She stared blankly into space, hardly daring to let the information she had heard sink into her mind. It was overplayed, it could NOT be as big a deal as they made it out to be. It had to be like swine or avian flu. It would blow over and everyone would feel foolish. But what if it was as bad as it seemed? What would she do? She felt her partner shift his weight in bed and took a deep breath. He was such a light sleeper, she did not want to wake him with her nervous mind. Slowly she rolled over, closed her eyes, and forced her mind to go blank.
Ellie woke up as usual, though she had barely slept at all. She stretched her arms over head and slowly shifted out of the covers, hoping not to disturb the man beside her. It was no use, Phil rolled over in bed and caught a glimpse of her worried expression, it must have been bad, as sleepy as he seemed. Ellie had started to walk away when he took her hand and pulled her back towards the bed.
“why the long face, beautiful?” he asked, his dark brown eyes filled with concern and affection. Ellie sighed heavily, debating on whether she should tell him what she was worried about or not.
“have you seen the news? The “undead virus” people are talking about?” Ellie asked as she fidgeted her hands, wringing them in an attempt to keep from getting hysterical. Phil nodded, and she took a deep breath again, trying to calm her nerves.
“I am trying to figure out if I should be worried about it and prepare for it or not. It could be nothing, and if I get all worked up about it, I will feel like a moron when it blows over. But if it is something to be concerned about, I want to be ready and able to do my best to keep us from getting it.”
Bill smiled and scooted over so Ellie could sit beside where he lay on the bed. He stroked her back and chuckled as he thought about his response, “I think I would rather be over prepared than under.”
It had been the day before that Ellie had first heard of the undead virus. The first case had been in Harlan, Iowa. A pig had died, but when the employees came to discard the carcass, they had found the pig kicking and snarling in its attempts to get out of its pin. One of them had been bitten as they tried to soothe the pig (which they believed to be alive and had put back with the other swine). Not only did this pig proceed to bite others, but the man also caught the virus and it began to spread around the country. Its victims had no pulse, and were impervious to bodily injury. It was as if a cross between rabies, a flesh-eating disease, and leprosy had been developed. Those infected developed an insatiable hunger to feed, bite, and ravage their surroundings. Spread through the saliva of the wounds, its victims suffered from pains, seizures, headaches, fevers, and insatiable hunger before the disease hit full force. Those who were infected were observed, and it appeared that they lost all rational thought as well as all sensation in their bodies. A man from Chicago had been observed to slash himself open on a window he had broken, yet walked on as if nothing had happened and was able to infect his coworkers. The number of cases diagnosed had risen to almost 10,000. And people began to fear the virus, naming it the “zombie apocalypse”.
When Ellie had seen the news special, she literally shuddered. With list in hand, she proceeded to board all the windows twice over, locked all the doors with multiple locks she had gone out to purchase, and had bought enough first-aid and cleaning supplies to last years. Phil has chuckled at her home improvements, but had complied when she requested that he bring home emergency supplies like crank radios, walkie talkies, freeze dried food and crank powered lights. Ellie had always been a worrier, and she had often prepared her home for natural disasters.
Phil continued to rub Ellie's back, kissing her shoulder as he sat up. “honestly, I think we should be worried. We have always joked about zombies, but these are the real deal. With 10,000 recorded cases, a lot of them in our area, it would be stupid to just ignore it.” Ellie smiled and kissed him softly.
“If that's how you feel, I think we need to re-supply our gun collection.” Phil laughed heartily and nodded.
Ellie sighed and was able to relax for the first time. She looked at the supplies she had organized in bins in front of her. She and Phil had also purchased a pick up truck so that they could leave the state. Businesses in towns were already shutting down, including both the school Ellie had taught at, and the university where Phil worked. One bin was full of food, another of medical supplies, yet another was filled with weapons like the machete she had received as a gift and a baseball bat Phil had swiped from his nephew. They also had loaded a military locker with guns and ammo into the bed of the pickup. Along with hygienic supplies, and sleeping bags, the truck also had a capped bed, a full tank of gas, and two full emergency tanks in the back.
