wormwood, pt. 30

Winston stood a few feet from the thick red sludge that moved through the riverbed, his companions a few paces further back. "Well," he said, "that certainly looks like blood."

"You think it is, though?"

"I don't know. I mean, I've read things about, like, the canonical ten plagues of Egypt and how the rivers-to-blood scenario could have been some kind of toxic algae bloom--"

"Do you really believe that, kid?"

Winston hesitated. He certainly didn't believe that the waters had actually changed to blood. And yet, he didn't believe the world was going to end this week, but--well, the evidence wasn't holding up that theory very well. "It doesn't matter. If the water here's gone bad, we need to get the hell out of here and hope it's only localized."

"And if it's not?"

"Get in the car. We'll figure it out when we get there."

They headed into the city. Rosalind had been right--there were no patrols left. But after a while they started noticing some signs of life on the road--and even passed a moving car or two. Mostly they were on foot though, sometimes in small groups and sometimes alone, and often waving for them to stop. If Winston didn't already have a reason to drive as fast as he could, he had it now.

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