When the food ran out was when they started to worry. There was still water, and plenty of beer, but the food went fast. They made it last as long as possible, the two of them, but they never really talked about what to do when they inevitably ran out.
"We'll have to go outside," Eric said.
Landon didn't respond, but Eric knew how he felt on the matter.
"We don't have a choice."
Landon grunted, the response he often gave lately. He was sitting in the recliner. There was a time when it would've been a good spot to sit with a book, right next to a window. But now the windows were boarded up and the light inside only came from candle and lanterns.
Eric scratched his beard. After years of shaving this was the longest he'd gone without doing it. He hated having facial hair, but had little choice now. Landon always had some kind of facial hair and didn't seem to care about it. He didn't seem to care about much of anything anymore.
Except going outside.
He tried not to show it, or was just numb to most things lately, but the fear of leaving the cabin was worse than the fear of starving to death. Eric understood, but didn't feel the same way.
"We're going to die if we don't leave," Eric said.
"We'll die if we do," Landon said.
Eric didn't know how to argue with him, one because he wasn't the most logical person anymore and also he might be right. Something was out there, there was no denying that. They heard it, when the sun went down mostly, but not every night. Once they went a week without hearing anything and Landon started to act normal again. He carried a conversation or two. Then it came back and Landon became reserved again.
He'd seen it, whatever it was, and refused to talk about it or what happened to Derek and Andrew. Maybe it was for the best, not knowing. Then again, Eric's imagination would go wild at night. He'd picture it as he heard it, scrapping against the door and the walls. Footsteps on the porch. Sometimes he'd imagine it with four legs, sometimes just two. Hairy, claws, teeth. Everything that it could and couldn't be.
Eric walked over and tried to make eye contact with Landon. He had to bend a little awkwardly to do it, but he managed. "I'm leaving. I'll do it during the day, when it isn't around, and I'll be back with supplies."
Landon looked away.
It was almost hard to remember what he was like before all of this. He was the most popular guy in the frat, always out with girls, always doing something cool. It was his idea to come to the cabin for the weekend that became an almost 2 month stay. Maybe that's why he felt the way he did. Not only from seeing whatever he saw, but also feeling responsible for being there. And, maybe, responsible for Derek and Andrew.
Landon had mentioned the cabin from a recommendation from his cousin. He was a scientist or something at some facility down the road. They drove by it the day they came in and from the backseat Andrew said, "I guess that's where they keep the government secrets."
They all laughed and added on to what exactly they did there, each suggestion getting more ridiculous and making them laugh more. It wasn't funny to think about anymore though.
The kitchen fridge stopped working within the first few days, but Landon kept the beer inside anyway. He opened the door and pulled one of the dozen or so cans left off the bottom shelf. The beer was one of the only things they'd brought with them and at times like this Eric was glad they had it. With no electricity, no internet, and nothing to read, the only real way to relax was to have a drink or two. And with spacing out the food and water, a couple of beers could go a long way.
The pantry door was shut, but Eric opened it anyway just to check one last time. The shelves were bare and the floor had only trash. It might seem silly to believe that food would magically appear, but then again, it was silly how it had come to be there in the first place. When they'd first arrived they brought more beer than they would ever need for one weekend (thank god) and just some snacks. But the pantry was full when they arrived.
That would've been odd enough, but then there were the tools and wood in one of the bedrooms. It was almost like whoever was here before prepared for what was coming, knew that the world was going to go to hell, but never made it back to their stash.