Ellie almost chuckled to herself, she and Phil had played video games featuring zombies quite a bit when they had first started seeing each other, and they knew that survival favored the prepared. They were heading to the mountains, to a sturdy cabin they had purchased to vacation in. They were all prepared.
Ellie shook out her warm leather jacket as she laid out two outfits to take with them. She slid on a pair of sturdy jeans, which fit her tightly enough to avoid being grabbed onto. She was debating on shoes, the news had recently reported that some creatures had escaped the montioring facility. She had already seen one take off after her neighbor's dog, and they could sprint very well. None of her shoes seemed sturdy and reasonable. She then glanced at the pair of converse sitting in the corner. They were about calf height, and were from her high school years. At the time she had drawn on them with permanent markers, but her job had deemed them inappropriate, so they had sat in the corner ever since. They were sturdy, and lightweight, it would not be hard to patch them if something happened. Making a decision she grabbed them and pulled them on, along with a couple shirts and a hoodie under her jacket. She pushed back her short hair, wishing it was long enough to pull back.
Phil shook violently as he took in the sight in his rear view mirror as he came back to town. People wandered in the streets, ignoring the traffic. It was almost exactly like the movies. Except these creatures did not moan. They stared mindlessly in front of them, bloody wounds and broken bones, at the sight of the moving car, several had taken to pursueing the vehicle. Phil floored the engine and the truck roared forward, hitting several creatures in his attempt to get away from the populated town.
As he drove on, Phil took in the sight before him, a woman ran across the football field, pursued by a dozen or so creatures. Their decaying emaciated bodies revealed several disgusting wounds. A few were missing limbs, some had almost no head, one in particular was missing an eye and an arm. He ran to aid her, as the creatures were closing in quickly. Pulling the hand gun from the seat he aimed and took three down, the woman turned to grab the purse she had dropped...her fatal mistake. Phil winced as he saw the creatures pin her down and began to tear at her. He had to turn away when he heard the woman scream as one creature tore into her stomach and pulled out her intestines. He turned again and aimed once....at the woman's head. It was his first mercy killing, and he could almost hear the woman's voice thanking him as he got into his truck, and drove home. But it did nothing to relieve the guilt in his heart.
Returnnig home, Phil honked the horn, to tell Ellie they were leaving, but it was unnecessary, as soon as he pulled into the garage, Ellie was in the passenger seat. They locked the truck and pulled out, ready to take on the worst.
Ellie was unprepared for the spectacle that met her eyes. Bodies were strewn everywhere, it seems the media had misinformed them when they said “a few” had escaped. The creatures stood in the streets, lumbering slowly, some holding their heads as if they were in pain. One women in particular, appeared to be running from the creatures, when suddenly, she knelt and held her head, crying in agony. She slowly rose and her gait took on a similar note to those of the infected. Ellie could not help the tears that had started to roll down her cheeks. She only wished to know why these people had to suffer, why the infection had even germinated. As they drove, she saw the body of a child, laying against the curb, obvious bite marks and gouges of flesh were torn into his body. His pale blue eyes still held the fear, nearby a little girl was being pursued.
Without thinking Ellie took off her belt and bolted from the car, machete in hand. She quickly sprinted the distance and scooped the child into her arms. She turned and slashed at the two creatures behind her, one she noticed, had only one yellow eye and one arm, that is, until she dismembered the remaining limb. The other she stabbed through the chest, leaving the machete and running back to the truck that was still in motion as Phil had tried to keep up with her without attracting more attention. The girl whimpered in her arms, as Ellie climbed into the seat, locked the door, “FLOOR IT!!” she screamed as more infected took notice of the escape vehicle. Phil hit the gas and ran over several zombies, but Ellie could not relax until they left the city limits, headed to the country side, to where there was not a creature in sight. Ellie slumped and looked at the child who had climbed into the makeshift backseat. She was trembling. Her long blonde hair was dirty and bloody. It looked as if a creature had tried to grab her hair. Ellie said a silent prayer of thanks for cutting hers short, it would be harder to get caught if you had less to grab onto.
The girl looked about ten, but was very petite for her size. She was thin, and looked haunted, as if something horrible had occurred before her eyes, for they no longer held the innocence of a child so young. She caught Ellie’s gaze and looked down.
