The flames danced and flickered as they consumed the Temple of the Clan of the Mystifying Monkey Slap. The structure creaked and crumbled until it collapsed into a pile of burning rubble.
Dragonhand’s eyes were blank white, completely devoid of any color, but that did not stop him from enjoying the sight.
“Another clan withers under my boot heel,” the fiend said in a raspy voice.
The monstrous warrior’s face was gray and decaying, covered with scars that would never heal and rotten flesh. In contrast to his drab visage, his robes were blood red and adorned with a golden dragon on the back.
“Master,” cried the creepy voice of Lickspittle, Dragonhand’s dutiful toady.
Dragonhand had been referring to his lackey as Lickspittle for so long that he no longer recalled what his stooge’s real name actually was. As an obedient worm, Lickspittle wasn’t about to quibble.
“Why do you disturb my joy?” Dragonhand asked.
Bits of flesh dropped off of Lickspittle’s puss oozing face as he dropped to his knees and presented his master with a gooey, sticky, veiny, blood soaked brain.
“An offering,” Lickspittle said.
“Ahh,” Dragonhand said as he snatched up the brain and sniffed it. “Interesting vintage.”
As the vile zombified master admired the brain he’d been given, chaos ensued all around him. His battle hardened zombies sparred with members of the Clan of the Mystifying Monkey Slap. While the human kung fu warriors fought bravely, they fell one by one to the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite.
Dragonhand chomped his teeth into the brain, ripped out a large hunk, chewed on it and swallowed. Lickspittle watched intently as his master appeared to be lost in deep thought, pondering the substance of what he was tasting.
“Have I pleased you, master?” Lickspittle asked.
The fiend tossed the chomped brain at his lackey’s face, where it landed with a splat.
“No,” Dragonhand said. “That belonged to a rank amateur. It taught me nothing I didn’t already know.”
“A thousand pardons, oh fabulous one!” Lickspittle said as he shuffled away.
The fiend grinned as the clan’s leader, the Vengeful Master, stepped forward on the field of battle.
“Dragonhand!” the Vengeful Master shouted. “You will face me!”
The undead warrior approached his challenger. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Dragonhand swatted the Vengeful Master’s disciples away as if they were flies. One human warrior came at the fiend with a flying kick, but was tossed aside easily. Another warrior punched Dragonhand, who responded by gripping the warrior’s head, twisting it until the neck broke, then allowing the warrior’s body to fall to the ground like so much garbage.
Arrows and throwing knives pierced Dragonhand’s flesh. He barely noticed.
Before long, the two masters met face to face. The Vengeful Master’s mustache was long and cascaded down both sides of his upper lip. He was about forty years old, skinny yet muscular.
“You have disgraced the art of kung fu with your actions,” the Vengeful Master said.
Dragonhand laughed. “Ha. Your kung fu is no match for my zom fu.”
The Vengeful Master held the palms of his hands out flat and waved them to and fro. “You will now learn the power of the mystifying monkey slap!”
Dragonhand raised his fists. “I’m counting on it.”
The Vengeful Master wailed on Dragonhand’s disgusting body, delivering ten rapid fire slaps to his opponent’s stomach, another ten to his chest, and then one giant slap to the spot where Dragonhand’s spent, useless heart sat motionless.
The fiend smiled. The Vengeful Master’s eyes widened with surprise. “I…do not understand.”
“I defy comprehension,” Dragonhand said.
“You’re supposed to explode!” the Vengeful Master said. “Everyone who faces the fury of the mystifying monkey slap explodes!”
“Perhaps you mean, every ‘human?’” Dragonhand asked.
The Vengeful Master kicked and punched at his opponent but it was no use. It was like attacking a wall.
“Oh, Vengeful Master,” Dragonhand said. “Is that really the best you’ve got?”
Dragonhand stretched out both arms to reveal a long wingspan.
“Because I’ve got the Devastating Crane Strike!” Dragonhand said as he brought both hands down quickly, crushing the Vengeful Master’s throat.
