Margie and the Marvelous Ming Way

Some creatures look and act a little….out of place.  Some naturally assume that they are from this planet.  Others aren’t so sure.  There’s a man that sits on the park bench at 3:14 am every 4th day of each month, singing Townes Van Zandt songs at the absolute top capacity of his lungs while he dumps freshly churned butter into an empty newspaper dispenser.  He doesn’t seem to belong in this elitist neighborhood of Languaneezo City….The kind of neighborhood that produces top-level businessmen, and cheerleaders for major sports organizations.  The kind of place where the houses are exactly the same in every way, right down to the window trim, except mirrored every other house or so.  But that man dumping margarine’s older, and more confident brother, butter is not only one of the richest men in the county, he is the mayor.  He absolutely belongs here.  That little black dog prancing and leaping through the cat-tails and empty China Deluxe containers, however, just teleported here from the planet Mingolia, and is currently the smartest being on the planet.



“Dr. Marge, we seem to have a slight problem with the levels.”

“What sort of problem, intern?”

“Well, there aren’t any.  Isn’t that bad?”


This is, I feel, an important time to interject a notion….The term “intern” is factually unclear at this point, largely because on Mingolia, along with many other planets, the word “intern” doesn’t exist in the common language.  Instead, they are called “amino(s).” This term was given to students and new recruits, to inspire hope in their souls before they realize they have to pay back all the time they spent in school, only the lenders don’t take “time.”  They are the building blocks of the company, or organization, or gang of thieves…etc….


“Yes, that’s bad.  That means that there is nothing in that room to make the levels go up and down. That means it’s gone.”

“Oh….well then I have some bad news….”


Dr. Marge dropped a beaker from a little too far up as she tore through lab 402 like a marble from a cannon.  The breaking beaker behind her didn’t sway the horror she felt when she arrived at the, now, widely open door to a room which was, in theory, completely sealed from the world around.  This ceased to be the case the instant the amino in Chair 6 bumped the control board while leaning over to whisper cliché idiocies to the girl next to him, spilling a little liquid content from his Pixie cup.  While everyone enjoys the “thrill of the chase,” his enjoyment hindered him from seeing the drop of water fall onto the “OPEN DOOR” button, and roll along the grooves until it embedded itself deep into the circuitry.  This not only caused the board to spark and smoke, but it also opened the sealed door to the glass-encased, sound-proof room, and let the experiment out to roam the halls.


“YOU FOOL! Do you have any idea what you just let out?!?  We’re all dead!”

“It was just a person.”

“First of all, you’re fired.  Two, you’re stupid. And three…You just freed a cannibal with super-pin strength and invisibility.”

“….oh….will I still get credit for this job towards my major?”

“Get the fuck out.  Now.”


The amino’s head, still full of credits and upset parents, got up and walked to the exit.  Six  seconds after he pressed the light-grey button to open the door, his right front arm was ripped off at the shoulder joint.  Slipping on the blood and gore on the floor, he fell backward, hitting his head.  Within seconds, his body was gone, dragged down the hall screaming and muttering gargled apologies to breeders….

After approximately two minutes, Marge started her emergency evacuation procedure, which involved her abandoning not only the entire facility, but the planet as well.

Marge’s ears perked up….something was around the corner….outside the lab….the amino screamed, but not the kind of scream you would expect from a person of, well, male origin….the shriek sounded as though an adolescent female banshee in training had stubbed her toe on the unfinished wood floor, and had resulted in a very, very large splinter under her biggest digit.

The scream was, however, shortly honored as the amino’s right ear frisbee’ed down the hall passed the door marked “Lab 402.”  The ear spun with such intense speed, that it stuck in the concrete wall at the end of the hall as if it were made of unbendable steel sharpened to the absolute thinnest edge, rather than leathery dog hide.

