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John Sullivan

Evil Sheik!


The object of the game is to knock over the Milk Buckets, as many as possible. At first this will be fairly easy. The two Milkmaids will stroll leisurely up from the pond and set the Milk Buckets down on the unprotected slope. They will arrange the Buckets in tight ‘clusters’, in recurring spots on the slope. You’ll be able to fire your Colorballs uncontested.

When a Colorball strikes a Milk Bucket it will flip over with a dull electronic clack. This signals the Milkmaids to scuttle back to the pond (to the cow that placidly grazes there) for a refill. Both the brunette (Gloria) and the blonde (Giselle) have loose strands of hair dangling from their bonnets; both appear buxom under loose fitting smocks. Their long, hairless forearms are taughtly muscled from years of farm living. They wear the grim, intent expressions of Poverty, especially now that their milk is going for naught. The Buckets will clack over, one after another, flustering the Milkmaids, spattering cream on their crisp bibs.

The playing field is high in a desolate mountain range, on a plateau surrounded by ominous serrated peaks.

You are a Giant Mobile Islam Head.

Strung between you (Giant Head) and the scurrying Milkmaids is a Volleyball Net. It is not of the beach variety; rather it appears to be made of a dense mesh of barbed wire. The Net is lashed to deep-sunk poles and hangs at a fair height. As in a regulation volleyball game, Colorballs can be played off of the Net.

The BLUE and PINK (in most versions) Colorballs will fall in succession from above your Giant Head, which you can maneuver forward and back, and side to side to make contact with them. For best results, contact should occur near the middle of your roiled Forehead, just under the lip of your piled turban. Directly behind your end line is the base of an insurmountable kliff, leaving you less room for deep saves.

The landscape is standard in all versions. On the Milkmaid side of the Net, there’s the gentle slope, the pond and the lugubrious cow, with the sharp peaks in the distance. There is also a wooden stool near the cow which the Milkmaids generally ignore, preferring to squat on their haunches to do their milking. Also (to the right side of the pond in most versions) there is a Continually Regenerating Stack of Buckets. As the contest proceeds, the Milkmaids will speed their pace. They will fill the Buckets and hurry from the cow down the slope and back again at Increased Time. Bucket placement becomes more random and farther spaced, necessitating heightened Colorball Accuracy. Colorball Drop-Speed from the kliff will, in accordance, adjust to increased time.®

When you are faced with four to five ‘clusters’ or ‘semi-clusters’ of Buckets on the slope, your firing must be fast and precise. The furrows in your Giant Mobile Islam Head will tighten with concentration. If the Milkmaids succeed in getting any part of eight ‘Bucket clusters’ on the ground at once, the game ends, and your Head will turn red and make an angry expression.


At the Net, just on your side, a Large Wooden Captain’s Wheel will appear, hanging in mid-air. Though the handles of the Wheel are liberally spaced, it will turn unpredictably, and frequently reverse direction. For those with AudioHint2, a Heavy Creaking Sound slightly precedes any Wheel motion. Your Giant Head must skillfully direct Colorballs past this challenging obstacle. Timing becomes critical, and due to the distracting Wheel, the Milkmaids will be able to deploy more Buckets along the slope. Strategic hint: raise your Head slightly and use your Islam chin to knock Colorballs under the Net, where they will roll along the grass to the targeted Milk Buckets. Do not overuse this tactic, however, as Underballs move slower than Overballs.


The game becomes more difficult when the Milkmaids begin playing as a TEAM. They now will react aggressively and strategically. Depending on your upgrades, the Milkmaids will begin to offer varying degrees of Moral Support, using Screechy Non-Stop Banter©, and interjecting feverish commands such as “PAIL LEFT, STACK FORMATION PROMTO!” They will combat you with Swift Cutting Insights, like “TOWELHEAD’S GOT NO SHORT GAME!” Again, depending on your upgrades, Giselle and Gloria may sound cruel and bigoted, showering your Head with Derisive Laughter after a mis-fired shot, or yelling Insensitive Taunts like “BLIND OSAMA!” when you’ve only missed a Bucket by inches. Try to remain calm and do not allow the Provocations to distract you from your ultimate purpose.


When they learn they cannot defeat you with Insults alone, the Milkmaids will resort to their Surest Strategy. Simultaneously they will shrug out of their outfits. The frumpy skirts, the bonnets, the stiff blouses, the black wool stockings, the buckled shoes. With a sound like a shaken canvas, the clothes will all topple off at once and gather in two Carefree Slinky Piles. For underclothing, the Milkmaids will be wearing Beach Volleyball uniforms. In particular, Nike® Sport Bikinis. Giselle’s long luxurious hair will be tied in a Fun Bun and tucked under an NYFD (or NYPD) jockey cap. Gloria will have opted (2005 versions) for a peach pastel Lucky Jeans® Bandana. Both will wear wrap-around Revo® Sunglasses.

Giselle will play deep rover, Gloria will smother the Net, and both will ferociously protect the Milk Buckets. They will communicate in Short Breathy Grunts. Gloria will send you an impossibly High Lob while Giselle sprints off for more Buckets, which she fluidly manages to carry back ten-high per trip. They’re nearly unbeatable at this level; you may find it ‘hard’ to topple a single Bucket. You will receive many spikes to the Face. Your Giant Mobile Islam Head will redden and quake with effort, it will strain with Third World Rage and Frustration©. Your turban will loosen and unravel, blocking your vision.

Remember, once eight full or partial ‘Bucket-Clusters’ are grounded, the game ends in the Milkmaids’ favor. Depending on your version and upgrades, defeat is signaled by a Chorus of Muffled Applause and Appreciative Mooing. Giselle and Gloria will hoot, holler and embrace, and do a complex series of High-Fives and Somersaults. You will fall Face first into the grass and curse in a cartoonish imitation of Arabic.

To avoid this Unsavory and Undignified Ending, simply hit the Self-Kill Button.®


No one has yet reached this level. The Makers of “Evil Sheik!” do not presume to know what the higher levels are like, or whether they exist at all. The makers of “Evil Sheik!” assume no responsibility for repercussions beyond this point.

We hope you persist in trying and urge you to return often to play.

John Sullivan works in advertising in New York City.  He has been widely published, most recently in Sycamore Review, Fiction and The Journal, which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize.  He has a story in the current issue of Minnesota Review. “Evil Sheik” is his first piece to appear online, and currently is being considered (funds willing) as a short stage piece by the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in the East Village. He graduated Harvard with a degree in Psychology.

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