One Week Later...
“Did you have any parents?” asked Delmont. “Anyone who took care of you?”. He looked different to Alice. Perhaps it was the time that added boney ribs and a thicker stubble. “Well, I had a bitch mom and an ass of a dad” stated Alice, looking away.
-“That’s some nice family love you’re showing there” said Delmont.
-“No, I’m serious. She was some nagging piece-of-shit lawyer. He was some deadbeat piece of shit who never even congratulated me for my fucking birthday. Of course, they went on romantic vacations and sex adventures but never took me along. They left me behind with my grandma all the damn time; and then when she passed away, the thought I was old enough to be alone, even though I was seven. How about you? Had any piece of crap relatives?”
-“You set the bar pretty high, to be honest. But yeah, my dad was an alcoholic who would take his anger out on me and my sister. I remember this one time, fucker got home with his tie hanging and his shirt out. Turns out he’d crashed the family tractor, the only thing that could give us money to at least eat, and run the dog over. I was outside with my sister, looking at the stars, and he asks me to hug him. Guy smells like shit and has stains all over his shirt. I push him away, and slaps me in the face. My sister tries to separate us, but the douche won’t stop hitting me. My mom comes out of the house after hearing the racket and pulls him away. They argue, he hits her, basic family shit. Next thing I know, I’m walking away from the house with my sister as my prick of a dad beats up my mom”
-“Did she die?” asked Alice, raising her eyebrows.
“No idea” responded Delmont, staring at the ground. “We ran away from the town and spent time in an orphanage. No one told us anything about them, and I’m glad they didn’t”
-“What about your sister? Is she okay?”
-“I-I lost her… don’t wanna talk about it”
Alice tried to be nice to Delmont. She smiled and looked away. It was sad how a man like that, a man who saved her life, would have a life as bad. Suddenly, they heard an abrupt noise. It was something that would make a man’s ears cringe and whistle in despair. Both of them stood right up and directed themselves to where it came from. The echo of the horrifying screech flew through the forest, making Alice shake in fear. “Come on, let’s check it out. Bring the hammer if it’s a corpse” she said, as she walked away from the clear. Delmont marched behind her, holding the hammer with both hands. As they got closer, the noises were louder and louder. They started to be clearer. Finally, they found themselves staring at Rob, lying in the ground. He was sobbing, and his foot was trapped in the rope that circled the group’s perimeter. It had soup cans on it so that corpses made a sound when they got closer to the camp. “Shit, shit, shit!” screamed Rob, separating his mouth from the moist mud. “God fucking dammit! Help me out, you lazy shits!”
-“Watch your mouth there, mister. Remember, you ain’t here because we like you. You’re here because we had mercy of your pour soul” clarified Delmont as he helped the man up.
-“Eh, sorry. I just tripped on this piece of shit again. Why do we even have this here? It’s such a fucking nuisance…”
-“Again, we need it to see if we’re safe from the corpses. How many times do I have to say that?”
-“Guys, don’t fight again. What’d you get? Find anything good?” asked Alice.
-“Not really. Only got some stale chocolate bars and peanut butter”
-“That’s it?” asked Delmont. “What the fuck are you thinking? It’s been three damn months of only eating beans and berries! We’re fucking starving!”
-“Delmont, leave it”
-“Look, man, if you think you can do better than this then be my fucking guest. Go out there where’s there’s some cannibal dead people and get some good food that’s not rotten and will not make us shit our intestines out in the bathroom” threatened Rob. “That’s all I could find. If you ain0t happy with it, go get your own”. Rob walked away with the few peanut butter jars and sat by the clear. He started to mutter insults while glaring at Delmont.
Alice grabbed Delmont by the arm and whispered something by his ear. “Stop being such a dick to him, man. He’s doing all he can to get us food. It’s the best he can do after we saved his life instead of leaving him next to his dead girlfriend. Now, grow up and be nice to him. We can’t afford to have group dramas like these when we’re stranded in a forest where corpses eat people”
-“Oh come on! He killed your fucking teacher, for God’s sake! He’s not the good one here! He probably ate all the good food on the way here.”
Alice raised her eyebrows at him and walked away towards the clear, as she tucked her hair behind her ear. Even though Rob had done bad things before, they could not treat him as a slave.
At night, the three lay in the wet ground, snoring away. All except for Rob. He was sitting with his head lowered, rubbing his hand. The man’s sobbing and weeping woke Alice up from her slumber. “What time is it? Why are you up so late?” asked Alice. Rob turned pale and looked at her.
-“Just… just go back to sleep. I’m okay” he said.
-“No, you’re not okay. You’re up at like four in the morning, crying and rubbing your hand!” she whispered, trying to not wake Delmont up.
-“Just go back to sleep, dammit! Leave me alone” he said, grinding his teeth.
Alice opened her eyes wide and looked at Rob’s arm. A pattern of incisions on his forearm were covered in thick blood. It spewed out like juice from a carton. “Oh, no… No, no. D-Did you get bit?” asked Alice.
-“It’s okay. I’ll be fine in the morning. Forget about this and go back to sleep. You look like you’re tired” stuttered Rob.
-“No, it’s not okay! My friend was bit and now’s she’s out there, between that horde of undead creeps, as one of them. You don’t want that, do you?”
-“What am I supposed to do? Chop my fucking arm off?”
-“I don’t know. We need to look for some help in the morning. Just be quiet and go through the pain. I’m sure there’s someone who knows about this”
-“Oh, yeah! Of course! There’s got to be someone who is an expert on treating undead people’s bites!”
-“Look, I don’t need your sarcasm right now. I’m trying to help you out. Now, just hang in there and stop the bleeding. I’ll find something for you in the morning”
With that, Alice tumbled down to the ground again and curled up like a ball to protect her from the cold. A cold shiver went up her spine. She didn’t know if Rob would make it out alive. There always was the risk of him turning and eating her alive in her sleep. She turned around to check on the man, and to her surprise, he was gone. Quickly, Alice stood up and looked around. Rob was nowhere to be seen. No footsteps, no blood drops, no tracks.
- Bebe Collins (Mentioned)
- This issue is the first to mentions the unnamed man's name, which is Delmont.
- This issue has the longest timeskip in the series.