Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Demon Lady Revisited

I still remember the day vividly; the sound of her cloven hooves click-clacking across the production floor toward me; the smell of sulfur permeating the office place; the subtle crackle of flames and waves of intense heat as she made herself comfortable in the cubicle beside me; the She Devil had arrived.

I survived to tell the tale, of course, but I did loose my nice, quiet hidden spot at work that day and had to relocate somewhere else where the ‘Tai Kwon Ho’ couldn’t find or bother me*. Eventually I changed jobs, moved buildings and the years continued to roll on by until the memory of Demon Lady and all her hatred melted away into in the past like water passing under a unforgotten bridge…until yesterday, that is.

There she was – behind me in line at my favorite morning coffee bistro – waiting to get her next hate fix on – or so I imagined at the time. I noticed that the years had not been necessarily kind to the Devil Lady. More wrinkles had cropped up around from where the horns protruded from her forehead and her faced had twisted into a permanent state of displeasure – no doubt from her countless years of scowling and sneering. Her breathe still smelled like a sack of dead puppies and evil itself.

Not wanting to upset the She Beast and bring her wrath down on top of me like an out-of-control avalanche, I fixed my eyes forward and pretended to mind my own business. Would she remember me? Would she attempt contact? Would she ever make a voodoo doll later and proceed to mutilate it with pins and needles afterwards? I said a quiet prayer and shuffled forward in line until it was my time to order…

What happened next made my skin run cold and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and do the Macarena…she offered to pay for my coffee! To say I was taken a bit aback would be like saying the Swiss were a little off put by the Nazi invasion. But here she was reaching out not only just to communicate, but apparently, to make amends of sorts. Or was it all part of some elaborate ruse to steal and eat my soul? I remained weary, thanked her for her generous random act of kindness, snatched up my free coffee and retreated back to the office to barricade myself under my desk to wait out the approaching Armageddon.

After a few hours of non-activity – and by that, I mean tornadoes, plaques of locust, frogs falling from the sky, rivers turning to blood, that kind of thing – I began to actually believe that I was safe from her once again; I had faced the Queen Bitch head on and walked away unscathed…with a coffee no less.

Good for me!

But it wasn’t over yet – there she was again this morning – ahead of me in line this time.

“Rowh-oh, Shaggy!” What to do…what to do?

Do I pray for invisibility and pretend not to notice her in the hopes that she will disappear back into the bowels of Hell in a sudden puff of smoke again, or do I return yesterday’s favor and risk striking a deal with the devil? And if I did choose to buy her coffee, would this be the end of it or would this only initiate the regular exchange of caffeinated beverages between us in the future? Would it end there with the having to pay for each others coffees periodically or would it later evolve into my having to leave bowls of lamb entrails as a sacrifice to continue keeping her at bay?

I’m confused. What is the protocol exactly when dealing with demons? All I know is that my coffee shop doesn’t seem to be any crossroads and I have no interest in learning guitar. All I want is my coffee place back free from the walking undead.

Is that so much to ask?

So I compromised with myself and offered to purchase her a muffin instead. Hopefully that would be enough to appease the Demon Lady and not have to resort to smearing myself with goat blood and dancing naked around a bonfire by the light of a full moon.

But just in case:

“Oh father, who art in Heaven haloed be thy name…”

* Or hex me, put a spell on me, bewitch me, or any other type of evil, black magic hocus-pocus.


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