Arklay: Day 24, 2016
So many people nearly died yesterday. Once, it could of been me or some other girl. Couple other times, I could of very nearly killed folks I knew. This is gonna be quite a long and twisted story.
It starts off okay. Was about on the street, salvaging, when I saw a man standing outside the Hardware Store. Had this little table setup with water, notepad, a bit of painted wood with his name: Hiram.
That guy’s owner of the Hardware Store. When he took the place over, prices skyrocketed way the hell up. That’s what I’m told anyway. Wasn’t really around long enough to know how things were before he came along. Things was cheaper, as I hear on some accounts, and turn around on selling things was a bit better. By that word of mouth, it’s why I been a bit resistant to barter away the good stuff I find to them.
But, back to Hiram though. He’s a nice guy, I guess. Didn’t come off creepy or obsessed. Maybe he ain’t the sharpest tool in the Hardware Store. I mean that in a nice way-a “bless his heart” kind of way.
Let me explain here. Hiram’s got a bid for a spot on city council. I grilled him with some easy questions. I’m talking, real slow and easy pitches. He answered them all directly, but didn’t quite have a plan on how to get things done. Gonna fix the trade and water distribution, he said. Didn’t know how, he said. Said however, he knows folks pretty well that can do the job though. Well, that’s great and all, but if you gonna help lead this place you gotta get things done yourself.
On a positive note, Hiram was giving away free water. That counts for some points in my book. Let me just not that here. Hiram has one point. Let me just add another point for at least him trying. That’s two points now.
I’ll have to meet some of the other candidates soon to really make a decision on who to vote for. I’ve no idea who the others are, except for by name.
After meeting Hiram, ran into Adrianne out on the road. Something about her just seemed really down. Couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was her injuries? She looked fine though. Was walking around pretty okay. Sniped a couple of dead ones walking our way with ease. My guess is, she wasn’t hurting physically. Something in her head must be bogging her down. Didn’t quite learn what that was though.
So, there we was, getting along famously with these dead folks passing by when this dog shows up. Something was off about the critter. Was all covered in blood, acting crazy. Didn’t even go for the food Adrianne tossed at it. Not at first, anyway. Instead, it made a beeline right toward us.
Was about ready to strike the thing down with my wrench, when Adrianne called me to stop. What happened next was some real dog whisperer realness. She soothed that dog with words and easy gestures. Eventually, it wasn’t so wild and took to eating the food. As he was doing so, she looked the dog over. Had some sort of injury on its head, but likely most of blood on that dog wasn’t even his.
Feeling pity for the poor thing, Adrianne took it upon herself to claim the creature. She charmed it to follow her all the way back to the Eights. I tagged along.
Got a little mixed up in the place after I passed the gates. There’s a guy there, Pepe, who takes all your weapons. Took me awhile to hand over everything I got and by the time I was done Adrianne and the dog were gone. Wasn’t easy finding them again. I must of walked into two, maybe three apartments with their doors open before finding them!
They was waiting for me to arrive, I guess, before anything happened. Nice of them. Out on the balcony we went and Adrianne took to washing that dog off. Seemed a bit resistant at first, but it soon took a liking to her help. After getting cleaned up, that dog looked pretty normal. Still a bit skittish though, but calmed down. Even was clam enough to get an improvised collar and tag around its neck.
As she was bathing the dog, Adrianne mentioned she got a man. Ein’s his name. He’s a farmer. They kind of live separate lives, but consider themselves together. They both live on opposite ends of the Eights. Got some kind of an open relationship going on between them.
From down below, there came a voice reminding us the quiet hour comes soon. Guy was kind of a scrappy looking fellow. Thin, dressed in only dirty overalls. Hadn’t seen this man before, but Adrianne pointed out it’s the man she was just talking about.
“Ein, Ben. Ben, Ein,” went the introductions.
Ein soon made his way up without delay. Think maybe he was a bit curious as to who I was. I’m just poking a guess he was trying to figure out if me and Adrianne got anything going on. He don’t know it yet, she don’t know it, but there ain’t gonna be no trouble coming from me in that way.
Then came a commotion from down below. Some woman claiming to have lived in the Eights before. I called back down to her. This got the notice of some crazy lady waving a gun around. She called for all of us to come down. Having a gun pointed at me, isn’t quite the scene I’m keen to be a part of. She was just taking that other woman’s backpack and going through it as I made my way on down.
Lady said, “You ain’t gonna find a safer place than here.”
Told her, “All I see here is a crazy lady pointing a gun at a group of people and rifling through someone else’s things. That’s raider activity if I saw any.”
Tried looking for a Keeper to handle this situation. Didn’t find any. I’m sure Adrianne and Ein got it figured out though. Ein came down armed and ready to shoot anyway.
Went to work in the hospital after that. Cleaned a little bit of the lobby while I was there. No one came in. Didn’t even see a passing nurse or doctor. Was a few very lonesome hours. After a time spent there, I just hurried home before the sun went down.
