“I’m terribly sorry sir, but I can’t help you.” The overweight Barista told me from behind the safety of her nigh impenetrable counter. She probably wouldn’t be so impertinent outside of her fortress, down here with the rest of us.
“Yes, but I asked for a cappuccino, and you gave me a latte.”
“I thought I was doing you a favor!” She said indignantly. “The latte has more drink in it. They’re pretty much the same thing, anyway.” I took a step back in shock, looking both disgusted and horrified at the same time. Such blasphemy couldn’t be tolerated.
“And you call yourself a barista?” I queried accusingly. “The same thing? I can’t believe I’m hearing this.”
“Sir, if you could please go enjoy your beverage somewhere else…”
“I shall do nothing of the sort until I have received a full refund. I remember a time, maybe 8 years ago when you “baristas” would give a customer a free drink for nearly any mistake. You’d even do it if you didn’t write their name on the cup…”
“Well, times have changed, old-timer,” she spat, “The economy’s in the shitter, and I’ve got $40,000 in student loans to repay, so if you wouldn’t mind, could you just fuck off?”
I was aghast, shocked into utter silence. Not only had this… this teenagee used colorful language, but she had called me an old timer. I’m only 23, though my stupendous beard might confuse and/or bewilder the weak of mind into thinking I was far older. I sputtered in rage for a moment, and then picked up my drink and stormed outside, being none to gentle on the door, let me tell you.
“The Nerve! The Gaul! The…” I paused, looking for a word that was fleeting away from me like a golden ticket from the hand of a pudgy and especially clumsy child during a stiff wind. The child fumbles madly with the ticket, but the golden paper continues to slip through his grasp, despite the disgusting stickiness of his fingers, until it is clear even to him that he will never see it again. We sigh, the child and I, as we slowly realize that we would never get to tour the damn factory.
“Impishness?” asked a peculiarly high pitched and impish voice. I spun around and saw Hillary Clinton, much to my surprise. Something was wrong, however, and it took me a moment to realize that she had remained completely motionless for the short time I had been staring at her. And she was in Black and White. And that I was staring at a newspaper that was completely obscuring someone, presumably the person who had provided me with my word.
“Why yes, that was just the word! Thank you! May I join you, good sir?”
“But of course! And you are?”
“William, and you?” I politely asked. He laughed a maniacal, high pitched laughter, and then lowered the newspaper in a dramatic blur, The first thing I noticed was that he had red skin. The second thing I noticed was the horns and fangs. The last thing was the tail.
“The Devil!” He responded coyly, smirking. “But my friends call me Mephisto?”
“Oh, they think it has a certain sort of Gothic chic to it…”
“No, I mean why are you hear?”
“To help you, William. Why else?”
“Help me?” I asked, confused. The devil was the first celebrity I had ever met, and I was somewhat uncertain as to what was going on.
“I couldn’t help but overhear you and the rotund barista arguing, and I was appalled by both her rudeness and poor customer service.”
“OK. So what?”
“So this! I could help you exact your revenge upon the pudgy brewer.”
“Oh yes. Revenge is one of my specialties!”
“That sounds great! I can’t wait to… wait… this isn’t going to be on of those “deal with the devil” deals is it?” I asked suspiciously. Satan laughed.
“Of course not!”
“So you’re not going to try and steal my soul or something, right?”
“Definitely not.” He purred as he pulled out parchment and a pen from… somewhere. “Now, if you just sign here, our deal will be struck.
“Fantastic!” I exclaimed, grabbing the pen and leaning over to sign. The devil began a deep chuckle as I leaned forwards. “I can’t wait to see the look on her face when… wait a second, how do I know you are the actual devil, and not just some alien or ghost or something?”
“Could an alien do…this?” He pointed his finger at a car, which exploded in a ball of hellfire. No one around seemed to pay any attention to the inferno raging in the parking lot, which was curious, but I decided it must have just been another facet of his amazing powers.
“I don’t know. Probably.” I answered. The devil scowled at me, somewhat annoyed.
“What about this?” He waved his hands at a pedestrian across the street from us. Nothing happened at first, but then the concrete beneath him began to crack and smoke. A flaming hole appeared, through which a demonic red light and some skeletal demon hands emerged, accompanied with the howling screams of the damned. The pedestrian, who had been enjoying what appearing to be some sort of sub, noticed far too late that something was amiss, and was pulled underground, kicking and screaming as the hole closed. Nothing was left but some scratch marks and a slightly burning shoe.
