A Gas Station Christmas (Part 4)

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

I’m not sure how differently the night would have gone if Spencer’s phone hadn’t started ringing right then, and I’m also not sure how I keep forgetting that he has the only private cellular network on the planet that reliably gets service out at the gas station.

We forgot to take his phone?!

The last couple times Spencer and I crossed paths, it didn't go so well for me. I never learned how to fight or take a punch, but one thing I'm surprisingly good at is picking Spencer's pockets, especially whenever he's got a case of the blood-lust blinders. Somewhere in a box in storage, I have about a dozen phones I've stolen off of Spencer and Kieffer, his deceased former employer. But this go-round, in my hurry to get him taped to a chair before he woke up, the idea of stealing his phone again had completely escaped me.

“You guys hear that?” asked not-Donald.

We all stood in a weird semicircle around him, and there was no possible way we didn’t all hear the ringing noise coming from just behind the supply closet door.

O’Brien and Rosa were between not-Donald and the supply closet, with Jerry and me on the opposite side. We had him surrounded, and if only I could somehow telepathically convey to the others that we needed to jump him now while his guard was down, we might have a shot at incapacitating him while our skin was still intact.

“I don’t hear anything,” blurted Rosa between rings. She was probably the worst liar I had ever witnessed, but now that she had set the narrative the others decided to commit.

“Yeah, me neither.” said Jerry, “Probs just the wind.”

Donald-the-demon pointed at the supply closet and gave Jerry a raised eyebrow, “You don’t hear that? The ringing coming from right behind that door?”

“No?” said Jerry.

“Ok, what about you?” he said to the deputy. “Are you going to gaslight, too?”

For some reason, O’Brien looked at me. I tried to make a hand gesture to say “He is a demon! We need to cut off his head!” but I think it just confused the hell out of her. She and I should never play charades together.

“Yeah, it’s nothing.” She said.

“It’s nothing? Why are you people being so weird right now?”

Rosa scoffed and said, “We’re not being weird. You’re the one acting weird.”

“Okay.” He said.

A silent moment passed.

Then, Demon-Donald pointed his flashlight right at O’Brien’s eyes. She flinched for just a second, enough time for Demonald to dart past her to the supply closet door.

“Wait!” I yelled.

But it was too late. Demonald had opened the door.

“What the hell is going on?” he asked, pointing the flashlight at Spencer.

O’Brien put up her hands and said, “It’s okay. I can explain.”

Spencer started shouting, “Oh my god, please! Please help me! You’ve got to save me! These people are maniacs! They beat me and killed my wife! You have to get help!”

Rosa--bad liar. Spencer--freakin’ amazing liar.

O’Brien yelled “Close the door!” and took a step forward.

“Hey!” yelled Demonald, “You stay back! Stay away from me! ALL OF YOU!”

“Please! Untie me! She’s not really a cop! They’ve killed people, so many people…”

Spencer started crying. Like, real, actual tears.

I couldn’t help it. I started slow clapping.

Everyone turned their flashlights to me except for Jerry, who was clapping along.

“You got something to say?” asked the shapeshifter-formerly-known-as-Donald.

“Yeah, how about we don’t turn this into a huge farce? How about we all come clean in the spirit of Christmas? You’re not really musical icon and famed television and movie star Donald Glover. You’re really Sagoth, the shapeshifting demon.”

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound right now?” asked (hopefully) Sagoth.

“Yeah, I do. Because I just said it.”

“These people,” sobbed Spencer, “They’re crazy! They’re talking about demons and angels and they’re killing people. There’s something wrong with them. Please run! Get help!”

Wait… why was Spencer staying in character? I just told him that this was Sagoth. Why didn’t he drop the act…


Sagoth wasn’t the one that had beaten him senseless and left him propped up against our door?

I felt a sudden pang of dread. This situation was spiralling out of control way faster than I could keep up with it.

O’Brien attempted damage control. “Everybody calm down. Donald, my name is Deputy Amelia O’Brien.”

“You’re a deputy?”


“And you think I’m a demon?”

“No. Of course not.”

“But that guy does.” he waved the flashlight at me, then pointed it at Spencer. “And this guy right here?”

“He’s a wanted criminal.”

“Ok, so that’s why you beat him up and duct taped him to a chair and hid him in a dark closet? Is that something deputies do?”

“No… not exactly.”

“Fuck this. I’m out.”

Before she could say anything else, Donald(?) turned and ran out the back door, letting another cold blast of freezing snow rush into the store before O’Brien raced out after him.

The only sound in the room for the next minute was Spencer laughing. No, not laughing. Cackling.

When he had finished, he said with a shit-eating grin, “This is getting fun.”

I wanted to run out after them. As stupid as it sounds, if I had been able to run, I would have. But they were gone, and O’Brien was an adult who made her own decision. All I could do was wait. The time crept by slowly, waiting for her to return. Intrusive mental images of a demon flaying my friend did not help. Neither did Spencer’s comments.

“Hey, Rosa, isn’t it?”

She looked up.

“Shut up.” I said.

“Let me just ask you one question. What exactly did Jack tell you about me? Huh? Did he try to sell you that horseshit about me being some kind of sociopath?”

Rosa answered, “The exact word he used was ‘psychopath.’”

Spencer laughed again.

“No, I’ve never hurt anyone before in my entire life. I came out here for Jack. I’m worried about him. You know what he has right? You know what FFI does to your brain? He shouldn’t be out here near other people, he needs to be in a hospital where he can’t hurt anybody else.”

“What do you mean ‘anybody else’?”

I crutch walked over to Spencer and considered hitting him, but decided against it for two reasons. First, that would have been embarrassingly ineffective. And second, it was obvious that that’s what he wanted. He was trying to flip Rosa an