Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie (59 page)

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
13.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I felt like I was in a vacuum and the gunshots outside were far away. I realized I was hyperventilating and had to employ old breathing techniques to get
my panic attack under control.

I laid there in the dirt, breathing in my nose and out my mouth, listening to gunfire and trying to direct my mind toward more pleasant thoughts. I was in the middle of the wonderful memory of Amber's birth when I suddenly realized the gunfire had stopped and t
he bus was no longer bouncing.

I could hear calm voices outside
, and started screaming “Get me the hell outa here!” I heard surprise in one of the voices when it started yelling “mrr bll mm rrr wyy.”

Suddenly, HDI faces were moving again. They were traveling
away from me. It was surreal.

Mick looked underneath the bus. “You in there?” he asked. I banged my head on the undercarriage getting out from under that bus and into his arms. I was covered in dirt and black oil, and probably looked like an HDI myself. Mick didn't care. He wrapped me in his arms and gav
e me the best kiss of my life.

One of the young men from the Gypsy Trader group was lost to HDI's. He was new to the group and had only been with them for
two weeks. His name was Dawson and he had just turned twenty-one. They buried him in the dark, surrounded by HDI bodies.

Valerie has a long scratch on her arm and it looks inflamed. Hisa practically threw antibiotics down her throat and dragged her to Clinic Diane to clean the wound. Valerie doesn't know whether an HDI got her
, or if she scratched it on a sharp edge from the bus.

Isaac was inside the bus with five women and girls including Hisa. He and two of the women ran from window to window with rifles and pistols
, shooting HDI's and trying not to shoot anyone else.

Luke, Larson, and Deuce climbed the trailer fence and stood on top. They methodically took out HDI's using the scopes on their rifles. Luke said he took
. The other two boys said they didn't keep count of how many they took out but they're sure it's more than fourteen.

Pop shoved Nana through the gate and took cover behind the fence. He shot from there. He said he was sure he got more than
fourteen. He grinned and ruffled Luke's hair.

Rona, Josie, Lisa, and Marisa took cover in the old Peterson shed an
d shot HDI's from the doorway.

Mick, Jason, Dane, Shawna, Soo, Rick and Ian were running all over the place, shooting with both rifles and pistols. Their eyes were wide and red rimmed. They had outrageous amounts of energy and they were flushed and breathing fast from the excitement of battle.

Dane has a new “club” that he took from a policeman HDI's body. It has a handle and looks pretty darn mean.
He's in love with the thing.

The fence work will wait until cleanup is finished tomorrow.

I took a shower in Pop's motorhome and he didn't stop me. It took almost half a bottle of Dawn dish soap to get all the oil off my body and out of my hair. I smell like a freshly washed fryin' pan.

We didn't have our meeting about the Gypsy Traders. I don't know what anyone thinks of the idea. I guess I'll find out tomorrow

I'm gonna hit the bed and pray
for no more days like today. I think I'll follow up on that kiss Mick gave me.

Bye for now.



Thursday, March 27

I woke up this morning and realized it's Lisa's birthday. I
made a butterscotch cake and hid it in the dining room cupboard before everyone arrived. I still need to add frosting, but it has to cool completely so the frosting doesn't run off. I'll use butterscotch frosting and it'll be a butterscotch smorgasbord. Shawna said that Lisa loves butterscotch.

Rick brought Lisa's gift inside this morning. That sucker weighs a good 30 or 40
pounds. It's sitting beside my computer desk and I have no idea how to wrap it. I definitely don't have a gift bag large enough. I think I'll cover it with ribbons and bows tied to all the little straps and pockets.

The men are doing clean-up.
I'm pretty sure several of them have already lost their oatmeal. Soo and Rick have taken one load of bodies to the power lines already.

We haven't seen the Gypsy Traders yet. They're still at the bottom of the hill. The women all agreed that we should let them stay here. The men have yet to voice their opinions but I'm sure we'll hear from them by lunch.

