* * * * *
Uneven footsteps click against concrete and echo in my ears still hot and fuzzy from the loud music. There’s not a soul around. Oh yeah, there’s a girl on my arm. She’s hanging on, heavy like a bowling ball in my hand dragging me to the ground. I straighten to take my arm back. Jeez. That was my head. I look behind us. Did we run into that pole? I laugh and rub my temple. That’s going to hurt tomorrow.
Eureka it’s the car. Abrupt red in a maze of gray. All these levels look the same. They do it on purpose just to mess us up when all we want to do is go home. It’s so far away. We’ll never make it.
Two beeps greet us. I open her door, drop her into the seat. Her hair sprays across the head rest. Why did I pick the blonde? The brunette was cuter. I grab the door handle. Wait, that’s not right. I put her leg inside. Slam the door. Oh, seat belt. Open the door, wrestle her seat belt over her and click it. She tries to kiss me but misses, hits my ear instead. My feet drag through mud to my door. But there’s no mud here.
I push the ignition. What’s that sound? I squint at the blinking words in the dash. “Check tire pressure,” I say, but my lips won’t move. She giggles in her sleep.
My forehead hits the steering wheel, and I force myself back outside. Four flat tires shit this is the boss’s car. Shit shit shit. Two hundred fifty fucking thousand dollar supercar and some jerk has to flatten the tires because I have one and he doesn’t. Drive on the rims. Wouldn’t be the first time. I already owe him four tires why not throw in some rims.
It takes a year to get back in the car. I hit the button again. No engine. Again. Nothing. Something blinks at me, but it’s a cartoon. A picture of a foot. How am I supposed to know what that means?
A crash on the roof wakes me. I wipe the drool off my chin. Black wings span the hood. Red eyes stare. And fangs? I get out.
He leaps off the car. A demon of some sort. “You’re still here?” he asks.
“Can’t get the car started.”
He looks at his nails. Not nails. Talons. “Did you push in the clutch?”
Oh. Guess not. But he’s the asshole. I’m not stupid. I shove him. He hisses and spins, slicing my shirt in four places.
“What do you want?” I yell.
“I need a soul. You, or her. Your choice.”
I want to go home. And I would kill for some fish tacos. “That’s easy. Her.”
He grabs my throat. “Wrong answer.”
He’s almost dragged me to the elevator when the car’s other door opens. “You’re leaving? You pig!” Suddenly she’s wide awake. “I can’t drive in these shoes!”
The demon gives me a knowing look. “Okay. I’ll take her.”