MONOLITH MEATS CO. HEAD OFFICE
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
AUGUST 31, 2022
“So, just so we’re clear, we only wanna do a deal with you, Mr. Stronk.”
“And of course any deal would be contingent upon you, Mr. Stronk, continuing to act in full capacity as social media brand ambassador.”
“Yup. Of course.”
“Yup. Yup. Indeed. Great point, Douglas.”
“Yup. Yup. Yup. I’ll have Tiff draw up the papers. I’m emailing that mouthy cunt as we speak, gentlemen.”
“Yup. And of course we’d need to contractually obligate you, Mr. Stronk, to adhere to a strict one-to-four ad-to-IRL content ratio… at a barry. Yup.”
“Yup! We need Stronk Twitter poppin’ off about the new STRONKUMMS flavors as they drop!”
STRONK sits in a comfy leather chair, shirtless, in the middle of a plush white office. A corner office. A room intended for powerful men with big bank accounts and lots of regret. Located on a floor somewhere up in the clouds; it was an unimpressive floor number, he recalls: forty, or fifty, something weak like that. Definitely not 307.1. It was a letdown any way you slice it. STRONK always imagined his first solo business meeting in a big corporate office to be held on the roof of a building, at two in the morning, with thunder crashing and lightning sparking the night sky, and the meeting devolves into fatalistic combat between STRONK and a man his size or ideally much larger, but good luck sourcing that kinda beef.
The four men are seated strategically around him (they are representatives from a company called Monolith Meats Co.). They lean forward in an almost predatory manner, more salesman than executive. They foolishly or ignorantly failed to offer STRONK Godson a steak upon arrival, though. Not even a plate of raw hotdogs slathered in extra-sodium BBQ sauce. Everyone knows if you’re trying to get a deal done, you roll out the red carpet: steaks, hotdogs, umm… and more of both of those. The businessmen’s lack of hospitality left a sour taste in the Stronk Man’s mouth from beat one. But he continues to try and keep an open mind. He’s a nice guy, after all. And he can drink all the water cooler water he wants. It’s true! The men in suits said so.
Now, some of what he’s hearing he actually likes… at least the small portion he comprehends.
Businessman#1: Actually… that last point begs a question… do you run your own Twitter?
STRONK: STRONK SAYS THINGS TO SHELLEY GREENE AND THEN SHELLEY GREENE MAKES WHAT STRONK SAYS APPEAR TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. STRONK DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT GOES ON WITH THE BIRD CALLS BUT STRONK DOES NOT NEED TO UNDERSTAND.
The businessman turns to his colleagues and makes a face as if to say ‘Not ideal… but baby, she’s workable.’ In their line of business, a willing idiot with clout is an especially powerful tool. They did their research ahead of time and know that Shelley Greene is STRONK’s current manager and business partner. They also know that he holds thirty percent equity in the STRONKUMMS brand… kinda. Also he now apparently (and oddly) goes by the name Abdullah Choi. Okay.
Businessman #2: Yes, on the topic of Mr. Greene… his STRONKUMMS ownership papers, where are they? May we get a copy?
STRONK: STRONK PENNED SHELLEY GREENE’S CONTRACT IN VENISON BLOOD ON THE BACK OF A PIECE OF BUTCHER PAPER. THE HUMAN WOMAN THAT COMES BY ONCE A WEEK TO DO SHELLEY GREENE’S HOUSEKEEPER JOB TOLD STRONK THE CONTRACT SMELLED BAD. SO STRONK THREW IT AWAY.
The four businessmen exchange glances steeped in subdued excitement. They weren’t expecting the answer lobbed their way by the brute seated in front of them, but it was by far the best case scenario for them. They practically lick their chops, ravenous.
Businessman #3: You mean to tell us… that you are the sole owner of STRONKUMMS? You, Mr. Godson, are the key decision-maker? There’s nothing legally owed to Mr. Greene?
