Black Friday: Why It Gotta Be Black?
Jack “Radical” Abrams woke to the sound of a screeching alarm. It was 4:30am, time to kick some ass in the shops. The previous day he'd gorged on turkey and all the delightful holiday delicacies associated with Thanksgiving. He met with family, talked at length about his school life with grandparents who were ever so proud, and went to bed early, a side effect of the tryptophan. Today though he was clad for war. Motorcycle helmet on and baseball bat at the ready he waited downstairs as his friend pulled into the driveway. Chris “Chest Nuts” Chenault stepped out of the car, bike helmet on and hockey mask in place. In his hand was a sack and a pipe wrench.
The two of them jumped in the black New Beetle Turbo in the driveway. It's red leather seats were a grim intimation of the bloodshed to come. They spoke little, mostly of the terrors they might encounter as the darkness on the roads roads and dismal rain were cast aside by the Beetle's fog lamps. Within minutes they were at the first door, the door to what would be known as Black Friday.
Walmart was packed but they found a decent enough spot. All around were poor people behaving like animals as they descended upon their pray of LCD TVs and household gifts. The cops had barricaded themselves, pistols drawn, but it would be some time before S.W.A.T. had the situation in hand. Jack and Chris entered the Walmart and began their plunder. The heat of the bodies and the savage nature of the customers was akin to a gladiatorial pit, and within seconds they were accosted by a large woman with a cart of unpaid goods.
*CRACK* Jack's baseball bat connected with her skull, leaving her laying on the floor. “Chris, run for electronics, I've got the main isles,” he shouted. Splitting up in this environment was dangerous but Chris nodded. Jack ran down the isles with his bat in hand, snatching products from the bins and throwing them into a pilfered cart. Occasionally he'd have to bludgeon someone out of the way, but in all it was a successful and minimally violent raid.
Chris on the other hand found himself in dire need of help. Electronics was packed like sardines and even with his pipe wrench he was soon lost on the flood of huddled bodies, clawing and screaming at one another. Jack rounded the automotive section and found the swarm of people in electronics. He couldn't see Chris and was about to call in his secret weapon, when suddenly a triumphant fist clenching a wrench emerged from the crowd. Christ cracked skull after skull as he plowed his way out of the mob single handedly. He'd procured the DVDs and bluetooth headset necessary, but was unable to find everything on the list. The two of them battled their way through checkout and back to the car.
They threw their goods in the trunk and floored it down the straight of the parking lot. The turbo whined in exertion as they screeched around the corner onto the road. In their rear view mirror they could see the cloud of dust in the dim morning light. A wall of Escalades, Chrysler 300s, and Lincoln Towncars descended upon the Walmart. “Thank god they're always late...” Chris said to Jack who nodded in agreement. The flames of the Walmart could be seen reflecting off the low rainclouds for miles. Within minutes they arrived at their second stop, Best Buy.
Unlike Walmart which was total chaos, Best Buy was on lockdown. The customers were like walking skeletons that shuffled along the checkout line that ran along the entire back of the store. The employees, in their clean uniforms, holding their MP-40s, barked orders and shouted into radios. This was a time for strategy. Jack created a diversion, searching the store for and playing with a display piano, luring the guards away as Chris snatched the prime loot. As Chris piled game after game into his basket, one of the guards caught him. “HALT!” he shouted, raising his MP-40.
Thinking fast Chris threw his pipe wrench, knocking the man unconscious. Chris was a man of improvisation and stole the submachine gun. Running and gunning his way through appliances he threw a toaster oven into his bag and cracked the skull of the guard at the front counter with the butt of his gun's stock. Sirens were raised, gates were closed, and Chris just barely managed to slip out of the store before the reserves were summoned. In the parking lot, waiting, was Jack with the car. Chris dived into the passenger seat and they were off. Within a minute the thunder of gunfire could be heard as the smell of terrible perfume and Kool-Aid filled the air. It was an all out battle at the fortress of Best Buy, but both Jack and Chris knew that even a precision organization like the Best Buy war machine was useless against a full invasion from Richmond.
“They're getting closer...” Chris uttered, unsure of their situation.
“Don't worry, we still have a good enough lead to do this,” Jack replied.
“I dunno, man, we should take what we have and go. It's not worth it.”
“Dude,” Jack turned to him, his eyes narrowed, “I came too far for this to end here. We're going to fucking do this.”
“We're risking our lives, think it over man.”
“I thought it over. If we don't get the best deals for Christmas, who's going to suffer? I'll tell you, our friends. Our family. All the people who didn't get the radical gifts they wanted. I can't live with that.”
“Okay then, but we're gonna need some more firepower if we're going to the belly of the beast,” Chris replied, coddling his MP-40.
“I'm way ahead of you, man.”
