[LNH] Onion Lad #10: 'Shortcuts'

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 9 17:54:02 PST 2007

	Onion Lad's hand quivered as he placed his hand on the Bible.  In the back 
of his mind he half expected that his body would burst into flames though he 
had no idea why.  He'd touched Bibles before.   He'd gone to Church.   It's 
not that he even believed in Hell or demons.  His folks were Methodists.

	"Onion Lad, as a member of LNH, you have no need to reveal your true 
identity to the court but do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth 
and nothing but the truth," the bailiff said.
	"I do."
	"You may proceed."

	The prosecutor glared at him.  He gulped down a large wad of spit and half 
choked.   He coughed as the prosecutor passed him a bottle of Mr. Paprika 
Springs (now that's a man's spring water.)

	"Where were you the night of June the thirty first, 2006 at 11PM?" The 
Prosecutor said.
	"Um--- At home watching The Daily Show?" Onion Lad whimpered.
	"Judge--the witness is obviously lying.   Permission to treat as hostile," 
The Prosecutor said.
	"I'll allow it."
	"This is insane.   Is this some kind of kangaroo court?" asked Onion Lad.
	"Ahem!  Cough!  My mother was a kangaroo," The Judge said.
	"Oh sorry," he said.   He paused.  "Hey--Wait a minute..."
	"I was born with a pouch.  Would you like to see pictures?" The Judge said.
	"Never mind that-- Would you mind telling the court just what happened on 
the third Thursday of September 2006?" The Prosecutor asked.
	"Um--well-- Teryaki Chick had promised to go with me to try out for `Who 
Wants to be a Supper Hero' a reality show hosted by Steve Ditko and Wolfgang 
Puck," Onion Lad said.
	"I'm familiar with it."
	"Since I'm already a cook and a super hero--I thought I had a shot."
	"Can you tell us what happened?"
	"Right.  She stood me up.  So I had to get an alternate means of 
transportation to the studio," Onion Lad said.
	"That would be your cousin, Student Driver Lass, correct?" she said.
	"Are you aware that she has over 257 traffic violations on her record," The 
Prosecutor said.

	Dan the Nine to Five Guy walked up to Onion Lad and whispered in his ear.

	"What?   Are you sure..."  Onion Lad said to Dan before turning to back to 
the bailiff.  "I've just been advised by my LNH provided attorney to plead 
the fifth."
	"I see..."said The Prosecutor.  "Can you just get to the point..."
	"It all started when Student Driver Lass decided to take a shortcut..."

	Onion Lad #10
	By Jesse N. Willey
	With permission of Dane Martin

	The shortcut just happened to take us through the rift roads.   A section 
of town that, unbeknownst to me at the time, exists between realities.   
It's just a few blocks but y'know--we thought `what harm could it do?'

	Or that's what we would have thought if we hadn't ended up hitting some 
sort of invisible object that exploded.  We went from driving through 
Net.tropolis to falling off a cliff into the middle of the ocean.

	"Uh... Prudy..." I said.
	"Relax dude, I've done this a million times. We'll world hop in just a 
second," she said.

	Of course, we didn't.  Not yet anyway.   We hit the ground with a splash.   
Water filled the car.   I don't know much about the next several hours.  
Only that we wound up on some island like on that crappy show that Teryaki 
Chick made me watch.   Oh, and I was being given mouth to mouth to some guy 
who looked like a mountie.

