Bruce found a hole in the fence that surrounded the warehouse and carefully slipped through it. The building loomed dark and ominous, so he started his search by walking the perimeter. Deliberate steps avoiding kicking anything or stepping on anything, his head constantly turning left and right scanning from the warehouse to the street outside the fence. It was clear. Every step and the longer it stayed clear just amped up his internal tension. By the time he got back to the hole in the fence he was practically jumping out of his skin.
Turning toward the building, his palms started to sweat. Bruce had not brought with him any sort of weapon. It was a little stupid, but then without a weapon he wouldn’t be tempted to try to stand and fight. Flight back to the safety of the compound was the real goal.
All the doors to the warehouse were open. There was no light inside save for where the sun shone through. He took the three steps up to the nearest open door slowly and peered inside.
It was an empty shell. Probably abandoned long before the zombies came. There were shadows in places, but none so dark he couldn’t see into them. Once inside and his eyes adjusted slightly, the building wasn’t nearly as foreboding as it had appeared from outside. There were no zombies here. No other survivors either. And no supplies of any sort. Not an entirely wasted trip, however, since he now knew there was nothing here.
Bruce stopped being careful and jogged back to the fence, slipped through the hole and ran back to the wall. He scrambled over the top of the wall and dropped to the ground, safe. All the tension flowed out of his body and he collapsed back against the wall.
“Find anything,” a voice called from above. Bruce looked up and shielded his eyes from the sun to see the shape of Candy standing on the edge of the police station roof.
“Nope. Just an empty warehouse.” He got up and dusted himself off.
“The way you shot over the top of the wall, I thought maybe you were being chased.” He could hear the smile in her voice.
“Just excited to get back inside. Johnny back yet?”
“Superman said that Gray flashed some Morse code using a hand mirror. The kid was back inside, found some people who might join us if our illustrious leader goes over to pay them a visit.”
“Is the hospital safe?”
“No idea. You’ll have to ask the kid yourself.”
“Jason said he might have to stay the night to win over any new recruits. And the scavengers want to be thorough, so they’ll be outside tonight too.”
Bruce nodded. “Thanks, Candy. Good lookin’ out.”
“It’s my job now.” With that she vanished back away from the edge.
Bruce headed into the station and found a spot to sit down. He broke out the granola bar he hadn’t eaten for lunch and nibbled at it. After a short while, Johnny walked in and pulled up a chair.
“So, now what?”
“I suppose,” Bruce said between nibbles, “we get a good night’s sleep, then head out to scout more tomorrow. How was the hospital?”
“Clear, mostly.” Johnny picked up a small bag of chips, tore it open and started eating. “There are some zombies locked in rooms, maybe some wandering the upper floors, but it’s safe enough. There are a few people living in there. Didn’t try to convince them to come back with me though.”
“Yeah. I don’t like talking to gun barrels.”
“I want to go take a look at the neighborhood to the north-east. You mind checking out the trailer park to the south-west?”
“I guess not. I supposed this is my job now.”
Bruce smiled and sighed, “At least until we come up with something better.”
They both laughed, just a little, and then wandered off to find places to sleep.
In the morning, everyone met up for breakfast, ate in silence, and then went back to their duties. Johnny strolled off toward the trailers, and Bruce ambled off toward the houses.