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Chapter Three: The Do’s and Don’ts of Scotty and Bunny

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I should keep my mouth shut, my eyes closed, and not care.

But his words twist something inside of me. This would explain why Bunny reacted the way she did earlier.

And I was wrong…. Maybe they aren’t issues….. Maybe they just have issues they have to deal with….

My thought shocks me.

Don’t you dare NoName, you know the rules.

My head knows the exact words to say but they got lost on the way down to my mouth to speak.

“What happened?”

Wrong words NoName!

Scotty looks from the fire to me. The fire ignites the green in his eyes.

Is he crying?

A tear no bigger than my finger tip end sits in the corner of his eye. Something that’s never happened before, happens. My heart tightens painfully in my chest and a wetness forms in my eyes.

“I’ve lost track of how many months it’s been now.” Months? How can he expect his brother to still be alive? “But it was five us in the start.”

NoName this is when you should tell him you don’t care and go to sleep.

My painfully clenching heart makes my common sense go silent.

“Dad had decided it was time for Bunny and I to learn to protect ourselves,” he says, the faraway look in his eyes making me shiver. This is not the Scotty I’ve known for the past twenty-four hours. His liquid green eyes have turned an army green. They shine in the warm glow of the fire’s flames.

“We had been living in an abandoned trailer park at the time. Dad and Theo has made sure it was safe before we really settled down.”

“I’m assuming Theo is your brother?” I ask, my curiosity getting the best of me.

“Yes, he’s brilliant. He found a way to block off the exits and keep the corpses out of the trailer park,” he says.  “The trailer park was pretty big. Dad always said that he was going to be an engineer.”

The more he talks the colder his eyes get.

“It was bitter cold the day that our parents died, it couldn’t have been warm? Everyone deserves a better death then they got.”

The fire wood cracking fills the silence when he doesn’t speak for a few moments.

“It was probably mid-day when it happened,” he says his voice low and cold. “Dad decided to go out to the woods behind the trailer park. We had just began to learn how to hold and shoot a gun right when a herd of them came through. About twenty corpses came out of the woods. Probably from the gun shots Dad had shoot earlier to show us how it works. They tried to fend off the corpses, but we didn’t have enough gun power. Dad shoved Bunny, Theo and I toward the trailer park, but there were too many. We got split up from Theo and got chased away from the trailer park. As we were running away from the corpses I saw our Mom and Dad go down.”

His voice cracks as he nears the end of his story. “We haven’t seen Theo since, but we haven’t given up looking for him.”

“Did you go look back at the trailer park?” I ask him, my voice unnaturally soft.

“Yes, but he wasn’t there. We waited a couple days, but he still hadn’t come back. We had to leave. We needed food and the trailer park had none left.”

“How do you know he’s still alive?” I ask bluntly.

“He took Bunny’s stuffed animal and he took my dog tags.”

A stuffed animal and dog tags? That’s all we have to tell us he’s alive?

He must have interpreted my confused and doubtful look.

“You don’t understand,” Scotty said, frustration creeping into his voice. “Theo is still alive. He wouldn’t have left without those items.”

“But how can you be cert-“

Bunny’s sudden scream makes me stop in my words and jump in my seat. I watch as she thrashes around frantically on the couch with her eyes squeezed shut. The blanket I had placed on her no less then forty minutes ago is thrown to the ground as another scream escapes her mouth.

“Shhh Bunny,” Scotty says rushing to her side,” it’s ok, I’m here.”

He grabs her hands and pulls her to his chest. Tears stream down her cheeks, but her eyes remain closed. Scotty runs his fingers through her hair, humming a soft tune, and whispering words.

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Of all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company

And all the harm that ere I’ve done, alas it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit, to memory now I can’t recall

So fill me to the parting glass

Good night and joy be with you all

Of all the comrades that ere I had, they are sorry for my going away

And all the sweethearts that ere I had, they would wish me one more day to stay

But since it falls unto my lot that I should rise and you should not

I will gently rise and I’ll softy call “Goodnight and joy be with you all!”

A man may drink and not be drunk, a man may fight and not be slain

A man may court a pretty girl and perhaps be welcomed back again

But since it has so ordered been by a time to rise and a time to fall

Come fill to me the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all

Goodnight and joy be with you all

As he sang slowly and softly Bunny relaxed into his hold and the tears stopped. Scotty waits a moment or two before he gently lays her back on the couch and tucks her in quietly. She lays there with her face relaxed and in a silent sleep. Scotty stands up and reads my questioning look.

“When the world ended she began to have nightmares,” he explains. “Our mom would sing her that song to her. We found it was the only thing that calmed her down enough to go back to sleep.”

Nodding my head in understanding, I watch as Scotty takes this as his cue to return back to his place in front of the fire place. As he walks I notice he makes his footsteps carry no sound. It’s a strange trick really. He noiselessly sits down in front of the fire. I watch as his eyes go unfocused as he stares at the fire almost in a trance. He looks to be in a faraway place, far far away from this little shabby cabin.

“I don’t know what I’ll do if we can’t find him,” he whispers to the fire. “I’m only seventeen, I am nowhere near fit enough to take care of her on my own. I can barely take care of myself, how can I raise her? She deserves better.”

The blanket I threw at him earlier lays forgotten beside him. Slowly I find myself raising out of my chair and walking over to him not nearly as quiet as he was. I lean down and grab the blanket from beside him. My hands hesitate before they do what they originally planned to. I gently place the blanket on his shoulders. His liquid green eyes, more noticeably to the fire that reflected in them, peer at me in surprise.

“Don’t worry,” my voice softens without my permission. “We’ll find him.”

My feet guide me back to my wooden chair tiredly.

“Um, what should we call you?” Scotty asks as I sit down.

“NoName, call me NoName.”

“NoName?” He takes a moment and thinks about it

“It’s kinda fitting you know.”

“Yeah, now get some sleep because we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“What’s tomorrow?”

“I know you guys don’t want to learn how to use weapons,” I said. I can see him getting ready to protest, but I cut him off.

“But I am going to teach you how to use a weapon. It won’t be a gun because they make to much noise.”

He’s quiet for a moment. He just looks at me debating if he should agree or not.

“Fine, but you have to promise me that nothing will go wrong.”

You don’t do promises NoName, especially ones that you won’t be able to keep.

“I promise,” I say, completely disregarding my own thoughts.

These kids will be the death of me.

“You know you’re not so bad NoName,” Scotty says with something hard to decipher in his eyes.

“You’re not so bad yourself kid, now sleep,” I say leaning back against the cold wood of the chair.

“Good night NoName.”

“Good night Scotty.”

You’re in trouble NoName, your starting to get attached.

You should know better than to get attached.

You don’t want a repeat of last time.

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