This is a sequel to "Sweet Sacrifice" by afullmargin, and written and posted with their permission. The song lyrics belong to the creators of The Mighty Boosh, from the episode "Charlie", as do all of the characters.
He really should have seen it coming. In a world like this, men of his caliber are due a certain amount of misfortune, to build character. He had tempted fate, angered the gods, even, by telling Vince stories about the Kandyman. In a way, he had expected it.
But he had thought that it would happen to him.
"Come on, Squinty, sacrifice your sweets to me, of the sparkly one here gets it!"
Howard looked back and forth between the vile candy-based demon and Vince, bound and gagged in his licorice-whip clutches. Vince's eyes pleaded, begging Howard to save his immortal soul. Howard knew what he had to do.
"Here" he said, grabbing Vince's discarded bag of sweets off of the shop floor. "Take these and let him go."
The Kandyman just chuckled from deep inside his minty chest. "Those aren't your sweets, they're his." He jerked Vince to illustrate his point. "You can't sacrifice someone else's sweets, only your own!"
"Does their origin really matter?"
"Yes! Only candy flavored with the sourness of loss can measure up to the taste of souls."
"…Yeah, I'm not really a sweets kind of person. Trying to stay fit, know what I'm saying? If Vince has 'em around, I'll share a few, but I don't really go out of my way to-"
"Then your pretty boy is doomed!"
The Kandyman drew Vince in with his licorice tentacles, pulling the squirming figure closer and closer.
"Wait!" shouted Howard. A plan had started to form in his brilliant mind. "Take my soul instead."
It would work out perfectly. The Kandyman would take him, and Vince could sacrifice his sweets to save Howard. Which he would…yeah, they'd talked it out before, he would…right?
The potentially-unnerving train of thought was cut off by a derisive snicker.
"You? Your soul knows nothing of sweetness, same as your tongue! You're all gloomy and thick, not to mention bland. Eating your soul would be like chugging papier mache and paste."
Around the tentacle, Vince mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "I know, right?"
"This one here is the epitome of candy-flavored souls, all light and sweet with no real substance."
The creature certainly had Howard there. He dug through his pockets, looking for something, anything, that could save Vince. He froze when his fingers came across the paper-wrapped cube.
"What about this?" he asked, pulling out the piece of bubblegum. Again the monster laughed.
"See, you don't even know sweets! That's gum, you moron, not candy. You've run out of ideas and time. Say goodbye!"
This couldn't be happening. He looked deep into Vince's large eyes, the sweetest, stupidest eyes he had ever known. Who would have known that that sweetness would eventually be his downfall? Howard clutched the gum in his hand, recalling words his dear Vince has said long ago.
"This is a Hubba Bubba nightmare."
The whole shop began to shake, as deep chanting rang out around the room. The Kandyman paused.
The door burst open (in complete defiance of the "closed" sign) and in leapt two pink humanoid figures. They ran about the shop, breaking bottles, overturning displays, shoving counters, and chanting:
Burstin' your bubble like a Hubba Bubba nightmare
Pink Mr Doom
Feel my chewy justice
Wrapping around your heart, your mind, your ribcage
Wrapping around your heart, your mind, your soul
We can jellico, we can jellico
Burstin' your bubble like a Hubba Bubba nightmare
Charlie come, a Charlie come, a-Charlie... "
Behind them, a huge dripping figure oozed in, a sticky blob from the depths of nightmares. The Kandyman drew back at the sight of the pink monstrosity.
"Charlie! Stay away, Charlie, this one is mine!"
"No, Kandyman", uttered Charlie in a low, sticky voice. "Vince is my publicity manager. He has told my story, spread word of my power. You will not claim his soul for your own purposes."
The Kandyman hissed in defiance, but was cowed by a glare from Charlie's piercing eyes. He dropped Vince from his tentacles, sprung a pair of fruit leather wings from his back, and crashed out the roof of the shop, into the night.
Vince stood up and smiled at Charlie.
"Thanks, mate, I owe you one."
"Do not think on it, my chosen one. Go, see to your tall freak friend. I have other tasks to attend to."
With that, Charlie oozed out of the shop, followed by his gummy devotees. Vince looked around and spotted Howard, cowering on the ground by the changing curtain, hands over his head. Vince knelt down by him.
"Is that pink thing gone yet?"
"Yeah, yeah, Charlie's gone. It's okay."
Howard peered out through his hands at Vince's smiling face.
"Yeah, you saved me! ...eventually."
Howard leaned forward to hug his sequin-clad love. There were indeed times for touching, and this was one of them.
"I thought I'd lost you."
"Nah, I'm alright, nothing to worry 'bout. But clearly you need to start eating more sweets."
Howard clung to Vince like he was the last thing in the world, in the middle of the wreckage of the shop. They were still in that pose when Naboo and Bollo returned from the market.
"What the hell happened here?"