So I sat there, strapped to the chair. The evil wizard said to me, "You will tell me your secrets."

I'd already informed him, at least the first couple dozen of the hundred or so times he'd made that statement, that I would not. I thought it was rather odd that's all he'd done to me so far, such an ostensibly powerful wizard. He'd had his thugs kidnap me, bring me to this pitch-dark interrogation room of his, strapped me to a chair. A light had come on about him, a very precise light, so all I could see was him. Couldn't even see a millimeter beyond his person & garb. But I could see every last inch of him perfectly clearly.

He'd said to me, "You will tell me your secrets," over and over. Each time, I had a different response for him, ranging from simple statements such as "No," to whatever sarcastic comments I could come up with on short notice. But eventually, I'd just stopped responding at all. He'd then simply wait a minute or so between each repetition of "You will tell me your secrets."

Let me tell you, it got old. Either the wizard was just a Balok-like dummy and the record was broken, or he was trying some form of conversational water torture on me. Either way, it wasn't working.

Finally, he changed his tactic. "You will tell me your secrets, or I will use my magic to cause you great pain."

"Good," I said, "I could do with a change of pace."

He pointed his long, twisted staff at me, and said two or three or four or more words. I'm not sure exactly how many, as I don't speak Latin. I mean, it sounded like Latin, but then, don't most serious spells? I suppose they don't have to sound Latin- I mean, look at Bugs Bunny, or that guy from Sesame Street, Mumford. Or even a simple "Please." I'm sure there are many other examples of magic words, but you get the point. But this wizard's words, they sounded Latin.

Don't ask me to repeat them, I've a terrible memory for such things.

You know how your eyes, maybe your cheeks, sometimes feel sore in the morning when it's summer and you've had a fan by your bedside blowing in your face all night? That's how my whole body felt, after he pointed his staff and said his magic words. If my eyes hadn't felt like that just then, I might not've been so sure that's how I felt, but as I said, my whole body felt that like that. Including my eyes. My eyes, of course, were familiar with the feeling, so they quickly identified it. I quickly realized my whole body felt the same as my eyes.

So I said to him, "Hey, that's kind of uncomfortable, you know."

"You will tell me your secrets."

Great, I thought. Baack to the water torture.

"You will tell me your secrets."

Maybe he'd say it another hundred times, then make my whole body feel like my teeth when biting aluminum foil.

"You will tell me your secrets."

"Look, what secrets do you want to know? And why don't you leave me alone and just ask the aliens who've been keeping tabs on me God knows how many years now, via sub-dermal implant?"

"You will-" he stopped, looked at me funny, and said, "Huh?"

"Never mind. Just ask me something specific, would you?"

"Very well. How many times a week do you masturbate, on average?"

"I don't keep track of such things, you'll have to ask the aliens."

"Okay. Um... who is Keyser Soze?"

"Ooh, ain't seen that movie yet, chief, keep meaning to rent it, though. Sorry."

"Okay. Hmmm... what's your favorite color?"

"That's no secret- it's grey."

"How about your second favorite?"

"Green. Then purple. After that, I don't know."

"What's Jewel's last name?"

"You mean Jewel Kilcher?"

"I guess so. Okay, who won the 1979 World Series?"

"Sorry, I don't follow sports."

"What do you follow?"

"I be thinkin' it follow 'T.'"

"No no no. Well, who are you?"

"I'm Dave, Mr. Caterpillar."

"Who is Batman?"

"If you don't know, I'm not tellin'. I didn't even tell my close personal friend and mentor, the Joker."

"Oh. What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a writer. So, I guess the answer, for the time being, is, I live with my parents."


"Thanks. I'm sure I'll break through soon."

"Good luck. Anyway... I don't suppose you know how they get the caramel into a Caramilk bar?"

"Nary a clue, chief. Wait... I think it has something to do with an evil wizard. One much smarter than you, though- he actually spies on the aliens for kicks, in his spare time."

"Oh yeah. Do you know which evil wizard?"

"No. And I think that's safest."

"You're probably right. Um, can you think of any other good questions for me to ask?"

"Hmmm..." I thought about it. "Nope."

"Okay, time to kill you then."

"Kill me? But look how cooperative I've been!"

"What? Oh, did I say kill you? Sorry, my bad. I always do that. Slip of the tongue. I meant, time to let you go."

"Okay, thanks. See ya round."

He turned on the lights. I didn't have much of a chance to look around before he translocated me here. Anyway, thanks for listening. But now, I haven't been to the bathroom since before he kidnapped me, so I gotta go. See ya.