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Zombie Apocalypse Fiction – Ruth’s story #107 Adventists back at the convoy’s farm #SHTF #TEOTWAWKI

Adventists back at the convoy’s farm

The meeting broke up at this point. Sam, Jamal and Pastor finalize the details of when the Adventists would arrive in our compound tomorrow. Shack and I grabbed a quick bite, and after a good snog took an all too brief nap snuggled in our bed. I admit that I was a grouchy bitch when Carol came in to wake Shack and I.

It was not entirely Carol’s fault that she and I got into an intense, yet brief yelling match that morning. That woman’s temper matches her hair. I hate it when I lose my temper. When I am truly pissed off I tend to swear in Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic. All three of my chosen languages are full of rich profanity, but it does me no good if the person that I am swearing at does not understand the words.

Carol left our tent in a furious cloud of light hail. I lightly kissed Shack on his oft-broken crooked nose letting him know that I was not mad at him. After Shack and I were dressed, fed and had made a quick latrine stop, I quietly apologized to Carol in the radio tent. Carol actually stood up and hugged me; she was crying go fucking figure that one out. Hormones and pregnant women – God save us.

A plague of ships …

That night’s radio watch was fairly quiet. Shack and I played cards for the most part. We received one radio packet of information that seems utterly useless, but I will mention here just, so it is recorded somewhere. The very first KCAP plague ships made landfall in remote areas of Ireland somewhere north of Donegal. A few plague ships later also ran aground in the Irish Aran Islands.

Several of the plague ships crashed against the famous rocks and cliffs of Ireland, but far too many zombies survived. Quickly overrunning the sparsely populated Aran Islands, the zombies killed everything. A few hardy Irish sailors made it to their boats. Nobody knows if those hardy Irish sailors survived. From the few radio reports, we get; we assume that all of the island nations are gone.

We know from earlier radio packets that Mexico was the first country to cease receiving refugee ships. Mexico ceased accepting refugees after a zombie-infested, super-sized luxury cruise ship loaded with over 8,000 zombies crashed into the piers at Cancun. This was followed the next day by another luxury jumbo cruise ship (the sister ship to the previous plague ship) running aground on the beach at Rosario in Baja California.

Similar to when the Nimitz plowed through Del Mar in California, this super-sized cruise ship because of its mass and speed, ploughed through a half mile or more of ground at Rosario before stopping. After the two super-sized plague ships landed, Mexico launched her small navy attempting to stem the flood of zombies.

The Mexican navy now sank any ship that entered Mexican territorial waters which failed to heed warnings. The ARM Netzahualcóyotl (D-102) was lost at sea with all hands after she was involved in a collision with a zombie infested Liberian-flagged oil tanker heading for Veracruz. The Netzahualcóyotl had earlier exhausted her supply of torpedoes sinking other ships. The few five-inch cannon shells that she used against the huge oil tanker failed to stop it.

After exhausting her cannon shells, at her maximum speed, the Netzahualcóyotl rammed the much larger oil tanker striking it amidships and nearly cutting it in half. The two ships awash in millions of gallons of crude oil burned until both slipped below the water. Many of the zombies and most of the crew of the Netzahualcóyotl died either in the collision or in the crude oil fire.

The Netzahualcóyotl’s sacrifice and bravery prevented the plague ship from entering the port of Veracruz. Zombies from the plague oil tanker (and a few surviving crew members) eventually made it onto the beaches, but the Netzahualcóyotl’s sacrifice gave the citizens of Veracruz time to evacuate.

Another Mexican naval ship, the ARM Comodoro Manuel Azueta (D-111) was also lost with all hands at sea after she was struck by a large zombie-infested freighter in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere between Cancun and Cuba. The Azueta ran out of three-inch cannon shells for her superfiring main deck guns, and then exhausted her supplies of 20mm and 40mm ammo (she had previously run out of 21″ torpedoes sinking other ships before this vessel sunk her).

Zombies from these and other zombie-infested vessels sank in or near the Gulf of Mexico by Cuba, the United States Navy and the US Coast Guard as well as the Cuban Navy eventually waded ashore in Mobile AL, Houston TX, New Orleans LA, Havana Cuba, Miami FL, Corpus Christi TX, and Coatzacoalcos Mexico. I may not be an expert in naval warfare, but the laws of physics still apply.

Zombies do not need to breathe, so they are able to walk across the ocean floor. Fortunately, many of the plague ships sank in water deep enough to crush the zombies by the time they reached the bottom. It is also believed that zombies sunk at depths where no sunlight reaches, may remain on the bottom of the ocean in the near catatonic state zombies enter during the dark nights. The thought of the bottom of the oceans being littered with millions of zombies just waiting to awaken that scares me.

Among survivors, there is heated debate whether or not the submerged zombies will eventually die. There is also some debate about whether or not the ocean’s animals such as crabs and fish would eat the zombies. We now know that the zombies are not truly dead. The dead, for lack of a better word, are hosts to a parasitic virus which uses the zombie’s body in order to spread the virus. Thinking of the early dark days of the KCAP virus is sure to give me nightmares today.

The Adventists are back …

While Shack and I eat breakfast, we are joined by some of the Adventists who arrived at first light. The first to sit with us is a very tall, muscularly broad-shouldered and large-boned woman named Phyllis. A farrier and blacksmith, Phyllis, is one of the most valuable members of the Adventist’s group. For Pastor to send her to us for training indicates, at least to me, that he truly desires our help.

Phyllis is well into middle age with thinning, very short mouse brown hair shot through with gray. Her large hands are rawboned and rough, with thick calluses and cracked nails with dirt underneath them. Phyllis smells like hot iron and heavy, thick smoke, probably coal or charcoal. Just as I take Phyllis’s measure in a glance, she takes mine.

Phyllis’s handshake is firm and very dry. I am sure that she could have shattered my hand easily. I note that other than a small belt knife and a wooden handled blacksmith’s hammer shoved through her leather belt; Phyllis appears unarmed. Her impressive physique could hide several more weapons on her person, but Phyllis strikes me as more the craftsman than warrior.

We are joined for breakfast by another Adventist, this one, a young woman. Another brunette with a wondrous wealth of thick brown wavy hair, she is one of the few women, who like the Princess and I, has refused to cut off all of her hair. I immediately felt for this woman who tries to maintain her feminine looks in this bastard of a life.

This younger woman has the bad nervous habit of continuously fidgeting with her hair. She curls her hair around her shoulders, and then twirls it around her fingers and is just constantly fussing with it. The young woman constantly huffs at her hair, especially her bangs which fall into her face irritating her.

She has several colorful fabric covered elastic hair bands on her left wrist. She impatiently snaps the hair bands into her hair then immediately decides that she has to rearrange her hair once again because something is not correct. The hair, for its part, behaves itself for a little while before the wavy mass slips its bonds requiring her to fuss with it again.

Phyllis makes the introductions startling me slightly as I was so distracted by the young woman’s continuously fidgeting with her hair. Phyllis’s voice is rough and gravely like that of an old drill sergeant. I am surprised to see that Phyllis has a wonderful set of perfectly straight pearly white teeth flashing through her thin, pale lips.

“I am assuming that you are Ruth.” (I nod my head at her in answer.) “Pastor described you well enough and your boyfriend Shack.” I glance at Shack, to see if he is affronted by the offhanded way that Phyllis describes our relationship. Shack shrugs at me so I turn back to Phyllis and the new woman.

“This is Kelly our princess, heir apparent and Pastor’s daughter.” From her tone and general body language, I gather that Phyllis does not care for Kelly. Other than the very overblown wavy brown hair which she constantly fucks with, Kelly is dressed conservatively. Her khaki long-sleeved shirt underneath a faded and ripped black hoodie is functional. One thing that I do notice is that Kelly is apparently unarmed, a distinct rarity these days.

“She’s staying for a few days. Today I help your guys and then I’ll be back tomorrow. Pastor wants us to take some of the weapons back.” Phyllis does not appear to appreciate the taste of the Spruce tip tea either as she grimaces every time she takes a sip. “I drove the flat-bed wagon over here, but I doubt your boys have ever handled a team of horses, so I better get out there. I brought half a wagon load of coal and four empty, clean 330 gallon IBC liquid totes.