STRONK: STRONK DOES NOT OWE ANY HUMAN ANY THING. EXCEPT PAPA BEST. PAPA BEST GAVE STRONK A MONGO. ALSO JACE PARKER DAVIDSON. STRONK’S HUMAN MAN BEST FRIEND.
Businessman #4: Excellent. Just excellent. That’ll make for a frictionless sale on your end, Mr. Stronk. That’s all upside. Sweet like candy.
One of the businessmen raises an index finger upon hearing mention of MONGO.
Businessman #2: Speaking of MONGO, we’d love for him to be the official mascot of the STRONUMMS brand. We don’t care if it’s derivative of Red Bull; fuck it, he’s too perfect to not be utilized. Is he trained for the screen?
STRONK stares back at him with a blank expression on his face.
STRONK: MONGO IS NOT TRAINED FOR THE HOUSE OR THE SCREEN. MONGO SHITS WHEREVER MONGO PLEASES. THIS KEEPS SHELLEY GREENE VERY BUSY.
The businessman that asked the question simply nods and scribbles a short illegible note in the open Moleskine resting on his lap.
Business Man #2: Which is fine, you’ll be pleased to know. We have a guy that specializes in training bulls, horses, donkeys, calicos, what have you, for commercial shoots. Film and television. Erotic, sometimes, yeah sure. We all have our warts. A job’s a job. So anyway, we’ll contact him.
STRONK sits there silently imagining what this training might encompass. A blurry image forms in his mind of MONGO standing on his back legs in the middle of a wrestling ring, locking up with a water buffalo in a collar-and-elbow tie-up; they run through a simple dropdown-leapfrog drill, as an elderly goat screams at them from the floor to “lay their fucking shit in!”
STRONK: LET THE TRAINER KNOW THAT MONGO WORKS STIFF. MONGO’S FINISHING MOVE IS THE GORE.
STRONK AND ABDULLAH’S HOUSE
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
AUGUST 31, 2022
The sound of a shotgun racking rouses MONGO the bull from his afternoon slumber on the dirt patch adjacent to the old burned-down shed. A skinny shadow casts itself over him, blocking the warmth of the sun… and pissing him the fuck off. He scrambles to his feet and attempts to lunge forward, but is restrained around the neck by a thick collar chained to a tree. Four feet of slack.
Abdullah Choi: Well, this is it, shithead. Ah ha! It’s time to meet your maker. Satan’s shithole. Not saying I take pleasure in harming a stupid animal. But I’m also not saying I don’t, either. Especially when that animal is evil incarnate. That’s you, fuckface. You are pure, unadulterated evil. And I hate your stinking guts.
The bull’s unnaturally blood-red eyes fixate on Abdullah Choi (nee Shelley Greene), who’s wearing a custom-made NASCAR-esque jumpsuit with the STRONKUMMS logo plastered all over it. The jumpsuit is zipped down to his belly button, revealing a pale, undeveloped, hairless chest.
He also sports a Halloween store-quality executioner’s hood over his head.
He pulls up the front of the hood and flashes a malevolent smile.
Abdullah Choi: I’m sick and tired of shoveling your shit! I’m sick and tired of grinding up your food because your teeth are fucked and not made for meat-eating! And I’m SICK and TIRED of almost getting GORED every time STRONK forces me to feed you and I step out into MY backyard!
One of STRONK and Abullah’s neighbors pokes his head over the wooden fence dividing their yards.
Neighbor: Shelley? Is that you?
Abdullah yanks off the executioner’s hood and turns toward the neighbor.
Abdullah Choi: I told you, motherfucker! My name is Abdullah Choi now! Quit dead-naming me! Go the fuck away, asshole, I’m busy here if that isn’t fucking obvious!
Neighbor: Wh-what… are you planning to do with that thing? You off your meds?
The neighbor points to the shotgun in Abdullah’s hand.
Abdullah Choi: I’m gonna do something real fucking silly if you don’t walk back into your own house and get THE FUCK out of my business.
