Tuesday, 20 October 2009 - 10:18 pm

Small print

Let’s leave Haven.

The words have a beautifully simple shape to them. They ring with a rightness that my bones yearn for. Let’s just go, get out of here, leave the shattered promises and compromised morals behind us. My heart expands as if we’re already free.

Matt and I talked about it yesterday. Lying on a bed of discarded clothes, we talked in hushed voices while the rain rattled on the window. He’s going to talk to the boys and I’ll approach the girls, quietly, casually. We’ll find out who wants to come and work out what we need to do. And then we’ll do it.

If only it really was that simple.


We can’t just walk out of Haven.

We’re not officially prisoners here, but we might as well be. We can’t even walk the compound unhindered, never mind up to the gates. There would be demands and orders and stop right there or we’ll shoot.

Even if they opened the gates and invited us to leave, they know we wouldn’t dare to walk through them. We’d never make it to shelter on foot before the rain came; our journey would have a short, screaming end. Everyone knows we won’t make it far on our own and they won’t give us the equipment and supplies we need. Not even the gear we arrived with.

So we’ll have to take it. Somehow, we need to amass enough food, water, fuel, and vehicles to get out of here. Not much – just enough to get to somewhere where we can forage for more. It’s hard to know how far away that somewhere is now; so much of the suburban sprawl had been picked clean before we got here. How far will we get before we realise we’re going to starve?

More importantly, will they chase us? I don’t know. Will they waste even more resources in a pursuit? Is their pride and anger greater than their pragmastism?

If they do chase us and catch us, we’re not going to get a slap on the wrist. They have weapons. Worse: they’re trained in how to use them and have stocks of ammunition. I remember the people begging for help outside the supermarket depot, gunned down before they realised what was going on. I don’t want to become those poor, murdered survivors.


The more I think about it, the more the task swells before me. There’s so much to organise and many secrets to keep. I have to work around the weight of my watchers – not just my pet cutout Jonah, but also Peter and sometimes Simon. Not much gets past those guys. The women are keeping an eye on me, too, waiting for that weak moment when I’ll agree to their deal. That moment will never come.

I won’t have to do it all on my own. There are others I know will come with us – most of the Seekers, if not all of them. I don’t know how many of them have made themselves a real place here. They’ll all help make this happen.

What we’re going to do is risky, and tricky, and difficult. We’re going to try it anyway. Just as soon as we figure out how.

The path to the gates is glistening wetly in the dark. I need a better flashlight if we’re going to find our way there safely.