Leaving the Deli

Jerry stopped into an empty delicatessen and ordered a meatball sub from the old man behind the counter. Soon he was sitting by the open door eating the sub, staring outside. The sub was soggy and half-cold. He knocked one of the meatballs onto the dirty linoleum floor and a dog came over and ate it. Then a pickup drove by outside with several guys in the back and Jerry looked up. One of them had a gun and he shot Jerry before he could take another bite. Jerry spat up blood and coughed and pushed the table forward as he tried to stand. When he went down the dog jumped back.

The shooter walked in and spoke to the old man behind the counter. “Sorry, Ned,” he said. He then went and stood over Jerry, who stared up at him and talked in a hoarse whisper. “Hey… Billy…” he started. “Bad idea.” Billy unloaded another round and Jerry jerked and slumped, blood creating a small lake around him.

“Now why is that a bad idea?” Billy asked the old man. “How could shooting a no-good punk be a bad idea?” The old man stared at him and shook his head. “You shot an alien,” the old man said.

“I shot a what?” Billy looked at him incredulously. By now the other guys from the truck had come in. “Hey, old man, tell the guys what I shot. I shot a what?” “An alien,” the old man repeated. The dog lapped up the blood furiously now. Everyone stared at Jerry and as they were staring Jerry’s head split open and a giant red spider crawled out.

“Holy shit, what the fuck!” Billy exclaimed. Then he opened fire and with each shot the spider split into multiple smaller spiders. The spiders shot webs at the men from the truck and, before they could run, they were all encased in webbing. Then the red spiders began to spin and hover into the air. Soon they flew out of the delicatessen and up towards the trees, leaving their victims struggling for their lives in the viscous webs.

“Come on Sparky,” the old man said to the dog. “Let’s leave these fellas be.” The dog whimpered a little. “Ah, don’t worry about it, Sparks. You know how it is. What goes around—.” But just then he was shot by Billy who still clutched his gun, despite being restrained in the webbing. “Shut up old man,” Billy said, his voice muffled by the web. “If we go, you go.”

And they all proceeded to die except Sparky, who, after sniffing around the bodies, went out the front door and wandered into the park, feeling a little strange and disoriented from all the alien blood he drank. Soon he found himself growing red, spidery appendages. Then he was spinning and taking off into the sky, being drawn to a giant, glowing orb. He barked and barked, not knowing exactly what the future held but feeling excited about it all the same.

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