Word Count: 906
I watched Cancer punch the wall in anger and storm outside. I was getting used to his temper though. Rayn and I sat in silence for a few moments before he spoke. He sounded surprised.
‘Well, that’s new.’
I figured he was referring to the fact that Cancer hadn’t killed me for calling him a “fucking junkie.” I hadn’t meant to say the words out loud, only in my mind, but I was tired and wasn’t thinking.
‘I have to admit, I’m a little surprised.’
‘He must like you,’ he gave a small smile.
‘He has a funny way of showing it.’ I heaved a sigh. ‘I think we’re all just tired and annoyed.’ I, for one, was getting fed up of people constantly dying in front of me. Even people I didn’t like.
‘Well he’s always been a bit like that really.’ Rayn settled down on the floor and I followed his move. The ground was hard and cold. I spotted a bloodstain just to my right as well.
‘How did you two become friends?’ I asked, to try and get my mind off it. Mind you, the things I had seen in the past few days surpassed a little blood on the floor.
‘He tried to steal a sand pit from me.’
‘How did that turn out?’
‘His gran forced him to play nice. Shame she died when he was still young; he might’ve turned out a lot more balanced.’ Rayn had revealed a little of Cancer’s upbringing but it came as no surprise that someone close to him had died. You didn’t turn out that fucked up without major trauma.
‘Who knows?’ I stood up again, not wanting to stay still. I wandered aimlessly round the aisles, browsing. The place had been relatively untouched, no signs of any struggle or fight (except for the blood on the floor, I was a little surprised at that actually, how come there wasn’t more blood?)
‘Either way, if he likes you, he probably won’t hurt you.’ He smiled. ‘He might scare the crap out of you sometimes, though.’
Cancer had already proven that many times.
‘That’s good to know, I guess.’ I picked up the newspaper and read the headline, laughing once humourlessly. ‘”Mystery Virus Sends Public Into Panic”. How about that?’ I chucked it back down again. Panic was an understatement. Full on bone crunching fear was a little more accurate. You know the fear that seeps into every cell of your body, every crevice of your mind?
Rayn scuttled over and picked the newspaper back up again, reading the article in more depth.
I went over to the refrigerated section and looked at the various drinks. ‘Hmm.’ I picked one up. ‘Do you reckon this is safe to drink?’ I didn’t know if vodka had a sell-by date, I didn’t know the first thing about alcohol.
‘Might be. Sniff it.’
I uncapped it and sniffed deeply, regretting it immediately. The sharp smell hit me right in the face and my eyes watered profusely. I quickly put it back.
Rayn didn’t seem to notice, he was still reading the article.
‘What does it say?’ I asked, trying not to choke on the remnants of the vodka smell.
‘It’s just talking about how they approved human experimentation and that they’re looking for a vaccine. Stuff to try and get people not to panic, basically.’
‘It didn’t work so well did it?’
I turned round and picked up the bottle again, slightly curious. ‘Do you think to yourself of all the things you’re going to miss out on? Like all the things that you might have done had the world not gone to shit?’
Rayn looked up from the article. ‘Kind of. I try not to think about it.’
I unscrewed the lid of the bottle and dipped my little finger in. The pungent smell hit me again and the taste was even worse. I scrunched my nose up. ‘That’s vile.’
Rayn giggled and took a massive swig of it.
I tried to look a little braver but only managed a tiny sip. ‘That stuff burns my throat, it’s like acid.’ It was true, I could feel it on my chest.
‘You get past that when you’ve had enough to drink.’
By this point Rayn had opened one of the big litre bottles and had it for himself. I suddenly wanted to be carefree and not think about any consequences. I took a massive swig and nearly choked as it singed my insides. It didn’t taste appealing at all.
‘Are you supposed to mix this with something? It really isn’t nice on its own.’ I realized I sounded like a little bitch. This was accentuated when Rayn suggested some soda.
I browsed the shelf for something else to drink instead. Rayn seemed happy enough with all the vodka to himself. My eyes scanned glass bottle after glass bottle until I pulled down a darker one with the word Jagermeister written across it. I unscrewed the lid again and took a mouthful.
‘Mildly better,’ I noted out loud. Then the aftertaste hit me. ‘Perhaps not. Why do people do this for fun?’
Rayn giggled again. ‘Because when you’re drunk you stop caring how it tastes.’
‘I guess the laws in America don’t apply anymore,’ I took another swig of it, trying to let loose a little bit and have fun for the first time in a long time.