We finally made it across Central into the parking lot where all the strip malls were, the dollar store was off to the left with the second row. The walk took forever to get up here or so it seemed. Or maybe it was the hot summer day that made time drag. There was only one car sitting in the parking lot, it was a mid sized sedan. Walking up to it we took the time to check it out, anything would be good to drive. I tried opening the door, it was locked. It wasn’t a bad looking car, it was a Honda model, very sleek nice interior. “Should I break the window?” I asked while Chuck walked around the other side. “No, if we come across the keys a broken window just makes it unsafe to drive. I’ve seen Zeds run up and pull someone out of a car window with ease” He said. I pressed my head against the window looking in. There was bottled water cases in the back seat, along with a few bags of groceries. “I think someone was trying to collect supplies” I said. “Or still is” Chuck replied, he glanced around suspiciously pulling out his hand gun. I eyed his behavior leaning against the top of the car. “Yea but if they’re survivors they won’t be a threat” I said. “Not so, if they’re desperate enough to want to live, they might not care about killing us. No need to share right?” He said. I for one thought he was overreacting, anyone who was fighting to survive would see us as fellow survivors. “Let’s just get over to the dollar store and get your shoes and a few other things then get back!” Chuck said, he continued looking about, he was bothered that someone was around here. I didn’t get it, if someone was around here that was a good thing. It was a smorgasbord over here, the strip malls offered clothes and there was a gas station across the street close to Greenlawn Cemetery. Chuck hurriedly walked away from the car staying very cautious. He looked up noticing the building beside the dollar store. “A thrift store?” He said looking up at the sign. “Maybe we should go there instead, they’d have better quality shoes for starters” I ran up to the glass windows at the front of the store pressing my face against the glass. I noticed that further back it was darker, it was a pretty big building. Glancing over I saw that the door was slightly open. “Bad idea” I said. “Not enough sunlight, and this place is pretty big. There could be Zeds hiding in there” Chuck was already in front of the dollar store. The building was much smaller and easier to look in. “Yea, this place still has some dark spots in it. The sun seems to be getting in there pretty good though so highly unlikely that Zeds are hiding in there” he said. I walked over looking inside. Funny how untouched everything was. Dust particles could be seen floating on the sun rays about the store, there was dust on the floors and anywhere on top of anything. Other than that the place looked like it would on any given business day. Chuck opened the door walking in with his gun in hand flailing it about. “Hello…?” He called out jokingly. “Any flocking Zeds in here?” He started laughing, it wasn’t all that funny. Walking in behind him I eyed what I came for, shoes were off to the right side of the store. “I’m gonna grab a few tools, you know, screw drivers. They’ll make great weapons”
“Yea sure…” I said walking away from him. I ran over looking at the various shoes until I spotted a pair of black tennis shoes that were my size. Sitting down on the floor I proceeded to untie them putting one of my feet into the shoe. I coughed upon taking in a deep breath of dust. I didn’t waste time, I slid my foot into the other shoe not even untying it. I struggled to put my foot in because of this. Standing up I leaned against the wall stomping my foot until it slid into the shoe. Ahh… It felt good having shoes on. I tested them out by sprinting short distances down the aisle. Now I just needed to get out of the damn jumpsuit. I could hear Chuck whistling a few aisles over, to the ear it sounded like he was at ease, but the way it felt was not the same. I could tell by the way he was acting that he was feeling odd to be sure. Man I was feeling renewed, funny how a pair of new shoes could do that, I could only imagine how I’d feel if I had on new clothes. I looked around until I found the mens clothes area in the store but right as I was getting ready to walk over I heard something beside me. Turning my head quickly I looked down seeing a man squatting just a few feet away from me, he must’ve been hiding under the clothes rack. His face was completely dirty, his hair was a mess. I smiled extending out my hand. “Hi…” That’s when the gun he was holding went off, I didn’t see the gun.

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