The Nameless

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic thriller.... view prompt

0 comments

Adventure Science Fiction Thriller

Jany pulled open the cupboard. Inside were the usual bathroom items. It was untouched and not too dusty considering how long it had remained so. She grabbed the pill bottles first. There was an empty Tylenol, a bottle of multivitamins for seniors with only a couple left, and a small orange pill bottle with a pharmacy label. Jane grabbed for the last one and dumped one of the pills into her hand. Viagra. She immediately checked the bottle for an expiry date, it didn’t matter though. They were always expired. It was slightly more recent than the previous one she had found January 7, 2022. She hugged the small bottle to her chest.

“Jany! What are you doing, we’ve gotta go. We’re way outside of J-clan territory. Hurry, hurry.”

“I’m coming. Gosh. Find anything useful in there?” Jany stuffed the pill bottle into her bag and then went across the hall and poked her head into what had probably been a teenage girl’s bedroom. Her best friend and scavenging partner Jas stood beside the closet holding a pair of 3 inch heeled, knee high boots in one hand and a pair of bright pink runners in the other.

“Just these ridiculous boots and a pair of decent runners.”

“Those’ll do, but get rid of the boots.” Jany stepped into the room and grabbed the shoes stuffing them into her bag.

“Haha you’re telling me. Couldn’t run away from any G-clannies in these things.” Jas threw one out the door and then turned and tossed the other over her shoulder.

“Ouch!” A tall brown haired man stood in the door. He was wearing a black hoody with a white ‘G’ stitched on the front. He rubbed his forehead.

“who’s there?!” Both women jumped to their feet, pulling knives from their belts. Another man poked his head around the door. He was shorter and had long hair. He also had a black hoody with a G on it.

“Well well well… What do we have here. A couple of J-clan huh?”

“We’re just leaving. No need to bother yourself.” Jany stood up grabbing the shoes and shoving them into her bag. Jas remained on guard

“What have you go there? A nice pair of sneaks. Could always use some nice sneaks. Let me have a look at them.” The man stepped up to Jany and grabbed her wrist, digging a long thumb nail into her wrist until she dropped the knife. He lunged for it and held it up to her throat. 

“Whatever.” She reached into the bag and pulled the shoes out dangling them in front of him. He snatched them from her and then grabbed the bag as well. “Hey!” Jas lunged forward with her knife and slashed the man in the ribs. He’s friend reached around and grabbed the knife from her. Using the same trick to make her drop it.

“Fuck” Jas grabbed her bloody wrist.

“Beautiful. She’ll love these.” He smiled wide. He was missing a number of front teeth. “I like the bag; I think I’ll keep it too. Just gotta change the letter and nobody will know where I got it.” He reached up and tore of the J off with ease.

“Ugh I knew I should’ve fixed that.” Jany said under her breath. “Not the bag. I need it.”

“Oh yeah? Let’s see then. What else is in here?” He turned the bag upside down and watched as the contents tumbled out. There was sweatshirt, granola bars tied up in cloth, a worn book, a note book, pen and pencil, and pill bottle. “Let’s see. Anything useful?” He picked up the book, glanced at the cover. “Brave New World. Interesting choice, I’m not really into science fiction these days though,” He gestured around the room and grinned “so you can keep that.” He threw the book at Jas who scrambled to catch it. “A notebook full of relentless whinnying and sketches. Nope.” He flipped through the notebook faster than the eye could travel and tossed this at Jas as well. “Ah a new hoody. In good condition too, my partner could use this.” He picked up the hoody and stuffed it under his arm. “And what are these?” He picked up the pills and shook the bottle.

“No! Not those!”

“What’re these? Viagra? Well that’s always useful stuff I guess, but not for two girlies like you.” He tried to pry the lid off, but it had a child safety lock so it stuck. Jany punched him in the face, but hit the pill bottle when he raised his hands to protect his face. Little blue pills flew everywhere. With the distraction Jany threw another punch and hit him in the face. He keeled backwards into his friend. The other man had been standing guard at the door. He grabbed his nose which now appeared crooked behind his hand. Jany scrambled for the pill bottle in the confusion, but the man caught it under his foot before she could grab it and picked it up. Inspecting the now empty bottle. Jas inched toward the closet, eyeing the rod. 

“Hmmmm. You must be pushers, huh?  In which case nobody will care if I kill you here and leave them.” Jany was scrambling to pick up the pills. The name stepped on them and crushed a few into the floor. He reached down and scooped most of them into the container.

“No please! You don’t understand! I need them. I’ll—I’ll—die.”

“Well what’s that to me, one less nasty lesser letter to deal with, Let’s go George. They don’t have anything else interesting.” The smaller man turned toward the door, but the man he called George stood blocking the doorway.

