[This is an archive of an improvised narrative I wrote in a Discord channel over several months. The story’s installments would end potential choices and readers would vote via emoji. For this archive, I have highlighted the vote-winning options where they appear.]
An ambulance, wailing, wheels through deep dark woods, painting the branches with flashing red and white lights. From out of nothingness come FLOATING LETTERS IN ALL CAPS, superimposed magically in our vision. And those letters spell out:
- MAPLE HANDCUFFS HOSPITAL
- LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL
- CACTUS ROMANCE HOSPITAL
Inside, an ace driver stomps on the gas pedal. His hair, slicked back by the wind that roars through the open window, forming a helmet of sensual follicles. While the road attempts to slow him, with its hairpin turns and deep wooded shadows, he responds with a sneer, and that sneering lip is topped with a pencil thin moustache.
This is AMIR LeSUAVE, ace ambulance driver. It’s rumored that at Grim Reaper HQ there’s a wanted poster with his name and image on it. You know. ‘Cause of all the lives he’s saved.
“You may as well open the bay doors, sweetheart, ’cause I’m comin’ in hot,” says LeSuave, holding a CB radio to his mouth. But who is he talking to?
- MARION BLUEBERRY – Infectious Disease – Scrubs cling to her in all the right ways
- SEBASTIAN MONEYMONEY – Surgery – A natural flirt, but he studied flirting as well: a double flirt threat!
- Officer Tom – A cop – Amir’s parole officer, just waiting for him to screw up and end up back in the pokey
- Janet – Dispatch – She’s got a kid, likes plain donuts, probably doesn’t have a dark secret
October 16, 2018
Sebastian Moneymoney ran his hands through his close-cropped hair, enjoying the peach fuzz sensation of it under his fingers before he picked up the dispatch microphone-thingy. He then pressed that button on the side that makes it work.
“KKZ” went the radio set. That meant he could speak. “Oh, you know the bay doors here at Lunar Desire Hospital are always open for you, baby,” purred Sebastian. “And not just the actual doors, which are in need of repair, because we really should be able to close them. It’s a security hazard. But I’m also speaking metaphorically here, Amir. Of my ‘doors.’ If you know what I mean.”
He was pretty sure Amir knew what he meant, because if there was one thing he was good at, it was flirting. His eyes trailed over his framed certificate from The School Of Hard Licks University of Flirtatious Arts that granted him a PhD as a Pretty hot Dude.
Right at that moment, there was a knock on the door of the Dispatch office.
- It’s mean ol’ Dr. Giggleheck! “You’re supposed to be in surgery! NOW!”
- It’s a lost patient. “Hey, I’m looking for a surgeon? Because my organs itch?”
- It’s a baby! How does a baby know to knock on a door?
October 18, 2018
“Is this Dispatch? ‘Cause it says Dispatch on the door.” A patient poked their head into the Dispatch room which yes, was the Dispatch room.
“Yeah, this is Dispatch,” said Sebastian Moneymoney. He immediately thought of and dismissed any jokes about ‘dis batch’ because his flirt expertise told him none of them would work in this context. No. In this context, the smart play was to make sure the top button of his scrubs was undone, showing a little chest. And it was. The top button. Undone.
The patient stepped all the way and appreciated Moneymoney’s chest. “I was sent here because I’m supposed to be in surgery and the nurse said the head surgeon might be hanging out in here?”
“I’m not ‘hanging out,'” said Moneymoney, “though I’m well hung.” There it is. “There’s still five whole minutes until the surgery is supposed to start, so I still have time for a little more banter with Amir before scrubbing up.”
Annoyed at this flirt interruption, Moneymoney took a good look at the patient. Who’s the patient?
- Cameron Smirk, Pineapple King of North Dakota
- Gennifer Vacuumtube, hypochondriac and lottery winner
- Barleywood Applesmith, Librarian to the Stars
October 20, 2018
“I’m Barleywood Applesmith? Librarian to the Stars? Maybe you’ve seen me on TV?” asked Barleywood Applesmith.
