Billy and Katee walked hand in hand as they crested the last hill, leading to a small valley where lay the town of Desperation. They shared a brief kiss and held each other tightly as they quickened their pace down the slight hill slope. Desperation was dark, though several lights still burned in the windows. It was still twilight and the early rays of the sun were still a few minutes away from breaking.
They followed the train tracks to the bottom of the hill and kept up their pace as they trotted the last mile to town. The tracks lay on a flat stretch of land and they kept a steady pace. Every few moments, Katee would look over at Billy. Both were bloody and beaten, from fighting and running and trying to stay alive, and each knew the other was pushing on for the other's sake. Katee saw a man who had risked everything to keep her safe. The first man she had looked at in a long time that didn't treat her like what she was. Or at least what she use to be. A man who loved her.
Billy saw a woman unlike any he had ever known. Fierce, tough, loyal, and independent, Katee was a woman who could take care of herself. She had a smile that was real and infectious, and Billy couldn't help but feel lighter, like his worries were fading away, with each smile she shared with him and each step he took beside her. As they neared town, he knew this was the woman he loved.
As they neared closer to the town, a dull glow appeared in the East, the first hint of the sunrise. Spurned on by this thought they moved quicker. As they reached the outskirts of town though, something caught Billy's eye that didn't seem right. He slowed his pace and looked over to Katee, who had been looking at him but turned back to the path ahead when he had slowed. The two were still holding hands when they reached it. There on the ground they looked at it. A man, heavyset, in a brown suit, laying face down in the dirt just outside of town.
Motioning for Katee to stay put, Billy let go of Katee's hand and crept forward. Crouching down, he set his rifle on the ground and cleared out the pistol he had recovered from the train. Slowly, he turned the body on its side wary all the time, never taking the barrel of the gun away from the body. Katee could see the expression on his face even before he had even finished turning the body. The man's face had grown yellow, mouth engorged and fanged, his expression narrow and angry. His stomach had been ripped open and stripped clean on its contents. The man's fingers ended in sharp dark red points, with the stains of blood and pus evident on his lips and in the dirt below.
Whatever had happened in Contention had followed them to Desperation.
Katee's eyes went wide with fear, and tears flowed down her dirt ridden face. Billy got up and put his arm around her. She buried her face in his chest and wept as Billy rubbed her hair. He watched as the sun broke the crest of the horizon, a sun grown black, illuminating the world in an unearthly dull light. It was then he could hear movement coming from the direction of the town. Slow, shambling steps that echoed across the valley walls. Billy knew then that there was no escaping this. No running away. They were trapped, wherever they went on this Earth, under a dead sun.
End of Line.