Snufftoons, ch 14

The invader marched up the steps of the Mayor’s mansion.  Two GI Johns, one wearing a firefighter’s uniform and the other dressed as an Eskimo, crept up the stairs behind him, filming his every move with their cartoon cameras.

898 pushed open the huge front door and entered the mansion.  He stood in an enormous lobby of dark cartoon mahogany decorated with bright red curtains.  Mounted high on the walls were several large paintings of the planet’s former Mayors.  898 saw a giant pink gorilla, a dopey moose, an obese hippo, and a sailor man.

The cartoon paintings smiled down at 898 or chuckled to themselves silently.  They seemed harmless enough, so he continued on.  He climbed a wide staircase to the next floor and wandered through long hallways.  The GI Johns quietly followed, watching and filming.  The mansion was strangely quiet, and there were no other toons to be seen.  898 tried opening doors only to find them all locked.

He turned a corner and finally found it, an open door.  Bright light shined out into the hallway, and 898 heard a muffled commotion.  He crept closer, and sure enough, the door was engraved with the word “MAYOR” in curly-cue letters.

898 snuck up to the door, toon pistol at the ready.  The GI Johns huddled closer to him, eager to get a good shot.  This was the final act of Cobblestone’s great show, the climax they’d been building to.

The invader made his move, kicking open the door and rushing into the Mayor’s office, and the GI Johns followed.

+++

The room was massive.  Some toon birds fluttered through the air, chirping and smiling.  Spread across the expanse of floor were little cartoon toys, most of them broken and sad-faced.

898 stood there in the doorway.  Directly across the room was a large desk with a giant TV sitting on it.  As 898 approached, he saw a very strange toon on the other side of the television.  The toon sat watching the TV and shoveling spoonfuls of Squrfs into his gaping mouth.  898 stared at him.

The Mayor’s body consisted of dirty gray socks.  His torso was a single sock with stubby sock arms and legs sprouting from it.  There were long sock ears on his head like a rabbit and a sock tail sprouting from his rear.  A placard on his desk read “Skinpuppet Sockboy, Mayor for Life!”

898 looked at the TV and saw the Clint Cobblestone Show playing.  He saw himself and the Mayor, the angle coming from the two GI Johns standing on the other side of the office.

Mayor Skinpuppet Sockboy’s big cartoon eyes glistened with joy as he watched the TV.  “I love this show!” he shrieked in a childlike voice.  His mouth spread into a giant smile of fat square teeth.  The Mayor turned off the TV and chomped down his last spoonful of Squrfs.  He tossed the bowl over his shoulder and looked up at the invader.  “I’ve gotta tell you, mister,” he said.  “You’re putting on one hell of a show!  Entertainment’s really the only thing that keeps those toons under control.  As long as they’re distracted, we can have whatever we want!”

898 stared at the bright-eyed maniac made of socks.  “I agree,” he said.

Sockboy giggled and began rooting through the drawers of his giant desk.  “Aha!” he said, retrieving a pressurized vial of toonblood.  898 watched the Mayor poke the vial into a hole under one of his floppy sock-ears and inject the laughing drug.  “Doesn’t get much better than that!” the Mayor exclaimed.

The sight of toonblood roused 898’s own lust for the drug.  With much effort, he calmed his sense of craving.  The invasion was nearly over, he just had to kill this one last toon.  There would be time for drugs later, if he survived.

“Creature,” he said, giving Sockboy the formal invasion address.  The Mayor looked up at him, wide-eyed and happy.  “Your planet has been legally annexed by Inpire Inc.  The lives of every creature on this planet are now the property of Inpire and they have been declared resource viable under the Inperial Living Assets Bill.”

“Okay!” Sockboy said, hopping out of his chair.  He began running around his office playfully, kicking his broken toon toys around the room.  A long sock tongue protruded from his giant smile.

“Part of this invasion is regime change,” said 898.  “This includes your execution.”

Sockboy didn’t seem to care or understand.  He circled back around to the desk and began rooting through its drawers again.  He finally took out a cartoon cigar the size of a baseball bat and put it in his wide mouth.  He quickly lit the cigar, and it erupted in a blast of black smoke.  Sockboy’s dingy gray face was coated in black soot, and he fell to the floor laughing.

It was just as well.  898 pointed the toon revolver at the Mayor and pulled the trigger.  A bright orange flag shot out, bearing a black radiation symbol.

Nothing happened.

Sockboy turned to see the invader pointing a weapon at him.  “So you’re here to kill me now, eh?” he growled.

“I already told you I was here to kill you,’ said 898, but it was no use.  Skinpuppet Sockboy hopped to his feet and stalked towards the alien.  The toon’s eyes burned bright red and hot jets of steam shot from his earholes.  He’d gone from happy to furious in a matter of seconds.

In a flash, Sockboy leapt onto the invader, wrestling him to the floor.  The cartoon revolver flew from 898’s hand as they tumbled around.  The Mayor punched 898 with sock fists.  The invader fought back, but the body of socks was soft and stretchy, and he couldn’t inflict any damage.  The dingy fabric also stank, and smeared him with dirty moisture.  They brawled across the room, neither gaining an edge.

898finally managed to kick the Mayor away.  Skinpuppet Sockboy flew across the room and landed in a heap. He hurried back to his feet and began spinning into a tornado.  The little sock tornado whizzed after the invader.  898 tried to dodge, but the Mayor’s spinning body knocked him around the room like a pinball.

He finally slammed into the red-carpeted floor, his smooth green skin covered in painful orange welts.  Skinpuppet Sockboy stopped spinning and looked down on 898, giggling madly.  He reached for the invader, madness gleaming in his eyes, but stopped before he could wrap his sock hands around the alien’s neck.

There was a sound.  A whistling.  898 could hear it, too, and it seemed to get louder, as if something were being dropped from an insane height.

“Do you hear that?” Sockboy asked.

A nuclear missile fell out of the sky and hit the Mayor’s mansion, destroying it in a fiery mushroom cloud.

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