Clint was still peering through the binoculars watching the men move swiftly, he hadn’t moved a muscle. James snapped his eyes open and looked down at his watch. Fuck, he thought. Just over forty-five seconds had passed since the men had entered the doughnut shop and he had closed his eyes.
“We have twenty minutes,” James said coldly, “maybe.”
“What’s the plan, Boss.” Clint looked over at him hopefully.
James had no plan. The team had no time. Their situation had little hope: twenty to thirty armed soldiers against five young men. The real adults, their mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, had all died when the mysterious virus plagued the country, and took the lives of most people over the age of thirty-five. According to the television – before it went out – the virus moved through the midwest faster than the ash bore. They stood no chance.
The chain of command must have collapsed in the military and national guard. James had hoped help would come. But after listening to Clint and Bean’s story, and looking through those binoculars, he was absolutely sure, no help was coming.
Clint waited for James to speak again.
“You got any of those homemade bombs you and Dylan like to play with at your parents place?” James said without looking at him.
“Yeah, a few.”
“What about gas?”
“Enough to fill the quads once more.”
James sat there for a moment, absored in whatever thoughts were passing through his mind.
“Okay, here’s what we’re going to do…”
Beneath Clint and James, in the Deaner’s study, were Dylan and Reg sitting in silence, and Bean still sleeping by the window, next to the bookshelf. Dylan pulled one of the gold cased bullets out of the chamber of his magnum and threw it at Bean. The bullet struck Bean in the head. Bean grabbed his forehead and yelled, “Ah! What the hell, man.”
Dylan said in a fake motherly voice, “Time to wake up, Sweetheart. Your friends just pulled in.”
Bean rolled over groggily and sat up. He rubbed his eyes, and after he yawned and stretched, he said, “Friends, huh.”