Hindsight (revision)

I don’t know why we thought it would be safe up here.

We fled to Canada around the same time that Celine Dion and Tom Cruise were both said to have flown up here. The celebrities mixed with T.V. programs and word-of-mouth all encouraged people to start heading north. Pretty soon, the Canadian government had to close off their borders. We heard they shot anyone who tried to come across, but that didn’t stop people from coming in after the folk had it in their heads that Canada was the place to be. Zombies started cropping up everywhere after that, even the animals. In hindsight, I suppose we should have tried to drive someplace else, but it’s hard to fill up a tank of gas when you ain’t got no money.

Yeah, not just us. A lot of folk who came up didn’t have a penny to their name. And even if they did, there’s not a lot of housing to go around. Some folk tried to build their own houses, buying materials from the city and cutting up the forests. BC residents have had a huge escalation in break-ins, robberies, and murders. A lot of people have died just for some squatters to have some food and shelter. Of course, the military has been cracking down on this, too, but there’s only enough of them to protect the richer burbs. For our own protection, I suggested to Sarah that we live in the truck. She agreed.

We came up in my ’04 Silverado. Bought her brand new. Now, she’s all dented up from stray deer and moose attacks. So far we’ve been lucky with ’em, but you never want a run-in with a moose. Run into one going to fast and your car’s totaled. Unless you’re driving a tank, it’s done. And if you’re stranded out in the wilderness with no car, well, you’re a dead man.

One day, driving down the rode, I saw one just standing there, its ribs all exposed and its face torn away. You see something like that, it’s hard to believe at first. Your reaction times slow a bit. I swerved out of the way, lost traction and almost hit a tree. After that, it was hard to get back on the road, what with the snow and ice. Lucky for us, the moose was so eaten up, one leg barely had any muscle holding it together. It was pretty much limping at us but fast enough. When you start looking at the skeleton of a creature, all the parts underneath that make an animal tick, then it starts looking less like a living being and more like a monster: eyes filmed, teeth rotten, ribs scraping at the passenger window. We almost didn’t make it that day. I know my wife still has nightmares about it most days, though she won’t admit it to me.

Sarah keeps me sane. She keeps the night watch because she says she has better eyes ‘n me. She says she likes to go to sleep watching the sun rise, which I’mm sure is a relief, but I think she’s simply too afraid to sleep at night. I can’t blame her. I have trouble sleeping sometimes, too, knowing that those creatures are out there. But if I wake up dead, I wake up dead. Man’s gotta sleep. And I trust her to keep me safe, wake me up if anything goes south.

It’s weird we didn’t think about the animals. It’s Hollywood, I guess. We always think of zombies as being people, you know? Then again, who thought zombies would be walking around at all! At least people would never stand the cold, but all the deer and wildlife out here have coats that just shed the snow like it was nothing. I hear people farther up north have to deal zombie polar bears. I don’t envy them, though they’re becoming more frequent down here. Depending on the amount of decay, those sonsabitches can rush you up to 40 clicks. And I’ve only heard rumors about the mosquitoes in the Bayou. They say on the T.V. that it’s just one big dead zone down there. I guess it could be worse, but it definitely could have been better.

Sometimes I think to myself that we’re being hunted here, that everyone sitting still is just waiting to die. At least we got this truck, though it doesn’t do us much good with no gas. If only we’d been smarter with our money a bit… ah, what’s the use of worryin’ about the past? You know what they say. Hindsight’s a bitch.

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Filed under FEATHERTON II, Flash Fiction

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