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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #207 After the Attack Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

Reaching the snow plow reveals Princess and her daughter, Jenny with Junior in tow running at us. “There’s a fucking missile in the driver’s door touching Rick’s side,” Princess practically shouts at me.

Jenny is weeping quietly Junior’s arm around her. Jenny’s Ithaca still hangs over her back while Junior’s M4 hangs from a single point sling. Running around the snow plow to the driver’s side I see the tail section of a LAW rocket sticking out of the snow plow’s driver’s door.

The Princess suddenly turns a sickly green and dashes into the bushes retching loudly. Jenny runs after her mother saying, “Mom wait up I’ll hold your hair. You know Rick hates it when you get puke in it.”

Faint wisps of smoke rise languidly from the rocket. Everyone is keeping well back from the snow plow. As Sam comes running up I yell at him. “Do we have any fucking EOD trained folks in this unit?”

“Not that I know of why,” Sam asks.

“Because there is a fucking dud LAW rocket that slammed through up-armored snow plow door and it is touching Rick in the side. He’s afraid to move fearing it might set off the warhead of the rocket,” Junior replies.

A few of the Combat Engineers come over and look at the LAW rocket decorated snow plow door. There is a lot of hand gestures and yelling, but finally someone drives the pins out of the door hinges removing the snow plow door.

Walking carefully with the rocket transfixed door they hang it by a chain on a wrecker HEMTT. Rick drives without a door until the midafternoon snack and bio break. After a stop in the bushes beside the road, I lean against the truck cab contemplating my snack options.

Honey and Monster are each attacking a 1943 B-Unit C Ration can with five biscuits, water-soluble coffee, sugar and three pieces of hard candy. I hand Honey and Monster some Australian MRE white plastic vegemite tubs.

I am not yet so starving that I will stoop to eating vegemite. Monster and Honey have no such requirements tearing into the B-3 unit biscuits smeared with vegemite. Despite being over 70 years old the biscuits are still good if only a little stale.

I spread Estonian MRE chicken meat pate on my stale Pilot survival crackers. I am so sick of reconstituted peanut butter. Shack is drinking one of his powdered cappuccino MRE drink mixes.

Shack politely offers me a sip and I decline because I do not really like coffee and hate instant coffee even more. Shack presses again for me to take a sip of the cappuccino. Raising my eyebrows at him and placing my hands on my hips I glare at him. He knows that I fucking hate coffee especially instant. Why the fuck is he pressuring me to drink this shit.

“Trust me try some,” he says offering the brown MRE drink pouch yet again. I take a sip of the cappuccino and it burns all the way down my throat. Coughing with watering eyes I hand the lethal cappuccino drink back to Shack.

“What the fuck did you put in there,” I manage to croak out.

“Oh … just a breakfast shot of Italian 40% alcohol cordiale,” Shack replies nonchalantly.

“Wish you had saved the cordiale for something better as it tastes good but that cappuccino is fucking nasty,” I reply.

Pouring a Spanish MRE powdered vegetable soup mix into my canteen cup, I wait for the immersion water heater plugged into the cigarette lighter to heat the water. Once the water is hot enough I pour it in my canteen cup stirring gently with my brown MRE spoon.

I empty a pair of glass Tabasco MRE hot sauce bottles into my soup tossing the empty bottles into the bushes. Shack sees the hot sauce bottles and offers me some of his zombie apocalypse ghost chili hot sauce called Deader ‘n Dead.

Not sure how zombies and hot sauce go together must have been a marketing trick or something. I know that zombie apocalypse movies, computer games and books were quite popular for a while. I decline Shack’s offer of hot sauce as I like my colon and asshole where they are and don’t wish irreparable harm to my digestive track.

Wrapping my hands around my warm canteen cup I quietly sip Tabasco-laced Spanish vegetable soup. Honey walks up to me and hands me my forgotten SPIW loaded AR15 magazine. “I topped it off Ruth from the ammo box in the truck bed,” she tells me.

“Oh thanks Honey I had forgotten all about this magazine,” I reply. I slip the SPIW-loaded magazine back into my IOTV. I then remember that my AR15 now carries a partially emptied 50-round drum loaded with M855 rounds.

Digging out the brown plastic ammo box from underneath the front bench, I top off my 50-round drum thumbing loose rounds into it until full. I replace the drum on my vest and taking a 20-round M855 loaded magazine slip it into my AR15.

M855

Most Common 5.56 NATO Bullets

During our break, after shoving a quick bite into her mouth Dolcent takes her bicycle out of the bed of the Dodge truck. She rides around the convoy checking on the fuel status of each vehicle. Panting and slightly out of breath Dolcent returns to the truck.

Dolcent updates her fuel status board while munching MRE peanut butter and raspberry jam spread on Pilot crackers. Dolcent heats some water with the immersion heater making some instant coffee in her canteen cup. At least Dolcent does not dump any UHT milk in her coffee.

The convoy continues north for the rest of the day at a blistering 30 MPH.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #206 Attacked Again Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

Sorry was supposed to have this out yesterday. Too much Easter chocolate (damn Easter bunny!) made me forget. mea culpa

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Finding the smoking aluminum spent case on the seat Dolcent nonchalantly flips it out of the passenger window.

“Nice shooting, but next time try getting your weapon’s muzzle outside of the truck before you shoot,” I say shouting at Dolcent.

“Sorry Ruth there wasn’t time. I saw Honey was in trouble and used my gun,” Dolcent replies with a shrug.

I nod at Dolcent because my ears ring too much for good conversation.The truck lurches when we hit something. Shack has drifted out of the snow plow’s cleared path.

“Watch the fucking road Shack not Honey and Dolcent,” I snap.

“Sorry, but goddammit my fuckin’ ears ring,” Shack says shaking his head. None of us had our brain buckets on with their built-in hearing protection.

“I know babe my ears are ringing too. For a PK (preacher’s kid) you sure blaspheme a lot,” I reply while lightly touching him on the shoulder.

“Damn that girl sure is strong,” Shack says giving me his lopsided grin I love so much. My earlier anger at him is forgotten, but we still need that “serious relationship” discussion.

I agree with Shack. I knew that Honey’s strength has increased, but I did not realize it had risen to the point where she can effortlessly toss a large man’s corpse.

Honey searches the dead man shot by Dolcent with the same efficiency she searched the others.

“Well this is interesting,” Honey says.

“What,” I ask.

Honey walks back to the cab and hands a small pistol to me through the open rear beer window. “That asshole had a small pistol on him. Here look at this,” she says.

The pistol is a small nickel-plated, double barrel, side by side, Rossi with exposed twin hammers. I recognize the twin triggered Garrucha derringer immediately. Sniffing the gun tells me that it is definitely a black powder weapon.

Rossi Double Barrel

Rossi Double Barrel

“Here’s the ammo.” Honey reaches through the open rear window again handing me seven, stubby .32 S&W lead round nose bullets. With only a few rounds for a pistol of questionable value I would not be in a hurry to use it either.

“Yeah, well you know my dad …,” Shack says continuing our previous conversation interrupted by Honey. Whatever Shack was going to say is cut off by gunfire ahead. Then I hear the unmistakable sound of a rocket and the heavy thud of its impact, but no explosion.

Leaping from the truck I hear another rocket followed by the unmistakable sound of a rocket skipping off of something. I see the fiery streak of the rocket disappear into the trees.

The flashing light indicating the convoy is under attack at this point is more of a joke. No shit we are under attack.

In reply to the two rockets, the gun Stryker ripple fires two near simultaneous three round volleys of 70mm Hydra rockets. This is the first time that we have used the improvised mounts attached to the sides of the gun turret.

Six puffs of yellow smoke with the unmistakable sound of flechette impacts tell me that the Stryker crew fired six M255 warheads.

