Brenna woke up, stretched, checked her bandage, then rolled out of bed. Something was cooking and it smelled great. She found a fresh set of clothes lying neatly beside her bed that was recently placed. She pulled them on and walked into the main room.
Good morning sleepy head. Jason said without turning from the stove.
Is that bacon? she asked in amazement.
Why yes, it is. I found an old tank of propane and fixed it to the burners of the stove. I shot a wild boar two days ago and decided today was a good occasion to eat some of it. Jason said. He used a spatula to rake the bacon up and flip it.
That smells amazing! Brenna exclaimed. She bounced around giddily like a little schoolgirl that had just been given candy. They sat down at the table and ate breakfast together. It was quiet but Brenna savored every bite. She noticed that Jason didn't talk any more than he had to, but was still polite in his own way. She wasn't used to people being nice to her.
When they were done, Jason picked the plates up and washed them in the sink. He started two packs of things including ammo, a pistol each, a small amount of food, canteen, dog food, and a few other necessities. He threw the pack at Brenna.
What is this for? she asked.
We're going hiking in the mountains. He replied.
Really? she asked confused.
No, we're going back where you came from and we are going to find the rest of the survivors. Jason said frankly as he positioned a few last minute things in his bag.
No, there is no way I am going back there. Those people are crazy! They're like freakin' animals! she raised her voice desperately.
Well, I don't know about you but increasing my chances of survival sounds like a good thing. Therefore, we are going to take a risk and retrieve more people. I admit it was a relief hearing about other people and seeing you. It took the whole continue-the-human-race responsibility off my shoulders. I felt like I wasn't just making sure myself was safe, but making sure my species was safe as well. Jason said in a monotone, mater-of-fact voice.
Well, that might still rest on your shoulders. You'll understand when you see all these morons. They have a hard time just talking to eachother. She rolled her eyes.
. . . .
They hopped in the van with Billy Joe and headed out in the direction that Brenna had wandered in. She said that she was wandering for around eight days after the mob quit following her. They drove down crazy back roads and off-road all over the place trying to find the path that Brenna took. They finally were on some kind of track. But as the highway grew longer, the day grew shorter and finally, they stopped to set up camp. They rolled into an old town that was partially flooded. It was right next to a lake with many landed boats lining the shore. Jason popped out of his truck and went off with Billy Joe to examine the boats. Brenna grabbed the stuff and shut the doors. They picked out a fairly large sized pontoon boat. Pontoons consisted of two to four floats called pontoons,' a flat wooden floor that was attached over the pontoons, and a motor on back. They wouldn't have to worry about this one sinking because it ha few rust spots on the pontoons. The floor was rotted in a couple places but not enough to condemn the boat. Jason pulled the plywood from a window and placed it over the rotted spot and nailed it down. Then, he pulled the cover over. The cover had a few holes, but there was a tarp in the van and they hoisted it over the cover.
There, that ought to keep the dew off of us as we sleep. Now we just got to see if this dang motor will work. Jason said condescendingly. He pulled on the crank cord and the rope snapped immediately.
Dry-rotted he explained. So they found a few paddles from an old steel john boat that some old fisherman might've owned a lifetime ago. They were about to pull out when they heard a gunshot.
What the hell was that?! Brenna yelled totally losing her poise.
Shut up and keep your head down! Jason whispered harshly. They both hit the floor. He poked his head around to see through a hole in one of the guard rails. He saw a girl with a shotgun staring in the direction of the boat. She was blonde with really curly hair cascading down in ringlets. She wore a tie-died shirt and some ripped jeans. She was pretty skinny and was aiming at the boat. Jason took off his white shirt very quickly, tied a sleeve to a fishing net beside him, and waved it back in forth above his head. She put her gun down when she saw the sign of peace. They got up and walked over to her. The girl had her gun pointed down, but her hands were still on the pump and the trigger. Jason could tell she wasn't accustomed to firing a shotgun by the ditzy way she held it. Jason and Brenna climbed out of the boat, onto the shore of the lake. They approached the chick slowly with their hands up.
Who are you guys? She asked.
I'm Jason and this is Brenna. We're just passing through and we need a place to sleep. We were going to use that boat to anchor in a deep part of the lake and get some sleep before tomorrow. We don't want to cause any trouble. Jason said as friendly and innocently as he could.
