I hate that I laughed at this
“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” and another one appears. And dodges the downward sweep of claws, darting to the side, bouncing off the pentagram’s barriers, and tripping over the demon’s tail. “In the Vatican!” she cries out as she moves, using the State Farm Agent summoning charm to modify the situation as she was taught, and mentally thanking her trainer for expecting her to be fast enough to do it on the first incantation.
Most State Farm agents, when they run into trouble, have to get the customer to do the jingle a second time. That guy with the buffalo was lucky.
The magic takes hold, and she materializes in the aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica, still holding the demon by the tail, in the middle of Sunday morning Mass. The music clatters unprofessionally to a halt as laypeople, deacons, priests, monks, nuns, and the Pope all turn their attention to the surprised demon whose fifth course of dinner has turned, unaccountably, into a visit to one of his least favorite places on Earth.
There is chanting in Latin, and vaguely cross-shaped gestures, and clouds of incense, and the demon vanishes in a puff of smoke, whether from the efforts of the clergy or of his own volition no one can say. The Agent doesn’t wait, fleeing towards the doors and escaping in the confusion.
She gains the exit and walks, purposefully, toward Rome proper; there, she ducks into the nearest alley. A burner cell phone comes out of one of the less-used pockets of her purse, and she dials a number from memory.
“Allstate,” says a smooth masculine voice after three rings.
“State Farm,” she answers. “I’m calling in a favor.”
“Yeah?” Interest. “What sort?”
As she talks she’s pulling out her smartphone, keying an app that was activated by the summoning, and pulling up the policyholder data that enabled the incantation to work.
“Insurance fraud,” she said, and can almost hear teeth sharpening on the other end of the line. She gives him the name, the address, the policy number. “Someone needs some mayhem.”
“That’s my name,” the man says.
She smiles. “Someone needs all the mayhem.”
He chuckles. Slow. Evil. Even with the echoes of demonic laughter ringing in her ears, she’s impressed. “Don’t worry,” he says, almost purring.
“You’re in good hands.”
OH MY FUCKING GOD I just read insurance commercial fan fiction and it was so good, bless you, I’m going to remember this day forever.
IT COMES BACK TO ME! *preens*
It’s not too long later—State Farm will occasionally loan out their teleportation trick, though Heaven help anyone who tries to use it to compete with them—and the man they call Mayhem is squatting next to a demonic circle with tacky half-dried blood under the leather soles of his shoes. Whoever dispelled the circle didn’t do a good job of it; the ring is still faintly smoldering and Mayhem has already singed his fingers on the air above it. He’s in the basement of a house with a State Farm homeowner’s policy, waiting for his partner in, erm, crime, to show up.
“Oh, good heavens.” He smiles at the sound of someone hopping delicately back, then carefully tiptoeing through the mess. Demons are messy eaters, and Flo’s wearing all white.
She steps gingerly over what might be most of a femur, looks from circle to Mayhem to—is that half a skull on the floor? “Freaky. Whaddaya need?”
“Tech,” he says. “State Farm knows the homeowner summoned them, but the Agent reported at least five people present. Maybe six. She isn’t sure, what with being busy evading a demon inside a very small space with zappy walls.”
Flo’s already got a—where does she get those from anyway? a cardboard box in her hands. Mayhem watches as she unfolds it, refolds it, and ends up with something significantly bigger, shaped like a satellite dish. He tries to watch how she does it; they may be working together, but they’re still rivals and his own higher-ups will be very interested in the latest whatever-it-does that Progressive has come up with.
A blue glow lights up the concave side. Mayhem is pretty sure cardboard doesn’t work that way. Flo makes a pleased sound, and starts rattling off names, addresses, policy numbers.
Impressed, Mayhem asks, “How the fuck?” If Progressive is developing some sort of superspy technology, well, that’s kind of ominous.
Flo grins and looks embarrassed. “I, ah, have occasional dealings with a couple guys from That Other Insurance Company. One of them knows someone who knows someone who works in quality control for the Infernal Realms, and it turns out Hell monitors all their summoned manifestations for safety purposes. His contact got me the list of who was there.”
Mayhem nods. He’s had occasional encounters That Other Insurance Company himself. Bland, grey-suited, timid men who are even worse spies than they are insurance agents. “Wait, Hell has a quality control department?”
“And all other forms of administration,” Flo says. “I understand it’s to generate maximum paperwork. It is a place of punishment, after all.”
Mayhem actually winces. “That’s definitely hellish. All right. The Agent who called me in is flying back from Italy and should meet us in a few hours. Should give us plenty of time to plan an attack. Are they all State Farm customers?”
“Just the one,” Flo replies, folding her toy up, and Mayhem watches with vague envy as it becomes a giant sword. “One Allstate, one Progressive, one Geico, two Farmers. We gonna invite anyone else to the party?” She hopes so. Mayhem’s precision strikes on any sort of insurance fraud perpetrators are the stuff of legend, and the Farmers guys would bring in enough absurdity to make it a work of art.
