So I've been pretty MIA due to my book but I played the game, loved it and, due to my book taking off, I'm developing more of my writing style since that's what my agent and publishers says I need work on the most (Even though I've been published...just cause I'm 18 they still think they know it all.)
So I hope you enjoy this my take on the game if there had been one more...
"Joel! Get your ass out of bed!" my back screamed in protest as I got up from the couch. My blanket pooled around my waist, tangled in my legs after the fitful sleep I'd just suffered through "Joel!"
"We're comin!" Joel would never get up on his own.
The air in the apartment was cold and I shivered as I left the slightly warmer confides of my blankets. I carefully dragged my hand across my face, avoiding the twin markings etched into my skin.
Tess continued to bang on the door as I headed into Joel's room. Sure enough he was face down against his pillows and snoring. I shook my head as I walked over to the curtains. The metal screeched as I yanked them open.
Chicago looked like hell but that wasn't anything new. Buildings that I had been told used to be as shiny as diamonds now rose in tattered heaps of rubble and wreckage. The streets were littered with crap that wasn't even recognisable anymore, and even though the sun was shining the warmth was blocked by a cloud of smog.
"What the hell Jesse?!" hell was right.
He got up and I moved away as he staggered out the room and towards the front door. It wasn't hard to tell what he had been dreaming about. He'd been wearing that same shirt and jeans combo for a week and it wasn't half sticking up the shitty apartment we called home.
Tess kept banging on the door. "I'm comin!"
He unlocked the door and I watched as Tess, head ducked, entered. They began talking business and Tess poured herself a drink. She offered Joel one but he declined. I knew she wouldn't offer me one cause, even in this fucked up world, they wouldn't let me drink cause I was only fifteen.
"You wanted to be left alone remember?"
I lifted my eyes from staring at the floor at the remark. I knew what they were talking about and I knew, even after twenty years, Joel was still hurting. I wasn't surprised.
Joel handed Tess a rag then stepped away. I jumped to my feet and stalked over to her.
"What happened?" I demanded as I snatched the rag so she couldn't hide behind it.
"Jesse!" Joel snapped and he grabbed my shoulder. He may be an old timer but he was still a hell of a lot stronger than me.
"Leave it Joel," Tess said quickly, giving him a hard glare. He relented and let me go. "I got jumped as I was coming back with these," she explained in a softer voice as she took the rag back, replacing it with our new ration pills. She gently dabbed at the purple and swollen area around her eye.
"Gimme that." Joel swiped the rag and began work on her eye. "Are these assholes still with us?"
Tess sent me a smirk. "Funny." Tess could always take care of herself, why she put up with us was beyond me.
"So who were they?" I asked. Suddenly Tess's face darkened and she grabbed the rag to stop Joel's work.
"They were nobodies – they don't matter. What matters is that Robert fucking sent them."
That got my attention and I stood straighter. The news stunned Joel for a second before his face hardened.
"Our Robert?" always the quick one huh Joel?
"He knows we're after him. He figures he's goanna get us first."
"Son of a bitch is smart," I muttered and Joel shot me a look. "Sorry, that darn offspring of a female dog sure is clever...it doesn't have the same ring to it." I can't believe they still expected me to watch my language.
"No. He's not smart enough." Tess looked proud of herself. "I know where he's hiding."
"Like hell you do." I was with Joel on that one. Robert was a rat and rats don't like to be trapped.
"Old warehouse in Area Five – can't say for how long though." Tess sauntered across the room like she was a goddamn actress.
"Well I'm ready now," Joel said, ignoring her show as he headed for the door.
"Me too." Tess and Joel crossed looks. "Aw come on guys! I'm fifteen! There are kids out there younger than me smuggling!"
"Because they have nothing else. You at least have-"
"This shit hole?" I finished for Joel. Both of them went quiet for a moment.
"He has a point Joel." Joel glared at Tess. "Robert's a slippery bastard and Jesse's definitely got us beat when it comes to speed."
Joel continued to scowl at the floor so Tess took his arm and pulled him into his room. They shut the door but I could still hear their muffled voices.
"I don't want him comin' along Tess."
"Why? He's got experience now. I taught him to shoot before he even came to you."
"Which means I'll end up gettin a bullet in my ass by the end of today."
"That was one time Joel and that's only cause that damn Infected jumped out in front of you!"
"Exactly! We've been doin' this for twenty years and we still get spooked. Imagine how some young punk's goanna do out there with people shootin' at him."
"He's been shot at before Joel."
Silence followed and I found my hand unconsciously going to my neck. I fiddled with the soft fabric of my black and white checked scarf as I waited for someone to speak. Finally Joel sighed.
"This isn't us training him Tess."
"He could die."
"Can't we all?"
"Don't try and be funny. He's more your responsibility then is mine. The only reason he's living with me now is cause he's hit puberty." Damn right I did, I bet my voice will finish cracking any day now.
"You know he looks up to you. I didn't ask him to go, he asked to come here." I wouldn't go that far. I suggested I move in with Joel so Tess wouldn't feel uncomfortable. Before she died, my momma raised me with manners.
"If anything happens to him it's on you."
I heard footsteps come towards the door so I moved back. Joel opened it and upon seeing me his grim expression turned grimmer. "Time to go."
I nodded and grabbed my pistol from under the couch cushions.
Once outside we headed towards the open streets. Joel and Tess walked ahead and I took the rear. Joel always called me a day dreamer but in reality I couldn't let myself go there.
Day dreaming is just an extension of what a person wishes could happen to them, and in a world like this that could make a person go insane with hope...and despair. I liked to watch the world go by outside of my own life. It took my attention away from how crappy everything was if I picked the right time to observe the world.
The streets were pretty bare as we moved. I tried to look as unassuming as possible but people here don't really like kids. It helped that I already had a little bit of stubble, Tess says it makes me look older.
We passed a group of biohazards from the military. They were using a new piece of equipment to check for Infecteds. Unfortunately a guy on the end didn't get the clean bill of health.
I ignored the executing shots as we moved on towards the city barrier. The guard there eyed us warily and I could see Joel tense. As we approached he looked over his shoulder to shoot me a look that said 'be cool'. You should follow your own advice old man.
"Let me see your ID's." The guard ordered. Luckily Tess had gotten us all new papers.
"Here." I could see talking to this guy without beating the crap out of him was taking all of Joel's self control.
"What's your business here?"
"Got the day off. Visiting a friend." The guy nodded but I could tell he didn't care.
"Alright, move on through."
I took a step and a vehicle exploded. I was knocked on my ass while Joel and Tess staggered back. The guard slammed the barrier shut and yelled at us to run before he took off.
"Fuckin shoot em'!"
Sirens were blaring and my ears were ringing from the explosion but I could still hear Tess swearing as she forced me up and pushed me ahead of her. The skin on my face burned, especially two spots across my eye and mouth thanks to the exposure from the explosion.
"Keep going Jesse! Head for the route!" I knew what she meant and led the way. An automatic voice came on, telling everyone to take cover.
I got there first and hauled open the door of the abandoned building. Tess came through first, followed by Joel. I slammed the door behind him. The cool air of the building helped to soothe the skin of my face but it still burned like hell.
"Fuck...so much for the easy route."
So I hope that was okay. Tell me what you think of Jesse, can you guess who's goanna change that pretty depressing view on hope he has? It's pretty obvious but I've never been one to stick to conventions so stick around and you may be surprised ;)