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The only time they got to ride in cars these days was when it had to do with finding their purposes, unless of course the place or action in question was within walking distance. The last person Titus had known to finally get their rest had had to make their way into Astoria, which had been nearly empty of people when they’d seen it. People had been pulling into cliques or staying apart from all others since it had started to happen, but on the peninsula it had been seen that a lot of folks had decided to form up in groups. So far as he and the others he hung with knew, they were one of the biggest groups still around.

“You lived all the way out here?” Angie asked from the back seat of the Rover.

He nodded, his home had been out on the north end of the peninsula the first time he’d lived here. That meant he’d had to make a trip of over an hour by school bus and about twenty to thirty minutes by car depending on the traffic, of which there had been little at six in the morning back then. Now there was absolutely no traffic, and any and all cars that had still been on the roadway had been moved off a while back.

“I’m not sure why you think it’d be out here that I’d have something to do though,” Titus said, glancing at Brady, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Their small group included Katey and Mike as well, who were currently sitting in the middle seats engaged in their own conversation.

“I don’t know man, but it’s obviously not the place you had in town,” Brady replied, “We’ve tried that, remember?”

He nodded, remembering that his wife and girls had been allowed to move on not long after they’d tried this avenue. What it would take to allow the rest of them to move forward was unknown, but as they’d seen, everyone had a final task they had to perform before they got the ‘chance to advance’ as Dylan would have said.

The trip only took a short while longer but passing through the town of Ocean Park was enough to silence them all as they could sense the utter silence that lay draped over the town like a blanket, seeming to erase even the hated white noise that had once seemed so pervasive. They did their best not to look left or right as they quickly made their way through the small area, venturing down the road into the wooded areas beyond a place that had once been abuzz with voices, laughter, commerce, the song of humanity.

Right now it was all that any of them could do to recall just what it had been like in those days.

(to be continued)

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