“Th-thank you...for.....for saving me” she whispered, “i thought I was going to die....” Ellie only nodded as the child shivered violently.
Later they pulled up to a sturdy log cabin at the top of the hill, their honey moon sweet, Phil recalled. It was the safest place he knew. He opened Ellie's door as she carried the unconcious child into the house, Phil walking behind her watching her back. After carefully Locking all the doors and blocking all the windows they quickly unloaded the car and prepared themselves for the long isolation ahead of them.
“Never thought it would come to this” Ellie mumbled, as she stared off into space in front of her. In the distance you could see smoke and fires on the horizon, as terrified families who refused to leave began to burn fires around the perimeter of their homes. Unfortunately, as Phil had heard from his mother, their house had been lost to a runaway fire their neighbor had started. His mother had driven by before she and Phil's father left, to make sure they had gotten away safely. The fires did nothing to deter the zombies, it just aided in their demise after they found you. Decapitation was the only way to kill them, and only because they no longer had a body to chase you.
“I know what you mean love....” Phil stood on the top of the hill, his gaze going to the smoke that billowed from the valley below....He was trying to figure out if it was a signal for rescue, or the remains of an infection. Phil wrapped his arms around Ellie, as they struggled to comprehend the end of mankind. As far as they knew, only a handful had managed to get away before the airports were closed, including their family. But who knows if zombies had infected passengers before they had boarded the plane.... This truly was a zombie apocalypse.
“ I am going to go check on the girl, see if she has a bite or anything.” Ellie said quietly before entering the cabin. The girl was sleeping soundly, undisturbed, Ellie was about to lift the blanket to check for wounds when she suddenly let out a cry of agony that arched her back. Her arms thrown behind her, the girl's call was unearthly, it was shrill, it was inhuman. It was only then that Ellie noticed a bite mark on her stomach, above her hip. The girl had obviously made attempts to bandage it, but it was no use, there was no cure for the infection. The girl seized up and began to thrash about....she vomited and tossed about as she fell to the floor, pulling her own hair in her misery. Ellie grabbed the gun, trying to force herself to pull the trigger, before it was too late, but she could not bring herself to aim at those blue eyes that spoke of fear, and pain.
The girl suddenly lay still. She was dead.....Ellie only hoped she was one of the fortunate few that died of complications of the infection, before the final phase had matured in her bloodstream. She slowly approached the girl, for she had backed up a good twenty feet. But as she did, the girl sat up and curled in a little ball, rocking herself and sobbing. As Ellie approached closer she growled, “GET AWAY FROM ME!!!” then she hissed. Ellie backed away, jumping and gasping as she bumped into Phil, who had his gaze intently fixed on the corpse before him
“we have to shoot her...” he whispered, raising the shot gun in his hands and slowly approaching the girl
“NO! We can't she's just a child! We saved her, I don't want to be the reason she dies!” Ellie whispered frantically, noticing the girl was getting more and more agitated with their conversation.
Phil only shook his head, “we won't be, she was infected before we saved her, I an surprised she lasted this long...” And with that final statement, he aimed, pulled the trigger, and blew her brains out.
With a final screech, the girl stood, writhing in pain, and then died.....her spirit finally able to rest.
Ellie dropped to her knees and sobbed.
The next day Phil had put on thick work gloves to dispose of the corpse, and attempted to clean the blood and brain matter from the wall. It was no use. The cabin was contaminated. He had no clue whether he and Ellie were immune, and he refused to take a chance. All it would take is a tiny sliver to allow the virus into the bloodstream. He only hoped no one would seek shelter here. A sudden thought came to him.
“Ellie, Go get the jug of kerosene out of the shed in back.” Ellie, though puzzled, complied as Phil dragged the corpse back inside after they had empitied the place of their belongings. He stared at the lifeless form of the girl. “I'm sorry I couldn't save you, but I will give you more than most.” With that said he silently poured the kerosene over her body, struck a match, and lit her ablaze. Quickly he dashed out of the cabin, as the flames swallowed the body, the door, and the rest of the cabin. He stood by Ellie, who watched as the flames grew. Tears rolled silently down her cheeks as she whispered words only she could hear. With a nod, they both climbed into the truck, and drove away as the flames burned on.
