Read Blog of the Dead (Book 2): Life Online

Authors: Lisa Richardson

Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse

Blog of the Dead (Book 2): Life (3 page)

BOOK: Blog of the Dead (Book 2): Life
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‘Yeah, we’d better go,’ I said, letting Misfit’s arm drop. ‘One thing,’ I began. ‘How did you kill those zombies without your knives?’

‘Bare hands, baby,’ said Misfit, raising his hands, palm out, before him. And he grinned at me.

Entry Four

Sitting around the camp fire that night, I clutched Misfit’s hand, my fingers entwined with his tattooed ones. When we arrived back at the camp, we had been met with wide eyes, broad grins, hugs, squeals, whoops and back slaps. The joy at Misfit’s return turned into disbelief that I had risked going out alone at night, and then into a relaxed, contented relief to have our friend back safely. I hadn’t let go of Misfit’s hand the whole time. And, judging by the way he squeezed mine, I didn’t think he wanted me to.

‘I’m going to head off to bed,’ said Stewart, getting to his feet and dusting off the back of his jeans. We all wore filthy clothes and a little bit of dusty, dried mud and strands of withered grass wouldn’t make much difference to anyone’s appearance, but old habits die hard, I guessed. ‘It’s been a long day … friends disappear, friends reappear … who needs to go to Vegas with magic tricks like that one on our doorstep? Night my lovely puddings. Toodles.’

‘Night,’ I mumbled as Stewart trotted off to his caravan.

‘I’m off too,’ said Charlotte, springing to her feet. As she past us, she leaned down and put her arms around mine and Misfit’s shoulders and hugged us tighter than I imagined her long skinny arms could. ‘Night sweeties,’ she said, and released us.

‘Night, Charlotte,’ I said but Misfit remained silent.

I watched her bounce off towards the caravan. I admired her ability to remain so upbeat but yet so strong at her core despite all the loss and the constant battle for survival life had been reduced to. She never did tell us any more about what led her to be standing on the edge of a tall building when we found her in Wales, other than she was the only one of her group that remained. But from the brink of suicide to the ray of sweetness and sunshine I had got to know in less than a year, I guessed she had learned to value life again.

After we heard the gentle bang of the caravan door closing behind Charlotte, I saw Misfit gaze into the fire. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said.

‘What for?’ asked Kay.

‘I fucked up. We don’t have any food and we’re starving.’

‘Don’t be such a bloody fucktard,’ said Kay. ‘You got attacked out there … on your own and you killed a ton of zombies with your bare hands. You’ve nothing to be sorry for.’

‘I’ll go out again tomorrow, as soon as it’s light.’

‘NO!’ I snapped, turning my head to look at Misfit.

‘Sophie –’

‘Someone can get food from town … or from the St Andrews lot.’

‘There’s not a lot out there any more,’ said Kay. ‘You saw what me and Charlotte came back with last time, it barely lasted a few days. And that’s with you on virtual hunger strike. Fuck knows what we’ll do when you get your appetite back. And the St Andrews lot aren’t any better off. We can’t ask them for food.’

‘Try the stores further out of town. Misfit can’t –’

‘Sophie, I can’t let what happened out there beat me.’ Misfit looked me in the eye.

‘And I can’t let what’s out there take you away from me!’

‘And you can’t let what’s out there beat you, either. You saved my life today, so I know the old Sophie’s still in there. It’s time to let her out full time. You’re like me, you don’t belong in a cage waiting for the keepers to feed you.’

‘He’s right, you know,’ said Kay. ‘You need to get back out there.’

I looked down at mine and Misfit’s entwined fingers resting on my crossed legs. I turned his slightly so the back of his hand faced up and I read the words
life
tattooed across his fingers.

‘You look tired, Sophie,’ said Kay. ‘You should get some sleep.’ She stood up and headed towards our caravan. ‘Misfit, make sure she gets some sleep or I’ll brain ya.’

I looked up and saw Misfit nod without taking his eyes off me. ‘She’s right, Sophie. You need to sleep – at night and in a bed. Not sat out here napping on my shoulder. Look after yourself.’

‘I don’t want to sleep in there,’ I said. ‘It reminds me of him. I can still smell him in there.’

Misfit stood and tugged on my hand to pull me up. ‘I have a sofa you can borrow. I’d offer you my bed, but, well, it was made for people half our size.’ Misfit turned and strode off to his caravan. Fingers entwined, I had no choice but to follow close behind him.

