Where: Entering Haven
When: July 1, after the Rain
Kal popped her shoulders as she the familiar throb of riding began to wear on her inner thighs. Ace bumped her and Kal reached back to run her fingers through his ebony mane.
“Yeah, yeah, stop complaining, we’ll stop for a rest soon,” Kal said and Bess bumped her next. “Now the both of you, be like Romeo and stay quiet.” Romeo snorted and shook his head, making his golden mane fly as he shook Kal slightly.
“You three are barely worth the trouble,” Kal chuckled as she tried to encourage the three horses to walk further apart. Bess and Ace liked to walk flanking Romeo, bumping into the golden horse’s haunches when they walked. Romeo was by far Kal’s favorite of the three horses.
Kal had found the three when she had been driving through the country side of Central New York. She had been opening gates and such for horses and cows, letting the animals free from their pens where she could. It had been pure chance that she had broken down by a horse farm. Most of the animals had bolted out at the chance Kal had given them, but the black and white spotted mare, black stallion with the white nose, and the golden stallion had trotted right up to Kal and basically begged for love.
It had been a joke saddling the creatures, the most Kal knew about horses was from reading Black Beauty as a child. All the straps and harnesses and buckles, it had taken over an hour to get bridles on the three and a saddle onto Romeo. Still, Bess carried Kal’s food, some hunting knives, the spare arrows, and the ammunition for the Remington rifle while Ace carried the tent, the ammunition for the Rimfire and the M & P, and half the horse food. Romeo was Kal’s ride, Bess and Ace’s bridles were attached to Romeo’s saddle, not that the two didn’t follow the golden stallion like twin shadows. Romeo had the other half of the horse food and Kal’s spare clothes. Kal carried the M & P in a holster under her jacket, the bow and quiver on her back, the Rimfire in the back of her pants, and the rifle was behind her in a special sheath she put into the saddle, Velcro made it possible to quickly rip the rifle out if needed.
The horses followed the path on the side of the road slowly, Kal didn’t push them and gave them lots of time to graze and rest. They were probably the most spoiled horses on the planet…seeing as there probably were more people using cars than horses. It had taken months to get from Central New York to Illinois. She wasn’t really sure where she was. Kal had been avoiding towns, people all together, the horses didn’t seem to mind and were overall better company.
There was the distant sound of a car engine and Kal slowly guided Romeo to head into the trees, hoping the car would just pass on by. The humid warmth was uncomfortable, but it was a welcomed change from the cold, lingering winter that had coincided the end of humanity. Kal reached into her jean jacket pocket and pulled out a hair tie, pulling her dark brown hair up into a ponytail.
The last people Kal had seen, she’d killed, the people were literally rotting away. They had attacked her as she had hopped off of Romeo in what she thought was a deserted town. Instead she had put the Rimfire and the M & P to the test as well as her own shaky aim. Twelve things that had once been human had gone down fast with a shot to the head. Kal had been tempted to bury them, but there were sounds of more of the creatures…she had continued on.
Kal slowly snapped to focus as she saw the town, it was quaint and more so, it was inhabited. The 15 million dollar question was should she continue down. Bess whinnied and Kal gently stroked the large head that was suddenly in her lap. Continue forward straight through the town or go around.
A street light flashed and Kal made a decision, if the people were hostile, she’d fight, the rifle would keep a lot of people off her case, nothing like a woman armed to the teeth to encourage shit disturbers to leave her the fuck alone…of course, Kal thought with a smirk, she looked like a regular shit disturber herself. She headed toward the town, not even noticing the sign welcoming her to Haven. The horses’ hooves made a delightful clonking noise as they stepped onto the paved road.