Here you have it, another chapter. Though this one's not as lighthearted. Let me know what you think, and if you believe I portrayed it well or not. Enjoy, if you really can:
"Nick," someone whispered. I blinked a few times and sat up, groggily glaring at whoever had woken me. It was Jordan, and she was smiling, of all things. Even here, in this… well, in this situation with the Biters and all. Her calmness was beginning to annoy me.
"What?" I hissed quietly. I didn't know why she'd whispered, but I figured it was a safe enough bet to keep quiet myself.
"C'mere," she replied hurriedly, leaping towards the door. I pulled myself off the couch, sighing, wondering what time it was, and followed Jordan out into the lobby. Gatsby and Tom were there.
"What's going on?" I asked, taking a seat beside Gatsby.
"A meeting," Tom offered.
"Tell him what we're discussing," Jordan instructed. Tom glanced at her, then looked uneasily at me, and sighed. Whatever he was discussing, it wasn't going to be a fun subject.
"We're considering moving and finding somewhere else to camp out," he revealed. Move? I thought we were pretty well off where we were, but perhaps there was a more hospitable place to stay. Somewhere with more readily available food, say, or more beds.
"Where would we go?" I questioned, already with the feeling that they had no idea where we'd go, and I had to fight the urge to just say no, and stick to where we were.
"There's an apartment building, decently sized. Twenty levels, maybe. I figured we could stay on the second floor. We'd be low enough to easily come in and out, but we wouldn't have to worry about Biters, because they can't climb stairs," Jordan explained, and I was surprised to learn they had a place in mind. "There's a pharmacy nearby. A market, a convenience store, a department store. And I know where we can get ahold of some weapons." It sounded like a good idea, certainly, but I had a few more questions before I was going to agree.
"What're we going to do once we get there?"
"Get rid of the Biters on the first floor, go to the second, kill all the Biters on the second floor, pick rooms. Each couple can share a room. You, Jordan and I can share a room again, or we can each have separate rooms, but it seems safer to stay in small groups. Even though we'll be living separately, we'll still cooperate with each other," Gatsby said, and from the looks on Tom and Jordan's faces, they didn't know he had a plan. With an accusing look at Tom, he added, "Right?" I nodded, Tom grunted, and Jordan clapped her hands and went off to find the others to announce our plan.
"Run!" someone cried, I don't remember who. We ran across the street like madmen, poking Biters' eyes out and occasionally even completely decapitating them. I jammed a jagged-ended table leg into the open mouth of one Biter, suddenly not caring about anyone but myself. Moving had been a bigger project than we'd expected. And now, here we were, right where we'd started – running along the sidewalk and darting across the street, most of us mortal enemies, shooting each other threatening looks as we made a mad dash for salvation. We were clowns from a circus out there, prancing around, being stupid. I lost track of everyone else, forgot who was in front of me, didn't realize who was behind. All I knew was, suddenly, the promised apartment building appeared on the horizon in front of me, and I just kept after it, as it grew closer and closer, bigger and bigger, realer and realer. Finally it was there, dead ahead, so close I could actually touch it, feel the cool metal door handle in my sweaty, frantic grasp, shove through into the building, and inhale the bittersweet smell of safety.
"Anyone!?" I called out, gasping for breath, letting myself drop to my knees.
"Hey," Jordan breathed, inhaling deeply. George and Myrtle appeared behind her, visibly exhausted and covered in sticky sweat.
"No Gatsby? Tom? Daisy?" I managed to utter, forcing myself back up. My hair was plastered to my forehead with sweat, as was my shirt to my chest. It was terribly uncomfortable. Jordan shook her head. There was a woosh, and the door flew open. Tom walked in, shirt bloody, (Like mine, I realized) jaw moving up and down as if he wanted to say something. No words escaped him. We stared at him questioningly. The door opened again, and this time Gatsby staggered in, with the pallor of a snowman, bloody, sweaty, gulping in deep breaths. His eyes were wet and red.
"Gatsby?" I asked, alarmed. He moved away from the door and closer to us. "What happened?" He ran a hand through his wet, windswept blond hair and shook his head. Jordan and I exchanged what-does-that-mean looks. Tom let out a gasp, entirely out of nowhere. He shimmied backwards, farther away from Gatsby. "What happened?" I repeated. He looked at me, his eyes wide, and let himself fall to the ground on his hands and knees.
"She's gone," he choked, pounding the ground with his fist, while tears streamed down Tom's face and, hysterically, he cried out. Suddenly, it made sense. I turned to Jordan, who only said one word, the same word that was on all of our minds now, the word that haunted us.
We waited on the main floor for what I imagine to be several hours. Tom collected himself enough to sit with us and wait. Gatsby sat in a corner and rocked himself gently. Everything he'd spent the past five years working towards suddenly keeled over and died, and now life was collapsing before his eyes, everything he lived for fading away. Daisy was the one thing he could never have, and, unfortunately, it seemed she paid the ultimate price for this. Finally, as we watched night overtake the city through the windows, we resolved to accept her death as fact. We headed upstairs to select rooms, hearts heavy. Jordan and I picked the room we'd share, along with Gatsby, though no amount of coaxing could convince him to leave his spot in the corner, where he softly swayed, until he eventually fell asleep, muttering her name repeatedly in denial, as Jordan and I resigned to stay downstairs and keep watch for that one night. Neither of us managed to sleep, each of us haunted by that simple word. Daisy.
Aw, sad. Tell me what you think, and your thoughts on Daisy. Did she deserve it? Thanks. And also, let me know if you want more or less serious chapters. Till next time, yours truly, happyferret13.