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The Walking Dead: Real Monsters (Fanfic)

posted by Visambros on - last edited - Viewed by 6.8K users

I've wondered what had happened to Nate before you see him for the first time on the 41th Day. So I made a fic about it. The first chapter starts on day 2 and the last chapter will end on the 41th day. It will depict his struggles to survive the apocalypse.

It will also be written as if an outside source were playing the game. There will be fake credits and "options" that the person "chooses". But it's written in the point of view of the characters and not the person "playing".

I will be posting it here, but I have also posted it on other websites, so you can read it there if you'd like.

Here are the other websites
Antifanfiction
Fanfiction.net
Archive of our own
Tumblr
Wattpad

On this website
Chapter 1 starts below
Chapter 2 starts on page three
Physical descriptions of Vaughan and Charlie on page five *beware of possible spoilers*
Chatper 3 starts on page six

175 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • “I still think this is fucking stupid.” Charlie grumbled. They walked down the street where the hospital was. Nate had parked the truck a block away from the hospital after the three of them had reluctantly agreed that, if the hospital were packed with zombies and they had to get away, it would be better to outrun them and then drive off than park closer and be overwhelmed before they could leave.

    “There isn’t going to be any medication left in the hospital.” Charlie continued to complain. Nate felt her glaring at the back of his head. “It would have been one of the first places people raided when they realized things weren’t going to be fixed. We’re going to go into the hospital, see nothing, and then the zombies will come and fucking eat us.” Vaughan shook his head.

    “I disagr- Whoa!” He tripped. Nate stopped walking and turned to look. Vaughan’s arms spun has he tried to keep himself from falling. He hopped once before finding his footing and balancing out. Charlie raised an eyebrow at him.

    “Remember,” Vaughan went on like nothing happened. “When the sick started turning into monsters, the government told everyone to keep their sick at home and stay away from the hospitals? Even though people didn’t know where the disease came from, they treated hospitals like ground zero for the virus. No one would have wanted to go there for supplies.” Vaughan rotated his left shoulder, stopped, and rotated his wrist.

    “...You have a point.” Charlie admitted after a moment. “But it’s still dangerous.”

    | It’ll be fine |
    | We’ll be careful |
    | Where’s your balls? |
    | ... |

    “Charles, where did your balls go?” Nate joked, walking forward again. He tilted a head in her direction. “You were so brave half an hour ago.”

    (?) Charlie and Vaughan will remember that

    “It has nothing to do with bravery Nate. It’s common sense.” Charlie said. “And stop calling me Charles!” Nate turned around and walked backwards. He moved the baby away from his chest, lifted her in front of his head, and made her face Charlie.

    “What you need,” He said. “Is some baby motivation.” He cleared his throat and began to speak in a high voice. “You can do it Charlie! You just have to believe in yourself! Yay!” He shook the baby. Vaughan snickered and Charlie rolled her eyes. “Yay!” He shook the baby again.

    “Nate, I think you should stop.” Vaughan chuckled. “The baby looks like she’s going to puke.” Nate turned the baby back around. She pouted at him and looked a bit green.

    | Oops |
    | Don’t puke |
    | Sorry |
    | ... |

    “Don’t puke on me, you gross ass baby.” Nate told her before settling the baby back onto his chest.

    “You know, for someone who thinks that babies are gross you handle one pretty well... ish.” Vaughan said.

    “Oh please.” Nate snorted. “I’m horrible with kids. I’m surprised this one isn’t dead yet.”

    “We’re here.” Charlie said. Nate stopped walking and looked to his right. The other buildings on the street had an illusionistic normality to them. If the few broken windows, blood, and dead bodies could be ignored then the buildings only looked momentarily neglected, as if someone had meant to maintain the buildings while the entire population went on a massive fieldtrip and had forgotten their duties.