“I don’t watch a lot of TV,” said Moneymoney. “Too busy saving lives. I assume you didn’t bring your chart with you, so what’s this about itching organs?”
Applesmith looked slightly embarrassed. “It all started with a book that I had to procure for Cameron Smirk, the Pineapple King of North Dakota.”
“I’ve heard of him,” said Moneymoney. “He was deposed last year in a coup. The Pineapple Baron, Jason Rustwhite, replaced him entirely. Took the crown, started calling himself the True Pineapple King of the North, took over Smirk’s mansion, married his wife, plays fetch-the-stick with his dog, puts pineapple on pizzas and donates them to the poor out of the back of the former Pineapple King’s former BMW.”
“I thought you didn’t watch a lot of TV?” said Applesmith.
“I read newspapers,” said Moneymoney, trailing his fingers through the chest hair that was sticking out of the top of his scrubs, each one a waving flirtatious ‘hello’ of hair. “Anyway, Smirk needed me to locate a book for him. It was the secret, he said, to deposing the sham Pineapple King and regaining his throne. What was the book?
- A publisher’s proof of The Checkered Flag: A Year of Auto Racing and a Lifetime of Regret by A. D. Shimbalanackash
- A first edition of I’m OK But Nothing Else is OK, signed by the author Druid Ham
- The banned book Organ Irritation for Dummies: A Guide to Internal Irritants for the Home and Office
- The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition) (various authors)
October 25, 2018
The ambulance burst out of the woods, Amir LeSuave steering with one hand, and with the other hand patting a copy of The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition) that sat on the passenger seat, buckled in by the cross strap for safety. On the cover, a young man wearing a “cyber” outfit (a pair of headphones worn so that the top piece covered his eyes) and a young woman wearing overalls and a straw hat were entwined together, but in such a way that any personal anatomy was covered by the block text of the book’s title.
“Sebastian!” shouted Amir into his citizen’s band radio. “Sebastian, are you still there? I was hoping to hear more about your ‘doors’! What are your doors wearing today, underneath the regulation scrubs that we all wear when we’re on duty?”
From the back of the ambulance came a tremulous moan. “I hope that’s a good moan back there, but if it’s a bad moan, hold on ’cause we’re almost there,” shouted Amir to his passenger in the back of the ambulance. Who’s back there, anyway?
- Willifred Amandatha Joxxon, first mayor of the moon
- Chuck “Slim” Horseface (Horse) Ropem, rodeo rider and calendar model
- Lady Jessicorn Elmbee, heiress to the 1000 Piece Puzzle fortune
- Some turkey with a broken arm that Amir found near one of those Lime scooters… not a literal turkey, but just some kid whose name he didn’t get ’cause he was moving too fast, but that’s, like, his thing
- Someone who looks just like another Amir LeSuave?!? What the…?!?
October 30, 2018
The back of the ambulance swayed back and forth as Amir deftly hugged the curves of the road, the tires of the ambulance humming with speed.
Inside, strapped to a pair of gurneys were two figures: The first was an elegant looking lady. The sort of lady who you’re pretty sure has slapped someone while holding a flute of champagne. As the heiress of the 1000 Piece Puzzle fortune, Lady Jessicorn Elmbee was a major figure in the town of St. Mountain Flats, but today she had an IV in her arm and was a common patient… or as common as you can get when you’re worth kajillions!
In the other gurney was some kid with a broken arm, who cares.
And between them… what’s this? That sneering lip? That pencil thin mustache? Those sensual follicles? How can this be? How can Amir be driving AND be catering to two patients in the back of the ambulance at the same time?
ANSWER: He can’t. This is Legerdymayne, Amir’s equally-handsome twin, and top notch EMT. With one gloved hand, he held a soothing cloth to the brow of the jigsaw heiress, prompting her moans of medical gratitude.
From the other gurney: “Am I ever going to be able to play the trombone again?” wheezed the kid with the broken arm.
“Only if you don’t speak again,” said Legerdymayne. “Now, Lady Jay… where were we?”
- “You were telling me about how, once I’m recovered, we should try making love on a completed puzzle that features an image of the two of us entwined in romance.”