I am not sure if the warheads were the newer improved M255A1s or the older Vietnam era warheads. Emptying the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade’s ammo bunkers on Fort Lewis provided numerous Hydra rockets and warheads many of which appeared to have been forgotten.

The haul of 70mm warheads included several experimental warheads never deployed. Experimental warheads recovered that I know of included the M255A3 ATAF (Air-to-Air Flechette) warhead with its heavier hardened tungsten flechettes.

hydra70-001

Hydra-70 Rocket Warheads

I heard the gun Stryker crew bemoan that only a few of the RS (Remote Set) fuzes for the 70mm Hydra warheads were found in the bunker. But quite a few of the experimental M261 MPSM (HE Multi-Purpose Submunition) cargo warheads were also recovered. The M261 warhead carries nine full-caliber sub-munitions with a minimum of 500 meters deployment.

We might not be able to use the M261s now, as a land-based mobile platform is not the best launching platform. However, when we have a permanent installation to protect, if we put the launchers high enough, the ability to disperse small multi-purpose bombs could come in handy.

My musings about rockets, warheads and other stupid shit is interrupted by several infected men running at us. The first and closest man has a large machete raised over his head. Flipping my illegally converted AR15 to single round I take a bead on the leading running asshole.

Aiming for his chest I gently squeeze the trigger. At the bark of the shot which is ungodly loud, I see the round whip in a violent arc striking an abandoned vehicle. Fuck! I forgot that I am loaded with short-range SPIWs.

SPIW round

SPIW Flechette Round

Dropping the SPIW loaded magazine, I yank a 50-round drum from my vest. Slamming the drum home I aim and fire again, knowing that the SPIW round still in the chamber has no chance of hitting machete asshole.

As I expected, the SPIW flechette flies wildly to the right, but miracle of all miracles it actually strikes the asshole behind the machete fucker in the right thigh blowing it completely off. Minus a leg that fucker drops flopping and screaming to the asphalt. Thrashing on the ground while grasping his shredded thigh he futilely attempts stopping the hemorrhaging.

Now empty of the close range only unpredictable SPIW rounds, I aim again at machete fucker who is now far too close for my liking. I double tap machete asshole in the chest and then I put one in his head, and one in his hips.

‘Alright Ruth, double Djibouti Shooty,” Shack yells from the other side of the truck.

“It is called a double failure drill, you non-PC asshole,” I shout back at him. He ignores my non-PC jab knowing that I am teasing him.

The green tipped M855 rounds punch through machete asshole dropping him to the ground in a boneless bloody flop. The smell of gunpowder, shit and wet leafs hit my nose. One of my rounds through machete asshole struck the fucker behind him in the stomach.

The fucker with my round to his stomach rolls on the asphalt. He might be out of the fight, but to make sure I put a round through his head. Shack shooting from the other side of the truck drops another shithead with a three round burst from his M4.

Honey leaps from the truck in a gymnastic forward flip. Landing on her feet, Honey runs along the convoy towards the snow plow. An infected man tries grabbing her as she passes; he is too close for her to get her little 2214, so she pulls her SOG SEAL knife from its thigh sheath.

Honey is one of the best Krav Maga students that I have ever taught. She honors me, her teacher, by furiously striking with her knife. In a flurry of hits to the infected man’s body she disables and kills him.

Faster than a normal human, she slices both of his femoral arteries. Rolling the knife blade up in her hand she plunges the razor-sharp blade to the hilt into his groin. She slices him vertically between the legs (also ensuring that he will never father children should he survive) to the bottom of his breastbone. The steaming, bloody mass of his guts rolls from his body in a shit-smelling deluge.

Honey steps out-of-the-way of the loose guts. Flipping her knife and reversing it in her hand so that the blade runs along her forearm, as the man falls she stabs him once in both kidneys. With a gasp the man falls to the ground rolling into the fetal position.

Honey leans over the dying man and wipes her blade clean on his clothes. Pulling her little S&W 2214 she puts a round through the man’s left temple. Shack jumps at the gunshot from Honey’s pistol.

Honey was running to the aid of the Colonels, but they have things well in hand. Their station wagon might not be the easiest thing for two over six-foot tall men to get out of, but they were able to drop any infected near them.

It looks as if the attack failed. Honey is calmly walking back to our truck while thumbing loose .22 LR rounds from her pocket into her pistol magazine. Finished reloading, Honey tucks her pistol back in the small of her back.

Honey stops for a quick search of the man she violently stabbed then executed. Finding nothing of use she leaves the dead man where he lays.

An infected man steps from the blackberry bushes and grabs at me. Fucker is so close that my rifle is pinned, so I drop my AR15 on its single point sling. I step back within his arms.

He is too close for anything fancy. I rip my pistol out putting a pair of 115 gr. NATO FMJs into him about four inches below his belt buckle. A spray of dark blood and gray bone chips accompanied by the smell of shit assaults my nose as he rolls over me.

While the dying man is leaning over I put a round under his jaw through the soft palette. I did not get the round quite square in the middle. The round explodes the right side of the man’s face turning most of it along with his right frontal lobe into a black, bloody spray mixed with dark chunks of bone.

When the infected man hits the asphalt on what is left of his face, I put a round in the back of his head. Walking over with my pistol out, I put a finisher round into the head of each infected man. Shack looks at me with a questioning look on his face.

“Shack, there is an old jungle saying: ‘It is never safe to assume that a leopard is dead until it has been skinned.’ Well, in this case it is never safe to assume the infected asshole is dead until you blow its brains out. Let us see what kind of mess required six 70mm flechette rockets, plus two other unknown rockets.”

We head for the snow plow leaving Honey, Monster and Dolcent watching our idling truck.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #205 Attacked On The Road Going North Above Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

Quicker than I can believe Honey climbs over me and out the passenger side window. Leaning with her legs resting in my lap she shoots with her left-handed with her right hand holding on to the roof rack.

Shooting the infected man grasping Dolcent’s hair in the face four times with her S&W 2214 causes him to release his grip on her hair. Suddenly released Dolcent whimpers and curls up on the bench seat rubbing her scalp.

A shower of black blood and small bits of dark bone shower the other three infected men in the bed of the truck standing on top of our gear. Sitting in the open passenger window Honey tucks her little 2214 in the middle of her back.

“Ruth I need something bigger for these assholes,” she shouts waving her open hand in front of my face.

Pulling my Hi Power pistol I quickly swap magazines chambering a round from the new magazine.

“Take my pistol,” I tell Honey slapping the pistol butt into her hand. The suppressor on my pistol barks nine times in rapid succession sounding almost as if Honey used a machine pistol.

Whipping her legs from the cab Honey swings her body fully out of the door. Hanging from the roof rack by her right arm, she flips herself into the bed of the truck. Landing on the auxiliary fuel tank and truck bed tool box Honey surveys the gruesome scene.

“Damn that girl is strong and fast,” Shack says watching Honey in the rear view mirror.

Grabbing the Czech machine gun off of the dash I turn to see if Honey needs help. Honey tucks my pistol into the waist of her jeans at the small of her back. A few steps and Honey realizes that my pistol tucked in the waist of her jeans makes her movements awkward.

Honey walks back to the cab balancing on the edges of the truck bed rail. Leaning through the open beer window over Dolcent who is still rubbing her scalp. Offering the Browning Hi Power pistol butt first Honey hands my pistol back.

“Here’s your pistol back Ruth. What the fuck did you load it with? I practically beheaded the second asshole, I shot him in the mouth blowing everything off above his jaw. I followed the mouth shot with two rounds to the chest, blowing a basketball sized hole through him. The third asshole, I put a round in his face just under his nose and one round in his chest and another to the bottom of his sternum. The round to the face removed everything from his ears back. The rounds to the chest blew out his ribs, lungs, heart and most of his spine.”

