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The lights high overhead flickered wildly, casting long, dancing shadows amid the rows of consumer goods.  I took a peek over the counter, eyes scanning down the long aisles strewn with goods carelessly tossed from the shelves.

“Do you see anything?” Becky whispered.  Despite the weird shit that was happening, she was handling it all rather well, all things considered.  She was tense and nervous and clutched the baseball bat so hard her knuckles were turning white.

I ducked back down behind the counter.  “Nothing,” I said with a shake of my head.  I could see her swallow hard.  I gave her a reassuring smile to try to settle her nerves.  I will admit though, if it were not for her, I probably would’ve freaked out a long time ago myself.

“Do you think they are gone?”

I shrugged.  “We can only hope Becks.  We are sitting ducks here though.  We should try to make it Gardening or Sporting Goods.”

She shook her head and I reached out to her.  She pried one of her hands off from around the bat and she took my hand.  Telling her to stay low, we crept out from behind the counter and made our way down the aisle.  The floors were littered with goods knocked off the shelves.  We stepped carefully around the appliances and magazines and housewares, trying hard not to disturb anything or make a sound.  We made it to the end of the aisle and I held her back while I poked my head out from the end.

I winced seeing all the dried blood spilled on the floor.  It was smeared in the while linoleum tiles and splattered on the CDs fallen from the shelves.  Sporting Goods was to the left and I looked down that way and saw nothing but the mess that was made when people ran out of the store screaming.  I hope they got away.

Becky squeezed my hand hard.  I gave her another reassuring look over my shoulder and we stepped out from the aisle and moved as fast as we could to Sporting Goods.  Up ahead I could see the racks filled with bikes.  Beyond the bikes was the storerooms and the security office.  We never made it though.  Becky saw them first and screamed.  I will admit it was her scream that startled me the most.  That half second of inaction is what killed me.

* * *

I crawled along the floor, my drying blood smearing the tile behind me.  Of all the things I felt, I could not believe that hunger was my greatest desire.  I was so damned hungry.  There was fresh blood on the floor.  I think it was Becky’s.  I followed the blood around the long rack of mountain bikes and saw two figures hunched over, busy gnawing on Becky.  One had a hand in her ripped open stomach and was pulling out her intestines.

I screamed and cried as one of them ripped a chunk of flesh from her arm with his mouth.  I crawled forward faster and wrapped a hand around her ankle and tried to pull her away from the other two.  I wrestled against the other two and Becky’s body ripped in two at her waist.  I dragged off her legs like some vulture and began to feast on her still warm flesh.
This story came about in my Thursday Night Writer's group. We were meeting at an Olive Garden after sitting through a reading, when we asked our server to choose a location for us. The exercise was to write a short bit of fiction, with the location at the setting. It was supposed to be a bit of flash fiction no more than 50 words, in an attempt to capture the essense of the location. Well, I was sitting at work on Halloween when this idea popped into my head. Needless to say, I didn't stick to 50 words...
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Submitted on
November 10, 2006
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