The neighbor responds to Choi’s manic aggression by abruptly turning and scurrying back into his house.
This leaves the gun-wielding Abdullah Choi standing alone with STRONK Godson’s closest friend and confidant. Jace Parker Davidson being an extremely close runner-up. But Jace Parker Davidson is not sturdy or explosive enough to carry STRONK on his back for hundreds of miles, down lonely, dust-blown highways and across dying meadows at the crack of dawn. He lacks the body structure and musculature to make a decent bio-vehicle. Another point against Jace is his meager (in comparison to MONGO) appetite. Far superior to Abdullah’s, but we’re talking different levels of eating here—Pee Wee football versus the NFL.
Choi steps a foot closer to MONGO, cautiously maintaining sufficient distance to keep himself out of kill range of the bull’s crimson-tinged horns or horror show of a mouth, broken and busted teeth jutting out of bloody, ravaged gums in every direction, unattended infection festering everywhere. Bull’s are not meat-eaters. And most sure as shit aren’t cannibals either, but hand to God, you’ve-got-jumper-cables-clamped-to-your-nuts-and-they’re-rigged-up-to-a-lie-detector kind of scenario? Yeah, MONGO’s eaten bull meat. Not a lot, but enough to change him.
Abdullah Choi: Just you and me, Tahonta. We’re gonna play a game. The rules? I spin around a bunch of times and then, with my eyes closed, just fucking blast. Blast, blast, blast away. And hopefully you’ll be there right in front of me, as you are now, and when I open my eyes, your head will resemble a jack-o-lantern come December. Just a pile of stupid greasy mush and viscera. A squirt of black ooze or something, too. Because fuck you and your entire existence. I end it. Here. Today.
Driving the stock of the shotgun into the ground, Choi bends over and presses his forehead into the business end of the weapon. He drunkenly wobbles from one side to the other, before righting himself, taking a deep breath, and beginning to spin round and round.
Earlier that day, Choi took full advantage of STRONK being out attending some undisclosed meeting.
He did some heroin and drank half a bottle of Teremana tequila. Sometime around lunch, an idea popped into his head. The idea changed, morphed, evolved into the scene currently playing out: a smacked-up, blacked-out Abdullah Choi mishandling a loaded firearm, with an intent to kill defenseless livestock in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.
Eventually Choi comes to a wobbly stop and stands up straight as best he can. He stumbles back, then to the left, forward, forward, then back again. He plants both feet, raises the shotgun, hesitates.
MONGO huffs, scrapes his hoof across the ground.
That’s right—you’re too bitchmade to do it. You’re what us bulls call a pussycalf. How dare you wake me up for this. You should—
Abdullah shuts out the imagined taunts of MONGO. Opens his eyes.
MONGO settles down onto his stomach, preparing to go back to napping away the afternoon, while a heavily intoxicated Choi mentally melts down in front of him.
Abdullah Choi: I’m not bitchmade! I changed my name! I’m a new man damnit! I deserve respect! I won’t tolerate disrespect!
Choi’s face turns bright red, dark bags under his eyes beg deaf ears for sleep, the irregular beat in his heart yearns for a glass of dirty tap water. Just some type of hydration. He looks like a scraggly Pete Doherty at his absolute worst and strung out.
Abdullah Choi: I am a HIGH VALUE MAN! I matter, god damnit! I AM—
The gun drops to the ground.
For a split second, and just a split second, Choi is lucid, sober.
Abdullah Choi: Huh… now would’ja look at that…
He wipes a fleck of blood from his thick-rimmed glasses.
Abdullah Choi: You actually had more brains than I gave you credit for. Fuck that’s a lot of brains. Heh.
A few hours later, Abdullah Choi is lazing on the carpeted floor of their living room, watching strange porn on his phone, when the front door EXPLODES off its hinges, and STRONK enters. He momentarily forgot what doorknobs are or what their purpose is. Again. He’s carrying a battered briefcase, which is unusual because he doesn’t own such a briefcase, or any briefcase, for that matter. He’s covered in sweat, looking like he probably walked to his meeting earlier that morning, a meeting he neglected to inform Choi of until he was marching out the door.
