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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guest Post: Firestorm Chapter 7 , by Christopher Young


Sam the trucker take on the matter

 
Well, folks, this is the moment I didn't want. Chris says I got to write some on this book. I'm a truck driver, not a writer.  I don't even like to write in my log, while I'm driving. Mostly just a word or two. Lucky for me, I'm at the house and Brenda my sweet wife is going ot help by typing all of this. Damn, girl, you're just as pretty as the day I met you. I sure do love the way your hair curls behind your ears and how your perky nipples poke out from under your dress. We got to get rid of them boys, and spend some quality time. Hope you aren't blushing too badly as you are writing this, seweetums. Hey, you don't have to type that all in, just the story. Oh, well, I guess you're going to write it in whether I want you to or not. Honey, people might read this. I don't get no respect. OK, so frieking type it in. See if Marybelle down at the grocery teases you about this for the rest of your life. What a gossip, I think that fat old hag should have her mouth stapled shut.

I guess this has been my week for things I didn't want to happen. I mean, I could see it coming down the pike as we truckers say. I could see trouble coming and I didnt want to be so far away from my family when it all got bad. But the dispatcher said I had to take the load of soybean oil to the food processing plant in New York, and if I didn't, I could be the next guy laid off. So, lucky to have a job, and I signed the dispatch form, and went out and got into the truck. it sure was a screw up, I don't have a job now cause the whole country is shut down. I coulda stayed home and not had a job, it would have ended up with me unemployed anyway. And here i am with a broken leg. Man, screwed myself over even worse.

You know, I try not to be a control friek. That's what my kids call me, the control friek. I like to do the driving, I like to make the decisions. It isn't really control. it's more like I want things to turn out OK. When other people start making my decsions for me, then I start to get nervous, you know? When the Fema guys started to corral us into that parking lot, I really was getting antsy. I figured it was more than a traffic stop, it was the end of my world as I knew it. Goign to the concentration camp.

And with the news we been hearing on the AM FM radio, I was right. I am right most of the time. It was only the prompt action I took that kept me out of a prison camp. Hide out, and bail out the far side of the parking lot and take my bug out bag with me.  Hoof it home.

And then I'm almost to the Ohio line, and then I had to break my leg. More of me being out of control again. Them two boys were nice about it, but still, I like to to the driving. And so they picked me up like some guy in the back of an ambulance and took me home. Deliver me all wrapped up in a splint like a UPS package. Sign here, lady! yeah, we chatted and  all, but it was still out of control.

Now I got two guys living at the house, and they are good guys, but I really want em out of here, and then I can go back to living in my own home again. I'm thinking food, and supplies. Wonder how long it's going to be so I can get back to work, and bring home the paychek again. Looks like it's gonna be about two years, the way the guys on the radio are talking. We only have a couple weeks food in the house, not like we are Mormons or something. What are we going to do when the canned stuff and the MRE and the buckets of macaroni run out? I'm not sure what we will do.

Brenda has been great about it, she's been a strength like she always has been. I knew she'd be great, she's always been great. She seems to like having the boys in the house, it is kind of like having a couple more kids. That Gomer is about the same age as my boy, Sammy. Except that Sammy is a liberal arts college kid, and Gomer is a military man. Yeah, the dove and the hawk. maybe not as similar as I thought.

Hang on, honey, I got to go potty. Hey, leave the radio on or something. I may be a while. Where's my crutches, there they are. I'll holler if I can't get back up.

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And now the news at the top of the hour. President has said that repair efforts continue at a rapid pace, and that the nation should be up and running again in two years, at the outside. In a briefing from the alternate command center in Wisconsin, President said that the nation would need for the first time in American history to accept foriegn aid, in the matter of infrastructure. For the first time in American history, the USA would be dependant on the generosity of nations such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, to provide the basic equipment, manpower, and guidance to rebuild our infrastructure. In the weeks and months ahead, we will be inviting in limited numbers of United Nations relief workers. They can be spotted by the blue helmets, and the distinctive UN logo. As in some many other nations around the globe, UN workers can be trusted to treat the civillians with respect, and human dignity. As we have seen on the telethons in the recent past, UN workers have been in the poorest nations of the world such as Africa. They have provided much aid and comfort to the starving, helped clothe the naked, and have provided shelter to the homeless. Here in our great nation, we should give the UN workers every courtesy. We should treat them like family. Follow their lawful orders, and realize that they are here under the invitation of the President, and the Congress. Do what the UN workers tell you; they are here to help us rebuild. In this time of great need, there will be many oportunities to sacrifice for the good of our great nation. Many will be asked to give of thier time, labor, materials, gasoline, other fuels, and their food. This is essential for the general welfare of the nation in this time of trouble. If the UN workers ask for something, do not hesitate to give it to them.  It is for the good of the nation. As with other nations of the world which are rebuilding, we have instituted a temporary gun control legislation which will make the streets much safer for the UN workers. We realize this may be dificult to understand, but it is for the good of all.
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Yeah, honey, I'm done. Don't go in there for a while, the stink will kill you. We got any more of that Lysol spray shit, ah, nevermind. It will clear up. Maybe we can have some of them UN workers declare our crapper a radioactive zone, and apply for federal aid?

