Sorry it took so long for me to get an entry in here Mr. Journal. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind here and frankly, dealing with what’s going on is far more important than typing it down for posterity. I want to record history, but I need to get past the events before I can find time to write them down.
I am typing this from my bedroom, which has become my sanctuary now that I have been overrun with the frailest, skinniest, and most grateful family in the history of mankind. Christmas day, right around dark I heard banging down on the front main door of Hall E. I was sitting in the living room in the recliner and I’d just put the movie The Ref on. I fucking love that movie by the way. Denis Leary is the fucking man.
I snapped my head around and through the window plain as day I could see movement over at the door. I snapped up the .22 and the maglite and got myself to my feet, and shined the light out to see how many zombies there were. Lo and motherfucking behold, I hit Abigail right in the face with the beam of light. She was waving her arms up at the window at me and I could hear her yelling my name. I nearly shit myself with excitement. I couldn’t see how many people she had with her, but I bolted down to the front door and opened the inner door. You remember Abigail Mr. Journal? The young girl I sort of rescued from the staff office building after the world shat the collective bed?
Now I kept the outer door shut in the event something was up, but she came to the window and told me they’d come here to stay, and that they were freezing, hungry, and were happy to see me alive. I think she said oh my God ten times. I only waited maybe 30 seconds to think about it, and I let them in.
There was mom, dad, little brother, and Abigail. I’ve got opinions on each of them I’ll share below afterwards.
I let them in and I’m pretty sure Abigail sodomized me with her hug. I mean straight up rape. She grabbed me like I was the only person left in the world. She was freezing. Her parents were crying the whole damn time I was getting them into the kitchen, and the little brother was staring at my rifle with a mixture of horror and admiration. I got them into the kitchen and got them sat around the table. The dad had a double barrel shotgun, but as soon as he got inside he popped the barrels open and emptied it. I felt pretty uneasy at first, but he sat it on the counter a few feet away from where he sat. That gesture made me feel a lot better.
Mr. Journal they are so skinny. I mean.. almost at the point of distended Ethiopian belly hungry. I got them all some water, and cracked open one of my multiple cans of tomato juice. I wanted to get them hydrated with something nutritious before I fed them anything. I metered the juice into them about a shot glass’s worth at a time while they told me about their trip to get here. Pretty smooth from the sounds of it. I guess they got jumped by a lumberjack zombie near here and after a struggle, they put it down. I made all of them strip down to minimal clothing after that to make sure there were no bites. Not taking that risk. They were fine.
The mother had a pretty bitching sore on her foot though, and I got her the first aid kit so she could start taking care of it. I think it was a blister from all the walking they did. After about an hour or so of them telling me how bad their life has been since June, I decided I’d feed them. Usually you don’t want to stuff someone who has been starving. Typically they’ll just throw the shit back up because their stomachs are not used to digesting anymore. I wanted to feed them something bland and easy to digest. I warmed up a can of green beans for them to split, and after that I gave them some hot oatmeal with a little bit of brown sugar on it. Really small amounts too, maybe the size of a deck of cards.
As they ate Charles, Abigail’s dad, told me all about the group of assholes that had taken over their town. Apparently a bunch of the powers that be had set up shop in the local high school, and had instituted a form of martial law. Ex cops, national guard dicks, city politicians, etc. Well, they ran around doing whatever they wanted, took everything, and anyone that couldn’t contribute was left to die. This whole family had nothing to put on the table other than slave labor, and Charles said he was scared to death they’d rape his daughter and wife. He busted out crying when he said that, and I almost lost my shit with him. Been emotional lately.
They thought they had avoided being seen when they left town. The whole family packed into the same wagon that Abigail left with in June, but they ran out of gas. They found the truck I had tried to go to the gas station with back in October, and as you’d expect, the thing turned right over for them. My luck right? It dies on me, but starts for them. Of course I did put that whole thing of dry gas into it after the fact, and I’m sure it cleaned out whatever it was that was fucking up the engine. Water in the fuel line or something? Fucked if I know. Chuck said he parked the truck at the edge of the bridge on the other side of the vans. He tossed me the keys and I heard another bang bang on the door.
