January 15

Posted on: January 16, 2013

After no answer from my sister yesterday, John and I went over to the school to check in with Gary.  I wish I hadn’t.  At least John didn’t see what I did.

Fully gloved and armed with my N99 respirator, I made my way to the gym area.  It was horrible.  The six cots from the emergency storage locker at the fire hall were set up and full, along with countless mattresses lined up on the floor.  I counted twenty beds.  People were coughing, wheezing, moaning; one was having a seizure of some kind.  I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there, taking it all in.  That’s when I noticed the one mattress on the floor off to the side: several lay on it, none were moving.  My eyes went to a movement near the front: Gary had lifted his head off the table where he’d been napping.

He saw me and motioned for me to come closer.  “Just don’t touch anything,” he commanded.  I nodded, and held up my double gloved hands knowing he could see the two different colors of gloves, which was intentional.  I stepped closer.

“Are you sick?” His eyes were blood-shot, but he shook his head no. “Have you slept? Eaten?”  More no.  “You can’t help anyone, Gary, if you don’t take care of yourself first!”

“There’s no food to eat, and every time I close my eyes, someone else dies.”

“How many so far?” I really didn’t want to know.

“Pete’s mom was the first.  He hasn’t come back since he buried her yesterday.” He took a struggled breath thru his mask. “Five more since then.  The worse is the kids: two of them.” Gary’s voice broke on that.

I made a decision; even though I wasn’t going to offer any more food from my storage, Gary had to eat.  “I’ll be back within an hour.” And I left, knowing we would be ok without a case or two of Ramen noodles.


When Gary asked where I got the food, I lied.  I said I’d gotten some supplies from Marquette.  I guess he didn’t really care as long as he had something hot to fill the emptiness.


That was yesterday, and I still can’t get it out of my head: Half of the town was sick and dying. Dying!  I see that mattress with unmoving bodies in my sleep; only in my sleep the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

John had to wake me a couple of times during the night to pull me out of the nightmares.

3 thoughts on “January 15

  1. Nightmares. I hadn’t thought about nightmares if something bad happens. I have nightmares when everything is fine. Actually they are night terrors. My husband wakes me up when I start screaming.

  2. The realism is just a wee bit disturbing, but in a good way… kind of helping prepare the way of what MIGHT happen to any or all of us, and gives one much to think about, while encouraging a double and triple check of preps… I am glad story Deborah has John to help her out of a nightmare 🙂

  3. Wow. That’s unfortunately far too realistic. Good for your character to be able and willing to help others.

    I remember in my early 20s living on ramen, with addition of veg-all and an egg. I survived. Worth stocking up on more.

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