He had enough of the rowdiness in the parking lot of Knowlton Mall.
“This is absolutely unnecessary. Everyone who is standing here—yes, all of you,” Ghoul stood between a pair of holiday shoppers who fought over a spot in the line. He separated them, then proceeded to climb onto a three-foot tall stone wall. “Everyone needs to stop and just listen to me for a minute.”
No one did.
“I’m going to help him,” said Elizabeth.
“Oh, please don’t,” I said.
She walked over to Ghoul as he continued to protest upon deaf ears. The entire concept of Black Friday had disgusted him the moment he learned of it. The only reason he had joined us was to people watch. Since we had arrived (which was not more than five minutes ago), Ghoul decided that it was his mission to bring traditional sense back to the masses. I really don’t know what Ghoul meant by that. I for one enjoy the deals and savings on Black Friday.
Ghoul hollered, “This isn’t America anymore.”
Elizabeth caught his attention and Ghoul bent down to her. She whispered into his decaying ear, then exchanged a quick nod before making her way back to me.
“What did you say to him?” I asked.
“I just gave him a little advice on how to get noticed.”
It took a bold-face lie, but he gained the attention of every single shopper that clamored the front of the mall.
“I may have an extra seventy-two inch from today and I am willing to sell.”
A puff of chilled breath hung from the mouths of the salivating shoppers as they waited for Ghoul to continue. The silence was powerful.
“I want everyone here to take a good look around. Take it all in. Do you see it? I do. It’s called Anarchy.”
A few shoppers responded during his brief pause.
“How much for the flat-screen?” asked one exhausted man.
“Yeah—what he said!” said a tiny woman who wore a brown hat.
“I have something worth one-thousand times more. It’s called a wake-up call. And I’ll give it to you all for free tonight. How does that sound?”
Another pause brought more remarks from the shoppers.
“Is it one of them four-k-smart-whatever televisions? I’ll give you five hundred for it,” said a woman who was drinking a steamy beverage.
“I’ll give you seven-hundred right now,” said a young man who had spiky black hair.
“Like hell you will!”
The women launched her drink in the direction of the man. Hot liquid spewed over a group of about twenty people. I don’t know who threw the first punch, but I somehow ended up getting hit in the jaw by a stranger in green rubber boots. My vision blurred for a few seconds and I felt someone grab my hand. Elizabeth was dragging me away from the violent throng of shoppers before we both sustained any further injuries.
“Aw man—I love a good fight,” she said.
Blood trailed from Elizabeth’s nose and her right eye was already developing a bruise.
“I have more to say about this television,” shouted Ghoul to the crowd of battling shoppers.
The massive brawl froze at Ghoul’s mentioning of the nonexistent flat screen. Then, they slowly turned their heads to his direction.
“There is no television. Okay? I made that up so you would all just stop and listen to me for a few minutes. Is there any need for you to fight over material possessions? Is that what America—the greatest country on Earth—has become? Where are our values?”
“Does anyone get the feeling that this guy is pulling our leg?” asked a skeptical shopper.
“I think we better wait to see if there is a warranty that comes along with it,” responded an older woman with a busted lip.
“Can you all imagine what our founding fathers would have to say if they could witness our actions? I can just picture George Washington rolling over in his grave right now. You’re like a mindless herd of zombies right now.”
It wasn’t surprising that Elizabeth and I were the only ones chuckling at his last sentence. However, we did notice that the mob of shoppers had become agitated by this. Ghoul needed to bring his speech back around before he found himself at the mercy of the Black Friday shoppers. Elizabeth motioned to him. I don’t know what she was doing with her hands, but Ghoul caught on to her signals and brought the speech back around.
“It’s the holiday season, everyone. I don’t mean to come down harsh on you, yet I want to make sure my message was received. We need to be there for each other and enjoy the time we have on this planet. Everything inside that mall here is just a bunch of… stuff! Does stuff bring happiness and love and positive memories? Huh?”
“… Yeah?” said the man with the spiky black hair.
“That’s not my point. Look—you only have one life to live. Trust me when I say that you should cherish every moment with happiness and laughter, as you probably won’t get another chance. Make those moments count. Make them revolve around helping one another and bring love into—
“They’re opening the doors!”
Ghoul was toppled over within a matter of seconds. The mob of shoppers stampeded by, trampling over anything that got in their way. Elizabeth and I had to stand in between two vehicles to stay safe. The mob of shoppers thinned, and then final, disappeared inside. We made our way to Ghoul literally torn into pieces from this. His arms, prosthesis, and head were scattered over the concrete walk way, soaking in pools of his own rotting bodily fluids.
“I think that went as well as it could have,” I said.
“You think so?” he asked.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017