Shack drives over a rough patch of roadway Honey still kneeling in the widow places a hand on top of the cab for balance. After the truck stops bouncing Honey continues talking.

“It’s a fucking mess back here,” Honey says. “We got brains, bone chips and shit literally all over the place. Let’s hope it rains hard enough to wash this shit off.”

Looking in the passenger rear view mirror, I see only three corpses. The first Honey killed with her 2214 and the other two Honey killed using my pistol.

“Wasn’t there another guy,” I ask Honey.

“Yeah the fourth shit bird jumped off while I killed his buddies. Before his ass hit the road I put a round in the back of his head and two rounds in his back one right between the shoulder blades and one through his hips at the base of his spine. Nearly chopped the jumping fucker in half. Ruth again, what the fuck did you put in that gun?”

“You’re lucky that fourth asshole jumped to the passenger side had he been smarter and jumped towards the driver’s side you might not have gotten him,” Shack mentions.

Honey snorts at Shack’s suggestion.

After swapping pistol magazines ensuring that my pistol is in condition one I holster it on my IOTV in the center of my chest. Turning around so that I can look at Honey, I answer her question.

“Russian explosive 9mm ammo,” I tell her showing her the Hi Power magazine with the distinctive white-tipped rounds. I set the partially emptied magazine with its deadly rounds on the seat. I need to get to the Russian ammo in the truck bed in order to top the magazine off.

“Well, fuck me that shit’s messy Ruth,” Honey says. “I’m gonna clean up back here a little and then come back in.”

“Honey who taught you to shoot failure drills,” I ask.

“Oh, you mean the Mozambique drill that would be your ever-loving Shack,” Honey says.

“You know Mozambique drill is not exactly PC,” I caution her.

“Ruth we’re in a fucking zombie apocalypse who’s gonna care if we’re not PC,” Honey replies waving her arms around.

With that Honey moves to the body of the first infected man she killed with her S&W 2214. Rummaging through the dead man’s pockets Honey finds a few knives and some folded sticky pornographic magazine pages.

“Yuck sick fuck,” Honey mutters tossing the magazine pages into the tent’s wood stove burn box. The knives get tossed into the bed of the truck we will deal with them later.

Finding nothing else of interest on the first man she casually picks the dripping corpse up tossing it off the truck. Honey times her toss perfectly slamming the corpse face first through the windshield of an abandoned compact car.

Passing the car with a dead infected man as a hood ornament we watch two zombies trapped in it grab for the glass shard decorated corpse.

After observing Honey’s display of raw strength Shack looks at me, his eyebrows heading for his bangs. I agree with Shack’s silent thoughts I did not realize just how strong Honey is.

The corpse of the second infected man lies in the middle of the truck bed. Reaching the body Honey bends down and efficiently searches the corpse. Her initial search reveals a pair of brass knuckles covered in green verdigris and a pocket knife.

Honey turns looking at the truck cab. “You know what’s odd Ruth,” she asks.

“What is,” I ask.

“No zombie apocalypse homemade weapons,” Honey replies.

Further searching the corpse Honey mutters, “What the hell is this?”

“What did you find,” I ask fearing for the worse.

Honey holds up a disc. “Hey look zombie apocalypse audio book on CD,” she says.

“Just the fuck we need,” Shack mutters. “You know when I played zombie apocalypse addicting games I never thought that I would be in one.”

Honey flings the useless zombie apocalypse audio book CD into the bushes.

Reaching the last dead man on the truck Honey kneels beside him. The body straddles the tailgate with its arms and shoulders hanging over it towards the ground. Honey grabs one of the dead man’s legs and yanks his whole body into the truck.

The corpse comes up accompanied by another infected male who had been lying behind the tailgate. With an arm the infected man swipes Honey’s feet out from underneath her. Landing on her ass Honey tries to whip out her little S&W 2214. Before Honey can get her weapon free an eye piercing bright flash of light and an ungodly painful explosion engulfs everyone inside the truck cab.

Gun smoke drifts around the cab quickly sucked outside through the open windows. Thank god the windows were open if they were closed that would have been so much worse.

The dead infected man crumples on his face at Honey’s feet a large slightly left of center hole in his forehead. A new dripping splatter of black blood, dark bone chips and pink bits of brain decorate the last third of the truck bed and the tailgate.

Not sure that I want to see what the .40 caliber jacketed hollow point did to the back of the infected man’s head. Judging from the grisly splash of gore embellishing the rear of the truck there cannot be much left of the dead man’s head.

Dolcent sitting on her knees leaning over the back of the rear bench seat holds her smoking Hi Point .40 S&W caliber carbine. Watching her shake her head I realize that Dolcent is probably suffering the same ringing in the ears as I am.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #204 On The Road Going North Somewhere Above Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

We toss our garbage out the windows with the exception of the heavy brown plastic MRE bags and the cardboard sleeves. Heavy plastic bags have many uses and make great trade items as they are a valuable commodity. The brown cardboard sleeves we save for fire starter in our tent stove.

We pass a bullet riddled sign which once said ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted’ but someone had graffiti’d out the ‘prose-‘ to make it read ‘…will be electrocuted.’

Later we pass a burnt out homemade armored car with four crispy critters sitting in it. The snow plow shoved the burnt armored car out-of-the-way jamming it against the guard rail on the right hand side.

Unfortunately that put the wrecked armored car on my side and I got a good look at the horror fire leaves in living human flesh. The way the burnt bodies lie indicates that they were trying to get out of the vehicle when the flames killed them.

I have a low-level of tolerance for people who lie or violate the trust of others which I view as acts of spiritual theft. I hope that Shack did not purposefully hide his history with Dolcent. I know that I am a woman who over thinks and overcompensates.

Listening to music CDs in a car is something I thought I would never do again but I did not plan on the music streaming services shutting off.

Shack suddenly asks, “Was Jimmie Hendrix gay?”

“Not that I know of why,” I reply.

“Why would he sing a song, ‘Excuse me while I kiss this guy?’ ”

I am not sure at first if Shack is attempting to be funny or if he is serious. Looking at his face I see that he is serious. I explain what the old Jimmy Hendrix song meant. I explain kissing the sky and how it was pot smoking etiquette. I get a bunch of blank looks from the kids in the truck.

“Ruth have you ever done pot.” Shack asks.

Glaring at Shack I reply, “Yes pot and other natural drugs are legal in Israel. A lover was fond of smoking drugs. I tried marijuana and hashish and did not particularly like either one. Amy and I were not allowed to smoke pot as we had to pass random piss tests. How about you guys? Anyone other than Monster ever try pot.”

Dolcent and Honey shake their heads no. Shack mumbles something.

“What Shack I could not hear you.”

“Uh … yeah I did it once and regretted it Ruth.”

Oh … what happened,” I ask concerned despite my anger with him.

“I smoked a couple of joints with my friend Jimmy he swiped from his parent’s supply. That nosy bitch Mrs. Baxter saw us and told my parents. Dad’s anger was not nearly as bad as the look of disappointment on my mother’s face. The real cherry on top was on Sunday when I got dragged in the middle of the whole church who laid hands on me and prayed for my soul. Talk about fucking embarrassing. Jimmy and I got suspended for a week from school. I had to read the bible and pray all day, while Jimmy played video games and smoked even more pot. His stepfather showed him how to properly roll a joint while his mother was at work.”

After Shack’s stunning story the truck falls quiet. Other than the music playing softly the rest of the morning passes uneventfully.

Lunch is mystery potted meat mixed with UHT mayonnaise with leaves of fresh sorrel, wild parsley or wild spinach. Your choice of how you want to eat your lunch. You can eat it from your canteen cup with a brown MRE spoon or spread it on stale survival crackers.

The runners dash through the parked idling convoy dropping MREs, snacks and drinks. I snag two cans of MGD from the runner and get our food refills.

