I swung the fork onto my shoulder, and wondered where was safe. My house was out. Way, way out. My mind flashed back to the image of my parents advancing on me, arms raised, feet dragging. I’d run, of course. They were beyond help, and I was parentless at twenty two years old. I snapped out of my thoughts as I heard a bang from a nearby skip. I raised the pitchfork to chest height, and took a step back. A hand stuck over the top, then another, and I was about to make my escape when a dark, short haired, decidedly human head appeared. I breathed a sigh of relief, but didn’t lower my makeshift weapon. Appearances could be deceiving, and anyway, human didn’t necessarily mean safe.
The figure heaved themselves out of the skip, and landed in a clumsy heap. I re-took a step forward as they stood up and brushed themselves down. It was a girl, way shorter than me, who looked no older than fifteen, despite the size of her chest which she was making no effort to hide, so I hastily averted my eyes from. Well, she was a bit young. She peered at me from behind a tangled mess of fringe. The rest of her hair was gelled into spikes, like a softer version of a mohawk. One blue eye, ringed with smudged black makeup and very human, narrowed at me in suspicion. I waited for her to speak.
“You made it, then.” I nodded. I decided to let my guard down a little. I think I might have trusted her from the start. I decided to reciprocate her question. “How did you make it?” I asked, my voice gravely from lack of use. She smirked, and said “Dude, I’m not that innocent. Not innocent at all, actually.” My mouth dropped open as her meaning filtered through, and I swear from the look she shot me she knew exactly what sick and wrong thoughts were dancing across my mind.
I shook those thoughts away, and smiled, an almost forgotten expression. “Got a weapon?” I asked, raising mine. She nodded, and reached back into the skip, pulling out a piece of wood with a nasty looking nail through the end. “I do now.” I nodded, and turned away. I knew without asking that she would follow. We were the survivors. We would stick together. “Hey.” I turned, surprised. She was standing, hands on narrow hips, staring at me like I was insane. “I am going nowhere with you until I know your name.” I grinned, amused by her apparent naivety. “You think it would help you survive?” She stared some more. “Fine. Pick one.” She shook her head. “Tell me.” I sighed. She was persistent, which was annoying, and sure to get me in trouble with her undeniable forbidden fruit brand of temptation, but she was alive, and that was enough right now.
“Fine. Its William.” She tilted her head. “Okay Will, I’m Mandy.” I smiled briefly. “Nice to meet you. Let’s roll.” I turned to leave and was once again stopped. “Dude? We’re going this way.” She turned and walked away, and I followed, smiling to myself. I definitely liked her, and not just because her skirt barely covered her ass. We walked in silence, and I wondered where we were going. After about 10 minutes, I asked. “Church.” She called back. I stopped dead. “Now? You really think praying will save us now?” She stopped too, and turned back to me. “A church is big, has strong doors, high windows, only two exits which will make life easier if we have to barricade them, candles and if all else fails, we can climb up to the rafters. Have you ever seen a zombie that can climb?”
She turned back around. That was me told. We continued to walk, and when we reached the dilapidated little church, it was completely dark. Despite my anxiety to get inside, I still felt a slight trepidation about breaking into a church. “Are you sure we should be… doing…this…” My voice trailed off as she ripped the board off the broken stained glass, and tossed it up to the sill to create a platform. She hauled herself up, showing a lot of thigh in the process. “C’mon!” I shook my head, and followed suit.
I clambered up onto the windowsill, and was pretty proud of myself for managing it ‘til the piece of rotten wood I was bracing myself on snapped, sending me crashing down onto a pew. I groaned, and sat up, carefully checking for injuries. I would have a couple of bruises to add to the collection, but nothing too awful. I once again thanked my bike leathers for the protection they offered. Damn, I missed my bike. I briefly wondered if it was worth braving my parents to go back and get it from the house, then once again decided that it wouldn’t be worth it. Too dangerous.
I picked myself up and glanced around the dusty church. There were bits of stained glass littering the floor, crunching underfoot as I walked towards Mandy. She was shivering in her skimpy t-shirt, so feeling every inch the chivalrous gentleman, I shrugged off my heavy bike jacket, and held it out. She accepted it with a grateful smile, saying “Thanks.” I pulled my hoodie sleeves down over my hands, wondering what to do now. We would stick together, that much was obvious. We were the survivors. It formed a bond, and besides which, I kinda liked Mandy, despite her clear jailbait approach to life. I stuck my hands in my pockets, and could have wept with gratitude at the familiar cardboard packet, still wrapped in its shiny plastic. I unwrapped it, slid a cigarette out and stuck it in my mouth, then let out a muffled involuntary fuck as I realised I was minus a lighter. “Need a light?” She asked, holding up a pink lighter. “You smoke?” I asked. “No, I just like fire.” I rolled my eyes. “Cause that’s more normal.”
I lit the cigarette, gratefully inhaling smoke. Hell, I was being chased by zombies. I needed it. I picked up my fork, and leaned it against the altar, mentally apologising to the church for leaving bloodstains everywhere. She walked up behind me, standing just that bit too close. I inhaled smoke, trying to let the burn in my lungs distract me from her presence behind me. “Do you have any more tattoos than the ones on your hands?” She asked, her closeness and tone making the words far more intimate than they should have been. I nodded, turning to face her, unable to take it any more. “Lots. Wanna see?” I asked teasingly, the words falling out before I could help them. Crap. I should not be flirting with someone at least five years younger, especially when she wasn’t even legal. She took a step closer, looking up at me, a smile curling the corners of her lips up. “You know I do.”
I swallowed. What had I started here? I took a step back, putting a little distance between us. “Only for a second, okay? Its cold in here.” I lied, heat rushing through my body. Before I gave myself any more time to think, I unzipped my hoodie and stripped my top off, revealing the art dyed into my skin. She stepped closer. “Wow.” She said, her breath warm against my chest. She traced a curve with her fingertip, making me tense up. I shouldn’t be doing this. Being half naked was asking for trouble, considering she had made it pretty clear she was no nun. “Uhh… I’m gonna put my top back on now.” I said, wishing my voice wasn’t quite so breathy.
She smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ll catch up.” Before I had a chance to breathe she pulled off her t-shirt, leaving her standing in a bra and tiny skirt. I struggled not to stare. “I- What? You…” I stuttered, as she let her t-shirt drop to the floor. I could feel myself being pulled under, the temptation almost too much to bear. She wanted to… Damn, did I want to… Would it be so wrong? I reminded myself again, she was underage. “I’m sixteen.” She whispered, as if she had read my mind as she stretched her arms around my neck. I closed my eyes. Fuck. Now what was my argument? “But… I’m too old for you-”
My protests were silenced as she slammed her lips against mine. All thoughts of being too old vanished as we fell to the floor, all concerns about the fact she was a stranger so far away I couldn’t see them as she began to wriggle out of her skirt, all awkwardness melting away as she reached for the button on my jeans…
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