“Oh, Father! Shouldn’t we be sure he’s dead yet?” asked Mrs. Man, wringing her hands.
“He’s dead enough. An’ meat tastes better fresh.” He leaned over to taste my nose.
“You pervy face-eating freak!” I yelled, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and tossing him across the room. Mountain-Man moaned and his wife let out a shrill scream.
“Lord, he’s alive!”
“Sir,” began Mountain-Man, trying to reassemble his dignity, “you was shot, and I have medicced you back to health. Kindly do not throw me around my own home.”
“I was stabbed,” I corrected. “And you tried to eat me.”
“Unh-uh,” protested a small boy. “You was shot. We spent near a whole night lookin’ to take out the bullet with these.” He waved a pair of barbecue tongs at me. “We din’t find it though.”
“Scooter! I tol’ you to shut up! Now shut!!!” chided Mrs. Man lovingly.
I was in a small cabiny-like place. Most of the furniture looked homemade. Even the TV was built out of cereal boxes. Mountain-Man and Scooter were both only wearing overalls, though Mountain-Man complimented this with a beaten-up straw hat which showed his superiority. Mrs. Man was dressed like a couch.
“What time is it? I asked, brushing off some fleas and mice.
“Half-past the shiny triangle. Where do you come from, Mister?”
“From Eternia City. Where am I?”
“Whooooooo hooooo! Eternia City?! You musta walked all night long to get here. You’ve slipped clear over the border. This here’s The Sticks.”
I shuddered inwardly. All good Eternian children are told stories about The Sticks.
“Isn’t this where everyone marries his sister and stuff?”
Mrs. Man blushed, and she and Mountain-Man exchanged a look of marital bliss.
“Well, sir,” blustered my hick host, “you must be hungrier than a radioactive death tomcat what’s raisin’ eight young on its back.”
“I reckon so,” I answered honestly.
As Mountain-Man set to work preparing his “vittles”, the door of the shack blew open and a teenage girl in inappropriate shorts came in stared at everyone, sighed in disgust, and sat down on a barrel.
“Alabam-Ra! What are you doin’ a-sulkin’ an’ sighin’ in front of company?” demanded Mrs. Man, scandalized.
“Hmphh,” answered Alabam-Ra smartly. “Who’s company? I thought that fella was lunch.”
Mountain-Man coughed loudly into the vittles.
“Oh, merciful heavens! Are you wearin’ lipstick again like some tarted-up whore Jezebel on Melrose Place?!” In truth it looked more like the lipstick had had some girl smudged onto it. There was quite a bit. Alabam-Ra’s new lips reached the bottom of her nose. “How will you ever get a man?”
“Same way you got dad, no doubt!” she yelped, flopping around more in the chair. At her answer, Scooter had made himself scarce, not before whispering to me that “she got lices.”
“This gentleman,” continued the doting mother, “is from Eternia City, an’ he only wants to see nice young ladies while he stays with us an’ ‘til he gets his bullet removed.”
“Eternia City?!” screamed Alabam-Ra, “But I always wanted to go there an’ live like a big movie star. Like She-Ra or Evil-Lyn or Teela...”
I groaned loudly. Everyone assumed it was because of my injury.
“What’s your name?” asked Alabam-Ra with childlike innocence.
“He-Man,” I told her.
Mountain-Man glanced up from his cooking. “Could be we’re related.”
“Actually,” I asked, pulling myself into a sitting position, “I need to know what’s happening in Eternia. Do you get any news stations on your TV?”
“Sure,” said Alabam-Ra friendily. “We get Cajun, Mountain, and Country channels. Here!”
The set clicked onto what I must assume was a Cajun channel. As Alabam-Ra jiggled the rabbit ears I could hear:
Charles en charge de nos jours et nos nuits...
She turned the knob, which would have been illegal in most civilized countries, and the news flickered on.
“Channel 7 News here. We are outside Castle Grayskull on this fine day. The Dark Lord Scare-Glow has just approached the Jawbridge of this once hallowed hall of heroes and is gesturing towards it with what seems to be a powersword. Of course, were he able to get into to Castle Grayskull, he would be able to make himself the most powerful man in the universe using its terrible secrets. Oh, look! The gate is coming down. Yes, Scare-Glow is crossing the bridge--” Click.
“I hate the news,” declared Alabam-Ra with what she hoped was a sexy pout. She had changed it to a channel playing Family Feud instead. “Don’t you think Louie Anderson was the best host?” she asked, edging over to me on the bed.
“I’m sorry, I’d better get back to looking for that bullet,” I told her.