the badlands

They stopped and switched places.  They had seen a Lurcher (Ravi’s term) not long before, so they judged it safer to drive in shifts during the night while the other slept in the backseat rather than to stop until morning.  When the sun set, Cat took the first shift while Ravi bundled himself in the blanket from head to toe and was out like a light.  Poor guy probably hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since leaving home after Benny’s death.

The car had finally decided to go kaput on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the badlands.

"Well," shrugged Ravi, "Look on the bright side.  We're in Montana.  The refuge isn't that far away."  He looked at the map.  "Maybe a hundred miles."

"If it even exists," Cat muttered. 

"You're raining on my parade.  Stop it, or I might be tempted to leave you here."

"And how do you intend to proceed?"

He looked around, got out of the car with the map, and began to walk along the road, glancing briefly over his shoulder.

"Ravi, are you crazy?!"

He kept walking without responding.

"Oh, if you insist."  She stepped out of the car and jogged after him.  When she caught up with him, he grinned and began to whistle.

By noon, the sun was baking and Ravi had stopped whistling.  They were trudging listlessly along the road when they heard the tell-tale sound of a car engine approaching.

"Cat," Ravi shouted.  "Get off the road!"

"But we could get a ride," she insisted.

"Just get off the road."

Reluctantly, she crawled into the ditch beside him.  What did he think was coming?  Cat very much doubted that zombies--or Lurchers, or whatever--could drive.  She did not want to walk any longer.  She was in no condition for physical exertion.

As the car came into view, she decided that she could not take it any longer.  She sprang up and began waving her arms.  The car slowed.   Ignoring Ravi's profanity-laced yelling, she ran toward it, dreaming of air-conditioning.

The passenger rolled down his window, pointed a gun at her, and fired.

The End

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