Make hay while the sun shines

Jess swerved to the side of the road and slammed on the brakes. “Take inventory.” She climbed out of the Jeep.

I called out each item. Rifle with half a clip. Pistol with half a clip. Flare gun and nine red flares. Antique sword. Crowbar. Map. Flashlight. Two matchbooks. Crank-powered radio. Half a bottle of warm Gatorade.

“Make a knapsack,” Jess ordered. “Use cloth from the car seats.”

“Are you out of your—”

“Listen!” Her face appeared in the rear window, all bloodshot eyes and bared teeth. “Do you think the Survival Fairy’s gonna slip a rocket launcher under your pillow while you sleep? The only shot we have is to keep moving.” She vanished from view again.

Funny, I’d spent the night shooting and smashing skulls, but carving up the upholstery with the sword felt far more violent. I tied the fabric into a lumpy sling and stuffed everything but the weapons inside.

Jess came up carrying a gas can and a dripping siphoning tube. “There wasn’t much left, but it’ll burn.”

We set off toward the sunrise.

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