The sun was setting. Or at least, Aras thought it was.
The man could hardly tell what the sun was doing these days, so covered was it by thick gray clouds and the heavy, blanketing fog that had settled in after the Great Flood. Aras felt tired enough for it to be sunset, and the dismal light was slowly waning in its already pathetic intensity.
Aras looked down to the monkey-wrench in his hand, which was giving off a soft golden glow in the haze, and felt a cold shiver rise up his spine. He quickly dropped the stained tool, and it bounced weakly after landing with a thud on the broken and slightly singed body splayed before him. The scene, now that it was over, brought bile to the man’s throat, and it burned as he quickly shot his gaze left and right in search of any more assailants. The gang was getting more and more restless, and Aras had to move fast if he wanted to stay one step ahead.
He quickly spun around, weaponless yet with bloodied knuckles rising, but he lowered them as Mitch Carter came walking cautiously into view.
“Where in Hell were you, Carter?”
“Trying to find you, dude. Fog’s thick out here,” the young man tried to say with a weak smile, but it quickly withered under Aras’s glare. “Was it the Newies?”
“Who else you think, Von Tussel?”
Carter did not respond to the pointed retort, instead turning his own head to spot any more members of the New Chictawgans. The thugs had come a far way since when the city had first darkened, and even after phone, internet, and radio silence had fallen they had taken a while to grow to what they were now.
They did have to respect Marlin for what he had done with the gang.
Mitch looked down and noticed for the first time the body at Konglan’s feet. He promptly curled over and began to wretch at the ground, and Aras averted his eyes from the younger man for several seconds before striding forward and grabbing him by the collar. He yanked Carter away from the sight, and pulled him along. Their walk seemed little more than aimless wandering through the impenetrable fog, but eventually they found their way back to their beat-up Jeep and the array of filled cars behind it.
Some of the people got out of their vehicles to ask if Aras was okay, but he waved them away. He was hardly in the mood for dealing with them after having Carter piss him off for the hundredth time that day alone. The border was getting close; if they were going to make it out today they needed to move with haste. The brigade, who had been silent while waiting for Aras, was now bustling about, clambering back into their various vehicles and preparing for setting out once more.
Aras brought his thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes. If they were going to make it out that day, he had to get them all out that night, or all of his efforts would have been in vain. The real floods were coming—and his establishment was not known for its patience.