Authors Note: I'm trying to get used to writing for South Park and thought a fun way to go about it might be to use a random word generator and try to write a short story based on the prompt. This idea is not original with me! There are several authors who use the same idea on FF. I have decided not to limit myself to a word count or subject however, mostly because my first prompt is turning out to be Godzilla disguised as a story.
I'll give warnings as the stories warrant.
I'm still working on 'That Future Thing', the new chapter should be up... um, before Christmas.
I hope you enjoy this and as ever, feel free to leave feedback. Liked, hated, thought I was OOC? Let me know where I went wrong so I don't make those mistakes in the future.
Warnings: Implied character death (It's about Kenny! What else would you expect?)
Cartman was the first person to suggest Kenny did an experiment. They had been just kids when he approached the other boy and suggested they mark him in some way and then the next time he died, if the mark was still there, then he would know that his body had been remade and it wasn't just a new body that looked like the old one.
There were a lot of flaws with that plan, Cartman thinks now, not least being that if Kenny's body was reformed, who was to say that the scars he acquired would remain? But as a child, he hadn't thought like that. It was just a burning question; was the Kenny who returned the same one that died? He looked the same, sounded the same, acted the same. But was he really the same? It seemed foolproof at the time, since scars were forever, even if death was not.
The flaws in the plan had never been an issue though, since Kenny had never let him carry out the experiment. Cartman had tried for weeks, pleading, bribing, bargaining. Kenny was usually up for anything, no matter how stupid, but on this occasion he refused to be swayed.
Cartman is still not sure if the scar test would have given the answers he wanted. Kenny didn't resurrect bearing the evidence of what killed him – that would have been more than a little impractical, since he was so often crushed, liquefied or blown apart. South Park is cold and it was rare that Cartman got to see Kenny without most of his body covered. On the rare occasions that he did, he was worried about checking for scars, worried that Kenny would get the wrong idea or something. Those fleeting, sidelong glances didn't give an answer. He saw no scars, but there was simply no opportunity to check more closely.
He still wants to know however; does Kenny's body somehow knit itself back together on the coroners table or buried beneath the ground? Did his soul ever return to it before the process was complete, returning to consciousness only to find his intestines still on the outside or his head still half-pulped, dying a second time before anyone realised he was alive once more? Or did he spring back whole, leaving his previous carcasses to rot where they were while he continued with his life where they left off, like a snake shedding its skin?
Waiting for Kenny to return, Cartman wonders if he will eventually ask those questions or if they will go on like before, pretending that Kenny has never been gone at all.
Stan always hopes that Kenny's strange gift will remain with him.
When they were younger, he couldn't bring himself to get truly upset over his friends many deaths. It wasn't familiarity, wasn't that it had happened too many times before and he was bored with it. Rather, it was to save his own sanity.
Grief, eating at him with sharp, rat-like teeth because Kenny was dead would suddenly become euphoria when the boy turned up as if nothing was out of the ordinary, replaced again by loss and sorrow, replaced again by joy – he couldn't do it. It left him feeling as if there was nothing between the two extremes and the rest of his life was on hold while Kenny flirted with the worlds of the living and the dead.
Instead, he forced himself to have a rather detached outlook on the matter. If Kenny was dead, he would be back. He couldn't keep on swinging between emotions. It was making him insane. The one time he had thought Kenny was truly dead, that he was never coming back, he hadn't been able to cope, had run from the knowledge that this time it might really be all over. He had wished for Kenny's return and prayed for it every night.
But when Kenny actually did come back, yet again, he swore that was the last time he would let himself get emotional about it. It wasn't worth putting himself through that much trauma and stress for something that wasn't permanent, no matter how final it seemed.
"You never care when I die!"
Kenny had yelled the words at Stan one day while Stan lamented the increasingly probable death of Kyle. Kyle had lived, Kenny hadn't. But Kenny was like Jason Voorhees, without the Final Friday. He always resurrected, unlike other people for whom death was the end.
Still, Kenny's angry shout, possibly one of the only times he ever referred to his own seeming immortality, came back to haunt him on occasion as the years went by. He wanted to tell Kenny that it wasn't that he didn't care, just that caring too much might drive him over the edge.
Now, waiting for Kenny to come back, he knows that he still won't tell him. He won't admit that he was always scared that Kenny's next death is the last. And that he is still scared of that, now more than ever.
