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Funny Horror

This is the story of how George’s life changed forever.

           He was standing in the dirty McDonald’s bathroom late at night, examining his thinning hair. George’s glasses were smudgy but cleaning them meant getting a clearer look at his balding head and aggressively average face.

           “Hey, who was your favorite serial killer?” he asked out loud.

           “You are my favorite killer. Now fetch me another soul to eat,” hissed the demon Baphomet in George’s ear.

           “See, that feels like a cop out,” George whined, shrugging as he used twenty paper towels to dry his hands. “At least give me a Bundy, a Dahmer, a Manson…”

           George turned away from the overflowing trashcan and saw Baphomet in the mirror. His black goat head was punctuated with burning red pupils, and the stereotypical pentagram was emblazoned on his forehead. “I hunger,” Baphomet declared, his voice sounding like a fire burning out. “And though I love his work, Manson never killed-“

           “What about those nurses that kill their patients?” George said, excitedly snapping his fingers. “Eh, Baphy? Those are pretty fun, gotta love them in Hell, right?”

           Baphomet was regretting making a contract with this human.

           And no, making a deal with a demon was not how George’s life changed forever.

***

           “Why have you summoned me, mortal?” Baphomet commanded years ago, seeking an answer from the shriveling man in front of him. The demon was floating out of a dark and bloody book lying on the ground in the middle of a circle of candles.

           The shriveling man, who had started laughing at the absurdity of it all, and who had also wet himself just a little (and who was also George obviously), said, “W-well, uh, wasn’t expecting, uh, you!”

           Baphomet looked down on George and studied this pathetic man. Baphomet could do worse. “Then did you perform a Satanic ritual to summon me?”

           George stood up at this point, trying to regain any sense of composure he might’ve had. “Well, you see, I was feeling, um… not good about being alive… so my mother said ‘You gotta believe in something Georgie-Pie, that’ll give you a reason to keep going’ and-” he pointed down to the book, “I figured, Jesus, Buddha, Tom Cruise, Satan, might as well just pick one.”

           Baphomet saw an opening for manipulation. “I can give you a reason to live. You shall live for me, providing me sustenance…”

           George pushed his lips together, afraid to sound stupid, but spoke anyway. “You mean like… food? Because I’m already an Uber driver, not much of a switch to UberEats-”

           “Find and kill people for me so I may feast on their souls in Hell. That shall be your reason to live,” Baphomet laughed wickedly.

           But George just furrowed his brow and looked a little uncomfortable. “You know… I’m feeling a lot better about my life suddenly, so…”

           Baphomet leaned forward and stuck a sharp claw against George’s neck.

           George laughed nervously and pushed his glasses up. “No, you’re right, that’s definitely a reason to live alright. But is there any way this could be like, you know… a side gig? I’m struggling to make ends meet just as an Uber driver …”

           This man was trying to bargain with him, the great Baphomet, over his time and paycheck? It was either arrogant self-confidence, or sheer stupidity. At least Baphomet admired one of those traits.

           “We can arrange something convenient for you…” Baphomet relented.

           “Oh, thank God- I mean, hail Satan!” George saluted.

           This was the day Baphomet’s life changed forever, not George’s. George was used to meeting people who hated him or wanted to use him. But Baphomet had never met a “George” before.

           Very unlucky for Baphomet.

***

           “Look at us, we’re both starving,” complained George, turning on the Uber app and backing out of the McDonald’s parking lot. “The fries are the best part, but you know they aren’t gonna make a fresh batch so close to closing, so they're always soggy…”

           “Could you stop coming here if you’re going to repeat this monologue each time?” Baphomet begged.

           “There’s just no other good late-night food around, you know?”

           “George, I don’t eat fries, I eat peop-“

           Ding! Or whatever the sound the Uber app makes.

           “Oh, here we go Baphy! You want to eat a Carly?”

           “Yes, fetch me her-“

           “Hold on, Carly is a cute name. At least, I don’t imagine a grandma when I hear it. Can I at least see if I’d have a chance with her first before I send her to Hell?”

           “George…”

           “It’s just so hard to meet people as an Uber driver! What, they can stare at the back of my balding head but all I can do is catch a peek at them in the rear-view mirror?”

           Baphomet had become an expert in resisting the urge to kill George. Not enough people performing Satanic rituals nowadays after all, truly a shame.

           George pulled over in front of a blonde woman with curly hair. As she studied his license plate, he studied her. Young, good looking, her whole life ahead of her… which meant she had options. George wouldn’t even be a bottom-of-the-barrel pick for a boyfriend; he’d be buried ten feet below the barrel.

           “Are you Jason?” Carly asked.

           “Sure am!” George chimed back.

           Carly laughed while clicking her seatbelt. “The one and only Jason!” she joked.

           George frowned. “The one and only? What am I, a representative of all Jasons?” George whined, driving away.

           Carly smiled and kept texting on her phone. “You’re too funny,” she said without looking up.

           “Picked the name because it sounds cooler than ‘George’ but now it’s like people like me more as a ‘Jason’ than a ‘George’…” he mumbled to himself.

           “What was that?”

