I stood there waiting..
Maybe fifteen to twenty minutes, just waiting..
Waiting and slightly hoping, that I’d missed him..
But I had only wasted my time on hope, because that bitch had forsaken me so long ago..
For not only had my shot hit its intended target, it seems I’d killed two birds with one stone. Both bodies lay prone and unmoving, the wreckage of Granny’s home burning in pieces around them. Standing there watching, I felt just as frozen, and unable to move as those two bodies. On the inside, just as dead and lifeless, only..
Hunter had met the true death, there was no coming back, my love was gone.
I don’t remember when it happened, but I was suddenly cradled in Caiden’s arms as if I were a child, his chest was soaked to the skin from my endless supply of tears. He carried me onto the Betty, bringing me straight to the back, and sat me on the wrap around. I just stared out the rear window, in the distance, I could still see the two prone forms, and that the fire surrounding was closing in.
Caiden wrapped me in a blanket, and told everyone to pick a cubbie and try to get some rest, once they were situated, he started up the Betty just as the rain had started. I watched silently as the fire blazed, defiant against the storm. My gaze never faltered, as fiery light faded into the distance, the further we traveled up the road.
My eyes shot open, daylight burning into my retinas, the world behind us lit up bright, as it faded away into more road traveled. I didn’t realize I had fallen asleep, but that had happened about four or five times already, I should be used to it by now. I know for a fact the first three were in a fit of tears, my clothes were wet and my face was salty when I arose, each time. I never moved from my place by the window, and I’m sure I had begun to smell, but fuck the rest of them, Fuck’m all.
I just resumed staring out the window, and the others, they just ‘lived’ around me. I could’a been a damn lamp on an end table, they had long stopped trying to feed me, or trying to talk and console me. Good, I preferred it that way, I didn’t want them anywhere near me, talking nor touching. The voice I wanted to hear, a whisper in the wind. The touch I wanted to feel, never another embrace. The only love I wanted, was gone, never again to warm the icy depths of my heart. Eventually I dazed off into one of the episodic flashbacks of me and him together, they were a gift at first, memories of our first meet, our first date, our first kiss.. However hazy they were, it was something to hold on to. Now, the gift had turned to plague, sharper images of our last several fights, last disagreements, last words.. Those final shallow breaths before I..
“So you just gonna sit there looking back? That road behind us ain’t gonna change.” Granny’s voice broke me from my spell, I looked at her with tired angry eyes, I didn’t want to hear shit from this loon. “Don’t be stuck in the past when there is so much life left for you to look forward too..”
“There IS no life for me here without him..” I said lowly, looking back to the window. “This world has gone to hell, and it was supposed to be me and him, dancing in the flames.”
“Who’s gone?” She asked, looking at me clueless, I rolled my eyes and sighed at her.
“I no longer have the patience for this shit, ugh!”
I got up and walked over to the closet, frustrated with everything, just angry beyond belief. Searching through the bags, I found the one I was looking for. The smell was potent, even before I unzipped the bag. I pulled out a sac, and rummaged through the pockets, by chance I laid my hand on Hunter’s pipe. I stared at the red spun glass that I clutched in my hand, and memories of the many times I’d refused to take a hit from it, flashed through my mind, the pipe was never my preferred way to enjoy Mary Jane, and I’d often likened it to smoking from a crack pipe. But I thought of the many times Hunter’s hands and lips had touched this, the glass felt like a link between us, even though I knew I was fooling myself. I closed everything up and stuffed it all back in the closet.
Once I was back by the window, I quickly packed the bowl, when my mouth touched the glass it felt as if I was kissing his lips through time and space. A tear slipped down my cheek, and I didn’t even bother to wipe it away, I just watched the road. Tzar came to the back moments later, eyes wide in disbelief, it wasn’t long before he started chastising me.
“Are you really smoking that on the bus, with everyone on it? You know I’m always down for a session but..”
“You think I give a damn?” I said, my tone monotonous, not even turning from the window.
“Patience is right there sleeping?! You gonna give that little girl a contact..”
“Crack a fucking window, and spare me the bullshit.” I replied, as I repacked the bowl.
