White noise filled the room; the kind of staticky, dull roar emitted by a television or radio that’s stuck between channels. I briefly wondered about the source, but my sleep-encrusted eyes weren’t quite up to the challenge of any serious investigation.
Yawning, I broke wind and stretched my meaty arms out to either side — only to have my left hand land on a thick head of long, curly locks. “Well well, what have we here?” I said with a sly smile, eyes still shut. I tousled the hair and gently massaged the supple neck beneath. After hearing an appreciative moan, I rolled over on my side to face the mystery woman, and slowly opened my eyes.
And for the second and hopefully last time in my life, literally shrieked.
The reason for my distress? The woman next to me was no woman. It was instead Maude Demaine — aka the Elephantine She-Beast of East Egg. Picture a female version of me, only ugly instead of devilishly handsome and much, much fatter, then add a wispy mustache and a ring of warts under the left eye. Once that image is complete, you’ll have taken your first steps toward understanding my terror.
To make matters worse, Maude is married to the wealthy, powerful, and extremely vengeful oilman Demaine, who rules East Egg’s social calendar with an osmium fist gloved in rancid feces. And the last time he caught Maude and me in flagrante delicto—
What’s that? Yes, this has happened before. Twice. No, I’m not proud of it. But I’m not proud of my frequent bouts with incontinence either, yet I still tell you about those. What can I say? I’m truthful to a fault.
Anyhow, enough with the history lesson. Back in the then-present, I had more pressing concerns. Specifically, the fact that my shriek had pierced the slumber of the hideous monstrosity beside me. Thinking fast, I jumped up and wrapped myself in the bed’s comforter before Maude’s eyes fully opened. She looked at me and smiled.
“What are you doing out of bed, baby?” she croaked. “Come back over here. Mommy’s hungry. Hungry for more of baby’s—”
“Shut up!” I cried, clapping my hands to my ears while clenching the comforter with my armpits. “Shut up shut up shut up shut up!”
“Shut! Up!” I shouted again, backing away from her. “The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ—”
I then discovered the source of the white noise — a box television on a rather flimsy stand, speaking to the overall cheapness of the fleabag motel in which I had apparently awakened. My backward momentum toppled the stand and I landed with a crash, my head embedded in the middle of the shattered set.
While I lay there dazed, Maude shambled off the bed and lurched forward until she towered over me in all her naked, Lovecraftian horror. “You,” she said while delivering a quick kick to my testes, “are a real asshole! Burn in hell, Oz!”
My eyes clenched shut as I howled in pain, and I heard a door slam a short time later. The ensuing hours were a perplexing whirl of hotel employees, medical professionals, and eventually my butler Montgomery, who picked me up at the hospital and drove me back to my palatial estate.
As to how I wound up in that harrowing situation, I may never know. But it’s probably safe to assume it had something to do with my propensity for mixing powerful prescription pain medication and excessive quantities of alcohol. Speaking of which, time for me to pop a few Oxys, slip into a Speedo, and relax with a pitcher of Old Fashioneds in the hot tub. Toodle-oo.
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