“Neat! If that doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what does!” I declared, grabbing the parchment and signing it. “So, what next?”
“Simple.” The devil said, rolling up the parchment and secreting it… somewhere on his person. He pulled out a small date book and began flipping through the pages.
“Whats that?” I asked.
“Oh this? It’s just a little thing in which I keep all the hopes and desires of mankind.”
“And you keep it in a book? What is this, 1831?”
“Very funny,” he said dryly. ” So I suppose you have some sort of device that holds all of the hopes and desires of mankind, hmm?”
“Yeah, It’s called an iPhone 4 and the internet.” The devil looked up from his reading and glared at me. The ground began to shake and a small hole appeared under my chair. A demonic arm snaked out of the hole and snatched my phone away, and then disappeared into the ground with a slight hiss.
“Hey! That was expensive!”
The devil ignored me and continued flipping through his book. It seemed rather small to hold all of the hopes and desires of mankind, but I suppose that the Prince of Darkness knows what he’s doing.
“Here it is! Lauren Wicker, 18, Barista. Let’s see… small dog, lives with her parents, just graduated highschool, excessively poor marks. No, none of this will do. Maybe… aha! Says here that she is in love with Robbert Pattinson and Justin Bieber, and hopes that they will one day fight to the death over her.”
“Really?” I asked, leaning forward and trying to catch a glimpse at the page.
“Stop that!” Satan scolded, pulling the book away. “That’s private! And yes it does say that. Now, William, watch.” Satan gestured towards the inside of the Starbucks, and I watched through one of the giant glass windows that covered the half of the store and masqueraded as walls.
Lauren was reading a newspaper behind her counter, when she heard a bell ring. she looked up to see none other than Robert Pattinson, Justin Biebeer, and the entire band One Direction standing in front of her, arms crossed and scowling. Laurens scream lasted for a good 10 minutes, and managed to clear the Starbucks of the remainder of its patrons. The celebrities waited, patient but annoyed, until the shrieks at last ended.
“We hate you, Lauren,” Robert hissed, uncovering his ears, “and we never want to see you again.”
“What? Why?” Lauren rasped, putting a hand to her chest.
“Because you’re stupid.” Justin answered coldly. He glanced around and then knocked over the rack of CD’s in front of the cash register. “What are you gonna do about it, four eyes?”
“But I don’t wear glasses!”
“Why is this happening?” Lauren screamed, falling to her knees and beating her shoulders and chest as if she were in a Greek tragedy of old.
“Because you’re rude to your customers, Lauren. Especially that guy.” Robert chided, pointing at me. I waved back.
“I’ll never do it again! I promise! Please, no!” Lauren pleaded, but it was too late.
“It’s too late, Lauren.” Said one of the guys from One Direction. “In fact, you’ve so turned us all off of women that we think we’re gonna be gay for a while. Come on guys, let’s get outta here!” Justin made a threatening gesture as the rest of the crew left, and then he too went, but only after stealing a cake pop.
“Wow! That was Stupendous!” I shouted over the sound of Lauren bawling. “Thanks, Lucifer!”
“No problem, William. Now, if I could just have your soul…”
“Hey! You said this wouldn’t be a deal with the devil.”
“Yeah. And then you went ahead and made a deal. With the devil.”
“But I don’t think it’s my soul you’ll be wanting.”
“Why not?” The devil asked slyly.
“Check the signature, my friend.” The devil eyed me suspiciously and then snapped his fingers. The parchment appeared floating in the air, and he grabbed it and unrolled it, never once taking his eyes off of me. After quite some time he finally looked down.
“BARACK OBAMA?” He screamed, glaring at the paper, which began to singe along the edges.
“But that’s… that’s just dastardly!”
“Yup.” The devil glared at the parchment a few seconds longer, and then crumpled it up and threw it away.
“Well fine, I guess I’ll take him. Somebodies got to burn, after all.”
“It’s ok. We don’t want him anymore. You can have the economy too.”
“Ha!” The devil said as he opened up a hole. “I got that years ago! Till we meet again! Muwahahaha!”
“Ok, see you later Satan!” I called after him as he leapt into the hole and it closed up after him. The rest of my day was pretty good, too. I went back into Starbucks, made myself a coffee, cleaned out all of the pastries (Lauren was too preoccupied weeping to care), and then went home and watched Stargate SG-1 until i fell asleep.