The rain pounding the pavement made a beat and each step he took was in time. His ragged shoes filled with water as the pools and puddles he trod through seeped into the old fabric and broken soles.
He had hoped for just one more day of clear skies but it seemed he’d waited too long to make this trip. He was glad the frequently crowded sidewalks outside the open-air mall were nearly vacant, but a few people were still soldiering through the misery.
The strangers he passed throughout the area all had umbrellas save for himself. He had been in a hurry and left his own at home. He kept his hands buried in his pockets and his head down as he walked briskly down the walkway.
He had hoped the earlier break in the storm would last when he drove himself here. Luck it seemed was not on his side. He cursed his forgetfulness. But it should not have surprised him. He was used to being disappointed, in himself and the world around him. Now his cotton hoodie and jeans were soaked, weighing him down even more.
Everyone he knew had deserted him, and the recent death of his closest friend had left him adrift in life. Trying to find some sense of solace he had become addicted to his loneliness. He became sullen and isolated himself from the rest of the world. He no longer let even his coworkers know anything about him, and each time they struck up a conversation he skillfully avoided saying anything.
Being divorced and in his thirties didn’t help. He had let himself go and had developed a small potbelly working a desk job and from lack of exercise. He didn’t feel up to it anymore, and didn’t feel interested in looking for another woman to give his heart to. They always left anyway, leaving him even more broken. He didn’t think he could stand that again. Loneliness was his only companion these days. He couldn’t think of a reason why he continued, and yet he still did.
Today’s trip to restock his ever diminishing supply of food and necessities had brought him here. His local store had been shut down for remodeling just for today and he hadn’t known in advance, otherwise this trip would have been over already. The closest place he could buy groceries was this stylish mall, a popular haunt of hipsters and the pseudo-rich. He supposed he could have purchased much of what he needed at a gas station, but he hated those dirty places even more.
The contrast of bright lights and the swell of dark clouds over head made it hard to see. Dazzled and blinded one moment by gleaming lamp lights and the incomprehensibly intense illumination of lightning, to then be cast into the shadows of the storm, his eyes could not adjust.
His legs were already aching from the long walk through this open mall. Store front windows filled with fashion and specialty food beckoned with an inviting glow through the deluge. Stop here for a spell, get dry, warm, and buy these clothes you don’t need, food that is overly sweet or salty, and join our rewards program that will barrage your email with spam. He complained mentally that the grocery store didn’t have a parking lot closer to its entrance. Groaning in tired remorse and wondering if it was time to take up his evening walks again, he pressed on.
Regretting his decision already and wanting to return home with the possibility of simply ordering something for delivery, he stepped through yet another puddle. The darkness concealed the depths of the water, tripping him on the hidden pothole, causing him to lurch into a passerby.
“Hey, watch where you’re going!” the man shouted in irritation. The stranger’s greasy hair and long coat trailed behind as he glared in anger. This was the only other person he had seen in a while. They didn’t have an umbrella either and looked thoroughly irritated by that fact.
Trying to avoid eye contact with the homeless looking man, he didn’t pause to apologize. He merely straightened himself and moved past, trying to ignore the hostility.
“Hey buddy, did you hear me?” the man shouted, almost growling.
Still trying to get away and having no interest in speaking to anyone today, he spotted his destination. The glowing sign that marked the entrance to this grocery store spilled light across the newly formed pools, causing them to glimmer with an eldritch green.
Suddenly thunder boomed and he was shoved to the ground by some unseen force. Pain blossomed throughout his body, and he curled into himself.
Only able to focus on the all consuming sensation of dying he didn’t hear the heavy footfalls of the fleeing man. Moaning in pain he opened his eyes in the hope of seeing some rescue, but the streets remained empty and he took his last shuddering breath, alone and unloved.
What I’ve published
click here for a link to the book
Click here for a link to the book
Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6
Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771
Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks
Update: 1,000 words written. Still excited that I get to share what I write
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde
– Steven Oaks
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