Rok and I have been sleeping in the same bed for a few nights. I ended up with a bruise on my shoulder from the nightmare that first night, but it’s fading now. He’s been suspiciously nice to me after Pancake died. We only talked about it a little. I mostly feel guilty for not having my gun. If I had had it on me I could have shot the zombie before he did too much damage to the fawn. Rok says that I can’t know if having the gun would have made any difference. Rok has been adamant to get me to stop thinking about it. He gave me a present he said he had been saving for a special occasion. It was a bag of art supplies he got from a supply store before we met. All of the locked cases were broken and looted, but there was still a lot of the good stuff left for him to take. I’ve been doing some art which is nice, but it pales in comparison to the sleep I’ve been getting. Sleeping in the same bed seemed odd for a bit, but I find it relieves some of the anxiety I feel in the morning. I usually wake up with some feeling of distress. I think it’s because my subconscious spends most of my REM sleep focusing on life before the apocalypse, and the transition back to reality is always a little jarring. It’s also comforting to wake up and find someone living beside me. It feels normal. I’m not sure how Rok feels on the situation. We usually sleep with me as the big spoon. We were alternating for a bit, but once I woke up with something pushing at my back. I’ve never heard Rok string so many curse words together. He lifted me up still laughing and moved me over to the other side of the bed. I’ve stayed there.
Something bad happened yesterday morning. I went out to the backyard to feed Pancake some carrots and fruit I saved from dinner the previous night. A zombie must have gotten into our yard again because when I got outside, he was taking a bite out of Pancake’s little shoulder like he was a big mac. My hand fell to where I keep my small pistol, but the space was empty. I always have it, even in the house. The only time I don’t keep it on me is when I shower or sleep. Even then it’s in arm’s reach. I ran back into the house to find a weapon. We keep a stash in a drawer of a cabinet next to the back door. I pulled out a small semi-automatic and fired through the still open back door. The zombies head burst, and he dropped Pancake who hit the ground still flailing. I went to see what the damage was. His neck was torn open at the throat, and he was bleeding out quickly. His face and chest was slick with blood, and he was making this noise that sounded like, well, it sounded like what it was, a wild animal dying in pain and fear. I knelt down and tried to hold the wound closed with my hands. It ripped down from his shoulder to his neck, and it looked like a toy that had been torn down the seams, but he was still flailing his legs and struggling to get to his feet, unable to support his head which stayed lolling back and forth on the grass. His hooves were slipping continuously in the slick grass, toppling his body to the ground with a sickening thump that pushed more blood over my hands.
I have never cried in the apocalypse, at least not like this. Trauma and shock has made it easier to distance myself. Even my experiences were always somewhat second hand. I was never forced to kill another human. I saw awful things, but they were never that close to me, and there was never any tactile feedback. Something about the feeling of the hot blood pulsing over my hands made me undone. Completely. I kept one hand at the wound, trying, pathetically really, to hold it closed, and with the other I lifted the fawn and held him close to me letting his head fall at my collarbone. This was probably the most idiotic thing I’ve done in this mess, but I really couldn’t be bothered. I felt a bit of moisture on my neck, and I realized Pancake was licking at my collarbone. I made this small, pathetic, noise, and I pushed the side of my face to his little head for a moment. Than I set him down on the ground and quickly emptied the barrel into his head. I never look away when I shoot, I never blink until the target is on the ground, but I closed my eyes this time. I made my way back inside the house and found Rok loading the dishwasher. He looked shocked, and it took me a moment to realize he was staring at the blood that spread out across my chest and arms.
“Is it yours?” he said. I shook my head. That seemed to be enough for him; he took me into the kitchen and sat me on the counter. I saw him look out the window as he ran the cold water over a dishcloth. He ran the towel over my face and hands while I sobbed like a baby on the counter. I think it was one of the kinder things Rok has ever done for me. He threw the bloody towel in the trash, we don’t keep anything that gets blood on it. The cold water calmed me down, and I took a shower which helped. I wasn’t in the mood to do anything or watch ZTV, so we watched some dvds Rok had collected, some classic films and a few b movie gems. We just spent the day on the couch. I went to bed somewhat early, for me, but I woke up a few hours in from a nightmare. It was jarring because I usually dream about life before the apocalypse. Or if I have a nightmare it’s a stress dream about some mundane shit like forgetting to study for a final exam. But this nightmare was completely different. I saw the situation from this morning, but instead of seeing Pancake, Rok was on the ground where the fawn was with the side of his neck torn open from jaw to shoulder. His mouth opened and closed without any sound, and his boots slid in the blood soaked grass as he struggled, convulsed, spasmed. I knelt down and tried to reach my hand to his shoulder to try and hold the wound closed, but I couldn’t seem to reach him, like how it can be impossible to run in a dream. I couldn’t get my hands to close on the wound, but I could feel the blood pooling around my knees and climbing up the fabric over my thighs. The blood was coming in waves, and it was hot, and the smell of iron was sickening, and Rok’s boots kept slipping on it over and over. When I woke up, I was sitting straight up with my hand around my shoulder. The skin there felt sore. I climbed out of bed, and into the hallway. Then I walked back into my room to grab my gun. I knocked on Rok’s door and heard a sleepy “yes?” from inside. I slipped inside and place my gun in the drawer in the bed side table. Then I slid into bed next to him. He didn’t ask me anything, he just wrapped an arm around me. Unfortunately, he brushed my boob in the process.