The Vengeful Master stumbled back and grabbed his neck, gasping for air. “But…that…can only be…taught by…”
“The Resplendent Master?” Dragonhand asked. “He begged for his life, as you are about to.”
“Never,” the Vengeful Master said as he threw a punch only to have it answered by a kick that launched him three feet back in the air before he landed on his backside.
“Oh I think you will,” Dragonhand said as he walked towards his opponent. “The Triumphant Master did just before I learned the magnificent mule kick.”
The Vengeful Master was bruised and bloody. His bones were broken but he struggled to his feet. “This isn’t possible.”
Dragonhand jumped into the air and knocked the Vengeful Master to the ground with one punch.
“Funny,” the fiend said. “The Steadfast Master said the same thing, but that did not stop me from mastering the…
The Vengeful Master’s teeth were gone. Blood poured out of his mouth. He attempted to stand, but fell back to the ground as he was too weak.
“The…furious…fox paw,” the Vengeful Master stammered.
“Yes,” Dragonhand said as he wrapped his left hand around the Vengeful Master’s neck and hoisted him into the air.
“I could show you all my tricks,” Dragonhand said. “But I much prefer this one…
Dragonhand formed the fingers of his right hand into a tiger’s claw and proceeded to twist and turn them through the air.
The Vengeful Master choked and wheezed. “You could not…have defeated…the Infallible Master! The Staff of Ages….would not…allow it!”
“Defeat the Infallible Master?” Dragonhand asked.
“Nooo!” the Vengeful Master shouted as Dragonhand’s tiger claw crashed through his skull.
Dragonhand felt the Vengeful Master’s slippery brain in his hand. He twisted it, turned it, then yanked it out of his opponent’s body with the spinal cord still attached.
“The Infallible Master taught me my most useful move in happier times,” Dragonhand said as he raised the Vengeful Master’s brain up to the moonlight. “What a delicious prize.”
The fiend released the Vengeful Master, allowing the fallen leader’s body to drop to the ground. Dragonhand took great delight in looking down at the giant hole where his opponent’s face used to be.
Dragonhand dispensed with the sniffing and went straight to the chomping. He took a bite and rolled the piece of brain along his tongue as he savored it.
“Mmm,” the fiend said as he closed his eyes and threw back his head. “Yes.”
He took another bite…and another…more and more until his face was covered with blood and the brain was gone.
Lickspittle hobbled over on his gamey leg. “How do you feel, master?”
Dragonhand threw out his arms. “Never better.”
At that moment, three human warriors broke through the zombie ranks and charged at Dragonhand.
The fiend tiger clawed the brains out of the skulls of two of the warriors. They collapsed and the vile dragon was left with a brain in each hand. He spiked them on the ground then sized up the third warrior.
“Run away little man,” Dragonhand said.
“No,” the warrior said. “I shall avenge the Vengeful Master.”
“Well,” Dragonhand said as he held the palms of his hands out flat and waved them to and fro. “If he couldn’t avenge himself, what makes you think you can?”
The warrior took ten slaps to the stomach and another ten to his chest.
“What?” the surprised warrior asked. “But how?”
“The monkey slap mystifies me no longer,” Dragonhand said as he delivered the final crushing slap to the warrior’s heart.
The warrior coughed. His eyes bulged. His face and body bloated up and up and up until…kaboom!
Blood, guts, gore and assorted body parts rained down upon Dragonhand and Lickspittle.
“Your messiest move yet, master,” Lickspittle said as he plucked the deceased human’s ear off of his robe, popped it into his mouth and swallowed.
“Indeed,” Dragonhand said. “But where is my sorceress?”
On cue, the burning rubble of the temple exploded, sending pieces of wood and stone everywhere. The flaming form of a shapely female walked out onto the battlefield.
The last five living members of the monkey slap clan ran towards her. They punched. They kicked. The burning woman’s flames grew taller and brighter until she erupted into an inferno, incinerating her attackers and turning them to ash.
As she approached Dragonhand, the female’s fire dissipated and a voluptuous vixen wearing the red robes of the brain bite clan came into view.
“You called, master?” the woman asked.