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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #98 Day on the farm, first meeting of the Adventists SHTF & TEOTWAWKI

February 22, 2014

The young soldier carrying the pump action Remington rifle with the ridiculous-looking Fram suppressor on the muzzle sits quietly for a moment.

“You’re the colonel’s new bitch?” Shack asks through a mouthful of breakfast.

“Huh?” The young man responds. “Oh yes, I am the new messenger and gopher for the colonels.”

“How did you get the gig?” Shack seems mildly interested.

“The last kid got bit in the face by a zombie, so I got the job by default.” The young man takes a deep breath.

“The colonels want to discuss Scarecrow and his broad.”

“Where are we doing this?” I really want to get this mess over with. I need to relieve Nikola and Carol in the radio shack. I also need to talk to Nikola about adjusting the radio watch as we are minus Shen now.

“The colonels want all the senior staff members here in about 30 minutes or so.”

I nod at the young man. “Shack, dear, please would you go and relieve Nikola so that he can be present for this fiasco. Take the young man with you so you do not walk alone. Say, lad what is your name anyway.”

“I’m William, but most people just call me Junior.”

“Nice to meet you Junior. Who is your mother?”

“Marie, Bill’s first wife. I’m the eldest.”

Reading this much later you may wonder why we did not use the GMRS or other radios to contact each other rather than sending a messenger. One of the reasons was that the convoy reduced radio traffic for security. Another reason, again regarding security, was that outside the convoy a messenger usually cannot be intercepted.

We tried to use as much basic radio encryption as we could. There was always the possibility that someone out there possessed very good decrypting gear that could break our rather simple and crude algorithms. Even if our radio traffic could not be deciphered, there was always the possibility that someone out there could find our location by using radio Direction Finding (DF) gear.

It was hard enough to keep the convoy hidden, broadcasting our location every time someone hit a transmit key would not help matters. For security reasons, most of our radio gear was turned off when not in use. Another reason for keeping the radio gear off was power conservation.

Though not talked about much a reason that would become far more prevalent the longer the KCAP pandemic lasted was lack of repair parts. Using the radio geared came with the risk of damaging delicate electronics. Some of the older gear contains vacuum tubes which, unless we can scavenge proper tubes from another piece of gear, are irreplaceable.

The two lads quickly leave the mess hall. I sit alone for a while and linger over a nasty cup of Spruce tip tea watching the chow hall empty. The cooks so kindly refill my cup with more piping hot Spruce tea as I watch the personnel leave for the day’s duties.

I noticed a larger variety of edible choices this morning. There were eatable things available that I had not seen in a long time, such as dill pickles, and some things that I had hoped that I would never ever see again such as the German liverwurst spread commonly called Braunschweiger.

The rye crackers are a nice addition to our diet, and I nibble on several while waiting for the lads to come back. We are encouraged to snack frequently to keep our caloric intake higher. I have noticed in the last day or so sense we have settled on the farm that the colonels are being more liberal with the snacks.

On a hunch, I check the expiration date on some powdered grapefruit drink. As I suspected, the expiration date has passed. Checking some of the other food stuffs laid out upon the table, I notice that all of them are either close to expiration or have already passed their expiration date.

Looking at the assorted snacks, powdered drink mixes, and other assorted treats, I note that no one should be lacking for vitamin C at least. I slip a few of the plastic baggies of the trail mix with M&Ms, dried cranberries and various nuts in my jacket pocket for later.

After a short while, Nikola walks in, grabbing some cold breakfast. I update Nikola on the status of Shen. Nikola makes non-committal grunts with his mouth full of food. The way that he and Carol have been going like hammer and tongs, it is no wonder the poor man is famished.

The colonels sit at the table followed by Jeff and Terrance their permanent shadows and bodyguards. Doc already in conversation with Sam, says that Shen’s wound is painful and having it packed with gauze is very painful. He wants to keep Shen sedated at least until the worst of the pain is past.

Sam nods his assent and starts the general staff meeting. “As you know Scarecrow and his lady friend spent the night in the stockade. They threw themselves on the mercy of the convoy and have agreed to work for their keep. Due to their lack of any appreciable skills, they are assigned menial labor for now. Menial labor probably does not suit them, but we’ll see.”

Sam pauses as the bull cook and her assistants, the cookees, hands out cups of steaming hot Spruce tip tea. “Man that shit’s awful,” Sam mutters at his first sip.

“If Scarecrow and the woman work hard and earn their keep, without too much bitching we might consider moving them up to trusted positions. For now, they are only armed with their handguns and whatever blades they prefer. We’ve taken their rifles and other arms for now.”

After a deep sigh, Sam continues. “Most of the pillheads died when the sources of pills dried up. If Scarecrow was a pillhead and meth cooker, the black woman a bar tender and meth dealer, I just do not see how they can be helpful to the company.”

“Damn got me monologuing.” Sam sighs again and takes another sip of his tea, motioning for a refill. “I really don’t care what people did before KCAP. It is what they do now that concerns me. If they are not going to work, but be a burden upon the company then I need to remove them.”

