(Rebecca Clark continued from Swan Song)
Rebecca had gotten away, but the wound was still dangerous. Still painful, still bleeding. She had made her way back to the ruined saloon, with an arrow still sticking out of Brian.
She didn't think of that though. Her leg was still leaking blood. Sure it had slowed from the original injury, but she wasn't stupid. Losing blood, any blood really, was bad. She sat down on the dusty floor of the saloon, hopefully that wouldn't infect everything and kill her.
She tore a piece of fabric away from the wound. It was already torn from the entry anyway and was just in her way now. Besides, she had bigger things to worry about than whether her jeans were whole or not.
She probed the wound with her fingers, causing a new gush of blood. She clenched her jaw at the pain. That's when she noticed that not only was she bleeding out one side, there was a smaller wound around the front. Bullets had exit wounds right? Fuck, the only silver lining was that it looked like it had shot flesh and muscle only, her bone seemed fine, at least from the point of view of her extremely limited medical knowledge.
First she needed to clear away some extra blood. See how big the main wound really was. Carefully, she poured bits of water on it until it was clear where was flowing and what wasn't. It stung, it was so raw. So used to being safe under more layers of flesh and skin. Tears started to escape her eyes. Why? Why did she have to get shot so close? There were only six of them left at the most, assuming Sam had survived that arrow. She wasn't sure if he would. Then again, if Sam couldn't survive an arrow, could she really survive a bullet?
The thought made her shiver, or was it the loss of blood? Fuck if she knew. Another set of tears leaked down her bruised and dirty face. Quit crying you fucking bitch! Other people are dead, so what if you got fucking shot? It's not like you didn't deserve it. No, she couldn't think like that. She was trying to live. That was reasonable, that was right. She was just saving herself, it's not like they would stop given the same opportunity, right? The thought wasn't the same as it was at the beginning. She had done more than the others, but others would be willing to kill her. That was true. Renee had proved it. Brian had proved it. Lena had proved it.
So she was right.
The tears slowed and then stopped. She was still a teenage girl covered in blood, still leaking more and more. Now for the worst part. The part she had hated most about fixing her hip.
She searched through Brian's bag, tossing shotgun shells and food out of the way. The first aid kit with the rubbing alcohol. She unscrewed the lid on the bottle and poured, tightening her right hand around a table leg to give her something to brace.
It burned, even more than the wound to start with. Her vision went fuzzy, why did it have to hurt so much? She was only trying to avoid infection and death, so why the pain? Was that the world's way of making her give up? Teach her that life was too fucking painful to deal with and she should just find Renee and let herself get shot in the chest.
The grip hadn't been enough, her hand ached from squeezing it. But she also tasted blood. She had bit her tongue, deeper than an accidental bite with food. It hurt too, but her wound was clean. She spat some blood onto the floor. Why did she have to keep hurting herself? Yeah her tongue wasn't much compared to her leg, but it was still something.
She wrapped the entry and exit wounds in bandages from Brian's kit. Her jeans didn't extend all the way down, leaving it clear to see. But there wasn't any red shining through, so either she had treated it enough or the bandages were thick enough that she didn't have to see it.
Now, how would she live? Walking would hurt. She knew that. The walk to the saloon had proved it. The shotgun. She still had the shotgun. Now she had to see, what was it like? It looked kinda short now that she thought about it. She opened it to look.
Empty. There were no shells. None. Sam had been carrying an empty gun.
She had risked her life for an empty gun. This stupid fucking useless thing that would only make people think she was dangerous, but she couldn't do anything. Renee could still shoot her whenever she found her.
Wait. No, no! She had Brian's shells. She grabbed them up, a few off the floor, the rest from a box in his bag. She had these, she slid them in, four in all. And they fit. They fucking fit! It hadn't been useless. She stowed the remaining shells and her bow in her bag. Ha, fuck you Sam. I've got shells, and fuck you Renee, if you find me again I'll fucking shoot you. Wait, she didn't want to kill her, did she? No...she did. She did, because of her leg, because she had to have more pain to survive, as if the beatings and her buckshot hip weren't enough.
She stood up, her leg still hurt, but she would live. She'd survive and she would make it out of here. The sun had risen by now. It was time to check this town.
(Rebecca Clark continued in Last of the Alderbrooks)