"You want some dinner, Jon?"
Jon threw up on the only living shrub in this godforsaken desert. It didn't deserve to be soaked in scarlet puke.
"We have plenty of food."
"Gods!" Jon moaned.
His body was caked in blood; shards of glass stuck out like needles. The shock of throwing himself through the window had numbed his frazzled mind, reducing the pain.
Behind him, through the hole that was once a window, shouts echoed inside. They were full of rage, revealing their true colours. Jon wished he knew earlier.
"No," Jon gathered his strength, stumbling down the dusty path, exiting the tiny alley into a main square surrounded by wooden dilapidated houses.
Everything was quiet, vast, as if nobody occupied this small village. Only Jon's moans could be heard as he stumbled forward, his trail of blood intermingling with the sand. He ripped off his Hawaiian shirt and wrapped it around his head in order to stop the constant blood flow.
The setting sun released its heated grip on the village, now awaiting the caress of the night's cool hand.
He could hear shouts and footsteps tracking him from not too far behind. He didn't have much time. His only chance was to get to the garage at the end of the town where they had stored his car for repair. If he could just reach it, he could free of this place.
If his car was fixed...
The grandness of the layered sand bordering the village stretched for miles; boundless in length, a clear death sentence for any straggler.
Loud bangs blasted in the air, breaking the stillness of the square. Jon felt the whistling of bullets flying past him, narrowly missing his body.
"Don't be shy, you're our guest."
"Please!" Jon moaned. "Let me go home! I won't tell anybody! Please!"
He realised the garage was too far away and that he would be killed if he stayed on course. Hiding was his only option.
The closest place to the garage was a solar project comprising thousands of rows of solar panels. The only machinery occupying the wasteland. Their sleek, imposing veneer reflected the last of the light. They were positioned behind the village, as if the village and the panels came from two different worlds.
When Jon had previously asked about the solar project, his hosts' only response was: ‘business purposes'.
Jon could hide behind one and wait until they gave up. It was his plan for now.
A loud burst caused Jon to stumble forward hitting the sandy terrain, where the dust clouded his eyes. The hole in his calf gushed with blood.
"This is a fine meal, made by our chef."
"Stop!" Jon sobbed.
He looked around for the nearest place to hide. All he found was a rotten house, with the door slightly open.
The shards in his body scraped along the sand, as he crawled towards the rotten house. A line of blood leaked from his hands and calf as Jon pushed himself up onto the patio.
The interior wasn't consumed by the sweltering heat; it maintained a nice, cool atmosphere. The last remaining streaks of light peeped through the threadbare curtains. The Douglas fir table and chairs were set as if the occupant was about to serve dinner.
Jon propped himself up on one foot. He grabbed the cabinet beside the door, hauling it downwards to prevent entry. Hopping towards the table, Jon slumped on the bench attempting to collect his thoughts.
Shadowy figures loomed outside, floating around the house like predators sensing their prey. Panicking, Jon examined the items on the table. He found a withered box of matches, plastic plates, blunt knives, and a candle stick. The door budged violently, but thankfully the cabinet hindered his pursuers' efforts. Jon took the matches and retreated from the table.
"Go away!" He yelled.
Jon's vision hazed due to his loss of blood. He blindly stumbled around the room, reaching for a nearby wall for support. He didn't notice the adjacent door, which he fell right through slamming into the stairs and crashing into the damp concrete floor.
"This is a lovely dinner, but I'm worried about my friends, do you know where they are?"
Jon groaned, pushing himself up to face the surrounding darkness. Everything was...silent. No banging, no screaming, it was as if night had finally fallen.
Jon pulled out the matches, flicking a matchstick to life which slowly started to recede.
The room lightened up, capturing its surroundings.
"Who are you talking about?"
The sight made Jon cry; tiny trickles fell down his cheeks.
Two bodies hung on the wall, as if they were on display. Their flesh was carved from their stomachs and thighs. Their eyeballs were poked from their sockets and rested delicately in a jar of liquid on a nearby bench. Their Hawaiian shirts were torn to shreds, strewn in a pile under the bench. The adjacent cabinets stored jars of body parts, all chopped into little bits. If Jon had any more food in his stomach, he would have thrown it all up.
A slight noise behind Jon startled him. Jon leaned the bench to prop himself on one foot. He held out the half-burnt matchstick, trying to find the source.
He found a man.
The man looked shrivelled and half-starved. His suspenders barely held up his tattered pants. His blood-smeared apron was slowly slipping from his waist. The man stood opposite Jon clutching his stomach. His free hand gripped a sharp cleaver.
"No," Jon whispered, as he discovered that the butcher's tools were behind the man. "Please."
Tears sprouted from the starving man's eyes. He stumbled up to Jon, swiftly inserting the cleaver into Jon's stomach.
"I'm so sorry," the man sobbed as he deepened the cleaver. "I'm so, so, so sorry."
The man pushed his messy face into Jon's shoulder, weeping as he gradually stole Jon's life.
"Please forgive me," the man wept.
Jon's quivering eyes turned blank, and the flame went out.