It was well past dark on a weekday, so most folks were probably watching Netflix or sleeping and wouldn’t hear about the apocalypse until tomorrow. The roads were quiet.
They passed a gas station on Memorial Drive on their way to I-20.
“Do you see that?” Shannan asked from the passenger seat, pointing out her window with a knitting needle. She was acting as the armed guard for the convoy with her stabbiest needles at the ready and one of Allison’s garden shovels propped between her legs.
The gas station lot was loaded with cars and people yelling. A few folks were messing with the pumps.
“Huh,” said Allison. “Those things are all electric now. I read they passed bills up north and in some of the storm-hit areas a few years ago that require gas stations to be able to access a back-up generator in a power outage, but I don’t think we have anything like that here.”
“Well,” said Shannan. “If we pass a gas station where people don’t look halfway to 12 Days Later, we should stop and get gas, but I do not want to stop there.”
With no street lights functioning and all the stop lights out, every intersection was an ordeal. The lead cars in the caravan pulled over every half a mile or so to let cars that had crept in between move on. It normally took ten minutes to get from Allison’s to the freeway. This time it took quite a bit longer, but they got there.
Slow and steady, they crept along I-20. Closer to the perimeter, they realized 285 was a parking lot. Pamela pulled off at an earlier exit and pulled over on a quiet street.
They all got out of their cars to confer.
“Good lord!” Pamela put her hand over her heart. “I forgot about the battle paint. Y’all nearly scared me to death.”
Shannan danced a jig with her shovel.
They all agreed. Back roads from here on out.