Word Count: 1124
I blocked off the top floor. I was supposed to be the strong one, right? Only, I was just as upset by… that as the others were. There’s nothing wrong with adults taking the easy way out if they want, it’s selfish but that’s their choice. But the kids? No. Shooting a fucking baby, man, that’s wrong.
Rayn didn’t know what to do with himself, but I couldn’t help him. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to talk; everything we’d ever known was gone. All we had was each other and this angry ginger kid we scammed at the casino. Joe will never forgive us, I know that much, and by the looks of it, Rayn had figured that much out for himself too, and was avoiding him.
Both of us had reacted to what we saw up there with a syringe of smack in the bathroom when Joe wasn’t looking. It wasn’t quite enough to keep my head clear, though. The images of that family laid out on the floor like that, lying in a pool of each other’s blood was enough to make anyone feel sick. The smell, the sight, all of it. That’s something that’ll stay with all of us til we die.
Mind you, that could be a lot sooner than we’d all originally planned.
Joe, Rayn and me were all sat in the front room together, not really talking. Joe was sat there all lost in thought. Rayn was staring at the floor. I was looking around at the photo frames on the walls. The paint was a plain cream color and the sofas were dark brown leather. The photos all showed grins and smiles and that newborn baby featured in a couple. This was the house of a rich, happy family.
“They didn’t deserve this,” Joe’s voice broke the silence and my train of thought.
“Huh?” I looked up. I hadn’t really heard what he’d said, I’d been too busy trying to figure out how much I’d have hated this family if I’d met them before they died. If the stuff they’d left behind was anything to go by, they wouldn’t have wanted to step within ten feet of me.
“The family. The baby.”
“Oh. Yeah, well I don’t think any of us really deserve this.” If I deserved any part of it, it was the things I’d had to see in that hospital – it was essentially fucking torture in there. If I’d deserved anything, it was that. I don’t think, though, that anything that’s come since has really been anything anyone deserves.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of this. It’s not physically possible. Zombies aren’t real.” Did the kid miss the memo? Zombies are fucking real now. If we sat around trying to reason why they can’t be real, we’d all die pretty quick. My head was full of heroin and I knew that, why did the sober one have more trouble getting a grasp on the reality we were suddenly living in than a pair of junkies?
“It’d be easier if they didn’t run so fast.” Okay, maybe that was a lie. Rayn didn’t seem like he was all with it. Not that he ever does, but he seemed more absent than usual.
“It’d be easier if it never happened in the first place,” Joe said, apparently oblivious to the fact that Rayn was talking shit because he was high.
Rayn nodded. “But they don’t run in the movies. I think that’s what got so many people killed - they didn’t expect them to run.”
“Stop talking out of your ass, Rayn,” I said irritably, earning a small, apologetic look from him.
“On the contrary, have you seen Dawn of the Dead?” Joe asked.
“Rayn can’t even watch ‘The Birds’ without having nightmares,” I told him. That was a point, actually. How the fuck was Rayn going to cope with this all when he got a phobia of birds after watching that stupid movie? I chewed on my lip slightly, wondering how I might be able to help him deal with it. Smack isn’t going to be around for much longer, definitely not at the rate we were going to get through it. We were both going to have to find a way to cope with this without relying on something that might not always be around. That thought was uncomfortable and something I didn’t want to think about at all. I pushed it away.
“Oh well I guess this is even worse for you isn’t it then?” Joe was saying when I tuned back in. Rayn looked over at him, his eyes wide and scared like a fucking child as he nodded. “Who was Phil? I overheard his name being mentioned.”
“The owner of the casino. He was like my dad,” Rayn told him, doing his level best to hide the fact he was about to burst into tears at the memory he was seeing being played over and over in his head.
“I lost my parents too. I know how it feels,” Joe said, probably trying to help comfort Rayn. He wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Rayn was sniffling and about this close to breaking down in spite of the drugs. I got up and fetched him some tissues, letting him snuggle up against me on the sofa blowing his nose and getting snot and tears all over my shirt. Joe didn’t say anything more after that, really. His mind had already wandered off, and I was left to deal with Rayn’s crying. I was kind of glad of the distraction, though; I was not designed to sit around and wait for something to happen. I wanted to move on, and move somewhere with a purpose for it. We could hardly get out of the country, so that was out.
My mind turned back to that note Joe had read to me. Something about being the closest thing that hospital had gotten to finding a way of stopping this thing. I didn’t know what that meant. Did that mean I was immune? That I should find a hospital that hadn’t been overrun yet? I had no idea. Now I’m not totally heartless or cold, despite what people used to say about me. I knew I should probably go find somewhere that had scientists that could work on finding a cure from what the hospital got. But… There was no way in hell I was going back anywhere like that again. If I went in another hospital ever again, it would be to steal heroin or needles, not to let a doctor prod and poke and inject and dose and make me watch as others died.