Thursday, December 17, 2009
RoboPope: The Prequel (Part One)
The day started out normal enough. I got up, brushed my teeth with my Jesus toothbrush, and went to the Vatican to see if I could get a glimpse of my hero, the Pope. I had all of his posters, and a special bobble-head doll that I managed to find just outside of Vatican City. I kissed it, as always, on my way out.
I whistled as I walked, clutching my folded poster under my arm. I chuckled at all the people around me, busy either working or going to work. Poor things. I was lucky. By the Grace of God, and the international market for frozen pizzas, I never had to work a day in my life. I was free to spend all my time devoted to the Pope, and praying to Jesus. Oh, that reminded me. I had a poker game later that afternoon. I would have to cut my adoring admiration short that day.
Approaching the massive construction of the Vatican, I entered the courtyard, and felt positively giddy. My heart started racing, as it always did when I got there, and I found myself suppressing giggles of excitement when I saw the guards in their fabulous attire. I had a hard time keeping myself from running the rest of the way. Finally, I got into the chapel. I took my customary place by Jesus' disintegrating foot, and held up my sign.
Every hour or so, I have to take a break and stretch. However, I make sure to only do the most holy of stretches there. Squats are, of course, expressly forbidden.
As I was going through my third hour lunges, I heard something strange. After a moment, I recognized it as laughter. I stood up from my lunge, and put my hands on my hips. Something was definitely wrong here. I picked up my sign, and started following the sound. I came to a door, hidden expertly within the church (though I, of course, was able to discern it) and discovered the laughter was coming from behind it.
My hair stood up on end, as it only did every other day, and I knew I had to do something. Counting to three, I threw my shoulder against the door and yelled. It had been quite painful, but the door hadn't budged. I counted to three again, but took a few steps back first. I ran toward the door with all my might, but, just as I was about to shatter it to pieces, it opened. My shoulder connected, instead, with the surprised face of a guard. Having achieved amazing momentum, both my shoulder and myself followed him to the ground.
Looking up, I saw a group of shocked guards standing in a semi-circle around a card table, quickly becoming quite angry. I stood up, and before I could eloquently explain the courageous reason for my intrusion, I strangely found myself fleeing the scene, my poster still tightly clutched in my hand.
Naturally, they followed. I took as many doors and turns that I could, and soon found myself in a completely unfamiliar part of the Vatican. I sneakily managed to trick the guards into running past me while I hid in a doorway. I sighed with relief. I though about it, and chuckled quietly to myself.
The hallway was long and quite unadorned for the Vatican. There must have been only two or three priceless treasures there, and only the ceiling was gilded. I put my hands on my hips and pursed my lips. Now how would I get out of there? I wandered around for a while, opening various doors (slowly, I had learned), trying to find a familiar area. However, I just seemed to get more and more lost. Honestly, that was all right with me--I was getting into the Inner Sanctum of the Vatican. How cool was that!
Finally, I opened one door, and saw some people inside.
"Oops!" I said. "Sorry!" And closed the door.
I stood there a moment, my hand on the doorknob, as my brain processed what it had just seen. I blinked. And blinked again. Then I slowly opened the door back up, and peaked my head in. The door opened the rest of the way almost of its own accord.
"Wow," I breathed. "Your Majesty!" I yelled, and bowed down to the Almighty, the Pope Himself! I heard a grumble, so I stood back up. "I'm so sorry to bother you, Mr. Pope sir! I'm just--I'm such a big fan! I love what you do!"
Then I noticed the fire burning in the old-fashioned wood-burning stove beside him, which was covered in diamonds and rubies, and the man seated halfway across the room from him. He was tied to a rather plain chair, and gagged. He was clothed in a white dress and looked remarkably similar to the Pope.
"Oh!" I exclaimed, seeing the desperate look on the man's face. "I didn't realize you were busy. Sorry."
I closed the door again. Then a thought came to me. I couldn't just walk away. I had to do something, consequences be damned. I flung the door back open.
"Mr. Pope sir?" I began, and swallowed hard as I noticed his eyes beginning to smolder. "I'm really sorry, but I just..." I took a deep breath, looked at the tied-up man, then looked back at the Pope. "Would you please sign my poster?" I grinned and held it out. I unfolded it and showed it to him, doing my best to look adorable and forgivable at the same time.
He stared down at my I LOVE U, POPE! sign, and then he emitted a deep, grinding, grating sound. My heart froze with fear.
"Right," I said, as beads of sweat began to form on my forehead. The man in the chair was wildly trying to gesture at me for some strange reason, his eyes wide and wild. He jutted his chin up in my direction, then in the direction of the Pope, and seemed to be trying to say something. I squinted at him, unable to make out any of the words. Then I turned back to the Pope. "Maybe this isn't the best time," I said. I began to close the door, then opened it again as I added, "Sorry again." Once again, I started pulling the door shut, then remembered what I had always wanted to say to him.
"I love your hat, by the way." Then, the Pope growled: a huge, monstrous roar. I slammed the door and walked away. I guess he has a sore spot about the hat. Go figure. I'd always thought he liked it.
Oh, my God, I thought. I just met the Pope! I squealed with delight, and continued on down the corridor, trying my best to keep my skipping to a minimum.