I've Been Working on the Hellmouth


The hole that opened up was growing at an alarming rate. And the macadam dipping downward at its ridge hinted that its plan for Manifest Destiny was not complete.

Peering into it, I could see a significant cavern below. One filled with paper cups, broken beer bottles... and I'm not sure, but I swore I saw a small naked creature rubbing a ring and murmuring, "My Preciousssss."

We probably wouldn't have thought anything of it. But this was the second Portal to Hell to rip into the alley behind our offices in the last year.

The last one grew to rival the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, causing the city to consider summer tourism options.... Helicopter fly-overs and postcards... T-shirts reading "I Saw What Put the Pit in Pittsburgh." Stuff like that.

That's when PennDot finally filled it with concrete and problematic union workers, as per code.

My coworkers and I thought that was the end of it. But now "Pit to Hell 2" has started to suck in our world. Just in time for the summer blockbuster sequel season.

"The Hellmouth": that's how we've been joking about it. Sure, the idea of mine subsidence and underground springs are legit theories. But they just don't click as well as this being the beginning of a demon uprising in our neighborhood.

You see, the more we think about it, the more the Hellmouth theory makes sense.

I mean, what else would explain the local bagel shop-- a place where asking glassy-eyed sandwich artists for a simple ham and cheese means you might as well be speaking in tongues?

Or the strange neighborhood burger joint where madmen linger covered in scarves and teddybears... where humans bark like dogs... and where the cashier smiles her greeting with bright brown teeth?

Are these not signs that something demonly is nigh? I mean, I've seen Ghostbusters 47 times. I know how these things work.

So we're keeping a close eye out for our colleagues who smoke out back. We figure they'll be the first ones to be picked off. And it's a shame, because they're some really nice folks. I'd hate to see them go.

Well, okay, maybe not that one guy... But hey, most of 'em are really, really super-nice folks.

But in the fight against Demon Spawn, those kind of affections just have to be put aside. Doesn't matter who it is, and how much I like them-- the first person who comes in from smoke break with glowing red eyes unrelated to a nicotine buzz...? Well, I'm afraid we'll just have to slay him.

Of course, we don't have a lot to work with right now. Just some thick wooden pencils for staking, some decent scissors and a few Swingline staplers. But we'll make due.

So if the office coffee runs red, and the mini-fridge in the kitchenette shouts "Zuul," well, we'll know it's time to spring into action.

Well... maybe not the part about the mini-fridge. I don't think that's actually been cleaned out in a while.

Any tips for us to battle the demon hoards?

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23 comments:

DouglasDyer said...

Yeah right! Like you and some nicotine junkies can hold back the cloven-hoofed underlord! Dibs on the Swingline!

Shawn said...

"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"

I would be careful.

Jenn Thorson said...

Douglas- Hey, you'd be surprised. I mean, how many underestimated Shaun in that Zombie Situation? And how many thought Buffy wouldn't survive out of high school? I'd say our Rag-Tag Team (because it has to be a rag-tag team, doesn't it) has a very good chance. After all-- we battle on client projects daily!

Shawn- Yes, indeed. I will try to prevent the Keymaster and Gatekeeper from meeting on local Craigslist.

Da Old Man said...

To fight demons you already have all you need. With the stapler, you can take two pencils and fashion a cross which will keep the demons at bay.
To destroy the demons, simply play Amy Grant music backwards.
Good luck in fighting the good fight.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Now, I know you had a LOT of jobs over the years, Joe-- are you SURE you didn't once work as a DemonFighter? These are some fine tips.

Angela Lovell said...

I think you are on to something - we are flooding here really badly, so maybe the apocalypse is imminent - if you see any demons in the next few days can you ask them just to make sure?

Jenn Thorson said...

Angela- In between the screaming and running-- sure! :) I think my ancient Aramaic might be a tad rusty though.

Da Old Man said...

I did have bosses nicknamed The Incubus, and the Succubus. So, yeah, I have battled demons professionally before.
:)

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Ha! Having read those horror stories of yours myself, I should have REALIZED right away, shouldn't I?!! (That made me laugh.) No wonder you're so good at this!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Did anyone else suggest hiring Sarah Michele Geller? Or whatever her dang name is? you know...Buffy...hello? Or that hot guy on Bones who used to play Angel. Um....those are just shows aren't they?

(Shows I actually hate, but my husband likes. Go figure I seem to know so dang much about them).

Jonny's Mommy said...

P.S. Where did you get the cute Twitter button?

Jenn Thorson said...

Jonny's Mommy- We can't afford hired guns for this. We're just a bunch of writers and designers. :) Though my day would improve with the guy from Bones. :)

I'll DM you on Twitter the URL of the place I got the Twitter button. I'll have to look it up.

Blicky Kitty said...

You know, bad in my days of gainful employment I often felt as if I was descending into the gaping maw of hell as I went to work on Monday. Maybe that wasn't far from the truth.....

Jenn Thorson said...

Blicky- There are days I, too, wonder if it's a metaphor or not. :)

Speedcat Hollydale said...

SHAZAM !!!!!!!!!!!

Going to the hardware store for cement ..........

Ann's Rants said...

I think you're on to something with the mini-fridged--definite portal if you de-ice the miniminfreezer.

Oh, and of course they look at you glassy eyed when you order ham and cheese at a BAGEL shop. BLASPHEME! ;)

Babs-beetle said...

Actually I have just given you some zombie chickens over at my blog, but I promise it's not a conspiracy.

Jenn Thorson said...

Speedy-- YAY! Speedy to the rescue! You get the cement-- I'll get the troublesome union workers!

Ann- Oh, that miniminifreezer has more ice than the arctic. If we could use a shrink ray on the polar bears, we could fix that whole polar bear rescue situation.

Babs- Hey, zombie chickens! Coolness! I don't have any of those yet!

Drowsey Monkey said...

Well, I must confess I was expecting a Buffy post ... LOL.

I say throw the virgins in first.

Hmm...

You're all probably doomed.

Jenn Thorson said...

Drowsey- Heh, well, we haven't gotten actively into defending the city yet. So I'll keep you posted. Or if you suddenly don't hear from me, you'll know that virgin-into-the-pit thing didn't work out.

chyna said...

Of course they looked at you glassy eyed. You were eating one of their minion!!! Really Jenn you need to watch who/what you are eating around there. LOL

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- G-ah! I'm really going to have to be more careful!

Staci said...

Hey, you may work on top of a hellmouth, but I live on top of one. Seriously, take a drive down my street any time. See the screaming kids run at your car like a bunch of crazed zombies or worse like those kids from Village of the Damned. Even Buffy & Angel wouldn't be able to take them.

If you learn any tips, let me know. I could use some as well.