Lit fic: Shorts
The Void Cow: A Tale of Dark Dairy

The Void Cow: A Tale of Dark Dairy

This comedy fantasy story is currently being told entirely Patreon through polls. Think of something similar to a choose your own adventure story but with a couple of differences: 1) it’s not written in second person point-of-view, and 2) there’s no “going back to page whatever and choosing a different path” option. Due to this being poll-based, the writing isn’t as smooth or edited as my other work. But, I hope you enjoy it all the same!

Follow me on Patreon to be a part of the story!

Currently voting on…

Thirty-Five (4/6/2021)

“Does anyone have a grudge against you? Why would you think someone would curse you?”

“I’m, like, ridiculously good looking.” I repeat with a wink.

Two guards standing behind me put their hands on the handles of their swords. Queen Brandy stays their hands.

She inspects me. “So what you’re telling me is that you don’t know who cursed you or why.”

“Well, I did just say—“

“And you probably didn’t even know that you were cursed. Not too bright, are you.”

“Well, my Queen, with all due respect, your throne room is poorly lit.”

A guard behind me sighs and says, “Queen, let us take care of this idiot for you. I mean, how’d they pass the tests to get recruited into your Majesty’s royal army in the first place?”

“I did really well on the physical test.”

“And your uncle is a general.” The Queen adds.

“Queen Brandy, I’d love to keep talking about how stupid I am but I have an important letter to deliver to you.”

She holds the doctored letter in question up. “This one?”

“…Yes. That one.”

She looks at the seal. “Seal is from King Milquetoast of Auburn. You’re telling me someone rode through the Buttcrack Trail to have this delivered to me?”

“Oh my god, I call it the Buttcrack Trail, too! Captain hates it when I call it that. I can’t wait to tell her Queen Brandy, our royal Highness—“

“And this letter was delivered directly from their courier’s hands to yours, and then from my guard’s hands—while you were unconscious—to mine? No one else touched this letter, is that correct?”

  • “Yup. You’re super correct on that. Like 110% correct.”
  • “Who knows what your guard did with it while I was passed out.”
  • “That’s a loaded question with an intricate answer,” I say before running away.
  • “Captain Rancid, Captain Rancid, Captain Rancid! It was her! She did it!”

Catch up on the story

One (9/9/2020)

Captain hates it when I call it this, but a messenger came from the buttcrack trail between the mountains with a message from our sworn enemies. I was told to deliver it to the Queen without reading it. In the light, I can make out the first few words. I can see…

  • Let’s talk peace…
  • Come to my party!
  • Trade wood for clay?
  • Your queendom sucks! (WON)

Two (9/12/2020)

She tosses the sealed envelope back to me. “Sucks to be you.”
“Why’s that, sir?” I ask.
Captain shrugs, “Queen’s going to chop your head off after you deliver something like that to her.” She chuckles, “…your queendom sucks.”
My eyes widen. “But cap, I…”

  • Have a family…somewhere
  • Have a contagious disease
  • Like my head (WON)
  • Have a thing, remember?

Three (9/15/2020)

“But cap, I like my head!”

Her mouth fishhooks, “I could take it or leave it. In fact, I’m going to leave it. I order you to update your will and hand-deliver this letter directly to the queen.”

Looks like I can’t get out of this. Maybe I can make a request, “Can I have…”

  • A fast horse
  • Better equipment
  • Soldiers for protection
  • Money, lots of money (WON)

Four (9/18/2020)

Cap massages her temples, “Let me get this straight. You want a pay raise, per diem, and a bonus?”
I look down. “Yes.”
She chuckles, “Fat chance! Unless…you’re willing to do something for me. A little job, off the books, in the Queen’s capital. No info until you agree.”

  • Sure! I’m sketchy as fuck (WON)
  • Do I have a choice?
  • I respectfully decline
  • No way!

Five (9/19/2020)

“Fantastic! I knew there was a reason I hired you.” Cap hands me a wooden box, parchment, and a cartoonishly large sack of coin. “Deliver this box to that address. Whatever you do, don’t open the box!”

  • Why, what’s in the box? (WON)
  • Okie dokey artichokie!
  • Deliver box. Profit. Easy
  • First, I’ll tell my fam

Six (9/20/2020)

“I know I didn’t just hand you that big ass sack of coin for you to be asking questions,” Cap scorns. I notice an inscription on the box: Money, lots of money. She watches me read it. “Just deliver the damn thing to the resident. Sealed.” “All right then!” I say as I…

  • Leave en route to queen (WON)
  • Open the box en route
  • Open the box at home
  • Immediately open the box

Seven (9/24/2020)

Without delay, I gather supplies for the journey and hop on my trusted steed. I’ll have to write a letter to my family once I get to the capital. She’s not the fastest horse in the land, but a faithful friend nonetheless. Her name is…

  • Daymare (WON)
  • Lady Horse McHorse
  • Gassy Gams
  • Clippity-Cloppity

Eight (9/28/2020)

Daymare and I bask in the sun as we trot along to the capital—providing ourselves some daycare. There’s a four-way split, all roads leading to the city. Real inefficient, if you ask me, but nonetheless I must choose a route.