Abdullah Choi: Ah great! You’re back!
Choi stands up only for the sudden rushing onset of a piercing headache to nearly double him over. The drugs have worn off. He’s sobering up from the tequila. He’s screeching into hangover territory. And unfortunately he has sad news to deliver.
Abdullah Choi: First things first, question, we gonna devote any time to game-planning for your match with Zion on Sunday, or are we just gonna freewheel it because it’s Zion and… you know.
STRONK marches past him on his way into the kitchen and then out into the backyard. Choi sprints across the room and blocks the Stronk Man’s path.
STRONK: DARIN ZION IS AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE THAT WILL SOON FIND HIS TRUE SELF AND BECOME A DESTROYER OF COUNTIES AND TOWNSHIPS. STRONK IS FORTUNATE TO CATCH HIM BEFORE HE ENTERS HIS FINAL FORM. A GYPSY TOLD STRONK THAT DARIN ZION KNOWS A NERVE HOLD HE HAS NEVER BEFORE USED AND HAS BEEN SAVING FOR STRONK. STRONK THINKS ABOUT THIS NERVE HOLD A LOT. WHAT NERVE? WHAT HOLD? STRONK LOOKS AT DARIN ZION AS HIS TOUGHEST CHALLENGE TO DATE. DARIN ZION IS A HUMAN MAN THAT REALIZES HE IS FALSE AND THEREFORE MAKES OTHER HUMANS LAUGH BY GIVING THEM THE HUMOROUS SHOW THAT IS HIS PATHETIC LIFE. THAT WAS MEAN AND STRONK APOLOGIZES. BUT IT IS TRUE. YES. DARIN ZION AS HE CURRENTLY EXISTS DOES NOT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO DEFEAT STRONK. HE IS A WET NOODLE ON A DELICIOUS STEAK. STRONK WILL PEEL HIM OFF AND TOSS HIM IN THE TRASH. BUT THAT IS BECAUSE DARIN ZION IS NOT HIS FINAL FORM. PRAISE STRONKUMMS AND PASS THE STRONKUMMS.
STRONK doesn’t look at Choi; his eyes are scanning the backyard through the window.
He sees his best buddy MONGO asleep in the backyard.
Oh, would you look at that, he fell asleep face-down in a pile of pig guts again.
Too cute. They grow up so fast.
Abdullah Choi: Uh, I hear you… Never look past your next opponent, that’s right. …Shouldn’t look past your manager and best friend either when he’s talking to you because it’s rude as fuck.
STRONK: MOVE YOUR FRAIL BODY OR STRONK WILL SHATTER IT. MONGO NEEDS HIS HORNS POLISHED.
The color drains from Abdullah Choi’s face. He stuffs his hands in his pants pockets and stares down at the floor. He fidgets and moves a random chicken bone around the tile floor with the tip of his shoe. Like a mischievous child about to be caught in a lie.
STRONK: ARE YOU SICK? YOU SHOULD RELEASE SOME BLOOD. THE BUCKET IS OUT BACK. YOU CAN RELEASE WHILE STRONK POLISHES MONGO’S HORNS.
(Aside: Abdullah Choi/Shelley Greene has been, on a fairly routine basis, and for quite some time now, taking STRONK Godson’s blood and selling it on the dark web. In case you wanted to know why the bucket exists to begin with…)
Abdullah Choi: It’s… not that, big man. It’s MONGO…
STRONK: EXPLOSIVE SHITS AGAIN?
Abdullah Choi: No… he… well…
Before Choi can spout off whatever made-up story he’s concocted, STRONK forcefully shoves him aside and marches out into the backyard. He unknowingly steps over the shotgun, left discarded and partially hidden in the grass, and walks to where MONGO now lays.
STRONK: MONGO. IT IS HORN POLISHING TIME. RISE TO BE GROOMED.
