"Yeah. No one believed me except maybe my Mom. She told me to stop talking about it. There wasn't much to tell people. Did you know crows eat dead animals?"
"Yeah. I noticed that."
"It's gross. I mean it was at the time..."
"Yeah. We're hitting new levels of grossness lately."
Zane didn't say anything. He just went back to staring out the road. I kept driving. I was thinking how things were getting weirder. For a second I almost grasped how it all was connected and then I lost it. Besides I was getting hungry. It occurred to me if the kid was plugged into BirdNet then he might be able to get us home quicker. Or even better get me Freya. "Hey kid. You ever talk to anyone when you do the bird thing?
He shook his head. "No. I tried talking to my Mom. She didn't hear me." He paused, his face scrunched up a bit and he asked me "Do you talk to the birds?"
"Yeah. It's almost the same as you pretty much." I thought about it "I think I would rather talk to Woof."
"He eats gross things too."
"Yeah. So you got any magic powers I should know about?" I was only halfway kidding asking him that.
No." He added wistfully "I wish I did."
"It's okay kid. I don't either."
We had been passing vehicles. The had all given me the nod and raised fingers on the steering wheel greeting. All of them but the last two. The last one had scowled at me. My guess was I had left Brethren land. It was time to clean off the truck and get some gas. Maybe even something to eat. Plus I needed a map.
I saw a place up ahead. It looked more like a bar then a dinner but there were a couple of cars and trucks in front and the sign said "Food and Gas." It was normal looking. If I didn't look around and focus this area looked as prosperous as West Virginia did before PowerDown. Hell, businesses were open. Vehicles were on the road. The sign was lit with electricity. Unemployment was probably no more than 50 percent or so. Damn near normal.