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April 26, 2024 36 mins

In the wake of a dire message, Tilda and Madison ponder the 'right' course of action and wrestle with morality in a dying world.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Annie and Samantha. I'm welcome to stuff
I've ever told you a protection of iHeartRadio, and welcome
to another edition of Sminty Fiction, which is a once
a month thing that we do. It has slightly I

(00:26):
always say slightly, it has more soundscaping. I would say
it's like not over the top, but it is definitely
more soundscaping than we normally have. It is an ongoing
thing that we do. This is Terminus Part two, as
the title was just, is part two of the Terminus trilogy,
which is a thing that I wrote during National Novel

(00:48):
Writing months starting in twenty ten.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
Did you know there's a whole controversy happening at no
Pentley Nano Rimo actually hires people and they all got
laid off or something like that. They're not doing well.

Speaker 3 (01:00):
Sorry, this was many years ago for me, but yeah,
I guess.

Speaker 1 (01:11):
That's to say this is an episode of snacks. I
must have been in this particular space, but I none
of them are currently sponsors, but a lot of brands
are mentioned, so there's that. The content warning just in general,
there's disease, death, end of the world stuff, hunger for sure,

(01:38):
Hence the importance of snacks. Yeah, so quick recap. So
the world is ending because basically people can't have children
anymore because of this disease. And our main character, Tilda,
has escaped from the government entity and religious entity that

(02:03):
rose in the collapse of civilization because she didn't want
to lose him to this government entity. They are constantly
on the run. They're constantly being hunted. She discovers that
there is a vaccine, but these entities destroyed it. They

(02:23):
saved one. Because Madison is the grandson of the leaders
of this religious organization, she is able to broadcast about
what they did, what happened. Madison gets the vaccine. They
are on the run. There's a man on the horse.
We still don't know what's going on with him. Still
still don't I know. I really I was pulling this along.

(02:49):
It's cold. They are running out of resources. They found
a place to stay that had a dead body and
the phone ring and terrified of phones, they did not
answer it. They fled on a horse that they did steal.
And then over the intercom that the government has installed

(03:13):
to put out their messages, she gets a direct message
from the leader of the resistance, who she in her
view betrayed her, asking her to come back to Washington, DC.
So that is where we are. What are they going
to do? Well? Let us find out and get into

(03:36):
the fiction. Tilda glanced around, uneasy, her skin crawled with indecision.
What do we do, Madison whispered? Tilda shook her head days.

(04:00):
This was the second time she'd gotten a direct message
over the state broadcast system, demanding she'd go somewhere, that
we could win this. She didn't trust Mark as simple
as that. She hadn't trusted him before, and her instincts
had turned out to be correct. Mark had been willing
to use Madison as a bargaining chip to protect his

(04:21):
men and secure a vaccine he hadn't even been sure
had existed. He'd taken Tilda and her child to Chicago
against their will. Despite this, she found herself unable to
despise him for it. Everything he'd done, he'd done with
his people and the greater good. As much as Tilda

(04:42):
detested that phrase in mind, she didn't like it, but
couldn't say she wouldn't do something similar to protect Madison.
An image of the man she'd shot in the underground
laboratory flashed in her mind. She tightened her grip on
the reins and gave them a flick scout could apparently
since their tenseness, and started down the road again without hesitation.

(05:06):
Did the man with the horse work for the resistance?
Were they out looking for them too? And as pressing
as those questions were, they were distractions from the real
one Tilda faced. Did she trust Mark? And even if
she did, did helping secure the future for our children?
As Mark put it, warn't putting Madison at risk? Should

(05:28):
they turn around and head back into the equation of
unknown variables that were converging in the very place they'd
nearly lost their lives fleeing DC? Tilda didn't know her
instincts or could it be her fear? And fear alone
told her to stay away, to press on and find
what safety they could as far away from DC as possible.

(05:51):
Where fear and instinct did the same thing. It boiled
down to staying alive, didn't it? She didn't owe them
a damn thing, That was one thing she knew with certainty.
She pushed onward, aware that Madison was waiting for her answer.
The question then became why did they need her and Madison?

