The sun was gone. A starless night loomed over Oscar as he rolled onto Lakeview Drive and Liam's house came into view. Only a few yards off, not even a half-mile. Oscar sighed with relief at the sight of it. He could see a light in the front window, and he wondered if any of the other team members had made their way here too. Oh well, he would know in just a minute anyway.
He wanted to call out, to announce with acclimation his safe arrival, but he knew that wouldn't be safe. His heart leapt at the promise of rest before him, flickering in the window. He pushed his thin wheels a little harder with a renewed hope, a hardiness that comes with prospect. Yet, as he came upon the front porch, through the blackness of the night, his eyes focused, joyful heart sank, and he slowed his roll.
The door hung wide open, clinging weakly to its hinges. Within, furniture was turned over and torn, fishing gear lay strewn about, along with dishes and books. The light in the window was, Oscar now saw, a fire begun by a broken lamp upon some old newspapers. There was a thin layer of blood streaked across the floor and sprayed along the walls. Oscar entered the living room cautiously, katana in his lap.
A body lay, almost draped like a coat, over the couch, headless. Another, with a severely cracked skull, sat lifeless against the wall. Both zombies, neither of them Liam.
Oscar made his way through the house, past the gruesome scene, and out the back door to the lake. His wheels rolled smoothly through the damp grass and he set his brakes just at the very edge of the water. He placed his weary arms upon his knees and took a deep breath. He had made it this far. The water was calming. He closed his eyes and listened to it gently lapping against the edge. He had made it this far. He smiled at the thought. He had made it this far, and that was enough for him.