Author's Note: This story was originally a Valentine's Day themed fic, set in the parody universe of Owlbus Humblebore and the Labyrinth of Doom. If you would like to familiarise yourself with the parody universe before reading this seasonal piece, you may do so via my profile.
Valentine's at Pigzits
Terry's eyes widened as his body floated further and further into the air. Across from him sat Harmonia, eyes bulging as widely as she too began to be carried away from the ground. The animals beneath them were stiff and lifeless; their eyes were glassy and gray. There were hippos and horses, giraffes and lions – and even a giant badger with ferocious black and yellow teeth. Harmonia doubted she'd ever experience anything quite as terrifying as this. Next time Terry suggested a ride on a carousel, she'd know better.
"Are they going to eat us?" Harmonia squeaked. Slamming her eyes shut as the head of her giraffe neared the ride's ceiling. In her mind, it lowered its head menacingly, bearing sharp, piranha-like teeth at her; a snake-like tongue slipped between the grooves and spaces between its teeth. "Terry," she screamed, "It's going to eat me!"
All Terry could do was laugh. His arms were out at his sides, spread like eagle's wings. He felt quite like he was flying. He looked around him and discovered, quite to his astonishment, that he was indeed. His rhinoceros had detached completely from the base. He was flying beside Harmonia and a flock of morbidly obese ducks. Their journey skyward continued until after several minutes their animals landed softly on pink and purple clouds.
Surely there was nothing more horrific and frightening than pink and purple clouds. Joining with Harmonia, Terry let out an ear-piercing scream. Both their mouths slammed shut when a familiar face came into view.
The man named Owlbus Humblebore stood on a cloud, dressed in a blue and purple tutu and crowned with a heart-shaped silver tiara. He was mumbling the tune of some Muddy song from the pop princess and self-declared lunatic Bethany Shriers. Never in his life had Terry heard Tap Me Darling, Two More Times so thoroughly destroyed. The silver-haired man was pulling his own beard to the beat. Terry began to worry that if he heard too much more of Owlbus' terribly off-key singing, his ears would begin to bleed.
"Good of you to come today," Humblebore said merrily, his jig only become more intense and involved. He scratched his arms with the tip of an arrow from a leather quiver he'd strapped to his back.
"Oh, Terry comes many times every day," Harmonia said matter-of-factly. "He's got to keep in shape, so I make sure to do my part." She smiled widely; a glimmer of light danced on her eyes.
The older man merely grinned, motioning for them to follow. Harmonia's dry, cut-to-the-chase honesty was easily her least desirable attribute, terry mused, but it was one of the many things that made her who she was – and he had come to love her for it.
"This," said the Headmaster, motioning to a pink monster only adequately described as a pink Goblin with rabbit's ears, "is Cupid." Cupid had a fully automatic rifle strapped on his back and a belt full of spare ammunition.
"Cupid?" Harmonia blurted. Her jaw dropped wide, her mouth was more open that Terry had ever see in his experiences with her – and that really did say quite a lot.
"Yep," he responded snappily, rolling his eyes. "That's my name and has been for quite some time now. Don't wear it out."
There was a moment of awkward silence between the four of them. Pallas Weaver flew in on a wooden pidgeon, then walked over to her boss and less-than-secret part-time lover.
"Each year we take a couple of couples and have them bring a bit more lovin' to Pigzits," said Humblebore merrily, reaching into his pockets. "We need your help – and theirs."
At the precise second he ended his sentence, two heads with flaming red hair – and the bodies attached to them – shot up from nowhere and landed on the clouds beside them. Rongfore and Hickey Weaklebee were lip-locked, hands wandering madly, before their very eyes.
"And that's how it's done," Hickey said, a her voice shaking a little with nervousness. She cast her eyes away from her audience and blushed brilliantly. Despite her efforts to thwart the discovery of the truth, their relationship was a bit deeper than that of any normal pair of siblings. Harmonia suspected that it was probably a good eight inches deeper, in fact – if the size of Rongfore's twig was anything to go by.
"So, you'll get to shoot a few people," Cupid chuckled, raising an eyebrow at Hickey. He mumbled something vaguely like 'looks like someone missed last year' under his breath before continuing. "You job is to help everyone else fall in love, like all of you have."
