Everything is dusty.
Perhaps everything is dust.
It’s like they just left one day, in the middle of everything and never came back.
Music from overhead speakers drips stickily-sweet-reminicent of a past not far gone from our minds. We move slowly through the dust, down each aisle. Soup, beets, sugar, bread, diapers, peanut butter, cereal, Tide; it was all there, the things we thought we could never live without. Now we were more concerned with just living.
“Oranges!” she gasps, running towards the wilted produce. We all grin. We had almost forgotten what fresh produce actually looked like. Canned peaches, fruit salad, applesauce, dried apricots, and pear halves in heavy syrup. Water sprays suddenly over sad looking lettuce. It must be on a timer, everything has to look fresh and dewy. Too bad no one is there to see it but us.
“Come on.” he chides, gently turning her from the decaying fruit and the dream of a sweet juicy peach. “We have to make this quick, it isn’t safe in here.” She allows herself to be turned and led, but her eyes stay fixed on wrinkled used-to-be-grapes, well on their way to raisin-hood and shrunken lack luster apples long lost of crisp. Taking a last longing look at the juicy gems we cant take with us, we quickly fill our bags with dusty cans and packages of non-perishable food while the music plays on and the sprinklers perpetually spray morning-mountain-mist over withered eggplants.
We leave footprints in the dust as we gather like the dutiful grasshopper. They are our calling card, our rebellion, “We are alive, we were here!” they scream up and down the linoleum aisles.
Night is falling fast.
“Quiet!” he rasps. They are out now, they are hungry. “Quick!” he motions to the car.
We don’t bother to pay, they know us here, put it on my tab, I have an account with the store, clean up in aisle three, price check!
As we run hunched and hidden in the shadows, hungry zombies mill, looking for fresh produce, and I swear, I smell Oranges…
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Miscellaneous / Flash Fiction
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