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Castaway
By Fanatic and Advocate



Important Notices:

This is a work of fiction in the genre of parody. Parody means: 1) a pair of d's; 2) a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule; 3) a feeble or ridiculous imitation. Personally, we're shooting for number two.

This means several things: 1) CBS can't sue us for copyright infringement as parody is clearly within the exception rule. Nah nah nah nah nah. 2) Obviously, this is a lampoon of "Survivor", the ridiculous stunt series of the summer. But, hey, it's beating 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' in the ratings, thank the gods above! 3) Big note: We are not going to be politically correct in this series. If you like PC humor, don't read this. If you still read this and don't like it, don't write us about it. We plan on bashing stereotypes (hey, they exist for a reason, folks) and exaggerating about as many people and places as possible. It's all in the name of humor. If it ain't your cup of tea, swim on, matey, this here is our island.

Now, just because CBS can't sue us for copyright infringement, we can and will sue you. This is an original work of fiction. Fanatic and Advocate own the copyright. (See below for the complete copyright statement.) Think about our pseudonyms, folks. Fanatic - insane, crazy, obsessed; Advocate - another name for an attorney. Add to the mix the fact that Fanatic is also an attorney …and you don't want to screw with us on this issue. Enough said.

This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. There are adult themes and language, nudity, sensuality, sexuality, alternative lifestyles (including depictions of homosexuality), and the like. We believe that most parents would consider these elements to be too strong (for viewing by persons less than 18 years of age). If we were a film, we would have an "R" or an "NC-17" rating.




Episode Nine: Something Wicked This Way Comes




Exhausted after an impossibly long day of shooting, Pete finally stalked off into the jungle, tripping over an exposed root on his way out of camp. The cameraman's overstressed, naturally flabby body rejected as foreign the new muscles that this job was forcing him to develop. Pete cursed and kicked the root, then yelped over his now-injured foot.

Two cameramen followed Pete into the jungle, chuckling evilly. The crew had a pool going over the pudgy blond's life expectancy. They sincerely hoped he wouldn't figure out that they'd weighted his camera bag down with rocks. Pete was a friend and all. But, hell, the pool was up to $50!

As the last cameraman disappeared, the castaways breathed a collective sigh of relief. They settled into their makeshift beds and hammocks, each dreading whatever demented challenge Joan had cooked up for the next day. They shut their eyes, waiting for the nightmares to begin.

For the first few weeks, except for the tribal council meetings, the contestants had pretty much been left alone during the evenings. But now, all that had changed. Pete had explained that a copycat show called 'Peeping Tom', set in a house in New York City, was eating away at their ratings. Shannon snorted to herself. Those stupid fuckers at network programming (a.k.a. Rita and her dogs). How many filthy voyeurs did the BTBC actually think were out there? It wasn't like all of Rita's ex-husbands had Nielsen ratings boxes!

In a desperate bid to boost their ratings, the challenges were becoming more and more extreme. Joan, the psychotic network hussy, whose cackle haunted every islander's dreams, was getting increasingly desperate. Shannon truly expected the next challenge to include hand-to-hand combat, more boa constrictors, or full frontal nudity. The blonde bit her lip, suspecting that Joan would somehow find a way to combine all three if it was possible.

But no matter what the challenge was, Shannon couldn't wait to kick Marty's chauvinist pig ass! Annoyance with the construction foreman had recently given way to outright repulsion. The relentless camera coverage, combined with the miserable humidity and the stress of competing for a million dollars, had rendered all the islanders weary and irritable. Green eyes narrowed dangerously. Of the remaining castaways, Marty was by far the worst.

More than once, Shannon had physically restrained Ryan to keep the survivalist from castrating the man. Of course, she now promised herself that if Marty opened his yap one more time, she'd simply let nature take its course. Shannon resolved to visit the tall brunette in prison regularly, wondering idly if they had heard of conjugal visits in this part of the world.

The first time Shannon had calmly informed Ryan that she couldn't just kill him outright and feed him to the crabs (Shannon unconsciously clutched her left breast), Ryan had insisted that Shannon break the news to Tiffany herself. Shannon sighed, remembering her heart-to-heart talk with the 'other woman'.

