Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dead On Arrival: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Doctor’s Orders
I felt the warn water trickle down my face and down my back. My body relaxing under the heat of it. All the blood and dirt of these past few months had gone down the drain, but the memories. They remain. Would the world go back to the way it was before the dead rose? Maybe. A hot shower definitely made things feel normal, but I knew all too well this was a minor temporary pleasure. If Matthew was here he would probably scold me for getting too comfortable. I wish he was here. Where was he?

I stood a little longer greedily soaking up the water, but it didn’t last long. The water turn ice cold and stopped all on its own. A knock on the door followed and a voice rang out from behind it, “Time’s up! We got to save water, Mr. Parker.”
“Yeah yeah. You could have warned me first,” I mumbled shivering. I grabbed the towel and scrubs they left for me on the chair. It didn’t take long for me to make myself presentable. The only thing disheveled was my hair and beard, but it looked good enough for the time being.

I was then escorted by a guard to an office. Not by my own will mind you, but by gunpoint. Totally unnecessary, but it’s not much you can say when looking down the barrel of a riffle. Nevertheless, I was welcomed by a more friendlier face once there. He was engaged in paper work at his desk, but the man looked up long enough to smile in my direction.
“Mr. Parker. You clean up nicely,” he said pointing at a chair across from him.

“I’ve had better days,” I scoffed sitting down and running my fingers through my damp shaggy hair.

“Don’t we all,” he laughed. His British accent more apparent and recognizable now. “I’m Doctor Aaron Pinto. It’s nice to meet you.”

He stuck out his hand and I returned the favor. He seemed nice enough. He continued adjusting his glasses, “I’m sorry about early, but I would like to thank you for saving Ms. Grace. She’s resting comfortably somewhere more private. She was quite traumatized.“

“Well that’s good and I’m glad she's alright, but where’s my brother? My twin brother. Matthew Parker. I also came in with a boy. Where is he? ”

“Lots of questions I see. I can answer one. I believe your brother is probably out of quarantine by now, so he should be in the cafeteria,” he said checking his watch.

“Or dead. You seem quite careless here.”

“I can assure you that was an isolated incident”, he said frowning. He then sighed, “Again I apologize. We’re under staff. Things have been quite hard lately. You should know. It’s still pretty bad out there isn’t it?”

“That’s an understatement. Bad is not even the half of it. Have you seen the shit that’s out there?”

“No, but I can imagine.” He glanced at my shock expression. “I’ve been cooped up in this place since it started, so I’m a bit sheltered.”

He continued, “I don’t envy you. I can’t even look down on you. I admire you. You’re strong. You’re resourceful. I mean a freaking drawer man. That was amazing!”

“Get to the point,” I snapped feeling my patience wearing thin.

“What I’m saying is. You’re a fighter. A survivor. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle comfortable in this fortress figuratively while you’re fighting to survive literally,” he exclaimed rising from his chair. “We need people like you. I think you’re fit in quite nicely here if you choose to stay.”

“I’ll think about it, but where’s…”

“Your brother? I’ll show you.”

He open the door and I followed him down a long hallway, which led to a flight of stairs. We enter another hallway, but unlike the others it was buzzing with sounds and voices. I ran ahead of him to big double doors and peeked inside. It didn’t take long for me to see him. My brother, Matthew. I could pick him out in a crowd any day. He was sitting with a group in identical scrubs looking around. I smiled ready to leap into the room.

“Just one thing,“ he said grabbing my shoulder. “I want you to really think about staying. You will be a great access to the community we’ve build here.”

I looked over at my brother and back at the doctor.

He laughed following my gaze. I take it convincing him won’t be easy. It won’t be easy on my end either since you’ve both ruffled some feathers already from what I’m hearing, but I can help you. I have a good feeling about you. Like they say, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?”

He stuck out his hand. “How about it?”

Shake Dr. Pinto’s hand (form an alliance) or brush him off (remain cautious)?

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