The hardest thing to do to a child is to lie to them. I have never had a hard time telling anyone the truth, but this was going to be the hardest in my life. Even harder than when the child asked what happened to it's parents. That was simple compared to this. This time the child was bitten.
I had come across a family, husband, wife, and child, still together and surviving after all this time. We had been traveling together for about two weeks. Not long enough to know much about them. Doug , the husband, was about twenty-four. His wife, Darnell was twenty. And Reggie, their son, was four and a half.
It's always better to travel alone. When you travel in a group, you will become a part of it and unwittingly get to know them. But eventually it falls apart. It is human nature that draws people to come together, to seek each other out. For companionship, lust, for the want to control, or be controlled.
They had continued on west, toward Nevada, to Camp St. Teresa, towards what they hoped was safety. He had been staying close to military bases which offered the opportunities to re-equip and often rest securely for a couple of hours. You could never stay put too long, the dead always managed to find you, and then you'd be forced to move on. Traveling alone, you only had to find food and security for yourself. With a group you would always over extend your resources. They had stopped tor the night at an old house outside of St. Joseph, Missouri. Darnell and Reggie were asleep, and I was on watch, when Doug approached. “Do you think there are any survivors left at the camp?'' he asked. “Don't know. Most of the networks had fallen apart. I think if there's any kind of order, it'll be there.” I myself had a gut feeling that there wasn't, but I had to satisfy my own curiosity. It would give me at least that much peace of mind. “We were coming from our home, in Newark, when we heard on the radio that Chicago was hit, so I started to take the side roads since the highways were jam packed.” Doug paused seemingly to draw a breath that one would liken to taking a drag from a cigarette, “I used to smoke, Darnell made me stop when the kid was born, but I could sure use one now. She's strong, but I worry about my son. He was always so active before all this, but lately he hasn't said a word. He saw someone get killed by one of those things just outside his car window outside of Chicago.” He shuddered, I guess reliving it in his head, “I just want to get them somewhere safe.” “Well,” I paused sweeping my eyes for any movement in the street “ I guess psychiatry is pretty much out the window right now. The would have had made some serious money dealing with all this.” I tried to give him some sense of hope to keep his head above water, so he could pass that hope to his family. “You should get some rest, we have to move early tomorrow.” Fucking Campi,” he muttered under his breath “messed everything up.” “Yep. you got that right.”, was all I thought in my mind.