Parallel 12: Jungle Earth
“Fuck you!” Iya shouted, drawing her machete.
“Well then. If you’re going to be rude about this,” the man snapped his fingers and the rest of the bodyguards drew their blades and took the village elders hostage. “I suppose I can be rude in return.”
“Elders!” Iya cried. The purismas assembled, holy machetes ready to strike.
“Come come. There is no need for violence. I simply wish to complete the transaction I made yesterday night. Mirabella? Will you deny me your promise?” the man asked.
Iya looked to the Chief’s daughter, Mirabella. She had tears in her eyes.
“Mira. Tell me you didn’t. Tell you didn’t promise him your…”
“Yes. Yes I did. I… I promised him,” she said through bitter tears.
“You see? A promise made is a promise kept, right my little purisma?” the man said.
“You coerced her. Tricked her. She would never-”
“But she did,” the man said, cutting Iya off. “She promised me so… many… wonderful things.” He licked his lips. “I gave her a taste, just a taste, of what I could offer her, and she leapt into my handsome embrace without hesitation. Mmm, would you like to hear the things she said she’d do to me once I whisked her away from this shit hole village? Shall I go into… deeply… intimate… detail?”
Mirabella cried into her hands, collapsing to her knees. Iya stepped in front of her.
“I don’t care what she promised you. You are not a man to have promises honored. You’re a monster. And monsters get slain!”
The men with blades, some looking less like men by the second, pressed their implements of death harder into the elders’ necks, some drawing a bit of blood. The man held his hand up, calming them for a moment.
“Idle threats, purisma. I care not for them. If you wish to deny me my prize, I shall be forced to take it. And if I do that… well… I do not know if I will be able to stop my men. Or myself. Your village may cease to be by sun’s rise. Do you find that agreeable?” the man asked.
Everyone turned to see Jael in a fighting stance.
“Oh! It’s you. I didn’t recognize you in the stripper outfit. Well that makes this all kinds of better,” the man said.
“Stuff it in your blowhole. You want to terrorize these poor people, you’re going through me,” Jael said. The man and the encantado guards laughed uproariously.
“Jael, your bravery, while appreciated, is again very stupid,” Iya said.
“You can’t let them threaten you like this. They’ll keep taking what they want until you have nothing left,” Jael.
“You think we don’t know that?” Iya asked.
“Disappointing. Just disappointing,” said the man, catching his breath. “There’s nothing any of you can do to stop what’s about to happen. Not the purismas, not the guards.” He smiled a prickly smile full of needle teeth. “None of you are safe.”
Jael knew he was right. With the elders held hostage there was nothing they could do but act brave and look menacing. The dolphin-man had them dead to rights. He suddenly wished he had an arm cannon biohack or something he could take out these monsters with.
“Now then, shall we, my dear?” the man asked. Mirabella rose from the floor crying, shivering, holding herself. Iya held up her hand.
“Don’t. If he takes you, we’ll never see you again,” Iya said.
“I have no choice. He will not be denied, you know this,” Mirabella said.
“Mira. Please. I will never see you again,” Iya said, her stone faced visage slipping.
“Iya. I’m sorry.”
“If you come quietly now, I promise you’ll come very loudly later,” the man said, chuckling. His men laughed. The village elders wept. The Chief said nothing. He kept his head held high and proud.
“Don’t do it, Mira. Don’t let him take you,” Iya said, her voice trembling.
“I’ll always love you, Iya. I’m sorry,” Mirabella said, gently pushing the purisma’s arm down. “I’m sorry.”
“Wait. Wait please,” Iya said, feeling helpless and alone. Jael watched the scene, feeling helpless as well. Mirabella’s sisters and brothers wailed in grief as she slowly walked toward her fate.
“Hey!” Emilio’s voice shook the air like a thunderclap. He landed on the stage in a three point superhero stance.
“What’s this? The other pusswa is here as well?” the man said, cackling.
“You can’t have her,” Emilio said.
“Stranger, what are you doing?” Mirabella asked.
“What is that fool doing?” Iya hissed to Jael. Jael shrugged.
“You can’t have her. Because. She’s already promised herself to me,” Emilio said. The elders spat in surprise. The men with blades did a double take. The man looked as if he’d been stricken dumb.
“Eh… excuse me?” the man asked.
“Yeah. That’s right. She and I. Me and her. We’re like…” he clapped his hands together. “Like mmmf. Like, this.” He intertwined his fingers and pushed his palms together again and again. “Like. Yeah. Like this.”
“What are you saying?” the man asked.
“I already told you. She promised herself to me. And we’re gonna… we’re gonna be doing some of this,” Emilio said, thrusting the air with his pelvis. “And a little of this,” he said, dropping into a push up position and humping the floor. “And maybe a little bit of this,” he said, grabbing his ankle, putting his leg behind his head and spinning on his back. “Mmm! Oh yeah. Like, a lot of that. Us,” Emilio said, standing up. “That’s what… yeah. The two of us.”
The man was at a loss for words. He looked to Mirabella who immediately grabbed Emilio from behind.
