After the craziness in Eureka and the fact that we would have reached Crescent City in the approaching twilight, we decided to keep driving up the coast into Oregon through the night. It was nice to put some kilometres between us and the Undead behind us. It was also a huge relief to leave the crazy men of Eureka in Eureka. What they thought their plan was going to accomplish, we couldn’t figure out. Flaming corpses are still mobile ones… At some point they must have come across at least one of the Undead to have learned that. It’s possible though that the stress of the situation has just gotten to them.
It’s obvious that the stress is getting to me because here I am making excuses for seven men that likely would have tried to kill us just to prove they could. In fact it’s chilling when you realize that those men could have killed us. I guess that in the backs of our minds we had always thought the possibility of pirates had existed, we just assumed that any survivors would have been more concerned with the Undead to actually harm anyone else. I guess that in the event of an Apocalypse that no one can really be trust…
That’s the horrible and debilitating effect of stress. It changes people. Look at the people of Minden. Look at the people that were protesting the Undead in Oklahoma. How many hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives because they didn’t react or because they reacted in the wrong way? It’s sad, sickening, and utterly exhaustive to even think about now. All that we can concentrate on is getting to the coast and taking it from there. Anything further than that is asking too much at this point.
The news on the Internet is getting bleaker by the day. It’s emotionally draining to sit and watch the YouTube videos of attacks and views from people’s windows. The scared, slobbering video blogs are a definite no-go. I refuse to watch anyone who refused to help themselves. While I realize that I may have planned ahead to a certain extent, my group and I never thought that this day would actually happen. Who are we all kidding? Dead is dead. At least that is how it’s supposed to work, and trust me I know all about the dead. Even now, I can hear my husband in my head telling me that you should never underestimate the one thing you think you know best… God, I miss him but I can’t even allow myself that moment of melancholy. Not now. Once I’ve survived, I’ll have all the time in the world for tears. I can deal with it all then.
Driving up the coast was fairly uneventful. We barely passed any of the Undead. And there did not seem to be any ships or boats anchored off shore up here. In fact, the state of Oregon seemed strangely devoid of everything. No cars left abandoned on the road and the coastal towns and cities still looked somewhat idyllic. Just the odd, singular Undead marring the perfect vista. That and the lack of smiling, happy, thriving, living people.
The drive was so easy and the terrain so unproblematic to navigate, we all began to relax just a little bit. We all knew that it wasn’t over, that we still had many more hard days and even harder nights ahead of us, but if God granted us an easier time today we were going to do our best to de-stress and perhaps regain a little of our humanity. Like a bunch of silly kids on a family road trip, we decided to play Eye Spy.
As a kid, I could play this game for hours with my brothers; sitting in the back of the van, trying to make them guess a landmark or something-or-other that had passed minutes before. Now, the game was a little harder. Now we were still keeping an eye out for the Undead, for any speeding cars coming at us, and for any cars that may be blocking the road ahead of us. It made the game a little more difficult, but it actually helped us to unwind a little more.
Ben played the dirtiest though… I don’t know if it comes from the fact that he didn’t grow up in a traditional family setting or if he just doesn’t get that the game is designed to be fun. While he made the game interesting, he had a nasty habit of picking things that had just passed so you really had to be on the lookout when it was his turn. That’s when I happened to notice the vehicle on the road behind us.
It was keeping a very safe distance. If I hadn’t been looking as intently as I was, I probably would have missed it because at this point it was barely a speck on the road. Nevertheless, you could tell that the speck was moving in time with us. Too far back for us to make out any detail with the binoculars in a moving car. How long had they been back there? Were they following us or just happened to be on the same road at the same exact moment as us? My next thought was that it was the pirates from Eureka come to exact some revenge for killing their friends. That was a sobering thought. If that was the case, these guys were much crazier than we had anticipated and we were going to have to do something to get rid of them. I just hoped that we weren’t going to need to resort to violence to end this chase. I’m not above it, mind you but I would rather not waste the ammunition if I don’t have to.
At this point it’s too dangerous for us to try and find a sea-faring vessel. We just don’t know what these people are capable of. The worse thing is that we need to get some gasoline and soon. We’ve only got a quarter of a tank left from the last time we filled up and there’s no telling when we will come across a gas station again. The consensus among the 4 of us is to get the gas at the next station or in the next town, provided that there isn’t a huge presence of the Undead. Running out of fuel wasn’t going to do us any good, especially if the vehicle coming up behind us was full of men up to no good. And if we were going to try and make a run for it we’d need all the power we could get. A dry tank wouldn’t help us there either.
We’re coming up on a little town called Kernville. Time to get ready to pump some gas. Wish us luck…