He nearly fell into the tiny store. Dragging his feet haggardly, he could smell the store being ransacked long before he came. It’s not surprising, he thought, as the world is nowhere safe anymore.
He still could remember the memorable moments in his life, both sweet and painful ones. He remembered how his mum packed his lunchbox and asked him to get ready for school. He also remembered the rebellious time – alas, he smacked three heads in one “accident” involving a girl and her suitors. Of course, he got her attention and they made a family together.
They were coming. He stopped his train of thoughts and looked around. It was deserted, jars smashed on floor not unlike cracked skull with exposed brain. There must be some survivors who found this store and took what they could. Except the jars. The jars containing relishes. Pickled cucumber, tartar sauce, you name it. He still recalled his first date with Jane – they shared a hot dog and they all like to order extra relishes – it’s like a common secret.
The sound was getting nearer and louder and he could nearly smell their breath. These people… no, monsters were something popping out from the TV. He didn’t know when they dominated the country, but he’s sure it’s not long ago. The first case of spotting happened near a cluster of research centres focused on food technology. The mega cooperation, Hainz, controlled 95% of the market of daily condiments. Be it ketchup, relishes or jam, their products are wildly popular in the country. He and Jane liked it a lot too. She said she won’t eat another hot dog without it, winking at him naughtily.
He sat down and held onto one of the remaining jars. Written on it is “Hainz Pickles, Your All Times Favourite!” Yes, they loved it so much that they ignored the warning from Food Regulatory Agency and continued having that. Too good to resist, until one night and his wife turned into the monster he saw on the news. Her eyes were hollow, her voice was coarse. He thought she was joking until she pinned him down and was going to tear his throat apart with her mouth. He pushed her away with all the strength he could muster and ran out of the house frantically. What on Earth just happened?
He saw his wife again, together with other monsters, looking at him at the end of the aisle. He smiled at her.
“You know you like to have it this way.”
He smashed the jar on his head. Over and over again until the red blood and green pickle juice started to mix together. He wanted to relish the sweet memory with Jane for the last time, before he drowned himself in the relish to be eaten by them.