When something is stuck, it sometimes comes back in two pieces, proving that more of one thing is not always better.
V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet
The katana was stuck like this:
Only it was stuck in the middle of the dead Robot chap, and it was a katana.
Oh giggling crap.
My whole shirt was turning red, on the one side, but I minded not. (It was sorta a neat feeling if you think about things that way.)
This professor grabbed the hilt of the katana, put my boot (sounds better than foot) on the Robot’s mid-section, and pulled with the strength of a hungry water buffalo.
Things went south in a hurry. You know, even souther than south.
The katana…split. Or cracked rather. Right in two.
I stood there for a second, not believing it, in truth.
This professor had just cracked the Jeweled Katana in half.
Well, technically, the Robots did.
But I sorta helped them out.
Then it came rushing back to me:
What was I doing? See, I’d stolen this sword originally from Prince Beef to save it from being used as bargaining power for Fats Henry to steal the Diamond of Drake. So, my thieving was actually a good deed. But somewhere along the line, things had gone wrong. I started focusing on wanting the katana just to want it. And now, I’d busted it up.
Phooey-fat-phooey. I was vexed.
This professor grabbed a quilt lying on the bed, wrapped it around my hand, and pulled out the piece of the katana that was still stuck in the Robot.
It was clear. I had to fix this sword.
And give it back to Prince Beef.
See, I’d acted wrongly trying to be rightly right. But acting wrongly is always acting wrongly, no matter what.
And that just dawned on me.
Now, by this time, my wound was pounding pounding pounding pounding. It was affecting this professor’s balance.
I sat on the side of the bed.
Things were spinning, see.
It jolted me.
Bud Parker stood in the doorway.
“Bud!” he said again, cranky this time. “You broke it!”
His face was the face of a shocked mammal.
“We have to get it fixed and give it back, Parker,” I said. “Back to Prince Beef.”
Parker was aghast. “Bud! You said you were going to help Schwarz and I get it! It’s not going back to Prince Beef, bud.” Then he added, slightly amused, “Doesn’t look like you can stop me from doing what I want either.”
And he approached for the sword, which was laying at my feet. Well, one piece was. The other piece was on the bed.
He got close, real close, then I smacked him hard in the neck.
Parker collapsed, gurgled for a second, then didn’t move.
He’d feel that later, but he was fine.
This professor grabbed the katanas (it’s like there was two, see) and wrapped them in a quilt, and stuck the bundle in a backpack that was under the bed.
Time to move. Get it fixed, resmoldered, remelded, resmithed, rewhatever, then back to Prince Beef it would go.
I exited the room and climbed down the stairs. Things were still dizzy, I’m sad to report, and my side felt like a bull had rampaged it.
This was not good, I should’ve taken care of it.
In the entrance, I found Schwarz Tauptinker sitting on the red couch. Just lying there. Sorta immobilized, it seemed.
No wonder he wasn’t with Parker.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey, you good?”
Filthy questions. We both weren’t good, and we both knew it.
“They stretched me good, you know,” Schwarz said. “Can’t feel my legs.” Higher pitched: “Can’t feel them, chickit!” Pause: “Is Parker coming back soon? He went to get the sword, oh yeah.” (The ‘oh yeah’ was sorta up two octaves, or three.)
“Where’s Fats Henry?” That was a thing to know, for sure.
“He banged his head on the wall after the stretching match ended. Where’s my sword, you know what I mean?” Then he screamed, “Can’t wait here forever for you, Parker! Do it, just do it! Where is it? Do it!!!“
He was getting loud. Time to double-go. (Much faster than just going.)
And this professor stumbled out of the front door.