Martha tried to bury herself into the thick fur on the baby grunk's back.
Although the creature was generating a great deal of heat, it didn't do
much good against the icy midnight air. Also, the repugnant stench that
was wafting up from its sweaty hide was becoming unbearable. Martha sat
up and took a few deep breaths. The grunk's smell cleared from her lungs.
The nauseous sensation within her stomach quickly subsided. "I be so
uncomfy!" She exclaimed quietly, looking to her right. They were high
up a mountain pass now. Far in the valley below, a long, winding river glistened
in the pale moonlight.
A deep voice spoke from behind. "Quiet, grease bitch!"
Martha looked round. Immediately behind was the wise man, asleep on his
grunk. Behind him was Lawrence. He was standing on his grunk, and pointing
his fusion pistol at her.
"I be cold." She said.
Lawrence screamed. "Shut up!"
"We should stop and light a fire."
"Do as I say!"
Lawrence stamped his feet hard onto the grunk's back. It groaned with annoyance.
The wise man sat up. "Will you be quiet!" He said to Lawrence.
"I'm trying to fuckin' sleep!"
"Do not tell me what to do!" Lawrence shrieked insanely. "I
give the orders. You obey!"
"We should do what Martha says, and stop and light a fire."
"I will not do what that lard canister tells me to!"
"Then why don't you order us to stop and light a fire?"
Lawrence fell silent for a few seconds. A look of deep thoughtfulness appeared
to fill his face. "Yes." He said with heinous authority. "We
will stop and light a fire."
After five minutes of struggling, Martha, the wise man, and Lawrence managed
to persuade their grunks to stop at the road side.
The wise man spoke to Lawrence as they dismounted. "I thought you said
that all creatures are your disciples and obey your commands?"
"I did!" Lawrence replied proudly.
"Then why did it take us so long to persuade these beasts to stop?"
Lawrence lost his temper instantly. "Because this is where I wanted
them to stop!"
"Of course it was."
A fusion pistol was suddenly resting between the wise man’s eyes.
"Be silent." Lawrence whispered.
Martha decided to dilute the situation. "We should start gatherin'
wood for a fire."
"Yes." The wise man said. "Great idea, Martha."
Lawrence shouted. "Do it now!"
The wise man bowed. "As you wish, oh master of shit."
Lawrence kicked the wise man hard in the face. The wise man fell backwards
and crashed on to the hard rock ground, almost falling off the barely visible
ridge, and into the valley, many hundreds of metres below. He sat up. "Nice
kick, Lawrence. Well done!"
Martha was worried for her friend's safety.
"Let's gather wood!" she said anxiously.
"Forget the wood." Lawrence said. He turned and fired at a nearby
tree. Although his gun was running low on power, it still ignited the tree
with ease. Within seconds, it was entirely ablaze and producing heat of
a most welcome nature.
Martha, the wise man, and Lawrence sat around the tall flames. Martha felt
much better. Even the baby grunks, who had initially been startled by the
sudden bright fire, had moved closer to indulge in its warmth.
"We will eat, then sleep." Lawrence ordered.
The wise man opened one of the bags and pulled out three dried vegetable
sticks and a tub of belch-berry paste. "Eat away!" He said, opening
the tub. He dipped a vegetable stick into the paste, and then took a bite.
Martha did the same. Lawrence followed.
The grunks munched on some nearby weeds. Up until the age of three years,
grunks usually remained herbivores and were quite docile and friendly. After
three years, they rapidly changed into ferocious carnivores. Captive grunks
were usually released at this age. Not only because they started to eat
their owners, but also because of their mammoth size and odour.
The wise man finished his food. "Right, I'm going to sleep now. Please
refrain from arguing." He lay down, using a bag as a pillow.
Lawrence pointed at Martha. "Sleep!"
Martha said nothing and placed her head on the wise man's bag. She felt
less afraid when she was close to him, and knew that he would keep her safe.
Her eyes closed. Reality faded gently away....
Martha awoke abruptly, sat up, and looked around. Dense, grey fog swirled
everywhere. She took a breath of cool air. The beautiful scent of morning
flower spores filled her nostrils. "That be nice!"
