I looked back at the town. I should do something special to let the people coming know we were not to people to trifle with. I laughed out loud and said it again. I loved the "not people to trifle with" part. I was bad. Yes I was. I was also alone. I ended up using the spray paint we carried to leave markers for the Horde scouts who screened the main body advance. I spray painted "Freya Cometh!" on a wall and said "The hell with it." "Going to have work on the scary calling card part" I thought to myself and started pushing my bike towards the hill.
I was almost to the hill when I got a bad feeling and froze in place. I waited a bit and then slowly eased down into the grass and waited. When it felt right I crawled to a small rise and looked around it and back at the town. They had come in on foot from somewhere outside of town. Probably to the north. No blowing into town yelling and hooting from the packed bed of a pickup truck. Someone had their shit together. That was not good.
It took me another 45 minutes to make the last half mile to the hill. I wanted to avoid any chance of being spotted. I also had to drop my bike. I figured I would go back far it later. That was going to be another problem. What do with Carol and her friends. "Hell" I thought."We would have to take them back." That me smile because it meant I would get to see Night. I was okay with that.
I ran across Loco before I found the rest of them. I gave him the hand sign for multiple enemy and he nodded and pointed at his binoculars. I followed him in. He had armed all the women. Hopefully they knew what they were doing. The odds were pretty good they did. My guess was for the first time in over a hundred years the remaining American population was proficient with firearms. It was somewhat jarring to see Carol armed. She seemed pretty comfortable with it.
I settled down and drank some water. Loco took the first watch. I would take the second which would last until just before dawn. I was going to be dragging tomorrow and probably hurting. After Loco disappeared int the bush Carol and I sat there and studied each other. I don't know what she saw but I saw the same womans form but the etching around the eyes and the eyes themselves belonged to a different person. Same but not the same.
I was thinking about that when she told me "Show me that arm. I want to clean that gash." She pulled it off and we both looked at it. Stitches would probably be a good thing but I told her to butterfly it for now. She started cleaning it out and I looked at the top of her head as she bent over my arm and wondered how soft her hair would feel. I pushed that thought aside and asked her "So how was it Carol? How did you end up here?"
She stopped for a minute. I was getting ready to say "Don't worry about it. Some other time" when she sighed and said "I really hoped I would run into you or Max. It was...ugly G. No. Not ugly. Beyond ugly." Then she began telling me her story. The three women behind her laid silent in the grass and watched us both as she began to talk.