Afternoon one and all!
Welcome and/or Welcome back if you’re returning, I’ve been working a little bit ahead of schedule with an unexpected amount of free time to work on my writing. While I have things in a fair place I wanted to put out there the latest snippet from the newly retitled piece
“The Plague Road”
It’s a work-in-progress that I will be fleshing out over the next several weeks as time permits while working my original novel idea.
If you’d like to read the story in its entirety as it stands so far, check out my deviant art page with the full thing here.
Otherwise, continue below the line for just the latest addition.
They started to walk, the countryside laid out before them changing from a sea of overgrown weeds and plants to a long stretch of dead grass. Caleb followed behind Schultz, a written-on map held open in front of him. He matched the small markings on the page to the weathered road signs, worn down from the years of neglect. The road itself was littered with cracks and potholes, entire sections broken off or eroded away entirely. Caleb kept his eyes fixed on the map, glancing up from it whenever they approached anything with a note beside it. The crisp, clean, white paper long since aged to a muted shade of yellow-brown. Even so, following the lines of that tattered old map had brought them that far, Caleb reasoned.
“Just over this ridge here, looks like there’s another town…” He said, finger hovering over the mark on the map.
Caleb glanced back and forth between the map and the hillside in-front of them. He slowed, peering up the shallow hill that rose up like a stairway to the sky.
“Doc you think we should maybe go a-” he stopped and looked around. Schultz was gone. Caleb looked about nervously for a moment before noticing the doctor up ahead. Already on his way up the side of the hill.
“Hey, hold up!”
Schultz didn’t respond, only marched ahead, one foot after another, as he pushed up the stretch of ground before them.
Caleb’s legs were already numb with soreness. The jagged broken highway they had followed for miles paired with the relentless heat of the mid-afternoon sun beating down on them was wearing him down. He barely even felt his leg muscles as they worked to stretch and contract with every step. To the top of the hill, then they’d rest, he’d convince Schultz of that much, he had to.
“Doc, C’mon, slow down,” Caleb said, taking big gasping breaths with his hands on his hips as he finally caught up.
The jagged outline of the town, like a broken toothed smile, came into view as he reached the top. The town of Stillwater. It was a tiny place, the words “safe” and “small” scribbled next to it on the map.
“Swear you’re tryin’ to kill me.”
Schultz turned, the oversized beak-nose of the mask pointing toward him.
“Look how close we are.”
Schultz gestured to the shadowed outline of the city at the foot of the hill.
“No point stopping here…”
“Knew we shoulda gone ’round.” Caleb mumbled.