  • Easyborington Street
  • Mediocre Terrace
  • Mildsauce Road
  • Toughshit Alley (WON)

Nine (10/1/2020)

Daymare whinnies.
“It’s all right, girl. Nothing to be scared of. This way is quickest, we won’t be here long.” I say, stroking her mane.
“That’s right, you won’t.” Someone replies. I halt. Behind the arrow pointed at my face, I see…

You can vote on this right now: @neutrinoburrito

  • My best friend
  • My mother
  • My ex
  • The Captain (WON)

Ten (10/3/2020)

“Little change of plans.” Captain says as hooded figures loosely surround me.
“We’re going to take that letter off your hands. Deliver this one instead.”
Someone hands me a perfect replica of the letter.
“What does it say,” I ask.
Cap relaxes her bow, “It says…”

  • Noneya…
  • Give peace a chance
  • Time for war, suckers!
  • New king, who dis? (WON)

Eleven (10/7/2020)

“We want queeny to visit the new king of the dirtbags to the east,” Cap explains.
“You’re not going to kill me?”
“What? No! I was agreeing with you—this is the quickest route.”
My brow sinks. “…Uruk doesn’t have a new king.”
“Ya-huh! No more questions—off you go.”

  • Mo money mo money mo mone (WON)
  • Why give me this now?
  • Watch me open this box
  • Watch me tear this letter

Twelve (10/9/2020)

Cap shakes her head. “Not happening.”
I grab the box, and read its inscription aloud. “I’ll take some from here then.”
With fear in their blood, the ambushers give me some space. One of the figures pats the air gently and says, “Don’t open that, it’s…”

  • rude!”
  • full of shit!”
  • cursed!”
  • going to get out!” (WON)

Thirteen (10/13/2020)

The air grows dense. We’re silent, but the birds keep chirping.
“Looks like a Flexican Standoff,” I say.
Cap puts a finger up. “Don’t say that. It’s prejudiced.”
She snaps her finger. Someone slings two sacks of coin tied together over Daymare. “That’s all you’re getting.”

  • I smugly saunter off (WON)
  • I confidently trot off
  • I nod and canter off
  • I smile and gallop off

Fourteen (10/17/2020)

As I ride off, someone behind me says, “Smug bastard.”
Buildings and suspicious people replace trees and suspicious birds. I’d better watch my back, the alley is more alley-like now. I should conceal my bountiful haul of cash by…

  • writing ‘not cash’ on ‘em (WON)
  • smiling and waving
  • looking real mean, grr
  • saying cap’s loaded

Fifteen (10/19/2020)

“Why are you writing ‘not cash’ on those coin bags?” A muddy alley girl asks.
“They’re clearly not coin bags, as is evident by the label.”
“You think because we live in an alley that we’re all as stupid as you?” The girl says while drawing a knife.
I must…

  • Ride off, crying (WON)
  • Tell her parents
  • Say, “stop bullying me!”
  • Slashy slashy time mofo

Sixteen (10/23/2020)

“I’m rich, I don’t have to take this from some peasant brat!” I egress, wiping tears away.
The entire Alley mocks me! They’re just jealous because they’re all so poor and ugly. No matter, I’m already gazing upon the grandiose structures of our capital city. It’s time to…

  • spend that moolah!
  • deliver that package! (WON)
  • cower before my queen!
  • write my family!

Seventeen (10/27/2020)

I knock. Moments later, a woman opens the door.
“We already paid our taxes in full,” she says.
“Oh, right. This box inscription and my uniform must make me look like a tax collector.”
What am I about to deliver? I going to…

  • just open the damn box (WON)
  • throw the box and run
  • smile, deliver, strut off
  • tell her the truth

Eighteen (11/06/2020)

A technicolor fog spills out into the house. A hand, wielding a blade that looks just like mine, juts out from the fog and pierces someone else in the house. The fog consolidates into a shape. My shape. This cloud just stole my likeness.
“What have you done,” the woman exclaims.

  • “Nothing! Prove it!”
  • I drop the box and run
  • I attack the fog clone (WON)
  • I call the guards

Nineteen (11/10/2020)

“Have at you!” I say, crossing blades with the vapor. After a fine parry, it extends its smog out and creates five long armed arms. Each appendage fatally wounds the other members of her family but spares us. With a smile and wave, it dissolves. I say…

  • “What the fuck?”
  • “Whoops, wrong house.” (WON)
  • “Can’t win ‘em all.”
  • “Can we start over?”

Twenty (11/16/2020)

“You killed my entire family and you’re telling me you got the wrong house?!” The woman chants something under her breath. Did I just give a witch a reason to hate me? I’m fucked. I’d better…

  • Explain myself
  • Run like the wind
  • Shit myself
  • Stop her w/ tongue twisters

Twenty-One (11/21/2020)

“Go maire do chos istigh rit,” she whispers in an unfamiliar language. I start to feel sick to my stomach.
I respond with, “Tell the teller to take terrible taxes!”
“Go maire do pharóiste teaghlaigh,” she belts.
“Still shouting silly spells! Stop seething sister, since soon…”

  • sad salamanders salivate
  • scary skeletons stand (TIED)
  • serious salads satiate
  • sarcastic squash scorns (TIED)

Twenty-Two (11/27/2020)

Shapes in calcium white and pumpkin orange fade in, ethereal becoming corporeal. Music chimes. Humanoid skeletons dance and candle-lit pumpkin mouths passive-aggressively insult the woman’s appearance. One pumpkin delivers a stunning blow, “Hey lady…

  • witches bathe, you know
  • conjure up a better face (WON)
  • bet the fam’s happier now
  • magically fix those rags

Twenty-Three (12/15/2020)

She paws at her face and whatever magic this lady was trying to cast fizzles out.
“How’d…Now I see—you’re one of Captain Rancid’s boots. She can’t kill me so she sends a witless idiot to kill my family.”
“It’s a vapor. Not many brains in a cloud.”
“I’m talking about you, idiot.”

