In the early afternoon, when the shadows were just starting to get long, Walt rose up from his catnapping, and stretched out the kinks with a popping
noise here and there. He cast a glance towards the girl, who still appeared to be sleeping, worn out, and quietly moved to the fire pit, cleaning it
out and piling the bits of unburned charcoal to the side on the heap of dirt from the excavation of the pit.
Deciding there probably wasn't enough there, Walt walked around gathering up dried grass, leaves and bits of litter in the form of twigs and small
sticks, with a few larger sticks, and returned to the fire pit. He looked at the dog and quietly said "You ready to eat yet?" At mention of the word
"eat" the dog raised his head, perked his ears, and stared at Walt for a second before thumping his tail on the ground - once. D.O.G. decided that
was answer enough, and lowered his head back to his paws, still beside the girl, to wait.
Walt grinned and said "traitor" again, The dog just rolled his eyes towards Walt, who set about arranging the litter to get a fire started. When he
had it arranged, Walt pulled out a plastic card from his encrusted shirt pocket. It was clear and about the size of a credit card, with closely spaced
concentric rings molded into it. Gauging the position of the sun and frog walking to the other side of the pit, Walt held the card above the litter
pile, and waited. He jumped slightly when he heard the voice.
"What are you doing?" the girl asked, still rolled up in the bedding.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to wake you. I'm building a fire."
"With a credit card?"
"Nope. It's a fresnel lens - a sort of a flat, flexible magnifying glass."
"Ain't you got no matches?" She asked.
"Sure, and a couple of disposable lighters left, too. Thing is, I think this collapse may run for a while, and when they're gone, they're gone. I'm
saving them for a rainy day - one when I ain't got the sun to work with."
"Oh" was all she said as she sat up to see if this was really going to work.
"As tendrils of smoke started to rise from the pile, Walt said "Can you walk? last night was motion on adrenaline. You might be a little more give out
and stiffened up after sleeping."
"I think so... I'm going to HAVE to walk soon - I gotta go
" she replied.
"Walt gestured around the small camp. "Pick a bush - any bush. Just don't get so far out that I can't hear you holler if you run into trouble."
"Bush?" she sounded horrified.
"Yup. Our 'facilities' out here in the green are a little more basic than you might be used to, but they're functional."
"I see" she said as she stood and started to shuffle out past the edge of the camp. the dog in tow.
"DOG!" Walt barked, "Git yer raggedy ass back here. Folks need some privacy sometimes." D.O.G. whined, but dropped his head and trotted back to the
By the time the girl returned, Walt had a small
fire going in the pit, and was trying to haggle the top out of a can of something or other with
a bayonet. She cleared her throat to announce her presence, then said "Um... mister... have you got any sponges, or old rags or anything like that
Walt looked up from his task and said "what fer?"
The girl, in obvious discomfort at the situation, said "Uh.. I... er... well I've..." Her face reddened in embarrassment at this awkward conversation
with a stranger, but there was nothing to be done for it. She decided the only thing to do was blurt it out. "I've started
, or else I've been
damaged somehow.. umm, you know, down there
" and just ducked her chin to indicate a direction.
"Started what?" Walt queried, then it dawned on him. "OH! You've started
" he said, sounding a bit embarrassed himself. He sat the can down and
glared at the dog "you stay out of that - it ain't ready yet." The dog cocked his head in reply as Walt stood and went to his rucksack. He opened it
up and pulled out an entire box of pads - regular ones, like from before the fall. "Will these do?" he asked, handing them towards the girl.
"She took them from him, but raised an eyebrow like a question mark. "What are you doing with these? Something about you I need to know?"
Walt snorted. "hardly." he said. "I've got 'em for wound compresses in case I get a boo boo. They work. Now you get along and dress yer own little boo
boo, and stop askin' so many questions" he said.
"Where did you get them?" she asked, thinking of re-supply.
"That was a question, now wasn't it? GIT! tend to your business. I'm busy - gotta rassle the top off of this can that's got your lunch trapped in it."
and he turned back to the task at hand.
By the time she again returned, Walt had the lid off of the can, and the whole can nested in the fire, warming it. When it was ready, he picked up a
rag in his left hand, and in one swift movement snatched the can out of the fire with his other hand and wrapped the rag around the can for
insulation, turning loose of it with his fingers just as quickly as he could. He fished a spoon out of a pocket on his rucksack and handed the can and
the spoon to the girl.
"How did you do that?" the girl asked. "I mean, pick that can up with your bare hands?"
Walt brushed off the question by simply saying "I'm fireproof. Ain't nothing to it. Now eat."
"Where's yours?" she asked.
You're just FULL of questions, ain't ya?" Walt replied. He picked up a rolled piece of hide and unfolded it, fishing out a couple of pieces of
jerky."Mine's right here. Don't you worry 'bout me - I ain't gonna go hungry." his stomach growled, and he tried to play it off on D.O.G. by looking
at the dog and saying "shaddup. here's yours, too" and handed the dog a strip of jerky.
The girl eyes the can and the spoon, and said. "I'm not sure I should be eating anything you won't eat, mister."
"Ah Jeezus!" Walt said. he picked up the can lid and wiped the dirt off against his grimy and bloodied pant leg, with scant improvement shown on it,
and said "reach it here" She handed the can over as Walt bent the can lid into a U shape, with which he scooped out a bite and ate it. "There ya go. I
ain't pisoned you, and got no mind to. Lissen girly, it's a hard, harsh world out here, but you're gonna have to trust someone, some time, and it
really ought to start here. Why would I have drug you all the way into my camp, then left you alone and let you sleep, only to poison you after you
woke up? That'd be a waste of perfectly good poison!" He handed the can back and sat back down to gnaw on the jerky.
The girl, feeling a bit sheepish, said "You don't want a share of this hot food?"
"Nope" Walt replied. "It don't agree with my stomach. I jus' save it for company and special occasions. You're 'company', so I broke it out. Beside,
we get done eating, I've got to take you to the Big Camp and drop you off so the medics can look you over. A hot meal won't hurt you before the walk,
in your present state."
"Drop me off?" the girl asked.
Walt rolled his eyes. Questions! "Yup. I've still got work to do, and you can't go considering that I got you OUT of there because you ought not to be
there in the first place. So then, it's the Big Camp fer you... and some medical attention."
"You're going back to my house?" she asked.
"Yup. Raiders still own it, and I aim to see that don't last long."
The girl looked doubtfully at the scrawny old man. "they'll kill you, you know."
Walt harrumphed "they didn't have much luck at that last night. I'll get by. Now EAT! We gotta be moving shortly." He gave another strip of jerky to
D.O.G. and worried some more at his own strip.
"You're crazy." the girl pronounced as a simple statement of fact.
"Probably" Walt replied "but why do folks think they have to keep telling me that, like I don't already know?"
edit on 2011/10/12 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)