The girls had spent several hours writing. They found some paper and a few Sharpies and set about coming up with some semblance of a plan. They had to leave, of this there was no doubt. But where to go? Kimmy knew that she had an uncle who just lived about ten miles away out past the mall, so they had thought about going there. But that would require quite a bit of walking, an exercise neither was to thrilled about. Molly suggested they head to some place like her church, which was a little closer to town, and was full of food and things. They considered this option, too, until the conversation got weighed down with the constant numbing pull of a recent past filled with, of all things, their now dead parents. Then they just sat, silently wept, and stared, with hollow emptiness, into the room. And so it went.
Kimmy stretched, reached out and patted Tanner on his ignorant head, and smiled, sadly at her blissfully unaware dog.
"Tanner... you have it so lucky. You're just a dog... you have no idea what's happening and you have no reason to care," Kimmy choked back a sob and swiped her sleeve across her face.
Molly nodded, sighed, and yawned. She wished just a little that she could be Tanner, too.
"Kimmy... I'm really hungry. What's left here to eat?"
Kimmy and Molly raided what was left of the decent food in the fridge consisting of half of the cherry pie they'd begun last night, a bag of carrots, two plastic cups of yogurt, and some very cold -and probably a little old- lemonade. They found quite a few cans of food in the pantry along with several boxes of crackers and other snacks which they decided would be best saved for their trip neither really wanted to discuss. Tanner sniffed, muzzled, and knocked over his kibble and lapped up a few pieces feigning hunger more than fulfilling any real desire to eat. The pink elephant in the room hung around like an impending piece of terrible news; Kimmy and Molly had to get down to the business of forming a cohesive plan. I was time to go.
Kimmy went to her parent's bedroom closet and found a small suitcase on wheels and a tennis duffel bag. She spread the bag open and unzipped the luggage on the floor. The girls filled the duffel with all the canned foods they could conceivably carry along with the much lighter crackers and snacks. Kimmy, in turn, found a few outfits in her room, including a few she'd just outgrown that would likely fit Molly, and may just be a bit baggy. She asked Molly if she'd brought a toothbrush to which Molly literally guffawed a big, boisterous laugh. Kimmy laughed, too, and found a spare that had never been opened from its package. They glanced at the medicine cabinet and felt it best to only take things they were sure about and decided on Band-Aids, bandages, cotton balls, a bottle marked Aspirin that Kimmy knew was for aches and pains, and a package of her mom's pantie liners. She hadn't begun her period yet, but there was no sense in tempting fate without some kind of protection. After another thorough check for anything they might need, Kimmy tossed a kitchen knife and the meat tenderizer into the bag. Then she shut both, handed the handle of the suitcase to Molly and slung the heavier duffel over her own shoulder. She leashed Tanner (just in case), snatched the hatchet and slid the handle into her belt. Molly decided against the cumbersome pitchfork and instead opted for the kitchen cleaver.
The girls stood at the door. They stared into the open expanse of the world beyond. Under Kimmy's shirt, dangling from her neck, the amulet slowly pulsed.