Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie (4 page)

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
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Wednesday, January 1

Hello Gentle Reader (snort) betcha didn't think you'd hear from me again. Happy New Year! Yeah, right. The ball didn't drop in Times Square last nig
ht. There must be some sort of apocalypse.

Antibiotics are awesome! I
feel much better. The headache’s gone, but I still have the sniffles and a cough. My energy's coming back and I no longer think I'm dying.

I've s
een the local and national news and I've listened to several phone calls from Nana, who keeps up with everything.

I am flat out determined to hide my family away from the world and keep us all safe and healthy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Secretly, I'm scared outa my skin.

Mr. Peterson passed away the same night that I fell ill with the sinus infection. His niece found him the following day, lying on his living room floor. He had not "come back" in any fashion and was simply lying there like he was sleeping. They suspect a heart attack or stroke but the hospital and coroner are not taking dead bodies with no signs of the unknown illness.

His family was forced to bury him under a big oak tree at the back of his property. They buried him in a wooden box that was hastily thrown together from scraps they found in his little wood shop behind the house.

During my withdrawal from humanity the last few days, a lot has happened. There are food riots in New York Cit
y, Chicago, Los Angeles, and just about all big-to-medium sized cities. People have been shot, stabbed, beaten, bitten, and many have simply vanished.

To our surprise
, the power is still on and running steady. Marisa has been thawing meat from the downstairs freezer so we can get it into canning jars in case the electricity goes off. All of our meals for the past few days have come directly from the freezer. We'd rather use it than lose it.

Mick's still working. He has an office here in our home. I am so thankful that the company he works for
is "sensible" and allows some of their employees to work from home. I don't know what I'd do if he had to drive an hour to work and an hour back every day.

Marisa's employer called and told her not to come into work the rest of this week. She works in an office building near the hospital
, making sure the insurance companies are billed correctly. I guess the hospital and doctors will have to wait to be paid for this week’s treatments. I'll bet the insurance companies are doin’ a little dance.

Jason's a fry cook at a local truck stop
, but he is supposed to start school next week to become a big rig trucker. He recently had his thirty-first birthday. I'm thankful he has some sort of ambition. He has a five-year-old son named Michael who lives with his ex-wife about fifty miles from here. We get to see Michael every two or three weeks.

Nana and Pop are snug as a bug in a rug in their big ol' house a couple of miles from us. Their neighbor of forty years helped Pop board up the windows.

Pop is seventy years old now. He needs a little “window-boarding-help” when times get tough. Nana says they have enough food to last a couple of months and for us not to worry. I won't worry as long as the power is up, the phones are workin', they have all their medications, and Pop doesn't have to go out in the yard and play cowboy with some lowlife trying to take advantage of him.

Pop has a very nice collection of burglar deterrent devices and he knows everything there is to know about each an
d every one of them. He can out-shoot me, and I'd bet he could out-shoot you. He was raised with three very competitive brothers. They probably had their first .22 LR's before they were out of diapers.

Pop spent several years as a motorcycle cop when I was a kid. A revengeful drunk driving c
lient took care of that career when he ran his big ol' Ford truck at full speed smack dab into the side of Pop and his motorcycle.

Pop flew over four lanes of roadway and landed in a ditch. He got a pin in his hip, several broken
bones, lots of cuts and bruises, and lots of weeks of therapy to learn to walk again. He also got a lifetime of pain. After that, Pop held a couple different positions at a couple different companies and then, retired. Now he's a full time fisherman and grandchild spoiler.

Nana can make a killer chicken and dressing
, but she's not fond of the bang bang, slice 'em up, side of things. Her parents had a huge garden and they canned and preserved from the time they could walk until the day they died. Anything they had in abundance was given to family, neighbors and friends. They'd give you the shirt off their backs.

Nana knows how to "put things up." She may have to reach way back in memory to get it done, after all, she spent thirty-nine years in a classroom. She's an energetic little thing who sp
ends forty minutes every day except Sunday on a treadmill, and about five hours every day cleaning house. She's a church goin' southern lady and she's also a grandchild spoiler.

My sister and her husband are stuck with my nephews in Bristol, Tennessee at a hotel near the big racing arena. She says the owners have boarded up all the windows at the street level and there's plenty of food in the kitchen
and plenty of drink at the bar. Their racing buddies are with them. They'll take care of one another. I know my sister can take care of her family. If you cross her, she will
take your lunch money

Rumor has it that the school re-opening will be delayed indefinitely. Amber and Carisa are not sad about that. They're spending time at the piano with Carisa trying to teach Amber a few things. She's picking it up quickly, the little sponge.

Anyway, there are numerous breakouts of the unknown illness in the cities and sporadic breakouts in the suburban and rural areas. Being bitten now carries a 100% infection rate. They are calling it HDI which is short for "Human Death Immunity."

Several trucks on the
Interstates have been ambushed. The drivers have been killed or beaten and the trailers have been emptied of all contents. Big rigs carrying food are now escorted from point A to point B by at least three armed law enforcement teams per truck. Big rigs carrying things other than food are left to their own demise.

The National Guard has been called to active duty over the entire USA. They're standing guard at highway exits, receiving docks of grocery stores, and other essential-living type businesses. This is still in the planning and staging process for many areas. Some
areas have it fully in place while others are just getting started.

