I still had forty minutes before I had to wake the little ones. Perfect time for a catnap. I had the king size bed to myself which was a rare luxury in a family of six. Usually by morning I have one child laying on my head, another one across my neck, and a third entangled in my legs. By the time I actually dozed off, I really only slept for about ten minutes. I did, however, have some creepy dreams. I can't remember the specifics but I know I was being chased by some creature (or creatures) down a dark alley lined with overloaded dumpsters. Sometimes rats would dart out causing me to almost fall over. Yuck.
I got out of bed again and went to wake the three little ones. They were not in their rooms. Now this was getting strange. I stood still and only realized then how silent everything was. Not just the house. It was silent outside, too. Was the clock on my phone wrong? No, it couldn't be because now the sun was up. It was definitely morning. Did I confuse the days? Was it the weekend and Pete took the kids to church or something? I haven't been going to mass lately. Maybe he finally gave up asking me (Thank God! ...uh oh, now I'm really going to hell).
I went back downstairs to check the computer. I couldn't get online. Ugh. So annoying. The radio was staticky too. Well, I'll check the date on the newspaper. Jeez, am I that far gone where I'm forgetting what day it is already? Early Alzheimer's? There was no paper on the front walk. Of course not, Pete always takes the papers. I decided to go for a run. I'm due for a longish (over 8 miles) one so by the time I return, Pete and or the kids should be home. Nothing clears the mind like a good long run.
I put on my sneakers and grabbed my sunglasses and watch from the hutch in the dining room. There was a note under my watch that read, "Went to DC." What the fartlek?! That's so bizarre on so many levels, the least of which was the handwriting barely looked like Pete's. The letters were more like Sanibel's chicken scrawl or like they had been written in haste. I should call his cell phone which would be easy if I could find a house phone. This is not unusual. We have five cordless house phones, none of which can ever be found when necessary. And I don't get cell service in the house. Of course.
Fartlek it. I'll just go for my run and worry about this weird shit when I get back. I headed out. It was a perfect fall morning. The sun was out and the sky was blue. The temperature was about 55F. As I headed down Village Avenue I realized I hadn't seen one car on the road. Oh well, better for me. I don't have to worry about getting hit by an inattentive douche texting. I checked my watch when I hit my first mile marker, 7:54. Cool. For almost seven months, I had been running this first mile between 8:05 and 8:20. I decided to do some 100 meter strides to get some speed work in. At the 3.5 mile mark I decided to go ahead on my longer route rather than make a turn to cut it short to an even eight. I turned right on Grand Avenue. This is a very busy commercial street filled with shopping centers, restaurants, offices, etc. And still no cars driving up and down, just the ones parked and empty on the side of the road. They almost looked abandoned. There weren't even people walking. I checked the time on my phone. It was 11:40am. What is going on? As soon as I get home I need to check the radio or CNN. This is getting ridiculous. I circled back toward the house. I made a turn onto North Forest so I could run past the baby's pre-school just to see whether or not there were classes going on. The baby might even be there on the playground. Maybe that DC note wasn't even for me. Maybe...
I saw some sort of commotion ahead of me. A group of people. Some moaning (ew). Is this where everyone is? As I got closer, I realized it was more than a commotion. And I'm not even sure it's a group of people. It's more like a herd of... something behind a gate being stabbed by what looks like a police officer, a little boy, and another guy.
I introduced myself in between stabs. The father's name
is Rick and his son is Carl.
Their friend is Daryl. He has very stylish hair.
Not so home alone.
Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...
To make a long story short (Walking Dead writers take note), I decided to join Rick, Carl, and Daryl and head to DC (Coincidentally, they're headed there as well from Atlanta... via New York which is totally out of the way, but... it's The Walking Dead after all) to look for the kids. Rick is a hot former sheriff and his wife was eaten by some fat, bald
zombie shuffler (or whatever it is they call them) so it works out for me since dummy Pete took off with the kids during a zombie saunterer apocalypse and "forgot" to wake me up. Carl looks like a dweeb with his shaggy hairdo and his dad's sheriff hat, but he's a good shot and that I guess is more important. And speaking of hair, Daryl's One Direction cut is pretty avant-garde for a hillbilly bad boy. He seems pretty good with the cross-bow and has some interesting squirrel recipes (who knew squirrel tasted like chicken, except gamier...and nuttier). And what do I bring to this motley crew? Well, apparently I can run fast. I did 8.42 miles in 1:07:11, a 7:59 pace. I hadn't run that kind of pace in a training run longer than 4 miles since pre-Boston. Running from zombies (because that's what they are dammit!) apparently is a good speed workout.