The man finished his story, shrugged, and said,
“So, here we are.”
“Here we are indeed,” Jack replied. While he thought, Jack refilled the mans empty glass, topped himself off, and offered more to his wife.
“I had some earlier,” she declined.
The trees around them swayed, their new leaves fluttered in the warm breeze. Birds flew around them. The smell of spring was in the air.
“There is still some semblance of civilization,” Jack said to his wife.
“The bridge? Yes. But is that the exception or the rule? He was also attacked by total strangers on the road. What do you think,” she asked the man.
He took a long pull from the glass, set it down and paused for a moment.
“Things are bad,” he started. “All around. Some have resorted to shoot first ask questions later. Others are trying to hold on to civilization.” He paused. “The people at the bridge could have just as easily of shot me, taken my things, and dumped my body without a second thought, but they didn’t. He shook my hand and wish me luck. I have thought about that more than a few times.” He glanced into his glass, looking for an answer.
Jack interrupted the pregnant pause,
“So! You promise not to do anything stupid,” and offered the man his hand. The man looked surprised, but took Jack’s hand.
“Jack. This is my wife Jess,” Jack nodded his head toward his wife.
“Dan,” Dan responded, shaking Jack’s hand and nodded to Jess.
“Ok, so where are your parents place,” Jack asked as he took the GPS back out of Dan’s pack.
“It is about time for lunch,” Jess said as she put the shotgun on safe and slung it over her shoulder. “You want to eat out here?”
“Sure, it is nice out, why not,” Jack replied. Jess walked into the house.
The GPS powered up, Jack pressed a few of the buttons until he found what he was looking for.
“Dan,” he started, “Are quite a bit further Northwest than you thought.”
“Yep. You must have one heck of a pace, my new friend. Here, this is where you are in comparison to where your house is,” Jack passed the GPS to Dan and pointed the two locations on the screen.
“And here,” Jack took the GPS back, pressing a few more buttons, then showed Dan again, “Is where you are now, and where your parents place is. You have to go due East, then South to get to them.”
Dan considered the map for a moment.
“I will be coming in on the road I usually take to my parents, but from the North rather than the South if I did not have my little detour.”
“Right. After lunch we will go up to the town hall and see about getting you a pass. You will need to to go North a few miles, the pick up this road,” Jack pressed another button showing Dan the screen, “Go East, then pick up this road and that will take you South, into your parents town. Normally I would say four days, but at your pace, three easy.”
“What is this pass?”
“I will vouch you are a good guy, and let you transverse our territory without being harassed. The patrols will also know about you and let you pass unmolested.”
“How far does your territory go?”
Jack leaned back, “I am not going to lie, that is a little fuzzy. For the most part, we have established borders, but they can be contentious. The adjacent communities will respect our passes . . . most of the time. Other times, not so much. Relations have been good as of late, so I do not anticipate problems.”
Dan did not look convinced. But it was, what it was.
Jess came back to the picnic table with two large plates, set them down, and took a seat next to Jack.
Dan’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head.
“Oh. My. God. Real food.” He looked up in wonder.
Jess smiled in pride, “Hardboiled eggs, bread, cheese, carrots and left over pork from last night. Do not be shy, dig in,” she smiled.
“Thank you,” and Dan popped an entire egg into his mouth.
An hour later, Jack and Dan walked out of the town hall, Dan with a pass in his hand.
“Jack, I don’t know what to say.”
“Thank you would be good. And all that is necessary. No,” Jack paused a moment. “And when you get to where you are going, find your parents, let everyone know there are pockets of civility out here. If we do not keep our civility, we are doomed as a species and have no right to survive.”
Dan offered Jack his hand, Jack took it.
“I will Jack. And thank your for the provisions.”
They shook again, Dan walked down the drive to the main road and turned North and started his trek again.
Statistics: Posted by Cast Iron — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:48 am