night knife life

It is night. I walking around with my brother Bobby and former housemate Michelle. We are in one of those uncomfortable American hybrid urban/suburban environments. I don’t know how late it is, but there is no one in the streets, and only white vans are parked all around. Michelle asks us to accompany her to a dodgy fast food place a few blocks away. She wants a burger. We agree and follow her. As we approach the yellow glowing “Burger Chase” a nervousness creeps up my spine.
I’m barefoot, and before we enter I see the floors are grimy and wet, as well as one of those “no shirt, no shoes, no service” decals on the door. I hesitate entering at first, but do anyway thinking the employees won’t really give a shit about my feet, and that I will just wash them soon after. When we go in I see to my right a row of booths, each closed in by waist high glass doors and filled with water reaching just above ankle height. People are sloshing around in the water and eating. I find it strange and gross, but try not to stare.  The ordering counter runs the full length of the place and red crudely handwritten signs are taped the whole way down. There is a door at the opposite end. As we walk down the counter I read the signs. They say, “Put all of your belongings on the counter. You will be cut by a large knife if you don’t. If you try to escape or look panicked you will be cut”.
I’m pissed. How did we walk into this trap? The people behind the counter are freakishly tall, but don’t necessarily look mean, they almost seem as if they too are following silent orders. A person who was eating in one of the nasty water booths walks out the door I’m standing next too. I step out and motion to my brother to come. He hesitates but my persistent looks get him to leave. I think about Michelle for a moment, but knew that if I tried to get her to come we all would definitely be caught. I console my selfish action saying to myself that I will send help.
Bobby and I are running full speed through the darkness. The lights of a parked white van turn on, and its engine kicks on. We keep running, and don’t seem to be followed. When we get to my parents’ neighborhood Bobby begins knocking on all of the doors and telling them about the place. When no one seems to care, I wake up. ♨

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