Slimebeast

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As You approaches the brightly colored mansion, You wonders how You got into this situation in the first place.  The fact that there’s a giant castle hidden away in the middle of the woods is puzzling.  Even more puzzling is how You has come to find You’s self in front of it in the first place.

You received the invitation about a week ago.  You was flipping through the mail, wondering how You was going to be able to pay the bills when a postcard slipped out of the large stack of envelopes.  Since You has no friends or family, You assumed it was just another piece of junk mail, but something about it caught You’s eye.  You decided to read it.

“Dear You Name, CONGRATULATIONS!  You’ve won a free trip to the Patty Palace!  Come on down at [date/time] with this voucher to redeem your prize: an all you can eat buffet of all the fast food you could ever want!  All you have to do is show up! 
P.S. Make sure you come alone and don’t tell anyone where you’re going!

You didn’t remember entering any contests, but You wasn’t one to turn down free food.  It seemed legit and not suspicious in any way at all, so You followed the directions on the back of the postcard, which led You through the woods to the towering eyesore in front of You.  You vaguely wonders why no one had ever seen or heard of it before.

The castle is made of french fry yellow brick and the door is a bright ketchup red.  A neon sign proclaiming PATTY PALACE adorns the wall so You assumes You is in the right place.  You walks through the gate of golden arches and rings the doorbell.  The doorbell echoes through the forest and soon You finds You’s self staring into the face of a giant rat.
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“EEK!”  You screeches and scrambles backwards.  The beast just sighs and shakes his head.  It seems as if he’s used to this reaction.  “I know what you’re thinking; mice are a health hazard in kitchens.  Don’t worry, I’m just the butler.  Please come in and I’ll explain how your prize works.”
You is hesitant to go in at first but the mouse man lures You inside with pizza.  You snacks on the cold, greasy slice and listens to what the horrifying abomination of a creature has to say.

“Hello, You.  My name is Charles Entertainment Cheese but you can call me Chuckie.  As you know, you’ve won an all expenses paid, all you can eat buffet; however, we, the denizens of this magical fast food kingdom, aren’t just going to give you your gourmet meal right away.  In order to prove that you are truly worthy, you must complete the maze.  If you manage to make it all the way through the palace, you can eat all you want and you’ll also get $500 for some reason.  I’ve never been able to solve the maze myself so I can assure you it won’t be easy.” 
He pauses for a moment.  “Then again, mice are notoriously bad at mazes.  Also, I’m a heroin addict so you probably shouldn’t trust anything I say.”

You thinks that sounds like bullshit, but You is also still hungry, even after the mediocre pizza.  Being a champion maze escape artist, You has nothing to lose.  Plus, You could really use the money, so You opens the door to the next room and promptly falls into the gaping pit before You.

You screams as You falls into the seemingly never ending hole.  Well, I guess this is how I die, You thinks as You plummets to You’s inevitable death.  Instead of dying, however, You finds You’s self in a giant ball pit.  You’s relief is short lived.  The force of You’s fall sent You barreling right into the middle of the pit.  The sticky plastic orbs surround You and cover You’s head.  It’s impossible to tell how deep in You is stuck.  You can barely breathe.  This is even worse, You thinks.  I’m going to suffocate in a pile of dirty balls.
Suddenly, You remembers that You is a champion swimmer.  You swims You’s way back to the top with ease and surfaces, gasping for air.  You climbs up the netting and onto a platform.  Safe at last!  You takes a step forward and promptly falls on You’s face.  All of that flailing around has given You that weird, unstable “just exited the ball pit” feeling.  Luckily, there’s a bench with a clown statue on it for You to sit and rest on.  You takes advantage of this and peels off all the used bandaids that were sticking to You from the disgusting pit of plastic disease.  Those things are always filled with stale chicken nuggets and abandoned happy meals.  A loud, booming voice fills the room.

“Are you giving up already, You?  That’s pathetic!  Are you some kind of vegetarian?”
“Hey!  Listen here, mysterious disembodied voice!  I’m not giving up and I’m definitely not a vegetarian!  My mom went vegan for a while but She didn’t last long,” You replies indignantly.
“Good!  We don’t need any sissy vegans in here.  If you still want to continue, enter the tunnel to your right.  Don’t give up, You!  Remember: we have the meats!”