A small rodent like creature, furry and cute, scurried up to her and sniffed
at her feet, its tiny nose twitching vigorously.
"That be so sweet!" Martha said.
The little rodent squeaked, and then scampered away into the mist.
"I be lucky!" Martha said, smiling. "First I be greeted
by a lovely smell. Then I be greeted by an adorable little animal. It
be a wonderful welcome to a new day!" Martha felt happy, happier
than she had felt for several days. Something cold and sweaty grabbed
the back of her neck and squeezed tightly.
"Got you, bitch!" Whispered a voice into her ear.
An extreme sensation of shock and fear quivered erratically through Martha’s
soul. Before she could scream, a hand had covered her mouth.
"I'm gonna strip you bare!" The voice said, this time louder
and more gravelly.
An intense pain pinched at her shoulder, and then quickly travelled down
to her ample buttocks, accompanied by the sound of ripping clothes. She
moaned and writhed in agony. A warm and wet sensation spread across her
Martha’s blood-laced purple dungarees were torn from her fat body
leaving her wearing only very skimpy under garments. She was pushed to
the ground. She looked up, yelling in torment as dirt entered her back
Lawrence was standing over her. He was brandishing a large bladed knife.
"You're almost butt naked, fishwife!"
Martha scrambled away from him, leaving a trail of blood as she did so.
"Please leave me alone!" she cried, tears of terror and despair
welling in her eyes.
Lawrence leapt forwards and brought the knife slashing down, amputating
Martha's left foot. The little woman howled, and then kicked hard with
her other leg, smacking Lawrence hard on the nose. He fell back.
Martha struggled heavily and clumsily to her remaining foot. Lawrence
was groaning, obviously stunned. She began to hobble away, her gushing
stump causing her considerable suffering. Her large, bulbous breasts bounced
awkwardly, her gut undulated wildly, and her enormous thighs wobbled drastically.
"where are you running to, stump bubble?"
Martha tried to run faster but she could not. She was breathing heavily,
her strength was failing. She dropped to her knees. "I be too fat!"
she said, her chest heaving. She looked around. Lawrence had caught up
with her and was smiling unevenly. Blood covered his fiendish face.
Lawrence shouted. "Mastectomy time!"
Before Martha had the chance to wonder what mastectomy meant, she found
Lawrence lunged forward and hacked at Martha's chest. She yelped loudly,
and then looked down at her severed breast, resting on the ground in a
pool of rich, oxygenated blood.
Lawrence pushed her down and sat on her, straddling her wide waist. He
Martha felt faint. Her perceptions of the world - the fog, the cool morning
air, the hard stony ground, Lawrence - were fading fast.
Lawrence screamed. "Don't just lay there!"
Everything was blurred. Sound was muffled.
Martha thought that she felt a slap on her face, but wasn't sure.
"Get conscious, chubby!"
Martha noticed that her cheeks were stinging.
"wake up, wide load!"
She felt another powerful slap and opened her eyes. Lawrence was squatting
on her gut.
"About time!" He shouted.
"Leave my breasts alone!" She said, terrified.
Lawrence jumped to his feet with a look of total revulsion. "I have
never had, and never will have, any interest in your jumbo breasts!"
He said. "Get to your feet!"
Martha sat up. She was clothed again! She started to feel herself. They
were both there, and in one piece!
Lawrence stared at her. "Stop feeling yourself and get on your grunk,
Martha got to her feet. She'd been sweating profusely and felt very damp.
She looked at Lawrence with suspicion.
"What?" Lawrence yelled.
"Have you a knife?" She asked nervously.
"I have a fusion pistol!" He answered. "Isn't that enough?"
Martha sighed with relief. "That be enough."
The wise man had already mounted his animal. "It's a wonderful warm,
sunny morning." He said cheerfully. "Let's get going shall we!"
Martha and Lawrence mounted their grunks.
"How long now?" Lawrence asked.
"At least two days." the wise man said. "Probably three."
Lawrence had a look of extreme annoyance on his face, but said nothing
The three grunks and their riders continued up the treacherous mountain