Inside the living room Misfit pulled his hand out of mine and nodded to the built in sofa that ran in an L shape along two walls beneath a big bay window at the front of the caravan. I stood, feeling naked without his hand in mine, and looked at him like a kid whose parent had just said, ‘Go on, you’ll be late for your first day at school.’

‘Lie down and I’ll get you a blanket,’ said Misfit.

I hesitated, watching him weave his way to his room. But exhaustion got to me and I sat down, then slid down so that I lay with my back to the back of the sofa, my head on a flat, musty cushion stained with mildew. Misfit returned with a blanket and laid it over me. ‘Night Sophie,’ he said and turned.

‘Wait,’ I said, propping myself up on an elbow. Misfit turned back and gazed down at me. There was enough moonlight for me to be able to see his features clearly. He had a half smile on his lips. He must have seen the fear in my eyes, the fear of sleeping alone, because without saying a word he lay down next to me, on top of the blanket, facing me. He put his arm around my shoulders.

I rested my head on Misfit’s left shoulder and stared into his big brown eyes. I could feel my own eyes fluttering as they grew heavy but I wanted to keep them open. I wanted to keep them on Misfit. But I couldn’t resist any longer and, with Misfit’s body next to mine, I melted into him and fell asleep.

When I opened my eyes, Misfit had gone. Early morning sun flooded in through the bay window and I sat up, shoving the blanket off me, but my foot got caught and I rolled off the sofa, landing on the floor with a bump. I sat up, my heart pounding. All I could think about was Misfit heading out to hunt at first light; going before I woke so he didn’t have to say goodbye to me and have me try and talk him out of it.

As I scrabbled to free myself from the blanket, I heard a laugh from behind me. ‘What’re you doing down there?’ I turned my head and saw Misfit stood at the door of the caravan. He held his hunting knife in one hand and his backpack in his other. ‘It’s a lovely day,’ he said. ‘Cold but clear. It should be high tide. Fancy coming fishing with me?’

Out of my cage. We found Misfit’s fishing rod right where he had left it the day he went missing. Sitting on the promenade with him, smelling the sea salt spray as the waves hit the concrete, life opened up like the ocean before me and I forgot how small my world had become since the outbreak. A seagull screeched overhead and the cool breeze made my cheeks tingle.

‘Just think, Sophie, fresh fish roasting for dinner. We’re going to eat well tonight, babe.’ Misfit turned and grinned at me, his face alive and glowing in a way it didn’t inside the camp.
He called me

babe
’,
I thought.
He never would’ve done that in camp either. ‘Wanna place a bet on how many fish we hook today?’ he continued, we’d already caught eight in the hours we’d been there. ‘I reckon I’ll nail my record’ … Misfit carried on chatting but something caught my eye.

To the right of us, the concrete promenade dropped back by a good few metres and there was more sand and shingle beach, punctuated by breakwaters and parts of the promenade that jut out onto the beach, creating hidey holes. I thought I had seen something, a grey shape, slip behind part of the promenade that formed a set of steps down onto the beach. A zombie, I guessed, far enough away not to be a threat, but I wanted to keep my eye on it. And where there was one, there would often be more. ‘... I was about nine and my uncle, my mum’s brother was … Sophie … Sophie, what’s wrong?’ asked Misfit.

I realised he was looking at me as he spoke but I was looking over his shoulder, off into the distance while I kept my eye on the beach for any sign of movement. Nothing. I began to doubt I’d seen anything. ‘Nothing,’ I said, turning my gaze to Misfit, ‘Sorry, go on. You were saying you were … nine …’

‘Yeah, nine-years-old when I first went fishing with my uncle. He went to a local river every weekend. His wife called herself a “fishing widow”. I had to ask my mum what a widow was and she explained it meant a woman whose husband has died so I imagined she’d been married to a fish before she married my uncle and the fish had died … I sort of pictured a King Neptune fish man.’ Misfit pulled a sheepish expression and I couldn’t help laughing. ‘Are you laughing at me?’ asked Misfit.

‘Yes,’ I said between giggles. ‘That’s the funniest but … sweetest thing … I’ve heard.’ Misfit’s sheepish grin widened into a smile, then he started laughing too. ‘A King Neptune fish man …’ I saw it again; a figure on the distant beach. It staggered out from behind the promenade. The smile vanished from my face.

