Facebook memories hit me twice this week with some strong emotions. The first was a reminder that the first dog I ever owned as an adult passed away this week three years ago. Not only was he an amazing animal, but he was the inspiration for the first good joke I ever wrote. It was sad, but pictures of him are always nice.
The second was today when I was reminded of a goofy thing I used to do on my lunch hour every Tuesday.
This started as a game a friend and I would play. She would give me six random words, and I’d have to work them into a quick story. After doing that for a bit, she started asking her Facebook friends for the six random words. That’s when things got really weird. It was a writing prompt from hell, but it was fun.
After she gave me the words, I would compose a story over the course of my lunch hour, in Google Hangouts (it was GChat at the time). So it wouldn’t be the most polished story ever, and once I typed something, I was committed to it, so I had to get myself out of a lot of corners.
This is one of the weirder ones from today in 2011.
Warning, there’s definitely a refrigerator moment in this story, and I’m sorry for it. I’ve learned better since then, I hope.
The words/phrases were:
Missing Toes / Pudding / Patricide / Fungus / Defenestrate / Constipation /
Today’s story is about a king of sorts. He didn’t rule a country or a state. His empire was one of business. It was one of taste. It was a kingdom of chocolaty goodness. Today’s story is about Henry Maxwell Chesney…The Pudding King
Henry was born to a poor mother and father in one of Mega City’s most dangerous slums. From birth, he had to overcome many obstacles.
His parents knew he was a special little boy, in the way that all parents know that about their children. They doted over everything from his first poop to his first booger.
“Isn’t Henry remarkable?” they’d say.
“Isn’t Henry amazing?” they’d exclaim.
And they said and exclaimed at every opportunity. Most people agreed out of politeness, even though they didn’t see what was so great about poop and boogers. But…parents do these things.
It wasn’t until Henry was 5 that his parents’ praises were directed towards something truly amazing.On a rainy Mega City afternoon, Henry’s mother slaved away in the kitchen, trying desperately to make a tasty treat for his father. She dug through the pantry and the icebox and found a small bit of chocolate, some sugar, some milk, and few other ingredients. She checked the cookie jar where she kept a stash of emergency money, and found nothing.
“George will be home in an hour. He works so hard and I have nothing to give him.” She leaned over the counter and began to cry.
All the hard work she and George did, and she couldn’t even make a simple desert for them to enjoy later. Little Henry sat in the corner playing with some snot encrusted toy, like small children are prone to be doing at any given moment, when he heard his mother crying. Henry dropped the toy and ran to her. He hugged her at her waist and squeezed as tight as he could.
“Don’t cry mommy,” he said. “The sun will be out soon.” Olivia smiled and knelt and kissed the boy on his cheek.
Precious Henry. No matter how bad things were, at least they had him. “I know baby,” she told him. “Mommy’s just sad.”
With that, she disengaged herself from him and went into the bathroom where he couldn’t see her and finished her crying. Many people will tell you that leaving a five year old boy unattended in a kitchen while you are locked in the bathroom is a bad decision. Generally this is true.
Henry could have put his toy in his mouth, swallowed a piece of it, and choked.
He could have turned on the stove and burned the house down.
The same imagination that allows young children to be entertained for hours by a simple empty box, is also responsible for coming up with an infinite number of strange and creative ways to cause themselves severe bodily harm.
But in this case, Henry did no such thing.
Instead, he shrugged off his mother’s tears and looked at the items assembled on the counter. A gleam appeared in his eyes. He opened drawers and rummaged through them, passing up knives and ice picks and other shiny objects. He grabbed small boxes of spices and packets of things.
Possessed with a knowledge that he didn’t realized he had, the 5 year old began to cook.Olivia emerged from the bathroom and was surprised by the smell in the kitchen. As she rubbed her red eyes, she saw a vision that would stay with her the rest of her life.
In the middle of the kitchen stood her boy, her darling boy, holding a baked chocolate pudding, smiling from ear to ear.
“Henry!” she exclaimed. “Henry, what have you got there?”
“Taste it Mommy,” said Henry. And she did. And it was the most marvelous thing she’d eaten since that time her father secretly fed all of his children peyote.
“Henry! How did you do this?”
Henry looked at her and said the two words that he’d be known for, for the rest of his life.
“Secret recipe,” he whispered, in a voice much older than his years.
Thus did destiny place its fickle hand upon this young boy and set him on the path towards greatness.
When his father returned home that night, George was equally astounded. They invited their neighbors over, and they were amazed as well.
Soon, everyone was talking about Henry’s pudding. From the old man who owned the corner store to the young woman down the street who danced in the Mega City ballet, no one could get enough of Henry’s pudding.
No one could explain how such a young child could make this amazing pudding. News crews came by the family’s house. Famous chefs visited. Kings and Queens traveled to taste Henry’s pudding. No one could duplicate his recipes.
By the time he was a teenager, Henry was president of his own company. He’d bought a mansion in Mega City’s fanciest neighborhood. He bought his parents homes in tropical countries. Henry’s pudding was enjoyed by people the world over.
