CHAPTER 6: SAFE BUT SORRY

A group of about ten or maybe fifteen people waited in the middle of the road, gaping right back at us. Some men and women were paler than their companions. Several of them didn’t have much of their hair left either. While the pale skin could be a product of the car’s headlights, this couldn’t explain the lack of hair.

I knew exactly what they were.

Contaminated.

Hunter seemed to recover from his shocked state and sighed deeply, running a hand through his hair. I glanced at him, wondering why he didn’t turn the car around. To me, it was obvious what we had to do; we had to find another way to the safe zones.

Hunter thought otherwise.

“What are you going to do?” I asked, confused when he put the car in reverse, driving us back a good couple of meters. The expression on Hunter’s face was telling me that whatever he had in mind wasn’t going to be pleasant. As I waited for him to answer, I looked outside again. I focused on the group of people in front of us, trying to see if one of them was Jason. Of course I knew the chances of that were extremely small, if not non-existing, but I needed to make absolutely sure that Jason wasn’t among the group.

“I’m going to drive,” Hunter deadpanned, as though I had asked the most ridiculous question ever.

“Of course you’re driving, I can see that. What I meant was what are we going to do now? Are there any other ways to get to the Safe Zones?”

“Like I said, I’m going to drive. Just…” he trailed, sounding a little unsure. He let out a small sigh, and continued after a brief pause. “Close your eyes. I don’t think you’re going to want to see this.”

His strange request confused me further, but slowly, little by little, I put the puzzle pieces together.

Hunter was going to drive, and if what I thought he’d do was true, then he was right, I wouldn’t want to see it.

“Drive?” I swallowed and then continued. “As in… drive forward no matter what?” I was hoping that my theory was as wrong as I had never wanted anything else to be wrong in my life.

Instead of answering me right away, a sinister smile crept upon Hunter’s face, and when he shot me a quick glimpse, I noticed a determination in his eyes that said he wouldn’t change his mind. It seemed as though he was planning to thoroughly enjoy what he was about to do.

“Exactly,” he chuckled and let the engine roar up like some wild animal that was ready to attack its prey.

Inhaling deeply, I braced myself for what was about to happen, checking my seatbelt one last time.

“Ready?” Hunter asked, and I nodded my head in response.

I wasn’t ready, not even close, but I knew that I wanted this to be over. The sooner we got past this obstacle, the sooner I would be able to leave all of it behind me. The moment we’d get past these contaminated, we would be closer to the Safe Zones, finally. Yet, somehow I struggled to keep the bigger picture in mind.

With one final, firm nod, Hunter focused on the contaminated right in front of us, and with a grin on his face, he sped the car forward.

Unlike Hunter instructed, my eyes were wide open, staring right in front of me, as we closed in on the group. They didn’t seem to fear getting hit by a car; they continued running towards us. As they moved, they tripped over themselves the entire time. One of them would fall, causing another one to go down with him, and then they’d end up fighting each other for some time. Nonetheless, they stayed on course, just like we did.

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