Jesse and Elaine both came in for breakfast. Elaine looks a lot better and her eyes were clear. She hustled and bustled around the kitchen like it was any other morning.

Jesse told Jeremy that he
wants to go out for hay today. His stature has changed. He's standing straight up and carrying his grandfather's rifle. He kissed his mom on the cheek and told her to stay on the compound before he went out the door. I saw him glance toward Dane and nod before he ran across the lawn to meet Jeremy at the driveway. They turned right when they got through the gate.

Shawna asked Ian to take her on a mission this morning because she wants to get something special for Lisa's birthday.

Lisa loves blackened fish, so Rick and Shawna are going fishing in a lake nearby.

Shawna says she's never made Cajun blackened bass or trout and hopes it'll be good. They usually have Cajun blackened salmon for Lisa's birthday but, alas, salmon don't live in the middle of Alabama.

Anyway, I bet we'll all love it.

She plans to re-hydrate onion slices and chopped peppers and mix them with rice. She'll cook the rice and then fry it with the onions in a lot of butter and spices.

Pop brought in another load of fava beans this morning and I handed them to her and said “here, let's have these with it.” She thought it was a great idea. Carisa and Merry helped shell them and get them ready for cooking while Ian was gathered up fishing equipment and made sure the Jeep was in tip-top shape. He had a spring in his step. Either he's extremely happy to get out of body loading duty, or he likes Shawna a lot. I'm betting on the latter. She's only 18 and he’d better watch out for this Momma Bear!

Dessert tonight will be birthday cake. My mouth is watering.

I'm heading out to frost the cake and talk to Mick about a little side trip for Lisa's birthday. I'm hoping we can take Lisa and Shawna to their grandfather's house to gather whatever they wanna bring back. I also wanna check out the attic. Ian said he'd have Shawna back before lunch.

We'll do laundry when the men come in from cleaning up HDI bodies. I don't wanna wash those clothes with any of our other clothes. I'll probably wash them twice for good measure..

See ya later,


4:30 PM...

Jeremy and Jesse brought home two loads of hay for a total of six big round bales. They probably weigh 700-800 lbs each and they had to use boards from the barn to roll them up onto the trailer.

They said there are fifteen more round bales at the farm. They'll head back for more and check out the house while they're at it. Six more round bales will fill up one of the trailers in the trailer fence. We can stuff a few square bales on top and around them.

Isaac and the Gypsy Traders came up the hill before lunch. They asked us to gather around
. They had something to say.

Isaac spoke for them all when he thanked us from the bottom of his heart. He said a special “thank you” to Hisa for trying so hard to save Samuel. I was glad to hear that. Hisa is extremely tough and
hardworking, but I think I saw tear in the corner of her eye.

He said that the group has decided to “continue doing what they do” but would appreciate it if they could consider Kapper Hill
Compound as their home base. We all thought that was a great idea and immediately took a standing vote. It was unanimous. Kapper Hill is now home base to the flower-covered Gypsy bus.

Everyone shook hands while Nana and Rebecca threw together tuna sandwiches for the lot of us. The “Gypsies” had to be coaxed and coerced, but they agreed to stay for lunch.

We ate outside on the porch because the men had HDI goo on their pants. Their shirts were actually pretty clean. Rick suggested early on that they cover themselves with big green garbage bags before body cleanup. I was happy to see that.

Lunch was over and everyone was saying
goodbye when I saw movement beside the path to Marisa's house. I immediately screamed “DANGER!” and pointed to the edge of the path.

All of us pulled our weapons and aimed them straight toward the swaying bushes.

Larson's face was bright red when he stepped out of the bushes pulling one of the gypsy girls by the hand. “No danger here” he said “just teenagers.”

The men burst out laughing and a few of the women joined them. Rona and Nana didn't think it was one bit funny
, and the last time I saw Larson he was being led by the scruff of his neck toward his parent's motorhome.

