Wal-Mart After Midnight

So you say you’ve never done it, right? You spend hours with your crew, just hanging out. Maybe you’ve gone a few places and you’re half-wasted. And there’s only one thing that can make it right – Cheetos. And not the new less salt, eco-friendly, heart healthy crunchy ones, the originals. Fully puffed and cheesy goodness. So you head to Wal-Mart to satisfy the need.

You maybe drove or rode the bus or flew. You can’t remember and it doesn’t matter because the need is there and satisfaction is just so close.

So, after admiring the way the automatic doors move every time you pass through them–read this as using the Jedi force to command them to do your will–you grab a buggy. You need the buggy for two reasons beyond simply holding the beloved Cheetos. The first reason is to help you maintain a sense of verticality, you gotta stand up. The second is to transport that skank with the incredibly short skirt you picked up in the last bar. After some effort you manage to get your roofie princess into the basket her head is angled at an uncomfortable angle against the back of the cart while her body is in the bottom. Her legs are splayed up and over the edge, providing all you might meet with the rather unappealing revelation that her personal choice is commando style.

You find this rather funny and laugh uncontrollably as you stroll towards the food aisles. On the way you take a few detours to kind of check out both the landscape and the after-midnight denizens who slink through the aisles.

There’s a young woman-probably a young mother-buying Pampers-too boring for you.

There’s something better in the candy aisle-a big guy wearing a black leather biker jacket and riding cap, black riding boots, and a pink G-string.

But the one that really catches your eye is the massive momma and her man. Purple hair striped with red, matching wife-beater tees and barely there Daisy Dukes, all on a frames that must be pushing over three-fifty. But not to worry, they’re humping in front of the Weight Watchers display.

Then it happens, you’re struggling to push that buggy through housewares when you stumble upon a man who looks totally foreign to you. His face is drawn, his pupils dilated, dark rings around his eyes. His shirt is torn, his jeans are soiled and wet from not quite making it to that last pisser. His long hair is tangled and matted.

The girl in the buggy’s basket stirs. And the man you’re looking at has a girl in his buggy, too. But the snatch of the girl in his buggy, you can see it quite clearly, is dirty and red with inflamed bumps along her thighs, decidedly unappealing.

It takes a while, but you notice that whenever you move that other man moves. Whenever your girl in the buggy moves, the other girl in the buggy moves. And then it happens, for the briefest moment sobriety overcomes the high and you realize that you and that awful alien man are the same. He is you and you are him.

What you also suddenly realize is that while you have been focused the mirror, the denizens of Wal-Mart after midnight have been gathering around you. The aisle is blocked, allowing no escape. You came here hungry and so did they.

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About Kevin_Fraleigh

I am a novelist, and much of my writing is predicated on the concept that within each of us is a hole. For some of us, the hole is a divot, shallow and insignificant. But for many of us the hole is a cavern, deep and expansive. We try to fill it with sex or drugs or religion, but the cavern has an insatiable appetite. This is where the dark things live―the things that fill our nightmares. The things that claw at our minds. The things that inspire the stories of horror, madness, and twisted realities. From the depths of that cavern come the seeds of my stories. Won’t you join me in the dark edges of reality? Learn more about me from my blog at anytomorrow.wordpress.com. You can find my novels at amazon.com, smashwords.com, and most eBook retailers. You can also read some of my full length short stories at http://www.wattpad.com/user/Kevin_Fraleigh
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