Spread your Sauce, Mind your Mummies
"A To Hell and Back Story"
By John Pirillo
"Mustard....the only female of the squad, the DAA...Demon Asskicking Avenger... works as a programmer during the times off, expert language skills, can interpret any language in a matter of minutes or hours, gifted, never forgets a thing, hard for dating because of her innate distrust of men, though she loves her comrades in arm, she won't have anything romantic to do with them even though Squat has a mad crush on her and brings her a bouquet of flowers every day. Named Mustard because she puts it on everything she eats, especially ice cream. Emerald green eyes and loud blonde hair, frosted with strawberry."
Mustard sucked and sucked on the stick, juicing it for every drop of pleasure she could, her parched lips aching from lack of moisture. The stick had been part of a cactus that she had blown up, along with an assorted cadre of Mexican demons, the kind that manifested with huge Tequila bottle heads, multiple knifed fingertips, and a tongue that could lash you like a whip, then such you dry like she was trying to do with that sole survivor of the blown up cactus.
The first one had stepped out of the Joshua Tree, leaned against it, a cigarette between its horrid lips, and tipped its Tequila head and leered at her. "Girlie, wanta get lucky?"
She had blown its Tequila to bits with her Sig Hauser.
A second slid from beneath a shrub and sneered at her, its Tequila head lined with wrinkles. "That trick won't work on me..."
She kicked it in its privates, and then as it ducked to cover them, she smashed its bottle against her knee, shattering it. Her pants smelled like Tequila and blood. Demon blood.
She shoved the body away and it dissolved, like the other back into the soil.
She didn't hear the other five behind her until too late. She spun around to confront them. She even managed to personally smash three of them together at the same time. The same time as this MF the size of a small garbage truck rammed into her legs. Wham Bam, thank you M'am. It had said, leering at her as she laid there, her legs both broken.
She had sneered through her tears of pain and powdered him with a grenade, sending him and the other lusting demons back to the hell they had come from.
The desert became hushed and quiet again.
But now she wouldn't be hiking back to her Four by Four anytime soon. It might as well have been a thousand miles away. That was when she realized she'd have to crawl a lousy thirty miles in hundred plus heat to get back to Baker.
How in the hell...she almost snickered at that word...had she ended up in the middle of the Mojave Desert outside Baker, where the 100 foot tall thermometer reminded her of what she didn't have? Water. Cool. Shade.
How? She had been a disgusting freak and plodded out into the desert by herself, because Squat had proposed to her again. She was so disgusted at him...no, herself...that she had run out of their meeting place, jammed the pedal on her Four by Four and drove blindly, until she finally ran out of gas in Baker. That was when she decided to go to the Little Alien Store, buy some jerky, some water bottles and hike out into the Mojave. Screw the heat! Screw the demons! Screw Squat!
No, she had stopped. "Unscrew that bastard. That bastard!" She had wept, and kept walking, even though night was approaching. That's when she had been ambushed by the damned demons. Damn!
Both her legs were broken. She had to crawl to make progress. She'd made a lot in the three days since the incident. Also blown up more demons. She seemed to be a demon magnet. She would've settled at that moment for being a babe magnet...but it seemed too sexist, even to her in her more elevated spirit at that time.
"Spread your sauce and mind your mummies." Her mother had always told her, but she never understood the meaning of those words until this crazy incident. At the time her mom had been spreading tomato sauce on a homemade pizza, confusing the wisdom she was imparting. Or else maybe it was just because Mustard was only eight years old then and had no idea of what a double entendre was? Probably be the last thing she learned the way things were going.
"Where are those brats?"She wondered out loud. For the last day or so she'd found herself having great conversations with the sand, the occasional rattle snake, and scorpions that rustled her way for a peeksy. They never rustled away though. She hated them with a passion. Devil's work for sure she thought sourly, thinking of the last scorpion who'd she'd ripped it stinger off, then its poison sac and sucked its juices from its body for nourishment. That had been her last meal. The one before that, several days after her fight that broke both her legs, she'd grabbed a rattler by its throat, ripped off its rattler, pounded it flat, then extracted its poison sacks, and munched on it raw.
She was long past caring about raising a fire. It might signal the other demons out there.
She looked up again as she painfully dragged herself inch by inch through the blazing hot sands, over prickly rocks and fallen thorns, ignoring the red ants and the scorpions who popped from under rocks to raise their tails at her when she accidentally disturbed their homes. She wasn't hungry anymore so she let them live. They let her live.
She swept...if you can call moving as fast as an arthritic old lady almost two hundred years old fast...some fingers through her straggly blonde hair. It would need a good shampoo and rinse once she got back. If she got back. No when she got back.
The thermometer was getting bigger in her vision now. How far? Maybe another mile?
She felt as if the ground were moving under her. Ahead of her was a large Joshua tree with the shade in the right direction and about the right size. It took her most of the rest of that day to reach it and she collapsed into it, letting herself go at last. Tomorrow would take care of itself. Almost automatically, her hand snatched out for a huge scorpion that rushed her from the shade she had invaded.
She quickly tore out its stinger and poison sacs, then sucked it dry, spit out the remains and rolled over onto her back. She edged up a bit to look at her legs. They were twisted like pretzels. "What a mess you've gotten yourself into now." She sneered at herself, even though only she could see it...in her own mind's eye.
Where was Squat when you needed him? A soft spot had grown in her psyche towards the man. He was no looker. But what he lost in looks, he made up for in his gallantry. No man had ever bought her flowers every day. Every single frigging day!
