“Floyd, do you believe in God?” she finally asked.
“Yeah, I reckon I do. I been to church a few times. Was baptized when I was like 12.”
“I never been in a church before. I don't know what I believe. I mean, if there is a God, where the hell has he been? Ain't this his world? How'd he let it get so crazy with the dead walkin' the earth and everything. What's up with that? But if he ain't up there, watchin' over us, then how come we're still alive? I know I shoulda been dead a bunch of times, yet here I am.”
“Bible talks about an apocalypse but doesn't say what it is. Or when. Just that the Devil will walk the earth. I don't know if the devil is making these dead people rise or if some government experiment went crazy or the Russians attacked us or some evil corporation made a virus that got out of control.”
“I heard about the Rapture. People goin' up into the air to meet Jesus. Maybe it happened and I missed it? I was a bad person Floyd. A really bad person. Were you a bad person?”
“I don't think so. I ain't perfect and I was never a big church goer, but I never cheated no one, never stole nothin' and always tried not to lie.”
“No, you're a good man Floyd. I reckon if the rapture happened you wouldn'ít be here.”
“Well, I didn't hear any reports of large groups of people flying up into the clouds, either. I heard reports of walking dead and that was so outrageous people didn't believe it until it was too late. I'm sure if the Rapture came we woulda heard something about it.”
“Yeah, I guess you're right. But if that's true, then where is the rapture? Why the hell don't it come and take us away from all this?”
“I don't have all the answers, Mikki! Hell, I don't have any answers. I'm just a guy trying to stay alive and make whatever sense I can out of this upside-down world we live in. The dead walk and kill the living. Maybe some government big shot knows what's goin' on. Maybe he's planning something to help, or maybe he caused this problem. I don't know. I got bigger things to worry about, like whether I'll live to see tomorrow. Or whether you'll do somethin' stupid to get us both killed!”
Mikki was about to yell at him, but she saw the smile on his face and the look in his eye and realized he was poking fun at her. “Oh, very funny! Haha!” she said, tucking the holy cards into her bra. The face of Saint Margaret peeked out above the pink lace.
Floyd was about to say something about how he didn't think that was where you were supposed to put a holy card, but he stopped himself. What did it really matter anyway? If God was up there, he'd understand. Besides, the two of them needed all the help they could get. Then Mikki handed him the other holy card she had in her hand.
“Keep this on you, will you Floyd?” Floyd wasn't superstitious, but she was so sincere, he took it. “I know it's probably silly, but it will just make me feel better. If you don't mind.”
“Thanks, Floyd. You are a good man, Floyd.”
“I want you to listen to me very carefully.” He looked intently into her eyes as he brought his face closer. He spoke slow and sincere, so she would believe him.
“You are a good person, too, Mikki. Never forget that. Never doubt that. OK? You're a real pain in the ass, but you are not a bad person. You just had a bad life with a lot of shitty stuff that happened to you. Alright?”
Floyd had never seen her look so vulnerable. Her bottom lip quivered. She was on the verge of tears, but wouldn't let them come. Floyd placed his hand on her head momentarily to reassure her.
“Come on,” he said at last. “We got work to do. And hey, guess what? After we bury these two, we get to go shopping!”
Mikki looked up at him and smiled.