“Fine! Screw you! I don’t need you anyway.” I yelled at Warner’s retreating back. “You and your rules and your physical prowess and your survival expertise!” I coughed and spluttered, throwi All Warner did in reply was raise a hand, middle finger stretched into a final word. Then, he was over the crest of the dune and was gone.
I blinked in the sunlight. I didn’t think he’d actually go. We’ve been travelling for weeks together and he’d stuck with me through all of that. We separated from the caravan on day 5. Then Clarissa had died of heatstroke. Marnie ended up being bitten by Agkistrodon Piscivorus. The cottonmouth viper to most other people.
We just kept losing them. One after another, until it was just me and Warner. Him with his expertise. Me with… Well, anxiety and an urge to lash out at things.
Which brings us to today. Brings us to five minutes ago, actually.
“Tully! Will you stop trying to get yourself killed every thirty seconds and work with me?” Warner had yelled. Actually yelled, too, not his usual soft grunt.
“Well, sorry. Not all of us spent years living in the desert because we had no friends.” This wasn’t the first spat we’d had. It was the last.
He punched me in the jaw. “I don’t have any friends because they’re all dead.” He stepped back, staring down at me sprawled on the floor, shaking his hand in surprise. That’s right, I’ve got a really solid jaw. “Now, I’d rather not have a waste of space like yourself joining them, so how about you shut the fuck up and do what I tell you!”
It was the first time I’d seen him snap. He’d been so composed throughout this thing, ever since the crash. But now?
He kicked me in the ribs, breaking at least two of them. “Perhaps if you stopped whining for thirty seconds, I could keep you alive but no! You insist on fighting to die every goddamn second!” He was using kicks as punctuation. It hurt. “You know what, fuck this. Die out here, seeing as it’s what you’re aiming for.”
“Warner…” I tried to get up and he put me right back down.
“Fuck this. And you. I’m done.” He turned around and walked toward the sun.
That brings us up to now. I’m sat, in a desert, about to die from a variety of interesting ways.
The Idiot in Tin Foil