Everything But the Kitchen Sink
Thanks to Siubhan for the platform. And thanks to my fellow writers for the collective fun. Any resemblance to persons living or dead, or the living dead, is entirely coincidental.
Darth Maul could no longer concentrate on playing any of his Playstation games, and dreaded going to bed. Sleep would not be forthcoming. Up until the last few days, his life had been perfect. He wistfully recalled the excitement he felt after his Master Sidious left to attend to Palpatine senatorial business for a month. Maul had happily played his latest electronic games non-stop, falling asleep exhausted every night. He ecstatically drove himself to the last level of every game before the final Jedi slaughter, then saved. He planned the vicious finale for the evening before Sidious's arrival, and expected his indulgence in the final carnage to leave him too spent to even care about his Master's return.
The feral My Apprentice hadn't been present to wreak her usual havoc. She'd accompanied Sidious to Naboo, so there were no paws "accidentally" turning off the control box, causing Maul to lose his place. There was no nibbling at his feet demanding to be fed. In short, Maul had been able to sleep blissfully each and every night
That is, until now. There was just one little problem. That drip. That incessant drip. The kitchen faucet was leaking. Plink, ploink. Plink, ploink. The sound piercing Maul's brain like the claws of a Rancor. His dishes hadn't been washed in days because every time he turned the faucet on and off, the drip got worse. The life forms on his dishes had already gone through a series of evolutions and extinctions, with Armaggedons occurring hourly. Listening to the drip was pushing Maul to the brink of insanity, and the only thing that made it bearable was a vision of Obi-Wan pinned beneath the faucet with the water dripping on the Padawan's forehead.
But the twit wasn't even around because he was busy being Obi-Tim the Tool Man, working on Senator Palpatine's office.
I have a bad feeling about this, thought Maul. Sidious is behind it somehow.
At that moment, the com-link engaged and a hologram of Sidious appeared in standard menacing attire.
"I sense a disturbance in the Force, my young apprentice," the shimmering blue figure garbled. "Is anything amiss?"
"Er, whatever do you mean, my Master," stammered Maul. "Everything is just fine."
Sparks of blue lightning separated from the hologram and shot around Maul, stinging like annoying little insects. Maul anticipated the communication to turn nasty any moment now.
"Are you lying to me my boy?" hissed Sidious. "I must warn you that my patience is wearing very thin. My brain is being assaulted by my Gungan constituents, who are extremely interested in the Moisture Recapture Initiative. My mind has become saturated listening to their gurgling voices, so much so, that I sense there is a watery problem to be dealt with here." The holographic figure folded its arms awaiting Maul's answer.
Maul felt one of his horns beginning to shed prematurely. "You're right, Master. There is a little problem with a faucet, but it's a very small drip. Nothing to be alarmed about. I'm just waiting for the landlo-"
"Silence!" crackled Sidious. "Perhaps you are unaware that Naboo water requires extensive desalinization in order to provide a potable water source for the inhabitants. As lovely as those waterfalls are to look at, they are quite loaded with salt, and the labor intensive process makes the Naboo and Gungans quite fastidious about saving water."
"Thank you for the ecology lesson, Master, but really, it's a tiny trickle. I don't see how you can make the comparison. Besides, I didn't think you were such an ardent conservationist."
"Well, you're right. I could care less. I'm provided with all the water I need at no charge. However, all it would take is for that Jedi squirt you're seeing to come over here and spot that leak. The little twit would immediately report to his beloved master about the blatant lack of ecological order and equilibrium in your apartment. Before you know it, the Jedi Council would somehow inform my constituency and a Vote for Palpatine would no longer be a vote for order."
"Master," Maul said, ignoring Sidious's tirade. "I am not seeing Obi-Wan."
"Oh, of course. My mistake. He's seeing you. When you reveal yourself to him. Tell me, my young fool, have you had your revenge yet?"
"No, my master. I simply wouldn't enjoy it if you weren't there. My actions are merely a means to an end."
"The end will be yours if my campaign is jeopardized," Sidious threatened. "I strongly suggest you show your staunch support for the Moisture Recapture Initiative. It would behoove you to maintain an image of conservancy, therefore, I insist you take care of this little matter immediately. It's a bad reflection on me. I would hate for the general public to think me profligate in any way."
Maul glared at his Master's image. The only thing profligate about you is your very existence in this miserable universe, he thought.
