Friday, 28 August 2009 - 9:22 pm


We’re stumbling a bit today. Last night, we came across a crate of vodka bottles hidden in the back of the old bar we were bedding down in.

There was silliness and stories, and Jersey gave us news about what has been happening back at the university. We had heard from them over the radio, but only shards, and we were all eager to catch up with them. I think we’re all glad to know that our friends are still there, that they didn’t disappear as soon as they were out of sight. That the shamblers haven’t risen up and swallowed them.

Sally is huge now. From everything the two doctors can tell, she’s doing fine and so is the baby. They think she’s due in about ten weeks, and Masterson is getting snappier each time that number goes down.

Dr Kostoya has adopted everyone who will listen to his chemical babblings. Conroy is straining his braincells trying to keep up – though completely in his element – and even the kids are playing with the ridiculously long words. The little ones don’t get it, but the chemist only requires that an audience entertain him, not understand. That will come with time, he says.

Kostoya’s work is coming along well, they think. They’ve set up a water filtration system and he’s still tracking down the exact nature of the poison. From the little shudder that Jersey gave when she mentioned the acid, I think part of that ‘tracking down’ involved her and her recently-tainted bloodstream. Another reason why she wound up here with us.

Bree and her little friends are still there, becoming a more integral part of the group now that we’ve gone. Now I’ve gone.

Food is becoming an issue for them, too. They have the water situation sorted out, but all the filtering in the world won’t turn it into something to sustain the human body on its own. Their scavenging parties are ranging further and further afield, stretching themselves thin over the threat of shamblers and other survivors. They’ve been attacked a few times by both the living and the broken.

She didn’t say much about Janice and Tom. Someone did ask – Tia, I think. They were good to her, especially when she wasn’t well. Tom’s not well now, but not from injury or starvation. Jersey said something about testing, and I think that’s why she’s here. If Tom has the Sickness, she doesn’t want to watch what’s happening to him. She doesn’t want to see her own future.

She won’t talk about it, breezes right past it all, but it’s there in between her words. It hangs over her like her lie and her secret. Instead she came to us, spent days searching for us in a way that might have got her killed in so many ways. All on her own. I don’t know if I could have done that.


For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel isolated. I’m never alone – there’s always the others here with me, crammed in close – but outside of our circle is the gulf of our empty world. Even with the radio, voices carrying over the distance, it’s not the same. Gossiping with Jersey felt like a family reunion, with word of cousins and aunts and a crazy old uncle.

It was good. There’s not enough to eat: my stomach is rumbling and we just got done with dinner. We’re all hungover after last night, headsore and drawn. But it was nice, talking about distant friends. Talking about the world out of our reach as if it’s still there. At some point, I fell asleep with my head in Matt’s lap.

A little news goes a long way.