So Cancer... Luca... whatever his name was, left without me, even though he’d said he was gonna take me with him. I guess he’d been lying to try and convince Sophia. The whole shouting match kinda shook me up a bit, I mean, I guess I’d never come across anyone so unbalanced before. I dread to think what he would’ve done to Sophia if I hadn’t walked in.
I pushed it out my mind. Sophia stormed off and the next thing I knew, Sophia was walking out the front door, leaving me with this kid. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wanted to scream, or cry, or something, but there was this kid staring at me, silently asking ‘what do we do now?’ I had to look after her, somehow.
We barred the front door again, securing the house. I felt claustrophobic and instantly wanted to get out. Instead, I put on a brave face for the kid and tried to keep her entertained, hoping like fuck that someone would come back. I’d only just found them, I couldn’t be dealing with having to fend for myself and this kid alone. I think we both felt thoroughly abandoned.
“I wouldn’t be so sure it’s a cure, as such, but the point is I’m not gonna turn into one of them,” I said slowly, so they’d get it all in their thick fucking skulls.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it worked on me, that doesn’t mean it’ll work on everyone. We haven’t exactly had a chance to run any trials. The world’s kind of gone to shit, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
“We noticed,” the big guy scowled at me, not too impressed with the sarcasm.
“Anyway, if you could just let me take Joe back to the house, we’ll leave you alone. I want my gun back, though,” I held out my hand for it. The big guy eyed my arm reaching towards him and he took half a step back, like he was physically repulsed by the state of it.
“You think we’re gonna let you go anywhere, when you’ve just told us you might have a cure to this thing?” someone at the back spoke up. All eyes turned on her. She was kinda tall, dark haired, dark skinned like the big guy in front of me.
“She’s right,” the big guy said, “we can’t let you be wandering off with a potential cure, now.” I glanced over at Joe. I get that he said it to stop them from killing me – though I’m not sure why he cares, if he wandered off and apparently told these people he was alone – but now they were going to hold me hostage instead, and I liked that even less. I wanted to get back to Sophia, if she was even still there.
“I’ve got to get back, okay?” I said, as calmly as I could manage, “keep the gun, I’ve gotta get back.”
“To what? A town filled with walkers? Sorry man, I’m not letting a cure walk off like that.” I wasn’t entirely sure what was going through my head – if anything. It was like there was a moment of total stillness.
And then my fist flew into his stomach. He doubled over, winded, and before the others had time to react, I bolted. Fuck it, Joe could stay there. He’d said he was alone, well he can fucking be alone.
“Get him!” the big guy gasped as I sprinted back towards the woods. I was running on pure adrenaline. I couldn’t remember the last time I ate, my withdrawals were making my head fuzzy, I had no idea what direction I was running in. All that mattered was that I outran them.
I don’t know where they all came from. The town was so quiet during the day, but when night started to fall, all we could hear was groans. I’m sure they could smell us through the walls. Arianne was asleep on a couch in the front room when they first turned up in the garden.
One moaning bang on the window was all that was needed to wake her up. She squeaked and sat up, looking around. I was sat on the other couch, one of the guns they left behind in my hand. It wouldn’t be enough to save us, but I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that.
Arianne started to cry, scared shitless by the noises surrounding the house. I tried to shush her, sitting with her, hugging her and feeling my shirt grow a wet patch as she sobbed. This wasn’t any kind of a life for a little kid.
The front door rattled in its frame and she screamed into my chest. The sound carried and the walkers that heard doubled their efforts to get in. My heart sank.
“Do you know if there’s a basement in this house?” I asked in a whisper. She nodded and I told her to go down there, that I’d be right behind her. She ran off down stairs as I dragged the couch towards the front door, hoping it would help hold it shut. At least for a bit longer. A window shattered and the smell drifted in. It made me gag, it was so strong.
My head felt like it was full of cotton wool and white noise. The last thing I remembered was running. I tried to get up, but that wasn’t happening. Not with handcuffs locking my wrists together, and what I guess was rope around my ankles.
The big guy was speaking, but it wasn’t directed at me. When I looked around, no one was looking at me.
“He’s got a fever. You were lying about the cure,” he was accusing, and he was pissed.
“I wasn’t,” Joe stammered, sounding scared. I couldn’t see him, people were blocking my view, their backs to me.
I let out a groan, too groggy to be able to make words come out of my mouth. A couple people near me jumped about a mile in the air, looking around pretty fucking sharpish, like they expected me to be a zombie suddenly.
“He’s awake,” one of them said, a girl, no older than Joe. She was kinda pretty, I could see why he’d lied about being alone. The big guy looked over at me.
“How’s his fever?” he asked. The girl gingerly put her hand on my forehead. I wanted to go to bite it just to scare her, get her away from me, but that was a pretty sure fire way of getting myself shot.
“Pretty bad,” she grimaced. I glared at her.
“Fuck off,” I muttered, closing my eyes against the nausea. “S’nothing.”
“You’ve been bit, you have a fever; you’re turning,” I wasn’t sure who said that. I was too busy trying not to throw up. Not that there was anything to throw up.
“S’just the morphine,” I mumbled.
“Morphine?” I would’ve answered the question, I really would, but my excess stomach acid was fighting its way out of my body.
“Withdrawals,” I gasped out when I was done, “ran out of morphine. Withdrawals...” another mouthful of acid, “are a fever and sickness.”