Tonally borrowed from actuality, following the thirteenth rampart.
“That’s disgusting,” the man with the rifle noted as he kept his eyes on the approaching grey pharmaceutical van.
The girl with the argyle socks glanced up and continued chewing the organ meats.
“It’s not the eating…but why do you have to put your fingers in it?”
The girl with the argyle socks swallowed the last of the cow liver and kidneys, wiped her hands with a stack of old newspapers and asked the man with the rifle if there was anything to drink. He opened the canvas bag sitting on the table by the door, pulled out a bottle of pale blue liquid and tossed it to the girl with the argyle socks. She had to grip the bottle between her knees to exert enough force on the cap to unscrew it. She smelled the contents of the bottle.
“What’s in here?”
“Water with elderberry extract and a trace of goat milk,” the man with the rifle looked over at the girl with argyle socks and instructed her to stay inside the train station while he went outside to talk to the men in the grey pharmaceutical van. “If i don’t come back in ten minutes, you won’t have to worry about food for a long time.”
The girl with the argyle socks nodded and promised not to disobey. The man with the rifle held his gaze with her thirty seconds before stepping outside to retrieve the man he was tasked to transport away from the city.
I’ve overstayed my welcome, I have to go back to my people eventually, if they find me in the company of a human, they’ll slowly flay him alive as they eat me and leave all the good parts to the hyenas. They’ll make him watch; he’ll see my insides and after I die, I’ll have to live this life over again with no guarantee he would be in it again.
The girl with the argyle socks shook these worries from her mind as she sipped the pale blue liquid. It was cool and soothing. She barely tasted the goat milk.
The man with the rifle returned eight minutes later and told the girl with the argyle socks that they would have to go back on the road as he was still on a mission and had just about run out of time to complete it. He also politely but firmly asked her to wash her hands and mouth in the basin in the station agent’s office.
The girl with the argyle socks scowled but complied with his request. The man with the rifle was already inside his truck by the time she had emerged with clean hands and mouth. He told her to sit in the front and not to ask about the man in the back seat.
“I honor the cow by putting my fingers inside.”
The girl with the argyle socks audibly exhaled. “My kind…we honor the animals we eat by putting our fingers inside whatever we’re eating. Organ meats feel good, better than muscle of thigh or neck or back.”
“That’s not an urban legend?”
The girl with the argyle socks shook her head, growing increasingly curious as to how much the man with the rifle heard about her people.