The Infected Peach

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A congealed dollop of whiteish-clear goop splattered on terrazzo floor. As soon as it hit, tendrils of the splattered goo wiggled and stretched outward, tiny little infectious spikes protruding.

James gulped behind his face mask.

Dalah took a small step backwards and pulled her own mask tight.

"Is that—"

"I really think we should go," Dalah insisted, her fingers digging into James' arm.

"—but that can't possibly—"

James' eyes were saucers as they traveled up the shifting, twisting, peach-flesh legs of the thing in the produce aisle. The feet of the thing were split open in fat hooves, peach-meat squelching on the terrazzo floor with every shift of the massive, stalk-like legs. Thick, sinewy muscles—do peaches even have muscles??—twisted their way up the leg-stalks, pulsating and shifting and—yes—oozing that strange whiteish-clear goop from its orange-red flesh.

The stalky peach legs suddenly bowed under the enormous weight of the thing's growing torso and a fresh round of oozing goop splattered to the ground. It was almost as if it was sweating the goop, a result of the sheer force of will it exhausted while pulling itself together and growing to such a massive size in minutes.

"So, uh, we could just go and order, you know, delivery or something," Dalah suggested, tugging at James' arm.

"I dunno," James replied. "I think maybe we should do something."

Panic gripped at Dalah's chest. "What do want to do, spray that thing with Lysol?!"

That thing—a giant mutated conglomerate of infected peaches—pivoted towards the un-masked Karen who had been fondling every available fruit and vegetable in the produce aisle. The top portion of the thing's torso split open in a meaty, orange maw, goop dripping from jagged, fleshy fangs.

The thing unleashed an unearthly, bellowing roar that James and Dalah could feel vibrating in their bones. That whiteish-clear goop splattered all over the Karen's face and right into her gaping, unmasked mouth.

She stood there in paralyzed horror as the goop rolled down her chin.

James winced.

Dalah gagged. "... that's not right."

The goop suddenly spiked and started wiggling over the Karen's body, seeking out all available orifices.

The Karen screamed.

"James—"

The Peach Thing swung its massive maw towards James and Dalah. Feet stomped, sending splatters of peach-juice everywhere. The thing swung its entire torso violently, smashing down into a case of potatoes.

The spuds exploded and the Peach Thing roared again, spraying the entire produce section with infectious white goop.

James gulped again. "Yeah, I don't think Lysol is gonna cut it."

James and Dalah looked at each other, suddenly having the exact same idea at the exact same time.

"Aisle two!" they yelled simultaneously.

James and Dalah took off, racing for the other end of the store. The Peach Thing roared violently and launched itself in pursuit.

Dalah shoulder-checked another Karen demanding to talk to a manager about the mutant killer peach.

A display of fresh-baked cookies exploded in a peachy impact.

Whiteish-clear goop splattered everywhere, but mainly in people's unmasked mouths.

James snatched a package of lighters from an endcap as they skidded around the corner of Aisle Two. He tore at the packaging as Dalah furiously searched the shelves.

Bodies flew past the entrance of Aisle Two, pummeled and tossed like rag dolls by the Peach Thing.

James stumbled backwards, a pair of lighters in each hand. "Honey?"

The ground shuddered and product clattered from the shelves. The Peach Thing stood at the entrance of Aisle Two.

"Got it!" Dalah crowed from under her mask, grabbing a canister in each hand.

The Peach Thing bellowed and charged into the aisle.

James and Dalah raced towards each other.

Dalah used her thumbs to flick purple caps off the spray cans in either hand.

James dropped to his knees and skidded forward from momentum, striking the lighters in each fist and whipping the open flames over his head.

The Peach Thing roared.

Dalah screamed.

Hair spray exploded from the nozzles and instantly erupted into a fireball, jetting into the Peach Thing. Dalah kept squeezing, flames engulfing the monster.

The Peach Thing froze in its tracks. It bellowed in agony, its peach flesh curling and crisping, juices sizzling from the inside out.

Fire streamed.

James scooted his back to the shelves.

Dalah kept screaming.

Suddenly, the Peach Thing exploded.

Peach meat splattered everywhere, chunks hitting Dalah right in the mask.

A second later, the fire sprinklers kicked on.

Dalah's knees buckled. She dropped the spent hair spray bottles and stumbled over to James. She sat down next to him and let the sprinklers wash away the infectious peach.

"And that," James said through his mask as he wiped his eye with the back of his hand, "is why you always—"

"—always—" Dalah cut in.

"—wear a face mask," James finished.

"And touch with your eyes, amiright?" Dalah said.

"Did you see the way she had to fondle every single peach?"

"We could all be dead right now."

"The nerve of some people."

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