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.

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