The sky boiled, spewing a caustic mirror across the broken city. As the young man lowered his hood, Isaac felt the familiar taste of shame stir in him. Rain had blown in through the open window and soaked the edge of the curtain in a yellow slime. The mustard coloured residue was all that remained now of that final attempt halt the pandemic. He made a despairing kind of noise, ‘Do you wanna know what I miss the most?’
‘I need to change,’ the boy said without lifting his head.
‘Video games,’ Isaac grinned, ‘and damn lucky for us we had them eh? Forty quid and a mild vitamin D deficiency was a small price to pay considering the tactical training we got.’
The kid showed no sign of returning his mirth, ‘My clothes are soaked in blood.’
‘Oh… sure, of course.’
This survivor hadn’t really needed rescuing. The gory truth of that lay scattered across the pavement outside. But the day was leaking away and all light would be gone within the hour. It wasn’t safe to be outside at night, not even for a kid with that many weapons.
Isaac raked through his cupboard, pulling out a set of grey sports clothes, ‘I’ll try the phone again, you never know.’ There was no response from the young man but Isaac didn’t expect any, mostly he was talking to the situation. ‘I’m also gonna have a quick look around the rest of the building,’ he said, handing over the dry clothes along with another grin, ‘see if I can find anyone else still alive.’
The boy finally looked up, ‘I’ve seen you before,’ he said softly, ‘I know who you are.’
‘Yeah well, seems like I have one of those faces.’
‘Why do you do this?’
‘You want to question my motivation?’ Isaac pulled air into his lungs more out of habit than anything else, ‘Isn’t saving your life enough?’
‘No it isn’t, not any more.’
‘Yeah well,’ Isaac sighed, ‘I’ve spent all of my life defending Human Rights, I’m not gonna throw that away, not even now.’
‘So that’s why you rescue people is it, to kick against a system that no longer exists?’
‘Plus I’m a vegetarian,’ Isaac hauled open the re-enforced door that led through to the lounge. A glitter ball caught the light and span in a thousand mirrored colours, ‘Guys, we have a new arrival,’ he yelled above the music.
‘You’re crazy, you know that,’ the boy said.
‘Comes with the territory kid,’ Isaac grinned, ‘and I figure that if this is the end of everything, well then we may as well have a party.’
‘So this is what you do now, you round up the living and party?’
‘Pretty much,’ Isaac winked at him, at least it could have been a wink, it was hard to tell when the accompanying eyeball was hanging against his cheek, ‘I mean of course I tried to organise something with the other zombies to begin with, but seriously, they just hung around in the kitchen groaning and eating out of the bin. And trying to get them to dance, honestly kid, I may as well have been at a damn funeral.’