What happens when a person with some common sense wakes up to a “zombie apocalypse”? Shit gets done, that’s what.
Spoiler: the dog doesn’t die.
Please note: this work of fiction involves a lot of swear words/cussing and adult themes. Kiddos beware.
The power went off about an hour ago. The stove is gas though, so we still got to have a hot breakfast.
The rain is dying down. I think, by tomorrow, it should be over. Mike and Scott are going to run out to the boats here in a few and get the propane tanks out of them. Mike says the one on their boat is just about empty. They conserved as much of it as they could, eating cold sandwiches and showering together, but they were out there for over a week.
For now, we have the kids practicing putting up the tents in the living room. Mike and I are trying to figure out how we’re going to pack the wagons. We have two big tarps, but can’t decide if we want to line the bottoms of the wagons with them, or cover the cargo in both, or line one and cover it…and just. Too many options.
I was antsy about getting the wagons packed so we could get on the road as soon as the rain stopped, but Mike reminded me that the ground is going to be soggy after that storm, and it wouldn’t do us any good to get on the road, only to be bogged down. So now, instead of us leaving tomorrow, first thing in the morning, it looks like we won’t be leaving until the day after.
I suppose it’s for the better. It gives us more time to work out who is doing what, and teaching the kids useful things (hence the tent pitching practice). Jason has volunteered to take turns with Abby, minding the kids and taking watch. Abby wants to start working on building up arm strength, so she borrowed some old purses from Karla and put bottles of water in them. She’s using them like dumbbells. She says she doesn’t want to be dead weight, which honestly is a fair point. I think Jason would be doing the same thing, but he doesn’t want to be seen carrying a purse – even by a troll.
Ben is scrawny, but he’s got some strength to him. Scott’s arm is looking better. It’s red and scabbed over, but it’s not oozing or anything, so I think it’s healing alright.
Karla just came downstairs. She looks pissed. Write more later.
Our boat is gone.
Apparently we didn’t tie it off right or something, and it’s gone. We could probably hop in the other boat and chase it down, but it seems rather pointless. The only thing on it we really wanted/needed was the propane tank anyway, and we can get another one of those when/if we raid a gas station.
Karla spent a good 10 minutes having herself a bitch fit at Scott, until I told her to knock the shit off. It wasn’t his fault. Yes, he was the one who tied the boat off, but he had also never done it before. We probably should’ve had Ben do the tying, but he was helping unload the boat and getting shit inside before the storm hit. And anyway, it’s not her place to reprimand one of my people.
A lot more was said, but I think it was finding out that I am in charge that threw her the most. I thought she already knew, but apparently not? She’s been upstairs sulking for the past 10-20 minutes.
I’m not sure where Mike and Dave are. They took off while Karla and I were having our….discussion.
Ben and I made a tentative job chart. All of the adults, including Jason, will spend time on watch, but there’s more to this survival thing than just keeping an eye out. Abby, Karla and Jason can take turns watching the kids. Karla, Mike and I can teach the others how to cook over a fire, so all of us can take turns cooking. Scott is going to have to train us with the gun. We can’t have only one person who knows how to do shit. We all need to know.
Ben and David are both small but quick. They’ll take turns scouting ahead as we go. Mike is good with fixing stuff, so he gets to be in charge of making sure the wagons are rolling alright and patching up the tents and tarps and crap like that. I’ll help him where I can.
Which reminds me: when the guys get back, we’re gonna need Mike to pack up some nails and some basic tools. It’d be kinda hard for Mike to patch up anything without the tools for it.
Annnnd, Karla’s back.
Ben is in the other room, so I don’t know what time it is. I really need to get me a watch of my own, dammit. Actually, we should all get watches. It’d be easier to coordinate shit.
Anyway, Karla is done being mad. She apologized to Scott. She liked the “job chart” idea. She suggested having Jason be in charge of setting up the camp. Getting the younger kids doing their chores, supervising and all that. The younger kids can pick up pinecones and dry branches as we go. They make good tinder for fires. Timmy is big enough to start learning how to rake the camping area, and Chloe can gather rocks for the firepit.
When I mentioned Mike doing maintenance, she grabbed a flashlight and went running back upstairs. Mike and Dave stomped in while she was up there. They had made a run back over to their neighbors. Now we have a small axe and a bunch of those nylon cord things. I don’t remember what they’re called, but they’re great.
Karla came back while we were talking about the tarps. She had a sewing kit with her. She suggested using shower curtains to line the bottoms, and the tarps to cover the tops. She also suggested extending the sides of one of the wagons upwards so we could stand the bikes against them. We could drape the tarp over the whole thing to make it like one of those old covered wagons. Mike pointed out that if we do it to one, we might as well do it to the other. In case we lose a wagon. He’s out there right now working on it. He took Abby and the guys with him. He’s planning on getting them started learning the basics of wagon maintenance – or, in Abby’s case: the difference between a wrench and a screwdriver.
