Chapter 17 - Route 32
We stood at the top of the hill looking down through the trees at the cars whipping past. When I was at the lab, I had thought a lot about how I would communicate since my voice was ruined. I thought maybe I could do something like Wilbur the talking mule or scratch words in the snow. Something, anything. I’d find a way to be understood.
Apoc headed south just under the ridge line. We came to another road that crossed the highway. An AM/PM gas station with a Subway sat kitty corner from a Shell station that was home to a Burger King. Drool dripped from my mouth. I was ravenous again. I would eat out of the trash can, I knew it. Surely I could find a half eaten whopper. I couldn’t focus on anything but the wonderfully fried greasy smells that wafted up the hillside. I needed to eat before I tried to communicate. I began to descend.
Apoc stopped me by stepping in front of me. I looked at him.
What? I tried to ask him. There are people right there. They can help. I started down again.
Again Apoc stepped in front of me. He looked at me and then he lay down, head down between front paws and stared down the hill.
It seemed like a cruel joke to me. To run the whole marathon and then stop, staring at the finish line. Are you kidding me? What are you waiting for?
My nose told me that now was the perfect time. I know he doesn’t mind if his food is cold. Hell, he’d eat it raw before you put it on the grill. It was just after lunch time, people had just thrown out the leftover crusts and stray morsels.
Sure enough, soon a pimple faced minimum wage teen in a uniform and ill-fitting black pants slowly... tortuously changed the trash bags out. From full of half eaten burgers and fries to the noisy wispy empty bags - my imagined feast shuffled away one bag at a time into the locked dumpster. I lay down next to Apoc with a huff. Now we will have to wait for dinner genius.
I gnawed on a stick. My teeth felt better.