I choose to eat my lunch spread on stale pilot survival crackers topped with a few fresh leaves of wild spinach. I do not like parsley and did not find the taste of the sorrel all that pleasant either. Popping the first can of beer while sitting on the curb beside the idling Dodge truck I eat my lunch in silence.

Finish my lunch I begin refilling the snack duffel bag in the truck while drinking my second can of warm beer. I make sure that the new inventory sheet tracks MREs as well as guns, ammo and grenades. It was a herculean task keeping every scrap of paper from going in a fire.

Shack comes over and stands beside me. After a few moments of silence Shack speaks. “Will you tell me now why you are mad at me?”

“Shack I am mad not because you and Dolcent fucked that was before you and I were together. I am mad, no I am furious because you did not tell me about it. When Dolcent joined the convoy you should have told me right then that you had been with her. You hid it from me lying by omission. Give me some space go find something to do.”

The crew of my truck eats in silence until the convoy resumes travel north. Over the radio we hear that the Scouts found some small bottles of liquor flavoring and some black market cognac. The liquor flavoring is a welcome addition to the convoy’s booze.

Several bottles of cheap rotgut vodka and perhaps some of the moonshine will benefit from a judicious application of the liquor flavorings. I wonder what flavors the Scouts found. Our precious stills produce some of the roughest alcohol I have ever gagged down.

We plow though some debris left in the wake of the snow plow bouncing all of us around the cab of the truck. Monster bumps his head on the underside of the dash and says a very un-childlike curse word. Honey smacks her head into the roof only her incredible reflexes kept her from falling into Dolcent’s lap.

“Shack what the fuck.”

“Sorry Ruth I didn’t see that shit until it went under the truck.”

I turn the music off. “Listen all of you if you hear anything underneath the truck such as a dragging noise or something wrapped around the drive line.”

We ride in silence for a while straining our ears for any mechanical trouble with the truck. Unearthly pale hand erupts through the beer window grabbing Dolcent by the hair. The hand yanks a screaming Dolcent against the rear window. Dolcent’s head smacks into the open beer window as the infected tries to yank her outside.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #203 Still On The Road Going North Above Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

We do our business behind the bushes thankful for the boys standing guard. We are close enough that the boys can hear us and most of them can see the tops of our heads. The boys definitely have the advantage being able to pee standing without dropping trou.

Wiping myself and wishing for a hot shower, I consider Dolcent’s suggestion. I am not willing to break my practice of serial monogamy. I know this is a new world, but the thought of sharing someone as dear to me as Shack hurts.

Even as pissed off as I am at Shack I still love him and want to be with only him as I want him to be only with me. Fear and love are two of the deepest and closely related of human emotions. We fear to love, we fear love, and we fear that others may not love us.

Everyone climbs back into the Dodge truck and the convoy resumes traveling at a blistering 30 MPH about the safe top speed of the HEMTTs and Strykers. I turn on the radio at first trying the FM bands, then the AM bands. Hearing nothing but static without looking I shove the first CD that I pull from the visor CD holder into the player.

Johnny Cash’s gravelly voice croons to us as we travel following in the wake of destruction left by the snow plow. Ring of fire … huh, even the man in black fits my mood. Still riding in silence everyone glances at me occasionally as if I am a ticking bomb. Oy vey, am I that scary or do I look that pissed off?

“Anybody want a snack?” I ask.

The suddenness of my voice startles Honey sitting on top of the bench seat beside me. Her right leg rests against my shoulder I can feel the warmth of her body even through my field jacket. Placing my hand on Honey’s shin I give her an affectionate squeeze.

Pulling the inventory clipboard from the passenger door, I remember to check our TP status. Realizing that our TP supply is low I make a note to get some more from the supply folks sometime soon. Or perhaps trade for some more TP.

Honey and Monster require more snacks even though they both munched a whole MRE this morning before the convoy moved. We have two whole cases of three to five years out of date US Government MREs.

Flipping through the few energy drink smudged pages I do not find what I am looking for.

“Shack, where the fuck is our MRE inventory on this piece of shit inventory?”

“Uhh … I never tracked MREs before,” Shack replies.

“And why the fuck not?”

Shack flinches at the snappiness of my question. I know that I am taking my anger out on him. I should not be snapping at him with the other members of our truck present. If I want to fight with him and by God, I do – I need to do so in private, not in the cramped confines of a fucking Dodge pickup.

Taking a deep breath I try a mental yoga calming exercise Amy found helpful and taught it to me. Perhaps I need more yoga practice as I have been unusually moody lately. Trying to sound calmer and less bitchy I try again.

“Shack why did you not track the MREs,” I ask again.

“I didn’t think we needed to as the Colonels held on to them so tightly. It was not until recently that they started handing them out in bulk. I just kept track of ammo, grenades and guns.”

Shack gives me a nice smile. Ok, Shack has a point and it was unfair of me to snap at him. I should not have taken my anger out on him, my moodiness is no excuse. I am unusually short-tempered my breasts are tender and I ache in my back.

Shack gives me that smirk again that usually I love, but right now I want to wipe it from his face. His face indicates that he is thinking about us and not how he is driving.

Shack attempts at appeasing my anger are more irritating than helpful. The boy should just shut up and let me be mad for a bit. As a couple, this is our first real fight. I believe that Shack is out of his depth and unsure what to do.

“Shack watch the fucking road. Do not get so close to the Colonel’s station wagon. Maintain your interval,” I snap at him again. Damn.

“Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.”

“Who said that,” I ask while reaching behind me.

I forgot that I needed to hand out snacks. My anger distracted me from what I need to do. I can barely grab the large desert tan reinforced canvas duffel bag filled with MRE treats. Resting on the floorboards wedged between the front and rear bench seats the snack duffle bag is surprisingly heavy.

Seeing me struggling with the bag Honey effortlessly helps me by yanking it over the bench seat. Dolcent helps as well, pushing from her side. Honey drops the bag at her feet on the seat between Shack and I. Honey will soon be too tall for her to sit on the top of the bench seat as she has since joining my truck.

“Ruth it was a Japanese poet named Haruki Murakami.”

“What … oh, the quote,” I say, “that is lovely but I am still mad at you. Watch the fucking road.”

“Why?”

“Why what? Why watch the fucking road or why am I mad at you,” I snap.

“Uh …why are you mad at me,” he asks.

“Shack dearest we will have that discussion later in private. I will not argue with you right now. Get through this day and then you and I will go somewhere quiet where we can argue without an audience.”

The truck falls silent. Shack head nods at me and continues driving. About halfway through the morning drive I know that Honey and Monster are hungry. Doc says that infected children require anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 calories per day.

Rummaging in the MRE snack duffel bag I hand out white plastic tubs of German MRE sour cherry and apricot jams. I wonder where the German snacks came from. Unfortunately, we only have stale Pilot survival crackers and 70-something year old, Educator Biscuit Company Survival Biscuits to spread the jam on.

I eat most of the jam straight from the tub, but I do gag down three survival biscuits. Honey and Monster devour German jam and stale biscuits as if it was manna from heaven.

When the kids finish the first snacks I give them each five chocolate-covered oatmeal cookies from vintage American MCWs (Meal, Cold Weather). Treasured for their nutritious, high caloric content MCW snacks and meals are scarce. The fact that Doc included a note instructing us that the MCW snacks in our kit are for Honey and Monster shows that he cares.

I hand Honey and Monster the few commercial Corn Flakes cereal bars found at the bottom of the bag. Doc did not dictate whom the cereal bars were for, but I hate Corn Flakes. I especially hate Corn Flakes when they are more than five years out of date. Shack passes on the Corn Flakes bars as well.

Honey and Monster scarf the cereal bars without a care. Maybe KCAP gives the infected an iron stomach. I shudder at the thought of what the expired rations would do to my digestive system yet the two kids shrug it off as nothing.

