His name was Micah Turner. His birthday was November 18th, 2001. He would’ve been 16 this year. He was a straight ‘A’ student, didn’t play video games, didn’t smoke or drink. He was a pretty good guy, according to Melly. How much of that is bias, I don’t know.
Melly says, the morning everything went to shit, he nailed the door to his parents room shut cause he heard them shuffling around, then got on his bike and headed for Melly’s. He rationed out what food they had and scavenged the nearby houses for food when they ran out. He kept her safe, and was trying to come up with a plan to get them both somewhere permanent to stay when we came across them.
Surprisingly enough, Melly was against joining us. Micah thought it would be safer if they traveled with adults, but Melly was worried because most of the group members are male. She was worried they would try to take advantage of her or both of them. They argued about it back and forth, until Micah finally told her that he was leaving, with or without her.
Right before he went to sleep the last time, he asked us to apologize to Josh. He said he didn’t want to leave this world being an asshole.
And then he puked on my shoes.
He apologized for that too, so y’know. Whatever. Not like he could help it. I was standing on one side of him, Scott was on the other. Micah turned his head to throw up, and I was there.
I have to say this about Micah. He was brave at the end. He didn’t cry, he didn’t rail against the gods or anything melodramatic like that. Before he went to lay down the last time, he closed the blinds between him and Melly. Scott helped me put down the rest before he went outside with Melly.
I did it. I took care of Micah.
Scott offered, but I’m the leader. I can’t keep having him do all the “dirty” work. “A leader should never ask someone under his command to do something he wouldn’t do himself.” I forget where I heard that, but it’s a good rule to go by, I’m thinking.
I had Scott write up a note or something that we could leave with Micah’s body. Couldn’t give him a tombstone, but we wanted to leave something with him, so people didn’t think he was abandoned or anything. I don’t know, it just felt wrong to leave him behind with nothing. I’m not sure what Scott wrote in the note. I didn’t look. I just took care of what I needed to do. I had to call Scott back inside to help move Micah’s body, and we said a little prayer for him before we left.
We need to come up with some kind of ceremony we can do when this happens. A tradition of some sort. We can’t hold a regular funeral, but everyone deserves to have some kind of ceremony thing. I’ll have to talk it over with the rest later.
We’re resting right now. I let people rest until the sun came up, and then we took off. I was worried about the sound of the gunshot drawing trolls to where we were. We saw a few as we made our way out of town, but it wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be.
I was going to find a place to stay for a day or two, to give us all a chance to process what happened with Micah, but Melly wanted us to keep moving, so we’re at the bridge now. It’s a long ass bridge, too,
so we’re not crossing it til tomorrow. Well, shit. Dave just called me. He went with Josh and Scott to check out the troll sitch and to possibly do some scavenging. Apparently it’s another fucking drawbridge.
We’re getting ready to cross the bridge now. The boys are going to stay where they are. They’ll keep an eye on the streets and let us know if anything changes. I think one of them is going to stay at the end of the bridge to make sure it doesn’t get raised before we’re across it.
I have to go help Abby and Karla get the kids settled so we can go. They just layed (laid? lied? screw it, I don’t care) down, and now they’re back up again. We’re letting Chloe and Timmy ride in the wagons, hopefully they’ll go back asleep, and we’ll get to cross without a problem.
Wanna know something creepy as all hell? Passing by a whole line of cars filled with trolls. They were pawing at the windows as we walked by them. We could hear the thumping of their heads and hands against the glass. Chloe woke up at one point, looked out and saw what was going on. She started crying, which woke Timmy up, and got him started crying, and GAH. It’s a mess.
They didn’t settle down again until we were off the bridge.
We’re at a house now. It’s right next to the bridge and it’s empty, so we figured it’s as good a place as any. Plus, we need to rest. We’ve been going for a while, and none of us got much rest last night. We’ll have to keep moving tomorrow too. This area is a bit too crowded for my liking. Lots of houses, and now that trolls are opening doors…yeah. Nope. I don’t like this one bit.
I’m not leaving til the guys get some sleep though. Their scouting is too important to our survival.
I would swear these men were running on red bull or something, but I happen to know that they haven’t had any in the past couple weeks, so I don’t know how the hell they’re already awake. Whatever. Everyone is getting a potty run in, and then we’re getting on the road. It’s already hot and muggy, so I’m not sure how far we’re gonna get. I really wish we could travel at night, but I don’t trust it. It’d be too hard to see the trolls, and if we used a light, we’d draw attention to ourselves from both, humans and trolls. There’s just no winning here.
Camping outside tonight. We started just enough of a fire to heat up some food. It’s like, perfect camping temperature right now. We wouldn’t even bother with the tents, but we don’t want to risk mosquitoes (mosquitos?). Not with us still not knowing how this shit is spread.
It was pretty uneventful today. We had to make a lot of stops, and we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible, but that was it.
Oh, and we found a dog. He was tied up in the backyard of a house we were passing by. We could see the owners trying to get out the back door, but I guess it was locked. We untied the dog and gave it one of our cans of ravioli. The poor thing must’ve been starving. He scarfed it down. The kids and I distracted him while Scott and Josh took out the owners. We raided the house, and brought out the bag of dog food we found, and a big ass bowl for water.
Roger made us take it slow with giving the dog the food and everything. Apparently animals are like humans when it comes to how our bodies react to food/water after so long without. We haven’t named him yet (I’m not even sure it is a ‘him’, but whatever. I’m not checking. That’s Roger’s job.), but the kids are attached already (of course). I told them we could keep him as long as he doesn’t go barking at stupid shit and getting us all killed.
