Quarantined in Chaos (Nova Nocte)

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Authors: Melissa Gibbo
destroy something.”
                  Cal nodded and stepped aside.
                  “Very well; I will prepare your parents for burial. I am very sorry, my boy.”
                  “Thanks. I’ll be right back. If it’s alright, I’d like to bury them alone.”
                  He left without waiting for a response. Cal and I wrapped the bodies in sheets.
                  If they were this kind in death, they must’ve been wonderful people in life. I wish I could’ve met them before. I wish I could help Daemon through this somehow.
                  We stayed at the house only long enough to gather useful items and let Daemon bury his parents by his grave marker. We all took special care not to make a mess or disturb the photographs of the happy family who’d once lived here. I soaked in the images of a young Daemon holding a ribbon for field day, dressed as Slash with a plastic pumpkin full of candy, in a suit with a mullet, and at a table surrounded by family and Christmas presents. As we searched, we found a bedroom with a thicker layer of dust.
                  It held trophies, posters of bands, video games, and books. Books filled three tall bookcases and sat in stacks between the dirty laundry on the floor. A picture of a preteen Daemon dressed as a knight at a Medieval Times grinned at me from the bedside table with a fantasy novel laid open to mark a place.
                  This feels weird to see this. It’s Daemon’s mortal life and it is so normal. It’s a little dorky but mostly just normal. My room looked a lot like this before the outbreak. This is starting to feel like an invasion of privacy seeing his life so exposed.
                  I shut the door and leaned my forehead against it. I forgot that at some point, Daemon was just a guy. Not a vampire, but a kid who had a future. With a family and school and dreams. I returned to the main room and sat on the couch with the others.
                  “No one go in the room at the end of the hall; it’s Daemon’s.”
                  “Are we staying here for the day?” The Nurse asked.
                  All eyes focused on me again.
                  “Not unless Daemon wants to. I think it would be best to plan on leaving when he gets back.”
                  Silence reigned again.
                  It was an hour before Daemon returned. He said nothing, just walked past us to his room and shut the door. Chase poked me with his stub and gestured towards the door.
                  I looked around at the others before rising.
                  “You guys suck.” I whispered.
                  I could hear things being moved around behind the door. Tapping gently, I waited for the vampire to let me in. The handle turned and he opened the passage. A bag was in his hand and he wore clean, if dusty, clothes.
                  “I have everything I need from here. Let’s leave. I want to be far away before dawn comes.”
                  The orphaned Undead hastened out of the abode and put on the backpack. In a flood of movement, we were off. The Undead took to the sky and the living covered the ground. Only the roar of the engines, the moans of the Dead, and the music from our CDs made any noise.

                  We rested for a tense day just off Interstate 16 before moving on with the journey north. Daemon’s usual aura of giddiness and lightheartedness was dampened whenever I saw him. Cal assured me that he was dealing with the reality of his parents’ loss just fine during a brief sword practice.
                  “I know you think so Cal, but...”
                  “But after centuries of

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