Battle of the Snowflakes: Part Ten

Whew, long overdue Sue Games has arrived! Full story after the cut:

Part 10: Satan’s in the Small Things

I don’t follow so much as I am dragged down the stairs and away from the food court. Natasha Satantastic’s hand is like a tightened vice around my arm as we move towards the pudding fountain where we first entered the mall. I hope we’re heading for Weapons “IZ” Us but there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Satantastic keeps up a steady stream of silence as we walk/are dragged along. At first I was grateful for the lack of threats but now the silence is disconcerting, a threat all its own. Hurriedly, I try to think of a topic of conversation that won’t lead to my untimely demise.

“So. . .” I try to sound nonchalant, but when Satantastic gives me a glare my voice jumps a few octaves without permission. “Oppressed any peasants lately?” I squeak.

For a moment, I’m sure my life is over. Satantastic, after giving me a look that seems to solidify the air in my lungs, lets out a throaty chuckle.

“Yes, actually,” she says. “There were attempts to unionize on one of my mining planets a half rotation ago. The workers were complaining about having to sleep in the same sludge they ate for lunch every day.” At this, she rolls her red eyes so far back into her skull that, for a moment, all I can see are the whites.

“How ridiculous,” I say, using my free hand to try and pry her pointy fingernails from my flesh.

The red pupils snap back down and she glances at me idly. I scramble for another distraction.

“What in the name of Vlad the Impaler did you do to stop it?” I ask quickly.

Luckily, she takes the bait, launching into a tale of forced labor camps and starving schoolchildren. The good news is, she’s no longer focused on me. The not-so-good news is that her enthusiasm for the story caused her grip on my arm to double in strength and I’m beginning to lose feeling in my right arm.

Faith and Gamer Girl are nowhere to be seen. I’m not surprised. In fact, it’s entirely possible offering me up as a sacrifice to Satantastic was their plan all along.

They can’t know it, but they’ve done me a favor. Out of all the girls left, Satantastic is by far the most predictable. It’s not a matter of if she’s going to kill me, it’s when and how and where and quite possibly how painful/humiliating it’s going to be. There’s also the pure evil factor she’s required to have, which means my death will need to come after the most heart-wrenching betrayal possible. This narrows the field of possible deaths substantially and gives me at least a fighting chance: if I can see the dramatic betrayal coming ahead of time, I might be able to avoid it. Key word being might.

Of course, rather than bother with all that tiresome strategy, I could simply show Satantastic the error of her ways through my never-ending love, strength of character, and brilliant fashion sense.

Abruptly, Satantastic stops. I keep walking, but quickly reach the end of my arm and am jerked back to her. She doesn’t even notice. We have arrived.

Everything about Weapons “IZ” Us screams “stay out,” from the blacked-out windows, to the outward-facing spikes covering the building, to the red neon sign on the door that says “stay out.”

I’d love to obey, but Satantastic’s death-grip drags me in closer. All my fighting and flailing hardly seems to inconvenience her. Eventually, I give up and close my eyes, deciding to patiently await my inevitable destruction.

A moment later, the grip on my arm vanishes and blood begins circulating in my arm once more. Satantastic, reeling back for the death blow, no doubt. I keep my eyes shut.

“Hey!” Someone shakes my shoulder roughly.

“Aren’t you going to stuff a Stuffer with me?” Satantastic’s voice says.

I open my eyes.

We’re in a well-lit, spacious shop. The walls are painted with pictures of smiling cartoon animals and the decor looks, well, cute. Confused, I move in a slow circle to take everything in. . .and see Weapons “IZ” Us outside this store’s front windows, directly across from us.

Satantastic explains nothing, but yanks me over to the section of the store where a huge sign announces “#1: Pick your Stuffer!” Underneath this sign are a bunch of bins overflowing unstuffed fabric animals.

“Help me choose,” Satantastic says and begins sorting through the closest bin with gusto.

It takes about twenty seconds for my mind to catch up.

“Oh, yes ah–You mean me?” I say.

