Raven had loosened her shoulder belt and was balanced on the edge of the seat again. Rising up for a better look, she said, “You did this?”

“Yep,” Cade said unapologetically. “With a little help from my friends.” He drove them the length of the straightaway, keeping the passenger tires tracking along the right fog line. A dozen feet from the black van, he slowed and parked broadside to the open rear doors. On the driver’s side was a pair of corpses. Both were obese by anyone’s standards. Only one had turned before death. Its belly was ripped open and maggot-filled, the fly larva causing the taut gray skin to undulate subtly.

The bodies stacked halfway to the ceiling obscured most of the detail from a distance. Up close, however, it was clear the van’s once vibrant shag carpet was soiled with dried blood and God only knew what other bodily fluids that had leaked from the corpses. A sheet of metal perforated with holes—some machined and perfectly round, dozens more jagged and created by bullets—separated the cargo area from the front seats. It was splashed with blood long ago dried to black. Like the apparatus on a set of monkey bars, chain, cable, and steel cuffs attached to the van’s roof cut up the gloom.

Crinkling her nose, Raven said, “What’s all that for?”

“Did Taryn or Wilson mention the booby traps the cannibals were leaving in some of the places they looted?”

A gust blew down the road at them, whipping the grass atop the berm to their left into a wild frenzy. Shell casings propelled by the sudden blast skittered along the blacktop.

Raven swallowed hard.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’,” he said. “They were transporting Zs in this.” He motioned to the left side of the van. “That one almost got me.”

Parroting Duncan, she said, “Almost only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes.”

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