Tagged with "Entry"
March 19th, 2012 Tags: 272nd and final entry

March 19th.

                Remember me? 

 

Abby

 

THE END

 

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March 12th, 2012 Tags: 271st entry

March 12th.

                I’m sorry I took so long to write an entry.  Things have been so different around here at Bastion, and with all that was up in the air I’ve had precious little time to sit down in front of the laptop and bang out the details of how life is right now.

                Again Mr. Journal, I apologize.

                The dead are gone.  Well, the dead bodies are still here, but they are no longer animated, hateful, and violent towards the living.  They have simply fallen where they were on March 3rd, and that has been the end of them.  Somewhat anti-climactic I think.  That’s not to take anything away from the events of March 3rd.  I think we all came out of that alive only by the grace of… something much larger than us.

                Since then, nine days ago now, things have been eerily quiet.   The folks at MGR haven’t seen a single threatening thing since then.  Nothing, not even another living soul.  The folks at the Factory though have heard and seen some folks moving around the city area near them, though there hasn’t been any contact just yet. 

                We haven’t seen anything here at Bastion either.  In fact, the weather has been beautiful for the most part, and we’re spending a lot of time outside, getting some fresh air.  We’re still building that last guard tower at the water, and we’re still keeping both gates locked tight.  As much as I love my fellow man, far too many of them have tried to take my life these past… nineteen months for me to just forgive and forget entirely.

                Trust is earned, and right now, I don’t trust this new and strange world yet. 

                We’ve made three trips into the city.  We have seen no one on our trips out, but we project a fairly massive presence with two humvees and the deuce.  One good look at the turrets on the trucks and I’m sure anyone watching changes their mind.  I’m frankly surprised no one has come out to talk to us expecting us to be the National Guard returned or something.  It’s odd.  I wonder if that’s an indication of the behavior of the Guard in the waning days of society, or a general indication of paranoia on the survivor’s part?  Or something else entirely, I’m fricking spitballing here.

                Our trips out were to, in the following order:  Three large grocery stores on day one, a large gun store on day two, and a series of gas stations on day three.  The grocery stores were complete dry holes for us.  No food of use whatsoever.  I guess that can’t be a surprise to anyone.  Everyone hit the stores hard before it all shit the bed, and I’m sure since then folks were sneaking in and out as they could to take what was left.

                The gun store was a much better trip.  The doors were reinforced with heavy duty steel bars, and we were able to winch the thing right off the front of the building.  Inside we found several bodies that had all died from what appeared to be self inflicted gunshot wounds.  They were scary thin, and the back of the business outside was piled up with MRE wrappers, so I’m guessing the folks there that day simply locked up shop, and ate MREs until they ran out.  Rather than face the world outside (which was also littered with a LOT of bodies on the ground, some long since dead) they decided to take care of themselves all on their own.

                They left us a treasure trove of weapons and ammunition.  There were also plentiful reloading supplies, as well as holsters, slings, hunting equipment and the such.  Kevin sported an erection three feet long for days while he inventoried everything.  It was a pretty big store.  I’m glad we got to it before anyone else.

                The gas stations were also largely good news.  We can’t verify the quality of the small amount of remaining gasoline that’s still there just yet, but Martin and Blake are guessing there could be around 400 to 500 gallons spread out amongst them. We’re thinking fuel treatments and additives might be a solution to stale gas, but that’s beyond my pay grade.  We also found a LOT of diesel, which is great news.  Again, I’ve no goddamn idea if it’s any good, but other people are going to make that call, or make that happen, so I’m incredibly hopeful.  We could use some good news on the fuel front.  I’d like to bankroll security in our vehicles operating for the foreseeable future.

                We don’t really…. Have any horses.  Or any meaningful alternatives at the moment.

                What else?  What am I forgetting?

                Um… old age is a bitch, I’ll tell you that. 

                Moving forward?  Well that’s a great question.  Collectively, and by collectively I mean the big decision making folks here, we’ve decided that we are going to be active in the world.  Active means helping those that need it.  Active means protecting those that need it.  Active means feeding those that are hungry, and liberating those that are oppressed.

                I think Gilbert would be proud of us.

