This is the last part of the story. Eek, the ending is messy. Still, glad to go back over this old tale. If you enjoyed Black Friday, I recommend sharing it. Feedback is always welcomed, even if it seems like I never do anything with it. This story is released under a creative commons license, see at the bottom for more info.
I believe the holidays and gifts are for creating strong, happy bonds. Shopping isn't a part of that. The mad fury of Black Friday always reminds me that our society has things that need improving.
Previous Part | The Beginning of This Story
Sophia didn't quite think of a response to that right away.
"Excuse me." The Demon asked again. His tone sounded both dry and irritated. "But how can I help you today, miss?"
Sophia didn't like the feel of the coins around her. They weren't people's souls, but whatever they were they didn't feel right. She glanced down at the coins and looked back up at the Demon, trying to keep a cool face. She tried to look tough. Even though her gut told her that wouldn't matter to this demon.
"Are you seeking a particular service or good? Or..." The demon licked its obese lips, its needle-like tongue vibrating. "Perhaps you are here for something specific?"
"Someone. I'm here for someone." Sophia mumbled the words, forcing the demon to rise and try to listen to her.
"Speak up, speak up!" The demon waved its arms at the piles of coins around it. "So much clinking and clanking, follow me?"
"I'm looking for a woman named Lucy." Sophia let a bit of frustration flood into her face. She got irritated and raised her voice. "I sense her aura her. Where is she? What have you done to her?"
"Sense? Ah. Someone with the sight, eh?" The Demon picked up a few coins in its fat fingers. Flicking them around, it smiled a knowing smile. "Ah, someone in the know. Someone who can see my true form."
"I asked you a question." Sophia put her hands in her coat. She grabbed hold of both of her knives. They wouldn't help her against this demon, but at least she could try and figure something to do with them.
The demon pulled out a ledger and put a accountants visor on. It smiled. "Please, the name again?"
This threw Sophia off a bit. "Um... Lucy..."
The demon started to flip through the pages of the ledger, looking through columns. More gold coins rolled in, each feeling that same cold energy Sophia had felt from them before. "I did accept a deal earlier today, from one 'Lucille', as you called her. In exchange for a service."
The Demon held up a single coin. Unlike the other coins, it wasn't gold. Instead looked to Sophia to be copper and it was the size of a half-dollar. It didn't have the demon's hideous maw. Instead Sophia saw Lucy's face on the coin.
"What-" Sophia closed her mouth, chiding herself. She didn't know everything about the occult or weird. But the witch knew enough about demons to remind herself to be careful about what she said. They liked to perform services. That and negative emotions empowered them. Getting angry at the demon wouldn't help her.
It might even cause her to get herself stuck as a coin too. Yay.
"Yes, it is." The Demon opened its mouth, a hissing and howling sound coming out of it. It took Sophia a moment to realize that the Demon was laughing. Although it sounded like a snake drowning in a toilet. "Ah, so many coins! Most just give me a taste of their wants and dreams- but my true servants give me gifts like this. A innocent, who doesn't want to give up their dream for a cheap, meaningless gift. Delicious, it is. What do you have that equals something so sweet?"
Sophia opened her mouth, then closed it. She couldn't lie about Lucy being like that. Yes, she could only have this job because she thought it was necessary. Not for a frivolous reason. Yes, she was a good person. Lucy didn't deserve this. And despite Lucy being gullible, Sophia couldn't say anything bad about her.
That someone would manipulate Lucy made Sophia madder than all the burning fires in hell. She pushed that down. No, she had to outsmart it.
"How about I offer to let you live, creature?"
Sophia opened her mouth, pouring feeling and her magic into it. Her tongue glowed as she spat out of the little ruby heart-shaped bead under it. She'd been keeping under her tongue all evening. The bead had been a gift from Lucy to Sophia a christmas before.
It had been symbol of the strength of their relationship. It meant how they knew they loved and needed one another. Their sisterhood manifest. The bead itself was worthless, but not to the Lucy and Sophia. It represented the time and effort spent on making each other's lives better. Not on some selfish gift. A altruistic connection they both shared.
That gave the little ruby bead power, making it glow a bright and hot white. Gold coins skittered away from it. The Demon's eyes widened, and it fell back away from the bead, dropping Lucy's coin on the ground.
Sophia stood over the bead infused by the charity and love she shared with Lucy. Her eyes glowed white. She spoke down to the demon, not pretending anymore. This night had irked her enough.
"Mammon, prince of greed, I present a sign of my connection to the one you've taken. I will take her back or I will turn my love and charity for her into a sharp blade and drive it into that flabby skull of yours. Now you have a choice, give me back Lucy or see how serious I can be!"
Mammon peeked from the shadows behind the Altar. Flabs of fat smoked and steamed in the presence of the bead. He spat out black blood, trying to use gold coins to fend it away from her.
"Bah! This little one tis not worth the effort! Take her coin!"
Lucy's copper coin flew up and at Sophia. She caught it, holding it up. Sophia glared at Mammon. "Take her out of this coin!"
"Bah, Witch. We had a deal, remember? You gave me your mercy for the coin." Mammon's hissing laugh greeted her from behind the black marble altar. "Of course, I can return her to you. You just need to return to me what I gave the original seller."