    The hospital, on the other hand, made no attempt to appear as if things were normal. Unlike the other buildings that had very little damaged windows, almost all the windows in the hospital were broken, bloodstained, or both. There were bullet holes on its structure, especially around the windows, which gave Nate the mental image of people shooting zombies that were trying to crawl out of them. The fact that many hole filled bodies, not all zombies, where littered on the ground made him believe that was what had happened.

    The worst aspect of this place was the front door. It was boarded up multiple times from up to bottom. There were words written in spray paint. All capitals.

    “Please don’t.” Vaughan read aloud. Please don’t. To Nate, those words where worse than any ‘Beware’, ‘Don’t open’, or ‘Dead inside’ sign that could ever be. Those other signs always felt like there was a challenge inside of the warning, secretly daring people to disobey. Not this one though. This one felt like there was real concern for whoever came across the hospital. Like it couldn’t warn people of the danger because the danger was too great for words, so it could only beg people not to go inside.

    “I’m going to ask the both of you one last time.” Charlie said, turning away from the hospital and looking at them. “Is the risk of going into this hospital really worth whatever we might find?” Vaughan and Nate looked at each other. A wordless conversation passed through the two of them.

    Nate arched an eyebrow. ‘Do you still want to do this?’

    Vaughan raised his hand to the side of his head and tapped it with a finger. ‘I still have brain cancer.’ Nate nodded.

    Vaughan spoke up. “I think it’s worth it.” Charlie inspected the two of them, frowned, and looked back at the door.

    “Alright then.” She said. “We’re going to have to find another way in though. It’ll be too noisy to break off the boards on the door.” Vaughan walked towards the bodies and Charlie walked back and forth on the street, inspecting the hospital.

    “Well, this seems like it’ll take some time.” Nate told the baby. “You want to help?” The baby cooed at him and touched his face.

    “Great.” Nate said smiling.

  • (o) Talk to Charlie

    “Aren’t you going to help?” Nate asked, stopping Charlie midstride. She frowned at Nate before looking back at the hospital.

    “I am helping.” Charlie explained shortly. “I’m looking at the hospital from farther back to see if I notice anything the two of you don’t from looking up close. Are you helping by distracting me?”

    “Bwah!” The baby interjected.

    “Yeah, bwah!” Nate agreed. Charlie rolled her eyes and resumed walking.

    (o) Show baby

    Nate turned the baby towards Charlie. Charlie stopped walking.

    “...Why are you pointing the puppy at me?” Charlie asked.

    “She’s inspecting you.” Nate told her. “Seeing if you know a way inside the building.” Charlie stared at Nate and then walked away.

    “She has no respect for your expertise.” Nate informed the little girl. This did not bother the baby. Nate walked towards the hospital.

    (o) Look at door

    Please don’t. Those words still bothered him. He knew something bad would happen if he went in, but what choice did he have? Vaughan needed the medication. Please don’t.

    “Damn...” Nate said to himself.

    (o) Show baby

    “You see that drool-o-rama?” Nate asked as he pointed the baby to the door. “That’s someone trying to warn us not to go in. We’re not listening because we’re dumb.” The baby grabbed at the boards. She pulled, but nothing happened.

    “Nice try.” Nate said as he moved the baby away from the door. “We can’t break the boards down anyways. It’ll make too much noise.”

    (o) Talk to Vaughan

    Vaughan stood hunched over on the dying grass, looking at the bodies on the ground and loosely hugging himself.

    “Figure out anything?” Nate asked Vaughan as he walked closer to him. Vaughan kept staring at the bodies on the ground.

    “I keep hoping that they killed all the zombies whenever this happened.” Vaughan gestured his head towards the pile of bodies. “But... I don’t want this to happen to us. I don’t want my cancer to be the reason we all die.” Nate looked away from Vaughan.

    “...Let’s focus on finding a way inside.” Nate said. Vaughan looked up at him, nodded, and looked back at the bodies.

