Roller Rink Raider: 1

Note: Written in response to a prompt in the Lily’s Monster Lovers Facebook group!

A lone raider slipped through the half-barricaded door into the old roller rink. Narrowing his eyes at the haphazardly piled up chairs, benches, and a tipped over arcade machine, he pulled the hunting knife free from his belt. They’d been shoved in front of the door in an attempt to block it, but something had pushed its way inside regardless at some point. Probably something big.

He didn’t move for long minutes, listening. It still smelled faintly musty in here. Rows of old rollerskates still sat in cubbies behind the front desk, and he wrinkled his nose behind his mask at the sight of them.

It was dead quiet. Whatever had shoved aside the barricade didn’t appear to have lingered, but he could be wrong. The place felt empty, though, so he carefully started crossing the front lobby, grit and glass crunching under his boots.

He remembered coming to one of these places once. It had been just a few weeks before the monsters came and changed everything in a moment. His older sister’s twelfth birthday, and he’d been allowed to tag along with two friends of his choice. He’d chosen Brad and Thomas—Thomas because he was his best friend, and Brad because—well, because even at age nine he’d been convinced they were going to get married one day.

He wondered if either of them had survived the initial days of the apocalypse.

He wasn’t entirely sure why he was looking around this place. What good shit would even be here? Stinky old rollerskates and… what else? Nothing. It was stupid to come in here. There was nothing of value.

But something made him keep walking forward, down the long, dark corridor with its mirrored walls and thinly carpeted floor. The floor started sloping down just a little beneath his boots, and then he emerged into a massive room lit only by a broken skylight in the ceiling. At his entrance, a bird flapped and vanished through the jagged gap in the glass.

His boots echoed as he slowly walked to the edge of the rink. It was littered with old leaves, grit, general dirt from years of standing empty and silent. His leather gloves creaked as he curled his fingers around the railing, and then he was stepping onto the once smooth and shiny floor.

There was enough dirt on the rink to keep him from worrying about slipping over. He trailed his hand along the metal railing, slowly walking the perimeter of the massive empty space. He remembered snickering with Brad and Thomas as he watched his sister and their friends shriek and go down like dominoes as they’d tried to show off in front of some boys from their class.

His mouth barely quirked under his mask at the memory. He turned his head and swept keen eyes over the huge empty room, but then they focused on something in the dead centre of the rink. It stood upright, proud and tall directly beneath the broken skylight.

Brows twitching, the raider made his way into the centre of the rink. Glass crunched under the heavy tread of his soles. He felt a faint breeze ruffle his hair under the hood of his sweatshirt as he approached the shaft of weak, dappled light breaking through the dead leaves and crust on the skylight above.

He squinted, but couldn’t make out anything more than a long, fairly thin shape. When he reached the object, he slowly crouched and brushed aside the detritus that had caught around it. The object wobbled slightly with the action, and he saw a flash of colour.

The raider stared when the leaves had been brushed away. He felt his face get hot beneath his mask, and he couldn’t help but glance up and around the silent empty room furtively, even though he knew he was alone.

It was a giant purple dildo.

Copyright 2022 by Lily Mayne

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