A Question of Priorities by Robby Glen Garner

Ron Jon surpassed the expectations of all when he declared his dedication to the cause of the moment. "There's a great Mexican restaurant down this way." Or so he told me. But he was with us, so I tried to lay low. He was always talking revolution, but everybody had to eat. Since we were there in numbers, it was much harder to go unrecognized. The trick was to seem like you lived there. So we all got out and started making our way towards the mall.

As we entered, there was a vendor selling hot dogs from a stand. "How many of these things have I eaten this week already?"

The others lost me but they were on the far side of the cell phone counter buying things. Waiting there, as I ate hot dog, they carried on and joked around with each other. "Not now," I said too late.

Something exploded, so powerful it knocked me down. When I woke up, the hot dog stand was still there, but everyone else was gone. Everything sounded muffled, only the rubble was still settling down.

Broken glass covered everyone, either dead or terrified. It felt slow motion. People were murmuring to each other but my hearing was gone. Ron Jon was on the other side of a pile of bricks, with a pistol in his hand. It was starting to get cold as the sun was going down. My watch was broken.

Making my way across the broken bits and body parts, the throng of survivors was going back inside the stores and moving along the way to the food court. Something sure smelled good to eat. Too bad there wasn't time earlier to grab another hot dog. "Looks like we wont be eating Mexican tonight."

I made it to the food court. "That's not your cheese," a man yelled as he chased a woman with a flashlight. The smell of hot pizza was overpowering. Above the ringing in my ears, it almost sounded quiet for a moment and then the tinkling of china, and the dull roar of conversations grew louder. I kept moving towards the farthest queue. There was no pepperoni left, but they had sausage and ground beef.


Copyright ©2008 Robby Glen Garner