Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie (9 page)

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
13.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I feel like a criminal
, planning my next heist. It's causing a little upset in my tummy.

The remainder of this day will be spent planning our loot run and moving stuff to the attic so we'll have room for anything we bring home. I told
Mick we need more outbuildings for storage and he just looked up at me and said "check," before he went back to planning with Jason and Pop.



Tuesday, January 7

It's pouring down a cold rain outside and we can't go lootin'. I'm depressed and disappointed. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.

I feel bleh.



Wednesday, January 8

It's still raining
, but has slowed to a cold misty drizzle. It's the kind that makes you feel like you are sittin' in a steam room, and the steam is really cold and hurts your lungs a little.

running around, trying to find a spot for anything that's non-essential so we'll have room for our loot if we ever get the chance to go. The attic’s getting full. I hope it doesn't fall in on us.

We're having an
early supper tonight. Mick has the pork roast we took from Caleb's house on the grill. We'll make cornbread muffins in Nana's motorhome oven and heat up some of my home canned carrots and red baby potatoes on her stove top.

For dessert, we'll have a loaf of zucchini bread that I baked and froze a couple of months ago. I'll let it thaw in the motorhome 'cause I think it's too cold in the house to get it completely thawed. I might put it on the hearth
, near the fire.

We can snack on the remainder of
the loaf or a bowl of popcorn if we get hungry later in the evening.

Mick and Pop
headed to town hall to try for one of the tanker trucks before we eat. We found out that Pop has experience driving a big rig but it was a long time ago. He says it'll be like riding a bike and it'll probably come right back to him. I'm in charge of watching the pork roast while they're gone.

n's quiet today. I wonder what’s bothering him. He's in the deer stand again. I'll bet he needs to look for his son. He's been watching Caleb play with hot wheels cars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures. Yep, I'm pretty sure that he needs to find his son.

We'll have another family meeting tonight and plan to go out tomorrow, good Lord willing, to start our looting. We'll probably
head to the pharmacies first, then food places, and then Lowe's if we have time and all goes well.

Hopefully, Mick and Pop will be able to get one of the tankers this afternoon.

Nana's plans to make muffins for us to take as "breakfast on the run." we'll have coffee, Gatorade, juice, or water in our thermoses. That woman has endless energy. .

I'm going
out to the living room and get into a game of "Go Fish" with Amber. I might write more tonight, or I might not. It depends on whether the generator is running and if I feel like it. I'm not writing anything out by hand tonight.

wanna sleep in the room with Carisa tonight. I'm missing her, even though she is right here in the house. I want to make sure she's staying strong and able to deal with the position we find ourselves in.

3:30 PM...

I heard a horn tootin' really close to the house and rushed to the front door to see the beautiful vision of a big tanker truck coming up the driveway with my favorite Chevy S10 following. We have a tanker truck! I'll have my computer and foot heater, and we can keep the 'fridge running for a while.

parked the tanker behind the house. Mick says it isn't full, but it's pretty close to three-quarters. It's the flavor we need to run the vehicles and the generator. Woo hoo!

They found
four 20lb propane tanks, so Pop can sleep in the motorhome and we can use the propane grill.

Mick said there's another tanker truck there, and they think it has diesel fuel. They'll try to get it in the morning before we go looting. We'll park it in the front yard because the back is getting a little crowded. Mick says he'll put it up against the tree-line and cover it with camo netting and tree branches. We don't have any smaller diesel vehicles
, but we can loot some!


9:00 PM...

Jason and Marisa
moved the rest of their clothing and food up from the trailer while Pop was parking and admiring the monster tanker. They left all the furniture and non-essential things. We have plenty of furniture here and at Caleb's house, but we could use another bed or two. I just don't know where we'd put them.

Amber and Caleb are already asleep on pallets in front of the fireplace. I
had them put the pallets a good distance back, just in case a spark was to jump out and ignite a fire. We have the screen up, but anything is possible. Carisa says she'll sleep on the couch out there tonight, because it's cold in her bedroom.

We h
eld our meeting and decided that, while Pop and Mick head out before dawn tomorrow to try for the diesel tanker, Nana and Carisa will be packing up the muffins and filling the thermoses for our first lootin' trip.

They'll also pack
four backpacks with stuff like instant oatmeal, dry soup mix, Kool-Aid mix, chocolate bars, coffee, bottled water, matches, and a few other things, in case any of us need to abandon ship and run for the hills. The backpacks will hold a little ammo for each gun we're taking. They'll all be filled the same, so we can just grab one and go.

Mick's afraid to leave the property without a man left behind to guard it, so Pop and Nana will be staying behind with Carisa, Amber, and Caleb.

Pop says he won't outfit us with new weapons yet because we need to practice with them before we can count on ourselves and each other to use them properly.

We'll t
ake Mr. Colt and Mr. Winchester along with my Glock 17 and a cute little Walther P22 we keep hidden in the garage. Mick wants to pull his AR-15 out of the gun safe, but he hasn't decided whether he'll take it or not.

We're also taking a couple of heavy flashlights in case we need to use 'em in dark places, or
to bonk someone over the head. It's cold as the dickens outside, so we'll be wearing our big coats, hats, scarves, and gloves along with our most comfortable pairs of heavy duty boots.

We're hitting the pharmacies first, and then heading to anyplace that might have food. We will take... hold that thought. I hear yelling out front... something about a guy...


11:55 PM...

We have a guest.

Jason interrupted my typing earlier by screaming "There's a guy out here on the porch!" Mick and I grabbed the kids, practicall
y threw them into Carisa's room, and told them to lock the door. Mick grabbed Mr. Winchester and we and headed for the front door.

