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I waited. The prey was eaten. No flesh remained; yet, the others remained dumb. They stopped groaning, stopped drooling. Stopped doing anything. They sat down next to the remains of the prey and didn’t move. I hit them with the metal bar. They didn’t respond, only looked at me once before looking away. Their behavior confused me. They weren’t hungry, so they stopped moving? Maybe, like me, they were counting the time it took for hunger to reappear. But if they don’t respond, I can test.

Which parts are vulnerable? I singled out a standing other, pulled it away. It didn’t resist. I swung the metal bar, hitting its right arm. There wasn’t any response. Maybe the arm is like the head. I hit it another four times, but the other didn’t die. What if this one wasn’t like the others? Maybe it was tougher than the rest. I hit its head. Once. Twice. Three times. It collapsed into a heap. I think it’s dead. Are all others the same? Is it always the head? There were still nine others. I pulled aside another. This time, I hit the other’s left arm. Then its left leg. On the second hit, the other collapsed. Like its leg stopped working. The lower part bent in a strange way. Odd. I checked its right leg. It only bent in one direction. Were both legs the same? I hit the right leg. Again. And again. A loud snap rang out. Now, its right leg bent in multiple directions.

It makes sense. Others are prey brought back to life by God. The prey have breakable white rods underneath their flesh. Others must have them too. The rods are a support. If they break, the other collapses. Prey should be the same. To make sure, I have to capture a prey and test. But that’s for the future. Right now, I have to check for consistency. Is it just this other that collapses? What about the others? But first, I raised the metal bar and swung it. It took five swings to break the other’s head, killing it. The number of hits it takes is inconsistent. But the head always kills.

It’s strange. The others follow their hunger, nothing else. Is it because their brains are gone, already eaten by the hunger? I don’t want to die, so I eat. But the others are eating not because they don’t want to die. If they wanted to live, they wouldn’t let me kill them. But they do. They don’t resist when I hit their arms, their legs, their heads. Inside of them is only hunger. Nothing else. Is that really living? What does it mean to be alive? God. God knows the answer. I’ll find him and ask.

But to find God, I have to survive. It’s harder than I thought. I can’t let hunger consume me. I have to eat. But the prey I eat can fight back, can kill me. Compared to others, I’m not as heavy, not as strong. Maybe compared to prey too. But I can think. That’s my advantage. But only compared to others. The prey can think. They trapped themselves inside the store, keeping the others out. They used metal bars to fight. They gave up one prey to distract the others and escaped. The prey, are they smarter than me? Maybe. The prey are stronger, smarter. How do I survive? If the others weren’t here, that would be me on the ground, my head split open.

Then it’s simple. I need to eat prey to survive. Unless the prey are special like the first, I need to be around others to hunt the prey. But others won’t always be around like this time. Unless, I tell them what to do. After they eat, the others are compliant. It’s easy to move them. A simple tug in a direction and they follow. Pushing doesn’t work. But they won’t hunt if there’s no hunger. I can’t use them. I have to direct the ones consumed by hunger. How? With sound. Sound works: banging, cracking, ringing. Hitting things with the metal bar is loud. If I hit two metal bars together, will it be louder? I can try.

Yes, it’s very loud. The others outside the store can hear it. They’re coming here. Why didn’t they hear the prey shouting before? They were loud. Maybe they weren’t here before. How many others are there? How many prey are there? What happens if all the prey is eaten? The hunger consumes me? This isn’t sustainable. If eating a prey turns a prey into an other, there will only be others left. What a dilemma. Maybe I won’t find God before I turn dumb or die. It’s not fair. What do prey eat? Each other? No. Before, from when I remembered, the convenience store was for food. If I was prey before I lost my memories…. There’s something in the store for prey, food. But what? Can I eat it as an other?

What can it be? Something soft. The prey don’t bite to fight. They can’t eat something that I can’t. But the store, it’s empty. The shelves are very scarce. A few scraps of paper here and there. Some stains. Nothing eatable. Perhaps the prey ate it all. They locked themselves inside to eat. But all of it? If there was no more, they wouldn’t have stayed. This? Is this meat? Pork, $3.99 per pound. It doesn’t smell. There’s a film covering it. I can’t tear it without fingernails. I’ll bite it off.

It stinks. It’s rotten. Disgusting. Even the hunger is recoiling in its sleep. The others are here. They came from outside. Maybe, they can find food. Yes, I can use them to search. They follow their hunger. If I follow them, there’s bound to be food. But I led them here with sound. Will they find any? If there is anything eatable in the vicinity, maybe. Will the others eat pork? No. They ignored it. It makes sense. It’s dead, rotting. The prey left this behind for a reason. I have to find prey, not only to eat, but to learn. They’re smart. There’s so much to learn from prey. Maybe they know where God is.

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Virlyce

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