Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

Mike stared out through the spiderweb of cracks in the windshield of his truck at the rusty red van that drove down the highway ahead. A lot had happened since the Scout troop had left the survival camp and none of it was good. Connall was dead and an entire vehicle with Scouter Jeremy and several boys was missing. He could only hope that they got out of town safely.

Steve had managed to find Shaun and his boys, including Stan. Steve’s eyes had been haunted when he returned leading Shaun out of town. The man stayed very close to his son, Stan, acting afraid to leave the boy alone. For his part, Stan didn’t seem to want his father too far away either.

They had kept the celebration of finding each other short when the two vehicles had finally met up with Mike, hours late. Steve didn’t even bother to remind Mike of the promise made to go to the city if he hadn’t returned when agreed upon. It wasn’t time for that. Even then, undead were already making their mindless way down the highway toward the Scouts.

They seemed unstoppable.

No. Quick hugs and hand shakes were all there was time for. Sadness and mourning would have to wait.

Steve now led the motley caravan away from the now-dead town of Spring Valley, once again moving toward the city. Mike drove in the middle of the pack with Shaun bringing up the rear.

No one talked about what they were going towards. Everyone felt, that to talk about the undead plague that had already destroyed Spring Valley, would jinx anything they might find going forward.

For the first few miles, everything was normal. The highway was clear and nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

That was until the group came up to the smouldering pile that had once been a pair of cars. It was sitting right in the middle of the highway and appeared to be the result of a head-on crash.

The cars were not the only thing on the highway smouldering.

An undead figure - the missing arm, crispy black skin and shuffling gait was a clear giveaway - turned toward the Scout vehicles as they neared.

Scouter Steve didn’t even slow down, running the thing down where it walked. Each of the following vehicles did the same. If it wasn’t dead before, they had shown mercy in ending its misery.

They continued down the road in much the same way, occasionally seeing a shuffling figure. Sometimes it was on the road and sometimes it was out in a field.

No one said much of anything.

Mike looked over at Kyle who was sitting quiet and subdued in the passenger seat of the truck. “You okay, buddy?”

“No.”

That was a fair answer. “Want to talk about it, Kyle?”

Kyle looked at his father. “What’s to talk about? Everyone is dead! Everything is ruined! Why are we even bothering? We’re probably the only people left in the whole world.”

Mike shook his head at the question. “We are going on because we don’t know that everyone is dead. We know that everyone we have found so far is. That isn’t the same thing.”

“It might as well be,” the boy said, the anguish clear in his voice.

Mike looked into the rearview mirror to judge the feelings of the other boys. They were watching him very closely, the fear clear in their eyes. Lying to the boys was not an option.

“Kyle. Guys. I honestly don’t know what we are going to find when we get back to the city. I know what I hope to find.”

“Hope!” The tone in Kyle’s voice made it sound like he was spitting the word out.

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