Phyllis passes Sam and his entourage as they enter the chow hall coming downstairs from their quarters on the second floor. The words are too soft for me to hear, but a brief conversation passes between Sam and Phyllis. While we eat, Junior and Shack speculate on how much coal we need in order to get hot water for bathing again.

Towards the end of breakfast Pastor rides in with four more young men on horses. Brenda rides in driving the one horse cart that she used yesterday. The Adventist’s horses are turned out into the fields. I hope one of the damn beasts does not step in one of the graves and break a leg. Then I pause to think again that if a horse breaks a leg then, maybe, we can eat it after all.

The mere idea of fresh meat has me salivating. No wonder the Adventists had to fight so hard to keep their horses. When everything including the dogs, cats and any poor bird has been eaten, horses suddenly look mighty tasty, as Shack says. In the cities, the mere rumor that someone possessed a cat or other pet caused their neighbors to kill them so that they could eat that pet.

After all of the pets and city pigeons were gone, some of the people turned cannibal which was much easier than starving. Maybe there were not enough Bodhisattvas among us, because there sure seems to be a lot of cannibals. Society was always three meals away from disaster. At least trading with the Adventists offers not only more food, but also more importantly, a greater variety of food.

Junior and Shack fool around with an ancient Bushnell Powersync Solarwrap they found in some rubbish pile. They have been trying to get the damn nearly useless thing to charge equally ancient lithium-ion batteries for the portable radios. Even if they get the damn thing to work, I do not believe that the little solar panel will provide enough juice to charge even one battery.

Deploying our Scouts with the traditional shout of “Scouts out!” they are sent today searching a recently located hot tub and spa store. They are instructed to look for pool shock which contains between 68%-78% calcium hypochlorite. Other products are on their list, but pool shock and iodine are critical for water purification.

Planning for Kayak Point

Pastor sits at the table and begins the haggling over the Kayak Point trip. Apparently the cannibals are watching both us and the Adventists, but have made no hostile actions yet. There is nothing quite as disturbing, such as the feeling that you are being watched by wolves. The mere image of the cannibals sitting out there watching us with their tongues hanging out, gives me the chills. We still have not decided what to do about the damn cannibals.

From her small wagon, Brenda carries trade goods into the house. Looking at Brenda’s swarthy complexion with her raven black hair, I wonder if it is better to be pale these days. Pale people evolved in the colder climates where sunlight was rarer. While I am not as darkly skinned as Brenda, I wonder if even my light almond colored skin might be a detriment in the cold with the lack of sun.

Thinking of the sun, or rather its absence causes me to notice that Junior and Shack have given up on the little solar panel. Joining us at the table, Pastor nibbles on some crackers. Doc Jamal hands Pastor some bottles of pills. Pastor has high blood pressure. He had used up all of his blood pressure medicine a while ago.

Jamal happened to have some of the prescription medicine that Pastor needed and even in the correct dosage. Maybe Pastor will live longer than he thought. Really, though, who knows how long any of us will live.

Brenda, again, is a source of wonder with her trade goods. Pastor and Brenda asks us not to reveal it to anyone that the Adventists also have several dogs which they rescued as well as other livestock. I understand from their words and body language that the animals are the main reason that they fought with their neighbors. I understand their resentment of us for coming in here and butchering what they considered their animals. Had we been less well armed than we are, the Adventists might have attacked us.

I wonder just what else they have fought with their neighbors over …

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #106 The meeting with cannibals and Adventists #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF

The Adventists learned the hard way that fertilizing fields with cow manure requires time for the Fecal Coliform to dissipate. Human feces have up to 1,000 times as much of Fecal Coliform than does cow manure. Using human feces to fertilize fields is highly risky. With all of the rain, many of the low-lying areas are flooded.

One of the worse aspects of the flooding is the dead bodies and raw sewage contamination. When the cannibals stepped outside to confer with their enclave using a newer GMRS radio, Pastor slides over, sitting next to Sam. Sam raises his bushy eyebrows at Pastor.

Pastor reached into an inner pocket and pulls out a small clear plastic bag filled with what looks like dirty, dark red tree bark.

“Here’s some sassafras for tea. This Spruce stuff is nasty.” From another pocket, Pastor pulls a larger plastic baggy filled with a sticky morass of honey comb giving it to Sam. “Don’t have much honey as the poor bees are starving.” Nodding to Brenda he suddenly goes quiet.

Brenda reached into her arrow quiver and withdraws a small clear glass jar filled with an equally clear liquid. Cleverly hidden and packed in straw at the bottom of the quiver, the clear liquid in the jar sloshes around freely. The way that Brenda handles the jar with care I wonder if the jar contains something dangerous such as nitroglycerin.

“We’ve the beginnings of the makings for methanol. Production is slow right now but should be picking up as we get the workings running. All of the human and animal shit, sawdust and wood chips gets dumped into several huge boilers. After we learned the hard way about human waste, this seems a better solution. The steam from the boilers we condense as methanol. Smells to high heaven, but the stink is worth the methanol we get. The rich black sludge that is left in the boilers we will use for fertilizer in the fields. One of Brenda’s husbands operates the boilers. He used to work at the Cherry Point refinery, which is destroyed by the way if you were thinking of heading there.”

I hear Shack sitting beside me mutter, “Husbands …?”

“Young man, civilization has morality and ethics to spare. In case you haven’t noticed, women are in short supply right now.” Pastor continues, in his quiet but patient voice. “I know that you think I made some horrid decisions, and you are right, I did, but I had no choice. Those cannibal bastards would have eaten us all, not just the wounded and dead.”

Pastor pauses to sip some of the cold Spruce tip tea from his cup. Touching the clear glass jar which Brenda sits on the table in front of him with his right index finger, he inhales deeply. “This here quart Mason jar is some of the very first methanol we’ve made. If you keep those damned cannibals off of us, provide us weapons, I will ensure you get more methanol. Since you’re wedded to machinery unlike us, we can spare the methanol for now. I can’t promise you much, but what little we’ll make, you’re welcome to have.”

Pastor pauses to sip more of the cold Spruce tip tea, grimacing at the taste. I notice that Shack and a few of the other lads are watching the cannibal’s outside radio conference with interest. I also see that most of the guys have their hands on their side arms. Leaning back in his chair such as you are not supposed to, Shack’s left hand rests on the butt of his Serbu pistol pump shotgun.

“The cannibals still make us nervous too. We don’t have any wood to burn either, so we’ve been gathering what little coal we can gather from up north at the Gateway Pacific coal terminal. There is another group of survivors up in an area north of us in Bellingham that also has a small coal mine which they live in. We’ve been trading with them for a while now. There is another survivor group living in yet another old coal mine in the aptly named Black Diamond area as well to the south-east, but we have not heard from them in a while.”

Pastor looks into his empty cup, “There are not too many in our group who stick strictly to the Adventist faith now. I believe after I pass, which won’t be long now; those after me will abandon the faith completely. With what we’ve seen and done, can’t say as I blame them. I’ve had a crises of faith, too. I’ve done and made a deal with the devil.”

“The coal and methanol we can use. I will trade you weapons, some today, some later. I will need some of your people here for weapons training. The rest we can work out later.” Sam seems so tired and looks haggard.

The room goes silent as the cannibals walk back inside, their radio consultation over. One of the cooks, the Indian lady that I keep forgetting her name, offers refills of Spruce tea and snacks. Most of us pass on either more tea or MRE snacks. All of the good snacks such as candy, chewing gum and salty chips were eaten a while ago.

The cook, trailing her guard and escort, leaves after a few minutes. After the departure of the cook, the cannibals insist on weapons again, this time specifying crew served weapons as well as grenades and military grade explosives.

“I’m not comfortable giving you any weapons,” Sam says in a dry tone, leaving no doubt how he feels. “That being said, we can use your strength during the Kayak Point trip. After, the Kayak Point trip, I will consider giving you some weapons.”

