Pain shocks me back into consciousness. I must have rolled onto my side, leaning on my wound. Ow...ow. I should be okay; if I’d have done real damage, it would have hurt even more. I must have winced involuntarily because Rita comes through with another needle. I’m getting sick of my internal monologue; I need to communicate. It’s difficult to comprehend how frustrating not being able to communicate is. I’m a solitary creature but even I talk, even if it’s to the paintings on the walls in the flat or myself.
“Are you okay? No pain or anything? It’s going to be sore for a good while yet. The bullet did a lot of damage, honey. I am just going to give you another shot of morphine to prevent any discomfort for the moment. I can’t believe you survived; can you speak yet? It’s okay if you can’t, the shock can do that but can you talk?”
I have no idea if I can. I could try. Wait. Shock? I’m not in shock at the moment. If I was in shock, I wouldn’t have felt the pain that feels like it is killing me. I’m not in shock, I’m just verbally challenged at the current time.
“Y...ea..h. Yeah, ah voice. Yeah. Ow...everything hurts. So if you could hurry and give me the morphine, that would be...urgh...wonderful.”
Oh yes, I have my voice back. My throat stings and feels blocked, as if there is catarrh occupying the inside of my throat, but at least it’s back.
Rita quickly fiddles with the needle to get the dosage right and injects it into my neck. I think I’ve been jabbed with a needle so many times, I’ve become immune to the initial pin prick. The relief is what I want; maybe if I focus on it, it will make it release faster.
The pain begins to subside again. It’s still there, nagging me.
The rest of the day passes by very slowly. Rita kept coming in to check on me; she told me it will be at least a month before I can go back to the flat. It will be a fortnight before she would even consider allowing me to walk. Oh, it’s going to be a long month. I could really have done without being incapacitated for the short term.
Bloody Roman. Getting me involved with the group again. If you really go into this, this goes back to God. God created the Earth and human beings. He created the virus. He wiped out the population. He created Annie. Annie broke her leg on Earth. Roman came to get help from me. I fix her up. I get shot. I kill a man. That is one hell of a snowball effect. That’s only if you really go into it and well...I’ve got nothing but time at the moment. I’m putting the world’s problems on a AWOL cloud deity. Maybe I should stop using he...its name? Force of habit. Habit. Get it? Nuns, habits?
Am I really making nun jokes? Kill me now; it’s a steep path that I have begun to travel. What next, making food puns? Orange you glad I didn’t say another nun pun? I haddock no idea? Or my personal favourite, the greatest nut Meg ever knew met a grater.
You’re probably wondering where I developed my wonderful punny humour from. I read them in a book once; I think it was one of the books I brought with me when I was found. I sometimes wonder what type of a kid I was, before meeting John. From what I gather, I’d never seen a gun or used a knife. I was so oblivious. I guess that’s something you can say in my parents; defence; they wanted their child to be a child. They’d never made me kill anyone or even understand death. John used to call me his little ‘clueless goose’,hence how I got my nickname. He also called me a little ‘savage’ but that’s another tale.
I think I would miss being a child if I could remember a damn thing about it.
I don’t know what happened to that book. Maybe it’s still in my room, buried underneath ten years’ worth of clutter. I mean my tastes have changed over the years; I am nearly twenty years old. The items in the room have always changed, like the seasons, from books to guns and dolls to katanas. Maybe the book survived through my adolescent outbursts and tantrums.
Amazing the things you remember when you’re high on pain medication. I just spent half an hour giggling at the many puns I was creating. I am sure Rita thought I had finally lost my grip on reality. Then again, the only things I’ve said to her were all request for drugs so it’s not a difficult thing to accept really.
Oh, apparently I peed myself at some point when I was asleep. That was not too great a surprise. I haven’t peed myself since I was around the age of...9. I have no dignity left but what’s dignity anyway? I mean who needs dignity when everyone’s going to die eventually, am I right? My stomach is also completely empty. I must have brought up at least a gallon of bile or somewhere in that range. I can’t eat anything yet because Rita’s scared that it might cause more damage than it’s worth. She’s obviously never been so ravenous that’s she beginning to crave the dirt in the plant pot. Who the hell has a potted plant these days? What is the point? Decoration? Or poncification? Ha, new word. Note to self: poncification, the act of being a poncified ponce.
Ah, I do make myself laugh. Internal laugh. I’m not allowed to laugh externally. That causes movement and movement is...taboo. God forbid I should be anything but a vegetable for the mean time. I wouldn’t mind so much if this bloody bench was comfortable. It is a metal table. Have you ever slept on a comfortable metal table? No? Neither have I. Neither have I.
