Day 19. Made it this far.


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The unlocked, unguarded gate further disturbed Hasher Mansfield. He didn’t expect it to be easy to leave the Asylum grounds. He hadn’t made his delivery and he had a bloodied teen stashed under a blanket.

He’d been prepared to drive full throttle through the gate if need be, but finding it abandoned made him come to a stop. He tapped his steering wheel, and debated the wisdom of getting out to look around. “Stupid,” he muttered.

Looking left to right, hardly keeping his eyes on the road, Hasher drove up to the gate and used his fender to push the gate open. He did this slowly while praying to attract no attention. He was almost through when the gate caught on something. Hasher stopped.

He applied a little gas, but the truck didn’t move. The gate’s opening was wide, but not wide enough. He backed up a foot, and the gate moved with him. He tried to think of what could have caught on the metal rods of the gate.

He looked back over his shoulder and down at the lumpy form in the back seat. “All right, kid,” he said. “Whoever you are. Mind the store ‘til I get back.” No reply was forthcoming.

Hasher sighed. The world was dark beyond the glow of his headlights. “I never should’ve taken this job. Mary told me not to.” He pushed open the heavy truck door. He listened. “Even the dead aren’t that silent. Hell. You’d think I believed in ghost stories.” He dropped out of the truck.

He took three steps to where the gate had caught on a forgotten split in the fender. The wind picked up, and Hasher heard something other than the wind in the trees.


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