    (o) Show baby

    Nate turned the baby towards Vaughan. After pausing for a moment, he raised the baby in front of his head and cleared his throat.

    “You might be sick but you look good to me!” Nate said with a high voice, moving the baby as if she were the one talking. Vaughan looked at baby and tilted his head, confused. “Don’t worry about your cancer! We’re going to find you a doctor and you’re going to be okay! Yay!” Nate shook the baby. Vaughan stared at her before a smile slowly grew on his face.

    “...Thank you.” Vaughan said. He straightened his back.

    “Let’s go look for a way inside!” The ‘baby’ cheered.

    “Okay.” Vaughan said with a nod.

    (o) Look at window

    Nate walked up to the window. There was a large hole in the center, the rest of the glass pointing to it like large knives. It was directly above all the bodies.

    “If we can break the glass away we could just pull ourselves through.” Nate said to himself. “But how are we going to break it without making noise?”

    (o) Show baby

    “You see all this glass?” He asked the baby. “We have to find a way to- Shit!” The baby grabbed hold of one of the pieces of glass. She didn’t hurt herself yet. He carefully let go of one arm supporting the baby’s weight and used it to slowly remove the baby’s hand from the glass. As he was moving her hand, and internally swearing about the little brat’s stupidity, he felt the glass move.

    “You could have cut your hand, you dumbass!” Nate chastised when he finally removed her hand from the window. “...You did give me an idea though. I can just pull the glass out of the window.”

    “Ah!” The baby said.

    “No, not ‘ah’, you’re still a dumbass.” Nate replied.

    (o) Pull out glass

    “Hey Vaughan.” Nate called. Vaughan walked up beside him.

    “Ye-” Vaughan began to ask until he suddenly had an armful of baby. He lost balance for a moment before straightening out. The baby cooed at him and tried to grab his glasses.

    “Thanks.” Nate said. He took of his jacket and began pulling out the pieces of glass, holding the jacket in his hands to protect them from the sharp edges. Charlie noticed what he was doing and walked towards him. It took Nate a minute to get all the pieces out.

    “There we go.” Nate said when he was done. He opened his jacket and saw multiple holes varying size ripped into it. He thought about shaking his jacket out and putting it back on, but changed his mind and draped it over the window. He placed his arm on the ledge and turned towards Vaughan and Charlie.

    “You ready?” He asked the both of them.

    “No, but let’s go.” Charlie and Vaughan said in unison. Charlie’s tone was irritable and edgy. Vaughan voice was low and filled with apprehension. Nate sighed and pulled himself through the window. He took a flashlight out of his backpack and turned it on. Vaughan handed him the baby and went through, falling on the floor when he lost balance. Charlie went through as Vaughan was standing back up.

  • Nate pointed the flashlight in front of them. There were bullet holes in the walls, though not as many as there had been on the front of the building. Papers littered the floor. Dark blood was splattered over the walls and pooled on the ground. It was dark were the light from outside wasn’t reaching, and this darkness seemed more dangerous than Nate had ever seen before. He knew it was just in his head, but it looked like the darkness was eating the light instead of fading into it.

    “We are going to go in.” Charlie whispered abruptly as she took her flashlight out and turned it on. “We are going to take whatever we can find as quickly as we can and then we are fucking out. Understand?” Nate and Vaughan nodded.

    “We have to find the pharmacy first.” Vaughan said as he took out his flashlight. He turned it on and the light from his flashlight circled around the hallway as he rotated his left wrist.

    “There’s a map on wall at the end of the hallway.” Nate told them, pointing his flashlight to it. They walked forward. Another hallway started at the end of the hallway they were in. When they reached the end, Nate held his hand out. Vaughan and Charlie stopped. Nate looked both ways, making sure both ends were clear, and walked in front of the map. The other two followed.

    (o) Look at map

    “We have to go right from where we are and walk down to the end of the hallway.” Nate said, tracing the path with his fingers. ”Then turn left and walk until we see the pharmacy.”