- “You were telling me about the history of Kidney Eruptus and what my chances were for survival. It was fascinating!”
- “You were going to tell me your price… how much it would cost to drop this no-name kid off so I can put my feet up.”
- “You were going to tell me about your previous job as a bank robber, before you got into medicine.”
November 1, 2018
“You were telling me about how, once I’m recovered, we should try making love on a completed puzzle that features an image of the two of us entwined in romance,” said Lady Elmbee, her expensive eye-lashes waving like tropical fronds.
“That’s right,” said Legerdymayne. “Now I remember. That was a great suggestion of mine.”
“And I have some contacts who can make that custom puzzle happen,” purred Lady Elmbee.
“Are we almost to the hospital?” asked kid what’s-his-name, but the only answer he got was the sound of warm lips on warm lips. Whoah momma! Legerdymayne and Lady Elmbee were medically making out! The strongest medicine! And then Lady Elmbee’s kidney erupted.
In the operating room, machines were beeping. Some were booping and at least one went like this: Hsssh. Hsssh. Hssssh. Sounded like it was breathing. On the table, Barleywood Applesmith, Librarian to the Stars, lay with his chest open. Everything was where you’d expect it: lungs, heart, intestines, a four volume collection of love poems of the far eastern yak farm collectives (1943-44).
A nurse mopped the brow of Sebastian Moneymoney as he used little metal pokey bits to make Applesmith’s guts better. He turned to the nurse.
“So yeah, he was just about to tell me about The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition) when–”
KA-BAM! The door to the operating room was kicked open!
In the doorway was a woman in a fashionable long coat, a live fox patiently curled up on her head as a hat, as was the fashion. It’s Elizabeta Foxhington! The industrialist! If you can think of a factory, she owns one of those! What could she want?
- “Stop right there! I just bought this hospital and I’m SHUTTING IT DOWN!”
- “You’re all under citizen’s arrest! For ORGAN CRIMES!”
- “Finally, Moneymoney, I’ve found you. Give me all your lips, like you did in Mt. Monterrey!”
- “I’m paying for this man’s surgery and that means THIS MAN BELONGS TO ME!”
November 4, 2018
A factory that makes concrete ducks which are then painted and can decorate your garden. A factory that makes electronic key fobs that help you locate the nearest coffee bar (so long as they’re participating in a partnership program with the fob maker). A factory that renders angel feathers into capes that heal skin conditions. A factory that manufacturers industrial equipment used to grade ski runs, smoothing over mountainsides. A factory that manufactures novelty foam fingers that have sayings on them like “I LIKE TO VOTE” and “WE ARE AT A SPORTING EVENT” and “MY SPOUSE IS SEXY IN AN OBVIOUS MANNER THAT REQUIRES NO PUBLIC ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BUT HERE WE ARE”.
All of these and many more make up the industrial fount from which Elizabeta Foxhington’s fortune flowed. And today those fortunes were bent towards the fate of the hospital.
“Stop right there!” shouted Foxhington, interrupting Moneymoney’s surgery. “I just bought this hospital and I’m SHUTTING IT DOWN!”
Foxhington strode up to the operating table, shoving aside beeping monitors and booping woosh-things. She grabbed the anesthesia mask straight off the face of Applesmith, the patient on the operating table, the elastic snapping, and pressed the mask up against her own mouth.
“This gas is also mine!” she shouted, muffled by the gas mask. Sebastian Moneymoney gave a subtle shooing gesture to the nurses who had been helping his surgery and the collected their surgical tools, baggies full of pills and gas canisters and hustled out of the operating chamber. Then, Moneymoney slowly turned to Foxhington, matching gazes with both Foxhington and the tame fox on her head in turn.
“Foxhington,” Moneymoney said. “I’ve got but one thing to say to you.”
- “You’re supposed to be under quarantine… for Money-opathic Vulpinitis!”
- “How did you get out all that rope I left you tied up with, ya saucy filly?”
- “You’ve got a lot of nerve showing up here since you built a shark-rendering factory where my medical alma mater used to be!”
