David’s Dread of Dreary Deadlines
As the alarm clock sounds David opens his eyes, and groans at the thought of the day ahead of him. David works at a dead-end job for a small telecom company, which is on any given day, a microcosm of Hell. But this particular day is All Hallows Eve, the last day of the month and therefore the busiest. With trepidation David steps gingerly on to the wood floor of his man cave. He hurriedly showers and dresses – the loathing in his gut growing stronger with each passing moment. As he steps out into the street David is drenched in a frozen blast of rain. The dark months have begun in this sleepy Northwestern town. David knows that he will see no sunshine for endless months and shakes his head in sorrow. Trudging through the rain and the wind, he makes his way to work, his feet growing heavier with each step.
When David nears the office he can hear that the Banshee is in rare form this morning. Her screeches echo down the dark street. Chills course through his body and the loathing in his gut turns to bile in his throat. He knows what he is walking into – the Banshee screaming from her den – then smiling in your face trying to beguile you into her jaws. Closer now, David can see that the Ice King and his wife are in the office, a rare workday in their life of leisure. David’s loathing turns into pure hatred. He realizes he will spend the day frozen solid while the Ice King enjoys the cold dark air.
He slips quietly into the office and heads straight to the kitchen. At least he will have as much hot coffee as he wants today. The Ice King likes to ensure that his employees are working at their maximum speed and so provides unlimited beverages. As usual no one else has bothered to make coffee this morning. David doesn’t mind – the task keeps him from his desk a little longer. As he’s putting the finishing touches on his drink, Tigger bounces into the kitchen. With his caffeine induced façade of perpetual excitement Tigger asks how David’s morning is going. Always the diplomat David responds appropriately and hurries to his desk.
The Banshee is still screeching from behind the door of her den. David’s desk is right outside the banshee’s door so he has the pleasure of hearing everything she is saying. He knows to keep his head down and his mouth shut in order to avoid her wrath. He quietly sits down and begins his day. Eventually the Banshee stops screeching and opens her door. Dressed in black and gold, she is a sight to behold. David has never seen her so adorned and wonders what the special occasion is.
The Banshee turns her gaze on David and lilts, “Oh David, can you come see The Ice King, Tigger and I in the conference room? We have something we would like to discuss with you.” The sensation of a million baby spiders crawls from his scalp to his toes and he shudders in fear and anticipation. Has it finally come? Are they really going to release him from his servitude? David gathers his pen and notepad and hurries into the conference room.
When he enters the room it’s as though he’s stepped into a glacial cave. Darkness shrouds his vision. Moisture condenses on his eyelashes and the chill cuts through to his bones. As his eyes adjust to the dim candlelight, he sees The Ice King and his bride at the head of the room. Black robes waft around them in the breeze. To the right is Tigger, on one knee bowing his head, to the left the Banshee in the same position. There are sconces with candles lining the walls and some type of altar in front of the Ice King. There is a red velvet cloth covering the altar and a skull shaped bowl with something steaming inside it. Next to the skull is a golden goblet.
“COME FORWARD” The icy blast from the mouth of the King nearly knocks him over and he stumbles as he moves to the front of the room. The Banshee and Tigger turn their gaze to him and in unison pronounce “He is ready my king”. The horrified David barely notices them speak too enthralled by the items on the altar. He can now see that there is a heart pulsating inside the skull, and the goblet is filled with some dark liquid next to it. The stench of blood and death creeps up his nostrils like tendrils on a vine. His legs have turned to jello and he struggles to stay upright.
“David Langston Willingham, we have learned of the Twin you hide within you. It was for the Twin that we brought you into our fold. It is for the Twin that we have fed and nurtured the darkness within you. It is for the Twin that we now initiate you as a full citizen of our kingdom.” David’s eyes remain plastered to the pulsating heart, his mind racing – “HOW?”
The Ice King continues, “David Langston Willingham, take this chalice and drink. With this blood the Twin within you will finally awaken.” David can see that he has no escape from this warren of demons and so drinks from the cup. The pungent taste of iron fills his mouth and throat, the warmth causing him to gag. He finishes the cup and puts it back on the altar. He knows what will be next and that there will be no stopping his twin if the demons succeed.
“David Langston Willingham, take this heart and consume it. With this heart the Twin will have life of his own, the freedom to move about and do my bidding.” The small orb of white within David’s soul chuckles at this. Finally he has found his advantage – the Ice King underestimates the power of the Twin. He grabs the heart and forces the entire thing into his mouth, chewing furiously, but not allowing anything to seep down his throat. When he’s finished there is nothing but a bloody mush filling every crevice of his mouth. He simulates a swallow and drops to his knees. He knows he must time this just perfectly in order to escape intact.
He starts shaking and the Ice King grins down at him, the blackness of his soul streaming out through his teeth as he laughs. “At last! The Twin will be mine to control!” At that instant David looks directly into the Ice Kings eyes and hurls the bloody mush out of his mouth and into the Ice Kings. The Ice King chokes and gags on the pulp of the heart as the mush slides down his throat. David jumps to his feet and grabs the Ice King’s jaw forcing it closed so the king has no choice but to swallow the heart.
The Banshee, Tigger and the Queen are as statues, unable to move from the shock of David’s actions. The Ice King begins to shake as the heart begins to flow through his body. One by one the pores on the king’s body burst into light until he is consumed. His head falls back and his eyes roll inside their sockets. The light is so bright that it fills the room, blinding all but David. He’s been through this before – this isn’t the first time someone has tried to steal his Twin.
The light emanating from the Ice King is hot, warming David through and through. As he watches the Ice King begins melting like a snowman on a warm day. The other three demons are cowering on the ground hiding their eyes from the light, trying to get away from the heat. David laughs. He knows it will be over for them soon as well. When there’s nothing left of the Ice King but a puddle the light finally fades and dies. David blinks to adjust his eyes to the darkness again.
The Queen is the first to stir. She lifts her head and gazes at David. All the darkness has gone from her soul and the beautiful maid is left wondering where she is and what has happened. David grasps her arm and guides her to the kitchen where he gives her a warm cup of coffee. He hurries back to the conference room and does the same for the now docile Banshee. Tigger is the last to arise. No longer bouncy and full of energy he walks somberly out of the conference room. No coffee for Tigger. He never wants to see another cup again.
The three former demons gather their wits and head to their homes. They have all been enslaved by the Ice King for years and are anxious to regain their lost lives. After everyone has left David puts out the candles and turns off all of the equipment. As he shuts the door to the office one last time, he’s grateful that his servitude has come to an end. While making the long journey home David contemplates what he will do now for work. Likely another hell hole like the one he just left. Such is life.
Posted on October 2, 2012, in Short Stories and tagged AdventureTime, All Hallows Eve, CartoonNetwork, David, Gemini, Halloween, Ice King, Ice Kings, King, Magic, Magik, Queen, Tigger. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.