Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Infected: Fogo Island (15)

fifteen: digging deeper down

I wake up cold. My skin is icy to the touch and my teeth chatter away as the frigid northern winds creep into our makeshift tent. Malory is already busy packing everything away.

"We'll leave the tarp behind, we won't need it anyway. We're just a few hours away and I don't think I can handle anymore manoeuvering. My fingers are frozen." I can hear Malory say from outside the tent. I slip on my cardigan and the yellow winter coat Malory handed me the day we left camp.

The sun blinds me the moment I exit the tent. It takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the bright landscape. There's a nice smell in the air, one of freshness. It feels good to breathe in aromas different then rotting flesh and disease-filled air. I grab my backpack and sling it over my shoulder. With my free hand I grasp my wooden spear.

Malory holsters her shotgun and we are ready to leave again. All this wandering about has left me tired, sore, and most of all utterly unconvinced. What's the point of trekking around the globe now that everything I loved is lost. Malory admitted that she killed Greta last night and it triggered a series of questions.

"Can we...Can we talk about what we said last night?" I ask, forcing one foot ahead of the other. Every step weakens me. I rub my belly, worried that my baby is dead. I haven't felt her move in so long. Her. A baby girl. I would name her Greta.

"Why? We said what we wanted, didn't we? I don't think I have anything to add to that, frankly." Malory answers, without even looking back at me. I keep following her from a distance, the cold snow making every step harder and harder to take. She is unreadable; I constantly find myself wondering what she really thinks. She can be so warm sometimes, so inviting; at other times, she can be as frigid as the wind.

"You murdered a child, Malory. And you don't even seem to know why."

"I killed...I did what I had to. Times have changed. You won't understand, Charlie."

"Then help me understand. I knew that girl!" I shout but Malory keeps on walking. "Hey, I'm talking to you!" I yell even louder and grab Malory's arm, forcing her to stop. When she turns, there's tears in her eyes.

"You killed someone, Malory. Not one of those bastards, but a living person. What did Greta do? Tell me!" I slap her across the cheek and then tears form in my own eyes. I slap her again but she doesn't react. "TELL ME!"

"She knew too bloody much! Don't make the same mistake she did, Charlie. Don't get involved in this." Her voice comes out a semi-growl, a sound only a madwoman would make.

"I don't care about your stupid war with my mom or your dad or whatever. This is bigger then you, bigger then us all. People are dying, Malory. I know you're not a bad person, so stop acting like one."

"This is not bigger then all of us. It's all about us. If we make it off this bloody island, I promise I will tell you everything, Charlie. But you have to trust me."

Her brow creases, giving her a sad puppy look. I don't know if I do trust her. I can't know for sure if what she tells me are lies or the truth. But right now I have no other choice then play along in the hopes that she will reunite me with Felix. I've learned alot and it took alot for me to come to the conclusion that, in this new world, all that matters is being safe with Felix.

"I trust you, Malory. Besides Felix, you are all I have." I give her the same smile I would give Victoria Crow when she forced me to do something I didn't want to. But this time it was different. I never thought about getting revenge on Victoria - I was weak back then.

But now I'm a fighter, a survivor. And nobody will ever put me down again.

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