Ari sat in a folded out lawn chair, atop of the old RV. The Arizona heat beat down on her head as she scoped out the landscape around her.
The corner’s of her mouth turned upward at the thought. She had successfully summed up the past three hours of her life in less words than she had fingers on her hand.
Beneath her feet, a deep voice, muffled by the roof of the RV, growled angrily. A higher, yet still masculine, voice screeched back, followed by a series of crashes and muffled thumps. Ari closed her eyes, letting her head fall back against the back of the chair. James was fighting with Jessie again. It had become a frequent thing as of late. Wake up. Eat breakfast. James and Jessie get into a fight over dish duty, more often than not resulting in a fist fight. Bitch about broken dishes. Both of them get punished for breaking dishes by “time-outs” (an additional two hours tacked onto their daily look-out). “Dammit ta hell! James! Jessie! Shut the FUCK up!” Ari yelled, stomping hard on the roof. She heard a crash from inside, followed by a couple grumbles.
Closing her eyes, Ari groaned. This had been going for about two weeks now, starting shortly after they hit the desert line. Maybe it was the heat.. Maybe it was the weeks of confinement and being stuck next to each other. Maybe they just annoyed the piss out of each other for fun in the first place. Maybe they were just looking for a reason to fight and relieve a little stress, but for some reason, those who started out as complete and total strangers were now fighting like little children. The blonde haired woman sighed. She supposed that the fact that they could bicker like siblings was a step towards having that family like bond that they all hadn’t had in a while. Ever since Dallas. Craig. Joanna. Violet. Resting her head on the side of the shotgun, she fought off the tightness in her chest. She really missed the old days.
A few minutes later James stepped outside, into the glaring white of the dessert. He squinted into the sun as he surveyed the land around him. The sands just seemed to go on forever. “See anything?” He asked, looking up into the sun at the female that perched on top of the RV. “Not yet,” she said, still scanning the sands, “ but we should head out pretty soon. If we can find the highway we can find a gas station.” James nodded, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand. “We still have twenty gallons left in the reserves, but, you’re right. We probably should fill up soon.”
Jessie suddenly flung open the RV door, an unlit cigarette resting between his lips, startling the two. “Yo, James.. You got my light?” He asked as he pulled his oily hair back into a pony tail. “No,” James said, fishing in his pocket, and pointing it warningly at their companion. “I have MY lighter. And I want this one back.” he said, tossing the lighter to Jessie. “It‘s my last one.” “Yeah, yeah.” Jessie said, waving his hand and blowing James off as he stepped back inside the RV.
James looked back up at Ari, not quite knowing what to say after all that. “I found the file.” He finally said after a few moments of silence. “That’s good.” Ari said quietly. “Yeah we can get a decent edge on our machetes ..and stuff.” James mumbled, kicking at a rock with the side of his foot, while absentmindedly shoving his hands into his pockets. Another, long moment of silence passed once more before he thought of something else to say. “Well I suppose its my turn on look out huh?” He said as he looked up again at Ari. “Yeah,“ She groaned as she stretched, getting all the kinks out “'Bout that time.“ She stood up, laying the shotgun in the seat as she moved to the edge of the vehicle. “Good thing too, I have to pee.“ James laughed and watched as her slender tan frame climb down from the roof. It suddenly occurred to him that she looked kind of cute in the combat boots, and short shorts. The small white tank top clung to her in all the right places, and it suddenly became a chore to keep his hands to himself. He was brought back to reality with a thump, as Ari landed on the ground in front of him. His eyes locked with hers for a few seconds, before he quickly darted them away, a blush barely visible on his ears. “I’ll be up top if you need me.” He said, mounting the ladder to the roof.
As Ari opened the door to the RV, Jessie looked up from the sink of dishes, the half ash cigarette dangling from his lips. “ So,” He said, scrubbing the dishes with a ratty old piece of steel wool, ashes falling into the sink as he spoke. “We heading out today, or are we gunna chill in the desert some more?”
Ari hesitated in the doorway, shielding her eyes as she watched the third member of their party heave himself up onto the top of the mobile home. She watched until the sun made her look away from him and retreat back inside to hydrate herself. Sighing she wiped the sweat from her forehead and stepped into the shady, slightly cooler inside. "Now that the sun's not too high anymore, we can probably start heading out once the chores are done. At the rate we’ve been going, what with us continuously getting buried in sand at night, we’ll NEVER make it to Albuquerque.”
The tan skinned woman closed the door behind her, making sure to lock it tight. Leaving it unlocked was a horrible liability, and seemed a stupid reason to die. They hadn’t survived this long just on luck, and Ari would be damned if she was going to be the reason the group was doomed. As for the lookout, they were the safest of them all on top of the RV and away from the grasp of the flesh eaters, but were the RV to get rocked, the lookout wouldn’t be safe. So ,as a precaution, the plan was for the lookout to slip into the RV using the small little sunroof near the center of the mobile home, thus ensuring their safety.
Turning back to Jessie, whose cheesy smirk was highlighted by the light coming in from the window in front of him, she raised an eyebrow. "What?" "Oh you know." He crooned. "And if you don't, than you will soon enough." It almost looked like he was trying to hold in a giggle fit as a mischievous grin stretched across his face. Ari's eyes narrowed, as she remembered last time he had that grin. “What did you do?“ She asked, eyes widening as her mind raced through the possibilities. “ I swear to god Jessie,” she started as she swiftly crossed over to the bathroom,” if you used my bras to filter water for that pot plant of yours again.“ Inside the bathroom, the plant sat innocently, with nothing other then the slightly odorous air to keep it company. “Jessie what did you..” She heard the door slam closed. As she peaked her head out, she found herself alone in the RV. Ari, fumed as she tried to think of what he could have done. Jessie must have done something, she just knew it. Determined to find out what, Ari proceeded to, neatly, tear the place apart.