By Dan Cheek
11 January 2007
© Dan Cheek 2007
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Bob said as he sat watching television, along with the other Sock Puppets and Sam, the guy they had taken up living with some time ago. “Why are there so many damn reality shows on TV?”
Sam, who was sitting next to Bob on the couch, offered the explanation, “Well, probably because all of the TV writers are on strike. They want new contracts and until they get them, no new TV shows.”
Doctor Sanity, the mad scientist of the Sock Puppets, exploded with anger. “Bullshit,” he exclaimed, “They want more money and they are holding my television hostage until they get it?! This is an act of war! Why hasn’t the President killed all of these terrorists outright?!?”
Sam just sat there, shaking his head. Trying to reason with Doctor Sanity, especially when he was angry, was like trying to convince a Speak and Spell that it just spelled something wrong. It just wouldn’t work. “I don’t know, Doc,” Sam said at last, “Maybe he’s rooting for them or something. Who knows.”
“I kind of like all of these reality shows,” Lost Cause, the manic depressed Sock Puppet offered, “Dancing with the Stars is thrilling, if you ask me.”
“Well,” Doctor Sanity huffed, “I don’t recall anyone asking your brain-dead, chemically abused opinion. My sitcoms and crime dramas are floating in limbo because a bunch of whiney little idiots are greedily demanding more money! WHERE’S MY DEATH CANNON!?!?”
“No death cannons,” Sam interjected quickly. “Did it ever occur to you that maybe the writers actually have a valid point, and deserve to be paid more for their work. Maybe they deserve to be paid better. I kind of think the writers are doing the right thing, standing up to the studios.”
“All I want to know is, who do I have to kill to get new episodes of my shows back on the air,” Doctor Sanity asked in a voice crazy enough to make you certain that he was serious.
Goblin, the most violent and animalistic of all the Sock Puppets, sat there on the couch, making occasional grunting sounds. A fanatic television addict, he didn’t appear to give an ounce of care to the conversation. There were amusing little images flashing in front of him and that’s all that he cared about.
And then the lights and all of the electrical power went out.
“The Apocalypse is upon us,” Lost Cause screamed in a panicked voice. The entire house was pitch black, with none of the Puppets or Sam being able to see anyone else. It didn’t take long for very bad things to begin to happen.
“Alright,” Sam said calmly, “Everyone stay calm. I’m sure the power will be back on in a minute or two. Is everyone calm,” he asked, hopingly.
Goblin let out an unholy roar the shook the windows in the house. With a thud, he could be heard jumping off the couch. The sound of splintering wood, breaking glass, and large, heavy things being tossed around filled the house as he rampaged.
“I think Goblin is a bit upset about the television going dark,” Sam said, stating the obvious. “This will probably end horribly, I’m guessing.”
“How fucking hard is it to keep electrical power flowing to a house,” Doctor Sanity exploded. “Humans can, supposedly, land a man on the moon and clone animals but keeping the lights turned on to a friggin’ house is too much for them? I’m going to kill something.”
“Sit down, Doctor,” Sam ordered sternly. “Goblin, goddamn you, calm down and get back on the couch.”
A blood curdling, ear ringing roar was Goblin’s response. Clearly, he was in no mood to listed to reason. Or anything else, for that matter.
“Sam,” Lost Cause asked in a worried voice, “Do you think the Writers’ Guild did this to us?”
“No, LC,” Sam answered in a soothing voice, “I really don’t think so.”
“Oh, what the fuck do you know, meat sack,” Doctor Sanity blurted out, “If those terrorists have the power to hold our television programming hostage, do you really think they can’t do something as simple as knock our power out. Fortunately, my Death Cannon is powered by nuclear power. And sheep blood.”
“Shut up, Doc,” Bob interjected. “We need some lights. Where are the flashlights?”
“I think there’s one in the kitchen, somewhere,” Sam answered. “The trick will be finding it in the dark. And not getting mauled or eaten by Goblin in the process.”
Without warning, Goblin, who had been heard in another room breaking things, came screaming past the couch. Before any of the Puppets or Sam could say or do anything in response, Goblin had plowed straight through the front door. And just like that, he was gone.
For several seconds, there was complete silence. Then, finally, Sam spoke up. “Please, please, please tell me Goblin did not just bust through the door and is now outside. With people.”
“I could tell you that,” Bob said, “But it won’t do much for the fact that Goblin really is outside. He’s gone rouge.”
“Maybe he’s just out in the front yard,” Lost Cause offered. That hope was dashed when, through the hole in the front door, a high pitched man scream could be heard from coming from down the street.
“FUCK,” Sam screamed. “We have to go get him. There’s no telling what Goblin will do out there. Fuck. He’ll probably eat half the town. I hate my life.”
“Doc,” Bob said, “Do you have anything in your lab that can help us catch Goblin?”
“I have some napalm rat traps, a rail gun, some highly nasty German porn, and an Easy Bake Oven that I modified and re-programmed to kill Paris Hilton. But, no, nothing that can catch, or even slow down, Goblin. I don’t think such a weapon exists,” he answered.
“Fuck,” Sam said again, “We’re going to have to go get him. Weapons or no weapons. We just can’t let him run around out there. C’mon.”
Sam stood up and made his way over to the ruined front door. Bob, Lost Cause, and Doctor Sanity stood at his feet. Sam took a long, deep breath and then slowly let it out. “Are you guys ready to go after the most perfect killing machine on Earth,” he asked to all of them.
“Are we really going outside,” Lost Cause asked nervously, “We’re going to go out into the town?”
“I don’t think Sam has a choice,” Bob answered.
Sam let out another long sigh. “I don’t stand a chance at catching Goblin on my own. If he’s going to be brought back to the house, I need your help. All of you. And, no, I’m not thrilled about it. Not even a little bit.”
Sam opened what was left of the front door and he and the three Puppets made their way outside. The entire street was blacked out. No lights were on anywhere, with candles and flashlights flickering through a few windows.
“Damn those writers,” Doctor Sanity blurted out in anger. “They took down the whole street!”
“Shut up, Sanity,” Sam said in a huff. “The only thing we focus on now is finding and catching Goblin. The sooner the better. Let’s go.”
As Sam and the Puppets made their way down the street, Lost Cause looked up at Sam. “Do you think all of this will end well,” he asked in a voice that was laced with worry and fear.
Sam’s response was blunt and dry, “No, Lost Cause. I really don’t think it will.”