Saul, who was sneakily peeking in through the open door.

“That’s Saul,” answered Jeannine, “Hades’ new assistant. He’s an idiot. We’re taking him with us and leaving Mischa with Hades.”

“Mischa’s here too?”

“Yes, he was following us, probably on Josiah’s orders,” answered Jeannine. “We left him back at the River Styx. That’s where you’ll find him, Hades.”

Hades nodded, then said, “Before you all leave, how about helping yourselves to a few…pomegranate seeds?”

“But I can’t spell pomegranate!” protested Bill.

Everyone burst into laughter, and they departed.

“I really can’t.”