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November 25th Tags: 28th entry

November 25th.

                Happy turkey day Mr. Journal.  Here in America we call today Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving we usually eat turkey, hence the turkey day greeting.  Today though, I am eating venison.  Why break with tradition you ask?  Well, I don’t have any turkey, and because venison is fucking delicious.  Really yummy.  Wouldn’t lie.  I guess the point of Thanksgiving is to take some time out of our lives and realize what we are thankful for.

                I thought I would talk about what I am thankful for with some of this entry today.  I don’t think I ever sat down and really, truly thought about what I was thankful for before the world came to an end.  Well, the end as we know it.  The world is still moving along I guess, we’re just disappearing off of it.  I’m off track here.

                I am thankful for being alive.  I don’t even know how many people across the world have died because of whatever is happening, but I am thankful that thus far, I have avoided being eaten, or getting sick, or whatever causes this.

                I am thankful that I still have Otis my cat.  Otis is my homeboy.   No one really ever got along with me as well as he did, and the fact that I still have him with me keeps me far saner than I would be otherwise.  I’m thankful for his purring when I scratch him, I’m thankful for his killing of mice, and I’m thankful for his warmth on cold nights.

                I am thankful for all the weapons my man Phil at Moore’s sold me the day the shit hit the fan.  I am thankful for all the ammunition he sold me.  I am thankful for the spare magazines he also sold me.  I am thankful for the additional ammunition and the rifle I got there when I went back.  I am also thankful for the .45 I found at the gas station.

                I am thankful for all the food I got at the grocery store the day the zombies first appeared.  I know I took more than I needed that day, and I know I was kind of a prick to the  people there, and I do kind of regret that, but at least I am still alive, and thankful for the opportunity to try and help others.  I am thankful I survived the trip back there right after all this shit started too.  What a fucking nightmare that was.

                I am thankful for my family.  Well, I am thankful that while I still had them, they were for the most part good to me.  Mom, Dad, three brothers and sister.  I don’t think I have ever fully listed their names off anywhere actually.  Here’s the list Mr. Journal.  Margaret and Thomas are (were) my parents.  In order, we are; Caleb, Myself, Thomas Jr., William, and littlest sister Rebecca.  There you have it, the Ring clan.  I am thankful for their merciless beatings (eat my ass Caleb), their blaming of their mistakes on me (fuck you Tommy), and all the detentions for beating up my sister’s suitors.  (love you Becca.)

                I am thankful for having been in love with someone.  I think there are far too many people in false relationships that stay in them because they think they are in love.  There’s such a thing as being in love with someone, and then being in love with the IDEA of being in love with someone.  Teen love is usually the latter.  Seen it a hundred times at this school over the years.  I loved Cassie, and I know she loved me back.  For that I am eternally grateful.  I am sorry I didn’t do more for you baby.  I will always be sorry.

                I am thankful for the deer that came to the stream the other morning.  I am thankful the meat from him was delicious.  I am thankful it has preserved itself well.  Very thankful.

                Enough being thankful.  I’m starting to feel all preachy Mr. Journal, and I am not a preacher.  I can give a sermon for sure, God knows I’ve lectured the shit out of the kids here a few times, but I’ve got other shit to talk about now.  Alright… so it’s been a few days and I have a fair amount of catching you up to do.

                My last entry was at the end of the day on the 23rd, which was Tuesday evening.  It’s now Thursday evening.  Continuing with my plan to clear houses and do all the things needed to make campus inhabitable by others, I have been a busy dork.  The day of the 23rdI spent clearing houses down on Route 18.  I managed to clear 3 more empty-ish places.  Yesterday I cleared the remaining 3 houses on Route 18.  Officially, all 15 of those homes are empty of zombies, and have been stripped of the best supplies in them.  As you might imagine, it went not according to plan.

                The three houses I did on the 23rdwere completely mundane.  I found more of the same old, same old.  One house had almost entirely been stripped clean already.  It looked like the owners packed up and moved.  The other two houses were just kind of poorly stocked.  A somewhat disturbing find was a cupboard filled with jars of dusty baby food.  Made me wonder where the baby was.  Hopefully safe somewhere with the parents.  I took the baby food just in case.  I might meet someone with a baby, or God forbid, I’ll be around people who start making them. 

                Yesterday was a little more problematic.  When I returned down to Route 18 to do the last three houses there was a handful of walking zombies moving around the area.  I saw them when I came to a stop at the stop sign near the gas station.  Most of them were milling about, moving in the same general direction, due west.  There were eleven of them, which was the most I’d seen since my trip to the grocery store the first week of July.  I’d kind of hoped to never see a batch that large again, but I guess that just wasn’t in the cards.

