I hadn’t been feeling very good for a while now. I thought it was just a cold, but this was the sickest I had ever been in my life. It must be the flu, some new kind of flu. I should have gotten that damn shot. I would be ok, though, it was only old people and kids that had to worry. I was still young. I just had to ride it out.
I couldn’t let myself worry too much about this. Working in the back of a restaurant meant I had no health insurance, and I had no money to get any. It meant there was no time to get my shift covered anyway. It meant if I didn’t go in I would lose my job and be replaced the same night.
There were more people than jobs, more bills than paychecks, and no time to worry about a little cold.
I climbed out of bed feeling worse than I had when I got in and mindlessly dragged myself to the bathroom. My head was pounding!
A shower would help. I needed to loosen my sore muscles and wash the disease off of me. I took my blood soaked shirt off and threw it to the side where the others laid in a pile. I must have had another bloody nose in the night. I’d been having more and more of those lately.
As soon as I got in, I hated it. The water made my skin crawl, and the soap disgusted me. Somewhere in my mind, I knew I had to get out. Somewhere in my mind, I was told not to wash off. I did not want to be clean.
I tried to resist; it’s been so long since the last time I washed. I worried how I must smell, but the thought was quickly pushed from my mind as I began to feel hungry. The hunger was intense that had to be a sign of improvement, right?
I got out and shuffled to the kitchen.
Without thinking, I grabbed a bag off the shelf and pulled the raw steak from it. Both the refrigerator and the freezer were filled with them. They were all I had to eat, all I wanted to eat. All the other food I’d had before just made me feel worse. I’d thrown it all out to make room for the meat. I ate it in front of the fridge, no need for plates or cutlery. No time anyway, I had to get to work.
I couldn’t afford not to go in. If I called in, I wouldn’t get paid today and even though the money didn’t amount to much I needed every penny. The rent was due, and the lights were close to getting shut off I was sure. Plus I would need more of these steaks. I couldn’t stop eating them, nothing else would do. Nothing else made me feel better. Nothing else tasted so good.
I looked up and saw the dog watching me. The dogs tail wagged, it wanted the steak too.
The steak good but I craved something…fresher. I wanted the dog.
No! No time, I had to get to work. I let the dog go, for now. I couldn’t lose my job. There were bills to pay. I had no choice but go in. At least I worked in the back where the customers wouldn’t see me. Yeah, all I could do was go in and do my best. I would eat and drink plenty of fluids. I would get better.
I got dressed quickly. I was beginning to feel hungry again, and something told I needed to get among the people.
I needed to get among the flesh.
Author’s note: The plan for this challenge was to post small pieces of fiction that read more like excerpts rather than stories with a true beginning, middle, and end. I think instead, these have turned into something in between, some more, some less. Please bear with me, these are my first attempts at writing fiction. You can find them all under my AtoZ2016 tag.