Saturday, 29 August 2009 - 5:16 pm


It seems that spring is coming in very slow steps. There’s less ice around now. What little forms overnight is usually gone by the time we’re all up and ready to go. It’s not warm enough to dry up all of the water, though, so we still have to be careful with our footing – no-one wants to put a boot in a puddle, let alone fall down in one.

Jersey is still with us – we’ve strapped her bike to the back of the campervan. Terry isn’t talking to her, but everyone else is getting along with her just fine. Even Tia – I think she’s spending time with the ex-Wolverine just to spite her brother.

I catch Jersey looking at Terry sometimes and the look on her face is familiar. It’s how she used to look when she talked about Rico, the fella who ran the Wolverines until he got Sick. Pained and slightly sad. I wonder if she ever told Rico how she felt. Probably not – how could it have ever worked, while she was pretending to be a boy? And now Terry knows the truth but is so angry over the deception that he’s ignoring her. That’s probably her worst fear when it comes to him.

Much as I might like to, I can’t tell her that I sympathise; she hates pity. That’s part of why she created the lie in the first place: she wanted to protect herself, on her own terms. I can’t believe she kept up the pretence for so long – months, it had to be. I know I couldn’t do it.

The tangled nature of it all is giving me a headache. This is why I prefer not to lie – it’s too complicated and fraught with hurt when it all comes down. At least it’s taking my mind off how hungry I am.


Greenberry is directly west of us now; if we head any further north, we’re going to just make this whole trip longer. We’ve decided to strike out for it, just run there as fast as we can.

Our progress hasn’t been great. We’ve been limping along, stopping periodically to check for supplies – food and fuel mostly. We’ve managed to scrape enough fuel together to last us for a while, but every source we’ve come across had already been broken into and sucked almost dry. Even the vehicles abandoned on the road.

I keep thinking about that truck and how much it must guzzle in order to keep moving. I think we all know who has been through here ahead of us, scouring the landscape like locusts. Thinking about it makes me nervous – they might come back at any time, they might pass through here again. I catch myself listening for distant engines and gunfire when it grows quiet.

The shortage is pressing on all of us. It’s not just that we’re hungry and cold; those are just symptoms of a bigger problem. As much as we’ve all tried to pretend it doesn’t exist, the problem is becoming the elephant in our room.

There’s nothing new coming into the world. Everything we find, everything we scavenge, is all that’s left. There are no farms growing fresh food, no factories making new products, no refineries producing diesel. We’ve known this since the bomb went off, but now we’re running out. We’re burning through what little we’ve got and, one day soon, we won’t find anything to live on.

The world’s not done breaking yet: it won’t be over until we’re all dead. It’s doing its best to make that happen. And it might not take that long.

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