The drive was long, and discouraging, no matter how far they drove, there was always an abandoned car or two. Several times they stopped by a car that was a flurry of activity, to see if any survivors were near. But everytime they found creatures feeding on the corpse. One creature haunted ellie as they drove by him. It was the same creature that had infected the girl, a creature with one yellow eye, and no arms.
They drove on and on, stopping only for gas. Gas was hard to find, many stations were empty. Everytime they drove by an empty gas station, Ellie said a silent prayer of gratitude for the emergency tanks in the back. Though they would have preferred not to use them, it became of lifeline that could eventually mean the difference between life and death.
“I don't know about you, woman, but I need to stop and stretch.” Phil said as they reached an abandoned gas station. Ellie looked around nervously, but it had been quite awhile since they had seen any zombies. “all right, want me to drive next?” she asked
“Nah, go inside, see if you can find any food. I don't want to cut into our emergency stash yet. Take your gun, I don't want to lose you babe.” Ellie nodded as she took a machete (a lucky find back in town to replace her display version) and a shotgun.
She cautiously kicked open the door to the convienince store, which beeped a familiar greeting. Ellie brethed slowly, waiting to hear footsteps. But all was silent, Ellie relaxed, but stayed poised as she grabbed a large bag from the counter, and began filling it with the snack foods on the counters. Some of the food had begun to spoil, she wrinkled her nose in disgust as she traveled down the aisles. She was about to grab some bottled water when she heard a shaky rasping breath. Ellie screamed as she turned around towards the exit.
Phil heard the scream, the all too familiar scream, and ran inside: quickly locking the car doors. With a katana in hand, he kicked open the door and yelled in horror at the sight. Ellie had been knocked down by a creature and it was now attempting to tear through her stomacvh. Ellie screamed as she struggled from the weight of the creature, which had called for others to come swarming. Several had already joined him. Including one with no arms. Phil sliced his way through body after body, afraid he would be too late by the time he got to the center of the swarm. Finally he spotted Ellie's hand, grabbing it to give her reassurance, she squeezed to signal her well-being, being covered in bodies, it was futile to waste her breath and expose her throat. Ohil panicked when he felt her grip give way as he tried to pull her out from under the horde.
Suddenly, the One-eyed creature tilted his head back and howled, facing in the opposite direction. The zombies froze, looked to him, and they all ran away. Ellie was left in a pool of partly congealed blood that had dripped on her, she was covered in fluids, and she lay unmoving. Phil felt a chill go through his spine. He ran the remaining twenty feet to her ( he had been knocked back by the exiting horde), kneeled and pulled her head into his lap. Restraining his urge to panic, he checked for a pulse and breathing. She was alive. Carrying her and the food still clutched in her other hand, he took her to the car, laid her down and went to the other side, locking them in. Peeling off her hevay jacket, which was contaminated, he found she had no open wounds, not a scratch, not a mark, only bruises. Her heavy layering had protected her from a zombies tendency to claw and bite. Her heavy jacket showed evidence of the brutal attack she had experienced. It was shredded, even if it was not contaminated, it was not salvageable. The tough leather was no match for so many claws and teeth.
Reaching for a wet wipe, Phil carefully wiped her face, so the blood would not get into her bloodstream anymore than it had already. With the cool wet cloth wiping her face, Ellie inhaled sharply and began to come to. Phil sighed with relief as he pulled her close, afraid that he had lost her. Ellie coughed and coughed, breathing heavily. Her body was limp, the heavy beating had broken her resistance, she could not tense her body if she wanted to.
“I'm sorry....” she whispered hoarsely. Phil glared out the window, as he held her, finally seeing the reason the zombies had left. The one-eyed creature had called the other zombies to a school bus. It appeared that the driver and some of the children had been infected,, and had begun to attack the other occupants. There must have been three buses, all full of creatures. Phil imagined he could hear the screams. “That creature knew, he knew they were an easier target, a better target. How would he know they were already weak and under seige?” he wondered allowed.
