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.
Well, today went about as well as expected. Greeted Corporal CH with his new name, “Corporal Robinson”…which, incidentally enough, is his real name.
him: what the…how is that creative?!
me: were you expecting it?
him: ….not really, no.
me: then it was creative. suck it. (Okay, so I didn’t actually say “suck it”, but it was implied.)
Hurried through breakfast, discussed the path we were going to be taking, got our wagons and were on the road by about 7, I think. Got about a mile down the road, and…it started raining.
It wasn’t too bad though. We were sticking to the roads anyway, so we just kept on going. Our escorts took turns disappearing and reappearing, scouting, I’m guessing. We didn’t have to do any backtracking today, so that was awesome. We came across a couple hordes and had to lay low while they passed ahead of us, but all in all, not a bad day.
One of our escorts was part of the original team that scouted dad’s place, so he directed us around the creeks. I didn’t know that was what he was doing at first though, so I kept getting annoyed when I would suggest taking a shortcut through the woods and he would shoot it down. I was about to strangle his ass when Spc. Gray finally explained what was going on. Then I wanted to smack him for not just telling me. I mean, aren’t these military people supposed to know how to communicate information to the people who need it??
But hey, whatever. Had a nice long conversation with Gray. She had all kindsa questions about dad’s land. Was there a river nearby, or just a pond. How much land was clear, were there enough houses, how much electricity did I think we would need…I didn’t really have any answers for her though. I mean, up until we got to the base, I figured electricity was history. Something we would have to work our way back up to, you know?
The base changed all that. They didn’t have lights blazing everywhere, or anything, but the hospital had power, and they had converted one gas station into a fridge/pantry thing. They had built a waterwheel and were rerouting the power stations last I heard, which, admittedly, I wasn’t paying that much attention, so it was a couple days ago? They might already be done, I don’t know how hard the rerouting stuff is, but they already have the big stuff done, it seems to me?
The biggest thing I can think of that we would need electricity for at home would be fridges of our own. And maybe the greenhouse, if we decide to go with that. Otherwise, we can use fireplaces in the houses in the winter, and in the summer, we’ll just have to muddle through. It would be helpful to be able to use power tools for building, but not necessary. I suppose power for cooking too, but again, not something we have to have. Spotlights around the walls to keep an eye out for stray trolls would be good too, of course. She asked if there were any gas stations near the house, I guess for the whole fridge/pantry idea, but they’re out of luck there. She’s going to see about which one would be easier, building one on the land, or just putting all the fridges in one building and providing enough power to keep ‘em running.
I vote for building the gas station thing. It would be a lot easier, I’m thinking. I’m also thinking it might be easier for everyone involved if they could just dismantle a gas station and move it to the farm, but hey, what do I know?
Sorry, I’m a little aggravated at the moment. It rained most of the day, and I was ready to go ahead and call a stop a couple hours ago, but one of the front scouts said there was a better spot up ahead. Got to where he was talking about, and there was a ring of cars surrounding a big tent thing already set up. That part wasn’t what annoyed me. It was nice not having to set up our own tents in the rain, and there was even hot food waiting for us.
No, what has me pissed off, is that there were six people waiting for us. I told the general that I only wanted a certain amount of people going with us. Too many people make too much noise, and is harder to find hiding places for. The general even agreed. So WHY are there MORE people here?!
Dick said that they’re not going with us, they’re here to hold the place in case they, or us, need a safe point to fall back to. Another group should show up sometime tonight, and the guys here will move onto the next point. I guess they have a rotation schedule setup for this.
To be fair, it’s not a bad idea to have this place set up, and like I said, it was nice to not have to put up the tents in the rain, but ugh. It’s just aggravating cause it feels like the general did this on purpose. “Yeah, sure, I won’t send a bunch of people with you…I’ll just send them ahead of you instead.” Fucking loophole bullshit. I hate it.
They did a good job though. I have to hand it to them, they know what they’re doing. The cars had been cleared out and moved out to give the soldiers enough room to pitch their tent, as well as a few smaller ones, and even a clear space for a firepit. The car doors on the sides facing out are locked, and they all have just enough gas to get the people inside to the next checkpoint or the fort.
I asked why they didn’t just throw us in the car and drive us to the farm. Gray said that with gas being limited, they prefer not to use any of it if they can avoid it. Their current goal is to get us to the farm, get things sorted out, and get back. Once the deal is finalized between our communities, they can use the cars as part of the wall along the road. They’ll get the cars where they need them to be, drain the gas, and store it for later use.
