nodded, and pulled a machete from his belt. A quick downward stroke split the
of ours,” remarked Jules.
roamer then.” Marcus looked at the others. “Ideas?”
twins spread out, keeping watch.
a safe place to hide.”
demanded Jules. “I want to find the ones who did this.”
right,” said Marcus. “We don’t know enough, and it’s obvious there were a lot of
them. We’ll set up in town and go from there.”
took our weapons and ammunition,” added Sofie. “We’ll need to resupply.”
enough. Tara and Dale have been hoarding.”
twins turned to look at Marcus, the tiniest trace of respect in their eyes.
you know?” asked Tara.
houses you two search tend to have fewer guns than the ones others check. Can’t
be coincidence.” Marcus shook his head. “Never really cared, since we had no
shortage, so I didn’t tell the committees. But, please tell me they’re stashed
plenty,” confirmed Dale.
side note, you may have noticed that Marcus’s group consisted of eight people,
but when Lizzy, Mary, and I met him, there were only seven. That’s because
Jules is no longer around. The woman, who from what Marcus shared was a bit of
a firebrand and surprising deadly at Scrabble, fell victim to an unfortunate
accident in late February.
was in the basement of the building they were living in, attempting to fix the
furnace. The door was stuck, and she was having a horrible time with it. Eventually
the thing creaked open a few inches, and she grasped the edge with both hands,
pulling. The rusted metal unexpectedly gave way, sending her tumbling to the
floor. Any relief at finally being able to do something about the cold was
overshadowed by deep gashes on both palms. Still, they weren’t bleeding too
badly, so Jules shrugged off the injury and wrapped a bit of cloth about each,
figuring she’d clean them later.
a mistake. Hours passed, and when she finally bothered to tend the wounds, they
had turned a purplish black. Growing concerned, Jules attempted to wash them
out with soap, eliciting the aid of the others, all of whom agreed it was an
infection of some sort, and a fast moving one at that.
was woozy all evening, and her hands were throbbing fiercely. Marcus sent the
twins out looking for medicine, particularly antibiotics. Their pharmaceuticals
had been taken by the raiders. All that remained were basic pain killers. The
next morning, things looked even worse.
excursion was made, heading for some nearby towns. Sofie, her own health
collapsing, remained with Jules. Marcus succeeded in finding a drug store, and
while it had been previously looted, there were items left behind.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t helping. They managed to drive through the
heavy snowfall, but it was slow going with visibility severely limited and the
road treacherous. It took them three days to get back. Jules died in the
addition of seven newcomers from Martin resulted in several rapid and obvious
changes. Primary among these was the ability to actually get things done. To
start with, Tara and Dale Zablocki helped me expand the cache system we had
previously established. Instead of just keeping extra food and gear stashed
about the forest, we set up full scale resupply and evacuation stations.
these involved the placement of guns, ammunition, food, survival gear, and
extra clothing in large duffel bags which were deposited inside a car trunk.
All the vehicles used for this purpose were clearly wrecked, making it less
likely that anyone would bother searching them, and whenever possible we hid
the key to the trunk under the driver’s side floor mat to enable quick and
ready access. The intention was that anyone on the run or in dire straits would
have everything he needed in one