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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #203 Still On The Road Going North Above Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

March 21, 2018

We do our business behind the bushes thankful for the boys standing guard. We are close enough that the boys can hear us and most of them can see the tops of our heads. The boys definitely have the advantage being able to pee standing without dropping trou.

Wiping myself and wishing for a hot shower, I consider Dolcent’s suggestion. I am not willing to break my practice of serial monogamy. I know this is a new world, but the thought of sharing someone as dear to me as Shack hurts.

Even as pissed off as I am at Shack I still love him and want to be with only him as I want him to be only with me. Fear and love are two of the deepest and closely related of human emotions. We fear to love, we fear love, and we fear that others may not love us.

Everyone climbs back into the Dodge truck and the convoy resumes traveling at a blistering 30 MPH about the safe top speed of the HEMTTs and Strykers. I turn on the radio at first trying the FM bands, then the AM bands. Hearing nothing but static without looking I shove the first CD that I pull from the visor CD holder into the player.

Johnny Cash’s gravelly voice croons to us as we travel following in the wake of destruction left by the snow plow. Ring of fire … huh, even the man in black fits my mood. Still riding in silence everyone glances at me occasionally as if I am a ticking bomb. Oy vey, am I that scary or do I look that pissed off?

“Anybody want a snack?” I ask.

The suddenness of my voice startles Honey sitting on top of the bench seat beside me. Her right leg rests against my shoulder I can feel the warmth of her body even through my field jacket. Placing my hand on Honey’s shin I give her an affectionate squeeze.

Pulling the inventory clipboard from the passenger door, I remember to check our TP status. Realizing that our TP supply is low I make a note to get some more from the supply folks sometime soon. Or perhaps trade for some more TP.

Honey and Monster require more snacks even though they both munched a whole MRE this morning before the convoy moved. We have two whole cases of three to five years out of date US Government MREs.

Flipping through the few energy drink smudged pages I do not find what I am looking for.

“Shack, where the fuck is our MRE inventory on this piece of shit inventory?”

“Uhh … I never tracked MREs before,” Shack replies.

“And why the fuck not?”

Shack flinches at the snappiness of my question. I know that I am taking my anger out on him. I should not be snapping at him with the other members of our truck present. If I want to fight with him and by God, I do – I need to do so in private, not in the cramped confines of a fucking Dodge pickup.

Taking a deep breath I try a mental yoga calming exercise Amy found helpful and taught it to me. Perhaps I need more yoga practice as I have been unusually moody lately. Trying to sound calmer and less bitchy I try again.

“Shack why did you not track the MREs,” I ask again.

“I didn’t think we needed to as the Colonels held on to them so tightly. It was not until recently that they started handing them out in bulk. I just kept track of ammo, grenades and guns.”

Shack gives me a nice smile. Ok, Shack has a point and it was unfair of me to snap at him. I should not have taken my anger out on him, my moodiness is no excuse. I am unusually short-tempered my breasts are tender and I ache in my back.

Shack gives me that smirk again that usually I love, but right now I want to wipe it from his face. His face indicates that he is thinking about us and not how he is driving.

Shack attempts at appeasing my anger are more irritating than helpful. The boy should just shut up and let me be mad for a bit. As a couple, this is our first real fight. I believe that Shack is out of his depth and unsure what to do.

“Shack watch the fucking road. Do not get so close to the Colonel’s station wagon. Maintain your interval,” I snap at him again. Damn.

“Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.”

“Who said that,” I ask while reaching behind me.

I forgot that I needed to hand out snacks. My anger distracted me from what I need to do. I can barely grab the large desert tan reinforced canvas duffel bag filled with MRE treats. Resting on the floorboards wedged between the front and rear bench seats the snack duffle bag is surprisingly heavy.

Seeing me struggling with the bag Honey effortlessly helps me by yanking it over the bench seat. Dolcent helps as well, pushing from her side. Honey drops the bag at her feet on the seat between Shack and I. Honey will soon be too tall for her to sit on the top of the bench seat as she has since joining my truck.

“Ruth it was a Japanese poet named Haruki Murakami.”

“What … oh, the quote,” I say, “that is lovely but I am still mad at you. Watch the fucking road.”


“Why what? Why watch the fucking road or why am I mad at you,” I snap.

“Uh …why are you mad at me,” he asks.

“Shack dearest we will have that discussion later in private. I will not argue with you right now. Get through this day and then you and I will go somewhere quiet where we can argue without an audience.”

The truck falls silent. Shack head nods at me and continues driving. About halfway through the morning drive I know that Honey and Monster are hungry. Doc says that infected children require anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 calories per day.

Rummaging in the MRE snack duffel bag I hand out white plastic tubs of German MRE sour cherry and apricot jams. I wonder where the German snacks came from. Unfortunately, we only have stale Pilot survival crackers and 70-something year old, Educator Biscuit Company Survival Biscuits to spread the jam on.

I eat most of the jam straight from the tub, but I do gag down three survival biscuits. Honey and Monster devour German jam and stale biscuits as if it was manna from heaven.

When the kids finish the first snacks I give them each five chocolate-covered oatmeal cookies from vintage American MCWs (Meal, Cold Weather). Treasured for their nutritious, high caloric content MCW snacks and meals are scarce. The fact that Doc included a note instructing us that the MCW snacks in our kit are for Honey and Monster shows that he cares.

I hand Honey and Monster the few commercial Corn Flakes cereal bars found at the bottom of the bag. Doc did not dictate whom the cereal bars were for, but I hate Corn Flakes. I especially hate Corn Flakes when they are more than five years out of date. Shack passes on the Corn Flakes bars as well.

Honey and Monster scarf the cereal bars without a care. Maybe KCAP gives the infected an iron stomach. I shudder at the thought of what the expired rations would do to my digestive system yet the two kids shrug it off as nothing.

We all enjoy some Russian fruit cocktail, peach, apple, and raspberry freeze-dried fruit squares. I especially liked the peach fruit squares. After the Russian freeze-dried fruit squares we munch on American MRE pear and blueberry fruit bars. Our final snack of the morning is a chocolate covered brownie in vintage American MRE dark brown plastic pouches.

We finish our midmorning repast with a few B-3 candy and cracker units from Meal Combat, Individual dated October 1980. I pass on the crackers, but the candy is a toffee enriched chocolate. The candy is slightly oxidized, but still good tasting somewhat like a Heath bar.

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