View Full Version : The Last Man in Suburbia (Ch 3)

December 2nd, 2019, 01:21 AM
The Last Man Back to Camp

Well, that didn’t work out well. At all.

At least they didn’t beat the crap out of me, like they did to our guy that stole the guns. Liam, I think that was his name. They found us about six hours after we left the survivor camp (they’re calling it Camp Liberty now). There were seven of us. Now, we’re all back. Involuntarily recalled, so to speak.

At first, one of the guys that found us wanted to kill us. We all freaked and asked why they couldn’t just lock us up. They reminded us that we were all living in tents, snarkily added they hadn’t set-up a “jail tent” yet. Instead, they just took back all of the food and gear we swiped, stripped us to our drawers, and brought us back tied-up. Man' it was cold. They sat us down in the mud in the center of camp. A few folks sneered, but most just ignored us.

The big bearded guy told us that labor was valuable, so he was going to keep us. But the next “infraction” would result in a hot iron branding. Was he serious? God, these people are savages. I’m going to get names and report every one of them. After this is all over, of course.

The plan for the seven of us “escapees” was simple. We took some food, tools and a gun with clips in the middle of the night. I picked out a good looking spot on a nearby mountain. Yes, I was the leader. It was my idea to leave this fascist pit, and I am the most educated. Over the last few days I recruited other survivors from the camp. I could tell those with potential, that looked opressed and under-utilized like me.

I already mentioned Liam. He was a veteran (two years in the Air Force), and knew a lot about guns (he played war games like Airsoft). He was mad that the camp wasn’t using him for their security detail. Skylar was smart like me (he’s an account executive), and I knew I’d need a good 2nd in command. The other four just looked healthy and bored. Jessica said she learned to cook well as a trustee in juvenile hall. And Tiffany was just hot. We were going to rebuild society, and needed good genes. And here jeans were very nice.

Most everybody started complaining about 15 minutes after sneaking out of camp. I told them to keep their voices down, but they retorted that this was a democracy. We took a lot of breaks. I saw one of the guys (Aiden?) throwing cans of food to the side, saying they were too heavy. I picked them up.

We had been walking for a while, and I decided we should take a break. I mean, we voted on it. Liam volunteered to take first watch. He put some leaves and twigs into his pockets and collar for cammoflauge. We all went to sleep quickly. I think I heard Jessica snoring before I dozed off.

The sun was already up when I was awakened to the sound of Liam whimpering as he was being pummeled. The camp guys that had found us were laughing and berating him the whole time. They said he was an idiot for falling asleep, and not knowing the difference between a “blackout” and a “five five six” magazine. They threw his rifle back to him and taunted him.
“Go ahead, pull the trigger. Dumbshit.”

Liam started crying, and they stopped beating him. But they kept laughing. Between guffaws they explained that in six hours, we had walked in circles, and were only a mile from camp.

I don’t know what to do now. I don’t feel like I can stay here, but as much as I hate to admit it, I don’t think I can make it “out there”. I’m usually so good at strategic planning. But things are different now. I just wish we could go back to normal. I was due for promotion to unit manager before all this happened. I think my A6 is overdue for it’s oil change.

So I’m back to carrying water for the camp. Some guys are digging a trench and working on a kind of screw (Archimedes?) to move the water more efficiently. Sometimes, I wish I had taken up engineering. But the money in software was so good. And the work is easy. I wonder how my 401k is doing? Probably took a hit with all this crazy going on. Darn.

The big bearded guy sat me down to talk after my shift. He re-introduced himself as Al (I had forgotten his name). He told me the others in The Council wanted to banish the seven of us, but he stuck-up for us “mutineers”. He explained that there were “Sheep”, “Sheepdogs” and “Wolves”. He told me “no offense”, but me and many others at the camp were sheep (whatever). He explained that the few that were natural leaders and knew real skills were sheepdogs.
Then, he looked me steely in my eyes and said that there are wolves out there. A lot of them. And the numbers are growing. He said people like me, on our own, would get eaten alive by the wolves. Maybe literally. Food was getting scarce.

He surprised me by asking what my plans were. I was so busy hating “Camp Liberty” I hadn’t thought much about it. I then surprised myself by blurting out that I should probably find my wife and kids.

I swear Al’s jaw dropped. He then stammered / asked why in the Hell didn’t I say something earlier. I didn’t have a good answer. Anyway, he said that they are forming SARs (Search and Rescue) units to go look for survivors. He asked where they last were, and I told him just north of Sommerville, on Gaits Road, I thought. Al then asked for the address, which of course was on my phone. He palmed his face, shook his head then mumbled that they would try to find them.

I don’t know what he was frustrated about. It wasn’t my fault my phone was dead.

Al unfolded a big paper map (really?!) and looked it over for a minute. He then told me that I should go eat and get some rest. I felt bad at that moment, but I can’t exactly explain why.
Before I left, I turned and asked what Al did, before this “Shit Hit The Fan” thing.

“People don’t usually talk about that now, seeing how unimportant it is. But I’ll tell you. I was a wastewater management worker. I pumped shit. I just moved from one world of shit into another. Welcome to my world.”

I think I stood there for a few seconds, processing. I don’t think I like that Al guy, but I think I trust him. I don’t know why.

I was just thinking about my blog on paper here. I’m thinking later that I would probably make for a real marketable story. I’ll have to do my research, find a good publisher and all. I don’t know how much money I could make off it. Serialized blog, monetization. People are always looking for uniqie and interesting stories. Just a thought.
Caleb Johnson, author. Famous author. Has a nice ring to it. I'd sell the shit out of this on Amazon. I might have to do some editing though. I think some of what I wrote doesn’t make me look too good.

But history is written by the winners. And I’m a winner.