My name is Chris, Ive lost track of time. It feels like years since I first started running, but I think its only been a few months. Days turn to weeks, and the weeks drags on, such is the new way of life. And yet, despite the violence and chaos, I dont really miss the old world...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughts of departure

     Several days had come and gone.  The gas reserves we had were running low and everybody was on edge.  Parked in the middle of the road, Rich cuts the engine off and we discuss our options.  "Without gas we wont have two options.  We either walk, or make a new home in this bus."  He says as he walks to the back to grab the last two cans of gasoline to fill up the bus.  I step in and offer my assistance.  "Well, if anyone volunteers, I don't mind going out in search of a gas station.  I'm going to need someone to help me though."  I wait for someone to either stand up or say anything.  But nobody volunteers.  It seems to me that since meeting up with them again, I have been doing all the scrounging.  I'm getting tired of it, at least on my own I didn't need a group consensus to do what I needed to do.  Or shifting all the responsibilities on one person.  Rich begins to call everyone out on this, at least I wasn't the only one who was seeing this.  As he continues to take them apart individually, I lose interest in his angry rant and begin to think.  Why, other than the fact that they are alive, was I staying when I was obviously unhappy here.  the more I thought about it, the more I thought about simply not returning from a search.  It seemed cold and cowardly, but I wasn't going to stay with them forever.  They didn't have a defined goal, so to speak.  And they knew I had a plan.  Even if I didn't know what lay beyond the finish line...
               Rich had given up on trying to get someone to go along with me.  Nobody wanted to leave the bus. Something changed after our last bus defense.  Nobody had left the bus since that night but me.  Heading to the back of the bus, rich grabs a gun and returns to the front of the bus.  "Well since nobody else is going to volunteer, I'm going along with you."  Fuck, there goes heading out on my own.  Grabbing my new shotgun and my bag, I head out the door behind him.  Looking around I have no clue what state we are in, I hope to see signs further down the road.  "Well, we haven't passed a gas station in some time, that means there should be one up ahead somewhere."  Rich loads his rifle and heads down the road, and I follow behind him.  The road ahead is oddly clear, not a car on the road.  "Man, this is nice.  I was thinking we would have to walk between all sorts of wrecked vehicles."   I try to start a conversation with him.  Looking back, a bit puzzled he replies.  "Is that a bad thing?  Well other than having to push them out of the way for the bus?"  He obviously hasn't had to flee a group of the undead on foot.  "That's a very bad thing.  Not only do you have to worry about the undead that can walk, you have to worry about those who died in seat belts and came back.  All it takes in one hand to dart out from an unrolled window and pull you into its mouth, then its game over."  I shudder, a flashback to running on top of all of those cars and nearly breaking my neck to avoid the open windows.  Continuing the conversation about every danger Ive encountered along the way, we come  up to a sign.  Rich reads it out loud with a hint of joy.  "Gas up ahead the next two miles!  Jackpot!"  Ill believe gas being there when I see it.  Thinking like that may seem negative, but it beats having your hopes crushed.  I smile, no point in bringing his mood down.
           Two miles up the road, we make it to the off ramp and search for the gas station.  Another sigh on the side of the road reads   GAS .02 MI ON LEFT.  Heading up the road we come to a slightly wooded area.  Enough trees to make visibility a problem, but you could see between the trees.  Not wanting anything to do with the woods that could possibly be filled with wandering corpses looking for a hot meal, I keep my distance.  "Hey, we should keep to the middle of the road Rich, don't want to get pulled off into the woods."  Saying as I head for the yellow white line in the middle of the road.  Rich doesn't say anything, but ends up in the middle of the road.  Seems like hes taking the stories I've told him quite seriously.  Coming to a T in the road, we head left.  The gas station just up the road from here.  Picking up the pace, we make it to the pumps.  "Were going to need to activate the pump and get something to fill up.  You check the station for anything we can use.  I'm going to take a look in these cars."  Rich heads for the nearest pickup and hops in the bed, searching for something he can use.  Heading into the gas station, not only am I looking for the register to activate the pumps, I look to the food and drink aisles to re stock.  I head to the drink cooler and open it up, Passing the sodas and dumping what water was left in my bag. Heading to the food aisles I do the same thing, taking anything that was instant and ready to eat.  After filling my bag to near bursting point, I search for gas canisters or anything that could be used for holding gas.  Coming up empty, I begin to think about improvising.  Looking around the poorly lit building, I see milk jugs full of milk.  The largest container I could find.  Taking all of the jugs outside, I pour their contents out and Set them on the curb in front of the store.  "Well, that's a start, but were going to need to clean them out."  Rich said, slightly puzzled by the display of empty containers I had laid out.  This was getting more time consuming.
            Several hours had come and go, but we had enough containers full of gas to make the trip back.  But twelve gallon jugs and several gas cans weren't exactly feather light.  I look to rich and ask him most likely the most important question of the day.  "Do you know how to hot wire a car?"  He looks at me for a second, then catches my drift.  "Hell, why do that when you have the keys?"  He pulls out a set of keys from his pocket, jangling them in front of me.  Even better, I thought.  he takes the keys and several jugs to a pickup parked by a nearby pump.  After loading the truck bed up, I take a seat in the back.  Rich starts the car as we head back to the bus.  Looks like my departure will have to wait for another night, a time where nobody decides to join me.  Sailing down the road, the wind whipping past my face, I begin to weigh the thought of leaving everyone without saying anything.  They took me in without a thought.  "That's only because they knew you.  Who's to say what they would have done if you were a complete stranger."  My internal musings were cut short by an answer from within.  Its never misled me before, so I don't see a point in doubting the blunt advice.  Sighing I speak out loud.  "Well shit, what should I do?"  My voice lost to the whipping winds around me and the roar of the engine.  All this noise is sure to attract some followers, better gas up and go as fast as we can, I thought as we slowed down.  The bus loomed ahead.

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