We all enjoy some Russian fruit cocktail, peach, apple, and raspberry freeze-dried fruit squares. I especially liked the peach fruit squares. After the Russian freeze-dried fruit squares we munch on American MRE pear and blueberry fruit bars. Our final snack of the morning is a chocolate covered brownie in vintage American MRE dark brown plastic pouches.

We finish our midmorning repast with a few B-3 candy and cracker units from Meal Combat, Individual dated October 1980. I pass on the crackers, but the candy is a toffee enriched chocolate. The candy is slightly oxidized, but still good tasting somewhat like a Heath bar.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #202 On The Road Going North Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

“Shack cut it out.”

Shack ceases humming and we ride in silence for a while. I am surprised that Shack is familiar enough with an old Broadway play to hum the main chorus. Dolcent thankfully appears ignorant of Shack’s tomfoolery.

Honey sits in her usual spot on top of the front bench seat between Shack and I and starts talking with Dolcent. Surprisingly Honey and Dolcent get on quite well and are quickly becoming friends. The girls talk about bathing and Honey remembers that I will need a hair trim as my braid now falling almost to the top of my thighs has a lot of split ends.

Tucked down the center of my back between my tee-shirt and shirt my braid barely pokes out from underneath my field jacket and IOTV. I admit that I am really vain about my very long hair. Touching the top of my braid I ensure that my 13” lethal hair pins are still in place. A certain 17-year-old male driver might need stabbing as well as his barely 16-year-old lover.

I am also teaching Honey driving basics, but she has not quite gotten the hang of a clutch yet. A loaded diesel truck with a clutch is a different beast. However, Honey can reach the pedals and all six gears plus reverse. Reaching fifth and sixth gears and reverse I have to stand on my toes.

Honey quickly will be taller than I am. She has grown at least four inches perhaps as much as six inches since she joined the convoy. Not sure if Honey will challenge Shack’s six feet four, but she is rapidly passing me at barely five-feet tall.

I fume all morning long. Aware of my foul mood Shack Honey and even little Monster are silent. We ride in silence until the first bio break. While the boys are in the bushes doing their thing, I confront Dolcent.

Trying to keep my anger in check I turn looking Dolcent square in the eyes.

“Dolcent, I understand that you and Shack slept together. Do you have any desire to be with him again?”

I try to keep the hurt and anger out of my voice.

“Ruth that was months ago. I met shack at a FEMA camp before he was with you. Seeing Shack here was a shock. I figured he would be dead or I’d never see him again. I wouldn’t mind him as a fuck buddy if you’re cool with it. You know a girl has needs, sometimes the fingers are just not cutting it. Ya’ gotta’ admit Shack is packing. Maybe next time it will better as he has a little more experience. I was Shack’s second lover, and he was my second lover. I am not into girls but I can be if that means I get to stay. Ruth please don’t be mad at Shack and I. It was a one time thing. Please don’t kick me out.”

Interesting Dolcent when nervous or scared gets diarrhea of the mouth. The thought that this girl wants Shack as a fuck buddy makes my blood boil. Trying to reign in my anger I give myself a few minutes.

Taking deep breaths I wait until I am calmer before replying. Despite my best efforts my anger and hurt must have crossed my face. Dolcent mistakes my silence as indecision towards her.

“Please Ruth please don’t make me leave. Tell me what I need to do. You want me to do you now? We can climb in the truck and I’ll …”

Cutting Dolcent off I yell “Shut the fuck up God is nothing but sex on your mind? Some of the boys heads pop up in their bio relief spot at my yelling. I know that the young woman is bartering with the only thing of worth she possesses – her sex.

With the shortage of women her offer would have been gladly accepted in any number of survival groups. We have heard rumors of other survivor groups only accepting young fertile women and shooting any man not already in their group.

Lowering my voice, I ask “Just because you shtupped Shack once before I was in the picture do you think that gives you claim to him? God this is all fakakta.”

The thought of this young girl’s face between my legs is not something I want to contemplate. I feel pervy just thinking of being with Dolcent. I know that I am being a hypocrite as Shack is a little over a year older than Dolcent.

I am also a little over 17 years older than Shack so it is not like I have the moral high ground. But the maturity levels between the two of them is why I am attracted to Shack while I view Dolcent as someone I need to protect.

I explain serial monogamy to Dolcent trying to let go of some of my anger. Serial monogamy has a bad reputation, as it is supposedly practiced only by people desperate never to be single. I am still mad, but surprisingly not at Dolcent. I am mad at Shack for neglecting to mention the fact that he and Dolcent had been together. I want to punch that shmegegge in the face.

“Dolcent I have told you before you do not need to and will not sleep with anybody just so that you can remain in my truck. If you do not pull your weight or do something very stupid endangering one of my charges I will toss your ass out of this truck so fast your ass will bounce on the asphalt like a beach ball.”

“Ok, if you and Shack want to be exclusive I get it. I won’t try to seduce him or anything. He’s yours.”

Dolcent appears to be thinking about what I said suddenly she throws her arms around my waist. Not expecting the sudden contact I jump startled. I feel ashamed that I am nervous about a 16-year-old girl showing affection.

“Thank you Ruth. I’m sorry for upsetting you. I can see how much Shack loves you and I am a bit jealous. You know if you want to share him I’m willing if you are. But if you ever break up I will be all over him like white on rice.”

Leaning back, still hugging Dolcent, I look at her face. She winks at me and we share a little chuckle. Could I share Shack? Would I share Shack? God above I really do not know for sure. But I do know for a fact that the thought of Shack with someone else, even someone as nice as Dolcent appears to be pisses me off.

Dolcent steps back and winks at me again. We both ignore the tears threatening an escape from our eyes. Sniffing and discreetly wiping our eyes, we wait for our bio break when the boys return. I am still angry at Shack and glare at him as he offers me our precious communal roll of TP.

As he hands me the much diminished TP roll Shack gives that smirk that I normally love so much. Right now I just want to punch that smirk off of the kurevnik’s face. Snatching the TP from Shack’s hand, I follow Dolcent with the rest of the girls to the designated women’s bio relief spot.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #201 Driving From The Campsite Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

I let out a string of Hebrew curse words that would have had my mother, God rest her soul, in tears. Yes, I curse in Yiddish as well as Hebrew, which is still my primary language. When I get really mad I forget English.

My Jordanian mother often reminded me to remember that “whatever you do in life for them (the Jews) you will always be an Arab.” When I left Israel following Amy to the States the Arab communities felt largely besieged and often invisible.

It surprises most people that my primary language is Hebrew. As I am half Jordanian most assume my primary language would be Arabic. I love how beautiful and expressive Arabic is. My mother and I talked almost solely in Arabic. Our household’s primary language however was Hebrew.

Yes Hebrew, the language of the oppressing Zionist state. Though I consider myself Jewish there are many things done by the state of Israel that I disagreed with especially the treatment of Israeli born Arabs. When criticizing a culture which language would you use? The language of the outsider or do you use the language of the majority?

Pissed at a life that robbed me of the woman I loved and my family I let another string of Hebrew curses. I love Shack with all of my heart. I still ache with the loss of Amy. As a Fairfax, VA firefighter I doubt that Amy survived. I pray that Amy is not a walking corpse.

“What,” I incredulously ask.

Looking at Dolcent I realize that I just screamed a bunch of Hebrew at someone who has no idea what I am saying. Dolcent’s eyes are huge as if she is expecting me to strike her.

Trying to reign in both my anger and jealousy I fume silently. I have felt this way before. Amy wanted a more open relationship offering to be ok with me sleeping with the occasional man if I did not mind adding another woman to our bed once in a while or Amy sleeping with the occasional one night stand.

Amy was strictly a lesbian and had never been or wanted to sleep with a man. Amy offered to let me sleep with a man occasionally. I know she was trying to be understanding, but Amy never truly understood my ideal of serial monogamy.