                I have had many dreams of my friends lately.  The living ones.  Not just the dead people.  That tells me an awful lot.  That tells me the poor souls that were hung up on the other side… have moved on.  I don’t know where they went, or if it’s a comfy cloud or hot as hell in a lake of fire… but I think they’ve gone on to where they were supposed to.

                I could not be happier about this.  If I am proud of anything… I think I am most proud of that.  I am happy that all the people hung up in limbo, waiting, watching, are now where they belong.  I guess I am also proud of the fact that it appears that I was part of the group of people that gave this world peace from the dead, and a second chance to do it all over again, hopefully correctly.

                Michelle and I are… moving forward.  I asked her to move into Hall E sort of out of the blue the other day, and she took a day to think about it.  She agreed to move in, and she does so tomorrow.  I’m so… pleased to have her move closer.  It’ll be nice to have at breakfast in the mornings with her, as well as just be able to see her later into the night. 

                I really want to kiss her. 

                I know I’m in deep emotional shit here because I’m not even thinking about sex.  Talk about horrifying…  Evil has nothing on love.

                Our immediate plans here at Bastion is stability.  Accumulate the resources we previously couldn’t because of the undead, and then see what happens.  That group that attacked us in the city and killed Fitz is still out there, and one day, I’m sure we’ll cross paths with them.  I don’t want to sound vindictive, but they owe several of us a pound of flesh for what they did, and I plan on collecting.

                Maybe that’s a bad attitude, but I see it as justice.  I’m not a perfect man.

                I’ll end this with a summary of a conversation I had this very morning with Sylvia.  Little Sylvia has come out of her shell like no other.  She is bouncy, beautiful, and talkative.  She has seemingly walked away from her behaviors and rejoined us as a largely normal young girl.

                Why the sudden change you ask?

                Interesting story.  I was sitting over at Hall B, enjoying the warm sunshine and talking to little Shelby when the kids were on their lunch break from school.  Shelby is doing well, thank you for asking Mr. Journal.  Kevin and Becky are raising a good young lady.

                As Shelby and I are talking, Sylvia comes over and has a seat on the ground in front of the bench we sat on, and patiently waited until Shelby and I were done talking.  Shelby smiled at Syl, and after telling me all about how she finished some project in school, she left to go back inside.

                Sylvia looks up at me, and smiled again, very warmly.  Then she says this, “I’m so sorry I was so mean to everyone.  I was just so scared about you guys, and wanted to be nearby, and I didn’t know how to make the dreams stop.”

                I smiled and sort of brushed it off as some of the weirdness she’d spouted off before.  The women in the school have said multiple times she can go off on these weird tangets…

                Then she says this, “when I dreamt of how you and Michelle were surrounded by all those dead people, and then when I saw you, and then her, and then Kevin… I knew I had to stay around to help protect you.  I don’t think I did in the end, but I’m sure happy Michelle did was she was supposed to do, and you and Kevin did too.  A lot of people are now safe because of you guys.”

                So apparently she had dreamt about the three of us.  I questioned her softly, and she agreed to as much.  She had been having detailed dreams about March 3rd going back for months.  A year really.  Dreams of the living.  I guess they were White Room dreams too, which is strange.  I don’t know quite what to make of all that, but it was amazing to hear.

                Then, after our long ass conversation, she drops this atomic bomb on me…. “ I just hope the others make their decisions as well as you did.”

                The others?  What fucking others right?  I was tweaking.  Like, heart in my throat tweaking.  I leaned down to her and asked, “What do you mean others?  I’m confused.”

                Sylvia stood up, brushed her jeans off of the grass she’d picked up, and looked up at the blue sky above us.  Without looking back down to me she said, “Three is like… a perfect number.  It’s got something to do with math.  Michelle told me about it.  A lot of religions use the number three to symbolize very important things.  The third hour of the third day of the third month Adrian?  Three is important.”

                “Yeah?”

                Then she looked down at me, still smiling, “The only number that could have more importance than three would be nine.  Nine is perfect too.  Nine is three threes.  You were never the only Trinity Adrian. You think the force that runs all of creation would trust everything to just three people?  Oh well.  You saved millions.  So many people will have a chance at happiness because of you three.  I’d be really proud if I were you.”

