Thursday, 25 October 2012

At the Petrol Station of Insanity


Rain kamikazed into the windscreen as I pulled into the forecourt and up to the pump. I pushed the car door open and popped the petrol cap off. Despite hunching my shoulders, rain leaked down the back of my neck and I stumbled to the hose, pushing it into the car with a clunk.

Squeezing the trigger, I stared up at the station’s sign above me, a simple, red  image of the tentacle-headed monster god on a yellow background.

“ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn,” I chanted under my breath.

The hose shook and bucked in my hand. I turned away from the faint soul shredding wail coming from my slowly filling tank and stared at the sky. It boiled with cloud in every direction. I rubbed the palm of my free hand into my eye socket.

After a couple of minutes I released the hose trigger and pushed it back into place. I fixed the petrol cap into place and the wailing died away.

As I approached the counter the attendant looked up. He was bald but had the now traditional fringe of long hair around the side which had clumped together and looked like the tentacles of the monster god.

“That’ll be twelve hundred pounds,” he muttered, flicking a glance at the rain.

“They really need to do something about the price rises,” I grumbled, pulling my wallet out.

“The Reaper can only claim so many souls in a day,” the attendant said solemnly in a voice as deep as a forgotten well. His eyes rolled in his head and a little dribble trickled from his mouth. “Pray he does not come too soon for yours.”

I waited for him to recover then handed over my card.

“Sorry,” the attendant muttered. “I can’t help that. Possession.”

I nod and take my card back off him.

“Thanks.” I walk back and climb into my car. I push my fingers through my hair a few times as I wait for the engine to warm up before firing it. The radio burbled on.

…Today’s traffic report. Roads around Manchester are still gridlocked as the populace try to flee the Reaper. The Minister of Transport continues to say that the benefit of the Reaper of Souls far outweighs the drawbacks…

I pull off and head South. Hoping to escape the rain.