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Here is a Halloween short story featuring a crazy couple and a time machine.
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Mr. Evil And The Tennis Rackets - Short Story
We start the scene as a skinny bald man stands by the counter, staring at his empty fridge. “I swear I thought we got more milk. And no creamer.” He looked at the already made coffee he had on the counter. “Damn.” He closed the fridge. He opened the fridge. He closed the fridge again. He opened the fridge. He closed the fridge. He walked over to the two men sitting. After a few steps, he walked back over to the fridge and opened it. He poured the last of the milk into the coffee and walked over to the men sitting.
The two-time travelers’ Brian and Vinny were tied down to the chairs by rope and are owners of the most sophisticated time machine around. Not that there are that many time machines to go around. The last I checked, you can’t buy them online. But you get the idea. The two men travel time-fighting against those who seek to hurt and cause pain to any in the past or future. They have battled kings from the past kingdoms and knights of the future. This time the two heroes who know how to handle themselves in the face of danger would surely get out of this situation.
Vinny, the smaller of the two with a more stout frame, is the brains of the operation, for he invented the time-traveling machine with its sleek design and two-seat setup. Brian, the larger of the two, in weight and hair length, is more of the brute, fighting any in their way with any weapon he can find. An adversary like the one they face now, Mr. Evil, was no match for our great heroes.
“You’ll never get away with this!” Vinny called out to the villain, who was sipping his coffee.
“Oh, so now it is a crime to be the last one to use milk? We are all out of creamer, you know!”
“He means about stealing the time machine!”
“Oh…. That. Yeah. No. You’ll be dead before I even get to my first spot.”
“You are evil for doing this!” Vinny called out, never imagining his machine would get into the hands of a villain whose sole purpose is to destroy history itself. The inventor has come across many bad men in his travels, but they were all in the era he lived in; none of them stole his invention with the intention of traveling time.
“What part of me being evil don’t you get? Do you want me to spell it out for you?” The mad man then put down his cup of coffee and grabbed a marker and whiteboard, and proceeded to write on it. “E is for….”
“Evil?” Brian interrupted.
Mr. Evil snapped at him. “No! Hey! Who is the one with the whiteboard? Hmm? Is it you? Or is it me? Be quiet!” He continued his explanation. “As I was saying, before I got rudely interrupted, honestly, it’s called manners; they are not that hard. It doesn’t cost you anything to have some courtesy.” He wrote out the letters as he spoke.” E is for Everything.” He turned to the tied hostages. “Which is what I am evil towards. V is for Villain, which is what I am. I is for… well I don’t have anything for I yet. And L is for Love because I love being evil. Did you get all of that?”
The whiteboard read:
E is for EVERYTHING.
V is for VILLIAN.
L is for LOVE.
“Did you make a chart just for this situation?” Brian turned to his fellow hero, confident that he was stronger than the guards by the door. “That is a weird thing to make a chart for.”
“It isn’t really a complete chart. He has nothing for I,” Vinny responded with the same arrogance.
“Yeah, and he picked the wrong word for E.”
“He may be evil but not very well thought out.”
“Yeah. It’s only four letters. How hard can it be to come up with a word for four letters?”
Mr. Evil zoned out as the heroes continued their back and forth. He didn’t like these heroes. He didn’t know these heroes. He only wanted their invention. This other dialogue seemed pointless to the villain.
“I is a pretty frequent letter.”
“And E is a vowel.”
“Yet this guy couldn’t come with a word for them.”
“Imagine if he had a letter like X on that board.”
“He’d relate his ways to x-rays somehow.”
“I never cared much for that instrument. It’s only known for being the instrument that starts with x.”
“Have you ever played it?”
“No. I still don’t like it.”
“You have to try it before you like it.”
Mr. Evil butted in, tired of the conversation of his hostages. “Are you two done with the witty banter? Hmm? Are you through? Cause the last I checked; I was explaining to you what evil means because someone here is too stupid to know what it means. Maybe I should check with everyone in the room. Say, guards, do you know what evil means?” They nodded their heads. “They know. Say sharks in my shark tank, do you know what evil means?” They nodded in agreement. “I know what evil means. That only leaves you, two imbeciles, not knowing what evil is while talking to an evil man, in his evil house, as his evil guards and evil sharks all know what evil is.” He walked away from the heroes towards the whiteboard. “So let’s review, shall we? E is for Everything. V is for Villain. I is for, well I don’t have anything for that yet. And L is for Love. Got it?”
