“Spaghetti Moustachio,” the rugged cowboy stroked his iridescent beard. “I remember him from the war of 8322, the Year of Our Emperor – blessed be his eternal soul.” His eyes glazed over and he saluted something far too distant for his companions to see.
Wexley spat upwind and got it all over his boots. It didn’t seem to bother him very much. “Where did you say you picked this guy up again?” Gramps coughed, and gave him a disapproving look. “That’s Gozar. He does that sometimes.”
“I told you when we met that you were to call me Gozar the Effervescent!” protested Gozar, rather too loudly considering that he was a much-wanted man in the state of Carolina. Gramps’ face twisted into a vicious scowl. “Go back to the fucking car!” Gozar pouted, but he knew better than to get into another ‘argument’ about this. Having one of his kidneys removed had been quite enough.
“So what’s the scoop, Gramps?” Wexley asked, annoyingly. Gramps tried to look like he was thinking very hard, but did a poor job. “I reckon we should go to the mall,” he said, stroking his iridescent beard. He coughed to draw attention to the previous sentence.
“Patterson Village? But-” Gramps shot him a withering look. “Shut up! I know, and I don’t think they want to hear about it again either!” He glanced at an empty space about six feet up and to the left, and then took a deep breath and became resigned.
“Oh, Wexley.” he said, sadly. Then he slowly trudged over to the car, mumbling quietly as he went. Wexley remained glued in place for a moment, slightly confused, then ran awkwardly to catch up with Gramps.
Putting on his seatbelt, Gramps blew on his keys for good luck and then stuck them in the ignition. Nothing.
He said a nonsense word in a very cross sounding voice, and pouted. Wexley tapped on the passenger window. Gramps tapped back angrily with his fist. “It’s unlocked, you fucking idiot!”
Wexley made an ‘oh’ face and got in the car. “Blow on my keys,” said Gramps. “I don’t have enough luck in me today.” He gingerly handed the keys to the younger man, hands shaking. Wexley complied, and Gramps desperately snatched them back and rubbed them on his face for a moment before putting them in the ignition. He groaned as the engine wheezed to life, and in the throes of climax failed to realize his foot was on the gas pedal, and the car had been left in gear.
They slammed into the back of a silver Porsche, then abruptly reversed into a red Mercedes before driving onto the patio bordering the mall’s main entrance, forcing about a dozen people to scramble out of the way. “I feel like we forgot something,” said Wexley, pensively. “I feel like I’m gonna throw up.” replied Gramps, with little enthusiasm. He concentrated on sobering up.
“Fuck!” he said, slamming on the breaks hard enough for the tires to squeak. This startled a particularly sensitive dog in the vicinity, which instantly attacked the little girl next to it. “We forgot fucking Gozar! Fuck me in the ass!” He wailed on the steering wheel in a rage before abruptly calming down. He closed his eyes, took several deep breathes, and in the meantime absently lifted his foot from the brake pedal.
“Okay,” he said. Rubbing his eyes. “We have to go back. I’m just gonna reverse, he can jump in, then we’ll go.”
He opened his eyes and then said, “I need a breath m- fuck!” he hit the brakes again, and angrily wrenched the transmission into reverse. He slammed the gas, reversed about twenty feet, and smashed in the head of Gozar, who was bending over to examine some pocket change he had dropped. Gozar may have been identifiable by his dental records; this, however, was unlikely, owing to the fact that he had no real teeth and had never even heard of a dentist.
“Son of a bitch!” exclaimed Gramps, slurring quite heavily. “Throw that bottle of rum out the window, Wex, we gotta get the fuck out of here.” Wex, having remained almost completely expressionless this entire time, complied after pounding back the bottle’s contents. “I hate black rum.” he observed sagely. The bottle smashed beside them and the car pealed around three parked cars, nearly hitting a pregnant lesbian couple, and bounced dangerously back into the parking lot.
“Gramps, we were parked right in front of the mall. Where are we going?” Gramps thought that Wexley was becoming an exceptional pest. “Clothes department entrance. That’s closer to the Emporium.”
“The Emporium?” Wexley asked, not having paid attention to Gramps’ mumblings as they were walking back to the car. Gramps sighed and rolled his eyes and almost swore. “Yes, the Emporium. That’s where the spaceship is.”
“I didn’t know we had a spaceship.” Gramps scowled. “Just shut up, Wex.”
Suddenly, Gramps cranked the wheel to the right and executed an embarrassingly unsuccessful drift into a handicapped parking spot. Wexley pointed out the latter detail.
“Gozar is retarded, does that count?”
“Um, Gramps? Gozar is dead.”
Gramps tried very hard not to strangle Wexley, and bit his lip until it bled. He eventually calmed down. “Well I don’t give a fuck. We’re going inside. Fuck this car.” Wexley crawled out first, since the driver’s side door was crushed into the adjacent vehicle.
He frowned. “We could have just walked through the mall, Gramps. We had time on the meter and everything.” Gramps started hyperventilating instantly. “I didn’t want to fucking walk!” He shouted, startling a group of young boys who were smoking a cigarette by a planter. “Alright, Gramps, okay.”
It was too late. Gramps tackled Wexley to the ground and wrapped his hands around the boy’s throat. Wexley, too frail to push the old man off, only lasted a few minutes after Gramps’ inhumanly strong thumbs crushed his trachea. With the deed done, Gramps dusted off his hands, smiled, and began to walk towards the mall. The four smoking boys shook off the horror that had paralyzed them, and ran to confront him.
Gramps stumbled, surprised, and then got very angry. He rummaged through his baggy robes, pulled forth a pistol, and fired nine times. He walked up to the only boy still living and finished the job before stepping over the bodies and through the grimy glass doors. His destination was less than ten feet away: The Devil’s Tee-Shirt Emporium.
A gaudy purple and gold sign adorned the shop, the name surrounded by impressions of screaming faces that shifted slowly and eerily if one watched them for long enough. The gold occasionally shimmered unnaturally. The shop itself emitted a low, quiet groan which would go unnoticed to a casual passerby.
Gramps rubbed his hands together gleefully, and threw his gun down the hall. He stripped off his robes as he walked quickly towards the entrance, past several browsers, and, fully naked, through a fire escape labeled ‘Employees Only’. He fell flat into the parking lot and exclaimed, “Fuck! It was a time machine, not a spaceship!”