Too annoyed to call it a genius idea, but I’ll be nice and give it a “not bad.”
Also, I got tired of saying “Corporal Robinson” real quick, so he is now “Robin.” Dick snickered for a full hour when he heard that, but I haven’t got him to tell me why yet. Maybe tomorrow…
Okay, fine. I withdraw my complaint about the checkpoints. They saved our ass today, so it’s kinda hard to stay mad about it now.
The trolls are getting sneaky. Like, scary sneaky. They ambushed us. They ambushed the fuck out of us.
It was kinda like what happened at the church, but in reverse? Kinda?
Okay, so the road we’re taking cuts through some pretty dense woods, and there was this one section that was really bad, so Dick and Gray went and scouted ahead. They gave it the all clear, so we followed along behind them. Well, we got til…about the middle, I’d say, and all hell broke loose. I was close to the back, cracking jokes with Josh about Dick’s ass, when Lucky started stalking towards us, growling and his hackles all up. I didn’t need to look behind us to know what he was smelling, I just shouted “AT THE REAR!” and ran for the wagons, head down, gun drawn.
Robin ran past me with four of the other guys, yelling technical stuff, I have no idea what they were saying, I was too busy getting everyone else ready to run to pay attention. One of the others, I don’t know his name yet, asked me why I had yelled. They didn’t see anything. I told them what happened the last time Lucky got his hackles up, and to get his ass at the rear. Right about the time he decided it would be a good idea to start shit with me for giving him an order, the shooting started.
I swear, these things just keep getting worse. The general said they only had reports of small hordes between the fort and the farm, and up until today, the largest hordes we saw were the ones in the woods, and that one day on the highway. This was like both of them, combined. They were running up the road behind us, coming out of the woods on our left…it was insane. Someone shot off a signal flare, and Robin dropped back to tell us to get the hell out of there. The next checkpoint was about two miles down the road. They would be on their way soon, but in the meantime, he and the others would cover us while we took the kids and ran for it.
Timmy had been walking with us, I tossed him in the wagon with the younger kids and we all hauled ass for about half a mile. As soon as we were clear, I split us up. Abby, Liza, Josh, Melly, and the Goulds took the kids and ran ahead to the next checkpoint, while the rest of us went back to try and help with the horde.
The guys were being pushed back towards us when we got there. I thought Robin’s head was gonna explode when we showed up. He was cussing so much, I almost blushed…‘almost’ being the keyword there. Scott took charge of half of the group, and I took the other. We took turns providing cover fire so the others could fall back safely. Dick and Gray ran in a couple minutes later and joined the battle.
I wish I could say we were the turning of the tide, but honestly, the whole thing was a shit show. By the time the soldiers from the checkpoint reached us, two of our escorts were cut off from the rest of us. We were barely holding our ground. With the backup, we managed to push forward enough that our guys were able to rejoin us.
We managed to stage a…I forget what they called it, a retreat something. Under fire, maybe? Basically, we took turns shooting and running. We didn’t lose anyone, but the two that had been cut off from us were injured. No bites, thank god. One of them was close to a car, and I guess a bullet hit the road close to him or something, cause it ricocheted right into his side. The other had taken shelter in one of the abandoned cars, but whoever the car had belonged to left behind a knife. It slit a nice hole right up his shin. Robin was hurt too, grazed by friendly fire, but he’s okay. Keith got to practice giving stitches, and hey, he didn’t faint this time, so score?
We made it back to the checkpoint. We’re not sure if we killed all of the trolls, or if the rest were driven off by the pheromones of the ones we did manage to get rid of, which is why we’re all on high alert tonight. I just came off my guard shift. Robin came around mid-way through and chewed me out for not obeying orders. I ignored him, of course. Then he surprised me by saying “good job.”
I figured he was being sarcastic, but Dick says he wasn’t. They were all genuinely impressed that civilians were able to rally together like we did and provide enough support that they were able to retrieve their men and get to safety. We were given a debriefing where Robin explained that there is a checkpoint every five miles, just for events such as this. They loaded up the two guys who were hurt and took them back to the fort in one of the cars. Their wounds were all stitched up, but they needed more medical attention than what we can provide, which made me wonder what would’ve happened happened if this had happened closer to the farm? We’re gonna need some kind of hospital there, too. Even if it’s only equipped enough to stop someone from bleeding out while we transport them to the fort.