“No, I meant the patronizing insipid skirt-wearing noxious vapor of moral goodness we left behind at the food court,” Satantastic says. “Of course I mean you. Now get over here and help me chose the most heartmelting, loathable–ahem–lovable creature in this place. I’m no good at these sorts of things.”

Still confused, I begin sorting through the bins, careful to stay across from Satantastic at all times. Just because she’s being confusing doesn’t mean she’s not dangerous.

“What about this?” She asks after a while, holding up a grotesque fabric frog-body that looks as if it’s been decapitated.

“Terrifying and horrific,” I offer.

“But not. . .” her mouth curls up as if she’s about to spit out some boiled weevils, “cute?”

“Not in the least,” I say.

A small explosion of fire engulfs the hand holding the frog, destroying it completely. The vaguely green ashes form a little pile on the floor.

Spontaneous fire-creation. Well, that’s good to know.

“Keep searching,” she says.

I do, though a bit more cautiously this time.

Nine other animals go out the same way as the frog, making the pile of ash look more like a mound at this point.

Despite my wariness, I begin offering tips to Satantastic on what to look for. I know it’s probably a bad idea and she has something horrendous planned for these stuffed creatures, but at this point I just want to get things over with.

“Look for big eyes,” I say, “Softness is a big part too. And they shouldn’t be missing any body parts.”

“No one animal has those characteristics,” Satantastic complains, “and if they do, they are paired with sharp claws or teeth to balance things out. Why does this. . .cute matter so much?”

The last thing I want to do at the moment is get in a conversation with Satantastic about the state of humanity’s cute preferences across the universe. So I let out a gasp and pull a random fabric animal out of one of the bins.

“This is perfect!” I say, holding up what appears to be a dolphin.

“It is sufficiently irritating,” Satantastic says, agreeing with me. I think.

We move on to section two, underneath a sign that says “Stuff the Stuffer,” and fill the fabric dolphin with a spongey cotton material. Satantastic declares the next step, putting a fabric heart inside the animal, “a waste of time,” and jumps straight to the stitching the “Stuffer” closed at the forth section.

It isn’t until we reach the fifth and final section, outfitting the stuffed animal in tiny cloths, that I gather the courage to ask the purpose of our visit.

“An experiment,” she replies while attempting to cram the dolphin in a tiny Tae Kwon Do uniform. “I’m am going to present this . . .“Stuffer” to a small orphaned child on my home planet and allow them to keep it as a comfort to them in hard times.”

“Wow, that’s. . .generous,” I say. “And completely out of character,” I don’t say. Perhaps I misjudged Satantastic. She could have a lot of things going for her that I never bothered to find out, simply because of the way I perceived her name, or the way she presented herself. She could even be three–

The Tae Kwon Do uniform rips in half under the stress of Satantastic’s yanking and falls to the floor in pieces. I point out a cute miniature ballerina outfit to replace it, hoping the elastic tutu might be better at stretching over the dolphin’s bulging head.

“Appropriately appalling, I suppose” Satantastic mutters, plucking the outfit off the shelf and trying to shove the dolphin into it. Things go better this time and before long a passably cute dolphin ballerina sits in her hand.

“Of course,” she continues. “Once the child I present this to has reached the peak years for emotional trauma, I will kill any remaining living things they love and move them to a dungeon. For several more years, they will be left alone in this dungeon with this stuffed animal, except during torture times of course. Then, in order to free themselves, the child will have to throw the stuffed animal representing their only comfort into a blazing fire. After that, they will become my new lieutenant.” Satantastic grins at me, showing off pitch-black teeth. “A brilliant strategy, no?”

It’s obvious she expects me to say something.

“Seems a bit, ah, elaborate, don’t you think?” I say.

Her eyes narrow.

“What I mean is, why not just go straight for the torture? Get it over fast. . .ish.”

“Any simpleton can attempt to produce fear with a pointy object,” she scoffs. “What sets true evil apart is its creativity!”

“You disgust me,” a third voice behind us says.

Both Satantastic and I spin around.

Faith Hope Charity Love stands in the doorway, arms folded.

“We meet again,” she says coldly.

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Posted on March 22, 2014, in Battle of the Snowflakes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Battle of the Snowflakes: Part Ten.

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