Sunday, 24 May 2009 - 2:29 pm


We’re still at the motel. Matt is doing better – he’s up and limping around now.

Ben is not doing so good. He said that he was hungry, but he didn’t eat anything I brought him. He seems paler and thinner than before, if that’s possible. There’s no fever – he’s still cold to the touch – and he’s sleeping more and more. I don’t know what to do to help him and neither does the doctor. I’m scared the sickness will take him after all.


A few of us got together today and looked at the map – we’re badly off-course. Fleeing from the Pride and then the shamblers has sent us recklessly eastwards – we need to turn south if we’re ever going to get to the Emergency Coordination Centre. It’s hard to believe that there could be any coordination left after all this time, but we have to try. We don’t have anywhere better to go.

The problem with the ECC is that it’s up in the hills. It was positioned where they thought it would be the most use in a crisis: out of the suburbs, above any danger of flooding, but still easily accessible by road. There’s a big green swathe around its cluster of buildings on the map; in reality, it’s brown and stripped down to the soil by acid rain. The notion of being that far from shelter makes the skin between my shoulderblades crawl, as if it can already feel the bite of the water.

If we’re going to get there, we need vehicles. Scooters won’t work – they’re no protection if we get caught away from a roof. We need something enclosed.

I had looked over the map a hundred times before I realised where we were. Just a short way northwest is a familiar intersection of roads: that’s where MacIntyre’s car yard is. The place my dad spent all his days, polishing and selling cars. The place I used to run around when I was little, weaving between the gleaming machines with a stolen spanner in hand and an exasperated mechanic in chase.

Dad wasn’t at home when we got there. Maybe he went to his yard instead. Maybe he’s waiting for me.

I know we can get vehicles there. I know he has off-roaders – proper ones, not the faux ones sold to housewives who think that the school run requires a small tank. When I mentioned that to the others, they said–


Something’s going on. Better go see what it is.