"That cat saw straight through us. We are so dead." A sigh. I don't have to look up from the ticking of my watch to know that Raye is scowling through the darkness at Braelyn.
"That cat was a fox, future-girl, and out outfits are fine. Quit fussing."
I turn to them. They stand there, two feet away, bickering under the dim light of the streetlamp. It turns their skin an amber colour but their essence remains the same. It's lucky I'm the only zombie here, they reek of life and heart and soul and innocence. Their disguises are weak, even the lavender scent they wear to smell different only masks the effect slightly. It's like looking at them through shaded glass but like looking at them nonetheless.
"Perhaps we can focus on the task at hand?" I say. They both jump which is hardly surprising since they're human but disappointing since they claim to be in stealth mode.
"I hate special assignments," Braelyn sniffs. Her leather jacket creaks as she folds her arms. "They're stupid.
"I hate your face," Raye whispers. Always forgetting my auditory range exceeds hers.
"Ladies," I say. "Calm down. We are simply helping out whilst Mia studies. This can be training for your literary journeys too."
"The only reason I'm here is that is away from the gnawing and lamp smashing," Raye says. "Don't kid yourself otherwise, Adam."
"Regardless," I say and turn because I can smell him. Well, not him. I can smell every fibre of being within him, the hydrogen bubbling in his veins and the boredom sweating through his pores. All of it. He is here and we have a plan to execute.
I adjust my hat and straighten my tie. As I stalk up to him Raye follows behind, her heels clip on the concrete. Braelyn is our lookout girl. I tasked her with making sure we are not spotted but really I wish her to hand back to ensure success. Braelyn is incapable of staying calm, but she can learn from watching nonetheless. Additionally, I think the time she spent in the bathroom getting ready with Raye might have cooled their tempers for now.
"Good evening," I boom at the young gentleman with greasy hair. An unfortunate lack of belt accessorising means his trousers have shifted down his waist. I consider telling him but a glance to Raye silences me. He looks up, clutching the boxes like they are weapons. I do not think he recognises me from last time. Perhaps all that panic and fire blurred his memory.
"Is it?" he says. His sea green eyes widening when he spots Raye. That was the effect I was hoping for when I styled her similar to those young girls in those fashion throwaways. Short skirts sometimes do that to unsuspecting young men.
"I believe you have something for us?"
"I do?" He is still staring at her, his gaze roaming tentatively. Perhaps even now, as Raye wears a smile that would light up an entire harbour, he can sense that if they wander too far he is as good as dead. He gulps.
"Indeed." I pluck out the notes from my breast pocket and push them into his jacket pocket. He does not move. "Two large mozzarellas, one with extra hot dogs. Correct?"
His hands loosen on the boxes, I slide them from his grip and hope we can make a speedy exit.
"They're for you?" he croaks. "Oh geez, thank my giddy aunt, I thought it was for those zombie people again. Lucky I came to make sure. We're under strict orders not to serve them. Not after last time with the exploding glitter and all."
"Really?" Raye smiles. "How odd."