Day 2. They broke past the barrier today. It took us five hours to exterminate the lot, and another two to clean up and patch the barrier. Six dead, three infected. Put down in the parking lot. Not a pretty sight. Amongst the dead, was a seventeen year old boy. First day on the job. He saw them, panicked and sprayed aimlessly. Soon enough, he was overpowered, his guts splattered across the floor. It was like living a nightmare.
The wound had worsened. My fingers weren’t responding as freely as they used to. My legs jar occasionally. Vision tends to get blurry. By the time my loco-motor functions begin to malfunction drastically, I’ll know it’s time. Until then, I’ll just sit by my little desk with a gun propped up against my chair and a thick hardbound book in my hand.
At about 4 this morning, I woke to find myself in that delightful old armchair with a book on my lap and and saliva dribbling down my face. Squinting, I hoisted myself up to only fall back straight into the arm chair, with pain shooting up my thigh. Cursing, I helped myself up again using the gun as a support, and in the dark a silhouette moved.
I quickly loaded and pointed my gun into the darkness, propping myself against the table to numb the pain. Immediately a voice filtered through, “Watch it!”
Out of the darkness, stumbled a girl, her face covered in grime and sweat. She must not have been older than twenty-one, her long black hair tied into an elegant bun, nestling a square-framed pair of glasses. As she moved closer, I began to notice her features more distinctively. She wore blue jeans, a leather jacket twice her actual size with a white t-shirt tucked in, and a periwinkle blue scarf wrapped around her arm.
“Put the gun down.”
I snapped back to reality as I realized that I was still pointing my gun at her. Sheepishly, I withdrew and said,”What are you doing here?”
“Hmpf”, she scoffed. “You think you’re the only one who knows this place exists? I crash here. Every night. Technically, you’re in my spot.”, she said gesturing towards the armchair.
I’ve never been good with women. I blame it on the introvert streak that I possess. Even during evacuation, I never made any eye-contact with the women I was helping out. I was too shy. I did date once, but it seemed to be in a past that I could no longer remember. So naturally, I just stared at her, words failing me.
She seemed to judge the situation quickly enough and asked me to get back into the chair. I collapsed, a wave of relief flooding through my body as I crashed back, for what seemed like the umpteenth time into my seat.
She moved swiftly, and before I knew it she was pulling up the left leg of my trousers, inspecting my shin.
“You’ve been bit.”, she said, stone-faced.
“Yeah I know.”
“How long has it been?”
“A day, maybe two.”
“Do they know?”
“Yeah. The moment I lose control of my fingers, I’ve been asked to report.”
“Criminal Shame. Got any family left?”
“Mom and Dad. They’re still in shock, but it’s-”
The sound of a cloth being ripped drowned out the rest of my words, as she tore a part of the scarf off and wrapped it around my wound. “That should keep the pain away for a bit”, she said, still wearing a blank expression.
“Thanks”, I said offering a meek smile which she didn’t return. As the silence reached unprecedented levels of awkwardness, I decided to cut through it. “So, any family left?”
“No. All dead. Criminal Shame.”
“Aah, well.. that sucks?” The voice in my head was screaming at me to stop in order to avoid making me an even bigger fool than I already was.
“Hmm, yeah. What’s your name?”
“They call me threes.”, I said, wincing as the pain shot up through my leg once again.
“Pleasure. Not really big with names. But you can call me..”, She looked around before her eyes fell on the old clock, “4 AM.”
“Right, 4 AM. Nice to meet you.”
“Hey, Hey.”, she said, breaking into a smile after what seemed to be an eternity. “No need to be so formal. We’re friends now.”
“Ha, alright then.”
“Right, you best start talking then. Cause if I start, the only way you’ll stop me is by putting a bullet through my head.”
“Well, 4 AM”, I smiled. “Where do I start?”