A Very Black Friday

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A certain notable author stands in line.

Submitted: June 30, 2015

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Submitted: June 30, 2015



Dear Constant Reader,

I never thought I'd end up using the tired, old and cliche line that goes something like, "This mass of human despair...", but I never thought I'd be driven into the late-November wintery hell known as Black Friday in Maine, either.

I should be in my warm home right now, plump and ready for the butcher's cleaver on turkey, potatoes, cranberries, and other traditional miniature feasts composed of, but in no particular order, fibers, meats and sweets. I should be splayed out on my couch, disabled by the rolls of fat I've deliberately added to my decaying body in the name of tradition, while fretful of the ever-rising dangers of diabetes.

If the world and the creatures that reside in it were sane and logical, everyone else would be at home right now, too. As this mortal plane resides upon the fleeting dreams of sleeping, eldritch elder gods who dream of chaos and sustain themselves on madness, I find myself squeezed in between Robert, the convenience store night clerk, and Pamela, who hasn't spoken a word since the formation of this orderly little line some twelve hours ago.

I somehow get the feeling that Pamela came here, nay, lives for this one day a year, where she gets an opportunity in the approaching and inevitable human stampede to smash some unfortunate soul's face into the nice, clean, buffed linoleum floor.

She's not wearing boots. Why isn't she wearing boots? Why sneakers? Not even high-heels? I'm of the mind that there's certain rules and etiquettes to maiming your fellow human being. Sneakers just seem cruel.

If I survive today, maybe I'll go home with a 50% off wide-screen TV, to replace that old cathode ray tube one that's served the family well for generations, since Ma and Pa forged the Oregon River, and sabertooth tigers prowled the tundras. Alas, I'm married, and there's certain truths one must accept when married. If your wife tells you to get out there and risk being stomped to death by Pamela for a real deal, well, if you value your continued sex life, maybe you'll just have to sacrifice Pamela for the greater good.

I see you, Pam.

I know what's going on in that sick little head of yours. Everyone here except you and maybe me, now, are here to throw their hard-earned money at our corporate overlords for material reciprocation in the form of fifty inches of unbelievable resolution.

The dawn is coming. The doors shall soon open. The floodgates will themselves be flooded. The hounds will cower, tails tucked between legs. People may lose their lives, swept under tons of unwashed flesh.

But you and I, we have something special here, don't we, Pam? It's our bond. The police won't even notice, will they? For ten whole seconds all rule of law and human decency will temporarily disappear.

Yes, you live for that moment, don't you, Pam? Macy's is just a sideshow. You smile and say, "Yes, ma'am." and "Yes, sir." for three-hundred and sixty-four days out of the year. But deep down, you're a psychopath.

But, you know what? I'm going to get that damned TV. You're not going to get me. I'll write about this day in my private journal and take it with me to my grave. It'll be a seminal moment of my life, in fact.

Yes, just keep standing there, saying nothing, Pamela. I'll just stand here, behind Robert, who is a diligent and upstanding servant, dispensing change and maintaining the drink fountain.

But maybe you're not the only closet psychopath here, Pam. Maybe Robert dreams of this day too, as he wipes spilled drink from his counter.

Are you two in league, Pam? Robert? Did you meet over a cup of coffee, fingertips lightly brushing one another's by sheer accident? Kindred souls brought together by fate by Ben Hills coffee on some otherwise unremarkable eight-hour workday?

Yes... That's the game, isn't it? You're the Bonnie and Clyde of Black Friday. Oh, unsuspecting shoppers of Furbies and electronics, wolves are amongst you.

But I'm going to get that TV. I'm going to go home and turk out on leftovers while watching early runs of 'A Wonderful Life'. And then I'm going to have sex. Lots of sex. A whole smorgasbord of carnal knowledge. And you're not going to stop me. Your legend ends here.

Oh, the doors are soon to open. Anticipation is making everyone giddy. The crowd shuffles and murmurs.

Was that a glance at Robert I just saw, Pamela?

Oh no. Oh no no no. Not today.

Today is Black Friday indeed.

© Copyright 2018 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

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