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Ladies and Gentlemen, to my right stands a great man who celebrates his second birthday today, making him the first character ever to achieve this momentous milestone. On my left, sits a creature, one year old today, which is perhaps the most memorable and loved of all characters. To you, Slosh and Plimpkin, I would like to introduce Joe Black, Mary Fortwright, Patrick Yrytz, and a surprise guest in this story dedicated to you: On an anniversary to remember forever...

A dog barked. A wolf howled. And the birds carressed the cool night air with a brilliance all to themselves. Joe Black looked down into the endless pit that he knew of as home. He brushed softly against the silver railing. He touched the smooth, polished walls, and spat into the abyss. He heard his saliva make a small spash and listened to the sound reverberate throughout his metal domicile. Joe smiled to himself. Joe was one of the smart guys, who had run away from his parents when he was a little above seven. Most kids wouldn’t have had the guts, but Joe did. Most kids weren't brave enough to smoke pot, and to shoplift, and to lie, either. But Joe could. 'Cause Joe was cool. Suddenly he heard a whimper come from the opposite side of the hole.

He took a deep breath, spat, and walked around the periphery of the pit while admiring his ingenuity in finding a home. Joe had a lot of things: Self dependence, respect, and enjoyment out of life. No one could mess around with him without getting his face bashed in. Joe giggled. You know, that's exactly what Patrick Yrytz had tried to do.

Patrick Yrytz was a jerky nerd who went to the same school as Joe, and like a nerd, liked it. He always did his homework, and even liked his parents. He was exactly what Joe was not: An irrespectable brain. Yep. Patrick and, ahh... Mary Fortwright, who had crushes on each other even though neiter knew how the other felt, were gigantic turkeys. They would never know the feeling of true independence.

Joe came to the origin of the scream, and, after lurching into the abyss, bent down to open a sack. He reached into the sack and filled his arms with Mary. "Oh, baby," he replied holding her shoulders and caressing other body parts.

Mary shuddered, trying to make out a scream. Joe forced a kiss before she could.

And then he threw her back into the bag. "You, my dear," he said in a Southern-drugged out drawl, "are merely bait. I don't waste my time with bait." Mary weakily began to cry, while Joe laughed. Joe was finally going to bring his well-planned idea into action: He was going to have his revenge on Patrick for looking at him funny. Nerds shouldn't look at cool guys, even if they don't mean any harm. They should just stay away, and, if they don't, they deserve everything they get. 'Joe slumped the bag back to where it was and walked a little ways till he came to another. Pausing to spit into the void, he opened this one by reaching a hand in and pulling the insides out by the hair. Patrick screamed in a cloddish sort of way. "What you doin' lookin' at me in a stupid way?" said Joe, in a masculine form that only he could utter.

"When... when do you mean?" sputtered Patrick in a sappy utterance.

"The time," Joe paused to spit, "I was walkin' down the halls at school an' you stared at me. You was thinkin' I wasn't up to your standards." Joe said in his macho sort of accent. Only Joe was great enough to talk like Joe could.


"Shut up! I don't want to hear it!" He paused, looking around for a second. "Watch this!" Joe walked over to Mary's bag, spat, and opened it. Patrick watched in the dim lighting as Joe forced his lips to hers and began to move his hand down her side.

"No!" he screamed as he ran over to stop Joe. But Joe was just too great for the drip. He dropped Mary and grabbed Patrick as he rushed toward him. With one mighty push he shoved Patrick over the railing that held them from the pit. The nerd screamed all the way down until he hit the metal siding. Mary shuttered as she heard her secret lover smash against the steel walls, and his screams come to a stop.

Joe laughed, seeing the end of his hated enemy. And then he looked down to a whimpering Mary. "And now for you," he said in a virile manner. But Mary needed to know something first. "Wait... w...w..where are we?" she mumbled, feeling herself being drawn up.

"You' meen you don't know? Just look around this place. He saw an empty look in her eyes. "This has been my home for a little over eight years. You, my dear, are inside that old empty water tower up on top of that hill only a quarter of a mile from your own house."

"This is the inside of a water tower? But... where's the water?"

"Gone ever since thay shut it down' bout ten years' go." And then, without further ado, he grabbed her blouse and tore it in two. He felt his body temperature rise as she struggled against his mighty grip...

And then he heard a small, squishing noise come from behind him. He turned around in horror as he saw the thing oozing out off the side of the pit. It was huge, ten feet tall, and had no recognizable form. And it slowly chewed a piece of Patrick's arm in its mouth.

"No! Joe screamed, dropping Mary and running toward the exit. It's

a... saliva monster!"

The monster lunged for Joe, but Joe felt no fear, even as the monster slowly wrapped itself around his muscular body, and stuck its fangs into his thick neck. Fresh, manly blood spirted out, turning the monster a pinkish color. It quickly entered the wound and began to react with Joe's bloodstream. But he refused to scream, even as he felt himself being ripped apart from the inside. Finally the saliva reach his heart, and he slumped to the floor, leaving the monster the best meal he would ever have.

Mary slowly reclined on her plastic lawn chair, bathing in the warm, Florida sun. She was finally happy; she had found someone to share her love. Well, maybe it had eaten Patrick, her friend, but, then, it had saved her from Joe, right? Mary leaned back. She silently wondered why she wasn't as popular as she had been before she was married. I guess it was that slimy goo on her lips...

 © 1985, 

T. G. Taft

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