The Supermarket

You can see through the open door of the supermarket from where you are standing. You are standing on the empty street and you may not know how you got there. Or you may know. But this is of no importance now. You are in the street now. There is no going back. You cannot decide not to come. Now you are here. The street is very small, a dead end in the middle of the downtown area you don´t know that well. You´ve been here before, but you cannot remember. Or you don´t want to. But this is of no importance now. You are standing on the sidewalk now, across the street from the old fashioned supermarket´s shop window. It is dusty and dirty, the Christmas decoration is still there, even though it is already August. Now you remember the heat that has been torturing you since you got out of your air-conditioned house. It is hot. You can feel the sweat on your forehead and right above your upper lip. You can feel the heat under your arms. Your palms sweat, the hollows of your knees sweat. You take out a tissue from your back pocket and wipe the sweat off your forehead. You wish for a cold drink, something to soothe that burning feeling in your throat. That is how you got here. Now you remember. But still, you seem not to be able to go inside the store. You remain standing on the pavement, staring at the supermarket.
There is a round hole in the dusty surface of the window. Someone must have been standing outside of the supermarket, wiping off the dirty dust to look inside. You wonder what he might have seen. No burglary was reported. He must not have been interested. You can see through the open door of the supermarket. You can tell there is nothing to interest a burglar. A fat lady sits at the register, reading a newspaper. The corners of the newspaper rustle softly due to the slow movement of the fan on the ceiling. You cannot hear the turning of the fan, but you know how it sounds. You imagine hearing it now, but it is only an imagination. The fat lady reads out an article to a man sitting next to her. You cannot make out what she says, but you hear the distant mumble. You can see both of them through the open door, though they don´t seem to see you. It is as if they are kept inside and cannot leave. You feel a tickle in your neck and despite the heat you have goose bumps on your arms. You feel as if you were kept from them, as much as they are kept from you. Two different worlds.
The man sitting next to the old lady is quite old, but haggard as if he hadn´t eaten much lately. He sways lightly on his foldable chair that squeaks whenever he moves, holding a walking stick in his hands. He has dark circles under his eyes. You do not notice much more than that. You have to stare at his face. He listens to the fat old ladys´ mumble, his head slightly crooked toward her. But his eyes stare blindly into nowhere.
Then, the world around you seems still. There is no air you can breathe, no light you have seen before, no sound you can make out. It is silent in every possible way. The strange silence agitates you, but you cannot make out what it reminds you of.
Suddenly, you are pulled back by an invisible force, no, pushed back by an enormous strength you can´t possibly resist. Your body is under instant pressure, you try to duck, but you only manage to protect your head with your arms. You are pushed back against the brick wall behind you. You fall. You fall hard.
Now you hear nothing but an unnerving bleeping sound, ringing in your ears. You are pressed to a wall, covered in ashes, pieces of wood and glass. You can taste the blood in your mouth. You have bitten the inside of your cheeks. The strange iron taste in your mouth irritates you, it is too metallic. Unnatural.
Your try to stagger to your feet, but your balance is off. You fall down again, but your instincts tell you to get up, so you stumble to your feet, seeking hold on the brick wall you were pushed against.
Your vision is blurred. Everything you see seems to be on fire. It takes you a while to realize the truth. Everything you see is on fire.
The supermarket your have been staring at is no longer.
You can feel the burning heat of the fire and for a second you wonder why you ever complained about the heat this morning. It is nothing compared to the heat you feel now. This heat is not making you sweat. It is burning your skin. You can feel the sensation of a strange tickle on the skin that is not covered up by your clothes. You can feel the hair on your arms stand up. You shiver, even though the flames are so close to you, they almost touch your skin.
Your senses have tried to protect you, but they can´t do it any  longer. Everything crushes down on you now. The cracking and sizzling noise of the fire eating up everything in reach, you see the fire and know you are too close. The fire is touching everything. It has burned wood, people, it even starts to close up on the skeleton of the house that used to be a supermarket. Your sense of smell comes back and it hits you instantly, the disgusting smell of burned flesh. It stings in your nose. You throw up right there.
You stumble back two steps and bump into the wall. Your safe place, you think, but you know you have to run away. You instincts save you, then.
You don´t know you still had power in you. You can breathe again. Adrenaline rushes through your body. You run. You run away.
But for once you are sure that this is no memory you will ever be able to run away from.


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