Calcifer’s Haunt, Part II

Author’s note: Part I can be found here.

I watched as the marble snaked its way across the floor, deftly interweaving between legs of chairs and tables until it bumped into the shoe of a bearded hipster standing in line with his Mac under his arm. Confused, he bent down to pick up the little glass sphere.

As the hipster ducked down to grab the marble, a red-faced businessman in a suit and tie was turning away from the far counter, his large coffee in one hand as he yelled into a bluetooth headset. Not seeing the crouched man in line, he ran headlong into the poor hipster, causing them both to sprawl out on the floor. The businessman’s coffee flew out of his hands across the shop, landing squarely in the lap of a blonde bimbo in a sundress staring vacantly out the window.

The cup of coffee burst open upon arrival, and even from the back of the shop, I could tell that it was piping hot. With a scream, the girl leapt to her feet, her hands flapping in agitation. Unfortunately, her dress had caught on the underside of the table, and her sudden movement caused the dress to rip completely, exposing her upper half to the entire shop.

“Ooh, bad day to skip the bra,” Calcifer commented sympathetically.

The girl’s scream had already drawn the attention of most of the shop, and every man was staring, open-mouthed. One college student, standing at the condiments area, had been adding half and half to his drink, and was now completely oblivious to the excess liquid spilling over the sides of his cup and forming a puddle on the floor.

A middle-aged woman with a pinched, angry face, brushing past the college student as she huffed over the indecency, stepped squarely in the puddle. Her eyes went wide as she found herself skidding across the floor, arms flapping. Her own coffee cup was clutched tight in one arm, and the flapping was sending droplets of hot liquid over the patrons at several tables, most of whom instinctively hunched forward to protect their electronics.

The woman’s skid ended abruptly with a bone-jarring collision into one of the small round tables, sending the legs flying out and starting a chain reaction. Like dominos, several other tables capsized, the last one landing inches from the nose of the still-floored hipster. Unfortunately, the salt shaker on that table hit him squarely between the eyes, causing him to jerk his arms in mingled surprise and pain.

The round marble had still been clutched in the hipster’s hand, but it now flew free, bouncing through the chaos and around screaming customers. Open-mouthed, I watched as it rolled back to our table. As it hit one of the area rugs, some impossible act of physics made it bounce especially high, landing squarely in front of Calcifer. On the table, the marble came to a complete stop, revolving slowly before the devil snapped it back up and made it vanish into a pocket somewhere.

Grinning, the devil surveyed the disrupted, destroyed coffee shop. “Man, I’ve still got it!” he exclaimed with obvious delight. He shifted his gaze back to me. “Believe me now?” he asked, grinning jovially.

What could I do but nod? Words had failed me. “I, um, I probably need to help clean this up,” I stammered, scooting myself out of the booth with slightly more haste than was necessary.

Calcifer watched me go, still smiling widely. He looked like an impudent child. “I’ll answer your other question later,” he said as I stood. “As to what I’m doing here, that is.”

I hurried off to find a mop, my thoughts racing in a confused spiral.  I wasn’t quite sure if I had seen magic, but it definitely was something that a devil would be able to pull off.  It practically screamed mayhem.  Calcifer definitely made me feel nervous, now, but that nervousness was alongside a burning curiosity.  I was certain that I’d be returning to the booth in the back on my next break.

Sitting back in the booth, Calcifer put his hands together, and the glass sphere once again danced briefly across his knuckles before disappearing back to unfathomable depths. “Impudent, I like that word,” he said reflectively. “Not the child part, but impudent fits me.”

Calcifer glanced up at the ceiling once more. “You’ll be seeing more of me,” he smirked.
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