The lemonade vendor - Bill, he liked to call himself, proudly thinking that it sounded so very normal - had not so much sneaked off, as just pointedly walked away while Johnny was busy. He took a different route back, and was climbing a heavy, thick, rusted metal ladder, emerging next to a display of woman's shoes in a large, trendy department store. Around him, shoppers stared at the man who had just appeared out of nowhere, and looked as if he belonged rummaging under the hood of a car. He left quickly. Shoes made him uncomfortable. Especially shoes with no feet in them.
Back out on the sidewalk, Bill took a breath, enjoying the smell of exhaust fumes and ocean water. He heard uproarious laughter across the street. Familiar laughter. He glanced over, and there, near the park gate, was the laughing man. Bill thought he shouldn't have been surprised, but scowled a little nonetheless as he crossed the street and said hello.
"D-d-do you rea..realize," the man said amidst gales of laughter, "t-that he doesn't even l-l-l-like chinchillas?" he took a deep breath, still laughing. "The morals!" he burst into a new wave of laughter.
Bill grunted noncommitally. He didn't see what was so funny, but he didn't want to be rude. The man was, after all, the devil.
Today, he was dressed for the public, decked out in what he thought of as his most devilish-looking clothing, finding people far less likely to believe you're the devil if you look too much like him. Today, he wanted no trouble or delays, did not want to mingle or bring people to his side; if he had to tell people who he was, he wanted to be able to smile handsomely, tell them the truth, and be disbelieved with a smile, letting him on his way.
Someone had once decided that black and red were awfully devilish colors, and the devil had been delighted. He'd never thought to put the two together before, but was proud of just how dashing he looked in black. He'd heard it was very slimming, though he hardly needed that. Today, he wore a jet black tailcoat with a deep red pocket square, jet black dress pants stitched with crimson red thread, a black vest over a black dress shirt, with a silver pocket watch, a straight black cane that was less for walking and more for gesturing wildly with, and black and white dress spats; he'd become fond of the shoes years ago, and had been horribly disappointed when they'd gone out of style, resulting in several wars to avenge his anger. He even allowed his small, tasteful dark red horns to peer out from beneath his slightly disheveled black hair. His eyes were red, squinty, and held both the good and evil of centuries. But mostly the evil.
Yes, he certainly looked like the devil. Well. The devil, or a particularly villainous used-car salesman.
"Anyway," the devil said, laughter reduced to the occassional giggle, "you didn't tell him about me, did you?"
"I didn' tell him anytin," Bill said shortly. "But I'm sure he knowed annway. He's prolly hearda you before."
The devil waved his hand dismissively. "All he knows is that crap that they spew, which you should know is hardly true. But I have it a lot easier than that perfect matyr they've created of God. Hah! God." He shook his head and laughed again.
"The real reason I'm here, I have something for you." The devil reached into the breast pocket of his jacket. He pressed something into Bill's hand, not letting him see what it was. "I really must be off," the devil said, shaking Bill's hand. "All kinds of appointments, you know. I have to see him tonight, if you know who I mean," the devil said with a combination of wink and scowl. Bill didn't know who he meant, though he thought perhaps God.
"Enjoy," the devil said, and vanished in a rather impressive cloud of dark grey smoke tinged with scarlet.
Next: Is Jeffrock still out there? If Jeffrock doesn't write in a few days, it'll be Bobsgirlfriend.