But MONGO does not rise. He doesn’t so much as budge. STRONK stands there perplexed, scratching his head.
STRONK: MONGO. WAKE FROM YOUR NAP. STRONK WILL GIVE YOU GOAT HEART.
Even the promise of a favourite meal fails to stir the monstrous bull.
Choi sidles up beside STRONK like a snake and looks down at MONGO, doing a poor job of acting like he actually gives a shit. Because why should he?
The bull’s entire face has been blown apart, its brains shredded and scattered about the lawn. A now somewhat sober Choi wretches. He stands up again, wipes his mouth, and grins, admiring his handiwork.
Abdullah Choi is what is described as a ‘designated shooter’ (in his twisted, drug-addled, HBO-obsessed mind).
STRONK’s brain finally finishes processing the details of his surroundings as well as the poor state of MONGO. Bit by bit, realization sets in like an early frost. Takes a while, but you feel it every step of the way.
STRONK: IS MONGO… NOT ALIVE ANYMORE?
Abdullah Choi: I wanted to tell you inside, spare you having to look upon this gruesome, tragic scene… but yes, big man, MONGO is gone. I’m so incredibly sorry.
STRONK experiences the closest thing to sadness for the first time in his life as he looks down at the split-open skull of his interspecies brother. He doesn’t cry because his body physically can’t. But he feels that same sense of shakiness you feel when you are about to cry. Close enough.
Abdullah Choi: I don’t know, buddy. I think he suffered some kind of, like, brain aneurysm. I just found him like this. Might have just been a freak thing. Genetics suck sometimes…
STRONK: STRONK DOES NOT UNDERSTAND.
Abdullah Choi: …Or maybe you made the wrong person angry? Like, maybe Robernette Carey is involved somehow? Maybe? And if she’s involved, you know her boy-toy Conor fucking Fuse ain’t far behind! I don’t know, I’m not trying to be all conspiratorial here… but maybe, right? Maybe there’s something to this theory of mine. Maybe Robernette Carey and Conor Fuse did this to poor MONGO… and then did violent, unhygienic, butt-focused sex stuff right here on his corpse. They DEFILED his body. Conor Fuse is such a weirdo he might have even incorporated MONGO’s cooked brain matter into the foreplay, I don’t fucking know! I wasn’t there! But, again… I’m just connecting dots. Ask the dots why they’re there in the first place.
STRONK kneels down next to MONGO. He pats his beloved companion on the side of the head and scratches his ear one last time. He keeps expecting MONGO to jump to his feet, no-selling the headshot, and GORE~! Abdullah Choi through his spleen. But he doesn’t. Because there’s more MONGO brains presently being carried off by ants than there is in his skull. What is left resembles an old commercial kitchen sponge that’s been fucked to death by a coked-out Tin Man.
A single tear runs down STRONK’s cheek. It startles him and he quickly wipes it away.
No one. saw. shit.
STRONK: GOODBYE OLD FRIEND. STRONK WILL MISS YOU. STRONK WILL ALSO NOT COOK YOU AND EAT YOU OUT OF LOVE AND RESPECT.
Behind him, Choi holds his hands over his mouth, trying desperately to keep from bursting out in laughter.
DARIN ZION. FINALLY THE TITANS MEET IN THE CIRCULAR SQUARE. FINALLY MEAT WILL BE BATTLE-TESTED AGAINST MEAT. EVERYONE CALLS YOU A FOOL AND DISRESPECTS YOU AND PAINTS PENISES ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU PASS OUT AT PARTIES. BUT THIS IS YOUR CHANCE AT REDEMPTION. WHICH IS A THING WEAK MEN NEED WHEN THEY CANNOT GET THE JOB DONE THE FIRST TIME.