Encouraged by the mysterious disembodied voice, You crawls into the plastic tube, leaving the empty bench behind.

The maze of plastic tubes are clear, but that doesn’t make it any easier for You to navigate.  The plastic walls are sticky and covered in handprints so You can’t see through them.  You turns right, then left, then right again, but the pathways seem to go on forever.  You considers giving up but You knows that You will never be able to find the way back.  The only thing that keeps You going is the growling of You’s stomach.  You is way too hungry to go back now.
As you continues persistently onward, You smells the faint scent of pumpkin spice.  Oh no, You thinks, panicking.  That must be my sister coming back to haunt me!  You’s panic grows when You feels hot liquid rushing past You’s hands and knees.  Pumpkin spice was Her favorite thing in the world, but You has no time left to dwell on that.  The tube is slowly filling up with—coffee?!
You crawls as fast as You can in the cramped space, but it’s no use!  The entire tube structure is filling up with the hot, sugary drink that basically all girls love.  Even You’s champion swimming skills won’t be able to prevent You from drowning.  Well, I guess this is how I die, You thinks, closing You’s eyes to wait for You’s inevitable death.

Just as the coffee was beginning to cover You’s face, You hears a beautiful voice.
“Listen to me, You!  My name is Star and I know the way out of here!  Follow my voice or whatever.”
You thinks You must be hallucinating, but You follows the mysterious disembodied voice regardless.  It turns out to be pretty easy; Star never seems to shut up.
“So like, it was my birthday and my boyfriend Tim got me the worst gift EVER.  I mean, he bought me an outfit that I had pinned on my Pinterest from Instagram and it was cute but I couldn’t even wear it!  He knows I can’t wear leggings or Ugg boots!  He’s so annoying, I swear.  Oh, and he never even compliments me even though I spend FOREVER on my hair and my eyebrows are on fleek and I just got the perf MLBB lipstick, and…”
You finally reaches the end of the tube maze and falls down a waterfall of pumpkin spice latte.  You doesn’t even care if You dies at this point because at least the complaining will stop.  Instead of dying, You falls right into an inner tube floating on Latte Lake.  You finally gets to see Star.  She’s a beautiful two-tailed mermaid with flowing green hair.  She’s wearing nothing but a crown.  You takes a moment to ogle her before realizing that she’s still talking, but not to You.
“I’ve had it, Tim!  I think we should take a break.”
“Are you still mad aboot that, Star?  I said I was soorry!”  The other voice is male and unmistakably Canadian.  You looks at him and sees that he’s not only wearing an inner tube, but also full hockey gear.  His jersey reads “Maple Leafs,” but surely that can’t be right.  As a champion of proper spelling and grammar, You thinks that it should be “leaves,” not “leafs.”  You vaguely wonders why no one else seems bothered by that.
“Which one of you can tell me how to get out of here?”  You asks.
“I can,” say both at the same time.  The mermaid and the hockey player glare at each other.  You vaguely wonders how the two of them ever got together in the first place.  The combined angry tension between them seems hot enough to cause third degree burns, and You doesn’t have enough money to file a lawsuit.
“I’ll help,” the Canadian eventually says.  “The next area is cold and Star can’t swim on ice.”  This angers the mermaid even more.
“I don’t know why you like ice so much, Tim!  You know that autumn is my favorite season!”  Unfortunately for her, You and Tim are already floating away and are now out of earshot.  You has to scramble to make it to land because Tim accidentally pops You’s flotation device with his ice skate.  The two of them sit on the ground and share a box of donut holes and some coffee.  Once You is nice and caffeinated, You heads over to challenge the next area of the maze.

