The Documentation of a Dead World

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Better Than Dry Food

Submitted: February 22, 2016

Reads: 165

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Submitted: February 22, 2016

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Jessie dragged the bodies one by one out of the cave and dropped them off near the entrance of the tunnel. Once all the bodies had been disposed of she headed for College Rd. As she marched through the freezing cold, Jessie made sure she covered every bit of showing skin. Not only was the temperature unbearable to naked flesh, but because of the infection of radiation that had been injected into the devolved world that Jessie lived in, all snow had become significantly irradiated. The cold had a new burning sensation that was unforgettable.

 

As she approached the intersection she could see the military checkpoint, however, that was not all she could see. Lurking near the checkpoint was a Yao Guai, a large menacing predator that is a mutated variation of the American Black Bear. These creatures look and act extremely hostile, Jessie knew this and she knew she would have to evade the monster that stood before her. Jessie hid behind an old flipped over car, peeking at the Yao Guai now and again, praying it would walk away from her destination. After a couple minutes of waiting, Jessie decided to act. The predator turned away, facing away from Jessie. Jessie drew her knife and slowly walked towards the bear. She hoped to be able to sneak up on it and stab it in a vital organ but she would need the element of surprise. As she was around ten feet from the beast her heart was pounding. She began to have second thoughts but she thought to herself: “Second Guessing is a cause of hesitation. Hesitation is unacceptable.”

 

This is something her dad constantly told her. She had to keep moving, she must go through with her choice. As she silently inched toward the mutated bear she moved her hand holding the knife to her left side as the bear was on her right. She pushed the knife as hard as she could towards the bear and closed her eyes. A second later she opened them. Nothing had happened. She felt a pressure on her arm and she looked down. A hand was holding her arm back. Before she could react she heard a voice whisper in her ear: “Put the knife away and step back slowly.”

The disembodied voice put their hands on her shoulders and guided her back behind the car. When they were behind the car Jessie immediately ripped her shoulders away and turned around. A man had stopped her. He looked to be around 30 or so. He had long black hair, a scruffy short beard, dark brown eyes and three old scars running from under his left eye down to his chin. He wore a thick, khaki construction coat with a black zip-up jacket underneath and some weathered dark blue jeans with military pads on the knees and shins.

 

“What the hell were you thinking?!” the man said with an intense whisper. “Why the hell did you stop me?! I had him.” Jessie said back in the same tone. “Okay, first off it’s a she not a he. Second, a knife is not going to take down that thing.” “I’m assuming you learned that from experience.” She said, gesturing at his scars. “What? My scars? No that was from some rabid dog.” Said the man. “Look, I couldn’t care less. Why were you following me?” Jessie spoke with irritation. “I wasn’t following you. I just happened to be wandering along and I spotted you trying to kill a Yao Guai with a pocket knife.” Jessie draws her large combat knife from her sheath and holds it to the man’s neck. “Does this look like a pocket knife to you?” The man put his hands up halfway. “toché.” Jessie put her knife away and looked back at the Yao Guai. “I still need supplies and that thing is standing on top of them.” “Are you looking for food?” The man said with some excitement. “I have food back at my place. Come on I’ll show you where it is.” “What? No, I don’t even know you. For all I know, you could be a raider.” “Come on.” He said, attempting to reassure her in a comedic way. “Would a raider be this good looking?” “I killed three a couple hours ago that were more good looking than you.” “Ouch. I have insecurities you know.” “Oh I’m sorry to hurt your feelings.” She said with sarcasm.

 

“You’re a tough nut to crack.” He said with astonishment. “Yeah? You’re an ass.” “Listen, just come with me and when we get there we can eat and I’ll give you some food to last you a while then I’ll leave you alone.” Jessie thinks for a moment and sighs. “If it’ll get you off my back.” “Yes!” The man said in a tone louder than a whisper. “Just walk dumbass. And keep your damn voice down.” “Oops. Sorry. Ha ha.”

 

The two make it back to the man’s shelter which was an old animal clinic down college Rd. Jessie walked in and sat down on a counter and looked at the man. He seemed to be slightly embarrassed by the state of the clinic as he was moving things out of the way and laughing nervously. Jessie laughed to herself and looked around at the room she was in. It was an ordinary clinic front office, there were chairs scattered around on the floor, broken glass, a sleeping bag in the corner furthest from the door a chest with unknown contents and what seemed to be a functional mini-fridge.

 

“What’s it going to be then, eh?” The man said.

“Hm?” Jessie said, quickly snapping out of her thoughts.

“What do you want? I have a fuck ton of M.R.Es which taste pretty bad by the way, or I have fish.” “Isn’t animal meat irradiated?” Jessie said with confusion. “Usually yes but if you cook it with RadAway (RadAway is a liquid that is generally inserted into the body through an I.V. that kills radium cells.) the RadAway kills all the nasty stuff and makes it edible.” “Huh, I never thought of that. Yeah, fish sounds good.” “Great.”

 

The two ate at a small, make-shift table. Jessie had never had fish before and she loved it. “So, I never got your name.” Said the man, struggling to make conversation. “Jessie.” “Nice to meet you Jessie. I’m Landon.” “Uh yeah, nice to meet you to Landon.” The two were silent for a few moments. As Jessie finished her meal, Landon had only finished half of his. “Was it good?” “Yeah, it was great, I’ve never had fish before. It’s a nice change from the dry, two-hundred year old food I’m accustomed to.” “Yeah, It’s unhealthy to go without a proper serving of protein for a long time.” “Yeah...Well I think I should get going.” “Oh, yeah of course. Let me get your stuff.”

 

Landon gets up and fills a backpack full of M.R.Es and a package of sliced meat. “What’s that?” Jessie said gesturing at the meat while putting her jacket back on. “Just some sliced fish I packaged.” “Thanks.” She said while picking up the backpack and putting it around her back. “No problem.” They walked out the front door. “Well it was nice to meet you. Good luck with, you know, surviving.” “Heh, thanks.” Landon put a half smile on his face although obviously being sad and turned to the door. Jessie stopped and thought for a moment. “Hey uh…” said Jessie. Landon turned around quickly “Yeah?” “Maybe um, maybe if you don’t mind I’ll stop by tomorrow.” “Oh yeah please do! I mean if you want. I want you to. I mean...or yeah just, yeah.” “Oh my god.” Jessie said amused. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.” “Okay. Yeah. Totally. Bye.” Landon said with a smile on his face.

 


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