snowbound

The most that can really be said is that it’s relatively warm in the car.

All six of them are sitting in a circle on the floor, down at the end of the car where the seats run sideways and there’s standing room. They’re wearing all the clothes they own, huddling under all the blankets they have; twelve feet tangle together in the middle of the car, and everyone is cozy with their neighbor. The spots closest to Sid are the hot property, literally, and even though it’s not really fair for Vitch to get one of them – he can get running hot himself if he wants to – nobody argued with the pyro when he pulled the amp down next to him. Well, Vitch did, but Vitch always does, and as always he settled in readily enough once the protests were out of the way. Delta’s on Vitch’s other side, her attempts to snuggle up to him rejected with an elbow so she won’t notice that he’s letting Sid’s hand rest on his side under the blankets; she’s happy enough to drape herself across Poison, who’s happy enough to let her because her other partner is Freak, who absolutely no one wants to cuddle. Dog’s got the other side of Sid, and he deserves it, having just come in from the cold with the last of the Just In Case supplies they’d been keeping holed up in the closet near the Ency hatch.

There’s not much.

“I’m starving,” Delta whines, eyeing the sad little pile of spam tins and milrat veg bags – the ones none of them like the taste of, and so didn’t mind leaving in the closet. “That’s, like, one supper and I could eat it all.”

“We’re really gonna have to go raid soon,” says Dog. His voice is muffled by the blankets he’s pulled up to his eye sockets. “Ency hatch still won’t open. There’s gotta be three feet on top of it.” There’s a rustle of movement under the blanket – Sid shrugging, and putting one hand on Dog’s shoulder for a moment.

“I could get it melted,” he offers, not sounding terribly enthused by the plan. “It’ll get us all drenched when it melts through the holes, but I could do it. Can’t do the front doors, it’d ice up the stairs when it refroze. ‘n’ if it’s too deep to get the hatch open, it’s gonna be too deep to run through… fuck, blizzards are the worst thing.”

“You could go ahead of us and melt a trail,” Vitch says, and then realizes why that’s a bad idea before Poison even points it out.

“And then the pigs can follow us home down it.”

Vitch sinks lower beneath the blankets petulantly.

“If we don’t figure something out I’m gonna have to eat one of you guys,” Delta says.

“You do anyway,” Sid points out with an insinuating smirk. She kicks at the feet she thinks are his, unoffended.

“Vitch’d be easiest,” says Poison. “Not much meat on him, though.”

“I bet you’d be delicious,” Delta tells her, leaning in to lick the side of the other girl’s face. Poison palms her away with a grimace.

“She’d put up too much of a fight,” Dog says. “Don’t get any ideas about me, either. I could take all of you.”

“At least I’m safe,” says Sid smugly. “You won’t turn the heater off.”

“What about Freak?” Vitch suggests.

“Do you really want to eat whatever Freak’s made of?” Poison waves her hand briefly in front of Freak’s eyes, and is apparently unnoticed. His little world is a happy one, and it’s hard to get him out of it.

“I think Vitch is really our best bet.” Delta tries to lick him, and he kicks her ankles hard, pulling back against Sid’s side.

Poison looks over at him appraisingly. He can practically see – clear as if he was a ment – the thought bubble above her head: a picture of himself, all laid out with lines and shit, like the diagrams of which part of a chicken is what on the fancy meat packs. If she licks her lips he’s going to make Sid set her on fire – but she just tilts her head and nods. “Like I said, not much meat on him, but it ought to be enough to wait out the snow.”

“‘n’ he’s what, like, 12? Young and tender – ”

“I’m 17!” he yelps, kicking again.

“Are you? Really? You sure?” Sid gets an elbow to the ribs for that.

“Just tap him upside the back of the head,” Dog says. “Nice and easy. He won’t feel a thing.”

“We can hang him in the tunnels out west where that one’s collapsed, it’ll be like keeping him in the freezer.” Poison’s leaning forward toward him now, eyeing him intently and ignoring Delta’s squeal about letting cold air in under the blankets. Vitch kicks at her legs some more, backpedaling like he’s trying to hide inside Sid.

The pyro quietly tightens the arm that’s looped around Vitch’s waist, and simultaneously leans into him with a sly grin. “Aw, Vitchy, are you scared? Don’t worry, Dog’s right, you won’t feel a thing – it’ll be quicker than that guy you got in the eye with your crowbar, anyway – ”

Delta gasps, and she and Poison emit a quiet “Ooooooooh” in unison as Vitch swivels to face Sid, eyes wide with How-Dare-You.

In the split second before the amp explodes, Freak says, dreamily: “I bet HappyBunny tastes just like cotton candy.”

Everyone turns to look at him.

“The pink kind,” he clarifies.

“What flavor is WackyDuck?” Sid asks, and the conversation turns to Freak’s Strange Ideas. Poison and Delta shoot each other vaguely disappointed looks at being denied a really good Vitchsplosion, but Dog is relieved enough, encouraging his friend to expound upon the idea of licking children’s television characters, and Vitch himself sits sullenly through it, only slightly mollified by Sid’s insistent furtive cuddling – thumb rubbing reassuringly just above the waistline – big on physical contact, Sid is. So fucking embarrassing. At least it’s warm.

After a few minutes, under cover of a group explosion of laughter, Sid leans in and murmurs a quick, almost-inaudible “sorry.”

Vitch elbows him sharply to show there’s no hard feelings.

Sid squeezes him, laughs, and raises his voice: “No way, DeathBear is blue, I know ’cause I bit him once when I was a ducklin – ”

They last the rest of the night on laughter and distractions, and eat the last of the food the next day to fuel up for a snow-drenched raid on the outer zone. They never do get around to killing and eating each other.

This entry was posted in Etroi, Good Times on Grand Street. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.