Zack: The sharp smile fades as you club the man in the face with your truncheon. This time it hits hard enough to do some damage and blood pours down his face. There is a terrible sound of ripping cloth and a shredding flesh and the man standing before you becomes a blood-sheathed bipedal serpent-man. You realize it is the creature you saw swimming in the swamp. The children nearby scream, including Joe. Cecil backs away. Chang is running as fast as he can to catch the car that brought you here. Regina and Wanda are drawing weapons (nunchacku and sai respectively) and Sharon Derriere is reaching into her purse.
Steve: "We had a snake man at the circus. His name was Glenn. He was addicted to naked lady pictures." I whack him again with the truncheon.
Zack: He grabs your arm and twists it aside, forcing you to drop the truncheon. Then he casts a spell that causes great agony to flare in your arm as it begins to shrivel.
Steve: "Nooooo! The secret source of my strength! My muscles!"
Zack: Wanda and Regina both attack him with their ninja weapons, but they are completely unskilled and their blows bounce harmlessly from his scaled hide.
Steve: I'll head butt him.
Zack: You bloody his snout. He grabs your other arm and it begins to shrivel as well. The pain is almost too much to endure. Just as you think you are about to pass out, Sharon steps forward and shoots the snake man straight in the face with all four barrels of a pepperbox gun. It screeches and reels backwards clutching its face. It kicks at the ground in its obvious death throes.
Steve: "Great shot, sex woman. You saved my arms' lives."
Zack: "No time to celebrate," says Cecil. "They're onto us!" You look where he is pointing and you see Caleb and the house staff, along with a contingent of sharecroppers, approaching with guns and other weapons.
Steve: We will run away now.
Zack: The only place to run is the swamp.
Steve: Then we will run into the swamp.
Zack: You splash and slosh through the disgusting swamp. Eventually you find yourself in a strange clearing surrounded by trees with a large stone altar. There is a terrible vibe in this place.
Steve: Like a Best Buy?
Zack: Worse. Like a JC Penny's.
Steve: Is there any escape route out of here?
Zack: Unfortunately, the cultists are closing in all around you. Some are the plantation's sharecroppers, others are filthy swamp dwellers, black and white, wild-eyed and wielding various weapons. You back up until you are standing against the giant altar. "I have hated every minute of knowing you," says Cecil.
Steve: "This is very cruel last words."
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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.