The hooded, holographic figure of Sidious cast a tremulous, flickering light on the wall that reminded Maul of his childhood night terrors, which were many and often. No doubt caused by Sidious on purpose to create the fear that leads to the Dark Side.
"Is something on your mind, Killer?" the hologram questioned. "As you know, I call you Killer, because you sla-"
"Please, Master," Maul interrupted. "I assure you, I was not thinking of rising up and slaying you at the moment."
Sidious had a predatory look that made Maul squirm.
I knew it! He's making the faucet leak! Just to torment me!
"Just checking, as always. Now, you will fix the leak right away. I am disturbed by the possibility that the water supply of Coruscant might dry up, robbing me of the chance to barge in on you while you're showering, enabling me to see clear rivulets streaming down your splendidly tattooed torso and between your le-"
"Thank you, Master," Maul cut Sidious off hurriedly. "I get the point." Maul hammered down the thought of that particular horror instantly.
"Excellent. I'll check on your progress in a day or so. And do have a look at my office to see if Obi-Wan is slaving away, will you?"
The com-link went blank. Maul cursed to himself. Obviously, Sidious was experiencing withdrawal being so far away from his usual grotesque amusements. That left him with nothing better to do than assail Maul long-distance with yet another futile exercise on Sithication.
Maul arrived at his favorite place in the whole world- the shopping mall. He looked over the store directories to find what he wanted, and narrowed down his handyman trek to Sears. The store was ominously divided into two sections. The Lighter Side of Sears contained The Disney store, a Baby emporium, a Pampered Pets Shoppe, and the Jaclyn Smith Sweatshop Boutique. The Darker Side of Sears carried Electronics, Senatorial Robes, Hardware and bathing suits.
Maul strode up to the counter in hardware, ready to assault the clerk if necessary. The sun-tanned face of the teen-age boy did little to hide his acne-ravaged skin. "May I help you?" he inquired pleasantly, immediately alerting Maul to be on guard.
"My faucet is leaking. How do I fix it?"
"Probably just needs an o-ring. Did you bring the old one with you?"
Maul almost bit his tongue off as he spat out his answer.
"Of course not. Let me just haul ass back to my apartment and get it. Then I'll be back to drive around aimlessly looking for a parking spot in this picturesque idyll."
"No problem. Just don't forget to turn of the valve under the sink before you pop the faucet," the boy said cheerfully.
Back at the apartment, Maul, in a nervous fit, decided to play a short game of Sithlords of the Realm to get his fingers nimble enough for the plumbing work. He paused at a strategic point and headed over to the sink. Naturally, the valve underneath was in the most awkward spot possible, and Maul was foaming at the mouth with delirious rage by the time he got it closed. The last time his body had been this contorted was during a hot, heavy night with Obi-Wan. He twisted his way back out from under the sink, but not before a bracket gouged out a long scrape on his back that blended in seamlessly with his tattoos.
"Uhraugh! May your flesh provide sustenance for a Neimoidian grub, you miserable cur." Maul meant the landlord, not Sidious. His master's demise deserved something far less gentle.
"OK," he said, breathing shallowly, "pop the cover, unscrew the top and take out the o-ring."
He did just that and a tower of water spewed out of the tap, arced directly over to his PlayStation, and scored a direct hit. A blue flash, followed by a sizzling sound, signaled to Maul that the unit was fried.
"By the Impalpable Dominion of Sith Heaven!" Maul screamed.
Maul was sure he had closed the valve. He looked under the sink and saw with horror that the valve he had shut off led only to the hot water tap. The cold water line had no valve at all. Summoning up the Force, he pushed the shooting water back down the line to quell the flood while he tried to think. He was able to maintain that for about two minutes, then the water burst out into his face with almost enough force to wash off his tattoos and take out a few of his horns.
His rage was quite well honed and he was confident he could easily slay his master were he to appear at that moment, hologram or not. He used the Force to turn off the water main in the basement and headed back to Sears.
The pimply faced kid was even more helpful this time.
"Oh, you're in one of the older buildings where they cut construction costs and only put shut-off valves to the hot water. Why didn't you say so?"
"I would have had it been immediately apparent," seethed Maul. "It would seem logical to have valves on both sources."
"You know," added the boy, "I bet they were building the Jedi Temple at the same time as your complex and had all the competent contractors working over there."
"Why am I not surprised," fumed Maul.