Anna, the gypsy girl, giggled and skipped across the grass to join the rest of her group. They headed down the hill, boarded their bus, and waved out the windows as they pulled away. Isaac said to expect them back within 10-12 days.

Fence work didn't happen today. The men spent the entire day cleaning up HDI bodies. They're at the power lines, unloading the last of them right now.

Mick and
I took Lisa and Shawna to their grandfather's home so we could check out the attic and let them gather whatever they wanted to bring back. We took the Jeep and headed back to the little neighborhood.

re were a lot more HDI's in the neighborhood. They were walking in and around houses, and along the sidewalk and street. Mick and I shot HDI's while Shawna drove the Jeep into the garage and pulled the door closed.

HDI's began
coming out from around the houses and heading toward the sounds of our gunfire. We were still shooting when Shawna and Lisa opened the front door to let us in. I told all three of them to grab anything they wanted as long as it would fit in the Jeep because we may never be able to return.

Mick and Shawna cleared the house as Lisa and I waited in the living room. It's beautiful in there. It isn't overly fancy
, but it’s decorated with high quality, cozy furniture in one small seating area and more elaborate formal furniture in the other. The piano was calling Lisa's name and she lovingly ran her hand across the keys.

Shawna stuck her head through the doorway
and told us the house was clear.

We split up into two groups and agreed that we'd place whatever we planned to take in the game room where the garage entrance was located. Shawna and Lisa headed in one direction and Mick and I headed to the attic.

That attic is huge. I believe the finished part covers the entire house. There were items all around as I stepped through the door, but my eye landed immediately on a well-used cook stove in the far left corner. We need that cook stove for Marisa's house. We'll have to go back for it because we had no way to get it out of there and nothing to carry it in even if the four of us could get it down the stairs. I knew right away that wasn't possible.

We found an old grain mill that looks to be in working condition. We also found a big metal plow. Yep, a big metal plow in the attic of Mr.
Wilson’s house. I was amazed. Mick said the plow would have to be left behind to travel with the cook stove.

There was a lot of clothes in plastic bags along with old handmade quilts, blankets, an
d comforters. We took them all.

There were two beds with trundles and I thought they would be
good for our little wooden buildings. Again, they'll have to wait.

I was almost ready to leave the attic when I noticed a trunk against the wall behind a rack of clothes. I pushed the clothes aside and opened the trunk.

Silver and gold was in that trunk. A LOT of silver and gold. There were gold and silver bars, coins, jewelry, and flatware. The trunk was so heavy that Mick couldn't lift it.

I grabbed suit
cases and tried to divide up that precious metal into manageable weights, I stood at the top of the carpeted stairs and slid them down to Mick who was waiting at the bottom to catch them. He spent quite a bit of time hauling them to the game room.

I went downstairs and waited with Mick in the game room for Shawna and Lisa to finish up.

Mick and I discussed the value of what we'd just found. It's very possible that precious metals will be used as currency in the post-apocalyptic world. Many things can be made from silver and gold. Mr. Wilson had just blessed us again. The first blessing we received from him was Shawna and Lisa.

The girls entered the room with bags full of
their personal belongings hanging on both shoulders, as well as several suitcases in their hands. The last things they grabbed were old, worn out, photo albums from a book shelf in the fancy end of the living room.

We knew we wouldn't have enough room in the Jeep to carry what we'd found and fit the four of us inside as well.

Shawna suggested that we lay down the back seats and load everything into the rear. She and Lisa would make a run for the gold BMW still sitting in the driveway. She said there should be plenty of gas to get it back to the compound. We all agreed to her plan and began loading the Jeep.

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
13.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Waxwork by Peter Lovesey
Mission Compromised by Oliver North
Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien
Compulsive (Liar #1) by Lia Fairchild
The Bachelorette Party by Karen McCullah Lutz
Truth by Tanya Kyi