Mayhem’s grin is something that ought to haunt her nightmares. Instead, she finds herself matching it. “Yes,” he says. “Let’s.”
The sun is just a
suggestion behind the horizon, but the morning traffic jam is already
clogging up the freeways by the time Mayhem and Flo leave the scene
of the crime. Flo is driving, weaving her motorcycle expertly through
the sea of zombie commuters, and already some jackass in a
twenty-year-old Honda has rolled down his window to sneer at Mayhem
for riding behind a woman and in the process taken his eyes off the
road long enough to rear-end a state trooper.
By the time the sun
is peeking over the edge of the world, the freeway has been exchanged
for fast-food restaurants and traffic lights, and Mayhem is
contemplating commercials. “I’m another motorist doing something
you disapprove of” is warring with “I’m a state trooper,”
and Mayhem is leaning toward the latter because it might give him an
excuse to put on the uniform, when Flo erupts in giggles, jerking her
head subtly to the right. Mayhem finds what she’s looking at and
nearly pisses himself.
A van, the type that
practically screams “covert surveillance,” is parked in the
entrance to a Starbucks. Two men in bland gray suits and the sort of
ties that give insult to all intelligent life are sitting in the
front seat, coffee cups in hand. Mayhem sees the moment they set eyes
on Flo—they both jerk upwards in their seats as if jabbed with a
cattle prod—and then the moment where they realize who her
passenger is. The one in the driver’s seat boggles and reflexively
inhales half his coffee; the passenger reaches over to slap him on
the back, sees Mayhem, and spills his own beverage all over the
When Flo passes the
driveway she gives a little wave to the men, and they both dive for
cover. Mayhem would be surprised at the level of ineptitude That
Other Insurance Company lets their agents display, but he’s seen one
of them try to hide behind a stop sign. Surprise has long since left
the station, leaving amusement and a hint of second-hand
embarrassment which Mayhem relishes rather than winces at.
He’s jarred from his
thoughts as Flo hits the brakes, neatly avoiding the SUV that has
just moved into their lane without signaling on her way to the
upcoming right-turn lane. The driver diverts attention from her cell
phone long enough glare at Flo and stick a manicured middle finger in
their general direction, and turns to the road just in time to watch
as her car veers off the shoulder and makes intimate congress with a
speed limit sign. And then the flashing lights come on from somewhere
behind them and Mayhem’s faith in humanity is restored.
He revises. “I’m
a middle-management commuter on a cell phone.”
Flo pulls over to
let the cop car pass, and Mayhem sneaks a look back at the van. God
have mercy, the one in the passenger seat has binoculars.
we lose them or let them follow us?” Flo’s voice interrupts
question. Not like they’re a threat. “Let’s
keep ‘em. They’re entertaining.”
merges back into traffic and
signals a move to the left
lane. Since the lady in the
SUV is still in view, glaring up at them as the police officer steps
up to her window,
Mayhem is extra gratified that she waits five whole blinks before
merging into the next lane. It’s doubtless for the benefit of their
pursuers, who otherwise might manage to keep with them if Mayhem
draws a map and passes it to them at a stoplight, but his black
and petty heart rejoices anyway.
takes them awhile to get to the suburban park where Mayhem has
arranged to meet the State Farm agent who called him in. Or rather,
it takes them awhile to get there without losing their inept
pursuers; twice, Flo has to double back and be found again, and once
the van gets stuck behind a railroad crossing and Flo and Mayhem have
to stop and pick up a box of
donuts in order to still be
there when the train finishes blocking the road.
The park is a lovely little
spot complete with playground equipment and a little waterfall, as
completely removed from this business with demons and human sacrifice
as a person could want. There’s one car in the lot already, a rental,
and a figure in red shirt and khaki skirt standing beside it.
that the Agent?” Flo asks, and Mayhem nods. The woman is short,
dark, curvy—very pretty—and the two guys from That Other are in
serious danger of twisting their heads off their shoulders as they
drive past. Whether it’s for
that reason, or because there’s now three insurance companies having
a little meeting in a city park like some exceedingly bad spy
thriller, Mayhem isn’t sure.
parks the motorcycle and goes up to introduce herself; Mayhem stays
put and watches the van make an awkward U-turn in the middle of the
road and come back. The State
Farm agent walks up to Mayhem and offers a hand, and he is distracted
from the spectacle by a warm-toned “A pleasure to meet you” and a
gaze and smile as predatory as a shark’s. It’s
enough to distract his attention well and properly. This
is the person to whom he’s promised vengeance, and this is the face
of a person who has fought and outsmarted a demon.
he’s glad he picked up the phone.
all mine,” is what he
says, and then Flo lets out a mirthful squeak. Mayhem and the Agent
both follow her gaze, just in time to see the surveillance van leave
the road, bouncing over the curb and smashing
into a tree.
Agent is staring, her lips curving
into an amused smirk, and Mayhem
composes another commercial. “I’m stupid, and I come in
I’m so glad this has been updated. I love this story.
I just read an insurance mascot fanfic and I want more.