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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #96 Beginning of the second day on the farm TEOTWAWKI & SHTF

February 8, 2014

Gathered in the center of the farm-house in what must have once been the dining and living rooms, many angry members of the convoy are gathered around the battered Scarecrow and his sidekick. There is too much shouting, and angry gesturing for me to get a grip on what has happened. I am momentarily tempted to foolishly shoot the floor getting everyone’s attention.

I decide, however, that emotions are running too high to risk gunfire. Thankfully, I have one of the little maritime compressed air fog horns in my LBV. The piercing honking of the small air horn deafens everyone momentarily. It also successfully shuts everyone’s mouth for a moment while causing many people to cover their ears.

Climbing on the coffee table in the center of the room, near Scarecrow, I whistle a few times to get their attention. Shack shoves his way through the crowd to join me, but he remains standing on the floor. It feels weird to be suddenly slightly taller than Shack.

From my vantage point, I attempt to ascertain just what the fuck all the shouting is about. Immediately several people start to talk at once, so I have to silence them all with my air horn again. After the blast of the horn dies, I choose a random convoy member at random and ask him what is going on.

“Uh well, Ruth, these two (gesturing at Scarecrow and his companion) were attempting to leave in the red diesel van stuffed with gear.”

I ask Scarecrow if this is true. He does not respond. By pointedly not looking at either Shack or myself, I am fairly positive what the other convoy member said is true. Thankfully, Scarecrow’s plain black lady companion is not so bashful.

“We do not really fit in with this group. You got us out of the naval station and for that we thank you. But we want to leave now with the van and some supplies.”

At the woman’s response, there is more shouting, and I am tempted to blast the air horn again when the colonels walk into the room. Most of the assembled group come to attention, including Shack.

Sam proceeds to give the assembled group a stern look. Placing his hands on his hips like a disapproving father, he paces around the center of the room. After completing two laps around the coffee table upon which I stand, he pauses in front of me, hands still on his hips.

“We don’t force people to remain in the company against their will. Anyone that wants to leave needs only to ask either Doc Jamal or myself.”

Sam turns and looks at the pair. After a moment’s pause he states to them, “Since you did not injure anyone or damage equipment during your theft and flight attempt, I will let you leave unharmed. You will not, however, take the van stuffed to the brim with supplies. You will be given three days provisions, weapons as such you carried when you joined, and some cold weather gear.”

The black woman starts to protest, and Sam holds up his hand to silence her. “I understand that you and Scarecrow do not wish to work and that you lack any gainful skills. If you do not work you do not eat it is as simple as that.”

Sam turns and gestures to a pair of burly soldiers. “Put them in the stockade for the night. In the morning if they still wish to leave they can.”

Sam turns and leaves the house followed by Doc Jamal. The two burly soldiers clamp leg and arm irons on the miserable looking pair. The couple is dragged out of the house, the chains jingling lightly upon the floor protesting their treatment the whole time.

Shack and I eat quickly so that we can return to the radio tent. We do not see Shen, whom may or may not be chasing the cook. The once heavy-set black cook, the supposed object of Shen’s desire, is serving supper beside the other two cooks and their guard.

Our meal tonight was especially delicious. The fish was light and flaky. Mostly the main attraction of the meal was that it was something different. I never realized how boring our diet would become once the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI hit – literally.

I do not know where they got the sugar and salt for the fish, but it was delicious. The dill I was told by another diner was found along the creek same place the fish was caught. Shack par for growing boy not yet 18 years old, shovels food into his mouth like the starving youth he is.

To drink tonight, we have either orange or cherry flavored GI “bug juice” (as the lads refer to it), nasty hot Spruce tip tea, and beer or wine if you so choose. The convoy has to change our routine a little bit to account for the personnel now instead of being on 12 hour shifts are now running three eight-hour shifts.

We possess a pair of the old smart electrochlorinators, but we do not have enough salt to run the damn things. We have enough batteries for power, but we are critically short of salt both for preservation and everyday use. As if we did not have enough problems with zombies with the munchies, we also lack sufficient fuel to boil enough water for drinking.

Without safe water, we will perish despite the zombies. Some of the lads have talked about attempting to brew our own beer or wine. Brewing not only purifies the water, but also creates a nutritious and delicious beverage. While we still have several bottles and cans of various alcoholic beverages, eventually those will be exhausted.