Well, I guess that's fine. I've had a few people run into this town and try to take everything. This is my home town and I don't want anyone messing with it. She said firmly.
Like I said, We're just passing through. We mean you no harm. Jason repeated.
Now, hold on a minute It's been a while since I've had someone to hang with. Y'all can stay with me for the night. That boat might start to siink in the middle of the night and hypothermia and the zombies will get you before you make it ashore, Said the girl. Just bunk with me tonight.
Are you sure? Jason asked, That's very generous. I hope you don't mind my dog.
What dog? The blonde girl asked. In response, Jason whistled and Billy Joe took a bound out of the boat and took off toward them. When he reached them, He stood at Jason's legs.
It's okay boy. Jason coaxed. Billy Joe took a few steps forward and wagged his tail. The girl fell over him.
Puppy! She squealed excitedly.
Umm, the dog is way past being a puppy. Brenna said sarcastically. Jason jabbed her sharply in the ribs making her wince, but she got the message.
So what's your name? Jason asked.
It's Oli. She replied smiling gaily.
Hahaha! Sort of like Kickflip? Jason laughed. He hadn't done that in a while.
Yeah, that's it! I wish I could skateboard. It'd be a good way to pass time. I used to play lacrosse but ever since the population decreased ninety-something percent, I havn't been able to keep my skills up. She informed. Jason blinked.
Really? Lacrosse is awesome! I remember watching that on TV! It didn't get very big in The States right up until the outbreak though. Jason conversed.
Excuse me ladies, but are y'all going to talk all day and let the night sneak up on us or are we going to prepare? Brenna said, with her arms crossed. Jason turned back to face Oli.
She's right. Where's your place at? Jason pondered.
It's right around this building. It's got a straight shot view of the lake and the road leading into town. I can relax and keep watch at the same time! she tilted her chin up slightly while her eyes narrowed to make a cute smile when she was done talking.
They walked into the building, turned the lights on and went upstairs. All the windows downstairs had a ton of wood covering them and there was tons of furniture covering the other entrances. She turned and locked the door and then pulled a second door made of thick metal over the first. She latched a few latches in place and turned.
We're going to sleep upstairs. It's safer. She said promptly. They all marched up the stairs to a large room that seemed like a bonus room. There was a bathroom beside it and a walk-in closet converted into a kitchen somehow. Oli found a few sheets and spread them out over the floor. There. That should work.
When dusk came, Brenna turned over and conked out in a blink. Jason and Oli however, stayed up and talked about their pasts and joked.
Okay, so when I was going to school, this black kid on my bus named Octavious and this kid was freaking crazy! This chick and him were sitting behind me and they were both like messing with my hair and all. So I turn around to see what's going on. There both like girl! You totally need to get a weave! Or dreadlocks! It would look so ghetto on you!' It cracked me up! I was like I like my hair just fine the way it is!' They were crazy kids. I wonder if they're dead sometimes.
I wonder about that a lot. I had a friend named Harrison. I have no clue where he went. He used to live in my city but he moved a long time ago. I wish He was with me now. Jason seemed like he was far away from the room.
You know, we've only talked for a few hours, but I feel like I've known you forever! Oli said intrigued.
Same here You know something? I think you're making Brenna jealous! Jason laughed out loud with Oli as they both sat up on their pallets. They rolled around laughing until they saw Brenna stir slightly. They both quieted their laughter but still snickered subtly. Hey, how about you go on a road trip with us? We can talk more and hang and stuff.
That'd be great, but I don't know I swore to myself I'd stay in this town and protect it until the Earth was repopulated and people moved back in. It's beautiful here, Jason. I don't want it to be ravaged. Oli said.
Why won't you come with me? I've got all you need. Just trust me, you'll be fine with us. Jason said. He had been dying for good conversation. Oli was a breath of fresh air compared to Brenna.
Jason, I want to but I can't Oli said looking into Jason's eyes.
Well, that's fine I guess I'm tired. Good night. With that, Jason broke Oli's gaze and curled up in his pallet.
Well uh okay. G'nite. Oli's voice faltered slightly. The newly assembled, but quickly diminished crew went to sleep on the floor of the old lake house with the crickets chirping and the sound of the water lapping against the shore; not a sign of zombies anywhere. The moon was a crescent now and was reflecting from the water. It looked as if heaven was reflecting onto the Earth.