  • Hey, I resemble that!
  • I didn’t know about foggy (TIED)
  • Not dumb, brain good (TIED)
  • No you are! 14.3

Twenty-Four (12/22/2020)

“I not didn’t dumb know brain about foggy good.”
“Uh, looks like someone’s got a powerful curse on you. This must be Rancid’s work. Wonder what she’s going to make you do.”

  • I’m not cursed!
  • I’m cursed? Help! (WON)
  • As long as I’m rich
  • No you are!

Twenty-Five (12/29/2020)

The witch scratches her chin and says, “As mad as I am at what you’ve done, it’s not your fault. Rancid’s the one to blame for all this. I’ll try and remove her curse but we need to tell Queen Brandy about these possessed void spirits.”
She chants and waves her arms. I feel…

  • Sick; gonna vomit
  • Salty like a pretzel (WON)
  • Guilt I think? Gross!
  • like I need to pee

Twenty-Six (1/12/2021)

“Savory vibes means it’s working!” The witch claims. “I can visualize the nature of your curse. I see a flock of birds pulling at you like a puppet, voting on how to control you. Let me try blocking their options…Got it! Did that work?”

  • Yes!
  • Yes
  • Yes? (WON)
  • Yes!?

Twenty-Seven (1/18/2021)

Rancid appears, staring you down. “This sad excuse for a witch is trying to murder you, my precious little birds. Now’s the time. Let’s get rid of the Queen’s number one supplier of fresh Void Milk. We’ll put an end to the production of these monstrosities yet. What shall we do?”

  • Torture her with polka
  • Poop on her car (WON)
  • Bring foggy boi back
  • Turn her into a newt

Twenty-Eight (1/26/2021)

“Quickly, we must warn Queen Brandy that they’ve found a way to use the Void Milk against us. We’ll take my lambo—”
Bird poop coats the witch’s bitchin’ anachronistic sports car.
“My baby!” She screams through sobs, ”What’ve they done to you?!”
 I must see the Queen, but first…

  • Ditch that witch
  • Trap that witch
  • De-turd that sweet ride
  • Poop on her car and run (WON)

Twenty-Nine (2/9/2021)

I pinch my last turd off and run for the castle—
Rancid appears to you again. Yes you, dear reader.
“Good work my little birds,” she says. “Now let’s make sure this turd does the job. Remember the terms of our curse?”

  • Kill the Queen?
  • Steal the Void Milk?
  • wtf is happening rn?
  • Poop on Queen’s car? (WON)

Thirty (2/16/2021)

“We can do that after we seize the throne,” Rancid says. “We formed a contract, little curse birds. Y’all vote on the control spells to tweet in Buttcrack Trail’s dumb ears so they’ll do what I want. And I want the throne. Fulfill your end of the agreement. Now.”

  • Wait, are we the baddies? (WON)
  • What do we get out of this?
  • Ugh, fine. We’ll do the thing.
  • Pass. We’re impish, not evil.

Thirty-One (2/23/2021)

“What kind of asinine question is that?” Rancid spits. “This isn’t some episodic ‘choose your own adventure’ style fantasy comedy fairy tale—this is real life. I gather that you might have a different reality, as you’re a collective sentient embodiment of pure magical energy licensed and bonded to my world by me, but I think you get the general idea.

“There is no good or bad here in my realm. There are only sides; sides carved out of our differences in political philosophy. My philosophy and that of my compatriots is that we should be treated equally as human beings. Queen Brandy thinks that it’s fine to use witchcraft and Void Milk to turn her subjects into monstrous killing machines ‘for the good of the Queendom’ or whatever.” Rancid takes a deep breath.

“Do you get it now?” She asks.

  • This exposition is boring; tell us about the job.
  • Fine, don’t answer us. Let’s just get this over with.
  • Completely understand. But are we the baddies? (WON)
  • So are we Queen killing or nah?

Thirty-Two (3/2/2021)

“No, dammit!” Captain Rancid screams into the starlight ether. “Queen Brandy is the baddy! She’s the one who employed that witch you just helped me dispose of to wrangle a fourth-dimensional bovine so she could use its milk to turn our regular soldiers into impervious super-soldiers. This was all in the contract.”

Rancid stares at a fixed point in our realm for a moment. “You did…read the terms of our curse contract, did you not?” She asks through gritted teeth.

She finds her answer in our silence.

“Great. Just great.” She starts. “I was told that the little magical blue birds were the best curse creatures to form a bond with. That you’re professionals. That if I give you a task, even a simple one—like possessing this moron foot soldier to have them kill the witch and then the Queen—that you’d do it easy-peasy. No questions asked. You’d just tweet into their dumb brain and they’d go do it.” Her motions disturb the fog of our dimension.

  • Our realm doesn’t like your bad vibes. (WON)
  • We just redecorated. Stop moving our gas around.
  • If it’ll shut you up, fine.
  • You’re going to kill a Queen over a cow? Hah!

Thirty-Three (3/23/2021)

We fly in circles around Captain Rancid and chant, “Our realm doesn’t like your bad vibes.”

“What are you doing?” Rancid asks.

“You’re kind of an asshole so we’ve collectively decided to break our contract,” we say in unison before going back to reciting our chant.

Our spell to cast her out is starting to work. Rancid spins around. It’s as if she’s being washed down an interdimensional drain. She fights against it, chanting some lame spell under her breath. It works, for a time. But we’ve got the home-court advantage. She spins faster.

Rancid chastises us while in her spin cycle, “You can’t just break a contract! There are rules! There are consequences!”

