61) A COLONY OF CHUNKERS
Ratso slept for two full days. He awoke in a dark chamber to the sound of water splashing on rocks. The lighting, even though dim, still allowed him to make out faint images of his surroundings. His prone body lay on a plateau of rock next to a pool of water.
Although he was naked, his clothes laid spread out next to him. Within minutes, he recalled the events of the last two days. He remembered entering the pool, his encounter with the Empusa and the horrible scenes of death he witnessed.
He recalled the fatigue he felt as he tried to wash his clothes and dry them. But for above everything else, his body remembered his craving for food, water and the company of other people.
I’m scared, Ratso thought. I don’t understand where I am.
After contemplating his situation, Ratso got up and put his clothes on. For some unknown reason, he experienced a great deal of problems getting dressed. He couldn’t remember exact details of where and how he arrived here, or how to extricate himself from this nightmare; however, his clothes should fit.
His pants hung slightly shorter, his shirt slightly tighter and his leather jacket snugger; as if the coat shrunk. To snap the front closed became a monumental effort, even if he wanted to. His sneakers fit but also seemed tight.
There must be a way out of here, his mind said.
He navigated his way to an opening in the wall, which led to another chamber of the cave. This area seemed to be darker, but light still came from the small, man-sized opening.
Hooray, his mind shouted. This must be the way out.
Ratso dropped down to his hands and knees and crawled into the opening before him. The gap in the wall fit tightly, but Ratso made steady progress pulling his frame through to the outside. As he finally exited from his prison, he met with a shocking view.
He expected something familiar; a parking lot, a fence; a row of bins. What greeted him turned out to be a grey sky, a chill in the air and small sidewalk populated by strange looking individuals.
He identified slight differences in the appearance of these inhabitants, but they all shared similar physical characteristics. The skin area of their heads appeared covered with slimy oozing lumps. The lumps merged into a pair of bulging eyes that made them extend out; like they suffered from some internal pressure.
They all revealed a similar stance; that of being short and stocky. Their limbs reminded him of twisted rubber stumps without elbows. The legs fused into squeaky looking finned feet. The most outstanding feature however, was that of the mouth. The lips slid across multiple chins which made the voice echo with a tremolo effect.
“You better watch your step, Dickhead,” the voice hissed. “Your sentence has only just begun.”
Ratso jumped back by the appearance of this gathering of freaks. Nothing he ever learned in his life could prepare him for this encounter. He was repulsed by the sight . He made a closer examination of the one who spoke to him. Looking at his contorted face, he recognized what remained of his Cousin Johnny.
Tears filled his eyes and he immediately rushed to hug him. Even with Johnny’s penchant for abandoning him in a time of need, Ratso still considered him family and needed to be close.
“What is nthis place, Johnny?” he inquired. “What nhappened to nyou?”
“We are in the Colony of Chunkers,” Johnny reported. “Everyone here shares one common thread.”
“Johnny,” Ratso whined, “why is everybody nso ugly. Even nyou are ndifferent.”
“Don’t be alarmed by what you see,” Johnny growled. “You yourself will look the same, as what you see in me and the others.”
“What?” Ratso cried, “Why?”
“The common thing between all of us,” Johnny continued, “is that we all tasted love from the Empusa in the pool; every one of us.”
“I didn’t ask the Empusa to nlove me,” Ratso complained, “it njust happened.”
“That doesn’t matter,” Johnny shot back. “You accepted their love, as we all did. Now, our lives are dedicated to the never-ending hunger of the senses. The hunger is lust that develops at puberty and increases as you get older; a hunger that comes from your desire for sex.”
Ratso admitted that events had developed his appetite for sex, starting when he got his first boner. His appetite accelerated with the purchase of the ‘Pictorial Guide to Love’; even though he didn’t actually purchase the book. His feelings really went into orbit when he met Eve and experienced the touch of a female.
“Johnny,” he argued, “there nhas to be a nway out of nthis problem. I’m only 13 nyears old. I can’t ngo through the nrest of my life looking nlike this.”
“I’ve heard of only one way,” Johnny told him, “but you won’t like the solution.”
