The cold face of calculated wrath.
"Robble," replied Hamburglar.
Grimace smiled at the diminutive thief. "I know I've whetted your curiosity so I'll just cut to the chase. I've found the most exquisite hamburger on earth: the VERY FIRST McDonald's hamburger!"
Not even his black mask could conceal the lust in the Hamburglar's eyes. "Roooooobbbbllleeee!"
"Yes, really! It's in the basement," said Grimace. The Hamburglar followed Grimace over to the restaurant's cellar door. Grimace heaved open the ancient portal. A musty- smelling cool breeze blew out from inside, rippling Grimace's purple fur. He lit a torch. "There's no lighting inside, so we'll need this. I'll lead the way."
Grimace started down the narrow staircase, negotiating the steps deftly despite his ample girth. The Hamburglar followed on silent footpads, trying vainly to peer around Grimace's bulk to see what lay ahead.
They entered a low-ceilinged room. The walls were rough-hewn stone, slick with condensation. It was clammy down here, but not unpleasantly so. Cobwebs reached out towards them in the wake of their passing.
Finally they reached another door. Grimace handed the Hamburglar the torch. "Inside there," he said.
"Robble robble!" robbled the Hamburglar. He snatched the torch and bolted. He managed to hurl open the heavy door with an awkward lurch, one hand still clutching the flame. Without hesitation he slipped inside to claim his reward.
"Hamburglar?" Grimace called from behind him. The thief was intent on his prize, but turned despite his burgeriffic desire. He spun around to see what Grimace wanted. A rag was thrust into his face. It was soaked with a cold and sweet-smelling liquid. What was Grimace doing? The fumes were overpowering, but Grimace was holding the rag against his face and he couldn't overcome the brute's strength.
"...robble..." Black swallowed him.
He woke up, groggy and headachey, chained to a drippy wall of the dungeon. Before him sat a safe with a combination lock. The chain which bound his foot to the wall was very stout. Grimace stood before him in the doorway, which was now ominously bricked two- thirds of the way up.
"I think you know what this means, Hamburglar." Grimace's smile made the thief's red hair stand up on end.
"Robble! Robble robble!"
"Oh really, Hamburglar?" Grimace continued to seal up the wall. "You should've thought of that before you stole my antimatter crystal."
"I believe you," Grimace said, slapping a sheaf of mortar onto a brick with a trowel, "when you claim that you didn't know what it was, but that's immaterial. It was important to me." He set the brick into place. "I needed it and you stole it so you could pawn it, you fucking addict. How many burgers did you trade it for? 20? 50? 100? 1000? All the burgers in the WORLD aren't as valuable as that crystal."
"Too late to apologize now, you fuck. It took me a decade just to build the reactor I needed to seed the crystal, then another 15 years to grow the crystal large enough to power my ship. Then, you fucking fool, you thought it was a diamond and you FUCKING STOLE IT." He paused his work. "YOU. FUCKING. STOLE. IT." Each word he punctuated with a jab of the trowel. Bits of mortar rained onto the Hamburglar in a gritty shower.
Grimace got back to work. "I've finally got a new crystal, but you won't be stealing this one: it's already installed into my ship. Though I doubt you'll be stealing anything else for the rest of your life, bastard."
Grimace worked swiftly; brick by brick, the gap at the top of the doorway shrunk. Panic set in. "Robble! Robble!" panted the Hamburglar. He frantically yanked at his chain, but it was solidly attached. His ankle was getting raw. Still, he pulled in vain.
"It's no use trying to escape." Grimace said, his face a purple mask of smugness. "You got yourself into this mess. And to think I thought of you as a friend! That's what hurt the most. I understand that you humans form friendships that sometimes drift apart, but you were cruel to me, Hamburglar. You and those fucking Fry Guys. I tolerated your shit for years. I wasn't too upset when you mocked my love of Gilbert and Sullivan. I wasn't really that hurt when you made fun of my blog. I didn't get mad when you spiked my lemonade with radioactive Polonium, though it made my fur fall out. I didn't even lose my cool when you reported me to those NASA scientists, who strangely came to the conclusion that I wasn't a member of an advanced alien race, but was in fact a sentient MILKSHAKE. Really, NASA? A fucking MILKSHAKE? What the fuck?" Grimace shook his giant violet head. "Your tax dollars at work."
"But it DID hurt that you stole the crystal I slaved for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS to create. And letting Ronald have his way with me: that was pretty bad too. Do you know what he did to me, Hamburglar?"
"My anatomy, in case you didn't notice, is different from yours. Beneath my belly fold is what's called the gelatinous antechamber. It's a moist, lubricated organ my species uses to exchange gases. Like a fish's gills, but on land. My lungs, in other words."
Grimace paused again, choked up. "My lungs." He wiped away a tear, slathered mortar onto another brick, and tapped it into place. Only a few bricks remained before the wall was complete. "That fucking clown FUCKED ME IN THE LUNGS. I get respiratory infections now! I can't even run 100 yards! This is why I'm so goddamned fat!"
He maneuvered another brick into place. One more brick left to seal the Hamburglar into what was soon to be his crypt. The thief was silent now, accepting of his fate.
"But revenge is mine, now." Grimace growled. Only his one huge white eye, with its googly jet-black pupil, could be seen through the gap. "When I get back to my planet, I'll amass an army. With our advanced future tech, we're going to overrun this roach motel you call earth. Then you know what I'm going to do, Hamburglar? We're going to OUTLAW HAMBURGERS."
"ROBBLE!" Despite his dire straits, Hamburglar was mortified. He couldn't comprehend such a world.
Grimace chuckled, "Don't worry, my old friend, you'll be long gone before that happens. Still, I'm a man of my word. The safe in front of you does, in fact, contain the very first McDonald's burger. It's finely aged, by now, yet still as fresh as the day it was made, since McDonald's burgers are instantly lethal to every bacteria, fungus, and mold on earth. You may notice that the safe has an unusual feature."
Hambuglar inspected the safe, which was within his reach. Sure enough, just above the combination dial was a "play" button.
"When you hit play," Grimace instructed, "the entire catalog of Gilbert & Sullivan, from Thespis to The Gondoliers, will begin to play. There is no pause button, and the volume cannot be adjusted. At the end of the recording is the combination for the safe. Eventually, I would think, you'll become hungry enough to press that button. SO, my burglarious friend, the choice is yours: do you fend off starvation for a few more days, or do you sit through Gilbert & Sullivan?"
Grimace slid the last brick into place. The room plunged into a complete darkness, broken only by the green LED backlight on the safe's play button and the combination dial.
"Goodbye, old friend," Grimaced called from behind the wall.
"ROBBLE!" Screamed Hamburglar. "ROBBLE!"
"Yell all you want," Grimaced laughed, his voice fading as he trudged back up the stairs."There's a Playland directly overhead. No one will hear you over the children's screams."
The Hamburglar was silent. Grimace had him dead to rights. All that was left now was to press "play."
Epilogue: Grimace made it back to his home planet of Purpleonia safely, but didn't bother returning to devastate earth. He was greeted as a decorated war hero and became President. Then he got so much of whatever the Purpleonian equivalent of pussy is, he stopped giving a shit about Ronald McDonald, the Fry Guys, Hamburglar, and all the rest. The Hamburglar's skeleton was found several decades later when workers excavated the site. There, clattering around in his desiccated ribcage, they found the original McDonald's hamburger, still perfectly preserved.
The Hamburglar's skeleton was found several decades later when workers excavated the site. There, clattering around in his desiccated ribcage, they found the original McDonald's hamburger, still perfectly preserved.
Rating: 10 awesome stories out of 10