- “You need to make like a cactus… and get pricked!” [Flirt]
November 7, 2018
“How did you get out all that rope I left you tied up with, ya saucy filly?” Moneymoney responded.
“BREACH OF CONTRACT!” barked the fox resting on top of Foxhington’s head.
“This is my lawyer,” Foxhington explained. “When I hired you for, and I quote, a bespoke BDSM experience for beginners, the experience was contractually promised to be safe, sane and consensual. And yet. I was left alone, tied up, and surrounded by open cans of tuna… a smell that I am not fond of.”
“I”m no lawyer,” said Moneymoney, leaning on the surgical table. “I’m a doctor. So I may not have a legal defense that’s worth a damn. But I left you tied up and smelling of fish because… you built a shark-rendering factory where my medical alma mater used to be! It was an act of BDSM-assisted work-for-hire REVENGE!”
“HOUSE AND HOME!” barked the fox. “SALT THE LAND!”
“You thought THAT was bad?” said Foxhington. “That was NOTHING. You humiliated me. I had to call my 18 assistants using voice-activated dialing to come untie me. And then fire all 18 of them. I told them they were on a coffee run in my private jet and had my private jet drop them off in Peru. And then I had the pilot blow up the plane and walk back. I think he’s in southern Mexico. Should be home in a few months. What was I talking about?”
“REVENGE!” barked the fox lawyer. “WE ARE THE LAW’S BITING JAWS!”
“Hold on for just one second,” said Moneymoney and he wheeled the body of Applesmith out of the operating room. He then moved an oxygen pump array over, blocking the door to the operating theater. “There. That should hold her for a while.”
- Meanwhile, in INFECTIOUS DISEASES
- Meanwhile, in the SHARK-RENDERING FACTORY
- Meanwhile, in the AMBULANCE BAY
- Meanwhile, in a LAW SCHOOL FOR ANIMALS
November 13, 2018
Meanwhile, in the Herther-Furrington Academy of Animal Law:
At the front of an enormous classroom, a glasses-wearing ferret barks and gestures at a blackboard that has nothing written on it. It has been scored deeply with claw marks. Had we noses sensitive enough, perhaps we could “read” it, but we do not. This world is closed to us.
In the chairs set on risers, several zoos worth of studious creatures listen attentively. They are the future of animal law. Look at ’em. Little fuzzy wuzzies. Legally speaking.
Okay, I think we’re done here!
November 15, 2018
Meanwhile, in the Ambulance Bay:
Legerdymayne pushed a stretcher through the hospital’s sliding doors, his face a rictus of fear! This can’t be happening, he thought! Not to a patient of his! Not when he was so close to passing off Lady Jessicorn Elmbee to someone else and making her health their responsibility instead of his!
“Hey!” Legerdymayne shouted. “Someone get over here! We’ve got a patient with Kidney Eruptus… and it’s gone off! I heard the pop! It was super gross!”
From the back of an ambulance, a tremulous voice called out: “Can someone help me? My arm really hurts!”
“Not now!” snapped Amir, examining the back tire of the ambulance. He had heard a cracking sound as he squealed into the ambulance bay and while his brother got their patient the attention she needed, he was making sure his chariot was in tip-top shape. Middling shape just wasn’t going to cut the mustard.
Underneath the rear tire was what appeared to be a miniature blackboard with deep scratches in its chalky surface. But that didn’t explain the coppery smell. Oh no. Oh, this is terrible.
Amir spotted a furry pile underneath the ambulance. A ferret-shaped pile. And a pair of glasses. Those could have damaged the tires!
“Get your hands off of MY ambulance!” commanded a mysterious voice, but the mystery didn’t last for long because it’s the voice of Elizabeta Foxhington! Amir whipped around to see who it was and then he too saw it was Elizabeta Foxhington!
“You…” he said, low and serious.
Drama! Excitement! … Time for some ads!
- Try new Boo Glue! The only glue for ghosts!
- There’s got to be a better way! My cat is depressed!
- Has a swimming suit ever happened to you?
