Updated: Sep 7, 2022
It wouldn’t be smart to head out into this chaos just before dark, I thought to myself. I looked at Maverick and said,“Why don’t we see what food we can find and we’ll camp here tonight and head out first thing in the morning.”
I knew I had some snacks and stuff in the back of my truck, I thought it should be enough to hold me and Maverick over for a few days at least. Luckily it was parked behind the shop and didn’t appear to be damaged in any way. It gets pretty cold this time of year so I figured the back of the truck might not be a bad place to crash tonight. Hell, maybe we’ll even start out in the jeep. I don’t know how far we’re gonna get, but I’ve always been the prepared type. My jeep has a ton of gear in it, it would be silly not to at least try and use it to travel.
I opened the hatch and climbed into the back, Maverick didn’t seem very keen on coming into a confined space so I left the hatch open for him. I draped a tarp over the hatch to keep the moisture that seemed to be floating in the air out as much as possible, and then rolled out my sleeping bag. Maverick stayed perched on a bench by the back door of the shop just watching from a distance. I grabbed a granola bar from my bag and broke it in half. I munched on my half and threw the other half over by the bench, he didn’t seem interested.
I couldn’t quite figure the bird out to be honest. He seemed to have some human traits, as he clearly understood me. I talked to him like a human and he responded to some of my requests in a way that let me know he understood exactly what I was saying. He even helped me find all the gear and pack my bag! At the same time he was clearly nervous of things… cautious if you will. Like going inside of a car or eating something he wasn’t familiar with. I wonder if he was someone’s pet or possibly escaped from a zoo… something like that?
After I finished my snack I got comfortable and quickly fell asleep. My body was beat, I needed a good nights rest. I was peacefully awaken the next morning by the sun coming over the top of the trees and shining into the back of my truck. I looked around for Maverick and found him huddled up in a sweatshirt I had sitting on the front seat. I guess he just needed some time to check things out and get comfortable. It was time to hit the road, but before we did I wanted to do one last thing. I wanted to leave behind a message for anyone who might be coming this way behind me. If I could leave messages on my path as I traveled they might help other survivors… and they might help us to meet up down the road. I grabbed a couple cans of spray paint and a sharpie marker. I sprayed a large compass on the wall of my shop with the needle pointing north, that’s the direction I was planning to head. I wanted a ravens skull over it, for Mav. I figured this would be the symbol I would use to catch other travelers attention. When they saw this symbol they would be able to know someplace close there was a message from me.
I grabbed the sharpie and wrote a note that read, “My name is Aiden and I’m a survivor. If you’re reading this message I’m heading north towards Pennsylvania.
They said that ground zero was going to be someplace near Virginia, judging from the amount of damage here I know it was either farther north than expected, or there are surly no survivors any further south than my location. My thoughts are that some terrain will be impassable going south, with large fishers in the ground. Flooding and things like that are going to be an issue. I’m going to travel away from the more dangerous territory. I know a place far into Pennsylvania that should have plentiful resources to survive off of and, God willing,hasn’t been damaged too badly. Anyone who finds this message is welcome to join me. Follow the compass. Head north from here and look for the Raven.” I signed it,Aiden & Maverick.
I closed everything up and threw it all in the back of the truck. I got in the drivers seat, set my gun on the dash,and fired her up. Maverick looked startled when the truck kicked over but quickly settled down. I said, “Sit tight buddy, this isn’t going to be a race it’s going to be a slow,calculated crawl. Who knows what we are going to find out there.”
The main road was pretty messed up. I decided to head down through the woods and across the fields to a trail I knew that lead to another road on the back side of town. The field had some cracks in the ground but nothing huge,I was able to slowly drove over them. When I got to the woods I found some trees down, I was thankful to have the jeep… it made quick work of the terrain. As we crawled over the last few downed trees and onto the road, it was a sight for soar eyes. It was almost untouched. Not much of any damage at all! Thank God.
As I was driving down the road we passed a small convenience store. I could see through the windows that some lights and a TV were still, they must have power, I thought! I wondered if anyone was still inside. I slowly pulled in and shut off the truck, I didn’t want to scare anyone that might be hiding out. They probably wouldn’t be expecting anyone. I walked up to the door and opened it slowly.
"Hello? Is anyone here?” I said. Nobody answered. I took a quick peak around. I was clearly alone. I grabbed a few plastic bags from behind the register and quickly filled them up with whatever snacks and drinks I could grab. I looked up at the TV that was still playing. It was the news channel. The title on the bottom of the screen said “Is The End of the World Here?” I watched for a second, it wasn’t live, must have been recorded a few days ago. They showed pictures of wide spread global disaster. Earth quakes and flooding everywhere. They told us a few months ago that the Earth’s core was expanding at an alarming rate. They said it was going to cause world wide destruction, they just didn’t know when. Last week they said Virginia area was going to be one of the first places to see problems. They knew this because of the way the earth was shifting. That’s all they could tell us - get as far away from ground zero as possible. They didn’t know exactly what was going to happen or how wide spread it was going to be. I wished I’d put more merit into their warnings, but I thought I was far enough away. I didn’t want to leave everything I’d ever known, and to be honest,I didn’t think I was going to be the only one to stay. I still couldn’t remember much about the last few days though or even directly leading up to all this. I’m not sure where everyone was going, I just know they were headed north. I took one last look around the store to see if I saw anything that could be of use, I grabbed two gas cans and tossed them in the back of the truck. Hopped back into the drivers seat, and pulled back onto the road. Destination unknown.