Grimzore laughed with delight as he thrust his sword through the chest cavity of the great dragon
Swr'gath, the most powerful of his kind and, coincidentally, the mystic guardian entrusted with the secret of the universe.
That was the trouble with misperceptions, you see. Everybody always expected legendary wizards to try to say some all-powerful spell or draw a clever rune or summon some dark, nasty creature from the netherworlds as their main line of attack. Naturally, they tried to rush the wizard before he could complete his magical assault. And just as naturally, Grimzore ran them through with his sword. To be honest, he was a much better swordsman than conjurer anyway.
With a light step, he proceeded up a ring of stairs, still wary of traps but rather certain that Swr'gath would not have anticipated any need for them. The stairs were kept half-lit by some unseen source. At the apex, however, four torches with mystic blue fire provided what actually made for some pretty decent reading light. At their center was a marble pedestal, and atop the pedestal was a sealed manilla envolope, containing the ultimate secret of the universe.
Some people--"HICCUP! HICCUP!"--thought the secret of the universe was a great wisdom about life's meaning. Others, that it was an ultimate formulation of physical law, describing in a fundamental way all the rules of science. But Grimzore knew the truth. . . the secret of the universe was something that would lead to ultimate power. Not that the secret itself was in any way related to that. You see, the secret--"HICCUP! "--contained in that evelope was actually a series of rather embarassing polaroids taken of the universe at an office party. The wielder, of course, could blackmail the universe for all sorts of absurd magical power. What even Grimzore had not considered, however--"HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP!"--was that, instead of granting him control of the cosmos, it was far simpler for the universe to just give him a fatal case of hiccups.
* * *
The universe was quite old. Some might even say senile, in fact. It had been around a long time, you see. Even longer than the potato chips underneath the vending machine in the Wizard's Staff Lounge at the University of Magic, Wizardy, and Fine Arts. And that was why Grimzore was not dead.
He had died, to be sure. For a good long while, not less than a few days. However, what had been generally overlooked is that when wizards come upon the gates of Hades, they must confess--whether they will it or not--all their deeds from their past life. It is quite essential to sorting them out to the right places. You wouldn't want a used wagon salseman getting into Elysium, for example. Only, when the deep magic seized Grimzore's tongue, his confession went something like this: "I HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP! HICCUP!" and so on.
Death is a pretty patient guy, but his pension plan is also tied to meeting certain monthly quotas, so when the line behind the gate became longer than the queue behind the water fountain at the pits of burning sulfur, there was nothing for it but to send Grimzore back to his body with a stern reprimand not to return until he was ready to take the whole matter of dying more seriously.
The universe was a little more than surprised to see him back, and even more concerned when he waddled the rest of the way up--hiccuping, of course--to the pedestal and snatched the incriminating batch of polaroids with what might only be described as "extreme peeved-offedness."
It seemed it had no choice.
* * *
(to be continued
- earth day
- green toilet
- harsh realities
- interior decorating
- white people