Diary Entry 2

Scat
Scat

There’s trouble in Bear Country.
Scat came running down the admin hall before sun up this morning yelling at the top of his lungs.
“Get up, Get up. They took our fuel. They took our fuel. “
I jumped off the couch and tackled him in the hallway.
“Ok, Ok, Ok, we get the point.” I yelled back.
By this time everyone residing in the admin hall was awake and standing in the hallway. Sleepy eyes everywhere and no one was in a very joyful mood.
Scat tried to squirm out of my hold.
“Tony, …Tony’s hurt. They beat him up.”

Tony
Tony

Tony is our engineer. He lives in the basement. He has been my friend(sort of) since before the world turned upside down. We didn’t run in the same circles but we had several classes together. He always asked my opinions on homework assignments. I used to wish he would ask me out on a date. Unfortunately, he was dating a cheerleader. He isn’t very socialable these days but he is very good at fixing and maintaining what ever we break.
I ordered Scat to stay put in the admin hallway and grabbed some muscle. When I say muscle I am referring to Matt and Jonas. We headed toward the basement.

The basement was a mess and Tony was slumped against the far wall holding his stomach, bleeding from his head, and his left eye was swollen shut. Tony made an attempt to open his good eye as soon as he heard us coming. He adjusted the way he was leaning against the wall and let out a cry of pain.
“I tried to reason with them.” Tony spit out a mouth full of blood.
“They took all of our fuel. Oh Geez! I hurt.”
Tony said it was Central. I honestly was not surprised. They have been giving us trouble for ages.
The Central Bobcats were from the East end of Lafayette Blvd we lived on the west. We were rivals in football, basketball and volleyball. Our bands competed against each other in competitions before the world was turned upside down. The big difference between central and us is that we are not a bunch of thieves and bullies. The leader of the Central bobcats is a former high school wrestling champ. He is mean and leads by fear and regularly has his goons beat up people for fun. The kids call him the hulk after the comic book character. He doesn’t barter for what he needs. He has his goons take what he wants.
Matt and I leaned over to help Tony onto his cot. I told Tony he shouldn’t have tried to stop central from taking what they wanted. Just then, Scat ran up behind me holding a first aid kit.
Scat is such a tiny little guy. I yelled at him for leaving the admin hallway. He gets into more trouble.
Scat glared back at me. “Tony didn’t try to stop them. They beat him up afterwards.”
I looked at Tony and he just nodded in agreement.

At that moment, Matt and Jonas both blew a gasket and started ranting a raving about getting even. Love these guys but they get hot under the collar fast and don’t always think things thru..
We have some big guys in Bear Country but we are not a match for the goons at Central.

Madie

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2004 at 10:10 pm

Diary Entry 1

I finally found a new journal to write in. I found it at the plaza. I paid a hefty price. But I desperately needed something to write my thoughts down in. You would think that a person living inside a school building would have access to paper. Not in this school. Except for the stash the journal club keeps under lock and key, the only paper in this school is the student records. This paper of course is already written on and serves no useful purpose to me.
Not a lot to tell about Bear Country except that things have been quiet for weeks. I am a little bored. Actually really bored. Everyone is off doing their own thing. I was hoping maybe I could get someone to play a game of cards. Spades perhaps. It is a fun game but no one was interested. I even asked the library trio Marty, Gretchen and Cecelia. Day in and day out they sit in the media center and read. Surely, they could use a diversion. They weren’t interested. Marty said they were doing research. This sounded somewhat interesting so I asked if I could help. They all three looked at me and in unison said “No”. Before I knew what was happening they pushed me out of the media center. And they locked the door. Those three are a wealth of information. A little odd and secretive and they are rarely seen alone but they can be very helpful at times. I am only a little hurt that they didn’t want to play with me. Oh well, their loss.
The agriculture club is trying their best to supply us with a variety of fruits and vegetables but an unfortunate accident with a bug infestation has damaged much of their crops. In an effort to keep us from starving to death the agriculture club has asked for volunteers. They need people to help with the crops that are left. I will be spending much of my time next week helping in the fields. Oh joy!! It’s not that I mind helping out. I just hate manual labor. Better to help now than to starve later.

