Dawn pouring through the blinds, a wound on my skull
I awake in a motor home, my hands bound to the sides of the bed, an elderly couple bustling about in their underwear. They speak a reptilian language, their skin sagging and barely covering the scales beneath. The old woman comes over to me and smiles, revealing homogenous two-inch fangs like a viper's. Their breakfast looks to be thawed raw meat, and they offer some of it to me, grinning their hideous grins, but I refuse, to their vast disappointment. "Eat, eat, eat!" says the male, pulling down the blinds, saliva dripping from his maw. Already the hordes of people are arriving in their vehicles, climbing out of their cars to walk into the enormous structure. "Wally-world, here we come!" says the female. I've almost worked myself out of my binds, but I don't know if I will be too late.
Deep within the belly of the beast
I am paraded about with a leash tied around my neck, the elderly couple walking slow and deliberate, mimicking the gait and pace of the typical Wal-Mart customer. An immense man seemingly composed of gelatin waddles up to us and congratulates them on their pretty dog. "I'm not an animal!" I scream at him, which causes the creatures to beat me until I've settled down. There are great deals on lawn furniture, I notice, seventy-five percent off. I watch as a woman allows her child to defecate in the middle of the aisle, and I feel as though I should do something, something drastic to end this terrible cycle, but they pull me away. We pass a figure of skin and bones, moving rapidly from item to item, its eyes inflamed, its teeth dangling precariously from its chapped mouth. "Tweakers," says the male, shaking his hoary head. "What's this world coming to, ma?" I try to say something, but all that comes out is a feeble yelp.
The old couple fills their cart with one-hundred pounds of meat. All about us the herds saunter, moving their tree trunk legs with great effort. Some pass us on motorized scooters, their fat spilling out of their cheap clothing. The creatures that have ensnared me lick their chops and hiss, flicking their forked tongues out to taste the greasy pheromones released by these bovine humans. "It's almost time for the cookout, ma," says the male. The gleam in his eyes tells me that I will bear witness to the slaughter.
The lights go off suddenly as we stand in the canned foods aisle. I hear the moaning of the fat people, the panic in their voices as they stumble and crash into each other, rolling on the floor like turtles turned over on their backs, helpless and squealing. The elderly couple have shed their skin, and their scales glisten as the backup generators try to kick on, the lights flickering epileptically, their teeth long and sharp in the stroboscoptic illumination. One great land beast rushes toward us, his eyes mad, his gigantic gut bare and pregnant with a lifetime's worth of adipose tissue, and the male creature cuts him open with a deft slice of his claws, his intestines spilling out like wriggling worms. "There's plenty for you too, son," he says, tugging on my leash. I pull as hard as I can and it snaps, and now I am running through the store, passing the grotesque, my legs pumping hard to reach the light. The reptiles stand at the doorway, blocking the exit, so I rush into the clothing section and lock myself in the dressing room. It takes hours for them to finish. The sounds will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life.