Word Count: 633
‘Take a left here!’ the stranger instructed.
We didn’t even have time to think about the fact that he might be leading us into a trap. Cancer swerved the car where we were told to go and we found ourselves on a long, narrow stretch of road. He accelerated and we shot forwards, leaving the hordes straggling behind us. Cancer didn’t stop though, he didn’t stop until we had been driving for ten minutes and hadn’t seen another creature in sight.
When he was convinced we were safe he pulled the car over to the side. We all sat there, trying to catch our breaths and calm down for several minutes.
‘What the hell was that?’ I gasped.
‘They followed me, I was on a supply run,’ the stranger told us.
‘How did you find us?’
‘It was pure dumb luck,’ he gave a small laugh. ‘Man, am I glad to see you guys. You saved my ass back there.’
Cancer turned round, pointing his gun straight at the stranger. ‘Who the fuck are you?’
He froze in his seat, eyes wide with fear and his mouth fell open. ‘I...Please I’m not – ‘
‘Joe, search him and take his weapons before I kick him out.’
I climbed into the backseat, and began checking his pockets and the small bag he had brought with him. I found a gun and immediately took it. Other than his weapon there wasn’t anything else that was really threatening to us. He had some bottled water and medicine but that was about it on the provisions side.
‘That’s for defence,’ he protested.
‘Why didn’t you use it?’
‘The sound draws them in; I try to limit its usage!’ He was getting desperate now. I could see beads of sweat at his temples and his lip was quivering. He looked like he was going to start crying at any given moment.
I might have been losing a tiny part of my old self with each day that passed but I wasn’t so far gone that I’d kick a human being out to be torn apart and eaten alive. I tried to play the peacekeeper.
‘Let’s just calm down for a second yeah?’
Cancer still looked like he wanted to shoot the guy.
‘What’s your name?’ I turned to him.
‘H-Harley,’ he stuttered.
‘Harley, I’m Joe and this is Cancer.’
Cancer looked like he wanted to shoot me for giving the guy our names. I hurried on.
‘We’ve encountered some people in the past that weren’t very…pleasant, shall we say, so you might understand why we’re being a little wary now.’
He nodded, still frightened. ‘I know, we’ve seen them too.’
‘There’s a small group of us,’ he replied, trying to relax a little. I gently lowered the end of Cancer’s gun to put the guy at ease more. He seemed harmless, and if he tried anything funny there were two of us both with guns and he didn’t have any other weapons on him.
‘Is that where you were heading?’ I asked.
‘Yeah, I was on a supply run. There’s too many of them though, they’re everywhere I turn.’
‘And you led them straight to us,’ Cancer retorted.
‘No I didn’t,’ Harley shook his head manically. ‘They were heading this way anyway. It’s a good job you saw me actually you could have been overrun in a matter of seconds.’
It didn’t even bear to think about.
‘We would have heard them,’ Cancer replied, but his voice lacked conviction.
Harley knew this wasn’t likely but he was wise enough to not say anything. He started looking out the back window, presumably to see if the coast was clear.
‘Do you want a lift back to your group?’ I offered.
Cancer shot daggers at me.
Harley nodded gratefully.