Much Ado About a Face. Again.
The Modern Prometheus
by Saul Marquez
Back before I lost my face, everyone wanted to be my friend. Why? Because my face was beautiful.
I used to be able to get into any movie I wanted because Cindy Loverlips worked in the box office. She loved my face the most. Every Friday night I went to the movies wth my then-girlfriend. Cindy Loverlips loved my face so much that she even gave my girlfriend a free ticket.
And then she died. I’m talking about Cindy Loverlips, not my girlfriend. But my girlfriend died too once. But those are stories for another time.
I want to tell you about the time I lost my face–the day I found out that dynamite is explosive.
My new girlfriend Trisha and I were on a top secret mission in London. We were in cahoots with the Council of Underwater Creatures and People that Eat Lemons (or COUCAPTEL for short). Chester the Kool Kat, the Grand Master Chief of the local mafia, had just been elected as the President of Kansas. He was growing in power. And he was in London just like we were.
The Council of Underwater Creatures and People that Eat Lemons (or COUCAPTEL for short) intelligence told us that he was planning to assassinate the Pope of London. Our job was to protect her.
“Your job is to protect her,” said Eve Adams, my partner in justice. She was a mermaid. “The Pope of London is very sensitive. If she finds out about the assassination plot then she’ll start crying. We don’t want that.”
“So we only have to make sure that she doesn’t cry?” I asked. “What about making sure that she doesn’t get killed?”
“No. Your only concern is to keep her happy. If she dies that’s fine. We can deal with that. But she can’t cry. She absolutely can’t cry.”
Got it, I thought to myself.
“By the way,” said Eve. “About your girlfriend, Trisha…”
“What about her?”
“Don’t tell her about the mission. But take her with you. She could come in useful.”
So I did.
“Where are we going?” asked Trisha.
“Stop asking questions.”
“Why don’t you ever answer my questions?!” she asked.
“We’re being followed,” I said simply.
“Oh, ok,” she said.
It wasn’t true. I just wanted her to stop asking questions. I wanted to tell her about the mission, but I didn’t know how. It made more sense to ignore her rather than explain myself.
Except. That bit about being followed was true because Trisha got kidnapped by assassins about a couple seconds later. I don’t know why they kidnapped her rather than assassinate her, considering that they were assassins…
One problem solved.
Now I was flying solo like Chris Brown.
“Not so fast,” said a voice from behind me. It was Chester the Kool Kat and he was accompanied by an army of purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia).
There was a really really really awkward pause.
“Well, that was awkward,” said Chester. “Anyway, I knew I’d find you here!”
“How do you know it’s me?” I asked.
“Because of your face. I’ve never seen a face so beautiful in my life.”
“Either way, do you have any reason why I’m here today?”
“Of course,” I said. “You’re here to assassinate the Pope of London.”
“Wrong. I’m here to make her cry. Then we’ll kill her.”
There was another really really really awkward pause. And then he spoke some more.
“Wait, nobody ever told you?” A gleam of satisfaction glinted in his eyes. “Nobody ever told you about the connection between the Pope of London and the crescent-shaped scar on your forehead that the author forgot to mention at the beginning of the story?”
It was true. The author had forgotten to mention the crescent-shaped scar on my forehead at the beginning of the story. It was also true that I was not aware of any connection between my scar and the Pope of London.
“No, nobody has ever told me. Tell me now.”
“Join my side and I will tell you.”
“Then prepare to face the wrath of my purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia)!”
My stomach dropped.
“Anything but that,” I pleaded.
But despite my plea, Chester’s smile only broadened. He snapped his fingers and the purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia) slowly inched closer.
“Alright! Alright! I’ll join your side,” I said, my heart pounding.
“Excellent! Tie him up!”
The next thing I knew, I was ied up in the back of a van. Chester sat in the front. He wouldn’t stop laughing.
“Heener heener wickle snapple happle cackle, hahaha ha ha ha ho ho heener ha ha ha… ha… he ha… ho!” he said.
And then he laughed some more.
“He ha ha heener ha ha ho ho wo hackle heezah hezzah hah hah ho ha he he we… ha. Haaaaaah.”
“That’s enough,” I finally said. “Tell me about the connection between me and the Pope of London.”
“Ho ho! That’s why I’m laughing. There’s no such thing as the Pope of London, idiot!”
“I knew it,” I said.
“Now that I’ve got you where I Want you, you’re going to use your powers to assassinate the Queen of England!”
“I have powers?” I said.
Chester nodded. “Very few people are born with your powers… Your face is unnaturally beautiful. I could look at it all day.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
“But you have yet to realize the potential your beautiful face has. You could be a model or even an elementary school teacher… The possibilities are endless.”
