Burger King

rating: +36+x

You sit in the middle of an old, forgotten Burger King, the sweet smell of freshly killed prey wafting into your nose as you stare at it. For a moment, you consider the irony of starving in a fast-food restaurant. A fire burns beside you, fighting back the cold.

Then there is a rumble in your stomach. The knife in your hand clatters onto the tiled floor as your fingers tremble. The traces of blood on the blade splatter on your shoes and onto rusted grease traps and broken spatulas. A set of dead eyes stare back at you when you bend down to retrieve your utensil. They're judging you. You're judging you.

"Go on, eat," The voice in the back of your head whispers.

You consider it. You remember how succulent warm meat slithering down your throat felt. You remember the sensation of seasoned food being cooked on the stove inside this very place. You remember what a conversation with real people was like.

That tremble in your stomach returns, stronger now. You glance down at your body. It's just skin and bones now, maybe a hint of muscle present. There won't be enough energy for another hunt if you don't eat soon.

"Go on and get yourself a handful."

You prop the cadaver up against the stove and stare at it. Drool dribbles out of your mouth, saturating the remains of your shirt. It freezes on your skin and breaks off.

What would your mother think about you if she knew this is what you've been reduced to? Would father approve? Does that even matter? You've done what you had to so that you could survive. If she were still with you, you'd have eaten already.

Why are you hesitating?

An old memory wanders into your mind. Another distraction that you let take you away from this moment. You sigh and enjoy the moment from before the Night of Tears. It was a simpler time then. Warmer too. That girl was there at the barbecue, congratulating you on graduating from university. Your mother was there with her famous baked mac & cheese. Everyone loved it. Everyone was happy for you. You did so well.

What would they think of you now?

When the snow came, you were driving north on the highway. You stopped at this Burger King and ordered a Whopper or something. You feel a pain in your stomach as you recall the last warm meal you had was almost a full year ago. At least, it was almost a full year ago according to your estimates. It's been so long since you've seen a calendar, you've lost track. There are no seasons now, only the winter.

"Eat," The voice whispers.

The food in front of you groans. There is a flicker of life in one of the eyes. It stares at you, nearly making you drop the knife again. Your meal breathes shallow breaths. You consider putting it out of its misery for good this time. You take a deep breath and make eye contact with your meal for a fraction of a second.

The food shakes its head. You can see the fear spring up in its eyes. You recognize the emotion, and then you put its face to a memory of someone you knew from highschool. You tremble, but your stomach growls. You make an unsteady cut across the throat of your prey and watch the life drain from its eyes for good. Your breath is heavy. There's one final step left that you have to take.

You close your eyes and imagine biting into a hamburger. It helps you keep the food down, but cannot disguise the taste.

"Are you satisfied?" The voice asks.

You wipe spittle from the corner of your mouth and slurp up the fresh red liquid pouring out of the hole in your prey's throat. You realize that you could have eaten for a little longer if you kept it alive. You grunt and swallow, breathing in short breathes through your nose. You take another bite.

You've never tasted anything so good in your life.

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