wormwood, pt. 16

I open up my wallet, and it's full of blood.

The shop Rosalind and Nicole had taken shelter in was a used clothing store. There was no cash left in the till, but they managed to find clothes that looked decent enough by the light of their flashlights, anyway. Neither of them spoke much for a while as they waited for the storm to let up and their clothes to dry. They kept their lights mostly turned off to conserve batteries. Nicole paced restlessly, and Rosalind sat quietly by the entrance, watching the storm.

Eventually, Rosalind said, "You know, I don't think I'd ever even seen a hailstone before today."

"I had. When I was a kid. My brother and I ran outside to play in it. It was like snow, all light and fluffy and tiny."

"Was it fun?"

"Dunno. There was a big crash of thunder overhead, scared the shit out of us. We ran inside. It was gone in like twenty minutes." Nicole stopped pacing and sat down against the counter. "We were gonna be storm chasers. Take pictures and write about storms like this, I guess."

"I don't think there's ever been a storm like this."

"Maybe not. I like it when it's sunny now."

"Yeah, next time it's sunny out we should go for a walk." Rosalind smiled. "The hail's stopped. Maybe we won't be stuck here forever." Her phone beeped, and she glanced at it. "Oh, and the forest is on fire. Winston is trying to flee."

"Well, so long as we're not getting uniquely fucked, I guess."

"Your irrepressible optimism inspires me. Shall we pack up now and brave the weather?"

"I'm still fucking cold. It's not like anyone's going anywhere, what with the world ending and all."

"Then I guess we wait." Rosalind sat down next to Nicole and put an arm around her shoulder. They fell asleep waiting for the rain to stop.

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