“You fucking bitch!” I screamed, as rage consumed me.
I slammed her to the ground and started to stomp her chest in, the ribs of the young preteen cracked from the force, but she still clawed at me unfazed. I looked down and saw the steak knife where I’d dropped it, I picked it up and started dicing away at her face, trying to breach the skull. I caught her through the eye socket and it lodged in deep, the body continued to twitch but she was immobilized. I felt the sting on my arm from the bite, it burned and the dark tar seaped from the wound. My head started to spin, and my heart sped up, adrenaline igniting my fury and surely forcing the infection to course faster through my blood.
“You killed me! You bitch! You fucking killed me! You killed me! You killed me!” I couldn’t stop repeating it as I screamed, I stood and began to stomp what was left of her face.
I was infected, I would become one of these things, my fate had been sealed. I crushed that girls skull, till the fragments and blood soaked the ground beneath her. I felt light headed, as a wave of blood rush to my brain, and I soon felt myself going down. I mumbled out a cry for help, before my face hit the ground.
I woke up puking over the side of the bed, the whole right side of my body burned and all my muscles felt tight, the wound on my arm burned something fierce. I looked around with blurry and burning eyes, to see that I was in the guest room, Granny and Patience stood by the door and Tzar ran over with a bucket.
“Why did you bring me in the house?! You should have killed me! Do it! Do it now, before it’s too late!?” I yelled at him, tears in my eyes, thou I wasn’t sure if they were from emotion or the irritation.
“Wha..what? I can’t do that, no Loki… Maybe we can fix it.. I..can’t .. I don’t know what to do right now?!” He screamed, tears streaking down his face, as he tried to clean me up. “Just tell me what to do.. I’ll do it, it swear! No back talk, just.. Just don’t die Loki.”
He was in all out hysterics at this point, and I didn’t blame him, but we didn’t have much time. I struggled at first to get out of the bed, the right side of my body felt like a bunch of charley horses spread throughout. I walked over to my bag and pulled out the gun Hunter gave me, I checked the Mag. and took the safety off, and I turned to him.
“Here, you have to step up and do what needs to be done.. I don’t want to become one of those things!” I cried, shoving the gun into his hands.
I dropped to my knees and closed my eyes, I wasn’t ready, but then again, I don’t think I’d ever be ready for something like this. Knowing I was going to die, made me realize how much precious time I’d wasted. I knelt there waiting for it all to end, but it never came, I opened my eyes to see Balthazar just standing there, finger on the trigger. I knew he couldn’t do it, Tzar wasn’t a killer, he was tough but he didn’t have that in him. I gagged, as I threw up another volley of the black tar, it burned as it made its way from my stomach to my throat. I pushed myself to my feet and ran towards the bathroom. Once inside, I slammed and locked the door, hoping when I arose, I couldn’t break through the door.
“Loki, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t.. You’re my only family left, the only one that looked out for me, I can t kill you.” Loki yelled through the door, I could hear him and Patience crying.
“Don’t come in, please, whatever you do, just don’t! Hide somewhere, like the attic, and wait for Hunter and Caiden to return.” I told him as I climbed into the tub, retching my guts out, my throat raw from vomiting so uncontrollably.
I curled up into a ball and shivered, as a chill came over my body, like a deep freeze. I was soaked in sweat and vomit, and my wounded arm burned like a hot iron laid upon the skin. Shivering, escalated into a full on seizure, my limbs flailing in the tub. I felt a searing pain in my head, behind the eyes, that became too much, causing me to black out.
I didn’t wake up again, till the door was kicked open, the light from the next room caused me to groan. The exposure burned my eyes, but when they cleared, I stared down the barrel of Hunters gun. I could see his eyes were wet with tears, that continued their descent down his cheeks. I slowly rose to my feet, best I could in the tub, my body felt stiff and my joints ached. Hunter just watched me, ready to pull the trigger, I saw his finger twitch a few times but he never let off the shot. The closest he came, was when I reached for the faucet, turning on the water as hot as I could stand.
“Ba..Babbitt?” He whispered, the shock registering on his face.