Amy thought that I needed the occasional living dick. As much as I loved her Amy never truly understood that the plumbing didn’t matter, it was who the plumbing belonged to that mattered. Amy and I fought over her idea that while I traveled for work it was ok for me to sleep with someone as long as it was nothing permanent.

Amy felt that it would be ok for us to have one night stands or friends with benefits. I did not want to sleep with a stranger (again) and did not want Amy sleeping around either. As far as I know Amy was faithful to me as I was to her.

Thinking of Shack and Dolcent together hurts. I remember my Plato: Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.

Thinking of Shack and Dolcent together is also making me furious, but the hurt is terrible. This is the first time Shack has truly hurt my feelings and it is tearing me up. I try to hang onto some of my anger as I feel tears threaten to spill down my face. Fuck if I am going to cry in front of Shack and Dolcent.

Shack revs the engine bringing my attention back to Dolcent. Ignoring her sexual suggestions I give her an appraising look trying not to let too much of my anger and hurt show.

“How are you going to work with the fuel team, if your change of living arrangements angers some of their men?”

“I may have to appeal to the Colonels otherwise I hope that they will get over any hard feelings. I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in the fuel team’s tent anymore. I was the only woman not attached and some of the men seemed that meant I was desperate for a lover. They acted like I should be thankful any of them wanted to be with me. Most of them are just horny assholes looking for a warm hole to stuff their little pricks in.”

Luce Irigaray the feminist philosopher suggested in her book This Sex Which Is Not One that woman exists “for the enactment of man’s fantasies, for the fulfillment of his pleasures not her own, unable to say what she wants because she doesn’t know what it is.”

Perhaps Irigaray had a point. Right now I am fairly pissed at the male behind the wheel of my truck.

Shack mutters, “Umm … just a wee bit angry are we.”

Glaring at Shack I wonder whom does he mean Dolcent or me? Shack still will not look me in the eyes. At the front of the convoy the green flashing light signals convoy roll out in five minutes. Relationships, jealousy, sex and anger will have to wait.

Gesturing at the truck I yell at Dolcent.

“Well hurry the fuck up. Jump in we need to get going.”

Honey leaps out of the truck letting Dolcent climb into the back seat. Wasting no time Dolcent joins Shack and Monster in the truck crawling into the rear bench seat. Honey cleared a spot for Dolcent so that she can wedge herself in among our supplies. Standing briefly with me beside the truck Honey lightly touches me on the shoulder and gives me a light kiss on the cheek before climbing back inside the truck.

“Remember, no one fucking calls me Dolly or makes jokes about my tits or lack thereof. Shack you’ve seen my ass so I’ll let you slide for that once.”

“Dolcent while you are sitting in the rear seat, you are responsible for loading magazines and keeping us stocked with ammo and food. You should check with Honey often as she and Monster need frequent snacks.”

“Who’s Monster,” Dolcent asks.

Pointing to where Monster is tucked up underneath the dash on the floorboard I say, “He is.”

“Don’t worry I’ll ask you for snacks and food when we get hungry. You don’t want us to get hungry do you,” Dolcent asks looking as innocently as an infected 13-year-old child can.

“No,” Dolcent gulps her eyes wide.

Perhaps Dolcent did not consider the fact that she was crawling into a truck with two infected members. I try not to let an unladylike snicker pass my lips when I see Honey wink at me.

Shack humming “Hello Dolly” gets the truck moving with the convoy. He smoothly shifts through the gears maintaining our interval without getting too far behind or too close to the Colonels in front of us.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #200 Leaving The Campsite Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

Shack’s M4 and my AR-15 are loaded with 20-round aluminum magazines of SPIW (Special Purpose Individual Weapon) ammo made by the AAI Corporation. The flechette SPIW ammo is so damned loud even louder than a traditional rifle shot.

SPIW round

My AR-15 usually wears a suppressor, but I am not sure if the SPIW ammo is safe to fire through it so I took it off. If damaged, there is almost no way for me to replace my suppressor I would rather not risk it.

Fired in our guns I am not sure how accurate the SPIW ammo will be. Shack has his M4 on full auto and my illegally converted AR-15 is set on three round burst. The 5.56x45mm AAI ACR flechette with petal-type puller sabot may not be accurate in our rifles.

I hope that a few rounds of flechette ammo may be enough to scare away any attackers with minimal injuries. Flechette’s reputation for lethality is largely blown out of proportion compared to reality. I am not sure why the Colonels gave us the SPIW ammo to use.

I think that the Colonels are concerned over our ammo supplies. Issuing failed experimental ammo such as the SPIW flechette ammo to use, saving the better ammo for when the shit really hits the fan.

Flechette use is nothing new to the convoy. Our 105mm gun-toting Stryker shoots old M546 APERS-T “Beehive” rounds each containing 8,000 eight grain steel flechettes. Poor guys in the MGS have to single load the old M546 shells.

The MGS auto loader will not feed the old M546 shells as they are too long for the cassette. We are also rumored to have some of the prototypes of heavier and improved Beehive rounds, which I bet will not fit in the auto loader either.

Speak of the devil the Stupid MGS computer systems lock up giving the poor bastard three man crew the dreaded “blue screen of death.” While the Stryker guys reset the MGS systems the convoy continues preparations for moving.

Taking advantage of the unexpected delay, we arrange our new supplies. Setting some snacks and two of my old green army surplus canteens in the bottom of the passenger door, I ensure that water and snacks are within my reach.

The Dodge cab doors are stuffed with old US Army flak jackets and civilian grade three body armor along with steel plates bolted from the inside and then welded. The extra weight in the doors required strengthening of the door hinges.

Suddenly Dolcent shows up carrying her gear. Shack leans out of the truck yelling at Dolcent.

“Yo’ betta get your narrow ass in this truck or you’re hoofing it.”

Dolcent wastes no time putting her gear in the bed of our truck. Walking up to the passenger side Dolcent stands there looking expectant at the truck cab. Monster looking up from his spot on the floor near the gear stick smiles at Dolcent.

With Dolcent standing beside the truck Shack cranks the Dodge’s Cummins engine over. The cold beast of an engine fails to start so I hop out of the truck leaving the passenger door open. Grabbing the can of WD40 from underneath the passenger seat, I walk around the truck.

I hear the clunk of Shack popping the hood of the Dodge from inside the cab. For someone as short as I, I have to climb on the Dodge’s front bumper so that I may lift the hood far enough to insert the hood prop.

I broke Shack of being a gentleman and lifting the hood for me as he needs to focus on security while I assist getting this beast started. Honey watches my back while I am occupied underneath the Dodge’s hood.

Removing the air inlet from the turbo, I signal to Shack to crank the engine. When the engine starts turning over, I spray WD40 into the turbo’s intake. After a few seconds of a continuous stream of WD40 the old Cummins starts with a rattle and a huge cloud of black smoke.

Shack gently increases the idle of the old diesel. Dropping the hood, I walk back to the open passenger door where Dolcent is standing.

Shack leans towards the passenger side asking, “How’d you know we’d say yes?”

“I was hopeful. I know that Ruth is a fair woman who wouldn’t say no just to spite me.”

I wonder why I would want to spite Dolcent. As far as I know the child has never done anything to me. I wonder if I missed something.

“Does the fuel team know that you are riding and bunking with us now?”

“Uh, actually Ruth, I sorta slipped away. I hid my gear in the bushes before the convoy loaded up, so all I had to do was grab it and run.”

“What would you have done if we had said no?”

Dolcent turns bright red, blushing furiously.

“I had sorta hoped that my offer to you and Shack would sweeten the deal. I’ve been with Shack before, so it’s no big deal. Ruth I hear you like boys and girls. I’ve never slept with a woman, Ruth but if you allow me to stay and if you teach me, I’ll try my best to be pleasing in bed. Otherwise I don’t know what I will do.”

