Warning: This post contains a lot strong language. Mostly fuck. I’m trying to work on some techniques. Enjoy.
Hugh flopped down on the soft grass and looked up at the night sky. He looked over at his friends and couldn’t help but laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” Aleta growled as she pulled the unconscious form of Darcy along.
“This.” He waved a hand at the glowing lights in the distance. “You.”
“You could help.” She let their friend down on the ground as gently as her sore arms would allow.
“You could take a break.”
“Fine.” She huffed. Aleta collapsed next to the pile that was Darcy and looked out at the horizon. “How much farther?”
“Is she okay?”
Aleta checked her pulse just to be sure. “She’ll be fine in the morning.”
“What about now?” His gaze turned from the stars to her.
She held his gaze for a moment, then shrugged.
“Is that your professional opinion?”
“I’m just a student.” She shook her head. “I was. Fuck, what am I now?”
“What are any of us?”
“You’re still a pain in the ass.”
Hugh laughed. “It’ll take more than the end of the world to change that.”
The words hung in the air.
“Do you really think that, this…” She waved a hand at the flickering lights in the distance.
“It could be.” He closed his eyes and enjoyed the feel of the grass against the back of his neck. “I think I’m in shock. It’s like I know that I should be freaking out, but my brain is just shut off. Is that normal?”
A small giggle started in her throat and then exploded as full laughter. Hugh opened his eyes and looked over at her.
“I don’t fucking know.” She giggled. “I was going to be a veterinarian.”
Hugh looked at her for a moment. Something deep inside him told him this was wrong. She shouldn’t be laughing, this wasn’t the appropriate reaction. He should be scared, crying, in the fetal position, or something like that. Laughter wasn’t the right reaction, she was going crazy. He felt himself chuckle. Well shit, now he was going crazy.
“We are so fucked.” He choked out between giggles.
“Do you know what it feels like to freeze to death?” Her voice had an unnerving echo to it.
“Is this a veterinarian thing?” He wiped a tear drop from his eye.
“No.” Aleta looked up at the night sky. “Last year, I had this work study job, I was a lab assistant. No matter what, I had to rotate these samples every four hours. I was the new kid so I caught the graveyard shift. It was winter, I had to wake up and trudge over to the lab every four hours. The first night, I nearly froze to death.” She sighed. “There was this stretch where I had to walk between the buildings, maybe a quarter of a mile. I had three layers on, I was bundled up so only my eyes were exposed, and I thought I was prepared. I rushed out and kept chugging. It was cold at first, but halfway there I was used to it. I slowed down to a normal walk, you know, I thought that I was fine. I opened up the door on the other side and got inside, that was when it hit me; the cold. Damn, I didn’t get used to it, I just stopped feeling it. My ears, my cheeks, my jaw.” She shrugged. “I just couldn’t feel it.” She stretched a hand out to the sky. “It feels like that again.”
“So when do we feel it?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know, but it will hurt when we do.”
Hugh stood up and walked over to where the other two had come to rest. “I’ll spot you for a spell.”
Aleta stood, brushed herself off, and nodded. “Do we have a plan?”
“Stay away from the places that are burning.”