Shia LaBeouf faced Harrison Ford on the foggy countryside at dawn. Church bells pealed in the distance, marking the almost impossibly early hour, and the trees glowed softly in the growing light. The air was damp and cool and smelled of moss and woodsmoke. Shia LaBeouf took a final, deep drag on his cigarette and crushed the butt beneath his boot. Harrison Ford glared at him from beneath hooded eyes, absently running a hand along his unshaven face, his single earring winking in the rising morning sun. As the last of the bells faded, a lone figure approached across the vale dressed sharply in topcoat and bowler, a walking stick swinging gently in his hand. He stopped between the two men and checked his pocket watch. “Gentlemen,” he said with a sharp nod. Shia LaBeouf and Harrison Ford remained silent, but both nodded at the man as a greeting with the solemnity that the occasion required. “Let us begin, then,” the man said. “You’ve both agreed upon the terms. When next the bell tolls, you will each march 10 paces, turn, and fire. The duel will be settled only upon death. Please voice your consent.”
“Yes,” Shia LaBeouf said quietly.
“Yeah,” Harrison Ford grunted.
Just then, a man in wire-rimmed eyeglasses, topcoat flapping behind him, a black leather case clutched in his gloved hand, came running onto the field. “All my sincerest apologies, gentleman. I was with a patient who only just passed from consumption.” The doctor took his place next to the duel’s officiator. Everyone nodded at the doctor, who cleared his throat into a fist and then folded his hands behind his back and rocked on his heels. The doctor hated duels, but he was a doctor, and he had taken the hippocratic oath, which required him to attend these bloody demonstrations of arrogance and hubris.
“Now, gentlemen, have you each chosen an appropriate second?” the officiator asked. Both men nodded. “Bring them forward now, please.”
“For my second I have chosen Luke Skywalker,” Harrison Ford intoned, menacingly, “one of the bravest Jedi warriors in all the galaxy.” Luke Skywalker stepped forward, his face an unreadable mask. Harrison Ford’s lip upturned in a small, self-satisfied sneer. Let’s see what this quivering boy in short pants would answer to that.
“For my second I have chosen Optimus Prime.” The Earth shook as the giant, building-sized robot emerged from the treeline.
“Oh now wait a fucking second!” Luke Skywalker shouted. “Not cool, man!”
Harrison Ford’s smirk disappeared and he looked to his old friend whose death he had most certainly assured. “I’m sorry,” he silently mouthed.
“Gentlemen!” the officiator announced, “please turn your backs to each other and prepare to defend your honor!”
Luke Skywalker stood with his back to the first five feet nine inches of Optimus Prime’s massive metal heel. He looked absurd, even the doctor could not help but muffle a chuckle behind his hand. An eerie silence overtook the scene as everyone waited for the bells to toll. They did shortly, and as the last one died, the Jedi warrior and the space truck robot took their 10 paces, placing them, due to Optimus Primes’s impressive stride, almost a full mile apart.
“Stop!” the officiator shouted. “Turn,” they turned. “Aim,” Luke Skywalker illuminated his lightsaber, Optimus Prime made a bunch of scary clanking noises. There was an intake of breath that seemed to last an eternity, and then:
There was a bunch of scary metal-crunchy noises and what looked like a hot-iron sword fist or something and maybe roller-blades made out of tires and a few seconds later, the spot where Luke Skywalker had stood was a charred, barren crater in the Earth and there was blood everywhere. Optimus Prime did a little breakdance and played some ironic song from the car stereo in his chest. He fist-bumped Shia LaBeouf. Harrison Ford kicked the ground as he clenched and unclenched his fists and swore under his breath.
“DisturBOOYA!” Shia LaBeouf said to Harrison Ford, smacking his gum. “How’s Calista, by the way?”
“GET OFF MY WIFE!” Harrison Ford shouted. Everyone laughed. Oh, duels!