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    Planes of Parody

    By Sam Smith

  • PoParody: The Realm of Disease

    The smell was actually quite appetising, Arkanth thought, as they drew nearer to the deadly drivethrough. He let himself inhale properly. Yes-- you could be forgiven for mistaking this for food, but then again, that was how they lured you in. As he thought this, he felt a sharp pain in his side. His nose might have been fooled, but his kidneys were screaming warnings with all the influence they possessed. In these situations, kidneys know best.

    What's it to the nose if the body ingests some of their poison? It's the kidneys who have to do all the bloody work.

    It's amazing, Arkanth thought, that someone could invent a fast food so toxic, yet seemingly appealing, that it could simultaneously make your mouth water and your stomach turn.

    A giant billboard advertised the latest concoction. A thin, highly attractive Wood-Elf supermodel was holding a burger so organic that it had it's own system of government. The burger seemed to be solidified grease, and not only contained more fat than the model's entire body, but quite possibly more fat than her entire race. Where she was holding it, her fingers had turned translucent. Still, it did look misleadingly appetizing, until you looked closer, and then you felt sick -- the meat was rancid and coated with a thin layer of fungus, and the lettuce was quietly gnawing the model's hand when she wasn't looking.

    They carried on, drifting gloomily towards the worlds 32nd worst burger bar. As they reached the top of a small hill it popped into view. Once again, the building actually looked quite nice.

    Like the smell, this was terribly misleading, with the external appeal trying to make up for the horrors served inside. The building was made mostly out of large glass windows and modern looking stone. The sun was shining over it directly, fixed firmly in place by Bertie's Burgers' marketing budget.

    As they approached, they inside of the restaurant became visible. The fact that most of the seats were a couple of feet wide and constructed with reinforced steel suggested that they might have some difficulty fitting in. The average customer was between 300-500lb, with the exact weight left to guesswork because when weighed, the diners not only broke the scales, but subsequently ate them.

    "Try your best to blend in!" Arkanth hissed, as they slipped in through the wide double doors. They walked in and found heads turning, and people stopping mid mouthful to look up and glare at the newcomers. Arkanth managed to blend in to the background somewhat, as was his talent, but Graham stood out like, well, a 7 foot paladin wearing a stupid Hawaiian t-shirt. Graham couldn't tell whether they were glaring at him as an outsider, or simply looking at him as something to eat; either way, it was bad news. He tried to blend in by donning a cardboard hat adorned with the Bertie's Burgers' logo - it did nothing to improve matters.

    Arkanth was whispering frantically in his ear. "Just try to attract as little attention as possible. Don't make eye contact and just try and fit in. And whatever you do, don't do anything stupid like-"

    But Arkanth didn't get to finish that sentence, as Graham, being a well-meaning but somewhat dim hero, took the logical step of trying to attract less attention by shouting at the top of his voice.

    "Fear not gentle citizens!" He bellowed, in the heroic tone he loved so much.
    "-Like that for instance." Arkanth muttered, trailing off in exasperation.

    Now every eye was on him. Eyes belonging to a variety of people who each redefined 'massive', all of which were glaring at him with an aura of contempt.

    "It's ok, you need not worry!" Graham continued, with the survival instincts common to a road-dwelling sheep, "I am here to free you. You need not live out your lives in these vile, disgusting bodies. I am here to free you all from these repugnant depths of pestilence and decay, and to rescue you from such gluttonous levels of obesity!"

    There was a roar of anger. Graham suspected that this speech did not come across as such an awe-inspiring example of leadership as he had intended. A thrown knife that embedded itself in the wall where he had been standing a second ago confirmed this fact.

    There was a rumble of movement and a slight shuddering of the floor as several massive and very angry diners attempted to make it to their feet. Graham cast his eyes around urgently; searching for Arkanth, who had dived for cover before Graham even started speaking. Graham ducked as a fresh barrage of cutlery clattered into the wall above his head. A lot of the restaurant

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