Why I'm Scared I'm Going to Hurt Other People
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I'd been driving for ten hours, and the gas station was the first building I'd seen in two. A single lightbulb lit the place. The attendant inside was reading a copy of Spinoza's Ethics and munching on dry noodles of instant ramen. She didn't look up from reading as I came in.

I spent 10 minutes wandering up and down the 3 aisles, torn between a battle of different cravings, before I remembered I had come to the gas station not to get a snack, but to use the bathroom. I quickly did my business, found some chips and twinkies, and brought them to the register. It was impressive how the attendant could ring up a purchase without once making eye contact. She completed every motion automatically, her attention entirely focused on the words of the excommunicated theologist, not speaking until she shoved the credit card scanner towards me. “Pay here.”

The chip on my card was old and it wasn't until my third attempt that the machine accepted my payment. The second it did, I piled the snacks in my arms and hurried out the door. Didn't look back until I was safe in my car. A dog-shaped, mangy creature with limbs as long as its torso was creeping across the ceiling. From its shaking body and toothy smile I knew that it was laughing.

My eyes snapped back to the inside of the car just as the creature pounced towards the register. The rumble of the engine turning on barely masked a scream.

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