“Just tell me wgat you want me to do,” I said.
“Propose to the Queen of England, then marry her. Then I want you to get rid of her.”
“EGAD!” I egaded. “But how do I propose to her!?”
He handed me a ring. From the intricate designs and floral patterns etched into the diamond, it was obvious that the ring had been forged by the hands of sea dwarves.
“This ring is a bomb,” he said.
“Propose to her using this ring,” continued Chester. “Then, when she puts it on at the wedding, we’ll set it off.”
“But how do I even get to her?!”
The next thing I knew, my vision turned black. I felt a tingling sensation spread through my body–something like spidey-senses but probably not because I’m not Spider-Man anymore.
No–it was actually the feathers of the purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia). They carried me to a secret location because suddenly I was sitting in a restaurant across from the Queen of England.
She was talking about something, but I didn’t care to listen. I had a job to finish.
“Listen, toots. You’re going to marry me. Tonight.”
She stared at me for several seconds before she finally responded. I was shocked by the voice that came out of her mouth. It was deep and rough, like a man’s voice.
“I know who you are,” she said.
“Because of your face.”
“I knew it,” I said softly to myself.
The Queen of England carefully licked her lips. “Your face is so beautiful.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
“They didn’t warn me that your face would be this intensely beautiful back in the Academy.”
My eyes narrowed.
“Academy? Who are you?”
“My name is Melvin Ofanda Astrid Nenelope Antithesis–or Moana for short.”
“And you’re the Queen of England?” I exclaimed.
“Obviously. Now, about that proposal. I’ll marry you because I like your face.”
The wedding was an hour later. It was an event larger than the midnight release of the Bible. It was larger than the midnight showing of Bible: The Movie. It was even larger than the midnight showing of Bible: The Musical. Even Bible School Musical.
Not larger than Charlie Sheen’s nose.
But larger than the President of Antarctica’s Sweet Sixteen?
You better believe it.
It was like the scene of an action movie. We were in a high-vaulted church. There were some flowers and some girls and some fondue and a guy picking his nose… And then Chester was in the back watching my every move. Cameras were handing from the ceiling and purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia)—were standing guard.
The organ started playing and Queen Moana started down the aisle.
When she reached the alter, one of the purple flamingos—the worst kind of flamingos in the world (except for green flamingos, but they don’t count because they live in Australia)—started the ceremony.
“Blagh blagh mah huff blagh blagh click click,” it said.
“I do,” I said.
“Blagh blag blaghh huff huff mah nah nah click click.”
“I DON’T!” shouted Queen Moana.
There was a gasp from someone in the crowd.
Some Jason Bourne music started playing and suddenly everything got tense.
And then I noticed the zippers on the backs of the flamingos. The zippers fell and suddenly the flamingos were no longer purple.. they were green. And they all had AK-47’s pointed at Chester.
“WHAT!?” shouted Chester, his hands in the air. “But HOW!? Where did you get green flamingos–the worst kind of flamingos in the world (even worse than purple flamingos who are inferior because they come from Alaska)!?”
Suddenly, a yellow submarine crashed through the wall into the chapel.
“WHY IS THAT SUBMARINE YELLOW!?” shouted a stock character in the background.
One of the doors of the submarine opened and a mermaid appeared. It was Eve Adams, my partner in justice.
“Because yellow is the color of betrayal,” she said cooly as she slithered up to the alter. “The flamingos are actually all green flamingos–the worst kind of flamingos in the world (even worse than purple flamingos who are inferior because they come from Alaska). They’ve been working for us the entire time.”
“S-So you guys tricked me?” said Chester.
“I had no idea about this,” I said. “But yes, we got you big time. I said that I’d marry the Queen of England, but I was crossing my fingers when I said it.”
“Curses! I forgot to cut those off!” shouted Chester.
“We just pwned you,” said Eve. “Besides, this isn’t the Queen of England.”
“But then who is it?” he asked.
“Queen Moana took off her face. It was a mask the whole time. Queen Moana was actually Trisha, my girlfriend who got kidnapped about 1,377 words ago.
“Who are you?” exclaimed Chester.
“I’m the Pope of London,” said Trisha.
“But I thought you were the Queen of England!”
“There’s no such thing as the Queen of England, idiot,” I said.
“I knew it,” he said to himself.
We cuffed him and then forced him to work in a Little Debbie Factory where he got really really fat. And then he got fatter.
As for Trisha and me, we got married and lived happily ever after.
Except, I forgot that the ring was a bomb and she blew up.
I was on my way to the funeral when I saw a carnival. I went there instead. When I got in line for the ferris wheel, the girl in front of me turned and around and smiled.”
“You have a very beautiful face,” she said.
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
Cue James Bond music.