Ellie chuckled sarcastically, “ maybe he can sense body heat, those zombies are cold. I thought I was going to freeze. With that one eye, he seems to be following us, watching us.” little did she know how close she was to the truth.
The Spectator, as he was called by some who had already witnessed his skill, was able to see heat levels. It was almost as if he was looking through a heat sensor. With this ability, he could see through walls, and also sense how many humans were in one area, and other zombies. With no arms, he was not efficient at killing prey alone, as others might be, but his uncanny tracking skill had earned him the role of alpha-male among the other creatures, who had turned to their animal instinct as zombies. He called, they followed, when they made the kill, he was first to feed. Which would explain why Ellie had survived, when others had not. She was not as appealing as buses full of young already incapacitated children, and would not feed nearly as many of his horde.
Phil looked at the woman laying beside him, at what they had been reduced to. They had finally made it to their destination, a sturdy bomb shelter they had bought to ease Ellie's fear of atomic warfare. The whole room was cold, except for under the thick wool blankets they laid under. He looked at Ellie, his hard eyes softening as he took in her beauty.
Ellie had short auburn hair that framed her face as she slept, the silken strands were heavenly to stroke. Her high cheekbones and well defined jaw were tempting him to kiss them, but Ellie had not slept in days, he would not wake her. Full rosy lips pouted as she slept, slightly parted. Though her eyes were closed, Phil throbbed as he remembered the way her green eyes could pierce him completely to his innermost being. Laying on her side, the curves she claimed did not exist were even more pronounced than usual, and a peek of her cleavage stuck out from under the tank top she had worn to bed. Her collar bone framed them nicely. Phil turned and laid down beside her, wrapping his arms comfortably around her. God help whoever tried to take her away from him.
Phil woke silently, slinking out of the warm bed. He looked aorund the abandoned shelter they were in. It wasn't much. There was no heat besides the tiny space heater in the corner. Phil continued to gaze around, wishing they had prepared the shelter more. There was a large wash basin, about the size of a small bathtub, in the corner. The shelter had no running water, and little electricity. With no steady source of heat, and little food, it would only be a matter of time before they would need to venture outside again.
Phil sighed heavily, his brow furrowed with worry as he sat on a wooden crate and tried to think about what they could do. As far as water went, there was a small stream about a mile and a half from the shelter. He wasn't sure how clean it was, but he figured that boiling it would sanitize it. Electricity, they would just have to conserve the power from the car battery, and the battery in the truck. He hated to think about using the power source from their escape vehicle, but if worse came to worse... Food... that was a hard one. The fact that the diesease had spawned from pigs worried him, if there were zombies in the woods, they would contaminate other mammals too. Fish? Maybe.... he hated to think of how malnourished they could be living only on fish. Phil's thoughts raced as he tried to come up with a solution... their ammo would not last forever, which meant that they would need to use their hand weapons, which did not provide the safety of distance from the enemy. He rubbed his temples as he breathed slowly, forcing himself to relax as a small sigh pulled him from his thoughts. He looked up to see Ellie stretching. He loved to watch her stretch, it reminded him of a sleek cat. He smiled and walked over to the small bed where she still rested.
“Good morning beautiful,” Phil smiled as he spoke softly, “how did you sleep love?” He stroked her cheek softly and she held his hand against her cheek, kissing his palm.
“I slept....well?” she said giggled, “considering the long drive and the beating I took.” She sat up and looked at her arms, which were covered in heavy bruises, there was a bump on her head that worried her, but Phil had kept a silent vigil all night when they finally got to the shelter, so she wasn't as worried. She stretched her arms up as she sat up, feeling more than a little sore and tired.
“Have you looked outside yet? It was too dark to tell if there were any zombies nearby when we drove up..” she asked hesitantly, catching the hint of worry that flashed briefly in Phil's eyes as he looked at her.
“Not yet, I just woke up about fifteen minutes ago. You hungry?” Phil stood and went to the tub where they had stashed all the food they had been collecting from groceries and convience stores on the way there. They had collected a lot of food, but it wouldn;t last forever..... he thought. Phil fumbled as he tried to think of how to phrase his concerns.
