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Red Haught Dawn

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This time a year ago, I was heading to Rio for summer vacation after passing my Criminology final at UCLA. I remember feeling like I was on top of the world, ya know? I laid on the beach, slightly burned my pale ass, and met some interesting people but I was sipping on some tequila like concoction so I couldn’t tell you who those people were. It was a glorious time and just what I had needed in order to prepare myself for my final year at University.

That is what I should be doing this year. I should be celebrating my graduation. Celebrating the fact that I was ready to become a detective. Unfortunately, I'm doing the exact fucking opposite. Like, I'd rather take a dick up the ass then deal with my current situation and that’s saying a lot because...dicks. Ew. Am I right?!

Anyways, instead of doing all of that, I'm currently looking into the undead eyes of some chick I just met...have I mentioned that she’s trying to eat me? Like she hasn’t even bought me dinner first. Now, now, get those dirty thoughts out of your head, because that is definitely not what I meant. You did hear the part where I said undead, right? In what world are the words ‘undead’ and ‘eat me’ ever good together? Not a fucking world I wanna live in, let me tell you.

So, ya, I'm currently holding back some undead chick who is trying really hard to make me a late night snack, and though I should probably be focusing on that, I can’t help but think about the last time I did get eaten o-

“Four, motherfucker!” I hear right before I feel blood splatter across my face as the head, once trying to bite me, gets torn clean off by a golf club held by my best friend. I slump back to the ground as I push the, still undead, body of the girl off me. “Damn it, I really tried for the trash can but only got as far as the chip aisle.” I hear her mutter and I let out a laugh before sitting up.

“You’re losing your edge, Earp.” I say, looking up at her. Her face changes from disappointed to appalled instantly.

“Fuck-scuse you? I did not lose my edge, it is still very much there.” She growls, dusting herself off. I roll my eyes and haul my tired ass up into a standing position. I must have hit the floor pretty hard when the undead chick attacked me. “Besides, you seem to be losing your edge, considering you just let a 100 pound girl knock your flat ass to the ground like a cat pushing a jar off a table.” She states, making the motion of said cat. I huff and roll my eyes.

“Well if you had of been watching my flat ass, instead of staring at yourself and your knock off pleather jacket in the mirror, then this wouldn’t have happened.” I reply, glaring at her, though I'm sure amusement can be seen in my eyes. Her mouth drops open in shock.

“You shut your whore mouth, Haughtsauce.” She says, looking offended. “Don’t you listen to her, sweetheart, she’s just jealous.” She whispers, stroking her jacket fondly.

“Come on, Tiger Woods, let’s head back to Purgatory, it’s getting dark out and we’ve got all we can get from these places.” I say, looking around the empty grocery store. I pick up my backpack and start to walk towards the exit. She grumbles a moment before following slowly behind me.

“There’s literally nothing left in any of these ass shacks. We’re gonna have to start going farther, and if this is how it’s gonna be every time we go....ya know, me saving your ass...then I'm gonna have to try and find a new partner...” Just as she finishes her sentence, I grab a knife from my belt, whirl around and hurl it towards her. She swears and closes her eyes, only to open them moments later as a body slumps to the ground. She turns her head to see the body of a rather large man, a knife imbedded in his head. Her eyes shoot to mine as a large smirk appears on my face before I turn around and head for the exit again.

“Be a doll and grab my knife, would you, darlin’?” I drawl, exiting out of the store. I can’t help but smile a bit wider as I hear her swear enough to make a sailor blush. One thing you don’t do while with me? Don’t doubt me.

“Ya, you can kiss my pu-”

20 MINUTES LATER

“Weeeeeee are the champppionnnnnnns, my frieeeeeeeeend. We’lllllll keep on fightingggg till the ennnnnnnnnnnd. Dun, dun, dun...” Wynonna sings obnoxiously, and I honestly wish I could just push her out of the moving vehicle without getting roasted alive by her sisters. My head was pounding as I stared at the open road.

“Wy, do you want me to bake you something? Perhaps some shut the fuckupcakes?” I question, turning to glare at my companion. I turn back to the road when I see her smirk. “Or maybe you’d like to hear me recite the pledge of allegiance over and over and over again.” I say, a tight grin on my face. I hear her make a sound of disgust.

“All you law officials are the same....” She pauses, looking out the window a second before I hear, “Bitch, aren’t you Canadian?” She says, and I roll my eyes. We were driving down a deserted highway, only a few deserted cars with a couple of the undead milling about.

