I've had a few emails from people worried that my lack of a post yesterday was due to delayed shock or something over killing Alex. I take days off from posting regularly, but intended to write something yesterday anyway. I didn't have a chance.
Let me assure you: for better or worse, I'm not losing any sleep over Alex's corpse. He was a rapist and a tyrant, and he deserved worse than he got. You're welcome to disagree.
Yesterday was too busy for us to justify time writing. We traveled the first part of the morning, but around lunch I had to seriously pull rank for the first time. About two hundred miles from home, we came across a huge mass of zombies. And I do mean huge--they carpeted both sides of the highway from the bottom of the hill in front of us all the way to the top and maybe beyond. At least hundreds, maybe thousands.
The debate was whether to drive through them or not. They were all laying down doing the hibernation thing. Usually with new breed zombies there are some who stay conscious to keep watch. Luckily for us it was so cold, down in the single digits and very windy, that none of them moved around. Will theorizes that the new breed uses a lot more energy and has less reserves to draw on, making it harder for them to be active in extremely low temperatures than other zombies.
The team wanted to drive over them and keep going forward. I didn't. The team wouldn't be what it is if there was no respect for its structure, so they didn't mutiny on me and tie me up or anything. They disagreed with my decision to turn back and find an alternate route, but they did it. I can't say I blame them for wanting to be home as quickly as possible, but the closer we get the more obsessive they become about it. Once we made the choice to head home, something clicked in all our heads. The urge to get there is powerful, and I'm not immune.
I'm just more paranoid and likely crazier than the others. At first I didn't think about why they were so upset, but when we got turned around and headed south again I remembered that the last few exits we'd passed were choked with cars. We'd have to go back twenty miles at least. That was time consuming but not terribly so.
Things got more complicated when we'd backtracked for a few miles. No one else seemed to see it, but I was convinced I saw moving reflections in the distance, like someone was driving away from us. We haven't been all that worried about being followed, having seen no signs, but this made me nervous. Then I had to pull rank really hard, and so now we're taking a wide detour to get home. Like, the 'adds a few days to the trip' kind of detour. We're going better than a hundred miles out of the way to circle around and head back home to Frankfort and New Haven. No one is happy about it, but I'm not sleeping with one eye open. Even if my friends were secretly soulless killers driven by hate, they wouldn't take me out. One less person in a group this small makes a big difference in a fight.
Not that I'm worried, but again: paranoid. I can't stop myself from figuring the odds.
With any luck we'll be home in less than a week, barring zombies or marauders. The detour is taking us to a road I know to be in good repair and clear, so there shouldn't be any more surprises on that front.
Now to just get to it. These backwoods are a mess, and the going is slow. All work and no play make Josh a dull boy...