Sam stresses the after point making it clear that no weapons will be given to the cannibals, if ever, until all parties are safely home from the Kayak Point trip.

“You may not like us, but we are survivors just like you. Not all of us were fortunate enough to acquire military hardware. Some of us were forced to do the previously unthinkable. You get hungry enough; you might be amazed at what you will do to survive.” The large cannibal leader’s comments leave a bad taste in my mouth.

The cannibal leader sticks a toothpick in his teeth, pulled from a small glass vial, sucking on it with relish. Before the cannibal leader capped the glass vial I caught the distinct smell of cloves. “We need weapons to defend ourselves, too.”

“I will consider giving you defensive weapons, but I am not going to give you anything that will make preying on your neighbors any easier.” Sam is getting visibly upset.

The cannibal leader abruptly stands up  and scribbles something down on a piece of paper. Tossing the paper in front of Sam, he shrugs. “Our radios are on that frequency. When you are truly ready to discuss working together as well as a truce, call us. Until then, be careful out there, it’s a jungle. We’ll see ourselves out.”

The cannibals abruptly leave trailed by their escort and guard. I wonder if the cannibals have read their Kipling? Our personnel are trained to raise their right hand over their head as a symbol for the snipers to shoot. We have discovered in the past few days that it is a good thing that very few people have read their Kipling.

A few days before a haggard vagabond looking man in the remains of what once was a very nice business suit came walking up the gate guards. The pale white man was well-mannered and polite, until he got within arm’s reach of the guard. Grabbing the young soldier who could not have been more than 15, the desperate man pulled a small mouse gun from his coat pocket holding it to the poor guard’s head.

If I were in a similar situation, I would not have a chosen a Ruger LCP 380 as my weapon. The desperate man demanded the guards’ weapons, food and warm clothing. The other guard, as per our training, raised both hands over his head, in an apparent sign of appeasement to the desperate man. Unfortunately, for the desperate man, we have read our Kipling.

As soon as the other guard’s right hand cleared the top of his helmet it was over for the desperate man. A muffled crack of the sniper’s shot was followed by a neat round hole appearing in the center of the haggard man’s forehead. Most of the rear portion of the man’s head exploded into red mist interspersed with small white flecks of bone, globs of pink brains and clumps of hair.

The guard, once menaced by the man’s small pistol, wiped flecks of bone and pink chunky globs of brains off of his coat in a fruitless attempt to cleanse himself. Hanging his gory coat on one of the metal fence posts by the gate, the guard and his companion searched the dead man. Other than the little Ruger LCP pistol which held three rounds in the magazine, the man had nothing of value upon him.

The small purple Ruger LCP pistol was added to the convoy’s weapons collection. I had forgotten all about that small polymer pistol until Sam gave it to Pastor while the cannibals were busy outside with their radio call. When Sam handed the pistol to Pastor, I noticed that the small gun had acquired a flourescent green slip on rubber grip expander.

Pastor nodded his thanks for the pistol, while slipping it into one of the breast pockets of his shirt. I am not quite sure where the flourescent green grip expander for the Ruger LCP came from. I am hoping that the small gun now holds more than the three rounds that were originally in the gun’s magazine when it was taken off of the deceased. I am also assuming that one round is still in the chamber of the little Ruger pistol.

Heavily infested with lice; the dead man’s clothes and his body were both unceremoniously dumped into a hastily dug ditch on the far side of the road. Well fertilized by the many decomposing corpses buried there, that field should produce a bountiful crop for whoever plants it. We lack any form of quicklime, so the dead are often buried with cold ashes from our fires.

The cold ashes may not work as well as lime would, but they do seem to help some. We also dump cold ashes in our latrine pits which helps by cutting down the smell even if just a little bit.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #105 More troubles with Adventists and cannibals #SHTF #TEOTWAWKI

More troubles with Adventists and cannibals.

The five male cannibals are an interesting group. They badly wanted in on the trading, hoping to acquire weapons which is something that they are also critically short of. They also so badly wanted in on the Kayak Point trip, because they also require salt. In exchange for weapons and salt, they offer their fighting prowess and muscles for labor.

Their leader is the largest person I have seen other than Iain. The other four cannibals are much smaller than their large leader. Despite the healing qualities of the KCAP virus, the cannibals understand that the more infected flesh that they consume, the more the virus builds up in their system.

Secondary KCAP infection takes a while to build up to the critical mass tipping point. KCAP also has a bad habit of causing the secondarily infected person to crave human flesh, while rejecting all other food stuffs. The KCAP virus appears to be designed to force its host to spread the virus to new hosts. KCAP causes symptoms in those infected similar to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (thank you, Doc Jamal, for the proper spelling of this tongue twister).

The cannibals are smart enough to know that they need to reduce the amount of infected flesh that they consume. I never did get an accurate count from the cannibal leader, who does all of the talking, just how many cannibals there are in the enclave. The cannibals are much stronger, and all of them look fit and full of vitality. These five cannibals are the leaders of their enclave. I wonder what would happen if we killed all five?

Thinking of Iain vs. cannibals …

Had Iain been present for the meeting, which I had thought could not get any more uncomfortable, he probably would have leapt into a murderous rage. I have never seen someone who hates cannibals so much as Iain does. The fact that Iain will even go out of his way just to kill a few cannibals worries me when we are outside the bunker. I have yet to learn why Iain hates cannibals so.

Looking around at the convoy members, all of whom have shrunk in our clothes; we look haggard and sallow compared to the vivacious cannibals. Having the energy and strength of the cannibals on the mission to Kayak Point is a tempting offer. We know the Kayak Point trip is going to be hard work. Is worth working with someone who is the land equivalent of a shark?

Back to the present …

Anyway, I digress yet again; back to the meeting between the Adventists, cannibals and our merry group. Eating while talking with the Adventist and the cannibals leaders was an interesting experience that I hope never to repeat. I had never eaten salt pork before. I must admit that I did not care for the salt pork and hash, but hunger forced me to shovel it down.

The colonels politely declined any food offered for trade by the cannibals as it was viewed with great suspicion. From the Adventists, we accepted (other than the salt pork and potatoes), several small cheeses; some smoked canned salmon, a few dried apple pies, canned beans with blackstrap molasses, a few raisin pies, and a large red plum pudding.

To sweeten the deal, the Adventists also offered three flats of Starbuck’s bottled espresso. I was not aware that Adventists do not partake of alcohol, caffeine, or other intoxicants. To I, it would seem that a zombie apocalypse would ease the Adventists dietary restrictions, but I have to admire them for sticking to their faith, no matter the consequences.

Drugs! I am on drugs!

I do not believe our convoy could survive without caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. A few weeks ago, during the long nightly drives, it was discovered that a few resourceful soldiers had a stash of pharmaceutical grade Benzedrine and Dexedrine. Doc Jamal confiscated the remainder of the stimulant drugs. Thank God that caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are allowed. The colonels even disregard light marijuana use as long as it does not interfere with duties. Longfeather because of his arthritic joints, tokes a fat one nightly, or at least until he smokes all of his stash.

I practically drooled at the sight of the glass bottles of Starbuck’s coffee. While I generally hate coffee and prefer the far superior tea, any caffeine right now is a glorious bonus. Thankfully, the bottled espresso is not of the non-fat and sugar-free variety. The extra calories and fat in the bottled espresso will benefit our diet.

The Adventist leader and pastor is a man of average height, gray-bearded and soft speaking. He wears clothes that just hang upon his sparse frame. I am guessing that, before the zombie apocalypse, he was significantly larger than he is today. The pastor’s hands bear the scars of someone not accustomed to hard work suddenly forced to undertake unfamiliar tasks.

My hands, feet and hair used to be my vanities. How I miss those spa weekends Amy would give to me for no special occasion. I am ashamed of how rough and calloused my hands have become.  I used to regularly lotion my hands; now my hands are horrible looking.