Instantly I could see a tremendous amount of panic on their faces. I mean shit, even I felt my heart jump straight up into my goddamn neck. Two people knocking on my door in the same day? That rarely happened to me when the world was normal, let alone since the dead started being so active.
I motioned for them to sit still, and I definitely motioned for Chuck to keep his double barrel on the counter. I moved to the upstairs as fast as I could and went into one of the bedrooms I’m not really using. I crawled pretty painfully across the floor and peeked down to the door. Standing at the door was three fairly large men. I could clearly see they had guns, and they were scanning the area with them, looking for threats. I got the immediate impression that the two in the back knew what was going on with their guns. They were either hunters, or cops, or ex military. They just had that look. The dude banging on the door looked reasonably normal. Skinny, kinda tall, was wearing a knit cap, and I could see the glint of round eyeglasses on his face from the lights coming from inside. He didn’t have a long gun that I could see.
I lowered my head and sat down and thought. I could see Abigail crouching low in the doorway. She was smart, staying low. They couldn’t see her. She crawled towards me and whispered as I heard the guy downstairs start to yell out hello or something.
Abby whispered something to me like, “those are people from the high school.”
Fuck me, right? I wasn’t sure what to do. Plus I was suddenly remembering I had left the shotgun and the .45 in the living room downstairs, not 15 feet from three total strangers, one of which was a goddamn teenager. Responsible of me, right? Fml. I started to think this was all just a clever way to separate me from my guns so the family could let these guys in, and then I’d have fuck all I could do about it.
The skinny fuck was banging real hard by then and yelling out something like, “we know you’re in there, we just want to talk!” Like Gilbert said, people don’t talk with guns. I decided to risk it. I had to trust somebody, and if they were going to fuck me over, they were going to fuck me over. I asked Abby to go get my shotgun and run it upstairs to me and to get her dad too. They both came up and Chuck had his shotgun ready to roll. I told him to get down to the front door and stay real low. If I started shooting, then he should open the inner door, then the outer door, and blast them too. He took off with no hesitation.
I told Abigail to get her mom and her brother down into the basement where the generator was. It was safe, solid, and secure down there from errant fire should shit hit the fan. She left me with the shotgun and crawled out. Very slowly I reached up and undid the window lock, and slid it up about 3 inches. Luckily the new windows open quietly.
I got into a firing position kneeling, hiding behind the corner of the window. I had the very edge of the barrel on the inside of the window frame so it wasn’t visible to them. It hurt my leg like I can’t even explain, but I had to do it for good cover and a good firing position. Discomfort is better than being shot. I waited to about the count of 20 to make sure Charles was ready, and then I hollered out. Here’s the conversation as I recall it;
“Stop banging please, we can hear you.” And he stopped and backed up, looking for where my voice came from.
“Who’s there? Where are you?” He had a pretty deep voice for a skinny dude wearing a beige trench coat. I could see a bulge at his hip, which told me he had a pistol. He didn’t draw it, but his hand dropped down to the bulge and hovered there. He wasn’t a tool, I could tell by his body language. The two dudes in the rear brought their guns up to my rough location pretty quickly, which was a little disconcerting.
“My name is Adrian, who are you sir?” That was me.
“I am Sean, I’m one of the council members from Westfield down the way. We followed some people here and wanted to touch base to see if we could establish a relationship. This is quite the place you have here Mr. Adrian.” He did this queer grandiose kiss ass motion as he said the last part. I could FEEL the politician coming off of him. Mr. Sean had gone instantly on the Adrian Ring shit list.
“Thank you. It’s currently private property. We are not interested in establishing any trade relationships at this hour. If you’d like to return in a couple days, we can meet somewhere and talk then.” I said WE because I wanted him to think there were several of us.
