Ahhh, a viable structure!

Scrambling in the shadows of dusk, she reached the structure that looked like it had used to be a multi-story building. Now it was reduced to the ground floor and a jagged, burned-out, partial second story. She ran around to the back, avoiding roaming, magenta spotlights, and squeezed through a sizable crack in the wall. Good thing the lack of food lately had slimmed her down about ten pounds. Her stomach growled when she thought of food. She hadn't eaten since gobbling down an old grilled cheese sandwich she'd found at a half-destroyed diner two mornings previous.

She navigated through dark hallways and doorways, headed for a dim glow of light ahead. As she drew closer to it she noticed that it was a lighted room. It had been quite a while since she'd seen working electricity in any human-made structure so she grew terribly curious about it.

Along the way the familiar, pungent odor of fire, stagnation, and cooked flesh assaulted her olfactory senses. But by then she had grown used to that and would have been able to keep food down, if there had been any in her stomach. It growled again.

When she found the room she saw that the light was from a single light bulb dangling from a chain attached to the ceiling. As the rumblings from far-off bombs exploding shook the building the bulb swung, causing the shadows to do a creepy dance all over the walls.

"Hey, soldier!" called the man who was aiming some sort of huge weapon out of the window.

"M-me?" she stammered. She looked down at the military green jacket and pants she was wearing, as well as the thick combat boots on her feet. "Aw, naw, sorry, I just found these. I had a cousin in the Air Force, though."

"Damn, I was hopin' you'd be a soldier!" he said, turning to face her.

Oh, my!

The face was dirty, forlorn, sporting at least several weeks of gray beard growth, but she instantly recognized who was talking to her. She couldn't believe it!

"Oh my god!" she gasped. "You're the President!"

He rolled his eyes. Indeed, even though they were tattered, he was dressed in the remnants of an expensive suit. A dirty blue necktie was wrapped around his sweaty, scratched-up forehead like a bandana. "Yeah, well, I used to be!"

"Don't be so cynical!" she exclaimed. "Still are!"

"Geez, kid, have ya looked around lately?!" the President exclaimed.

"Yeah, I know, the world's ending," she said quickly. "So, wow, this is just, like, so amazing! To run into you, of all people! This is about as exciting as when I saw Mel Gibson gutted last month back in Shreveport! Only this time there's no viscera!"

"What's...vissera?" the President said, narrowing his wrinkled eyes at her.

"So," she said, ignoring the question, "shouldn't you be, like, in a bomb shelter or something? I mean, you're the President and all, you know! Shouldn't there have been some sort of plan..?"

"Plan?!" he interrupted. He pointed his large weapon out the window (which she just noticed was probably a rocket launcher). "A plan?! For this?! No, missy, there was no fucking plan for this! The moment three-fourths of my secret service rolled their eyes back and sprouted those pink...thingies...from their ears, I knew the days of approval ratings and Air Force One were over! Barely escaped the White House before they blew it to smithereens!"

"Wow!" she exclaimed. "How'd you do that?!"

"I don't got time for stories now, little lady!" he exclaimed. "In case you haven't noticed there's a bunch of those things advancing this way! Pick up that rifle over there and start firing or something, make yourself useful!

"Oh, that?" she said, pointing to a big army-looking gun on the floor. "I once shot soda cans with my dad. But...I didn't do so well."

"You've gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me!" the President exclaimed. "How the hell are you still alive?"

"Oh, I'm very good at sneaking, running and stuff," she said proudly. "I was really into sports and stuff back at the University, track and volleyball...so, like, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and all, so I have some questions..."

"Like what?!" the President yelled as he messed with something on the rocket launcher.

"What about that whole Karl Rove thing?" she asked. "I mean, if he really did leak--"

"What the fuck is the matter with you?!" the President said, wide-eyed, looking at her like she had suddenly grown horns. Then he sputtered, shooting his open hand out at the window. "We've got these... I mean... and you're worried about--?! LOOK OUTSIDE! Karl Rove is a pile of worm turds now! Get with it!"

"Sorrr-REE." she said, rolling her eyes. "Glad I voted for the other guy."

The President sighed and rolled his own eyes.

"So, why are you all alone?" she asked him as he pointed the rocket launcher out the window again, apparently about to fire it.

"Used t'be oh about fifteen of us," he replied, softening a little, "runnin' around, killin' as many as we could, tryin' not to be killed. Now it's just Jones and me."


She looked around the room again until she found a still, bloody black man crumpled on the floor near the corner. "Is that Jones? He looks dead."

The President looked behind him at the body of the unfortunate man. "Damn!" he hissed. Then he turned back to his rocket launcher. "Thought he'd pull through. Guess it's just...... me and you."

