((Garrett Cobbler continued from Ducks Love Fireworks
In a way, Garrett felt a little bit like a kid. He had run and run and never stopped running, never stopped to look and see if anyone was chasing him. Any sound made him sprint. Any shadow scared him away and spurred him on further. He had been running on fumes. Well, fumes and crackers. Garrett hadn't stopped long enough to thoroughly go through his pack. He hadn't even slept much, awakened by every gentle wind or imagined enemy. When he finally stumbled into a mall and pushed open the doors to the first building he had seen in who knows how long, he breathed a sigh of relief. He was going to be safe. He was going to be okay.
At least until someone came along with a gun to murder him. But it was important to keep those thoughts as far away as possible.
But despite the constant bombardment of anxiety and feelings of ever-impending doom, he had a plan. He would find a safe spot in the center of a circular rack of clothes that he would push underneath a cash register at some store in the mall. It would be like he was a kid again, hiding from his mom, bored out of his mind, pretending he was in a spaceship. It would be like make believe. Make believe that could kill you. But make believe nonetheless. He would be okay. He was going to be okay. He would lean his head on a black jacket hanging from the rack and the wooden counter behind it and sit and wait. And he would be okay.
The way he saw it, no one would come looking for him if he stayed under the radar. Killers would attract attention and everyone would kill everyone and if he made it to the end... oh god if he made it to the end. Well, then... he'd come in second. Maybe. Probably. He pushed the thoughts away again but each time they came back tenfold. This wasn't made for him. He wasn't made for this. Somewhere out there, someone was watching and laughing. He had no chance whatsoever. He was fodder. That's what he'd always been and that's what he'd be here. Utterly mediocre. Unremarkable. Fodder.
Remarkable people didn't plan to hide in clothes racks in outdated stores in a dilapidated shopping center. Remarkable people hunted and killed and won and survived. Or forged alliances and temporary truces and betrayed and survived. Either way, they survived. They were smart, strong, good at befriending or manipulating people. And Garrett? Garrett was going to slowly nibble crackers surrounded by an IMAX theater of monotone coats. At the very least he'd have some reading material in the punt gun manual he had never previously opened up. That had to count for something, right? Probably not.
But it was okay. If there wasn't a chance, if he couldn't win then why put himself through the pain? Why chase and hunt and hope and get slaughtered when he could... get slaughtered on his own terms? He could live like this for a little while with bread and food bars and... well, he was out of crackers. He could live for a while and be okay. Sure he would be a sitting duck, but maybe that was what they wanted from him. He was dropped in a duck pond with a duck killer and now he was a sitting duck. If the SOTF gods wanted to drop him a roast duck to round out the theme, he would greatly appreciate it.
But for now he was just going to live. He was going to make believe. Because that's all that could be done.
When he finally reached the second story of the not-so-abandoned mall and could see the Banana Republic in his sights, however, his heart sank. He wasn't alone. Of course he wasn't. Two people stood just a little ways away and one of them was holding... a shotgun? His blood ran cold and seemed to stop as if it were giving up faster than he could. He should have stayed with the asshole jock. At least in that situation, he was the one with the gun. A useless one, but a gun nonetheless.
He couldn't quite make out who the individuals were, but he knew they were in the way of Banana Republic, his little clothing rack of safety, and his escape. There was nothing to be done but make believe.
He was in a spaceship.