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The store’s surrounded. Others are clawing away at the glass doors. Why? I don’t smell prey. I can’t hear prey. Is this a waste of time? Have others already gone in and eaten the prey inside like I did inside the metal hunk? There are handles on the door. To get inside, do you pull them? I would test, but the others are in the way. They’re always in the way, and I can’t move them. Dumb and consumed by hunger. I hate them. What are they surrounding the store for? They don’t even know if there is prey inside. If I claw at this metal hunk, will others come and claw too?

Come. Come over here. I wish I could speak, but I can’t. Only groans come out. The hunger is asleep, but its tendrils have scarred my throat. If they reach my brain, I don’t think I can ever turn back to normal. I’ll be like the others forever. I can’t let that happen. The others should listen to me, the one who can still think. Come! Maybe I’m not loud enough. Instead of clawing at the glass, I’ll bang on the metal. Come to me. Get away from the door.

One of them is listening. It’s turning away, coming here. Yes, that’s right. Once one came, the rest followed. Yes, there’s food inside this metal hunk. Claw at it while I investigate the store. The handle on the glass door is bigger than the one on the metal hunk. I pull on it, but nothing happens. Maybe this is the inside, and the store is the outside. I have to push? No, that doesn’t work either. The glass trembles, but it doesn’t open. There’s something stopping it. A loop of metal tying the two handles together on the inside. When I pull, the handles can’t move because of the loop. And if the handles can’t move, the glass can’t open. How do I remove the loop inside the store if I’m on the outside? Is there another way in?

No. It must be similar to earlier. I entered the metal hunk and trapped myself inside by closing the door. Something doesn’t want me to enter the store. Prey? Others? Others selfishly eating prey? That must be it. I have to get inside. A store means food. There must be food. But how? How do I get in?

Crack.

What was that? The others are swarming inside the metal hunk I led them to. How? The metal sides aren’t open. The glass. They broke the glass. Can I do that? If I break the glass around the handle, I can remove the metal loop. But how did the others break the glass? Only the front part of the metal hunk is broken. It must have to do with heaviness. One of them was too heavy, and the glass broke. But how do I put something heavy on the door? Things fall down, not sideways. If I put something heavy on the handles, is that enough? How?

What was that? Did something move? It’s dark. I can’t see that well. But there was something behind the glass. Yes. Something’s moving inside. This isn’t a waste of time. I have to get in. Am I heavy enough? If I put my feet on the glass and pull the handles with my hands, will the glass break? No. I’m not enough. The thing in the store is moving again. It’s coming closer. …It’s prey. I can’t smell it, but it’s prey. It shouted and ran back. Others don’t shout. Did the others hear? Yes, they did. They’re coming here again. Before I’m surrounded, I have to move. If they press me against the glass, I can’t get out. Press. Is that enough? If enough of them push the glass, will it break?

I moved out of the way. The others swarmed the doors and clawed at it. Clawing isn’t enough. They have to press. Like they did with the metal hunk. The others are spreading out too, surrounding the store again. It’s not enough. All the others have to be pushing the door. How do I tell them that? With sound? I have to bang on the door. But the others are in the way. I have to hit the door without being close. Throw? Yes. I can throw something. There, a rock.

I threw the rock, but it wasn’t loud. The others didn’t notice. They’re still spread out. Louder. I need something bigger to make a louder sound. What about this rock? Yes, this rock was big enough. It made a nice sound. The others are noticing. They’re moving closer to the door. But there are still some on the edges. Louder then. I need an even larger rock. This rock is red and straight. Like a brick. Maybe it is a brick. Yes, I think it is. I threw the brick, and there was a loud bang. All the others have noticed now. They’re swarming towards the door, pressing each other. The glass is creaking. A little more. Something bigger? This block. It’s heavy; I can barely lift it. Another brick then.

The brick hit the door, and a crack appeared. All the others are pressing against the glass now. It’s creaking. The crack is widening. Further. Longer. There. The glass is breaking. Now I’ll…, wait. No. If the others go in before me, then the prey will be theirs. That can’t happen. But it’s too late. The door broke. The others are flooding in, leaving me behind. I can’t get left behind, I have to hurry too. There are shouts, barely noticeable under the groaning and shuffling. When I saw the prey, it ran to the back of the store. Maybe I can find them before the others. But there are already a group going down the aisle, to the place where the prey ran. They’re going to get there before me. They…. What is this? The prey is here. There are five of them, but they…, they’re fighting back. They killed an other.

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Virlyce

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