While we eat and talk, the Adventist leader fidgets with a large black leather-bound King James Bible resting on the table. His tales of fighting to preserve the bible from those wishing to either burn it for warmth or use its pages for rolling papers is both amusing and sad. The Adventist’s leader, who prefers to be called Pastor, has a quiet self-depreciating humor. I glance at Longfeather at the mention of rolling papers. The stoic elder soldier gives no impression that he notices my glance.

Pastor’s humor helps ease the tension around the table a little, causing even the glowering cannibals to smile briefly. Pastor and the Adventists have several dairy cattle, chickens, pigs, goats and sheep. When things started to get too tense again around the table, Pastor eased the tension by telling an amusing tale of how they learned the hard way that horrible milk made horrible cheese.

The good thing about horrible cheese is that pigs will still eat it. Pastor’s horrible cheese story causes me to pause eating some of the Herbs de Provence flavored chèvre spread on MRE crackers. There is probably some specific level of Hell reserved just for those of us who spread such good cheese on such shitty crackers.

We have not had any dairy products since the KCAP pandemic went worldwide. I was never all that fond of cheese before KCAP, but found myself wolfing it down. Guiltily, I remember that we have children within the convoy that need the dairy more than I do. Before my guilt trip, I hope that the small amount of dairy I ate will help to restore my finger and toenails.

The calories, vitamins and minerals found in the small bits of cheese the Adventists gave to the convoy should help. My fingernails have become so brittle, and I still worry about the children. The colonels had the same thought as I because they set aside most of the dairy trade goods for the convoy’s children.

We all worry about the children getting a decent diet to remain healthy. Even though the colonels have carefully calculated just how many calories each person needs, it still feels like a starvation diet. My stomach grumbles all the time. Shack’s stomach makes a lot of noises too which I can hear and feel when he spoons against my back while we sleep during the day.

Shack and I should be asleep now; I hope that we get to take a nap before we have to relieve poor Nguen and Carol. I am sure that Carol is talking Nguen’s ears off. Nikola is in the farmhouse for the meeting looking bored and very Russian in his great-coat and gray fuzzy hat. I admit that my attention has wavered many times during this meeting.

When you are so tired, cold and hungry it is hard to pay attention. Eating helps break up the tension and monotony of the meeting. With a full stomach for the first time in several days, I hope that Shack and I will sleep soundly.

The addition of real potatoes to our diet added to the salt pork was also a nice change. I had not eaten real potatoes since the KCAP pandemic. I did find the salt pork too fatty for my tastes, but these days fat means life. I cringe at all of the times in the past that I carefully trimmed steak and other meats. Now I must force chunks of fat down my gullet for the calories. I did not care for the consistency of the salt pork either.

Amy used to call me a fussy eater; I wonder what she would think of my eating habits now. Nikola referred to the salt pork as salo, which is a similar food found in Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian ethnic foods. Shack moaned about the lack of catsup. I was wishing for Tobasco and good hot tea, not this Spruce shit we have been drinking forever.

Even the cannibals, whom I would not think have a particularly fussy pallet, grimaced at the taste of the Spruce tip tea. The cannibals should be thankful we offered them something hot to drink. We have had to send our wood scavenging crews farther afield as any of the close, and easily accessible wood has already been burnt. Our Scouts have also been ordered to search for any light duty logging equipment.

The Adventists loaned the convoy the use of several peavey hooks, pick-a-roons, and mattocks. These tools came in handy constructing our smoke house, which the Adventists intend to dismantle and move to their place once we leave. From our discussion, I gather that the Adventists have been here a while and are both relieved and grateful that we are moving on soon.

Hordes of refugees worse as ravaging locust …

The Adventists have seen refugees from the larger cities suffering from dysentery, typhoid and gastroenteritis. The hordes of refugees from the large cities are expected to get worse as they discover alternate roads and bridges crossing the barriers. As ferocious as locust, the hordes of refugees strip everything in their path.

The military was not successful in destroying all of the bridges and roads. The military did manage to get most of the major ones, which has slowed the locust’s migration. The military’s goal was to slow the spread of the KCAP virus, which it failed to do. The value and effectiveness of slowing the migration of the locust is a hotly debated topic.

One of the poignant discussion points and a reason that both the Adventists and the cannibals want weapons is dealing with the desperate masses when they finally reach this area. Our convoy will be long gone by then (hopefully), but they want to remain here. I can empathize with their desire to protect their property, but I am still not comfortable giving them weapons. I am slightly more comfortable giving the Adventists weapons rather than the cannibals. Even Jeff fidgets nervously when the cannibals look at him.

Local Native American tribes …

Several of the Adventists are from some of the local Native American tribes. These Indian warriors are mostly armed with bows as well as large knives and the occasional hatchet. Some of the bows are homemade while others are commercially made. Compound bows are rare among the Adventist Indians, as most appear to prefer more traditional styled wooden recurve bows.

The compound bows use arrows made of aluminum, carbon fiber, fiberglass or other man-made material. Some of the arrow heads are made of glass with shafts of dogwood. I understand that the shafts were straightened in the traditional method by heating and twisting. I would learn later the effectiveness of those glass arrowheads.

During a latrine break while talking with Brenda, one of the Adventist Indians armed with a modern fiberglass recurve bow; I learned that one of the earliest conflicts between the cannibals and the Adventists was over the Adventists’ horses. The cannibals, for all of their superior strength and healing abilities, came to fear and loath those glass arrowheads.

The deadly efficiency of a glass arrowhead …

The glass arrowheads tended to shatter on impact with the hardened bones of the cannibals. The wounds caused by the glass arrowheads are severe. The glass arrowheads are held on with sinew which when soaked in blood tends to loosen. Should the injured or a care giver pull the arrow shaft attempting to remove the arrow, often the wooden shaft comes out leaving the arrowhead buried. The injured cannibal then had to suffer while someone cut the arrowhead pieces out of their body.

If a cannibal was struck by a glass arrowhead in an extremity, they often survived. A cannibal struck in the head, neck or the trunk had a very good chance of dying. Even those that survived their injuries had to suffer long painful medical operations with no anesthesia while someone cut the glass arrowhead out of their body. I had never seen cannibals fear anything as they feared those damn little glass arrowheads. While the cannibals knew that they most likely would survive getting shot, the sheer amount of pain that the injured cannibal would have to endure made them think twice about attacking the Adventists again.

The Adventists fought a long hard battle to keep their horses, both from the cannibals and other survivor groups. They are pitifully aware of their lack of good weapons. Striking a shaky truce with the cannibals, the Adventists have just managed to retain their horses. They have also lost several personnel to sickness and injury.

Next chapter: Conclusion of meeting with cannibals and plans made for the Kayak Point trip

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #104 Troubles with sex, Adventists, horses, weather and cannibals #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF

All of the clouds reflect sunlight further cooling the earth. The increase in clouds results, in the near continuous precipitation. The rain has a metallic ozone smell to it increased by the presence of the frequent cobalt blue lighting. So much for climate change or global warming whichever hot topic button you preferred.

A lot of that water in those clouds is coming down as rain, hail and snow depending on elevation. Where we are about 300 feet or so above sea level, we get rain during the day. Nights are cool enough for snow and hail. The days are continuing to get cooler, with nights now continuously reaching below the freezing point. What little sunlight that reaches us has to filter through the heavy clouds. It may rain for months or years we have no way of being certain.

I have mentioned before the creeping white mantle of snow on the mountains surrounding our valley. The snow may not melt in my lifetime. The nearly nightly hail storms are often accompanied by violent cobalt blue lightning rip across the dark skies. The lightning plays hell with our radio gear. Most of the hail is fairly small, but snow flurries are becoming more prevalent.

Shack and I, despite sleeping in each other’s arms nightly, still have not managed to make love. Shack and I have had some great make out sessions. Mutual oral sex is one of the best forms of communication between lovers. Shack is a natural. He takes directions well. More importantly, he remembers how I enjoy being touched without reminding him.

Carol has the bad habit of catching Shack and I in flagrante delicto. I do believe that she gets off catching Shack and I. The first time that Carol burst into the tent, I pulled the pillows over my face in embarrassment. I am still unaccustomed to having someone walk into the tent while Shack is between my legs with his face buried in my sex.