He just shook his head at me, turning around to head to the front, as I lit up and took another hit. I held my breath for a few seconds and let it out, that’s when the bus screeched to a halt. I didn’t even bother to ponder why, until Caiden came storming to the back of the Betty. He look more than irritated at me, he’d even turned slightly red in the face.
“I know you’re going through allot Loki, but this is ridiculous..” He started to say, but I quickly cut him off.
“Fuck what you think.” I said, my tone just as unmoved as before, I took another hit and blew the smoke in his face. “Betty belongs to me, so I’ll do as I please.”
“I think we need to talk, come off the bus with me..” He asked, but it was more of an order.
“And if I don’t?” I countered.
“Loki, I’m asking nicely..”
“As opposed to asking how?” I asked, staring him down, he just sighed and turned around.
“Why do you gay’s have to be so damn difficult?” He said, going back towards the head of the Betty. “Worse than a fucking woman..”
“Excuse me, motherfucker?” I asked putting my stuff down and getting up, following right behind him, he wanted my attention, now he had it.
“You know what? I shouldn’t have said that.. I’m sor..”
“Na, fuck that! You can see me outside now, let’s have that talk.” I said brushing past him, shoulder checking him hard.
He tried to protest and diffuse the situation, so had Tzar, but I was far too gone. I took a few steps from the Betty, then stopped to wait, the road was narrow but clear of any debris. I looked for any flesh eaters, and listened to the wooded brush on either side, coming up empty. When I heard him step off the bus behind me, I turned to face him, I could barely contain my anger. We all had to be held accountable, I was forced to do the unthinkable, and will never forgive myself. I’d also never forgive myself for going against Hunter’s better judgement, when it had never failed me before.
“Loki, you’ve been going through changes, this might be more than just Hunter’s death affecting you.”
“You damn right, Caiden, this is about what lead UP to that event, I should have never listened to you. I trusted you, against your brother’s better judgement.. And he trusted me because he loved me, now just look where he ended up because of our choices, cause of my fucking CHOICE!”
“I know what you’re going through, he was my brother for Christ’s sake! I loved him too, more than he ever knew.” He paused, cutting his eyes always from me. “You don’t know how much I envied the friendship shared between you two, I never was able to have that with him.. Now I never will. But we have to do what’s right for everyone, and that comes with sacrifice.”
“So you’d be willing to sacrifice all of us, just for some greater good?!”
“Them..” He said, poking a thumb back to the Betty. “And myself, we’re dispensable. But you Loki.. You could have just the thing we need to stop all this, we could save humanity, or at least what’s left it.”
I turned from him, as fresh tears burned down my cheeks. I couldn’t deny the truth in his words, and for all I knew humanity was already an endangered species, I was probably the only hope for all of us. I felt two strong hands take hold of my shoulders, they kneaded the tense flesh, releasing a groan from deep within me. The immediate pang of guilt, felt like a stab to my chest, I felt like a filthy bastard taking pleasure in the touch of my deceased lover’s brother. Especially one who was more than likely straight, I shook him off of me, and further chastised myself for acting like one of those predator gays, chasing every man like an open possibility. Any how, I was used to men coming to me, not the other way round.
“Look, I know you feel like you have nothing to live for now that he’s gone, we all understand that. But I .. I can’t do this alone, I need you to be with me, one hundred percent. It’s the only way we can survive this.”
“Ok, I’ll play nice, for now.. but I’m still smokin my shit on the Betty.” I replied, turning to head back to the sleek black bus, he just shook his head at me as I walked away.
His hands glided up my body, smooth as a river over bedrock stone, the stroke of his rough and calloused hands, warmed the flesh beneath them. Then I felt his lips, the way they brushed up my neck, it felt like butterfly kisses. Sending chills throughout my entire body, giving me spasms of orgasmic bliss that caused my hardness to leak, orgasmic heaven.
He began to grind his own girthy length against my mine, the friction almost causing me to blow early, but he paused as if he could sense it. Those brilliant blue eyes of his looked into the murky brown depths of mine, it was as if our souls spoke volumes to each other with just a look, and I felt a tear escape that trailed down the side of my face. He stroked the fingers of his left hands across my lips, as he played in my dreads with the other, he soon brought his face so close, I was sure we shared the same breath between us.
