“HAhahaha,” Laughter boomed behind Melanie the instant the quip crossed her mind. She glanced around at the other shoppers for a clue that some other funny thing that may have happened at the same time. They all stared blankly in front of them waiting to take a step forward but Melanie still heard the stranger giggling behind her.
“That was hilarious,” she heard the man’s voice in her head. Melanie whirled around and stared at him with wide eyes. The short, round stranger with yellow-green hair smiled at her. His tight-fitting green t-shirt was stretched over his large belly; it made him look like a watermelon. “Hi,” he said. “I’m Walter.”
“How did you do that?!” Melanie narrowed her eyes at Walter and thought the question at him.
“Oh, you want to chat discreetly?” Walter asked in her mind. While he did the man nodded at something behind Melanie. “If that’s the case, turn around. It’ll look less weird than everyone else thinking we’re just staring at each other.” Melanie shrugged and turned around. She found the line moved forward without here and jumped forward a couple of steps.
“How are you talking in my head?” Melanie asked.
“Um, it’s kind of an involved explanation. What’s your favorite number?.” Walter’s voice asked in her mind.
“Just as I thought,” Walter replied. “I have a friend that can explain a lot better than I can. If you don’t mind I can tell him to get in touch with you.”
“No, I don’t mind,” Melanie replied as the checkout line moved forward by one. She meant to mention the fact that she could not speak when she gave him her number.
“Hi, this is Mundo,” a second stranger’s voice ran through her head. She was surprised, but she was growing used to surprises. “Sorry I can’t tell you more. You’re Unique Soul number 11, El Melón,” he said; then, nothing else. Melanie waited for several seconds; the line moved forward again but he did not contact her again.
“He told me I’m a unique something,” Melanie tried to direct her thoughts to Walter and turned to face him with a confused look in her eyes. “That doesn’t explain anything,” she thought at him. She had been confused when she turned around but his expression concerned her instantly. He looked horrified with tears welling in his eyes. The round man looked at her, then down at his shopping cart. He grabbed the tub of chocolate ice cream and left the line.
“HEY!” Melanie shouted with her mind. She dropped her hand-held basket in his cart and followed him. “What’s going on?” Walter walked out the door; he ignored the sudden alarm that sounded because of his now stolen ice cream. “WALTER!” She yelled and shook him physically. He ignored her outburst and sat down on the display of soda 12-packs in front of the store.
“Sir, you need to pay for that,” A burly security guard appeared next to Melanie. Walter answered by pointing at the sky. Melanie looked up and saw a large black hole hovering above the edges of the parking lot. White skeletons rained out of the hole and shattered on the ground; then, they pulled themselves back together magically. Melanie looked at the parking lot and noticed dozens of white heads traveling towards them.
“Mundo’s dead. We’re all going to be killed.” Walter finally gave Melanie a response while he ate chocolate ice cream with his fingers. The security guard ran away as soon as he saw the skeletons. “I’m Unique Soul #28, La Sandía. I’m glad I got to meet someone like me.”