After the Apocalypse
Chapter 16: On The Road Again

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Dave Milon and Tim had little trouble filling Dave's jeep with gas and starting it, but they were less successful in their explorations. They set out to the south of camp, with the idea that Tim's family might be somewhere in that direction, but found the town of Metamora nearly impassable. It seemed that the town had been felled, not by the nuclear blasts, but by the resulting ground tremors. The city's collapse was nearly complete and no signs of survivors were found. Only the venerable White Horse Inn remained intact, standing essentially as it had stood at the main intersection since 1850.

"Man oh man," said Dave. "This is scary! Everything is gone!"

"Keep driving," implored Tim. "If Lori and Melissa are still alive out here, we have to find them!"

Dave certainly understood the urgency in Tim's voice; while he was still determinedly single, he was nonetheless sympathetic to Tim's concern for his wife and child. As they headed out on Dryden Road toward M-24, they found the pavement blocked in numerous places by fallen trees.

"Couldn't exceed 25 today even if we wanted to, eh?" quipped Dave. The stretch of road they were traversing was a notorious 25-mph speed trap which had caught many Scout vehicles in their excitement to reach the camp. In spite of his worry, Tim found himself laughing out loud.

"Thanks-I needed that."

Meanwhile, Steve and Lou were headed north into Lapeer. The first part of their trip was pretty uneventful; they were sticking to the side roads and hoping to see signs of other survivors. They drove past dozens of homes on their way to M-24, but they never saw any signs of life. Many of the buildings were at least partially collapsed and even the road itself was badly damaged in places.

"Could it have been an earthquake?" asked Lou.

"In Michigan?" said Steve. "I only remember one ever and that one was so small most people didn't even notice it. I can't believe this would be an earthquake. Besides, this place would be crawling with relief workers if it had been."

"True," said Lou. "I don't know, the whole thing just kind of gives me the creeps."

"Me too," said Steve and then the two of them fell silent for a while.

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