As Jackson continued walking along the old bitumen road, what seemed to be a town began to emerge in the haze of the dust storm. The wind picked up slightly, and an old McDonalds grease wrapper bounced past his feet. McDonalds! How long had it been? Buildings started to appear on either side of him, and he instinctively reached for the gun on his hip.
That grease wrapper was a tumbleweed, he told himself. Here I am, the outlaw with no name entering town against the sheriff’s orders, six-shooters on both hips, cowboy hat just back far enough on my head to scan the windows on the second floor. He could almost hear the old western music in his head. Suddenly the wind died down, the dust was gone, and a McDonalds restaurant was visible just thirty meters ahead. The western vision vanished.
It was a small town, but large enough for the fast food giant to place one of its franchises there. As he walked past the burger restaurant, he saw the usual buildings that one expects to be in a town this size: the petrol station, the garage, the bank, the post office, an old supermarket, and a corner convenience store. One peek inside the super market showed it to be completely cleaned out. He continued on to the convenience store, where at least there would be a toilet. All the food was gone. The fridge was also empty. Strangely, there was still money in the open cash register, which had definitely rung up its last sale.
Turning and making his way down the aisle towards the toilet at the back of the store, he walked past the magazine rack. Most of the covers showed naked girls in sensual poses, many with large breasts and seductive smiles. Bizarrely, the magazine rack had not been ransacked. But then, who needs girlie mags in an apocalypse? He laughed at this thought, and the sound of his own laughter surprised him in the midst of the all-encompassing silence. He spun and headed to the bathroom, before turning around again and grabbing a magazine to take in with him.
Emerging from the toilet after about twenty minutes, he threw the magazine back on the rack and looked at the other covers. His lust now spent, the images of the nude girls no longer turned him on, but rather reminded him of how populated this empty world used to be. So many girls, guys, workers, colleagues, friends, family… people. Then something moved in his peripheral vision and he realized that he was not so alone after all.