EARTH’S SURVIVORS: TO BUILD A NATION
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June 22nd Year Two
Another long day, but, Mike, Chloe, Ronnie and Adam are off to see what they can find and I am left here to lead and run the meeting.
There will be a group coming in just a few days: I only know they were over to the west somewhere; Rollie has dealt with them a few times. It’s the same problem Sam had, settling too close to the old world; several places have done that and are now having problems with outsiders. As far away as we are we still have problems. I say that because of what recently happened.
We still don’t know how they found us or what their motivation was, but if they know we are here others will also know we are here. It could be the lights; Rollie had mentioned they could be seen from sixty miles away.
We have four new posts: One at each point of the compass; added to the others we had, plus every cave has their own observation post on top of Ridge Mountain. We’ve got sand bags going along the rocky trails to cut down on rock chips; believe it or not, children, the bags to make the sand bags were hard to come by. But Rollie found them somewhere and they are on the way.
I can’t see how Sandy can get any bigger. She is due next month. Was I that big? Patty tells me I was bigger, but I can’t imagine it. Cindy is due in August. Debbie and I are on the fence; will we have babies this year or just over the line in January? Chloe definitely next year; and Pats too: Lisa and Sharika are due about the same time as Pats.
I am really happy with a song that Bonnie and I are writing together. I think we’ll play it soon: We titled it “A woman like me”. It’s the first time I have worked on something with someone else. It’s tough to do, but in the end I hope it comes out well. Hopefully we’ll do more together.
Candace folded her journal closed and slid it in a drawer. The babies were asleep; the kids as well.
Patty had a thick book in her hands Music notation and chords, Candace saw.
“What’s doing, Pats?” Candace asked as she settled on the bed beside her.
“Learning the basics of writing music and scales, and chords, and I don’t know how you keep it all straight, Baby,” Patty told her.
“I don’t see why you keep a body like that covered up, Honey,” Candace said. She pulled up Patty’s over-sized t-shirt and wiggled her head up under it.
“Hey, that’s for the baby,” Patty said.
“Sorry, Lover, wrong direction.” She popped her head out from under Patty’s t-shirt and tugged at the elastic waistband of her sweatpants with her teeth. Patty arched her back and Candace slipped her sweatpants and panties down with one quick movement; she worked her way down.
Mike, Ronnie and Chloe
They had run no more than two or three minutes when they heard thrashing through the trees ahead of them. They came to a quick stop and faded into the greenery on the sides of the wide path they had been following.
Mike held the rifle ready and calmed the dog with his other hand. A large group of women came into view at a trot, struggling to carry a fat man on a bier that rode on thick poles resting on their shoulders. The fat man held a military machine gun in one hand, pointing it up in the air: The bier danced up and down, the women struggling to carry the load. Mike stepped out into the pathway: Pointing his pistol into the air and fired a short burst. The women in front screamed and tried to stop, but the momentum of the women behind them knocked them over. The bier crashed to the ground, nearly in front of Mike. He reached down and snatched the machine gun as it hit the ground. The fat man grunted in pain as he slammed face first into the hard-packed dirt of the path.
A woman toward the back threw herself to the ground and fell to her knees as if in worship.
There were several women and two young girls. Mike sent Ronnie and Chloe back with word to bring the trucks up: Once through the heavy kudzu near the water, they could negotiate the path easily he knew. There was no fight left in this group. Many of the women wept openly, several leaped up and began to kick and pummel the fat man, but he was beyond feeling. Most likely he had broken his neck in the fall. Although two women had also attacked him right after he had fallen, jumping up and down on him, kicking his head and body. By the time Mike had gotten them to stop the man was gone.
When the trucks arrived they made their way back to the encampment. Mike ordered several of the women to carry the fat man’s body back to the camp. He followed behind the women, the trucks behind him.
Once they reached the camp and released the fat man’s captives, it was clear several of the women were more hated because of the things they had done, and it was hard to keep the captives from killing them with their bare hands. As it was; several were badly beaten before the beatings could be stopped. Mike had found himself having to threaten to shoot people on both sides before they would calm down.
One dark-haired woman came over to Mike.
“You seem like a nice guy; I guess you just don’t understand.” She pointed at a particular woman. “They killed my son… They did… She took him, her right there, they ate him, don’t you see? They ate him and you’re protecting them… If I had a gun I’d kill you just to get to them,” she told him.
The whole conversation was low pitched and calm, but the woman’s eyes were mad. Heavy bags hung under them, red-lines spider-webbed the whites. She stared at him a few minutes longer and then walked away. As she went, she suddenly lunged at the other woman. A sharp bone spearhead appeared in her hand and she drove it into the woman’s throat. Ronnie stepped up and clubbed the woman in the head with his rifle; she collapsed like dirty laundry in a heap. Mike raised his voice.
“That is enough: Next one jumps, from either side and I start shooting. And I mean it.” He glared back and forth between the two groups. No one spoke.
“Chloe, take those captives somewhere: Somewhere where they can get cleaned up. Adam, go with her. Jeff.” He waited until the big man looked at him, “You still with us?”
The big man nodded.
“Them,” Mike continued, “go with them and talk some sense into them. When you get back we’ll have this mess cleaned up, and try to work up some food. What is there to hunt on this island?” Mike asked.
“Cows,” Jeff said.
“Cows?” Mike asked.
“Yeah… A couple of wild herds on the other side of the island,” Jeff said.
“Mike nodded. “Ronnie? Adam? Take one of the trucks and get at least two, maybe three. Jeff… That is my woman,” he said pointing to Chloe. His warning was clear. After everyone left, Mike turned back to the large group of women.
“Is there a stream, river, lake, some sort of water close to the ocean? Because if not we’re walking all the way to the ocean.” They wound up at a small stream nearby.
“Don’t be shy, get clean,” Mike said. “Is that all you have to wear,” he asked, indicating one of the loincloths.
“There are boxes of stuff back there… He wouldn’t let us wear it,” one woman volunteered.
“Good. Scrub that shit off, get clean. Throw those things away. We’ll get clean stuff when you get back,” Mike said.
When they came back Mike had some of the women hand out clean clothes. By the time the other group came back the body of the one woman had been removed and all the other women were dressed in real clothes.
The two groups declared an uneasy truce.
Ronnie and Adam came back with two cows and a pig: Soon the smell of roasting meat filled the air. Evening closed in and as darkness set in Chloe helped some of the other women find clean clothes to wear.
As the sun set in the main valley, the lights came on in the new addition to the school and the track in back of the school.
“Run Patty, run,” Candace shouted.
I cannot believe I played baseball tonight. We all ate hugely and then went down to the new ball field on the pretext of testing the bats. We had a game going within a few minutes. Just pick-up teams we threw together. Nobody cared, we just wanted to play ball.
Pats, me, Candy and Debbie were all in the same team. But we got it handed to us.
Tom, yes my own husband, Josh, Brad and Alexa were the best hitters on the other team. They got us one by one, and we made them work for it too.
We had been hoping to hear from the guys that are away. Sometimes they’re in range, but nothing. Maybe another few days: I know they are out for very specific things, wiring being the majority of it, but real plumbing articles like toilets, sinks. Specific types of computer and hardware and software that Stephen and Lisa want. And of course, they have huge lists from just about everyone.
Well, my Tom has a sore shoulder from hitting all those home runs so I guess I’ll rub it out for him. You know, for a little while, it seemed like the old world, a good part of the old world, tonight. And that felt good.
Earth’s Survivors: To Build a Nation.
Coming in early spring 2019 from Dell Sweet