(06:13):
Mark had been sure to mention Madison back in DC.
She assumed they could have little use for her. It
was Madison they wanted, or more specifically, his newly minted
immunized blood. Madison had expressed his desire to help people
if he could, but Tilda wasn't sure what that would entail,

(06:34):
yet another unknown that made her nervous. No, she decided,
too many unknowns without knowing more. They'd just be venturing
into enemy territory with no escape plan. And while Mark
and his resistance might be at the consul now arm
could take it back, the state could take it back,

(06:56):
or a fringe group. It was a power vacuum of
holatile situation for the power hungry to try and rest control.
We can't go mouse, she whispered, as though someone might
be eavesdropping. Not yet, we don't know enough. It's too
dangerous right now. She could tell just by how Madison

(07:18):
was sitting that he was struggling to accept that answer
and the guilt that came along with it. Maybe when
things settle down, she offered, hollowly, knowing in her heart
that things would never be safe enough. The situation may
become more stable, but it would never be truly safe,
not in her lifetime, maybe not ever. What was the

(07:41):
threshold of acceptable risk that she was willing to incur
when it came to Madison. They'd been so constantly in
a state of threat that choosing to do something that
would jeopardize him even further without the promise of a
vaccine or something equivalent did not appeal to her in slight.
It went against every bone in her body, every emotion,

(08:04):
every fiber of her being. In retrospect, she found it
difficult to believe that she'd ventured into arms headquarters the
heart of those who hunted her Madison, on the hope
that they hadn't destroyed a vaccine she'd only heard tell existed.
She'd been desperate, she'd wanted another future for Madison, and

(08:28):
was she now copacetic with denying the possibility of that
future to other children, other children like Madison, of giving
parents like her hope for now? Yes, what good did
all the risks she'd gone through that she'd put Madison
through do if he was taken into custody by the

(08:49):
Resistance or arm or whatever entities sought to control a
world spiraling uncontrollably downward and made to live a life
of confinement and object to be studied and used for
the greater good or harmed in any way. No good
at all, Tilda answered to herself, trying to ease the

(09:11):
guilt bubbling in her stomach. They had another vaccine, she
reminded herself, and more pettily, the resistance had already betrayed
her once. They'd already displayed not only how little they
cared for her wishes, but how simply it came to
them to be Madison as a thing to be used.

(09:33):
They'll confind us, Madison asserted, quietly, ominously, they'll be looking
for us. Get in line, Tilda muttered. Madison half turned
to look at her inquisitively, and Tilda relented. I know,
but we can try Mouse. She'd been using his nickname

(09:54):
a lot lately. It was softer on her tongue. We've
been running from people for you. We've gotten pretty good
at it. Madison chuckled, a little, probably more at her
inclusion of him as a partner in crime than anything else,
or maybe to make her feel better. She knew the
guilt that was plaguing him, it plagued her too, But

(10:15):
she had the luxury of pinning it on her responsibility
to keep Madison safe. It was his blood and his
well being. Madison had no such deflection. Traced back to him.
He squirmed in the saddle. Thunder rumbled slowly in the distance.
Don't I shouldn't I help them?

Speaker 3 (10:38):
Though?

Speaker 1 (10:39):
If I can? Isn't that the right thing? Tilda pondered
that for a moment, maybe they need to help themselves
for once. It was a passive, aggressive answer, and not
one that would satisfy her or Madison in the long term.
But it was honest. Was the truth? What was she becoming?

(11:04):
What was she passing on to Madison? They were shaping
the world. Her decisions were impacting the future in a
much more significant way than she ever could have imagined.
But she did what she always did. She played it off,
She ignored it, and kept pressing forward, even though she
didn't know where Ford led. Yes, I think so, Tilda said,

(11:29):
wondering how Madison understood the events that played out that
culminated with them going to Chicago with the Resistance. Did
he realize they'd been betrayed, that the Resistance was content
to use him as leverage? Do you think that was
him on the phone too? A bizarre thought but most
likely true, though how he'd known that's where they would

(11:51):
be to call it. The fact he'd gotten it to
work at all definitely made Til to question the likelihood
they'd be able to evade him and his ilk for law.
The fog dissipated, the road came into view. Tilda pushed
Scout ahead, perhaps more quickly than she should given their
water situation, but she couldn't shake the feeling of being chase.