    “That isn’t very far.” Vaughan observed.

    “Yeah, if there wasn’t the possibility of a monster popping out at you.” Charlie said. They all paused at that comment before Nate turned right and continued walking. Vaughan and Charlie followed him.

    The baby was being mercifully quiet as they made their journey down the corridors of the hospital. Even so, their footfalls sounded like clashing cymbals to their ears no matter how gently they walked, their breathing like trumpets no matter how lightly they respired, and their heartbeats banged like war drums no matter how hard they tried calm down. Nate thought the monsters would hear them, even though he knew they were being too quiet for that to happen. The creatures would hear them, the noise they were making would be unacceptable to their dead ears, and they would sprint to the three of them and they would be eaten alive for daring to come here.

    Nothing like that happened. They found the pharmacy and went inside without any trouble. Though they still weren’t safe, Vaughan took a huge sigh of relief and leaned against the wall. Nate looked around.

    “Aw shit.” He said. Vaughan almost asked him what was wrong until he noticed the state of the pharmacy for the first time. There were a few medicine bottles and boxes laying around, but other than those stray items the room was stripped bare. Even the storage room in the back of the pharmacy was open, and as far as Nate could see that was empty too.

    Vaughan stuttered incomprehensibly, completely surprised by this turn of events. Charlie looked mildly annoyed.

    “There are some bottles still lying around.” Nate told the other two. “We take what we can and we’ll leave. Vaughan, you see that room in the back? Go in and see if you can find anything. Charlie, you pick up whatever is on the ground here.” Charlie nodded and got to work. Vaughan forced himself to move towards the room in the back. Nate started walking after him when Charlie spoke up.

    “One of you is sick.” Charlie told him. Nate looked at her, wide eyed.

    | We weren’t bitten |
    | No we aren’t |
    | How’d you find out? |
    | ... |

    “We weren’t bitten Ch-” Nate began.

    “That’s not what I mean.” Charlie interrupted him. “When you called me on the phone, you lied to me because you wanted me to come right away. You wanted to tell me that one of you was sick. I don’t know why you had to take the roundabout way but that’s not important. Which one of you is sick? Is it Vaughan? Is it you? The both of you?” Charlie frowned. “We’re you and Vaughan lying about lying before? Did you get my boyfriend sick?”

    “Are you... are you asking me if I gave Vaughan an STD?” Nate asked, astonished that she was suggesting that.

    “Did you?” Charlie asked.

    “Fucking no Charlie!” Nate said a bit too loud. They both paused and looked around. No zombies came.

    “Then what is it?” Charlie demanded. “Which one of you is sick and what do you have?”

    | It’s Vaughan |
    | I’m sick |
    | No one is sick |
    | ... |

    Before Nate could speak Charlie raised her hand.

    “I changed my mind. Don’t tell me now.” Charlie told him. “We don’t have luxury to talk much, in fact I shouldn’t have distracted you. We need to get out of here as quickly as possible.” Charlie frowned at him. “But the moment we get outside you and your boyfriend are going to tell me exactly what’s going on. And if you try to keep it from me any longer I will kick both of you in the balls I swear to God.”

    Nate raised a hand in the air. “Alright. Okay.” He said.

    “Good. Now get whatever it is that you or Vaughan or the both of you need and let’s get the hell out of here.” Charlie said. She turned her attention back to the ground and picked out more stray bottles. Nate moved away from her and walked to the back room.

    (o) Talk to Vaughan

    He saw movement in the dark room and pointing his flashlight at it. Vaughan flinched when the light hit him and nearly fell over.

    “Vaughan-” Nate began.

    “Nate, I can’t any temozolomide!” Vaughan said after he forced himself to stop stuttering.

    | You said that quickly |
    | Look harder |
    | It’s okay |
    | ... |

    “How do you say that word so quickly?” Nate wondered. “I mean shit, I can’t even say it speaking normally.”

