Long time no see Mr. Journal. Needed to take a break from writing for an extra day or so. Tired fingers, and the last couple days haven’t really been all that exciting around here.
Well I mean after the end of the world what’s exciting and what’s normal is kind of fucked up. So I guess I should say, things have been less exciting than they have been, but still much more exciting than would’ve been “normal” last year. Better.
The last three days have been a mixed bag. It’s mostly good because the stress of dealing with Westfield as a serious threat is largely gone. I mean yeah, we’re still worried to some extent, but the feeling of dread is gone, and we’ve got some serious hope now. Our first “trade meeting” today was pretty fantastic. More on that later.
The unintended and kind of unexpected side effect of the Westfield situation having been handled is the fact that Abby and Patty seem to have come to the sudden and overwhelming realization their family is gone. A young boy and a father have been torn from them for a reason we haven’t been able to decipher. I would’ve bet cash on Sean’s people having taken the torch to STIG, but Mike over in Westfield says it couldn’t have possible been them. That doesn’t leave a lot of targets to point fingers at.
Patty now thinks there was an accident in the fuel area, which I guess is possible. It just seems too massive an explosion to be an accident. I don’t know what to think. I can say there have been a lot of tears here lately, and some of those have been my own. It’s so painful to watch a mother and daughter weep for those they’ve lost. It’s hard to even describe how it feels without starting to get all emotional myself. It brings me right back to how I feel about Cassie being gone.
I mean, it’s hard to describe. I don’t know how else to describe it. I miss my family a lot too when I watch Abby and Patty. I wonder if they’re thinking the same things about me. I hope they’re all right, and I hope that someday we can be reunited, but as they say, I don’t think that’s in the cards. All I can do is hope for the best, and that one day everything will be revealed in a positive light. Turn that frown upside down, right?
Morose motherfucker, aren’t I?
So. What’s been happening? Nice of you to ask Mr. Journal. The last two days have been fairly restful. I’ve managed some pretty excellent sleep, which is a great change of pace. Dreams have been pretty straightforward too, which is a lot of it. I’m sure the stress of the Westfield issue having passed over is a huge part of it too.
We’ve done some legwork here on campus too, which is… scary fucking business lately. As I’ve been saying for the past what? 20 days? The undead from downtown having been trickling onto campus steadily. Usually it is just two or three at a time, and we’ve done a good job of catching them at the bridge, but a few have gotten through when we weren’t looking. Plus there’s always the chance that they’re walking across the frozen lake. Come to think of it, I should check the lake for footprints in the snow.
Anyway, moving about on campus is almost like it was back in June and July. There are undead all about, and we’re instituted a “no one alone” rule. Gilbert has defied it at every opportunity to go home, but trying to tell Gilbert what to do is a lot like trying to herd cats. I can’t be too worried about him.
I did a fuel oil check on Hall E and Hall A. We are about halfway through the tank on Hall E, and Hall A is still almost full. Fortunately administration had the oil topped off in the summer when the prices must’ve been lower. If we’ve gone through half the oil in Hall E already, then we’ve got enough to last the rest of this winter. That’s great news. If we can find another woodstove sometime soon, then we can install it in Hall E, and between wood and oil, we’ll be set for perhaps two or three winters just on the fuel we’ve got on campus, let alone the home heating oil in the houses in just this neighborhood.
I didn’t check the school building, or the classroom style buildings. Hall B, Hall C, and Hall E all had three quarters or better in their tanks. That’s a LOT of fuel. We should be all set for heating oil if we can figure out a way to siphon it up and out of the tanks.
What does concern me is gasoline. Going back and forth to Westfield all those days did our fuel supply no fucking favors. I think I mentioned before that we would need to look at diesel soon, and that’s a harsh reality we need to deal with in a week or two. Well, I suppose we could check out the gas station that’s a mile or two from the one we had been using, but that’s heading towards downtown, and frankly, I really do not want to head that way until we’ve got a plan to deal with the undead coming our way, from that way.
