The Survivor Kind

“This is a lovely place you have here,” I said, leaning my shotgun up against the wall. Maybe if I were less heavily armed they’d be more at ease.

“Thank you, dear.”

“So … not to be pushy,” I smiled my most disarming, aw-shucks smile, “but I believe someone said something about lunch?” They didn’t seem to have any shortage of food. Laurie served tomato soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches. It was the best meal I’d had in years.

“If you don’t mind my asking…” I paused and looked over at Robert pointedly. He ignored me and kept stuffing his metal-toothed pie-hole. “… where’d you folks get cheese? I haven’t had any dairy in years.”

“Oh, there’s a nice fellow up near Boulder who has a couple of milk cows locked up in a barn; about every three months or so we make the drive up to barter with him. We went just last week so we’re trying to use up all the milk and cheese before it turns.”

I finished my sandwich and leaned back from the table, watching my hosts. Laurie had eaten peckishly, but Robert was still going, just now starting on his third bowl of soup. I wasn’t sure how he could eat so much and still be that thin, but my guess was that he did a lot of sweating in that outfit of his. Now that we were in closer proximity I could smell the rank odor coming off of him. Laurie didn’t seem to notice it.





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