    “Nate I’m being serious!” Vaughan whispered as loudly as he could. “I can’t find it! What am I supposed to do? Will we have to go to another hospital? Did I risk all of our lives for no reason? I-” He put his hands to his head and looked at the ground. “What am I going to do?”

    | Breathe first |
    | You’re really annoying |
    | The hospital has more meds |
    | ... |

    “The first thing you’re going to do is breathe, slowly.” Nate put a hand on his shoulder. Vaughan lowered his arms and slowed his breathing down. After a few dozen breaths he looked up at Nate.

    “Now, you’re going to wait for me to come back.” Nate told him. Before Vaughan could ask what he meant Nate continued. “I’m going to look around. I’m sure the hospital has more than one place where they keep their medication. I’ll try to find it. You keep looking in there, maybe you’ll find something.” Nate let go of Vaughan’s shoulder.

    “Alright.” Vaughan said. “Be careful.” Nate nodded and walked away. Charlie didn’t look at him when he passed her and walked out of the pharmacy.

  • (o) Look at baby

    He went two halls away from the pharmacy when he realized that his arms felt very tired. He looked at the baby and the baby stared back at him.

    “You get really heavy after a while, you know that?” Nate told the baby. The baby didn’t care. She rested her head on his shoulder and wiggled a bit. “Rude ass baby.” Nate said under his breath. He found an elevator and went towards it.

    (o) Look at sign

    There was a sign near the elevator that showed what kind of practice was done on each floor. Cancer treatment was on floor five.

    “I have to go up five flights of fucking stairs with this heavy ass baby.” Nate groaned. “Goddamn it.” He turned to his right, saw the doors for the stairs, and walked.

    (o) Look at doors

    There were multiple pieces of metal shoved in between the handles of doors. All of them had a slight bend that pointed forward.

    “I better pull these out if I’m going to get up stairs. I just hope whatever these were keeping in are gone now.”

    (o)

    He pulled one out and placed it on the floor.

    (o)

    And then another.

    (o)

    And another.

    (o)

    And another.

    (o)

    Another.

    (o)

    The second last one was out.

    (o)

    “There.” Nate said as the final piece of metal came out.

    (o) Listen at door

    Nate put his ear to the door and listened. He thought he hear the door creak but nothing more.

    (o) Open door

    Nate moved the baby to the other arm and held onto the handle.

    “Ready?” He asked the baby. The baby sighed. Nate opened the door, leaning his free shoulder on the edge to keep it open, and pointed his flashlight.

    The corridor was packed with zombies.

    Nate stepped back and tried to force the door closed. The bodies of the monsters stopped the door from closing all the way. Nate ran. His arms were heavy. The moans of zombies trailed after him. Nate almost fell. A door broke as he past it and more zombies came out. Nate’s arms left weak. He turned the corner and nearly collided with a zombie. He moved out of the way. It grabbed for him and missed. Nate ran faster. He almost dropped the baby. She didn’t cry. The moans were getting louder. Nate made it to the pharmacy and had to put the baby down on a counter before he accidentally let her fall. His arms felt weighed down by stones.

    “Charlie! Vaughan! We got to go now!” He screamed. Charlie and Vaughan didn’t wait for an explanation and followed him as he ran out the pharmacy. They sprinted down the halls, the lights of their flashlights dancing crazily all around them, until they made it to the window they first came out of and jumped through.

    Both Nate and Charlie made it to the other side unharmed, but Vaughan landed badly and his head hit the ground. Charlie helped him up.

    “My head...” Vaughan groaned. “I was already having a headache and... fuck...”

    “Let’s get back to the truck. We don’t need to be here anymore.” Charlie said. Nate gave a small nod, irritated with himself. He ruined their chance at getting the cancer pills and now-

    “Nate?” Vaughan asked, his face tense with pain. “Where’s the baby?” Nate looked at him blankly, wondering what the hell he was talking about, until he noticed that his arms felt much lighter than they had before. Faintly, he heard the baby crying from inside.

