|When the pistol went off several things happened at once.
The dead man fell to the ground with a bullet straight between his brows, Callie fell off the bar stool, surprised she even hit him, and the whole bar went silent. Even the dead man's wife was speechless. That alone was worth the bullet, and the bruise on her ass Callie thought as she placed her hands on top of the counter and lifted herself up.
Sure she had a few drinks, Callie hadn't been able to resist the open bar, not when the bartender was dead on the sidewalk, but it was nothing Callie couldn't handle. Or so she thought.
She should be studying the room, if only it would stop spinning. The walls were closing in, suffocating her. Callie gripped the edge of the counter like it was a life raft and she was drowning.
There was an odd ringing in her ears, like someone's screams were being muffled under a pillow. Callie turned to where the sound was coming from.
"Jake," the wife screamed, "Jake no!" She collapsed on top of his body, sobbing. "W-what did he ever do to you?
"Not a damn thing," Callie laughed darkly at the irony. She looked at the dead man, his blood slowly staining the floor around him. He was wearing a lightly worn, stiffly starched suit and his wife was wearing a canary yellow dress. They were in their Sunday best.
"Murderer," the woman shrieked.
"Shut up," Callie screamed at the bewildered woman, throwing the first thing her hand could find.
Smash! A glass bottle shattered into deadly shards against the wall. The woman was reduced to incoherent sobs as Callie rubbed her own throbbing temples. Crap, Callie thought, that still had whiskey in it. She needed every drop.
The bar was a dingy place filled with even grimmer people. Callie laughed darkly at herself. What had she expected, everyone gathered in a circle singing kumbaya my lord? She was at a bar and the world was ending. People were drinking. Hard.
But even drunk people knew when to not mess with a crazy person, and Callie was certifiably crazy. There was only one light in the place and it dangled above the counter casting a muted, depressing light around the bar. It was just enough light that Callie could see them, all three of them, huddled in the corner. All three were dressed in the same dirty, torn clothes and looked like they hadn't eaten in weeks. Two had dark brown hair that was matted to their skulls, while the other one had dirty blonde hair that hid most of his face.
Two of them were eyeing the leather wallet that had fallen from the dead man's jacket. She sighed. The rebellion wanted her to make fighters of these thieves. They'd probably steal the lint from her pockets if they could.
The other one, the blonde one, was watching her. His gaze was unsettling, the way he seemed to analyze her every move. Callie looked away. If she wanted to be scrutinized she could have just stayed at home. Her father was more than willing to do that.
Those drunks were the handful of people who were still left in this town. Most left when news came that the next town over had been massacred, only those stubborn and stupid enough to think they could fight stayed. Callie was among them to recruit these men to the rebellion, in particular, to find the scientist and safely escort him back to her father. Either way, it was her job to trick these men into dying quicker deaths.
Callie's gaze went back to the dead man on the bar floor. His wife's eyes flashed an eerie red as they looked at her own brown ones. Chills shivered down her spine. Callie realized something as she touched the scar on her chest.
"I shot him before he could do anything to me. Callie poured another shot and threw it back quickly, "Or you for that matter." Screw it, she thought, and grabbed the whole bottle of whiskey and staggered over to the body, concentrating on keeping to the shadows. The woman clutched his corpse tighter, her fingernails digging into his clammy flesh.
"Get away! Are you going to kill me too -," the woman gasped as Callie stepped closer, "oh my."
She usually had that effect on people. Callie could only guess that the woman could now see the deep scars that ran from her neck to her shoulders. How the ugly marks made her skin look jagged and grotesque. How she looked like the very monsters she hunted.
Callie roughly yanked the man's right hand from her clutches. There was a loud crack as his arm was dislodged from the socket. "That isn't a normal bite from Fluffy he's got there princess, " Callie said, pointing to the bruise on his arm.
On closer inspection, the vivid purple color was hiding the tell-tale bite mark. The start of end. The beginning of when a decent, regular guy would become bloodthirsty and kill his own family, would plunge a dagger into the woman he loved.
"We were on a vacation...," the woman continued, "and he was a father... he was my husband and -"
"Death doesn't discriminate lady. He was turning into a zombie."
"Look," Callie said as she sat the bottle of whiskey on a nearby table, some of it sloshing out, "that was not your husband. It might have been at one time but that walking carcass that came in here with you wasn't your husband. He wanted to rip your face off and gauge your eyes out; he wanted to tear your vocal chords out with his bare hands and slash your intestines until they spilled on the floor.
"Ask me how I know."
"How," she hissed back at Callie. All traces of grief were gone, just an insatiable hunger.
"Because you're one too." Callie was like a cobra, the way her hands sprung up and snapped the woman's neck. The body thudded to the floor.