           “Uh… I asked if there are any good places to eat around here at night? Because, you know, all I get is McDonald’s and the fries are-”

           “Ew, McDonald’s is fat people food,” Carly threw out, hitting George in his only slightly overweight gut.

           George focused on the road, tapping his finger on the wheel. “Oh Carly… just made this easier on me.”

           As they neared Carly’s destination, an apartment above a laundromat, George started to prepare himself. He rubbed his thumb against an ornament attached to his keys. She couldn’t see it, but it was a pentagram with a small needle sticking out. As he was beginning to pull over, George turned around and smiled at Carly.

           “Alright, see you in Hell!”

           He pushed his thumb against the needle, drawing blood. In an instant, Baphomet was summoned in a puff of sulfur smelling smoke in front of Carly. He lunged forward with a flaming arm and thrust it through Carly’s heart. She gasped in shock but didn’t shout. As Baphomet pulled his arm out, no blood spilled anywhere, and instead of a heart, he pulled out an opaque glowing silver sphere. He opened his mouth and slowly ingested the sphere, leaving Carly’s body in front of him. And just like that, he vanished, leaving a slight hiss in the air.

           The husk that was once Carly unbuckled its seatbelt and got out of the car robotically. Its eyes were dim but still functioning. As it was walking away, George rolled down the passenger side window.

           “Don’t forget to rate and tip! Make sure it’s a big tip too!”

           The husk gave a slow thumbs up before unlocking the door and going up the stairs.

           George didn’t want to interrupt the demon’s meal, but something was bothering him…

***

“I’m telling you Baphy, these zombie husks are great, don’t get me wrong. Helps not trace anything back to me since they die randomly later. But aren’t you the one who programmed them? Why are they only tipping 15% lately? Is it the economy? Why should they care? C’mon, sometimes those tips aren’t even enough to pay for the fries from McDonald’s, and-”

           “Oh my God, stop talking about the French fries already,” Baphomet snapped, knowing full well that saying “the big G word” would lead to getting whipped by Satan later. “I’m not in charge of how these husks act in their final hours. It’s just an echo of how they were as people.”

           As the app dinged saying they had a passenger, George droned on. “I’m telling you, we gotta try something different for food tonight…” He didn’t realize that he was nearing his pickup location, so he didn’t have time to warn Baphomet that-

           “Ah! It stings! We’re getting close to a holy place!”

           “Oh…” George whispered as he looked out at the church and saw a woman who was dressed similar to a nun, except white instead of black. He could feel Baphomet sizzle away from his mind as he temporarily retreated to Hell to escape.

           “Hi, are you my Uber?” the nun asked.

           “Um, yeah, uh, Laura?” George asked. He then added, “Oh, Sister Laura, I guess?”

           She laughed as she got in. “Oh yes, some people call me ‘Mother’ instead, but I’m a sister, not a nun. A bit different.” 

           “Huh. Interesting.” The trivia about Catholic hierarchies wasn’t the interesting part to George. It was her. She had olive skin and a slight accent, but she was also fairly young, had to be early thirties like George. Kind eyes too, gleaming from the back seat. But she looked dejected as she watched the church disappear behind them.

           Baphomet didn’t ask to eat her, so silence filled the car as George thought about what to do. Though, he didn’t put much thought into what he said…

           “So, who’s your favorite serial killer?”

           “Excuse me?” Laura said, snapping out of a daze.

           “Um… I asked who’s your favorite saint?”

           She laughed and fidgeted with a cross necklace she wore. “I guess it would be St. Anthony. You pray to him when you lose things.”

           George chuckled and said, “Does it count if you lose your sense of direction?” He meant literal directions, thinking of the times he took a wrong turn and the GPS had to redirect him. But Laura took it differently.

           “Yeah, I guess that works too. Being unsure of where you’re going with your life…” Her face showed signs of depression (something George was an expert on noticing).

           “You alright, Sister Laura? I figured you’d have a better grasp on what you’re doing in life than me, you know? You’re probably out there doing charity work like crazy, and I’m here just…”

           Laura made an effort to look at George in his eyes, at least via the rear-view mirror. “Yes, well, the sisters do a lot of good work, I know. Clothing drives, helping soup kitchens, cleaning parks. But I see the smiles the others have, and some part of me feels like something is missing…”

           George pushed his lips together again, feeling the stupidity rushing up through his throat. “Is it a man? Are you missing, you know, men?”

           And by some miracle, George finally said the “right” thing in a social interaction. He saw Laura’s eyes betray her oath of abstinence.

           “I- I- I can’t help it,” Laura said, on the verge of tears, her guilt breaking her composure. “I see the kids at Christmas, their eyes lighting up as we pass out toys, how in that moment, they really love me. And I think to myself, if I had a child, I would give them that joy everyday…” She broke down crying, holding her cross.

           George sighed, feeling an odd sense of responsibility for the crying woman. He wasn’t trying to cause a problem but now he didn’t really know what to do to fix it. It was like when he clogged the toilet at a McDonald’s and caused it to overflow by trying to keep flushing it.

           “I mean…” George started, debating whether to say the next part. His common sense lost that debate. “I mean, have you ever even slept with a man?”