“How many people are here?” He asked.
“We’ve got about thirty at the moment.” And there goes my whole thing about lying to people. Remember that whole diatribe about honesty, and relationships? That lasted.
“I don’t think you can fit thirty people in that building Mr. Adrian.” I did not like his tone.
“I don’t think you know as much about our situation here as you think you know Sean. And I suggest you and your men come back later if you want to talk like civilized people. We’ve had some bad experiences with people who are desperate, and I’d hate to feel threatened and have all these guns go off by accident.” Low. Threatening. He stiffened at the statement, I could tell he didn’t like being threatened before he said what he said back to me.
“I don’t like your tone Adrian.” Same low, threatening tone I gave him.
“Sorry to hear that. Make your decision Sean, leave now and come back later, or I’ve been told I’m supposed to shoot you guys where you stand.” I didn’t want him thinking I was in charge. The two dudes behind him lowered their guns and looked over at him. My leg was SCREAMING in pain, and one way or the other something had to give shortly or I was going to stand up, ruining most of my cover.
They stood there for a solid minute, and I could see the gears turning in the Sean dude’s head. I think he was debating asking them to open up on me, but the bottom line was he had no idea who I was, or how many guns actually were pointed at him. He started nodding slowly and I could see him smile. I wish I could’ve seen his eyes, but all I could see was circles of light where his glasses were.
“Alright Mr. Adrian, perhaps you’re right and this is a bit dangerous for everyone. How about we return tomorrow at 3pm and we meet on your bridge, where those vans are parked?” He thumbed over his shoulder towards the general area of the bridge.
I waited a second, then said, “hold on, lemme ask.” Then I waited another minute, and responded, “that’s fine. If you want to trade, we have extra wood we can trade, and we have a few extra cans of grapefruit juice.”
He nodded, I think he read through my bluff, “sounds good my friend. We can probably scrape up some batteries if you need them. We also have a few spare crank radios that don’t need batteries if you need one.”
Generous counter offer to my crap offer. Smelled fishy. “Sounds fair. We can definitely work something out tomorrow at 3 on the bridge.”
“Sorry for your troubles man, we’ll be back tomorrow.” He waved, and the three of them were off.
I stood up and wiped the sweat off my brow. My leg was throbbing in red hot agony and I shook it out as I heard Abby come into the room behind me again. She and I talked about what the fuck we were gonna do as I headed downstairs. I also scolded her for leaving the basement. When we got down to the kitchen, her mother was *pissed* at her too.
Charles was sitting at the table cradling the shotgun and he looked nervous as fuck. He was so skinny the absurdity of him even shooting a shotgun was hilarious. He’d snap like a twig. Once we were all down there I belted on the .45 again and got the vest with my shells handy. I turned off some of the lights and we sat down and talked about the situation. They were all equally adamant that this was a bad idea, and I agreed. I wanted them out though, and that got them gone. Or so I thought.
I was sitting there thinking about how we would handle tomorrow when Otis made his first appearance. He was a sort of skittish guy, and whenever Cassie and I had company he’d always hide for an hour until he realized it was safe. I said “hey buddy!” Then I reached down to stroke his back and I heard a gun go off outside. One of the windows smashed apart in the living room and I felt something hit my head. Within half a second my left eye clouded red with blood and I dove to the floor. There was a second gunshot and a hole the size of my fist appeared in the wood I have halfway up the windows on the first floor. From the floor I knew where the shots were coming from. All of the new people had hit the deck and I made sure they were fine.
Patty, (the mom) saw me and she went white. Apparently I was fucked up pretty good. I’ll tell you about that later Mr. Journal. I said “stay low” quietly to them and Otis bolted up the stairs, hair standing up straight as an arrow. I got the vest on somehow while laying on the floor, and I low crawled around the bottom floor as fast as I could with the pain in my leg and made it for the side door. That door had the porch that I’d taken the stairs off of and barricaded. It’d be good cover, and it was around the side so I could slip out more than likely and flank them.
