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Ain't Talkin'

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Chapter 2 - ic r

There was a gas station halfway between the beginning of the white on 88 and the end of the trail before the hunter reached Parmiskus.

Wasn’t there, really, not in the way things are. But, it was there all the same. A old switchback dirt trail between the back door and the outhouse, a run-down truck on the lawn and a hoary old crow that never left an’ never shut up. The pumps never worked no more and the register inside wouldn’t shut just tight, but that old light in the DIESEL sign wouldn’t quit come hell, high water or the end of the world.

The hunter supposed this was one of the places that got caught when the blinker went off. When the scientists couldn’t stop poking around and making the smallest things smaller and they pushed mother nature a hair too fair, well. . .there was a hundred dozen little pellet hole shots that tore through the book of Humanity that day, all ripped through every little thing and keepin’ them together at the same time. The Walkers called them doors, the hunter was a walker but not all walkers was hunters, some just made a way by getting folks where they needed to get.

The road was old and dusty, and what with six versions of the world all clamoring for attention it didn’t make much difference what anyone did anymore. Seemed it was up to a man and the yokel next to him to be their own judge, jury and executioner when the time come. No rule and no laws in the new way of the cosmos.

The tin sign out front creaked on a nonexistent pole and swayed. The DIESEL light flicked and popped and then ran steady with an electric hum. The hunter tapped a cigarette from his poke and wedged it in the corner of his sandpaper lips. He struck a match and cupped a hand against the wind that wasn’t there.

The menthols tobacco was smooth and cool in the rear of his throat, coarse and harsh like gravel. The gas station was a distant memory now, passed on by like it had never existed, and still didn’t. Just a ghost of a lonely place left behind when the world ended that would forever fidget in some dark corner of the universe doing what it always had done, just being there. Flickering light in the DIESEL sign, crooked hutch and broken truck, drip, drip, dripping gasoline fount and then the world was gone, moved along with everything and forgetting this little bit of home somewhere along the way.

The hunter snubbed his smoke.

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