           “No,” Laura cried, unfazed at George’s invasive question.

           George was speechless. Conversations with passengers never lasted this long, let alone about this subject matter. He was in uncharted waters, not even Baphomet with him to help steer the ship.

           “You know… you’re probably the most mature and kind passenger I ever had,” George admitted, hoping he wasn’t accidentally lying. It’s not like he knew for sure. “You wanna do good as a sister, go ahead. You wanna start a family, more power to you. You wanna sleep around, well, amen Laura!” He laughed and realized they were nearing their destination. “Just find something, alright?”

           Laura laughed through her tears at George’s encouragement. “This is my grandmother’s house,” she said, looking out. “I doubt she’d give me the same advice. Probably force me to go back right away…”

           He parked the car outside the house. The trip was complete, but Laura wasn’t moving. Instead, she looked at George as he turned to look back at her. He was finally able to hide his balding head from her.

           “Do you want to… talk a little longer?” she asked nervously. “I’ve just never had someone speak to me so… bluntly about…”

           George was dumbfounded, but that didn’t stop him from turning off the Uber app…

***

           “You slept with a nun!?” roared Baphomet the next night.

           George was parked outside of Laura’s grandmother’s house. It had been a day since he saw her, and now he was waiting for her to come out.

           “Well, technically, she’s a sister, so…”

           “In front of her grandmother’s house! In this car! This car where I EAT PEOPLE’S SOULS!”

           “If it makes you feel any better, it wasn’t that good…”

           “Demons taunt men with promises of virgins, and you still complain-“

           “Well, it’s not like she and the other sisters are chatting it up about how to um… grease the pole! I don’t like being in charge, I just like going on cruise control!”

           “So why are we back here then?”

           “Well, I had to get her number at that point! And she’s been texting me about wanting to run away from the Church together, so here I am…”

           George nervously looked at his rear-view mirror, but unlike yesterday, the cold eyes of Baphomet looked back at him. “George, listen to me… Give her to me. Are you telling me you really want to start a family with this would-be saint? Because I’m sure your current occupation is a perfect match for her…” 

           “I mean-“

           “And you’d have to teach her everything about sex.”

           “Okay, fair point-“

           Their debate was interrupted by Laura entering the passenger door, sitting side by side with George. She was wearing jeans and a button up shirt, still formal in her causal wear, and all she had was a backpack in front of her. That, and a beaming smile when she looked at George.

           “Okay, let’s go! Take me away, wherever you want!”

           George tried to laugh but couldn’t match her energy. He drove away, unsure of where to go. He gasped when realized that now she could see the pentagram more easily, so he held it loosely in his hand, praying to whoever would listen that he didn’t prick himself on accident.

           “God really wanted us to be together,” Laura said, rubbing her hand on George’s leg. “I couldn’t ask for a better man.”

           He turned to look at her, but he could still see Baphomet glaring at him in the mirror. He made his decision on what to do. He pulled over at their destination – a train station. Laura looked around excitedly, but George just pulled out his wallet.

           “Laura, listen,” he said, pulling out a few twenties (he really thought he had more money). “I’m no good for you. Take this money and get as far away from here as possible.” He tossed the bills in her lap and avoided eye contact.

           “But-“ Laura tried to argue back, holding on to the man she was beginning to love.

           George put his head against the wheel and took the keys out, showing Laura his pentagram. “I’m a bad man, okay! Love Satan, can’t get enough of the guy. Jesus is a government hoax I bet. C’mon, get out Laura, get out!”

           George had never broken a woman’s heart before (except maybe his mother’s when he forgot her birthday). Laura looked crestfallen, but she slowly picked up the money and her bag and got out the car.

           “Goodbye Jason,” she said with tears in her eyes. She then walked away, into the station, unsure of herself.

           “God… damn it…” George muttered, realizing that when he inevitably replays this memory to torture himself, he won’t even get to hear her say his real name.

           “You didn’t feed her to me…” Baphomet growled.

           “Then let’s go get something else to eat,” George grunted.

           After he fed a few passengers to Baphomet to shut him up, George looked at the time. Midnight. He had to find a McDonald’s or-

           “Wait a minute,” George whispered, pausing at a restaurant he’d normally never give a second glance to. It was a Mexican place, neon “OPEN” sign still on, people laughing and singing inside.

           It was called “Doña Laura’s”.

           “This place is incredible, it’s open until 1AM, and it’s so cheap!” George was nearly crying as he stuffed his face with authentic cheese pupusas (only $2.50 each). Baphomet burped in George’s ear, stuffed from George’s apology meals. The waitresses hovered around George, the only white guy in the place, but they laughed at his enthusiasm and lack of Spanish (and ever-increasing bill size). George looked up and thought one of them looked vaguely like Laura…

           And that’s the story of how George found a new late night food place, changing his life forever.

June 22, 2023 21:00

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1 comment

Zatoichi Mifune
06:05 Jul 16, 2023

Wow. Unexpected. A funny horror. We all need one of those in our lives. First of all, it makes you want to read from just seeing the tags. Second, it would be so hard to do, and you definitely pulled it off. Again, great story. I really enjoyed it.

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