First came cabage, then came…beans, he dropped the list and started laughing. He had just assumed…he had just…he couldn’t stop laughing. He looked around at his audiance of brick and concrete block houses.

“He gave me a shopping list,” he told the houses so they might join in the joke.

But houses didn’t joke and his mood was ruined.

“What is with people today?” he asked himself, bending down to pick up the list.

He read it again. This task took him in a completely differnt direction. In fact, he wasn’t sure where to find all the items. This was, what did people call it, a challenge. Maybe if he asked, oh right, everyone was in their houses, probably avoiding him. He could do the same. Who needed people anyways he thought as he walked away from them, they were only ever rude, depressed, or causing missery. Yet, there was something he liked about it, about them and the life they lived.

Yes, the deserted streets were strange, and here he saw that it became even more odd. Even as he came across areas that should have been crowded, there were still no people. At least, they wern’t on the streets. He knew they existed because he could see wavering lights, detect moving curtains, and hear raised voices inside houses. It was almost as though they had all decided to celebrate the hollidays without him, but there were no-

Holidays.

He tilted his head up and saw the dark, black void of a world without light. No lights, no power. He absently reached out and touched the store window beside him, his fingertips indented in a film of frost. The city was frozen without power to it’s heaters. He thought back to his brother gathering clothes on the streets, and turned his gaze to his reflection in the clothes shop window.

“If you had asked would I have given it to you?”

He noticed that a man looked out at him from the other side of the glass. The Stranger moved his hand into the side of his coat, pulled out the gun, and pointed it at his own head.

“The least you could do is feel bad.”

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