The man steps closer. Kris can see that he has dark brown hair and a fair complexion. He gestures his gun at Kris’s abdomen before aiming it back at his head. Kris looks down at his stomach to find that his bandages have been changed. Kris turns his head to the other side, and the man’s son is standing there, watching him intently with a baseball bat in hand. The boy was looked a lot like the man Kris presumed was his father. He looked no older than ten years old.
“What’s your wound?” Kris processes the situation, a million questions flooding his mind. He doesn’t understand what’s going on at all and now he’s tied up and more confused than ever.
“I said, what’s your wound?” the man says with more force, pulling back the back side of the gun. “You tell me or I’ll kill you.” Kris realizes he’s being asked a question and thinks back to before he woke up in the hospital. “What are those bandages for?”
“Gunshot,” he says surprisingly calmly, considering the situation he’s in. Maybe he feels too weak to do otherwise.
“Gunshot?” the man says, lowering his weapon. “What else? Anything?”
“Gunshot isn’t enough for you?” Kris asks, looking up at the man. The man walks closer to Kris.
“Look, I ask, and you answer.” He leans down closer so that he’s hovering above Kris’s face. “Did. You get. Bit.” Kris raises an eyebrow. “Bit? Scratched? Anything like that?”
“No, I got shot,” Kris breathes back. “Just shot, as far as I know.” The man hovers his hand in front of Kris’s face and the latter flinches into the pillow.
“Let me check something,” he says. Kris relaxes and the man places the back of his hand on Kris’s forehead. “Feels cold enough,” the man says. “The fever would have killed you by now.”
“But I don’t have a fever,” Kris replies. The man proceeds to pull something out of his pocket. It’s a switch blade.
“You see this? Look how sharp it is. Try anything, and I will kill you with it. Don’t you think I won’t.” Kris looks back at the man, unsure of how to respond to that. The man begins to cut off the plastic ties binding him to the bed. “Come out when you’re able,” he says, and he leaves the room. His son gives Kris one last glance before following his father out. Kris flexes and massages his wrists, glad to be able to move them again. He sighs to himself, unsure if it is from relief or exhaustion, or both. Nonetheless, he sits up and takes off the hospital gown and pulls a blanket over himself.
Stepping out of the bedroom that he’s in, he sees the man serving his son food by candle light. There is a single lamp turned on in the dining room corner and another small lamp in the living room. Kris walks around the living room and recognizes the house.
“This place… the Lees used to live here. I’ve been here…this is their place,” Kris says.
“It was empty when we got here,” the man replies. Kris walks over to one of the windows, which were also covered by heavy blankets. He is about to pull back the blanket when the man stops him.
“Don’t do that. They’ll see the light.” Kris looks back at him. “There’s more out there than usual. I shouldn’t have fired that gun today.” The man goes back to serving dinner. Kris notices how careful he’s being with the utensils. “Sound draws them. Now they’re all over the street. I feel so stupid for using a gun.” He sits down at the table next to his son. Kris approaches the table and holds on to one of the chairs to keep him standing.
“That man that you shot today…” Kris begins slowly.
“Man?” the man replies.
“That wasn’t a man,” the kid pipes in. Kris looks at the kid and then back to the father.
“You shot him today, out in the street, a man.”
“Boy, you need glasses. That was no man. It was a walker. Now sit down before you fall down,” he says. Kris is speechless and does as he’s told. They’re about to eat when the youngest stops them.
“Appa, grace.” His father nods and they join hands. The son holds his hand out to Kris and he hesitantly takes it.
“Lord, we thank thee for this food and your blessing. Please protect and watch over us in these crazy times. Amen.”
“Amen,” his son repeats.
“You got a name?” the man asks as they begin to eat.
“Kris Wu. You?”
“I’m Minho and this is my son, Yoogeun.” Kris looks at them both and nods politely at them. They continue to eat in silence until Minho breaks it.
“Kris, do you even know what’s going on out there?” Minho asks.