The last time that she caught poor Shack with his face buried to his ears, I was in the zone, enjoying Shack’s increasing proficiency when suddenly Carol is standing beside our bed. “Is Shack in there?” Her voice, like a rude bucket of ice water, rolled over us. Shack immediately lifted his mouth from my wet sex. His poignant, blasphemous profanity wafted against my damp folds.

Adding insult, Carol lightly taps the back of Shack’s head. “Don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s not polite.”

I used the pillows to hide my embarrassment while Shack suggested Carol perform a rather unusual sexual act, but knowing her she has probably tried it. Hidden by the safety blanket of our bedclothes, and the pillows covering my face, I hear Carol, miss subtle, find what she forgot and mercifully leave the tent.

After Carol blew our mood, Shack, and I talked quietly until it was time for us to get moving so that we could relieve Carol and Nikola in the radio tent. Unlike Carol and Nikola, who do not give a damn who sees them in flagrante delicto, Shack and I try to be more circumspect. I am sure everyone in the camp knows that Shack and I are lovers.

Because of my latex allergy and fear of pregnancy, Shack and I have not yet had penetration sex. None of the condoms that we have found is the newer polisoprene kind that does not bother me. Birth control was not high on the list of absolute necessities for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Our convoy is having a small baby boom with both the Princess and Carol pregnant. Sarah’s twins are both doing well, although Thing 1 is still much larger than his younger brother. At a little less than three weeks old, Thing 1 is already rolling over and doing baby push-ups.

Doc thinks that the little monster could be crawling as soon as three months old. For a baby Thing 1’s muscular build is impressive. We are grateful that it does not appear that Thing 2 has been infected by his larger brother – yet.

Separating the twins did not seem to affect adversely either child. Neither child seems particularly attached to the other. The children are quieter than most children at this stage of life. Thing 1 still gives me the creeps.

Our first meeting with the Adventists was more exciting than I expected. Most of the Adventists group is older, well into middle age. There are no children within their group or women able to have children. Not sure how they ended up with such a disproportionate elderly group, but that is what they have.

The Adventists leader who is also a pastor has agreed to marry Nikola and Carol, despite the differences in ideology. The Adventists went without petroleum products almost immediately after KCAP struck. The Adventists are fortunate that they have several horses and all of the proper equipment for them.

I am not that familiar with horses and their needs, but I am surprised that they have not eaten the horses. When I mention eating the horses, the cannibals grin and the Adventists look uncomfortable. From their response, I am betting that a dispute over the horses ensued.

Until I lived with Iain, I had never ridden a horse. I did not get a chance to while I was living in Israel, and it was something that just did not interest me later. Unless Iain and I are going on a scouting or supply run, we ride horses. I have to admit that I am no expert on horse-flesh, but Iain’s Akhal-Teke horses are gorgeous.

Anyway, I digress again. The Adventists are a little upset that we moved in, taking what they had been so carefully hoarding, namely the beef now drying in our somewhat lopsided smokehouse. We were unaware of their presence, and they wisely seeing our heavy weapons, chose not to contest the possession of the beef.

Turning the other cheek in a very Christian manner, they instead decided to attempt to work with us. They also hoped to be able to trade with us for weapons as weaponry is something that they are critically short of. I got a sense from the Adventists that their weapon situation is rather urgent.

While discussing the trade issue, the Adventists already heaping various canned goods upon the table; one of the gate guards urgently calls for the colonels on the radio. The guard broke a long-standing prohibition on radio use. I decided the gate guard must have assumed his request for the colonel was urgent enough to break radio silence and risk the colonel’s wrath.

Then the Adventist leader shocks us all with the statement that he was expecting the cannibal leader to join us. Rick and the Princess are both shocked; they sit silently with their mouths open. The Princess finally closes her mouth with an audible pop and puts her hand protectively over her stomach. The Princess’ baby bump is just starting to show.

It seems that there is a small group of cannibals on mountain bikes at the gate who want to trade with us, as well. The Adventists leader says that they are familiar with this particular cannibal enclave. The Adventists and the cannibals have established a shaky truce.

A truce between the two groups gives me the creeps, but I have a feeling that I may not know all of the facts. A truce with cannibals reminds me of the parable of the scorpion and the turtle. I am amazed to hear the Adventist’s leader casually mention that they have regularly traded food with the cannibals for a while.

Sam sends an armed escort to the gate to escort the cannibals to the farmhouse. The cannibals are to leave their bikes at the gate and any long weapons they might carry. The guards are instructed not to search the cannibals and not to provoke them. In a short while the escort reports that they are on the way back to the farmhouse with the cannibals.

Shack and I look out of one of the large bay windows in the farmhouse. Beside me Shack mutters under his breath, “Well, there goes the fucking neighborhood. We just showed them where a whole moveable feast is.”

Seeing five pale white, bald cannibals walking up the driveway was an eerie sight. I am not sure which was more congruous, their bald, pale complexion or the fact that they were dressed in the latest trendy mountain biking gear from REI, Under Armour, and Nike. I have to admit that the cannibals cut a fine figure with rippling muscles underneath the skin-tight, colorful bicycling gear.

The cannibals all had several large bladed knives strapped to their bodies, most of them attached to a hydration bladder back pack or a web belt of some fashion. I assume that they also had small pistols secreted somewhere upon their persons, as well. The tight Lycra was so smooth that any gun, no matter how small would be rather obvious.

While the cannibals are on the way, Sam sends Junior to round-up two of the Quick Reaction Forces (QRF). When the first QRF team assembles in the dining room, Sam sends them upstairs. The second QRF Sam sends into the basement. Having 20 more armed soldiers, in the house, immediately makes me feel better.

Most of us, probably subconsciously, check their side arm. I also ensure that my Glock fighting knife and my Mossad issue, collapsible Asp, are both ready. Shack checks his Serbu Super Shorty Remington 870 strapped to his left thigh. Shack removes the Rhodesian jungle load exchanging the shells in the gun for 2 ¾ inch #4 buck shot.

I also hear several weapon safeties flipped off. We quickly and quietly reposition ourselves at the table so that the convoy members are sitting with our backs to the wall. The Adventists are shocked by our actions. One of the guards escorting the cannibals left his radio mike open so that we can hear the cannibals approaching.

None of us appreciated the smallest cannibal male calling one of the guards sent to escort them to the farmhouse as “dead man walking.” Even his own leader rebuked the smaller cannibal by cuffing him upside the head. I wonder if, from the ground, the cannibals could see the barrel of the 240B that is in the upstairs window of the farmhouse covering the driveway.

I also wondered if the cannibals sensed that they were also being covered with our sharpshooters who have made quite the impressive sniper hide in the top of one of the old silage silos. The top of that silo is the highest point around giving the sharpshooter an unobstructed view for miles around.

With all of the trees cut down, the snipers have an unobscured view of most of the property and surrounding areas. I learned later that the snipers on duty with the 240B team besides them reported the cannibals coming long before the gate guards.

I know that most of our weapons including the 240Bs wear older AN/PEQ-2A TPIALs. A concern is the dearth of good AA batteries. I heard that they even rigged the M-50 Ontos so that its four 106mm recoilless rifles are aimed with the aid of some piece of IR gear. The original .50 caliber spotting rifle on the Ontos is useless, because we lack the proper ammo for it.

The Ontos carries a 240B in the pintle mount on the turret rather than one of the 1919A4s. Between the Ontos and the Quad .50 plus the heavily camouflaged 20mm cannon, someone attempting to attack from the highway is in for one hell of a time. Thankfully, all three heavy weapons plus the MGS and mortar Stryker, held in reserve, are highly mobile.

