Alone, Book 3: The Journey

Alone, Book 3: The Journey by Darrell Maloney Read Free Book Online

Book: Alone, Book 3: The Journey by Darrell Maloney Read Free Book Online
Authors: Darrell Maloney
Because if he couldn’t make it back in time, his only other option was to fire into the Explorer and try to kill the driver and hope his crashing vehicle was still usable.
         It was a lousy Plan B, but the only one he had.
         Once again, he scanned the horizon.
         Then headed due east, counting his steps as he went.
    Chapter 10
         Dave couldn’t see the three strands of barbed wire, but he knew they were there. In the dim greenish gray glow of the night vision goggles he was barely able to make out the fence posts, spaced evenly twelve feet part.
         Barbed wire fences were common in this part of Texas. This was ranching country, and the three-strand barbed fences were the cheapest ones to install and maintain. They did an excellent job keeping the cattle on the ranch and off the highways.
         And that, by anybody’s standards, was a good thing.
         Climbing over the fence was a pain in the ass for Dave, but one he didn’t mind.
         In fact, he was glad it was there.
         It was a line few other people would cross.
         He wouldn’t have crossed it himself, except that he was on a mission.
         He reached out and found the wire at forty seven paces. He leaned over it to place the black bag on the other side, then gingerly climbed over.
         The rusty barbed wire wouldn’t hurt much if he accidentally poked himself.
         But it could leave a nasty infection or tetanus.
         Once over the fence, he picked the bag up and resumed his count.
         At exactly two hundred paces, he placed it at his feet and turned back.
         There was no reason to hide it any further. The whole area was covered by heavy mesquite brush. It couldn’t be seen by anyone who was more than fifty feet away from it.
        Dave hurried back to his still running vehicle and scanned the area once more before crawling into the passenger side and climbing across to the driver’s seat.
         He wasted no time in putting it back into gear and driving away.
         One down. Nineteen more to go.
         His timing was perfect. Ten minutes after he got back on the road, the clouds let loose.
         Dave slowed to a crawl, but even at five miles an hour he had trouble seeing the obstacles in front of him. When he had to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting a black Toyota, he decided it might be better to stop for the night.
         He thought about pulling over to the shoulder, but thought it might look suspicious in the unlikely chance someone might happen by.
         Nearly all the other stalled vehicles, after all, were in the lanes of traffic where they died the day of the blackout.
         So that’s exactly where Dave parked. In the right hand lane of a once busy interstate, about fifty feet behind a tractor trailer loaded down with steel trusses. Once destined for a construction site, now they were destined for nowhere.
         Dave checked his watch. It was going on five a.m. The stormy sky belied the fact that it was less than half an hour before sunrise.
         The stormy sky would also provide him a little more time, but he still needed to get out of sight as quickly as possible so his windows would clear.
         One thing Dave never thought of was the affect his body heat and breath would have on the windows of the Explorer without a working defogger or heater to keep them clear.
         Since he left his garage, he’d been fighting a problem with the windows fogging up in the cool night air.
         He’d pulled a clean t-shirt from the backpack on the floorboard, and used it to periodically wipe the fog from the inside of the windows.
         The fact that he was driving at such low speeds made it possible to wipe the windows without stopping.
         Dave knew that a black Explorer with tinted windows likely

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