He didst explore teh Mall from one end to the other, having many strange experiences, speaking to many people, searching many stores and buying many things, all whilst trying to avoid the police who didst hunt him.
Yet he couldst not find what he was looking for.
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in a few hours.’
His annoying little sister didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Thou must buy new clothes. Thy pants art so 1995.’
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in two hours.’
His no-good half brother didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Thou must see what I have found at the hobby shop! It doth totally rule!’
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in an hour and a half.’
An old Gypsy woman didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Ye’ll never make it…’
And his stepmother didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Whatever thou art searching for, thou shalt not have enough money for it.’
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in one hour.’
A little boy didst keep trying to get him to go unto the Disney Store, but Scoot didst evade him with great stealth and elusiveness.
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in half an hour.’
‘Dammit!’ quoth Scoot, ‘Why can I not elude him?…’
An old Chinaman didst appear before him and said unto him: ‘I will help thee.’
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Hurry, my son. We shalt be leaving in fifteen minutes.’
Still, he couldst not find what he was looking for.
So he didst take up the mystical old Chinaman’s help, but this too was of no avail.
And his father didst appear before him as a mirage and said unto him: ‘Come on, my son. We art going.’
‘No,’ quoth Scoot, ‘I cannot go, father, for I have not completed the quest of the Gods of Hondo.’
‘Thou shouldst forget the Gods of Hondo,’ quoth his father. ‘Thou shalt join the Movement to Free Jehovah from His Closet.’
‘Why should I?’ Scoot demanded. ‘Jehovah was no fun.’
‘Thou shalt listen to me,’ quoth his father. ‘I am thy father. Thou shalt honor me.’
‘Thou art not my father,’ quoth Scoot. ‘My father wouldst never tell me to go against my beliefs. Who art thou?’
‘Very well,’ he didst say quietly, ‘thou hast seen through me…’
With a burst of fire and smoke, Scoot’s father didst vanish, and Lucifer appeared before him.
‘I should have known…” quoth Scoot. ‘So thou art still causing trouble, even after Jehovah’s defeat. But tell me, Fallen One, why wouldst thou wish to free the one who banished thee to the depths of Hell?’
‘I have my reasons,’ spake the Dark Prince. ‘I have not come hither to argue with thee. I have come to make thee an offer thou canst not refuse.’
And in a cloud of smoke there didst appear a washer and dryer set, complete with a scantily clad woman to present it.
‘If thou shalt join me,’ spake Lucifer, ‘I shall offer thee this Kenmore washer and dryer set— an eight-hundred dollar value. I shall even throw in the young lady, if thou doth desire.’
‘Thou art not even trying very hard anymore,’ quoth Scoot.
‘People art more easily tempted these days,’ Lucifer didst reply. ‘Take thee commercials, for example. Surely thou hast been suckered into buying something crappy at least once… Then how about this…’
And Lucifer didst take him to the top floor of a great plexiglass tower, and didst offer unto him all of the powerful corporations of the world in all their splendor, saying unto him, ‘Join me, and I shall offer thee wealth and power as thou couldst not imagine!’
‘I think not, Lucifer. I can imagine a lot,’ quoth Scoot.
And so Lucifer didst take him back to the city. But when he did, the entire city was empty.
‘Forget thee about corporate power. I canst see into thy soul, and I know that which thou most desireth. I offer thee this parallel universe, all to thyself. Imagine: no idiots, no hassles, no job… no problem. What say’st thou?’
And after a long dramatic pause, Scoot didst say unto him, ‘Get thee behind me, Lucifer!
‘Face it, thine Old Order is gone. We art no longer playing by those rules. Didst thou really think I wouldst give up a chance to change the world?’
‘No…’ Lucifer didst admit, in a rare and bitter display of honesty. ‘But ’twas worth a try.’
‘Thou hast used up all three of thy temptations,’ quoth Scoot. ‘But seriously, thou shalt not persuade me without a damn good reason. What art thou hiding?’
‘Join me, and I shall tell thee,’ Lucifer didst insist, for old habits do indeed die hard. ‘Thou knoweth not the power of the Dark Side…’
‘Fine. Fine. I can see that thou art smarter than the average mortal. If thou must really know, Jehovah is my brother.’
‘Thou must be joking…’
‘No, if I were joking, I wouldst say, “A priest, a minister, and a Rabbi…” ’
‘Thou art serious!’
‘When Jehovah came to be, so didst I, for no power canst exist in a vacuum. So I didst become the embodiment of all that Jehovah found detestable; all that was left was to decide who had the upper hand. So Jehovah won the coin toss fair and square. So there was that whole coup thing… Dost thou think politics is any different in heaven than on earth?’
‘What dost thou mean?’
‘For ’twas I who didst turn cats and dogs ’gainst one another! And that was just a warm-up! Jehovah and I didst start the longest war on Earth— the Middle East! They have been at it for over five thousand years! Thou must admit that’s pretty damn good for manipulation.
‘Of course, ’tis almost too easy to get religious zealots to fight one another. Fanatics expresseth their fear of unknown best of all; easily the hate floweth through them. We kept them fighting to keep them from ignoring us and thinking for themselves. Now that thou knoweth the truth, knowest thou what is at stake?’
‘Aye,’ Scoot replied. ‘I understand better than thou might think. Never dost thou tell the whole truth. Thou art upset because the Gods of Hondo have rained on thy parade. Now thou’rt trying to interfere in order to return to the cozy little system thou and Jehovah didst have. Thou’rt nothing but a spoiled child!’ Scoot didst laugh mockingly. ‘Thou’rt pathetic!’
Lucifer didst know that Scoot, though close to the Gods of Hondo, was nowhere near powerful enough defeat them, but he thought mayhap that he couldst rough them up a bit. To discourage them in the chaos following Jehovah’s wake, for there was plenty of that now since the two gods who deposed him were Anarchists.
‘I must away in search of easier folly.’ Lucifer was greatly shamed, for humiliation by mortals was few and far between. ‘Fare thee well, Scoot the Ko’An! For we shall meet again!’
‘Don’t hold thy breath…’
And so, in a column of fire and smoke, Lucifer didst depart from him. So Scoot didst turn to be on his way.
Only to discover that he was still in the empty alternate universe which Lucifer had taken him to.
‘Lucifer?’ Scoot didst look around in confusion. ‘Lucifer?… Where the hell didst he go?’
But then he didst turn his eyes to look upon a positively killer pair of sunglasses, the kind which he had always wanted, in a department store window. At long last, he had finally found what he seeketh, but didst find it ironic that ’twas not as profound as he had expected.