Fiction

Pace

Raziel Puma

Midnight on a dark city street. There are three in a car. There you are in a dying pair of Reeboks. Should you run? Of course. So you’ve got a few extra pounds that have been slowing down your life. You have eluded German Shepherds and your ex-girlfriend’s other boyfriend before, so why should tonight be any different? Can you run? Well, with that deep-dish pizza balanced on your right arm, and that bag of wings balanced on your left, you might not be as elusive as you would like.

“You’re gonna have to give that up, Holmes!” says an ugly dude behind the wheel. Suddenly, you consider sharing: really, now, all this food could be a decent meal for the four of you. So what if you had to pay for it all?

“Y-Y-Yy’all wanna split this with me?” you ask, trying your best to sound like Mister Rogers Black. Instead, your voice squeaks and squeals like a sorry saxophone. Your body goes numb.

“You better give that up, BOY!” says an even uglier man next to the driver. The B of his “BOY!” thuds against your chest like a deep, bass bomb.

Now your brain is nothing but bone. You move to your right. The car follows. You stop. It stops. You look at the quiet, darkened house behind you. Should you scream?

Somehow, you find the power to lift your eyes above the car’s hood. Something looks familiar. You shake your head a few times and recognize your house. You then return to your senses as–is this possible?–another being clearly even uglier than what you have seen so far approaches you. You then assess the situation at hand: three of the most heartstopping forms of ugly are trying to take your pizza and chicken wings. You spent your last $20 on these wings and things.

You have decided to take some preventive, proactive action.

You suck in that gut.

You pray for movement. You balance your purchase on your left arm.

Before you are aware of it, you feel something forcing you across the street. You hear another shout from the Chorus of Ugly now behind you.

You then recognize the front door of your house.

You feel a hand attached to your body reach inside your pocket and pull out your keys. And, for the first time ever, you pick the right key, and it goes into the lock on the first try.

The force of something then pushes you inside the house. You look over your shoulder and see something round in the area where the door will close.

It closes. With a slam.

Something warm is on your face. You know it is blood, as you recognize its maroonish hue on the wall next to you.

Never mind the blood, you reason.

It’s time to eat.

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