Spunk-Related Illness

@mini-theo

“I’m on restriction,” Ernie says, letting me in and closing the door. “My computer’s been impounded. There’s a lock on the fridge. Grams picks out my clothes each and every morning. That’s what the fuh’s happened to me.”

I glance around the bedroom. Mrs. Goodale’s mutant tirade attack has left the place a barren wasteland. Where once there were posters on the walls, there are now only dust outlines, remnants of Scotch tape; the shag carpeting is intact, but is wilted, like a once-mighty lawn of grass that’s gone for too long between waterings; the desk…well, let’s just say the 1970s called, and they want their pre-Commodore era panel desk back.

Ernie coughs loudly, clears his throat. He sounds like he’s catching a cold. “So…am I having a hunger hallucination or something?”

“Probably,” I say. “But that’s a good thing at the moment. It’s left you more open to the state of perceptive flux in which I exist.”

Ernie snorts, sits at the edge of his neatly-made bed, and coughs some more. “You sound just like Brainiac. Like nerd, like doll, I guess.”

I frown, watching him wipe his mouth on the back of his hand. “Are you always this phlegmy?”

“Blech. I think one of the lunch ladies peed in my food. I’m coming down with something. And also going insane.”

“You’re not going insane. See, I’m Theo’s psychic apparatus in physical form, and I’m quite real. And I need your help.”

“With what?”

“I need you to help me rescue Theo’s spunk.”

Ernie wrinkles his nose. “His spunk?”

“Yes.”

“Like, his splooge? His baby juice? His rich, potent—”

I hold up my hand, cutting him off. “Spare me the adjectives, Leviathan. We’re not talking biology here. Well, we kind of are, but it’s more important than that. What you’re talking about is just a biological manifestation of the procreative essence; spunk is what powers that pure essence, your heart and soul. Without his spunk, Theo will grow up shooting blanks, emotionally, socially, romantically. You need to help me help him get back in the game. We need to get him back on SuperMegaNet, meeting people, exchanging favorites lists, uploading to house parties—”

“Wait a minute,” Ernie says. “I thought Theo said he wants to stop using SMN because it makes him go all Sam Winchester, sans the demon blood.”

“Sam Winchester?”

“The bitchy younger brother from Supernatural.”

“You watch that show?”

“Fuck yeah I do. Well, I did before my TV got taken away.”

I smirk. “No offense, but Supernatural is kind of a chick show, isn’t it?”

“Um, wrong! It’s about a pair of bad-ass demon hunters—”

“Who look like Calvin Klein models.”

Ernie narrows his eyes at me. “Theo’s a neat freak. By extension, you of all people should appreciate a couple of guys combing their hair and brushing their teeth more than once a week.”

“Oh, I do. But that doesn’t change the fact that a real hunter would be all grizzled and leathery, with an eye patch, or a wooden leg—someone like Mickey Rourke in Sin City.”

“Sure—if you’re a shitty hunter. A good hunter would know better than to let some random monster-of-the-week get close enough to hack off his leg.”

“I disagree. That’s like saying a carpenter can have soft, un-calloused hands and still be a good carpenter. Dean and Sam aren’t good hunters. They’re merely hunters who look good.”

“They’d kick your ass if they saw you.”

I frown, an ominous thought suddenly occurring to me. “You’re not on Team Edward or anything, are you?”

Ernie jabs his finger at me. “Twilight is relevant. Relevant!

“Fine. Whatever. Are you going to help me?”

“I don’t know.” Ernie sighs, slowly and carefully lying on his side. “Even if I knew something about other dudes’ spunk—and I definitely don’t—why’s it so important for me to be the one to do it? Why not Jan or Eva?”

“Because Theo’s closer to you than he is to the others.”

“Bullshit.”

“No, really. He’d never admit it, but you’re like a brother to him.”

“Cock fat.”

“Think about it. Jan’s merely a classmate with a funny accent; Eva’s just some girl who’s too good for him. But you, you’re his friend.”

“Double cock fat. He told me so the night after he went blind and I ate his apology pizza. He said that we were never meant to be friends, that if it hadn’t been for SMN we never would’ve kept in touch after meeting in Thrill-Kill’s office—despite the fact that we live in the same town and go to the same school.”

“He didn’t mean that. He was upset, confused.”

“Yeah, well, judging by the desolation you see before you, he was right.” Ernie closes his eyes. “We used SuperMegaNet behind our parents’ backs, and it’s ruined our lives.”

“What’s with you, dude?” I ask, toddling over to him. “Just last week the most important thing in the world to you was ‘defending the pact.’”

“Last week my food and porn collection wasn’t locked inside an impenetrable safe.”

I’m about to stomp my plush foot on the floor and demand that Ernie stop putting food and porn before his friends when a vicious revelation sucker-punches me right in the gut:

Ernie’s lost his spunk.

He’s lost his spunk and it’s making him physically sick.

I gawk at him, not wanting to believe it’s true.

Feeling my stare, Ernie opens one of his eyes a crack. “What?” he wheezes.

“You’ve lost your spunk,” I murmur.

“Load,” Ernie says, scowling—or, rather, wincing.

“No, it’s true—don’t you see? Theo’s merely suppressing his spunk, but you’ve had yours taken away. It’s like…it’s like your grandparents are withholding your daily protein, calcium, and vitamin C.” I climb up onto the bed; I lean against Ernie’s cheek, gently stroking his forehead. “It’s killing you.”

In response, Ernie shifts his head so that he’s facing me. He opens his mouth as if to say something—and sneezes on me. A long, viscous rope of green snot shoots out of his nose and splatters against my torso in horrific slow-motion.

“Ugh,” he groans, wiping his nose and rolling onto his side facing away from me. “I don’t feel so good. I need to rest up for dinner. Tonight we’re having steamed brussel sprouts. Fuck off, little talking doll hallucination.”

Well. This is super. Ernie’s eating brussel sprouts, I’m soaked in fowl-smelling mucus, and not only do I have to save Theo’s spunk—

—it would seem I have to save Ernie’s as well.

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jesse

Book designer and formatter based in southern California. Supreme overlord of the SuperMegaNet pseudoverse.