Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie (5 page)

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
9.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

There was no way those dogs w
ould come within reaching distance of Mick or Jason, but they wouldn't leave. They ran around with their tails waggin' and kept right on barkin' like it was a game.

Jason and Marisa's Bulldog, Opie, was taking a mid-afternoon nap and couldn't have cared less about the neighbor
’s dogs. He's no kind of guard dog and will run from strangers with his tail tucked up under him, the big wuss.

Anyway, I had an idea and pulled open the screen door to yell back into the house for Carisa and Amber to join me on the deck. Sure enough, as soon as those two girls started sweet talking those pooches, they came right up on the deck and we were able to get baling twine tied onto their collars so that we had some kind of leash on them.

Mick was cussing a blue streak and wiping goat poop and hay off his rear end. He took the dogs and loaded them in the back of his little truck. He tied the "leashes" to his big tool box and said he was taking them to town.

When he got back
, I found out that he had driven up to town hall, walked up to one of the officers guarding the fuel trucks, and handed the leashes to the man. Mick said "Here's two damn dogs that keep chasin' my livestock. Thanks for takin' 'em to the animal guy for me." He jumped in his little truck and headed home before the officer could close his gaping mouth.

He turned into the neighbor
’s driveway, got out of the truck, and knocked on the door. No one answered. He wrote a note on the back of an oil change receipt with one of Amber's "half melted but back to solid" crayons and stuck it in the screen door. The note said "Your dogs are at town hall and don't wanna come home."

Mick has found himself on the ground too much in the last few days. He's
sleeping in his favorite recliner, trying to snore the house in on himself. He's off work tomorrow and not going back 'til Monday.

We smoked the turkey, baked the ham, and packed it all up into jars to save for later use. We had almost two canners full of meat. That made me happy.


9:00 PM...

The electricity's still on and the phones are back. I called Nana to make sure they were doing okay, and they are.

She's worried about my sister and the boys. She hasn't heard from them today.

Last she heard, they were gonna drive back today in a "convoy." They were still shy of getting everyone's vehicle gassed up and were working it out. I told her they should all jump in a couple of those big motorhomes they have, pool their gas, and come home. They can go back to Bristol later for any vehicles or trailers they left. She said she would tell my sister that when she talks to her again.

I'm tired from my meat packin' day. I'm gonna read a few posts on the forums and lay down my weary head.

A couple of people on the forums actually think space aliens brought this unknown illness. I'm pretty darn sure that if there are such things as space aliens able to visit different planets, they're far smarter and more advanced than we are. They'd take one look at us and laugh as they jet off to some place with more desirable life forms. They might check up on us in a couple thousand years.

Mick and Jason are going out early
tomorrow morning to search for our missing doe and check the fence line.

Bye for now.



Friday, January 3

We found our doe, and then some. It was horrific and almost
bowel losing scary. She was... Well, I better just start from the top.

Jason went out to feed the goats this morning and came running back about ten seconds later
, screaming "There's a human kid in the barn, not a goat kid, a real human kid!" Mick tried to climb out of the recliner but was having trouble because Opie was laying half way across his legs and up onto his chest.

We looked around the breakfast table at one another like "what the heck?" Then
, I was up. I grabbed my jacket, and headed toward the barn. Marisa and Jason were close on my heels and Mick followed as soon as he got himself untangled from Opie.

Sure enough, right there in the corner of the barn stall, all mixed up with hay, was the cutest little boy I've ever seen.
When he saw us, he sat straight up, jammed his little thumb into his chest, and said "I Cab!" just as proud as you please. He giggled and snorted a little while wrinkling his eyes and smiling with his baby teeth shining. I couldn't wait to get in there and gather him up.

I went to open the gate and Mick grabbed my arm. He told me to be very careful and make sure there were no bite marks on the boy before I touched him. As soon as I swung the gate open
, “Cab” pointed to Marisa and said "You Momma!"

I approached him cautiously and couldn't see any bite marks. He looked chubby, pink, and fully alive. I noticed he was shivering a little but seemed too proud to let it show, even at his tender age. I held my arms out to him and he willingly came up and tried to crawl inside my jacket. I wrapped the sides of my jacket around him and held him close while heading for the house and the warmth inside.

He was dressed in nothing but a pair of soaked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle underwear and a camo t-shirt. There was hay in his blonde curls and a few "goat berries" stuck to the back of his t-shirt. Marisa and I got him undressed and into a warm tub. He played in the water like it was his every day routine. We finally got him out and put a pair of Amber's little panties on him (God forbid his future wife or drinking buddies ever see this diary). We dressed him in a pair of Amber's sweatpants and a little black t-shirt. The look was complete with a pair of Amber's socks, flopping off the ends of his little feet.

I remembered a visit I had last
spring from three little boys who lived in the new house back in the woods. The boys came through the woods to see the goats when they heard them calling for their afternoon meal.

They were cute little stair-step boys
, and the youngest was a blonde angel who looked like he was still trying to get his legs to work right. They had an older cousin with them, and he introduced himself and the boys. They played with the goats for a while and then went marching merrily back through the woods, swinging stick swords.

I was trying hard to pull the content of that conversation to the front of my brain and suddenly remembered the name of the blonde angel. "Are you Caleb?" I asked the boy. He vigorously nodded his head up and down
, He popped that little thumb back up to his chest and said proudly "I Cab! Momma uh boo boo! Unky Bo uh boo boo!" We stared at him for a good solid minute.

Marisa spoke first. "What does he mean? Do you think his mom is just sick, or maybe she has the virus? Who's Unky Bo?" she asked. "I have no idea"
I said, "but I'll bet Unky Bo’s an Uncle, and he has a boo boo along with Momma. We better take this little guy home and check on ‘em."

