The camouflaged Screamer stayed in Jason’s mind as he and Amanda drove the truck around the local area of Devon looking for any supplies they could find. They had been lucky enough to find some food, enough for a few days at least, but not enough to last the winter. After searching endless villages, they came to a large retail park with furniture suppliers, a baby and toddler store, clothing outlets and a couple of department stores. Over on the other side of the spacious car park Amanda spotted are gigantic supermarket.
The whole retail park looked largely untouched, a few vehicles were parked in small clusters and the odd shopping trolley was left abandoned but other than that the place was empty. The store fronts were in reasonable condition, some glass was broken and some doors were open. If the stores had been raided in the riots, the rioters must have been very considerate, or maybe the riots didn’t spread to this area of the country.
Jason parked the truck outside one of the department stores and they cautiously went inside. Without the store lighting and specific product lighting on, the department store was dark and gloomy. The store had been looted, some items were strewn across the floor, but it looked as though the looters had got bored and decided there was nothing of value in this particular store.
‘What are we here for?’ Amanda asked.
‘Anything we can find.’ Jason replied, ‘Maybe see if we can get something comfortable to sleep on.’
Jason continued on into the store and located a camping section. It looked as though they had everything from tents to water bottles and cooking accessories. Spotting an eight person tent, Jason had an idea. He grabbed an abandoned shopping trolley and picked up a packaged tent and put it in along with a couple of camping stoves and as many gas canisters as he could find. Then headed to the bedding section and loaded the trolley with sheets and duvets until it was overflowing. They left the store and loaded the items into the truck. They could come back for anything else at a later date if they needed to.
Jason drove across the car park to the supermarket and they went inside. The smell hit them first. Rotting fruit and vegetables and fish and meat from the deli counters. It was almost unbearable but they needed to continue on in to look for the non-perishable items. Amanda pulled her top up over her nose and pushed a trolley while Jason loaded it up with anything he could find.
The pair couldn’t believe their luck. They had found a store that was almost fully stocked, mostly untouched and best of all, free from Screamers. They could shop in peace.
‘Why hasn’t anyone been here?’ Amanda said as the thoughts went through her head. ‘It’s been what… 16 months? Hard to believe no one has found this place.’
‘I’ve been thinking the same thing. Maybe the virus hit this area quick and there wasn’t time for a mass panic.’
After their shopping spree they had a truck full of supplies. Maybe enough to last the winter or maybe they would have to return. It didn’t matter, they could come back whenever they wanted. What did matter is that they only had enough diesel to get back to the service station. If they needed more supplies, they needed more diesel.
When they returned to the service station, Jason immediately began demolishing the mini fortress. Amanda watched in fascination as he erected the tent and lay blankets over it for extra insulation and then rebuilt the mini fortress around it. When he had finished, it looked like a pile of debris, which is exactly what he wanted it to look like. If anyone or anything was to enter the building, they would most likely walk right by it. Inside, he tossed in the duvets and some torches and a good supply of batteries. They stacked the food supplies in the corner of the newsagent and then concealed them with display cabinets.
It was getting late in the day and the sky was beginning to darken, so they quickly finished up. It took a total of two hours but now their new home was complete and ready for winter.