Death comes to us all. I don't much worry about that. I have always thought however that it is embarrassing to die stupid. To end up a casualty behind some little fragment of bullshit that I didn't know, or because I was looking at one thing when the smart play was watching something else.
I had made the trip to Gosport before. Usually with an eye toward a quick snatch and run. It's one of those typical backwater towns we have around here that had fifteen churches, one saloon, and enough fire power per household to take a small third world country. It was obvious from a quick look that people would have lasted a long time, until gradually sieged out of their houses a few at a time. Sounds of occasional gunfire on the wind had continued until last week. Although that could mean that people had managed to secure the town, I had my doubts. Those places that has survived were the individual farmsteads with good fields of fire, limited directions of approach, and people who knew how to do without the products of civilization.
Not many town folks were prepared to nail shut the door and stay inside their home for two weeks, and during the initial burn through that had killed most of them. The farmers had understood how to control disease in a herd, and had lived with the idea of avian flu and mad cow disease for decades. The Zeke's were the easy part for them, as even most of the girl children knew how to head shoot a deer at distance. They had also had a grip on how to fight the virus, and that had made a difference. These were places where you approached with your weapon under your arm, in plain sight, and never closer than fifty meters to the door. People were polite enough, and would be happy to talk to you and get whatever local news you had, but you knew that any strange behavior would end you without hesitation. The speaker was always in the door but you knew death was in the windows, and kept the conversation brief.
I was headed to Gosport not because I wanted to talk to anybody, but because I was tired of not knowing. Nobody on my road had moved around much, and the walkers that had drifted in off the highway had been quickly shot and burned in place. The smart play of course but it didn't tell you much about the things. Before the grid went down there had been stories of huge hordes in the cities, and infesting major highways and lines of evacuation, but since things went dark there had been nothing. So what were they really, and were they still out there? The trick to it would be to find a place with a few walkers, and observe what they could actually do. I had learned during a military career, and later because of a hospital job, that ignorance could kill you quicker than any animated corpse. Yet information was in very short supply, and much of it took the form of scary stories and half legends. There was a large nursing home on the edge of town and it was there I was headed. The wife had joked that at least the folks that lived their were slow even while alive and very few had their own teeth. Not that these were small considerations, but I had chosen it because I knew the ground and had an idea where I could watch from a distance, and get closer if necessary.
Zombie watching....Jesus. The places where life takes us...