- SKIP. Thank goodness we DVRed LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL
November 19, 2018
Has this ever happened to you?
[A cat lies on its back in a dandelion-dappled glade, just staring. Staring up at the sky. Camera pans over to a frantic cat owner, his arms full of books by Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger, and others.]
“My cat! She’s read too much philosophy! Now she’s depressed! What can I do?”
[Inside a lab, a woman wearing a lab coat pours blue liquid into a graduated cylinder.].
Narrator: “It’s more common than you think! But science has the cure. Buy your cat SomNoTerxAltium! Its patented formula gets guaranteed results.”
[A cat, now strapped into a roller coaster, having the time of its life.]
SomNoTerxAltium: Doesn’t Your Cat Deserve It?
PREVIOUSLY ON LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL
An ambulance squeals to a halt and Legerdymayne wheels a patient into the hospital. A ferret marks a term paper with a passing grade, then turns to see a giant ambulance tire approaching. Moneymoney trails his fingertips through his chest hair while a nurse pats his brow with a cloth. Lady Foxhington kicks open the doors to the operating room: “I just bought this hospital and I’m SHUTTING IT DOWN!”
AND NOW… LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL… CONTINUES
- Wasn’t there a subplot about the Y2K bug?
- Wasn’t the hospital under new ownership?
- Why haven’t more doctors been replaced with robots?
- Doesn’t this hospital have broom closets where people should be ‘getting busy’ as a break from their high-stress positions?
- Exploded kidneys… are they contagious?
- Meanwhile, at the pheromone factory upwind from the hospital…
November 27, 2018
On the 8th floor of Lunar Desire Hospital, in a candlelit office space behind locked doors, among walls lined with books, sat a heavy presence. Broad shoulders and a wide jaw. A dark complexion in a dim room. Fingers type away in front of a green glowing computer screen that illuminates a name plate. The title: HOSPITAL CHIEF The name:
- Bantam Percival, three time surgery champion (Pittsburgh)
- Latecock Mueller, accountant and master of the occult
- Mayberry Lulululu, MBA in hospital administration, owns 18 copies of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA on DVD
- Keith Jospital, former computer hacker, has 3 kidneys
December 3, 2018
“Spirits of the Earth! Spirits of the Air! Hear me now! It is I, LATECOCK MUELLER, master of the arcane arts, diviner of truths, and BANE of the Y2K Bug that– despite all rumors– yet roams this land. I have sworn an oath, which burns in my very bug-hating soul, that I will guard this hospital AND THIS REALM from that dreaded Y2K Bug!”
On the computer screen, a display name “SPIRITS OF THE EARTH/AIR” indicated a “read receipt” that the message had been delivered via instant message. Then some ellipses appeared to indicate that SPIRITS OF THE EARTH/AIR were typing a response. Then the ellipses vanished, but there was no message. Then… THEY CAME BACK! Three little dots, promising so much. Then they were gone agai–NO WAIT! On the screen, these words from the spirit world appeared:
- “Latecock: Beware! The Pineapple King!”
- “oh hey this is my sisters account who are you lol”
- “The rabbit… has applied… to college. Over.”
- “WHAZAAAAAP! We know how to defeat the Y2K bug… and it’s gonna be hot!”
December 6, 2018
On the screen, these words from the spirit world appeared: “Latecock! Beware! The Pineapple King!”
What… about… him… ? typed Latecock.
“Are we supposed to figure out everything?” responded the spirits. “C’mon. Really.”
December 9, 2018
UP NEXT on LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL:
- Elizabeta Foxhington and her fox lawyer are in the ambulance bay… what can speedy driver Amir LeSuave do to save the hospital from being shut down? Is there ANYTHING he can do?
- Lady Jessica’s kidney exploded! Can Legerdymayne get her to Sebastian Moneymoney for surgery in time? Especially with his SECRET HISTORY with Moneymoney?
- Somewhere, in North Dakota, the deposed Pineapple King has a plan. And it involves COMPUTERS.
- The spirits have communicated their prophecy to Latecock Mueller, Hospital Chief. Can he interpret their message in time to SAVE THE HOSPITAL?
