Warm was how Charles described his house. They had the
wood stove, and a couple burners on the gas range. The
kids enjoyed the Bible stories, and treated each other
kindly. Morning arrived, and it wasn't very warm. But,
Charles was the father of the house. He put on his bath-
robe, and went to the cellar. It was still dark. But,
he was able to find his way carrying his small flashlight,
but not needing to turn it on.
Butch's wife rolled over, and elbowed Butch in the ribs.
"I'm cold and hungry, and I'm in no mood for this crap.
Now figure out how to get us home, so we can get warm
and fed again. Enough of this bug out nonsense. We're
going home, today whether you like it or not." The twins
looked at each other and smiled. Mom was taking charge,
and this nonsense would end today. They would find a
way home some how. The older sister took out her Ipod
earbuds, and looked on, with curiosity. She reached over,
and pushed Dad good and hard on the shoulder. "Yeah,
we're going home today." Butch rolled over on his back.
His mouth hung open, and his eyes slowly opened. But,
there was no life there.
"Eewwww!!! Fucking gross!!!!" the daughter exclaimed.
"We've been sleeping with a dead cadaver lifeless
corpse guy!!! Get him out of here!!!!" she had gone
from exclaimed to shrieked. The twins woke up, and one
asked "who? What dead guy?" They looked around, and sis
was pointing at Dad. The twins looked at each other,
and then paused in shocked silence. About that moment,
they realized they had to go out to the tree, and
attend to nature. One more look in the open MRE packet.
About all that was left was the pack of matches. Wait!
Matches! That's what they needed to light the camp fire.
Suddenly, the morning toilet could wait a few minutes.
On the second match, the chunk of Piney Woods fire log
lit up. The boys piled some sticks over the fire, and
went out into the woods for a few minutes. When they
came back, the fire was nice and warm. Sis still looked
frieked out. Mom was just looking depressed, and
resigned. Didn't matter what happened now, it would
be a total disaster.
Morning at Charles house, the AM radio was turned on,
in the kitchen. The news reporter said it would only
be a matter of time before the power came back on. The
power company was repairing the storm damaged lines,
and now about 20% of the metro area had power, again.
They should call on the phone before going any where.
They gave out a list of gas stations which had power.
Charles son said "Oh, bother. Now we get to go back to
school. I was having so much fun at home." Charles
tried to reassure him, we can do this again some day.
The freezer had warmed up, but the food was still
useful. Charles took the last of the frozen food,
put it in a pan and heated it on the stove. The
camping coffee pot perked and gurgled. Charles
waited for the right moment, and then poured hot
coffee for his wife.
The late Butch's twins had managed to heat some MRE
food over the fire. They took a camping pan that
Butch packed. Took his big knife, and slit open
another MRE. After fighting over the MRE brownie,
they put the main dish into the pan, and put it on
the fire. A couple minutes later, they were using
two spoons, and fighting over the hot food. Mom was
watching from the tent. Glad that her boys were able
to eat. And back to their usual selves. Mom was more
worried for her daughter, who was walking around,
babbling incoherently. Her Ipod had gone dead, and
she had nothing to distract herself from the cruel
reality. They were out in the woods, the truck had
been towed, they were out of food, and now they were
living with a cadaver.
Charles heard a pounding on the front door of his house.
He went to push back the curtain and see who it was. It
was the retired couple from next door. They had a carafe
of something in hand. Charles opened the door, and
greeted them. They brought hot coffee and some hot cider
for the kids. Wanted to ask how they were doing. The
neighbors were surprised that it was warm in here, and
Charles reminded them of the wood stove. They had been
without heat for a couple days. Got cold in the house.
Charles reminded them to come over and visit every day,
to help stay warm. They promised to visit. Such nice
At Butch's camp, they didn't know it yet. But they were
soon to get visitors, too. The sound of snow machines
was heard in the distance. Butch's wife figured they
must be rescuers. She threw all the wood they had onto
the fire. Then, she stomped off into the direction of
the noise, to attract their attention. She was waving,
There were four men, each on snowmobiles. The man on
the first snowmobile lifted his goggles, and rubbed
his eyes. He turned the motor down to low idle and
asked what she wanted. Her story wasn't very organized,
but the men got the general idea that they were stranded
out, and needed a ride back to town. The man asked where
was this camp. She pointed. They started up the snow-
mobiles and went, following her footstps. Left her
walking, until the man on the last sled motioned for
her to climb on.
Back at camp, the kids heard the sound of the snow-
mobiles, and went out to look. They stood, silently,
as the men and their Mom came into the camp.
"Good looking piece of meat" one of the men said, as
he greedily eyed the daughter. "Bet she would be great,
you think? Better than that last one we left behind."
"Twins, what the heck. I never done twins before"
another man remarked. "Boys?" another rider asked.
"Sure, why not. Better than that old bag we did a
couple towns ago. They'll do fine."
Mom and the three kids realized that things just went
from bad to terrible, and now to worse. The silently
watched as one of the sled riders pulled out a totally
huge gun, and pointed at Mom. "You wouldn't want your
Mom to get hurt, would you?"
Back in town, Charles was in the living room, chatting
with the retired couple from next door. At that moment,
the lights flickered, gained strength, ane stayed on.
About two minutes later, heat started to flow from the