Razor sharp teeth, mouth agape, lips stretched wider than a human’s mouth should go, a monster that was once a man rushed past me. I threw my arm out and caught the child by my side, pushing us up against the wall hoping the oncoming swarm would pass by and leave us alone.
It all started earlier while I was stocking shelves. The last of summer’s water toys were going up for clearance, the bright colors out of place next to all the decorations for Halloween. Holidays arrived earlier every year. My co-worker next to me was peeved, “I just don’t understand.” He mumbled.
“CVS and Walgreens merged, they are now one company.” I explained again. “We have to get inventory ready for the merger now that we work for Walgreens.”
“I can’t believe we work for Walgreens. I just don’t understand.” She mumbled again.
I noticed a wiry man with long stringy graying hair shuffle pass me, looking around out of the corner of his eyes. Checking to see if any of us employees noticed him. Suspicious behavior requires excellent customer service, so I went over to him and offered to help him find something. My co-worker peeked around the corner to see where I had gone, his brown bangs swinging in his face, hiding his eyes. The customer didn’t need my help and shambled away from me. “Surprisingly”, I found work to do near him, watching for more suspicious behavior.
He was looking at cartoons of cigarettes which for some reason had been temporarily moved because of the merger and were no longer locked up or put out of reach. He piled his arms full of them and headed toward the checkout counter. I kept “fixing” the items on a shelf watching to see what he would do. Suddenly he darted toward the automatic sliding doors and ran outside with his stolen loot. Fast on his heels was a old woman, her arms also full of stolen cigarettes.
I stood up from where I was shelving lotions, and watched as the man and woman flung cigarettes into the air, liberating them for the masses. Quicker than I would have dreamed possible, hordes of tobacco starved people began to pile onto the street grabbing at the falling cigarettes. I caught movement in my right peripheral and saw a gaping mouth, spread too wide, full of inhuman teeth running toward me and realized I was in the way of the zombie and his cigarettes.
I reached out for my co-worker and pulled her back against the wall next to me, hoping that we would not be bitten by such horrific teeth. His mouth loomed closer and closer. Something wasn’t right. How was the child next to me also a man and a woman? Why would a cigarette zombie even exists?
I woke with a start and rolled over pushing my face into the pillow. Ugh, zombie interrupted sleep. Again.