'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Thirty:


   "Hey, about that new fire ring you're wearing--what can
it do?"

                                 - Pixlie the pixie--asking
a question of his master,
Kaye-Boom.  (Also his
supposed last words.)

   Kaye-Boom lay quietly in a pile of ash, his eyes looking
here and there.  Burnt tree stumps occupied his current view.
   There he lay, the bright red bullseye in a circle of
ashen forest, two acres wide, next to Death Adventure.
   Luckily, most of the helio spell (the H-word) was lost in
a strange time/space warp caused by a malfunctioning garage
door opener.  Otherwise, Death Adventure would have had its
very own solar flare, which would have resulted in a slight
downward trend in park attendance.  No one likes to ride a
roller coaster when it's covered with the molten lava and
burning hydrogen of a newborn star.  No one except Kaye-Boom,
of course.
   Kaye-Boom arose, shaking his fiery robes free of the
ashes that probably was once a nice pine tree.  He squinted
up at the noon sun, wondering where he was.
   Sounds from the nearby amusement park drifted in:
   "...but I wanna go on the flume now!  Aw, come on..."
   "...here comes the big drop!  Down please!"
   "...I'm not in the mood for it!"
   And so on.
   A fair or gathering of some sort, Kaye-Boom imagined.
Either that, or a very large dragon is eating a hell of a lot
of noisy musicians.
   He listened again.
   He figured it wasn't the later.  Since most dragons have
a hard time removing all those instruments from in-between
their teeth, they rarely enjoy such a meal.
   He listened one more time.  The sounds came from over
there, right past that large lake.
   Lake?!  Kaye-Boom shuddered.  Water.
   He walked closer, avoiding the smoking remains of
ex-vegetation on the ex-forest's floor.  He came upon the
   At least 'tis calm water, he thought.  He watched fish
swim here and there within the murky cedar water.  Poor fish,
he thought.  How could they stand to be around that... that
water!?  He shuddered again.
   Across the lake, Kaye-Boom saw a few log buildings and a
network of blue half tubes with people riding in log boats
floating along in them.  Strange.  He also saw quite a few
interesting contraptions.  Like a giant wheel and a series of
metal loops.  Even stranger.
   Stuck in a different dimension or world with no way off,
he thought.  I wonder if anyone else was transported here,
like myself.  The Dead Eye!  He might have been teleported
here as well!?  No.  Maybe?  Why would he teleport me here?  
No, he has too much ego to just get rid of me like this.  It
must have been an accidental rift in thy time/space
continuum!  Or one of Shae-doe's screwy spells?  But if it
was an accident, then thy Dead Eye might also be here?  What
would he do if he was stuck on a new world?  Destroy it?  No.
   Kaye-Boom smiled.  No, he thought.  The Dead Eye would
come looking for his only nemesis, to destroy him.  To
destroy me.  Then, after he had taken care of his only
obstacle, he would destroy the world.
   Kaye-Boom smiled again.  Attempt to destroy me, 'tis more
like it.  'Twill just wait for him to arrive.  He looked at
the lake again.  Lake?!  Water.  I hate water!
   "Hey, you!" a security guard yelled from the passenger
side seat in a small power boat scooting about on the lake.  
"Hold it!  What do you think you're doing out here?"
   Kaye-Boom blinked, awake from his musing.  Two guards in
a boat, he thought.  No sails or oars; must be
magic--probably +3 or better.
   The motorboat slowed down and crept closer to shore, near
Kaye-Boom.  The passenger security guard stepped out onto the
marshy ground while the driver idled the boat next to the
grassy shore.
   "You could've been killed by that fire--just to sneak in
for free," the guard said, gawking slightly at Kaye-Boom's
fiery robes.  "What do you think you're doing?"
   "Standing," Kaye-Boom answered.  "Near a lake," he added,
wondering where the guard's sword was.
   "Very funny, smart ass," the guard commented, not
laughing.  "Come on, let's go."
   "Go where?" Kaye-Boom asked.  He saw no castle or
fortress in the distance.
   "We're taking you to security."  He grabbed Kaye-Boom's
arm, ignoring the showy illusionary flames.  "Trying to sneak
in, wearing a costume covered with fake fire," he added to
himself, escorting Kaye-Boom towards the boat.
   Kaye-Boom let himself be led into the boat, not knowing
of any other safe and quick way across the water.
   The driver sped the boat quickly across the lake, causing
quite a few whimpers from Kaye-Boom as the light spray
splashed him in the face.  He held in the pain, not wanting
to show the guards his weakness.  Lake?!  Water.

   Once on dry land, to the spot Kaye-Boom had seen across
the lake, he turned back into his cheery, fiery self.  "Where
are your swords?" he asked the guards as they started to lead
him inwards, towards the main part of the park.
   "Swords?" the driver yelped.  "What the hell are you
talking about?"
   "Then are ye magicians?" Kaye-Boom asked, stopping short,
still less than ten feet from the lake.
   "Magicians?  You mean that fake magic shit?" the guard
said.  "No way--show business sucks!" he added.
   "Yeah, I'm going to college to learn computer
programming.  Who wants to play magic tricks for little whiny
brats?" the driver commented.
   "Then you mean that this is a technological society that
has no magical abilities whatsoever?" Kaye-Boom asked
incredulously, on the edge of joy.
   "You're on drugs, right?" the driver asked, scratching
his head.
   "Then that means I don't have to follow you, or do what
you say," Kaye-Boom added for his own benefit.
   "Yes you do!" the guards said.
   "I have to find an intelligent mind to meld with, so I
can borrow some of his thoughts and memories of this
backwards world." Kaye-Boom looked at the two guards, who
looked back apprehensively.
   "What are you talking about?" the driver asked, inching
   "He's on drugs, man!  This freak is a psychotic killer,
over-dosed on crack!  He's gonna kill us!"  The guard freaked
and ran away towards the big log cabin restaurant.
   "Just say no, man!" the driver yelled to Kaye-Boom.  
"Peer pressure, man, peer pressure!"  He joined his friend in
   Kaye-Boom frowned.  If the population of this world is
anything like these two, I'll never find a suitable mind to
meld with.  Won't matter, though.  I'll be king in a few
days... a week tops.