We're on the bridge that crosses the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon, Vancouver is behind us and Portland looms ahead, a haze of gray tinted in sunset pink only we know that's from the fires and not anything romantic. We're going to have to get out of the car here. The drive was harried enough and mostly on the shoulder with plenty of stops to roll other cars out of the way. Bands of undead roam the freeways picking at meat from burning cars like it's brisket. We've had a few close calls. More than a few.

Kayleigh is running a fever and the dark circles around her eyes threaten to cave into her skull. She's stopped talking. Charles and I are leaving her behind. If I had a gun, I'd shoot her in the head before she had a chance to slake off her soul and hunt. I should have left them both behind in the library, then I wouldn't have to make these kind of choices.

The bridge is impassible.

At least thirty cars are piled on the southbound span, an accident that kept building until it was a wall. The air is thick with the putrid scent of burnt flesh and scrabbling rot. A chorus of moans seems very near, though we see no zombies, right now. I suspect they're on the other side.

We're leaving now. Going to climb the hulking wreck.

If I had a gun, I'd shoot myself.