Flash Friday 02/10/2015: Shopping Glee
“Hello,” Harriot said, smiling into the camera. “Welcome back to the PLC shopping channel. We’re glad to have you back; just in time for the PLC Jewellery Hour. Isn’t that right, Jeff?”
“Indeed it is,” Jeff said, giving an equally-cheesy smile. “Every Friday, we spend one hour going through some of the finest jewellery money can buy, at discount prices that you simply cannot resist. So, then — is there any reason for us not to dive straight into these hot new deals?”
“I can’t think of any!” Harriot said, before a laugh. “So, let’s hop right into them. The first item are these lovely diamond hoop earrings.”
A video of said earrings appeared, rotating slowly on a turntable.
“They usually retail for three-hundred, but in this special PLC deal, we’re willing to give them away for a stunning one-hundred and fifty. Act fast, though, because once our stock of fifty is gone, it’s gone! Phone the number you see at the bottom of the screen, and secure yours while it’s still available.”
“You don’t need us to tell you that this little specimen is gorgeous,” Jeff said. “This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and…just a moment.” Jeff put two fingers against his right earpiece. “Yes, we’ve just had confirmation that all of the diamond hoop earrings have already sold out.”
“Already?” Harriot said, her jaw hanging open. “That’s amazing. I don’t think we’ve ever seen an item sell out in — what was that, twenty seconds?”
“Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Well, since you all liked that one so much, let’s not keep you all waiting, shall we? This next item is a lovely mother of pearl watch.”
“Everyone will be asking you the time when you have this lovely little piece on your wrist. It’s bright, it’s comfortable, but most of all, it won’t make a dent in your wallet. For just fifty-nine ninety-nine, you can order one of one hundred very special watches. Perhaps family or friends have a birthday–”
Harriot frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Just heard down the earpiece. They sold out of that, too.”
“…what, all one-hundred watches?”
“That’s what I’m hearing.”
“Well…” Harriot looked past the camera. “Do we just go on with the next piece, or…?”
“What even is the next piece? Do we know yet?”
“I don’t think so. We’re thirty minutes ahead of where we should be, and–ah!”
A video of a piece of jewellery rotating on a turntable appeared without warning.
“Uh…yes,” Harriot said. “This is, uh…what does that say? Oh, a very lovely butterfly-shaped brooch studded with diamonds. Yes, you’ll, uh, be all the rage at parties with this little piece. Of course, because we’re so generous, we’re going to sell it to you for–”
“They’re gone, too,” Jeff said. “We didn’t even say the price, and they’re gone.”
“Those, too? What else is scheduled for the PLC Jewellery Hour, then?”
“I’m…I’m not sure, I…do we have anything left? Is there anything else to showcase?”
A man carrying several heavy-looking boxes stuffed with jewellery walked by the set. He gave Jeff a shrug and kept walking.
Jeff and Harriot exchanged worried looks.
The feed cut to the PLC logo.
“Uhm,” Grand Summoner Cafferty began, his voice echoing around the cave. The problem with speaking to 70 foot long dragons is that you had to choose your words very carefully. “I don’t mean to interrupt you, Vaelstrez, but we struck a deal when we summoned you to this world.”
Vaelstrez continued to stare into the widescreen television, the light from it reflecting off of her smooth red scales. “You’re very right. And, if I seem to recall, part of the deal was that this cave was to contain ‘a hoard suitable for a dragon queen such as yourself’.”
“But it was suitable.”
“A diamond ring and a fifty percent off a luxury spa voucher does not constitute a ‘hoard’. Far from it. For your insolence you shall pay dearly. Literally. I just maxed out this credit card, I need another.”
“I just think this isn’t the right way to do it,” Cafferty said, digging into his pocket and drawing out his wallet. He pulled out another card. “Can’t you raid a town to get your spoils?”
“And get hurt? Not a chance. You’re the one that dragged me here on false promise, you’re going to fix it. Oh — I have to have that necklace! Get me all of them, now!”
“At once,” one of Vaelstrez’s hooded followers said, taking Cafferty’s card and entering a number on a phone.
“But Vaelstrez,” Cafferty said, “if this plan goes wrong, then I’ll be left in thousands, if not millions in debt!”
“Goes wrong? You mean, the plan you promised me ‘cannot possibly fail’? See this as simply incentive not to fail me. What are some bailiffs compared to world domination? Oh, hold on a moment.” Vaelstrez craned her head back to look at the delivery man entering the cave. He was wheeling in an entire trolley’s worth of packages. “Are those the brooches? Go ahead and unwrap them, then stuff them under me. I think I have some room under my left armpit still.”
“How about this; we conquer the world first, and then when we have the whole of humanity under our foot, then we can build your hoard?”
“That implies that dragons work for promise of future gain, which only proves your claim that dragons don’t exist in this realm. Learn this now; you do as I say from now on. Ooh!” Vaelstrez’s face lit up. “Oh, I have to get all of those dresses. And they’re silk, too! Oh, they look perfect.”
“Are you sure?” Cafferty said. “They definitely won’t fit you.”
The fierce glare that Vaelstrez gave Cafferty almost killed him on the spot.
“Uhm,” Cafferty whimpered. “They’d look lovely, dear. Take them all.”
With a content nod, Vaelstrez relaxed again. It was becoming evident who the real master of the summoning was.