Should someone survive the booby traps and other nasty’s in what used to be the woods surrounding the farm, they will discover that our heavy weapons are easy moved. The farmhouse sits on the peak of a small hill, giving us the advantage of high ground. One thing I can say about the cannibals is that they are not stupid.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #103 Adventists and Flashbacks #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF

Ruth’s story #103 Adventists and Flashbacks

I have not mentioned our fear of famine for a while. During the long quiet nights sitting in the radio shack listening to the hiss of radio static interspersed with the whine of the manual charging paddles, there is not a lot to do but worry about the future.

We have read almost everything there is to read. Our most technical and valuable books, those that might help us restore civilization have been carefully sprayed with bug repellent and packed into large watertight zip lock bags with several mothballs. I hope most of those books survive enough years to be of use to someone later.

Often our nights (I still wonder why Shack and I volunteered for the night shift) are filled with the howling of the wind. I have never been so damned cold. The only time that I am warm is when I am snuggled against Shack in our bedroll.

The cold is now so bad that even Nikola is wearing an old Soviet navy, gray Astrakhan fur hat and great-coat. He looks very Russian in his monstrous coat and fluffy hat. I bet that Nikola is warmer though. The industrious lads managed to whip together a small, rusty iron pot-bellied stove that heats the radio tent to barely tolerable when we have wood to feed it.

There is no more scrap wood, to be had anywhere. Every piece of wood that we could find has been burnt. We have pulled out all of the fence posts and ripped apart all of the barns. Any nearby abandoned building has likewise been ripped apart. We have had to reduce the frequency of bathing with hot water as wood is so scarce.

The main farmhouse is protected by armed guards now because it is an old wooden frame house that many look upon with greed. Despite my belief that the less than lethal ammunition was worthless, some of it has been used discouraging convoy members from ripping the wooden siding off of the old house.

All the red alder trees that remain are being hoarded, protected by armed guard, for smoking and preserving food. Our smoke house was completed a few days ago. The aid from a few of the Adventists helped us complete the smokehouse in satisfactory condition. Right now the smoke house is packed to capacity with beef. Since we lack the convenience and accuracy of a modern stove, we had to slice the meat as thin as possible.

Cutting the many thousands of pounds of beef, we realized that while many of us possess quality fighting knives, good quality butchering and skinning knives are in desperate short supply. Another commodity also dear in supply is good knife sharpening tools. It was difficult to slice the meat thin enough so that it dried completely. Dryness is the key as properly dried meat will last quite a while.

We are using a drying technique similar to what the Native American tribes used to dry meat. I am told that the red alder wood used in our smokehouse will impart a nice flavor to the beef. I am dubious about the taste of the dried meat.

We see very few animals these days with the exception of rats. Almost all of the cats and dogs have been wiped out, consumed by desperate survivors. It is a rat’s heaven now. So far we have not stooped so low as to eat rat, although I would not put it past our cooks if we get desperate enough. God that fucking cook had better not be serving me rat!

My dreams are often filled with meals from the past. Great heaping feasts. Especially feasts around Jewish holidays such as Purim. All of that luxurious food I consumed with so little thought while hardly tasting it. Mountains of warm bread dripping butter, scandalous pastries, thick juicy cuts of meat dripping with fat, and barrels filled with every imaginable dairy product parade through my dreams.

A brief flashback …

I have to add an addendum to some of my previous journal entries. This is what happens when your journal is written on a bunch of little scraps of paper. Chances are fairly good that I lost a few of those pieces of paper. I also occasionally find some scrap of journal notes wedged into some equipment’s crevice.

Since living with Iain in his bunker, in the Oregon, foothills not many miles from what used to be Baker City, I have learned many things about the hairy giant of a man. He has given me several beautiful Moleskine® Notebooks since we have been together. I am not so sure what all of the lovely stickers are used for, but the journals are very pretty with high quality paper.

Iain has kept a journal for many years, much longer than I have. Once our stories join, he will be a frequent contributor to this story. Iain is the only person that I have seen ever in my life that writes with an honest to God fountain pen. Iain uses a Conway Stewart fountain pen in red-ripple Ebonite. Thankfully, for him, he stockpiled what must be gallons of ink in the bunker.

Speaking of bunkers, I am adding some of the lost material at this point despite that chronologically it happened several weeks prior to the events mentioned before and after. I try to do my best keeping my journal organized, but the frantic last few weeks that I was with the convoy, caused me to lose some of my journal.

So, anyway, here are some of the found (lost) journal notes …

We received some radio traffic from the bunker underneath Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. The last President did not make it to safety at Mount Weather. Both the President and Air Force One are considered lost.

Officially, the few members of Congress and the Senate that made it to safety either at Mount Weather or the Greenbrier Luxury Hotel (also in Virginia) have stated that the Vice President is now officially the last President of the United States. Congratulations, madam president.

We are not sure quite whom the transmission was meant for as there are very few radios still in use, at least in transmit mode. I have detailed earlier some of our concerns in regards to radios. Radios are still an item that we continuously search for. Except for the occasional HAM operator, the air waves are now mostly silent.

The last time that anyone in the convoy heard anything about the VP, she was leading troops against the zombie hordes somewhere near Camp David. Hearing from both Mount Weather and the Greenbrier, even if those transmissions are authentic, it does not really change anything. The VP’s broadcasts went silent a week or so before the Mount Weather transmission naming her the second woman President of the United States.

It is as irrelevant as some of the news that I watched on TV while sitting in SeaTac Airport so long ago. Some perfectly coiffed blonde bimbo with an impressive set of tits (probably bolt-ons) reported that the US Treasury Department was concerned because consumer credit spending was at an all-time high. Who gives a fuck about credit cards when the world is about to die?

I did get a good laugh from the news reporter in the field talking to a small mom and pop grocery store owner. The reporter watched as the store’s owner opened his safe showing that it was absolutely stuffed to the gills with personal checks and cash. Showing his contempt and illustrating the distinct improbability of the store owner actually getting reimbursed, he proceeded to use a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid in a unique way.

I have never watched an elderly gentleman before, take a white plastic charcoal lighter fluid container, and while mimicking the act of urinating, squirt lighter fluid all over the bundles of cash and personal checks. I think the reporter was too shocked to move because he just stood there open-mouthed holding the microphone. The reporter did not move even when he was splashed with lighter fluid.

Some nearby bystanders tackled the shop owner before he could toss a lit Zippo onto the lighter fluid soaked money, checks and reporter. Watching the destruction of civilization as we knew it on the news was eerily just like watching a train wreck – I just could not resist watching.

Events that once I never would have considered as something even remotely probable took place every minute on the news. As fresh water became scarce, people began fighting over swimming pools, going even so far as to kill their neighbor for possession of his pool. Who would have ever thought that your neighbor might kill you one day for the thousands of gallons of water in your swimming pool?

Another news reporter, this time a handsome nattily dressed black man wringing his hands with concern during his fluff news piece, reported about the multitude of people attempting to purchase guns and ammunition. There was genuine apprehension on the reporter’s face as he bemoaned the likelihood of greater violence due to increased gun possession.

No mention at all of the increased violence which might have been caused by the zombies. Some of the lads tell me that there was not a gun nor a single round of ammunition to be had anywhere. Camping gear, vitamins, and any food staple capable of being hoarded were quickly in short supply.

Surprisingly, no one seemed to consider grits, as that was one common staple. I had never eaten grits before KCAP. I am sick of grits. A common staple, instant oatmeal, is also something that I tire of eating frequently. Along with reconstituted peanut butter and MRE crackers, I am sick of the same bland diet.

Another shortage is any kind of container that might store supplies for any length of time. Kitty litter totes, pails, and any other water tight or air tight container have become highly prized commodities. Jugs for storing gallons of fresh water such as the blue plastic Reliance Hydrorollers and Aqua-tainers became nearly as valuable as gold.

Good quality containers are worth more than gold or silver as you cannot eat or drink precious metal, and they will not sustain your life. The only value currency, at least the metallic kind, has is the use as shrapnel in our booby traps.

Paper money is useful as kindling though some of the older bills have been used as rolling papers. I am out of smokes again. Tobacco is in extreme short supply. What has not been smoked by now has rotted away. Only God knows when I will see good cigarettes again. Despite my nicotine cravings, cigarettes are the very least of my dietary concerns.

