Journal Entry #14

"In Memory of,"
April 2, 2011

As I entered the room that overlooked the lake, I found him. He was slumped down over his rifle, unresponsive; his face pale, his eyes dilated. I could barley find a pulse on him. I immediately radioed into the others on watch that night that David was nearing death.

Michael Ashcroft was the first to get to us. He helped me carry David the short distance to our house when we realized there was no way we could get him all the way to the Coopers. We put him down on our kitchen table and I had Michael go get his father and Michelle Cooper, the former ER Nurse. Your mother had been playing with her video camera, unable to fall back asleep after I inadvertently woke her upon leaving to take watch. She would later record what happened that night.

Michael was quick to arrive with Mrs. Cooper in tow and she diligently tended to David. The wound on his arm had become terribly infected and smelled something awful. After checking him over, she told me the obvious, that he was in bad shape, his pulse was racing, his skin clammy and severely dehydrated and that his arm would likely have to be amputated. I had since charged up the generator and plugged it into the main house line. It was nice being able to use switches and lights again. Those annoying red and green glows that emanate and persist from every electronic instrument in the house were a comforting sight for once.

Michelle and I both timidly agreed that we would go ahead with an amputations attempt. With no hospital and limited medical supplies, a gangrenous limb could mean certain death. An amputated limb didn’t do much to increase the odds. Michelle and I set about our task of finding suitable tools: a fresh hack saw, some razors, sutures and so on.

While we were waiting for the pressure canner, our make shift autoclave, to reach its optimal two-hundred fifty some degrees, your mother, who had been keeping an eye on David called us in with an urgent and excited voice. David had begun to come around, the first signs of full consciousness he had shown since Michael and I carried him in.

I was in a suspended disbelief when he first lunged at Michelle. Looking at the video later I realize that what seemed like five minutes was really only a few seconds. I forced my way through his grip on Michelle, pushing her to the side and forcing David on the ground. I saw that same, familiar hollowness in his eyes that I had seen in every infected so far. Somehow the pistol that rattled in my hand managed to end his torment. In hindsight it may not have been the best of decisions; the clean up was not pleasant but there was surprisingly little blood considering the trauma inflicted. It was thick, like dark honey or syrup. Not coagulated, just very thick and heavy. We are still hesitant to enter the kitchen for fear of contact with any….pieces…we may have missed

We’ve walled off that half of the room with duct tape and plastic sheeting and have moved much of our food and cooking equipment into the hallway leading to the bathroom. This has cut down our living space on the ground floor by nearly half, forcing an already cramped and irritated family to be that much more so. You were sleeping until the gun blast, but your grandmother was good about taking you into her bedroom and comforting you through out the confusion. I am thankful that neither you nor she had to witness it. I’m not sure she could handle anymore as she’s become quite…delicate…as it is.


Journal Entry #13

March 31, 2011

A light-heartedness has fallen on our otherwise plighted group. April Fools Day is tomorrow. I think we started a day early. It’s not the usual rampant silliness that it has been in years past, simply a reserved happiness of passing jokes and minor pranks. It has done wonders to take the edge off of the attack the other day and raise spirits.

Kevin is apparently a master when it comes to electronics. A few days ago he managed to nab a few deep-cycle batteries from some of the left behind fishing boats and combined them together with some of his own. He is finishing setting them up so that we can have a little constant power, only needing to the run the generators for a short period of time to recharge the battery bank. With this we hope to have a centralized and protected area that is powered around the clock in one of the few buildings that has a basement. This will help immensely, giving us an area to store perishable food supplies in the converted deep-freezers as well as having a place for the sick or injured to rest out of the Florida heat. If nothing else it will allow us an area to rest, relax and escape all that is happening around us. Kevin has volunteered his basement for the task. I suppose we are lucky to have buildings with some of the only basements in south Florida.

Those of us with generators have been using them, sparingly, to power tools or do things like run a refrigerator. I’m kicking myself for not buying a couple solar panels when they were on sale last year. The generators make such a racket that we are hesitant to use them at all. We know the infected are out there, but it is not just them I worry about it. Smarter, more capable predators thrive in chaos such as this, and every minute a generator runs or a welder sparks we say to them “Yes, we have all the things that you want.” It is for this same reason I am thinking of removing my makeshift alarms around the perimeter. I have been silent on it, but I feel they may have been a big reason we saw as many infected as we did during the attack.

The cable, like the power, has been down for nearly a week now. I’m not sure if I am thankful or disheartened by the fact that one of the families has a satellite dish. Kevin managed to pick up a few news channels from around the country. It sure beats the hell out of the endlessly looping emergency message we were getting on the AM stations. Believe it or not, we hadn’t even thought of trying the satellite until now. We haven’t had much time to think of it.

