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Secret Revealed
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Chapter 6: Ashes to Ashes

“You know,” Lemonhead said as the smoke cleared, “As appetizing as this guy may be, I don’t really want to eat him.  Why spoil a masterpiece for simple human needs?”
“Yeah,” chimed in another. “He really is a beautiful man.”
Guybrush merely nodded, his face turning red from holding in his breath.
“No, I mean really, look at this guy. Where else have you beheld such an example of utter perfection? There is no comparison for such a miracle.”
Guybrush began to slip back into the hedges.
“No! Don’t go!” chorused the cannibals.  “Bless us with your presence! Smile on us, your unworthy admirers!”  Guybrush flipped them the thumbs up sign and dashed away, gasping for fresh air.
“I gotta work out,” he sputtered, “that was only eight and a half minutes.”
Stan greeted Guybrush as he raced through the door.
“Well hello again. What can I do for you now?”
“I’d like to buy a diamond.”  Guybrush cheerfully replied.
Stan gritted his teeth in annoyance.
“We don’t sell diamonds, just heads. Which reminds me, didn’t you want to buy Bucktooth John?”
“No, that was my evil twin Slybrush. What I really want is the head of that giraffe necked girl.”  Stan turned to inspect the shelves.
“The one from Scranton?”
“That’s right.  Didn’t anyone tell you the legend about her and the diamond?” Guybrush said as he turned the head over in his hands, cringing inwardly at having to handle it.
“Diamond?” questioned Stan, his eyes glowing with greed.
“Oh then you know,” said Guybrush. “Good. It’s not everyone who realizes that giraffe necked girls from Scranton have diamonds implanted in their brains.  But that’s just as silly as the legend of Bigfeet, or Bigfoots, or whatever.  I don’t see any holes in this one; nobody must have checked. Well, I’ll pay for this and be on my way.”
Stan snatched the head from Guybrush.
“New store policy,” he explained.  “Now we do gift wrap.  Wouldn’t want the little thing to get broken.”  Stan dashed out the door, the head securely tucked under his arm.
“Well that was revolting.” said Guybrush, shifting his gaze to the rotten top of Bucktooth John.  Stan had taken great pains to ensure the safety of his favorite head.  Gentle spotlights shone from several angles, emphasizing his high cheekbones and what used to be his eyebrows.  Rather than surround the display with not yet invented laser beams, Stan had placed it on a weight sensor.  Guybrush fished out the sawdust stuffed head of Griswold Goodsoup, and shifted it back and forth in his hands.  He’d seen this in his favorite Slappy Cromwell play, Traders of the Tossed Shark.  He pulled some of the extra packing pellets out, and ever so tenderly shifted the pirate head from its perch, leaving the fake one in its place.
“Phew…” breathed Guybrush.  He walked calmly out of the crypt, and back up towards the hotel. The cannibals had dispersed by the time he reached it, and he didn’t have to sneak in.  Meanwhile, down in the cemetery, the crypt collapsed in a great cloud of smoke, sending giant spiders scurrying into the darkness.
“Hello again Herman. Say, you still look kinda upset.” Guybrush surveyed him with a bit of confusion.  Herman grimaced.
“She’s not the woman I thought she was.  All she wants to do is kiss me.  I have needs too! Can’t she at least for one second consider that I might want to be loved for my mind?” Madame Xima was sitting in the opposite corner, winking at Herman and giggling all the while.
“Maybe it’s the umbrella,” suggested Guybrush.
“Take it then!” cried Herman. “I want nothing more to do with it.”  Guybrush gladly took it, and headed upstairs.  Madame Xima moved closer.
“I should never have left the museum,” grumbled Herman.
“Good, you’re here,” said Guybrush to the Voodoo Lady as he entered the room.  “Remember that Ash-2-Life stuff you made me two episodes ago? I need some more.”
“Do you have some ashes of the person you want to revive?” asked the Voodoo Lady.
“Well, no.” Guybrush hesitantly responded. “I don’t really want to burn this guy. I think I’ve had to do enough gross things already.”
The Voodoo Lady sighed.
“Fine. Come back in five minutes. I’ll do it.”  Guybrush walked out into the hallway to admire the view of the cemetery.  The moon hung clear and pristine, counteracting with the ominous looming presence of Mt Acidophilus.  He hummed a little. He broke into random snatches of song.  Twiddled his thumbs a bit.  Tried to call the squirrel on the roof to come to the window.
“Alright, already, come back.” called the Voodoo Lady.
“Bucktooth John, I’d like you to meet Guybrush Threepwood.  Guybrush, this is John.”
“Hi.” said Guybrush.
“Hi.” said John.
“So, if it’s not too much trouble, would you mind telling me the Secret of Monkey Island™?”
“Not at all, here, I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. It’s right here in my pocket. In my pocket. In my pants.  Why don’t I have my legs? What happened to me?” shrieked John.
“Minor details,” shrugged Guybrush, “but more importantly, about the Secret-“
“No!” cried John firmly. “I won’t tell you!”
“Why not?” demanded Guybrush.
“I don’t remember.”
“Really?” Guybrush said weakly.
“Yeah. That’s why I wrote it down.”
“Great. It’s probably been digested by now.” groaned Guybrush.
“What?!” exclaimed John.
“I mean,” Guybrush stuttered, “I mean nothing at all. That was just a stupid joke, ha, ha. Forget about it.”
“Oh wait!” smiled John.  “I know where my pants are!  I left them at the cannibal village.”
“What for?” asked Guybrush.
“Well they were in my luggage. I was staying at the guest hut.  You didn’t happen to see a nice girl, blond, carries a sword, likes to make death threats?”
Guybrush eyed the talking head warily.
“Maybe, why?”
John grinned.
“Isn’t she the sweetest little thing? I was up for a week to spend some good quality time with her, and she took me to see the volcano.  That’s when I found the Secret.”
“And?” prompted Guybrush.
“And that’s it.  She said she’d tell me, and that she would have to brainwash me afterwards. So I wrote it down, and put it in my pocket.”
“And that’s why the cannibals chased you?”
“No.”
“Oh. So why’d they chase you?”
John grinned, revealing his naming feature.
“I kissed her.”  Guybrush did not want to pursue that topic of conversation.
“So… where are the pants?”
“I have no idea.   Say, could you scratch my ear?”  Guybrush scratched his ear.
“What do they look like?”
“Leather, and they have a really big belt with a giant gold buckle in the shape of a dolphin.”
“Leather in the Caribbean? Are you crazy? I mean, cotton breathes and- oh no. Not those pants.  She’s wearing them.”
“Really?” John brightened. “That’s so neat.  Hey! Wait a minute. You do anything to her, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll bite you!”
“Oh dry up!” said Guybrush, which John did, much to his surprise.
“What are you going to do now?” inquired the Voodoo Lady.
“What else?” said Guybrush. “I’ve got to get that paper!”


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