The Captain continues complaining as she sinks through the floor of our realm, “This isn’t the last of this! I’ll escalate this to the Council of Planekeepers! And the Council of Oaths! Your realm will be locked down and so devoid of magic you’ll be begging to reinstate our contract! But—“

Before she can finish, she disappears. Good riddance. Despite our contract being broken, we’re still connected to that doofus from her realm. What should us tweeting little bluebirds do about that?

  • Keep controlling them but, like, only for good
  • We did always want to take over that realm… (WON)
  • Let’s allow someone else to control them for a change
  • We should teach Rancid a thing or two…

Thirty-Four (3/30/2021)

“We always did want to take over that realm…” We chant to ourselves. “Good idea, us. Let’s continue gathering intel on that dimension for now. Figure out their weaknesses. Then, we’ll take them all down!”

We laugh in unison. Mostly. Harold laughs out of beat with us.

“Dammit, Harold, we talked about this. You have to laugh in step with the rest of us or it sounds weird!”

“Sorry,” says a dejected Harold.

“Let’s take a look at what our meat puppet, the Buttcrack Trail soldier, is doing.”

We open a portal through the eyes of the doofus human we’ve been manipulating. They’re talking to Queen Brandy.

“I…have no clue how I got here.”

Queen Brandy looks down on them—and on us by proxy—and says, “It’s simple. You’re cursed.”


“When someone is cursed, that means someone else made a contract with some powerful beings to facilitate the curse. That being, or beings in your case, do whatever they agreed upon in exchange for something…typically the soul of the person who initiated the curse. You take a dump in someone’s helmet or something?”

“Ew, no. Why would you ask that?”

“Does anyone have a grudge against you? Why would you think someone would curse you?”

  • I’m, like, ridiculously good looking. (WON)
  • My family is, like, ridiculously good looking.
  • I ain’t no snitch.
  • It’s gotta be Captain Rancid. I’ve got a lot to tell you…

Thirty-Five (4/06/2021)

“I’m, like, ridiculously good looking.” I repeat with a wink.

Two guards standing behind me put their hands on the handles of their swords. Queen Brandy stays their hands.

She inspects me. “So what you’re telling me is that you don’t know who cursed you or why.”

“Well, I did just say—“

“And you probably didn’t even know that you were cursed. Not too bright, are you.”

“Well, my Queen, with all due respect, your throne room is poorly lit.”

A guard behind me sighs and says, “Queen, let us take care of this idiot for you. I mean, how’d they pass the tests to get recruited into your Majesty’s royal army in the first place?”

“I did really well on the physical test.”

“And your uncle is a general.” The Queen adds.

“Queen Brandy, I’d love to keep talking about how stupid I am but I have an important letter to deliver to you.”

She holds the doctored letter in question up. “This one?”

“…Yes. That one.”

She looks at the seal. “Seal is from King Milquetoast of Auburn. You’re telling me someone rode through the Buttcrack Trail to have this delivered to me?”

“Oh my god, I call it the Buttcrack Trail, too! Captain hates it when I call it that. I can’t wait to tell her Queen Brandy, our royal Highness—“

“And this letter was delivered directly from their courier’s hands to yours, and then from my guard’s hands—while you were unconscious—to mine? No one else touched this letter, is that correct?”

  • “Yup. You’re super correct on that. Like 110% correct.”
  • “Who knows what your guard did with it while I was passed out.” (WON)
  • “That’s a loaded question with an intricate answer,” I say before running away.
  • “Captain Rancid, Captain Rancid, Captain Rancid! It was her! She did it!”

Thirty-Six (4/20/2021)

“Who knows what your guard did with it while I was passed out,” I say with a smirk. I’m not sure where that came from; typically not my style. But judging from the looks on everyone’s faces, it seemed to have worked.

Queen Brandy stares me down so fiercely I think I’m melting. Then, out of nowhere, she starts chuckling. Her chuckle rolls into a deep laughter. The guards follow suit, their laughter so loud and low my ears pop.

“You hear that boys? You’re both traitors to The Crown. Guess I’d better order you to be hanged in public.”

“I’ll go get the rope,” a guard says through their laughter.

This definitely did not work.

The Queen takes a step closer to me. “I’ll forgive your poor attempt to blame my most loyal subjects for tampering with this letter. You’re clearly still cursed.”

“So…you’re not going to kill me?”

“Why would I do that?” The Queen shrugs. “You’re my most powerful asset right now. In fact, I’m going to make you a deal. If you tell me who cursed you and tried to get you to deliver this phony letter to me, I’ll lift your curse. You’ll be free to make your own decisions. What say you, soldier?”

  • “Can I also have some money please, Your Majesty?”
  • “Captain Rancid Captain Rancid Captain Rancid!”
  • “What if they use the curse to kill me when I try to tell you? Ever think of that, genius?!” (WON)
  • “…And if I refuse?”

Thirty-Seven (4/27/2021)

“What if they use the curse to kill me when I try to tell you? Ever think of that, genius?!” I squeak.

Queen Brandy inspects me, making me feel like a laboratory rat.

“You won’t die,” she concludes.

“How do you know?!”

“Look, I know you’re in a state of panic right now. Unsure of whether your thoughts are your own or the makings of a collection of mischievous birds from another dimension—“

“I wasn’t before but now I am!”

“—however, I want you to understand who you’re talking to here. I am your Queen. You’ll address me as such. If you’re going to call me a genius, remove the sarcasm from your statement beforehand.”

I look around, taking in my current position. I’m flanked by two guards who look like steel walls in human form. If I am to run now, my only exit is behind me or a door behind the throne that’s also flanked by large guards. Where does she find these people?

