Suspended animation is humane. Time just stops for Fred, and the narrator can bring him back when convenient.
In this new adventure, a young couple sit in a car parked near a vacant movie theater at a large mall complex. Both look straight out the front window while talking to each other, not making eye contact. The woman in the passenger seat says, "Do you have any ideas?"
The man in the driver's seat replies, "Not offhand." After a pause, he says, "Let's take inventory. What do you have?"
"About fifteen dollars. I have a Smart Phone that I have turned off, and I won't turn it back on."
"Good. Did you take the battery out?"
"Better. OK, go on."
She rummages around her purse. "In my wallet I have my driver's license, driver's insurance card, health insurance card, and a picture of Mom, Dad, my brothers, and me. A gift card to a steak house. I had forgotten about that. I don't know how much I have on it. In my purse I have a tube of lipstick, a brush, and some nail polish. A candy bar, a screwdriver, a couple of pens, and a set of earrings. A little flashlight and a set of keys. A light-weight shirt that I got from a race that I ran last year. It is the only change of clothes that I have. That's it."
"How about a passport?"
"No, I didn't have time."
The man nods. "Well, let's see. I have one hundred sixty dollars and change. I got a little lucky. I had just been to a cash machine before things hit the fan. A flip phone with a charger. Don't want to turn it on, but the trail will be harder to follow if I have to use it. I have a set of tools in the trunk. Also a couple of blankets, work boots, a Coleman lantern, some Sterno, and a couple of lighters. No tent, though, dammit. I have a road atlas in the glove compartment. We are going to have to do find our way around the roads like my Grandpa did. I have some work gloves in the glove compartment, too. Funny, eh? I am one of the few people who still use the glove compartment for gloves. Also have insurance, registration, title, and my passport there." The man pulled out an worn leather wallet. "License, insurance, credit card - not that I can use that, company badge - ditto, a picture of you." The man smiled, reached over, and squeezed the left hand of the woman with his right hand. "A grocery store loyalty card, a couple of grocery store receipts. I have the actual plates for the car under the spare tire, with the Glock, some ear protection, and a box of bullets, but I hope that I never have to bring those out. The plates that are on there now aren't going to hold up if we are stopped, but they won't trigger an alert on a license plate reader."
"How much gas do we have?"
"Nearly full. I know that we can get three hundred fifty miles - probably more, but I have never pushed it that far."
"I just want to go, and get out of here, but I don't know where. I have never felt so alone. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't know what I would do."
"I know how you feel. We are in this together until the end. I think that we will be safe here for a while."
1/23/2016 7:08:24 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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