Meet in the Middle

This isn’t so much a story as it is a vignette or a scene. 

It’s written to 🐝’s prompt

write about good friends??


>>So what’s in the middle?

>>Nebraska, I think.  But that’s, well, that’s ‘as the crow flies,’, and neither of us are crows.  Plus, not a lot of state parks there, hrmmm.  Got it!  How about Mark Twain National Park?

They had never seen each other in person.  An entire nation – the width of an entire continent – divided them.  But looking at maps online, chatting across the internet, they agreed.

>>It’s a deal.  If the Zombie Apocalypse comes, we’ll meet in Mark Twain Park.

Over the years, they worked out more and more details.  Who would bring what.  Where, exactly, they would meet in the park.  if they could bring other people.  What they would do to survive the zombies on the way, how they would fortify their place when they got there.

Both of them managed trips to the park, although they were a year apart.  Both of them shared pictures, expanded their plans.

It was a way to connect when they couldn’t connect.  Neither of them ever expected to find themselves in the middle of an actual apocalypse.

Some plans broke down in the midst of chaos.  Some proved impossible for one reason or another.  But they’d sent one last chat:

>>You meant it?  ‘Cause I’m going.

>>Of course I meant it.  I’ll be th

Siphon gas, they’d planned, and both of them had bought small, fuel-efficient cars.  Siphoning gas was nasty, miserable, and in the end, surprisingly functional.

Buy food wherever you can meant a lot of junk food, but it almost meant roadside stands.  Maxing out credit cards while they still worked was a given.

There weren’t zombies.  The monsters were bigger, sometimes looked more human, and were more powerful.

Some of their zombie plans worked, some were useless.  But they’d done time at gun ranges, both of them, comparing scores over their phones.

And both were really, really good with baseball bats after rigging up a game to compare their aim and hitting strength.

It took Andy three weeks to get to the park, and when she got there, the gate was down and there was nobody in the gatehouse.

She drove around and went to the place they’d picked out.  What if Toni didn’t come?  What if she’d driven across half the country (what if she’d put her shotgun to a creature’s chest and pulled the trigger, what if she’d joined in the looting of a broken-into convenience store, what if she’d left everyone she knew except Toni behind) for nothing?

What if she was going to end up spending the end of the world alone, in a cabin in the middle of a park with nothing but the raccoons and chipmunks for company?

Youtube videos said chipmunks weren’t even good for eating.  They’d giggled over that one.

Toni was sitting on the porch of the cabin they’d picked, shotgun on her lap, waiting.

“You look just like your pictures!” she shouted.  Andy got out of the car, grinning.

Everything was going to be all right.

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