“Mommy mommy! That man’s belly button is stickin’ out of his pants!” I heard a little girl say excitedly to her mother as I was walking past her down the aisle in Walmart.
Aw, shit I thought to myself and zipped the fly of my jeans up for the eightieth time that day. I shouldn’t be so frugal with my clothing purchases and just paid a little more for pants with a decent fly on them. I checked my grocery list one more time to make sure that I had gotten everything that I needed – entrees, yep, coffee, yep, non-scented lotion, yep, a small notebook, yep, a pair of socks with antiseptic gauze sewn into the toes for the klutzy man who can’t see his feet to realize that the bloody toe prints that are following behind him are his own…nope. I would have been screwed if I had forgotten those! So I turned my cart down to go to the men’s apparel section of the store.
I was almost to the sock bin when I noticed a pile of ten dollar jeans in a bin. I stopped and looked at the jeans. I’d pick one up and inspect the zipper, each one the zipper slipped down easily when I zipped them up. Damn, I thought to myself, what I wouldn’t give to find a pair of ten dollar jeans with a fly that stayed up.
“Good afternoon, sir,” said an overly bright and cheery voice from behind me; it was a twenty-ish looking salesclerk. Not bad looking either, she could have been a model I thought to myself…if she didn’t have two horns poking out of her forehead, the ruddy tone to her skin, a horrendous over bite that made all four of her eye teeth protrude from her closed mouth and the fact that her voice reminded me of a trucker who had driven six hours through the desert without a drink and both his window and mouth wide open. “Are you looking at purchasing a pair of pants?” I scratched my head and gave a slow release of my breath as I had to admit that I would have been if there had been a pair that had a zipper that actually stayed up. From behind her back she presented a pair of folded jeans. She held them by the waist and let the legs fall straight. She zipped up the fly and it stayed!
Hard as I might, I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes and my bottom lip from trembling from such a beautiful sight. My voice cracked as I said, “And those are ten dollar jeans?”
She gave a laugh and then leaned in close. I don’t know what kind of perfume she used but it gave her a familiar, yet not pleasurable smell that took me back to my childhood in the pig barns after the night they had eaten a meal of cabbage and broccoli. “There is no monetary charge for these jeans for you – just a simple exchange and they’re yours.”
“I don’t know,” I said. From the predatory look on her face I knew what she wanted in exchange…but the hand lotion I had put in my cart was nine dollars and I really didn’t want to waste that much money for just a little spurt in the end. I decided that it wasn’t that much of a big deal that I wouldn’t have to use that much lotion that night and if she wasn’t worldly – wise enough to realize that at closing time on a Friday night you could put a dress on a piece of plywood and as long as there was a hole in it someone guy would try to screw it – after all it was a pair of ten dollar jeans with a fly that stayed up. So I went to pop the button on my jeans since my fly was down already…
“What the hell are you doing?” The salesclerk hissed.
“Well, you said that I’d have to give you something in exchange,” I said.
Her eyes looked down at my semi-open pants. “Listen, I’m not giving it away for free here,” she said.
“Then what do you want?” I asked.
She straightened her back up and smiled. I heard a thumping from behind her. I peeked around her and to my shock I realized why her perfume had given me such a memory – the poor woman’s colon had somehow become detached from her insides and was hanging out of ass to the floor, flopping about!
“Shit, lady!” I said as I firmly yet gently grabbed her arm., “Fuck the pants – we’ve got to get you to a doctor! Your innards are coming out!”
She shook me loose and said, “No they are not. Listen, concentrate…focus….let’s talk about what you’re going to give me for these pants.”
“But your colon,” I insisted.
The salesclerk looked at me with a slightly miffed look to her fanged mouth. There was a slight swirl of black fog around her and then he stood there, red fleshed and nude with the exception of a blue name tag with a big yellow smiley face on it. He noticed me looking at it and muttered something about it being company policy. His long thin spear tipped tail whipped behind him furiously with impatience as I continued to stare at him; I couldn’t help but notice his crotch area and thought that with a package like that I would have felt pissed off at the creator about it too. Apparently the supernatural world had coined the term “down sizing” long before it became a catch phrase on Earth.
He brought my attention back to his face when he barked out, “Better?”
I considered the situation before I gave my answer: I was haggling with a cross-dressing and possible gender-confused demon in the men’s section of Walmart over a pair of ten dollar jeans with the promise of a zipper that will actually stay up.
Tough call to make.
I decided to ignore the critique of the demon’s person life choices and get onto business.
“So,” I said, trailing my finger lazily along the handle of my grocery cart, “What’s the price for the jeans?”
The demon smiled wickedly and slithered out, “It’s very reasonable – I want your soul.”
I rubbed the bottom of my chin with my fingers as I pondered the price. That was a pretty steep price for ten dollar jeans even if the zipper didn’t stay up. It then occurred to me that I hadn’t gone through the check out at the front yet – which made my decision all the more easier.
“Sounds good to me,” I responded.
The demon laid the jeans in my cart and started rubbing his hands. “Now, in order to get your soul,” he began to say but I put my hand up to stop him right there.
“I’ve already got that covered,” I assured him as I reached into my grocery cart and pulled out the package of frozen fillet of sole that I had put in there not only twenty minutes before and handed it to him. Sure I was losing one of my supper ideas but I hadn’t paid for it yet and I was getting a pair of jeans for fee.
