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7. Consuela

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Consuela van der Hupt parked the van and stepped outside. It was dark outside, and she was ready to get out of this part of Bayou City. It smelled bad.

She walked to the back of the van, reached into her pocket and pulled out the cash. When she counted it again to her satisfaction, she put the money back into her pocket. As she walked into the dimly-lit alleyway next to the van, she began to think about how weird this day had been. What kind of people casually talk about going on a quest to save the world? More importantly, what kind of freak buys a restaurant to live in it? Connie was used to hustling people far more gullible than Steve and Whatever-the-Other-Guy’s-Name-Was, but there was something about the two of them she couldn’t shake. She continued to contemplate the pervasive strangeness that she had sensed from those two as she finally approached the possum lady waiting for her in the alley.

“Did you give them the staff?” Lady Gut Possum asked.

“Yeah, I did,” she replied. “Just looked like a golf club to me.”

“Mazzainolus Rex had a mad putting game, human,” said Lady Gut Possum. “What did you expect?”

“I don’t know, maybe an explanation as to why I had to charge them two hundred dollars for it,” replied Connie. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“That friend of the Steward carries way too much cash in his wallet. It’s weird.”

“Okay, sure,” said Connie. She was ready to get this conversation over with. The giant possum in a dress was beginning to make her feel weird. “But I’ve got one more question.”

“What is it you wish to know, Consuela van der Hupt?”

“Yeah, that’s me. Anyway, why did you want me to tell them I worked at that tree?”

“Oh, that?” Lady Gut Possum let out a jovial, yet disturbing possum laugh. “I just thought that would be funny. They didn’t buy that story at all, did they?”

Connie looked at the ground. “Yeah, sure, whatever. What else do you need me to do?”

Lady Gut Possum solemnly held her hands together in front of her. “Wait now for further instructions. Your role in the salvation of this world is not yet over. Can you do this, human?”

Connie groaned. She just wanted to get home and eat some cheese or something. “Sure, I can do that.”

Lady Gut Possum looked satisfied. “Good,” she said. “Now give me back my van.”


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