The Queen clears her voice, more to get my attention than to dislodge phlegm. “I wouldn’t try to run if I were you, but I’m sure you’re just now figuring that out. Anyway, as I was saying—I’m positive you won’t die. You know how I know? I can see the nature of the curse set upon you. Someone of decent experience but no brains or power formed the contract with the little bluebirds in your head. Not only was that contract weak but the birds broke it.”

“How’d she figure that out?” Some creature chirps in my mind.

Other creatures chime in. “Yeah, that Queen’s wicked smart for a human.” “Wish we would’ve been able to possess her! We’d have ruled that dimension in no time.”

“Shut up!” I scream at them.

A guard trips me from behind. My face meets the ground with a crack. Red hot pressure swells in my nose and checks. I taste the irony liquid of blood in the back of my throat.

He points the murdery end of his staff at my torso. “Disrespect our Queen one more godsdamn time and I’ll do more than just knock you on your ass. Now answer her!”

  • “I was telling the birds in my head to shut up, not Queen Brandy!”
  • “Actually, you knocked me on my face; not my ass.” (WON)
  • “I’ll take your deal as long as you can prove that I won’t instantly die.”
  • “Ma thung! Ou made me bi ma thung!”

Thirty-Eight (5/4/2021)

“Actually, you knocked me on my face; not my ass,” I respond.

Like a flash of lightning, the guard twirls his staff around to the blunt end. Like thunder, he lays a loud smack against my cheek, which echoes in the throne room and harmonizes with the thud of my head hitting the floor. I briefly catch a glimpse of little bluebirds surrounding me. They blur and fade in a dim red-purple cloud. Behind them stands the enormous legs of a hoofed creature. The tip of its muzzle pushes down at me through the strange fog. It sniffs me.

“This thing reeks of a special kind of stupidity. Do you really think this mortal is the key to opening a portal to their realm?”

“We do, Your Voidness!” The birds chirp in unison.

“I say you flush this turd, but it’s your invasion. Do whatever you want with it. Go nuts! As long as you remove it from my realm first. It’s really stinking up the place.”

The birds flap their wings, creating a mighty wind that pushes me away. I see red, then black, then white, then I’m back in the Queen’s throne room.

“You see it now, don’t you? The Void,” the Queen says with a soul-penetrating gaze.

“I saw a magic fog and some bluebirds and…a giant horse—who was kind of an asshole.”

“It’s not a giant horse; it’s a giant cow. The Void Cow. You just got a glimpse into her domain. Those bluebirds do her bidding, more or less.”

“So I’m cursed by a giant cow and some birds that live in a mystic gas?”

“The Void exists outside of our known space and time. The Void Cow is a fifth-dimensional being. She can reach into any instance of our reality. Any permutation. Any version of you based on causality.”

“She’s a god,” I state with awe.

“No—the gods we worship are constructs of our imagination. The Void Cow is…udderly real.”

The guards laugh at the Queen’s remark.

I decide to risk another wallop on the noggin. “Why are you laughing? This is some serious shit!”

“Udderly real?” A guard makes a statement with the tone of a question.

I shake my head and shrug.

“It’s a cow. Cows have udders. It’s a play on words. Are you really this stupid? Queen, with all due respect—“

The Queen interrupts, “Espion, I know what you’re about to say and I’m just going to stop you right there. Yes, this lowly guard is stupid. Yes, the only reason they even have their job is because their uncle is a big shot. Yes, they’re privileged as all hell. Yes, nepotism exists in my Queendom. A monarchy is literally built on nepotism. But for better or worse, they’re who we’ve got. They received the curse. They have a connection with The Void. This is an opportunity we must take.”

My Royal Highness descends the throne and casually closes the distance between us. “You have a heavy burden on your shoulders, protector of the Buttcrack Trail. Whether you like it or not, you are the key to our nation’s salvation.” She clinches her teeth for a moment before continuing, “We need you…your connection to The Void is paramount for us to win the war against our enemies—the kingdom of Uruk. What will you do? Will you help us? Or will you start brushing up on your Urukese to prepare for your new masters?”

  • “Urukese is a more beautiful language than ours, so…”
  • “Let’s do some crazy void shit! That’s how we do it up at the Buttcrack Trail, y’all!” (WON)
  • “I’m not going to do anything weird, am I?” 25%
  • “I’ll totally do whatever you want if the price is high. And if this guard becomes my personal butler.”

Thirty-Nine (5/11/2021)

I stand tall, shaking off the headache from the smack that guard gave me from his little wooden stick.  My blood runs hot. I feel like a volcano, ready to burst. I point to Queen Brandy and give her a shotgun stare. I’ve just had a peek behind the curtain of the universe—of all universes. Nothing phases me now.

“Let’s do some crazy void shit! That’s how we do it up at the Buttcrack Trail, y’all!” I declare.

My decree echoes throughout the throne room. There they stand, the Queen and her guard, flabbergasted. My newfound confidence must be so intimidating that it leaves them speechless. They look to one another for a reaction. Yeah, they’re speechless.

The Queen lets out a chuckle. Then slowly the guards follow. Chuckles turn to laughs turn to manic bouts of hilarious laughter. Looks like I’m not in on the joke. Or I am the joke. Nah, that can’t be it. I’m clearly too confident to be the butt of a joke. That was the old me. This is the new me.

Wicking away a tear, the Queen alternates between giggles and asking me a question, “Does that mean you’ll consent to doing what’s needed to help us and serve your Queendom?”

“You know it! I’ve just made sweet love to the intersection of time and space, I’m ready for anything.”

