On rare occasions I sneak out at night on my own. These are nearly always if there is a pressing need which can’t be met in the daytime or with others in tow. Tonight I need stealth and speed. We are using the daylight hours to run the train and get as many hours out of the failing engine that we can. Running the train at night is not an option as the number of blockages on the line make the risk of derailment from an unseen object a harsh reality if we don’t see it in time.
Jenny’s health has taken a rapid decline as she has picked up an infection. It started out with pus coming out of her wound, and a black mark crept up her remaining leg stump towards her groin. The word is that if the infection hits the main line to her heart or brain that she would be in a lot of trouble. Hence the night time mission need.
Some of the others volunteered to come with me tonight, and I should have taken them up on their offer, I don’t know why I didn’t. Probably because I still feel responsible for Jenny’s condition – for one thing I shouldn’t have let the kids come out on a raid with us, and for another, I’m the one that lopped off her leg. I don’t want to get anybody else into the same situation.
We have parked up the train in the outskirts of a largish township where I am hoping to find a chemist which hasn’t been raided too badly. I was told to look for anything containing amoxicillin, which apparently is the key ingredient for killing an infection. To tell the truth, all I’ll remember is the ‘cillin’ bit because this comes from the word penicillin which is what I’ll be looking for.
The undead population seem to prefer the night time more than day for some reason. I once thought it was to do with it being too bright for their dead eyes, but this can’t be the case because I’ve even seen obviously blind ones (mainly due to a complete lack of eyeballs) stumbling into things at night. Another theory back in the day was that the night time temperature was lower than in the day, and the permanent flu that they have makes their body temperatures too hot for them. But again, even in the dead of winter they still prefer to huddle together indoors in the daylight hours. Who knows.
Whatever the reason, the inhabitants of this township will be out and about like they’re on a Friday night pub crawl. They generally mill about and bump into one another, their noses tasting the air for uncorrupted flesh, and they generally stank up the place with their decaying, shambling presence.
I’m about to head out now, so here goes. Straight in, straight out. No time stopping off for a cheese burger or window shopping.