When the world falls apart, Lydia knows all you need is a gun and a dog. Unfortunately, she’s going to find out that’s not quite enough…

When Oscar stopped, ears pricked and one paw slightly raised, even his breathing gone almost-silent, I did too. Remember those stupid movies where the animal would warn about impending danger and an asshat of a human wouldn’t listen?

No, nobody remembers those movies. Everyone’s dead, over ninety percent of the population, probably more every day. Anyone left has more to worry about than the fact that you can’t get a DVD player to work anymore. Or a microwave.

Popcorn. Just one more thing to miss. Except right now I was more worried about toilet paper. Finding something to wipe your ass with after the apocalypse gets ranked in importance behind food, shelter, ammo, and antibiotics, but it’s still up there. I hate wiping with leaves.

I hitched my backpack up and unlimbered the rifle instead of the machete. Distance is always better.

If the problem was other humans, Oscar would’ve been looking up at me with that you make the call, alpha expression he’s so good at.

Nah, if he was looking like this, it was likely animals, not people or Others. Not sure if Others are strictly people, really, for all the stories you hear about them wearing people-skins. Before the Thing—the Turn, the Event, the Great Fuckery From the Stars What Put Us Here, whatever—passed the tipping point, everyone called them Others. You could hear the capital letter in front, too. Every damn time.

An Orbit Short Fiction e-only!

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