“Hey, what gives man. Let’s get out of here! Before these bitches get themselves sorted out and start fighting back.” He leaned in to whisper the last bit.

“Return. The. Pills.”

“Hey what gives? She’s just another junky selling drugs on the market. It’s not like she needs them.” Behind him Jany was crying and picking up pills from the floor still. Jas was attempting to pull one of the bars from the closet.

“Do it. Now.”

“Hey, no way man! Do you know what a fortune these could make us? Get out of my way!”

“You give me no choice then.” George grabbed the main by his hood and threw him out the door. He followed and punched him. Knocking him out with two punches. He grabbed the bottle and took it back to Jany. “Here.” She stared at the out stretched hand. “Look. I used to be in medical school, before all this. I know what there for. Take them. Know one deserve that kind of fate.”

“Th-th-thank-y-y-you!” Jany grabbed the bottle and clutched it to her chest.

“Hey, what’s your Name? Jane. Jane Falmouth . But everyone calls me Jany.”

“George Gutherie. Practically a J.” He held out his hand to Jany to help her up. She glanced at Jas who shook her head no. Jany grabbed the out stretched hand.

“Thanks George, for this.” She gave the pill bottle a shake.

“No problem. You need help with the rest of these. You really shouldn’t be bending over like that. You’re getting red.”

“I know.”

“Ugh. I keep trying to tell you that! Look, if you’re gonna be Mr. knight-in-shining-armour get down here and give me a hand with the rest of these.” Jas waved to the pills still laying on the floor. George got down on his knees and helped her pick up the rest of them.

“Thanks. Maybe you’re not so bad, even though you are a G. I’m Jasmin, Jasmin Nicholson, but everyone calls me Jas” she smiled up at him.

“Thanks I guess?” Green eyes might brown and for a brief moment both smirked.

“Hey, I see you two are having a moment, but can we please get out of here?” Jany stood by the door glancing up and down the hall way.

“Oh right.” Both of them stood, blushing. George headed towards the door and took the bottle from Jany, dumping the rest of the pills he’d collected into it.

“Yep, should probably go. The rest of my recon team will be looking for Gruff here.” He kicked his former clan mate.

“Gruff. That’s fitting.” Jas rolled her eyes.

“Yeah. He’s a jerk anyway. I’ve been thinking of leaving the clan for awhile.”

“Where would you go?” Jany stuffed the bottle back into her bag and grabbed the runners as she went by Gruff.

“To join the nameless.”

“Pffft that’s just a legend. They don’t exist.” Jas punched his arm.

“They do. I’ve seen proof.”

“No you haven’t!”

“Yes, if you come with me after we get out of here I’ll show you. I’ve heard they have doctors too, real ones with medicines. You should think about coming Jany.”

“I can’t just leave… not my clan. That’s that’s horrible. They’ve done so much for me. They’re the reason I’m still alive.”

“Alive for how much longer? How long until you find more of those pills? You probably need ambrisentan to, don’t you? You’re not gonna last long only taking those.”

“I know…”

“What!? What are Ambris—what?”

“Ambrisentan. In the before… I took it to manage my pulmonary hypertension in the before time. The other one is really rare so I hardly ever find it. That’s why I always raid pharmacies, hospitals, anywhere that looks like they’ll medication. I’m not usually very lucky but once in a while I find some…”

“So are you really sick? I don’t know what that pul… whatever it is.”

“It’s a lung condition. Cliff notes version the blood from my heart can’t effectively reach my lungs and I struggle to breath.”

“But it can cause a whole host of other problems too. Swollen legs, right sided heart failure, Blood clots…”

“Okay Dr. George you sound like you’re quoting a medical textbook. Why didn’t you tell me?”  

“No point, is there? I’m dying either way. What I really need is a lung transplant. I was supposed to have one before… but then well, the end of the world happened and here we are.”

“Geez. I suspected as much. Your red face, heavy breathing, swollen ankles.”

“Yeah. Most people hardly notice, everyone is so sickly these days.”

The group made there was through the house, checking around corners as they went, treading with light feet. They reached the back door and peered through it. No one was outside.

“You think it’s safe out there?”

“Is it ever?”

“To shay. Let’s go.”

“I’ll go first. If any G’s are waiting they’ll be less likely to shoot on the site of me.”

“Fair enough.” Jany and Jas went to the window in the next room and crouched below it watching the woods around the house. George pushed the door, it moved open a crack. He stopped and waited. He pushed it a crack more. He glanced at the women, Jas gave him a thumbs up. He pushed it all the way open and stepped out. Knife at the ready. He looked around.

“All clear.” The two women jumped up and followed him. The group dashed into the woods and back towards the track they’d come from. When they broke out on to the road they could hear shouts coming from the house behind them.

“Someone must’ve snuck in while we were leaving. They’ve found Gruff.”

