Planet Dead: Love Bites Chapter Two
“What if we move the crib over-”
“If you say move the crib over by the window I swear to you, Kevin,” I said while scratching my arm.
“What? It’s on the second floor. Nothing is gonna happen to her.” Kevin replied. I stared at him as he turned the wrench, muttering to himself. I smiled knowing we were both far less prepared than we were pretending to be. All the baby books and Youtube videos weren’t gonna turn two bullshitters into Mr & Mrs. Brandy.
“They kidnapped the Lindberg baby like that,” I said. My nails dragged quickly up and down my left arm for a moment and I sighed, “I think I’m allergic to something.”
“Sweetheart, I love you to the moon and back, but if you think we’re that important, then clearly you’ve been inhaling too much paint,” Kevin said. He started laughing and I tossed a teddy bear right into the middle of his head.
“Shut up,” I said. We laughed for a moment and then it died. Kevin’s eyes faded from a gaze of love and humor to a glare filled with confusion and fear. “What?” I asked.
“What the fuck is wrong with your arm?” Kevin said.
“I told you, I think I’m allergic to something,” I replied. My fingers dragged along my skin and then Kevin rushed over to me.
“Fuck Jessica!” He shouted. Kevin’s hands grabbed a hold of me and I felt his fingers dig into my shoulders.
“What!” I shouted.
“Your arm!” Kevin shouted. I followed his eyes down to my left arm and the flesh that hung limp. I could see blood deep under my fingernails and the bright white of my forearm bones.
“What the fuck?” I shouted. My head came up and before I could even call for his help, Kevin’s came flying toward me, jagged teeth first. His teeth ripped into my neck and pulled back a hunk of flesh.
I watched the blood drip from his lips. His grayish pale face rolled into a grin, “Damn that taste good! You want some?”
My eyes popped open to the blazing sun coming down on my skin. I slowly placed my right hand in front of my face. “Kevin?” I said softly.
A shadow came over me and a dirty blonde haired man stood over me, “No, still Joseph.” He lowered a bottle of water down, “You want some or nah?” He asked. I closed my eyes and shook my head. “You sure? I was only asking to be funny, you’re most likely gonna die in this heat” he said. My eyes opened and then the pain started to rush through my body.
“Oh, God,” I shouted. I did my best to fight my way up to a sitting position and that’s when I saw it or didn’t see it. My arm was hacked off at the elbow. I blinked a few times, hoping this was just another dream I needed to wake from but it was far from a dream, this was the definition of a fucking nightmare. My vision started to blur as the tears came, but through it all, I noticed the bloody stump of my arm was moving. It wasn’t noticeable at first glance but once I wiped away the tears and leaned forward I could see them, a colony of ants crawling along my wound.
Joseph’s head popped into my view, “You look like you’re gonna-“
“What the fuck did you do to me!” I screamed. I started Swatting at the ants, but the lightest touch caused pain to jolt through my arm.
“Hey, cut that out,” Joseph said as he grabbed my hand, my only hand. I glared at him and he quickly released me. “I cauterized the wound but I don’t have any painkillers or disinfectant, these little guys are actually cleaning and numbing your-“
“Get the fuck away from me,” I snarled.
“Yes ma’am,” Joseph said. He stood up slowly and once again pushed the water bottle into my face, “Drink,” he commanded.
“You trying to drug me now?” I asked.
“If I wanted to drug you wouldn’t I have done it when you were sleeping?” He replied. I stared at the water for a moment, I didn’t want to agree with anything he said, I didn’t want him anywhere near me but he was right and I was thirsty. I stanched the bottle from his hand and winced in pain for my effort. I placed the bottle to my lips only to be met with a hot rush of water to my tongue, I forced myself to swallow and then stared at Joseph, “It’s hot,” I said.
“You complain a lot,” Joseph replied.
I rolled my eyes and slowly started looking around. The road, the car and Kevin were gone, replaced by tall grass blades, “Where are we?” I asked.
“No idea, I’ve just been walking,” Joseph said.
“You carried me?” I asked.
“No, I dragged you,” Joseph replied. When I see an opportunity, I’m gonna run. No, I’m gonna kick him in the nuts and then I’m gonna run. “You were bit. I wasn’t gonna risk you taking a bite out of my neck.” He said.
“Bit?” I said softly.
“It the past tense of bite-“
“I know what the fuck bit means, you asshole!” I shouted. I stared down at the ants and I closed my eyes, hoping to clear my head for a moment. Kevin’s missing. I’m with a psychopath and I’ve been bitten. I’ve been bitten! I’m gonna die. My chest started to feel tight and my vision got blurry once again, but this time there were no tears in sight as I felt my body crumble back down to the ground. Thankfully Crazy Joe caught my head before it smacked into the ground. He rested my head onto the grassy ground and then forced my eye open, he stared into each of them for a moment and then placed his fingers on my neck, “What are you doing?” I muttered.
“Checking your vitals, this is the second time you’ve passed out since I found you,” Joseph said.
“You cut off my arm,” I said softly.
“To stop the infection, but I’m pretty sure I only slowed it down.” Joseph’s hand combed through his hair and he sighed, “Your heart is racing and you’re burning up.”
“I just need to rest-“
“You’ve been resting all night and all morning,” Joseph said. He sat down by my head and stared off into the distance, “Either you got an infection from the amputation, which means you'll need antibiotics or...” Joseph stopped mid-sentence, his eyes locked onto something and he quickly stood up.
“Or what?” I asked.
“I think I see something,” Joseph said.
“Or what?” I asked again.
“Might be a town up ahead. I think I got it in me to carry you, you’re kind of heavy but I can-“
“Or what!” I snapped. I stared up at Joseph’s back, his light blue dress shirt was glued to him from the sweat. I started to sit back up, “Or what, Joseph?” I said.
“Or you’re infected with the virus and I cut off your arm for no reason because you’re gonna turn anyway...” Joseph said and then he turned around to look at me. The rusty, blood-stained machete rested on the ground hiding behind the tall grass just a few inches from him, “and I’ll have to kill you before you kill me.”