Some areas have been hit worse than others, some not at all. As far as Florida is concerned the I-75 corridor is reminiscent of some cold war era nuclear winter. I-75 runs up the west coast, winding along the length of the state and into Atlanta, Georgia. When Atlanta was bombed the refugees fled down it like a concrete river. They didn’t begin to use 95 until they were within Florida, then they used I-10 to move eastward. Your grandparents lived in Tampa, right off of I-75. When we last talked to them, they were packing up and headed inland to some relatives in Polk County.

All but a few of us were glued to the television for the rest of the evening, taking watch in shifts. Florida’s east coast fared only slightly better than her west and many towns were still under martial law, quarantines and curfews, while others were completely devoid of life. The chaos has yet to wane. Across the country, reports of mob attacks from infected and riots abound. The military is having little effect in the matter. Like we saw in the riots preceding the bombings and the crack down following them, many state side soldiers and police just packed up and headed home to tend to their own families when their efforts made little or no impact.

The signal was weak and we kept losing it. We eventually had to turn the generators off and go on about other business. I’m on watch tonight and have to go relieve David here in a few minutes. I just wanted to write down the last of my thoughts for the night. I think I will watch you and your mother sleep for a few more minutes.


Journal Entry #12

March 30, 2011

I was untimely interrupted from my previous entry by a forceful knock on our door yesterday morning, so I will follow that up briefly:

Our bounty from the scavenge was less than we had hoped for, but was a total disappointment. Upon arrival we were greeted by the rest of the neighbors at the central location of the community, the pool house and parking area where we had held our meetings and planned our operation.

I left them there to take an inventory of what we had just procured. A neighbor, Sarah Ross and I took David over to the Cooper’s residence. Mrs. Cooper, or Michelle as she insists I call her, was an emergency room nurse and the most qualified to treat David, despite his modest objections to the contrary. Sarah had been studying to become a nurse and I felt comfortable leaving David in their competent hands while I returned home to check on you and your mother. The rest of the day was met with a reserved happiness. The much needed supplies eased the mind of a few families that had been ill-prepared.

Our troubles were not long displaced. I put down my pen to answer the pounding at the door. I opened it and without missing a beat, Sal pulled me through the doorsill before my eyes could adjust to the lights abrupt emergence. I frantically tried to don and adjust the belt that held my rifle magazine pouches and side arm while trying to stay on Sal’s speedy heels.

Coming around the corner I saw Kevin climbing onto the roof of the rear most structure his rifle in his hand (designated building 18). Sal slowed down as he came to the corner edge of that same building, waving his hand behind him in a signal for me to follow suit. I brought my head over his shoulder to follow his finger that was pointing off across the pond, towards the Highway. One of my make shift alarms, a Piezo siren on a simple circuit, had been tripped. The usually obnoxious noise the small siren emits was overwhelmed by the clanking and rattling of the chain link fence that valiantly withheld a mass of some one hundred or so infected.

As expected, the beleaguered fence could not hold them back forever and it was overcome. It held out long enough for everyone to get into their prepared positions. We had set up choke points some days earlier on either side of the lake using anything we could find. The infected stumbled about on the obstacles making easy targets for us. I am still amazed by the beating they can take, ignoring pain to the point that they continue to function despite the loss of limbs or large areas of flesh and bone. Even while lying on the ground bleeding out, they will try to continue on.

The best method so far has been to cause trauma to the central nervous system (spine or head), which shuts them off like a switch. Destroying lower limbs or the pelvic bone helps in slowing them down. They will not stop their pursuit, but they physically will not be able to move.

Eventually, the overwhelming force with which they attacked toppled the barricades on the northern edge of the lake. The defenders on that side tried to run, but two of them were overrun before they could get out of their positions. Two others unwittingly lead some of the infected deeper into the interior of our community trying to out run their pursuers. We found the remains of one of them, Edward, later; a few tattered bits of clothing and some…pieces left un-devoured.

Leaving Sal, Michael and I took off for the left side of the defensive line, to stop the breach. My last few semi-sedentary years were catching up with me, though keeping pace with an adrenaline and hormone charged seventeen year old kid would be a difficult task regardless.

Up close the Infected smell something fierce. They attack with such aggression; I am still amazed by it. There is some possessive force within them, something indescribably terrifying; gnashing teeth, slashing hands, all driven by some sick madness.

Once we had secured the high-way approach we headed inward, to deal with the few that had broken past the collapsed defenses. They had lost track of their original prey and instead found an easier target inside an unsecured home. Michael was unable to hold his stomach when he first saw the body inside.

The undeniable truth is that we are woefully unprepared for our new reality and four more people are dead because of it. How can I look that mother in the face and say that I’m sorry; that we didn’t mean for her innocent child to be so mercilessly destroyed? What words have ever been uttered to make absent the screams of desperate pleading she will forever carry?

