Rachael Higson stared at the large, bald man who had now spotted her. She had watched him for the past hour, listened to the magic he wove through his guitar, and witnessed his apparent ease at destroying the zombies. He scared her. She watched as he picked up the giant knife again and began to walk toward her.
She kicked Gavin awake and pointed out the window. When he saw the man coming, Gavin shook off the last traces of sleep, grabbed his fire axe and hopped down from the van, closely followed by Rachael. The man stopped. He began tossing the knife from hand to hand again, as he had done while waiting for the zombies.
“Who are you?” Gavin asked the man.
“The name’s Charlie, Charlie Evans. But people call me Chaz”.
“Chaz. Well Chaz, I am Gavin, and this is my twin sister Rachael”.
“Have either of you been bitten?” Gavin was taken aback by the sudden change of topic. He shook his head, so did Rachael.
“Has your blood come into contact with one of theirs?” Again, they both shook their heads.
“What about you?” Gavin asked Chaz. The other man shook his head. “Well, that’s good. Gavin lowered his axe. The other man continued tossing the knife. After staring at them for quite a while longer, he turned and went toward his SUV again.
Rachael poked Gavin. “Gav, do you think we should ask him if we could go with him? It might be easier with three than with two... and he is good at k-killing those things.... I saw him fighting them earlier while you slept”.
“I thought we agreed it was just going to be me and you Rach?”
“I know we did, but I have a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get”.
Gavin stared at her for a moment. “If it’s what you really want”. They walked over to the SUV. Chaz turned to them and leaned against the car. He waited for them to speak.
“Excuse me, Mr. Chaz-“ Rachael began.
“Sorry, Chaz, we were wondering, could we go with you? Would you take us on? It’s just, it’s hard out here, just the two of us. I’m sure it’s even harder for you on your own. Wouldn’t it be better for us to join together?”
“I am quite alright on my own. I do not need extra passengers”.
Rachael slumped down, a wave of sadness hitting her. She saw Gavin tense. He did not like it when people showed no respect, or when people treated her badly. The axe raised slightly in his hands again. He looked like he was about to say something, when they all stopped.
The monkey she had seen with Chaz just before he spotted her was at her feet, tugging on the hem of her skirt. It leapt up onto her shoulder and poked at her head. Then it wrapped its tail about her neck and sat down on her shoulder, staring at Chaz.
The man stared into the monkey’s eyes for several seconds. It was as if they could communicate. Chaz looked at Rachael, then at Gavin.
“Get your things. We leave in five minutes”.
Rachael jumped with the delight. “What made you change your mind?”
“If Bubbles thinks you are trustworthy, that’s good enough for me. Maybe we will have a use for each other. I expect you to pull your own weight, and not to drag me down. I will not hesitate if it means forfeiting my life”.
Rachael and Gavin both heard the message clearly. They went silently to the van and gathered their few possessions, then walked back to Chaz and climbed aboard the SUV.