For the moment, our plan is to conserve gas. Simply don’t go anywhere if we can avoid it. We’ve got plenty of food for the moment, and there’s nothing pressing that we need to do downtown other than getting fuel, and we’re better off picking off stragglers making their way up to campus than we would be if we made a trip back into a gigantic mass of undead, and then leading them all back here in wholesale fashion.
Come to think of it… That might not be a bad idea. Hall E is a fucking fortress.. and with a little more work, we could make it basically zombie proof. We could lead the whole fucking crew right back up here into some kind of trap, then take them all out with our own massive zombie eradication plan. Hm. Food for thought. I’ll think about it more later.
So the last two days were pretty mundane. Like I said checking fuel and oil, and making sure any zombies that made their way onto campus were killed, and their bodies relocated to the now sizeable body pile out near staff housing. We’re trying to use the new bow and my long sword as much as possible, but we’ve broken two arrow shafts the past two days, and that seems… shitty. So melee is the way, and Abby and Patty aren’t that hot with the physical stuff yet. Abby’s skinny as a rail, and Patty is getting near 50, and with her healing ribs, she’s still a little sore. Once again, Adrian’s grunt labor to the rescue.
But, the occasional gunshot is actually a good thing, as it leads a few more our way. As long as it’s small groups, this is very containable. Even a group of 20 would be fine. Makes me want to think about the whole leading a shitload of them up here plan.
So earlier today the Westfield crew arrived at noon. Gilbert decided he’d make a large dinner for them in Hall A, which I thought was a good idea. It’s a “neutral” site on campus that shows we have our shit together, and yet still doesn’t let them into our last bastion of strength, Hall E. Mike drove and brought one humvee with him, which I thought was great. I was honestly expecting a large show of force, but that kind of goes to show you how he feels about us. If he didn’t trust us, he’d have rolled in with the two trucks. Binge drinking after the death of an enemy is a relationship builder I guess.
Gilbert had prepared some canned hams in the spirit of the ones I made for Valentine’s. I didn’t know we had so many. I’m wondering if he brought one from home or something. Not that I’m complaining or anything. He made a glaze similar to the one I made, which definitely made me think he had ham envy. Mashed potatoes, a can of cranberry relish, and a can of asparagus later, and we had a regular old feast.
Mike brought three people with him. Gavin Russell, one of the soldiers who came out to the farm on the 20th, Lisa Goldman (their physician’s assistant, and resident doctor), and a chick named Mallory Malone. Here’s my full take on the new people:
Gavin is about 20 years old, and before the world shit the bed, he was probably always in trouble, and joined the Guard as a way to pay bills. Now, with military skills, and a fairly tough attitude, he’s a keeper here. He’s tall, an inch taller than me at least, and has a buzz cut. He’s good looking too, so Abby says. And incidentally, the two of them talked, the entire time. Romance is in the air. You should of SEEN Patty’s face lol. MURDEROUS. But… She also seemed happy about Abby talking to another guy. The plight of a parent I suppose.
Lisa Goldman is early to mid 40’s I think. According to her dinner table talk, she was a PA at one of the local Westfield Clinics, and was instrumental in getting it emptied of supplies. She said Westfield is well stocked for meds and such, and in a pinch, they can bring a generator to the clinic for “more substantial” procedures. She’s kind of nervous because there are two women due in spring over there. One is due in late April, and the other late in May. Kind of neat to think about babies being born. Makes me want to go back to the grocery store and get the formula. I remember leaving a shitload of it there. Oh, she’s got shoulder length pitch black hair, is kinda pretty, and looks super Jewish. No cape or anything, but I can totally see her in Miami Beach. I like her.
Mallory is my new favorite person. Mal as she prefers, is maybe 25 years old. She’s a hairdresser. Very funny, very witty, sharp on her toes, and from what I gathered at the lunch table, she had a pretty rough go of the whole surviving June thing. I think she holed up in her salon eating snacks for a few days and wound up quite literally fighting her way to the school using scissors. That is a story, I desperately want to hear more about. Mal has very nice short brown hair (no shit, right?), and is fairly pretty, although not in any special way.
