"Okay, three, two, one!"
Quincey, Delilah and Antonio let their tiny nails loose from their fingers as they fell into the masses of undead below, out of the three of them only Antonio's went into the gaping black mouth of one of the undead. "Yeah!" Antonio bellowed his fists pounding on thin air. "Yeah" being one of the few words he had picked up on in English. Although after Stanley's prank earlier today, he trusted no one but himself, to teach himself English.
"He seems to be rather good at this" Delilah told Quincey.
"Rather good!? Delilah his got a fucking deadeye and then some!"
Delilah scowled as Quincey looked back to Antonio "It's like having a baby brother" she thought rolling her eyes at his immature behaviour and mannerisms. Yet she liked him, better than she liked anyone else here. Mainly because of the fact, he was so... open.
No one else had been this kind to her. Yesterday Quincey had sat and listened to her trivial knowledge of the dead, with utmost attention his blue eyes wide in interest, like those of a child. Nodding at every fact she listed. Which Delilah didn't find too interesting.
Besides Delilah didn't know too much anyhow, other than the things her manager had told her to report about along with other things she overheard.
"... Their called the Black Dead apparently, blood turns black but no one knows why..."
"... There have been cases worldwide, the first reported in America..."
"... Their eyes are white, because of something affecting the brain and optic nerve..."
"... It Can spread through bites, or any liquid, it only takes one drop..."
"It can take 30 seconds, up to an hour to turn..."
Other than how long it took to turn the rest of the group knew the rest, Quincey had no trouble echoing her statement to the rest of the group, in which no one was surprised. They all knew she was a reporter anyhow.
Yet, it felt nice letting some information off her chest.
Today, she joined in with Quincey's "Game", although when Quincey first demonstrated what they would be doing. She branded it "The Most ludicrous idea since Golf".
"Don't like Golf then?" he asked cocking one eyebrow upwards. "No, it bores me" She yawned. "Well rest assured this game! Shall not leave you disappointed!" Quincey exclaimed merrily.
To her great surprise, the simple idea of chucking a few small nails into "The Black Dead's" mouths was a rather entertaining prospect. Despite her missing every single one, it seemed to be effort that made it entertaining to her.
Eventually Antonio got bored, and muttered "See ya" to Quincey (another phrase he had picked up on from Quincey himself) as he departed.
"I wonder why he still wears that mask?" Delilah thought aloud. Antonio was never seen without it, in six days and had so far failed to provide a rational explanation to as why he insisted on wearing it every second of the day. "Maybe he wants to spare us all the sight of his hideous face" Quincey joked drawing up a mock answer.
Delilah laughed curtly at this, as she tried to throw another rusting nail to the abyss below her, again it missed, she grew rather frustrated the game was fun but she wanted the thrill of finally gaining one on target
"I can't seem to get one!" She huffed in annoyance, Antonio and Quincey made it look so easy. "Well no wonder, you're doing it all wrong" Quincey said mildly.
"Doing what wrong?" Delilah asked.
"Everything" he said, he slipped up behind her. Delilah drew into herself as Quincey grasped her arms. "Here" he instructed, Delilah wasn't really paying any attention to what he was saying at all, she was uncomfortable at how Quincey how broken the bounds of personal space.
"Relax your shoulders like that..." Delilah felt her tensed shoulders loosen a little as Quincey used his palms to force them downwards, "Relax your arms a little" he said, bending Delilah's rigid arms so they bent slightly in the middle "and spread your legs apart, it will help with balance" Quincey's last instruction got Delilah rather flustered, deciding not to be so childish she coughed to try and clear her blush, as Quincey stepped back he muttered "That feel better?".
In all honesty Delilah felt rather exposed and uncomfortable, yet she couldn't lie, she hadn't even realised how tense her body had been. Quincey had quite literally made her more relaxed just by positioning her body in a different stance. "Yes" she admitted.
"Now throw one"
Delilah did so, finding her balance more steady she was able to lock her aim onto one of the rotting mouths below her. Aiming her nail she threw it with force, rather than tumble violently like her last set of nails, this one soared through the air and into the mouth she had been aiming at.
"Sweet!" Quincey praised her.
Delilah beamed at him, Quincey suddenly felt rather warm realising how attractive she was and how that dazzling smile from the poker faced girl was for him and no one else.
"Thanks, that really helped!" She gasped rather breathlessly proud of herself at finally hitting one of those things on target. It turned out Quincey's advice had actually aided her in an aspect.
"No problemo" This time it was Quincey who was burning crimson, Delilah was too pre-occupied aiming at the dead to notice, as he examined her every feature, her curves, her smile, her hair, her eyes, there was no doubt about it that Quincey was very slowly starting to develop a crush.