	"Glad to see you're alright there, little fella," the man said.
	"Uh--what?" I said.
	"Your delightful cousin was explaining to me how you got here," the man 
	"You are--?"
	"Sergeant M. Sargent-What's-Face. But you can call me Sarg," he said. 
"Prudence tells me you're super heroes.  Have you ever met The Everett Man?"
	"Nevermind.  Care for some dinner?"
	"That'd be great.  God knows we're starved.  It's not like Stinky here 
knows how to serve food," said Student Driver Lass.
	"I thought you said he was a short order cook."
	"My point exactly."
	"Umm... how'd you end up here anyway?" I asked.
	"You really want to know?" he asked.
	"Of course."
	"Okay then... my assistant and I made a counting error while hunting.  This 
got us involved in a chase with the police.   Then a Sunday break to talk 
about snowshoe hares.  Then we disguised ourselves as horribly disfigured 
freaks to hide in a sideshow.  Then on Sunday we took a break to talk about 
preserving national parks and preventing forest fires.   Our job as circus 
freaks led us to inadvertently save the Governor of North Dakota from 
assassins.  Then on Sunday we talked about the amazing power of an 
elephant's trunk.   With the help of two teenaged boys we were able to track 
the assassins and found out they were terrorists and poachers from 
Abigmuffinstan.  In attempting to stop the terrorists, we escaped a shoot 
out-- and somehow winding up on this island.  Then I gave a charming lesson 
on how to recognize rattlesnakes...."
	"Um... I have a question..."
	"Why are their so many Sundays every week?  Because God wants it that way 
laddie," Sargent-What's-His-Name said.
	"Um... no."
	"Then what's up with my strange name.  Sargent-What's-His-Face.   I know--I 
know.  It's embarrassing.  My wife and I got caught up in that hyphenating 
last name fad of the nineties," he said.
	"Her last name was What's-His-Face?" Onion Lad said.
	"Heavens, no.  Her last name was Sargent."
	"That's very interesting Sarg, but it has nothing to do with my question.  
If you've been lost on this island for years how come you still have a 
supply of fresh coffee," I asked.

	Then he fed us fried lizards.  Okay, I could I have done without that but 
it was sure nice of him to offer.      There was just something a little off 
about this guy.   Though I didn't really notice it until we started telling 
jokes and stories.  So, of course I had to tell him about what happened when 
I got stuck on squad duty with WikiBoy and Frat Boy a few days prior to 

	"...so then Frat Boy says to Kid Occultism II--I think your magic wishing 
spoon is broken.  I didn't ask for a nine inch pianist," I said.
	"I don't get it," Sargent-What's-His-Face said.

	 So then I thought that maybe the whole incident wasn't as funny as I 
though it was at the time.   Then Prudence started laughing.   So that 
couldn't be it.  To this day I wonder what would have happened if I told him 
that joke about Wonder Woman, Sue Richards and Superman.  I guess I'll never 

	"Because you know he got a piano player instead of--" I said.
	"Did you hear that?" The Sargent said.

	I didn't.  Then I strained my ears and there was a faint chirping noise.   
Sarg went to full alert and walked over to a nearby tree.  A chipmunk hopped 
off and landed on his shoulder.

	"Chirpy!  What's wrong?"
	"Click chirp click click chirp," said Chirpy.
	"What did he say?" I asked.
	"My assistant and his friends Tom and Sam were captured over by Griffith's 
Ridge.   Apparently you two aren't the only new visitors to the island," 
Sargent-What's-His-Face said.
	"You actually believe this stuff?" Student Driver Lass said.
	"I've seen weirder," I said.
	"I'm going to try to fix the car," she said.
	"Right.  Good idea.  Chirpy, you stay here and guard Student Driver Lass," 
said Sargent-What's-His-Face.
	"Uh--shouldn't I be the one guarding Chirpy?"
	"Nonsense.  Chirpy here is a black belt in fifteen different disciplines of 


	So, The Sargent and I traveled through the woods toward Griffith's Ridge.   
It wasn't long before Sargent-What's-His-Face pulled out a pair of 
binoculars.  I don't know where he got them.  He just had them.    I didn't 
really ask questions.  I'm a cook not a journalist.

	"There--There they are!" The Sargent said.   "Only even with these 
binoculars they look so far away."

	Okay, that would have been so much funnier if I had remembered to tell you 
he put them on backwards.   So well... do I have time to start again?  Okay 
you don't need me to.  That's okay.  Anyway, I told him how to fix the 
problem and then he saw what was up.   Even from the distance we were 
standing which was about four hundred feet (down hill) I could smell 
something boiling and saw three young boys in a large stone cauldron.

	"Do you see anything now?" I asked.
	"Yes... they're being held captive in a pot.   Their captor seems to be 
dressed as the shaman of the tribe that once inhabited this island."

	I looked down at the Shaman.  I noticed something just remotely familiar 
about him/her.  I just couldn't put my finger on it.  Yet there was also 
sense of Veja Du.   Like this whole situation was just insane.  Even for me.

