Parteepants is Pissed!
"Wake up sleepy head," he says while pinching my cheek. As I begin to regain consciousness, I notice the throbbing pain at the back of my skull. I open my eyes and blink to clear my vision. The man has released my cheek and is sitting down in a large, green chair that faces mine. The first thing I notice is his wild eyes. They are glassy as if he had just snorted a line of raw coffee grinds and his pupils are nearly the size of his irises. His orange hair is pointing straight up, not like he had slept on it or even combed it that way, but as if he had pulled it in frustration. His broad frame is cloaked in a white terry cloth robe that is open to reveal the t-shirt that is stretched across his barrel chest. His shirt bears the picture of a crossed eyed face with a twisted grin and above it is the inscription: Kiss Me, I'm Kooky."
He places his right leg over his left, and he begins to jiggle his right foot. He is wearing huge, pink bunny slippers, and this rocking causes his slippers to repeatedly smack into the bottom of his foot producing a rhythmic clapping sound. In his right hand, he holds a small white saucer, and in his left is a cup of tea that he sips from, with a pinky fully extended, before asking, "How are you feeling?"
"Fine, except my head hurts a lot."
"Mmmhhhmm," he responds while nodding his head and smiling. "Oh, ... yes. That is because I hit you with a hammer." He says it as if striking someone with a heavy metal tool is a perfectly normal thing to do.
"Are you comfortable?" he asks.
"No, not really." I am tied to a wooden chair and the ropes around my arms are so tight that my hands are tingling and turning blue.
"Good, good. Glad to hear it," he says pleased with his work.
As I become more oriented, I begin to survey my surroundings. We are sitting in a basement that is lighted by a single bulb. Large shadows hide most of the cinder block walls that seem to be coated in a flaking beige paint. The floor is concrete. However, our chairs are resting on a 10 x 10 section of brownish carpeting. The only avenue for escape is the staircase that is partially blocked by my captors green chair. However, my attention is drawn to a wheelbarrow that conspicuously sits to his left. Its contents are shrouded beneath a light blue sheet. I don't know why, but its hidden objects concern me.
He uncrosses his legs, and having finished his tea, he places the cup to the left of his chair. Then, he begins to question me again.
"So, do you have anything you would like to get off of your chest? Hmmm? Honesty is the best policy, ya know?"
"Not really," I answer truthfully. I have no idea what he expects me to say, and since his is obviously unstable, he could be expecting anything. As he leans back in his chair, his jovial expressions are replaced with a scowl that causes my fear levels to rise.
Then, his teeth are exposed with a smile and he asks, "Does the name Parteepants ring a bell?"
"Parteepants? You mean like, 'Hey, look at me I have a party in my pants.' I chuckle and regrettably say, "No, it doesn't sound familiar to me, but it seems like a name that a kid with dream up."
His smile disappears as he continues with a sinister quality, "I'm not a child, but I guess I am somewhat immature. Parteepants is my screen name. What about a little story called 'All Teeth?' Have you heard of it?"
The title hits me like a brick. As I try to formulate a response, Parteepants rises from the chair and approaches the wheelbarrow.
"Nothing, huh?" he says, while lifting the sheet, but still keeping its contents hidden, and removing a hard backed copy of my book. "You probably know it better as 'Mini Monsters.'"
I feign ignorance as I ask, "What is your point?"
"YOU STOLE MY FUCKING BOOK!" he screams. "Don't play coy with me mother fucker!" Then, he regains his composure and a grin returns to his lips. "Maybe you need to refresh your memory. You probably haven't read this in a while." Without warning, he flings the book at my face. I instinctively try to catch it with my hands but, due to my binds, I fail. The book slams across the bridge of my nose causing blood to rush down my face.
"Oopsey," he says in a childlike tone. "But maybe that knocked some sense into you."
I rest my chin on my chest as I try to block out the pain. I had stolen "All Teeth" off of the Internet several years before. At the time, I was a small time writer with a publisher who was hounding me for a story. After I changed its title to 'Mini Monsters,' I presented it to my publishing house, mainly to placate them until I could write a better story of my own. I never thought it would make it to print, or even more surprisingly, become a hit. One year later, the book was on the best seller's list and I was invited on The Late Show. Ever since, I've been waiting for this confrontation. However, I expected it to take place in a courtroom not a dingy basement.
I raise my head, clinging to a shred of hope, as I say, "If you think I stole your story, why not sue me?"
"I had considered that, but I live on meager earnings. At best, I could only afford a single crappy lawyer while you, thanks to the money my book made, could afford a team of great ones. They would make me look like a fool, especially considering my past..." he pauses before saying, "indiscretions."
I'm afraid to ask what they were. Instead, I offer him a deal. "We don't need to go that route. Let me go and I'll sign the copyrights over to you. After all, there yours anyway, right?" I ask pleadingly.
His eyes seem to loose their lunacy and voice sounds sane as he says, "That really isn't necessary. I've learned to accept the fact that the book is now yours, and I understand that there is nothing I can do about it. I just want you to appreciate what I went through writing it."
Expecting that an end to this crisis is near, I say, "I'm a writer. I fully understand what you must be feeling."
"No you don't. Not yet, anyway," he answers as his expression turns cruel. My spirits plummet as I finally realize that I will never leave this basement alive.
He continues, "Beneath this sheet are all the tools I used to write my story and you're going to get to know them personally." He pulls out a small pink eraser and says, "I often make mistakes. So, this little diddy was really useful. See," he says, while throwing it at my head. I make no attempt to avoid it, my fight is gone, and it bounces off of my face.
"This," Parteepants says, "is a ruler." He holds it in his left hand as he approaches me. "I used it to measure my margins. It is very firm and accurate." Then, he breaks it across my right cheek. It stings, but the pain is bearable.
Next, he removes a stapler. "I used this quite a bit." He displays it and opens the stapler for use on flat surfaces. He begins squeezing it, and staples bounce lightly off of my face and chest. "See, that doesn't hurt too bad?" he asks.
Foolishly, I respond, "No."
His voice becomes very deep as he says, "But this will." He rips my shirt open, and he presses the stapler against my naked chest. He moves it around with his right hand, and with his left, he pounds the tiny, metal spears into my flesh until mercifully, it is empty.
I sit moaning in my chair while he removes a typewriter from the wheelbarrow. He balances it on the back of his chair and says, "I wrote "All Teeth" on this bad boy. It is an old manual typewriter that is hard to find ink ribbons for. See how it works? When I push a key, those little rods come up. I thought about sticking your tongue in there, but it wouldn't really cause much pain." He pauses to allow his threat to register, but I am too beaten to react. Or, so I think, until he continues with, "So, I guess I'll just have to throw it at you."
My head rises in fear and I try desperately to tip the chair over, but it doesn't budge. It must be mounted to the floor. He lifts the typewriter over his head, and with great force, he pitches it at me. After striking my knee, it shatters into many pieces, but it is not as badly injured as my leg. My flesh is split, and the bones feel as if they have disintegrated.
Delusional from the pain, I barely hear him say, "Oh, don't pass out already. I haven't even gotten to the pointy objects like pens or scissors."