There is no better way to travel then in an airship. Assuming the weather is good. And the batteries are charged. And the helium sacks aren’t leaking. And the dead girl living with you doesn’t try and walk out the screen door on the side of your floating Winnebago. I guess it’s kind of a mixed bag really.
Well she wasn’t dead. Not any more. I had seen Delta die. Or at least I thought I had. Her brains had been shot out before my eyes. But she was sitting at the tiny pull out kitchen table in our new home. She was wrapped with a blanket. It was stained from the bulls blood smearing off her naked flesh.
Her hair was matted with the drying blood. It was falling off in clumps on to the formica. Her eyes were fixated on them. When she thought I wasn’t looking she would roll them up into a ball and flick them at me. That little act of playfulness gave me some hope in the face of her yawning silence.
I worried that she was broken beyond repair. While I had travelled with her before she was never quiet. She never stopped talking for more than a few minutes. Even in her sleep she would mutter, grumble and fart at the world. But now she just stared and flicked blood balls at me.
My silence wasn’t anything new. I was staring out the windscreen. Pretending I knew where I was going and brooding. Convincing myself I was giving her some space wasn’t working. I really had no idea what to say to the recently dead, despite my personal experience. I should have said something. Shoulda woulda coulda.
We had managed a harrowing escape only a few hours before. Bullets had been ricocheting around the interior like fucking plinko. Its amazing that nothing broke and we weren’t shot. The sun was beginning to rise; warming the floating Winnebago. I stripped off my blood caked jacket. I was covered in almost as much blood as Delta; stuck under my nails and in my ears.
The kitchen sink was empty and I tested the taps. They produced a brown, warm water. I proceeded to use a junky looking dish cloth to give myself a little whore’s bath. The sink ran red with the blood of last night’s ritual sacrifice and of some poor kid I gutted with an axe. I hoped that I would never get too comfortable with killing. Each one was a stain.
After my Lady Macbeth moment at the sink I plopped back down in the driver’s seat. A comfy captain’s chair.
The Airship was fairly simple and incredibly complex. The basic controls were shockingly well labelled. It had become obvious that the thing wasn’t driven by an internal combustion engine, but by an electric one. How did I deduce this? Why, by seeing the gage labelled solar battery charge.
There were a wide range of gages. A compass. Speedometer. Various battery levels. Helium volume and pressure. No altimeter though which was incredibly irritating later on. I was going north and had lots of charge. That made me feel like I knew what I was doing. The problem was I had no idea how any of it worked. Or what a lot of it meant. So if anything went wrong I was screwed, just like with my old truck.
The Winnebago had all the comforts of home as imagined by a motorhome executive thirty years ago. So we had our lovely electric stove, that had been gutted and replace with ammo stores and a hot plate. Next to that was a convenient double sink now smeared with blood. A comfy bench seat ensconced a formica topped table. All of which were covered with mysterious stains.
Right behind the driver’s seat was a mounted MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher. Or at least that’s what the markings said. Behind the passenger seat was a M2A1 Heavy Machine gun. Both ready to rain fire and lead upon the unsuspecting world.
The “living room” area was also the kitchen table. There was a recessed area on the wall. That was probably where a flatscreen used to hang. It was now being used as a gun rack. A couple of long rifles, some short barrelled assault rifles and two tasers. One of the long guns had “bessie” scratched into the fancy carbon composite stock.
There was a bathroom. It was a toilet and shower all wrapped into a frightening mildew box. I hadn’t bathed for weeks so it was starting to look mighty tempting. The dish soap wipe down would do for now.
The back of the ‘bago was a bedroom with 2 bunk beds in it. Under and around the beds was devoted to further ammo and food storage. There was a a lot of ammo in that little tin box. There were also several bullet holes in the floor from our escape from the holy place the night before. We were lucky we didn’t hindenburg the motherfucker.
I had lost most of my gear in the fight. The tablet, the satphone and the camera were still in my pocket. My revolver and rifle had made the trip as had my favourite multi-tool and, of course, my precious bowler hat. It was starting to look a little stained and worn, but that didn’t matter. It still made me look hot.
The only contact I had out there in the wilderness was a mad lady. She had shot me with an arrow. Right in the leg. I got infected with worms. I got better. Then she fucked me. In a good way. The thought of it made my cock twitch.
She wasn’t traditionally attractive I suppose. Brutish and muscular for a woman. Taller then me. She kept her blonde hair cut down in a brush cut. I’m sure she would have been categorized as a dyke or something, but she didn’t seem to have any aversion to hetero fun times. Definitely a powertop and crazy as a sack of bees.
I was out of it for most of my time with her, from the infection. She had...rescued us?...I guess. She attacked a convoy of Gilgamesh followers that were taking Maria, Delta and I somewhere. That’s when she shot me. I really should've gotten her name. I am really bad at that. Delta would know though.
I traded the crazy dyke lady for some supplies with the promise of returning with skins and cured meats. Well it might have been for taking the rough sex like a champ. She had awoken some turn ons in me that were difficult to sait Mr. Fisty.
I had yet to fully pay her back for everything. With the GPS on the tablet I could probably find her again. Assuming she hadn’t moved much.
The Baron would be calling again in the next few days to get an update on my recon mission. I was supposed to send him images and intelligence reports on the place Delta and I had shot up. He was probably not going to be pleased that we had basically blown it up. Fuck’em.
The chair begged me to so I began to spin. Twirling and staring at the ceiling. There was some movement out of the corner of my eye. Delta had flicked another blood ball at me. I brought my head down just in time for it to land on the tip of my nose. I scowled at it and Delta giggled.