By the time he was thirty, Henry was known as the Pudding King. He had more money than he could count. He had more toys than anyone could imagine. He still possessed the mystical knowledge of making great pudding.
He should have been happy. But with all he had, he lacked love.
So he searched the world for his Pudding Queen and met Suzie Blackentstreet. (Note: This is the kind of name you get if “No Diggity” is playing on my iPod while I’m naming people.)
She was his everything. They met at a dairy convention. They made love under the stars. She contracted an incurable brain fungus. She died 10 months after they met.
Before she died though, she gave birth to a son. Henry and Suzie named the child George, after Henry’s father. And Henry vowed to make sure the child always felt loved.
So, with Suzie buried in the ground, but living forever in Henry’s heart, the Pudding King began to train his son to take over his kingdom.
The child was taught about chocolate. He was trained in the different ways to obtain smoothness. He was well on his way to being his father’s son.
Then the Shadows came.
Then the world changed.
Then humanity’s greatest struggle began.
No one knew where they came from. The first reports were from Nebraska. A mother and her child were playing in a park when two of the monsters appeared out of thin air and slashed them to pieces. They left only a bloody stringy pulp and a red rubber ball. A college football game was turned into an actual blood bath when a Shadow ship fired a salvo of missiles into the stadium. Pieces of fans and football players were found strewn across miles of farmland.
Reports came in from all over the world. The Shadows attacked. Humans died. Cities crumbled.
Henry and George watched all of this from the underground bunker beneath their pudding factory. They stood with the 200 employees who’d made it to the emergency shafts and watched as the images of death were displayed on giant screens. They felt dismay when the president tried to make contact with the shadows, only to be eviscerated on sight.
They felt even more dismay when the former president tried to assume command of the armed forces, telling reporters that he promised to defenestrate the country against all enemies, especially aliens.
The Pudding King and the Pudding Prince bowed their heads and said a prayer.
As the employees rolled out cots and began to get ready for sleep, Henry took George aside and put his hand on the young man’s shoulder.
“Son,” he said, “I think you’re ready to see my biggest secret.”
Henry led George down the hall to a door marked with more warnings than a door should have. Henry punched in a code and the door opened with a click and a whirring noise. The two entered the room and George couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Are those…” he began.
“Yes son,” said Henry. “Those are flying armored battle unicorns.”
“My god,” said George.
“God had nothing to do with it,” said Henry. “Pudding created these.”
George was amazed by the unicorns. They were decked out in a thick layer of armor and each had missile racks on their underbelly. Their wings were metal blades and their horns were –
“Lasers,” said Henry, interrupting the narrator as George put his hand on one of the unicorns’ horns. They were amazing.
“I’m glad you like them,” came a voice from the corner of the room.
George shrieked. He’d thought his father was the only person with him. A second later, he realized he was right. There wasn’t another person in the room.
From the corner of the room, I giant dark blob rolled forth.
“Hello George,” said the blob.
“George,” Henry put a reassuring hand his son’s shoulder. “Meet Pudd-El. It is the Supreme Commander of the Pudding Alliance, ancient enemies of the Shadows.”
George reached out a hand to shake Pudd-El’s hand, but realized there wasn’t a hand to shake. Pudd-El responded by wrapping a tentacle of pudding around his hand.
Henry explained that years ago, the Pudding Alliance learned of the Shadows’ plan to invade Earth. By the time they learned of the invasion though, the Shadows had too much of a lead and the Alliance ships would never be able to catch up.
By studying Earth transmissions, Alliance scientists learned that pudding was a food to humans. This horrified them until they learned that earth pudding lacked sentience.
“It is as if you’ve created the shell of us, but not the soul of us.”
Using proprietary technology that can’t be described without violating intergalactic IP law, the Alliance learned how they could get to earth first. They could transmit thought patterns across space. So they did, and the recipient of those thought waves, was young Henry.
“We gave him the knowledge of how to make a better pudding, one that could house the intellect of an Alliance scientist. Me.” Pudd-El bowed.
“When I realized what my work in pudding was for, I constructed Pudd-El’s body there and the alliance brought it to life,” finished Henry. “It warned me, and I knew no one would take us seriously. So we began to make weapons. We trained an army,”
George looked astonished. “An army?”
“You’d have learned too when you were older. But every employee at every factory across the world is a trained soldier. Their one purpose, to kill the Shadows.”
“Well,” said George jumping on top of a LaserCorn, “What are we waiting for?”
“I like him,” said Pudd-El.
The Shadows had dominated the news with images of terror for 24 hours. It took the resistance 4 hours to bring it down.
Led by George and Henry, the armies took to the sky and brought down ship after ship. The Shadows were not prepared for humans to have these types of weapons. Across the world images of hope were broadcast. Shadow vessels cluttered the globe.
Finally, only the mothership was left. George, Henry, and Pudd-El regrouped in their main bunker and listened as the Shadow mothership began broadcasting a message.
The message was simple. It was a countdown.
