Author's note: This piece contains a couple bad words and is not for the squeamish. This piece, however, was loosely dream-inspired, so it was fun to write.
I fanned myself as ash-gray snow floated to the ground outside the broken window. How could the snow be so hot? The crazed weather of the past few months baffled me, even the scientists. Perhaps this had something to do with global warming. I didn’t know. I just wished it wasn’t so damn hot.
“Think it’ll flood?” James pulled his damp shirt from his chest.
“Probably. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and bloody snow in June, so why not a flood from this too!” I yanked my hair away from my neck. I should cut it. The long mane served as a blanket to my back, shoulders, and neck.
“They say it’s the end of times.” His voice quivered.
“I didn’t know you believed that shit.” I didn’t. I wouldn’t.
He rubbed his lower back. “I don’t know. Too many coincidences not to believe something.”
I shrugged. I didn’t believe in coincidences either. Whatever plan the universe had was screwy. I sank upon the floor and leaned against the wall. The storage room looked bare. A few cans, bottles of water, a box of cereal. It was all we had left.
“We’re going to have to scavenge soon.”
He groaned and shoulders slumped as he, too, fell to the floor. A dust cloud plumed around him. The snow continued to pool outside.
“We don’t know what’s out there anymore,” he said.
His eyes widened, the pupils small. He reeked of fear and I realized he might not be around much longer. I couldn’t live with someone as dangerous as a terror-stricken person.
“Yeah, but we have to do what we have to do.” I stood, realizing it had stopped snowing. “Let’s go, James.”
He didn’t move. Instead his chest rose in quick, sporadic bursts. He lifted a trembling hand and pointed a lone, shaking finger at me.
I gulped. “What’s wrong?”
“Something moved on your c-chest.”
“What?” I glanced at my shirt. Something shifted the fabric. Dread seized my heart as I pulled up the shirt. Why were my hands shaking so much? A lump appeared under my right breast.
The spot moved.
“Get a knife.” My voice sounded calmer than I felt.
“Ugh.” I grasped the lump. It was barely under my skin. I went to the table and grabbed the knife. I winced before I cut my flesh. My heart pounded in my ears. Blood oozed from the wound. The object squirmed as I yanked it out.
Dangling from my fingers, a bright, mucous-green worm wiggled.