As soon as You opens the door, You is hit with a blast of cold air.  It’s a blizzard!  The door slams shut behind You and You is enveloped in a blinding whiteness.  It’s impossible for You to see which way is which or to even see more than a foot in front of You.  Undeterred and fueled by caffeine, You wanders around in an attempt to find You’s way.  After a few hours, You realizes that the situation is hopeless.  Well, I guess this is how I die, You thinks.  You sits down in the snow to try to speed up the process of freezing to death. 
You closes You’s eyes and waits for You’s inevitable death.  Hail begins to pelt You in the face, making the situation even more depressing.  You gets annoyed and opens You’s eyes in frustration.  A realization hits You: it’s not hail; it’s M&Ms!  As a champion folklorist and fairy tale expert, You knows exactly what to do.  You scoops up a pile of M&Ms and uses them to mark You’s path.  It still takes You quite a while to find You’s way, but it’s much easier now that You can see what paths You’s already tried.  You eventually meets a very surprised, very queenly looking lady.
“How did you—Um, I mean, congratulations on getting this far.”  As she leads You to the next challenge, You vaguely wonders why she seemed surprised that You made it this far.

The next room contains two doors that look almost identical.  The only difference is that one door is labeled “mascots” and the other reads “cast members.”  You looks down and an notices an adorable chihuahua. 
“Awww, a puppy!”  You kneels down to pet the dog.  “I always wanted a pet but I could never have one because of my dad.  He used to be allergic to dogs.”
To You’s surprise, the tiny dog growls and bites You’s hand.  You is even more surprised when the dog talks.
“Debes elegir una puerta para ingresar,” he says.
Being a champion of foreign languages, You understands the dog perfectly.
“I can only pick one door?”  The dog nods in confirmation.  “Porqué no los dos?”  You asks.  The dog doesn’t look amused by this.
“Una de estas puertas conduce a la comida.  La otra puerta conduce a una muerte dolorosa.”
You sighs in frustration.  “Can’t you tell me which door to pick?  I’m hungry and I’ve been in enough life threatening situations for today.”  You may have eaten a few times since entering this nightmarish fast food castle, but You has a constant hunger that can never be fully sated.  You is more than ready for a third meal.
Not wanting to die just yet, You takes a moment to consider You’s options.  The doors look identical and contain no clues as to what lies behind them.  You vaguely wonders why they put a deadly trap here.  It’s almost as if they want to kill You.  You admonishes You for being so paranoid and decides to make You’s choice.
You suddenly realizes that a delicious smell is wafting through the cracks of door one—a delightful smell of fried chicken with just a hint of herbs and spices.  Well, I guess this might be how I die, You thinks to You’s self before entering the chamber of potential death.

Luckily for You, the next room doesn’t contain You’s demise but instead hosts a rather dapper looking older gentleman wearing a white suit.  You, being into the “silver fox” type, takes a moment to appreciate his attractiveness.  It’s all well and good, but You notices that there’s a distinct lack of delicious food waiting to be devoured in a fit of ravenous hunger.  This is a fate that isn’t much better than death.
“Excuse me, sir.  I was told by a dog that there would be food,” You says.  The man chuckles in amusement.
“I’m sorry, kid, but you’ve been fooled by my business strategy!  I pipe in the scent of fried chicken through the vents to lure in prospective customers.  It works every time.”
Of course.  That was ingenious, but You wasn’t laughing along with the fine southern gent.  You was beginning to get suspicious.  This place isn’t like any restaurant You has visited before.  You storms off down the hall, vaguely wondering if this whole ordeal is some kind of scam.

You enters a white turret with a long and winding staircase leading upward.  Having no other choice, You begins the long descent upwards and reflects on You’s life choices.  The postcard made this sound like it would be a fun, fulfilling afternoon of soda and snacks, not a triathlon of plastic tubes and terror.  Then again, You has nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon.  You has no family or friends to hang out with and nothing’s on tv, so maybe this isn’t so bad.
Climbing the stairs is beginning to become exhausting, and worse, You can no longer see in front of You.  The top of the tower is filled with a thick smog that makes You’s eyes water and You’s throat dry.  You has to be careful to stay close to the wall lest You falls to You’s inevitable death at the floor below.  The journey is difficult—the cloud gets thicker and the smell is starting to make You gag.  You vaguely wonders who let a skunk into the building.