I couldn’t answer him, my throat felt like it had been scorched with boiling water, even so, I still winced when the water touched my wound. I reached up and the tar like substance, rinsed free, but it stung as it was cleansed by the water. After rinsing my mouth out of the wretched taste, I started to remove my shirt, but Hunter’s hands were right there to guide me, lifting it over my head, he helped me remove my shoes and socks, and my jeans. I was able to get my underwear down by myself, but my joints and ligaments made me feel as if I were some un-oiled tin man. I wrapped my arms around myself, as I let the water cascade over me, my dreads heavy from the weight of the water. I just hugged myself as tight as my hurt arm would allow. The water washed down my face, but I still knew I was crying, even though the tears couldn’t be detected. That’s when I felt Hunter’s arms wrap around me, his body warm, where mine was frigid and cold.
“I had thought I’d lost you..” He spoke softly to me, as he reached over and closed the shower curtain. “Tzar said you were bit, and locked yourself in the bathroom, he was hysterical… Still is.”
“How long have I been out? What time is..” I croaked out hoarsely.
“Shh.. Don’t try to talk. It’s almost midnight, we’ve been back for about thirty minutes..I had to work up the courage to come up here, then I had to convince all of them downstairs to let me come up.” He told me, as he helped to rinse me clean of soil.
We stood under the warm caress of the water, me leaning into his body, using its strength for support. I felt weak and fragile, the crippling effects of the bite, left me cold as a kiss from from death. I pulled tighter to Hunter, trying in vain to feed from his warmth, I looked up into his eyes pleading for him to show me I was still here… my body still alive. His lips landed softly on mine, his grip around my waist, became tighter. I turned and wrapped my arms around his neck, as he slid his hand down to my ass, gripping the fullness of the flesh. I groaned deep into his mouth, grinding my hardness into his, feeding from the heat of the friction.
Hunter knew what I needed, just exactly what my body craved, he knew my body more than he knew his own. I felt my feet leave the floor, as he lifted my legs and wrapped them around his waist. He kissed gently down my neck, past my shoulder to where the flesh of my arm was torn and tender. I winced as he cleaned it more thoroughly under the spray of the water, but when I looked back at it, I could see it finally ran clear of the murky gook. He looked me in the eyes, I could see his were red from all kinds of emotions and anguish.
“It’s all gonna be okay, I’m here bae. We good, we’re gonna get through this, you’ll be back on your feet giving me hell, in no time.” He said with a grin, he sounded unsure, like if that pep talk was for him as much as it was for me.
“But she bit me, I should be dea.. one of those things”
“Shh.. Let’s not think about that, you’re here, you’re with me, and we’re alive!” He said, kissing me hard, as if to prove his point.
I wrapped my legs tighter around him, ignoring the pain in my arm, I gripped him tighter to me. I could feel the crown of his length, sitting right at my hole, begging for entrance to my insides. That’s when the shower curtain was ripped open, and we turned to see Caiden with his SIG drawn, the bead right on my forehead. His eyes shot open in surprise, before he quickly shut them and covered his face with his arm.
“Aww, fuck man! I thought you were zombie chow, all that moanin and groanin.. Here you are getting pussy, we’re all downstairs thinking he’s killed you already! It would have been nice to know princess was still alive, it woulda got the other one to stop all that damn crying!” Caiden yelled, clearly upset as hell.
“Well are you gonna let me finish up here, bro?! You’re kinda interrupting a moment..” Hunter said, trying to cover me with his body as best he could, an impossible feat given the contrast of our skin tones.
“Hell naw! You two better have your asses dressed, and on the way downstairs in five, I mean it!” He said commanded, before turning to leave us.
Hunter helped me down the stairs, my legs were still stiff, my joints still ached, I felt like an old man. What had the bite done to my body? was I still turning? or was I in a process of rehabilitation? There were so many questions, and no one to give us the answers. Before I even reached the bottom of the stairs, Balthazar was mouthing off, but I knew he was angry because he cared.
“You trifling slut, how dare you?! Got me down here crying and shit, an you up stairs fucking?! That’ll be that last tear I ever shed for you bitch, you done spent them all!” He snapped, all riled up.
“I’ll just have to take solace in the fact you gave them to me in life then, I can live with that.” I replied, as Hunter lead me to couch.
On the other side was Granny and Patience, both sporting new hairdos, Granny had a Grecian crown braided to the back with her hair down in a wave of curls, Patience sporting partial straight back cornrows with box braids in the back. They both just watched me, Patience’s eyes were the hardest, she knew what receiving a bite meant. I should be ravenous and rabid, craving for their flesh, just as her mother did when she received a bite. Her analytical eyes, belied her age, the eyes of a child who’d been forced into maturity through tragedy. I tried to smile at her, but only ended up looking like I was grimacing in pain. Hunter left the room and came back with the first aid kit, and started to clean my wound with the peroxide. Caiden came in close and inspected the bite for himself, an unreadable look crossed his face, as he looked deep in thought.
