The Fast and the Dead - Day 10

They were out of immediate danger, but it didn’t feel as reassuring as he’d expected. The streets in all directions were crawling with more and more of them as slower ones caught up to the mass, and faster ones from farther out began arriving.

“I’ve never seen so many at once, not even on TV,” he said with a shiver. “I don’t know where we’re going to be going from here.”

“Clarissa Backhus.”

“What?” He blinked his confusion.

“My name. Call me Claire.” She was studiously avoiding looking at the sea of figures below.

“Oh. Right. I’m Ben. Ben Neales.” She was a bit younger than him, and he was in his early 30s. She looked older. Everyone who got tossed in here did; there’s nothing like the stress of being hunted by a city’s worth of zombies to add a few years. He wondered how he looked now; he must be a sorry sight for anyone watching on TV.

Cameras were scattered around most of the city, though it was hard to tell where they were most of the time. Before the fall, cameras had gotten really tiny so you never really knew these days. Once in a while you’d see larger, older models, but just cause they weren’t there didn’t mean there weren’t newer, smaller ones.

Watching people who’d been thrown in was a guilty secret for most people in the region, at least those who had the power to run a TV or knew someone who did. Nobody liked to admit they watched, but they did it anyway.

“Nice to meet you, Ben.” She laughed. “Nice to meet anyone who’s not dead on his feet.”

“I’m not sure I’d go that far. I am pretty wiped out.” He smiled; today of all days it was good to have something to smile about. “So Claire, any ideas on where to go from here?”

“Look around, I guess. Get our bearings. This place looks familiar, or it did from the ground. The Winchester, it’s called. I think I’ve seen … others … other survivors make it to this area before.”

He nodded. He was tempted to ask what she’d done to get thrown in here, but he didn’t really have to. It didn’t really matter. After governments had collapsed, everything fell to chaos, and unless you knew the right people in the right positions these days, there was pretty much just one punishment for any conceivable crime, real or imaginary. Exile into the wastes, entertainment for the remaining masses.

He’d never seen anyone get away, but there were stories that came and went of people thrown out who made it to other cities. He supposed it was possible. If you could make it out far enough from the cities, there were fewer zombies, but also fewer people who could help you out. It’d be difficult. Extremely difficult. He had to believe it was possible though.

“I was thinking of heading down to the water. Find a boat. Get away that way. It’ll be tough, but maybe it’ll be a bit easier together.”

Claire nodded. “You had me at ‘away.’”