February 5

Posted on: February 6, 2013

I intentionally waited to go next door until the afternoon; it gave them more time to clean things up, which was part of my plan.  Armed with surgical masks, sprayed with just a touch of perfume, John and I went next door.

Once again I called out.  It was a different person that answered the door; different yet the same.  Bobby was shaved, showered and had on clean clothes, and he smiled when he opened the door.  The smile quickly faded though.

“Come on in, you won’t believe what I’ve been hearing on the Ham,” he opened the door wide.  John and I put on our masks and went inside.  I’d never been in their home before, but the layout was typical of a mobile: small mud room entrance to block the weather, leading into the living room; which held the woodstove, a now silent flat screen TV, a couch with a floral sheet pulled over it, various end tables, and the Ham radio set up in a corner.  Off to the left was the small kitchen, made smaller by the battered table and two mismatched chairs; from there was the hallway along the outside wall that would lead to the bedrooms and bath.  A quick scan showed a pile of dishes still soaking in the crowded sink, but otherwise the countertops were clear and clean.

Just then Jane came from one of the back rooms and saw our masks.  She startled me: gone was the matted hair and vacant-eyed look, and there stood the woman I remembered.  Her shoulder length chestnut hair was clean and brushed, just barely sweeping the pink sweater she wore.  Her weight loss was more obvious with how the clean jeans hung on her hips.

“What’s with the masks?” she took a step back.

“I’ll be perfectly honest with you,” I started, “I wasn’t sure what we would find in here.  When I got close yesterday, it smelled pretty bad to me.  It’s not my intention to offend you, but we all do what we gotta do, ya know?”  At first I was going to play up the flu epidemic that still raged in town, but I decided on honesty with the flu as a backup.  “Besides, you probably don’t know about the flu epidemic in Moose Creek.  We just don’t want to take any chances.”

Jane nodded, “I know it was a mess in here.  I’ve been cleaning all day.  It was impossible to wash anything without water, and what little we melted we had to keep for drinking.”

Just then Bobby commanded our attention; he was tuning in his Ham.  “I was listening some last night and again this morning.”  He got very serious. “There’s a gang on 4-wheelers working their way up 695, heading this way.”

Oh, crap!!

6 thoughts on “February 5

  1. speaking optimistically of course. …see… Deborah covers up Jacob’s snow angels; Jacob is to cover all their windows; Jason booby-traps his house, John contrives a series of lures (empty gas cans, candy wrappers, etc to get the Bad guys to go there… Bad Guys try to enter/ransack Jason’s house, John & Co. take them all hostage & despoil the louts. Local LE says “you caught ’em, YOU house ’em!” hence a chain gang working snow removal BY HAND to keep the roads cleared. Hahahahahahahahah.

  2. hmmm.. a gang huh ? GOOD. prepare — then you’ll have new 4-wheelers, the gas that’s in them, new clothes & guns etc, & maybe even a little body jewelry thrown in for kicks.
    oh – feeding prisoners?
    not unless they work their tails off !

  3. I am reading Avalon, the retreat, and there are child eating bikers in it.. I do hope the gang on 4 wheelers in your story don’t eat children!

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