“Here, I have three dollars.” Jeff said as he slammed the cash into Jason’s hand.
Jason looked at the pile of ones and fives he collected. “I think this is enough to get a twelve pack. I’ll be right back.”
“We’ll be here.” Jeff said. It was his apartment the guys watched all the games in because Jeff had the biggest TV, a ninety inch. The guys had already polished off a twelve pack with the chicken wings and needed more for the two pizzas.
Jason left the apartment a little buzzed but nothing serious. The corner store was within walking distance through the apartment’s common area where the swimming pool and tennis courts were located. He could see it as soon as he stepped out. He shoved the cash into his pocket and felt the sting of the little figurine he had dug up from its partially buried resting place in the field next to the apartments. The figure had a bent spear protruding up and Jason had almost tripped on it, or he might have never seen it. It was the spear that stabbed him in the finger now. He grimaced and pulled the little figurine out to look at it again. It was an ugly little thing. It looked almost demonic, at least it looked demonic from the demons on the album covers of his favorite heavy metal bands. He didn’t believe in such things as heaven and hell.
Somewhat stumbling across the tennis court, he noticed two college age girls with rackets preparing to enter the tennis court. Immediately his mind went to undressing them, separating them from their little tennis skirts with the form hugging black skirts beneath. One of them looked like Penny Tickles from the internet porn site he liked to visit. “Man,” he said out loud. “I wish I had a girl like that.” He meant like Penny Tickles. He anxiously rubbed some of the dirt from the figurine and slipped it back into his pocket. His history professor could probably tell him what it was Monday. He looked up just in time to walk into a woman full force. He helped her up before he recognized her but once he did, he gasped and just blurted out her name.
“You’re Penny Tickles!”
The woman before him wore a comfortable pair of loose-fitting jeans and a white tee shirt with nothing underneath, maybe a sports bra, he couldn’t tell. Her golden blonde hair was tied up and her makeup looked half applied.
“Who the hell are you?” She snapped. “How did I get here?”
“What?” Jason asked confused.
“I was on my way to a shoot and then I was here. I was riding in a fucking car!” She was holding a pocket mirror and she held it up. A horrified expression covered her pretty face, “My makeup is only half on!”
“That’s impossible.” Jason said. “You couldn’t have just appeared here.”
“Tell me about it. Good thing I wasn’t in the middle of a scene, or I would be standing here naked.”
“That wouldn’t be so bad.”
“I mean, you’re Penny Tickles.” Jason couldn’t think of anything else to say. There she was with her shoulder length blonde hair, ample bosoms, and killer smile. Now that she was here, he didn’t quite know how to react to her. He had run the scenario through his head a million times, but he never actually thought he would be face to face with her.
“Yeah, you still haven’t told me who you are and why you smell like you just fell out of a beer keg.”
“I’m Jason. I’m one of your biggest fans.”
Penny looked around, “Did you do this? You know, I’m not really that easy. I don’t do fans. How did you bring me here? I don’t remember. Was I drugged?”
“Not by me you weren’t.”
“I don’t understand it.” She milled around the grassy area between the apartments and the corner store. “I was riding in the front seat talking to Frederick and the next moment I was standing here.”
Jason put his hand in his pockets and felt the figurine again. “No, it couldn’t be.” He removed the artifact from his pocket. “This thing brought you here, maybe?”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know, I dug it out of the ground.” He retraced his steps. “I said I wished you were here with me and then I rubbed smudges of dirt from it and put it in my pocket.”
“You rubbed it? Like Aladin’s lamp?”
“I made a wish and then rubbed it.”
“Sounds stupid. Rub it again and see if it will send me back.”
“Okay, I wish Penny Tickles was back at her photo shoot.” He rubbed the figurine. Nothing happened.
“Did you break it?”
“Maybe wish me back in the car.”
“I wish Penny Tickles was back in the car she was riding in.” He rubbed the figure and closed his eyes. When he opened them, an impatient Penny stared back at him.
“Your doohickey didn’t bring me here. It was stupid to think something like that would work. Although, it is weird I just appeared here out of nowhere.”
“Something did it.” Jason said.
“Do you have a car?” Penny asked.
“Yeah, I do but I’ve had a few beers.”
“Do you have friends who can drive?”
“Yes, but all drunk or drinking at the moment.”
“Well, get your keys. It’s time to live dangerously. I need to get back to my shoot.”
“I’m not risking my life and car to drive you to God knows where. If you can wait a couple of hours for me to sober up, I’ll take you.”
“Never mind, I’ll call a service.” She said typing into her cellular phone. “Wait, do you have any cash?”
“No.” He lied. He wasn’t about to give her the beer money. It wasn’t all his anyway.
“I don’t have access to my credit card. It was stolen and I’m waiting for the replacement. You brought me here, don’t you want to help me?” She tried to use her feminine wiles.
“I thought we established I had nothing to do with it.”
“Look, I have never been late to set. You had better think of something.”
“No need to get angry.” Jason said. There was a rumble beneath their feet. “Wait, what was that?” It happened again. Off to the left near the sidewalk and pavement a crack began to form and break open.
“Over there.” Penny pointed out. “I think we had better run.”
“It’s an earthquake!” A student yelled as he ran by.
“No need to panic. We have had tremors here before. They don’t last.” Jason said.
Another chasm in the ground began to open up in the field behind them. A giant red hand appeared and clutched the side of the crumbling dirt.
“I’m running!” Penny said.
“Yeah, I think I’ll join you.” Jason said following behind. “Run to the dorm straight ahead.” He instructed. He looked back to see a horned head rise from the chasm. The skies began to darken and fire leap from the openings in the ground. It reminded him of the many demon-laden heavy metal album covers in his dorm room. Heavy metal bands often depicted creatures identical to what he was seeing. The first one had to have been over six feet tall not including the horns. It was deep red in skin color, had a dog-like snout, and it walked on hooves. It was followed by smaller, balding creatures with forked tongues and pointed tails. Penny was just ahead of Jason when the dorms began to buckle. A rift began to open between just in front of the dorm room entrance. Luckily, the dorms held.
“Follow me. I am sober now!”
“Okay, where are you taking me?”
“To my car. I can drive for sure, now.” He began to fumble around with his keys trying to get them out of his pocket. He yanked on them, and they caught on the thread of his inner pocket. He yanked again and they flew up into the air and landed a few feet away. “My keys.”
“I have them.” Penny said. She reached for them which gave Jason time to look back. The demons were running at full speed toward them. The little ones were cackling madly. The larger one seemed to focus on Jason. Penny handed him the keys and Jason took off running in a panic. They reached Jason’s white 2010 Ford F150 and he used the keyless entry to unlock the doors. “Hurry, get in!”
Jason slammed the keys into the ignition as Penny closed the passenger door. The truck’s engine roared to life and Jason put it in gear and took off, running over the concrete parking barrier. The truck bounced wildly but cleared the obstacle.
“COME BACK!” The large demon shouted. “JASON!”
“Shit! It knows my name!” Jason said.
“What the hell is going on?”
Penny looked out the back window. “I don’t know, college boy, but I hope you know how to seriously drive this thing.”
“Because those things are right behind us, and they are hella fast!”
Jason punched the accelerator and headed for the open freeway.