The mall was further away and their turbo beetle restored their safe head start on the melee that doggedly followed them. Within minutes though the traffic was a complete standstill. Jack flipped a switch on his Volkswagen's console and the machine transformed into a fully equipped Abrams tank.
“Man the gun, Chris, we're going in the front door.”
“Gotcha. Remember, we can't spend more than five minutes here even with the tank, so you be sure to meet me outside the Macy's.”
Jack nodded and punched the throttle. Cars were flattened before their mighty tank as they rolled like a ship on the ocean towards the food court. The waves of cars and SUVs made for choppy water but the ship that was their brutish tank held strong. Jack swung wide as Chris dove from the turret to the sidewalk. He plowed his way through the crowds and in through the glass entranceway.
Chris first made for the Hot Topic. With burst fire he cleared enough room to procure the best of the band shirts before ducking out for the Game Stop. He ran full speed down the mall corridor only to end up getting smacked in the back of the head by a baseball bat. Chris was knocked to the floor, his gun went flying into the crowd. Was it Jack? No, it was some other motherfucker, and he looked pissed.
“No one is getting Black Ops before me!” the man said, dressed from top to bottom in aluminum can armor. He was well prepared. His baseball bat held like a katana he prepared for the final blow, but Chris wasn't about to have any of that shit. He rolled out of the way as the bat struck the marble floor. Getting to his feet Chris grabbed the bat and kicked the motherfucker in the chest. It was no good, he was too big and Chris was tossed to the floor by a counter-kick.
Back on his feet, Chris was not about to let this motherfucker stop him from getting his much desired Black Ops. The man charged with the bat. Chris ducked, struck the man in the ribs, and backed up. The motherfucker blocked with his bat but Chris was too experienced for that. He charged, going under the bat and kneed him in the ribcage, sending him to the floor. A curb stomp from steel toed boots was the end of this engagement. Chris ran inside with the motherfucker's bat and started cracking skulls. It was Black Ops time.
Jack sailed the oceans of cars with little trouble. The rapids were tough but the tank was nimble on the car corpses. It looked like Macy's would be no trouble at all. He rounded the bend and waited by the exit when he caught the scent of fried chicken. He looked down the road, the cloud of dust was nearing already! He had to fight them off until Chris emerged, so he stationed himself by the Macy's parking lot entrance and lobbed shells down the road. It was a futile effort to defeat them, but it might hold them off he thought. Only if Chris could get out in time. As he fired, the cloud still grew nearer. All hope might have been lost, but suddenly a carpet bombing was unleashed. Chrysler 300s flew through the air as the hurricane of fire rained from above. It was an artillery unit from the Sears department, apparently other shoppers anticipated the invasion as well. Jack tossed them most of his ammo supply and returned to the Macy's entrance under their cover, now lighter and faster than before.
Chris emerged from the Game Stop, steeped in blood. His nemesis however had returned. Armor broken and with a sinister look he brandished Chris's MP-40. “Now, hand over that game,” he said. Over the roar of the crowds though, he could not hear the doom behind him. The mall had three entrances, and although Jack was defending the one by the Macy's and the Sear's with artillery support, the J.C. Penny had been compromised. A horde of darkness was behind the menacing stranger and closing in fast. Chris booked it for the Macy's at the end of the corridor as the man turned to meet his fate. Gunfire was heard, but it was soon silenced by the roar of confusion and incomprehensible english.
Chris burst through the Macy's door and jumped in the Abrams with Jack. They floored it for the exit, but it was too late. The artillery at the Sears was destroyed, the darkness was entering the Macy's, and the entire parking lot was Escalades. Black Friday had begun.
“We're in the shit now,” Chris said, their tank's treads becoming clogged with 22” rims.
“I can't see through the blackness, Chris, go topside and navigate,” Jack replied.
“Oh hell no, that's suicide.”
The two plowed forward, lobbing the remaining shells whenever necessary but by the time they made it to the road they were out of ammo. For what seemed like hours they wandered the desolated land. All around them stores burned. Corpses littered the roads. Waves of blood and gore washed against their tank as they passed shopping centers. It was chaos. But at long last, in the midst of the darkness, a beacon of light shined through. They floored it for the only respite from the horrors.
It was the International House of Pancakes. The only sanctuary for the weary shopper. Jack and Chris had made it to safety at last. They parked their tank in the sacred parking lot where darkness dare not go and feasted on pancakes and bacon, nursing themselves to health on orange juice and coffee. As they finished their meals and went outside they found the sun was shining. The terrorizing madness that had gripped the shops was loosening, and the roads were navigable again. The Abrams turned back into a turbo beetle as they got in and headed home, stopping to pick up cigars and to congratulate each other on a day well spent. That afternoon they smoked and spoke only of their wonderful spoils, not daring to mention the evil they witnessed. It was a good day, a great day, but it would always be known as the Black Friday.