28th January 2018, Devon, England
Packing up the last few things, Jason loaded up the truck and slammed shut the tailgate. He had spent the past few days picking up food supplies and anything else they would need for the journey ahead. He had talked with Amanda for a long time about where they were going to go. Eventually they decided that they would head north up the M5 motorway, back towards Bristol, Jason wanted to see if the Annabelle was still anchored just off shore.
‘You ready?’ Jason asked Amanda, who was busily packing food into the space behind the passenger seat.
‘Yeah, just about.’ She said, ‘Going to miss our little home here.’
‘We’ll find a new home somewhere. One that doesn’t smell so bad.’ He said, as he opened the driver’s door.
They both climbed into the truck, closed the doors and sat for a moment staring at the service station that had been their home for the past couple of months.
‘So, off to Bristol.’ Amanda said, breaking the silence. ‘See if your friends are still there.’
‘I’m not holding much hope, they probably left a long time ago. But I have to check.’
Starting the truck, he eased it into gear and slowly pulled out of the car park.
The drive was easy. He’d driven the roads in this area many times over the past few months and he knew they were mostly clear. Joining the northbound side of the M5, he accelerated up to eighty miles per hour, keeping a cautious eye on the road ahead. Passing a signpost that stated Bristol was sixty-two miles away, Jason quickly calculated that they would be there in approximately forty-five minutes, quicker if he put his foot down and the motorway remained clear.
They reached the outskirts of Bristol in just under forty-minutes, partly because the motorway was mostly clear of debris and partly because Jason floored the truck whenever he could. It took a further ten minutes to pull off the motorway and find the docks that Jason had visited months before. He parked the truck and walked to the water’s edge, staring out into the channel. He gazed solemnly at the brownish water where the Annabelle had been anchored. Although he knew that they would be long gone, he had held a glimmer of hope that the ship would still be moored there.
‘I hope we meet again, Captain.’ He said as he turned back towards the truck, ‘I’m looking forward to sharing a bottle of whisky.’
Amanda could tell by the look on his face that he was disappointed but didn’t mention it. There was nothing she could say or do, they just had to continue on their journey to find other survivors. Finally she broke the silence as they headed north on the motorway.
‘Pull over.’ She yelled, a little louder than she thought.
Jason slammed on the breaks and pulled the truck onto the hard shoulder.
‘What’s wrong?’ He said, his heart ponding in his chest.
‘I just saw a sign for Bristol Zoo.’ She said. ‘I think we should visit the zoo.’
‘What?’ Jason said, confused.
‘The zoo’ she said. ‘It would help to see if anything has survived. I know it’s been a while, but you never know.’
Considering it for a moment, he decided that it would actually be a good idea to take a look, and then he kicked himself for not thinking of it himself.
‘Ok,’ he said finally, ‘Off to the zoo we go.’