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Jessica Buttram could hear the metal on pavement sound for a while before her guests arrived. She considered it a sort of gloomy precursor of what was to come. She owed a lot to the source of that metallic scraping sound, Jared, but it didn’t mean that she enjoyed paying off that debt, however long it would take her. When the sound of that awful noise finally arrived at her doorstep, she arose and opened the front door. She wasn’t surprised to see that Jared had brought new recruits, but she was surprised that they looked so…normal?
Though they looked distinctly pre-apocalyptic, this facade belied a calm psychosis to be so adjusted to traveling with the lunatic that was Jared Hollier.
The first girl stepped forward and planted a wadded up piece of paper into Jessica’s hand. It was a note from Jared. She’d grown used to his method of communication since she’d only really known him after his tongue had long been cut out.
Before she could read it though, Joseph Craven burst into the room struggling to dress himself.
“JESS! I think I hear sumthin,” he yelled before stopping cold at the sight of Jared and his new female recruits.
Jared snorted derisively and began pacing the modest home that in another life must have housed an elderly couple. He dug into a bag and placed some supplies on the counter, preeminent among these were a carton of cigarettes. Jessica hadn’t had a cigarette since before Jared left and she relished the idea of getting some of that sweet, sweet nicotine.
Before the pleasure though, it was business. She opened the note.
“Bought these gals for 6 gallons of gas and a hand grenade. They kill people good.”
She looked at Jared and nodded that she understood. With that, Jared, while still dragging his crimson tinged axe behind him, walked into an available bedroom and shut the door.
The heavy silence permeated the room until Joseph stepped forward with the intent of introducing himself to the newcomers. He wanted to prove himself, that he belonged within this coterie of dangerous personalities, but he was clearly never meant to rub shoulders with the people who really, truly, were killers.
“The name is Joseph Craven, but people who know me call me Joe the Killer.”
The two girls chortled at this as did Jessica. Everyone found it hard to take someone seriously who couldn’t remember to zip his fly and whose overalls hung so low that it revealed his yellow-tinged tighty whities.
“Ain’t nobody ever called you a killer, Boy. You’re about as soft as puppy turds,” Jessica said.
She let that statement sit for a moment as she slid a cigarette out of its pack and lit it.
“6 gallons of gas is a hefty price to pay for some soccer mom looking gals. What’s so special about yuns?” she asked as she drank deeply from the cigarette. It hung from her mouth as the smoke exited all around it.
“Yeah and don’t even get me started on the hand grenade part,” Joseph added. “I’m deadly from 20 yards away with a hand grenade.”
“Everyone is deadly from 20 yards out with a hand grenade, you idiot. Go put the groceries up and make me some lunch or something.”
Banished to the kitchen, Joseph scampered away. Testily, Jessica turned her attention back to the new girls.
“So what’s yuns deals? You got names? You Transformers or sumthin? Why you worth so much?”
“My name is Erin Moon and hers is Megan Beam,” the first one said. She punctuated this by spitting what appeared to be an impressive stream of dip onto the floor directly in front of Jessica.
“Did you read the note?” Megan asked.
“Are you mentally stupid or something?”
“Guess I’m unsure as to what’s unclear then. We kill things well. The end,” Megan motioned for the pack of cigarettes. She slid one out and lit it while blowing the smoke into Jessica’s immediate direction.
“Things or people?”
“If it can be killed, we kill it,” Erin answered while declining Jess’s cigarette offer.
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