Santa’s Little Helper

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Inside the back of a store atop a loft woke a young girl, no older than fourteen, in a jolt from what only one could assume as a nightmare. No matter…it didn’t work quite as well as she expected, out of one and into another. Covered head to toe in bundles of clothing she much closely resembled a heap of laundry with a defenseless puppy thrown in. Jessica’s frail body breathed heavily, hand to the side reaching out to clutch the wooden grip of her well used pickax to protect herself from the nightmare she woke up to. She was warm here, but the fact that her stomach was growling determined that she was going to have to get up instead of laze around in her nest of clothing.

Just as many still lived out here she too scavenged off what she could find in hope that she wouldn’t later regret it. The place she currently resided in had been long cleared out of food, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. It was quite surprising just how long she had lived here on her own. Jessica’s wit clearly must have equaled her strength to be able to wield a standard pickax that was half her weight, awkward, and nearly the same size as she.

She shuffled over to the edge, after shaking off a few layers of clothing that doubled as blankets for the time being. Carefully she lowered the ladder, which she had cleverly attached a chain to, and proceeded to climb down. Jessica held a firm grasp on her pickax with the threat of being unbalanced and pulled prematurely to floor. Once down safely she heaved it carefully onto her shoulder and crept out through the swinging set of doors into the main section of the store. Bright orange and blue letters shone down at her reminding her that she was still in Elbridge, Kinney Drugs to be exact. She made her way to the food aisles in hope to find something, possibly even a single beef stick or an old fruit juice. No luck. Instead all she found was a can of dry roasted peanuts. At least it was something.

After a quick session of ingesting protein, in the form she wasn’t fond of, she was feeling slight cabin fever and was looking for something to do. It was rare that Jessica went out in seek of entertainment but now that the Z’s were frozen she felt safe enough to practice with the clumsy tool. The doors were open but strangely enough Zack never bothered to come in. Either way she went out to seek them. The second outermost doors were long since wind whipped open and off the tracks on one side, a common occurrence in the previous years that no one bothered to fully fix.

Route 5 is still backed up, she thought as she gazed upon the miles of abandoned cars all buried under a foot of snow. Lanelle made her way across the road after a habit of looking both ways even if none of the cars looked to be moving anytime soon. She could see three Z’s in the field, immobile, and took this opportunity to take them out. Her thin muscular arms heaved the pickax, spike side, into the knee of one, making it collapse to the snow. Jessica went about the task of chopping downwards, letting the weight of the ax head carry the flat side deep into the head Z until it’s brains squelched out. Strangely enough she never got tired of the otherwise gruesome sight. After the first she began taking others out the same way, going for the knees to unbalance them then hacking out their brains. After taking out the third, that seemed to be waking before she chopped it’s brains into some form of solanum slushie, she was left panting quite heavily, muscles sore from swinging.

Jessica raised her head as she heard a faint jingling, eyes lighting up at the random thought that overcome her. Snow…jingling…Santa? The jingling ended after a few minutes and she was left standing in a foot of snow and more was just starting to come down is a chilly gust of wind. Going against the thought of seeking out the source she slowly she made her way back across the road to her fortress. What energy she had gained before she fought was already sapped and she was left hungry again.

Jessica’s teeth were chattering now as she stepped through the doors, her wet pants and shoes slopping and squeaking on the tiled floor. She retrieved the can of peanuts and went back to her sanctuary to wait out the snow and get into a pair of dry clothes. Over sized and not her own they still proved better than the former. With the ladder lifted and safely curled up in her heap she dozed back off to sleep in hopes that Santa would visit soon.

(Considering making a part 2 later. Comments appreciated.)

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