A Companion on the Road (1)
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For the most part I traveled empty highways, retreating into the forest to scavenge for food and avoid all but the solitary travelers. My experience in Panorama had left me wary, and so my first impulse, when I saw the woman ahead of me on the road, was to slow down to avoid her. But she saw me too and slowed down herself, a clear indication she wanted company. Traveling with someone seemed safer than traveling solo, I decided, and there was always the chance she might have some food. When she saw that I was speeding up, she stopped by the side of the road and waited for me, sliding out of the harness she’d made for the three-wheeled cart she was dragging and stretching out her shoulders.

She was a small woman, several inches shorter than I was, with a dark fringe of hair over intense dark eye...

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