  • “Oh my God.” Nate said, his voice slowly filling with terror. He moved towards the window when Charlie grabbed his arm.

    “Leave the baby.” Charlie told him. Nate stared at her. A dark haze passed over his eyes.

    “...What?” He growled, his voice low and deadly.

    “If you go in there, you’ll die. If you bring the baby out here, zombies from all over will come and overwhelm us before we can leave. You can fight me, you can shoot me, but I am telling the truth.” Charlie said quickly. Nate looked away from her. She was right. “We have to-”

    “No!” Vaughan cried through his pain. “Nate, you have to get her! I know you don’t like children and I know you said we have to do anything to survive, but she’s just a baby! Please! You h-” Vaughan couldn’t finish, his migraine was too strong. He gripped his head and groaned.

    “Nate, either we all die or the three of us get to live.” Charlie told him, letting go of his arm. “That’s what your choices really are.” Nate looked at Charlie, then Vaughan, and then through the window. He should go, take Charlie and Vaughan and get out of the city as quickly as he could. He barely knew the baby. He didn’t even know her name. He didn’t know if she really was a she at all. He didn’t owe her anything. His friends were is priority, not some stranger he found.

    He could still hear the baby cry.

  • | Leave |
    | Get baby |

    Nate ran to the window and threw himself back inside.

    “Nate!” Charlie screamed.

    “Go to the truck!” He screamed back. They wouldn’t be able to get inside, he still had the keys, but he didn’t care. His feet barely touched the ground as he dashed towards the pharmacy. He saw zombies slowly trudging towards the crying sounds and pulled out his gun. He shot, he dodged, he shoved, and ran around all the monsters that came his way.

    Then the crying turned into the worst sound Nate ever heard. It was a shrill, panicked noise that hit such a high octave that it could break glass, and it got higher and higher as Nate ran forward. It was filled with hysterical pain, a sound that only people in hell could empathize with. And it was coming from a baby, that was the worst part, it was coming from a child and children were never supposed to make sounds like that.

    Then it stopped. It didn’t gradually turn into sniffles and then soft moaning sounds like when Vaughan had calmed her down in the truck, and it didn’t fade away like when Nate had fed her in the nursery. Just stopped. Like it hadn’t been there at all.

    Nate stopped in front of the pharmacy when this had happened, zombies all around him but not noticing his presence, not yet. If he had just left when the crying ceased to be, then it wouldn’t have been as terrible. The sounds of the baby would have haunted him but he wouldn’t have had visuals to go with them. Unfortunately, he didn’t go. He stayed standing there, looking into the pharmacy.

    And when the zombie walked out with a bloody mess in its hands, he saw exactly what had happened to the baby.

  • “Nate, where are we going?” Charlie asked again. Nate didn’t answer her. He kept his eyes on the road. Distantly he realized that Charlie had been asking him this for the past hour. In this same distant and robotic part of his brain he had also been evaluating how he felt again.

    He had been in serious emotion pain due to the baby’s death. It felt as someone had electrocuted his soul. The guilt, sadness, the what-ifs and anger had hit him so fast that his brain didn’t know how to handle it. So his mind simply decided to shut all his emotions off. And now he was driving aimlessly.

    He found this fascinating in a cold and clinical way.

    He thought that he must have not gone through something like this before if his brain decided that the best way to deal with all of these emotions was to not deal with them at all. That was quite pathetic, he thought he was stronger than that. Oh well.

    He also found it odd that the baby’s death did not effect how he felt about the deaths the other people. Nate assumed at one point that he was only suppressing his guilt towards the people he hurt, and if were to feel something one day then all the guilt from what happened to Anya and Hanna and Guatier would come flooding in and he would be a wreck. That hadn’t happen. His feelings towards them had stayed the same.