‘Yeah, I guess it is pretty fun –’ Misfit saw the change in my expression and went silent. He snapped his head around so he could see in the direction I was staring in.

‘You see it?’ I asked.

‘Yep.’ We both watched as the figure stumbled across the shingles on unsteady legs, away from the promenade. It had one arm wrapped around its waist, the other hung loosely by its side and every now and then it would collapse onto its knees, haul itself up and carry on – in our direction. ‘I’ll go put it down,’ said Misfit and he sprung to his feet. ‘Won’t be a minute. Stay here and watch the fishing line.’

‘Wait,’ I said. I stood and put my hand on Misfit’s arm. I watched as the figure reached a breakwater. It rested its free arm on the weather and sea worn wooden post and lifted a leg over a beam, its next leg didn’t quite clear the beam and it toppled, sprawling onto a patch of sand. Something fell from its free hand – what I had thought was a free hand – it looked like a hammer. The figure must have been holding it near the base, with the handle hidden up the sleeve of its long black coat. It scrabbled about in the sand, found the hammer, picked it up and staggered to its feet. ‘It’s a human,’ I said.

‘Shit,’ said Misfit. I guessed he’d witnessed the whole hammer thing too, so didn’t need me to explain. ‘He’s hurt bad. What do we do?’

‘What we always do – we help.’ I sprinted along the promenade and down the slope, onto the beach. Shingle crunched under my baseball boots. Misfit whizzed past me, the shingle hardly moving in his wake. As we both neared the figure, I could see a man, mid to late forties, shoulder length grey hair slicked out of his face by grease, apart from a few strands that hung in his dark eyes. He stopped moving as we approached and stood watching us through those strands of hair. One shoulder, the one with the hand that held the hammer, slumped forwards, the other was raised, that arm tensed as it held his coat closed around his tall, thin frame. He had a bruise beginning to develop on the left side of his jaw.

‘You OK?’ I asked as I stopped a couple of metres back from him, my hand on the handle of my knife through my belt. Something about him, more than his bad physically state, something dark within him made me feel uncomfortable. Misfit had also stopped at a safe distance. ‘We … we’re here to help, if … if you …’ The man just stared at me. ‘Can we do anything? We can get you water … something to eat …’

‘I don’t need any help,’ said the man, his voice gruff, gravely and hoarse.

‘Fine,’ I said, slowly nodding my head. ‘It’s just … you need to be careful down here. We had a run in yesterday with a lot of zombies further into the Warren. They wander in from the train line. It’s not safe. Do you have anywhere to stay?’

‘What’s it to you?’

‘Hey,’ said Misfit, knife in hand, and he strutted forwards, squaring up to the stranger, even though he stood more than a foot shorter than him. ‘Don’t. Talk. To. Her. Like. That. Got it?’ The stranger remained impassive and stared down at Misfit.

‘Are you going anywhere in particular?’ I asked.

‘Again … what’s it to
you
?’


Again
… don’t talk to her like that,’ spat Misfit.

I tightened the grip on my knife. If the stranger carried on in his current direction, travelling down the Warren towards Dover, he’d have to pass Flick and Sara’s shack. The two of them suddenly appeared vulnerable to me. Flick had a shotgun and knew how to use it, but I wasn’t about to grant this stranger a free pass on our turf. We’d had a shotgun, and we’d been a group of five, but Caine, Misfit’s stepdad, had terrorised us even so. I shot Misfit a glance, and when he turned and looked into my eyes, I knew he was thinking the same thing.

Faster than my eyes could keep track of, Misfit turned back to the stranger and lifted his knife arm, its trajectory, the stranger’s head. The stranger swung his arm up and blocked the knife with his hammer, and the pair grunted at each other in a stand off. I darted forwards, pulled my knife from my belt and raised it, but the stranger’s knees buckled and he dropped to the ground. He flopped down onto his back, his coat falling open, his tattered black t-shirt riding up and exposing bruising on his stomach.

‘Go on then,’ he said as Misfit stood over him, his knife still raised. ‘Do it! What you waiting for?’

‘Stop!’ I yelled to Misfit. I placed myself between Misfit and the stranger. ‘This would be a fuck of a lot easier if you’d just tell us who the fuck you are and what the fuck you are doing down here,’ I said, staring down at him.

BOOK: Blog of the Dead (Book 2): Life
4.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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