Sophia blinked down. She looked at the gold coin. "Who?"
"Ian S Gerald. Glasses and some measure fake power." Mammon tossed a coin at her. "Leave me! Take her back and leave me be!"
Perhaps the quickest thing in her entire quest was finding Ian. Sophia recognized the name the demon gave her, but didn't quite understand the why of it. Ian had been a friend of Lucy's. The two of them knew one another.
Ian stood in the electronics section of GenMart. It felt burning hot, with flatscreens and the mad rush of Black Friday shoppers. He stood there, like the king of his section. Most of the Black Friday shoppers obediently followed his instructions. He looked perfect too, Sophia noticed.
Completely different than how Ian's normal appearance. Ian used to be short and might weigh close to half a ton. This guy stood tall and he was thin. Muscular. Sophia almost thought he looked olympian in stature.
"You have got to be kidding me," Sophia said as she approached Ian. "Really?"
Ian blinked at her. Then pretending he didn't hear her, he said, "how can I help you miss?"
"You know why, Ian. Its about Lucy."
"Lucy? I'm sorry I don't know about a Lucy-"
"Oh come on, Ian." Sophia felt her internal magicks rising. Tied into her emotions, she could feel them want to escape. Spells wishing to be born, to make a quick life of themselves and burn their way into Ian's skull. She kept a lid on them, for the moment. "I think I can figure out what happened."
"I think I don't understand what it is you are after ma'am," Ian waved a hand at the crowd around them. "Its kinda of busy. I really don't know anything about a Lucy. Are you sure you are alright?"
"You can't pretend she doesn't exist, Ian."
"And I think you can't say lies, miss. If there even was a Lucy, why would I dare anything to besmirch someone who wouldn't give me the time of day?"
Sopha glared at him. He doesn't get to be victim, not now, not after all the crap he's put me through tonight.
What was worse, she could feel a wave of energy from Ian wash over her. Ian was trying to draw her out. He tried to use some sort of supernatural component of the good looks Mammon had given him. Sophia anticipated that, closing her mind and eyes. Her mind was a castle in a sea of Ian's attacking emotions. A horde attempting to take Sophia over, trying to charm and force her to bend.
Sophia then turned the castle of her mind into a hurricane. A raging hurricane, as she let her rage pour into it. Every moment of this past evening, the crazy insane rush of black friday and her disgust for it.
She opened her eyes. Both glowed and crackled with energy. Sophia poured her rage and fury into every black friday shopper around them.
"Wait. Why isn't it working?" Ian said, confusion in his voice.
"Can't kid a kidder, Ian." Sophia connected her mind to his mind. This drove already the emotionally charged shoppers into further frenzy. "And you don't understand what it is you sold Lucy for. But if you were trained?"
Shoppers surrounded Ian. A computer flew at him and struck him in the back. He screamed in pain, falling to the ground with a crunch. More shoppers started to fling themselves onto him.
"Soph- help! Please!"
"Why? Why should I do anything?" Sophia started to pant heavily now, the strain of the spell growing with every instant. "People choose- they choose to come into this shithole and turn themselves into pigs. Pigs. Its the damned time of year to give and be nice. Not to be materialistic. Yet here we are. Wallowing in the shit like greedy boars, trying eat one others children. Ian! I'm tired of all of it!"
"Please!" Ian dodged a pair of shopping carts that barrelled, high speed at him. His face was bloody, one of his arms saggy, dislocated. "Don't do this, please, I'm sorry!"
"Who said I wanted to hear that, Ian!" Sophia started to feel lightheaded. This was pushing her limit. This was too many people for her to influence. "Guess what I want to hear. IAN!"
"I'm sorry-" Ian gagged as overweight, middle aged woman kicked him. "Ow! I can't- I... I don't want this deal anymore! I'm sorry- please- I'll trade anything- just please stop-"
Ian's body started to bubble and change. Expanding. Bones cracked and muscles changed. Sophia heard Ian's cries. Each shift of flesh that was audible hurt him. He started to scream as her rage-fueled shoppers kept attacking him. She lost sight of Ian.
Sophia turned around. There was Lucy. Gangly and tall and as skinny as she remembered. Lucy's way too long black hair hung down over her ugly green GenMart vest. Her glasses still had a crack in the left lens, something Sophia kept trying to get her to fix. Her little sister. Befuddled as usual.
"Soph, what's going on?" Lucy asked again.
In response, Sophia hugged her. Hugged her so tight Lucy almost fell over.
"We're leaving, Lucy." Sophia grabbed Lucy's arm. Before Lucy could stop her, Sophia started dragging her out of GenMart.
"Soph, really, what's going on?"
"Lucy, Lucy, Lucy, the things I do for you." Sophia told her. "Lucy in the sky with diamonds. It's Black Friday, and I don't want to be here. We're leaving."
They made their way through the Black Friday crowd. Sophia at some point started to run, Lucy followed, still not understanding why. The sisters didn't talk. They just kept running until they were past the shattered front windows. They kept running and they never looked back.
Black Friday by J S Pearce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.