(12:12):
Pursued intently, of being observed. Tilda's mind wandered from blood
and vaccines to food and water and shelter. How much
of her time was spent dwelling on these things? Too much?
For sure? What did people think about before this? Tilda
felt an odd anxiety at the thought. They continued southward,

(12:36):
a sea of unspoken questions between them. Tilda wished they
hadn't heard the broadcast. Mountains rolled like blue waves to
their left, forest to their right. The sky's hues shifted
into a soft blue. Though Tilda was expecting it, they
didn't pass another person on the road. It was strange,

(12:57):
but somehow it made her feel even more threatened than
it had when they were running into the herd. Of
folks walking to the north. More and more, Tilda came
to the conclusion that visiting her parents was out of
the question, but she couldn't shake the idea of it
from her mind. She wanted their advice now more than ever.

(13:18):
She needed their advice, But all those who were chasing
her in Madison would be expecting that. And who's to
say her parents wanted anything to do with her anymore?
What must they think of her? She couldn't dislodge the
image either of her parents meeting Madison. She was proud

(13:42):
of him, of his intelligence, his curiosity features. She loved him,
and she wanted her parents to love him as she did.
It was an image she'd just have to hold in
her head, she told herself firmly. If the Resistance was
looking for her, and they did their due diligence, they'd
have to send people to search for her. At her

(14:04):
old home in Atlanta, she wondered if her mother and
father were all right after her arm had presumably coerced
them into sending her that message of the broadcast system.
They continued on their new bearing westward. As the sun
moved higher in the sky above them, the temperature warmed,
but the warmth seemed very superficial on their already bone

(14:25):
deep cold bodies. Tilda wished now that she'd taken the
time to search the desk drawers at the office they'd
stayed in before they fled that morning. She might have
found a map, which would come in handy right now.
With their return to a paved road, Tilda had expected
to see the migration of people that had led to
her nearly fatal decision to cut through the state park,

(14:46):
but they'd yet to see anyone. The roads were empty.
They passed dilapidated gas station. Tilda guided Scout under the
awning that had been mostly reduced to cross beams. She
doubted they would find anything of use inside, but it
would be irresponsible not to check. She fastened Scout to

(15:06):
an exposed metal pipe right outside the glass door patting
around the neck. The glass wasn't shattered, but cracked, a
good sign that this place might not have necessarily been looted.
The newspaper plastered outside the windows made it impossible to
tell from the outside. When Tilda pulled out the handle,
it didn't budge, it had brusted shut. She sighed in disappointment,

(15:28):
jangling the handle fruitlessly. Do we have to break in?
Madison rubbed his gloved hands together for warmth, reminiscent of
someone's scheming hatching plots. Let's look around, Maybe there's another
way in, or a metal bar to use to pry
the door open. They circled around the back, where there

(15:50):
was indeed another door. It was locked as well, but
the entire knob fell off and Tilda twisted it. Tilda
reached inside the hole left by the knob, gripped her
fingers around the metal rod that had connected the two
knobs together, and twisted, pulling it toward her body. At
the same time, the white door, stained with rust and mold, gave,

(16:11):
practically falling off the hinges. As Tilda swung an outward,
nearly losing her footing, an old, rotten wood smell wafted
over them, and in unison, they reached up to cover
their noses, coughing into their elbows. After regaining her bearings,
Tilda edged inside the door, tile painted a sickly green
that reflected onto peeling walls, painting the room in an

(16:32):
eerie greenish glow. The smell became less pungent, and Tilda
tentatively lowered her arm, taking in her surroundings. In the
corner was a rusted toilet, the ceramic cracked. Next to
it was a sink leaning forward as it pulled free
from the wall. Above it was a black paper towel
dispenser that looked out of place, far too modern compared

(16:54):
to the rest of the room. In the far corner
was a dingy mop in a periwinkled blue pail. The
opposite wall was blank save for the map of mold
and bubbles of air pockets under the paint. There was
another door straight across the one they'd entered, that was
now hanging by only one hinge. This one looked sturdier.