“Did you get all that?” The Queen says with her head turned as if she’s talking to someone invisible.

An old woman pops out. She seems familiar. It’s that lady that got her car pooped on by those interdimensional birds!

“Yes, Your Majesty, the phrase of consent is bonded to this magic seal at the bottom of the curse contract. We have everything we need to go through with the ritual.”

“The ritual?” I squeak.

“The ritual,” the old witch parrots.

“Great,” the Queen says while snapping her fingers, “put them in the suit. Let’s get this ritual started.”

A guard steps in front of me and shoves an ornate robe into my torso.

“The ritual?” I squeal.

“The ritual,” the guard repeats. “Now get this on.”

“All right, where’s your nearest dress room?”

Another guard willfully bumps into me from behind. “No dress rooms. Strip naked and get this robe on. Now.”

I ask…

  • “You’re not going to do anything weird, are you?” (WON)
  • “I typically don’t dress myself. Will you help me?”
  • “Can someone time me? I want to see how quickly I can undress.” 
  • “How will this save our nation again?”

Forty: The Last Episode (5/18/2021)

“You’re not going to do anything weird, are you?” I ask.

The guards leave their response in the form of creepy chuckles.

“Right,” I say to no one in particular as I expose my form to Queen and country. A chill runs through me as I huddle against myself in my undergarments.

“Did we say stop at your skivvies? Get completely naked. Now.”

“Oh come on guys, is that necessary?”

“We wouldn’t have told you to do it if it weren’t necessary. Now get Buttcrack Trail-ass naked. Come on, you’re wasting time here!” A guard shoves me into another, who picks me up and sets me straight. 

I’m starting to think I made a bad choice here. Possibly multiple bad choices. I reflect on my life for a brief moment. Nah. Just this one. All of my other choices were top-notch. Anyway, time to get full Buttcrack Trail-ass naked so I don’t get beat up by these brick houses.

As soon as I’m completely in the nude, a guard grabs my forearms and raises my hands in the air. Another guard slips the robe over me. They push me forward. I trip a bit, but quickly stabilize and dust my knees off.

The witch wastes no time in chanting some nonsense and waving her hands about. The curse contract floats gently through the air, glowing with a dark purple aura. It slowly moves closer to me and higher until it finds a comfortable spot as the tip of an invisible pyramid between the witch, the Queen, and me. Queen Brandy retrieves an ornate dagger from her person. Its hilt is an open circle, with bioluminescent glyphs along the short blade and a red gem at the base of the handle.

The Queen steps toward me. “Hey, thanks for doing this by the way.” She hands me the dagger and continues, “all you have to do is take this dagger and just plunge it directly into your heart by way of your solar plexus.”

“I have to stab myself in the chest and kill myself?”

“Well, the solar plexus is more the abdomen area. It’s a lot easier to get to your heart that way than trying to break your breastplate. Less painful. Although, this dagger is so sharp that it might be just as easy to go straight through your ribs.”

“I’m not going to kill myself!” I screech.

The Queen smirks. “I’m afraid you are. This is what you signed up for, friend. You agreed to it. More specifically, your soul agreed to it with this curse contract.”

“Well…I don’t wanna! Isn’t there some sort of magical law where you can back out of a curse contract within the first three days or something?”

The witch cackles. “Hell no, you little shit taker. You either kill yourself right now so we can complete this ritual or your whole family dies horrible, gruesome deaths while your eyes are magically sewn open to watch.”

“Oh my god, you people are just the worst. Why would you force me into this situation?”

The Queen looks from the witch back to me. “Desperate times call for desperate measures. We’re at war with Uruk. We were winning, thanks to the Void Cow. But now Uruk is winning. Do you know why? They made that space bovine a better offer! That bastard King of Uruk stole the Void Cow from us. Now we’ve got to raise the stakes. See, I’ve had you in my back pocket for a while now. Like an ace up my sleeve. Now, the King of Uruk has called my bet. It’s time to lay all my cards on the table.”

“That makes sense as I am pretty valuable,” I declare.

The guard’s chortles and scoffs can be heard through the witch’s chants.

“It’s true, actually. You might not look like much, but you are valuable! You’re the most valuable asset I have. And now that you’re bound through this curse contract, you’re at my complete disposal. I don’t want to get into ‘chosen one’ prophecies—so I won’t. You’re going to die in the next five minutes so I might as well tell you your birthright. Forty-two years ago, I gave the officers in my inner circle a promise of vast power and wealth and all they had to do was allow my court wizard here,” Queen Brandy gestures toward the witch, “to perform a spell on them to infuse them with a touch of dark matter. Over time, that dark matter would grow alongside them and eventually, they would have the power to ferry any beings they wished across space, time, and any dimension they liked.”

“Wow, that sounds pretty farfetched.”

“Yeah, I know it may be difficult to grasp the concept of inter-dimensional travel, but—“

“No,” I interrupt, “I mean that it’s farfetched that this is your court wizard.”

“Women can be wizards, too!” The witch states between chants.

“Oh, I’m all for equality amongst magical nomenclature but I mean…look at you. Brown rags, ratty grey hair, twigs, and leaves stuck to you—you’re clearly a swamp witch.”

Queen Brandy cups her brow and massages it. “You’re missing the point. Look, what I’m getting at here is that I made an exception with your uncle to have Lady Beaumont, Court Wizard of the House of Brandy—“

“Your name is Lady Beaumont? You’re so not a Lady Beaumont.”

“—Lady Beaumont sowed dark matter in your dumbass and now we’re here to reap the harvest. You die and your essence gets bound with the Void Cow, imbuing the creature with the newfound ability to travel between dimensions at will. We seal the deal with a curse contract using your very soul as collateral, then the Void Cow gives me all the Void Milk I need so I can continue turning my soldiers into supernatural Void Beasts and win this damn war. You feel me?”

“Sure. Sure sure sure. Yeah. A few questions.”


“One, why did my uncle choose me instead of my cousin; his son?”

“He didn’t want to risk his only son’s health and it was more than forty years ago, I was a little more willing to haggle back then. I was just like, ‘look, as long as they’re related to you, I don’t care.”

“Okay, cool. My uncle’s a dick. Next question: Why me? You said there were more people with dark matter fluids in them. Why not just go with someone else?”

The witch pipes up, “I can field this one. They were all driven mad by my spell. My theory is…how do I put this…they were all much smarter than you so they had a lot of gray matter to lose. You, on the other hand, have nothing but gravel up there.”


“Take it as a compliment. They’re all dead and you’re not. Not yet, anyway.”

“Yeah, that brings me to my last question. Why can’t you just kill me? Why do I have to do this myself?”

“That’s just how these sorts of things work,” the Queen answers. “We had to use some pretty ancient magic to get this whole shebang to work. Contrary to popular belief, the wizards of old actually had a lot more of a conscience than we do now. If we could’ve just killed you to complete the ritual, believe me, we would’ve.”

“I’d have volunteered,” a guard adds.

“But unfortunately, even after forty years of research and experimentation, we landed back here. You have to stab yourself in the heart with this dagger. I’ll then give the dagger to the Void Cow and bingo-bango, Void Milk for days!”

“So your plan is to give a super-powerful being even more power, meaning they could just come here and wipe us out.”

“That’s where the curse contract comes in. Besides, I’ve spoken to the Void Cow many a time. They’re chill as hell. They just want to pop into this dimension every now and then. Said they want to start a ’Twitter account’ to maximize their ability to be entertained by humans in this realm—whatever that means. Anyway, all this lazy exposition is wasting time. Let’s light this candle already. Here.”

Queen Brandy hands me the dagger.

“Let me remind you again that you’re under contract.” She points at the floating parchment. “You biff this and you’ll wish you killed yourself. Capisce?”

I stare daggers as the dagger somehow stares back at me…

  • I plunge the dagger straight into my heart from just under my ribcage.
  • I thrust the dagger straight into Queen Brandy’s stomach.
  • I jump and slice the curse contract in twine with the dagger.
  • I throw the dagger, aiming straight for the left eye of the witch. That’s the lucky eye.

The Epilogue

I throw the dagger, aiming straight for the left eye of the witch. That’s the lucky eye.

Bullseye! The witch cries out in anguish. “My eye! My lucky eye!”

“Good throw,” Queen Brandy says with a nod of admiration. The guards nod along with her.

“Ahh! How’d you know that throwing that dagger straight into my lucky eye would break the curse contract with no consequences on your end?!”

My expression opens up in delight. “Really?”

The witch pulls the dagger out of her socket and flings her severed looker at me. The optic sticks to my cheek like a wet meatball wrapped in spaghetti.

“No, stupid,” the witch says. She then mutters something under her breath and flutters her hand in front of her eyehole. Her blood pulls itself back in the wound and a new eye forms. “Now,” she continues, pointing at me with the ornate dagger, “you’ve got one last chance. Are we gonna do this thing for real or what?”

I ponder for a moment. On the one hand, if I don’t do this my family will be killed in front of me. That sucks Buttcrack Trail. On the other hand, if I do this I’ll die and those blue little birds will totally take over the planet and would probably kill my family anyway. Hmm…this is really a pickle. It’d be great if some Deux Ex Machina type of situation presented itself.

The sounds of blades clashing and people dying seeps in from just outside the throne chamber.

“Damnit, really?” Queen Brandy throws her arms up. “This better not be one of those Deus Ex Machina type of deals. Guards, go check it out.”

Just as the guards attempt to open the doors, they’re flung open, knocking the large men back. Dark ashen smoke permeates through the entryway.

“Yes!” I say as I fist pump. “I’m saved!”

A figure blurs through the air through the smoke. Their blades spin and cut through the guard’s head like a hot knife through butter. Before the other guard can react, the figure’s blades slice right through them and the door itself. The mysterious figure stands at ease. It’s Captain Rancid.

“No!” I say as I bite my fist. “I’m still dead.”

Rancid wipes the blood from her blades. “No, you’re not. I’m here to rescue you, you idiot.”

“See! Total Deus Ex,” Brandy states.

“No, it isn’t—Rancid had a lot of character development in the first ten or so episodes,” I squeak in rebuttal.

“Well, I wasn’t there for any of that. Also, I’m Queen and if I say it’s a Deus Ex, it’s a godsdamn Deus Ex; so there!”

Rancid thrusts a sword in the air toward the Queen. “Queen Brandy, the time has come for you to pay for your sins in blood. You’ve gone too far! You’ve turned your own people into abominations. Even now, you’re trying to force a lovable goof to kill themself just so you can suckle the inter-dimensional teat for a stronger army.” The fog consolidates into several people. Soldiers. One of them looks like me.

“You! You’re the fog person who looks like me and tried to kill me!”

“That’s because I am you. Queen Brandy used a bit of your blood and a smattering of Void Milk to create me. I was slated to be standing right where you are right now. Rancid and her rag-tag crew of people tired of all the dark magic bullshit rescued and freed me before they could go through with it though.”

“So that’s why you tried to kill me huh? Couldn’t stand being a shadow of the genuine article.”

“I can’t believe I’m made from your blood. No—you ignoramus—I wanted to put a stop to all this black magic fuckery, too. Seal the birds and the Void Cow in their own dimension for good. This court wizard—“

“Witch,” I correct.

“—is pretty much the only person with all the knowledge of this ritual. If I eliminated them and you, then offed myself afterward, there’d be no one left to perform it.”

“Woah, that’s heavy,” I add.

“Yeah, but luckily, we found a way to seal them in for good and it doesn’t involve killing anyone. We’ve just got to destroy the Void Dagger.”

“Oh okay, cool cool,” I say and then click my tongue on the roof of my mouth a few times. “Well, the witch has it over there, so I’ll just let you do your thing and get out of your way.”

“What a hero,” Rancid says.

Brandy nods to the witch. “Time for Plan B.”

The witch chants something and her eye, now on the floor, straightens and turns into a sharpened piece of metal that quickly cuts the back of my hand.

“Owwie!” I scream.

Rancid’s eyes widen. “She’s trying to make another clone. Stop her.”

A jar of Void Milk appears from behind the throne and levitates over the witch’s head. The dark purple liquid beautifully streaks out from the jar and combines with my blood. Queen Brandy flips over me and chants her own spell. The recently deceased guards spring to life and engage in combat with Rancid’s forces. Wounds seem to not affect these reanimated corpses. They take down members of the rebellion that can’t transform into a gaseous state.

Fine, I’ll be a hero. I grab the Void Dagger, which was sort of forgotten by everyone else in all the commotion, and strike it through the distracted witch’s heart.

“What the fuck. Not cool,” the witch says before dissolving into ash.

Queen Brandy ceases her spell casting and puts her hands up. “Fine, I surrender. You dopes are just going to let Uruk walk all over us now,” she says.

Rancid looks the Queen up and down with a smirk. “I’ll take that overturning us all into nether-spirit super soldiers. Like, who the fuck even does that and then turns around and is all like ‘I was doing it so we wouldn’t get stomped by that King who has a free growing, and prosperous country. That’s what I want right there. I want a country built on using people as resources. That’s totally a better idea than feeding and educating my subjects. Yup. Let’s do that.’”

“Oh shut up. You’ve got your nose so far up Uruk’s ass I doubt you can see any of the ‘freedom’ and ‘prosperity’ their king supposedly has. It’s all propaganda. The whole reason I had to go through with all this grotesque bullshit is that the King of Uruk kept one-upping me and gaining the favor of the Void Cow.”

“You’re lying. Our sources didn’t find any evidence of that.”

“Oh yeah, did you bother to check your sources? Or are your sources ‘really swell pals’ from Uruk that you can totally trust.”

“No, we also read all of your correspondence with the King.”

“Oh the ones that just say ‘your queendom sucks.’ That’s because he writes most of his letters in invisible ink, genius. It’s activated by lemons. He specifically does that because—“

“He knows we have a lemon shortage,” Rancid finishes. “Oh farts. Are we the baddies?”

“Yes, godsdamnit!”

“What do we do?”

“Well, I can try to complete the ritual, although I’m not as versed in it as my court wizard that this dingus just killed.”

“Way to go, dingus,” Rancid says. Members of the rebellion-turned-peanut-gallery echo Rancid’s sentiment.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! I’m the stupid jerk for not wanting to die?!”

“Yes!” the group shouts in unison.

“Fuck my life.”

“Exactly,” Brandy says, “now you’re getting it. We kill you, please the Void Cow, get tons of that magic milk—bingo bango, we can bring Uruk to its knees. Nations from all over the world will wait in line for hours just to give us all high fives.”

“Really, Uruk is that bad?”

“Yeah man, that King is a bunch of dick cheddar. The moment he falls,” the Queen continues, “we can help elect a new leader for Uruk with a treaty. We’re talking an armistice, we’re talking a ban on all this Void Magic, we’re talking free trade. Really cool stuff. We’ve just gotta kill one privileged little dummy and everything from here on out will be smooth. I’m talking smooooooth.”

“Makes sense. Sorry dummy. Let’s do this.”

“I am not going to kill myself!”

Rancid pulls out a small box. She opens the box and grabs a neon green worm. “Hold them down.”

Fog consolidates around me into people who restrain me. I try to break free but I’m no match for them.

“This is madness!” I shout. “This is pure evil!”

Rancid slips the worm into my ear. I feel floaty.

“I feel floaty!”

“That’s right. You just want to do everything I tell you, don’t you?”

“I sure do!” I say through giggles. “What, Miss Captain Rancid, can I do for you, sir?”

“Take that dagger.”

“Uh-huh.” I grip the small blade in hand.

“Angle it low.”

“You got it.”

“Now slit Queen Brandy’s throat with it.”

“You got it.” I spin around and slice across the Queen’s neck faster than she can pull back.

“Sorry Queeny,” Rancid says. “We’ve got a little ritual of our own to perform. Get everything ready. We’re going to break that curse contract binding you, friend. I just need you to be fully compliant with me so you don’t screw it up.”

“Okie dokey!”

Rancid instructs me on what to do. I listen in lockstep with every command. It’s like a newfound wave of thought has penetrated my brain. Who would’ve thought this little worm would make me so damn smart—

“I would think that,” Rancid interrupts. “I’m controlling you through this worm in your brain. That means I can read your thoughts. Well, thought. Not much going on up there.”

I snicker. “I’m so dumb.”

“You’re my special little goof,” Rancid says and boops my nose.

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