“I woke up today in the hospital..came home…that’s all I know.”
“But you know about the dead people, right?”
“Yeah, I saw them. At the hospital. They were all lined up. Not even buried,” he replies.
“No…not the ones they put down. The ones they didn’t. The walkers. Like the one I shot earlier. He would have killed you. Ripped your flesh apart and eaten you.” Kris must have looked almost in disbelief. “I guess this is the first time you’re hearing about it. I know it sounds crazy.” Minho looks at Kris, watching him absorb the new information.
“So..they’re out there now…in the street?” Kris asks. Minho nods.
“They get more active after dark. Maybe they like the cool air or the sunlight is too bright for them. Or maybe it’s cause I fired that gun today. We’ll be fine as long as we stay quiet. They’ll wander off by morning. But, let me tell you one thing I do know.” Kris looks up from his food. “Don’t you get bit. We saw your bandages today and that’s what we were scared of. The bites kill you. The fever ought to burn you out. But after a while, you come back.” Kris is silent, trying to process that. How did this happen? How is it even possible?
“I’ve seen it happen,” Yoogeun quietly interjects. Kris looks at him. He’s looking down at his food. Minho pats him on the shoulder and gives a weak smile. Kris suspects there’s something he’s missing but doesn’t say anything.
Later, the three of them are sitting in the living room. Minho is stroking Yoogeun’s hair, trying to help him fall asleep, and Kris is sitting quietly on the couch, the blanket wrapped tightly around him.
“You got any family out there?” Minho asks.
“My younger brother is out there. Jay. And my best friend…JinHye. I hope she’s ok too.”
“Is he with her?”
“I hope so,” Kris says.
“Dad….” Yoogeun says quietly.
“Hmm?” Minho says, patting his son’s head again.
“Did you ask him?” Minho smiles.
“Right.” He turns to Kris. “Your gun shot…Yoogeun thinks you’re a bank robber,” Minho chuckles.
Kris chuckles a little too. “Yeah, that’s me. The most dangerous robber out there.” He laughs at the idea. “Nah, I’m the sheriff’s deputy.”
“I see,” Minho says. “You’re awfully young to be a deputy.”
“It doesn’t really matter anymore, I guess,” Kris replies.
Suddenly, a car alarm goes off. Yoogeun automatically sits up in fear.
“It’s ok,” Minho says, trying to calm him down. “One of them must’ve bumped a car or something.”
“You sure?” Kris asks, uncrossing his legs.
“It happened before. It went off for a few minutes.” Minho slowly gets up. “Get the light, Yoogeun-ah.” Yoogeun went to one of the lamps and dimmed it until it was completely off. Kris took the liberty of turning the other off. Minho goes to the window and pulls back one of the blankets slightly so that you could see a small bit of the outside world.
“It’s the blue one down the street,” he points out, gesturing for Kris to take a look. Kris peeks out and sees several walkers roaming the street and a single car a few houses down ringing. “It’s the same as last time. I think we’ll be ok.”
“The noise…won’t it bring more of them here?” Kris asks.
“Nothing we can do about it. We’ll just have to wait it out until morning.” Yoogeun opens up a small opening to see for himself. He lets out a gasp.
“Appa, she’s here.” Kris looks to where Yoogeun’s looking and he sees a woman in bloodied nightgown. She’s got sunken-in cheeks and eyes, but isn’t as decayed as the rest with the exception of her visibly bloody collarbones.
“Don’t look, get away from the window. Cmon, go!” Suddenly, Yoougeun runs to the couch and begins sobbing. Minho goes to him and tries to comfort him and more importantly, quiet his hysterical sobs.
“Cry into the pillow, Yoogeun-ah,” he coos softly.
Kris continues to stare out the window at the woman. She’s getting dangerously close to the house. Kris moves from the window to the front door and looks through the peep hole. The woman is coming up the porch steps and to the front door, and begins inspecting it. Kris swears that she is staring right at him through the peep hole. Then she sees the door handle and reaches for it and begins to turn the knob.