The Allsup’s at the Edge of the World

When you’re alone out on the All Dark, it can get lonely and seem as if the end of your trip will never come. Even if you know this is to be true, certain glimpses of humanity remind you that you are still in the world of the living. Between desolate, shuttered farms and wind farms blinking red in the night, you pass through villages and townships standing with open arms for whomever finds their way there. The first time you pass through, you think about stopping but decide to keep pushing. The second time you pass through, about an hour later, you definitely don’t want to stop. But then, on that third and final pass, you see the sign in the distance and know what you have to do.

Welcome to the Allsup’s at the edge of the world. Stock up now, you’ve got a long journey ahead.

On this particular evening, it was none other than Shadrak Burr who rolled into the parking lot. He had been on The Road for quite some time and was looking for a drink. He saw the void before him and pulled off the road just in time to grab gas before heading onward. He slammed the door and headed in, woefully unprepared for what lie ahead of him.

Behind the counter, a many-tentacled being greeted him, nodding their thousands of eyes as if to say “You are welcome here.” Shadrak was mainly looking for a Gatorade-type drink. Ideally the blue kind, but he would have to see what the selection was like.

Nonplussed by the Lovecraftian monster working the night shift, Shadrak made his way to the drink cooler. He quickly realized that it was not your typical cooler, reaching in for a knock-off energy drink, only to discover his hand going straight through refreshments and into something cold and sterile. “What the-” he said to himself, quickly pulling his hand back. He tried his hand again, this time grasping something solid. Grabbing the drink, he still felt the sting of the harsh cold he had felt the first time. With extra caution, he closed the door and made his way back to the counter.

“Just this and 30 bucks on 7, thanks,” Shadrak muttered as he inserted his credit card, still avoiding the dozens of eyes staring back at him.

“No problem,” uttered a raspy, hollow voice. “Need any smokes?”

Caught off guard by the voice, Shadak looked up into the sea of vision, staring horror in the eye. He blinked once and then the blood began to leak slowly out of his eye, as if his tears had been turned by Moses in the Nile. His soft body slumped to the floor as the long tentacles of the cashier wound their way around him, pulling him closer to them. The more they pulled the harder he was to see, until nothing remained at all.

That’s the secret of this place – when you think you can’t go any further, you’re already there.


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