                I’m like, floored and shit.  I have no idea if she’s right.  I have no way of knowing, and after talking to Michelle and Kevin about it… they agree with her.  It makes a lot of sense to all of us.

                Is it our job to help these other, hypothetical Trinities?

                I don’t know.  I don’t want to think about it right now either.

                I’m done writing this.  I’ve been the Scribe for a very long time, and I’m weary.  I’ve written so much I’ve forgotten how to live without trying to remember everything that happens.  I’ve poured my heart, my soul, my life, and my sweat into this journal, and one day I’ll share it with people so they can understand what I went through, what we all went through to get to where we are today.

                I am no longer the Scribe.

                I am a man, trying to be the best man I can, and trying to lead other men and women to a better life the same as I.

                Someone else can be the memory now. 

                Otis is profoundly happy.  This means far more lap time for my homeboy.

 

                -Adrian

NEXT ENTRY

March 5th, 2012 Tags: 270th entry

March 5th.

                I’m having a hard time imaging this being over.

                Or, depending on how you want to look at it, maybe this is really all just beginning?  I’m not tired at all.  I should be exhausted, weary, ready to rest, but I’m not.  I think that’s fortunate, though I know that attitude will change as I actually get down to work.

                Where to begin?  Do I tell this in dramatic fashion, dragging out all the details in sinful fashion? Or do I cut straight to the chase and drop the biggest of all bombs?

                I suppose as the Scribe I should record history.  History tends to start at the beginning, so I guess I’ll follow suit and do the same.

                Abby, Michelle, Kevin, Harold and I all went into the city to find Cassie on March 3rd.  I woke up early, shockingly at 3:33 am that morning in one of the houses in Spring Meadow that the locals gifted to us as a home away from home.  Kevin and I joked that it was our “embassy.”  Sort of funny, but also pretty accurate.

                After eating an early morning MRI with my brother Kev, we got our gear packed up, checked, double checked, and we loaded into the HRT.  We coordinated with Ethan and Quan’s group as they started out towards the western parking garage at the apartments.  Our plan was to reach detonator range at roughly the same time so the explosions were more or less simultaneous.  All went well up to that point.

                We heard Quan blow the other garage before we tried to blow ours.  Operative word there is tried…  The explosion was incredibly loud, even over all those miles with all those buildings in between.  We saw some plumes of dust and debris rising up into the sky and we knew the explosion was successful.  Very exciting shit for sure.  We were in detonator range on our own garage, and Kevin hit the switch.

                The Jinx Fairy struck.

                Clicky clicky went the detonator, but no boomy boomy went the bombs.  We had a minor, spirited debate as to whether or not to scrap the mission, but I put my foot down, and opted to move forward.  Everyone else was onboard, though I know Kevin was skeptical.  We were watching undead shuffle off towards the location of the explosion, even with us in the HRT right there moving, so I felt pretty confident we would be okay.  One downed building would have to be enough of a diversion for us.

                I don’t necessarily want to say I was wrong… but my judgment could’ve been better.  It was a “grab your heels and brace for anal impact” kind of day that day, and I think no matter what my call would’ve been, things would’ve been bad, or worse.  The third was the day this had to happen, and I’m glad I pushed forward.

                I think we made it 15 minutes before the roads started to close up on us.  We were engaging undead from the windows on a constant basis and the HRT’s plow blade was seeing some robust work smashing walkers from the road in front of us.  It got to the point where we were pissing through ammunition fast enough, and there were enough bodies in the road ahead of us, I made the call to change our route to something safer.

                We knew we had the car alarms as well as the fires in the garage, and despite it not blowing up, I had a good feeling the undead would still be inside the garage.  That creates a bit of a vacuum right?  A few thousand undead from the city packed into a single structure means a few thousand undead off the street.

                I was right.  Sadly, the route we took to head us towards the hospital we hadn’t been on yet, and there was a nasty surprise waiting for us.  To be honest I don’t remember what happened.  The first thing I remember was coming to, hanging on my side in the driver’s seat.  Thankfully I was wearing my seatbelt, otherwise I would’ve been tossed around like a goddamn ragdoll.  Kevin got chucked from his seat, and as it turns out, he’s got a sprained wrist and has so many bruises he looks spotted like a fucking leopard today.  Tough kid.

