Layla and Quinn - Chapter 3

8/03/2017

Chapter 3
Several hours later, it was beginning to get dark and the boy was starting to rub his eyes, gradually walking slower and slower.  
They had been extremely lucky so far, and hadn’t seen another person on their walk south, nor had they come across any type of settlement, either.  It was probably for the best that they hadn’t encountered any bandits.  Those lowlifes enjoyed staying near roads, killing and robbing easy prey.  She was no easy prey, but She really didn’t want to have to kill some useless thugs in front of a small boy who most likely just saw his parents mugged and killed not three days ago.  
The boy hadn’t said a word on the walk, just trudged along like a soldier with a destination clear in his head.
Off to the right, she saw a broken down building.  It was one of those that were present every fifty miles or so.  Each one built the same, and off from the road about a hundred yards.  They had survived from the old world.  The road they were traveling down had once been much larger, easily wide enough for four wagons to travel side by side.  During the Time of Storms, the snow and ice had crept into the concrete, frozen and cracked the solid stone roads.  In the intervening years, small shrubs had grown up in the cracks, creating a broken maze of a roadway.  A single lane was clear in the middle, where wagons, caravans, and walkers traveled.
She veered them off the road towards the ruins of the building.  Coming closer, she could see the roof had given way a long time ago; one wall had crumbled down.  Grass was starting to grow through the tiled floor.  
She motioned to the boy to be quiet and stay where he was as she crept forward to make sure no one else the same idea.  She pulled the revolver out of the waistline of her pants, checking to make sure the six bullets she had loaded were in the chamber, and sneaked to the edge of the wall.  She listened for a few seconds and then quickly popped out on the other side of the wall, gun drawn ready to shoot.
No one was there.  It looked as though no one had used this rest stop in a few weeks.
She came around the front to yell at the boy to come on, it was clear, and he was gone.
Oh no.  She ran over to where she left him, and there he was.  The little guy had curled up on the ground and went to sleep while she was scouting around.  She had forgotten kids aren’t as hardy as adults, let alone her.  She supposed this was a long way to walk in one day.  He probably hadn’t had to walk far since his parents had owned that wagon.
She checked her gun, turning the safety back on, and stuffed it back into her pants. Then bent and picked up the kid.  He was light.  She would be surprised if he weighed 35 pounds.  
She set him down inside the building, so she could pull out her blanket.  Her blanket was made from a lot of small different pieces of fabric she had found, bought, and reused from her old clothing.  She had sat several nights and had sewn the pieces together in her spare time.  Over the last five years, she had managed to sew several layers together, so it was quite warm and broken in.  Sewing was a skill she had learned on her father’s farm as a child, and it had come in handy during several of the lifetimes she had lived.

She moved the kid to the blanket and climbed in behind him.  She pulled the other half blanket over both of them.  It was summer, the days were warm and the nights were chilly, but neither were they the summers she remembered from before.  The summer days were more akin to the late spring days, warm, but not the oppressing heat that could suck the life out of you.  The nights were warmer, but with just enough of a chill that a blanket was welcomed.

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