Mike brought them specifically for separate reasons. Lisa offered free physicals, which everyone gladly took up, and happily, we all passed with flying colors. I am proud to announce Mr. Journal that a woman looked at my penis. It’s been awhile, and I’m pretty happy for myself. Patty’s rib is tender, but we knew that already. Oh, and Gilbert is old. Surprise!
Gavin demanded he be brought along strictly to try and talk to “the hot chick” who we discovered was Abby. Abby was not informed of Gavin’s desires towards her by anyone else, but for a fairly shy guy, Gavin made excellent headway talking to her. Abby’s very forward, but also shy at the same time, and I really think they hit it off. Gavin was impressed by Abby’s survivor story I think, and she was impressed by him being the first guy to show any interest in her in… forever.
Mallory came because in Staff Sergeant Mike McCarthy’s opinion, our “personal grooming standards” were sorely lacking. Mallory gave us all haircuts. I barely noticed that my hair was hanging in front of my eyes. I gave myself a haircut with a little trimmer back in September, but I have completely bricked doing it again. It was nice to have a professional give me a haircut. In honor of my boy Kevin, I had her give me a “high and tight.” The girls said I looked stupid, but it brought back memories.
Mike seemed suitably impressed when I shared my Ranger school info. Apparently he always wanted to go, but never got around to it. I told him it was overrated. Lots of running around carrying heavy shit, swimming around carrying heavy shit, and falling down carrying heavy shit. Incidentally, that sums up almost all training in the military.
As far as trading shit goes, we definitely sealed our first deal today. Mike said they desperately need fresh water, and he brought about ten empty gallon jugs with him to show. I swear he almost cried when I filled them from the tap in the kitchen of Hall A. He watched me wash my hands too and I think he almost tried to stop me. I was wasting water don’t you know?... Funny stuff.
So we put forth the ten gallon jugs of water, and in return he dropped a dozen eggs, and two bottles of milk. He’s got a more or less endless supply of those, and we’ve got a more or less endless supply of water. Seems fair to me.
Now for stuff that isn’t endless… we can haggle, and we did. He said they were getting really low on soap and toothpaste, and general hygiene products, and wouldn’t you know… I’ve got a shitload. I ponied up three tubes of toothpaste, 4 bars of soap, 8 sticks of deodorant (some partially used), one container of Gold Bond medicated powder, and three 8 roll packages of decent toilet paper. These are all consumables.
In trade, Mike offered up a crate containing two M2A1 ammo cans of .223 for my gun. For those of you with no military experience, that’s 1,680 rounds of .223. Sha boing. Totally answered my needs for .223 for some time. I felt like that was more than fair for the stuff I gave up. I told him we’d be super interested in getting chickens down the line, and he said he’d be super interested in eating some venison down the line.
So I think I might spend some time in the woods coming up here. Because I would kill for some goddamn chicken right now. I’ve got barbecue sauce coming out the asshole in the cafeteria, and man… just thinking about that makes me drool some.
So the whole afternoon was positive, and the entire time no undead came on campus, which was nice. Made the campus seem a lot more secure than it has been lately. Mike complemented us on what he thought was a great spot, and a job well done. He invited us to come visit them for a similar trade on March 1st, which we’re planning for already. He said if possible to bring more water, and venison if we got any. He said they’re really going through laundry detergent as well, and they’d be willing to trade for that too. I know I left some behind in the houses in the area, and we’ve got a bunch here too, so that’ll be a nice trade for us. It certainly makes me want to hit more houses for their contents. Fucking zombies though.
Mike and company left, and said they were having emergency elections on March 2nd, and we were more than welcome to attend, though we couldn’t vote, which makes sense. I told him we’d be in Westfield for the 1st, and we’d see what happened that day. Who knows what the weather will bring. Shit, it’s been almost 50 here the past few days. Prolly be 20 below next week. Fucking weather.
And that was that. Everyone was really happy this evening. Gilbert seemed very pleased with the meeting, and the lunch went over well. We’re planning on having pancakes tomorrow. Made with fresh eggs, and milk.
Oh dear. Just.. oh dear.