Chapter 8- Part 1
Indie poked at the fire then settled back against Ryan.
“When I said we should bug out I didn't mean like this.”
“I know,” she replied, taking his hand. “None of us wanted it to happen like this.”
“I can't believe we're reduced to this.” Susie pouted on the other side of the fire. “What the hell was everyone thinking?”
“Susie, you can understand what they were thinking, can't you? It's hard to kill a friend or family member. It goes against everything we're taught, heck, our nature.”
Susan shook her head. “Each of us has done what we needed—”
Ryan interrupted her. “And none of us has felt good about doing it.”
Susie glared at him, then fell into a sulky silence.
Indie sighed. This situation was changing them all. “We need to make a game plan. Living off the land during the summer will be easy, but...”
“Forget it! I know you're having fun, it's just camping with your boyfriend, Indiana, but I want to go back to town.”
“Hell no!” Ryan roared, jerking up. “We need to stay away from people.”
“We need information. Maybe there's a cure or the military is evacuating.” Susie yelled back.
“Guys, arguing isn't helping.”
“Going back to town with those things everywhere is a death sentence.” Ryan said, glaring across the fire pit at Susie.
“What if they've figured out a way to get rid of them? What if there's help?” Susan protested. “We should at least see what town offers.”
Indie exchanged a glance with Ryan, who shook his head. “I think going down there is a mistake.”
In an attempt to pacify everyone Indie suggested, “Why don't we sleep on it? In the morning we can make plans.” When it looked like neither would let it drop, she added, “Even if we decide to go to town it'll take a few days to hike out. We can't do anything tonight.”
“You're right.” Ryan leaned back and putting his arm around her shoulders.
Susan didn't say anything, just crossed her arms and flopped back against her pack.
Susan felt the anger bubbling under her skin. Indiana and Ryan were fine with living like this, but there was no way she could. They didn't get it. Roughing it for her had been living at the cabin. Sleeping on the ground, eating roots, berries and what they scrounged off the land. No way.
She didn't care if those things had taken over the town, she needed civilization. There had to be other people, military help, something.
Indie stood. “I'm going to bed.”
Susie nodded, but didn't reply as Indie climbed into the tent with Ryan right behind her. She could hear them whispering back and forth. They were going to side with each other. They knew what was best, or at least thought they did. Glaring at the tent, she made her decision. She pulled out her map and looked over it in the dying firelight. A good poke and a few more twigs gave her enough light to see by. The map looked like a mess of green, brown and blue covered with random circles and lines.
Closing her eyes, she tried to pull everything she'd ever learned about maps from her subconscious. With a sigh, she opened her eyes. Names printed on spots of blues she recognized as lakes and ponds. A few of the thicker lines had road names, and none of them looked as far as Indie had made them out to be. Only problem was she had no idea which way to go. Eagle Bay was by Fourth Lake, in theory that would be south. But which way was south? Pulling out the compass, she watched the needle spin, then wobble to a semi-stop. The needle pointed north so she just needed to go in the opposite direction. This wasn't anywhere near as hard as Indie made it out to be. Folding up the map, she tucked it into her pack, then stuck the compass in her pocket.
Pulling out a pad and pencil she wrote a quick note and pushed it through the tent flap. She zipped everything she had into her pack and heaved it on to her shoulder.