I got to my feet at the door and peeked out the inner door into the foyer area. That area was clear so I went out and peeked in the second door. I couldn’t see anyone outside, so I popped the door open quickly and stepped back inside, trying to bait out a shot. No one fired, so I peeked out at knee height and looked around. It killed my leg, but I didn’t see anyone.
I let myself out silently and hugged the outside wall. The left side of my forehead was starting to throb pretty good by that point. The snow was starting to fall again, and it definitely helped to muffle the noise. I peeked around the corner slowly, and saw the two goons crouched about 25 yards from the house. I already had the gauge ready to go, so I drew a bead on them, wiped the blood out of my left eye and unloaded three quick rounds at them.
In movies people get shot with a shotgun and they fucking FLY backwards. They go through windows, into walls, over cars… That shit doesn’t really happen. When people get shot they usually just double over in pain and go down, or they just fall straight down. There’s no huge impact that sends them flying. Unless they’re hit with a massive bullet from up close, and even then it’s not like the movies.
Both of these assholes doubled over and went down. Direct hit! I sunk their Battleship! Bitches. Common sense escaped me though, and after I threw three shells back in the shotgun I got myself over the railing and dropped down to the ground. Yowzas. Talk about stupid. Felt like I drove a railroad spike into my thigh.
I hobbled around as sneakily as I could and came up to the guys. Just as I got to them I saw headlights turn on at the bridge, and a large vehicle spin out in the snow backing away. My guess was Sean making his escape after his failed assassination attempt. I had to wipe the blood out of my left eye again too. Anyway.
The two dudes were down in the snow and one of them was fucking done for. Some of the shotgun pellets had gone right through his neck and he was pumping out blood like a goddamn fountain. By the time I addressed the two of them he was already fading fast. The other guy was rolling around next to his dying buddy as I swung around to get a good look at them. They were wearing something like Dickies pants, and had heavy coats on. Both of them had pretty full beards going on, which is sensible seeing as how shaving is a bitch without electricity or hot water, plus its winter.
The dude rolling around was moaning in pain and I finally told him to freeze. He jerked when he heard me say something. I don’t think he realized I was that close. As soon as he froze, he looked over his shoulder at me and reached for his gun. I yelled stop, but he kept going for it, and without missing a beat I shot him on the ground where he lay. Is it strange to say I intentionally shot him in the face? I knew he’d come back as a zombie if I didn’t do it. The other guy was dead, and I knew he’d be up and moving around in less than a minute. I hollered inside for the sword, and the little kid Randy brought it out to me. He watched as I stabbed the blade into the eye of the body.
I didn’t want him to watch, but if this is reality now, he needs to see it firsthand. We can’t hesitate when there’s a body around. Hesitation breeds more bodies. His age needs to be seen as an advantage, not a hindrance. He’s young enough that the habits can hopefully be instilled into him without too much trouble.
I grabbed up their guns and searched them for ammo and stuff. They had ammo, I’ll go over all that later. Once I got back inside Patty immediately took over and sat me down. She took my first aid kit and went to work on my eye. Well, my eyebrow really. She used the tweezers in the kit to pull a shard of glass out of my upper eyebrow the size of my pinky. Strangely enough, once it was out, it felt better, but it bled like a bitch. We ruined one of the dishtowels trying to staunch it. She got some butterfly bandages on me and I washed my face in the sink. I excused myself and redid the bandage on my leg too. My leg wounds are mostly healed, but the scabs broke loose on the deeper bite wounds and I was bleeding some. I cleaned it off, got a new dressing on, got about 6 advil down and went back out.
I had no sooner sat down at the table when the third banging came on the door. I was like seriously God? Really divine presence of an as yet unnamed religion that I don’t care about? What. The. Fuck?
