Words: David M. Brown
“Well, I suppose this is fucking England now”, Rob said as he stared out the apartment window. We’d moved all the way to the top floor of the building, barricaded the ground level doors shut and cut the elevator cord with these huge industrial bolt cutters I found outside. The bastard things almost got me killed…so goddamn heavy I couldn’t outrun the Things.. Thank Christ for Rob, his four years of university baseball and his aluminum bat.
Rob stands peering out the top story window, I notice the blood on his shirt has dried a deep raspberry jam. “It’s not getting any better. It’s not thinning out”.
I know in my heart he’s right but I’m not ready to admit it to myself yet. “C’mon, the Things are moving through. They will eventually all go to wherever they’re heading”.
“It’s been almost two weeks for fuck’s sake. We’ve got maybe three days of ravioli left. What happens when we need to go out there?”, Rob spits.
I don’t have an answer for him. I don’t have an answer for me. So I bite my lip, stand up and put my arm around him. Rob turns away from me and back to the window. He looks down at the Things with some mix of morbid fascination and utter, primal hate. They scuttle down the city street in between the buildings just rotting through their clothes. The sun bakes them and they don’t care. So many questions…why did this happen…what happened?
I wish Mrs. Martin was still with us. She was always so calm, so level headed. But she’s gone now. They’re all gone now. Now it’s only me and Rob. Hot-headed, unreasonable Rob. A guy I saw around the building for years before all this happened. A guy I’ve never liked. I’ve seen how he looks at me sometimes, he doesn’t know but I see him. But what would I do without him? Stay here alone? Chew on my finger nails until i’m left with bloody finger tips? Die alone in this hot fucking room?
Night came on slowly and the constant moan of the crowd of Things became more sinister the darker it got. I’ve almost become used to it. It’s like when you grow up around train tracks you can’t go to sleep without the sound of steel wheels grinding on the rails. As the hours wore on, Rob drifted to sleep sitting against the wall with a frustrated look on his face. I wasn’t far behind. I finished my ravioli and curled up on the kitchen floor using an old shirt we found as my pillow. Sleep was never restful, between the heat and the constant nightmares, I may as well have stayed awake…I wish I had.
When light finally did crack my eyelids, I woke up to blood.
Rob, slumped in the corner. Rob, his head hung at a strange angle. Rob, fresh gore running from his wrists onto the rickety wooden floor. Rob. Dead.
I get to my feet, strangely calm. I walk to the window and look down at the mess of Things still moving by in droves.
“This is England”, I say out loud. Whether or not I say it to myself or Rob, I don’t know.