Bottled spices, Coleman lanterns and stoves with fuel, and even bottled water became precious overnight. Once the KCAP panic broke; stores were emptied in minutes. Stores that attempted to stem the tide were looted usually after the owners were killed. The police were quickly overwhelmed, and along with the fire department and other emergency services, many had, sensibly, decided to go AWOL and care for their families.

Our lives are irrevocably changed. So many things in our lives that we took for granted are now in exceedingly short supply. Many of the items that we used daily; we have no idea how to make ourselves. Lacking the items we once relied upon and lacking the skills to manufacture the needed items, is going to result in a lot of dead people if they are not dead already.

I do not believe anyone is really expecting the US government to save them or restore order. For better or for worse we are on our own. You either survive or die. With the relentless cold and the consequential crop failures, starving to death is a real possibility for a lot of people. Our weather has been cloudier than ever.

Despite the US government Continuity of Operations Plan, it appears that the US exists only in our memories. Later, we would learn that there are no surviving governments anywhere in the world. Some of the world governments did manage to get the important people to safety, usually in shelters designed to survive nuclear weapons.

The nuclear pandemic …

We would have been better off if we were facing a nuclear holocaust rather than a zombie pandemic. The problem with all of the shelters appeared to be someone’s infected loved one getting inside. Every supposedly secure shelter that we have ever talked to, with the exception of the poor bastards underneath Ft. Detrick, every one of them had an infected person that somehow slipped inside.

Mount Weather used to broadcast some interesting weather data over the old and long disused HF FEMA National Radio System (FNARS). A depressing radio transmission from one of the few surviving ancient US Navy E-6F Looking Glass planes stated that between 300 and 500 nuclear weapons of various types had been deployed worldwide.

Brief nuclear wars between India and Pakistan, Greece and Turkey, and Taiwan and China utilized an unknown number of nukes. The brief nuclear exchange between Taiwan and China obliterated Taiwan but did little damage to China. Equally unknown is exactly how many nukes China and Russia deployed trying to sterilize the assumed KCAP outbreak area.

Some of our Russian soldiers are survivors from the Lake Balkhash area, and also from what is left of the Aral Sea. They do not know just how many nukes were used by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. All that the Russian survivors know for certain, is that China was the first country to drop a nuke attempting to stem the zombie hordes.

China saturated bombed the Yarkant River area. When conventional weapons failed, China dropped low yield nuclear weapons attempting to cauterize the area, preventing the zombie hordes from entering China – for a brief time. When the low yield nukes failed, China started using its largest nukes, which also failed to stem the zombie hordes.

Pandora’s Box Opens …

Once China opened Pandora’s Box, it was a nuclear free for all. When plague ships started making landfall, nukes were used both at sea and on land. The US was the first to deploy nuclear tipped anti-ship missiles. Then France used several, ancient, nuclear tipped Exocet anti-ship missiles. The United Kingdom got in the game by deploying several reactivated, equally ancient nuclear tipped, American made, Tomahawk anti-ship missiles.

We will never know just how many nuclear tipped, anti-ship missiles were used. The US forces used ancient, nuclear tipped SLAM-ETR (Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Tactical Response), and Harpoons as well as Tomahawk missiles when conventional weapons failed to stop plague ships.

Once the US started using nuclear anti-ship missiles, Russia, China, North and South Korea, Taiwan, France, Britain, Canada, Iran, and Israeli navies, to name just a few, jumped in the game. Countries without nuclear tipped anti-ship missiles such as Mexico, South America, Cuba, etc. suffered the greatest number of plague ships.

Because of the unrestricted use of nuclear weapons at sea, an estimated 25 billion acre-feet of water was instantly turned into steam which after cooling in the atmosphere, became clouds. That is enough water to cover the US in about a hundred feet of water.

We now return to the present …

Blogging From A to Z April 2014 Challenge – Why I Chose Not to Participate #atozchallenge #blogging

AI decided not to join the A to Z April 2014 blog challenge.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

http://paper.li/tag/atozchallenge

Don’t get me wrong – I would like more followers and readers.

A blog challenge is a great idea for those who have issues generating content for their blog. I do not suffer from lack of ideas for my blog. I suffer with a lack of time to blog as often as I would like.

It would be simple for me to come up with several of these A to Z posts. I have many old dictionaries and books dedicated to English words long out of use.

If you have read any of my writing before, then you are probably aware that occasionally, I will toss in a word that is long out of common usage.

I decide to occasionally, toss in a disused word for a few reasons (listed in no particular order):

  1. The words I choose are ones that are unlikely to come up in another post. These old words make it an easy way for me to Google it and see if someone else is using my writing, but claiming it as their own. (It has happened to me before.)
  2. Using such an odd word often forces my readers to Google it or look the word up in a dictionary. I often get called out on the word as well, which tells me people are actually reading my work.
  3. It is just plain fun to use old words. One of my favorite books for finding rare and much out of common usage English words has long been “Depraved and Insulting English” by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea.

One has to be careful using these words, less we are accused of “talking down” to others or “showing off” our education. My goal using these words is not to belittle people, make them feel stupid or to show off my education.

I will enjoy reading other blogger’s A to Z April challenge posts.

Here Are 35 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Australia

Here is another Viral Nova post that gave me some ideas for my Ruth stories.

I am not telling this time which of the following 35 reasons gave me ideas. You will have to guess until tomorrow’s new Ruth chapter.

Here Are 35 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Australia.

19 Strange Places Around The World. The World Is A Weird Place.

I like to give my readers insight into where I get ideas for my zombie stories.

Below is a good Viral Nova link to some interesting places in the world. Most of these could be added to any zombie or post apocalyptic story.

#14 is of interest to me. Some of my readers who follow  my Ruth stories are aware that the Kazakh-Central Asian Plague (KCAP) started nearby the remains of the Aral Sea.

19 Strange Places Around The World. The World Is A Weird Place..

Prepping 101: Food Storage – Beyond Cat Litter Buckets & Totes

You will see some of these ideas in later posts in my Ruth series.

Prepping 101: Food Storage – Beyond Cat Litter Buckets & Totes.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #102 More personnel updates, Shen’s death, and Adventists SHTF TEOTWAWKI

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #102 More personnel updates, Shen’s death, and Adventists SHTF TEOTWAWKI

The Death of Shen

The only treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria infection is aggressive surgical debridement. We lack enough Morphine to either keep Shen out of pain or put him out of his misery, permanently. We also lack enough Vancomycin to treat Shen’s other infections and help him survive the amputation.

Poor Shen is in incredible pain. His wound has spread from the side of his left thigh to his knee and clear up to his hip. Seeing bare bone in Shen’s thigh surrounded by the raw hamburger colored bloody flesh is nauseating. The sight of the gaping wound on Shen’s side takes a strong stomach not to lose one’s meal.

Rare antibiotics like Vanco are in finite supply with little chance of finding more. Our Scouts scoured the countryside and reported finding nothing of medical worth. Doc Jamal and Terrance as medical professionals are both reluctant to kill the patient as they feel it is a violation of their oath.

Thankfully, they do not teach the Hippocratic Oath in Russia. Nikola nor any of the other Russian lads with even a smidgen of medical training have any issue putting Shen out of his misery, if necessary. Surprisingly both Scarecrow and his lady friend have been helpful taking Shen’s bloody bed-clothes to be burned. Unfortunately neither one is particularly trustworthy, otherwise, doing just enough to keep us from either shooting or banishing them.

The longer we delay Shen’s treatment, whatever it may be, the worse he is getting. I never really cared for the Chinese soldier, but I feel bad for the poor man. I do not believe that we gain anything prolonging the poor man’s suffering. Since he is unwilling to risk even an amputation, I feel that we should euthanize Shen as soon as possible.

The question is who is going to euthanize Shen. Sam is willing to do it even as much as he does not relish the idea. Surprisingly it was Junior who came up with perhaps the best solution. As best as we can translated through Nguen’s shitty Mandarin we try to explain to Shen that we are going to set up a way for him to end his misery.