Abby was right near the window, and she peeked through the hole in the wood the dead dudes outside had just put in my barrier. She said, “It’s some crazy looking old bald guy.” Words of relief.
Fucking A Gilbert. I let him in and told him what was up in the foyer area. He shit himself when he saw me, but he was guardedly excited when I told him more people had shown up. I brought him inside and that was the first time all of us were together. It was weird, but cool.
We cleaned up the kitchen of the wood, glass, and my blood, and Chuck got a trash bag over the busted window for the night. I already swapped out a window from Hall D yesterday, so that’s dealt with. After that we all sat around in silence. Gilbert got the story of their trip here and what had just happened out of us, and the look on his face pretty much summed it up nicely. Sour face.
Chuck, Gilbert and I all decided that based on what we knew, and what had happened, the likelihood of them returning was almost inevitable. Chuck had heard of some pretty rancid stories from these guys, and if the Sean guy got back and told them about what happened, and what he thought we might have for supplies… It seemed like a foregone conclusion they’d make an attempt to either get revenge, or raid us and take everything I’ve worked so hard to gather.
Everyone stayed here Christmas night. Even Gilbert. I crashed in the living room on the recliner, and Gilbert slept sitting near me on the shitty dorm couch here. The entire Williams family crashed in one of the rooms with double bunk beds upstairs. Gilbert and I more or less took shifts keeping watch, but we both blacked out midway through the night. Old soldiers. We can sleep anywhere I think. We woke up and instituted our makeshift defense plan.
After we got rid of the two bodies outside, we made a plan yesterday to stake out the bridge all day and that’s what we did. Chuck took my spare pump shotgun and Gilbert sat in his Buick just around the corner on Prospect so he could see anything coming our way. I set up another sniper position in the woods on a small rise and had full visibility at a hundred yards. Abby and Randy brought hot apple juice and coffee out to us all day to keep us warm. I had a shitty blanket on the ground below me, and another one on top of me, and with the hot juice and coffee, it wasn’t that bad. Kind of a mild day outside yesterday. Although it did start to snow right at dark. And I mean really fucking snow. Blizzard style bullshit.
Patty was a godsend to have in the Dorm. She was a fucking awful cook, but she gladly whipped up food for us all day, trying to keep us fed and warm. By the end of yesterday the whole family had their color coming back, and their cheeks were already filling out. Funny what getting a little food into you does for your demeanor and health. We kept it low key last night. I let Randy fire up the Playstation and the rest of us hung out chit chatting about all the stories of what happened “that day.” More on their stories in another entry.
Last night we took shifts again, but it was Charles and Patty instead of Gilbert and I. Gilbert said he’d camp out in his car as long as I gave him gas to keep it running and warm. I gladly gave him two of the five gallon cans. This morning we set out with the same plan. Gilbert wound up coming back to the campus for breakfast, which was more cereal made with dry milk. He seemed more than elated to mow down some raisin bran with the chalky milk. It’s nice to see so many people smile, especially after just getting done killing people. Sigh. Weird world.
So today we set out with the same plan. Charles and I hidden in the trees waiting for visitors, the kids keeping us in food and fluids, Patty running the Hall like a field general, and Gilbert out on Prospect as our rear guard if it got ugly. So much tension.
It didn’t get ugly though. It was colder today too, and it snowed like a bitch last night and most of today so it was fucking miserable. The hot drinks helped, but the wind was whipping up good, and it just sucked. We got about 9 inches of snow overnight, and more during the day so moving around was a bastard. We camped out in our ambush positions until I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. I think we headed back right before the sun went down. We spent the evening here in Hall E eating a dinner Gilbert made for us. He asked to get back into the venison, and I was hungry, and it seemed fitting. We all dug into everything he made pretty hardcore. Most of the evening was us adults sitting around the table wringing our hands. We did it half for warmth, and half because we were all nervous, waiting for the assholes to come back in force.
