Jane sucked in a deep breath and began in the other direction. Kevin stopped her when she crossed the group. She rolled her eyes, unwilling to spend another unnecessary second in that awful tomb waiting to happen. “What now?”
“Let me show you the way out. These tunnels are more complicated than you’d think, and there are a good handful of exits to choose from. I can show you the one that’s most remote. You want to come up somewhere remote, don’t ya? I mean, with all that blood on your shirt, you want to keep a low profile, I’d think.”
She looked down at the dried blood caked across her Grateful Dead concert shirt with a sigh. She really needed to change, but that would have to wait. Her current priority was getting the hell out of this place. She gave Kevin a nod, and armed with an LED flashlight, he began to lead the way.
When they fell out of earshot of the rest of the group, Kevin leaned in close, saying in a voice not quite a whisper: “I know what I saw. Say what you will, if that’s what you gotta do, but I ain’t no idiot.”
“Only an idiot would bring home what you saw,” she breathed lightly.
He chuckled. “You think an old fart like me wouldn’t know a good monster from a bad one when I saw it? I seen things in ’Nam that’d make your toes curl. You think you’re all that special? Let me tell you, you ain’t.”
“I seen someone like you before. I don’t want to make a fuss about it or nothing; I’m just curious to know a little more is all.”
“Well, curiosity killed the cat.”
“Good thing I ain’t no cat.” He laughed. “Fine, keep it all to yourself. Not my business anyway, I guess. My thanks to you, all the same. Little bastard really was rearing to kill me.”
“That’s the thing about people these days. They lack perspective. They just don’t get anyone outside their own personal little bubbles. Look at an old homeless man and see nothing but rags and bones … no story, no past, no soul, just a washed up rag that lost its usefulness long ago. Don’t matter; I don’t care much for what the rest of ’em are making of what’s left of this world, so I’m glad not to be a part of it. It’s all going to hell, and I’d rather not witness it from the sidelines.”
She nodded, his words hitting her more strongly than she was willing to let on. “Yeah.”
“But if you’d rather not talk about it, I understand. Ours is an unforgiving world. We all been through more than we’d like to admit. We all done things we’d rather not drudge up. I know I done my share, and I ain’t proud of none of it.”
That much hit home; she had no desire to bring up all that had occurred over the decades simply in the name of release. No one person’s understanding could wipe clean her slate, so why bother? Did it matter if anyone could relate, even if remotely? Her past was hers alone to bear. Nothing would change that. Nothing could change that. The man was prying for his own sake, to satisfy his own curiosity. Nothing good would come of her disclosing such privy information. Hoping to shut him up for good, she said, “I appreciate that.”
Remember, you can win an electronic copy of Jane, Volume 1: Revival, which includes Flashbacks and three other episodes in Jane, the Hippie Vampire's ongoing quest for peace in this violent and twisted world. Just leave a comment to enter. You can also enter to win one of five signed paperback copies through the Jane Goodreads giveaway.
Stop by other blogs in the Coffin Hop Blog Tour for your chance to win lots of other prizes by other great horror authors--and don't forget to stop back here tomorrow for more Jane and another chance to win Volume 1: Revival!