Dolcent licks her lips suggestively. Crossing my arms, I glare at Shack. The kurevnik never told me that he and Dolcent fucked. I wonder just when the two of them last screwed each other. Now I know why Dolcent was afraid I would not allow her in the truck.

I wonder if Shack and Dolcent are fucking behind my back. The thought of Shack with someone else makes me so mad that I am almost sick to my stomach. Amy never liked how jealous I am it was one of the reasons for our many fights.

“We hate in others what we hate in ourselves” – paraphrasing Marian Keyes. Amy claimed not to be jealous, although we had some grand fights about other women and men.

“Oh really. Shack abi gezunt dos leben ken men zikh ale mol nemen. Later you and I need a fucking talk.”

For his part Shack looks guilty and will not meet my eyes. I know that Shack does not speak Yiddish or any other language other than English, so swearing at him is pointless. Fuck that ben-zona!

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #199 Final Day Somewhere Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

The morning’s reward is a lightly mud-tinged drizzle thin enough that the colonels decide we are moving today. Making even walking treacherous a thin slurry of mud covers everything. The thin drizzle removes a lot of the earlier heavier slurry. By the time this moveable feast is on the road the hope is that driving will not be too dangerous.

Yesterday was a nice break in our travels north towards Canada. It seems as if it was years ago that the decision was made to head north for the Canadian salt mine in the Northwest Territories. I hope that by the time the convoy reaches the salt mine that there are still survivors living in the mine.

I also hope that the Canadian survivors accept us joining their community. I fear reaching the salt mine and either having to fight the other survivors or discovering the mine full of zombies.

With the day’s movement cancelled the bathing tent remained in place. Showering and washing clothes every three days sucks major ass. The Colonels rotated everyone through the wash tent without laundry so everyone got at least a somewhat warm shower.

Doc rode herd on the wash tent maintaining order with a thick stick of Hawthorne and a stop watch. Doc yanked anyone overstaying their allotted time out of the shower, tossing the soap lathered offender in the muddy grass beside the wash tent.

The example of one shivering naked mud splattered soap drenched offender was enough for everyone else to mind their manners. With his KCAP increased strength Doc effortlessly hefted the young man holding him helplessly despite his struggles.

No one else wanted Doc grabbing them by the neck and one ass cheek and tossing them in the muddy grass. On the offender the finger shaped bruises stood out starkly against his white skin.

The kid was fortunate that Doc did not go for distance merely tossing him to the grass rather than launching him flying similar to a flopping white lawn dart. I am more than sure that Doc could have sent the offending kid some distance into the air which might have injured him.

After letting him shiver miserably in the muddy drizzle for about an hour Doc, let the offender back into the wash tent. This time the young man listened to Doc’s warning and was out of the shower and dressed in record time.

We have camped in this spot for way too long. This many people in one spot strain our latrine trenches, and the water quality is suffering. After stripping all the retreat buildings and the surrounding land of anything burnable we need to move. Stripped of anything of value it is time to leave the retreat to the zombies.

Ripping apart buildings for firewood for the numerous fire stoves in the convoy reduced the buildings to mere litter strewn foundations. Stoves in the personnel tents such as the one in our tent are welcome during the cold nights. Feeding all of the stoves in the convoy requires a prodigious amount of fuel.

Yesterday the Colonels sent the Gatherers riding in two Deuce and a Halfs escorted by two veteran infantry platoons with two Strykers into the surrounding housing complexes. Tearing apart wooden fences quickly filled one of the Deuces. When the filled Deuce returned an empty one replaced it driven back by the driver, navigator and their gunner.

Tearing apart and searching homes revealed several homes infested with trapped zombies. Killing all of the zombies was done without incident. Once cleared homes were stripped of its wooden furniture, and supplies they were then stripped of any easily obtained wood. Gatherers ripped walls, stairs, porches and decks apart.

Loads of supplies were discovered as homes were being stripped of wooden items. While Shack and I were on guard duty an additional pair of Deuces left camp requested by the Gatherers. Shack and I were no longer on watch when it happened, but mess tent intelligence suggests that the later Deuces returned with food, medical supplies, and booze.

If the Gatherers did return with booze, we did not see any yesterday at meals. I hope that beer was one of the supplies recovered yesterday. It has been a long time since I have had a beer. Shack has bemoaned the lack of Mountain Dew, Monster (the energy drink not the infected kid sitting on the floorboard of our truck), Red Bull, and Rock Star. If such things were recovered yesterday, I hope that we see some of them today.

Raisin infested oatmeal with a tooth-defying bannock brick is for breakfast again. Only this morning a magical Shack managed producing six unused Lipton tea bags. Safely storing the other five precious tea bags I toss one into my canteen cup. I impatiently wait as our little Esbit stove heats water for my tea.

Fueled by three precious 14 gram Esbit solid fuel tablets the stove finally boils our water. After pouring boiling water into our cups not wasting any of the precious burning fuel tabs I warm some water for brushing our teeth and a quick wash.

Shack drinks MRE instant coffee, which I cannot stand. I sip my tea savoring the warmth and the buzz of the caffeine. Would be a little better with some fresh lemon but just having tea is heavenly.

Poor Carol and the Princess are barking at the earthworms again. The two poor women struck with morning sickness look miserable standing in the muddy drizzle barfing their brains out. Carol stumbles back into camp heading for her vehicle without saying anything.

The Princess stops beside me giving me a sickly green tinged look. “Uh, I do not remember pregnancy being this awful. Of course the last time I was pregnant was more than 15 years ago.”

The rest of the morning passes quickly as the convoy loads up we have gotten good at getting everyone moving and loaded within three hours. The Colonels want to reduce that time, but I am not sure that is possible.

While loading the truck I talk with all of my charges together about adding Dolcent to our truck. We agree that we can make room for her in the rear bench seat. A blushing red Shack whispers in my ear that Dolcent offered to service him and I orally if we let her join the truck.

Dolcent does not have to blow either Shack or I to join our truck. Storage room is a concern as we will have to move gear so Dolcent can sit in the back seat. Shack talks to some of his friends in the Gatherers.

A Rhino-Rack alloy roof rack from a wrecked Nissan Pathfinder is welded to the roof our Dodge truck. The black roof rack comes with a wide LED light bar on the front that the light wheel mechanics manage connecting to a new switch on the dash.

Also connected to a new dash switch smaller square LED lights on the roof rack illuminate the sides of the truck. While the incredible amount of light the new roof light throws forward is great I worry that the new side lights will make us that much more of a target.

For a change, I am letting Shack drive this morning. Shack jokes that he never got his driver’s license. Shack scoots the bench seat back joking about short people driving and that he can finally stretch his legs out. At six feet four inches, Shack towers over me and has the legs to drive the truck with the seat scooted as far back as it can go.

Sitting in the passenger seat for a change I wait for Monster and Honey then climb in after. Honey has her little S&W 2214 pistol tucked in the small of her back. Never a popular gun, the condition of her little pistol reminds me of a cop’s old throw down weapon.

Honey’s sartorial style favors low-rising hip-hugging jeans, and midriff baring crop tops so the butt of her little pistol is obvious from the rear. I am not staring at Honey’s ass, but I have to agree with Sashka that Honey does have a sweet ass.

Anyway Shack, Honey and Monster do not feel the cold as do I, so they favor light tee-shirts while in the truck. I wear my men’s small US Army M65 field jacket with my IOTV over it while in the truck. Even though we ride with the windows closed and the heat on the truck is cold to me especially pressed against the door.

There are two greenish brown spam cans on the passenger floor board that were not there before this stop. The black Cyrillic writing on the metal cans identifies them each as 1980’s Romanian-made 86 grain 7.62×25 Tokarev ammo. Each of the sealed cans holds 1,224 rounds.

