My heart ached. As constant as the waves of the sea slap the rocks, so the emptiness lurked. The icy hand of desperation wrapped me up and constricted. I was suffocating in that dismal abyss of loathsome sitcoms. I lamented but nobody heard, my pain had no companions.
“No! Why? Why? Why?” I cried. I dropped down on my knees and flailed my arms wildly. My lamentation sliced through the air like a blade through butter. “Worry not Michael, there is counseling available,” my mom replied. “This is way beyond counseling mother!” I retorted. “Don’t you realize that Seinfeld is going of the air? Seinfeld isn’t coming back, and there’s nothing anyone can do.”
Mom tried to soothe me. “There’s always other shows, maybe Veronica’s Closet would appeal to you.”
“Veronica’s Closet! Veronica’s Closet! I would rather be crushed in the gears of a combine than spend thirty minutes of my life viewing that sorry sitcom.” I huffed. “There will never be another show like Seinfeld.” I stomped off to wallow in my own self pity like a pig in warm mud.
There was no sleep in store for me that night. I was tormented by my own demons. I was agonized by the thought of blank Thursdays. Discomfort held hands with the black of night, and the black of night greeted me with a sour embrace.
The next morning it was such a strenuous struggle to rise from my bed, I could have sworn I had been lying in quicksand all night. Walking in school was like swimming in a thick marsh. I had nothing to look forward to. Thursdays used to be the greatest day of the week, but now, all Thursdays held was gloom. That day, all I knew was despair, and it smothered me. This went on until I met up with a friend of mine; Ben was his name. “Mike, have courage and fend off despair’s siege,” Ben consoled. “It’s not all over, we can keep the Seinfeld dream alive. I know your pain. I too have been intimate with agony.”
“How? How can you possibly know what I’m going through? I know you liked Seinfeld, but I loved it, Ben.” I rasped. “Besides, there is no way to keep the Seinfeld dream alive. Everyone knows Jerry quit and he won’t come back for any sum of money.”
“That’s the thing Mike, we can work around that. My plan doesn’t involve Jerry Seinfeld signing any contracts; we just have to persevere and have ambition,” Ben tried to convince me.
“This sounds too easy, Ben, but I’ll do whatever it takes to keep the Seinfeld dream alive. What is this venture you speak of?” I asked.
“There is a fabled island just off the Atlantic coast called Duergar. This arcane island is said to bear every Seinfeld episode on tape, uncut and unedited.” Ben answered.
I smiled at the perfect thought, but then a pang of paranoia shot through me. I seized my friend by the throat and backed him against the wall. “If you are fabricating this, I fail to see the comedy. Deceive me not, Ben. But if you are true, then I shall be in debt to you for the rest of my life,” I growled.
“I kid you not,” Ben confirmed. “In fact, I have already booked a flight to Bangor, Maine. We’ll leave as soon as summer is upon us.”
I was still wary about the situation Ben had cast upon me, but I’d be a fool if I declined his offer. “Good then,” I proclaimed. “As soon as summer commences so our quest begins. Let us take up sword and shield, and may anything that hinders us feel our bitter blades. To Duergar we go!”
The hot, muggy air of summer soon attacked us like a swarm of angry bees. The smell of humidity wrapped us up in its uncomfortable scarf. It was time to leave. Excitement and dread accompanied my thoughts.
On the airplane I had many doubts about our forthcoming adventure. At times I believed the entire idea was absurd and all for naught. There were so many doubts, and I wanted answers. On occasion, I felt I was a simpleton for ever agreeing to the ludicrous idea. For a few brief moments, I resented Ben for coaxing me into that ordeal. But Ben was confident that our trek was worth the effort. His confidence gave me strength to face what lay ahead.
Promptly arriving in Maine, Ben and I immediately headed for the coastline to find a boat. I had tossed a question around in my mind but had neglected to inquire. Finally, I spoke. “Ben, well, we’re here. Now where do we go? We still have no idea where the island of Duergar is located. How on earth are we supposed to acquire fully uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes if we have no clue as to where they are?”
