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Lunacy: First Response


  06:13:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 551 words  
Categories: Lunacy

Lunacy: First Response

Ang and Bill stood alone at the far end of the train car. Melissa and Skot stood at the other end, glaring. They understood, intellectually, what Ang was doing, but it pissed them off. Melissa wanted to rip both of their throats out, on principle. It all reminded Ang of a time in college. He'd been studying late in one of the labs, and had to take a far later train. He saw that look in the eyes of four boys, anger, frustration, rage. His every instinct told him to flee- but it was a train, functionally a cage on wheels, so there was nowhere to run. The rest played out in slow motion, they stalking around him, circling. He clutched his bag to his chest, tried to make himself as small as possible, make himself as defensible as possible. They beat him. Broke his notebook and his reader. They didn't even make a pretense of mugging him. It was just about violence, and possibly about dominance. But Ang was not the spindly little geek he'd been. He stood in front of Bill and bared his teeth. ?Don't mistake my desire not to tear your throats out for an unwillingness to,? he said, with more bass in his voice than he'd ever had- even when he'd tried to sing along with old Tom Waits recordings back in college. It brought Melissa and Skot back to their senses. ?Sorry,? Melissa said. ?It gets... overwhelming.? ?Then maybe you two should take a nap. We'll get to the Station in less than an hour. And we don't want to court tragedy out of boredom.? They looked at each other, shrugged, and walked over to the chairs on opposite sides and laid down. ?They're right,? Bill said quietly. ?Hmm?? ?I'm sick. And it isn't a cold. I've never been this sick. And I had the flu and mono at the same time in high school. It feels like I'm dying, Ang.? ?Shut up, Bill,? Ang said. He knew that Bill talking about his weakness was only going to make Melissa and Skot want to kill him all the more. And a part of him knew Bill was right. He was dying. He could feel the same thing Melissa and Skot could. Ang kept watch until the train pulled into the station. Skot shot up, and gave a little startled yip. Melissa was still sound asleep. ?Can you carry her?? Ang asked Skot. ?I'm feeling better,? Skot said, ?except for when I think about why I'm feeling better. But that's starting to lose its potency, too.? ?Do it.? Ang kept himself between Skot and Bill, though with Melissa in his arms Skot seemed distracted. He took them to the medical closet that had become Mai's home. Colleen was sitting on the exam table while Maria cleaned blood off her with damp guaze. ?She okay?? Ang asked. ?Fine,? Mai said, then nodded to Melissa. ?Her?? ?She's fine. Just sleepy. Bill, on the other hand...? Ang gestured to his right. ?I've been feeling woosy. And I collapsed. And...? ?I can smell it on you,? Mai said. ?Come over here. We'll start in on some tests.? Maria stopped wiping Colleen's forehead. ?David?? she asked. Skot looked away. ?He didn't make it,? Ang said. ?Shit,? Maria said, and visibly shrunk.

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