Camp - Midday, Spring 2021:
This is my fourth day here, so far it seems okay. Most of the infected are dead in this particular area, though this area is full of "my last resort panic-cabins". I hate those places, because you never know if they're empty, or filled with a family of infected. The problem is that those cabins usually have really good supplies, so you can't just leave them, you gotta go in and clear them out. It's just a waste to leave them.
Amber seems to be getting nervous to move on. She was nowhere to be seen most of yesterday and didn't come back until early this morning. She came back really muddy, and one of her ears was all bloody. Not a good sign: that means she either ran into a wild animal, or this area isn't as deserted as I thought. We'll keep heading north tomorrow. It seems like it's been getting warmer, and there's more light, so I feel pretty positive about how much ground I can cover. Going to start packing up my tent now so I can get on the move and find a new camp site before it gets dark. I hate having to set up a new camp. Maybe I'll try to join up with one of the caravans.
There's a reason I hate setting up a new camp. After I got my stuff packed up, we headed due north, trying to get some good distance before it got too dark. Right around sundown we ran into a classic last resort cabin. It was one story, made from "logs." It looked like it had a generator (no longer working), the windows had metal shutters, and around back was some sort of fenced-in section. Probably an outhouse thing. I was feeling ambitious, and it did have a pretty nice open-air porch in front, so I decided to push my luck and camp out on the porch for the night. I figured it should be okay, since I wasn't going to be there longer than one night. Amber wasn't thrilled and did some growling at the door, which was also covered in metal. I told her to guard the door, and went to sleep.
She woke me up with her barking a few hours later. Well, it was probably a tie between her barking and the annoyed rasping of the infected on the porch in front of her. I turned on all my flashlights, pointed on at the clearing in front of the cabin, one straight up, and one at my feet. I guess the infected was distracted by Amber, because as soon as I stood up it sprang at me. The worst part about fighting infected up close is that they are so fast and completely fearless. You can brandish a gun at them, and they never back down. It was on top of me in an instant, and I hacked at him with my machete while Amber tried to chew off his ankle. He was really strong, trying to snap off my nose with his teeth. I managed to get my feet under him and kick him partially off me, and slashed at his face. Fortunately infected aren't as quick as they could be, and I sliced off a huge chunk of his face and buried the blade in his neck. Scrambling to get better leverage, I managed to cut the rest of the way through his neck just as I heard the screams of another infected sprinting from around the back of the house. Slipping in the blood I fell flat on my back, and scrambled for my gun. Amber was already on top of the other infected, this one looked smaller, a kid. I called Amber off, and shot the infected in the head. I guess this dad and his daughter didn't make out so well.
The rest of the night passed without incident, though I didn't get much more sleep.
We made really good time through the woods - lots of old-looking deciduous trees. After last night's incident I kept a close eye out. Despite that, I was really surprised when Amber started barking her head off. I had just been about to stop for lunch, so it was early afternoon. There was just enough sun between the trees to make him out - a guy, middle aged, looking like he had been running for awhile. He was really shocked to see me, and glad, and a little scared of Amber. He didn't seem to be hurt, just tired, so we climbed up a tree (safety first!) and I gave him some Doritos from my stash. He loved that. He told me that he came from a town a few miles back, where he and ~20 others had stopped for a few days. I guess that was too many people. He and a few other people managed to run off, but he said he thought no one else survived. I guess it was quite a massacre, because he was nearly out of bullets. One leg of his pants was covered in blood up to the knee. He said he'd been running away from that location for 2 days, just in case. I could understand that. He knows about another caravan that's supposedly heading north that's passing through this area soon. Not sure how he knows that, but I'm willing to give it a try. It's been a long time since I've hung around with someone else...