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Monday, 14 March 2011


I settle into a rhythm, and the miles roll past. Even though the day stays cold, walking with the trailer is hard work, especially as I sometimes have to drag it along the verge to get around obstructions in the road. Here and there cracks in the road will catch the wheels and bring me up short. Getting hot, I strip off my coat and throw it into the trailer. The sweat on my back and chest prickles in the cold air. How far have I come? Got to be two miles at least.

Despite the effort it's not a bad walk. For the most part it's quite peaceful: long stretches of the road pass without any sign of devastation. The trees are rich in colour, their shed leaves piling up on the ground in huge red-gold drifts. Birds sing and deer disappear into the trees at my approach.

And then, after a morning filled with peace and nature, I start to see craters.

The first one I come to is right beside the road. It's huge, perhaps a football field across, and the trees around the edge are stunted and blackened from fire. However, time has done a lot to heal the landscape. The bowl of the crater is furred with grass and shrubs, and there's a mossy pond in the very bottom of the dip. I can imagine that in a few years it may not look like a crater at all.

Strangely, there are no Creatures here. I remember when me and Lisa left the city two months ago every crater we saw had its component of bone-white monsters standing guard around the lip. But here there's no sign at all of them. Nor of the Worm which they would feed. It worries me. Does this mean the things are out hunting in the day now? Or have they abandoned this crater, moved on? What's happened here?

I don't linger for long at the edge of the pit. It unnerves me, and I move swiftly on. The next crater I see--distantly this time, a scoop taken from the side of a hill that rears up above the road--is also overgrown, also lacking in any signs of the Creatures. And so it goes for the rest of the day. I pass by seven craters in all. Some I only see in the distance and some are so close that they take a bite from the road itself. Each one of them is completely lifeless.

It's really starting to worry me as I sit down to rest and take a midday meal. The empty craters are a mystery, a source of uncertainty. Something has changed and I don't know what it is, or what it might mean for me and Lisa. On the one hand it could be a good thing: it might mean that the Creatures are dying out, that the world is reverting to how it was before. But then that can't be true: as recently as two nights ago I heard those same monsters calling out in the middle of the night.

Another thing worries me as well. Having been on the road the entire morning I haven't seen a single other human being. Not one. I remember that when I was walking away from the city with Lisa we went for days without seeing anyone, so I know that I shouldn't panic just yet. All the same I can't escape the uncomfortable feeling of emptiness that surrounds me.

I don't rest for long. Soon enough I'm back on my feet and walking. Another few hours pass, the miles dropping uneventfully behind me. The road curves gently around, and as I come to the crest of hill I look down and see the small town for which I'm heading sprawled below me. I stop walking. There in the middle of town is another crater, and this one is anything but dead.


leroy miles said...

Looks like David should have been doing a little recon each day so he would be a little more aware of his surroundings. Maybe he and Lisa will live a little while longer to realize this mistake.
Great Chapter Kitt.

David L said...

I'm liking the plot, reminds me of war of the worlds. Though the characters are a bit weak to have survived on basically luck.

Ok, He has been there for 3 months? Doing what? He knows he has to get supplies but he just sits around the house eating up the food?

He knows there is a lot of food/supplies in the town. He can't get them on one trip, no matter what. He should know that the more he gets now, the less somebody else will take or the creatures destroy. Supplies should be HIGH priority.

First, I'd travel a a few hours toward the town and make me a hide-away. A deep hole with a piece of large plywood with tar paper glued on top with leaves and branches glued on top of the tar paper. Or A couple of rotten logs over the hole. Especially, if I'm not hearing any creatures. After that one is finished, then I'd travel another few hours toward town and make another hide-away. Thus as I get closer to the town, I have several SAFE spots to hide in. If I'm being tracked or chased then I have a hide-away close by. My trailer could be half-an-hour behind me, so it's not around the hide-away. Air Tank with manual pump, so I can flatten the tires on the trailer when I leave it, so nobody will take it. And Put Air in the tank while I'm resting in the hide-away. Quick inflation and I'm gone in the morning. Slow safe travel is better than quick oh where do I hide now type.

I'd also make a hideaway close to the house where in case they have to run, they can hide-away until it's safe to run further or take back the house.

Quote: "Some old bicycles lean against the wall" What happened to the bicycles? Repair it, if no tires, then plan on getting some. Biking is much quicker than walking.

Where was he when Lisa finds the trailer??? 3 months and he hasn't done an inventory of what's around that's usable??? Trailer attached to bike is faster than walking. What happened to the horse or cow for the hay?

Recon? Clear the road so that pulling the trailer is easier and quicker prior to an emergency supply run. Two weeks with Lisa being given a ride on the trailer and she can help clear the road with him. Further away from the house. Her weight would train him to pull the trailer with supplies.

When he starts off away from town the the subdivision, I would have just hidden the trailer off the road near the town. Thus I can travel faster as dark approaches.

Ummm, where's the couple's car? How did they get to town? House has supplies but somebody took the car/Truck???

He has NO planing or surviving skills. If he survived a month in the city, then he'd have some skills by now. Give Lisa more input please cause he is going to get them killed.

I'm assuming that they didn't use cars because of their noise attracting the creatures?

Personally, I'd find several big sedans, with working trunks. And crash it into a tree several locations between the town and the house. Easily created hide-away. A wrecked car is only noticable as a wrecked car. Three or four on the way to town crashed in different directions with him having keys to all of them, allows for hiding places. Drain most of the gas tank and then crash the car, no explosion. Brick on the Gas petal, Jump out and wait for it to crash, turn off the motor, and instant hideaway. It is a crash, so it looks like a crash.

Another method is to dig a hole Drive a car over the hole, push the dirt under the car or van so water can't flow under the car into the hole, also makes it so that car can't be pushed off the hole. Flatten the tires on the street side, thus he can crawl in the hole under the car on the forest side. If he cuts a hole in the bottom of the trunk then he could crawl down after he removed the gas tank.

One car at the house for quick getaway with bike racks loaded with two bikes. Get several miles down the road then change over to the bikes for quiet escapes.