Although this story mentions real persons, corporations, TV shows and places, it is purely a work of fiction for personal enjoyment. The story does NOT describe real events and should NOT be taken to accurately portray any real entity mentioned. In keeping with its fictional nature, the events and activities described in the story may not be legal, ethical or safe. This site does NOT endorse or recommend their enactment.
Without spoiling too much, this story features nudity and the death of a character.
Suzi hadn’t even tried to go back to sleep. She’d been reminded of the Past by Yumiko and the Present by Alexandre. There was so much running through her head now. Like, was Mr. Vanilla really the final ghost? Would his title be ‘Ghost of Gungings Future’ or ‘…Gungings Yet To Come’? And what gungings that were ‘yet to come’ would be the ones that were supposed to make her stop thinking it was a stupid idea to do a Christmas special?
Well, that was one thing for her Christmas list – a new alarm clock.
An eerie light filled the room, drawing the naked Suzi from her bed. Standing in the gunge tank was a cloaked, shadowy figure. “Mr. ‘Nilla?”
Her enquiry was met with silence.
“No need to be so quiet, I know it’s you.”
“Okay, it’s not really you, it’s the Ghost of Gungings Yet To Come.”
“Oooooh-kay then! I know how this works. We step in the tank, get gunged, you still end up totally clean anyway and we both go into the future,” she said as she stepped into the gunge tank. To her surprise though, she wasn’t quite doused in gunge. It was certainly green and cold but the consistency was more… watery. It cleaned the gunge off of her body rather well; leaving her with messed up hair but mostly clean skin.
The two of them emerged in a tank of water. Suzi immediately recognised the studio. “It’s the Slop Drop studio,” she said, basking in the warm studio light and pink neon illuminations. “So my show’s still going.”
The spirit pointed a long, thin and bony finger to the stage entrance. In bounded a young males with pointy bleach blonde hair, very orange fake tan in bright sequined jackets and trousers with platform shoes. “HI! I’M STEWIE AND WELCOME TO THE SLOP DROP!” they shouted as they bounded onto the stage. “YOU’RE GOING TO VOTE AND WE’RE GOING TO GUNGE A CELEBRITY!”
Suzi gasped with disbelief. “Say it isn’t so, Spirit! My cousin turned into a massive douche and took my job!”
Suzi thought she’d turned to look at the spirit, but it was no longer in the tank of colourful water that they’d appeared in. It was now on the studio floor, watching as the first celebrity walked out.
“LET’S WELCOME OUR FIRST GUEST, LOUIS TOMLINSON!”
Suzi started to breathe deeply and heavily. “The One Direction kid? What the hell is he doing on the show?”
“SO LOUIS, WHO DO YOU WANT TO GUNGE TODAY AND WHY?”
“I want to get my own back on Helen Flanagan because she was a huge wuss in the jungle,” Louis said.
Suzi was starting to find this very unbelievable. “I don’t disagree, but that’s the reason? That’s shit! Compared to what I dealt with anyway. At least most of the ones I dealt with had some form of rivalry!”
“OOH, TOO BAD LOUIS!” Stewie shouted. “WE COULDN’T GET HELEN TO COME ON THE SHOW SO HERE’S SOMEONE WHO WOULD. IT’S KATIE PRICE!”
“No. Fucking. Way,” Suzi frowned. “Sorry, I can’t believe for one second Mr. Vanilla would be reduced to including… well, that!”
But from the looks of it, he had. Katie walked on wearing a tight-fitting pink minidress and stilettos. “Hi Louis and Stewie,” she said. “Huhuh, that rhymes!”
“HEY KATIE! HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT POSSIBLY GETTING GUNGED?!”
Rather than put up with what she assumed she was going to be terrible ‘banter’ between Stewie and his guests, Suzi turned her attentions to backstage, where Emma and Mr. Vanilla (the real one, not his spectral form) were watching. Emma was cringing while ‘Nilla was doing something akin to a facepalm, only with his mask on rather than his actual face making contact with his palm. A maskpalm, if you will. “Tell me, where did this show go so horribly wrong?” Emma sighed.
