Zoic and I have been searching neighborhoods nearby looking for solar panels. As I’ve already said, I don’t know much about the electricity situation, and it’s possible that things could get very dark soon. Not just dark. Hot. It’s currently pretty cool outside, but scrambling to assemble panels in 110 degree heat doesn’t seem like a good idea. We’re starting early. Many of the tools we have are electric, and we can’t lose them. Also, we’re trying to fashion some sort of vehicle that might run unconditionally. The benefit of the solar panel is obvious. We live in Arizona. I learned a little bit about electricity in my past life, and I found a couple of books that should get us going.
Today, we turned down a street I must have driven a thousand times before. It was the next zone on our list. So far, we had been lucky. Only a few infected, and most of them too slow and heat stricken to give chase. Then we spotted one. It looked like an old model, might only be good for heating water, but still worth the effort. The coast was clear, so we got out. We’re always careful. While most of the infected are slow, they can surprise you.
We unloaded the ladder from the Suburban we commandeered, and we set it up in front of the house. Zoic usually watches as I climb. It doesn’t make much sense to have both of us up the ladder. That’s how you get cornered.
I brought a tool kit, and quickly went to work detaching the panel. It came loose and Zoic helped me get it down. We loaded it in the back of the vehicle. Zoic wanted to check out the home. Today, I waited outside. It’s usually a good idea to keep an eye on the exit. There’s really no way to maximize any operation with just two people, but this seems to work.
Then I saw her. An exgirlfriend. Not recent. High school. Still someone I cared a great deal about at some point. And here she was, hobbling toward me. The level of decomposition was not severe, and she was still pretty. She was missing her left foot, and the eyes I had once stared into for hours now contained no sign of humanity. They were dead and hungry.
“I’m sorry that this happened to you.”
She continued toward me, only about 15 yards away.
“I know things didn’t end well between us, but I never would have wished this on you.”
She just kept stumping along.
“I always wished the best for you. I hoped that you were happy.”
“I know you liked to sing. I’d hoped you’d kept up with that.”
She groaned. Not the sweet music I remember.
“Who are you talking to?” Zoic asked. Then she saw Kelly. “Oh.”
Zoic walked the remaining twenty feet and smashed Kelly in the head with a shovel. She fell. Then Zoic smashed her head once more with the shovel on the pavement, finishing the job. I was speechless.
“What’s wrong?” Zoic asked me as she returned. I walked back to the car and got inside.
We all handle the familiar infected differently.