You is relieved when You reaches the top, but is dismayed when You is faced with another labyrinth.  “Oh, come on!”  You says to no one.  “You’ve got to be kidding me!  how big even is this place?!”  If You wasn’t a champion at beating mazes, You would have thrown You’s self down the stairs in frustration by now.
You continues to grumble as You walks through the twists and turns of the maze.  You’s stomach has begun to growl louder than ever—for some reason, the haze from the white tower has made You’s appetite even worse than before.  You soon forgets You’s stomach, however, when You hears the sound of someone scampering into the maze behind You.
You spins around, but no one’s there.  It must’ve just been the hunger getting to You’s imagination.  You continues on, but hears the footsteps again!  You swings back around, ready to catch You’s stalker, but again, no one is there!  You gets an uneasy feeling about this.
“My brother used to try to sneak up on me like this,” You mumbles to You’s self.  You hated Him.  Just as You rounds the corner, You comes face to face with the terrifying creature who had been hunting You moments before.  He must’ve taken a short cut to get to You.
You was frozen in terror.  The curly mustache, the fur trimmed robe, the shining crown—those were all okay.  It was the man’s dead-eyed stare and the smile—oh, the smile!—that was almost too much to bear.  Well, I guess this is how I’m going to die, You thought, immediately accepting You’s inevitable death.

You waits for the man to speak.  A full minute passes in silence.  The man doesn’t move a muscle.  He just wordlessly stares at You with his soulless eyes.  You decides that he might not be a threat after all.  Sure, the very sight of this “person” is going to take years off of You’s life, but it seems as if You can pass by safely.
“Fine, have it your way,” You says, turning away to leave.  Before You could leave, however, the source of all nightmare fuel itself reaches toward You.  He isn’t brandishing a knife but he’s holding a bottle of blood!  Before You can even scream, the monstrous king slowly skulks backward into the shadows, never once breaking eye contact.
Once You is sure the dreaded beast is no longer following you (although, could You really be sure?  Could You ever be sure ever again?), You hesitantly picks up the bottle and sniffs it.  Hey, don’t judge.  You was really hungry.  To You’s surprise, it isn’t blood at all.  It’s ketchup!  Remembering how You had managed to weather the blizzard earlier, You squirts the ketchup on the walls as You traverses the maze.  Being able to see where You has already been is a great help and You is able to escape in no time.  As You journeys on, You vaguely wonders why the monster in the labyrinth helped You.

You is more than a bit surprised that the path leads to a perfectly normal looking kitchen.  It makes sense in a way—a place called the Patty Palace ought to have a kitchen somewhere and there probably wasn’t much room for it elsewhere what with all the trick rooms and the subterranean coffee reservoir.  Two redheads were sitting at the table playing cards and arguing about it.
“I win again!”  Declares the clownish man in the yellow jumpsuit.  You vaguely wonders if he’s an escaped convict or something.
“You’re cheating, Ronnie,” replies the befreckled girl with the twin braids.  “I’m not playing anymore,” she says coldly.  She pulls out her phone and busies herself with posting on twitter.
Ronnie’s happy expression immediately deflates.  “Come on, Wendy, don’t be like that,” he pouts.  “You win, okay?  You’re right, I was cheating.  Please don’t frown like that.  I love to see you smile.”  You can tell that he’s lying to try to appease her.  It’s pretty pathetic, but it seems like it’s actually working.
Wendy eyes the clown suspiciously but slowly breaks into a smirk.  “I knew it, Ronald.  I can read you like a dollar menu.  Since you finally admitted you cheated I might consider forgiving you.  Maybe.”  She reaches over and pokes his painted nose.
You knows her type: frosty one minute and hot and spicy the next.  Being a champion of anime, You knows that this is called a “tsundere.”

