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Creepers, Crows, and Scuba Gear

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Yesterday, after getting myself to what was supposed to be a safer area than I came from, I am beginning to wonder. Landing yesterday at Arklay, much of the island is flooded. From what little information I have gathered so far, I heard that heavy rains hit the island last week, and although the rains have subsided, the water shows little sign of going down. I managed to slog my way through waist high waters into town to investigate. Walking towards town, the constant caws of the crows giving me an eerie feeling, I heard a rumbling inside a red dumpster. I tried to walk away as quickly and quietly as I could, not knowing who or what was making that noise. I stepped on a twig, snapping it and then heard a loud voice, coming from the dumpster, “Unless you want me to shoot you some new breathing holes, stop where you are, ” as the woman, dressed in black, hopped out of the dumpster, pointing her gun at me. “Who are you and where did you come from?” she said, eyeing me warily.

“My name is Lily, ” I replied, “And you all have a hell of a way of welcoming people. I came from Portland. Just got here this morning before the buttcrack of dawn. And who are you?”

“My name is Groovy, and I work at a diner in town,” she replied. “Sorry for my reaction, but have had some run ins with some real scum bag raiders lately, not to mention the infected bastards. Needless to say, I have my reasons for being cautious.”

“I understand,” I replied, “But do you think maybe you could lower your gun? I am only looking to find a safe place, but maybe I was misinformed. I am not a raider nor one of those creepers, and not looking to make any trouble.”

Groovy lowered her arm, putting her gun back in holster, but not moving her hand from the handle. “Well, I reckon if you were a raider you would not be alone, and I don’t see anyone else, but if I find out you are lying, I will not be happy.. My first recommendation as the welcoming committee is that you get to the hospital, which has some empty cots for the flood evacuees. You might even find some stuff that will come in handy. Here check this dumpster.”

I approached the rusted red dumpster with caution, and standing on the wooden pallet that was beside the dumpster, I saw something red poking through behind a cardboard box. Reaching down, I barely could reach the item, but saw a strap, which reaching for almost made me fall into the dumpster, I stretched my hands out as far as possible and managed to crook my finger tip around the strap. It was a first aid kit.

“You have some good luck there. Hang on to that, you will need it,” said Groovy, as I put the first aid kit into my large backpack, “Now let’s walk to the hospital” as we walked down the hill, the water getting deeper. We had to start swimming over towards the hospital entrance. Managing to get inside, we went up the stairs to the 3rd floor where there were cots and chairs. There were a few small oxygen tanks,

“I would recommend sticking close to this building until you learn your way around town. You are safe here,” said Groovy, “Damn I hate going back out in that water.”

Suddenly, looking at the oxygen tanks, I got an idea. Unzipping my backpack, I pulled out two scuba masks that I had appropriated from the sporting goods store I scavenged before my journey here. I handed one to Groovy and kept one. “Maybe these could help? If we could get them to work with those oxygen tanks, maybe we would not have to swallow so much of that nasty water.”

“You don’t happen to have flippers too do you?” laughed Groovy. Reaching in the pack, I pulled out some flippers. At this point we both started laughing our heads off.

The attempt at hooking the masks to the oxygen tanks was a failure as the tanks were empty, but deciding that at least the mask would guard our eyes, we put on the scuba masks and the flippers and looking at each other, started laughing again. “Don’t we make a dignified pair?” I said to Groovy as we made our way back down the stairs, out the door. Groovy said, “What the heck else do you have in your Mary Poppins backpack?” as we headed into town.