(17:14):
Tilda strode over to it, testing the knob.

Speaker 2 (17:18):
Locked.

Speaker 1 (17:20):
This one would not be falling off like the other. Sheepishly,
she half turned to Madison, muttering for him to back up.
She steadied herself on the balls of her feet, taking
a deep breath, and then rammed her shoulder into the door.
The impact dazed her. She saw stars, giving her head
a heavy shake. She braced herself and tried again. This time,

(17:43):
she felt the wood give a little under her weight.
Here we go, She hyped herself up third times. The
charm ram then immediate bounce back. Nope. She rubbed her arm,
the skin tingling, rolled her shoulders glared at the offending wood.
This time the door splintered under her weight. Ouch, Tilda

(18:06):
exclaimed softly, her hand coming up to creedle her arm.
A crack ran down the middle of the pane of wood,
splitting it nearly in two. Tilda kicked at the shards
of wood, and they clattered to the floor. Gingerly, she
reached her hand through the crack, careful not to impale
herself on the gigantic wooden tooth left by her mal treatment,
her fingers crawling up the wood on the opposite side

(18:27):
like a giant spider until they closed around the lock,
turning it the other way. The door jerked open with
a puff of stale air. Madison coughed behind her. She
shouldered open the door, thinking of the ones who had
owned this store, who had cared for it, had newspapered
it to discourage looting, who had locked it up carefully

(18:48):
when the world was ending, when this station could offer
them nothing more. The inside was quite bland, a rectangular
room with rows and rows of cheap metal shelving. Most
of them held nothing but dust, years of it. As
a matter of fact. Tilda stalked down the first aisle,

(19:08):
cataloging what little remained on the shelves, extension cords, a
couple of tubes of pills, chapstick. At the end of
the metal shelving was the checkout desk, Lottery tickets and
cigarette packages displayed prominently overhead. Outside, Scout whinnied, scuffing her hoofs.

(19:29):
Tilda crouched underneath the open counter that typically could be
lifted and passed through, but now wooden budge. She re
emerged behind the checkout counter. Apart from a thick layer
of dust that muffled her footsteps, the tile was free
of the debris she'd grown accustomed to seeing in these places.
The cigar wrappers and empty pill canisters weren't there. The

(19:51):
cash registered drawers were open and empty. Not that money
would do her any good these days. Clippings of newspapers
detailing the spread of HSV five headlines gradually increasing with panic,
were laid out on the counter a morbid timeline. The
last one was dated years before Tilda was born. It
showed a picture of a harried looking man, hands raised

(20:13):
against the flashing of cameras and a sign of defeat.
The caption informed her he had been the last president
of the United States before it dissolved, back when there
was still the manpower to sustain that level of organization
and bureaucracy. On a whim, she gathered the clippings in
her hand. They were incredibly thin, like they could dissolve

(20:34):
into dust at any minute, folded them up and slipped
them into her backpack side pocket. She'd read them later.
She rifled through the drawers, coming up with nothing. She
bent down and pulled open the cabinets, but they were
also empty, saved for some cleaning supplies. Pivoting on our heels,
she opened the last set of cabinet doors, discovering a safe.

(20:58):
Thinking it would bother her to never know what was
in there, she reached out to test the handle she
was certain would be locked, only to rock back on
her heels when the handle gave as though she'd torn
it free from the rust that had held it in place.
Tilda wasn't sure if it had been unlocked, or if
after years and years of dust, rust and genilla roding
that comes with aging, she had broken the lock. Inside

(21:22):
the safe was a stack of money, a thin chain
necklace with a golden cross dangling at the end, and
a gun with a box of bullets. Tilda took out
the pile of money, knowing it was of no use
to her now, but wanting to appreciate the novelty of it.
She removed a bill it was at twenty and traced
it with her fingers. Parts of the odd green paper raised.