“Trust me,” Ben countered. “I know someone who will help us out.” I trusted him. The morning mist lay heavy upon the land and even the burning stare of the sun could not pierce it. The delightful smell of the Atlantic swam through the air and up our noses. We had risen early that morning and arrived at the beach at dawn. Not a soul stirred. The sound of silence blanketed our surroundings. The sun had just begun to peek at us from over the horizon when I saw something else move.
“Ben, down by the docks.” I injected.
“What? In the boat marina? Let us investigate,” Ben answered.
I drew up my dagger from my boot. Likewise, the sound of Ben’s sword emerging from its sheath was heard as well. My fingers hugged the cool steel of the dagger’s handle. The dark outline of the figure tampering and jostling with one of the boats was getting larger with each step.
“Who’d be here at this time of morning?” Ben inquired halfheartedly.
We crept along with utter stealth, as to not be noticed. Initially, our aim had been to “temporarily borrow” a watercraft for our journey. We had encountered an obstacle. That meddling fool at the docks was standing in our way. As Ben and I neared the marina, a veil of disguise had been pulled away from my vision. Suddenly, I recognized who that crouching figure on the docks was.
“All set! She’s seaworthy!” the man shouted. The familiar figure’s name was Jesse. He was a high school friend. I had been told he traveled to the coast to work for the summer, but this was an unbelievable coincidence. Ben smiled knowingly at me. He had known all this time Jesse would be there. What a clever little devil he had been.
“Jesse!” I exclaimed. “What an uncanny event this is! How have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been great,” Jesse replied. “I love working these docks. It’s good to see you both. This here’s my boat; she’s named Jenni. Yeah, I bought her about three months ago. Ben here called me and said you guys are looking to go to sea. I suggested you boys take Jenni here; she’s reliable, and won’t ever let you down.”
“Hey Jesse, we really appreciate this; I don’t know how we can ever repay you,” Ben said.
“Well for starters, you can give me the lowdown of what you two are up to. Something’s fishy.” Jesse bargained. With that, we informed Jesse of our quest for the totally uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes. We expressed our heartbreak and misery to him without holding back any details. Jesse was so incredibly moved by our testimony; he wanted to be a part of our adventure. We agreed to him coming along. After all, Jenni was his boat. Jesse gathered his broadsword, mace, and shield, and we set out to sea.
Jesse proved to be most valuable in our quest to keep the Seinfeld dream alive. He had sailed those waters numerous times before and had heard twisted and odd stories of the mysterious island of Duergar. Jesse was anxious as any of us to arrive there. Jesse labored day and night navigating our path in the vast waters of the Atlantic. The air was cold. It almost seemed that the closer we neared Duergar, the more brittle the air became. Duergar was an evil place, and not even the light of sun could make Duergar remotely pleasant. We sailed, we searched endlessly, and finally, in one victorious moment, Jesse discovered Duergar. It was an ugly place. Unpleasant stenches accompanied the island’s presence. “Such an eyesore it is,” I remarked. “Indeed, it is curious why every uncut and unedited Seinfeld episode would be hidden in this wretched place,” Ben quipped. We pulled the watercraft up on shore and set out on foot in the defiled land for the first time. Fear was embedded in the sand of that beach, for as I took my first step onto shore, fear and regret tried to subdue me. I felt weakness trying to convince me to leave and never come back. But I was strong. It would take more than mere fear to stop me from attaining the uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes. We secured our weaponry and set out on foot across the island. The walking became menial and old. We were all bitterly cold and felt we had no direction. Finally, Jesse said what we were all thinking. “This is pointless, all we are doing is roaming. I can’t—”
“Maybe they can help us,” Ben interrupted. He pointed to the depths of the western horizon. From what I was aware of, Duergar was not inhabited, but Ben’s discovery quickly denied my assumption. Across the meadows walked six short silhouettes. They were approaching us, and we waited. Jesse, Ben, and I all stayed ready with our weapons, for we knew not what the future held.
As the figures neared, we observed them with more clarity. They were small, homely creatures. They were chattering, and their voices were rough, as if they had sand in their throats. The little creatures saw us and revealed no surprise. They were little! Ugly dwarves they were. At sight of my party, the dwarves withdrew large axes that had been concealed to us before.
