Monday, July 3, 2017


It Began With the Rhinos

Professor Zodiac didn't mean to reanimate the entire zoo cemetery. He merely needed a couple of dead rhinoceri.

The reanimation, fueled with the pulp of countless PETA tracts, went off without a hitch. At least until the elephants. They broke through the soil, spraying dirt clods everywhere, and posing against the sky.

"Did I order elephants?" The raised eyebrow. Chunk shook his head vehemently and hung his head. He had always loved circus elephants.

"No, Master."

But then the tapir, the jaguarundi, the koala and the meerkat, the gazelle and even the stately giraffe, broke free of the ground and began staggering about, milky-eyed and trembling. Professor Zodiac launched all of them, the hippopotamus, the red panda, the giant tortoise, and even the penguins against the Witch's stronghold.

The liches turned out to have capabilities that they could only have dreamed of in their former lives, if they could have dreamed of additional abilities. The hippos could tunnel through wet earth. Pocket gophers could teleport, although only into and out of pockets. The penguins could fly. They were like giant flying fish, whizzing over the walls of the Witch's castle, crashing through windows, or bouncing off embrasures when they tried to go through arrow slits. Soon, the professor was inside. He confronted the Witch in her audience chamber.

"I want what's rightfully mine," he said. "I need the potions from my laboratory."

"You mean MY laboratory," she snapped. "It was only your laboratory until I caught you performing late-night experiments with that leggy intern from the University. I have moved the facility to an isolated tower in the Arctic Ocean. The tower is too smooth and too tall for climbing, and is surrounded by hundreds of miles of sea ice. You will never get in. I'll be wearing the laboratory smock in the family from now on."

"But I have to finish her transformation," he protested. "Now she is neither fish nor fowl, when she could be both." The Witch snorted. "Should've thought of that while her pants were still on."


Eventually, the professor's army returned to the graveyard and he departed. Afterwards, he pulled his assistant aside.


"Yes, Master?"

"This is not the end."

"No, Master."

He leaned down to whisper in the hunchback's ear. "We can do this. I have a foolproof plan. But we'll need more penguins."

Publ. Daily Cabal, 2007

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