It was a pitiful sight. On the porch near the door was a young man lying on his side in a fetal position and shivering up a storm. He was soaked to the skin.

Mick and Jason brought him into the living room and laid him on the pallet the kids made. We wouldn't have discovered him 'til morning if Jason hadn't been up with his insomnia when he heard a noise out front. I wanted to smack him in the head for opening the door without telling Mick, but he'd let Tig and Opie out for a potty run a few minutes prior and thought they were ready to come back inside.

The "guy" has been
severely beaten. His face is bruised and covered in dried blood underneath his swollen nose and down the sides of his mouth. His lips are split on top and bottom. Both eyes are bruised and his left eye is puffed up so much that it's almost completely shut. He's peeking out at us with a big, brown right eye that looks distant and confused. He's barely coherent and seems to be suffering from hypothermia along with his injuries.

He's wearing a thin button up shirt that's
torn almost to shreds. His jeans are so filthy that I can't tell if they're blue, or black. He's wearing a black Converse sneaker and sock on one foot, and a filthy, shredded sock on the other.

He has nicks, cuts, scrapes, and bruises all over
his body. Mick and I undressed him completely to look for bite marks. We found none, but he's covered in bruises.

We washed him up and put some antibiotic ointment on his cuts and some deodorant in his pits before we put him in a pair of Jason's sweat
pants and a thick, long–sleeved shirt.

He's a long, tall glass of water and the sweatpants are too short for him.
We moved him onto the couch, then covered him with a big fleece blanket which was already there since Carisa was asleep on the couch before the ruckus. He kept on saying "hep me, hep me God."

We stood back for a look at him. Marisa added a qu
ilted throw on top, put his old clothes in a plastic bag, and set them out on the porch.

We headed to the kitchen for a mini-meetin
g to decide what to do about him.

Marisa knows him. He "was" a cousi
n by marriage to her ex-husband, and his name is Jeremy Caldwell. His side of the family split off from her ex's side, so he isn't a cousin by marriage anymore.

Marisa says he's a really nice kid and swears that she's not
gonna let him die or send him back out into the cold, even if she has to cut her food portions in half to feed him. She has a hard time seeing anything suffer, man or beast, and she can get very dramatic about it. She thinks he's twenty, or twenty-one, years old by now. I have no idea in the world how, or why, he ended up on our front porch.

We heated some chicken noodle soup over the fire and tried to get him to drink the broth. He took a few sips, and one bite of the noodles, before he shut his mouth and shook his head against anymore. I gave him one of my heavy duty pain pills, praying he isn't allergic to it. He finally took a few more sips and is now sleeping soundly. The shivering has stopped.

Marisa's sleeping on the pallets tonight, so she can keep an eye on Jeremy. Mick made her put the Walther P22 under her pillow.

Mick's sitting in the rec
liner, going in and out of sleep, while trying to help Marisa keep an eye on Jeremy.

Caleb, Amber, and Carisa are sacked out in Carisa's bed under two blankets and a thick comforter.

I'm going back to bed and try to figure out where we'll put Jeremy. It's a fact that Mick will not allow a twenty-year-old, unrelated, good looking kid of the male variety sleeping in the same house as our beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter.

I hope the crack of dawn sleeps in a little tomorrow, 'cause when it appears
, Pop will be in here to call us out of bed for the looting run. I told Carisa to keep her bedroom door locked and I'll do the same. I'm nervous and excited, but I'm also scared.



Thursday, January 9

We didn't need Pop to wake us up this morning. The whole house was rudely awakened when a blood curdling scream came out of Jeremy about 4:30 this morning. I ran to the living room and saw Mick standing, swaying, and half asleep beside the recliner. His hair was sticking out all over the place and he had Mr. Winchester in his hand. Marisa was sitting on the floor beside the couch with her hand on Jeremy's shoulder, trying to comfort him.

Jason was banging into the walls, half asleep,
as he came down the hallway. Carisa was still in her room, behind the locked door with the kids.

Opie and Tig were doing pee pee dances and Pop was banging on the back door for us to let him in, which we finally did. He was ticked off about how long it took. He looked at us and Jeremy, listened to a short explanation from Mick, and without a word went tromping back to the motorhome where his warm bed was waiting.

Jeremy turned his head toward me and said, clear as can be, "sorry, I had a bad dream." I guess it's true what they say about young people bouncing back fast. Oh Lord, thank goodness he's coherent, but I'm having a hard time forgiving him for waking us with a screaming alarm clock.

Jeremy's in a lot of pain
, but he is absolutely starving. He ate two muffins and an apple along with a tall glass of milk before I could get the water pot off the fire in order to make coffee. Caleb and Amber were having fun "feeding him." Carisa looks like she couldn't care less one way or the other. She grabbed an ink pen and a Word Find book, and plopped herself into Mick's recliner.

As we were having coffee, Jeremy started looking paler that he already was. He half crawled, half stumbled out the door to call Ralph all over my big ol' heirloo
m rose bushes. I found the mess, and almost called Ralph myself, when I stepped out for a cigarette. He ate too fast. I knew it was bound to happen when I saw him scarfing that stuff down.

I gave him another pain pill and water to wash it down. I told him
that I wanted to hear what happened, but I had to get ready to go out lootin'. He looked at me like I was crazy and sank himself back down into the blankets, moaning, and holding his stomach.

I thought Nana would look after him while we were out, but Pop said Nana was staying in the motorhome and that he would watch Jeremy.

BOOK: Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
13.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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