“Shit, I’m sorry,” he said, sleepily.
“It’s okay,” I said and adjusted his arm so it lay across the indent of my hip. We fell asleep there for a few hours, but I woke up again, restless and anxious. I got out of bed and moved to the other side, so I could lie with his back to my front and wrapped an arm around him. I fell asleep faster and deeper that time. It’s better to be the big spoon.
I used to have a habit of having cereal and milk in the mornings and watching tv. I miss it so much. We got some semblance of tv up and running now, but the canned milk isn’t doing the trick. I’ve been daydreaming about finding a cow, and having our own milk. I don’t know if we could make it taste like pasteurized milk, but maybe we could get something similar. What does it even mean to pasteurize milk? It sounds gross. I’m getting desperate though. Our quality of life would be so much higher with just one cow. I regret every hamburger I’ve ever eaten. Just one cow…just one.
Rok wasn’t lying when he said I’d been communing with nature more recently. We have quite a few creatures come into the back yard. Some of which don’t make sense. I can only guess that some of the animals from the zoo got out besides the lion. My favorite is a fallow deerling that showed up into our yard like a little disney cartoon. I never really appreciated Disney until the apocalypse. Once the shits hit the fan, all the hidden dicks and subliminal messages in the world can’t outweigh some cute innocent, non flesh eating forest animals. Aww, yiss. I feed the fawn, who I affectionately call Pancake, fruits and some vegetables from our farm. I had to find a wiki answer for “what do deer eat?” He’s been visiting for quite a while now, and he comes every day for some salad. Vegetarianism has become a quality I look for in my animals, which was why I was upset this morning to find Pancake eating a zombie that had crawled out to die on our lawn. It didn’t seem to die well, from what I could see, its hard to tell which wounds are new. So much for Disney. I sort of hissed at the fawn like a dog, “No. No stop that, Pancake. Bad Pancake,” and he looked up and did this little two step hoppy dance over the body. I put a pile of carrots down on the grass, and perched near the door. I had gotten him to come to me before, but I wasn’t taking any chances. We had seen animals get bitten by zombies in the past that just shook them off and continued their business like nothing happened. But still. Pancake looked a little creepy with his big doe eyes and bloody mouth. He ate everything really quickly, and i realized I hadn’t fed him yesterday…or the day before that. I felt guilty, but I didn’t realize that I was his main source of food. Would Bambi would have been more disturbing if the mother got devoured by a zombie instead? I looked a little closer at the body, and it didn’t look like Pancake had broken the skin, just snuffled around in the clothes. I went to the side of the house and pulled out the hose, turning it on and calling over the bloody fawn. Then there was this sort of terrifying moment where Pancake ran at me, and jumped up on me with his front hooves. But he just sort of wiggle-danced and nudged my face with his fuzzy, bloody nose and jumped down to eat my, now forgotten, bowl of fruit. I ran the hose over my hands and washed my cheek and then I washed Pancake’s back and legs, letting him finish eating before washing his little deer face. There was something rewarding about watching a clean, blood free Pancake lay down in the grass. But I still had a Tupperware half full of fruit with zombie blood nuzzled onto it. I threw it into the next yard over. I spread out next to pancake and scratched his head for a bit before going back into the house. The whole incident left me kind of pensive, so I stretched out on the couch to zone out for a few minutes when Rok walked by and gave me a funny look. “What’s up?” I asked. “You have little red hoof-prints on your tits.”
I love tv. I never want to go without it again even if we have to make the programming ourselves. I mean I watch a lot of stuff still floating around on the internet, but there’s nothing so life affirming as seeing things going on in the outside world, even if it’s a zombie licking ants. I named one zombie Patton. Rok told me not to call him that because it was endearing, and we shouldn’t be getting attached in any way to a zombie, but the name stuck. Go Patton go! Get those ants!
So, the bank heist. I needed some time to process everything before talking it out. Rok and I have had a couple of close calls while we’ve been…running together. They’re the situations that teach you the most important lessons. This was definitely one of them. The bank didn’t look particularly desolate. Banks usually look somewhat depressing anyway, and it mostly looked unchanged. There were a few infected inside that were moving somewhat slower than normal, and some of them were doing weird things against the glass like walking into it over and over again or trying to eat the glass, or throwing goop at it. They didn’t seem to pose a threat. Despite their current state, the inhabitants of the bank had once possessed the brains to lock everything down when the world started to go awry. I blew off the lock, and the zombies made an earnest but pathetic attempt to eat us, and I actually let them get a few shuffling steps in out of pity. We shouted out some cliche bank heist lines for fun, and then we navigated our way into one of the back rooms with the safety deposit box vault. When we found the vault, I set up some explosives underneath it, and we retreated into the next room to watch the explosions. They were louder than we expected, and the sound deafened us temporarily, I hope. I’m still not hearing very well. Rok’s box was still there, and I gave him some privacy to transfer the contents into his backpack. I broke into a bunch of the boxes and found some good stuff, jewelry, baseball cards, soda bottle caps. The really weird stuff is the most valuable to me because it must have had real meaning to somebody. I like to preserve stuff like that. I think it’s part of my job as one of the remaining humans. We’ve always been a very sentimental species.
