The minute I looked up, took out my earphones out of my ears, and actually took notice of my surroundings, I knew right away I stayed too long.
There were no lines, no beeping sounds at the cashier, no loiters, no murmur of voices in conversation, no toddlers screaming, no wheels squeaking on the tiles, no music playing through the speakers. It was all quiet, save for the low hum of the freezers and refrigerators in the frozen section which I could only hear if I listened hard enough.
This only meant one thing; I was all alone in the supermarket.
Or so it would seem.
I hoped that that wasn’t the case though. I found it strange that no employees ever tapped me on the shoulder or informed me that they were closing. They do that, don’t they?
But when I walked through some of the aisles as I was headed to the exit, the place looked as if it had been abandoned, like the people inside just stopped whatever they were doing and ran away.
Baskets with items still in them were haphazardly stacked. There was change on the floor. I even found someone’s dirty left shoe.
It was creepy. It was like something out of an apocalypse movie, but only if there were more smoke and dust and blinking ceiling lights.
I didn’t dare call out and actually discover I wasn’t actually the only one here.
I hurried to the exit, opened the door, only to find out that it was snowing. Not only snowing, but it looked like there was an actual blizzard outside. I couldn't see anything but white, and It was blinding.
I hurriedly closed the door. And started to debate with myself and weigh the pros and cons if I should just brave the snow storm since this place was really creeping me out, or stay inside where it was nice and warm and wait for the blizzard outside to stop. I just walked here so I guess I really had to stay inside. This was a really weird situation I got myself in.
I really shouldn’t have been too absorbed in using my phone. I was in this situation because of it and I hated it.
My decision made, I walk slowly through the aisles, just to occupy myself. My steps were the only sound I could hear. Each corner, each turn I made, added to my growing anxiety.
The thoughts swirling through my head were making me more afraid. I had to take deep breaths and just think that this was an exciting adventure, and not a really dire situation I got myself in.
After a few turns, I’ve warmed up to the exciting idea of me just being all alone in the supermarket, with all these food in my reach.
While I debated on whether to eat now and just leave money on the cash register or pay them later when someone finally comes here after the storm has passed, I pushed the thought of why I was all alone here, why the employees never informed me, or why they didn’t clean up or even lock up, far far back to the very back of my head so as to not scare myself more.
I was browsing through the junk food, and was drinking a can of chocolate milk, I gave in to the temptation, when I heard it, a cry, a baby’s cry.
My creeped out levels rose.
Should I check on it? Should I find it?
the baby's cry grew louder.
Who left their baby here?
It took me too long to decide on finding it, that all I could hear were sniffles. I very cautiously looked through the aisles, always looking left and right, and behind me before proceeding a step, to find it.
I found it near the aisle with tissues and diapers. The baby was in the stroller, its arms waving about as its cries started again.
I didn’t know what to do. I don’t have any experience with babies.
Should I carry it? How though? I didn’t know how.
Should I give it milk? Which kind? Was I even supposed to?
What to do?
I just wanted it to stop crying.
I tried talking to it, telling it to stop, though I think the baby didn’t understand me. Can they even understand anything at this age? What even was the age of this baby? Why would anyone leave their baby here and just take off?
As I was just sitting there trying to decide on what to do, and how to make it stop. I hear the thudding of someone running through the aisles and hear them scream, “ Don’t take the baby! Don’t take the baby!”
I turn around and a crazed looking man, hair disheveled, eyes wide, blood stained clothes, comes barreling towards me still screaming, “Don’t take the baby!” even as he draws near.
I just stand there, not knowing what to do, my heart pounding so much I feel like it would just burst out of my chest.
The man then grabs my arm and starts dragging me. “Stay away, stay away.” He was muttering.
I struggle. I didn’t know him. I don’t know where he is from of even where he is taking me. Where did he even come from? I never heard or saw him inside the supermarket, until now.
What was this deal about taking the baby? It didn’t look like it was his. I try pulling my arm out of his grip but he holds on to me harder, his grip tightening. It was starting to hurt.
“What do you want? What is it? Where are we going? Release me please. What is this about the baby? Please release me. Please, please. Let me go.” I start to panic and beg.
With the mention of the baby, he started saying “ It must die. It must die. Stay away from it. It must die.”
What was he going to do?
I try kicking his leg, hitting his arm, begging him to release me. I bite down on his hand as hard as I can, I think I even taste blood, and that’s when he does let go of my arm, while screaming in pain.
I make a run for it, but then I remember the baby.
What did He want to do with It? Was he going to kill it? Was I going to be next if he catches me?
I dash and grab the baby. He isn’t far behind me. I still hear his screams.
I try finding a place to hide and look down at the baby to see if it was okay, since I haven’t heard it cry once I picked it up.
But it wasn’t a baby in my hands, it was a monster. It tries to make a grab for me when I throw it out of my hands. It doesn't deter it, it just starts to crawl really fast towards me.
Was this what that madman tried warning me about? I know what that creature is but I didn’t think I would find them this far out west.
I see the man turn the corner and starts running towards me. He was red in the fast, huffing and panting. He starts screaming in outrage when he sees me.
With them both on my heels, I make a split second decision.
I run to the exit, out the supermarket, and into the storm.
I would rather brave the blizzard and die of hypothermia than stay another minute in the supermarket at the mercy of a madman and that monster.