Photobucket Photobucket


Journal Entry #11

March 29, 2011

Our excursion yesterday morning could have gone better. Six others were piled into the Ashcroft’s truck, a sizable F-250, when they pulled up outside. Along with the Ashcrofts were David and Alex, completing our original group, with Sal and Kevin sitting next to them.

Salvatore Marcini’s size made his 12 gauge shot gun and .44 magnum look like children’s toys. He and Kevin Diederik are two of the very few men I can find no fault in for their absence at the gate that day. Sal is a bear of a man, but his age is showing in every gray hair that speckles his balding head and he, along with Kevin and some others, was at the opposite end of the neighborhood taking care of different matters when the attack broke out.

When the first of the gun shots cracked the air, they came running as quickly as they could, but were intercepted by some of those that had fled. It seems a few of them told Kevin and Sal to go with them, and having no idea as what the situation was, they went thinking they were needed elsewhere. They have spent every minute since then apologizing to us, regardless of our assurances to the contrary. Sal is not a quiet man by any stretch of the imagination and has shown no restraint in expressing his displeasure for Howard and a few of the others. Displeasure is too soft a word, I think.

None the less, that day is over with and this morning the seven of us were together. The whole sale destruction only worsened as we rode the mile south to the commercial square where the large chain grocer was. It’s tucked into a corner, bordered on its eastern side by the little side street on which we traveled (and that ran past our community) and on its southern edge by a large Avenue that leads into a major highway off-ramp some two hundred yards to the east. The northern edge backed into what was once a neighborhood of townhouses not dissimilar to our own, though smaller. There wasn’t much left. Uncontrolled fire had ravaged many of the concrete block buildings. We didn’t see signs of any survivors, but being this close to the main avenue and highway that bore the brunt of the mobs attack, we were neither optimistic nor eager to find any.

We made the turn into the square, to reach the front entrance of the grocer. We clearly had not been the first with this plan. The glass doors of the building had been torn down, tire marks leading into the store. Our plan had been more subtle.

We carried out our raid. Michael, Kevin and David stayed behind at the front interior of the store with the truck so they could load it as John, Alex, Sal and myself brought supplies to them. The interior was pitch-black. Near the back, it became so dark one could not see their own hand and had it not been for our familiarity of the stores lay out, we surely would have become disorganized and ineffective.

We did our task efficiently, splitting into groups of two and working from the edges of the store inward. The bombings and riots had left our state ill-supplied for some weeks and the shelves were half empty even before the power outages and roving mobs of infected. Being late to the party there was even less available. Luckily, who ever had been here before was mentally lacking in their procurement priorities and had stripped the shelves bare of Snacky-Cakes, HoHo’s and some canned goods. Sal and I took the left side, starting in the pharmacy to get various medications that some others back home needed, and other things like antibiotics. Then we worked our way through the baby isle retrieving supplies for those with young children. We made our first drop into the truck and headed back to the drink isle to get what little water was left. There wasn’t much and regrettably we had to grab some sodas, which is a good comfort food, but is not ideal as a main source of fluids. I have not yet told anyone of our Berkey filters or our plans on leaving soon.

We saw John and Alex making their second dump of supplies to the truck when the first of the infected appeared. From the rear of the store it moved towards Alex, who was laden down pushing a couple ruck sacks full of canned goods into the back of the truck. Michael was quick on the trigger and a good shot too, but failed to grasp the fact that we were indoors and the front entrance was a small space. Too many more of those and we wont have our hearing much longer. I have a feeling he understands that now.

We cut our trip short. From our past experience, there’s rarely only one of those things around and the loud report of gun fire is like a big sign saying “Hey, were over here.” Avoidance is the best policy.

We almost made it unscathed too. As we were loading the remainder of our supplies and group into the rear bed of the truck, a great many more infected bee-lined it straight at us, catching David unprepared. Thankfully, he escaped Jim’s fate and only took some minor damage to his left arm. He wasted no time giving his attacker a cranial lead implant as he slammed the cab door shut and we sped away, bumping along as Michael drove over the monsters; every seventeen-year-old kids dream apparently.

I’ll have to come back to this story later, something is happening outside.


Journal Entry #10

March 28, 2011

It is astounding how much can happen in two weeks. I was re-reading my first entries earlier and thinking on the darkness I referred to: The bombings, the wars, the politicians vomiting their well worded though empty rhetoric. The unemployed, the disenfranchised, the nationalist, the socialist, the weeping masses all huddled together, clinging to one another in fear, consuming the idioms of well dressed men, pleading “help us, help us” to the very same evil that had cast their pitiable lots upon them.

