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Post WWIII Shopping
My mind was occupied with images of shady figures going about the world enforcing whatever cruel new laws the government would pass when the snow began to thaw. I was much too worried to enjoy going about the mall with Andrew and Stacey who were picking up anything that they found particularly worthy of taking on our travel south. Was there still reason for going south? Everything was a blur in my mind. I didn't know what to think anymore.
I followed Stacey and Andrew absent mindedly as they entered a store that had apparently exclusively sold winter ware. The interior of the store was the largest I had entered yet. The walls were a rich brown. Logs were painted on the wall. Even the ceiling and floor had the same log cabin theme. It was welcoming and appropriate for the merchandise that the store carried. The light from the borrowed oil lamp that Andrew and Stacey carried added to the sense of coziness brought upon from the place.
It was enough to lift up my spirits. "Cute lodge," Stacey said admiring every row of coats and pants we walked past.
"Hey look it's our buddy Snowey!" Andrew said inclining his head toward the right side of the room. Bathed in the glow of lamplight was a huge realistic looking polar bear. It was in a permanent pose of standing on its rear legs with its mouth wide open in the midst of a roar. Its horrific teeth were a grim reminder of the living bear we had encountered only moments ago. Had it returned to the warehouse and torn apart the Hummer? I tried my best not to think of that.
"I don't think Snowey is a good name for a monster like that," Stacey said walking away from the bear against the wall.
"Sure it is. You're just jealous because you wanted to name him something like the Grinch," Andrew said mimicking Stacey who was also rummaging through a row of warm looking brown coats. I did the same to make myself look like I was doing something productive.
"She's right that name doesn't suit a polar bear," said a girls' voice from somewhere in the darkness beyond the lamps light radius.
"Who's there?" I called out toward the direction from which the voice came from.
The silluite of a girl slowly became visible through the darkness. It looked like she was clutching some kind of white object to her chest. Suddenly the thing in the girls arms moved and I realized it was a large rabbit. "Chloe?" I called down to the girl who stopped when she was close enough for the lamps glow to wash over her.
"Yes I'm Chloe, and this is Snowey," she said stroking the rabbit she cradled with her left arm. Andrew and Stacey stopped what they were doing and stood next to me curious about the girl’s choice to drop by.
"I over heard you and the others talking. I must seem like a total weirdo to you from the way Samantha talks about me," Chloe said in a delicate childlike voice. She sounded like she was expecting us to scold her like Samantha.
"No, of course not Chloe, we've actually been meaning to talk with you. Honestly," Stacey replied smiling at the girl.
"That's why I'm here I've been wanting to talk with you as well," Chloe replied cautiously approaching us as if we were wild animals that could pounce on her at any moment.
"We're all ears," I said with a grin. My attempt at humor didn't have the desired effect I was hoping for. Chloe stopped a few paces distance away from us and studied us with luminescent green eyes. Her hair glowed a rich fiery gold in the glow of the lamp. Her appearance was out worldly like a mermaid from a fairy tale.
She shuffled her feet nervously and shifted her eyes to the rabbit in her arms. I looked at the rabbit to. It wasn't like any domestic house rabbit I'd ever seen. The structure of it's body and legs were different than any rabbit I'd seen. The closest thing to it was a species of hare that lived in harsh winter like biomes.