‘Nilla took a deep breath, which made a very strange buzzing noise thanks to the voice synthesiser in his mask. “Well, I blame Suzi.”
“What did I do?” Suzi frowned as she walked over to him, angrily.
“Yeah, it was a shame you had to sack her. She was good but that ego…”
“Ego?!” repeated Suzi.
“We were lucky to agree to give her a second series, especially her demands,” ‘Nilla explained. He looked upwards and started thinking back. “I remember when she started. All new, curious, kinda shy… I can remember the first time she gunged someone like it was yesterday.”
Emma nodded. “The Rotor Room was one of your better designs.”
“Rotor Room? No, I’m not talking about that one.”
Suzi was even more confused now. “Then he means…”
“There was a time when I was a headmaster, you know,” Vanilla explained. “We usually had a charity week on the last week of school before Christmas and one year, one of our pupils suggested having a gunge tank. I said to her sure, if you can get together everything necessary and find a volunteer to go in it.”
“And that person was Suzi, right?” Emma asked.
Vanilla shook his head. “No, it was someone else. A rather popular girl called…”
“Kassidy Harvey,” Suzi and Vanilla said in unison.
“The Kayotics’ drummer?” Emma asked, laughing a little. “That explains a lot.”
Under his mask, Vanilla smirked. “I know. It’s quite amusing to know that I once had a former pupil working for me without her ever knowing. Maybe a bit creepy too, I suppose. I was hardly an old recluse then, though.”
“Forget about the past, she’s gone now and we’re soldiering on without her,” Emma said, putting an arm on Vanilla’s shoulder. “Or about two thirds of the budget we once had…”
Suzi looked away and sat down, feeling rather torn. “I can’t believe it. It was him the whole time. ” The ghost appeared at her feet, staring down on her imposingly. “Spirit, why did you show me this horrible future?” she asked, tears beginning to form in her eyes and run down her still somewhat gunge-stained face, splitting the small blobs in twain.
“At least tell me I’ve got a future, even if the show doesn’t.”
Wordlessly as ever, the ghost floated to the water tank and waited for Suzi.
She walked in, finding herself in a bath. There was someone else in the bath too – herself. As ever, the Suzi of the time couldn’t see the Suzi of the past. Both Suzis exited the bath and went into her flat’s main room, where Ashton was sitting and going through a load of letters. Thankfully their modesty was preserved – one Suzi by a fluffy blue towel, the other by the invisibility provided by for all intents and purposes, not being there. “Oi, Sue. You’ve got a load of letters again,” Ashton frowned.
“It’s probably the same as usual. Job rejections, hate mail, hateful job rejections…” towel-clad Suzi said, rolling her eyes.
“And bills. Suzi, we can’t afford to live here while you’re still unemployed, you know?”
Suzi shrugged. “Look, it’s not my fault that the world doesn’t realise how lucky it is to have me in it! I’m a fucking star, Ashy! They should recognise me!”
“Wow, I really get bitter, don’t I?” past Suzi muttered.
Ashton grinded her teeth and stood up. “You’re not a star at all! You’re a stupid bitch who thought she was too damn big for the crappy show which made her famous! You hosted one TV show for one series and about two episodes! Big fucking deal, it wasn’t even that popular! And now it’s about to be cancelled outright because the dipshit they’ve got on now is an uncharming ham who thinks he’s Dave Benson Goddamn Motherfucking Phillips! That is your fucking legacy you idiotic fucking loser! You’re not a celebrity, you’re nothing and yet you still think the world should love you! It’s no wonder things between you and Emily fell apart!” Ashton’s rant was briefly cut off by the phone ringing. “What is it? …Oh, right.” Ashton threw the phone to Suzi and then stormed off into her room. “Enjoy talking to your equally pathetic little fuck-buddies. Oh yeah, and pay your goddamn rent for once. You don’t do it this week, you’re outta here.”
