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If You're Happy And You Know It by Scott Stoddart"This is risky, though. Isn't it?" He eventually came back.
Sam's expression became more sombre - if that was possible. "We need to eat," he said.
Though he didn't seem at all happy about the situation, George nodded. "I know," he mumbled. "I'm just saying it's a risk, that's all."
"Shut up," Bob spat, but he slowed the car a bit as they cruised down the carriageway. Grey buildings slid past on either side of them, houses mostly, but some larger warehouses or factories: the old Mitsubishi plant where Sam had worked an eon before, building air conditioning units for a world growing hotter every year.
George bit his lip; he was more scared of Bob than Sam "It's going to be dark early tonight," he couldn't help himself saying.
"We better get our arses in gear then," Sam replied with a rare smile.
Bob floored the accelerator and raced towards the exit ramp. The road turned back underneath the carriageway; the car hurtled round it like a bobsled. George kept his eyes squeezed tightly shut the whole time.
The car park was almost completely empty. A jumble of cars sat beside the large canopied entrance.
Bob crawled the car through them, looking for a likely spot to stop - close as possible to the way in. He pulled to a stop amidst a few other cars. "Will I leave it running?" He asked.
After a moment's thought Sam shook his head. The car shuddered as the engine stopped. George shuddered with it, as though someone had walked over his grave.
Sam and Bob climbed out, grabbing baseball bats as they went. George stepped out more slowly, like a man going to his own funeral. He was more slight and less tall than the others, but he still had a dangerous air about him – after all, he was carrying a hatchet inside his jacket.
"Here we go then," Sam said.
Bob nodded, weighing the bat in his hand. "Let's do it," he snarled.
They smiled at each other, almost like an old married couple. They had been friends for a long time.
George, they had came across four weeks ago and taken under their collective wing. "You enjoy this, don't you?" George accused.
"It's better than working!" Sam grinned, before striding towards the shop. Bob was right beside him.
George hurried after them, more afraid to be left behind than of what was going to happen inside.
As he walked, Sam's gaze wandered across the other cars parked closer than theirs. They were lined up like unmarked gravestones to God only knew who. The majority of this graveyard was empty; there were plenty of vacant spaces, helpfully marked out by white lines. His eyes shifted upward to the road above and beyond the car park. There were no cars, no trucks, nor buses; overhead, there were no trails of smoke to show where a plane had passed. Some crows hovered, cawing loudly. A gull swooped low, screeching – a warning perhaps? He paid them no heed.
He walked with purpose underneath a high canopy where shopping trolleys were stored and stopped just outside the main doors. They had been automatic once, but now they just sat wide to the world.
The fruit and veg' aisles were directly across from them and the reek of rotten produce assailed their nostrils.