It was a bitter cold evening that night, more so than any other. I'd just started spending some time with my family when I had to leave. I didn't want to, but I knew in my heart I needed to. You see, it was still Thanksgiving, and sometimes we have to sacrifice that which we love most in order to save others... to save America. I got in my car around 7pm and drove to the meet-up at the apartment. Inside was none other than Gold Pouzou, my wingman for the night. We sat down, went over our battle strategy, and got set for the trials ahead of us. However, before we set foot outside the apartment, we knew it was already beginning. Gold Pouzou's car was smashed, the apartment block wrecked, and thousands of flaming plastic bags drifted in the wind like the dying embers of a once-beloved holiday. We had to save it.

Getting in my car, we drove towards our first stronghold; the rich white people mall. We passed the charred remains of a Walmart, one of many that had fallen to the crowds weeks earlier. In their vain attempts to stem the flow of the Cadillacs and Chryslers this year they opened their doors weeks ahead of time, only to be gutted and their staff trampled down by the lust for $98 32” TVs. We would not allow this to happen again. Arriving outside the still dark mall, Gold Pouzou and myself took a defensive position in the parking lot, the shops closed behind us. We grabbed our equipment, sandbagged the entrance, and waited.

A few minutes passed, the cold gradually sapping our stone resolve. As time passed other enlightened men and women joined the barricade, each of us laying down our lives for the cause. Our breathe hung in the air as frost already began to clasp itself to our sedan. My finger lay on the trigger of my Carcano carbine, staring blankly into the darkness before us. It seemed every year it was beginning earlier and earlier, but this time it crossed a line. This time, it was Thanksgiving. Slowly, without fanfare, it began. The gradual trundle, the low moaning growls, the hungry look in their eyes. The creatures were coming, but they were not the ravenous hordes we faced in the Walmart and Best Buy years before. They were rich white people.

Gold Pouzou fired the first shot, beginning an symphony of gunfire echoing off the walls of the mall as the volunteer patriot assembly around us began to open fire. I assisted in the sustained fire, my bolt action plucking their Hollister-clad bodies to the ground, but like the hydra of legend, for every one we felled, two took its place. Soon there were hundreds where dozens once stood, moaning and whining and making fun of one another in stupid voices in small groups of 3 to 6. Each one reeked of fabric softener and bad cologne. The bodies piled but as the hours waned our ammo slowly ran dry. Soon we lost the Macy's entrance, the barricade destroyed by a stray Lexus running the gate. Forced to fight on two fronts, Gold Pouzou turned to me with desperation in his eyes.

“What are we gonna do, Jack?” he asked.

I glanced at him, then I looked at the horde. The monsters were clambering over the wall before us, their gaudy watches and fake-vintage clothing catching on the barbed wire. “Affix bayonets,” I replied.

We attached our bayonets and charged the creatures, stabbing them as they crossed the wall. The bodies fell at our feet, but there was no blood. Rich white people didn't bleed. Eventually though we were overcome on our flanks, with all entrances but our own having given in to the onslaught. Gold Pouzou pulled his sidearm and fired at the rich white people behind us.

“It's too late, Radical, they've taken the Barnes and Noble!” he said.

“We have to move!” I responded.

Together we made a break for the car, jumping in and plowing through the horde to make our escape. Although we were driven off, we'd succeeded where others failed. It was just a few minutes past 12am, we'd managed to hold them off, to save just one small portion of Thanksgiving. Now it was time to take what was ours, and on familiar turf. We made our way down the road to the second mall, the normal people's mall. We thought maybe, just maybe, having brought the fight to them, they'd double back and we'd have easy pickings of the loot. We were wrong.

As we arrived the scene was dismal. Poor souls impaled on road bollards gave way to a writing mass of people struggling to go in and out of the food court entrance. Employees were shackled to their stations and forced to beat back the inhuman creatures with plastic food trays. It was terrifying. Neither I nor Gold Pouzou felt confident in our ability to acquire the goods we sought, but we had to try. Twas the season. Being a bit clever, we ducked out to the back entrance by the J.C. Penny's, parked, and went inside. This wasn't a run and gun trip, it required stealth and cunning, ducking from store to store, carefully observing the stock of wares in each electronics section for what my companion longed for. I managed to find my first purchase of the season, a delicious sausage from a mall island. But alas, the Gamestop had gone out of business long ago, and the Sears electronics section was picked clean. Neither Radioshack nor Best Buy Mobile had our electronic gizmos.

Carefully we made our way to the door, but as we stepped out, we were spotted. Hundreds of creatures ran at us, their grasping hands desperate for my delicious holiday snack item. We bolted straight for the car, jumped in, and floored in across the street. Gold Pouzou fired out the window as I weaved through minivans and SUVs, the occasional zombified shopper bouncing off the hood and into the horde behind us.

“BEST BUY!” I shouted to Gold Pouzou.

“CRASH IT!” he said.

I plowed through the glass doors and into the middle of the store. Most of the horde was distracted by the glitz and glam of the marvelous electronics on display, but now we had a new problem to contend with; the Best Buy employees. Well trained and seasoned veterans, the employees immediately opened fire upon our car, peppering us with MP-40 rounds, sales flyers, and questions about how many Xbox Ones we wanted to buy. I got out my rifle and began to return fire, covering Gold Pouzou as he made a break for the Apple section. Mortar fire exploded around him as he ducked beneath the iPad display, then grabbed a nearby employee. Sticking his knife to her throat, he yelled, “DO YOU HAVE ANY SALES ON IPADS!?”

“NO!” she replied, kneeing him in the gut and pushing him off, “BUT WE HAVE AN OPEN BOX MODEL THAT'S $100 OFF!”

Gold Pouzou swung his knife, cutting her arm, “WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT!?”

She crawled back, emerging from under the table. Pulling and firing her Luger in one swift motion she answered, “NOTHING, THE CUSTOMER JUST DIDN'T LIKE THE COLOR!”

Gold Pouzou was hit in the leg, but managed to dig into his pocket for his debit card, “I'LL TAKE IT THEN!”

The exchange was fast, within seconds he was the owner of a much-discounted iPad Air and not a moment too soon. When he returned to me he found me bayonetting everything in sight, almost overrun by the sinister employees. Gold Pouzou opened up his new gadget, launched the iSubjugate app, and blinded the fiends with its unnaturally white light. It bought us just enough time to burn rubber out of there and back onto the road. On the way out I even managed to snag a copy of Far Cry 3 off the corpse of some poor shopper who's head was crushed by a falling 70” TV. I turned to Gold Pouzou who was smiling with his latest conquest as we headed back to his apartment. It was 4am, and day of glory.