While her future self started talking to whoever was on the phone, Suzi of the past fell to the floor. “I’m going to lose my job, my girlfriend and my home and turn into that? Spirit, if you have even the slightest bit of compassion, tell me it can’t end like this!”
The spirit didn’t say anything, but did grab Suzi’s arm and hurtle through the flat, dragging them outside and downwards. They impacted soon enough… in a large mud puddle.
Naturally, this mud puddle wasn’t in Mudford, but at Donington Park. Suzi’s future self was also there in a mud-stained Lamb Of God t-shirt and jeans. Her feet were bare and coated in mud, probably not intentionally. She’d just been at the bar buying pints of overpriced lager. Six in fact, since she was with some friends; some friends who had played the third stage earlier that day and had finished packing up. “Hey Suzi, nice shoes!” a familiar voice squeaked from her side. It was Becky, along with the rest of the band. “Did you enjoy our set?”
Suzi laughed at Becky’s comment and nodded. “Yeah, it was great. You should play up on the main stage next year!”
“Glad you think so,” Chloe said as she took her drink. “Metallica’s on in a few minutes. Who’s up for it?”
The six girls agreed and headed there. “So, what’s everyone’s favourite ‘Tallica song?” asked Kassidy.
“It’s got to be ‘Master of Puppets’, of course!” Michelle said. “Great riff, always fun to play.”
“‘Fade to Black’ has the greatest solo ever. Fact,” Becky answered.
Chloe shook her head. “I much prefer ‘One’ on both counts.”
“Just because you can play them on just about everything,” Yuriko giggled, rolling her eyes and thinking about her answer. “Anything off the first three albums for me. I’d go with ‘Orion’ though.”
Kassidy nodded. “I’m fond of ‘Enter Sandman’, but who isn’t? How about you, Suzi?”
“I think ‘The Unforgiven’,” she said as they headed into the crowd, just in time to see the band walk on and play the obligatory introduction of ‘Hit The Lights’, before launching into a particular song from the ‘ReLoad’ album.
Gone insane but the…”
“MEMORY REMAINS!” the crowd roared in unison. Shivers went down Suzi’s spine as the song went on. There was just something about it that hit home to her.
Past Suzi flinched at seeing her future self feeling so uncomfortable. As she listened closely to the lyrics blaring through the PA system, she realised why. “…An already faded prima-donna.” Oh how those words summed up Suzi’s future fate. Still, she kept watching. After all, the spirit wasn’t dragging her home just yet.
Metallica rattled through the setlist with more energy than bands a fraction of their age. The crowd, including both Suzis and The Kayotics were going crazy, yet nowhere near satisfied when it was time for the band to walk off-stage. Thankfully for them, the silence from the stage was soon cut by an acoustic guitar intro playing through the PA system. “Oh yeah! They’re gonna play ‘Battery’!” Chloe grinned.
The song grew louder and faster. Becky pushed some of the crowd, making a small gap which grew larger and larger. “Open this pit up! Come on! Let’s open it up!” she shouted just before the second guitar solo. Once it kicked in, the crowd around her started moshing like crazy. Some of them were a bit nervous since a girl was in there, but her shouts of “LET’S GO FUCKING CRAZY!” reassured them that she could take it. Future Suzi shrugged and joined them, thrashing around like she hadn’t done before.
Suzi fell to the floor. In a clear display of stereotypes being inaccurate, the amassment of metalheads above her stopped and backed away, holding the crowd back. Her neck had been snapped by someone else who clearly hadn’t brushed their mosh pit etiquette and actually gone in with the intention to cause harm. Panic striking everyone, the medics and stewards rushed to her assistance, but it was too late. Suzi was dead.