"Here!" Ryan thrust the razor-sharp blade in Shannon's face. "You have to explain to her why we can't make the gene pool a happier place."

"You're kidding, right?"

"Do I look like I'm kidding?"

"Um… yes?"

Ryan simply arched an impatient eyebrow.

Cringing, and half expecting some fool to jump out and shout, 'Smile! You're on Candid Camera!', Shannon tentatively reached out and grabbed the blade between two outstretched fingers.

"She doesn't like to be held like that."

Shannon stared at Ryan for several seconds before speaking. "What in the hell are you talking about?"

Ryan reached out and stroked the shiny handle. "It's like you're afraid of her or something."

"Imagine that."

Ryan rolled her eyes. "Grasp the handle and let her warm in your palm. Don't hold her between your fingers." Feel the love, sweetheart!

Shannon wrapped her fingers around the handle. Noting Ryan's satisfied nod, she swallowed nervously and focused on the knife, still not quite believing what she was about to do. "Umm... you see, it's not appropriate..."

"Tiffany," Ryan immediately interrupted.

Shannon's gaze darted upward. "What?"

"You didn't say her name. It objectifies her not to personalize your conversation. Call her Tiffany."

Green eyes narrowed suspiciously. Objectifies? Shannon scanned the bushes for hidden cameras.

"Shannon?"

"Okay. Okay." The writer took a deep breath as she gripped Tiffany. Ryan is just eccentric. Eccentric is doable. I could love eccentric. She felt a warm, comforting palm come to rest between her shoulder blades, then begin a gentle tracing motion across her back. Shannon's eyes fluttered closed at the touch. Oh, yeah. I could love eccentric.

"Shannon?"

"Right." An exhale. "Tiffany, you can't go around cutting off men's testicles… unless, of course, you ever meet Trent Bender." Shannon grinned evilly. Ryan, clearing her throat, refocused her attention. "Anyway, it's illegal and just plain wrong." There. She paused, hoping that was enough.

A long, painfully silent moment passed before Shannon decided that it wasn't and added, "I'm truly sorry."

"That was great, baby!" Ryan said happily, kissing the top of Shannon's head and taking back the blade.

"Well?"

"Well, what?"

"Is she happy now?" Shannon's hands moved to her hips. "Does she understand?!"

Dark brows drew together in confusion. "How would I know? Damn, Shannon, it's not like she talks back," Ryan snorted. "She's a knife for Christ's sake!"

And with that, Ryan headed off toward the beach, leaving a slack-jawed Shannon staring at her retreating form.

An uneasy feeling pulled Shannon from her thoughts. Her stomach churned, and her face twisted into an uncharacteristic scowl. Something was coming. Something bad. She could sense it deep in her bones, and felt the irrational need to escape camp and find Ryan. Ryan had fled the constant attention of the cameras several hours earlier, under the guise of hunting for some real food, much to Joan's annoyance.

Shannon lifted the blanket she'd inherited from a departed castaway and padded down the beach until the camp's softly-glowing fire was barely visible out of the corner of her eye. Smoothing the blanket out across the soft grass at the beach's edge, she lay down and gazed up into a sky lit with a million stars. The breeze was stronger here and Shannon closed her eyes, allowing the wind to roll over her as she tried to ignore her roiling stomach.

"WHY AREN'T YOU ANSWERING YOUR PAGER?! I'VE BEEN CALLING YOU ALL NIGHT!" a voice boomed from behind Shannon.

Shannon flew to her feet. "I'm sorry! The batteries must be…" Shannon whirled around, then froze. "Oh my God," she whispered.

"Hi, Shannon. How's tricks?" A wicked smile gleamed through the darkness.

"It can't be!" I knew I shouldn't have eaten those mushrooms after Ryan told me not to! But this is too horrible to be a nightmare! Oh, Jesus. It's my real life! "Hello, Rita."

Smirking, Rita looked her employee up and down. "You look like shit, honey."

"Don't call me that!"

Rita began to chuckle. "What happened to your..." She gestured to Shannon's new coif.

Shannon immediately tucked a blowing strand of short, shaggy hair behind her ear. "I like it this way!" Green eyes scanned the beach for Ryan. The survivalist was nowhere in sight. "What are you doing here?" Shannon hissed at Rita.

