Eli was cold. Panting and shivering, he could feel the heat radiating from the generator gradually over his left side.
He didn't want to die. Remembering Marla's face white and caked in blood made his heart heavy. He didn't want to die. Not like this.
The Dog tore at the generator's cords, the box sputtering electricity and shocks. Eli attempted to crawl away; to crawl anywhere, but there was a giant tear in his side that kept him pinned to the dirt floor, limiting his movements. The jagged and rough feeling in his chest was unnerving.
Mary, Conrad, Joseph, and Emile had all left him. For dead.
Eli bit back a sob, grasped at the floor and pulled himself as best he could over the dirt when caked in his own blood and despair.
The world was an ugly place and your parents never warned you about that ugly fact.
The Dog suddenly turned back to Eli, the generator coughing thick black smoke. Eli looked back to the Dog with tired eyes and gave a shaky breath before laying his head down, sparing the generator past the Dog a quick last glance.
Eli was too far in his dying self to hear the room's heavy doors scrape open. The act was followed by gunshots.
It was Conrad, alone. The brown-haired jock fired five gunshots into the Dog's body, two into its head, and then he ran to Eli and knelt beside him. The Dog was dead, its body lying flush against Eli's with cold coagulated blood touching him.
Eli closed his eyes. He didn't want to die.
Conrad grabbed Eli's bony arm and pulled it around his broad shoulders. "Come on El," he said, his words silent in Eli's ears. The goth was growing cold and he didn't do anything, let himself drag along the floor as Conrad walked with him. Once out of the building, Conrad brought Eli into his arms, to carry him back, because he was a limp, passed out rag doll.
"We shouldn't have let him gone." Emile's accent made Mary scowl.
"We shouldn't have left in the first place!" She cried.
Emile looked at the girl with his burning green eyes and Joseph put a hand on his shoulder to ease him.
"Calm down," he huffed when Emile tore his body away.
"Puta." The uttered word made Mary snap her attention to the Spaniard, ready to argue more with him.
"We need to stay calm," Joseph looked from one to another and Mary crossed her arms tight around herself. She nodded towards the food in the corner.
"Even if they come back," she exhaled deeply to calm herself, "we're low on resources."
Joseph nodded while looking to the cans of fish, and mushroom soup.
Emile was allergic to fish. None of them even knew if any of the cans were good or not: they had been grabbed at what was assumed to have been an old lady's house and none of the cans had any printed dates besides the Sharpie that said for five years prior. Joseph's mum always told him though, that cans can last pretty much forever. They didn't have any medicine to test that theory in case anyone got sick from it, though.
The three jumped and Mary covered her mouth at a loud bang on the room's metal door. "It's a Dog," she whispered and Joseph shook his head, "No, it could be Conrad."
It was too late though, and Emile's eyes widened. "They've found us?"
Joseph cursed under his breath. There was no keeping these two calm. If one freaked out, the other did.
Emile hurried to start grabbing the canned goods, not caring too much about keeping quiet, because it wouldn't help them if the Dogs had found them.
Mary looked at Joseph when there was no following noise, and Joseph swallowed. He started making his way to the door, Mary's whispered 'no' following him in the stuffy cement room. Joseph breathed deeply and leaned forward to the door after sparing her a quick glance. They had to be sure.
"Conrad?" his sharp whisper echoed on the door and another pound sounded, making him jump back with a loud curse. It was always the quiet ones that you had to look out for; it was always the calm pacifists that had the biggest sailor's vocabulary.
"Oh, is it him?" Emile's pitiful whine sounded from where he sat frozen with some cans in his arms. Joseph exhaled deeply.
"I don't quite know yet," he mumbled and stepped close to the door again, put his ear against the heavy metal. A sharp whisper sounded from the other side, carrying in through the metal, and Joseph bit his lip.
The Dogs had been evolving lately- who was to say if they had really learned to talk or not already?
He gripped the door's handle.
Either they could sit in the shelter and wait for the Dogs to somehow get in and get them, or they could open this door, kill whatever was on the other side, and go on their way. That, or while they were at it, they could see if it was really Conrad and if he wasn't infected, take him with them and they could all be on their way to a new shelter. Either way, opening this door seemed inevitable, and it was best to get it over with so they could leave, because their supplies wouldn't refill in there, that was for sure.
"Fuck it," Joseph reached down into his boot and snagged the knife that rested there.
"Joseph, no!" Mary cried and the man looked to her wide blue eyes. She only stood there, arms around herself. She was too scared to come any closer.
Joseph looked back to the door and pulled the handle, the heavy door's mechanisms clicking and echoing in his ears. He pulled the door open.
"Joseph, let us in!" Conrad slammed into Joseph, knocking the man down before he even had a chance to comprehend if the intruder was a human or not.
Joseph kicked the heavy door shut again and climbed to his feet, looking into the room. Mary and Emile exclaimed, Emile crying out some Spanish prayer at the sight of Conrad dropping Eli onto the cement floor in a sick thud.
The brunette jock looked to the three that stood around him and he clenched his fists, "Get the Aid-kit!"
Joseph blinked and shook his head to get a hold of himself. He looked to Mary. "Get the Aid-kit, hurry!"
The girl nodded quickly and ran to get the box that didn't hold quite as much as they had originally hoped when first 'shopping'. Joseph turned his attention to Emile once Mary was doing her own job.
"Hurry and pack the supplies, we've got to get going!" he called to the Spaniard before going to collect the blankets and coats himself.
Emile snapped to it, hurrying to scramble everything together. He didn't have to be told twice.
"There's not much... How bad is it?" Mary knelt beside Conrad, the jock snatching the box and pulling it open.
"I can see his fucking lung."
Mary's eyes widened and she sat back at the feeling of some vertigo coming on. Conrad was always such a hunk with words.
He grabbed the giant tear in Eli's shirt and tore it open more to reveal all of his side. It was bad. Blood was coating his pale skin to the point it looked like it would stain. The wound itself coughed up blood with every wheezed breath the unconscious goth exhaled.
"Fuck!" Conrad looked at the contents of the Aid-kit, the box emptied in front of him. Band-Aids and gauze pads. He looked to Mary. "Get me the Duct tape!"
Mary looked at Conrad with wary eyes, cheeks flushed with a fever at the situation of a dying boy in front of her. She sobbed an okay and stumbled to stand, going to find the tape and catching it clumsily when Joseph tossed it in her direction while putting things away.
She quickly hurried back to the brunette and held out the tape, Conrad snatching the black role and grabbing the end. He tore the tongue from the body, eliciting a loud crunching sound at the length that he tore free, reaching for the strip and grabbing it with his teeth to rip it free.