Gifts from our Russian friends perhaps?

Sitting on the dash is a new weapon to the truck’s arsenal a folded wire-stocked Czech Sa vz. 26 SMG in 7.62×25 Tokarev. I am quite familiar with that particular Czech designed submachine gun. The SA vz. 26 was never popular in Israel, although sometimes it was used by clandestine units or so I heard.

The SA vz. 26 was popular on the African continent and with many of the former Soviet states. The Czech SMG’s bolt is locked open with no magazine. Beside the Czech SMG lie six of the 32-round magazines Duct Taped together in pairs.

When Honey dons her LBV (she is yet still too small to fit the newer IOTV ((Improved Outer Tactical Vest )) such as Shack and I wear) I spot 12 more of the taped-in-pairs 32-round magazines in her LBV’s magazine loops. Lying on the floor beside Monster is another Czech SMG identical to the one sitting on the dash. I wonder if Monster can handle the little Czech SMG or is that Honey’s spare?

Sitting in the passenger seat, I am responsible for ammo and weapons so I do a quick inventory. Shack keeps a clipboard with our truck’s current inventory. Pulling the pencil from my braid (it is so nice to have clean hair this morning, Honey is getting quite good at braiding my hair) I look over our ammo state. I quickly add the new Czech ammo and SMGs to our inventory.

The truck’s grenades are securely held hanging on improvised loops underneath our legs. My visual inventory reveals 11 grenades with six of the newly discovered M33s, two old Mk 2 pineapples, three smoke grenades (one red American M18, one green British L83A1, and a white American M18).

Hanging on the passenger door are 90 rounds of green tipped 5.56 NATO loaded in US surplus aluminum 30-round M16 magazines. Hanging in a separate loop is one aluminum 20-round M16 magazine wrapped in orange tape loaded with 5.56 NATO tracer. Hanging in another separate loop is one US surplus aluminum 20-round M16 magazine wrapped in black electricians tape loaded with black tipped armor-piercing 5.56 NATO.

Below the rifle magazine hangs four Beretta M9 magazines loaded with 60 rounds of 115 grain NATO nine millimeter. Because Shack is driving he and I swap the pistol magazines stored in our doors. I hand him the M9 magazines while Shack is handing me my British Hi-Power magazines from the driver’s door.

Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #198 Camp Activities Somewhere Near Warm Beach, WA #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

The man mumbles something as he wanders away. Shack leans around the hood of the Dodge.

“Who the fuck was that?” Shack ask as he holsters his pistol.

“Just some horny asshole, dear. Forget about him. We need this truck running and then we need to do our basic maintenance before our guard rotation.”

Just as I am getting worried about the battery level in this old truck, with a cloud of black smoke the Cummins engine cranks to life. We idle the truck for an hour, while we are cleaning out the garbage from the truck and perform other basic maintenance.

Dolcent swings by checking on our fuel level. Shack and Dolcent talk for a little while, and I get the impression that Dolcent is interested in Shack in more of a personal level. I try not to be jealous; there are only a few women in the convoy as men still outnumber us.

After Dolcent rides off on her bicycle, Shack is unusually quiet. I want to pry, but give him some space as he is obviously thinking on something that Dolcent said. I am curious as to what Dolcent could have possibly said to make Shack so pensive.

We clean the truck in silence. Even the usually talkative Honey is quiet. Living in our truck results in a level of grime and filth that I had never imagined. Honey found some undiluted Simple Green in a closet on the compound. Using a little of the pine tree-smelling cleaner, we scrub the doors and dash of the truck.

One thing not lacking is the surplus of extra clothes we use as rags. Tossing the dirty rags in the bushes after we are done makes me feel a little guilty. Our truck certainly smells better.

Shack finally explains what Dolcent wanted. She is not happy working and living with the fueling team and wants to join our truck. She will still maintain the fuel logs, but she does not wish to sleep with the fuel team anymore.

Several members of the fuel team pressure Dolcent for sex; she is tired of sleeping in fear that someone will force her. We have room in our tent, but our truck even with the extended cab is getting crowded. I will have to think on letting Dolcent join our truck.

Shack agrees and the next time Dolcent checks our fuel level Shack informs her that I will think about it for a while. I want a talk with the other members of our truck before I make an impetuous decision. I will even ask Monster, since he is talking now if he would mind another rider.

Our guard rotation was an exercise in mind numbing boredom while standing in the mud-filled rain. By the early evening the mud content of the rain slackens perhaps we are through the worst of the debris kicked up by the close impact.

At supper that night Dolcent sits with us rather than the fuel team. There are some dark looks from some of the members of fuel team as Dolcent sits beside Shack. I understand Dolcent’s reason for wanting to leave the fuel team. As the only officially unattached female in the fuel team Dolcent is under a lot of pressure.

We eat mostly in silence concentrating on filling our bellies with hot food. Dolcent leans into Shack and whispers something in his ear that turns him bright red. Dolcent gives me a nod and leaves our table quickly when she is done.

Supper is a thick hot stew of mixed meat (including hot dogs) and vegetables accompanied by fresh warm bread. The mystery meat is a little stringy and only God knows what it used to be when alive.

We eat a lot of things now that I never would have even considered as food. Squirrels, groundhogs, prairie dogs, raccoons, opossums, crows, ravens, starlings, pigeons, grackles, marmots, and even the occasional dog found its way into our stew pots.

Our Gatherers use slingshots with marbles and ball bearings as ammo. Harvesting birds using shotguns attract too much attention and uses our finite ammo supply. I understand that UHT or MRE peanut butter spread on the toe of a Gatherer’s boot is a good way to lure pigeons in range of a slingshot.

Seagulls and raccoons are fortunate that they taste so bad that we avoid eating them except in the direst of times. So far every raccoon we ate has been a fight to keep in my stomach. Rabbits are hares are so rare as to be nonexistent in our meals. We stew almost all of our meats so as not to waste any protein.

The thick slices of warm brown bread are heavenly. We splurge and spread some of our carefully hoarded small patties of butter on our slices of bread sprinkling them with a little salt. God the warm bread and butter melts in my mouth. All of us are a lot leaner than we were before KCAP.

The men and women look good with the softness of the former world melted off of them. Men such as Shack put on as much as 20 pounds of lean muscle. I worry that we may go on short rations.

I have lost the extra weight in my hips and my breasts are one again small enough that a tight men’s small tee-shirt is enough to cover and support my tits. I am practically flat chested again, but Shack does not seem to mind. With smaller breasts, my nipples are more sensitive and responsive when Shack and I make love.

I did manage to speak with Starshina 1st Class Dragomirova concerning sleeping with Honey. Alexandra Dragomirova prefers to be called Sashka. Despite her gruff exterior and the profanity, I find Sashka to be a nice woman ignorant of Honey’s age.

Sashka will apologize to Honey but I get the distinct feeling that she still wishes to sleep with her. The sergeant gave me the eye a few times, but I am with Shack and not interested in sharing him. Chow tent intelligence implies that Shaska is not interested in men at all.

A lot of the members of our convoy have adopted polyamory because of the shortage of women. Group marriages are not uncommon, and a woman sharing several men is also common. Monogamous couples such as Carol and Nikola and Shack and I are not as common.

Older members of the population requiring medicine to live have died as have many of the infirm. Some of the first casualties were older members of Congress and the Senate. Several older lawmakers dropped dead once they ran out of modern medicine.

Modern medicine kept a lot of people alive who should have died a long time ago. KCAP wiped the weak and infirm from our population. Unfortunately, because of several factors more women have died than men, leaving women in the minority.

Our radio watch is a repeat of the previous night’s, but this time we have the 2000 to 0000 watch. Relieving Ben and Randy, who quickly leave for their cots was done in near silence. In turn we are relieved by Nikola and Carol carrying a sleeping well-bundled Stiva.

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