“What solution Johnny,” Ratso begged, “I nhave to know. Anything nhas to be better nthan this fate.”
“We would need to visit Dr. Entfernan,” he responded. “He is a German doctor who specializes in this.”
“Will nhe give nme a shot or something,” Ratso asked.
“Not exactly,” Johnny grumbled. “Apparently the problem stems from the, ah-hem ... sex drive; the good Doctor needs to remove the object of that drive in order to cure you.”
“WHAT?” Ratso exploded. “Are nyou saying the only nway I can avoid nlooking like nthis is to nlet some doctor cut nmy dick off?”
“Not permanently,” Johnny explained. “He surgically removes your manhood and places the shaft and balls into a carrying case. If you ever need use your organ again for sex, you simply re-attach by twisting the unit back on.”
“You are sure I won’t nturn into a troll, like nyou?” Ratso questioned.
“Actually,” Johnny admitted, “I’ve never known anyone who went through with the procedure. I simply can’t stand looking like this anymore.”
After discussing a few more details of ‘the operation’, Ratso decided to go with his Cousin Johnny to visit the famed Dr. Entfernan. They completed the paperwork, for the legal protection of the Doctor and waited patiently to go into the operating room.
“Zee operation ist simple, my boys,” Dr. Entfernan explained. “I remove zee offensive object of your lust and put it in zis tube. Zen, to use again, vee simply twist it back on. You can use for 6 hours; NO MORE. It must be removed within 6 hours, or you vill turn into a Chunker again and zee damages vill be permanent. You are also limited to only one use per month. Do you understand?”
Johnny and Ratso nodded in agreement and moved to separate surgical rooms. The operation itself only took a matter of minutes and when completed, both boys were revived from anesthesia.
The nurse presented them both with yellow plastic tubes containing their male organs. She instructed them on caring for the contents of the tube and sent on their merry way. Stepping out into the bright sun of the day, Ratso’s clothes fit better and Johnny no longer suffered from the hideous, malformed shape he once possessed.
As they walked along the pathway, a large black Raven came swooping down from the trees. It snatched the yellow tube from Ratso’s hand and flew away. A combination of shock, anger, fear and revenge took over Ratso, as he burst into a full run after the Raven. He yelled back at his cousin, beckoning him to help him.
“Johnny,” he screamed, “come nhelp me. If I don’t get nthat tube back, I’ll nrevert into a human blob like nyou once became.”
“Are you crazy,” Johnny shrieked, “I’m not chasing after that Raven. In this world, you’ve got to know of the omens. Where the Raven flies, nothing but jeopardy exists. I’m sorry Cuz, but you are on your own.”
Ratso put on an extra burst of speed as he tried to catch up with the bird. He once again became depressed, because once again Johnny elected to refuse back up or come to his aid. Remembering back, he realized Johnny burned him on at least 6 occasions.
The whole thing started when he ripped off Sylvia’s purse and hid money at the house. Even though Ratso found the money, Johnny still caused the problem.
Then the troubles with the Pineapple at school; even though Sammy and Mitch facilitated getting the Pineapple into the furnace.
Johnny put the gases into the balloons that exploded in Mr. Whitlow’s class, resulting in Ratso getting expelled.
Johnny failed to defend him when he encountered the gang members in the middle of Manhattan.
Recently, Johnny seemed outside of the cage in Ratso’s vision and wouldn’t help him escape.
And now this; he refused to help him recover his ‘personal’ property. Judging everything, Johnny didn’t care about anyone except himself.
Ratso ran at light speed to keep the Raven in sight. He kept up his pace as the bird flew over a small hill and plummeted down towards the river in the valley below. The chase is on and the pace is hot; Ratso is led along the top of the bank, which is too steep to climb.
He is getting tired, but he tries to keep up the frantic pace. He almost catches this rogue blackbird during a near approach on the top of a ridge. At the last second, the Raven soars high above the river and drops the valuable yellow package into the river. Ratso stared at the tube, as it bobbles away down the river and out of sight.
His ability to re-attach his manhood is gone forever.