The Dying & The Dead 1: Post Apocalyptic Survival

The Dying & The Dead 1: Post Apocalyptic Survival by Jack Lewis

Book: The Dying & The Dead 1: Post Apocalyptic Survival by Jack Lewis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jack Lewis
she said, trying to keep the scorn from her
voice. “Because they know how they’ll be treated.”
     
    She
regretted the words as soon as she said them. Talking ill of the Capita wasn’t
wise no matter whose company you were in, and in front of Charles it was
downright dangerous.
     
    “You
have no idea how they’re treated, Heather.”  He managed to make the words sound
like a reprimand and a threat at the same time.
     
    Charles
stood up out of his seat. She was struck with the impression that his costume
made him seem taller than he really was, that if you peeled back the pantomime
you would see a man who hadn’t eaten his vegetables as a child.
     
    “Would
you know if your daughter was one of them?” he said.
     
    She
almost leapt to her feet. To hear this man talk about her daughter made her
face hot. Kim glanced at Heather, and this time she looked alarmed.
     
    “She’s
not one of them,” said Heather.
     
    “But
would you report it, I wonder? How deep is your loyalty to the Capita?”
     
    “You
expect people to choose the Capita over their families?”
     
    “That’s
what I did.”
     
    The
room was silent. Max, over in the corner, looked at the floor. Charles looked
beyond Heather at the patio doors and the garden, and for a while his eyes
softened and his shoulders sagged. One blink of Heather’s eyes later the effect
was reversed, and Charles, with his leather coat and hideous mask, once again
filled the room. He drew his coat together. His pick axe hung over his back
until it rested parrot-like on his shoulder.
     
    “Watch
the children. Be my little magpie. Report anything worthwhile to me, and I’ll
make sure you’re rewarded with breadcrumbs. Don’t report anything, and I’ll
make sure you’re punished.”
     
    Heather
didn’t say anything, but that didn’t bother Charles, who carried on speaking.
     
    “I
shouldn’t be telling you this, but there’s a Resistance insider feeding
information from the Capita. I don’t know who it is, but I’ll found out. These
people can hide, but I know all the hiding places. But in the meantime, those
of us who live under the Capita must stick together.”
     
    He
turned to Kim.
     
    “Do
you know how the air smells, girl?”
     
    “No.”
     
    “Have
you ever wondered?”
     
    “Yes.”
     
    Kim’s
response was strange. After all the things she lied about, all the facts and
stories that she exaggerated for no reason, she decided to tell the truth about
this? This was the one answer Heather didn’t want her to give. It made her seem
suspicious. Normal people didn’t know the smell of the air. Normal people
didn’t care, and the Capita liked normal people.
     
    Charles
knelt in front of Kim. As he bent down his leather coat creaked.
     
    “Do
you friends ever take their masks off?”
     
    “Never.”
     
    “What
about yours? Have you ever taken it off? Even for a tiny second?”
     
    Kim
looked at her mother.
     
    “I’m
not stupid. I know what’s in the air. Mum taught me how to use the AVS when I
was four.”
     
    Good
girl, thought
Heather.
     
    Charles
nodded his head. “Your mum is a sensible woman. Let’s hope she stays that way.”
     
    With
that he straightened up and nodded to the two soldiers. Max gave another look
around the room and then walked out of it. Charles turned to Heather.
     
    “Stay
safe. Both of you.”
     
    After
he left the house Kim moved off the sofa, walked up to her mother and threw her
arms around her. It was a closeness they rarely shared, despite the love
between them. Heather had always found physical contact strange. She thought
that having a kid might solve that, but hugs always felt awkward even when they
were from her only child. Still, the sentiment hit home and this time, she was
happy to return the embrace.
     
    “He
scares me,” said Kim.
     
    “You
did a great job hiding it. I mean that.”
     
    “Why
does he want to find the DC’s so much?”
     
    It was
a question that few really

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