One of the cookees comes over and refills Sam’s cup. Without asking she also tops all the rest of our cups.

“I’d hate to have to take ‘em out in one of the fields and shoot them. The lady ‘specially.” Sam pauses to drink more tea. “I know it sounds sexist and shit, but hell, there are just not that many women left. There is already grumbling in the camp that Bill has taken two for himself. We have a lot of single men with no companionship. Killing a woman will not sit well with some of the men.”

Sam pauses again, “Now here is the real rub. There is a bunch of Adventists a few pieces of property to the east. They have made overtures to us that they want to meet. They propose a combined trip together to somewhere called Kayak Point for salt, fish and shellfish. However, they lack enough guns and proper training to use ‘em.”

Not hearing any dissent, Sam continues. “We’ve got some damned big pots in the Princess’ laundry that we can take to the coast to boil saltwater. The leader of the Adventists says that there is plenty of dry driftwood at Kayak Point for fire wood. The fire and noise is sure to attract zombies and possible other unwanted attention. Some fresh fish and shellfish would be a welcome addition to our diet. They have some tribal members that are able to help us prepare the catch for storage.”

“Uh, Sam hate to tell you but Adventists do not eat shellfish. Fish yes, but not shellfish. Adventists adhere to the dietary guidelines of Leviticus 11.” Shack seems embarrassed by his knowledge. “Hey, I am a preacher’s kid, it’s part of growing up with a Bible thumping father. I am surprised, Ruth you did know that.”

“The kosher Jews also follow the Leviticus dietary restrictions. I did not know that the Adventists followed similar dietary restrictions. The Adventist church is not that common in the Middle East.”

I do not bother to mention that with all the tensions in the Middle East the last few years; evangelical Protestant churches were not all that popular.

Taking another sip of tea, Sam reaches into a jar of jalapeño pickled whole eggs. Fishing one of the slightly off-white slimy orbs out of the jar, he pops it into his mouth with relish. Chewing thoughtfully, suddenly his face turns red, and he coughs lightly.

“Wow, that’s got some heat to it. Son of a bitch! That’s hot.”

Sam gulps his tea and frantically whistles for more. With amused grins, we watch as poor Sam eyes watering suffers the heat of the jalapeño peppers. After gulping some more tea, Sam coughs a while before his face starts to resume its normal color.

“Some of this food is from them. They also want to trade supplies as well as have need for more weapons and ammo. They have a few .22s, some deer rifles and a couple sporting carbines but they lack any military hardware or the training to use it. We have enough rifles that we can give them some. They know the area, and that would be invaluable to getting us north when we leave.”

Sam drinks more Spruce tea but wisely avoids the pickled eggs. “If there are no objections, I will agree to meet them at a neutral place between our places. Ruth, Nikola, Shack and Jeff, I want you along with me. I am leaving Doc here in command while I am away. There’s a kid on a horse at the gate waiting on our answer. Like us, they limit the use of radios so as not to broadcast their position. I’ll send a note back with the kid requesting a meeting tomorrow. I’ll let you know later what develops. Talk to you later.”

With that, the meeting breaks up. Sam and Jeff head upstairs to the colonel’s office, while Doc and Terrance head for the medical tent. Shack now out of sight of the colonel pops one of the pickled eggs in his mouth.

“Umm, not bad.” Shack mutters. I kiss him lightly on the cheek. “Showoff.”

Shack and I walk from the house towards the radio tent. Because the house is on a slight rise, I can see all the way to the road and the front gate. I have a small folding pair of cheap binoculars in my coat pocket. With the binoculars, I can see the young man on a brown horse with white socks.

The horse shifts nervously, standing by the gate. The young man upon the horse is dressed entirely in blue denim. His denim jacket looks warm and well worn. The boy wears black hi top sneakers with white soles and a civilian camouflage ball cap. White socks stick out of his pants legs, giving me the impression that his pants are a little too short for him.

Nearly as fidgety as the horse, the young man shifts in the saddle. I wonder how long he has been out there. It has not been raining that hard this morning, but they young man appears damp around the shoulders. Faint droplets of water speckle the horses’ coat.

Also, coated in light drops of water is the metal stocked light blue Suomi KP 44 9mm carbine cradled in the kid’s arms. Sam said the Adventists lacked any military grade weapons, so I am betting that the carbine in the kid’s hands is a semi-automatic version of the famous Finnish weapon.

I wonder how many of the 71 round drums the kid possesses other than the one in the gun now. With the stock extended and the longer barrel, the carbine could be fairly accurate despite the poor sights typical of the class of weapon.

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4 Comments
  1. Can I publish this on my twitter?

    • You may re-tweet any of my posts as long as you credit me as the author.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Still following from Day 1!!
    Thanks for your story!

    • You are welcome. I am glad you are still reading.

      Please comment more if you like or dislike something. I also answer questions as best as I am able providing it does not blow my plot plans.

      If there is something that I did not explain adequately please call me on it so that I may clarify.

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