Monday, November 15, 2004

Chapter 8 Rumble in the Jungle part 1

Word Count: 1237
Total: 14,576
10,414 words behind schedule.
Ok, I'm WAY behind now, but I haven't given up yet. I have next week off from work, so there is still hope.

As he sat on the floor, slumped up against the wall, riddled with guilt, a curious thought occurred to Skip. He realized that it had been a long time since he had last eaten anything. Hunger came at last to the forefront of his thought, and he felt very weak. He heard the sound of rain, and then soft organ music. He was very dizzy, and confused, and nauseous.

The weight of the world came crashing down on his shoulders, and he slipped into a dream world. The organ music continued, and the mellow sound of Jim Morison started singing "Riders on the Storm."

Skip found himself on a beach. The sun was sinking into the ocean to create a sky full of blood colored ominous clouds. The clouds formed into a great ring, out of which four figures emerged. They rode upon large Harley Davidson motorcycles, and long flowing capes rustled behind them. The riders landed on the beach, and Skip recognized them. They were the four women he had seen behind the counter at Apocalypse Inc.

The menacing quartet of doom approached Skip with startling speed. They blazed past him leaving a trail of fire on the sand behind them. The force of their passing knocked Skip over to land flat on his back. The flames singed the hair on his arms before he could get back to his feet and jump away.

Skip watched them roar off into the distance, and then turned around to look at the gaping hole in the sky from whence they came. The hole looked like a black flaming pit in the sky, and out of it came a horde of ghastly ghouls. Horned demons, walking skeletons, and masses of other creatures from the pits of hell poured out of the gate.

Skip tried to run, but his feet would not move. He only walked along as if each foot was dragging a heavy weight. He could not get out of the path of the unholy hordes. They swelled up around him like a tide of evil, and soon he was surrounded. He was knocked over again, and the crowd began to trample him. With his face being pounded into the sand, everything went dark.

The nightmare passed, and Skip opened his eyes. He was lying on his back looking up through the trees at a clear blue sky. He sat up to find that he was in a primitive village. Imp was sitting on a log nearby whittling a stick with his claw.

"Where am I? What happened?" Skip moaned.

"You are relaxing in the beautiful camp of the illustrious Chief Whatamuka, ruler of the glorious Whodamuka tribe." Imp said with mock reverence.

"Whoda what?" Skip was still disoriented.

"WHATamuka!" Imp yelled. "He's the chief, get his name right or he might shrink your head."

"Chief?" Skip asked. "Are we on a reservation or something?"

"No Skip, these are more like Amazon jungle natives, rather than American natives." Imp said.

"But we're not in the Amazon, we're in America." Skip said.

"Correction Skip, we WERE in America. The whole world is ending Skip, not just America. So I figured we might as well get out and see what's happening around the world, before it's gone." Imp said.

"What are we doing here?" Skip asked.

"Well, you looked kind of sick, so I figured you needed a doctor. So I brought you here to see the finest witch doctor the Whodamuka tribe has to offer." Imp said. "It's a good thing there wasn't much wrong with you, or they probably would have bled you to death."

One of the natives saw that Skip was awake, and walked over to them. The native said something in a language Skip didn't understand. Imp replied in the same language. The native looked at Skip, and then walked away.

"What was that about?" Skip asked.

"He was asking if you were ready." Imp answered.

"Ready for what?" Skip asked.

"Well, they don't really like outsiders too much here, and they wouldn't heal you unless I promised to have you fight one of their warriors." Imp said.

"What? Why would they want me to do that?" Skip said.

"For entertainment." Imp said. "What do you expect, they don't get cable out here."

"Well, when is the fight?" Skip asked.

"I would guess about 30 minutes from now. That native just went to gather the rest of the tribe." Imp replied.

"30 Minutes!" Skip shouted. "I just woke up! Now I have to fight?"

"You'll be fine Skip. I've used my divine powers to give you the rough equivalent of 30 years of martial arts experience. You'll wipe the grassy field with this guy." Imp sounded confident.

Skip stood up and found that he had a surprising amount of energy. He felt limber despite the fact he had been laying on the ground for who knows how long.

"I've never been in a fight before." He said to Imp, who was still whittling.

"There's a first time for everything." Imp replied.

For the next several minutes Skip paced back and forth, jumping up and down, and doing stretches like a boxer doing a warm up. Soon the native returned and said something to Imp.

"Time to go." Imp said to Skip.

"This is odd, but I actually feel like I'm ready for a fight." Skip said, and then followed Imp and the native on a path through the camp.

The native led them to a large circular pit in the middle of the camp. The pit was about 3 feet deep, with a dry dirt floor. The native looked at Skip and pointed to the pit. Skip understood, and hopped down. A crowd had gathered around. It looked like the whole tribe had come out for the event.

A moment later the crowd parted to allow the entrance of a native with an extravagant headdress, and a flamboyant outfit made of feathers. Skip assumed he was the infamous Chief Whatamuka. He said a few words to the crowd and they responded with cheers. He said a few more words, and then stepped aside. From behind the Chief came a large man wearing a primitive suit of armor.

He was roughly 6 feet tall, with broad shoulders, and the crowd cheered at his approach. His armor consisted of shoulder pads made from alligator skulls, and a breastplate made from a thick piece of leather. He carried a large staff with a shrunken head on the end.

The big man jumped down into the pit, and threw his hands up in the air to solicit another round of cheers from the crowd. A young boy climbed down into the pit to bring Skip a staff of his own, although his had no ornamental head on the end. The boy climbed back out of the pit, and the chief said a few more words.

"He just said 'let the fight begin', so you might want to get ready." Imp yelled to Skip.

Skip was ready. He didn't understand why, but he was ready. He stood there with the staff in his hands, looking at the brute across from him. Skip had never kicked anyone's ass before, but this fool seemed like a good person to start with. A fury began to stir inside of Skip, the likes of which he had never experienced, and he reveled in it.

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