All a Loan

"Hello," the loan officer said coldly, straining across her desk to shake my hand. Her hand, in my opinion, was too bony and slightly frigid. But I assumed that was perfect for someone with her job. I attempted to not be so ham-handed with my return shake as my hand enveloped her raccoon paw of a hand. She half-smiled and I sat, trying to remember if you are supposed to unbutton your jacket when you sit down.
"What can I do for you?" she said, placing her palms palm-down on her orderly desk. Behind her a tan, sea foam, and sky blue seascape did its best not to be noticeable.
"I'd like to apply for a loan to fight monsters," I said unbuttoning my jacket and then, on second thought, re-buttoning it.
"Well," she said, chuckling, "you've already applied, so you can chalk that up as a success. This meeting is to determine if we give you that money."
She smiled, but it still felt like she just shoved me toward a cliff, poking me in the kidneys with a broomstick.
"Monsters, as you know, are the number one threat to our area," I explained, starting into my pitch.
"When you say monsters, you mean like the ones that disemboweled the high school cross-country team and ate the mayor's legs?"
"Yes, in fact those particular monsters are first on my list to kill, with financial assistance from your bank."
"OK, are you currently employed in the monster hunting profession?" she asked, opening up a file.
"No, but I have had extensive contact with monsters."
She looked up from the file, "But not fighting them?"
"I have opposed monsters, mostly verbally. I wouldn't say that I fought them. I've have thrown things at them from a distance."
"Things?" She questioned.
"Rocks and garbage, mostly," I replied. "Once, dog crap."
The loan officer nodded several times and then took her time writing something down. She continued well past a point that I thought was well mannered. Finally, she looked up and half-smiled, "What, then, makes you think that you are qualified to fight monsters? What makes you special?"
"Well, I don't think I'm particularly special," I said to the growing frown on her face. "But I don't see anybody else answering the bell."
"The newspaper has written some nasty anti-monster editorials, but for the most part, what you are saying is true," she agreed, still writing. "Do you have a plan?"
"That I do." I handed her the business plan that I'd put together with the help of my Internet business class. I also offered her the headphones to my iPod. "There's music to go with the plan."
Unfazed by the request, she put on the headphones and I hit PLAY. She listened for about 10 seconds before pulling them back off.
"Is this Kansas?" she asked.
I nodded, as it was indeed. She put the headphones back on again.
In my Internet class, they called this, "Achieving an Emotion." Not only was the loan officer reading about decapitating monsters, but her emotional connection to what she was reading was heightened by Carry On Wayward Son. Then as the song from Top Gun kicked in, I saw her smile. I know I'd hooked her. She finally took off the headphones.
"While you music is completely awesome, your plan is barely comprehensible," she sighed.
"Well, I tend to disagree with my word processor program's spellchecker. But you didn't even appreciate the charts?"
"There's only one pie chart and all it says is that you are 95 percent ass kicker and 5 percent human lover."
"I think love is essential when you're protecting humanity," I said sincerely.
"Plus, you don't conceal the fact that you have absolutely no experience killing monsters."
"Ah, but I do have the instincts to do it."
"How am I supposed to calculate instincts?" she asked, flipping through my business plan.
"Fair question," I replied. "Pretend you're a monster."
"That doesn't sound like something a bank officer should be doing," she said. "But OK, RAWrrr!"
She stood up behind her desk and raised her arms above her head, monster-style. I saw a look of complete malice come over her face. It could have also been slight bemusement.
Instantly, my monster-killing instincts kicked in and I grabbed her desktop organizer tray and whipped it at her, Frisbee-style. The tray hit her in the face, pens and paper clips exploding in all directions. It there had been a look of bemusement on her face, it was now gone.
"Sorry, that's what instinct looks like up close," I said, as the gash on her forehead started to drip blood.
"Alright, what if I were, let's say, an electric monster?" She asked as she calmly ripped the cord out of her desk lamp and separating the wires. But stepping toward me, the short cord pulled out of the wall.
"Even if you had an extension cord, I still have water balloons and a squirt gun in here. You wouldn't have a chance," I said, indicating my utility plastic shopping bag that contained all my monster-fighting materials.
She sat down on her desk and took a long swig of the Diet Coke that was sitting on her desk. "Whu if I wuh a poson sputtun monstuh?"
"A poison-spitting monster?" I asked, at the same moment she spit out the soda and I clicked open my utility bag umbrella, deflecting the Diet Coke. I was steeling myself for a potential scotch tape attack when the lights went out. Suddenly, in the complete darkness, I heard the door lock.
"Of course," the loan officer's voice came from behind. "Electric and poison monsters are just your run-of-the-mill enemies. Common monsters." She spat the word "common" like it was a cat hair in her mouth.
"You greatest threat," she continued, her voice now up and to the left, "is creatures from the other side, that emerge from the darkness to eat your very soul. Just setting an eye on them will plunge you into an eternity of madness. What's your plan then, monster hunter?"
"That's a valid question and one I am almost prepared to answer…" I started, before what I assume was the neutrally-colored seascape was smashed over my skull. Then she was on me, one leg over the back of my shoulder, her other foot kicking for a foothold on the back of my pants. Her arms wrapped around my head, her fingernails dug into my temples.
I started spinning, hoping that centrifugal force would plaster her wall like cooked spaghetti, but her fingernails only scratched deeper and she bit the top of my head hard.
"I'm eating your brain, fuck-nugget!" She screeched, kneeing me in the spine.
I tried backing toward the wall, or where I thought the wall was, to knock her off, at the same time as I reached for my utility bag that held the camping shovel I planned to hit her with. There was nothing there. I dropped to my knees and crawled around on the floor, patting around the broken glass. Still nothing.
"Did someone steal your magic bag?" The loan officer, one hand ripping at my scalp, rode me like a monkey on a sheep. I tried to buck her, but her heels cut into my thighs.
I started praying, "Oh ominous domino…"
"I'm a creature from another dimension, moron," she yelled, slightly hysterical, as she stapled the top of my ear to my head, "Monotheism probably doesn't even exist where I'm from, so your mangled Latin prayers aren't going to do anything."
I straightened out on the floor and tried rolling, but in the darkness, and with unseen chairs and desk, I was humiliatingly only able to lurch back and forth slightly.
"You're going to die here, ass-waffle," she screeched. "In the dark. Alone. Loanless."
"Argh, get your finger out of my eye!" I shouted.
"That's a tentacle. I'm a monster with thousands of tentacles! And one giant eye! If I were to turn on the lights right now, you would scrape your eyes out with a dull spoon to punish them for beholding the horror of my existence," the loan officer hissed, laughing evilly. "Are you ready to quit?"
"I'll tell you this," I panted. "I can't comprehend everything that you could do to me, the horror that you could perpetrate on my sanity and genitals. But I do know two things, you aren't welcome in the third dimension, if in fact, that is where we are currently located, and I never give up, even when it's reasonable to do so. Until the moment you kill me, I'm just going to keep getting up, even if I'm insane and eyeless, and coming right for you with the penknife and Cyalume lightstick I've got duct-taped to my hairy ankle and I am going to f your s up."
The loan officer pulled her heel out of my ear and climbed off my back. She turned the light back on and dropped what looked like a crudely fashioned pantyhose garrote.
"Well, everything looks in order," she said. "How much are you going to need?"


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