Friend and the girls load the back of his truck with all the food and clothing they can fit inside. They top it with clothing, blankets, and camping gear. Every inch of space is filled with anything they think might be needed. Last on the truck are several large jerry cans, filled with all of the fuel he had or could siphon out of other vehicles. He sticks his siphoning hose behind the seat. They may be able to siphon more fuel from abandoned cars on the way.
They leave his village late in the night. It's going to be a long trip, hopefully without too much trouble. He decides to take the back roads, even though it means they'll be passing through more towns, because it takes them around the major cities, where the cars have probably left the highway looking like a parking lot.
The first few hours are uneventful. They stop in quiet spots between towns, refuelling from abandoned cars and relieving themselves.
As they approach one of the larger towns, they see a roadblock set up with armed guards. Friend loads his shotgun and stops a ways back from the roadblock. He puts the truck in reverse, then rolls down his window to talk to them.
"Can we pass through here?", he asks.
"This is a toll road. Get out of your vehicle and prepare to be inspected", one of the guards answers as he raises his gun.
Friend floors the truck and rushes down the road in reverse. Shots are fired. He keeps driving in reverse until they're a couple of miles out of town, then turns the truck around. They drive back the way they came for another 10 miles or so. When they stop he gets out and checks the vehicle for damages. They were lucky. It looks like only a few pellet holes through the fender on the driver's side.
Friend checks his map to find a way around this town. He tells Niece1 to drive, so he can be ready with the gun if needed. They continue on their way.
Their detour is uneventful for another hour, until they see another vehicle moving towards them. It flashes it's lights at them. They again stop a ways back and roll down the windows, leaving the truck in gear. Friend tells Niece1 if anything happens, floor it and drive straight ahead. They need to keep moving forward.
Luckily the people in the other vehicle are just fellow travellers, trying to make it to safety. They talk about the towns they drove through, and warn each other of dangers they saw. There's a spot up ahead a couple of hours with a lot of abandoned cars blocking the road. The others were trying to work their way around them when armed men jumped out and demanded they stop and give them all of their food. They tell Friend the ditch is rough, but they drove through it ok. They also warn them to find someplace to hide in the daytime. They tried travelling during the day and were nearly mobbed by people on foot. They part company and continue on their journey.
When they get close to the spot where the other travellers had told them about the hijackers, Friend and Niece1 switch places. He gives her the gun and tells her just point and pull the trigger if anyone gets too close. They drive up the road and see the hijackers pushing a car into the ditch. They aren't prepared to shoot, so Friend zips through around the vehicles quickly. They're lucky again.
They make it just outside of Friend's cottage's town before they encounter another road block. The men here start shooting right away. Friend tries to back away quickly again, but feels a sudden burning in his leg. He keeps driving even though he knows he's been shot. He drives as far as he can before nearly passing out. The girls are freaking out. Niece1 jumps out of the truck, and sees the bullet holes as she reaches for the door. She pulls it open and sees the blood.
She checks Friend's pulse and he's still alive. She looks for the wound, and finds it in his leg. She gets a t-shirt out of the back and wraps it around his leg. The girls work together to push him into the center of the truck. They aren't sure where to go from here and it's getting close to daybreak. They decide to try to find a spot to hide. Niece1 drives up the road slowly, looking at houses, farms and fields. She finds a small house that looks empty and pulls in. She drives right past the house and into the backyard. She turns the truck around to face the driveway and parks it between the house and some trees.
The girls are shaken up, they're not sure what to do now. They decide to stay in the truck and try to get some sleep. It won't be comfortable, but if anyone comes they'll be able to drive off quicker. Niece1 checks Friend's wound. Thankfully, the bleeding has stopped.
They sleep for several hours, off and on. The girls need to relieve themselves, and they're hungry, but they're nervous to get out of the truck. There hasn't been anyone around all day. Niece1 takes the shot gun and opens her door. She waits while Niece2 jumps out. Niece2 goes behind the truck to relieve herself, then digs through the back for a jar of soup. They'll eat it cold. She holds the gun while Niece1 jumps out. They quickly scramble back in the truck, happy nothing happened.
As they eat the soup Friend begins to stir. He moans and clutches at his leg. They hold his hands and try to wake him. He opens his eyes, disoriented. They tell him where they are and what happened. They feed him some soup. He needs out of the truck. Niece2 helps him out and around back, but then he's on his own.
It takes a while before he stumbles around the side of the truck. They help him back in. He's looked at his wound. The bullet went straight through. It hurts like hell, but he should survive.
They look over the map and he shows the girls exactly where his cottage is. They look at a few different routes around the town where Friend was shot. The best route would take them two hours away, and they'd have to pass through three more towns, where anything could happen. They decide instead to go around the town on the back roads. They'll pass through the edge of town on the north side, but they hope the guards there will be less trigger happy. They just need to get around one corner and they'll be headed back away from the town.
They try to sleep. It's a few more hours before dark. They want to wait until midnight or so before they head out again. After dark they get out to relieve themselves again. They eat another jar of cold soup, this time while standing outside. They stretch their legs a bit, refuel the truck, and wait. Friend is in a lot of pain. They decide to keep him in the middle in case he passes out again.
Niece1 pulls out from behind the house and heads down the driveway. Niece2 notices a faint light in an upstairs window, and someone watching them. There was someone there all day. This house was not abandoned after all. The people inside must have been wondering what they were doing out there all day.
They head down the road, staying on the country roads, weaving their way around town. They get to the road that they're worried cuts into the corner of town. Niece1 braces herself. Drive fast, don't stop.
She hits the throttle, cruises up the road over a hill. She can see a road block at the corner. She floors it. One of the guards jumps out of the way, the other raises his gun. She whips around the corner. There are gun shots behind her, she doesn't slow down. The town is soon far behind them. They should be home free now. A few more back roads and they'll be at the cottage.
Niece1 looks down at the instrument panel. They're low on gas. That's strange. They haven't driven very far. She tells the others, and stops beside an abandoned car in the road to refuel. The car doesn't have any fuel in it, so they get a gas can from the back of the truck. As they start fuelling the air fills with the smell of gas. They look closer and discover they've got a leak. One of the bullets must have hit the tank.
Friend tells them to fill it anyway, they've only got a couple of kilometers left to go. The girls hurry, jump back in the cab, and speed off on their way. Niece1 watches the needle dropping nervously as she drives. She's afraid they'll have to stop and refill again when Friend says, "That's it. The next place on the left." They made it.