Since the two of them are making eyes at each other like they want to go at it like frenzied weasels, You clears You’s throat to get their attention.  You came here for food, after all, and yes, maybe you wouldn’t mind getting on that action and making a redhead sandwich, but that’s beside the point.  You has been starved for so long that You is too hangry to deal with any more shenanigans.
The two of them flinch away from each other and look at You.  They at least have the decency to looking embarrassed.
“Oh, right,” Ronald muses, “I almost forgot we had a new meat bag—I mean sweepstakes winner!  Right.  No one’s ever made it this far before, so—“
“So you have to beat this guy in a board game,” Wendy interrupts.  She shoots a dirty look at her companion and starts setting up the game at the table.  She gestures for You to sit down.  You, however, can’t rally up the energy to play checkers.  You flips the board off the table, sending the pieces flying.  “WHERE’S MY FOOD?!”
The two share another look with each other but this time, they don’t seem so happy.  They slowly look back at You and Ronald clears his throat.
“Uh, yes.  Of course.  Food.  I’ll just go get Honky the clown and he’ll take care of you.  Why don’t you sit down while you wait?”  The two of them walk off, not bothering to hide the fact that they’re whispering nervously to each other.

You reluctantly sits down and crosses You’s arms.  Luckily, the wait isn’t too long.  A different clown comes into the room with a tray and slams it down on the table in front of You.
“There you go!  Are you happy?  You get a big top burger and a literacola.  Congratulations.”  This clown was a lot more gruff than Ronald and definitely more rough looking.  He looks disheveled in his yellow outfit and his greasepaint makeup is smeared on haphazardly.  You also thinks he might have a lazy eye.  You vaguely wonders if his name is Honky because of his painted white face or because he has a big honker of a nose.  You certainly doesn’t like his attitude, but You is too dazed with hunger to care.  You lifts the burger up to You’s mouth, but right before You take a bite, You stops and asks the clown for some extra ketchup.  Clearly this wasn’t the right thing to say because the clown looks enraged.  You sighs and decides not to push You’s luck.  You raises the burger again and takes a big, juicy bite out of

Air.  You looks around, confused.  A masked thief had jumped out at the last second and stolen the burger away with his lightning fast reflexes!
“Hey, what gives?”  You asks.  “I won that fair and square!”
“Oh, trust me.  I’m doing you a big favor,” he replied.  He lifts the bun off of the burger and to You’s horror, a human ear is sitting on the patty!  You immediately throws up.  “I told you,” You’s savior continues.  “These people are frauds!  They were just trying to lure you into their clutches so they could kill you and throw you into the meat grinder!  You’re not human to them!  You’re just another brick in the wall!”
“Hang on, buddy.  I don’t understand.  You’re saying that this entire contest was a farce?  Why did they make me go through all of that if they were just going to kill me?  Couldn’t they just kidnap me or something?  It’s not like anyone would notice if I went missing.  Besides, if I died somewhere along the way and no one found me, wouldn’t I rot and spoil the meat?  How does any of this make sense?”

“WELL, I’ll tell you!”  A mysterious disembodied voice booms.  You gasps in shock when You realizes that all of the strange characters You had met earlier were now surrounding You, effectively trapping You.
“None of this has to make any sense at all!”  The voice continues.  “All of us just happen to be really sadistic and we LOVE to play with our food!  You’ll make one happy meal!”  Everyone starts laughing and closing in on You.  Even the dog is nipping at You’s heels.  Instead of shaking in fear, however, You begins laughing louder than everyone else.  This is not how You is going to die!

“You fools!  Do you really think all ten or so of you can take me on?  I bet you didn’t know that I’m secretly a killer!  That’s right, I killed my entire family!  I killed my parents, He and She, my brother and sister, Him and Her, and now I’m going to kill YOUUUUUU!”  You kicks the chihuahua away and then You pulls a butcher knife out of hammer space and goes to town on those fools!  They all scream and cry and beg and vomit for You to stop, but You cannot be stopped!  The ridiculous fast food mascots meet their inevitable death!  You murders them all and plays around in their blood!  It’s only now that You’s hunger subsides—You’s hunger for VIOLENCE, that is!  Today will go down in history as the day of all the blood!

Once You is all murdered out, You lies down to take a break.  Murdering can be pretty tiring.  Suddenly, as You is busy making a blood angel on the floor, the phone rings!  Since You is a champion of good manners, You answers the phone.
“Hello, this is You.  Who’s speaking, please?”  What You hears next makes You drop the phone in pure horror.
“You, I am your father!”
But…but how can this be!  You murdered You’s father!  You is sure of it!  You’s father had been dead for years!  But if it wasn’t You’s father…who was on the phone?!

And they all died happily ever after.
THE END