She burst into laughter. It came out as a hoarse, broken choke that sounded like a dying horse. Or at least what she imagined one would look like.
She heard a sound. New. Loud. Closing in.
She tried to roll over to look. A large shadow swept by. A horse and its rider. She glimpsed them for a brief moment. They were looking toward where she was crawling, a cell phone on their damned ear, their eyes lost behind thick sunglasses that blurred any side vision which might have caught her in them.
"Damn!" She swore, which came out as "Sham!" Making her sound like she was drunk. Hell, maybe she was. Dead drunk.
She laughed at her own stupid joke, and then sighed, making a gurgling sound in her throat. Her legs didn't hurt anymore. She suspected that the nerves had given up from all the banging around she had done to them as she fought off the last of those damned demons. Who would have thought that any country would have its own demons? But they did.
She remembered when she was in Russia, the demons there all looked like polar bears with vodka glasses for eyes and leering smiles. In Florida they all wore Hawaiian shirts and had noses that trailed behind them. In San Francisco they all dressed like drag queens and smoked long cigarettes that stuck between puckered red lips. Some damn heterosexual had given birth to that crazy version. Some Baptist preacher, whom they had to rescue from his own stupid demons. He had such a hatred and fear of being gay that he had manifested it as real demons.
Last she heard he had been busted by reporters for engaging in homosexual behavior with a prostitute that had cost his church hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover up. Such hypocrites. Why can't they just admit what they are and love themselves anyway? Why do they always have to take someone else down because of their fear of admitting what they themselves were?
That's the danger of hatred. It's powerful. Very powerful. And what we hate we create, even as what we love, we create. What a damned strange world, she mused.
Hell! Demons were nothing if uncommon. Generated by all the stupid fantasies of the people who feared them, they came in all flavors, and all dangers. Some ate you. Some sucked you up like soda. Some sipped. Some nibbled. Some fried you. Some dissolved you. Some married you, then exposed themselves on the night of the...here she fell into a smile. Romantic, she wasn't. So she refused to even go there with that thought.
Men disgusted her.
Women disgusted her.
She wasn't into sex. She wasn't into sex. Not with anyone or anything.
Her mind began to reel, so she reeled it back in, blocking out the visions of horror that began to overcome her, of groping hands, of a large face with a friendly smile, and a woman. A woman too. She shook the thoughts out and the images, her whole body numb with grief, despair and a growing anger. The last kept her awake, even as the sun began to sink and the temperatures drop. She had made it through the last nights because her fever had been so high that she had sweated through the dropping temperatures, but now she had beat that she felt the drop intimately, as intimately as if she were being dunked in a cold bath of ice water.
She sighed, and then closed her eyes. What was the use? She'd never make it. No one knew where she was. They had probably all written her off as another casualty. Another lost comrade. There had been others. Her heart grieved even now for them...Soothsayer, a gentleman who always wore a tux and carried a machine gun that could saw through solid steel and demons like butter. There had been Marge the Large. A very heavy woman who used her weight to demolish the demons, immobilizes them, and then finishes them off with huge slaps of her karate hands. Deadly hands. Even if fat. And the last...Norman. Normal in all ways. Petite, almost feminine. Had he been born in Frisco, he might have become a drag queen back in the Haight Ashbury Days, but he wasn't and wore his femininity like a cloak, but without blazing it for all to see. He had been the most hurtful of the lost ones. He was kind to a flaw. His kindness had let a demon get through his defenses.
It had been a ten year old kid, sucked into a demon, which had assumed its form and acted like a normal kid. The kid inside the demon would surface, sometimes naughty, sometimes nice, but always wanting to be...just a kid. Norman had taken pity on it, and spared it, securing it in his home's basement.
They had found him a week later after he didn't come for their regular meeting. He had been shredded to pieces. They found him intertwined with the ten year old boy in a pool of red and green blood mixed together. He had scribbled with his blood. "I saved him."
And for all she knew he had, the kid, now demon skinless, laid there with a serene look on his face and an arm wrapped around Norman's neck, his face wet with streaks of tears he had cried before he had died of heartbreak.
Shaker had told her all of that after she had come back from the madness it had temporarily flung her into. She had a sensitive nature and the sight of that destruction...a good soul and a young child, destroyed by the loathing and hatred of the darkness of demons created by humanity. That drove her over the edge for a time.
As she considered those days she fell into a merciful sleep. She felt her body struck hard, as if by something huge. But she didn't care anymore. What was the use? She was dying.
She heard a voice keep saying, "Don't leave me now. Don't leave me now."
It made sense, but it shouldn't have been there. Not with all the pain and agony her body felt as it was roughly moved. Every nerve in her body screamed.
Finally, she woke up screaming, every cell in her body letting go of all the pain and anguish she had been carrying for years now and those last few days.
She felt something wet her cheek and opened her eyes. Her screams stopped.
It was Squat. Looking into her face.
"You ugly sonuva bitch!" She greeted him.
"I love you too, Mustard." He told her.
Then everything swirled into a deep, blissful darkness. One she could surrender too, knowing she would escape to the other side with a man who cared for her as much as he loved his own life. Maybe when she woke up she'd tell him something about that. Maybe. But then she became lost in a beautiful white light that surrounded her and enveloped her, healing her mind, heart and soul.
"Spread your sauce, mind your mummies." Mom told her for a brief moment, her big, compassionate eyes looking into hers, and then she was lost again in the light and surrendered to unconsciousness.
Time to rest and heal.