(21:43):
It depicted the Capitol building on one side, with bushes
and trees out front, and on the other a man
she didn't recognize. There was a phrase in Latin, she
didn't understand it in another phrase, and god we trust
that she didn't really understand either. This used to be
worth something. People would buy things with. This would work

(22:04):
jobs they hated for, this would kill for this. It
was bizarre to her. In her hands, it felt like
a useless piece of paper. What is that? Madison piped
up behind her, badly, startling her so that she had
to grab onto the cabinet door to keep her balance.
It's money, what they used to use to buy things.

(22:27):
She passed the bill to him, and he studied it deeply,
trying to divine the meaning. Tilda flipped through the rest
of the bills, almost wanting to pocket them, just knowing
that at one time that stack of paper would have
saved them. It would have gotten them food and water
and shelter, But now it was just extra useless weight
in her bag. Madison flipped over the bill, examining it

(22:51):
critically this way and that, holding it up to the light,
and asking Tilda about the phrases, about the pyramid with
the eye at the top, about the man on the back.
Til didn't know the answer to any of his questions.
As she took out the gun, making sure the safety
was on and the bullets. He asked, so, why was
it worth twenty Tilda thought for a moment, the box

(23:15):
of bullets in her hands, because people believed it did
Mouce believed it and agreed on it. But it's not
actually worth anything if you don't believe it. Now, I
guess not, She grinned, slipping the gun in the waistband

(23:36):
of her jeans, her skin recoiling at the cold metal,
and the box of bullets in the side pocket. Maybe
in a museum someday, if there ever were museums in
the traditional sense. Again, now the entire world felt like
an abandoned museum with no one to care for it.
She closed the safe and odd sensation of sadness for

(23:58):
the person who'd spent so much much of their life
to save this money, who put it in a safe
and guarded it with a gun, only to then leave
it behind. Does all of the meaning it held fell away? Weird?
Madison breathed, holding the bill out in front of him
like some delicate antique. Tilda heaved herself up and padded

(24:19):
Madison's head. I know, let's keep searching, okay. She swung
herself under the countertop and continued her survey of the
store of all its odd trinkets and knickknacks that Tilda
both thought were incredibly cute relics and frustratingly useless. She
half cursed past generations for taking up valuable shell space
that could have been for canned and other non perishable

(24:41):
food items and used it instead for snow globes with
women in bikinis and who the skirts in them? Pieces
of wood with trite phrases like I'd rather be at
the beach. She passed in a collectic collection of keychains, headphones, earplugs,
face mask, a collapsed shelf that had odd looking pillows.
At the end of the row, opposite the checkout counter

(25:03):
was the wall of refrigerated glass cases. Tilda swallowed dryly.
The water, of course, was gone, as was much of
everything else. There were a couple of Coca colas and
some energy drinks, both of which were good for an
energy boost and not much else. Nevertheless, Tilda pocketed two
of each, hitching her backpack further up on her shoulders.

(25:26):
The other aisles mostly had rotten cardboard boxes, empty of
the candy bars and snacks he had once held. Look,
Madison exclaimed, bouncing into a review with a handful of
bags of chips clutched in each fist. Free does and
barbecue lays. Good high mouse, she told him, singing her
backpack over one shoulder and putting the bounty in the

(25:48):
front pocket. He beamed at the praise. Where'd you find
these in the back of the shelf, he pointed, very back.
Tilda nodded, bending down to inspect the bottom shelf. She
found a couple of bags of M and M's peanut
and pretzel, a bag of cheese sets, some sunflower seeds
and beef turkey, and a tiny jar of peanut butter.

