That’s Entertainment (Part 2)

Johnny’s body lay supine in the cushions of a Barka-Lounger. The body developed a mind of its’ own due to the fact that Johnny was elsewhere, no longer in his body, but somewhere in Cyberspace. Johnny’s body contemplated suicide due to an existential crisis after being reduced to a sack of blood and bones with no real purpose. Johnny no longer used a body. Of course Johnny was physically dead without a body, but his mind would still be alive like a zombie roaming the web in search of another body to steal and exploit. Something else bothered Johnny’s body: everything in the physical world was changing and worms were everywhere, giant rapacious grubs.

Meanwhile, Johnny Biggie Wang couldn’t be happier as he rose to prominence and a life of virtual luxury. He wielded a scepter and shouted insults at his minions. Everyone watched his channel. He was becoming a true Super Nova; then, everything got even better. Biggie found his soul mate, Benda Creamola. She looked like Elsa Lancaster in the movie, Bride of Frankenstein. She had real entertainment value and a large following. Johnny was immediately drawn to her as if she was the missing rib that god used to make a woman. She fancied herself more like Caitlyn Jenner than a missing rib. She never wanted an operation, but it didn’t matter in the Virtual World. Johnny and Benda bonded and virtually became one individual. Originally it was a crisis that moved Johnny (who was once Earl Stump) to give up his body and don the VR helmet. He had body dysmorphia, never satisfied with his physical appearance and not certain of his sexual prowess. He was also fixated on The Donald which added to his insecurities about being a man. He was still fixated, but now he could commiserate with the stunning Benda Creamola while he tried on her devilishly glamorous clothes — all this added to his entertainment appeal and his valuation kept rising until he came to the attention of the man himself, The Donald.

The Donald had grown immense due to his spewing of incendiary vitriol, gold to an audience hungry for virtual stimulation. He built himself a kingdom based on false accusations and innuendos. He was rolling in entertainment-credits and reality show franchises. But, he was not satisfied. He needed a new challenge to reassert his superiority and he saw Johnny as the perfect dupe. Although he could never admit it, he worried about Johnny’s growing popularity. The Donald was also a troubled man. He felt drained as if some force were working through him, using him for some inexplicable purpose. Although, up till now, his life was absolutely fabulous, The Donald harbored a deep sadness which weighed heavily upon him in the current atmosphere of stress. He still missed his beloved Ivana. As a result, The Donald wanted nothing more than to kick someone’s ass.

Johnny’s body was dreaming of a white worm. Legions of worms slithered across the landscape, melting everything in a bath of acid. They came from space, drawn by the wars and torment that embroiled the earth. The worms grew fat on the emotions that violence triggered. A worm was eating Johnny’s foot. It had a repugnant face. Each worm had the same face, still recognizable as human.

Johnny Biggie Wang was ecstatic to receive an invitation from the man himself. It was a cryptic verse, “come to my chateau to be dinned, wined, and judged.” Signed The Donald. Benda Creamola gushed with joy. The pair would go as one, in an ankle length gown materialized from a rainbow cloud.

The Donald planned a ruse. He wanted to trick Johnny into being an absolute bore with very little entertainment value, thus increasing his own popularity. The hungry crowd loved take-down battles to the death. However, when Donald saw Johnny Benda, he was stunned — his heart could be heard like thunder throughout cyberspace. He had seen her from a distance, appearing like an ancient movie icon, but up close, she was the perfect image of Ivana. “You’ve done something with your hair,” Donald blurted. “Yes,” she said, ” subdued it with apricot to bring out the blond. Do you like it?”

A moment of truth arrived like a locomotive with a warp drive traveling through a worm hole. Nothing turned out as expected. The encounter could go one of two ways: The Donald might make love to Johnny, seeing him as his beloved Ivana, and ending in mutual bliss; or, The Donald would be incensed by Johnny’s rainbow cloud and sweet adoration, thus ending in angry invective or worse.” After a pause that went on for a century, The Donald exploded, “you’re fired!” And that was the end of the encounter.

The white worms grew fat on The Donald’s angry outbursts. When the worms first arrived they were drawn to the aggressive anger spewed by The Donald. The worms loved incendiary insults. It was assumed he was the leader — his face was everywhere, in all the media. The worms attached themselves to The Donald and made him their titular leader. White worms fed on Donald’s invective until they were able to branch out and feed on other humans. Soon they were feeding on whole towns and communities. It was a feeding frenzy and the worms grew fat and large. The worms were psychically connected through The Donald. He was the lynchpin.

The Donald was trumped by his compulsive need to hold the winning hand. The reviews were glowing for both Donald and for Johnny Biggie Wang Benda Creamola. The virtual world loved the “encounter of no return” (as it came to be known). Entertainment value for all the participants almost shut down cyberspace in a tsunami of accolades. What followed was a predictable soap opera of heartache for Johnny and self hatred for The Donald, enough turmoil to keep ratings astronomically high.

The earth was devoured by giant grubs. The white worms gorged on the emotions radiating from festering bodies in the throes of dying. Everything else was eliminated in an ocean of acid that was expelled like urine from the menacing worms. The virtual world continued to be an entertainment bonanza, the pinnacle of human civilization. The engines of cyberspace were all underground so they were not effected by the rain of acid. With no physical body each persona in the virtual world became a zombie. The virtual avatars barely noticed any changes, except they felt lighter and less prone to jags of uncontrollable weeping.

Eventually the giant grubs turned into beetles and flew away. The earth slowly began to heal. People in the virtual world started to disappear, fading from existence. The Donald was one of the first to fade out. He’d been sustained by the worms until they left in search of new prey. Johnny just lay down, consumed by a broken heart.  (The end)

Part 2

 

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