- Not enough subplots. Something new… SOMETHING NEW!
December 14, 2018
Latecock Mueller ran his fingers down the length of the tiny sharp beard that stuck out from his chin like directional indicator on a defibrillator.
“The spirits have spoken,” he said to himself. “This hospital is in danger. But… how? WHERE?”
He stood up and left the candle-lit lair that was his office, striding down the hallway to a door marked EMPLOYEES ONLY. In he strode to another dim room, this one illuminated with security monitors marking every corner of the hospital with their impassive gaze.
“By the Roaming Eyeballs of Karakh Thur, what is this?” exclaimed Latecock Mueller.
On the monitor in front of him, a woman with an angry fox on her head was approaching his ace hospital driver, gesturing angrily. Mueller pushed a small joystick upward to zoom in to see what was on the paper that the woman was brandishing at Amir LeSuave. Was that… could it be? A bill of sale? This was serious. This was going to require serious arcane assistance.
As fast as he could, Mueller trotted down the administrative hospital hallway and entered a room marked with a sign reading TAX RECORDS. Inside was the greatest collection of mystical medical artifacts the world has known. From among the collection, girding his loins to go down the ambulance bay, Mueller choice the perfect tool for the challenge of a madwoman and her fox, as the spirits warned him about. What did he select?
- The Crown of Lower Atlantis
- The Spectacles of 18 Cows in One
- “Misery’s Donut”
- The Ultimate Clip of Assistance
December 21, 2018
“JUDGES COWER AT THE SOUND OF MY PADDED FEET ON THE APPROACH! THEIR DREAMS FLEE! THEIR GAVELS WILT!” yowled the fox atop Elizabeta Foxhington’s head.
Elizabeta waved a bundle of legal documents at Amir LeSuave in the emergency garage bay.
“Your keys, sir!” she barked and her fox lawyer barked, supportively. “You’ll see here that I have purchased the hospital entirely. There’s not an inch of it that does not belong to me. And that includes your ambulance and all it contains. Hand me those ambulance keys.”
Amir brushed his hands through his long, luscious locks and arched a skeptical & sexy eyebrow– a sex-tical eyebrow– and said “Well… not everything in that ambulance is yours. Just give me a minute and I’ll get my stuff out of it. Then it’s all yours.”
“YOU TOUCH ANYTHING IN THAT AMBULANCE AND YOU WILL BE INTERRED IN A TOMB CRAFTED FROM BRICKS FORMED FROM LEGAL DOCUMENTS, EVERY ONE OF THEM DAMNING YOU TO ETERNAL DEBT!” yowled the lawyer fox.
“I just need to grab my book,” said Amir.
December 26, 2018
- Amir grabs his book (which we know about) and we find out why he has it
- Mueller arrives with “Misery’s Donut” and we get to see that thing in action
- CUT TO: Cameron Smirk, deposed pineapple king, and find out why he needs the book
- CUT TO: The lair of the Y2K Bug… oh yeah, baby, it’s real and it wants REVENGE
December 31, 2018
LOST TIME INCIDENT SPECIAL: TAKE SOME CHILD TO WORK DAY (feat. LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL)
(today’s script provided by Jeffty, a kid who was found unattended outside the Safeway off Tennyson Ave.)
AMIR: Once? There was a monkey? And it eated a banana and then it had to poo and it pooed a BANANA!
A FOX on ELIZABETA’s Head: FOX! FOX fox fox fox fox fox FOX!
ELIZABETA: Where’s my mom? How long do I have to stay
LOST TIME INCIDENT SPECIAL: INTERVIEW with the DIRECTOR
Interviewer: So. Where do you get your ideas?
Michael: Basically I try to think of the stupidest thing I can think of. Something I’d be embarrassed to write down. Then I do it anyway.
January 8, 2019
LUNAR DESIRE HOSPITAL’S PATIENT HALL of FAME
1. Gert the Shadow – Got a disease that made light slide right off of her. Some say she may still be in the hospital somewhere. Somewhere dark.
