Black Friday, why must you serve Mammon so?
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The demon-faced golden coins rolled across the floor. They clanged and clattered around Sophia as
How do you get used to all this? How did you ignore the stench of it? Sophia shuddered.
She hoped that being able to not topple over from all this negative emotion wasn't a bad sign for her sanity. She'd seen it all with her magical senses and could still think clearly. Sophia hoped didn't mean she was getting used to it.
Her eyes followed the gold coins. each customer in the store seemed to be dropping them as they shopped. They couldn't seem, since in a fashion, each coin was just ethereal. Symbolic of something else, but that was the best symbol her mind could put to them.
"Lucy. Lucy. Lucy..." Right. Sophia followed the goal of her chant. With focus, she could survive this. Magic or no, focus could help her keep track and not fall.
She needed to stay on track. She could feel traces of Lucy on the floor. It created a sort of path of her resonance moving backward. It went in the same direction as the coins themselves had been rolling.
Sophia decided to follow the coins' trail. She hoped that they and Lucy had headed the same direction. It appeared that they did, so maybe the coins and her sister's fate were connected to one another.
After a few attempts, she also gave up on trying ask employees about Lucy. None of them seemed to remember or care long enough to talk to her. They all looked mummified. Dried out husks of a sort. But, the Black Friday customers were troublesome.
People cut her off, running with their cart in a eternal hurry. Others would appear behind her and start yelling at her to move. Sophia felt at least one pair of hands almost try to knock her over. She struggled to focus on following the path of coins. She tried to stop to keep her bearings from time to time, as waves of greed or anger or hunger would overwhelm her.
Ugh. Would anyone notice if I was knocked over? Sophia worried.
A nearby display of televisions exploded. Hands and customers washing over it in a torrent of frenzied grabbing and pushing. Someone cried. A employee tried to yell something, but Sophia couldn't make it out. Not a store, but more like a battlefield trench.
She continued to follow the gold coins. They rolled and rolled. They made their ways to the back of the store. Roll. Roll. Roll.
Sophia made her way to the back room of the store, in a break room. No one in sight. She ignored the 'Employees Only' sign.
She grabbed a green employee vest that hung next to the sign. In Sophia's magical sight, the vest looked more like a long black robe. It almost felt like it, heavy and much too warm. Ritual gear for a servitor.
The white witch went back to following the coins and their path through to the back of the GenMart.
The golden coins rolled through a set of double doors. Then bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Down the stairs they went. Sophia followed them down.
Her eyes adapted to the growing darkness. The stairs turned into concrete and descended downward. After twenty steps, there was a corridor, lined in pipes and cinder blocks. At the far end of it stood a steel door. It was bright red with a paper taped on it:
Each golden coin rolled to the door. Then they dropped to their side and slid under the door's bottom side. Sophia could feel the air grew hotter as she neared the door. She could hear laughing from the other side. She shivered. Sophia's stomach filled with butterflies.
She pressed one of her pale hands onto the red steel door. It felt cold. It felt wrong. It felt like screaming children drowning in neglect and starvation framed with contempt.
Sophia gulped. She tried to calm herself. To steel it against this manifestation from hell.
Lucy. I can feel Lucy's aura here too. So many auras, but her path leds here. Oh Lucy, I never thought to expect this here. Damn it, I should've realized GenMart would be such a dark pit of despair. But why didn't I DO anything about it before this?
The red steel door creaked open. Golden light greeted Sophia as she looked into a vast room, covered in golden coins. The piles stacked up to her knees. More coins added themselves to the pile with every minute Black Friday carried on.
A marble altar sat in the middle of the room. Upon it, making it crack and sag, sat the most disgusting thing she'd seen yet. A massive lump of red and grey flesh, a demon at least five times her size. It was massively obese, coins stuck on its sweat, greasy skin. It had a long toothy mouth. Rolls of fat framed its lump of a head. Other mouths covered it, each licking coins with needle-thin tongues.
On top of all that, it wore a GenMart vest. The GenMart garish green clashed so bad it made Sophia cringe. Like a blasphemous christmas mistake of a costume.
Sophia recognized the large fat demonic figure from the golden coins around it.
The Demon smiled at her. "Hello. Can I help you?"