Word Count: 436
Aside from a quick, tense, heart-in-your-mouth stop for some gas, we reached Sacramento pretty quickly. When we weren’t picking our way slowly through a maze of abandoned cars and trucks, I was pushing that worthless piece of crap car as fast as it’d go. Starbucks off the eighty on Arden Way, not the one in the mall, the next one, he’d told me. Be quick about it, he’d said.
A ninety pound sack of tears and skinny jeans threw himself at me, latching onto me like a koala bear, sobbing way too loudly right in my ear. I hadn’t seen him hiding out by the dumpster round the back of the Starbucks. He’d said to meet him there, but I guess something he didn’t like the look of went by not too long before we got there, ‘cause when I got out the car there was no one there.
“Thank god you’re still alive,” he wailed into my neck, fighting gravity to stay where he was, clinging to me. “I thought you’d be turned into one of those things for sure,” he pulled back his head and looked at my face, touching it and turning it in the light so he could inspect it.
“I’m harder to get rid of than that,” I smiled weakly, “you should know that by now.”
“Yeah,” he laughed, “yeah I should.”
“C’mon, we need to find somewhere to hide out,” I carried him back to the car, hoping Joe wouldn’t flip out when he realized who Rayn was.
“Who’s the ginger kid?” Rayn whispered when he noticed, a couple meters from the car.
“Um, he’s Joe. Remember the English family we cheated at poker in Phil’s?” He shook his head. “Well, he sure as shit remembers us. Be nice, his parents got bit in front of him today.”
“Look at you, being the nice guy,” Rayn giggled, dropping down as we reached the car.
Joe didn’t say much to Rayn, really. He recognized him, but I think he was too worn out to have much to say about anything anymore. We drove slowly through the city’s center. There were a lot of zombies milling around. A few of them turned their heads in interest, but as long as I kept the pace slow, they didn’t seem to care too much. Both Joe and Rayn were flat back against their seats, holding their breath like a zombie would notice them quicker if they dared to exhale.
I didn’t like it much either, but I took a wrong turning and there was no way for me to turn around anywhere.