Gee, honey, did you get a load of that crap on the radio? Like we're some third world country now, and we need a bunch of them thugs and rapists from the UN to come in and tell us savages how to build electric plants, basketball courts, and all that. Honey bunch, how would you like to make wild and passionate love with a savage? Just get near me again......

Chris, well, I can't figure him out. He left his trailer in New York and was planning to go visit Gomer and move there. And he drove all this way back to get me, and take me home. Wow, that's some kind of kind way to be. I don't know that I can ever repay him for all that. Sure enough, Brenda couldn't have come and got me in the car, the Mussies burned it already the first night of the rioting. I've got to get myself in gear and go kick some Mussie ass. They can't get away with that. Well, in about six weeks. Now days the only thing i can kick is my slippers, cause I got to walk with these crutches. I can't put any weight on my left leg, account of the broken bones. I won't be kickign any ass for a couple more months or weeks.

Wish I could trade places with Bill for a couple hours. He sure needs to do some serious ass kickinng. I'm finding out later what some of the details were. I didn't know this at the time, so you'll have to hang with me. Pretend like I can see across the country, you know? And we'll pretend that I'm a fly on the wall there, and like I know all the things that are going on. I only found out bits and pieces later, and I am putting it alll together now as I'm wrtiing. What, honey? Yeha, I know. I'm just talking, and you're the one doing the writing. I know, I know.

Hey, and so lets go take a look at the compound down in Tenn. David is busy watching car chase movies. Bill is at the sentry post. David has been sneaky, he's only running the generator while Bill is at sentry post, and hides the generator in the trunk of his car while Bill is home from the sentry post. Connie hasn't said anyting, and the kids are sworn to secrecy. They don't care one way or the other, they like the car chases, too. And, they do know that David will spank them if they say anthing to Bill.  He's established that a long time ago, that he'll kick butt if they say anythign to Bill. David  can be really nasty with the paddling butt. He uses a stick  or a paddle or what he can get his hands on, and the kids cry and hurt for hours. They have learned.

And a look at the retreat at Gomer's. Hey, this is kind of fun looking at all kinds of stuff like I'm some big ugly bird flying over head. And can see through walls. I'm superman! 

And it sure is nice to have a look at Gomer's retreat. Them babes Faith and Heather sure is worth a second look.  OUCH! Hey, sweetie, you didn't have to whack me in the head. I was just kidding about them perky young things with the tight nipples at Gomer's. You look just fine to me. So, Faith and Heather are busy keping the house cleaned up. I've been wishing for a couple kids, so that my baby grand daughter didn't have to be all alone. Yeah, she's got mom and gramma, but it isn't the same. The five kids there are tkaing turn teasing each other, and being upset. Faith and Heather are referees for most of the fights. They have to separate the kids for ten or twenty minutes, and then it's all good again. Funny thing is, that they are fixing for a big one themselves. I can see the manners wearing thin. No kitchen is big enough for two women, and they are both trying to elbow each other aside for control. They are on party manners for now. It's Faith's man, he was hers first. Heather has the home court advantage. But, they are both fixing for a serious blow out real soon.

Nice thing about Gomers, he's got all the right stuff for a retreat. He's got a wood stove, plenty of food, and some growing equipment for planting crops next year, and some heirloom seeds he can plant year after year. Plus a kick ass solar system, for power forever. I mean, the man's got his act together.

Chris isn't doing too badly for the short to medium turm stuff. He says he's got a couple weeks food and supplies there. He ought to be OK long after the rest of the civilized world starved. But, how is this all goign to come together? Yeah, I'll get it all figured out some how. When I figure out how we're going to eat in a  month or so.

Back to the present moment. Gomer just came in from the garage. The Model A is ready to roll. Sweet, at least we'll be able to get around. For a while, as the gas holds out. Sammy has been busy studying his college books. I havn't got the heart to tell him that it's a waste of time, to be studying liberal arts while the world is falling apart. Well, he's got to do what brings him peace. My sweet grand baby just woke up from a nap, and she's a bit cranky and hungry. Hey, Brenda, how about go fix her a bit to eat, and we'll leave the typing for later.