"Why, I'm here to see who shoved a stick up the golden goose's ass." Rita made a tsking noise. "Ratings are way down."

"That's not our fault. I..."

Rita held up a hand. "Save it, honey. Have you done what I asked?"

"I'm here, aren't I?"

"Shannon," Rita warned, drawing out the younger woman's name.

Shannon stamped her foot in the sand, for the first time missing the high heels she normally wore to work. "I am not sleeping with one of the men!"

"Oh, yes, you are." Rita began circling the shorter woman, her eyes roaming proprietarily over her employee. "Were you always this tan and skinny?" she commented enviously.

"No, I'm not going to sleep with one of the men! Do you even watch this sucky show? This isn't skinny. I was starving until last week! I'm surprised you can't see through me!" A faint odor suddenly grew stronger as the wind shifted. Perfume. Soap. Shampoo. Shannon sniffed. Tide with Bleach? "You smell." How come she hadn't ever noticed these things before? Well, except for that nasty perfume that was attracting every mosquito on the island to Rita. She'd always noticed that.

"I smell?" Rita laughed, squashing a bug against her cheek. "Why do you think I keep moving? I'm heading upwind."

"Go away," the writer ground out, as she discreetly sniffed her armpit. Ryan had never complained.

"I don't think you realize what's at stake here." Rita's face turned to stone. "You will do this." She began clicking her perfectly painted nails together nervously. Shannon should have been agreeing with her by now. What the hell had gotten into her assistant? Other than Ryan, of course. "This wasn't just my decision. Bender said we needed to up the heterosexual content of the show."

"He said that?"

"Well, actually, he fired four other executives and said, 'Those bitches are ruining my show! I wanna see some good, old-fashioned, normal fuckin'!'"

"But…"

"Dawn and that hunk of a man, Joe, are gone. And Marva's married. So she's out. Besides, we all know married women don't screw. Just ask my four, no, five ex-husbands."

Shannon shot Rita a skeptical look.

"Besides, we got a good look at Marva's saggy tits during that strip poker game, and Bender gave them, I mean her, the thumbs down."

"You filmed that?!"

"You'd be surprised what we've filmed."

"Pigs!"

"Of course. This is television, sweetheart."

"Don't call me that either!"

The platinum-haired woman shook her head in confusion. Why was Shannon making such a big fuss about this? "As I was saying, Marva is out. And I don't see Miss Camouflage jumping back across the fence anytime soon. So that leaves you."

"I won't."

"You will... assuming you want to keep your job and that severance pay we prom… er… discussed." Rita hadn't screwed all those lawyers for nothing.

"Discussed? What do you mean 'discussed'? We had a deal!"

Rita smiled, and Shannon's heart sank.

The young writer was torn. She felt like a puppet with Rita pulling the strings. But she couldn't be unemployed, could she? She'd have to work two or three jobs to earn as much as she made with the BTBC. When would she work on her novel? No. She had bills to pay. Responsibilities. How could she allow her Guatemalan foster child to starve, just because she was too selfish to have sex with one of the men? Okay, so she didn't have a Guatemalan foster child, but her credit card bills were really, really big!

Rita's smile grew larger. Shannon was caving in like she always did.

"Rita, I can't. You don't understand. I ... I mean, I think I'm in love."

"Don't be a fool, Shannon."

Shannon let out a deep breath. She was finished being Rita's puppet. She could survive unemployment. She could survive damn near anything! "Castaway" and Ryan had taught her that. There was no way she was going to betray Ryan's tentative trust. Not for anything or anyone. "No," she said simply, rendering Rita speechless.

"I see," Rita finally commented. She pretended to think for a moment. "Well, if we can't up the hetero content, we'll have to boost the ratings another way." Time to pull out the big guns. "I suppose a scandal involving one of the castaways would serve the same purpose," she drawled. "I could always hire a few of my favorite private detectives to do a little digging into Ryan's past." Rita eyed Shannon intently, wanting to be sure she was crystal clear. "I'm sure we could find something the viewing public and FBI would find interesting."

"You wouldn't!" Shit! Ryan was right. Just because she was paranoid didn't mean people really weren't after her. And when Rita began digging for dirt, she always found something. Whether it actually existed or not.