(26:10):
She checked the expiration date way past. But hey, pickers
can't be choosers, she told herself, putting it in the
bag that was getting steadily heavier. There were also bags
of popcorn that they'd be unable to pop, a cup
of noodles they'd be unable to heat up, and some
cans of soup and raveolli, which if they got desperate
they could eat cold. They also scavenged a couple of

(26:32):
boxes of band aids and insets, some packets of trail mix.
She would add them to her bag. And then her
eyes landed on an enormous chug of water the kind
used her water coolers till the guest that since it
was too heavy to carry, had been left reluctantly. She
stared at it like it was a religious icon. She

(26:54):
could have fallen to her knees and prayed. Some she'd
portion for Scout, or as much as she could drink.
The rest she'd rebottle for them. Hey, Madison, go look
around the store for empty bottles or bottles. We could
pour out whatever's in there and put water in. He stood, transfixed,
like catching the jug, causing the water's reflection to dance
across his face. Tilda called his name again, and he

(27:16):
snapped out of it, sprinting to the back of the store.
She could hear him scuffling around the store, bottles clattering
to the floor as she unlocked the front door and
started shoving against it, bits of red rest dislodging and
floating in the air. The metal squealed at an ear
cringing pitch. Painfully slow. She eleven opened the door. Scout

(27:38):
watched Tilda huffing and working away board. She wedged it
open enough to wriggle out, awkwardly stepping the jug in
front of her. Madison returned with a small collection of
plastic bottles sliding easily between the gap. Okay, Tilda gasp
grabbing a gray bucket from next to the empty shell
of the ice machine and plunking it in front of her. Scout.

(28:01):
She rested her hands on her knees for a second.
Winded from her battle at the door, she struggled for
a moment to twist the top off, until the plastic
teeth finally gave and she spun the cap off. She
studied the jug for a moment, knowing she'd be unable
to lift it she'd have to tip it, but even
then she'd have to be careful not to tip it
and spill that most precious liquid all over the concrete. Mouse.

(28:25):
We're going to tip some water into this bucket for Scout. Okay,
can you tip the bucket toward me? Madison readily obeyed.
Untilda knelt, shedding herself off her backpack and removing her
gloves to get a better grip. She tested its weight
at various points she could try and get a more
secure handle on the jug. She braced herself, taking a

(28:46):
position a little behind the jug, and asked ready. Madison nodded,
and she tipped the jug carefully, using her knees to
help prop it up. The water trickled at first, then
poured into the bucket, Tilda's arm shaking a bit with
the effort. Scout's ears perked with interest, and she bent
her nose down closer to the bucket. When it was

(29:08):
almost halfway full, Tilda pulled the jug back, liquid slashing
around the plastic. Tilda collapse into a resting position on
her hands, catching her breath. The second she'd stopped pouring,
Scout had closed what little distance remained and started slurping
up water. Madison looked on with jealousy. Warily, Tilda pushed

(29:29):
herself to her knees and zipping her backpack and rummaging
around for the empty water bottles. She lined them up
along with the ones Madison found. This was going to
be tricky, all right, she sighed heavily. Let's start with
the bigger bottles you found. Almost before she'd finished speaking,
Madison held out an empty Coca Cola bottle. Tilda, smile, Riley,

(29:52):
I'm going to go slow, okay, I don't want to
lose any more water than we have to. She tipped
the lip of the jug, the amount of water, making
it even more awkward to pour. Even though it was lighter,
it was still too heavy to lift. But now the
water level was lower, she had to get a higher
angle to pour it out. She stood, anchoring her feet

(30:12):
far apart, cheeks puffing with exertion as she lifted the
jug just barely off the ground, her arms trembling with
the effort it took control it. Water dribbled out into
the bottle, clinking against the side agonizingly slow. As the
jug gradually lightened, she was able to tip it more easily,
water pouring into the bottle at a much steadier clip.

(30:35):
The jug clunked back upright, Tilda allowing her arms to
hang like overcooked noodles. She popped her neck, staring at
the jug like it was her arched nemesis. Madison looked
at her hopefully, waiting for her permission to take a sip.
Wait till we're dunmouse, then you can have some. Once
she'd regained some of her strength in her arms, they

(30:55):
began again a meager assembly line of water bottles, getting filled.
As the jug got lighter, the pouring got easier, which
was good. Tilda doubted she had the strength to fill
too many more water bottles. Scout had slowed, lapping water
at a much more leisurely pace. After they filled the
water bottles, there was still a bottom ring of water remaining.