"Oh, well," she said, offended by how he had said "you" with utter disdain in his voice, "guess you think I'm useless or something just cuz I can't fire a gun!"

He looked at her and nodded. "Pretty much!"

Then he pulled the trigger. Something clicked inside the rocket launcher, but nothing else happened. No bang, no boom...nothing.

"Son of a bitch!" he exclaimed. He dropped it to the floor. It hit with a loud BA-ROOONNGG.

"Guess you should spent more on weapons development!" she snapped.

"Shut the fuck up!" he yelled at her. Then he kicked the large, metal "weapon." Immediately afterwards he was cursing and hopping up and down on one foot.

"Brilliant." she sighed. "You know? You're not so great. You're, like...just a guy. Who happened to be President. You're just a dumb old potty-mouthed guy!"

"You know, little girl," he said, sneering at her, "keep in mind that murder really isn't against the law right now...keep that in mind!"

"Oh my god!" She bent down and picked up the rifle. It was a hell of a lot heavier than it looked and she almost dropped it. The gun very much wanted to be back on the floor. She struggled to aim it at the President. "Are you, like, threatening me?!"

"Awww, now, honey," he said, softening up, still hopping a little, "don't do that. Come on, aim it outside...at the bad guys. I was just...just upset, OK!"

"Not so tough without your Secret Service guys!" she grunted as she tried to find the gun's trigger. When she did she accidentally fired. The gun bucked out of her arms and knocked her backwards. Jones twitched.

"Oh my god!" she said, her ears ringing from the thunderous gunfire.

"It's all right!" the President said, holding a hand over his heart. "Jones ain't gonna get any deader! I'm just, uh, glad you didn't hit ME!"

Then the President bent down and quickly snatched the smoking rifle up off of the floor. "I think we should let me handle this from now on, er, um...say, what's your name, anyway?"

"Hillary," she said as she got back on her feet. Then she looked around for another weapon. "I know, I know. Ironic, isn't it?"

"Ironic?" the President said, his eyes narrowing. Then he brightened up. "Oh! Like that song. A million spoons and all you need is a knife! Yeah, I guess that is sorta ironic, ain't it?"

"Totally," Hillary said. Then she spotted something in the corner near her. "Ooh! There's grenades over here!"

The President winced. "Now, hon..er..Hillary, please be careful with those!"

The belt of grenades was almost as heavy as the gun had been. They looked so much lighter in the movies! Hillary grunted as she trudged over to the window. A bright light flashed in the distance, followed by the sound of an explosion and a rumbling in the ground. "Let's grenade 'em!"

"How far d'ya think you're gonna be able to throw those?!" the President asked. "What you need is a grenade launcher and we're fresh outta those! All you'll do is tell them we're here by lobbing one o' them!"

"Oh, right, and a rocket launcher wouldn't?!"

"That woulda blown 'em to Kingdom Come!" the President exclaimed. "Look, just put down the goddamn grenades before ya get us killed!"

"Fine!" she yelled, letting the belt drop. The President shut his eyes tight and recoiled as they banged to the floor.

"DON'T DO THAT!" he yelled. "Jesus Christ! I told ya to be careful with 'em!"

"Ooo, such a religious man are ya?" Hillary said. "Taking the Lord's name in vain now are we?"

"Oh would you just shut it?!" the President exclaimed as he aimed the gun out the window.

"Where's your God now, huh?!" Hillary asked, who had been a staunch atheist for years.

"He sure as hell ain't here!" the President said as he looked through the site. "Maybe he's on break or sumthin. Oh and maybe we had better get those grenades ready. I think they're comin, know we're here now. Shit!"

Then he began firing the gun, unloading into the distant, but fast-approaching giant worm things. Hillary held her hands over her ears, the gunfire louder than any Fourth of July fireworks she'd ever experienced.

The President yelled something and seemed pleased, but Hillary couldn't hear through all the ringing in her ears. "What?!" she yelled, barely even able to hear her own voice.

The President seemed to repeat himself, mouthing "I got some of 'em!" or at least that's what she thought he was saying.

"Good!" she exclaimed, the ringing dying down. But then they heard a loud crashing noise behind them. One of the giant creatures had come into the building through the back and was knocking walls away to get to them. The President turned and fired at it as it wormed its way into their room. Hillary made a break for it. One of its tentacles shot out and grabbed the President. He screamed as the creature dragged him over. Before he was sucked into it he grabbed the grenades.

Hillary then ran out of the building and into the shadows outside, narrowly avoiding detection by another huge creature outside. That's when she heard a loud explosion. She turned to see the bottom floor of the building blowing up, which sent the rest of it tumbling down on top of it.

"So long, Pres!" she whispered to herself as she ran down a dark, empty, pot-holed street.

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