Eric is still smiling. He can’t stop smiling. Not only has he been able to make sure the new girl Kelly knows her place as his verbal punching bag, but it’s got him out of class as well.

He should go back to the tiny apartment he lives in with his parents, but he has no intention of doing that. That would be a terrible way to end such an otherwise wildly successful day. So instead, he decides to go that he’ll pay a visit to one of the supply rooms. Not the food stores. He knows better than to go rooting through those. Any missing food will bring him more heat than even he is willing to deal with.

No these are the where some of the old furniture and other junk are stored. Most of it will eventually be used as firewood or to replace furniture in the flats that have inhabitants once it finally breaks. But he knows there is something else there. Something he actually finds interesting, alcohol. He doesn’t know where it came from or who put it there and doesn’t care. It’s clear that it’s long since been forgotten about and Eric intends to enjoy it, piecemeal of course. Though, twenty four bottles should last him a long time, unless he goes mad with it that is. And while he would very much like to, he won’t. He wants to savour the booze and ensure that he can taste it frequently and for a very long time. No one will ever find it in that store room, which once served as a flat before all this began. He has no idea who used to live here but the mess of stacked furniture that it now is has allowed him to hide the vodka quite wonderfully.

It’s the only alcohol he has ever tasted and has to admit that it doesn’t taste how he would have envisioned it. That is purely because it doesn’t really have a discernible taste at all. He doesn’t know if that is why he likes it or not, but what he does know is that it is strong, very strong. The first time he’d taken a sip it had nearly knocked him on his ass.

Eric smile somehow manages to widen as he creeps through the dark rooms toward where he has hidden the bottles of vodka. He made sure no one saw him enter. If they did they’d want to know what he is up to and there is no way he’s giving up this find. The adults will simply take it from him and horde it. Likely drink it themselves and if they do, it won’t last long. He hates them for that. They preach that this community is free and democratic but it couldn’t be further from the truth. They do the same here as they did before the world ended; treat everyone younger than them as though they know better. If that’s true then how come the infection killed so many? It wasn’t because of teenagers like him, or anyone younger for that matter, Eric knows that for a fact. It’s an infection that was caused by adults. He doesn’t know how, but he knows it is them who are to blame. It can’t be anyone else, he thinks as he slinks silently through the dark. He can hear his own breathing and the soft beating of his heart in his chest, but nothing else. That’s a good sign, he tells himself as he passes several rooms before reaching his goal. The bottles of vodka are in a kitchen cupboard, right at the back. In front of the cupboard door are stacks of tables and chairs all the way up to the ceiling. They’re stacked in what can only be described as a semi organised fashion. But there is still enough of a gap for him to be able to reach through and carefully ease the door open just enough so that he can reach inside and claim one of the bottles.

Eric is already smiling in anticipation of being able to sip on that sweet vodka. Even though you get no taste when you drink it, a voice in his head reminds. He rubs his hands together gleefully. This is going to be the best way for me to end a great day, he thinks.

Suddenly, the smile disappears from his face as he realises that he can hear breathing. It isn’t his own breathing and his eyes go wide as a result.

He doesn’t dare to turn round to find out who is stood behind him, but he knows someone is. What he doesn’t understand is why they haven’t said a word. He would have expected questions or something of the like, but there is nothing. Maybe they haven’t seen me, so if I stand perfectly still they might just move along. But seconds later two arms reach out of the darkness and grab hold of Eric who tries to break free. Unfortunately, whoever has hold of him is much stronger than he is and that surprises him.

Panic sets in as his heart races. He desperately thrashes about as he goes to cry for help, but before he can he is hauled into the darkness.

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