Mrs. Tressa Burrus shares a danger of wagon train choosing other than a tried-and-true route to the West1.
Death went through our camp, and after we took the new route, the slow, lingering version of the fever prevailed. Of our two families, only two of us were left, me and my brother-in-law’s brother. The rest we passed onto their final home in the East.
I had been sick three months prior the new route; no one had expected me to live. They were afraid I had the deading fever2, but I was hearty when they fell ill. I was on my feet, tending them in their turn, and was with them when they went.
The already dead2 did not disturb us much.
Nor did the wose3.
Folk say that the West land is death, saturated with it. The heart of it. I believe it. It’s in those ruins, something buried deep in the bones of those old stones, and it spills out. We never should have come, and we knew that then. That was why we turned our wagon back.
“You came so far,” people said. “You could have made it.”
“Maybe. If we hadn’t taken that new route.”
Footnote 1: This is part of Jodi Ralston’s Zombie West world. This series is not set in our world but is inspired by 1800s-early 1900s America, because she loves that time period. It has zombies because everything is better with zombies.
Footnote 2: Deading fever, already dead: The first is an illness related to those who become zombies; the second is a mention of zombies.
Footnote 3: Wose is short for woodwose, no-longer-quite humans who live in the West.
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