Rita remained silent as Shannon chewed her lip. No matter what it takes, I can't let her hurt Ryan. I won't. "I refuse to actually have sex with either of them."

"Just foreplay then," Rita agreed eagerly. Something was better than nothing. She'd already investigated Ryan, and she was disgustingly clean. Who'd have guessed? Unlike other wacko survivalists, Ryan just preferred to stay the hell away from people. Rita had to give brunette credit for being that smart.

Shannon made a face. "I'm willing to…." She blanched at that mental image. "No, I won't do that. Maybe I could..." That one was even more disgusting. "Eww... nope, that's not gonna happen either." Furiously rubbing her temples, Shannon bit the bullet. "You'll get…"

"Something good?"

The younger woman swallowed hard and nodded reluctantly.

"With Marty."

Green eyes widened. "Arturo is a man, too!" Damn! Kissing Arturo would be like kissing another girl. Arturo was so far past being a gay man he could almost be considered a lesbian.

"Ah… ah… ah…" Rita waggled her finger. "I told you before that he didn't count. As far as you're concerned, Arturo's penis is purely cosmetic."

Shannon grimaced.

"Do we have a deal?"

Shannon squeezed her eyes shut, trying to push aside the wave of queasiness that swept over her, as she considered any sort of physical contact with Marty and his hairy back. God, if this isn't love, I don't know what is. Only for Ryan. "Deal."

"I knew you'd see things my way!" Rita exclaimed happily, swatting away another mosquito. Tomorrow she would be on the first plane back to dog-eat-dog, sterile, crime-ridden Los Angeles, where pollutants killed all the mosquitoes.

Just as God intended.

Hearing a faint rustling sound, the women turned toward the bushes, but quickly dismissed the noise as a bird. It had been a few days since Ryan had had Shannon, and several of the braver feathered creatures had moved back to their natural habitat.

Marty held his breath, praying they wouldn't investigate his hiding place. He had finally found them. Shannon didn't know how to lay down false trails as well as Ryan. He knew he'd get to see some good girl-on-girl action eventually. Damn, those network people were geniuses. What could be a bigger ratings grabber than two red-hot lesbians going after each other, week after week? Nothing he could think of.

But who was that blonde with Shannon? Ooo - maybe they were going to meet Ryan here for a threesome! That had always been his deepest wish for "Charlie's Angels". It had kept him watching for years. Wishing he had some beer and peanuts to go with the show, Marty wiped a drop of anticipatory drool from his chin and settled into his hiding spot.

"So, tell me a little bit about Ryan," Rita said. "Is she as wild as she looks?"

Marty cocked his head, listening closer. He was wondering the same damn thing.

"Don't even say her name!" Shannon snarled.

Rita looked at Shannon innocently. "What? No girl talk?"

"Bitch." Shannon took a menacing step forward.

"Wait!" Rita quickly stepped away. "My lips are sealed." That didn't seem to appease the angry blonde. So she upped the ante, to avoid physical pain. "No one has to know you're a BTBC employee. Your paycheck will be deposited as soon as I get back to LA," she lied. Not bad, under pressure, she thought happily.

"Goodbye, Rita." Shannon began stomping away. "I'm going to go and throw up now."

"I know you'll make me proud!" Rita called after her, moving into the jungle. Now which way did that nice cameraman say to go? Pete had pulled Rita out of a warm pool of quicksand, after Joan had explained, in detail, the exact route to the castaway's camp. Somebody's gonna get lucky tonight, she sang to herself, slapping another bug.

When the coast was clear, Marty stood up from his hiding place. Shannon worked for the network? He scratched his stubbly chin as he strode back to camp. Knowledge was power. And right now, Marty was feeling mighty powerful.

* * *

Breakfast in the camp was strained. Strained fish guts, to be exact. Ryan hadn't been able to catch as many fish as she had hoped, and they had to do something to spread them around.

Ryan couldn't figure out what was going on. Ever since Pete had arrived and started filming, Shannon had been sitting across the fire from her. Next to Marty. And she kept leaning across him to ladle out more soup. Was Shannon deliberately trying to get her turned on? Ryan scratched her head. This relationship stuff was really confusing.