Suzi of the past had seen everything and had gone pale. “Why?!” she screamed. “Why the fuck would you do this?! This isn’t fair, spirit! You can’t show someone their death!”
The spirit said nothing, as was befitting of it by now. Instead, it grabbed Suzi and dived into the mud with her.
Suzi and the spirit were still at Donington, the festival continuing despite what had happened the previous night. This time however they were in a different part, where the festival’s radio show was broadcasting from. As well as the broadcasting truck, there was a Perspex booth with a small vat of green gunge on top of it and a chain. “I see they brought that back,” Suzi said, still reeling from seeing herself die. The spirit however was pointing out something else entirely – an interview between one of the presenters and two people from one of the bands. Suzi didn’t recognise them at first, but it soon became apparent as to who it was. “That’s the Lander sisters from Kittie. What are they doing here?” she asked.
“…So yeah, our thoughts go out to Suzi’s family, friends and fans,” Morgan Lander said into the mic, her bandmates nodding.
“You know, Morgan was going to take me on Suzi’s Slop Drop,” added Mercedes Lander, drummer of Kittie and sister of Morgan. “Apparently I took too much delight in seeing her get gunged on that game show, didn’t I?”
Morgan cleared her throat. “Well, maybe you could be a bit less eager to bring it up.”
“And maybe Morgan could have a chance to get a bit even with Mercedes,” the host said. “We’ve got a gunge tank, why not make use of it?”
A wry smile crept onto Morgan’s face, while Mercedes turned a shade not to dissimilar to her hair. “You’re gonna slime me?” she chuckled. “Alright.”
Mercedes took her shoes off and stood in the tank, looking up with a nervous smile on her face. “I hope this’ll wash off before our set later!” she joked.
“Not a chance, trust me!” Morgan cackled as she grabbed the chain. The ghost appeared right behind Mercedes, cluing Suzi into getting in the tank too.
Morgan pulled the chain, smothering Mercedes with thick green goo, which contrasted with her red hair and made her numerous tattoos almost invisible. She squealed the moment it hit her. “I’ll get you for this, Morgan!” she shouted as it coursed into her outfit. A rookie mistake, as she ended up with a mouthful of gunge, which seemed to taste rather foul as she ended up spitting it out. She wiped her eyes and flicked some of the gunge at Morgan. The door to the tank flew open and Mercedes greeted her sister with a gunge-covered embrace. It wasn’t so much a display of affection as an attempt to get a little bit of the stuff on Morgan. It worked too, staining her face and top. Thankfully for both of them, typical British summer weather was predicted meaning that cleaning it off wasn’t going to be too much of a hassle.
…Not that Suzi got to see any of it. She was now back in bed, covered with mud and gunge. “Spirit, I curse you for showing me such horrible things and then not showing me the one rather nice thing. Please, please tell me I have a hope of avoiding that horrible fate!”
“You know what you must do, Suzi,” the spirit’s synthetic voice echoed. “And that doesn’t include avoiding festivals before you try playing that one.”
“R-right,” Suzi said quietly. “I’ll change, I promise! I’ll change and make Suzi’s Slop Drop the best thing since Noel’s House Party! I’ll change!”
The spirit said nothing, but disappeared along with the gunge tank.
The door to Suzi’s room swung open. Ashton walked in, dressed in her pyjamas and fluffy slippers. “Suzi, quit making such a racket! It’s early!” She then rubbed her eyes and saw that Suzi was naked and covered in multi-coloured slop. “Oh, sorry if I intruded on some private time.”
“N-no! It’s not what it looks like, I promise!” Suzi protested.
Ashton just yawned and turned around. “I’m not surprised, but I’m not judging either. I should have known you’d be the kind of girl to use gunge in the bedroom.”
Suzi said nothing, but turned red beneath the green and brown. Though moments later she realised something: that wasn’t a bad idea! Perhaps she’d have to make a phone call to Emily as well as Mr Vanilla…