The demon looked at the frozen fish in his hand then back at me. “What the hell is this?” he demanded. Poor devil, I thought, he’s gotta be around three thousand years old and still illiterate. Someone should really speak to Lucifer about perhaps offering career upgrading courses for his employees.
I pointed at the words and slowly as my finger ran underneath each one I pronounced each syllable clearly, “Chicken Ranch’s Fillet O’ Sole – 100% guaranteed crab free!” He wasn’t looking impressed – obviously it wasn’t the brand he was expecting so I thought I should add in a good natured jest to lighten his disappointment in my brand choice. “And here I thought the general consensus was that big corporations had no sole, ha ha.”
He didn’t laugh but narrowed his eyes into mere splinters and hissed, “This isn’t what I meant.”
“No,” he said firmly through a scowl which was really accented because of the two bottom fangs that had stuck out and punctured his top lip causing two rivulets of green ichor to dribble along the outline of his lips and down either side of his pointed chin.
I was certainly kurfuffled. He tossed the package back into my cart.
“Besides,” the demon said, regaining his skin tone to a lighter shade of red than it had been just a moment before, “This isn’t your sole – you haven’t paid for it yet so technically it’s still the stores.” I conceded his point. He grabbed the jeans out of my cart.
“So as I was saying,” his tone had taken on a definite haughtiness to it, “Your soul. The jeans for your soul…as in yours…as in you own it now, not sometime in the near future or that you plan to purchase at some later date. You have it on you now.”
“So you want it right now?” I asked to clarify it for myself.
The demon folded his arms, the jeans dangling off of one taloned finger as one of his hoofed feet tapped impatiently. “Yes, right now.” Then the demon added, “And you have to give it to me, I can’t take it from you…it’s a free will thing, you understand?”
I gave a shrug and said, “Suit yourself.” I took off my left boot, the demon looked a bit confused.
The demon rolled his eyes up and muttered, “bloody mortals…listen, enough friggin’ nonsense – GIVE ME YOUR SOUL NOW YOU STUPID WORM!”
That was just plain uncalled for rudeness I thought to myself. I didn’t like rude people; manners at all times - what I was taught. I was a little more put off than I thought because I swung the boot right at the demon’s face.
“Here’s your damn sole, you so and so,” I said as the boot connected with the demon’s right cheek…probably a little harder than I should have. The demon was knocked off balance and his face slammed into the clothing rack of lime green khaki shorts with the sign on top saying, “For the man who has a bad cold but doesn’t want the bulge in his shorts to be a wad of used tissues”. The pants flew from the finger and landed into my grocery cart.
“Mortal,” the demon growled as he steadied himself with one hand on the rack while the other hand he held on his quickly becoming green tinged cheek, “You have just made …” the sound of creaking stopped him from finishing his sentence.
It’s a shame when maintenance men are sloppy in their work, isn’t it? I mean a man proud of his work surely would have made sure that they had all their tools and equipment with them at the end of their busy night. It’s just plain sloppiness to leave a long fluorescent light tube precariously balancing on a clothing rack being held straight up by being butted against a sign hanging overhead. It is also a sad statement to when you consider the maintenance worker also failed to secure the sign to the moorings.
Both the demon and I looked above his head just as the “Look out for falling prices!” sign slipped from its unsecured hooks and fell toward the ground. Its journey, however was stalled somewhat as it managed to fall only a few feet before it embedded itself into the demon’s skull – right between his two horns. I always knew the danger of paper cuts so I really sympathized with the demon and his cardboard cut that spurted the ichor straight up like low level fireworks.
I moved my cart back a few feet – at first I had hoped that some of the green sludge would hit my intended purchases in hopes of getting a further discount but when I noticed that wherever the stuff had landed it had begun to smolder and eat away at whatever material it touched – clothes, the tiles on the floor, the old woman in the wheelchair that someone had left for just a moment to check the deals in the jock strap/fanny pack section abetting the pants section I decided not to trust that a good soaking in vinegar at home would solve any stain issues.
The demon swayed left and right for a few minutes, his eyes trying to keep trained right on me which was quite a feat when I thought about it since both had popped out of their sockets when the sign cleaved almost perpendicular to them and were hanging loosely rotating with the demon’s wildly quivering body. The light which gallantly tried to keep its erect position on top of the clothing rack fell directly onto the shoulder of the demon severing his left arm clean off his torso and slicing deeply into the demon’s side as it stubbornly followed the laws of gravity to the letter. One of the sharp pieces of glass must have cut one of the demon’s tendons in his leg as he quickly followed suit to the ground. The sign, upon hearing the knowing thud of flesh and bone on to the tiled floor, was satisfied that the laws of nature had been adhered to, let itself leave its cranial perch and fell to the floor as well. There was a large sound and smell of fetid bacon frying as the demon’s blood digested the floor below him and within a minute the demon and the floor disappeared leaving a splayed human like hole where they were.
I looked around nervously in case a section manager had watched one of his salesperson had left their station without authorization – the last thing I needed was to be caught in one of those types of situations – employee relations with management always seemed to get ugly. Confident that no one had seen the nasty incident, I looked at the jeans to ensure that they had an “already paid” sticker on them and headed toward the check out. As I strolled down the aisle a couple passed by me and I couldn’t help but notice the round firm buttocks on the woman. I thought to myself damn who’d I have to kill to get a piece like that when I noticed a naked woman in a giant clam shell trying to get my attention…..