“Babbitt..” He whispered against my lips, before giving me a kiss that seem to steal the very air from my lungs.
I spread my legs wider, and he began to kiss down my body, tasting my milk chocolatey colored flesh. He licked the head of my dick, right along the slit to taste the nectar, but it was just a pit stop, not the intended destination. He gave the head another suckle, as he licked his way down the length, to the balls and on past my taint. When he came to his intended target, he paused a moment, and I knew he wanted to see it wink. I obliged, receiving a low growl from him, as he dove tongue first into my hole. I couldn’t help but to cry out, not caring who could hear, the pleasure was just too much. He brought his head up only once, and he spat lewdly on my hole, before diving back in.
Once he was satisfied that I was wet enough, he rose up and peered at his handy work, and I soon felt the thumps of his heavy dick as he clubbed the tender entrance to my body. I groaned and spread as wide as I could, eager to have him inside of me, the thirst that plagued my flesh was painful. Thou not as painful as the initial push of his meaty crown, past my rosebud, his lips crashed upon my own to stifle my cry. He paused his intrusion and suckled upon my lips, and I brought my hands up to cradle his handsome face, his facial hair had grown out, and I found that I liked the scruff mixed with the smooth underneath. He brought my legs to rest over his shoulders, and he picked me up, so we were sitting face to face. I wrapped my arms around his neck, as he grasped me tighter to him, rocking me slowly down the length of his long dick.
When we finally reached rock bottom, and I could feel him hitting me deep on the inside part, I gasped into his kiss and my body flushed with lust from our union. He growled my namesake, as he began to stroke my insides with earnest, bringing ours bodies to the edge of desire and back again, refusing to let me climax. He nibbled upon the tender flesh of my neck, bruising the skin with nips of his teeth and hickey’s. It was starting to hurt, both the incessant pounding and the biting, to the point where I had to pull his face from my neck.
“Hunter, My God!” I screamed, horrified at the site of him.
His once handsome face, with its creamy smooth complexion, was now greyed with death and rotten deep into flesh. Those pristine blue eyes were now cracked and dry, his teeth and gums blackened with decay, as his mouth opened wide. I tried to scream for help, but it was cut off, and I felt the blood begin to spill from my lips. Hunter’s teeth so sharp, I could barely feel the pain, only my life slipping away, as he ripped and tore at the flesh of my throat.
I awoke with a start, my hand quickly coming to grasp my neck to inspect its condition, I tried to calm myself but I was still breathing hard and my brow was wet with sweat. I quickly access my surroundings, and relaxed, once I recognized the back of the Betty. I jumped when I noticed Patience sitting to the side of me, the ebony skinned girl just stared at me questioningly while humming a tune. If I didn’t know better, I would have said it was a Whitney song, but she stopped humming and began to speak softly.
“I know you miss Hunter, you were mumbling his name in your sleep, we all miss him too..” She paused a moment, glancing out the window at the trees flying by. “Is he dead? Or is he.. Like my mommy?”
“No sweetie, he’s gone, I made sure of it.” I reassured her, and a silence fell over us a moment.
“I used to be a’scared of him, at first, I didn’t know what was worst. Him, or those things bit’n and clawin’ at us. Then I saw you two together, I realized he was protecting us, he loved you, and us.” She turned from the window to look at me, her gaze filled with an acute understanding of the world around her. “It was then I knew, that in order to fight those things, he had to be scarier and meaner, more than any of them ever could be, it’s the only way to survive.”
“You might be right about that..” I said, marveled at the maturity of a child, having to grow too soon.
“Is that why you’ve been so mean to the rest of us? To scare those things away?.. Cause you’re kinda scary when you’re angry.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just pulled her in for a hug, leave it to a child to tug at the strings of your bleeding heart. She was right though, about allot of things, that, I couldn’t deny. I gave her one final squeeze, and a kiss atop her head, before I got up to go to the front cabin. I past Granny on my way, asleep in one of the cubbies, giving a sigh of relief the old woman was staying out of trouble in such close quarters. Caiden was driving, and Tzar was seated passenger side, they didn’t seem to be talkative, both just watching the road.
“Gas is getting low.” I mentioned.
“I know.” He replied, not taking his eyes from the road.
