Today was not so difficult. They were there, as they usually are, and always surprised to see us. I know they’re not intelligent enough for coherent thought, but I feel like that look always says “Holy shit. You’re still here? I thought we ran out of you months ago!” The surprise doesn’t usually last long.
We took everything off the shelves that we wanted for the next month. We’ve nearly cleaned out their cereal supply, even though there’s no milk. Frozen foods are priority one, as the canned foods will last longer. Zoic brought her cart to my aisle. She had an assortment of things from throughout the store. Some very old beer, frozen vegetables, and some spices. She also had several cans of dog food.
“For Mabel?” I asked. She nodded. “Lead the way.”
I followed Zoic to the deli section of the store. The smell in that area is… difficult to describe. She opened the cans of dog food and placed them in a large bowl. She took a deep breath and looked at me.
“I’ve got your back.” She nodded again and opened the door quickly. She slid the bowl inside, as Mabel, the decomposing corpse of the sweet deli lady, charged her. She stepped in the bowl and fell, and Zoic closed the door.
After the fight that took out the entire population of the store the first time, Zoic and I found Mabel standing behind the deli counter, as if nothing had changed. She was infected, and not moving, but she wasn’t posing a threat. Zoic had a vague memory of visiting the store when Mabel was a human, and didn’t want to kill her. I wouldn’t say she’s a pet, but the symptoms are there.
Having done our duty for the month, we finished loading up our carts with as much as we could safely store at home. When we came out, they thought they were going to mob us, but they’ve grown soft. And we were expecting them. There weren’t many. Just a few. And then there were none. We loaded the car and drove home.