                So here’s the dilemma.  Get out of the truck and shoot them from as far away as possible?  Go all Grand Theft Auto on them and commit some heavy duty vehicular zombieslaughter?  Or search for a flamethrower and burn them to a crisp?  I think by now Mr. Journal you understand that I am painfully afraid of zombies that have been set aflame, so I pretty much got rid of that idea quickly.  Well my phobia of burning zombies coupled with a total lack of a flamethrower.

                I was a little worried about damage to the Tundra, but I was more worried about wasting ammo.  This truck had 4x4, and excellent ground clearance, so I opted for a slow-roll GTA experience.  Three of the walking dead were to the right of the stop sign, almost right in front of the gas station.  They were already moving towards me, so I turned towards them, accelerated to about 15 miles an hour, and aimed for the closest zombie.  I think it was a younger guy, and I hit him square with the grill.  Wanted to save the headlights.  Slow hits don’t launch the bodies up quite so much, and it seems like you’re more likely to run them over at that speed, which was the goal here.  I bonked him good, drove over him, and steered into the other pair.  Two females.  Mixed ages.  One of them was a complete wreck, almost entirely naked, missing an arm and half her face.  I plonked the two of them just like the dude, and hit reverse to make sure they were mangled so much they were a non-issue.  I noticed in the rearview the batch of eight down the road were turned around and heading my way, so I sped it up and got turned around.

                By the time I maneuvered the truck around in the road and aimed it at the small horde of approaching undead they were right on top of the truck, banging on the hood and coming around the side.  I threw it in reverse and backed up 15 or 20 more feet, then slammed it in drive.  I hit the gas a little too hard though, and slammed into the pack of zombies faster than I wanted to.  Two of them directly in front were men, both of their chests and throats eaten open and exposed.  They were tall enough that when I hit them they flew up and over, as opposed to getting knocked down and ran over.  They tumbled across the hood, and one of them hit the windshield hard enough to send cracks all through it.  Fortunately it was the passenger side.  That irritated the piss out of me.  The other guy just left a huge bloody streak on the hood and fell off.

                That dead guy who hit the windshield managed to get his clothes hooked on the frigging wiper blade too, so as I drove forward and over the other zombies I’d managed to knock down, he stayed stuck to the hood firmly.  I remember clearly him flopping about, trying to hold on, all the while staring intently into the cab at me, white, pussy eyes fixated on me.  I swear I felt total hatred coming from him.  I slammed on the breaks though, and his clothes gave way, and he shot off the hood and spun on the pavement in front of the truck.  I gave it some juice and drove over his haterade ass.  Don’t hate the player Mr. Zombie, hate the game.

                I pulped up the rest of the walkers by simply going back and forth with the truck in the middle of the road.  I had to get out though and finish off a few of them that I couldn’t run over.  One of them spun out pretty bad when I hit him, and he landed propped up against a tree, well off the road.  I had to shoot him with the .22 too.  Kind of a bummer, wasting bullets like that.  But, he came at me pretty quick when I went at him with the sword, and he was a big motherfucker and I didn’t want to die.  I guess killing a zombie with a bullet can’t be a waste.  It’s a dead zombie right?  Using the sword would be more resource efficient, but using a bullet isn’t a waste.  There, I feel better about it.  Rationalization for the win.

                As best I could I got the bodies out of the road and into backyards.  I didn’t want the road filled with obstacles made out of bodies, and I also didn’t want to draw too much attention to the area.  A dozen dead bodies in the road might raise someone’s suspicions.  So after clearing out the completely random zombie herd I focused on getting into the three houses I wanted to clear.  I followed the same pattern as before.  Honk repeatedly, make my presence known, etc etc.  Nothing came out, and I didn’t see anything moving inside, so I entered the houses and cleared them as normal.  The first house was a pretty standard farmhouse design.  Three floors, white with black shutters.  Huge ass attached barn.  Not much in the way of great supplies to be found, although they did have a couple 12 packs of decent toilet paper.  Doesn’t seem like much Mr. Journal, but I assure you if you use sub-par toilet paper too long your asshole WILL get chapped.  No one wants a chapped ass.

                Barn had some cool outdoorsy tools like shovels, a pitchfork, etc, but again, not much to celebrate over.  The house was a bust more or less, right down to the creepy ass basement I had to clear with my fucking small flashlight.  Surprisingly Mr. Journal, I have not yet found a decent flashlight in any of these houses.  I wonder why that is?  One of life after the zombie apocalypse’s small mysteries.  Where did all the flashlights go?

