The frown stayed on my face all the way to the drug store. I didn’t know what the fuck Sophia’s problem was. I didn’t like that Scott was between the two of us either. In fact, it bugged me more than Sophia’s frosty attitude.
See there’s the thing about me: I don’t do emotions. I don’t do trust, and I don’t do emotions. My own emotions confuse me, and they range from angry to violently angry to not angry, with a smattering of confusion or upset along the way. Now if that’s as much as I understand about what goes on in my own head, how am I supposed to understand what’s going on in other peoples’ heads?
Maybe, I reflected while we walked, that was why Joe stuck out to me. That’s why he felt like familiar company – he was so fucking angry all the time, at everything.
Sophia mowed down any zombies that came shambling into her path, and Scott caught any she didn’t. I felt totally useless bringing up the rear with a kid that couldn’t even finish off the guy that killed his parents. But the further we got, the more the world started to swim. I kept tightening the cloth around my arm until it felt so tight it was gonna fall off, but it didn’t seem to be working. I was leaving a steady trail of blood behind us. Drip, drip, drip. I glanced back and it was like a fucking neon sign: “EASY MEAL, THIS WAY!”
By the time we got to this drug store, I was looking at the world through frosted glass. I didn’t even register that there were zombies in there. Well, not until one was on me. It dropped me to the floor like a sack of bones and leant down to make short work of me. I could just about make out its face looming over me, rotten to the point where it was more exposed bone than flesh.
I closed my eyes with a faint groan. I was too tired for this. Its weight bore down on me.
And then it was gone. I forced my eyelids to lift up, seeing someone crushing the walker’s skull with a knife. The mop of messy red hair of my rescuer lingered above me for a moment, a finger pushing his glasses back up to where they belonged. Then he was gone, too, yelling something I couldn’t make out.
I wanted to sleep. Fuck did I want to sleep. I had never felt so fucking tired in all my life. It was like I knew if I shut my eyes again, I’d float off somewhere and have the best nap of my life. I wish I’d had some smack. That would’ve gone nicely with how I was feeling right then.
“Cancer,” a voice said. I think their tone was supposed to be sharp, but everything was muffled, like someone had put a pillow over my ears. “Cancer!” the voice shouted, and a hand connected with my face. I opened my eyes. I didn’t even remember closing them. I couldn’t tell who it was anymore. I remembered that Joe had pulled the zombie off me. I would have to thank him for that when I woke up. “Stay awake!”
“M’sleepy,” I mumbled, wanting so badly to just drift off and sleep for a while. There wasn’t any part of me that was afraid. Anything could’ve happened. Wouldn’t have made a difference right then. There was silence for a moment, and pressure on my arm. It throbbed and ached and stung all at the same time.
“LUCA!” the voice screamed at me, that hand slapping at me again, harder than before.
I flinched. “What did I do now, mom?” I burbled, the words turning to mud in my mouth, even as I tried to get them out. Would be my fucking luck my mom came back as a zombie after all this time, wouldn’t it? I wish she would get it over with.