Teyata bounded over the roofs of parked cars. In one final clean leap, she sailed past Brad and stopped to wait for him as he ran up the stairs of a shopping centre. Inside, he discovered its air conditioning still worked, and music played. Escalators both ascended and descended, all of which, still functioned due to the main power crystals.
An automated female voice announced some of the bargains. Teyata rotated with upturned head, unable to locate the source of the voice.
Brad pointed aloft. “It comes from those speakers.”
She nodded, satisfied with the explanation as Brad located an automated directory station. He keyed in an inquiry for a camping shop. A diagram of all three floors presented themselves on screen. The second floor highlighted as the other two disappeared. A single small shop highlighted.
“We’ve got to go to the second floor,” Brad said.
He led the way, running up the ascending escalator. Teyata skipped from either side of the rubber rail, playfully making her way to the top. Brad alighted, and scanned down the length of windows, until he located the one he needed. On entering, he saw no other skeleton in the shop apart from the one behind the counter.
“I’ll need a decent pack,” he said absently.
Teyata bounded onto the top most shelf of cooking supplies, then nestled onto her forepaws to watch.
Brad took a pack from a rack and slipped it over his shoulders. It felt firm and comfortable. Taking it off, he decided to get the next bigger sized one.
“Now I’ll need a tent.”
“What are you doing?” asked Teyata.
“I’ve got to get things together for a long trip. See; this is my house.”
He took a box from the shelf and commenced to extract the tent and fittings, placing them all inside the pack.
“Ok, now, I’ll need a sleeping bag.”
He found a blue one and placed it inside the prescribed compartment on his pack.
“Cooking stuff,” he said.
Teyata shifted her arm for Brad to take the hexi stove and tablets stacked almost under her. He ran outside of the shop and looked over the rails to the ground floor, spotting the supermarket near the shopping centre’s entrance. Sliding down the metal partition between the escalators he stamped down on the floor. The mountains of his destination through the glass entrance prompted him to stop.
“Teyata; I’m going to need food. How long would it take me to get to those mountains?”
“You won’t last the first night.”
Brad gaped at her answer. She predicted his death in the same tone one would use to comment on the weather.
“What do we get now?” she said, brushing past him to enter the supermarket.
“What will happen?”
Teyata halted and gave him a puzzled look.
“Why won’t I last the first night?”
“Something will eat you.”
Teyata gave a contemptuous shrug.
Did she mean anything might?
Brad remembered his father’s firearms.
“I’ve got weapons at home that’ll kill anything.”
Teyata halted, looking very perplexed.
“Come to the house tomorrow and I’ll show you.”
Brad and Teyata flitted into the shops rapidly as Lisa fast forwarded the action. His pack laden with the things he needed, Brad leant forward, making the trek home.
“Pause,” said Lisa as the new night came, ending day 3.