Part 1 can be found HERE.
The Boy awoke in the strange pre-dawn morning.
Enough light was available to see the clearing he was sleeping in, but dark enough to still see the dull glow of the coals from the previous evenings fire.
The towels and various other Route 66 items he acquired helped him sleep, but he was still chilly and the doubled up towels were a far cry from his normal bed.
The Boy rolled over onto his stomach and did a few lazy push-ups to get his blood moving, generate a little heat and get his joints working. Then he stood, went a little ways from his camp and did his morning business.
Methodically he packed his backpack and bags, strapping items on the outside to get the best use of the space and distribute weight. He left out a blueberry muffin which would be his breakfast as he walked.
The Boy started early, just as the fist sliver of the sun could be seen coming over the horizon. The rays were warm – a welcome feeling.
The day continued much like most of the previous, the boy walked, and there were not many people to be found. Around noon, he came upon a small creek, which is where he made his lunch; half of a bag of mixed nuts and a few gulps of water from the bottle he carried. He took the crushed water container from his backpack, and blew into it, “inflating” it back almost to its original size. He marked the top of this jug with a black X, using one of the pens, then he filled it up from the creek with water.
After a minutes rest, the boy donned his backpack, picked up his half full water bottle and full bottle with the X, and continued walking.
In the early evening, he saw another wreck on the side of the road. When he got closer, he could see the driver must have lost control, and hit the tree that is now firmly set into the front of the SUV. The driver was still there, broken body still sitting in his seat. Large, black birds hopped in and out of the missing front windshield, the Boy did not know if they were dining on the car’s contents – or occupants.
Before getting close enough to scare off the birds, the Boy picked up a golf-ball sized rock. When the time was right, he hefted the rock as fast and as accurately as he could.
THWACK! One of the birds was hit in the side, which caused it to fall off the hood of the car while it made strange bird-screaming sounds. The boy ran to it, the other birds flew away in fear. The injured bird was trying to stand up and flap its wings all at once, but was just moving in a disjointed circle. The Boy dropped a heavy boot onto the bird’s head, ending its suffering.
Inside of the dead man’s truck was a plastic supermarket bag with the handles looped around the stick shift, apparently as a car rubbish bag. The Boy took this, emptied it, and put the bird in the bag. He hooked the loops through his belt, and while wishing he could do more for the man, he started walking again.
The sun started going down, and the Boy decided it was time to make camp. Much like the day before, he set up his sleeping area and made a fire, which he used to start cooking his bird. He took some of the water from the jug marked with the X and cleaned his hubcap some more, letting it partially heat up on the fire, and using some sand to provide some scrubbing action.
After dinner, the Boy grabbed the edges of the hub-cap and stared pounding the center on a rounded rock he found. Soon, the hub-cap started getting more and more concave, and after working for a while, it became a very rough bowl. He cleaned off the remaining dirt, metal chips, and whatever else that was on the “bowel” and set it in the fire. He filled up the bowl with water from his X jug, and waited for it to boil. While waiting, the Boy finished the water from the half-empty jug he had been carrying.
After the water boiled for a bit, he used a few big sticks to work the bowl out of the fire, and off to the side. He let it cool, and filled back up his “drinking” jug, crumpled the empty X jug and tucked it away.
The Boy went to sleep thinking about how he did not see a single living person today, he figured that people were still sitting at home, “waiting for the government”.
Part 3 can be found HERE.