Diary Entry 10

Dear Diary,

Casey finally delivered her baby. Her labor lasted a couple days. She was in labor, then she wasn’t. I felt bad for her because she was in constant pain. I don’t know how many times I sent people out to find a midwife and then the labor stop. As soon as Casey is up to it we are going to have naming ceremony for the baby.

It rained most of last night. Except for needing to pee a couple of times in the night. I slept well. Today is going to be a busy day. I promised Casey I would watch the baby while she took care of herself for a little while. Her baby is cute as far as babies go, not all squished face and bruised like I have seen from others. I would not want the responsibility for caring for a baby. Too many things could go wrong. I don’t mind babysitting for short periods of time but having one of my own is not even something I would want to do.

I saw Tony up walking around a little while ago. He was walking toward the shower. It’s a good thing because he was starting to be very smelling.

Madie

Bear Country HS – A day at the market

Today was fresh produce day at the farmers market. It should have been an easy day of guard duty..but it wasn’t.

Jonas and I traveled with Madie from one side of the market to the other in search of affordable fruits and vegetables. We try to grow our own at the school but our crops have been poor this year. Madie shopped and haggled as Jonas and I kept guard over our red wagon protecting our food from the slippery fingers of the gutter-rats.

The day was going good until we stopped to look at a basket full of pears. Xavier and his goons entered the market with the grace of a herd of bulls. It only took a moment for the crowd to turn chaotic as people tried to maneuver their way out of danger.

Xavier shoves his way thru the crowd. He picks up a gutter-rat and tosses her to the side. Not expecting a flying child, people fall to the ground like pins in a bowling alley.

Xavier grabs a basket of tomatoes and tosses it to one of his goons. The proprietor yells, Thief!” and is rewarded with a punch in the face. He goes down hard.

Madie, Jonas and I maneuver our way thru the crowd toward an exit. A sneaky gutter-rat takes advantage of the bottle-necked crowd and reaches in to our wagon to steal a cucumber. Jonas grabs the little thief by the scruff of the neck , gets a whiff of stink and nearly pukes. Gutter rats nearly always smell nasty. This boy was nastier than most.

Kincaid and his posse should up just as we reach relative safety from the chaos of the market place. The walk home with the wagon should have only taken a few minutes, unfortunately, the Central Bobcats managed to start a gang war. The road home was dotted with several obstacles and route changes. Several of the local gangs decided to rehash old arguments. The three of us spent a great deal of time huddled behind trash dumpsters and broken down cars, trying to avoid the fighting. Although, there was a moment when fighting looked like a good idea. Madie wasn’t having it.

Matt

Diary Entry 9

I went for a walk this morning and stumbled into my old neighborhood. I hadn’t been to that part of town for more than a year. I went by my old house I grew up in, in hopes of doing a walking thru but there were people living there. I shouldn’t be surprised , the house always had a very homey feel to it. I wanted to run up to the people living there and say, “get out this is my home.” but I ddin’t, I just stood there. I stood there for a long time until my stomach said it was time to eat. I said good bye to the old house and went looking for something to eat. Luckily, there were food wagons everywhere; some appetizing and some not.

I checked in on Tony a little while ago. He is doing surprisingly better. I find it odd, you can be practically dying one day and on the road to recovery the next.  He is not well enough to get out of bed but at least he is not on death’s door. Life is so peculiar.

The Runt is still missing. I have not told Tony. I’m hoping the boy returns soon but he has been missing for a couple days which is worrisome. Although, it isn’t unusual for the boy to disappear for a day. I have never seen him disappear for this long.

Madie

Bear Country HS – Casey delivers her baby

The first birth I ever witnessed was a horrific tragedy. The event left me scarred. My family and friends were dead. I was homeless. The streets of town resembled a war zone. Populated by giant rats, the park where I used to play had become a landfill of dead bodies.

Like a wild animal, I scavenged for food, I broke into houses and anywhere else, I thought I might find a morsel to eat. To help ease the pain in my stomach I sometimes stole food from the hands of others.

At night, I found a place to hide but never in the same place twice. Sleep didn’t come easy; I hated the dark. Horrible monsters lived in the dark.

Almost daily I witnessed senseless brutality. Dragged into the streets the soon-to-be dead always kicked and screamed. Their cries for help and mercy ignored. Afraid for my own life, I hid, closed my eyes, covered my ears and prayed I wouldn’t be next.