Our Scouts have raided every veterinary clinic. From some of those vet clinics, a small amount of Nembutal was found usually forgotten in some dusty corner. A quick inventory by Jeff reveals that there is one sterile sealed 100 milliliter bottle of liquid Nembutal. Of concern, is the expiration date which is many years past.

Sam donated a sealed bottle of Crown Royal whisky to mix the Nembutal with. Nguen tries as best as he can to explain to Shen that if he does not wish to die, he will not mix and then drink the alcohol and drug. By allowing Shen the ability to choose to end his life rather than one, of us killing him, we can be certain that Shen chose to die rather than live with only one leg.

I was sitting in the radio shack playing Solitaire when Junior walked in and told us that Shen was dead. Talking to Nguen later, he said that Shen jumped on the alcohol and drug like a man possessed. He poured the entire contents of the sealed 100 milliliter bottle into a tall glass, poured enough Crown whiskey in to fill the glass and chugged it in one gulp.

Shen was dead in less than 10 minutes, may he rest in peace. There are still many questions concerning how he ended up in the water, why was he was not armed and what was he doing outside alone at night. The black female cook has said repeatedly that she was unaware of Shen’s interest in her.

The Investigation Continues …

The black cook was very upfront with the fact that she had no interest ever in dating Shen. The colonels said that they could not sense any evasion or malice in the cook. I thought the colonels were very composed despite the fact that the cook was enthusiastically wielding a large, bloody machete butchering barrels of American bullfrogs for our meals.

I was more distressed by the fact that I had been eating slimy green frog legs than any misdeed that the black cook might have committed. As far as I was concerned feeding me frog meat was a misdeed in and of itself. Hunger made me get over my revulsion, but I still have to fight my gag reflex sometimes thinking about what meat I might be eating.

The cook’s guard and her fellow cooks give the black cook a solid alibi that was corroborated by several other soldiers in the mess tent at the time that Shen was discovered in the creek. The black cook was never out of sight that evening long enough for her to have rendezvoused with Shen and then made it back to the cook shack.

The black cook (whose name escapes me at this time) also mentioned that she did not talk to Shen at all the evening he ended up in the creek. It is still a mystery as to how and why Shen ended up impaled in the creek. From what we have been able to determine the poor bastard was out there alone with no weapon and not even dressed appropriately for the weather.

The lads used one of the tractors with a digging implement to bury poor Shen very deeply so that his infected body does not pollute anything. I wish that we had some quick lime to pour over his dead body. Sam said a few words over Shen’s grave, but otherwise the poor man was buried without ceremony. I would have rather cremated the poor man, but we lack a suitable amount of fuel.

If Shen was religious he never mentioned to anyone as far as we know. No one bothered to mark Shen’s grave. We have become numb having buried so many friends and lovers. Shen’s grave is just another in a long line of many that we have dug.

Surprising Discoveries …

Shen’s unusual QBZ-95B-1 bullpup-style carbine with its unique and exceedingly rare 5.8×42mm ammo are earmarked for giving to the Adventists. Shen possessed 177 rounds of the unique ammunition. There are five, full 30-round magazines for the rifle with one short magazine containing only 27 rounds. When searching Shen’s possessions, it was discovered that the little dead bastard had hidden a QLG10A 35mm grenade launcher.

Shen also secreted 23 DFS-10 35mm caseless grenades for the QLG10A. Similar to the Russian VOG-25, the DFS-10 is an effective, lightweight caseless grenade. Shen owned 11 high explosive dual-purpose (HE-DP), seven high explosive fragmentation (HE-F), and five less-than-lethal riot control grenades.

The caseless grenades and its launcher, now attached properly to the Chinese carbine are added to the pile of weapons for the Adventists. The less-than-lethal grenades are slated to be used for practice and training. With zombies, the last thing you want to use is anything less-than-lethal. Our last encounter with cannibals we were surprised at how resilient they were to riot control grenades. We will not make the mistake again of using less-than-lethal ammo against cannibals – ever.

Another surprise in Shen’s possessions was a cunningly hidden, old, but well cared for, Norinco Type 54 7.62x25mm pistol, with externally attached suppressor. Commonly referred to as a “Black Star” pistol by the Chinese due to the stars on the black plastic grips; the little pistol is a direct copy of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33.

Also in Shen’s possession was a lot of porn. Most of it was fairly gruesome stuff featuring BDSM, masochism and autoerotic asphyxia. Unless some other sick bastard in the convoy wants the pornographic material all of it gets earmarked for the fire pit. The glossy pictures and heavy, high quality paper will burn hot and fast.

This Little Light of Mine …

The convoy has kept a nightly fire in the center of the compound. Hidden and surrounded by the various tents with the old white farmhouse to its back, the nightly fire has become one of comfort. Two of the old dilapidated barns, as well as an old milking parlor and a hay barn, are slowly being torn down for the wood. We are also slowly cutting all of the trees down in an ever enlarging circle around the farm to use as firewood.

With most of the livestock now either gone or corralled where we can track them easier, the unnecessary wooden fences are also being torn down and burnt. The rusty barb wire and fencing material from the removed fences is added to the tangle foot traps and other booby traps around the perimeter. Dry seasoned firewood is of high priority for the Princess’s laundry as well as the nightly campfire.

A few of the soldiers have shown a talent for some simple musical instruments and a few can even passably sing. Most nights the campfire is a simple, silent affair with soldiers, friends and family sitting together enjoying the warmth of the fire and the camaraderie. Often a bottle of hooch gets passed around. We still have to maintain noise and light discipline, so most nights the fire is a fairly quiet solemn affair.

Construction on a smoke house goes as well as could be expected. Some encouraging news is that the Adventists have several talented carpenters who will assist our construction efforts. The leader of the Adventists, with a few of the women and some men are coming to our camp tomorrow to look over our plans for a smokehouse.

Load Me Mandrake …

Sam shocked us all yesterday or was it perhaps the day before? The days are beginning to run together. Sam, knowing that the Adventists are coming over for a larger trading and planning session, he provided a Browning 1919 A6 still in the original .30-06 caliber to give to the Adventists. The 1919 A6 is still quite common in Israel, although most have been converted to the more common 7.62 NATO.

In the IDF, what few of the 1919 A6s remain are assigned to reserve units. I am passingly familiar with the 1919 and its variants, but have never shot one. Sam and the rest of the Vietnam veterans are quite familiar with the 1919 which was quite prevalent in that conflict. Of interest, though, is how many of the canvas 1919 belts do we possess, and do the Adventists have anyone named Mandrake?

I do not get the Mandrake reference until someone tells me it is from some old American movie well before my time. Looking over the 1919 canvas belts, of which there are quite a few, some of them are in rough shape and will need repair work. I hope that the Adventists have someone who can at least patch and repair the heavy canvas belts. I do not envy the poor bastard that is going to have to hand sew the heavy canvas ammo belts as I doubt the Adventists have a sewing machine heavy enough to handle the canvas.

The Adventists have several horses, and a lot of horse tack, so if they can maintain and repair horse gear, than perhaps some canvas machine gun belts will not be so difficult. I believe that it will be harder to find enough ammo for the 1919 A6 machine gun than anything else. Thankfully, for the Adventists, I understand from the lads that the .30-06 cartridge is very common. Perhaps if the A6 had been converted to 7.62 NATO, than it would have been easier to find ammo. Sam is even able to provide a couple of spare 1919 barrels in either A4 or A6 configuration.

Some of the 1919 barrels are new while others are slightly used. Interestingly enough, the used barrels are US GI issue while the new barrels are all IDF service. There is some discussion about utilizing only the used barrels for training. Regrettably, there is no flash hider available for the 1919. Tools are also limited for the 1919, but there are at least the proper tools to change the barrels including the proper gauges. A few M1918A2 BAR machine gun carry handles are also added to the pile.

Next chapter: Meeting the Adventists

I am still experimenting with H1, H2 and H3 tags in my posts. Please let me know what you think of the new format. I am attempting to keep each post to about 2,000 words.

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