It’s story time kids!…
Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel. It just never stops, does it? here I am sitting down to have a steamy bowl of jambalaya and the damn phone rings again. “Hello?” I say. “Alright yeah, I’ll be there in 15 minutes. No, she’s been possessed this long. 15 more minutes won’t change anything. Just keep her from jamming a crucifix in any orifices. She can do permanent damage that way.”
Damn, it’s Steve’s Discount Exorcisms to the rescue again. $19.99 with a coupon, no waiting, quick to-your-door service. I thought if I became an exorcist I could charge exorbitant sums, do a couple gigs a year, and just chill out most of the time. Maybe open up a place for tourists in the French Quarter. But then I found out the exorcist biz is pretty crowded in good ‘ol NOLA. Driving the prices down. Some guys will even bring a bottle of Champagne to celebrate ridding the customer of their demons.
Plenty of cases to go around. Though most of the time those “demons” are just a bad dose of smack or some spring breaker’s bad acid trip. This city does strange things to people when they’re sober. And it’ll really jack ’em up if they ain’t.
I should have opened a massage place. Even rubbing down fat Cajuns would be better than this.
I pull up to 202 Port Royal Ave. I can hear her screaming already. This chick’s got it bad. The front door is open so I stroll in and follow the screams up the stairs to the second room on the right. It’s painted a nauseating shade of pink. Like Pepto Pink. Maybe this girl can lick her walls to settle her stomach after she barfs up whatever she’s ingested that’s making her think the demons are stealing her soul.
There she is. On the bed, about 18 year old, totally freaking out. Sweat across her brow and dressed in a flimsy nightgown. In another situation that could make for a very sexy scene. But there’s nothing sexy about a girl that screams and drools on herself.
Her mother is beside her in a ratty old house gown. “Thank God you’re here! Please help my baby!”
“Stand aside ma’am. I’ll do everything I can.” I know should be more sympathetic or something. I can come off like a delivery with a refrigerator coming in sometimes. I set my bag down. Step one: Smack her. Sometimes that does the trick. Like getting an old TV set to kick in.
SMACK! I give the girl a wallop across the face and she growls and spits at me. I was hoping this would be a quickie, dammit.
Ok, time for the theatrics. I light some candles I have in my bag. Lights down low I start reciting in Latin. “A combibo quod suus viaticus es nunc secui.” I don’t know Latin from a hole in the ground. But I translated that phrase from some internet site. It means “A sucker and his money are soon parted.”
I ran it through a few times. It does no good of course. If it did, there would Latin classes at the Betty Ford Clinic.
I ask her mother to leave the room so I can concentrate. I need to seriously focus and can’t have any distractions between me and the “poor victim”. As she closes the door, I grab the hypo and vial from my bag. A little bit of this crap will calm a raging elephant. The tricky part is getting the needle in her flailing arm without it breaking.
“Calm the hell down, would you?” I say as I try to grab hold. I practically have to sit on the chick’s head with one foot on her wrist, but I get the needle in and squeeze the plunger. Finally she relaxes…
…For a second. I’m throwing the stuff in my bad and getting ready to collect my meager wage. All the sudden I hear a scream and a desk lamp goes whizzing by my head. Oh, hell no… This is not going to be a pleasant day.