“Let’s get out of here.” Jas grabbed Jany’s arm and tugged her. The other woman was doubled over panting.

“How did I not realize how sick you were before. My god.”

“Let’s hide in those salal bushes.” The group ran towards the bushes and scrambled in. They were as tall as them, but also full of underbrush and dead wood.

“I need a break. Please, hold on.”

“Take a viagra.”

“It takes hours to kick in.”

“I know, but at least it will help a little, right.” Jany fumbled with her bag until she got the bottle out and pulled out one of the little blue pills. She swallowed it.

“Now what?”

“Let’s get further away from the road.”

“We’ve gotta move slowly though. Shhhh I can hear voices.”

Jas went first followed by Jany, then George, the group moved through the under bush with as little movement to the bushes over head as possible. After an hour of crawling through them the bushes gave way to an open plain. A few deer were grazing off in the distance rabbits were feeding closer by, birds swooped overhead picking at bugs in the dust or landing in trees.

“Ah it’s Mitch’s acres. Our camp isn’t far to the west from here. What’s the plan?” Jas waved to the field and smiled at the familiar landscape.

“I’m going South. To the Nameless.” George waved towards the right.

 “Right. I’m going to take Jany to the doctor. You can’t come across the field with us. We have scouts watching it. They’ll see you.” Jany walked a little way from the pair gazing off to the southern horizon. It was just trees. She returned slowly, her face still a little red.

“What about going to the nameless?”

“No way Jany. We have doctors here to take care of you. Besides, it’s just a legend, right?”

“Well… that’s what I thought at first too… but then the scouts came back from the south news of a clan who accepted anyone, no matter their first name and that they had a real hospital with doctors and clean water and a food, so much food!” George threw his hands up in the air. “I know it’s a risk but it could be her only chance.”

“You see Jas? I’m not gonna miss this. I can’t keep scavenging for pills forever. Look here George are you sure you know the way? I can just as well set off with Jas here to find this paradise if that’s all the intel you have. You must know something else?”

“Look. I didn’t know if I could trust you two okay, but if you really are serious about coming…” He pulled his pack off his back and rummaged around it and plucked a worn piece of paper out. “Here.” He handed it to Jany. It was folded in quarters. She unfurled the paper and spread it out on the ground. Jas joined her.

“It’s a map.”

“Well this changes everything.” Jas leaned over and traced a dotted line through the mountains and the abandoned city of Portland. “So it’s in what was California? How long do you reckon it’d take us to get there?”

“Depends how long we can walk each day. But probably 2 weeks.”

“Someone’s coming.”

“Get down!” George dove behind a tree. Jas grabbed Jany and pushed them both into the bushes.  rolled under a bush.

“The map!” Jany exclaimed. It still sat on the ground just few feet from her. She reached her hand out for it, just then Gruff and two women burst into the clearing.

“Well well well. What’s this? A map. Hmmm. Not marked, but I’d recognize that writing anywhere.”

“Someone has been here recently. Be cautious.”

“What? Of a couple of good for-nothing-J’s and a defecting G? Pulease. I don’t care if they are near by.”

“There’s wild life in the field beyond. Do you recognize this area?”

“No. We’ve gone way outside our regular stomping ground. Let’s get back before night. I don’t like this.”

“Would you two stop whining!? Look. They’ve got to be here somewhere. I want my big man back. Start searching ladies.”

“Whatever, Gruff.” The two women began to poke around in the bushes and behind the trees. It was dusk so the woods were difficult to see in and they didn’t make much headway since Gruff kept bumping into them in the dark.

“They’re gone Gruff. Let’s go home. This is pointless.”

“Ginger, I will tell you when this is pointless! KEEP SEARCHING!”

“Nah man I’m out. I’m going back to camp before they send a search party out for us. Let’s go Gabby.” The taller woman grabbed others arm and began dragging her back towards the road.

“I know you’re out here GEORGE! I KNOW YOU’RE OUT HERE! And I’ve got your MAP!” Gruff waved the map around in the air. A light breeze rustled the trees and grabbed at the map pulling it from his finger tips and carrying it over the tree tops and towards the south.

***

“Are you sure you remember the directions. It was so far from us. We could easily get confused.”

“You have nothing to worry about because…” George swung this pack around to face the front and pulled a piece of paper out. “Ta-da! I made a copy!”

“You really are a doctor.” Jas laughed and grabbed the map from him.

“and the one in your fair hands lovely Jas is the original.”

“Watch it with the lovelies Doc.” Jany rolled her eyes, but then leaned over to see the map in the fading light.

“It’s different.”

“Yes, actually, I made a mistake when I copied it, a grave one, but I didn’t have time to fix it so it’s really lucky that it fell into his hands.”

“I’ll say!”

“Nameless, here we come!”

September 26, 2020 02:55

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

0 comments