Survivors of the Z’s- Rhonda Gedling, New York, Hamsford
Had come and gone. Tired once again. Tired… as always. The weekend was here and I had it off. Which was always welcome.
I stripped off
Ran the bath
And ploud myself into the depths of my dreams. My bones ached. But, I couldn’t feel them. My head ached. But, I couldn’t feel it. I was asleep. My head, rested up against the soft material at the end of the bathtub. The dream was always the same. The dream about a big family
A big gathering
A big everything
Nothing was boring in that world for me. Strangely, the house was the same. The people were the same. And the husband was the same.
It was just one of those things. Something that you want but you can’t seem to get hold of. I don’t know. Perhaps it was never meant to be?
Lightness of the bathroom surroundings drifted back in and I was awake once more. The candles glowed it’s flavoured flame and it shimmered, danced, to soundless music. My eyes were dimmed. Still trying to get their focus back. I didn’t want to get out, but the water was cooling down, so there was only one thing to do. Get my pyjamas on. Sit back with a hot cup of coco and watch some bullshit on TV.
I lifted my warn down body out of the tub.
Grabbed the towel. Dried myself off and turned off the bathroom light and blew out the candles. It didn’t seem long since I had finished work the way my body felt, but it had been hours. I looked at the clock that ticked in the living room.
“I haven’t been asleep that long surely”
I didn’t care. I didn’t have anything to do the next day.
I made everything up and collapsed on to the sofa. The aroma of the coco floated into the air. It was welcoming.
Nothing else was like it. Normally I had wine, but that night was a coco night.
Nothing else in the world to disturb me.
“This is the life,” I said, “fuck the world”
Something I didn’t want to see. Something I never wanted to see.
But I had to watch it. To dive into it. To be in the know. It was the first thing that came onto the screen because I left it on there the night before. It grabbed me
Pulled me in
And I was suddenly staring at the screen.
For them to have some good news. It was about that virus that had broken out in California. A city called Ashford. I watched on and dragged the words into my ears.
“Many people have lost their lives, the sick and the people who’ve been hurt by the sick, the things we know about this illness, is that once you’re infected, it sends you into a craze, but you don’t just assault people, kick and punch people to death, you bite them and that’s one of the many ways you catch the disease. Earlier I found out that the virus has unfortunately spread outside of the quarantined zones here in Ashford city from people escaping back to their home countries or home towns in parts of the US. However, we have been told that these people are now in quarantined zones in their local hospitals and are being dealt with in the right manner where nobody can reach them other than the people that need to. We still don’t know the cause of this breakout, but when we do, you will know immediately”
I watched as the news reporter read it out. Behind her were streets of the city where it had all happened.
All locked and stocked. Wearing armour and other protection. Ambulances with police and army escorts rushed by from time to time.
Another nail into the coffin
“Jesus,” I said
And the rest.
I was asleep once more. I shot up. Shook myself awake and ran to the door. It was my sister. She shouted through the letterbox.
I opened the door, “What’s wrong?”
“I tried ringing you, I tried kicking down the door, I was worried”
“You came all this way?” I asked
She was shaking. I guided her in and sat her down. Made her a cup of coffee and sat down beside her. She stared into nothingness.
I broke the silence.
“I need to ask you something?” She said
She looked at me. A look that turned me.
“Sis, what’s wrong?”
I could feel her nerves
Something was bothering her. It wasn’t just me she was bothered about. How I wasn’t answering the door or phone. It was something else.
And I was going to get to the bottom of it. I needed to know what was wrong.
“Sis, tell me, please”
“You know I don’t always ask you for things right?”
“I need you to do me a favour”
“Anything sis,” I said
“I need you to drive me to Ashford”
Was she really asking me this?
Why the hell did she want to go there?
Was she crazy?
Out of her mind?
I shook my head in disbelief and gave her a look that said it all.
“Why do you want to go there?”
“Mom,” she said, “she messaged me not long ago asking for help”
“I’m not doing it, I’m not saving that whore”
“She’s our mom”
“She left us! We asked for help many times, did she give it to us? Did she? No!”
“We only get one mom and she’s in trouble, please, Rhonda… I’ll go myself if you don’t take me”
Waited for myself to come up with an answer.
She got up and walked away. It made me think quickly. A quick dash toward the words I needed.
“Ok!” I said
She turned and the look lasted a few moments. Before I spoke. I could hear her thoughts begging me
“I’ll drive you”