Summer was coming on thick and cloying. The journals functioned as a kind of calendar for those that were stuck in a world without access to television or radio or civilization. The days could bleed together, sticky and tough to stomach, ultimately scabbed over by loneliness so that a week felt more like a month in the end. The journals were a window to the rest of them. Them, Joey had come to think of the others as similar but separate. They were all cast into the same circumstance, but everybody else seemed to have an upper hand while those that were stuck at the prison were quite literally stuck. He'd stopped looking for a way out of the zombie apocalypse and acceptance was beginning to take root. He'd told Ella that he wouldn't give up, and he wouldn't stop trying to get out of this place, but even when he'd said it, it'd been a lie.
The only thing to do was push forward, to persevere, and to make sure that those around him were well. Shane and Graham seemed to always be out on supply runs, and the prison was quiet in the afternoons when everybody seemed to be waiting with wringing hands to see if as many people came back as had left that morning. Joey'd never been able to sit around and wait for things to happen though. He'd spent most of the morning out in the yard, gathering sun in the dusk of his skin and repairing a part on his bike. He came back in and cleaned off, swapping his grease-streaked clothes for a fresh t-shirt plucked up from a dwindling collection.
"Hey, you.." He thought the blond woman's name was Maggie, but it seemed safer not to go there in case he was wrong. "You're on laundry duty," he said while rubbing a dry rag over the wet sop of his hair, then tossed it onto the small mound of bloodstained, dirt smeared, grease-streaked cotton and denim that had accumulated in the prison over the last couple of weeks. She didn't seem to be doing anything, might as well make herself useful. Normally, Shane would have been the one delegating all of the shit that he wanted people to do while he was gone, but Shane wasn't here. And as gruff as Joey's tone was, it was about ten times nicer as any way his brother would have said it.