I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Bobby and Mags in weeks, but from time to time, I caught glimmers of light coming from gaps round the back windows. That made sense. They wouldn’t ever light a candle near the front for fear of bringing attention to themselves.
Because people were desperate now, you understand?
The next day, we crossed to their back door, knocking and shouting, before that door finally opened a crack. Mags and Bobby were in there, but only Bobby pointed an AK-47 at us.
“What you want, Mike?”
The muzzle of that rifle shook but not much. It felt like it was staring me straight in the eye, and I heard my throat click as I spoke.
“You got a gun on me, Bobby. That ain’t exactly friendly.”
“Friendship blew away with everything else. What you want?”
“Not you. You look just fine.”
He shook his head. “I’m right sorry, but I can’t help you. I got to look after my own.”
“Jason’s starving, Bobby.” Irene looked at Mags. “Our boy. He’s down to skin and bones.”
It was true. Our fine, strapping boy’s cheeks stood out high, and his eyes were wide and bright. Just like ours. Bobby and Mags blinked at that, then the gun moved back, and the door closed. Stayed closed.
Later that day, someone knocked on our door. We didn’t have an assault rifle, but both pistols were drawn when we cracked that door. Bobby. Unarmed.
“I got an offer.”
As he stood there the air took the lapel of his coat and slapped his face with it, a loud crack, hard enough to bloody his teeth.
“We’ll take Jason. Take him in and look after him, best we can.”
I choked. Couldn’t find words to reply.
“Think about it. It’s his best chance.”
Bill Davidson is a Scottish writer of mainly horror and fantasy. In the last few years, he has placed over thirty short stories with good publications around the world including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Anthology, Flame Tree, Hell Bound Books and Dark Lane Books. He has written three novels over the same time frame, but it’s harder finding publishers for the bigger stuff. Find him on billdavidsonwriting.com or @bill_davidson57