                Michelle woke me up, and after shitting a bit of a brick I got myself under control, and undid my seatbelt to get out of the seat.  We discovered later on that the entire street we had been driving on was covered with both exploded as well as unexploded cluster munitions.  Michelle told me after the fact yesterday that I’d taken my eyes off the road for just a few seconds to crack some dumb joke about Kevin or something, and that was long enough for me to hit one with the HRT.

                Abby and Hal were shaken up, banged and bruised but alive and still in the fight.  Michelle had her bell rung, and I already told you about Kevin.  At that point the Jinx Fairy was balls deep inside us.  We had no vehicle, we were out of radio contact with Ethan and Quan’s group, we were all alone, and utterly, and completely surrounded by the dead.

                I radioed back to Spring Meadow and told Agnes or Anders to pass along the message to the other group that our vehicle was down.  I gave our approximate position, and went back to unfucking our lives.  We debated a plan, and decided we needed to try and blow the garage to create a powerful diversion to not only pull undead away from Cassie’s work so I could get there, but also to try and kill a bunch of these dead motherfuckers.

                Kevin, Abby and Hal took the detonator and an AT4 anti tank weapon and went to the garage.  I gave Kevin mad shit for having brought the armor piercing weapon, but it turned out to be a good decision on his part.  More on that later.  When we exited the now ruined HRT (and I mean ruined.  The entire right front of the vehicle was blown to smithereens.  I think the only reason we survived is that it looked to me that the charge blew on the plow blade, and not under the tire where Kevin was sitting.) there was forty or so undead in all directions.  We laid down fire to clear the streets, and we split.

                Michelle and I headed north… west to the center of town, and Abby, Hal and Kevin headed southeast to the hospital garage. 

                Here’s the story I pieced together from the trio that went thattaway;

                Because of the relative vacuum created with the zombies in the garage, the run to the garage was fairly good for them.  They reached the garage with minimal contact, and made a plan to suppress their weapons and head into the still fairly empty bottom level to try and find out what was wrong with the explosives.

                I don’t know SHIT about explosives, but I guess Quan had some central detonation system on the bottom floor that all the different charges were slaved to.  When they entered the bottom floor of the garage and cleared it, Abby found some loose wires that had been disconnected from the box, thus breaking the circuit I imagine. 

                Kevin switches with Abby, Abby and Hal lay cover for Kevin.  At that point Michelle and I were getting gang raped by an army of the dead.  I’d pissed through three magazines just moving down a street and a half and I had at least that much further to go again.  I cried like a bitch to them to start making noise to get us some breathing room.  They dropped their suppressors, and within seconds the gunfire started to distract the undead for us.

                Back to them.

                So like, two minutes into their louder shooting, they reported feeling a cold wind pick up.  Like, creepy cold wind.  I can remember the same feeling somewhat, but not quite to the level they described.  I guess just seconds after... the entire parking garage filled with undead starts coming down at them.  All three shit enough bricks to build a new parking garage, and they take off running literally for their lives.

                They make it to cover out of blast range (read: theoretically out of blast range) and Kevin hits the switch.  Kamotherfuckingboom.  All the Semtex goes off, thankfully.  Quan’s fear of the stuff being unstable turned out to be unfounded, which is clearly awesome for us.

                So anyway, this garage was the one Quan didn’t like.  It was more squat, with thicker floors and columns, and the bottom floor was half sunk into the ground as well.  When the explosive blew, they didn’t take out enough support to topple te  building immediately.  Kevin said it was well on its way to collapsing, but with all those undead marching right the fuck out, he needed to bring the building down right then and there.

                Enter the AT4.

                Kevin jacks that pig up, lines up a shot straight into the center of the parking garage, and threads the fucking needle.  The projectile goes right through a four foot gap at three hundred feet, and hits a pillar dead fucking nuts.  Luckily the explosion took the entire pillar out, and like the finger of fucking God, down went the garage.

