I woke up rubbing the back of my neck, we really needed to find pillows and clothes. I was tired of wearing this corrections jumpsuit, and sick and tired of sleeping on a hard floor, also I still didn’t have any shoes. The bottoms of my feet were thick and chapped. I don’t even think I needed shoes now, but it’d be nice to have a pair anyway. I heard Chuck out there tinkering with the truck, I swear he wasn’t going to be able to fix it. It was a newer model and I didn’t think he had the tech or tools he was just fooling himself if he thought that he could. I heard something clang followed by cursing. Standing up I looked outside seeing Chuck sliding from underneath the truck sucking his finger. “You ok out there?” I called out. He didn’t look up he just shook his head yes before standing. I grabbed my toothpaste and brush, putting just a small dab of paste on the brush I inserted the brush into my mouth and began brushing my teeth. I walked into the employee bathroom standing over the toilet. It was the only place we decided that we could brush our teeth and spit. If you had to pee or take a shit you had to walk out behind the station where we dug a hole as deep as we could. Believe me it still stank something fierce back there. “How goes the thing?” I yelled while walking out of the bathroom. “What?” Chuck yelled out sounding a bit perturbed, he knew that I knew he wasn’t making progress, it was a question that was meant to let him know that what he was doing was a waste of time. Walking out with a doughnut in one hand, and bottled water in the other I looked at him, he was leaning against the truck. “I asked how goes the great adventure of repairing the truck?” I bit into the doughnut white powder surfaced on my lips when the doughnut was pulled away. He glanced at me pissy, I do believe he was angry. “Had you not taken my truck through a massive horde of infected and ducked it up we’d be driving already!” So as I’m sure you remember, Chuck didn’t like to cuss. I still hadn’t gotten used to that corny curse word substitute bullshit. I pointed down to his gun belt while taking another bite of my doughnut. “So how exactly did you come by getting that gun?” My mouth was full, sure it was rude mom always said but this was a new world new rules. Chuck turned away opening the passenger side door then leaned against the seat crossing his arms. “Yea…” Was all he could say. Licking my fingers loudly I opened my bottled water taking a swig. Chuck looked down at my feet. “I saw one of those dollar stores across Central when we were walking up to the grocery store yesterday, if I recall they always had clothes and shoes there”
“So you’re wanting to head over there and scavenge for clothes? Sounds like a damn good idea to me!” I replied. He got out of the truck slamming the door closed. “Then let’s get this party started, it’s early so we should be up and back way before the sun goes down” he walked inside then came right back out chewing on a doughnut. I ran in and grabbed a shot gun and my machete. I made a lasso rope tie that draped across my shoulder, it held my machete pretty decently, just couldn’t run without it hitting against my body. The shot gun was fully loaded, and I had the machete. That’s all I needed, and all Chuck needed was the handgun and his double butterfly swords, it was daytime, sunlight was our friend and their enemy. Me an Chuck had gotten the routine down pretty good, and that saved us time and ammo. I placed my bottle of water on top of the gasoline pump, then we both headed down Harmon. “Man it’s already fucking hot and it’s only morning” I said with a heave. Chuck glanced over at me squinting. “Does you momma know you talk do dirty?” he was serious but did to realize what he was really asking, it got all serious for a moment. “My mother’s dead…” I said kind of soft. You could tell that he was regretting what he just said, knowing full well that it invoked pain to even think about the fact that both are mothers were dead, he was desperate to change the direction of the conversation. “I was thinking, we always call them infected, and although they seem to be cousins to zombies I’d say they’re an evolved smarter, stronger, and hell of a lot faster cousin. But they aren’t dead either. How about about we call em Zeds?”
“News flash, zombies are called Zeds!” I said bringing my hands up turning my fingers into quotations. “Yea but we gotta call em something other than infected, I mean we’re in a close relationship with them now. Can’t be in a relationship and not have a name” I couldn’t believe we were having a conversation about what to name the infected, but really when I thought about it Zed did sound better that just infected. I would’ve argued some more but it was already getting hot and we had some miles to walk before it was all over. “Zeds, years sure why not?” I retorted. As we made our way along Chuck looked down at my feet. “Man it’ll be nice to not to have to look at your God awful feet!” He was amused by his comment and started laughing. “Chuck..?” I said.
“Fuck you…”