Marva was happily slurping down her soup. She was relieved their stay on the island was almost over. As one of the last five contestants on the island, she was guaranteed winning at least one hundred thousand dollars. That should be more than enough to pay off the mortgage, buy a new truck and fix poor Edwina's teeth.

The foreman glanced down as he felt Shannon's breast brush against his forearm … again. It felt good. Really good. And he wanted to feel more of it. But, his testicles twitched. It would have to be over Ryan's dead body. Literally. Otherwise, he wasn't risking the family jewels for a quick grope. This didn't stop him from leaning into Shannon, however.

Shannon's skin crawled as Marty pressed into the tender flesh of her breast. She was still thinking of how it felt to have Ryan's mouth attached to that particular appendage. She didn't want to have to cut it off simply because it came in contact with Marty's nasty skin. You're doing this for Ryan, Shannon. Just remember that.

Arturo was blissfully unaware of any discomfort around the fire.

"All right, it's that time," Pete announced, shifting his camera pack to his other shoulder. Poor bastards.

"God, I hate that time."

"¿A que hora?" Arturo asked.

Ryan cocked her head. Something didn't seem right with Arturo. But she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Kinda like she couldn't put her finger on Shannon. Blue eyes narrowed dangerously. Marty was going to lose his fingers altogether, if they got any closer to Shannon's bra snap.

What in the hell was Shannon doing?

Had she dreamed everything between her and Shannon? She lifted her coconut shell soup bowl and sniffed. She couldn't detect any drugs. But, if they were going to use mild, mind-altering drugs, the government would be sure they were colorless and odorless.

Was it all a dream?

Was she in "Dallas"?

Was she even on an island? Was this like the moon landing? Perhaps they were on a sound stage in southern California, and all of this was fake.

Maybe her Kentucky hideaway wasn't real either. Were her parents really gone? Her brothers? Was she even Ryan? What if she was a pod person?

Those taken are always the last to know!

"Ryan?" Marva called, breaking into her thoughts. "Ryan?"

The survivalist looked up with wary blue eyes. "Maybe."

Marva leaned down and felt the brunette's forehead. It was cool, but Ryan's face was flushed. Maybe she was coming down with something. "Are you ready for the competition?"

Ryan shook her head, clearing her thoughts. Maybe they were being beamed into her head by the microwave manufacturers. That would explain things. So many possible conspiracies to unravel. "Yeah, I guess." She looked around the campsite. "Where's Shannon?"

The homemaker made a vague gesture. "She went ahead with … Marty." Seeing Ryan's fallen expression, she laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry."

"Are you real?"

Marva leaned down and kissed Ryan's forehead. Southerners understood and accepted eccentric people. Hell, they invented the word. "I am. Come on, let's go kick some ass."

* * *

The contestants stared at the obstacle course that had been laid out before them.

"Is the ring of fire really necessary?" Marva asked nervously. It looked like a hula hoop that had been set aflame. She had seen tigers jump through something like that in the circus once.

Joan smiled. Oh, yes, it was necessary. With any luck, someone's hair would catch on fire. The burning plastic was emitting toxic fumes that had already sent several of the crew into coughing fits. Wimps.

"So, first we have to walk the plank over the quicksand, then swim across the lagoon with the sea snakes, then jump through the ring of fire, and finally run back along the beach?"

"Barefoot," Joan amended, but didn't mention the broken shells she had strewn along the beach earlier that morning.

"Why barefoot?" Ryan challenged.

Joan shrugged, smiling malevolently. The paranoid always ask inconvenient questions. "Everyone ready?" She watched as they all took off their sandals.

"I am!" Shannon giggled like a schoolgirl, and she batted her eyelashes at Marty. The writer prayed that her stomach would behave and she wouldn't puke on his feet right here and now. The confused look Ryan was giving her wasn't helping much either.

"You are one chica loca," Arturo stage-whispered to the blonde. He would never do anything to make Ryan upset. She scared him.

Ryan's eyes narrowed. "Chica loca?" she repeated. "Crazy girl?"

Arturo held up his hands and backed away. "I didn't mean anything by it."

Spanish? Ryan scratched her head. Something wasn't right.