We have secured ourselves well enough for now. We managed to move some cars that had been left behind and blockaded the front entrance into a bottle neck for anyone or anything trying to enter. We taken anything of value we could from them, spare parts, batteries, tires. We’ve reinforced the rear fence that backs into the highway and have set up observation positions in a few of the houses that overlook that rearward approach. We are working on more permanent barricades there, to deny it as a viable point of entry.

There are Forty-Two of us all together: fourteen men, seventeen women and eleven children. Only about fifteen of us are armed and proficient. I wish it were more, but it is what it is. Most of our weapons consist of six shot wheel guns and some shotguns for bought for home defense. A few of us have rifles, mostly AR-15’s and AK’s, which is good as it gives us two very common calibers that we can share or scavenge if need be. My own AK has not left my side since the day at the check-point, neither have my .45’s. Your mother has resorted to carrying around her 9mm carbine and Glock 17 everywhere now. She’s fairly impressive with it too

John Ashcroft and his son Michael, James Brien, David Wesley, Alexander Pedron, and myself were the only ones that stayed and fought at the gate that day. James, or Jim as he was known, didn’t get to come home. He left behind his wife Diane and his five year old daughter Stephanie. Understandably, they haven’t taken it very well.

The other four and I are planning on doing a quick raid of the grocery store that is about a half mile down the road. Well be leaving here shortly, around 8 a.m. We aren’t sure what we will encounter, but we at least have an idea now of what to expect. We surely won’t be the only ones in the area with the idea, nor likely the first.

We finally got something other than static on the radio last night as well. One of the AM stations had a looping transmission from various government agencies. FEMA was advising that all people should stay indoors and away from large crowds. If we must go out, we should wear medical masks and gloves and limit physical contact with other people. Most curfews are still apparently in effect. The people at the CDC came on to give us some “advice” on how to deal with an “Infected Person”. That’s what they are calling those things, “Infected Persons”. Their advice will get a lot of well intentioned people killed. They can “approach them slowly and calmly” all they want, but I’m staying as far the hell away from them as I can, and any of them that get close are going to meet the business end of my gun.

The president came on after the FEMA and CDC folks. He droned on about how critical of a time this is for Americans, how we must band together and face this adversity together and not be too proud to ask for help, nor too callous to give any. Then in an ironic twist he announced how he and those surviving members of the congress were holed up in some mountain retreat for the “continuity of the nation.” Probably surrounded by a few thousand of America’s best, eating steaks and sipping brandy.

I must leave you now; Michael and John are here in their truck. Looks like they picked up a couple extra recruits. Let’s hope for the best.


Journal Entry #9

March 26, 2011

The neighborhood meeting we called together earlier tonight may as well be called a disaster. Too much time was given to idle speculation and too little for taking action. Soccer moms that cowered in their living rooms weeping while people died in unimaginable ways were suddenly sparked into a charismatic zeal, telling everyone else “how it is going to be” as if by some divine mandate. Little was accomplished and valuable time was lost. The five of us that were there at the gate remained quiet most of the time. Maybe they were still wrapping their heads around what had happened earlier like I was.

We constantly checked the windows for movement outside. I had forgotten how dark it gets when there are no street lights. Some of the other men that were there with us policing up bodies, but who ran off at the first gun blast, couldn’t take their eyes off the floor. Some of them didn’t have weapons, and I can’t very well blame them for their choice. In fact I blame none of them entirely, if I am a bit annoyed. All of us equally lacked any understanding of what was going on.

The difference was that I and the others that stayed swallowed hard the lump in our throat and woke up to the understanding that if we didn’t do something, no one would. I was not about to watch you, or your mother, or any one else meet the fate that we saw so many others fall victim to. I don’t want their envy or admiration. I didn’t do any of the things I did for them. The only reason I quietly tolerate their boisterous ignorance is that I know that alone, we have no chance.

When one of the men, Howard, who had abandoned us at the gate (leaving his handgun behind in the process) rose up like he was some anointed ruler and began waxing on through some idiotic and redundant diatribe of the way things were going to be I had had enough. I broke from my patient displeasure and told him his previous title of “Home Owners Association President” now had even less bearing. He took immediate offense to it and made some effusive attempt to regain his position, but I was not long in reminding him, and everyone that did not witness, his previous act of spineless self-preservation, asked them all if this was the type of man they wished to depend upon. He took his seat, a quiet eunuch.

I told them that I was not there to hold their hands or calm their fears. I told them what I had witnessed at the check point some days before and that if they wanted to wait for help, like Howard had previously suggested, they were welcome to, but I wanted nothing to do with that kind of help. They silently agreed.

I sketched out a basic map of our community so as to collaborate on its strengths and weaknesses. If we are going to stay here, we are going to need a defensible position in case more of those…things…or worse, come back. Most of the people agreed. We aren’t many, perhaps some fifty or so, with quite significant portion less that are armed. This is our reality alone. I took a photo of the initial drawing and saved it on a scan disk. I hope I can record as much as possible.