2. Pukin’ Elmer – He was 6 feet tall when his guts rebelled and only 4′ 8″ when he left the hospital. But he could keep down his soup and that’s a success in our books.
3. Patient Eleventeen – Never did find out their name. But they made out with, like, EVERY doctor. Even Dr. Greenmolar.
4. Mardock, Shatterer of Realms – Nice guy.
5. Mr. Curmuck – A ventriloquist dummy. No, not “termites”. Bronchitis. Did you know some of those dummies have working lungs? Ick.
Amir reached into the ambulance as if to grab his book, The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition). But when safely behind the ambulance door, out of sight of Elizabeta Foxhington and her unhinged attorney, he slipped the ambulance radio’s mic out of its holster and thumbed it on.
As quietly as he could, he whispered, “Anyone in Lunar Desire got their ears on?” (This was trucker slang for “Is anybody hearing me?” Despite not being a trucker himself, Amir had once gone to Trucker’s Camp as a kid in the 80s and had learned CB lingo, as well as how to build a model of a semi trailer out of popsicle sticks and how to pee in a soda bottle one-handed. “We got a situation in the ambulance bay and I could use some extra boots for a butt kickin’ contest, kinda impromptu.”
“10-4, good buddy,” responded a familiar voice. And suddenly, the ambulance bay was suffused with the rich smell of … chocolate?
“Misery’s Donut” and its master, the mystical Latecock Mueller appeared suddenly, Mueller astride the top of the ambulance, his head almost to the bay’s roof, glaring down, down into the dark beady eyes of the fox lawyer, a baleful glare promising retribution for messing with his staff.
“I SMELL MAGIC!” barked the fox. “OBJECTION! I OBJECT TO THIS PASTRY STINK!”
- “Objection… cocoa-ruled!” roars Mueller.
- “Do I care what you think about occult artifacts? I donut,” said Mueller.
- “I own this smell,” said Foxhington, nonsensically, before starting to weep.
- I could go for a donut, actually.
January 26, 2019
There’s a wing of Lunar Desire Hospital that doesn’t appear on any blueprints. It’s been hidden, with only a few key employees ever made aware of its existence at any time. To get there, you have to walk through the ICU, unplug a beeping machine that has a sign on it reading NEVER UNPLUG THIS THING OMG, shove it aside, and crawl on all fours for roughly 100 meters down a twisting, LED-lit passageway.
But once you emerge at the other end, it just looks like more hospital. White walls. Tile floors. Track lighting. Hospital beds. This wing of the hospital was closed off for a reason.
- This was the Pineapple Ward, where those suffering from Pineapple Madness were quarantined in one of Lunar Desire Hospital’s darkest chapters.
- This was the hospital’s IT wing, where scrubbed and masked IT experts successfully created a vaccine against the Y2K bug… and birthed a monster.
- This was the Romance Unit. They say that late at night, you can still hear the calls of TRUE LOVE coming through the forbidden walls.
- This was the hospital’s aquarium. Had to shut it down. Too many sharks. Even the presence of a shark-rendering plant in town couldn’t rein in the population.
- This was the cafe. It only served decaf.
February 3, 2019
Somewhere in the former IT wing: The sound of typing. A smell, as of tinned pineapple that’s gone off… metal and sugar and rot. A mugginess to the air. Probably because the air is off.
Again: This whole IT wing was closed down some time ago. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up. It’s closed.
Atop the highest mountain of North Dakota, Cameron Smirk– deposed Pineapple King of North Dakota, placed a phone call. The call bounced off of satellites and came down to the pocket of Barleywood Applesmith, librarian to the stars, who was in the recovery ward at Lunar Desire Hospital. He had been admitted because of itchy internal organs– but that was all a ruse!
In fact, Barleywood had tracked one of the few remaining copies of The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition) to this very city… the city that was host to Lunar Desire Hospital! Unfortunately, the doctors and nurses of Lunar Desire Hospital are ruthlessly efficient when it comes to itchy organs, and so Barleywood’s organs had been thoroughly scratched and he answered his cell phone from inside an oxygen tent.