"On your mark, get set, go!" Joan thundered.

The five took off running, glad to have only one more challenge after this one.

They raced the short distance to the five thin logs laid over a pit of quicksand. It took but a moment to realize that the logs had been slicked with leftover oil from the last challenge.

Shannon frowned. I bet that was Rita's idea. The bitch. Carefully, she made her way over the pit. At one point she nearly fell into the murky mess, but a strong hand caught her. She turned to thank Ryan, but blanched when she realized it was Marty. Oh God, don't let him think I owe him anything.

I saved her ass. Now it's mine. Marty leered at the anatomical part in question.

Marva crossed herself. She wasn't Catholic, but it seemed appropriate. She was sure Marty was about to die.

Strangely, Ryan seemed not to notice. She was focused on Arturo. "Where in Brazil are you from?" she asked, slowing down until she was even with the prancing man.

"Rio." They made it to the water's edge. Arturo put his toe in the water and cringed. "Floaties, please. A little help."

* * *

Marty crossed the finish line, the trail of blood from his cut and bleeding feet staining the sand behind him. "I won, I won!" he crowed, jumping up to celebrate. He immediately regretted that decision. He wondered if Joan would let him have a couple of Band Aids.

Still preoccupied, Ryan carefully made her way down the beach. Spanish. Arturo from Brazil speaks Spanish.

He was a plant!

"See you five at tribal council tonight."

Marva pulled a piece of shell out of her heel. "Do we really have to hike the two miles to the council? Surely we could vote in our camp."

Joan shook her head emphatically. They had to walk to the set. She had paid good money to import several hundred bats. She was planning on releasing them during the castaways' hike and taping the resulting hysteria. "Be there."

* * *

"I'm going to turn into a vampire!" Arturo shrieked. "I'm going to be a blood sucker!"

"Well, some kind of sucker," Marty muttered, earning himself a swat from Marva.

Ryan looked at the bat impaled on the end of Tiffany. It had finally stopped twitching, and its tiny fangs had retracted. Wonder how these things taste barbecued?

"This is getting ridiculous!" Shannon roared. The writer marched over to Joan and stood toe to toe with the host. "Bats are NOT indigenous to this island! YOU had them brought here!" Shannon had done some research on the island for Rita when the show was still in its pre-production stage.

Seeing an opportunity, Marty queried, "How do you know that?"

Shannon's expression transformed into that of a deer caught in the headlights. Or at least like Clinton's in the hallway by the oval office. "Uh …" She looked across the set and saw Rita, who was out of camera range, shake her finger. "I … I …"

"Yes?" Marty was feeling very powerful. One million dollars here I come!

"I was a geography major in college."

"No, you weren't." Ryan reached into her backpack and pulled out a tattered 'Meet Your Fellow Castaways' brochure. "Communications."

"English Literature!" Shannon corrected. Wait, that didn't help. "I had a double major," she finished lamely.

"Isn't geography about land formations? Zoology is about animals," Ryan persisted.

Green eyes glared at Ryan, willing the survivalist to be quiet. Now is not a good time to be paranoid, honey. As usual.

Marva decided to help out. She didn't know what was going on between Shannon and Ryan, or Shannon and Marty, or Shannon and the island, but she really wanted to get this over with. "Have you seen any on the island before, Marty? I think it's pretty obvious they were imported for the ratings."

Joan's mouth dropped open. She hadn't expected the little housewife to be quite so outspoken. Bitch. Bet you're going home tonight though. The crew had another pool going for who the final survivors would be after the tribal council tonight. Of course, if the vote didn't go the way she had bet, she'd just change the votes before reading them on-camera. "Let's start the council."

"Wait!" Ryan interjected. It had been bothering her all day, kinda like an itch in the crack of your ass that you can't quite reach, and now she had it. "Someone here is not who they say they are!"

Shit, shit, shit! Shannon closed her eyes and waited for her world to collapse.

"Arturo is not from Brazil."

Shit, shit … huh? Shannon peeked open an eye and looked over at the hairdresser.

"Si, I am."

"That's the whole point," Ryan countered. "You speak Spanish."

"Si."

"They speak Portuguese in Brazil."