“How about you say I is for I, you know, because it could be all about you?”
“Oh, that’s not bad.” The time machine thief responded. “The I can have a few meanings then.”
“You could make I indestructible on how evil people always act that way.” The one hostage suggested.
“Hmm…. Not bad.”
A voice message on the phone screen popped up. “Sir, there is a package for you.”
“Yeah. I am interrogating those guys whose time machine I stole. Remember how I said last week I would steal it. You said it would be better if I asked businessmen about modern slavery. How can I pay people but still make them my slaves?” He turned to his hostages. “Turns out that slavery is not as dead as you would think.” He spoke back into the speaker.” Anyway, the torture is going really great in here.” He then faked being a torture victim. “Oh, no. That hurts. Stop, please! No more!” He talked back to the speaker in his normal voice. “Yeah, I don’t think either of these guys can handle this torture. Oh yeah, this is the best torture I have ever given.”
Someone opened up the door and walked in. “Here it is.” It was the same woman who was on the phone, Shelly, the wife of Mr. Evil and long-time companion. Ever since the two were youngsters, they dreamt of taking over the world, nuking a city or two, causing a worldwide depression. Most couples dream of a house and some kids, but those were never in their plans. The two spent their honeymoon buying bombs from one country while convincing their allies that they were peaceful. Their villainous ways made the two a very happy couple, happier than sane couples.
“Shelly! Why the hell didn’t you say you were right outside? Here I am looking like a freaking idiot making weird torture noises, and you were there the whole time.”
“The new shirts are in,” Shelly said in her always stern voice.
“Oh boy!” He ran to open the boxes as he spoke to the hostages. “One of my assistants had the idea of commercializing evil with merchandise. At first, I was against the idea because commercializing evil just seemed wrong to me. It really takes away from the pureness of evil. But then I realized that I can spread evil with merchandise.”
“By making t-shirts?” Vinny asked, still tied up and not moving.
“Yes. Also, coffee mugs.” The two villains opened the boxes.
He showed the three shirts to his hostages. “This one says Evil.” He picked up a second one.” This one says I am with Mr. Evil. I figure I might as well put my name on one.” Shelly held up the third t-shirt.” Oh, this one is a bunch of tennis rackets. Someone on my team came up with the image, and I thought it looked cool.”
“You play tennis?” Vinny asked.
“Do you not listen? No. I don’t play tennis. Someone on my team does, and I thought this image would be nice on a t-shirt. Not evil, but still nice.”
“Kindness and evil is a very dangerous combination,” Shelly remarked, trying to organize the boxes.
“You tell ’em, Shell.” The husband agreed with his wife.
“We gain the trust of people by presenting ourselves as good-hearted moral individuals, enabling us to get close to them, and that makes it easier to manipulate those who originally trusted us because we have access to the information we can use against them.”
“The perfect one-two punch; Trust and betray.” Mr. Evil added.
“What are you going to do with the time machine?” Vinny asked.
“You know not everything is about you, Mr. Ego?” The coffee-drinking villain rebutted the hero’s question.” Sure I stole your time machine, but do you think that is all I am doing with my time?”
“No. You clearly play tennis and make t-shirts in your spare time.” Brian remarked.
“Heroes are so annoying, pretending like they should be told every little detail of the villain’s plans. Do I ask you what you are going to do to try to escape? No. I have some respect for you, that’s why.”
“Respect is so hard to come by these days,” Shelly added.
“The plague of our times.” Mr. Evil said. “Well, aside from that actual plague we started in Africa.”
“Also, the media is quite the plague too, infecting minds more than the body. If you can infect the mind, you can control the body.” Shelly commented.
“So true, Shell, so true.”
The two villains continued to clean up their boxes and shirts as the two hostages sat in silence. They both carried what they could to another side of the room.
After a few trips with the packages, Mr. Evil noticed the two hostages staring at him. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did you want me to actually tell you my plan? Sure, me and my wife have a side business we are trying to start, but don’t worry, let me spend some time to talk about what you want to talk about.”
“You should have tortured these men,” Shelly said.
“I’m starting to think that too.”