Neither Roman or John have come back yet. That’s rude. I asked Roman to stay. Rude, that’s all I have to say on the matter. Ugh god, I’m high. And bored. But mainly high. Mixed with a whole lot of bored. There is only so much entertainment to be found in a cracked wall tile and a slip of wallpaper that does not align properly with the others. Oh and not forgetting the great section of damp on the ceiling, that’s the best part. No wonder everyone’s always wheezing all the time. Not an infected wheeze. Just a wheeze. That’s a funny word, wheeze. It sounds like someone has shoved whistle and sneeze together. Is that where it came from? Words are strange. Who came up with wheeze? Or plinth? Or antidisestablishmentarianism? A wheezing plinth that stands for antidisestablishmentarianism. Ha, I’m funny. I tell you what, I may be out of my sodding tree but I am in the best mood...ever. People should relish in this. It’s the only time they will not be met with Frosty the Ice Maiden. I am not just okay, I am...awesome. I’m an awesome little platypus.
I’m beginning to feel sick again. The more morphine she gives me, the more I need for any effect and that Valerian knocks me out like some form of horse tranquilliser. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be out under some form of anaesthetic. The only thing that can be done is to hope that they pass out from pain or shock and that they don’t wake up to see a scalpel making an incision to their abdomen. Believe me, it’s happened before. Quite a few times on reflection.
I can hear the door open and close.
Someone’s come in or gone out. It’s probably one of the girls. That’s a thought; where the hell are they? I haven’t seen them all day. The kids are sometimes sent out to the backup bunker if things look bad but would they have sent them away? I don’t think they would have sent the five-year-old, who paints blood patterns and has never really understood death or loss, out to the safe house with the others while they go out looting. Ha, saying it out loud really emphasises how messed up things are. An infant can be detached from death and can not be frightened of blood.
I was born early into things but there are kids where this is all they know. I can remember the days where there was still usable medicine and some generators still powered various safe zones. That’s one of my only childhood memories. Sitting, drinking a hot chocolate and staring out the window, gazing at the first winter snowfall. I can’t remember what my mum or dad looked like but I can remember one pointless night of my existence. I need to know what happened. Something must have happened. I must have hit my head or something; that’s the only explanation that fits with my lack of childhood memory retention.
On the upside, my high is coming to an end. On the downside, the ripping sensation in my guts is coming back which means that it’s time for another shot. I’m not so high anymore and yet my clarity has been compromised. Being out of my tree somehow gives me total clarity and expression of thought. Call it a lack of inhibitions or something along those lines.
The footsteps don’t sound like they belong to flat shoes. So, it can’t be one of the girls. Flat ballet pumps or trainers are the only shoes that John would let them wear. As soon as I got my flat, I would walk around the flat in a pair of four-inch heels I found. When I say found, what I really mean is that they were in the wardrobe in the flat’s bedroom and I ‘borrowed’ them. Well, they were dead anyway and I don’t think the dead have any use for stilettos. That would be weird if they did. Just the dead tottering around in six-inch heels like some rejected comedy involving zombies. Is that they are called?
I used to read various comic books when I was younger but they always called the undead ‘walkers’ or something similar. I think they were called ‘The Walking Dead’ or something along those lines.
Roman always use to tease me about the fact that I was reading comics about dead people ripping living people apart and doing loads of messed up shit while the other girls were out, sitting in the garden or chatting about ‘girl things’. By girl things, that means boys, make-up or periods. It’s a weird mix, I’ll grant it that. When I was ten or eleven, Roman was the only boy in the compound. The girls would always articulate their devotion to get into his pants. Need I say, most of these girls were younger than me. If they were older than me, they were only a year or so older. Shit is messed up.
How messed up is it that girls that haven’t even gone through puberty yet are able to talk about sex or as they referred to it as allowing the ‘basilisk into the chamber of secrets’? I still think, to this day, shut up talking about what you don’t understand and go back to playing with your barbies or guns, whichever comes to hand first. I cringe even thinking about it but then again, I’m a prude. Always have been and probably always will be. Oh it’s going to be awkward when it happens eventually. Oh god, lost my chain or thought. Lost my train of thought. Ah. Yes. Um, cannibalistic dead people.
I can hear voices more clearly now. It sounds like Erin, I’d know her dulcet Northern tones anywhere, and Roman out there. Only one person came in. Am I being avoided? Has someone just sat down in the kitchen in silence to avoid socialising with a bitch in a morphine induced high?
I don’t whether to be insulted or not. I’m not sure. Still not sure.
Roman walks into the room. He’s sweating from what I can see. He’s also panting. Has he been...running? I’m not even going to question it. I’m in too much pain and I’m more interested in something else. Something else that should have come to mind earlier. Roman was saying something when he passed out. I want to know what that was. I have my voice so now, I just have to get a moment alone with him. Away from prying ears and eyes. It made him emotional. I have to find out why. I need specifics.
“Hello, glad you decided to grace me with your presence.”
“Hey, I was out looking. You know how it pains me to leave you. I just asked Rita to talk to Erin about a few things outside. So...we have time and you’ve got your voice back. Shall we talk?”
“Yeah, I think we need to. I’m glad you were the one to suggest it. Even though I warn you now, I really need my morphine dose right about now. Ow.”
He just stares at me, as if to question me. As if to say why are you being so nice to me? Why do you think we need to talk? Am I about to die?
I’m not surprised he’s confused. He hasn’t been inside my head; I would be blushing so much blood would be bursting out of my skin. Ew, that’s a disgusting image but you get the point.
“So all that stuff about Isla...”