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It’s the same thing every morning. I wake up and go to my job at the warehouse store. (No, I don’t sell warehouses.) Nothing ever changes. Or at least it didn’t until an ancient, cosmic abomination showed up and turned all our customers into zombies!

Me and my friends (Maisy, Andrea, Luke, and Leeroy) are hiding behind some shelves. Zombified customers are shambling up and down the aisles. Some of them have bites taken out of them, or are missing arms and legs. They have yellow-green skin, the color of pea soup. Mmm, pea soup. We’re hiding in the soup aisle and I’m kind of hungry.

The abomination is floating in the center of the ceiling. It looks like the head of a mammoth. Its fur is yellow-green, just like its undead minions. It has big floppy ears and has one eye built into the center of its head like a cyclops. As it slowly rotates around in the center of the ceiling, I think it looks like an ugly disco ball. Now if only it came here to party instead of to kill us all!

I wonder how it even got here. Maybe it came from space. Maybe somebody opened the wrong box. Does it even matter?

“We’ve got to get out of here!” Luke shouts, terrified.

“No kidding, Einstein!” Maisy retorts sarcastically.

“Guys, look!” Leeroy says, pointing. “The exit is right over there. Let’s just make a run for it while we still can!” He books it.

“Leeroy, NO!” I shout, reaching for him. “If that thing sees you, it’ll-”

But I’m too late. The abomination spots Leeroy and gets very angry. It shoots a blinding white laser out of its trunk, blowing Leeroy to bits. We all look away from the blast. When we look back, there’s nothing left of our friend but a bloody stain on the ground.

We all wince. I pipe up.

“Someone has to tell his mom,” I say.

“Can it be me?” Luke asks hopefully. “She’s very pretty. I’d be glad to ‘comfort’ her.”

He grins slyly. We all give him a disgusted look.

“Guys! Look out!” Andrea says, pointing. Our reckless shouting has attracted two of the zombies. I recognize one of them as my old English teacher, Mr. Bingo.

“You guys go!” Luke shouts. “I’ll hold them off!”

He rushes them like a quarterback. He used to play football, as a matter of fact. Me, Andrea, and Maisy retreat deeper into the store. I’m not worried about Luke. He’s a big guy. He can take care of himself. But then I hear him screaming, and the sound of flesh tearing, and I give up hope for him. Maybe even for us too.

We take cover behind some boxes of crackers. I curl up in a little ball. If Luke couldn’t survive this, who knows if we can? He was a star quarterback, and he died. I’m just a nerd, and Maisy and Andrea are a couple of girls. Leeroy was an idiot, and he died quickly. It’s safe to say that soon me and the other two will join him.

“Albert, Andrea’s been bitten!” Maisy says, snapping me out of my reverie. She’s cradling Andrea in her arms.

“What?” I ask, sitting up. How’d Andrea get bitten? When? Did she get bitten when the abomination first zombified everyone? Or did she somehow get bitten as we fled a moment ago?

“We have to put her down,” I tell Maisy, shaking off my shock.

“No way!” Maisy retorts. “She may be infected, but she’s still our friend! There’s no way we can hurt her.”

I can’t believe my ears. Why is Maisy acting so stupid all of a sudden? Doesn’t she realize Andrea is just going to get us all killed?

“I think she needs mouth to mouth!” Maisy says.

I turn away from them both, frustrated, and pinch the bridge of my nose. I always knew I’d die in this warehouse store. But I thought it would be from overwork at an old age. I hadn’t thought it would be at the hands (and teeth) of zombies.

Unsurprisingly, Andrea reanimates and starts mauling Maisy. At the same time, Luke and the other two zombies from earlier come at me. Cursing my luck, I get up and run for it.

There are zombies everywhere I look. I’m not even joking. They’re behind me, they’re to the left of me, they’re to the right of me. EVERYWHERE. Milling up and down the aisles. But as soon as they see me making a run for it, they all come after me. I’m like a big juicy steak to them. Fresh meat. No, dead meat!

For a second, they get in front of me, but I dive past them. The abomination starts growling above me, but I don’t care. I trip over a crawler. I catch myself and keep going. I need to make it to the exit. To succeed where Leeroy failed. Just a little further. Just a little further…

The abomination shoots at me, but misses. The shockwave knocks me off my feet. There’s a huge crater in the store floor. I slowly get back to my feet. But by then, I’m surrounded by zombies. There’s no way out for me now.

Maybe I’ll die here, but I won’t die quietly. I raise my arms at the alien abomination. “HEY!” I shout. “What’s the big idea, huh?! Who do you think you are, coming here and raising hell like this?! I want answers! Who are you?! WHO ARE YOU?! You can’t just kill all of us!”

“KILL all of you?” the abomination asks, surprising me. It looks offended. “Who said anything about killing?”

Its eye sparkles and shines. I look away, blinded by the light. But when I look up, all the zombies have turned back to normal humans. They look around, confused. I can’t believe my eyes.

“Perhaps we can play again sometime,” the monstrous abomination says. It disappears in another flash of light.

I shake my head, looking up at the spot it had been a second ago. Only in Ohio!

Mr. Bingo heads off towards the knife aisle. Luke, Andrea, and Maisy come up to me. “What are you doing just standing there, Al?” Luke asks. “We have boxes to move!”

I blink at them. “Uh… don’t you remember? There were zombies and an abomination here a minute ago.”

“So what?” Maisy retorts. “Come on, let’s go.”

I frown. Had I just been imagining things? Or is Maisy just trying to move past the chaos from earlier? Should I even bother pressing the issue? What gives? This is so weird.

Something is still out of the ordinary. I look at my friends again. “Where’s Leeroy?”

“Who?” Luke asks.

I blink wearily. I don’t have the patience for this. “Oh, never mind.”

We all head towards the boxes we have to shelf. “Have you always had that scar on your head?” Luke asks suddenly, looking at me.

“What? Yeah,” I reply, surprised. “Why?”

“No reason,” Luke replies. I’m starting to get the feeling something screwy is going on here. But I guess Maisy is right. Who cares?

As I reach for one of the boxes, a spider jumps off it. I flinch. No one else notices. Shaking off my feeling of dread, I get back to work.