“I don’t know how you could be immune, but this changes everything.. I have to take you to home base, at least what’s left of it, this could save us all.” Caiden said, his voice revealing his disbelief.
“We aren’t going anywhere until you tell us what the fuck happened!” Hunter objected, everyone looked at him for answers as well, we were all at wits end.
“You all know as much as I do, about what’s happening out there. I admit, I was aware that Zachari was working on a special project for the medical division of some large mega corporation, and the military provided additional funding halfway through the project. I don’t know any specifics, but I am aware of a military facility about a hundred and seventy miles south west of here.. I was told it was home base for emergency operations.” Caiden revealed to us.
“A hundred and seventy MILES?! How exactly are we supposed to travel that distance? We’d have to stop the Betty two or three times, there’s no way!” Tzar broke in, doubt clear in his eyes.
“What are they gonna do to Loki if we bring him there? I don’t want them doing experiments on him and shit! How do we know we can trust them? It’s clear there are priorities the American government finds to be above above the rights and safety of its civilian population.” Hunter said, also skeptical of such a plan.
“Guys, we should go..” I said, my voice still hoarse and scratchy. “If a cure or vaccination can be found within me, it’s my duty to mankind to make use of it.. So many bad things have happened in this world by me, for me, and because of me. Maybe this time something good can come from my existence.”
“So that’s two and two, and us four are the only adults here capable of making such decisions..” Hunter started to say, but Caiden argued the contrary in her defense.
“Granny is more than capable of making adult decisions, at least when her minds right and in the present.”
“Really? C’mon now! Does she even know the year she’s in? How can we..” Hunter asked, doubtfully, like she wasn’t even in the room.
“It’s twenty fifteen, and I’m senile, not dead, thank you.” Gran spoke up, giving him a look that could kill.
“Who was the second to last President of the United States?” He challenged her, once more.
“Oh dangit, I know this.. It’s the Muslim one they talk about on the radio, I just saw a picture of him the other day.” She said, struggling to recall the name, she looked to me and then Tzar. “Um.. It was one of those African names or somethin, .. Barrak’Ahlbama, Osama.. Something like that.”
“Close enough..” I croaked out, as everyone burst out laughing.
“So you’ve been sitting here listen’n Grandma, what do you think we should do? Stay and fortify the camp or take to the treacherous roads?” Caiden asked her, she paused a moment to think, she was always so unpredictable, I didn’t even try to speculation her thought process.
“A road trip sounds mighty nice..” She said smiling.
I sat with Tzar and Hunter on the back porch, it had all been cleaned up, they had even burned the girls remains, so no disease would spread to the vegetation. I passed the blunt I’d been toting, to my left where Tzar was sitting, and Hunter had just lit another hit on his candy red pipe. I sat back in the wicker chair, still unable to relax, and I probably wouldn’t be sleeping for awhile. I almost had a panic attack, when they tried to put me to sleep, I was still in some sort of shock. An understatement, because I was absolutely terrified, what if I awakened as one of those things, feasting on the flesh of everyone around me. I tried to take my mind off of it, it would do me no good, I turned to Hunter as he held the blunt out for me.
“I never asked you about what happened on your ammo run? Where is Big Teddy? You guys ever find him?”I asked, before taking a healthy drag off the blunt.
“Yeah, we found him alright, he had blown his own head off with a shotgun, and shot his dog too. Seems the virus has spread to animals, because there were signs of infection on the German Shepherd. We stocked up on as much as we could, but we got hit with a pack of them, on our last run. Barely escaped them, they were persistent bastards, but we took the long way home to make sure we lost’m” He explained, I just nodded, taking him for his word, I had seen those thing in action.
“When do you think we’ll be ready for the trip? Please let’s not make my condition an excuse for us to stay here any longer than necessary.” I cautioned him, as my eyes got a little heavy.
“We should do the harvest tomorrow, I’ll work on it with Granny and Patience.” Tzar chimed in, I looked at him in surprise, he had finally decided to step up to the plate.
“Sounds like a good idea, Tzar. We’ll need to be packed up and ready in a couple days or so.” Hunter told him. “The more prepared we are, the better, one thing we’ve learned is that time waits for no man..”