Epidemic Microfiction: Ghost Town

I’ll just let this one stand without explanation:

Ghost Town

They sat there, inert and dead, metallic cysts erupting from the crumbling asphalt.  The rust was there, already, and the cobwebs.  A deer poked her head from behind one as I passed, curious if I was fried or foe.

A call in the middling distance, the chittering of squirrels.  Of voices and humanity there were none.  No sound, no evidence.  Nothing.

I was hungry.  I had no food, and little water, but I was hungry.  You had to keep moving if you were hungry, had to find the food that may be lurking ahead…had to, even more, keep ahead of the greater hunger coming behind you.

The creak of fading hinges and a door winked like some obscene blind eye in the building ahead of me.  It hung crazily on its remaining hinge, clinging desperately to life with a last, futile fingernail.

I went to ease it open, then.  I went to enter, then I saw the sign.  “We’re closed for the health of our employees” it said, the paper sun-bleached and rotting.  I turned and returned to the street, started to walk again.

A newspaper fluttered by, the words faded and barely legible.  It could change nothing — certainly not for me — but from curiosity I chased it down in the failing breeze.  “…open by Easter…” the words said.  That was all I could read, but it was enough.

I cursed and threw it aside, returned to my slow walk down that street, listening for any sound of life.

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