                I heard the building shit the bed where we were, and wow did that buy us some time.  Michelle and I had ducked into a pizza shop that I knew Cassie ate at every once in awhile for lunch.  We’d gone in there to take cover and let the noise pull the undead in our area away.  My hope was to slip out the back exit into a street or alley and then weave our way to Cassie’s work.

                Of course as Michelle and I were getting up from taking cover, I get tackled by a fat undead prick.  Michelle warned me just in time, and I sort of launched myself forward as he hit my lower back and legs.  When I landed I sort of spun sideways, trying to get to my feet quickly, but he was literally in my junk and grabbing at me.  My first thought was Kimber, but I gave the pistol to Michelle to use, and I also realized I wanted to be quiet.  I snatched my knife off my belt and stabbed him in his fat head, managing to hit something grey inside there, killing him.

                Talk about a close fucking call.

                Michelle and I caught our breath, had a nice moment where I built up the nerve to thank her for being there for me(whereupon she touched my cheek, giving me a thrill), and we scooted out into the alley in the back of the pizza shop.

                The alley was clear.  We made it all the way down to the street that Casse’s work was actually on, and that’s when things went to shit.  Well...  went to shit isn’t the right expression. Went to weird is more apt.

                Standing to one side of the intersection we walked into were... thousands of dead. Tens of thousands, all shoulder shoulder, standing in foul rank and file.  Just a bit ahead of them was Alan, some asshole VP that Cassie hated.  He was standing there, missing an arm and had this… malicious look about him.  Normally the dead don’t have facial expressions, they don’t show emotion, but I swear to you Mr. Journal that bitch had contempt on his face for me. 

                I looked right, and the other directions had an equal amount of undead.  Cassie’s direct boss, a woman named Melanie was standing in front of a wall of the dead.  Her and Alan were there like… well, they were like sergeants or lieutenants.

                In front of Melanie was Cassie.

                She was dead.  Very dead.  Emaciated, drawn, bony, pale, sunken.  She looked horrible.  Her eyes had lost all the green sparkle I’d loved to look at.  There instead was that filthy, milky, pus like white. 

                I won’t lie, nor will I posture here.  I lost it.  I straight up dropped to knees in a whole different place in my head and started to apologize over and over and over.  I couldn’t say it enough or say it fast enough.  I begged for forgiveness.

                Then Cassie spoke.  I… can’t remember all of the conversation.  I remember being cold, very cold when she spoke.  I remember the clouds coming in, and feeling like I’d finally gotten a chance to make things right by her.  I remember her asking me to join her, to go to her in… the afterlife or something, and I remember hearing Michelle there.  I remember Cassie seeing Michelle too, and I remember feeling so torn and confused.  I wasn’t in my right mind.

                Luckily Michelle was.

                I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I remember when she started talking, the air became warmer, and sweeter.  I remember looking down at my hands and seeing my knife resting on my wrist, starting to dent the skin from pressure.  I was moments away from trying to kill myself to join Cassie.

                I remember Michelle saying one thing before the world got turned around on me.  She said something to Cassie about, “letting slip the chains of evil.”

                Next thing I know I’m back on the other side.  All the undead are gone, and it’s just Cassie and I standing in an empty intersection on June 23rd.  The sky is sparkling blue and sun is warm.  It’s like the last nineteen months of guilt never happened.  It’s like I went to her that day, instead of taking care of just myself like a coward.

                We embrace.  We kiss.  It’s beautiful.  It’s everything I’ve wanted.  But it’s fleeting.  I know it, she knows it. 

                She tells me to move on.  She tells me all the same things she told me in that dream a year ago.  She tells me I am a good man, and that I deserve to live, and I deserve to love.  She tells me she can see and feel the connection Michelle and I have, and that embarrasses me.  I feel very… guilty about how I feel about Michelle.  I want to love Cassie, to still be in love with her, as well as fall in love with Michelle, but that’s not possible.  Nor is it healthy, or what the world needs.

                I know now, in that moment what I need to do.  I need to give Cassie peace, to set her free from the constraints of whatever hell that’s holding her, and give myself fully to someone who I want to love, that wants to love me back.  I close my eyes, and when I open them again, I’m facing her dead body.

