hod open

(There was a Steelers shirt, just her size with a giant logo emblazoned on the front, buried in the bottom of her bag that Mara has taken to wearing now. She tells herself it’s cleaner than the one that she was wearing before, probably for months even before the apocalypse given how worn and bloodstained it had become, that it’s more comfortable maybe, that it looks cuter with the miniskirt she found in the cabin next door that makes her feel more like herself. But the boyfriend also told her that she’d bought it for him, as a birthday present, so he could see his girl in his team colors. She had tried and failed not to roll her eyes at the time, how mundane and high school that all sounded, but she’s wearing it anyway and she doesn’t think about it.

She’s still getting used to the knives on her belt. The gun, sure, she had used before, but when she had carried knives with her they had only been for when people got too close. And now the goal was distance. She’s still getting used to this whole telekinesis thing, feeling out the buzz in her head, so she’s going back and forth, sitting beside her cabin and aiming the knives at a nearby tree. She throws by hand, with all her might, relying on muscle memory which hasn’t failed her yet, and brings it back by tugging gently on the buzz of her mind. She aims again, but when a scream she didn’t expect bursts out of the fog, it misses, and she stares as she sees she has unconsciously caught it in midair.)

...

[Bella sits outside of the bookstore, staring at the ground, completely lost in thought. Her puppy jogs around her feet, but keeps quiet; she’d trained him the night before not to bark unless there was an emergency. He hadn’t had a slipup yet, Bella suspected it was because he was too afraid of the outside world not to obey.]

[After a few minutes Bella absentmindedly put her hand over the ground, pulling out the small bit of water that was still there from what she assumed was a spill or some rain, and tossed it around, Rory watching in fascination as Bella made little balls of water and bounced them off the ground for no apparent reason.]

Ugh.

[She stands with the window wide open, a suitcase resting on her shoulder. It’s heavy, but that’s not a bad thing, not right now. She sets it on the window ledge, there’s a groan below her, a monster beginning to stir. She begins sliding the case off the window sill, making sure it’s directly over the thing below before she lets it go. It falls fast, whistling as it descends. There’s a sickening thud and when she looks again the monster is down. It doesn’t groan and it doesn’t bleed, it’s definitely dead. Still, she can’t force herself to take her eyes off of it. She’s half hanging out of the window, watching the corpse below intently, as daring it to stir again]

---

[Layla stands away from the group, between clothing racks in Sears, shoving her things into her bag. She’d barely gotten any sleep last night, tossing and turning trying to decide what to do. Her argument with Omar had made her feel more uncomfortable than she already did within the group. With the exception of Carter, Charlie and a few others, there was no real reason for her to stay anymore. She wasn’t sure she wanted to go to Quantico. She wasn’t sure she wanted to go anywhere, especially not with the possibility of more people telling her what to do. Home wasn’t very far and maybe this was a sign that she should never have gone looking for something more in the first place. It was time she went her own way.]

Um...

[Sitting at a table out in the lobby of the hotel, Hayley has taken apart and cleaned her handgun for the first time since joining the group, but she finds herself unable to put it back together.]

...

{Eli leans against the front of the Lincoln, a bottle of water perched on the hood next to him as he brushes his teeth. He slept half the day and now that he’s awake he wishes he could go back to sleep because there’s a nasty hangover making him feel sore and half drunk still. The words are muffled as he talks to himself, spitting water and foam onto the dirt.} My mouth tastes like cat shit.

Fuck me.

{Eli steps out into the cooling evening air, but he doesn’t go far. It’s not any concern for the rules, because they don’t apply to him, but a lack of energy despite his restlessness. He puts his back against the wall and then slumps down into a sitting position to light himself a cigarette. It’s painfully familiar, reminiscent of a Home Depot somewhere back in Jersey that he’ll never set foot in again.}

Hmm...

{Charlie sets herself behind the cashier’s desk, shifting back and forth as the chair spins. She’s restless, eager to be out of the state and, hopefully, far away from the group that murdered Josh. She feels awful that he didn’t receive a proper burial or memorial surface and the thought has been plaguing her since the group’s arrival at the mattress store. Maybe they could do something for him when the group’s safer.}

Alright now.

I need names, ages, and birthdays of everyone in the group. [Bobby makes the announcement loud from atop the table he’s standing on. There’s a clipboard in his hand and a pen at the ready.]

Huh.

{Eli sits on the counter of the bank, eyeing his shoulder curiously. It’s the first time he’s stopped to look at it since Araceli pulled lay on hands, or whatever the fuck she did. He didn’t question it much at the time because he felt better and that was all that mattered, but now he’s pulling the shirt away away from his neck and he’s looking at healed pink skin where there used to be a jagged knife wound. The others are in various state of repair, but the worst of them looks better.}

All I did was make a giant circle.

[Layla says to herself as she walks towards the book section of Sears. She’s in much better spirits now that her ribs are fixed, but she feels almost like the past few months have been a dream. It hardly feels real anymore, and that feeling is compounded by the fact that she’s now less than an hour away from the home she left behind. To keep her mind off of the all too tempting thought of driving down and seeing what was left she’s decided to look for a copy of the Cat in the Hat for Julian.]

[Piper lies on the ground in the lobby of the hotel, absently playing with her knife. She plucks at it with her fingers, makes little rips at the hem of her shirt, pulls up bits of the hideously patterned carpet. She’s just so bored. As her mind wanders, her finger slides too quickly over the edge and she feels a sharp pain. Startled, she looks to see a wet, red line already appearing.] Son of a bitch!

[The first thing Darcy’s aware of when she wakes up is the dull, constant ache in her head. She groans and keeps still for a few seconds, but finally she pushes her eyes open. It takes longer than it should for her to figure out where she is, and it only makes her head ache further because she doesn’t remember how she got into the sporting goods store or why there’s a leather jacket draped over her. In fact, the last thing she remembers is getting picked up in pitch darkness by a giant mutant spider, and it’s that thought that has her sitting bolt upright. Or trying to, because the motion sets her head spinning and it’s all she can do to half prop herself up against the wall and keep from being sick.] Ooow. [She mutters softly as she holds her head in her hands and tries to get her bearings.]

Shit. Look at 'em all.

{Eli’s at the window on the second floor, and outside them he can see the dead wandering the road, more of them then he thinks they’ve seen since Stroudsburg. There’s the suspicion that it’s only going to get worse from here, and he wonders if it’s passed the point where he can keep clearing the way by himself. He doesn’t like the thought.}