Dazed : A Siren Among us

The cashier’s hand tensed as he grabbed on to the brown paper bag a little too long. He wasn’t letting go.

I clenched my jaw and tried to ease my groceries out from his grasp, eyes flitting back at the line of people slowly building behind me.

My stomach growled, an indication of how long it had been since I’d eaten. Too long.

I inadvertently glanced at the cashier’s face to see that all-too knowing look of puppy-dog love staring back at me. I shouldn’t have come out.

“Thank you,” I muttered, yanking my paid groceries free and all but running out of the mini-supermarket.

I yanked my hood back over my head and strode purposefully back towards the nearby abandoned caravan park I’d taken solace in. 529 steps, 528 steps, 527…

I’d made it to the corner, eyes fixed on the pavement when a pair of scuffed black boots stepped out in front of me.

“There you are,” said a gruff sounding voice.

My eyes trailed up to meet the bearded, grisly face of the guy I’d encountered 2 months ago. 8 long weeks ago since our first and only encounter. And still, he looked at me with that all-too unsettling and besotted look that all males gave me, with no exception.

“I’ve been looking all over for you,” he said, taking a step closer. “Where did you go, beautiful?”

I looked back at the pavement and stepped around him. But he mirrored my steps, placing himself in my path.

“I just want to,” he said, eyes wide and extending his hand to touch my arm.

With a reflex reaction, my hand flew to grab his wrist, my bag of groceries falling and bursting open on the ground. As if stung by a swarm of bees all at once, he snapped his hand back and yelped.

“Argh! What did you do that for, you…”

I took off past him at a run, leaving my groceries sprawled on the pavement, littered around the man bent over, cradling his arm, and words slowly coming to a halt before he paused momentarily. The Daze was starting, that would give me time to disappear. He would ‘come to’ in an hour, maybe a few, who knew, with a hangover-feeling from hell, and a hazy memory of our encounter.

I ran back towards the caravan park without another look back. 89 steps, 88 steps, 87…

And that is when I heard the sound of a police siren scream flick on and off a couple of times. As the sound of a car trailing behind me came closer, slowed my pace untilI coming to a halt, closing my eyes.

*Please be female, please be female.*

“M’am,” said a male voice from the direction of the car.

I turned slowly, catching my breath. *Male*.

“Good afternoon, Officer” I said tersely, eyeing him and ready to run.

Even in his car, I could see his demeanour change as his car sidled up beside me.

“Oh,” he said softly, his bored, abrasive expression softening into one of unrequited love.

I let out a breath that I’d been holding. The abandoned caravan park had been home for a few weeks now. I’d grown to like it. Even envisaged myself getting a few plant pots, making things a little more homely.

But who was I kidding?

I smiled and stepped towards the car, all sweetness and light. And as he smiled back and opened his mouth to say something, I reached my hand in slowly and touched his shoulder with a finger.

Just one finger. But that is all it took to send him into a stupor, the same of any other.

He jerked and momentarily came to his senses, his brain changing gears, back into police officer-mode. But only for a few seconds. By the time he’d reached the end of his sentence, he too had succumbed to the daze.

Thankful he’d taken his foot off the pedal at least, I watched him for one moment, checking no further harm would come to him. His car was still idle but aside that, he’d be ok. They all would. In time.

My attention snapped back to my situation. Time to leave. I would stop off at the caravan park and grab my stuff. The mountains the next state over seemed like a good place. Trees, no-one about.

My stomach growled again, with painful pangs of hunger. I had been so close to finally getting food. But I’d have to resort back to the safer way.

Stealing food from unoccupied homes while people were at work was always safer. The only living beings were typically a pet dog or cat that would look at me quizzically as I’d forage their well-stocked kitchens while their owners were away.

It had been three days now, though. I may not have been human, but even sirens need to eat. I had to eat something soon. But for now, and with my mouth pursed, and my resolve set, I turned into the caravan park.

Yes, time to leave. I’d have to wait to eat until tomorrow.

Comments 0