wormwood, pt. 9

The sun had been up for several hours when they woke up. Or rather, when Nicole woke up, stretched, and looked out the window to see damaged buildings, emergency vehicles, and a police blockade holding back a crowd. She poked Rosalind in the ribs. "Wake up, the world's still ending."

Rosalind didn't move. "What's it look like out there?"

"Looks like the cops don't want anyone leaving the neighborhood. No rioting yet." She looked up at the sky. "Oh, and there's a storm on the horizon. A literal storm, I mean. Looks pretty nasty."

"Good, I like storms. I could do without, you know, the earthquake and the food shortage." Rosalind sighed and sat up. "Okay, okay. We need to pack up. You've still got a medkit in your bag, right?"

"Yeah. I think I still got everything you gave me." Nicole opened up her bag and fished around in it. "Yeah. Flashlights, tape, knife, multitool, radio, binoculars, medkit, batteries."

"Okay, good." Rosalind grabbed a backpack from the closet. "I've got some of the bigger stuff in here. Spotlights, rope. I think I've got--yeah--I've got a crowbar and hammer in here too. And some other tools. Screwdrivers and wrenches are the big ones. And we can still fit some clothes in here." She stood up and looked around. "I think that's everything."

They loaded their things into Nicole's car--including, at Nicole's insistence, the guitars--and locked it and covered up the windows. They would move it if and when they could, but until then, it would make for a good shelter that wouldn't collapse on them in an aftershock.

Nicole sat on the hood and smoked a cigarette. "So now what?"

"Now we--" Her phone started ringing. "Um, hang on. Hello?"

"Rosalind! It's Winston. Are you both okay?"

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