Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie (3 page)

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
10.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I'm ignoring them and sending Mick and Jason to the gas station to fill up our two vehicles, bring them back, and then take off again to fill Jason's Dodge and Marisa's Saturn. I told Mick to take our gas cans and fill them as well. I think we have four empty cans that hold five gallons each.

They have orders to pick up as much soda and fast food as they can get, along with lighters, charcoal, and anything that might be useful and in stock at a small roadside gas station, slash convenience store, slash hunting store. They can leave the live bait, but I want any fishing rods and lures they can find. Heck, I'll even take the deer pee, or pheromones, or whatever that stuff is.

Nana spoke with her sister in Georgia. They've lost an entire
Boy Scout troop to this illness.

The boys were collecting food a
nd donations for poor families and were set up in front of a grocery store two days before Christmas when a car came speeding toward the front of the store. It struck the table where the boys had their gear and went straight into the front of the store, shattering the glass window and injuring an elderly lady who was on her way out.

sickly looking "man" crawled out of the broken driver’s side window and bit three boys before the local police officers made it on the scene. The boys were placed all together, including the bitten ones, in one of those police vans that's used to raid drug houses during sting operations. They rushed all the boys to the hospital at the same time.

By the time they arrived
, all eleven boy scouts had been bitten by either the car driver or one of their scout mates. The entire troop was "eliminated" as a risk to public safety. No one knows exactly how they were "eliminated."

Rita (Nana's sister)
says the whole town is reeling and no one is going anywhere outside their homes. They don't know where the crazy driver came from or who bit him. He has no family in the area and lived alone. There was no sign of a disturbance in his apartment.

Mick and Jason returned from their last trip to the gas station. Jason said they left just as a "crap load of cars" were pulling in.

We have four vehicles full of gas, about twenty chocolate bars of varying brands, several small bags of assorted chips, twenty or so assorted moon pie/apple pie type pastries, and a couple boxes of Kraft Mac 'n Cheese with dust on the top of the boxes and an expiration date of July of last year.

They got a box of saltine crackers with dust on the top, four cans of pork n beans with dust, three 48-pack cases of soda, seven bottles of single serve juices, and several packs of chewing gum (I have no idea why they grabbed chewing gum).

They also got a large bag of Ruffles with Ridges and two leftover ham, egg, and cheese biscuits from this morning’s breakfast spread, but I can't count those since they ate them on the way home.

They were also able to get two bags of charcoal, a container of lighter fluid, a manual can opener, four fishing rods,
and a bag full of lures. There was no deer pee o the shelves. Darn my luck!

I had Mick and Jason
gather the goats and lock them in the barn.

Jason, Marisa, and Amber are spending the night here with Mick, Carisa and me. We have everything locked up and closed down.

I'm frightened because of the windows. Any old thing could crash right through. Mick will head to Lowe's tomorrow for enough plywood, lumber, and nails to board every darn window in this stinkin’ house.

I'll be shopping my rear off for food and other vital items.

I'm praying that we make it through the night without any excitement. I know I won't sleep. I wish the stores were open this late. I'd be at Super Walmart stuffing my cart with flour, sugar, cornmeal, and you name it.


12:23 AM...

I can't sleep. I turned on the television
, hoping to watch the national news stations. They're mostly playing reruns from the Sunday “talking heads” and half the stations are not on the air. I can't even find a decent infomercial. I just want to close my eyes, just for a couple hours at least.



Friday, December 27

They found the farmer’s son this morning. He’d slipped into a little cave on the mountain side and wedged himself into a crevice between two large rocks. The "cave" is really more of a hollowed out overhang than a real cave. I suppose he was trying to hide.

The boy had become a slobbering, teeth snapping, monster and was stuck in the crevice. It was evident that they couldn't remove him without risking life and limb of their own. They "
eliminated" him to get him out.

While pulling his body out
, they discovered that he was stuck by one his shoelaces which was wedged underneath a boulder. Thank goodness for shoelaces.

I made it to
Super Walmart today. I know I said I wasn't going back until after New Year’s Day, but all the craziness in the news made me reconsider that vow.

Funny thing. There was no one in line at the
“returns” registers where you could return your Christmas gifts "for any reason."

I picked up another 25 pounds of flour. I almost had 30 pounds
, but a wild-eyed, meth-head-looking girl tried to grab the last bag out of my hand. We ended up ripping it apart and showering everyone near us with beautiful White Lily all-purpose flour as I was screaming at her to "get the eff outa my way." That's exactly the way I said it. I'm a southern lady, and we never actually
the eff word, especially in
pub lick
. I wanted to grab several 25 pound or 50 pound bags, but there was none left by the time I fought my way to the baking aisle. She's lucky I didn't use my little finger to fling her into one of those meat bins across from the end of the baking aisle.

I was able to grab 15 pounds
of cornmeal, five cans of baking powder, two cans of baking soda, 10 pounds of sugar, a small bag of brown sugar, and several muffin mixes, I also got a bottle of almond extract and two brownie mixes before I had to escape from that aisle just to catch my breath and not pass out from the feeding frenzy and the White Lily flour in my lungs.

Asparagus w
asn't on sale, but I didn't care. I got thirteen cans.

I got six cans of store-
brand cream corn, three cans of store-brand green beans, six cans of stewed tomatoes, two cans of diced tomatoes, and a four-pack of english peas that was on sale. I also got eight cans of pineapple slices, a six-pack of tropical fruit cocktail, and the last three cans of mandarin orange slices.