	"Let's go get them," I said.
	"Ah no, Kiddo.  We wait.   A hunter only strikes when the prey is 
vulnerable," Sargent-What's-His-Face said.
	"Um--but he's boiling your friends now.   Unless you want Soylent Green Soup 
with Rice--I don't think we have much time," I said.
	"Soylent what?"

	As I said, the guy was dense.

	"Uh--right.  Let's go get them, shall we," he said.

	We charged down the hill.   Then I heard what the Shaman was chanting and I 
knew I had made a horrible mistake.   I don't know how.  I just did.    By 
the time we reached the bottom of the hill I got the gist of his gibberish.  
Sacrifice three innocent people and get one mad god in exchange.  I've seen 
it a million times.

	Too bad I haven't dealt with it a million times.   Why does all the 
dangerous stuff always happen to me?   You never saw Grover Cleveland or 
Rutherford B. Hayes dealing with dark gods from the netherworld.   Y'know, a 
week before I had to battle rampaging cybernetic dinosaurs.   This was 

	Sargent-What's-His-Face charged down the hill.  I started using my super 
powers to make The Shaman cry.   The Sargent valiantly punched The Shaman 
through the eyes of his mask.

	"We're not through yet, Sarg.  I haven't chased you from one end of the 
multiverse to another for almost seven years for a quick scuffle.  No one 
hunts over the limit in my town!" The Shaman said.

	The voice made my mind reel.  I knew why he seemed so familiar.   It 
sounded like the security guard at my high school--the one who just showed up 
one day and vanished a few days later just as mysteriously.

	"Holy Victor Hugo, you chased me for seven years--on a hunting violation?  
What's wrong with you Dahoony?" Sargent-What's-His-Face said.

	While the two of them were fighting I untied his friends and got them out 
the pot.   We were just about to make our escape when I heard a swiip sound. 
   Sargent-What's-His-Face was lying on the ground with a dart in his neck.

	"Now I have what I really wanted--the soul of a hero to feed my dark lord," 
The Shaman said.

	A small shadow formed in the air above him.   It turned out to be the car, 
which landed on top of The Shaman said.   The car continued to drive around 
the ridge.  The door opened and I shoved Assistant, Tom and Sam into the 

	"Get them outta here.  I'll get the Sargent," I said.

	Unfortunately, The Shaman got up.     He seemed to recognize me.   I don't 
think he was too happy about that.   Though Sargent-What's-His-Face was 
barely conscious and drugged out of his mind, The Shaman didn't seem to 
think I was much I of a threat and turned back to The Sarg.

	I may be stupid but even I can spot an opportunity.   I used the whammy on 
him.   I started to make Shaman cry.

	"Why?  If you hunted him all these years--why are you using his soul in your 
sacrifice?   You said you needed a hero---" I asked.
	"Fate does not work by my moral standards," The Shaman said.  "But his..."
	"Whose standards then?"
	"The impudent child.  The world weaver.  But I forgive him.  He knows not 
what he did," The Shaman said.
	"Huh?  Who?"
	"He was only a child when he pointlessly brought us into existence.   He 
may have written more of my exploits-- and those of a Legion of Teachers-- 
but he always loved him the most.  He barely remembers me.   The Sargent is 
a moral degenerate animal killer who endangers children--and you like him 
best?   He's the hero?  God, why have you forsaken me?  Why, father, why?"
	"Dude, that's nucking futz!" I muttered
	"Such language," Sargent said.
	"So I weaved my own world--this island.  I made myself my own God.  It is he 
that I'm summoning out of that cauldron," The Shaman said.
	"But I thought it was ancient nether demon," I said.
	"What Michelangelo said of sculpture is infinitely more true of the gods," 
The Shaman said.

	Sargent struggled to standup on his own.   He shoved his fist through The 
Shaman's  wooden mask which shattered into lots of itsy-bitsy pieces.

	"Now--to see who this masked hooligan really is--" he said.
	"Ooh! Ooh!  I know--it's Old Man Witherbee!" Prudence shouted from the 
safety of the car.
	"It's over Dahoony," said Sargent-What's-His-Face.

	Just as I said--it was Inspector Dahoony, my former high school security 
guard.   Though I can't really explain how Sargent-What's-His-Face knew him. 
   The cauldron began bubbling.  The carrots and other vegetables in the pot 
came oozing out.

