The car came to a stop squarely in the space outside the mall. Jen turned to Heather with a worried look on her face.
“Are you ready?”
“Are you sure? You remember what happened last time!”
“YES! I’m positive. That won’t happen again. I’ve been wearing my clothes on a tightly scheduled rotation. I’m wearing the most worn-out ones.”
“Okay, but what about the bags? What about the tape? You totally forgot everything!”
She pulled a bag out from behind the seat. “No. I’ve got it.”
The girls spent a few minutes preparing themselves. They bagged and taped and armed themselves to the hilt. After checking each other carefully, they strapped on the final pieces: goggles and surgical masks. They made their way to the doors of the department store. Jen took out her binoculars to survey the area, as Heather readied the first shots.
“Do you see anything?”
“No, it’s quiet. A little too quiet. Maybe we should try the other doors?”
“We can’t. You know we can’t.” Jen knew Heather was right. Ever since the consortium of actresses had cornered the market on retail real estate and eponymous perfume, there was no other way. When someone needed clothes, or candles, or makeup, or cinnamon rolls, or mediocre pizza, this was the situation. Jen looked one last time through the binoculars, gauging the most likely hiding spots and points of ambush. With a nod to Heather, she reached in a pouch and grabbed a balloon filled with liquid, and burst through the door.
Immediately, Heather tossed off two Big Gulps on both sides of the doors, as Jen fired straight ahead with the urine-filled balloon and then an open jug of vinegar. The plan was to soak the area and lay down some cover fire before they reached the safe zone of the clothing section. A shriek came from behind a rack of purses, and a sample girl fell over, crying and dropping her sprayer. Jen took a couple of steps before Heather could pull her back.
“NO! Jen, it’s a trap!”
Sure enough, a second sample girl jumped from behind a suspiciously off-season rack of jorts. Heather fired a piss balloon, but the sample girl deftly dodged it.
“Hello! Welcome to Lazarus! Smell this awesome scent! It’s J-Lo Bazingo!” The sample girl shot huge clouds of the perfume sample at Jen, leaving her boxed in by the scent. Heather was faster, though, and fired up her battery-powered fan.
“Jen! This way!” Jen followed Heather as she fanned a path past the fallen sample girl and fired another piss balloon at the stunned spritzer. This one hit the mark, and the sample girl went down. The intrepid pair ran quickly to the slightly less dangerous flatware section that bordered perfumes – but they were not out of the Twilight Woods yet.
A man stepped from behind a set of Oneida and smiled at the pair, looking conspiratorially at them. Heather visibly relaxed – men were safe in the mall. This time, it was Jen who sensed something amiss.
“Hello, ladies! Try this new perfume from Britney and Miley! It’s called Juicy Pink Love! Isn’t it wonderf-”
“Heather! It’s finally happened! DUCK!” Jen chucked her killer piss balloon tainted with just a touch of Drakkar at the… sample boy? No, it couldn’t be – the Actresscents Consortium had finally stooped to this sneaky level.
They had begun hiring men to assault humanity with the awful, disgusting, horrible, cesspoolean stenches.
Jen pulled Heather after her through flatware and past small appliances to bedding. Clothing was just a hundred feet away, and then they were safe. The snappy chic clothiers would never tolerate their duds being spritzed with the shitty smells of the withering pussvomit that was the Hollywood actress/pop tart. They were mortal enemies. The Forever XXI Syndicate watched as the two girls made their way to the safety zone. The XXI were there to help – not to force their clothing down people’s throats.
Jen took a dozen steps closer to safety, and then looked at the slowing Heather. They both looked on in horror as they realized what had happened. Along the edge of one sleeve of Heather’s barrier suit, there was a small tear. And all around that tear, infusing and permeating the air, were tiny droplets of condensed Juicy Pink Love.
“Oh my god! Heather! I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Wait here! I will get help. I’ll figure something out!”
“No, Jen. Just leave me here. I’m a goner.”
“I can’t do that! You’re my best friend! I’d never… wait, what’s that? Oh, Heather! Look!”
Heather looked. There was a drinking fountain ten feet away. Could it be a trap? Jen had to find out.
Rallying their spirits, they both laid down serious suppressing fire. Heather kept it up, firing off all her piss balloons in multiple directions and keeping the goat piss-filled Supersoaker 5000 in reserve, but with the safety off. Jen took a small cup out and got some water. Two sample girls burst out of the bathroom doors on either side of the drinking fountain, but the girls were ready. As Heather fired a stream of goat piss at one of the sample girls, Jen nailed the other one with a spray bottle of rancid milk. Both sample girls fell immediately, writhing in pain.
Jen brought the water back and washed the area around the gash until she could smell nothing but the horrible metallic pipe smell of the drinking fountain water. After drying it off with a flat sheet from bedding, they taped it up and then ran the rest of the way to the glorious safety of the textilian racks.
They were free! A gentle nod from XXI syndicats was all they faced in the clothing section. They bought all the clothes they could carry, but were pressed at how they would make their way back – until they saw, in one corner of the clothing department, in a technical violation of the SJS/Actresscent Treaty of 2017, a section filled with Harry Styles posters, Pentatonix CDs, and copies of Fifty Shades of Grey.
The way back to the car was relatively uneventful, all things considered.