It’s dusk by the time I reach the town. Not as many people around as when I was passing through earlier and they were few enough even then. I head straight for the pub I visited at that time. The owner had no problem with me or any of my kind; his daughter and son had both been cured. If anything, he felt he owed us all a favour.
There aren’t many people still hanging around the pub when I arrive, thankfully. The few still cradling drinks recognise me for what I am but don’t quite care enough to pay me much attention. Behind the bar, the owner catches my eye as I’m walking in and pours me a drink. I don’t know what it is; I don’t ask questions when I get things for free anymore.
“Finished work?” he asks as I take my seat.
I shake my head. “Couldn’t get in. Suspicious mother.”
“Shame,” he sighs.
I take a sip of my drink and find it burns my throat. “I’ll be going back. Tomorrow.”
“And where will you stay until tomorrow?”
I hold my glass up to the light, examining the contents. “Who knows. I’ll be here until I’m finished this anyway.”
He shrugs. “If you’re still here by the time I’m closing you can have the floor here. Best I can do.”
He moves down the bar to serve someone else, leaving me to my own thoughts. I have no doubt he’s serious in his offer. Well, the floor of this place is bound to be warmer than sleeping outside.
I have my head down, staring into my glass, when the door opens. I don’t look up straight away, don’t see any reason to straight away. But it doesn’t take long for me to realise what just walked in. My grip tightens around my glass at the realisation. A carrier.