(31:17):
Tilda replaced all of the bottles, but the big one
to be split between her and Madison. She retrieved a
bag of sunflower seeds and m and ms to share
as well. Wondering when they could find something for Scout
to eat, she let Madison have the first crack at
the water. He gulped it in the most controlled way.
He could muster, Tildo imagined. She opened the bag of

(31:38):
sunflower seeds, cupping a small handful and eating them one
by one so she'd feel like she was eating more.
The sky darkened as they ate and drank, Tilda considering
their bounty. The jug of water almost seemed too good
to be true, and a couple of snacks to boot,
and the gun cold metal against her lower back. It
had slipped lower down her waistband with all of her

(32:00):
rustling with the water jug. Do you think the man's
okay that we took a scout from, Madison asked, popping
an orange eminem in his mouth. I think so. He
looks like he could take care of himself, and the
weather has gotten a lot better. Madison nodded, reluctantly, watching
the horse. She'd finished with her bucket of water and

(32:20):
was watching them with what Tilda anthropomorphized as contentment. Tilda
leaned back on her hands with a swig of water,
her lower back ached with carrying the pack and keeping
the water jug steady. She glanced around the sky grumbled.
Tilda didn't see any signs to indicate what row they
were on. She stood and stretched her back, her shoulders,

(32:44):
her legs, Madison munching on the remainder of the sunflower seeds.
When he was finished, she gestured for him to hold
out the water bottle they'd just emptied and filled it
with what was left in the water jug, replacing the
cap and putting it in her pack. She rolled the
discarded jug into the gas station to hide somewhat any
obvious signs that they'd come through here. Madison stood, dusting

(33:06):
off his jeans, and they both looked down the road,
expecting to find an answer or a clue as to
what the future held for them. And that brings us

(33:34):
to the end of this chapter. This was such a
video game chapter, like when I was looking back over
and I was like, you can tell I play video games,
because it's very much like she opened to the store
and found this item inside. Does mean yes, would you

(33:57):
like to search the shells for snacks?

Speaker 2 (34:02):
Some way to do that interactively? Because I think that'd
be funny. I mean, honestly, someone should get on it.
I bet there is. It is interesting to see my past.
I trying to work through the good for the mini conversation,
because if you've heard my thoughts about the Last of

(34:23):
Us and about Star Wars, even I've got some complicated
relationships with that, But it's it's fascinating to me that
in this chapter you're hearing Tilda try to parse out
what is the best thing she can do, Like is
it going back to this place that she doesn't trust

(34:47):
with this person she doesn't trust, but maybe it will
help with a new vaccine, or is it just protecting
her kid and pretending she now heard it. So it's
fascinating to me where I am now versus when I
was writing this. But also some things are to come. Listeners,

(35:09):
that is for sure.

Speaker 1 (35:12):
I do think it's fair to say I can't go
into this whole argument I had with myself after I
read this chapter again that there is a difference between
a lot of the things I have a problem with
and what happened here, which was sort of outright betrayal
before before the call to come back came. But more

(35:33):
to come and more to say, I shall believe it
there I was always Listeners. I hope that you're enjoying
this shout out all the shout outs to Christina who
makes them happen. It's fun, it's fun for us, so
hopefully you're enjoying it. If you have any theories or
thoughts or suggestions for other things we could do like this,

(35:55):
it has to be in the public domain, but if
you have a suggestion let us know. You can email
us Stepania mom Stuff at iHeartMedia dot com. You can
find us on Twitter at mom Stuff podcast, or on
Instagram and TikTok at stuff I've Never told you. We
have a YouTube page and a tea public store and
a book you can get wherever you get your books.

(36:16):
Thanks Zowis too, our super produced Christine, our executive producer,
My and your concurctor Joey. Thank you. Thanks to you
for listening. Steffan never told you us direction of iHeart Radio.
For more podcasts from my heart Radio, you can check
out the heart Radio app Apple podcast, where you listen
to your favorite shows,

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