“Hey y’all. Haven’t seen you around,” the voice came from the shadows and was followed by a man with a pointy beard wearing a head to toe suit of camouflage.
“Where y’all been?” he asked with a good-natured twang.
It was only 5:00 and already dark on the street. Daylight Savings saved nothing. In fact, it stole the last bits of lights the couple had to walk during the cool fall nights.
The couple was not to be deterred from their few minutes of peace with both boys contained in the enormous double stroller. They wore matching reflective vests and carried flashlights. The stroller glowed an eerie green under the streetlight, outlined in reflective strips.
“Well, you’re pretty hard to spot these days, too, in your all camo outfit,” the woman said with a laugh.
The man looked down in question, unsure to what she was referencing; he wore this outfit so often it was a second skin, an unofficial uniform that he never gave a second thought to as he dressed in the morning.
Camo t-shirt, check. Camo pants, check.
It was also hunting season which came as news to the Northerners, announced by the constant gunfire in the woods behind their house.
“Oh yeah, I guess you’re right. I would be pretty hard to spot. We’ve been out hunting, round these parts. Fact is, we just got back from those woods out past Creek Bend Road.”
Good Lord, the woman thought. He is the one who was firing his gun in our backyard.
Her husband volunteered, “Hey, that’s where we live.”
“So’s you live in the house back there. Well, I’ll be darned. Its just me and my boys that ever hunt out there. Sure would be nice to have a place to park so we don’t have to walk so far from the road.”
Awkward silence ensued as the couple refused to give the man what he wanted.
“Come on back here, I’ve got to show you something.”
The woman refused to budge. “No thanks, I’ve got to stay here with the boys (and the living world).”
“Ok then, just you,” he pointed at the man who agreed without hesitation and then followed him into the dark shadows in what seemed like a bad idea to the onlookers who remained on the side of the road.
The woman was not a religious sort, but she suddenly found herself praying for the safe return of her husband. Long, drawn-out seconds passed into a minute and then another before the men reappeared and the woman exhaled, realizing that she was holding her breath.
“What in the world did he show you?”
Her husband took over pushing the stroller, “He has the head of a 10-point buck that he shot in the woods behind the house. I guess he’s the kind of guy we need to know if its end of days.”
This was the standard for making new friends, if they have useful skills in case of the Apocalypse.
Apparently, things were looking rather grim.