“Not really, I'm so sick of junk food...” she moaned
“It's what we have right now, we don't have a stove just a little hot plate.” Phil said quietly. Ellie got out of bed and went behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and leaning her forehead on his back. “well maybe we better find a stove” she teased. She kissed the back of his neck and scurried to his side to dig through the large pile of chips and assorted snack cakes, nuts, candy bars, even some small individual bowls of oatmeal.
As she dug through, she began to sort and organize the food into sections, humming softly. Ellie was unconciously taking a measure of control. Due to the chaos around her, the normally unorganized scatter-brain was becoming more focused, more alert, and more organized as an unconcious survival instinct.
Selecting a bag of peanuts, Ellie tore them open and skipped to the bed, leaping onto it and landing on her side. She caught Phil's eye and patted the place beside her, inviting him to join. Phil smiled and complied, sitting beside her and stroking her knee as they ate. Despite the chaos outside, Ellie was happy where she was. Phil leaned over and kissed her softly, tucking a stray tendril of hair from her face, Ellie responded warmly, cupping his face in her hands to hold him there as he kissed her. He began to kiss her more hungrily, pushing her back against the wall beside the bed, Ellie wrapped her arms around his neck and parted her lips to invite a deeper kiss.
Phil pulled back a minute, out of breath. He looked at the woman in his arms and smiled, “I'm gonna make this last” he thought. He slowly removed ellie's arms from around his neck, kissing her shoulders and neck as he did so. He laid her down and kissed her collar bone, and was rewarded with a shivery moan. Ellie smiled to herself as she let him take over, after all, they had until the end of the world to play.
Ellie woke to find her head hanging off the bed, both she and Phil were sprawled over the tiny bed. She chuckled as she remembered earlier that morning, realizing that they were used to playing on the queen size in the house, not the tiny twin military bunk here. She sat up slowly, allowing her head to quit spinning before she carefully kissed Phil on the cheek, then went to retrieve her clothes. After getting dressed and emptying her bladder, it occurred to her that though they had a toilet, they had no running water. Their luxurious porcelain pot did no more than a common outhouse, it emptied into a large tank underneath the property, and if it was not emptied every two months or so, it would eventually leak and cause a stench. Not to mention cause a biological hazard, and attract zombies. She shuddered at the thought of the nasty chore ahead, but if they intended to stay it was something that needed to be done, how they would pump the tank with little technology was something that puzzled her.
She came into the living space to find Phil still out cold, she chuckled, realizing how hard it must have been for him to relax enough to get into the mood, and how much the tension had taken out of him. She let him sleep, deciding to go outside for a bit and check out the surroundings. Grabbing a pistol, and her trusty machete, she also grabbed a spare clip and stuck it on her belt. Cautiously, she opened the door an inch, before slipping out, her back to the room she was leaving.
She glanced at the miniature meadow before her, despite the beautiful foilage she was jumpy. She saw no creatures, but she had not seen any when she was in the gas station. She decided to climb a hill, where she could get a better look at smoke in the distance. The far distance, they were far away from any civilization. A thought struck her as reached the top, though her phone had a charge now, what would she do when it died? It was her only hope of contacting a potential rescue team. True they had the radio, which would supply them with any news of the outbreak, they also had walkie talkies, so she and Phil could still contact each other, but what about her family, his family? What if they ran into other survivors, surely they were not the only ones who had sought refuge? The thought saddened her, and she ran back to the shelter, determined to fix the problem somehow, someway.
As she was bolting the heavy door, Ellie jumped when she felt arms slip around her waist, “Don't jump my lovely, it's just me.” Phil's voice comforted her, she giggled at her tension. She leaned back against him, loving the closeness he provided. It was reassuring, knowing that no matter what happened, at least they had each other.
“ I checked out the surrounding area, I don't see any trace of the infection, but then again that does not mean they aren't there.” she mumbled. Phil nodded as he rested his head on her shoulder, “Glad you did that, means that we can start thinking about some of the impending problems of living here. We have no water”
“we have bottled water, a lot of it, we also have a lot of food. We never said we would stay here, we talked about staying on the move to lessen the risk of getting infected ourselves” Ellie responded, if it was up to her, they would leave the country. The news had talked about possible precautions when the outbreak became a serious problem, which included an extensive physical examination of the survivors, and eveacuating them, basically quarantining amaerica until the virus died out.
