Dreamed 1994/8/9 by Chris Wayan
A thin, gentle bearded man, and his wise old mentor, are co-stars on a weekly TV show. I hate it. The show ends the same way every week--they're kidnapped by aliens who tell them "You're prisoners. You'll stay here till you die. Or... one of you may go free. Whoever can kill the other."
And every week his mentor, skilled in martial arts, says "Well, consider this a learning experience," and kills his student, quickly, methodically, brutally. The thin guy never has a chance. And he knows it. And next week it happens again.
That's the running joke everyone tunes in for. Ha ha.
The beatings are brutal, even if his deaths are staged. He doesn't heal from the last one by the time they shoot the next show. The country buzzes with jokes about what people will do to be on TV. Viewers gossip and bet how many bruises he'll show this week. Office-pool money is won and lost...
And he can't get out. The contract's ironclad. They knew no actor could take it for long and so offered him a fortune up front and bribed his agent not to mention a fine-print clause in the contract. He signed naively, and now he can't get out.
So he does the only thing he can. Runs, goes underground! As if he's the criminal.
And of course they need a replacement. Guess who they draft.
They learned, though. No contract for me--simple force. I'm trapped on the set, in his role as the hapless apprentice. I'm even worse off than he was. I can't fight my mentor at all--I'm a girl half his weight, with no martial training since that judo class when I was what, ten? He kills me almost instantly. Every week America laughs and laughs as the stupid blonde bimbo gets battered again, again, again. I can't even last long enough in our fights to learn anything for next time.
I have to find another way to free myself.
I won't even speak to my so-called mentor. Maybe he figured I'd learn to defend myself, after a few thousand beatings. But if he wanted a fair fight, he could have taught me. No, the one thing I DO know about fighting is, go for their weakness, not their strength.
So I go study the schedule of another actress, who plays the alien setting up our "duels", that is, my weekly murder. See, she's also the PRODUCER of this rotten show. She set up the cycle of torment. My mentor's just the hit man.
Willing hit man.
But still... go for the brain, not the fist!
So I wait till one day I can corner her alone. I don't know martial arts. I don't need martial arts. I just start kicking her, viciously, till she's down on the set floor, and go on kicking and stomping her as hard as I can, till her bones are shattered and her face is gone, and I can be sure, sure, sure that she's dead, dead, dead.
And I enjoy it. She's had me killed over and over, for her own profit. Let her see how it feels. At last!
I flatten her right into the ground. Flat as paper. In fact, she's ON paper now! I mashed her into a cartoon! I reach down, pick up her pages, and tear her up into confetti. I'll kill her so thoroughly she'll never get to kill me again.
I throw her confetti out the window, like she's last year's calendar. Happy New Year!
Next I go upstairs looking for those who set me up--there may be backers and lawyers I'll need to stomp. Kill, if I have to. But I WILL be free. He'll never hit me again.
Go for the brain, not the fist.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
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