Staying Alive III


In total blackness a horizontal white line darts across all of reality, right down the middle. It grows vertically.

An oval opening in the void.

The white breaks apart, separated by blue.

This blue and white universe smells of rotten meat and old milk. It’s soft and mushy in some parts and rough in others.

Alex is blinded by the direct sun in his eyes. And the universe goes dark again. He turns and opens his eyes to an old banana peel.

There are no moans. No screaming.

No crying.

And no yelling.

And no gunshots.

“That’s eerie.” Alex says. “Hasn’t been this quiet in a while.” He pats himself down. “Just to be sure I’m all here.”

Nothing looks familiar when he gets out of the dumpster. He’d already been roaming unfamiliar streets when he found the building and jumped out the window avoiding ghouls.

“So, I’m lost…” he says, back on the street unable to tell which direction he came from. “Nothing new there.”

Luckily the coast was mostly clear with exception for two or three stragglers. Ghouls from the night before. Alex quickly disposed of them and took the opportunity to track and find painkillers ahead of time. An expired bottle of Tylenol. “Fun times await you, little ones.” He tells the bottle of oxycodone as he shoves it in his backpack and continues his journey.

Oats and honey granola bar crumbs gather inside of the bar’s wrapper. Alex looted two whole boxes of the stuff. Twelve in each. Snacks for a while. It’s not obvious before the apocalypse, but post, energy bars and candy bars are gold. Food you can fit into one bag in large quantities and transport across long journeys. They were especially valuable to Alex because he wanted to find a placed near a city, but somewhere in the woods, hidden from ghouls and other survivors. He’d only have to come to the city when he’s running low on food.

Staying alive by keeping out of sight is great. Always being on the move to remain undetected is not. And Alex considers last night’s close call as more proof that he has to settle down somewhere in the woods.

But he can’t leave yet. “I’m going to need a bicycle if I want to move fast and quiet when I come back.” He says. The plan is ultimately to steal a mountain bike from a Walmart or sports store, but he needs to roam until he finds one. Which he does. Except, “This Walmart parking lot is riddled with black Friday shoppers and I’m potentially what they’re waiting to fight over.” Alex says. “I’m not some cheap deal. Affordable and convenient for low income families!” He complains hidden behind a car parked at the end of the customer lot. “But I can’t turn away either. There has to be a way in and out undetected.”

He sets off to find a way in.