I didn't even attempt the dairy section. I have a good bit of butter and cheese in the basement freezer. There's also a few gallons of goat milk from my very own little dairy goats, thank you very much. I needed sour cream but I knew I could use goat milk to make my own. I really wanted to get eggs but figured my life was worth more than a few eggs
, and there probably wasn't any left to get. I swear I saw people standing on each other's shoulders to get to the stuff off the overflow shelves on every aisle.

Meat section. Fe
ghetaboutit. I have a freezer full of meat and a pantry full of canned meat at home. I couldn't get within thirty feet of the meat section, anyway.

The produce section was just about wiped out but I did manage to grab two bags of th
ose little "cuties" tangerines, a half-way crushed bunch of romaine lettuce, and a 10 pound sack of potatoes that had gone unnoticed because it was hidden between the giant cardboard box it had been in and the end of the retail display. Oh, I also got one head of garlic and a smooshy lemon.

There were four large cans of Nido dry powdered milk left in the
Hispanic section and I took all of them.

There was hardly anyone in the clothing section. I was able to grab extra socks a
nd underwear for everyone, along with some basic white t-shirts. I grabbed a couple of Carhartt jackets that I was surprised Walmart was carrying.

I felt like everyone else was on safari and I, with my overflowing cart, was the prey. I wanted out of there bad. I was
ready to head to the camping section, but I heard fights break out near the condiment aisle. I wanted out of there
real bad.

There was confusion everywhere
, and I think I got charged double for a couple of things and not charged at all for a couple more, but I wasn't staying around to figure it out. I practically ran to the Jeep, threw open the rear hatch, and started chucking my haul inside.

Panic attack!
I had to get out of that parking lot. I was able to get out of my parking spot after waiting ten minutes before a nice man/woman/person decided to let me pull out.

I almost hit a preacher on the corner near the entrance to the store. I recall noticing that he had perfect hair, perfect teeth, a perfec
t tan, and a perfect suit. He was standing in front of the local "mega church" perfect bus that had a perfect paint job. That paint job probably cost more than Mick's little 2000 Chevy S10, and my 2006 Jeep Cherokee combined. There were cars and trucks going every which way down the rows, and the line at the exit was pretty long.

After thirty minutes in line
and a Xanax from my purse... Breathe, breathe... I was out and I was going straight home, and only a semi-truck or God could stop me. I was sweating even though it was forty-five degrees outside and the air conditioner was on full blast. My knuckles were white because I had the steering wheel in a death grip. I was having a hard time not plowing my way to the head of the line and taking off with a screech of the tires. I impatiently waited my turn and down the road I went, maybe a little faster than usual. I was so relieved when I pulled into my spot of the garage that I laid my head on the steering wheel and cried while the automatic garage door went down.

My shoulders felt like they had been carrying the weight of the world plus Venus and Neptune. My kn
ees were knocking together and I was fully and completely exhausted. The Xanax didn't even phase me. What the hell is going on?

6:00 PM...

Mick and Jason are back from their Lowe's run. They were able to get enough plywood and lumber to board up most of the windows and doors. They don’t know if they got enough plywood for all the windows. I guess the little bathroom windows don't really need boarding since they are too small to fit a person through.

From Mi
ck's description, it sounds like Lowe's was a lot tamer than Super Walmart. There were still quite a few 2x4's, but the plywood section was looking needy. He and Jason had to wait in a long line to check out. Mick said it was mostly men in line, and they busied themselves talking about the happenings in town and looking around to see if they wanted anything else within reach.

It's not fair. There he was, chattin' up the local
boys, while I was at Super Walmart, fighting like a Jersey girl at a Bloomingdale's clearance sale.


9:30 PM...

Mick and Jason spent the last three hours hammering up plywood and 2x4's across the windows. They munch
ed on a few hearty beef burritos I made up for supper. They also went through half a bag of chocolate chip cookies.

All the windows in the house
have been secured, even the little bathroom windows have a couple of 2x4 pieces nailed across them.

Marisa was late coming home from work and I was just about to go into panic mode when she pulled in the driveway. Despite the "encouragement" from the local LEO squad, none of the businesses have closed their doors and town is full of t
raffic going every which way.

It took her an hour to drive
twelve miles from work to home. It usually takes only fifteen minutes, with her lead foot and ability to somehow make it through traffic lights just as they’re about to turn red.

I shoved a plate of burritos toward her and came in here to gather myself and
look at this stupid computer.

Jason, Marisa, and Amber are staying up here with us until things are back to normal. I feel
better with them being behind brick walls instead of the thin house trailer walls.

The national news is horrible and I have a major headache. It's so bad that I might just bit
e somebody for the hell of it.

I'm heading to bed with a couple of Advil and a warm glass of milk on board. I'll write more tomorrow
, if my head doesn't explode overnight.


Saturday, December 28

We're all staying home and everyone is staying away from me. I'm banned to my bedroom.

My loving family is placing food on a tray at the bedroom door and backing away before I open it. Hey, at least they aren't turning me over to the goons who might do experiments on me.

I have a feve
r and a killer sinus headache.

Marisa added a pack of leftover antibiotics (that Carisa couldn't take) from last year to my breakfast tray. I hope they
're still good and I hope there’s enough to get me through this. It feels like a big ol' sinus infection, but the whole family is nervous.

My head hurts so bad that I can barely think. I knew I should h
ave stayed away from Super Walmart. I just knew it.

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
10.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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