wormwood, pt. 19

For a long time, they drove in silence. The streets were deserted and the sky was black, and Winston drove slowly with the lights off until they were out of town and on the abandoned country roads that led out of the little town and back to the city--and the coast. The dull red glow of the fires grew brighter the more he drove, but he kept going.

The man sat in the driver's seat, staring out the window. The woman slept in the back seat, as far as Winston could tell. Eventually the man said, "So what's your story?"

"I was just out camping when I felt the earthquake. I went back to town and call my friend Rose to see if she was all right."

"Was she?"

"Probably. She hung up on me."

Another minute of silence passed. Then, "We live in the city. It was supposed to be our honeymoon. Nothing fancy because I was supposed to be back on the boat in a couple days. The plan was for a buddy to pick me up on his way back to the coast."

"The boat?"

"Fishing boat. Captain got hold of us and said, you want to survive the apocalypse, you should come to the boat. I figure, not everyone'll come. And we'll need extra hands. You any good with your hands?"

"I--I'm more of a thinker, really--"

"You'll learn, kid. You'll learn."

"I hope so." Winston frowned. "What do you think? Do you think this is the--the--"

"The apocalypse?"

"Yeah, that."

"Don't matter what I think. I've got a boat waiting for me. And I promise, kid, ain't no safer place in the world."

No comments: