“Where do you keep the ointment?”
That was the last thing I said to another human. In fact, they were some of the last words I spoke on earth. How stupid is that? History is filled with great men and women who left this world with some of the great quotes of history on their lips and I asked for some damn ointment. It’s a bit depressing.
“Aisle six.” The woman behind the counter was a zombie. She didn’t even look at me. I guess nothing interesting happens at Rite Aid but she could still show some damn courtesy. Wasn’t my place to judge so I walked to aisle six without a word.
Even without a brain she apparently knew just enough about the store to give descent directions. Ointment, Band-Aids, medicated creams far as the eye can see. Especially since I can’t see through walls. Why was I in this aisle you ask? Because my parents were too damn lazy to get off Diablo and go to the store. Now back to important matters.
Like why there had to be seven thousand brands of a product that’s supposed to do one simple thing. Honestly, I think there’s a point where reckless consumerism just isn’t worth it anymore. I think we could do with maybe two or three-
My hands suddenly lost control of themselves and spazed out like a soda addicted seven-year-old. The box they were currently holding flew gracefully in the air before landing at the feet of my assailant. An attractive, forty-something, dark haired woman stared at me an amused smile. She was wearing black pants, a black coat with a black shirt underneath, black shoes and socks, and carrying a black umbrella. I got the feeling she liked black.
“Hi.” My voice came out shaky. Probably because my heart just rammed into my vocal cords at mach 2. All she did was smile at me. I smiled back, albeit far more nervously. When a strange yet hot lady starts staring at you for no reason, nervousness is a given. “Lovely weather we’re having.”
“Absolutely. It’s gorgeous.” True enough. For the past week it’s been nothing but sunshine. So why the coat and umbrella? She didn’t seem to mind the heat. The store was air-conditioned. And she must have been in a good mood since she wouldn’t stop smiling.
Tentatively, I reached down to grab the dropped box. She didn’t even bat an eye. Just kept staring. With another sheepish smile I turned back to the ointments. If I ignored her, maybe she’d go away. Sometimes, I really wish she had. But no, she just stood there, umbrella under her arm, jaunty smile on her lips, and a strange hunger in her eyes.
I started to wonder if she was a cougar in which case: YAY! I was eighteen, it’s all legal. But then stupid logic had to come and crush that dream saying ‘What cougar picks up guys at a Rite-Aid?’ Then I spent five minutes trying to ignore her while my mind brought up every possibility from ‘escaped murderer’ to ‘repressed house wife with a fetish.’ But there comes a time in all of us where curiosity overpowers fear. And so I asked the fateful question.
“Can I help you?” The smile got wider.
“Oh it is not how you can help me, my little brony, but how I can help you.” At the word brony I immediately sounded the retreat.
“What? I’m not a…” I stopped the second the umbrella tip came into contact with my throat.
“Don’t play games with me kid. I’ve been in this business a lot longer than you have.” I don’t know exactly what ‘business’ we were in, but her tone implied it was deathly serious. For the record, I am a brony. A closet brony since being the school’s local loner and having a slew of aggravating cousins and brothers doesn’t give you much in the way of backup. Not that they were mean or anything, but if they ever found out I watched My Little Pony…
“What do you want?” Her sweet yet sinister smile returned in full force. I dreaded her answer.
“To ask you a question.” Wow. Not what I was expecting. Maybe something along the lines of ‘Your life’ or ‘To hear your anguished screams’ or ‘A nice chianti.’ A question didn’t seem that bad.
“Shoot.” She leaned in conspiratorially, her eyes glinting mischievously.
“Would you like to go there?” As a response she got a blank stare and not much else.
“Where do you think? Equestria. Land of the ponies. Realm of the sun and moon.” It wasn’t every day someone asked me something like that. Kind of wish they did. Ponies make everything so much better.
“Well yeah, of course. So does every other brony in the world.” That charmingly creepy smile turned smug in an instant.
“Very well then. I’ll send you.”
Picture the scene for a moment. A woman you don’t know who just spent the last five minutes of her life staring at you said she’ll send you to Equestria. Naturally your mind is full of fuck right about now so I’ll give you a second.
There. All better? So after this moment of silent contemplation you probably have a lot of thoughts on the matter ranging from ‘FUCK YEAH’ to ‘Bitch, you serious?’ I think I was a bit more realistic.
Okay, so she’s obviously insane. Just play along, don’t take anything she gives you, and call the feds when you leave.
“You’re kidding. You’re kidding right?” Yeah, yeah, it’s an old joke. Sue me.
“Nope. You’re going to Equestria.”
“Not as something stupid like a ferret or a rock or a ghost?”
“You’ll walk, you’ll talk, and you’ll be alive.”
“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” That was it then. No brony (or pega-sister, whichever you prefer) worth their salt would dare break a Pinkie promise.
“Why me? There are plenty of other people out there who’d jump at the chance.”
“Well you seem like a good kid. I think you’ll have some fun there.” I couldn’t think of a reason I wouldn’t have fun in Equestria. Besides, it was just some nut’s game. What could possibly go wrong?
“Alright then. I’m game.” Her eyes lit up as her smile reached new heights. “Send me to Equestria. Hell, I’m feeling a bit hungry. How bout a Big Mac and fries while you’re at it.” With my sarcasm quota filled for the day, I returned my gaze to the shelf. In retrospect, this was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.