                Second house was much much smaller but had quite a few things worth taking.  Whoever lived there frigging loved video games, which is cool because I am a fan as well.  They had the whole setup including a 50 inch flatsceen HDTV, PS3, Wii, and Xbox360.  Fortunately I am a pretty strong dude, and I was able to get the tv into the truck by myself.  Up until now I was just using an old school crappy tv from one of the dorm common rooms.  Now my limited television and video gaming time is greatly improved.  He also had a ton of good movies and cds too, which amps up my collection for entertainment.

                That house also had some pretty sweet snack food.  Video gamer dude was a really big fan of chips.  There were about 8 bags of assorted corn chips, tortilla chips, and cheese coated puffs.  He also had a few full boxes of snack cakes and about 10 full 12 packs of various sodas.  Jackpot Mr. Journal?  You be the judge.  I’m stoked for the junk food, but it’s junk food.  Empty calories for the most part.

                House three was probably the best of the bunch in terms of straight up loot.  That’s saying something considering house #2 scored me a 50 inch flatscreen.  I am mostly concerned with having enough food to survive the winter right now, so any food I find is good, and any food that’s canned is worth its weight in gold.  House 3 was a mini Fort Knox for me.  I found zilch in the house proper.  They had a reasonably well stocked pantry filled with lots of usable foods.  There were multiple boxes of cereal, and most amazingly, 5 boxes of dried milk, one of the things I had forgotten to grab any of at the grocery store.  Who ever lived here really liked dry milk.  I haven’t had real milk in some time, so this will be a big treat going forward.

                Downstairs though was the real treasure trove.  Large tin cans of juice.  There were multiple cardboard flats of 6 cans stacked neatly in the corner.  They had tomato juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, apple juice, fruit punch, and a few other random flavors.  I think that’s the real jackpot Mr. Journal.  Without a regular heavy dose of vitamin C I’m actually at risk for getting scurvy.  It’s not just a pirate’s problem Mr. Journal.   Arr.. it happens to survivors of the apocalypse too!  Arrr!  Sorry that was…. lame.

                Problem solved though.  Plenty of good vitamins in the all those juices.  Really stoked for the tomato juice.  Makes me want to get the indoor garden started, which I haven’t yet.  I think I’m going to maybe do one or two houses tomorrow instead of three and use the rest of the time to relax and get the pots going.  I’m starting to really burn out lifting all this bullshit all day long.  I’m strong, but I’m not a machine.

                I cleared out the house and the vault of juice in the basement.  I was pretty much pulling out of the driveway when I noticed a shed in the far back of the property.  I had to check it, so I stopped the car, backed right into the back yard, hopped out, and walked back to shed.  It was shaped like a barn, with the angular yet rounded roof.  It was even red.  One of the aluminum deals you could get at a lot of hardware and lumber stores back in the 80’s and 90’s.  Junk really, but they worked for folks without a lot of cash.  I got to within 10 feet of the door and saw it was ajar.  Normally not that much of a red flag, but right about then I caught a whiff of something wretched inside.

                I used the shotgun barrel to push the door wide open.  Once I got done throwing up I sat down in the cold grass in the yard for a few minutes.  It’s actually kind of hard to talk about this Mr. Journal.  Weird.  Inside the shed I found about..  15 dead animals.  All had been strangled, as best as I could figure.  Sitting in the far back of the shed, buried in the carcasses of the dead animals was a frail little old lady.  The top of her head was sheared clean off by some large blade.  On hands and knees facing this macabre shrine, naked and covered in blood was a teenage boy.  Somehow he had driven a knife up under his chin, through the roof of his mouth, and into his own brain.  I think he fell on it that way.  Purposefully.

                I have no idea how this came to be, or why this happened.  I just don’t get it.  I kinda forgot about it up until right now too.  I was so excited to tell you about my haul today I’d sent the memory away. 

               Man….  Fucked up.

               I am thankful I still have my cat.  I am thankful I wasn’t around when whatever happened in that shed went down.  Fucking atrocious.

               I think I sat like that in the middle of their lawn for 10 minutes before I heard a car coming.    I was still kind of in shock, so I just sat still, frozen.  I could only see the car a little as it drove by, but it was an upscale sedan of some form.  A black BMW or Mercedes.  It bombed by down the road at like 50 miles an hour, and never stopped, or even looked my way.  I could see a brief glimpse of at least two people in the car.  I clearly saw a long shock of red hair on a female passenger.

               People.  Survivors.  Moving through the area.

               Exciting?  Horrifying?  I just don’t know.

                I left the house and came back here.  Got everything in, got the HDTV set up, chilled out for awhile, had some food, and spent the majority of last night playing Playstation.  Put off getting the pots together for my indoor garden until today.

