The three remaining friends stayed together for a while, walked Steph to her house, then Dale and Matt walked to Matt’s place. The two of them walked quietly down dark streets that seemed alive in a way they never had before. There was a sense of danger, an adrenaline rush when any stranger was sighted briefly in the light of a streetlamp and every dog growled behind a fence. The air was thick with fear and violence. Police sirens wailed constantly in the distance, a sound rarely heard in the Westlake of the past. Twice along the way they heard windows breaking; once a scream.
‘You sure you don’t want to crash here?’ Matt said. ‘I know my father’s probably got the bug, but he’s not far along and… he’s a pretty strong guy, you know, I – I think he’ll manage to hold off a bit.’
‘Its fine, Matt. I’ll be fine.’
‘Alright, man. I’ll call you guys tomorrow, round noon. If none of us have thought of anything by then, we get anyone who’ll come with us and go back to Zindel.’
‘What the hell will we say to Diana? She seemed kinda suspicious when we left, thought we stole something.’
‘I dunno, we’ll think of something. Listen, you sure…’ A dog’s barking had been cut off by a howl of pain a moment ago, and an ominous silence fell in its wake.
‘The Book’s at mine, anyway. I want to read it again, see if there’s anything we missed.’
‘Alright, man. Good luck.’