Tomorrow morning we will separate into the teams we discussed earlier tonight and set about to our tasks of fortifying our position, collecting supplies from abandoned homes and other general errands.


Journal Entry #8

March 26, 2011

Destruction; absolute and wholly consuming destruction. The low, orange glow has yet to cease its ambition to conquer the entirety of the eastern horizon. Out side the gates of our community some alien world exists in a suspended cataclysm, reeking pungently of decay. An intact body is hard to find, not that I am on some grand mission to find one. Disease will surely set in, and if we are to suffer our provisional internment here, then we must disallow it.

Together with a few other neighbors that chose to stay behind (or perhaps were equally forced by some similar run of bad luck) we gathered as many of the dead as we could and piled them into an empty retention pond some ways from our homes. We used anything we could find at the time: nail polish remover, wood varnish, lighter fluid, a little gasoline, some wood pallets, anything to keep the burn going.

In hindsight perhaps it was not the best idea. The smell was sickening and was carried by the wind into the directions of our homes. It also attracted attention, attention we were ill prepared to receive.

I’m still unsure what is driving these….people. From what some of the others tell me, the day at the check point saw more and more barbaric assaults across the county. Large multitudes followed their would-be victims for miles, bringing them down like prey, one by one. The fleeing refugees led most of them south-west, away from us; most of them.

The first of them came from the southern tree line. The fire gave him pause. He was almost dumbfounded by it. An ear splitting cry from one of the on looking women returned his rapacious attention back to us. He moved slowly; they all seem to move slowly, until they get close. Our woefully under prepared group made its way back across the street, retreating into the natural bottle neck of the front entrance. When the others showed up only a handful of us remained at the gate, those of us with the means to repel these animals.

These are no longer rational people we are dealing with. They do not respond to verbal commands. They are not just unafraid of gun fire, but are driven into a furious rage by prolonged exposure to it. They attack senselessly and are unwaveringly violent and persistent. When a couple broke past our unsecured flank and got a hold of Jim, we tried to force them back, but they were so efficient in their task that his body was taken to pieces in a matter of moments. The injuries they can withstand are beyond reason. One had been shot several times before he took a shot gun slug to the shin, severing the extremity. Without a hesitation he pressed on. The sounds he made before his last movements stopped were chilling.

We stopped the lot of them after some intense minutes. We had to leave Jims body for another time. We will be holding a neighborhood meeting here shortly. This has become something new entirely.


Journal Entry #7

March 25, 2011

A casual fantasy may enter ones mind from time to time. It may be obtaining some vast wealth, or surviving some incomprehensible danger. One always finds themselves, through some previously unknown and generally over exaggerated skill or luck, to prevail. I too was not unaffected by these transitory musings. But in the caverns of the human psyche, what are idle day-dreams for some are cold, unrelenting realities for other, unhinged minds.

What we saw a day ago has not left me. I have done well so far in forcing it from my most immediate attentions. I will never forget it, of that I have no doubts, but it will do me no good to continually replay it. Conversely, your mother and Grandmother have been unable to. I would love nothing more than the ability to dry their tears, and calm their shaking hands and tell them that such a fate will never befall them, or such a heinous and violent act will be never be witnessed again. Sadly, that to is a fantasy that for now cannot be realized.

The danger did not stop when we left that check point. An errant, or perhaps deliberate, shot struck the rear of the Jeep, lodging itself into a row of cans in the back. We lost four, all told; some soup and corn. Multitudes had taken to their feet, abandoning their idled cars in the streets. I kept my .45 tucked into my seat belt to restrain it for easy access should I need it.

We broke free from much of the clutter in the streets, taking side roads. Some of the cars that had broken free of the check point continued to follow us. Perhaps some habitual impulse to “pack” together or some anxious desire for leadership. I didn’t like it, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Turning the corner onto the road that would take us into our community, I was forced to stop. Those that fled the check point and surrounding area on foot had caught up to us. They swarmed around the car, oblivious, at first, to our presence. Ahead I saw a man ambling along in the crowd. He didn’t seem to be in a panic like the rest of them were. He stumbled along, slowly, but deliberately towards us. I wrapped my fingers around the handle of my gun and brought it out of its confinement. I kept it low, as to avoid announcing its presence.

The crowd had begun to grow in density by then. It was a struggle to see far and impossible to move. I rode the brake hard, forcing our way inch by inch towards the last turn a half mile ahead of us, which would take us into our gated neighborhood and home.

My attention was pulled away to your mother, who had retreated into the center of the car, pressing hard against me, her face pale and frightened. The carbine she had held firmly before was bouncing in her hands. Out through the window we saw a woman on the side of the road tearing her bare hands into the chest and stomach of a helpless man. The others ran past him, ignorant of his cries for help.