On this particular day, I was exhausted, tired and hungry. The Red Hyenas were hunting and I was their prey. Already caught but released during a game of cat and mouse, I ran into the alley and hid in a crawl space. From somewhere in the damp darkness, I hear the voice of a young girl say, “Help me please!”

My first reaction was to flee but I couldn’t, the Red Hyenas were searching the alley.

“Shh..Be quiet!” I begged in a whisper.

The girl answered my pleas for quiet with moans of agony.

I peaked into the alleyway. The hyenas were fighting among themselves as they searched for me in  the rubble. The lead boy wasn’t happy I escaped.

Fearing the Hyenas would hear the moaning and cries for help, I crawled deeper into the darkness and demanded the girl be quiet. What I saw still haunts me to this day. Blood was everywhere and the smell nauseating.

“Please…oh please, help me!” The girl cried as she reached for her blood-covered baby lying in the mud.

I stared in horror and scooted back against the far wall. I prayed the baby wouldn’t cry. If the baby cried, the Red Hyenas would find me.

Several hours later, I ventured back out into the alley. The girl and her baby both died in the dark. I never asked her name.

Casey woke everyone in the 2A hall around 4am, with her cries of pain. Madie, Gretchen and Cecelia helped Casey back to her room. I was sent to find a midwife in the clinic a couple blocks over.

By noon, Casey was in hard labor and begging for the pain to stop. There were moments I feared  along with everyone else waiting in the hall, Casey wouldn’t have the strength to push her baby into the world. With every contraction, the midwife, Madie, Gretchen and Cecelia would yell, “Push, Casey… Push!” Casey responded with screams of pain. At 3:07, the baby was born. A girl

AJ

 

Diary Entry 8

Dear Diary,

It has been a long day. Matt and Jonas have still not located the Runt. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the boy is doing fine and hasn’t been caught by the goons at Central. Although, with all of the trouble that boy causes it is almost a blessing he is gone. In spite of my feelings for the boy, we have to find him. He is one of us and he is Tony’s charge.

Tony is still looking horrible. Everyone is taking turns sitting with him. He is not taking in a lot of fluids but I think his color may be improving.

We held a Bear Country election today . Pete is now going to be in charge of security at the school. I was handling it all but I need something off my plate. Pete will do an excellent job because he often works with Kincaid and his posse.

Madie

Bear Country HS- The Bear News

Printed weekly “The Bear News” contained news, featured articles, advertisements and correspondence from the local tribes and gangs. For ease of access by the public, the main office was located a couple blocks from the high school in an abandoned store front. Evan and JT took turns manning the office during the day. Evan thumbed thru papers in the back office looking for a reference for a pending article when the doorbell chimed, “Can I help you?” he called out as he continued to search for the allusive piece of paper. “I’ll be there in a second. Fill out the form on the desk if you can write.”

Recruiting the strongest men away from the other local gangs would ensure Xavier’s rise to power. Obsessed with building an army of gladiators he sent two guards to the local paper to place an ad.

“Hello, is somebody there?” Evan said as he walked into the from room expecting to see a sad and lonely single person hoping to place a free personal ad in tomorrow’s paper. The two Central Bobcat guards were a surprise. Relax, play it cool, he said to himself, “Ummm, how can I help you?”

One of the guards hands Evan a piece of paper, “Xavier wants this placed in your newspaper. He also wants posters displayed around town with the same message. ” Evan read the note. The Central Bobcats were recruiting for their gang.

As editor and chief of the paper, Evan determined the final content placed in the Bear News. He had no desire to publish a recruitment ad for Xavier and his army of bullies. “This is something we typically don’t run in our paper and even if we did, it would be costly to you. I don’t have the resources to print posters. We used all out card stock for the Fall Festival Posters. “Evan handed the paper back to the guard, “Sorry.”

The guard reached across the counter and grabs Evan by his shirt. “We ain’t payin! and if you don’t put this in your paper we will burn this place to the ground with you inside!”

Evan didn’t like being strong armed into something he felt strongly against. He also didn’t want to die. “It’s going to take a while to acquire ink and poster paper needed for this project.” Hoping to avoid a beating, “Give me a few days. I’ll need to come up with the funds and contact my supplier.”

The guard releases Evan with such a strong force, he stumbles backward and falls to the floor behind the counter. “You’ve got three days!”

