If the view from the inside was bad, walking through is abysmal.
The constant smell of rotting corpses, dust and disinfectant.
If the smell wasn’t overpowering enough, the blood covered walls and floors certainly are. It’s like living in a blood-soaked world which makes my dingy little flat seem like blessed sanctuary.
“When was the last time you left the flat?”
“About a month ago; I went for a massive haul for supplies before the storm picked up and I had no occasion to leave. I was quite enjoying being alone until you reared your ugly head.”
“Aw, don’t be like that. You know you only insult me because you want me.”
“Shut up. Dumb-ass”
We always go through this routine whenever we are stuck together. He tries to flirt with me and I shoot him down like an infected. Many of the people at the camp believed that Roman and I would end up together. You know, settle down and raise a family during the end of days.
How bloody pedantic.
We walk quickly.
England did always have a reputation for being the rainiest country in Europe; it still lives up to its reputation after all this time.
I never liked the rain. Even as child. While other children when out playing and splashing around in puddles, I was perfectly happy to just sit and watch under shelter. This may have been one of the reasons why the other kids were always so cautious about me; I wasn’t exactly the definition of a normal child. I was pensive and lonely, not vibrant and playful.
I am completely freezing; another reason I hate the rain. The rain feels piercing against my skin. Even my jacket can’t keep me warm anymore which means I need to chuck it away. Crap.
“I starting to think you were on to something Ellie. Staying inside. Out of the rain and sleet and snow.” I hate a man that can make himself laugh.
“Yeah, I’m a genius. You should have established this by now.”
“I wouldn’t go quite that far dear. You’re nearly there but not quite at my level yet. Don’t worry, I’ll get you to that level one day.” He giggles. Complete and utter dick head.
“Oh yes, of course. You are a genius but we all know what you think with, don’t we?” Oh yes, I win.
We finally reach the old civic office. It became a base about a year back and, it serves its purpose. It contains tonnes of files about the old days and proposals for what to do when stuff went bad. They actually believed that they could survive everything. Arrogant bastards, thinking they were above everything. We found a few of their festering corpses when it was discovered. They must have been dead for a number of years; it scared the crap out of the kids.
I can hear the kid screaming from here. How stupid can you get? Talking is dangerous enough these days and all this kid is doing is drawing attention which puts everyone at risk. It does frustrate me but then again, I don’t like children anyway. I never have and never will.
As soon as we walk into the meeting room, the culprit becomes apparent. Little Annie Stoker. Maybe I should give the girl a break, she’s only just turned 12. She’s so small for age; at her age, I was a lot taller and I had more of an athletic build. She is tiny and is just a sack of bones which is a dangerous thing in this world. In addition, her injury does look moderately bad, I guess. Almost half of the skin on her leg is missing and her other leg lies at an odd angle.
When I broke my leg, I didn’t cry or scream out. I was 10 years old. I had snuck out to go on a supply run, I was trying to rebel and prove that I wasn’t just a defenceless child. I was a stupid bitch then; I should have relished in my youth but then again, in this world being stupid and a child gets you or others killed.
Anyway, I was scoping out this old supermarket that sat at the end of this dead end road. It was quiet, as always, and there was a back window that led directly to the stock room which had been pillaged over the years. However, there was still some medical supplies and food rations so it was worth the risk. There was a rusty ladder always propped up against the window; I had done this before and I had been fine, the ladder had always been secure. That day, not so much. I was just about to climb in through the window and the ladder fell, shattering like glass when it fell. I couldn’t pull myself through the window. I thought I was going to die. I was about 20 ft above the ground. I tried and tried to muster the strength to no avail.
I had to let go. I was stupid and reckless so I deserved to die. The fall was fast so I didn’t have time to think, just to fall. The feeling of falling was almost liberating, it was like flying but with a more permanent destination. I didn’t want to land but gravity is a bitch. I heard the crack of bone and felt the searing pain of both a broken limb and a shard of the rusty ladder piercing my back. For a moment, I thought I had been paralysed. I thought that I was going to die at the age of 10 after trying to prove I was a grown up but I lived. I slowly repositioned myself onto my stomach and tried to muster a slow crawl. It was agonising and every move I made, I felt the shard digging its way into my back and my leg cracking but I had to continue, I couldn’t stop.
The only thought in my mind was: “Oh crap, John is going to be so pissed. Maybe I should just let myself bleed out because the lecture I am going to get is going to tremendous.” I know, ever the voice of optimism, even as a child. The shard, being so rusty, should have given me tetanus in addition to the lovely tear across my spine. I guess I got lucky in that respect.
When I finally made it to an old bench that stood in front of the store front, I finally examined my leg. There was little I could do about my back without killing myself or having eyes in the back of my head. My leg was a bloody mess. My bone was sticking out and blood was soaking my jeans. I had to sit and think about my next move. I noticed a stick at the foot of the bench; it was the only way I could attempt to walk back to the camp. What I did was reckless, impulsive and doltish so I needed to be lectured. To be perfectly honest, I was in too much pain to focus on the minute details.
When I made it back to the camp I went straight to Rita, the camp nurse, and she tended to my wounds, using antiseptic to try and stop me from dying of an infection.
I had never seen John so angry. I was lucky to ever leave the compound again.
Annie just continues to sit there, wailing. I almost feel sorry for her but I cannot allow sentimentality to overwhelm me. I didn’t have to be there; I’m only here for the safety of my medical kit.
“Hey Annie, you’re going to be alright now. Ellie and I are here with bandages, antiseptic and paracetamol. Let’s do this.” Roman always has had a way with kids; he’s always known how to calm children down. He bends down to inspect the wound. It is obvious from here that there is no compound fracture, just a broken bone which makes matters easier. He gently touches her leg.
“We need to bind the leg and then attach a splint so we can get her back to camp. Ellie, could you bandage her up?”
“Yeah, I guess. Do you have a splint?”
“Don’t worry, I’m on it buttercup. Lucy, could you go and get a stick from outside, preferably quite tall? Thank you, honey.”
Lucy Tailor. Reckless and totally infatuated with Roman, which is slightly paedophilic considering she is 13 and he is 22. I think she would follow him to the ends of the Earth; he says he doesn’t notice but I think he enjoys the attention.
I sit down and take the bandages out of my rucksack. They aren’t in the best condition but they will do; I always get nervous at this point in case I do something wrong. I can do this and I can do this with as little pain as possible for both people involved.
“You ready Elektra?”
I guess I’m going to have to be.