“They will use their doomsday device.” Said Pudd-El.
“Their what?” replied George.
“Didn’t I mention that?” said the Pudding Scientist.
Henry looked at Pudd-El with a wry smile. “I figured there’d be a doomsday device. Is it a death ray?”
Pudd-El’s body quivered in surprise. The swirling mass of pudding replied, “Yes. A giant death ray. It burns with fire.”
Henry took out his phone and punched a few numbers. Within moments all of the Lasercorns in the world converged on the mothership’s location.
“They won’t be able to shoot it down with their lasers,” Pudd-El said. “The hull is laser resistant.”
“Hush,” replied Henry.
Henry had taken several pieces of body armor from somewhere and was strapping them on. He spoke into his phone.
“Protocol 23,” he ordered.
The LaserCorns started swirling and circling. It looked like they were going to crash into each other when there was a blinding flash of light. George shielded his eyes against the light from the monitor.
When the monitor cleared, the screen showed an unbelievable site. Next to the mothership stood a giant robot clad in samurai armor. It had two giant metal wings. It carried a sword make from unicorn horns.
“Much better,” said Henry. Then he put on a strange visor and starting making punching gestures.
On the screen, the giant robot copied his movements and began punching the mother ship. The ship rocked, but did fall from the sky. Henry threw some kicks and the robot kicked the ship with the same result. Henry stepped back and scratched his head and the robot did the same. George laughed at the image on the monitor.
“I don’t think you’ve had any…” began Pudd-El. But then the mothership began transforming itself.
In a quick moment the mother ship was a robot as well. The countdown continued, but Henry found himself involved in an intense kung fu battle. George and Pudd-El watched intently as the two robots kicked and flipped and punched.
The Shadowbot punched and Henry deflected. Henry kicked and the Shadowbot rolled out of the way.
The battle lasted hours, until Henry missed a step and the Shadowbot seized the LaserCornBot by its arms. The Shadowbot spun Henry around and began using the laser sword to shoot and slash though homes and buildings on the ground.
Henry was helpless. Every move the Shadowbot made moved him as well. George watched on the monitor as the Shadowbot forced the LaserCornbot to destroy parts of Mega City.
“George,” said Henry. “I can’t stop him George. You have to hit the emergency release.”
George ran to his father. “How do I do it?”
“You have to rip off the helmet and pull out the wire harness on the inside.”
George did as he was told. At the last minute, Pudd-El screamed for George to stop, but it was too late. Henry screamed in pain as the helmet was ripped from his body. Sparks flew from the helmet and his brain began to cook.
George wasn’t sure what had happened, but knew that his father was dying.
“There was no other way,” whispered Henry. “Goodbye son. Watch the Atomic Butterflies finish the fight.”
George watched his father die and ran back to the monitor. He and Pudd-El saw the LaserCornbot fall to pieces in a rain of metal and unicorn flesh.
Everything fell to the ground except for the wings which split into a million pieces. Each piece began to flutter and join a swarm that attacked the Shadowbot.
The Shadowbot swatted and swatted, but to no avail. It could not escape the swarm.
The cloud of metal butterflies grew dense and dark and then it shot up into the air, formed an arrow, and flew into the mouth of the Shadowbot.
“That crazy bastard,” Pudd-El whispered.
The next moment the Shadowbot gave as constipated of a look a robot could give. Its torso pulsed and then its fingers and toes exploded. Butterflies shot out of the spaces the missing fingers and toes had just occupied. Where the robots asshole would have been came a stream of butterflies. It’s eyes and mouth exploded into streams of butterflies as well. A loud siren began to sound inside of the thing.
“Dammit. George,” Pudd-El said, “I need your help.”
George was moved to act, trying to forget the patricide of a moment before. He pulled the levers and pushed the buttons he was told to and a targeting sight appeared on the screen.
“What is this?” he asked Pudd-El.
“It’s my giant pudding shooter.”
Pudd-El began working a special joystick to adjust the sight. It wanted to hit right on the robot’s face.
“The butterflies are going to explode. We need to contain the atomic energy of that explosion. So…we’re going to bury the robot in pudding.”
“Of course,” said George.
A second later, Pudd-El pressed the red button and a cannon somewhere high above the earth let lose its full load of pudding. A stream of thousands and thousands of gallons of pudding rocketed through the sky and covered the Shadowbot and surrounding butterflies. Not long after, all that stood there was a giant pile of pudding that looked incredibly like Pudd-El. Then, without warning, the blob pulsed out and the contracted with a slight burp. The pudding contained the explosion.
“We did it!” cried George.
“Your father did it,” replied Pudd-El.
And the two had a moment of silence for the dead man.The Shadows had been defeated and the Pudding Alliance eventually showed up on earth to help clean up. Henry was recognized for his contribution to helping defeat the Shadows and a statue was built in his honor.
George and Pudd-El continued running the pudding company and making weapons to defend against the next great threat. Every now and then you can still see a lone LaserCorn flying around their corporate rooftop.
And that is how the Pudding King of the world protected us from intergalactic invasion.