I watch Shack suck down another fruit punch flavored Four Loko. I understand from some of the local lads that that particular brand of fortified drink was banned in Washington state. Some of the lads, including Shack, refer to the very sweet highly alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko and Mike’s Hard Lemonade as “date rape in a can.”

While Shack slurps through another 32 ounce Four Loko can, this one margarita flavored, I sip on my large Mason jar of red wine. In the basement of the old farmhouse the lads found several dusty cases of Mason jars. Some were still in good shape while others had rusted through the lid.

The red wine also from the basement of the farm-house appears to be of various qualities. Some of the wine is quite good while some of it is similar to Mad Dog 20/20, or so I am told. Whatever the vintage, the alcohol content is quite high.

I am told that some of the old Mason jars held preserves which are still good. The viable food will be added to our food supply. The spoiled food was dumped in the latrine, and the glass jars recycled. Beside the Mason jars, buried in the dirt of the basement were several long expired rotten cardboard boxes of Datrex 3,600 calorie food packs.

The lads call these Datrex bars “John Wayne bars” although I am told that the newer bars are much better than the older ones which earned their justifiable reputation. Each box contains 18 individually tin foil wrapped 200 calorie chocolate flavored bars. Although they are expired by more than 10 years, there is some consideration that the bars might still be good.

After eating, Shack and I walk back to the radio tent. Passing the old farm-house, Shack gives me that sly grin with a head toss to the spot of our furious make out session. The heat upon my face causes me to glad for the darkness so that Shack cannot see me blush. We hold hands until we step into the radio tent.

While relieving Nikola and Carol who were not, thankfully, fucking again when we returned, Shack and I have little to say to them. After the expectant couple leave, Shack and I settle into chairs preparing for a long night. Shack takes the first shift on the charging handles keeping our battery bank nearly at full charge.

After a while sitting in the quiet radio tent I realize that while eating we did not see Shen. I wonder where he is? Grabbing one of the civilian General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios, I contact the perimeter guards inquiring any of them has seen Shen. At the negative replies from the guards, my concern for the well-being of Shen deepens.

Shen’s fate will have to wait until morning when there is enough light for a search. I am hoping that nothing has befallen Shen. Personally I do not particularly care for Shen but he is a good soldier.

The remainder of our radio watch passes uneventfully. One of our old AM radios has ancient Civil Defense (CD – a white triangle) Control of Electromagnetic Radiation (CONELRAD) marks at both 640 kHz and 1240 kHz. I did not expect any traffic on the ancient CD frequencies, as it was dead long before even my grandparents were born.

Shack and I are relieved at 0300 by a sleepy Nikola and disheveled Carol. We note the disappearance of Shen, but agree that there is nothing to be done until the morning.

Shack and I strip and crawl into our bedroll. It is times like this when I am snuggled up to Shack that I feel almost safe. Shack and I are far too tired to fool around. I drift off to sleep lulled by his soft snoring.

Next chapter: We learn Shen’s fate and if Shack and Ruth are finally able to make love.

  1. medicine man permalink

    Excellent chapter!. I had a feeling that Scarecrow and his gal were not going to fit in. I wish Scarecrow would have asked Ruth directly for a roll in the hay, She probably would have gave him a lot worse treatment than Shack did, I’m thinking of the creep that tried to have his way with her at the Lake City compound, boy o boy, what a mess she made of that asshole. Thanks for the updates and I’m sure Shack with enjoy Ruth when the time and place is right.
    I have a feeling that a battle is soon to occur, maybe Zombies or raiders or even Cannibals?

    How’s about a line or two about thing 1 & 2 ? So much to write about when it comes to those babies and their mother.
    Continue on my friend I always enjoy your effort and the content within.

    Raining and a bit cooler (68 degrees) here this Thursday morning in South Fla.

    • Thank you M.M. for your kind words. I will post an update on Sarah and her children soon probably within the next chapter or so.

      We are about 15 degrees cooler and much drier than usual. This summer is going to be really dry if we do not get more snow in the mountains. We are way below average snow pack levels.

  2. medicine man permalink

    No rush, I like the way you make the tale of “Ruth” flow. (I wish I was Shack, Thankfully my wife doesn’t read this 🙂 )

    I hope the weather will give grace to your family and all of my brothers and sisters living up yonder way. We actually dropped down into the 50’s this week with winds behind, made us put on a flannel or hoodie, for a day or two. Today is beautiful and very mild.
    Thank you,

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