Shelly directed her words to the hostages, “He is going to go back in time to kill all the great Halloween writers.”
“What! You’re a monster!”
“No. I’m Evil. What part of that are you two not getting? Do I have to show you the whiteboard again?”
“You can’t go back in time and kill those people. That will eliminate Halloween.” Vinny called out.
“Ah… yeah. Good job figuring that one out.” Mr. Evil said.
“You should go back in time and kill Baby Hitler,” Brian remarked.
Mr. Evil started to laugh. “You want me, the man who has evil in his name, to go back in time to kill Hitler, the evilest man who ever lived?” He looked at Shelly. “I swear I didn’t even torture them yet.”
“Could have fooled me.” She said.
“You can’t just go back in time and eliminate Halloween,” Brian stated.
“Oh… I can’t? Shelly, do I have a time machine now?”
“And with that time machine, can I go back in time?”
“Yes, you can.”
“And have I killed people before?”
“Seems to me that this whole thing is not really out of my league. You can’t really say that I am acting unreasonably here, can you, Shelly?”
“No. Not at all.”
“You’re sick!” The hero yelled at the villain.
“You say potato; I say potatoe. You say Halloween; I say I am going back in time to kill everything about it. Feels like the same thing to me.”
“They are practically synonyms,” Shelly said.
Mr. Evil walked over to the time machine. “Say, are there keys to this thing? Is there a button? I swear time machines are such a pain in the ass. Every freaking guy has to invent his own design. Shelly, remind me when we get back to kill the man who invented the time machine. Freaking moron.” He opened the door to the machine. “Okay, well, this was fun. Oh, who am I kidding? This was boring. You guys aren’t very good heroes. You know, the last guy I captured at least got into a fight with my guards, but you guys haven’t even gotten out of the rope yet. I am excited to go to the past and kill all those who made Halloween. Who is the first guy on my list Shelly?”
“Great. I feel like I should kill him with a pumpkin. What do you guys think? Too cliché?”
“You won’t get away with this!” Brian yelled.
“Oh, give it a rest, will you?” He spoke to his companion. “You know, Shelly, I think I will start off by killing Shakespeare. Is he a Halloween writer?”
“He isn’t on your list.”
“Well, let’s add him.” He turned to the heroes. “Sounds like the bard is going to not be anymore.” No one laughed. “What? Not funny? Tough crowd.”
“Sir, you have to kill them before we go.” Shelly reminded Mr. Evil as the two sat in the time machine.
“Right. Thanks, Shell.” He jumped out of his seat towards the heroes, who had not attempted to escape yet.
“I am in a good mood, so I will let you two decide on how you will die. Sharks. “He pointed to the sharks in the tank. ‘Or headshot.” He pulled out a gun from his hip pocket.
“When we get out of here, you will regret your decision!” Brian yelled once more.
Without hesitation, he pointed the gun at the protester and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. “Eh. I changed my mind. I am going to just kill you both. I hate in stories when villains give this long speech only to have the hero break free. Shelly, this one is for the sharks.”
Shelly called over a few bodyguards who threw Vinny, still tied, into the shark tank. The creatures then devoured him.
Mr. Evil and Shelly stood motionless as they waited for the victim to get fully eaten. Neither acknowledged his cries for help.
“I’m thinking we have Chinese food when we get back. What do you think?” Mr. Evil suggested.
“I could go for some egg rolls.”
“Yeah, you know I don’t like how they don’t give us any chocolate fortune cookies anymore. I really liked those.”
“They aren’t real fortune cookies. There isn’t some Asian man coming up with all of those lines. They are made in a factory.”
“Still. I like them.”
‘We should get dumplings too.”
“Yeah, but do we have to get the vegetarian ones? Those are gross.”
“I eat them.”
“If we get dumplings, we have to get beef and vegetarian.”
Mr. Evil looked over at the shark tank that was now filled with blood. “Oh, I guess he is dead. We can go.” They headed over to the machine. “I don’t think they took me seriously when I told them I was evil. Eh, whatever.” The couple got into the time machine, ready to cause havoc. “Shelly set the time period for Shakespearean time. We have a bard to kill.”
“I think you mean a whole holiday.”
“Yes. Yes. I do.”
Happy Halloween everyone. Enjoy the holiday.
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Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.
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