This is Issue #58 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Wake Up. This is the fourth issue in Volume 10.
Issue 58 - Wake UpEdit
Chloe is frozen in the same position, her forefinger and index finger pressed against Finn's neck, where a pulse should be. But she feels nothing. A lone tear falls from her cheek and she turns to Billie. Chloe just shakes her head.
"No. You...let me do it. You're doing it wrong or something," Billie says. She crouches next to Finn and puts her head to his chest, listening for something. Anything.
"Billie, he's not..." Chloe trails off.
"Just wait." But nothing happens. There's just silence, and the sound of her own breathing, which quickly turns into a dreadful sobbing. She looks at his face, pleads with him: "Wake up. Come on, Finn. Don't do this. Please. Wakeupwakeup..." She repeats those same two words over and over again, until she’s not even sure how long she’s been there and Chloe puts a hand on her shoulder.
“We can’t...he’ll turn,” Chloe says. “We have to do something.” She’s ignored; Billie just keeps muttering to herself. “We need to--”
“I’ll do it.”
“No. No, I’ll find someone--”
“I said I’ll do it. Just fucking go away.”
Chloe removes her hand and wipes the tears from her face. She opens the door, then takes one last look at Billie before leaving. Two dead. One day.
Billie uses her forearm to wipe her tears, then finally gains the courage to lift her head and look at Finn’s face. His skin is turning more grey--a color it wasn’t before. “Oh, God...” She sniffles and searches around the room. She pulls open a drawer and retrieves a small knife. The knife hovers over his face as she stands over him. She lifts it over her head and closes her eyes tight, but she can’t do it. Her arms go limp at her sides and the knife tumbles to the soft carpet without a sound.
“Finn’s dead.” A shriek escapes Devon’s mouth and Chloe explains it all to her, Adam, and Robbie next to Hannah’s grave. “The amputation, it didn’t work. The fever got too high and he...he just died.”
Adam sighs, drops his shovel to the ground, and walks back into the building. He slams the door shut behind him, making the windows shudder.
"But what about reanima--” Robbie starts.
“Billie wants to do it. And I’m not gonna tell her no.”
“Damn. Guess we need another.” He sinks his shovel into the grass, and Devon picks up the one Adam dropped.
Finn stirs, and Billie watches from a chair next to the bed. It’s just the slighest movement--the twitch of his hand. Then the life slowly flows back into the rest of his body. His eyes open, now milky grey instead of blue. He looks at Billie and moans; one of his arms reaches out, grabbing her wrist. He opens his mouth and reaches for her flesh as Billie just watches, her face stoic.
In her other hand, the knife is grasped. It barely manages to not slip out of her sweaty palm, but she lifts it, digging it deep into Finn’s forehead. She twists it and rips it out, and a bit of the blood spatters onto her face. His grip loosens and his body goes limp once again, his upper body hanging over the edge of the bed.
She throws the knife to the carpet and stands, leaving him there.
The wind makes the only sound as everyone stands in a half circle around the two graves. Hiro exits the building with Finn’s body wrapped in a blanket; he alone places it in the grave, and Robbie works to fill it. Hiro reenters the building with Tora, bringing Wrigley with them. This isn’t their place.
Cole has a small box in his hands, filled with Hannah’s items. He kisses it, then bends down and places it in the hole. But it’s all too much for him to handle and he ends up on his hands and knees, sobbing. Everyone watches for a moment, but Adam comes over and bends down next to him. “Come on. It’s okay.” He grabs Cole by the shoulders, helps him up, and leads him back to everyone else.
Cole notices Billie’s valiant efforts not to cry, but once he pulls her into a hug she bursts into tears. He continues to hold her as Robbie stands before them with his Bible once the graves are filled. He takes a deep breath and starts to read from it.
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep...And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so...” He stops and a small sob escapes him. “And so we will always be with the Lord.” He closes the small Bible and pockets it as Devon sticks the two wooden crosses into the mounds of dirt.
The next morning, Billie sits on the edge of the roof in silence with Cole. They have a few small rocks, and they’re throwing them as far as they can, just for the hell of it. “I want to know what happened,” Cole says after a while.
Billie sighs and throws a stone. It lands inaudibly on the ground below. She explains everything, starting with Frank and Wrigley, then Frank’s assault on Finn, and their being forced to hide out in the bar. She continues on to Hannah’s drinking binge, Hiro and Tora, and the hell in the alleyway. “We were distracted because of Finn and it just bit her. On the neck.
“Did you...” He swallows hard and scratches his head.
Billie refuses to look at him: “I couldn’t. Everything just happened too fast and...and I couldn’t. I’m sorry.”
“Oh. Okay. So she turned?” He feels his anger and anxiety rising simultaneously. Billie notices and places a hand on his arm.
“I don’t know. We can’t know.” He rips his arm away and stands. He storms toward the staircase and she chases after him. “She was there, and I could’ve did it, but I didn’t and I’m sorry! I know I pussied out, I know, and I shouldn’t have. But we can’t change the fact that we decided to go and...and dwell on the fact that if we left an hour later none of it wouldn’t’ve happened. We can’t, and it sucks, but we can’t, Cole.”
He stops at the door with his hand on the doorknob. He turns on her and explodes: “It would’ve taken a half of a second to just shoot her! And she wouldn’t be out there walking around like a fucking monster, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation! If it was Finn, I would’ve done you the favor and ended it. Why couldn’t you just do that for her?”
“You weren’t there; you don’t know how stressful that was for me! You have no Goddamned idea! So don’t talk about what you ‘would’ve’ done, how you would’ve been the big fucking hero if it was Finn--” Her voice falters for a fraction of a second; it’s barely noticable, but she bounces back quickly. “You don’t know. You don’t.”
“Maybe I do.”
He turns away and opens the door, but stops short when she says: “I’ll go back.”
“I’ll go back. You’re so fucking pissed at me, I’ll go back and I’ll end it. Like you want.”
Cole closes the door back up, and leans against it. “No.”
“I don’t want you to. I don't think you're in any condition to be--"
"Don't patronize me with that shit," she spits at him. "There's nothing wrong with my 'condition.'"
"Really?" He takes one small step toward her. "Then look me in the face and tell me you're okay." His gaze doesn't waver at all.
She opens her mouth to speak, but her voice fails her. She realizes she can't say it. And she probably won't be able to for a long time. "Then, who? You?"
He looks down, scratching the bridge of his nose. "I don't..." He sighs. "I don't think I could handle that. Feel like I'm gonna throw up just thinking about it." He can practically see it now. Hannah, once so beautiful, rushing towards him as a bloodthirsty monster. Clawing at him, snapping her jaws. Inhuman and frightening. In this vision, he holds a bat, and he brings it back behind him and swings it with everything he has at her head, which then explodes into a bloody mess, half of her face caved in...
He slides along the door into a sitting position, squeezing his eyes shut and pinching the bridge of his nose. Billie's voice is distant in his mind as she calls him, although she's crouched directly in front of him. "Cole, look at me. Come on. Deep breaths." He inhales deeply. Then exhales. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.