Kaitlyn NovakDecember 2, 2027
BEEP. BEEP. BEEEEEEEP.
To Kaitlyn Novak, alarm clocks kind of felt like someone placed a metal wedge into her ear, then proceeded to grab a sledgehammer and slam it home repeatedly. So it was no surprise when a slender hand reached up and smacked her clock straight off her night stand. It bounced on the carpeted floor once, then settled there peacefully, it's batteries lay a foot away, leaving nothing but beautiful silence. The hand that took revenge on the noise demon of the morning snaked back under the covers as the figure beneath snuggled deeper into the quicksands of her bed. That is, until her mother came to bash on her door for what seemed like eternity. "Come on sweetie they'll be waiting for us at the med-wing,"
her mother pleaded. Another series of raps on the door elicited a seemingly feral growl from Kate. Switching to a different tactic, Amelia Novak leaned against the door of her daughter's room, "I have coffee waiting for you downstairs,"
she offered seductively.
Finally, Kate's voice called out, half muffled from the pillow she had her face thoroughly stuffed into. "You know mother, bribery is looked down upon by most people."
It came off as grouchy but Amelia Novak smiled nonetheless, knowing that it was actually Kaitlyn's crass sense of humor. "So I'll see you downstairs soon then?"
Amelia replied triumphantly as she turned on her heel and danced down the steps to the first floor of the Novak residence.
Kaitlyn's voice could be heard from the floor below as she lifted her head from her pillow and admitted, "I said bribery was looked down upon, I never said it didn't work."
Kate sat up from her sprawled out position on her bed and sighed, trying to ward off the sleepiness that was lulling her to return it. With a quick shake of her head that sent her brunette hair in every which way, she bounced out of bed. Then, almost comically, her left foot smashed hard into the alarm clock that lay on the carpet from earlier. With an undignified squeak, Kaitlyn shot into the air, bouncing on one foot while grasping the injured appendage. "Son of a..... Fuck!"
She managed to verbalize as she sat back on her bed and massaged her foot. Alarm clock from hell
, she thought to herself, plugging the batteries back in and returning it to its rightful spot on the nightstand.
After reading that it was 5:45 A.M. Kate sobered up and quickly moved to the bathroom to shower. Warm water was a luxury Sierra-Armstrong couldn't afford and the icy water always managed to elicit a gasp of surprise from Kaitlyn every day. It sure as hell woke her up though, even though it only lasted five minutes. When Kate came down the stairs to meet her mom in the kitchen for morning coffee her hair was still wet. She was wearing well fitting jeans with a white shirt and her trademark black leather jacket along with black combat boots. Normally this wasn't proper nurse attire, but when the world ends, some customs had to get thrown out of the window.
The two women stood in the kitchen together, Kate leaning on the island and Amelia leaning against the sink, each had a coffee cupped in their hands, sipping quietly. Kaitlyn frowned as memories of a much fuller
house entered her mind, without Dad and Damian, the house just felt... Empty. She had come to terms that they were probably dead or even worse turned.
She had accepted that she would never see them again, but acceptance didn't alleviate the pain and grief. With a small sigh she bit the inside of her cheek and dumped the last of her coffee into the sink, no longer in the mood. Briskly, Kate grabbed their bag pack that they stored their food in. "I'll go get this week's rations from Mr. Collins. Meet you in the med' wing?"
Kaitlyn mumbled as she exited the house, not waiting for a reply. Amelia watched her daughter leave with concern in her eyes, they too carried the weight of grief.
Amelia hated the mess hall. Usually it was filled to the brim with obnoxious soldiers, drinking their sorrows away and leering at any potential fuck toy they could get their grubby hands on. Keeping her head down, she quickly moved through the rations line, waiting to reach Mr. Collins so she could grab food for her and her mother this week. When she reached the man she had to control her facial expression. Mr. COllins was a portly man that looked like he had 20 too many Big Macs, how he managed to stay fat during the end of the world was beyond Kaitlyn's imagination. The worst part about him was the smell,
his odor was a mix of week old meat and French fires. Standing in his general area was enough to make Kate want to gag. Mr. Collins smiled as she approached, though it looked more like a wolf spotting its prey more than a grin. "Ah, the beautiful Ms. Kaitlyn, back once again, have you been thinking about my offer?"
The man leered, openly staring at her chest. It took everything within her to keep a level gaze, though she gestured for him to keep his eyes on her face. Last week when she came for rations, Mr. Collins suggested that she come home with him that night if she wanted a little extra food in her belly. Kaitlyn kindly declined, this sort of thing was normal, though she hated to admit it. Just one price for safety in Sierra-Armstrong.
Kaitlyn forced a smile and laughed slightly. "I don't think your wife would like that sir, among other things... Can I please just get my rations?"
Collins shrugged and slid the food forward. Kate quickly packed away the food in her bag and turned to leave when Mr. Collins grabbed her wrist with surprising strength. "Come on Kate, just one night. You'll never have to worry about being hungry again, I can provide for you. Isn't that what you want?"
Kate yanked her wrist away, rubbing where he grabbed, her patience had run thin. "Look, I've been very respectful to you, but if you touch me again I will cut your hand off and shove it down your throat. Do you understand?"
All pretense of amicability gone.
Mr. Collins glared at her, unconsciously taking a step back, probably surprised by her ferocity. Most men around there weren't used to women talking back. "Get out. And don't bother coming back next week for rations."
Collins said this simply, though he had a smug look on his face once again as he moved onto the next resident picking up food.
Kaitlyn stomped out of the mess hall, furious at herself for fucking up so badly. Controlling your emotions was the first thing she learned as a kid, everything in the apocalypse had to be carefully planned out. She wasn't sure how she was going to explain this to her mother, the only reason she was getting rations was because Mr. Collins had pulled the same stunt with Amelia. Now they were shit out of luck, unless she went back there pleading to boost his ego, which she despised the idea of.
Entering the med' wing, she shook off all her problems and entered her work state-of-mind. The only thing that mattered in this building was helping people who needed it, there was no time for her own bullshit. Kate pulled her hair into a ponytail as she entered the break room, hoping to find her Mom and a few of the other nurses there. Who she found was one of the nicer nurses, Heidi. Heidi was this little Japanese woman who loved to talk about her life before coming to shit-hole America right when the outbreak hit. Kaitlyn loved to listen to her stories, even though Heidi talked too fast and had a thick accent. The little woman was in the middle of telling how great her son had been at playing the piano when one of the older nurses, Gwen, peeked her head into the room. Kate looked up, smiling, she liked Gwen as well, she was very sweet. The smile stayed on her face until Gwen spoke."Damian is back."
Kate shot up from the seat she had been perched in, sending it toppling over. "Where?"
She exclaimed frantically. It couldn't be true, she had to see him with her own eyes, hold onto him to make sure he was real and wouldn't leave again.
Gwen shook her head, "they were taking him to the Cell Block,, hun."
Kaitlyn was already out the door and sprinting to the cell blocks. On her way out she spotted Amelia walking through the halls. Without stopping she called to her mother. Mom! Someone saw Damian, they're taking him to the Cell Blocks!"
Now there were two Novaks racing through Sierra-Armstrong. Two guards were stationed at the Cells, blocking the entrance way. Kate was ready to bust the whole place down but the guards stopped her. "Sorry ma'am, no entrance is permitted right now. Official business."
Kaitlyn glared at the man, "Official business can suck my ass. My brother is in there so it's my business now. Let us in! He's family, don't you get that?"
She held back angry tears, a part of her still felt like someone was going to pop out of the bushes and laugh about how gullible she was for falling for a prank as simple as this.