Hungry

Author: Alan Moskowitz

Other than a bottle of curdled milk, there was nothing in the refrigerator. Desperate, she grabbed the bottle with a skeletal hand and drank the brutally smelling mess down, hoping for a least some nutrition. It only took a few moments for her stomach to give it back. Her wasted lungs screamed for air as she coughed up the remains of the milk and sucked in the fetid air until she finally had control again. She threw the offending bottle against the kitchen wall, taking some little pleasure in watching smash to bits.

She staggered over to the cupboard, her stick-thin legs and exhausted muscles forcing her to maintain her balance by grabbing the edge of the rotting counter. Her faltering steps crushed the empty food containers strewn across the floor. She opened the cupboard door. Bugs scattered, too fast for her weakened fingers. She swept the inside of the cabinet, hoping beyond hope that one full precious can of anything may have been missed. All she felt were the brittle carcasses of dead insects. She moaned in disappointment.

The pain of trying to use her emaciated limbs became too much to bear. She collapsed onto the floor, surrendering finally to the knowledge that there was no more food, the earth was barren and sterile, and she, like the rest of humanity before her, would starve to death. She smashed her fists into the floor, raging at the horror of mankind’s stupidity.

Sheila woke up screaming, jerking up from the bed, looking around her in terror. She looked over at Marty, curled up, peacefully asleep, only the back of his slightly balding head visible. A dream, only a dream, and a nasty one at that. She took in several breaths, lay back, calming herself. She gently pulled the cover from him and gagged; Marty’s rotting skull stared at her, his once vibrant body withered and emaciated, her wasted flesh sloughed off into puddles of ichors on the blanket. She moaned in fear, too weak to scream, her vocal cords ravaged. She looked down at her own devastated body, felt her cold gaunt face. She tried to cry, but she had no tears left for herself, Marty, or humanity.

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