“I’m from Texas. I know your ass is ancient, but you couldn’t of forgotten that, considering we’ve been best friends for oh, I dunno, eight years?” I say, and I can’t help that my voice has a slight southern drawl to it. Wynonna turns to me.

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you cause I'm so old.” She deadpans, before turning to look back out the window, ignoring the smile on my face. “They are right about something. They do everythin’ big in Texas,” She says, imitating a southern drawl. “...the only big thing you are is a big asshole.” She mutters, and I can’t help but laugh.

“No need to be mean, I was simply trying to save my own eardrums from that racket you call a singing voice. Seriously, how are you related to Willa? She can sing like an angel.” I say, and Wynonna looks offended.

“I can sing...I just choose to not do it in front of you cause I know it drives you fucking bonkers when I sound like a cat dying in heat.” She states and I shake my head, chuckling. “Can we like pull over? I’ve gotta piss like a pregnant racehorse.”

“How is that....nevermind. Ya, but make it quick. It’ll be dark out soon.” I say, pulling over to the side. She bolts out as soon as we stop and I step out of the vehicle. Scanning the roads for danger, before grabbing my bat, just in case.

“Holy balls, Nicky, you should see the size of this cactus! It’s so small yet there’s more pricks than a Thai strip club!” She yells from down in the ditch. I close my eyes and shake my head for a moment. I swear this woman is going to get me killed, or ya know, make me wanna drive off a short cliff. Wait a second....

“Cactus? Wynonna there are no cactus’ around here! What-” I stop mid sentence as I hear her scream causing me to run to the side of the ditch, bat in hand. However, what I see doesn’t make me panic, oh no, instead it makes me near piss myself, ironically.

“The fuck is this demon ball of satan?! It moves! What the fuck tits is this shit?!” Wynonna screams, near falling over as she attempts to pull her pants up and run. I honestly think I'm going to die. Like, die from the amount of air leaving my body as I laugh. I fall to my knees in the dirt and just howl with laughter. Like, I can’t stop as I watch Wynonna, now with her pants up, circle the thing on the ground. “This is some voodoo shit, right here, Haughtcake! Stop laughing, you asshole! This is serious! Like, it now looks like a pissed off pinecone that fell from the demon tree.”

“Oh god, just......Wynonna....stop.” I say, gasping for breath as I watch her circle what, to normal people, is known as a Porcupine. “It’s a porcupine!” I yell between breaths.

“A fork-u-fine?! What the fuck is that?!” She screams at me and clearly she didn’t hear what I said at all. It was times like this that eased the worry and fear that we lived in everyday. It was times like this that I wish I had a damn camera to capture this moment. “Oh hell no, this is not ok with me. If this is what my life is gonna be ended by then you tell everyone that I was badass and took on thousands of these things.” She says, her eyes widen as it moves towards her. “You stop right there, you little bitch.” She growls, reaching her hand out in the air. “Toss the bat, chuckles the clown. Imma end this.”

After another agonizingly long ten minutes, we’re finally back in the car and Wynonna wipes her hands, and looks straight ahead. I honestly am trying really hard to not laugh again and it seems that Wynonna can feel my dilemma.

“Wy....”

“Not a fucking word, Haughtshot.”

PURGATORY

As we pull up to the rather large gates of the safe haven we call Purgatory, I couldn't help but sigh in relief. Every time we leave this place to go a bit farther for supplies, the more dangerous it gets. It got to the point where I was happy to see this place, even though I hate most people that reside in it. Like literally. Everyone.

Purgatory was actually just a strip mall that we had cleared out about 4 months ago and though it wasn’t big, it had enough room to safely hold the group of survivors that we have gathered over the last eight months of the infection. Thankfully, we had managed to barricade the outside enough that nothing, so far, has managed to get inside and that, in itself, is a blessing. We have barbed wire fencing around the building that we picked up at the local Home Hardware before it got ransacked too much which helps keep everything out, but it’s not anything in the day that I'm worried about. It’s what slithers around at night that has me on edge.

You see, during the first few months of the infection, people assumed that Creepies, another word for zombies, were the only things that seemed to be around. Boy, were they wrong. The things that come out during the night are the ones you watch out for. Rather, you just avoid going outside after dusk entirely. I’ve only ever came close to a Crawlie, which is a term for whatever the fuck those things are, once and it will be the last time I ever get close to one. I won’t go into detail about what those things do to you, but it’s worse than what a Creepie will do. Far worse. The part that really has me terrified though? Is the fact that they don’t look human at all. Remember when I said ‘what slithers at night?’, well that is exactly what it does. So you can probably picture what kind of things slither around and then you’d get a rough idea....