Gilbert said he had a plan though, and he would look into it early in the morning. He thought they’d come early in the morning though, so we hit the rack ahead of schedule. Abby and Randy are taking watch downstairs with Chuck asleep on the couch. Gilbert went back to his place to work on his master plan. Right now I’m upstairs in my room with all my guns and the laptop. This is the first spare time I’ve gotten really. I ought to be asleep right now, but I’m stoked to finally get all this written down and off my chest.
What a clusterfuck.
I’m happy that people are here. They seem pretty cool too. Appreciative of me, and nice too. Abby’s cool, Patty seems a little anal retentive, but I guess she’s an accountant, and that’s part and parcel with that line of work. Chuck seems… frazzled. He seems really fucking smart though, but I think he’s been so strung out with worry for so long he needs time to get his head back together. He’s almost got that PTSD look and feel to him, so I need to keep an eye on him. I thought there’d be a power struggle between him and I, but honestly, I think he’s relieved to not make decisions. It’s a burden I’m sure he’s borne too long. The teenage brother Randy seems a little shell shocked. I can sense he’s rambunctious though, and teenage boys can be a lot of fun, and a lot of trouble. However, he seems cool so far, and that’s nice. As I said I like Abby. She was a cool student here before the world deep sixed, and nothing has changed. She’s calm, cool, and I think after some time around me here she’ll become an excellent decision maker.
I haven’t gotten Gilbert’s take on all this in private yet, so I have no idea what he thinks about the situation. He seems really happy to have the people around though, and I think he’s really happy to be helping. Plus this is right down his area of expertise. Captains in the Green Berets run units of them, and they do the entire mission planning. I think he’s having fond flashbacks with all this ambush nonsense.
Frankly, the more I think about it, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. All these new faces here, all this tension, plus weapons all over the place. For whatever frigging reason I trust Gilbert, and I am pretty sure Abby is good to go, but I’m still not sure about Chuck, Patty, and Randy. Chuck seems like a loose cannon (maybe because I’m threatened by another man), Patty is a mother in a world that’s out to get both her children, and Randy is a 12 year old boy, which is trouble waiting to happen.
Which brings me back to…. Tomorrow we’re doing the same thing. That’ll be three straight days of sitting in wait, ready to be attacked. I’m used to the tension from my Army days, but Chuck seems pretty worn thin. I don’t think he can take many more days of this before we need to pull him off the line, and if something happens, I’ll just have to deal with it myself. I’m curious to hear what Gilbert’s plan is. He and Charles are both convinced we won’t be attacked for days now because of the snow, but we can’t risk not being ready for them. Charles says the roads were bad enough with just 3 or 4 inches of snow, and with 9 inches or better over the entire valley, it’ll be impassible except to the largest trucks.
All I can think about is the fact that Charles said they had a lot of trucks, and if just one of those motherfuckers knows how to run a plow… Like I said, we just can’t risk it. I just hope Gilbert’s plan comes into play and is actually helpful. Maybe he’s got some old claymore mines kicking around in his basement. My left testicle for a crate of claymores. Going once.. going twice..
Oh, those two oafs who I plugged with the gauge dropped yet another 12 gauge shotgun, and a bolt action.300 magnum hunting rifle. The dude with the scatter gun had 18 shells, and there were 14 rounds of the .300 mag. It’s a good rifle, but the Savage is better imho. Plus that thing doesn’t have a good scope. At the very least, it’s nice to accumulate more guns. I can do basic weapons maintenance, but it’s not like gun parts are currently growing on trees.
So yeah. That’s where we are. Tomorrow we do the same again, and I suspect we continue to do the same until we decide to go after them, or they finally come after us. Chuck thinks they’ll come soon. Especially if Sean saw through the window how much food I have in here. There are copious amounts of cans clearly piled in plain view. He thinks they might have 200 people in their high school, and that’s a lot of desperate mouths to feed.
I don’t want a war. But I will see every last one of those motherfuckers rot before I give up what is mine. They better bring a motherfucking army.