So hungry. She put her sunglasses on and adjusted her cap as she walked across the parking lot. She chose a large shopping cart and headed into the grocery store. She could still taste her last meal on her tongue… a little salty. Mmmm. Maybe something sweet would be nice now. Something small. A little morsel. She turned down the candy aisle. There was a little girl picking out a bag of lollipops. That looked good. She was young, tender. Her parents were nowhere in sight.
No! Not in the middle of the afternoon! She couldn’t do this again!
She took a bag of marshmallows, smiled at the girl and kept walking. She felt herself growing warm with anger, thankful to still feel something. That meant the change was not complete yet. Damn him! Here she was, stuck in this small town, lured by his charm. The few nights they spent together, the “love bites” she still word under her turtleneck, all were still fresh and where was he? What was he for that matter? She needed answers. Her afternoons at the library had not turned up much; just some fables and fairy tales involving the undead. But she felt so alive! How could she be dying? Colors were brighter, taste tangier; smells were sharper, sounds clearer, touch, more intense. Other than being cold all the time, she felt very much alive, in a heightened sense, like the time she tried smoking dope in college.
She took off her glasses and turned into the aisle with chips and pretzels. Maybe people would see her bloodshot eyes and just think she was stoned and not a zombie shopping for a snack.
Don’t look at me and judge my choices, she thought as she put several bags of chips in the cart on top of the cases of soda. We all have to survive. She hurried past the fish and poultry and honed in on the smell of blood. The butcher was grinding some meat behind the counter. She stood there a little too long, feeling the drool pooling in her mouth. God, that smells good, she thought. I’m so damn hungry!
Throwing some fresh meat in her cart, she walked past the pharmacy, bumping into an old man with a cane. So easy, she thought. He was slow, seemed confused. Ah, but he weighed nothing. Not very nourishing. No! Not here at the grocery store! But where? Where else could she shop for the food she most wanted? Where else could she go without people judging her choices?
She drove the car loaded with sugar and salty snacks and drove to the old trailer outside of town. Maybe he’d come back today. Maybe he could help her or at least explain what was happening to her. Yeah, and maybe she’d finally have a good hair day. Or maybe her mother would stop trying to set her up with friends’ single sons.
She was putting the last of the food away when he walked in the door, dragging a cooler on the ground. He was smiling and looking a little less grey than when she had last seen him. He smiled at her and said “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.” Then he opened the cooler, which she then noticed had a hospital logo printed on its side. Oooooh, God. The smell was even better than a Thanksgiving dinner.
Blood, marrow, brains… he had brought her the world. Better than diamonds.