I’m trying to figure out what we’re going to do for dinner. Karla says there’s some ground beef in the freezer that should be used up before we leave, and we have some flour and bread. I could make ground beef gravy. It’d be easy enough to heat up in the morning too. Jason and Karla both say they’ve never even heard of it, so it’ll be something new for them.
Okay, not sure what the fuck happened, but Abby just came tearing in and asked Karla about shower rods?
Abby is brilliant. The shower rods are for hanging up laundry. Something I completely forgot about. I thought of washing the dishes, but clothes? Oops? So now we have to figure out who will be doing the clothes washing, too. Abby suggested adding it to the whole ‘taking care of the kids’ job detail, but Mike vetoed it. He argued that it shouldn’t just be the women doing the cooking and cleaning. Dave and Scott agree, surprisingly enough. So now we’re supposed to work out some kind of system for them all to take turns. Abby still gets the final say in the kids stuff, except for with Chloe. Dave is still her father, so unless he’s doing something that will put her at risk, he gets to make decisions for her.
Ben suggested that whoever isn’t on watch duty that night has to do the washing, and we’ll just cycle it out. I’m thinking there should be at least two people doing the wash, and one of the kids. The adults can wash and rinse, the kid can wring them out and hang ‘em up. There should probably be someone with them to keep watch, too. Karla suggested using the little cart to take the clothes to wherever we’re doing the washing. One adult washes/rinses, the kid takes the clean clothes and puts them in the cart. The other adult keeps watch. Once everyone gets back to camp, then the kids get to wringing out and hanging the clothes up. I suppose that’ll work. We can certainly give it a try anyway.
We went through the bags of supplies we brought with us, sorting out would go in the wagons and what will be carried in backpacks.
A lot of crap is being left behind. Karla pointed out that razors aren’t that important, but Mike suggested taking them apart and embedding them into the baseball bats. He finished all four of the bats before dinner was done cooking. She also suggested ditching the bottle of vitamins, but Abby vetoed that one. Those are going in her bag. We’re all going to carry a gallon jug of water with us and a little jar of bleach. I borrowed a sharpie marker to write down how to use the bleach to clean the water on each jar. The little kids are only carrying a couple bottles of water, instead of a jug. They’re a little too little for carrying a gallon.
We got rid of almost all of the silverware. We have 10 forks and 10 spoons. Mike took a page out of my book and is making a couple knife belts for the rest of the group. The belts aren’t big enough for hammers, but we managed about 4 sharp knives in each one.
Oh, we ditched most of the bowls. We’re not all gonna be eating at the same time anyway, so we don’t need that many.
The stuff like deodorant got tossed out. The glue gun is gone – it was useless without power anyway. The cans of bug repellent got mostly spread out among us, same with the sun screen. We turned on our phones long enough to program our numbers in them, and make sure they’re all on silent, then turned them all back off.
Mike nixed the inflatable mattress idea. He says the wagons are too heavy. Even unloaded, it wouldn’t work, so here’s hoping we’re able to avoid rivers and crap.
Karla had Mike and Ben help her dump boxes out so we could use them for the wagons, instead of just tossing in a bunch of plastic bags.
Jason suggested labeling the boxes with things him and Timmy will understand. Like, the “dinner” box has all the stuff for eating. The bowls, silverware, camping pots and pans, can opener, etc.. The “ow” box is the meds and first aid kits. “Clean up” has the different soaps. The rest of the boxes were a bunch of misc crap, so we just wrote the contents on the side. Jason is pretty good at reading and sounding out the words he doesn’t know yet.
We didn’t bother boxing up the sleeping bags and tents. We’re using the sleeping bags tonight, and all that needs to go in last anyway.
I’m glad we have the second wagon. The water jugs and food boxes are already taking up lot of room, but we kinda need them. The toolbox isn’t huge, but it’s heavy. Karla says we can ditch the cooler once we finish with the food in it. It just takes up too much room, and it’s heavy as fuck. We have to pull these wagons ourselves, so we don’t want to weigh them down too much.
There’s also the question of the terrain we’ll be going through. When I moved to NYC, I flew in. My dad packed up the moving truck and drove it up to me, so I have no idea what we’re headed into. Mike says the area here is a bit rough cause we’re on the coast. I don’t imagine the path south is going to be any easier. The wagon bottoms are metal. If they break, we’re screwed seven ways to Sunday. I’m hoping we’ll come across a couple horses we can steal/borrow/barter for. Not holding my breath though.
The rain stopped around 5, I think. We’re debating leaving tomorrow, and just sticking to the paved roads for now. There’s a harbor south of us we’re going to try and get to. It’s a long walk ahead of us, but it’d be even longer to have to go around the Chesapeake. It’ll really suck if we get there and there’s no boats. There’s a bridge further south, but again: bridges = bandits = NO.
We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.
I have last watch tonight, so I’m off to bed. See you tomorrow.