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Monday, 18 April 2011


We set off the next morning. The preparations don't take long; we're leaving most of our things behind, taking only what we know we'll need. As we pack our bags full of food and supplies I wish briefly that I had brought the trailer back with me. I hadn't realised how little we had left, and I know that we can only last a few days on the stuff we'll be able to carry.

"Don't worry," Lisa says. "We'll find food and water on the way. We did before."

I dropped the pistol right after shooting the crazy, and so we're down to only the rifle and the grenades. Neither are ideal. The rifle is long and unwieldy, and I'm sure requires cocking between shots (something I have no idea how to do), and I'm worried that if I try and use the grenades I'll end up hurting myself or Lisa by accident.

"What happened to the pistol?" asks Lisa.

I hesitate just a little too long before answering, and I can feel my face redden at the lie, the familiar sick feeling of shame and fear and horror returning to my gut. "I dropped it," I say. "I'm not sure when. It was in my belt. I only noticed it was gone when I got back here."

"Oh," says Lisa. She looks at me strangely for a moment, and I know that she knows that I'm always far too careful with the guns to ever have just dropped it. But she doesn't ask, returning instead to the packing of her bag. I'm grateful. Right at the moment I want to think about anything but what happened yesterday.

It's just past dawn when we step out of the farmhouse, wrapped in layers and laden down with our packs. The first part of our journey is simple enough. We have to follow the road we're on until it meets up with a motorway, then follow that motorway north for almost seventy miles. We set off down towards the road, but Lisa pauses at the edge of the trees and turns to look back at the farmhouse.

"You okay?" I say. "Forgotten something?"

Lisa shakes her head. "No. Just...just saying goodbye."

I look back at the house too, and to my surprise feel a quiet wave of affection for it. It sheltered us and kept us safe for two long months. It was warm and comfortable and good, somehow walled off from the horror of the world that surrounds it. And now here we are leaving it behind. I watch as one of the chickens, which we set loose last night, pecks its way across the yard.

"Goodbye house," says Lisa.

"Goodbye house," I say. And then we turn and trek down through the trees to the road, to begin the long journey towards Holme.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

And...David could easily have gone back for the pistol which was only a little ways up the road, but of course he won't....I know, it's easy to criticise when I'm not the one living through the apocolypse!