The Fast and the Dead - Day 37

Yesterday’s entry. It’s a bit late, but I did get it written!

 

Claire walked right up to the edge of the water and stood, staring at the boat. Ben trailed behind, trying to put his finger on the source of his unease. There was nothing around them but long-overgrown grass and trees and benches that were falling apart. The water was blue, and if not exactly clear, was at least shallow enough that they could reach the boat without swimming.

A can of gas was sitting in the boat, visible from shore. Sunlight glinted off the glass of the boat’s windscreen. He snapped his fingers. “That’s it!”

“What’s it?” Claire looked as if it was starting to bother her too, but hadn’t yet seen what was right in front of them.

“It’s clean. It’s as if it’s new. It’s right in front of us. Why? And how? It can’t have been here long. It looks like it was left here specifically for us.”

She frowned, nodding, and turned back the way they’d come, or started to. “What’s this?” She jogged back to a particularly thick bunch of grass where a small non-descript light gray box sat. Ben painfully limped over to join her. “It’s a camera. Another one.”

It looked like any of a thousand security cameras you’d see in any store, or would have in the world before. This one had been hastily installed and was pointed right at the boat. It wasn’t even secured to the ground; a cable ran loose into the grass where they found some sort of power pack.

Ben’s head was reeling; he couldn’t believe it. “It’s the damn shows. They’ve been watching us the whole way, the whole time.” They must’ve gotten intrigued when they survived the massive horde the previous day. Beating impossible odds always drew attention on the broadcasts.

“We got popular. They had to expand their coverage. They herded us into that funnel last night, and now this. I hope it was entertaining; I’m done being the star of the show. Let’s get out of here.” He said that last right into the camera.

“Can we trust it? I’ve never seen anyone just sail off into freedom before.” She was eyeing the boat apprehensively now. An ending nobody had ever seen before, or … what?

“Do you want to try going back through all that?” Ben was already wading into the water, splashing loudly as he limped. Too loudly, he thought.

“Ben!” Claire cried out, running and splashing in after him. He saw it; matted, stringy hair emerging from the water maybe 20 meters off to the side. The dead didn’t breathe; they could walk anywhere there was land, whether or not it was covered by water.

Another, and another became visible. They were farther out where it was deeper, attracted closer in by Ben’s careless noise.