“And it’s past noon, the sun will be setting shortly. The change of seasons, remember.”
“I’m aware.” He said, his tone monotonous.
“So then we’ll be stopping soon, correct? I’m sure you’ve blown through all the gas cans, by now..”
“Affirmative, I was planning on taking the next pit stop, if everybody’s on board?” His eyes cut to me, in the rear view mirror, a snide smirk painted across his lips. “I could use a sidekick, if you aren’t still moping about, back there.”
“Just turn off at the next exit, asshole.” I said, rolling my eyes, and mushing the back of his head.
We pulled to a stop in front of an old Mom & Pop grill and gas station spot, there weren’t many vehicles parked outside, just a car and a gas rig. We were quickly losing sunlight though, so Caiden advised us to hurry and check the diner, while he filled up the Betty and the gas cans. We left Granny and Patience on the bus, and told them to keep a lookout on the perimeter, who knew what type of infected were around.
Upon entering the diner, I could immediately smell the pungent stench of decay, whether that was spoiled food and rancid milk or a corpse was up for debate. Both Tzar and I pulled our shirts over our nose and mouth, the smell had me on the verge of vomiting. I advised we split up, I’d take behind the counter and the kitchen, while he had the front and bathrooms. The power to the building was shot to shit, so there was barely any light, it took a few moments for my eyes to adjust, but I found that it wasn’t too bad. I saw a butcher knife on the counter, like someone had been interrupted as they chopped onions, and figured it would benefit me in such close quarters.
I looked through the kitchen, which was pretty clean for the most part, almost as if they were just opening for the day. All the meat and dairy had clearly gone bad, so I just passed by them without too much as a glance. I heard water running, sounded like it came from near the back door, and the closer I got, the more noticeable the flooding became. I found the running faucet, and quickly shut it off, a pan fell from a shelf behind me, making me jump a bit. The mouse that had caused it, then soon scurried out of sight, and out of mind. I was about to just return to the front of the diner, but it saw a door, it was off to the side with a label.
“Tzar!” I called out.
“Yeah?” Came a faint reply, through the thin walls.
“I think I found the pantry, I might need your help carrying some of this!” I yelled, hoping he could hear me clear enough.
“One second, I’ll be right there.”
I held the knife in front of me, as I approached the door, and I couldn’t help to notice the key was left in the lock. I slowly twisted the knob, and was slightly surprised to find it was locked. So I turned the key and made my way into the pitch black room, my movements must have caused the automatic lights to come on, because the room lit up bright with fluorescent light. I couldn’t help but to gasp, the sight of the three bodies in disarray, sprawled across the floor, took me off guard.
An older black woman, probably in her lower fifties, lay slouched against the far wall, holding the hand of a slightly older Caucasian man. She had a hole in the center of her forehead, coagulated blood had dripped and dried down her face, but a bite wound on her forearm seem the source of allot her spilled blood. The man had a pistol in his free hand and his brains were splattered on the wall behind him, so I knew he’d taken both their lives. The body closest to me, splayed across the floor, must have been the driver of the rig. He had a hole in his head too, I could almost see straight through to the other side, his jeans were bloody, the source seemed to be from bites to his lower legs.
Other than the tragic display of death, such that it almost suffocated the room, this freezer seemed to be a gold mine. The back up generator must have been on this whole time, because the bodies seemed to be quite fresh, or possibly preserved from the low temperatures, it was hard to tell. Canned goods littered the walls and there was plenty of perishables, it looked like we’d be having ribs and steak for the next week or two. I turned to go see what was taking Tzar so long, and it was then I noticed the cellar could also lock from the inside. These people weren’t trapped, they were hiding from something, I heard Tzar scream and I bolted from the freezer.
As soon as I was out, I had to stop in my tracks, the back door was ajar, the light from the setting sun spilled inside. Standing in the doorway was a dog, it looked to have been a Doberman, it’s ears were erect and attentive. It sniffed low to the ground and began to growl, it finally caught sight of me, with those dry and cracked scarlet eyes.
Saliva, and the toxic black muck of infection, dribbled down the side of the torn and ragged flesh of its muzzle. It bared its sharp teeth, and crouched low to the ground, a predator ready to tear flesh from the bone of its new meal.