“Noch de brochela!” screeched the leader of the ax wielding dwarves. At those words, the rancid creatures charged at Jesse, Ben and I.
“Let us take up sword and shield, and massacre these presumptuous fools. We meant no harm.” Ben cried.
“Now we do,” I declared.
“Seinfeld forever!” Jesse lashed.
At Jesse’s battle cry, the beautiful sound of sword from sheath echoed from all our belts. The battle was on. A hissing dwarf slashed down at Ben with his gleaming ax. The sound of steel upon steel reverberated throughout the land. Ben easily parried the ax with his sword which sent the heavy ax flying from the little dwarf’s grip. The dwarf had lost his footing and fallen. With a bloody battle cry, Ben plunged his broadsword into the creature’s chest. There was a dull cracking, like eggs under couch cushions. Then the blood spilled forth. Ben had stabbed with such force that the basket hilt of the sword had slammed into the dwarf’s sternum. I spun around and heard a meaty thump as Jesse’s mace collided with a dwarf’s skull. As quickly as Jesse’s victim fell, so another ax-wielding dwarf had launched a siege upon me. I heard the chilled metal of the ax rush over my head as I ducked under the slash. I raked my sword across the dwarf’s shins, and delivered an uppercut to the mouth of the attacking dwarf with the hilt of my sword. In one swift motion, I lopped off the dwarf’s head with my angry blade. I was surprised by how easily the steel glided through the dwarf’s neck.
I averted my attention from the headless corpse to see the other three menacing dwarves trembling with fear but trying not to show it. One dwarf lunged at Jesse with his ax and in a quick, casual motion, Jesse severed the dwarf’s hands from his wrists. The dwarf collapsed on the ground writhing around like a fish out of the sea. The other two remaining dwarves could not bear the sight of their kin’s misery and decided to flee. We let them go, for we were tired. Battle truly does exhaust!
After we had bathed the caked blood from our bodies, we pursued the Seinfeld dream once again. We followed the fleeing dwarves’ tracks across the island. The trek’s rigors began to wear on us. We grew more agitated and arguments became more commonplace. At dusk, we came upon a mammoth metallic structure. It looked like a modern pyramid, with a reflective surface. I saw the sun staring blankly at us through its reflection. As we neared the pyramid, the air became high-pitched whispers. At first I believed it was all in my head, but Ben and Jesse acknowledged the whispers as well. The whispers grew in abundance and in volume as we approached the colossal monument.
“What is that wretched noise?” Jesse yelled.
“I don’t know, but it sounds like those murderous dwarves,” I shot back.
“That’s it! That’s what it is! Look there!” Ben pointed. “The whispers are emanating from the pyramid.” Ben had hardly finished his sentence when the evil dwarves revealed themselves.
One by one, they filed out of the pyramid’s oval door, all the while the whispers growing louder. We watched in astonishment as thousands of ax wielding dwarves created a wall around the pyramid. Though I know not what it was, they were chanting odd sounds in unison. Something told me they weren’t going to voluntarily allow us passage. I wasn’t about to let a few thousand ax-wielding dwarves stop me from getting all the uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes.
“Now what?” Ben protested. “There’s no way we can get through all of them.”
“My rage knows no bounds right now. My malice overflows,” I seethed.
“I know what we can do,” Jesse claimed.
“What? What can we possibly do to overcome all the ax-wielding dwarves?” I doubted.
“Trust me. I’ll contact Brian at the Naval Academy and he’ll leave a fiery little surprise for these meddling dwarves,” Jesse chuckled. “I’ll call him on my two-band radio and our problems will be smoldering in no time.”
Brian was a United States Naval Aviator who was very handy in an F-18 Hornet aircraft. About thirty-five minutes after Jesse and communicated with Brian, there was a deep rumble like a stampede in the skies. We knew we were in Brian’s presence. His presence commanded authority and we were the first to heed it. The dwarves, of course, were unaware of their fate and paid no attention to the death from above.