Evan breathed a sigh of relief as he hears the door chime indicating the Central goons had vacated his business.

A few minutes later JT returns from his asignment, unaware the Bobcats had paid a visit.

“You won’t believe who was just here”, Evan said as he walked around the counter, “The Central Bobcats want us to place a recruitment ad in the paper… and they want posters placed around town.” Evan hands JT the note.

JT reads the note, “Hell No!, We are not recruiting for the Central Bobcats!”

“They said they would burn The Bear News down if we don’t comply. They have given us three days.”

 

Diary Entry 7

Dear Diary,

Tony is getting worse and the Runt is missing; I can’t find him anywhere.

Lisa took over sitting with Tony after the Runt. She said the Runt was obviously upset by Tony’s declining condition. The boy went off on a medicine finding mission. If I thought medicine was available I would have been the first person to go and retrieve it.

Finding medicine even for something as simple as the common cold is practically impossible. The pharmacies were emptied out years ago, any remaining drugs hoarded and sold to the highest bidder with the most power. Anything you find on the open market these days is usually fake, …most certainly fake. There is real stuff out there but it would cost you a kidney , a limb or worse.

Madie

Bear Country HS – It doesn’t look good for Tony

Marty removed the stethoscope from his ears, “His heart is weak. There is nothing more the girls and I can do for him; we’ll do our best to keep Tony comfortable.”

Madie understood the situation was dire but she wasn’t about to give up on her best friend and let him die. She leaned over to kiss Tony on the forehead before firmly stating to Marty, “I don’t care what it costs this gang; I don’t care who you bribe or what you have to steal. Don’t let him die!”

Tony was dying; he would most likely die within the next day or so. Not wanting to partake in an emotional discussion with Madie, Marty simply replied,, “The girls and I have a connection in town, we might be able to come up with something useful.”

Madie picked up her diary off the crate next to Tony’s cot, “I’m going to get some sleep. It’s been a long night. If anything changes wake me.”

A gutter-rat adventure

Dressed in over-sized clothes, Sam was the Queen of the gutter-rats. The girl could locate, find and steal anything. The price for her services was considered reasonable by many of the local gangs. She helped her close friends for free.

“Shhhh!, Sam raised a finger to her mouth. “Stay behind me and don’t make a sound.”

Are you sure this is a good idea? The serpents will kill us if they find us in here.” The Runt asked as his eyes darted from one side of the rubble to the other. He had only been inside the mall plaza once before and things didn’t end well for his two traveling companions.

“Do you want medicine for Tony or not?” Sam inquired as she squeezed between the rubble.

“Yes…. Are you sure there isn’t a safer place to steal from?”

“God, you are such a baby!” Sam said as she rolled her eyes.

“I’m not a baby!” The Runt said in protest.

“Shhh! Be quiet. If I die today, I swear, I will haunt you til you die!”

The Runt followed Sam as closely and quietly as he could. He tried to remember the direction they were traveling thru the corridors of the dilapidated building, in case he needed to make a hurried escape.

The pharmacist dealt in hard to find drugs and other deadly concoctions. Most of the drugs he dispensed were to junkies looking for an escape from their sad lives. Sam knew the Pharmacist also had a supply of expired antibiotics. She also knew where he kept them….. but first she needed a diversion.

The Runt coughed over and over again as they exited the building. “I can’t believe you started a fire in there. We could have died!”

Sam rolled her eyes as she tossed the Runt a bag of pills. “Your welcome. … I hate to steal and run but I have somewhere else to be.”

The Runt tucked the bag of pills into his shirt. “Sam wait! Thanks for helping me!”

“No problem….hey, meet me at the park at sundown. I know where there is a candy stash. ”

The Runt waved goodbye and ran toward his hidden bike behind the dumpster. He didn’t notice Xavier’s goons until it was too late….

Diary Entry 6

Dear Diary,

Tony is not doing well. His eye seems to be better but his stomach is extremely bloated and painful to the touch. He isn’t holding any food down. We are encouraging him to drink water. I honestly don’t know if this is doing any good or if it is doing him harm. I heard once that you shouldn’t let people get dehydrated. Marty, Gretchen and Cecelia have went to the main library to do research on Tony’s condition. With any luck, they will come back with some answers or at least our best options to help in this crisis. The kids are all taking turns sitting with Tony.

Madie