“Glimpse of time without the morning grind

    forever flustered as we fight the sands of time

    never lost, always found

    as the winds gust dust from the ground.

    Silence is simply unheard in a city so large

    except on this morning sound is completely

    unfound.”

    The poem in Jack’s head, never before had he heard so he thought it was great.  “Its wonderful what a night of sleep brings. But why is it so quiet, where are the cars, the gunshots, ambulances.  What happened on this night that is now giving me this terrible fright.”, He thought to himself. As he stood from the slumber and peered over the edge of the building, empty streets as far as the eyes could see.  No sound, no wind, no vehicles moved, no people in the open. “I must still be sleeping, but it seems so real”, he pondered. After all, this was the first time he had slept the whole night through in many of years.  In fact, the first time he slept longer than 10 minutes in well, he couldn’t remember how long it had been.

    “Guess I’m meant to enjoy this dream a little longer, I guess I have no complaints about that.”, he muttered aloud.  Laughing to himself he felt the sudden urge to feed, it had been a long time since he had his world famous chunky milk and old cereal.  “Nobody will mind if I help myself to the store goods, after all, this is just a dream.” Jack climbed down the ladder back into the store and started to pillage the shelves, shovelling food into his mouth that he hasn’t had in ages, he simply couldn’t afford to snack like this.  Eating chocolate bars, chips, marshmallow filled snack cakes.

    The satisfying sense of being full overwhelmed him, it was a feeling he had never dreamed of before, and something that he knew wasn’t something he could dream of.  He was full, and he was very much awake. “Guess I’m never coming back here”, he chortled to himself as the realization that he just ate a month’s worth of pay that he cannot afford.  “I guess I should try the phone again.”, as he picked up the phone a large crash against the security window plating bellowed out. Startled Jack screamed, “Who’s there!?” but nobody responded.

    Jack slowly creeped up to the window and looked out.  Before him was a man, tall, roughly 6 feet tall, a whole inch taller than Jack.  Wearing jeans and a torn white shirt. His flesh tone tainted black, and crusty dried on blood from an apparent neck wound streamed down his body.

    “I don’t know what you are doing, but stop, this isn’t halloween!”

        Silence…

    “I’m serious, go away, we are closed!  No power means no entrance!”

    The man’s hands scratching against the glass, and steel security shield.  His fingers pouring black sludge from where the security shield sliced into his flesh.  “Seriously man! Go away! What are you on, drugs?”, screamed Jack. “I cannot go out there, this guy is crazy, he’s getting all cut up, god only knows what he will do to me.”, he thought to himself.

    “RRRRRAAWWLLL”, bellowed the man outside Jareds Gas and Go.  “RRRAWWL”. As he continued to drag his flesh along the steel security sheet, his flesh tearing off with each passing stroke, bearing bone and black sludge like blood.  Jack knew something was off, “Shouldn’t his blood be red?”, he said out loud, as if it would make this situation seem less insane, less surreal, less horrifying. Standing in an almost daze like state, Jack stared at the man intensely, trying to figure out just what was going on.  It was almost as if it was a scene from one of the horror novels Jack enjoyed reading.

    “Okay, I cannot stay here forever, sure there’s food and drink but eventually they will come back here, and I’ll have to pay for it all.  God.. I have to get out of here, and past that drugged up man. Is he on PCP? I’ve heard Meth addicts do this type of stuff. But his blood, his blood is black, its like sludge.”, Jack said aloud, as if trying to convince himself of what he had to do.  “I’m going to get the baseball bat from the manager’s office, I can at least defend myself if that crackhead comes at me.” he thought as he raced to the manager’s office.

    As he opened the office door all Jack could hear was the shattering of glass from the front room.  “Oh my god”, he thought as he grabbed the baseball bat. Gripping the base of the baseball bat tight, and curling it up and readying it to swing, he slowly crept back around the corner.  The security shield completely torn to shreds. Strips of flesh dangling from the one secure metal shield that protected this small shop. “Come out you bastard.”, Jack called into the room.

    “RRRRAWWWLL”, bellowed the man as he rose to his feet, ankle broken, bone protruding from the skin, cracking and splitting with every step towards Jack. “What the hell are you on man?  Don’t make me do this!”, Jack warned the man as he neared. Another laboured step, followed by another as Jack slowly backed away, the man couldn’t catch him with his leg like that, but Jack knew it best to stay face to face with this man. “Anyone who can walk on a break that bad is either on some serious drugs, or is dead and just doesn’t know it yet.  So tell me man, what are you on?”, Jack warned one final time.

    With a quick swipe, Jack barely moved out of the way in time, his face close to scratched by the gnarly bone hand of this man.  Jack had to make a choice, and unfortunately, this man was making it for him. Jack cocked his arms back, holding the baseball bat tight, and with his eyes clenched shut, swung.  THWACK, the disgusting sound rang out throughout the room as the baseball back crashed into the man head. Splitting it in half. Black oozing puss poured out of the man’s head all over the floor.  And his lifeless body hit the ground, bones snapping and bursting through the skin as he hit the ground.

    “That’s not normal.”

    “That’s not Normal.”

    “THAT’S NOT NORMAL”

    Jack couldn’t control the feelings that rushed through him, what he saw wasn’t normal.  What was this horrific thing in front of him. Surely it was a man once, but now what was it.  The insides of people isn’t black putrid scrambled goop like what this man was. “I have to get out of here.”  Jack quickly grabbed a bag from behind the counter, stashed up every ounce of food and drink he could from the shelves and ran out through the hole in the security sheet.

    As Jack entered the sunlight after his ordeal, he kept a vigilant eye out for anything odd as he quickly and quietly made his way towards his apartment.   As he crept along, it became apparent to him that something awful occurred overnight. Windows of buildings were smashed in, copious amounts of blood smeared the streets.  Entrails were all over the place. Gun shells coated the ground in some areas, while others, bodies still covered the ground, some convulsing from the wounds, others foaming at the mouth.  The depths of outright wrongness of what could be seen made stop briefly and threw up. Seeing the insides of people on their outside had that effect on him.