Author: Deanna Di Lello
The RV began to slow despite Adam’s heavy foot on the gas. A loud beeping noise accompanied by a flashing light drew his attention to the fuel gage. It was past E. The RV came to a stop and Adam began to shake.
He had spotted a group fifteen minutes ago. They might pass him by or they might cause trouble. Either way, he was out of gas, out of food, and only had a day’s worth of water.
Adam reached into the front pocket of his jeans and touched the lipstick he kept there.
When the news broke, Adam was one of the first ones to pack up and go. Running wasn’t new to him and neither was quitting. Whether it was school, jobs or relationships, he left when things got tough. And everything was tough for Adam. Not that it mattered anymore. Now things were tough on everyone. It only took a few months before the highways were lined with RVs, family sedans, and pick-up trucks. People left the city in droves hoping to see less of the threat in the country. And they did. For a while.
Adam looked in the rear view mirror. The road was still empty. He took a few deep breaths before leaving the driver’s seat making his way to the bedroom. There his eyes darted from the shotgun in the corner to the pink suitcase on the floor.
If there was ever a time to do this, it was now.
Adam opened the suit case and gazed at the make-up bag, silver heels, red sequined dress and a blonde wig. His fingers brushed his receding hair line making their way down to his double chin, barely concealed by his patchy facial hair. First he would have to shave.
With hair removal complete, he applied the make-up. Adam puckered his lips in the mirror. Wait, was this stupid? Did he look like a clown? His head was suddenly filled with childhood taunts, Sunday sermons, and of course, his parents. He was about to wipe everything off when he heard a sound. The sound of feet dragging on the gravel road.
They were here.
The shakes had returned along with a good build-up of sweat. His thoughts of doubts were replaced by resolve.
Adam stepped into the dress and gently slid the zipper up his back. He placed the wig on his head and slipped into the heels.
The sound of dragging feet was now accompanied by a series of moans. Adam refused to listen. Instead, he turned to face the mirror.
The blonde wig gently cascaded over one shoulder. His eyes and lips popped. And the dress, the dress sparkled.
He wasn’t a clown. He was beautiful.
Why hadn’t he done this years ago? But he knew the answer. Fear. Cowardice.
He smiled at himself in the mirror. All he needed now was a name.
Slap! A hand on the window.
Bang! Fists hitting the side of the RV.
Adam pulled back the curtains. Some, freshly turned, looked like normal humans. The older ones were grey and rotting. All were moaning and groaning and scraping and clawing.
Adam picked up the firearm. Shotgun Sally. Yes, that was as good a name as any. He felt a rush, a thrill. When was the last time he felt that? Had he ever felt that? As much as logic told him he wouldn’t make it, there was a small part of him saying maybe, just maybe…
Adam threw open the door.