'He seems to have understood our situation, so if he intends to make us an offer, it's maybe because he is thinking of taking us with him.'
Nothing was done but it was enough to rekindle Judith's hope.
"What are you offering us?"
'Nothing is free in life and he has the upper hand, hope his request will not be too excessive...'
"How far do you want to go?"
he answered while closing the fourth jerrycan he had just filled.
"Coatesville! it's 45 miles from here to the north!"
She didn't hide her enthusiasm.
'Now his intentions are clear and it's totally possible to negotiate, Coatesville isn't far from here and at the exact opposite of the direction where the crater site is.'
"It's possible then, I will help you to get there quickly, in return I would like you to answer some of my questions, are you okay with it?"
'Just questions! if that's it, no problem at all. Damn! This guy became our savior while we wanted to steal his car!'
Her joy was interrupted by her brothers, Josh pulled her jacket and Ewan addressed the guy.
"Can we talk about it between us for a minute please?"
Turning towards them Judith immediately understood in their gazes that they were much more hostile to the idea of traveling with this stranger than her.
"You know, I don't absolutely need the information I'm going to ask you, as soon as I put these jerrycans in the trunk of my car, my offer will be obsolete."
She hoped that what they had to say was important because the guy was already starting to put his jerrycans on each of his arms.
Josh then expressed his concerns.
"Judith, do you really think we can trust a guy we just met? What's more, he has two fucking corpses at his feet! I was thinking it was a good idea of letting you manage it, but now I can't be quiet, look at what he did to this poor dog!"
"I agree with Josh, we don't know what happened here but we can't trust such a suspicious guy."
Ewan was of the same opinion and she felt that she had to clear up the misunderstanding as quickly as possible.
The guy was going to leave and with the image that her brothers had of him, she knew that they would do some bullshit.
She didn't have the time to do it, apparently, they had been too noisy.
"Do you know I'm right next to you and can hear everything you say? Pff... just wait a second."
He didn't seem more upset than that that Josh and Ewan call him a murderer. She also had the impression to see on their faces that they began to doubt their version because with his 4 jerrycans under his arms preventing him from making any movements with them, he didn't look hostile at all.
He approached the corpse of the 'dog' and flipped it over to them with his shoe.
"Is that what the definition of a dog is for you?"
They were all shocked to see a creepy human face on the body of this so-called 'dog', Josh the first.
"Flip it over! Damn, it's disgusting!"
Ewan apologized and even showed him respect.
"Sorry to have treated you like this, you have balls to have been able to kill this thing while you look even younger than all of us."
He ignored him and turned back to Judith.
"Is the deal still good?"
"Yep, we will help you carry the jerrycans and we can answer your questions in the car on the way."
She wondered if there was a problem with what she had said when she saw the boy's questioning look.
"I never said we would go together, I said I would help you get to your destination quickly."
'I don't understand anything anymore! How do you want us to get back to Coatesville quickly without a car!'
Ewan and Josh's brains were also overheating.
"Well let me explain. It's not that you are stupid, it's just that it's not something known to people of our generation..."
'What is he saying for fuck sake!'
...You must have looked for a spare tire under the hood or under the trunk, but this brand of car is one of those that likes to do it the old-fashioned way, under the chassis of the car."
'I know there is a chance that we will all die if what he says is false, but I almost want him to be wrong right now.'
A feeling greatly shared by Josh and Ewan. That would be so shameful to know that they tried to steal someone while they had the solution to their problem on them from the start.
In a trembling voice, she spoke to Ewan.
"Um, could you please look under the chassis."
He did so without a word and after 30 seconds of a particularly embarrassing wait, they heard even more embarrassing news.
"I have the spare tire, it's well inflated, there was also the jack and the necessary to unscrew the tire."
'Shit! So shameful! So he wanted to know how many kilometers we were from our destination to know if the spare tire was going to hold up until then. We are the assholes in this story from A to Z.'
"We are so sor..."
"Move your car now. I'm pressed by time and don't expect me to wait until that you finish putting your spare tire on."
'It's the least we can do and that will only take a few seconds.'
"Josh, do it please, Ewan is occupied."
He nodded and went behind the steering wheel while Ewan was organizing the tools.
"You filled your share of the deal, so I will answer your questions."
Since a while ago now he hadn't let go of his jerrycans for even a second, he wanted to get away as quickly as possible.
She understood it, so Judith did her best to make it happen. She too wanted to ask him questions, like why he was in a hurry but she knew he wasn't interested in a conversation right now.
"I'm going to limit myself to one question to save time. Who are the monsters coming from the crater?"
She was very surprised by this question but seeing that Josh had already moved the car, she gave him a quick answer coming from what Ewan had taught them in the car earlier.
"This thing in our heads told my big brother that they are called 'Damned from Hell'. The deformities, and mutilations that you saw come from the fact that they have been tortured since their arrival in hell."
"Okay, I understand better now. Well, I have to leave, it was a real displeasure to have met you. But I still wish you to survive."
She couldn't really blame him, so as not to slow him down more than he had already been, she buried deep inside her all the questions that burned her lips.
She watched her savior put his jerrycans in his trunk, start his engine and leave.
She stayed a few seconds staring at the horizon before remembering that they were in danger and that they had to find their parents at Coatesville at all costs, she went to help her brothers put the spare tire.
It was getting dark.
Surprisingly he encountered no real problems, whether, with men or monsters.
There were other cars on the road, some drivers tried to stop him so that they could exchange information but he didn't even turn his head to meet their gaze.
He was only focused on two things, the highway and his goal.
He only looked up from the road to look for dried fruits and dry meats in the crate at the back.
By not respecting the speed limits he managed to shorten the trip to 5 hours according to his estimations.
After more than 4 hours of driving and as the night was starting to fall, he had to find a place to sleep.
He wanted to do scouting before entering Boston, to be effective it shouldn't be done at night and anyway, he needs all his energy tomorrow.
He stopped in a secluded clearing which he knew.
It was at 10 miles from Boston, near a ruined stone building.
Nobody knew this place, so he mistakenly thought there would be little chance of a problem occurring during his sleep...