e had to fight, they said. When he asked why, they simpered and wrung
their hands. No damsel to be saved, no kingdom to conquer, no villain to
overcome. There was certainly no reward. But haven’t you always wanted
to be a hero, they said. No, he hadn’t. He was moderately content with his
mid-level salary, midtown condo, middling midlife mediocrity. They
simpered some more. But what about flying, they said, bet you always
wanted to fly. No, he said. Flying made him sick.
In the end, they drugged him and stuffed him in a trunk. The next thing he knew, here he was, sitting on an ostrich on a ledge over a pool of lava. And they’d taken all his quarters.
Bridle, reins, saddle. Just like a horse, they said. But he’d never ridden a horse. No problem, they said, this one flies itself. But ostriches can’t fly, he said. Shut up, they explained.
He dug his heels into the ostrich’s side. Giddy up. It turned its head and hissed at him.
He heard flapping above him, and looked up to see large birds circling. Buzzards. They didn’t look friendly. He peered down. Far below the ledge, the lava was rising.
He didn’t like this. It was all too exciting. He liked monotony. He liked doing the same thing over and over. That’s why he’d answered the ad in the first place. Wave after wave, they told him, wave after wave after wave.
Something hit the ledge near him with a wet slap. Steaming and stinking. Buzzard shit.
The ostrich spooked and started to run for the edge. It spread its stunted wings. He was still pretty sure ostriches couldn’t fly.
Remember when you were a minipop, and you saw that film, you know, the one you loved that never had a sequel? Well, let's say it did. And it was just like you imagined it, only a little bit worse.