I was having no more of it. I pressed my foot into the pedal and forced our way through the crowd. The man (can I even call him a man now?) I had seen earlier lumbering along through the crowd was just off the front bumper by then. There was hollowness in his eyes. Not emptiness, but a lucent void that stretched back into some distant shadow. His tattered cloths were stained and crusted; the victim of some earlier brawl or ill-fated assault. I laid on my horn and yelled as loud and firm as my voice would bear: “Move.” I yelled again, “Move!” and again, to no gain.

He rolled off the bumper as I moved the car forward, bringing him closer to my door. I told your mother to look away, but she was unable to avoid seeing the severed limb the animal held in his hand. It appeared as if it had been gnawed upon after being forcibly removed from its previous owner. With no desire to meet a similar fate, I silently wished the best for the people in front of us and forced the gas pedal down as hard as I could.

When we reached our turn, the mob had begun to disappear from sight to the south of us.


Journal Entry #6

March 24, 2011

I am unsure as to how I should continue this journal. I wanted to record, for my daughter, an as accurate-as-possible accounting of the events unfolding around us as I perceived them. I am no longer certain that I want you reading some of the things I am going to write. I am no longer certain I want to write them at all.

I have never hidden myself from the darker side of humanity. I have looked upon the most horrific images of brutality and degradation that man could ever muster against nature or himself. They moved me, most certainly, but they never reached into my very core, into the recesses of my being and took….something…from me.

It was a parking lot at the very first check point we reached, about a mile from our front door. We were close to the front of line; there wasn’t much hope of turning around with any ease to find a way around. Two dozen or so Guardsmen and some medical personnel, perhaps from the hospital just up the road, were carefully screening the cars.

When the first blast rang from the rifles of the guardsmen we were in shock. One of the cars at the front had tried to drive through the makeshift barriers of barb wire and two-by-fours. The car lost speed quickly, bounding over the curb as it rolled to a stop. A few of the guardsmen rushed over to it, some of the medical personnel following close behind.

The body of a young mother wilted down onto the pavement as a man in a very elaborate medical suit opened the driver’s door. A lifeless young boy, not much more than eight or nine, was then pulled from the back seat.

I was relieved some minutes later when I saw the arm of the young boy, who I previously presumed dead, reach up. He was stretched out on the pavement next to his mother, with medical staff anxiously hovering over the pair of them.

Blood covering every inch of his body, the boy sat up and latched onto a nurse with a vicious ferocity. Like some impetuous, rabid animal he sunk his teeth into the skin of her cheek, tearing flesh from bone. Her colleagues fled quickly, leaving her there to her fate.

The cars in front of us tried to flee in any direction they could, blindly smashing into one another. I suppose I should be glad I did not have much time then to dwell on what we had all seen, I was in a race to avoid the inevitable grid lock that was sure to chain us all together in the panic of the moment. People were abandoning their cars, leaving on foot as hurriedly as they could carry themselves. I had had enough by then and used my very large and very heavy Jeep as a battering ram to push the abandoned vehicles out of the way. Others followed close behind, through the hole I had made.

We heard more sporadic gun fire from the road block as we drove away. In my side view mirrors I could see a great many people running in all directions. They dropped beyond view as we headed home, to once more re-evaluate.


Journal Entry #5

March 23, 2011

The Jeep is as full as its going to get. Suprsingly, I was able to get nearly everything in there this morning. It’s riding low under the weight, which is noticeable to me, I hope not so much to any one else. My rough calculations put as nearly 1,500 pounds of just food. We covered the supplies in the back with a few layers of tarps and blankets and put canned goods in luggage and the like in an attempt to keep it out of sight from the all but the most prying eyes. We have personal items on the roof rack. Cloths, sleeping bags, anything to make us feel a little more comfortable. Well be heading west, mostly, away from the major highways. Thank god. The further away, the better.

Water is another story. At 400 pounds per 50 gallons, it’s significantly heavier; we can only take a little. The location we are going to has a well on the property, along with a canal next to it. Again, we are relying heavily on our Berkey filters and distillation in case anything happens.

Most stores are still open, but supplies coming in have been random at best. This is something we witnessed a few years ago during the hurricanes. There are less than a half dozen major high ways into and out of the state itself, and with many of those closed or blocked, shipping has ground to a halt. Local produce is still available, but with influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees, its slim pickings. Theft is so prevalent, particular since the depression started, that one must brave a near gauntlet of truculent savages who have it in their entitled minds that they deserve what you have, if for no other reason than they lack it.

We are sitting in the car, waiting for the official time the curfew is lifted, 6:30 AM; half hour to go. I sincerely apologize for the abruptness of my last few entries, I am writing only when I have a free minute, and the last few days have seen so few.