Unfortunately we didn’t think about the noise level. Nothing had posed a threat on the way in so we let our guard down. Which was stupid. When we went out to the back office to leave, the whole thing was filled with infected. Once they saw us, they stopped milling around sluggishly looking for whatever made such appetizing sounds. We ran towards the front of the bank. We ran through a hallway, with ten of them on our tail, and I shot up the roof, trying to get some debris to fall on them without much luck. We ran through the door into lobby locking it behind us. There was an entire horde about to reach the big glass doors. They locked from the inside, but we didn’t have the key or time to find it. Rok and I had approximately 10 seconds to figure out what to do. We looked at each other and at our guns. We might have had enough bullets to get through all of them, maybe. If they still had energy left they could have overpowered us. We just sort of stood there in blind panic, holding our guns. It was possible, but doubtful. The first zombies made it to the door and slammed their bodies violently into the glass, followed by a second wave that slammed the first zombies harder into the glass, making their faces smush against the doors. There was a pause. I read the door handle, our side said “push.” That meant…I dropped my head back then, dizzy with relief. I didn’t know relief could feel painful, but it was so overwhelming that I felt nauseous. I looked at Rok, “Zombies don’t pull.” We used our bought time to bust a hole in the ceiling and used a wood desk to boost Rok up, and he pulled me up after him. The roof was high enough that they couldn’t reach us, but far too short for comfort. I reached into my bag and found a couple more explosives. I made a face at Rok, but I lit them and threw them down into the hoard. We covered our eyes and mouth. Showers, just lots of them.
My plan was waylaid by some freak monsoon weather, but I managed to go ahead with things today. This morning was really fun because I got to kidnap Rok. I snuck into his room this early afternoon while he was still asleep. I checked around his bed for weapons, and I climbed onto his bed and sat on his chest and blindfolded him super stealthy-like. He’s a fucking deeeep sleeper. And then I sort of pinned his arm down hard to wake him up. He thrashed about a lot and almost threw me off but I said “It’s not me. I’m taking you hostage to force you into a life of crime.” This was enough. We climbed into the car, and ate sandwiches. The amount of distracted I do is appalling. I should be the subject of a psa. But if I kill something, it’ll turn out to be helpful in the long run. I drove to the bank without hitting anything, but there weren’t any zombies in the road to make life more fun for me. I took the blindfold off to show him my awesome balaclava I had worn since this morning. He was appropriately impressed and obviously wanted his own.
“Okay, so the reason I kidnapped you is so we can break into the bank. The plan is to break the lock on the door, well, shoot it off, if they were fast enough to lock the door before the shit hit the fan. Then we kill all the zombies in our way, and we get your safety deposit box out of the bank. I don’t know how to get into the safe. So. We might need to take a key off of a body. Then we’ll get your safety deposit box, and I’ll take a propane torch to the rest of them and we’ll split the goods. Mama needs a new watch.”
“That sounds good, but the only condition is that you can’t look inside my box. I want to keep some things private.”
“That’s fine. I know too much about you anyway.” Which is true. Gotta keep some of the magic.
Rok’s gotten into some of the spoils. I have to go if I want to ensure I get my cut of our illicitly procured booty. Until next time.
Rok and I are both prone to unexplainable bouts of melancholy. Well, not exactly unexplainable. Watching the undead bump into each other from gaps in boarded windows can do that, I guess.
But recently, Rok’s been in a particularly unforgiving slump. The odd part about it is how little I see him. Despite the fact that we can get sick of each other, there aren’t many options for company. When you’re bitchy, it’s good to have someone to be a bitch to. Rok’s been pretty consistent with that until recently. So I’m hatching a small adventure plan to cheer him up. Rok has a key to a safety deposit box he keeps on his old keys. I threw all of my keys away except for the ones to whichever vehicles we’re using at the time, but Rok keeps a few he think may be useful. He said he hasn’t had a chance to access the box since the infection started. I’m going to get all my toys together, and we’re going to stage a bank heist. The place should still be occupied, and we can shoot the shit out of some zombies in balaclavas. We’ll be wearing the balaclavas, not the zombies, that would be weird. I’m going to load all my stuff in the truck, and then I’m going to blindfold him and take him as my hostage. He’ll have to help me rob the bank or else. Gr. He’s left his laptop out of his misery cave, so I’m going to usurp it for the night, so he won’t learn of my double life as a hardened criminal!