I am the shit.
When it comes to delivering packages in the apocalypse, ain’t nobody got nothin’ on me, which is why they pay me with grade-A cabbage. No, not money, you halfwit. Money ain’t worth dirt ‘cept to warlords in their ‘closures, and ain’t no one makin’ me no ‘closure slave. They give me real cabbage—something I can trade out here in the bleak.
What they’re sending, I never know, but this one must be crucial, small tho it be, ‘cause I’m getting a truckload for it. Might be enough to let me break for a while, stock up my sanctum and extend my lifespan. Ha-ha, yeah, I know. But I made it to nineteen, beat the odds already.
I earned every leaf pulling this thing. Wasn’t two days I left Shemyun the vampires trailed me, hit me up on the Enjugin Pass. I got a specialized A-rocket, shoots wooden stakes just for such an eventuation. Blood-suckers didn’t see it coming.
I knew I was in for a howler, tho, when the dendrozombies headed me off on both sides. Had a companion for that stretch, little gnasher calls himself Duster. Thinks he can pound anything to dust. Kind of mind gets killed young.
“Check your chambers,” I says. Duster had a way of targeting shit for fun. Leaving himself half empty.
Maybe four dendros came from the left, three from the right. Was all I saw, anyway.
“You know how to snap these things?” I says.
“‘Course,” says Duster. “Brain bullet.”
Don’t be stupid now. ‘Dendro’ only means they tall like trees. Ain’t nothing woody about ‘em other than splintery teeth, maybe. Only problem being they hard to hit.
“Watch their sway and lead it,” I says.
We hunkered down under a bramber tree, plunked them off, one by one. Thing is they wasn’t done.
Few more clacks north and a thirty-or-so horde dogged us a twenty and getting smaller.
“They gotta envy your pull,” says Duster.
“Good chance,” I says. “Ain’t no zombies trail like that. Too much easier heads to split ’an ours.”
“Dump it,” he says.
“Ain’t no way,” I says. “I’m the shit, and no dead-walkers gonna say otherwise.”
He didn’t like that. Perched his lips like a brat. Ready to lay him flat, I was, but he settled. Even so, thoughts galled me to toss him off for a decoy. It’s the way out here, but I saw a little of my elderbro, Yemmer, in him, wanted to see him show his age.
“Better you lose your rep than lifespark,” he says.
Much like Yemmer again, but Yemmer’s dead and I’m kicking, so what’s that say about it?
“You the shit, Duster?” I says. Like I doubted it.
He took offense, don’t really blame him, but he’s gotta know his word sakes.
“Nah, man. You’re the shit,” he says.
I laughed at him. “I am the shit.”
I put him on point for a time. Free me up to clock the zombies for a while, feeling the distance, timing the road to cat-and-mouse them. Felt like I could trust Duster, and he sees it.
Little gnasher might live to nineteen he play it right.