A free minute can so easily pass by unused and unnoticed; nothing more than a minds temporary digression, or be so fully enjoyed, so intimately realized, that a lifetime can be formed around it.

Journal Entry# 4 (continued)

Journal Entry# 4 (continued)
March 22, 2011

It’s dark now; the streets are locked down for the night. I hope they are open in the morning, if not we'll just have to find a way around. Ill be goddamned if I’m going to be a prisoner in this townhouse. Power is sporadic from vandalism to power lines and poles during the riots. This has taken land line phone service down, as well as most internet. Cell phones still get reception, but the lines are so bogged down, finding a connection is difficult.

Supply inventory was good. We had always tried to keep a good surplus of food stuffs around. In the back of my mind, an event like this always lingered, but we did it for more realistic reasons. When the family business finally closed its last office down last year, I was under no illusions that finding more work would be easy. It wasn’t easy to convince everyone else about that fact. We were quite grateful to have some extra things around the house, like food, toilet paper, etc that we could use for the few months it took us to find half decent work. The down side is of course now, we have that much less.

Water is not a real issue in South Florida: the whole state is water. I feel confidant enough in our Berkey filters to handle most of the retention ponds and canals around here. That and a good hard boil in the pressure canner ought to kill off anything unsavory.

Seven months of food for four people doesn’t exactly fit into a cupboard. As good as I am at stowing things away, we will have to leave some of it behind, or give it to neighbors that chose to stay. We aren’t leaving much room in the Grand Cherokee for anything but essentials, and that means Food, Water, Bullets and People.

Were leaving first thing in the morning, before any day time curfews hit here. May have to make two trips. If so, I’ll come back alone, I’ll be able to move faster that way and carry more in the car. If something happens, at least you and your mother will be safe.


Journal Entry #4

March 22, 2011

We may have waited too long! Day time curfews are popping up in various cities to the north today. The refugees broke past the road blocks following massive mob attacks late last night. They are moving south at a fevered pace. The TV isn’t saying much. It never does. Friends from further north are saying they are watching people being viciously murdered in the streets. The refugee camps are being overrun and panic has entrenched itself.

I don’t have much time to write, but I wanted to get it down before my mind became garbled with too many other thoughts.

We wanted to leave this morning, but were unable to, too many loose ends. This is taking too damn long. Were putting the hurricane shutters up on the windows of the first floor. If we have to stay here longer than we wish, at least it will leave us with a moderately defensible location and keep any vandalism down.

We did a supply inventory a few weeks ago as we regularly do, but it wouldn’t hurt to run through it again.

No more time write.


Journal Entry #3

May 21, 2011

We were watching the evening news after dinner. Something wasn’t right. The usual methodical news-speak the anchors talk in that drives me crazy was displaced by a trembling and uneasy quiver. The entirety of it seemed to be a parody done by nervous freshman on their first day of Improv class.

This uneasiness only grew through out the broadcast. The two anchors repeatedly shifted their eyes left and right off camera, bobbing or shaking their heads while they searched for some distant object or person unseen. They reported on the local little league try outs, on the unusually cool weather, the DOW moving 1% up to 4,100. Every tiny facet of information you never needed to know and not a single sentence of anything important.

The broadcast ended early, a good twenty minutes early. It simply never returned after the last commercial break and went into some Ab-workout infomercial. The relevant bits of information they did, however briefly, report on convince me that our decision to leave here tomorrow was a wise one. The National Guard has set up road blocks across the state just north of Indian River county. They aren’t letting any more refugees further south unless they can prove they have a destination or permanent residence ready for them. I cant say it’s the most illogical move, there’s only so far south one can go before you have to start swimming to get anywhere else.

We only wonder at the reason for the odd broadcast. The imagination has a bit of help with all that’s going. Martial Law? Universal quarantines? Riots getting worse? A sunset curfew was enacted shortly after the attacks. I’ve heard rumors that day time ones will follow for all “non essential persons”. We learned during the hurricanes back in 2004 and 2005 that curfews mean exactly shit. I’ve slept with my .45 next to me for a while now, but as of late the rifle and shotgun have accompanied it. I may sleep downstairs from now on. We set the alarm as always, but as always police response is slow, some nights its non existent. We’ve never relied on it, theres not much they can do anyways.

I cant wait to leave this place and get away from the bulk of the population


Journal Entry#2

May 18, 2011

It didn’t take as long as I expected for the first of the refugees to reach us. They were content to sit along the I-10 corridor, at first. A few trickled down I-95 to hunker down with family or friends. Most are simply just wandering aimlessly and a great many of them lack the basic mental function to handle it.

