by Thomas Pluck
When you make a pact with Satan, it doesn’t come with a protection plan like at the electronics store. It’s all like at the used car lot, as-is, and if the shit breaks down and throws a rod before you leave the lot then you are screwed, man: Satan’s sitting on the recliner sucking down your soul, like your old man with the last cold brewski out of the fridge.
So let the devil worshiper beware, is what I’m saying.
Me, Carl, Eddie and Arf all totally got screwed by old Mister Diablo. Arf’s real name’s Arafat and he’s like the only headbanger kid from Bangladesh. He don’t like being called Arafat because he is-a-fat. He likes Arf.
He says it reminds him of Alf.
So anyway, His Supreme Evilness boned us with that whole hidden clause deal, like when I bought my van at Shartleville Motors. It even had a “Cash, Grass or Ass, Nobody Rides for Free!” sticker already on it, but it leaked oil all over the driveway, and I had to buy like five bags of kitty litter to soak that shit up. But anyway. The Devil, he screwed us out of our souls, and I lay the blame square on the awesomeness of Metallica’s platinum-selling first album, Kill ‘Em All, and specifically the bitchin’ tune “The Four Horsemen.” The album’s real title is Metal Up Your Ass, but like, Tipper Gore and the censors made ’em change it. But the real hardcore fans, we know the real name.
This is how it went down.
* * *
“It would totally rock me off my nads, if I was like the Death horseman of the apocalypse,” I declare, puff, and pass.
“Fuuuuuuuck yeah,” Carl says, and totally Bogarts the shit out of that joint.
Eddie smacks his brother on the back of the head with a can of Blatz, spraying foam on his mullet, and yoinks the roach out of his mouth. “You ass monkey. I’d be Death. I can kick all your asses.”
Yeah because you stayed back two years, I don’t say.
“Then I’d be like, War, man,” I do say.
Carl snaps out, “Dibs on Famine. I wanna like, be Skeletor and shit.”
Arf is testing the bong he made from a flareside pickup truck’s exhaust pipe in metal shop. It sounds like a jet engine when he inhales.
“By the power of Greyskull,” Arf cackles, “I will be Flatulence!”
He then bends over and unleashes a skin-blistering butt trumpet solo.
I feel my shoulder-length hair blown back by it.
“Whoa! Sick, dude.”
“What the hell did you eat?”
“He eats bantha shit. It’s like Star Wars elephant poo,” Eddie says.
“It’s called pantha bhat, asshole!”
Arf’s eyes pin and his goat butt beard makes him look like Tattoo from Fantasy Island. On weed.
“It’s pestilence, man. Like, diseases, and shit.” I say.
“That sure smelled diseased,” Eddie says, waving his lighter around, like a match. Except it doesn’t work like a match. He totally would stay back a third year, if we didn’t all lose our souls to Satan five minutes later.
“I’d totally sell my soul to like, the Devil, to be one of the horseman of the Apocalypse. And rock out with Metallica on tour,” I say.
“Me too,” Eddie says.
“Me too,” Arf says.
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says.
I wish it was as cool as playing heavy metal records backwards and shit, but apparently all it takes to summon Satan is for four metalheads on weed to think of selling their souls at the same time. Or maybe we sacrificed a goat on a Judas Priest album cover and rubbed blood on our buttholes, and I just don’t remember it.
What I do remember is that El Diablo himself looks and sounds like Mr. Rourke from Fantasy Island, that Retardo Mentalblock dude, in a white suit, clove hoofs, horns, a fuckin’ tail and shit.
“Welcome to Fantasy Island, buttfuckers,” Satan says, appearing in a cloud of smoke from Arf’s bong.
“Holy shit,” Arf says.
“Hail Saa— hail you, dude!” Eddie says, bowing.
“I fuckin’ call dibs on being the Death apocalypse dude!” I say, and touch Satan’s nearest hoof, to cement the deal, like calling shotgun.
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says.
“Fuuuck no! I called Death, queermo!” Eddie cries.
“Too bad, ass whore. Herschel here touched my hoof. That shit be bond.”
“Aw, fuck man. Then I’m War!”
“And I’m Skeletor!”
“And I’m Flatulence!” Arf yelled, and releases another death cloud.
“That shit nasty,” Satan says. “What the fuck you eat? Goat curry?”
