Short Story Saturday: The Morning Walk

Genre: Gasolinepunk
Rating: 13+ for mild violence
Time of Writing: May 2014
Featured image by josso363

For any other person, the sights around this place would leave a person devastated, on their knees, unknowing what to do and where to start. For him, however, it was Monday, and just like every other Monday, he needed to find something to bring home.

He was walking down a street, or what was left of a street. The buildings were cracked, mostly crumbled and some were even only half of a building. He was aware they were probably going to fall someday, but most of those were away from his place, so he wasn’t too worried. But maybe the rubble would fall a little close? Oh, well. He was used to some rubble. That’s what brooms were for, typically, unless it was a large portion of a building. That would make for a bad day.

Other than that, there were a few mostly crushed lampposts, some devastated roadways – the regular sort of thing you saw on a street this side of the area. The holes in the street were pretty easy to get around, thankfully. There weren’t many holes in his section of the city, and if they were, they were about four to five feet in diameter, maybe six feet in depth if they were pretty large. Not a problem.

As he was walking, he felt some dust from an above building fall onto his shoulders. It didn’t bother his lungs or his eyes, as he already had goggles and a gas mask on with a scarf wrapped the neck and mouth areas just in case. It was just annoying. He tried to wipe it off, but some of the dust stayed on his hoodie. When he tried to wipe off the part that smudged, it smudged harder. He groaned. He spit on his hand and tried to wipe it off. It helped a little, but now it was on his gloves too. Thankfully both the hoodie and the gloves were imitation leather, so it didn’t shrink with liquid. What were the points of those anyways? You were bound to get something your clothes these days: body fluids, sewage, that sort of thing.

But anyway, he was trying to get to the Deli. Some might find it surprising it had held up this entire time, he thought, but he didn’t really bother to question it. Chef Tom was pretty epic; he could survive most anything. He walked up to the unmarked door of the deli, giving the password on the door, which was a series of knocks in certain timing so that Tom would know it was a sure friend and not a possible foe.

There was no answer.

He knocked again. Perhaps he got the wrong tempo. He made sure it was perfectly distinct this time.

There was still no answer.

He sighed. It had a much more dramatic effect echoing on the inside of the mask. He knocked one more time, much harder. Was he asleep or something?

Still, there was no answer.

He groaned.

Then he heard a sound. It was a sound he was familiar with, mixed with a sound he wasn’t so familiar with. The familiar sound was that old gargling screech that would come when one of… those abominations…was in pain. The unfamiliar sound was the yells of a girl and gunshots along with the screeches.

He rushed to where he heard the sound coming from – a back alley. They’d always liked the dark, after all. His hearing had been right, and he could barely make out the outline of a giant abomination grabbing hold of a young girl, dressed in what appeared to be a leather parka, leather gloves and tight leather leggings, along with some combat boots that were much longer than his own, up to the knee. She was fighting it off the best she could with what looked two short pistols. She had just been shooting it in the face, and then its grip loosened. She pushed off its chest and leapt from its arms in a very graceful almost inhuman leap, just barely getting away from its second set of arms before he took out his own machete gun and began blasting the abomination in the chest. Thanks to his good aim, it reeled back and gurgled with an angry screech. Its massive glinting bug-like eyes gleamed from the small amount of light that was visible in the alleyway, and it opened its mouth to reveal its sharp teeth and long flexible tongue and began to rush them. He could see its shape better now in the light, in its massive six-limbed animalistic shape that only barely resembled the man it had once been. He and she both opened fire on it and its massive disgusting body and it fell to the ground.

“Success!” he said happily, not loudly enough to gain the attention of more abominations, but enough to show his pleasure.
He put his hand up for a high-five. The girl looked at him, and in that moment he noticed something – she wasn’t wearing a gas mask. Now he could see that she looked like a girl, and a very beautiful girl at that, but how could she not be wearing one? She smiled, and he saw a mouthful of sharpened canine-like teeth. He stared in disbelief.

“Thanks,” she whispered, “but I was fine.”

She began to walk away, and his gaze followed her. In the distance, he barely heard a slight gargle. He barely had time before he heard the footsteps of that same one, now a very angry abomination, rushing at him.

She whipped around. “Look out!” she yelled.

He took out his machete gun and, leaping off the wall to gain a better momentum, sliced its head clean off as its body crumpled to the ground with a horrible “splat”. Oh, the joys that existed when a gun had a machete blade attached to the underside of its barrel.

He turned around. “Who are you, miss?”

She smiled. “Janette. And yourself?”

He paused. “Ricky. Call me Ricky.”

“Well, see you around, Ricky!” She sped off into the distance as he stood in the alleyway, staring. Then he blushed, smiled, and then sighed. He walked out of the alley towards the deli again.

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