“That… that’s right. Him and me. We are totally promised to each other. Our love is… is so strong. Very strong,” she said. The man’s eyes narrowed. “And… and we’re gonna do some of this,” she said, humping Emilio’s bottom. The elders’ eyes just about popped out of their heads. “And some of this,” she said, grabbing Emilio’s hair and pushing his head up and down near her crotch. “And and… and some of this.” She grabbed Emilio’s arms, leaned back, wrapped her legs around his head and twisted around him in ways not even Jael had seen on his Earth. Emilio was very glad the suit didn’t advertise his arousal like normal clothes would.
“She wasn’t even going to do that for me,” the man grumbled.
“So, yes. Sorry. I promised him first. Before you. Sorry,” Mirabella said, climbing off Emilio’s head.
The man eyed the two of them suspiciously. Emilio wiped what he hoped was sweat off his brow and nodded, holding Mirabella close.
“Yeah. So back off, buddy,” Emilio said. The man thought for a moment. Then he released the Chief and sheathed his blade.
“Well. It seems the maiden has promised herself to two men. Their is only one way to resolve this,” the man said.
“Great. How?” Emilio asked.
“By honoring the Old Ways,” the Chief said.
“Great. What are the old ways?” Emilio asked.
“A contest of skill. To win the maiden’s… heart,” the man said, grinning a devilish grin.
“Any skill you want. Any day of the week. Bring it, bro,” Emilio said. Jael shook his head. That crazy son of a bitch, he thought.
“I think perhaps we should let a neutral third party decide our method,” the man asked. He looked to Jael. Jael thought for a moment.
“A smack down,” he finally said. Emilio gave him a look that he couldn’t interpret so he kept going. “As in a verbal smack down. Each smacker will lay down some sick burns on the other until a clear victor has won. The more lyrical and offending, the better.”
“That’s it? A parade of insults?” the man asked.
“And… it must be poetic. Musical. Done to a beat,” Jael continued. Emilio made a motion with his hand near his neck. Beheading? Throat slicing? Jael didn’t understand the gesture.
“A battle of words and wits,” said the man. “That is agreeable to me. What do you say?”
Emilio swore a lot under his breath.
“Okay. Okay fine. Prepare to get owned,” Emilio said. The man grinned.
“Suit. Give me a beat,” Emilio commanded. The suit’s speakers hummed to life.
Bum Bum ba Tish.
Bum Bum ba Tish.
“Why you think you have a chance with the chief’s daughter? When you’re a literal fish out of water? You don’t know how dead you are, you been got since you got her. Take a dive, overboard, ‘fore I start the brine slaughter.
“Master on the mic, turn you into tripe. Never stop my flow, bursting dike. Stick as many fingers in as you like. Ha. You’re so trite. You can’t match me. You’re darkness and I’m light. Call it. Catastrophe.
“I couldn’t ask for an easier match up. Busting heads all day, you’ll never catch up. You think you got the chops to hassle my style, guess what? This battle’s like shooting you in a barrel, straight up.”
The villagers nodded. It was a passable round. The man fixed his collar and began.
“I think it’s sad you can’t tell between fish and mammals. I got a fresh suit, sweet boots and mantles.
“I’m the king of Rivers, can’t stop when I flow, cuz when I flow, man, I flow so hard. Your lines are soft like your dick, sir. You’d barely even pass as a bard. Pitiful picture.
“I leave women begging on hands and knees, slaying ’em up an down the banks like a disease. Cold blooded killer, make your blood freeze. Don’t worry about me, this fight is a breeze.”
The men who weren’t men clapped. The villagers shrugged. It was pretty good. Emilio grumbled and grabbed an invisible mic.
“You’re a thick, pink, mottled fuck that looks like a penis. So dumb and ugly, my dick looks like a genius.
“You gotta kidnap every piece of ass you get. You couldn’t get women underwater wet. Your face is birth control! I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. When people see it they ask ‘um, which one’s the blowhole?’
“I’m a bonafide Casanova, so head home, the show’s over. Betta leave ‘fore I give you a sushi makeover.”
The villagers lightly cheered. Better but still just okay. The man wiped off his shoulder and cleared his throat. Time to destroy this bitch.
“Your lyrical animosity’s a grammatical monstrosity, you think you have skills but lack verbal velocity, I will do you a favor and mercy-kill this atrocity, you’ll never again hear of such perfect ferocity.
“Taking it one step further, I will slay you with fervor, you’ll wish you would have stayed an impartial outside observer.
“Your grey matter’s softer and smaller, call it unnatural selection. We’ve been harvesting, culling and pruning your sentience infection with the eye of a butcher or a garderner’s expert inspection. It pains me to see your infantile intellection has led you to this futile subjection rejection but in the END it’s meaningless, we prefer genuflection over drooling, masturbatory, introspection.”
“Perhaps if you value such sovereign protection not unlike our generous shepherding mentioned in olden times when you people ate grass and flies, and didn’t know what fire was, I’ll emphasize, your backwards customs and simple ways and laying about useless for days and days, it was our predation that cut through the haze of happier memories while you color your past with shades of emery and your mind little more than squishy suspensory you can barely qualify as somatosensory. In an uncaring universe you seek meaning and value but you’ll never escape inevitability, Oblivion will have you.”
The villagers’ mouths hung wide with incredulity. The man’s crew cheered and hollered. Emilio felt like giving up and leaving this fucking place.