Once Upon a Time

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Once upon a time, during the Second Age of Man, there was a calm, misty kingdom called Lithium. It was ruled by the wise and fair King Crestor and his lovely, dreamy-eyed queen, Lunesta. It was a time of peace in Lithium; the war against the proud bandit-lord Norval from the desert wastes of Valsartan, having finally reached an accord beneficial to both sides.

To seal the treaties, both leaders, King Crestor and Lord Norval, were to offer their eldest children up for marriage, each to those of the other. From Crestor: his two lovely and stimulating daughters, the Princess Viagra and the Princess Cialis. And from Norval: his twin, emotionally complex sons, Narol and Nardil.

The wedding of the four children and the two great Houses was destined to be the event of the Age. The lords and ladies of every land were invited. The epic poets of Thorazine were summoned for command performances, as were the legendary musicians and acrobats of Xanax, and the famed horsemen of the Orencia Steppes, and the mystic healer-priests of OxyContin would be on hand to deliver the union painlessly to the gods.

Unbeknownst to all, however, the evil necromancer Symbyax had set her loathsome eyes upon King Crestor’s daughters, Viagra and Cialis. Symbyax hated the daughters for their rare beauty and royal ways, and was intent upon bringing them under her thrall and giving them as name-day presents to her vile and ogrelike son, Paxil, who would probably treat them horribly before eating them.

Symbyax traveled from her congealment of fetid huts in the Midol Swamps, all the way to King Crestor’s castle in Lithium, and secreted herself in the storage cellars beneath the kitchens where the wedding feast was being prepared by 100 cooks and 2000 assistants. She carried on her person a small clay bottle filled with an unhealthy looking greenish-purple liquid. The necromancer skulked in the cellars for two days and a night before she recognized her chance to set her scheme in motion.

A fat, sweaty serving boy called Enbrel had been sent down to the cellars to fetch a barrel of Halcion berries, a wedding gift from the Sea Lords of Zoloft who lived across the Qvar Sea. Being a fat, sweaty, and altogether stupid boy, Enbrel decided to snoop about the place first to see if there might be some sweets he could put in his face. Sadly, however, he found only a foul and gangrenous necromancer, who pounced upon his fat, sweaty body like a hawk on a potato and dragged him into the shadows. Symbyax used dark sorcery to enter Enbrel’s brain, where she planted thoughts that were not the boy’s own; thoughts of poison, and pain, and death, and of running out of Fritos.

Sometime later, Enbrel returned to the kitchens. He waddled over to one of the vast cauldrons of soup that hung suspended over the even more vaster fire pit, removed the small clay bottle from inside his breaches, and upended the greenish-purple liquid into the soup, soup that he knew to be a favorite of both Princess Viagra and Princess Cialis. Enbrel then waddled hurriedly from the kitchens and into the stables, where he greedily ate horse apples until some stable boys found him and beat him up.

Symbyax continued lurking in the cellars, waiting for the wedding feast to begin. As soon as Cialis and Viagra ate the soup, they would be drawn to the cellars and Symbyax would have them.

The ceremony had concluded. And now, the two happy couples, their royal parents, and approximately six gazillion guests were packed inside the Grand Hall, attacking platters of food, guzzling ale and wine, singing, cheering, and otherwise whooping it up. Upon the dais at the far end of the cavernous Hall, the newly minted wives and husbands looked goo-goo eyes at each other, suspending that rather revolting activity only at the arrival of the soup course. Cialis and Viagra sat erect in anticipation.

They sniffed at the soup in their bowls. They smiled. The lifted the bowls to their lips. And they—

“Do not DRINK!!” a voice bellowed from the crowd.

Every head turned in the direction of the bellower. He was a crinkly little fellow, with wispy hair and food in his beard. Even so, a hush fall over the Hall, for this man was none other than the legendary Psilocybin, the greatest wizard and poker player of the Age.

“What is it?” asked King Crestor, who knew better than to doubt the ancient magician.

“That soup,” said Psilocybin in lofty tones, before pausing for dramatic effect. “That soup is tainted!”

(Insert gasps here.)

Psilocybin went on to explain how he had discovered the evil witch Symbyax when he had gone to the kitchen cellars for a spiritual consultation with a serving maid named Tamiflu. He had forced Symbyax to explain her presence, and after a lengthy magical duel had gotten the information out of her. The rotten old bat was now firmly imprisoned in an ectoplasmic jail.

The hordes of revelers in the Hall cheered. Psilocybin took a few bows. The two happy couples skipped the soup course and went right on to the fish. Rejoicing filled the land.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Until the next set of double-blind trials.


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