“Yes, Lord Satan. Sorry, if you’re like offended, being half goat and stuff.”
Satan laughs like that shit’s really funny.
“I hope you like the taste, because to seal this shit you all gotta soul kiss my butthole.”
“What?” I say.
“Nasty!” Arf says.
“I think I’m gonna yuke,” Eddie says.
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says, and goes first.
Eddie next. Then he yukes.
Arf and I look at each other, shrug, and totally gargle with a can of Blatz afterward.
“Okay, turdmunchers. You be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
“Satan, how come you look like Mr. Rourke but talk like Jimmy Walker from Good Times?”
“Cuz I’m dyno-mite! I just knocked four resumes off my list for Armageddon, and I got rimmed for doing it!”
“You mean, we didn’t have to do that?”
“Nah, handshake’s fine. Always read the fine print. By the way, you’re all fuckin’ dead, too. And virgins. Except for Carl, who fucked Arf’s family goat last week.”
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says.
“Nooo!!!” Arf howls, and we all fuckin’ die.
Our families sue Ozzy for wrongful death, and lose. We cheer down in Hell.
* * *
So here we are. End of the fuckin’ world. On big horses like a Budweiser commercial at Christmas. Some hippie is saying “Come and see,” like you could miss it.
I’m totally Death, with a big honkin’ fuck-off scythe, riding a white horse.
Eddie is on a red horse. He glares at me through the visor of his bitchin’ spiked armor straight from a Molly Hatchet album cover, then sees his huge battleaxe, and smiles. Being War is fuckin’ awesome.
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says, admiring his skeletal hands. “I’m fuckin’ hungry, dude.” He’s on a black horse, gaunt and all Ethiopian-looking and shit.
Arf rides a brown horse.
Two demons flap their wings above him, one holding his mouth open with a trident, the other pouring a 55 gallon drum of B&M baked beans into his Herve Villechaize-lookin’ mouth.
I’m Death, and that shit was horrifying. Arf’s ass is rumbling like a dormant volcano about to go all Mount St. Elsewhere on the whole planet.
“Don’t say I gyp no salad-tossin’ Satan-worshippers,” Satan says. He’s riding the dudes from Metallica, tied with barbed wire into the awesomest fuckin’ horse I’ve ever seen, guitars and all. They look scared shit, but they’re rocking so hard that if my nads hadn’t rotted off centuries ago, they would totally fly off in utter metalhead bliss.
“I know your album was called Metal Up Your Ass, Mr. Hetfield,” I say, and try to smile without a face.
Hetfield is so scared he misses a note during the chorus.
We sing it as our horses clop through the bodies of eighty bajillion people.
“All Flesh is grass,” Satan says, twirling the corpse of Keith Richards into a joint. He takes a puff, and passes it to me.
I don’t have lungs, but you don’t need ’em for a soul blunt. Keith was some good shit.
I exhale, and Metallica gets to the part where they announce our names, which we realize we got wrong, when it’s Time instead of War.
“Aw, fuckin’ bullshit!” Eddie snarls through his helmet.
“Fuuuuck yeah,” Carl says when they get to the Famine part.
For Arf’s benefit, they change the lyrics to “Flatulence, for what you had to endure! And what you have put others through!”
Arf makes the devil horns sign with his hands and gurgles as the B&M baked beans pour down his face, then lets forth with a truly Earth-shattering fart. I mean, the Earth crumbles. I see some continent I should remember from Mr. Mancuso’s Geography class get swallowed up by the ocean. It begins as one of those high whistle squeakers, then becomes a cheek-slapping crescendo that just never, ever, ends. I don’t even get to hear my Death verse from the song, but it’s cool. We march across the planet, sharing hits off Keith Richards, laughing and headbanging to Mutant Metallica as Arf delivers a totally awesome Fartmageddon.
Thomas Pluck is a writer who lives in New Jersey with his wife. His work has appeared in Beat to a Pulp, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the Utne Reader. He is working on his first novel. His home on the web is www.pluckyoutoo.com.
Marco Attard is an accidental traveler through various points in time and space. This unfortunate condition makes him continually feel lost and confused, not to mention the constant vertigo. In between orientating himself to different times and histories, he reads, writes, and continually avoids deadlines.