Quentin Mariachi

Quentin Mariachi

A young man has mysteriously lost his memory, waking up in a world of utter absurdity where he is apparently hailed as a great hero.


Action / Adventure


Nick Hudson (United States)

I didn't know where I was until I looked around. Then I could kind of make out some shapes. One of those shapes was a circle I think, sort of. It was kind of red. I think it was somebody's face up really close to my eyes. As I lay, I could feel some splintery wood stick its fibers rigidly along my hand as it slid along the floor. Things were getting clearer for me.
Someone handed me a bundle of soft, warm fabric. I looked down at it and admired its bright red fleece, noticing that the lifeless blue of my icy hands interrupted the brilliant vibrancy of the color. The violent buzzing in my head began to be dampened by the painful reality of my emptied stomach. The stranger's face became slowly clearer as I stared helplessly at the salvation that was my featureless red blanket. Through the haze I believe I heard a few words from some distant voice, but despite all my progress I began to slip again into unconsciousness.
I opened my eyes slowly, and my dreams dissipated into mist as they exited politely from the scene. Two strangers now looked over me, with one bearing the face I couldn't quite distinguish just moments earlier. One of them was a towering man who seemed to have at least four layers of plaid flannel on. Beneath his haggard, unkempt greying beard, his face looked like it had just trekked through the whirling sands and beating sun of the most inhospitable desert imaginable. Despite this, he was covered in melting snow that beaded into little balls of water on his facial hair, which surely smelled horrible.
"You've been out for days!" The man exclaimed in such a way that I don't know whether he said 'for' or 'four'. I guess that doesn't really matter. I don't know exactly how long it was. "I was starting to think you were too busy to come back and join us!"
"Shut the fuck up", I said passively, in protest to his cheeky bullshit. "Please."
"Well if someone isn't grouchy after his nap!" The other stranger said in sort of a condescending baby talk voice.
"Seriously, where am I, and who are you?" I asked, scratching my head, which, as a result of what I suspect was a small coma, was covered in matted, greasy hair.
"I don't really know," one said, as if she had never really thought to ponder that. "Do you?" She asked the other.
"My name's Lumberstone, kid." Proclaimed the man. "Clamback Lumberstone."
"That is sincerely one of the most bizarre names I've ever heard", I said, astounded by this large, muscular, elderly man and his stupid name.
"Call me Clam", he smiled. “And this lovely specimen here goes by the name of Edith Luggage.”
"It's nice to finally have the chance to introduce myself!" Sang the woman. "I am Edith Luggage." Wow. I remember that old lady's moth-eaten clothes, her huge straw sun hat that left pieces of itself falling behind wherever she would walk. She was a truly fascinating woman, hardly over four feet tall in contrast to her huge, flannel-wearing companion. She was really annoying and super loud, not to mention apparently completely insane.
"It's nice to meet you, Ms. Luggage," I said, mostly just to emphasize the word 'luggage' and make her feel bad about her name.
"MRS., actually," she corrected. "Clam and I are romantically involved. We’ve been together now for nearly sixty years."
"Of course you have," I responded. "You are both visibly old as shit." Just then, I experienced a profound emptiness, like all of my insides had been sucked out through my sternum. "Who am I?"
"You don't know?" Said Clam, a bit surprised. "Why you're Quentin Mariachi!"
Quentin Mariachi. That’s who I was? I had a bit of trouble comprehending the notion that my identity could truly be such a whimsical sounding one. I figured I would be named something really cool and mysterious, maybe like Ryan Kyle or Kingston Shaquille. “I’m named after an upbeat style of Mexican music?”
“Well, I wouldn’t know anything about that, but rest assured, Quentin Mariachi is your name. I know it, Edith knows it… shucks, everyone in Weirdwood knows you!” Clam exclaimed excitedly.
“Did you honestly just say that the place you live in is called ‘Weirdwood’?” I asked, totally befuddled.
“Gosh, you really must’ve gotten a bad bonk on the head, Quentin,” Edith said happily as she stepped towards me and struck my forehead with her hard, old hand. I meant to verbally assault her after that, but Clam started talking before I could do anything.
“You really don’t remember?” he asked, as the enthusiasm drained from his expression. “I see… then I must tell you that you are indeed the most famous adventurer in all the land. People all about the kingdom have heard of the great deeds of Quentin Mariachi; the man who slayed the Centipede Dragon, the one who wrestled with Jerry the Mule Deer Man, the only person who had the strength to save the monkey princess from her space invader captors!”
“Look, dude, it’s okay to experiment with hallucinogenics, but you’re not supposed to eat the whole fucking fungi forest,” I said, astonished.
“If it weren’t for you, Shweib Tigre would’ve burnt the Fungi Forest down with his fire magic!” Said Clam, as I blankly stared. “Look, Quentin; when I first saw you laying in that snow bank I thought you were dead, but it’s now clear that you’ve only lost your mind. That’s fine and all, but you see, this mountain Edith and I live on has been cursed by a dark wizard man named Milky Francis.”
“Is anybody in this place just named like Dave or Bill or something?” I asked, with an increasing amount of frustration. Both Clamback and Edith let out a pompous chuckle.
“How silly!” Edith said.

Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Assigned reviews incomplete



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