After the Apocalypse
Chapter 73: Whither now Sirrah?

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

In the morning, Steve cooked a large breakfast, including nearly a pound of sausage. Most of the sausage he put in a plastic tub - he wasn't sure when he'd have the chance to cook meat again, but he knew protein would be hardest to come by. Most of the canned goods had frozen solid and he didn't have a good way to thaw them out. Rather than fight with them, he decided to take a walk to the convenience store to scrounge for some additional items.

Like most of the town, the store had sustained heavy damage. He sifted through the rubble, glad that he'd been in the store a few times and had some idea where to look for things. Near the back he found some coolers and helped himself to several containers of orange juice. Working forward he found some cheese and one loaf of bread that wasn't too badly crushed. He also found several boxes of candy, saved from complete destruction by the stout shelving upon which they had rested. Luckily, the store had been around a long time and they had never replaced their wooden shelves with the wire racks found in more modern outlets.

His next quandry was more difficult - he'd managed to secure a fair amount of food and it was more than he could easily carry and he needed some way to move it without wasting all his energy. He looked around, trying to remember what other buildings there had been before the devastation. He couldn't recall any that might have had a sled or anything like it. He decided to check a few of the ruined homes in the area for anything useful. Hopefully, he'd be able to find a sled or maybe even a snowmobile.

Leaving his items on the hood of a nearby car, he headed south towards the area with more homes. The devastation was nearly total in this area and he couldn't help thinking of his own parents. He was pretty sure they were dead. Lincoln Park was too close to Detroit to have escaped. He tried not to think about it as he continued to search. It didn't take him long before he found a six foot toboggan amid some rubble. The toboggan had a very long rope, nearly fifteen feet, attached to it. Acting on a hunch, Steve moved towards what he assumed had been the garage. Shifting aside some rubble, he found his quarry, a pair of snowmobiles. As he had guessed, the long rope was used to tow the toboggan.

Moving aside more rubble, he discovered that one of them had a badly cracked windscreen, but the other seemed to be fine, even better, both had keys in their ignitions. He turned the key and was mildly surprised when the snowmobile started. Having never driven a snowmobile before, he proceeded cautiously and it took him several minutes to get it out of the garage and onto the street. Once he got it there, he hooked the rope from the toboggan over a knob on the back and drove to where his supplies were waiting. He loaded the toboggan, then returned to the garage to retrieve an old extension cord he'd spotted. It wasn't perfect, but it was the best rope he had and he used it to secure his supplies to the toboggan.

Of course, now that he was ready to go, he had to confront his biggest problem - he really didn't know where to go. His first thought had been to head South, back to the Detroit area, but he knew that was a fool's errand. There was little chance of anyone in Detroit having survived. Lapeer was probably out of the question, he still worried about the people there and, more importantly, his arrival might put Joe and Dave in danger. Finally, he decided to try heading northeast, towards Port Huron. The area was mostly rural and might not have been targeted as heavily. It was probably his best chance to find survivors.

He wasn't sure yet what he would do if he found them, but he knew he'd have to help them somehow. He carefully pulled onto the street and, ignoring the blowing snow, headed west to 24. His plan was to take 24 to 69 and then go East. Since the junction was before Lapeer, he expected very little trouble from the townies.

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