                As for earlier today, I got up at the crack of dawn, geared myself up, and headed down to the gas station again.  I was curious if there would be more of the roaming undead again.  There was.  I pulled down the hill to the stop sign a bit slower today, and stopped far before it.  There were 5 zombies, doing the same thing as the bunch yesterday.  Milling about, slowly moving, but today they were headed to the east.  I think they were following the luxury car I saw drive by yesterday.  If the mob yesterday saw the car heading west, they might’ve followed it for some time, eventually maybe losing interest, or who knows what.  Same thing today, only when the car comes back through.

                It certainly raises the question of whether or not the undead follow cars.  Once they get moving in a direction, they seem to keep moving in that direction until something gets their attention.  If nothing else does, they just keep moving forward indefinitely.  That’s sheer theory Mr. Journal.  I have no proof of this.

                Definitely scary though. If it’s true, then it confirms my fears that anything that comes through the campus with a zombie behind it will drag that zombie behind it.  I really wonder if one zombie will get the attention of other zombies?  I haven’t seen them attack each other ever, and I’ve seen them alone, and in groups.  I wonder if they unwittingly form groups because of some base, evil instinct?  Fucked if I know.

                Point at hand was there were 5 zombies meandering slowly towards town to the east. I was pretty comfortable with using the truck as a battering ram again, so I aimed at the cluster right in the middle of the road and gave it the gas.  Ran over them pretty solidly, and turned around down the road for an encore.  Hit the last two walkers after they got bunched up with each other, and finished the ones that didn’t get their head busted with the sword.  About as safely done as can be imagined. I dragged the bodies off the road again.

                I am… really starting to think about putting the school’s plow on one of the dump body Fords.  It’s got the attachments for it, and I helped Doug the maintenance dude do it a few times.  I could do it pretty easily.  I’m thinking I could do some serious damage with a snowplow.  Mmm.  Snowplow.  Mmm.  Zombieplow.  That doesn’t sound right at all.  *thinks of bunnies*

                Much better now.  Palate cleansed.

                After that I decided I’d clear one house on Auburn Lake Road.  There was one house fairly separate from the others that was actually the first house on the street.  Typical white house, black shutters.  Huge wraparound porch though.  Must’ve been a great hangout for sunsets and early mornings with a hot cup of coffee.  Maybe next summer I’ll come back and do just that.

                This house had a large barn in the backyard, and after I made my presence known, I cleared that first.  Yet another disturbing find.  This barn was big, with a giant loft filled with hay.  Hanging from one of the barn beams was a dead guy.  He had clearly hung himself, and started to kick and scratch at the air as soon as I entered the barn.  Must’ve been desperate to end his own life, but I’m not gonna judge.  There must’ve been millions of suicides.  I can’t even fathom the despair the world felt, is still feeling.

                I cleared the barn real quick, and retrieved the .22 from the truck.  I popped him once in the head and his jerky movements came to an abrupt stop.  His limp body just swayed back and forth in the crisp breeze.  He’ll swing like that until his neck disintegrates.

                The house was empty.  Well, empty of people and zombies.  I spent an inordinate amount of time opening doors though.  Every single fucking door in that place was shut and locked.  I know I said I wanted to use the shotgun to blast doors open, but it became apparent that’d be a huge waste of ammo.  I would up sniff testing every door, knocking loudly, waiting, and then eventually booting every door in.  My legs are killing me from all the kicking.

                Luckily though, the house was empty of the dead.  In terms of crazy loot, there wasn’t a lot.  I think my hanging buddy holed up in here for some time.  His trash barrels in the back were filled with cans, and his shelves were more or less bare.  The big haul was a giant still sealed container of instant coffee.  He also had some little stuff, but nothing really mind blowing.  It was almost a waste of time.  I am glad I got to shoot his body though.  It would’ve been weird to find a zombie walking around with a noose hanging off its neck.  Fucking creepy right?

                Um.  Yeah not much there really.  Some coffee.  Few cans of kinda shitty food.  Another creepy open stone foundation.  He did have a five gallon gas can in the back of the barn though, which I guess is pretty neat.  Starting to get a little concerned with the amount of fuel I could have laying around campus here.  My boy Blue is bad enough.

                So I called it quits after that.  Headed up here, got my meager spoils into Hall E, cleaned myself off, and made some dinner.  I opened yet another can of potatoes, a can of carrots, one of those yummy cans of brown bread, and I fired up the grill for a bit to cook up one of the racks of venison short ribs.  And if you didn’t see this coming Mr. Journal, I opened up one of the cans of cranberry relish I got from my mom’s place.  I gorged myself almost to the point of nausea.   Heavenly.

 

                Today was a good day Mr. Journal.  I am thankful for that.

                 

                I still can’t get that redhead in the car off my mind. 

 

                -Adrian


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