I suggested it to Gray, but it was already on her list of stuff we’re gonna need. She also suggested some kind of entertainment building. I’m pretty sure I had “what the fuck?” written all over my face at that, cause she proceeded to point out that mental health is just as important as physical health, and people need a distraction from life sometimes. Even more so when their world has been turned upside down. Fair point, I suppose. I didn’t even realize how much I missed music until she suggested setting up an exchange system for books and music and movies. I told her I didn’t think anyone in town would have something to add to the exchange, but she said that’s not important. What’s important is giving people an escape. Otherwise, it’s just day in and day out of work and dealing with monsters, and that’s not a life worth living.
A fair point, I suppose. I mean, after what happened today, I know I personally wouldn’t mind a good ol’ Disney movie. Bring on the random singing and dancing animals and, god yes, even the sappy as hell ‘happily ever after’ bullshit. We’re gonna talk about it more tomorrow. I don’t think we have a building big enough on the inside for everyone in the farm, but we could see about getting a projector and projecting the movie on the outside of one of the houses maybe. That would give everyone room to fit, and we could eat outside like at a picnic. It’ll be like one of those old drive in theaters! No idea how we’ll manage it, but I bet she’ll have an idea. It’s on my list of things to talk to her about tomorrow.
Which reminds me, we should reach the farm tomorrow. Should. Franklin (the guy who went to the farm before) said that we’ll be cutting through some woods which is gonna slow us down, but he’s hoping that we make it to the outskirts at the very least. He doesn’t want us traveling after dark anymore, so as soon as it looks like the sun is getting low, we’re making camp. We’re also going to be taking the guys from this checkpoint with us. The ones that took the two back to the hospital are going to bring reinforcements for this base, so now, there’s going to be like…thirty of us. Plus the kids and the dog.
Dad’s going to be so thrilled.
Having to try and write this in what little light we have left. No fire tonight. Well, a dakota one, but that’s not enough to see by.
We’re in a clearing right outside of the wall of cars dad and them have in place. Frank says they changed it a bit since he was here. He’s not sure if it’s the work of their people, or dad’s, but before, they just the cars parked bumper to bumper. Now, they have cars stacked on top of each other like puzzle pieces almost. Like, they have two cars rightside up, and one upside down in the space between them…I don’t know how to explain it, it works though. Frank and Dick found a spot where there’s a massive truck parked…sideways, I guess? It’s parked in a way that it can be pulled back to provide an opening for us to get through. They’re going first thing in the morning to talk to someone at the farm to get the truck moved for us. I suggested they move the truck themselves, but they’re worried about pissing dad and them off.
I think it’s stupid, personally. I mean, why on earth would dad be pissed off that they moved a truck when I’M telling them it’s okay? And it’s not like we’d leave the gap open, you know? Of course we could park the truck where it belongs, but whatever.
I’m also confused as fuck. We were told that there’s a checkpoint every five miles, so I thought there would be a temporary camp here. Nope. The clearing is completely empty except for us. That’s part of why Robin isn’t letting us have a regular fire tonight. He doesn’t want to draw any attention when we don’t have backup. I think we’d be fine, and if anything, we’d get the attention of dad’s people before the trolls, but again, whatever. I think I’m just antsy cause we’re close enough that I can hear the people working in the community. Every once in awhile, we’ll hear a loud clang. I thought I heard someone shouting, but no one else heard it, so I guess it was just wishful thinking.
Whatever. The others wanna talk about what kinda jobs they can do on the farm, and I can barely see enough to write anyway, so I’m gonna go.
I’m home. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it, but I am sitting in my old bedroom right now. On my bed. Bridget is in her crib thing right next to my bed. Everyone else is spread out in the tents. I tried talking them into at least bunking inside, but they wanted to give my family and I time to catch up and everything.
I tried telling them there wasn’t any need for that. I mean, we have plenty of time now. Plus, not to sound corny, but most of what we needed to say wasn’t stuff that needed words, and we got that out of the way when Mom and Dad met us before we even made it to the farm. Mom full on tackled me. We both fell into the creek. There was laughing, there was crying, there was the three of us sitting in hip deep water, covered in mud, and hugging each other so tight we could barely breath. I was soaking wet, and I was home.
