"It's getting dark." Ted looked around nervously as he paced the parking lot near the car. "Where's our ride?"
Claire sat on the tattered car seat of the Chevy with her eyes closed. Earlier she pried the doors open to let the slight breeze blow through the car. "I don't know," she replied, her eyes still closed, "but it doesn't bode well."
Ted stopped pacing and sat in the front seat. "You think they're in trouble?"
Claire opened her eyes a slit and glanced at Ted's face, then closed them again. "If Maddie says she'll be back in a few hours, she'll be back in a few hours. If not, something happened to her or one of the others."
"What about Sam?" Ted slumped down on the seat of the car, his shoulders hunched as he kept his head from hitting the roof.
Claire remained in a relaxed posture and her voice suggested a mental shrug. "Honestly, I don't know Sam that well. Maybe he decided to steal the truck and head somewhere else."
Ted paused. "I don't think Sam would do that. Maybe he and August are having a hard time finding a running cycle. They're hard to find nowadays, what with most survivors snatching at the ones they could find," he said.
"Maybe," Claire said. This time she opened her eyes and looked at the sun dropping toward the horizon. "Pretty soon we'll have to decide what to do, though."
Ted jerked, his head hitting the edge of the car. "What do you mean?"
"Well, we can't leave here unless we can figure out how to leave them a message so they know where to find us. And if we're here when it's dark, we have to decide what to do about the rats," said Claire.
"Surely you can't mean we have to go in and kill them," shuddered Ted.
Claire shrugged. "We might have to kill as many of these rats as we can or figure out how to make them stay away from us."
Ted leaned against the Chevy and looked at the building for a few moments. "It's concrete and we don't have explosives." He looked over his shoulder at Claire. "We don't have explosives, do we?"
She answered him with a shake of her head. "We could try to go in there and set the interior on fire, but that's pretty hazardous," Ted said.
Claire looked around her. "Any better ideas?"
Ted stood straight and turned in a circle, examining everything in sight. "Maybe," he said, "and I like it better than going in there like Hercules and Xena."
Claire laughed. "Hercules would re-route a river through it and call it finished. He never did a decent job..."
Ted looked at her with a strange look on his face. Claire reddened. "Oh. You mean, like the television show." She coughed. "So what's your plan?"
"We could push a car into the store and shoot the gas tank. The explosion will give the rats something to care about besides us."
Claire craned her neck and looked at Ted. "I get it, but cars don't explode like in the old television shows."
"How do you know that?" asked Ted.
"Mythbusters." Claire smiled. "I liked that show." She looked at the sun again. "I forget how quickly the sun sets here." She climbed out of the car and looked at the storefront.
"So what's the plan?" Ted asked.
"I have some tubing in my pack. We can siphon gas out of the tanks onto the ground. If it gets dark and we're still here, we'll set it on fire. Look around for some cans and bottles too. We can make Molotov cocktails. Those do work."
Ted eyed the setting sun as he walked toward the edge of the parking lot, scrounging for containers. "Perhaps Sam will show up before it gets dark."
Claire headed toward the other edge of the lot. "Hopefully. If not we'll see what happens."