The door hung open, swinging by inches with the breeze. By the look of the shelves visible from the doorway, the place had been picked clean months ago. She pulled the door open with an extended creak, pushed the stopper down with her toe, and waited.

Nothing appeared. She scanned the street behind her: also empty. Haven’t eaten for three days. She switched on her flashlight, stepped in.

There was nothing left: not a can of beans, not a jar of preserves, not a twinkie. No jerky in the racks by the register, no bottled water stacked in the back.

She staggered outside and sat on the curb, unfolded her map and laid it on the asphalt with small polished rocks holding down the corners. She crossed off the empty market with a dying sharpie, and then circled another: two towns over, an all-day walk that would leave her in danger of passing out.

Or a twenty-minute drive. There were four cars within view, one with a door open. They’d probably all be out of gas. It never hurts to check.

One had a key dangling from the ignition. She hesitated before turning it, because it would ruin the quiet.

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