I’ve lost contact with a few out of state friends I had before all this mess started. More than likely they are bunkering in themselves, or heading towards their “bug out” locations. I do sincerely wish them the best. The interstates have become parking lots; an exodus of thousands all trying to beat the rush. They all just ran out of gas! Drivers abandoned their vehicles, taking their families on foot. Many tried to take everything they could carry. It only took them a few miles to convince themselves to let it go; there’s only so much use for grandmas old lamp from England when you have no house, or electricity.

With seemingly no use, the National Guard of many states has simply shut most high ways down. I suspect different reasons. Non military and non essential aircraft have been grounded. They attempted to use rail transports at first, but the train stations became overrun with refugees. With no thought or attention to where it was the trains were even going, the masses began to claw each other into submission, vying for a spot aboard the cars. The riot police and military had little affect. Mostly they abandoned their post and headed home, without notice and without a second thought.

The greatest aspiration a refugee has is simply to be a refugee no longer. The greatest aspiration to those facing refugees is simply to no longer face them. Somewhere in the shades of grey in-between the two a conspicuously un-easy peace is formed. Behind the endless droves of the displaced is an even longer, endless pile of bodies. The hospitals simply cannot take in anymore of the sick and dying.

The emergency agencies have been telling everyone to wear medical mask when they leave their homes and not to come into contact with refugees for prolonged periods of times. They have set up service stations around most cities handing out gloves and those little bottles of hand sanitizers. Useless crap meant to keep the sheep from stampeding. After the economic collapse in 2008, few trust the government anyways. Unfortunately, those few are all related to me.

We are making preparations to leave. We are too exposed, as our community backs up to I-95. I don’t know if they’ll make it this far south, but I’m not taking my chances. We are going to stay at my brother’s house out west. He has a couple acres if you add in the empty lots next to his property. Its not much, but it is better than this. Were planning on leaving in a few days. Still trying to get the last of our stuff in order. Without being able to take the highway very far, its going to take us a good hour or two to get there, so we have to make sure we have everything we need, as return trips are unlikely.

Journal Entry#1 "For My Daughter"

May 14, 2011

In the late hours of a Thursday morning, the world was over come by the quiet darkness that had concealed itself for so many decades. Though, concealed does not accurately describe it, for that would imply that the darkness had a mind and actions its own and chose to stay hidden. It was we that chose, instead, to hide from it. Apathetically, we ignored the overwhelming alarms with a great indifference. The darker side of our nature we glossed over like a painter covering an errant brush mark, only to realize later that the canvas itself, its very structure, was corrupted and deficient.

I can’t pretend that I was surprised when the first bombings occurred. We had been waiting some years for it. After the Iran-Israel war began a few months ago, the American media and Government started beating the war drums with a harried fervor. The problem was that our military was still tied up empire building in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting a near decade long war of inane persistence. It didn’t stop us from using our key military locations on either side of Iran to bomb their nuclear refinement sites and send military incursions into border cities.

Three hundred thousand were reported dead in the first week; Seventy-five thousand in the US. I remember what it was like watching the events of 9/11 unfold. I was young then, without much experience in these matters. Now, having lived through its aftermath, I am almost disaffected by it. So many years of screaming at the top of ones lungs into a deaf ear and a blank face of every family member and friend you have will do that. Eventually you just stop screaming. Watching them then, as we sat around a glowing television, it was as if some esoteric truth was birthed in our collective minds simultaneously. Disbelief, bewilderment, disillusionment, whatever it was that has previously kept them all so docile was shattered. They looked at me like I had been some long awaited harbinger. I tried to resist the urge, but couldn’t hold back the “I told you so’s” any longer.

Saying false flag to the great majority of folks gets one branded as a lunatic. Questioning the event itself is met with overt hostility, some deep seeded violence that lies deep within a person and erupts as the most last ditch and brutal incarnation of denial. The events and subsequent handling of them were so mind numbingly wanton that the only reaction a person could have would be to implant the palm of their hand deep in the far recesses of their face.

Regardless, the long lasting impact of this can already be felt. It’s not been a month since these ‘terrorist’ bombings around the globe and the “never forget” rally cry is being repainted across every car window and store front. Patriotism and Nationalism are once again being parroted among the masses as long since retired flags are being dusted off and hoisted high.

Thousands are still succumbing to the effects of the “dirty bombs”. Hospitals around the target cities are being so overrun that entire states are having their medical infrastructure pushed to the breaking point. Last night they said the refugees from the Denver blast have completely filled the border towns of every state surrounding Colorado. Florida is taking in untold sums of people fleeing Atlanta. All of our state wide hurricane provisions have been sent north to deal with them. National Guard and Police forces have been battling rioters, refugees and just about anything that moves as cities burn around the country.
Reports from around the world aren’t dissimilar. Europe took quite a bit of damage, as did many key cities in the middle east, casting already unstable regions into third world hell holes in a matter of days.

If any of us were waiting for the shit to hit the fan, I think the whole fan is coming down.