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

April 14, 2014

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.

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4 Comments
  1. Allen, I’ve been following your “Ruth’s story” From the beginning. Love it. Every few days when I check my email I look for your stories.I love the weapons and gear details. I’m super excited to read about the kayak point mission. Keep writing! You are doing great. 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind words Rick. I am glad when one of my readers comments as I enjoy the interaction between writer and reader.

  2. medicine man permalink

    What a fine job you have done my friend!!!!. When you brought in the cannibals as “Trading partners” so to speak, of the Adventists, I knew you were working up to a great chapter of how the few that have survived, are trying to mix with others that have done the same. I still hate the idea of cannibals because they are an abomination. I would not trust them even though they know that they have to stop eating KCAP infected flesh, in order to survive as a race.
    Here’s a question… Are they eating fellow cannibals who are weak and dying, therefore adding into the KCAP load that they have running through their bodies? Are they eating KCAP infected swine? Can you tell one hog from another?
    Either way, They eat humans and enjoy eating them, that alone makes me want to rid the planet (as totally f-ed as it is from nukes and the pandemic) of any and ALL Cannibals. They are not you , they are not me or our grandparents, they are going to take over Earth if something is not done to eliminate them.
    You really did a fine job with the past 3 chapters. I am not saying the others were not up to par, but I feel adrenaline rushing through me as each new chapter comes from your mind and lands on my computer.
    Thank you so very much for pouring gasoline on your fire!

    Raining like a bitch tonight ( Tues 5:04 p.m. est) It was not raining earlier in the day but it was hot in the afternoon today.
    it is showing us that it appears
    we will have a hot summer coming up. Hot Summers and Extreme Solar activity = Hurricanes… Oh Shit 😦 X10.
    I am still running reports on Wilma for FEMA payments to the system, can you believe that???
    Take care and god bless,
    M.M.

    • I felt the story was getting a little stale, so I needed something to “pep” it up a little.

      Raining and low 40s here now. This has been the wettest spring in more than 20 years.

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