It all started with a question. At Innisdale Junior-Senior High the schools resident Goth chick, Beth Anne, called out to the new girl, Olive May, with a request so that she might read her palm.
"May I have your palm, Olive?"
"Not on your life, boy!" came the response. Beth shook her head. Olive was like all the rest, so quick to disbelieve in the paranormal, so quick to laugh at the universe. Well, she'd change her tune soon enough. Beth just had no idea how quickly that time would come.
T-Way was decked out for Christmas. That always looked strange, as the red and green of the season clashed with the orange colors of the T-Way sign. As Beth and Olive walked through the doors, under the spinning T above the Way, they saw a Santa Claus. Somehow he seemed a touch on the perverted side but the girls shrugged the feeling off. Maybe he'd just had a bad day. Well, Beth needed some more black nail polish so they headed to the make-up section. Surprisingly the sound system was playing "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys.
"Why aren't they playing Christmas music?" Olive asked.
"They do," Beth answered, "just not a lot. You know that too much Christmas music gives you cavities of the brain." Olive laughed at this and the two friends headed on to get makeup. As Beth was picking just the right shade of black, darker than midnight, Olive tugged at her sleeve.
"That Santa was checking me out." Beth looked up just in time to see that, indeed, the Santa Claus was checking them both out. And, as if he'd wanted her to see it, his eyes flashed fire, real fire. Very few times would Beth ever admit to being scared but she had no problem saying it now; she was terrified.
"Let's get out out of here!" Beth reached out to Olive and cried, "Give me your palm, Olive!"
"You bet your life, boy!" And as Olive slapped her hand in Beth's they ran together to the exit. However, they could never reach it. It kept fading into the distance, seemingly always just out of reach. As Beth stole a glance behind them she could see that the Santa was following them and his member had taken on the form of a snake. Beth gulped and turned, with Olive in tow, to face this demon.
"What do you want from us?" Beth taunted, trying her best to sound tough.
"You," the Santa demon said slowly, in a way that made even his own flesh crawl, "always you." The snake slithered sickeningly up and around the girls, and this caused them no shortage of fear. "Both of you, the brunette and the redhead." Beth, desperate to get away, saw an opportunity; a gold sword, laden with jewels and sharper than a serpents tooth. Never questioning why or how the sword was there she grabbed it and sliced the demon's member from its body. The demon just smiled, and with good reason, for not only did its member reform on its body but the writhing member on the floor became a carbon copy of the demon. This caused Olive to say a word she rarely spoke.
"Shit." Beth silently agreed, as this was not good, and now the girls were in worse straits than they'd been before. The demons began to chase them through the T-Way, where the T now stood for terror. Running on what seemed like a spiritual treadmill they went nowhere fast. Then a smile dawned on Olive's face. "Where do we live?" Beth was a little put out by this question.
"Innisdale. Why?" Even before Olive could answer Beth understood what she meant. "Holy water!" Innisdale was Catholic central and holy water was as prevalent there as air. Olive and Beth split up and each headed in a different direction, leading the demons astray. Racing through the store Olive grabbed bottle after bottle of holy water and, upon reaching Aisle 7, opened each one and poured the contents upon the floor. Her demon, too intent on catching his nubile prey, ran right into the middle of it, let out an earsplitting shriek and burst into flames. As his screams faded away Beth came into view. She raced into the Aisle, holy water pouring from the bottles in her hands. She dropped the bottles onto the floor and looked at Olive. "What attracts men, and demons, the most?" Olive smiled and she lifted her shirt as did Beth. The sight caused the demon, who had until that moment been very wary of approaching Beth, to throw demonic caution to the wind and he stepped right through the holy water puddle. He didn't even emit a scream as the flames raced up his legs and engulfed him. He burned even as his hands were reaching for the girls. They lowered their shirts, smoothed their clothes and looked down at the smoldering remains of the demons.
"Go to hell." Olive hissed. Beth smiled wryly.
"I think they're already there." At this the girls laughed. They looked around and saw, much to their amazement, that they were back where they had started; the makeup aisle. Beth grabbed her polish and some smoky eye shadow and the girls headed to the checkout. The girl behind the counter, a Goth chick like Beth, smiled knowingly.
"Been through Hell?" Beth eyed the girl and smiled.
"Yes. But I'm pretty sure that's over now."
The lunch crowd was its usual segregated self and so Beth was pleasantly surprised to see Olive motion for her to join her at the creative's table. She'd wanted to hang out there for so long and this was her day. She approached and Olive greeted her warmly.
"Welcome, Beth, to the creative's table. What are you really into, huh?"
"I'm into cosplay, coloring, knitting, poetry and demon hunting." Olive and Beth smiled at each other as the others laughed at that last remark. Demonic attacks can bring anyone closer.
"May I have your palm, Olive?" Beth was a little taken aback by Olive's initial response but was soon happy again by her second sentence.
"Not on your life, boy. But you can have my friendship."