Zack: "Please, allow me do the talking with my brother," says Albert.
Steve: "For now this is acceptable." I begin cracking my knuckles loudly and constantly, flexing my hands and squeezing a them.
Zack: You are greeted first by the household staff, an elderly black woman, elderly black man and a beautiful young black woman. Then you are greeted by Caleb himself, an unkempt southern gentleman in a fraying suit. "Brother," he says. "You surprise me with your arrival. And I see you've brought friends."
Steve: I scowl furiously.
Zack: "Brother," says Albert. "Young Joe here says his sister was taken, snatched from her home. Do you know anything of this?"
Steve: "We know you did this!" I shake my fist at him. "You are up to evil. Admit it."
Zack: "Well I do get up to a bit more drinking than is Christian, I confess," says Caleb.
Steve: I roar and attack him.
Zack: Before you can, Joe takes hold of your hand and pulls at it. "The croppers live over there, Mister Karnov. Maybe they know something."
Steve: Alright, I get it. I'll go with Joe to talk to the sharecroppers.
Zack: They are a miserable lot. The fields are suffering and the small collection of tin-roofed shacks is inhabited by skinny kids and skinnier dogs. An older man with a strange hat and a strange air about him greets you. Joe seems afraid of the man, holding close to you.
Steve: "Who are you to stand before me so arrogant?"
Zack: "I'm the man of snakes," he says and his voice is disconcerting. "Do you like snakes?"
Steve: "I never really considered the question. In a general sense I suppose I do, but I do not like any particular snake. In fact, there is a certain snake I am suspicious of. It can hide inside a man and make him do things."
Zack: He laughs. "I think you're confused. Maybe a snake come to you, help you out when you need it. Bite the right person at the right time."
Steve: "Your evil snake worshipping ways must stop," I say, pumping up my arms to show him the danger he is in. "These pythons break heads. Now where is Joe's sister?"
Zack: The crazy-eyed old man looks at Joe. "Little friend, your sister is safe. But your friend, he needs to trust that beautiful snake. That snake is great. Do you trust the snake?" Joe seems terrified of the man.
Steve: Alright, I am going to punch this snaky terror right in his brisket.
Zack: You slam a meaty fist into his guts and find your knuckles colliding with what feels like a leathery jacket worn beneath his shirt. He hardly seems moved by your blow and he smiles, revealing long fangs. "You better trust that snake."
Steve: "You are gross and weird!" I bellow and draw my truncheon.
Zack: You sure about that?
Steve: "Prepare to die!" I swing it at his head.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.