Chapter 2

The grommet on the door-side of the tarp let go again, the corner snapping up wildly, guy wire licking through the cold damp air. A dusting of snow had already collected on the tarp, but not enough to warrant getting out of the sleeping bag and crawling across all the shit on the floor to get the boots on and go out there and do something about it.

He thought about how annoyed he would be in twenty minutes if he didn't go out and fix it. He decided it wasn't enough, grabbed a handful of bag and blanket, and rolled over into the temperfoam. The Company issue stuff really is the best, and right now, he was really happy to have it.

Three weeks ago saw the end to nearly a month of sleeping on the ground with nothing but a sheet of Tyvek he managed to rip off a building that had blown over in the last storm. He'd managed to get inside the building and have a look around, but there was nothing but office stuff in there. Nothing cool.

His knee throbbed and his left hand reached to favour it, while he sucked back the plug of mucus that never seemed to run out. He wished it were useful for more than choking on, and occasionally seeing how far you can spit it up into the air, when things are slow.

You want things to be slow. Slow is when it's time to Go. Slow = Go, see? He heard the flap snap and ruffle cartoonishly, the guy clicking against a bucket or a bin or something.

He groaned. Stiffened. Sighed. Relaxed. After slipping the second boot on his foot, he shuffled over to his good knee, braced, and pushed himself up. Zip, out, in.

Back in the bag he softened, knowing it was the last time he would have to move for some time. He fell asleep before forming any more complex though than the simple appreciation of the lack of a horrible, nagging, jarring non-sleep.

Warm, dry, as comfortable as age will allow, he couldn't much complain. Not that anyone would listen to him. Anyone left in City Park was doing very much like himself, minding his own business. Outbreaks stay out, by staying in.