Chapter Nine: God, Mother Owl
The birds of Lake Nipples are not what they seem...
Previously on The Edible Erotic Adventures of Esmerelda Poppingcorn:
“If you can’t talk him down,” he said, “they’ll shoot him down.”
“What do you mean they’ll shoot him down!” she cried. “You’re Uranus’ Executive Vice President of Classified Projects! Can’t you do something?!?”
“I tried to talk them out of it, I swear I did,” Tom responded, grabbing her firmly by her shoulders and staring into her bloodshot eyes. “I’d never let anything happen to you, and you have no idea of the things I’ve done to protect you. But the truth is there’s some very valuable NFTs in that building, and I’m not the one calling the shots.”
Seething, she tried to pull herself from Tom’s grasp. “Some executive vice president you are,” she spat. “Big enough to to have a yacht, but not big enough to save my father and his birds from being murdered to death.”
“He has a lot of birds, Esmerelda,” Tom shot back, grabbing her even tighter — tight in a way that terrified her, despite the fact she knew he had a massive dong. “This is bigger than you, or me, or the office of Executive Vice President.”
She jumped out of the car and started running across the muddied grounds of Uranus Industries, straining to see anything through the pouring rain. Suddenly, three black helicopters appeared in the sky, pointing bright white spotlights at the roof of the NFT factory, illuminating Burt Poppingcorn and his legion of birds for all to see.
“NO FUTURE TODAY!” the madman laughed at the thunderstruck heavens. “NO FUTURE TOMORROW! I SEE GOD… MOTHER OWL!”
Dive headfirst into the titillating waters of Lake Nipples. What’s the worst that could happen?
Chapter Nine: God, Mother Owl
”DAD WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!” screamed Esmerelda.
The shrill, unbearable tone of a woman complaining pierced through stormy’s nights din, cutting through the reverberating thunder and Burt’s diabolical laughter, causing his wiry, dickless body to freeze at the edge of the NFT factory’s roof.
“Esmerelda?” he croaked. “Esmerelda… my girl? My girl, are you here?”
“DAD, GET DOWN FROM THERE!” she screamed. “YOU TOLD ME BIRDS AREN’T TO BE TRUSTED AND NOW THEY’RE GOING TO GET YOU KILLED!”
“Those are the lies they wanted me to tell you, my darling!” he replied, his voice taking on the tone of a man who might actually know a thing or two about birds. “The birds are my eyes when I am blind! They remember the truths that Mother Owl steals! They bring me my memories!”
“Daddy, please, I need you to come down off the roof and put on some pants…”
”SILENCE!” he shouted. “She fears my pigeons’ prying eyes! She sees my crows carrying gifts from her gutters — poisoned leaves from her precious lake, shiny wrappers of that gum I like that’s going to come back in style. She knows my tits can’t be contained, she nips off their peckers with insatiable bloodlust. But I remember! I NEVER FORGET THEE, GOD MOTHER OWL!
As Burt dragged out the word “owl” for dramatic effect, a low hum began to fill the air, growing louder and louder until the ground began to shake. It stopped for a second as if it were pausing for breath, then exploded into a deafening noise so utterly confusing it cannot be described with the written world. (Maybe like a Peruvian pan flute, but also a duck?) Burt’s eyes went white and his dickless body limp, collapsing into an unresponsive heap while his six- to seven hundred birds flew away, leaving their crazed master’s body for Uranus Industries’ militarized security force to deal with.
“ESMERELDA!” shouted Tom, running towards her as she stood immobile, shaking so badly her gargantuan knockers were bouncing up and down. “They’re taking him to the hospital. I just talked to Lily and she’s going to meet us there. I need you to get in the car and not ask me any questions, because I don’t have any answers about the birds or your father or that mysterious noise that just came out of the lake.”
She nodded as if hypnotized and followed him to the town car, vacant, numb, and soaking wet. She pressed her face against the window as it slowly drove away from Uranus Industries, the factory’s neon green glow fading into the fog as the expanse of Lake Nipples slowly came into full view. She told the driver to stop the car before they began their descent down the steep twists and turns of Asscheeks Drive, stepped out onto the graveled shoulder, and stared into its pitch black waters, thinking it could be a metaphor for something.
“Welcome home, Esmerelda Poppingcorn,” she whispered to herself, feeling the lake’s desire to reclaim her. Just then, her phone began to vibrate and brought her back to life — a life that had been so painfully normal only two days before, and now was full of mystery, intrigue, and titillating sexual encounters. She got back into the car and thrust her phone into Tom’s lap..
“I need you to tell me what it says,” she cried. “I can’t look at it. I can’t find out if my dad is.. If he’s…”
“‘You up?’” said Tom, adjusting his reading glasses. “‘Thinking ‘bout you.’ Then there’s a picture…”
Esmerelda yanked the phone from his hands. “That’s from my boss,” she covered, turning her body so Tom could see no more of the risque communique. The text wasn’t actually from OSHA Admiral Carl Bathsalts, of course — that’s just what she wanted him to think. In reality, it was from Randall.
