Monday, April 21, 2014


{we're back where we were about three nights ago, in the dark, mall food court, after midnight. the mall-rat girls perch atop a twenty foot metal scaffold, using cell phones for illumination, as they peer into the space between the drop ceiling and the concrete 'true' ceiling above. Something's up there. They snap pictures. Sophie,  who fronts the group, looks down to see a cadaverous being glide out of the shadows and maul Gary (the weird, nightwatchman waiting down below).  The fiend looks up. They lock eyes. No one makes a sound. that's where we are.}

It looked like Johnny Depp from when he was Edward Scissor Hands.... white skin... dark eyes... severe features... wild hair... And oddly, not so sinister. More tragic, like it was bound to do these things. ... She didn't say a word. Hardly moved. Just stayed there, locked in position. 

Gary's sprawled on the white, tiled floor. Blood pooling everywhere. Neck a pulpy mess. Left cheek gone. Left eye gone. Skull shattered. And he must have butt dialed something when he fell, 'cause the girl from Zeppo & Lucretia's wants to know what kind of pizza he wants.... A last meal he'll never get.

The Johnny Depp thing backed 'way to make room for another one. And Sophie looks, as the pair of them silently drag him away, leaving a big, wide, blood smear in their wake.... Sybil, one of the other two up there with her, turns 'round to watch. Opal just whimpers. They stay like that for maybe an hour, either in denial, or shock. Then moon beams stream down through the skylight, gilding the scene in a gray, somber wash. All is silent, except for an occasional rattle from the heating ducts. Sophie exhales and whispers - Opal, you still got the two cans of Aqua-Net?... Opal nods... And the lighters?.... More nods... Sophie goes - Give 'em to me. Not all of them, just one can and one lighter. Come on. Come on. Come on.... She takes them, sprays some out (away from the others) and lights it up. A respectable, homemade flame thrower.... Sybil goes - What are you gonna do? ..... Sophie starts to climb down and whispers - What do you think?... Five heartbeats later, Sybil screws up her courage and follows. Twelve heartbeats after that, Opal quickly scrambles after them. Nobody talks. Just three pair of ninth grade, sneaker clad feet silently making their way through the dark.

Sophie leads them passed the shoe stores. It's like a mezzanine up there. One side's all footwear. Causeway goes to the other side. But that side's all ladies' wear. Full of manikins. More places for night fiends to hide. Sophie figures them two zombies must be holed up somewhere chompin' on what's left of good, old Gary. Ain't no blood smear. Must have gone the other way. So they tiptoe to the stairs and sneak down.... First level's got more benches, plants, trees and fountains too. Locked up, little carts for sunglasses and all that.  Thing is, you gotta get passed them to reach the exit and you know that's locked. Mall's got other exits, but that's the first one. Off duty cops patrol the outside, cruisin' 'round in special, compact S.U.V.s. Maybe they can wait, crouched down by the floor, til cops go by. Bang on the glass when they check the door. Only thing is, Sophie don't know the outside crew ain't got no keys, or key cards, or nothing. Pee in the little Crispy-Creme Doughnut joint out in the parking lot. Got keys for that. Well, even so, maybe there's something they can do? Who knows?

So the girls just keep on going, passed the pretzel stand, passed the sticky bun place, passed the particle board, paint and glitter Rabbit Hutch where the Easter Bunny was. He's gone now. But something else has taken up residence and it ain't no rabbit. They can't see in the darkness, but four red eyes is watchin' from a little window with like a Pee Wee's Playhouse flower box under it and no glass. Zombies in there gnawin' on Gary. Don't know how the management'd feel about that,  'cause they don't even like no Gypsy fortune teller.

Girls position themselves by the glass exit door, down a little passageway between some grill place and a reclining chair store.

Trouble is, them what gnawin' on Gary can see 'em. Oh, yeah, they can see 'em all real good.

Can even smell the blood...


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