STRONK DOES NOT SEEK REDEMPTION. STRONK DOES NOT SEEK RESPECT. STRONK IS A CHAMPION WITHOUT A BELT AND THE NUMBER ONE HUMAN FIGHTER IN HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING. STRONK IS EXPECTED TO DESTROY DARIN ZION. STRONK IS MARCHING TOWARD A HIGH OCTANE MOMENT. THE THING TO BE REMEMBERED BY. SHELLEY SAYS YOU NEED SIX OF THESE MOMENTS TO BE THE BEST OF ALL TIME. STRONK WILL ANNIHILATE DARIN ZION AND STAMP HIS BODY DOWN DEEP INTO THE DIRT AS STRONK WALKS OVER HIM.
BUT THERE IS UNCERTAINTY. BECAUSE THE GYPSY WARNED STRONK ABOUT DARIN ZION. DARIN ZION IN HIS FINAL FORM MAKES CONOR FUSE LOOK LIKE JAMES VARGA. STRONK DOES NOT KNOW WHAT A VARGA IS BUT IT SOUNDS BAD.
DARIN ZION—WHAT HIDES BEHIND YOUR CHEAP SUNGLASSES? ARE YOU A HUMAN MAN? THE GYPSY FORETELLS A REIGN OF TERROR THAT STRONK UNDERSTANDS TO BE GOOD FOR YOU AND BAD FOR ANYONE THAT ENJOYS GOOD THINGS. THIS IS WHAT THE GYPSY SAID. STRONK DOES NOT UNDERSTAND A LOT OF IT.
THE QUESTION STRONK HAS THAT DARIN ZION MUST ANSWER IS WHAT WILL DARIN ZION DO WHEN HE SITS ATOP A THRONE OF BROKEN ARMS AND IS FELLATED BY A PRIMITIVE ROBOT? WILL DARIN ZION HELP OR HARM HIS FELLOW HUMAN WRESTLERS WITH ALL HIS POWER?
STRONK WILL DESTROY DARIN ZION NOW AND EARN HIS RESPECT. SO THAT WHEN DARIN ZION IN HIS FINAL FORM RULES ALL, STRONK WILL BE SEEN AS A FRIEND NOT AN ENEMY.
SUNDAY STRONK AND DARIN ZION ARE ENEMIES THOUGH. TWO HUMAN MEN GRABBING AND HOLDING AND TESTING THE OTHER’S STRENGTH AND PAIN TOLERANCE. STRONK WILL PUNISH DARIN ZION AND IT WILL BE SHORT BUT VERY MEMORABLE TO HIM IN THE WORST WAY IMAGINABLE.
STRONK DOES NOT SUSPECT THAT DARIN ZION KILLED MONGO. BUT SHELLEY GREENE SAYS NOTHING CAN BE RULED OUT. AT CHAOS SEVEN STRONK WILL BRUTALIZE DARIN ZION IN MEMORY OF MONGO THE BULL. THE GREATEST BULL TO EVER WALK THE LAND.
EVENTUALLY STRONK WILL DISCOVER THE HUMAN OR HUMANS THAT KILLED MONGO FOR CERTAIN. STRONK WILL HAVE PROOF AND THEREFORE A CLEAR CON-CON—THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD THAT SAYS DO NOT CRUSH THAT MAN’S SKULL.
SO STRONK DOES NOT.
BECAUSE… THE CAMERAS AND THE SAD TINY HUMANS IN THE CROWD.
BUT WHAT IF STRONK COULD BE THAT STRONK-LIKE ALL THE TIME? STRONK WOULD LEAVE STRONK’S OPPONENTS MAIMED AND CRIPPLED. TO STRONK IT FEELS VERY WRONG. BUT SHELLEY GREENE AND JACE PARKER DAVIDSON SAY FEELINGS ARE FOR SOMETHING THAT STRONK CANNOT REMEMBER.
THEY WANT STRONK TO NOT CARE.
MAYBE STRONK SHOULD NOT.
MAYBE MONGO WAS THE LAST STRAW.
MAYBE DARIN ZION IS THE FIRST.
YES. STRONK WILL BURN THE STRAW MAN TO DUST.
CHAOS IS REAL.