Word Count: 1,024
Cancer was convinced I was a hallucination and I couldn’t really be arsed to try and persuade him differently. He didn’t listen to a word I said anyway, even when I had apologized for bringing Rayn into the conversation. He’d come back to reality soon, I just had to wait. Eloise seemed to be helping him better than I had, she talked to him often and made sure he stayed in the same room as the others and even tried to get him to interact. That didn’t really go down well and he ended up locking himself in the bathroom for an hour.
He was still a fucking mess but he was doing mildly better with each day that passed. Tensions ran high a lot of the time; people were getting sick and tired of one another. I learned that Carol was an impatient old woman that hated Cancer; Cancer was a racist junkie (this part wasn’t new to me) who hated David (this also wasn’t new), Richard was fiercely protective of Alicia, to the point where he’d hardly let her socialize with anyone and David dedicated each second he had in making sure we were fortified well and stocked up plenty. I could tell he was in the army. I could also tell Eloise was used to dealing with people like Cancer; she seemed to know what she was doing. She made sure he stayed hydrated and provided a sympathetic ear. This annoyed me a little though, I had known Cancer longer and I was incapable of helping him. All I did was grow impatient with him and when that happened we ended up fighting.
I had managed to stock up on the ammo and reload my gun, just like Cancer had taught me. We had brought some of it inside when we came into the hospital and kept the rest hidden away just in case we needed to make a quick getaway. I wanted to talk about our options; we couldn’t stay in the hospital forever could we? I was certain that one of us would end up killing the other if we spent too much time in this confined space. We needed something to do. The hospital was a safe place though and we couldn’t guarantee that there would be more buildings like this one.
I was getting bored and itchy and I knew I wasn’t the only one. People snapped at one another a little more than necessary and Cancer was the worst for it. He took his anger out on those around him; the only people he didn’t yell at were Alicia and Eloise. He snapped at me a couple of times but I just yelled back at him. I wasn’t the best person right now; I was far from myself and didn’t have the patience to take his shit.
I was sat on the hard sofa watching Carol try to tidy up a little bit whilst listening to the sounds of Cancer retching in the bathroom.
David came and sat down next to me.
‘I think if I stay here much longer I’ll end up shooting myself,’ I said.
He gave me this real weird look and I had to assure him I wasn’t serious. He was probably still shook up from our suicidal thoughts back in the other room a few days ago. I couldn’t imagine he’d had many of those before. He seemed to be a capable, strong figure that would always fight his way out. I was used to being weak though, it’s shameful to say that it wasn’t the first suicidal thought I’ve had, before the apocalypse even.
‘We have to find something to do, even if we are surviving right now the boredom and insanity will get us before those creatures do,’ David echoed my thoughts exactly. We were well stocked up here with bottled water, ammo and food but we had nothing else to do. It felt like any previous hobbies we may have had would fall short right now and would become as foreign to use as when we had first started them.
I sat there then and tried imagining what we had done before all of this. I used to like reading, writing and anything to do with literature. Cancer’s only hobby seemed to be scamming people in the casinos with Rayn or shooting heroin into his veins.
Carol struck me as the sort of person who liked to criticize anything that moved. Maybe she had a really low minimum-wage job which was unfulfilling for her so she pretended that her opinion was important elsewhere. Or she could have been a pathetic small-store manager that got her kicks from telling others what to do. I imagined her bossing people around and grimaced.
Richard, though he kept to himself, seemed to be a smart man. He had suggested fortifying the door and taping up the windows to avoid giving off our whereabouts. He wasn’t particularly interesting looking; I guessed maybe he was an accountant.
I imagined Alicia had a lot of friends. She was a pretty bubbly child and a hint of what I assumed was her old personality would shine through every now and then, mostly around Cancer. She’d smile and cheer him up and talk to him about her old friends.
It sounds awful but I only then remembered Tammy. After she had died and Cancer had shot her in the head to prevent her reanimation we had wrapped her in a couple of hospital sheets and left her body locked up in one of the smaller rooms. I know that doesn’t sound too nice but it’s all we could do; we couldn’t afford the luxury of a proper burial, not with those creatures swarming around outside. We all said a few words, even Cancer and I and we hadn’t known her long at all. I wasn’t even sure if I had exchanged more than a couple of words to her. How she had gotten into this small group bitten and unnoticed was beyond me; we’d have to be a hell of a lot more careful in the future.