Joel Evans is the biggest Philadelphia Eagles fan you’ll ever meet. In his free time, he likes to fish and play video games. He really enjoys to write crime related stories. Follow him on twitter @jje1999
Three years after the infection spread to the entire world we were driving down an overgrown highway for what seemed like days. All around us were trees with vines as tall as telephone poles around them. There were broken down, rusted cars all along the side of the road. Most of the cars were scavenged.
“How long did he tell us it should take?” asked Tony.
“About a day,” said Laura.
“Feels like we’ve been driving forever,” said Tony. “Did you mess up the map, Fred?”
Tony was never really a fan of me from the beginning. He’s a buff Italian guy. I didn’t know him before it happened, but he’s always angry for some reason. The only reason he’s with us is to hopefully find his sister. “No, I’ve been paying close attention,” I said.
“Better not have messed up,” he started to get frustrated. “I swear, if you did, I’m kicking the shit out of you.”
“Lay off him, Tony. We’re all hot and miserable don’t need you making it worse,” said Laura. “How are we looking on water and food?”
“Two bottles of water and five more cans of whatever this shit is,” said Tony.
Laura was like our mom. Every time he would come at me she would stop him. I knew her before it all happened, we grew up together. Our families were together in the beginning, but we lost them to the infection. It’s horrible to see someone slowly die, especially someone you love. That’s why we’re going to Philadelphia, it’s the last standing city. “Yeah, lay off me. It’s not my fault I haven’t seen a street sign in like two hours,” I said.
The car came to a screeching stop. “What did you just say?” asked Laura.
“It’s almost like all of the signs got lost,” I said.
“Please tell me you’re joking,” said Laura.
She was staring right at me like she was going to kill me. "I don't know what happened to them, so I've been trying to judge where we are off of landmarks," I said.
“Just what we needed like we haven’t been driving long enough,” said Tony.
“Where could they have gone?” asked Laura. “There has to be one around here somewhere.”
“Let’s just keep going and see if we see any,” said Tony.
He was pissed now more than ever. We drove around for about another hour and still didn’t see one. Finally, we see a post where a sign should be. “Right there, what’s that?” I said.
“Where? I don’t see anything,” said Laura.
"The signpost right there. Pull over." We got out and inspected the pole.
“It doesn’t seem like any damage was done, so it was probably taken off,” said Tony.
“Ok, everyone walk around a little and see if you see anything,” Laura took control of the situation.
We walked around for about ten minutes, but then met back up. We can’t risk leaving the car alone too long, someone could take it. Ever since it started, most people are savages, they don’t care about other people.
“Anyone find anything?” I asked walking up to the car.
“Nothing, except this bag,” Tony said while dumping the bag on the hood.
A box of batteries, a canteen, a mini tool set, and a map fell out. We looked at the map and there was a bunch of different writing on it. Take a left at red. Straight for one mile. Right at green. It was directions of some sort but it didn’t make any sense to us. We heard a tree branch snap and that was our cue to get back on the road.
“Where do you think those directions lead to?” asked Laura.
“No idea,” I said. “We need to figure it out fast. We can’t make these supplies last much longer. Also if those were scavengers back there I don’t want to deal with them.”
“Who cares where it leads to? First, we need to figure out how to read it,” said Tony.
“Maybe the colors mean the colors of cars,” said Laura.
"That doesn't make any sense. There are lots of red cars," said Tony.
“No, Laura might be right. Turn here,” I said.
After that, all the directions added up. Every single street you could turn down had a different colored car. It took us about an hour until we pulled up to the destination the map took us to. The only thing was it took us to a toy store.
"This is where it took us? Seriously?!" Tony said. "Well, this was a waste of time."
“Let’s go check it out. Maybe there’s something inside,” said Laura.
Right before we walked in, a voice greeted us from the roof, “Welcome.”
Tony reached right for his knife, not knowing it was from the roof. “Who said that?” he screamed.
"Don't worry we're not here to hurt you. We're here to help you," said the man.
When we got in, Tony recognized that one of the women there was his sister. I’ve never seen him happy until that moment. The man explained to us that they were one of a couple outposts for Philadelphia.
“We can’t just let anyone in any more. People are different now, I guess you know that,” the man said.
He also told us the map was a test. They took all the signs within fifty miles down to confuse people. They hide the bag near the post to see if people will really try to get here. We slept there for the night. In the morning, we were ready to leave.
“I’ll see you guys around,” said Tony. “I’m going to stay here with my sister.”
We said our goodbyes to him. When we were done, they put us in the back of a car. We drove blindfolded in the backseat for about forty minutes. When we were finally allowed to take them off, we could see Philadelphia straight ahead.