He’s curled up by the fire right now, getting his ears scratched. The poor thing wasn’t just starved of food and water (still trying to figure out how he survived so long). Not sure what kinda dog he is. Roger says he’s a mutt, but it looks like he’s either part rottweiler, doberman, or german shepherd. He has the same black/brown coloring. He’s not as big as those dogs though. Kinda medium sized, I guess? Meh.
He’s a dog.
He has fur, four legs, and a tail. And ears. And a really cold nose that he just came over and shoved against my fucking ankle. Asshole.
Alright, let’s see. I’ll tell you what I know about Ben now.
His name is Benjamin Collins. He was a programmer for a big company. Won’t tell me the name, but with his big ass boat, and given where he lived, I’m guessing it was a famous one. He grew up in Pennsylvania. He already tried calling his parents several times and no one’s answered, so he’s guessing they’re dead. He keeps calling anyway. He leaves them voicemails with the number of whatever phone he’s using at the moment, and telling them where we are. I’m a little worried about that part. If the trolls are re-learning how to use the human body, how can we be sure that they won’t be able to follow us eventually? Scott says I’m being paranoid, and it’s entirely possible, but better safe than sorry.
Let’s see, what else? He was married. They divorced. He hasn’t called to check on her. He said he’s worried she’ll answer the phone, and it would just piss him off to find out that she is alright, but not his parents.
He’s got really pale blonde hair. It’s like, almost white, and he’s only 37, I think he said. 36 or 37, I forget which. I didn’t get to really talk too much with him today. He was one of the scouts, and he was training Josh and Becca to help out. Gabby is working with Karla and Abby with the kids. I guess Becca and Gabby are taking turns with the kids. They’re both pretty good with them.
I think Jason is developing a crush on Becca. I dunno if he understands the deal with her and Gabby, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Alright, it’s about midnight now (I’ve been patrolling in between writing), so time for me to do one more round, then wake up the next shift. Mike and Becca are on second watch tonight.
Camping outside again. I’m off from watch tonight (finally! A perk to having an assload of people!), so I stole the single person tent for myself. We’re in another clearing. We didn’t get very far today, we kept running into a river/creek thing. It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough that we were worried about the tires getting stuck in the mud. We took advantage of it though. Refilled our water jugs, got the bleach in them so they could start purifying. Washed clothes, dishes, took a quick bath. We kinda said ‘screw it’ when it came to modesty. We did the Roman thing and all bathed together. Josh is a good back scrubber. It was like a combo of scrubbing and a massage. We were literally lined up for him to scrub our backs, lol. (Ugh, you know I’m tired when I slip into net-speak.)
The older kids did some swimming after the bath. Melly hung back at first, but Becca and Gabby pulled her in. I think they’ll be good for her. I’m not saying I think she’s gay, too. I just think having girls her own age around will help her with the whole Micah thing.
Oh yeah, we let the kids name the dog. They went with “Lucky”, because “he’s lucky we found him!” I dunno about the others, but I’m thinking “we’re lucky to still be alive.”
Anyway, today was pretty much a fun day. We just took it easy, and tried to treat it as a pleasure hike instead of a “run (walk) for our lives!” thing. I got to talk to Mike and Karla today, at least, so now I have someone to talk about.
Mike and Karla Bishop. Mike is from Delaware, but Karla is actually from some little town in far north Maine. She’s gotten used to the Delaware weather, but she’s not a fan of hiking in the heat.
Mike comes from old money. His family has lived in Delaware, pretty much since it gained statehood. He comes from a family of architects and engineers, and he kinda falls in between. That’s why he was able to build the wagons so easily, and had all those tools and such available. He’s starting to train Jason with repairing and stuff. He’s still training Abby, too. He says she’s picking it up fairly, but so is Jason. I asked him about building a couple regular bows for us to start hunting with, but he pointed out that we would still need string for them, and that none of us know how to use them anyway, so what’s the point?
Next house we get to, I’m checking to see if the internet works. Maybe youtube will have some tutorial videos. There’s all kinds of sites that allow you to download videos from online, I’ll just use one to download the tutorial videos and take them with us. Learning on the go, woohoo for us.
Karla is also old money. She was sent to finishing school and everything. I didn’t even know those things still exist, but okay then. She’s been all over Europe and Asia. She taught me a few words in Japanese and Korean, but hell if I can spell them. Anyway, I forget if she met Mike while she was overseas, or here. Love at first sight, they both swear. They were married two months after they met. Their families didn’t approve at first, but around the tenth anniversary, they started warming up to the idea.
They have two sons. One of them is military, and they haven’t heard from him yet. The other one is married and has a teenaged daughter. They’re in a supposedly safe place down in Texas. Karla asked me if I thought dad would let their son and his family join his little community thing. Even if dad says no, I’m pretty sure mom will overrule him. She likes to do that, and as a mother, I’m pretty sure she would side with Karla. I plan on calling them tomorrow while we’re on the road.
Personally, I think it’d be better for the family to stay where they are. Getting from Texas to North Carolina isn’t going to be easy, but hey. That’s up to them. I suppose it can’t be any worse than us going there from New York, and at least they’re only dealing with ONE kid who is a TEENAGER. Chloe is adorable, but this is NOT a good trip to be on with a 4 year old. A four year old who is currently having herself a fit, because she’s “not tired”.