    Nate was interested in what that said about him. Was he really a psychopath? Was he still suppressing his guilt of their deaths and not realizing it? Or was something else wrong with him? Nate wanted to know, though it wasn’t as if anyone could tell him.

    “Nate.” Charlie said sternly. Nate turned his eyes off the road and expressionlessly stared at Charlie. She looked frustrated and a bit scared. Nate couldn’t remember if Charlie had ever been scared of him before. Vaughan was sleeping, his head tapping gently against the window whenever the car bumped. Nate looked away from Charlie and stared in front of him.

    The sky was dark. There were stars out. Nate was vaguely confused. It had been the afternoon when he got into the truck and drove out of the city. Had he been driving the entire time? He looked at the gas gauge and saw that it was almost empty. It had almost been full when he got into the truck.

    “We need gas.” Nate said. He noticed the emotion had left his voice as well and also found that interesting. He pulled to the parking lot of a restaurant and stopped the truck. He got out, felt pressure in his bladder, saw a restroom and walked in.

    When he finished his business, he stepped out of the stall and saw Charlie standing there. He stared at her in the broken down, strong smelling bathroom.

    | Hello |
    | This is the male’s bathroom |
    | Go away |
    | ... |

    “This is the male’s bathroom.” He told her. Nate went to the sink to wash his hands. The sink didn’t work.

    “Nate, you have to snap out of it.” Charlie said firmly. “I let you act like you’re brain dead for the last five hours but you have to stop. Now.” Nate blinked.

    | Five hours? |
    | Leave me alone |
    | Okay |
    | ... |

    “Five hours?” Nate said aloud. “I see.” Charlie growled. She walked closer Nate, grabbed his collar, and pulled him closer to her. Nate let himself be pulled.

    “I don’t understand why you feel so bad now.” Charlie snarled. “You told me that you barely felt anything when you killed that bitch before, and you hardly give a shit when I killed the parents of that goddamn baby your so hung over! The puppy was just another obstacle in our way, so just get over her like you got over the others alred-” Nate grabbed Charlie’s arms and slammed her into a stall door. It made a loud bang as her back collided with metal. Nate’s eyes burned into hers. He had snapped out of it.

  • “I don’t understand why you can’t get over it. You’ve killed before.” Charlie told him.

    | You knew |
    | Shut up |
    | Not children |
    | ... |

    “Not. Fucking. Children!” Nate roared. “I never killed a child, you sick fuck!”

    “So that’s the problem?” Charlie sounded genuinely curious. “It was her age?” Nate pulled her back from the stall door and slammed her back into it. She groaned and shook her head.

    | Never again |
    | I hate you |
    | Would you kill us? |
    | ... |

    “Never again! Do you hear me!?” Nate thundered. “If we come across another child, none of us are killing shit! Do you understand!?”

    “I understand that you’re not going to.” Charlie said. “But I’m not letting anybody put us in danger.” Nate was shaking with rage. He pulled her back and slammed her back onto the stall door even harder now. Charlie hissed in pain.

    “I’m going to kill you.” Nate said in a low voice.

    “No you won’t.” Charlie told him.

    | Fuck you |
    | Not today |
    | [Kill Charlie] |
    | ... |

    Nate took his hands off of Charlie’s shoulder and wrapped them around her neck. Charlie flinched, her eyes bulged, and that look of fear passed over her again. Nate laughed. It was low and unstable.

    (?) Charlie will remember that

    “Whose not doing what now, bitch?” Nate asked. He squeezed his hands. Charlie’s fear grew, but after a moment the fear left her face and she gave Nate a bored look.

    “Nate.” She said with some difficulty. “If you’re going to kill me, you have to squeeze harder than that.” Nate looked at his hands and tried to press down. He couldn’t. Charlie slowly moved her hands on top of his. He flinched and tried to choke her again. He still couldn’t do it. Charlie held his hands and slowly moved them away from her neck. He lowered his head and let her move his hands to his sides.

