My god I’m hungry. I don’t ever remember being this hungry in my life. I’m kinda thirsty, but I really need to eat something. Fuck it’s bright out. The sun really hurts my eyes. I think I have something wrong. Maybe I have sinus pressure or something. I don’t know. I should find a hat.
“Where am I,” I wonder aloud. “South St. and Main. I know this place. There is a gas station right down the block. I’ll go there and buy a sandwich. Maybe I’ll get a coke. I am talking to myself.”
I head to toward the gas station. There is another guy walking next to me.
“Hey,” I say to him. He ignores me.
“What an asshole,” I mutter to myself. He doesn’t even look in my direction.
I make my way toward the store. It’s fucking hot out. I should take off this jacket. I am so hungry. This day sucks. Why won’t that guy answer me? I see Darian up ahead and he’s headed the same direction I am.
“Hey Darian,” I yell and try to wave, “Fuck.”
I scream in pain. My shoulder feels like it pulls out of socket. I look down at my arm and it looks fine. I’ve never felt pain like that. Why does my shoulder hurt like that when I move it? I must’ve fallen on it. Why am I still wearing this jacket? Where is that store?
Main St. fills with more people as I make my way along the street. I recognize some of the people around me. Jerry the barber comes out of his shop. He looks like shit. He’s yelling something that I can’t understand. That’s weird. Why can’t I understand him? I turn toward him to figure this out.
“I bet there is something to eat in his shop. He probably has something I could eat,” I say.
Much to my surprise, Jerry pulls out a shotgun and points it at a group of people approaching him. He opens fire. I stop and watch. At least I think I stop moving. This is a weird day. Fuck the sun hurts my eyes. Why do I still have this jacket on?
I move my arm to take it off and my shoulder screams in pain again. The pain shoots down my arm like hot needles. Jerry looks at me and raises his gun. I raise my arm to protect myself even though I know it’ll do nothing. It’s a reflex action. Jerry takes another look at me, shakes his head and takes off running. A trail of people follow him.
There must be food here somewhere. My stomach hurts. I wonder where Jerry went.
When I reach the door of his shop a group of people are there pounding on the door. I push my way through and see a couple people inside. I bet they have food. I try the door. It doesn’t turn like it should. It must be locked. I want to leave but the people around me have me pinned against the door, so I start to pound on it with them.
This becomes boring and I work my way out of the group. I see Darian in the middle of the street. He just stands there with his head leaning off to one side. He looks odd.
“Hey Darian,” I call. “What’s up man? Hot out isn’t it?”
Darian ignores me like everyone else. I begin to wonder if I’m going crazy, or if everyone else is. I don’t remember the weather report saying it was going to be this hot today. Why would I have a jacket on if it was?
I hear some screams up ahead and move toward the sound. Others move the same direction. The screams come from the corner store. There are a few people in front. They look like they want to get inside but they can’t. I bet they are hungry too. My pace increases as I near to the door. I can hear others behind me. There is food in there. I just know it. I hear glass break. Someone yells from inside. I can barely make out what they are saying. It’s like everything I hear is muffled.
“They are coming through,” someone yells.
“Get back,” screams another voice.
Gunfire rips through the air. I can’t tell what they are shooting at. Someone near the door moans. That I hear loud and clear. One of the people pounding on the door moans loudly. I can hear the guns too. It’s the voices I’m having trouble with.
One of the people at the door falls down. Others try to get into the store. They step on the fallen person. It’s my neighbor Bob. He flails on the ground. I never really liked Bob, but people shouldn’t step on him.
“Hey leave Bob alone,” I yell. No one pays attention to me.
Two guys come from my left with baseball bats. They club at the group in front of the door. I turn toward them and try to help. Suddenly I’m overwhelmed with hunger.
“Aw shit here comes Mike,” one of the batsmen says as he looks at me. “Darian is right behind him.”
The other guy responds but I can’t understand what he says. He sounds like he’s 50 yards away and talking quietly. His face looks intense.
Finally, I recognize the guy in front of me, the one who calls me Mike. Wait that’s my name. I’m Mike. It’s Hunter, Jerry the barber’s son. He must’ve come out of the store. Hunter and I used to go fishing together until I went to college. He was going to run his dad’s business. Hunter liked it here in town.
“Go after Darian,” Hunter says. “I’ll take care of Mike here.”
Hunter steps toward me and I’m overwhelmed with hunger. He lifts his bat and I stumble. Saliva forms in my mouth. Hunter has something for me to eat. I just know it. I try to say hi, but he doesn’t respond I fall to the ground. The bat misses me. I hear a bat slam into Darian’s head behind me. I turn to try to get up. Hunter looks like he’s taking another swing. The bat falls onto my neck. I hear bones crack as it slams into my neck. It hurts, but not as much as I think it should. My shoulder hurts less now. I keep getting hungrier.
The man with Hunter screams and falls. Darian falls on top of him. I lunge for the man on the ground. Hunter slams his bat into Darian’s head. He doesn’t move. There is something in Hunter’s friends hand that looks tasty. I bite it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s sinewy. It tears loose as I turn my head. I am happy. Hunter’s friend screams.
“Sorry Mike,” Hunter says again, as he starts to bring his bat down on me.
“I’m just trying to eat,” I call out.
“I hate the moans,” Hunter says and slams his bat into my skull. I’m no longer able to move, but I can see Hunter’s friend. He’s staring at his hand. Fingers are missing. Hunter says something and brings the bat down on the man’s head.
I’m just trying to get something to eat,” I say.