Lily greeted their car at Mac Muffins Memorial Hospital’s ambulance bay, her doctor's coat partially buttoned over her wedding dress, a stethoscope entwined with the Muffins family jewels that hung around her neck.
“I’m so sorry, Lil,” Esmerelda said the second she stepped out of the car, realizing that her dad had ruined more than a second round of chocolate-covered coitus with a mysterious stranger — he’d also ruined her best friend’s wedding.
“Shut up,” she replied and pulled her into a tight hug, the February rain sending their soft skin into fits of shivers, their bodies tightening into each other for warmth. “I love him, too,” she whispered into Esmerelda’s ear. “And we’re going to do everything we can to get him better.”
“Doctor Taschman?” said a nurse who’d come running from inside the hospital.
“Doctor Muffins,” corrected Tom as he stepped out of the car, gazing at his new wife with a radiant smile. “She’s Doctor Muffins now.”
“Apologies,” said the nurse. “Doctor Muffins — he’s dead.”
Lily grabbed Esmerelda’s hand, shoved the nurse out of their way, and bolted into the hospital, dragging the addled shell of her best friend behind her. Esmerelda followed as if she was in a dream, deaf to everything around her, hearing nothing but the sound of the lake reverberating in her head. How could this be happening? she thought. He didn’t have any preexisting conditions except for the dick thing, and even WebMD said that was rarely fatal.
“DADS!” Lily screamed as they reached the corridor of the emergency operating room. Dr. Richard McMuffins and Dr. Branford Muffins were both standing outside its doors with solemn looks on their faces, their tuxedos stained with blood-red blood. She slowed their sprint to a saunter, trying to buy them both a few more seconds on earth where they could pretend Burt Poppingcorn was in it. Lily could call the two most powerful doctors in Lake Nipples “dad,” but there was only one man who ever actually treated her like a daughter, and bits of him were splattered across their crisp white shirts.
“I’m sorry, girls,” said Bran, wrapping his arms around his new daughter-in-law. “We did everything we could, but it was just his time.”
“This doesn’t make any sense!” cried Esmerelda. “He wasn’t bleeding at the NFT factory!”
“He fell out of the helicopter on the way to the hospital,” said Richard. “There was nothing we could do.”
A loud, familiar scream echoed through the hallway, followed by a louder one, and a louder one.
“My mother!” said Esmerelda. “That sounds like my mother!”
“She’s in the janitor’s closet grieving,” said Bran. “It’s best to leave her be. We don’t want her waking up the other patients.”
“I need to see my father,” she choked. “I don’t care how mangled his corpse is. I just need to see him once more to know he’s really gone.”
“‘Fraid we can’t help you there, little lady,” said Richard. “Your father was an organ donor, and we’ve got some very rich—I mean, very sick people in this hospital. Right now there’s a transplant team removing his heart, kidneys, liver, and face. Shame he didn’t have a dick. We really could have used one of those.”
The screaming from the janitor’s closet intensified and Esmerelda joined in, collapsing just as her father had on Uranus Industries’ roof. Bran and Richard escorted Lily away to grieve in a special doctors-only area, leaving Esmerelda alone on the floor, curled tightly into the fetal position, shaking so hard she almost didn’t notice her phone vibrating.
Esmerelda had been so battered by the events of the past 39 hours that she seemed to be experiencing all her most familiar feelings at once: anger, sadness, confusion, nausea. But within that cacophony of anguish was a new feeling that had long been unknown and was now the most unbearable of all — pure, white-hot horniness. She needed someone to banish the cruel demons of fate that were tearing her apart — someone who could make things better with a wave of his magic meat wand.
She opened her eyes and found them level with a pair of black tactical boots; she let go of her knees and rolled onto her back.
“Hi, Mom. I’m home.”
“Oh sweetie,” said Delores Poppingcorn, her shoulder-length hair wildly mussed, her porcelain pale face flushed and streaked with mascara. “You look like shit.”
“It’s chocolate,” replied Esmerelda. “Long story.”
“Come, let's get you cleaned up.”
Delores hoisted her daughter up off the floor, hooking her arm around her waist to help keep her steady, and guided her down the silent hospital hallway. When they reached the end Esmerelda looked behind her one last time, hoping that maybe it had all been an elaborate practical joke — that her father would jump out from behind a door and they’d all have a good laugh. But there was no joke — no horrible mistake, no surprising plot twist. There was nothing but a janitor mopping the drips of Burt Poppingcorn’s blood from off the floor; a conspicuous bleach stain on the back of his dark blue jumpsuit, a pair of bulky headphones strapped across his unusually large head.