I had just settled down and began to write, when I heard a noise come from the outside. Sounded like something got in through the fence. With a quickness, I dashed to the bedroom for my backpack, took out my gun, and positioned myself near the front door.
Slowly, I opened it, but kept to the inside of the house. With no lights here, had the cover of darkness to my advantage. Someone was out there I could see, someone living I guess by the way it moved.
“I don’t know who the fuck you are, or what the fuck you want!” I told this person. “But this is my house, I live here! And you’re on my property.”
“Please, don’t shoot!” came out in a whimper. “I just was looking for a place to stay.”
“And why would I let you? How’d I know you weren’t just trying to kill me, take my things? Convince me why I shouldn’t just shoot you now.” That point, took the safety off my gun and it made an audible click.
That put this trespasser in a panic. “Please, please!” she begged. “Don’t shoot me!”
“Alright, maybe I can let you stay here,” said I. By the way that person was about to piss her pants, I figured she weren’t no threat to me. “But, it ain’t gonna be for free. Show me what you got.”
What was offered was pretty meager: candy, a water, some small handful of cash. It was pitiful to say the least. Could tell when the items were put out before me, I was dealing with a woman. Not just any woman, but someone I know. It was Audra, who I’d seen and helped out at the shelter.
“I seen you before,” I said. “I know you.” And that’s when I stepped out from the shadows.
Asked her what she was doing here. Wasn’t any room in the shelter, she said to me. Women’s dorm was all full and she didn’t want to sleep with the men. Tried to make it out on her own. That’s how she found my place.
Audra recognized me right away. Started to break down, curl up, and quietly sob between her legs. I couldn’t really let this go on any longer outside. No doubt, it’d attract some unnecessary and unwanted attention. That’s what I told her, and I said for her to get inside.
And that she did. Things took an odd turn though. Thinking I didn’t want her offerings, she tried to put up a different kind of goods. Tried to kiss me, and I shut that down right away.
“It’s not you, it’s me,” I told her. “Try not to think too much on that.”
Think she wanted to cry afterwards. Not wanting to be around someone crying, I took to my bedroom. Wasn’t bedding down for the night yet, though. Fetched a blanket and some pillows for her to sleep on the couch. That’s when things got REAL interesting.
Heard another noise outside. Someone had opened the gate and was making their way up the steps. They tried the door knob, but the door was locked.
I made a mad dash to the bedroom to get my gun again.
Putting myself to the front door, I screamed, “I LIVE HERE. FUCK OFF! RAIDER!”
No reply, but now whoever it was trying to get in through the windows.
“I’M ARMED AND I WILL SHOOT YOU THROUGH THE GODDAMN WALLS IF I HAVE TO!”
From the other side I heard, “Hoo-doo, cowboy!” in that familiar southern draw. It was Lettie out there. Lettie, the one who cooked me that steak not too long ago. She was trying to get in, even after I said we was in here. Said it was cold, that there were zombies outside. Had Audra check the window, and she didn’t see anything out there.
Don’t know her too well, but know she could probably pose a threat. Had her stash her weapons outside, before letting her in. At that point, I already had one uninvited guest. What’s one more? Lettie had to sleep on the floor though, as the couch was already spoken for.
Audra passed out soon after, and then it was just Lettie and me talking. She asked if Audra and I were a thing. Prolly was because I said “My girl and I are in here,” earlier. But, no we ain’t. Told Lettie we ain’t.
Got real curious about my place, Lettie did. Told her a bit of where the rooms were. Pointed out the bathroom. No running water, but there’s a bucket. Got a jug of water that’s good for cleaning, but not for drinking. Ain’t got no soap, so the best you can do is just getting your hands wet.
That crazy bitch then just kicked in the bathroom door! And out from it came the stench of a toilet bucket I really need to toss out some day. Closed the door then, as I made it obvious I was none too pleased about what she had done. Minded Lettie to keep the door shut.
After that, there wasn’t much more said. She sprawled out on the floor and I went to bed. Lettie left in the morning. Audra’s still here. I ain’t leave the house yet, except to do some work outside. Found a bit of paint while salvaging around yesterday. In big white letters, “I LIVE HERE FUCK OFF” is now painted on the outside of this house.
+ 1 candy bar
+ 1 scrap meat
+ – 1 water bottle
+ 1 joint
+ 1 painkillers
2 shirts, pants, shorts, 2 winter coats, work boots, winter boots, winter gloves, 3 pairs of underwear, baseball cap, belt, torn and messed up jacket
Food and Drink:
3 cat food tins, 3 candy bars, grilled fish, canned dog food, 2 scrap meats, tiny packet of salt, 1 jar of honey, 2 sodas, 1 canned macaroni, 6 bottles of water
Bucket, tools, nails, screws, mattress, couch, giant water jug, hot plate, chisel
$1968, 40 handgun bullets, 10 cigarettes, 2 joints, 2 bottles of painkillers, 1 romance novel, 6 machine parts, 1 can of fuel4