The next day was a little bit easier, considering what happened yesterday. The boy, Jay, who I would have to start getting used to, slept for the rest of the night when he stopped asking me questions, continuously. The biggest one being,
“What’s your name?”
“I told you, I will tell you when I feel like I should.”
“Then what if I need to call your name for some reason, should I—”
“Nothing will come up in a situation like that. If it does, I will tell you.”
Then he finally went to sleep. I was so relieved because I was exhausted that night.
I locked every entryway into the cabin when I left the next morning to go hunt for food. What I usually had for breakfast was any kind of small animal like a rabbit or a squirrel. This time I got lucky and snagged both.
After I caught breakfast and lunch, I skinned the animals and took off what meat I could and put it into a zip-lock bag I found at one of the abandoned stores. Why let it go to waste? Even without a refrigerator, it would still be good at room temperature. If not, I could always bring it into the town.
My weapons were locked in the trunk of my car, which only I had the key to. Even if the kid did trust me, I didn’t trust him. Not yet anyway.
After I finished with the animal corps and had cleaned all the blood and guts off my hands and arms at the river, I headed back to the cabin. It was around seven thirty and I didn’t think that the kid would be up at this time. Especially given that he was a teenage boy, what type of teenager would be up this early – unless he went to school, did a sport, or had a job that required him to be there at a certain time.
Now that the world was starting to go all to hell, no one really did much anymore.
As I reached the cabin, I saw something move on the side of it. I dropped the bag of meat, which I was probably going to regret later, and aimed my bow and arrow towards the figure.
I never go anywhere without it.
I slowly walked around staying a good twenty feet away so I had enough room to decide to either run or attack. Once I was close enough to see the back of it, I stepped on a branch and the animal looked around. I breathed a sigh of relief, as what I saw wasn’t a threat. It was more like dinner. I lowered the bow in front of me as the deer acknowledged me. When I took a step towards it, the animal ran away from the cabin. Well, it was more like jumping away.
I walked back to find that the bag of meat was still where I left it, so I picked it up and continued my walk to the cabin. I was hoping that maybe I would see the deer again, and have a nice big dinner tonight. I haven’t had one of those in a while, as not many large animals come this way. It was a good thing in a way because my cabin wouldn’t be disturbed or destroyed when I left, but I did have to rely on eating smaller animals more often. I enjoyed smaller animals so it didn’t bother me, or my stomach.
Before I opened the door, I listened to figure out if anything was going on inside. I heard nothing. Either the boy found a way out or he was waiting to strike me when I entered.
I strapped the bow to my back and unlocked the door with a password he would never understand. It was a different language that I learned over the years. A dead language to be precise. As I opened the door, like any normal person would, I saw that he wasn’t on the bed. I put the bag on the counter of the sink and I surveyed the room. Not long after I closed the door, I was attacked from behind. I grabbed the attacker’s arm and flipped him over me. He landed hard on the wooden floor. I still didn’t know if it was the boy, or someone else, so I acted like it was an intruder.
I had never had an intruder inside my cabin, but I was always prepared for one. You could never be too careful!
I grabbed both of his wrists and held them on his chest while I used the rest of my body to hold him down. Taking out my switchblade from my boot, I held it up to his throat. As the light came through the window and onto the intruder’s face, I saw that it was in fact the boy that I saved from yesterday.
“What are you doing?” I asked him, but the only answer I received was a smile. “Do you think this is funny?”
“No,” was all he said. Then he started to laugh.
After a few seconds looking around the room and realizing that there was no one else in the room, I put my knife away and stood up. I walked to the sink and started to take out what meat I had. It was all cleaned of any dirt or hair, and whatever was bad meat I had buried with the remains of their bodies.
“Where did you go?” he asked still lying on the floor. He had finally stopped laughing.
“Hunting. Took a bath. What I normally do in the morning.”
There was silence for a few moments and then he spoke again as he began to stand. “Why don’t you leave a note or—”
“I’m normally alone so I’m not in the habit of having to leave a note of where I’m heading. If I did then I would be dead every time someone told me to do that ten times over.” I never shifted my body weight and kept my eyes on the food in front of me.
“How many people have you had live with you in here?”
Now it was getting a little too personal. I hated personal.
I bent my head with a sigh over the sink and answered the question anyway. Maybe he would just leave me alone if I answered his questions.
I should have never brought him back with me.
“One.” I waited a moment for him to respond. When he didn’t, I continued talking. “It was my mother. She walked out of the cabin for a split second and one of the sol lupus grabbed her.” I cleaned off some of the blood from the meat I had in my hand. “Before I could get to him, he ran away. My mother looked worse than the little girl we saw at the parking lot before she turned.” I didn’t want to continue the story but I knew the kid would just ask.
I turned my head and saw that he looked sorry. I wasn’t buying it though.
I turned back around and looked out the small dusty window. Now I have to clean again.
“I killed her and burned her body before the transition happened. The one that killed my mother was an Original.”
That last word was like a knife through my heart. I was glad that I had it narrowed down to only three sol lupus but, this Original was the hardest one to find. And I want him dead so badly.
The silence hung in the air so thick it was getting hard to breathe.
“How long ago?” he asked with concern in his voice.
I stood up straighter as I answered, continuing to go through the meat. “Four years. I have been living here in the cabin alone ever since.” I grabbed some squirrel meat, zipped the bag closed out of habit, and headed out the door. “Meats are by the sink. Don’t ask what they are or you will not eat them. They’re good though.” I closed the door and stood watch as I left the boy alone in the cabin.
I have never told anyone that story, but I felt like I had to. I have no idea why. I never talked to anyone about my life outside of what was happening now. Then again, no one ever asked me about my parents, or if I had any siblings, or if I lived somewhere else. Not that I talked to many people anyway. I like to be away from people because I’m more focused on my tasks. But if I did, no one would care. At the moment, we were all living in the here and now, and right now I wished that I was alone on an island somewhere with no human being or sol lupus in sight. That would be nice.
But, I don’t think this kid is going anywhere for a long time.
But why do I feel like I have to explain myself to him?
I spoke to the air. “Oh my…”