Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #184 Family Reunion at Robert’s Place #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL
“And to what do I owe the pleasure of your company Iain,” Robert asks. Before Iain can respond, Robert continues. “And how long do you intend to stay? Always nice to see you Ruth,” he says leaning around Iain’s bulky frame. Cheeky bastard.
Iain starts to respond, when Robert cuts him off yet again. “Who’s the new chick? She looks like an ecdysiast.”
Robert has the annoying tendency to flaunt his excellent vocabulary, attempting to make others feel stupid. Usually he does it when Robert feels threatened or unsure of a situation. Other than myself, and a few of the other older adults, I doubt anyone else here knows what an ecdysiast is, so Robert is just showing off.
The two men have always had a very cool relationship, regarding each other very warily. I would love to know what is the cause of the tension between the two men, but neither will speak about it except in general terms.
BUF runs into my arms, crushing me in a bear hug. He is actually crying he is so happy to see me. After a sound kissing on his furry cheeks, I give BUF some of the MRE hard candy I had stashed in my jacket. He grins like a silly little boy shoving the candy in the pocket of his camouflage overalls.
“BUF, you need to go back to your post. It is not time for you to come down yet. You can talk to Ruth later, at supper when your guard duty is done.”
Robert is not mean to BUF, and treats him more like a little brother. But sometimes you do have to remind BUF or he will get sidetracked and forget what he is supposed to be doing. I kiss BUF’s cheek again, and help him tuck his Fitter Family medals underneath his old faded field coat.
BUF heads back up the side of the hill, already sucking at one piece of hard candy. As BUF leaves, Father Naaman rolls up in his wheelchair. Father Naaman is a veteran of the Second Afghan War in which he lost both of his legs to a Soviet-era Dushka fired by Mujahedeen.
Still dressed in his customary black, Father Naaman was one badass Jesuit in his time. Former Green Beret, and a member of the secretive 5th Special Forces Group, the Father saw some serious combat.
Fluent in both Pashtu and Dari, Father Naaman served all over the Middle East. Despite losing his legs, the Father has remained in excellent shape, his priestly robes taught with the whip cord muscles underneath.
Father Naaman’s wheelchair has larger tires, designed more for off-road use rather than for hospital use. It has an extra rugged frame, and the wheelchair is fitted with extra straps securing Father Naaman in the chair. Father Naaman’s wheelchair has a wider and longer wheelbase, reducing the likelihood of tipping over.
A sawed-off, 12 gauge shotgun, a pistol gripped Ithaca 37 rides in a black leather holster on the right side of Father Naaman’s wheelchair. The shotgun’s pistol grip lies just underneath his right wrist.
A desert tan, CZ 75B pistol rides in a brown leather tanker holster across his torso. Lying in his lap is Father Naaman’s favorite, suppressed, CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 pistol with the shoulder stock folded.
One the left side of his wheelchair, Father Naaman’s Leica Geovid HHD-4C solar-powered laser range finding binoculars rest in their special holster. I have heard the father assign himself penance because of his doggedly determination to keep those binoculars.
Despite not being of his faith, indeed as a member of the faith (sort of) and ethnicity not really friendly to the Catholic Church, Father Naaman and I have always gotten along very well. The rugged, smooth-cheeked priest was one of the first to visit me when I woke from my coma.
While I floated in and out of consciousness, Father Naaman would read the bible to me. He also read other books, regardless if I wanted him to or not. Despite my screaming at him a few times, and several rather unkind things said by yours truly, Father Naaman always came back, calmly reading to me.
A pair of books that he read several times to me is The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adams, and Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft. While the good father probably does not have as many books as Obaba, the little Japanese troll, he does have an impressive collection.
As the rest of the members of this extended family come out to greet Iain and me, I notice someone seems to be missing. Wading through the children, the adults arrive. As I hug and kiss Emily, admiring her six-week old son, I ask her a question that has bugged me since we arrived.
“Hey, Em where’s JT?”
Everyone looks suddenly sad and a pall of silence slams over the crowd. Damn, did I just fuck up royally? Finally Father Naaman speaks.
“James-Thomas died day before yesterday. He was checking our larger cistern for leaks. With our SCUBA gear he jumped in and fell to bottom of the cistern because he forgot to inflate his BC (buoyancy compensator) and turn on his air. He fell all 142’ feet to the bottom and drowned. We used a grapple and fished him from the cistern yesterday and buried him this morning. Emily’s six week old baby is James-Thomas’s son. Stupid mistake killed a fine young man.”
“What is the boy’s name?”
“We haven’t named him yet, Ruth, because we are not sure if he is going to live. Right now we call him Sausage, because he is a chunky little bundle of joy. Father Naaman wants to christen my son, but I want to wait until I name him.”
I know that no one else in the old cement plant is Catholic, as the old priest and I talked about it many times. But that did not seem to bother Father Naaman; he said it just means that he has his work cut out for him.
Emily looks at me with her tear streaked face, her despair plain on her face. “If I didn’t have Sausage, I might have jumped in after JT and joined him.”
Sausage starts to fuss, so Emily takes him into the shade underneath one of the old cement mix silos, and lets him nurse. The men take the wagon and animals to the stables, while the women retreat into the shelter underneath the old cement plant.
I observe Sausage nurse for a while watching as his little fingers flex against his mother’s breast. Amy used to talk about having children together some day; I always avoided the child topic or tried to dodge it as best as I could.
While it was not necessary to have a walking sperm donor in your life, most of the men I slept with (at least for fun) I preferred big, stupid and silent. I was not there for a witty tête-à-tête, I wanted to get fucked which I always enjoyed. When the fucking was over, I bailed.
When I wanted intelligent discussion, or looking for someone who was intriguing and could stimulate my mind – I generally sought women. For me, as a bi-sexual, it was a whole package deal, the sex of my lover was almost unimportant. I do not get wet just because of a great set of tits or because of how scrumptious Iain’s ass looks in those tight Wrangler jeans he wears.
Even as much as I loved Shack and as much as I love Iain, I could not imagine having children with either of them. Shack never broached the subject of children. Iain and I have discussed children once or twice. I just never wanted children of my own.
The last time that Iain and I discussed children, he mentioned adopting or adding someone to the bunker who has children. We could use more help in the bunker and we have plenty of room. But children? In the bunker?
Emily moves Sausage over to the other breast and his little fingers and toes flail as she moves him. He settles down as he gets suction on the new full breast, but his little toes and fingers still flex against mom.
I have never been a motherly type – I think the mothering gene or instinct skipped me. I always wondered what the kid did with those fingers inside of the mother. I cannot imagine something with fingers lying just underneath my heart for nine months.