FLIPSIDE, Book 2
Flipside is a world beneath ours where dreams go to die. Imagine a world created solely for the repository of our imaginations, where the unwritten stories live alongside those never completed and every fickle being that has ever been conjured from the deep recesses of our mind walks the yellow brick roads that pave the way to great cities.
Flipside is a place where you can get anything, or if you are not careful, where anything can get you. You can find ogres, dragons, superheroes, demons, knights and dead pop stars drinking alongside each other in any of the many bars, pubs and nightclubs that offer every vice imaginable.
You can only access Flipside if you wish for it hard enough, or are desperate enough, or have a death wish. Gods walk through the streets, passing undead cheerleaders or old cowboy gunslingers and no one bats an eyelid. Tourism is a big trade, mainly because Flipside gets a cut of the insurance money, which is ridiculously high. In a world where Satan, Dr Doom, Hannibal Lecter and Jason Vorhees can establish their own businesses, no one is ever really safe.
So… welcome to Flipside; a place where dreams can come true, or, more likely, where nightmares will kill you. For god’s sake; be careful.
For those of you who have not been already met me, my name is Arthur. Yes like the King and yes, the same person. . I am protected by Merlin the magician’s most powerful spells and carry at my side Excalibur, the gun reshaped from my old sword. It shoots bullets that kill instantly and the name Arthur Pendragon has become synonymous with death in Flipside. Oh, I am also an alcoholic, and worse, a cop.
Samuel L Jackson V Bruce Willis
Professor X V Richard Reed
Friends Cast V Scrubs Cast
Chapter 4, Closer to the truth
A quick recap: I have been hired by an ugly ogre, actually a friend of mine, well more of an acquaintance who I owe a couple of favours to, to find out who killed an actor in a bar. Not just any bar, but one where no power could be used. That meant no telepathy, no magic, no cosmic power, no Odin force, nothing at all.
Unfortunately that also meant that I was helpless when the attack came. I was pinned helpless like a bug under a magnifying glass, whilst havoc broke loose and people started trying to kill each other. Normally that should have been impossible, because as I mentioned, this was a freaking No-power zone.
So I turned to my closest, and possibly only, friend in Flipside; Professor Charles Xavier. Together we revisited the bar, and of course…. All hell broke out.
I turned to see Dr Perry Cox from the Scrubs cast pick up Joey from Friends and throw him out a window. Now, in the movies when this happens, the person will get up, brush himself off and leap back into the fight. Unfortunately for Joey, this is not what happens in real life and he ended up with a broken collarbone, a shattered wrist and a face full of glass. Needless to say he wouldn’t be getting up and leaping anywhere for a while.
The fight was still raging around us and Xavier was still trying to get a fix on who or what was behind it. He was screaming something but with all the racket I could barely make it out.
Suddenly he stopped, and looked at me. All around us the fighting ceased for a moment, the Friends and Scrubs crew halting mid-punch and looking about with confused faces.
“Do you know who it is?” I asked, keeping a weary eye on the actors around me.
“I can only get the faintest of readings, and I am not even sure that it is a true one. For some reason, this feels wrong.”
“You’re telling me!” I exclaimed. “Rachel and Elliot were ripping each others clothes off and now they’ve just stopped. Did you stop this?”
“No Pendragon, I didn’t. Whoever is behind this stopped it and I am not sure we are going to like the reason why…”
He stopped mid sentence as the Friends and Scrubs crew started shaking. They wriggled violently as if possessed, their faces distorted and hands outstretched. Their mouths opened and they emitted shrill screams of distress and I could see their tongues distending in a terrible way.
Suddenly Ross picked up a fallen piece of glass and sliced open his wrists. The cut was deep and true and blood spurted into the air. He laughed a mad cackling snigger that chilled me to my bones.
The others followed suit, tearing at their own eyes, or cutting themselves with whatever came to hand. JD picked up a broken bottle and started to eat it, laughing all the while.
“We need to get help” said Xavier, wheeling away.
“What about them?” I asked, looking at the poor souls who were slowly killing themselves.
“There is nothing we can do for them Pendragon. We have to act quickly before this happens to more. I mentioned that I managed to latch on to some aspect of who was behind these atrocities, but only for a moment and what I saw I think was left there to deceive me. We need someone who can get to the bottom of this lie, someone who can see the truth.”
“Who?” I asked stupidly.
“We need Richard Rahl, the Seeker of Truth” replied Xavier solemnly.
Before Xavier could sigh, call me ignorant and then explain who this Richard was, there was a terrible explosion. We were thrown to the floor as debris rained down upon us. Shots and more explosions flew overhead and we coughed as smoke filled out lungs.
It seemed we had just entered a war zone, and when I saw who was fighting I knew we were lucky to be alive.
Our mysterious adversary has managed to ensnare two of the greatest action heroes of all time; Arnie and Stallone and they had brought some reinforcements. As I watched, the actors themselves slammed into each other, huge fists pounding on huge muscles. Around them their incarnations were battling it out with fists and guns and I could already see the dead bodies of innocent bystanders littering the floor.
So in the fights it is:
Arnie V Stallone (in a fist fight)
Rocky V Conan with no sword
Rambo V Jack Slater
John Spartan V John Matrix
Judge Dredd V The Terminator
All these are movie versions.