“ With limited gas, I doubt we would last very long, regardless of the infection. Our food is limited, and everything has an expiration daate. We can;t pillage forever either. I don't trust the military any farther than I can throw one of the soilders. We both know the privileged are getting out regardless of their infection status. Sadly, even in the apocalypse, money seems to be a winning factor.” Phil replied.
Ellie thought for a minute, he did have a point. “should we look for more survivors?”
Phil shook his head, much to Ellie's dismay. “I don't want to risk losing you to another little girl incident. She was gone before we could even get a good look at her to see if she was infected, and I won't go against the logic that the others may be as prone to the diesease. I won't lose you in my attempt to help others. Unless we can find others who have holed up and avoided the infection as much as you and I have, I will not extend our hospitality. As heartless as that sounds, you mean more to me then the remainder of humanity. Worse comes to worse, I'll be adam and you'll be eve.” Ellie chuckled a bit at his comment, though his answer disheartened her. Though it had only been a week since they had decided to take action against the infection, she was already lonely. Ellie felt as though she were the last woman on earth.
Phil noticed Ellie's eyes darken as he said this, and felt horrible. But after waiting so long to win her heart, to find love, he would not risk losing it if he could help it. Phil had been a loner most of his life, he believed that those who were worth his time would seek him out. So his circle of friends was close knit, and very small. Meeting Ellie had been almost a fluke of nature. Being a loner, he didn't really see any girls prior to Ellie. His mother had invited her lifelong friend, and her children to the house for dinner. Phil didn't want to stick around, when his mother mentioned children, he imagined little tots with runny noses and messy diapers. But after his mother had bribed him with his favorite meal he complied. He never regretted that decision. When he first laid eyes on Ellie, it was love at first sight. That night they spent most of their time talking about nothing too important, their chemistry was intense. Secretly, Phil's mother was relieved. Though she knew in her heart that he would have found love sooner or later, Phil was just picky.
Ellie had a similar reaction. Visiting with people she did not know well was not appealing to her at the moment, though Ellie was very social, she liked to have the choice of who she socialized with. But Phil gave her butterflies, something she had only experienced once during an episode of stage fright. After that visit, Phil and Ellie kept in contact, despite the distance, and Ellie eventually moved to be closer to him. Their love was precious, and she could find no fault in his reasoning, though her gut told her survival was selfish.
Phil took Ellie into his arms and carried her to the bed, she was stressed and needed to relax. He began massaging her back, he could feel the knots caused from the bruises, and her muscles were tight from the beating about a week ago. Ellie moaned softly when he got to a tender spot, gently circling it with his palm to work out the kink. Phil sighed contentedly, knowing how much these back rubs helped, knowing often it was the only thing that kept her from getting hysterical. Ellie turned to face him, holding his hands so he could not rub her back or hold her in place.
“ I can't do this....” she said tearfully, “ it's not fair for me to be safe and loved and protected when little kids have to die to save me..” she put her head in her hands and cried. Phil pulled her close, knowing only one way to comfort her, he started stroking her hair. Slowly he ran his fingers through the silken tendrils, over and over.
Ellie calmed, she quit crying and besides a sniff every now and then, she was fine. She lifted her head from his shoulder and kissed him. It was a long passionate kiss, this was one of the rare times that Ellie let her guard down. She trusted him completely, and knew that whatever his decision, she was with him.
Ellie stowed the tubs on the makeshift shelves, as much as she hated to admit it, Phil was right. After only a week in the shelter, there supplies were nearly run down. The water was not an issue, they had alternated turns carrying and protecting each other while they carried water from the stream to the basin inside. The only issue was treating it, with their tiny hot plate they could only heat about a gallon at a time. And it took hours before it was boiling well enough to allow it to cool and pour it into their jugs. They had taken to taking sponge baths, it conserved their water and they didnt have to heat it, though, Ellie mused, it was not nearly as wonderful as ahot bubble bath.