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Chapter Eight

Greed

The next day Greed headed off to a pawn shop. Guitars were fun, but he needed something better to entertain himself. Something that was more of a challenge to manipulate. Something complex.
"You should bless this place", Greed's voice echoed nonchalantly as he entered. It set off a bell, but that was fine for him. He had every intention of his entrance being known.
"So you come back." An Arab voice responded. Greed couldn't see him, but knew for sure that he was in the back. "Tell me what brings you to talk of blessing my store? Why you say this?"
"I never hated you, Ali." Greed said loud enough for him to hear from wherever in the building he was. "But asking a question of me means you are so greedy for information that you would toss away your life for it. I'll answer though."
Greed slapped his hand against the counter, pressing it flat and firm. He breathed deeply for a good number of seconds, but then...
The beauty of his voice was gone. His calm, collected manner had been lost. The rhythm in his existence seemed to become momentarily opposite of the world's. Had there been witnesses, they would have seen his eyes as red as fire and shining twice as bright.
It's to protect you from the likes of me!" The demonic snarl erupted. Everything seemed unheard as he spoke. It was as though all sounds were on a different plane from his voice.
When the snarling stopped, Greed lifted his hand, revealing that the counter-top had been badly singed. Indeed a large black handprint was branded on the desk.
Ali was not amused, but likely not concerned either. Bigger threrats had been made and they were no big deal either.
"Your likes, they are... evil, yes?"
"No, Ali. I like to think they're just the lighter side of darkness." Greed shook his charred hand a couple of times to get it to stop smoking. "The part just dark enough that all things are repelled by it, and yet light enough that all things yearn to be it. But ask me no more. I sound like my sister."
"Didn't think so. You see, the Muslims, they are evil. Us bastards, we could rig up all of Cocaine! BOOM! Ha, no more selling other people's merchandise, ya?"

Greed rolled his eyes. “It’s not this merchandise you’re actively selling.”

Greed leaned in, whispering just loud enough that Ali could hear him from the back. “I learned what you’re really selling. How you make thousands.”

Ali could be heard scoffing. “I already tell you I’m evil. Why would I be needing the money?”

Greed headed to the back of the store for a moment and returned with a bottle of booze. “I don’t believe you understand evil. Evil attracts evil. I kill a few people every day. Statistically, money is the largest killer out there. Thousands die from money in days. I took a bottle of rum, by the way.”

“You going to pay for it?”

“I said I took a bottle of rum, Ali.”

“And you will pay me for it!”

“Sell me your other merchandise and I’ll pay for that.”

Ali laughed. “Whoever told you probably didn’t give you enough to pay.”

“Two-thousand.”

“More like twenty!”

Greed sighed, taking a look around. Above the counter was a camera. He lit up a cigarette, took some clothe from his pocket, set that ablaze, put it in the rum bottle, and tossed it. Cocktail.

Ali came bustling out from the back, revealing himself to be the fat bearded Muslim Greed pictured.

“You trying to burn down your favorite store?”

“Yeah?”

Ali began screaming in tongues as he took off his shirt and began beating the flames.

“Put it out!”

“The child!” Greed yelled right back.

“Twenty thousand! The fire, Allah!”

Greed smiled, pulling out about thirty bills. Maybe more, but of varying values. “Your store can be fixed for two, Ali.”

Ali continued his tongues, this time in a rage. He reached into his huge pant’s back pocket and unveiled a six-shooter.

“Get out! Put the fire out! Most importantly, though-“

Ali pulled the trigger, but Greed dodged the shot by merely cocking his head.

“You can’t get rid of demons by those means, Ali.” Greed stated matter-of-factly. “Try it. Come on, shoot me.”

“I am!” Ali said, aiming lower, and shooting for Greed’s hip. Greed swayed around it and grab the gun, the heat almost refressing as he clenched his fingers around the barrel.

“Go for the head, Ali!”

The gun was raised to Greed’s eye.

Another miss. This time the gun was twisted to the side.

Ali cursed an arab word.

“Try this”, Greed laughed, putting the gun’s end in his mouth. The fat man gulped, almost firing, but due to a bit of fire licking his leg, he dropped the gun, causing it to go off once again.

“Just shoot me!” The demon was screaming now, using that otherworldly voice again.

“Come on, fucker! Got the balls to shoot a demon!?”

Ali cried out quite literally, picking up the easiest means of killing a mortal man used that required being involved.

“You. Will. SHOOT ME!”

Ali let tears trickle down his cheeks as he shouted nothing credible.

Then he stopped. The fires seemed to stop. Everything went quiet, save for the ever growing flame. He had pulled the trigger.

Greed smiled, staring Ali down demonic red-eye to bloodshot red eye.

“A dud. You’ve got one more bullet Ali. Care to play again?”

Ali said nothing. He merely let his eyes roll to the back of his head, and dropped like a log. Greed couldn’t help but smile. He’d wait.


Submitted: March 04, 2010

© Copyright 2022 Jonathin Dreary. All rights reserved.

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