June 13


Something has happened. Something very very good has happened. I scouted a village about six

hours from camp and found a truck! It’s a military vehicle, painted green and converted for

transporting troops. Almost a full tank and in good condition. This is going to change everything.


Back at camp. I must be happy. As I drove the truck here I was whistling a song by that band

Cake. Can’t remember the name of it, goes “no trophy, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no wine,

he's haunted by something he cannot define” I haven’t thought about that song for years. Hannah

used to have all their albums. I’d forgotten this but I got so mad when I found out she’d snuck her

ipod out when we had to leave home. She said music was a necessity. I was too busy

maneuvering around wrecks and Zs on the freeway to argue.

I’ve celebrated with the last can of beans. An extravagant feast, but it’s the first bit of luck I’ve had

for a good while. I can widen the search for loot now and it’s just in time; every place around here

has been picked clean and it’s been getting colder. I can haul more stuff back here too.


June 14


Disaster. Bloody stupid idiot I don’t know what to do. The truck’s gone. I’d hidden it in the gully

over the ridge from camp and when I went to collect it this morning it wasn’t there. It’s gone. It’s

bloody gone. i don’t know what to do.


OK, I’m packing light and there’s just enough light left to get moving. The truck left tracks. They

lead to the road and unless the bastard doubled back it looks like he’s heading south. Maybe he’s

stopping along the way to loot places, maybe he’ll be cocky enough to linger so I can catch up to

him. Maybe I can get the truck back. It’s a better option than waiting around here to die.


June 15


Holed up in the loft of a barn. No sign of anything, just the odd farm building slowly falling apart

and Zs shuffling around outside like moronic puppets. And God! do they smell! I still remember

Hannah, face flushed and forcing the words out between each breath, describing the odor being

like a mix of rancid apricots and burnt plastic. The cities are full of it. It’s probably half the reason

we decided on heading for the hills when we ran out of fuel. I thought It was the best option we

had, back then the Zs were city bound.

Hope I find some food tomorrow.


June 16


The moon’s up. It’s a full one too; everything looks moonbaked. Can you say “moonbaked”?

Does that even work? What I mean is all the trees look silver in the moonlight and the shadows

are like daggers on the grass.


Started walking since dawn, figure it was mid afternoon when I saw the tracks leading off the

road into the trees. I don’t think I really registered it. I’d been running on Mountain Dew for two

days, so getting excited would’ve cost more energy than I had to spare.

The tires had bit deep into the soil. He’d weaved in and out of the trees, scraping paint at a few

points. I figure he was trying to hide it, instead he’d mixed up a true dogs breakfast. Eventually

he’d get stuck and then I’d be on him.


That was exactly what happened. I’d started stumbling over roots and stuff, so I nearly fell into

the clearing he’d got bogged down in. His shirt and trousers looked brand new, too new to be

worn by someone who’d spent the last three months pulling himself through the hills like I had.

Through the trees I could see him walking around the idling truck, exhaling every now and then

as if someone had keyed his Audi. I fucking hated him even worse now.


The heart was pumping hard. I used to stay away from other survivors, this was the closest I had

ever been. I raised my Lee Enfield and fired. I missed him, of course. Hannah was right when

she said I always waste the first shot. At least he got a proper fright. Must have jumped a meter

or two in the air. I almost laughed, but he was into the truck and had thrown it into reverse. He

must have planted his foot through the floor of the cab, because the truck roared like a trapped

elephant and, surprisingly it moved free of its muddy shackles.


Forced to act, I got mechanical. That’s the only way I can explain it. Calm as anything to took aim

at the cab window turning my way and let free two rounds. The window shattered and the roaring

subsided as the truck shuddered to a halt.


I’d got him. That’s all I could think, I’d bloody got him. If I was mechanical before, I was almost

floating like a butterfly now. That’s what it felt like when I walked over to the truck and opened the

truck door. The idiot fell out onto the grass smearing blood everywhere. My heart hadn’t got the

message to stop pounding in my ears though. I felt as if every nerve ending was exposed.

Exposed. I was exposed. If he had friends ... scanning the treeline I started moving around the

front of the truck.


It happened so fast I don’t know if I heard the gun go off or not. A bit of my stomach was pushed

out in front of me like a water balloon filled with offal and mince. When that happens your body

doesn’t give you any option: you go down. And if you’re lucky you might get to see who did you in.

I was fortunate because the bastard flipped me over onto my back. It was the Audi prick. He had

a G17 in one hand and the other holding his shoulder, blood oozing through his fingers. He

looked down at me like a man noticing his dog had left a shit in his carport just before he was

about to leave for dinner with friends. The dark crawled around the edge of my eyes and he said





I’ve passed out a couple of times, but I’ve crawled here to the edge of the clearing and propped

myself up against this tree. The Audi prick took off, not wanting to waste a second bullet. He took

all my stuff, of course, apart from this journal which he dismissed with a grunt. I guess i should

thank him for that. I don’t have much time, but it’s enough to write this down and maybe give

anyone reading this a chance to make it.


The forest appears frozen by the moonlight; but that’s a lie. Everything is changing now, often so

quietly you don’t realise until it’s too late. Her hand gripping mine and eyes wild with fear, Hannah

tried to tell me that. Some of us weren’t made for this world. The hard lessons don’t go the

distance and after two chances you don’t get a third.


I started whistling again to chase away the cold, but I don’t think it’s working. “the sun has gone

down and the moon has come up, and long ago somebody left with the cup. but he's striving and

driving and hugging the turns and thinking of someone for whom he still burns.”

I’m going to stop writing now. The wind has picked up and swung due north. There’s the smell of

burnt plastic on the air.