I’m in an abandoned shopping mall with two others. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on. The world seems to have stopped turning, and most people have disappeared. We’ve heard that a few, whom we don’t care for very much, are still lurking about. We have this strong inkling that it would be a terrible idea to leave the mall. It’s dangerous outside — maybe zombies, maybe thieves, maybe our arch nemeses. But than again, it’s dangerous in the mall too. We are in it, and we’re growing more desperate every hour. The only food is a buffet table with baskets full of black putrefying bananas. The two others are good people. I know they are, but this situation is getting to us, and we are growing distant and locked into our own minds. One is male, he has short blond hair and he’s physically fit — he reminds me of my childhood friend, Justin. The other is female, named Tali, she is also fit with blond hair — I know her.
I’m walking past the buffet table, it’s on my right. I keep walking and the outside wall is gone. Crystal blue waters are lapping against the pink tile floor. The ocean has come for us. The water is shallow by the end of the mall, but there is a large sand pool just a few meters away, and a tiger stares at me hungrily from that pool. We cannot leave by sea. I quickly retreat back into the mall and see a large silo. It has no doors, but it has a ladder. I race up it to see how fast I can get off the ground — I know that tiger will come for me eventually, and it’s a safe place. I get to the top and the hatch opens, but it is small, and the roof comes to a triangular point anyway. The walls are wide, and the ladder is made of thin round metal — it’s very uncomfortable, I couldn’t last up here for more then a few minutes.
I climb down and go back deeper into the mall. I see Justin, he says “He’s coming!”, and bolts past me. I follow and when I round the corner, he’s in one of the elevators, but the door quickly closes before I get in. I don’t know where Tali is, but I hope she is well hidden in one of the hotel rooms upstairs — “He” is coming to find her really, not us. I hide in a darkened corner for a bit, and then make my way towards the silo. As I’m walking past the buffet table “He” is there. The bananas are all yellow and plump, and he has a smirk on his face. He’s a round man of medium height, I’ve never seen him before, but just through his smile and smell I know I never want to again. He’s running his fingers over the bananas, they are a present for Tali — there’s hundreds of them. We make are way to the crystal blue waters — our eyes locked into each others’ feverish gaze. He is confident and unafraid. He standing with his back to the ocean. It is dark now and three moons hang above the water, each within its own phase. Justin is there. He begins punching the fat man on the face, the man make no motion. Justin steps to few paces left. They are both staring at me, entranced, muttering, muttering in some foreign language. The man breaks his rapture and grabs a sword out of a tall bejeweled umbrella vase and slices Justin’s right arm. He drops the sword in front of himself pleased and fearless of retaliation. He raises his shirt to reveal his round belly as a meaty grin stretches across his face. Justin grabs the sword and slices him longways just above his bellybutton. At first nothing . . . and then a thin red line appears, and then it opens wider and wider, redder and wider — then streams of blood and gobs of guts gush out of him. He collapses to the floor unnaturally, like a Jacob’s Ladder. Eyeballs and living rats slither out of his ghastly wound. His face is white, mouth agape; his skin wrinkly and thin, hanging off his bones, too big for his deflated body.
We race back to the elevators and call for Tali. We decide it’s time to brave the greater world.
We’re in a truck driving through a small town. People are about. Nothing seems wrong.
Is nothing wrong? Were we wrong??
I see my friend Rachel, and tell her to climb into the truck, she does and we start driving out of town. With her she brings a peace that we’ve forgotten. The road vanishes and we are speeding through a field of large flowers, every peddle a different color; and although it is night, their glimmer is spectacular. They seem pixelated, as if we are in a digital film or video game. I look behind us and the flowers are fine, our tires do not crush them. We are light and laughing and quickly approaching the ocean and its moons — with no intention of slowing down when we meet them. ♨