Posted by Jenn Thorson at 7:00 AM Labels: hellmouth, mine subsidence, Pittsburgh, portal to hell, roadwork
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?