Dark Days

Posted on September 3, 2015


Who would have thought politics still mattered even after the collapse of society? Or, for that matter, race? Well apparently, they do. And that’s why I’m here, hands covered in blood, and a young woman lying dead before me; her face bloody and bruised, her skull cracked.

Fuck, I wish I had a cigarette. Actually, I wish I would have just left her where I had I found her. Fuckin’ cunt.

I knew there was something wrong from the moment she ran out of the tree line. She was lucky I just happened to glance in my mirror at that moment. Against my better judgement, I stopped. She approached the car quickly, without a hint of caution. It’s as if she knew the person inside wouldn’t harm her or, worse, couldn’t harm her. As she got closer, I noticed she looked at something on the back of my car; probably my Obama bumper sticker. She suddenly hesitated, and for a brief moment furrowed her brow. Then, as if realizing she might be giving herself away, she looked up and continued towards the passenger door.

I rolled down the passenger window a little and asked, “Where you headed?”

“Anywhere but here,” she responded curtly, then tried to open the door, but it was locked.

“Hold on, miss,” I said patiently. She folded her arms and huffed, clearly indignant.

“Don’t tell me you’re one of those pigs that wants a blowjob for a ride.” She clenched her jaw. My mouth fell open at the audacity of her accusation.

“I would never!” My blood started to boil a little, and I considered shifting back into drive and leaving her ass where she stood, but the nicer side of me told me to give her a chance.

“Are you sure?” She asked mockingly, tilting her head to one side. “Cause I know there’s probably a lot of helpless twats looking for a cock to suck in exchange for protection. You’ve probably met some of them.”

“Fuck you.” The words flew out of my mouth as I shifted into drive and started to accelerate. Just as I did, she smacked the window with her hands and yelled, “Wait!” The nasty expression on her face was replaced with panic. I slammed on the brakes and gave her a cold stare. “Please, I’m sorry.” The hostility in her voice was completely gone. I sighed, then looked at the unlock button for a moment before pressing it. She threw open the door and got inside. “Thank you, thank you,” she said graciously.

I gave her a half smile and nodded. “Sure.” I figured she had just been sizing me up, making sure I really wasn’t some pig looking for sexual favors from helpless women.

I really, really, really wish that had been the case.

As we drove along, she started to ask me weird questions.

“Would you mind if I asked you a personal question?”

I looked at her for a moment, then shrugged. “Go for it.”

“So before all this, were you ever like…” She played with her hair nervously as she spoke, keeping her gaze on her lap. “On welfare or anything?”

I tried to keep a straight face as best I could. “I…no, never. What makes you ask?”

“Oh no reason in particular.” She shook her head, never once looking at me.

“What about that whole gay thing…and the blacks rioting. Stupid shit, huh?”

From the corner of my eye, I felt her gaze suddenly boring into me. What was she getting at? I shifted uncomfortably as I answered. “Um, I mean, I don’t think that stuff matters now…”

She turned towards me, leaning in a little, like a shark smelling blood in the water. “But what is, I mean, was, your opinion on that stuff?”

Without meeting her stare, I responded flatly, “I think everyone who is a citizen, or, who was, a citizen of this country, should have the same rights, regardless of race or sexual orientation.”

Her eye twitched, and she sat back in her seat. “Do you believe in God?” She seemed desperate now, trying to find some common ground between us.

“No.” From the corner of my eye, I saw her raise her arms like she was going to cross them, then decide against it, and just looked out the window. She didn’t say anything for the rest of the ride.

We reached a small town that looked relatively empty. There were a few of the dead ones roaming aimlessly at the next intersection, but otherwise it didn’t seem too dangerous. I pulled into the first gas station and parked in front of the entrance to the little store. The windows were all smashed in, and the doors were barely hanging on their hinges. Needless to say, it didn’t look promising. But shit, I needed more food; especially since now I had another mouth to feed.

“Can I stay here?”  Marissa asked, giving me a pleading look. She had only just divulged her name to me minutes before arriving in the town. I sighed. “Sure.” Before getting out, I took the key out of the ignition and put it in my pocket.

The inside of the store was dim, the only light coming through the smashed windows. The coolers and shelves were all empty, of course. Even the cigarettes were all gone. “Godfuckingdammit,” I cursed under my breath. I walked over to the door leading to the back room, and miraculously found it locked. “Fuck yeah!” That meant there was likely food and drinks stored back there, untouched by the collapse. I was so excited I hadn’t even noticed the soft footsteps coming up behind me. In fact, I didn’t even realize there was someone behind me until I felt something big and sharp enter the side of my leg. I yelled out in pain and collapsed to the floor. The object in my leg was a piece of glass. A big fucking piece of glass. I looked up at Marissa, who seemed sort of surprised at what she had just done, but quickly snapped out of it. Her hands dove for my pocket with the key in it. I grabbed her wrist with one hand trying to stop her, but her reflexes were so fast, I didn’t see her other hand ball into a fist before it connected with my cheek.

By the time I stopped seeing stars, Marissa was already out the door, key in hand. I got up as quickly as I could, using a nearby shelf for support. I hobbled out after her, and watched as she started my car and backed away from the store. Before she drove off, she blared the horn several times, then looked at me and smiled. It was the only time she had smiled at me.

At that moment, I wished I had told her the ride would cost a blowjob. And as much as I wanted to scream all sorts of obscenities at her, I knew, somehow, that one day we would cross paths again.

And that ride would cost her a whole lot more.

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