"Does that mean, then, that we get bows and arrows?" Rongfore asked anxiously. He took several steps forward with his hands out in front of him, expecting to be handed a quiver and arrows.
"No, dumbass." Cupid snapped. "What century are you from, exactly?" he slipped his hands around the rifle at his waist. "We use more modern technology. These rifles are perfect for the job. They're fast, have a good spread – and better than all that, there's no shaft pointing out your target's back.
Everyone, save Humblebore, looked amazed. He was too busy carding something purple and powdery to be awed by anything at that moment that was not a potent hallucinogenic. In a quick blur of motion, the winged love bringer armed each of them with a pink automatic rifle and several clips of spare ammunition. As Harmonia took notice of the hearts and arrows that decorated the ammunition containers, the whole group found themselves being pulled rapidly through the clouds downward and eastward to the palace that was Pigzits School of Twig-Wiggling and Other Things We Can't Mention In A Story That's Rated T.
They found themselves floating through the corridors of the place they called home. As if by instinct, Terry and Harmonia began to shoot like crazed lunatics at their peers.
"Ow!" said Ho Bang angrily, looking around to find the source of her pain.
"Love hurts, does it?" said Sola, looking directly at Terry. Somehow, she could see him, though no one else could.
Ho, however, could not see Terry floating in circles above her. The moment she caught sight of Hazex Withizcat perched lazily against a nearby wall, however, she raced-off with him to the nearest empty bed.
Terry aimed his Love Gun at Sola and contemplated giving her a shot. She deserved more, he felt, than being a part of his tangled relations with Harmonia.
"It won't have any effect on me," she said smoothly. "I'm already in love." She pulled Terry down from the air and kissed him ferociously. "And in a very rewarding relationship." As she let go of him, the force that held him in the air dragged him away from her.
She waved him goodbye.
For what seemed like only a few minutes, Terry shot student after student. Every now and again, a newly formed romance would surprise him. He saw Professor Rubybutt and Drinky walk back to his cabin, Athens Badfayth walk to a back room with a handful of the Sorting Crap, and, though he wanted to doubt it, he could swear he saw Lauren Malhorry seek out the Massive Carp in the Shimmering Pond.
He continued flying around Pigzits, hitting one person and another, finding himself quite astonished by quickness with which his aim had improved. As he fired a shot in the direction of Scarlet Grey when she moved suddenly, causing his heart-tipped bullet to ricochet off the wall and hit his darling Harmonia.
She looked a bit surprised, but otherwise unchanged. The intense lust he saw in her eyes still churned deep within her, too.
"Better in me than on me," Harmonia said simply, pulling herself toward him near the minute hand of the clock tower. She kissed him softly, then more sensually. Though the gears of the tower behind him sounded each second, he could hear none of them. He loved this girl and there was nothing that could change that.
They were disturbed by happenings below them.
"Would you look at that," Rongfore said nearby. "I'm all out of ammo."
"I'm not," cackled Hickey, and shot Terry four times in the chest.
"Holy hell," groaned Terry, "love really does hurt." He clutched at the spot where the love bullets had pierced his flesh. Their was no blood, but a terrible sting nonetheless.
"Only a little," Harmonia quipped, "And only the first time." The large tower sounded and at once, all of their rifles vanished. It was midnight, February the fifteenth.
"Bollocks," grumbled Hickey, clenching her fist in frustration. "Maybe next year."
"You've still got me!" Rongfore said happily, attempting to take his sister's hand with his own. She shoved him away.
"Well," Harmonia said, glancing at Terry. "It's time for a little exercise, don't you think?" She wore a wicked grin. She wrapped her arms around his neck as they descended gently toward the ground.
As they drew closer to the earth, a small candied heart fell from the space where his spare ammunition had been, landing directly in Hickey's hand. She looked at it, then up at him with a wide smile on her face and dropped the sweet into her mouth. In that moment, he saw the same look in Hickey's eyes that he had become so accustomed to in Harmonia's. She took a few steps into the Palace and blew him a kiss.
Perhaps her luck with love was not so sour after all.