He got lost in his own daydream like state thinking about the things Delilah could do to him, until a faint melody of "Pop Goes The Weasel" floated to his ears.
"ROSE JONES!" He bellowed.
"Crap" Rose muttered, she emerged from the door behind him with Stanley in tow and the two sprinted off down the hall as Quincey gave chase. Delilah laughed her socks off, her cold front, melting in front of people she could now dare to call "Friends".
Dinner that evening was a lot more cosy that it had been a few nights ago.
Tensions were still obvious running like rifts through the crevasses within the group. Yet gathered at the sides of these crevasses, clumps of the survivors were scattered in their only little groups.
Victoria oversaw them all. Heather and Mariam had been chatting closely since that morning, getting on a lot better than they had previously.
A welcome change.
Quincey was an open friendly type, he had drawn that formal reporter Delilah and the mysterious Spanish man Antonio too him. Stanley and Rose seemed to orbit around him as they played their childish games. Right now, Victoria overheard how Delilah was apparently very good at that game he had invented.
Victoria was tempted to play herself.
Then there was Stephanie who was scowling at chips of Quincey's conversation which she overheard. While Oliver had chatting on merrily too Ian. Ian seemed to be recovering from the previous days and he returned to his former, kind-hearted and level-headed self. They chatted on, not noticing her as she scooped up two dishes.
She sighed in sadness as she approached the door. The scene at the table was almost perfect. Almost. There were just two people missing who Victoria had grown very fond of.
"Dinner's here boys!" She tried to sound cheery, but the sight of a frail Bradley made her optimism dwindle and die in her throat. "Thanks" Camden uttered. He took a plate for himself and handed one to Bradley. Victoria had to get back to the table yet she felt horrible for them, the two survivors in front of her seemed to have the most golden hearts out of everyone here and were suffering the most. Bradley seemed comatose while Camden had kept an eye on him all day. Never leaving his side.
Even though Bradley had killed his mother, Victoria's heart bled for the boy. Too her, he was just an suffering, sickly eleven year old. Not a murderer.
In fact, she felt something off about Ian's story since the get-go.
Victoria left silently, a heavy air around the elder woman.
Camden ate his meal, he was starving his body felt sore from sitting in same place all day, keeping an eye on Bradley. He looked so sickly to Camden that if he curled up and slept it could mean he would never wake up.
After finishing his share of food, he looked up to find Bradley hadn't touched his.
"Bradley you gotta eat" Camden begged.
"I don't deserve to eat, I'm going to hell" he muttered sadly.
Camden couldn't take any more of this sad muttering, he wanted more than anything to break this boy out of his stupor, he realised that he kind gestures weren't working and that a show of "Tough Love" was going to be needed along with a touch of honesty, he wanted Bradley to see him as a trustworthy guy not an overly- friendly fairly creepy stranger.
"Look, you might have killed your mum, but you wanna know something!?" His spoke harsh and fast and this roused Bradley out of his stupor slightly. When Camden spoke next, his tone was softer "You know, when I look you Bradley I kinda see myself when I was eleven I was just like you. I even had the hair"
He laughed to himself after this. Bradley didn't see the humorous side of it.
"Anyway" he continued "You can't just stop living because you feel bad about something, you gotta keep going. I've... I've done a lot of bad stuff Bradley and I know how you feel". Bradley now seemed transfixed by Camden "So, If you've done bad things, then you'll go to hell too why bother being happy?" he asked in wonder.
"Why bother? Bradley, it's called living, just a few days back, I left a kid, younger than you to die. Then, when the others wanted to chuck you out I realised I couldn't make the same mistake, so for both our sake's eat your Goddamn food, or I'll force it down your throat!"
This display of "Tough Love" from Camden seemed to rouse Bradley to start nibbling at his food. Yet Camden still had one question on his tongue.
"Where'd you get the idea you're going to hell from?" he asked.
Bradley look panicked for a second, he gulped down his food and turned to Camden "I just know I am" he muttered, his black eyes not meeting Camden's green glare.
"Bradley, you're not going to hell, so get that stupid idea out of your head" He said this light heartedly.
For a moment Bradley looked blanker than Camden had ever seen him, then slowly but surely he dissolved into another round of fresh sobs, most likely realising something from Camden's light tone and firm honesty behind his words.
"Let it out kid" Camden muttered and so he did, sobbing himself hoarse after a while Camden finally drew the nerve to extend his arms "Come here" he said clearly.
To his surprise Bradley did, sobbing into Camden's shoulder. As Camden hugged the boy tightly.
Feeling like he had his own son in his arms.
Yet as Bradley cried himself dry, Camden couldn't help but realise he had avoided a direct response to his question. Where had Bradley drawn such extreme beliefs from?
Camden had a very good idea.
It seemed to get darker in the flat and that wasn't only because it was getting later into the night.