Saturday, 10 January 2009 - 6:36 pm


We abandoned the van today.  Not because of the nightmare of spending the night in it – though, trust me, it did not smell good in there by the morning.  Nothing like a crisis to make you familiar with the scents of strangers. 

No, not because of any of that.  We ran out of gas.  Of course, none of the pumps will work without power even if we could get to one, so there’s not much chance to refuel unless we start breaking open other vehicles and siphoning stuff out.  We’re going to save that for when we’re really desperate, I think.  Or at least until we steal a much better van.

I still think of it as stealing.  Is it stealing when the owners don’t care?  When they’re dead?  Probably not.  I can’t help it, though – I have to break into them, so it feels like theft.  I still catch myself looking over my shoulder in case I get caught.

I really should stop doing that.  I keep catching snatches of reflections, or movement behind bright glass.  There’s never anyone there.  I’m starting to think my mind is playing tricks on me and sending spiders down my spine because it thinks it’s funny.  It’s really not.  Stop it now.


We still haven’t seen anyone else.  We decided to walk on until we found a better vehicle, rather than delay and search where we were. 

The going was slow today; the injured are slowing us down.  It’s not their fault and the rest of us know that.  Even Thorpe hasn’t complained at the pace, though the fact that he had to carry Nugget for most of the day might have something to do with that; he wasn’t exactly speedy with that burden.  Hopefully we will reach the hospital tomorrow, for their sakes.


It’s so quiet here – it’s easy not to notice when there’s an engine chugging away. 

There’s no distant engines, no voices behind closed doors, no distant chattering of TVs and radios.  No leaves ruffling in the wind, no bright birdsong, no insects with their annoying buzzing.  There’s not a whisper outside of the sphere of our little group.  There’s not even any wind.  Just the scuff of our shoes, the rasp of fabric as we move, the odd grunt, sometimes a few exchanged words.

Sometimes I talk just to break the silence.  Just to prove that we’re not a part of it, to prove that we’re still alive and beating.  Of course, then I feel horribly conspicuous, like I just sucked all eyes onto me and they’re crawling over my skin.  I feel loud and clumsy.

The world is a held breath, waiting to swallow us.