“This is Applesmith.”
“Barleywood!” barked Cameron. “Tell me you’ve got my book!”
“Just about, sir. I just… my organs are resting right now. But the book has to be close.”
“From the mountain top I’m sitting on, I just watched an entire caravan of refrigerated semi trucks leave the house I used to live in, now home to the illegitimate Pineapp— Pin– Oh, I can’t even SAY it! That rotten skunk Jason Rustwhite! I’m betting he’s up to something and the only chance we have of heading him off is for you to find that book!”
Cameron Smirk sadly caressed a golden crown in his lap, adorned with a bejeweled pineapple. A crown he was, at present, forbidden to wear.
“I’ll get that book for you, sir,” assured Barleywood. “In fact, I was just about to–”
- Bribe a nurse to disguise him as a jello-filled snack cart and wheel him about the hospital
- Disguise himself as a defibrillator kit and search the hospital for the book
- Hotwire the fire alarm so it can be triggered remotely and then, disguised as a fire, trigger the alarm when needed
- Visit the hospital’s library and see if the book is just… sitting on a shelf there. Wouldn’t that be nice?
February 16, 2019
“I was just about to hotwire the fire alarm so it can be triggered remotely. And have a disguise in mind. You don’t need all the details,” said Barleywood. “Don’t worry, sir. I’ll soon have the book in hand.”
Meanwhile, in the ambulance bay… Latecock Mueller, master of the occult, walked up to Amir LeSuave and held out his hand. “Mr. LeSuave, if you’ll be so kind as to hand me that copy of The Illustrated All-Organic Sexual Positions Farm Almanac for the 2000s and Beyond (Y2K Edition), I would be most appreciative.”
Behind LeSuave, Elizabeta Foxhington and her lawyer stood, frozen in time and limned with a nimbus of chocolate-scented power. The magical crown known as Misery’s Donut rested astride Mueller’s brow, and only a tiny fraction of its power was required to keep Foxhington and her fox ally sidelined. Mueller glanced over at the pair.
“They’ll never realize how close they came to ushering in disaster. The sort of disaster this hospital hasn’t faced since… 1999,” said Mueller.
Amir handed over his book. On its cover, a poorly-rendered CGI knight was driving a lance into the heart of a dragon-like Y2K monster with one hand and romantically caressing a different knight with their other hand. The three figures formed a strange monster-fighting threeway. (The monster’s eyes seemed to hold both pain and arousal, a rare accomplishment with 3D animation of the era.)
“What do you need the book for?” asked Amir.
“You’ll see soon enough,” said Mueller. “Mr. Barleywood… you may enter. Misery’s Donut sensed you coming. This book… needs its champion.”
“Champion?” said Barleywood, stepping out of the deep shadows of the ambulance bay. “I’m not sure I know what you mean. I was just hired to–”
And from somewhere in the distance, a howling din erupted, like a hurricane of angry lions scrapping with a 56K modem.
“Oh no,” said Barleywood. “I thought… it was just a legend!” Mueller shook his head sadly. “We thought sealing it off would be enough. We were wrong.”
In the long-abandoned IT wing of Lunar Desire Hospital, a door that hadn’t been unlocked in years creaked open and Sebastian Moneymoney slide past it. Peering into the gloom, Moneymoney smoothed his unruly chest hair in preparation.
Without warning, a clawed foot fell upon the tile in front of him, followed by an enormous creature of legend… a creature that combined the mass of a dinosaur, the technological power of heaps of RAM, and a lovely pineapple scent. It turned its translucent blue iMac-and-chicken head towards Moneymoney and ROARED.
Moneymoney looked back over his shoulder. Would back-up arrive in time? He certainly hoped so. But there was no danger he wouldn’t face to keep this creature from threatening his patients. Time to put those years of study to work, he thought with a smirk.
“All right, monster,” purred Moneymoney. “Why don’t you come on over here and give me a Y2Kiss?”
- Credits Roll ™ –> To be continued… ?
- A cliffhanger!
- Hey, what happened to “be disguised as a fire?”