Day eight of the apocalypse arrived with a normal dull yellow sunrise.
There was nothing to jaw dropping to see anymore, the dead had moulded into the same horror as the days flew by, each zombie seemingly musing together, fusing into one singular threat that emitted the same hissing sound.
Breakfast that morning had was a quick and dull affair about it compared too the previous tension filled meals in the past week. Today everyone stumbled into breakfast with black bags under their eyes as the heavy air in the corridors caused by a rather hot and humid day made the long yawns by the survivors as contagious as the black blood that circulated in the zombies systems below them.
And Antonio's blood, but he hid his panic under his mask and sealed himself in his room all day his head so far into the English to Spanish Dictionary as he tried to learn it off by heart, word to word, even if it got tedious after the first five minutes he ploughed forwards his muscles aching after sitting in the same position as an hour passed.
Yet, he'd sit there as long as he didn't kill anyone.
"She's kinda cute when she sleeps" Heather admitted.
"She's my little angel" Mariam cooed softly rocking her baby daughter back and forth between her bony arms as Heather watched in a sad longing. "She looks so much so her father too" Mariam added as she stroked Sandy's eyebrows their shape resembling her dead husband's high arched brows.
"How can you tell, was your husband a bold squealing girl with one tooth?" Heather asked yet the malice in her voice had died as the days had gone on and Mariam knew it was a light remark as she laughed and muttered back "Honestly he had such a low pain threshold he might as well been" she smiled as she remembered him.
"I bet you miss him every day" Heather said unable to draw up a happier conversation as Mariam looked to the carpet sadly, Heather had been helping her too feed Sandy as they both tried to get the squealing girl to sleep now they had achieved that goal Heather felt a lot more like a natural mother and much more sympathetic towards Mariam. Both of them had grown a lot closer since Heather's "broken arm" incident a few days back.
"His name was Murad" Mariam began the words tumbling out by themselves. Heather hadn't heard this private information before and Mariam didn't know why she was saying it, all she knew was that she had to get it off her chest eventually and it was coming out now.
"He was a charming man, stupid but charming" she admitted as she smiled "Back when I was living in Mumbai in my younger days he used to be one of my childhood friends. I'd remember it so well he'd drag me and a couple of hi friends down to an old gully twice a week just to play some stupid games about skipping stones"
She smiled as Mariam listened on very intrigued.
"Those people that stay with you since the beginning, their the one's you want to spend your life with, me and Murad shared our first kiss in that gully and I still remember it. I still remember every scarp of litter along the banks, I still remember that mossy black stream that flowed through the place, I remember the smell and the birds that chirped in the bare tree's nearby..." she was too lost in her past as she trailed to a halt letting the visual images take back there. Back to a time of no rising dead.
"And, then what happened?" Heather asked, the goth girl's enquiry bringing her back down to earth.
"We grew older, Murad set up a business in textiles" she gazed at the carpet as she said this remembering the dusty carpets in the humid workhouses in India "And we eventually saved up enough money to move out of the slum in Mumbai and settle here, life was well, we got married in the city here, the whole family came and I can still remember every little detail" she mused thinking back to the bright colours of her wedding day, before she had too skip to the present, she'd bore Heather with the details of married life.
"When this thing started they tore our house to shreds, I just remember running with Sandy in my arms with Murad protecting us. One of them came at us as we ran through the streets looking for rescue or anything, it caught him, I felt him fall..." she choked back a sob at this "and just like that he was gone, forty years of my life gone in a second" she was going to cry now but she ploughed forwards anyway.
"I just kept running, eventually I just figured I had to find high ground and I just remember ending up here with those things chasing me..." she was crying now she felt Heather place a comforting arm around her shoulders. Heather let her sob for a few minutes before she regained her voice "I'm sorry... I just... wanted you too understand why I've been so hard on everyone"
"Because she's all you have left of him" Heather concluded gazing at Sandy.
"If anything happened to my baby then I'd stop running" Mariam said as Heather nodded in understanding "Whether I had to kill that woman on the rope, or vote to have that Bradley kicked out I'd regret it but I'd do it too protect my baby" Mariam said as Heather finally began to understand her a lot better as these words had stemmed from the heart.
"I get it, you're a good mother" she smiled as she sat up slowly and began pacing around Mariam's room "I don't think I could make those sacrifices" she uttered sadly as Mariam looked up "If you couldn't then maybe the abortion was the right choice" she said, the abortion being an unspoken taboo between them but now Mariam had brought it up and Heather had too respond.
"I didn't even think twice about it, I just remember going to the doctor's knowing there was no way I was able to raise a child, my mistake not the child's but I killed it anyway" she sank into herself sadly as she lamented on this "At least you knew the baby's father though, Murad helped her raise her, whereas the guy I knew..." she sighed.
"He wasn't going to support you, was he?" Mariam asked.
"Nope, full on stoner and as ugly as me which is saying a great deal" Heather smiled slightly at this "It was a one night stand didn't even know the guy's name but I remember his face, hated his fucking guts he got me pregnant but I never saw him again after that night" her hands curled into fists.
"You're not ugly" Mariam reassured her
"I am, please don't creep around me Mariam just accept me as my damn ugly fat self, I don't care anyway" she said as she folder her arms across her chest "I've never liked myself that much" she finally admitted after a silence, deciding that if Mariam could open up to her she could open up to Mariam.
"Is that why you..." Mariam began gestured to the piercings on Heather's face.
"Let myself go like this?" Heather asked as Mariam nodded slowly "Yeah, my mother didn't care for me and I never seen my dad, left when I was born apparently" she muttered bitterly as she reflected on her misery filled life "I'm sure your mother loved you really, she just struggled to show it" Mariam told her.
"She-hated-me, trying to make it into a barbie doll when she knew I wasn't like that, snapping at my every fault, telling me to lose weight, she wasn't a good parent" she snapped. "She was just probably just worried about you" Mariam urged. "Well she had a very funny way of showing it and how would you know if she really loved me!" Heather snapped at Mariam's differing opinion.
"Well this is coming from a mother and she didn't abort you even after her lover left her, haven't you ever wondered that you're more like your mother than you first thought" Mariam asked as she smiled slightly, Heather began to think about it and then it was her who was confessing all to Mariam the guilt spilling from her chest.
"I wasn't even with her when it started Mariam, I was at a party in this apartment when those freaks started rising, I ran up here and I got lucky I guess, I tried to phone my mum just to check she was alright until my phone was out of battery and know I don't know if she's alive, or dead or one of those things...!"
She broke down into tears this time as Mariam placed her motherly arms around the fat girl as she sobbed into her shoulder. "There, there" she soothed her slightly "It's okay, our families are gone but their looking down on us and it's okay we got each other... look I'll look after you..."
Through their confessions they grew closer, a mother daughter bond forming between them. Mariam finding an old enemy a dear friend while Heather was seeking the motherly love she so desperately craved.