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Waste Not, Want Not

“We only have so much in the way of provisions, you know.”

Alec continued removing the fresh fruit and veggies from the barely chilled refrigerator. “I know. But, this fresh food is going to waste. We have to use it while we can. It will be rancid by tomorrow.” He held up a green pepper that showed the beginning stages of rot. “We might as well get all the nutrients we can from it. We’ve got a long couple of days ahead of us.”

As usual, Alec was a master of the understatement. To be more exact, we’d be lucky to survive the next few days.

“Alright. A gigantic salad it is. How about that ham in there?”

Alec turned back to the fridge and lifted a deli bag from the drawer. He removed a piece of the lunchmeat and waved it in front of his nose. “Yeah, I think that has seen its better days. Old veggies taste gross – old lunchmeat can set you back a few days. Best not to take chances.”

I nodded. Food poisoning was not on my to-do list. Surviving, however, was. The two seemed mutually exclusive.

A candlelit dinner soon commenced. We sat on the floor around an old coffee table. The veggies tasted old and the bread stale, but we ate anyway, realizing that any meal could be our last. After diner, we sat in silence, staring into the darkness outside our illuminated bubble.

“So what do you want to do tonight?” He crawled around the table and came to a stop beside me. His newfound proximity paired with his intense stare kind of creeped me out.

“Um, I don’t know.”

His hand found my thigh and moved steadily north. “I mean, it could be our last night alive.” His eyes bored into mine.

If I really concentrated, the dinning by candlelight could almost be romantic – a clandestine meeting between two lovers. But I had to really try. It was hard to forget that we were squatting in an abandoned house. I had a difficult time not remembering that if we were caught, it would be certain death. And most especially, I couldn’t forget that this was not my husband – or someone that I even remotely liked. In fact, I kind of hated him. Too bad all the people I actually liked were dead.

My stomach tightened. I grabbed our pinched bottle of wine and chugged.



J. M. Vogel lives in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two small children. Other works of fiction by J. M. Vogel can be found in The Creative Minds Collective anthologies, Volumes II and III, as well in the online publications, The Fringe Magazine and Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers.


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