This entry was originally posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2004 at 10:09 pm

The Mall Plaza

The mall plaza was crowded. Every gang and solitary drifter from who knows how far away had gathered to trade. Madie stood on the edge of the blacktop and stared at the once prestigious two-story shopping center.
Rundown and dilapidated gangs still used the plaza for commerce but you entered at your own risk. It was well-known, a weapon and fighting skills were necessary or you didn’t come out alive.
Makeshift kiosks and tables line the rows of the adjacent parking lot; the less adventurous shopped in the open. Madie had always been one of the less adventurous. Her objective for the day was to search the tables of junk and with any luck find a diary or notebook worthy of her thoughts.
As she stepped into the crowd, the putrid stench of gutter-rats attacks her nose. The little thieves were everywhere. Cunning and sneaky they steal in well-organized packs. The sight of their sad dirty faces and filthy fingers made even the strongest of people cringe. Madie had been the recipient of their pilfering more than once over the years. She hated the little thieves.
As she browsed thru the junk, a disturbance catches her eye. At the end of the row is an overturned table and a girl on the ground holding a crying baby. Madie slips her hands into her pockets to protect her meager possessions and backs away. “It’s the gutter-rats,” she says to herself. Misdirection was one of their favorite tools. Their dirty fingers slip into the pockets of several unsuspecting bargain hunters.
Several rows of tables lined with junk later, Madie sees a diary among the useless garbage. Her first thought was “Oh, my God!” then she wiped her eyes and stared for a moment. Shoving people aside, she grab the book from the table with more zest than was necessary to assure a fair trade. “How much?”
The boy behind the table adjusts his baseball cap and prepares to play hardball, “Whatcha, gotta trade?”
Madie retrieved two batteries from her pocket. “I’ve got these!” She tried to act as if the batteries were made of gold.
The boy looked at the batteries and rolled his eyes “Two batteries? You’re offerin two batteries? “He snatched the diary from her hands. “No deal!”
Madie took a deep breath and pulled out a small bouncy ball, “How about this?” She bounced the ball on the ground and caught it a few times. “You could bounce this thing all day and never get bored.”
The thought of not getting the diary sent a sharp pain through her stomach. “Please…! What’s a boy gonna do with a diary?”
The boy thought for a moment. It was true he had no use for the book. He couldn’t read or write. “Fine..take it!”…………..

Prologue

Welcome to Bear Country
Welcome to Bear Country

Prologue Podcast

I’m not sure exactly what day this whole thing started. I never watched the news. I was a kid doing my own thing. I didn’t care what was happening around me as long as I could spend time with my friends. I remember my Dad saying how sad it was that a mother of three small children had died from the flu. Then someone else died, then someone else and then quarantine. Life fell apart after that.

We were told to stay in our homes. Stay away from other people. Don’t go out in the streets. Doctors were working on a cure. People panicked, they left town to get help from other hospitals. This was a mistake. Soon the news was filled with stories about epidemics, people dying by the hundreds, then the thousands.

My dad was a part of the homeland security team. He was working with the town government trying to keep things under control. Unfortunately, his efforts and the efforts of others didn’t help. The virus continued to spread. The death toll continued to rise and soon bodies began to pile up on the streets. It was awful. Our entire town smelled like death.

My mother died first. My heart hurt so bad. I wanted to die. My father was already sick. I could tell his heart was broken too. He died a couple of days later. I laid on my bed and cried for a couple of days hoping death would take me too. The only thing that took hold of me was hunger.

Children were left to survive on their own. Death prayed on the smallest children. Babies died in their cribs. Toddlers starved to death because they couldn’t get out of their homes. The older children began to ban together and form tribes. The Bear Tribe was formed when about a dozen children and I moved into the Bear Country High School on LaFayette Blvd. We survived but life wasn’t easy.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I think my Dad bought me my first journal when I was in the 1st grade. I have kept a journal ever since. This is my story. The following journal entries are a brief view of my life.