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Fiction – Ruth’s Story #43 Night falls on the barricade on Lake City Way

June 8, 2012

I feel the press of a cold knife blade against the side of my neck. This fool obviously does not know how to properly assault someone.

In the same move that I have practiced numerous times, I lean back against him while drawing my SOG Pentagon Elite pocket knife from my right front pants pocket. I wish I had my Glock fighting knife, but this knife will have to do. To distract my assailant, I immediately go limp causing him to hold all my body weight while I snap open the knife. It does not appear that he heard the soft click as the blade locked open.

The man immediately tries to hold my weight while I reverse my knife. I thrust the knife to the hilt into the right side of his abdomen repeatedly. While stabbing, I twist to the right underneath his arm towards his right hand which holds his knife.

He screams as the razor-sharp knife slides into his side several times and tries to let go of me. I twist his knife arm up overextending the elbow using my left arm in wrist lock. I slide my right leg out to stomp down as hard as I can on his left foot. I hear a satisfying crunch as my Israeli combat boot shatters the bones in the top of his foot. While he is distracted with the pain, from his elbow and foot I whip the knife down slashing his groin deeply in two vicious cuts aiming for both of his femoral arteries.

He shrieks shrilly as I slice both of his legs and his groin deeply, soaking us both in an erupting fountain of hot blood. Reversing the knife in my hand again, holding it point vertical, I plunge it in his belly just above his belt buckle at a slightly upward angle. Wrenching the knife upwards using my legs for leverage the buried blade slices through his lightweight nylon jacket and tee-shirt disemboweling him. My knife stops at his sternum as his blood and guts pours against my hips. He hunches up against me, his back bowed tightly. A hot gout of blood bathes my hand, wrist and lower arm as I rip the gory knife out of his body.

Now reduced to a moaning gurgle the man goes limp when I yanked my knife from his abdomen, and I let him fall on his back on to the ground. I kneel beside him on my right knee. In a merciful gesture, starting underneath his left ear I slice his neck to the bone clear around his chin finishing the cut underneath his right ear.

The man quickly bleeds out and dies with a rattling gurgle looking at me with horrified eyes. I wipe my bloody knife on the man’s clothes and pry my grimed hand off the knife handle. I gripped the knife so tightly that the grooves from the knife handle are etched in my skin in deep depressions. My hand stings and I flex my gory fingers a few times attempting to restore circulation.

I mutter a quick prayer for his departed soul. “Ya-eir Adonai panav eilecha vichuneka.”

Standing I realize that I am soaked from my chest down to my feet in dark red chunky blood. I had forgotten how messy killing someone with a knife can be. The SOG knife was thankfully sharp enough, but it was not quite long enough.

With the clinical part of my mind, I see that my disemboweling cut did not go deep enough to hit the large abdominal aorta near the spine. I should have been carrying a larger heavier knife, like my Glock fighting knife, which would have reached the abdominal aorta.

I pick up the dead man’s fallen knife and note that it is a Cold Steel Counter Tac 1 knife. It is badly dulled, with a heavily nicked and pitted blade. It is a pretty decent knife, but shame someone has not cared for it as they should.

While I was looking at the Cold Steel knife Jamal, comes running up closely followed by Randy. Jamal has his medical kit while Randy is carrying a very short-barreled black pump-action shot-gun with a collapsing M16-style stock and a pistol grip. He is wearing a black nylon shot-gun shell bandolier full of green shells over his left shoulder.

Randy is the first to speak. “Jesus fucking Christ Ruth what the fuck happened!”

I tap the corpse with the toe of my right boot. “This asshole grabbed me from behind and suggested with this knife (I hold it up for emphasis) to my neck that he would like to know me better.”

Jamal drops to his knees mindful of the gore on the ground and looks over the dead guy, using a tongue compressor to look at the wounds I caused. “Well Ruth you did a real number on him. Not even the damned Surgeon General could have saved this poor soul. Do you realize, Ruth that not only did you slice both femoral arteries but you sliced his cock and one testicle off as well.”

“Well the fuck head should not have grabbed me!”

“Ruth this is beyond vicious.”

“Killing someone with a knife is never pretty and not something that you fuck about doing!”

Randy steps close to us. “It’s Ok Ruth did what she had to do to protect herself. Although, now I understand why he shrieked so loudly. Probably better than shooting the bastard. Let’s clean up.”

As Randy is offering his pearls of wisdom, we hear a voice above us.

“My God Ruth you are a sick animal!”

We look up and see the woman who was sleeping in the cab of the snow plow. She looks remarkably pale (for a pale Caucasian woman) and has wide crazy-looking eyes.

Before I think about what I say and because my adrenalin is still ferociously pumping, I practically shout at her. “Well fuck you too, let us see how you react when some pervert grabs you!”

Randy steps between us. “Easy ladies, let’s just calm down.”

“Randy I dropped my pistol, help me find it please.”

I ignore the bitch in the window, but I hear her roll the cab window closed again. I look around for a few moments until Jamal speaks.

“Ruth here is your pistol. It was underneath the body.”

Jamal hands me my pistol butt first. I go to take my pistol back and then realize that I have my knife still clamped in my right hand. Closing my knife, I slide it back in my right front pants pocket. I need to get cleaned up now worse than ever and putting my knife away grimy is not pleasing.