The giggle was like a starter pistol. I bolted out of my seat and scooped her up, blanket and all. She began to squeal along with more giggles. I carried her to the shower/bathroom and dumped her in it. With a sharp tug I pulled the blanket away.
The taps were a mystery to me so I just turned them until ugly water came out. The giggling turned to cursing when the cold water hit her. I quickly shut the door and leaned against it. She pounded at the door.
“Shower up and get that foul blood off you.” I shouted over the water.
“Fuck! It’s cold!” She screamed back and hit the door a couple times.
“The longer you take the colder you’ll be and who knows what that water actually is.” I responded.
The silence returned. She stopped hitting the door. No more playful giggling. Just the sound of the water running and stuttering. I sighed and began looking around for a towel. There was a filthy looking one on the floor all covered in grease stains. So not very helpful. I leaned off the door a bit. A cleaner towel would have to be found.
Delta kicked the door. It caught my heal and I tripped. The Winnebago doesn’t offer a lot of space for a full grown man to fall down in. I tried to crumple down, but flailed my face into the fridge across from the bathroom. I saw the prerequisite stars and slumped the rest of the way down to the floor.
That floor was disgusting. Crumbs. Mud. Rotten food bits. Mysterious brown material that was not mud. And now my face was mashed into it. I groaned and rolled over. Delta was a top me. Straddling me. Naked. I might have been turned on if I thought of her that way and she wasn’t fifteen. Also she had a knife to my throat.
The shower had moistened the blood again, but she hadn’t been in there long enough to wash it away. It was flowing again; in streams down her body. Little drops of it were dripping off her long black hair and on to my grimy shirt. I could feel the little spots of wetness on my chest. Slightly cooler than everything else around them. Disrupting the thermodynamics of my man boobs.
“Why did you leave me there!?” She screamed at me. Holding onto my shirt she pulled me closer. She was stronger than I remembered. The blade was pressed into my throat. If it had been sharp I would be bleeding out.
“I thought you were dead.” some tears welled up in my eyes, “I saw you die. Rasmussen murdered you.”
Her voice was beginning to stutter with emotion, “I know! I know! But you were supposed to save me.” The last part trailing off.
The blade was still at my throat. It had eased up a bit. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t save you. I couldn’t save Maria. I failed you both.”
The knife clattered to the floor next to my head. Delta fell down onto me. Her face hidden behind her bloody hands. With one arm I held her tight. With the the other I pulled the discarded blanket over us. She was shivering as well as being wracked with sobs. I ran my hands over her hair and just kept saying, “I’m sorry” over and over again. My mantra. I’m sorry.
She cried for awhile. Almost exactly fifteen minutes. There was a clock on the stove. When she calmed down I sat her up and made sure she was wrapped up in the blanket again. I was on the floor next to her. We stared at the wall together. Her still sobbing intermittently and me blank faced.
Finally I spoke, “Two questions.” I held up two fingers in front of me, “First. Where did that knife come from? I don’t remember seeing that. Second why did they shave your pubic hair?”
She blurted back at me, “Why the fuck were you looking at my pussy old man?”
“I was not looking at your pussy! I just noticed when I was scooping you out of the bulls neck blood.”
I glared at her.
“They did not make me shave my pussy. I just like a clean front lawn. Pervert.”
“I’m the pervert? I thought the apocalypse would bring the world back to the realms of wild and wooly vaginas. But the smooth pussy still stalks the world. As big as ever.”
“Are you saying I have a big pussy?”
“Oh for fuck sake.”
She giggled and punched my arm.
“Where did the knife come from?”
“It was on the back of the toilet.”
I chuckle grunted.
“You were supposed to save me. I guess you did in a way. I’m like you I think. I remember the sound of the gun than waking up naked in the back of one of those trucks.”
“I don’t know Delta. I don’t know. Maybe I’m infectious. I’ve spent more time with you and Maria than anyone else in a very long time.”
I looked at my hands, draped in my lap. Old now. Older than my 40 some years. Creased and scarred. Stories behind them. Even little bits of embedded grit. Stones and metal shavings. All those little things remade when my heart stopped and my body burned. .
“Could you be my father? My mother was never sure my dad was really my dad.”
Raised eyebrow, “Where were you born?”
“San Diego. I think.”
“The farthest south I’ve been is San Francisco. And that was just a few months ago. So I probably didn’t fuck your mom. Sorry. Unless my masturbatory emissions have a range measured in leagues.”
“I wish you’d fucked my mom.” She leaned her head onto my shoulder.
“Me too hun. Me too.”
There was bright flash through the front windshield, ruining our sweet moment.
“What the fuck now.” I exclaimed.
We both go to our feet. I sat in the driver's chair and she slid into the passenger seat.
“That’s a flair.” I stated.
The smoke trail led down to the top of a hill. The landscape was thinly wooded. A young forest for a new age. We could see a man atop a noble steed. He had a flag mounted on his backpack. A pole lifted it above his head. It was the white circle on black background of the Followers of Gilgamesh.
That’s when I remembered the giant painted flag on the side of our stolen airship.
“He thinks we are on his side.” I said.
Delta bounced up out of her chair, letting her blanket fall again. I was getting very tired of averting my eyes. She made to grab “Bessie”. I placed my hand on her arm. She turned and glared rage back at me.
“Wait.” I reached down and grabbed one of the tasers, “I want to have a friendly chat first.”
Delta just smiled.
Lovingly copyedited by Mollie!