	"It's all over.  The magic--- the unholy pagan rites, this island and most 
importantly your insane quest for justice.  You win.  I'll pay my fine and 
do the sixty hours community service," What's-His-Face said.

	A large deformed mud soaked man emerged from the bubbling cauldron.   The 
horrid beast was snarling.  Huge white fangs emerged from its mouth.

	"Fine.  You still go on trial for Child Endangerment, Child Abduction, 
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor and having Marion for a first 
name," Dahoony said.

	The car came racing toward me.  I hopped into the car.  There wasn't any 
room for Sargent-What's-His-Face.   I heard a thump on the roof.   He 
shouted to us to start the car.   The creature looked exhausted.    Its long 
froglike tongue swallowed Dahoony whole.  He looked more engerized than 

	"Get us out of here, Prudie," I said.

	The car really got rolling.   The creature followed us.   The monster was 
falling close behind.   We reached another vortex.   Student Driver Lass 
went rocketing through the portal.   It was like a vast interdimensional 
highway system.

	"Uh--guys--we have a problem... it followed us," Sargent-What's-His-Face said.
	"We can't let it reach our world.  It could wreck havoc--" Student Driver 
Lass said.
	"By that logic we should have left you behind," I said.
	"Excuse me... but can you drive?" she said.
	"Sorta... There was the time Ultimate Ninja let me take the car off 
autopilot.  And that time at the fair when--" I said.
	"Don't count."
	"What are you are going to do about that primordial god?" 
Sargent-What's-His-Face said.
	"We're working on it..." Student Driver Lass said.

	That's when I saw the sign.  It said `Looniverse Prime' next exit.

	"You'd better hurry--" I said.
	"This is a convertible, right?" he said.

	The Sargent peeked down from the roof of the car.  He tipped his hat.  
There was a distinct twinkle in his eye.   He motioned for me to hit the 
roof switch.   I did.   As the roof retracted it was ripped clean off taking 
the creature and Sargent-What's-His-Face with it.


	"I called him stupid.  I told him he was so naïve that he made me look like 
Cynical Lad.   After all that--he sacrificed his life so that our world might 
live.  I don't care what Dahoony said.   Sargent-What's-His-Face was a 
hero," Onion Lad said.
	"Objection!  Relevance of the whole story?" said the prosecutor.
	"Oh, right--we arrived right at the studio.  When the creature made contact 
with What's-His-Face there was a horrendous explosion.  The result of which 
put the rest of the contestants, plus Tom, Sam, Assistant and Chirpy the 
Chattery Chipmunk in comas," Onion Lad said.
	"So you have no witnesses other than the defendant to back up your claim?" 
The Prosecutor said.
	"Well... um--no--but you believe me--right?" Onion Lad said.


	The three days later, Student Driver Lass arrived in court with Onion Lad, 
Dan the Nine to Five Guy and Simon Velcro at her side.  Dan said a few words 
to the judge.   The judge looked back at The Prosecutor.   The Judge looked 
down on Student Driver Lass.

	"It is the opinion of this court, due to the number of infractions on your 
record exceeding even the maximum number allotted someone in your profession 
that for the next two years you perform all super heroic actions under the 
new court appointed codename `This is What Happens When You Drink and Drive 
Woman'.   You must also serve 400 hours of community service and wear a 
t-shirt with a martini glass with a ghostbusters circle around it whenever 
you are in public," said the judge.

	Student Driver Lass lowered her head.

	"You had to mention the explosion--didn't you?" she said.
	"What's the matter `This is What Happens When You Drink and Drive Woman'?" 
Onion Lad said.
	"We're not involved in a super heroic activity right now.  You still have 
to call me Student Driver Lass," she said.
	"Oh yeah..."
	"Well--you have two codenames now.  Doesn't that make you special..."

Onion Lad created by Tom Russell and Dane Martin.  Student Driver Lass and 
Simon Velcro created by Tom Russell.  Dan the Nine to Five Guy and The Swamp 
God created by Jesse N. Willey.    Sargent-What's-His-Face, Tom, Sam, 
Assistant, Chirpy the Chattering Chipmunk, The Everett Man and Inspector 
Dahoony created by Dane Martin.  Frat Boy created by Uplink.   Kid Occultism 
II is public domain.

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