Arturo winced. "They do?" Damn that sexy, no-good, lying Raul!

"Who are you? Where are you from?" Ryan demanded, advancing on him.

Shannon interposed herself between the two. "Put Tiffany away, Ryan."

"Tiffany?" Marty scratched his crotch. Damn, he wished he had popcorn. Was there a third woman involved? That would be really hot.

Betrayed blue eyes met Shannon's. So, Shannon had finally torn herself away from Marty long enough to notice her? She had never told anyone else Tiffany's name. And now it had been broadcast to the entire viewing audience. Unfortunately, she didn't know that audience amounted to about three people, who had no lives.

"Arturo," Shannon looked away from Ryan, unable to meet her hurt, confused gaze. She tried to take charge of the situation. Someone had to. "Can you tell us what's going on?"

"I … I … I'm not from Brazil."

Ryan felt a flood of relief course through her. I knew it. I am not paranoid. I am just sensitive!

Shannon couldn't believe her ears. Is there anyone on the island who doesn't have a secret past? Jesus! Is this a fucking soap opera or stupid reality show? "Where are you from?"

He began weeping. "I'm from Tijuana! I came over when I was six. But no one wants a hairdresser from Mexico. Brazil is another story! They love exotic Brazil! So, I tell them I am from Rio. And I do the flamenco."

"I thought the flamenco was from Spain."

Arturo wept even louder than before. He should have known he couldn't trust a man who could refuse a hot oil treatment! Well, at least the kind they gave at the salon.

"Flamingo?" Pete asked. "He does a pink bird? That's sick."

Marva rolled her eyes. And people thought Southerners were dumb.

"Can we vote?" Marty asked. If they could get the voting over with, maybe the girls would get naked.

Joan was thrilled. This was going to be a good episode after all! "Sure. Let's assemble the tribal council and …"

"Whatever…" Marty marched over to the voting hut. He wrote his vote on the paper provided there. "Arturo. Time to go home. Wherever that is."

Next in the hut was Ryan. "I like Arturo, but I don't trust him now."

Marva voted for Arturo as well. "I have many reasons for this. First, Marty won immunity. Second, I refuse to vote off another woman. Well, at least one born a woman anatomically. And third, going alphabetically, Arturo is first."

Shannon walked in, wrote 'Arturo' on the paper and left. She refused to say a word. When she got back to L.A., she was going to personally replace Rita's hair bleach with battery acid.

After Arturo voted, Joan went and gathered the ballot box. She brought it to the center of the tribal council set. "Remember, the decision is final. Those voted off must leave immediately." She paused dramatically, savoring her time on-camera.

"Can we hurry this up a bit?" Marty complained. "It looks like it's gonna storm."

Joan barely resisted giving him the finger. "The first vote: Arturo."

Arturo gasped and covered his mouth. "Me?"

"Arturo," Joan read again.

"Two?" Arturo asked. "Are we sure they are not votes to stay?"

"Arturo," Joan said again.

"Tres?"

"Arturo," Joan read for the fourth time.

The hairstylist looked at all the other castaways. "You all voted for me? Even you, Channon? Even after the makeover?"

Shannon hung her head in shame.

"And the final vote … Marty."

Marty held up his immunity token. "They can't vote for me! I have immunity!"

Joan frowned. Why did there always have to be some fuck-up? Could it be because the contestants didn't have two brain cells to rub together between them?

"So, who's the second person to get tossed?" Marva asked cautiously.

Joan shrugged. "No one. Only Arturo. The other vote was invalid." There. That was easier.

"I want to change my vote!" Arturo screeched, even as a couple of the production crew were leading him away.

Shannon smirked. "I don't suppose we could vote you off the island, Joan?"

<fade out>



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Legal Disclaimer

Though this series is inspired by certain actual incidents, it is a work of fiction and references to real people and organizations are included only to lend a sense of authenticity. All of the characters, whether central or peripheral, are wholly the product of the authors' imagination, as are their actions, motivations, thoughts and conversations, and neither the characters nor the situations which were invented for them are intended to depict real people or real events. In particular, the depictions of CBS and the Survivor television series are not meant to portray the corporation, or any individual on that show, but are only used to lend a sense of authenticity to this work of fiction.