Kyle wishes that Kenny would just be mortal.
It's not that he wants Kenny dead. But he wonders what kind of toll the constant returns to what passes for normality in South Park must bring to his friend. Kenny has been to the depths of Hell with the most depraved souls imaginable, to Heaven and the peace that most people strive a lifetime to achieve. He has fought alongside angels and demons, only to be dumped back on the planet and to the mundane once more.
Kenny has given his life on more than one occasion to save the lives of others. Sometimes, Kyle wonders if it's easier to do that when death is not permanent. He wonders if it's truly a heroic act on Kenny's behalf, or if it's the equivalent of doing detention for someone else.
If he were Kenny, he would have gone crazy.
Kenny seemed to deal with it by not thinking about it at all. He had a heightened sense of his own mortality, sometimes overly cautious, sometimes fatalistic. Aside from that, Kyle is certain that he has never made a big deal over his reanimation. Almost as if it were in some way embarrassing.
It seemed wrong. There was life, there was death and then there was reward. But for Kenny, it was a circle that had no end. Reincarnation without purpose. Days spent trying to avoid the next lethal incident. Death without what had been earned in life.
Kenny had spent half of his high school years wearing a T-shirt beneath his jacket that proclaimed Heaven won't have me and Hell's afraid I'll take over. Kyle had always thought – still thinks – it was fitting, but it was only later on, when school was over with, that he finally approached the question he wanted to ask. Kenny was so reluctant to discuss his constant deaths that it took Kyle a long time and mitigating circumstances to breach the unwritten rules of not mentioning it.
Kenny had looked at him, shoving a strand of blonde hair from his face. "What's up?"
"Does it hurt? Dying?"
Kenny shrugged, looking away from Kyle, clearly not wanting to answer but doing so anyway. "I don't know. Sometimes. Sometimes not." He had given Kyle a solemn look. "It doesn't have to."
It was the only time that they had ever, directly or indirectly, acknowledged Kenny's strangeness.
As Kyle waits for Kenny to come back, he isn't sure if avoiding the subject made things better or worse. All he knows is that Kenny deserves to be left alone for a while. And that he hopes Kenny's next death will be his last.
Kenny pauses as he enters the room, wondering if any of them realise he is there. He need not have concerned himself. After a few seconds, Cartman turns his head and glares at him, a silent command to get his butt in the room properly and stop messing about. Kenny has never quite gotten used to the way Cartman's forehead is caved in, the rivulets of blood that run down his face. At eighteen, the two of them were supposed to go to a party together but Kenny had been held up when hit by a freight train running late and going way too fast. Alone at the party, Cartman had been drinking heavily and angered by the other guests, announced, "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" Only he had taken his car and never made it home. The tree he ploughed into remains, the damage done by the car still obvious.
"Shit Kenny, took you long enough!"
"Shut up Cartman," Stan interjected, turning to look at Kenny so that Kenny could see the missing flap of skin in his cheek and the few unbroken teeth that remained within. At twenty-three, Stan and Kenny had been on their way to Kyle's to watch some movies and stopped at the liquor store to buy some beer and snacks. While they were there, two guys had tried to rob the place, both armed, both addicts and both jittery. The cashier made a false move and gunfire had sprayed around the store. There had been no survivors, unless Kenny counted – he died there too, but resurrected a couple of days later.
"Hey Kenny," said Kyle casually, his smile not seeming right on his gaunt face. At twenty-five, he had started feeling unwell, had a bunch of tests done and come out with bad news. At twenty-seven, he had asked Kenny about dying. Fifteen minutes after that, Kenny had alerted the doctors that Kyle had stopped breathing, by which time it was far too late to help him.
"Hey guys," says Kenny casually, dropping into his usual seat beside Cartman. As always, he wonders why this is happening. He had always gone straight to Heaven or Hell upon dying, until Cartman's idiotic drunk-driving stunt. Now he comes here when he dies. A plain room, featuring white walls, plastic chairs and no distractions, save for those afforded by his friends.
He wonders why they are hanging around here, when usually people are taken into their destinies immediately after death. Why they have been allocated a waiting room instead of whatever awaits them beyond it. Why they have a bond that cannot be severed by death.
And he hopes that this is his final time, the last time he dies, so they can all move on from this room and to whatever lies beyond it.