This is Issue #16 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Grateful.
Issue 16 - GratefulEdit
Adam stares in horror and disbelief. He can't take his eyes off of Dommy's dead body. "Gord...you killed him, man."
"That I did," Gord replies, emotionless. He places his pistol back in his holster, the stone cold look never leaving his face. "Let's go."
Adam hesitantly follows Gord out the door, and they head in the direction of the highway, ready to head back to the motel. As they walk through the vacant streets of the Wicker Park neighborhood, Adam builds up the courage to ask, "How could you just kill him like that?"
Gord keeps looking ahead and replies, "He was scratched. There was no way we could save him." "That's not what I meant. He was still alive. You don't even feel bad?"
Gord shoots him a glare. "Killing the living gets easier the more you do it. Now, shut up and walk."
Adam complies and keeps his mouth shut as they walk briskly. "You hear that?" Adam asks. "Sounds like infected." He and Gord can hear soft groans as they continue towards the highway.
"Yeah, I hear it," Gord says. "Stay focused." They move slower and keep their senses alert. But, unexpectedly, they make a left and see a wall of infected blocking their way.
Micah sits on the hood of a white sedan, sharing a cigarette with John. Micah quit smoking, but the stresses of the apocalypse have motivated him to start again. "You're pretty cool for an old guy," Micah says.
John chuckles lightly. "I try. It's my main priority to be cool now that the world ended." John stops joking for a moment and his face get serious. "I'm really sorry about your friend. What was his name? Cole?"
"Yeah. Cole," Micah says softly.
"He seemed like a good young man. I wish I could have gotten to know him."
"He was a great guy. We were friends since we were in elementary school. Jesus, I can't believe he's gone." Micah takes another drag of his cigarette.
"I know this must have been a lot for you, Micah, so I'll leave you for a bit. Give you some time for yourself." John slowly stands from the car, his knees giving him a bit of pain, and crushes his cigarette with his foot.
Micah sits on the car alone for a few minutes, thinking about past memories with Cole. He is almost on the verge of tears when he sees Hannah approach him and take a seat on the hood of the white sedan. Her eyes are puffy and red; she looks like she barely got any sleep last night.
"How are you doing?" Micah asks after a while.
"I can't believe he's gone," is all she says before burying her head in her hands and crying. Micah places an arm around her shoulder and lets her release every tear.
When she's finished, she wipes her face and says, "And I was such an asshole to him! I-I couldn't even forgive him. He was trying so hard to fix what he did and...and..." She's at a loss for words. "I wish I could just take everything back. God, I just wish he was here so I could say sorry."
They sit in solemn silence for a few minutes when the stench of Roger hits their noses. He walks towards them, surprisingly not drunk, and steps towards Hannah with his hands in his pockets. "I'm real sorry about that Cole guy. I knew you were friends and all."
"Thanks, Roger," Hannah says, even if she isn't sure he's being sincere.
Roger places his hand on the hood of the car and leans in an uncomfortably close distance to Hannah. "Now that he's out the picture, how about me and you have some fun in one of the empty rooms?"
"Fuck you, weirdo." Hannah attempts to push him off, but he grabs her shoulders, forcing her back onto the hood of the car. Micah quickly jumps to her rescue, however, by grabbing Roger and throwing him to the ground. Micah begins pummeling the man's face until it's just a mess of blood.
Roger moans in pain as Hannah pulls Micah away. "Micah, that's enough!" He delivers one last punch, breathing heavily, and steps away from Roger.
Mick Fleetwood hurries over when he sees the commotion. "What the hell is going on?" he commands.
Roger spits up blood. "I was just...asking your daughter if..she wanted to suck my cock." He gives a weak smile.
Mick feels anger wash over him and delivers a kick to Roger's midsection. "You go near Hannah again you worthless piece of shit, and you're dead." Mick delivers one last kick to the man's face as Melody rushes over to assist Roger.
Billie is sleeping in bed when she hears a soft knock on the door. Luke peeks his head in. "Hey."
"Hi," Billie says, rubbing the sleepiness from her eyes.
"Thought I should let you know, your friend's awake."
"He is?" Billie leaps from the bed and pushes past Luke, and flies down the stairs. She sees Cole lying on the living room couch looking exhausted but awake. She places a hand on his shoulder. "Thank God you're okay." Billie turns to Rita and smiles. "Thanks for helping him, Mrs. Evans."
Rita smiles, looking slightly embarrassed. "It was no problem. But listen here, make sure he doesn't put too much pressure on that leg. It'll heal faster if he doesn't."
"Will do. How do you feel, Cole?"
"Tired," Cole groans. "Pain. Hurt."
"His tiredness should pass in a day or two," Rita says. "Come on, let's get some food in you, honey," she says to Cole. "Luke, sweetie, get him some beans. And the girl, too."
"No, no," Billie rejects. "I already ate."
"And you're gonna eat some more. If you all are planning on leaving anytime in the next few days, you're gonna need full stomachs."
Billie graciously takes the beans that Luke prepares for her and digs in. She's more grateful for these people than words can describe.