Agh, so many tears today. All happy tears though, so hey, no complaints, but let me do this right. Ignore any tear stains you see, this is a happy entry.
We got up at dawn, as planned. I bugged Robin to at least let me move the truck, if he was so worried about pissing off dad. He finally gave in, so I drug Dave up into the cab and got him to hotwire it for me. Pulled it out of the way, got everyone inside the “wall”, and parked the truck back where it was.
Once I got a good look around, I recognized exactly where we were. I’ve played in these woods since I was old enough to walk, and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many crawdads I’ve caught in these streams.
We made it across the first stream, but it took a lil bit cause of the wagons, and Gray kept stopping to measure depth and current. I guess for the water power idea? I’m not sure the streams are deep enough to even bother, but there’s a lake and a couple ponds that they might be able to do something with. She was asking me if there was any drainage to the lake, if there was a current, etc etc, when Dick showed up with mom and dad. That pretty much sidetracked all our planning.
While we were doing our boohooing, Scott and Robin and them got the wagons across the second creek, then sat down and waited for us to get done. Gray did some more measuring and recording. We hurried up the rest of the way, which is a really good thing, cause it started raining like right after we got to the house. Robin got everyone setting up tents and stuff while we were all arguing over who was gonna sleep where.
We eventually got all that sorted out, and dad sent my brother out to get the other leaders (basically mom, and this other guy). The rain turned into a big storm, so the house got a bit too crowded to hold the meeting in there. We ended up moving it to the military tent (not sure what they call it, but it looks kinda like a big tent, and it’s military grade, so. Military tent).
We got a lot figured out. Gray thinks our lake will work for the hydropower. They might have to dig a better drainage area to give it more of a current, but they need to do a survey of the land first, to make sure it won’t do more harm than good.
Dad approved the idea of a worker exchange. We don’t know how long it will take to get the road between us secure enough for a lot of people to be traveling on at once, so he’s going to start work on expanding the farming area. In return, pretty much everyone but Gray and Frank are going to stay here and help guard the wall. That frees up a lot more people who can be working on the field. Everyone else will be split up between building the wall and scavenging the scrap yards.
Dad loved the greenhouse idea, he’s gonna put people to work on that tomorrow. We’re also gonna start building houses. Just small ones along the wall first, so the guards don’t have as far to go when storms like the one today start up. Mike said he’ll start working on some blueprints, and Gray is going to send us as many builders as she can. The fort has plenty of shelter, so they can spare those particular helping hands. They also have a bunch of raw material they can take from the city. She said they’ll probably pack as much as they can on a truck and send it through the road. They’ll have to leave the materials outside the ring of cars though. We can’t risk the creeks getting contaminated by dripping gas or radiator fluid, etc.. She said they’ll make sure to send along enough people to help transport the material from the road to the settlement.
She thinks it will only take about a week to secure the road between the towns, but dad and I aren’t counting on that. He’s going to start having someone stay on watch at the gate/truck for the return truck, and I’m supposed to talk to some of the group tomorrow about being ready to help shore up the road on our end while we wait. He wanted us to have a break, but honestly, after being moving for so long, I think we’d go crazy if we tried to just sit around and do nothing.
Mom approved the idea of the book/movie exchange. She said they’ve already been setting aside two nights a week for everyone to have a day off and just relax. One of the buildings they scavenged was the library. They’ve been bringing in a cartload of books for everyone to read, and then taking them back and switching them out. Mom wants to move the library closer. She’s worried about the building getting damaged. Gray agreed with the idea, and made some more notes to take back with her.
What else…I saw Anna. Dad told her about the troll baby, but she’s not worried. Not about that, anyway. She would feel better about the actual labor part if she was at the hospital, but she’s not worried about the possibility of the baby being a troll. Gray isn’t going to be leaving til the day after tomorrow, so I’ll talk to her in the morning about finding a way to get Anna to the fort before the baby comes.
My brother Josh, and our little gay boy Josh are getting along pretty well. They kept messing with mom. She’s not used to having two Joshes running around, so she would call “Josh!” and both of them would answer. She finally threatened to break out the wooden spatula and blister their asses if they didn’t knock it off.
God, I’ve missed her. It’s been a long road, but I’m finally home.
Goodnight whoever is reading this.
Goodnight, and goodbye.