                Michelle comes to me, hands me my Kimber and puts her arm around me, and with her support and presence, I was able to do what I didn’t think I could.

                That’s what this is all about right?  Leaning on our fellow man and woman, and believing that in the end, all will be well.  Believing that somewhere out there the faith you have in whatever you believe in is being rewarded by something.  Something bigger than you.  Something that wants good things for you and for those you love. 

                It’s about having faith in those you know well, your loved ones, and having hope that those you do not know well will treat you better than you could wish, despite our failings and flaws.

                When I pulled the trigger everything changed.  I felt a weight come off me that I didn’t realize I was carrying.  I watched- no, I felt a tangible outpouring leave me, and leave Cassie, spreading out into the world like ripples on a still pond.  As the first ripple met and passed the ranks of undead, they fell to the ground like dominos.  Each and every corpse standing fell to the ground.

                Behind them, standing on the base of a traffic light I saw Kevin.  With him he had both Abby and Hal, and they were slack jawed.  We exchanged looks, and everyone knew…

                It was over.

                We checked many of the bodies to see if they were still animated by… Evil, but they weren’t.  They were simply dead bodies now.  No more murderous intent, no more hunger for the flesh of the living.  No more fear of dying, no more fear of the dead.

                Together we started walking back.  I remember handing my pistol back to Michelle so she could holster it.  I also remember taking her hand and squeezing it, holding it like I never wanted to let go again.    Probably because I didn’t want to let go then, and I still don’t want to let go now.  She’s in Hall C still, but I want to ask her to move to Hall E.  I feel like we’re at that point.

                I’m getting ahead of myself.

                I think fifteen minutes into our slow walk we heard radio chatter over the walkies.  It was Ethan and Quan’s group rolling into our area of the city, and they were looking for us.  They’d seen the dead fall, and were wondering if we were okay.  We told them we were fine, and directed them to our location. 

                It’s amazingly easy to travel in the city with no traffic, and no zombies.  Kind of amusing how easy it was.  We stopped at Spring Meadow for an hour to eat and tend our wounds.  I’ve got a motherfucker of a cut on my jaw from the HRT’s demise.  If I figure out who dropped those cluster bombs I’ll punch his ass in the hairy beanbag.  Retard.

                The other team that blew the other garage had zero injuries.  Not even so much as a frigging hangnail.  I’m so glad for that.  I just purged a shitload of guilt, I really don’t want to pile more on.

                Sua Sponte is the Ranger motto.  It means “of their own accord.”  It is supposed to reflect that Rangers, as an elite fighting force, is entirely composed of men who volunteer multiple times over for progressively more difficult and more dangerous duties, simply to be a better soldier, and to help their nation, and the man standing next to them.  They volunteer because they can, and because they know that when the job needs to get done, they will be there, willing to give everything necessary to get that job done. 

                De Oppresso Liber is the Green Beret motto.  It means to free the oppressed.  To set free those who have been bound into situations that are contradictory to democratic values, as well as human values.  It means to help those that cannot help themselves.

                That Others May Live is the motto of the Air Force Para Rescue units.  It speaks for itself.  PJs are trained, and one might even say naturally inclined to put their own lives on the line to save the lives of anyone.  They do what they do, so that others may live when they would otherwise die.

                Why am I rambling on about these mottos?  Because we’ve got Rangers, one wily Green Beret, and a handful of Para Rescue men here taking part in the events that may or may not have just given mankind a second chance.  These are the men and the creeds that we’ve lived by, and that many of us have died by.

                I hope as time goes forward we continue as citizens of this new world to live by the creeds that the best of us tried to live up to.  My hope is that I am a better man today, and that my fellow survivors are better people as well.

                We have earned our second chance.

                Now what do we do with it?  Do we rally everyone under our banner, and attempt to lead whoever is left?  Or do we seal ourselves off and try to do this right, alone?

                We’ve got a lot of meetings going on here.  Trying to figure out where we go from here.  Do we continue to fortify?  Are the other groups going to continue to be threats to us?  Is it safe to plant crops outside our walls again?

 

                I’ll chime in when we’ve figured some of this out.

 

                -Adrian

NEXT ENTRY

              

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