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Madness – A Short Story

On a cold, dim morning Murkin travelled to fulfil his normal shopping requirements. As he passed through the devastated remnants of his old town he’d conjured the thought about what life was like before the mass-hysteria and panic that had befallen the world as a result of a virus that had slowly swept through the world. Admittedly, the virus’ greatest weapon had been the media rather than its own lethality due to the media’s focus on the minute fatalities leaving the people in terror and raving around seeking to stockpile for the end of the world – little did they know at the time but by doing this they had simply brought it upon themselves.

Murkin was disturbed from his contemplation by the sudden yell from a nearby salesman who had exclaimed “got all of your basic needs, you won’t find them anywhere else nor at as good a price as mine”. Tempted by the almost too good to be true offer, Murkin marched on forwards to his usual vendor further down the road. You see Murkin had established a good relationship with the vendor (after he had pulled a few favours so they could set up shop to begin with) and knew he could always get what he wanted with the first pickings to all of the stock before anyone else, along with top discounts for his prior trouble for the man. Approaching the vendor with a tip of a hat; the vendor greeted him with a smile as warm as a radiator and spoke “Ah good to see you again Murkin, on time as usual and loyal to the shop as ever” with a smirk on his face Murkin responded
“You know me chief after all I’m a creature of habit was one even before the downfall. Enough about that I’ll just purchase what I usually get and be on my way.” With this the vendor pulled from under the stool a small rucksack of supplies from tinned potatoes to hand-soap and handed it over for a small amount of coins from his acquaintance. Both gentleman nodded and parted ways for the day.

Murkin’s journey home should have been a normal endeavour and had become routine for him, stashing valuables and supplies within his jacket lining including products such as cartoned milk – until a homeless man surrounding a burning barrel billowing smoke as dark as twilight approached the young fellow. The vagabond lunged forth with a blade hidden among the bandaged, blood soaked hands with the look of desperation and insanity within his eyes. However, the vagabond had made a crucial error in striking towards Murkin, as Murkin was well adapted to the nature of man & responded with the reflexes of a cobra. Striking with bullet-like pace, Murkin seeked and captured the approaching arm of the naive vagabond and proceeded to smash the bones and tear muscle using a punch and a yank. Screaming in agony the vagabond conceded his loss and stayed to the floor where he had belonged only looking in genuine terror of the silent man before him who had bested him without hesitation or remorse although with more mercy in his features than the vagabond arguably deserved.

Feeling slightly perturbed, Murkin kept his guard up for the remaining duration of his walk home while keeping and eye out for potential threats that could wish to impede the normality of the Monday morning. It was times like these which broods resentment towards what the world had become because of the reinforced disparity between those trying to get by and those that could afford to hoard as though they were dragons before the collapse.

***********

After the quarter of an hour walk, Murkin finally approached his front door and was greeted by the pleasant sight of his dog Ruth who was bundled with the contained excitement it had withheld. Upon seeing this, the need for alertness was over and Murkin could let his hair down a little and relaxed the tension from the walk. Walking through the door followed by Ruth the journey had met its conclusion for today & Murkin could now finally enjoy a nice coffee and watch the crumbled world go by until he needed to head out oncemore.

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