Little Things, pt. 2

“Damned ‘squitos are worse than the dead,” he muttered.

“Just deal. At least all they want’s a little blood.”

They kept to the road, picking their way across the broken surface. They hadn’t been maintained since the fall of civilization a decade before, and it showed; so many plants had pushed their way up through the asphalt that calling it a ‘road’ was little more than being polite. Some of the sprouted trees were surprisingly mature.

The only sounds they heard were their own footsteps, occasional muttered and stifled curses, and the droning of mosquitoes that got too close. Jake banged his shin hard on the remains of a roadside barrier and fought to contain a shout. He felt a slow trickle of liquid and felt a shiver course down his spine. Just great; as if their anti-biotics weren’t tight enough.

“What’re you doing stumbling around like that, Jake?” Oliver whispered harshly. “Quit messing around, we’re out too late as it is.”

“I’m hurt, man. We got any ointment left?”

“Shit. How bad is it?” His tone was instantly serious.

“Bleeding. Not too bad.” The mosquito drone grew a bit louder as more of them were attracted to the scent. A shuffling sound far off the road jerked Jake’s attention off his leg. His heart began to pound. Not now, damnit, not now.