Regardless, those things seem to hate the light, so we manage to keep enough light on at night to drive them away but not enough to attract too many Creepies. Which I suppose is good, but we still have to hear the noises at night. The screams. The hissing. Every sound you’ve ever heard in a horror movie is what we hear every night and the sad part is that some of us are just used to it.

“You know, a little warning that you two are leaving might be a good idea next time.” I shake the thoughts out of my head as we walk through the gates and I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes. Unfortunately that does not mean that I could stop my mouth.

“You know, a little warning that you were gonna be here waiting might have made me stay out there.” I chirp, shrugging off the glare the woman aims at me.

“Well I'll gladly give you warning next time.” Wynonna chokes on a laugh and slings an arm around the other woman as we stop in front of her.

“Ah come on, Waves! We like to keep it real. Keep ya guessing and all that jazz.” Wynonna says, giving the girl a kiss on the head. “Besides, who else would go get shit for everyone? Chump No Hardy?” She questions, a smirk on her face. Even I chuckle a little.

“Chump McHardly?” I say, looking up in thought. Wynonna cackles.

“Ohhh, oh, what about Lumps...” Waverly huffs out a frustrated sigh and pinches the bridge of her nose.

“Could you two be serious for one freakin’ minute?” She growls, glaring at the both of us. Mostly me. Of course. “You need to let us know when you two plan to go on one of your idiotic adventures because someone was very worried about you, ‘Nonna.” She explains, giving her a pointed look. Wynonna suddenly looks chastised.

“Mama!” We hear a tiny voice yell as a small ball of energy flew into Wynonna’s legs. She bends down to eye level with the little girl that was identical to her except for a few features. “Where were you? I was really scared.” She cries, and it makes me feel a little emotion in my chest. It aches.

“Hey sweetheart, mama is so sorry she didn’t tell you where I was going. I didn’t mean to make you scared, Allie.” Wynonna says in the gentlest voice I've ever heard her use, and I can’t help but soften as I watch my best friend interact with her daughter. “Don’t worry though, I had Nicky there with me and together we’re...” She prompts, and her daughter’s eyes light up and turn to look up at me, excitedly.

“You’re super heroes!!!” She shouts, and all three of us chuckle at her enthusiasm. “Auntie Waves too!” She turns to Waverly with a wide smile and I glance at the woman and notice how soft her eyes are. How beauti-....ugh no.

“You got it, babes. We’re all super heroes!” Waverly says, sending the little girl a wink. She giggles and before I know what’s happening, I feel the little ball of energy fly into my legs. She squeezes and looks up at me.

“Nicky, I missed you too. Daddy says that when I grow up that I can be just like you and Mama!!!” She says, letting go and holding her hands out like guns. “Pow, pow. Make your peace, sucka!” I bend down and smile fondly at her.

“That’s right, lil lady. You’ll be kicking some butt in no time.” I whisper, giving her a wink. She giggles and wraps her arms around my neck for a brief moment, which surprises me. She’s not usually one to hug anyone other than her parents and her Aunts. I guess, thinking back, I was always the exception. She lets go quickly and turns back to Wynonna.

“Can we go get food? I'm hungry, Mama.” She whines a little and Wynonna rolls her eyes, playfully.

“I guess so, my little food monster. Let’s all go get some grub.” She states, and I hesitate a moment. I was kinda hungry but I didn’t really want to be around
anyone at all. Decisions, decisions.

“I think i’m just gonna to my tent, Wy. I’m beat, but I'll catch you later.” I say and she opens her mouth but I shake my head. She sighs and then whispers something in Alice’s ear which makes her shriek in joy and they walk off together. I watch them go for a moment before noticing that Waverly is still standing here. “What?” I growl in annoyance and this only causes her to roll her eyes.

“You know, maybe if you actually, oh I don’t know, interact with other people than maybe they would start to like you.” She states, and I huff out a laugh.

“I could care less whether they like me or not. I don’t need anyone’s approval, Waverly, and I sure as hell don’t care if you like me or not.” I say, as a matter of fact. Her eyes narrow as she scoffs.

“Good because I really don’t.”

“Fine.” I snarl, turning to walk away from the annoying brunette.

“Fine.” She yells out after me, and I can hear her stomping all the way to what I assume will be the food court. I can’t help but roll my own eyes at her stubborn ass. This is the shit that I have to deal with. If only I could care about it...