Mick just about came apart. There was absolutel
y no way on this green earth that he would allow Marisa and me to trudge through the woods alone, looking for Momma and Unky Bo. I told him it was possible that the boy just slipped away, and they might be out looking for him, so we needed get him back pretty fast.

After a few minutes of sorting it out
, we headed to the path and through the woods toward the new house along with Sam Colt of the 1911 .45 style and Mr. Winchester of the .30-30 Buffalo Bill Tribute style. Carisa kept Amber inside the house and locked the doors with strict orders not to open them to anyone.

When we got close to the house, Caleb started pointing and jumping around in my arms. He was yelling "Unky Bo! Unky Bo!" We looked in the
direction he was pointing and saw a man hobbling towards us, walking in a drunken-like swagger.

He was tall and wearing a nasty red flannel shirt with filthy blue jeans that were definitely wet. His face was as white as the driven snow
, and there were big red bubbles coming from the tear ducts of his flat black eyes. The skin on his face was hanging like he was 100 years older than he could possibly be. Half of his left ear was torn off and the flapping remains were swinging back and forth in rhythm with the hanging skin of his jowls. Dry, caked blood covered the side of his neck and disappeared into his shirt collar.

He was carrying something that looked like a turkey leg wrapped in a big ol' cloth napkin in his right hand
. His left hand was reaching toward us. He was making a gurgling sound in his throat, like he was gargling on a bite of whatever was in his hand. That left hand looked like it had been gnawed on by a squirrel or raccoon.

"I think we found Unky Bo" I said, turning my head towards Mick.

Almost immediately, Mick took Unky Bo out with a head shot from Mr. Winchester. I was shocked and Caleb was screeching. Mick wasn't fooling around.

"You and Rissa take yourselves back to the house now while Jason and I look for the rest of 'em!" Mick shouted at me, "and take the boy with you!" I could barely hear him because my ears were ringing from the loud gunshot that came from within three feet of my head.

It isn't in my nature not to argue but, after the sight of Unky Bo, I decided that Mick was right, especially since I didn't have my trusty Glock 17 with me.

I grabbed Marisa's arm and we jogged back down the path towards home. I just knew "Momma" was gonna jump out at us somewhere along the way, but we made it safely inside to the frightened Carisa and crying Amber who had heard the gunshot and was afraid of what might've happened.

I heard a goat fussing out at the barn. It was our missing doe and she was trying to get back in the gate. I handed Caleb off to Marisa and ran out there. I pushed the doe through the gate and ran back into the house. All I could do was pray.

Marisa had her hands full with a crying little boy who was arching his back, throwing himself around, and yelling loudly for Unky Bo. Sorry little one, Unky Bo won't be around anymore.

I tried to call 911 and got a busy signal. I looked for the number to the county police and tried to call them as well. "All circuits are busy, please try your call again later, for a charge of blah, blah, blah" echoed in my head while Marisa called out the number to the sheriff's department. I dialed, and someone answered!

The woman took my information and told me she would get someone out here as soon as possible
. She said she would notify child services about Caleb, but that was a lie. I could hear it in her voice.

For the life of me, I can't remember Caleb
's last name. I wanted to try and call some of his kinfolks. Maybe it'll come to me later.


11:45 AM...

been well over an hour since we left Mick and Jason at the new house in the woods. We heard two gunshots within fifteen minutes of getting inside but we haven't heard anything since. I'm worried. I want them back, and I want them back


12:15 PM...

, Nana's call got through to me. I almost jumped out of my skin when the phone rang.

She heard from my sister, Rona, today. I don't know how Rona got through to Nana
, but she was using her cell phone. The racing convoy made it as far as Chattanooga before they ran into a National Guard roadblock. All of their equipment, vehicles, and trailers were searched and a lot of things were "requisitioned" by the national guardsmen, including my fifteen-year-old nephews, Luke and Larson! I don't know about you, but I'd call that an involuntary draft, or more like… Kidnapping. Those boys are only fifteen, for Pete's sake!

The guardsmen took all the boys and girls that were over the age of fourteen as well as a couple of the "daddy's" who were under the age of thirty. This is a junior racing group. There were lots of kids in that convoy.

My brother-in-law, Kevin, tried to hold his boys back, but he was threatened with an M16, hit in the head with a club, and warned to stand back unless he wanted to die right there. GULP!

boys have been taken to some sort of training camp. The guardsmen assured my sister that they'll only be trained to help guard places like grocery stores, roadblocks, and other public places.

The racing convoy is not able to leave Chattanooga because all of their extra fuel has been "requisitioned" and all of the gas stations are closed. They've circled their motorhomes up in the Appalachians, somewhere near Lookout Mountain.

My nephews know where they are and those boys are very smart. Smart runs in our family.

My sister's a big ball of upset and fire-breathing furious. Nana and Pop are almost worried out of their minds and so am I, for that matter. I told Nana I'd try to call her back tonight to see if she's heard any more news.


12:45 PM...

Mick and Jason are still out there and I want them back bad! I hear footsteps on the porch. I'm going to see if it's them!

Be right back…

YAY! They're back. I gotta put some food in 'em and hear about what happened after Marisa and I skedaddled home. Then, I have to call Nana back.


5:00 PM...

Wait 'til you hear what happened! It is scary.
It’s very scary. Nope, its capital letters BIG BAD SCARY!

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
9.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

The Significant Seven by John McEvoy
Inescapable by Saskia Walker
Samantha James by His Wicked Ways
Her Special Charm by Marie Ferrarella
Star Struck by Halpert, Paige
Killer Cousins by June Shaw