"You just need a new, easy to install valve, the new o-ring, and you'll be all set. Just go down aisle 3 and talk to one of the people in plumbing."
Maul found the plumbing aisle and was assaulted by a maddening array of rings, chains, rubber devices and cold, glistening porcelain. Trappings more likely to be found in one of his Master's dungeons, Maul thought.
"May I help you?" said a seductive voice behind him.
Maul turned to see Darlene, Plumbing Specialist, according to the badge pinned to her apron. Maul wondered just what kind of plumbing she was most familiar with because she looked exactly like one of the wenches that danced at the Grey Side of the Force, the one that stripped out of her overalls with infuriating slowness.
"Why yes," said Maul, eyeing her voluptuous form. "I'm here for a part."
"Something wrong with your ballcock assembly?" she asked lasciviously, admiring the muscular torso underneath the Sithlords Kick Ass T-shirt.
"Er, it could use some adjustment. Why don't you come over to my place and try it?"
"Well, if I didn't have a sink installation to do later on I'd come over and check on your unit. I'm only an apprentice plumber so it would just be 35 Republic credits per hour. If I were a master plumber, it would be 75 credits per hour," she chatted. I'll be getting my license in about three weeks."
She could fix a sink? And she was only an apprentice? She should be easy to Mind-Whammy, thought Maul.
"So you are wise in the ways of plumbing. You will come to my apartment and fix my sink, then you will inspect my ballcock assembly," Maul said as he waved his hand. For a split second, a vituline expression crossed the woman's face, but she recovered without missing a beat.
"Sorry, handsome, but this job tonight is for an important client. My boss and I are putting in a new bathroom at Senator Palpatine's office. So what size gasket do you need?" she asked, effectively dismissing Maul.
Maul, enraged, wondered how this plumbing apprentice program made the woman so strong with the Dark Side. A growing suspicion crept up on him.
"Who exactly is your master?" asked Maul.
"Why, Master Yoda, of course. He's absolutely the best. He can fit into the most awkward places to get at pipes. And he just has a way with fluid mechanics that you wouldn't believe."
"I believe you," answered Maul, trying not to visulalize Yoda at all if it involved any kind of dampness. So, the muppet master of all trades is a plumber too. That figures, it explains his fondness for quirky rubber devices.
"He's so creative too," Darlene droned on. "I tell you, he's got industrial design down pat. He's made furniture and shelving out of galvanized steel pipe that's very stylish in a retro sort of way."
He's got some cleverly designed sex toys down at Divine Oscillations as well, thought Maul.
"Hey, when I get my master's license, Yoda will be looking for a new apprentice. Would you be interested?"
"Er, no, thanks. My career path is already planned out. Thanks for your help though."
"Don't forget your gasket. A couple extra could come in handy as well. They come in different diameters and textures too," she said suggestively. "Too bad I can't make it over to your place."
Clearly, some of the enlightenment Yoda had gained from his forays over to the Dark Side had rubbed off on this woman.
Just as Maul was ready to leave with the replacement gasket, he passed an aisle that gave him a strong sense of the Dark Force. There, on a banner above two adjacent aisles, was Dartha Stewart. Her sly smile promised to enlighten the quotidian rabble with her unattainable decorating skills. Next to her elevated countenance was the face of Boba Vila hawking Darthsman Tools. A formidable pair indeed. Maul was puzzled. Strange, he thought, how Boba Vila hadn't been slain by his apprentice Norm-Odian Abram. Why was it that only the Sith had to rise up and slay their masters? Everyone else seemed to get along famously.
His master. Sidious popped into his mind again just as Maul was examining the tools. Now they were something to behold. A simple claw hammer. All it would take was the right heft. His master was an easy target. Or a Darthsman 18.0v cordless drill, complete with evil-looking bits of all sizes. A circular saw that looked like it could do some serious damage to his Master's head, with the added attraction of being able to do so at any angle. Finally, a random orbital sander that surely was capable of finding its way to Naboo and sandblasting the smirk off Sidious's face. Maul picked up an industrial strength nail gun, and was admiring the grip, when he heard an all too familiar voice.
If only this thing was loaded, Maul wished.
"Maul! What are you doing here?"
Maul turned to look at Obi-Wan, who was dressed in tan overalls over a 101 Dalmations t-shirt. He wore a tool belt slung low around his slim hips and a Scooby-Doo hat with the cap turned backward. His thin, little braid was threaded around a pencil emblazoned with Snoopy images and rested behind one ear. His hands were smudged with stain and varnish, but Maul could see that Blues Clues decals were glued onto his fingernails.