Putting my knife back reminds me that I have a sealed water bottle in my left pants pocket. Now holding my pistol in my right hand, I tuck it underneath my left arm pit and pull the bottle of water out. I drink almost the entire liter of water pausing to take some deep breaths and then finish off the bottle.

I notice the shot-gun that Randy is carrying is a short-barreled Remington 870 with the barrel ending just in front of the magazine end cap. Since the shot-gun wears rifle-like sights, I am betting it is a military or police contract gun. It is certainly shorter than legal for civilians to own without the proper paperwork.

We stand in silence for a few moments watching the sweeping soldiers transfer bound civilians back to place them sitting in the street. So far we have not heard any shooting or any explosions. From the progress of the soldiers running the bound barricade members back to the street, it appears the sweep is going pretty fast and so far without serious incident.

While I stand watch in my congealed blood soaked clothes, the number of bound barricade members rapidly grows. Eventually Randy and Jamal take the stabbed corpse away, its final disposition I do not know, and they never told me, and I never bothered to ask.

As the afternoon wears on and the shadows start to lengthen, I see that Jamal helped by Carol (I guess she is feeling better) and Mal erects a O.D. green canvas shelter beside the water tanker HEMTT.

The canvas shelter is of the type common to military units in the field and can be anything from a general MASH unit to barracks to the HQ for the division. Putting the large shelter up in the lee of the HEMTT is smart as it protects it from the street on one side and gives a firm point to attach the shelter as long as no one drives off with the truck.

As the sun, sets I hear a rapid conversation on Randy’s radio. Since it did not come over my radio, they must be on another channel discussing something. Randy comes over after the conversation and talks quietly with Jamal.

Still wearing my gory clothes which are starting to stink and chafe, Mal and Carol exit the large military tent and motion for me to come over. Since I am still on convoy guard duty, I walk over to see what they want. I will need to get relieved before I step into the tent where I cannot see the convoy.

Mal starts talking first. “The boys are almost done. Nicky and his guys are back and are going to watch the convoy for us.” So she calls him Nicky too – interesting.

“And what are we doing that the boys need to watch the convoy for us?” I ask somewhat intrigued. In the silence between Mal’s statement and my question, I realize that I hear the roar of a propane stove in the tent.

“We did not want to say anything before, but you seriously need a shower, your BO is killer right now. Jamal has rigged up showers for us in the back of this tent. Since there are only us three girls, we get first dibs on the hot water.”

“What about the lady in the snow plow cab?” I ask remembering that there are actually four women in this convoy.

“She will not be joining us. I guess she was very wealthy before the pandemic and has not really adjusted to the way things are now. Her husband was some computer wizard millionaire at Microsoft. Come on we have plenty of water there is a limit to the propane and I am tired of cold showers. I do not know how many more hot showers I can get but I am going to enjoy every one that I can. When we get up north it is going to be really fucking cold and I do not know if they have hot showers.”

Carol seems really perky, I guess the idea of hot shower makes her very happy. I admit the idea is very pleasing to me as well.

“But we do not have that much water to waste.” I remember that we have to conserve water.

“Oh they found that the fire hydrants here still have water pressure so they hooked the water tank HEMTT to it. We have all the glorious water we can use because the boys also rigged a tankless propane hot water heater up for all of us to use. We are going to wash clothes and bodies at the same time.”

Mal’s announcement of the hot water and a surfeit of water are stupendous news. I trot back to my little car where I see Nikola is standing with several other former soldiers smoking cigarettes.

Nikola looks at me over his cigarette. “Ladies first shower while boys get supper laid out.”

“Thanks Nikola,” I tell him, “I appreciate it.”

He shrugs. “Is no problem.”

I pop the little Smart car open and grab my rolling luggage. I cannot remember ever being more excited about a shower in my life.

Trotting back to the HEMTT with my luggage rattling behind me, I come across Randy walking around the convoy in the early evening shadows. Sutton is beside him and I hear them talking mentioning my name a couple of times.

Passing Laurel and Hardy I hear Randy call my name so I stop and turn around.

“Ruth we are doing a raid tonight wearing NVGs. One of the reasons we outfitted you was so that you could help us. We are taking rifles but not using them unless we have to. Pistols only shooting sub sonic rounds or knife if we need to kill either living or dead assholes. We kick off at midnight. Make sure you are ready to go.”

“Ok no problem what are we raiding?”

  1. Guido permalink

    Note to self, don’t mess with Ruth!

  2. Excellent, but quite gory. You keep me interested.

  3. Frankie Stakes permalink

    So they’ve stooped to the roll of raiders now with Ruth as killer in chief? I thought that raiders were the bad guys in SHTF stories.

    • Frankie did you miss the earlier parts about the zombies? This is a zombie apocalypse story, which is a type of SHTF story.

      • Speaking of zombies, I’ve only heard of them lately. Aren’t they still pushing against the barricade? I’m still for a perimeter breach, which would make this story really interesting.

      • The zombies are milling around the perimeter right now. A perimeter breach would be interesting, we will see in the next chapter.

  4. Greg Landgraf permalink

    I’m digging the Ruth blog! Great job, where is the next installment?

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