    “...Okay,” Charlie said. “If we’re done here then we need to-” The bathroom door flew open and Vaughan came in, his bow and arrow ready to fire. Charlie and Nate froze.

    “Vaughan?” Charlie asked. “What the hell are you doing?”

    “Where are Charlie and Nate?” Vaughan demanded. Nate and Charlie looked at each other confused before looking back at Vaughan.

    “...That’s us.” Charlie said. Vaughan shook his head furiously.

    “No. You’re not them.” Vaughan said, pointing his weapon at her. “Where are they? What have you done with my friends!?”

    “Oh shit.” Nate murmured. “He’s hallucinating.” Charlie stared at him, baffled. “Charlie, don’t say anything. Let me deal with this.”

    “She isn’t Charlie!” Vaughan screamed. He pointed the bow and arrow at Nate.

    | It’s us |
    | You’re right |
    | What do you see? |
    | ... |

    “You’re right.” Nate said, slowly raising his hands in the air. “We aren’t your friends. But we know where they are.” Charlie gawked at him.

    “Where are they?” Vaughan asked with a trembling voice.

    “I’ll tell you.” He said. “But you have to deal with the man behind you first.” Vaughan spun around. Nate ran and tackled him. They both went flying out of the bathroom. When they hit the ground outside Vaughan rolled away from Nate, stood up, and tried to get his arrow ready. Nate stood up and ran towards him.

    (o)

    Nate punched Vaughan hard in the stomach. Vaughan dropped his weapon and held his midsection, wheezing as he tried to keep upright.

    (o)

    Nate drew his arm back and punched him in the face. Vaughan’s head whipped to the side and his glasses flew off. He collapsed to the ground. Nate stood above him and waited for him to get up. He didn’t.

    “God, I hope I didn’t hurt him too badly.” Nate sighed as he knelt down beside younger man. Charlie came out of the bathroom and stood behind him.

    “That is fucking it!” Charlie said. “I want to know what you two are hiding from me right now! No more lies, no more ‘pretty eyes’ shit! I want to know now!” Nate moved Vaughan onto his back.

    “Nate!” Charlie screamed. Nate looked at her.

    | He has cancer |
    | He’ll tell you |
    | Why should we? |
    | ... |

    Nate looked back at Vaughan. “He has cancer.” Nate said quietly. He felt Charlie stare at him.

    “What?” Charlie asked. Nate put to fingers to Vaughan’s neck and checked his pulse. It was beating fast but slowing down.

    “He has a tumor in his brain. It’s at stage three and his doctor told him that his chances aren’t very good. I shouldn’t have hit him in the head...” Charlie went quiet. When she spoke up, her voice was very low and firm.

    “We’re not leaving him.” Charlie said. “He’s mine. You don’t mess with my shit.” Vaughan moved. He groaned, opened his eyes. Nate grabbed his shoulders and helped him to a sitting positioned. Vaughan looked around, momentarily lost in his own head, before becoming slowly more aware of his surrounding. He looked at Nate.

    “We didn’t find any medication...” Vaughan said slowly. “I put the two of you in danger and a baby died because of me...”

    “Vaughan!” Charlie interrupted. “When were you going to tell me you had cancer!?” He looked up at her, startled and confused. His body tensed up and be began to stutter; trying to explain himself, trying to apologize for not telling her sooner and getting sick in the first place. Then his body slowly relaxed and he began to laugh. He was smiling but his laughter sounded like sobs. Nate stood up and walked away from the angry woman and the hysterical man.

    He found Vaughan’s glasses, picked them up, and looked up at the sky. The stars were still beautiful even after everything had gone to hell. He found himself wishing he were put there. He would suffocate from the lack of oxygen and the pressure of space would destroy his insides, but at least he would be with the stars and not here where everything had gone to shit.

    “God, I need a drink.”

  • Awesome! If I had read it and not just looked down the page :D I'll get round to reading it.

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