Word Count: 972
When I woke up, Cancer was gone.
At first I thought he was maybe hiding in his beloved bathroom but after it became apparent that it was empty, I started to panic slightly. Had he slipped out to get more drugs when neither of us was looking? He knew that it wasn’t safe out there why would he risk his life for more medication? I heaved a sigh and grabbed my gun, prepared to go out into the hospital to drag him back before Eloise tapped me gently on the shoulder.
I knew right then exactly what she was talking about. He hadn’t wandered off; he had left permanently. God I was fucking stupid. It was my entire fault he had left; I was the one who had been too impatient with him, I was the one who was fighting him when he was in the worst state. I was a terrible human being and now he was gone forever and I’d never get the chance to apologize. He was the one who had saved my life at the start, if it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d be one of those sorry corpses wandering the streets.
I sat back down on the sofa and let my head fall in my hands. I knew he’d leave I guess, a small part of me knew it. I just didn’t know it’d be so soon.
People left me alone for the rest of the day, they left me to my own thoughts and I wished for a distraction. I couldn’t muster up the energy to speak to anyone though. Guilt ran through me, twisting my insides and torturing my conscience.
‘We need more supplies,’ David announced some time later. I stood up, a little too quickly.
‘I’ll go with you,’ Eloise said.
David nodded. ‘We need to keep the numbers low so it’s quicker to manoeuvre round the hospital.’
‘Okay, what do we need?’
‘Well we’re running low on bottled water, we need another flashlight and some batteries.’
‘Is that it?’
‘Try and find a radio too, it’s unusual we haven’t managed to come across one yet.’
‘What use is a radio going to be?’
‘Joe, first rule of a zombie apocalypse: always carry a radio with you,’ he grinned. ‘For emergency broadcasts and whatnot.’
‘We’re past that stage now,’ I frowned. ‘There won’t be any broadcasts.’
‘We’ll try and get one,’ Eloise interrupted. ‘Come on Joe.’
I grabbed my gun for a second time and helped her pull the objects away from the door. It felt like I was leaving the small confines of this room too often recently. Did they know that I’d leave it easier than any of them? Did they realize I had nothing left to live for?
Eloise and I walked in silence, always on the lookout. The hallways were a little clearer and I was beginning to think maybe the zombies had moved on, if that was even possible. A distinct moan coming from round a little further down had me bringing my gun upwards and rounding the corner a little too quickly to be greeted with one of the zombies. I shot it in the head easily.
‘Joe try and be a little more careful,’ Eloise chided. ‘There could have been a lot more of them.’
I ignored her. What good would it do biding our time?
We made it without problem to the little shop the hospital had and managed to snag a couple of bottles of water. We thought about clearing it out completely to save us journeying to and from risking our lives each time one of us got a little thirsty but decided against this. What if there were other people after we had left? We also managed to pick up another flashlight and some batteries but had less luck with the radio, just like I thought we would. Where the hell were we going to get a radio from?
‘We should try one of the wards,’ Eloise said, reading my mind. ‘They usually have radios at the stations there.’
‘Ladies first,’ I gestured ahead of me, making sure we weren’t being followed.
The hospital wasn’t that big but it was practically foreign to us; we hadn’t wandered into this section before. But just as Eloise had predicted, a large round nurse’s station stood beyond some double doors in Ward 5. Unfortunately for us, the place was crammed full of the walking dead. We were ambushed almost immediately and if Eloise hadn’t noticed the crawling thing on the floor, it would have taken a huge chunk out of my ankle.
I fired the gun at it, watching as it jerked and collapsed for a final time against the floor.
‘Joe we gotta get out of here!’ Eloise yelled.
We ran back out the way we had come and I slammed the doors shut again. Eloise grabbed a long metal pole off the floor and we lodged it through the handles so the doors couldn’t open. They shook and shuddered against the pressure the corpses were putting against them from the other side. The pole trembled and we decided then were a really good time to get moving again. We ran through the corridors, almost to the other side of the hospital before Eloise skidded to a stop outside the children’s ward. I didn’t want to go in there at all, seeing zombies were horrific enough but seeing them when they were only kids?
She picked something off the floor and my heart jolted, but I didn’t allow myself to get my hopes up.
‘It’s a radio!!’
‘Let’s just get out of here, we can study it back in the staff room.’ I grabbed her arm and pulled her along.