Luckily for her, the amino was never trusted enough to be let in on Marge’s plan.  No one was.  She hated them all, and was actually glad the experiment escaped, because it allowed her to do the same.  With every scream, she smiled a little bit, and with every rip and tear she heard around the corner, she moved a little bit faster.  She walked over to the wall, three feet from the sealed room, and pulled down a “Cats are People, Too” poster, to reveal a toggle switch, which, when flipped, dropped a “Porcelain Dew” from the soda machine in the far corner of the lab.  Marge calmly walked past the walls lined with beeping computers and past the coffee machine that hadn’t been turned on since the incident involving the terrier and the sasquotchian nerver-reader from the glaciers up north.  She stepped over the broken beaker shining piece-by-piece on the linoleum floor, and through the haze of burned-orange light from the evacuation procedure.  She walked over to the machine, grabbed the P. D., and turned it to where the mouth was pointing at the 6th ceiling tile in the first section of the room.  She opened the soda, and the room was enveloped in a red/blue light, much similar to those of flashing police car lights.  The lights reflected and bounced off of her dilated pupils, causing her brown eyes to turn a very bright shade of blue as she waited.  After only a couple of seconds, Marge’s gaze was interrupted by the room’s sudden change in temperature.  It got hot.  Really hot.  Marge shook her head, and looked around the room, her ponderous stare lying, finally, on a copy of “Howard the Duck” on VHS, now perfectly centered in the room.  Impeccably wrapped, it was…just as it came from the manufacturer, with the little I. D. tag on the top to prevent any unwanted viewers.  It was widescreen, and digitally remastered.

Marge stood upright, as they all did, unless a night of drinking heavily weighed down their front feet as well the next morning.  With her white lab coat an inch above the ground, she walked over to the Lucasfilm offspring on tape, as the sound of breaking glass, screaming women, vicious growls and barks, and exploding brandy bottles filled the environment.  She paused to look behind her at the door leading from the lab to the main building.  Still closed.


It’s not in here yet, or I’d be dead already. 


Outside Lab 402, the halls were red and smeared.  Where earlier that day, lab assistants and aminos hurried to and fro, now remained only a few twitches of life.  Those twitches and spurts originated from the same lab assistants and aminos that earlier hurried to and fro….now the experiment was loose….it had broken out of the complex, and was jumping fences and ripping flesh throughout the town….soon the planet.

She turned back toward the VHS in the middle of the floor, knelt down, and picked it up.  White light.  Wind hit Marge’s face so hard, it blew back her cheeks and jowls, creating a slapping noise like those little plastic paddles, rubber-banded together that you get at carnivals and PTA events.  When the light drizzled away, and her vision returned, she could finally see what she had been waiting 15 years for:  The “Ming Way.” The Ming Way is a transportation module in which, essentially, a giant hand grabs your body, and throws you from one spot in the universe to another.  The white light that was once prominent in her eyes was gone, and now 4 colors (gold, purple, teal, and chalkboard green) rotated and merged into caricatures of Shaquille O’Neal and Art Garfunkel as she spun tail-over-head toward Roseanne Arnold’s right pupil. The problem was, that Marge forgot to set her coordinates to Robin-O 464, which is a very lovely planet filled with naked males, no cats, and all the White Russians she could possibly ever drink.  Instead, the coordinates picked a planet at random.  Travelling at nine times the speed of light seems fast, and it is….Marge engulfed a very unsuspecting Weeping Willow on a planet farther away than most can comprehend in a total of seven seconds.



A pristinely wrapped, and mint condition VHS copy of “Howard the Duck” appeared from inside the Weeping Willow tree, deep in the center of Languaneezo City, and shot across an empty field, only to land next to a “Construction to Start Very Soon” sign at the edge of the grass.  Two seconds after the movie flew across the soon-to-be-not-a lot, Marge tumbled from the willow like a rollie-pollie down Mt. Everest.  When she stopped rotating through the grass, she laid motionless for about ten minutes.  When she finally pulled herself up from the ground, smoke twisted off of her and disappeared into the air.  Her face turned red, and she buckled her knees and bent her arms to cover, as she realized her lab coat was gone.  She was naked. She searched the grass for clothing of some sort, but was only able to ascertain a food container with a logo written in a language unfamiliar to Marge’s now brownish blue eyes.  She scoured the landscape for a good two days, eating whatever she could find, and drinking water from the various creeks and the major river flowing through that part of town.  The third day of Marge’s adventure, she was excavating a metal cylinder containing wondrous bits of bread and cheese, when blue and red lights started bouncing off of the brick walls in front of her.


Oh god, the duck!


Her face sank and her stomach dropped.  With no idea where it was going to take her this time, she turned around to pick up the film, but was grabbed instead by a gangly looking fellow dressed in blue.  The man was much, much taller than Marge, and of a different texture.  Before she could spit out “Who the hell are you,” she was thrown into the back of a car, and driven in to jail.

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