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The cop car drifted by me as it made its evening rounds. As if that was going to make much of a difference. No one would listen to a couple seniors anymore. I pressed my face against the cold, metal fence and looked out. Nothing but open, cracking highways, as usual. I sighed and stepped back, shivering in the cold autumn breeze. I pulled my jacket a little tighter around me when a warm hand rested on my shoulder and a familiar voice muttered, “See anything?”
“Nothing more than we’ve been seeing for months.” I sank back into him as he wrapped his arms around me.
“There’s gonna be something soon. I know it.” A gunshot went off and our heads turned in that direction.
“I bet they found one of the volunteers.” He whispered grimly.
“Or some other poor schmuck.” I offered. We stood silently a moment, our heads still turned toward the sound, then he put his arm around my shoulders and led me away from the fence.
“Hey Curtis. Hey Jen.” Mike waves at us and we walk over to him, enveloping each other in a great group hug.
“You okay, man?” Curtis asks him, concern eminent in his face. Mike stares at the ground for a minute before answering, “None of us are okay. Food is running low. Our parents are dead. We have nothing. The only people who still think anything is actually gonna turn out okay are the ‘cops’!” He looks up with anger and tears in his eyes, his face red – although whether from the cold wind or from crying, I’m not sure. “This town is dead! We’re as good as dead!”
“Don’t think like that, man. We’ll get out of this. Somehow. The infection’s gotta stop eventually, right? Somebody’s gonna find us.”
“As if. We’ve been pushing people out towards Philly since July. It’s November. They just shot the first one who’s come back. He was a zombie. A goddamn zombie! Just like the rest of them! I’m so sick of this s***! We’re all gonna die, if not from infection, then from something else!” He turned away and ran. I reached out a hand to stop him, but Curtis brought it back.
“Let him go. There’s nothing we can do.” We continued walking, going nowhere in general.
“He’s right, you know.” My voice sounded flat and dull as the wind swept it away.
“Don’t think like that.”
“There’s no other way to think. He’s totally right. In case you haven’t noticed, all the fresh stuff has rotted. All we’ve got left are the few fast food places that are still barely open and the portions have become smaller. We’re running out of options. At least the infection hasn’t come back. At least we’re slightly safe from that. For now.” I pressed closer to him. He sighed heavily.
“You’re right. There’s nothing more to do.” My hair absorbed his hot tears. He was cursing vehemently under his breath. There was no hope left in this crummy little town. What everyone has been saying is true. We are all going to die.