I'm guessing Clifford boxer shorts, thought Maul. "A minor leak at the apartment has turned into a raging torrent, not unlike the feelings I have for you," Maul answered testily.
"You mean lusty? Oooh, Maul. You're such a teaser."
"I meant hatred, you Jedi slime."
"Oh. Anyway, I'm here to get some more sandpaper and workgloves. Qui-Gon had such a good idea suggesting them so my hands don't get callused."
"What! Let me see your hands!" demanded Maul.
"You want to hold hands in here?" Obi-Wan breathed.
Maul resisted grabbing the Padawan's hands, but Obi-Wan was quick and clasped Maul's hands in his own. Maul realized he'd been missing out the past few days as he felt how silky smooth they were. He'd take care of that little oversight later.
Maul disengaged and attempted to comport himself. "I trust work is going well at the Senator's office?" he asked Obi-Wan.
"Absolutely. Things are going right on schedule. Qui-Gon promised me that if I'm done with the project on time he'll put me on the welcoming committee for the class of new Jedi Padawans. I'll be in charge of the Bully-Proofing Brigade."
Mothers don't let your sons grow up to be Jedis, Maul sang to himself, even though he loathed country music.
"Do tell. I know how you hate to be bullied, Obi-Wan," Maul commented sarcastically. "Good thing you have Qui-Gon to protect you." Mainly because you're too gutless to stand up for yourself, thought Maul. Although... It was all he could do to staunch the protective instinct that swelled up inside him, as well as that other protuberance.
"Well, actually, I don't mind if it's you doing the bullying," chimed Obi-Wan, holding his hands behind his back and scuffing the floor with his steel-toed boots.
"Well, I gotta go," said Maul, knowing if he didn't, he'd turn those overalls into pajamas with a back door right then and there.
"See you later, Maul."
Maul hurriedly installed the valve and new o-ring with little trouble, despite the fact the building's occupants were reaching critical mass ready to riot with the water main turned off. Extremely proud of himself, Maul used the Force to turn the water main back on so he could admire his handiwork. He tweaked the faucet on. I AM HOT SHIT, he thought as a steady stream cascaded over the filthy dishes. Maul ignored the screams of the sentient civilizations as they attempted to escape the flood, and flicked the arks into the sink disposal. He swatted at the cruisers jettisoning from the surface, and then turned off the tap, mindful of his Master's admonition.
Plink, ploink, plink, ploink.
"Noooooooooooo," cried Maul. "Why is it still leaking?"
His anger at All Things Sears was approaching its zenith.
Maul stormed back down to Sears and grabbed the teenage clerk by the collar. His eyes glared with savage anger, but the boy was unfazed. This place harvests candidates for the Dark Side better than my Master Sidious, Maul noted.
"Well sir, the only other thing I can think of is the stem," said the teen, robot-like. "If you could go back and get it, we'll get you a new one to replac-"
"You are insane!" Maul howled. "This place is an asylum fit for the cosmically unbalanced!"
"Perhaps you need the proper tools," said the voice from the glazed teen. "Our Darthsman line is superior to any brand you'll find out ther-"
"Would you like to open a charge account? There's a 10% discount on your first purchase."
Maul hurled the boy towards the exit, with the extra encouragement of a Mind Whammy calling for an immediate evacuation. He drew his lightsaber and slashed the Boba Vila/Dartha Stewart banner into smoldering pieces. He used the Force to bring power tools to life and engage in vicious duels. Maul cackled with glee as the reciprocating saws thrust at each other savagely and spit blue sparks. Wrenches undid all the bolts on the shelving and merchandise came crashing down, spilling paint and other flammables all over the floor. The noise alone of the thrashing and grinding machinery was enough to start the building quaking.
Maul grabbed a stem and other sundry items and beat a hasty retreat back to his apartment. He ran into Obi-Wan again right outside the door.
"Hi, Maul. You can't imagine what a busy beaver I am. I barely have time for dinner before I have to run down to Sears to pick up some wood screws and finish up at Senator Palpatine's office."
An evil grin scripted itself on Maul's face.
You're gonna be screwed all right, thought Maul.
"Why don't you call and make sure they're open late," suggested Maul. There's no sense in running down there when you could be settled in for the night if they're closed."
Obi-Wan took that to be an invite and couldn't get his apartment door open fast enough.
"Good idea. Gotta hurry. Bye."
Maul listened by the door as Obi-Wan made the phone call. Here it comes.
"Noooooooooooooo!" cried the Padawan.
Maul waited a respectable moment, then knocked on the door. The Padawan opened it and looked crestfallen.
"What's wrong Obi-Wan?" Maul asked, trying to keep from giggling.
"Sears is closed until further notice," Obi-Wan sniffled. "The place is demolished. Funny how they couldn't decide if it was a corusquake or an explosion that did the damage. Now I'll never finish by the deadline. I'm not going to be on the Bully-Proofing Brigade and I won't be able to mingle with the new Padawans."
"Tough break Obi-Wan. Anyway, seeing as how you're in the fix-it mode, would you come over and help me install this stem?"
"Well, sure. I'm stuck now without those screws. I'll have to scout around for another hardware store tomorrow."
I'm thinking of a different kind of screwing, but I've got to get that leak fixed before Sidious checks in.
Maul had intended to play video games while Obi-Wan slaved away, but since the PlayStation was broken, Maul actually had to help. He handed Obi-Wan the tools while he was under the sink and was somewhat mollified because he had an excellent view of the Padawan's gyrating hips as he struggled to get in a comfortable position. Obi-Wan torqued all the fittings tight and wiggled out, but not before his braid twisted around the drain pipe, pulled it loose, and deposited all the gunk and slime on his head and shoulders. He wiggled around some more, to Maul's delight, reattaching the drain pipe.
"Eeeyuhh!" he grimaced, struggling to his feet. I've got to get home and get cleaned up. This is sooo yucky!"
Maul took one look at the filth-encrusted Obi-Wan and couldn't see him out the door fast enough.
"Thanks, Obi-Wan. Goodnight."
Just as Maul slammed the door behind Obi-Wan, the com-link activated and Lord Sidious appeared.
"Could it be you have accomplished your mission, my apprentice?"
"Yes, my Master. I am even contemplating doing my dishes. I have also succeeded in vexing that annoying Padawan Obi-Wan. He's never going to be able to fini- oops, I mean, er, "
"What are you saying, my young Sith? Please don't tell me there is some delay in the completion of my office suite?"
I am an idiot, thought Maul.
"A slight delay," Maul stammered. "But I assure you, I'll help Obi-Wan myself if that's what it takes to finish your office before you get back."
"Make sure you do," came the sinister reply, before the hologram faded out.
Damn! Frogged again. And no PlayStation on top of it. Life sucks. What else could possibly happen.
Maul began pacing back and forth when he heard the sound again.
Plink, ploink, plink, ploink.
No, it can't be! It's fixed! Obi-Wan fixed it! His work is flawless. There's no way it can still be leaking!
He looked at the faucet with disbelief, and realized it wasn't the sink at all. But he still heard the infernal dripping.
It was coming from the bathroom!
That old fuck. The shower head was leaking. It was just too much for Maul.
I don't care. I don't care about the Moisture Recapture Initiative or any of his damn campaign schemes. This place is fucked and my life is fucked and I've had enough.
Maul drew his lightsaber and in a fit of pure, insane rage, attacked the shower faucet. A billowing surge of steam swirled around his weapon until the faucet was welded shut.
There! No more leak. Hmm, this doesn't make for a bad sauna, but I really need a shower, thought Maul.
He pulled off his T-shirt and grabbed the small bag of plumbing supplies. He headed over to Obi-Wan's apartment, chuckling all the way. Obi-Wan opened the door with only a towel wrapped around his waist, evidently just out of the shower. He stared at Maul's naked torso.
"The bathroom's on the fritz now and I need a shower," Maul said. "Do you mind?"
"Well, of course not neighbor. I've got a little surprise too," he said with a wild gleam in his eyes. I felt so sorry for Fluffi-Wan having to gnaw out those finials, so I bought him a little drill press. He was so grateful he used some of the extra lumber I brought home and built me a hot tub. Would you care to join me?"
"Just lead the way, neighbor," grinned Maul. From the small bag, he pulled out an assortment of rubber rings and some teflon tape. "We should be able to do something creative with these, don't you think?"
Email the author
To the Chronological Story Index
To the Author Story Index
Return to the Sith Academy Homepage
Back to Siubhan's House of Horror