OK, so it's later. After dinner actually. Brenda took the Model A out for a quick drive around the block. She never told me she was an ace driver. I mean, she eased the clutch out, goosed the gas, and the car purred away just like she'd been drivign Model A for years. She got back about two  hours later, I was so worried. Well, she'd stopped at everyone's house and ask if they were ok. She came home and give me the big report, who was hungry and who was in the dark and all. Like I relaly care about all them people, but she does. So she rattled on and on. In the meantime I find out that Chris can type, so I've got his fat butt in front of the typer. Gadzooks, he's ugly. But what can you do about it, you can't choose how your look unless you are movie star and have lot of money. Even before the crash, I don't think money could have helped Chris any, he's just beyond help. Hey, Chris, you aren't writing all this down, are you?

After dinner is when we usually light the kerosene lamp, and turn on the radio. We been doing this since I was a kid, and so we keep the tradition. Now, more than ever, it's important ot keep up on the news. The radio staton we listened yesterday is off the air, so we tuned around the AM dial, and see what we could find. Finally we found a station in a city not far way, and they have the news. It was the same old same old, the news teletype wires had been down. So, they were tallking local news. The folks from the power company said no where near two years to get the power grid back on, all they needed was a couple transformers for the main sub station, and they would be good to go. they had the men and the tools to put the new transformer in. I guess the idiots there didn't figure out that the nation is all dark, and there are no more transformers to be had? D'uh, think they would get a clue. Maybe if they had a chance, they could buy a vowel, and start to make some sense.

I'm wonder if the nation could import some of that kind of thing from other nations. But the radio guys say the rioting is world wide, and no one seems to have any parts for sale. I guess they are playing close to the vest, and keeping thier own supplies under wraps. I'd do the same thing, I guess.

So, I'm thinking some more. Hey, what's going to happen after the couple months when all the food runs out? Be some time in the spring, and we'll all be hungry. That is, if we havn't been rounded up and sent ot camps by then. Or if the Mussies don't come and kill us in our sleep. We really can't defend this house too good, only us three adults. My daughter doesn't show much interest in gu ns. So, I'm asking Gomer and Chris what their places are like. Chris is telling me how he lives in a trailer in a park, much worse off than me in Ohio in a real house. But, Gomer is doing OK, hes got a house  with a gate and all. So, I'm thinking it's time to talk to Brenda, maybe we need to change adress. PUll stakes and move, again. I'm not sure they will take us, but I can ask.

I talked with Brenda, and she said that moving to Gomers sounded like a good idea. More kids for the baby, and more suppies. It's farther north, but they do have the wood stove, and we can keep warm that way. When Gomer and Chris came back in from tuning the last of the settings on the Model A, I asked if it was OK for us to come to Gomers place. Gomer said that was fine, he could make an exception for us, he usually doeesn't allow new members of his compound. We discussed what to take, and how we could all get there. It wasn't all that clear, so we decided to figure out all the details tomorrow.

Just about that time, it was maybe 7 PM. It's dark out, and I heard a shot. And then a pause, and then two more shots. Chris and Gomer diasappeared in an instant. I figured Gomer could move, but damn, that fat man sure has got some moves. He was out the door and nearly knocked down Gomer, he was moving so fast. They were out about ten minutes. I figured with shots in the area, we were in danger. I got to my feet, careful not to put any weight on my left leg. Blew out the kerosene lamp on the table, and yelled for everyone to get on the floor.

A couple minutes later, I hear the door knob rattle on the back door. I holler at the top of my voice to identify yourself or be shot. Chris hollered back that it was OK, and take it easy. He cracks open the door, and finds the place dark. So, a quick shot of flash light and he sees us all on the floor. Chris turns his light on the ceiling, so he can see to walk around, and walks around me, and around Sammy, and steps over the baby. He lights up the lamp on the table, and turns off his flash light. I can tell, he's giggling cause the sight of us all laying on the floor.

We start to get up again, and I have to stay on the ground a couple more seconds, my leg is acting up. Finally, they help me slide up into the sofa, which is fairly close to the ground. Gomer told us what had happened, in crisp clipped military jargon.

"couple of locals had engaged with two Mussies who were tyring to burn down a house. After a verbal challenge it became clear that the Mussies were not about to desist, and so the locals opened fire, killing two. Engagement considered a success, no friendly casualties."

I mumbled that we ought to go out and give them locals some more ammo for their guns. And Brenda looked horrified. Gomer started giggling, and then we all laughed. Except for the baby who was scared.