“Take cover!” Ben commanded.
The rumble from those wings of death was deafening. The noise was so loud, but the stubborn ax-wielding dwarves would not scatter. They faithfully stood guard around their pyramid. That would prove to be a most devastating mistake.
“Here it comes!” warned Jesse. “Get down.”
A simple push of a button was all it took. It was a ghastly sight. Apparently Brian had unloaded an abundance of napalm on the evil ax-wielding dwarves. Many staggered about hopelessly, completely engulfed in flames. Those fearful whispers transformed into blood-curdling screams. When the massacre had ceased, only black, smoldering heaps of charred flesh remained. The rank stench was overpowering. Though I thought after the battle was over we would be raising our swords in a cry of victory, it was not so. I gazed upon the destruction we had left in our wake and nausea invaded my stomach. Soon I was reminded of our reward, which, in turn, helped me forget the pain. The pyramid was accessible! Every guard had been struck down in Brian’s fury.
The totally uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes were ours.
“To the pyramid! The process has been difficult, but the end justifies the means!” I cried with a thrill.
Jesse and Ben smiled as we hurried to the entrance of the pyramid. We walked with pride. When inside the structure, we became one with darkness. Nothing was visible.
Suddenly, at the far end of the room, two golden slits for eyes peered at us. I was flooded with the feeling of a sinister presence. I was afraid.
“Who goes there?” Ben asked.
“I’m Dalbey, leader of the ax-wielding dwarves,” replied the creature in a rumble. “Why do you invade us?”
“We wish to keep the Seinfeld dream alive. The essence of Seinfeld must not die. We aim to attain what you protect, every episode of Seinfeld uncut, and unedited,” I challenged.
“You have proven yourselves worthy,” the great creature snorted. “You have endured what most would not—all for a television show, and for this you will be rewarded.”
Suddenly, all the darkness vanished and it was as light as day in that pyramid. I looked around, and to my astonishment, we stood in what looked to be the Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. A set of videotapes in golden casing lay at my feet. I was breathless. I crouched down, my hands trembling, and caressed the golden casing. The perfect metal was cold, yet pleasant. Beautifully engraved in the gold was “Seinfeld. Uncut and Unedited.” Tears welled up in my eyes, and I wept with joy. The Seinfeld dream would not die! I got down on my knees and embraced the videotapes with utter passion.
Ben and Jesse wept with me. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. For minutes, we sobbed with joy. Finally, I managed to choke out a few words. “Ben, Jesse, I am in debt to you both for the rest of my life,” I whimpered.
“The Seinfeld dream lives, and there is no debt to be paid.” Ben declared.
For some reason, something wasn’t right. We all looked up, past our tears. Where the yellow-eyed beast, Dalbey, once stood, now stood Jerry Seinfeld himself. Jerry spoke. “Ah, my young minions, I am truly honored by the troubles you have gone through in my name. You are allowed to keep the uncut and unedited episodes.”
We sighed in relief.
“But did you not realize the horrific wrongs you have committed, such as slaughtering thousands of ax-wielding dwarves?” Jerry questioned.
We were ashamed.
“As punishment, you will remain here, in my apartment, for the rest of your lives. You are banished from the outside world and you may never leave! Ah ha, ha, ha!” Jerry chuckled. He threw his head back with each sinister laugh. As quickly as Jerry had appeared, he had vanished. He was gone. He left us locked in here for the rest of our lives.
“That was odd,” Jesse stated firmly.
“Well, at least we still hold the uncut and unedited Seinfeld episodes,” Ben pointed out.
“Boy am I glad at least for that,” I told them. “Though most would consider this situation rather bleak and dismal, I see it as a blessing.”
“On what grounds do you say that?” inquired Jesse. “It seems Mr. Seinfeld neglected to take his VCR along with him. Throw in a video Ben!” I proclaimed excitedly. “As long as the VCR is functional, and we can watch these episodes, we’ll be OK.” With that, our quest had concluded. Jesse, Ben, and I lived happily ever after in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment on the arcane island of Duergar. Gloomy Thursdays are nevermore. May the Seinfeld dream live forever.