Kate, Mera, and Pamela all had their own cars to drive. Allison and Shannan rode together. The four cars would caravan, Fury Road-style.
Considering their side trip, Allison emptied her Outback of anything unnecessary.
The original plan had been to go to Kate’s first, as she was closest, but after the topic of Smyrna had been raised, Kate had said she’d rather go home last. Mera had also demurred, saying they really should start with the furthest and work backwards. Safety in numbers and all.
Both assured the others their spouses and families would almost certainly be fine a little while longer.
No one said it, but Pamela lived closest to The Shop.
They got in the cars and drove, Kate leading the way.
At the first stop sign, they stopped.
They did not start up again.
Kate got out of her car and walked back. Everyone else got out to meet her.
“My GPS isn’t working,” Kate said. “Forgot about that part of the apocalypse.”
Everyone looked at each other.
“Don’t look at me,” Allison said. “It’s all the way on the other side of town!”
Shannan also shook her head.
Mera and Pamela conferred and decided Pamela would lead because she was the most adventurous driver, seeing as how she had driven herself and Allison on the left side of the road during their trip to Shetland, and how she frequently traverses the expanse between the wilds of Smyrna and Decatur as if it were a mere jaunt. Plus, she knew how to get there.
Shannan remembered something they’d forgotten and ran back down the street to Allison’s house. She returned a few minutes later with a can of black shoe polish in her hand.
“We have to,” she said.
One by one the Whiskeyknitters bent their heads, and Shannan drew a streak of black under their brows.
Mera balked at first. “Is this even safe?” she demanded. But she gave in to the ritual of the thing when even Pamela went along.
Well, Pamela went along after they explained that channeling their inner feminist survivalist road tripping role model demanded it. But then Mera did, too.
The knitters looked at each other, channeling their inner Furiosa.
“I feel utterly ridiculous,” Mera muttered, but she was good natured about it.
Pamela just smiled her serene smile. She made battle paint look posh.
Allison, Shannan and Kate let out battle cries – Hygge! – quiet ones, though, so they didn’t wake the neighbors and ruin the poor unfortunates’ last night of thinking the world was still normal.
Thus the caravan resumed.