Liam looked down the sight of his barrel, taking in a deep breath and partially exhaling, holding the rest, then shooting the deer in his crosshairs and continuing to exhale the remaining air. He slid down on the destroyed building he sat on hunting his prey and went to collect his food. Over the 12 years, the animals had migrated into the city causing Liam to have to start hunting in the city.
The animals tended to avoid the mutants but there had been an occasion or two where a group of mutants got a deer or a rabbit or some other woodland creature. Liam had come across an animal carcase or two that the mutants managed to grab and it was very gruesome. The belly was usually ripped open and the guts left lying on the ground, the ribs would be sticking out with patches of skin and meat attached to them, and the creature would be covered in flies.
Liam walked up to his kill and pulled out his knife. He pierced the belly and sliced down it before gently tearing it open with his hands. He then sliced a large chuck of meat off the deer's ribs and placed it in a satchel sitting at his side. He continued to cut pieces off the deer until there was barely any left. Once he did, Liam walked off to check his traps for any other animals.
Liam had placed traps all over the city years ago to help him catch any small animals while he's put looking for supplies. There had been a time where he had caught a mutant in one of the traps, which when he went to inspect it was nearly killed by it. From then on he took caution from any mutants that he'd caught in traps but that hardly ever happened. While on his way to one of the traps he placed hidden in the city's centre, he heard a noise from a store.
He lifted his hockey stick out of its holster and began to investigate the source of the noise. He walked in through the door and through the aisle searching for any mutants. He passed through all of them until he came across the last row. He held the stick above his head and ran around the corner to see a 23 year old woman standing there holding a bottle of sunscreen. She had long black hair and wore a brown singlet with dark brown pants with tears in some places, some ankle high black boots and a dark brown satchel. She looked at him with worry before a smile drew across her face.
"Liam." She exclaimed.
"Marceline?" He said dropping the hockey stick.
He looked at her stunned; speechless. He gulped and then spoke up, "What... what are you doing here?" He asked putting the hockey stick up on his shoulder.
Marceline held up the bottle of sunscreen, "Just getting some, umm, sunscreen." She blushed.
Liam and Marceline stood there looking at each other, not saying a word.
"Are you, um, hungry?" Liam finally asked holding up his bag of meat.
"Well, would you like to come to my camp and have some?"
"I'd love to." Marceline said a little too quickly, "I mean, sure, okay."
Marceline put the bottle of sunscreen in her satchel before following Liam out the door.
"So, are you all by yourself?" Liam asked as they walked.
"What happened to your dad?"
"Well, after what happened between the two of us, he... he left me here, so I just lived on my own."
Liam was about to ask her what happened when he remember back to that night when he first met her and decided it would be best not to. The two continued to walk in silence until they reached a small area in the forest outside the city. Marceline collected the fire wood while Liam found a log for the two to sit on and set out his sleeping bag.
When Marceline returned, she set up a fire as Liam collect some sticks to roast his meat on. He lit some kindling and placed it in the bunch of sticks before sticking the hunk of deer meat onto a stick and then over the fire. He then sat on the log next to Marceline as she sat in silence lost in the flames of the fire. Liam looked at her and traced her gaze to the flames before looking back at her then joining in on looking at the fire.
Liam then began turning the meat until it started to cook all over.
"How do you like your meat?" Liam asked as he turned the flesh over.
"Medium rare I guess."
Liam cooked the meat to his guest liking and then ripped it off the stick and tore it in half and gave one piece to Marceline. He sat on the log next to her and began to eat from his hands. While chewing up the food in his mouth, he looked over at Marceline who pierced the red of the meat with one of her teeth before he looked back to the meal in his hands and took another bite. The two ate their food in silence, taking occasional glances at each other and looking away when the other caught them. When they had finished Marceline stood up from the log and turned to him.
"Well, I guess I'll get going now." She said turning towards the sea of trees.
"Wait." Liam said reaching out and grabbing her hand. It felt weird holding someone's hand after being without human contact for 21 years.
"It's dangerous to go out at night. It's when the mutants come out."
"Oh, okay. Well, could would I be able to stay with you for the night?"
"Sure." Liam replied releasing her hand, letting her sit back down on the log.
The two continued to sit in silence for a couple of hours until they started to become tired.
"Well," Liam yawned, stretching his arms, "I'm beat so I'm gonna go to bed."
Liam kicked off his shoes and was about to step into his sleeping bag, when he noticed Marceline sat there looking at him hugging herself to keep warm.
"Would you like to sleep in my sleeping bag?"
"Oh no," She said, "I couldn't do that."
"It would be my pleasure." He said holding the entrance slightly off the ground for her. She took off her boots and stepped in, taking the piece of cloth from Liam's hand. He walked over to the log and sat against it.
"Goodnight." She said closing her eyes and rolling over.
"Night." Liam mumbled lying next to the log facing the fire. He starred at it for a few minutes until he finally closed his eyes.