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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Bugout Versus Hunker" Short Story by Christopher Young - Chapter 7

"Honey, you got any bandaids in there?" he called. The
tent zipper came up a foot or two. "Some in the first
aid kit, in the truck, maybe." The look on Butch's face
reminded her. Oh, yeah. The truck got towed. She opened
her bug out bag, there had to be some first aid stuff
there. The twins had used all the bandaids on Haloween.
The closest she found to a bandage was a napkin from
McDonalds, with some coffee spilled on it. "Heck, I
don't know if I should drink this, or wrap my thumb
with it..." it had been yesterday at dinner they last
had coffee. Maybe that's why they were both crabby.

One of the twins looked up from the mat in the center
of the tent. "I'm hungry...." he whined. Butch
remembered that the MRE could be eaten cold. Not as
good, but what to do. Morale was rapidly suffering.
Butch looked into the tent, and said "Hand me a MRE,
soldier." The boy looked miffed, at being called soldier.
But, he did obediently hand Dad a MRE. Dad pulled out
his Rambo knife, and took an energetic stab at the green
foil package. The knife tip went through the mylar, and
a hiss could be heard, as the vacuum seal released. Dad
tipped out the contents of the pack. Both boys grabbed
at the MRE brownie. The girl read the green cardboard
boxes, and rolled her eyes. "Well, lets see. Some choice.
Camel turds, or sheep intestines." She put her Ipod
earbuds back in. Good for three days, on set of AAA
batteries. NOthing like some heavy metal to drown out
the rumbling of her stomach.

Charles was also listening to a sound system. But, the
sound system for him was the AM radio in the kitchen.
The radio broadcaster had been talking about the food
riots, in the city. Charles had recently purchased a
fire and police band scanner. He tuned in the fire
channel. They were overloaded with calls, which didn't
surprise Charles. All the fire calls were in the city.
Aparently, the mobs and riots were in the city, also.

Charles took his small flash light, and looked in the
freezer. He pulled out several frozen TV dinners which
they had bought, right before the power went off. "No
microwave, honey..." his wife said. Charles had been
thinking about the various parts of the TV dinner, and
figured he could cook them up, on the gas range. Charles
got a pan out of the cabinet, and opened the first TV
dinner. He peeled back the plastic just far enough to
extract the chunk of frozen corn. Put that in the pan,
and turned the flame on low. His wife got the idea
immediately. She got another pan from the cabinet,
and started to put the chicken entrees in the pan.
She did all five, and then put in a tiny bit of water
from the tap. In a few minutes, the smells of dinner
filled the house. The youngest daughter asked "How did
you do that?" Mom replied "Magic, princess, magic."
Within seconds, three children were at the table, arms
folded for the prayer and blessing on the food.

Charles gave thanks that the family was healthy and
well. They had no problems with thier neighbors, and
that they appeared to be safe, for now. He asked the
divine protection, that they should remain safe. When
he finished his prayer, the family said Amen, and the
food was cool enough to eat.

With no refrigeration, Charles knew that the food in the
refrigerator would soon spoil. Had to keep it cold, some
how. Finally, the answer occured to him. He'd put the
food in a cooler chest, and put it in the  trunk of the
family car. That way, it would be reasonably secure
against bears, but would be cold enough not to spoil.
Charles mentioned the idea to his wife, who thought was
a good idea. She promised to get the cooler out, after

After dinner, there was no television to watch. Dad
offered to read from the Bible, to keep them entertained.
They found a chapter with a lot of action, and sat down
to read. As Dad was reading, both girls started to get
sleepy. Mom carried them up to bed, and tucked them in.
They had solar garden lights that Dad had put in the
window, and they provided enough light to get to the
bathroom for potty runs. The boy stayed up a bit later.
Father and son went to the cellar, to split more kindling
for the next day's fire. The boy enjoyed using an axe.