Ten people are allowed into a grocery store with a limit of $50.00 per household to spend. After those ten leave, another ten are allowed in. There are
National Guard troops, taking down names and addresses and walking the aisles to make sure food doesn't accidently find its way into someone's waistband or coat pocket.

Food is being sold on a "cash only" basis. It doesn't matter if you have the biggest, baddest platinum card on earth. No cashy, no carry.

You can visit the grocery store once a week and add $25.00 to your weekly limit if you, or someone in your household, volunteers to join the National Guard.

othing, except food, is allowed to be delivered to the big super stores. Super Walmart and stores like it can sell only food. You can’t buy clothing items, personal hygiene items, or frivolous items. All areas of the stores that aren't dedicated to food have been barricaded or blocked off and guarded by National Guard troops. They believe that the stores will be easier to guard under these restrictions.

The pharmacies are giving a two week supply of all long term medications. You can't get your monthly supply
, or your ninety day supply. You can only get enough to last two weeks. There's no walk in traffic allowed. You must go through the drive up window, or walk up to the door at pharmacies without drive ups. The pharmacy techs meet you there wearing full HAZMAT gear.

You may buy one bottle of shampoo, one bar of soap, one container of deodorant, one tube of toothpaste, one box of feminine products or diapers, one four-pack of toilet paper,
and one razor per pharmacy visit. You can visit once every two weeks. Your total cost per visit for these items is $150.00, and that's in addition to the cost of your medications. Again, no cashy, no carry. I don't need any of this stuff. I have toilet paper in storage and I just picked up my ninety day medicine supply a week ago when I took Nana to pick up hers and Pop's.

The gas stations are closed. You must go to town hall to get your fuel. They have big gasoline tanker trucks there
, and you can pull up to some kind of rigged gas pump and get $20.00 of fuel per vehicle, per week. You cannot fill gas cans or any other containers. There are several tanker trucks there. Each truck has a different "flavor" of fuel. You guessed it, no cashy, no carry.

There's a small, temporary propane stand near the tankers. You can get your tank filled or buy a new tank already full. For some reason
, there’s no limit on the propane, but one of the little 20 lb canisters costs $200.00. Yep, you heard me right. No cashy, no carry.

There are many reports of people being bitten and
becoming HDI's in the cities. They "eliminate" these monsters with a bullet through the head or a bashing of the skull. It seems that no other wound will permanently disable them.

The bodies are being taken for observation and research
, but there’s so many of them that it's taking hours, and sometimes days, to get them off the streets where they lie oozing brain matter and other body fluids.

The authorities have no idea how many people and HDI's are hidden in little apartments, abandoned buildings, schools, and boarding houses throughout the city. There are plans to begin a door-to-door inspection
, but it's taking a lot of time and manpower to clear the streets. They don't know when they'll get to the door-to-door plan.

People are being advised to boil all water before using it for cooking or drinking, even if it comes directly from the tap. I suppose they're worrie
d that the delayed body pick up will cause leeching into the ground waters and poisoning of the water supply.

There was a "nest" of HDI's in the subway tunnels of N
ew York City. They were living in the tunnels and snatching unsuspecting passengers when they got the chance. These unlucky passengers were either turned into monsters, or eaten by the HDI's. The nest was discovered when several of the infected found their way out into the open and attacked waiting passengers.

The subway system in N
ew York City is now closed. They lost two NYC police officers while trying to clear out the nest. They believe they have the entire nest cleaned out, but it's possible that a few HDI's escaped or went further back into the dark tunnels than the officers were willing to go. As a result of the discovery, the decision was made by Pentagon officials that all subway systems in the country will be closed until they can be cleared of any hidden death traps.

The girls and I got three canners full of hamburger meat and two canners full of chicken done today. Tomorrow, we'll start on the turkey and ham that have been sitting in the sink, defrosting, for the last twenty-four hours.

Mick worked twelve hours today, writing code to prompt emergency phone calls and instructional calls to everyone in the nation with a telephone.

I'm dead on my feet from trying to get all the meat canned
, and I'm still recovering from my icky sinus infection.

Bye for now.



Thursday, January 2

Hey Ya'll. The phones and electricity are off.

I have a huge turkey and a huge ham thawed in the kitchen sinks. We might try canning them on the propane grill. Maybe the generator is strong enough to run the electric smoker.

Mick just looked over my shoulder and said "yes, the generator can run the smoker."

We heard sirens way off in the distance all night. I have no clue what's going on, but we were all up by 5:00 AM, trying to figure out what we should do next.

We have a doe missing this morning. Jason noticed her absence when he went out to feed
the herd. The fence is bent in one spot, but it hasn't been pushed down all the way to the ground.

There's no blood or hair on the barbed wire we have running along the top of the field fencing. We'll have to check along the
entire fence line, looking for evidence of something going over or digging under. I don't know whether to send the men out looking for her, or just lock the rest of the goats in the barn and hunker down.

dragging the generator out and getting it set up to run the smoker, refrigerator, TV, and my computer so we can get the news.

I'll write
later, if I can.


2:00 PM...

The electricity's back on. It came on right after Mick and Jason got the generator set up on the back deck.

They were in the back yard, chasing the neighbor's dogs who had come up to bark like crazy at the goats. I ran out to tell Mick that the power was back and I was just in time to see him slip down on his butt as a barking mutt dodged his reaching hand, but didn't run away.

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
2.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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