“Is that all you’re getting?” Eradication asks, pointing to the shopping cart being pushed along by Keening.
“What are you talking about?” Keening asks.
“All you grabbed was popcorn,” Eradication clarifies.
“First,” Keening replies, as she begins ticking off on her fingers. “This shit is delicious. Second, it’s not like they’re all the same. I’ve got butter flavored, butter lovers, movie style,” she says as she points to individual boxes overflowing her cart. “There’s kettle corn, cheese flavored, sour-cream and onion… every flavor I could want! I mean, this store is incredible! Third, I’ve got a twelve-pack of beer in there at the bottom.”
“Did you leave any behind?” Eradication asks.
“I hope not,” Keening answers. “And fourth… Fuck you,” she blurts. “Look at all the nasty shit you’re getting! How many frozen burritos do you need? And what’s this?” she asks, grabbing a colorful plastic bag from Eradication’s shopping cart. “Fucking frozen taquitos! Holy shit, those cannot be any good!”
“I’ve got at least a dozen frozen pizzas in there someplace!” Eradication says, snatching the bag from Keening’s hands and tossing it back into her personal cart. “And this is the food of the gods.”
“You wish,” Keening replies.
“This place is amazing!” Pandemic squeals, slamming her cart around the corner of the aisle to join the two. Half of the space in her personalized rolling basket is filled with every cheap kid’s toy the store stocks, including paddleball games, numerous brightly colored toy pistols with suction-cup darts, an uncountable amount of super-balls and many bottles of blowing-bubbles. Taking up the rest of the room in the cart and rising three feet over the top, is an entire PEZ display, racks and everything. All the humans in the grocery store watch as she races toward her friends, trying to see around her collected treasures while careening into shelves and knocking things to the floor.
“Seriously?” Eradication asks, staring in disbelief at the spinning display wedged and leaning severely to the left side inside the cart, as Pandemic comes to a stop. Once the display finishes its final turn with a protesting squeak, her gaze falls on Pandemic’s elated expression.
“I love these things!” Pandemic says, tearing open one of the packages of PEZ with her teeth, pulling on the spring-loaded head to expose the candy-channel, loading it with the small rectangular sweets and pushing the head back into position “You snap their heads back,” she says, holding the plastic dispenser in her fist and forcing the head of Yogi Bear back with her thumb. “And it spits out a treat, just like real people!” she says with a giggle, before extracting the tiny candy with her razor-sharp teeth and grinning the entire time.
Keening can’t help being impressed with how quickly she’d filled the fucking toy. It reminded her of a practiced, quick-draw marksman, deftly reloading his revolver with one of the speed-loader thingies before snapping the cylinder closed with a flick of the wrist. Pandemic completed the entire maneuver within seconds and didn’t fumble a single piece.
“Fine,” Eradication says, shaking her head. “Where are Hellbound and Desolation?”
“I saw them wandering around together by the meat counter,” Pandemic replies, plucking another candy from Yogi’s neck.
“Come on,” Eradication sighs, heading in the direction of the meat department.
“I wonder what kind of shit they’re getting,” Keening says, following Eradication.
Pandemic struggles to get her cart turned around with one hand while using the other to snap Yogi’s head back to nibble on the contents of his neck. After smashing a few jars of pickles onto the floor with her impaired cart-driving skills she catches up to the other two and they head down the aisle single-file. They reach the end of the aisle and Eradication turns left with Keening behind her as Pandemic munches the last candy from the toy and begins unwrapping the final paper-wrapped cartridge of morsels, using only her pinky and thumb while working Yogi’s head up with the remaining fingers of the same hand. Shifting her attention like a ping-pong ball on crack, between reloading the neck for another round and steering the overloaded shopping cart with one hand, she’s a little less than focused on either task.
“Fuck!” Keening yelps, as Pandemic runs her heavy shopping-cart-of-doom over the back of her heel.
“Oops. Sorry,” Pandemic says with no empathy.
“Then quit fucking pushing it!” Keening shouts, jerking her ankle and most of her foot from under the crushing path of destruction and causing the cart to buck.
“God damn it!” Pandemic shouts with obvious frustration and anger as she fumbles the loading process, accidentally sprinkling the unwrapped candies on the floor before glaring up at Keening.
“Oops! Sorry!” Keening replies in an exaggerated and sarcastic way, before turning away to follow Eradication.
Hellbound and Desolation are at the meat case and Eradication has almost reached them. Keening never sees the scowl on Pandemic’s face transform to a satisfied smirk, as she watches Keening follow with a slight limp to her step. Pandemic drops the empty bear on the vinyl tile floor and rips open another package, carefully completing the loading of Popeye’s throat before proceeding.
“What are you two doing?” Eradication asks, confused by the complete difference in the contents of Hellbound’s and Desolation’s carts.
“Team shopping,” Desolation answers, as she inspects the nearly empty meat case like she’s overlooked something.
“You’re what?” Keening asks with a smirk as she reaches them.
“Are you sure they don’t have any long pork?” Desolation asks, taking a step up onto the bottom of the case to peer over the top, possibly to see if something might be hiding back there.
“I told you, they don’t sell that here,” Hellbound answers before returning her attention to Eradication. “We’re team shopping,” she says with both hands resting on the handle of a shopping cart two-thirds full of assorted fresh, green vegetables and citrus fruits. The top third is brimming with every possible type of bran muffin, bran bagel and digestive biscuit the grocery store offers. “Do you see all the meat she has?” Hellbound asks, pointing at Desolation’s cart, which is holding most of the contents of the meat counter she was peeking around the end of, before giving up the search.
“I get that,” Eradication replies, pointing at the flesh filled rolling basket as Pandemic and Desolation join them. “But what’s up with all the healthy shit in yours?” she asks.
“Healthy shit is right,” Hellbound replies with a sparkle in her eye. “It’s going to take all this fiber,” she says, waving her hand over her collection of roughage and acids. “To move all that meat. And I like to keep my colon clear in case there’s a chance for anal. If you know what I mean?” she adds with a wink.
“Yeah,” Eradication says, holding up her hand. “I do.”
“She didn’t really leave any room for a misunderstanding,” Keening agrees.
“I’ve been listening to that kind of shit for the last half hour,” Desolation tells them.
Pandemic tries flipping Popeye’s head back like a nickel and plucking the candy out with her teeth before it snaps back. It’s a trick that makes her look like she’s either punching herself in the face for treats or sucking an invisible cock.
Nick, the store’s butcher, rounds the aisle toward the meat counter and the five beautiful demi-gods. His look of anger over the empty shelves, quickly turns to one of lust when he spots the gorgeous women laughing at Pandemic’s antics, which his mind twists into obscenities. He slowly approaches, mentally undressing each one with his eyes as he slides between them, still wearing his blood smeared apron.
“I’d like to see those tits,” Nick says quietly, leering at Pandemic as he slimes past her and pushes through the swinging doors leading into the butcher shop.
“What the fuck did he just say to her?” Keening asks, staring after Nick as the doors stop moving.
Pandemic drops the empty sailor to the floor, rips open another package and loads The Pink Panther for a round, completely ignoring the lecherous remark.
“Take my shit,” Desolation replies, pushing her full cart toward the three near-deities paying attention.
“What are you doing?” Eradication asks.
“I found the long pork,” Desolation answers, grabbing an empty cart abandoned nearby and guiding it through the butcher-room doors. “Hey Nick!” she calls out, her tone laced with malice. “Wanna see my fucking tits?”